Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/389

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AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

What the outcome of this new movement may be no one may safely predict. Since the government has endorsed Base Ball as a National Game, to be fostered and encouraged as a means for building up a healthful, contented and well-disciplined Army and Navy; as the national administration has found that it pays to provide bats, balls, bases and all the paraphernalia of the game to our soldiers and sailors, is it too much to expect that the time will come when these concomitants of our national pastime may be regarded as just as essential to the equipment of a well-appointed school as globes, maps, chemicals and astronomical apparatus?

Perhaps the following able editorial from the columns of the Newark, N. J., Evening News, of September 10th, 1908, answers the question:

"BASE BALL FOR BOYS.

"The Trenton experiment of providing Base Ball for boys under proper supervision is noteworthy because of its success from practically every reasonable point of view. The experiment consisted of devoting a large proportion of one of Trenton's public parks to the use of Trenton's youthful ball players. A large number of 'diamonds' were laid out and a fund was provided whereby balls and bats were purchased. Then, to prevent disputes and disorder, umpires were also selected whose judgment could be relied on and whose decisions were final.

"A Junior Base Ball League was organized and prizes were awarded for the champion players. No less than 153 teams of about a dozen boys each were formed and admitted to this league, and the summer's series of championship games began last June. Out of that number 147 teams completed the series and still remain in the organization, ready and eager to begin another series next summer. Four months ago a majority of the Trenton people would probably have said that not half the Junior League teams would last the season through, but an American boy can no more be separated from Base Ball than he can from the dinner table when he's hungry.