Meikle: Montana’s rich baseball history hard to ignore

From Lyndel Meikle at Helena Independent Record on June 4, 2016:

When I traded the ranch for the open range last fall, I expected to explore other fields. I didn’t expect to find people playing baseball in them.

Please overlook any egregious errors I may make about sports. The limit of my knowledge doesn’t extend much farther than the facts that baseball uses bats, footballs have pointy ends and basketball is often played indoors.

Well, that’s not exactly true. A lot of baseball history has come my way lately.

Clark Griffith, who played for Montana teams, was a co-founder of the American League along with Connie Mack and Charles Comisky — whose names are bandied about (or do I mean “batted?”) so much that even I have heard of them. Griffith was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.

If it hadn’t been for the Civil War, baseball might have remained a sport for people wealthy enough to have leisure time (and, presumably, bats and baseballs). During the war, Union troops were stationed in Washington, D.C., where officers played baseball against each other. However, their desire to win overcame their reluctance to team up with enlisted men and the game soon became known as the national pastime.

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Originally published: June 7, 2016. Last Updated: June 7, 2016.