Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Jim, are you sure you are correct about the oldest team in baseball? (See previous post.) I always thought the Cincinnati Reds was the oldest team in baseball?

For years, I also thought the Reds were the oldest team in baseball. In fact, Cincinnati's claim to the oldest team dates back to 1869 when a group of nine baseball players formed the first professional team. This group, lead by Harry Wright, was named the Red Stockings. Each man was paid a salary. The highest salary went to Harry's brother George, the shortstop, who made $1400. As there was no other professional teams, they traveled from town to town and challenged the local teams. At the end of 1869 they were 65-0. By the end of 1870, the team was disbanded. Harry, George, and others (Including Albert Goodwill Spaulding) resurfaced shortly therafter in Boston with another professional baseball team.


So tell me Jim... which baseball team is the oldest team in Major League Baseball?

Well, Jim, you see, it's like this. If you were to ask Major League Baseball, they would tell you that the Cubs and the Braves are the oldest teams in baseball. Both those teams are charter members of the National League which started in 1876. However, both of those teams existed before then. They both were charter members of the National Association of Professional Baseball Players, which was formed in 1871. Unfortunately, on October 9, 1871 (my sister's Birthday [that's day, not date... come on now]) , Chicago was enveloped in the great Chicago fire. With the town in disarray, Chicago could not field a team in the years of 1872 or 1873. They were back in business for the '74 season and have been playing since.

So some people consider the Braves to be the oldest team in baseball because of Chicago's two lost seasons. In my book though, you have to answer the question "Can the Atlanta Braves be the oldest team in baseball, when they started in Boston, moved to Milwaukee, and then moved to Atlanta?" My book says no! So the answer to the question is technically the Braves, however, you can say without a doubt, the Cubs have represented the same town for longer than any other team in baseball.