Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/398

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forts and the few presidios. Wherever troops are stationed, however, contests between nines composed of soldiers and civilians resident in the vicinity are of frequent occurrence.

Speaking of Base Ball in the army, a non-commissioned officer of the Twelfth Regiment, U. S. A., said recently:

"Yes, the game is a great one among the boys, even in the far West. While I was a bit too old to play, I saw plenty of Base Ball there before coming East to Chiclsamauga and Tampa at the beginning of the Spanish War. Our regiment, the Twelfth Infantry, is the acknowledged champion of the Army. I don't believe the Twelfth's team has ever been beaten, and it has met some strong opponents, too, among the Southern League Clubs. When they are practicable, trips to other posts are frequently made, and in an out-of-the-way garrison a rattling good Base Ball game is no ordinary event. Everybody turns out to see the play. Our colonel—the one we had before the war—he has since been made a brigadier general—was a thoroughbred sport and entered into the spirit of the game with as much vim as the newest recruit. In fact, Base Ball is the game throughout the entire Army and I don't know what the boys would do without it. In the winter there is regular gymnasium exercise at most posts, but it isn't like a nip and tuck tussle on the diamond."

The United States Army and Navy have been very important factors in the advancement and development of the game of Base Ball. While the game did not originate in the Army or Navy, these important departments of our government were the media through which the sport, during the Civil War, was taken out of its local environments—New York and Brooklyn—and started upon its national career.

The returning veterans, "when the cruel war" was "over," disseminated Base Ball throughout the country and then established it as the national game of America.

At the breaking out of the war, in 1861, the New