Thursday, May 17, 2012

On This Date: Itching for Baseball

In 1897, today's first week of April usually occurred around mid-May. Before you accuse me of using some version of the Mayan calendar, allow me to explain. Today, the first week of baseball is a treasured time for the baseball fan, with the completion of spring training and opening day happening around April 1st. In the Red River Valley, the middle of May featured this same show of great anticipation among baseball fans for the coming season.

The May 17, 1897 front page of the Forum featured an account of one of the first games of the season, an exhibition between Wahpeton-Breckenridge and a team from Morris, MN. Not including season ticket holders, the attendance was 486, an impressive total (though the article does not specify whether the game was at W-B or at Morris). The W-B team won the game 24-4, but the "cranks" were likely still pleased, itching to enjoy the national pastime after a long winter and a spring flood.

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