With baseball season in full swing, so to speak, and the World Series looming, lingering (and for you non-baseball fans - ready to preempt all primetime programming!), we thought we'd get in on the action! Although Kentucky does not have a Major League Baseball team, we do have very strong links to the professional side of the sport.
Probably the best known name in the business is the "Louisville Slugger" - the bat created by the son of a woodworker in 1884, when he escaped from the shop for an afternoon to watch the local baseball team, the Louisville Eclipse. John "Bud" Hillerich secured the bat's name & role in history when he patented the name after taking over the family business in 1894. The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory still stands in downtown Louisville, demarcated by the giant bat leaning against the building - unbreakable!
Of course, another undeniably, and relatively well-known strong tie is former Governor Albert "Happy" Chandler (1898-1991). Chandler was the Major League Baseball Commissioner for seven years, beginning in 1945. He supported African-American leagues; his reign as commissioner even included the historic contract approval of Jackie Robinson, making him the first professional African-American baseball player (1947)!
Though the list goes on of MLB connections (professional and otherwise), we'll celebrate Kentucky's baseball history with a simple Victorian game of Indoor Baseball from 1906, played with marbles and spools, as described in the November 1, 1906 edition of the Berea Citizen.