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Quotable!
"I don't deserve such a salary. I didn't have a good enough season last year. This ball club has been so fair and decent to me that I'd prefer to have you give it to me when I rate it."
--Al Kaline, Detroit Tiger star turning down a $100,000 contract in 1971

 

Baseball in Cincinnati: A History

By Patrick Mondout
June 1, 2008

In March we republished Baseball in Chicago. This month we turn our attention to Cincinnati.

One of the earliest books bonus BaseballChronology Book of the Month: Baseball in Cincinnati: A History by Harry Ellard.
Table of Contents
1: Intro and Chapter 1
2: Chapter 2
3: Chapter 3
4: Chapter 4
5: Chapter 5
6: Chapter 6
7: Chapter 7
8: Chapter 8
9: Chapter 9
10: Chapter 10

Ellard covers the the history of baseball in the Queen City from its townball roots through the downfall of the champion Red Stockings in late 1870. As one of the most important teams in the history of the sport, the coverage of the Red Stockings is perhaps the most compelling reason this book remains popular with historians.

Ren Mulford, Jr., a friend of Ellard's and a sportswriter with both the Cincinnati Post and Enquirer, briefly covers the history of baseball in Cincinnati from 1876 to the early 20th Century at the end of the book. But this book is really about the NABBP days in Cincinnati.

The 251 page, self-published book was sold by subscription when it first appeared in 1907. Whether or not it was well received is somewhat difficult to discern now, but the fact that his 1913 obituary fails to mention the book at all yet does go on about his works on frontier life may lead you to believe that it failed to find an audience.

What may be most unusual about the author himself, of which not a lot is known, is that he was neither a former player nor a sportswriter (though he did write non-baseball articles that were published in Denver—where he lived in the 1890s—and perhaps elsewhere). Virtually ever other non-fiction baseball book to this point had been written by one or the other.

The author's father (George B. Ellard) and uncle (John V. Ellard) had each been members of the Cincinnati Base Ball Club (the Red Stockings). In a letter to the editor of the New York Times the following year regarding an unrelated matter, Harry Ellard relates that he was in possession of "all of the... score books, the minute books, the account books, record books, bills, and photographs pertaining to the Cincinnati Baseball Club from 1866 to its disbandment in the latter part of 1870, and am able to speak officially on my subject." That he was related to an original member (his father) and that he had most—if not all—of the existing documentation makes him an ideal candidate to write such a work. One only wishes we had access to his full collection today.

 

To make the large book somewhat easier to view, we have published it on ten web pages (one for each chapter). This is the first. A link to the other pages is at the bottom of each page.

Everything from the original book is included though a number images have been slightly cropped (for consistency). As always we will point out any obvious factual errors in the text and have corrected minor textual errors. To avoid confusion, commentary we add to the text is enclosed by double brackets and in color like this: [[BaseballChronology note: This is a sample.]]

 

 

BASE BALL
IN
CINCINNATI

A HISTORY
BY
HARRY ELLARD

BaseballChronology.com Edition
Originally published in Cincinnati, Ohio
1907

 

 

 

From a recent photo
Hon. August Herrmann,
President
Cincinnati Baseball Club

To Hon. August Herrmann
This
Volume is Respectfully Dedicated

 

 

 

 

From a recent photo
Col. Max C. Fleischmann,
Secretary-Treasurer
Cincinnati Baseball Club

 

 

 

 

PREFACE

During the past few years the history of Cincinnati, with its many business interests and its active connection in all progressive movements, has been faithfully written.

The record of the early pioneers has been graphically described. Events, scenes and incidents have all received their full share of attention from the community, so that nothing pertaining to the honor and glory of Cincinnati, has been neglected.

There is, however, one feature in connection with our local history which has been wholly overlooked, a feature which has carried the name and fame of Cincinnati over the whole country. For it can truly be said that no correct and detailed history of our national game of baseball, which has attracted the attention of thousands of our citizens, has ever been written.

