Groeschen: Covington built it, but they did not come
From SABR member Luke Groeschen at the Kenton County Public Library on November 12, 2013:
Remember the film Field of Dreams? Kevin Costner’s character builds a baseball field in the middle of his corn field because a voice told him to do it. In 1913 here in Covington, KY baseball enthusiasts and businessmen wanted to bring a professional baseball team to the city. Baseball was viewed as a great way to advertise the city. Those working to bring a club here believed the city would be placed on the map after they landed a team. Can you imagine having two different teams to root for like they have in Chicago and New York, it almost happened but it did not last long.
At the end of the 1912 season the Blue Grass League lost two teams. The Blue Grass League was a Class D Minor League which had teams in cities throughout Kentucky. In order to fill the two vacant spots the organization set its sights on the river towns of Covington and Newport in Northern Kentucky. The attempt to establish teams in Newport and Covington by the Blue Grass league was blocked by the Cincinnati Reds. As a member of a major league (the National League) the Reds had jurisdiction covering a five mile radius that forced smaller leagues like the Blue Grass League to seek permission from establishing clubs in their surrounding area. Newport and Covington both fell under this five mile radius and Garry Herrman of the Reds refused to let the teams establish on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River.
Covington almost missed out on bringing a professional baseball club to the city, but the Federal League was forming in Indianapolis and was looking to establish a team in Cincinnati or Covington. The Reds had no jurisdiction of this league as it was not a member of organized baseball and considered an outlaw league.
This page was last updated November 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm MST.