Chamber of Commerce Lunch & Learn: History of Baseball in Zanesville

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ZANESVILLE, Ohio- The Zanesville Chamber of Commerce had its monthly Lunch & Learn series on Tuesday.

November’s speaker was Peter Cultice, president of Muskingum County History, to talk about the history of baseball in Zanesville.

Despite being held virtually, due to Covid-19, all those in attendance were affectively able to learn about America’s Pastime in the Y-City.

The first baseball team, dates back to 1887 with the Zanesville Kickapoos, who played in the Ohio State League in 1887 and the Tri-State League in 1888.

Plenty of other teams followed the Kickapoos, including the Zanesville Greys, who were a minor league affiliate for the Cleveland Indians from 1933 to 1936.

The Greys would turn into the Zanesville Cubs, becoming a Chicago Cubs minor league affiliate, from 1941-1942. A few years after that, the team tuned into the Zanesville Dodgers, a Brooklyn Dodgers minor league affiliate, from 1944-1948.

The last year of Zanesville’s minor league baseball team was in 1950, when the team went back to being the Indians minor league affiliate, from 1949-1950. The team was called the Zanesville Indians that year.

Also brought to Zanesville was the Negro Leagues, which featured a number of hall of fame talent.

“At one time at Mark Park in 1936, over a ten day span, the Pittsburgh Crawfords played here and the Kansas City Monarchs played here,” Cultice said. “The people who watched those games, got to see Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell and about four other hall of fame players from the Negro League. Seven, in all, that made it into the hall of fame.”

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