The Library of Congress has
a wonderful collection of
prints , such as the one
posted here, a lithograph
from 1869, showing the
First 9, the players of
the Cincinnati Red
Stockings team. Here’s
a list of those players: F. Waterman, C. A. McVey, C. Wright, Allison,
H. Wright, Gould, A. J. Leonard, C. J. Sweasy, and Asa Brainard.
The following is a bit of background on that team:
In 1869, a man named Harry Wright founded the first professional
baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. He charged fifty cents
admission to the games, and paid each player a salary, ranging up
to the $1400 received by George Wright, Harry’s younger brother.
George was worth the investment, though, since he batted .519
with 59 home runs that first year. Harry himself was no slouch;
he had hit seven home runs in one game a few years earlier.
The Red Stockings traveled around challenging different teams,
and by the end of 1869, they had racked up a total of 65 wins
without losing a game, and had turned a profit of $1.39.
And so it goes… Spring arrives and the slate is clean.
The home page for the Library of Congress images is
located here, in the Prints and Photographs Reading Room.