The Louisville Colonels were a Major League Baseball team that played from 1882 to 1899 and were based in Louisville, Kentucky. The team played in the American Association from 1882 to 1891 and in the National League from 1892 to 1899. The team was known as the Louisville Eclipse from 1882 to 1884. The Colonels used 11 Opening Daystarting pitchers in their 18 years as a Major League franchise. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Colonels had a record of 10 wins and 8 losses in their Opening Day games.
The first game in Colonels' history was played on May 2, 1882 against the St. Louis Browns, now known as the St. Louis Cardinals.Tony Mullane was the Opening Day starting pitcher for the Colonels in that game, which the Colonels lost by a score of 9–7. The Colonels' last Opening Day game was on April 14, 1899 against the Chicago Orphans, now known as the Chicago Cubs.Bert Cunningham was the Colonels' Opening Day starting pitcher for that game, which the Colonels lost by a score of 15–1.
The Colonels won one American Association championship, in 1890. That year, they played in the 19th century version of the World Series against the National League champion Brooklyn Bridegrooms, now known as the Los Angeles Dodgers, in a series that ended in a tie. Stratton was the Colonels' Opening Day starting pitcher that season, in a game the Colonels lost to the Browns 11–8.