1940 Maritime Game Reports      

Maritime Baseball: the 1940s

Fueled by an influx of players from across the country and military personnel from south of the border who came through the Maritimes on their way overseas, wartime baseball was immensely popular, drawing large crowds around the region.  The Halifax Defense League was the most highly regarded, but town teams like the 1945 Maritime champion Springhill Fencebusters, the Yarmouth Gateways and the Marysville Royals were highly competitive as well. In addition to the military and shipyard teams in Halifax, the Saint John Ironmen, Saint John Dockyard, and Saint John St. Peters were among the strongest in New Brunswick.  The 1944 Cornwallis Navy squad captured the Maritime title that year.

When the war ended towns across the region turned to imports from south of the border and elsewhere in Canada to maintain the level of play that Maritime audiences had come to expect.  Among the most competitive leagues of the time, the Halifax and District League stood out, but the Cape Breton Colliery League, the Central League, the New Brunswick League, the York County League, and the Southern New Brunswick League mixed local players and imports and offered an attractive brand of baseball.


(March)  Danny Gallivan and the Seaman brothers, Danny and Garneau, went to spring training with the Boston Red Sox and were offered minor league contracts.  Garneau in particular caught the attention of Red Sox management and big-leaguer Red Tabor and was assigned to their Palatka affiliate.  When Gallivan suffered a sore arm and brother Danny was offered far more than the Red Sox promised and returned to Liverpool, Garneau accepted a coaching job with Truro and returned home as well.

(August 23)  Many of the province’s senior ballplayers were playing softball over the summer.  Billy Hannon, Frank Redmond, Vince Ferguson and pitcher Mellish Lane were stars with the Halifax Cardinals.  Halifax Shipyards, later a power in the HDL and H&D League, were the provincial softball champions that year.