Kekionga Chapter meeting recap – 4/26/2014

The relatively new SABR Kekionga Chapter of Fort Wayne held its fifth meeting on April 26, 2014, at the downtown Fort Wayne (Indiana) Public Library. Presentations were given by members Warren Wilbert and Bill Griggs.

Wilbert’s most recent baseball book (he’s had 11 published) is Baseball’s Iconic One Run Games in 2013. His topic was “At the Ol’ Ball Park.” Wilbert brought programs, pictures and box scores from a number of interesting games he attended which included some iconic MLB games but also ones such as those in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where there was a tree in the ballpark’s outfield.  

Bill Griggs made a presentation on “Fort Wayne’s 19th Century Ball Grounds.” Grigg’s career was in title work. He presented platting information, maps, and conflicting newspaper accounts that clearly demonstrated that most Fort Wayne plaques relating to early ball grounds are incorrect. Of national interest is that the first professional league baseball game was played between the Kekionga Base Ball Club of Fort Wayne and the Forest City team of Cleveland. Most historians have key core facts stated incorrectly because of the somewhat garbled and inconsistent newspaper reports of the period. Getting these core historic facts correct is one of the goals of the Fort Wayne SABR Chapter.  

— Mark Souder