Baseball and the U.S. Constitution, Circa 1887


Only one sport played a part in the centennial celebration of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia: baseball. On September 15, 1887, while the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court were breakfasting in the Academy of Music building at 240 South Broad Street, a big parade — the centennial’s “Civic and Industrial Procession” — was rolling by outside, past the Academy of Music and the magnificent City Hall under construction at the end of the street. The Marshal of the parade included this entry in his formal report after the event: “KENSINGTON BASE-BALL CLUB. This organization paraded one wagon, handsomely decorated with flags, drawn by two horses, decorated with flags and bells, and carrying the members of the club in their uniform,— light-gray suits, light caps with red band, red stockings and belts, light shoes, and the name of the club upon their shirt-fronts. They were the only representatives of the national game, which for the last quarter of a century has attracted intense interest from admirers of athletic sports.”