On April 25, 1874, the Empires played the second in a series of practice games with the Chicago White Stockings in St. Louis. Although the Empires lost the game 6-4, the St. Louis Democrat described the game as the best fought battle ever witnessed in the city.
Chicago struck first with a run in the third inning that scored when two players for the Empires collided and allowed the rbi hit to fall in but the Empires immediately answered back with two runs in the bottom of the inning. In the fourth, the Empires extended their lead when they pushed across another run. The White Stockings scored three in the top of the sixth to go ahead by one but the Empires again answered, tying the score with a run in their half of the inning. Chicago finally went ahead for good when they scored a run in the seventh and then added an insurance run in the eighth.
It sounds like it was a pretty darn good game but it was yet one more defeat of a local St. Louis amateur nine by a barbarian professional team. Specifically, it was another loss to the White Stockings. It was these losses to the White Stockings and the other big boys that would lead baseball supporters in St. Louis to form their own professional teams.