Match Reports from Team Scotland's first recorded games
SCOTLAND NATIONAL BASEBALL TEAM
TEAM HISTORY - 1934 NATIONAL TEAM TOUR - 4 GAMES-4 WINS!
1934 COPIES OF GAME REPORTS FROM THE LIVERPOOL ECHO NEWSPAPER
KINDLY SUPPLIED BY NORMAN WELLS (LIVERPOOL TROJANS BASEBALL CLUB)
SCOTLAND'S BASEBALL WIN - The local feats of the weekend. Written by 'Diamond'
Final Score - England 0 - Scotland 4
There is not likely to be anything more scintillating seen in baseball for some time than the brilliant pitching of P. Geir for the England team against Scotland at Bootle Stadium. The experienced visitors could make nothing of it, and indeed if the fielding in support had been entirely without blemish, the visitors would have gone home pointless.
As it was, the fielding was good but without that touch of genius which the catcher w. McIntyre had an onerous task and performed creditably. W. Holland took three dismissals and J. Kelly caught two men splendidly in centrefield.
Still their work was discounted by feeble batting and it was tantalising to see that even in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings when batters might well be 'set' that the Scottish pitcher Leo Fred had matters his own way. He pitched a dropping ball but not at excessive speed and I feel the homesters missed a great chance.
He was well supported by catcher V.Bellafiore and by third baseman Joe Washington who was certainly one of the most accomplished players on the field. The umpiring of G. Homes was on the whole excellent. The game was far in advance of previous exhibitions and I felt was the kind of fillip the code needed.
In their first season in 1934, the NBA had 20 teams competing, many of the players being ex-seamen. Amongst teams competing were the future British Champions Hatfield from Liverpool. The first NBA International was played at Bootle Stadium, between an NBA select team and the Edinburgh Americans with the Edinburgh team coming out victors. By this time 30 teams were playing in the north west and on June 2nd 1934, a bonafide international was played in Edinburgh between Scotland and England with Scotland securing a 24 to 3 victory. This game drew an attendance of 5,300 and Scotland were again victorious at the return game in Liverpool a week later.
The Edinburgh-Glasgow baseball visit last weekend was a test of NBA arrangements and organisation and it must be said that things went through without the slightest hitch. The visitors accounted for the Liverpool side at Wavertree largely because Leo Fred pitched brilliantly helped also by the home fielding being below par.
At Manchester on Saturday they witnessed the game at Hurst between Nieuwenhuys (NIVVY) of Liverpool FC and Jim Sullivan and Bennet of Wigan Rugby League club were taking part.
They saw sufficient to expect a hard game that evening at the Salford Rugby League ground. They were disappointed. The visitors were again a smooth and convincing combination from the first ball in which G. Sabrin (no.2 pitcher) played brilliantly and J. Washington cleared the stand with an amazing drive. The Manchester side's fielding was distinctly poor and they also allowed themselves to be hoodwinked at the batting plate by J. Pomerantz's mediums. The score of 12 to 3 was a fair indication of the play.
THRILLS AT WHITE CITY
All was now set for the London game at White City on Sunday and the Scottish side were more than ever determined to preserve an unbeaten record. The day and the ground conditions were ideal for a baseball game and the best exhibition of the season resulted. The visitors had a winning way and were not to be thwarted. The Londoners were quietly confident and challenged cleverly at every point. Their pitcher G. Shaw attacked swiftly and the fielding cordon handled securely. The visitors for the first time were being well held.
Then entered that tinge of luck that winners must have - with bases 2 and 3 loaded, w. Lubansky hit a home run in the 6th inning and Scotland's score jumped up by three. G. Shaw replied in the 7th, a home run, but bases were empty. In the final minutes J. Washington was baffled by a hard driven ball to left field but in the next moment he saved the game with a smart pick-up and a return to first base, thereby ending the play with a Londoner speeding to home plate.
Indeed Washington's amazing personality was interspersed throughout the winner's play, continually prompting his side and extracting their best. His captaincy was superlative. FINAL SCORE Scotland 4 - London 3
In this struggle, Leo Fred achieved 18 strikeouts eclipsing his previous best and pegged down the homesters but the visitors triumphed chiefly through grand team spirit and intelligent countering of every move. And now with the tour over, the next step was for Edinburgh to strikeout the professors there, but not before they had paid tribute to the NBA and particularly BJ Avers and T. Rich for the perfect arrangements and kindness throughout.
These match reports document the first recorded Team Scotland matches, a legacy that was carried forward in to the 1990’s and early 2000's when Scotland played a number of matches against a variety of teams including England, the Great Britain U18s, Ireland and an International All-Star team. The recent rebirth of the national side will write the next chapter in the history of Scottish baseball….