Lonaconing in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Early Years — Lonaconing, Maryland
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
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!
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Sports. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) 🚂 series list.
Location. 39° 33.957′ N, 78° 58.823′ W. Marker is in Lonaconing, 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.
Regarding The Early Years — Lonaconing, Maryland. Included is "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." According to Wikipedia, he led the National (not American) League in this; Cincinnati is in the NL.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 19, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 141 times since then and 22 times this year. Last updated on February 23, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 19, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.