Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Presston Midget League - Press Champions Medallion 1927

I haven't been motivated to write a blog post since my dad died last year. I am definitely still grieving. My mom and my sister both correctly pointed out that I idolized my father. That is quite true. I hope he knew how much I loved him and how much I miss him. With that said, I will also say that I started writing this blog with him in mind. I wanted write down as many stories from him about his family members as I could document and put in one place for my family to have for posterity. I should have started writing sooner.

In the weeks and months after my dad passed, we went through all of his "stuff."  One item jumped out at me because it was something that I remember him having for many many years but I did not know anything about it. I remember playing with this little gold medallion when I was a child. I never asked him about it. I just assumed that it was his and that was that. The funny thing is that no one in my family has any idea where it came from. I asked my mother, my sister and my brother (who are both many years my senior) but they have no clue how my dad came to own this little trinket. It could have come from a friend or family member. I sincerely doubt that my father, who was born in 1920 in Manhattan, New York, had any reason to play midget league baseball in Presston, Pennsylvania in 1927 and win this Press Champions award.  It is a mystery to me why he kept it for his entire life (as far as I know).  Did he find it somewhere? Possibly. I know he was stationed in Sharon, Pennsylvania when he was in the Army during WWII.  Sharon, PA is only 75 miles Northwest of Pittsburgh so that is a definite possibility.

Perhaps there is a museum or an expert out there with knowledge of Midget League baseball of Pennsylvania but I haven't found him or her yet. I even made an effort to search Facebook for pages about the town of Presston. I was told to join a group called McKees Rocks Historical Society Group on Facebook which I did. I posted a photo of this little gem but I got no answers from them.

I have discovered that Presston was a "Company" town near Pittsburgh, PA.  Here is what I found on a website called about Presston (Stowe Township) Pennsylvania:  "Presston is a small residential community in an industrial setting. It was originally the company town of Schoenville, constructed in 1899 as worker housing for employees of the Pressed Steel Car Company. Many of the residents of this community were immigrants, who were kept in constant debt by the company, which resulted in the famous 1909 McKees Rocks Strike. Eleven people died in the strike. Presston has a dramatic and fascinating history. The neighborhood is still mostly intact."

Presston sounds like an interesting place to visit. I may have to put it into our vacation schedule. If it is near Falling Waters (Mill Run, PA), then maybe we can hit both places in a long weekend. If you have any ideas about this medallion or know something about Presston, please leave a comment. Thanks.

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