Monday, November 30, 2015

Baseball in the Snow?

What better way to ring in the new year than with a good 'ol game of baseball? Well, typically the weather conditions prevent such a celebration, but in 1899, the folks of Wahpeton decided to give it a try. It must have been a mild day, and a small amount of snow on the ground did not seem to bother the men who came to Wahpeton's Island Park to participate in the "national game." They even attracted a small crowd to witness the novel event.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Another Fargo Major Leaguer? - Some Detective Work

Though not directly relevant to the 1897 Red River Valley League season, the July 14th Forum gave readers an update on a player named Sexton, who had played in Fargo as Wilson the summer before. Sexton was now playing left field for the New Bedford, Massachusetts team of the New England League and was reported to be “batting like a fiend.” After a short trip over to the indispensable, I discovered that the 1897 New Bedford, MA team did feature a player named Frank Sexton, who had played in 1895 in the National League for the Boston Beaneaters. To confirm that Sexton and Wilson were indeed the same person, I had to determine when and where Sexton played during the summer of 1896. Sporting News articles show Sexton playing in late June 1896 for a team in Springfield, Massachusetts. Sexton disappears from the Springfield box scores after that, which corresponds to the appearance of a Wilson playing for Fargo, who first appeared in late July 1896. The story seems to check out that another major leaguer likely played in Fargo in 1896. 
- “Baseball,” Fargo Forum and Daily Republican, July 14, 1897.
- The Sporting News, June 27, 1896.