Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On this day in Reds history: The club is unable to field a professional nine


November 21, 1870 - The Cincinnati Baseball Club announces it will hire no professional players for the 1871 season, and instead will develop its amateur players. Unable to sign its star players to contracts for the 1871 season, and uncertain of being able to field a competitive first-class nine that would live up to the standards of the Red Stockings, the Cincinnati Baseball Club simply bowed out of the professional arena. The rise in payroll and other miscellaneous expense was what led to the financial demise of the team.

The decision meant that Cincinnati - which pioneered the professional game - would not be represented in the first professional league, which formed early in 1871.

It wasn't until 1875 when the Queen City would once again boast a professional baseball team as John Joyce, an organizer of the original Red Stockings club dismantled in 1870, revived the club through a new business entity. That 1875 team competed against amateur teams around the regional area. Joyce then sold the Reds to wealthy Cincinnati businessman Josiah "Si" Keck during the wintertime.

When the National League was formed in February of 1876, eight cities were selected to compete in the new major league, one of which was Cincy. The Reds remained members of the NL for five seasons before being expelled prior to the 1881 campaign amid violations of adopted league rules (beer sales, not closing their ballpark on Sundays).

Another independent team operating under the same cultural identity as the Reds was established in 1881. The team became a charter member of the American Association in 1882 and eventually joined the National League in 1890, a league with which they still reside in today. Although the franchise claims to trace its origins back to baseball's first professional squad in 1869 (Red Stockings), the current club actually traces its roots of existence to 1881.

 The first two paragraphs are excerpts taken from "Redleg Journal".

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