Clipping:1857

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1857Clippings in 1857

Clippings in 1857 (28 entries)

a bogus reporter scam

Date Friday, March 27, 1857
Text

We are informed, that some person, pretending to be a reporter for this paper, made a demand for reporting the proceedings of the last annual election of officers of the Base-ball Convention, and also endeavored to collect pay for reporting certain matches during the last season.  This, therefore, is to give notice, that such person was an imposter and a rogue, and that any person making similar application hereafter should be regarded as of similar character.  The reporters for Porter’s Spirit of the Times receive ample remuneration for all their duties from this office, and we give room to anything that will interest our Base-ball friends with pleasure.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disagreement over the rules to use

Date Monday, October 5, 1857
Text

October 5, 1857

A CHALLENGE!  The members of the Massapoag Base Ball Club, of Sharon, hereby challenge the members of the Union Club, of Medway, to a Match Game of base Ball, to take place on Boston Common, on Saturday, Oct. 17, or on any other day they appoint during the present month.  The game to be the best three in five, of 25 tallies each.  The rules to be the same as governed the late match between the two clubs.  Per order of Massapoag Base Ball Club, DANIEL MAHONY, Sec'y, Sharon, Oct. 5, 1867

~ ~ ~

October 9, 1857

Challenge Accepted.  The Members of the Union Base Ball Club, of Medway, hereby accept the Challenge of the members of the Massapoag Base Ball Club, of Sharon, to a Match Game of Base Ball, on Boston Common—Time, Saturday, Oct. 31, 9 o'clock A.M.  They, however, claim the customary right of choice of regulations, which they would exercise in regard to Bases as follows, viz:

The number of Bases to be five, instead of four;  the fifth or home base being the batters' stand, which shall be 40 feet (instead of 12 feet) from the first base;  the distance from the fourth to the fourth to the fifth base to be also 40 feet—thus restoring the game to its full and original condition.  Per order of the Union Base Ball Club, DANIEL HAMMOND, Sec'y.  Medway, Oct. 8, 1857. 

~ ~ ~

October 19, 1857

To the Union Base Ball Club, of Medway.  A few weeks since we received a Challenge from you to play of Game of Base Ball, the best three in five–”with {to quote your own language} the same rules and regulations to govern the game which governed your {our} recent game with the Olympic Club, of Boston, when you {we} won the championship.”  Claiming no right, as the challenged party, to alter the game, because you challenged us to play a certain game, with specified rules, we promptly accepted your challenge, knowing no alternative but to do so or decline.  The game was played, and you won the best three in five.  We recently challenged you to play a return game, with the same rules and regulations that governed the game that you won—You answer that you accept the challenge;  and you then claim the right, as the challenged party, to prescribe the rules and regulations to govern the game, adding tht the rules which you propose “will restore the game to its original conditions.”*  

We do not consider your answer to the challenge an acceptance of our challenge.  We believe that according to common usage, if challenged by the losing party, the winning party is in honor bound to play a return game, with the same rules and regulations, to take the alternative, and back square down.

In view of the course which you have seen fit to pursue, self respect imposes upon us the necessity of withdrawing the challenge.

*We are a little curious to learn your authority for the above statement.

Per order of the Massagoag Base Ball Club.  DANIEL MAHONY, Secretary.  Sharon, October 14, 1857

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early slide

Date Saturday, October 10, 1857
Text

...one of the Liberty’s, running to the first base and falling upon it with his hands, was decided in time.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball and beer

Date Saturday, May 23, 1857
Text

It seems as though that stronghold of lager bier (Hoboken) was also to become the centre of ball clubs, and as the two do not materially disagree, I see no great objection to such a union.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

champions of 1856

Date Saturday, July 4, 1857
Text

The Gotham, from small beginnings last season, won for themselves the honorable appellation of the champions.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

changing the Gotham grounds

Date Saturday, May 23, 1857
Text

...the Gotham Club, having left the old spot at the Red House, is having a large field adjoining our [the Eagle Club, i.e. in Hoboken] ground leveled and graded, which, when finished, will make as fine a ground as any played on. ... I am sorry to say that the “Gothams” will be weakened some by the change, as some of their best players will be unable to play on the new ground.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

club secretaries responsible for providing reports; when do the papers send reporters?

