St George's Cricket Club

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Not to be confused with St George Cricket Club.
Harry Wright was a successful bowler for the St George's Club before he moving to the Cincinnati Red Stockings

The St George's Cricket Club was located in Manhattan, New York. It hosted the first international cricket match in 1844, between Canada and the United States. The club was founded in 1838. Nicknamed the Dragonslayers for their domination of local cricket opposition the SGCC set the standard of US cricket from 1838 to the Civil War.

Most of its playing members were British born and excluded native Americans from participating in their 'English game.' The local resentment this English social exclusivity amongst New York ball players may have created the impetus for cricket to be designated as an "English" game in the US though it had been played for over a century at the time. The SGCC club travelled to Canada on several occasions in the 1850s encouraging a touring tradition for American sport which culminated in George Parr's All England XI visiting New York and Montreal in 1859. This was the first occasion that a professional team of players in any sport had played in the United States. The All England Team of professionals played a US XXII team which comprised five SGCC players.

St George's continued their dominant New York cricket organizational role until 1876 the founding of the New York Metropolitan league and the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club at Walker Park ushered in a new era of league cricket in New York.[1] Its first ground was located in Harlem before moving to Hoboken, New Jersey. After the Civil War, St George's was slated to get a ground in Central Park before moving to Hudson City. St George's opponents included the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club, the Philadelphia Cricket Club and the Toronto Cricket Club. George Wright includes a picture of St George's cricket grounds in his biography.

George Wright's older brother Harry also played for St George's team. The Wrights' father, Samuel, was the professional groundskeeper for team and is depicted, along with his son Harry, in a famous daguerreotype holding a cricket bat while Harry holds a baseball bat.

The grounds at St George's Club in Hoboken, NJ were also the site of the 1883 defeat of the University of Michigan football team at the hands of Stevens Institute of Technology by a score of 5 to 1. In this game, the superior air game used by Eastern teams at the time overcame Michigan's ground game. The reporter from the New York Times stated, "Up to the end of the first inning it seemed as if the superior weight and strength of the visiting team would carry the day, but, when the sides were changed in the latter half, the Stevens team turned the tables upon their opponents and showed the superiority of science"[2] At the time, Stevens Institute had 150 students to pick a team from to Michigan's 1500.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sentance
  2. ^ New York Times November 28, 1883
  3. ^ Michigan Chronicle, Dec 8, 1883

References[edit]

  • Sentance, P. David (2006). Cricket in America 1710-2000. McFarland.