Skip to main content

1866 Baseball team The Wapellos from Rock Island

 Collection
Identifier: 2011-15

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of 1 DVD, images of 13 baseball cards, newspaper clipping from 1943 about the cards and the team, and newspaper clippings from 1866 Rock Island, Illinois newspapers.

Dates

  • 1866-1943

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials are available for use in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center only.

Request permission before copying materials.

Personal digital cameras and scanners are allowed in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center on a case-by-case basis. The items that a researcher may want to scan or photograph must be examined and evaluated for physical condition, copyright issues, and donor restrictions by staff.

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Biographical / Historical

145 years ago, on Thursday, October 20, 1866, The Rock Island Wapello baseball club, which had formed earlier that year, won their first tournament by beating the Enterprise club of Peoria 85-54 in Peoria. They took home the $100 prize—and the $25 prize for best throwing went to pitcher Mansfield.

The team was named after Fox tribe chief Wapello (1787-1842), who signed treaties at Fort Armstrong in 1822 and 1832. The team members were: Charles Robert Chamberlin (catcher), William H. Dart (fielder), Stiles Eggleston (fielder), Edgar Gay Gleim (3rd base), Jim Hodges (3rd base/fielder), Phil Mitchell (pitcher/fielder), Charles Platt (pitcher), Harry Platt (2nd base), George Solander (1st base), Mansfield M. Sturgeon (pitcher/shortstop) and Mack Weiser (fielder).

The first recorded game in the Quad Cities also took place in 1866, when the Wapellos played against the Davenport Union baseball club. The game was played on the level ground near the stone schoolhouse on West Third Street, at 2:15 pm. The Wapellos won that game 118-7. In those early days, the pitchers did not throw the ball overhand, so strikeouts were rare. And players did not wear gloves, so there were not a lot of fly outs either. If a player made contact with their bat, they were most likely going to score a run.

The Rock Island Wapello baseball club won every game they played for 4 years, but disbanded after their first loss in 1870.

We recently digitized a set of 13 cartes de visite of the players, an early version of today’s baseball cards. The photographs were taken by George Solander, the first baseman who was a photographer for Newberry & Solanders in Rock Island. The players are wearing their uniforms, which were blue Turkish pants, white linen shirts, belts with the team name “WAPELLO BBC”, and blue caps trimmed with red and topped with a white button.

On August 5th, 2001, the cards were sold at an auction in Rosemont, Illinois for eighteen thousand dollars.


Works Cited

Morning Democrat Centennial. “Take me out to the ballgame.” October 5, 1955.

Rock Island Argus. “Welcome to the Wapello club.” October 23, 1866.

Veto, Matt. “145-year-old R. I. baseball cards up for auction today.” Rock Island Argus, August 5, 2011.

Wickstrom, George. “Ball had zip enough for big scores when game of baseball was new here.” Rock Island Argus, April 12, 1943.

Extent

1 discs (in 1 disc.)

Language of Materials

English

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift

Physical Description

excellent
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center Repository

Contact:
321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490 United States



About the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center:

The Special Collections Department of the Davenport Public Library was established in 1982. In November of 1999, the newly renovated department opened to better serve its community and was renamed the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center. The Center acquires, arranges, describes, preserves, and makes available local history and genealogical materials concentrating on those pertaining to Davenport, Scott County, and Eastern Iowa.

Books and other printed materials in the collection can be found using a Library Search. For additional digital resources, browse the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive. For more information about specific subjects relating to Scott County History, please browse the Research Guides.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center
Davenport Public Library
321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490
(563) 326-7902
specialcollections@davenportlibrary.com