Poland’s Early Baseball

In 1916 Ira F. Mansfield put together a collection of stories about Mahoning, Columbiana, and Beaver Counties. He called his book "Reminiscences". This book is not available in any local library, however, a copy was discovered by John Macintosh in a collection of books acquired by his mother, Elizabeth Macintosh.
One story Mr. Mansfield remembers about the early life in Poland tells of the organization of a local baseball club in 1860. This club became famous under the name of the "Resolutes". Among the team members were C. F. Kirtland as pitcher, Cecil Hine as catcher, and Mansfield as captain. After the Civil War the club was reactivated and George Tod (son of Ohio's governor) often secured victory by his "long bat" enabling the Poland Club to hold the championship of the McKinley congressional district.
In 1880 another baseball club was formed by Mansfield and Moody in Rochester, Pennsylvania and was called the "M and M Club" with its expenses being paid by profits from a brand of cigar known as M and M. (long before Mars colorful candies). The purpose of this club was to provide athletic fellowship among young men and to draw them away from the taverns and saloons in the neighborhood during the long summer evenings and weekends.
Baseball became a popular sport during the Civil War and was played by the soldiers during the long intervals between battles. Returning veterans were eager to participate in the game either on or off the field and large crowds would gather whenever two teams got together. No mention has been found in local history books as to where Poland's "Resolutes" played their first baseball games. Possibly the players got together in what was once a large open area just north of the C. F. Kirtland (Bishop) house on Pittsburgh Road. Another guess would be the level field behind Union Seminary School or even the large level vacant lot that was once located behind Millard's Greenhouse on Route 224. Today this lot is occupied by the Colonial Estates Apartments but it was once a favorite place for such sport activities as riding horses and flying kites.