A Few BIOS of Stars of Yesteryear in Baseball

These stars of the 19th century of baseball are almost forgotten. But not quite as
I have selected a dozen to highlight that were on top of their game. In fact, many of these are now in the Baseball Hall of Fame. In no particular order:


John Clarkson – He was born on July 1, 1861 as one of five sons of a jeweler in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He had two brothers, Walter Clarkson and Dad Clarkson that also played in the major leagues.

Clarkson compiled a career 328–178 record, placing him twelfth on the MLB list of all-time wins. Clarkson pitched over 600 innings in a season twice and won a career-high 53 games in 1885. In MLB history, only Charles Radbourne has won more games in a single season (59 in 1884). In just five seasons from 1885 to 1889, Clarkson won 209 games.

Clarkson had a wide variety of curve balls and was considered to be a calculating, scientific pitcher who carefully analyzed every hitter’s weaknesses. Hall of Fame hitter Sam Thompson said of Clarkson: “I faced him in scores of games and I can truthfully say that never in all that time did I get a pitch that came where I expected it or in the way in which I guessed it was coming.”

At the time Clarkson retired from the game, he was the winningest pitcher in National League history.

Aside from being a great pitcher, Clarkson was also a fair hitter. His 24 career home runs ranks 7th on the List of Major League Baseball all-time leaders in home runs by pitchers. He also had 232 career RBIs and 254 runs scored.

Total Baseball ranked Clarkson as the fourth best pitcher of all time behind Hall of Famers Cy Young, Christy Mathewson and Lefty Grove. He was selected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1963 by the Veterans Committee.


Sam Thompson– He was born on March 6, 1860 in Danville, Indiana. He was the fifth of eleven children in the family and he grew up in the town he was born in. After graduating from high school, Sam became a carpenter. He was a big and strong guy that played a bit of local baseball. People were in awe of his size and strength.

A scout came to see “Big Sam’ on a referral. Even though, Sam was working on a roof and not playing baseball, he was offered a contract. He wasn’t sure he wanted to give up a steady job, Thompson went to a scouting camp and was persuaded to play baseball.

Thompson signed with the Indianapolis Hoosiers of the newly formed Western League in 1885. He compiled a .321 average in 30 games with the Hoosiers He was approached by a Union Association team and offered more money, but in a show of “steadfastness to his word”, Thompson refused the offer and remained with Indianapolis at a pay of $100 per month. The Hoosiers were the dominant team in the Western League, compiling an .880 winning percentage.

MLB statistics
Batting average .331
Home runs 126
Runs batted in 1,308
He played as a right fielder in Major League Baseball for the Detroit Wolverines (1885–1888), Philadelphia Phillies (1889–1898) and Detroit Tigers (1906). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Thompson had a .331 career batting average and was one of the most prolific run producers in baseball history. His career run batted in (RBI) to games played ratio of .923 (1,305 RBIs in 1,410 games) remains the highest in major league history. In 1895, Thompson averaged 1.44 RBIs per game, and his 166 RBIs in 1887 (in only 127 games) remained the major league record until 1921 when Babe Ruth collected 168 (albeit in 152 games). Thompson still holds the major league record for most RBIs in a single month with 61 in August 1894 while playing for the Phillies. Manager Bill Watkins in 1922 called Thompson “the greatest natural hitter of all time.”

In 1974, he was selected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.


Deacon McGuire

James Thomas “Deacon” McGuire was born in Youngstown, Ohio on November 18, 1863  and died at Duck Lake on  October 31, 1936 at the age of 72. Deacon was an American professional baseball player, manager and coach whose career spanned the years 1883 to 1915. He played 26 seasons in Major League Baseball, principally as a catcher, for 11 different major league clubs. His longest stretches were with the Washington Statesmen/Senators (901 games, 1892–99), Brooklyn Superbas (202 games, 1899–1901) and New York Highlanders (225 games, 1904–07). He played on Brooklyn teams that won National League pennants in 1899 and 1900.

McGuire was the most durable catcher of his era, setting major league catching records for most career games caught (1,612), putouts (6,856), assists (1,860), double plays turned (143), runners caught stealing (1,459), and stolen bases allowed (2,529). His assist, caught stealing, and stolen bases allowed totals ue record 133 games and compiled a .336 batting average with 10 home runs, 97 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.

McGuire was also the manager of the Washington Senators (1898), Boston Red Sox (1907–08) and Cleveland Indians (1909–11). He compiled a 210–287 (.423) as a major league manager.


Chub Collins– Born as Charles Augustus “Chub” Collins  on October 12, 1857 in Cnada. He died on  May 20, 1914 was a Canadian professional baseball player and politician. He played two seasons in Major League Baseball from 1884 to 1885 as a second baseman and shortstop for the Buffalo Bisons, Indianapolis Hoosiers, and Detroit Wolverines. He later served as the mayor of Dundas, Ontario, from 1901 to 1902.

Collins compiled a .182 batting average and .901 fielding percentage in his major league career. In its obituary of Collins, Sporting Life wrote: “Charles ‘Chub’ Collins was a brainy ball player, a mediocre hitter, and one of the fastest base runners in America.”

Collins also played and managed in baseball’s minor leagues from 1885 to 1890 and 1896 to 1900, including stints with the International League and Canadian League teams in Hamilton, Ontario (1885-1887, 1897-1900), Rochester, New York (1888-1889), and Galt, Ontario (1896). He stole 45 bases in 1886, 85 bases in 1888, and 81 bases in 1889. His 1898 Hamilton team won the league championship “with one of the strongest minor league aggregations ever seen In Hamilton.” He also served as an umpire in the Western Association in 1891.








Looking Back: Women And Baseball

This series is something I have been wanting to do for a long time. As a baseball history enthusiast, it dawned on me that it wasn’t complete without adding in the contributions the women made into baseball. It certainly is noteworthy that they added to and continued the love of the game during World War II as shown in movies.
There are many very good books written on this subject and I recommend you find a few and give them a good read. This listing of bios is not done in any order of abilities. It is just random players and what they accomplished in the great game of baseball.

Shirley Burkovich- She was born on February 4, 1934 in Pittsburgh but grew up and spent her childhood in Swissvale, PA. It was here she began to play baseball with the boys in the neighborhood. Organized sports came much later. In her high school years, she played field hockey and basketball,
She went to Pittsburgh at the age of 16 for tryouts to play in the AAGPB for tryouts but needed the permission of her parents and the school since it was still in session which she got from both. She made the cut and played for three teams from 1949-1951 which were the Chicago Colleens, Springfield Sallies and the Rockford Peaches. She had a .375 on-base percentage and hit .229 from the plate in 37 games. She was a pitcher and had three relief appearances with no decisions.
After her playing days, she actively championed the AAGPBL and was part of the film A League of Their Own and was a Board member of the AAGPBL. Shirley passed on March 31, 2022 at the age of 89.

Gertrude Dunn- Born on September 30, 1933,in Sharon Hill, PA. She moved straight from high school in 1951 to the AAGLBP. She played for two teams which were the Battle Creek Belles and the South Bend Blue sox. In 1952, She was named Rookie of the Year. She finished with a .261 batting average in 320 games as the women’s leagues were beginning to disband. As that was happening, when joined an All-American All Star team to travel the nation. She played with many of the great players in women’s baseball on this team. This team played over 100 games and traveled over 10,000 miles in a Ford Station Wagon owned by the manager.
She died when her Piper Archer airplane she was co-piloting crashed on September 29, 2004 in Avondale, Pennsylvania. She was 70 years of age.

Joan Berger- She was born on October 9, 1933 in Passaic New Jersey. She was an infielder and outfielder. Although she was only 5’3”, she joined her father’s softball team, the Garfield Flashettes. By the time she was 16, she tried out for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She was deemed too young to play.
After she graduated from high school, she was accepted and sent to play for the Rockford Peaches. In her first year she played in 40 games in right field and hit .261. She maintained her rookie stair and her second season saw her switch to second base where she was awarded the Rookie of the Year honors and the only rookie to be named to the league All Star team in 1952, the next season she split her time between shortstop and third base and hit .280 for the Peaches.
The league folded and she joined a barnstorming team that played male teams around the country. They played over 200 games and traveled over 10,000 miles in a station wagon. She was part of the AAGPBL permanent display at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown, New York, opened in 1988, which is dedicated to the entire league rather than any individual player.Joan died on September 11. 2021 at the age of 87.

Jeanie Descombes- was born on March 28, 1935 in Springfield, Ogio. She was 135 lbs n her rookie season, Descombes posted a 0–1 record with a 7.45 earned run average in seven relief appearances and was a member of the Champion Team, even though she did not pitch during the postseason.In her final season of 1954, Descombes collected a 10–9 record and a 5.00 ERA in 22 appearances, tying for eight place in the league for the most wins while ending fifth in strikeouts (63). She also helped herself with the bat, going 7-for-39 for a .179 average and threw and batted left handed for the Grand Rapid Chicks.
Jeanie wrote this:

actually had no pitching participation and had never played organized baseball… I had practiced baseball with our school team all through high school, but of course, they would not let me play in the games. I was also the batgirl for our town team of men and practiced with them and went to all the games. I loved the game and had a strong arm, she recalled in her autobiography

Betty Foss-She began her baseball career as Betty Weaver after getting married. She was born on May 10, 1929 in Metropolis, Illinois. Standing at 5’10” and 180 lbs, she was a switch hitter and threw as a right hander.
Her sisters Jean and Joan all played in the AAGPBL. In 1950, sh was offered a contract wih the Chicago White Sox but opted to play in the women’s league.n the AAGLBP, she won back-to-back batting crowns and was almost in the Top leaders in stolen bases and slugging.Her teammates called her Fossie. She was a speedy outfield and a stellar defensive whiz at first base.
She collected 294 stolen bases and is only one of six players to have hit 30 or more career home runs (32). Her career .963 fielding average as an infielder would have been higher except for her rookie season at third base, when she committed 47 errors in 374 chances. She and her sister Joanne combined for five batting titles.
After her playing days, she moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana where she work until retirement and moved back to her hometown of Metropolis for three years before she died of Lou Gehig’s disease in 1998. Her sister Joanne died of the same disease two years later in 2000.

