The Boys of Summer: Orgill Brothers 1945 City Championship Baseball Team



photo by Hitchings Commercial Photographers

Today I discovered this old photograph in a box of clutter at a Memphis estate sale, so I thought I'd share it with you.

In the 1940s, the Rotary Club organized teams throughout the city, and as you can see by the writing, here's the Orgill Brothers team that won the city championship in 1945.

It's hard to see, but some of the fellows are wearing jerseys that say "Rotary" while other guys are just wearing plain shirts. The tall guy in the back (the manager) has a cap with an "A" on it, but most of the kids are wearing caps with a "2." Orgill apparently fielded two teams, based on their age groups, so maybe this is the second team? I just don't know.

Anyway, I thought some of you might recognize your fathers, your uncles, your grandfathers, or — heck — maybe even yourselves in the photo. Hey, it's possible!

Here's the lineup (scribbled on the back of the photo): Front Row, left to right: Mark Freeman (pitcher), Bobby Peters (first base), Johnny Johnson (also first base), John Gilbert (left field), and Bill Allen (second base and shortstop).

Back Row, left to right: Don Dillon (right field), Gene Hoehle (third base), Tommy Garibaldi (catcher), Luck Starnes (manager), Buddy McCaden ("utility"), "Pooch" McGinnis (pitcher), and Don Strickland (center field).

Seems to me they could use one more player to help out Bill Allen (since he's handling second base and shortstop), but maybe that was the "utility" player's function.

Hmmm. Not much in the background to help identify the location, so if anybody knows where this was taken, or recognizes any of the players, let me know. What became of them, I wonder ...

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Famed Memphis trivia expert Vance Lauderdale answers reader questions weekly here on his blog!

About This Blog

Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and Inside Memphis Business. Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

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