On January 5, 1875, the Dakota Legislature enacted "An Act to Incorporate the City of Fargo." Two months later, on March 13, 1875, the Fargo Star reported that members of the Red River Baseball Club will have their first annual meeting in the Headquarters Hotel on the evening on March 31, 1875.
Fargo's first professional baseball team had no official nickname (like the "Twins" or "Redhawks") but were sometimes referred to as the "Fargo Nines." The team was one of the founding franchises of the Northern League when it began in 1902. The first official game was on May 22, 1902, between the teams from Fargo and Crookston. Crookston won 16-8 (Collet was the winning pitcher; Reilly was the losing pitcher). The Fargo Nines played baseball on a field taken over by St. Luke's Hospital when the Northern League first disbanded in 1908. In the final year (1908) the Fargo team was called the "Browns."
The Northern League reconstituted itself in 1913. The "Graingrowers" represented Fargo and Moorhead. They won the Northern League pennant in 1915, 1916, and 1917. On July 4, 1917, the league disbanded because of World War I.
The 1915 Northern League Champions are pictured to the right. Their picture is taken from the 1916 Spalding Guide to Baseball. Thanks to David Smith for the picture.
Players pictured are: 1. Nifnecker, 2. Clymer, 3. Dumont, 4. Barrett, 5. Flaherty, 5. Smith, 7. Nelson, 8. R. Unglaub (Mgr), 9. R.V. Huth (Sec'y), 10. Rhoades, 11. Hooper, 12. Paterson, 13. Mascot, 14. Dries, 15. Bell, 16. Murphy.
The third Northern League was organized in 1933. The Fargo-Moorhead team adopted the name "Twins," a name originally used in the area by the Wahpeton-Breckenridge Twins of the 1922 Dakota League. During their latter years, the Twins played at Barnett Field, a baseball stadium located where Fargo's North High School now stands. The Fargo-Moorhead franchise ceased operation after the 1960 season.
Fargo was without a baseball team until 1996, when the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks were added to the Northern League. The Redhawks inaugurated their team at the Newman Outdoor Field (located on the west side of the Fargodome) on June 21, 1996. Newman Field is shown to the right. The photograph is courtesy Lee and Mary Juillerat.
Opened in 1996, the stadium has an official capacity of 4,635 but holds standing-room crowds of more than 7,200. The league's self-imposed $85,000 a year salary cap per team helps keep the play competitive. Players earn between $750 and $3,000 a month during the five-month long, 86-game season.
The Redhawks finished first in the Western Division of the Northern League in their first year.