Baseball’s Gateway to the West

The St. Louis Perfectos ball club on the stairway to the grandstand in 1899, the year after the team relinquished its Brown Stockings...both literally and eponymically.
The St. Louis Perfectos ball club on the stairway to the grandstand in 1899, the year after the team relinquished its Brown Stockings…both literally and eponymically.

The first baseball game played west of the Mississippi happened at Lafayette Park in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 9, 1860, between the Cyclones and the Morning Stars, according to the National Association of Base-Ball Players.

Today, Lafayette Park still offers vintage baseball clubs that follow the 1864 nine-player rules. The park is the home base for both the Cyclones and the Perfectos. There, you’ll see the teams also play the Brown Stockings of Emmenegger Park and the St. Louis Unions of Jefferson Barracks Park.

The Unions and Cyclones both played in St. Louis as early as 1860, while the Brown Stockings got their start in 1875 and the Perfectos, in 1899. Actually, those Browns players you see here—pitcher Silver King and first baseman Charles Comiskey—left before owner Chris von der Ahe’s ballpark burned down during an April 1898 game with Chicago. He lost the team to the Robison brothers, who changed the name to the Perfectos and switched the team’s color from brown to red. In 1900, the players got a new moniker: Cardinals.

From its first match in 1860 to its 11th World Series win in 2011 to the vintage base ball clubs playing to this day, St. Louis is truly baseball’s “Gateway to the West.”

Related Posts

  • The Wild West of Louis LAmour

    The Wild West of Louis L’Amour: An Illustrated Companion to the Frontier Fiction of an…

  • Located on a plateau above the west bank of the Missouri River and its confluence…

  • campbell house true west

    When high society ladies threw a party in the West, they spared no expense. Women…