Stories from PA History
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Baseball In Pennsylvania
On some levels, of course, baseball is just a game designed for sunny afternoons in the fresh air – a game played by boys and girls, grown men and women; for fun and for profit; in towns and in cities; on mowed fields and concrete schoolyards; and in the urban cathedrals of major league parks. Through its rules, realities–and myths–baseball has reflected the struggles and injustices of the American way of life as well as its virtues.

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Overview: Baseball in Pennsylvania
Chapter One: Baseball in Pittsburgh
Chapter Two: Baseball in Philadelphia
Chapter Three: The Negro Leagues
Chapter Four: Small Town Baseball

Historical Markers In the Story
marker icon African American Baseball in Philadelphia (Philadelphia) marker icon Connie Mack (Philadelphia)
marker icon Forbes Field (Allegheny) marker icon Homestead Grays (Allegheny)
marker icon Jacob C. White, Jr. (1837-1902) (Philadelphia) marker icon Josh Gibson (Allegheny)
marker icon Octavius V. Catto (Baseball) (Philadelphia) marker icon Roy Campanella (Philadelphia)
marker icon Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium (Philadelphia)

Lesson Plans for this Story
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Story Bibliography

Original Documents
icon full text The Exclusion of African Americans from the National Association of Base Ball Players, 1867

1829 Debut of the American Turf Register and subsequent emergence of new school of journalists, "the apostles of play".
1845 New York Knickerbocker Club publishes rules of baseball developed by Alexander J. Cartwright
1858 Teams in Long Island begin to charge admission to games
1859 In first intercollegiate game Amherst beats Williams by score of 73 to 32
1860 Civil War brings standardization of rules. This is followed by formal division into amateur and professional ballplayers Henry Chadwick pioneers the "box score" in the New York Clipper (By 1870s teams are keeping box scores and yearly stats)
1862 William H. Cammeyer builds, in Brooklyn, the first enclosed baseball field.
1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings go on national promotional tour, winning every game.
1869 The Philadelphia Pythians become the first all-black team ever to take the field against an all-white team. In a financially lucrative exhibition, they soundly trounced Philadelphia's City Items, 27-17.
1871 Ten teams organize the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, the first professional league. By 1875 Philadelphia has three teams in the league.
1872 Bud Fowler becomes the first African American to play for a professional nine.
1876 Organization of the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs
1880 Joseph Pulitzer produces the first sports page in a major daily newspaper. African Americans are banned from professional baseball
1882 Organization of second league, the American Association, which breaks National League monopoly and includes teams in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh
1884 Union Association formed, including teams in Altoona, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh
1885 Frank Thompson organizes first black professional team.
1887 Opening of Baker Bowl, which seats 12,500; rebuilt in 1895 and later called Baker Bowl.
1890 Players' National League of Baseball Clubs organized, with teams in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
1901 Formation of American League and debut of the Philadelphia Athletics.
1903 First World Series is played in Pittsburgh and Boston.
1909 Shibe Park opens. The nation's first concrete and steel ballpark, it held 35,000 fans.
1919 Sportswriter Hugh Fullerton declares baseball "the greatest single force working for Americanization."
1921 KDKA announcer Harold Arlin gives play-by-play of the Pirates defeat of the Phillies in the first radio broadcast of a sporting event.
1922 In the Federal League case, the Supreme Court exempts major league baseball from federal antitrust legislation by declaring it an "exhibition" rather than a business. No other professional sport receives this designation.
1934 First legal Sunday major league game played in Philadelphia.
1937 Pittsburgh's Homestead Grays baseball team wins the first of nine consecutive Negro League championships series.
1947 Jackie Robinson makes debut as first black Major league player.
1953 Organization of the Major league Baseball Players Association.
1954 Athletics relocate from Philadelphia to Kansas City.
1970 Curt Flood refuses trade to Philadelphia Phillies and sues for free agency.
1972 Flood v. Kuhn reaffirms Supreme Court decision in Federal League case, continuing baseball's antitrust exemption and upholding the reserve clause.
1975 Arbitrator rules reserve clause illegal, and Andy Messerschmidt and Dave McNally become first free agents.
1980 Philadelphia Phillies win their first World Series in franchise history
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