Feb. 17, 2000
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Thirteen individuals and three teams have been designated as sports pioneers by the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame. The announcement completes a special millennium project undertaken by the provincial sports shrine.
"As the custodian of New Brunswick's sports heritage, it is appropriate that we recognize those whose achievements and contributions are such an important part of our sports history," board of governors chair Allan Maher said. "Because so many years have passed, the Sports Hall of Fame wants to ensure these individuals and teams are not forgotten. The men and women who have been selected are representative of all of those who made a significant contribution to the early development of sports in New Brunswick."
The recognition of the sports pioneers, all of whom competed before 1939, is intended as a one-time only event. The selections were made by the board of governors in consultation with an 18-member committee from throughout the province. A reception to honor those selected is being planned for April in Fredericton.
Following are the sports pioneers:
Speedskater Chester Cole, Sackville: In 1926, Cole won the Maritime title for the 14-year-old class and placed first at the World Junior Championships held at Lily Lake, Saint John. In 1927, he brought home his first medal from the United States and the following year, as a 16-year-old, he won the Maritime Intermediate Championship in Saint John. Cole dedicated himself wholeheartedly to his sport and, to further his skating career, he joined the Iceland Skating Club in New York, one of the main promoters of speedskating in North America. He consistently placed first or second in races held in the United States and throughout the Maritimes. He died in 1930 as the result of an injury suffered in a skating competition at Madison Square Garden. Many believe he would have been a top contender at the 1932 Winter Olympic Games. (Click here for a 150 dpi photo.)
All-round athlete Kenneth Corbett, Fredericton: During his years at the University of New Brunswick, Corbett stood out as a varsity athlete. He won four Maritime Intercollegiate heavyweight boxing championships and starred in track and field. He played basketball, rugby, football, and hockey and was a member of the Dominion intercollegiate rifle team which won several championships. In 1937, Corbett was awarded the Sir Frederick Williams Taylor Gold Medal as the best all-round athlete at UNB. Following graduation, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was killed on a training mission in Oct., 1939. For many years the UNB award to the top all-round athlete was named in his honor.
Baseball player Tom Daly, Saint John: Daly played eight seasons in the major leagues (1913-1921) as a catcher/outfielder, three of which were spent with the Chicago Cubs. He appeared in 244 games with a career batting average of .234. When his playing days ended, he was a coach and scout for the Boston Red Sox. Upon his death in 1946 at the age of 51, the local paper recorded that "No player in the history of Boston baseball was ever held in higher esteem by his associates than Tom Daly, Red Sox coach and scout, who died here today. Where baseball continues, particularly in Boston, the name of Tom Daly will be revered not only as a great player, scout and coach, but as one whose love of the game was something sacred"
All-round athlete W. S. (Bill) Godfrey, Miramichi: While attending Mount Allison University (1910-1914) Godfrey played varsity football, hockey and track and field. He was respected as a leader (team captain) and as a competitor, and contributed significantly to the success the teams enjoyed. Mount A won Maritime intercollegiate titles in all three sports during Godfrey's era. In 1914, the hockey team won both the Maritime intercollegiate and Maritime amateur championships. He returned to the university as a coach in the 1920s, and again, in 1930, as a member of staff and coach of the hockey team (until 1936). In 1931, he coached the team to the Maritime intercollegiate title, the first won by the university since 1914. He also served on the university's athletic committee in 1936-37.
Builder Walter Golding, Saint John: Golding founded the Trojan Athletic Club, which is still active in Saint John today. The Club encompassed many sports including baseball, football, hockey, and basketball for men and women, and was the spawning ground for many of New Brunswick's best athletes such as Andrew (Beef) Malcolm, Margaret Purdy, Dorothy Brockway and others. He brought outside teams to Saint John to compete against the Trojans, thereby introducing Maritime teams to Eastern Canadian competition in basketball. He managed the Trojans for 15 consecutive seasons, during which they won 12 provincial, nine Maritime, and one Eastern Canadian title in the senior division, the only time it was won by an New Brunswick team. The 1932 Trojans were inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 1978. (Click here for a 150 dpi photo.)
Badminton player Marjorite Lindsay, Woodstock: Lindsay, also known by her nickname, Puss, competed in several sports, but achieved her greatest success in badminton. She won the Maritime Singles Badminton Championship four times between 1933 and 1937 and, with her husband, won the Maritime Mixed Doubles title three times in that same period. She was a member of the UNB varsity basketball team for four years (1918-22), and won the ladies championship at the Woodstock golf club every year from 1929 to 1939. (Click here for a 150 dpi photo.)
Hockey player Fred McLean, Fredericton: McLean was the first New Brunswick-born player to make it the National Hockey League and tied Mickey Roach as the first Maritimer to do so. He played professional hockey for approximately three years and was in the NHL for two seasons. For 10 years he played at the senior level. After his playing days, he coached hockey at Mount Allison University and the University of New Brunswick for 15 seasons. His UNB team reached the Maritime intercollegiate final four times, emerging victorious in 1924-25 and his Mt.A team won the title in 1933-34. (Click here for a 150 dpi photo.)
Baseball player John McLean, Fredericton : In 1899, the Fredericton Tartars and John McLean won the Maritime baseball championship. Nicknamed Big Larry, McLean went on to play 13 seasons (1901-1915) in the major leagues as a catcher. He appeared in more than 860 games, and had a lifetime batting average of .262. In 1913, he played in the World Series with New York of the National League against Philadelphia, and led all regulars with a .500 batting average. He was the first New Brunswick-born player to appear in the World Series, which began in 1903.
