Heather: Remembering ex-Negro League players that played for the Galt Terriers

Ex-Negro League players Ed Steele (standing) and Gentry “Jeep” Jessup (sitting) pictured here with The Galt Terriers circa 1953. Photo supplied by Ed Heather

Ex-Negro League players Ed Steele (standing) and Gentry “Jeep” Jessup (sitting) pictured here with The Galt Terriers circa 1953. Photo supplied by Ed Heather

*This article was originally published on the Ontario Terriers website. You can read the original article here.

By Ed Heather

Ontario Terriers

Today, April 15th, Terriers Baseball is paying homage to Jackie Robinson, the first black player to cross the colour barrier. Robinson paved the way for the countless others that eventually played the game professionally.

During the late 40’s and early 50’s after the colour barrier was lifted by professional baseball, many ex-Negro League players travelled to Canada to join various leagues and teams across the country. They were welcomed with open arms, and fit in comfortably with their new surroundings. They were extremely talented players, who were drawing cards throughout the leagues in which they performed.

A number of the players came to Galt Ont., now Cambridge, and played for the Galt Terriers of the Sr. Inter-County Baseball League at Dickson Park. Players included Ed Steele, a long-time star outfielder with the Birmingham Black Barons who played right field, alongside of 18 year old Willie Mays that went on to stardom with the New York and San Francisco Giants. Jeep Jessup and Mel Duncan were also teammates with the famous Leroy "Satchell" Paige.

The present-day Terriers elite program played most home games at Dickson Park for their first five years of operation, and derived their name from the historic team of yesteryear.

The 10 former Negro League players, their years playing for The Galt Terriers and their former teams:

NameYear(s)Negro League Team
Ed Steele1953-1954Birmingham Black Barons
Gentry "Jeep" Jessup1953-1955Birmingham & Chicago American Giants
Sonny Andrews1955Toledo Cubs
Luther "Shanty" Clifford1958-1959Homestead Grays & KC Monarchs
Mel Duncan1954-1955Detroit Stars KC Monarchs
Bernell "Chic" Longest1955Chicago American Giants
Jeff Shelton1949Buffalo Harlem Giants & St. Louis Stars
Steve Enloe Wylie1953Memphis Red Sox & KC Monarchs
Othello Strong1953Chicago American Giants
Dan "Thumper" Jackson1958Homestead G

Ed Heather is considered a respected historian of all things baseball and hockey in Ontario, especially the Cambridge (Galt) area. He was involved heavily selecting the top 100 of the Intercounty Lague. And he also excellent driver and excels at cleaning his car windows of unexpected debris.



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