Smithville Nine defeats Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia

Old-time baseball game held during May Faire at Smithville Park.

Special to The Sun: Burlington County Commissioner Allison Eckel (center) and Undersheriff Jim Kostoplis (far left) greet players who competed in a baseball game during the Burlington County May Faire on May 15.

The Smithville Industrial Village baseball team returned to action for the first time in over a century on May 15 and they left victorious.

The old-time ball game between the Smithville team, also known as the Smithville Nine, and the Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia was one of the highlights of Burlington County’s first May Faire, which was held on May 15 at Historic Smithville Park.

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Smithville earned a thrilling 12-11 victory thanks to Mount Holly resident Wayne Wishart’s winning hit in the final inning. Lumberton’s David McKinney also belted a homerun during the game, which was played with old-fashioned 1860s rules without gloves.

Burlington County Commissioner Allison Eckel, who serves as the Commissioners’ liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation and Parks, congratulated all the players who participated in the special May Faire game, as well as the County Parks Division for organizing the festival.

More than 3,000 people attended May Faire, ranking it among the biggest events ever held at the park.

“May Faire was created to celebrate Smithville’s unique history and beauty, and it succeeded in a spectacular way,” said Eckel, who greeted the baseball players before the match with Burlington County Undersheriff Jim Kostoplis. “The game was a great part of a fantastic new event that helped transport visitors back to the 1860s when Smithville was known as an industrial giant.”

In addition to the baseball game, May Faire visitors were entertained by live music, theater performances, carnival games, historical re-enactors, storytellers and crafts demonstrations. There were also historical exhibits, artisan vendors, vintage bicycles, food trucks and other activities.

The event was organized by the Burlington County Parks Division with support from the New Jersey Arts Council.

“May Faire was another great creation of our parks division, and it was enjoyed by thousands of Burlington County residents, young and old,” said Eckel. “The event was fun and educational, and it also helped introduce many newcomers to Smithville, the jewel of our county parks system and a prized historical site. It was a tremendous success, and our board congratulates and thanks the parks division and everyone else who helped make it a reality.”

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