Topics in History: Baseball


The Colorado Rockies, Colorado’s major league baseball team, played their first home game in front of 80,227 fans at the now historic Mile High Stadium on April 9, 1993. They beat the Montreal Expos 11-4 that day in their first big-league regular-season game. Baseball, one of the oldest sports played in Colorado, had captured the hearts of residents long before the 1993 season.

As Colorado grew and leisure time was more widely accepted, people began spending their free time on sports, either as a spectator or participant. Amateur baseball teams were often organized by businesses and social and ethnic organizations. In 1862, George Tebeau is said to have organized the first official Colorado team, The Denvers.  Tebeau would later go on to co-found the American League in 1900. The Colorado Base Ball Club staged Denver’s first official baseball game on April 26, 1862.

In Denver, baseball fields were created all over the city, with amateur games being played at River Front Park located at the intersection of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, Wynkoop Field at Wynkoop Street and 36th Avenue, and Sonny Lawson Field between Welton and California streets and 23rd and 24th avenues. Merchants Park located at South Broadway and Exposition Streets served as Denver professional field from 1922 to 1948. Bears Stadium, at 20th and Decatur Streets, opened August 14, 1948 with just 18,000 seats. Bears Stadium, eventually renamed Mile High Stadium, was the home of the Zephyrs, nicknamed the Bears, Colorado’s minor league team from 1955-1992. Today the Rockies play at Coors field and continue to draw legions of fans every season.

Historic Newspaper Articles about Baseball

Local Baseball News

National Baseball News

Baseball Comics and Advertisements

This topic in history and the related online primary sources are brought to you by the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection, a free online resource of primary sources.  For this and other topics, please visit the Colorado Historic Newspapers Topics page. For questions about CHNC, contact Leigh Jeremias, ljeremias@colordovirtuallibrary.org

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