From time to time fragmentary accounts of the origin and progress of baseball, as it existed in our community, have appeared in the papers and magazines, but it has remained to the writer to present for the first time a full and complete history of the game of baseball from its first organization in midst until the present day.

The author is in possession of many of the books, scores, photographs and documents pertaining to the Cincinnati Base-Ball Club, especially during the years from 1866 to 1871, to which no one has ever had access, thus enabling him, by the publication of this work, to give to the public the most authentic and complete history ever written concerning the game as played within our city.

For the first time the connected story has been told of all the clubs and games, associating, as it will be seen, the names of ninny of the prominent men of Cincinnati, both in professional and business life with the early history of baseball

The career of the victorious Red Stockings has become a traditional heritage to all lovers of the game. There is scarcely an enthusiast, young or old, who does not dwell with pride upon this record of unparalleled success, which has never been equaled, and the achievements of the old Red Stockings of 1869 will always act as a stimulus to the present players to approach the high standard once established for the game.

The author desires to thank many of the old members of the Cincinnati Baseball Club, during the years previous to 1871, for much valuable information they have given him, and for the great interest they have manifested in the writing of this book.

 

 

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.
History of Our National Game of Baseball.
Cincinnati Was Always a Stronghold for Fans. Prominent Men Started It.
Rounders and Townball Preceded Baseball on Local Lots. First Rules of Baseball.

CHAPTER II.
How the First Cincinnati Baseball Club Was Organized. Prominent Men Took an Active Part in the Game. History of Early Days.
Rivalry and Enthusiasm Were Unbounded When Teams played.
The Great Baseball Tournament of 1867.
Formation of the Ohio Association.
Scores Made by the Cincinnati Baseball Club in 1866 and 67.

CHAPTER III.
How the Famous Reds of 1868 Were Organized.
Men of National Fame Later in Life Played Ball in Those days.
Adoption of the First Uniforms of the Club.
Short Trousers Inaugurated.
The Cincinnati Juniors Figured.
Youngsters in All Our Suburbs Had Good Nines.
Baseball Clubs in Cincinnati in 1868.
Harry Wright Married.
Indians Play on Cincinnati Ball Grounds.
Charter Roll of Membership of the Original Cincinnati Baseball I Club.
Scores Made by the Cincinnati Baseball Club in 1868. Scores Made by the Buckeye Baseball Club in 1868.

CHAPTER IV.
The Famous Reds of 1869 and Their Victories.
Were the First Professional Team in the Country.
Players Were Secured by a Cincinnatian from All Parts of the Country.
Never Defeated.
Detailed Account of Each Player.
Salary List.
Their Eastern Tour.
The Great Game with the Mutuals of New York City.

CHAPTER V.
The Unbeaten Redlegs of 1869.
Great Reception upon Their Return Home. Most Famous of Ballplayers.
Their Western Tour.
The Reds of Sixty-nine.
Official Scores for the Season.

CHAPTER VI.
The Cincinnati Baseball Club of 1870. The Players of the Year.
The Season Opens Very Successfully. Larger Scores Made than in 1869. Their Eastern Tour.
Their First Defeat.

CHAPTER VII.
The Historic Game with the Atlantics.
Red Stockings Lowered Their Banner on the Capitoline Grounds Back of Brooklyn.
It Came to Pass, but It Took Eleven Innings to Defeat the Invincible Ball-tossers.

CHAPTER VIII.
Homeward Bound.
Presentation of Banner by President Champion. Resignation of Officers of 1869.
Election of New Officers of the Cincinnati Baseball Club. Scores Made by the Cincinnati Baseball Club in 1870.

CHAPTER IX.
Dissolution of the Old Red Stockings.
Disbanding of the Original Cincinnati Baseball Club. Formation of Association of Professional Baseball Players. The Old Reds Quit Cincinnati.
Championship Clubs from 1859 to 1876.
The Reds Invade England.

CHAPTER X.
The Ball-fields from 1876 to the Present Day.
Formation of the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs.
The Baseball Wars.
Cincinnati Took Prominent Part.
The Cincinnati Baseball Club as Pennant Winners.
The Players of the Club of 1882. The American Association.
Championship Clubs from 1882 to 1892.
Championship Clubs of the National League from 1876 to and Their Managers.
The Cincinnati Baseball Club of Today.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER I.

