Popular third baseman

Here’s a photograph of baseball player Don Ross from the July 23 1937 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I am fascinated by baseball gloves in old photos. How did players ever catch anything in those things?

Don Ross went on to play parts of seven seasons in the majors. He played right through the Second World War, which suggests that he had some medical condition that made him ineligible to serve. He passed away in 1996.

No pro career

Here’s a photograph from the July 23 1937 edition of the Toronto Daily Star featuring some athletes with their children.


The common theme was that the athletes didn’t want their kids following in their footsteps. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out whether they did.

Glenn Cunningham (1909-1988) overcame a childhood accident to become a runner. He finished second in the 1500 metres at the 1936 Olympic Games, and held the world record for the mile for three years from 1934 to 1937. His Wikipedia page doesn’t mention his daughter.

Mike Meola (1905-1976) pitched parts of the 1933 and 1936 seasons in the major leagues before landing with the Toronto minor league club in 1937. After his career, he worked as a demolition contractor in New York.

There were a number of Hugh Borthwicks out there on the Internet, some of which were into golf, and some of which lived in Borthwick Castle.

Come at once

Here’s a cryptic entry from the Personals section of the July 23 1937 edition of the Toronto Daily Star.


I’m thinking that if you wanted to be discreet about something, publishing your address in the Personals isn’t the way to go. But what do I know?

Naturally, I looked 161 Madison up in the Toronto city directories. The 1937 directory lists Oliver Buchanan as the resident, and the 1938 directory lists Colin McArthur. Cross-referencing to the names section doesn’t yield anything useful: nobody else with the same last name was listed at that address, let alone anyone named “Min”. The 1939 directory does list a Minerva McArthur at a different address, but that might be a coincidence.

I will never know what happened. But I can envision Min trying to get rid of Freddie and giving him a fake address. Which would have startled Mr. Buchanan or Mr. McArthur when he showed up looking for her.

On the job

Here’s a photo of a Canadian Olympic athlete from the July 23 1937 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Roxy Atkins (1912-2002) was a competitor in the 1936 Olympic Games; she was a hurdler. After the Second World War, she married and moved to the United States, eventually becoming an American citizen. She worked with American track and field teams in 1956, 1971, and 1983, among others.

Filler from 1937

One thing that I love about old newspapers is the little bits of filler that would be added to random columns to fill space. Presumably, newspaper editors had a stock of these on hand, and could add one or more as needed.

Here’s two examples from the July 24 1937 edition of the Toronto Daily Star. The first reports details on the wheat crop in Markham:


I had never heard of alsike before – alsike clover, or trifolium hybridum, is used as a forage crop. It may be poisonous for horses.

Here’s the second one:


It’s good to know that they were able to find a greased pig for the contest. How did they find a pig rental agency? Was it listed in the Yellow Pages?

York Mills home sold

Here’s a photo from the July 23 1937 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a house that was sold at the corner of York Mills Road and Old Yonge Street.


The 1938 Toronto city directory lists Alfred J. Robertson as living on Rural Route 2 in York Mills; this house was far enough away then to qualify as rural. He didn’t live in this house all that long – the 1947 directory lists him at 369 Glengarry Avenue. This directory doesn’t list York Mills, so I don’t know who moved into this house after he left.

The house still stands, at least as of 2009. (In later Google Street View pictures, the house at that address is obscured by trees.)

Personals from 1946

Not long ago, I spent a few days looking at the Personals section from 1920 newspapers. I have been looking through the July 20 1946 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, so I took a look at the Personals section from that day’s paper. Here it is:


Except for the occasional cryptic message, almost all of these messages are from people going somewhere or wanting to go somewhere. Gas rationing was still in effect, so people needed to join forces if they wanted to travel any distance.

New addition to family

Here’s a photo from the July 20 1946 edition featured a publicity photo of two movie stars who had just adopted a child.


Susan Peters (1921-1952) did not have a happy life after this photo. After her accident, the former Academy Award nominee was offered parts as “crippled girls who were all sweetness and light”, which she turned down. Eventually, she and Quine divorced and her career went into decline; depressed, she stopped eating and died of a kidney infection and bronchial pneumonia.

Richard Quine (1920-1989) doesn’t have a happy ending to his life story, either. After he and Ms. Peters divorced, he went on to marry three more times, and dated Natalie Wood and Kim Novak, among others. In 1989, after an extended period of depression and bad health, he shot himself.

Only kind person need apply

Here’s an ad from the Personals section of the July 24 1920 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

July 24 1

I don’t blame Box 210 Star for wanting a kind person to look after their little girl. Wouldn’t you?

The same Personals section also had this:

July 24 2

It might not have been practical – the locations might not have worked out – but I’m hoping that the newspaper found some way to match up Box 210 Star with Box 146 Star.