Tuesday, October 2, 2007
The St. Louis Baseball League was founded in 1889, lasted only one season, and was composed of five local St. Louis teams. The Reds, the Sultan Bitters, the Jolly Nine, the Home Comforts, and the Dimmicks were local St. Louis semi-pro teams who competed over a 22 game schedule in a league that marked the passing of an era.
The teams would play two league games a week, one at Kensington Park, at Union and Page Ave., and the other at Amateur Park, at Missouri and Russell. Admission was only fifteen cents and, according to league president Joe Flood, the teams drew well, with at least one game drawing 20,000 spectators.
According to Al Spinks, "The Home Comforts and the Sultan Bitters closed the...schedule with an equal number of victories. Unlike the present day magnates, who would have arranged a series of games to determine supremacy, the Sultans and Comforts agreed to hang the championship on one game."
"Theodore Breitenstein, as pitcher, and Frank Meek as his battery mate, were the hope of the Home Comforts. The Sultans rested their chances with Pitcher "Curley" Maloney and Catcher Schultz."
"The game was played on the Kensington Garden grounds and the Comforts were the winners by a score of 3 to 2. That game marked the passing of semi-professional leagues in St. Louis, and it was not until (1902) that another league was formed to take its place."
Spink also notes, in passing, the demise of the Reds who, after a long and distinguished history, ceased operations in July of that year.