It’s that time of year again, when the Boys of Summer take the field. Since 1887, the people of Northfield have enjoyed playing and watching the game of baseball. And – luckily for us – taking photographs of baseball, too! The NHC has preserved a number of historical images of baseball games and players over the years. Here is a selection of the best ones from the collections of Carleton College, St. Olaf College, and the Northfield Historical Society.
The first baseball game between Carleton and St. Olaf colleges occurred May 14, 1887. Note the buggy and an actual hole dug out of the ground for spectators. View on the NHC
The Northfield High School baseball team of 1902, seated on the school steps. View on the NHC
Professors at Carleton formed a baseball team in the 1920s. They called themselves the all-PhD baseball team. Dr. Bird, Dr. Brooks, Dr. Woods, Dr. Wedel, Dr. Gingrich, Dr. Boodin, Dr. Cowling, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Robinson and Dr. Vestling made up the squad. View on the NHC
Carleton College also had an indoor baseball program. Teams played games inside the Sayles-Hill gymnasium, as shown in this photograph from 1921. Looks cramped! View on the NHC
Don’t forget the ladies! In the 1920s, girls also formed indoor baseball teams at Carleton. Although it seems when the weather was nice, they played outside. View on the NHC You can also see the team posed here .
The NHC has also preserved a number of baseball player portraits from Carleton. Here is an action shot of Herman Woock releasing the ball in 1924. View on the NHC
To see more early baseball photos, follow the links below! Or enter “baseball” into the search term field at http://northfieldhistorycollaborative.org/ to get more results.
St. Olaf College baseball team, 1888
St. Olaf College team, 1909, with mascot
Carleton College women’s baseball team, 1922
Baseball game, St. Olaf at Carleton, 1926
If you want to see how baseball was played in the early years, come out to the Vintage Baseball Game: Northfield Silver Stars vs. St. Croix Base Ball Club on July 4, 1 p.m., at St. Olaf College (below Old Main Hill), part of the Northfield History Month celebration!
For more information on early baseball in Northfield, read Susan Hvistendahl’s article in the May 2016 Entertainment Guide, starting on page 37 of the actual magazine, and on page 41 of the online viewer. Play Ball!