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.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

More Early References to 19th Century and Early 20th Century Baseball in Pelham

It continues to amaze me how many brief references exist to baseball being played in the last half of the nineteenth century in Pelham.  The Town of Pelham was a tiny grouping of widely scattered settlements for much of that time.  The fact that there are so many references to baseball being played from the 1860s through the 1890s in such a small community certainly attests to the popularity of the National Pastime during that era.  

In addition to such 19th century references, there is one entertaining anecdote about a double header played in Pelham in 1904 that supports the same point.  The second game of the double header between the nationally-renowned Metropolitans of New York City and a Pelham baseball team was a nailbiter.  As the afternoon progressed, more than 7,000 spectators gathered to watch -- more than the entire population of the Town of Pelham at that time.  At the end of eight innings the score was tied.  In the top of the ninth inning it began to rain but the crowd would not let the players end the contest after the visitors went ahead by one run.  The rain grew worse as Pelham evened the score and the game remained tied at the end of nine innings.  The crowd insisted that play continue though everyone -- players and fans -- was drenched.  Play continued. . . . Read below to see what happened! 

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog collects four additional references to early baseball being played in Pelham.  Each item is followed by a citation and link to its source.  Together, today's items and all of those reflected in the thirty previous Historic Pelham Blog articles on the topic listed at the end of today's posting constitute an amazing archive reflecting the early years of the sport in the Town of Pelham during the latter half of the 19th century and the first few years of the 20th century.

Country Club of Pelham Announced Baseball Would be Played in May and June 1885

"--The Country Club, of Pelham, announce a variety of outdoor sports, including polo, trap shooting, baseball and lawn tennis, to take place during May and June."

Source:  PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND, New Rochelle Pioneer, Apr. 25, 1885, p. 3, col. 6. 

City Island Baseball Club Scheduled to Play Newark, New Jersey Team in 1884


The Belden Baseball nine will play a game with a club from Newark, N. J., to-morrow (Saturday.)"

Source:  PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Jul. 18, 1884, Vol. XV, No. 774, p. 3, cols. 4-5.   

Baseball Played on Grounds of the White Hotel in 1897

(Pelham Press, May 1, 1897) . . . 

"In a great slugging bee at the White Hotel grounds last Sunday [April 25, 1897] the Pelham A. C. [i.e., "Athletic Club"] defeated the Neptunes of New Rochelle 17 to 10."

Source:  PELHAM 30 YEARS AGO (Pelham Press, May 1, 1897), The Pelham Sun, May 6, 1937, p. 16, col. 1 (quoting Pelham Press published May 1, 1897).

NOTE:  The White Hotel stood on a very large lot on the southwest corner of Wolfs Lane and Third Street (which becomes Boulevard after crossing Wolfs Lane).  The map detail below shows the location of the White Hotel grounds referenced in the reference immediately above.  

Detail from 1899 Map by John F. Fairchild Showing
Location of White Hotel Grounds.  Note That Even Two Years
After the Baseball Game Referenced Above, There Still Was
Nothing on the Entire Block Except the Hotel and Outbuildings.
Source:  Fairchild, John F., Atlas of Mount Vernon and Pelham,
Plate 21 (John F. Fairchild, 1899) (Lionel Pincus and Princess
Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library).

Double Header Between the Pelham Fire Department and the Nationally-Renowned Metropolitans of New York City in 1904 Attracted 7,000 Fans

"PELHAM . . . 

