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Early Baseball Games Aroused Lively InterestWith the opening of the baseball season in Medford by the Nuggets, I am reminded of a team by the same name who represented Jacksonville in the Southern Oregon League of about 50 years ago. The league consisted of Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass and Jacksonville, and the rivalry was intense, especially between Medford and Jacksonville.
By Lewis Ulrich
At that time the Barnum railroad [i.e., the Rogue River Valley Railroad] was operating, and the management at Jacksonville and the railroad company secured permission from the S.P. to operate on the main line as far south as Ashland and north to Grants Pass. The Barnum company owned only one coach, so benches were placed on a flatcar and a large banner on which was printed in large letters "Jacksonville Nuggets" draped on each side of the coach, and with the entire population of Jacksonville on board we would travel in our own "special" deluxe to Grants Pass and Ashland. All went well until on one of our trips to Grants Pass engine trouble developed and we were stuck on the main line near Tolo. An S.P. freight came along and pushed us into Medford, and that was the end of our using the main line.
Each of the towns named had enclosed parks with a high board fence, covered grandstand, etc., and the games which were played on Sundays and holidays were well patronized, as interest in the sport was very keen at that time.
Medford's park was located in the vicinity of [McLoughlin] junior high school, [in a neighborhood] known then as "pothole addition." Ashland's was located near Helman Baths. Grants Pass field was in the southeast part of town close in, and Jacksonville's diamond was located near the old [B. F.] Dowell house right in the town on the Medford-Jacksonville Highway.
During the above period the Portland franchise was held in the old Northeast League, and their entry was known as Casey's Colts, under the management of Pearl Casey, who was a star second baseman in his time with Oakland of the Coast League. This team used Medford as their spring training grounds, playing games with all the local teams. Casey later was an umpire in the Coast League for several years.
Those were the days of Bill Hulen, an ex-big leaguer, the Jacob brothers and Fred Engle of Ashland, Shorty Miles, John Wilkinson, Mose Barkdull, [Frank] Pug Isaacs and Bob Low of Medford, Merrit Brown and Joe Moomaw of Eagle Point, Sandy Sanderson of Central Point, Martin Earle and Henry Pernoll of Grants Pass and the Donegan brothers, Curly Wilson and "Cap" Kubli of Jacksonville. The Donegan brothers played three of the four infield positions. Pat played second base and also did some pitching. Henry Pernoll was a southpaw with a wicked curve and eventually landed with Detroit via Oakland. In the last game he pitched against Jacksonville before he went to Oakland he struck out 21 men in nine innings, so you can see that he was quite a pitcher. His brother John caught him and they made a fine combination. Ashland also had a combination brother battery, Gordon and Tod Jacobs. Gordon is now county commissioner in Siskiyou County, but Tod is deceased.
Charles Strub, now owner of Santa Anita racetrack near Los Angeles, played one summer with Jacksonville. The New York Giants on a barnstorming tour played in Medford, and a crack colored team, the Colored Giants, played in Grants Pass.
So you can see that baseball was a very popular sport in Southern Oregon at that time. Court Hall was the manager in Medford and "Bum" Neuber at Jacksonville, and the betting was heavy when these two teams met. The league was getting along fine, and before one of the games between the towns named the betting seemed to be extra heavy. Jacksonville had a pitcher by the name of Lester about 6 ft. 3 inches tall who had won several games easily. The Jacksonville fans thought he was invincible, and they covered all the Medford money in sight. At the start of the game before a large crowd in Jacksonville, Medford ran out a pitcher whom no one had ever seen or heard of, and he proved to be some pitcher, the Jacksonville team being helpless before him. He mowed them down in 1-2-3 order and the fans were cleaned.
The pitcher turned out to be "Cack" Henley, a ringer from north California, who eventually pitched for San Francisco and I think joined some big league club. There was gloom in Jacksonville that night, and that was the end of the league for that year, and it was several years before interest was again aroused.
Baseball is a fine healthy sport, and the businessmen in Medford who are lending their moral and financial support to the game are deserving of a lot of credit. From newspaper reports we will have a better team than we had last year, and with increased population and interest aroused, the team should be near the top.
Good luck, Nuggets.
Medford News, May 6, 1949, page 7
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Wilkinson to the Bat--Brown on Deck.The Medford boys who came down to play the Alerts were Joe Hibbard, Joe Slinger, Tom McCaullay, Emit Bargdale, Jim Howard, Albert Elliott and Messrs. Cook, Biden and Anderson
Written for The Medford Mail.
On last Friday afternoon the Big Sticky baseball nine, under the management of their able captain, Mr. Chas. Wilkinson, went over to Eagle Point to wipe that nine off the face of the earth--and for eleven ball tickets, valued at $2 each. If the Big Stickys lost they were to give to Eagle Point the equal in coin of the realm of eleven ball tickets. But when Wilkinson goes out with his boys they are favorites from the start and play ball with a professional-like air. They were picked for winners by all visitors as well as the Eagle Point girls, and win they did.
Having thoroughly enjoyed the ball game, we stayed to partake of the hospitalities of the evening tendered by Mr. Frank Brown, the manager of the Eagle Point nine. The merry throng gathered from far and near. The boys in all their glory of success and the belles in all their beauty of adornment. When the sweet strains of music started up, it was "on with the dance, let joy be unconfined," and there never was a jollier time than we spent at the Eagle Point entertainment, and one that will long be remembered by your worthy scribe.
JONES.Medford Mail, April 7, 1893, page 3
The Broomcorn Waves High.
The Medford baseball broom has swept clean and a broad wide. The small hamlet to the north of us has a reputation, but it doesn't run in the baseball channel. Last Tuesday occurred in Medford a red-hot game of ball between Medford and Grants Pass teams. Literally speaking it could hardly be anything else as the thermometer climbed to the top board of the backstop and the torridity that lingered about the grounds was boiled down to a degree quite warm, but it was several degrees hotter in the Grants Pass camp than around where our home boys were basking in delight at their visitors' discomfiture.
