Muscle Sport Magazine

Tris Speaker Indoor Baseball League – OTD in Baseball 1939

Picryl

Major League Baseball celebrated its centennial year in 1939 and with it came a new idea from Tris Speaker, the Hall of Fame outfielder – an offseason indoor league for former players and a showcase for others looking to catch on. The National Professional Indoor Baseball League consisted if eight teams in two divisions, a 102-game regular season with 60-foot base paths was the plan. A number of former big names were brought in to manage the clubs, such as Bill Wambsganns and Gabby Street.

The teams put in place were New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Boston in the Eastern Division and Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit in the Western Division. A championship was to take place between the two division winners.

The first game took place on November 19, 1939 but after a month, the league would go under. Attendance was not where Speaker had hoped and that was the death knell for the NLIBL.

Speaker had already been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame two years earlier and his legacy would never be tarnished by this blip on the radar.

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