Block Island has always been one of my favorite places to visit in any season. Most trips to the Block, I just take the ferry and rely on taxis, mopeds, or my own two feet for transportation. This past year, I was able to see a baseball game featuring the Block Island Hurricanes (Block Island School) at Heinz Field via a moped rental. However, on a more recent trip to BI, Rachel and I decided to take the car over so we could explore a bit more. I am really glad we did because we found a ton of great new spots to enjoy all the Block Island has to offer.
One of the spots we explored was The Block Island Historical Society. A museum packed with tons of historical exhibits about Block Island – its original inhabitants, its cultures, the houses, the landscape of the fishing industry, priceless relics, and just amazing photography throughout the two floors of exhibits. I am always on the lookout for baseball stuff, whether it be a photo or glove or piece of memorabilia whenever I go into a historical museum. And as luck would have it, I found some baseball stuff on the second floor.
According to an email I received from the Block Island Historical Society, “the photo is from our photo collection and depicts one of the hotel teams (Ocean View) that played against the other big hotels in the early 1900’s.” In the photo, I could make out “Baseball Championship of Block Island, Ocean View,” as well as a pennant on the windshield with “Ocean View.” Players are dressed up in their baseball uniforms along with what appears to be a bat boy or two. The inscription on the back, according to the photo reads “to Mr. Hall from the members of the Ocean View Baseball Team for his kindness in riding the team all over the Island after winning the pennant.”
I also inquired about the shirt and received this response. “The wool uniform was donated by the Hall family and was worn by Alan Hall in the 1950’s and early 60’s.” The shirt hangs below the photo of the Ocean View Baseball Team and has the letters “B I” on the front. Two very interesting pieces of history with a great story behind each one.
Block Island continues to be one of my favorite places to visit and explore. It was fun taking the car this time around, so we could drive, stop and explore a bit more, and in the process find some new experiences. I loved the Block Island Historical Society and its wonderful exhibits. I highly recommend a visit there if you are on the Island and love history like I do. And I am working on more stories about Block Island Baseball so stay tuned for those.
For more information on the Block Island Historical Society, go to their official website at www.blockislandhistorical.org.
The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.