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In 1884, Middlebury students organized the College’s first intercollegiate baseball team, defeating the University of Vermont twice that year. In 1886, Middlebury joined the University of Vermont and Norwich University to form the short-lived Vermont Intercollegiate League.  In League play, Middlebury defeated Norwich but lost to UVM.  In subsequent years, Middlebury added Hamilton, Colgate, and Union Colleges to its list of rivals.  Middlebury’s 1894 team was especially strong, losing only one contest, and that to a visiting African-American team called the Cuban Giants. In addition to intercollegiate play, baseball was a focus of interclass rivalry in the late nineteenth century.  Baseball’s early popularity at Middlebury reflected national enthusiasm for the sport. Only as the turn of the twentieth century approached did football begin to eclipse baseball in popularity at Middlebury.   (Middlebury Kaleidescope, 1900, p. 156)




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