Father Of Baseball
In the 1830’s a Manhattan, New York teenage volunteer firefighter named Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr played bat-and-ball games on the streets of NYC. He establishment the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club in 1842 playing a game known as Town Ball.
Cartwright laid out the first diamond with a 90-foot distance between bases (still regulation today) and wrote the first set of rules in 1845. The game of baseball was established. Cartwright organized the first baseball team, the Knickerbockers of NYC.
In 1849, Cartwright moved to Hawaii and served as the Honolulu Fire Chief. His love for baseball was evident as he set up a baseball field on Oahu at Makiki Field.
As advisor to King David Kalakaua and Queen Emma Cartwright encouraged the growth of baseball on the islands until his death in 1892, a year before the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.
Native Hawaiians fell in love with baseball, so did King David Kalakaua.
“Baseball was played at Makiki Field in Honolulu, Oahu Hawaii before it was introduced to most of the continental United States because of Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr.”
Hawaii Ethnic Baseball
During the sugar plantation immigration years ethnic baseball teams were established in Hawaii. In 1915 an all Chinese baseball team traveled to the U.S. to play a game against Rice University. The Chinese team was sponsored by Hawaiian business owners from the China Town area to create good publicity and exposure for the islands. To make it easier to schedule games with mainland colleges the team adopted the name Chinese University of Hawaii even though they had no relation to the University. Back then it was still known as the College of Hawaii, they never played baseball until 1917.
Before World War II, ethnic rivalries born out of plantation leagues fueled fan interest in the glory years of Hawaii League baseball. Large crowds would attend games between the All-Hawaiians, All-Chinese, All-Filipinos, the Asahi (Japanese), the Braves (Portuguese), the Wanderers and the Elks (Haole-Caucasian).
After World War II the ethnic rivalry dwindled as teams started picking up players of other nationalities. That didn’t stop fans from gathering to watch the game of baseball.
The Japanese Asahi added two haole players who were instrumental in changing the team’s name to the Athletics because of relationship with Japan at the time.
~ Cartwright was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as an executive 46 years after his death. Cartwright was officially declared the inventor of the modern game of baseball by the 83rd United States Congress on June 3, 1953.
Article Reference & Related Links: