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Colored Clubs Play in Philly: Frederick Douglass Attends a Game

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

[A] "FRED. DOUGLAS [sic] SEES A COLORED GAME. – The announcement that the Pythian, of  Philadelphia, would play the Alert, of Washington, D.C. (both colored organizations) on the 16th inst., attracted quite a concourse of spectators to the grounds of the Athletic, Seventeenth street and Columbus avenue, Philadelphia.

"The game progressed finely until the beginning of the fifth innings, when a heavy shower of rain set in, compelling the umpire, Mr. E. H. Hayhurst, of the Athletic, to call [the] game. The score stood at the end of the fourth innings: Alert 21; Pythian, 18. The batting and fielding of both clubs were very good. Mr. Frederick Douglas was present and viewed the game from the reporters’ stand. His son is a member of the Alert."

Note: From two weeks later:

[B] "COLORED BALL PLAYERS. At Philadelphia, on the 19th inst., the Pythians, of that city, played a match game with the Mutuals of Washington, with the following results: Pythians – 43; Mutuals – 44

Pythian: Cannon, p; Catto, 2b; Graham, lf; Hauley, c; Cavens, 1b; Burr, rf; Adkins, 3b; Morris, cf; Sparrow, ss.

Mutual: H. Smith, p; Brown, c; Harris, 1b; Parks, 2b; Crow, lf; Fisher, cf; Burley, 3b; A. Smith, rf; Whiggs, ss.


[A] New York Clipper, July 13, 1867.

[B] New York Clipper, July 27, 1867.


For more on one early African American club, the Pythian Club, see J. Casway, "Philadelphia's Pythians; The "Colored" Team of 1866-1871," National Pastime, (SABR, 1995), pp. 120-123.

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Submitted by Gregory Christiano
Submission Note Email of 11/24/2013


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