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Friday, December 16, 2016

Iron & Oil Baseball to Host Wood Bat Tournament at Pitt-Bradford

By Scott Elliott

BRADFORD, Pa. - Pitt-Bradford will be hosting the first Iron & Oil Baseball wood bat tournament July 28-30 at the Kessel Athletic Complex.

Iron & Oil Baseball is designed to showcase prospective student-athletes, campuses and communities in Western Pennsylvania and Southwestern New York tied to the 1890’s Iron and Oil Baseball League, creating a connection between the past and present.

Iron & Oil Baseball will host two separate tournaments for ages 15U and 17U at Pitt-Bradford and St. Bonaventure over the three-day event. Teams will play a total of five games, and the cost is $595 per team. The competitive tournaments will focus on highlighting players through accessible digital programs, post-game articles and an all-tournament team, and college coaches will attend the event.

The Iron and Oil Baseball League was formed in the late 1800s consisting of six teams from the area, including Warren and Titusville, and later most teams moved to the Inter-State League encompassing teams from Buffalo, N.Y., to south of Pennsylvania Interstate 80. Bradford fielded a team in 1898 that played its home games at the Washington Street Grounds located near the current-day Kessel Athletic Complex.

Iron & Oil Baseball will kick off its first annual tournament by playing near the same spot the Bradford team hosted its first game on Friday, May 13, 1898.

Former Major League Baseball player and 1936 Hall of Fame inductee Honus Wagner and his brother, Butts, played in the league in 1895. Wagner is most famous for his T206 baseball card, one of the rarest and most expensive baseball cards in the world, as only 57 copies are known to exist. In 2013 a 1909–11 T206 Honus Wagner baseball card sold at an auction for $2.1 million.

Among other major leaguers, Jack Glasscock, Frank Morrissey, Icebox Chamberlain and Bradford native Rube Waddell also played in the league. Morrissey is the shortest pitcher in major league history, and Waddell, a southpaw, played 13 seasons of professional ball, finishing with a 2.16 earned run average and 2,316 career strikeouts. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946.

For more information about the first Iron & Oil Baseball tournament, please contact Shawn Manning at shawn@ironandoilbaseball.com or visit ironandoilbaseball.com.

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