With tonight's All Star baseball game being played in Cincinnati, I am reminded of my grandfather, George Haitz, who loved baseball. He was a loyal Cincinnati Reds fan, and he would often have both the radio and television tuned to the Cincinnati Reds game during the season.
My grandfather spent his entire life in Ripley, Ohio and it's no wonder he was a baseball fan. The small town has a rich baseball history that certainly fed his love of the sport. He contributed to the history as during the 1940's, he played and was a coach for the small town team.
In the late 1800's, the small towns, on both sides of the Ohio River, near Ripley had amateur baseball teams. They competed with each other and the newspapers contained stories of the rivalries, games, and players. This From the Pages... post centers on the Ripley teams. Since I do not have access to the archived Ripley Bee here in South Carolina, the articles are from the Maysville newspapers, The Daily Public Ledger and The Public Ledger, which can be found on the website, Chronicling America.
In 1910, Herbert Whitley, his wife Sarah, and their infant twin daughters lived on Second Street in Ripley. Herbert was a clothing merchant and the manager of the Ripley baseball team. At that time, playing baseball on a Sunday was illegal in Ohio. Evidently, Herbert didn't agree with the law! An earlier fine did not deter him from trying again which then resulted in his arrest.
|Daily Public Ledger, 5 May 1910 , Maysville, Kentucky|
|Daily Public Ledger, 25 June 1910, Maysville, Kentucky|
By the next year, the law prohibiting Sunday ball games was off the books and the national pastime was once again enjoyed on Sunday by the citizens of the area.
|Daily Public Ledger, 11 May 1911, Maysville, Kentucky|
Talk of forming a league began in 1912. There was the Blue Grass League in Kentucky, however, the President of the Cincinnati Reds and the National Baseball Commission, August Garry Herrmann, was ruling against new teams joining.
|Daily Public Ledger, 23 February 1912, Maysville, Kentucky|
There were some spectators who did not want to pay admission to the ball game. Just how big was that tree and did their names get published? I might have to put to look that up the next time I am in Ripley on my To-Do list !
|The Public Ledger, 3 August 1916, Maysville, Kentucky|
The 1920 baseball season season started out with an opening game against Maysville. The Ripley uniforms were "dandy"!
|The Public Ledger, 25 March 1920, Maysville, Kentucky|
Unfortunately for Ripley, Maysville won that opening game. This article lists some of the players for both teams.
|The Public Ledger, 12 April 1920, Maysville, Kentucky|
The rivalry with Maysville that year was evident.
|The Public Ledger, 23 July 1920, Maysville, Kentucky|
Louis Frebis, a Ripley boy, left his home team to play for Zanesville in 1921.
|The Public Ledger, 2 March 1921, Maysville, Kentucky|
We will end our look at Ripley baseball with an article from the end of the 1921 season with the team looking forward to 1922 with a new field leased from Fred Hauke and $10 shares in the association being sold. Baseball was an important part of Ripley history!
|The Public Ledger, 28 September 1921, Maysville, Kentucky|