The team played in the American Association (AA). This was an early American major league baseball league from the 1800s. The team was first called the Louisville Eclipse from 1882 to 1884. Then it was renamed the Louisville Colonels in 1885. The name the Colonels comes from the Kentucky colonel, a title of honor in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
In 1891, the AA folded (stopped existing). The Colonels then joined the National League. The team played for the National League through 1899.