The game was opened at one-thirty, and from the very first it was evident that the visiting team wasn't to be counted high on the scoreboard, while our boys had figured they would wipe up the dust with the blue pants of their combatants and sprinkle the grounds with their tears of remorse and misplaced confidence. The Medford boys had seven innings and scored twenty-four counts, while the Grants Pass team had eight innings and by dexterous efforts rolled up nine points on the tally sheet.
The visiting club was made up of the following gentlemen: G. H. Irving, c; Fred. Welch, p; Fred Mensch, 1st b; Bert Warren, 2nd b; Robt. Deweree, 3rd b; Roy Bartlett, r f; Tod Wilson, c f; D. E. Dotson, l f; Harry Peterson, s; Geo Slover, scorer.
The Medford boys were: Fred Weeks, c; Charlie Boardman, p; Alf. Weeks, 1st b; Geo. Davis, 2nd b; John Angle, 3rd b; Ed. Redden, s; U. M. Damon, r f; A. Galloway, s f; John Stewart, l f; Will Fredenburg, scorer. E. H. Fawcett, umpire.
The game was interesting throughout, our boys playing a good, steady game, while the visitors "lost their heads" and were badly rattled. Two particularly good plays were made. One by Fred Weeks when his bat caught the second ball given him and sent her a long ways outside of the fielders, making a home run with ease. Another one was when three men were on bases and Damon took the bat. He sent the ball over into the tall timber, near Jacksonville, let in three men and slid over the home plate himself.
Grants Pass papers scorched our team right hard, so the boys say, on the game they played in that village on the Fourth, but The Mail is not going to pay them back in kind. The Grants Pass boys are gentlemen, every one of them, but they can't play ball. Of course, this is not their fault. They have practiced long enough for a league team--but they couldn't twirl the sphere with an aptness equal to Medford.
Medford Mail, July 21, 1893, page 2
The Jacksonville "kid" baseball nine defeated the Medford nine at the grove between the two towns on Saturday last in a hotly contested game, by a score of 38 to 30. The boys are preparing a challenge to any team in the county of their size.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 21, 1898, page 3
The baseball game last Saturday, between Medford and Ashland nines, at this city, resulted in a victory for the granite city boys by a score of 30 to 15.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 28, 1898, page 3
Our baseball club walloped the Ashland nine in the game played on the grounds of the latter last Saturday by a score of 34 to 18. It was quite interesting.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 9, 1898, page 3
The Medford and Ashland baseball nines will play the final game at Medford on Saturday to decide the championship. Each club has won a game, and good ball will probably be put up.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 19, 1898, page 3
The return game of baseball between Medford and Ashland nines was played at the grounds of the former last Saturday. It proved an easy victory for the Medford ball tossers, who were assisted by two experts from Jacksonville. The score stood 30 to 8 in their favor.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 23, 1898, page 3
A game of baseball was played in Harbaugh's grove yesterday by small boys from Jacksonville and Medford. The former won by a score of 21 to 19.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 20, 1898, page 3
Pat Donegan, Jr., went to Grants Pass to play ball with the Medford club. He was objected to, on the ground that he is a professional, and did not participate in the game.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 28, 1898, page 3
The game of baseball between the Medford team and the Alerts of this city on Decoration Day resulted in a victory for the former by a score of 11 to 4. The game was a well-played one and very interesting from start to finish. The Grants Pass boys were doing some excellent playing when they whitewashed the Medford nine five times, but during the later half of the sixth inning they made one or two bad moves which cost them the game. If the Alerts will continue to practice more or less, they will be hard to beat anywhere.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, June 1, 1899, page 3
The game played at Eagle Point by the local club and a nine from Medford, last Friday, was won by the former by a score of 21 to 10. The victors are now champions of southern Oregon, having beaten every club that has met them.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 19, 1899, page 3
Base Ball in Medford
There was a ball game in Medford last Sunday. We make this announcement in the first two lines because of the fact that there are probably about two people in the city who did not know of the game until they read the lines above referred to--and we want them to join the majority as quickly as possible. It was the hottest contested game ever played on the Medford grounds. There wasn't any money up on the game, but there was probably $500 or $600 bet on the side--won by Medford people--and contributed by Grants Pass sports.
There were about 175 people who came up from Grants Pass to see the game--but be it said to the credit of a few of them they did not see it. It was too tough a layout, and instead of going to the grounds after leaving the train they put in the afternoon around town.
Before that crowd came up here our townspeople thought we had a few average tough young men, but since Sunday they have branded every one of our boys as gentlemen--as compared with others. No sooner had the train upon which the Grants Pass crowd arrived come to a standstill than did the noise commence--by a chorus of loud, coarse and very profane yells. This was repeated several times--much to the disgust of all our people who heard it--also to some who came on the train--who felt ashamed of being caught in that low-lived charnel house of profanity and bad whisky. Nor did the ribaldry cease with the incoming of the crowd. It went to the ball grounds, and there insulted men, women and children. The hoodlums drank whisky from bottles while standing in front of the grandstand, swore almost incessantly, and the vulgar epithets they applied to Medford people were disgusting in the extreme--and the wonder is that the offenders were not arrested.
After this game was over the streets of our town were made as unpleasant by this rowdyism as had been the ball grounds during the afternoon.
Such hoodlumism as was displayed Sunday would have been most disgraceful upon a week day, but when it was given vent upon a day set apart for worship and rest, its grating upon the more delicate senses of even our most hardened citizens was noticeable. It was the toughest day in the history of our town--and it will not be repeated; the better class of citizens will not tolerate it; they are up in arms and do not propose to have our town again insulted. The home ball boys did not expect it, and they regretted its occurrence as much as anyone. As we said in the outset, they are gentlemen, and know the usages and customs of good society--and are respecters of ladies--and they were sorely aggrieved because it happened that way--and because that it was on Sunday.
