Baseball. The sport known as America’s Pastime. Although the sports paradigm has transitioned to large audiences for the NFL, NBA and College Football, Basketball and Lacrosse, Baseball has a history that resonates strongly with the generations that embraced it in its hay day.
As we move into another post-season of baseball, it seemed appropriate to mention the impact that baseball had on north shore around the turn of the century. In this post we’ve compiled some baseball related material from the society’s archives highlighting the local interest.
- Cleveland Baseball, Written by Ed Best
- Lakeside Press Note, Compilation of baseball blurbs from the Lakeside Press
Bernhards Bay – The Cleveland Reds, so reads the caption to an article in the Cleveland Glass Workers paper. It had been given to Lawrence Cottet, Historian of Cleveland. Mr. Cottet passed it on to me, as probably grandchildren of the players would be pleased to read the following:
This baseball club flourished back in the gay nineties and around the turn of the century. These very men, all glass workers, blowers, gatherers, flatteners, and cutters, were famous throughout Central New York State for their victories over all important amateur baseball teams, and once defeated the famous Syracuse Stars.
Many of these players were offered breaks in the majors, but invariably age and occupation prevented acceptance. There were all “pot furnace” trained workers, and, everyone a dyed-in-the-wool Republican.
In 1892 the ball team headed a torch-light parade in a rally supporting Benjamin Harrison for a second term as President, primarily because of the protective tariff, so vital to the glass industry.
However, Harrison was defeated by Grover Cleveland, Democrat, whose policy was a tariff for revenue only. Is it any wonder then that violent labor trouble marked Cleveland’s every move – to mention just a few events: the Haymarket Riots and the Pullman strike of Chicago, even the Homestead strike and the memoriable money panic of 1894.
Notable among the early players on the baseball team are: The popular Fred Kime, of happy memory, formerly glass cutter of the Kane, Works, PA., and Tommy Ryan Middleweight Champion of the World, from 1898 to 1907, who also was a glass worker.
Yes, the Cleveland Reds brought joy and gaiety to the little community of Cleveland, New York, a solid glass manufacturing town prior to 1900.
When they went abroad it was always by horse drawn vehicles.
Lakeside Press Notes
1877-08-04 “The Central Square baseballists came on here Wednesday, expecting to play the Clippers, and found that half of the club were absent on the excursion to Frenchman’s Island. But a ‘scrub’ nine were got together during the afternoon, and after a slow, dragging game, the visitors came out ahead, by a score of 32 to 21. This tickled them so that they went home and loudly crowed that they had vanquished the famous Clippers. This morning our boys started for their village in full force to ‘cut the comb’ of those Square roosters.”
1877-08-18 “West Vienna – One base ball nine, composed of Bobby Newcomb, the famous musician, Jim and Bill McArthur, the boss cradlers, Wm. Baker, a visitor at Scott’s, Frank Chisolm, the nobby agent, John Potter, the hostler, Jimmy Hall, the man about town, C. Page and Will Hennessy, haymakers, put forth their maiden effort last Saturday in this place in a game with the Maple Flats artists. Eight and a half innings were worried through, at the end of which time, the Flats pitcher, by his astonishing delivery, having nearly crippled all the West Viennians, the game was brought to a sudden termination. The score was: Maple Flats, 25; West Vienna, 12. ‘Babe’ Dwyer, of the Clippers, performed the duties of umpire with satisfaction.”
“Yesterday afternoon the clubs of West Vienna and Maple Flats met at the latter place, to settle the return game. A considerable number were present to witness the play including about half the Clippers of Cleveland. The game was not a brilliant one, by any means, both nines displaying a lack of sufficient practice, though if some of them practiced for 99 years, they would never make good players. Yet there were a few really fine individual plays on both sides. Of the Flats, Washburn, Rice, Maxwell and M. Davis (although the latter talked entirely too much), did very well; as also Necomb, the two McArthurs, and some others of the West Viennas. Game commenced about half past two and closed at half-past five, resulting in the following score: Maple Flats – 30; West Vienna – 13.”
