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First International Game Played by New York Rules

Salience Prominent
Location Western New York
City/State/Country: Clifton, Ontario, Canada
Game Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Adult

In a game played in what is now Niagara Falls, Ontario, the Queen City Club of Buffalo defeated the Burlington Club of Hamilton, Ontario, 30-25. 




[A] This game appears on the Protoball Games Tabulation [WNY Table] compiled by Craig Waff. It was reported as "the first match ever played by Clubs from the United States and Canada." in the Buffalo Morning Express on August 18, 1860.

[B] Joseph Overfield, The 100 Seasons of Buffalo Baseball (Partner's Press, 1985), page 17. Overfield does not cite a primary source for this event.

[C] Hamilton Spectator, August 18, 1860.


The New York Sunday Mercury of June 3, 1860, carries the box score of a "NEW YORK vs. CANADA' game in Schenectady, NY, between the Mohawk Club and the "Union Club of Upper Canada". The box indicates that the game was played by the New York Rules. However, the political unit called Upper Canada went out of existence in 1841.  A youthful nineteenth century prank?  See also "Supplemental Information," below, for further commentary. 


[Source B] Joseph Overfield notes that the Buffalo NY team called the Queen Cities played a team from Hamilton, Ontario in August 1860, and says that it was the first international contest played by the National Association rules.

[Source C] In 2014, Bill Humber located an Ontario source for the game, the Hamilton Spectator of August 18, 1860.  Bill notes that the village of Clifton Ontario later became the town of Niagara Falls, Ontario.  Bill reports that the crowd attending the game may have been at a tight-rope walking exhibition over the Niagara Gorge that day. 

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Submitted by Craig Waff, Bill Humber
Submission Note Games Tab 1.0; Humber emails of May 21and June 6 2014
Has Supplemental Text Yes


<comments voting="Plus" />

Supplemental Text

In reviewing the evidence on the first international game on June 6, 2014, Bill Humber writes:

"re. the June 1860 -- this is a (4/16/2014)note on that I received from Bob Tholkes

 'Here's the item on the game involving the "Union Club of Upper Canada" in Schenectady on May 19, 1860, from the Schenectady Daily News, May 22, 1860:

 THE MATCH GAME OF Base Ball played Saturday afternoon between the Mohawk club of this city and the Union Club of the Junior Class of Union College, resulted in the following score:


Mohawk, 31 runs . . .


The article then listed the players, without the box score sent to the Sunday Mercury. These matched the names in the box score. 


Why the college club decided to pretend to be from Canada is unknown. Perhaps one or more of the players were Canadian.'

so it's a red herring."