There is one way in which the Medford boys can further endear themselves to Medford people--don't play ball again on Sunday. It is not a day calculated for sport, and it is not pleasant to have a crowd in town on that day filling the air with blasphemy and indulging in unlawful behavior.
The Mail knows, from having met several of them, that there are some very fine people in Grants Pass; in fact, there are a great many of them--and we are pleased to know that none of these were among the boisterous ones here Sunday.
But to return to the game. We said it was hotly contested. Those who saw it will not doubt the truthfulness of this assertion. From commencement to finish there was no time when there was more than one tally in favor of either team, and at the commencement of the last half of the ninth inning the game stood eight to eight, but Medford made a score and the game was finished with Medford the winner.
The Grants Pass pitcher was from San Jose, and their catcher from Cottage Grove. The Medford pitcher was G. H. Fleming, of the Torpedo team, Portland, and the catcher was H. B. Meyers, of this city.
Since last Sunday the Grants Pass ball team has been keeping the telephone wires hot between Medford and that place in an endeavor to get another game. Our boys at first declined to have anything further to do with them, but it is now possible that a game may be made for a near date, the game to be played at Ashland.
Medford Mail, August 17, 1900, page 3
The $500-a-side ball game at Medford caused two pitchers to be imported--Martin, of San Jose, for Grants Pass, and Fleming, of Portland, for Medford. the latter won, 9 to 8.
"Oregon Notes," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, August 19, 1900, page 4
Most of our people are disgusted with the Mail's silly account of the late baseball game, in which the Grants Pass nine and those who accompanied them to this city were abused and maligned in an unwarranted manner. Bliton so often has written himself an ass and displayed his small, jealous nature so frequently, that we have become accustomed to it. Our neighbors should not consider him seriously, for it is not worth their while.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 23, 1900, page 3
The Medford baseball team, accompanied by something like seventy-five enthusiastic admirers, went to Ashland Sunday morning bubbling over with enthusiasm, and returned a few hours later long on excuses and plausible explanations of why they failed to win. The game started with Medford winning the tossup. They failed to score, however. Ashland then had their inning and met the same fate. In the second inning Medford scored two points, and Ashland returned the compliment. This was Medford's first and last score. The Medford team went to pieces shortly after, and in the ninth inning Ashland had eleven points to her credit. The Ashland pitcher threw a "flowery" ball, so "flowery" that a goodly percentage of the Medford team are using arnica and other medical compounds containing soothing ingredients. Patsy Donegan, of Jacksonville, in the fifth inning was so hard hit that he was compelled to retire from the game. The Medford lineup was as follows: R. B. Dow, pitcher; Thos. Macauley, catcher; Henry Orth, s.s.; Mate Riden, 1st b.; Dr. Butler, 2nd b.; O. Fredenburg, 3rd b.; Chas. Nunan, r.f.; Ira Anderson, c.f.; Tobe Brouse, l.f.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 7, 1901, page 7
Almost simultaneously with the announcement that the Boston Bloomers baseball club would play in Medford, a number of Medford's staid, dignified men of business and affairs commenced haunting the diamond on the ball grounds, and have been practicing with avidity. On any evening they may be seen playing ball even after the shades of eventide have clothed the horizon and the stars shine but dimly. Eager suggestions and sly hints as to the advisability of strengthening the local team by substituting older and more experienced players are freely made, and the number of the selfsame who are anxious to sacrifice themselves for the honor of the team is surprisingly great.
July 15, 1901 San Francisco Call
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 21, 1901, page 7
The Boston Bloomers.
The Boston Bloomers, champion lady baseball players of the world, will arrive in the city Saturday, June 29th and give an exhibition at the baseball grounds at 2 p.m. The Bloomer girls do not expect to draw crowds entirely on account of the novelty of being female players, but really put up a creditable exhibition of the national game. They travel in a private palace car and carry a canvas fence for enclosing the grounds, a grandstand with a seating capacity of 2000 and everything necessary to give a first-class exhibition. They have toured all the western states, and have everywhere received good notices from the press, not only for their good baseball playing, but also for their ladylike behavior. Admission 25 and 50 cents.
Medford Mail, June 28, 1901, page 2
On Wednesday afternoon the Medford ball tossers met the Ashland team on the grounds of the latter in the Granite City, and for the second time within a month went down to overwhelming defeat at the hands of their doughty, up-valley antagonists. The Medford boys entered the game with several new players, or rather old players who had not practiced for a number of years, and to whom the whizzing, curving antics of the horsehide peculiar to the latter-day ball playing were somewhat of a mystery. Besides, Ashland has a very strong team, their pitcher being one of the best on the coast. H. B. Myers and Fred Weeks were both rendered hors de combat during the progress of the game, and both are nursing badly swollen fingers as the result of coming in contact with some decidedly hot balls. The score, 23 to 2, in favor of Ashland, would indicate that our boys were outclassed, but they do not appear to be chagrined, and will be ready to meet the Jacksonville team on the Fourth with full confidence in their ability to win the game--and the $100 purse.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 28, 1901, page 7
Will Try for Better Ball Grounds.
The citizens of Jacksonville have subscribed enough money to their ball team to enable them to repair their ball grounds and enclose them with a high board fence. The team has had men at work during the past week, cutting down the diamond and filling in [the] field. When the work is completed they will have a first-class ball ground, and one that will be a monument to the generosity of the Jacksonville citizens.
Now, why cannot the Medford ball team receive the support of the citizens of Medford and have a ground of their own. Every time Medford's team plays a game they are compelled to go away from home to do so. If a suitable amount of money is subscribed the boys can secure a location for their ball grounds, and the rest will be easy. No one will doubt the generosity of the Medford citizens, and everyone will give the boys their heartfelt support. After the grounds are made and enclosed, the team will then be self-supporting and will not have to depend upon the contributions of their friends. If Medford is contemplating the celebration of the Fourth of July a game of ball will be the leading entertainment during the day, but none of the teams from the neighboring towns care to come to Medford to play unless the grounds are improved. Therefore, the boys are compelled to appeal to the citizens in this matter.
