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Louisville Colonels

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The city of Louisville has had a long association with professional baseball. The Louisville Grays were original members of the National League in 1876 and 1877. From 1882 to 1891, the city had a team in the then-major league American Association, known first as the Louisville Eclipse (1882-1884), then as the Louisville Colonels (1885-1891), which became the standard name for teams from the city. When the American Association folded after the 1891 season, the Colonels moved to the National League. When the National League decided to contract from 12 to 8 teams after the 1899 season, Louisville was one of the franchises destined for the cutting block. However its owner, Barney Dreyfuss, also owned a stake in the Pittsburgh franchise, and managed to transfer many of Louisville's best players, including future Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke, to Pittsburgh, instantly making that team one of the powerhouses of the first decade of the twentieth century.

1921 team photo.

When the American Association re-formed as a minor league in 1902, the Colonels were charter members and remained part of the league until it folded in 1962. While a number of franchises moved either to the Pacific Coast League or the International League, the Colonels simply disappeared, until they were revived in 1968 as members of the International League. The team folded again in 1972. More recent minor league teams in Louisville have used different names, including Redbirds, RiverBats and Bats.

[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
American Association
1885 53-59 6th Jim Hart none
1886 66-70 4th Jim Hart none
1887 76-60 4th Honest John Kelly none
1888 48-87 7th Honest John Kelly (10-29) / John Kerins (3-4) / Mordecai Davidson (35-54) none
1889 27-111 8th Dude Esterbrook (2-8) / Chicken Wolf (14-51) /
Dan Shannon (10-46) / Jack Chapman (1-6)
none
1890 88-44 1st Jack Chapman none League Champs
1891 55-84 7th Jack Chapman none
National League
1892 63-89 9th Jack Chapman / Fred Pfeffer
1893 50-75 11th Billy Barnie none
1894 36-94 12th Billy Barnie none
1895 35-96 12th John McCloskey none
1896 38-93 12th John McCloskey (2-17) / Bill McGunnigle (36-76) none
1897 52-78 11th Jim Rogers (17-24) / Fred Clarke (35-54) none
1898 70-81 9th Fred Clarke none
1899 75-77 9th Fred Clarke none
Western Association
1901 38-23 (84-54 overall) -- Walt Wilmot Team moved to Grand Rapids July 2
American Association
1902 92-45 2nd Bill Clymer none
1903 87-54 2nd Bill Clymer none
1904 77-70 5th George Tebeau none
1905 76-75 4th Charlie Dexter none
1906 71-79 5th Suter Sullivan / Roy Brashear none
1907 77-77 5th Thomas Chivington none
1908 88-65 2nd James Burke none
1909 93-75 1st Thomas Chivington none League Champs
1910 60-103 8th Hal Peitz / Del Howard none
1911 67-101 8th Del Howard none
1912 66-101 7th Jack Tighe / John Hayden none
1913 95-72 3rd John Hayden none
1914 95-73 2nd John Hayden none
1915 78-72 4th John Hayden / Ezra Midkiff none
1916 101-66 1st Bill Clymer none League Champs
1917 88-66 2nd Bill Clymer none
1918 41-36 4th Bill Clymer League suspended operations July 21
1919 86-67 3rd Patsy Flaherty (47-37) / Joe McCarthy (39-30) none
1920 88-79 2nd Joe McCarthy none
1921 98-70 1st Joe McCarthy none League Champs
1922 77-91 6th Joe McCarthy none
1923 91-77 3rd Joe McCarthy none
1924 91-76 3rd Joe McCarthy none
1925 106-61 1st Joe McCarthy none League Champs
1926 105-62 1st Bill Meyer none League Champs
1927 65-103 7th Bill Meyer none
1928 62-106 8th Bill Meyer none
1929 75-90 5th Allen Sothoron none
1930 93-60 1st Allen Sothoron none League Champs
1931 74-94 7th Allen Sothoron none
1932 67-101 8th Bruno Betzel none
1933 70-83 6th Bruno Betzel
1934 78-74 4th Bruno Betzel (29-34) / Ken Penner (49-40)
1935 52-97 8th Ken Penner none
1936 63-91 7th Burleigh Grimes
1937 62-91 8th Bert Niehoff
1938 53-100 8th Bert Niehoff
1939 75-78 4th Donie Bush / Bill Burwell League Champs
1940 75-75 4th Bill Burwell League Champs
1941 87-66 2nd Bill Burwell Lost League Finals
1942 78-76 5th Bill Burwell
1943 70-81 5th Bill Burwell
1944 85-63 3rd Bill Burwell / Nemo Leibold League Champs
1945 84-70 3rd Nemo Leibold League Champs
1946 92-61 1st Nemo Leibold / Fred Walters League Champs
1947 85-68 2nd Nemo Leibold Lost League Finals
1948 56-98 8th Nemo Leibold (52-93) / Owen Scheetz (4-5)
1949 70-83 6th (t) Fred Walters (12-26) / Mike Ryba (58-57)
1950 82-71 5th Mike Ryba
1951 80-73 4th Pinky Higgins Lost in 1st round
1952 77-77 5th Pinky Higgins
1953 84-70 3rd Pinky Higgins Lost in 1st round
1954 85-68 2nd Pinky Higgins League Champs
1955 83-71 3rd (t) Red Marion Lost in 1st round
1956 60-93 8th Red Marion (45-56) / Max Carey (15-27)
1957 49-105 8th Dutch Meyer
1958 56-95 8th Del Wilber
1959 97-65 1st Ben Geraghty Lost in 1st round
1960 85-68 2nd Ben Geraghty (10-8) / Bill Adair (75-60) League Champs
1961 80-70 2nd Ben Geraghty League Champs
1962 71-75 4th Jack Tighe League Champs
1968 72-75 6th Eddie Kasko
1969 77-63 2nd Eddie Kasko Lost in 1st round
1970 69-71 6th Billy Gardner
1971 71-69 5th Darrell Johnson
1972 81-63 1st Darrell Johnson Lost League Finals

Source:

  • Peter Filichia: Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebrations of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks Past and Present, Addison Wesley Publishing Company (March 1993)
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