Clipping:1858

From Protoball
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Clippings
Scroll.png


Add a Clipping
1858Clippings in 1858

Clippings in 1858 (55 entries)

Contents

a balk move

Date Sunday, July 25, 1858
Text

[picked nines New York vs. Brooklyn 7/20/1858] The pitcher (M. O’Brien) here made a feint, which, upon appealing to the umpire, was decided to be a baulk, and the parties on the bases were declared, under the rules, to be entitled to a base each, which they took.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a delayed call

Date Sunday, October 31, 1858
Text

[Atlantic v. Gotham 10/25/1858] Mr. Cudlip was running from the first to the second base. Most people thought he had reached it. Judgment was called, and the umpire for a space of time was silent. Cries of out came from many men of Brooklyn, and as it were, in accordance with such cries the runner was decided out.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pickpocket at the Fashion Course game

Date Thursday, July 29, 1858
Text

On Wednesday of last week, at a base ball game on the Fashion Course, Long Island, a gentleman in the crowd of spectators was robbed of his pocketbook, containing $700 in promissory notes, and some money. An English pickpocket, named William Day, alias Jackson, alias “Squib Nickson,” was discovered on the ground, with a professional companion, and both were arrested on suspicion.

Day was put in charge of a Brooklyn officer, and at a convenient opportunity assaulted him ferociously and made his escape. The Boston police were informed of the affair, but nothing was heard of the ruffianly thief in this vicinity, till last evening, when detective officer Lynch recognized the “customer” at the Providence Railroad station.

The officer watched his movements for some time, and being satisfied of his identity, followed him til he put up for the night at a respectable hotel. Calling at quite an early hour this morning, Mr. Lynch informed the astonished rogue that he was that moment a guest of the Boston police till he should be wanted elsewhere.

Information of the arrest was telegraphed to New York, and the prisoner will be returned there today. He has been in this country only a year, having become no notorious in England that he was obliged to flee from the kingdom.

Source Boston Evening Transcript
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a prophetic statement on called strikes

Date Saturday, April 17, 1858
Text

[regarding the new rule allowing the umpire to call strikes] This rule, although, doubtless, very necessary, is yet calculated to make some troubles, and excite dispute; what one umpire may deem to be “good balls,” another may only consider “from fair to middling,” and their decisions be continually excepted to.

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

a run down resulting in a steal

Date Sunday, July 25, 1858
Text

[picked nines New York vs. Brooklyn 7/20/1858] Wright then took the bat, and Van Cott attempted to run to the second base. The ball being quickly passed down, he was headed off, and made tracks again for the first base, but the ball was there before him; turned again toward the second, and was again headed off; and was thus kept between the two points, till, in their anxiety to put him out, the ball thrown to Holder on the second base was missed by him, and Van Cott, amidst tumultuous applause, reached that port in safety. Hoy, in the meantime, completed his run.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a substitute runner for an injured player; courtesy runner

Date Saturday, July 17, 1858
Text

[Knickerbocker vs. Excelsior 7/8/1858] During the latter part of the game, one of the Excelsiors sprained his knee, thereby disabling himself from running; their generous opponents, in a spirit well worthy of imitation, insisted on his having a substitute to run for him. Such conduct, though characteristic of both those clubs, is worthy of special remark, and shows the manly and honorable feeling that exists among all true ball-players.

Source Porters Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a swift pitcher

Date Saturday, June 5, 1858
Text

(Clinton vs. Ashland 5/29/1858 [junior clubs]) The best players in the Clinton were Jessup, the pitcher, who pitches a pretty swift ball, but rather too high...

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

a twist on the pitch

Date Sunday, July 25, 1858
Text

[picked nines New York vs. Brooklyn 7/20/1858] Price next took the bat, and he also struck a foul ball, and then another foul ball. (Van Cott, the New York pitcher, seemed to have got his peculiar “twist” in play, here, which accounts for the numerous foul balls that were struck.)

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a wet field dampens bounds

Date Sunday, August 8, 1858
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Adriatics of Newark 8/5/1858] The ground, in consequence of the rain of the day previous, was very soggy, and the ball did not average eighteen inches on the bound. It therefore required greater activity of the part of the fielders to catch the ball.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advice to chose the last innings

Date Saturday, January 2, 1858
Text

When a match has been agreed upon, the club having the choice of innings had better take the last; as most players are much excited and nervous, if it is their first attempt in a match, and it becomes almost impossible to bat well, until it has partially subsided.  Be sure that you commence the game in time to finish it before darkness sets in; for, if your opponents have the last inning, they may remain at the bat when it is not light enough to see the ball plainly, and having made a large number of runs for their side, will bat out–(lose the inning.)

