America’s pastime was also Lawrenceburg’s as counties and cities around the state formed their own Bourbon Baseball League in the early 1900’s. Follow us as we explore the history of baseball in Anderson County.
The earliest reference to the game in America dates all the way back to 1791 when Pittsfield, Massachusetts, passed an ordinance that banned playing of the game within 80 yards of their town meeting house. The game spread around the states and into Kentucky through the years with variations of the rules in many different areas. It wasn’t until the time of the Civil War when a single set of rules was introduced around the country.
Here in Anderson County, baseball was very popular for the first half of the twentieth century. A number of teams sprang up, some from Lawrenceburg and some from the surrounding communities in the county. Teams played other local teams from surrounding counties in grueling schedules.
But it took until 1916 for a special league to be formed just for the bourbon producing area in the state. Called the Bourbon League, it started with the towns of Bloomfield, Bardstown, Lawrenceburg, Springfield, Taylorsville, and Mt Eden. These particular cities were chosen because of their great teams and following of fans.
The new league played forty games in its first year, and only allowed two players per team to be from outside the team’s county so local fans would be more interested in their team. The new league drew considerable interest from many in the region.
As the years went by, Lawrenceburg continued to be represented by at least one team. By the 1940’s, the Lawrenceburg Laries were playing the game in the Bluegrass League. Hundreds of Anderson County residents attended local games in support of their team.
Eventually, interest waned for the team, but its history will continued to be remembered.