Louisville Colonels

The Louisville Colonels were a Major League Baseball team that played in the American Association (AA) throughout that league's ten-year existence from 1882 until 1891. They were known as the Louisville Eclipse from 1882 to 1884, and as the Louisville Colonels from 1885 to 1891. The latter name derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. After the AA folded in 1891, the Colonels joined the National League and played through the 1899 season. Until the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington in 2004, Louisville was the last city to lose a Major League Baseball franchise and not have another franchise eventually replace it.

"Colonels" was also the name of several minor league baseball teams that played in Louisville, Kentucky, in the 20th century.

Louisville Colonels
Years 18821899
Based in Louisville, Kentucky
Major league affiliations

Red, Yellow

Past team names
  • Louisville Colonels (1885–1899)
  • Louisville Eclipse (1882–1884)
Major league titles
  • National League pennants 0
  • American Association pennants 1 (1890)
1882 Louisville Eclipse
1882 Louisville Eclipse

American Association

After spending several years as a well-known semi-pro team, the Eclipse joined the newly-made American Association in 1882. The Eclipse's backer, local distiller J. H. Pank, was named vice-president of the AA, and the team was to be run by a consortium led by W. L. Lyons. Accompanying them to the major leagues was their star player, infielder Pete Browning, who had already achieved some measure of local fame. The team got off to a good start, finishing in second place, their best finish for several seasons.

Managing partner Lyons resigned in mid-1888, with team secretary Mordecai Davidson taking over. The following season, the team sank to a 27–111 record and a last place finish. As a result, Davidson surrendered control of the team to the AA. In the 1896 season the Colonels lost five straight games in two days, including a tripleheader on September 7 and a doubleheader the next day, all against the Baltimore Orioles. With the prohibition of tripleheaders in the early 1920s, this record still stands. Even worse, the 1889 Colonels were the first team in major league history to lose 100 games in a single season.

In 1890 the team, which had been purchased by Barney Dreyfuss, bounced back with a vengeance. The Colonels won the 1890 pennant in the AA and became the first and only team to rise from the cellar to the pennant in one season. That year the AA was considered only the third-best behind the NL and the Players' League.

National League

In 1892 the American Association dissolved, and the Eclipse moved to the National League and played there until 1899. In 1900 Dreyfuss acquired controlling interest of the Pittsburgh Pirates and brought 14 Colonels players with him, including future Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke, marking the end of the original Colonels organization and Louisville as a Major League Baseball host city.

Notable achievements

In September 1882, Louisville pitchers threw two no-hitters in the span of nine days; Tony Mullane on September 11, followed by Guy Hecker on September 19. Other Louisville pitchers who threw no-hitters were Ben Sanders on August 22, 1892, and Deacon Phillippe, a rookie, on May 25, 1899. Pete Browning hit for the cycle twice for Louisville, on August 8, 1886 and June 7, 1889.

Notable Colonels players

* – denotes Louisville Colonels player in the Hall of Fame

See also

External links

1885 Pittsburgh Alleghenys season

The 1885 Pittsburgh Alleghenys season was the 4th season of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys franchise. The Alleghenys finished third in the American Association with a record of 56–55.

1890 Louisville Colonels season

The 1890 Louisville Colonels baseball team finished with an 88–44 record and won the American Association championship. The previous season, the Colonels had lost 111 games, the most any team in the Major Leagues had lost up to that point (the record was broken during the 1890 season by the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, who lost 113 games). This "worst to first" transformation was accomplished partly because of new ownership led by Barney Dreyfuss. Competition was also diminished due to the advent of the Players' League and a couple of the best AA teams jumping to the National League.

After the season, Louisville played the NL champions, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, in the 1890 World Series. The Bridegrooms were one of the teams that had jumped to the NL, and had been the champions of the AA in 1889. The World Series wound up in a 3–3–1 tie.

Billy Rhines

William Pearl Rhines (March 14, 1869 – January 30, 1922) was a professional baseball player. He was a pitcher over parts of 9 seasons (1890–1899) with the Cincinnati Reds, Louisville Colonels and Pittsburgh Pirates. He led the National League in ERA twice (1890 and 1896) while playing for Cincinnati. For his career, he compiled a 114–103 record in 249 appearances, with a 3.47 ERA and 743 strikeouts.

He was born and later died in Ridgway, Pennsylvania, at the age of 52. He was an alumnus of Bucknell University.

Deacon Phillippe

Charles Louis "Deacon" Phillippe (originally Phillippi) (May 23, 1872 – March 30, 1952) was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Louisville Colonels and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Eclipse Park

Eclipse Park was the name of three successive baseball grounds in Louisville, Kentucky in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were the home of the Louisville baseball team first known as the Louisville Eclipse and later as the Louisville Colonels.

