Baseball Facts from Ohio

1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings (founded 1866) become first fully professional team by paying all of its players. Also, they won one hundred and thirty straight games before disbanding. They reformed and became a charter member of the National League in 1876.

In 1890 the team became simply the Reds and joined the National League for good. After becoming the first pro team, in 1919 the Reds won their first National League pennant and the World Series (however this win was later tainted by scandal in which 8 players from the Chicago White Sox were permanently banned for throwing the series).

In 1935, the Cincinatti field, Crosley Field hosted the first ever night time pro baseball game. FDR turned on the lights for the game remotely from the White House. There were also fireworks and the Reds won 2-1.

In 1938, the Reds played in the first NYC night game at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field. Their pitcher Johnny Vander Meer, just 23 years old, became the first pitcher to throw two consecutive no-hitters (he still holds the record today). The Reds would return just a year later to Ebbets Field to play in the first televised Major League baseball game.

While the famous Reds had many first, Ohioan Wesley Branch Rickey would go on to be not a great player (though he tried for some years), but it turned out he had a keen sports business sense. From the front office he was developed the modern “farm system”. He also implemented the required use of batting helmets. He also founded the first full-time spring training operation.

However his biggest contribution was not just to Major League Baseball, but to society. He did this by signing Jackie Robinson and there by brought down the color barrier in the National League. This opened the door for the Indians to sign Larry Doby, bringing down the race barrier in the American League. The Indians would also later hire Frank Robinson, the first African American manager in the major leagues.

Ricky was quoted as saying, that while he couldn’t stop racism in our society, he could do something about it in the realm of baseball.

On Bringing Birds to Your Yard

Attracting birds to your yard during winter is usually a simple matter of providing food. However, attracting a variety of birds to frequent your yard in summer can be a bit more of a trick. Here are some simple tips for getting your feathered friends to stick around.

The basics are simple: provide shelter, safety, food and water.

As for shelter, it only makes sense that birds are going to prefer native trees and shrubs for shelter and the greater diversity of native plants in your yard will attract a greater variety of birds to your yard. If you are looking to attract a specific kind of bird do your research on the plant-shelter they prefer.

Domestic cats probably pose the most harm to birds in Ohio as far as predatory species. If you have an outdoor cat, consider putting a bell on their collar or building them a catio. In the case of free roaming or feral cats in your yard the best route is building fencing to keep them out. If ferals are trapped, neutered and taken to a shelter new ferals are likely to move into the area though this is an option.

Additionally, you’ll want to reduce the instance of mosquitos if you can. It is recommended you use pesticide to do this rather just remove standing water.  Mosquitos do carry diseases that affect birds.

For food, planting native trees and shrubs that bear flowers or provide food for insects the birds will eat are a great option or native plants that provide seeds or fruit. During certain times of year birds, like migration, birds are going to prefer native foods over anything else.

Providing a water source is the easiest chore. Ideally a water source should be elevated, placed in an open area where they won’t be surprised by predators, and filled with about an inch of water are perfect. The water source should be changed and rinsed regularly to reduce mosquitos.

You should realize that by creating an ideal habitat for birds also creates an ideal habitat for predator species like snakes and some hawks as well.  By inviting birds you may be extending an invitation to other critters as well.

F.A. Seilberling Nature Realm

F.A. Seilberling Nature Realm is arguably one of the most beautiful Summit Metro Parks and though most of us don’t want to think of winter, the Nature Realm is great all year-round adventure. Many consider the F.A. Seilberling Nature Realm to be a hidden gem known mostly to locals but a surprise for visitors.

F.A. Seilberling Nature Realm is a great day trip destination. The trails range in difficulty though they are all considered to have an easy or moderate so you can bring a variety of friends or family. Mingo Trail, a 3-mile trail, is considered the most difficult at the park.

Patrons should note that the Mingo Trail has a no-dog area which is clearly marked.

One popular destination at the Nature Realm is the Suspension Bridge. It won’t be difficult to find as most of the trails converge at the bridge. To double check, please refer to an online map or paper map available at the park.

The Seneca Deck is a popular winter spot. There is a fireplace where hikers can cozy up and enjoy the landscape after their winter hike.

Spring and summer hikers may want to take the Seneca Trail which winds through the exquisite Rock and Herb Garden.

Families with children will enjoy the Visitor Center, which is open 10am-5pm Tuesday to Saturday. It is also open 12pm to 5pm on Sundays. The Visitor Center includes seasonal exhibits, a kid’s area, gift shop. There are even several live animals they can view. Naturalists are available to answer questions about the park.

Ohio’s Limestone Industry

Among Ohio’s valuable minerals is its abundance of carbonate rocks, specifically limestone and dolomite. For a long time, Ohio has been an important producer of these sedimentary rocks. Both dolomite and limestone contain high percentages of calcium carbonate (aka calcite). Dolomite also contains significant amounts of magnesium.

These rocks came from limy mud in the shallow, tropical seas that once covered Ohio intermittently over the Paleozoic Era. Much of the modern production of these commodity minerals come from Western Ohio and were formed during the Silurian and Devonian ages. However, there is significant limestone production in eastern Ohio, this limestone was mostly formed during the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian ages.

Ohio has typically ranked as forth in the nation for producing carbonate rocks, including limestone and dolomite which make up about fifty percent of the yearly value of Ohio’s industrial mineral business. Both of these are quarried in 48 counties (over half the counties in Ohio) and weigh 79 million tons annually and value at $471 million.

Ohio’s dolomite and limestone are used most in construction as aggregate materials for building projects, roads and are used in concrete and asphalt. But they are also used for agricultural lime, in cement, a fixing agent in steel production, building stone and serve various purposes in the chemical industry.


The History of Ohio’s Railroads Pt. 4

After the American Civil War the state of Ohio went through a period of rapid rail line growth. The bigger rail companies began to purchase smaller lines and connecting them. This created a vastly more integrated railway system in the state. One example of this is when the Little Miami leased most of its line to the Pennsylvania Railroad system in a 99-year agreement which both parties renewed in 1968. The Ohio and Mississippi and the CH&D both eventually were absorbed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

At the turn of the century, around 1900, most of Ohio’s rail lines were owned by four major rail companies including the Erie Railroad, The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central Railroad. A decade later over nearly ten thousand miles built in Ohio. Over a thousand additional miles were built in the first decade of the new century. Much of the new track was laid in northeast Ohio for industries growing in Youngstown, Cleveland, Canton and Akron.

As was the case in other areas, Ohio’s railroads controlled transportation infrastructure until after the second World War. After WWII the trucking industry took a tremendous growth spurt which took much of the railroad’s goods transportation business Later the popularization of passenger cars and increased roadways for the vehicles and the advent of passenger airplanes fewer and fewer people relied on railways for regional and country-wide travel.