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COLLECTION Identifier: HUD 9500

Records of Organized Baseball at Harvard


These records result from the organization, administration, and coaching of organized baseball played by the Harvard community. They date chiefly from 1870-1910.


  • 1876 - 1945


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Some material may require special handling due to fragility. Consult reference staff for details.


.8 cubic feet (3 boxes)
These records result from the organization, administration, and coaching of formally organized baseball played by the Harvard community.

Chronology of Harvard University Baseball, 1858-2006

Baseball was played by members of the Harvard community shortly before the Civil War (ca. 1858). It was formally organized in 1864. It has been played continuously since then. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the team was organized first under the auspices of the Harvard Athletic Association and later under the Harvard University Dept. of Athletics.
The Lawrence Base Ball Club forms; members are chiefly from the Lawrence Scientific School, a part of Harvard University. It plays the "New York" style of the game.
The '66 Base Ball Club is begun by George A. Flagg (Harvard College Class of 1866) and Frank Wright (Harvard College Class of 1866). Wright and Flagg were graduates of Phillips Exeter Academy.
A baseball field is laid out on Cambridge Common near the Washington Elm. Harvard plays against local clubs.
Intercollegiate baseball at begins with Harvard '66 against the Brown '65 in Providence on June 27, 1863. Harvard wins 27 to 17.
A field is laid out at the "Delta" area of the Harvard campus.
The Harvard University Base Ball Club forms under George A. Flagg and Frank Wright.
The first strictly intercollegiate game in Harvard history is played July 18 against Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Harvard wins 35 to 20.
The field moves from the Delta to Jarvis Field. The Delta becomes the site of Memorial Hall.
June 24: Harvard plays its first game against Princeton University. Harvard wins 17 to 16.
July 25: Harvard plays its first game against Yale in Worcester, Massachusetts. Harvard wins 25 to 17.
June 5: Harvard plays its first game against Dartmouth College in Lowell. Harvard wins 38 to 0.
Harvard embarks on a western tour in which they play 26 games in 43 days while visiting 20 cities.
Spring: at the suggestion of Yale, a series of three games is played between the two universities. This becomes and annual contest.
Yale plays its first shut-out against a Harvard Nine.
Princeton makes the first use of curve pitching against a Harvard team on June 4.
Winter: Frederick W. Thayer (Harvard College Class of 1878) invents the catcher's mask. The first one is manufactured by a tinsmith in Cambridge and worn by James A. Tyng (Harvard College Class of 1876) in a game against the Live Oaks of Lynn on April 12, 1877.
Harvard plays a 24-inning game against the Manchester nine which ends in a 0-0 tie.
Harvard sweeps the Harvard-Yale series.
The Hemenway Gym opens and houses a small batting cage in its basement.
December: The Intercollegiate Base Ball Association is formed with Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Amherst, Dartmouth, and Brown as members.
The northerly portion of Holmes Field is graded for a baseball field. Beginning with a game against the Beacons on June 7, 1884, Holmes Field becomes home for the baseball team for the next 14 years.
1886 is the final year that includes a fall schedule; the first game in of the 1887 season was April 9.
Harvard leaves the Intercollegiate Base Ball Association.
March 14: Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia organize the College Baseball League.
Yale sweeps the Harvard-Yale series.
May: the Carey Building is completed on the northerly side of Holmes Field. The Carey Building contains a batting cage.
Harvard receives a gift of 20 acres of land from Major Henry L. Higginson which would be the future home of Harvard Baseball, known as Soldier's Field.
Jan. 15: Harvard resigns from the College Baseball League.
April 27: the first game at Soldier's Field is played against Dartmouth. A new Carey Building contains a batting cage and the team has full use of the Locker Building's dressing rooms.
Harvard takes a southern trip during spring recess; this becomes part of Harvard baseball policy.
A Baseball Advisory Committee is formed; it has general oversight of choices of coaches and development of teams.
The Advisory Committee abandons the graduate system of coaching and hires the first professional coach, Dr. Frank J. Sexton.
Percy Duncan Haughton (Harvard College Class of 1899) becomes coach after resignation of Dr. Frank J. Sexton.
The Barrett Wendell, Jr. Trophy is donated and thereafter awarded annually for the best performance in reaching first base, sacrifice hits, stolen bases, and runs scored.
April 10: Harvard defeats the World Champion Boston Red Sox 1-0.
During World War I, the athletic program is diminished and has a limited schedule.
The Dana J. P. Wingate Cup is donated and awarded annually to the player with best all-around ability.
May 26: Harvard faces Waseda University of Japan in the first game against a foreign team by Harvard. Harvard wins 6-5.
Fred Mitchell becomes manager of the team.
The Briggs Cage is built.
The first double-header in Harvard baseball history is scheduled for May 20, when the University nine will meet a team from Waseda University of Japan and a nine composed of Crimson alumni.
August: Harvard travels to Japan for games.
Fred Mitchell resigns; Fred Stahl becomes manager of the team.
Baseball is suspended due to World War II.
Fred Stahl resigns; Adolph Samborski becomes manager of the team.
Adolph Samborski resigns; John F. "Stuffy" McInnis becomes manager of the team.
The Eastern Collegiate Baseball League splits into Northern (Army, Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale) and Southern divisions (Cornell, Columbia, Princeton, Navy and Pennsylvania).
The Greater Boston Baseball League forms and includes Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, Tufts, Brandeis, Northeastern, and M.I.T.
Stuffy McInnis resigns; Norman W. Shepard becomes manager of the team.
Harvard sweeps the Harvard-Yale series.
Harvard plays its first night game in Quantico, Virginia. Harvard wins 5-4.
Joseph Mackey (Harvard College Class of 1974) appears as Harvard's first designated hitter.
Harvard, Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern play the first annual baseball Beanpot Championship in Fenway Park.
Harvard wins the first of three consecutive Ivy League championships.
The William Clarence Matthews Trophy is dedicated to honor Matthews (Harvard College Class of 1905) as a pioneer African-American athlete.

