The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 27, 2013

A Don McCormack column: Talk about some extra innings!

Sports Editor

Paying another visit to the variety store...

Marathon men

Our ongoing series — “From AC to MLB” — featuring men who were born within the Ashtabula County borders and went on to play in at least one Major League Baseball game — trends toward more than a bit of research.

In doing so, I stumbled across an item that caught my eye. It appeared in the Monday, Aug. 29, 1910 edition of the Star Beacon on Page 5.

However, the story was not based on an event that happened in that era.

No, it was from “the old days” — as in before the Civil War.

The 1910 story reprinted a Star Beacon story from the Sept. 1, 1860 edition, which read as follows:

Monroe and Conneaut indulged in an all-day game of ball.

It is correct to say that the towns engaged in the game, for nearly all the residents were in the field.

The Monroe boys took the lead at the outset and held it until dinner time, when the score was 58-50 in favor of Monroe.

In the afternoon, Conneaut made one of her ninth-inning batting rallies and increased her end of the count while holding her opponents to a score of tallies.

When the game was called on account of darkness, the score stood 100 to 70 in Conneaut’s favor.

This is said to be one of the best ball games ever seen in the vicinity.

In the 1910 look back at the marathon contest played a half-century previous, it pointed out the following:

Obviously, these were town teams that played frequently during the week and, on most Sundays, a doubleheader.

It struck me as funny to read an account in a 1910 Star Beacon sports section talking about “the old days.”

Fair game

Loyal Reader Ed Fleisher wrote and followed up with a telephone call in regards to my ongoing search for a photograph that showed the baseball diamond that was once located in the infield of the track at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds.

Ed, a member of the last graduating class of Andover High School in 1960 who now resides in Geneva, said his dad was involved with the great Andover Athletics town team.

As Ed related so well, Andover, like pretty much every community in the county, sent its town team to the fair each year for a tournament, which was quite a big deal “back in the day.”

All of which makes my request to find a photograph of some type that shows how the ballfield laid out in the middle of the infield even more intriguing.

Anyone knowing of such an item is asked to contact me at the email address that appears below or by calling (440) 998-2323 extension 244 and leaving a message.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at