Nevada History Lecture – Frontier Baseball

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Event Series Event Series: Nevada History Lectures

September 23, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Baseball Player illustration

Nevada History Lecture

September 23, 2023 from 1-2:30pm

Frontier Baseball in Nevada
Bob Nylen, Curator Emeritus

Nevada newspapers reported on in the late 1860s how a sports craze was spreading across the country.  This was the new game of baseball, and it had finally reached Nevada.

Bob Nylen

Bob Nylen

During the Civil War, the game was played by both combatants behind the lines, and after the war the game spread rapidly.  In 1869, the New York Times reported that there were a thousand baseball clubs across the country. Nevadans were quickly caught up in the baseball excitement that was sweeping the nation.  The game was brought to the West by men who had played it back east.  Two young mint employees at the Carson City U.S. Mint, both born and raised in New York, started the Carson Silver Stars baseball club in 1869.  The Silver Stars would go on to beat a Virginia City team twice to win the state title.

Bob Nylen program will look at how teams were formed, how games were played, and why the scores were so high.  For example, the Silver Stars beat Virginia City, 81 to 31!   He will also talk about how he organized, and umpired, a reenactment game between Carson City and Virginia City baseball teams in 1992, using rules from 1869.  The game caught the attention of the sports editor at the Los Angeles Times, who did a story on it.

This is a fascinating talk you won’t want to miss!

Elks Club members posing for a photograph, Tonopah, Nevada.

Elks Club members posing for a photograph, Tonopah, Nevada.


Robert A. Nylen retired in 2020 after 36 years of service with the Nevada State Museum. He was recently named Curator of History Emeritus on February 2, 2023. Bob was born and raised in Chicago; he is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan.

Make sure to arrive early as we have limited seating available in our Event Space. Don’t forget, we provide free, temporary parking permits to make it easier to visit NHS!


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1650 N. Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89503 United States
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Phone: 775-688-1190