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

an early slide?

Date Sunday, July 25, 1858
Text

[picked nines New York vs. Brooklyn 7/20/1858] Davis struck a fine ball, and made the second base with a mighty close shave, the ball having been passed up so quickly to Holder that Davis hadn’t the twentieth part of a second to spare, and he only touched the base by sprawling on the ground. Judgment was asked, and the umpire decided Davis “not out.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an injury leading to an amputation

Date Sunday, June 27, 1858
Text

(Eckfords vs. Putnams 6/22/1858) Mr. Brown, of the Eckford Club, broke one of his fingers in catching a ball during the seventh innings; but, so wrapped up was he in the interest of the game, that after bandaging the wound, he kept on playing till the close.  He has since had his finger amputated.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

assessment of the new rules; proposal for eleven on a side

Date Saturday, March 13, 1858
Text

Some of the rules [from the 1857 convention] are said to be especially unpopular with the tyros–that of giving more than one man out, if the second man is not protected back to his base.  This rule of the game has proven rather sharp practice, as the lawyers for the youngsters, and they don’t like it.  Another, which is to be taken up for discussion is, that a player can only be caught out by a fair ball on the fly.  The rule which determines the game by innings, works well, and will be retained, and a strong effort will be made to have eleven fielders on each side.  We expect that all these important questions will receive due consideration at the hands of the Second Convention of Ball-players.

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

baseball isn't like it used to be

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1858
Text

Ball-Playing has become an institution. It is no longer a healthful recreation in which persons of
sedentary habits engage for needful relaxation and exercise; but it is now an actual institution. Young men associate for this object, organize themselves into an association, with constitution and laws to control them, and then plunge into the amusement with a sort of "Young America" fanaticism. In almost every town throughout all this region there is one of these
regularly formed and inaugurated ball-clubs, the members of which meet frequently to practice the art, for the sake of being able to worst some neighboring club whom they challenge, or by whom they are challenged, to a hot contest. The matter has become a sort of mania, and on this account we speak of it. In itself a game at ball is an innocent and excellent recreation but when the sport is carried so far as it is at the present time, it becomes a public nuisance.

...

For these reasons we class ball-clubs, as now existing, with circus exhibitions, military musters,
pugilistic feats, cock-fighting, &c; all of which are nuisances in no small degree.

Source Happy Home and Parlor Magazine
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

boys interfering with the game

Date Sunday, September 5, 1858
Text

[Gothams vs. Eckfords 8/29/1858] We would suggest, in this connection, that some measures be adopted by the clubs in Brooklyn to mitigate interference with the game on the part of boys who congregate at all matches played there. The crowd should always be kept at a proper distance from the players, and there should be present sufficient police force of the members of the contesting clubs to prevent boys from stopping or interfering with the ball. This is a cause of complaint generally among New York clubs who have visited Brooklyn to play in matches, and it should be remedied.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick the reporter for Porter's

Date Saturday, July 17, 1858
Text

[Knickerbocker vs. Excelsior 7/8/1858] Our reporter–Mr. Chadwick–was called upon to respond to the toast of “The Press,” but being somewhat difficult of his oratorical powers, he quietly retreated a moment before the call, having previously desputied the gentleman from the Tribune to respond, which duty he ably performed.

Source Porters Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

charging admission to the Fashion Course match

Date Sunday, July 11, 1858
Text

..the committee have determined upon demanding a small entrance fee of ten cents, with an additional charge of twenty cents for single vehicles, and forty cents for double teams, for the purpose of defraying expenses.  All the surplus funds will be donated to the Fire Department Fund of the cities of New York and Brooklyn.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

claims of first nine players in a second nine match

Date Sunday, October 3, 1858
Text

[Empire vs. Baltic, second nines, 9/27/1858, Baltics winning 40-27] The above result, which was quite different from general expectation, gave rise to a report that the Baltic club had smuggled several of their first nine players in the match, and thus had an undue advantage. This, we understand, is not the case. The report likely arose from the fact that several of the second nine of the Baltic have, in consequence of the absence of the regular first nine, been compelled to play on occasions when the first nine were engaged. New York Sunday Mercury October 3, 1858

The paragraph which we published last week, in reference to the first nine of the Baltic Club, for the purpose of throwing some light upon a subject to many involved in considerable darkness, has elicited the following communication:

NEW YORK, Oct. 4th, 1858

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

In your edition of yesterday, you publish a denial of the charge against the Baltic Club, of having smuggled first-nine men into their second-nine match with the Empires. Now, although the denial had the appearance of being official, I should like you to compare your report of the above match with one a little lower down in the same column, where you will find six of the same names in a first-nine match with the Mutuals.

