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Mark Simonson

October 27, 2012

Indoor Baseball League formed in Oneonta in 1912

If your favorite team didn’t make it to the World Series this year, take heart, there’s always next year, as the new baseball season will be back soon enough. By this time of year, the bats and gloves have been packed away for the recreational leagues in Oneonta. This wasn’t the case 100 years ago, as the city got its first Indoor Baseball League started.

This time of year, the Asa C. Allison Municipal Building, also known as the former state armory, is abuzz with activity, such as adult volleyball. Back in October 1912, this is where indoor baseball was proposed. Being an armory at that time and home to Company G of the New York National Guard, the men were busy and added baseball as another possible community activity.

The Oneonta Star of Wednesday, Oct. 9 reported how the company’s recruitment was up, plans were being made to attend the presidential inauguration in March, and how they had fared in the recent Military Rifle Tournament in Utica.

“In addition to its regular work,” the Star reported, “the company is contemplating the formation of an indoor baseball league, and a call will probably issued shortly for a meeting of those interested in such a proposition. It is the desire of those back of the movement to organize four teams and to have two games each week throughout the winter, thus permitting each team to play one game a week. It seems likely that the idea will meet with general favor, and that there will be little difficulty in finding available material for the formation of such teams.”

There was favor indeed, as five teams were organized at a general meeting, as reported on Monday, Oct. 21. The first game was scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 12, and played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The five teams represented were Company G, the D&H Railroad shops, the D&H clerks, Oneonta High School and a group called The Liberty Club.

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Mark Simonson

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