Take Me Out to the Ballgame - 7/15/20

As the history of town baseball continues, the Belle Plaine club faces its perpetual battle of trying to balance the budget, and finding itself short of players, often using out-of-town players to fill in the line-up. As a result, there wasn’t a first team in 1909 so the younger players scheduled games with some unusual opponents rather than the powerful, competitive teams from the previous years.

This week features a brief summary of town baseball games from the year 1909, exactly as they were originally described in the Herald. The “White Lilies” finished the season with 9 wins and 5 losses.

April 22, 1909

The younger boys of the town have fallen heir to the suits and title of the White Lily ball club and have organized a strong second team, the best that Belle Plaine will put together this season. To help raise funds, they will give a dance at Weibeler’s Hall next Friday evening.

April 29, 1909

The White Lilies played their first game Sunday afternoon and defeated the high school team by the score of 8 to 3.

In furnishing his new White Lily ball club with suits, Fred Latzke notes that there is one suit and a pair of stockings missing, not having been turned in to him at the close of last season. If the person in whose possession the missing articles are, will promptly turn them in, it will aid in getting the new team started.

May 13, 1909

The White Lilies were defeated Sunday on the local diamond by the Green Isle first team by the score of 7 to 11. The game was well played on both sides, though each team made a few errors. The White Lilies are as follows: J.A. Mohrbacher, manager and right fielder; George Horan, treasurer and 1st base; Paul Werrick, captain and pitcher; Frank Albrecht, catcher; Laurence Seiberlich, short; Joe Bofenkamp, 2nd base; Charles Poulson, 3rd base; Joe Feider, right field; Wm. O’Connor, center field; John Leuwer, substitute; Christ. Weibeler, mascot.

Notes of the Game: With our strong infield and excellent outfield, Werrick in the box and Albrecht catching, we can go against any team of our size.

Parties who have no money to see our games should not have time to come out to the grounds and knock.

June 10, 1909

Last Sunday, a game with Chaska was added to our already large and increasing list of victories. The game, though played on wet grounds and therefore not so fast as those of previous Sundays, yet being won by a much larger score and against a team much stronger than any that have played here so far, shows an improvement, which if continued will land the local White Lilies near the top of their class.

When the day dawned, nobody dreamed of a game. A gentle rain was fast transforming a beautiful diamond into a more beautiful lake and the baselines into running rivers. But at noon things changed. The sun came out and dried up the lake; these rivers were dammed with sawdust. Chaska blew in on the noon train and at two-thirty the game commenced. At first the visitors seemed to be the better mud horses, but they soon were mixed, and by the time they were loose again our boys had splashed home with enough runs to win the game and then some.

June 24, 1909

The White Lilies went to New Prague last Sunday to do up the Cubs of that place, but the Cubs refused to be done up, and we returned home with the short end of a seven to eight score.

The game was slow but exciting. It was anybody’s until the end, first one taking the lead and then the other. The White Lilies started out with a rush, the first two men scoring, but the Cubs tied it up in their half of the inning. Belle Plaine was the next to score, and everything went fine until the sixth when the home team took the lead. The lucky seventh opened with promises of great doings. The first man up walked, the next reached first on second’s error, and both scored on Werrick’s two-base hit, (with him) scoring later on Kopet’s error and nobody out. Things were fast becoming serious for the pitcher. He seemed to think that he was one of the Wright Brothers bent on breaking a record, and the ascension was glorious, until he was rescued by the fatherly graciousness of a certain unknown individual who requested the Belle Plaine contingent of rooters to disturb not the slumbering quietness of the New Prague Sabbath with their vociferous yells. The peace and dignity of the state of Minnesota required a quiet and orderly game of base ball and they wouldn’t think of “opening their heads” on Sunday, even though the home team was winning. Evidently, the game ran into Monday by the noise they made later.

It is enough to say, however, that everything went on gloriously until the ninth. With the score 7 to 5 in favor of the visitors, the Cubs went to bat, determined to do or die. They did. Three hits mixed in with an error by second sent three of the Teddy Bears scampering across the plate with all the scores necessary to win.

Notes of the Game: “Pauly” wanted a cracker and got two of them, both doubles.

If you think Minnesota weather is changeable, you ought to have seen the umpire!

July 8, 1909

(Score: BP 4, New Prague 12)

The game last Sunday was replete with all the fielding features that go to make up the National game. There was some fast fielding and also some poor. From a one-handed stop and double play by Werrick and Neubeiser to some juggling stunts and encores by almost every member of the team…enough happened to show what could really take place in a game.

