Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Basketball Digression

Early in Ken Burns' baseball history series, actor Billy Crystal remembered baseball as the game "My father taught me."  Regardless of how it happens, baseball frequently connects multiple generations.  In my case, on the Zinn side of the family, baseball goes back at last two generations since almost a century ago, my grandfather, also John G. Zinn, played first base for the Bordens Milk Company team.  When it came to my mother's family, however, I never really entertained a connection with baseball or any other sport for that matter.  My grandfather, James W. Winder came to this country from Worcester, England in 1891 at the age of 13 and went straight to work.  It seemed unlikely he had time for games, especially those that weren't played in his native country.  It was no small surprise therefore when I found a 1900 newspaper article describing his involvement not in baseball, but basketball, my second favorite sport. Not only was he involved, he was actually the coach of the aptly named Crusaders of Grace Episcopal Church in Trenton.  That basketball was popular in Trenton, less than a decade after its invention, was more than a little surprising to me.

Trenton Evening Times - January 1894

That I was way off base, became clear when I began reading From Cages to Jump Shots: Pro Basketball's Early Years by Robert W. Peterson, better known as the author of Only the Ball Was White, a groundbreaking book about the Negro Leagues.  Basketball it turns out became very popular, very quickly in Trenton, to the point that the first professional basketball team was formed there in late 1896.  Unlike baseball, much is known about basketball's beginnings - including the who (Dr. James Naismith), the where (Springfield, Massachusetts) and the when, December of 1891.  At what is now Springfield College, but was then a YMCA training school, Naismith invented an indoor game with a ball to satisfy an "incorrigible" class of students who had already driven two prior instructors away in despair.  When Naismith introduced basketball to his students it proved to be very popular even though only one basket was made - a 25 foot toss apparently anticipating the three point shot.  Compared to our limited knowledge of early baseball rules, it's interesting to see how the first basketball rules were established, especially that baskets are 10 feet high because the original peach baskets were attached to railings that happened to be - 10 feet high.

Trenton Evening Times - November 1, 1896 - this may be the earliest known newspaper ad for a professional basketball game

Another interesting aspect of basketball history is how the game had a ready made structure in place to facilitate expansion.  Unlike baseball which initially had to rely on direct personal contact, YMCA's throughout the country needed some form of indoor exercise.  It certainly didn't take long for basketball to reach New Jersey as less than six months after the first game, The News (Paterson) announced that "a new game called basket-ball" was to be played for the first time at a local YMCA.  Trenton apparently wasted no time getting into the act and in January of 1894, the city's YMCA team ("the acknowledged champions of New Jersey") defeated the Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, YMCA team for the championship of Pennsylvania and New Jersey in a game that took two nights to play.  The Trenton team continued to enjoy considerable success to the point that in February of 1896, the Trenton Evening Times claimed they were the "champion of the country."  In the process, however, the team had apparently run afoul of the their YMCA sponsors and opened the 1896-97 season in a new home Trenton's Masonic Temple where according to Peterson, they played as professionals.

This picture of the Paterson Armory gives a sense of the cages that were used by professional teams in some cases through the early 1930s.  According to Robert Peterson, they were never part of college basketball.

The team's new home was the social hall on the third floor of the temple where a 12 foot wire mesh cage was erected around the court to keep the ball in bounds which is why basketball players came to be known as "cagers."  Admission to the November 8, 1896 game with the Brooklyn YMCA was 25 cents for a seat with standing room at 15 cents.  Shortly after 8:00, the Trenton team took the floor in "pretty uniforms of red and black" to "tremendous cheers" from the 700 spectators.  Apparently delayed for some reason, the visitors didn't take the floor until about 8:25 and were allowed only five minutes to warm up before the opening jump.  Basketball was evolving rapidly and 1896-97 marked the first season a basket was worth two points and the last time each team had seven players on the floor (two side centres or centers).  There was a center jump after every basket (a rule that didn't change until 1937) and a lot of passing before a shot was taken.  In this contest it took seven minutes before Trenton finally scored on the way to an 8-0 half time lead.  Things didn't get much better for the Brooklyn team in second half and only a late foul shot got them on the board in a 16-1 defeat.  While later accounts claimed the Trenton players were each paid $15, Peterson believes it was no more than $5.

