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    Baseball Team Sitting on the Courthouse Steps Baseball Team Sitting on the Courthouse Steps
Gainesville's citizens were absolutely crazy for baseball back in the first half of the Twentieth Century! Although we do not know the identity of this team, posing on the steps of the old Alachua County Courthouse (1884-1961), there is a lot of available information about baseball in this area at that time. For instance, the New York Giants made Gainesville their base of operations for spring training in 1919. Joe Halberstein, "Gainesville Daily Sun" Sports Editor, wrote a column on June 5, 1960, about the event. Apparently, the Giants came to town on the Atlantic Coast Line and were met by a parade and the Gator Band; a large crowd came out to watch the festivities. The mayor gave the team the keys to the city, and UF President A. A. Murphree offered the University's facilities including the use of Fleming Field for outdoor practice and the gym (today's Women's Gym) for indoor practice in event of rain. The team stayed at the White House Hotel. The Giants played several games with other big-league teams at Fleming Field during their stay, including the Boston Red Sox, the Washington Senators, and the New York Yankees.
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