It’s exactly a hundred years since Wales first played England at baseball. The distinctive brand of the game was the sport of choice for large tracts of Newport, Cardiff and Liverpool. In its heyday crowds of 12,000 watched major matches. Cricket has edged it out but the baseball still prospers with new ventures in youth baseball in the three cities.
It was the dominant sport of Grangetown in my childhood. I was about 12 before I saw my first game of cricket. I spent this afternoon sitting next to John Jervis. He has been chairman of the English Baseball Association for 40 years. Norman Parselle of St Michaels Newport is the ever-young captain of Wales. They scored a convincing win over England. But there were some good performances from the English players that gave their travelling supporters plenty to cheer about.
British baseball is not to be confused with the American version, which has been derived from it. In the war, a local Cardiff team played an American team made up from the soldiers billeted in the Wood Street barracks. It was one innings on American rules. The second on Welsh rules. Cardiff won.
Welsh baseball is as distinctive a part of Welsh life as cynghanedd or laver bread. It should be cherished and promoted.
Thanks for the news that the Wales under-14s who take on their English counterparts in Liverpool on August 3. Wales are captained by Ellis Harrison, from the St Michael's club in Pill, and also feature James Ward. Pictured is a previous Wales-England international played in the shadow of the Transporter Bridge on the grounds used by St Michael’s. Two Newport passions caught in one image.
Got this EDM down on the last day of the parliamentary term.
Early Day Motion EDM 2108
BRITISH BASEBALL CENTENARY
That this House congratulates the Welsh and English baseball unions on the centenary match between the countries played on 19th July 2008 in Cardiff; applauds the fine display of the distinctive code of British baseball which has been played in Newport, Liverpool and Cardiff by hundreds of teams since the nineteenth century; welcomes the new developments in youth baseball in all three cities; and looks forward to a further exciting match on 3rd August when the England youth team play Wales in Liverpool.