History of Baseball in Venezuela

Origins

There is not an exact and recognized version about how and when the game of Baseball was introduced to Venezuelans. What is accepted by most historians is that some Venezuelan students in American universities, began to practice the new sport when they went back home after finishing their studies and started to teach the game to their friends among the social high-class clubs in Caracas, around the early years of the 1890 decade.

By May 1895, Amenodoro Franklin and his brothers Emilio, Gustavo, and Augusto established the first organized Baseball Club, “Caracas BBC”. They had been gathering people for the last 3 months to practice the game every Sunday.

The youngsters were concerned in those days in spreading the fever of the new game in the city, they practiced in an open land in front of the train station in Quebrada Honda, further, the field was named "Caracas Baseball Club Exercise Field".

Caracas BBC organized the first official game in Venezuela as a big event to gain publicity. On May 22, 1895, they sent an open invitation and placed an ad in "El Tiempo", a local newspaper. The game was so new and unrecognized that the reporter invited the people thru the ad to a "new kind of Chess game, the Base Bale".

The next day at 3:30 p.m., jumped out on the field the two teams of Caracas BBC, "The Red" and "The Blue", the latter, managed by Amenodoro Franklin, won with a score of 28 to 19. Some of the players were the Franklin brothers, Emilio, Gustavo and Augusto, Adolfo Inchausti, Alfredo Mosquera, the Todd Brothers, Jaime and Roberto and Mariano Becerra. All of them, former students in the United States, are considered the pioneers of the game in Venezuela. Among the other players involved were the Gonzalez Brothers, Manuel and Joaquin and Emilio Gramer, they were Cubans living in Caracas.

"El Tiempo" did not know much about baseball after the first game; even many people believed that they were going to watch a chess game, because of the reporter's mistake. A note appeared on the paper the next day describing more the environment than the game itself: "...it looked like a carnival Sunday, without disguises or flowers or candies or reddish things. The delight of the people was so high that it was not even one complain about the poverty on the Republic was heard during the afternoon. And as in other times, people had fun, at least the part of the population who has more elements to do it.”

Venezuela, filled with internal revolutions all over the country, was leaded by rural or military leaders, who tried to take control of the government. By 1895, General Joaquin Crespo was the president and the country was impoverished after many years of civil war.

"El Pregonero", another newspaper also covered the game, and in their note about it, they mocked El Tiempo's Chess Ad: "You see! El Tiempo? the match was a Ball Game, not Bale. El Tiempo is always wrong". They also published: “But this game of Base Ball provides health and strength to the body and happiness to the spirit."

Three months later, on August 15, "El Cojo Ilustrado" a kind of magazine, published the first pictures of Base Ball in the country sent by Mariano Becerra.

Days later, everybody was talking around the city about "the new sport", and Alfredo Mosquera's father, the owner of Caracas Beer Co., built the first official stadium in the country with stands and official measures according to the American rules. It was the "Stand del Este", near the Petare train station, a Caracas suburb.

 

[Development and Spread] [Professional Baseball]