Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Speaking of baseball.... an 1874 game in Jax between the Fat Men and the R.E. Lee Club

From Jacksonville's The New South newspaper dated July 25, 1874:

"Fat Man's Club
There will be a contest between the above named Club and the R.E. Lee's second nine. The name and weights of the Fat nine are as follows:
Captain - Peter Jones, Catcher, 190.
F. E. Little, Pitcher, 195.
M. S. Littlefield, Short Stop, 205.
J. H. Dove, 1st Base, 177.
R. P. Moody, 2d Base, 179.
J. J. Holland 3d Base, 215.
H. Vandolen, Centre Field, 282.
H. A. Pattison, Left Field, 200.
Charles Fridenberg, Right Field, 185.
P. Bettelini, Lieratary, 265.
T. W. Osborn, Umpire, 230.
J. J. Finley, Scorer, 200.
R. L. Wood, Long Stop, 195.
Total 2,718.
The above named members of the Fat Man's Club, will be promptly on hand on the ground known as the R. E. Lee grounds, at the head of Hogan street, at 3 o'clock P. M., Tuesday the 28th of July. The public are invited to attend, especially the Phat ladies.
J. H. Dove, Secretary.
Peter Jones, Captain."

Notice that the svelte short stop, M. S. Littlefield, was the culprit in the most infamous railroad financing scandal in Florida's history. Former U.S. Senator Thomas W. Osborn, no stranger to railroad schemes himself, was the umpire. The scorer, J. J. Finley, was a former Confederate general and later U.S. congressman from Florida. Surprising that he didn't play with the R. E. Lee's. What is a Lieratary? This may be only baseball team fielded in history where the first baseman was the lightest and the center fielder the heaviest. No wonder a "long stop" was needed.