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Lude Ludum Insignia Secundaria

My borough kicks your borough, in all manner, shape and form… now pass the crumpets….

On July 18, 1886, The New York Times — as it often did in those pocket-watch-and-frock-coat days — reported on a cricket match, a big one, played between the Staten Island Cricket Club and a visiting squad from Merion, Pa. The occasion was the debut competition at the Staten Island field, although, by all accounts, it was a miserable display.

Not one member of the Merion team managed to post a score in the double digits, and even by the end of one full inning, fewer than 80 runs — a disastrous performance — had been made. “Neither team,” the disappointed Times reporter sniffed, “was fairly representative.”

After that embarrassing exhibition, the field on Staten Island might have suffered the fate that would eventually consume more legendary ballparks, like the Polo Grounds in Harlem or Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. It did not; late last month, in fact, a remarkable, if quiet, blow was struck for the intransigence of Staten Island cricket. The same two teams, in their batting pads and boonie caps and ageless Slazenger field whites, stepped out again onto the pitch and reprised the historic game.

It was, as people said all day, approaching the 125th year of continual cricket at the field, once a portion of the Delafield estate but now owned by the city and known as Walker Park. The players who came out that day were not the British officers of yore, but Bangladeshi cabbies, Indian computer engineers and a Pakistani man who owns an auto-body shop. The Ladies’ Outdoor Amusement Club was not on hand to administer refreshments. Instead, there was D.J. Ralphie, of the so-called Chutney Bastards, blasting rowdy soca from a laptop.

via Two Cricket Rivals Face Off on Staten Island – NYTimes.com.

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