Historic EARLY certificate from the Boston Base Ball Association
issued in 1881. This historic document and has an
ornate border around it and is signed by the team's President ( Arthur H. Soden ) and Treasuer ( Allan J. Chase). This is one of the earliest Professional Baseball teams. The certificate was issued to W. H Conaut for 1 share of stock and is signed by him on the verso. The certificate is in XF condition. No cancellation markings.
Early Team Photo - Boston Base Ball Association known as the Boston Red Stockings - shown for Illustrative Purposes
Arthur H. Soden (1845? - August 15, 1925) was an American executive in Major League Baseball who was the president/owner of the Boston Beaneaters of the National League. He is credited with inventing the baseball reserve clause – in 1880, standard player contracts began including a clause stating that the club could reserve the player for the following season; teams could reserve up to 5 players. In 1883, the number was increased to 11, which was a typical roster size in that era, and soon teams were allowed unlimited reserves.
In 1882, Soden served briefly as president of the National League following the death of William Hulbert. When the rival American Association was preparing to expand to 8 teams for the 1883 season, Soden acted to add NL teams in New York City and Philadelphia (both cities had been kicked out of the league by Hulbert after the inaugural 1876 season), replacing the Troy Trojans and Worcester Ruby Legs, the bottom two teams in the league. Although Troy and Worcester objected to their removal, their attendance problems – drawing only 6 and 18 spectators in their final two games against one another – sealed their fate.
Soden played a major role in the war between the NL and the Players League in 1890, bankrolling several teams in the league as attendance dropped; by the time the NL emerged triumphant, Soden owned a majority of the New York Giants in addition to his control of the Boston franchise.
Boston won 5 pennants between 1891 and 1898. After losing the pennant to Baltimore in 1894 and 1895, a struggling start in 1896 led Soden to observe that his players' on-field arguments were having a negative effect, and stated that any players fined for abusing umpires would now pay their own fines rather than have the team cover the cost secretly; Boston went on a 22-2 run over the next few weeks, and briefly took over first place, but finished behind Baltimore (for the last time) that season.
Soden was known for being stingy, and catcher Boileryard Clarke observed after coming to the Beaneaters from Baltimore in 1899 that the team owner was also amazingly distant. Clarke later insisted that although he played for Boston for two years, Soden never knew he was on the team. After the American League emerged as a rival in the 20th century, many players began deserting the NL for the new league, and Boston suffered the heaviest casualties.
Soden died in Sunapee, New Hampshire at age 80.
Established on January 20, 1871, the Boston Red Stockings was one of the eight original members of the National League. The team was orgnized as the Boston Base Ball Club with $15,000 in common stock at $100 a share.
The National Association of Professional Baseball Players" was chartered in 1871 with 10 Original teams, including the "Boston Red Stockings" run by the Boston Base Ball Association. Boston won every championship between 1872 and 1875. After the 1875 season the Boston Red Stockings, Chicago White Stockings, New York Mutuals, Hartford Dark Blues, and St. Louis Brown Stockings all left the "National Association" in order to join the newly formed "National League". This caused the "National Association" to fold.
In 1875, Boston changed its name to the "Boston Red Caps." That name lasted until 1883 when they became "The Boston Beaneaters." After the Dove brothers bought the team, they were renamed the "Boston Doves" in 1907. In 1909, it changed again to the "Boston Pilgrims". Finally, in 1912 the name was changed to the "Boston Braves" and remained that until 1952 except for years 1936-40, when they where called the "Boston Bees". The team moved to Milwaukee in 1953 to became the "Milwaukee Braves" and finally to Atlanta in 1966 and are now know as the "Atlanta Braves."
The Boston Reds were a 19th-century baseball team located in Boston, Massachusetts that played in the Players' League in 1890 and in the American Association in 1891. They played in the Congress Street Grounds in the 1890s. The team took its name from the successful Boston club of the National Association and National League formerly known as the (Boston) Red Stockings, who had changed their name to the Beaneaters in 1883. The club lasted only two seasons, but in those two seasons they were league champions.
In 1890 the Reds won the Players' League pennant when they finished first ahead of the New York Giants, and then won the American Association pennant when they finished first ahead of the St. Louis Browns (now the Cardinals). The Boston Reds are one of two major league teams to win back-to-back pennants spanning two different leagues. The Brooklyn Dodgers did it also, winning the AA pennant in 1889 and the NL pennant in 1890.
