Jarvis Cook, A Man of Many Sports | Black History Month
Jarvis Cook could play…
It didn’t matter what sport you finished that sentence with, Dresden’s Jarvis Cook was one of the region’s top multi-sport athletes in the 1950s.
Growing up in the Jim Crow era of Dresden’s past, Cook broke barriers on the ice and field.
A member of the Ontario champion Dresden baseball teams in 1951 and 1952, some would call baseball Cook’s primary sport
However he was also the only Black athlete on the 1957-58 Dresden Lumberkings Intermediate “A” hockey team. In 1958, Cook was also part of Dresden’s inaugural entry into the Western Ontario Senior Lacrosse League.
His brother, Gerald “Elmer” Cook was also an exceptional baseball player, and the Cook name lived on in another brotherly pair in the 2000s as Matt and Justin Cook played college baseball in the US before a short professional career.
Gerald Cook was a member of Dresden’s Junior B baseball team that won four consecutive Ontario championships from 1945 to 1948. Gerald and Jarvis both led the charge with the Ontario Intermediate “B” championship teams in 1951 and 1952.
Dresden’s Cook family, including Jarvis Cook, are important members of local sports history, and Black history in Chatham-Kent.