James “Lefty” Hill was a portside hurler with a baffling assortment of slants, and a smoking fast ball on our Carleton Place baseball team in the early 30’s. On June 28, 1930, “Lefty” pitched a brilliant 2 for 1 victory over Perth before a large crowd of enthusiastic fans. Only in the opening inning when he walked the first batter up and the next two were safe on an error and an infield hit, filling the bases was he in any kind of trouble. Game after game he was the star of our town’s team. In April of 1935 Lefty asked for, and was granted, his release from the Carleton Place team. Rumour said he would likely don an Ottawa Crains uniform. Sure enough, the ace began tossing his southpaw slants at Landsdowne Park in Ottawa after he received his Carleton Place release. Ottawa said he was the logical choice to take the mound for the Crains along with another Carleton Place pitcher, Peck Donald.
In 1935 “Lefty” had several injuries that finally forced him out of the game. Once he returned, he was never the same, and everyone watched his streaks shatter. The year of 1935 was the last he was ever heard of, and all I found in my research was that he and his wife Doris Margaret had a daughter at the Ottawa Civic Hospital in 1947. His wife died in Ottawa in 1972, but there was no mention of James “Lefty” Hill anywhere. The only item that the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum has is a team picture. There is always more than what goes on between the lines, and it’s shame not more is known about James “Lefty” Hill, and his glory days in Carleton Place.
We’ve had a request for old photos of the ball diamonds near Riverside Park… This photo by Howard Edwards of a lacrosse match (date unknown) shows Lake Avenue West to the right and St. Mary’s Church on Hawthorne Street in the distance. Just look at the crowd watching the action!
Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 28 Oct 1939, Sat, Page 25