While the exact origins of baseball are unknown, most historians agree that
it is based on the English game of rounders. A game which began to become
quite popular in this country in the early 19th century, and many sources
report the growing popularity of a game called "townball", "base", or
Throughout the early part of the 19th century, small towns formed teams, and
baseball clubs were formed in larger cities. In 1845, Alexander Cartwright
wanted to formalize a list of rules by which all teams could play. Much of
that original code is still in place today. Although popular legend says
that the game was invented by Abner Doubleday, baseball's true father was
The first recorded baseball contest took place a year later, in 1846.
Cartwright and his Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York City lost to the
New York Baseball Club in a game at the Elysian Fields, in Hoboken, New
Jersey. These amateur games became more frequent and more popular. In 1857,
a convention of amateur teams was called to discuss rules and other issues.
Twenty five teams from the northeast sent delegates. The following year,
they formed the National Association of Base Ball Players, the first
organized baseball league. In its first year of operation, the league
supported itself by occasionally charging fans for admission. The future
looked very bright. The early 1860s, however were a time of great turmoil in
the United States. In those years of the Civil War, the number of baseball
clubs dropped dramatically. But interest in baseball was carried to other
parts of the country by Union soldiers, and when the war ended there were
more people playing baseball than ever before. The league's annual
convention in 1868 drew delegates from over 100 clubs… Although the league
was supposed to be comprised of amateurs, many players were secretly paid.
Some were given jobs by sponsors, and some were secretly paid a salary just
for playing. In 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings decided to become a
completely professional team. Brothers Harry and George Wright recruited the
best players from around the country, and beat all comers. The Cincinnati
team won sixty-five games and lost none. The idea of paid players quickly
caught on. Some wanted baseball to remain an amateur endeavor, but there was
no way they could compete with the professional teams. The amateur teams
began to fade away as the best players became professionals. In 1871, the
National Association became the first professional baseball league…..
June 1889 – The Hub Cup – A Silver Cup will go to the player of the
Kearney Base Ball club making the best record of hits in the season.
[Towns had teams that played each other. Good players often moved to another
town if they got a better deal.]
May 14, 1890 – The broncos and the Bankers will play ball again next
week. It will be a very closely contested game and it’s hard to tell which
will have the better team.
June 6, 1891 – From School to Base Ball
Since the city schools have closed base ball clubs are becoming numerous,
and there will be no lagging of the national game during vacation. The names
of the clubs are far fetched and suggestive. The following announcement was
requested to be published early this morning: The Black Diamonds and Cranz
Brothers will cross bats at the high school grounds Monday afternoon
June 9, 1891 - Cranz Bros. 29 – Black Diamonds 3
[no other references to black diamonds other than in relation to coal]
April 29, 1892 – Several letters have been received asking about the
base ball team lately.
December 8, 1892 – Lan Roi, of baseball notoriety, is registered at the
March 24, 1894 – Miller had a girls baseball team.
April 4, 1894 – A game of baseball is on between Grand Island and
Kearney juvenile nines.
April 16, 1894 – Let’s Have a Baseball Team.
Several people were interested in organizing a baseball club. A meeting was
held over Bodinson’s . Inquiries have been received from surrounding towns
asking if Kearney wood have a club and wanting to se3t dates for games.
There are several young men in town who are good players and they were to
meet the next night. A practice game was being played that afternoon at the
June 1, 1911 – Game with GI
The Kearney team was called the
Kearney started out with 5 scores in the first inning. They had a new
pitcher who came from Cheyenne. He held GI scoreless in the first two
innings and then allowed 3 in the third. Another pitcher took the 4th inning
but then the new guy was back for the rest of the game. In the meantime,
Kearney was not scoring at all until the 8th when they got two more to bring
their score to 7. G I gradually added to their score until they tied in the
top of the 9th. Then a Kearney player hit a home run.
Other Cranz related articles:
Sept. 1889 – Cranz’ lunch counter; Mrs. J.H. Cranz advertised a
furnished front room for rent at corner of 20th & 2nd
May 14, 1890 – Mrs. F. H. Cranz, mother of two Hub carriers, is very
sick with inflammation of the bowels
Jan 7, 1891 – Charles Cranz had near perfect attendance in primary
May 1, 1891 – Dressmaking –cutting and fitting a specialty. Order
solicited by Mrs. Cranz, 2104 Ave C
Aug 1891 – Mrs. F H Cranz will visit in Cleveland
Sept 2, 1892 – For Sale—I will sell all my household goods,
everything inline of housekeeping. Also a good milch cow. Mrs. Cranz 2104