I do not know how the Baltics manage this thing, but I can tell you how some other clubs do it. The modus operandi is simply this: The club makes out a list of what they call their first nine. It contains names of men who will not, and are not expected to play. When they come to a match they put in substitutes, and so gain a decided advantage. They are enabled to play real first-nine men in their second-nine matchs; and beside this, when their first nine is beaten, they claim to have been short.

Now, sir. I am an old ball players, and take a great deal of interest in the game, and should like to see all such sharp practising done away with. Will you assist me in the endeavor, by publishing these lines, and by using your own pen to like purpose?

Yours, respectfully, FAIR PLAY

New York Sunday Mercury October 10, 1858 [See NYSM 10/17/1858 for Baltic’s indignant response, including the argument that it takes one to know one.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

commentary on the NABBP

Date Saturday, April 3, 1858
Text

BASE BALL This invigoration pastime will soon call its votaries to the field, and in anticipation of a lively season the various clubs in this vicinity are getting themselves to readiness for the Campaign of '58.  A convention of ball players assembled here a few weeks' since, to take some action on matters connected with the game of base ball;  that convention adjourned until the 24th of March, when 22 clubs were represented.  There appears to have been some discussion concerning the junior clubs, and the proceedings were anything but harmonious.  Among other business which engaged the attention of the convention, was the report of the committee on Constitution and By-Laws.  This document proposes to call the organization “The National Association of Base Ball Players”--a misnomer, in our opinion, for the convention seems to be rather sectional and selfish in its proceedings, than otherwise, there having been no invitations sent to clubs in other States, and the Constitution permitting no one to be a member of the association who is under 21 years of age, as if our younger friends were in no wise interested in the enjoyment and furtherance of the game.  National, indeed!  Why the association is a mere local organization, bearing no State existence even—to say nothing of a National one.  The truth of the matter is—that a few individuals have wormed themselves into this convention, who have been, and are endeavoring to mould men and things to suit their own views.  If the real lovers of the beautiful and health-provoking game of base ball wish to see the sport diffuse itself over the country—as Cricket is fast doing—they must cut loose from those parties who wish to arrogate to themselves the right to act for, and dictate to all who participate in the game.  These few dictators wish to ape the New  York Yacht Club in their feelings of exclusiveness—we presume.  Let the discontented, therefore, come out from among this party, and organize an association which shall be National—not only in name—but in reality.  Let invitations be extended to base ball players everywhere to compete with them, and endeavor to make the game what it should be—a truly National one. 

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cricket and base ball

Date Sunday, August 15, 1858
Text

MR. MERCURY: I have been attracted by your observations on the comparative merits of base ball and cricket, and venture to offer a few remarks, which, I assure you, are induced by no envious feelings, nor from any ungenerous motive, but a desire to place on record facts which you can readily verify if you are desirous of eliciting the truth of the question.

You call base ball “the truly American game.” I claim that base ball is as much an English game as cricket. Forty-five years ago, base ball was regularly played at all the school grounds that abound in the villages of Newington, Islington, Kensington, Richmond, Chelsea, Fullam, Kennington, in fact, in all the villages around London. The game was generally confined to the smaller boys, as a preparative to cricket, and when the space was not sufficient for the latter game. At that period, I have played at it, times out of all computation, and the only difference between the game played then and that recently (comparatively) started into vigorous life here (and success to it most heartily do I say), is, that instead of the ball being thrown to the bases, it was thrown at the runner, and had to hit him before he reached the base to put him out. My late friend, and your late coadjutor, , thought very different of cricket to what you appear to.

I apprehend that the reason why base ball is preferred, is that it can be readily acquired by any active young man. Cricket, on the contrary, needs early training, not only to acquire a scientific knowledge of the game, but to attain the necessary pluck to face the tremendous bowling of the present day. Either game is a healthful training to a vigorous body, but the “noble old game of cricket” will always command the preference of those who are not too lazy to encounter its fatigue, and who dare to face the music.

AN OLD USED UP CRICKETER.

As regards the origin of base ball, we beg leave to hint to our friend, that no one for a moment doubted, or has doubted, that the game was played in England, and is of English origin. We contend, however, that base ball, as played here at present, under the rules of the convention, is an entirely different game from that practiced by our great-great-grandfathers; and can, therefore, be claimed as an American game. It is an “adopted citizen,” doubtless; but it has been both naturalized and nationalized, and may also be said to have been “born again.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

crowd control in the Massachusetts game

Date Tuesday, June 1, 1858
Text

(Winthrop of Holliston vs. Olympic of Boston 5/30/1858) About an acre of ground was surrounded by a strong rope, and policemen were stationed at regular intervals to keep back the crowd, while a few were admitted within the enclosure by tickets, and occupied a position on the western side.  

