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The world of 19th century baseball was like nothing else. The sport was colorful, violent, and utterly chaotic. Everyone from newspaper men to owners to players to fans to the game's top officials seemed deeply committed to make baseball the number one spectator sport in America. All the while, however, these "gentlemen" harangued vociferously as to how that goal would be accomplished. Rude wenching and drinking behaviors dominated -- all freely reported in the press of the day. And the games, oh the games on the field...

- J. THOMAS HETRICK