20th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, sports

Streetcar Double Headers

April 1907
A heated sibling rivalry develops between the Twin Cities’ two pro baseball teams, the Saints and Millers. Streetcar doubleheaders are scheduled on Decoration Day, July 4, and Labor Day, with a game in each city.*

A bit of background is in order to help those who may not know much about the Twin Cities. There is definitely much in common between these two places, but it’s the distinctions that give each it’s flavor. They may not be thought of as ‘strong’ flavors by those who consider Minnesota ‘flyover country’, but that is a matter of taste.

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St. Paul is the older brother of Minneapolis. According to local legend, first two structures in St. Paul were a log trading post that doubled as a pub, and a log Catholic church. There are very strong communities derived from nations with a Roman Catholic heritage: Irish, French, Polish, Italian, and Mexican. This city leans blue-collar, tends to move slower, and with more respect for tradition.

1907 Spalding Guide - Hart - MPLS team

Minneapolis is the kid brother that just kept growing. It historically has been more Protestant, with residents mostly from Western and Northern European descent. It leans more white collar and entrepreneurial, with more nightlife to spend new money.

Holy Umpire, thanks for the heritage of baseball in Minnesota! What an awesome combination of sport with times for team play, and individual achievement! Baseball truly is a mirror of the best attributes of our culture.
Unfortunately, Saints and Millers reflect the darker sides of our nature too. Sometimes we, as fans attempted to “help” our home team. Check out this example of ‘sportsmanship from 100 years ago;

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“The newspapers joined the struggle, firing their artillery at enemy camps across the Mississippi River. In the 1890s, when both cities were represented in the Western League, the Minneapolis Tribune leveled a charge of “dirty ball” against its neighbors to the east, the Saints, who were owned and managed at that time by Charles Comiskey. “Manager Comiskey,” reported the Tribune, “will be served with a formal notice that the Minneapolis club will not play today’s game unless guaranteed that there will be no spiking of Minneapolis players, no interference on the part of the crowd, no throwing of rocks, no throwing of dust and dirt in the eyes of the Minneapolis players, and a few other tricks which the game yesterday was featurized by.” “ Thornley, Stew. On to Nicollet: The Glory and Fame of the Minneapolis Millers.**,***

God, thanks that You gave a home team to enjoy and be proud of. Will You forgive us for when we have gone overboard and over identify ourselves with a baseball team? Will You forgive harsh words that were sowed then between Minneapolis and St. Paul that still smart today?

Today I want to acknowledge specific sports offenses to You. We have loved winning more than losing, but doesn’t losing build character? We have loved showboat personalities more than the team at times, but innately we know that a single player can’t win the game. We can behave like spoiled brats at games, then lecture our kids about the importance of sportsmanship. God help our ERA and our era! Have mercy on our inconsistent batting average with beloved rivals of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Thanks that these hostilities birthed a solution; the Minnesota Twins! Will You help us find creative ways to find common ground with our rivals today?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

**Peruse this wonderful link to the complete article by Stew Thornley. http://www.stewthornley.net/millers_paydays.html

***Dig into a book on the Saint Paul Saints, again, by Stew Thornley. http://www.mnhs.org/mnhspress/books/st-paul-saints

 

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19th Century, History, horses, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Technology, Transportation

Electricity Replaces Horses

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1890
Electricity replaces horse power on the Grand Avenue trolley in St. Paul. In four years, an intercity electric line will whisk passengers between the downtowns of the Twin Cities in only 45 minutes.*

Again Lord, thank You for inspiring improvements in our means of transport in Minnesota! What is it about movement that so appeals to us? Or is free movement something that appeals to You first, and us secondly? Transport my thoughts, God, in Your direction.
First let us not forget to thank You for the gift of the horse! How these creatures have served us so mightily! As a Minnesotan, I want to say thanks for all horses that have, are, or will exist here. Will You bless our horses, those who work with them, and trade them? Will You bless their health and lives in perpetuity?
In this era, the 1890’s, will You forgive any root thoughts or actions between those who used horses and those who wanted to replace them with electrical trolleys?
Will You forgive the judgments of those who pit technology vs. animal, or extant technology vs. new technology rooted in this era, and continuing into the present?

Why did the horse fall into disfavor for use with trolley car companies such as the TCRT?
“Despite the advantage of steel wheel on rail, the cars were still horse powered, and horses were a problem. Up to seven were required to keep a single car in service all day. They produced epic quantities of manure. They were slow, couldn’t handle steep hills and were subject to disease.”
http://www.trolleyride.org/History/Narrative/TC_Transit.html

These problems are serious in an urban setting. It’s understandable that Minnesotans of this era would look to a new means of propulsion.
So, I want to say thank You for the gift of the electric-powered trolley. Will You bless it’s inventors, and their heritage? Will You bless those leaders who experimented and took a chance on a new technology? Will You cleanse the land where these rails ran, where man and beast were cursed by one or the other of these factions?

Beyond these prayers, more thoughts arise without answer…yet. Why do we long to “get there” faster? Do we really “save time” by increasing the speed at which we travel? Is the increase of leisure time a net blessing or curse on Minnesota? How does “more speed help an attitude that is given over to impatience? For these questions, and the millions of others that are unspoken and unwritten, give us wisdom and insight! Lord, hear our prayer!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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19th Century, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Technology, Transportation

Monorail Plans

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1888
Over 200 dignitaries ride a new electric monorail up the Bryant Avenue hill in South St. Paul. Investors’ hopes of building an elevated system connecting the Twin Cites are abandoned when the St. Paul city council fails to approve their plans.

A vibrant trolley system will connect the Twin Cities until replaced by busses. But it will be another 113 years before voters approve the construction of a (partially) elevated public transportation system.*

Lord, thank You for the inspirations of men, and the dreams of women! Thank You that You have put ideas into the brains of people that eventually take shape and become reality! Thank you for the mind of Charles Clark! (The dreamer behind this monorail.)

A man like him sees the concept so clearly: a single rail, a simple car gliding on wheels that create so little friction, an opportunity to move the public while being able to ‘fly’ around and over existing structures, etc. He even made a working monorail, but met the obstacle of the city council. Have mercy on his resentments! Have mercy on all who have had their dreams and aspirations dashed by this committee or any committee!

Lord, we have argued bitterly over transportation in this city and state for over 100 years. Will You hear this prayer? I acknowledge to you our separateness on this issue. Will you forgive our clashes over monorails, trains, planes, roads, and other forms of transportation yet to be discovered?
It is good to test a new idea. Debate is healthy, and often necessary when it involves investing of time and resources. Will You show us a new way to debate this issue? Will You keep our wheels rolling?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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