Syracuse fielded a varsity intercollegiate baseball team from 1870 through 1921, and again from 1923 to 1972, when the team was disbanded. At the height of the sport's popularity, often more than 1,000 fans attended the games. Syracuse played their home games on Lew Carr Field, named after the Orangemen's coach from 1910-1942. The field was situated behind Manley Field House, where the lacrosse practice fields are today.
The Orangemen appeared in the 1961 College World Series, entering the College World Series with a 16-3 record. In their first game they defeated Northern Colorado 12-5, but were defeated in their next game 12-9 by Oklahoma State. They then defeated Western Michigan 6-0, before being eliminated by eventual tournament runner-up Oklahoma State 8-0. The 1961 Syracuse baseball team included two future major league pitchers, Dave Giusti and Billy Connors, and four members of the 1959 NCAA championship football team: Dave Sarette, Billy Canon, Dick Easterly, and Bob Lelli. Sarette was named as third baseman in the 1961 College World Series all-tournament team.
In 1964 the US Olympics held a demonstration baseball game, which included Syracuse all-star outfielder, Herby "Speedo" Hamlett. The USA team beat Japan 6-2 for the gold.
During the cold winter months, the team practiced in an old barn adjacent to Manley. There was a batting cage made of nets and some artificial mounds for pitchers to throw batting practice, but not much else. The only heating was a big space heater inside. There was no way to work on fielding or baserunning, nor could the pitchers realistically throw live pitches to batters.