The Red Stockings of Cincinnati

Base Ball’s First All-Professional Team and Its Historic 1869 and 1870 Seasons


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About the Book

In early 1869, Harry Wright of the Cincinnati Base Ball Club made an announcement to the sporting press: the Red Stockings would be the first all-professional club in the history of the game. The outcry could be heard in nearly every town in which the sport was played. Wright, however, paid little heed to their protests and went about his business of signing players. By the start of the season he had inked ten players to contracts, with salaries ranging from $600 to $1,400 annually. By June of 1870, the Red Stockings had compiled a 90-game winning streak and were recognized as the finest team in the game. How the Red Stockings were formed, who the players were, and why things came to an end are all fully covered in this detailed history.

About the Author(s)

Attorney Stephen D. Guschov has taught a “Baseball and the Law” course at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover, and has written for Boston Baseball. He lives in Maitland, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Stephen D. Guschov
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 184
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 1998
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0467-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8072-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface       vii

1. Base Ball Before the Red Stockings      1

2. Professionalism Enters the Game      4

3. A Quest in the Queen City      9

4. Building a Ball Club      14

5. Pros-And Their Cons      21

6. To Be Purely Professional      24

7. Throwing Down the Gauntlet of Defiance      26

8. A Blazing Scarlet in the Spring      41

9. Looking to the East       47

10. The Journey Begins      49

11. The Gotham Showdown      55

12. “Oh, How Is This for High?”      60

13. The Glory of the Queen City      65

14. Unblemished Still      71

15. “A Most Contemptible Trick”      76

16. 103 to 81!       80

17. The California Tour      82

18. “Veni! Vidi!! Vici!!!”      91

19. 1870: Improving on Perfection      96

20. The Battle of Brooklyn: “Though Beaten, Not Disgraced”      104

21. The Face of Mortality      113

22. After the Fall      120

23. “Not a Porkopolian Has Heart Enough Left to Tell of the Defeat”      126

24. The Dye in the Stockings Begins to Fade      128

25. The Death of a Base Ball Club      133

26. A New City, a New League      138

27. “A Remarkable Band of Ball Players”      140

Epilogue      151

Notes      153

Bibliography      165

Index      169

Book Reviews & Awards

“a valuable resource for early baseball historians…recommended for all levels”—Choice; “intimately documents the personalities, triumphs, defeats and final breakup of this early baseball dynasty”—Library Journal; “helpful…clear…very engaging”—Ohio Valley History; “covers the subject exhaustively…a convenient one-volume treatment”—Nineteenth Century Notes.