Cambridge Red & Whites Softball 1964
The Cambridge Red & Whites softball team entered the 1964 season as the defending Western Valley champions. In the aftermath of that victory, Manager Dr. Ron Thorpe had expressed hope that the 1964 campaign might be even greater.
As it turned out, those were prophetic words, as the 1964 team ended up winning both the Nova Scotia and Maritime championships.
The Red & Whites entered the season with an experienced lineup that included a number of talented performers. The real strength of the Red & Whites, though, was that anyone on the roster was capable of leading the team to victory.
After defeating Kentville to claim the league championship, Cambridge’s playoff run began in earnest in August with a series against Bridgewater in which Cambridge prevailed in two straight games.
That victory propelled the Red & Whites into a showdown with the Halifax Longshoremen. Again, Cambridge closed out the series in two straight games, winning by scores of 7-0 and 5-1.
Then it was on to the provincial Intermediate C championship, with Sydney providing the opposition. In the opening game of a doubleheader, Brian Bethune tossed a six-hitter and was backed with both timely hitting and rock-solid defense in an 8-5 victory.
Levi Sherman had a three-run homer, Duke Meisner a two-run round-tripper, and George Hamilton a two-run single to give Cambridge an early lead. Sydney replied with three in the eighth and had the bases loaded with none out in the ninth, but Bethune rose to the occasion and secured the win.
In the second game, veteran Carl Best, in his eighteenth year of organized ball, limited Sydney to four hits and a single run to clinch the championship with a 4-1 victory. In support of Best, Mike Francis had the big blow, a long home run to right field.
Cambridge moved on to face Fredericton with the Maritime title on the line. In the first game, played at Central Kings Rural High in Cambridge, Ed Malloy allowed just four singles by four different hitters as the Red & Whites grabbed the advantage with a 13-2 win.
Fredericton took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but Malloy blanked the New Brunswick champs the rest of the way.
Malloy was well-supported, as his teammates scored five times in the sixth inning and added six more in the eighth. Catcher Merle Millett, with a triple and single, Al Hale with a homer and single, and Levi Sherman with a pair of singles led the Cambridge offense.
In the second - and as it turned out, deciding - game in Fredericton, Cambridge secured the Maritime title with a 14-7 win. Fredericton took an early 1-0 lead, but the Red & Whites replied with two in the third, then added seven runs on six hits in the fifth for a 9-1 lead.
After the New Brunswickers reduced the deficit to 9-4, Cambridge tacked on five more runs in the seventh for a 14-4 advantage. Fredericton would add two runs in the seventh and one more in the ninth, but Bethune recorded his eighth strikeout of the game to close out the 14-7 victory.
John Durno had two singles and a double, Hamilton added a pair of doubles and Sherman doubled and tripled as the Red & Whites struck for 15 hits in all.
The championship trophy was presented to captain Lawrence Johnstone, who immediately thereafter announced his retirement following an outstanding 17-year career that had begun as a batboy for the Waterville Mohawks.
The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, in the team category, the 1964 Cambridge Red & Whites, provincial and Maritime Intermediate C softball champions.
Team Members – George Graves, John Durno, Brian Bethune, Ed Malloy, Garnet Parker, Levi Sherman, George Hamilton, Merle Millett, Duke Meisner, Carl Best, Al Hale, Mike Francis, Lawrence Johnstone (captain), Dr. Ron Thorpe (manager).