Thursday, December 31, 2009
St. Louis, May 16.-Augustus Solari, the father of base ball in St. Louis, died Thursday morning. He was well known to base ball players throughout the country. In the early sixties Solari leased a cornfield in the edge of town and cleared the land and built the first base ball park. It was here that he brought out the once famous Umpires [sic] and Unions. The teams continued, together with several minor clubs, for a number of years, when they were disbanded by internal dissensions. There was no professional ball here then until 1876, although Solari continued to organize clubs and play games. In the latter year he interested Charles H. Turner, Frank Fowle and Joe Carn and they organized the St. Louis Club, but it was driven out by the famous Red Stockings. Solari was in with them, and after the failure of the team he organized the Grand Avenues, which played in his park on 1879, when Chris Von der Ahe, Al Spink, W.W. Judy and J.F. Farrell organized the Sportsman's Park and club. They leased his grounds and he was made the groundkeeper, a position which he has since held. Although in the last few years he was too old to attend to his active duties, he was always present at the games. He was famous among ball players for his grounds, he having a gift of providing good playing grounds, even after a heavy morning rain.