Home British baseballProject COBB Full article: Classic post-war finals in British baseball

Full article: Classic post-war finals in British baseball

by Joe Gray

In this article I look back at some of the classic baseball national finals played in Britain since the end of World War II. I define a classic final as one with a 1-run margin of victory or one that went to extra innings.

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Mark Tobin March 28, 2009 - 12:05 pm

Nice article Joe, well researched.

Matt Smith March 28, 2009 - 5:32 pm

An excellent read. I always find it fascinating to learn about British baseball history and this is as good an article as you’ll find on the topic.

BaseballGB » Blog Archive » Joe’s Web Pick of the Month: April 2009 April 7, 2009 - 8:02 am

[…] through the pages on Mark Tobin’s site, but it was not until I was writing my article on classic finals in Britain that I realized just how indispensable a resource this site is. Without the efforts that Mark has […]

BaseballGB » Blog Archive » More on the classic national final of 1969 April 30, 2009 - 7:43 pm

[…] in March, I published an article titled Classic post-war finals in British baseball. In researching the article I received help from Norman Wells, a long-time Liverpool Trojan. […]

charlie stephenson May 4, 2009 - 5:43 pm

I pitched for Bronsegrove throughout the summer of 1972. I was picked to pitch for an all-star team against the Netherlands and another team I can’t remember who. The games were played on the pitch at Hull. I pitched both games – we won the 1st one game and the second game was tied and called because of darkness. On the history of baseball in England web cite there in no mention of that game. I think that was the last year for men’s league play. I was stationed at RAF Upper Heyford, we played some yanks on that team and my brother just from the states caught he was 14. We had a player on our team that was in he’s 60’s playing 2nd base. He had played baseball in England for years. Could someone please help me with names and details. Thanks

Joe Gray May 4, 2009 - 8:35 pm

Hi Charlie,

Many thanks for this comment. We’ll try to do what we can to help you…

Also, do you have any other recollections of playing baseball in England, or have you held onto any old photos, programmes, or other materials? If so, we’d be very keen to see them.

Which website are you referring you by the one with the “history of baseball England”?

I know that England played a team of Dutch 16-18 year olds in 1972, but Stan Windross was the English team’s pitcher, so that cannot be one of the games you are referring to (your catcher at Bromsgrove from 1972, Bill Casey, was Windross’s battery-mate in that game).

If you were playing for an All-Star team, rather than an official England side, then that may well be why it is not mentioned.

Do you have any more details on the second baseman in his 60s, as this may help narrow things down?

Phil Lago October 11, 2009 - 12:48 pm

I read your article on British baseball and was fascinated by your research. I was the Sun-Rockets player replaced by Spencer in the 1969 game. Indeed, I was American but I was working and living in the London area as was the case of a couple of my team mates (not illegal US Navy players. That 1969 championship game was even more exciting than you described it, as our opponents played the game very hard and I remember a number of incidents that came close to an altercation. That said, we drank and joked together with them after the game. I remember how sweet it was drinking beer from the cup! Alas, I have lost touch with all of the players, do you have any information on them; what about Peter Ash, our manager? Again, thank you for such a fine article. Yours respectfully, Phil Lago Merritt Island, Florida, USA

Joe Gray October 11, 2009 - 3:17 pm

Hi Phil,

I love the internet for this very reason. The fact that I come across a newspaper clipping with a name in it, publish an article including that name, and then am in touch with person in question within a few months.

Thanks for the kind words about the article.

I’ve contacted you by email with regard to the questions.


John Gardiner April 24, 2014 - 9:19 am

i was really interested to see your piece on the Spirit versus Trojans final in 1976. I was there and with Spirit during the 1976 season, a very green fourteen-year-old at the time with a love of baseball. I sort fo became the team mascot and bat carrier, warming up the players before they took to the field, though I did make a few game appearances, notably getting on base a couple of times in a game at Wokingham during the year – but then again my cat probably could have got to first against poor old Wokingham! What Jeff told you about Ken Shugg and the fould ball was 100 pwercent correct – we all thought he’d pulled it out of the bag for us but it wasn’t to be, and all credit to the Trojans that year. Aside from the Southern League matches, we also played at the US base in Wiesbaden, and against a Parisian and Dutch team if I remember correctly, plus a team from Venezuela. It was a great experience for a 14-year-old, and if you have Jeff’s contact details I’d love to have them, or at least send my email to Jeff as it would be great to make contact with him after all these years. While I never made it as a player, I did end up living in detroit and I’m stil la big tigers fan. Thanks for this site and for bringing back some happy memories! John Garidner

Joe Gray April 24, 2014 - 10:30 am

Hi John,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving the message. I’ve passed your message onto Jeff.

You might also like this piece, if you’ve not yet found it:



Phil Lago October 11, 2009 - 11:14 pm

Yes Joe,
It is truly a small world and the internet makes it smaller every day. I enjoyed my four years in the UK and the many friendships that I developed through the baseball team. Unfortunately, the years have taken some from us and I have lost touch with the others.


One from the Past: Classic pre-WWII finals in British Baseball | BaseballGB October 28, 2012 - 1:05 pm

[…] 28 March 2009 I published an article describing the six classic national finals of British baseball’s post-war era, where a […]

One from the Past: Selection of photos from 1976 national final uncovered | BaseballGB April 7, 2013 - 10:13 am

[…] through some photos from the 1976 British national final, in which his Spirit of ’76 team was pipped by the Liverpool Trojans. The photos that Jeff obtained were taken and kindly scanned from the […]


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