What is a "Hill Boy"?
Hill Boys was the name given to the boys that grew up on "Catholic Hill" in the once-thriving town of Meyersdale (Pa.). While the majority of us were not of the Catholic faith, our home "ball field" was behind the Saints Phillip and James rectory that dominated the very top of Catholic Hill. Bordered on side by "The Cut" - the B & O railroad roadbed that was "cut" into the side of The Hill, and the church care-takers garden, this ball field saw many battles between the Hill Boys, the boys from the South Side, Plumb Bottom and "The Other Side of the Hill". Teams from Garret, Salisbury, Berlin and even Somerset challenged the home-team Hill Boys on this field.
This field produced much of the football and baseball talent that propelled Meyersdale Area High School teams to several championships, and two undefeated seasons in Junior High football.
In its hey-days of the sixties and early seventies, a game could would constantly be in progress, even if there were only three or four guys willing to play! The ball field had its eccentricities--any ball hit into The Cut (deep left field) was an automatic three outs (and the batter had to go after the ball, which usually resulted in a 15 minute break in the game!). Putting one into the short right-field meant a potential loss of the ball and sometimes loss of life if the irate care-taker saw you in his garden. On the Fourth of July, Mom's and Dad's would take to the field for a friendly softball game in which even the tiniest tots got a chance to hit the ball (no matter how many pitches it took!) and to run the bases where they saw they 'big boys' play.
Alas, in the nineties and the beginning of the 21st Century, the ball field fell into disrepair from lack of use, and now only deep holes (from the heavy use) remain where the bases were once located. But for those that grew up on The Hill during the sixties, it will remain forever as their "Field of Dreams".