Custodial Information

Archivists in the Harvard University Archives and their predecessors assembled baseball material from a number sources to create this collection.

Acquisition Information

Where acquisition information is available for an item, it appears in the item description.

Related Collections

The Harvard University Archives also holds:
  1. The Harvard University Baseball Collection (HUD 9000) which chiefly contains baseball ephemera and writings about baseball at Harvard
  2. Records of the Lawrence Base Ball Club (HUD 9600)
  3. The Harvard University Photograph Subject Files : Baseball (HUPSF-Baseball)
  4. The Papers of Coach Bill Reid, Jr. (HUG 4736.xx)
  5. Records of the Harvard Athletic Association
  6. Records of the Harvard University Dept. of Athletics
Also search in HOLLIS, Harvard's on-line library information system, for other works by and about baseball at Harvard. Some book-like items contained in this collection are also cataloged individually in HOLLIS.

General note

This document last updated 2020 November 03.

Processing Information

Re-processed by intern Kurt Eichner and archivist Kate Bowers from October 2005 to January 2006. Formerly, as material relating to baseball was acquired over the years, archivists and librarians at Harvard placed it in roughly chronological order without regard to provenance or function, leaving undated material in a "general" folder.

During the spring and summer of 2006, Ms. Bowers and Juliana Kuipers re-established the original context of the material by creating two collections based on the function and provenance of the material. One of these is the "Harvard University Baseball Collection" which consists chiefly of ephemera from a wide variety of largely unknown sources. The other is this collection, the records, which are the product of team organization, administration, and coaching and chiefly come from the persons responsible for those activities.
Link to catalog
Harvard University Base Ball Club. Records of Organized Baseball at Harvard : an inventory
Harvard University Archives
Description rules
Local rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

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