Mary Froning- she was born on August 26. 1934 in Munster. Ohio. She enjoyed most things outdoors and at age 16 bean playing softball in a local Catholic League as a shortstop. She was spotted by an AAGPBL representative and invited to a tryout.She went to South Bend Indiana with her parents and vied for five spots with 200 girls in the tryouts. Mary was selected and was sent a contract for $50 a month. She stated that her dad, for the first time, realized it was for baseball and not softball.
The Battle Creek team had a dispute with the coach and Froning stayed while the majority quit the team. She now had a regular spot on the team and Froning appeared in a career-high 108 games in 1953, collecting a .108 average and a .295 on-base percentage. She also posted career numbers in runs scored (50) and RBI (26), while her 32 stolen bases ranked for the tenth best in the league.
In 1954 Froning hit .234 with three home runs and 44 RBI, tying for fifth in stolen bases (26), while managing to place second for the most outfield assists (20), being surpassed only by Kalamazoo Lassies’ Jenny Romatowski.
She went on a brainstorming tour where they played men’s teams and traveled many miles. She played with many of the best players to ever play in the AAGPBL.
Mary died in November of 2014 at age 80.

Audrey Haine- was born on May 9, 1927 in Winnipeg Canada. She was one of 47 players in the AAGPBL that hailed from Canada. She was 5’9” and 15 lbs when she decided she began playing. At first, she played for the St. Anthony Brown Bombers in Winnipeg Catholic League.
She was a right handed hitter and pitcher and on several occasions in the 1940’s, she struck out 21 consecutive batters in district play. She had a very good curveball and a rising fastball that she delivered in the sidearm mode. She also had control issues at times. However, he was a winning pitcher four seasons when she also pitched two no hitters and 15 wins or more.
In 1944, she joined the expansion team known as the Minneapolis Millerettes. This team finished 26 and half games out of first place but Haine had some decent numbers . She led the league in ERA at 4.58 and a no-hitter despite only getting eight wins.
In 1945, she suited up for the Fort Wayne Daisies where hings were better, Haine improved in a most positive environment as part of a top three pitching rotation that included Annabelle Lee and Dorothy Wiltse, going 16–10 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 decisions. She finished sixth in the league with a .615 winning percentage and tied for eight in wins. In addition, she hurled her second career no-hitter on June 15, in a rain-shortened, six-inning game.
She continued to play for Grand Rapids, Peoria and the Rockford Peaches. When she retired in 192, she got married and had six children. She was inducted both into the Canadian and the Manitoba Baseball Halls of Fame. She was a longtime resident of Bay Village, Ohio.[
Haine died on September 11, 2021

Katie Horstman- she was born on April 14, 1935 in Minster, Ohio. She was one of six children that played ball all the time as a family. She began playing softball in her hometown for the Catholic Youth Services team at the age of a fifth grader. At age 16, he was asked to tryout for the All-American Girls League of Baseball Players. She was accepted and was assigned to Kenosha comets in 1951. She was 5’7” and 150 lbs and threw right handed. She was traded to the Fort Wayne Comets at midseason and played for them until the league folded in 1954. She had a lifetime .256 batting average and played
She also went 11–5 with 57 strikeouts and a 2.32 ERA in 17 games, being selected for the All-Star Team at third base. The Daisies won the title with a 66–39 mark.
After baseball, In the 1960s, Horstman graduated from Medical Record Librarian School. She later joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart religious order for five years, to become the first nun in the United States to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education. For the next decade, she taught physical education in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio before returning to her hometown of Minster, where she initiated girls sports programs, including volleyball, gymnastics, basketball, track and field, cross country and softball. By 1980, she focused in coaching on track and cross country. For the next five years, her girls teams never lost a track meet. After being runner-up State Champions in 1975, the inaugural year of girls track and field, her track team won five consecutive state championships (eight overall). She also guided her cross-country running squad to two state championships. Ending up 25 years in Minster, she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she oriented a clinical social work method to the sports area. Katie is living in Palm Desert in a retirement community.

Maxine Kline- was born on September 16,1929 in North Adams, Michigan She grew up in a German home with seven brothers and two sisters and began playing softball at a young age.and was a very good basketball player that led her highschool team to three undefeated seasons. She attended an AAGPBL tryout and earned a contract to play for the fort Wayne Daisies after her high school graduation.
Kline relied on a fastball–changeup combination, mixing in her curveball sparingly. A five-time member of the All-Star Team, she hurled two no-hitters, averaged 17 wins per season with a career-high, league-leading 23 in 1950, and again led all pitchers with 18 wins in 1954, during what turned out to be the AAGPBL’s final season. She ranks third in the All-Time list with a .678 winning percentage and fifth with 116 wins. In three seasons her earned run average dropped below 2.00, for a cumulative 2.05 ERA in 1,518 innings of work.
She joined the Bill Allington All Stars and brainstormed around the country playing against men’s teams. They traveled over 10,000 miles in a station wagon and played up to and over one hundred games per year.


Delores Lee- was born April 21, 1935 in Jersey City. New Jersey. She was 5’6” and 130 lbs and threw and batted with the right hand. She played baseball with her brothers and the other boys in the streets of her neighborhood. Like many youths of her generation, she also played stickball and basketball with the boys before playing competitively at age 12 for the Santora’s Village Boys ballclub. She was discovered while still attending St. Dominic Academy.
in Jersey City. Though her school had no sports for girls, the local area provided a wide range of opportunities through the Catholic Youth Organization leagues.Dee, a ahe was called. Spent five seasons playing for the Flashettes which was managed by Slim Berger, the father of Joan Berger also a player in the AAGLBP.
It was coach Berger that recommended her to go to a tryout where at the age of 16, whe was offered and accepted to play for the Racine Belles, which was managed by ill Allington. After the folding of the league in 1954, she went on a barnstorming tour with the Bill Allington All Stars to play men’s teams all over the county.
She became a police officer in her hometown of Jersey City in 1958 and married twice with one son. She died on May 14, 2024 in New Mexico.

Magdalen Redman- she was born on July 2, 1930 in Waupan, Wisconsin. She stood 5’” and was 150 lbs.She played baseball with the neighborhood boys and never played an organized game until she was seventeen years of age. She received an invitation to a tryout in Florida by a local spout. She was offered to play for the Kenosha comets. Two years later she was traded to the Grand Rapid Chicks where she played from 1950-1954 when the league folded.
Redman enjoyed a solid career during her seven years in the league, being noted by her enthusiastic and great knowledge of the game. In her rookie season she played every fielding position except pitcher. After that she played at infield, mainly at third base, before converting to catcher for the rest of her career. She had a stellar defense, being able to catch low balls and block home plate well, which combined with a strong and secure throwing arm.
After retirement, she received he college degree and taught physical education and high school math.She was an avid golfer and also traveled long distances to teach Bible Studies to adult groups. Mamie died in Oconomowoc on August 22, 2020.

Dottie Schroeder – was born April 11, 1928 in Sadorus, Illinois. She stood 5’7” and was 150lbs. She played shortstop and hot and threw with the right hand. Dottie Schroeder probably received more media attention and signed more autographs than any other All-American. An appropriate symbol of the feminine character of a league which wanted girls to look like women but play ball like men, her pretty portrait adorned the cover of Parade Magazine in August 1948.
Dottie played for the South BandBlue Soc from 1943-1945 and Kenosha Comets for two seasons followed by the Fort Wayne Daisies In 1947-1952 and finished her career with the Kalamazoo Lassies.
She received many awards and accolades in her career such as three time all Star, Her team won championships twice, Dottoe was the all time leader in games played, runs driven in and walks. She was second in hits, and third in home runs. She is part of the Women in Baseball display for the AAGPBL in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Dottie died in 1996 at the age of 68.

Dolly Vanderlip- was born June 4,1937 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She stood 5’8” and was 180 lbs. Dolly Vanderlip [Ozburn] (born June 4, 1937) is a former pitcher who played from 1952 through 1954 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Dolly Vanderlip was one of the youngest players signed by the AAGPBL during its 12-year existence. At first, she attended a tryout for the league in 1950. She was 13 years old, by far one of the youngest girls in the training camp. She signed a contract with the Fort Wayne Daisies the next year, and debuted with the team on June 5, 1952, one day after her 15th birthday, under Jimmie Foxx management.
She played for Fort Wayne and South Bend in her career Her best year was in 2954 when she was turned into a starter for manger Karl Wensch. Lippy as she was known, had 19 starts she finished with an 11–6 record in a high-career 120 innings. Her 2.80 ERA was the second best in the league, being surpassed only by teammate Janet Rumsey, who finished with a 2.13 ERA. Vanderlip also finished fifth in winning percentage (.647), sixth in wins, and tied for third for the most shutouts.
“Lippy ” toured with the famous Bill Allington barnstormers after the league folded.After baseball, she met a man on tour that she married and they had two children but Dolly went to college and received three degrees from three separate universities.


