From the Louisville Courier-Journal, April 19, 1867
With the pleasant days and balmy air of spring comes the welcome opening of the base-ball season. Already several of the junior clubs in the city have made their appearance in the field. For several days past the leading clubs have been summoning the knights of the ball and bat to prepare for assuming their duties, as faithful and gallant combatants should, in the ranks of their respective clubs. We do not know whether the game will be patronized to the same extent this season as it was the last; but as it has taken the lead among our standard games as the manifest and most athletic of them all, we do not choose to criticize a hearty indulgence in it. Indeed, we would rather encourage the revival of a noble sport than do otherwise, for, like the ancients, we should pay a proper attention to the cultivation of muscle, as well as improvement of the mind, for they go hand in hand. We do not doubt that some gouty, inactive, and fun-lacking individuals will be disposed to criticize the character of these remarks; but in return, we will not hesitate for a moment to denominate them as old fogies, unable to keep pace with the progressive spirit of the age. Seriously, the only objection that can reasonably be argued against the game, is that it will draw young men away from their business during the hours that their attention should be devoted to it. This objection, however, cannot be earnestly entertained when those who are disposed to find fault with a proper indulgence in it reflect that the hours of meeting, as arranged by the different clubs, will not interfere with or occupy their business hours. Nearly every city or town of any importance in the Union prides itself upon the possession of one or more “crack” clubs, and why should we not do the same? We can do so with excellent taste too, as we have material for the champion “first nine” of the country.
The Louisville Club met yesterday upon their old grounds to inaugurate the first game of the season. Nearly all of the members were present, and an interesting game was played. Not however without the fingers of several of the members being made to smart, for when the champions meet it is for execution. This club have on exhibition, at George Blanchard’s store, on Main just below Fourth, four captured balls, trophies of their superior skill and valor, won from ambitious clubs last season. The Louisville has never yet lost a match game, and has worn its title proudly as the Champion Club. Should any of the other clubs be daring enough to throw down the gage this season, the Louisville anticipate doubling their spoils. We are disposed to pat the shoulders of any timid club, if it is a good one of course, and should encouragingly their battle-cry to the onset. The silver set and ball are tempting, boys – don’t you think it would do “to try it on?”