: Cincinnati Red Stockings, 1869 team photograph. This photomontage consists of ten oval-shaped portraits of individual team members. Nine captioned photos of players are arranged around a larger portrait of team captain Harry Wright. The men are dressed in business or formal attire. The date "1869" is printed at center bottom; below it is the credit line "From original photos taken at the time in Cincinnati, Ohio." The 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings made history not only as the most dominant baseball club of its time but also as the first band of professional ballplayers. Professional baseball originated in Cincinnati. The first game played by a team in which all players were professionals and received pay occurred on June 1, 1869, when the Cincinnati Red Stockings defeated the Mansfield Independents, an amateur club. The Red Stockings won by a score of 48-14. The salary for the entire Cincinnati team during the 1869 season was eleven thousand dollars. The Red Stockings went on to win 130 consecutive games during 1869 and early 1870, not losing a game until June 14, 1870. Baseball historians challenge the number of games because a majority of them involved amateur clubs losing to the Red Stockings. Nevertheless, the club had fifty-seven straight victories against other highly-ranked and professional or semi-professional teams. Cincinnati's decision to pay players proved to be a success, and other cities soon began establishing professional clubs throughout America. The Red Stockings team was a leading contender during its first several decades of existence. In 1876 the team, now known as the Cincinnati Reds, became one of the original members of the newly formed National League, but this organization expelled the club in 1880 for selling beer at the team's games. The Reds returned to the National League after a decade's absence. Baseball became one of Cincinnati's most popular entertainment venues, aided in part by the team's World Series titles in 1919 and 1940. Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine," featuring players such as Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Pete Rose, dominated baseball in the 1970s, picking up additional titles in 1975 and 1976. A surprise wire-to-wire title again in 1990 strengthened the Reds' legacy and helped ensure future generations of Reds fans. View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06023 Subjects
: Cincinnati Red Stockings (Baseball team); Cincinnati Reds (Baseball team); Baseball--Ohio--Cincinnati--History; Baseball--History; Cultural Ohio--Ohio Sports Places
: Cincinnati (Ohio); Hamilton County (Ohio)