April 22 - 1876 - The First National League Game

When Major League Baseball says something is an "all time record," they specifically mean "since April 22, 1876." That was when the Boston Red Stockings and the Philadelphia Athletics squared off at the Jefferson Street Grounds in Philadelphia in the first game of the then brand new National League. The National League was the brainchild of the President of the Chicago Base Ball Club, William Hulbert. Hulbert had decided in 1875 to buy what was essentially an All-Star team, largely buying players from the Boston and Philadelphia teams. Knowing that the National Association would not abide by these actions, Hulbert created a brand new eight team league that was more exclusive and more able to enforce contracts for players. Although the first National League game would inaugurate the body that would develop baseball into America's Pastime, many things about the game at the time made it seem like it would never last. In fact, the Philadelphia team that inaugurated the league didn't make it through the first season. But eventually, the Chicago team led the league to preeminence in American sports and entertainment.

William Floyd