A very interesting game of base ball was played Saturday afternoon, on Gamble Lawn, between the Commercial, Junior, and Empire, Junior, Ball Clubs, which resulted in favor of the former.
-Missouri Republican, June 9, 1863
Anyway, this is, I believe, the first reference we have to Adam Wirth. Wirth was the longtime first baseman for the Empire Club and a mainstay on their great post-war championship clubs. He was, in my opinion, the best St. Louis baseball player of his generation. The fact that he served as an umpire for this game is some kind of evidence that he was playing baseball in St. Louis in 1863. It's not particularly strong evidence but there was a tradition of players serving as an umpire for matches their club wasn't involved in. So I would argue that Wirth was playing baseball in St. Louis by the early 1860s and I know that he was still playing with the Empires in 1876. That's a rather long career for a pioneer-era player and I think it speaks to the level of his talent. Great players have longer careers. Wirth, in 1863, was about 16 or 17 years old and at the beginning of a great career.
Also, on June 9, 1863, the Battle of Brandy Station was fought. Brandy Station was the largest cavalry battle ever fought in North America and you have to think that it's going to hold that distinction for some time. It's like Cy Young's 511 wins. Times change, nobody is going to win 512 big league games, and you're not going to have a cavalry battle that big again.