“We’re at Lincoln Park in Enosburg Falls with Steve Perkins, executive director of the Vermont Historical Society,” Mike Hoey said. “Steve, someone widely known for playing in parks very different from this one brings us here this week.”

“Certainly, Mike, yes — one of Vermont’s best-known and most successful baseball players, Larry Gardner, was born right here in Enosburg Falls,” Perkins said. “We’re going to go head down and meet with Tom Simon, who wrote the book ‘Green Mountain Boys of Summer’, to tell us about Larry’s extensive Major League Baseball career.”

“He grew up in Enosburg Falls at a time when that village was at its peak of prosperity,” Simon observed. “There was money in the town because of the (Kendall’s Spavin Cure) liniment factory. He happened to be playing in the Franklin County League during the summer after his senior year in high school — and that league only existed for a few years, but he happened to be there right at the right time to be spotted by all these UVM players.

“Then, they recruit him to come to UVM, and he arrives. His freshman year (in 1906) is the very beginning of Centennial Field; he turns out (to be) the very first batter in UVM history at Centennial Field. And then, he happens to be in Burlington that summer in the very last season of the Northern League. He was playing in a very high-calibre league against former major leaguers and future major leaguers.

“Then, of course, he ends up with the Boston Red Sox and is there for the first game in Fenway Park (in 1912). He also got to play for them in three different World Series (in 1912, 1915 and 1916), all of which they won. He spends one year in Philadelphia, which was a rough season, but then he ends up in Cleveland with his old (Red Sox) buddies Tris Speaker and Smoky Joe Wood. (In 1920,) they end up in the World Series and win.

“When you look at the other third basemen in the American League during the time he played, there’s really only one that comes close and that’s Frank Baker, better known as ‘Home Run’ Baker, who is of course in the Hall of Fame. Larry Gardner is not in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but he is in the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.”

“He made his way back to UVM for quite a long time, too,” Hoey said.

“Yes, he became the baseball coach for a couple of seasons,” Simon continued. “And then there was an opening as the athletic director, and he moved up and became the athletic director. There are lots of places in Burlington that have Larry Gardner connections.”

“If people might wish to expand their own Larry Gardner connections — obviously, Tom, your book ‘Green Mountain Boys of Summer’ is a great resource for people to turn to,” Hoey noted. “What might some others be that people could seek out?”

“The one that immediately jumps to my mind is ‘The Glory of Their Times’,” Simon answered. “Larry Ritter, back in the 1960s, went around collecting the stories from all of these players in Larry Gardner’s era. Another book that I highly recommend is called ‘The Pitch That Killed’ (by Mike Sowell). Larry Gardner was there! And that book is my favorite book ever written on any subject; it’s so beautifully done.”