Club of Leesburg

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Awaiting Review
Nick Name Leesburg
Earliest Known Date 1891
Location Leesburg, FL, United States
Nine Class Senior
Description

The Atlanta Constitution, Feb. 27, 1891, reports that a "Florida League" is forming or has formed, the season to last 3 months, with teams at Leesburg, Ocala, Gainesville, Orlando, Jacksonville and St. Augustine. This is confirmed in the Sporting Life, Dec. 20, 1890 ("a club organized at Ocala"), Jan. 10, 1891 (Jacksonville defeated Ocala, both clubs composed of northern pros) and Jan, 24, 1891 (Tampa defeating the Ocala Greats).

The Pittsburgh Daily Post, Feb. 25, 1889, had reported that T. F. Wilson of Leesburg was recruiting players for a "Florida League."

Reach's 1892 Baseball Guide reports that a 4-club "Florida State League" was formed Jan. 18, 1892 in Ocala, with teams at St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Tampa and Ocala. Reach says the season is to last 48 games and is the first regularly formed Florida baseball league. This is the league reported on in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Feb. 4, Feb. 18, 1892, with Brooklyner John Montgomery Ward leading 16 of his teammates to join the Ocala team in "a four club league, regularly organized and bearing franchises, just like the leagues of the north." "Johnny" Mack is captaining the Tampa team.

For more on Brooklyn's adventures in this league, see Sporting Life March 12 and March 26, 1892.

The league was short-lived. Boston Herald, March 6, 1892: "Diamond Gossip. The Florida State League has disbanded." Reach's 1893 Guide, p. 125 notes that the league was founded to give practice to visiting major league clubs, and disbanded March 1st.

That same year the Phillies traveled to Gainesville for a month of "spring training."

Sources

The Atlanta Constitution, Feb. 27, 1891. Reach's 1893 Baseball Guide, p. 125.

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Found by Bruce Allardice
Entered by Bruce Allardice
First in Location Leesburg, FL

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