Pythian Base Ball Club Formed Timelines: The Catto Years

Catto pioneers the racial shift in baseball by forming the Pythian Baseball club, an amateur team made up of black business and middle-class professional men from the Washington, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York regions. The effort was supported by the Knights of Pythias fraternal organization and its Philadelphia founding member William Still. (The fraternal order was the first to be authorized by Congress and the charter was granted by Abraham Lincoln.) The team dissolved at Catto’s death in 1871. A new Pythians team with professional players was organized in 1887 as part of the National Colored Baseball League.

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