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LOCAL HISTORY: African American ball team whips Hawley in 1909 – News – News Eagle – Hawley, PA

Baseball has been a cherished, serious pastime in the Hawley, Pa. community for generations. The local team had the honor over a century ago to be trounced by an African-American team in 1909, led by one of the first major stars of early Black Baseball History.

HAWLEY – Baseball has been a cherished, serious pastime in the Hawley, Pa. community for generations. The local team had the honor over a century ago to be trounced by an African-American team in 1909, led by one of the first major stars of early Black Baseball History.
The game between the Hawley team and the Scranton Battling Giants took place on the home field, the north end of what would become Bingham Park.

Organized baseball was played at Hawley at least since 1883 when the Belmonts, thought to have been made up of men from the Bellemonte Silk Mill, played other nearby towns. The field alongside Hudson Street and part of the future town park, was a canal boat basin, drained after the canal shut down in 1898. The ball field was established in 1903 and was known simply as “Athletic Field.” Today, it is known as the John Salak Memorial Field, one of four in Hawley.
The field underwent extensive improvements in May of 1909. Officers were elected: M.E. Lewis, president; C. H. Freethy, treasurer and Charles Houck, secretary. Edward B. McAndrew was appointed manager

On June 26, 1909, the Hawley Team was pitted against the Scranton Battling Giants.
In a prelude to the game, the Honesdale Citizen reported, “Hawley plays the Battling Giants at Hawley, on Saturday, June 26th. The Giants are considered to be the equal of the Cuban Giants. With McClosky in the box for Hawley a hot game is looked forward to. Turn out everybody and loosen up.”

The Honesdale Citizen, on June 30th, carried the story with the headline, “Two Games Well Played, Won by Battling Giants!”

“A game extremely interesting was played at Hawley on Saturday, and shut out the home…

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