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Cincinnati Red Stockings facts for kids

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Harpers Weekly representation of the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

The Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869 were baseball's first openly all-professional team, with ten salaried players. The Cincinnati Base Ball Club formed in 1866 and fielded competitive teams in the National Association of Base Ball Players, a time of a transition that ambitious Cincinnati, Ohio businessmen and English-born ballplayer Harry Wright shaped as much as anyone. Major League Baseball recognized those events officially by sponsoring a centennial of professional baseball in 1969.

Thanks partly to their on-field success and the continental scope of their tours, the Red Stockings established styles in team uniforms and team nicknames that have some currency even in the 21st century. They also established a particular color, red, as the color of Cincinnati, and they provide the ultimate origin for the use of "Red Sox" in Boston.

The Cincinnati Base Ball Club, or simply Cincinnati Club, was established June 23, 1866. The team was soon nicknamed "Red Stockings" in reference to the main feature of the uniforms designed by Ellard; long stockings were then a novelty in team uniforms.

In 1869, the Red Stockings posted a perfect 65-0 record, the only perfect season in professional baseball history. This was the first team to play on the East and West coasts in the same season. More than 2,000 people greeted the team when it arrived in San Francisco. They really helped nationalize the game and put Cincinnati on the map as a baseball town.


1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings lithograph
An 1869 lithograph of the Red Stockings' "First Nine".

Ten men composed the 1869 team and the First Nine returned for 1870 in the same roles.

  • Asa Brainard, Pitcher
  • Doug Allison, Catcher
  • Charlie Gould, First Base
  • Charlie Sweasy, Second Base
  • Fred Waterman, Third Base
  • George Wright, Shortstop
  • Andy Leonard, Left Field
  • Harry Wright, Center Field/Manager
  • Cal McVey, Right Field
  • Dick Hurley, substitute

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