Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/145

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CHAPTER IX.

FIRST TOUR OF A WESTERN AMATEUR CLUB TO THE EAST—STORY OF THE FOREST CITY CLUB—ITS REMARKABLE CAREER AND SPLENDID RECORD OF VICTORIES.

1865-70

AMONG other agencies which at this time wrought so marvelously in the making of popularity for our national game, and in the production of great ball players, none was more potent than the city just emerging from the chrysalis stage of villagedom. It required the quality of young manhood which had been developed in field and furrow, in combination with that which had come from cash desk and counter, from forge and furnace, to present the American game in all its requirements of strength, agility and capacity to deal with emergencies. For, be it known, comparatively few of those whose names have found a place on the Base Ball Scroll of Fame came originally from the big cities of our land. It was towns like Rockford, Illinois, from whence came Ross Barnes; Marshalltown, Iowa, with Anson to its credit; Fort Wayne, Indiana, with Matthews as its contribution; Rochester, N. Y., with Sutton among its products; Corning, N. Y., with Jim White, and a long list of other cities of the third and fourth classes, whose splendid players attracted attention of the country in the early seventies, giving hope even to the small town, village and hamlet, that, enclosed in the overalls of some of their vigorous sons

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