Grover Cleveland is president. The Dakotas are territories. The automobile is a dream. But professional baseball in Des Moines is a reality. In 1887, the Des Moines Hawkeyes played in the Northwestern League - against such teams as the Minneapolis Millers and the Duluth Freezers - to mark the inaugural season of professional baseball here.
And for parts of three centuries - the 19th, 20th, and now the 21st - the national pastime would be an important part of life in the capital city.
Professional baseball would come and go as leagues and teams rose and folded. The Hawkeyes became the Colts and Prohibitionists of the Western Association. The Western League teams had nicknames that included Midgets, Undertakers, Underwriters, Champions, Champs, Boosters, Demons and Bruins. Since 1969, Des Moines has been fortunate to lay claim to a Triple-A franchise. The Iowa Oaks were among the six American Association teams that year. And in 1982, the Oaks became the Cubs - one year after they became the Chicago Cubs' top minor league team.
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Des Moines, Iowa