1912 Tennessee Rats

A Calendar, Including Newspaper Clippings, of the 1912 Tennessee Rats

1912 Tennessee Rats

Stories are placed in order of the date they appeared.

April 16, 1912

Hope, ND
"Brown's Tennessee Minstrels at the Hope Opera House April (1)6."

"Baseball! Baseball! Baseball! Tennessee Rats vs Hope, Tuesday, April 16."

Hope, ND
"Arthur Holt and Harry Ehred came down from Blabon to take part in the ball game with the Tennessee Rats, Tuesday."

"Brown's Tennessee Minstrels were here Tuesday of this week and made a good impression. There are eighteen people in the company and besides having a good show, they have a good band and ball team. Their show is clean all the way through and is one of the best negro Minstrel Shows we have ever seen. The ball game played with the Hope team, was quite an exhibition, considering that it was the first game of the season for both teams. The score was 8 to 3 in favor of the Tennessee Rats."

May 5, 1912

Conway, ND
"Sunday afternoon a crowd of Pisek boys and girls drove to Conway, the next town to the south, where they took in the baseball game between the Conway sluggers and the Tennessee rats, a colored team touring the state."

May 6, 1912

Egeland, ND
"Towner County Notes. - Egeland, North Dakota, May 7. - To The Forum: The first ball game of the season was held here last Monday between the Egeland nine and a team called the Tennessee Rats, a colored aggregation. The score never was in doubt for the colored boys had the local's goat at all stages of the game. The locl team is badly in need of a battery and enough money has been raised by subscription to pay a good man if one can be found."

May 29, 1912

Warren, MN
"Last evening the Warren baseball team crossed bats with Brown's Tennessee Rats, an aggregation which travels with a colored minstrel troupe. The Warren boys were beaten by a score of 6 to 0, but they deserve great credit for holding the rats down as well as they did. The colored players, says the manager of the minstrels, are being paid $700 per month to play ball and are always in practice and are very good players, and the Warren players, who besides playing ball for pastime, work all day long at other work, need not to be ashamed of being beaten by the Rats. We advise the Warren boys to get some rat pizen next time they tackle this aggregation."

May 30, 1912

Minto, ND
"Tennessee Rats Shut Out Minto - Minto, May 31. - The Minto baseball team was defeated at the Minto park by a colored aggregation traveling with Brown's minstrels. The game was one of the best ever played on the Minto Park grounds. The Tennessee Rats, as they are named, are ball players and know the game, and the locals did not have a look-in with them. It was not that the locals were not in form but they were out of their class and were afflicted with a bad dose of the frights or rattles. Jennings for the home team pitched shutout ball and had he had any kind of support would have held the visitors down in fine shape, the score man gave four hits against him, but three of them were of the scratchiest kind. Jackson for the visitors did not allow a hit and as one of the locals expressed it 'I could not have connected with the ball with a fence rail.' The game was witnessed by a fair sized crowd and they all thoroughly enjoyed the antics and cakewalks of the colored men. The score was 8 to 0."

June 23, 1912

East Grand Forks, MN
"The Picketts Play Sunday - Tennessee Rats, Fast Colored Aggregation to Clash with Local Semi-Prof. - East Grand Forks will be the stamping grounds of what will undoubtedly be a fast ball game Sunday afternoon. The Tennessee Rats, one of the fastest colored ball teams in the country will be here and clash with the local semi-professional aggregation. The Rats have won 41 out of the last 43 games played and come here with an enviable record as exponents of the national game. The game will be called at 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon and the Picketts will line up as follows: Catcher, Edward McIlraith; Pitcher, Norton or Snooks; first base, Williams; second base, Ludwig; shortstop, Chandler; third base, Politzki; left field, Bach; center field, Hugh McIlraith; right field, McGuire, Farmer or Tierney."

East Grand Forks, MN
"Picketts Lose to Colored Men - Tennessee Rats and Locals Battle Nine Innings for a 2-1 Score. - Time of Game Was 1:33 - Errors on Part of Forkers Lose for Them - Rats Have Clever Team. - By Elie. - The Tennessee Rats, a colored nine, played the Picketts nine innings of ball, fast in many respects, Sunday afternoon, the colored aggregation taking the long end of a 2-1 score. The contest proved to be a pitcher's battle between Tierney for the Picketts and Rex for the Rats. Tierney let the visitors down with three hits and Rex allowed five, one of them a three-bagger by Hugh McIlraith. The only other extra base hit was a two bagger by Davis of the Rats. Errors in fielding defeated the Picketts, the two scores of the colored men resulting from boots by the local players. In the first inning the Tennesseans counted one when Bach dropped a fly of Lee's after a pretty run for the ball, the error landing Lee on second. Goodall walked and Wilson put a grounder to Mongroven and the Pickett shortstop held the ball two long before throwing and the runner scored from third. In the sixth Goodall walked and stole second. He took third when Politzke had him cornered between the second and third sacks and Chandler threw too high when they were running back and forth and Goodall was advanced to third sack. Duke raised a high fly to McGuire in right field and Goodall scored on the catch. - Picketts Count in Eighth. The only tally of the day for the home nine was in the eighth inning, when Hugh McIlraith, after taking two strikes, fell on the ball for a three base hit, the ball going out to the back field fence. Rex was a little wild there and a wild pitch by him let McIlraith score. In the seventh and ninth innings Tierney struck three men out, not a ball being hit into the diamond in these two frames. The Rats furnished plenty of comedy and fun for the 800 fans present by their continual kidding, the catcher, Wilson, being especially loud and getting the local players with his string of stuff to no small extent. The Rats are a clever ball team at that and make a nice exhibition of the national game for the fans."