HISTORY OF OUR NATIONAL GAME OF BASEBALL-CINCINNATI
WAS ALWAYS A STRONGHOLD FOR FANS.

Probably no athletic game has gained greater prominence in the United States than that of baseball. Although many claim it is of English origin, still I am convinced that the game is strictly American, being an evolution of the old game called "Cat Ball," or what was known in some parts of New England as "Two Old Cat."

Other athletic games have come forth from time to time, in which great interest has been taken, but their lives have been of short duration and they soon sank almost into oblivion; but baseball still remains, and there is every indication that it will survive for many years to come.

Rounders was begun in the early '30s in England, as a pastime for healthy outdoor exercise both for men and boys, and was introduced into this country about 1840. In order to give my readers an idea of what the game was, I quote from an old English work on outdoor sports a description of the game as it was played in the early part of the last century. It will be plainly seen that it is but the merest outline of what is now known as the great national game:

"Rounders.—This game is played with a ball and bats, or sticks, something the form of a policeman's truncheon. A hole is first made about a foot across and half a foot deep. Four other stations are marked with pegs stuck in the ground topped with a piece of paper, so as to be readily seen. Sides are then chosen, one of which goes in. Suppose that there are five players, yet more can play on each side, to start the game. One player on the side that is out stands in the middle of the five-sided space, and pitches the ball toward the middle of the hole. He is called the feeder. The batsman hits it off, if he can; in which case he drops the stick and runs to the nearest station, thence to the third, and all around if the hit has been a far one. The other side are scouting and trying to put him out, either by hitting the batsman as he is running or by sending the ball into the hole, which is called grounding. The player at the hole may decline to strike the ball, but if he hits at it and misses twice running he is out. When a player makes the round of the stations back to the hole, his side counts one toward the game. When all the players are out, either by being hit or the ball being grounded, the other side get their innings. When there are only two players left, a chance is given to prolong the innings by one of them getting three balls from the feeder, and if he can give a hit such as to enable him to run the whole round, all his side come in again and the counting is resumed. The feeder is generally the best player on his side, much depending on his skill and art. The scouts should seldom aim at the runners from a distance, but throw the ball up to the feeder or to some one near, who will try to hit or to ground, as seems the most advisable. A caught ball also puts the runner out."

TOWNBALL IN AMERICA.

The first townball club organized in this country of which we have any record, was known as the Olympic Ball Club, which was organized in Philadelphia on July 4, 1833, and was established by the union of two associations of Townball Players. One of these organizations began playing at Camden, N. J., as early as the spring of 1831. On the first day there were but four players who joined in the game "Cat Ball" or "Two Old Cat" as mentioned above.

A REAL OLD-TIME BASEBALL GAME DURING THE FIFTIES
Note the position and dignity of the umpire


When this association of ball players was organized it had no constitution or by-laws, or elected members, but the absence of these formalities was not felt, and was no disadvantage, for there were no quarrels or disputes among the players, who always found the principles of good-fellowship and gentlemanly intercourse a sufficient rule for their guidance.

KNICKERBOCKER WAS FIRST CLUB.

To get at the origin of baseball in America it will be necessary for us to go back to the pioneer club of the country. It has been conceded by all who have studied the history of baseball that the Knickerbocker Club, of New York, organized September 23, 1845, was the first.

There was, however, a club called the New York Club, which existed before the Knickerbocker, but we shall not be far wrong if we award to the latter club the honor of being the pioneer of the present game of baseball.

[[BaseballChronology note: This is practically word-for-word what Henry Chadwick wrote in 1860. That is not meant as an indictment of Ellard. In fact many baseball histories quote Chadwick without attribution.]]

Before the organization of this club the rule of play in reference to putting a player out was to throw the ball at him and hit him, but, owing to the fact that this practice resulted in some very severe accidents, the rules were changed to placing men on bases and making it requisite for a player to be touched by the ball while in the hands of his adversary.

