Haskin: Among Kansas towns, only Blue Rapids had ‘nerve’ to host 1913-14 baseball world tour

From Kevin Haskin at the Topeka Capital-Journal on September 28, 2013, with mention of SABR member Jim Elfers:

The momentum began building with one short paragraph.

At the bottom of the second page of the four-page Blue Rapids Times, a semi-weekly newspaper covering the Marshall County town of 1,800, read a small notice:

“Manager F.W. Hamilton of our base ball team is endeavoring to secure a game here late in October between the New York Giants and Chicago White Sox. It takes a thousand dollar guarantee to bring them here and an effort is being made to get 40 men to stand for $25 each.’’

This was only in print. No Internet version existed on Sept. 1, 1913. Still, news spread and the endeavor worked.

Not in Wichita. Not in Topeka. Not in any other Kansas town.

None tried to land the exhibition, which was orchestrated and financed by White Sox owner Charles Comiskey. The tour began Oct. 18 and took the two major-league clubs through the Midwest, along the West Coast, then around the world, to stops such as Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Sydney, Cairo, Rome, Paris and London.

No turnout, however, was quite like that in Blue Rapids, which observed the centennial anniversary of the game last weekend.

Read the full article here: http://cjonline.com/sports/2013-09-28/kevin-haskin-among-kansas-towns-only-blue-rapids-had-nerve

Originally published: October 10, 2013. Last Updated: October 10, 2013.