East Grand Forks, MN
"The Tramboan Man - There is no combination on earth which fits so perfectly as that of a darkey and a slide-trombone. There were two such combinations with the Tennessee Rats, the colored ball team who played on the East side yesterday. The combination of a ball team and a band is novel and these boys had the drawing power. As we were about to say - they had two trombonists - great, big, strapping fellows - and the way they shattered the air was something scanless. They shot great gobs of noise in every direction; splattered it over the pavement and adjoining buildings; tore off yards and yards of it; flung it to the breeze and wrapped it around the lamp posts and flag poles; they split window panes, un-honked automobiles and almost smothered the crowd which had accumulated. But the crowd liked it and couldn't resist following them across to Pickett Park. As we said before - the combination is ideal for effect - that is, some kinds."

East Grand Forks, MN
"The Tennessee Rats Defeated the Grand Forks Picketts last Sunday 2 to 1."

June 30, 1912

Moorhead, MN
"Coming Baseball Events. - Manager Murray of the Moorhead Athletics has signed for two games which should be attractive to the fans. Next Sunday afternoon the local team will play a game with the Tennessee Rats, a colored aggregation. The second event will be a game scheduled for the Fourth with the All Nation club. Both aggregations carry their own fencing and seats and snappy games are promised on both sides."

Moorhead, MN
"OH, RATS! - The Tennessee Rats will meet the Moorhead Athletics in Moorhead Sunday afternoon."

Moorhead, MN
"Many Fargo baseball fans will jog across the river tomorrow to see the Tennessee Rats, composed of colored men, play the athletics there."

Moorhead, MN
"Remember the big game tomorrow when the Tennessee Rats will play the Moorhead athletics. This is a strong team of all colored men who can play the game and the athletics will have to go some to defeat them."

Moorhead, MN
"Rats Defeated by Moorhead - Moorhead, Minnesota, July 1. - The Tennessee Rats, a colored baseball organization, learned some of the finer points of the game in an interesting contest with Moorhead Sunday afternoon, in which the home team won by a score of 11 to 6. Fielder and Holt, comprised the battery for Moorhead, and Fielder has 15 strikeouts to his credit. Both men featured when it came to handling the stick. The colored men started out with a battery composed of Lee and Wilson but in the course of the game three other pitchers were mustered into service. The attendance of about 800 witnessed the game. The net contest is to be played on the Fourth between Moorhead and the All-Nations."

Moorhead, MN
"Moorhead Won Game - Found the Colored Gentlemen From the State of Tennessee Very Easy Picking Sunday. - Manager Murray's Moorhead athletics had an easy time with the much touted Tennessee Rats, a team that is composed of colored men who are touring the northwest just now and which has been defeating many of the teams in Minnesota. The athletics put up a gilt edged game of ball in the presence of an immense crowd and many were the brilliant plays that were pulled off. At the end of the ninth the score was 11 to 6 in favor of the Moorhead boys. Fiddler and Holt were in the points for the locals and they covered their positions in fine shape, Pitcher Fiddler having no less than fifteen strike outs to his credit. The Rats produced four pitchers during the game, but the Moorhead boys had their batting eyes with them all afternoon and 'all coons looked alike' to them. It was an interesting game, and the colored boys rooted with great vigor whenever they had a chance. The next games over at Moorhead will be played on July 4 when the All-Nations and the athletics will be pitted against each other."

July 4, 1912

Abercrombie, ND
"Abercrombie to Have Big Fourth - Abercrombie, North Dakota, July 2. - The little, big town of Abercrombie is laying plans for one of the best celebrations in its history next Thursday, one of the real old time kind with lots of noise and an indefinite number of attractions, some of which are speeches, horse races, foot races, ball games, shows and a big bowery dance. The Tennessee Rats, a colored aggregation now touring the country will be in the city during the day, and will give one of their big minstrel shows during the day, and their band will furnish music from early to late. The baseball team representing this troupe will play Abercrombie and one of the fastest games seen on the local grounds will result. M.A. Hildreth of Fargo has been secured to give one of his famous addresses, and also several other noted speakers are on the programme. An excellent five piece orchestra will furnish the music for the dance which is to take place in the fine open air pavilion at the state park. The people and merchants of Abercrombie are working overtime in the effort to make this celebration out do any ever held in this part of the country."

July 13, 1912

Valley City, ND
"Commencing last evening Valley City will play a series of four games with Carrington, and won the first by a score of 7 to 0. Saturday they defeated the Tennessee Rats, a colored team, 9 to 1."

July 14, 1912

Valley City, ND
"Busy Ball Club. - Valley City, North Dakota, July 13. - The next three weeks will be a busy time for the local ball team. Tomorrow the locals will meet with a team calling themselves the Tennessee Rats."