1869 in sports
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1869 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
- 6 November — the first American intercollegiate football game is played, between Princeton Tigers and Rutgers Scarlet Knights, although the rules are closer to modern Association football (soccer). Rutgers wins by 6 "runs" to 4.
- A second game is played a week later at Princeton who win this 8–0.
- It is about this time that tactics first become evident in football with the designation of positions to appropriate players. Fullbacks are recognised as distinct from forwards and halfbacks begin to emerge in a sort of "midfield role". Forwards, however, still play in a pack to support the man in possession. Dribbling is the key skill but there remains no sign of a passing game to use the full width of the field. Scottish club Queen's Park is the first team to use a passing game a few years later.
- Formation of Kilmarnock, the oldest professional club in Scotland and the second oldest club in the Scottish League after Queen's Park
- The NABBP permits professional clubs at its December 1868 meeting. Openly there are twelve pro teams in the field.
- The original Cincinnati Red Stockings sign baseball's first all-professional team, ten men including player–manager Harry Wright on salary for eight months.
- Cincinnati tours from Boston to San Francisco and completes the season without defeat in at least 57 games. The entourage includes a local newspaper reporter. Continental tours do not fit the established method of determining a champion, which has limited credibility.
- 15 June — Mike McCoole defeats British challenger Tom Allen on a ninth round disqualification near St. Louis, Missouri. McCoole continues to claim the disputed American Championship but his main rival Jimmy Elliott is inactive this year.
- Future champion Allen is the most active fighter in 1869. Besides losing to McCoole, he defeats Bill Davis in the 43rd round; and has two fights against Charley Gallagher, losing the first in the second round and drawing the rematch. Meanwhile, the last English Champion Jem Mace is touring America and giving sparring exhibitions only.
- The demise of the original Cambridgeshire County Cricket Club, which had played first-class cricket since 1819. A team called Cambridgeshire will be formed to play in two specially arranged matches, one in 1869 v. Yorkshire and one in 1871 v. Surrey. After that, Cambridgeshire will cease to be a first-class team.
- Most runs – W. G. Grace 1,320 @ 57.39 (HS 180)
- Most wickets – James Southerton 136 @ 15.36 (BB 8–68)
- Grand National – The Colonel (first of two consecutive wins)
- 1,000 Guineas Stakes – Scottish Queen
- 2,000 Guineas Stakes – Pretender
- Epsom Derby – Pretender
- Epsom Oaks – Brigantine
- St. Leger Stakes – Pero Gomez
- Melbourne Cup – Warrior
- Queen's Plate – Bay Jack
- Irish Derby Stakes – The Scout
The Boat Race
- Sydney University Football Club forms the first football club in Australia, playing Rugby rules.
- Foundation of Preston Grasshoppers