Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/133

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103
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

from Indiana and Wisconsin were about equal in numbers to those from New York.

This great and rapidly increasing interest in the game throughout the West was productive of noteworthy results. Not only were many clubs being formed in the Mississippi Valley and beyond the Rockies, but really formidable teams were springing up on every hand. The great clubs of the Atlantic States, too, were beginning to sit up and take notice of the records of some of the players of the Middle West, while a very natural longing to "take the conceit out" of the "farmers" gained possession of the Eastern clubs.

Meanwhile the names of the foremost players of the Eastern clubs were becoming as familiar as "household words" to Western fans, so that desire to see the Wright Brothers (Harry and George), Leggett, Berthrong, Williams, McBride, Reach, Fox, Start, Chapman, Ferguson and other notables, was prevalent everywhere. Thus it came about naturally, through the wish of the Eastern players to vanquish the West, and the hope of the Western boys to test conclusions with the fellows who had made the game famous, that a tour was arranged having as its object the playing of a series of matches between an Eastern club and teams in cities of the West.

The National Base Ball Club, of Washington, D. C, though an amateur organization, with membership largely confined to government employes who had developed ability to put up a strong game, conceived the idea of taking upon itself the task of cleaning up the "Wild and Wooly West." Mr. Arthur Pue Gorman, of Maryland,