In the years after the Second World War, softball was played at a tremendously competitive and skilled level in Kings County.
Teams representing the area from Aylesford to Cambridge captured provincial titles and suffered some near-misses during those years.
During the summer of 1956, the Waterville Mohawks, guided by general manager Dr. Ron Thorpe of Berwick, enjoyed an exciting and successful season that culminated in the Nova Scotia-Prince Edward Island softball championship.
The Waterville squad began their playoff run by sweeping aside Maccan, with Carl Best leading the way with some stout pitching performances.
In the Nova Scotia intermediate championship against Sydney River Tigers, the Mohawks started strong, posting 13-5 and 17-5 victories despite playing on the road.
Lloyd ‘Bruz’ Cook, with five strong innings in the first game and a complete-game victory in the second, led the way on the mound, with Best chipping in quality relief.
Harold Woodworth led the offense with three hits in each game.
The Mohawks then captured the provincial title with a 14-3 win Sept. 12 in Cambridge, capping an undefeated playoff run and giving Waterville its first provincial crown in 10 years of competition.
Carl Best spun a two-hitter, and centerfielder and team captain George Anderson belted two home runs, a grand slam and a three-run shot, for a seven-RBI day.
Also in the Mohawks’ lineup that day were Bill Moser at third base, Garnet Parker in left field, George Hamilton catching, Harold Durno at first base, player-coach Thorpe at second, Lawrence Johnstone at shortstop and Norwood Little in left field. Their ranks were augmented by Eddie Nichols, Cook, Best and Woodworth.
Advancing to the N.S.-P.E.I. final, Waterville’s opponents were Summerside RCAF. The Mohawks captured the opening game of the best two-of-three series 11-7.
A four-run first-inning outburst by Waterville was accented by a Harold Woodworth three-run homer and Bill Moser’s steal of home.
Best pitched into the ninth inning before Cook dramatically struck out Norman Haney on a three-two count to end the game and seal the victory.
After Summerside came back with a 9-6 victory to square the series, Best threw a no-hitter in the third and deciding game, a 2-0 Waterville win.
Best also scored the winning run after beating out an infield hit. George Hamilton, with six hits in the final two games, was the offensive star.
Facing Saint John Meteors for the Maritime title, the Mohawks lost 7-5 and 12-8 decisions. Best was unusually wild, and was victimized by eight errors in the field.
The loss failed to remove the lustre from an outstanding season for the Waterville contingent. With the best infield and outfield, a solid pitching staff and a dazzling catcher in Hamilton, the Mohawks were the class of the province all season long.
Their prowess on defense belied the fact that, as Carl Best recalls, no one on the team save the catcher and first baseman wore a glove.
The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, in the team category, the 1956 Waterville Mohawks, deserving Nova Scotia and P.E.I. champions.