The weather was beautiful, and the crowd attracted was very large, forming a circle entirely around to the depth of seven or eight persons.

Source Boston Traveler
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

crowd interference

Date Sunday, October 31, 1858
Text

[Atlantic v. Gotham 10/25/1858] The members of the Atlantic Club appeared desirous of giving their opponents equal advantages, and used strong endeavors for that purpose. They failed in so doing. When Mr. P. O’Brien appeared, his stalwart frame won respect, and the ground was clear for a display of his prowess. When the light, lythe form of Commerford appeared upon the opposite side, every man retained his position, absolutely precluding from catching or fielding.

The general feeling with the various representatives of New York clubs, at the termination of the game, was that hereafter they would not play a game with Brooklyn, so long as their grounds are public, and over which they cannot exercise proper police regulations. It is bad enough to go to Brooklyn and be defeated, without being subject to the mockery and derision of infant sepoys. New York Sunday Mercury October 31, 1858

...as we have before remarked, there is no club in existence which can successfully contend with the Atlantic players, on their own ground. New York Sunday Mercury November 21, 1858

the runner falls on the base: a proto-slide?

[Olympic of Brooklyn vs. Independent of Somerville 10/14/1858] [complaining about the umpire,] A striker of the Olympic was running from the second to the third base, the ball was passed to the third base, and reached it nearly at the same time as the runner, but it was at least a foot from him in fair view, when he fell on the base–decided “out.” New York Sunday Mercury October 31, 1858

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

De Bost strikes an attitude

Date Sunday, July 25, 1858
Text

[picked nines New York vs. Brooklyn 7/20/1858] The New Yorkers commenced their second innings, with De Bost at the bat, who first struck an attitude (reminding one of Ajax defying the lamp-lighter), then a foul ball, and finally a short ball, and was caught out by Pidgeon.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

duties of the umpire and homerism

Date Saturday, January 2, 1858
Text

On practice days, the person who attempts the duties of umpire should give his decisions as fairly as his judgment is capable, and not allow it to be warped by ill-feeling towards any of the players.  In a match, he should pay every attention to the game.  Let him be watchful, giving his decision for his own club where there is a doubt, and abide cheerfully by that of the referee; in everything he should remember that he is chosen to represent the interests of his club as judge of the play, and that they have a right to look for the proper maintenance of such interest.  The referee is a position requiring a player thoroughly acquainted with the various points of the game–a position of honor and difficulty; many a friend has been hurt at the decision of a referee, when, so far as he could see, he was giving it rightfully.  He should have some reason for every decision, and where the point is doubtful, to give it in favor of the ball; if he makes an error in judgment, and it is too late to rectify it, he cannot cancel nor balance it by another, favoring the side that the former decision was against.  Neither umpires nor referee should enter in conversation with any party during a match, as it may lead to some unpleasant remarks among others interested.  The spectators should be kept out of the way of umpires and referee.

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

early examples of strike outs

Date Sunday, September 12, 1858
Text

[picked nines New York vs. Brooklyn 9/10/1858] P. O’Brien struck three times at the ball, missed, and was caught on bound by De Bost. Price struck foul, and was caught by De Bost on the fly. Boerum also struck thrice at the ball, missed, and was caught on the bound by De Bost, who never played better in his position than he did on this occasion. Thorne’s pitching was also very telling, in this inning. ... M. O’Brien struck out, missing the ball three times, was caught on the bound by De Bost. ...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early inter-city play

Date Tuesday, September 7, 1858
Text

The members of the “Niagara Base Ball Club,” together with their friends and a delegation from the “Frontier” and “Erie” Clubs of this city, left for Rochester on Friday morning via the New York and Erie Railroad, to play a match game of Base Ball with the “Flour City Club” of that city, who sent them a challenge some weeks since. Through the kindness of the managers of that road, they were furnished with a special car, and also with Excursion Tickets at half the usual fare. At Avon they stopped for breakfast where they were joined by some of their members who left he evening previous, and two delegates from the “Flour City” Club.

Source Buffalo Daily Courier
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'south paw'

Date Sunday, September 12, 1858
Text

[Manhattan vs. Independent 9/8/1858] Hallock, a “south paw,” let fly a good ball into the right field, which was well stopped by Harrold, but not in time to put the striker out before reaching the first base.

