Chronology

 

1903

  • Frank H. Bassett, a baseball enthusiast from Hopkinsville, Ky., seeks baseball promoters in western Kentucky and Tennessee and southern Illinois interested in a new professional league for the region in January.

  • The Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee League is organized at a meeting held at the Hotel Lucile in Madisonville, Ky. on Feb. 3.

  • At the second league meeting in Henderson, Ky. on Feb. 25, William L.. Gordon of Madisonville, Ky. is elected president with Dr. William Irving Thompson, a Henderson dentist, as vice-president. James A. Franceway is elected secretary and treasurer.

  • The Cairo Egyptians capture the first Kitty League pennant. They finished the inaugural season with a 67-41 record, 4-1/2 games ahead of the Clarksville Villagers.

1904

  • The Paducah Indians win the pennant by one game over the Cairo Champions with a 73-48 record. Cairo spends the off-season claiming the pennant for itself.

1905

  • The Henderson Hens disband on July 18. The Hopkinsville Hoppers are dropped to keep a balanced schedule the remainder of the season.

  • The Kitty League ends the season with permission from the National Association on August 17. While the yellow fever epidemic affecting cities along the Mississippi River is cited as the official cause, some clubs use it as an excuse to stop losing money and reserve their players for the following season.

1906

  • Cairo business manager D.F. McCarthy fines his entire team $100 for "indifferent ball playing" and releases every player on July 5. He also fines Ed Eichenberger (the team's road manager) $50 for "indifferent management" and fires him.

  • The Vincennes Alices (76-49) win the pennant, finishing nine games ahead of the Jacksonville Jacks.

1910

  • The Kitty League is reorganized at a meeting in Evansville, Ind. on April 8. Clifton C. Gosnell is elected president and secretary with former league president Dr. William Irving Thompson as vice-president and V.E. Cochrane as treasurer.

  • McLeansboro and Harrisburg, Ill. enter the league for the second-half on July 24. Both had been members of the disbanded Southern Illinois League.

  • The Vincennes Alices (64-54) won the first-half title and the McLeansboro Miners (40-18) won the second-half crown. No championship series was held, however, and both clubs were declared co-champions.

1911

  • The Hopkinsville Hoppers (78-46) won the first-half title and the Fulton Colonels (67-58) won the second-half. 

1912

  • The Clarksville Volunteers (68-29) win the Kitty League pennant with a 17.5-game cushion over the Henderson Hens.

1913

  • The Paducah Indians (80-47) take the pennant with a one-game lead over the defending champion Clarksville Boosters.

1914

  • The Cairo Egyptians (77-46) win the Kitty League pennant, finishing 10 games ahead of the Owensboro Distillers.

  • The Clarksville Volunteers and Hopkinsville Hoppers disband on July 10.

1915

  • The Kitty League tries to reorganize with teams in Cairo, Henderson, Owensboro, and Paducah, but the effort fails.

1916

  • The Madisonville Miners fold on Aug. 2.

  • The Kitty League is disbanded on Aug. 4.

1917-1918

  • World War I

1922

  • The Kitty League is reorganized at a meeting of prospective cities held in Fulton, Kentucky on March 16. The salary limit is set at $1,800 a month.

1923

  • The Springfield (Tenn.) Blanket Makers disband on July 9.

  • The Milan-Trenton (Tenn.) Twins replace the Springfield franchise for the second-half on July 19.

1924

  • The Dyersburg Forked Deers (60-48) win the first-half title and the Paris Parisians (59-50) take second-half honors. 

  • The Mayfield Pantmakers disband due to poor attendance and club finances on Aug. 26.

1929-1941

  • The Great Depression

1935

  • The Kitty League is reorganized after a 10-year absence by John J. McCloskey and Dr. Frank H. Bassett. Bassett is elected president, secretary, and treasurer.

  • The Lexington Giants win the first-half title on July 9.

  • The Portageville Pirates are awarded the second-half title after the Jackson Generals and Union City Greyhounds are disqualified for having too many class players on their rosters.

  • Lexington refuses to participate in a playoff series against Portageville. No league champion is declared.

1936

  • The Paducah Indians (73-45) capture the first-half season title and the Union City Greyhounds (73-45) win the second-half title. Union City led the championship series with one victory when Paducah refused to continue, claiming the Greyhounds had two ineligible players on their roster.

  • The first Kitty League All-Star Game was held in Paducah, Ky. on July 29. The first-half champion Paducah Indians hosted the All-Stars at Hook Park and won 8-3. Sam Livingston, sports editor for the Paducah Sun-Democrat, came up with the exhibition contest as a way to add funds to the league treasury.

  • Fulton manager and former major leaguer Norman (Kid) Elberfield grounds out to third base as a pinch hitter at the age of 61 on September 12.

1937

  • The Union City Greyhounds win the pennant with a 73-46 record, three games ahead of the Hopkinsville Hoppers.

  • The Mayfield Clothiers capture the first Shaughnessy playoff title over the Fulton Eagles, 4 games to 1. It was the first postseason series completed since the league reorganized in 1935.

