Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Sunset Colored Club

It is reported that the Unique Colored Base Ball Club, of Chicago, will play a match game with the Sunset Colored Club, of this city, at the Grand Avenue Park, next Monday.
-The St. Louis Globe Democrat, September 3, 1875

I'm really excited about this bit from the Globe. While researching the 19th century game in St. Louis, I'm always on the lookout for information about African-American clubs in the city. The information is rather scarce and anytime I find something it's cause to rejoice.

The Sunset Colored Club is now the second black club that I know to have existed in 1875, the other being the Blue Stockings. I had always assumed that there were clubs besides the Blue Stockings-it only seemed logical-and now I have the evidence.

There is evidence of African-Americans playing baseball in St. Louis as early as 1867 and we now have evidence of multiple clubs by 1875. I know this information seems scant but, given the dearth of information in contemporary newspapers, this is a big step forward. Slowly but surely, we'll reconstruct the history of black baseball in St. Louis during the 19th century.

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