Monday, June 17, 2013

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team!

Do you remember the taste of your first ballpark frank? Remember the smell of the oil on your glove and the feel of the bat in your hand? Remember the crack of the ball on the bat and the roar of the crowd? For 150 years, people in Chemung County have shared these experiences. Join us on Saturday, June 22 at 1 pm to celebrate the history of baseball at the opening of our new exhibit, Root, Root, Root for the Home Team: Baseball in Chemung County.  This program is free and open to the public.

Although its origins are a mystery, baseball likely evolved from an older English game called rounders.  There were a number of regional variations but, in 1845, the New York Knickerbockers wrote the rules of the modern game.  By the 1850s, the Knickerbocker rules were used throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  During the Civil War, soldiers from across the Union played ball and created a unified version of the game.  But baseball wasn’t just for players, spectators enjoyed it too.  Elmirans bought their first baseball tickets for a game between the Erastus Ransom Alerts and soldiers from the local garrison in 1866.  Throughout the 1860s and 1870s, Chemung County fans paid to watch semi-pro teams from across the Twin Tiers play in a regional league.

local baseball in the 1860s
To learn more about the history of baseball in Chemung County come see our new exhibit from June 22 through the end of September 2013.


  1. The list of major league baseball players (and managers) who spent time in Elmira uniforms is long and varied. This is a great topic for an exhibit.

    1. i have an original team photo of the team above but the uniforms read "knickerbockers". do you have any idea of its value?

    2. Unfortunately, I am not a trained appraiser and so am unable to answer that question. You will need to speak to an appraiser or antiquities dealer to find that out. Sorry.