By Tom Knuppel


NOTE: This is the first of two parts to Women and Baseball. ASs you can figure out, I concentrated on the players that toured with Bill Allington and his barnstormers.

by Tom Knuppel


Teams That are Now Defunct


Throughout baseball history, teams have come and gone. We know of the recent ones in our lifetime. However, long before that there were hundreds of teams that played and disbanded in the early days of professional baseball. Let’s take a look at many of those but not all of those played and became defunct by 1950.

If you are interested in others,let me know at tknuppel@gmail.com


Wilmington Quicksteps

  This club began in 1883 when the Inter-State Association was founded and a charter was made in Wilmington Delaware to put together a team to be known as the Wilmington Quicksteps or also known by many as the Quickstep Club of Wilmington. They began play in 1884 in the Eastern League. 

   By August, they were 50-12 and very good with 400 average attendance daily.  In fact, they have sewn up their league easily. Many top professional traveling teams would stop in Wilmington to play the Quicksteps.Two of the pro teams were defeated. The manager of the team was Joe Simmons. After easily winning the Eastern League, they were persuaded to leave and join the Union Association to replace a folded team.

   Success wasn’t as easy in this league and the players thought more highly of themselves. After winning their first game 4-3 over Washington on August 18, it was all downhill for the Quicksteps, as many players no longer felt bound by their contracts and signed for more money with other teams in their new league. Shortstop and team captain Oyster Burns jumped to the Baltimore Monumentals for $900 a month, followed by outfielder Dennis Casey for $700 a month, while Catcher Andy Cusick jumped to the Philadelphia Phillies for $375 a month; each had been making about $150 a month in Wilmington.

   On September 21, 1884, Joe Simmons pulled his team off the field when he realized he didn’t have the gate fee of $60 to pay the Kansas City Cowboys as the attendance at the game was zero. 

Th team played their home games in Union Street Park in Wilmington, Delaware.

The ballpark was located on the southwest corner of Union Street and Front Street (now Lancaster Avenue), which at the time was just outside the city limits.The ballpark’s life extended well beyond 1884, hosting minor league games until the 1910s.


2. Altoona Mountain Citys


   They played baseball in the Union association for about six weeks in Altoona, Pennsylvania. They started with a 6-25 record. The team had several alternate name such as The Ottawas. The Altoona Pride,The Famous Altoonas and by the end of the season they became the Altoona Unfortunates.  

   The manager of the team was Ed Curtis and their home was in Columbia Park which was also sometimes called Fourth Avenue Grounds, was located at Lower Sixth Street, Fourth Avenue, and Mill Run Road.The co-owners of the team wee Arthur Dively and william Ritz. 

   The team began the season playing the top two teams in the league which were the St Louis Maroons and the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds. They began the season with no wins in eleven games. They gave up 92 runs and made 53 errors in those games. After winning their first game on May 10, the team went 5-8 before folding on May 31, 1884. Attendance ranged from 200 to 1000 on weekends. 


3. Kansas City Cowboys


    The Cowboys were only a team for one season. They took over for Altoona when they folded. They began by acquiring the same schedule and just played the games in their place. This team had no official nickname but the local press called them the Unions, since they were in the Union Association and the press of other cities referred to them as the Kaycees. Since took over for the Altoona team they got their win-loss record and finished last in an eight team league.

     Only the St Louis Maroons and Kansas City team made a profit that season. All the rest lost money. That caused the Union Association to dissolve. 

    Matthew Porter was the manager in Kansas City and played their games at Athletic Park which is located in the vicinity of Southwest Boulevard and Summit Street. The site today is occupied by various commercial businesses.


4. Baltimore Monumentals


This team finished in fourth place in the one year of the Union Association. Their record was 58-47 and they were managed by Bill Henderson, The Monumentals had some very good player in the league which included Emmett Seery, the left fielder that hit .311 for the season and pitcher Bill Sweeney who  was 40-21 on the year with a 2.54 ERA and 58 complete games. 

   The home games were played at the BelAir Lot. It was across Forrest Street from the Belair Market, and another of its boundaries was Low Street. Baltimore had more statues and monuments per capita than any other city in the United States in 1884.Therefore, they were named the Monumentals.


5. Providence Grays


     This team played in Providence, Rhode Island from 1878- until 1885 in the National League,\. They won in 1879 and 1884 and then went on to win the first ever World Series in 1884 by defeating the New York Metropolitans. 

   They played there home games at Messer Street Grounds and the park opened to the public on May 1, 1878. The following account from the Providence Morning Star provides a very detailed description of the park:


“The large grandstand held twelve hundred people, among them hundreds of ladies. The long semi-circular tiers of seats were black with men and boys, and hundreds were standing, unable to get seats. The commodious space for carriages was completely filled, and one or two May Day riding parties also graced that part of the grounds…Two registering turnstiles gates admit the patrons to the grounds, and as each ticket holder passes through the gate he steps on a raised platform, and by a mechanical arrangement is registered, and only one person can pass through the gate at a time. Near the gate are two ticket offices, and a large entrance through which the crowd can pass at the end of the game. At the southeast corner there is a large gate to admit carriages to the park. The ground, which contains nearly six acres of land, is enclosed by a fence twelve feet high. The diamond is as level as constant rolling by heavy stone and iron rollers can make it. Inside of the base lines is turfed, except a space nine feet in width, reaching from the pitcher’s position to the home plate. Twenty-two feet are sodded outside of the diamond. Paths leading to and from the bases have been rolled hard, and the out-field is sown with grass seed. The grand stand which will seat nearly 1200 people, is 151 x 40 feet (12 m), and in the rear is raised 34 feet (10 m). The stand is reached by steps at both ends. It will be covered by canvass, requiring nearly 7,000 feet (2,100 m). Seats are arranged in a circle at the eastern and western sides of the field. A platform 60 x 8 feet (2.4 m) has been erected for the reporters, scorers and invited guests, seating nearly 60 persons. Under the grand stand for the visiting and local clubs are rooms 20 feet (6.1 m) square and fitted up with wardrobes, dressing rooms 20 feet (6.1 m) square, a wash room supplied with Pawtucket water, closet, etc. The Western Union Telegraph Company have a room 8 x 10 feet (3.0 m). There is a stockholders’ room 20 feet (6.1 m) square, and a refreshment saloon 40 x 20 to be managed by caterer Ardoene. A fence with gateways has been erected in front of the club rooms, thereby preventing the crowd from having any talk with the players. The grounds are without doubt as fine as any in the country, and Harry Wright said yesterday, ‘They are beautiful.”


Benjamin Douglas became the general manager when the team was formed on January 16,1878. The president was  Henry Root and on January 18th they applied to enter the National League. They were accepted on February 6th.

   On April 10, Root took over ownership of the team, fired Douglas for incompetence and insubordination, and hired Tom York to replace Carey as captain. On May 30, the Providence Base Ball Association was incorporated by the Rhode Island General Assembly.

   The star pitcher for the Grays was “Old Hoss” Radbourn as he went on to win 60 games in 1884 and succeeded in winning the newly minted World Series over the New York Metropolitans. After the conclusion of the season in 1884, The Grays disbanded due to financial constraints. 


6. Chicago Whales


   This team has one of the more interesting stories of any defunct team. They began play in Chicag0 in 1913  in the Federal League. In 1915, they won their division by decimal points over the St Louis Maroons.

     They began without a nickname but when Burt Keeley became manager, they were given the name as Chicago Keeleys. They finished in fourth place 17.5 games behind the leader. After that season, the Federal League had visions of grandeur and wanted to be part of the major league. Chicago already had the Cubs and White Sox in the city.

    Chicago businessman James Gilmore became president of the Federal league and he sought investment owners of stature for many of the other teams in the league. It was in 1914 that the team became the Chicago Federals to keep them separate of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.Majority owner Charles Weegham in 1914 decided to build a new stadium for his team. Weegham failed to purchase the St Louis Cardinals in 1911 and turned his money towards Chicago. It was name Weegham Park. 

     At the start of the 1915 season, The renamed themselves the Chicago Whales. The hat was a large C with a whale in the middle of it. The team disbanded in 1915 and Weegham became a part owner of the Chicago Cubs. He moved his team into his park and they played there until  1920. Weegham was forced out as a Cubs owner due to financial issues and in 1920 the steel and concrete stadium was known as Wrigley Field. It is the only Federal League ballpark still being used today. Many Whales players had American and National League experience, including manager Joe Tinker, Dutch Willing, Mordecai Brown, and Rollie Zeider.

As the Federals, they played the first game at Wrigley Field on April 23, 1914.


7. Brooklyn Bridegrooms

   On October 29,1887, the Brooklyn Grays became the Brooklyn Bridegrooms when Jim Donahue purchased the team for $25,000 from the New York Metropolitans to play in the American Association.. On the same day, Donahue also purchased players : Bill Fagan, Frank Hankinson, Bill Holbert, Al Mays, Darby O’Brien and Paul Radford were purchased by the Bridegrooms from the New York Metropolitans. Then in November he bought more players from the St Louis Band in 1888, he purchased a plethora of players from the newly defunct Kansas City Cowboys.

In 1888, the Bridegrooms finished in second place 6.5 games behind the first place St. Louis Browns. The name Bridegrooms was given because at the time of formation, many of the players were getting married.  The Bridegrooms played in the 1889 World Series representing the American Association against the New York Giants, champions of the National League. The Giants won the series, 6 games to 3. This series would be the first meeting between the two teams. It was after the 1899 season they became the Brookly Suprbas. 


8. Philadelphia Keystones


   The team was also known as the Keystone Club of Philadelphia. Tom Pratt, a former player, was the owner. The team began play in 1884 in the Union Association. In their first year, they finished eighth in a twelve team league with a paltry 21-46 record under the management of catcher Fergy Malone.

    The organization ceased operations on August 7,1884 like most of the other teams in the Union Association. The team became defunct.   


9 All Cubans


The All Cubans team was organized by Abel Linares and managed by Tinti Molina. The players were all Cuban born players and toured the
United States in 1899 and again from 1902 to 1905. In the tour, they primarily played against semi pro teams and Negro league teams. Linares tells the story of arriving in the USA with 12 players and $25. They had so little money when the tour ended in New York that they couldn’t pay to send them all home. Two players had to stay and wait for money to be sent from Cuba for them to get home. 


On July 28,1899 the All Cubans got their first win. It was against a semi pro team from Weehawken, NJ. by the score of 12-4. On July 31, they followed that up with a loss to the West New York Field Club 8-5 with 1900 people in the stands. Another win came at the hands of the Mountain AC team 9-3.

Perhaps the most famous game in the history of the All Cubans was against the Cuban X-Giants (they had no Cubans on the squad), a top Negro League team with a 7-3 victory. 

The tour of 1902-05 was different for the first time they allowed black Cubans to play. 

. In 1903, there were reports the team had run into trouble in Florida because it was carrying three black players.These teams continued to play successfully against independent white semi-pro teams and Negro League teams, such as the Cuban X-Giants and the Philadelphia Giants.


10. Pittsburgh Crawfords


The Crawfords played in Pittsburgh from 1932-1938. They were a professional team that played in the Negro league in Pittsburgh, PA. Originally, they were first known as the Crawford colored Giants. They were named after the Crawford Bath House, which was a recreation center in the Crawford Neighborhood in the Hill District within the city.

Their games were played at Greenlee Field which was located at the intersection of Bedford Avenue and Junilla Street in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Greenlee Field was 375 in right field. 345 feet in left field and 500 feet in straight away center. The backstop is 60 feet from the plate and the foul territory off the sides from first and third were 25 feet. It was a big ballpark. 

In 1933, Gus Greenlee bought the team and had the stadium built and named after himself and they became one of the strongest teams around. as the major African-American leagues of the 1920s, the Negro National League and the Eastern Colored League, had fallen apart under pressures of the Great Depression. By late that year, Greenlee signed many of the top African-American stars to his team, most notably Satchel Paige. The next year, in 1932, Greenlee hired Hall of Fame player Oscar Charleston as playing manager, and added Hall of Famers Josh Gibson, Judy Johnson, and Cool Papa Bell, along with other notable players such as William Bell, Jimmie Crutchfield, Rap Dixon, Sam Bankhead, and Ted Radcliffe. Playing as an independent club, the Crawfords immediately established themselves as perhaps the best black team in the United States.

In 1938, white members of the board forced Greenlee to not hire blacks for jobs as ticket takers and ushers. He sold the team in 1938. They demolished the stadium and moved for one year to Toledo and the next season to Indianapolis before shutting down forever. 


11. Covington Blue Sox


   This team originated in Covington, Kentucky. They played in the short lived Federal League and were also known as the Covington Federal or Covington Colonels in the newspaper clippings. Baseball of the amateur variety had been around Covington for quite some time.

   The amateur team hosted a professional exhibition contest between the Philadelphia Athletics and the Hartford Dark Blues on September 21, 1875. It was a popular and successful venture with 800 in attendance. 

   It was in late 1912 or early 1913, that the Covington city leaders attempted to garner a team in the Class D Blue Grass League. They were blocked by the Cincinnati Reds that were a mere five miles away across the river. However, they were accepted into the maverick Federal League instead. 

   The next step involved the city raising money. They got $13,500 and they used $6000 to build a new ballpark and was built to hold 6,000 fans. The ballpark was bounded by East 2nd Street, East 3rd Street, Madison Avenue and Scott Boulevard.the park was built with small dimensions, possibly the smallest ever built for any pro baseball It had a distance of just 194 feet down the right-field line, 267 feet to dead center, and 218 feet down the left-field line.Pro ballparks had a required minimum of 325 feet down the foul lines. Construction did not begin until a month before opening day.


The home opener was a sellout and many were turned away on May 9. The mayor proclaimed ita half-holiday and all the city offices were closed. The Blue Sox pitcher Walt Justis  shut out the St. Louis Terriers for the win.However, the city wasn’t large enough to sustain the attendance and average plateaued to 650 per game.The league voted to move the team to Kansas City, where it was renamed the Packers. The owners of the Covington team yielded their rights to their creditors.


12. Cincinnati Outlaw Reds


      This team began in 1886 in the Union Association and finished in second place with 69 wins. They were only one of a few that played a full schedule and didn’t quit before the year was over. 

    They only had two pitchers on the rosters and they were George Bradley and Jim Mc Cormick. The best player on the squad and the one that had the best career was infielder Jack Glasscock. The team cease to exist more than one season due to the Union Association folding. 

13. Pittsburgh Rebels

   This team joined the Union Association in 1913 and played their games at Exposition Park, which was on the north side of  the Allegheny River.  Later after many decades, this became the spot where they built Three Rivers Stadium. The Union League folded after one season and they joined the Federal league. The Pittsburgh team had some good players that eventually became players in the National and American League. 

   The 1914 version had more issues in the Federal League and couldn’t sustain revenue and the team had to cease to exist after the 1914 season.


14. Atlanta Black Crackers 

     This team began as a collection of black college students that were named the Atlanta Cubs in 1919. They changed their name due to many of the fans referring to them as Black Crackers. There was already a team in Atlanta known as the Crackers and it was an all white squad. 

    The Black Crackers joined the Negro Southern League in 1920. The league was more popular in the north than the south, therefore, attendance wasn’t particularly good. They hung around until the mid 1920’s but due to the popularity of the Birmingham Barons  and the Memphis Red Sox in the Negro National League, the Black Crackers began to cease operations in 1936,


15. Troy Trojans

     For four years the Trojans were a major league team and that was from 1879-1882. They played their home contests at Putnam Grounds and Haymaker Grounds in the city of Troy in the state of New York. 

    Roger Connor is credited with hitting the very first grand slam ever in major league history. The Trojans and the Worcester National League team were expelled from the league before the completion of the season in 1882. The team had won 131 games and lost 194. They were just a bad baseball team. They were kicked out for being too small and too few attendance for the ambitious league. 

They had six in attendance on September 28, 1883 when they played Worcester and the following game saw them have one paid attendee. On their team were three future Hall of Famers in Mickey Welch, Buck Ewing and Roger Connor.  


17. Minneapolis Millers

In 1864, the Northwestern League was formed and the Minneapolis Millers was one od the first teams to join it. That league failed and it was replaced by the Western League and the Millers were part of it. That league had financial issues and folded. In 1884, a new western League was formed by Ban Johnson and Charles Comiskey. Minneapolis continued to play in 1900 but the league changed their name and approach to the American League and looked to boot out the smaller markets in favor of the larger cities.  

   A different version of the Millers took part around 1902 in the American Association. This franchise seemed to go in and out for years but the Millers are not around anymore. It is unsure if the present day Minnesota Twins have any connection to the old Minneapolis Millers roots. 

18. Louisville Black Caps

This team was in existence from 1930-1932 in the Negro National Laegue. They were based in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1931 they were known as the Louisville white Sox and in 1932, they Were part of the Southern League where they played for five months as the Black Caps and folded due to low attendance with about six weeks left in the season. 

19. Dayton Marcos

      This team began as an independent before the Negro Leagues really were in existence.The team was young black men that played in the Ohio-Indiana League in the early 1900’s. The team was formed by real estate agent Moses Moore. He was owner of the Marcos Hotel and apparently named the team after his business venture. The team was originally formed to provide entertainment at  Dahomey Park. This was the first black owned and operated amusement park in the United States.

    They began play at West Side Park and then moved to Westwood Park to make it closer to the amusement area.  The local newspaper referred to them as Moses Morre’s Marcos. 

   In 1913, there was a catastrophic flood and star pitcher ill Sloan took over a boat and saved as many as 300 Daytonians. 

20. St Louis Terriers

    This team played in 1914 and 1915 in the Federal League.  Phil Ball owned the team . He was an ice magnate and later owned the st. Louis Browns. The team played their games at Hanlan’s Park It was surrounded by Grand Avenue on the west and Laclede Avenue on the north in St, Louis Missouri. 

   In 1914, they finished in last place and then the following year they finished one game out of first place. It was then the Federal League folded after pressure from the American and National leagues. 

21. Buffalo Blues

This team played in the Federal League in 1913 and the newspapers referred to this team as BufFeds. They played in the major leagues in 1913 and 1914 and then discontinued operations. 

   They played their home contests at Internationals Fair Association Grounds. The fairgrounds property was originally a large block bounded by Northland Avenue (north); Humboldt Parkway (east); Ferry Street (south); Dupont Street, and Jefferson Avenue (west). The grounds included a horse race track and grandstand, and a bicycle track within the horserace rack.     William E Robertson was President of the league and manager of concessions at Griffith Stadium. 


22. Brooklyn Tip Tops

This team in Brooklyn, New York was in the short lived Federal League in 1914 and 1915. They were owned by Robert Ward, owner of Ward Baking company that made Tip Top bread.. Had this team succeeded, it is likely they would have played the first night games as they had made plans a year in advance of introducing the games. 

