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Carl Saunders


Date and Place of Birth: March 18, 1896, Leonardsville, NY
Date and Place of Death:    February 24, 1919 Vals-les-Baines, Ardeche, France
Baseball Experience: College
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Corporal
Military Unit: 310th Infantry Regiment, 78th Division AEF
Area Served: France

Carl C. “Birdie” Saunders, son of Ocran and Cora Saunders, was born on March 18, 1896, in Leonardsville, New York. He pitched for the Leonardsville team in 1914 and 1915, before entering Colgate University at Hamilton, New York in September 1915.

Saunders made the Colgate varsity pitching staff his sophomore year and John S. Wheeler made the announcement with style in the Brookfield Courier on April 19, 1916:

“During his freshman year at Colgate, Carl C. Saunders has been a diligent student of athletics in addition to his regular work in college. ‘Birdie’ has made no secret of his ambition to become
a member of the ball team supported by the University, and has achieved the honor, to the great delight of all his friends at home, who have all along been confident that he had the requisite ability
to "make" the team, and win the laurels of a baseball star of brightest ray. His faith and theirs has been well founded, for last week before the Easter recess it was learned that Carl had earned the
right to wear a maroon uniform this season, and that the firm belief of the home fans that as a pitcher he could produce the goods had been confirmed by the watchful college coach, who had given him the place he long had sought with all the ardor of his youthful spirit.”

Saunders, a pitcher, made his first mound appearance in May 1916, against Franklin & Marshall College, beating them 10-9 while striking out 10.

In September 1917, Saunders was one of 15 men who left Madison County for military service. A musician, he trained at Camp Dix, New Jersey, and went overseas as a band corporal with the 310th Infantry Regiment, 78th Division.

Corporal Saunders served at Meuse-Argonne and St. Mihiel. He died on February 24, 1919 from spinal meningitis in Vals-les-Baines, Ardeche, France. He is buried at the Leonardsville Cemetery in Leonardsville, New York.

Brookfield Courier, Sept 16, 1914, Sept 15, 1915, April 19, 1916, May 17, 1916
Madison County Leader and Observer, Sept 6, 1917
Madison County Times, April 4, 1919

Date Added June 10, 2012 Updated July 23, 2013


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