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SEMI-WEEKLY MAUI NEWS, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1922.
THBHe HOW MAUI HANDLES ATHLETICS By J. Garcia, Chairman Sports Committee, M. C. F. & R. A. In attempting to give the leaders of Maul News a story on baseball and other athletics for a number of years back, the writer can only de pend upon memory for many of the incidents appearing hereafter, as no authentic records have been kept un til recently, even the records of the Maul Athletic Association, an organ ization formed in 1901 having disap peared. In years gone by, practically the only sport known on the Island of Maui was baseball, this being the na tional game, and one which the writer can remember as far back as his early childhood it Is .only natural that I shall dwell on that branch of nporl more than any other, aside from the fact, that it is still Hip most popular game existing. (Football, basketball, soccer and competitive swimming were hardly ever heard of in the early days ex cept, possibly, in reports of events on the Mainland, although foot races were held on Maul thirty years ago. Tug of war was also had in the early nays at tne old skating rink, below the Iao river bridge in Wailuku on the road to Waihee. Sand Hill Grounds The first basetmll grounds used on this Island was called 'Kaulien,' lo cated on the sand hills near Pauku kalo, on the north side of the Iao stream, which grounds are now used for goat pasturage. Many thrilling games were held at this spot, and well can the writer remember how people would crowd around the base ball field in gala attire riding their horses or in quaint buggies. The scene was shifted to the sand hills a little below the present Fleming tract, on a straight line between Wai luku and Kahului, and very many games were played there, the writer remembering some old timers play ing there. Simultaneously games were also played at Waikapu, on the site of the present reservoir. George Cummings, Billie Cornwell, Charlie Bailey, and a few more of the old timers have played ball not only on the Waikapu grounds but also on the sand hill diamond. When a visiting team did come to Maui, and in those days it was a very rare occasion (speaking of the period from 1890 to 1900) what a thrill would go through the hearts of those interested in the sport, and cne can almost picture himself watching Sam Mahuka (his real name being Sam M. Spencer, now of Hilo) pick out a fly from the outfield, or going to the bat and giving the ball a wallop which would send it such long distances. In those days the name of Sam Mahuka was on the lip of every boy in the Territory as one of the best In the Islands. Wells Park Opened Meantime baseball was being de veloped rather fast and an occasional contest between Wailuku and Lahai na meant a holiday celebration, as amusement for the general public was rather limited. A real good baseball park In Wai luku was furnished when Manager Wells of the Wailuku plantation open ed up Wells Park about 1898 or 1899. The park was located in that section of Wailuku through which Central avenue runs, back of the Gibb home, which is now filled with beautiful dwellings. Regular league games were established there, and real teams play ed ball, some of the games most in teresting indeed. I should probably have also mentioned that baseball has been transformed considerably since its early stages, and old timers can still remember the day when the catcher would stHnd about sixty or seventy feet buck of the batter, wail ing until the batter had two strikes before putting on his mask to get next to the bat. Many other similar reforms have taken place, but this is merely baseball history and not a pro League Is Formed When Wells Park was opened, reg ular teams were formed and league eames ulaved. The Morning Stars, j which had an existence of practically fifteen years seemed almost invinc ible, and there are still two or three baseball players today who were ori ginal members of the Morning Star team, notably Bill Bal. George Cum mings and Billy Cornwell played for the Waikapu team most of the time, and the competition between these two teams particularly was rather keen. Another very good sport, who took keen interest in baseball was Wm. S. Mountcastle, who has now passed to the great beyond. He sponsored the Kahului team for very many years, and spared no effort to take the bacon to that point, succeeding in two or three seasons. Some of his players i include Fred Swan, the famous short stop Ayau, Clement the catcher, and others of less prominence. Up coun try was represented by the Taia-lla-makuapoko team, and in the early stages this also included such players as A. W. Collins, Upton, the wonder ful pitcher, Carerira and others. For one or two seasons the Alerts, a base ball team sponsored by L. K. Crook, also played ball, although they did not seem to cut Into the winnings very much. Partisan Feeling High These were days of excitement when spectators took sides more to heart than is done nowadays, and when Waikapu team did win a good game from the Morning Stars, it meant a celebration after the game with horses and wagons decorated with brooms, trimmings, cowbells, and everything to attract attention. We now live in a more respectable age, where the winner takes his vic tory more as a matter of course. After playing at the old Wells Park for five or six years, the County of Maui ar ranged for an exchange of property, securing the present baseball field. which, of course, Is the best Maui has ever had, until the Fair Grounds at Kahului was developed. Until 1900 there -as practically no organization to handle athletics in any manner whatsoever, other than the individual teams themselves. Athletic Club Organize The Maui Athletic Association was formed at that time to conduct regu lar league games, and among those to