Each Monday the Centre Daily Times will publish an installment in our “Share our Heritage” series, featuring photos from Centre County’s past. Today’s photo is from Mitch Bradley, of Victorian House Antiques in Bellefonte.
Bradley wrote: “Born in Bellefonte in 1860, John Montgomery Ward played baseball for the Bellefonte Academy, was a player on Penn State’s first baseball team in 1875, and played and managed in professional baseball from 1878 to 1894.
“Ward is often credited with being Major League baseball’s first curveball pitcher. During 1890, as captain of the New York Giants, Ward arranged an exhibition game in Bellefonte against a team of local ballplayers. The Giants won 5-3.
“On Oct. 12, 1887, Ward married famed actress Helen Dauvray. An avid baseball fan, Dauvray was often seen at the Polo Grounds in New York for ballgames and, in 1887 commissioned Tiffany & Co. to fashion a beautiful sterling silver trophy, called the Dauvray Cup, to be given to the champions of baseball that year. The cup was stolen, however, and its whereabouts are still unknown. In 1893, the two divorced.
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“Ward also practiced law after retiring from baseball and took up golf, in which he became one of the country’s top 10 amatuers. In 1925, Ward played in the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga. He died a few days later from pneumonia. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964.”
Readers can contribute to the “Share our Heritage” series by sharing their own photos. Just drop off or mail copies of the photos to Centre Daily Times, 3400 E. College Ave., State College, PA 16801 or email them to Design Editor Laurie Jones at email@example.com. Provide as much information as you can. All photos in the weekly series are placed in a “Share our Heritage” gallery at CentreDaily.com. If you have any questions about this series, Jones can be reached at 231-6461.