The House of Refuge, under its present management, is an institution of which St. Louis has just reason to be proud. The president and board of managers seem to have a comprehensive idea of all the possibilities in such an institution as a reformity, and to have discarded all idea of conducting it as a place of punishment. The inmates...are tractable, obedient and industrious, and feel the place to be a home, which they not only do not try to escape from, but from which they would with reluctance be turned away. It is no unusual thing for a large number of them to be taken, under suitable circumstances, for a stroll through the woods and fields on Sunday, with only a single guard in attendance, and some times forty or fifty are allowed to play base ball under the supervision only of a monitor of their own number.
-St. Louis Republican, April 29, 1875
It's also interesting that they played a baseball game involving "forty or fifty" players. With twenty or twenty-five per side, that's obviously not the Regulation Game but some form of pre-baseball, most likely the St. Louis town ball variant. Off the top of my head, I think this is the latest reference I've ever seen to a form of protoball in St. Louis. There are references to town ball being played in St. Louis during the Civil War but I imagined that, with the post-war popularity of baseball in the city, these games were no longer being played. This reference in the Republican makes me think that these early baseball traditions lived on for a much longer period than I had previously believed.