Another post about St. Louis history. This one involving my favorite sport, baseball. Many St. Louis people may already know this because a St. Louis baseball fan isn’t just a fan. We are usually historians on the topic.
Today we wear Cardinals’ Red, but it could have been Maroon’s maroon.
In 1884, St. Louis millionaire and baseball aficionado, Henry Lucas attempted to bring the National League to St. Louis. But his attempts were thwarted and the league did not grant him a team. Not to be out done, Lucas decided to draw upon his personal fortune and create his own league, which became the Union Association.
St. Louis’ team, the Maroons, were clearly the best team in the league and their owner, Lucas, did not hide the fact that he loaded the St. Louis team with as much talent as possible. While this made for a successful team in St. Louis, it did not bode well for the rest of the league. The Union Association lasted one season.
According to Christopher Gordon, Director of Library Archives at the Missouri Historical Society, soon after the league folded, Lucas’ luck continued to go down hill.
“He had built Union Park, which was the baseball stadium for the Union League. In the midst of all this, fireworks during a fireworks display, the stadium caught on fire and he had no insurance so the last of his money was wiped out,” said Gordon.