How the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Changed Baseball and America
The year 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball’s first openly all-professional team. Playing games in cities as far apart as Boston and San Francisco, and everywhere in-between, the Red Stockings operated somewhat like the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team. Spectators filled the stands to see whether a seemingly invincible team would lose. They never did. Successful on the field and at the box office, the Red Stockings created a model that other, more established baseball clubs quickly adopted, leading to the emergence of major league baseball.
Presenter Dr. Martin Babicz, Ph.D., teaches history at the University of Colorado Boulder for the Sewall Hall History & Culture Residential Academic Program, the Communications & Society Residential Academic Program, and the History Department. He received a B.A. in history from the University of Connecticut, and an M.A. in history from Brown University. After working as a lobbyist in Connecticut for fifteen years, he returned to graduate school and received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. His dissertation, which explores the intersection of colonial politics and imperial policy during the Stamp Act crisis, is entitled For Empire, Colony, and Self-Interest: Thomas Fitch and Connecticut Colonial Politics. Dr. Babicz teaches several courses on American History. He is the co-author (with Thomas W. Zeiler) of National Pastime: U.S. History through Baseball (2017), and he is the author of a chapter exploring the historiography of sports and pastimes of the 1920s in A Companion to Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover (2014).
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