The Cincinnati Reds

Established in 1881 as an independent club, the team became a charter member of the American Association in 1882, and joined the National League in 1890. The club traditionally traces its origin to baseball's first openly professional team in 1869.

League

They are current members of the National League Central Division.

The Birth of The Reds

The origins of the modern Cincinnati Reds can be traced to the expulsion of an earlier team bearing that name. In 1876, Cincinnati became one of the charter members of the new National League, but the club ran afoul of league organizer and long-time president William Hulbert for selling beer at the ballpark and playing games on Sunday, both important activities to entice the city's large German population.

While Hulbert made clear his distaste for both beer and Sunday baseball at the founding of the league, neither practice was actually against league rules in those early years. On October 6, 1880, however, seven of the eight team owners pledged at a special league meeting to formally ban both beer and Sunday baseball at the regular league meeting that December. Only Cincinnati president W. H. Kennett refused to sign the pledge, so the other owners formally expelled Cincinnati for violating a rule that would not actually go into effect for two more months.

The original Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball's first openly all-professional team, was founded in 1863, and became fully professional in 1869. The Red Stockings won 130 straight games throughout 1869 and 1870, before being defeated by the Brooklyn Atlantics.

The Red Stockings lost many players and their namesake in 1870, when the team decided to dissolve. The name went to Boston where, in 1871, a new team featuring some of Cincinnati's former stars began play as the Boston Red Stockings. This franchise would eventually become the Atlanta Braves. A new Cincinnati Red Stockings team became a charter member of the National League in 1876, five years after the first Red Stockings team. The second Red Stockings team was expelled from the league after the 1880 season, for 'violating' rules which had not yet gone into effect: namely, serving beer at games and allowing their park to be used on Sundays.

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