To Mr. Alexander J. Cartwright is credited the formation of the Knickerbocker Club. He was quite an enthusiast in the old game and he soon gathered around him a number of faithful followers. One day upon the field he proposed the organization of a permanent regular club to several devotees of the game; so on the date which we mention above, the Knickerbocker Baseball Club was formed with the following officers: President; Duncan F. Curry; Vice-President, William R. Wheaton; Secretary and Treasurer, William Tucker. It was thus that these gentlemen formed an organization which was the nucleus of the now great American game. As Mr. Alexander J. Cartwright conceived the idea of the formation of the first baseball club in America, he is certainly deserving of the title "Father of Baseball."

The Knickerbockers played their first match game on June 19, 1846, with a party of New York gentlemen who styled themselves the "New York Club," but who had no permanent organization. Only four innings were played; the game in those days being determined in favor of the side that made the first twenty-one runs. The score stood: New York, 23; Knickerbockers, 1. The first uniform of the club was adopted at a meeting held April 24, 1849. This consisted of blue woolen pants, white flannel shirts and straw hats.

The following are the first regular rules of baseball of which we have any record. They are those adopted by the Knickerbocker Club in 1845. These rules were in vogue until the formation of the National Association of Baseball Players in 1857:

First Rules of Baseball.

Section 1. The bases shall be from "home" to second base forty-two paces; from first to third base forty-two paces equidistant.
Sec. 2. The game to consist of twenty-one counts or aces, but at the conclusion an equal number of hands must be played.
Sec. 3. The ball must be pitched and not thrown for the bat.
Sec. 4. A ball knocked outside the range of the first base or third base is foul.
Sec. 5. Three balls being struck at and missed, and the last one caught, is considered fair and the striker is bound to run.
Sec. 6. A ball being struck or tipped and caught either flying or on the first bound, is a hand out.
Sec. 7. A player running the bases shall be out if a ball is in the hands of an adversary on the base, or the runner is touched by it before he makes his base, it being understood, however, that in no instance is a ball to be thrown at him.
Sec. 8. A player running, who shall prevent an adversary from catching or getting the ball before making his base, is out.
Sec. 9. If two hands are already out, a player running home at the time a ball is struck can not make an ace if the striker is caught out.
Sec. 10. Three hands out, all out.
Sec. 11. Players must take their strikes in regular turn.
Sec. 12. No ace or base can be made on a foul strike.
Sec. 13. A runner can not be put out in making one base when a balk is made by the pitcher.
Sec. 14. But one base allowed when the ball bounds out of the field when struck.

[[BaseballChronology note: Actually, there were 20 rules, but this too is a direct quote from Chadwick and shows one of the pitfalls of not doing your own original research (of which most of us are at least occasionally guilty ).]]

All those who are familiar with the rules of the present day will at once see the great difference between the game as played then and that which is now the attractive feature of American sports.

A BASEBALL GAME IN FULL SWING DURING THE EARLY SIXTIES
Note the position of the catcher while runner is stealing second


The Knickerbocker Club had its grounds on what was then known as the Elysian Fields, and so successful was it there in arousing interest in the game that the formation of other clubs soon followed.

The next club formed was the Gotham Baseball Club, organized in March, 1852, with Mr. Tuche as President. It was then that the Knickerbockers had their first rivals, and many were the interesting contests between them. On June 30, 1854, was played one of the greatest games, in which the Knickerbockers suffered their first defeat, on the Gotham grounds, Red House, Harlem. The game lasted three hours and sixteen innings were played, resulting in a score of 21 to 16, in favor of the Gothams.

The Eagle Baseball Club, of New York, was the third one to spring into existence, organized in April of 1854, and among its founders are the names of John W. Mott and William C. Conner. The Empire Club, of New York, organized October 23, 1854, is fourth on the list, with thirteen members. This supposed unlucky number, however, had the opposite effect upon them, for their success in the field in these first years of baseball is well known.

