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    Baltimore Orioles, 1899 Team Baltimore Orioles, 1899 Team
According to author Kevin McCarthy in "Baseball in Florida," "…What spring training does offer fans is the chance to see the future stars of the game, baseball played on grassy fields in the sunshine rather than in domed stadiums with Astroturf, and professional ballplayers up close." Spring training was a hot ticket in Jacksonville by 1888 (when New York played Washington in what was probably the first major league game played in the area, according to Mr. McCarthy. The Baltimore Orioles stopped in Gainesville in 1899, maybe for an exhibition game, and the team posed on a bearskin rug. Names were written in, probably by an enthusiastic fan. Back row: Jerry Nops (pitcher), Joe McGinnity (pitcher), Pat Chrisham (catcher), George Lachance (1st base), Harry Howell (pitcher), Frank Kitson (pitcher). Second row: “Ducky” Holmes (leftfield), “Broadway” Alex Smith (catcher), Walter “Steve” Brodie (centerfield), John J. McGraw (manager/3rd base), Wilbert Robinson (captain/catcher), Charlie “Chick” Harris (utility/infield), Steve McKenna (pitcher). Front row: Dave Fultz (outfield), Gene Demontreville (2nd base), Billy Keister (shortstop). Absent: Jimmy Sheckard (rightfield).(click image to view larger size)