Saturday 2 June 2012

June 3, 1876

“Yesterday, a large crowd of spectators, estimated at over one thousand people, gathered on the Crystal Palace grounds to see the match game of baseball between the Standards and the Tecumsehs of London.”
Hamilton Spectator   June 6, 1876
The much-anticipated baseball game between the Hamilton and London drew a huge crowd as Hamilton was very much a baseball-mad city in 1876.
The weather conditions seemed ideal at first:
“The air was extremely sultry, and the necessity of a grand stand became obvious to all. At three o’clock the Standards took the field, and Ledwith went in to Ennis’s pitching and made his base, through his ball being muffed by Doan on third base. Goldsmith next went to bat, but was put out on first base through some fielding on the part of the Standards, Dean retrieving his laurels by a magnificent throw from the third base. Hunter next went to bat, and made a run, coming in after Ledwith, Gilleau the next ,man to bat, going out on a foul. The inning closed with two runs for the Tecumsehs. The Standards commenced well, Fairbairn making a beautiful base hit behind the left flag. In trying to make his second base on McLean’s pitching, he was put out. At this moment a tremendous thunderstorm came up, but the men continued playing until the innings was concluded, the Standards being whitewashed. The rain fell in torrents for half an hour, when it was seen that the ground was unfit for play that afternoon. The game was therefore adjourned till this afternoon at two o’clock.
2 O’CLOCK P.M. – The game has been postponed on account of the rain.”
In other baseball news, the Spectator helped promote an upcoming exhibition game, involving a travelling squad of “heavy” baseballists:
“The net weight of this “boss” base ball club of nine has been ascertained to be 199 pounds, one of the players, Mr. Walter Cook weighing 325 pounds alone. The Dreadnoughts challenge any club of the same weight to play them on the Crystal Palace grounds as they are too heavy to travel.”

The other major event in Hamilton on June 2, 1876 was the arrival in Hamilton Harbour of one of the most famous yachts of the era:
“Last evening about ten o’clock, the yacht, the “Countess of Dufferin,” the pride of the yachtsmen of Canada, arrived at this port and anchored outside of the emigrant wharf. She was greeted with a royal salute and the officers were invited to a grand dinner in the yacht club. It was a subject of comment that Capt. Cuthbert was not present. The yacht left Toronto yesterday morning at six o’clock when she got into a heavy fog and could not sail. The fog was unpleasantly dispelled by a tremendous thunderstorm, during which the vessel was obliged to take in her sail. After the gale had blown over, the breeze favoured them until they got near the piers, when it died away and they were a long time working into port. A great crowd was waiting to receive her, and a large number of people, in spite of the foul weather, were on the docks today viewing her proportion. It is thought she will leave this port tonight, if the weather is favourable, when she will be accompanied by a number of Hamilton gentlemen.”

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