|1885 Western League Keokuks|
|The playing field was this side of Rand Park and there was another
park across the river. Since baseball was not considered to be a very
righteous game, the city's laws prohibited Sunday baseball. The players
then took a ferry across the river to a field at Crystal Glen in Illinois
to play. Fans also ferried or boated across. The team had very colorful
uniforms. They wore old gold shirts, blue pants, red and blue stockings,
and red, white and blue caps.
A number of the players on this team carried on their professional baseball careers. The most notable player was John W. "Bud" Fowler, the first African-American professional baseball player. Kennedy went on to play for the Chicago White Sox. Hudson was the first string pitcher for the St. Louis Browns. Stromberg played for Pittsburgh. Darby OBrien played at Brooklyn and later became captain of team. Dugdale later became owner of the Seattle club of the Pacific Coast league.
The Western league broke up June 29, 1885. The Keokuks were 29-8, competing against teams from the following cities: Memphis, Detroit, Springfield, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Kansas City. All the teams dropped out except Keokuk and Milwaukee. These two teams continued to play until Keokuk beat their opposition seven times in a row, and then Milwaukee quit also.