Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/85

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59
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

The City of New York had now a quartet of fully organized clubs, every one of which became famous in the decade in which all were born. The splendid work done by these pioneers of the nation's game was productive of far-reaching results. It attracted the attention of sport-loving people all over the eastern part of the land to the fact that the game as played in New York was a sport worthy of adoption throughout the entire country.

It was impossible that so fine a game should long be monopolized by any city, so it came about in the natural order of things that as early as December, 1854, the Excelsiors, of Brooklyn, were organized, with J. Nelson Tappan as President. The Excelsiors, while retaining their organization intact, and playing frequent practice games, did not do much in the way of contests until 1860, when they won fame and favor as we shall see later on.

In the following May, 1855, the Putnams, of Williamsburgh, a suburb of Brooklyn, were organized, and a little later, in June, of the same year, the Eckfords, of Greenpoint, also an outlying community of Brooklyn, adopted articles of association. One year later, in July, 1856, the Atlantics, of Jamaica, were organized. And now the Knickerbockers, Gothams, Eagles and Empires, of New York, were offset by a Brooklyn quartet, composed of the Excelsiors, Putnams, Eckfords and Atlantics.

It must not be understood that these eight clubs constituted all the Base Ball organizations of the time. There were others, many others, and numerous clubs in many smaller cities were engaged during the decade of the fifties in active competition.