The unusual name for these ballparks derived from the original name of the Association club, the Eclipse. The more local name "Colonels" eventually won out. Nonetheless, "Eclipse" was among the early team names to be a singular word, despite "sounding like" a plural.

Semi-pro baseball had been played at the first Eclipse Park as early as 1874. The Louisville Eclipse played there from 1882 to 1884. The team was then renamed the Louisville Colonels and continued to play under that name from 1885 to 1893. The team was a member of the American Association until 1891 when it joined the National League when the American Association folded. The park was destroyed by fire on September 27, 1892. The 1893 season started in what was left of the park.

The original park was located at 28th and Elliott streets in west Louisville. The second Eclipse Park was built just south of the original. City directories given the location as 28th Street (east) and Broadway (north). The Louisville Colonels played there from early in the 1893 season until well into the 1899 season. This is the ground at which Hall of Famer Honus Wagner made his Major League debut on July 19, 1897.

The second Eclipse Park was destroyed by fire on August 12, 1899. The club was on a road trip at the time. They returned to a partially-rebuilt park ten days later, but the stands were inadequate and the club played the final month as a road team.

The fire contributed significantly to the once-strong Louisville club being contracted after the end of the season. Team owner Barney Dreyfuss moved on to acquire the Pittsburgh Pirates. Instead of being scattered to the wind, the best players from the Louisville team roster were brought onto the Pittsburgh payroll, including Wagner, third baseman Tommy Leach, outfielder-manager Fred Clarke, and ace right-hander Deacon Phillippe. This influx of talent soon turned the perennial cellar-dwelling Pirates into a three-peat pennant winner, and a participant in the first modern World Series.

After a one-year absence of professional ball, a Louisville Colonels entry in the Western Association opened at the remnants of the park in 1901. The club drew poorly and transferred to Grand Rapids, Michigan near the end of June.

The third and last Eclipse Park was built on a block bounded by 7th Street (east); Kentucky Street (south); 8th Street (west); and Florence Place (north) in the Limerick neighborhood of Louisville. This ballpark was built by George "White Wings" Tebeau as the home for the American Association minor league Louisville Colonels who played there from 1902 through 1922.

The final Eclipse Park had better luck than the first two, remaining in operation for more than twenty years, until it too was destroyed by fire, on November 21, 1922.

All three Eclipse Park locations had been destroyed by fire of various origins. The Louisville Courier-Journal covered each of these events in the days following. After the 1922 fire, the paper editorialized that wooden ballparks were obsolete and should be replaced by steel and concrete. The ball club followed that advice, opening Parkway Field the following spring.

Fred Clarke

Fred Clifford Clarke (October 3, 1872 – August 14, 1960) was an American Major League Baseball player from 1894 to 1915 and manager from 1897 to 1915. A Hall of Famer, Clarke played for and managed both the Louisville Colonels and Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a left fielder and left-handed batter.

Of the nine pennants in Pittsburgh franchise history, Clarke was the player-manager for four of them. He and fellow Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Vic Willis led Pittsburgh to a victory over Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers in the 1909 World Series. Clarke batted over .300 in 11 different seasons. His 35-game hitting streak in 1895 was the second-longest in Major League history at the time. For six years, Clarke held the Major League record for wins by a manager.

George Hemming

George Hemming (December 15, 1868 – June 3, 1930), also known as Old Wax Figger, was a pitcher in Major League baseball in the late 19th century. His first season was with the Cleveland Infants, most likely because his hometown, Carrollton was nearby. However, his career soon left Cleveland and went to teams such as the Brooklyn Grooms, Cincinnati Reds, Louisville Colonels and Baltimore Orioles. His best performance was with the 1895 Orioles, when he posted career highs in wins (20) and E.R.A. (4.05)

Jim Hart (baseball)

James Abner Hart (July 10, 1855 – July 18, 1919) was an American baseball manager for the Louisville Colonels and the Boston Beaneaters for parts of three seasons.

Hart went to the U.K. in the 1890s. A British national professional Baseball body was started in 1890 and a letter to Albert Spalding in America requesting help in establishing a league. The British requested eight to ten players to coach and convert the existing players (whose primary game was usually soccer). Spalding sent Hart as a skilled manager and players: William J. Barr, Charles Bartlett, J. E. Prior and Leech Maskrey.The original intention had been to have eight teams but initially there were just four Aston Villa, Preston North End, Stoke City and Derby. The first three used Jim Hart to decide the line-up of their teams, but Francis Ley at Derby made his own decisions.In 1891 Hart, who was secretary of the Chicago White Stockings (later the Colts and then the Cubs), succeeded Albert G. Spalding as president of the team. Hart was part-owner of the Chicago Colts team, and in the 1895 season, the entire Colts team was arrested for creating a disturbance on Sunday, and Hart bailed every player out.

