Mankato Maroons, the Amateur Champions of Baseball in Minnesota in 1895

Win Grundmeier



Baseball has changed since 1895 and so have the players.  Uniforms of today wouldn’t be recognizable then.  By 1895 the game was beginning to hit its stride.  Men were men, women weren’t even allowed on the diamond, but pitchers did aim for the batter’s head.

The Mankato Maroon club was judged to be Minnesota amateur champions, not because they were undefeated, but because they would play each opponent until they had either taken a lopsided number of the games or had outscored the opponent so badly there was no desire left to continue the series.

Baseball scores often looked more like football scores, e.g., in August the Maroons clobbered the Blue Earth team 40-25.  That same day, West Concord, scheduled for another game, didn’t even bother to show up.

After teaching Waseca, 30-1, the Maroons tried to take on a professional team, St. Paul, on September 16.  The Maroons lost 7-4, despite their “remarkably good efforts.”  Mankato did snow under two other St. Paul clubs, the Spauldings and the Picketts.  The season closed with three wins over the Minneapolis professionals.

The Mankato club in 1895 also had a new ball park made for them by the City of Mankato.  It was located at the foot of Minnesota Street on the north side of Cummings Addition.  The park was fenced in and a grandstand was provided.  For the first time an admission fee was charged.

A photograph of the 1895 champion team shows the manager, assistant manager and just nine players, the bare minimum.