Saturday, April 30, 2016

Buy Today - Divorcees, Barmaids, and Cranks: The 1897 Red River Valley Baseball League


Paperback - $13.95 plus applicable tax/shipping.

Available TODAY at:

·   Hjemkomst Center Gift Shop - 202 1st Ave. N., Mhd
·   Vintage Point - 1450 25th St. S., Fargo
·   FARM Antiques - located inside Moorhead Center Mall

Buy online - Select from the following options:

Top 10 Things to Discover in Divorcees, Barmaids, and Cranks
  1. Bizarre team nicknames - find out the story behind Divorcees and Barmaids
  2. Generally normal individuals acting crazily
  3. Gambling, violence, and foul language - and the resulting scandal
  4. The challenges of baseball unique to the time period - (hint: umpires and fielders had a tough time)
  5. The color barrier's impact on the league
  6. People you never knew had any connection to baseball
  7. People you never knew had any connection to the Red River Valley
  8. The life of a minor league baseball player at the turn of the 19th Century
  9. The economics of minor league baseball, specifically in North Dakota and Minnesota
  10. A story never told before in as much detail or with as much passion
Some facts about the book:
Size - 5.5" x 8.5" 
Format - Paperback / eBook 
Pages - 204

Jeff Bozovsky is a Fargo native and member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). He is a graduate of North Dakota State University, where he earned bachelor's degrees in History and in Social Science Education.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Give the Umpire a Fair Chance

The Sporting News, America's primary sports weekly newspaper, knew the plight of umpires in 1897. Challenges included rowdy players, fans, foul language, and the lack of another umpire to assist. The News felt there was a solution to the issue, a suit of armor:


The Sporting News, July 17, 1897, p.4

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Andy Anderson Playing for Portland - Picture Series Part VI

The picture below is of the 1902 Portland Webfoots of the Pacific Northwest League. The player on the far left is Andy Anderson, who pitched and played second base for the 1897 Moorhead Barmaids. This picture was taken before the team boarded a train to travel to Tacoma, Washington for a game against the Tacoma Tigers.


Source: The Oregonian

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Joe Marshall Running Home - Picture Series Part V

After the 1897 season, Joe Marshall spent most of his baseball career playing for minor league teams in the Mountain West and on the West Coast. One of his stops was Butte, Montana, where he played for the Miners in 1902 and from 1911 to 1913. The picture below shows Marshall running to home plate in a game against the Portland Webfoots of the Pacific Northwest League in 1902. The catcher is Sammy Vigneaux - also playing for the Portland club was Andy Anderson, a member of the 1897 Moorhead Barmaids.


Butte Inter Mountain 6-16-1902

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Fargo Ballpark! - Picture Series Part IV

Recently, I finally tracked down the precise location of the ballpark used by the 1897 Fargo Divorcees. The park was south of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad passenger station, meaning it was located between 1st and 2nd Avenue North, between 11th and 12th street. The park was dismantled in 1901 and relocated to where Sanford Hospital is today, on north Broadway.

Here's a picture of what the location of the 1897 park looks like today:





Source: Google Earth

Monday, January 25, 2016

Jimmy Hart Is Not Impressed - Picture Series Part III

Jimmy Hart played predominately at first base for the 1897 Wahpeton-Breckenridge Methodists. Hart, pictured here as a member of the 1906 Minneapolis Millers of the Western League, seems unenthusiastic about the idea of taking a team photo. As Terry Bohn writes, Hart was not always the easiest man to get along with. 




1907 Spalding Baseball Guide

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pre-Ordering Coming Soon!

In just a couple weeks, you will have the opportunity to pre-order the upcoming book, Divorcees, Barmaids, and Cranks: The 1897 Red River Valley Baseball League. Pre-ordering is an important step to ensure you get your copy of the book, since the number of pre-orders will help determine how many books are printed. So don't miss out!

There will also be an eBook version that will be ready in early April, around the same time the book printing will be complete.

Check back here or on the Facebook page for updates!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Gus Munch in Chicago, 1907 - Picture Series Part II

Gus Munch, center, pitched for amateur clubs in St. Paul and had a brief stint with the St. Paul Saints before he became a member of the 1897 Fargo Divorcees. Munch went on to pitch several years for amateur teams in the Chicago area throughout the first decade of the 20th Century. 



SDN-052551, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum.



Munch pitched primarily for the Chicago West Ends amateur team in the early 1900s. In this 1906 photo, Munch is pictured below wearing a dark shirt, along with teammates with the West Ends emblem on their shirts. He is the fourth man from the left. 


SDN-051940, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Phillippe and Marshall Reunite - Picture Series Part I

Over the next few weeks, I will periodically post pictures of interest relating to the 1897 Red River Valley League. These are pictures that did not fit into the context of my upcoming book: Divorcees, Barmaids, and Cranks: The 1897 Red River Valley Baseball League.

Fargo's Deacon Phillippe and Grand Forks' Joe Marshall, rivals in the 1897 Red River Valley League, became teammates just six years later in the major leagues. This photo was taken during Marshall's only year with the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League, in 1903. Marshall was a reserve utility player who appeared in only ten games for the Pirates. Phillippe won a career high 25 games in his fourth year with the club, and he would play the rest of his career in Pittsburgh before retiring from baseball in 1911. The 1903 Pirates fell to the Boston Americans, five games to three, in the inaugural World Series. Deacon Phillippe won all three games for the Pirates, while Marshall did not appear in the series. 

As noted in the caption below the photo, Phillippe is standing in the back row, third from the left. Marshall is seated on the floor, furthest to the left.


The Pittsburgh Dispatch, September 20, 1903

Team information from http://www.baseball-reference.com/.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Sunday Baseball in Fargo? Maybe...

Playing baseball once occupied a place alongside showing movies, shopping, and hunting as activities prohibited on Sunday. In Fargo, a law was on the books banning baseball on Sunday, but the statute was generally not strictly enforced. In the 1897 Red River Valley League, Sunday baseball was a non-issue, for reasons you can discover in my upcoming book. In the summer of 1901, however, a Sunday game between Fargo and Larimore was deemed illegal and arrests were made. 



The Minneapolis Tribune, July 29, 1901

Saturday, January 2, 2016

John D. Turner Had Local Ties

John D. "Jack" Turner was one of several Grand Forks Senators who spent at least a decade residing in the Red River Valley. The others were Sid Adams, Billy Hanrahan, Charlie Hutton, William McNeil, and William "Harry" Walker. All of these men played not only on the 1897 Grand Forks league team, but also on Grand Forks teams of other years. (Incidentally, Billy Hanrahan was the only player to play on the Grand Forks clubs of the Northern League, from 1902 to 1906.) John's brother James, though not on the 1897 league club, played alongside his brother on other Grand Forks teams. A longtime resident of Grand Forks, John Turner moved west after his retirement, passing away at the age of 92 in Billings, Montana.