Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pandemonium in Enderlin! - An excerpt from the upcoming book

As I continue progress toward completing the chronicle of the 1897 Red River Valley League, I thought I would share a fascinating aside to the story. Here's a sampling:

Despite a late 6 pm start, the fans in Enderlin were itching for more baseball and savored the championship game to be played between the rival towns, the winners going away with a cash prize. As the teams took the field, “pandemonium reigned”, and a group of especially passionate Enderlin fans in the grandstand roared with insane fervor, amplified by dog whistles and six foot long tin horns, among other noisemakers. Sheldon’s club was up to the challenge and rose above the intimidation, taking a 2-0 lead after two innings to quiet the crowd somewhat. At that point, it was time for the estimated 1,500 Sheldon supporters to show their enthusiasm, as they “filled the air with hats, coats, fans, yells and parasols” and their team held off a late Enderlin rally to win 11-7. Lee Roberts was reported to have “pitched the game of his life”, and the Sheldon club returned to their town heroes, greeted by the “blaze of trumpets and the boom of cannon”.  The Red River Valley League clubs should have envied the display of enthusiasm, particularly those teams struggling to draw even a fraction of the fans seen in Enderlin that weekend. (Forum June 21, 1897)