(BALTIMORE – May 12, 2017) – Kudos to the men and women volunteers who have been continuing a Baltimore tradition that goes back to the late 1950s.
How It All Began
In 1959, a group of five men, Archie Lewis, Roland Ganges, Bernard Stokes, Sr., Alphonso Cottman, and Edward Watson, began to meet and exchange ideas concerning the social and personal problems of the youth in the City of Baltimore.
It was believed that a wholesome, well-organized program of sports activities would not only be beneficial to the youth but to the community as well. These activities would help to decrease juvenile delinquency and create a positive influence in the lives of the participants.
As part of its founding philosophy, the organization adopted the following aims and purposes:
To elevate and advance the moral, intellectual and social conditions of the youth of the community and combat juvenile delinquency. To encourage and promote good sportsmanship and encourage citizenship through sponsoring, promoting and supporting non-profit little league activities.
To advise and assist in coordinating activities related to the operation of little league sports activities and to stimulate public interest, support and participation of the community with respect to such activities.
After several months, an additional 19 individuals (including one woman) were added to the group. They were: Paul Scott, Guy Bailey, Robert Romby, Bernard Stokes, Jr., Ike White, Clifton Turner, Walter Dow, Allen Meacham, Sr., Charles Woodland, Frank Norris, Andrew Wicks, Frank Carter, Vernon Hughlett, Aaron Ellis, Charles Hughes, Connie Johnson, Frank Taylor and Mary N. Brooks.
Initially, active participation in the organization was limited to this group until it became necessary, due to resignations on one hand, and, a desire to expand on the other, to recruit new faces. The organization was fortunate to gain the following individuals: Franklin Beard, John Sheppard, William Richardson, William Brown, Alson Plummer, Joseph Cassidy, Daniel Young, James Perry, Charles Austin, Edward Forrest, Brown Hardy, Milton Stewart, Miles Harrison, Kelson Fisher, James “Mike” Washington, Arthur “Skip” Wilson, Hubert Simmons and Thomas Tyree. There are many not listed who have given invaluable service to James Mosher Associates and to those individuals the organization is eternally indebted.
(PHOTO: Members of the James Mosher Associates, circa 1963
Front Row (L to R): Roland Ganges, Bernard Stokes, Jr., unknown, Edward Watson.
Second Row (L to R): Frank Taylor, unknown, Alson Plummer, Isaiah “Ike” White, Allen Meacham, Charles Woodland, Sr., Aaron Ellis, unknown, Clifton Turner, Alphonso Cottman.)
James Mosher Baseball originally started as a six-team league in 1960 with 18 boys on each team. Plans for the league started in August 1959. The initial five founders decided to put in an order for 108 uniforms and other equipment without having a sponsor or knowing exactly from where the money was coming to pay for the items. But the founders had faith in the businessmen and other agencies in the community.
The initial six teams were the Athletics, Braves, Cubs, Dodgers, Pirates and Yankees. These teams played a divided season with each team playing the other once in each half of the season. The winner of the first half played the winner of the second for the championship.
There were a total of 30 games played during the regular season with no games forfeited. All games that were postponed because of rain were made up in its proper half of the season. In the first championship game, the Cubs, managed by Ike White and coached by Charles Woodland, defeated the Athletics, managed by Allen Meacham.
In 1961 and 1962, the Tigers and Orioles, were added to the league. This allowed the league to split into two divisions with the Athletics, Pirates, Tigers and Yankees playing in Division I and the Braves, Cubs, Dodgers, and Orioles playing in Division II. Each team played the teams in its division twice and played the teams in the other division once during the regular season. During the 1962 season, over 162 boys played a total of 40 games.
In effort to keep the boys occupied outside of the baseball season, the organization formed a basketball league in 1962. Not much history is available on this league but it was believed to have ended around 1966.
Baseball expansion continued with the addition of the Beavers, named for the emblem of the City Service Gasoline, in 1963 and the Jets in 1964. This increased the total games played in the league to 60.
Over the years, girls have been allowed to participate with some becoming standout players on their respective teams.
In recent years, the league added the T-Ball division for boys and girls ages 4-6 and the Instructional division for boys and girls ages 7-8.
The league now includes 19 teams for boys and girls ages 4-15.
The active part of the baseball program begins in April after the player draft. It continues into July with an internal post-season tournament for all league teams. Additionally, many players in the league have the opportunity to participate in several post-season tournaments throughout the State of Maryland including the Cal Ripken World Series competition.
The association and baseball league takes its name from James Mosher Elementary School located adjacent to the baseball fields where games are played. James Mosher was a Revolutionary War Colonel and prominent Baltimorean.
FMI, visit www.jamesmosherbaseball.org.