Berlin Free Town Library Online Collections
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 didnt
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
(Click 1x or 2x below each
image to zoom in. For details see About Images.)
Spectators at Berlin's Echo Park
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
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!
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,
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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