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Horse Tracks: Broncos baseball in Denver, 1921?

Rumor has it that there was a Denver Broncos baseball team in Denver at one point.

Broncos logo Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The other day I reached out on a Broncos History Facebook group asking folks there what interested them about Broncos history. I welcomed obscure facts and, wouldn’t you know it, someone came through with a good one.

Of course, who can forget the awesome 1960 throwbacks with the mustard and brown socks the Broncos dusted off in the 2009 season? There’s a bunch of minor debate about where the uniforms actually came from. Was it a defunct all star bowl game? Was it just a one-off college bowl game? Broncos Ring-of-Fame quarterback Frank Tripucka, in the History of the Denver Broncos DVD, mused that the uniforms had to be from a junior league or high school team since none of the apparell seemed to fit.

What I didn’t know, was this business about the Denver Broncos baseball team from 1921. As I sat down and began googling to do today’s Horse Tracks, one thing became quickly clear: Records from that time are incredibly inadequate. I had been hoping to find out where the team played (since the stadium that came to be Mile High wouldn’t be built for decades) or what their colors were. Were they decent? Shoot, what would a Broncos baseball logo look like? mentions the baseball team, but doesn’t offer much in terms of support.

Denver’s CBS affiliate published an article last July that mentioned the Midwest Baseball team, but scant details on who they were.

The Denver Post published an article in 2007 that mentions a fellow named Tebeau (seriously?) who founded a Midwest Baseball team in Denver in 1920. Could this be the Denver Broncos namesake?

Digging around in Midwest Baseball League history yielded nothing but a league that was founded in the 1940’s, years after this Baseball team supposedly existed. So then I dug in more, trying to find anything about this league. Of the 38 baseball leagues listed as existing in 1921 on, there is no mention of the Midwest baseball league. Same for 1920.

I won’t say definitively that this bit of Broncos history is dubious, but I can’t confirm it. It could be entirely possible that this is just a rumor repeated until it became true. Something else to consider is that when Bob Howsam, founder of the Denver Broncos, went to register his new team’s name, wouldn’t the mere possibility of an active copyright or trademark spook Howsam off the name? He was, after all, famously short on cash compared to his American Football League contemporaries.

So here’s the challenge, Mile High Report readers. What can you find on this obscure piece of Broncos lore? I came up empty handed with regard to absolute proof the Denver Broncos baseball team existed. Can you do better?


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