1921 professional baseball team named to sports hall of fame.

November 28, 2020

Sitting, from left, Wesley Baltzer, Jim Sharp, Bill Burns, J.L. “Gaty” Hamel, Hilding Nelson and Gus Smith; Back row, unknow, Cecil Hammond, Bill Shoup, unknown, Oscar Johnson, Dee McMenamin, Dan Pasquella, Clarence Brown, unknown, Dan Beal, and unknown.

1921 professional baseball team named to sports hall of fame.

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame has selected the 1921 Ludington Mariners professional minor league baseball team to its Class of 2021. The team will be the only honorees to the MCSHF Class of 2021.  Due to the COVID19 environment, the MCSHF decided in May of 2020 to postpone the induction of the Class of 2020 for health and safety reasons, until 2021.  

“It was our desire to be sure that the Class of 2020 experience the honor and joy that is associated with this annual event to recognize outstanding athletes and contributors to sports of Mason County,” said Vic Burwell, president of the MCSHF. Therefore only the 1921 Ludington Mariners will be added to the MCSHF for 2021.  The Class of 2020/2021 will be inducted on June 26, 2021.  The day begins with the unveiling of the plaques at noon at Historic White Pine Village, and the induction banquet at Lincoln Hills Golf Club at 6 p.m.

The Class of 2020 (see related story here) includes: Kelly Smith of motor cross fame, Annie (Tewel) Sadosty in basketball and track, Robert Ayers in fastpitch area softball fame, David Killips in tennis, Adam Johnson in soccer, and the 2007 Mason County Central volleyball team that was state runner up in Class B.  Burwell stated, 

The induction of the Ludington Mariners 1921 team takes place on its 100th anniversary. 

Professional minor league baseball had its birth in Ludington in 1912 but after three seasons, the organization like many minor leagues throughout the country, disbanded, a casualty of the World War I.  Professional baseball received new life in Ludington in 1920 and at a higher level as the Mariners played in the Central League with opposing teams based in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Kalamazoo through the next three-year stretch. After the first year, membership in the league would be anchored by the four original teams and then added Lansing and Ionia.  Ludington finished its minor league history in 1926.  A local player was extremely rare as Ludington’s roster was heavily dominated by players from afar.

If local baseball fans could be transported back in time, they most certainly would want to be seated in the grandstand at Culver Park located near the waterfront during the 1921 season at the site of the present day Ludington Municipal Marina.

The team played at a very high level winning the Central League with a record of 87 wins and only 42 losses and registering a winning percentage of .675, far out-distancing the second place Kalamazoo team whose record was 69-58.

The Mariners were the class of the league in every performance area. It qualified to play a post-season championship series against a team from Canada.

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