In the 19th and early 20th centuries the Louisville Eclipse did just that- eclipsed the sport of baseball in the city of Louisville. As such, it only made sense to name the park they played in after the team.
In truth, Eclipse Park was actually three different parks- all of which where Louisville’s professional baseball teams suited up, including the Louisville Colonels who chose not to change the name of the stadium due to the history surrounding the Eclipse name.
Before that the park housed the semi-pro team incarnation of the Eclipse beginning in 1882, despite being around for several years at this point and already housing several teams off and on, this Eclipse team would be the first regular inhabitants of the park.
After only two seasons there was an abrupt name change to the Colonels moniker and the team quickly took off from there becoming a major league franchise. The Colonels weren’t just a team in the league but a powerhouse one that were perennial favorites in the leagues they played in.
In 1899 misfortune hit the team when a fire came through, destroying the stadium and creating a chasm in the team’s leadership.
Under the confusion that was created the team owner Barney Dreyfuss moved to fulfilling the job of owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates abandoning the Colonels. And, when Dreyfuss moved he moved much of the team with him, a merger that culminated in the Pirates making their way to the first World Series.
Today Eclipse Park seems like a distant memory however a memory that has proved itself so important in the city of Louisville.
Image courtesy of Hello Louisville
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