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Collection By Popular Demand: Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s

Non-Major League Baseball

Silver Lake, about five miles from Akron, Ohio, became a popular resort in the late 1800s after a rail link connected it to Akron and Columbus. The resort featured a zoo, dance hall, roller coaster (right background), and ball field.

"Baseball park, Silver Lake Ohio, 1905." Gelatin silver print, photographed and copyrighted by R.W. Johnston, 1905. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction numbers: LC-USZ62- 111826 (b&w) (left section); LC-USZ62-111827 (b"w) (right section))

Baseball has inspired many musical compositions. Noted bandmaster John Philip Sousa appears here (front row center) with his baseball team.

Waseda University baseball team to visit U.S., now in Honolulu. Photographic print by Bain News Service, [1911]. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction numbers: LC-USZ62-119534 (b&w))

Although developed in the northeastern United States, baseball's popularity spread through Latin America and parts of the Pacific and Asia in the 1800s. These three photographs document amateur teams from the 1910s. Players from Japan's Waseda University both toured the United States and competed against American teams in Japan. The pictorial schedule for the Chinese Base Ball Team of Honolulu, Hawaii, includes portraits of fifteen players The team won 103 of the 144 games they played in 1913.

"Amateur championship game, Telling's Strollers vs. Hanna's Cleaners, Brookside Stadium--Sept. 20, 1914, attendance 100,000." Gelatin silver print, copyright by Miller Studio (Cleveland, Ohio), 1914. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction numbers: LC-USZ62-97618 (b&w))

Estimating that 50,000 to 75,000 spectators would attend, the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper proclaimed that this amateur championship baseball game would draw "the greatest crowd...ever assembled for any event in Cleveland." The actual attendance of the game was closer to 85,000 people. The Strollers beat the other Cleveland team 8-3 in the third and deciding game (see photo above) and went on to compete for the national championship.

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