As It Was - Episode 2266
In the early 1900s, Northern California and Southern Oregon towns had their own baseball teams and league. From coastal Crescent City and Grants Pass to Gold Hill and Ashland, teams and their fans traveled back and forth for the games. The brawls that often followed a game could be as exciting as the actual play. “Bum” Neuber sponsored Jacksonville’s baseball team, the Jacksonville Gold Bricks. A 1905 image shows players in front and fans appearing from windows of a chartered rail car and engine festooned with his banner, “Neuber’s Gold Brick Baseball Team Special.” When the train pulled into Gold Hill, the fans spilled out for “refreshments” and headed to the ballpark where Sweed Machinery, Inc., is now located. When Medford’s team traveled to Jacksonville, their chartered train seated fans on benches of open flatcars. The games featured heavy betting and antics. Sometimes, professional “ringers” were brought in--that is, until the other team wised up. Once when Neuber’s train was returning, the Medford fans soaped the tracks on a grade to prevent the train from making the climb. Not exactly innocent days of yore! Sources: "Nuggets of News." Gold Hill Historical Society (2001): 1-2. Print; Powers, Dennis M. Gold Hill: Images of America. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2010. 116. Print; Hannon Library Digital Collections. Southern Oregon University, Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <http://cdm15013.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/search/searchterm/Baseball/mode/exact. >.