Source New York Atlas
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

failure to observe the thirty day rule

Date Saturday, April 3, 1858
Text

One clause of the constitution [of the NABBP] gave rise to considerable discussion, although only one gentleman–Dr. Jones–made any very strenuous objection, and finally voted against it.  The gentleman contended, that the rule requring all the players in a match to be members of the club they play with, and to have been so for thirty days previous, to be ambiguous and opn to malpractice or evasion.  He stated that the rule had often been broken or evaded during the last season–both parties consenting–for this among other reasons: players deemed necessary to the match were absent–say on both sides–and rather than lose the chance of playing the game, substitutes, not belonging to the clubs matched, would be permitted to play by courtesy.  Dr. Jones pressed his objections with much pertinency and force, as he desired to do away with the abuse which these courties, on the part of opposing clubs, lead to.  He desired to have it made a law of base-ball play, that no substitute should be allowed under any circumstances; but that, whenever a match was made between two clubs, the game should go on under the rules–and the rules receive a strict construction.

...

We are fully of opinion that when a match is made for either base-ball or cricket, it should be considered on the P.P. principle, required by the Jockey Clubs in England and the United States.  The party of base-ball or cricketers who failed to bring their regular players on the ground, should be the losers, and no substitutes should be allowed, by consent or otherwise.  Let this law be strictly enforced, and gentlemen who interest themselves in out-door sports, or who feel any esprit du corps of the clubs they are attached to, will be on the ground to take a hand in case of a deficiency or of the absence of a crack player.  Indeed, we should consider it more creditable for a club to have played a losing or an up-hill game with the loss of a crack player of this own club, than to win one with the borrowed aid of an outsider.

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

history of baseball; the antiquity of the game

Date Sunday, June 27, 1858
Text

It is now only some thirteen years since the first attempt at organizing the game of base-ball was made.  The honor of being the pioneers in this movement, is due to the celebrated Knickerbocker Club, of this city, which was organized in the year 1845.  The first club which followed the good example set them, was the Washington, but the latter became divided in itself, on the formation of the Gotham Club, in 1852, and the majority of the members of the Washington joined the latter club.  The Eagle was the next organized, but we forget the year in which it was first established.  For some years these were the only clubs representing the game of base-ball, and the rules and regulations which they adopted, were regarded as the recognized authority by all other clubs established up to the year 1857.  Among those new clubs, were the Empire, established in 1854, and the Baltic, Putnam, and many others, in 1855.  The formation of so many clubs gave a vigorous impetus to the game, and in 1856, a very large number of matches were played between the various clubs which had sprung into existence.  The necessity of enlarging and revisiting the rules of the game now became obvious, to meet the requirements which fresh circumstances called into operation.   In consequence, a Convention of delegates from the various New York clubs was held in this city in May, 1857 [actually January to March]; and a second Convention, to more effectually accomplish the desired objects, was again held in the month of March, 1858.  At the former Convention, sixteen clubs were represented, and at the latter no less than twenty-five; thus showing the progress and extension of the game among Young America.  The last Convention, after assuming the title of “The National Association of Base Ball Players,” and defining their objects to be “the improvement, fostering and perpetuation of the American game of base-ball, and the cultivation of kindly feelings among the different members of the base-ball clubs,” agreed finally upon the settlement of a code of rules and regulations of the game, binding upon all clubs represented at the Convention, and now generally adopted by all base-ball clubs.

~ ~ ~

Peterboro, thirty—even fifty—years ago, was celebrated for its Base Ball playing, and wonderful stories are recounted in which the names of Rice and Wilburs, and others, shine with an enduring fame!  Yet we think the Peterboro of to-day will eclipse the splendor of that behind-the-age celebrity.

The exercise games are now governed by the Rules and Regulations adopted at the Convention of Base Ball Clubs held at the city of New York, March 10th, 1858  Oneida Sachem [date?]

Source New York Atlas
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

holding the runners

Date Sunday, June 20, 1858
Text

(Putnams vs. Atlantics 6/17/1858) We have never noticed a game in which the runners were kept so closely to the bases, and, for their capital throwing to the second base, Messrs. Boerum and Masten [the catchers] are entitled to great commendation.

...

