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abell1198 08-23-2016 02:16 PM

Collegiate Baseball Association
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The year is 1871. The country is still recovering from four years of civil war. A part of that recovery is sending young men to college to further their education. With that education comes recreation, as a new game is being played on college campuses. The game is baseball. It starts out simply enough as a pickup game here and there, but challenges are made and teams are formed. Battles between young men are now fought on the baseball field instead of the battlefield. The game expands quickly to intramural competitions on campus, but soon enough, campus pride forms rivalries with other colleges and universities. A collegiate baseball league is formed, the Collegiate Baseball Association. Fourteen teams forge this league, hailing from the northeast corner of the nation.

Welcome to the world of collegiate baseball. The league has been divided into regions, which are drawn by groups of states and will remain for independent teams even after conferences are formed. I've either found or created time specific uniforms, which will be divided into 1871-1900, 1901-1950 and 1951-present day. Finally, I have and will continue to create custom schedules, which will focus mainly on regional and/or conference play. The schedule will have games played in two game sets on Tuesday and Wednesday, with three game sets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Players will consist of historical rookies plus fictional players. Where would Cobb, DiMaggio, Ruth, Gehrig or Mantle play college ball? There will be a draft, but the draft order will be randomly assigned each year. So yes, the team that just won the championship may be able to get the best player in the nation. Players will be limited to four years of play, then manually retired. The age limit will be 23, regardless of how much playing time a player has seen. I'm going to stick with the collegiate level in this dynasty and explore how it evolved as close to possible to real life events by introducing new teams and conferences as they existed. No team will be deleted, but will be placed into an independent region when their school ceased their baseball program. I'm only using teams which were originally or are still in Division 1. Although we start with 14, by 2016 that number will grow to 354.

I will occasionally highlight stories I find interesting along the way, including players, coaches, athletic directors and university president profiles. The league will be seen through the eyes of the league commissioner, who I will present to you in the following post. So, press the follow or subscribe button and join me on a historical journey into college baseball.

abell1198 08-23-2016 02:30 PM

Introducing James Herring
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James Herring was born in 1822 in Haverstraw, New York, which is just outside of New York City along the Hudson River. His father had immigrated from Ireland and worked hard to support his family. Although James admired his father's work ethic, he didn't want to spend his life at the brickyards along the Hudson. James worked in business as a merchant, but then turned to education and became a teacher. James later became a professor at a local college and as he started his own family, he moved up the educational ranks as an administrator.

James managed to avoid being drafted during the war between the Union and the Confederacy, paying a sum of $25 to the draft board to do so. After the war, the economy in the North was booming, as most of the fighting and destruction took place in the South. The business of education was good and getting better. Education had been good to James, but by 1870, with his wife and eight children at home, he was looking to improve their financial well being. James had made friends with a number of coworkers over the years and a couple of these friends had done very well for themselves and were presidents of their respective universities.

In early 1870, Jamie Hebebrand, President of Columbia University and Chris Hellerich, President of Fordham University, had approached James with a proposal. They told him about how baseball was becoming more and more popular and universities were looking to put together an association to regulate the schools in baseball competitions. James was intrigued, as his own sons had taken an interest in baseball. He was told the association would be independent of the universities and it would need a commissioner to rule over it and keep the playing field level and fair for all of the schools who would participate in it. Since the association would be based in New York City, Hebebrand and Hellerich wanted a local administrator who could be trusted to be impartial. Of course, James’ nomination would have to be approved by the other university presidents and his removal from office could only be with a ¾ vote. After listening to the proposal, James felt like he had the opportunity he was looking for. The salary was more than he had imagined, but with it came great responsibility.

