Crawford, McNutt on hand for reunion

Justin Dickie
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Springhill Fencebusters 1920 to 1951

During preparations for the Springhill Fencebusters reunion, at times Jim Melanson felt like he was part of the team.

SPRINGHILL - During preparations for the Springhill Fencebusters reunion, at times Jim Melanson felt like he was part of the team.

"When you start reading something about the individuals, it feels like your part of it," said Melanson, organizer of the reunion.

"It's a trip I'll never forget."

The Fencebusters were the talk of the town from 1920 to 1951 when they perennially contended for the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League championship. They'd often draw 3,000 to 4,000 fans to a game in the small town.

"Springhill had four teams and the Fencebusters, and you had to be good to get on that Fencebusters team. You had to be good to stay there," he said. "It was a privilege to be on that team."

Melanson remembers watching the team as a youngster, and can recall some fond memories.

"There used to be two Fencebusters go through my yard, and I'd carry their gloves down to the park," he said. "I'd chase balls down there for a quarter of the game."

Melanson got his mosquito baseball team involved in the festivities with each player donning a uniform in the honour of a former Fencebuster.

"I think it's really neat that we get to bring all the history back and be a part of it," said 11-year-old Forrest Gallagher, a descendant of former Fencebuster Les "Red" Gallagher. "I learned about all the things they accomplished and how much they were supported by the town and how much the town loved the Fencebusters."

Jim McNutt and Harold Crawford, the only two surviving members of the team, were in attendance at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Centre Friday to see their former team honoured.

McNutt said it was special to be a Fencebuster back in the day. Besides the passionate yelling fans, he recalled a championship win in Springhill over Saint John as his fondest memory. He said the Fencebusters were down 2-1 late in the game, but back-to-back base hits followed by a home run sealed the title for Springhill.

He was pretty happy to be part of the reunion.

"It's out of this world," he said. "I pretty near broke down."



jdickie@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League, Marion Murray Centre

Geographic location: SPRINGHILL, Saint John

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