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by Brian Turner and John Bowman
Even the most devoted fan may not realize how far back baseball can trace its history in small towns like Northampton, Massachusetts. Some may be aware of the semi-professional teams of the 1920s and 1930s, but few know about the minor league, independent, and amateur clubs that came before, nor do they know about the many talented players who stopped in towns like Northampton on their way to the big leagues.
Until now, there has been no comprehensive, detailed accounting of the history of Northampton baseball—from the city’s working-class neighborhoods of Florence and Bay State to its natural rivals up and down river, Brattleboro, Greenfield, Holyoke and Springfield. This book establishes that Northampton and its neighbors were among the communities that made baseball our national pastime. Beyond that, it reveals several unexpected and even unique associations between Northampton’s baseball story and broader American social history.