In the summer of 1870, James Herring was elected over the other nominees for the position of Commissioner of the Collegiate Baseball Association. He had a lot to do, as the universities wanted play to begin in March of 1871. There were a total of 14 schools across multiple states. James and the universities agreed on a 60 game schedule to be played from mid-March to mid-June. They approved James’ proposal of placing the 14 schools into three regions of play, with scheduling to focus on the majority of games being against regional schools. Also approved was the proposal of each regional winner, plus one wild card team, to make the playoffs, with the winner of two of three games advancing. The final team standing would be crowned National Champions of Collegiate Baseball.

As March of 1871 came around, James was nervously awaiting the results of his work. The first season of Collegiate baseball was about to begin. Would it be a great success, or a horrible failure? Only time would tell, but success or failure was the least of his concerns, as James was at home with his wife and their newborn son. He had made it through the first eight months as Commissioner and was happy with what he had accomplished. Only three university presidents concerned him. His friend Jamie Hebebrand, Gary Weaver of Cornell University and Danny Hickman of Harvard. All three men were very demanding and were expecting results quickly. Keeping these men happy would be key to the association’s success.

abell1198 08-23-2016 02:36 PM

CBA 1871 Tour Letter
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Sizeman21 08-24-2016 10:51 AM

I like the way you have written the different entries for the story. I'm hooked!

imhoff2 08-24-2016 03:24 PM

I'm excited to see where this is going! Subscribed!!

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

CivicEvo 08-24-2016 03:44 PM

Amazing start so far, excited to see how this goes!

abell1198 08-26-2016 05:33 PM

Lafayette 03/21/1871
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As James boarded his train to begin his tour of the Collegiate Baseball Association, he thought back about his wife, Frances, and their nine children. He felt bad about leaving, since young Stephen was only a couple of weeks old, but he knew the other kids would help their mother, especially his oldest daughter, Sarah, who was nearly eighteen. James’ oldest son, Ephraim, had wanted to travel with his father, but James reminded him his education came first.

“I can’t bring you along with me now, but how about you come with me in June, after school is out?”

“Okay” Ephraim replied.

“Besides, you’re the man of the house while I’m gone. I need you to help out with the younger kids.”

“Yes sir” It was clear Ephraim was disappointed. He had taken up baseball and was pretty good at it. He was nearly sixteen years old and wanted to play ball when he went to college.

James continued, “And even though you’re the man of the house while I’m away, who has the final say around the house?”

“Mom” Ephraim stated.

“Good man” James responded. “You are wise beyond your years and it would be best you remember who’s really in charge. It will serve you well when you marry.”

James boarded a train owned by the Lehigh Valley Railroad called the “Black Diamond Express.” The train, James learned, made two trips daily between New York City and his destination, Easton, Pennsylvania.

When he arrived in Easton, James was met by Mat Hooven, who introduced himself as the President of Lafayette College. James realized his mistake in calling Lafayette a university in his letter to the school presidents.

“My apologies, Mr. Hooven.” James said. “I’m still learning the ropes with the association and it’s member schools. I’ll make sure to correct my information upon my return to New York.”

“Not a problem, Mr. Herring. Let’s head over to the school and I’ll show you the campus.”

James was quite impressed with Easton, a town of 10,987 people, according to last year’s census, which sat on the eastern edge of the State of Pennsylvania and bordered New Jersey across the Delaware River. The campus sat near both the Delaware River and Lehigh River. Commerce was everywhere, being shipped both by boat and by train from Easton to New York City, as well as the surrounding area.

When he arrived on campus, he took a tour and was able to see the ballfield for the Lafayette College Leopards. The school had named the field “Lafayette Grounds.” The stadium had seating for 1,500 people, but James wondered whether that many people would come watch a collegiate game of baseball.

The field itself was 326 feet down the left field line and 323 feet down the right. It measured 376 feet in the alleys and 420 feet to center field.

“That’s a lot of field to cover.” James stated, as he met with Athletic Director Mike Quinlan and Manager Tim Garcia.

“Well, that’s going to be Josh’s job when we start playing tomorrow,” replied Garcia, referring to center fielder Josh Moss, who was regarded by the men as their best player.

“I can’t wait to see him play,” James stated. “Which team are you playing tomorrow?”

