Student wears great-grandfather’s old uniform for Homecoming

It was Homecoming last week. But integrated in the week-long school festivities was a bit of family nostalgia for the DaFoes in Hettinger.

Mason DeFoe wore his great-grandfather’s baseball uniform from the 1930s during homecoming week. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)
Mason DeFoe wore his great-grandfather’s baseball uniform from the 1930s during homecoming week.
(Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor
cbenz@countrymedia.net

It was Homecoming last week. But integrated in the week-long school festivities was a bit of family nostalgia for the DaFoes in Hettinger.

On Thursday, Sept. 8, the dress-up theme was ‘Throwback Thursday’ and each class was given an era to tailor their outfits around. The freshmen were given the 30s, and Mason DeFoe’s family—DeFoe is a freshman at Hettinger High School—knew exactly how to get him aligned with the theme, with the help of a late relative. Mason’s late great-grandfather Clyde Edward ‘Eddy’ DeFoe played city-league baseball in the 1930s after he graduated high school, and his uniform was still in the possession of the family.

“When they got 30s, my husband knew they [Chuck and Jan DeFoe—Mason’s grandparents] had the baseball uniform still,” Mason’s mother, Heidi DeFoe said.

Eddy DeFoe spent his life in Dickinson since he was born in 1907, and after high school he was looking to continue his baseball career. A friend recruited him to play for the Dickinson city league team. It worked out nice because Eddy was a catcher, and his friend (identified only by his last name on a baseball signature, Schaaf) was a pitcher. Jan DeFoe said they still have Eddy’s catcher’s mitt.

“After high school they played these city league games just to keep playing,” Jan DeFoe said.

The uniform had been in storage since Eddy stopped playing, and Jan and Chuck took possession of it around 1982 when Eddy passed away.

“He had it in his possession [since] the years he played,” Jan DeFoe said.

The uniform label indicates it was made by Spalding, a company that still operates today. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)
The uniform label indicates it was made by Spalding, a company that still operates today. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)

She said that Eddy was very meticulous about his possessions and that the uniform was in very good condition. The material appears to be wool and cotton, she said.

The uniform fit Mason very well, Heidi DeFoe said.

“It wasn’t that big,” Heidi said. “It didn’t fit too bad…it wasn’t overly huge on him.”

Heidi said Mason used his own baseball belt, and just cinched it up and said that worked well for him.

The uniform came with a hat, but she said that it didn’t really fit Mason, so he wore a different cap.

Mason’s grandparents were excited to see him wear the old-time uniform, and Jan said that “nostalgic is there right word,” to describe the feeling they got witnessing the uniform come back to life from their grandson.







GAMES