Pete Titanic came to the Argonauts when the team was at its peak after the second world war, but he had to partially give up his first love to do so.
No, we're not talking about his wife of 47 years, Margaret. The couple has stayed happily married since his playing days, a union that has produced hockey playing sons Paul (a former U of T hockey coach for 10 years) and Peter (a graduate of Cornell University in the U.S.), as well as four grandchildren.
What we are talking about, though, is the game of fastball, which Titanic played religiously in his youth down at Kew Beach.
"A couple of times, I had to give up the World Fastball Championships to play with the Argos," said Titanic, who was an accomplished catcher and formed a battery with Argo Hall-of-Famer Joe Krol, who was an outstanding pitcher in his own right.
The two very good friends didn't restrict their pass-and- catch routine to the softball diamond, either, since Krol was the primary passer on the Argo teams of the late '40's and Titanic was one of its premier receivers.
"In those days, we played the single wing," said Titanic, who remembers the camaraderie that existed on the squad. "One of the big things on that team was that we would go through the wall for each other."
The catalyst for that all-Canadian team, which won three Grey Cups in a row from 1945-47, was head coach Teddy Morris.
"Teddy Morris wasn't a big fan of playing imports," recalled Titanic, who feels his coach was not given enough credit for the team's successes. "All the guys loved Teddy Morris. He wasn't a great talker, but he sure got the guys up for the games."
A native of New Toronto, Titanic led Mimico High School to the 1936 football championship, and then with prodding from the legendary Stukus brothers, joined the Toronto Indians of the ORFU during the war years. He also played at Balmy Beach before joining the Argos in 1946, where he ended up playing for three Grey Cup champions before giving up football in 1950.
While he played, Titanic hooked up with Krol off the field as well, as they both worked for a brokerage company for a while. From there, Titanic worked as a foreman for six-and-a-half years with brass company Anaconda, and then he got into management with Leon's Furniture stores "when they first came to Toronto." He stayed there for 25 years, during which time he also ran the Grey Cup sales for the store when they sponsored the big game.
Titanic retired from Leon's in 1988 when he was 68 years old, and he and his wife Margaret relocated to Newmarket, where they have lived for the last eight years.
This page, and all contents, are Copyright © 1996 by Toronto Argonauts Football Club, Toronto, Canada.