The Cincinati Red Srockings were the first openly professional team in the 1860's. Prior to that it was considered "unsportsmanlike" to pay players to play what had been, at one time, a completely amateur game. The first professional League was the National Association which began play in 1871 with teams in Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, New York, Washington, Troy NY, Fort Wayne IN., Cleveland and Rockford IL. The National League began play in 1876 after the demise of the Nat. Ass. the previous year with the teams : The Chicago White Stockings, The St.Louis Brown Stockings, The Hartford Dark Blues, The Boston Red Caps, The Louisville Grays, The New York Mutuals, The Philadelphia Athletics and The Cincinati Red Stockings.
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