Trenton Evening Times - November 8, 1896

A year later, Trenton and two other New Jersey communities (Camden and Millville) were part of the excessively named National Basketball League, the first professional basketball league.  The six team league was plagued by franchises dropping out, but Trenton stayed the course and won the first championship, one of two they would win in the league's six year existence, Camden also won two.  Clearly during its first decade, basketball became very popular in in Trenton and on a personal note, I can't help wondering if 18 year old James Winder was present at the November 7, 1896 game at the Masonic Lodge.  It's certainly possible since only a few years later he helped coach the "young crusaders" of Grace Church, a team that in 1900 claimed the championship of Trenton, having outscored their opponents by a 226 to 68 mark.  Supposedly the self-proclaimed Trenton champions "would like to hear from any team in the country" including a possible road game since "they do not object to going away from home."  As far as I can tell, no one took up the challenge, but regardless, it's nice to see a family connection to a sport its founder wisely declined to call "Naismith ball," going instead with the eminently more practical basketball.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Flemington Neshanock 2020 Schedule

Photo by Mark Granieri

The Flemington Neshanock are please to announce the 2020 schedule.  Please check our web site ( and Facebook page for updates.

Saturday, April 4 - Hoboken Nine at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, Morristown, NJ
Saturday, April 18 - Elizabeth Resolutes at Somerset Patriots Fan Fest
Sunday, April 19 - Ringwood town team at Ringwood Manor State Park, NJ
Sunday, April 26 - Gettysburg Generals/Elkton Eclipse, at Elkton, Maryland
Sunday, May 3 - Monmouth Furnace New Jersey base ball festival, at Allaire State Park
Saturday, May 9 - Hoboken Nine at a to be determined location in Passaic County
Saturday, May 16 - Nutley Colonels at Yanticaw Park, Nutley, NJ
Monday, May 25 - Newtown Strakes at Pickering Field, Newtown, PA
Saturday, June 6 - Elizabeth Resolutes at Howell Living History Farm, Lambertville, NJ
Saturday, June 20 - New Brunswick Liberty at East  Jersey Old Town Village, Piscataway, NJ
Saturday, June 27 - Monmouth Furnace at Greenway Meadow Park, Princeton, NJ
Saturday, July 11 - Enterprise Club of New Bridge, New Bridge Landing, NJ
Saturday, July 18 - Sunday, July 19 - National Nineteenth Century Base Ball Festival, Gettysburg, PA
Saturday, July 25 - Elizabeth Resolutes at Rahway River Park, Rahway, New Jersey
Saturday, August 1 - Elizabeth Resolutes New Jersey base ball festival, Rahway River Park
Saturday, August 8-Sunday, August 9, National Silver Ball Tournament, Genesee Country Village
Sunday, August 23 - Diamond State Club of Delaware at Newark, Delaware
Saturday, August 29 - Hoboken Nine at Waterloo Village, NJ
Saturday, September 12 - South Orange Villagers at Cameron Field, South Orange, NJ
Saturday, September 26 - New Brunswick Liberty at Dey Farm, Monroe, NJ
Saturday, October 3 - Brandywine Club at West Chester, PA
Sunday, October 4 - Nineteenth Century base ball festival - Darby, PA

Sunday, December 15, 2019

"Balancing your books"

Early in Charles Dickens' holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, Ebeneezer Scrooge gives a scathing denunciation of the impending holiday including a proclamation that Christmas is little more than "a time for balancing your books and having every item in 'em through a dozen of months presented dead against you."  Scrooge (before the ghosts) is, of course, hardly a good role model for almost anything unless it's being a great, bad example.  But there is, however, something in the idea that Christmas coming so close to the end of the calendar year is a time for looking back for at least some degree of self-evaluation.  Or so it is again with this blog, begun, it is more than a little hard to believe, almost eight years ago in February of 2012.  A year ago at this time, my state of mind was somewhere between satisfaction, not to mention relief, that Charles Ebbets: The Man Behind the Dodgers and Brooklyn's Beloved Ballpark had been published in late November and the stress of trying to finish another project, a history of early New Jersey base ball.

