Glens Falls baseball — 1889

It remained to be seen whether Glens Falls would have a semi-professional baseball team for the 1889 season.

But, to the south, a group of Saratoga Springs businessmen had acquired a fenced-in lot for a diamond and was putting together a team.

“A good nine, composed of nearly all home talent, with two or three experts,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on April 12, summing up the Spa City team.

Glens Falls sports boosters were reluctant to assume risk on a local team after a previous venture had folded in mid-season 1887 due to insufficient revenue.

But there might be a way to economize and split expenses with a neighboring village.

A “popular Fort Edward” resident suggested intermunicipal cooperation between that village and Glens Falls might be a viable approach to fielding a competitive semi-pro team without huge expense to either community, The Morning Star reported on April 22.

“By taking the best players of both villages, a club could be organized that would be strong enough without any hired men from abroad.”

An amateur game at the Glens Falls fair grounds, in which the Rochester Clothing Company defeated the J.E. King club of Fort Edward Institute 27–8 whet the appetite of baseball boosters for a higher level of play.

“Yesterday’s game of baseball created so much interest among baseball players here that a suggestion for the organization of a Glens Falls baseball club met with hearty favor,” The Morning Star reported on May 4. “A meeting will be held Monday night, at some place to be appointed, to try and effect an organization. The principal want seems to be a manager for the club.”

At the meeting, held in a room on an upper floor of the Rochester Clothing Company store building, it was decided to proceed with caution.

“The plan that met with most favor was to select a number of players and have practice games, and from the best of these players finally pick out a nine and then regularly form a club,” The Morning Star reported on May 7.

Baseball was still in the discussion stage on May 17.

“There is now some talk here of trying to arrange a game of baseball between a Glens Falls nine and the Stars, of Fort Edward.”

Consideration of jointly fielding a team with Fort Edward had been essentially ruled out.

And discussion of semi-professional baseball was dropped for the season.

Amateur baseball still had a good run.

The downtown Glens Falls retailer’s baseball challenge was out — with one exception.

“The Rochester Clothing Company baseball club will challenge any nine in Glens Falls, Sandy Hill or Fort Edward, with the exception of the Stars, to play a game on Friday or Saturday on the Glens Falls fair ground,” The Morning Star reported on May 2, 1889.

The Fort Edward Stars was a semi-professional team that sometimes played against amateur teams to round out its schedule.

The J.E. King baseball club of Fort Edward Institute accepted the challenge and notified The Morning Star the team would arrive in Glens Falls on the 12:20 p.m. trolley on Saturday.

Rochester Clothing Co. won the game 27–8.

Amateur baseball was a popular pastime in the Glens Falls area in 1889.

Rock beats scissors, but paper mill workers beat pulp mill workers “in a lively game” in South Glens Falls on May 1 between pick-up teams comprised of employees of the two departments at Glens Falls Paper Co.

“The game took place in the field opposite the union school building,” The Morning Star reported on May 7. “Nine innings were played, and at the finish the score stood eight to five in favor of the paper mill men.”

On June 1, the Rochester Clothing Company baseball team, in a road game, played to a 1–1 tie with Corinth, cut short by rain.

“Owing to the rain, only five innings were played,” The Morning Star reported on June 3. “Not an error was made by either side, nor was there a passed ball.”

The two teams competed in a rematch June 15 at the Second Street grounds at Glens Falls.

“The Glens Falls nine are determined to make an earnest effort to defeat the visitors, and if they do not, the latter will have to do some exceptionally brilliant playing,” The Morning Star reported.

A ”good-sized crowd” watched as the hometown team won 15–3.

Walter Wait pitched for Rochester Clothing Co. and William Mosher was catcher.

“It has been some time since Wait has done any pitching, but his work Saturday left nothing to be desired.”

Newspaper publisher and businessman Addison B. Colvin was umpire.

The Rochester Clothing Company team was set to play the A.C.P.’s of Fort Edward on Aug.9.

Young sandlot baseball players at Glens Falls in 1889 were polite, pint-sized publicity agents when they approached reporters from The Morning Star of Glens Falls.

“’Say mister,’ said a red-cheeked urchin, ‘will you put an item in the paper that the Montcalm Street Stars challenges any nine in Glens Falls to play Saturday afternoon for a ball and a bat?’” The Morning Star reported on April 12

“’Say mister,’ said an urchin in knee-breeches, as he shifted something like a quarter of a pound of spruce gum to the leeward. ‘Will you put in the paper that the Flowers of Montcalm Street beat the H.M. Day nine 13 to 1?’ The Morning Star reported on May 1.

Click here to read my most recent previous regional baseball history post.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY