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Bank Street Grounds

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Title: Bank Street Grounds  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cincinnati Reds (1876–80), List of Cincinnati Reds Opening Day starting pitchers, Cincinnati Outlaw Reds, History of the Cincinnati Reds, List of Cincinnati Reds managers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bank Street Grounds

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

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