HISTORY

Considered the Father of baseball in South Australia.
Considered the Father of baseball in South Australia.

In December 1888, and continuing into 1889, a tour by two American teams (Chicago and All-American), organised by A. G. Spalding, visited Australia to promote the game of baseball.

Games were played in Victoria, NSW and South Australia, with an accompanying balloonist as a major attraction. The teams mainly played against themselves, with an occasional game against some locals.

On their departure from Australia, the Americans left behind a gentleman named Harry Simpson, who proceeded to help establish the sport of baseball in Australia. While Simpson was teaching the finer points of the game in Victoria, a number of South Australian clubs sprung up and commenced playing some matches on an ad-hoc basis.

Claude  is the son of Rue, they played together in the early days of SA baseball
Claude is the son of Rue, they played together in the early days of SA baseball

Early teams came from: The Survey Department, Post & Telegraph, Engineering in Chief department, Prince Alfred College, St Peters College, North Adelaide Cricket Club and the Norwood Cricket Club. Other independent clubs which formed were: Padlock, Semaphore, Hardwick, Stepney, Port Adelaide, Onkaparinga, Norwood, Silverton, Goodwood and South Adelaide

There were early reports stating that in Melbourne there were six regular organised clubs, as well as one in Hawthorn, one in Albert Park, two in Sydney, two in Broken Hill and five in New Zealand. There were also reports of baseball being developed in country regions, Renmark and Port Lincoln.

A team comprised from members of the visiting ‘Hicks Sawyer Minstrel Troupe’, a Negro brass band playing in Adelaide’s ‘Garners Rooms’, played two games in April 1889 at Adelaide Oval against South Australia. The locals won the first game (Saturday, April 6), 19-2, with the Minstrels probably more interested in entertaining the crowd with their antics on the field. Rue Ewers hit a home run in this game. The second game was won by the Minstrels 16-12 on the following Thursday.

At Easter, the South Australians ventured over to Melbourne to play Victoria, winning the first game 16-14, and the third game 27-18 after losing the second game 22-26, to win the first inter-colonial (interstate) competition between the colonies (states).

Eight clubs attended the inaugural Annual General Meeting in April 1889 to decide when the first official South Australian baseball season should commence. Although Melbourne had chosen a winter season to accommodate the large amount of cricketers playing baseball, the South Australians decided on a summer season, starting on September 1, 1889, to accommodate their players, who tended to be footballers wanting to keep fit in the off-season.

The original eight clubs represented at the first AGM were: Survey, Norwood, North Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Padlocks, Post & Telegraph, Goodwood and Engineering in Chief department.

In December 1888, and continuing into 1889, a tour by two American teams (Chicago and All-American), organised by A. G. Spalding, visited Australia to promote the game of baseball.

Games were played in Victoria, NSW and South Australia, with an accompanying balloonist as a major attraction. The teams mainly played against themselves, with an occasional game against some locals.

On their departure from Australia, the Americans left behind a gentleman named Harry Simpson, who proceeded to help establish the sport of baseball in Australia. While Simpson was teaching the finer points of the game in Victoria, a number of South Australian clubs sprung up and commenced playing some matches on an ad-hoc basis.

Early teams came from: The Survey Department, Post & Telegraph, Engineering in Chief department, Prince Alfred College, St Peters College, North Adelaide Cricket Club and the Norwood Cricket Club. Other independent clubs which formed were: Padlock, Semaphore, Hardwick, Stepney, Port Adelaide, Onkaparinga, Norwood, Silverton, Goodwood and South Adelaide

There were early reports stating that in Melbourne there were six regular organised clubs, as well as one in Hawthorn, one in Albert Park, two in Sydney, two in Broken Hill and five in New Zealand. There were also reports of baseball being developed in country regions, Renmark and Port Lincoln.

A team comprised from members of the visiting ‘Hicks Sawyer Minstrel Troupe’, a Negro brass band playing in Adelaide’s ‘Garners Rooms’, played two games in April 1889 at Adelaide Oval against South Australia. The locals won the first game (Saturday, April 6), 19-2, with the Minstrels probably more interested in entertaining the crowd with their antics on the field. Rue Ewers hit a home run in this game. The second game was won by the Minstrels 16-12 on the following Thursday.

At Easter, the South Australians ventured over to Melbourne to play Victoria, winning the first game 16-14, and the third game 27-18 after losing the second game 22-26, to win the first inter-colonial (interstate) competition between the colonies (states).

Eight clubs attended the inaugural Annual General Meeting in April 1889 to decide when the first official South Australian baseball season should commence. Although Melbourne had chosen a winter season to accommodate the large amount of cricketers playing baseball, the South Australians decided on a summer season, starting on September 1, 1889, to accommodate their players, who tended to be footballers wanting to keep fit in the off-season.

The original eight clubs represented at the first AGM were: Survey, Norwood, North Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Padlocks, Post & Telegraph, Goodwood and Engineering in Chief department.

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