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Golden Gloves

Semi-pro Football

Bay County Sports History

Most everyone has at least a little competitive nature in them, those that have and want to fulfill this desire usually end up playing sports. So it is with people in Bay County, and in particular, Bay City, which has an early history of fielding semi-pro baseball teams dating back to the 1890s. During the 1940-50s Bay City had several semi-pro football teams. A fair number of these players; like Clarkson,Kyler, Hewitt, Kanicki and others, made their way to the major leagues. Typically these teams played leagues from Michigan, Ohio and Ontario.

Boxing was perhaps the earliest form of sports in this area with Saginaw having the first events for amateurs wanting to give semi-pro boxing a try. George Lavigne, a 16 year old youngster from West Bay City, was one of them. He began boxing there in 1886, racking up one victory after another. He made into the pro-boxing circuit where he ultimately became the World Lightweight Champion.

There's no gap between the past and present sports, athletes from our area continue demonstrate the grit and perseverance that allows them to excel against the best competition.

Our hope is that this Pictorial will inspire you to go through your old photo albums and to find some of this sports history to fill in some of gaps in our current Pictorial.

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