The newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s Images of Baseball series is The Blue Ridge League from local author Robert P. Savitt. The book boasts more than 200 vintage images and memories of days gone by.
Between 1915 and 1930, nine towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia hosted teams in one of the most successful Class D minor leagues in professional baseball. The Blue Ridge League launched the careers of legendary Hall of Famers Lefty Grove and Hack Wilson and served as a training ground or final stop for over 100 major-league players.
This feisty league challenged laws prohibiting Sabbath baseball games (resulting in mass arrests of players and management), pioneered night baseball, served as a laboratory for the establishment of baseball's farm system, and helped develop a postseason five-state championship series.
Highlights of The Blue Ridge League:
• Nine communities had teams during the Blue Ridge League’s 15-year history: Frederick, Hagerstown, and Cumberland, Maryland; Chambersburg, Hanover, Waynesboro, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Martinsburg and Piedmont, West Virginia.
• The organizers and directors of each Blue Ridge League team were prominent local businessmen and town officials. Their aim was not to earn profits; indeed, a season was considered successful if a team broke even. Rather, the key motivations were civic pride and local quality of life.
• Hagerstown’s Municipal Stadium – still being used today for professional baseball -- was built to house the city’s Blue Ridge League team. Other Blue Ridge League stadiums still standing include McCurdy Field in Frederick, and Henninger Field in Chambersburg
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or
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