There are a great many towns and cities across America where "Professional Baseball" carries a long tradition. There is no doubt however as to where it began. The first ever recorded baseball pitch may or may not have been thrown at Elysian Fields in Hoboken... depending on which historian you talk to. The first organized amateur teams have been claimed by every city from Chicago to Cleveland to New York City. The first professional team however... the first actual National League paid franchise... that is the one thing that there is no doubt about. It happened right here in Cincinnati in 1869. We don't have photographs of that original baseball team or park or game... but by 1884, Cincinnati's "Red Legs" were playing in relatively large stadiums dedicated just to professional baseball and that... we do have photographs of.
Shown above... League Park I was built (and not too well) in 1884. It had a rather large main covered grandstand behind homeplate ... open bleacher boxes down the 1st base line and covered grandstand down the 3rd base line. There was perhaps a clubhouse (with a door) for the players underneath the grandstand which we think may have served as the dugout.
League Park I would make its debut on opening day in 1884 as throngs of huge crowds forced the ballpark to its very limits before causing the large grandstand to "give way" injuring many and even killing a fan. The ballpark was quickly shorn up and the stadium as shown above would serve for 10 years from 1884 until 1894 as the "Main Grandstand" behind Home Plate for the Cincinnati Reds (aka Redlegs).