With the approach of spring, the subject of paramount interest with the athletic element of the college is the make-up and prospects of the University nine for the coming season. Any prognostications about the position which we shall occupy in the league, are, at this season of the year, entirely out of place. The hard work of the men in the gymnasium has not been lost. By it some men have been shown to be worthless; the majority have shown a marked improvement.
Work was begun immediately after the Christmas recess and has continued uninterruptedly, with the exception of the period of the mid-years, since that time. The work consists mainly of exercises with the dumb-bells, running and playing hand-ball. In addition much time is devoted to practice in sliding bases. The different batteries practice daily at stated hours. All are under the personal supervision of Capt. Henshaw. As soon as the weather permits, the work will be transferred to the field, where a much more adequate idea of the men's abilities can be obtained. It is expected that the weather will admit of out-door practice in a fortnight.
During the spring particular attention is to be given by Capt. Henshaw to efficiency in base-running and bating. The nets will be in use daily, and downright, earnest work will be required of every candidate.
The following is a list of the principal candidates of the nine at present:
For the position of pitcher, Boyden, L. S.; Campbell, L. S.; Luce, '91, and Bates, '91, have presented themselves. Of these, the freshmen are showing up well. Boyden has good command of the ball and has all the curves under control Campbell, who played third base last year, has turned out to be a very good pitcher. He has great speed and his coolness, for which he was remarkable last year, stands him in good stead in this position. Henshaw, '89, Knowlton, M. S., and Howland, L. S., are candidates for catcher. Of the merits of Henshaw, nothing need be said. He will fill the position this year. Knowlton will probably be change catcher, playing in the outfield when not catching. Howland may get a substitutes position.
Willard, last year's captain, will probably cover first base this year. His playing is too well-known to need eulogy.
For second base, Mumford, '90; Morgan, 89, and Woods, '91, are the candidates Mumford covered the base last year and thus has an advantage over his opponents. Woods, '91, was formerly with the Technology team. He is a good fielder and base-runner. His batting is weak.
For the position of third base, Quackenbos, M. S., is the most promising candidate. He played third last year on the Dartmouth College team and made an enviable record both in the field and at the bat.
For short-stop, the candidates are Gallivan, '88; McPherson, '89; McLeod, '90, and Dean; 91. Gallivan has played on his class nine three years. McPherson is a good fielder and base-runner.
For the various positions in the out-field, Linn, '90; Codman, 90; McKean, '90, and Bailey, '88, are the main candidates. Linn was a member of last year's nine and filled his position very acceptably. His batting, however, is weak. All the other men, no one of whom is immeasurably superior to the others, are members of their respective class nines.
The change battery of the nine will probably fill two places in the field.
It will be seen by the above list of candidates that, although a strong nine can be formed from the material at hand, our chances against Yale's veteran nine are slim. The outlook is not particularly encouraging. However, with plenty of material from which to work, Captain Henshaw is capable of forming a winning team, aided as he is by the able advice of ex-Captain Willard. The positions which are particularly difficult to fill are those of short-shop and left-field, made vacant by the withdrawal from college of Wiestling and Foster. The latter has never had his equal in the position and his loss will be severely felt this year. Knowlton is, perhaps, the man most able to fill this position acceptably. His services, however, are needed behind the bat. After him, Woods, '91, is the best man.
Any account of the nine is, at this season of the year, necessarily incomplete. We hope to publish a more complete account later. Harkins, of the Holy Cross College team, about whose playing much has been said, is not in college.
The following is the schedule of games arranged thus far by the manager:-
April 7-Dartmouths at Cambridge.