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Bloomer GirlsWomen Baseball Pioneers$

Debra A. Shattuck

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040375

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040375.001.0001

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(p.183) Appendix

(p.183) Appendix

Source:
Bloomer Girls
Author(s):

Debra A. Shattuck

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press

States without Identified Baseball Teams in Homegrown Female the Nineteenth Century

Arkansas

Mississippi

Tennessee

Virginia

Delaware

Nevada

Utah

Washington

Idaho

Oregon

Vermont

Future States without Identified Homegrown Female Baseball Teams in the Nineteenth Century

Alaska

Oklahoma

Female Baseball in the 1850s and 1860s

Date

Place

State/Terr.*

Type of Team

Comments

late 1850s

Steuben County

NY

Public Schools

Baseball is “the game at our district schools during intermission hours, and often engaged in by youths of both sexes.”1

1859

Perth Amboy

NJ

Coed Private School

“We are glad to record that there is one school in this country … where girls are encouraged to take vigorous physical exercise; where boys and girls are educated together; where the girls have boat clubs and play ball, …”2

(p.184) 1862

Benicia

CA

Private Girls’ Seminary

Students at the Benicia Young Ladies’ Seminary played “games of ball” as part of their regular daily exercises.3

1864–65

Benicia

CA

Private Girls’ Seminary

School catalogues for the Benicia Young Ladies’ Seminary state that students play “games at ball.”

Nov. 1865

Harrisburg

PA

“Already we hear faint whisperings of a Ladies’ Base Ball Club, and next summer will probably launch the Spinsters’ Barge Club on the Schuylkill …”4

Spring 1866

Poughkeepsie

NY

Women’s College

First- and second-year students at Vassar College organized the Laurel and Abenakis baseball clubs.5

Spring 1867

Poughkeepsie

NY

Women’s College

First- and second-year students at Vassar College organized the Precocious baseball club. None had played on the Laurel and Abenakis teams in 1866.6

Farmington

CT

Private Girls’ School

Students at Miss Porter’s School organized the Tunxis baseball club.7

July 1867

Dowagiac

MI

Civic

“A young ladies’ base ball club is being organized at Dowagiac.”8

Saranac

MI

Civic

“The Cassopolis Democrat says a base ball club has been organized at Saranac in this State …. The ladies are also organizing a base ball club.”9

Niles

MI

Civic

“A young ladies’ base ball club has been organized at Niles, Mich.”10

Pensacola

FL

Civic

“The Baseball Disease has attacked the women, the young ladies of Pensacola, Fla., having organized a baseball club.”11

Aug. 1867

Hallsport

NY

Civic

“We are informed the Ladies B. B. C. of Hallsport, indulged in a spirited practice game Saturday afternoon last. Will they please send us an invitation to witness a game; or the score of one to publish? …”12

(p.185) Sept. 1867

McConnelsville

OH

Civic

“Some of the ladies of this place have organized a female Base Ball Club. The married members are said to be good ‘catchers,’ and are instructing the unmarried.”13

Bordentown

NJ

Civic

“In Bordentown, base ball is rampant. There is hardly a man, woman, or child, who is not more or less interested in one or more of the clubs. The enthusiasm on this subject has reached the female persuasion, and two base ball clubs have been organized among the young ladies.”14

Oct. 1867

Allen’s Prairie (Coldwater)

MI

Civic

“We have to record still another death from base ball folly. In Allen’s prairie, Michigan, there is a ladies’ base ball club. One day last week they played a game. Miss Howard was made ill by the over-exertion, and died in three days thereafter.”15

NY

Civic

“Female Base Ball Clubs are being formed in some portions of the state. …”16

1868

Kalamazoo

MI

Civic

“A number of ladies of this place have organized a base ball and croquet club.—They have secured grounds and are putting themselves through a thorough course of training. …”17

Mar. 1868

Boston

MA

“…. I never sees girls play baseball, but they say they do in Boston. …”18

July 1868

Peterboro

NY

Civic

“We were delighted to find here a base ball club of girls. Nannie Miller, a grand-daughter of Gerrit Smith, is the Captain, and handles the club with a grace and strength worthy of notice. …”19

(p.187) Sept. 1868

Brooklyn

NY

Civic

“Following in the example of the ‘Gushing Girls’ of Peterboro, a movement is on foot in Brooklyn to organize a Club of female base ball players. They are to discard hoops and skirts utterly, and appear in a genuine Arab rig. Most of them are undergoing physical discipline, and all of them are making preparations for a match.”20

Nov. 1868

Plymouth

IN

Civic

“The young ladies of Plymouth are organizing a base ball club.”21

Apr. 1869 Sept. 1869

West Lebanon Cincinnati

ME OH

Coed Academy Pick-up

“The great excitement over here is base ball … and the girls play ball as well as the boys.”22 “A Match game of base-ball was played on Monday last between the Invincibles and Woman’s Suffrage Base-ball Clubs, on the Relief grounds, which resulted in a bad defeat for the Invincibles, with the following score: …”23

Oct. 1869

Evanston

IL

Women’s College

Students at the Northwestern Female College organized a base ball team.24

Sedamsville

OH

Civic

“We fear that the religious war going on in Cincinnati is extending its demoralizing effect to the neighboring townships inasmuch as a telegram mentions the fact that a squad of female base ball players were engaged in their favorite pastime, near Sedamsville, Ohio, last Sunday.” [Emphasis original.]25

(*) Bold font indicates first year state/territory is known to have had a female baseball team or player.

Notes

(1.) Harper’s Weekly, November 5, 1859, 707.

(2.) “Muscle Looking Up,” The Letter-Box, 99.

(3.) “Commencement Exercises,” Sacramento Daily Union, June 12, 1862.

(4.) “Harrisettes,” Philadelphia Daily Evening Bulletin, November 25, 1865, 4.

(p.186) (5.) Team rosters and firsthand accounts of the teams are available in the Vassar College archives.

(6.) Ibid.

(7.) Reminiscence of Kate Stevens. Miss Porter’s School Archives.

(8.) “Miscellaneous Items,” Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, July 23, 1867.

(9.) “Local and Incidental,” Constantine Weekly Mercury and St. Joseph County Advertiser, August 8, 1867, 3.

(10.) “Sporting,” Albany Evening Journal, July 12, 1867, 2.

(11.) Chadwick, Ball Players’ Chronicle, July 25, 1867.

(12.) Wellsville Free Press, September 4, 1867, 3.

(13.) Highland Weekly News (Hillsborough, Ohio), September 5, 1867.

(14.) “Out Door Sports,” Newark Daily Advertiser, September 16, 1867, 2.

(15.) “The Daily Avalanche,” Memphis Daily Avalanche, November 11, 1867, 1.

(16.) “Girl Base Ball Clubs,” Utica Morning Herald, October 17, 1867.

(18.) “Boys and Girls …,” Mexico Independent, March 18, 1868, 1.

(19.) The Revolution, August 6, 1868, 65–66.

(20.) “Female Club in Brooklyn,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 10, 1868, 2.

This team does not seem to have been organized. Reporters may have confused advertisements for a female baseball performance at Tony Pastor’s Opera House in late August and early September with an actual female team.

(21.) “Indiana News,” Indianapolis Journal, November 2, 1868, 3.

(22.) Charles W. Hurd letter to his uncle, Charles H. Berry, April 8, 1869.

(23.) “Base-Ball,” Cincinnati Enquirer, September 28, 1869.

There is no definitive proof that these were teams of women. They may have been men’s teams taking a dig at women who had just staged a major Woman’s Suffrage Convention in Cincinnati earlier that month. A roster gives only last names and some initials.

(24.) “All Shapes and Sizes,” Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, November 8, 1869.

(25.) Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 3, 1869, 2.

Female Baseball in the 1870s

Date

Place

State/Terr.*

Type of Team

Comments

Aug. 1870

Jackson County

IN

Civic

“We learn that there are several female Base Ball Clubs in this State. …” “Two female base ball clubs are reported in Jackson County.”1

Detroit

MI

Civic

“Detroit has a female base ball club.” “The women of Detroit are learning to play base ball.”2

Rockford

IL

Pick-up

“Word from Rockford that a base ball club, composed of married ladies … played a game yesterday with a picked nine of single ladies, on the grounds of the Forest City Club.”3

(p.188) New Lisbon

OH

Quip about a female baseball club. “One of the girls recently made a ‘home run.’ She saw her father [mother] coming with a big switch.”4

Fall 1870

Cincinnati

OH

Grammar School

Girls at a grammar school in Cincinnati organized two baseball teams, the Favorites and Mountain Maids.5

Lancaster

OH

Grammar Schools

Girls at the South Senior and South Junior grammar schools in Lancaster organized teams and scrimmaged each other.6

Jan. 1871

Cincinnati

OH

Civic

“Cincinnati has two female base burning [sic] clubs.”7

July 1871

Crawfordsville

IN

Civic

“Crawfordsville has a female base ball club, and the Louisville Commercial proposes to match its printing office nine against the Amazonians.”8

July 1871

Evanston

IL

Women’s College

A team from the Evanston College for Women played a team from Northwestern University as part of a Fourth of July fund raising event organized by College president, Frances Willard.9

Aug. 1871

Evansville

IN

Civic

“A female base ball club has been organized in Evansville.”10

Sept. 1871

Elgin

IL

Civic

“Elgin now boasts two base ball clubs, composed entirely of ladies. They are known respectively as the Originals and the Independents. …”11

Sept. 1871

Pittsburgh

PA

Civic

“Pittsburgh boasts of several female base-ball clubs.”12

1872

Boston

MA

Grammar School

Alice Stone Blackwell, daughter of Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell, played baseball with peers at the Harris Grammar school during recess.13

June 1872

MN

“The swiftest ‘pitch’ in the country is a young woman, aged 23, belonging to a Minnesota female base ball club.”14

(p.189) Fall 1872

Oakland

CA

Private Female Seminary

Baseball was the “first outdoor sport” at Mills Seminary when it opened in 1872.15

1873

Wichita

KS

Civic

Secondary source reports there was a ladies baseball club organized in Wichita in 1873.16

OH

Schools

“Ohio girl students play base ball, and the newspapers talk of it. Well?”17

May 1873

Iowa City

IA

Civic

“Iowa City’s female base ball club is ready to receive proposals—we should say challenges.”18

Fall 1873

Boston

MA

Private School

Alice Stone Blackwell continued to play baseball with classmates after her parents moved her to Chauncy Hall School in the fall of 1873.19

Salem

IA

Coed College

Whittier College, a coeducational Quaker institution had two baseball teams, one all-male and one, all-female.20

Apr. 1874

Rhinebeck

NY

Civic

“South street boasts of a female base ball club. They challenge the world.”21

May 1874

Greenfield

MA

Female Boarding School

“A female boarding school in Greenfield has produced a base ball club. …”22

July 1874

Pittsfield

NH

Civic

“Pittsfield has a female base ball club.”23

c. Aug. 1874

East Tawas and vicinity

MI

Civic

“The young ladies of East Tawas have organized an Amateur Base Ball Club that bids fair to eclipse all other organizations of the kind in this vicinity.”24

Aug. 1874

Tarboro

NC

Civic

“A female base ball club has been organized in Tarboro.”25

Sept. 1874

Harmonsburg

PA

Civic

“Happy Harmonsburg—they have the velocipede fever now for the first time; they are looking for the potato bug; and boast of a female base [ball?] club.”26

1875

Honolulu

HI**

Coed Private School

Four teams comprised of 21 students, aged 15–19, and two teachers played at least two baseball matches at the Punahou School in 1875.27

(p.190) June 1875

Reading

PA

Civic

“Reading has a beautiful female base ballist, who challenges ‘Jhonny’ Briton of Lewistown.”28

