The Professional Nine that Will Travel Under St. Louis Auspices.
Official Lists of the Players - Intentions for the Coming Season - Prospects of the Game.
The national interest in base ball is by no means on the wane. During the season which closed on November first, audiences composed of the best class of people, and numbering all the way from eight to ten and twelve thousands have been drawn together in St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York whenever there was to be a game between two crack organizations. Those familiar with the game and its patrons say that the prospects for the coming season are of the most brilliant character. More money will, they say, be put into professional clubs, several additional organizations will then enter the diamond field, while the tone of the clubs has been perceptibly raised, and to a greater extent than formerly the interest has been transferred to the better portion of the community from the rough element that once ruled it.
Of the three additional professional clubs to enter the field - the St. Louis, Centennial and Keokuk - none have been inaugurated under better auspices than our own. When such young men as John B.C. Lucas, Charles H. Turner, Charles A. Fowler, Joseph P. Carr, Wm. Medart, Wayman C. McCreery, C.O. Bishop, Will C. Stegers put their hands to getting up a base ball club there is a guarantee that it will be "solid," and that its respectability and entire freedom from the bad features with which some of the clubs have been characterized cannot be questioned. The association has just been getting down to its work, and the arrangements for engaging the players, which were commenced immediately on the close of the season, have been completed within the last few days. The contracts have all been signed and for the first time an authoritative and official account may now be given.
-St. Louis Republican, December 6, 1875
I'm not sure exactly how this is going to work because with 1876 and 1884 I only focused on one club, the Brown Stockings and the Maroons. I want to try something a bit different this time. Rather than focus on just the Brown Stockings or just the Reds, I'd like to try and tell the entire story of the 1875 season in St. Louis, largely using the St. Louis Republican as a source. The Browns, the Reds, the Empires - whatever comes up in the Republican, I'll share it with you. It's an important and fascinating season and it should be an interesting project.
I also plan on incorporating some other sources that I have in my notes, at the old site and in books like Jon David Cash's Before They Were Cardinals. I want to use whatever I can to present a well-rounded picture of one of the most popular baseball seasons in St. Louis history.
The article I'm quoting above will be our starting point and, given it's length, I'm breaking it up into three posts. Tomorrow, we'll go through the roster of the Brown Stockings, as reported by the Republican in November of 1874.