The Covington Stars

For many people, spring brings more than flowers and balmy breezes. It also means the start of baseball season.

Sometimes taking a backseat to Cincinnati’s baseball heritage, Northern Kentucky has an interesting baseball history of its own. From 1875 to 1876, a one-year wonder team, the Covington Stars, helped reignite the passion for baseball in our region.

In June 1875, the Stars took a week-long venture around the state playing semi-pro and amateur teams, and winning every single game, outscoring their opponents 101-20. The team returned to Covington, greeted by crowds of fans at the railroad station, and played their first home game in a lot on the corner of 17th Street and Madison Avenue. Over the course of the season, they faced a number of top teams, including the Boston Red Stockings, Chicago White Sox and teams from Philadelphia, attracting thousands of fans to the Star baseball field.

Seeing the love of baseball come alive once again, Cincinnati businessmen decided to bring back the Cincinnati Reds team, which was disbanded in 1870 due to financial reasons. The two teams with only a river standing between them became rivals.

The Stars and Reds took the field in Covington on August 31, 1875, playing before more than 3,000 fans, with the 12-inning game finally being called due to darkness. The rivals played once again on September 11, this time on Cincinnati’s newly-built field. The Covington Stars beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-2.

In 1876, the National League was formed and the Reds were admitted, causing problems for the Stars since, under new rules, the semi-pro team could no longer play the Reds. Losing their biggest draw, the Stars’ management realized this spelled doom and the Covington team was forced to disband in 1876.


Behringer-Crawford Museum, from a Facebook post of April 14, 2018 ·