Bank Street Grounds

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The Bank Street Grounds is a former baseball park located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The park was home to three major league baseball teams. The first National League Cincinnati Reds club in 1880, the current Cincinnati Reds franchise from 1882 to 1883 and the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds of the Union Association in 1884.

The ballpark was located at the intersection of Bank Street and McLaren Avenue, less than one mile away from the future site of Crosley Field. Its location has typically been described as "the foot of Bank Street." It succeeded the Avenue Grounds as the home site for professional ball in the Queen City.

When the first National League Reds club was kicked out of the league for selling beer and renting out its ballpark on Sundays, violating its self-instituted "blue law", the club was disbanded. A new Reds franchise was formed as an American Association club in 1882. This club is the same Reds team that exists today. The AA had no such rules against Sunday play or beer sales. Indeed, the American Association was known informally as "the beer and whiskey" league. The Reds won the inaugural season of the AA, and as such participated in a World Series, of sorts, with the NL champions, the Chicago White Stockings. The exhibition Series was informally arranged, and ended after two games with each team having won one. Both games were staged at the Bank Street Grounds.

In 1884, a former prominent member of the Reds front-office, a man named Justus Thorner, invested in the new Union Association club. He secured the Bank Street Grounds for his team, and the Reds had to look elsewhere. (Allen, p. 29-30). The Reds eventually settled on Findlay and Western, opening the site that would eventually become Crosley Field, the home of the Reds until partway into the 1970 season.

Although the Union Association was dominated by the St. Louis Maroons, the Cincinnati Unions or "Outlaw Reds" had a strong club that could hold its own against the Maroons, and drew well at the gate, eroding the "real" Reds' fan base. However, the "Onion League" folded after just one season. The Reds opted to stay at Findlay and Western, and Bank Street was done with professional baseball.

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority ("SORTA") and CSX Transportation are current tenants on the Bank Street Grounds property.

References[edit]

  • The Cincinnati Reds, by Lee Allen, Putnam, 1948.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Avenue Grounds
Home of the
Cincinnati Reds (1876-1880)

1880
Succeeded by
-
Preceded by
-
Home of the
Cincinnati Reds

1882 & 1883
Succeeded by
League Park

Coordinates: 39°07′13″N 84°32′17″W / 39.120281°N 84.538187°W / 39.120281; -84.538187