Mr. M. O’Brien pitched finely, and permitted none of this adversaries to steal bases.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

indecent anecdotes and songs

Date Saturday, October 9, 1858
Text

[Eagle vs. Excelsior 9/28/1858] The day’s exercises were concluded by a bounteous repast, hospitably furnished by the Eagle Club, at the hotel adjoining the grounds. Speeches and toasts were the order of the evening, Dr. Jones, Judge Van Cott, and others making appropriate remarks on the result of the day’s play. We regret to notice that a marked feature of these social entertainments, is the indulgence of a prurient taste for –a taste only to be gratified at the expense of true dignity and self-respect. Especially objectionable is this practice when emanating from the lips of those advanced in years; its effect, then, being pernicious in the extreme.

Source Porters Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting when a dead ball is live

Date Sunday, May 9, 1858
Text

[interpreting “...the players running to the bases shall return to them, and shall not be put out in so returning, unless the ball has been first pitched to the striker.”] An instance...occurred the other day during the practice of the Eagle club, in which a player was thus put out.  A ball was slightly struck, and the striker run for the first base while the player on the second base had scampered for the third.  The ball, which had dropped close to the home base was instantly picked up by Mr. Gelston, as the umpire decided it was foul, and quickly passing it to Mr. Bixby, it was as quickly returned by him over the home base, to Mr. Gelston, and by him passed down to the second base in time to head off the return of the player to the second.  It was contended, on the losing side, that the man was not legally put out, inasmuch as the ball had not been pitched by Mr. Bixby to the striker.  On the other side, it was argued that had the striker been at his place on the home base, he might have struck at the ball if he had chosen to do so, but he had no business to be off the home base after the decision of a foul ball had been rendered.  The umpire decided the point in favor of the ball.

see also NYSM 8/29/1858

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting when a dead ball is live (revisited)

Date Sunday, August 29, 1858
Text

[interpreting “...the players running to the bases shall return to them, and shall not be put out in so returning, unless the ball has been first pitched to the striker.”] We think that the interest of the game would be improved by omitting all of the latter clause of the section, or at least all that portion of it which follows the word “returning,” namely “unless the ball has been first pitched to the striker.” If there is any “nigger in the fence,” there is where he lies concealed. In the first clause, it is stated that the ball is in play after it is settled in the hands of the pitcher; but, in the next clause, it has still got to go through another course, pitched to the striker, before it can be used to any advantage.

During a recent match, a decision was rendered upon this clause of the sixteenth section, which has been brought to our notice by a correspondent. A high ball had been struck which was caught on the fly, and the men who were running the bases of course had to return to them. Previous to reaching the bases, however, the ball, which had been caught by the pitcher, had been delivered by him over the home base to the catcher, and was sent by the latter individual to the third base in time to head off and put out the man returning to that base. Judgment was demanded, and the umpire decided the man was not out, because “the ball had not been pitched to the striker.” There was no striker on the home base, the interval of time not having been sufficient to enable the succeeding striker to take his place at the bat. This decision was undoubtedly in accordance with a strict construction of the wording of the rule; but, we think it was a perversion of its meaning. Cases similar to this may not very frequently occur; but once is enough to show the absurdity of the matter. If a man returning to the bases, upon a caught fly ball, is not spry enough to “hunk” by the time the ball is settled in the hands of the pitcher, he should be open to the risk of being put out, without more ado–leastwise, that’s our opinion.

Since writing the above, we have received the following communication:

BROOKLYN, August 26th, 1858

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

In base ball, a player running the bases on a foul ball has to return–now, does it matter whether he touches his base before or after the ball is settled in the hands of the pitcher? I contend, according to Article 16, of Rules and Regulations, that he should touch the base after the ball is in play (in the hands of the pitcher), but some of Brooklyn’s “all nine” differ from me, and say that it is sufficient if they touch their base any time AFTER the foul ball is struck, whether it has been settled in the pitcher’s hands or not. Will you bne so kind as to give me your opinion in your issue, and oblige “A NATIVE.”

We fully coincide with the opinion of “some of Brooklyn’s ‘all nine.”.” There is nothing stipulated in the bond at what time the bases must be touched by a returning player. “The players running the bases shall return to them.” The sooner they do so the better, whether before or after the ball is settled in the hands of the pitcher.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

left-handed pitcher hard to hit

Date Saturday, November 13, 1858
Text

[Amity vs. Niagara 11/1/1858] ...we may speak particularly of Shields, who, being a left-handed pitcher, is an “awful troublesome customer” to his opponents.

