Friday, August 3, 2012

On This Date: League's Last Ditch Efforts

August 3, 1897 - Tuesday, August 3 was the beginning of the end for the Red River Valley League. Wahpeton-Breckenridge was scheduled to play its first game representing Crookston at YMCA park in Grand Forks against the Senators. It never happened. Manager Ed Corbett brought his team to Morris, MN instead, apparently to complete the season playing independent ball. In response, on August 4 an unnamed official was sent by Moorhead's manager Bodkin to Morris in an effort to try to convince the W-B team to come to Crookston (without Corbett, who stubbornly refused to compromise). The hope was to enlist Moorhead pitcher Ed Jess to manage the players in Crookston. However, Corbett's actions, coupled with the inaction of the Crookston magnates, equaled the death knell for the newly-formed league. On August 6, the Forum finally conceded the fact that the league was dead. Fargo and Moorhead would play out their scheduled six-game set, and thereafter, organized baseball in the Valley would be done for 1897.

The recent developments were especially disappointing for Red River Valley fans in light of the competitive and balanced play in recent weeks. On Tuesday afternoon, amidst the chaos concerning the future of W-B, Fargo again played Moorhead tough in a game on the Fargo grounds. With the score 6-4, Fargo scored two runs in the ninth to force extra innings, but Moorhead struck back with the winning run in the tenth.

Fargo Forum and Daily Republican
August 3, 1897 p. 4 "Stuff Is Off"
August 4, 1897 p. 4 "Patching It Up"
August 5, 1897 p. 4 "Chaotic"
August 6, 1897 p. 4 "The Wind-Up"

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