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History of Freeland, Pa.

What's on this page:

  • Photos and postcards of Freeland area baseball teams
  • Team mascots, ball boys, bat boys


1903 Tigers baseball
                team This photo of the 1903 Tigers baseball team comes to us from Ed Bacon. He wrote: "I am the grandson of Edward J. Gallagher. He and his brother Peter were barbers, first at 354 Centre St. and then 713 Main St. We lived on Main St. with them until the mid-1960s. I have a number of photos that were on the Main St. shop walls. ... [This one] is the Freeland Tigers baseball team, my grandfather Edward is seated on the floor on the left."

Brigid McMenamin wrote: "Hi Chuck, just noticed that in your 1903 photo of the Freeland Tigers the guy in the middle (jacket, tie, full head of dark hair) looks just like Hugh A. McMenamin (1878-1943) of Centre Street, who graduated from MMI, St. Michael's (Toronto) and Philadelphia Dental School 1907 and went on to practice in Scranton. I know he was associated with the team, which I believe was cofounded by his brother John J. (1872-1917), who also managed the Opera House, founded a men's shop on Centre, and co-founded the Ferry drugstore, and built a big house on Vine for his wife Margaret (Maggie Ferry, sister of Fanny & daughter of Freeland saloonkeepers/hoteliers Maurice & Mary (McGinley) Ferry) and their 11 children."

                Freeland Y.M.C.A. baseball team This is the 1905 Freeland Y.M.C.A. baseball team, photo courtesy of Bob Vannauker.  His father George Vannauker was on the team and is marked with an "X" on the photo. The enlarged image was repaired digitally by Jay Cawley; here's what the actual photo looks like. Thank you, Jay.

Freeland Y.M.C.A.
                baseball teamThe photo at left of the Y.M.C.A. baseball team came from John Zubach and is undated.

Jeddo Stars
                baseball team This is an early image of the Jeddo Stars baseball team, which apparently began in 1901. Bruce Bartko sent this photo, with a note saying that it's possible that this could the 1908 team, based on the roster for that team given in an article that I had sent to his sister, Katherine Bartko Leighton - the article that I have is missing the photo that was apparently published with it. I found the article and its 3 photos, and sure enough, this photo from Bruce is the 1908 team! Here's the roster as found in the article: Front, mascot John Yalch; First row (from left), Mike Serock, Steve Batcha, manager Mike Bogansky, Mike Becker and Mike Bartko; Second row, Kelly Condrick Sr., Andy Sarosky, John Pavlinko, Gus Cherescavitch and Joe Makuta.

Their grandfather, Mike Bartko, shown in the front row, far right, lived a long life and died in 1974 at approximately age 85, according to Katharine.  Bruce added: "My father took me to the Jeddo Stars bar once when I was a child. It was nickle beer night!!!! He just had to go." The image has been digitally repaired by Jay Cawley.

                Weatherly baseball club I found this photo of the 1908 Weatherly Baseball Club on eBay, and I think that I might have bid on it but was outbid. I saved a copy, though, and so am sharing it here.

Tigers baseball
                team This photo of the 1907 Tigers team as published in the Freeland PennySaver in 1964 comes to us from Joan Buday. She wrote: "The original article was give to me by my cousin Chuck McHugh in Houston, formerly of Freeland. It was mailed to his father Charles "Chap" McHugh as you can see in the upper corner. Your history of Freeland site is incredible. It has provided much, much info for me in genealogy research. Thanks for all of your efforts." Thank you, Joan.

Hazle Brook
                Pirates Hazle Brook
                Pirates  This photo of the Hazle Brook Pirates 1937 baseball team comes from Barbara Bartol Rentenbach. Barbara's father played on this semi-pro team at age 17. Team members' names are written on the bottom of the photo [please let me know if I've mistyped any names]: Dikie Litchko, Frank Midlick, Snuffy Bartol, Joe Dufallo, Horse Witchko, John Hynick, Gusard Sessack, Mushy Kovack, John Midlick, Billy Kovalick, Louis Paulshock.

Upper Lehigh Eagles,
                1940sHere we have a few of the Upper Lehigh Eagles, from sometime in the 1940s. This and the next several photos came to me from Eleanor Sheaman Laganosky, Wilmington, Delaware. She was kind enough to send them to me some time after my dad died in 1991. She wrote on the back of this photo: Left to right: Johnny Tancin, Stevie Tancin, Harold Blose (I think?), Billy Kears, Yabby Tiglio. A lot of those guys had nicknames, I remember from my dad. Harold Blose was Blosie; my dad called Billy Kears "Willy Mays"; my dad was a lefty and had red hair back in those days and I think they called him Pinky. That's his glove at top left of this page.

Upper Lehigh Eagles,
                1940sSome of the Upper Lehigh Eagles, from sometime in the 1940s. Eleanor wrote on the back of this photo: Left to right: Charlie Sheaman, Billy Kears, Stevie Tancin, Paul Fisher. Front: Bat boy, Bobby (George) Sheaman. Billy Kears also had red hair and was the first person I remember having a tattoo on his arm. I thought his name really was Willy Mays (see paragraph above), and so when I was a little kid, when I would see him walking on the street I'd shout "Hey, Willy Mays!" Probably embarrassed the hell out of him. Tsk.

Upper Lehigh Eagles,
                1940sSome of the Upper Lehigh Eagles, from sometime in the 1940s. Eleanor wrote on the back of this photo: Front: Bobby (George) Sheaman. Left to right: Billy Kears, Johnny Tancin, Paul Fisher. George Sheaman, Manager.

Upper Lehigh Eagles,
                1940s Upper Lehigh Eagles,
                1940sSome of the Upper Lehigh Eagles, from sometime in the 1940s. Eleanor wrote on the back of this photo to identify a few of the guys, but it's a little uncertain as to who's who. I'm typing what I think are the identities here, but am also showing the back of the photo so that you can see what I'm working from. Corrections are always welcome. So I'm guessing that standing second from left is Pecker Pshar, next to him at right is Charlie Sheaman. Then I think she's saying that seated in front left in white shirt and hat is Bo Buchman, and the guy thumbing his nose is Ralph or Yabby Tiglio.

                Sheaman, manager, Upper Lehigh Eagles, 1940sAnd this is George Sheaman, manager of the Upper Lehigh Eagles, from sometime in the 1940s. Eleanor also sent me a team roster from 1946: Manager, George Sheaman; Pitcher, Bobby May; Short stop, Joey Tancin; First base/Outfield, John Tancin; Catcher, Albert "Bo" Buchman; Left field, Billy Kears; Right field/Outfield, George Tancin; First base, Donny Kromis; Second base, Sonny Shemo; Third base, Steve Tancin; Right field/Center, Paul Fisher; Third base, Charlie Sheaman; Bat boy, Bobby Sheaman. Also, Tom Polcha, "Pecker" Pshar, Tony "Yabby" Tiglio, Harold Blose.


1905 Freeland Y.M.C.A. baseball team mascot This is the bat boy for the 1905 Freeland Y.M.C.A. baseball team, courtesy of Bob Vannauker.

                AllStars baseball team mascot Here is John Yalch, the bat boy for the 1908 Jeddo Stars baseball team. The photo comes to us courtesy of Bruce Bartko.

Upper Lehigh
                Eagles bat boy, 1940s Here is the bat boy for the Upper Lehigh Eagles baseball team in the 1940s, Bobby (George) Sheaman. The photo comes to us courtesy of Eleanor Sheaman Laganosky.

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