On June 26, 1869, Grant became the first president to welcome a professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings to the Executive Mansion.
The 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first professional baseball team to visit the White House. The team was welcomed there by President Grant on June 26, 1869.
The Red Stockings, the first openly professional baseball team, were in town to play the Washington Olympics in a game later that day, which, incidentally, was rained out in the fifth inning, The New York Times reported. The team, a member of the National Association of Base Ball Players, also made history by winning 81 consecutive games from 1869 to 1870.
In 1876, during Grantís presidency, the National League was formed. Baseball continued to grow at all levels nationwide through the 1870s and 1880s.