Long before "Pinball" arrived on the scene, the Argos had "Scooter", a 5-foot-6, 140 pound dynamo who could elude men twice his size with his quickness and agility.
"You have to be mobile in the CFL, or else you'll get killed," was how quarterback Fred Doty explained how he made it in a big man's game, and the likes of Mike Clemons and Doug Flutie could attest to that statement.
A native of Toronto and graduate of Parkdale Collegiate, Doty joined the Double Blue after the war and was almost numb from the experience. "I was 20 years old and (halfback) Joe Krol was my idol," recalled Doty. "That year (1945) we went on and won the Grey Cup together. It was like something out of Disney."
The Argos went on to win two more consecutive Grey Cups after that, and they did it using an all-Canadian lineup, the last such team to win the championship in that manner. While Doty and Charlie Camillieri handled the signal-calling duty, the majority of the play was centred around Hall-of-Famers Krol and Royal Copeland, the celebrated "Gold Dust Twins". Because many players had to play both offence and defence at the time, Doty was also used as a safety and punt returner. "I'd love to run back punts today," said Doty. "Back then, we had no blocking."
They also had no professionals, officially, although many players were paid under the table. At the time, "professional" teams like the Argos still played against "amateur" teams like Balmy Beach and the University of Toronto, and it wasn't until 1947 that the professional label was finally put on players, meaning they could not be eligible to play for amateur teams anymore. This affected Doty, who during his time with the Argos attended the University of Toronto, where he studied engineering and played on the Varsity Blues football team in 1946.
"I played with the Argonauts (in 1945), then with Varsity; with most players, it's the other way around," said Doty, who rejoined the Argos in 1947. He retired two years later, and in 1950 joined the City of Toronto building department as a civil engineer. From there, he moved to John's Mandille building supply company, where he stayed for 29 years and became vice-president. In 1981, he went to become president at Dufferin Concrete, and retired for good in 1984.
Today, Doty lives the good life with his wife of 45 years, Beverley, and follows the fortunes of his two sons, Cole and Tobin. Both were fine athletes themselves, as Tobin played football for U of T for five years, and Cole represented Canada in track and field at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.
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