Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/255

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225
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

extreme limit of deadness, and now, taking advantage of these tried-out extremes, saner reasoning prevailed, and the ball was gradually brought around to a happy medium; not too lively, not too dead, but just about right as to liveliness.

Finally, about the beginning of the decade of the 80's, a model ball in size, weight and constituent elements, practically differing but little from that now in use, was adopted, with most gratifying results.

In order to secure balls of uniform quality, as to constituent elements and grade of workmanship, the National League found it necessary early in its career to adopt an "Official League Ball," made according to stipulated specifications, and to be furnished under long term contracts. This plan has since been adopted by the American League, only official balls being used in either.

The year 1877 witnessed the birth of two minor organizations, both acknowledging allegiance to the National League. These were the International Association, composed of clubs in the United States and Canada, and the League Alliance, a strictly United States association.

The International Association, which lasted under that title through only two seasons, was composed of the Alleghenys, of Pittsburg; the Buckeyes, of Columbus; the Live Oaks, of Lynn; the Manchesters, of Manchester, N. H.; and the Rochesters, of Rochester, from the United States, and the Tecumsehs, of London, and the Maple Leafs, of Guelph, Ontario. The Tecumsehs won the championship.