Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Blue Mound Baseball

There are several places in Missouri called Blue Mound, but the one I'm concerned with here is located in eastern Polk County near the Dallas County line. It is a hill or mound that got its name because it has a blue cast to it when seen from a distance. It is located in a rural area. Schofield, the nearest community mentioned on any maps, is itself a mere wide place in the road. However, apparently at one time Blue Mound was an actual settlement or community. At least the people of the area identified themselves as being from the Blue Mound community and were so identified by people from other communities.
I recently ran onto a piece in the Buffalo Reflex reporting on a baseball game that had taken place in the late spring of 1871 between "the 'first nines' of the Blue Mound and Buffalo clubs." The game was played on the Blue Mound field, which, according to the Reflex, was located about eight miles west of Buffalo. (It's actually southwest.) The baseball diamond was laid out on the prairie near the base of the Blue Mound. From the summit of the hill, according to the newspaper, "a delightful view is obtained of the country for from ten to twenty miles around. It is certainly a most happy location for pic-nicing, base ball playing or any other pastime which pleasure seeking mortals choose (to) indulge in." After the game, the players were treated to a picnic with food prepared by the ladies of the Blue Mound vicinity.
At least as interesting as the newspaper's description of the Blue Mound, the game played there, and the subseqent picnic is the box score of the game that was published along with the article. Blue Mound won the game by what today would be considered an incredible score of 63 to 46. The box score (as was usual for baseball games in the mid to late 1800s) gave only the number of runs each player scored and the number of outs he made. For instance, Swan, the Blue Mound pitcher, scored ten runs and made only one out.  

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