23. St Louis Maroons

  Henry Lucas formed the Maroons in 1884 and they played in the Union Association. They were as near a major league team as any for the time period. One year was it for the Union Association and the Maroons became part of the Nationals League.

   The Maroons debuted on April 20,1884 at the Union base Ball Park and later became known as Lucas Park. The ballpark was bounded by Jefferson Avenue (west, first base); Howard Street (north, third base); 25th Street (east, left field); and Cass Avenue (south, right field). Mullanphy Street now cuts through what was once right and center field.


There are many more teams that have gone defunct over the previous seasons. Most of them came during the Union Association era and the Federal league time. The Federal League is an interesting case to read as they were successful but got pressured by the National and American Leagues to have their teams joined them. This was necessary because top players were jumping around from team to team looking for more money.Hope you enjoyed the defunct article. There are likely another 60-80 teams that could be included at KnupSports. 


26. Cleveland Spiders

27. Homestead Grays

28. Jacksonville Red Caps

29. Bachrach Giants

30. Washington Potomacs

The Origins of Baseball

The origins of baseball are somewhat fuzzy and surrounded by plenty of controversy in the early years. Many games like baseball had the tools of the trade involved in them. the bat, ball and running were all staples of games found in Great Britain and other parts of Europe. Contests like rounders, cricket, stoolball all were first developed in England. As settlers from Europe left and came to the United States, they brought what they could remember and a hybrid game was started called base ball, goal ball, round ball,sometimes it was just called base. In early days ,they ran around the base in the opposite direction than the current game. like the game of brannboll from the Nordc countries. A player could be out if they were hit by the ball when not on the base and a few version allowed for a strikeout of the batter

In the southern part of England in the mod 18th century there appear to have been a children’s game where a striking of  ball and running a circuit of bases was being played. This was later identified as rounders. This is known as English colonists took the book A Little Pretty Pocket book of Base-Ball was discovered. Now that those traveling to the United States had a rule book, the games began. The game was definitely changed when adults began playing the game. after time, they were always attempting to find a loophole in the rules. So, it was constantly being updated to keep up with the game. The hotbed in the mid 19th century appears to have been around New York City.  These games were being discouraged and sometimes forbidden by the religious sects of the United States as sinful in nature.

Aside from obvious differences in terminology, the games differed in the equipment used (ball, bat, club, target, etc., which were usually just whatever was available), the way in which the ball was thrown, the method of scoring, the method of making outs, the layout of the field and the number of players involved. Very broadly speaking, these games can be roughly divided into forms of longball, where the batter ran out to a single point or line and back, as in cricket, and roundball, where there was a circuit of multiple bases. There were also games (e.g. stool-ball, trap-ball) which involved no running at all.

There were many differences in the new game and the old games of Europe. They included the ball (today’s is much harder than the earlier ones), the bat(today’s are refined pieces of wood where they used wht they could fine), the way the ball was thrown(earlier was underhand and you old them where to place it),the scoring, the ways to make outs(earlier if you caught it in the air or on one bounce you were out), the layout of the field (the first field had 126 feet between bases) and the number of players involved. Of course, they had no professionals players. It was the local barber, attorneys, longshoremen, businessmen, police and firemen among others.



NEXT UP- The Early Years



Women in Baseball- Required Charm School

The following text was taken from the charm school guide located in the collections of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library.


When you become a player in the-American Girls Baseball League you have reached the highest position that a girl can attain in this sport. the-American Girls Baseball League is getting great public attention because it is pioneering a new sport for women.

You have certain responsibilities because you too are in the limelight. Your actions and appearance both on and off the field reflect on the whole profession. It is not only your duty to do your best to hold up the standard of this profession but to do your level best to keep others in the line.

The girls in our League are rapidly becoming the heroines of youngsters as well as grownups all over the world. People want to be able to respect their heroines at all times. The All-American Girls Baseball League is attempting to establish a high standard that will make you proud that you are a player in years to come.

We hand you this manual to help guide you in your personal appearance. We ask you to follow the rules of behavior for your own good as well as that of the future success of girls’ baseball.

In these few pages, you will find many of the simple and brief suggestions which should prove useful to you during the busy baseball season. If you plan your days to establish an easy and simple routine, so that your meals are regular and well balanced, so that you have time for outside play and relaxation, so that you sleep at least eight hours each night, and so that your normal functions are regular, you will be on the alert, do your job well, and gain the greatest joy from living. Always remember that your mind and your body are interrelated, and you cannot neglect one without causing the other to suffer. A healthy mind and a healthy body are the true attributes of the All-American girl.

Beauty Routines

Your ALL-AMERICAN GIRLS BASEBALL LEAGUE BEAUTY KIT Should always contain the following:

  • Cleansing Cream
  • Lipstick
  • Rouge Medium
  • Cream Deodorant
  • Mild Astringent
  • Face powder for Brunette
  • Hand Lotion
  • Hair Remover

You should be the best judge of your own beauty requirements. Keep your own kit replenished with the things you need for your own toilette and your beauty culture and care. Remember the skin, the hair, the teeth and the eyes. It is most desirable in your own interests, that of your teammates and fellow players, as well as from the standpoint of the public relations of the league, that each girl be at all times presentable and attractive, whether on the playing field or at leisure. Study your own beauty culture possibilities and without overdoing your beauty treatment at the risk of attaining gaudiness, practice the little measure that will reflect well on your appearance and personality as a real-American girl.

Suggested Beauty Routine

“After the Game”

Remember, the theAll-American girl is subjected to greater exposure through her activities on the diamond, through exertion in greater body warmth and perspiration, through exposure to dirt, grime and dust and through vigorous play to scratches, cuts, abrasions and sprains. This means extra precaution to assure all the niceties of toilette and personality. Especially “after the game,”the All American girl should take time to observe the necessary beauty ritual, to protect both her health and appearance. Here are a few simple rules that should prove helpful and healthful “after the game.”

  1. Shower well and soap the skin.
  2. Dry thoroughly to avoid chapping or chafing.
  3. Apply cleansing cream to face and remove with tissue.
  4. Wash face with soap and water.
  5. Apply skin astringent.
  6. Apply rouge moderately but carefully.
  7. Apply lipstick with moderate taste.
  8. Apply eye makeup if considered desirable.
  9. Apply powder.
  10. Check all cuts, abrasions or minor injuries.

If you suffer any skin abrasion or injury, or if you discern any aches or pains that do not appear to be normal, report them at once to your coach or chaperone or the person responsible for the treatment and first aid. Don’t laugh off slight ailments as trivialities because they can often develop into a serious infection or troublesome conditions that can handicap your play and cause personal inconvenience. See that your injuries, however slight, receive immediate attention. Guard your health and welfare.

Additional Beauty Routine

“Morning and Night”

In the morning, when you have more time to attend to your beauty needs, you will undoubtedly be enabled to perform a more thorough job. Use your cleansing cream around your neck as well as over the face. Remove it completely and apply a second time to be sure that you remove all dust, grease and grime. Wipe off thoroughly with cleansing tissue. Apply a lotion to keep your hands as lovely as possible. Use your manicure set to preserve your nails in a presentable condition and in keeping with the practical needs of your hands in playing ball.


Not a great deal need be said about the teeth, because every All American girl instinctively recognizes their importance to her health, her appearance and her personality. There are many good tooth cleansing preparations on the market and they should be used regularly to keep the teeth and gums clean and healthy. A regular visit to a reliable dentist is recommended and certainly, no tooth ailment should be neglected for a moment.


Unwanted or superficial hair is often quite common and it is no problem to cope with in these days when so many beauty preparations are available. If your have such hair on arms or legs, there are a number of methods by which it can be easily removed. There is an odorless liquid cream which can be applied in a few moments, permitted to dry and then showered off.


There are a number of very fine deodorants on the market which can be used freely all over the body. The most important feature of some of these products is the fact that the fragrance stays perspiration proof all day long. These deodorants can be used especially where excess perspiration occurs and can be used safely and effectively without retarding natural perspiration. The All-American girl is naturally susceptible because of her vigorous activities and it certainly pays dividends to be on the safe side. Deodorant keeps you fresh and gives you assurance and confidence in your social contacts.


“The Eyes are the Windows of the Soul”

The eyes indicate your physical fitness and therefore need your thoughtful attention and care. They bespeak your innermost thoughts. They reflect your own joy of living, or they can sometimes falsely bespeak the listlessness of mind and body. Perhaps no other feature of your face has more to do with the impression of beauty, sparkle, and personality which you portray.

A simple little exercise for the eyes and one which does not take much time can do much to strengthen your eyes and add to their sparkle and allure. Turn your eyes to the corner of the room for a short space of time, then change to the other corner, then gaze at the ceiling and at the floor alternately. Rotating or rolling your eyes constitutes an exercise and your eyes will repay you for the attention that you give to them. There are also vitamins prescribed for the care of the eyes. Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of vegetables. We all know well that the armed forces found carrots a definite dietary aid to eyesight. Use a good eyewash frequently and for complete relaxation at opportune moments, lie down and apply an eye pad to your eyes for several minutes.


“Woman’s Crowning Glory”

One of the most noticeable attributes of a girl is her hair, a woman’s crowning glory. No matter the features, the clothes, the inner charm or personality, they can all suffer beneath a sloppy or stringy coiffure. Neither is it necessary to feature a fancy or extravagant hairdo because a daily program for the hair will help to keep it in healthful and attractive condition.

