Bay City Times - Tuesday, May 18, 1909.
THE FIRST GAME ON NEW DIAMOND
DROPPED TO BATTLE CREEK AFTER HARD STRUGGLE.
SCORE WAS 3 TO 2.
THE BAY CITY TEAM SATISFIED THOUSANDS OF FANS.
Dedication of Clarkson Park a Success – Contest Lost to Visitors by Error in Sixth.
The opening game in the Southern Michigan baseball league for Bay City this year will go down in the history of local sporting as one of the best played contests that has ever been seen in this city, even though Battle Creek did win by the score of 3 to 2. As it was the contest really should have favored Herr’s aggregation, but a fatal wild throw with the bases full was the point which decided that at the end of the game Bay City was to show up on the score board as the loser. The visitor earned one tally as they themselves admit, while to Bay City must be given the credit of twice having crossed home-plate with runs that were devoid of all errors on the side of their opponents.
Big Hi Cole was placed in the box for Bay City, and although he practically lost his own game in the sixth, the twirler tossed the ball over the plate in a manner which showed that some day he may travel in a bigger league than the one in which he is now playing. At least half a dozen times he succeeded in pulling himself out of a hole when added runs seemed certain.
However, Freeland, in the box for Battle Creek, is almost equally deserving of credit, having played a steady game, keeping his arm in control, and with the support of his team mates putting up an exhibition of ball which was all that could be desired of a team opposing Bay City for the opening of the new Clarkson park.
THE OPENING OF THE PARK.
With a simple but impressive ceremony, Clarkson park was formally dedicated yesterday afternoon before a good natured crowd numbering close to 5,000 people. The attendance was remarkable, being the largest opening day crowd in Michigan. Old Sol allowed the anxious fans a few beams of the long looked for sunlight just as T. G. Clarkson, father of the famous base ball star drew the crimson and white banner to the top of the flagstaff. As the pennant reached the top of the pole the band, together with both teams, and the board of directors, who had gathered around the pole, struck up a lively march and thus mingled with the voices of thousands of people, Clarkson park was formerly dedicated.
While the weather was cold and damp, remarkable good humor prevailed among the lovers of the national game, and megaphones, horns and many other ear racking devices were much in evidence.
At 2:30 the grandstand and bleachers were crowded to the limit and even standing room as at a premium.
The first ball was pitched by Major Eddie Evans, and he stepped into the pitchers box. Manager Herr handed him a brand new sphere. Judge Collins with mask and glove crouched behind the batter, Sheriff Kinney. The grim of determination on Kinney’s face gave the fans the impression that the ball was going to be planted. It was, too, not in the outfield but in the glove of Judge Collins. Sheriff Kinney is consoling himself today by the thought that if he had ever hit it the sphere would still be going.
Cole and Newcomb were the choice of Herr, for the local battery, and although Cole did not win his game, he won his way into the hearts of the fans not only with his invincible smile but with his work as a slab artist.
The sixth inning was the Waterloo for Herr’s men, the Foodists running in three scores with the material help of a misplay by Cole himself. Even after such hard luck, the men were not discouraged, but tried at every opportunity to score, bringing the fans to their feet time, and time again only to be disappointed again.
Though they lost, the team looks good to the local fans and all were unanimous in declaring that Manager Herr has brought the best aggregation to Bay City that has ever stepped on local ball fields.
Both pitchers were given excellent support, the field work being sensational at times. King and Cole contributed Bay City’s only errors, the former on an overthrow to home plate to save a score. Cole’s benders hung the foolish sign on the bats of the Battle Creekers as the number of strikeouts readily testify. Cole was touched for six hits and passed but one man.
THE GAME IN DETAIL.
Henderson, the first man to bat, flew out to Sesenbach, and Traynor and Wenley fanned.
McGraw came to bat for Bay City rapping a safe hit to left field. Senay followed with a sacrifice hit but was thrown out at first. Henderson was next up and was thrown out to first by Traynor.
In the first of the second Steward struck out. Heringer followed with a long hit to center. Comstock was thrown out by Tierney at first, and Oberton was retired. In Bay City’s half of the second Tierney was advanced to first on a dead ball but was caught napping by the Foodists’ twirler. King fanned and Webster flew to first.
Battle Creek in the third came the nearest to scoring of any time up to the sixth. With two men on bases, Henderson put a long drive into right field which was easy money for the Bay City captain and latter threw the ball back to home, the sphere there just in time to catch Rearden as he was about to touch the sack.
Two men fanned and the third knocking a slow ground to short which the latter tossed over to first placed Bay City again on the field.
In the first of the fourth, Wenley fanned. Stewart was put out by a long throw from Henderson to King. Hesbenger was thrown out at first by King for Bay City. Henderson flew out to Henderson of Battle Creek. Zwilling made a beautiful long drive to right field getting two bases. Tierney flew out to Oberton and King was retired.
Comstock made second on a long drive to center in the first of the fifth. Oberton got out on a sacrifice, Rearden fanned and Freeland flied out to Sensy.
