Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/388

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"John Lowell, the oldest Base Ball player in the party—he was seventy-one years of age July 29 last, and in honor of whom the famous Lowell Base Ball team was named—told of the difficulties the players of those days had in getting practice, and said that the young men in commercial life who played carried their bases from the clubhouse in Bowdoin Square to the Common at 5 o'clock in the morning, played until 7 o'clock and then went to their day's work.

"Samuel J. Elder, Yale, '73, who was the closing speaker of the evening, said that Base Ball was typically American, just as Cricket was typically English. The two games illustrated in an exceptional manner the habits and the sentiments of the two nations.

"'In England the principal Cricket matches in which the championship of the country is at stake often take three days to finish. They go about it in a leisurely, dignified way, the spectators bringing with them their luncheon, and the players often taking tea during the game. Imagine Mike Kelly or any of the idols of Base Ball taking tea during a game! In America we have our hour and fifteen or thirty minutes. It is swift, sharp, keen play. It is decisive, and the same fan who hustles from his office, hangs on to the rail of a car, then gets to the game and enters into it with the keenest zest, is in as great a hurry to get home when the game is over. Base Ball is not only a great pastime, but it is a great salvation, just as is anything that gets people out into the open.'

"Others who spoke were John F. Morrill, Boston, '76-88; George Richardson, Beacon Base Ball Club; Webster Thayer, Dartmouth, '79; C. H. Taylor, Iver W. Adams, first president of the Boston Base Ball Club; Charles Porter, successor to Mr. Adams; Joseph J. Kelley, manager of the Boston Nationals; Timothy H. Murnane, and Walter I. Badger, Yale, '82."

All the larger cities have Public School Athletic Leagues, with regular Base Ball organizations auxiliary thereto. The influence of these is being rapidly extended throughout the country, and now many cities of 50,000 population and upwards are organizing leagues in the ward schools, playing regularly-scheduled matches for trophies, presented sometimes by local friends and sometimes by patrons of the game who are interested in a more general way.