Hockey and baseball, always the two most popular sports, were in full swing by 1946. The pucksters were competing in the North Shore Hockey League with a line up that included Willie Jardine, Geordie Harris, “Cuffy” McLaughlin, Joe Duffy, Pat Duffy, Vance Tonar, James “Scully” Mills, Joe Breen, Pat Keoughan and Stuart “Sappy” McFarlane. The brave boys of summer were playing in the Miramichi Valley Baseball League and made it to the provincial semi-finals that year but were eliminated by the St. Joseph Villagers.
It was the 1920’s when local newspapers had referred to Chatham’s hockey team as the “little men of iron” but it was 1946 when the hockey team, as well as the baseball team, officially went by the title of Ironmen.
The Chatham Ironmen were even more successful that season. Things however, looked very dismal at the beginning of the summer. As the “Commercial” ably puts it “Chatham Head leading Miramichi Valley Baseball League as they beat Chatham six to five. Chatham is in fifth place.”
By the time autumn and play-off time had rolled around, however, the Men of Iron were in the midst of engineering a spectacular comeback. First they beat out Nelson and then defeated the defending New Brunswick Champs, the Chatham Head Tigers, to become the Miramichi Valley League Champs. Their next step was to capture the North Shore crown. They did so by beating out the Bathurst Red Sox and the Tracadie Eagles. The Ironmen met defeat at the hands of the Arthurette squad while in quest of the provincial title but they were reinstated because Arthurette used an ineligible pitcher. Chatham’s sons of swat then advanced to play the Saint John Cubs in the finals. They beat the port city nine 21-7 and were declared the New Brunswick Intermediate champs.
Later that season they faced Summerside for the Maritime crown Summerside took the series in two straight games 14-1 and 10-9.
All in all it had been a great showing by a team that was a fifth place squad in the early part of the season. The line up of the Champion Ironmen that season was as follows:; John Cable, First Base; Andy “Scully” Mills, Center Field; Art Sutton, Catcher; Whit McMillan, Third Base; Jim Daley, Second Base; Ray Daley, First Base; Frank Kane, Second Base; Don Daley, Left Field; Bud McLean, Pitcher; and Ray Butler Pitcher.