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Monday, October 20, 2014

Jackson W. Showalter and Baseball

     I couldn’t resist this old photo with Jackson W. Showalter (left) seated across from Frank Marshal at the 1926 Western Open.

     Also, I came across this interesting tidbit from the Pinstripe Press: Most baseball fans don't know that Jackson Showalter, who is credited with inventing the curve ball, was also a U.S. chess champion in the late 1880's or that Henry Chadwick, "The Father of Statistical Baseball" published a number of articles on the contemporary chess scene in the nineteenth century. They are also unaware that chess and baseball both established their first national organizations in New York City only a few months apart. The American Chess Association started in October 1857, while the National Association of Baseball Players began in March of 1858. One of the earliest baseball clubs was even named after chess hero Paul Morphy. In fact, between 1857 and 1860, both contests enjoyed national popularity and set a precedent for future sports in regards to game coverage and statistical analysis…Read entire article.
     An excerpt from Showalter’s obituary in the March 1935 issue of Chess Review read: Mr. Showalter was famous as a baseball player and was an ardent fan up until the latter part of his life, when bad health kept him at home. He was the first man in Kentucky to pitch a curve ball and one of the seven men who discovered the curve.
     Here are some more interesting articles to browse: Everybody’s Magazine article The Race for Chess Championship, Astonishing Memory Feats of the Chess Masters (pages 495 to 502)
     Indianapolis Journal February 13, 1890 has an OCR text of an article on the visit of Showalter and Lipschutz to the city HERE.

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