Friday, April 17, 2009

The Challenge Of The Empire Club

Empire Base Ball Club.-At the regular monthly meeting of this Club, held at their hall, corner of Third and Vine streets, on the 3d day of July, the following officers were duly elected: B.J. Higgins, President; Peter Naylor, Vice-President; John F. Walton, Secretary; Patrick Cooney, Treasurer.  The following preamble and resolution was also adopted:

Whereas, the Slycome (sic) and Morning Star Clubs are matched for a game on the 9th inst; therefore

Resolved, that the Empire Base Ball Club challenge the winning party.  If not accepted by them, then this challenge be extended to any Ball club in Missouri.
-St. Louis Daily Bulletin, July 7, 1860

This is, at the moment, the earliest contemporary reference to the Empire Club, which according to various sources organized in April of 1860.  

One interesting thing here is the election of officers.  According to Al Spink, the Empire Club elected officers at their first meeting on April 16th and the list of officers that Spink provides is completely different than the one provided here.  Was this a second election or was Spink in error?  

Also of interest is that the article fails to mention Joseph Hollenback, who according to Tobias was instrumental in the organization of the club.  My feelings about Hollenback and his role in the development of baseball in St. Louis are unsettled and I am not willing to provide him the place of prominence that some others would like.  This article does nothing to change my feelings.         

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