A speculative genius is going into the female base ball line in Philadelphia, unmindful of the fate of a similar enterprise in St. Louis last year. We do not object to women sending her flippers through dough and dish towels, or blanching up the festive linen, but when she dons the breeches she is a delusion and a fraud.
-St. Louis Republican, February 27, 1876
The above quote from the Republican appears to be significant as it implies that there was a female baseball club in St. Louis in 1875. Female baseball clubs date back to the immediate post-Civil War era and I would speculate that you had women playing the New York game in the late 1850s. The cultural tradition of female ball-playing, however, is very old and we have substantial evidence of women and girls playing bat and ball games dating back to Medieval Europe.
I have absolutely neglected this aspect of the history of 19th century baseball and plan on fixing that. It's ridiculous that until just the other day I had no idea that there was a women's baseball club in St. Louis in 1875. If you had asked me, I would have told you that I knew just about everything there was to know about that season and I certainly knew all of the significant things about that season. I don't think there's anyone on the planet that knows more about the 1875 baseball season in St. Louis and, yet, I had no idea about this female club.
The lesson, I guess, is that I don't know as much as I think I know and that there is always more that one can learn.