Medford Mail, May 2, 1902, page 2
The baseball game played here Sunday between the Grants Pass and Medford teams was not a game; it was a slaughter. The Medford team was clearly outclassed from the start, and before the game was half over they went to pieces completely. The Grants Pass boys showed their opponents no mercy, but piled up the runs in a manner that made the score a scandalous one. The Medford boys stayed bravely to the bitter end and accepted their fate with commendable fortitude. The score was 22 to 1 in favor of Grants Pass.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, June 26, 1902, page 3
SOUTHERN OREGON LEAGUE
Rogue River Valley Towns to Organize for Baseball.
A movement is being made to form a southern Oregon baseball league, and a meeting with that object in view was held in Medford Sunday. The proposed circuit includes Ashland, Medford, Jacksonville and Grants Pass. In the meeting that was held, all the towns were represented with the exception of Grants Pass. The feasibility of the plan was discussed, and steps will be taken toward the organization of the league. A partial canvass for stock in Medford resulted in a subscription of $1100, and it is thought $2000 can be raised there.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, January 22, 1903, page 1
The Jacksonville baseball grounds, which are among the best on the coast, were damaged considerably by the water of Jackson Creek during the January flood. They will be put in first-class order before the season opens.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 18, 1903, page 2
The old "has-been" ball players of Medford are organizing a team for the purpose of giving the regular team a game. No player will be eligible unless he can remember when they "played ball without mask or gloves and when a foul or third strike was out on the first bound." The "Has-beens" will begin practicing as soon as the team is organized and will challenge the winner of the Jacksonville--
all-the-county game--when it comes off. Those so far who have proved themselves eligible to the team are: C. D. Hazelrigg, George F. Merriman, Fred Weeks, G. L. Davis, J. D. Fay, Thos. Beckett, C. A. Boardman, Alf. Weeks, Chas. Prim, L. L. Jacobs, Will Muller, Mose Alford, Mose Barkdull, Court Hall, George Coffenbury. Two more are needed, as the managers figure that it will be necessary to have two shifts in order to give the old-time athletes time to get their breath and tell about the games they have played.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 25, 1906, page 5
It Was "Alleged."
There was an alleged game of baseball, alleged to have been played at the Medford grounds Sunday between a team alleged to consist of barbers and one alleged to be made up of liverymen. The allegation was all there was to it. There wasn't anything in the nature of baseball played--except by allegation--and the tonsorial artists were represented by two members of the craft, while the knights of the curry comb could only muster one representative. However, there were enough section hands, sawmill men, sewing machine agents and people to make up the number, and the "alleged" game went merrily on until the 7th, when with the "alleged" score of 7 to 11 in favor of the tonsorial gentlemen, Purdy, pitcher for the livery gentlemen, got mad at an "alleged" decision of the umpire and threw the ball away and threatened to take his "ball bats and go home." In the ninth he is alleged to have batted out of his turn so that the four runs alleged to have been accumulated in that canto were alleged not to have been made, and the game is alleged to have been won by the alleged livery gentlemen.
Three "alleged" umpires were used in the game. Cooper officiated for two innings, and was chased off the field and Fay was carried on. He lasted three innings and called the game under an "alleged" agreement that the first fly caught in the field was to end the game. He was banished to the lonesome grandstand and Paddy Malloy stood it for two more spasms when he was chased to the bench and Cooper recalled from the under the grandstand where he had been hiding and managed to finish the game without being mobbed.
Under the rules the "alleged" barbers won.
Medford Mail, August 2, 1907, page 1
Medford Plays Ball.
That a number of Medford's leading citizens missed their calling some 400 miles when they decided to enter their present avocations instead of tackling professional baseball was demonstrated last Thursday afternoon beyond all peradventure when the business and professional men of that city lined up in a titanic struggle to settle, once and for all, which is the handiest lot of sports in the national game--baseball. The weather was perfect, the grandstand crowded to suffocation and the players all in the pink of condition when Judge Prim, acting as umpire, or referee, called the game and introduced the players in a neat speech, in which he dwelt at some length on the deeds of prowess the different gladiators had been guilty of in the past. When the judge had finished he delivered an upshot curve bow to the grandstand as a prearranged signal that applause was next in order, but to his consternation and alarm there was nothing doing in that line. His audience had not heard a word he said, because everybody had been struck deaf and mute by the sudden flitting of Judge Colvig's Merry Widow, balloon-shaped pantalettes or trouserines, as the case may be. Fearfully and wonderfully made were these chaste coverings for the nether limbs of the stately and refined judge, who had only entered the lists as a speedy means of securing the strenuous training he felt he would need in the prohi[bition] charter fight which commenced the following day. Saffrony in hue were they and breezy of build, and in combination with the flesh-pink hose, the azure blue waist [blouse] and the dark blue headpiece, the effect was one never to be forgotten.
"Time," yelled the umpire, and the game was on. Colvig went in the box, with Judge Kelly behind the bat. Shorty Garnett, warehouseman and prohibition leader, wielded the bat and called for a high ball. Colvig delivered the goods, which struck Kelly square between the ears and splashed all over the backstop. The next high ball, however, made better connection. Shorty met it squarely under the nose with a brandy smash effect, dropped his bat and started for third base instead of first. This mistake was no doubt due to the fact that he had his panties on backward, probably having been dreaming of high balls while in the dressing room. But Shorty got there just the same, as did Kentner, drygoodsman, who also is not built on the greyhound plan. "Toggery Bill" added to the éclat of the occasion in a gorgeous Nash hat with frazzle-edged trimmings, and W. I. Vawter made a decided sensation on the field attired in a brilliant red necktie of decided anarchistical tendencies. Weeks [the undertaker] "undertook" to catch, and he succeeded in stopping every dead one that came his way, and Jess Enyart tried to break the ball as he does at a shooting match. Molony, the shoe man, wore a neat pair of canvas shoes. He also wore trousers, shirt and a determined look, which no doubt helped to win the game. There were something like 100 men engaged in the contest, first and last, and the game was finished in six innings--as were the players to a frazzle. The score was 10-15 in favor of the business men, and the gate receipts were enormous.
Central Point Herald, June 18, 1908, page 1
CHICAGO LADIES vs. MEDFORD.
The Chicago Ladies and Medford baseball teams played what could be called an interesting game yesterday afternoon on the local diamond, which resulted in a victory for the ladies by a score of 14 to 13. The boys claim that they let the fair ones win out, but if they did they certainly hid their intentions to perfection.
"The ladies had handsome figures and beautiful faces, and the men present were simply lost in admiration as they gracefully glided out on the field. In the grandstand the men were busy rubbering, while the lady spectators almost turned green with envy and jealousy."
Well, that was the picture in the mind's eye of most of the men who wended their way out to see the game, but they were soon disillusioned when they came face to face with the reality. That consisted of a team composed of four ladies, one or two men dressed in bloomers and wearing wigs and four men in the ordinary baseball suits.
Of course, all the principal work both in the batting line and on the field was done by the men, and pretty well done at that. Those who went to scoff remained to cheer and applaud, and toward the last the good behavior of the girls and the splendid work of the male members of the team captured the crowd, and the outcome appeared to meet the approval of all who were present.
The battery for Medford was McIntyre and Sanderson and for the visitors Myers and Reagen, both of whom put up a splendid game in their positions and at the bat. The Medford pitcher, and most of the team too, for that matter, played a good game and only three during the whole game walked to first, which was co[illegible]ed by one of the ladies and who was also the captain of the team. Bob Dow acted as umpire and perhaps was not to blame for becoming somewhat blinded by the bewitching smiles given him by some of the fair ones, and consequently favoring them more or less in his decisions.
Yesterday's game makes the fifth one won during the last week by the visitors. They defeated Roseburg by a score of 5 to 4, Grants Pass by 10 to 9, Oakland 9 to 8 in a 12-inning game, and Drain got whipped by a score of 14 to 4. The team leaves this morning for Red Bluff, Cal.
Medford Mail, August 14, 1908, page 5
NEW DIAMOND FOR THE COLTS
Court Hall is making extensive preparations for receiving Pearl Casey's bunch of Northwestern leaguers, who will arrive here the 23[rd]. He has had shower baths and training quarters built. A new diamond will be made, and it is going to be one of the best diamonds in the West. The big steam roller will be run over it and the ground smoothed and packed down, so that the Portland boys will have no kick coming.
Excerpt, Medford Mail, March 5, 1909, page 8
BASEBALL GAME TURNS OUT BIG FREE-FOR-ALL
Phil Cooney Loses His Head and Calls Fans Some Hard Names--
B. Klum Took Exception and Cleaned Cooney.
SHORTSTOP STOPPED SHORT IN CENTRAL POINT; RETURNED
Recorder Takes Hand in Game and Annexes 15 Bucks for City Treasury--Game Tomorrow.
The ball game on Friday afternoon, for which all of the business houses of the city closed up so that all could attend, turned out to be a cross between a prize fight and the great American game. Hard names, fists, autos, policemen, recorders and a few other parties took a hand in the melee, and when it was all over the city of Medford won by a score of 15 bucks to 0. Phil Cooney, shortstop, was the fall guy.Medford Finally Wins.
The applying of epithets started in the first spasms. The Medford fans were out in force and decided that if rooting would annex the game that there would be nothing to it. Cooney came in for the heaviest brunt of the hard ones, and in the eighth he walked up and down in front of the bleachers and proceeded to say some very nasty things. B. Klum, the local artist, took some of the remarks to heart and when invited to "come out" by Cooney he didn't stop to see, but he conquered. Klum was unmercifully getting the best of Cooney when the scrap became a free-for-all. Garibaldi, a Portland boy, measured with one and came off on top. The rest of the crowd interfered, and the fight was over.
Then manager MacRae of the Colts took a hand in the matter and thought that it would be better for Cooney to get out of town, as popular feeling was very much against him. He obtained an auto and started the boy to Central Point. Here the police were brought into the affair, and Chief Shearer started after Cooney and brought him back. He was taken before Recorder Collins, and there was fined 15 bucks and costs. Feeling ran high against him during the afternoon, and had it not been for some of the larger men of the crowd holding the fans in check things would have gone hard with Cooney. The boy escaped from them, however, and this morning left for Portland. Thus ended the affair.
Oh yes, the score was in favor of Portland--7-4.
The boys will play another game on Sunday afternoon. No more fights are on tap.
Medford Daily Tribune, April 10, 1909, page 1
ROGUE BALL LEAGUE FORMED
Southern Oregon Towns Arrange Schedule of Sunday Games.
CENTRAL POINT, Or., May 11.--(Special.)--The Rogue River Valley League, comprising the clubs of Central Point, Jacksonville, Grants Pass and Medford, has been formed and a game schedule drawn for a series of games up to July 3.
Each team is to be composed of resident players of the town represented, and a penalty of $25 will be incurred for every violation of the agreement. Each of the four cities must provide suitable grounds. A game will be played in each of the four towns on alternate Sundays. The schedule for this Sunday is Central Point at Jacksonville and Medford at Grants Pass.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 12, 1909, page 7
There were things doing at the Medford ball park Sunday afternoon, when the Medford team, reinforced by Jacksonville and some other towns, cleaned up both Hilt and Central Point in a double header engagement. Hilt took the first turn at the game, and for nine long innings there was an aggregation of errors on both sides that would be difficult to duplicate in any state in the Union. Neither side had any edge over the other, however, in the way of fuss and fumbles until the eighth, when the score was switched from the California boys' favor to Medford's column. The game was interesting, all right, even though the players were all frozen stiff as graven images. And it really was the weather that was to blame for the entire trouble, for the way the cold wind howled over the diamond was a caution. During the four hours that the Hilt game lasted the Central Point team sat around and shivered, and when their game was called the boys were humped up like a bunch of maverick steers in a Wyoming blizzard.
