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Thowback Thursday – 1916: Batter on deck, San Antonio, Texas


Here is a weekly look at a selection from the Knights of Columbus' archives

Batter on deck! U.S. Army soldiers and baseball players on bench behind batter’s circle, San Antonio Knights of Columbus baseball team, 1916 approx. 2012-52

Check out the batter’s uniform. The encircled and intertwined “K C” on the player’s sleeve and the “S A K O C” on his shirt front show this baseball player to be a hitter from the San Antonio Knights of Columbus baseball team.

Local councils hosted a range of the spiritual and social activities in the early 20th century. From Communion Breakfasts, to lecture series, to choral clubs to council teams – including baseball – Knights enjoyed from fraternizing with like-minded Catholics. Some of the local councils fielded highly skilled and competitive players complete with team uniforms.

But how to explain the presence of the two soldiers at this baseball game? U.S. troops were sent the Mexican border to fight against the Villistas – Mexican revolutionary General Pancho Villa’s troops – after their raids on American border towns. The Mexican Punitive Expedition, June 1916 - February 1917, brought an influx of national army troops and guardsmen to New Mexico, Arizona and Texas under the leadership of General “Black Jack” Pershing.

There is a great deal more to be learned about this photograph. Who was the opposing team? Who won?
Photographer credit: Photographer not known.

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