“This afternoon, the West Vienna boys and the Clippers will pay at Cleveland in a practice game.”
1877-09-22 “The Clippers of Cleveland, have backed out of the Parish base ball tournament.”
1878-05-11 “While base-ball lags, the sporting spirits of our village center their attention on the science of marbles.”
“The Clippers expected to play a game of base ball at West Vienna this afternoon.”
1878-05-18 “West Vienna – A game of base ball is expected to come off here next Tuesday, between our famous nine and the Clippers, of Cleveland. We expect quite a crowd of the fair sex to witness the encounter.”
1878-06-08 “West Vienna – The boys practice regularly every Sunday for the coming contest of base ball with the Clippers. Our base ballists will be attired this season in the conspicuous costumes of red flannel shirts, blue overalls, and bare feet.”
1878-06-29 “The base-ball season has now fairly opened at West Vienna, and Scott is on the highest pinnacle of delight.”
1878-07-06 “The base ball game at West Vienna last Saturday, between the Clippers, of Cleveland, and the Union, of Vienna, resulted in a victory for the Clippers. Score: 22 to 5”
“The base ball game during the afternoon was played between the Clippers, of this place, and the Unions, of West Vienna, and was a creditable exhibition. Up to the end of the 6th inning, the Unions were within one run of their opponents, and the Clippers were badly scared. But through some lucky batting, aided by Candee taking a drink instead of a beautiful fly ball close to his head, the Clips added several scores in the next inning, which gave them the victory, the game closing at the end of the 7th inning, by a score of 18 to 12.”
1878-07-13 “The Actives, of Constantia, defeated the Unions, of West Vienna, in an exciting game of base ball last Saturday. Score: 14 to 17.”
1878-07-20 “A baseball tournament is talked of at West Vienna. Bill McArthur started out for subscriptions the other day, and captured 10 cts., but afterward exchanged it with Fred, the landlord, for beer!”
1878-07-27 “The Clippers were to have played a game of base ball at Vienna this afternoon.”
1878-08-10 “The Clippers went down to Bernhard’s Bay to play a game of base ball with the club at that place, Thursday. Four innings were played, at the close of which the score stood: Clippers, 6; B. Bay 0.”
1878-08-17 “Clippers vs. Unions, at West Vienna this afternoon. Last Saturday the Clippers played a five inning game with the ‘Pickups” here. The score stood: Clippers, 36; Pickups, 8.”
1878-08-31 “The Clippers went up to West Vienna short-handed last Saturday, to contest base ball again with the Unions, and were most thoroughly thrashed by the ‘corn-huskers’ of that famous watering-place, to the tune of 26 to 6.”
“The Clipper B.B.C. held a meeting in the barber shop Monday evening, and partly re-organized. Tom Dwyer, Babes Dwyer, and Tom Travis retired from the nine, their places being filled by barber Morenus, M. Davis, and young Griesmyer.”
“The Clippers went to Oneida Monday to try their luck with the celebrated club of that place. Everybody expected that it would be a very one-sided game, as the Clippers are all quite young and of light build, and never faced any very scientific pitching, or throwing; but everyone was agreeably surprised at the remarkable show the boys made. The Oneidas are a social set of young men and know how to play base ball well. It would be difficult to find a better pitcher anywhere then Carey. He throws a deceiving curved ball, which is also regular and swift and very effective. Osterhont, the catcher, though his hands are badly injured, stands the punishment like a martyr, and is watchful and auro; and they are ably supported in the field. Of the Clippers, J. Best particularly distinguished himself behind the bat, never letting a ball pass and making some brilliant plays; Davis pitched very effectively, the Oneidas being scarcely able to hit him; Frankie covered first base well, and the others made some good plays and also bad one. In the 8th inning, a neat trick was played on Davis. He was given a based on called balls, and while he was on his way there Carey carelessly threw the ball over to Hovey; then Carey stood in his position as if waiting to pitch, and Davis, who was watching Carey, moved away from his base; then Hovey touched him with the ball and put him out. It is an old trick of the Oneidas.
