Past Times in Paw Paw: a History of Baseball In Our Hometown
The game of baseball first came to Paw Paw in 1866. Since that time, eleven men from Paw Paw have played in major or minor baseball leagues. The exhibit is designed to tell how and why baseball became known as the National Pastime through the stories of our hometown hero's. Wade "Red" Killifer and his brother Bill began playing professional baseball in the early 1900's during the Deadball Era. They both began as players and then became coaches, and managers. Red became a team president and owner, and Bill spent his last years in baseball as a scout. Red was elected to the Pacific League Hall of Fame, and Bill is considered to be one of the best all-time defensive catchers. Charlie Maxwell played seven seasons with the Detroit Tigers during the 50's and 60's. Charlie, known as "Ol Paw Paw" was one of the Tigers best power hitters and a two time All Star. On May 3, 1959, Charlie hit four consecutive homes runs during a Sunday double header with the New York Yankees. In 2005, Derek Mitchell, a three sport high school standout for Paw Paw signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. After his baseball career, he was a walk-on for the WMU Bronco's football team in the fall of 2014. He made the team at age 30 as the kick-off man for the Bronco's and went to the Cotton Bowl with the team in 2017.