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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Amherst Express. Extra, July 1859. Broadside. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (016.00.00)
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The First College Game

In an unusual doubleheader held in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the first intercollegiate baseball game was paired with a chess match. Amherst and Williams used the Massachusetts Game rules and boasted thirteen players to a side. Amherst’s victory in both events hinted at the popularity of college sports and the nature of fandom that was to come, as its spirited supporters rang the chapel bells, lit a bonfire, and “celebrated with a copious display of enthusiasm and rockets.”

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