July 1875

Laporte

PA

Civic

“Laporte has a female base ball club named Longstockings.”29

Aug.–Sept. 1875

Springfield

IL

Professional/Theatrical

“The Female Base Ball Club, which was recently organized in Springfield and has been playing in the interior of Illinois, is composed of eighteen players, a blonde nine and a brunette nine.”31

Fall 1875

Poughkeepsie

NY

Women’s College

Students at Vassar College organized seven or eight teams.30

Late 1875

KY

Schools

“The baseball mania is prevalent in Kentucky, and even the girls at school join in to make up nines.”32

Feb. 1876

Philadelphia

PA

Civic

“The ladies’ base ball club has been organized in Philadelphia and will play during the Centennial year.”33

Mar. 1876

St. Louis

MO

Professional/Theatrical

“Look out for the Female Base Ball Club, for it will soon make its appearance.”34

Apr. 1876

Virginia

IL

Civic

“… Virginia, Cass County, has a female base ball club, and it is named ‘The Leap Year Winners.’ This club has vanquished a male club of that place in a match game the other day.”35

Lafayette

IN

Civic

“Lafayette has parlor concerts. Also, a female base ball club.”36

May 1876

Manitowoc

WI

Civic

“Manitowoc, Wis., has a female base ball club known as the Striped Stockings. But the girls will stop when running the bases to fix their bustles.”37

SpringFall 1876

Poughkeepsie

NY

Women’s College

Baseball was one of the sports physical educators taught students during the spring term and summer gym program. The clubs were reorganized in the fall of 1876.38

(p.191) June 1876

Brooklyn

NY

Civic

“The suggestion has been made that a female base ball club be originated and that ladies who wish to distinguish themselves this Centennial year be permitted the opportunity.”39

Providence

RI

“It is the fashion now for girls to play baseball & I think it is the best fun ever invented.”40

July 1876

Paris

KY

Civic

“Now they are happy at Paris, Ky. They have a female base ball club.”41

Aug. 1876

Erie

NY

Civic

“The little city of Erie has only thirty-three base ball clubs, but it has taken all the available men of the community and now the matrons are seriously considering the question of organizing themselves into the thirty-fourth nine.”42

Sept. 1876

Gilead

CT

Civic

“Gilead, Conn., boasts a female base ball nine. It doesn’t make it a femi-nine game, for all that. Gilead can’t bamboozle the public mind that way.”43

c. May 1877

Kingston

NY

Civic

“Nine young ladies in Kingston, N.Y. have organized a baseball club.”44

Spring 1877

Poughkeepsie

NY

Women’s College

Twenty-five of 338 students selected baseball as their optional form of exercise during the spring term.45

c. June 1877

Neodesha

KS

Civic

“There is a project on foot to arrange a match game of base ball between nine ladies of Neodesha and nine of Fredonia.”46

June 1877

Kinsley

KS

Civic

“Our enterprising lady bucks, of Kinsley, have organized a Base Ball Club…. We understand they will practice daily until the 4th of July and then will be ready to give or take challenges from any quarter.”47

(p.192) c. July 1877

Fredonia

KS

Civic

“From the scoring around Fredonia about that match game of base ball between the 9 young ladies and as many young men, one’s curiosity is aroused to know how many innings were made and who furnished the bat and ball.”48

Aug. 1877

Williamsport

PA

Civic

“… Williamsport is credited with a female base ball club.”49

Sept. 1877

Neodesha

KS

School

“Since school has commenced the female ballist [sic] are up and doing.”50

Jan. 1878

Auburn

NY

Civic

“…. Our citizens need not be at all surprised this year if they see a lady base ball club on the diamond. …” “Auburn is anxious for a female base ball club.”51

Rochester

NY

Civic

“A female base ball club is to be organized in Rochester.”52

Apr. 1878

Phoenix (Oswego County)

NY

School

Articles across the country carried articles about a team of school girls known as the Amazons.53

c. May 1878

Poughkeepsie

NY

Women’s College

Poem in Vassar College Class Book for 1878 reported the difficulty one of the baseball team captains had finding enough players for her team.54

June 1878

Mercersburg

PA

Civic

“Mercersburg has a female base ball club. They want a young man for catch ’er.”55

Bayfield

MI

Civic

The Marquette Mining Journal reported that “none but married men are allowed to umpire and watch the girls slide in on the home base.”56

Danbury

CT

Fictional

“The only attempt on record of Danbury trying to organize a female base ball club occurred last week…. The idea was cogitated and carried out by six young ladies.”57

(p.193) Syracuse

NY

Civic

“Syracuse is happy because she has a genuine female base ball club, under the name of ‘Young Independents,’ and an investigating exchange says its members wear red and white striped stockings.”58

Aug. 1878

Jefferson

WI

Civic

“Jefferson has two female base ball clubs—the Calicos and Striped Stockings.”59

Manayunk

PA

Factory

“There was recently played at Manayunk a singular base ball match. The females in one of the mills challenged the young men working in the same establishment to play a game of base ball.”60

Nov. 1878

“There are ten female base ball clubs batting their way through the world.”61

Mar. 1879

New York City

NY

Professional/Theatrical

“A female base ball club, including two nines—handsomely costumed in silk and woolen—of ‘American brunettes’ and ‘English blondes,’ under the management of Sylvester F. Wilson of Camden, N. J., has lately been organized, …”62

c. May 1879

Philadelphia

PA

Professional/Theatrical

A group of men organized the Female Base Ball Club of New York and Female Base Ball Club of Philadelphia using some of the players from Wilson’s defunct teams.63

May 1879

New Orleans

LA

Pick-up/Theatrical

Businessman H. E. Hezekiah organized the Lady Nine of Baltimore and the Lady Nine of Boston and promoted a “Grand Female Base Ball Festival” in the city on Sunday, June 15, 1879.64

(p.194) June 1879

Belfast

ME

“Two Belfast girls play ball with as much grace and energy as the sterner sex. One is pitcher and the other catcher.—[Bangor Commercial.] That takes the cake. Even Chicago doesn’t boast a belle fast enough to do that.”65

July 1879

Iowa City

IA

Civic

“Iowa City has a female base ball nine. We are not informed as to their ‘rig,’ and have a curiosity to know if they play in the regulation dress skirt. If they do, we have still a greater curiosity to see them run.”66

(*) Bold font indicates first year state/territory is known to have had a female baseball team or player.

(**) Kingdom of Hawaii

Notes

(1.) “Items of Interest,” Kokomo Tribune, September 8, 1870, 3.

(2.) “Afternoon Topics,” Critic Record (Washington, D.C.), August 1, 1870, 4.

(3.) “Ladies at the Bat,” Chicago Tribune, August 17, 1870, 4.

(4.) Printed in dozens of newspapers across the country. Examples: Waterloo Courier, September 15, 1870; Plattsburg Sentinel, November 25, 1870.

(5.) “Girls as Ballists,” New York Clipper, November 26, 1870, 266.

(7.) “News Items,” Schoharie Union, January 20, 1871.

This quip may be a reference to teams of school girls mentioned by the New York Clipper in November 1870.

(8.) “Papers, Men and Things,” Cambridge City Tribune, July 27, 1871, 1.

(9.) “Fourth of July: Under the Auspices of the Evanston Ladies’ College Association,” The Tripod (1871), 79.

Reprinted in: “Chapter 3: Willard and Northwestern: The Evanston College for Ladies,” Radical Woman in a Classic Town Frances Willard of Evanston. Northwestern University Archives. http://exhibits.library.northwestern.edu/archives/exhibits/willard/chapter_3.pdf.

It is not known whether the team from Northwestern was composed of men or women; there were very few women enrolled at Northwestern at the time.

(10.) Indianapolis Journal, August 23, 1871, 3

(11.) Daily Illinois State Journal, September 7, 1871.

(12.) Reading Times, September 30, 1871, 2.

(13.) Alice Stone Blackwell made numerous references to playing baseball with school friends in her journal. Journal reprinted in Merrill, Growing Up in Boston’s Gilded Age.

(14.) “Gleanings,” Buffalo Evening Courier and Republic, June 18, 1872. Reprinted across the country.

(15.) Information reported in: “History of the Mills College Athletic Association, 1899–1927.” Cited by Gai Berlage, “Sociocultural History of the Origin of Women’s Baseball at the Eastern Women’s Colleges During the Victorian Period,” Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and the American Culture (1989), Alvin L. Hall, ed. (Oneonta, N.Y.: Meckler, 1989): 105.

Mills Seminary did not become Mills College until 1885.

(p.195) (16.) Riske, “Ladies and Diamonds,” (August 1978). NBHoF archives.

(17.) “Facts and Figures,” Woman’s Exponent 1, no. 23 (1873): 184.

(18.) “Miscellaneous Items,” Essex County Republican, May 22, 1873.

(19.) Blackwell journal. Chauncy Hall was a prestigious school that trained the children of Boston’s elite.

(20.) “Whittier College, Iowa,” Woman’s Journal, November 22, 1873, 370.

(21.) “The Local Switch,” Rhinebeck Gazette, April 16, 1874.

(22.) Iasco County Gazette, May 28, 1874.

(23.) “New Hampshire,” Lowell Daily Courier, July 11, 1874, 1.

(24.) “White Stockings,” Iosco County Gazette, August 20 1874, 3.

(25.) “State New,” State Agricultural Journal (Raleigh, N.C.), August 27, 1874, 7.

(26.) “Local Brevities,” Greenville Record-Argus, September 26, 1874, 5.

(27.) Tally-Book of the Punahou Base-Ball Club , October 1869–February 1875. Punahou School Archives.

(28.) “State Notes,” Elk County Advocate, June 17, 1875, 3.

(29.) “State News,” Reading Times, July 9, 1875, 2.

(31.) “Female Base Ball Club,” Inter-Ocean, September 18, 1875, 5.

(32.) New York Sunday Mercury, January 9, 1876.

(33.) Bucks County Gazette, February 24, 1876, 2.

(34.) “Base Hits,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 12, 1876, 6.

(35.) “Suburban: Jacksonville,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 29, 1876, 3.

(36.) “Journal State Jottings,” Logansport Journal, April 18, 1876, 2.

(37.) “General News,” Jackson Citizen Patriot, May 25, 1876, 3.

(38.) “Annual Report of the Department of Physical Training 1875–1876,” Lilian Tappan to President John H. Raymond, June 1876, VCSC; see also “Home Matters,” Vassar Miscellany 5 (July 1876): 769, 773–75 and “College Notes,” Vassar Miscellany 6, no. 1 (October 1876): 56.

(39.) Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 21, 1876, 2.

(40.) Isabel Hill letter to mother Alice Hill and father Nathaniel Hill, from Providence, Rhode Island, June 4, 1876. Zaret database. WLCL, UM.

(41.) “Miscellaneous Items,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 20, 1876, 1.

(42.) “Town News,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 4, 1876, 4.

(43.) “Lightning Flashes,” New York City Evening Telegram, September 23, 1876, 2.

(44.) Unidentified clipping. Likely from a New York City paper dating from May 1877 based on other items on the page.

(45.) “Annual Report of the Department of Physical Training 1876–1877,” Lilian Tappan to President John H. Raymond, June 1877, Vassar College Special Collections.

(46.) “Local News,” Neodesha Free Press, July 13, 1877, 2. [KSHS].

(47.) “Local News,” Edwards County Leader, June 21, 1877, 3. [KSHS].

(48.) “Fredonia Items,” Neodesha Free Press, July 6, 1877, 3. [KSHS].

(49.) “State Items,” The North American (Philadelphia), July 28, 1877.

See also “Female Base Ball Club: Who Wants to Umpire It?” Harrisburg Daily Independent, July 16, 1877, 1.

