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Max Swanston

Max Swanston was born in Peterborough in 1894. In 1915, Coach Dan McCabe gave Max an opportunity to catch him in a game against the Ottawa Senators in the old Canadian (semi-pro) Baseball League. Impressed with his ability, the Senators invited Max to play for them in an exhibition game against the touring Cuban Giants. His capable handling of the hard throwing Herb Shocker prompted the pros to offer him a spot on the team for the next season. But the First World War broke out and Max enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps. After the war, Max played for Peterborough in the newly formed Central Ontario Baseball League winning the Eastern Ontario Baseball Championship in 1920 and 1927.

An agile catcher with a bullet arm, Max Swanston possessed one of the league’s best fielding averages (consistently over .900) and was an outstanding hitter with a 300 plus batting average for most of his career. In 1927 Max hit safely in every league game and only failed to score in one game. He played in the COBL from 1919 to 1929.

After retirement in 1929, Max was the team manager, the league President and in 1935 became an Executive Member of the Ontario Baseball Amateur Association. Max served eight years as a City Alderman and became the 36th Mayor of the City of Peterborough in 1949. During his term of office the Civic Arena and the new City Hall were built and the authentic ‘Coat of Arms’ was granted to the City of Peterborough. Max Swanston died in 1977.

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