The 1937 Middleton Royals came one run short of capturing the Nova Scotia Junior Baseball Championship. The Royals were developed under the tutelage of baseball guru Roy Montgomery and assistant coach Earl “Bud” Hoffman. The summer of ’37 the Royals more than held their own against all opposition including tilts with the famed Yarmouth Gateways and Liverpool Larraupers.
In Valley playdowns the Royals defeated Windsor 15 to 4 in the third and deciding game. George Spurr pitched the victory, a three-hitter, while catcher Harold Wilkins pounded out a triple and two singles.
In the opening game of the Provincial Finals in Middleton the host Royals battered Springhill Red Sox 6-1. Royals ace hurler Roland ‘Bunny’ Barteaux, fresh from his record breaking javelin toss at 161ft 4in, used his smoking fastball and tantalizing hook to fire a one hitter while issuing four walks and chanting up fire K’s. A few days later the soon to be legendary Len Boss took to the mound for Springhill in the mining town and knotted the series at two games apiece. Thus the stage was set for the deciding game the next day on the neutral T.A.A.C. field in Truro.
Politics then reared its ugly head and N.S.A.B.A. President Squirm Noiles, incidentally a Spring Hiller, ruled Game 3 delayed three days and switched to Halifax. Most agree if the game was played as scheduled the Royals would have rode the strong arm of their chucker Barteaux to victory. The delay enabled Boss to pitch at the Wanderers Grounds where he handcuffed Middleton to four singles, four walks while fanning ten. “Bunny” Barteaux was just as brilliant as Boss throwing a three hitter with no walks. Tied 2-2 in the ninth inning the Royals couldn’t get a run across while Springhill rallied for one run and the win. For the Royals- so close but yet so far!