Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Calvin Coolidge Cage (lower level of Alumni Gym), Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Built in 1905 and recently renovated, Coolidge Cage, on the lower level of Alumni Gym, is one of the best indoor baseball facilities in New England. The facility fits a regulation size infield and multiple batting cages. Ted Williams, Johnny Sain and many other professional baseball players have used this historic facility.
Players must wear sneakers (no spikes) to protect the indoor playing surface.

After moving a large house on South Pleasant Street to 22 Hitchcock Road and awarding a contract to Charles T. Wills of New York, construction began on the Alumni Gym in 1935. The Alumni gym opened in September of 1936.

Amherst was founded as a non-sectarian institution "for the classical education of indigent young men of piety and talents for the Christian ministry." (Tyler, A History of Amherst College)
Amherst remained a men's college until becoming coeducational in 1975.

At it's opening, Amherst had forty-seven students. Amherst grew quickly, and for two years in the mid-1830s it was the second largest college in the United States, second only to Yale.
Amherst’s historical “firsts” include the world’s first intercollegiate baseball game, against Williams in 1859. After 3 1/2 hours and 26 innings, Amherst defeats Williams, 73-32(2).; the country’s first collegiate physical education and hygiene program, founded in 1860; and the nation’s first undergraduate neuroscience program, established in 1973.
The first (and so far only) Amherst graduate to serve as president of the United States was Calvin Coolidge, Class of 1895.
In 1873, while working as a student library assistant, Melvil Dewey (AC 1874) devised a decimal system for cataloguing books. The Dewey Decimal System, eventually a model for libraries across the country, permitted open stacks.(2)
The poet Robert Frost, arguably the college’s best-known faculty member, arrived at Amherst in 1916 and taught here intermittently for more than 40 years.(1)

Amherst remained a men's college until becoming coeducational in 1975.

Jerry performed here on
12/7/83 Jerry Garcia Band


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