HARRY TRACY was born in Camden on February 4, 1908 to Freda and Bernard "Barney" Tracy. His father had come to Camden at an early age, and became active in politics as a young man. The Tracy family was living at 58 Boyd Street when the Census was taken in 1910. Sons Thomas and Harry had already arrived; a daughter, Roberta, would soon follow. The 1914 City Directory shows the family at 105 Marlton Avenue, and also reveals that Barney Tracy had taken a shot at running a retail variety store. This venture did not pan out and he was working at the Keystone Leather Company factory by the summer of 1918.
Barney Tracy was a life-long Democrat. During World War I he worked registering men in the Twelfth ward for the draft. He was living at 2001 Federal Street in September of 1918 when he himself registered, local businessman Charles A. Reynolds handling the formalities of that transaction. Barney Tracy was then working for the Keystone Leather Company at 1600 Mickle Street.
In the early 1920s he was a supporter of Victor King, and was instrumental in having Camden's form of government changed to commission in 1923. By the 1930s he had risen to the post of County Committeeman from the Twelfth Ward, which comprised East Camden. So popular and effective in getting services delivered to his area that Barney Tracy was known as "The Mayor of East Camden". He served three terms on Camden County's Board of Elections.
By 1924 the Tracy family had moved next door, to 2003 Federal Street in East Camden. Barney and Thomas Tracy were working at one of Camden's leather factories, Barney Tracy as a foreman, a position he still held in April of 1930. Around 1936 Barney Tracy was appointed to run the United States Marshal's office in Camden, and served in that capacity through at least 1938.
Thomas and red-haired Harry Tracy, also known as "Barney" were well known in Camden as athletes. Both played professional basketball in the Eastern League in the 1920s and in semipro leagues in the 1930s, and Harry "Barney" Tracy played professional baseball for a number of clubs, including the traveling House of David baseball club, sporting a long red beard.
On November 16, 1940 Harry Tracy was appointed to the Camden Police Department along with .Joseph Caputi Jr., Joseph Carroll, Roland Comerford, Julius Kaunacki, William Kelly, Frank Nelson, and Joseph A. Hooven Jr.
The 1947 Camden City Directory shows Harry J. Tracy living at 2003 Federal Street in East Camden. Harry Tracy was still living with his father, and serving as an officer in Camden's Police Department. Barney Tracy, appears to have moved to 130 North 24th Street sometime between the fall of 1956 and October of 1959, when New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory listed him at that address.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s the Tracy's next door neighbor at 2001 Federal was Samuel J. "Buddy" Leyman, who operated a sandwich shop from the address. Samuel Leyman would be drafted and killed in action while serving with the United States Army in Europe in December of 1944.
Harry Tracy was promoted to Detective at some point after January of 1949 and by December of 1957 had been again promoted, this time to Detective Sergeant. By June 1967 Harry Tracy had left the Camden Police Department.
Harry Tracy was still residing at 2003 Federal Street as late as 1980. He was still a Camden resident when he passed away in February of 1987.
Camden Courier-Post - January 23, 1928
WILL NOT ENTER NEW BASEBALL LEAGUE
“You may state definitely that Camden will not enter the proposed North-South Baseball League this year.”
That is Lou Schaub’s answer to the query as to just what he intended doing in the matter of accepting a franchise in a new Class B circuit in which Camden had been extended an invitation to join, together with Trenton, Jersey City, Allentown, Easton, Norfolk, and Richmond.
“I wired Judge William H. Bramham, one of the organism of the league, last night that Camden would not enter the circuit under any circumstances. The fact that Jersey City cannot be represented in the league is the reason for Camden not taking a franchise, yet there were several other angles, mostly financial, which did not appeal to the local club owners,” continued Schaub.
When the St. Louis Cardinals recently bought the Rochester Club; of the International League, and in turn transferred the Syracuse Club to Jersey City, that decided our stand in the matter. Without Jersey City in the league, the proposition doesn’t look good to us.
Jersey City Would have “Made League”
“The circuit which was proposed at the only meeting I attended was one that I thought should prove a success. The cities suggested and which were represented at that meeting included Trenton, Allentown, Jersey City, Easton, Camden, Norfolk and Richmond. Of course, the league organizers were in favor of * six-club circuit and as Easton, so far as I could understand, had no ball park, it was the thought that the other six clubs represented would form the circuit.
