History of the A's
A's Struck With Season Suspensions
ATHLETICS AND REFEREE BARRED BY O.L.A.
St. Catharines Standard
February 26, 1949
(CP) – For taking part in lacrosse games in Rochester N. Y., the
Ontario Lacrosse Association executive
suspended six players and an official for the 1949 O. L. A. playing
were Roy Morton, William Nelson, Stuart Scott and James McMahon of the
1948 St. Catharines senior club; W. Evans and J. Hogan, who played early
in the 1948 session for Hamilton, and George Cleverly, St. Catharines
Association said the players lined up with the Rochester club of the
United States National Lacrosse League and that Cleverley served as a
referee at some of the Rochester games.
O. L. A. executive ruled that in so doing, the seven acted without O. L.
A. permission and in violation of its constitution.
executive granted a senior A franchise to the Peterborough club, which
made the 1948 senior B championship a runaway. It also gave Weston
lacrosse club the senior A franchise given up after the 1948 season by
Weston West Yorks.
moves ensured the Association of a 1949 senior loop including at least
eight teams – St. Catharines, Hamilton, Fergus, Brampton, Owen Sound,
Mimico, Weston and Peterborough.
The outstanding player award for 1948 was given to Joe Cheevers, playing coach of the Hamilton Tigers, Ontario and Canadian champions. With the award goes the Jimmy Murphy trophy and the Charles Querrie medal.
St. Catharines Standard
April 27, 1949
Millar is a fighter for the right, as everyone identified with box
lacrosse will admit. He would have to be, to become a past president of
the O. L. A. and also go through the wars from the ground up in the parent
Athletics organization. For any official gets a great grounding in
tactics, right here in this hotbed of boxla, where spirited verbal combat
is only outdone by the solons in the annuals.
Dan Millar, like the late Judge Landis of baseball, looked for loopholes
in armor and the lone one he could find to counteract the ban on senior
players being bound to their O. L. A. clubs in the off-season was to try
and have it legislated out. He didn’t succeed last weekend at Toronto,
but he did gain a point.
financial wizard is right and there isn’t a sport in the wide world that
attempts to control the destinies of their players in the off-season,
except pro hockey, baseball and football. Nor do they, except where the
athlete indulges in a pastime likely to incur “breakage” and so injure
the paid star and render him unfit for duty the next season. Such cases
are counted on the fingers of one hand.
take the O. L. A. side of the quiz, too. The moguls rightly believed
Ontario players and teams were exploited terrifically and ridiculously by
the U. S. promoters in the winter box loop play. No doubt of that, when
certain gates run to $3,500 a game and the Canadian stars (including boys
of this Garden City) slid over the border and were rewarded with the
princely sum of $5 per game. That’s sheer robbery, but it was fun for
A’s and if they worked 20 games, it paid the winter coal bill.
the O. L. A. set a minimum scale of pay-for-play with a bonus clause on
heavy gates and that was agreed, until the smooth U. S. operators fancied
too much money was hopping out for the $3 top seats patrons. Then they
began to pay underneath. It was still gravy for the A’s so near to the
source of supply and eager-beavers on the take business and when it looked
like an imposition, the O. L. A. stepped in.
warned the clubs and boxla boys to desist, or suffer suspension. A’s and
various players “snuck” across, the O. L. A. scouted them and then
issued the edict. No great fault could be found, since all hands were
warned, only the players evidently thought the parent body was bluffing.
will the ban on five A’s affect rival teams? Plenty and then some. So
Hamilton’s champions Tigers sensed the fact that Athletics are their
best drawing card at Cannon Bowl and they aided with A’s in having the
players declared free agents. Other clubs must have, too, to force a poll
decided by one vote. We’d guess public sympathy counts some and the fact
the ban tends towards utter dictatorship.
little point counts and as far as senior A’s go, they have another
doughty warrior in ex-coach Art Brown of the parent executive, who
understands the cited instance in A’s club and believes like the rest of
us, its unjust and everything else that begins with an “un,” even
including unbelievable in legislation.
much all of the above has been of pessimistic nature as regards the A’s
and the 1949 prospects. There’s a brighter side though, which we saved
for the last. Pres. Fred Conradi informs us that Pres. G. A. Stauffer of
T-P Co. established contact with Ike Hildebrand of Los Angeles of the pro
coast loop and there is a fair possibility Ike may play for the
double-blues in 1949.