At the conclusion of the 1891 season, the National League pressed for the consolidation of the American Association with the National League. Part of the posturing included the National League directing its champion Boston Beaneaters not to play the Reds in a World Series. The leagues settled, adding four AA clubs to a combined circuit. As part of the settlement, the owners of the four clubs not joining the combined circuit, including the Reds, were paid $135,000 and their players dispersed to the surviving clubs.
Their abandoned ballpark was revived for use by the National League club in 1894, during the weeks that South End Grounds was being rebuilt following a fire. The Congress Street Grounds, with its close left field foul line, quickly gained some more history, as Bobby Lowe hit four home runs in one game there, the first player to accomplish that feat.
Frederick E. Long was the treasurer of the Boston Base Ball Club (ca. 1871-1888). It
appears that Long’ s tenure with the Boston National League Club ended sometime in
1888, perhaps after he, Mr. Charles H. Porter and Mr. J.B. Hart petitioned the Board of
Directors for season passes for stockholders. Long was awarded a lifetime pass to all
Boston Base Ball Club games by J.B. Billings, the new treasurer, in 1888. By 1889,
Long was the treasurer for the Boston Players’ National League Base Ball Club.
Ivers W. Adams was the founder and first president of the Boston Base Ball Club but
only remained in the position for a year. Adams’ bringing baseball to Boston was
contingent on signing Harry and George Wright from Cincinnati. Adams thought the
Wright’ s were upstanding gentlemen, and therefore, the right men to represent Boston in
baseball. John A. Conkey served as president for the second season; Charles H. Porter
was president for the next two seasons.
Nicholas T. Apollonio served as president during 1875 and 1876 when Al Spalding, Jim
White, Ross Barnes, and Cal McVey left Boston for Chicago in 1876 at the inception of
the National League. Prior to 1876, the Boston Base Ball Club was part of the National
Association, which at that time was a professional baseball league.
Arthur H. Soden was the final president, taking control in 1877. Soden, along with J.B.
Billings and William H. Conant, formed a triumvirate, gaining a controlling stock interest
in the club between 1874 and 1880. The Club was wrought with financial trouble from
1876-1883 and Nick Young, President of the National League, often called upon Soden
to finance not only the Boston club, but also the entire National League. Between 1883
and 1889 the Club was financially sound after they won the championship in 1883.
1887, the Club was able to purchase Mike “King” Kelly for $10,000 from Chicago.
The Club had a number of nicknames during its existence. They include: Boston Red
Stockings (1871-1875), Boston Braves (1876-1952) during this period, however, they
were also known as the Boston Red Caps (1876-1882) and the Boston Beaneaters (1883-
The team employed players such as Harry Wright, George Wright, Albert Spalding, Mike
“King” Kelly, Dennis “Dan” Brouthers, Charles Radbourne, and Jimmy Collins.
By 1889, it was clear that the players were not satisfied with the National League in
regard to salary and reserve clause dealings, and were pursuing the formation of their
own league. The concept of this League was initially proposed in 1885, but did not take
form until 1890, when the Players’ National League organized eight teams, including one
in Boston. Charles H. Porter, President; Frederick E. Long, Treasurer; and J.B. Hart,
Secretary administered the Boston team. Mike “King” Kelly was lured away from the
Boston National League team to captain the Players’ League team. John Morrill and
Arthur Dixwell scouted for the team.
The Boston Players’ League Club’ s lineup included Hardie Richardson, Ad Gumbert,
Dan Brouthers, Harry Stovey, Tom Brown, Arthur Irwin, Dick Johnston, Matt Kilroy,
Morg Murphy, Billy Nash, Joe Quinn, Charles Radbourn, Bill Daley, Bill Swett, and Kid
Madden. Kelly, Brouthers, Radbourn, Richardson, Brown, Johnston, Nash, Quinn, Daily
and Madden all defected from the Boston National League team to join the Boston
Players’ League team.
The Players’ League lasted only one year. After it disbanded, the American Association
absorbed many of the teams and players; others returned to the Boston National League
History from Wikipedia and OldCompany.com (old stock certificate research service).