An early decision to cancel the match (an e-mail sent out just after 7:30) was necessary because the Atlantics had about a 2 1/2 hour car ride to Chester and it wouldn't have been fair for them to travel all that distance for no reason. At the same time, modern technology, just that of the past 25 years alone, allowed the decision to wait until Saturday morning without risking seriously inconveniencing anyone. In the days before cell phones, text messages and e-mail (not that long ago), it would have been far more cumbersome to keep everyone informed.
1860 Challenge from the Hamilton Club (Jersey City) to the Knickerbocker Club of NYC
It does not appear the challenge was accepted
All of this, of course, pales in comparison with the communication challenges of the game's early days. Matches were scheduled through invitations issued by one club to another, typically based on a vote of the membership of the challenging club. Although the telegraph did exist, my guess is that the process of making, accepting/rejecting an invitation was done primarily through the mail. If there was threatening weather on the appointed day, the visiting club had to make an all or nothing decision at the time of departure.
Interestingly, the first time a New Jersey club played an away match outside of the state, the weather was a complicating factor. In an earlier post, I wrote about how the Pioneer Club of Jersey City, traveled to east Brooklyn to take on the Columbia Club on September 3, 1855. In spite of the potential delays in taking ferries and horse drawn conveyances, the Pioneer Club was on site "at the appointed hour," only to find "very unpleasant weather." Both clubs and any hardy (or fool hardy) fans waited for "some time" before accepting that the rain wasn't going to stop.
Box Score of the first match played by a New Jersey club outside the state
Apparently the Pioneer Club members decided they weren't going to come all this way with nothing to show for it and their hosts agreed. In any event seven soggy innings were reportedly "well played." Although the Columbia Club prevailed, 25-13, the reporter felt it was hard to determine which was the better club as "several hands" were "put out by slipping down." The match was followed by a supper at a local hotel, suggesting the Pioneer players were able to change into dry clothes, both for the dinner and, perhaps more importantly, for the trip home. If so they had the advantage on today's vintage base ball players who sometimes have to make a long trip home in uniforms very much the worse for wear.
Next weekend the Neshanock travel to that hallowed base ball site, Cooperstown, New York to play the Essex Club of Massachusetts at the Ommegang Brewery. Two years ago Flemington played in a tournament at the brewery winning all three games in weather reminiscent of that encountered by the Pioneer Club in 1855. Let's hope part of that experience will be repeated this time, and I don't mean the weather!