Knock Down and Skin’Em

Alaska’s First Ball Club

“Come play us in Saint Paul Island, Alaska” 1868

The Knock Down and Skin ‘Em™ ball club was founded on St. Paul Island, AK in July of 1868 by missionaries from New Haven, Connecticut. The team was composed of individuals from the Aleut community on St. Paul Island, Alaska Native individuals from Kodiak, crew members of the US vessel New London, and two tribal members/missionaries from Hawaii. In 1869, the team issued a challenge to the rest of the United States, “come play us in St. Paul Island, AK!” 

On-going history of baseball in St. Paul

Prior to the rediscovery of the Knock Down and Skin’em ball club, it was known and well documented that baseball had been an important part of the community’s history. On June 14, 1942, the US Delaroff interrupted a game of baseball. Players and spectators were ordered to go to their homes and pack one suitcase of their belongings to take with them as they were evacuated from the island and placed in internment camps in Southeast Alaska.

Baseball Today​

Baseball was actively played on St. Paul Island by community members until sometime in 1960-1970’s when a transition to softball occurred. The game of softball is actively played by community members during the summer and remains an important part of the community events and activities, with a community tournaments on Fourth of July and on June 14, the date of the evacuation. 

The Evacuation day tournament marks the importance of the game to the community and honors the history and significance of the evacuation event. The team names (Team Funter Bay, Team Delarof, Team Baidars, and the 44’s) reflect the tie between baseball and St. Paul Island’s history by referencing historic teams and events. 

Games are still played on the same field that the Knock Down and Skin’em club played on, and still draw crowds of community members to cheer their teams and honks their horns in appreciation of good plays.

The community has cheered loudly, emphatically and passionately for this game for 150 years and this love extends for any team they follow, be that for the M’s, the Baidars, LA Dodgers, or the 44’s.

Ballfield Project:

Current Goals and the Future of the Field

The Aleut Community of St Paul Island Tribal Government (ACSPI) has been working with multiple community partners to promote community, diversify the economy, and develop infrastructure, support and sustainability. The discovery of the “Known Down and Skin ‘Em” ™ ball club, has increased community interest in  reconstruction and improvement of the historic ball field. 

The field, in active use since 1880’s, has undergone several changes. Most notably the loss of the grass infield and outfield and the removal of the backstop. It is the goal of ACSPI and its partners, as part of a larger downtown revitalization plan, to rebuild this field and make substantial improvements to improve player and spectator safety and honor the history of the community, field and the “Knock Down and Skin ‘Em” ™ team.

Knock Down and Skin’Em Merchandise

News & Releases

© 2017 Aleut Community of St Paul Island Tribal Government. All rights reserved

Design by Agnew::Beck Consulting