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"Father of Baseball" Alexander Cartwright's Grave in Oahu, Hawaii

Alexander Cartwright's Grave in Oahu, Hawaii I bet many baseball fans didn't know that, Alexander Cartwright, referred to as a "father of baseball", is buried in Oahu, Hawaii. Born Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr. on April 17, 1820 in New York City, Cartwright later in his life was to be recognized as the founder of baseball. He was cited as the proponent of the rules of the modern game based on the Knickerbocker Rules which he developed in the mid-1800s.

Cartwright started out as a bank clerk when he was just 16 years old and played bat and ball games after hours with a local volunteer firefighters. According to baseball historians, Cartwright and his friends formed their baseball club in the early 1840s and named it after Manhattan’s volunteer Knickerbocker Engine Company.

The baseball club and the sport started to gain popularity after moving to New Jersy and playing on the spacious Elysian Fields in Hoboken. It was there that the club became a driving force in baseball’s rapid development. In 1846, Cartwright served as the Knicks’ secretary and rose up the ranks to become the club's vice president from 1847-48. He was also an influential member of the club’s rules committee in 1848.

In 1849, Cartwright left the club to join the Gold Rush in the western territories. He eventually sailed to Hawaii where he would spend the rest of his life. He served as Honolulu’s first fire chief and as a trusted advisor to King David Kalākaua and Queen Emma. He also helped in establishing the Honolulu Library and Reading Room and was a staunch advocate of welcoming women in the library. He continued public service until his death in 1892. Forty-six years after his death, Cartwright was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a pioneering contributor. However, many baseball historians dispute the recognition and believe that Abner Doubleday is the true inventor of the game.

Cartwright's remains was interred in Oahu Cemetery marked by a large tombstone which mentions nothing about baseball. The only indication that the grave belongs to a baseball luminary are the baseballs, bats and caps sometimes left at its base by sports fans who pay homage to the controversial baseball pioneer.

To reach Oahu Cemetery, take exit 21 from H1 onto Hwy 61/Pali Hwy. Drive north and exit immediately onto Pacific Heights Rd. Take first left onto Pauoa Rd, cross over the highway, then take first right onto Nuuanu Ave. The Cemetery will quickly appear on the left. Turn left into it at the gated entrance. Cartwright's grave is just off of the road that you'll be on, on the right, about 100 yards in.


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