SMYRNA, Ga. — With the baseball regular season in the books and now heading to the playoffs, we thought it would be fun to look back at baseball in the Jonquil City.
One well-publicized game took place on August 21, 1878, when the Alerts, a ballclub based in Atlanta traveled to Smyrna (presumably our beautiful city) for “A Good Game of Ball,” as The Atlanta Constitution noted in its headline chronicling the event. The Atlanta team jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning en route to a 13-7 victory.
In writing about the event, the newspaper expressed hope the Smyrna club would visit Atlanta. The publication effused praise on Smyrna and its baseball facilities.
“Our people are fond of seeing a good game, and we believe that should the Smyrnas come to Atlanta one will be played,” the newspaper reported. “All that the club needs is a little more practice and they will come out with flying colors.
“The game was played on a very good ball ground—much better than any we have here,” according to the report. “If the Smyrna club cannot beat the Alerts, they can boast of having a better ball ground than any that we have in or near the city.”
Of course, the game took place just two years after the National League launched. There was no Atlanta Braves team at that time; in 1878, the team was the Boston Red Caps. They finished 41-19 that season and pitcher Tommy Bond won 40 of the team’s games.