Dedicated July 4th 2020 . . . .

Delaware County Bicentennial Marker

Sunbury's Professional Baseball Players

Billy  Southworth 
and Corky Olinger

(Click Small Photos To Enlarge)

Located in the ballpark at the Big Walnut Conservation Club at 12211 Hartford Road east of Sunbury.

This marker honors Billy Southworth and Marilyn “Corky” Olinger who were both for residents of Sunbury and are in the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame.  

The marker was paid for by  the Delaware County Bicentennial Celebration.

It was dedicated July 4, 2020, during the coronavirus  Stay-Safe in Ohio. 
Guests were asked to voluntarily observe social distancing and wear masks.
Left to right:  Dan Shaw, Brent Carson. Warren Owen, Damon Bower,
Sue Heston, Roger Roberts, Red Edwards, George Justice, Ron Stemen,
Rick Helwig,  and Polly Horn
Brent Carson Chairman of Delaware City 200th,
Rick Helwig - Chairman of the Delaware County 200th
Sue Heston - Secretary of the Delaware 200th
Polly Horn - Communications for Delaware 200th



Marilyn June Olinger was born May 19, 1929 to Carl and Maud Olinger and sister Betty in Berkshire Township.  The family moved to Rainbow Avenue in Sunbury.  Carl drove a milk truck.  Following her parents divorce, Marilyn lived with her mother and went to Linden McKinley High School where she played intramural sports. Her father stayed in Sunbury and married Florence Brown and they became the parents of Shirley.

During World War II many professional baseball players were called to serve in the U.S. Military and many men’s teams were disbanded. This created a need for new professional baseball players and teams.  Thus began the recruitment for  the
All American Girls  Professional  Baseball
League was created in 1943.  Sunbury native Marilyn Corky’ Olinger joined League in 1948 and played in 599 games with the Chicago Colleens and the Grand Rapids Chicks.  The daughter of Carl and Maud Olinger had a batting average of .220 during her career.  After breaking an ankle, Corky left the league in 1953.  At its peak, the league had ten teams.  Each team had fifteen players, a manager, and a female chaperone.  With the end of World War II and the return of men’s baseball, the league’s popularity began to wane and it was disbanded in 1954. 

On July 4th 2006 Marilyn died in Columbus and was buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery.

In 1992, the All American Girls Professional Baseball League was the subject of a Penny Marshall movie, “A League of Their Own” and was honored with an exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY in 2006.


Billy Southworth was born on March 9, 1893 in Nebraska and grew up in Columbus playing baseball. He and his wife, Lydia Brooks had a son, Billy Brooks.  They were divorced in 1934. Lydia died in 1936 and is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Columbus.

In January 1935, Billy married Mabel, daughter of Charles and Emma Stemen of Sunbury, and in 1940, Southworths and daughter Carole settled on a farm along Big Walnut Creek in Trenton Township.  Their house was stone Billy brought up from the creek.

During his major league baseball career, Southworth posted a winning percentage of .597, fifth-best all-time.  For thirteen seasons, he was a major league manager with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Braves. He led the Cardinals to a pair of World Series champion-

ships in 1942 and 1944. His 1943 Cardinals also won the National League pennant.

His son, Billy, was the first major league baseball player to enlist in World War II. He became a Major in 1943 and flew a B-29 through 25 successful missions before an engine malfunction on the SuperFortress caused him to crash and loose his life in Flushing Bay, N.Y. in February 1945. Many think Billy was not the same after the loss of his daughter.

In 1946, Southworth joined the Boston Braves and captured another National League flag in 1948.

In 1951, Southworth retired to Sunbury where he was active in many local organizations.

On November 15, 1969, Billy Southworth died at the age of 76 and was buried in Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus.

On July 27, 2008, William H. “Billy” Southworth was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

"When I was a young girl Billy Southworth asked my sister and I to call him Uncle Billy because Mr. Southworth was to formal.  At the time he was putting us on his draft horse for a walk around the yard.  We weren't related so this was confusing.  Just call me Monkey Billy he said as he led horse.  That we did. At some point I heard his name was William Harrison like the president.  How neat to be named after a president.  While writing the text for the Marker, I researched all the facts but his name.  I was very embarrassed to learn his real name was William Harold Southworth.  I called Carole to apologize and she said her dad did not like his middle name and often said his name was William Harrison Southworth.  "He would be proud you gave his his favorite name,"  noted Carole.  So I apologize for the error on the Marker but it does not change the legacy of a great man.  Polly Horn.

Members of Sparrow Masonic Lodge 400 Set the Marker
 Dan Porath,  Eric Kletrovetz, John Fisher, Rick Helwig
on June 28, 2020

Dedication 1p.m. July 4, 2020




Delaware County's 200th Flags Cover Sign

Rick Helwig explains why this has taken 10 years

Billy's Nephew, Ron Stemen,
unwraps sign


Corky's sister, Shirley in car to
left of sign

George Justice tells of this being the High School Baseball Park complete with dugouts


Red Edwards shares his Billy Southworth Scrapbook

Shirley Olinger attends ceremony in her car following recent surgery

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