A century and a half has passed since America’s very first professional baseball game took place right here in Mansfield.
On Saturday, June 1, 150 years to the day after that meeting, two teams with the same name will meet (weather permitting, of course) at Cyclops Field.
The visiting team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, were the country’s very first openly all-professional team, with ten salaried players. The 1869 season was its first, and the team finished with a remarkable 67-0 record, the only perfect season in professional baseball history.
The team’s first contest with all paid players took place at Davies Field in Mansfield, a long gone local landmark located near what is now the West Fourth Street bridge in the general vicinity of the Mid Ohio Educational Service Center.
The box score can be seen here which appeared in the Richland Shield and Banner on June 5, 1869.
Many stories have been written about the two teams and that historic day, several by local historian Timothy McKee. We have a short collection of links below to such stories.
June 1, 1869 – the 1st professional baseball team, the cincinnati red stockings, played their 1st game. red stockings beat mansfield 48-14.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 1, 2014
Video: Independent’s Day – Timothy McKee
Mansfield Independents to replay historic match – Richland Source
The Life and Afterlife of Davey Field – Richland Source
The fun on Saturday starts at 1:00 PM. Come on out to celebrate America’s pastime and the Mansfield Independents. Hopefully, the local squad can atone for their 48-14 loss 150 years ago.
The Independents’ Facebook page has its complete summer of 2019 schedule and can be found here.