Maese Space

The Baltimore Sun

While the TV announcers hailed the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees as one of the most storied rivalries in American sports over the weekend, I was led to a crosstown matchup unlike anything I'd seen before. In Annapolis, the U.S. Naval Academy and St. John's College met on the great lawn spread across the latter's campus. There were thousands in attendance, drinks flowing and security on hand to keep things under control.

A Navy professor explained to me his understanding of the background: In an Annapolis pub 25 years ago, students from St. John's were arguing with some Midshipmen. ... The Mids were bragging that they could best St. John's in any sport. And so, for the past 25 years, St. John's has laid out the wickets, and men and women from the academy's 28th Company have made the short walk up King George Street for the annual croquet tournament. Yes, I said croquet.

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