Lamar County, Alabama

Sports News



MAKING BASEBALLS - The interesting fact was learned by a New York Mail and Express reporter that the hides of about 1020 horses and the skins of at least ten times as many sheep are cut up into coverings for baseballs in this city every season.  By one manufacturer alone three tons of yarn are used a year for the inside of baseballs.  The hide and skin used in perfectly white, being alum tanned, and comes from Philadelphia.  Out of one horse’s hide the coverings for twelve dozen balls are cut, and out of one sheepskin three dozen.  Two strips of the leather are required for each ball,  cut wide at the rounded ends so that they fit into each other when put around the yarn ball.   Each piece, for a League ball, is seven inches long, by two inches wide at the rounded ends.  The pieces are cut with a die.  Old fashioned blue Shaker yarn is used for the inside of a League ball, which is wound tightly around a small rubber ball, weighing exactly one ounce.  The improved League ball ahs now double coverings of horsehide, which is regarded as a great improvement.  It is also stitched with gut.  The balls are made entirely by hand and it requires no little skill to shape them perfectly round.  This is done by placing them in an iron cup about the size of the ball and striking it with a mallet at different stages of the winding.  Men do this work; they easily make ten dozen League balls in a day and from forty to fifty dozen ordinary baseballs in the same length of time.  Their wages are $2.50 a day.  Women saw the coverings together on the ball; this requires considerable skill and strong finger muscle; they can sew from two and a half to three dozen League balls a day, and from 14 to 16 dozen of the cheaper grades; they are paid by the piece, ninety cents a dozen for the League work and ten cents a dozen for the others.  They earn about $12 a week.  The balls are sewed with that is known as Barker’s flax, which comes in red, blue, orange, and pink colors.  The finest balls are sewed with pink.  Horsehide covered balls are made in fourteen different varieties. (Lamar News, Dec. 2, 1886)


    Our town has two baseball clubs, organized for the season.  One composed of the young men of town, the other of the students of the High school.  The former club, the Vernon Athletes, is composed of the following gentlemen:
    B. M. BUIE, President and Pitcher; J. S. MCEACHIN, Captain and Back Stop; WILLIE SUMMERS, Treasurer and Second Baseman; R. J. YOUNG, First Baseman; WALTER NESMITH, Third Baseman; J. P. MORTON, Short Stop; FAYETTE PENNINGTON, Right Field; W. A. BURNS, Centre Field; W. R. BRADLEY, Left Field, and J. E. MORTON, T. J. GUYTON, and EMMIT GUIN, extras.
   The following gentlemen compose the “College Nine:”
G. B. WIMBERLY, President and First Baseman; D. S. SUMMERS, captain and Back Stop; W. K. BROWN, Treasurer and Pitcher; WILLIE HULL, 2nd Baseman; DEWITT MORTON, 3rd Baseman; ETHEL MACE, Right Field; JOHN MATTHEWS, Left Field; J. T. BROWN, Centre Field; LUTHER MORTON, Short Stop (The Vernon Courier, March 16, 1888)

The boys are still practicing playing baseball and getting ready to cross bats with the Fayette boys next Monday. (The Vernon Courier, June 22, 1888)

     The expected game of baseball between the young men of Fayette and Vernon was played in Vernon on Tuesday last.  The Bandannas came over Monday evening, and were handsomely entertained by the ladies of Vernon Monday night as at the High School building.
     The game was called Tuesday morning at 8 o’clock, and after a pleasant and interesting game the following score sheet was the result:
     Fayette Bandannas – SANFORD, 4; R. F. PETERS, 3; BANKHEAD, 2; BLACK, 2; WINDHAM, 2; CANNON, 1; ROBERTSON, 1; T. M. PETERS, 2; SEYMOUR, 2.  Total, 19.
     Vernon Athletes – J. P. MORTON, 8; W. SUMMERS, 9; MCEACHIN, 9; PENNINGTON, 8; D. SUMMERS, 7; D. MORTON, 7; MACE, 8; HALEY, 5; WIMBERLY, 8.  Total, 69.
     As the above shows, the Vernon Boys were again the victors, coming out fifty ahead of the visiting club.  This is an excellent record for the “Athletes” and they must work hard to keep it up.
     After the game the clubs were given a sumptuous basket diner by the ladies of Vernon, which was evidently enjoyed, served, as it was, by the hands of Vernon’s fairest daughters.  A musical entertainment was enjoyed Tuesday night, and on Wednesday morning the Fayette “Bandannas” turned their faces homeward.  They are a fine looking body of young men, and made many friends in Vernon by their manly and courteous conduct.  Three cheers for the “Bandannas.”
    It is useless for the Courier to bestow any praise on the “Athletes.” For they are just such material as compose the “rose and expectancy of our fair state.”  They may well be proud of victory when such men as the “Bandanaas” cross bats with them.
    The game was umpired by MR. JOHN BELL, of Fayette.  His decisions were accurate and just in every instance, and were accepted without a murmur by the players.           
    A large crowd was in attendance, and a sumptuous dinner was served to all. The editor being informed that the would be welcomed around the basket of Mrs. LAURA COBB lost no time in finding the place, well knowing the character of the delicious viands it contained, and while the ball players were playing a good knife and fork melody, the editor was waltzing to the music with the finest cake of the season. (The Vernon Courier, July 13, 1888)


The boys are having some very interesting games of base ball now-a-days.  The Vernon club will play Sulligent at the latter place at an early date. (The Vernon Courier, August 11, 1892)

Vernon and Sulligent base ball nines played a game at the later place on Saturday. While Sulligent laid on to the Vernon boys badly, we think each side dislikes to own the score. (The Vernon Courier, August 18, 1892)

A very interesting game of base ball was played on the home diamond last Saturday evening between the Sulligent nine and the home nine.  The rain prevented the game from being played out, it being called in the sixth inning.  The home team did up the Sulligent team just about to the same tune the Sulligent boys did them up a few days ago and the score now stands one game in favor each side. The third game is very likely to be played soon. (The Vernon Courier, September 1, 1892)

The expected game of ball between the Sulligent “Routers” and Vernon “Athletes” did not occur last week. (The Vernon Courier, September 22, 1892)


The Vernon baseball club played the Sulligent club on the latter’s diamond last Saturday.  The Sulligent team went down before the Vernon Athletes like men of straw, but the playing of the Vernon club was such that we suppress the score.  The boys all report a pleasant trip, and hope to soon have the Sulligent club cross bats with them on the home diamond. (The Vernon Courier, June 29, 1893)



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