Date Saturday, June 6, 1857
Text

We have been asked several very puzzling queries, by subscribers, readers, and other, of the Spirit, what the Base Ball Clubs expect to do this season.  Having come out with such a large flourish of trumpets at the convention, they should have done, or do something, by this time, in the field. ... It is, however, possible that the Base Ball Clubs have met, and entered into several very exciting matches, and not sent word thereof to any of the papers.  We can only say, if they will hide themselves and their doings thus under a bushel measure, it is the fault of their secretaries.  If these gentlemen accept office, they must know that it has its duties and responsibilities, as well as its dignities and enjoyments.  One duty of a secretary, is to forward, with all convenient speed, a full and correct report of the week’s play, to the editor of this or some other journal, devoted as a speciality to out-door sports or amusements.  It cannot be expected that every mat is of sufficient importance for any paper to incur the expense of sending a reporter to attend to it.  There are, of course, occasionally, in the season, matches that excite more than ordinary interest; and to these, if we have due notice, we shall pay all necessary attention.  In the meantime, we solicit any information in relation to challenges or matches, from the secretaries of yacht, boat, cricket, base ball or, other clubs, through the length and breadth of the United States.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

duties of the short stop

Date Saturday, December 26, 1857
Text

The short stop duties are to stop all balls from the bat that come within his reach, and throw them to whatever base the batsman may be striving to make (probably the first), to assist the pitcher, and, should occasion require, to cover in behind the third base when the catcher throws to it; also the second and third, when the ball comes in from the field.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early risers

Date Saturday, July 4, 1857
Text

Those persons who are known as early risers, would do well to attend the meetings of the Nassau and Charter Oak, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, at 5 o’clock.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of “New York game”

Date Monday, June 15, 1857
Text

The Tri-Mountain Base Ball Club has been organized...  This Club has decided to play the “New York Game,” which consists in pitching instead of throwing the ball.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of “time”

Date Saturday, December 26, 1857
Text

December 26, 1857

Time can be called whenever it is necessary to change a player, or if the umpire desires to ask a question

~ ~ ~

December 26, 1857

[by “X”] The catcher is expected to catch or stop all balls pitched or thrown home; he will, when a player is running from the first to second base, stand as near the batsman as possible, and take the ball before it bounds; as the man at the bat seldom strikes when another player is on the first, the catcher is better enabled to do so; the object of this is to shorten the distance to the second base, as he should throw there, in order that the baseman may put the player running to the second out.  He should be prepared for foul balls, and tips, also keep a wide look-out over the game, and be able to throw a swift and true ball to the bases.

~ ~ ~

January 9, 1858

[a rebuttal by “G, of the Eagles”] I was sorry that X, in his last article, recommended the catcher to stand close to the bat, and take the ball on the fly, when a man was upon the first base.  I thought the matches last season would have shown the fallacy of attempting to play the game in that manner.  It may do on exercise days; but when you come to play a match, you find that the man won’t run until you stand back, or until the ball goes over your head.  If the catcher wishes to become expert, let him practice on exercise days what shall be useful to him in a match.  Take your position nearly, but not quite so far back as you generally stand; and when you see the man leave his base, run in, catch the ball, and deliver it while running.  The advantages of this method are, that the man on the base has no excuse for not running, and you can deliver the ball much swifter when you are moving forward than when stationary.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

forty-five members in a club

Date Saturday, June 27, 1857
Text

The [Empire] Club, when organized, consisted of only eleven members, but now numbers some forty-five members. [A complete membership roster follows.]

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

good advice for fielders

Date Saturday, May 23, 1857
Text

We have a saying among ourself, often repeated, “Catch the ball before you throw it.”