“Harvard” Quinlan said. “Some writers down at the paper seem to think they’ll be a good opponent. I just think our team is going to be better.”

As game time rolled around, the weather looked to stay cool and overcast. It was 36 degrees by first pitch and drizzling rain. Not ideal weather for baseball and it showed, as only 519 people attended the game. The wind was blowing hard out to right field, making it feel even colder. A young man by the name of Shaun Louis was on the mound for Harvard, while Lafayette had 18 year old Tom Drummond pitching.

Harvard took an early lead, up 4-0 through the top of the 3rd inning, but Lafayette tied it by the end of the 3rd. Harvard appeared to be the better hitting team, but they also made a lot of mistakes on defense. Lafayette scored two more runs in the 5th and another in the 7th to lead 7-4 going into the 9th. But the Harvard Crimson team mounted a comeback and in the middle of the 9th, they led the game 8-7. Lafayette, however, was able to rally and won the game 9-8 on first baseman Alfonso Martinez’s double, which scored both of the runners who were on base. The game lasted nearly three hours, helped along by a rain delay of over 30 minutes, but James left the game with a smile. The season had officially started and was on it’s way. He knew he still had a lot of work to do, but he had a good feeling about the Collegiate Baseball Association and it’s future.

The next morning, James bid farewell to Easton and prepared to travel 13 miles west to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he would see the same Lafayette team play the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks in just two days time.

abell1198 08-29-2016 02:25 PM

Delayed in Easton
James traveled down to the train station and was met with some unexpected news. “I'm sorry, Mr. Herring, but the train won't be running on time today, if at all,” the conductor told him. “Snow storm has moved in over in Bethlehem and I'm afraid we’re going to have to wait it out.”

“How long do you think it will be?” James asked.

“Hard to say. Some of these storms blow through quick and others seem to hang out for a while.” said the conductor. “Our locomotive has already left for Bethlehem with the snow wedge so they can help clear the track when the storm is done.”

“Well then,” James remarked, “I guess we'll be hanging out and getting to know each other until then.”

The two men spoke at length about their lives and families over the course of the day. The conductor’s name was Fred and he had lived his whole life in Easton. “I’ve traveled to a lot of places, thanks to working for the railroad, but I always came back home to Easton. It's where Pearl and I are from and she never wanted to be too far from family, so we stayed.”

Fred and Pearl had known each other for as long as either could remember. Fred had courted Pearl when they were barely teenagers and they had been practically inseparable ever since. They had raised five children over the years, three girls and two boys, but they had lost their youngest son in the war.

“Toughest thing I ever had to do was bury my baby boy,” Fred stated, choking back the tears. “He was 25 years old, but as a father, you know, like I do, they're always your baby, no matter how old they are.”

Fred was especially excited, though, about becoming a grandfather….again. “Got six grand kids already, with number seven on the way.” Fred’s face just beamed when he talked about his grandchildren. Admittedly, Fred told James he didn't know a thing about baseball. “Don't really know what all the fuss is about,” Fred exclaimed. “It’s just a game. They probably won't be talking about it ten years from now.”

“Well, that would be bad news for me,” James chuckled.

As the day wore on, it was obvious to James he wasn’t leaving Easton today. Fred invited him over to meet Pearl and stay the night, saying the locomotive for the train should be back by morning. As promised, James and Fred returned to the train station the next morning and the train was ready to go. James thanked Fred for his hospitality and boarded the train to Bethlehem.

abell1198 08-31-2016 02:49 PM

Lehigh 03/24/1871
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James was able to arrive in Bethlehem relatively quickly, but as he arrived at the station, he saw no one was there to greet him. Snow was on the ground and he wondered if Lehigh was able to play their game the previous day. James asked for directions to the university and began making his way down the snowy road.

Upon reaching the campus, James was able to find Nate Cook, the President of Lehigh University, in his office.

