In Honolulu on 9 February 1859

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Awaiting Review
Date of Game Wednesday, February 9, 1859
Location Honolulu, HI, United States
Field Next to the Old Stone Church

The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Feb. 10, 1859, reports on the celebration the day before (Feb. 9th) of King Kamehameha IV's birthday: "After the parade, the entire [Fire] Department, with the Chief Engineer, Alexander J. Cartwright, Esq., at the head, marched to the pic-nic ground, makai of the Stone Church, where, after a few appetizing games of ball, they sat down to a sumptuous repast..."

"Makai" is a Hawaiian term for "towards the ocean". The "Stone Church" is undoubtedly the old "Church of the Ali'i" or royal chapel, now Kawaiaha'o Church, where King Lunalilo us buried, 957 Punchbowl Street. Even today the grounds on the ocean side of that church are a park.  Every year, on the king's birthday, the Fire Department would lead a parade in Honolulu and settle down at the church park for a picnic. 

And yes, this is baseball "founder" Alexander Cartwright. It is likely, but not certain, that the game played was base-ball and not some predecessor game such as wicket, which was known in the Islands.

The memoirs of Hawaiian pioneer William Castle (cited in Nucciarone, "Alexander Cartwright" p. 198) says that before he (Castle) introduced the new baseball game to Hawaii in 1866, the bat-ball games played there were "two o-cat" and "three o-cat".

Same issue has another article on a ball game: "Dull Times [for Business] ...on Tuesday at high noon, an impromptu game of 'bat and ball' was got up on Queen Street, directly opposite the store of T. Spencer, Esq., which for  short time was prosecuted quite vigorously, much to the amusement of the bystanders. Clerks and Merchants caught the infection, and the sport was only stopped by some strong arm sending the ball overboard."

Queen Street is right in downtown and near the Stone Church. Thomas Spencer was a Ship's Chandler (supplier) and Commission Merchant. He and Cartwright were vice-presidents of the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce.


The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Feb. 10, 1859

Found by Bruce Allardice


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