“Jersey City, represented by Dick Breen, was not free to enter the circuit at that time due to territorial rights owned by the International League, but it was thought that that matter could be adjusted without any undue difficulty, the club having been out of that circuit for the past two years. Breen was one of the most enthusiastic prospective club owners present and inferred that he would have little trouble in interesting enough capital to purchase a franchise providing the International League would void its territorial rights to Jersey City.
Would Have Cost $10,000 to Enter Circuit
“We fully intended to enter the circuit if Jersey City, Trenton, Allentown, Richmond and Norfolk comprised the circuit even though it would cost us in the neighborhood of $10,000 to even open the park for league ball. However, the failure to secure Jersey City, doesn’t warrant our spending any considerable sum of money despite the fact that the organizers notified me to the effect that they were willing to cut down the good faith guarantee from $3,000 to $2,000, and the time limit from five years to one year as was originally proposed at the meeting I attended.
“In fact, only making the clubs post a thousand dollars for one year was worse than the original plan. Suppose we went to the expense of improving Public Service Park, upon which we hold a three-year lease, which is far from iron clad, as it states that the company has the right to use it at the close of any baseball season for whatever purposes they desire, and that Public Service decided to use the park at the close of the present year, or that the league ‘blew’ in mid-year. We’d be out of luck, and how.
“Our good faith guarantee of $2,000 would be returned to us in event the league ‘blew,’ but that would be just a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money that would have to be expended in refitting the park and obtaining ball players. And I don’t like the looks of the circuit without Jersey City in it.
Would Have Taken Chance With Jersey City
“Then again, if the Public Service Corporation decided to utilize the park for any purpose after this year we’d be in a worse jam even though the league went through. But, we would have taken both chances if Jersey City had been included in the league as we felt that it was one of the clubs which would have given the league a sound footing and which would have been a main factor in making it a success.
“Of course, that is mere supposition on our part, but the position we are in now hardly call, for the club owners to invest dose to $10,000 in getting a franchise in a new league.
Will Run Same Sort of Club This Year as Last Year
“Besides the expense of improving the local park, we would have been forced to spend considerable money to obtain players. Although some players might be awarded Camden from the Virginia League Club whose franchise we would have been granted, there was little likelihood of there being any worthwhile material go with the franchise. Therefore, in order to compete with the other clubs we would have been compelled to either buy or at least give a signing bonus to players who would have been useful to the club.
“No, it isn’t worth the chance and you may inform the public that we’re not going in the league. If Jersey City had been included in the league, we were ready to invest the money, but the circuit as it now stands, often no inducements for us to join, but you can also inform the fans that we will be in the field with another good independent club this year,” were Schaub’s parting words.
“Barney” Tracy on Way Home
Here’s more baseball news which will interest quite a number of local fans. Received a letter from Harry “Barney” Tracy, who has been playing winter baseball with Tony Pasquerella’s Crisfield Club in Porto Rico for the past two months. The “redhead” writes that he will be home almost any day now as he arid the other members of the club sailed for South America on January 16.
“Barney” informs us he has seen all there is to see of Porto Rico and then some. The club played from one end of the island to the other and if they missed a town it was because that town didn’t have a ball orchard. They played most of their exhibition games opposed to the Ponce Club, which included San, of the Cuban Stars, and Daviu, former1y of Allentown, but who is now the property of the Binghamton Club, of the New York-Penn League.
San Made Great Record Here
San, incidentally, is the flinger who established one of the greatest strikeout feats ever witnessed here when he fanned three Camden batsmen on nine pitched balls in a game played between the Cuban Stars and Lou Schaub’s club last summer. Every one of the strikes was a legal affair. All three batsmen swung at every pitch and the fact that not a one was fouled made the feat one of the most remarkable ever turned in on a local lot.
However, that’s that, and we’ll go back to Tracy. He states that Pasquerella sailed for home in advance of the other members of the club, and that Tony Luciano’s brother was killed in an auto accident December 26. Whether or not Luciano was a member of the club “Barney” doesn’t state, but evidently he was, although he was not listed among the players who were to form the starting party.
He closed his letter with a request that his regards be extended to all his friends, so we’re using this method to inform them that he’s okeh and hopes everyone else is the same.
September 7, 1949
Unruh - Walt Carley - Jake
Weiner - Stanley Bobiak - William
Deery - Russ Maurer
Charles Hance - Everett Joslin - Cecil Picou - Thomas Carr - William Moll - Sid Nelson
Harry J. "Barney" Tracey - William Kelly Sr. - Marshall Thompson
Vince Conley - Leonard Andruzza - William Rogers - John Ferry
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