Dedicated July 4th 2020 . . . .

Delaware County Bicentennial Marker

honors
Sunbury's Baseball Players

Billy Southworth and Corky Olinger
 

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.

 

MARILYN “CORKY” OLINGER

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.  To meet this need, 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.
 

WILLIAM H. SOUTHWORTH

Billy Southworth was born on March 9, 1893 in Nebraska and grew up in Columbus playing baseball. He and his wife, Lydia had a son also called Billy.

Following a divorce, he married Mabel Stemen of Sunbury and in 1940, Southworths and daughter Carole settled on a farm along Big Walnut Creek in Trenton Township.

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.
 

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

           
Goto Manager Southworth
Goto Major Southworth
Return to
Local History Index
 

(06/28/2020)