A native of Toronto, Canada, Frank Randall 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 hockey. Two years after he arrived in Syracuse, he married and settled down on the northeast side of Syracuse.
Randall’s talents as a master organizer were ideal for the times. He was instrumental in founding and directing many industrial leagues and factory teams which provided blue-collar workers their only form of entertainment. The early city parks provided a venue for their families to meet, play and compete.
Details of Randall’s career were carefully documented in an artistic and beautifully handwritten journal he kept for 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 talked about 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, considered the forerunner of Little League Baseball. Randall was able to get dozens of individual community leaders and several organizations to help baseball grow in Syracuse. Frank passed away in 1970.
1938: Worked for the Syracuse City Parks Department and developed numerous programs for youngsters