A talented athlete, Russ was a sport standout over a 20-year span in Peterborough. Born at Owen Sound, he moved to this city in 1929, primarily to play baseball.
That year, he pitched the Junior Petes to an Ontario Junior Championship and for the next 10 seasons he was a premier pitcher in the Central Ontario Baseball League (COBL). The big right-hander typically had a 10-2 or better won-loss pitching average annually and was regarded by many as the best pitcher of his time in Peterborough history.
Russ was a skilled volleyball and basketball player and was a member of basketball teams that competed in Ontario playoffs in 1932, 1933 and 1934. The city YMCA team on which he played in the mid-1940′s won the Ontario Senior Volleyball crown.
His athletic talents extended to badminton and golf; Russ played in the ‘bird’ game at the Armouries and the ‘ball’ game at both the Peterborough and Kawartha Golf Clubs. He also helped establish and coached Westclox Women’s Teams in basketball and softball.