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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

BOBBY PORTER

Inducted in 1969

Member Details

Date of Birth: December 3, 1913
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario
Date of Passing: March 14, 1995
Sport: Multisport
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1932-1948

Balmy Beach Football Team

1935

Ontario Softball Championship title - British Consols

OHA Intermediate Title - Toronto Royals

1936-1939

Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Team (International League)

1937-1940

Coach, St. Andrew's College football and hockey teams

1939-1940

Syracuse Chiefs Baseball Team

1940

Springfield Baseball Team

1940, 1945-46

ORFU Champions - Balmy Beach

Honoured Member BOBBY PORTER
Inspire

Story

Bobby Porter's athletic zest and talent led him to excel in not one, but six sports. Porter was a fearsome force on the baseball diamond, football field, softball diamond, lacrosse field, and hockey rink throughout the 1930s and '40s before he dominated lawn bowling in the 1950s and '60s. Porter played on numerous baseball championship teams and, if his career had not been interrupted by the Second World War, he might have become a major league star. He was with four championship teams from Greenwood Park, one at Ulster Stadium, and one at Earlscourt Park before turning pro with the East Texas League in 1936. Later that same season, he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League and played with them until 1939, moving on to Syracuse, then to Springfield. He was sold to Washington of the American League in 1941 but broke his shoulder and didn't report to spring training camp. In football, he played for Toronto Balmy Beach from 1932 through 1948, except for 1944 when he was with the Camp Borden Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) team. In softball, he played on an Ontario championship team in 1935, the British Consols of the Beaches League, and later starred with some of the great Toronto teams. As a lacrosse player, Porter played both the field and box games, and was a member of the juvenile team that went to the Ontario finals in 1931. In hockey, he played for the junior Marlboros as well as the Toronto Royals, the only city team to win an Ontario intermediate championship. Porter had the puck-handling skills to enter into the professional league, but he turned down offers from both the Montreal Maroons and the Toronto Maple Leafs. This talented all-around athlete also dabbled in coaching and officiating. He coached the St. Andrew's College football and hockey teams from 1937 to 1941, leading his young footballers to the league title in 1939. He later coached the Balmy Beach Football Club, and refereed ORFU and Intercollegiate football for ten years. In his later years, Porter further extended his vast sporting talents to include lawn bowling. He won the Oshawa Gold Cup for lawn bowling pairs with partner Tom Mead in 1958 and served as chairman of the Provincial Lawn Bowling Tournament from 1967 to 1968. In addition, he wrote a column on lawn bowling, which appeared in the Toronto Telegram for four years.


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