Source Porters Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

negotiating the rules

Date Saturday, July 24, 1858
Text

Alexander [NY] has no organized club; but they have a seminary, where ball-playing forms part of the institution; at least they play ever day, weather permitting, joined by as many outsiders as may desire to play, making it one of the most formidable towns in the county for the game of base-ball.  There had been an arrangement made by one of the members of Rough-and-Ready club [of Batavia, NY] to play them a game, which fell through, owing to some misunderstanding about rules.  Soon after, an article appeared in the Herald of this place [Batavia] signed “Alexander, ball-player.”  The article was answered by Excelsior club, and a committee was appointed by Alexander to meet a joint committee of the Batavia clubs, which resulted in an agreement to play two games of the suppers–the first game to be played by the rules of Rough-and-Ready club, after which we were to play their game. 

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

no backstop at the Fashion Course

Date Saturday, September 18, 1858
Text

[picked nines New York vs. Brooklyn 9/10/1858] [Pete O’Brien] obtained his run from the ball passing DeBost [catcher], and going through the railing, no arrangement having been made to provide for this contingency.

Source Porters Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

recriminations after a loss

Date Sunday, October 24, 1858
Text

[Empire vs. Mutual 10/18/1858] We regretted very much to notice the bad grace with which some of the Mutuals took their defeat, and would respectfully suggest to them the propriety of keeping any little disputes they may have among themselves as private as possible; and not to–as on this occasion–almost openly accuse one another of throwing away the game. They have been successful enough this season, to bear a reverse of this kind with a light heart, by making up their minds to play better in the home-and-home match, instead of getting out of temper with each other, which only makes matters worse, and generally brings about a defeat, when, by a little sharp playing, victory might crown their efforts.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

smoking while batting

Date Sunday, September 19, 1858
Text

[Gotham vs. Excelsior 9/14/1858] Holder (smoking) tipped, and was caught on the fly by McCosker.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spleen and ill-temper

Date Sunday, September 26, 1858
Text

“A Friend to Base Ball” writes us, upon the subject of the which is frequently exhibited by individuals of a losing club, in a match game; and truly remarks, that “if gentlemen cannot come together and play a match without making such exhibitions, they had better refrain from playing at all, until they can obtain some command of their temper, or bear defeat with some degree of philosophy.” To which we beg leave to add, Amen.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spreading the game

Date Sunday, September 26, 1858
Text

The Vanguard Club [of Cohoes, NY] was originated by Mr. Chadwick, late president of the Excelsior Club, of Brooklyn [Joseph Chadwick: not to be confused with Henry Chadwick].

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stalling; the wait game

Date Sunday, September 19, 1858
Text

[Stars vs. Champions 9/17/1858] [Champions ahead by three after eight innings] On the ninth inning, the Champions made two. On the Stars going to the bat, the Champions felt safe of the game, five runs being a great many to score against such playing as theirs; but when the Stars had made five, then commenced the peculiar style of playing of which the champions may well boast. Slatterly commenced by pitching nearly every ball far behind the catcher, and proportionately high, and then, when the ball was returned to him, letting it pass him, and then, when sent for second base, or short, missing it again, and all, of course, with the intention of throwing the inning so far in the dark as to render it nugatory. In this beautiful style of playing, Slatterly was well supported by his worthy coadjutor, one of whom, when the ball was about to be thrown tot he first base, called out to “throw high way, over the base,” and in fact, as one of the Stars say, “they wouldn’t put him out any way.”

After the Stars had made seven runs in this inning, and the whole of the Champion nine had become impregnated with Slatterly’s style of playing, they all came in from the field before one of the Stars had been put out, and though none were put out, it was not from a lack of chances to put them out, but because there was no desire on the part of the Champions to do so, and after a long discussion, the Champions effected their object. It was, by this time, really too dark to play any longer, and the game was thus broken up. Mr. Dakin, the umpire, on the eighth inning, gave the game to the Champions, who, perfectly satisfied at the result, no doubt feel proud of their victory.

There is no denying that the Champions are a strong club; but they will not gain a very high reputation for ball playing by such proceedings as those above recorded.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

swift pitching

Date Sunday, September 12, 1858
Text

[Manhattan vs Independent 9/8/1858] The pitching of Jones was much swifter than anything of the kind they had been accustomed to, and prevented them from making any great display of batting.

