Now and Then: Webster Baseball
A Webster Museum History Bit
From the Webster Museum
Today’s baseball in Webster differs from the early days in so many ways.
Ball fields are all over town now. There are school fields, town fields, park fields, and fields owned by philanthropic organizations and pick-up games in empty spaces. There are many varieties of bats, balls, mitts, caps, helmets, uniforms, and protective equipment; many of them tossed on grassy fields while players wait their turns.
Nineteenth century Webster baseball teams were loosely organized, equipped with one homemade bat and one hard rubber ball (that’s it!); they used the underhand swift pitch. Games were played on borrowed private property for at least 10 years before the first organized high school game was played in 1888. Since then, Webster has fielded many excellent school teams and a number of players who went on to careers in professional baseball.
In the 1890s, local businessmen organized teams and rented land now bounded by Lapham Park, Park Avenue, Dunning Avenue, and Elm Street. They fenced it and added a grandstand and ticket office. Uniformed and equipped, the teams from the town, from Nine Mile Point, played teams from Rochester, Brockport, Parma and Penfield.
With so many fads that come and go in brief duration, it’s nice that we still have baseball to anticipate in the spring of each year... especially this one!