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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Tue., April 15, 2014, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

A crowd of 8,200 – the largest to date for a baseball game in Spokane – jammed the Recreation Park grandstand for opening day of the Spokane Indians’ 1914 season.

Here are a few of the highlights:

• The day began with a 10-block-long opening day parade, including 250 autos and a “crackling, spitting squadron of motorcycles.”

• 1,000 schoolkids were admitted free. They “laughed and exulted in sheer delight at the return of King Baseball.”

• The festivities were recorded by “two moving picture machines (cameras).” Pathe’s Weekly, a movie newsreel series, “will exhibit the opening day stunts to all cities in the western division.”

• The crowd was so big the overflow was put onto the outfield grass. A new ground rule specified any ball hit there would be an automatic double.

• The opening ceremony featured a “marching squadron” of Ad Club men in full Indian regalia, who carried a tepee to the mound.

• There they threw open the tepee to reveal an Ad Club man in Indian costume, who tossed the ball to a “midget papoose with a bat,” elsewhere explained as a “youthful fan in papoose costume.”

• The first inning provided a baseball thrill, too, when Walt Powell, a speedy left-fielder, stole home. The “big throng stood and howled.”

• The Spokane Indians won 3-1.


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