Walter (Walt) McDonald
Year Inducted: 1982
Walter “Walt” McDonald could have been seriously considered for induction in other categories – hockey, lacrosse or softball, but his start was made in baseball. Baseball was his first love, becoming a star centre fielder, and a dangerous long-ball hitter. He also enjoyed a great deal of success in coaching Championship teams.
In 1938, he started playing in the OCOT program. It was his natural ability, desire and determination to excel that made him the outstanding player he became. His talents in the sport were recognized when Cardinal, a real hotbed in baseball for many years, signed him as their centre fielder in the strong St. Lawrence Valley League that included Canadian and American teams.
For several years, he played with the Cornwall Seniors in the Northern New York League, and later became Manager and Coach of the team.
The highlight of his baseball career was as coach of the Canadian Legion Junior team he lead to the finals one year and the next year to the All-Ontario Championship.
Walt had a great deal to do with developing many Hall of Fame members such as: Bill Sloan, Dalt Wells, Cliff Gallinger, D. Rowe, and Lutt Bergeron Jr. They all feel they became better athletes under his leadership because he was a strict, no-nonsense coach and a stickler on basic fundamentals.
Walt’s speed, strong arm, and powerful bat made him an All-Star in softball in the North End League in the late 40’s with Canadian Legion and then, with Howard Smith’s Eastern Ontario Championship team of 1951.
In hockey, Walt started out as a defenceman with Cornwall Junior Flyers in 1941. He was captain of Ray Miron’s Cornwall Falcons that reached the Allan Cup Quarter Finals in 1946-47. The following year, he went to Scotland and played with the Dundee Tigers in the All-Canadian player Scottish League. Walt went back the next year as coach of Dundee, and was picked to coach the Scottish All-Stars, winning against the highly favoured English League.
He played senior lacrosse for many years in Cornwall; and also took up coaching, leading a Cornwall junior team to local, district, and Quebec Championships.
Walt was one of the original group which organized the Jacques Richard Memorial Sports Awards Night. Later it was taken over by the Lions Club. In 1978, he was picked as the winner of the trophy as Top Sports Personality in Cornwall.