A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 25, 2004
Jaspers (Manhattan College teams)
The Manhattan College teams (that play in the Bronx, of course) are called the Jaspers. It's one of New York's oldest sports team nicknames -arguably the oldest continuing one.

Brother Jasper is often credited with inventing baseball's "seventh inning stretch." I find that a "stretch" in more ways than one, but that's another story.

8 September 1873, New York Times, pg. 8:
ARRIVAL OF CHRISTIAN BROTHERS.
The steam-ship Italy, of the National Line, arrived here, yesterday, from Queenstown, bringing twenty-four graduates of the Christian Brothers' schools in Ireland, under the charge of Brother Jasper, of Manhattan College.

19 June 1874, New York Times, pg. 8:
The Jaspers, of Manhattan College, defeated the Flyaways yesterday.

15 April 1881, New York Times, pg. 2:
PRINCETON WINS AT BASE-BALL.

NINE TO ONE AGAINST THE JASPERS - SUC-
CESS OF THE WORCESTERS.

http://www.gojaspers.com/main.cfm?area_id=27
WHAT'S A JASPER???

The unique nickname of Manhattan College's athletic teams, the Jaspers, comes from one of the College's most memorable figures, Brother Jasper of Mary, F.S.C., who served at the College in the late 19th century.
One of the greatest achievements of Brother Jasper was that he brought the then little-known sport of baseball to Manhattan College and became the team's first coach. Since Brother was also the Prefect of Discipline, he supervised the student fans at Manhattan College baseball games while also directing the team itself.

During one particularly warm and humid day when Manhattan College was playing a semi-pro baseball team called the Metropolitans, Brother Jasper noticed the Manhattan students were becoming restless and edgy as Manhattan came to bat in the seventh inning of a close game. To relieve the tension, Brother Jasper called time-out and told the students to stand up and stretch for a few minutes until the game resumed.

Since the College annually played the New York Giants in the late 1880's and into the 1890's at the old Polo Grounds, the Manhattan College practice of the "seventh inning stretch" spread into the major leagues, where it has now become a time-honored custom practiced by millions of fans annually.

Posted by Barry Popik
Education/Schools • (0) Comments • Thursday, November 25, 2004 • Permalink