Jefferson Street Ballparks historical marker dedication ceremony (Philadelphia, PA)

1883 ballgame at the new 27th and Jefferson Street field, looking north towards Jefferson street. Home plate is at 27th Street. The big building on the right is the Mission Church at 26th and Jefferson.

SABR member Matt Albertson and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission cordinally invite all baseball fans to the dedication of an official State Historical Marker commemorating the Jefferson Street Ballparks on Saturday, September 30, 2017, in Philadelphia.

The ceremony will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 30, 2017, at the Athletic Recreation Center, 1400 N. 26th Street in Philadelphia (the corner of Jefferson and 27th streets).

Significant, continuous baseball activity occurred at the Jefferson Street ballparks betweeen 1864 and 1891. Click here to read an article about the ballparks by Jerrold Casway in SABR's The National Pastime journal. The grounds were first used by the Olympics — the oldest recognized baseball club in Philadelphia — in the early 1860s. The all-white Olympics played the all-black Pythian club, captained by civil rights activist Octavius Catto, here in the first interracial game on September 3, 1869. The site also hosted the first National League game on April 22, 1876, between the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Caps. A baseball diamond currently sits on the ground once occupied by the diamond as it was laid out between 1883-91.

A historical marker dedicated to the grounds and these events will establish a local point of pride, mark a central location where America's pastime evolved from amateurism to professionalism, and establish a physical marker for Pennsylvania's and Philadelphia's budding public history tourism. Additionally, the site's history has already spurned secondary research, and more will undoubtedly appear given the growing interest in the SABR Origins and Nineteenth Century committees, and in the ever-evolving narrative of civil rights in America.

Please join us for this ceremony and celebration of baseball history. For more information, please contact Matt Albertson at