Warning: this is a quiz, and I'll also tell you that it's also a trick question.
Q: When did baseball come to Chavez Ravine?
Now, before you answer, I should warn you that by Chavez Ravine, I do not mean the actual ravine named Chavez Ravine; nor do I mean Dodger Stadium; nor to I mean the three communities — now gone — of la Loma, Palo Verde, and Bishop that were collectively called Chavez Ravine. Think Elysian Park and its surroundings in the Stone Quarry Hills.
So if you answered, "1962", you would be wrong.
A: At least by 1912.
OK, so you missed it; we all would have, except that I have a photograph that proves my answer.
So who are these guys, anyway? Not the 'Boys in Blue', surely.
The back of the photograph says "Tufts-Lyon baseball team No. 2, Elysian Park, 1912". The third adult from the left is the author's grandfather, Teodoro Manuel Bouett. The boy is the team mascot and the man in the suit is the team's umpire (yes, teams brought their own umpire to games in those days).
Tufts-Lyon was a major sporting goods store in Los Angeles from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Many businesses had their own baseball teams and some of them were semi-pro.
John Q. Tufts was a US Congressman from Iowa and a member of the Los Angeles City Council. An ancestor founded Tufts College, now Tufts University, near Boston. Tufts' business partner was F. M. Lyon. Together, they were strong supporters of baseball in early Los Angeles, and they even sponsored construction of a stadium in Lincoln Heights in the late 1880s.
Another company baseball team was that of Dyas-Cline, which was another early-Los Angeles sporting goods store. Both the author's grandfather and father played for Dyas-Cline, and, at one time, they were on the team at the same time.
About the Author
Bouett is a retired research scientist and registered professional
engineer who now conducts historical and genealogical research
full-time. A ninth-generation Californian, he is particularly interested in the displacement of the nearly 1,100 families that lived in the Chavez Ravine communities of la Loma, Palo Verde, and Bishop to make way, ultimately, for the construction of Dodger Stadium. His ancestors arrived in California with Portolá in 1769 and came to Los Angeles with the founders on September 4, 1781.
"Thank you for such an informative site which highlights the plight of those relocated from Chavez Ravine. My stepfather was a happy child growing up in the Palo Verde area. He had many stories about living in the area and working at the [Ayala] store."