Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baseball Games Played by the City Island Beldenites and the City Island Rivals in 1884

No, the Historic Pelham Blog has not evolved into a baseball blog.  It just so happens that I continue to run across early references to baseball played in Pelham.  Today's posting transcribes an article published in August, 1884 that references two baseball clubs on City Island in 1884:  the Beldenites and the Rivals.  The article also references preparations for the Pelham Steeplechase at the Country Club the same year.  The text appears below, followed by a citation to its source.


The court house has quite a bright appearance since it received a thorough painting.

Grace Church and Sunday school will go on an excursion up the Hudson, to Alpine Grove, to-morrow (Saturday).

Last Thursday [August 28, 1884], the Beldenites went to Mamaroneck and played a game with the club of that place.  50 runs were scored, 31 by City Island, and 19 by Marmaroneck [sic].

The Rivals of City Island played a game with the Pelhamville nine on Saturday last, which resulted in favor of the former, by a score of 42 to 11.

Tomorrow (Saturday) [August 30, 1884] the Rivals of City Island will play the Nationals of Willet's Point, a game of baseball, on the grounds [of] the former.

There was a big time at Capt. Stringham's on Thursday of last week.  Hudson Hose Company of Yonkers were his guests, and the way they got outside of his chowder was astonishing, even to the natives.

The School election in district No. 1, was held at the school house in Pelhamville, and passed off very quietly and without anything of special note.  Mr. William Barry was re-elected, and Mr. E. H. Gurney was elected in place of Jacob Heiser whose term expired.  Mr. Gurney polled three votes more than Mr. Delcombie.

Norma, daughter of Mr. Charles Leviness, an estimable young lady about eighteen years of age, died on Monday last, of consumption, after a lingering illness.  The funeral services were held on Wednesday, in Trinity M. E. Church, Rev. Mr. Pray officiating, and the remains were interred in the cemetery on the Island.  During the funeral service stores were closed and business generally suspended.

On Wednesday, September 3rd, the Sunday school of Trinity M.E. Church will have an excursion to Locust Grove, L.I., by propeller Capt. John.  The boat will leave City Island at 9 A.M., Returning will leave Locust Grove at 4 P.M.  Stopping at Pike street, pier 41 E. R. each way.  Tickets are fifty cents.  Locust Grove is pleasantly situated near Bath, L.I., from which the following places of interest may be reached in a few minutes by rail:  Coney Island, Prospect Park, Greenwood and Fort Hamilton.

A woman in Pelham, whose family cat committed the unmotherly act of running away, leaving two young kittens without any means of support, fitted up bottles filled with milk in such a way that the young felines could draw it in quite a natural way.  They thrived and grew by the aid of these stepmothers until, after some weeks, the mother returned home.  But her kittens reared their backs as they turned from their bottles to look upon her, each hair of their tails bristled up and they spit at her in a contemptuous manner and would have nothing to do with their unmotherly mother.--New Haven Register.

On Thursday, the 21s inst., a short distance above Hell Gate the steamer Pilgrim of the Fall River Line on her trip from Fall River collided with the three-masted schooner, Dick Williams, loaded with coal and bound for New Bedford.  Fortunately no panic was caused on either vessel.  The schooner was in tow of a tug, which sheered off as she approached the steamer, but the tide catching the schooner on her bow made her swing in and strike the Pilgrim about forty or fifty feet from the bow on the port side, and as she scraped along the steamer's guard, which is of iron, she cut her main rigging, causing the mainmast and maintopmast to tumble over the side.  She was towed to City Island for repairs.

Mr. John B. Colford is making good progress with the race course on the grounds of the Country Club, at Pelham, and the first days races have been fixed for Wednesday, October 1st.  They will take place in the following order:

The first race will be a 1/4 mile dash, for farmer's horses for a purse of $100, $25 to the second horse, entrance free.  Any horse owned by a farmer and used by him for farm work, during this season can enter, horses to be ridden by the owner or his son.  Catch weights.

The second race will be a cup race for polo ponies, 1/2 mile flat race.  All ponies to carry 160 pounds.

The third race will be a light weight steeplechase, for purse, over full course.  All horses to carry 140 pounds.

Fourth race will be a pony steeple chase, 1 1/2 miles for purse.  All ponies to carry 150 pounds.

Fifth race will be a steeple chase for Country Club Cup, over full course of 3 miles, all to carry 170 pounds.

Sixth race will be the great Pelham Handicap steeple chase, for $2,000 added to entrance money.  Professional riders allowed and open to all comers.  This will be over full course of 3 miles.

Arrangements are being made to have a special train run from the Grand Central Depot and land passengers at the course.  A grand stand will be erected from which a view of the entire course will be had.  The club is determined to make the races a success and no expense will be spared to make every provision for the comfort of their guests."

Source:  Pelham and City Island, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Aug. 29, 1884, p. ?, col. 3 (date and page number not printed on the newspaper page, but references in the text strongly indicate the date of publication is Aug. 29, 1884).

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