Seattle's first professional baseball game is played on May 24, 1890.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 2135
See Additional Media

On May 24, 1890, teams from Spokane Falls and Seattle play Seattle's first professional baseball game at a new diamond at the east end of Madison Street. Approximately 1,200 people "consisting of the very best element of the city" and "a large number of ladies" (Post-Intelligencer) watch the "Seattles" best the "Spokanes," 11-8, beginning at 4:00 p.m.

A Day For Baseball Cranks

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer announced, "Today is May 24, the day to which all the baseball cranks in the city have looked forward to for six months." The team did not have a mascot or a name and was simply called the Seattles or "our boys." The Seattle team colors were blue and white. Female fans attached streamers to their parasols.

To accommodate spectators, the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad ran special trains from Seattle to the end of Yesler Avenue at Lake Washington. There, two special steamers took passengers to the field at the end of Madison Street.

Another game followed the next day. Players were paid between $200 and $300 a month and they were recruited from all over the country. Contemporary news accounts detailed every game, but the players and the manager were identified only by their last names.

Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, and Spokane were organized under the Pacific Northwest Baseball League and they occasionally traveled to California to play against professional teams there. In 1892, Seattle won the league championship. In 1903 the Northwest teams joined the Pacific Coast League.


Thomas W. Prosch, "A Chronological History of Seattle From 1850 to 1897," typescript dated 1900-1901, Northwest Collection, University of Washington Library, Seattle, 389; Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 24, 1890, p. 3; Ibid., May 25, 1890, p. 8.; Bill O'Neal, The Pacific Coast League: 1903-1988, (Austin, TX: Eakin Press, 1990), 2.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You