Cincinnati Red Stocking 1869
Cincinnati Red Stocking 1869

For decades, the Cincinnati Reds (Vickie’s favorite team) were always the first team to play at the beginning of every baseball season. Modern marketing has done away with the tradition that all started because the Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first openly all-professional baseball team in the world! That team began play 150 years ago, in 1869 – and to celebrate their anniversary, the Reds Hall of Fame folks have sent out a 1869 era team to barnstorm through Reds country. We were lucky enough to see this classic team last weekend – taking on the Portsmouth, Ohio Picked 9 at beautiful Earl Thomas Conley Park.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, dressed in period uniforms, the Reds took the field. A real, open, grassy field with bases, but no base paths. No ball gloves used, they didn’t appear until the 1880’s. You could record a out on a fly ball – even with one bounce. The pitcher threw the ball underhanded. No swearing, no spitting. Runs were called tally’s – a ground ball was a daisy cutter – the batter was a striker- and the cheers were “Huzzah’s.” In the end, a great time was had by all.

So here’s to the Reds – old and new – Happy Anniversary!

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