Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The Benteen Base Ball Club of Ft. Rice and the Actives of Ft. Lincoln played their third game at Lincoln to-day, for the championship. The two previous games were played in the Black Hills, and were very closely contested, the scores standing 6 to 11 in the first and 11 to 16 in the latter, consequently the final game promises to be an exciting one.-Bismarck Daily Tribune, September 9, 1874
Edmund Tobias, in his history of St. Louis baseball that was published in The Sporting News, wrote about Frederick Benteen's baseball activities in the West. Here we find a contemporary source supporting Tobias' work.
Benteen, who played with the Cyclone Club prior to the Civil War, arrived at Ft. Rice in June of 1873 and was serving with the 7th Cavalry, under General Custer. I've been trying to find the first instances of baseball playing in various western states and it's interesting, but not surprising, that the first baseball clubs in the Dakota Territory appear to have been formed by soldiers. Benteen, it can be argued, was a baseball pioneer in two states - Missouri, where he was a member of the first baseball club to play the regulation game, and North Dakota, where he helped form one of the first baseball clubs in the state.