Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Best Lineup in Sports and Aerospace

The Martin Bombers carried us forward
by Donald P.

My story is about the Martin Bomber sports teams in Baltimore in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Glenn L Martin was a very sports-minded person. He sponsored nationally competitive baseball, basketball and softball teams in Baltimore. Mr. Martin hired athletes to play, and they established careers with the company. Several players eventually assumed significant managerial positions, including baseball pitcher Dick Weber, who became a vice president of industrial relations, and basketball player and coach, Don Parsons, who became a director of human resources. Many others were respected contributors in a variety of departments. 

Dr. George McLaren and close confidant of Mr. Martin, headed all Bomber activities, as well as intra-company leagues, company picnics and an annual family day at one of the local theme parks.
The baseball Bombers consisted of a number of ex-minor league players, such as Charlie Johnson, from the Detroit Tiger organization, and Irv Hall, from the Philadelphia Athletics farm system. They competed throughout Maryland against other amateur teams and annually participated in the AAABA (All American Amateur Baseball Association) Tournament in Zanesville, Ohio, winning it several times.

The basketball Bombers recruited several college players, beat most industrial teams on the East Coast when industrial basketball was second only to the fledgling NBA. Only military camps, loaded with ex-pro and college stars, (Ft. Meade, Quantico Marine Base, Bainbridge Naval Station).

It was a culture that no longer exists, one which provided pleasure and opportunity to many!