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With the Washington Nationals in the World Series, and baseball fever gripping the nation’s capital, it’s worth remembering that the Jesuits of Woodstock College were just as fanatical about our nation’s pastime. Every year, from 1890-1948, around the time of our own “fall classic,” Woodstock Jesuits would face off in a best of three “World Series,” with the Philosophers (younger students in the 3 year philosophy program), against the Theologians (older students finishing the 4 year theology program).
The series was a chance to indulge in a bit of fun distraction and outdoor recreation, in what was a rigorous time of study. The players often chose humorous team names, showing the playful side of jesuit life, with names like “the Always-Outs” vs “the Never-Hits,” “the Hannibals” vs “the Cannibals,” “the Moreovers” vs “the Howevers,” and “the Best Team” vs “the Very Best Team.” However, the series wasn’t all fun and games, and the Woodstock community took the series very seriously, recording and preserving the scores and highlights for over 50 years, all of which can be found within the Woodstock College Archives. It is from these box scores that we know that the Woodstock series was just as wild and exciting as that between the American and National League, with shutouts, no-hitters, controversial calls, squeeze bunts, and a 30 hit game. Previous Jesuit archivists were even careful to maintain the overall win/loss records, with the young Philosophers beating out their Theologian elders, 29-22.
May our own World Series also be one for the record books!
-Written by Adrian Vaagenes, Digital & Archival Services Librarian