Reds 150th Anniversary Celebrations Kick Off May 4th

Featuring 1869 Red Stockings Pavilion dedication on Saturday

The Cincinnati Reds season-long celebration of baseball’s first professional team kicks into high gear this weekend with a host of festivities planned to honor the 1869 Red Stockings, baseball’s first all-salaried team.

As part of the salute to that legendary club, the 1869 Red Stockings Pavilion outside the Reds Hall of Fame will be officially dedicated on Saturday, May 4 at 5 p.m. The event is open to the public.

The pavilion is the first permanent recognition of the starting nine players of the original Red Stockings, plus an alternate player and the club’s president and secretary. Twelve large bronze busts of the team, designed by local sculptor Tom Tsuchiya, adorn the top of the pavilion:

  • Asa Brainard, pitcher/outfield
  • Doug Allison, catcher
  • Charlie Gould, first base
  • Charlie Sweasy, second base
  • Fred Waterman, third base
  • George Wright, short stop
  • Andy Leonard, left field
  • Harry Wright, center field/pitcher (team captain)
  • Cal McVey, right field
  • William “Dick” Hurley, substitute
  • Aaron Champion, club president
  • John Joyce, secretary

The significance of May 4 is that the first game played by the Red Stockings was on May 4, 1869, with a 45-9 victory over Great Westerns of Cincinnati Base Ball Club. That inaugural game was played at Union Grounds, a ballfield with a 4,000-seat grandstand located near the present-day Union Terminal and Cincinnati Museum Center.

Club president Aaron Champion and club secretary John Joyce gave team captain Harry Wright the resources necessary to assemble and develop an all-professional championship-caliber team. Under Wright’s expert guidance and innovation, the team became a national sensation, traveling coast to coast and defeating all challengers en route to a 57-0 season. Their success paved the way for baseball to transition from an amateur sport to teams with all-paid players while earning Cincinnati the title of “The Birthplace of Professional Baseball.”

Throwback Uniforms on Saturday & Sunday

Saturday’s game also marks the first in a series of 15 throwback uniforms the Reds will wear throughout the 2019 season to honor this year’s anniversary. This first set of uniforms will be from the 1902 style that was worn in the inaugural season of the famed “Palace of the Fans” ballpark. The throwbacks for Sunday’s game will feature an all-blue look from the 1911 road uniform.

Mr. Redlegs Benches Sweepstakes

Starting this Saturday through May 13, share your photo with a 150th anniversary Mr. Redlegs bench on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #BornToBaseball to be entered in the Mr. Redlegs Benches Sweepstakes. Each photo you post is an entry to win a daily prize of a Reds autographed baseball. Follow @Reds on Twitter and Instagram for official rules and more details.

The Reds host the San Francisco Giants for a four-game homestand

  • Friday, May 3 (7:10 p.m.) –Fireworks Friday, debut of Yasiel Puig’s “The Corral” ticket package
  • Saturday, May 4 (7:10 p.m.) –150thAnniversary Commemorative Mr. Redlegs bobblehead depicted in the 1869 Red Stockings uniform; 1902 throwback uniforms
  • Sunday, May 5 (4:10 p.m.) –Scooter Gennett kids fathead; 1911 throwback uniforms
  • Monday, May 6 (12:35 p.m.) –Business Day Special
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