The following is the 5th part in a series of “The History of baseball in Morgan County”. Most of the information is taken from book by Paul Stewart called “Baseball in Morgan County: The Early years”. The only exception was the April Fools day edition that was from the mind of the author.
In Meredith Wilson’s musical “The Music Man” there is a song call “Ya got trouble”. The trouble was the pool hall that had sprung up in River City. The lyrics read,
“Oh, we’ve got trouble.
We’re in terrible, terrible trouble.
That game with the fifteen numbered balls is a devil’s tool!
Oh yes we got trouble, trouble, trouble!
With a “T”! Gotta rhyme it with “P”!
And that stands for Pool!!!
In 1928 Morgan County had its own version of “Trouble in River City”. Instead of the youngsters playing pool the LDS Church leaders were concerned about the youth playing baseball on Sunday. President Randall previously had formed a committee to study the problem and come up with a solution. The Bishops of the local wards and Young Men’s Mutual Improvement leaders decided the best solution was to form a league with each ward organizing a baseball team.
While this action slowed down the playing of baseball on Sunday, the problem was not resolved. During a High Council meeting four months later President Randall asked if there were any present that supported or favored Sunday baseball. All present responded in the negative. He then asked that the matter be presented to the bishoprics and the stake auxiliary officers “with the understanding that if there was a nay, that they change their attitude or resign their position”. Four years later the problem still existed and “it was decided to ask all stake and ward officers to refrain from attending baseball and resorts on Sunday or resign from their positions”.
On December 11th 1932 it was decided to ask the Summit Stake to join in a baseball league to help avoid the Sunday play. The two stake presidencies met and called a committee of three from each stake to organize a league. By March of 1933 the league was ready for play. A very successful series of games was played which resulted in a lot of goodwill between the two communities. The Morgan County News reported, “The Mormon league will come to a very successful close this year on September 8th with Echo the winning team in the South half playing Devil’s Slide, the winning team in the North half, for the championship honors at the Morgan County Fair.
The teams who participated were Devil’s Slide, Peterson, Henefer, Milton, Richville, Morgan, Echo, Park City, Kamas, Hoytsville, Coalville and Oakley. This baseball league continued for several years and was later absorbed by the counties of the Morgan and Summit.
Bill Ross is a Morgan resident and local real estate agent. When he is not selling real estate you will find him having fun with his favorite hobby of umpiring high school baseball.