This interesting short article was researched and submitted by Mary Rhodes from the early newspaper, Wellsville Free Press, August 19, 1868.
Base Bawl – Our usually quiet town was considerably enlivened on Saturday last by the appearance in our midst of several of the “monarchs of the wood” from the town of Alma, styling themselves the “Gladiator Base Ball Club”.
According to previous arrangements they came to play a match game with the club of our place known as the “Belmonts”. All the preliminaries having been arranged the two classes took their respective positions, “Gladiators” out, and “Belmonts” in.
Mr. Umpire says, “pass the ball.”
Mr. Pitcher Gladiator says “How’s that?” “Why didn’t you knock?” “Why don’t the umpire call strikes?”
Mr. Umpire says, “Out on 3rd.”
Gladiator, “No, that wasn’t out.” “It ain’t fair.” “Why don’t you call balls on the pitcher?”
And so things continued until about the fourth innings, when Mr. Umpire concluded that this kind of a thing was “played out,” and called the game, which was decided to be no game at all, as only three innings had been played.
“Gladiators,” unlike their Roman predecessors, withdrew to their native forests without concluding the strife, and left their plumes with their Scio confreres, from whom they were borrowed.
What a pity it is that everybody can’t have their own way. “Decision on this.”