Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Crookston Hoped for League Membership

The city of Crookston, MN was excited about its prospects to field a team in the Red River Valley League. Coming off a successful summer of 1896 playing various local teams, the Crookston community treasured the possibility of membership in an organized league for the 1897 season. There were promising signs that this dream would be fulfilled. The community had pledged sufficient financial support, and the city’s cranks were working on a new ball park for the team.
As late as May 19, Crookston looked like a lock to become part of the league. They had posted the $250 in forfeit money necessary to gain admittance, money that would be returned to the team as long as they stayed together and completed their entire schedule. Unfortunately, the news brought to fans the next day by the Crookston Daily Times explained with disappointment that the team would not be a Red River Valley League member after all. Unable to secure a sixth club for the league, officials meeting in Fargo decided it would not be feasible to attempt to form a schedule for five teams. Such a schedule would leave one team idle at all times. With a thin margin for error regarding finances, the clubs could not afford extra days without gate receipts coming in. As a result, Crookston was the odd man out, and the league would proceed with just four teams.

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