Baseball here was "the sports" of the 1920s and 1930s and was unmatched anywhere in the country. Lutcher, Union, Norco, Mex-Pet, Pan-Am, Vacherie, Jefferson College, Reserve, Donaldsonville and others fielded teams and the competition among them was fierce.
There was possibly no greater rivalry than that between Gramercy, sponsored by Colonial Sugars and managed by Sam J. Dicharry, and Lutcher, sponsored by Lutcher and Moore and managed by G. C. Boucvalt. Mr. Boucvalt was famous for yelling to his players "Take two, Bud, and bunt the third."
The gate receipts for those games, with tickets selling for 10 cents, 25 cents, and 35 cents sometimes, ran as high as $1500.00!
Most families of that era did not own automobiles, so from noon to game time on Sundays, the levee, streets, highways and the railroad tracks resembled pedestrian parade routes. All roads led to the stadiums. In Gramercy, the park was located in the area where the huge raw sugar warehouse is now located. In Lutcher, the stadium was located across the track from the Lutcher Wholesale, on the Mears property. An apartment building is now located in that area.
Tom Foret, Jr. Was regarded as the very best first baseman to ever play the game here. He was a classic first baseman, left handed, he also batted left handed. He was a solid hitter and a superb fielder. He turned down an offer to sign a contract with the Detroit Tigers, choosing to stay in Lutcher. There is no doubt that he was in a class by himself at a time when there were many outstanding players. Among the starters of that era one finds: "Soup" Ganier, a terrific pitcher, "Bebe" Gaudet, Nick Sardegna, Dennis Hymel, "Black" Porta, "Preacher" Boudreaux, Tom Pollet, "Lefty" Dupuy, Father Tracy Clarence Field, and last, but far from least, C.T. Boudreaux, who was also regarded as one of the greatest.
Most of these people could have played in organized professional baseball. Most found security in local industries rather than going into professional ball. Clarence Fields did play in the majors for a while. Industries offered jobs to the good ball players and most chose to stay here rather than try to fight their way through the minor leagues to the majors.
Who was the greatest of them all? We once asked the late Carroll "Toot" Ganier that question. We asked him who was the greatest he ever saw, meaning the major leagues. We knew "he had seen them all "and was an authority on baseball. Without hesitation, he said "Tommie Pollet." " Tommie Pollet was the greatest baseball player I ever saw, including the best of the major leagues. Tommie Pollet was a catcher with a rifle arm. He could throw a bullet to second base while squatting behind the plate. There has never been anyone better."
Quite a testimony from a man who saw a lot of great players, and a tribute to a Lutcher native who played here.
by Leonce Haydel from Stories From the River Road
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