Baseball Before a Captive Audience: The Minnesota State Prison's Sisal Sox, 1914-72

By Rich Arpi

This article was published in the Fall 2017 Baseball Research Journal.

Prison games are easily overlooked by historians because few in the general public witnessed these games and they are seldom documented. One exception is the Stillwater State Prison in Stillwater, Minnesota, whose prison newspaper — The Prison Mirror, managed and edited by the prisoners — documented nearly 1,300 games between the prison team and outside opponents between 1914 and 1972. One aspect of amateur baseball that is largely unexplored is the baseball played in our nation’s prisons. Prison games are easily overlooked by historians because few in the general public . . .

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