The London Majors’ Alumni Association has found the Intercounty Baseball League Championship Trophy that was in use by the IBL from 1920-1956. The London Majors were the last IBL team to win this championship trophy in 1956.
Thanks to historian Stephen Harding‘s local contacts, Sandy Wagter ~ a niece of Canadian Baseball Hall-of-Famer Frank Colman and daughter of Jack Colman, co-owners of the London Majors from 1956 to early 1960 ~ donated the historic trophy to the London Majors’ Alumni Association on April 3, 2019, hoping it can be put on public display at Labatt Park.
“The trophy was in my mother’s basement for years, then she passed away in 1990,” says Sandy Wagter, “so I took the trophy because I’ve always been interested in the history side of baseball at Labatt Park. I remember working in the small concession booth near the clubhouse when my father and uncle had the team. Later, I was a pitcher in one of the ladies’ city leagues.”
Alumni chairperson Barry Boughner, who loves discovering London Majors and IBL history, says “It’s incredible the trophy has resurfaced after 63 years. It’s called the ‘Ontario Cup’ but it’s the IBL Championship trophy sponsored by the Ontario Auto Spring & Supply Company in Guelph, Ontario.”
Since 1992, the IBL Championship Trophy has been the Jack and Lynne Dominico Trophy. Prior to that, from 1957 to 1991, it was known as the Carling Red Cap Cup.
Frank and Jack Colman’s London Majors won the Sr. IBL Championship in 1956, then competed in the Great Lakes-Niagara District Baseball League for one season in 1957 and won that championship as well before returning to the Sr. IBL in 1958. Why the trophy remained in London after 1956 and why London left the IBL for a season in 1957, remain mysteries.
Guelph won the IBL Championship as the Guelph Partridge Rubber Company in 1919 ~ the IBL’s first year of operation ~ with Guelph repeating as champions in 1920 as the Guelph Spring and Axle Company and again in 1921 as the Guelph Maple Leafs.
The London Braves won the IBL Championship in 1925 (London’s first year in the IBL), the London Winery won the IBL Championship in 1936, the London Silverwoods won the title in 1937, the London Army won it in 1943 and the London Majors won the cup in 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1951 and 1956. All championship teams are documented on the 1920-1956 IBL Trophy.