Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/393

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CHAPTER XXV.

BASE BALL IN ARMY AND NAVY—COMMANDERS-IN-CHIEF WHO HAVE HONORED THE GAME—EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT AND DISCIPLINE OF MEN.

1860-1910

ATTENTION has been called heretofore to the baptism of Base Ball as "Our National Game" during the Civil War. But even before that unhappy era it held among its devotees one who was soon to become Commander-in-Chief of Army and Navy.

It is recorded that in the year 1860, when the Committee of the Chicago Convention which nominated Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency visited his home at Springfield, Illinois, to notify him formally of the event, the messenger sent to apprise him of the coming of the visitors found the great leader out on the commons, engaged in a game of Base Ball. Information of the arrival of the party was imparted to Mr. Lincoln on the ball field.

"Tell the gentlemen," he said, "that I am glad to know of their coming; but they'll have to wait a few minutes till I make another base hit."

The authenticity of this incident I have no reason to question. The facts as here presented were conveyed to me in a letter under date of December 18th, 1908, from Mr. John F. Morrill, of Boston, which letter is in my possession. The truthfulness of the story was further estab-

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