A Thousand Words—Atlanta Osceolas

1 Jan


George E. Johnson and Edward T. Payne were members of the Atlanta Osceolas in 1872.  The previously undefeated champions of Georgia met their Waterloo at Rome, Georgia.

The Atlanta Constitution said years later that the Osceolas:

“(W)on great fame glory and renown, but alas there came a day of disaster.  There was no rule about getting outside players.  So the club at Rome, GA which had been organized by the late Henry W. Grady (famous Georgia journalist) secured a professional pitcher from New York City.  The Osceolas never made but one measly hit…The erstwhile champions were ingloriously and ignominiously defeated and they returned home to disband and to play no more.”

Many of the players went on to be some of Atlanta’s most prominent citizens.  George Johnson became Atlanta’s recorder and Edward Payne the city’s tax collector.

3 Responses to “A Thousand Words—Atlanta Osceolas”

  1. Alan September 10, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    What was the name of the team from Rome, GA that beat the Osceolas? When was the game played? Was Henry W Grady a member of the Rome team?

    • Thom Karmik September 10, 2013 at 11:11 am #


      Like many teams of that era, the team from Rome, GA was only referred to as “the Rome club” or “the Romes” in contemporary accounts, and had no “proper” name. Unfortunately, as the post says, the account quoted was published many years later, and like all of the later accounts of the game that I have located, did not include the date it was played. I have searched several Georgia library newspaper archives for 1872 and have been unable to find the actual date for the game. Grady did not play. In 1872 he was the editor of The Rome Commercial and organized the team.

      • Alan May 16, 2014 at 5:57 am #

        I tell this story on my Oakland Boys of Summer tour at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta. Grady was buried briefly at Oakland (in the Grant Mausoleum) before being moved to Westview Cemetery. My tour primarily focuses on those who played in the first baseball game played in Atlanta on May 12, 1866. I include Grady in the tour because he was such a fan of baseball and a former player while at the University of GA. I’ve read that he loved to tell the story of his Rome team defeating the powerful Atlanta Osceolas. If you learn more about this game, I would love to hear from you.
        A Morris, Atlanta

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