October 18 – Spencer Fitzgerald

Spencer “Babe” Fitzgerald had the key qualification necessary to apply for the job of traveling secretary for the Amsterdam Rugmakers baseball team back in 1939. He knew how to drive a bus. That’s what he did full time for the Vollmer Transportation Company, the firm that used to run all the bus routes in Amsterdam, NY.

The Amsterdam native, who was born on October 18, 1910 was also an avid fan of the game of baseball and had once played for the Munies, in the very competitive City League. So when the Rugmakers’ Board of Directors conducted their annual meeting at the YMCA in February of 1939 and voted to give Spencer the job and pay him $25 per week, Fitzgerald must have felt like he had died and gone to heaven.

For the next three years he drove the Rugmaker team bus tens of thousands of miles all over upstate New York and into Canada to play their 60 road games per season. In addition…

You can read the rest of my story about Mr. Fitzgerald in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.


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