Scrooge's complaints about Christmas in the original manuscript

That book - A Cradle of the National Pastime: New Jersey Baseball 1855 to 1880, was finished in early April, but the stress didn't end there as the next two months were spent finishing my role as a guest curator at Morven Museum and Garden on an exhibit which took the story from 1855 through 1915.  In the end, I was very pleased with both the book and the exhibit and the latter must have had some appeal as over 9000 people visited the museum during the exhibit's six month life.   From my perspective anyway it feels like 2019 saw some real progress in telling and preserving the story of the important part New Jersey played in early baseball.  The year also saw some very welcome and appreciated recognition for the Ebbets book in the form of the Ron Gabriel award for the best research on the Brooklyn Dodgers.  It's especially gratifying to receive this award for the second time after being honored along with Paul Zinn for Ebbets Field: Essays and Memories of Brooklyn's Historic Ballpark back in 2014.  And just to be sure I didn't have too much time on my hands there were also a number of lectures at different locations ranging from New York City to as far south as Cape May (hard to be any further south in New Jersey than that).

Morven Museum and Garden

On top of all this has been this blog and, if I'm being honest which is a good idea at this time of year, I'll admit it's been difficult to keep all those writing balls in the air at the same time.  I started the blog as way to write about early New Jersey base ball because how to do it effectively in book form wasn't clear to me.  Gradually the blog's focus broadened into other areas of baseball history especially the Deadball Era and the Brooklyn Dodgers.  It was never my intent however to use the blog to write about vintage base ball in general and the Flemington Neshanock in particular, it just evolved, but I'm glad it did.  Over the past ten years, I've watched (and since I don't play, I do watch) well over 300 vintage games which has given me a broader perspective on nineteenth century base ball and the opportunity to go back and forth between watching and researching.  As far as I can tell the bulk of the reading audience for the blog  is the vintage base ball community which means, I hope, that the approach is at least of some interest.

Historical Society of Princeton

Understandably, the future is much harder to predict.  Eight years is a long time to do almost anything and there are times when I think it's time to wind up A Manly Pastime.  I'm committed, however, to continuing to write about the Neshanock, our matches, opponents and the world of vintage base ball so at the very least that will continue.  There also times when I think I've said all I have to say about early New Jersey base ball, but I continue to find stories that are both interesting and deserve to be told which can also be said about the Brooklyn Dodgers and Charles Ebbets.  I do feel at this point that I've written enough books (five) and while that's not a final decision, it feels pretty close.  From opening research to publication is at least a two-three year process and at 73, it doesn't feel like a good investment of time.   Probably the best approach, however, is just to let things evolve which seems to have worked pretty well for baseball.  It's not clear when the first 2020 post will appear, but in the meantime, thanks to all those who have taken the time to read this blog - you have no idea how much it means when someone comments on a post.  "And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!"

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Schedule Making - Now and Then

The vintage base ball community spends a great deal of time trying to understand how the game was played on the field in the nineteenth century so that we can do the best job possible of recreating it today.  Understandably, little, if any, attention, is paid to how things worked off the field especially during the off-season when very little happened.  Things were so quiet base ball wise in December of 1860 that the Warren Club of Roxbury, Massachusetts re-organized itself into a literary and debating society for the winter.  It's an experience few vintage clubs including the Neshanock are likely to recreate.  The nature of off season base ball in the 19th century came to mind because among the additional responsibilities I've taken on with the Neshanock is at least one off-season job - putting together the 2020 schedule.   It's a process that I thought wouldn't start until late 2019 or even early 2020, but it actually began back in September and to my surprise, Flemington's schedule is very close to being finished.

1860 challenge from the Hamilton Club of Jersey City to the KBBC of New York, it does not appear the match was ever played

Not only did the process begin earlier than I would have thought, the schedule has also come together with very little difficulty.  A large part of that is due to the number of vintage clubs in New Jersey which facilitates scheduling matches within the state.  Thanks again, then to the Elizabeth Resolutes, the Hoboken Nine, Monmouth Furnance and the New Brunswick Liberty, all of whom Flemington will play at least once.  Included in the schedule are visits to historic New Jersey sites such as Allaire State Park, Ringwood Manor, Howell Living History Farm and New Bridge Landing, just to name a few.  The Neshanock will also make two overnight road trips beginning with our participation in the Nineteenth Century Base Ball Festival at Gettysburg so ably sponsored by the Elkton Eclipse.  In addition, we are also glad to return to the National Silver Ball Tournament at Genesee Country Village near Rochester, New York for the first time since 2016.  With still a few dates to be pinned down, it looks like Flemington will have matches three out of every four weekends from April through early October which feels like the right balance of open dates and playing on a regular basis.  The full schedule will be available at the team web site ( by early January.

