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Zouave Pitcher Baffles Batters With “Weak, Puzzling” Delivery

Salience Peripheral
Tags Civil War, Military
Location North Carolina
City/State/Country: Roanoke Island, NC, United States
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Age of Players Adult

“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]

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