(50.) “Local News,” Neodesha Free Press, September 14, 1877, 2.

Neodesha and nearby Fredonia, had female baseball nines during the summer too. See “Local News,” Neodesha Free Press, July 13, 1877, 2.

It is uncertain whether these teams were related to those that played over the summer in Neodesha.

(p.196) (51.) “Some Base Ball Notes,” Auburn Daily Advertiser, January 17, 1878, 4; “City News and Gossip,” Syracuse Sunday Times, January 27, 1878,

(52.) “The News,” Plattsburgh Daily Republican, January 26, 1878, 2.

News appeared in many other papers as well.

(53.) The first report appeared as “Phoenix,” Oswego Daily Times, April 26, 1878.

As other newspapers reprinted the story they omitted the word “county” after Oswego, leading to the error that the team was in Oswego instead of Phoenix, New York. A report that the girls would play a men’s nine appeared in “The Country’Round: News About the State,” Evening Auburnian, April 30, 1878, 1.

It may be that two different teams, one composed of school girls and one composed of adult women, were playing in the county at this time.

(54.) “Poem, Prophecy and History,” 1878 Class Book (Vassar College), 23. VCSC.

(55.) “Jottings,” Harrisburg Daily Telegraph, June 18, 1878, 4.

(56.) Marquette Mining Journal, June 29, 1878, cited in Morris, Baseball Fever, 196.

(57.) “The Female Base Ball Nine,” Mark Twain’s Library of Humor (New York, 1888), 126–29.

(58.) “County News,” Skaneateles Free Press, June 29, 1878.

(59.) “State News,” Milwaukee Daily News, August 8, 1878, 2.

(60.) “Petticoats in the Ball Field: Female Base Ballists at Play—The Fat Blonde Who Batted the Pitcher—A Ball Breaks Up the Game,” Inter Ocean, August 14, 1878, 3.

(61.) “Wit and Humor,” Waukesha Freeman, November 21, 1878, 1.

(62.) “Sporting Matters,” Lowell Daily Citizen, March 27, 1879.

(63.) “Female Base Ball,” Cleveland Plain-Dealer, June 25, 1879, 1.

(64.) New Orleans Times, May 27 and June 1, 1879.

(65.) Boston Post, June 9, 1879.

(66.) “Mere Mention,” Cedar Rapids Times, July 31, 1879, 3.

Female Baseball in the 1880s

Date

Place

State/Terr.*

Type of Team

Comments

early 1880s

Honolulu

HI

Coed Private School

Alice Love (b. 1865) and Cara Isabel Carter (b. 1869) played baseball at Punahou in the early 1880s. Carter sometimes played on boys’ teams.1

c. 1880s

OH

Civic/School

“In an Ohio village near my old home, there was a very flourishing Girls’ Nine, some years ago. I well remember seeing part of a match game between the Girls’ and Boys’ Nines. …”2

Jan. 1880

“There are ten female base ball clubs batting their way through the world.”3

Apr. 1880

Northampton

MA

Women’s College

Residents of Hubbard House at Smith College organized two teams in April 1880.4

(p.197) May 1881

Clayton

MI

Civic

“Clayton girls will have a base ball club. Two dozen pairs false calves and a car load of hickory clubs have been ordered.”5

Richmond

IN

Coed College

“The base ball fever is coming on both sides of the house. The ladies have organized a club and are practicing daily.”6

Nov. 1881

North Edmeston

NY

Civic

“The female base ball club of this vicinity met for practice on Wednesday afternoon at the premises of Delos Giles.”7

Apr./May 1882

Silver Creek

NY

Civic

“Silver Creek has a female base ball club.”8

May/June 1882

Quincy

IL

Civic

“Several society girls residing south of Maine street have organized a base ball club and will begin practicing the festive game at once.”9

1883

Philadelphia

PA

Factory

“The young women employed in a shoe factory in Philadelphia organized a club. …”10

Philadelphia

PA

Civic

“… and an amateur team in that city gloried in the appellation of the ‘Mrs. Jane Duffy Club,’ that lady being the manager and secretary.”11

1883

Scranton

PA

“Three comely young women who could ‘sting the first-baseman’s hands from the home-plate, knock a ball beyond the diamond or throw it through a six-inch hole at a distance of 30 feet’ tested the descriptive powers of gallant Scranton reporters.”12

Pottsville

PA

“In Pottsville, Pa. they had a girl twelve years old who could pitch a baseball with as much skill, dexterity and accuracy as the average amateur pitcher.”13

Apr. 1883

“Female base ball clubs without number have been inflicted upon a long-suffering public.”14

(p.198) May 1883

Rockport

IN

High School

“Rockport has a female base ball club. The first game was played last week on the college grounds.”15

May 1883

South Chester and Philadelphia

PA

Theatrical

White barber, John Lang, organized Dolly Vardens 1 and Dolly Vardens 2 (teams of black women) for barnstorming games.16

South Chester

PA

Theatrical

Lang reorganized his teams as Dolly Vardens and Captain Jinks. The barnstorming tour never took place.17

June 1883

Erie

PA

Civic

“Nine young women in Erie have formed a base ball club, and have offered to play with any female base ball club in the State.” A subsequent article expanded the challenge to teams in New York as well.18

July 1883

Huntsboro

AL

Civic

“Miss Walker and eight other young ladies of Huntsboro, Ala. defeated a male nine there July 25 by a score of 20 to 11.”19

Olean

NY

Discussions in paper about whether to organize a team.20

Aug.Dec. 1883

Philadelphia

PA

Professional/Theatrical

Sylvester Wilson (as H. H. Freeman) organized two barnstorming teams called variously: Young Ladies’ Base Ball Club of Philadelphia, the Blondes and Brunettes, and the Belles of the Bat and Queens of the Emerald Diamond. They played at least 34 games in 20 cities in 9 states, drawing more than 20,000 spectators.21

Aug. 1883

Quincy

IL

Civic

Two women’s teams organized; one on August 5 and a second circa August 23.22

Almond

NY

Civic

“The Blondes and Brunettes, two female base-ball clubs of Almond, played a match game of ball at that place one day last week.”23

(p.199) Fort Wayne

IN

Civic

“… Daisy Slack, a pert young lady living in Lagro, recently applied for a position in the female base ball nine now being organized in Fort Wayne.”24

Dec. 1883

Brooklyn and

NY and

Professional/Theatrical

Wilson and a core group of players

Dec. 1884

Philadelphia

PA

from his 1883 troupe traveled to New Orleans, where they reorganized for another tour.25

1884

North Bridgton

ME

Coed Academy

The school paper reported, “The boys had five baseball nines, the girls two.”26

Jan. 1884

Honolulu

HI

Private School

The “Good Girls’ Base Ball Club” of Punahou School played the “Good Boys’ Base Ball Club” on January 8, 1884.27

Spring 1884

South Hadley

MA

Women’s College

Players from the classes of 1885, 1886, and 1887 posed for a baseball team photo.28

May 1884

Glendive

MT

Civic

“The young ladies of Glendive have bought a ball and bat, and intend organizing immediately. If there are any other female base ball clubs in the Territory we should like to hear from them with a view to getting up a match.”29

June 1884

Denver

CO

Civic

“The North Side is ahead again! This time it’s the champion female base ball player. It is understood that the ‘giddy girls’ will form a club in the near future, in which case some boys will have to look to their laurels.”30

Oct. 1884

Blunt

SD

Civic

“A female base ball club flourishes at Blunt, Dakota.”31

1885

Ayer

MA

Civic

“… last summer the girls of my age who lived here got up a base-ball nine.”32

Wellesley

MA

Women’s College

The Police Gazette published a racy illustration purportedly depicting Wellesley freshmen playing baseball “like real little men.”33

(p.200) Jan.??? 1885

New Orleans

LA

Professional/Theatrical

P.S. Tunnison (or Tunison) recruited five of Wilson’s players to organize Tunnison’s Texas tour team. The team played one game on January 11 before departing for Texas.34

Apr.May 1885

New Orleans

LA

Young Ladies’ Base Ball Club

Wilson’s 1885 troupe played its first game in mid-April but collapsed within a month. He had his pitcher and catcher play for amateur men’s teams until he could reorganize the troupe in July.35

May 1885

Alton

IL

Civic

“The young lady base ballists are practicing and becoming very proficient, especially as pitchers and ‘catchers.’”36

June 1885

Kirkwood

IL

Civic

“Kirkwood has a female base ball club.”37

Tallmadge

OH

High School/Pick-up

“There is to be a grand game of ball—the only female base ball club in the surrounding country. …”38

Concord

NH

High School

The school paper reported that “some of the young ladies are quite expert in the national game.”39

JulyDec. 1885

Cincinnati

OH

Professional/Theatrical

Wilson reorganized his 1885 troupe, adding a female military drill company to his entertainment troupe.40

Oct. 1885

Romney

WV

Civic/School

“Romney has a juvenile female base ball club.”41

1886

Professional/Theatrical

Wilson took his combination female base ball club and military drill company on another barnstorming tour of the South. In July, his pitching battery played on a men’s nine in Indiana, after which both were injured in a buggy accident.42

South Hadley

MA

Women’s College

Class Book of 1886 lists the “Senior representatives” of the base ball nine.43

(p.201) Feb. 1886

Tuskegee

AL

Women’s College

Students at the Alabama Central Female College organized a baseball club that attracted notice in the local press.44

1886

San Francisco

CA

Professional/Theatrical

Victor E. M. Gutmann organized the Chicago Red Stockings and San Francisco Blue Stockings. The teams drew a few thousand fans to several exhibition games in San Francisco.45

May 1886

New Moorefield

OH

Civic

“[A]nother attractive feature that they are proud of is the charming female base ball club, recently organized. The young ladies are all expert players.”46

June 1886

Ashton

IA

Civic

“… Ashton, with a female base ball club, is bustling around for an opponent worthy of her willow.”47

Aug. 1886

Norwich

CT

Civic

A group of society women organized a team. Kwai Pahn Lee, former secretary for the Chinese legation in Washington, D.C. and a skilled knuckleball pitcher, coached them. He later married one of the players.48

Sept. 1886

Gilmore

PA

Pick-up

Six hundred spectators attended the game organized and played by married and single women as a fund raiser for local churches.49

Nov. 1886

Bismarck

ND

Civic

“The last advertised game of ball by the Bismarck female base ball club was played last evening in Meadowland park, but owing to the beautiful weather the young ladies expect to continue the healthful and amusing sport for several weeks.”50

Mar. 1887

Galt

CA

High School

“In Galt, Cal., all the high-school girls play ball with the young men.”51

May 1887

Chicago

IL

Professional/Theatrical

“The formation of an unusual number of female base-ball clubs this season is noted by a Western contemporary.”52

(p.202) July 1887

Chicago

IL

Queens of the Diamond

Professional mesmerist “Professor” E. G. Johnson organized the Queens of the Diamond to play an exhibition game against a team of boys aged 10–18 for July 4 festivities. About 5,000 spectators attended.53

Aug. 1887

Soquel

CA

Civic

“Soquel has a female base-ball nine.”54

Sept. 1887

Asbury Beach

NJ

Civic

“Young ladies pitch base ball and occasionally catch at Asbury Beach.”55

Apr. 1888

Nyack

NY

Civic

“It is said that a female base ball club is to be organized in Nyack this season.”56

May 1888

Utica

NY

Civic

“Utica has a promising female base ball club. The girls practice in a ground so walled in that no one can see them, but they intend to cross bats with their brothers in a short time.”57

July 1888

Hope

KS

Civic

An African American newspaper reported that a female team had been organized in Hope. It is uncertain whether members were black.58

Elmira

NY

Civic

“Elmira has two female base ball clubs, and they recently played a game on Sunday. Naughty girls.”59

Aug. 1888

Albuquerque

NM

Civic/Barnstorming

“Albuquerque, New Mexico, has organized a female base ball team. They are uniformed in a neat sailor waist and navy blue short skirts, and are now undergoing thorough practice before making a tour through Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.”60

(p.203) Los Angeles

CA

Professional/Theatrical

Two men organized two teams of women and asked newspapers to promote their games. The Los Angeles Times reported that a number of the players had recently been employed as “beer-jerkers” at a local saloon until forced out of their jobs by the local police.61

c. 1889

Farmington

CT

Private Girls’ School

Archives at Miss Porter’s School has a photo of a school baseball team dated c. 1889.