Bay City came to bat in the fifth determined to score. Webster started with a long drive to right field, but Newcomb was put out on a sacrifice hit. Cole flew to Wenley and McGraw to Traynor.
Now came the inning that defeated Bay City. Henderson got a long hit to right field and stole second; Traynor flew out to Zwilling, Henderson stole third and Wenley got a safe hit to left field and stole second. Stewart hit to center bringing in Henderson and Wenley and Stewart came home on a wild throw by Cole to Newcomb on Hebenger’s sacrifice. Comstock was thown out on first by Newcomb and Overton at first by Sensy.
The scoring had now begun and Bay City was determined to have a hand in it. Sensenbach started the ball rolling by a clean drive to left field and stole second and third; Henderson followed with a straight to center and Tierney brought in both runs by a long hit to center but was put out at second while attempting to steel third. King was next up and fanned.
In the seventh Reardon struck out, Freeland was caught out by Newcomb and Henderson fanned. For Bay City Webster got to base on balls, Newcomb sacrificed and was thrown out at first, Cole flew to Traynor and McGraw to Rearden.
In the first of the eighth, Traynor flew out to Zwilling, Wenley by King to Webster and Stewart was caught out by McGraw.
Bay City made a desperate effort to retrieve the game, but Sensy flew out to Oberton, and Henderson, followed with a long drive to right field getting two bases. Zwilling fanned and Tierney was caught out by Oberton.
In the first of the ninth King received Hebenger’s hit and threw him out at first. Comstock was caught at first by liner to Tierney, and Oberton fanned.
Bay City came to bat for the last time. Freeland threw out King at first, Webster was thrown out by Rearden and Newcomb flew to Hebenger.
* Batted for King in ninth.
Two-base hits -- Zwilling, Henderson.
Sacrifice hits -- Sensenbach, Newcomb, 2; Overton, Freeland.
Stolen bases -- Henderson.
Left on bases -- Bay City, 6; Battle Creek, 4.
First base on errors -- Battle Creek, 1; Bay City, 1.
Base on balls -- Freeland, 1; Cole, 1.
Hit by pitcher -- By Freeland, 1; Cole, 1.
Struck out -- By Cole, 9; Freeland, 6.
Double play -- Henderson and Newcomb.
Earned runs -- Bay City, 2.
Time -- 1:45
Umpire -- Clarkson
Standing of the Clubs.
Park destroyed by fire. - Contribute by Alan Flood, Oct., 2012.
Bay City Times – March 25, 1927
GRANDSTAND AT CLARKSON PARK COMPLETELY DESTROYED BY FIRE.
The grandstand at Clarkson park, the field where all league baseball games here were staged, was completely destroyed by fire late Thursday afternoon. It is thought the blaze was started by someone smoking in the stand, although no prove for this contention has been established. Insurance of $10,000 which was carried on te structure will not replace it, according to estimate of local contractors, who not long ago made examinations of the stands before certain repair work was started.
Firemen were able to do little in the matter of saving the stand. The entire plant was enveloped in flames before the trucks arrived. The men played water on adjoining buildings to prevent further loss, then turned to the demolished stand. Persons in the neighborhood said that the flames were leaping many feet above the roof before the fire department had been notified.
The stand was not quite 20 years old.
In the fall of 1908 local baseball enthusiasts met at the Republic hotel to discuss the feeling locally, of placing a team in the Southern Michigan league. The meeting decided unanimously to accept the proposal. A committee consisting of W. J. Lambert, J. C. McCabe, Louis Garrison and the late Thomas Burton was appointed to negotiate for a site and start construction of a stand.
On April 29, 1909 the Bay City Baseball Co., was organized with a capitalizatio0n of $8,000, all paid in by 74 individual stockholders who held stock certificates which were offered at $100 each. Before then, on January 10, 1909, the deal for the present site was consummated. It was thought that $5,000 would be sufficient money, but an additional $3,000 was necessary. In addition to that there had been lumber and materials worth about $3,000 donated.
Opened In May, 1908.
The stand was finally completed and the park placed in shape for the opening of the season early in May. The club, known then as the Bay City Cardinals, opened its home season on May 18 with 4,000 paid admissions. The fans had gathered to see the new park, the new team and to honor the late John G.
Clarkson, of the greatest pitchers the major leagues ever had. He had pitched here years before and had established a wide reputation which ws made greater through his later showings in the big league. His widow, his father and his brother, Arthur, were present at the opening game when the park was name in honor of the former star. Arthur umpired the game which Battle Creek won over Eddie Herr's Bay City Cityans, 3 to 2, in 12 innings. The late “Hi” Cole pitched the game for the locals.
The grandstand had a seating capacity of 1,500. It was repainted and repaired at the opening of the 1926 season.
The question of rebuilding will be taken up within a few days when officials of the Bay City Baseball Co., owners of the park and stand, and the Bay City Baseball association, present operators of the franchise meet.