TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT PROVIDENCE AS A BASEBALL TOWN BACK THEN. This was the National League, which is still in existence, as you well know. And back then it was the best league in baseball. Providence was the smallest market. In fact, Radbourn was very unhappy to be pitching here. He wanted to get out and make more money somewhere else — New York or Chicago, some place like that.
Providence had a small market — 2000 fans a game, about, and that wasn’t really enough to sustain a team. But they had very rabid fans. And there was a fierce rivalry with [the Boston Beaneaters]. Boston was kind of the Yankees of the time. They were the Evil Empire, the team that had all the championships. And Providence was sort of the regional upstart, was more of an underdog.
Boston writers were very snobby towards Providence. They thought the fans here were uncouth. And they screamed too much. And swore too much. And they didn’t respect good play enough. The Providence fans were very cantankerous.
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