Inducted in 2005
A native of Toronto, Canada Frank Randall was born in 1887, came to Syracuse as a young man in 1906 and remained here the rest of his life. A devoted sports fan, he participated in baseball, basketball, rugby and of course, hockey. Two years after he arrived here, he married and settled down on the northeast side of Syracuse with his wife Emma, their son Norman and daughter Helen.
The times were ripe for a person of Frank Randall’s talents. He was a master organizer, and instrumental in founding and directing many industrial leagues and teams. In that era, Syracuse was a working man’s town. Those factory teams provided our blue-collar forefathers the only entertainment they had, and the early city parks provided a venue for their families to meet, play and compete.
Details of Frank Randall’s career were carefully documented in an artistic and beautifully handwritten journal he kept for the most of his life. The pages of the diary outlined his efforts to bring ice hockey to Syracuse parks, his meeting the great baseball pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander, his role as manager of the Moose Lodge and other industrial league sports teams, the effects of the World War I on sports in our community, and the incredible record of the Brown-Lipe-Chapin baseball team which he managed.
Randall’s journal tells how lunch-hour softball games played by teams from various departments of the Brown-Lipe-Chapin factory were initiated to combat on-the-job gambling, which was running rampant throughout the company. Randall recalls that the most interest was generated by the games played by “The Old Men”, a team averaging over 60 years of age. These old boys first challenged the factory fat men and snowed them under and then boldly offered to take on the office executive, a much younger generation.
In 1938, Frank took a job in the Syracuse City Parks Department and developed numerous programs for youngsters. One of his accomplishments was the creation of Schiller Park Baseball League, which later branched out into a city-wide league, forerunner of Little League Baseball. Randall had the ability to get dozens of individual community leaders and several organizations to help baseball grow here in the city. His journal cites the Syracuse Chiefs, the Syracuse Parks Department, the Syracuse Newspapers, the Kiwanis and Mason Clubs group were just a few supporters.
Franks Randall is our Old-Timer’s Committee’s selection for induction into the Class of 2005. Frank passed on in 1970 at the age of 83. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.