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The Louisville Colonels were a Major League Baseball team that played in the American Association throughout that league's ten-year existence from 1882 until 1891, first as the Louisville Eclipse (1882-1884) and later as the Louisville Colonels (1885-1891); they then joined the National League after the AA folded and played through the 1899 season. It was also the name of several minor league baseball teams that played in Louisville, Kentuckymarker, in the 20th century.

American Association

After spending several years as a well-known semi-pro team, the Eclipse joined the new American Association in 1882. Accompanying them to the major leagues was their star player, infielder Pete Browning, who had already achieved some measure of local fame. The team got off to a good start, finishing in second place that first season. That would be their best finish for several seasons, sinking to a 27-111 record and a last place finish in 1889. The 1889 Colonels were the first team in major-league history to lose 100 games in a season.

The next season, the team would bounce back with a vengeance. The Colonels won the 1890 pennant in the AA, during a season in which the league was considered only the third-best behind the NL and the Players League, and appeared in an early version of the World Series which resulted in three wins for each team. Following up on their last place finish the previous year, they became the one and only team to rise from the cellar to the pennant in one season.

National League

In 1892 the team moved to the National League as part of a league merger, and played there until 1899. In 1900 Barney Dreyfuss, owner of the defunct Louisville club, acquired controlling interest of the Pirates and brought 14 players with him, including future Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke.

Notable achievements

In September 1882, Louisville pitchers threw two no-hitters in the span of nine days; Tony Mullane on Sept. 11, followed by Guy Hecker on Sept. 19. Other Louisville pitchers who threw no-hitters were Ben Sanders on August 22, 1892, and Deacon Phillippe, a rookie, on May 25, 1899. Pete Browning hit for the cycle twice for Louisville, on Aug. 8, 1886 and June 7, 1889.

Notable Colonels players



* - denotes Louisville Colonels player in the Hall of Fame

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