Neatness is the first and greatest requirement. Arrange your hair neatly in a manner that will best retain its natural style despite vigorous play. Off the diamond, you can readily arrange it in a softer and more feminine style, if you wish. But above all. keep your hair as neat as possible, on or off the field.

Brushing the hair will help a great deal more than is realized. It helps to stimulate the scalp which is the source of healthful hair growth. It develops the natural beauty and luster of the hair. And it will not spoil the hairdo. When brushing, bend over and let your head hang down. Then brush your hair downward until the scalp tingles. Just a few minutes of this treatment each day will tend to keep your scalp in fine condition and enhance the beauty of your “crowning glory”.


Every woman wants to have an attractive and pleasing mouth. As you speak, people watch your mouth and you can do much, with a few of the very simplest tools, to make your mouth invitingly bespeak your personality. Your beauty aids should, of course, include an appropriate type of lipstick and a brush. They should be selected with consideration and care.

With your lipstick, apply two curves to your upper lip. Press your lips together. Then, run your brush over the lipstick and apply it to your lips, outlining them smoothly. This is the artistic part of the treatment in creating a lovely mouth.

Patient practice and care make perfect. Open your mouth and outline your own natural curves. If your lips are too thin to please you, shape them into fuller curves. Now, use a tissue between your lips and press lightly to take off excess lipstick. If you wish to have a “firmer foundation,” use the lipstick a second time and use the tissue “press” again.

Caution: Now that you have completed the job, be sure that the lipstick has not smeared your teeth. Your mirror will tell the tale, and it is those little final touches that really count.


The hands are certainly among the most expressive accouterments of the body. They are always prominent and noticeable and while feminine hands can be lovely and lily white, as described in the ads, the All­American girl has to exercise practical good sense in preserving the hands that serve her so faithfully and well in her activities. Cleanliness and neatness again come to the fore. Your hands should be thoroughly cleaned and washed as frequently as seems desirable or necessary, and especially after games, they should be cleaned to remove all dust and grime. Soap and water and pumice will do this job to perfection. Then a protective cream should be applied to keep hands soft and pliable and to avoid cracking and over-dryness. Your nails should be gone over lightly each day, filing to prevent cracks and splits, oiling for the cuticle.

The length of your nails, of course, depends largely upon the requirements of your play. Keep them neat and clean and your hands will always be attractive.


“All Beauty Comes From Within”

To the theAll-American girl, who is exposed to the elements, to the sun, to the wind and to the dust, it is most essential that every precaution be taken for the care of the skin. It should be covered with a protective substance of cream or liquid, depending entirely upon whether your skin is dry or oily. If it is dry, the cream type is recommended and if it is oily, you should use the liquid type. A good cleansing cream can serve as a cleanser, a powder base, a night cream and also a hand lotion. It is a good idea to have such an all-around utility cream on hand at all times and to use it regularly for these purposes.

FOR YOUR COLORING – again it depends on your particular complexion and whether you have an abundance of natural color tones or need very little coloring. You can determine this in keeping with good taste to acquire the necessary results. People who are naturally pale, of course, need the coloring to help their complexion.


NEXT: Rules of Conduct

Women in Baseball Wednesday  Rules of Conduct



ALWAYS appear in feminine attire when not actively engaged in practice or playing ball. This regulation continues through the playoffs for all, even though your team is not participating. AT NO TIME MAY A PLAYER APPEAR IN THE STANDS IN HER UNIFORM, OR WEAR SLACKS OR SHORTS IN PUBLIC.
Boyish bobs are not permissible and in general, your hair should be well groomed at all times with longer hair preferable to short hair cuts. Lipstick should always be on.
Smoking or drinking is not permissible in public places. Liquor drinking will not be permissible under any circumstances. Other intoxicating drinks in limited portions with after-game meal only, will be allowed. Obscene language will not be allowed at any time.
All social engagements must be approved by a chaperone. Legitimate requests for dates can be allowed by chaperones.
Jewelry must not be worn during game or practice, regardless of type.
All living quarters and eating places must be approved by the chaperones. No player shall change her residence without the permission of the chaperone.
For emergency purposes, it is necessary that you leave a notice of your whereabouts and your home phone.
Each club will establish a satisfactory place to eat, and a time when all members must be in their individual rooms. In general, the lapse of time will be two hours after the finish of the last game, but in no case later than 12:30 a.m. Players must respect hotel regulations as to other guests after this hour, maintaining conduct in accordance with high standards set by the league.
Always carry your employee’s pass as a means of identification for entering the various parks. This pass is NOT transferable.
Relatives, friends, and visitors are not allowed on the bench at any time.
Due to the shortage of equipment, baseballs must not be given as souvenirs without permission from the Management.
Baseball uniform skirts shall not be shorter than six inches above the knee-cap.
In order to sustain the complete spirit of rivalry between clubs, the members of different clubs must not fraternize at any time during the season. After the opening day of the season, fraternizing will be subject to heavy penalties. This also means in particular, room parties, auto trips to out of the way eating places, etc. However, friendly discussions in lobbies with opposing players are permissible. Players should never approach the opposing manager or chaperone about being transferred.
When traveling, the members of the clubs must be at the station thirty minutes before departure time. Anyone missing her arranged transportation will have to pay her own fare.
Players will not be allowed to drive their cars past their city’s limits without the special permission of their manager. Each team will travel as a unit via the method of travel provided for the league.

Women in Baseball Wednesday- AAGPBL- Formation History

Note: With major league players off to World WarII and minor league teams becoming non-existant, the time was ripe for women to play baseball. The fan base was ready and willing for this new sport.


All American Girls Professional Baseball League


By the fall of 1942, many minor league teams disbanded due to the war. Young men, 18 years of age and over, were being drafted into the armed services. The fear that this pattern would continue and that Major League Baseball Parks across the country were in danger of collapse is what prompted Philip K. Wrigley, the chewing-gum mogul who had inherited the Chicago Cubs’ Major League Baseball franchise from his father, to search for a possible solution to this dilemma. Wrigley asked Ken Sells, assistant to the Chicago Cubs’ General Manager to head a committee to come up with ideas. The committee recommended a girls’ softball league be established to be prepared to go into Major League parks should attendance fall due to franchises losing too many quality players to attract crowds.

With the dedication of a group of Midwestern businessmen and the financial support of Mr.Wrigley, the All-American Girls Softball League emerged in the spring of 1943. The League was formed as a non-profit organization. A board of trustees was formed which included Philip K. Wrigley; Branch Rickey, Brooklyn Dodgers President and General Manager; Paul V. Harper, Chicago attorney and trustee for the University of Chicago and Chicago Cubs attorney; and Ken Sells, who was named President of the League. Midway in the first season of play, the board of trustees changed the League’s name to All-American Girls Baseball League (AAGBBL) to make it distinctive from the existing softball leagues and because the rules of play were those of Major League Baseball. However, the retention of shorter infield distances and underhand pitching caused some controversy in the media about “Baseball” in the League name. Thus, at the end of the 1943 season, the official League name was again changed to the more descriptive All-American Girls Professional Ball League (AAGPBL). This title was retained until the end of the 1945 season when All-American Girls Baseball League (AAGBBL) was again adopted and retained through 1950. It was during this time period that overhand pitching and smaller ball sizes were adopted. When independent team owners purchased the League at the end of the 1950 season, the official League name was changed to the American Girls Baseball League (AGBL), but popularly it continued to be identified as the All-American League or the All-American Girls Baseball League (AAGBBL). Through the organization of the Players’ Association in1986, and through their efforts to gain recognition by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988, the league has now come to be recognized as what it was in actuality: the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL).

The first major issue facing the trustees was to establish what game of ball was going to be played by the women and to define the rules for this new brand of ball. Chicago Cubs’ scout, Jack Sheehan, former player and part-time scout for the Cubs, and Vern Hernlund, supervisor of recreation for the Chicago Parks Department, worked with Ken Sells to write the new set of rules for the League. Since the only organized ball for women in the country was softball, they created a game which included both softball and baseball. There were semi-pro women’s softball teams of quality women players in Chicago and many other urban centers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The skill of these teams provided a logical basis for the use of a 12-inch softball and underhand pitching. They wanted, however, to liven up the game. In an effort to increase hitting and spotlight base running and fielding, they extended the length of softball’s base paths and pitching distance. They also incorporated men’s base running rules by allowing runners to lead off and steal bases. Softball at the time included 10 players. This new game would parallel men’s baseball in a number of players and types of equipment.

The second major issue facing the trustees was to find the talented women playing softball or baseball across the country. Jim Hamilton, 30-year veteran player, manager, owner, and Chicago Cubs’ scout was hired as the Head of Procurement to locate and sign women from all over the United States and Canada. In Canada, the driving force was Johnny Gottslieg, former defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks National Hockey Team in the 1920s and 1930s.

Gottselig, a native of Regina, Sask., was managing the Blackhawks’ Kansas City farm team in 1942. He had many contacts among sporting figures in the provinces, one of whom was a Regina-based hockey scout named Hub Bishop. Bishop was responsible for signing Mary “Bonnie” Baker, All-Star catcher for the South Bend Blue Sox, and other highly skilled players from the many popular softball leagues which existed in Canada. Johnny Gottselig became the first manager of the Racine Belles in 1943 and managed his team to the first recognized World Championship of the newly organized AAGPBL. Wrigley already had an established recruitment network in place from his ownership of the Cubs and had sports connections throughout North America. Jim Hamilton, with several assistants, was responsible for procuring players from California to New York. Many players were screened from the Chicago Softball League and other existing softball leagues throughout the country. Bill Allington, former minor league player and then a coach in the California leagues, was also an active scout for the All-American League. Allington became the manager for the Rockford Peaches in the summer of 1944 and remained as a manager in the league throughout the league’s existence.

