Raiders claimed N-O diamond title in ’49

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 June 2020 at 8:41 am

Contributed Photo – Members of Barker’s 1949 Niagara-Orleans League championship baseball team included, in front, B. Blumrick and G. Wilson. In the second row are C. House, A. Bernard, F. Shutt, S. Evans, D. Trinder, S. Keirn, L. Casey, W. Kinyon, R. Harrison, W. MacDonald, G. Barker and G. Swigert. In the third row are G. Bodine, P. Porter, D. Kinyon, B. Stark, R. Gow, E. Denton, B. Huntington, R. Wickman, J. Widmer, J. Arnold, R. Ogden and Mr. Felice. In the top row are M. Haight, E. Mitchell, G. Broughton, D. Wienke, P. Whitemore, R. Harrod, P. Welge, R. Bencene, E. Thiel, R. Weeks and C. Spencer.

The year 1949 was an outstanding one for the Barker High sports program in Niagara-Orleans League competition as the Raiders captured the baseball championship, shared the football title and claimed the Eastern Division basketball title.

The diamond title in fact was the last the Raiders have earned in N-O competition.

Barker went 6-0 on the N-O diamond in ’49 as the Raiders downed  defending champion Newfane 7-1 in the league finale to claim the championship.

Three of the Raiders N-O wins were shutout victories, 1-0 over Deveaux, 8-0 over Lewiston and 17-0 over Roy-Hart. Pitcher Bruce Blumrick earned all three of those wins on the mound.

Barker’s other two N-O wins were 13-4 over Youngstown and 7-3 over Wilson.

The Raiders then had a narrow 1-0 loss to Hamburg in the Section VI playoffs.

Overall, Barker’s last baseball title came in 1971 when the Raiders captured both the Genesee Region League and Section V championships.

The Raiders shared the title in what was then a six man N-O football league in ’49 with Newfane and Wilson.