s clubs from each local area became more competitive, the thought of playing clubs from greater distances became appealing. Rumors of fantastic clubs and players compelled the dominant nines to test their skill levels and claim bragging rights. Clubs began to make relatively short trips to play each. In 1858 games were played at the Fashion Race Course in Flushing, New York, in which admission was charged and featured all-star clubs from New York and Brooklyn. Once it was discovered that the public was willing to pay for high profile baseball games, the amateur status of baseball began to give way to "professionalism." As ground-breaking as the Excelsior Club of Brooklyn's tour of upstate New York and the Upper South in 1860, baseballs first important "tour" took place featuring the Nationals of Washington in 1867.
The Nationals of Washington were formed in 1859 and were comprised mostly of government employees. Their home games were played across from the White House on a field called the President's Grounds. In late August of 1865, the Nationals and the Athletic Club of Philadelphia organized a tournament in Washington.
The Cincinnati Club was organized on July 23, 1866 and produced a fantastic won-loss record for four seasons beginning in 1867. During that time they were 175-15-1. In 1868, they introduced their new uniforms which consisted of white flannel trimmed with red, a red belt, red stockings and had their pants fastened at the knee. They started their incredible two-year run as the first openly professional base ball club on May 4, 1869. That year they would accumulate a record of 70-0. This number included exhibitions but manager Harry Wright only counted games against other more established base ball clubs and only those results make up the season record, but some exhibition matches have been included.
Since the Excelsior Club of Brooklyn's 1860 tour, clubs realized the exposure and possible monetary benefits of touring. Harry Wright, now of the manager of the Boston Red Stockings, wanted to return to England, his native country, and see if he could interest his countrymen in the game that he had mastered. The game was not well received and only drew substation crowds at a few venues.