Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lonaconing in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Early Years — Lonaconing, Maryland

 
 
The Early Years — Lonaconing, Maryland Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, September 17, 2019
1. The Early Years — Lonaconing, Maryland Marker
Inscription.  Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove was born in the Charlestown section of Lonaconing, Md., on March 6, 1900, to John and Emma Catherine (Beeman) Grove. Raised in a coal mining community during times of desperate poverty, young Grove had to abandon his formal education at age 12, so he could provide financial support for his parents and siblings.

Grove worked a variety of jobs in his hometown, including stints at the Klotz Throwing Company (Lonaconing Silk Mill); the Utility Glass Works; a local railroad; and for a short time, with an underground coal mining company. On days off, he refined his developing baseball skills, often playing sandlot games at Charlestown's "First Field" in Lonaconing. Local residents flocked to the field after Sunday dinner, especially to see him pitch. One local native described Grove's fastball as being "like a shot out of a gun."

In 1919, Grove debuted with the Midland Mightys, his first organized league experience. Local businessperson Dick Stakem financed The Mightys, whose members were comprised of players from the Cumberland and George's Creek league in Allegany County, Md. Although starting at first
Photos from Lefty's early life image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, September 17, 2019
2. Photos from Lefty's early life
base, Grove soon moved to pitcher's mound. After throwing a no-hitter against the preeminent Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad team near the end of the 1919 season, Grove was hired by the B&O, with the intention that he play for the railroad team the following year. He never had the opportunity, however, because of an encounter with a baseball scout.

In 1920, Piedmont, W.Va., resident William "Baldy" Louden, a scout for the class-D Blue Ridge League, recruited Grove and gave him opportunity for his first professional debut with the Martinsburg Mountaineers, Louden, a former major-leaguer, had retired from the Cincinnati Reds after the 1916 season — where he led the American League in second base fielding percentage.

John "Jack" Dunn I, manager/owner of the International League Baltimore Orioles, recruited Grove after only six games with the Mountaineers. As part of negotiations, the Orioles agreed to finance construction of a new outfield fence for the Martinsburg team. Grove later joked that he was the only player ever traded for a fence!
 
Erected 2019.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) marker series.
 
Location. 39° 33.957′ N, 78° 58.823′ W. Marker is in Lonaconing
The Early Years — Lonaconing, Maryland Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, September 17, 2019
3. The Early Years — Lonaconing, Maryland Marker
, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (Maryland Route 36) and Union Street, on the right when traveling north on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 Union Street, Lonaconing MD 21539, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Baltimore Orioles (1920 - 1924) (here, next to this marker); Red Sox (1934 - 1941) (here, next to this marker); Philadelphia Athletics (1925 - 1933) (a few steps from this marker); Coming Home to Lonaconing (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to "Lefty" Grove Memorial Park (a few steps from this marker); In Honor and Remembrance (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lonaconing's Tumultuous Past (about 600 feet away); Lonaconing Veterans Memorial (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lonaconing.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSports
 

More. Search the internet for The Early Years — Lonaconing, Maryland.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 19, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 19, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 19, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
Paid Advertisement