exploring the history of 19th century St. Louis baseball
Interesting use of "rooter". The word is immediately understandable today, but not usual. The normal terms at that time were "crank" or "fan". A quick check in Google Books suggests that "rooter" had some currency from the late 1890s.
It's an interesting cartoon. The fact that TSN implies that the Cleveland players were happy to be coming to St. Louis speaks a lot about the situation in Cleveland. I found a piece in Sporting Life the other day (that I'm posting sometime this week)where they used the phrase "major League." Certainly different than our concept of Major League Baseball or "the Major Leagues," it struck me how far we've gotten from the original use of the phrase. When people talk about MLB, I don't think they realize what the phrase really means. In modern usage, it's no different than NFL, NBA, or NHL. It's interesting, and almost jarring, to see it in its original context.
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