I BELIEVE it is not generally known among the undergraduates, that the annual games of baseball between the Yale and Harvard Nines are, this year, to be played at Saratoga. The ground for this belief is the fact, that no comment on the proposed action has been heard from the students, who certainly are deeply interested in the matter.
It is almost needless to recall to mind that the expenses of the Nine are paid, in a great measure, by the students, and that the trouble and unavoidable annoyance which the players undergo are assumed voluntarily, and are repaid, presumably, by the pleasure of success, and the applause and gratitude of the students at large. The subscribers to the Ball Club, when they give the two dollars to the Titan who acts as tax-collector for the Nine, console themselves, almost invariably, with the reflection that they will see, at any rate, well-contested games, and, in all probability, many victories for Harvard; although it is now reported that Yale has finally decided to win the college championship for 1874. If this is really the feeling of the College, what must be the disappointment to find that this year the men, while sweltering in the July heat, either at home or at the sea-shore, are doomed to enthusiasm over a mere "elegant" newspaper report of the contest between the College "boys," who occupy, in the depths of the reporter's mind, an indefinite position somewhere between a "mucker" and a Prussian count. Jarvis is not to be filled with the beauty of Cambridge, attracted by the prospects of an exciting struggle; but the wretched field is to see nothing more inspiriting than practice-playing, or, at best, the slaughter of such noble game as the King Philips or the Tufts.
This reason why the games should not be played at Saratoga may be considered selfish, since we seem to begrudge the wicked minions of J. Morrissey the pleasure of seeing a base-ball match between men whom they cannot bribe; but there is another and a weightier argument against Saratoga. When this town was chosen for the boat-race, a great outcry was made, as everybody knows, that the upright boating lads would be corrupted by the evil influences of that sinful place. This objection, however, was groundless, since the strict training of the oarsmen would effectually prevent any dissipation on their part; but the present case is different. The slight training required of amateur ball-players would be no protection to the poor youths, and yard-sticks would fail to measure the length of our faces, on our return to Cambridge, when we heard that the ruin of the present players (to be sure, a mere trifle in itself) had destroyed the Harvard Nine, and that none but Yale and Princeton were left to struggle for the championship! There can be no doubt that the students will pray most earnestly that so sad a misfortune may not come upon us, and that, as most of us are deprived, without remedy, of seeing the mongrel* boat-race, our Nine may be persuaded not to increase the already too numerous side-shows at the Saratoga races for 1874.
*Mongrel, for neither University nor College can that race be called which is between mere combinations of colleges and scientific schools.