Clapton Orient Baseball Team circa 1908
The O's - Pioneers of Baseball in Great Britain!
Leyton Orient are the second oldest Football League Club in London, being formed in 1881 (Fulham are the oldest, dating back to 1879), but they found the competition from their new neighbours Arsenal, as well as Tottenham Hotspur and then in more recent times West Ham, becoming more and more tough as the years went by. Even in those early days the Club looked for ways of attracting new fans; various novel ideas and gimmicks were tried, including baseball - and it is a little known fact that Clapton Orient were a pioneer of the game in this country. It was a succesful venture for the O's with them winning the National Baseball Championship in 1907 and 1909. They also won the British Baseball Cup in 1908, beating Fulham at Millfields Road in front of a crowd of 3,500.
It has since been discovered that Leyton also had a baseball team and it is a strange coincidence that they played their matches at Brisbane Road prior to it becoming the home of Leyton Orient in 1937.
(extract taken from 'They Took The Lead' by Supporters Club Deputy Chairman Steve Jenkins - the story of Clapton Orient's major contribution to the Footballers' Battalion in the Great War).