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hiring a coach

Date Saturday, December 5, 1857
Text

[advice on forming a club:] Provide yourself with bats, balls, and bases–and get some member of the present well-known clubs to aid you in instructing the members.  If your club can afford it, you could obtain a man who can assist you in every particular; and although there are no professional players, there are some who would be glad to receive pay for service so agreeable.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

non-members in matches

Date Saturday, November 28, 1857
Text

November 28, 1857

DEAR SPIRIT:–Knowing that you are a valuable promoter of the manly game of base ball, I take the liberty to condemn the practice of substituting players from other clubs to play in matches.  In the match between the Metropolitan and Hamilton Clubs, Mr. Hudson played in the former, and a few days previous he played in a match on the side of the Young America, against the Enterprise, of Brooklyn.  Again, Mr. A. J. Dayton, an elected member of the Hamilton, who played in the first-mentioned games, a few days afterwards acted as a pitcher in the Excelsior Club in a match against the Unions, of Morrisania.  Now, the by-laws of the Convention positively state that a member of one club cannot play in the matches of another, and these rules were made for the protection of clubs from such an imposition.  By inserting the above, you will perhaps put a stop to such things for the future, and oblige, Yours, BASE BALL.

~ ~ ~

December 4, 1857

[the Excelsiors reply:] Mr. A. J. Dayton was then, at the time of the match, and is now, a member of the Excelsior Club, and no other.  The Union Club was made acquainted with his exact position on the ground, before play commenced, and said they saw no objection, and wished him to play, although we offered to substitute another. 

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

private bets on an important match

Date Saturday, September 12, 1857
Text

(Eagles vs. Gothams 9/8/1857) The weather was all that could be expected, and the attractions of the game, the fame of the players, and the amount depending in private bets on the result, drew to the field a large concourse of amateurs of ball play from the city and vicinity. 

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

private bets on an important match 2

Date Saturday, September 19, 1857
Text

(Gothams vs. Atlantics 9/3/1857) A correspondent informs us, that these two match games attracted a large number of spectators, and much disappointment was evinced by the friends and backers of the losers; as seven out of every ten men on the ground, who considered themselves well posted, were ready to plant their “tin” in favor of the Gothamites, at 2 and 3 to 1, when the word was given to play. 

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporting juvenile games

Date Saturday, June 6, 1857
Text

Our correspondent states that the open lots in the suburbs of [Philadelphia] are almost continually thronged with lads engaged in playing ball; lads of all ages, from five years upward;  each one must have his bat and ball, and each proclaims himself a cricketer.  Or correspondent further remarks that these youngsters form themselves into sides, and after playing their games, send the scores to the Clipper for publication, in order to see themselves in print.  Our correspondent says these scores should not be published, inasmuch as the players are none members of regularly organized clubs, but merely assume a name for the time being, &c.

No doubt the remarks of our Philadelphia friend are well intended, and meant for our good, and as such we thankfully receive them.  We, however, look upon the sports of our young friends with the most pleasurable emotions, and we consider it our duty to encourage them games by every means in our power, even to the publication of the scores of their play.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stealing home

Date Saturday, September 12, 1857
Text

(Gothams vs. Atlantics 9/3/1857) All [the Atlantics’] bases were admirably guarded, in spite of which, however, Messrs. Commerford and Johnson contrived to reach home base on two separate occasions, unobserved by the pitcher.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsiors don’t practice enough

Date Saturday, July 25, 1857
Text

They [the Excelsiors] complain that it is difficult to induce their men to turn out and exercise, and it was easy to see that their defeat was in a great measure owing to that cause, as their men showed no want of muscle and endurance, but were deficient in that sharpness and correct judgment which can only be acquired by constant practice.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Knickerbockers decline a challenge from the Atlantics

Date Saturday, September 5, 1857
Text

[from a letter signed “Tempus Fugit”] By-the-by, Friend Spirit, what was the reason the Knickerbockers refused to accept the challenge of the Atlantics?  Are the Knicks afraid of losing their laurels?

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the origin of the game

Date Saturday, October 24, 1857
Text

It would occupy much time, and perhaps uselessly, to go into any research on the origins of the game.  

