The battle of Linwood is on next Wednesday, as the Erb Electric Expos take on the Linwood Junior Chiefs on the diamond that is home turf for both teams.
This is the first year Linwood has had two teams in the South Perth Men’s Fastball League; the Junior Chiefs moved up to the league this year and the Expos relocated from Elmira at the same time.
The only other time the Expos and Chiefs have faced off, back in June, the Chiefs came out on the losing side of a 6-1 game. They’ll be looking to even the score – and put an end to the Expos’ undefeated streak – on July 29.
The game is the backdrop for the addition of three more names to the memorial plaque of the Linwood Ball Players and Sportsmen Alumni.
George Jones, Donald Freeman and J.D. Ogram will be honoured for their contribution to ball in Linwood at an induction ceremony.
Ogram, who was the fire chief in Linwood for many years, was a driving force behind the construction of the first community centre in Linwood.
George Jones, who owned Jones Feed Mill before passing it on to his son Jeff, played baseball and hockey in Linwood and was part of many championships as a hockey goalie.
Don Freeman, who started Don’s Hardware in Linwood – now owned by his son Don Jr. – coached many minor ball players who went on to play senior ball.
The game will be a family affair for the Freemans; Don Jr. coaches the Junior Chiefs, including his nephew Brent, while his son Tim plays for the Expos.
The memorial plaque was created two years ago, during the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Linwood Bantam ball team. There are currently six names on the plaque: Frank H. Schummer and his sons Frank C. and George, who organized men’s softball back in the late 1940s and early 50s; Stan Deckert and Shorty Knarr, well-known hockey and baseball players from Linwood; and Frank Kleinknecht, a coach and umpire who drove around town in the 50s and 60s announcing games on a loudspeaker.
George Nahrgang, president of the South Perth Men’s Fastball League, will be present at the induction ceremony to give a speech.
The ceremony starts at 7:45 p.m., with the game to follow at 8:30. Food and refreshments will be available, and people are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs.