Kansas Baseball, 1858-1941

Kansas Baseball, 1858-1941

by Mark Eberle


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Kansas Baseball, 1858-1941 by Mark Eberle

As baseball was becoming the national pastime, Kansas was settling into statehood, with hundreds of towns growing up with the game. The early history of baseball in Kansas, chronicled in this book, is the story of those towns and the ballparks they built, of the local fans and teams playing out the drama of the American dream in the heart of the country.

Mark Eberle’s history spans the years between the Civil War-era and the start of World War II, encapsulating a time when baseball was adopted by early settlers, then taken up by soldiers sent west, and finally by teams formed to express the identity of growing towns and the diverse communities of African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans. As elsewhere in the country, these teams represented businesses, churches, schools, military units, and prisons. There were men's teams and women's, some segregated by race and others integrated, some for adults and others for youngsters. Among them we find famous barnstormers like the House of David, the soldiers of the Seventh Cavalry who played at Fort Wallace in the 1860s, and Babe Didrikson pitching the first inning of a 1934 game in Hays.

Where some of these games took place, baseball is still played, and Kansas Baseball, 1858–1941 takes us to nine of them, some of the oldest in the country. These ballparks, still used for their original purpose, are living history, and in their stories Eberle captures a vibrant image of the state’s past and a vision of many innings yet to be played—a storied history and promising future that readers will be tempted to visit with this book as an informative and congenial guide.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780700624409
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Publication date: 04/21/2017
Pages: 408
Sales rank: 183,881
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Mark E. Eberle teaches in the Department of Biological Sciences at Fort Hays State University. He is a coauthor of Kansas Fishes and Fishes of the Central United States, Second Edition, both published by Kansas.

Table of Contents

Foreword, Dorothy Seymour Mills

Acknowledgments: Around the Horn

Prologue: Ceremonial First Pitch

Introduction: Ground Rules

Part I. Early History of Baseball in Kansas: Play Ball!

1. Town Teams and the Early Game

2. Hometown Women's Teams and Barnstorming Bloomer Girls

3. African American Baseball: Integrated and Segregated

4. American Indian Baseball: Persistent Stereotypes

5. Mexican and Mexican American Baseball and Softball

7. Major League Exhibition Games and Tours

8. The Game Goes On: Kansas Towns Evolve

Part II: Historical Baseball Parks in Kansas: First Nine

9. Joe Campbell Memorial Stadium, Rossville (1924)

10. South Park Field, Kinsley (1934)

11. Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, Wichita (1934)

12. Clint Lightner Field, Garden City (1936)

13. Katy Stadium, Chanute (1936)

14. Moffet Field Stadium, Larned (1937)

15. Rathert Stadium, Junction City (1937)

16. McDonald Stadium, El Dorado (1940)

17. Larks Park, Hays (1940)

Epilogue: Wait Till Next Year

Appendix: Extra Innings

Municipal Stadium, Hobbs Park, Lawrence (1947)

Hibbs-Hooten Field, Sellers Park, Wellington (1964)

Light Capital Baseball Diamond, McPherson (1966)




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