Game was called about 3 o’clock, with the Oneidas at the bat. Osterhont struck a short ball to Davis, who quickly put it to Frankie, and the first man was disposed of; Carey put up a fly, which M. Dwyer froze to; Hart hit spitefully to ‘Babe’, who picked it up gracefully and cut off the batter at first base. T. Dwyre toed the line, pounded three times at the air, and took a back seat; Davis called out on 3 strikes; Geo. Travis made a faint hit and was put out at first base.
Clark hit to left field, and finally came home on a wild throw; Lambert drove a grounder to Babe and retired at first; Hovey was nicely taken on the fly by Morenus; a bad muff by Tom Dwyre gave Coon first, who took second on Allen’s hit; but Hasner was captured on 3 strikes, leaving two on bases. Babe made three desperate attempts to hit the ball, and sat down; Kime ditto; Morenus struck safely to left field and took second on a passed ball, but was left by T. Travis going out on three strikes.
Osterhont was neatly put out by Babe and Frankie; Carey hit safely to centre field; Harp was finely taken on a fly by Morenus, who quickly passed the ball to Babe, cutting off Carey, and securing a fine double play. J. Best and F. Best perished on three strikes, and Tommy Dwyre on a fly to Coon.
Harp batted toward 3d base and took first on a muff of Frankie, but was beautifully fielded out at second on a throw from J. Best; Clark took first on a wild throw of T. Dwyre, and finally home on a very wild throw by T. Travis; Lambert fell victim to Frankie Best; another muff gave Hovey first, and he finally reached third on a wild throw, but was left there by a brilliant catch of J. Best of a foul ball from Coon’s bat. Davis out on a short fly to Lambert; ‘Chicken’ made a hit but not strong enough to get first; Babe, as usual, struck out.
Allen struck to T. Dwyre, who put his fire out at first; Hasner batted to Davis, who threw about 10 feet over Frankie’s head; Osterhout fell a victim at first base, as did also Harp, but in the meantime Hasner secured his run; Kime struck three times and out; Morenus, after hitting well to third was retired at first; T. Dwyer out on three strikes.
A bad muff by Morenus gave the Oneidas one run; two men were polished off at first by T. Dwyre and Frankie and one on a foul tip to J. Best. The Clippers here were enabled to secure their first run; F. Best hit to pitcher and took first on an error and finally came home amid great cheering; Davis hit splendidly to left field and stole second, but was left by Geo. Travis striking out.
Hasner was fielded out by Davis to Frankie; Osterhont hit to left field, and finally stole to third; Carey was beautifully taken on a foul fly by J. Best; Harp and Clark both hit safely to left field, but were left by a fine throw of Geo. Travis to Frankie on Lambert’s hit. Babe struck out; Kime hit sharply to short …
[missing section of the paper]. Hovey came home; Hasner was intentionally sent to grass by T. Dwyre and Frankie. T. Travis hit to short and took first on a fumble of Lambert; J. Best flyed out to Lambert; Tom came home on Frankie’s fine hit to left field; Tom Dwyre sent a beauty to right, bringing in Frankie; T. Dwyre took second on a pass and stole third; Davis took first on 3 balls, but was easily caught napping; T. Dwyre came home on Geo. Travis’ hit to left field; Geo. Stole second, but was left by Babe flying out to Lambert.
The Oneidas were again retired in one-two-three order; Osterhout on a fly to Babe; Carey on a fly to Davis; and Harp was handsomely taken on a foul fly by J. Best. Kime fouled out to catcher; Moranus was neatly put out between short and first; and T. Travis on three strikes.
1878-10-05 “The Clippers started for Central Square this morning, to play a base ball game with the Warriors of that place.”