"My apologies, Mr. Herring. This snow storm caught us off guard and I've been preoccupied with getting the university grounds clear so we can resume classes. I see you found your way to our school without much trouble."

"I did, Mr. Cook. Were you able to play the game last night? I assume not, given the amount of snow you have on the ground."

"No, Mr. Herring. We had to postpone the game, but the ball field is nearly clear, so we should be able to play tonight, barring any more weather. Will you be attending?"

"No sir. I believe I will sit this one out, but I will be in attendance for Friday night's game against Lafayette."

With that being said, James decided to tour the town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The city had a population of 10,298 and was located in the heart of the Lehigh Valley. The university was located just south of the Lehigh River. The main industry seemed to be the manufacture of steel, courtesy of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, which was founded in 1857.

The next morning, James met with President Cook and was taken for a tour of Lehigh's facilities. He learned Lehigh had won their opening day game with Dartmouth, 12-3, and had won again last night by a score of 17-9. The two men went to the stadium, Mountain Hawks Ballpark, which had a capacity of 1400. The field was slightly bigger than Lafayette's field. Lehigh's field measured 338 feet down the left field line and 333 feet on the right side. It was 408 and 406 feet in the left and right alleys, with center field 427 feet away from home plate.

James met with Athletic Director John Mitchell about their games thus far. "Well, we haven't gotten the crowds we wanted, so far, but that could be due to the weather. Had 529 people show up for our first game, but only 379 last night. Of course, it was below freezing both nights, so I suspect that had something to do with it," Mitchell advised. James also met with Manager Matt Horace and asked him about his team. "We have a great pitcher, kid by the name of Brian Godard. He's done a heck of a job so far and we expect him to do great things for us this year."

As game time neared, James was pleased to see a turn out of 465 people at the stadium. Not great, but given the temperature was just above freezing, he was pleased. Of course, with a stiff wind blowing out to left, it was still pretty cold. Lafayette arrived and the game began. James thought it should be a good match up, as both teams were 2-0 so far this young season. Lafayette began by scoring two in the top of the 1st inning. Lehigh came back with one run in the bottom half of the inning to make it 2-1, but Lafayette blew the game open in the 3rd by scoring five runs. Lafayette never looked back and never trailed in the game, winning by a score of 12-7. The victory was nice for the Leopards, but it came at a cost, as center fielder Josh Moss left the game with an injury after fielding a deep fly ball.

The next day, James was on the train to go home. He was anxious to get back to his family and rest. The next two stops on his tour would be with the local teams in New York City, where he would visit the campuses of Fordham and Columbia.

abell1198 08-31-2016 05:29 PM

Fordham 03/28/1871
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James was happy to return home and not having to travel much. This week, he would make two visits to schools, but both were in New York City. After spending the weekend at home with his family, James traveled to the Bronx, where he met up with his old friend, and President of Fordham University, Chris Hellerich.

James took a tour of Fordham's ballpark, named Rams Ballpark. He was amazed at the sheer size of the place. The park would hold 1600 people and the field was the biggest he'd seen thus far. The left field line measured 339 feet and right field was 337 feet. The alleys were 413 feet in left and 408 feet in right, with center field measuring a whopping 431 feet!! Chris wasn't real happy with the attendance so far. In three home games, only 1404 people had come to the games. In a city of 1.4 million people, Chris thought sellouts would be easy. James and Chris both agreed, however, that it was just too soon to say whether this venture would be successful or not. Athletic Director Bill Abraham introduced himself and relayed his disappointment with how the team had performed so far. With a 1-4 start, the local press hadn't been kind to the team and Abraham felt this was preventing people from coming to the games.

James also spoke with Manager Josh Rickett. Rickett reflected on the two losses to Villanova on the road and losing two of three at home to Syracuse. "We're still figuring out who we are as a team. We're still a work in progress, but these kids will figure it out." Rickett said the bright spot five games into the young season was second baseman John "Bubba" Horne, who was hitting .318 so far. "He needs to work on his defense, but he's been hitting well."

