Baseball in Nebraska City, 1870

Information about the Otoes, an early baseball team at Nebraska City, is found in the Daily Nebraska City News, April 23, 1870: “Editor News:- We wish through the columns of your deservedly popular paper, to call the attention of our citizens who are interested in the success of the Otoes, to the following plan of organization:

“We propose to have two hundred active and honorary members in all; each ten pay an initiation fee of $2 and be taxed ten cents per month. This money to be expended in procuring and keeping in order suitable grounds, in defraying the traveling expenses . . . , when playing match games, in entertaining clubs that come to contend with us, procuring uniforms, bats, and all things necessary for the establishment of a first-class club.

“It is the purpose of the Otoes to perfect themselves in the national game, that those who ever have extended to them their cordial support and encouragement may look upon them ‘with a proud and steadfast eye,’ and feel the satisfaction of having their liberality appreciated and value secured. We know that better material than the Otoes possess does not exist west of the Mississippi, and propose between now and our next Fair to practice, and drill ourselves, that the ‘laurels of victory’ shall ever be an honor to our citizens, the pleasure and pride of those who have never failed to assist and cheer us when despondent.

“We have one favor to ask, which if refused will overthrow our endeavors. We must have nine to practice, and many of our best players being employed by merchants of our city, cannot get out to take their places in practice games. Now we only ask three hours twice a week, say on Tuesday’s and Friday’s from 3:30 to 4:30 in the evening. [Either the letter writer or the typesetter is mistaken.] ‘Practice makes perfect,’ and never truer said than of Base Ball.

“If our citizens come forward, assist us in organization and permit those who are in their employ to attend regular match games we feel confident in assuring them, and will prove it by deeds next Fall, that they will be proud to see such skill and perfection.” The letter was signed “INTERESTED OTOES.”

(March 2005)

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