Floyd Wells and Baseball Championships

In the 1950’s, Almont was a member of the Southern Thumb Association, which consisted of six teams: Almont, Armada, Capac, Dryden, Memphis and New Haven.

Almont shared the league baseball championship with Dryden in both 1955 and 1956, primarily because of the efforts of Floyd Wells.

On Thursday, May 12, 1955, Almont and Dryden would play for the league championship.  This was a make-up date for the game was originally scheduled for April 26.  Dryden was undefeated and Almont had only lost once, to Capac. An Almont win and the teams would share the championship.

The game against Dryden was a pitching duel; Almont’s Ted Wells against Dryden’s Randy Williams.  Wells pitched a ten inning shutout.  He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out eight.  Williams did not allow a hit through the first nine innings.  Floyd Wells got Almont’s first hit in the tenth inning.  Roger Little then worked Williams for a walk.  Attempting to sacrifice the runners to second and third, Ted Wells bunted but got on with a Dryden error, thus loading the bases.  Bobby Wentworth then bunted and the catcher could not field the ball and get back to the plate before Floyd safely slide home.  Almont had 1 run, two hits, and an error while Dryden had no runs, four hits, and two errors.  Williams’ pitching line showed one run, two hits and 15 strike outs. 

The play of the game was a triple play.  With runners on second and third, a Dryden batter hit a fly ball to Floyd Wells in left field.  Floyd caught the ball for the first out and then threw a strike to home plate where Harry Yoshihara tagged out the runner trying to score from third for the second out.  Harry then threw to third base where the second runner was tagged out.

In 1956, the game against Dryden was played at home under the lights on a Friday night.  Just as with prior year’s game, this one was a pitching duel.  Dryden’s Randy Williams, again, and Almont’s Larry Kersten would each allow only four hits.  Kersten struck out nine and Williams eleven.  Kersten was backed by find defensive plays including two double plays, which occurred at crucial moments in the game.  In the third inning, Gary McNaughton got an infield hit and then stole second.  He scored easily as Jerry Hiller hit a double over the head of the Dryden leftfielder.  The second and winning run came in the fourth inning.  Floyd Wells, Dryden’s nemesis from the prior year, was safe on an error.  He moved to second when Kersten worked Williams for a walk.  When Gary McAlvey grounded out, Floyd scored the winning run from second on an amazing bit of base running.  Dryden scored a single run in the sixth but that was all they could manage.  Almont won by a final score of 2 to 1.

The team would lose the last game of the year to Memphis and would again share the championship with Dryden.

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