The first documented game of modern-rules, 9-on-9 baseball ever to take place in France was played on June 2nd, 1918, just behind the Allied front near Ypres. A team of U.S. soldiers (who named themselves "The Fighting Bears") took on a team from the French army ("La Malaise") as part of a friendly wager. The Americans had a couple of bats, some balls, and enough gloves to go around -- stuffed duffel bags were used as bases, and a dud German mine was used as home plate. Anything hit into the cloud of mustard gas was considered a ground rule double. Several hundred troops from both camps were in attendance, and a few mess stewards even served as vendors, hawking peanuts, beer, and a brash Beaujolais that was daring, yet naïve. The French offered capitulation when the Americans scored 2 runs in the first, but play continued. In an injury scare, Malaise right fielder Henri Boulanger realized the nothingness of existence while tracking a routine pop fly, had to be replaced in the lineup, and immediately went on the DL. The Fighting Bears won the day, 7-2. "Le sport, c'est la belle misère," said one player ("The game, it is such gorgeous misery"), before being blown eight ways to hell by the Jerries' artillery.