Ed Flynn and ‘Doc’ Bartlett were such good friends that folks always said they were “just like brothers”. They ran a sporting goods store in the building where the Amenia Post Office is now, selling balls, bats and baseball gloves. Ed Flynn was an outstanding pitcher.
William E. Bartlett, Jr. (“Doc”) - The Early Years
By Arlene Iuliano
Thinking about baseball and the town of Amenia, one of the first names that comes to mind is that of “Doc” Bartlett. He was one of the best representatives of and for the game in the town for well over 60 years during the 20th century.
In 1985 the Wm. “Doc” Bartlett Field at Beekman Park was dedicated to a man who, by that time, had devoted over fifty years to Town of Amenia baseball, had held every office in the Interstate and Tri-State Leagues, had started the Amenia Little League, and was keeping score for the Amenia Monarchs and the varsity boys Webutuck Central School games. He’s been called” Mr., Baseball”. Sounds good.
There is much to tell about this good man who was a player, manager, scorekeeper, coach, fan and reporter of the sport during these years. This is about his being a player.
As a Player…
He was known as “Junior” Bartlett in the first half of the 1900’s, and he followed in the baseball “shoes” of his father Edgar who played for the Amenia Baseball Team in the late 1800’s into the 1920’s. Junior was born in 1908, attended Amenia schools, and lived and worked in the area all of his life. He was an outstanding basketball and baseball player in high school, and continued to play baseball with the town’s team after his graduation in 1926. He was a first baseman, a left-hand hitter who consistently hit over .300 and was later inducted into the Dutchess County Hall of Fame for his days as a player. In 1976 a Connecticut sportswriter made selections for an All-Time, All Amenia Team. naming Junior Bartlett as the 1st baseman. “Junie was some kind of ball player, a great clutch man”, the writer noted.
From the late 1920’s until 1934 the Amenia Town Team played in Dutchess County’s Harlem Valley League. Local reporting on games in the 1930’s varied from a general article to those that included detailed lineups. Junior Bartlett, however, was always Amenia’s first baseman. He seldom went hitless, and could be counted on to be a consistent and competitive player. Besides playing, he helped manage the team along with his father.
In 1934 Junior helped found the Interstate League which originally included teams from Connecticut and Massachusetts. With the advent of World War II the games continued, often using Amenia High School players to augment the lineup. In a HVT interview in 1988 Bartlett said that all the teams traveled to games in a pickup truck in the early 1940’s to save gas. In 1942 he was inducted into the Army, serving 39 months in the Air Force. Upon discharge he resumed playing baseball for the town team, retiring as a player/player-manager in 1952. He was later nicknamed “Doc” because whenever there was a ballgame in the area, Doc Bartlett was there. “It’s my life” he was quoted as saying in a Journal article written in 1983 by Tom Moran.
As a young member in a family of avid fans, I can remember the fun days of the late 1930’s and early 1940’s when Sundays meant going to an Amenia Town Team ballgame. We would climb into the car after Sunday dinner and along with a lot of others enjoy a good game of baseball, wherever it was being played. And when there was no game, or the season had ended I remember Edgar Bartlett’s great clambakes when the family lived in Smithfield, and games were “replayed”. And of course there were always the gatherings at the Brookside Restaurant when players, family, friends and fans of any number got together and talked baseball, anytime.
For more information about local baseball check out Baseball in Dutchess County, a paperback by Joseph Pallucci – published in 2000.