Paris Royale

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Officially known as the Bourbon Kings, the Paris Royale was a Major League Bloodbath team that played in the “Grim” North Division of the Old World League from 1589 until 1789.

The Paris Royale are best known for their play in Paris, despite its later relocation to Versailles. Outside of France, the Bourbon Kings held ownership interest in the Madrid Conquistadores and several teams of the Italian league. The two names—Bourbon Kings and Paris Royale—were used interchangeably.

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

Henry IV, owner of a major whiskey distillery, bought the minor-league Navarre Kings in 1568 and renamed the team to promote its major product. In 1589, Henry IV purchased one of the MLB’s first expansion franchises and moved the team to Paris. The purchase was made possible through a complex arrangement with the Rome Catholics. Henry IV was assassinated after a contract dispute with Rome in 1610. From that point on, Rome kept a seat on the Bourbon Kings’ board of directors.

Le Stade, C’est Moi[edit]

Retired jersey of Hall of Fame King Louis XIV.

Commonly known by the nicknames, His Royale Majesty, The Sun King, and The Sultan of Swat, Louis XIV was the greatest player in the history of the Bourbon Kings. His career spanned a record-breaking 72 seasons. He led the team in many exciting series against the Vienna Emperors, Amsterdam Orangemen, and London Imperials.

The Sun King’s popularity made it possible for the Bourbon Kings to force the French people to finance construction of a stadium in nearby Versailles. The team moved from the Polo Grounds to the new park in 1682. Known as The House that Louis XIV Built, the stadium was the largest in Europe and featured hundreds of luxury boxes.

Final Days of Bourbon Kings[edit]

In 1789, team captain Louis XVI agreed to play a scrimmage against a local club, the Paris Mob (later the Paris Égalité). The team’s loss shocked observers of the sport around the world. In 1792 heads rolled in the Bourbon King’s front office and Major League Bloodbath transferred the franchise to the Paris Égalité. (The Bourbon Kings were permitted to retain their stake in the Madrid Conquistadores.)

Brief Return to Play[edit]

In 1815, Louis XVI’s brother Louis XVIII was invited to manage the Paris Égalité. The team often played under the name Paris Royale until the last Bourbon King was fired in a 1830 team reorganization.

Note on Player Names[edit]

The names of the Bourbon Kings may seem strange to modern observers. Like today’s Brazillian soccer players, many players of the era were known by a single name. Since the team had so many players named Louis, it became hard to tell them apart. To solve that problem, the players were identified by their jersey number. Most had their numbers retired at the end of their playing career.

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