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Kansas State athletics, 1893-94: the unofficial beginning

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Beginning BotC’s most ambitious and outrageous project ever.

Believe it or not, that’s the corner of 11th and Moro.
Believe it or not, that’s the corner of 11th and Moro.
Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries

It’s summer. It’s slow. You want stuff to read. So we’re embarking on an ambitious project: recapping K-State athletics year-by-year since the dawn of time, or thereabouts. We’ll be doing our best to have at least one post per day, and as we get started we’ll have multiple posts because the content is obviously going to be thinner back in the Dark Ages. We hope you enjoy it.

Athletic pursuits at Kansas State Agricultural College, as it was then known, began almost from the moment ground broke. Baseball was a popular campus pastime in the early years, but for over thirty years these were informal competitions against local teams.

In 1891, the students had attempted to form a football team, but the faculty denied their request.

The first intercollegiate clashes, however, would finally take place in the 1893-94 school year, although neither event would ultimately be deemed part of the official record.

On Thanksgiving in 1893, the Aggies met Saint Mary’s College for the first football game in school history. This Saint Mary’s closed in 1968, although most of you are familiar with the non-accredited institution which now occupies the former campus in the town of the same name just east of Manhattan. At the time, however, Saint Mary’s was a regional powerhouse, and counted baseball legend Charles Comiskey as an alumnus and letter-winner.

K-State won that contest by a score of 18-10, but wouldn’t play again for another three years, at which point the first “official” game would take place.

Similarly, K-State’s baseball history began in 1894, also with a single game against Saint Mary’s. The result of that game is unknown, and just as with the football game, it was merely a precursor to the “real thing”, which would also take three more years to reach fruition.

Next: 1896-97.