St. Catharines Standard
May 18, 1949
every day passes, the truth is being brought home stronger each day. Our
St. Kitts senior Athletics are in for a very tough season and it looks
much as if they are going to pay the penalty for being Mann Cup champions
too often. Such had “griped the innards” of rival cities and towns for
years past, when the double-blues would come through in the stretch drive
and cop the O. L. A. crown, then walk on into the Mann Cup and bring the
$2,500 mug here.
clubs could import all they wanted, some with an unbeatable squad (on
paper), yet, when the blue chips were down, it was the Garden City to get
the marbles, reputation, prestige and so forth and be honoured by their
native city. That’s why the name of St. Kitts is embossed on the Sir
Donald Mann gold trophy for five years of the last ten. In short, A’s
won it as often as every other city in Canada put together.
old college try, battling team spirit, or what-have-you, is on demand for
1949, for you lacrosse lovers ably follow the trend of the times. Fred K.
Conradi, Dan Millar and the boxla solons made big plans for this summer.
They arranged for Ike Hildebrand to come east and join Fred (brother) of
the Teepee pucksters, to form a super-smart clicking brace of scoring
forwards that were destined for big things…we hoped.
Ike Hildebrand, who wears a Leaf hockey tag on the Los Angeles team of the
PCHL, led the B. C. boxla circuit in 1948 with the nifty total of 110
points. That was more than 20 beyond the scope of his nearest
point-getter. In his home city of New Westminster, under Pres. F. F.
(Rick) Foote, a native of Port Dalhousie, the plans of A’s would have
surely made a ten-strike here…not to mention some disaster to the enemy
units of the Ontario circuit.
illness had to hit the infant member of Ike Hildebrand’s family and with
the possibility of facing a 3,000-mile motor trip from sunny California,
Ike Hildebrand wired brother Fred here that “the deal was off.” Such
came to light in last Friday’s issue and what was expected to be a
strike now becomes a standing four-pin.
Athletics will be forced to depend on home talent and relying on the grim,
battling team spirit that faced them in cup-winning years. Truly no
sinecure for Jack McMahon (coach).
boxla woes started in the late winter, with the suspension of no less than
five players for indulging in the U. S. winter loop. Nor can any legal
light here, or elsewhere, do a single, solitary thing. The rule is in the
senior constitution, giving the O.L.A. executive the power to regulate
players in their activities outside Canada, or in leagues other than of
long redeeming clause (as to penalty) also rests with the O.L.A. They can
make it a month, two, three, a season or entire year, for player
suspension, as they deem advisable. With them, the word is that there are
no extenuating circumstances. The team was warned, the players ditto and
they are alleged to have gone into the U. S. with both eyes open and
knowing the full consequences. Such is the information this desk gets from
headquarters, where we attempted to “horn in,” scanning the whole
set-up for a loophole of legal technicalities.
box solons claim sympathy with the A’s, but admit pressure from club
players who refuse to budge an inch and say St. Kitts must pay the
penalty. The poison barb is that the loss of three key men will definitely
weaken the A’s and reduce them to the status of being exactly what
rivals hope, a soft touch for Mimico, Hamilton, Brampton, Weston, Owen
Sound and Peterboro.
can ill spare Billy Nelson, "Stu" Scott and Jimmy McMahon of the senior
roster. Roy Morton has retired now and George Cleverley is in the refs
category. But, visualize what the Conradi-Millar-McMahon club has to do
here this term. They are forced to bring up half a dozen ex-juniors, some
just juveniles yet, to fill the breach. While enemy clubs flaunt their
imports and strong squads.
A’s will carry on and they had 18 boys out last week and this in stiff
drills for the O.L.A. opener here Saturday night with Mimico. "Pilot"
McMahon is working a system of plays designed to cover the new goal rules,
the nets being set 12 feet out and play permitted behind. Doubtless, other
clubs are doing likewise. By A’s, it is a super-smart play, if
This picture appeared in the St. Catharines Standard on May 12, 1949 and shows coach Jack "Wandy" McMahon watching as retired legend Roy "Pung" Morton checks the fit of his old number nine jersey on young Don Frick