Jimmy Burke (baseball)

James Timothy Burke (October 12, 1874 – March 26, 1942) was a Major League Baseball third baseman, coach, and manager. He played for the Cleveland Spiders, St. Louis Perfectos, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Stockings, Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Burke was the regular third baseman for the Cardinals from 1903 to 1905. He was named player-manager in the middle of the 1905, season but was replaced by Stanley Robison after amassing a record of 34–56.

From 1914 through 1917, Burke was a coach for the Detroit Tigers. He then served as manager for the St. Louis Browns from 1918 through 1920. In 1921, he became a coach for the Boston Red Sox, a position he held for three seasons. Burke later was a coach for the Chicago Cubs from 1926 through 1930, and was last a coach with the New York Yankees from 1931 through 1933.

John Kerins

John Nelson Kerins (July 15, 1858 – September 8, 1919), sometimes known as Jack Kerins, was an American Major League Baseball player who appeared mainly at first base but also at catcher and in the outfield. He played for the Indianapolis Hoosiers (1884), Louisville Colonels (1885-1889), Baltimore Orioles (1889) and St. Louis Browns (1890). He was a player-manager for Louisville in 1888 and for St. Louis in 1890, and he umpired American Association games through 1891.

List of Boston Red Sox minor league affiliates

The Boston Red Sox farm system consists of eight Minor League Baseball affiliates across the United States and in the Dominican Republic. Four teams are independently owned, while four—the Salem Red Sox, Gulf Coast League Red Sox, and two Dominican Summer League Red Sox squads—are owned by the major league club.

The Red Sox have been affiliated with the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox of the International League since 1973, making it the longest-running active affiliation in the organization among teams not owned by the Red Sox. It is also the longest affiliation in the team's history. Their newest affiliate is the Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League which became the Red Sox' Class A club in 2005.Geographically, Boston's closest domestic affiliate is the Lowell Spinners of the Class A Short Season New York–Penn League which is approximately 24 miles (39 km) away. Boston's furthest domestic affiliate is the Gulf Coast League Red Sox of the Rookie League Gulf Coast League some 1,247 miles (2,007 km) away.

List of Louisville Colonels Opening Day starting pitchers

The Louisville Colonels were a Major League Baseball team that played from 1882 to 1899 and were based in Louisville, Kentucky. The team played in the American Association from 1882 to 1891 and in the National League from 1892 to 1899. The team was known as the Louisville Eclipse from 1882 to 1884. The Colonels used 11 Opening Day starting pitchers in their 18 years as a Major League franchise. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Colonels had a record of 10 wins and 8 losses in their Opening Day games.

The first game in Colonels' history was played on May 2, 1882 against the St. Louis Browns, now known as the St. Louis Cardinals. Tony Mullane was the Opening Day starting pitcher for the Colonels in that game, which the Colonels lost by a score of 9–7. The Colonels' last Opening Day game was on April 14, 1899 against the Chicago Orphans, now known as the Chicago Cubs. Bert Cunningham was the Colonels' Opening Day starting pitcher for that game, which the Colonels lost by a score of 15–1.Five pitchers made multiple Opening Day starts for the Colonels. Guy Hecker had the most Opening Day starts for the Colonels, with four, starting in every Opening Day game from 1883 through 1886. Toad Ramsey, Scott Stratton, Chick Fraser and Cunningham each made two Opening Day starts for the team. After making the Opening Day start in 1884, Hecker went on to achieve what is now known as the pitching Triple Crown by leading the American Association in wins, with 52, strikeouts, with 385, and earned run average, with 1.80. Hecker's 52 wins that season are 3rd all time among Major League Baseball pitchers. No Baseball Hall of Famers made Opening Day starts for the Colonels. However, as of 2011, Mullane's 284 career wins ranked 3rd among eligible pitchers who have not been inducted to the Hall of Fame, behind just Bobby Mathews and Tommy John.The Colonels won one American Association championship, in 1890. That year, they played in the 19th century version of the World Series against the National League champion Brooklyn Bridegrooms, now known as the Los Angeles Dodgers, in a series that ended in a tie. Stratton was the Colonels' Opening Day starting pitcher that season, in a game the Colonels lost to the Browns 11–8.