2013 National Silver Ball Tournament at Genesee Country Village - photo by Mark Granieri

As is often the case, working on the 2020 schedule led me think about how it was done back in the nineteenth century which in this case bore no resemblance to today.  While I haven't done any in depth research, I'm fairly confident that little schedule making was done during the off-season and that it was a much more cumbersome process.  Instead of exchanging emails, nineteenth century clubs waited until the spring and then used challenges sent or received through the mail.  The details of the process, or lack thereof, for one New Jersey club survive in the minute book of the Hamilton Club of Jersey City.  While the by-laws of the Hamilton Club go into great detail about many aspects of club life, they are silent on match games.  As a result, the full membership made all of the decisions to make or accept challenges.  Unfortunately, the Hamiltons were a contentious lot who sometimes couldn't agree on a motion to adjourn.  In May of 1859, for example, a tie vote on challenging the Brooklyn Club had to be broken by the president's vote.  A few weeks later, the club voted to challenge their counterparts, the Hamilton Club of Brooklyn, but then just two days after that had second thoughts and tried to withdraw the challenge.  It's no wonder the Hamilton Club didn't play very many matches.

Photo by Mark Granieri

As base ball became more competitive in the post Civil War years, schedule making became more organized, but there were still more than a few difficulties including not just the date of a match, but sometimes the venue.  In 1870, the Amateur Club of Newark and the Elizabeth Resolutes were competing for the unofficial New Jersey state championship.  Each team had won a game so the third and deciding match had to be played at a neutral site which led to no end of debate.  The Amateurs first proposed the grounds of the Champion Club of Jersey City, but the Resolutes refused and offered the Irvington Club’s field as an alternative.  Wisely, the Amateurs rejected the proposal because the familiarity of some of the Resolute players with the unusual layout of the Irvington field made it far from a neutral site.  After that ploy failed, the Resolutes next proposed the cricket ground in Hudson City (now part of Jersey City).  

New York Times - November 10, 1870

Instead of responding in writing, the Amateur Club sent a committee to Elizabeth to inform the Resolutes the site was acceptable and the game should be played the very next day.  Whether it was because of the short time frame or some other reason, the Resolutes told the committee they had changed their minds and were no longer willing to play in Hudson City.  After further discussion, the committee and the Resolutes agreed to play the game at Elizabeth, but the Amateur Club’s board rejected the agreement, claiming the committee had exceeded its authority.  Instead, the Amateurs offered to have the game at the Waverly Fairgrounds located between the two cities, but once again the Resolutes refused.  Perhaps realizing they were out of alternatives, the two clubs finally agreed to play at Waverly where the Resolutes won a decisive 28-17 victory.  Not long before the game was played, the New Jersey State Base Ball Association considered establishing rules for a more official championship, but decided against it, doubtless to some extent because of the Amateur-Resolutes debate.   Fortunately, schedule making is far easier today!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

"Here's to Charlie!"

Ninety years ago this very evening "as the shadows began to cover the bleak facades of old mansions on Brooklyn Heights," a group of men, mostly of mature years, began wending their way to the Brooklyn Club at 131 Remsen Street.  Once inside, they headed downstairs to a room, lovingly referred to as the "Coal Hole," a name borrowed or appropriated from a famous London pub.  They gathered to celebrate a birthday, but it was an unusual kind of birthday party.  Instead of the more traditional approach of friends throwing a party for someone, in this case all of the expenses had already been taken care of by the honoree.  And not just for this one time, but for as long as any of them should live.  Even more unusual, however, was the absence of the honoree himself, one Charles Ebbets, unavailable because of his death over four years ago.  Ebbets was not, however, about to let the small matter like his death get in the way of his friends enjoying an evening of food and fellowship on his birthday.

