To-day, the base ball match between the Unions and Mutuals for the prize bat comes off at 3 P.M., at the St. Louis Base Ball Park.
-Missouri Republican, September 23, 1868
First, the Missouri History Museum is running a fantastic exhibit called A Walk in 1875 St. Louis that I can not recommend more. The exhibit explores life in St. Louis in 1875 through the lens of the great Compton and Dry Pictorial St. Louis map. I visited the exhibit last week and loved it. Not only do you get a history lesson about life in the city during the era - which is awesome enough - but you also get a history of the map itself and how it was made, which I loved. Also, you get a lot of baseball information, which was not unexpected given that this is St. Louis. But the real focus of the exhibit is the map and you can spend a lot of time in the exhibit exploring it. I plan on going back because I know that I missed a lot of stuff that was on display.
I love the Compton and Dry map and, because it contains images of both the Grand Avenue Grounds and the Compton Avenue Grounds, I've highlighted its significance in the past. It's fantastic to see others recognize this wonderful piece of art and to see it exposed to a wider audience.
I think I'm going to use the exhibit as an excuse to post stuff from the map all next week. That should be fun and different. So we can look forward to that.
Another thing I want to mention is a film by Cam Miller called Our Shining Stars, about the 1875 Covington Stars. This club, while fascinating in its own right, is important to the history of St. Louis baseball because a number of St. Louisians such as Joe Blong, Packy Dillon, and Trick McSorely played on the club. Essentially, you can't tell the story of the 1875 Reds without talking about Covington and how a bunch of the Reds ended up there.
Cam did a great job with the film, which you can watch in its entirety by following the second link, and I want to thank him for bringing his work to my attention. I have a soft spot in my heart for the 1875 Covington Stars and I used to have long conversations with my old friend David Ball about the team and the cast of characters involved with the club.
Finally, I have to mention an upcoming event that I'm going to be attending. On July 11, there will be a game of town ball played at the Historic Daniel Boone Home & Historic Center.
How cool is that? I think we're all familiar with vintage baseball and games played according early rule sets but this is the first game that I'm aware of that is attempting to recreate some of our earliest ballplaying traditions. This is going to be a must see and I'm pretty sure that if you show up, you can play if you want. It's town ball so the more the merrier. Hope to see you out there.