New England Heritage: Providence Grays Baseball
The original Providence Grays of Major League Baseball’s National
League existed from 1878 to 1885. They won the first “Baseball
Championship of America” in 1884 by defeating the New York
Metropolitans of the American Association in what has come to be known
as the first World Series.
In 1998, a tribute team by the same name was formed to honor those
original champions while demonstrating how base ball, then two words,
was played. The Providence Grays Vintage Base Ball Club plays by the
same rules and with faithfully reproduced period equipment. Like
Narragansett Beer, we are proud of our long Rhode Island history and
we invite everyone to our games. There is never a charge to watch us
The old game was played barehanded with the exception of the catcher.
There was no pitching mound, the pitcher stood only
50 feet away and the batter could call for a high or low strike zone,
according to his preference.
Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourn of the original Grays won a record 59
games in 1884. The Grays employed the very first African American
player for a single game, they invented the bullpen, the turnstyle and
they played in a park that was located on Messer Street in the west
end of Providence.
The current Grays are beginning their 15th year in 2012, we play a
demonstration game at McCoy Stadium every summer
while playing around the region for the entertainment and education
of history loving fans. We are proud to be sponsored by Narragansett
Beer and we are especially proud of our association with another
uniquely Rhode Island institution.
Ed Achorn’s “Fifty-nine in ’84” gives a thrilling account of the
1884 champions and we recommend this book highly to all history loving
Check back for Grays updates and go to providencegrays.com for
scheduling information and other facts about 19th Century base ball.
Grays 2012 Schedule
April Sat. 14 Atlantics Away
April Sun. 15 Mutuals Away
April Sat. 28 NH Granite Away
May Sat. 5 Olneyville RI
May Sat. 26 Atlantics Home
June Sat. 2 Olyneville RI
June Sun. 10 Mutuals Home
June Sun. 24 Atlantics Home
July Sat. 7 Newtown Sandy Hooks Away
July Sat. 21 Gettysburg
July Sun. 22 Gettysburg
August Sat. 4 Bethpage
August Sun. 5 Bethpage
September Sat. 15 Newtown Sandy Hooks Home
September Sat. 22 NH Granite Home