Franklin Cubs/Kildees were professionals

Published 10:54 am Friday, July 6, 2018

To the Editor:

Just a point of clarification on Mr. Clyde Parker’s excellent article on early Franklin baseball teams published in your paper on June 22, 2018.

The Franklin Cubs/Kildees teams in the Class D Virginia League of 1948-1951 were composed of full-time, paid professional players and not “semi-pros” as the term is usually understood. Granted, their paltry salaries of $250/month didn’t go very far and players always had to take off-season jobs as school teachers, bartenders, mill workers and used car salesmen to make ends meet. On the other hand, semi-pro players usually had full-time jobs in various fields and played baseball two or three times a week, sometimes with an added bonus in their paychecks from grateful employers.

The term semi-pro has sometimes been misused to distinguish between minor leaguers and their better-known major league counterparts. But the Franklin Cubs/Kildees were always recognized as true professional players, even at the lowly Class D level.

James P. Holl
North Canton, Ohio