The Great Composer Quiz – Baseball Returns Edition

Time’s up, pencils down, the Great Composer who had as much fun playing the organ as baseball, or so he said excitedly after playing his own Variations on “America” at a Fourth of July celebration in Brewster, New York. At fourteen, he became the youngest salaried organist in the state of Connecticut, and at fifteen he played center field for his team at a New England preparatory school team in the afternoon, and performed a fully-slated organ recital that evening.

Charles Ives (left) as a pitcher for the Hopkins School, New Haven.

The answer is Charlie Ives, as he was known while playing center field and pitching for the Hopkins School in New Haven. Ives was an all-around athlete. He was voted captain of his baseball team at Hopkins. At Yale, he devoted so much time to sports he struggled to maintain a D+ GPA. He played on the varsity football team, where his coach urged Charlie to join the track team, saying he could be a collegiate champion sprinter. Ives was also a formidable tennis player. In the end, Ives’s favorite sport was Baseball, and he proved his love in his music. Among his Baseball-related pieces are Some southpaw pitching, Old home day, and All the way around and back. He also left unfinished sketches for Take-off #3: Rube trying to walk 2 to 3!!, Take-off #7: Mike DonlinJohnny Evers, and Take-off #8: Willy Keeler at the bat.

Click here to listen to Some southpaw pitching by Charlie Ives.

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