Fact for August 20, 2008

The Atlanta Braves baseball team is the oldest continuously operating franchise in professional sports.  Technically they began as the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869, the first professional baseball team.  In 1871, when the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players first formed, the owners wanted no part of it, so the player-manager, Harry Wright, and two other players moved to Boston.  Thus 1871 is sometimes given as their starting date.  The Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds partially copied their names and even uniforms from the team’s original name.  The Chicago Cubs are nearly as old a team, but lost three years of playing time after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed their stadium.  The Cubs, incidentally, were once known as the White Stockings, a name later copied by the Chicago White Sox.

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