ALPENA – Baseball fans are going to have a real treat this weekend.
Cuyler Memorial Baseball Field will host a baseball game in honor of Sunday afternoon in Harrisville as part of the ongoing MLB Hall of Fame celebration, KiKi Cuyler.
The game is scheduled to start at 1pm with a make-up/rain time at 1pm on September 25th. Entry to the game is free.
The match will be played between players wearing the uniforms of the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates – two of the four teams Koehler played in his career.
The players — 18 on each team — are former county league baseball players, most of them in their 50s and 60s, and there are two honorary captains.
Baseball fans will take a trip back in time to an event that the community pulled all the stops for. A new scoreboard – flanked by two American flags, one with 48 stars and one with 50 – is placed on the field and the score will be kept in chalk.
Fans present will be able to sit in the stands, feeling as if they have been transported back to a simpler time enjoying baseball favorites like hot dogs and biscuit jack and hearing baseball music from the speakers.
“Harrisville just jumped into this one, and it has to be good, and it has to be fun,” said Don Franklin, who will be announcing at the match.
The game is part of a month-long celebration of Quiller, who was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1968 and banners celebrating his accomplishments were put up to greet visitors as they came into town from different directions.
Hazen Shirley “Kiki” Quiller was born on August 30, 1898, in Harrisville and died in Ann Arbor in 1950 after suffering a heart attack in Harrisville.
During his 18-year career in the Major League, Koehler played for the Buccaneers from 1921-1927, the Cubs from 1928-1935, the Cincinnati Reds from 1935-37, and the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938.
He won the world championship with the Pirates in 1925 and played in three other world championships during his career. He finished his career with an average of 321, 2,299 strokes, 128 home runs and 1,065 strokes. He was featured in All-Stars in 1934 and has also had 328 stolen bases in his career.
The Quiller celebration started last month and runs through September 30th. The Harrisville branch of the Alkona County Library hosted a “KiKi and Harrisville” roundtable Thursday with members of the Cuyler family and locals who knew him or were influenced by him.
On September 22, the library will host a virtual conversation with Jim Haller of the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh about “Growing Up with Baseball.” On September 29, the library will host a movie evening and will show “A League of Their Own.”
Previous events have included a reception on August 30 and the opening of a photo exhibition as well as baseball card ratings by Franklin. The library also hosted a screening of “The Natural” on September 1 and a virtual talk with Ron Waldo, Cuyler’s biographer, on September 8.