Buffalo Soldier Regiment: History of the Twenty-Fifth United States Infantry, 1869-1926

By John H. Nankivell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXII
ATHLETICS IN THE 25TH INFANTRY—THE REGIMENTAL BASEBALL
TEAMS, 1894–1914—SOME WELL-KNOWN PLAYERS—FIELD AND TRACK
TEAMS—CONCLUSION.

In the realm of athletics the regiment has been no less successful than in that of purely military affairs, and the record of the 25th Infantry baseball, football, and field and track teams is one that any organization may well be proud of. It has been my good fortune to secure from one of the old timers, Master Sergeant Dalbert P. Green, retired, an account of the regiment’s baseball teams during the years 1894 to 1914, and I am reproducing it here because of its interest to all 25th Infantrymen, past and present:


HISTORY OF THE 25TH INFANTRY BASEBALL TEAMS, 1894 TO 1914, BY MASTER SERGEANT
DALBERT P. GREEN, U. S. ARMY, RETIRED

FOREWORD

Having been requested to furnish material for the history of the 25th Infantry baseball teams, it is my intention to state the facts as nearly as I am able to do so at this writing, and, in my honest endeavors, I will try to give credit where credit is due. Playing favorites is out of the question. Facts given will be from actual association with the members of the different teams, as a player, and while acting in the capacity of Captain, Manager, and Acting Coach from 1894 to 1908. As Captain of the team, I spent the happiest days of my life, and was proud of the honor of being a member of one of the scrappiest teams in the U. S. Army. In my brief summary, only players that played prominent parts are mentioned. I am unable to remember every payer that played on the various teams, but as stated above, I will try to “give credit where credit is due.”

It would be the source of the greatest pleasure to me to name the All Star Teams of the 25th Infantry from 1894 to 1914, but due to how each team had to meet its own peculiar conditions and playing facilities I am afraid that I will have to pass the buck. However, I will name the greatest teams during that period: 25th Infantry Philippine Islands Champions, 1899–1900–1901 and 1902; Fort Niobrara, Nebraska, 25th Infantry, Department of the Missouri Champions 1903–04 and 05: and the 25th Infantry Champions of the Hawaiian Islands, from 1914 to 1918.

During my connection with the team it has played against players in different parts of the United States and foreign possessions, ana who have become famous in both the National and American Leagues, not mentioning the Minor Leagues at all.

Before the assignment of Colonel Andrew S. Burt, U. S. Army, to the regiment it never had a regimental team. Few organizations of the regiment boasted of teams, excepting the Missoula Battalion, which had a post team. The national game and other athletic games were at low ebb. July 4th was the gala day. Field sports of all descriptions were held on that day. The Post Exchanges generally offered prizes and the day would end with a baseball game between picked teams of companies, or one company against another.

Players generally furnished their own uniforms and shoes; these consisted of canton flannel drawers (altered by company tailors), a dark blue flannel shirt, and a pair of barrack shoes (heels cut off), stockings, and caps purchased by the players.

Practice was held in the evening after retreat, games being played Sundays and Holidays. The “Old Timers” didn’t take to the game as they do at the present time.

-163-

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