In honor of the return of the Houtzdale Days celebration after a COVID-plagued year, it is worth looking back at the past local sport of choice, baseball, which was always popular and held in high esteem in the Houtzdale area.
Fans followed both the National and American League baseball games in both newspaper sports page reports, newsreels shown in movie theaters and on radio. Later, games were broadcast in both black-and-white and color as television came of age.
It is truly past history in this day when subscriptions to MLB networks and streaming are available in high definition on 65-inch TV screens. Professional baseball has always been a business, relying on profits and the bottom line in order to stay competitive.
Houtzdale and the mining regions of Clearfield County turned out some great hitters, fielders and overall game players. A few made it into farm teams and minor leagues but family economics often took priority over available opportunities.
Nevertheless, teams of local young men provided great entertainment for the local masses and in the process honed their game skills.
Summer weekday evenings and especially Sunday afternoons were prime playing times. People often stayed in their immediate home areas and stores were closed on Sundays, leaving picnics, visiting family and friends and certainly baseball games to passively dominate a Sunday afternoon.
The Clearfield Centre Baseball League was formed in the 1920’s. By 1932, when the photo shown was taken, players and their managers had secured equipment and uniforms to keep their teams afloat. That could not have been an easy task during the depths of the Great Depression!
The photo was taken what looks to be between center and fields of the present Houtzdale Little League Field, known then as Fireman’s Park, as the field was owned by the Houtzdale Fire Company.
It is today known as the Randy Tubo Memorial Field. Randy Tubo (1953-2011) was a local baseball great who went on to devote countless hours to dedicated team coaching and upgrading the field that now bears his name.
The Houtzdale team was appropriately known as the Houtzdale Miners. The one player in the upper left corner wore a Ramey uniform and was surely part of the team. A few of the players were from the Osceola Mills area.
They all formed a team that became 1932 League champs! Congratulations guys….nearly ninety years later.
If readers can identify players or managers, they are welcome to contact GANT News at email@example.com.