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Berlin Free Town Library Online Collections

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Berlin and Baseball

Baseball became a popular pastime in communities all over the United States before the Civil War, and Berlin was among those who considered it the favorite pastime.

The Berlin teams boasted of having the best team in the area, and played teams from North Adams, Blackington, and Williamstown, Massachusetts; North Pownal, Vermont; and Troy, Petersburgh, and other nearby towns in New York. A.C. Niles recalled that in the early days, they played barehanded and sometimes in bare feet. He also told the local newspaper, "First along the man at bat could call for the kind he wanted thrown to him; that is, he could call for a low ball, or a high ball. If the pitcher didn’t give him what he wanted, he kept calling until he got it. Nine balls were allowed and then the man walked."

There were sometimes fights among the players of the rival teams, and at least once, players were injured on their way home. Several of the Williamstown Nine met with an accident on their return home in 1905. It seems their team of horses ran away and wrecked the wagon they were all riding in.

In October of 1896, the Berlin team was met at the train depot by a large delegation of people who were cheering, blowing horns, and ringing bells. The local team had beat Stottsville 6 to 0. Fireworks were sent up from the Berlin House in honor of the boys’ victory.

(Click 1x or 2x below each image to zoom in.  For details see About Images.)

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Spectators at Berlin's Echo Park

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Echo Park with team and grandstand

In 1900 it was reported that between 600 and 700 people witnessed the game at the opening of Echo Park. Naturally, Berlin won 7 to 5! Echo Park boasted a grandstand for viewers. Before the roof was added, people brought umbrellas to keep the sun off them while spending the afternoon watching the game.

Record Book & Account Book

In 1920, a Baseball Club was organized with community members buying shares. We hope you enjoy perusing the Record and Account book of the club.

Baseball and softball continue to be an important pastime for Berliners. During the sixties, seventies, and eighties, various local businesses sponsored teams who played in a league in New Lebanon. Also, the 1999 Girls’ Softball Team at Berlin Central School is No. 1 in their league!

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Berlin baseball team, 1888

The earliest photo we have of Berlin baseball was taken in 1888, before the team members had uniforms. The infamous Nine shown in this photo are: (Seated left to right): James Cowee, right field; H. C. Whyland, 3rd base; H. R. Satterlee, 1st base. (Standing): W. Whyland, catcher; Gorham Denison, center field; Mat Taylor, left field; A. C. Niles, pitcher and captain; Ellis Maxon, 2nd base; R. Frank Lewis, short stop.

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Berlin Bearcats, 1939

The 1939 Bearcats are pictured here. Baseball games were suspended during World War II. The players pictured are: (Left to right, back row): Sy Hicks, Rob Brown, Nello Angelo, Vic Livingston, D. Pattie, and Ed Waterman. (Front row): unknown, Charlie Mackey, Pat Parrott, Ralph Strait, and Pete Fariani. By this time, not all players lived in Berlin as they had in the early days.


See all the Photographs

See the Record Book

See the Account Book


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1999 Upper Hudson Library System

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