REMEMBERING OUR PAST
Baseballís second oldest team after the Knickerbockers, the Gothams held their team meetings at 298 Bowery and their home games at the St. George Cricket Club on Staten Island.
The first box score of a baseball game in the New York press comes in 1853 when stories in the Spirit and the New York Mercury report a game played at the St. George Cricket grounds. The excitement around these games played between the Gothams and Knickerbockers spurred many other teams to form in the New York area. The oldest definitively known baseball photograph is of
the 1856 Gotham Club. The same year the club was implicated in a player stealing scandal- the first of itís kind! Another first occurred in 1858, when several Gotham players were involved in the first ever "All-star Game"- along with players from the Knickerbockers, Eagles, Empires, and Unions- against all-stars from the prominent Brooklyn squads at the time (Atlantic, Eckford and Excelsior). The New York squad won a three game series
The fall of the Massachusetts rules game (slightly different than the New York rules game) was partially aided by one of the Gotham players who moved to New England and began teaching them the New York game. In 1858 The Gothamís president, William VanCott was chosen as the first president of the National Association of Base Ball players.
During the early and mid 1860ís three of baseballs earliest and brightest stars, George and Harry Wright, and Candy Cummings played for the Gotham Club for several seasons. All are in enshrined in the Baseball Hall of fame in Cooperstown. In January of1865, the Gothams helped to give new meaning to ďBaseball FeverĒ as they engaged in a series of games played on Ice against the Brooklyn Atlantics. In the late 1860ís, as many teams began paying their best players, the Gothams fell prey to stronger teams and eventually folded in the late part of the decade only to be revived in the mid 70ís with new management and new players.
This second Gotham team was the precursor to the present day San Francisco (formerly New York) Giants.
Here is a study of the Gothams History by Stephen Ready: