I spent last week discussing the proposed April to August season in Division I, focusing on the drawbacks of something I think would be a net negative for the game. Today, I’ll take a slightly different approach, asking: how can we grow college baseball in the North, specifically in New England? A summer season is one idea, but I’ll offer some others as well. As always, feel free to respond below in the comments, on twitter (@NECollegeBsbl), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and let me know what you think.
The scene is Yale Field in New Haven. A throng of 14,000 fans crowds around the baseball diamond for the biggest game of the year, Harvard vs. Yale. The spectacle attracts so much attention that a presidential candidate is in attendance to garner headlines for his campaign. The Nashua Telegraph’s correspondent gushes about the atmosphere, anticipating “the greatest game of baseball ever played in New Haven.” “The grand stands,” he reports, “cannot begin to hold the purchasers of tickets.” Nearly every student at the university, along with thousands of alumni and fans, pack the stands, heckling the rival Crimson. Yale, reeling from a 5-1 loss in Cambridge the week before, pulls out an upset 3-0 victory behind a shutout from ace Charles Van Vleck, a top recruit from New Jersey. Settling a winner of the season series is so important that the two teams play a rubber match in New York City, which Harvard wins 9-5. Everyone agrees the games were the high point of the season in college baseball.