By Bill Ross
Baseball history in Morgan County is rich with history. With transportation sketchy and teams several hours away along the Wasatch front it was a great sacrifice for these men to leave the farms to go play a game they loved.
The first baseball team in Morgan County appears to have been a team that played in 1911. George Carrigan was the manager with Tom Fry, Jim Peterson, Walt Francis, Walt Smith, Will (Billy) Rich, Henry Heiner, LeRoy Dickson, Arthur Francis, G.S. Heiner, Wallace and Bert Dickson.
After a break of several years the county put together another baseball team in the late 1920’s. It was started by James Logan and managed by Bennie Taggart. Morgan County produced several players who not only starred locally, but many of them went on to compete for local colleges. A few even made an impact on the national level
Larry Peterson was a great Morgan County athlete. He played all of the sports equally well. He led the high school baseball team to a state championship in 1951 and went on to play basketball for Weber College. Larry had several teammates from his high school championship team who joined the county team. Richard (Dick) Francis Jr., Merrill Francis, Robert (Bob) Waldron and Lewis Wright Jr. to name a few were teammates that joined the county team after their high school days were over.
Another county player was Norris Nelson. Those who saw him play claimed he was the best baseball the county ever produced. He went on to Weber State and Reed Swenson said he was the best athlete he ever coached. While at Weber he was chosen to play in the National AAU tournament in Denver. He was known all over the country and had multiple offers to exhibit his athletic talent in basketball and baseball. What degree of success Norris would have achieved will never be known as he gave his life for his country in the South Pacific during World War II. Many in Morgan said if a Hall of Fame in Morgan was ever put together, his name would be at the top of the list. Malan Francis was another baseball player from the county who gave his life in the same war.
Fred Bohman was another baseball player who left the county to compete at the collegiate level. On the baseball field he was known for his booming bat. He eventually made his way to Logan and became a star halfback for the Aggie football team.