Preservation Burlington: 'The Wonder Team' - Tom Simon
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Monthly call in show hosted by Preservation Burlington. This month, host Ron Wannamaker speaks with Baseball Historian and Author Tom Simon, on his upcoming book on the U.V,M Baseball Team during the 1890's known as the 'Wonder Team'. A recent write up for the book reads: The Wonder Team in the White City: U.V.M. at the Intercollegiate Base Ball Tournament of 1893 - Located in Burlington, thirty-five miles south of the Canadian border, the University of Vermont -- commonly called U.V.M. because of its Latin name, Universitas Viridis Montis -- has neither the geography nor the climate of a typical college baseball powerhouse. In fact, in 2009 it did away with its varsity baseball program altogether. Yet in the early 1890s U.V.M. fielded a ’varsity baseball team as competitive as any in the country. Dr. Frank Sexton, Brown’s star pitcher of that era who went on to coach at Michigan, Brown, and Harvard until 1914, said that “without question he regarded the Vermont teams of ’90 to ’93 as the best college baseball teams that he had ever seen in action.” Over those four seasons the U.V.M. nine came to be known as the “Wonder Team,” compiling a record of 129-57-4 (.694) against top college and semi-professional teams, and even two National League clubs. It reached its apex when it participated in the Intercollegiate Base Ball Tournament at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This book examines the secrets of the Wonder Team’s success: who its players were, how they got to be so good, and what happened to them when they played in what was essentially the first College World Series.