Sunday, August 22, 2010

From 1910: Baseball in Middletown

This article is from exactly 100 years ago today, published in the Hartford Courant on August 22, 1910. The Middletown Jewels played in The Connecticut Association, which was a Class D minor league, four steps below the Majors. I believe that the Trolley League refers to an amateur or semi-pro league of teams that competed in the area. Other box scores from 1910 mention teams at the Hospital for the Insane, and teams sponsored by individual manufacturers, all playing in the "Trolley League". The Connecticut Association had three other teams besides Middletown, the New London Whalers, the Norwich/Meriden Bonbons/Doublins, and the Willimantic Colts. The formal relationships between major league teams and minor league teams had not been established in 1910, so Middletown was not specifically associated with any particular major league team.

A few decades earlier, in 1872, Middletown fielded a bona fide Major League team, the Middletown Mansfields. The Mansfields played in the National Association, playing against teams such as the Boston Red Stockings, the New York Mutuals, the Philadelphia Athletics, the Hartford Dark Blues, the New Haven Elm Citys, the Brooklyn Atlantics, and the Troy Haymakers. Unable to compete with teams from big cities, the Mansfields only played one season.

Unfortunately, the Middletown Jewels also only competed in one season, 1910. Thus, at the end of this year's baseball season, it will have been a full century since professional baseball was played in our city.

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