Ryczek: The 1867 Nationals of Albany, New York

From SABR member William Ryczek at The National Pastime Museum on June 26, 2013:

The photo of the 1867 Nationals of Albany on this web site shows a team unfamiliar to many who have studied the early days of baseball. There was a famous National Club from Washington, D.C., that undertook baseball’s first western tour in 1867, journeying throughout the Midwest and bringing top-flight baseball to areas where it was unknown. Albany’s Nationals were far less renowned, rarely ventured far from home and their main goal was to compete with the Albany Knickerbockers for supremacy of the city.

Albany, the capital of New York State, is located on the west bank of the Hudson River, approximately 140 miles north of New York City. In the first half of the 19th century, it was one of the 10 largest cities in the United States, but by 1860 as Americans moved west, it was no longer so ranked. In 1870, its population was approximately 69,000, with an economy centered on beer, banking, heavy industry and lumber. In 1865, there were roughly 4,000 sawmills in the Albany area.

The National Base Ball Club of Albany was formed May 6, 1864, with H.A. Carpenter as president. (Carpenter, still with the team in 1867, is holding the score book in the panorama photo above.) The club split six decisions in its first season and was much more active during the next two summers.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/1867-nationals-albany

Originally published: June 26, 2013. Last Updated: June 26, 2013.