Notes about baseball in Evansville
Researched and Written by Ruth Ann Montgomery
For more than 115 years, Evansville fans have been watching local
ball players win and lose at the game of baseball. One of Evansville's
first baseball teams was organized in March 1880 with livery stable
owner, Matt Broderick, as Manager.
The team called themselves the Evansville Mutuals. Mutuals was
a common name for local ball teams. Cal Broughton was catcher, Bayard
Andrews, pitcher; Morehouse, Owen, F. Broughton on the bases; Heath,
shortstop; and Purdy Thompson and Hunt in the field. Two men acted
as extras, John Silverthorn and A. Broughton.
The team played neighboring towns and competed for prize money
offered to the winning team. The Mutuals always drew a crowd. The
players knew there was potential for baseball professionals to become
rich playing ball and one of the team members, Cal Broughton, had
ambitions to be a professional ball player.
Professional baseball had been in existence since 1869 when the
Cincinnati Red Stocks team became the first team to be openly paid
for playing ball. That year, the Stocks had an annual payroll of
$9,300 and the star of the Cincinnati team, short-stop George Wright,
was paid $1,400. His fans said he was worth every penny of it.
The local teams usually began practicing in March and the season
ended in September. One of the first reported matches was between
the Evansville Mutuals and the Janesville Mutuals for a prize of
twenty dollars at Evansville's Fourth of July celebration in 1880.
Evansville's team won with a score of 32 to 20.
June 1, 1911, Evansville Review, p. 5, col. 2, Evansville, Wisconsin
1925 Evansville Fair: The local teams usually began practicing
in March and the season ended in September. One of the first reported
matches was between the Evansville Mutuals and the Janesville Mutuals
for a prize of twenty dollars at Evansville's Fourth of July celebration
in 1880. Evansville's team won with a score of 32 to 20.
1933 project - The fairground projects, included painting and repairing
buildings, building an athletic field for the schools and public.
The organizers dreamed that there would be baseball diamonds, a
gridiron for the football team, and tennis courts.
April 27, 1933, Evansville Review, p. 1, col. 3, Evansville, Wisconsin
1934 project - The fairgrounds crew continued building the baseball
diamond, gridiron and more tennis courts. The athletic fields were
predicted to be one of Evansvilles most popular amusement
centers. Then a sudden summer storm blew the roof off the grandstand
and the FERA crews stopped the athletic field project and were put
to work replacing the roof.
Back to History Page