By sending out scouts and setting up try-outs in dozens of major cities, Wrigley attracted hundreds of women from all over America and Canada who were eager to play in this new professional league. Of these, only 280 were invited to the final try-outs in Chicago where 60 were chosen to become the first women to ever play professional baseball.

Team Formation

Wrigley originally envisioned that Major League baseball parks could profit from having the women play on the dates the men’s teams were scheduled to be on the road. He calculated this would maximize the use of the parks which were now only utilized 50% of the time. He approached other Major League owners, but the idea was not well received. Four non-Major League cities were selected that were in close proximity to the League headquarters in Chicago and close to each other. The cities chosen were Racine and Kenosha Wisconsin, Rockford, Illinois, and South Bend, Indiana. Arthur Meyerhoff, Wrigley’s advertising director, was given the responsibility of coordinating operations with city officials and civic leaders in the communities. A projected budget was developed. Wrigley agreed to fund half the cost of operating each team and all over-budget expenses. The host city directors agreed to pay the other half of projected operating costs.

Teams consisted of fifteen players, a manager (coach), a business manager, and a woman chaperone. It was believed that by acquiring notable men sports figures as managers for the girls’ teams, there would be greater curiosity and interest by the public. The first managers selected were Johnny Gottselig; Bert Niehoff, former Major League player and minor league manager; Josh Billings, former Major League player; and Eddie Stumpf, former Milwaukee Brewers catcher.

Spring training was set for May 17, 1943, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. All the players stayed at the Belmont Hotel close to Wrigley Field. The final selection process began on the first day. League officials systematically scrutinized each player. They were tested on playing their field position, throwing, catching, running, sliding and hitting. At the end of the day, no one wanted to answer the phone for fear of being told they would have to pack and go home. Those who survived the cut were signed to professional league contracts which stated they were not to have any other employment during the baseball season. Salaries were high for many of these young players, some as young as 15. In many cases they were making more than their parents who had skilled occupations. Salaries ranged from $45 to $85 a week plus. Those who were signed not only had to be highly skilled players, they also had to comply with high moral standards and rules of conduct imposed by the League.

In addition, femininity was a high priority. Wrigley contracted with Helena Rubenstein’s Beauty Salon to meet with the players at spring training. After their daily practices, the women were required to attend Rubenstein’s evening charm school classes. The proper etiquette for every situation was taught, and every aspect of personal hygiene, mannerisms and dress code was presented to all the players. In an effort to make each player as physically attractive as possible, each player received a beauty kit and instructions on how to use it. (See Charm School and Rules of Conduct for details).

Mrs. Wrigley, Wrigley’s Art Designer, Otis Shepard, and Ann Harnett collaborated to design special uniforms for the League. Ann Harnett, Chicago softball star and the first girl to sign a contract with the league, became a model for the new uniforms. The one-piece short-skirted flared tunic was fashioned after the figure skating, field hockey, and tennis costumes of the period. Satin shorts, knee-high baseball socks and baseball hat completed the uniform. Each city had a different colored uniform and its own symbolic patch decorated the front of the uniform.


Next: The Charm School

Women in Baseball – Central Illinois Gals

One of the earliest memories that I have was in kindergarten when the teacher asked us to write what you want to be then you grow up. I remember putting ‘athlete’. I remember putting that, and my teacher said, “You can’t be an athlete, Sarah.” She was a nun. I went to Catholic school. I remember her telling me that, and I was so disappointed. I said, “but why not?” And she said, Girls aren’t athletes, Sarah. Only boys are athletes.”

In 1988 by Sarah Gascon (from “A Game of Their Own” by Jennifer Ring)

Sarah Gascon is now a world-class handball player for the USA


The Women in Baseball movement is real. It took the movie that was directed by the late Penny Marshall called, “A League of Their Own” to revitalize this topic. In fact, this movie is the highest-grossing baseball movie ever made. It is just ahead of the Jackie Robinson movie “42”. There are women now playing in colleges, leagues, and lower levels of the game. There are umpires that are female in the minor leagues along with baseball executives in the major leagues. There is a long history of women that have been owners of major league teams with varying degrees of success including Helene Robison Britton as the owner of the St. Louis Cardinals for six years beginning in 1912.

On this blog, I will try to touch on the many aspects of baseball and the role women played in it. It will likely begin around September 10-20.

The following schedule has been set:

  • August 7- AAGPBL Formation History
  • August 14- AAGPBL- Rules of Conduct
  • August 21- AAGPBL- Charm School
  • August 28- none
  • September 4 and every Wednesday- Player Bios from Central Illinois players


I want to be sure to feature those that were born around Central Illinois that played professional baseball in the AAGPBL. If you know of someone that needs to be featured, send me a message. I currently have a list of local gals that I may feature if I can find enough information from my research.  They will be done in a random order but here is the player list and the city they were born in. Also, the names in parentheses are their married name and many played before marriage.

  • Amy Irene Applegren – Peoria
  • Helen Westerman (Austin)- Springfield
  • Mildred Baker- Peoria
  • Mary Rudis (Bestovic)- Springfield
  • Lila Burk- Peoria
  • Bonnie Cooper- Tremont
  • Elizabeth Dailey- Peoria
  • Carol Damon- Peoria
  • Betsy Wanless (Decker)- Springfield
  • Loretta Flessner- Peoria
  • Betsy Gerring- Peoria
  • June Gilmore (Hawton)- Peoria
  • Mabel Holle- Jacksonville
  • Irene Ives- Peoria
  • Esther Luman (Kelly)- Peoria
  • Irene Kerwin- Peoria
  • Ruth Miller- Jacksonville
  • Janice O’Hara- Beardstown
  • Rose Folder (Powell)- Springfield
  • Mary Elizabeth Farrow (Rapp)- Peoria
  • Marilyn Akin (Shambaugh)- Peoria
  • Emily Stevenson- Champaign
  • Ruth Waca- Peoria

If you know family members of any of these players please alert them to this site and if they want to send copies of memorabilia or talk to me about their relative playing baseball, that would be awesome! tknuppel@gmail.com 

Several of these women are included in the Encyclopedia of Women and Baseball book and I will be using that for biographies. It is a great book from author Leslie A. Heaphy and I recommend it for your reading if you want much more on this topic.

I will be featuring an article about the Peoria Redwings (1946-1951) and the Springfield Sallies (1948).



This is the final post on major league players born in Central Illinois. I could have included many of the stars of the game from these counties such as Jim Thome, Joe Girardi, Robin Roberts, Ben Zobrist, Dick Schofield and many more. I made the decision to stick with the lesser-known players. Here are some of their bios. In a few months, I will begin a series on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) and highlight the girls and teams from the Central Illinois area. If you have any personal information on those ladies, feel free to send me a message. 

I hope you have enjoyed this series.

John Louis “Lou” Johnson was born in Pekin, Illinois on  November 18, 1869. In his major league career with the Phillies, Johnson posted a 1–1 record with a 6.06 ERA in four appearances, including three starts and two complete games, giving up 22 earned runs on 44 hits and 15 walks while striking out 10 in 32 ⅔ innings of work.

Red Dorman was born as Charles Dwight “Red” Dorman in Jacksonville, Illinois on October 3, 1900, and played for the Cleveland Indians for 28 games during the 1928 Cleveland Indians season. He made his debut on August 21, 1928, and doubled in his first at-bat. He hit .364. in that season.

Joe Sullivan was born on September 26, 1910, in Mason City, Illinois, and the family moved west towards the State of Washington shortly after his birth. He played five seasons in the Major Leagues with the Detroit Tigers (1935–1936), Boston Red Sox (1939–1940), Boston Braves (1941), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1941). In five major league seasons, Sullivan had a record of 30–37 with a 4.01 ERA. A knuckleball specialist, Sullivan once pitched 12 straight innings of scoreless relief.

Darby O’Brien was born on September 1, 1863 – June 15, 1893) He played outfield for the New York Metropolitans in 1887 and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms/Grooms from 1888–1892. O’Brien developed lung problems during his playing career and continued to play, despite his ill health. When he reported to spring training for the 1893 season, the team found that he was too ill to play and sent him to Colorado to try to recover. They played a benefit game to raise money for him. He died later that year of typhoid fever at the age of 29 in his hometown.

Bernie Neis was born in Bloomington, Illinois on September 26, 1895. He played for the Brooklyn Robins, Boston Braves, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox between 1920 and 1927. He later managed in the minor leagues in 1932 and 1933. His lifetime average was .272 with 25 home runs.

Jim Cox was born May 28, 1950, in Bloomington, Illinois. He played for the Montreal Expos between 1973 and 1976. He batted and threw right-handed. In a four-season career, Cox was a .215 hitter (66-for-307) with three home runs and 33 RBI in 110 games played, including 33 runs, 11 doubles, two triples, and three stolen bases.

James Abner “Stub” Smith was born in Elmwood, Illinois on November 24, 1873.  He played in few games for the Boston Beaneaters in 1898 and got one hit in ten at-bats.

Roy Ogden Wise was born in Springfield, Illinois on November 18, 1923. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1944 Pittsburgh Pirates season appearing in two games on May 12 and May 13. He finished with a 9.00 ERA and one strikeout.