Feb. 1889

Bangor

ME

School/Church

The President of the Children’s Christian League urged girls at a church social to reconsider their plan to organize a female baseball team that season.62

Meadville

PA

Coed College

A newspaper reported that Allegheny College would have a female baseball team that year.63

Apr. 1889

San Antonio

TX

Civic

“There is considerable talk of organizing a female base ball nine in the city.”64

May 1889

Haddam

KS

Civic

“Haddam has a female base ball club.”65

June 1889

Pocahontas

IA

Civic

“Pocahontas has a female base ball club and the Record says the bald heads watch them from a distance through spy-glasses. What’s the matter with the front seats?”66

JuneNov. 1889

Chicago

IL

Professional/Theatrical

Sylvester Wilson (as W. S. Franklin) organized a new team known alternately as the Great and Only Young Ladies’ Base Ball Club, Chicago Black Stockings, and Young Ladies Athletic Club of Philadelphia. This team played men’s and boys’ teams, including a colored men’s nine in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.67

(p.204) July 1889

Manistee

MI

Civic

“It is not generally known, but it is true all the same, that there is a growing tendency on the part of the ladies of Manistee to adopt base ball as a recreation.”68

Brooklyn

NY

Civic

“Two colored women, named Mary E. Thompson and Mary Jackson, who live in the classic precincts of Crow Hill, are members of a ladies’ base ball club.”69

July/Aug. 1889

McPherson

KS

Pick-up/Coed College

“Another amusing game of ball was played last evening between the female base ball club and the men.” “Another ball club has been organized by the women, christened the Sun Flower Club.”70

Aug. 1889

KS

Civic/Pick-up/School/College

“There are sixteen female base ball clubs in Kansas. Just imagine eighteen angry and excited females engaged in a discussion with one poor, unprotected umpire.”71

Near Colby

KS

Coed Normal School

“The matter of organizing a female base ball club among the teachers attending the institute has been spoken of. They will challenge a nine to be organized from among the male teachers.”72

Aug. 1889

Pittsfield

MA

High School

“The female base-ball team of Pittsfield, Mass., high school will challenge a nine from the Fendle Mound Company of Poughkeepsie, some time.”73

Camp Shafter (Santa Cruz)

CA

Pick-up

“A baseball game was played here to-day between the ladies of the camp, assisted by Piccinnini, the colored mascot of Company B, and a nine under Lieutenant Ormsby.”74

(p.205) Sept. 1889

Unnamed Seaside Resorts

Pick-up

Upper-class women at summer resorts routinely played baseball in the nineteenth century. In 1889, writer Howard Fielding penned a humorous account of serving as umpire for a game between two women’s teams.75

Various

Schools

“Go to any country school, and at noon you will see the girls playing ball with great vim and relish.”76

Oct. 1889

Mount Washington

MD

Civic

“There are nine young ladies, well known in the society of Mount Washington, in this county, who are so enthusiastically in love with base ball that they have formed themselves into a nine of their own. …”77

* Bold font indicates first year state/territory is known to have had a female baseball team or player.

Notes

(1.) Mary Charlotte Alexander and Charlotte Peabody Dodge, Punahou, 1841–1891 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1941), 344.

(2.) Susan Rhoda Cutler, Letter to the Editor, dated May 12, 1890 from Buffalo, New York. Published as: “Base-Ball For Girls,” Woman’s Journal, May 24, 1890, 162.

(3.) “Wit and Humor,” Daily Chronicle (Marshall, Mich.), January 2, 1880, 1.

(4.) The Smith College archives includes a number of contemporary references to these teams in player journals and letters.

(5.) “Michigan,” Fort Wayne Daily Gazette, May 19, 1881, 6.

(6.) The Earlhamite (school literary journal), (May 1881), 188. Thanks to Thomas Hamm, school archivist, for bringing this article to my attention. Word of the team at Earlham also appeared in: “Bat and Ball,” Syracuse Daily Courier, June 13, 1881.

This paper erroneously identified the location of Earlham as Ohio. It is actually in Richmond, Indiana, just across the Ohio border.

(7.) “North Edmeston,” Brookfield Courier, November 9, 1881.

(8.) Randolph Weekly Courant. Date extrapolated from other articles on the page.

(9.) “Items in Brief,” Quincy Daily Herald, May 7, 1882, 4.

Teams were Striped Stockings and Fancy Stockings.

(11.) Ibid.

(12.) Ibid.

(13.) Ibid.

(14.) “Strange Clubs,” Cleveland Herald, April 7, 1883, 6.

(15.) “State News,” Indianapolis News, May 21, 1883, 1.

After the Rockport Collegiate Institute closed in 1873, the city of Rockport purchased the building and grounds and opened Rockport High School. E-mail from Erin Strobel, Spencer County Public Library, to author, May 25, 2011.

(p.206) (16.) “Female Base Ballists: A Game That Did Not Come Off; Scenes at Lamokin Woods,” Chester Times, May 18, 1883, 3; “Miss Harris’s Base-Ball Nine: Dusky Dolly Vardens of Chester Give an Exhibition,” New York Times, May 18, 1883, 1.

(17.) “A Novel Game of Base Ball Between Teams of Colored Girls,” Daily Times (New Brunswick, N.J.), May 30, 1883, 1.

(18.) “Around the Circle,” Titusville Herald, June 11, 1883, 4; “Neighboring News,” Niagara Falls Daily Gazette, June 29, 1883, 1.

(20.) “Emporium,” Olean Sunday Morning Herald, July 29, 1883, 5.

(21.) The teams played in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois. The team was scheduled to play in Connecticut, but it is uncertain if it did. Spectator count is conservatively estimated based only on games in which newspapers commented on the size of the crowd. The largest audience was 4,000–5,000 in Cincinnati on Sunday, November 11.

(22.) “It Would Be Well,” Quincy Herald, August 7, 1883, 3; “It May Be Remarked That,” Quincy Herald, August 8, 1883, 3; “Items in Brief,” Quincy Herald, August 23, 1883, 3.

(23.) Watkins Express, August 30, 1883). These are not Wilson’s Blondes and Brunettes. They were in Philadelphia that week.

(24.) Fort Wayne Daily Sentinel, August 25, 1883, 3.

(25.) The new troupe played in at least six states and D.C.; Wilson sent teams on the road with William Phillips, Edward Everett, and Emile Gargh. “The Female Base Ball Club,” Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, May 18, 1884, 3; “Local Brevities,” Trenton Daily State Gazette, June 30, 1884, 3; “Girls at the Bat,” Titusville Morning Herald, August 1, 1884, 2; “The Female Nine at Jackson,” New Orleans Daily Picayune, December 24, 1884, 8.

(27.) “Good Girls vs. Good Boys,” Honolulu Saturday Press, January 12, 1884, 4.

(28.) Photo is in the Mount Holyoke College Library/Archives.

(29.) “Base Ball Notes,” Glendive Times, May 10, 1884, 3.

(30.) “North Denver Notes,” Rocky Mountain News, June 8, 1884, 4.

(31.) “Items of News,” Boston Investigator, October 15, 1884, 6.

(32.) Ruth F, letter to the editor. “The Letter Box,” St. Nicholas 13, no. 2 (May 1886): 556.

Ruth was fourteen years old when she played on the team the previous year. She stated that she and her friends “played very nicely and enjoyed the fun.”

(33.) National Police Gazette, July 18, 1885. No record of Wellesley students organizing baseball teams in 1885 has yet surfaced, but it is possible that the illustration was published in response to word that students were playing baseball.

(34.) It is uncertain whether the team ever played in Texas. Galveston Daily News, March 7, 1885, 3; “Base Ball: The Farewell of the Females,” New Orleans Daily Picayune, January 11, 1885, 10; “The Female Nines,” Daily Picayune, January 12, 1885, morning edition, 1.

(35.) New Orleans Daily Picayune, April 12 and 19, 1885; “Miscellaneous,” Louisiana Democrat, April 29, 1885, 3; “Texarkana …” Daily Arkansas Gazette, May 6, 1885, 4; “Notes and Comments,” Sporting Life, May 20, 1885, 7; New York Clipper, May 23, 1885, 147.

(36.) “City and County News,” Alton Evening Telegraph, May 5, 1885, 3.

(37.) “Local Paragraphs,” Decatur Morning Review, June 10, 1885, 3; “City News,” Quincy Daily Journal, June 8, 1885, 4.

(38.) “‘[Akron] Beacon’ Letters: Tallmadge,” Summit County Beacon, June 10, 1885, 3.

Game was to be played at a school picnic.

(p.207) (39.) Concord Volunteer. Cited in Hunter, How Young Ladies Became Girls, 237.

(40.) “Coming: The Young Ladies’ Base Ball Club,” Kalamazoo Gazette, July 26, 1885, 3; “Local Baseball Notes,” Milwaukee Sentinel, August 16, 1885, 7; “Female Acrobats,” Omaha Daily Bee, October 19, 1885, 8.

(41.) “Through the State: Items of Interest from Interior Exchanges,” Wheeling Register, October 28, 1885, 1.

(42.) Pearl Emerson and May Hamilton played for a men’s nine in a game at Evansville, Indiana, on July 28, 1886. Emerson survived but newspapers reported that Hamilton was fatally injured. “Accident to Female Base Ballists,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 29, 1886, 4.

(43.) Class Book of 1886, 25. Senior players were Louisa Cutler, Mary Goodenough, Orianna “Anna” Fitch, Harriet Prescott, and Marietta A. “Etta” Freeland. All but Freeland had played on the team depicted in an 1884 photo.

(44.) Tuskegee Weekly Gazette, February 20, 1886; quoted in Rhoda Coleman Ellison, History of Huntingdon College, 1854–1954 (University of Alabama Press, 1954), 131–32.

(45.) See chapter 4 for details on the teams.

(46.) “Moorefield,” Springfield Globe-Republic, May 5, 1886, 1.

(47.) “Iowa Items,” Omaha Daily Bee, June 17, 1886, 4.

(48.) “Pahn Lee’s Ball Nine: Young Ladies Play in It, and There is Nothing Nicer in Norwich,” Boston Daily Globe, August 16 1886, 6.

(49.) “Married vs. Single Ladies at Base Ball,” Kalamazoo Gazette, September 26, 1886, 3.

(50.) “Brief Mention,” Bismarck Daily Tribune, November 17, 1886, 1.

(51.) Wichita Globe, March 18, 1887, 4.

(52.) Chicago Daily Tribune, May 30, 1887, 4.

(53.) “The Girls and Boys Play Ball: A Victory for the Former, Though the Score Doesn’t Show It,” Chicago Tribune, July 5, 1887, 1.

(54.) “Pacific Coast Items,” Daily Evening Bulletin (San Francisco), August 13, 1887.

(55.) Titusville Herald, September 5, 1887, 3.

(56.) Mount Kisco Recorder, April 13, 1888, 2.

(57.) “News Summary,” Potsdam Courier and Freeman, May 2, 1888.

(58.) “Kansas State News,” Nicodemus Cyclone, July 13, 1888, 2.

(59.) “Vicinity,” Watkins Democrat, July 19, 1888.

(60.) “Flashes From the Diamond,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 12, 1888, 7.

It is uncertain who organized this team and whether it ever made the planned barnstorming tour.

(61.) “Female Base-Ballists: The Latest ‘Fake’ Proposed for Los Angeles,” Los Angeles Times, August 29, 1888, 1.

(62.) “Children’s Christian League,” Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, February 22, 1889, 3.

The president’s address to the girls was not a scheduled part of the formal program. He read a “short sketch” about an unnamed female base ball club before urging them to abandon their plans to organize a team.

(63.) “Short-Notes,” Canaseraga Times, February 8, 1889.

(64.) “Base Ball Bites,” San Antonio Daily Light, April 12, 1889, 1.

It is uncertain whether this team ever played.

(65.) “North and Northwest,” Atchison Daily Champion, May 28, 1889, 2.

(66.) Emmet County Republican, June 27, 1889.

(67.) “Amateur Base-Ball,” Inter Ocean, June 9, 1889, 11; “A Female Baseball Club Disbands,” New Orleans Daily Picayune, December 8, 1889, 14.

Game against Colored men’s nine reported in “Little Locals,” Lock Haven Evening Express, September 28, 1889, 1.

(p.208) (68.) “Base Ball Matters,” Manistee Democrat, July 19, 1889, 1.

(69.) “Female Ball Players: How They Knocked Luke Kenney All Over the Diamond,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 23, 1889, 6.

(70.) McPherson Daily Republican, July 30 and 31, August 1 and 6, 1889, 3; Wichita Daily Journal, August 1, 1889, 1.

(71.) Fort Worth Daily Gazette, August 10, 1889, 4. The reporter may have exaggerated to make a joke. Given the history of women’s baseball teams in Kansas, it is also possible there really were sixteen teams in the state.

(72.) Thomas County Cat (Colby, Kans.), August 15, 1889, 5. The article refers to a campus and a school building but does not specify which one. The fact that teachers are “attending” rather than just teaching at the institution leads to the assumption that it is a Normal School or college rather than a high school or grammar school.

(73.) “Our Girls Are Just Great,” Alton Daily Telegraph, August 13, 1889, 4.

(74.) “Camp Shafter: Lady Visitors Distinguish Themselves at Baseball. …” Sacramento Daily Record-Union, August 23, 1889, 2.

(75.) Howard Fielding, “The Girls Play Ball. A Woeful Story of an Unfortunate Man Who Umpired for Them: The National Game in Feminine Hands; It is Much More Dangerous Than a Sewing Circle But Not Quite so Scientific. Copyright 1889,” Kalamazoo Gazette, September 15, 1889, 7.

This may have been a fictional account but nonetheless reflected the popularity of baseball among female visitors to upper-class resorts.

(76.) “It is a Woman’s Game,” Pittsburg Dispatch, September 23, 1889, 5.

Quoting Sylvester Wilson.

(77.) “Baltimore Girls Play Ball,” Kansas City Star, October 3, 1889, 4.

Female Baseball in the 1890s

Date

Place

State/Terr.*

Type of Team

Comments

c. 1890

Haverhill

MA

College Prep

Photograph taken c. 1890s shows students playing baseball on the lawn in front of Academy Hall.1

1890

Abington

PA

Private Girls’ School

Photograph shows students at the Ogontz School playing baseball on a large, grassy field in 1890.2

Apr. 1890

Nevadaville

CO

Civic

“Mr. Mark G. Kobey … will secure suits for the recently organized female base ball club of Nevadaville.”3

Pick-up/Civic

The Woman’s Journal prints a fictional account of a girls’ baseball club organized at the suggestion of a mother.4

May 1890

Central [City]

CO

Civic

The members of a newly organized young ladies athletic club were preparing to form a base ball club.5

(p.209) MayOct. 1890

Professional/Barnstorming

Sylvester Wilson organized the Young Ladies Base Ball Club No. 1 (a.k.a. Chicago Blackstockings) with players from Cincinnati and Chicago in early May.6

June 1890

Chicago

IL

Professional/Theatrical

“Manager Elliott” organized two baseball clubs for public games during the first week of June. Though Elliott had promised the players $10 a week for the entire summer, he stole the gate money and disappeared after the teams’ first game on June 7.7

Utica

NY

Civic

The local newspaper reported that townswomen were in the process of organizing a team.8

July 1890

Beatrice

SD

Civic

“A female base ball club has been organized at Beatrice, Beadle county.”9

South Atchison

KS

Civic

“There is a young ladies’ base ball nine in South Atchison that plays nearly every evening. The boys are trying to find out where they play.”10

Aug. 1890

Norwich

CT

Civic

A group of sixteen-year-old girls from the same neighborhood organized the Polka Dots and Merry Maids.11

Staten Island

NY

Civic

Female members of Huguenot’s Harvard Social Association organized the Whites and Reds baseball teams.12

Early 1890s

Northampton

MA

Women’s College

Students in the Class of 1895 at Smith College posed for a team photo.13

Apr.Sept. 1891

Professional/Theatrical

Wilson organized up to four female baseball teams, including the Female Champions of the World, the Chicago Black Stocking Nine, and the Young Ladies Base Ball Club.14

Spring 1891

South Hadley

MA

Women’s College

Students at Mount Holyoke reported that they had organized another base ball club.15

(p.210) c. JuneSept. 1891

NY

Professional/Theatrical

Mark Lally, one of Wilson’s former advance men, organized the Cincinnati Reds. A “female baseball war” ensued as Lally’s and Wilson’s teams competed for customers in the same area of New York.16

June 1891

Emporia

KS

Civic

“There are some parties in town who are agitating the organization of a female Base Ball Club. They have struck the wrong town.”17

Caledonia

NY

Civic

“The girls of Caledonia have organized a base ball nine, and they term themselves ‘Belles of the Bat.’”18

Blair

NE

Civic

“Pitcher Brott has organized a female nine…. They were out practicing twice this week and before long they expect to cross bats with the Tekamah nine, which is also composed of girls.”19

Tekamah

NE

Civic

“Tekamah’s female base ball club says it can ‘just beat the Blair girls too awfully quick.’ If the ladies will come to Omaha and play a game the World-Herald will guarantee a 10,000 crowd.”20

July 1891

Washington Court House

OH

Civic

“The society girls near Washington [Court House] … have dropped the tennis racquet and taken up the base-ball bat. An exciting and amusing game was played to-day between a nine they have just organized and a picked nine of the society young men.”21

July/Aug. 1891

Stowe

PA

Civic

Mary Gemperling organized a female team and was trying to arrange games with other women’s teams.22

(p.211) Aug. 1891

MN

Barnstorming

“A man named Armstrong, who says he lives in Cleveland, is in Minneapolis with the view of getting up two base ball teams composed of female players. If he succeeds in securing the services of eighteen foolish women he will have them play exhibition games in Minneapolis and St. Paul. He also intends taking them on a tour through the West.”23

Glasgow

PA

Civic

Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Ledger carried an article about this team and gave the players’ names.24

Mt. Morris

NY

Civic

“Mt. Morris has a female base ball club. When the giddy girls assemble for practice all the storekeepers take a holiday.”25

Rockford

IL

Factory

“It is reported that the girls on the second floor of the factory will organize a base ball club.”26

Johnson (City)

NY

Civic/Barnstorming

“The Johnson female base ball club will play a picked nine in this city, on Monday, Aug. 24.”27

Sept. 1891

Philadelphia

PA

Barnstorming

“Help Wanted: Female. Young Ladies to join a female base ball club; correspondence strictly confidential. Address by letter, stating age, to Mr. P. Callahan, 1829 Lambert street.”28

Westwood

NJ

Grammar School

“James E. Demarest is the principal of the school with its more than one hundred scholars…. Miss Claude Ottignon interested the girls in baseball, which the boys played vigorously at noon and recess.”29

1892

Barnstorming

The Young Ladies Base Ball Club of N.Y. (future New England Bloomer Girls) began its first season, playing 154 games with a record of 56–98.30

(p.212) Mar. 1892

Los Angeles

CA

Barnstorming

Police and Humane Society officials intervene to stop John Doyle from completing his plot to exploit fourteen- to sixteen-year old girls by promising them $30-$90/month to travel with a baseball team.31

Blair and Tekamah

NE

Civic

The Omaha World Herald announced in March that the teams would reorganize again. By June it reported that the Tekamah team had “resolved itself into a tennis club.” In August it noted that the team in Blair had not yet reappeared on the scene.32

Spring 1892

Northampton

MA

Women’s College

Students in at least two of the Smith College Houses (cottages) had baseball teams. The freshman and sophomore classes also had teams.35

Apr. 1892

Lodi

WI

High School

“Lodi has a female base ball team under the title of the ‘Lodi High School Unrivalled Female Base Ball Club.’”33

Ovid

NY

Civic

“Ovid has a female base ball club.”34

Denver

CO

Barnstorming

Clara Wilson organized the Chicago Reds (Colts) and Denver Blues to play exhibition games in Colorado. By June, eight of the players appeared on a new team (The Denver Female BBC) that began playing men’s teams.37

Apr ?, 1892

New York City

NY

Barnstorming

The Cincinnati Reds opened the season on April 23. Soon thereafter, papers began calling it “Miss Lillie [sic] Arlington’s Cincinnati Reds” in honor of its star pitcher, Lizzie Arlington. Maud Nelson played too.36

(p.213) MaySept. 1892

New York City

NY

Barnstorming

The New York Champion Young Ladies BBC (a.k.a. Young Ladies BBC of New York) had multiple managers, including three men who were arrested in Missouri for attempting to defraud their players out of their earnings.38

June 1892

Alton

IL

Civic

“A female baseball nine is being organized in the eastern part of the city and the battery practices every day. Their grounds are near the foot of Henry street, opposite the Big Four freight house. A challenge is open to any other female nine in the city.”39

Andover

SD

Civic

“Andover [SD] has a ladies base ball club. Constant practice with the rolling pin make them experts with the ‘stick.’”40

June Sept. 1892

Barnstorming

New York Giants (a.k.a. “Champion Female Base Ball Club”) play games against men’s teams throughout New York.41

July 1892

Barnstorming

“The manager of the … [American Stars] club has gone to considerable expense to get a good club of lady ball players together for a tour of the states, and good ball playing is assured.”42

Aug. 1892

Evanston

WY

Civic

“A female base ball club has been organized at Evanston.”43

Sept. 1892

Sconset (Siasconset)

MA

Coed Pick-up

Teams of wealthy men and women played a pick-up game against each other using a tennis ball instead of a baseball, and parasols and a chair for the bases.44

Fall 1892

Bryn Mawr

PA

Women’s College

Students played at least one game during fall term.45

(p.214) 1893

Thief River Falls

MN

Coed Civic

The Pennington County Historical Society of Thief River Falls has a studio portrait of a women’s baseball team taken in 1893.46 The photo depicts ten young women dressed in uniforms and posing with bats, a catcher’s mask, and two men.

