Clippings:1859

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1859Clippings in 1859

Clippings in 1859 (66 entries)

Contents

'stealing in' home

Date Sunday, October 23, 1859
Text

Morris was safe, and finally made his run, after reaching the third base, by stealing in.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball blocked by the crowd

Date Friday, September 2, 1859
Text

[Eckford vs. Empire 8/26/1859] Snyder was somewhat singularly put out in the third innings. He had made his first base, and the ball, thrown by short stop to first base, being missed by , was stopped by the crowd, who were within a few yards of the base. Snyder, thinking the ball had gone by them ran for his second base, but Gough had the ball before he got there. Pidgeon made a special appeal to the Umpire, who decided Snyder out, remarking that he had nothing to do with the action of the crowd. P. O’Brien, however, when Umpire in a match between the Excelsior and Neosho Clubs, in a similar case, decided that the ball had to go to the pitcher first. Rule 22 states, that a player taking a ball from a person not engaged in the game, the player running the bases cannot be put out unless the ball goes to the pitcher first. It is impossible for a ball to have a free course to travel when the grounds are surrounded by such crowds as are usually present on these occasions, and due allowance should be made for such cases as are unavoidable; but when a ball is touched, or wilfully stopped by an outsider, it ought certainly to go the pitcher first, and the Umpire is the sole judge of the case, and should decide accordingly, as we think he has to do so.

Source Porters Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fly ball caught off a house

Date Sunday, September 25, 1859
Text

If a ball is struck by a bat, and knocked against a house, and is caught before it touches the ground, is it out, or not out? Please answer and oblige

THE MEMBERS OF THE AURORA CLUB

The striker, in such a case, is out, without any kind of doubt. Whether it may be regarded as a fly catch, or a bound ball, is a matter concerning which there may be a difference of opinion; but, if the ball has not touched the ground, there can be no question about the striker being out–and, we should say, on the bound, although we have known it to be differently decided; or rather, we have seen a striker decided out when the ball was caught after striking a house and touching the ground.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a gift from the ladies

Date Sunday, August 28, 1859
Text

[Constellation vs. Resolute 8/20/1859] The game...was ushered in by a very pretty incident–upon arriving upon the ground, the Constellation Club was surprised to find a splendid piece of bunting floating in the breeze which had been placed there (unknown to the members) by a committee of eleven young ladies, whose handiwork it was, and who presented it to the club with the following note:

“We, the undersigned, take great pleasure in presenting, for your acceptance, the flag now waving over your grounds, with the earnest wish that it may never be disgraced.”

This note was signed by eleven young ladies. The members of the club (we understand) are about to take measures to make a proper reciprocation to the ladies for the kindness.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a mixed fly game

Date Sunday, November 20, 1859
Text

[Union vs. Liberty of Newburgh, undated] These two clubs recently played to match games under the condition that the Unions catch all hits, except fouls, on the fly.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a non-NY game question

Date Saturday, June 25, 1859
Text

[in Answers to Correspondents] Two sides are about to play a game of base ball, 21 tallies the game, and they toss up a copper for first innings, the party winning the toss score 21 points the first innings. Does that finish the game, or must the other side go on with their innings? … When one side scores 21 inn their first innings, and the opposite score nothing in their innings, of course that ends the game; but the last party must play their innings, because they may score as many as their opponents, and thus make a tie of it.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player abandoning his post

Date Sunday, August 14, 1859
Text

[Champion of Morrisania vs. Enterprise of New York 8/13/1859; junior clubs; incidentally, a “fly” match] The game, as will be seen above, was concluded in eight innings. Nine innings could have been played, and indeed the ninth was played by the Champion Club (who had the first hand in) but the result was declared by the umpire on the score of the eight complete innings, owing to the fact that one of the Enterprise players was absent when his turn came to bat, and the Champions objected to the next player taking a strike unless the absentee should be counted a hand out. To [illegible] would not consent, and the umpire decided the game as above stated. The Champion side had made five runs in the ninth inning. The Enterprise then commenced and the first striker was put out. The next striker was the missing player, and as he had been so unfortunate as not o have made a run during the game; his absence was attributed by the Champions to be a preconcocted plan on the part of the Enterprise to get him out of the way, with a view to insuring their success. We are well satisfied that in this matter the Champions do the Enterprise Club injustice. There was no arrangement of any kind made for the absence of the player in question; and his delinquency was a matter of as deep regret to the young gentlemen of the Enterprise Club as it could have been to their opponents. The delinquent party was not a member of the first nine of that club, and was only put in to supply the place of Master F. Durell, a much superior player. Having been unfortunate in all of the previous innings, the enterprising young man did not feel that he possessed pluck enough to withstand the jeers of his companions if he should again lose; and on the principle that “prudence was the better part of valor,” he scampered, unknown to any of the players on his side. This is the whole story; and we give it a place, because we are positive of its truth, and because we desire to relieve the Enterprise Club of the unjust aspersions which have been cast upon their conduct in this matter by interested parties.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a query about tagging up; need the runner be tagged?

Date Sunday, May 8, 1859
Text

[a letter to the editor from Buffalo] Section 16 of the Rules and Regulations of Base Ball, is not very clear to your correspondent, and he would like to be enlightened upon the subject. We will suppose there is a player on the first-base, and one striking. A ball is struck far down the field, and the player on first base runs to his second base, but, seeing that the ball is caught on the fly, runs back to his first. Now, what your correspondent wants to learn is this: Can the player running the bases start against as soon as he has gone back to his base, or must he wait until the ball has been in the pitcher’s hands?...

