Baseball, OH (Part 14)
Writer's note: Judge Earl Parker, on September 12, 1947 ruled the name assigned to the annexation of Basil to Baltimore would remain Baltimore though a majority of the two communities favored Baseball. The "Retain Baltimore" committee convinced the judge that the percentage of Baseball supporters did not reach the state law that demanded at least 75% of the merging towns must support a name change. The verified voting in the former Twin Cities did not reach that percentage.
However, the tension remained, especially in Basil, due to the understanding that the original "Agreement" noted the merger name could not be Basil or Baltimore. The Faith and Promise had been broken. Even before Parker's decision, there were hints that of a renewal of the two-year feud over the merger and its name.
An Eagle-Gazette article noted there was a "Threat of a separation of the two communities of Baltimore and Basil (will arise) again if the name change plan fails, injecting a despairing note Tuesday afternoon into the hearing to change the name from Baltimore to Baseball before Judge Earl D. Parker, Waverly, discouraging to the men and women who have labored over a period of several years to bring to an end nearly a century of rivalry between the two towns. 'If the name change plan fails the only solution for the people of Basil is to come back with a petition for the separation of the two towns,' Ed Sands, Basil auto dealer, declared on the witness stand. In Judge Parker's ruling to preserve the name of Baltimore, the E-G reporter predicted a potential renewal of the feud when he stated,'... In bringing to a conclusion, temporarily at least, a long controversy over the name of the two villages.'
Another note: During a review of the Twin City News during Parker's verdict and post decision there was very little coverage of the court case. Only a small piece appeared in the TCN in the November 13, 1947. edition: "BASEBALL IS OUT...Holding that signatures on petitions favoring the changing the name of Baltimore to 'Baseball' were insufficient, Judge Earl. D. Parker of Waverly, has ruled that the name of this village shall not be changed but shall remain Baltimore.'" It is not clear why the local newspaper remained mostly silent over this famous, or infamous, chapter of the "Twin Cities" history.
Jim N. Reed