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1862.52 Zouave Pitcher Baffles Batters With “Weak, Puzzling” Delivery
“On Roanoke Island Hawkins' Zouaves formed two scrub teams. A young volunteer pitcher won for his side by a weak, puzzling delivery which baffled the batsmen. It was Alphonse Martin, first in line of great American pitchers.”
A. G. Spalding, America’s National Game (American Sports Publishing, 1911), page 97. Available online via Google Books. Roanoke Island is on the North Carolina Coast near Kitty Hawk NC, and about 80 miles SE of Norfolk VA.. Hawkin’s Zouaves were the 9th NY Regiment, which was organized in New York City and was at Roanoke Island in the early part of 1862. Alphonse “Phonney” Martin was then not yet 17. Known for throwing tricky pitches, “Old Slow Ball” Martin pitched for Troy, Brooklyn, and the New York Mutuals in 1872 and 1873. Spalding gives no source for this note, which may well have been received via personal communication.
The New York Sunday Mercury, April 20, 1862 mentions a match on Roanoke by Company F of this regiment. Another match is reported in same, June 8, 1862.[ba]
1862.98 50th NC Plays ball in Eastern NC
"War Diary of Kinchen Jahu Carpenter" (1955) p. 9: "We drilled some, did picket duty, played ball..." This in the fall/winter of 1862, when the 50th was stationed in eastern NC.
1863.36 Massachusetts Regiments Play NY Game Most, Mass Game Some
“All We two Compnys do is to drill 1 and ½ hower in th mornig gon gard once in two Weaks We play ball pitch quoits the rest of the time. We play the New York Gam most of the time. Mass Game some We Changle other Regement and thay us the 25 Mass is the Best plays 46 next 44 next 51 Nex Battarys Next 5 R.I. Last some exciting games to. Have a Greesy pole Grees Pig all sorts of games you can think of Card Domonuse, &c. . . . But How are the girls in M [Marlboro NH] . . . the Boys have bases up & are in a stem to have me play ball I supose I must go. . . [resuming later:] My side got 10 tales. The other side got 7 talies the sam wons are going to try it to morrow.”
Letter from Ora W. Harvey, April 15, 1863, from New Bern NC. Harvey, from Marlboro NH, was with the 46th MA. New Bern had been captured by the North in March 1862 and held for the entire war. Text and facsimile online via the Notre Dame rare book collection, accessed 6/14/09 via ”’msn/cw 5026-01’” search. Marlboro NH is just west of Keene NH, and about 20 miles north of the MA border. New Bern is near the Atlantic coast and is about 100 miles SE of Raleigh.
1864.32 NY Horseman Gets Banged Up Playing Ball
From an auction listing: “Includes Civil Diary of H. E. Randell of Co. L, 3rd Regiment of the New York Cavalry . . . . The multi-page hand-written diary gives a highly literate soldier’s accounts of life in the field during the Civil War. Randell’s entry for February 2, 1864 reads, in part, ‘Played Base Ball nearly all day and experienced a ‘chapter’ of accidents. Got a severe blow with ball to the face, and a finger almost broken . . . for it is a healthful sport and quite exciting.’ Randell’s reference to being struck by the ball also corroborates the contention that the game, played between New York and Massachusetts regiments, was played under Massachusetts rules.”
From an undated and unidentified auction catalog page accessed 6/26/09 at the Giamatti Center of the Baseball Hall of Fame [Civil War file]. The 3rd NY Cavalry formed in the Rochester/Syracuse region of upstate NY, where the old-fashioned game of ball[believed to be like the Massachusetts game] had been played before the War. The 3rd Regiment appears to have been in North Carolina in February 1864. Note: the diary is listed in the same lot as the trophy ball noted in file CW-140, and the cited diary entry [2/2/64] is the same as is written on that ball. The two items may be related, but the distance between the two regiments needs to be addressed.