The Senators may be the longest tenured nine-squad to call Hartford home, but don’t mistake the Sens as the only bunch of ball players to ever lace it up in Connecticut‘s capital. Hartford briefly boasted its own National League squad during the 1876 season, with the Hartford Dark Blues among the league’s 8 inaugural clubs. Playing at the Hartford Ball Club Grounds, the team actually spent 2 years in Hartford prior to the National League’s formation, competing as a member of the National Association of Professional Baseball Players. Morgan G. Bulkeley, the team’s owner, actually served as the first National League President. Anchored by dual aces Candy Cummings, a future Hall of Famer, and Tommy Bond, the team would run its record to 47-21 in 1876, leading the league in complete games and tied for fewest home runs allowed, on their way to a 3rd place finish. The Dark Blues would relocate to Brooklyn in 1877, though the unit still paid homage to their wayward hometown, playing under the banner of the Brooklyn Hartfords. The Brooklyn Hartfords would only see one seasons worth of baseball, matching their 3rd place standing from the previous year, before being disbanded during the following off season.A host of minor league squads would briefly take the field in Hartford before the Senators set up shop in 1902, including the Hartford Cooperatives and the dually named Hartford Indians/Wooden Nutmegs. The Senators finally established a more permanent baseball presence in the city, playing in the Connecticut State League, Eastern Association, Colonial League, Eastern League and Northeastern League over their 30 seasons. Baseball would take an extended hiatus in 1934, on the heels of the Senators final season, returning with the Hartford Laurels in 1938. The city enjoyed a continuous presence in the Eastern League from 1938 to 1952, whether in the form of the Hartford Bees, Laurels or Chiefs, before professional baseball finally left Hartford behind as only a fond memory.
Hartford Bees, Hartford Dark Blues, Hartford Senators
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