By James P. Quigel

Drawing upon neighborhood Williamsport newspapers, wide oral histories from former avid gamers, baseball directors, boosters and fanatics and infrequent picture collections, this paintings reconstructs the totality of the pro baseball adventure.

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Gateway to the Majors: Williamsport and Minor League Baseball (Keystone Book)

Drawing upon neighborhood Williamsport newspapers, wide oral histories from former gamers, baseball directors, boosters and enthusiasts and infrequent photo collections, this paintings reconstructs the totality of the pro baseball adventure.

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Extra resources for Gateway to the Majors: Williamsport and Minor League Baseball (Keystone Book)

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This agreement, with necessary amendments made down through the years, remains the foundation of organized baseball. Concurrent with these national developments, Williamsport’s civic and athletic boosters sought to revive professional baseball in the city. In March 1902 William Abbot Witman, president of the Pennsylvania State League, met with local community leaders and made an on-site inspection of the city’s newest baseball venue, Athletic Park (situated at the present-day site of the Cochran Elementary School).

He had gained some fame as the first player to hit a home run (for Pittsburgh) in the inaugural World Series of 1903. After severing ties with the Reds, Sebring signed a $1,000 contract to play the remainder of the season with Williamsport. The acquisition of Sebring inspired the team to play the greatest 30 Town Ball to Pro Ball spurt of baseball ever witnessed by local fans. Sebring possessed what one scribe called ‘‘the essence of ginger, which he freely . . ’’ With Sebring on board in early August, Williamsport began an unprecedented pennant drive to overtake York.

During the 1890s the standard bearers of city baseball were the Demorests (sponsored by the Demorest Sewing Machine Company), the YMCA, and four teams affiliated with the City League—the Brandons, Lycoming Rubber Works, Printers, and the Keystones [Foundry] Team. Although the Demorests (a semiprofessional team) were heralded as the pride of the city and represented the town in regional play, the bulk of fan attention revolved around the city league rivalries, especially that between the Brandons and the Rubber Works.

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