“Gene Morenus’s young apprentice was unfortunately prevented from participating in the ball play this afternoon by having on hand the job of fixing over the house of blacksmith Barst.”
|— Clippers —|
“The game of base ball played at Camden Sept 53d, between the Clippers, of Cleveland, and Pastimes of Camden, was a slow, tedious, one-sided contest. The Clippers went there expecting to have their hands full, judging from past displays of the Pastimes, but instead the home club played a weak, loose-fielding game, giving the Clippers an easy victory. It must be said, also, that the latter did not play up to their ability, which may be inferred from the fact that the Pastimes earned but 3 runs out of the 9 they secured. The pastimes found it very difficult to get on to Hamilton’s deceiving curves, most of the batters pounding the air instead of the ball, while the Clippers knocked Wetmore all over the grounds, keeping the fielders hunting leather about all the time. When the Pastimes came in about the 3d inning, some young ladies in a carriage called Munger over to them, and as a mark of appreciation for his astonishing playing, pinned a cabbage leaf on his shirt! The principal feature of the game was in the last inning, when Gamble caught two beautiful foul flys in succession. The Pastimes are a gentlemanly set of players, and treated the visitors in a largely creditable manner.”
1878-10-12 “The Buffalos are the winners of the international baseball championship, the Stars standing second and the Uticas third.”
“Clippers vs. Warriors
Out on a hillside south of Central Square the Clippers found the reservation of these ‘unsophisticated sons of nature.’ ‘What a fine background for a landscape!’ exclaimed our aesthethic reporter (cows are always a necessary element in a landscape): ‘What a b____ of a place for a ball ground!’ exclaimed a lover of the national pastime. True, it was a cow-yard! Sloping toward the home base, it made it an exceedingly difficult task for a player unaccustomed to the ground to strike even the slowest ball; and this accounts in a considerable degree for the small score made by the Clippers. As there was no means of distinguishing the bases from the circular relics of the pasture-ago, the Warriors resorted to a mean advantage by _____ the home base with an odiforous substance that attracted the home club to, while it repelled the visitors from that desired goal; and so well did it work that the game did not turn until after that base had become thoroughly disinfected, and will be seen from the score. The Clippers swallowed some glaring decisions of the Umpire, which gave the Warriors considerable advantage, until the first half of the ninth inning, when they bolted. Champlin had succeeded in reaching first. The News’ account of it thence runs thus: ‘Drake made a sacrifice hit, forwarding Champlin to second; D. Lewis quickly followed hitting for a base and giving Champlin third; it began to look bad for Cleveland, and the manager made his final kick on the umpire deciding D. Lewis safe at first.’ If we were the editor of the News we would [correct] the inventor of that falsehood before he became a chronic liar. The sacrifice hit that Drake made was a sample of the hits made by all the Warriors. He struck out on a foul, and on that foul Champlain took second base and held it. The umpire admitted his mistake, but couldn’t be ‘bulldozed’ as the News amply terms it, enough to send the runner back to first. D. Lewis hit to T. Travis, who threw him, fairly and squarely, out at first, but the fair … of Central Square depended on the result, and he was declared safe, by the patriotic umpire. The boys became …, and left, offering to play the Warriors at any place outside of Central Square that they would name, for from $10 to $100 stakes. They declined saying ‘Be it ever so selfish there’s no place like home.’ The only blame that attaches to the Clippers was in consenting to play with a club that it would be no credit to defeat. Following is the correct score by innings.
This does not agree with the News’ score, which get 3 errors credited to the umpire and 7 to the Clippers.
1879-05-24 “Young Jack Deaus is back here again. When he heard the Clippers had organized, Buffalo couldn’t hold him.”
1879-07-12 “Scott is rushing his work so as to be ready for the opening of the West Vienna base ball season.”
“There is to be a base ball game at this place next Tuesday. The ‘Gleaners’, of Taberg, are coming over here.”
1882-07-29 “A base ball club is being talked up here. Several Clevelanders were out in the street yesterday afternoon practicing, among them postmaster Potter; and already there is a perceptible agitation in the ?ornica basket?”
1930-08-27 “Sunday afternoon E. C. Sterns, Syracuse baseball team played here. Cleveland lost out, 1-6, in favor of the Syracuse team.”