Saturday, September 5, 2015

Steele and Zink Reunite

Teammates on the 1897 Fargo Divorcee baseball team, Fred "Jack" Steele and Bill Zink would cross paths again just three years later. Not only did the two men play on the same team, the 1900 Terre Haute Hottentots, they also lived at the same address. It was not uncommon at the time for players to board together in the same residence. The transient nature of minor league baseball players at the time meant such an arrangement make sense. The 1900 Federal Census lists Steele and Zink as being "roomers" at the residence of Albert Kohler in Bloomington, Illinois. Nine ballplayers are listed under the same Bloomington residence. Three of the men are designated as "boarders" and six as "roomers." The term boarder seems to suggest a more permanent status of residency, though at least one of the boarders played with Steele and Zink on the 1900 Hottentots. With the distance between Bloomington and Terre Haute being 140 miles, it is highly doubtful the men stayed at the Kohler residence during the summer baseball season of 1900.

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