John “Butch” Backshis

The standard of excellence, according to many baseball experts, is a player who has mastered the combined ability to hit, field and run the bases. They may have had John Backshis in mind when they created these standards. At 6′ 1″, 195 lbs. and a batting average of over 500, John Backshis was one of the top long ball hitters of the 40s and 50s. His defensive skills at first and third bases complimented his impressive offensive skills. His determination to take that extra base constantly tested the quickness and accuracy of opposing outfielders. Playing with the Masked Marvels, the Golemski’s and the Starlite Club, he was highly recruited by some of the top clubs of those eras. He played on the Lazy Nines, one of the best teams of their time.

From 1950 to 1960 he played with the Cottage Inn, winning various championships and tournaments at Gill Stadium on the Southeast side. John and his wife, Emma, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in January of 2001. John passed away on December 18, 2010.