The position of umpire was a dignified one in the early days. The man occupying it seemed to be perfectly conscious of the honor conferred upon him in being assigned to this office, not less, in his estimation, to one of high political importance.

He donned Prince Albert coat, silk hat and cane, and often wore long, flowing side whiskers. His position on the field was between home plate and first base, given a stool on which to rest one foot as he viewed the game. He gave his decisions deliberately, for the action of the game was not as rapid as at the present time. The swift manner in which baseball is played now would scarcely demand the services of so dignified a judge.

The scorer's position on the field was about twenty feet to t he right of the catcher. He was given a large table and plenty of paper, and inasmuch as refreshments, both liquid and solid, were served at every game, the scorer came in for a full share, and fared sumptuously.

The following is a list of the charter clubs of the association, who were represented at the first convention, with the date of organization and the location of the grounds of each:

CLUB ORGANIZED LOCATION OF GROUNDS
Knickerbocker September 23, 1845 Hoboken.
Gotham March, 1852 Hoboken.
Eagle April, 1854 Hoboken.
Empire October 23, 1854 Hoboken.
Excelsior December 8, 1854 South Brooklyn.
Putnam May, 1855 Williamsburgh.
Newark May 1, 1855 Newark.
Baltic June 4, 1855 New York.
Eckford July, 1855 Brooklyn.
Eckford June 27, 1855 Greenpoint.
Union July 17, 1855 Morrisania.
Continental October, 1855 Williamsburgh.
Atlantic August 14, 1855 Brooklyn.
Atlantic August, 1855 Jamaica, L. I.
Harlem March, 1856 New York.
Enterprise June 28, 1856 Bedford.
Atlantic August 14, 1856 Bedford.
Star October, 1856 South Brooklyn.
Independent January, 1857 New York.
Liberty March 1, 1857 New Brunswick, N. J.
Metropolitan March 4, 1857 New York.
Champion March 14, 1857 New York.
Hamilton March 23, 1857 Brooklyn.
St. Nicholas April 28, 1857 Hoboken.



As will be seen from the above record, the years 1855 and 1856 were prolific of new clubs, and, of course, a great number of exciting contests took place, the result of which was the creation of a thorough furor for the game, and the manifestation of a great degree of interest in the welfare and progress of this manly pastime by the rapidly increasing numbers of the advocates of outdoor sports.

The enthusiasm over the victories of the year 1855 and 1856 seemed to give a new impetus to baseball. Interest was widespread, new clubs were organized, which created a spirit of emulation and rivalry, which led to many well-contested matches between the different clubs. The game now appears to have had such a strong hold upon the community that it was deemed advisable at this time to revise the rules to meet in some respects the new conditions which had now arisen. For this purpose the different clubs held preliminary meetings, and it was finally decided to hold a convention, in which delegates from each State would be present. Consequently, the call was issued by the Knickerbocker Club, and the first convention was held in New York City in May of 1857, when was formed the National Association of Baseball Players.

The rules and regulations for governing the game were revised and amended at the second meeting of this association, held at Cooper Institute, March 9, 1859. Many important changes were made and a new code was established. At this time it was decided to abolish refreshments in connection with the matches. This custom, which was originally intended to create friendly feeling between participants in the game, finally became a very extravagant exhibition of emulation between the clubs, each one striving to excel the other in the quantity and quality of the feast presented. As these elaborate refreshments seemed unnecessary to the welfare of the game, it was considered prudent to discontinue them altogether.

DIAGRAM OF A BASEBALL FIELD,
1859.


FORMED STATE ASSOCIATION.

They also formed State associations, so that each year delegates were sent to the annual convention by each State belonging. In 1857 there were sixteen clubs enrolled, in 1858 twenty-nine clubs, in 1859 forty-nine clubs, in 1860 sixty-two clubs, and in 1861 thirty-four clubs. As the war broke out in 1861, which took many of the active young men to the front, interest in baseball ceased to a great extent.

