Midget League Has 60-Year History

Received a postcard reminder from Jim Heath, the organizer of the “Boys of Summer” get together which will be held June 20-21 in Moundsville.

Heath noted that while this will be the seventh year for the B.O.S event, this year marks the 60th since Midget League Baseball began in Moundsville and Glen Dale.

It just so happens that at the Moundsville office there are several bound newspapers from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, and after receiving Heath’s postcard I decided to take a look at the 1954 newspapers to review the startup of organized youth baseball and other happenings which were taking place then in Marshall County.

While I learned that the first regular season midget league game was played on May 31 between the Second and Third Ward teams, there was also a photograph of the Fourth Ward Dodgers team, whose members included Ed Pastilong, Rudy Zatezalo, Ed Grimm, Butch Inclan, Jim Ovies and Mike Skypack.

Besides the Midget League Baseball, there seemed to have been much going on in Marshall County that year, and being well documented in the Journal of Valley News section of the Wheeling News-Register.

On Jan. 18, 1954, there was a story of a proposed new swimming pool/bathhouse at the Spurr Memorial Playground in Moundsville, and less than a month later sufficient donations had been received to enable work to start on the project.

The dedication of the Moundsville Fieldhouse was held on Feb. 11.

On March 10 the site was selected for a new Cameron High School.

There was a photograph of several high school students who had moved to Marshall County as their fathers had accepted employment with the new chemical plants south of Moundsville.

The stories and pictures in 1954 included the involvement of many civic and fraternal organizations, the schools, businesses, the Chamber of Commerce. It was noted that there were more organizations, schools and businesses than there are now.

As to the event which Heath calls “A Can’t Miss Weekend Celebration,” it will consist of a golf tournament at 10 a.m. on June 20 at the Moundsville Country Club; a girls softball game at the East End Field at 10 a.m. on June 21; and a picnic at 1 p.m. on June 22 at shelter No. 2 at Grand Vue. Those planning to attend the catered picnic must call Heath at 1-479-365-7122 prior to June 6.

Auditions for a cast no larger than 24 members will be held beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Strand Theatre in Moundsville.

Those chosen will comprise the cast of “Chicago: The Musical,” the summer musical which the Strand Theatre Preservation Society has selected. The performances will be July 24-27 at the Strand.

Jana Jarrett, who will direct the performance, said there will be three different options for casting: a female lead, a male lead or ensemble member.

Cast members should be high school and up in age, as the show has some adult content.

“Chicago” first opened on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre in New York City on June 3, 1975. The musical was subsequently revived on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City on Nov. 14, 1996. This production is still running on Broadway.

Those planning to audition are to be prepared with a short song, ready to dance and prepared to read a few lines from the script.

Jarrett said, “We are looking forward to a large turnout for auditions.”

For the third straight year, the Strand Theatre Performing Arts Council has arranged for the Missoula Children’s Theatre Touring Company (MCT) to be in Moundsville from June 23-28.

The MCT is the largest children’s touring theatre in the United States and has been in operation in Missoula, Mont., since 1973.

Youngsters entering first through 12th grades are invited to an open audition at 10 a.m. on June 23 at the Strand Theatre. The auditions will last until noon, and approximately 50 students will be selected to appear in the show, “Aladdin.”

Some chosen for the cast will be asked to stay for a rehearsal to begin 15-30 minutes after the audition, and it is recommended they bring a snack or lunch.

At the end of the week-long drama camp the children will present “Aladdin” at two public performances, 2 p.m. and 4:30 on June 28.

There is no charge for the camp, and anyone wishing additional information is asked to call 304-845-5833.

The Marshall County Commission is expected to advertise in the next couple of weeks for bids on the second phase of the Marshall County Public Safety Building, which will include renovation of the interior of the former Jozabeth Building. It is anticipated that it will be a multi-million dollar undertaking.

The first phase was tearing out the ceilings and walls of the building, along with the demolition of two houses on the Eighth Street, these two structures having been adjacent to the MCPSB. Work in phase one included the laying of sewer lines.

An added feature of the 27th annual Car Cruise-In Friday will be the Mobile Vet Center. It is one of 70 such units throughout the United States with the challenge to visit every county in the country in one calendar year.

The Mobile Center will be located at the corner of Tenth Street and Jefferson Avenue, this being the central location of the Greg Yoho Memorial Car Show, which will begin at 5 p.m.

This year’s car show has been moved due to construction work taking place in the central business district (Jefferson Avenue from Second to Fifth Street). This year’s location will be Jefferson Avenue from Eighth to Tenth Street.

The event will include classic cars, motorcycles and trucks on display with 1950s and 1960s music playing in the background.

Moundsville Pharmacy will be holding a grand opening at 8:30 a.m. Monday at its new location on north Lafayette Avenue across W.Va. 2 from its current location. Coffee and donuts will be provided beginning at 8 a.m.

The pharmacy took over occupancy on May 27 after 244 days of construction.

Moundsville Pharmacy has been in business for more than 30 years.

Work began Thursday on a $209,091 street resurfacing project in Moundsville. The five streets which city council approved for resurfacing on May 20 meeting are Myrtle Avenue from Fourth to Seventh Streets; Ash Avenue between Second and Third Streets; Mulberry Avenue from Meighen Avenue to Jackson Street; Eighth Street from Juniper to Annadale Avenues; and Cedar Avenue from Fourth to Seventh Streets.

Also at that meeting, council awarded a bid to upgrade the shelter at Riverfront Park. The work will consist of extending the roof, making repairs to the gutter, and making the restrooms handicap accessible. The city received a $18,000 donation from Williams Energy and thus the project will cost the city about $1,000.