Thursday, April 20, 2006

Spring Arrives in Wilmette
Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Taking the whole family out to the ballgame used to be an idle pleasure, not too expensive, something to look forward to come Spring. In the days when there were enough ball clubs around for everyone to get some peanuts and some crackerjack without a home equity loan, the Negro League alone fielded over a hundred teams.

Could there be any question that an afternoon spent at a Cincinnati Clowns game would amuse , or that there might be a chance of several home runs at a Zulu Cannibal Giants game? The game was a little rougher in the Old Days, though. Thankfully, the New York Knickerbockers established, early on, that you must tag a player, rather than just throw the ball at him--or her.

In Chicago, baseball scores were being reported by the newspapers prior to the Civil war, with 45 amateur baseball teams competing by 1867. Baseball became so popular that in 1887 the strongest players organized into eight semipro teams known as the Chicago City League. In 1910, the first night game was played under lights at Comisky Park as the Logan Squares faced off against Rogers Park.

If you don't get out much, you can actually see up to 2,400 baseball games on the Internet for less than $80.00. Make sure you are a tech wizard, though, before you sign up, or you'll be back to the days of ballgames on the radio. When I clicked for a sample game, it came in loud and clear, but I couldn't see a thing.

Photo credit: Jaysun who posts his photos on Flicker.


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