Jimmy Hogan founded Club 240, one of Windsor’s finest youth sports organizations, in 1965. A tireless fundraiser, he remained actively involved in local youth sport in several capacities until his death.
Hogan was born in Lucan, Ontario, northwest of London, on February 5, 1917. He passed away on the last day of 1985.
Hogan came to Windsor with his family in 1922. He attended St. Angela Elementary School, where he played softball and basketball, and Assumption High School, where he competed in football, basketball, and baseball between 1932 and ’36.
Although Hogan played many sports in his youth, he was best known as a softball pitcher. Hogan, who threw underhand in an era where the “buzz ball” delivery was used by most pitchers, hurled at the same time as legendary players like Buzz Nolan, Gord Haidy, Ken Arrowsmith, Don Dywelska, and Harry Zalba. “For his age,” read a 1930s Windsor Star article, “Hogan is probably as good a pitcher as there is in the district today.”
As a player, Hogan amassed an impressive collection of titles. In 1932, he pitched Lanspeary Park to the City Junior Softball League Title. In 1936, Hogan’s Windsor Gas squad won the Windsor League Championship. With Sacred Heart, he won three consecutive Windsor Trail Rangers and Tuxis Softball League titles in 1936, ’37, and ’38. In 1942 and ’44, he won titles in the Ford League with the Inspection team. Finally, Hogan pitched the Kozak Bedells to victory in the deciding game of the best-of-seven 1945 Windsor League finals, a 5-2 victory over Butcher Engineering. He also pitched in the Windsor League for Meretsky and Gitlin, Branch 12, and Lyle’s Campus Shop in the 1947, ’48, and ’49 seasons respectively.
Hogan also played as a goalie in the Ford Hockey Association from 1944 to ’46. He was a league finalist in his last year.
In 1960, when Hogan was in his 40s, his children played outdoor hockey at Memorial Park. He was disappointed to discover that the park only supported a Midget league, and its season was limited to seven or eight games. Furthermore, the city refused to allow local teams to progress beyond league play into the OMHA Playdowns.
Hogan took it upon himself to enter his son’s team in a Pee Wee Tournament in Leamington. He collected the entry fee from members of the Ford Local 240 labour union, of which he was President. In Leamington, Hogan realized how organized other communities were relative to Windsor. Determined to keep his son’s team going, he started to aggressively fundraise. He organized 50-50 draws in the Ford Office, held raffles, sold chocolate bars, and did anything else he could to earn a dime.
In 1962, Hogan left Ford to take a position with the United Auto Workers International Union. Unfortunately, this change of setting meant that his money-raising programs fell apart. Resolved to keep things going, Hogan decided to found a formal sports club. He was inspired by his brother Eddie, who was one of the founders of a youth sports sponsoring organization called the Choristers Athletic Club.
In 1965, Club 240 was founded. It was immediately one of Windsor’s finest community sports service clubs, and it grew to become one of the best in Canada. With much assistance from Murray Ewing, Club 240 formed its first 10-man board of directors. Besides Hogan and Ewing, it comprised Ed Kornacki, Carl Popkey, Eddie Hogan, John Wood, Art Butcher, Bob Hind, Ron MacNamara, and Sam Loreto. The organization’s first sponsored team was a 1965 Windsor Minor Hockey Juvenile entry that, remarkably, included future NHL player Rick Kehoe.
Since then, Club 240 has sponsored as many as 16 activities each year for boys and girls of all ages. Club 240 sports have included baseball, basketball, hockey, volleyball, track and field, football, softball, lacrosse, swimming, soccer, curling, bowling, boxing, golf, marathons, and cheerleading. Between 1965 and ’99, the club raised a total of over one million dollars in sponsorship fees through means like bingos, raffles, an annual Clyde Brothers Circus event, and other special occasions.
Hogan was President of Club 240 from its foundation to 1974. A selection of his many other coaching and organizing roles follows: