Periodically, we dip into our archives to look back on various topics. If you have photos to share with our readers, please email them to email@example.com.
Jim O’Connor recently wrote us to reminisce about his “distinct honor (as a white youth) of playing post-high school baseball on Bradfield Center’s summer team. It was loaded with wonderful Black players (ages 24-35), many of whom played in the minor professional leagues across the USA, some in the deep South. Imagine how difficult that would have been in the 1950s.”
He writes “they were in a league which featured Ohio Steel (also a perennial top team in talent), and other community ball teams.”
He remembers Johnny Henderson, Stub Turner and Bill Guice in particular.
He was a 1957 graduate of Lima Senior High School and writes he is 80 years old now.
A preview story as the Allen County Fair was making preparations to open in the late 1950s describes the scene this way:
“The 80-acre fairgrounds a mile east of Lima was a veritable maze of activity today as tents were being erected, exhibits were being moved into the various buildings and zero-hour preparations were being rushed on all parts of the fair site.
“With day and night programs arranged each day the exposition will continue through Thursday. Harness racing is scheduled tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons while special programs have been arranged at the baseball park each night and on Sunday afternoon.
“First judging will take place at noon tomorrow when entries in the Flower Show will be placed. At 5 p.m. tomorrow the Grange booths will be judged. Major judging of livestock and other exhibits will not begin until Monday morning and continue through Wednesday afternoon.”
Events and entertainment listed include rides by Gooding Amusement Co., high school bands, a rodeo, church services, a balloon ascension, a horse show, horse and pony pulling contests, special days for candidates on the Republican and Democrat tickets, wrestling bouts, Junior Fair livestock auction and a tractor pull.
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