If you were driving on the northern part of the Lower Snake Spring Road on a summer day in the 1960s, you would probably see a young boy either hitting rocks with a bat into a field or throwing a ball against the side of the barn.
The young boy, Danny England, grew up wanting to be a professional baseball player. At the age of 10 he got to play some fast-pitch games for Snake Spring in the Rural Softball League.
Since Snake Spring did not have any youth baseball teams, Dan played little league and teener league baseball at Everett, but still played softball when he did not have a baseball game. By age 17 he had become one of the top fast-pitch shortstops in the area.
After high school England attended Allegany Community College. In his two years at ACC he had a 1.95 ERA and was named the team's Most Valuable Player both years. In his first year he was named to the Junior College All-American Second Team and honor mention his second year.
Following his tenure at ACC, he received a scholarship to High Point College in North Carolina. In his first year, 1975, he pitched a no-hitter against Duke University winning 3-0 and striking out 17. In 1976, his senior year, Dan led the nation's NAIA pitchers in strikeouts with 145.
Although Dan played only two years at High Point, he is still in the top two all-time in several pitching categories. He is first in strikeouts per season - 145; first in strikeouts per game per career - 10.14; first in strikeouts to walks per career - 3.10:1; second in wins per season -12; second in ERA per career - 2.13; and second in strikeouts per game per season - 11.45. Dan was NAIA All-American Honor Mention as a junior and second team as a senior.
In 1976 Dan was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the sixth round of the amateur draft. He was assigned to Bradenton in the Gulf Coast Rookie League where he was 10-3 with an ERA of 1.69. The 10 wins tied the rookie league record for wins.
In 1977 he was promoted to Class A Pompano Beach where he was 1-3 with an ERA of 3.27. He was promoted to Class AA Midland where he finished the season 1-3 with an ERA of 7.40.
In 1978 he went to spring training with Class AAA Wichita and was later released. Dan returned to Bedford and began teaching in the Bedford Area School District.
During his baseball career Dan found time to play fast-pitch softball in the summer. He began playing softball in the ISL (now the Schellsburg League) in 1968 and played for 12 years, missing two years in 1976 and 1977 while in the minors. He batted over .400 in eight of the years. For several years in the 1970's Dan played in three fast-pitch leagues and tournaments every weekend averaging over 100 games per year.
Dan played in three World Tournaments and was voted the Most Promising Young Player in the tournament twice both in 1972 and in 1973.
Dan coached the Bedford golf team for the past 16 years compiling a record of 246-29 with nine District 5 team titles.
Dan married Ann Blackburn on December 10, 1977 and they reside in Bedford. They have two sons, Jeff, who is a captain in the Air Force, married to the former Katie Grace, and Jeff who works for the turnpike.
Dan enjoys deer hunting, but rabbit hunting with his beagles and friends is his favorite kind of hunt.
Class of 2009
Bedford County Sports Hall of Fame
Bedford County, Pennsylvania