Uniform Donation Recalls Baseball League During 1950s

The Marshall County Historical Society will be adding a sports section to its museum, thanks to long-time resident Phil Wallace, who this past week donated one baseball uniform and two fast-pitch softball uniforms, all of which date back the late 1950s, along with a dress military uniform.

It was ironic that when Wallace presented the uniforms to MCHS Treasurer Gary Rider, he handed me a copy of the News-Register dated April 26, 1957. It was a column titled Tri-County Sport Spot, written by me.

The column was about the upcoming semi-pro baseball season, especially the Moundsville Pepsi-Colas.

The column stated that Moundsville would have two entries in the newly formed Ohio Valley Baseball League, in addition to the Pepsies. The other team based in Moundsville was the Prison Red Sox, who would be traveling to Windsor Heights for their first game of the season.

The column stated that both would play a 30-game schedule over a 13-week period, with the league closing its regular season in mid-July. Games were to be played on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a few contests on Mondays, since Windsor Heights would not be playing on Sundays.

The Pepsi-Colas would be having a new manager that year, as Roy Filben would be taking over the reigns of the popmen from Austin Rine. Filben had previously coached the Bud-Roys. Four members of the Bud-Roys would be joining the Pepsies.

That first game of the 1957 season was to have Charley Coffield as the pitcher and Bob Crow behind the plate.

The rest of the lineup for the opener had been set with the exception of one position, an outfield berth which could go to anyone of a half dozen candidates.

The infield would find Dean Owens, former outfielder, at first base; Wallace at second, Captain Ray West at shortstop, and Bill Tennant at third. Montie Jones would be in left field and Al Mestrovic in center.

Getting back to Wallace, the reason he was turning over the uniforms is that he and his wife, Helen, are planning to make Florida their full-time home.

Wallace was one of those individuals who played a big role in Moundsville’s development

He started in the banking business the same year that he graduated from Moundsville High School, 1954.

He worked at First National Bank in Moundsville, advancing from clerk, teller, bookkeeper, assistant cashier, vice president over an eight-year period, before becoming, vice president, CEO and director from 1968-87.

In 1987, United National (North) in Moundsville merged with United National Bank.

Wallace would be employed by American Bancorporation in Wheeling for a year and a half as a financial consultant, and then was employed for a year as executive vice president of Wheeling National Bank in Wheeling for a year, before spending six months as city of Moundsville’s interim city manager.

He was the executive director of the Marshall Chamber of Commerce from 1993-95.

He would then become self- employed as a financial consultant.

He remembers quite well 1968, as that year he not only was appointed as the chief executive officer of the First National Bank in Moundsville, but also would be named to serve on the board of directors of Reynolds Memorial Hospital, a position he would service in for the next 45 years, including 22 years as president of the board. In May 1991 he would become a self employed financial consultant.

Among his activities/community involved were:

A member of the Moundsville Area Jaycees, the Marshall County Economic Development Committee, the Spurr Memorial Playground, Moundsville Rotary Club, city of Moundsville Sanitary Board, Moundsville Country Club, Simpson United Methodist Church, and the Marshall County Bicentennial Celebration Committee.

The annual Marshall County Chamber of Commerce Tree Auction is now history, as on Thursday, 24 trees were purchased, along with 12 silent auction items.

Actually there were 35 trees sold, as 11 trees were donated back by their original owners for resale.

The tree sale brought in an unofficial $14,720, of which $9,720 came during the first-round and $4,860 was in re-sales.

Since the sale was Thursday night and this column had to be turned in Friday morning, the official figure wasn’t available.

The sale was quite hectic, especially during the re-sale, as buyers were donating the trees back as fast as they were bought, but auctioneer Jim Behm was able was to keep things moving. I counted one tree being sold five times.

Proceeds from the tree sales will be shared by the Chamber of Commerce and the Marshall County Childhood Cancer Awareness Group of Marshall County. Not only did the latter group share in the overall first-round sale, but the majority of the re-sale money will go to the cancer awareness group as several buyers designated they wanted the money to go toward this cause.

The MCCCAG also decorated a tree as part of the auction and it was voted “Best of Show,” and as a result all the money received through the votes will go to that group.

The John Marshall High School “Paws For a Cause” group was also a recipient of money from the sale.

In addition to the tree auction, there was also a silent auction of wreaths, etc.

The Marshall Strings Program will present its elementary/middle schools winter concert at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Performing Arts Center at John Marshall High School.

The event will feature combined performances of students from Cameron, Center McMechen, Central, Glen Dale, Hilltop, Sand Hill and Washington Lands Elementary Schools, as well as Cameron, Moundsville and Sherrard Middle Schools.

Sounds of the holidays will fill the stage with familiar pieces including “Jingle Bells” and “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.” Middle school students will share a medley of carols, with school principals serving as special guest performers.

The strings program was established in 2008 and is under the direction of Shelby Genberg, Justin Jones and Alex Talkowski.

The annual Marshall County Farm Bureau Christmas Party/covered dish dinner will held Monday at the Limestone Community Center starting at 6:30 p.m.,

All members and their families are invited.

Meat and beverages will be provided, along with table service.

Entertainment will be provided by Wesley Howsare.

Anna Smucker and Marc Harshman will present their new children’s picture book, “Fallingwater” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Moundsville/Marshall County Public Library.

Their ideas and research of the book involved that of architect Frank L. Wright’s famous Pennsylvania house.

The book will be for sale and signing.

The city of Glen Dale’s annual Christmas Tree Light Up Night will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Glen Dale City Park.

There will be music by the John Marshall High School Chorus, refreshments compliments of WVU Medicine/Reynolds Memorial Hospital, and a visit by Santa Claus.

When you finish reading this column, you might want to check your calendar to determine if you have some time available during the next three weeks to assist the Salvation Army.

It seems that bell ringers in Moundsville and New Martinsville are sparse this year.

At this time of year, the Salvation Army depends on paid workers and volunteers, but this year there is a shortage, and anyone wishing to sign up is asked to call 304-845-0510.

The Christmas Kettle (also referred to as the Red Kettle, due to its color) is the Salvation Army’s most famous street campaign. It is most recognized during the Christmas season through its volunteers who stand outside of businesses and ring bells to inspire shoppers to place money in the trademark red kettles.

The kettle collection had its start in 1891.