George (Lucky) Whiteman was born on December 23, 1884, in Peoria, Illinois. He played mainly as a left fielder for the Boston Americans (1907), New York Yankees (1913) and Boston Red Sox (1918) between the 1907 and 1918. Whiteman filled in the outfield for the Boston Red Sox whenever Babe Ruth was pitching. He finished a .271 batting average with one home run and 31 runs batted in in 85 games played.

Jack Brittin was born in Athens, Illinois on March 4, 1924. In six total games pitched in the big leagues, all in relief, Brittin had a 0–0 record with a 6.75 earned run average. He allowed seven hits, six earned runs and nine bases on balls in eight full innings pitched.


Got a thought? Email me at tknuppel@gmail.com


Central Illinois has had many major league baseball players in history. Let’s look at them from the 12 counties that we have selected to become Central Illinois. (Logan, McLean, DeWitt, Woodford, Fulton, Peoria, Mason, Tazewell, Cass, Morgan, Menard, Sangamon).


As I snooped around looking for information on Robert Kinsella, I happily stumbled upon an article about his dad and the connections to baseball and some names of baseball history that he interacted with on a daily basis.

Not to forget Richard (Bob), he played in four major league games for the New York Giants in 1919-1920. He made his major league debut on September 20, 1919 and played his last contest on October 2, 1920. He was 3-for-12 in his career


check out the other bios HERE.



This article is published with permission from the Sangamon County Historical Society. Check them out as they have some great research items and stories to read.


Richard Kinsella (baseball scout, team owner)


Richard “Sinister Dick” Kinsella (1862-1939) was a semi-pro baseball player, owner of Springfield’s Three-I League team and a well-known local politician. But he was famous nationally as the right-hand man of John J. McGraw, the Hall of Fame manager of the New York Giants from 1902 to 1932.

“Sinister Dick” got his nickname not because of skullduggery but because of his dark, bushy, intimidating eyebrows. (A sports writer reportedly once said “his eyebrows looked like fright wigs.”)  Nonetheless, Kinsella was a tough, old-school baseball man.

He also was a shrewd judge of talent. As a scout – at first, in fact, McGraw’s only scout – Kinsella discovered dozens of major-league baseball players, including Hall of Famers Carl Hubbell, Frankie Frisch, Freddie Lindstrom, Mickey Cochrane, and Hack Wilson. He may also have been involved in McGraw’s signing of Joe “Iron Man” McGinnity; Kinsella said he and McGinnity once played on the same team in Springfield.

Kinsella played first base during his own on-field career, which apparently was spent with town teams; businesses like the Illinois Watch Factory, Myers Brothers department store, local railroads and others sponsored teams during the period. The Illinois State Journal hinted at his playing style in an 1897 story involving a feud between Kinsella and Springfield Mayor Marion Woodruff: “Kinsella has been a power in Democratic politics in Springfield ever since the days when he played baseball and the bleachers went wild over the manner in which he stole second (base).”

Kinsella served on the Sangamon County Board of Supervisors and then was county treasurer from 1898 to 1902. He was a delegate to several Democratic national conventions, including serving as sergeant-at-arms at the 1912 convention. He also operated Kinsella Paint and Varnish for more than 50 years in Springfield.

Kinsella was among the early boosters of local minor-league baseball, starting at least in 1890 when a group of businessmen tried to raise money to support Springfield’s team in the Central Interstate League. The Springfield Senators had finished second in the Central Interstate in 1889. However, the league did not resume in 1890.

Springfield Senators, 1905; player-manager Frank Donnelly in center. (Center text says "Champions for 1905," but the Senators actually finished third in the league that year.) (Sangamon Valley Collection)

Springfield Senators, 1905; player-manager Frank Donnelly in the center. Despite references to the Senators being “champions,” the team actually finished third in the league in 1905. (Sangamon Valley Collection)

Kinsella later became a director of the Springfield Baseball Association, which sponsored a team in the Three-I League beginning in 1903. That first team was the Springfield Foot Trackers, according to baseball-reference.com; the name changed in 1904 to the Springfield Hustlers and then back to the Senators in 1905.

Most sources on Kinsella report that he became the owner of the Springfield franchise in 1904, but that is incorrect. Harry Jones owned most of the stock of the Springfield Baseball Association until fall 1905, when Kinsella challenged allegedly improper payments to the association’s secretary – Jones – and its treasurer. The legal dispute was settled in November 1905, with Kinsella paying $5,000 for 80 percent control of the team, according to newspaper reports.

As owner (or what newspapers called “the Springfield magnate”), Kinsella put together a winning organization, and the Senators were league champions in 1908 and 1910. However, his approach was to churn the team’s roster, hiring promising prospects and then, once they showed potential, selling their contracts elsewhere. Critics, many of them his Three-I competitors, said that was unfair and damaging to the league.

The Illinois State Register also crossed swords with Kinsella in 1910. Angered when the newspaper reprinted a St. Louis item suggesting Kinsella had assaulted an umpire – actually, he apparently had come to the ump’s defense – he barred Register reporters from League Park, the field at 11th Street and Black Avenue where the Senators played. The ban was to apply, Kinsella said, even if the reporters bought tickets and even at games not involving Three-I teams. (Town leagues also used the park.)

The Register responded in a June 16 commentary, one perhaps written by “sporting editor” Jimmie Dix, who was the special object of Kinsella’s ire.

If Dick Kinsella wants to run a baseball nine, that’s all right. He is a baseball genius in the picking of players and organizing pennant-winning teams. The State Register prints the news about it. Dick Kinsella’s business in this matter is running a ball nine. The State Register’s business is printing the news. We owe that to our 17,000 subscribers, not one of whom has ever made a request that we let Dick Kinsella tell us who we shall send to report the news or how we shall report it.

Despite the Senators’ on-field success, attendance at League Park in 1910 fell short of the Three-I League’s minimum of 35,000 patrons.

Meanwhile, Kinsella had begun scouting for McGraw’s Giants in 1907. So when he was offered the chance in 1910 to head the St. Louis Browns scouting organization, Kinsella put the Senators up for sale. Getting no solid offers in Springfield, he moved the franchise to Decatur in May 1911; that December, he sold out to another Springfield syndicate, once again headed by Harry Jones.

After scouting for the Cardinals, Kinsella joined the New York Yankees staff in 1916. He later returned to the Giants organization.

Jim Sandoval, writing for the Society for American Baseball research, outlined Kinsella’s scouting secrets.

Kinsella … subscribed to newspapers in every town or city that had professional baseball. He made connections with the compilers of league statistics to get the official averages in advance of publication. He also acquired lists of players on waivers.

Kinsella once signed a player, Benny Kauff, by taking a job on a plantation near a Mississippi resort where the player and other baseball figures were holding meetings, Sandoval wrote: “While the baseball people were meeting, Kinsella was meeting secretly with Kauff.”

Sandoval debunks another characteristic Kinsella story, that he once bought the contract of a prospect for $25 and a bird dog. Kinsella did give the dog to St. Louis Cardinals manager Roger Bresnahan, but as a gift, not as part of a player deal, Sandoval wrote.

However, Kinsella was part of a spectacular brawl at a St. Louis hotel in 1915. The fight grew out of an argument between Giants catcher Larry McLean; Sandoval describes the result:

As many as six players helped Kinsella. Accounts say two chairs were broken on McLean, with Kinsella breaking a rocking chair over his head, then chasing him around the fountain in the courtyard. McLean ran away, chased by McGraw and Kinsella, and McLean escaped by jumping into a passing automobile.

Kinsella in the 1930s (SJ-R)

Kinsella in the 1930s (SJ-R)

Kinsella retired from scouting in 1930. He remained active in politics, however, and ran Henry Horner’s Sangamon County campaign for governor in 1932. In return, Horner in 1933 named Kinsella director of the state division of oil inspection, a job he held till his death in 1939.

Long-time Illinois State Journal sports editor Bob Drysdale remembered Kinsella in his “Dope Bucket” column on Oct. 15, 1939:

One of the best – and greatest – of baseball’s old guard was called out by the Great Umpire last night when Richard F. (Dick) Kinsella died. Mr. Kinsella, more than anyone else, brought baseball fame to Springfield. As a player, manager and scout, he put this city in the forefront of the game. Stars discovered by him as a scout for the New York Giants have become baseball immortals. … He saw the game grow. He helped it to grow. If scouts ever gain their deserved recognition and win places in baseball’s Hall of Fame, Richard F. Kinsella will lead them all. He was the best.


*The Rippon-Kinsella House, the Kinsella family home at 1317 N. Third St., is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. As of 2015, it was a bed-and-breakfast home.

*Richard Kinsella and his wife Mary Kathryn had four sons, three of whom died as young men. The fourth, Robert (1899-1951), played in four games for the New York Giants in 1919 and 1920.

A diamond at David Lawless Park, winter 2015 (SCHS)

A diamond at David Lawless Park, winter 2015 (SCHS)

*Some biographies give Dick Kinsella credit for building Springfield’s first baseball stadium. That appears to be overstated. League Park was created in 1902, and the grandstand was built in 1903 and improved in 1904. As a director of the Springfield Baseball Association, Kinsella no doubt played a role in the construction, but he didn’t take control of the Springfield team until late 1905. League Park’s grandstand and bleachers were destroyed by an arson fire in June 1911, a couple of months after Kinsella moved the team to Decatur. (Kinsella later wrote that he moved the team because of the fire; that was incorrect.)

The site of League Park, after lying vacant for decades — for many years, it was a periodic circus and carnival grounds — is again a baseball facility. Renamed David Lawless Park and operated by the Springfield Park District, it is the home of four diamonds.