Jeffrey J Bozovsky con Divorcees, Barmaids, and Cranks: The 1897 Red River Valley Baseball League (English Edition)
The towns of the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota had tried to form a baseball league before, but the 1897 season promised to be special. With a longer and more organized schedule than ever before, hopes were high for a spirited battle for the pennant. Respected local leaders, including a state senator, a county sheriff, and several businessmen assumed prominent roles in ensuring the success of their city’s squads.
Formidable challenges came quickly for the league, however. Some of the obstacles could have been predicted, while others caught everyone by surprise. Economic troubles, infighting between league officials, and animosity between the towns and their teams became unfortunate realities. Players supplied distractions of their own with all-too-public incidents of drinking, gambling, and violence. These realities began to chip away at the foundations of the Red River Valley League, eventually bringing it to its breaking point.
Despite the troubles, spirited rivalries and competitive games provided great excitement for local “cranks.” These fans undoubtedly hoped, though, that the fun had lasted longer than it did.