Abington

PA

Private Girls’ School

Students at the Ogontz School posed for a team picture. Some of the players wore the military rank of their military drill team.47

Alinda

PA

Civic

Players posed for a team photograph sometime in 1893.48

Barnstorming

Second season for the YLBBC of NY (future New England Bloomer Girls); team played 125 games with a record of 49–76.49

Chicago

IL

Barnstorming

W. P. Needham’s Boston Bloomer Girls tour as far west as Deadwood, South Dakota, during their inaugural season.50

Feb.Mar. 1893

New York City

NY

Barnstorming

American Female Base Ball Club (former American Stars) kicks off its second season by embarking on a tour of Cuba. The tour ends after only one game when unruly spectators attack the players and destroy the playing venue in Almendares, Cuba.51

May 1893

Ann Arbor

MI

Coed College

Coed baseball team hosted a Grand Ballet at the University of Michigan.52

Grand Forks

ND

Coed College

Women’s teams played baseball every evening after supper at the University of North Dakota.53

May??? 1893

Barnstorming

Third season of the Cincinnati Reds. Earliest known game of 1893 was May 6 in Bloomfield, New Jersey.54

July 1893

Greenwich

NY

Civic

“I hear that some of the ambitious society ‘buds’ are organizing a female base ball club.”55

(p.215) Aug. 1893

Milwaukee

WI

Barnstorming

Rose Royal’s Female Base Ball Club played to general praise in Milwaukee on August 13 but had only four players available to travel to Waukesha for a game on August 26.56

GA

Barnstorming

An unidentified female team played games in Georgia in late August.57

Lenox

MA

Pick-up

Wealthy young men and women summering at the Lenox cottages organized two teams and played each other in front of a large crowd.58

1894

Oakland

CA

Women’s College

The Mills College yearbook states that baseball was first introduced at Mills in 1894.59

Barnstorming

Third season for the YLBBC of NY (future New England Bloomer Girls); team played 167 games with a record of 86–81.60

1894

New York City

NY

Barnstorming

Young Ladies Champions of the World Base Ball Club (newly renamed) began its third season in Brooklyn in early May. Maud Nelson was on the team, as were several of Wilson’s former players and several members of the team that caused a riot in Cuba in 1893.61

St. Louis

MO

Barnstorming

Wilson’s former players, May Howard and Kittie Grant, played for the St. Louisbased New York Champion Young Ladies Ball Club. It toured Illinois, Kansas, and Iowa in May and June until the manager abandoned the team after a game in Dubuque.62

Chicago

IL

Barnstorming

W. P. Needham’s Chicago-based Boston Bloomer Girls play their second season.63

New York City

NY

Barnstorming

Bertha Gordon, a member of the team that traveled to Cuba, pitched and caught for the newly organized New York Brunettes.64

(p.216) May 1894

Ames

IA

Coed College

The junior class at the Iowa State Agricultural College included team rosters and a humorous illustration of a baseball game in its school yearbook.65

Ottawa

KS

Coed College

A local newspaper reported that female students at Ottawa University had organized a baseball team.66

June 1894

New York City

NY

Pick-up

Newspaper article described the activities of the estimated 200,000 persons who visited Central Park one Sunday in June, noting that “half grown girls played baseball with their full grown brothers.”67

Natick

MA

Pick-up/Fund Raiser

“About 1000 people went to Outing Park yesterday afternoon to see a female base ball club from New York contest with a scrub team representing the clerks on Main Street. The proceeds were given to the striking lasters at J W Walcott & Co.’s factory. The female players won by a score of 20 to 18. …”68

July 1894

Fort Valley and Atlanta

GA

Pick-up

Atlanta, July 4, 1894: “A big affair is on at Brisbane Park, and the feature of the day was a game of base ball between negro girls from Fort Valley, Ga., and several negro women from this city.”69

Rhinebeck

NY

Civic

“A female base ball club is being organized. It will be called the ‘Ostrich Feathers’ and play its first game with the Pond Lillies on the home grounds on the 28th at 3 P.M.”70

Aug. 1894

Brooklyn

NY

Civic

“[N]ine enterprising and sport-loving girls of Brooklyn have organized a club with the intent of knocking a leather-covered sphere about a field diamond.”71

(p.217) Oct. 1894

Women’s College

Mills College student: “The idea of a baseball nine in a girl’s college may shock the fastidious taste of some, but a sister college has proved that such a team can be supported and a young woman’s dignity not suffer.”72

1894 or1895

Northampton

MA

Girls’ Boarding School

Edith Hill’s photo album (1894– 95) contains photos of girls playing baseball at Mary A. Burnham School.73

1895

Chicago

IL

High School

The National Police Gazette published a risqué illustration of high school girls playing indoor baseball in Chicago.74

Barnstorming

Fourth season of the YLBBC of NY (future New England Bloomer Girls); played 154 games with a record of 72–82.75

Barnstorming

Maud Nelson joined W. P. Needham’s Boston Bloomer Girls for its third season. The team played in Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Indiana, and Ohio.76

Barnstorming

A team billed as the Trilby Bloomer Girls played games in Minnesota and Iowa.77

Apr. 1895

Lawrence

KS

Civic

The Lawrence Gazette is responsible for the statement that a home talent girls’ baseball club is to be organized in that city this summer.”78

May 1895

Rockford

IL

Civic

“A great game of ball was played in the South Side park yesterday. A team of young ladies who call themselves the South Side Stars defeated a team of boys by a score of 12 to 1.79

June 1895

Philadelphia

PA

Barnstorming

Advertisement: “Two young ladies to join traveling ladies’ base ball club. Call Greiner’s Hotel, sixth above arch, to-day, between 2 and 5 P.M. R.C. Johnson.”80

(p.218) Aug. 1895

Chicago

IL

Pick-up

“At the Lakeside Hotel a female baseball nine is the latest thing the young women have got up. May Bourcaren is pitcher and Mrs. F. Murphy is catcher.”81

Cherokee

IA

Civic

“We understand that a number of Cherokee young ladies have organized a female base ball club. …”82

Sept. 1895

Hooper

NE

Civic

“Hooper has a female base ball club and the girls have a record of beating a team made up of boys by a score of 9 to 3.”83

1895–96

Various

ME and MA

Grammar

Eighteen young adult women replied to a survey that they had played baseball as schoolgirls.84

South Hadley

MA

Women’s College

Students at Mount Holyoke organized an Athletic Association and offered baseball as a sport.85

c. 1896

Pelham Manor

NY

Private School

Students at Mrs. Hazen’s School posed for a team picture.86

1896

Barnstorming

Fifth season of the YLBBC of NY (future New England Bloomer Girls); played 136 games with a record of 64–72.87

Barnstorming

Maud Nelson continued to play with W. P. Needham’s Boston Bloomer Girls for the team’s fourth season.88

Spring 1896

Cleveland

OH

Coordinate College

Students at the Women’s College of Western Reserve University played their inaugural baseball season.89

Poughkeepsie

NY

Women’s College

From article about Vassar College in Harper’s Bazaar: “In athletics, football, baseball, and basket-ball divide popular attention.”90

July 1896

Galveston and Houston

TX

Civic

“Yes; I will bring Galveston’s and also Houston’s base ball clubs up [to Fort Worth].”91

1897

Barnstorming

Sixth season of the YLBBC of NY (future New England Bloomer Girls); played 198 games with a record of 109–89.92

(p.219)

Barnstorming

Maud Nelson continued to play with W. P. Needham’s Boston Bloomer Girls for the team’s fifth season.93

Spartanburg

SC

Women’s College

Baseball was one of the most popular sports at Converse College.94

Feb. 1897

Oakland

CA

Women’s College

Two Mills College teams played each other.95

Mar. 1897

Williamsburg

KY

Civic

“Williamsburg has a female base ball club.”96

Apr. 1897

Argentine

KS

School/Civic

“Argentine, a town of many base ball ‘fans,’ has forged to the front this year, at the advent of the season, with a novelty. It will have several base ball clubs composed entirely of school girls who expect to play regular games every Saturday. Three ‘nines’ have already been organized and enough may be formed to arrange a Girls’ City League.”97

Apr./May 1897

Olivet

MI

Coed College

Coed and all-female House teams played baseball at Olivet College.98

May 1897

Springport

MI

Grammar School

“Some of the grammar room girls at Springport have organized a base ball club and will soon be open for a challenge.”99

June 1897

Lowville

NY

Grammar School

“Two base ball teams have been organized at the State street school, to be known as the Miss Allen and Mrs. Jones teams.”100

Germantown

PA

Private Boarding School and Quaker School

“A novel and exciting game of base ball took place a few days ago at the Germantown Academy grounds between two teams composed of young ladies connected with the Walnut Lane Boarding School and the Friends’ School, on Coulter street.”101

July 1897

TX

Female player on men’s team

“A Texas baseball club has a pretty young female pitcher…”102

Meade

KS

Civic

“Meade has two base ball nines, composed of young ladies…”103

(p.220) July 1897

Springfield

KY

Springfield Female Baseball Club

“The girls have ‘got it.’ Not sanctification, but baseball fever, and have donned their bloomers…. We now have everything necessary to a well regulated ball team. …”104

Bardstown

KY

Civic

“We have had a communication from Bardstown to the effect that they are organizing a girl team, and will soon be ready to play us.”105

1897 or 98

Salamanca

NY

Pick-up/Civic

Caption on photograph of women baseball players stated, “Ladies playing base ball at Island Park, Sala. 1897 or 1898.”106

1898

Female Player on Men’s Teams

Lizzie Arlington signed a contract to pitch in exhibition games for numerous teams in the Atlantic League. She also pitched for nonaffiliated men’s teams in Philadelphia.107

Barnstorming

Seventh season of the YLBBC of NY (future New England Bloomer Girls); played 177 games this season with a record of 116–61.108

Boston Bloomer Girls

Maud Nelson continued to play with W. P. Needham’s Boston Bloomer Girls for the team’s sixth season.109

Abington

PA

Private Girls’ School

Students at Ogontz School continued to play baseball.110

Oakland

CA

Women’s College

Students at Mills College posed for a team photo. One is holding a bat and several have gloves. All are wearing bloomers.111

Jan. 1898

Safford

AZ

Civic

“Mr. Wm. Kirtland and Henry Nash of Safford have left for the Klindyke country. They are old time Arizonans. There is not much wonder at the movement as Safford has organized a female base ball club.”112

(p.221) Mar. 1898

Tucson

AZ

Coed College

“A game of base ball between the Tucson University girls and the University dormitory girls is announced for the first Sunday in April.”113

Spring 1898

Germantown

PA

Quaker School

The 1898 yearbook of the Germantown Friends School reported: “The girls base-ball team died an easy death early in the season. The cricket team is the latest. Miss Pearson, captain of the deceased base-ball team, had quite a dispute with Mr. Walker, former captain of’98 cricket team, as to who was to have use of the grounds in the afternoons. This was finally satisfactorily settled, but for some reason or other the ball team died soon after.”114

Northampton

MA

Women’s College

Students at Smith College continued to organize house teams for intramural games.115

Spartanburg

SC

Women’s College

Students continued to play baseball at Converse College.116

Apr./May 1898

Morris

NY

Civic/Barnstorming

“A female base ball nine has been organized in Morris. The members are practicing daily, weather permitting, and expect, during the season, to rival the record of the famous Cincinnati Reds of several years ago.”117

Summer 1898

Westport Point

MA

Coed Pick-up

Ethel Fish, Smith College, Class of 1900, pasted a photo in her album of a coed baseball game played at Westport Point. It depicts a boy pitching overhand to a girl batter while other boys and girls look on.118

(p.222) June 1898

Rockford

IL

Pick-up/Fund Raiser

Upper class women of the city’s Ladies’ Union Aid Society organized and played in a baseball game as part of its third annual Woodmen Day fundraiser. The “Stars” and “Stripes” played five innings before “a large and enthusiastic audience” on June 4.119

1899

Abington

PA

Private Girls’ School

Students at Ogontz School continued to play baseball.120

Barnstorming

Eighth season of the YLBBC of NY (future New England Bloomer Girls); played 112 games this season with a record of 76–36.121

Barnstorming

Seventh season of W. P. Needham’s Boston Bloomer Girls. Maud Nelson was still with the team. Team played dozens of games in Canada, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Arkansas.122

Barnstorming

The Chicago Bloomer Girls, featuring a Maud “Nielsen” at shortstop, begin their inaugural season. They played games in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kentucky.

