Today is opening day across Major League Baseball. Now, of course, Paducah has never had a major league team, but we were, for several years, part of the Kitty League, a class D minor league circuit. Originally referred to as the K-I-T league because it consisted of teams from Kentucky, Illinois, and Tennessee, the Kitty League started in 1903 and ran off and on until1955.
Of course, funny and amazing stories about the league abound, and they literally fill books (we have several available at the library), but one interesting aspect of the league are the team names. Paducah’s team went through four names changes: the Chiefs, Indians, Polecats, and Red Birds. But Paducah’s team names are fairly ordinary when compared to others around the league: Henderson Hens, Owensboro Distillers, Vincennes Alices, Cairo Egyptians, Mayfield Pantsmakers, Princeton Infants, Danville Old Soldiers, the Paris Parisians, the Springfield Blanketmakers, and the McLeansboro Billikens.
The history of the league is fascinating. If you’re a baseball fan, come learn more about the Kitty League at the Local and Family History Department at the McCracken County Public Library.