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Look Back: Baseball steals the scene

This early Parkersburg baseball team was photographed at what was known as the “Y(MCA)” field. It was located at the end of Juliana Street, between Riverview Cemetery and DeSales Heights Academy, today, the site of First Presbyterian Church. (Photo provided by Bob Enoch)

For climbing baseball fence

At 3 p.m. today before Squire Thomas will be heard the cases of three or four men, who thought it cheaper to climb the fence at the baseball park than to pay their way yesterday. The management of the local team has had a great amount of trouble since the season opened in keeping persons from stealing in. At some of the contests the number that have paid has been much smaller than the number that have not.

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Baseball at Wadesville

There was a grand picnic and celebration out at Wadesville yesterday, at which all the surrounding country was in attendance. Incidentally, there was a baseball game at which the Lubeck and Wadesville teams participated. After pounding the Wadesville boys all over the field, the Lubeck boys swallowed them whole, hide and all. Score, 15 to 2 in favor of Lubeck.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

July 5, 1902

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More Sunday ball:

Boys annoy residents of the Fourth Ward

Sunday base ball, so far as the Parkersburg team is concerned, is practically a thing of the past from all indications, but there are Sunday games played by boys in the very heart of the city.

Yesterday afternoon some of the residents near the corner of Charles and Williams streets, asked that the city police stop a game that was in progress there. It was stated that a large number of boys were there and that the annoyance was more than the residents cared to hear.

The Parkersburg News

July 7, 1902

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Fence at ball park proves too tempting for many young men; All Cubans here tomorrow — great game with the undefeated Islanders

Manager Harry Leonard, of the Parkersburg Baseball team, declared that it is a disgrace to Parkersburg citizenship, the manner in which men climb the fence to see base ball games. Well respected young men of the city, save their quarters in this manner, while some that are as well respected but not so young, do the same thing. Clerks and other employees earning fair salaries do not seem to have any scruples about beating their way into a ball game, while they would stop and consider long before stealing the price of admission in any other way.

The support given the local team has not been the best in the world, not comparing with that given in cities in Ohio, of smaller size and with teams not so good.

It has been rumored to some extent that the All Cuban team would appear in this city. Manager Leonard received a telegram this morning from the manager of that team, from Wheeling, stating that it would be here tomorrow. Every member of this team is a native born Cuban, the majority being residents of Havana. They play a great game of ball, having lost none of twenty-nine played.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

July 9, 1902

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SURPRISE! Parkersburg base ball team defeated All Cubans

By a score of 6 to 1 Parkersburg took its first whack at the flawless players all from Cuba.

Excerpt from the Parkersburg Daily State Journal

July 11, 1902

NOTE: The above game against the Cubans was played at Stephenson Park. This ball field was created in May 1902, and situated near the playground area of what is now the Jefferson Elementary Center, just off Plum Street in the east end of Parkersburg. The Parkersburg baseball team was part of a semi-pro, independent league formed in the late 1890s.

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Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society. If you have comments or questions about Look Back items, please contact him at: roberteenoch@gmail.com, or by mail at WCHPS, PO Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.

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