Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, March 19, 1995

Albion has had a variety of sports teams over the years from various portions of our community, other than through our educational institutions. The Albion Recreation Department has facilitated numerous sports teams for all ages, for both sexes. This week we are going to focus on the Albion Merchant Girls softball team, which was in existence for a period of twenty years, from 1937 to 1957. Information for this week’s Historical Notebook comes from Fran Costianes, who supplied us with the material.

The Albion Merchant Girls softball team started in 1937, and was first managed by Gus De Johns. Dale Derikson followed Gus, and then in 1940 Leon Thomas became the manager. He was with the team for seven years. When he left, Virginia Dowding became manager. Charles Hartle succeeded her and then Marilyn Beilfuss became the final manager of the team, which disbanded after 1957.

During its existence, the team won several district tournaments, and three state tournaments, namely: 1953, 1955, and 1957.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the 1944 Albion Merchant Girls, who achieved the District-Regional Championship. Back row, left to right: Twila Clone, Florence Buntrock, Leon Thomas Manager; Avron Olsson, Verda Himebaugh. Center row: Marilyn Beilfuss, Evelyn Heisler, Edwina Sanders, Joyce Heisler, Elizabeth Knoblauch, Evelyn (Baker) Yinger. Front row: Wanda VanSchoick, Marjorie King, and Alice Leightner.

1944 Albion Merchant Girls Softball Team


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