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Early African American Club in Philly Plays Initial Game Agains Albany Visitors

Salience Noteworthy
Tags African Americans
City/State/Country: Philadelphia, PA, United States
Game Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Adult

"On October 3, 1866, at the Wharton Street grounds, the Pythians played and lost a match against the Bachelor Club of Albany, 70-15.  This game is the only known regular match for he Pythian in their inaugural year."

"In spite of their enthusiasm for playing ball, the Pythian initially had trouble competing out of their neighborhood. Apparently, there was a turf boundary, and the Irish tried to keep the blacks of the inner-city wards from venturing south of Bainbridge Street . . . the 'dead line,' and any movement beyond 'meant contention.'" 

For this game, however, a large crowd accompanied the club to the playing ground, and the game proceeded.



Jerrold Casway, "Philadelphia's Pythians: The "Colored" Team of 1866-1871," National Pastime (SABR, 1995), page 121.  Jerry's source is the Sunday Dispatch, October 7, 1866. 

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Submitted by Jerry Casway


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