Defiance Athletic Club, 1923

An Ode To Defiance A-C

Dedicated to: John M. "Pop" Swartz
Composed by: Russ Swartz
Edited by Dutch Swartz

In the year preceding Twenty One,
Some kids set out to have some fun
They chose up sides for a baseball game,
Thinking not of later fame.

All teenage lads from the neighborhood,
Playing together for common good:
Armstrong, Bearint, Davidson, Cook,
A few old names from the memory book.

Dooley, Ettman, Gladding and Hayes,
More of the boys from those early days;
Doran, Law, Lex, O'Hara,
Kids with the spunk of an English sparrow.

Koerner, Oatman, Snyder, Schlecter,
From railroad to river they'd all pull together;
Madera, Purcell, Sugars, Rubright,
A few more memory brings to light.

The Gehrets', the Swartzs', some forgotten by name,
All earned part in their small Hall of Fame; 
These were the boys from Thirty Sixth to State;
How soon, to learn of their personal fate.

And so those kids from Cramer Hill,
With the help of their dads and Big Buck Till, 
Whipped up a team so all could see, 
And soon became known as Defiance A-C

The name soon spread thru the Sporting News,
They, one and all, deserved their dues;
And team by team, accepting the bids,
Soon felt the sting of those amazing kids.

Up and down the pikes, they booked them all,
Lindenwold, Riverside, Mt. Holly and Sewell,
Ocean City, Ocean Gate, Riverton, Berlin,
Each with their pride was out to win.

The classy Twelfth Ward from across the tracks,
Pendale, East Side, all faced the facts;
Cooper Point, Public Service, Merchantville Giants,
Among the victims of the Mighty Defiance.

Across the river they booked them too,
Amity, Southwark, Harrowgate, a few;
Nashville Giants, Phila. Firemen and Essex AA,
Some more of the teams the kids were to play.

They didn't win 'em all, as records will show,
But by Nineteen Twenty Three, then semi pro, 
The A. J. Reach Official Baseball Guide 
Shows 32 wins, 8 losses and 3 games tied.

At the end of the season and playoff time,
Championship of East Camden was on the line;
They beat 12th Ward at the end of the fray 
And East End Tigers went down the same way.

Now just a line of personal gain,
Though they all deserve the fame;
Some are gone and some still here, 
They all deserve a resounding cheer

Fiery Bricky Lex behind the plate 
Could whip the team right into shape;
From one to nine he set the pace 
That helped the boys win the race.

A little trick he used to enjoy 
A runner off second he was about to destroy;
Hand across chest he'd draw with a smile,
Pitcher to second, out by a mile.

Iron Arm Swartz in the pitcher's spot,
His dazzling speed they could not stop;
And once on base, as though to tease,
From first to home he could steal with ease

Husky "El" Bearint, the smooth southpaw,
Could pitch with the best and bat without flaw;
They always felt safe with "El" on the mound,
His strong, steady style was known all around.

Smooth Pud Swartz on second base 
Was a thrill to behold in his dazzling pace;
At short stop, too, he amazed the crowd,
Of his hitting record he should be proud.

Speedy Chick Doran played the outfield;
Many's the hit that had to yield;
He covered the field at lightning pace 
And could snare a fly ball from outer space.

Time takes a toll, their ranks thinning fast,
No one knows who’ll hold out to the last;
So Adieu to the lads of Twenty Three,
May we always remember Defiance A-C.

Defiance Athletic Club, 1920

Go to Baseball, Camden, and the Swartz Boys.
Go to Swartz/Roller Poetry.

BJ Swartz
Updated 29 July 2001