1970 – 1979

The 1970 edition of the Ironmen changed leagues and went from the Miramichi Valley Baseball League to the New Brunswick Senior League. Other members of the league were Edmundston, Bathurst, Grand Falls, Milltown, Woodstock, Tracadie, Moncton, Marysville, Sisson Ridge, Fredericton, and St. Croix. The Ironmen did well in the regular season and won the pennant. Chatham’s first playoff action was against Tracadie. The Ironmen easily beat Tracadie and moved on to face Moncton. Moncton took a 3 games to 1 lead but the ‘Men of Iron’ fought back to take the series 4 games to 2 and thus earned a berth in the NB senior semi-finals. The semi-finals match was against Fredericton and the Capital team edged out the Ironmen 3 games to 2. Cuffy McLaughlin had a good year. He won the batting crown. 1970 would be the last year the Ironmen would not reach the finals of the NB Senior League until 1977.

In 1971 the Chatham Baseball Ironmen won the Eastern Division of the NB Senior Baseball league by defeating Bathurst 4 games to 2. The Ironmen then took on the Western division champs, the Edmundston Republics, in the finals. Chatham lost to Edmunston 4 games to 3.

In Junior play, the Chatham Junior Ironmen beat Moncton 2 games to 0 to win the right to go to the Canadian Junior Championships. The juniors did very well and came home with 3-2 record and just missed out on winning a medal. The juniors returned home only to lose the NB championships to Moncton 9-0. Members of the team were: Brian Kenny, John Walls, John Currie, Robert Stewart, Joe Walsh, Ron Smith, John Jardine, Mike Lloyd, Colin Trevors, Andre Doucette, Phil Lepage, Don Allison, Brian King, Laurie Gregan, Ned Wrigley, Bob Jardine, Laurie Trear, Bob Bowes, and coach Ken Cripps.

The Chatham Baseball Ironmen ’72 season was another ‘close but no cigar’ year. The Ironmen were in the Northern division of the NB Senior Baseball League with Marysville, Newcastle, and Moncton. The team had a good regular season and entered the first round of the playoffs against Moncton. The Ironmen squeezed by Moncton 4 games to 3. The next series was against Marysville. The Ironmen were again unstoppable and beat Marysville 4 games to 2. The Ironmen were now in the finals for the second year in a row and again they lost. This time the Ironmen lost to Fredericton 4 games to 2.

The Ironmen Baseball team began the ’73 season hoping not to repeat the last two years’ mistakes. Chatham started the road to the finals by beating Tracadie 3 games to 1. The Ironmen then beat Edmundston 3 games to 0. In the finals of the Senior League, the Ironmen ran into the Marysville REC’s. Chatham went down to defeat 4 games to 1. This was the 3rd year in a row that Chatham made the finals but didn’t win.

The Baseball Ironmen played the ’74 season, once again, in the NB Senior Baseball League along with Marysville, Edmunston, Fredericton, Tracadie, Saint John, and Moncton. The Ironmen did very well in regular play and wound up playing Moncton in the semifinals. The Ironmen beat Moncton and then went on to beat Marysville in the finals to claim Chatham’s First Senior Championship since ’68. Chatham then went on to represent New Brunswick at the ’74 Maritime Senior Baseball Championships. Chatham won the Maritime title and a chance to represent New Brunswick at the Canadian Championships in ’75. Members of the team were: Cuffy McLaughlin, Ken Martin, Guy Sorel, Don Allison, Joe Moeheum, Wally Jimmo, Bill Daley, Art Leggatt, Ed MacDermaid and Brian King.

The 1975 season was one of the baseball Ironmen’s best seasons ever. The Ironmen, defending NB champs, were continuing in the NB Senior league with Fredericton, Sussex, Moncton, Marysville, and Saint John. The Ironmen won the regular season pennant for ’75. Chatham then went on to win the league by defeating Marysville 4 games to 1 in the final. The Ironmen then had to play an independent team, St. Stephen-St. Croix Bisons, to see who would win the NB crown. The Ironmen came out on top 3 games to 1. This win gave the Ironmen the right to represent NB at the 1976 Canadian Senior Championships. The Ironmen then advanced to the Maritime Championships. The games were not even close with the Ironmen walking away with the title. The Ironmen beat Nova Scotia 15-7 and 18-0 and beat Prince Edward Island 21-2. The biggest highlight of the ’75 season came when the Ironmen captured a bronze medal at the ’75 Canadian Senior Baseball Championships held in Vancouver. The Ironmen beat Quebec 3-1 and Manitoba but lost to British Columbia 8-5 and Alberta 4-3. To add to the list of accomplishments in ’75, the Ironmen beat the Team Canada Baseball Team by a score of 6-5 in an exhibition game. The Ironmen’s final ’75 record was an amazing 42-10-1. Team members were Wally Doucette, Don Allison, Billy Daley, Wally Jimmo, Guy Sorel, Ray Royce, Cuffy McLaughlin, Ed MacDermaid, Mike Woods, Bev Bawn, Joe Mochelin, Brian King, Ron Allison, Art Leggatt, Ken Martin, Marven McCarthy, Bob Corlette, Kenny Quinn, Joe Cook, George MacDermaid, Percy King, Clairre Hale, and coach Greg Morris.

