Williams 149th Preview

149th Year of Intercollegiate Baseball to be Celebrated at Amherst-Williams Rivalry in Pittsfield this Weekend

Courtesy of Williams College

PITTSFIELD, MA - This weekend when the Amherst College baseball team travels west to face NESCAC and Little Three archrival Williams College, there will be an extra bit of atmosphere added to the rivalry. 

On Saturday, Apr. 12 at 1 p.m. the Williams and Amherst baseball teams will square off in Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Mass. to celebrate the 149th year of intercollegiate baseball in America. Williams and Amherst met in the first intercollegiate contest back on July 1, 1859 in Pittsfield in a game won by Amherst 73-32 in 25 innings.

The 289th meeting between the archrivals will set the stage for what is expected to be an even larger celebration in 2009, when the 150th year of college baseball will be celebrated in Amherst. 

Former Eph baseball player Mike Barbera '89 got the ball rolling on this project and was assisted by Amherst graduate Dan Duquette '80 who grew up in nearby Dalton, Mass. Barbera and Duquette worked with Williams head coach Bill Barrale and Amherst head coach Bill Thurston to move the game from the Williams campus to Pittsfield. Barbera and Duquette also enlisted the support of the Mayor of Pittsfield James. M. Ruberto and secured the use of historic Wahconah Park.

This year's contest will be preceded by a youth baseball clinic provided by the Dan Duquette Sports Academy from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Registration for the clinic will begin at 10 a.m., with the Wahconah Park gates opening at 9 a.m. An on-field ceremony will begin at 12:55 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m.

Tickets for the game will be sold at the gates for $5 for adults, with Amherst and Williams students admitted for free with a student ID. Directions to the park are available at the link below.

College Baseball Hall of Fame, based in Lubbock, Texas, will be on hand to officially recognize the game as the birthplace of intercollegiate baseball in America. Brad Walker and former major leaguer Neal Heaton will represent the Hall of Fame.

You can see and read more about the celebration of the 149th year of college baseball and Pittsfield being the birthplace of college baseball by visiting the Capital News 9 and Berkshire Eagle links below.

Capital News 9 Story - Video and Text Link

Berkshire Eagle Story
 - Online Text

Driving Directions to Wahconah Park