Weekly games at Lake View Park pitted the Folz nine against teams from Albion, Battle Creek, Allegan, South Haven, Plainwell and Cygnet, Ohio, plus a Fourth of July double header against the team from LaGrange, Indiana. Sam Folz withdrew his sponsorship of the Kalamazoo team after the LaGrange game because of an apparent salary dispute, but the team was immediately reorganized as the “Kalamazoos,” and the season continued without interruption, including more hard fought battles against Grand Rapids, Battle Creek and Goshen, Indiana.
In late July, the Kalamazoos traveled to northern Michigan for a series of games in Traverse City, Bay View and Cadillac, then returned to Kalamazoo for a trio of games at the Lake View field against Jackson, and an exciting re-match with Battle Creek. Attendance at home games ranged from several hundred to well over a thousand as the Kalamazoos finished out the season with a winning record.
“Mr. Mayo's thorough knowledge of baseball and spirits in general is well known and he is noted for keeping harmony in a club and getting lots of good work out of his players. No better man could have been picked to govern the team on the field, at home or abroad, than Ed Mayo.”
—Kalamazoo Telegraph, 3 April 1895
The Kalamazoo Green Stockings (1894)
While the Kazoos were making the rounds on the semi-pro circuit, a tough new amateur team called the Kalamazoo Green Stockings emerged with manager Michael Redmond. First organized in May 1894, most likely as a result of the Kalamazoos/Folz reorganization, the Green Stockings included several leading players from the previous year’s independent team; Con and Michael Redmond, Billy Hellar, Steve Bowen, Ed and Will O’Brien, George Robischung, James O’Meara, H. LaBelle, John Gaffney, and others. Some players, including Bowen, Hellar, Robischung, and the Redmond brothers, played for both the Green Stockings and the Sam Folz team as their schedules allowed. The Green Stockings competed successfully for three seasons (1894-96) against teams from Decatur, Dowagiac, Paw Paw, Berrien Springs, South Haven, Gobleville (Gobles), Schoolcraft, and Niles.
Michigan State League (1895)
By mid-December, talk had begun to circulate about the formation of a new Michigan State League, of which Kalamazoo was to become a part. Come March, manager Ed Mayo and secretary Oliver Hungerford announced that Hartman, Warner, Blanford, McKinney, Criger, Babbitt, Whaling, Derrick, and Van Geisen had already been signed, and they would all be joining Kalamazoo’s newest state league team, once again called the Kazoos.
During the course of the 91-game 1895 season, the Kazoos took on such rivals as the Battle Creek Adventists, the Jackson Jaxons, the Adrian Demons, the Owosso Colts, the Port Huron Marines, and the Lansing Senators. The Kalamazoo team booked nearly 2,400 miles on the road that year, finishing the season with a 50-41 record and a solid third place finish in the league behind Adrian and Lansing.