Wilson's Chicago Blackstockings, 1891



Sylvester F. Wilson, a.k.a. W.S. Franklin and several other aliases, with his Chicago Black Stockings baseball team in 1891. When not in jail for propositioning young women to play in his nine and in his bed, Wilson was an indefatigable promoter of pulchritudinous nines. The great Svengali of women’s baseball exhibitions, he was born Christian Wilson. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle called him “the abductor of girls on base ball pretexts.” The Kansas City Star, commenting on the five-year sentence meted out to Wilson in 1891, wrote, “He has been arrested more than 100 times and for various crimes, and Secretary Jenkins of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children says he has ruined more young girls than any man living.”

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