Hot Springs Arlingtons

Hot Springs Arlingtons, circa 1896. Mary Dengler Hudgins Collection, Special Collections, University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Hot Springs Arlingtons, circa 1896. Mary Dengler Hudgins Collection, Special Collections, University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The Hot Springs Arlingtons were a Negro baseball team based in Hot Springs, AR from 1896-1903.


Hot Springs Arlingtons, 1900.
Hot Springs Arlingtons, 1900.
The Hot Springs Arlingtons, along with the Little Rock Quapaws, were the first Negro baseball team in Arkansas to attract significant popularity. The team first appeared in 1896 with an undefined degree of affiliation with the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs.1 Home games were played at Whittington Park and were well attended by black and white patrons alike.2 The team's most frequent opponents were their in-state rivals, the Little Rock Quapaws, with whom the Arlingtons periodically competed for the title of Colored Champions of the Arkansas.34

At the onset of the 1897 season, the Arlingtons and Quapaws both participated the formation of a southern Negro league, which in addition to Hot Springs and Little Rock, was comprised of the Memphis Cliffords, the Pensacola Acmes, the Birmingham Unions, and Montgomery, AL.256 After playing a series games with Little Rock, Memphis and Birmingham, the Arlingtons ceased league play as a result of the league's costly travel schedule.2 Notwithstanding the failure of the league, the Arlingtons and Quapaws both continued to play out the remainder of the 1897 season, which in addition to numerous games against each other, included a series of unprecidented interacial baseball games. In early September, the Quapaws challenged their white counterparts, the Little Rock Senators of the Arkansas State League, to a series of games.7 Likewise, the Arlingtons soon challenged the Hot Springs team of the Arkansas State League to a series at Whittington Park, which was played on September 10th and 11th. The Arlingtons played competitively against the white professionals, but lost both games.89

Rube Foster
Rube Foster
Although the Arlingtons were largely absent from the 1898 baseball season as a result of the Spanish-American War, the team returned to competition in 1899 and continued to play regional teams for several more seasons. Between 1901-1902, the Arlingtons frequently hosted Negro teams from Texas. Among those who faced off against the Arlingtons was Negro baseball legend Andrew "Rube" Foster, who pitched to much fanfare on the mound at Whittington Park as a member of the Fort Worth Colts. However, by 1903, the Arlingtons were less prolific, perhaps a result of new legal and social constraints being placed on black Arkansans at the time.10 In 1904, the team may have played under the name of the Hot Springs Blues.

Dave Wyatt Excerpts

Dave Wyatt
Dave Wyatt
Much of the historical documentation relating to the Arlingtons owes its existence to Dave Wyatt, a well-known Negro baseball player who later became a respected sports journalist. When writing for The Freeman of Indianapolis, IN in February 1910, Wyatt recalled how he had joined the Arlingtons in 1897 and had played in front of segregated crowds of enthusiastic fans.2 Wyatt also gave mention to a number the team's former players, including several who like himself later found success playing professionally across the nation. Most significantly, Wyatt indicated multiple times that Rube Foster had at some point played with the Arlingtons.11

The following are excerpts from Wyatt mentioning the Arlingtons.

"Some well-known players who have played with the Arlingtons of this city are: Campbell of the Minneapolis Keystones, Miliner [sic] of the Gophers, “Herm” Evans, catcher once of the Philadelphia Giants; Rube Foster, David Wyatt, Julian Ware. This club has defeated Gatewood, “Dago” Davis, Foster."2

"It is not generally known but anyhow Hot Springs had at one time one of greatest colored baseball teams in the country. They speak with much pride of the games in which they defeated Rube Foster. They have won above three or four games from Rube Foster, one a 17-inning affair and a 1-0 game."2

"About thirteen years ago the writer landed in this little burg and noticing some boys with uniforms on I asked for a chance to 'butt it' on the practice. I made a hit with the gang and became a member of the team known then as the Arlingtons. We had some warm contests, usually winning. Mr. Al Holden, formerly an old minstrel man from up around Boston, was head waiter at the Arlington at the time and as he had a sufficient supply of this world's goods, he was picked as the real "angel" to back the club. We were in a strained condition owing to the location of the Springs, which made opponents hard for us to get. So we organized a league of the following cities: Hot Springs, Little Rock, Memphis, Birmingham and Pensacola. The season opened in Hot Springs, our opponents being Little Rock, who to our surprise had covered the distance of 64 miles between here and Little Rock in a wagon. I thought if this was going to a wagon-road league we would have to have a lightning calculator to get up our schedule for us. Hot Springs started on the first swing around the circuit, playing four games in Little Rock, four at Memphis and seven at Birmingham. The attendance in all cities was good. Of course, there were separate grandstands in all places for whites and colored spectators --strange to me, but the whites were in the majority at all times and were greatly interested in our players. In getting up this league we had overlooked the mileage end of the "biz", and it later proved to much for us; we had one jump of about 300 miles, one 250, one 210, and 60 was the smallest. We finished the series with the Birmingham and disbanded"2

"Dave Wyatt, ‘Rube’ Foster and Fred Fields are living members of that famous team [Arlingtons] who are still active."11

"[Rube] Foster's pitching attracted the attention of this writer in 1897 at Hot Springs, Ark. I was a member of a baseball club known as the Arlingtons of Hot Springs. They were considered one of the best in the southern states. The Waco Yellow Jackets was another great club. It was a "toss of the coin" as to which was the best."12


6/9/1896Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW1491
7/2/1896Association Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL111213
7/3/1896Association Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW9514
7/4/1896Association Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL91115
8/21/1896Association Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW131116
9/7/1896Association Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW12810 innings.17
9/8/1896Association Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL7918
9/9/1896Association Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW2093
5/10/1897West End Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL Forfeit.19
5/11/1897West End Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL111220
5/20/1897Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW11721
5/21/1897Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL81122
6/25/1897West End Park, Birmingham, ALBirmingham UnionsL5623
6/26/1897West End Park, Birmingham, ALBirmingham UnionsL131924
6/28/1897West End Park, Birmingham, ALBirmingham UnionsW9825
6/29/1897West End Park, Birmingham, ALBirmingham UnionsW211426
8/4/1897West End Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL111227
8/5/1897West End Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW4328
8/6/1897West End Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW8429
9/10/1897Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARHot SpringsL1011Interracial Game8
9/11/1897Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARHot SpringsL510Interracial Game9
10/6/1897Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW6430
10/7/1897Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW10731
10/8/1897Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL111332
10/9/1897Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW 4
8/25/1898Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARMemphisL5733
8/26/1898Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARMemphisW12634
7/?/1899West End Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW9735
7/?/1899West End Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL41735
7/?/1899West End Park, Little Rock, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL5635
7/24/1899Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW14136
7/25/1899Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW4337
7/26/1899Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL2338
8/1/1899Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARPine Bluff OwlsW12439
8/2/1899Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARPine Bluff OwlsW141040
8/7/1899Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARMemphisL92141
8/14/1899Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL7812 innings.42, 43
8/15/1899Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW8644, 45
8/16/1899Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL81646
8/22/1899Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARWaco Yellow JacketsL67500 attendance.47
9/2/1899Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARKansas City UnionsW20648
4/17/1900Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW141149
4/18/1900Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsL6850
4/19/1900Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARLittle Rock QuapawsW6451, 52
6/21/1901Hot Springs, ARAustin (TX)W 53
6/26/1901Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARPalestine (TX) TigersL51154, 55
?/?/1901Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARPalestine (TX) TigersL 55
?/?/1901Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARPalestine (TX) TigersW 55
?/?/1901Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARPalestine (TX) TigersW 55
?/?/1901Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARPalestine (TX) TigersW 55
7/25/1901Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARTexarkanaW10356
7/29/1901Hot Springs, ARFort Worth ColtsL0757
?/?/1901Hot Springs, ARFort Worth ColtsW10458, 59
8/2/1901Hot Springs, ARFort Worth ColtsL1660
8/12/1901Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARFort Wort ColtsL 61
8/14/1901Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARFort Worth ColtsL272,000 attendance.62
8/15/1901Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARFort Worth ColtsW3163
8/18/1901Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARFort Worth ColtsL2964
6/2/1902Hot Springs, ARFort Worth ColtsL3765
6/3/1902Hot Springs, ARFort Worth ColtsL1266
6/4/1902Hot Springs, ARFort Worth ColtsL0967
6/?/1902Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARFort Worth ColtsW12668, 69
6/9/1902Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARWaco WondersW14270, 71
6/?/1902Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARWaco WondersL4670
6/?/1902Whittington Park, Hot Springs, ARWaco WondersW5370
6/24/1902Hot Springs, ARMemphis ClippersW5372
5/?/1903 MemphisW2173
5/?/1903 MemphisW12373


