History of the A's

 
 

Athletics Receive Royal Sendoff

 
 

DOUBLE-BLUES GIVEN ROYAL SENDOFF ON WESTERN CUP QUEST 

C.N.R. STATION PACKED BY 5,000 FANS AS ATHLETICS ENTRAIN 

AUXILIARY AND FANS GIVEN LOAD OF ‘EATS 

COACH ART BROWN HOPEFUL BUT NOT OVER-CONFIDENT OF WINS 

The St. Catharines Standard 

MONDAY OCTOBER 2, 1939 

Given one of the most enthusiastic send-offs ever seen in sport history here, St. Catharines Athletics lacrossists entrained for the west on Saturday night. Well over 5,000 sports and citizen public jammed the C.N.R. station in a throng that held the New York flyer six minutes behind schedule, as players were forced to crowd their ways through serious ranks of admirers. Motors were parked on St. Paul west as far back as the royal arch and it required half an hour for traffic to un-snarl itself on the main station thoroughfare and adjacent streets. 

Long before the train arrival the 200 yards of station platform was a seething mass of humanity…young and old…all of whom wanted to shake an Athletics hand and wish them God-speed and good-luck. There were a few lumps in throats and misty eyes as mothers and sweethearts bade them adieu and sturdy delegates of the Athletics Mothers Auxiliary group forced their way behind the team to carry the delicacies prepared by loving hands for the boys on the trip west. Each player was given a carton containing a roast chicken, said poultry and carton containing all the “trimmings,” while the fact that players Harry Green and George Coles had no homes here did not prevent their inclusion by courtesy of Mrs. Geo. Montgomery and the family of Walt Coupland. 

WEALTH OF EATABLES 

So bountiful were the donations of cartoned, boxed and basketed fruit from the Niagara district that train porters were unable to clear an aisle in the Athletics Pullman until the train had reached Hamilton. Frankly, there was such abundance of remembrances to the double-blue champions, that it could have stocked the train to Winnipeg. 

Mayor Charles (Tod) Daley was in the forefront of the enthusiastic send-off to the Garden City party, along with various civic officials and players found considerable difficulty wedging their way through the massed entourage that bade the boys farewell. So great was the real crush of the Athletics Pullman that Porter Jerry Heart, who accompanied St. Catharines Grads west in the spring of 1931, lost his cap in his mad scramble to make the train and it was tossed on the last car of the train as it slid out of the station confines, to the deep throated roar of “three cheers and a tiger for Athletics,” as dozen of cameras flashed pictures of the scene that will go down in history of the Garden City. 

COACH BROWN DUBIOUS 

Coach Art Brown, reticent to the last, offered no prediction on what may happen in the west. He said every member of the club was prepared to give all he had to retain the battered Mann Cup and warned the loyal patrons to not be overly-confident of success at the coast. The able tutor of the A’s thought his boys would hurdle the barrier at Winnipeg and Medicine Hat, but freely admitted that any coast team was doubly-hard to defeat on their own soil and particularly when Athletics would be forced to play the title series on a board floor. He pointed out that Adanacs were a year older than 1938 and had the benefit of more experience, while their convincing defeats of Vancouver Burrards by scoring 15 straight goals in the fifth game and racking up a 20 to 4 score in the seventh and deciding game was proof of the powerful aggregation that Athletics was destined to oppose. Athletics did not carry their own drinking-water supply west, as Grad basketballers did in 1931, the acclimatizing air being regarded as a major factor in lacrosse victory or defeat.

(courtesy of  Bob Luey)

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