Thursday, October 6, 2011

On this Day in Reds History: Banned from NL for Brew?

October 6th, 1880 - On October 4th the National League establishes new rules prohibiting teams from renting their home parks for use by amateur clubs on Sundays, as well as prohibiting the sale of alcohol during game days.

Presumably, the rules were directed primarily at the Red Stockings --who needed to do both to remain financially profitable. According to Tom Melville's book entitled Early baseball and the rise of the National League, the team's adoption of the rule would have cost the Reds nearly $3,000 in yearly revenue -- a handsome sum at the time.

A couple of days later on the 6th, and on the heels of a last-place 21-59 season, the franchise announces their refusal to obey the new regulations and are immediately expelled from the league because of it.

Cincinnati does not field a professional squad the following year in 1881, but a new franchise emerges and joins the American Association (aka "The Beer & Whiskey League) in 1882. They go on to participate in the AA for the next seven seasons until re-joining the National League in 1890.

Whew! All of this over rent and beer.

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