Monday, January 19, 2009

Baseball On Jamaica Pond

Winter days beget winter memories. There was a time when Jamaica Pond was a winter resource, and not just drive-by scenery for busy motorists. I'll let anyone so interested delve into the identities of the players listed below, but I'll recognize at least two. The name George Wright might be familiar - a public golf course is named after him in Hyde Park. Wright was one of the earliest baseball stars, and managed the Boston Red Stockings to several championships. After leaving baseball, he ran a sporting goods store in Boston, and laid out the golf course at Franklin Park. The Gen. Dixwell whose invitation is noted was quite another cat. He was a well-to-do gentleman and a baseball fanatic of a type of whom we would well recognize today. "General" Dixwell kept statistics of games and players, and kept three adjoining seats at the South End grounds, the better to support his portly frame. He was a celebrity in his own right, often quoted in the Boston newspapers, and a suitable guest for this extrordinary game.

Boston Daily Globe Jan 5, 1893


Game Will be Played on the Jamaica Pond Today.

Many Well-Known Professional Players Will Participate.

College and Interscholastic Leagues Will Also be Represented.

There will be a game of base ball on Jamaica Pond this afternoon at 3 o'clock. The players will wear skates and all the implements used in a regular game will be brought into service.

The idea of playing base ball on ice is not entirely new, having been tried several years ago on this same pond, when fully 5000 people witnessed an interesting contest between two nines composed of prominent players.

Today it is proposed that the scheme be tried again and with the ice in such splendid condition and with a small army of well-known players, all eager to lend a hand, the contest should be well worth witnessing.

The diamond will be laid out according to the lines suggested by THE GLOBE three weeks ago, which, if adopted, promises to increase batting. The pitcher will be put back to the centre of the diamond, as suggested in that same article.

The men will be allowed to overskate their bases, simply touching them as they pass, and other changes in the rules likely to be adopted at the next meeting of the national league, will be tried for the first time.

The teams will be composed of 10 players each and two well-known enthusiasts of the national game have been invited to act as umpires.

In order to keep the crowd off the playing surface and give everybody a good opportunity to see the game at the same time, a number of police officers will be on hand.

In this game will appear some of the brightest and most popular stars connected with the national league, the college league, the interscholastic league, as well as such well-known retired players as George Wright, John Morrill, Tim Murnano, John Manning, Harry Schafer, Tom Bond, Murtie Hackett and others.

Harvard College will be represented by some of the following ball players, who are also clever skaters: "Jack" Highlands, "Slugger" Mason, "Joe" Upton, "Andy" Highlands, F.H. Hovey, "Bernie" Trafford, "Al" Dickinson, John Corbett, "Wrenny" Paine, "Dick" Bullard, Jack Hayes, "Fred" Paul and others.

In the interscholastic league such well-known players as "Bob" Stevenson of Hopkinson, Tom More of Cambridge, George Close of Cambridge, Second Baseman Tobey and Left Fielder Goodridge of Cambridge, both of whom are brilliant polo players; "Hart" Hayes of Boston Latin, who has recently joined that school; Third Baseman Beal of Boston Latin, I.S. Clark of English high and Leo Ware of Roxbury Latin.

Some of the professional players who will play are Arthur Clarkson, Miah Murray, Tim Keefe, Arthur Irwin, John Irwin, Ed Crane, Fred Doe, Tom Cotter, Jim Canavan, Billy Murray, Hugh Duffy, Mike Slattery and George Haddock.

Gen. Dixwell has been invited to see the game.

Most of the boys will take the 2.20 train from the Providence station, as the game will begin on time.

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