Baseball player Bill Phillips, Saint John: Silver Bill Phillips has the distinction of being the first Canadian to play major league baseball. In a career which lasted from 1879 to 1888, he toiled for Cleveland, Brooklyn, and Kansas City. He was an accomplished player both offensively and defensively, recording more than 1,000 hits during his career, and ranking among the all-time leaders in individual fielding. He was the first Canadian to hit a home run in the majors, and the first to hit .300 in a single season. He led all first basemen in double plays for three seasons, and in fielding percentage for two seasons. He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.
Basketball player William Reardon, Woodstock : An all-round athlete, Reardon was considered by many to be the best basketball player of his era. As a 15-year-old he played for the Woodstock Senators in the Eastern Canadian intermediate championship; at 18, he led his high school team to the interscholastic title, dethroning the five-time champion Saint John Trojans. He went on to St. Francis Xavier University, where as a freshman, he was named captain of the basketball team, and was the team's top scorer. While at St. F. X. he also played football and tennis, and won the Maritime intercollegiate light heavyweight boxing championship (1932). Following university, he returned to Woodstock and starred for the basketball Senators for several seasons. He also played senior-level rugby and baseball during this time. (Click here for a 150 dpi photo.)
Hockey and baseball player James Riley, Bayfield: Riley is the only known New Brunswick-born athlete to have played both in the National Hockey League and in major league baseball. From 1915 to 1924, Riley played professional hockey with Victoria and Seattle in the Pacific Coast Hockey League. In 1920-21-22, he was a second team all-star; and in 1923 he won first team all-star honors. In 1927, he played briefly in the NHL with the Chicago Black Hawks and the Detroit Cougars. His baseball career began with Vancouver of the Pacific International League and in 1921, he made his major league debut with the St. Louis Browns of the American League. In 1923 he played two games with Washington. He continued to play baseball in the southern United States until 1932.
Rower Wallace Ross, Saint John: A native of Memramcook, Ross was one of Canada's best scullers during the sport's golden era, and popular with rowing fans wherever he competed. He began racing in Saint John in 1872 as a 15-year-old, and within a few years he was consistently defeating the best in the province. In 1877, he won the Maritime title, and challenged Canadian and United States champion Ned Hanlan of Toronto for the Canadian title. They met in the fall with Hanlan the winner and a rematch in 1878 resulted in the same outcome. Ross finally defeated Hanlan at a regatta in Rhode Island in 1880, and the following year he won the World Championship at a race in Toronto. He retired from competition in 1887. (Click here for a 150 dpi photo.)
Curler Reginald Shives, Campbellton :Shives was a member of the Canadian curling team which toured Scotland in 1926. In 1927, he skipped his team to the New Brunswick championship, and was chosen as a member of a composite team to represent the province at the first Macdonald Brier. They finished second. In 1936, Shives skipped his team to the provincial title and the Ganong Cup, and went on to the brier. New Brunswick was considered the strongest team from the east, and they finished with a 7-3 record. Shives lost the Tankard to Ken Watson on the last rock in an extra end, the closest a team from this province had come to winning since the brier was established in 1927. In 1929-30, Shives served as president of the N.B. Curling Association.
Moncton Colleens basketball team: The Colleens were organized in 1926, and, within two years were dominating their league. In 1928, they won the provincial championship, and lost to a Halifax team in the Maritime final. In 1929, they again captured the provincial title, and lost the Maritime crown to Halifax YWCA. Finally, in 1930, after claiming their third successive New Brunswick title, the Colleens were victorious in the Maritime championship, defeating the Nova Scotia champions easily in a two-game series. In total, the Colleens won four N.B. championships, and their 1930 Maritime senior title was the first for a Moncton women's team. (Click for a 150 dpi photo.)
Moncton Red Indians hockey team: The Red Indians were for med in 1932, comprised of players from schools in the Moncton area. They won their league and the Maritime Junior title in their initial campaign, and became the first New Brunswick team to contest the Memorial Cup, emblematic of the top junior team in Canada. The Red Indians met the powerful Montreal Junior Royals in the Eastern Canadian final. They held the Royals to a tie in the first game, and lost by only one goal in the second game. Their performance opened the eyes of upper Canadian hockey scouts to the quality of the Maritime game. In 1934-35, the Red Indians again cruised to the Maritime championship, and a second opportunity to play for the Memorial Cup. However, they lost to Ottawa in the first round. (Click here for a 150 dpi photo.)
Moncton Victorias hockey team: The Victorias first came to prominence in 1896 when they won the city championship. In the following years the team played in a variety of city and regional leagues, enjoying considerable success. In 1906-07, they won the Maritime senior championship, a feat which they repeated in 1908 and 1909. The joined the newly-formed Inter-provincial Professional Hockey League in 1910, and won the Maritime title that season and again in 1912. Having proven themselves the best in the Maritimes, the Victorias challenged for the Stanley Cup which was then awarded on a challenge basis, becoming the only Maritime team every to play for the coveted silverware. While they were easily defeated by the Quebec Bulldogs in a two-game series, it was an accomplishment nonetheless, for the team, the city, and the province. (Click here for a 150 dpi photo.)
MEDIA CONTACT : Kathy Meagher, executive director, NB Sports Hall of Fame, tel. 506-453-8930 (work); 506-457-9111 (home); fax 506-459-0481;e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .