The recent death of John Honus Wagner, Pittsburgh’s all-time great shortstop, brings back memories to areas old timers who recall the outstanding performances of the ” Dutchman” on the diamond.
Charles B. Nellis, who was secretary-treasurer of the Amsterdam, Johnstown and Gloversville team in the New York State League is one of the fans. He writes the following letter:
“The death of Honus Wagner, who died Tuesday, and was baseball’s greatest shortstop, undoubtedly will bring back pleasant memories to some of the older baseball fans, especially followers of the JAGS.
The year the ball park was completed back in 1901 ( I may be off a year ) on Harrison Street, near the railroad tracks, ‘Howdy’ J. Earl, manager of the Amsterdam, Johnstown and Gloversville League team got Fred Clark, manager of Pittsburgh Nationals to play an exhibition game here.
His Best Days
“Honus Wagner was then having his best days at short. There was a large attendance. Twenty-five cents was the price of admission, with grandstand seats 15 cents.
“The Jags, of course, lost.
The only transportation was the open trolleys from the three cities.
“By the way, A.J.&G. team won the league’s pennant in 1905, only 50 years ago. Officers of the team were M.F. Button, President; Howard J. Earl, manager and a good first basemen ( six feet, four inches ) and Charles B. Nellis, secretary-treasurer.”
Nellis, who has been a resident at Albany since 1930, wouldn’t know the radical change in the former Jag park.
They still play “big time” ball on the same ground once covered by the great Wagner. Maybe some day, one of Gloversville’s Little Leaguers, who took over the park last year, will be able to make the Big League grade and try to break one of the ‘Dutchman’s” many baseball records. It can happen.