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FIDDLER'S FACTS: Morell Chevies, Tignish Aces and the Toronto Blue Jays

The Tignish Aces represented Prince Edward Island at the national senior baseball championships in Brandon, Man., in 1970. The team included, front row, two bat boys from Brandon. Second row, from left, Tex MacDonald, Allie Arsenault, Ernest Gallant, Billy Keough, Louis Murphy, Bruce Arsenault, Alphie Handrahan, Mike Kayes and Cletus Keough. Third row, manager Eugene Perry, coach Gerald Keough, Clifton Gavin, Mike McInnis, Gerald McArthy, Billy Conahan, Ivan DesRoche, Elton Ellis, Ted Lawlor, Leo Richard, Dan Larkin and Willie Handrahan.
The Tignish Aces represented Prince Edward Island at the national senior baseball championships in Brandon, Man., in 1970. The team included, front row, two bat boys from Brandon. Second row, from left, Tex MacDonald, Allie Arsenault, Ernest Gallant, Billy Keough, Louis Murphy, Bruce Arsenault, Alphie Handrahan, Mike Kayes and Cletus Keough. Third row, manager Eugene Perry, coach Gerald Keough, Clifton Gavin, Mike McInnis, Gerald McArthy, Billy Conahan, Ivan DesRoche, Elton Ellis, Ted Lawlor, Leo Richard, Dan Larkin and Willie Handrahan. - Contributed

The Kings County Baseball League (KCBL) championship series ended Wednesday night across the Hillsborough Bridge as Morell’s Troy Coffin tossed a 5-0 shutout.

Catcher Cole MacLaren, the Detroit Tigers’ farmhand from Morell, slugged a three-run homer to end the series with Stratford in five games. Since there was no professional minor league season anywhere in North America this summer, MacLaren was without a team until Morell was given the green light by the league to pick him up. 

Tignish, on the western end of Prince Edward Island, did not have a senior club this summer and that’s too bad. That town has produced more than its share of top athletes in all sports and baseball is right on the top of that list. 

In fact, 50 years ago this summer, Tignish represented P.E.I. at the nationals in Brandon, Man., and they were bolstered by ace left-hander Teddy Lawlor and slugging outfielder Ian (Tex) MacDonald.  

It’s unfortunate Tignish did not have hometown flame-throwing righty Alvin Hackett with the 1970 team, but they did have head coach Gerald Keough, pitcher Clifton Gavin, and sluggers in Leo Richard and Alf Handrahan. 

Since then great senior players have come out of Tignish, including multi-talented outfielder and hitter Sandy Shea, outstanding middle infielders in Larry Gaudet and Scott Harper, right-hander pitcher Spencer Myers and his son Josh, who played U.S. college ball. Josh was ticketed to play Division 1 this past summer with Rhode Island until the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic ended that opportunity and he ended up playing with The Alley Stratford Athletics in the KCBL. 

When it comes to play on the diamond, the Tignish story would not be complete without Jeff Ellsworth, who is without question the best softball player ever to come out of Prince Edward Island and one of the best ever in Canada. A tip of the hat to Tignish.  


MLB

The Toronto Blue Jays are involved in the most important stretch of games they have had in five years. The bulk of these games are against the arch-rival New York Yankees, who now have both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton back in the lineup. 

The Yankees routed the Jays 20-6 and 13-2 in the first two games of the series to take over second place in the American League East. 

Bo Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez have returned to Toronto’s lineup but hard-hitting Rowdy Tellez is still on the sidelines. The Jays are also playing some shoddy defence, most likely the result of not staying with a consistent lineup. It would help immensely if they’d leave Bichette and Biggio in the middle of the infield and Grichuk in centre-field. That appears to make the most sense.  


Condolences

Willie Dunn is not a familiar name with today’s hockey crowd but, take it from me, he was one of the top P.E.I. senior players of the 1960s and 1970s. 

In the early 1950s' Maritime midget championship two-game series, won by the Charlottetown Abbies, Forbie Kennedy had 11 goals and five assists and Dunn had five goals and 11 helpers. In the local senior ranks, Willie starred on Sandys Royals and while the big line of Buck Whitlock, Angie Carroll and either Alf Flanagan or Freddie Burke did most of the scoring, Willie and his line of Jim Macleod and Dick Carroll scored many important playoff goals. 

Sadly, Willie died two weeks ago. My belated condolences to all connected.  

I also regretfully report the passing of Bud Currie, Mike’s dad, who liked the horse game and the golf scene, especially when Mike hosted those Currie Classic Golf ventures of 20 years or so ago at Cardigan. Condolences to all connected to this gentleman.


Harness racing

Live harness racing continues today in Charlottetown at 6 p.m. The $3,150 top class has Rose Run Quest on the rail against Lisburn, Simple KInda Man, Freddie Bear, Woodmere Ideal Art, Screen Test and The Rev, who won here last Saturday in 1:53:4. 

The $2,800 preferred in Race 12 pits syndicate wonder Cowboy Logic on the outside where he is the horse to beat. The ownership group on this three-year-old includes George Burke and Brian (Pork) MacRae along with Gerard Ellsworth, Moe McCabe, Angus and John Birt and rumour has it former Islander Bob Whitlock is interested in a piece.

There’s another great card tonight at Mohawk with two Metro eliminations at $40,000, the $560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, the $350,000 Elegant Image, and divisions of the She’s a Great Lady and the Milton Stakes for three-year-old mares and older.

P.E.I. handicapper Cam MacPhee and his partner Sam Cummiskey think So Much More, who was bred and raised here by Doug MacPhee, has a big shot in the Shes a Great Lady and she does. 


Pigskin picks

I have gotten a number of requests for my NFL predictions, even from writer Doug MacArthur, who posts many Charlottetown articles. I must remind those wanting advice from The Prophet (aka The Profit) that I usually wait two weeks before making my Sunday picks. I like Indianapolis and QB Phil Rivers at home to Minnesota on Sunday, but I prefer another week of watching, you should too. 

Fred MacDonald's column appears every Saturday in The Guardian. He can be reached at fiddlersfacts@hotmail.com.

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