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Denison, TX (75 Miles North Of Dallas) had a baseball team almost from the town’s beginning. It was nearly always a good one too. Teams came from hundreds of miles came to play Denison and the local team made trips as far away as Houston and Kansas City. Large crowds gathered to see these games played by the Denison Blue Stockings that organized in May 1874. At that time, $700 was raised to buy equipment, according to the Daily News.

In July that year, the Blue Stockings played in a Dallas tournament and won first prize against teams from Houston, Shreveport, Dallas and Fort Worth. A total of $200 and a silver set valued at $150 were brought home. It is believed that the spirited rivalry between Denison and Sherman developed during those days, with each team winning about one half of their games. The Resolutes of Sherman were a hard team to beat and in one game they beat Denison 47 to 27. There were picnics on the Fourth of July and also on birthdays and other special events. The entire town was invited to the July 4th picnic that was held in Forest Park. Around 4 p.m. a baseball game would usually get under way. Sometime the Native Americans from the Territory would come to Denison and play the Denison Blue Stockings or maybe two different tribes would play at the picnic. On July 4, 1880, the Chickasaws played the Choctaws for a purse of $100 and the winner played the Denison team for another $100. The purse money was raised by Denison’s businesses and the Territory’s prominent men.

In 1879, 141 years ago, the Bluestockings would play the likes of the Honey Grove Stonewalls, the Denison Clippers, Sherman Resolutes Base Ball Club and Lees Base Ball and a featured a lineup of: Mills, Runyon, Morton, Wilkinson, Sibley, Andruss, Riley, Hanna and Legate. On the 4th of July, The Bluestockings played Gainesville and as the MVP of the game, 1st baseman A.L. Sibley was presented with a silver plated ice pitcher. (Luther Andruss as runner-up received a silver plated caster and John W. Hoffman as 2nd runner up received a silver plated flower stand.)

More than baseball going on in Denison on the 4th of July 1879 as a saloon fight ended with the death of a policeman and also his assailant. A. L. Sibley is described as "dashing" in the local paper and was from a prominent family in Denison. He worked for Hanna, Owens and Company, a wholesale grocery company and also was a fireman in town. Ice pitcher is 11.5 inches high to the top of the finial and marked M. Goldsoll & Co Denison, Tex. on the bottom, the dry goods store where the ice pitcher was obtained and it was manufactured by Simpson Hall Miller & Co in Wallingford, Connecticut. Engraved "1st Prize awarded to A L Sibley by the Bluestocking BBC July 4th 1879".

Denison, Texas would continue to play a part in early baseball history as in 1896, the Denison Indians would become one of the 1st Texas League teams (then called the Texas Association) and Rogers Hornsby would play for Denison in 1914 and 1915 before the St Louis Cardinals purchased his contract. Silver baseball trophies pre-1880 are few and far between... a handful of silver trophy balls still exist and have sold for as much as $22,800. This engraved pitcher/trophy represents one of the earliest items of its kind ever offered at auction.

1879 Denison (Texas) Blue Stockings Baseball Club Silver Trophy Pitcher
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,476.00
Number Bids: 2
Auction closed on Sunday, July 19, 2020.
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