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Game Today! 100 Years of Baseball in Washington, 1860 - 1960

[Exhibition from Summer/Fall 2004]

This famous photograph of a baseball game being played on the Washington Green in 1869 was the catalyst for Mark Rhoads' research project.

Baseball has been an important part of the cultural and social fabric of this town for more than a hundred years. Mark Rhoads, a senior at The Gunnery, has pursued his love of our National Pastime through a historical research project. Mark was chosen by his faculty to be the Gunn Scholar for the 2003/2004 academic year. This program offers Gunnery seniors the opportunity to develop their research, writing and oral presentation skills through a year-long individual research project into some aspect of the life and times of Frederick Gunn and his wife Abigail, who founded the school in 1850.

In support of Mark's research, the museum asked local area folks to loan the museum their photos, newspaper articles and other memorabilia related to early baseball in Washington. The enthusiastic response from more than two dozen families has enabled us to explore some of the wonderful history of local area teams like the Washington Townies and the New Preston Hillies. Local heroes like Papa Joe Martin have some wonderful recollections, and the exhibit includes information on Town Ball, a pre-cursor to the game of baseball; as well as the Rules for "the New York Game," or baseball as we know it today.

Teams of Glory: Left to right, a Gunnery baseball team from the 1890s; the 1929 Washington High School champions; the Washington Townies in 1930. Click each image to enlarge.

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