Source New York Atlas
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

swift pitching, throwing to the bases

Date Sunday, July 11, 1858
Text

Mr. Burr, of the Oriental Club, is a splendid player, and with a little more practice, will make a capital pitcher. He delivers a ball with lightning speed, and throws to the bases with quickness and unerring precision.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics ground

Date Sunday, October 31, 1858
Text

[Atlantic v. Gotham 10/25/1858] The ground upon which the match was played we understood to be a public one, where the rights of players are equal. It is by no means of even surface, and must militate strongly against a strange club. Within the limits of an ordinary playing field passes a rail fence, enclosing the private property of an individual. He was present inside of his own enclosure, in the way of the players, and when desired to leave he declined. This lot should not have been considered a portion of the field, and balls struck there should have been decided foul.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics have brought baseball to a perfect system

Date Sunday, November 14, 1858
Text

[Atlantics vs. Excelsiors 11/09/1858] Some of the finest playing we have witnessed this season took place in this game. Both clubs deserve credit for their superior knowledge of the game of base ball, but to the Atlantics must be awarded the credit of having brought the game to a perfect system–not one single point is lost or escapes their observation, and they are decidedly the hardest club to beat now in existence.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher should not play too close to the batter

Date Sunday, August 1, 1858
Text

...it would look far more manly, and save an immense amount of time, if the catcher, when a player is on his first base, would not stand quite so close to the bat, for the purpose, as he thinks, of preventing the player from making his second base. In nineteen cases out of twenty, it is a losing game to the side out, as, through the excitement, the ball either passes the catcher, or is thrown widely to the second base, giving the opposite player every chance to make an ace, and, as I before observed, lengthening the game unnecessarily.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the challenged party chooses the field

Date Friday, June 25, 1858
Text

The President of the Eagle Base Ball Club of Westboro, says in reference to a former statement, that the Eagles did not challenge the Winthrop Club, of Holliston, but extend to them an invitation to meet them at Westboro as the guests of the Eagle's, and pass a few hours in the pleasant recreation of a game of base ball on Saturday 26th.  If the Winthrops had been challenged, they would have had the choice of their ground.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the crowd at the Fashion Course match

Date Sunday, July 25, 1858
Text

[picked nines New York vs. Brooklyn 7/20/1858] The stands being thronged with spectators, the committee found it necessary to permit a large number to enter the field; and these, ranging themselves inside of a semi-circle formed by the gaily-decorated omnibuses, (which had been chartered by many of the clubs for the conveyance of their members to the ground,) at a distance sufficiently removed to be out of the way of the players, gave to the scene–in connection with the crowd on the stands–the appearance of an amphitheatre crowded with an assemblage eager and anxious to witness the sports of the arena.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the crowd encroaching on the field

Date Sunday, July 11, 1858
Text

[Knickerbocker vs. Excelsior 7/8/1858] An immense crowd, completely circling the field, were present, and, as usual, were sadly in the way of the players. Would it not be well to have a discourse preached to the thousands of curious ones, teaching that, if they have eyes, they can see as plainly, if they would stand farther off. It is due to the Excelsiors to state that they used the most strenuous endeavors to make a fair field, but what are twenty men against thousands?

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the distinguished reputation of the Atlantics

Date Sunday, June 20, 1858
Text

The distinguished reputation of the Atlantics is as a household word to all ball players.  During the season of last year, the club was never conquered.  All who met them yielded, save the Gotham Club, of New York, with whom they parted on equal terms.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the fielders combine for a bound catch

Date Sunday, September 12, 1858
Text

[picked nines New York vs. Brooklyn 9/10/1858] Oliver struck an air ball, which Thorne caught, almost, but it jumped out of his hand, being safely picked up on the bound, however, by Gelston, who was always on hand when wanted.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the superiority of the New York game

Date Sunday, August 15, 1858
Text

We earnestly recommend a perusal of these “rules” to our friends “down-east,” in Boston and elsewhere, where base ball is still generally played after the old style, of “one out all out,” and the ball is thrown at the runners. We are certain that a careful study of these rules, will convince every one of the immense superiority and attraction oft he game as played here, over the old-fashioned game which they still practice.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire giving judgment in favor of the ball

Date Sunday, October 24, 1858
Text

[Empire vs. Gotham 10/19/1858] We have never seen an umpire act with such promptness as Mr. Leavy. He gave judgment in favor of the ball in every instance, and though some exceptions may have been taken by the unfortunate ones that he determined out, as a whole he could not have been surpassed.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire asking help from the players

Date Sunday, June 13, 1858
Text

(Excelsiors vs. Putnams 6/10/1858) Mr. Davis, President of the Knickerbocker, made an excellent umpire; but, if again called to act, we would wish him to reflect whether it is proper to question players to determine an “out.” 

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

using police for crowd control

Date Saturday, November 20, 1858
Text

[Atlantic vs. Excelsior 11/9/1858] An immense concourse of spectators were assembled, the utmost interest existing in regard to the result. As the ground is leased by the Excelsior Club, of course they exercised their right to exclude those who at all interfered with the players, and a posse of police effectively attended to the matter, and order reigned throughout.

Source Porters Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger