During the Civil War's bloodiest fighting in 1864, students from Williams and Amherst, Harvard and Yale spent their summer days playing baseball and rowing in regattas.
NY Times, August 2, 1864
THE COLLEGE REGATTA.; Spirited Contest at
Worcester, Mass. William's College Wins at Base
Ball The Harvard Sophomores Successful in a Boat raceYale Carries off the University Prize. BASE
BALL MATCH. THE REGATTA. THE SOPHOMORE
RACE. THE UNIVERSITY RACE.
A finer looking set of young men rarely congregate in a New-England city or town -- as the young ladies of Worcester would no doubt bear willing testimony. The flower of Yale and Harvard assembled, and there were large accessions of representatives from Amherst, Williams, Brown, and other colleges. Many distinguished citizens were present to witness the athletic sports, and they could not fail to be impressed with the character and manly vigor of their successors in scientific, business, political and social prominence.
The entertainment of the students on Thursday evening by the citizens of Worcester, in Horticultural Hall, was perhaps a politic idea to please the fair daughters or the city, and to check the obstreperous vocalization and nocturnal gavety, which so astonished the good people four years ago.
The first contest yesterday was a match game of base ball between the Sophomores -- nine each -- of Williams and Harvard, the latter being the challenging party. The game was played upon the Agricultural grounds, about a mile from the city, and was witnessed by only a few hundred people. The New-York game was played, much to the disappointment of many. There can
hardly be a youth in any considerable town of New-England who is not more or less familiar with the old-fashioned game of "round" ball, which is so admirably adapted to develop the activity of those who practice it.
The New-York game is less familiar here, and the game yesterday was therefore lacking in the usual interest. The principal points of the New-York game are -- that a ball struck out of a line connecting the third and fourth and fourth and first bases is foul, and every man resumes the place he had before the ball was struck; the ball is two or three times heavier than in the Massachusetts game, and is pitched, not thrown, and may be caught on the bound or clear of the ground; the batter stands on the fourth, or home base; no one is "put out" by touching with the ball, but by placing it on the base while the player is approaching it; and that three individuals are put out before the side is out.
In the Massachusetts game any stroke of the ball is fair; the batter stands between the first and fourth bases; the ball is thrown and caught clear of the ground; a man is "put out" by being hit with the ball; and any man out puts his side out. The Massachusetts game requires more activity. There was not much science displayed yesterday, although some of the playing was very good.
The Harvard nine were George A. Flagg, catcher; F. Wright, pitcher; H.B. Parker, short stop: B. Barber, first base; E.D. Greenleaf, second base; _____Tiffany, third base; F.P. Stearn, left field; F.A. Harris, right field; D.P. Abercrombie, centre field.
The Williams nine were Eugene Delano, catcher; H.D. Whitman, pitcher; W.W. Clark, first base; Orrin Day, second do.: W.R. Hallock, third do.; C.H. Wheeler, s.s.; T.W. Davis, I. f.; J.T. Tracy, c.f.; A.O. Whipple, r.f.