The first game was just good practice for Medford, and they went into the second game in good feather. The first two innings settled the cathop for Central Point to the tune of four to nothing, but after that the Pointers got warmed up and played the game. For six innings everybody played ball, with not the shadow of a tally on either side, and in the ninth Medford scratched in another one and won the game by a big margin. The game showed, however, that the two teams are pretty evenly matched under equal conditions, and lovers of the game may expect some good entertainment during the remainder of the season.
After the game the team managers from Grants Pass, Central Point, Jacksonville and Medford got together and formed a league and arranged a schedule of games. Central Point will play Jacksonville next Sunday at the latter place, and Medford will play at Grants Pass.
[Central Point] Manager Grieve will make an effort to secure funds with which to erect a grandstand on the local grounds in order to better accommodate the fans, as well as to secure necessary funds with which to keep up his team's share of the expense money.
Central Point Herald, May 13, 1909, page 1
Sunday's Ball Game.
Central Point won over Medford Sunday on the latter's grounds in a good game and in which both teams did some good work. Medford wanted the game, and they played to get it, but it was a case of being slightly outplayed by the Pointers at every mark in the road.
The Herald feels that the Medford team deserved a better fate than the following, which was handed them by the Tribune Monday evening, but the Tribune "had orter" known what the game was. It is too much, however, to accuse the Medfords of being beaten by the Cubs. The Cubs are our second team, and such an insinuation is really cruel, doncherknow. The Tribune says:
"Just as long as Medford continues to play boneheaded baseball, just so long will she continue to lower her standing in the league race. The exhibition Sunday was more like the bizarre bantering, button-breaking, comical convocation of clownish celebrities in a circus than like baseball. There was no teamwork, and each player tried to distinguish himself to the great detriment of the team. Central Point won the game through the selfish spirit of the players on the Medford team, who were out for personal glory.
"The most flagrant exhibition of boneheaded baseball was in the ninth inning, when one run was needed to tie the score. Cady, first up, walked, Isaacs was hit by pitcher, and then came Miles. No one was out and by all of the sacred rules of infield baseball he was due to sacrifice. But no, he must wallop that horsehide for a three-bagger at the least and win the game. Oh, yes--win the game. After a few foul wallops he succeeded in going out on a fly to the infield. Had he sacrificed, as he should, the boys would in all probability squeezed one and tied the score. Then, if the Central Point boys had chased one across in the tenth, the game would have been lost without leaving a bad taste in the mouth. Johnnie Wilkinson gave another exhibition of boneheaded baseball when he had a safe two-bagger and tried to take third. No ball playing--just a pure case of foolishness.Antle also got caught through carelessness. And the worst of it all is that all of these players know better. The two instances were not all of the dense plays made by Medford, but they will suffice.
"Central Point has a pitcher in Goodpasture. He played good ball throughout, holding Medford to five hits."
As a matter of fact, everybody played ball from start to finish. The statement that "Central Point won the game through the selfish spirit of the Medford players who were out for personal glory" is all balderdash. The Central Point team won the game because they outplayed Medford in every inning. The Tribune dope artist prefers to roast his own players for losing rather than give their antagonists credit for playing the game and winning.
Come down here Sunday, neighbor, and watch us skin Grants Pass. You should be able to give us credit for what we do in that case.
Central Point Herald, June 17, 1909, page 1
BASEBALL BRAWL LAST SUNDAY
Cubs Wallop Medford but the Pointers Lost to Grants Pass.
That baseball game last Sunday here,
Wound up with scrapping, or very near,
And the Cubs took Windy Medford town
To a skinning that was good and brown.
Those big, lubber Medford pikes
Used big cuss words, and their spikes,
But when it comes to ball and bat,
They couldn't play at "two-old-cat."
Great big Clydesdales sort of team,
Must have sometimes had a dream
That they could play, but on the square,
Those fans can only fan the air.
Stubborn, just like Siskiyou mules,
Never read the baseball rules,
Stood like dummies at the bag
Spiked the Cubs and "chewed the rag."
Little Cubs, game to the core,
Piled up many and many a score.
In truth the game was just a bunn,
Almost a shame to take the "mon,"
The way our boys ran in and slid
Was "taking candy from a kid."
Finally one big Medford "geek"
Thought he'd take a funny streak.
He couldn't base run, couldn't bat;
Fielding, was no good at that,
Couldn't pitch and couldn't catch,
Found him nowhere on the scratch;
'Cept he could blow, that's Medford like,
And spear a fellow with his spike.
This he did with lubber's grace
And spike a baseman at the base.
Big row started in right then,
Cubs they spruced up just like men,
And could have cleaned the platter right
But marshal wouldn't let them fight.
Boys went up the railroad track
To try the scrapping game a whack,
But this here justice man of ours
He threatened them with all the powers.
Took the constable along
To make the law arm good and strong,
Pulled the boys for talking fight,
But let them all go home at night,
Score it stood fourteen to two,
Medford bunch were in the stew,
No use for them there baseball dubs
To cross their bats with these here Cubs.
What about the big home team
Our pride, of which we ever dream?
They went for glory at Grants Pass,
But didn't bring it back, alas.
Boys have got the hoodoo still,
Looks as though they always will
Strike the diamond out of joint;
Mighty hard on Central Point.
Central Point Herald, May 12, 1910, page 1
June 12, 1910 Sunday Oregonian
NEW BALL PARK NEAR NATATORIUMArrangements are in progress for the moving of the Medford ball park to a more central location on grounds on the east side of Bear Creek, just opposite the Natatorium.
A footbridge will be constructed so that easy access may be had to the grounds.
The grounds will be fitted up in first-class shape. The lease runs for two years, and can perhaps be extended.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 3, 1910, page 2 I don't think this move actually took place.
FENCE AROUND BALL PARK HITThe new uniforms of the Medford baseball team have arrived and sport the apple and the pear. The uniforms are gray in color, and upon the right breast is a large red apple, while upon the left is a huge yellow pear. The suits are grey in color and are "some nifty."
