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Laton Reds Baseball Team c. 1910


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In early Fresno County, locally-sponsored baseball teams existed between professional and semi-professional classifications of baseball. Sponsored teams existed in many forms, most often as a youth team sponsored by a business or organization, but they also extended into the semiprofessional category with players having an association to the sponsor, though not always as an employee. These teams were more than recreational, often operating within leagues but also as barnstorming exhibition squads. Laton, the small locale of roughly two square miles and located twenty-three miles southeast of the city of Fresno had its own youth club, the Reds, pictured circa 1910.