Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Empire Club In New Orleans, Part One

On Sept. 20th [1871] the Empire Club, of St. Louis, began play with the Southern Club, on the Base Ball Park grounds, and after a rather poorly played game the Empires retired from the field the victors...
-Mears Baseball Scrapbook, Volume 2, 1870-1877

So it appears that the Empire Club visited New Orleans in the fall of 1871, playing four games.  The Lone Star Club of New Orleans had visited St. Louis earlier that summer and the Empires returned the visit in September.  According to E.H. Tobias, writing in The Sporting News (December 28, 1895), "During all this season the Union Club had not been heard from much to the regret of the champion Empires, who despairing of meeting home mettle worthy of their steel, finally resolved to go South, notwithstanding the fact that 'yellow jack' was batting away to a terrible score down there.  On Saturday, Sept. 16, the Empire Club and a few friends headed by P.H. Tobin, left for New Orleans where they arrived the following Monday and received a cordial welcome.  The first game was on the 20th with the Southern Club, rain having prevented a pre-arranged game with the Excelsiors on the 19th."

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