Leo MacDonald  (1913-1994)

Born in Springhill in 1913 to John Rory and Christine MacDonald, young Leo grew up during the heyday of baseball.  Like so many other boys his age, he was eager to try his hand at the sport. He began his baseball career playing first baseman on the intermediate team, "The Colts." It was not long before Leo's skills gained recognition. In 1933, he became first baseman with Springhill's famed Fencebusters.  That same year  Leo,  otherwise known as "Sailor," continued to receive accolades when he was chosen to play first base as a member of the All Star Nova Scotia team. Sports writers would refer to Leo and the Fencebusters  infield as the " Million Dollar Infield " and" the finest diamond talent in the province."  In later years  he would be named to the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame. 

At the age of 16 Leo began work in the number 6 mine, a job that he would continue to do for the next 7 years.  A newspaper clipping announced the marriage of the star first baseman to Miss Anna Mae Terris in 1936. Together, he and Anna Mae would raise their four children; Sam, Rod, Virginia and Elizabeth in Springhill. 

In 1938 a career change saw Leo joining the Springhill Police Force however his love of baseball followed with him and that led to the creation of a local police baseball team. This team helped to raise donations for a variety of local charities. Of the 46 years Leo served with the Springhill Police Force, 32 years were as the Chief of the department. Leo is recognized as the longest serving Chief of Police in Canada, a record that no doubt will remain unchallenged. Leo along with his son and grandson, Sam and Paul, share a combined family record of over 118 years of policing service with the Town of Springhill. 

Several other honours which Leo received include: a founding member of the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association, an honourable member of the Nova Scotia and Atlantic Chiefs of Police Association, and an honourable recognition in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Training Centre in Regina for special services rendered to this force. Leo's outstanding achievements in baseball and policing are highlights in Springhill's history.

Leo H. MacDonald passed away July 27, 1994.


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