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Baseball at Georgetown: Selections from the University Archives
Baseball is Georgetown’s oldest intercollegiate sport; the first intercollegiate game was played in 1866 against Columbian College (now known as George Washington University). By the turn of the 20th century, Georgetown was considered to be one of the most elite baseball programs in the country. As with football, the University of Virginia was Georgetown’s biggest baseball rival at this time and the two schools competed annually for dominance in the southern region. Dozens of Georgetown players went on to Major League careers; the most successful of these was probably Guy Harris White, D'1902, who went on to play for the Chicago White Stockings.
This exhibition presents a selection of photographs and documents from the Georgetown University Archives; many more baseball- related items are available to researchers who visit in person. And these items can be supplemented by examining coverage in Georgetown’s student newspapers (the Georgetown College Journal which begins in 1872 and The Hoya which begins in 1920) and yearbooks. These can be browsed and searched via the University Publications section of DigitalGeorgetown. Researchers should note that not all decades of The Hoya have been digitized; hard copies for those which have not are available in the Archives.
. . . Boys had holiday in the evening to go to a base-ball match . . .
This page documents a game played by the Stonewall Base Ball Club of Georgetown College on October 26, 1869. The complete scorebook can be accessed here via DigitalGeorgetown.
Covered are two games played by the College team against D.C. teams, the Alerts and the Wilmots, and one game played against Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Also described are games played by the College Reserves team against the Hoys, “a strong amateur club of Georgetown,” the Emmerson Institute, and the Jeffersons.
Covered are games played by the College team against Dupont, the Washington Light Infantry, Lafayette College, and the YMCA.
Covered are games played by the College team against Columbia, Princeton, and Yale.
Covered are games played by the College team against Gallaudet and Yale Law School.
Covered are games played by the College team against Johns Hopkins, Gallaudet, University of Vermont, Lafayette, Lehigh, Yale, and Princeton.
That this is a Prep team is indicated by the letter “P” which appears on caps and shirts, as well as the age of the students.
Note the sign reading Champions ’99. The 1899 team won 18 out of 20 games it played against college opponents. When the season ended, they were acclaimed the intercollegiate national champions. On their return from the final game of the season, they were met at the train station by students and alumni and escorted back to campus for a bonfire-lit celebration and fireworks.
On page three, there is a song which begins I Love nobody but you, White and is set to the air of a popular song written by Lew Sully in 1898 called I love Nobody But You, Babe. The “White” mentioned in the Georgetown version is Guy Harris White. White, known as “Doc” because he earned a DDS degree from Georgetown’s Dental School in 1902, was a standout pitcher and fielder on Georgetown’s baseball team as a student and went on to play professional baseball for the Chicago White Stockings. His greatest legacy was a major league record for most consecutive shutouts (five) was unmatched until 1968 when Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale also pitched five consecutive shutouts.
The cover illustration is signed by John E. Sheridan, who was a Georgetown student at the time the program was created. His illustrations can be found on programs and posters for a variety of sporting events, as well as in the Georgetown yearbook and student newspaper. He went on to have a long career as an illustrator and worked for The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's Weekly and Ladies' Home Journal, among other publications.
Pictured in the center of this photograph is team captain Samuel H. Apperious. Details of his refusal to play in games against Harvard in 1903 and 1904 because Harvard’s shortstop was African American can be found in this blog post.
The team is posed in front of the grandstand at the northeast corner of the College Field.
Ryan Hall is newly completed in this photograph. The Prep Field (now the site of Lauinger Library) was used for a variety of sports, including baseball.
Note the Japanese flags flying on the grandstand.
Covered are games played by the College team against Gallaudet, Naval Academy, Catholic University, and Keio University, Japan.
American tobacco companies began including fabric swatches in their packaging as promotional items between 1906 and 1910. Although these swatches were most commonly satin, they came to be known as tobacco or cigarette “silks.” Companies encouraged women to fashion them into household items such as quilts or pillows—in fact, the inclusion of silks may have been a marketing strategy to encourage women to smoke. The silks on display form part of a set depicting idealized Georgetown athletes.
Gift of Eric Wind (F’2009)
Also includes profile of third baseman Art Schult.
Georgetown University is shooting for a berth in next month’s N.C.A.A. baseball tournament with an incredible .323 team batting average, and a sure-fire big league pitching prospect in Frank Mattingly . . .
. . . Georgetown University will return to baseball competition after an absence of three years with a 13-game scheduled [sic] starting Tuesday (Sept. 24) . . .
Tommy Nolan became the head baseball coach in 1959. He retired in 1978.
This field was located south of the Leavey Center. In 2000, baseball moved off-campus to the Shirley Povich Field at Cabin John Park in Rockville, Maryland. That field is named for famed DC sports columnist and reporter Shirley Povich who attended Georgetown Law School in the 1920s. He began working at The Washington Post while a student, beginning a seven-decade career with the publication.
Four team members are photographed in the Quadrangle, standing in front of Dahlgren Chapel.
Team members are photographed in the Quadrangle, in front of Dahlgren Chapel.
Curated by Lynn Conway, University Archivist