Standard Union - October 29, 1931

Founded in 1865, the Brooklyn Club, made up of the Borough's "wealthiest and most influential men," was for many years one of the Dodgers owner's favorite gathering places.  Supposedly his cronies began to "saunter in" to the club around 3:00 and make idle conversation until Ebbets arrived from the ballpark that bore his name.  Then "the conversation would take a serious turn" to the Dodgers and Ebbets would discuss the day's game, the team and the problems and challenges that faced him as club owner.  As the years went by "through a blue-gray haze of tobacco they looked [back into the past] at the team they used to know and watch . . . and somewhere in the outfield of memory, Wheat and Myers and Stengel [still] patrolled their grassy posts."  So close was the group that eventually it became the custom for them to gather on October 29th for a dinner to celebrate the Brooklyn owner's birthday.

Brooklyn Club building today

It's probably no surprise that there is more than one explanation of why the dinners continued after Ebbets death on April 18, 1925, but it is somewhat unusual that the same person gave two different explanations a year apart.  Judge Joseph Aspinall, one of Ebbets longtime friends, was one of three trustees in charge of the annual event.  In 1934, the Judge told the New York Herald Tribune that at one birthday dinner, Ebbets served cheap liquor, leading to queries of why he was "such a tightwad."  Ebbets not only denied the charge, but promised he would continue to pay for the dinner even after his death.  A year later, however, Aspinall told the Brooklyn Daily Times that about 1920 Ebbets told the group "he would like us to dine on his natal day after he died."  Regardless of the explanation, Ebbets didn't forget his promise, leaving $5,000 in a trust with the income at 5 1/2% to pay for the annual dinners as long as any member of the group was still alive.  Ebbets' estate was more than a little complicated with his 50% interest in the Dodgers divided into 15 parts for the benefit of about 25 heirs so remembering that promise was clearly important to him.  The story of the estate is reminiscent of the court case in Bleak House, but in 1927, Ebbets widow asked that the $5,000 be released and for many years it was the only part of the estate to be finalized.

Brooklyn Times Union - October 30, 1934

It apparently took a while to get the first dinner organized, but on October 29, 1929, 25 members of the original group gathered around a "candlelit" table for the initial event.  Ebbets left the details of the affair to Aspinall and the other two trustees of the fund.  Typically a vacant chair was left for the Brooklyn owner and before the first course there was "a silent toast to the departed" while the glass at Ebbets' place remained untouched.  Formal speeches were not on the agenda, but anyone could speak which as a rule "consisted primarily of fond reminiscences" in an atmosphere that was "gay with laughter."  No menus seem to survived, but in 1936, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that "the best was none too good" from "diamond back terrapin to champagne."  The dinners were to continue until the  last member died with the funds then to go to the Brooklyn club.  It's not clear when the final dinner took place, the last media account was in 1942 when a dozen remained.  Perhaps the final dinner got lost in concern about World War II.

Coal Hole - London 

One feature of every dinner was a toast to Ebbets where members "spoke well of his loyalty and generosity."  The Dodgers owner was far from perfect, but while his "generosity" or cheapness has been debated ever since, there is no questioning his loyalty.  Certainly to his friends, but also to his ball club and above all to Brooklyn his adopted hometown.  The team, the ballpark that bore his name, the dinner and the Brooklyn Club itself are no more, but almost a century later, it's still appropriate on this day, the 160th anniversary of his birth to say, along with all those shades from the past - "Here's to Charlie!"

Monday, October 14, 2019


Back in June, the Flemington Neshanock and their good friends, the Diamond State Club of Delaware, had the opportunity to play two games of base ball on a pristine spring afternoon in Princeton, New Jersey.  It was a reminder of how much fun base ball can be.  Today the two teams met again, this time in Paper Mill Park in Newark, Delaware to close out the 2019 vintage base ball season.  The final game of any season always prompts a range of emotions - a sense of completion that another long season (April to October) is in the books as well as a feeling of loss because it will be more than five months before we get to do this again.  Today offered a venue, weather and opponents truly worthy of the occasion. Having lost the toss, the Neshanock went to the striker's line first.  With two out, Tom "Thumbs" Hoepfner and Rene "Mango" Marrero singled, but Flemington failed to score an indication that tallies were going to be at the premium.  Such was indeed the case and the game entered the bottom of the fourth 0-0 when Diamond State got their offense going.

