"Play ball" was a familiar refrain in New Orleans for the major portion of the 20th century, when the old Pelicans were a mainstay of the Crescent City's sporting life. Founded in 1887, the Pelicans played in several leagues before joining the newly formed Southern Association in 1901, and between then and 1943, New Orleans won 10 pennants. Larry Gilbert, the first Orleanian to play in the major leagues and in the World Series, guided the Pels to five pennants (1923, 1926, 1927, 1933 and 1934). The Pelicans served as training ground for, at various times, the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates. By the 1950s, however, television was bringing major league baseball into most homes, and attendance at games started flagging. After the 1959 season, the original Pelicans were gone.