EARLY BASEBALL PLAYER: WAS HE ON THE ROSTER OF THE MANHATTAN COLLEGE JASPERS?

A young baseball player in uniform, poses for a photographer at an unknown studio in this antique photograph. Did he play for the Manhattan College Jaspers? Lets investigate some college and baseball history! Manhattan College, a Catholic school, was established in 1853 as the Academy of the Holy Infancy. The school became a college in 1859 and the schools name became Manhattan College in 1863. The school coexisted with Manhattan College High School, which was originally founded in 1854. The high school served as a prep school and many of its graduates went on to attend Manhattan College. Manhattan College had a baseball team early in its history as well as early in baseball’s history. The college played the New York Giants annually in the late 1880’s and into the 1890’s. They played their games at the Polo Grounds. An interesting side note is that Manhattan College is credited by Baseball’s Hall of Fame, as creating the “seventh inning stretch” which was later adopted by the Major Leagues. In addition, 28 players from Manhattan College have made it to Major League Baseball. The Manhattan College team is named the “Jaspers” The name originates from an individual, Brother Jasper,  who served the college in the late nineteenth century and brought baseball to the school. He also was the teams first coach. The question remains; is the player in the photograph a former member of the collegiate Jaspers? Is he a former member of the prep school team; or is he a member of some other team from a non New York town called Manhattan? Perhaps a visitor to this site will pitch hit for this writer and determine just which Manhattan team this young man played for.

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