List of Louisville Colonels managers

The Louisville Colonels were a Major League Baseball team that played in Louisville, Kentucky. They played in the American Association when it was considered a major league from 1882 through 1891 and in the National League from 1892 through 1899, after which the team folded and its best players were transferred to the Pittsburgh Pirates. From 1882 through 1884 the team was named the Louisville Eclipse. During their time as a Major League team, the Colonels employed 17 managers. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field.The Colonels' first manager was Denny Mack. Mack managed the team for one season (1882), in which he led the Colonels to a record of 38 wins and 42 losses. Fred Clarke was the Colonels' last manager. Clarke took over as player-manager of the team during the 1897 season, and managed the team through the 1899 season while also playing as an outfielder for the Colonels. Clarke was one of the players transferred to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1900, as were Honus Wagner, Tommy Leach, Claude Ritchey and Deacon Phillippe. Clarke took over as the Pirates' player-manager, and after a second-place finish in 1900, he led the Pirates, with the former Colonels stars, to three consecutive league pennants in 1901, 1902, 1903, and a World Series championship in 1909. Clarke was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945, the only Colonels' manager so honored. The Colonels won their only Major League pennant when they had the best record in the American Association in 1890. They played to a tie in the World Series that season against the National League champion Brooklyn Bridegrooms; each team won three games and there was one tie game. Jack Chapman was the Colonels' manager that season.Clarke holds the Colonels' record for games managed (402), managerial wins (180), and managerial losses (212). Mike Walsh, who managed the team in 1884, has the highest winning percentage of any Colonels' manager, at .630. The only other two managers who had winning percentages over .500 for the Colonels are Mack and Joe Gerhardt, who managed the team in 1883. The only Colonels' manager who served more than one term was Mordecai Davidson, who served two terms during the 1888 season while he was also the team's owner. Davidson replaced John Kelly for three games before being replaced by John Kerins. After Kerins managed the Colonels for seven games, Davidson took over again for the final 90 games of the season. Davidson's total managerial record with the Colonels was 93 games managed with 35 wins and 54 losses, for a winning percentage of .393.

Louisville (NFL)

Louisville, Kentucky had two professional American football teams in the National Football League: the Louisville Breckenridges (or Brecks for short) from 1921 to 1924 and the Louisville Colonels in 1926.

The NFL intended for the Brecks to be a traveling team, however the team played a series of "home" games. All Brecks home games were played at Eclipse Park, until the stadium caught fire and burned to the ground on November 20, 1922. Meanwhile, the Colonels played all of their games on the road. While the Colonels were really a traveling team out of Chicago they are usually accepted as a continuation of the Brecks franchise.

Louisville Colonels (minor league baseball)

The Louisville Colonels was the name of several minor league baseball teams that played in Louisville, Kentucky, in the 20th century. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels.

Louisville Colonels all-time roster

The following is a list of players and who appeared in at least one game for the Louisville Colonels franchise of Major League Baseball from 1882 through 1899. This includes the Louisville Eclipse of the American Association, as well as the Colonels of both the AA and the National League. Players in bold are in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Pat Luby

John Perkins "Pat" Luby (January, 1869 in Charleston, South Carolina – April 24, 1899 in Charleston, South Carolina), was a professional baseball player who played pitcher in the Major Leagues from 1890 to 1895. He would play for the Louisville Colonels and Chicago Colts.

Patsy Flaherty

Patrick Joseph Flaherty (June 29, 1876 – January 23, 1968), born in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, was a pitcher for the Louisville Colonels (1899), Pittsburgh Pirates (1900 and 1904–05), Chicago White Sox (1903–1904), Boston Doves (1907–08), Philadelphia Phillies (1910) and Boston Rustlers (1911), who specialized in his spitball.He led the American League in Hits Allowed (338) and Losses (25) in 1903. He led the National League in Earned Runs Allowed (88) in 1908.

In 9 years Flaherty had a Win–Loss record of 67–84, 173 Games, 150 Games Started, 125 Complete Games, 7 Shutouts, 18 Games Finished, 2 Saves, 1,302 ⅔ Innings Pitched, 1,292 Hits Allowed, 616 Runs Allowed, 449 Earned Runs Allowed, 25 Home Runs Allowed, 331 Walks Allowed, 271 Strikeouts, 56 Hit Batsmen, 25 Wild Pitches, 5,156 Batters Faced, 2 Balks and a 3.10 ERA.

He died in Alexandria, Louisiana at the age of 91.

Red Ehret

Philip Sydney "Red" Ehret (August 31, 1868 – July 28, 1940) was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1888 to 1898 for the Kansas City Cowboys, Louisville Colonels, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Browns, and Cincinnati Reds.

Louisville Colonels
The Franchise
Louisville Colonels 1890 American Association Champions
Histories of teams in Major League Baseball


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