SABR member Matt Albertson and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission cordinally invite all baseball fans to the dedication of an official State Historical Marker commemorating the Jefferson Street Ballparks on Saturday, September 30, 2017, in Philadelphia.
The ceremony will take place at 11:00 a.m. at the Athletic Recreation Center, 1400 N. 26th Street in Philadelphia (the corner of Jefferson and 27th streets).
Significant, continuous baseball activity occurred at the Jefferson Street ballparks betweeen 1864 and 1891. Click here to read an article about the ballparks by Jerrold Casway in SABR’s The National Pastime journal. The grounds were first used by the Olympics — the oldest recognized baseball club in Philadelphia — in the early 1860s. The all-white Olympics played the all-black Pythian club, captained by civil rights activist Octavius Catto, here in the first interracial game on September 3, 1869.
The site also hosted the first National League game on April 22, 1876, between the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Caps. A baseball diamond currently sits on the ground once occupied by the diamond as it was laid out between 1883-91. The site’s history has already spurned secondary research, and more will undoubtedly appear given the growing interest in the SABR Origins and Nineteenth Century committees, and in the ever-evolving narrative of civil rights in America.
Click here for more information about the event. All baseball fans are welcome!
- More coverage: Julie Shaw: Honoring a Philly field where baseball brought races together (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Originally published: September 28, 2017. Last Updated: September 28, 2017.