All-Time London Majors Team

My All-Time London Majors Team
August 7, 2014
by Jeffrey Reed

Established in 1925, the London Majors are enjoying their 90th season this year. It’s a good time to revisit this scribe’s all-time Majors greats. It’s not an easy task, and there are a few ties.

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The calibre of play in the Intercounty Baseball League (est. 1919) has ranged from professional Rookie Ball to Class AAA baseball, and aluminum bats were used from 1977 to 1994. In fact, there are a myriad of factors involved with the naming of any all-time squad, but here are my picks. I welcome your bricks and bouquets.

Right-Handed Pitcher: Tommy White

White’s three victories for London in the 1948 World Sandlot Championship earned him Canada’s Outstanding Baseball Player of the Year award. He amassed a 108-57 lifetime Intercounty record. Tommy’s top years: 1947 (11-1) and 1949 (13-3).

Left-Handed Pitcher: Neil Ambrose

Ambrose ranks among the Intercounty’s best with 132 appearances, 802.1 innings, 48 wins and 454 Ks. He played 11 years (1975-85), was an all-star in 1976 and ’77 and finished with a respectable 3.96 ERA during the aluminum bat era.

Catcher: Wayne Fenlon

“Doggie” was behind the dish for 22 years (1968-88). A member of three championship clubs, including his rookie year, Fenlon was a three-time all-star as a player, and an all-star manager in ’88.

First Base: Larry Haggitt

From 1974-84, Haggitt amassed 47 round trips. After an all-star campaign at third base in 1974, he made the transition to first base in 1975 – London’s last championship season – and was named a first-team all-star in both ’75 and ’76. He won the batting championship in ’75 with a .412 average.

Second Base: Barry Boughner

Although a talented utility player, and former all-star third baseman and DH, “Boogie” was an all-star at second base in 1974, and played the position during parts of almost every season during his 17-year career (1966-84).

Third Base: Dave Lapthorne, Dan Mendham

A well-rounded player, “Whitey” Lapthorne was an all-star at the hot corner in 1964 and ’65 during his 17-year career (1960-76). He was an all-star first baseman in 1967 and ’70. Dan “Timber” Mendham’s hard-nosed play at the hot corner, and keen batting eye sees him gain a spot amongst the all-time Majors squad for the first time. His IBL career 1991-2007 includes a nine-year stint with the Majors 1992-2000 when he led the club in home runs and RBIs for three straight years 1996-98. He finished with a lifetime batting average of .306 and was a three-time all-star.

Shortstop: Tom McKenzie, Dave Byers

Although this 14-time all-star shortstop played most of his 21-year career (1960-80) with Kitchener, McKenzie’s infield wizardry and clutch hitting didn’t go unnoticed during his days with the Majors (1960-65). Byers was a six-time all-star at shortstop, playing most of his 18-year career (1970-87) with London.

ardieOutfield: Arden Eddie, Russ Evon, Stan Anderson, Richard Thompson

Eddie holds numerous league records. Evon was arguably the best all-around athlete ever to don the Majors uniform. An 18-year Intercounty star, he posted a .345 career batting average. Both Stan and Richard were nicknamed “Gabby.” Stan was a six-time, first-team all-star 1958-65. Richard was a modern-day Evon. He switched from aluminum to wood in 1995 and won the batting crown with .415 average.

DH: Arden Eddie

Arden was an all-star DH in 1994 at age 47.

Manager: Roy McKay

McKay was a talented pitcher and a born leader. He managed the club for most of 15 seasons (1969-72, 1974-76, 1981-86, 1994-95) and compiled a record of 257-201 (.561).

Honourable Mention: Manager Roop Chanderdat

With a career managerial record of 194-135 (.587 winning percentage) from 2006-present, Chanderdat has returned the Majors to their glory days when other IBL teams feared facing the pinstripes. His 21-15 squad lost in the finals during his first season as skipper, and he brought back the pennant to Labatt Park in 2008 with a 27-9 record and yet another trip to the championship final, again losing to the dynasty Brantford Red Sox. With a 2014 record of 23-13, this could be the Majors’ year.

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office http://www.JeffreyReedReporting.com established 1989. Publisher/Editor of this website and https://londonontariogolf.com.

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