The 1976 season was a good season for the Ironmen Baseball team. The Ironmen were again in the NB Senior league with Sussex, Saint John, Edmunston, Marysville, Moncton, Lancaster, and Fredericton. The Ironmen played Saint John in th first round of the Senior playoffs. The Ironmen beat Saint John 3 games to 1 and then beat Sussex 4 games to 1 in the semifinals. The Ironmen then went on to beat Fredericton in the finals 4 games to 0 and win their 3rd straight NB Senior Baseball Title. The Ironmen then played Sydney, which they beat to capture the NB-NS Senior title. There was no Maritime title in 1976. The biggest games of the year came at the Canadian Senior Championships held in Fredericton. The Ironmen beat Quebec and then squeezed by Manitoba 4-3 to reach the finals. The Ironmen lost in the finals to Calgary 11-2. The Ironmen had won the Silver medal, their best performance to date. Members of this fine team were: Bill Daley, Wally Jimmo, Ken Martin, Guy Sorel, Bev Bawn, Walter McCarthy, Don Allison, Gary Perry, Cuffy McLaughlin, Mike Wood, Art Leggatt, Brian King, Roly Sappier, Ray Royce and coach Greg Morris.

In 1977, four ball players from Chatham were picked for the NB baseball team that went to the Canada Summer Games. The four players were Gary Bernard, Rich Leggatt, Walter McCarthy and Ron Hardy.

The 1977 baseball season was a hard pill to swallow for the Ironmen. The defending NB champs were playing in the NB Senior league with Sussex, Marysville, Fredericton, and Saint. John. The Ironmen did fine in the regular season and in fact won the regular season pennant. Then the playoffs came and Chatham had to play Fredericton. The Ironmen had just come off a 10 day layoff and were swept 4 games to 0 by Fredericton. The worst part of the season came at the Canadian Senior Championships. When the Ironmen stepped off the plane they were picked as the favorite but when the dust had cleared the Ironmen had only won one game defeating Newfoundland 13-8 to finish with a 1 and 4 record The question in Chatham was whatever happened to the ’76 silver medalist? Everything seemed to go wrong for the ’77 Ironmen.

The 1978 baseball Ironmen started out on the wrong foot when three of its members were handed suspensions. The infractions occurred in the ’77 playoffs with Fredericton. Bill Daley was handed a 10 game suspension when he struck an umpire. Ed MacDermaid and Cuffy McLaughlin were handed three game suspensions when they went into the stands after some fans. In 1978 the Ironmen were in the NB Senior league with Moncton, Fredericton, Marysville, Woodstock, and St. John.

The Ironmen started off slow but near the end of the season ran off 14 straight victories in a row. This burst of wins game the Ironmen the pennant. The first series in the playoffs was against Moncton. Chatham kept their streak going with four’ more straight victories to sweep Moncton. Chatham then swept the final to run their consecutive winning streak in a row to 22. The next step was the Maritime Championships and the red hot Ironmen just kept rolling along. The Ironmen beat PEI 5-4 and NS 3-2 to advance to the final against NS where they beat the NS team 7-1. This was the team’s 25th win in a row and gave Chatham a berth in the ’79 Canadian Senior Championship. This NB Maritime title was their fourth in five years. The team members were Guy Sorel, Rick Leggatt, Don Allison, Kevin Keith, Ron Hardy, Walter McCarthy, Bob Jardine, Mike Woods, Roy Royce, Ken Martin, Brian King, Art Leggatt, Junior McLeaghan, Cuffy McLaughlin, Wally Jimmo, Billy Daley, Coach Greg Morris, Ironmen president Marven McCarthy, and Manager Mike Bowes.

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