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McDonald Jim

Jim McDonald
Sport: Softball
Year Inducted: 2004

The Our Citizens of Tomorrow (OCOT) organization produced a wealth of talented athletes.

One of them was Jim McDonald who honed his immense baseball and softball skills on the diamonds at the Athletic Grounds and King George Park.

In the winter, Jim did what so many of his sandlot peers did, he played hockey in the Cornwall City Junior Hockey League, the league which gave birth to the three-time Memorial Cup Champion Royals. Playing with the Furys in the 1959-60 season, Jim was named Rookie of the Year while winning the league scoring title.

But, it was on the softball and baseball diamonds where Jim excelled.

He became a key member of what was arguably the best junior softball team ever fielded in Eastern Ontario – the New York CafĂ© Aces.

The incredible Aces excelled in softball despite the fact that most members of the team spent the season playing baseball.

In 1958 the Aces, with Jim playing second base and supplying key hits at the plate, put together a Cinderella season by winning the Ontario Juvenile Softball Championship.

Of Jim’s infield ability, Standard-Freeholder sports editor Frank Orr said, “At second base will be Jim McDonald who is looked upon as the brains of the infield.”

At the time, like several of his junior Aces teammates, Jim was playing against some of the area’s top senior players in the North End Fastball League.

He was right at home in the senior circuit, and batting in the top 10.

In baseball, the Aces won the City Junior League Championship with Jim winning the league batting title with a lofty .486 average.

He started his North End Fastball League career with Howard Smith Paper Mill, and helped the Papermen to three consecutive NEFL Championships beginning in 1961.

When age caught up with him, Jim switched to the slow pitch circuit, playing until mononucleosis put him on the sidelines at age 55.