1904 Game Reports, Vancouver, British Columbia     


Semi-pro baseball in the lower mainland was no more in 1904 and the amateurs had the spotlight all to themselves. Three teams from Vancouver joined a lone entry from New Westminster to form an inter-city amateur circuit. Home games for the Vancouver teams were played at the Cambie Street grounds and the Powell Street grounds. In spite of the departure of the imported baseballers to compete for local attention, the amateurs failed to grab the focus of the local populous as lacrosse got most of the headlines in the sporting sections of the 1904 Vancouver dailies. Accordingly, newspaper coverage for the Inter-City loop was confined primarily to final scores with little, if any, in the way of game details printed. 

Activities on Sunday were increasingly the subject of protest.  In 1904, the Vancouver Daily World (September 7) ran a story on a clergymen in Rossland, BC taking aim at baseball games and the shooting range on Sunday.

After nine years' residence in the interior of British Columbia, Rev. George E. Smith, pastor of the Methodist church, says he never saw such rank behavior in any town as was evidenced in Rossland on a recent Sunday, says a dispatch from Rossland to the Nelson Tribune, when the Colville and Trail ball teams were here. Furthermore, he thinks the morals of the community are none too healthy, and that it is high time to call a halt when outsiders are imported "to help us in our iniquity." Seating room was at a premium in the Methodist church that Sunday night despite a steady downfall of rain. Some of the audience had doubtless been attracted by the announcement that the Rev. Mr. Smith would preach on the topic, "The use and abuse of the Sabbath.

Mr. Smith made direct comment on the riflemen who shoot over the ranges and the citizens who arranged and participated in the baseball tournament.

It is not an infrequent thing for us to read in our Tuesday morning paper a report of the records those have made who visited the shooting ranges on the Sabbath, and those who have taken part are not young boys who have torn themselves loose from their mothers' apron strings, and who are now sowing their wild oats in the fruitful fields of British Columbia, but they are men whose respectability on other occasions no one would dare to question, and who would blush if they thought for one moment that their deeds would be known among their former associates. These could be excused if they had dropped into Rossland from some heathen village in Central Africa, but when we find them coming from the centre of civilization, where God is respected, we have a right to ask and look for better conduct than is exemplified. Such gatherings, I have no hesitancy in saying are, from the standpoint of the gospel wrong, and are a direct violation of the laws of our land, and all persons thus assembled should be prosecuted and suffer the penalties provided. Referring to the baseball tournament on the preceding Sunday, Mr. Smith said : "The assembled crowed disturbed both the morning and evening services, which is not only a breach of the laws of the land, but heathenish and selfish."  He concluded by sharply criticizing the authorities for permitting such incidents and called upon the members of the congregation to rise in defence of the Sabbath.

Two years later, the Canadian government enacted the Lord's Day Act which prohibited business transactions and thus many sporting and other activities on Sundays. The law remained in effect until 1985.


It appears that Victoria had an independent semi-pro team at the beginning of the 1904 season which engaged in exhibition games during May, primarily against American opposition. However, an exodus of the salaried import players for greener pastures in early June sounded the death knell of the squad.

Remaining players formed an amateur club to represent the Capital City in inter-city competition within a league comprising teams representing Bellingham WA, Sedro-Wooley WA, Everett WA plus the Seattle Newman’s. This circuit (Puget Sound Baseball League) seemed to thrive during June and July but coverage of Victoria’s participation in the loop abruptly disappeared within pages of the Victoria Colonist in August, leading one to believe that team had withdrawn and/or folded. 

Puget Sound Baseball League
Seattle Newman’s

A loosely-operated association of three senior amateur teams was also in operation but games were either very infrequent or never reported upon.

(May 14)   The Hillsides got a big lead, 6-2 after just two innings and held on to edge Victoria West 11-10 in the first game of the season in the Senior League. After the Hillsides had moved ahead 8-3 after seven innings, Victoria erupted for four runs in the eighth to trail by just one, 8-7. But Hillsides added three more in the bottom of the eighth to go up 11-7 before Victoria made it close again with three in the ninth. Overell went the distance for the win.

Linch, Dempster and Connolly
Overell (W) and Northcott

(May 21)   With a run in the ninth, the University of  Columbia from Portland, Oregon, shaded Victoria 8-7 at Oak Bay. Hinkle, the centre fielder, led the winners with three hits. Gleason cracked a homer for Columbia and Moore, the winning pitcher, blasted a triple. Tredway slugged a circuit blow for the home side. McManus punched out three hits and added a pair of steals for Victoria. Blackburn fanned 13 and allowed just eight hits in taking the loss. The teams combined for 15 errors, 8 by Victoria.

Moore (W) and Harold
Blackburn (L) and xxx

(May 24)  Victoria blew a 9-2 lead, then rebounded with two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday to squeeze by the University of Washington 12-11. Tredway and Schwengers each rapped four hits to pace the winners. Losing pitcher Brinker had three safeties to lead Washington. Victoria revealed that McManus suffered a fractured wrist on Monday and won't be playing for some time.

Brinker (L) and Hoover
Blackburn (W) and Erle   

(May 28)   Playing at the Caledonia grounds, Fernwood defeated Hillsides 5-4 in ten innings. Robertson got the winning run in the bottom of the extra frame. Sam Smith hurled for the winners. Overell took the loss.