As game time came around, the weather was 46 and cloudy and it looked like it might rain. The wind was blowing in hard from left field. Only 316 people showed for the contest. James was concerned and knew he needed to find a way to promote baseball at the collegiate level. Fordham was again hosting Syracuse, although this was only a two game series. After losing two of three, Fordham was fired up after a pre-game speech by Rickett. The Rams scored four runs in the 1st inning and never looked back, winning the game 11-9. Syracuse trailed the entire game, but made a heck of a rally in the 9th that fell short.

James returned home and his thoughts turned to how he could make the college game of baseball more enticing to fans. The universities had invested a lot of money into this venture and so far, the returns were far less than what was expected.

abell1198 09-06-2016 01:10 PM

Columbia 03/31/1871
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James continued on his tour of the Collegiate Baseball Association. Today, he traveled to Manhattan to take a tour of Columbia University and see their game against Rutgers. James met up with his old friend and President of Columbia University, Jamie Hebebrand.

Jamie told James that his team had only had two home games, as the schedule had them playing on the road early on. There were 600 people at the home opener, but only 424 for the second game. Like James, Jamie was surprised at how a city of 1.4 million people couldn't fill his stadium, so he was certain they just had to get the word out and then the crowds would come. Jamie took James for a tour of Lions Ballpark, which at 1700, had the largest capacity he had seen on his tour. The field short down the lines, but deep in center, measuring 323 feet down the left side and 325 on the right. The alleys came in at 395 in left and 400 in right, with center field at 431 feet.

James was introduced to Columbia's Athletic Director, John Brown. Brown was a bit disappointed with his teams performance so far, going 3-4, but with the majority of the early games played on the road, he felt the players would turn things around. Manager Kevin Travis agreed. Travis said his team started out by losing two on the road at Rutgers, then won two of three at Cornell. Earlier this week, the team split a two game set with Lehigh at home. Travis was a bit nervous about the upcoming three game series at home against Rutgers. "They're a good team and they've gotten off to a fine start." James inquired as to who the best player on the team had been thus far this season. "I'd have to say my center fielder, Ed Droster. He's my lead off man and a fine hitter at that."

The game against Rutgers was another cold one, with the temperature just above freezing, but a stiff wind coming in from center field. There were 453 people at the game, which seemed to please Jamie. "That's a few more than the last game. I figure, with the weekend coming up, those numbers will go up the next couple of games, as well."

Columbia's manager, Kevin Travis, was right. Rutgers seemed to have a fine team. They scored two runs in the first two innings to take a 4-0 lead. James was thrilled with something that happened in the first inning which hadn't happened in any game he had attended. Rutger's right fielder, Jake Bowsher, hit the ball over the fence in left center field for a home run. Thrilling!! James had never seen power like that before in a ball game. Inside the park home runs, sure, he'd seen that, but over the fence?? Amazing!! The ball must have gone ten feet past the wall, which measured 395 feet away!

Columbia clawed their way back into the game, scoring two runs in the 3rd and one in the 6th inning to make the score 4-3. But Rutgers hit the ball well in the 8th inning and scored four more runs on their way to winning 8-3.

After the game, James returned home to spend what time he could with his family. He was headed to his office on Monday to go through the end of month reports he had asked all of the university presidents to send him regarding their team's performance thus far. It was going to be a busy week and James would need to get everything compiled before he traveled again at the end of the week.

abell1198 09-06-2016 03:20 PM

The Lafayette Monthly April 1871
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James was doing his best to stay in contact with the fourteen members of the Collegiate Baseball Association. Part of that contact, though, was to make sure and keep tabs on what was going on away from the schools. As a result, James had made sure each of the newspapers from the member schools towns were mailed to him when they were published.

