George to speak on Civil War baseball

GUILDERLAND — Matt George will be presenting the program “Baseball During the Civil War” at the Thursday, April 18, meeting of the Guilderland Historical Society. Few people connect our national game with Civil War armies, yet both Union and Confederate soldiers frequently played baseball when they were in winter quarters or in camp between campaigns or battles.

Baseball had become popular in the years just before the outbreak of the war, especially in the northeastern states, and ball players who had become soldiers saw no reason to stop playing when they had the opportunity.

While it is recognized today that Abner Doubleday wasn’t baseball’s inventor, as a Union general he actively encouraged men under his command to play the game, part of the reason his name was linked with the game’s origin for decades.

Matt George is both a long-time baseball coach as well as an extremely knowledgeable Civil War buff. A retired educator, he has made numerous living-history presentations as a member of the 134th New York Volunteers.

All are welcome to attend the Guilderland Historical Society’s meeting on April 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mynderse-Frederick House at 451 Route 146 in Guilderland Center. Parking is available next door at the church.

Refreshments and a social hour with the opportunity to chat with our speaker will follow the program. For more information, call 861-8582.

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