Brandom 74
William BryantAbt. Nov. 1873 in NC 75, 76
S. Butler Little Rock, AR77
Henderson Butler12/20/1876 in Arkansas2/18/1913 in Little Rock, AR77
Andrew Campbell1875 in TX 78
Solomon ChewAbt. July 1877 in TX1907 in Dallas, TX,63, 79
Walter CollierAbt. 1872 in MS11/13/1902 in Hot Springs, AR74, 77
Davis 26, 74
Dodd 80
Herm Evans 2
Fertiller 81, 23
Fred Fields9/23/1876 in AR12/13/1931 in AR82, 11
Rube Foster9/17/1879 in La Grange, TX12/9/1930 in Kankakee, IL83, 11
Henderson 75
C. Huff Hot Springs, AR77
Jackson 24
Alexander JonesAbt. Aug. 1879 in TX 75, 76
Baby Jones 75, 84
John JonesAbt. May 1875 in TX 75, 76
Henry LewisAbt. 18729/27/1899 in Malvern, AR9
Alex Miller 85
Gabbie Milliner11/27/1878 in AR 1/15/1921 in Denver, CO2
Murphy 74
Zack PatilloAbt. 1878 in AR3/5/1908 in Hot Springs, AR
Que SimpsonAbt. Nov. 1876 in TX 75, 76
Skinner 75
Rowell 74
Willie Smith 85
Julian Ware8/7/1874 in AR7/8/1946 in Los Angeles, CA2
Dave WyattAbt. 6/19/1874 in OH12/10/1950 in Chicago, IL2

5. Birmingham Age-Herald, 4/25/1897
10. The last known games played by the Arlingtons occurred in May 1903. In June of the same year, legislation requiring black Arkansans to sit in the back of public streetcars was put in effect. Consequently, many blacks boycotted or otherwise avoided public streetcars. This made it difficult for black fans to attend games at Whittington Park, which was located at the end of Hot Springs' streetcar line. Furthermore, Whittington Park was owned and operated by the Hot Springs streetcar company.
11. Chicago Whip, 1/29/1921
15. Arkansas Gazette, 7/5/1896
23. Birmingham Age-Herald, 6/26/1897
24. Birmingham Age-Herald, 6/27/1897
25. Birmingham Age-Herald, 6/29/1897
26. Birmingham Age-Herald, 6/30/1897
57. Score was either 0-7 (Fort Worth Morning Register, 7/30/1901) or 7-10 (Fort Worth Morning Register, 8/4/1901
58. Fort Worth Morning Register, 8/4/1901
59. Played between 7/29/1901 and 8/2/1901
61. Fort Worth Morning Register, 8/13/1901
65. Fort Worth Morning Register, 6/3/1902
66. Fort Worth Morning Register, 6/4/1902
67. Fort Worth Morning Register, 6/5/1902
69. This game was the fourth of a series against the Fort Worth Colts and was probably played on 6/5/1902.
74. Hot Springs Echo, 5/3/1919
75. Caption to 1900 Hot Springs Arlingtons photograph.
76. The 1900 U.S. Census lists John Jones, Alexander Jones, Que Simpson and William Bryant residing at 405 South Whittington in Hot Springs. The 1900 Arlingtons team included players named Baby Jones, Jones, Simpson and Bryant, so it seems reasonable to assume that the identities of the players are the same with those in the census.
77. "Death in the Game", David Wyatt, Freeman (Indianapolis), 2/24/1917
78. Early Black Baseball in Minnesota, Todd Peterson
81. Possibly a mistranscription of "Patillo."
84. Either Alexander Jones or John Jones.