“Before we were Pirates,” the story of Bluffton sports teams before 1929 is the topic of a presentation by Fred Steiner on Monday, March 13th at the Bluffton Senior Citizens Center at 132 North Main Street.
The presentation will follow the senior center’s noon luncheon and should begin around 12:45. People don’t need to attend the luncheon to attend the presentation, which is open to the public.
Steiner says the Pirate did not become the school mascot until 1929. Prior to that, the school had no mascot. The presentation is about the earliest teams in the history of the school. The origin of the mascot will also be explained.
“If you can imagine in 1893 jumping on a railroad box car, riding to Lima and back to watch a Bluffton baseball team play a Lima team, then this lecture is for you,” Steiner said.
The presentation includes stories about Bluffton teams as early as 1893 and photos of both girls’ and boys’ athletic teams as early as 1900.
Stories about the teams and their fans demonstrate that community pride was just as important 125-plus years ago as it is today.
“In 1896 Bluffton sports fan were very interested in receiving game results. Arrangements were made to display scores of games played out of town on a board outside a Bluffton business by 7:30 each evening of the game,” said Steiner.
And, many people today don’t realize that Bluffton High School had girls’ basketball teams as early as 1913. Several of those teams won Allen County tournament titles. Bluffton’s first girls’ track team was in 1925.
In the picture above, provided by Steiner, is a Bluffton High School girls basketball team and below is a Bluffton High School baseball team.