Petition Before the City Council Requests That Body
To Take Steps To Have Dilapidated Fence Torn Down as Is "Menace."
That the residents in the vicinity of the baseball park, at Second and Woodstock streets, consider the fence around that enclosure "unsightly and detrimental to property values" was the substance of a communication read by City Recorder Robert W. Telfer to the city council last night.
The petition requests that the council take steps towards having the "eyesore" removed, and the matter was referred, upon motion, to the streets and roads committee for action.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 22, 1911, page 4
NEW BASEBALL SUITS ARRIVE
Medford Team Will Sport the Apple and the Pear on Uniforms for Coming Year--
Are Gray in Color--Suits Are Natty.
The suits are on exhibition in a local sporting goods store and are attracting much attention.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 15, 1911, page 1
Medford Invincibles Pass Their Pedigrees Along to the Sporting Editor
Who Hands Them Along to the Public for What They're Worth.
To the Editor: The "hot wires," a scrub aggregation with large ambitions, little baseball experience and a superabundant amount of egotism, have had the nerve to challenge the Medford Invincibles, a baseball club which has played all the big teams in the United States, and are credited with seventy-three victories and no defeats, and in order to show their utter contempt for this corner lot conglomerate, they propose to administer to the said "hot wires" a voltage that will blow out their fuses and render them hors du combat, or words to that effect, with an ease and smoothness that will sure be a revelation to the assembled thousands who witness the carnage and slaughter of the innocents.
The "Invincibles" have with great difficulty succeeded in engaging the services of the following baseball artists:
Pitcher--R. R. Ebel: Mr. Ebel has served three years in the United States Navy playing on Bob Evans' fighting baseball team, and when not otherwise engaged is said to have made a pastime of catching cannonballs.
Catcher--F. A. Buffum: Mr. Buffum has been engaged at an enormous salary to act as catcher of the above undefeated amalgamation of world-famous baseball jugglers, and is said to have served four years with the New York Giants, having an average of 1000 in this position.
First Base--Colby: Mr. Colby first burst into the limelight on the corner lots of Medford, where he acquired local fame as a heavyweight scrapper, in which capacity he is credited with an average of 999. Mr. Colby will be found right on the job all through the game.
Second Base--Mr. Aldenhagen formerly played with great gusto on the team of Amos Rusie in Muncie, Indiana, and was later picked up by the Tolo team as he was walking the ties into that burg. He sure made a hit with the fast semi-pros of that village.
Right Field--Mr. Ling (a distant relative of Li Hung Chang) got his start juggling beets in a sugar beet factory in Billings, Mont. Mr. Ling possesses some of the possibilities of a ball player if properly developed. He is a young man with classical hair and a Bowery walk.
Short Shop--Mr. Martin: short stop. A likable-looking little fellow and a grandstand player of known ability. His graceful style of play generally elicits loud applause from the ladies in the grandstand.
Third Base--Jones: Mr. Jones is a quiet, consistent player, who says he has not played ball for 27 years, but feels plenty of confidence. Keep your eye on Jones--he's there. Jones goes after everything whether he gets it or not, which is generally the case.
Left Field--Alenderfer. Mr. Alenderfer hauled down a large salary with the San Francisco Seals as a heady player, and stops a great many balls in this manner. He is always in the game and has an average fielding record of 997, covering six years of play.
Center Field--Mr. Adams: Mr. Adams acquired notoriety by his brilliant work while a member of the Cowboy Nine of Hotstuff, Texas. He is a plunger, and once he gets a-going never stops until he fans out. We expect he will "do things" to the Scrubs.
Mr. A. Roy--Mr. Roy is substitute player and general manager. What Mr. Roy has forgotten about baseball would fill the congressional library. He is a quick thinker on the firing line, and his coaching vocabulary is a revelation. He is also a favorite with the ladies.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 27, 1911, page 2 There seems to be little truth in this boastful letter. I can find no record of any of the players above having played for the team claimed.
"Live Wire's" Answer
A few days ago there appeared in your columns an article describing with much noise and little music the lineup of the "Medford Invincibles."
The "Live Wires" ask where have they gone and how did they go? Have they returned to the more menial occupations of their varied pasts, or did they flee in alarm when they saw the personnel of that which they termed "a corner lot aggregation"?
Something over a week ago the Live Wires issued and mailed a challenge to the man who walked from Muncie, Ind. by way of Tolo. We got no answer.
From your valued columns we learn that they intend to "do" us. We would like to know when, for we are ready. We play baseball; we do not talk. We handle the bat and not the pencil. We call ourselves the "Live Wires," and we are true to our name.
We are always to be found under the sign of our calling--"Danger, 20,000 Volts," at 115 South Riverside Avenue [location of the Rogue River Electric Co.].
Medford Mail Tribune, March 31, 1911, page 4 The sign quoted probably refers to the electric substation on South Riverside.
FIVE BALL GAMES DAILY IN MEDFORD
Baseball games in Medford, now that the season is under way, are becoming more numerous as the hours go by. In the spacious lobby of the Hotel Nash two games are played every afternoon and three every evening, the latter by electric light. The line-ups vary, but there are some who have taken part in nearly every one of the games. Among them are Shorty Miles, Pug Isaacs, Judge Kelly, Owney Patton and Ty Cobb Doyle. The games are so fast and furious that George Carstens is kept busy keeping score and can hardly put down the figures fast enough. Several times the operators at the central telephone exchange have had to call down the hotel because the racket was so great that subscribers whose wires pass over the hotel could not makes themselves heard in 'phone conversations. At the present writing Ty Cobb and Shorty Miles are ahead, and it looks like they were going to win the pennant.
