Baseball is Fun in Seward, 1912

By Jim Ducker

Some of the country’s finest athletes play America’s national pasttime.   In July, some of the best of the best play in the All Star Game.  Spectacular fielding, powerful hitting and pitching, and pinpoint throws from the outfield are what we expect of the pros.  Many others–from Little League to high school and college to the minor leagues–play the game with equal seriousness, though not with the same level of skill.

But baseball’s pace and form of play also lends itself to just having fun.  That was how local men at Seward seem to have played the game reported in the Seward Gateway for July 6, 1912:

The Ball Game Was Some Sport 

The ball game yesterday between the fats and the leans was a scream from start to finish.  Owing to the inclement weather the attendance was not at all what is should have been, but aside from that, all was to the merry.  The packers of the adipose smeared the hungry aggregation to the tune of 10 to 8 and could have made it worse, except for the saving grace of humor and an antipathy for rubbing it in.

The game was replete with features among which were, the home runs of Auers and Patten, the absence of Likes, and the umpiring of Ellsworth.  Matanuska Martin heaved for the truck riders and pitched in a high English accent with a list to the port, while “skeets” Martin of the B. & H. forces, pushed them over for the human strings.

Both pitchers had everything but speed and control and both suffered from the bombardment of the opposing team.  Kirkpatrick and Patten repeatedly brought the crowd to their feet by their daring base running.  In an odd half hour when no one was looking, Kirk pinched second and slid home from center field.  Kirk runs like a wounded moose in a vine maple swamp, and Patten sprints with the easy careless grace of a freight car on a rough track, but what they lacked in action, they make up in motion.

Another feature of the game was the fanning of Reese, who played with Port Townsend in “76.”  The Duke protested, but Ellsworth was getting even and his highness got the belt for fanning 1000 per cent for the afternoon.  The winners will play the patients of the Pioneer hospital on Orange man’s day, July 12.