whom most credit is due for the encouragement and assistance rend ered may be mentioned L. M. Bald win, who served as president for many years. Dr. John Weddick, D. L. Meyer, George Cummings, James L. Coke and many others. Baseball was conducted under the auspices of this organization for very many years, no other sport being sponsor ed. Shortly after the Maul County Fair & Racing Association, of its own ac cord, asked to be taken in under the wing of the Fair Association, as a branch, for the betterment of sport in geneiitl on Maui. This was accept ed. Mr. R. A. Wadsworlh, then a director of the Maul County Fair & Racing Association, being made chairman of the Athletic Committee, under whose guiding hand all sports were conducted. Mr. Wadsworth ap pointed committee-! , 'inndllng of different branches of sport, and since that time the committee has enlarged Its scope to such an extent that It now embraces every form of atheltics. Maui has progressed more in the past five years in the line of tports, and this includes almost every tonn know, than it has for 25 years previous, and It can be truthfully said that no cleaner competitions are carried on anywhere in the Territory as the committee is built upon a solid foundation for clean sport that noth ing can shake. Support Assured In alligning Itself with the Maui County Fair & Racing Association, the committee handling sports is able to count upon the assistance and en couragement of all of the plantation managers, business men and popu lation in general. As at present con stituted, the chairman of the Sorts Cpotnmittee (having been changed from Athletic Committee) is also a member of the Board of Directors of the parent body. There are fifteen members serving on the Sports Com mittee, and the organization is divid ed into sections taking in baseball, football, soccer, basketball, wrestling, swimming, handball, field and tract events, publicity, etc. Baseball and sports on Maui have progressed so, and Maul is so reputed tor clean sport, that all of the Is lands always cast a longing eye this direction in the hope of being invited to participate in the events of the Val ley Isle. Within the last few years, the very best community asset in the Territory, barring none, has been developed at Kahului, the home of the Maui County Fair & Racing As sociation, and President F. F. Bald win as well as every member of the Maui County Fair & Racing Associa tion can well point with pride to this plant in the realization that it is the very best community harmonizer that human ingenuity could ever have planned. The Sports Committee and the Maul Athletic Club of the A. A. ! U. have access to the grounds and are doing everything within their I power to popularize these grounds at : Kahului so that the younger genera-! tion may have many of the advan-; tages which their forefathers lacked : in the matter of sport and athletics on the Island of Maui. I The Maui County Fair & Racing j Association and its Sports Committee want the co operation, good will and ; encouragement of every citizen ol Maui In their undertaking, and as long as there is an ounce of pood American blood running through their veins, we led certain this support will be forthcoming. H One of the best fishing grounds of the Islands is Just off Maui, the waters about Molokini. Maui leads all the counties in the government support given to child welfare work. Dreaming Maui is practically the only Island of the group that could quickly make itself self supporting in food supply. At a certain Cabinet meeting in the autumn, M. Briand noticed that his colleague, M. Loucheur, was fast asleep, and, as usual, smiling. "Don't wake him," said the Prime Minister, "he is dreaming that the Germans will pay." I toad RADIO Enters the Home Complete Sets Furnished and Installed Listen in and hear the concerts and daily entertainments each noon and evening that are broadcast from Honolulu jjl' lilt Sizes For the Home and Sizes for the Concert Hall A Never Ending Source of Enjoyment for Every Member of the Family This is the Type Best Adapted for Maui Put out by the Radio Corporation of America Maui Electric Co., Ltd. Representing the Mutual Telephone Wireless Department BOOKS MAGAZINES MAUI BOOK STORE Always Ready To Meet Your Every Want Main Street, opposite Post office Wailuku, Phone 258 STATIONERY NOVELTIES S. C. White Leghorns TANCRED BRED Eggs from Hens with pullet year records of 275 eggs or better. In securing your eggs for the next hatching season be sure to look my stock oer. Cockerels used out of 300 to 312 egg hens. LORRIN K. SMITH MAKAWAO, MAUI Alexander & Baldwin LIMITED OFFICES: STANGENWALD BUILDING HONOLULU, T. H. MEHLHORN BUILDING SEATTLE, WASH. 82 WALL STREET NEW YORK. N. Y. ALASKA COMMERCIAL BLDG SAN FRANCISCO. CAL. OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS: W. M. ALEXANDER President and Director H. A. BALDWIN 1st Vice-President and Director J. WATERHOUSE 2nd Vice-President and Director W. O. SMITH 3rd Vice-President and Director C. R. HEMENWAY Treasurer and Director J. P. COOKE Secretary and Director F. F. BALDWIN Director A. L. CASTLE Director E. R. ADAMS Director Sugar Factors Commission Merchants and Insurance Agents AGENTS FOR Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. Maui Agricultural Co., Ltd. Hawaiian Sugar Company VIcBryde Sugar Company, Ltd. Honolua Kahuku Plantation Company Kauai Fruit & Land Co., Ltd. Kauai Railway Co., Ltd. Kahului Railroad Company Ranch Insurance Companies Represented The Home Insurance Company, New York Globe Indemnity Company The Commonwealth Company, New York Springfield Fire & Marine Insurance Co. New Zealand Insurance Co., Ltd. Union Insurance Society of Canton, Ltd. Newark Fire Insurance Company American Alliance Insurance Association Switzerland Marine Insurance Co., Ltd. THE BALDWIN BANK, LTD., KAHULUI Our Maui Agents for Insurance