A Continuing Series of Illustrated Vignettes, Volume V, Leaflet III
From the vignette: Baseball fever swept across the United States following the Civil War. Soldiers, who learned the game in camps between battles, helped spread and popularize baseball across the nation when they returned home. Americans quickly embraced the emerging national sport. While big cities boasted their professional teams, nearly every village and town had a local club of enthusiastic amateurs who laid out ball diamonds in nearby fields and pastures.
Mackinac Island was not immune to baseball fever. Encouraged by the support of their officers, soldiers at Fort Mackinac enthusiastically embraced the game and played “matches” against pick-up teams from the island and organized clubs from neighboring communities. By the 1880s baseball was the soldiers’ most popular off-duty activity, the “hurrah game” of the garrison, and a defining feature of garrison life at Fort Mackinac in the late 19th century.