To play a game successfully and capture a major championship is the goal of many athletes. Don Batten achieved this goal while playing hockey, a pastime that lasted for a couple of decades.
Batten played with some of the best juniors of the 1940’s. He wore the colours of the Oshawa Generals, one of the best known junior clubs in the nation, for three years. In his years with the Generals, Batten played alongside such future greats as Gus Mortson, “Wild” Bill Ezinicki, Floyd Curry, Ken Smith, Ted Lindsay and Fr. Dave Bauer, coach of several national clubs.
In the early spring of 1944, the Generals tangled with the junior Trail Smoke Eaters in Maple Leaf Gardens and easily won the Memorial Cup. Don Batten scored the two fastest goals in cup play.
Immediately following the victory, Don joined the armed forces and by June was overseas, one of many young men who made such a sacrifice for “King and country”. Upon returning to Oshawa in 1946, Don married Thelma Howie. At the same time he received his unconditional release from Omaha, the Detroit Red Wings affiliate. He had been on the Wings list and joined workouts with future star Gordie Howe.
It was the association with Kelly DeGray, John Denneny and Ed LeBlanc that brought Batten to Cornwall. For a couple of decades, he patrolled the blue line for the most part, a heads up skater with an eye for the open man and a fine pass.
There were many senior teams in the 50s and 60s, the last popular era for this class: the Chevies, Colts, Cougars, Calumets, and Pontiacs who joined either the Quebec or the Eastern Ontario League. Batten played an important role for these clubs with contemporaries Bob Bingley, Bernie Limoges, Joe Lepine, Gord Buckley, and Gerry Plamondon to name but a few.