Charles (Chuck) Kearns was an exciting athlete with a go-for-broke style, a real fan favourite in football and baseball. His death by drowning in Rice Lake at the age of 28 shocked the city and abruptly ended an outstanding sports career.
Born in Toronto, Kearns was a standout in football and track. He was a member of the Argonaut Junior Football Team which won the Canadian Championship in 1934. Chuck came to Peterborough in 1935 to play baseball for the Petes. Batting leadoff and playing right field, the personable redhead quickly became known for his hitting, fielding and fighting spirit.
Kearns played six years in the COBL, leading the league in runs scored and stolen bases on two occasions. He was always among the hitting leaders and batted .375 in 1938 when Petes advanced to Ontario finals before losing to Strathroy. In his final season, 1940, Chuck batted .380. He also starred for four years as a flying wing with Peterborough Orfuns. A memorial trophy in his name is awarded to the city’s top athlete.