In the first place, it may be said that the game was played under the most adverse conditions, for a drizzling rain, which began about noon, lasted all through the game, and besides a chill east wind was blowing across the diamond keeping the players and spectators shivering all the time. Further write-up is unnecessary.

(Score: BP 2, Green Isle 0)

The game Monday was the reverse of that of the previous day. The weather conditions were more favorable, and the White Lilies were out to even up for their doings of the day before. And even up they did, for they blanked the visitors for nine long innings and smeared the kalsomine over them until they were the color of the flour (or flower) which the locals represent. [The White Lily Base Ball Team may have been named after White Lily Flour, advertised in the Herald as a product of the very best selected hard wheat which has proven its quality for many years by Silver Star Roller Mills.] Only once during the game did they have a chance to score, and then some fast fielding and pitching nipped that chance and third base was as far as they could get.

The fielding was at most times fast and snappy, and several the errors were made on hard chances. The pitching department was also well looked after, Belle Plaine getting only two hits and Green Isle three, with only one man walking during the game. All in all, the game was exciting and one which (kept) the spectators in suspense from start to finish.

July 22, 1909

The Hopkins Bros. Champion (women’s) ball club played our White Lilies here yesterday afternoon and evening. The visiting club travels in their own special hotel car, carry a canvas fence, a potable canopy covered grandstand, and a lighting plant that lights up the ball grounds for the evening game.

The White Lilies defeated the Hopkins Bros.’ Ladies base ball team on the home grounds by a score of 6 to 2. The game was fast and exciting from start to finish…The features of the game (were) the superb pitching of Werrick, allowing but one hit, and the brilliant fielding by O’Connor and Mohrbacher for the home team and Miss Brown for the visitors. Werrick led the attack, going four for four, including a triple. Horan rapped three hits, one a triple. The White Lilies scored their six runs on fourteen hits and six Hopkins errors.

The night game was won by the Hopkins Bros. team by a score of 7 to 10.

Notes of the Game: Paul had a smile on during the whole game and only allowed one hit.

“Shorty” says no more indoor base ball for mine.

Charlie was flirting with Carrie and got an error. Stop this, Charlie.

Maggie had George charmed in playing indoor base ball.

If Lawrence was but a woman, he and Miss Brown would have had a hair pulling match on first.

July 29, 1909

The Business Men’s team lose to the White Lilies by a narrow margin. Score 4 to 5.

The game, although…listlessly played, composed of numerous errors and rank decisions, was exciting from beginning to end. Engfer’s Colts were after the game from the start, getting two scores in the first inning on an error, hit and wild pitch…

[The businessmen’s team included Krieger, Engfer, Hamilton, Effertz, Stans, Meyer, Walerius, Bailey, and M. Paulson.]

Notes of the Game: Charley Paulson was certainly the boy with the goods at the bat, getting two out of the four hits made.

[First baseman] Krieger, the “has been,” accepted fourteen chances without a skip.

Lawrence is in need of a piece of ice for his thinking cap once in a while.

Several players forgot the glue for their gloves.

The umpire [Peter Melchior] gets all the blame, but never mind that.

Werrick had the left-handed batters at his mercy.

August 26, 1909

It was an all home base ball carnival last Sunday. The Business Men’s team, the White Lilies and St. John’s contested for the local supremacy, and the result places the first named the premier base ball organization of the town.

The White Lilies lost to the Business Men by a score of 9 to 7, reversing a game earlier in the season. St. John’s then contested honors with the winners, and for the second time that day, the ex-champs proved they remembered how to play ball, defeating St. John’s 5 to 3.

Sept. 2, 1909

(Score: BP 20, St. John’s 4)

[The St. John’s team included M., T., and J. Shaughnessy, Rendle, Sweeney, Erickson, Crahan, Bray, and Doheny.]

To judge by the score alone, Sunday’s game would seem to have been a football game instead of base ball, but it was not. Instead, it was one of those old-time swat-fests that delight the fan whose interest centers in the home team getting ‘steen hits and as many runs. From the time that Weibeler put the first ball pitched to him over the center fielder’s head for a home run to the one-handed running catch of F. Wagener’s which ended the game, it was a continuous bombardment, which Sweeney tried to stop in the seventh but in vain.

Meanwhile, Paulson was pitching some kind of a game. He neither walked a man nor hit one and held the visitors to nine hits. Perfect play on the part of the home team would have given him a shut-out. Several fast double plays were sandwiched in by both teams and served to liven up the game, which was exciting all the way, even though so one-sided…To tell how the scores were made would require an extra edition!

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