By Toby Kissam; With Barbara LaMonica
Shortly after the Civil War, baseball’s popularity rapidly spread throughout Long Island. Many towns, including Brooklyn and Queens, (Nassau County was part of Queens until 1899), formed their own baseball clubs. Rival clubs would challenge each other, with many games played at county fairs. Most of the teams consisted of farmers, merchants, and students, although they often had semi-pro players in their lineups.
Later, other clubs were formed including the Young Suffolks, the Huntington Base Ball Club and teams from different parts of town like the Northport Base Ball Club and the West Side Boys.
Huntington Suffolk Baseball Club, 1893
THE FIRST BASEBALL MATCH
What appears to be the first organized baseball match in Huntington was between the Huntington and Dix Hills Base Ball Clubs, as reported in the November 2, 1866 issue of The Long-Islander:
The match was played near the home of David Woodhull Conklin. His house still stands on the west side of West Neck Road near Tanyard Lane. Conklin’s lot was on the east side of the road about where the Methodist Church stands today.
Tintypes of the early Suffolk Base Ball Club
In April of the following year, the Suffolk Base Ball Club held an inter-club match between the 1st Nine and the Field, to select the team for 1867. The following month they called for a meeting to be held on Friday evening at the Suffolk Hotel on Main Street to ready them for the up-coming season.
As noted on reverse: "Suffolks of Huntington" -- a semipro base ball team around 1888
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This blog has been written by various affiliates of the Huntington Historical Society.