...

We find that Cricket was played as early as, and perhaps before the sixteenth century–although many improvements and alterations have since been made in the game.  Base Ball cannot date back so far as that; but the game has, no doubt, been played in this country for at least one century.  Could we only invoke the spirit of some departed veteran in the game, how many items of interest might we be able to place before the reader. 

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher covering the bases

Date Saturday, December 26, 1857
Text

The pitcher must be ready to occupy the bases, if left at any time by their guardians while after the ball.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher watching the bases to prevent steals

Date Saturday, December 26, 1857
Text

[The pitcher] should be cautious, watching the bases–lose no time by any “fancy” motions in pitching, and make no run in delivering the ball, as such actions may be construed as a baulk, and the base claimed.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reputation of the Excelsiors; fifty members

Date Saturday, November 28, 1857
Text

South Brooklyn is represented by but one club of any importance, and that one is the Excelsior; and if they are not well known as players, they have as good, if not better, reputation as gentlemen than any other similar organization.  Their deportment during the late contests they have been engaged in, shows that they can bear defeat and victory with good feeling towards their opponents.  They are very strong in numbers, being about fifty.  Mr. Leggett, the catcher, is equal to almost any man in that position, and is a powerful bat.  The nine are generally fine batsmen, but deficient as fielders and in throwing. ... They are too careless on days of practice. Several fine players intend joining them next season.  They owe the number of players they have to a consolidation of the Wayne and Excelsior, which was brought about by the game on practice days being made up as much of one club as the other (the Wayne played on the Excelsior grounds). This movement was effected last October–both clubs voted to adopt the Excelsior name, also the Wayne dress, with some slight modifications.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the rising reputation of the Atlantics

Date Saturday, September 19, 1857
Text

(Gothams vs. Atlantics 9/3/1857) By this victory, the Atlantic Club have risen in public estimation; and if they can win such another game, with the same or similar odds against them, we are inclined to think they will be entitled to the palm of the best players of the season.

related: Clipping:The rising reputation of the Atlantics continues

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the rising reputation of the Atlantics continues

Date Saturday, November 21, 1857
Text

The (Atlantic) Club have arrived at its high condition in only one season, as they were not thought to be very formidable opponents last year.  One reason of their great improvement is, the care and interest that the members take while playing; their games on practice days are played as particularly as their match games.  They never wait for any bound balls, but if they cannot take them on a fly, would almost as soon lose them.

related: Clipping:The rising reputation of the Atlantics

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ungentlemanly talk from the friends of a club

Date Saturday, September 5, 1857
Text

[Excelsior vs. Niagara 8/28/1857] Some of the Niagara’s friends did not behave as gentlemen should; whenever the Excelsiors were about to–such remarks as “shanks,” “Shanghai,” and other words not quite as decent as the above.  In several instances, when the Excelsiors had the bat, on their making a strike and reaching the first base, their ears would be saluted by the word “foul,” sung out in a loud tone, by one of the Niagara’s friends; the consequence would be, that the Excelsior, thinking that it was the decision of the referee, would hasten back–no sooner would he get half way to the home base, when the pitcher of the Niagaras would send the ball to the first base, and the consequence was, that the Excelsior was out.  Common politeness, at least, required some effort, on the part of the Niagara Club, to stop such proceedings; but they were looked to in vain.

~ ~ ~

(September 12, 1857)

The writer of the article...states: that the friends of the Niagara kept up a continual yelling; and that when the Excelsiors went to the bat, they would be assailed by such names as Shanks, Shanghai, &c. Now, Gents, this is entirely false. The Niagara came from Brooklyn with nine members, who went to play the match, and none of their friends were with them. That yelling and hooting took place I don’t deny, but it was friends of the Excelsior, and not of ours.

~ ~ ~

(September 12, 1857)

Your correspondent is mistaken in saying that either the Niagaras or their friends treated us unfairly. They acted as gentlemen on every occasion, and the hooting...was made by outsiders, enemies of both clubs. [signed by the captain of the Excelsiors]

 

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger