Maybe the heat of competition – or just the heat – was getting to them. Fierce baseball rivalries had developed in a relatively short time, but this incident reported in the August 11, 1903 Skidmore Standard suggests that things had gone too far:
In the ball game between Blanchard and Maitland Saturday in Blanchard, Mat Lewis, Maitland’s 1st baseman, suffered a very painful accident. Wilkinson, a player from Glenwood, Iowa, intentionally, or it seemed that way, ran against him with sufficient force to break two of his ribs. Mat was immediately taken to the hospital and his wound dressed. He was able to be brought home that evening, but it will be quite a while before he will be able to play ball again. The game, until this unfortunate accident stopped it, was a fast one, neither side having succeeded in scoring.