Mike Hauser contacted us right out of the blue. He had a simple proposition, with a grand design. He was ressurecting an historic ballpark and wanted an authentic baseball team to anoint the occasion. He contacted the Whately Pioneers.
Parkhurst Field was opened in 1906 as JAGs Park, Home of the NY JAGs (Johnstown, Amsterdam, Gloversville). Gloversville was a popular stop on the FJG Rail Line and JAGs Park, seating 1500 fans, was an annual stop for professional barnstorming teams after the MLB season ended.
Chief Bender, Moonlight Graham, Cy Young (Managing the Boston Americans) , Joe Birmingham (played on the JAGs and managed shoeless Joe Jackson), Honus Wagner and a parade of the World's best and legendary players played right here in their prime.
The ownership of the Park passed from FG&G Railroad to the Parkhurst Family and finally to the Gloversville Little League.
This Historic commemoritive Match is Mike Hauser and Dave Karpinski's step 1 of the dream to restore the Heritage and History of Parkhurst Field on a continuing basis. They have collected invaluable baseball artifacts about the Field, it's players, events and significant people to warrant collection and display in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. The New Roadsign dedicated after the 7th inning, will be a permanent marker for this event today and for every day in the future.
Mike and Dave's presentation is set to become part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown later this fall. The event will also serve to highlight and showcase the recently opened Parkhurst Field Museum. The museum documents the little-known history of the grounds from 1906 to the present day.
The Gloversville Leader-Hearald cover The Event
History of Parkhurst Field
The Event Poster
As usual, the first thing Buck does at a Match site is to check out the vital signs. It's like a sound check at a concert venue. The grounds and the support and staff were exactly as Mike and Dave said it would be. Mike had "The Look", and I don't have the words to explain what this is unless you have been responsible for a live event; then you know. It is a mindset that is a combination of 'the hunter', 'the hunted', 'joyous anticipation', 'fear of the future', and fueled by ultra-high adrenalin levels. Game Face.
The grounds were groomed and ready. All Buck had to do was line her up. The buildings were painted, the staff was there for vending, announcing and ceremony participation. The permanent sign dedication was in place and the itinerary was scripted. The Pioneers started to file in, and there was as many different looks as players. None of the Pioneers knew what to expect, and if you weren't a Pioneer hard-core, you weren't even there. Bullet could not be there, and that was the only negative feeling Buck had the whole day. The Pioneers know what to do before a Match. Watching the Whately Pioneers pre-match in the dugout or during a Match is as interesting as watching 'The Pride' on the field. Barb, Loo and Ericka were at the Grounds, the world was right as rain.
Buck was worried about the level of players Mike and Dave could conjur up. Haha, he needn't have. The catcher Buck tried (and failed) to provide for them turned out to be a Div I level baseball player in top baseball shape. A stud. A couple of normal looking players filed in and then five or six youngish high quality baseball atheletes; including the ex-College pitcher Buck caught the week before and who re-broke his thumb. There was going to be a lot of pressure on Saint to keep us in this Match, and we better hit. And field. The Gloversville 9 were decked out in custom uniforms Mike and Dave created for this event. This Match would be the first match in five years that Fans would have to pay at the gate to watch. This is when all the work and preparation pay off; you are good enough to be entertaining to watch; and pay for the privilege.
The AJG hurler was good, Buck had worked him out the previous week. He was cool as a cucumber and struck out the Pioneer leadoff man and the next Pioneer striker as well. Sterling, bless him, knock the snot out of one into left center for a double and then Lord ***BOOM*** lost a $15 base ball in the woods on the other side of the fence in left. This was a pleasant reminder of the Chesterfield Match vs. the Wheelmen, and we took that 2-0 lead to thew bottom of the first.
Like most good pitchers, Saint gains momentum during a match, and he cranks it up in stages. This AJG team caught Saint in level 2, and Mr Hathaway, their cleanup hitter, also lost a $15 base ball, with 2-on, and made the score 3-2 Gloversville after one frame. The Pioneers tied the score in the second on a nice SAC from Albie scoring Turk. The Whately 9 parlayed a walk, a Saint single and a muff into 2 Aces in the 6th to take a 5-3 lead. Meanwhile, Saint has 8 Ks in 5 innings. The AJGs are good, and starting to look that way. They turned the tables on the Pioneers and hustled a couple of runs to tie thing up in the 6th.
The Seventh would be the Match's turning point. The fresh Gloversville hurler retired the Pride quietly, while the AJGs put pressure on the Pioneer defense and hit some balls hard. When the dust cleared, the G9 had their second lead of the match, 9-5. The Pioneers went quickly again in the 8th, the G9 playing with confidence now. This is the most raw talent the Pride have ever matched up against. But The Pride never say die. And after two G9 tack-on aces in the 8th, the Pride had 3 more hands to say it. 11-5 Gloversville entering the 9th.
The first two Pioneers reached in the 9th on muffs. This is a great start for a rally. The new hard-throwing righty for the AJGs buckled down and with 2 hands down struk out Mittens but let the ball elude him. When the dust cleared, Lord and Saint had scored and Mittens was on first base with the score 11-7. The Pioneers were alive. Albie struck a nicely hit ball at the second baseman and the match was in the History books. AJG All Stars 11, Whately Pioneers 7.
The Historic Match was literally In The Books.
We are the Visiting Team.