In these dark days of the Union, baseball was a minor consideration and many clubs were disbanded, so that the membership in the association dropped off considerably in the years of 1861-'62-'63-'64. When the war was over, new clubs were formed, and at the convention of 1865 there were ninety-one clubs represented.

The tenth annual convention of the National Association of Baseball Players was held at Clinton Hall, New York, December 12, 1866, with 202 clubs represented. Dr. John Draper, of Cincinnati, was delegate from Ohio to this convention, representing the Live Oak Club, as was also Mr. Philip Lishawa, representing the Buckeye Club. Clubs from Oregon, in the West, to Maine, in the Fast; Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia, in the South, to Vermont, in the North, sent delegates to this convention, and the flattering reception given them as their names were announced, and especially the applause which greeted the Southern clubs, afforded ample proof of the truly conservative feeling which prevailed at this convention.
The bitter sectional feeling between the North and the South was quite strong at this time. It had been difficult to subdue the antagonism which had been engendered by the war, but it is well worthy of comment to mention the influence exerted by a manly sport as a means of reconciling these diverse factions. When it came to a game of baseball, all difference of opinion was laid aside. Fraternal feeling was uppermost, old political scores were forgotten in the attempt of each club to make a record score for itself, and it is pleasant to note that the applause and cheers were never stronger than when the name of one of the Southern delegates was proposed as a candidate for the presidency of the Association.

THE INTRODUCTION OF TOWNBALL INTO CINCINNATI.

From a old portrait made at the time
GEORGE F. SANDS
Buckeye Townball Club, 1863.
President
National Association of Base Ball Players, 1867.

Townball, from which baseball is an evolution, was first introduced into Cincinnati in 1860. This game is played on a field with bases marked at about one-half the distance of baseball. A short bat, which is used with one hand only, was employed in knocking a ball that was much smaller and much softer than a baseball. Four innings only were played, and the number playing on each side could vary from ten to fifteen. The scores ranged about the same as early baseball, yet in looking over the old score-book of games of townball played in Cincinnati during the war, we find one of 146 to 21. This game was played here by a number of school-teachers and their friends upon a lot upon which the Cincinnati Hospital now stands.

The Hospital then was a small building at one end, and frequently the young interns would join in the game. Among them are recalled the names of Dr. Williams, the oculist, Dr. Cilley, and Dr. McKenzie.

Although not regularly organized, these old players called themselves the Excelsior Townball Club. They played under this name for three years. In 1861 they obtained permission from the City Council to play in the Orphan Asylum lot, on Elm Street, where the Music Hall was afterwards erected.

At the suggestion of Geo. F. Sands, one of the prominent members of this club, a meeting was called at the office of Luke Kent, the jeweler, at Main and Fourth Streets, for the purpose of establishing the club upon a permanent basis.

SANDS WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT.

As a result, the Cincinnati Buckeye Townball Club was organized October 1, 1863, with George F. Sands as President; James Sherwood, Vice-President; Frank Harvey, Secretary; John B. Sheidemantle, Treasurer. Among the members at that time were John B. Sheidemantle, George W. Smith, James E. Sherwood, B. O. M. DeBeck, Jesse DeBeck, W. D. Gibson, Charles Gould, Samuel Hughes, George Wehmer, W. J. Ogden, Eugene Hammett, Ben Brookshaw, Charles Jones and others.

Later on they secured grounds in the Millcreek bottoms, just north of Lincoln Park, where are now located the buildings of the American Oak Leather Company, which were afterward fenced in and a clubhouse and seats erected. Under the name of the "Cincinnati Buckeye Townball Club" games were played until the fall of 1866, when the club was re-organized and henceforth was known as the "Buckeye Baseball Club." New member were added. Among them were Charles F. Wilstach, then Mayor; Harry Tatem, John F. Wiltsee, Steven Faulkner. The players which constituted the Buckeye Baseball Club nine in 1866 were:

1866
C James E. Sherwood
P George W. Smith
1B Charlie Gould
2B George F. Sands
3B B.O.M. DeBeck
SS John B. Shiedemantle
LF John L. Boake
CF William H. Boake
RF George P. Miller

 

During the baseball period of the club John B. Shiedemantle was considered one of the best players, and much of the success of a game was dependent upon him. If one was unfortunately lost during his absence, the club members consoled themselves in the face of their defeat, by saying to the victors, "You just wait until 'Sheiddy' comes home, then the tables will turn."