Overell (L) and xxx
Sam Smith (W) and xxx

(May 28)   A tight 2-2 game became a runway as Victoria exploded for seven runs in the eighth inning and take a 9-2 decision over Manuel Lopez of Seattle. Blackburn held the visitors to five hits and fanned nine. The winners collected 11 hits, three by centre fielder Burnes and two by Emerson, one of which went for three bases.

Kelly (L) and Holbrook, Ford
Blackburn (W) and McManus

(June 4)   The newly organized "British Columbia" team of Victoria made their debut in attractive slatey-blue uniforms at the Caledonia Grounds Saturday going down to a 6-4 defeat to the Seattle Rainiers. First baseman James cracked three hits to lead the winners. Mahon drove in three runs with a triple and single. Tents, in left field, had two hits and two runs. McManus, who knocked in three, and Emerson each had two safeties for Victoria. Boyle held the home club to seven hits and fanned ten in gaining the pitching win. Holness and Emerson hurled for Victoria combining for 13 strikeouts. 

Boyle (W) and Ford
Emerson (L), Holness (5) and McManus

June 11)   Victoria's newly organized baseball nine picked up its first victory Saturday trouncing Port Townsend 11-3. Jimmy Holness had a shutout into the ninth but three errors helped the visitors scored three times. Holness set a strikeout record racking up 19 whiffs, beating his own mark of 18 set last year. Rithet cracked three hits for the winners.

Boyle (L) and Holbrook
Holness (W) and McManus

(June 18)    In their first action in the newly formed Puget Sound League, Victoria fell behind 5-0 before rallying to score ten unanswered runs in a 10-5 triumph over Seattle. Blackburn tossed a five-hitter for the win. Victoria's nine errors accounted for most of the damage by Seattle. Rithet led the locals with a home run and a pair of singles. He scored three times.

Paddock (L) and Kenning
Blackburn (W) and McManus

(June 19)   On Sunday, Everett defeated Bellingham 3 to 1 and Sedro Woolley defeated Seattle 6 to 3.

Sedro-Woolley   2 - 0
Victoria        1 - 0
Everett         1 - 1
Bellingham      0 - 1
Seattle         0 - 2

(June 20)   Sedro-Woolley clobbered Bellingham 21-0, 17-0 and 6-3 to add three more wins to its successful season.

(June 25)  Jimmy Holness fired a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts Saturday as Victoria dumped Everett 8-0 in Puget Sound baseball. The Victoria ace walked just one. Three-run home runs by Schwengers, who had four hits, and Rithet powered the winners.

Parker (L) and Pringle
Holness (W) and McManus

(June 26)   Playing at Everett, the Victoria nine cashed in five runs in the late innings to down the home club 10-5. Blackburn registered the pitching win on a six-hitter.

Blackburn (W) and xxx
Antl (L) and xxx

(July 2)   It was no contest. The visiting Vancouver Athletics were humbled by Victoria to the tune of 18-2 in the exhibition game at Oak Bay. Victoria scored four times in the first inning and cruised to the easy win. Jimmy Holness held Vancouver scoreless until the ninth when an error helped avoid a shutout.

Neilson (L), Miller (5) and MacLeod
Holness (W) and McManus

(July 3 & 4)    Sedro-Woolley, blanked for eight innings, exploded for four runs in the bottom of the ninth to squeeze by Victoria 4-3 in the first of two weekend games. Nagle was outstanding for the winners firing five-hit ball and fanning twelve.

Blackburn (L) and McManus
Nagle (W) and Ford

The Americans also took the second game, 4-2.

(July 8)  A six-run explosion in the seventh inning broke up a 3-3 ball game and handed Sedro-Woolley another win over Victoria, 12-5. The visitors pounded out 13 hits, three each by James and Tredway. Third sacker Mahon rapped a home run and a triple. Nagle held Victoria to just six hits.

Nagle (W) and Ford
Holness (L) and McManus

(July 9)   Home runs by Mahon, Kennedy and Nagle powered Sedro-Woolley to a 12-5 victory over Victoria. The visitors cracked out 11 hits off Blackburn and had a 6-0 lead after just two innings. Mahon was the top slugger with three hits and four runs. Spevins, on the hill for the Americans, held Victoria to six hits.

Spevins (W) and Ford
Blackburn (L) and McManus

(July 16)   For five innings it was a nail-biter, a 1-0 game for Fer_nwood over Hillsides but Fernwood sent six men across the plate in the sixth frame to romp to a 9-3 victory. Smith hurled a seven-hitter and racked up ten strikeouts for the winners.

Smith (W) and Robertson
Overell (L), Peden and Northcott

(July 23)   Coming in for their exhibition match against Victoria, the nine from Bothell, Washington, had dominated their opposition registering 18 wins in 20 games played. But, the locals made that seem a mirage as the Victoria nine knocked out 15 hits in swamping the visitors 13-0. Left fielder McConnell led the parade with five hits, scoring four times. Burnes collected three hits and crossed the plate three times. Jimmy Holness shutout Bothell on five hits while fanning nine. Bothell added to its woes making eight errors.

Paddock (L) and Schroeder
Holness (W) and McManus


(May 24)   Playing at Nanaimo, Vancouver Athletics whipped the home club 10-2. It was a 2-2 game until the sixth when the mainlanders plated four runs and then added four more in the next frame.

xxx and xxx
xxx (L), Graham and xxx