The Pelham Fire Department kept up their winning streak Monday by taking the strong Metropolitans of New York into camp in a double header on Firemen's Field.  The morning game was a slaughtering match and four pitchers were hammered all over the field, but the visiting slab masters received the harshest treatment.  The afternoon contest was the kind to awaken enthusiasm in the crankiest of rooters.  The immense crowd from the celebration at the Wartburg School attracted by the loud applause flocked to the field and before the end of the tenth inning fully 7,000 people lined the grounds.  This is perhaps the largest crowd that ever witnessed a baseball game in this vicinity.  The 'Mets' put in their star twirler, and were willing to stake their lives on the result of the game.  Youchim, the conqueror of the Pastime A. C., occupied the box for the locals.  The spectators were kept in the highest pitch of excitement, the score being tied several times.  The opening of the ninth inning found the score dead locked:  9-9.  A dead ball, hit and an error filled the bases and Youchim hit the next batter forcing in a run.  The next two fanned and the last died, Youchim to Rohrs.  It was raining quite hard now but the spectators insisted upon the game being finished.  With the visitors one run to the good, two out and two strikes on Rohrs, he complied with the demands of the rooters for a home run by putting the ball over right fielder's head for the circuit.  Again the locals went out in the rain and again the visitors placed the long end of the score to their credit by bringing in a run; score 11-10.  And now Pelham.  Youchim singled, O'Flynn tripled to right scoring Youchim with the tieing run.  H. Dickinson drew a base on balls and Minard poked the ball over centre fielder's head scoring O'Flynn with the winning run.  The spectators, drenched to the skin, departed in the best of spirits declaring it to have been the best game seen on the local grounds in many a day.  Next Sunday the Westchester A. C. will journey to Pelham to call a halt to the list of victories. . . ."

Source:  PELHAM, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon], Jun. 1, 1904, p. 5, cols. 3-4.  

Undated Photograph (Ca. 1896) of the Pelham A.C. Jr. Baseball
Team. Although Difficult to See in This Low Resolution Version
of the Image, There Are Many Children Whose Eyes Can Be
Seen Peering, and Whose Fingers Extend, Through the Cracks
Between the Boards Behind the Team.  NOTE:  Click Image To Enlarge.

*          *          *          *

I have written quite extensively regarding the history of baseball in Pelham and early baseball games played in the Town of Pelham.  Below is a listing, with links, of my previous postings on the topic of 19th century baseball in Pelham.

Fri., Dec. 11, 2009:  Earliest Reference Yet to Baseball Played in Pelham.  

Thu., Dec. 10, 2009:  More 19th Century Baseball and Firefighting References

Wed., Dec. 9, 2009:  City Island Shamrocks Base Ball Club Changed its Name to the Minnefords in 1888.

Wed., Nov. 25, 2009:  Even More Early References to Baseball Played in Pelham.

Tue., Nov. 24, 2009:  Yet Another Reference to Early Baseball in Pelham.

Mon., Nov. 23, 2009:  Additional Brief Accounts of Baseball Played in Pelham in the 19th Century.

Friday, November 20, 2009:  More Accounts of Early Baseball Played in Pelham.

Fri., Nov. 13, 2009:  1894 Account of Developments in Pelham Including a Reference to a Baseball Game Played that Year.

Thur., Nov. 12, 2009:  More Early References to Baseball Played in Pelham.

Wed., Sep. 30, 2009:   Score of June 1, 1887 Baseball Game Between the Country Club and The Knickerbocker Club.

Fri., Mar. 20, 2009:   Another Reference to 19th Century Baseball in Pelham.

Tue., Mar. 4, 2008:   Another Brief Reference to 19th Century Baseball in Pelham.

Mon., Nov. 26, 2007:  Box Score of a Baseball Game Played on Travers Island in Pelham Manor in July 1896.

Wed., Nov. 21, 2007:  Baseball on Travers Island During the Summer of 1897.

Fri., Jul. 20, 2007:  Account of Early Baseball in Pelham: Pelham vs. the New York Athletic Club on Travers Island in 1897.

Fri., Nov. 10, 2006: The Location of Another Early Baseball Field in Pelham.

Mon., Oct. 9, 2006:   Reminiscences of Val Miller Shed Light on Late 19th Century Baseball in Pelham and the Early Development of the Village of North Pelham.

Thu., Mar. 23, 2006:  Baseball Fields Opened on the Grounds of the Westchester Country Club in Pelham on April 4, 1884.  

Tue., Jan. 31, 2006:  Another Account of Baseball Played in Pelham in the 1880s Is Uncovered

Thu., Oct. 6, 2005:   Does This Photograph Show Members of the "Pelham Manor Junior Base Ball Team"?

Thu., Sep. 15, 2005:  Newspaper Item Published in 1942 Sheds Light on Baseball in 19th Century Pelham.  

Thu., Feb. 10, 2005:  New Discoveries Regarding Baseball in 19th Century Pelham

Bell, Blake A., Baseball in Late 19th Century Pelham, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 17, Apr. 23, 2004, p. 8, col. 2.

Archive of the Historic Pelham Web Site.

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