He received a copy of The Lafayette Monthly and he was sad to see the headlines. James had been to that game and he was hoping the injury to Josh Moss hadn't been as serious.

abell1198 09-06-2016 03:39 PM

Newsletter Announcement 4/5/1871
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abell1198 09-06-2016 04:27 PM

Collegiate Baseball Times 4/5/1871
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abell1198 09-06-2016 05:40 PM

Cornell 4/7/1871
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As the end of the week drew near, James said goodbye to his family and once again boarded a train for what would become a weekly trip to a new destination for the remainder of the season. His destination this week was Ithaca, New York, home to Cornell University. Upon completing his train ride, James was a little shocked to find the train depot in such a rural location. He was met there by Cornell University President Gary Weaver.

"Forgive me, but where is Ithaca?" James questioned.

"The terrain is too steep for the railroad, so it's just a short wagon ride away," Weaver answered. "The grade is just too much for the trains, seeing as how the town is built on a hill just south of the Cayuga Lake."

"Good view of the lake, I take it?" James asked.

"The best!" replied Weaver.

The two men talked as they rode the horse drawn wagon to the town of Ithaca, population 8,462. Weaver was concerned, as the other presidents were, about attendance at the games. "We had a great turnout for opening day, but it's been declining ever since."

When they arrived, they were greeted by Cornell's Athletic Director, Terrence Walker. Walker provided James with a tour of Big Red Ballpark, which held 1400 people. The field measured 331 feet down the left field line and 321 down the right. It was 385 and 365 feet in the left and right alleys, with center field 422 feet away. While touring the park, James was introduced to Manager Mitchell Workman. Both men were struggling to explain their team's poor start. The team was 2-9 and currently suffering through a four game losing streak. "It will turn around for us at some point, but we're going to have to play better defense," said Workman. "I've got a great pitcher, but the lack of defense is killing us." The pitcher Workman spoke of was Adrian Powers and they considered him the team's best player. "He's called 'Hypnotist' for a reason," Workman continued, "because his stuff just leaves guys standing at the plate wondering what happened. But if you ain't got no defense when the ball is hit, it don't matter what kind of stuff you're throwing."

The game was going to be tough for Cornell, as 11-1 Rutgers was in town for the three game, weekend series. The weather was decent, 42 degrees with clear skies and the wind blowing out to left. There were 356 people at the game, which was not a great number, but a better turn out than the last two games. Workman was right, though, this team made a lot of mistakes. They committed four errors in the 1st inning to allow Rutgers to take a 2-0 lead. But once they settled down, the game went well. Cornell actually had one player who was excellent in the field, right fielder Rich Davis. He made a couple of great plays and threw a runner out at third base to keep his team in the game. After seven innings, the team was only down 4-1, but they kept missing chances to score. Rutgers added three runs in the 8th, though, keeping the game out of reach and winning 7-3.

abell1198 09-12-2016 11:57 AM

Brown 04/11/1871
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It was a short turn around for James, as he was only home for the weekend before heading out on the road again. Today, he was headed to Providence, Rhode Island, home of the Brown University Bears. Brown was preparing for a two game series against Princeton and since James had yet to see either team, he was excited for the match-up. Upon arriving in Providence, he was met at the train station by Brown University President, Kevin Allan.

"I am amazed at the size of the city," James said. "It is much bigger than I anticipated, compared to the other cities. New York being the exception, of course."

From the station, James and Kevin boarded one of the many horse car lines which crossed the city.

"Last year's census had us at 68,904 people." Kevin replied. "We're also home to a number of jewelry manufacturers. They produce about 25% of the nation's jewelry."

As they arrived at the university, James noticed the campus was just east of the juncture where the Moshassuck and Woonasquatucker Rivers met and became the Providence River. Kevin took him to Bears Ballpark, where they met Athletic Director Vincenc Pechal. James inquired of the two men how attendance had been.

"Well, we've been on the road quite a bit. Only had two home games, so far." replied Pechal. "The team is 7-7, so we're hoping for a better turnout tonight and more so as the weather gets warmer."

