Monday 11 June 2012

June 12, 1876

 “On Saturday afternoon, the match game of baseball between the Tecumsehs of London and the Standards of this city, came off on the Crystal Palace grounds.”
Hamilton Spectator   June 12, 1876
The game had been rained out and postponed twice and possibly that had an effect on the gate. Those who did make their way to ball park off King street west probably regretted that decision.
 “The attendance was not as large as it ought to have been, still there were about 900 people on the ground, who seemed to take a deep interest in the game. There were a number of ladies on the ground who showed their appreciation of manly sports by watching the game closely. The weather was very sultry and must have tried the muscle and pluck of the players to the full extent. The playing throughout was all one-sided, and therefore not so interesting as it otherwise might have been. Although the field of the Standards was splendid, they could not strike the balls which Goldsmith gave, while the catcher never let a ball past him.  The Standards were well encouraged by their friends, who cheered them vociferously when they made a good play. Myers catching deserves special mention. In his position at left field, he made four beautiful catches on the run and fielded in nice style. McMullen, the short stop, muffed and fumbled several balls, but redeemed his character by making some nice play, especially in catching a hot one from Dinnen. Ennis’ pitching, and Fairburn’s catching were creditable. In fact, the latter’s catching was fully equal to Powers, of the Tecumsehs. During the third innings an accident happened which threw a cloud over the game and rather discouraged the Standards. McLean struck a high foul which promised to fall midway between the home plate and first base. Ennis, Fairburn and Crofton tried for it, and rushed together, striking violently, Crofton’s cheek bone being smashed in by Fairburn’s brow. Both fell senseless to the ground. Fairburn soon recovered, but Crofton lay still upon the ground, his eyes staring and his lips covered with froth. He was carried into the shade where restoratives were applied, and in about half an hour he was restored to sensibility. Dr. Leslie was sent for, who had him conveyed to the caretaker’s place on the grounds, where it was found that his jaw was broken. He was too badly injured to be removed to his home. About dark, he fell asleep, and yesterday was somewhat better. Fears of a concussion of the brain are no longer entertained. A young man named Hermiston took Crofton’s pace on 1st base and played the remainder of the game without an error. Mr. Latham of the Maple Leaf club of Guelph umpired the game to the dissatisfaction of the friends of the Standards, who believed that he did not give the boys a fair chance, in calling strikes on them when they did not deserve it.”
The Spectator’s continuing promotion of the Rock Bay resort continued with the following article and advertisement concerning a very special upcoming evening at the lovely spot at the head of the harbour:
          On Wednesday evening there is to be another grand summer night’s fete and promenade concert at Rock Bay pleasure grounds. Prof. Hand will be on hand with one of the grandest displays of fireworks ever given in Canada. Prof. Jenkins, the Canadian Blondin, will also be present, and will perform some of his daring feats in rope walking. The music will be supplied by the Maple Leaf brass band, and facilities will be afforded for dancing. The first entertainment of this description held at Rock Bay this season was a complete success, and the extensive preparations that have been made for this one on Wednesday evening justify the anticipation that it will be greatly superior. The steamers Florence, Transit and D. Bowen will make trips every half hour during the evening.
          For particulars see advertisement in this issue.

Rock Bay Pleasure Grounds
Will Take Place in the above grounds
On Wednesday Ev’ng, June 14th
Prof. W. Hand begs to announce to the public generally of Hamilton and neighbourhood that he has made arrangements to give a GRAND PYROTECHNIC FETE accompanied with Balloon Ascents, on the above date, when nothing will be wanting on his made to make it the grandest display ever given in the Dominion. The Maple Leaf Brass Band, Prof. Stares leader, Prof. Hand has secured the services of Prof. Jenkins, the Canadian Blondin, who is acknowledged by the press to be the best rope performer in the world, and challenges the world for his equal. Mr. Hand will introduce a grand representation of Niagara Falls in fire. The FIREWORKS will consist of 112 pieces, including grand set pieces, fiery pigeons, rockets, shells, mines, maroons etc. The concluding piece will be accompanied by a flight of 100 colored rockets at one time, being the grandest sight ever witnessed. There will also be an ascent of 20 balloons, with fireworks and other novelties attached. Novel race between a pig and an elephant. The grounds will be lighted with Chinese lanterns. Come and see Prof. Jenkins crossing the Niagara Falls on fire. Refreshments will be provided on the grounds at reasonable rates. Strict order and decorum will be maintained. Parties are requested to retain the check they receive at the gate, as Mr. Hand has made arrangements with the proprietors of the ground, in case of unfavourable weather, to open the grounds on the next evening, when parties having checks will be admitted free; and any person or persons found on the grounds without a check will be prosecuted according to law. The steamers Florence, Transit, and D. Bowen will make trips every half hour during the evening. Fares (including admission to the grounds) 25 cts. Parties not holding boat checks will be charged 25 cts. To the grounds. The steamer D. Bowen will carry passengers to and from Wellington Square and Rock Bay and back for 40 cts. (including admission to the grounds). Dancing will take place at the close of the fireworks, in the large ball room attached to the building, for which a first-class quadrille band has been engaged. No extra charge for ballroom.
Tickets can be had at all the principal stores and hotels in the city.
WM. HAND, Head street, Hamilton.
God Save the Queen.
          The last item of note in the June 12, 1876 issue of the Spectator was brief, but it concerned the beginning of a long-awaited project:
“Work was commenced on the Hamilton and North Western railway, upon the land of M. Benjamin Eager, at Wellington Square, by J. D. MacDonald, contractor for division Nos. 3, 4 and 5. The same contractor will have a force at work between 12 mile Creek and Milton on Wednesday.”

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