2017-08-26 / News

Mackinac Associates Members Partake in Spirited Cricket Match

By Sasha Zidar


Laurel Young whacks the ball into the air as instructor Tom Melville watches from behind the wicket during the Mackinac Associates cricket game. Laurel Young whacks the ball into the air as instructor Tom Melville watches from behind the wicket during the Mackinac Associates cricket game. Instructor Tom Melville pushed willing members of Mackinac Associates through the fundamentals of cricket, a game foreign to modern-day U.S. residents but popular in England and former British colonies, during an August 19 meeting at Mission Point Resort.

The green on the point, overlooking the passage between Mackinac and Round islands, proved a perfect setting for the spirited competition involving bats, balls, and wickets. Mr. Melville learned to play the game while attending school in England.

“I travel all around the U.S. teaching American’s how to play cricket,” he said. “It’s always interesting to see how the game plays out.”

This is his first visit to Mackinac Island and he said he has never been anywhere like it.


Penny Barr keeps score for the Mission Point cricket match, which ended in a 28-28 tie. Penny Barr keeps score for the Mission Point cricket match, which ended in a 28-28 tie. “It’s a beautiful place,” he noted.

He came at the invitation of Phil Porter, director of Mack-

Penny Barr keeps score for the Mission Point cricket match, which ended in a 28-28 tie. inac State Historic Parks, for the annual meeting of Mackinac Associates, the friends groups supporting the agency.

Mr. Melville started with a discussion of the rules U.S. baseball fans probably would find confusing. While there are similarities, there are no strikes in cricket, so a batter can take as many swings at pitches as needed to hit a ball, and, even then, batters don’t have to run on a hit ball unless they want to. Nevertheless, cricket scores are high; a ball hit out of the playing area earns a team six points and runners can chalk up many points just running between the two wickets on the field.


Dressed in proper white for their cricket match are Phil Porter and Jane Manoogian. Dressed in proper white for their cricket match are Phil Porter and Jane Manoogian. A player is out if a hit ball is caught, or if the opposing team hits a wicket while the batter is running, or if the bowler (pitcher) hits the wicket if the ball gets past the batter.

Before splitting Associates members into teams, Mr. Melville gave each of the aspiring cricket players a few whacks of bat on ball. Cricket is a bat-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, in this case, the Mission Point Resort lawn. At the center of the cricket field is a rectangular 22-yard-long pitch with a target called the wicket, which is a set of three wooden sticks topped by two bails, one at each end.

Each phase of play is called an inning, during which one team bats, attempting to score as many runs as possible while the other team is in the field. Depending on the type of match, the teams play one or two innings. When the first inning ends, the teams swap roles for the next inning.


Tom Melville gives cricket instruction to Marta Olson while placing bails across the tops of three stumps. The bails and stumps comprise a wicket. If a ball hits the stumps and knocks one or more bails off, a batter or runner is called out. Tom Melville gives cricket instruction to Marta Olson while placing bails across the tops of three stumps. The bails and stumps comprise a wicket. If a ball hits the stumps and knocks one or more bails off, a batter or runner is called out. “Cricket is like a precursor to baseball,” said Mackinac Associates President Peter Pellerito. “You’ve got a bat and a ball, but you only get one strike and you’re out. It’s fun because you’re playing with people you know. It’s a bonding opportunity and it’s another way we can come together as a community in a way we normally don’t.”

As a British colony, Americans played cricket almost exclusively for 150 years before other field games, like baseball, were introduced around the time of the Civil War, Mr. Melville said. It remained a popular sport here until around the beginning of World War I.


Rev. Dan Hans hits a ball as cricket teammate Peter Pellerito prepares to run for the wicket, thus scoring a point, and Glen Young (left) hopes to field the ball. Instructor Tom Melville (right foreground) officiates the action. (Photograph by Phil Porter) Rev. Dan Hans hits a ball as cricket teammate Peter Pellerito prepares to run for the wicket, thus scoring a point, and Glen Young (left) hopes to field the ball. Instructor Tom Melville (right foreground) officiates the action. (Photograph by Phil Porter) Summer residents from Jamaica still enjoy the game, and it ranks only behind soccer popularity in that country.

Following the match Saturday, August 19, Liz Ware of Mission Point Resort welcomed Mackinac Associates members to cocktails and food at Bistro on the Greens, where the primary order of business was to reelect Ann Parrish, Peter Pellerito, Jeb Burns, and Todd Petersen for another term on the group’s board of directors.

Mackinac Associates has grown in 40 years from 200 members to 3,042, President Pellerito told the gathering. In the past year, the group awarded $250,000 to Mackinac State Historic Parks in support of projects and operations.



Mackinac State Historic Parks Director Phil Porter knocks one out into the field of play while his wife, Valerie, (far right, holding a bat) cheers him on. Mackinac State Historic Parks Director Phil Porter knocks one out into the field of play while his wife, Valerie, (far right, holding a bat) cheers him on.

Secretary/Treasurer Ann Parrish and President Peter Pellerito give their reports at the annual meeting of Mackinac Associates. At left are Mackinac Associates Coordinator Diane Dombroski and Mackinac State Historic Parks Deputy Director Steve Brisson. Secretary/Treasurer Ann Parrish and President Peter Pellerito give their reports at the annual meeting of Mackinac Associates. At left are Mackinac Associates Coordinator Diane Dombroski and Mackinac State Historic Parks Deputy Director Steve Brisson.

Happy Mackinac Associates members (from left) Marie Hulett, Carole Erbel, Lisa Simon, and Nancy Marstiller. Happy Mackinac Associates members (from left) Marie Hulett, Carole Erbel, Lisa Simon, and Nancy Marstiller.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2017-08-26 digital edition