"The answer to your question," Kevin stated "is not nearly enough people have shown up. We had 558 people at our home opener and 372 in the second game. For a city our size, that's ridiculous."

"We've had the same issue in New York." James said. "I'm working on a way to draw more interest, but I'm afraid it's just going to take some time."

The ballpark was big and was capable of holding 1700 people. The field measured short down the lines, with left field at 321 feet and right field at 326 feet. But center field was deep at 430 feet, with the alleys measuring 397 in left and 405 in right.

James met up with Manager John Giordano and talked about their season thus far.

"Well, we're 7-7 so far, with most of those games played on the road." Giordano stated. "We're 3 1/2 games back of Yale here in the New England Region. Hoping to get things going tonight against Princeton."

Princeton was 7-8 this season, so on paper at least, it looked like a pretty even game. Giordano had told James to keep an eye on his first baseman, Nick Swan, who was batting .429 in 12 games. As game time rolled around, the crowd barely trickled in. Attendance was counted at only 266 people. The weather was cool and the wind was coming in from left.

Brown got off to a rough start, down 4-0 after one inning and having committed four errors. But the Bears came back and tied the game in the 2nd inning, 4-4. Twice, Princeton would take the lead and twice, Brown came back to tie. After six innings, it was 6-6 and turning out to be quite a good game. Brown took the lead in the game for the first time in the 7th inning, scoring three runs. But Princeton scored two in the 8th and as the teams entered the 9th inning, Brown held a one run lead, 9-8. Princeton, once again, took the lead in the top of the 9th, when they scored two runs. However, Brown battled back, like they had all game and tied the contest with a run scoring double.

This was a first for James, as the teams were tied and headed into extra innings. Neither team scored in the 10th inning and Brown kept Princeton off the board in the top of the 11th. But Brown was able to score a run in their half of the 11th, thanks to multiple errors on Princeton. Brown walked off the field, triumphing 11-10. Although the turnout was less than expected, the crowd got to see a great game.

As James prepared to leave Providence the following day, he made sure to stop by a jewelry store and pick up a little gift for Frances. It seemed to be the proper thing to do, seeing as how his travels were leaving her home to take care of their family on her own. Fortunately, his next trip wasn't for another week and a half, so he was looking forward to spending some time at home.

abell1198 09-12-2016 04:54 PM

Dartmouth 04/21/1871
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After enjoying time at home with his family, James was once again on a train. On this trip, he was headed to Hanover, New Hampshire. Hanover is located just east of the Connecticut River, which divides the states of Vermont and New Hampshire. As he got off the train, James once again found himself in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. The President of Dartmouth College, Jared Key, met him at the station.

"And Hanover is..." James began.

"Only available by stagecoach or river." Key smiled, as he completed James' sentence. "Our coach is waiting for us and we can talk on the trip."

James learned about the team at Dartmouth and their struggles.

"The team has a record of 8-13. Attendance has been decent, given the team's struggles," Key stated. "We've averaged just under 400 people a game for six games, but we're hoping that changes tonight."

"And what is happening tonight?" James asked.

"Well, Mr. Herring, Hanover is a small town. About 2,085 people. Total. So, with Yale in town for three games and your visit," Key continued, "I figure we'll have quite the turnout. Let's just say I may have mentioned to a few people about the importance of your visit."

Upon arriving at the campus, James accompanied Key to Big Green Ballpark, where he met the Athletic Director, Tim Solis, and Manager Danny Anzaldua.

"What do you think of our facility, Mr. Herring?" Solis inquired.

"It looks a little smaller than the others I've been to," James answered. "What's the capacity?"

"1200 people," Key replied. "Probably is smaller compared to others, but in a town our size, people thought we were crazy to build it as big as we did."

The field was comparable to others in the association, James observed. The left field and right field lines were 332 feet and 321 feet. Left center and right center measured 396 feet and 368 feet, with center field 423 feet away.

James spoke with Manager Anzaldua about his upcoming series with Yale.

