Hoboken, NJ - Before there was the Cake Boss, there was Baseball

This baseball history blog is about the start of organized baseball in Hoboken, NJ and is written by middle schooler Matt Nadel of Springfield, NJ.

Hi baseball fans.  I'm Matt Nadel, a 13 year old middle schooler from Springfield, NJ who loves baseball history and blogs about it at my blog, Baseball with Matt.  Since today is the beginning of what I hope will be many Patch blogs, I wanted to blog about the beginning of organized basbeball.

In 1845, the Knickerbockerclub of New York City began to use Elysian Fields in Hoboken to play baseball, because the land in New York City wasn't suitable for a ballpark. On June 19 (which is the birthday of the Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig), 1846, the Knickerbockers (led by Alexander Cartwright) played the New York Nine on Elysian Field in the first organized baseball game between two clubs. The Nine defeated the Knickerbockers 23-1, which is a pretty lopsided score for a baseball game. By the 1850s, several New York City-based teams began to use this field as their home field. On August 3, 1865, a crowd of 20,000 fans gathered to see the rain-shortened five inning championship game between the Mutual Club of New York and the Atlantic Club of Brooklyn. The Atlantics won 13-12 and the game was painted in a famous Currier and Ives print in 1866 called "The American National Game of Base Ball". (Wow!! Why were so many baseball games at Elysian Fields so high scoring?)

With the construction of two ballparks in Brooklyn, the popularity of Elysian Fields began to fade away. In 1868, the Mutual Club hosted its home games at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn. In 1880, the founders of the New York Metropolitans and New York Giants moved to a ballpark in Manhattan that became known as the Polo Grounds. (The Polo Grounds were home to the New York Giants fans until 1957, when they moved to San Francisco. From 1962-1963, it was home to the New York Mets.) The last recorded professional baseball game at Elysian Fields occurred in 1873. The large parkland area was eventually used for housing. Either way, the land that Elysian Fields used to sit on will be a landmark for all baseball fans as the first ever organized baseball game.

For those of you interested, Carlo's Bakery was founded only in 1910 by Carlo Guastaferro. In 1964, it was bought by Buddy Valastro Sr., but the shop is currently owned by his son, Buddy Valastro Jr. Since the first episode of Cake Boss in April 2009, a show that documents the bakery, Carlo's Bakery has become one of the most popular bakeries in the United States. 

Hope you liked what I had to say. If you have any comments or suggestions, please post them.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Andrew Kardon August 24, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Great article, Matthew! Was there anything different about that very first game in 1846 though? Did they play 9 innings and field 9 players?
Baseball with Matt (MLB Pro Blogger) August 24, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Great question. They played a game up to 21 aces (that's what they called runs) with nine men on each team.
Patti Illuzzi August 24, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Great job Matthew! Did you know that before Cake Boss, Hoboken (my home town) was also home to the first girl to ever play Little League Baseball. Her name was Maria Pepe and she was amazing.
Faith Racusin August 27, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Great info for adults and kids. Thanks for sharing your blog!
Joe Pickering Jr. August 29, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Matt you are amazing! Your knowledge about baseball and love for our National Game is marvelous!
Baseball with Matt (MLB Pro Blogger) August 30, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Thats very interesting. I've actually heard of her but never studied her in great detail.
Baseball with Matt (MLB Pro Blogger) August 30, 2012 at 12:31 AM
You are very welcome.
Baseball with Matt (MLB Pro Blogger) August 30, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Thanks Joe! Just trying to educate the youth of our community about baseball history.


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