Origins of Base Ball in Waukesha

Vintage base ball players at Old World Wisconsin.

Origins of the 1860s Waukesha Diamonds

By the late 1860s and early 1870s base ball was being played throughout the state on summer afternoons. Communities established their own teams, which challenged those from surrounding towns.

One of the more active and well-documented teams was the Waukesha Diamonds. The Diamonds organized in July of 1868, playing at Carroll College, adjacent to the Cook and Hadfield quarry. The combination of underhanded pitching, unkempt playing fields, and the absence of gloves was responsible for many high scoring games, such as the Diamonds' 49-34 victory over the Oconomowoc Clippers in September 1868.

Research by the Old World Wisconsin staff documents the Diamonds competing each season through the mid-1870s. Players included many of the sons of local middle-class families. They joined the team for a season or two before establishing themselves with family and career. Learn more base ball history by reading the Waukesha Diamonds' Bios – 1874 Season.


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