‘Like deja vu all over again!’: Players inducted during ‘1895 rules’ ballgame

Members of the A.J. & G. Team and bat boys line up before a 1895 vintage baseball game against Mountain Athletic Club of Fleischmanns at historic Parkhurst Field in Gloversville on Saturday. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

GLOVERSVILLE — Johnstown native Brian Mee knew he was being inducted Saturday into the Fulton County Baseball and Sports Hall of Fame at Parkhurst Field.

What he didn’t expect was to be handed the award from his baseball teammate from 40 years ago, Perry Knoun from Syracuse.

Knoun and Mee had played baseball together at Ithaca College, were together as players with the St. Cloud (Minn.) Rox, a Chicago Cubs affiliate. Knoun was a catcher and Mee, a second baseman.

“Brian and I played a lot of baseball together,” said Knoun. “He was the smartest player I ever played with.”

Mee graduated Ithaca in 1960. In 1957 he was a New York State All-Star. Mee coached baseball at Amsterdam High from 1968 to 1995 with 413 wins as a Section II high school coach.

“I played baseball all my life,” said Mee. “I was lucky enough to play pro baseball.”

Baseball player Fred Webb of Gloversville and Johnstown was also inducted into the hall of fame. He was a Pittsburgh Pirate Prospect and was a pitcher in 1941 with the Gloversville Glover.

The award for Webb, who died 10 years ago, was received by his daughter Dee Croucher of Peck’s Lake. “I just think it’s a great tribute to him and his years playing baseball,” she said.

Mee and Webb’s awards and three awards to three area leather companies were given between innings at a vintage baseball game, with 1895 rules. The game was held at noon between the area A. J. & G. Team, consisting of men who had played Little League at Parkhurst, and the Mountain Athletic Club of Fleischmanns. MAC won 13 to 8 in nine innings.

Colin Miller, coach of MAC, explained the 1895 rules to the crowd. Among the rules were no strikes for foul balls, unless they were caught or bunted; no pitcher’s mound; and only one step for pitchers instead of windups.

Playing for A.J. & G were Zack Rocas, Brian Baldwin, Andrew Wilson, John Lott, Mark Darling, Dave Evens, Aiden Martuscello, Tommy Jones and Chris Laska, with bat boys Kaden Lott, Anthony Panticello and Cam Stewart. Kerri Hauser sang the National Anthem before the game.

Three area leather companies that made products for baseball and supported the games were also inducted into the hall of fame: F. Rulison and Sons Company, J.A. Peach Sporting Goods Company, and M. Deckert and Company.

Twin sisters Valerie Hamilton of Hagaman and Lisa Sartin of Pennsylvania accepted the award for Rulison which made its baseballs and gloves from the more durable horse hide rather then cow hide. “I feel very happy for my dad,” who is deceased, Hamilton said.

The Rulison company also paid for a weekend visit to Gloversville by the Yankees in 1979.

The hall of fame event was coordinated by Mike Hauser of the Fulton County Historical Society and Museum and baseball columnist for this newspaper.

By Josh Bovee

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