Pharos-Tribune

Columns

May 14, 2014

KITCHELL: Baseball once and always the Logan pastime

It may have been a time, about 100 years ago this week when Johnny “Red” Corriden of Logansport spread the baseball fever to schoolboys throughout the city.

It was then that Corriden, according to newspapers of the day, had become the everyday shortstop for the Chicago Cubs. We don’t know much about him. We know he was 5-foot-9. We know he weighed 165 pounds and played third, shortstop and second base. We know he only homered six times in a career from 1910 to 1915, a career that involved stints with the Cubs, St. Louis Browns and Detroit Tigers. We know that one of his homers came off Eddie Cicotte, one of the Chicago White Sox’s greatest pitchers who also had the distinction of throwing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

We don’t know if he was the genesis of what today is the Logansport pastime -- the game people come out to watch on weekday evenings and Saturdays at places like Tower Park and Fairview Park where there are no less than four baseball fields. We don’t know if Red was the seed for four state baseball championships and three other state finals appearances.

What we do know is that Logansport has lost many things over the years from the Pennsylvania Railroad to the Golden Rule. But it has never quite lost its lust for baseball. What we do know is that 100 years ago, the game was played at Spencer Park and the local semi-pro team, the Ottos, was beating the likes of Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

What some of us know is that there is something more to baseball than uniforms and hats, spikes and bats. There is something more than sliding and umpires, concessions and rainouts. There is a tradition that we want to scoop out and taste as much as bubblegum, popcorn and even cracker jack.

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