“Soon No Off Season”

off season 1

© The Baseball Bloggess

“Pretty soon the ball player will not have rest enough between seasons to get acquainted with his folks.” ~ The Sporting News, November 7, 1912

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Off-Season.”

They call it “The Grind.” That long baseball season. That life ballplayers choose.

For the pros, it begins in February at spring training and, if you’re lucky, it will extend to the far reaches of October.

College ball starts in February and stretches through four months, then summer league teams, and a “bonus” fall season tucked in before the snow falls.

Whatever’s left, that’s your “off-season.”

I thought “off-season” was a baseball term that had worked its way into the rest of the language. But, “off-season” is a business term that was first used in the 1840s.

soon no off season 1912 headline november 7 1912

The Sporting News, November 7, 1912

In 1912, The Sporting News complained that Charles Comiskey, President and Owner of the Chicago White Sox, was running his players ragged by shortening the off-season and putting his team on a train to California in the middle of February to begin spring training, forcing his players into exhibition games along the way, stopping at any place where a pick-up game might put extra “coin” into the owner’s pocket.

We don’t lay fallow much. There’s not much off-season for anybody these days. Apparently, there never was.

off season 2

© The Baseball Bloggess

Photo: Davenport Field, The University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. The end of the “Fall Ball” season. © The Baseball Bloggess


8 thoughts on ““Soon No Off Season”

  1. My mother used to say “there’s no rest for the wicked.” I guess these days we’ll have to start saying “there’s no rest for anyone.”

  2. I was talking with my dad the other day about how ridiculous the length of the college baseball season is. School’s out a month before the season ends for a lot of these teams. I guess that’s no worse than when I played college soccer, it’s just the extra month was tacked onto the front of the school year. Go Cards, of course.

    • I’m still not sure how these kids find time for a full credit load on top of their baseball responsibilities. (OK, I know that at some universities classes are an annoying afterthought, no big deal, or, in some cases, passed magically even though the classes don’t even exist.) Virginia requires real studies. One of UVa’s starting pitchers, Brandon Waddell, made time for baseball and graduated from a rigorous economics program in three years. Good grief … I’m exhausted just writing that sentence.

    • Oh, I agree completely Bruce! A friend of mine grumbles that baseball’s All-Star Break slows down the season too much, that players don’t need a break at the mid-way point. I just think, gee, can’t we all just catch our breath for a day or two once in awhile?

      I’m still not sure how these college kids can juggle baseball and class. (I know, I know, some schools don’t worry too much about that last part … but, I also know many student-athletes take the “student” part as seriously as their sport. Who knows when they catch their breath?)

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