The final score was the Roaring Gimlets 62 the Pig-Stickers 49. Yes, it was a baseball game! A game played on a December day in 1893 when the temperature was 38 degrees below zero. The diamond was on frozen ice, in a harbor near Herschel Island in the Arctic Ocean. The men off of the whaling ships, looking for a way to pass the time, formed the Herschel Island League and played through the long, cold months for the “Arctic Whalemen’s Pennant”.
The game of baseball has been played in Alaska and the Far North for over a century. History shows that baseball has been an important part of community life in Alaska. Communities played the National Pastime in winter, spring, summer and fall. Often the games were contested on some very uniquely constructed ball fields. One game has even become an annual event and is intentionally played into the early morning hours. And on a few occasions the Governor of Alaska has proven to be an ardent baseball fan and has thrown out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day.
Read the full article on the Alaska State Libraries, Archives, and Museums website.