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BASEBALL AND MILROY: A Fifty-Year Love Affair

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1954 Mythical State Champion Picture
Introduction
Milroy the Town
The Milroy Yankees
State Champions and the New Field
The Men Who Played
The Decline of Town Team Baseball
The Survival of Baseball in Milroy

THE SURVIVAL OF BASEBALL IN MILROY

            To this day, Milroy still has town team baseball, and as recently as 1994 participated in the State Amateur Baseball Tournament championship game, exactly 40 years since the Mythical State Title.  Somehow Milroy has been able to support its team through the down years of town team ball and actually continue to hold a strong base of support.

            When asked what has kept baseball in Milroy going, the former ball players gave a variety of answers, but they all pointed to tradition. The game has been passed on from one generation to the next without missing a beat.  Milroy had had three constants throughout the years: an organizer, community support, and family.

            Every player stated that John Dolan was Milroy’s biggest organizer.  “I think he made each of them [his sons] take a vow that we were going to promote baseball and always have a team,” said John Kagel.  Milroy has since passed on the role of organizer from one generation to the next, with someone always willing to take over.

            The community support in Milroy has attracted players from many neighboring towns.  “In Milroy they have people who are dedicated to baseball.  It’s an honor to play for Milroy, it’s not a job.  And the community is proud of it,” stated Dean Tate.  When a job needs to be done at the field, the people come and help.  “They aren’t  afraid to work, they grab a shovel, they take tickets.  They don’t have to wait for someone else to do something, they say let’s do it,” according the Shorty Young.

            The Dolan family is long-lived in Milroy baseball folklore.  That is where baseball began in Milroy and continues today.  Baseball has always been a family tradition in Milroy, and there have been as many as five Dolans on virtually every team.  According to Art Marben, “It’s a family tradition.  The Dolans have always been talked about as a baseball family, they were all expected to play.”

            The tradition was established long ago, by the first organizers, the community supporters, and families that loved baseball, and that is what makes baseball in Milroy continue today.