Yesterday: Royal Giants

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 23, 2012

Here is a photograph of the Royal Giants baseball team in East Spencer. According to a brief history on the team written by team member Albert Stout Sr., the Royal Giants organized in March 1945 when a group of men, mostly war veterans, met at a cafe owned by Thaddeus Clement. The club initially played at the town of Spencer’s ballpark until land in East Spencer could be purchased and a home park built. Team members chipped in money monthly toward bats, balls and other equipment, though funds were still needed for uniforms. Stout says the manager’s wife, Lossie Holt, used her excellent skills as a seamstress and made the first uniforms, with the club members contributing enough money to buy gray denim cloth. Wives of team members formed a club called the Royalettes to raise funds for a ballpark. Stout says they sold fish, barbecue, chicken sandwiches and dinners, collecting enough money when added to other events, to purchase 9 acres in East Spencer from Lillie Mae Ward of New York. ‘Fans came from far and near to see the Royal Giants play,’ Stout wrote. ‘The team became so outstanding in winning games, the club had to become more selective in booking games. The team resorted to playing touring teams which brought stiffer competition.’ The Royal Giants disbanded in 1953. The town’s recently renovated Royal Giants Park is named for the team. Players in the photo, left to right, first row, are Jimmy L. Morrison, Albert S. Stout Sr., George D. Stout, Pickett Ford, Eugene Neely, ‘Tick’ Fowler and Stanley Morrison. Second row: Thomas E. Stoner, Douglas Graeber, James ‘June’ Black, George ‘Buck’ Miller, Scooterbuck Gaston, Marion ‘Mack’ Poe, John Burk, Earl Miller and Robert ‘Pune’ Holt.