The Empire Club started on a jaunt on September 8 (1874) and on the following day was defeated at Keokuk by the Western Club in a score of 9 to 2 and again worsted in a second game by the figures 6 to 3. In the latter game, Gorman was so seriously injured in the sixth inning by being struck on the ankle by a ball from Golden of the Westerns that he was compelled to quit the game. Notwithstanding the loss of Gorman the club played the Iowa City club on the 10th when defeat once more met them 14 to 9. They wound up their disastrous jaunt by an eight inning game with the Eagles of Louisville on September 12 being beaten by 12 to 9. This trip to Keokuk was convincing as the Red Sox also experienced that base ball visitors to the three K city could not receive fair or just treatment. To play ball there meant to fight the club, the umpire and the mob.-E.H. Tobias, writing in The Sporting News, February 1, 1896
The Westerns of Keokuk had a great deal of success against the St. Louis clubs in 1874 both at home and on the road. I would imagine that this success inspired them to try there luck in the National Association in 1875.