Diamond State wrapped two singles around a Matt "Black Bart" Bartnicki triple for two runs, but Flemington had a chance to get out of the inning with no further damage with runners on second and third and two out.  At that point, however, Greg "Memphis" Boulden, the Diamond State pitcher, took matters into his own hands (or bat) delivering a well placed single to put the home team ahead 4-0.  Flemington finally scored in the top of the sixth when Dan "Sledge" Hammer tripled and went home on an overthrow.  Flemington continued to keep the game competitive, shutting out Diamond State for the next three innings and adding a run in the top of the eighth when "Sledge" singled in Chris "Low Ball" Lowry who had worked out a walk.  Unfortunately, for Flemington however, in Diamond State's half of the eighth, seven hits along with two Neshanock muffs led to seven runs and an 11-2 victory for the Delaware team.  The Neshanock were limited to eight hits by the pitching of "Memphis" and the defense behind him. Leading the way for Flemington was "Thumbs" with three, while "Sledge" and "Mango" had two apiece. 

After a brief break, the two teams returned to the field for a seven inning contest, this time with Flemington striking second.  Diamond State tallied once in their first at bat, but the Neshanock quickly answered that and then erupted for five tallies in the second.  Flemington had a 9-4 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth when the New Jersey team replicated Diamond State's last at bat in the first game, putting the game out of reach.  After Chris "Sideshow" Nunn parleyed a single and some aggressive base running into a tally, "Sledge" hit a home run, leaving him only a single short of hitting for the cycle.  When the inning was over, Flemington had tallied five times and closed out the game for a 14-5 season ending win.  Four Neshanock, the aforementioned "Sideshow," Joe "Mick" Murray, Scott "Snuffy" Hengst and Ken "Tumbles" Mandel contributed two hits apiece.  Especially noteworthy was the hitting of the newest Neshanock, Dan Mahony, who closed out his muffin season with a four hit day and his first clear score.  Welcome to the club Mr Mahony - next step is an appropriate nickname.  Also important was the steady defensive play of "Jersey" Jim Nunn who handled some challenging bound hits in the outfield and his son "Sideshow" who handled one particular tricky hop like it was a three cornered pool shot.

By dividing the two games, the Neshanock finished the year with an overall 16-6 mark. Season's end means its time to say thank you and I want to start with those outside the Neshanock family that make all of this possible beginning with our opponents.  One thing we can never take for granted is the need for other teams like Diamond State willing and able to put in the time and travel necessary to play a full schedule.  By my count, Flemington played nine different vintage teams over the course of the season and five "town" teams, local squads put together for just one game.  We couldn't do it without you and thank you for your participation.  While all opponents are important, we especially value our New Jersey partners - the Elizabeth Resolutes (the state's senior club), the Hoboken Nine, Monmouth Furnace and the New Brunswick Liberty.  Also essential and sometimes taken for granted are the umpires.  The Neshanock are more mindful of their importance of umpires since we have lost Sam Bernstein who worked so many Neshanock games for so many years.  So thanks to the umpires especially John Medkeff who worked today's games so ably.

Within the Neshanock community, the first thank you goes to our founder Brad "Brooklyn" Shaw who got all this started and kept it going for so many years.  We missed you this season and hope you'll join us next year, even if it is just to visit.   While he wasn't there today, much appreciation to Mark "Gaslight" Granieri both for serving as official blog photographer and sometimes writer. Thanks also to the parents, spouses, girl friends, fiancees, significant others and increasingly children who attend games in all kinds of weather and most importantly let us be part of a game we haven't yet, and never will, get enough off.  Finally, thanks are due to the Neshanock players for many reasons, but above all for just showing up on a regular basis.  One thing I've learned this year is that just fielding a team is no simple matter and it's a tribute to the players that only once did we fall short and only by one player which was easily managed.  2019 was my 13th season of vintage base ball and going back to the very beginning my 63rd season of baseball either as a fan or in some other capacity.  That's a long time, but it pales in comparison to the fact that competitive base ball began in New Jersey in 1855 some 164 years ago.  Those base ball pioneers could never have visualized what has happened since, but I would like to think they would appreciate what the state's vintage base ball teams and players have done to continue what they so nobly began.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

October Speaking Schedule

Thursday, October 10, 6:30, Morven Museum and Garden, 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, New Jersey: "History, Tragedy and Comedy: The Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. Admission includes access to the New Jersey baseball exhibit which will close the end of this month.

Thursday, October 17, 7:00, Bernards Township Public Library, 32 South Maple Street, Basking Ridge, New Jersey. "A Cradle of the National Pastime: New Jersey Baseball 1855 to 1880."