A few weeks ago there was an interesting posting and discussion on the Ohio County Facebook page about baseball in
. That led me to doing a little bit of research
on the subject. Ohio County
On July 19, 1865, the Louisville Grays hosted the first baseball game played under standard rules west of the Alleghenies, where they defeated the Nashville Cumberlands. When
Louisville businessman Walter Haldeman and others formed
the National League in 1876, this Louisville
club was a charter member. The Grays finished fifth in 1876 and in 1877 led the
league in the final weeks of the season, losing to the Boston Red Caps in the
final game. It was later discovered that gamblers had paid four Louisville players to lose games in 1877 so that Boston would win the
championship. Baseball’s first major scandal led to the demise of the Grays,
and the four team members were banned from playing professional baseball for
life. Kentucky has not been represented by a
major league team since the turn of the 20th century when the Louisville
Colonels switched to the minor league, but minor league baseball has flourished
in the state with at least 32 Kentucky
cities hosting minor league teams.
More than 250
Kentucky natives have played major league
baseball and four Kentuckians have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame:
Earl Combs, A.B. Chandler, Jim Bunning and Harold “Pee Wee” Reese.
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The Hartford Herald first mentioned baseball in an article in 1894, which was an article first published in the
titled “The Birth of Baseball.”
That article is shown below. St. Louis Republic
In the Hartford Herald local baseball news was usually found in the “Personals” columns, with an occasional “Sports” headline. It appears that baseball teams were formed in all communities with all ages of players and that games were played all summer. It does not appear that these teams were high school teams until about 1940, when organized baseball became a part of the high-school sports culture. Local communities mentioned in the newspaper that fielded “community” teams included Hartford, Beaver Dam, Centertown, Mchenry, Rockport, Morgantown, Simmons, Sunnydale, Cleaton, Echols, Provost, Sulphur Springs, Calhoun, Graham, Island Station, Livermore, Philpot, Equality, Nocreek, Taylor Mines, Beech Creek, Rob Roy, Chapman, and Adaburg.
I will post some baseball “news” from the Hartford Herald over the next week or so.