Cincinnati Red Stockings The Cincinnati Red Stockings were America's first professional baseball team in 1869. They are also the only team to win the World Series before the American League was formed in 1901.
They were founded by John H. Patterson and William H. Johnson, who had played on the same team in Louisville that year. The two owners moved their team to Cincinnati where they paid $10,000 for the rights to play in the National League. The team was named after the original Cincinnati Red Stockings, a former major league team that played from 1858 to 1867.
The new team went 42-0 during its first season, winning the National League by a wide margin. It drew over 10,000 fans per game, which was a huge increase from the 3,500 fans per game that the previous team drew.
After one season in Cincinnati, the Red Stockings left for Chicago, where they became known as the White Stockings. They returned to Cincinnati in 1870 when it was decided that the city needed an additional team to provide competition for the city's sole NL team, the Red Stockings. The move seemed to work out for both teams as the White Stockings won the 70-game season series 2-1.
1869. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first publicly compensated team and hence the first professional team. They entered the National League with eight other teams.
1869-70. The Red Stockings won their first seven games before losing to the Chicago White Stockings in a tie game. The club then lost all three games of their postseason series against the White Stockings. As champions, the Red Stockings received $10,000 ($150,000 in today's money). They used part of that fee to hire John Clarkson as their manager. Clarkson had managed the New York Mutuals in 1866 and was considered one of the best managers in the game. He is also credited with inventing the batting order.
1870. The National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs is formed by representatives from the major leagues. The NAIB plays through 1871 before merging with the National League (NL) to form the present-day league we know today as Major League Baseball (MLB).
1972. The original Baltimore Orioles play in the International League. They move to Washington DC and become the first American League (AL) franchise to relocate. The new location is better suited for major league baseball and the O's win 92 games in their only season in Washington.
The 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first all-professional club, begin the regular season with a 45-9 victory over the Great Westerns of Cincinnati on May 4, 1869. On June 15, 1869, the visiting Red Stockings upset the strong Mutual club of New York, 4-2, in what was largely regarded as the greatest game in baseball history up to that point. The Red Stockings finished their only season at 2nd place. They were managed by Joe Kelley and played home games at Forest Park in Cincinnati.
In 1870, the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs is formed, featuring eight teams from the Northeast and one team from the Midwest. The NABCL is considered the first true major league because many of its members have permanent homes on leased land with paid attendance. The Baltimore Canaries are the first non-New York franchise when they start play in April 1870. However, they cease operations after just one season due to financial difficulties.
In 1871, the first American League is founded as a rival organization to the National Association. Both leagues use purchased or rented grounds for their home games. The AL has four teams: the Buffalo Bisons, Chicago White Stockings, Detroit Wolverines, and Philadelphia Athletics. The NABCL continues to grow with ten teams, including the Hartford Dark Blues, Pittsburgh Alleghenys, and Troy Trojans.
Cincinnati, where the first openly professional baseball club was created, was the birthplace of this innovative technique. The present Reds franchise was founded in 1881, although its roots can be traced back four years after the Civil War. In 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became baseball's first professional club. They are remembered for their excellence on the field and their aggressive marketing campaign that included women's dresses made from their stockings.
In 1882, the St. Louis Browns joined the National League. They were owned by a group of American businessmen who selected the name to reflect their desire for their team to represent the whole country, not just one region. Although they failed miserably at the time, the Browns have gone on to become one of the most successful franchises in MLB history. Today, they are known as the Cleveland Indians.
The Reds' original home stadium was called Music Hall because it was located next to Music Street in downtown Cincinnati. The ballpark opened in 1875 and was owned by John Schlueter who also managed the team. Music Hall was destroyed by fire on May 14, 1877 and never rebuilt. The team then moved across town to Riverfront Stadium which originally had a grass surface but was replaced with tarred turf in 1984. It has been reported that during a rain delay one player from each team went into the stands to fight each other in what is now known as the Fight Night Game.