Did you know Dayton’s baseball history can be traced back into the 1880s? While you’re waiting those last few hours before opening day of the 2012 baseball season, take a few moments to learn about the incredible history of professional baseball here in Dayton.
One of the best places to start is with MS-401, the Todd Hollst Baseball Collection. Todd Hollst, a native of Beavercreek, Ohio, is an avid fan of Dayton baseball history. His love of baseball merged with his work when he became the first director of entertainment for the Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club. He has also contributed to a web site on Dayton Baseball History. His collection here in Special Collections and Archives contains some amazing artifacts on the legacy of baseball in Dayton.
Here’s a chronology of professional baseball teams in Dayton from 1884-2000:
- Dayton City Gems: Ohio State League, 1884; charter franchise. Disbanded after 1884 season.
- Dayton Reds: Tri-State League, 1889-1890; charter franchise. Northwestern League, 1891; charter franchise. Inter-State League, 1891; charter franchise. Disbanded with league after 1891 season.
- Dayton Old Soldiers: Inter-State League, 1897-1899; new franchise. Renamed Dayton Veterans, 1900.
- Dayton Veterans: Inter-State League, 1900; renamed franchise. Renamed Dayton Old Soldiers, 1901.
- Dayton Old Soldiers: Western Association, 1901; charter franchise. Disbanded with association after 1901 season.
- Dayton Veterans: Central League (D), 1903-1917; charter franchise. Disbanded with league after 1917 season.
- Dayton Marcos: Negro National League, 1920; charter franchise. Disbanded after 1920 season.
- Dayton Aviators: Central League (D), 1928-1929; 1930; charter franchise. Disbanded with league after 1930 season.
- Dayton Ducks: Central League (D), 1932; charter franchise. Middle Atlantic League (C), 1933-1938; expansion franchise. Renamed Dayton Wings, 1939.
- Dayton Wings: Middle Atlantic League (C), 1939-1940; renamed franchise. Renamed Dayton Ducks, 1941.
- Dayton Ducks: Middle Atlantic League (C), 1941-1942; renamed franchise. Suspended operations after 1942 season and resumed as Dayton Indians, 1946.
- Dayton Indians: Ohio State League (D), 1946-1947; charter franchise. Central League (A), 1948-1951; charter franchise. Disbanded with league after 1951 season.
- Dayton Dragons: Midwest League (A), 2000-present.
(Source: Professional Baseball Franchises; 1993; Facts On File, Inc.; pages 57-58. From Dayton Area Sports History)
Also, be sure to check out the terrific information and photographs from previous opening days of the Cincinnati Reds on our Dayton Daily News blog!