One hundred plus years ago, boating on Darby Creek was a major recreation spot. I have several pictures of the "Darby Navy" and their docks. Boating was a important getaway.
NOTE: One hundred years ago this September, Darby and Delco baseball games being played on Sunday came to a head. The Darby mayor went to the Norwood District Judge to get arrest warrants not trusting his own to do the job. He also went to the county sheriffs and state police for enforcement not counting on the Darby Police to enforce the "Blue Laws". Darby Churches wanted the "Blue Laws"
DARBY BASEBALL IS NEAR CLIMAX
Warrants for the arrest of eight members of the Delco baseball team of Darby, charging then with breaking the Sunday “Blue laws,” have been issued by Magistrate William H. Robinson of Norwood.
The warrants were issued at the instance of Burgess George Grayson, who, it is reported, swore to them before a Norwood Justice as a result of finding Darby Justices in sympathy with the baseball players and fans who support them.
Another baseball game has been booked for next Sunday.
The warrants for the arrests of the baseball players are in the hands of Fred Welsh, a Darby policeman.
A baseball game at Darby yesterday was halted in the early stages of the contest when Chief of Police Clark back up by a score of armed police after listing names of the players ordered the teams from the field.
State police headed by Lieutenant Smith, and a delegation of deputy sheriffs in charge of Sheriff A. R. Granger stood in readiness to aid the Darby police in the event of trouble. It had been rumored that baseball was not to be interfered with, or there would be trouble.
Feeling in Darby is bitter as a result of the Sunday baseball question. This was demonstrated yesterday when a crowd of fans hooted a reporter whose paper, fans claim, championed the cause of the church people opposing Sunday playing.
Yesterday’s game was between the Delco team and Cramp’s Champions of Philadelphia. The game had progressed only an inning and a half when Chief of Police Clark put in appearance. The policeman called the managers and informed them that he was acting under instructions of Burgess Grayson and was going to stop the game.
When uniformed State police and deputy sheriffs standing about the managers after some discussion called the teams from the field.
Warrants will be sworn out today for the baseball players and hearings will be held sometime later in the week. On the other hand the baseball fans have promised to retaliate by issuing warrants for the arrest of golf players and some of the church who drove to services in their machines yesterday. The fans claim that automobile riding is a violation of the Old Blue laws and in the same class as baseball.
DARBY FANS FIND SABBATH BLUE
Baseball Lovers Seek Their Inspiration in Orangeade
“The Darby Borough Baseball Blues” is the title for a syncopated ditty Irving Berlin might have been inspired to dash off had he paid a visit to Darby yesterday afternoon. Great gobs of blue cluttered up the atmosphere. Darby’s baseball players were wearing their Sunday clothes – blue serge. Wild flowers and blue grass were untrampled on the baseball diamond at Fifth and Main Streets. For the first Sunday this summer, the blue laws of 1794 were battling nearly .400 in Darby, and the blue-stockinged champions of the Sabbath chortled with glee.
But even blue laws have a silver lining. The Darby fans were not to be denied the privilege of a Sunday afternoon ball game, not even if they had to leave the borough, as all of them did. And when the baseball fans leave Darby, the place is another “Deserted Village.”
At “Dad”, Shaw’s confectionery shop, which is the hub of Darby’s athletic element, the fans and players had congregated early in the afternoon to drink their contempt for the blue laws in brimming beakers of orangeade. There wasn’t even a church service they could attend until after dark, and it’s a fact that every one of the players is a church member.
Then the Darby fans decided there was but one thing to do. So they took another drink of orangeade, called up their girlfriends and walked across Cobbs Creek, which separates Darby from Philadelphia and witnessed the first of a series of three games for the championship of West Philadelphia.
The bitterest pill of all for the fans was that Darby was about the only large town in Delaware County where a ball game wasn’t in progress.
The game just across the creek from Darby was between the St. Clement’s team and the Paschall nine and was played on the grounds of St. Clement’s Church, Seventy-Second Street and Woodland Avenue, before the biggest crowd that has been there this season. The Paschall players won the first game of the series by 5 to 2.
ADVISED NOT TO PLAY – Samuel Shilladay, manager of the Delco team, spoke for Darby’s fans and players, he said, when he assured the newspapermen that the game wasn’t called off because of any profound respect for the blue laws or because the players feared arrest.
“We were advised by our counsel, John J. Stetser of Chester not to play while our case is pending in court,” said Shilladay. “Otherwise our game with the Woodland All-Stars would not have been called off.”
A petition has been filed in the Delaware County court appealing from the decision of Magistrate Robinson, who fined eight of the players $4 each for playing on the Sabbath.
Another phase of Darby’s baseball war promises to develop tonight. At the instance of certain citizens, the editor of the Darby Progress weekly, on Fridays), has called a citizens mass meeting to take place at the Odd Fellows’ Hall, where a law and order society will be organized. The Darby fans, 500 odd say they will be there to help elect officers.