Baseball's founding father part of Honolulu's history

By Yunji de Nies
Published On: Apr 17 2014 07:58:00 PM HST

Baseball fans and historians honored first Honolulu fire chief and father of modern baseball Alexander Cartwright, Jr. on his 194th birthday.

HONOLULU -

Hawaii might not have a pro baseball team or even a minor league one anymore, but we still have bragging rights over all those Major League Baseball cities.

We have Alexander Cartwright, Jr.!

Click here to watch Yunji de Nies' report.

Before Cartwright became Honolulu's first licensed fire chief he did something now considered even greater. He created the game of baseball and came up with the rules we still follow today.

Baseball fans and historians honored Cartwright Thursday on his 194th birthday with lei on his headstone, baseballs at the base and old-timers gathered to swap stories. Alexander Cartwright was remembered as baseball's founding father.

"No wonder this large hearted American joy carried his boy's charm to a Pacific island place," said Blazer Brown, a baseball fan.

Brown wouldn't miss a chance to honor baseball's creator.

"God bless [him] for inventing this game for us," said Brown.

Brown's been playing since he was ten years old. He's 84 now and still plays.

'But here I am and I love it. I'm just like a kid. I don't sleep much the night before a game. Can't hardly wait to play," said Brown.

Baseball's the common bond everyone here shares.

Linda Hardesty is a life-long Dodgers fan. When she traced her genealogy, she found out Cartwright is her great-great uncle.

"Oh, it's fabulous because I've always loved baseball," said Hardesty.

It is a game she knows now is truly in her blood.

"My great-great grandson is almost 10. He's been playing for 3 years. It's just wonderful," said Hardesty.

Cartwright has official honors like the field named after him and the high school baseball trophy that bears his name.

But the true measure of his memory is unmistakable sound of the cowhide hitting the leather.

In addition to being Honolulu's first fire chief, Cartwright also founded the Honolulu library and served as an adviser to the monarchy.

Baseball gear

PHOTOS: Founding father of baseball honored

Click here for photos from the honoring of Alexander Cartwright, Jr.

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