Barnstorming

The Sunday Telegraph Bloomer Girls kicked off their inaugural season.123

Spartanburg

SC

Women’s College

Team photo taken in 1899 depicts the Class of 1891 baseball team at Converse College.124

Spring 1899

South Hadley

MA

Women’s College

Students at Mount Holyoke took up baseball again, organizing house teams to play against each other.125

Northampton

MA

Women’s College

Students at Smith College continued to organize house teams for intramural games.126

(p.223) May 1899

Plainfield

IA

Civic

“Plainfield has a young ladies base ball club in training. The Bell of that city says of it: ‘Some of the young ladies can twirl the pigskin with not a little skill, and can pound the sphere over the fence now and then.’”127

New York City

NY

Theatrical

H. A. Adams and “William S. Franklin” (a.k.a. Sylvester Wilson) organized a short-lived baseball operation.128

June 1899

Kalamazoo

MI

School girls/Civic

“Since the Boston Bloomer girls played the Hubs there have been two baseball teams organized by the little girls of Kalamazoo. Harriet Kinney is captain of one of these teams and Fawn and Pauline White are organizing the other.”129

* Bold font indicates first year state/territory is known to have had a female baseball team or player.

Notes

(1.) Photo is dated between 1880s and 1910s, but based on the clothing worn, I estimate it was taken in the 1890s. Available online through Historical New England. http://www.historicnewengland.org/collections-archives-exhibitions/collections-access/collection-object/capobject?gusn=GUSN-194813&searchterm=baseball.

(2.) Photo is in the collection of the Penn State Abington Archives.

(3.) “Personal,” Central City Weekly Register-Call, April 25, 1890.

(4.) S.E.R., “The Girls’ Nine,” Woman’s Journal 21, no. 17 (April 26, 1890): 134.

(5.) “The Ladies to the Front,” Weekly Register-Call, May 9, 1890.

(6.) Sandusky Daily Register, May 9, 1890, 4; “City and Vicinity,” Watertown Daily Times, August 2, 1890; “A Disgraceful Move …” Sporting Life, August 30, 1890, 8.

(7.) “Female Base Ballists Are Angry: Their Manager Skips Out and Leaves Them Forty Cents,” Chicago Tribune, June 9, 1890, 3.

(8.) “Tom’s Chat: Female Base Ballists,” Utica Sunday Tribune, June 8, 1890.

(9.) “The Two Dakotas,” Omaha Daily Bee, July 8, 1890, 4.

(10.) Atchison Daily Globe, July 25, 1890.

(11.) “For Women’s Eyes: Things That Will Interest the Feminine Mind,” Albany Evening Journal, August 16, 1890, 6.

(12.) “‘Lady Champions’ at Ball: Disgraceful Sunday Exhibition With the Allertons at Monitor Park, Weehawken,” New York Herald, September 1, 1890, 6.

(13.) Photo depicts nine young women wearing long dresses, holding a bat, ball, and catcher’s mask. It appears to be a House team. The photo could have been taken anytime between the fall of 1891 and the spring of 1895. SCA.

(p.224) (14.) “Sporting Odds and Ends,” Yenowine’s Illustrated News, September 6, 1891, 7.

The reporter may have mistakenly assumed that the Cincinnati Reds was Wilson’s team.

(15.) The Mount Holyoke, Commencement Issue, June 1891. MHCLA. Students referred to their team as “our first base ball club.” They hoped to compete with “nines of other colleges” the following year. This did not happen.

(16.) Bloomsburg Columbian, June 5, 1891, 1; “Diamond Dust,” Wheeling Register, July 28, 1891, 3.

(17.) Emporia Daily Gazette, June 13, 1891. It is not known if this team was organized.

(18.) “Vicinity Notes,” Caledonia Advertiser, June 18, 1891. Thiswas not one of Wilson’s teams and does not seem to have been a barnstorming team. The article went on to say that the girls kept the dates of their games secret from the press.

(19.) “Female Base Ball Clubs,” Omaha World Herald, June 28, 1891, 10. The article lists the players’ names.

(20.) “Nebraska Sporting Notes,” Omaha World Herald, August 9, 1891, 7.

(21.) “Belles at the Bat: Society Girls Play Base-ball, with a Preacher Acting as Umpire,” Daily Inter Ocean, July 13, 1891.

(22.) Reported in: Michael T. Snyder, “Ladies’ Team Drew Large Crowd to Special Game,” The Mercury, June 5, 2005, E-1 and E-3.

(23.) “Catch-Penny Affairs: The Effort to Make a Little Money Out of Base Ball Side Shows,” Sporting Life, August 1, 1891, 12. It is uncertain whether these teams were ever organized.

(25.) “State News,” Oswego Daily Times, August 10, 1891, 1.

(26.) “Time Tower Talk: About What the Watch Makers are Doing in the Mill,” Rockford Morning Star, August 16, 1891, 1.

(27.) “Brief Mention,” Oswego Daily Times, c. August 21, 1891. Johnson is 134 miles west of Oswego; the team may have barnstormed.

(28.) Philadelphia Inquirer, September 30, 1891, 6. It is uncertain whether this team was ever organized, although an article in September mentioned a female baseball club from Philadelphia. “The Colored People’s Fair: An Outline of the Programme That Has Been Arranged,” Richmond Dispatch, September 20, 1891, 8.

(29.) “‘Come In On The Hit’: Pretty Girls in Westwood, N. J., Have Great Sport at Baseball,” State (S.C.), October 6, 1891, 3. From the New York World.

(30.) An article for the “Ladies Base Ball Club” published in March 1901 states that the club was preparing for its tenth season. By this time, the team is being called the New England Bloomer Girls. Advertisement, St. Louis Republic, March 27, 1901. Includes record for each season between 1892 and 1900.

(31.) “Female Baseball Nine: A Scheme Knocked in the Head by the Authorities; Only Girls Between the Ages of Fourteen and Sixteen Years Wanted by the Management—A Queer Outfit,” Los Angeles Times, March 7, 1892, 8.

(32.) “Nebraska Sporting Notes,” Omaha World Herald, March 13, 1892, 13; “Nebraska Sporting Notes,” Omaha World Herald, March 27, 1892, 9; “Nebraska Notes,” Omaha World Herald, June 12, 1892, 11; “Nebraska Sporting Notes,” Omaha World Herald, August 21, 1892, 7.

(33.) “Local News Brieflets,” Wisconsin State Register, April 30, 1892, 3; “Editorial Views, News, Comment,” Sporting Life, May 7, 1892, 2.

(34.) Union Springs Advertiser, April 28, 1892.

(35.) On May 2, 1892, Anne Marie Paul (Class of 1894), Captain of the Wallace House Base Ball Nine, wrote a letter challenging the Hatfield House Base Ball Nine to a five-inning game on May 4. SCA. On May 9, 1892, teams comprised of freshmen and sophomores played against (p.225) each other. This game was covered in numerous newspapers as far away as Chicago. Edith Hill later wrote that “baseball of a sort was an after-supper fad” that year. Edith Naomi Hill, (editor of the Smith College Alumnae Quarterly), “Senda Berenson: Director of Physical Education at Smith College, 1892–1911,” Research Quarterly of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation 12, supplement (October 1941): 600. Cited in Verbrugge, Able-Bodied Womanhood, 182.

(36.) “Hard Lines for Female Baseball: The Girl Ball-Players Had to Stop Swing Bats,” New York World, April 25, 1892, 1; “Sports and Sport: Wouldn’t Allow the Girls to Play,” Wheeling Register, April 26, 1892, 3.

(37.) “Denver’s Feminine Ball Players,” Rocky Mountain News, April 30, 1892, 2; “Chased the Flies: The Young Women Put in a Lively Afternoon at the Broadway Athletic Park …,” Rocky Mountain News, May 23, 1892, 3; “Female Ball Game: The Denver Team Will Cross Bats With the Capitols Sunday,” Cheyenne Daily Sun, June 25, 1892.

(38.) Emporia Daily Gazette, May 26, 1892; “Amusements,” Wichita Daily Eagle, May 28, 1892, 5; “General Notes,” Buffalo Courier, August 12, 1892, 8. R. C. Johnson, John E. Nolen, and James A. Arlington were arrested in Kansas City on August 29 after stealing the gate money from a game in Winston, Missouri. “Ran Away With the Cash,” Emporia Daily Gazette, August 29, 1892; Atchison Daily Globe, September 2, 1892.

(39.) Alton Evening Telegraph, June 3, 1892, 3.

(40.) “South Dakota News,” Sun, June 30, 1892, 3.

(41.) “Female Base Ballists,” Utica Sunday Tribune, June 26, 1892; “Observations,” Utica Daily Observer, June 27, 1892, 2; “’Twill be a Great Day’: The Celebration To-Morrow Promises Great Things,” Utica Sunday Tribune, July 3, 1892; “The Female Base Ball Players,” Utica Daily Press, July 5, 1892, 1; “Sporting World: Summary of Interesting Events in the Fields of Sport,” Oswego Daily Times, September 6, 1892, 2. Dateline: Warsaw, September 3.

(42.) Very little is known about this team apart from its appearance in Saginaw, Michigan, in early July 1892. “Carrollton,” Saginaw News, June 28, 29, and 30 and July 1, 2, and 5, 1892.

(43.) “Short Stories: A Batch of Paragraphs Mostly on Town Happenings,” Cheyenne Daily Sun, August 16, 1892, 3.

(44.) “Base Ball: Girls and Base Ball; A Girlish Description of a Game by Girls; An Umpire in White Lawn—A Home Plate Concealed by the Catcher’s Petticoats, Etc.,” Sporting Life, September 10, 1892, 11.

(45.) Annual Reports and Constitution of the Athletic Association of Bryn Mawr College. Report for the Year 1892–1893. BMCA. Calendar of Athletic Events lists one outdoor baseball game, played on October 12, 1892.

(47.) The photo resides in the collection of the Penn State Abington Archives.

(48.) Thanks to Bob Mayer for bringing this photograph to my attention. It is in his personal collection.

(49.) Advertisement, St. Louis Republic, March 27, 1901. Includes record for each season between 1892 and 1900.

(50.) It is difficult to determine the exact date when Needham founded his team. An article in the Sioux City Journal, on August 30, 1895 stated (p.226) that the Boston Bloomer Girls were organized in “the Hub” in May 1894, but articles in the Sheridan Post and Arizona Republican in 1897 stated that the team was in its fifth season, while the Utica Daily Press stated in July 1902 said the team was on its tenth annual tour. These articles date the team to 1892. An article in the Waterloo Daily Reporter on September 10, 1902, and another in the Kerkhoven Banner on June 3, 1904, state that the Boston Bloomer Girls team was organized by W. P. Needham in 1893; a photograph of the team in Deadwood, South Dakota, in 1893 proves that they were playing games at least by 1893.

(51.) “A Female Base Ball Club in Danger: Attacked by a Cuban Mob and One of the Players Hurt,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 6, 1893, 10. See details in chapter 5.

(52.) No additional information about this team has surfaced, apart from a single newspaper article: “Freshman Banquet,” Kalamazoo Gazette, May 13, 1893, 1. Dateline: Ann Arbor.

(53.) “Field Day Sports: University Notes,” Grand Forks Herald, May 7, 1893, 4; “Nubs of News,” Grand Forks Herald, May 13, 1893, 8.

(54.) Trenton Evening Times, May 4, 1893, 4. Roster for the game included both Maude Nelson and Lizzie Arlington, along with Lottie Livingston, who had been on the team attacked in Cuba in March.

(55.) “Atlantic Breezes: Echoes From Greenwich,” New York Herald, July 9, 1893, 14.

(56.) “Young Women Play Ball,” Milwaukee Sentinel, August 14, 1893, 2; “Boys in Dresses: Female Base Ball Game a Great Big Fizzle,” Waukesha Freeman, August 31, 1893, 4.

(57.) “The Girls Play Ball: And Entertained Quite a Crowd in Spite of the Rain,” Macon Telegraph, August 22, 1893, 2.

(58.) “Girls Who Play Baseball: How Some Young Women at Lenox Amuse Themselves,” New York Times, September 3, 1893, 12; “Lenox is Still Gay. Outdoor Sports Claim the Attention of the Younger Set: Events at Pittsfield,” New York Herald, September 3, 1893, 26.

(59.) Mills College yearbook for 1914–1915 cited by Gai Berlage, “Sociocultural History,” 105.

(60.) Advertisement, St. Louis Republic, March 27, 1901. Includes record for each season between 1892 and 1900.

(61.) “Girl Base Ball Players. …” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 6, 1894, 7.

(62.) “How One of the Female Ball Nine Deserted Husband and Babes—Stuck on Being an Actress—She Tagged the Runner and He Hurt Her Arm,” Quincy Daily Herald, June 8, 1894, 8; “Female Ball Tossers: Game in Progress This Afternoon at the West Side Park,” Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, June 19, 1894, 5; “The City in Brief,” Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, June 30, 1894, 8.

(63.) “Bloomer Girls vs. Gulfs,” Denver Evening Post, August 6, 1898, 5. This was the team’s sixth season.

(64.) “Girls Played Ball. Two Thousand People Watched Them Do It,” Jersey Evening Journal, July 3, 1894, 6. It is uncertain how long this team lasted. Gordon’s real name was Mattie Myers.

(65.) The Bomb, 1895, (school yearbook), n.p. Until 1925, members of the junior class published the school yearbook the year before they graduated, but dated the cover with their class year. Thus, although the date on the cover of the yearbook describing the female baseball teams is 1895, the book was actually published in 1894. Thanks to Becky S. Jordan, reference specialist, Special Collections/University Archives, Iowa State University, for bringing this information to my attention.

(66.) “Miscellaneous,” Ottawa Evening News, May 11, 1894, 2.

(67.) “Throngs in Central Park. …” New York Herald Tribune, June 11, 1894, 4.

(68.) “Girls Help Strikers,” Boston Journal, June 4, 1894, 7.

(69.) “Celebrating the Fourth: Negro Women Play Base Ball at Brisbane Park,” Columbus Daily Enquirer, July 5, 1894, 1.

(70.) “Notes,” Rhinebeck Gazette, July 21, 1894.

(71.) “Girl Baseball Players: They are Fond of the Sport and Wear Nice Costumes,” Grand Rapids Press, August 11, 1894, 7.

(72.) The “sister college” is unnamed. “Athletics,” The White and Gold 1, no. 1 (October 1894), Special Collections, F. W. Olin Library, Mills College.

(p.227) (73.) Edith Naomi Hill Papers, Box #867, Folder #2, “Capen School Album.” SCA.

(74.) National Police Gazette, March 16, 1895.

(75.) Advertisement, St. Louis Republic, March 27, 1901. Includes record for each season between 1892 and 1900.

(76.) “Bloomer Girls vs. Gulfs,” Denver Evening Post, August 6, 1898, 5. Article reports that the team had been together for six seasons.

(77.) Very little is known about these teams apart from articles about games in July. “Trilbies vs. Winonas: Two Games on the Fourth Result in a Tie,” Winona Daily Republican, July 5, 1895, 3; “News of the States,” Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, July 31, 1895, 2. Given the route of travel of the Boston Bloomer Girls this season, it is possible these articles were about the Boston Bloomer Girls team that does not appear in articles until July—also playing in Minnesota.

(78.) “Kansas and Kansas,” Kansas City Times, April 11, 1895, 4.

(79.) “Girls Played Ball,” Rockford Morning Star, May 22, 1895, 6.

(80.) Advertisement, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 24, 1895, 8.

(81.) “Lively Times at Fox Lake,” Chicago Tribune, August 18, 1895, 14. The Lakeside Hotel was a resort on the shores of Fox Lake, about fifty miles northwest of Chicago.

(82.) “Mere Mentions,” Cherokee Democrat, August 21, 1895, 5.

(83.) “Nebraska,” Omaha Daily Bee, September 23, 1895, 5.

(84.) J. R. Street, “A Study in Moral Education,” Pedagogical Seminary 5, no. 1 (1897): 23.

(85.) Mildred S. Howard, “A Century of Physical Education,” Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly 19, no. 4 (February 1936): 214.

(87.) Advertisement, St. Louis Republic, March 27, 1901. Includes record for each season between 1892 and 1900.

(88.) “Bloomer Girls vs. Gulfs,” Denver Evening Post, August 6, 1898, 5. Article reports that the team had been together for six seasons.

(89.) “How Women’s College Girls Play Ball,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 7, 1896, 5.

(90.) Annie E. P. Searing, “Vassar College,” Harper’s Bazaar, May 30, 1896, 469.

(91.) “Railway Interests,” Galveston Daily News, July 22, 1896, 3.

(92.) Advertisement, St. Louis Republic, March 27, 1901. Includes record for each season between 1892 and 1900.

(93.) “Bloomer Girls vs. Gulfs,” Denver Evening Post, August 6, 1898), 5. Article reports that the team had been together for six seasons.

(94.) Per Jeffrey R. Willis, director of Archives and Special Collections, Converse College.

(95.) “Athletic California College Girls in the Rain. A Sprightly Account of a Game Played on the Quiet—Bloomers and All the Paraphernalia—They Slide for Bases in the Mud,” Kansas City Star, February 14, 1897, 7.

(96.) “News Briefly Told,” Semi-Weekly Interior Journal (Stanford, Ky.), March 12, 1897, 2.

(97.) “Argentine Girls Play Ball. Several Clubs Already Organized and a Girls’ League May Be Formed,” Kansas City Star, April 18, 1897, 6.

(98.) “College Cullings,” The Echo 9, no.11 (April 20, 1897): 113–14. OCA; “Umpire Safe Here. Olivet College Girls Will Play Base Ball. And Falling Hairpins or Untied Shoe Laces Will Not Stop the Game,” Grand Rapids Press, May 15, 1897, 7; “A Notable Game of Baseball,” New York Evening Sun, May 22, 1897.

(99.) “Educational Column,” Springport Signal, May 21, 1897, 4; “Jackson County News,” Jackson Citizen Patriot, May 22, 1897, 9.

(100.) “Brief Mention,” Lowville Journal and Republican, June 10, 1897, 5; “We and Our Neighbors: News and Notes From Nearby Towns,” Brookfield Courier, June 23, 1897, 4.

(p.228) (101.) “Girls On The Diamond. Germantown Maidens Who Can Give the Phillies Pointers.” Wilkes-Barre Times, June 30, 1897, 3. Germantown Academy was a boys’ school in Germantown, a suburb of Philadelphia. The Friends’ School was a coeducational girls’ prep school in the same area, and the Walnut Lane School was a girls’ boarding school.

(102.) Denver Evening Post, July 20, 1897, 4.

(103.) “The Interviewed,” Dodge City Globe-Republican, July 15, 1897, 4.

(104.) “Odds and Ends of Gossip,” Springfield News-Leader, July 29, 1897, 1.

(106.) (Willard) Gibson Family Album, WLCL, UM. Call No. A.1.1897.2.

(107.) See chapter 5 for details.

(108.) Advertisement, St. Louis Republic, March 27, 1901. Includes record for each season between 1892 and 1900.

(109.) “Bloomer Girls vs. Gulfs,” Denver Evening Post, August 6, 1898, 5. Article reports that the team had been together for six seasons.

(110.) Penn State Abington College Library, Ogontz School for Girls Archive Collection includes team member lists and results of games played between 1898 and 1933. Lil Hansberry, archivist, e-mail to author, August 29, 2008.

(111.) Special Collections, F. W. Olin Library, Mills College. Handwritten caption says, “Our baseball wonders ’98.”

(112.) Phoenix Weekly Herald, January 20, 1898.

(113.) Report from Tucson Star reprinted in: “Territorial News,” Weekly Phoenix Herald (Ariz.), March 24, 1898, 4.

(114.) The Pastorian (Yearbook of the Germantown Friends School), 1898. E-mail from Carl Tannenbaum to Tim Wiles (Cooperstown Hall of Fame Library), January 12, 2015; forwarded to author.

(115.) On June 3, 1898, Fanny Garrison (Class of 1901) wrote to her family, “To-day, I indulged in a game of base-ball—playing on a freshman team under May Lewis, against the Dickinson House. We won 13 to 12.” Ethel Fish (Class of 1900) played on the “White Squadron team at Smith College in the spring of 1898. SCA.

(116.) This is speculation on my part, based on the fact that the school’s yearbooks for 1897 and 1899 both contain photos of female baseball teams. The yearbook for 1898 is missing from the archives, but it appears likely that students would have also played in 1898.

(117.) “In Central New York: All Around Us,” Ostego Farmer, (Cooperstown, N.Y.), April 29, 1898), 1.

(118.) Ethel Fish photo album. SCA.

(119.) Rockford newspapers began publicizing the event as early as May 11. Articles included: “Fares Please: Trolley Day Set for Saturday, June 4, By the Ladies’ Aid Society,” Daily Register Gazette, May 11, 1898, 3; “Play Ball For Charity …,” Morning Star, May 15, 1898, 9; “Fair Ones in Game …,” Morning Star, May 24, 1898, 8; “Belles of the Ball …,” Daily Register Gazette, June 4, 1898, 7.

(120.) Penn State Abington College Library, Ogontz School for Girls Archive Collection includes team member lists and results of games played between 1898 and 1933. Lil Hansberry, archivist, e-mail to author, August 29, 2008.

(121.) Advertisement, St. Louis Republic, March 27, 1901. Includes record for each season between 1892 and 1900.

(122.) “The Boston Bloomers: Ladies Champion Base Ball Club of the World,” New Ulm (Minn.) Review, September 20, 1899, 7. Article reports that the team had been together for seven seasons.

(123.) “Oil Tankers Book Bloomer Girls.” Decatur Daily Review, July 6, 1909, 5. Article stated (p.229) that the same Sunday Telegraph Bloomer Girls team that had been playing in Taylorville for the past ten years would be playing a game with the Oil Tank leaguers.

(124.) Photo appears in the 1899 school yearbook.

(125.) On May 20, the Rockefeller and Porter Hall teams faced off in a baseball game. “College Notes,” The Mount Holyoke, June 1899, 19.

(126.) Rachel Studley to Smith College archivist, written sometime between 1916 and 1918. Studley names some of the players and describes the ball as being an official hard ball used in a game between the Amherst and Williams men’s teams. SCA.

(127.) “Items From Exchanges From Neighboring Towns,” Nashua Reporter, May 18, 1899, 5.

(128.) “A Missing Partner: Lady Baseball Players’ Manager Left With Cash; Levied on Bloomers; Manager Smithson of the Cricket Grounds Determined to Have his Share of the Receipts—Manager Franklin Arrested—His Partner Adams Is Missing,” Jersey Journal, May 31, 1899, 4.

(129.) “Girl Ball Club: Two Clubs Organized, Miss Harriet Kinney Being Captain of One,” Kalamazoo Gazette, June 4, 1899, 1; “News and Notes,” Daily Telegram, June 7, 1899, 8. (p.230)