Medford Sun, April 28, 1911, page 5
FAST BASEBALL GAME IN HOTEL LOBBY
With the practice games that are being played almost daily and the Sunday games at Medford, Grants Pass, Jacksonville and elsewhere, together with the evening baseball that is pulled off without fail by electric light every night in the Nash Hotel lobby, Medford is having one of the liveliest seasons of any city in the world. The game last night at the Nash was a corker. Nobody ever saw such swift baseball in any city. It was fast and furious from the start, and it looked for a time like it would require fifteen innings for either side to score and win the game, for up to the latter half of the thirteenth both sides had goose eggs. It was a battle of pitchers, the contest being between Ty Cobb Doyle on one side and Shorty Miles on the other. Things got going so fast that George Carstens was not able to keep the score, and he missed two or three goose eggs at least on account of the swiftness of the plays. Had not Walter McCallum arrived and acted as substitute for Shorty the chances are that the game never would have ended. It is impossible to give the line-up as it actually was, the players being so numerous and so shifty about their positions. Among the following were noticed, however: Ty Cobb Doyle, Shorty Miles, Owney Patton, Pug Isaacs, Johnny Wilkinson, C. I. Farrar, an importation from the forestry department from Skagit County, Washington, Walter McCallum, substitute for Shorty Miles, W. F. Biddle, Bob Brevard, Vance Colvig, Rogue River Canal Wilson, the man who didn't like the girl from Rector's, Kid Rader, Frazer, the diamond sport, Joe Wilson, Court Hall's mascot, and Jack McGlynn, scout for the San Francisco team who failed to attend. A return game will be played tomorrow evening at the same diamond, rain or shine.
Medford Sun, May 6, 1911, page 6
MUTTONHEAD IS OUR LATEST CLUB
Mighty Heaver Is Imported from Portland, and Oh,
Such an Empty Void in Local Trousers--
Hence the Creation of the New Organization.
The Muttonhead Club is the latest organization to grace Medford social circles and enjoy a run of popularity, and for charter members it has taken in the members and followers of the Medford baseball team--the Invincibles. The vote was unanimous following the baseball game in Grants Pass Sunday and came as an aftermath when many bright, gleaming, chinkling pieces of Medford's coin of the realm found resting places in Grants Pass jeans. O such a headache! Some 500 simoleons were parted with.FOUR ROGUE VALLEY TOWNS FORM BASEBALL LEAGUE
It happened thusly: The time had come for revenge with a capital R. So a mighty heaver was imported from Portland. He of the wonderful arm was to slip over a victory that would live long in the annals of the great American pastime. The team and fans were confident. So they backed that confidence with their coin.
The score: Grants Pass 8, Medford 6.
Hence the Muttonhead Club. 'Tis said that this is the verse which will adorn the club rooms of the new organization:
Oh! Somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1911, page 2
The band is playing somewhere and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing and never count the cost.
But there is no joy in Medford--too much money has been lost.
MEDFORD, ASHLAND, CENTRAL POINT AND GRANTS PASS
Patten and McGlinn Will Manage the Medford Team--
Games Will Begin in Two Weeks
Medford, Grants Pass, Ashland and Central Point will be in the new baseball league that will commence a series of contests in a couple of weeks. Owney Patten and Jack McGlinn will manage the Medford team and will do their best to win the pennant. Roper of Grants Pass has insisted that his champs be given two weeks to recruit, and the other clubs have consented to this. M. J. Harrison, manager of the Postal Telegraph at Ashland, will manage the Ashland team, and W. H. Hopkins will guide the Central Point wallopers through the season.
A new ball park and grandstand will not be constructed this year, but Medford will use the "old faithful" at the foot of Oakdale. Central Point and Ashland have both begun work on their new diamonds and will put in the two weeks preparing to give the other cities a lemon. The new clubs will bring fresh interest and life into the game as played in the Rogue River Valley, and the entire country will be in the game, instead of two cities. Harrison of Ashland has a lot of material from which to pick a winning nine and, although he knows what he is going up against with Medford and Grants Pass to buck, will back his players. Hopkins of Central Point expects to scrape together a team that will surprise Medford fans and get a good standing in the pennant race.
No very definite plans have been made yet, but it is certain that baseball in the latter part of July will be a swift game in the Old Rogue.
Medford Sun, July 6, 1911, page 5
BASEBALL OUTLOOK IS POORMEDFORD, Or., Aug. 21--(Special.)--"No more baseball for me," declares Court Hall, Medford baseball promoter, who nearly went "broke" financing the Medford "Invincibles" this season. "It you put on good baseball it costs so much that there is always a loss, and if you employ cheap players no one will come to the games."
Medford Promoter Declares Team Is Losing Proposition.
Jack McGlynn, who purchased the "Invincibles" from Hall, has gone to Salem to take a job in the commissary department, and. with the refusal of the former owner to have anything more to do with the sport, the outlook for baseball in Medford is poor.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 22, 1911, page 10
The tour was now almost completed, so far as the United States was concerned. As a matter of fact, but two more games were played in the United States. One was at Medford, Oregon, November 17, when New York defeated Chicago, 3-0, in a driving rain. The game only lasted six innings, and as it was coming to a finish the outfielders carried umbrellas over their heads as they ran for the ball. Immediately the game was over the players were given a banquet by the Commercial Club.
"Another World's Tour of Base Ball Players Successfully Completed," Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide, 1913, page 46
Medford papers last week stated that a picked team of Medford players were coming to this city Saturday and would show our local boys how to play the game, etc. Well, they came all right, and a husky bunch they were too, full-grown men most of them, while a number of our players are quite small boys. At the close of the game the visitors decided that the local boys did not have to "be shown" or words to that effect. The score was 9 to 7, in favor of Jacksonville. Come again, boys, we are always willing to be shown.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, April 24, 1915, page 3
Because boys returning from a ball game played with a neighboring team do some cheering when entering their home town is no reason to charge them with being drunk, and persons who, blinded by prejudice against ball games and other innocent amusements on Sunday, who make such charges without a shadow of foundation therefor instead of injuring others will soon loose what little influence for good they may have possessed. Slander, like chickens and curses, often comes home to roost.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, July 3, 1915, page 3
Last revised May 9, 2013