  • Dr. Frank H. Bassett is ousted as president of the Kitty League in a controversial election by club owners at Paducah, Ky. on Nov. 17. After initially being re-elected, he left the meeting to return to his Hopkinsville home. A second election was encouraged by certain owners and J. Ed Hannephin of Fulton, Ky. was elected president.

1938

  • The Hopkinsville Hoppers (76-53) win the pennant with a one-and-a-half game edge over the Jackson Generals.

  • Jackson led the Shaughnessy playoff finals 2 games to 1 over Hopkinsville when the series was cancelled due to unseasonably cold weather and a lack of fan interest. Jackson was declared the playoff winners.

1939

  • The Mayfield Browns (76-49) capture the Kitty League pennant, finishing with a game-and-a-half lead over the Bowling Green Barons and Owensboro Oilers.

  • Bowling Green wins the Shaughnessy playoffs against Mayfield 4 games to 2.

1940

  • The Jackson Generals (66-58) win the first-half title and the Bowling Green Barons (75-50) take the second-half crown. Even though Jackson wins the postseason playoff 4 games to 3, the league recognizes Bowling Green as the overall champions based on their record.

1941

  • The Jackson Generals win the Kitty League pennant with a record of 84-43, 14.5 games ahead of the Hopkinsville Hoppers.

  • The Mayfield Clothiers win the Shaughnessy playoff after beating the Hopkinsville Hoppers 4 games to 1.

  • Pearl Harbor is attacked on December 7.

1941-1945

  • World War II

1942

  • The Kitty League disbands on June 18.

1946

  • The Owensboro Oilers win the Kitty League pennant with an 83-39 record, twelve games ahead of the Hopkinsville Hoppers. They also capture the Shaughnessy postseason title over the Fulton Chicks 4 games to 3.

  • Earl Browne has the highest batting average in minor league baseball (.429) as player/manager with Owensboro.

1947

  • Owensboro captures its second consecutive pennant with a 77-48 record and four-and-a-half game lead over the Mayfield Clothiers.

  • The Hopkinsville Hoppers win the Shaughnessy playoffs over the Madisonville Miners, 4 games to 1.

1948

  • Hopkinsville wins the Kitty League pennant with an 85-41 record, finishing five-and-a-half games ahead of the Union City Greyhounds.

  • Union City sweeps the finals of the Shaughnessy playoffs over the Madisonville Miners in four straight games.

1949

  • The Owensboro Oilers capture their third pennant in four seasons with an 82-40 record and a nine-and-a-half game lead over the Cairo Dodgers.

  • The Madisonville Miners led the finals of the Shaughnessy playoffs 2 games to 1 over Cairo before the series was cancelled due to bad weather.

1950-1953

  • Korean War

1950

  • The Mayfield Clothiers won the Kitty League pennant with a record of 73-45, four-and-a-half games ahead of the Fulton Railroaders.

  • Mayfield held a one-game edge in the Shaughnessy playoff finals over Fulton when the series was cancelled for the second straight season due to bad weather.

  • Dr. Frank H. Bassett, founder and longtime president of the Kitty League, dies in Hopkinsville, Ky. on Aug 5.

1951

  • The Fulton Railroaders captured their first full-season pennant with a 73-46 record, finishing two games ahead of the Owensboro Oilers.

  • Fulton defeated Owensboro in four straight games to win the Shaughnessy playoffs.

1952

  • The Fulton Lookouts win their second straight championship with the best winning percentage in Kitty League history (.689). The club finishes with an 82-37 record and a very comfortable 15.5 game lead over the Paducah Chiefs.

  • The Madisonville Miners win the finals of the Shaughnessy playoffs over the Union City Greyhounds in three straight games.

1953

  • Fulton wins its record-setting third consecutive Kitty League pennant with a 70-50 record, edging ahead of Madisonville by three games.

  • The Paducah Chiefs win the Shaughnessy playoff title in three straight games over Fulton.

1954

  • The Union City Dodgers capture the pennant with a record of 76-40, seven games ahead of the defending champion Fulton Lookouts.

  • Union City (first-half champion) defeats the Mayfield Clothiers (second-half champion) 4 games to 2 in the postseason championship series.

  • The Jackson Generals fold on June 1 after losing 26 consecutive games to start the season.

  • The Central City (Ky.) Reds purchase the Jackson franchise and begin play on July 5.

1955

  • The Madisonville Miners fold on July 7. The league continues its schedule with five clubs.

  • The Paducah Chiefs capture the final Kitty League pennant with a 64-39 record, finishing a game-and-a-half ahead of the Mayfield Clothiers.

  • Paducah is declared the playoff champion when the remaining three clubs decline to participate in the Shaughnessy playoffs.

  • Miller Field, considered the finest ballpark in the Kitty League for many years and home to the Owensboro Oilers since 1937, was demolished on Sept. 19. "It's too valuable a piece of land for a baseball park," says James C. Ellis, who purchased the property.

1958

  • Shelby Peace, who served 12 years as president of the Kitty League, dies in Hopkinsville, Ky. on April 5.

 

(c) 2006 Kevin D. McCann. All rights reserved.