"They're the best team in the New England Region. 15-7 so far and their players know how to hit. Fortunately, I've got some players who can hit as well," Anzaldua stated. "Keep an eye on my center fielder tonight. The kid can flat out play."

Dartmouth's center fielder was a 19 year old by the name of Katsushi Imai and James found out he was hitting .385 after playing in 17 games.

When game time approached, it looked like the entire town was in the ballpark. Attendance was 1138 people. Nearly a capacity crowd. James was thoroughly impressed with President Key's efforts. Promoting the game is the key to attracting crowds, James thought. Like the other games, the weather was cool, but above freezing. A light breeze blew out to the short porch in right field.

Yale was definitely everything James had heard about and more. The Bulldogs bolted out to a 12-2 lead after four innings and never really looked back, winning the game 17-9. James saw his first multi-home run game, with Yale hitting the ball twice out of the park. The first was in the 2nd inning, when Yale's first baseman Eric Drum hit the ball over the left center field fence about 438 feet. Impressively, Drum is a left handed batter, which meant he had the power to hit it that hard to the opposite field. The second home run was in the 9th inning, when Yale catcher Jake Hurd hit the ball 384 feet into right center field.

The next morning, James boarded the coach and headed for the train station. He would only be home for a few days again, as he had another short turnaround for his next trip.

abell1198 09-13-2016 03:55 PM

The Villanova Monthly May 1871
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abell1198 09-14-2016 03:29 PM

Penn 4/25/1871
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James once again boarded a train and today he was on his way to Philadelphia. James was traveling to see the University of Pennsylvania, or Penn for short. When he arrived, he met with university President Daisaku Moriyama. Philadelphia was a thriving city, about half the size of New York, with a population of 674,022. The city was a huge manufacturer of textiles, train locomotives and ships.

James accompanied Moriyama to the university, which had been established by none other than Benjamin Franklin. When he arrived at Quakers Ballpark, he met Athletic Director Eddie Camacho. Camacho said the university was averaging about 477 people per game, but acknowledged the numbers had been boosted significantly after this past weekend's series against Lafayette.

"It was standing room only for all three games. The ballpark holds 1400 people, but we had more than that the whole series," Camacho told James.

James took a tour of the facilities and was introduced to Manager Isaiah Benjamin. The field was comparable to others in the association. It was 321 feet and 326 feet down the left and right field lines. The left and right power alleys were fairly deep at 398 and 405 feet. Dead center field measured 426 feet.

Benjamin said he was a bit disappointed by his team's performance so far. "We're 10-15, but we can do much better."

"Who's your best player, Mr. Benjamin?" James inquired.

"Well, if we're being honest, I'd have to say my shortstop, Luke Rising," Benjamin answered. "Problem is, the kid's a selfish player. Only thinks of himself. I've nicknamed him 'Tired'."

James was almost afraid to ask, but did. "Why do you call him that?"

"Cause I told him I'm tired of him being a selfish player, so I told him I'd call him 'Tired' until he changed his ways. He hasn't changed, so I keep calling him 'Tired'."

When game time rolled around, it was clear and 51 degrees. A light wind was blowing from left to right and a near capacity crowd was on hand to see the team play Dartmouth, who was now 9-15. The official attendance was counted at 1358 people. Penn jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the 1st inning, but Dartmouth was able to tie the game in the top of the 3rd. Penn took the lead again in the bottom half of the frame, leading 4-3 after three innings. Dartmouth would take a brief lead in the top of the 4th, scoring two runs to make it 5-4, but Penn would score again in the bottom half to tie the game at 5. Penn took the lead for good in the bottom of the 5th inning, scoring three runs and holding on to win the game 8-6.

James was happy to see the attendance numbers on the rise and hoped with warmer weather on it's way, that it would be the case for all school in the association. James would be keeping a watchful eye on the numbers reported by all of the member schools when they sent in their monthly reports.

abell1198 09-14-2016 05:36 PM

Cbt 5/1/1871
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