New book captures 60 years of baseball in Charlottetown

Jim Day
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Nancy Resnitzky holds a copy of a book that traces the history of baseball in the Charlottetown area from 1931 to 1992.

Brian Lewis lived and breathed baseball all his life.

Lewis, a native of Alberton, inked a deal with the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers at the age of 15.

That never led to a trip to the Big League, but he would go on to have a remarkable run at America’s pastime by coaching midget and junior baseball and playing a major role in assisting students to obtain baseball scholarships.

Lewis not only left his mark many times over on the field, he has also made an indelible mark in print.

His desire to share with the baseball loving public decades of the game as played by the Boys of Charlottetown is finally being realize, albeit posthumously.

In 2000, Lewis began documenting the history of baseball in the capital city area. He compiled hundreds of pages of information on colourful baseball characters that went by entertaining names like Boo, Tic, Happ, Pooch, Spy and Wacky.

He poured through newspapers, analysed box scores and gleaned first-hand accounts from knowledgeable baseball sources like Bobby Lund and Forbes Kennedy.

Then he put all his work on a shelf where it sat for 10 years.

Enter Nancy Resnitzky, a professional editor with RetroMedia Publishing. She put Lewis back to work again hitting the archives, chatting up baseball people, and getting the story together in a detailed chronological history.

The final product — a 425-page book called Sixty Years of Charlottetown Baseball — was launched Thursday at City Hall.

Sadly, Lewis died on Aug. 29 at the age of 80 before he could see his baseball book hit the shelves.

Still, notes Resnitzky, Lewis is very much alive in the pages filled with information and anecdotes of ball players and their exploits on the field spanning the years 1931 to 1992.

“As I read it over and over, you can hear Brian’s voice in here,’’ says Resnitzky.

“He is actually telling you a story.’’

The book is also filled with plenty of team shots and individual baseball card-like photos of players.

“We are so excited to finally release this amazing book,’’ says Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee.

“Charlottetown has such a rich history in the sport of baseball and it is amazing to see all the information that Brian Lewis captured in one place.’’

“Well I think at one time baseball was just a real community affair — lots of families was there,’’ adds Resnitzky.

“It was a nice way to spend time.’’

Proceeds from the book, which is dedicated to Mitch MacLean and Tanner Craswell, the promising Island ball players murdered in Alberta two years ago, will go to minor baseball through Baseball P.E.I.

The book is available in Charlottetown at Baseball P.E.I.’s office at 40 Enman Cres. and at the Bookmark. To purchase a copy or get more information, contact Baseball P.E.I. at 368-4203 or email baseball@sportpei.pe.ca.

 

Organizations: Brooklyn Dodgers, Bookmark

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Alberton, America Alberta

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