The Buckeye nine of 1867 had the following players:

1867
C William H. Skiff
P George W. Smith
1B Charlie Gould
2B William P. Wright
3B Thomas Tallon
SS John B. Shiedemantle
LF John L. Boake
CF William H. Boake
RF John Meagher
From a recent photo
MATTHEW M. YORSTON,
Organizer
First Baseball Club in Cincinnati in 1860.


Through the efforts of Matthew M. Yorston, the first baseball club in Cincinnati was formed. So unknown were baseballs in that time that Mr. Yorston made with his own hands the first ball ever used by the club, which began to play in the fall of 1860. This club played baseball, and sometimes town-ball, all through the war, and among its members were Dr. John Draper, Octavius Tudor, John C. Davis, Matt Yorston, James Fogerty, Theodore Frost, J. R. Brockway and others. This club at one time played on grounds at the foot of Eighth Street, near the site where the factory of the Crane & Breed Manufacturing Company now stands, and at another time on the old potter's field where is now Lincoln Park. The increase in membership after the war led them to form a regular organization, and the club was then called the Live Oak Baseball Club, which was really the first baseball club here.

ORGANIZATION OF THE LIVE OAK BASEBALL CLUB.

The Live Oak Baseball Club was organized at a called meeting on Thursday evening, July 15, 1866, when the following officers were elected for the first year: John C. Davis, President; R. B. Lee, Vice-President; E. McCammon, Secretary; C. McCammon, Treasurer.

The directors of the club were: M. M. Yorston, T. C. Frost, Dr. John Draper.

The first match game of baseball ever played in Cincinnati was played by this club on September 8, 1866, with the Eagle Baseball Club, then located across the river in a place known as Brooklyn, Ky., which was near Dayton. The members of the teams were as follows :

LIVE OAK BASEBALL CLUB.

Dr. John Draper———Catcher and Captain
T. C. Frost———Pitcher
D. R. Powers———First Base
Si Hicks———Second Base
James Fogarty———Third Base
R. B. Lee———Right Field
J. Hicks———Center Field
John R. Brockway———Left Field
M. M. Yorston———Shortstop

EAGLE BASEBALL CLUB.

Mahaffey———Catcher and Captain
Pudder———Pitcher
Lyford———First Base
Bricker———Second Base
Southard———Third Base
Kennedy———Right Field
Lusk———Center Field
Ford———Left Field
Swift———Shortstop

The scorers of the game were J. W. Rorer and Washington 'I' Porter. Mahaffey, the catcher for the Eagles, was one of the strongest batters that ever hit a ball. He used only one hand and a short bat eighteen inches long.

This game was full of excitement and interest, notwithstanding the great discrepancy in runs. It ended with a score of 52 to 12 in favor of the Live Oak Club, which took the ball that was played with during the game, as a trophy. This was the custom during these early days of baseball matches.
The next game was played by the Live Oak Club on September 15, 1866, when they were matched against the Covington Baseball Club. This was the first game ever played in Covington, Ky., and it was played near the residence of B. W. Foley. The Covington Club was composed of the following players :

B. W. Foley———Catcher and Captain
Matthews———Pitcher
Bertie———First Base
Moses Grant———Second Base
W. L. Porter———Third Base
Thomas Fallon———Right Field
W. Grant———Center Field
Parker———Left Field
Ben. Brookshaw———Shortstop
Holmes Hoge was the umpire.

This game saw the defeat of the Live Oak Club in a score of 28 to 21 in favor of the Covington Club, which captured the ball as the trophy of the day. One of the old rules in vogue at this time was that if a ball was knocked over the fence only one base was allowed.

 

 

[[BaseballChronology note: Baseball in Cincinnati continues with Chapter 2.]]

 

 

 
 
 
 

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