Archive for February, 2009

Spring Training – Origins

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009


The origins of spring training have always been debated, some say it was the Red Stockings New Orleans trip of 1870 with Cincinnati winning 5 games and outscoring opponents 220 runs to 31. Others claim it could have been Hot Springs in 1888 with Cap Anson and the boys stopped in to get the winter starch out and regain their form after falling from 2 straight championships to 3rd in 1887.

Others whisper that it was really more in an aid to drying out after a winter of partying in an era that was just starting to examine alcohol excess and its ramifications. One thing for sure is the early spring training trips were really more about barnstorming a countryside that never saw pro players for a share of the gate, teams would play just about anybody in the early days, town teams, college boys, factory teams as long as there was an admission price a cut of the gate at the end of the day.

The assumption that the game is played for a profit only in today’s jaded society is proven wrong since the game grabbed hold of the nation in the mid 19th century.