Teaching Cleveland
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High School Edition: 9-12

Lesson 20

Rowdy Baseball


To familiarize students with the Spiders, Cleveland's professional baseball team in 1896 and their battle with the Baltimore Orioles for the Temple Cup.



League Park Abner Doubleday rounders
"Forest Citys" "Spiders" Pat Tebeau
"Cy" Young Temple Cup Jesse Burkett
Louis Soxalexis ebulliton enigma


  • Who were the Cleveland Spiders?
  • Why were the Spiders an important sports team in Cleveland's early history?


  1. Have the students read the Fact Sheet on the Spiders, either individually or as a group activity. Have the students complete the worksheet based on the reading.
  2. Have the students read the Fact Sheet aloud in class.The teacher might want to use some of the questions on the worksheet from above as a guide to discussion about the Spiders. Have the students read the two accounts of the Spiders' game against the Orioles. Have the students answer the following questions for discussion:
    a. Who seemed to be the dominant Spider players?
    b. What part did the crowd play in the Cleveland success?
    c. Why do sports play such an important part in the city's history?
  3. Have the students compare the writing style of the game summaries from 1896 with one about the Indians from the current Plain Dealer. How is the writing style different in 1896 than in 1996?
  4. Have the students write an account of an Indians' game in the style of 1896 or have them write an account of an Indians' game in the style of today, such as a "rap."

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