A hundred years ago, baseball was front page news

Apalachicola baseball team circa 1908, from left to right: Mr. Fanning, Frank Martina, Bob Nedley, A

Apalachicola baseball team circa 1908, from left to right: Mr. Fanning, Frank Martina, Bob Nedley, Albert Hickey, John Theobald, Chauncey Coombs, Andy Wing, Joe Hickey, Charlie Hobart, Percy Coombs.

Florida Memory Project
Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 10:03 AM.

On August 1, 1914, the front page of the Times announced that Austria had declared war on Serbia in retaliation for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir apparent to the Austrian throne, and his consort. Few people in Apalachicola or anywhere in the US could have imagined the impending horrors of World War I.

Next to the grim news about Europe, was a column that was probably more widely read in the little seaside town. That summer, there was baseball every night of the week in Apalachicola. The following column is the breathtaking account of a tripleheader Apalachicola lost to Arlington, Georgia.

 

Arlington takes two games out of three from locals

The Bald-Headed Reporter and the Squint-Eyed Photographer on the job

Apalachicola fell down good and hard on the second and third days. Georgians were shown a good time while in the city. Come again boys!

The midsummer snooze of this dreamy little bailiwick was suddenly disturbed Monday afternoon when its denizens suddenly perceived Harry Fannin, paint pot in one hand and a mop in the other, excitable hurrying to and fro, defacing nice clean windows downtown, by applying in great globs of paint monstrous and most absurd hieroglyphics announcing thus: Arlington Vs. Apalach, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The infection was spontaneous. Bill Buzzett jerked his straw Katy down to the top of his ears, crunched a brand new stogie to the bone and murmured, “I’ll be ____.” George Ramsey drew two hitches on his britches and yanked up his belt about four holes, while Bill Lovett gulped down a titanic wad of “Tiger” and groaned. Even wise, serene old Doc Weems forgot his dignity hanging on a hook in the office, while those inevitable gauntlets had entirely disappeared. Charlie Lovett chattered like a magpie and drew out his Ingersoll to note the time for the beginning of the game, though this was Monday, and last but not least the press bunch began to ransack the pockets of old discarded vests and coast for a last season’s pass book, for they too were infected with the spirit of baseball and this season’s “compliments” had not yet materialized.



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