The section, or rule, in question makes no provision that the player should, in the instance pointed out, wait until the ball has been settled in the pitcher’s hands....

Under the rule in vogue last season, the ball was considered dead... and it was further provided, that players could not be put out in returning to the bases, “unless the ball had been first pitched to the striker.”

It will be seen that the new rule makes no provision for anything of this kind. Consequently, it appears to us to be sufficient, in the case pointed out by our Buffalo correspondent, that the player running the bases at the time a ball is caught on the fly, should return, and touch the base from which he started, and if, after so doing, he can make a base, he has full right to do so, for anything that is stipulated in the rule.

The object of the rule was to offer a greater inducement to catch the ball on the fly, by making it imperative that runners should return to bases, while the catcher of the ball has the further advantage of an opportunity to head off the party so returning, by sending the ball to the base in advance of him, and thus put him out. New York Sunday Mercury May 8, 1859

[ letter to the editor from New York] What are your views of the play of the following kind? A runner is on the second, and one of the third base; the batter raises the ball, and it is held, on the fly, by the second base man, who steps on his base before the runner shall have returned, and plays the ball to the third base, and it is held there under the same circumstances, viz.: before the runner has returned, would that not constitute three hands out? Or do you think the rule intends that the ball shall be placed on the runner returning to his base?

Our friend...has not very attentively read Rules 14 and 15, or he would not have been at all mystified on the subject of his communication. We reproduce them for his enlightenment... It is, therefore, plain, that in the case pointed out... there was but one hand out (the striker) instead of three–for, under the Rules, it is absolutely necessary, on any other than the first base, that the ball should not only be held, but that the party running for, or returning to, a base shall be touched with the ball before reaching it, in order to be put out. New York Sunday Mercury May 22, 1859

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a run down

Date Sunday, October 2, 1859
Text

Stephens got caught between the first and second bases, and was handsomely put out through the caution of J. Patchen, in covering the second base, while several others were engaged in “crowding” their victim.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a sample of play

Date Sunday, October 16, 1859
Text

[Atlantics vs. Eckfords 10/12/1859] The Atlantics were first at the bat, and Hamilton commenced finely, and got to the first base; when a wild throw by Pidgeon enabled him to get to the second base; a ball passed Brown, and he got to the third base; when P. O’Brien struck, and Hamilton got home. Grum picked up Peter’s ball, and endeavoring to head him off at the first base, threw wild to that base, and Peter reached the second base; when another ball passed Brown, and he got home. Pierce and Smith struck in succession, neither getting past the first base on their strike; but Pierce, who had worked his way round to the third base, ran home, in consequence of another ball passing Brown. Still another ball passed Brown, and Smith got home. Price struck a grounder, which carried him safe past Mills’ point; and Oliver threw all his “muckle” into a ball which he drove toward the third base, and which nearly upset Beach, who made an effort to stop it. Price got home and Oliver made the second base, worked up to the third, when Brown dropped a ball, and he ran in home. Matty O’Brien batted well, and when he got to the second base, another ball passed Brown, and he got safely home. This made five pass balls by Brown in one inning–a most remarkable occurrence for so generally expert and active a catcher–and a most damaging one for his side. McMahon was then caught by Brown on a foul bound. Boerum struck a high ball, which Snyder, in the centre field, was making calculation for catching upon the bound, when the ball descended into a “moisture” and stuck there. Boerum was kept on the first base, which he shortly vacated for his successor, Hamilton. Peter O’Brien then took advantage of one of Pidgeon’s slow balls, and hit is a good clip toward the third base. Beach succeeded in stopping it, however, and jumping on the base, of course put out Boerum, who had to leave the second, and the ball being sent by Beach to Lamphier, on the second base, put out Hamilton, who had to leave the first base. This made some amends for the previous bad luck of the Eckfords; and the point was well played by Beach.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a steal of home

Date Sunday, October 16, 1859
Text

[Atlantics vs. Eckfords 10/12/1859] Oliver made the third base... Pidgeon [the pitcher] then happened to turn his back to the home base to survey the field, and Oliver took advantage of the opportunity to run in home.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a wild throw on a pickoff attempt

Date Sunday, October 16, 1859
Text

[Atlantics vs. Eckfords 10/12/1859] Boerum led off the third inning with a heavy strike toward the left field, and gained the first base. Pidgeon [the pitcher] then threw a wild ball to “cotch him,” and Boerum made two bases.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

almost thrown out stealing

Date Sunday, October 16, 1859
Text

[Atlantics vs. Eckfords 10/12/1859] Snyder had a narrow escape in running to the second base, the ball not having been thrown quite high enough by Boerum [the catcher] to Oliver.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early game on ice skates

Date Saturday, December 24, 1859
Text

The Enterprise Base Ball Club of this city [Rahway, N.J.], played a game on the ice, on Milton Lake, on Tuesday–the first of the kind we ever heard of.

Source Porters Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early triple play

Date Monday, April 18, 1859
Text

[Neosho vs. Wyandank 4/16/1859] The game was played according to the new Convention rules of 1859, under one of which it was observed that the Neosho put out three hands of their opponents with one ball, by catching the ball 'on the fly' and then passing it to two bases in immediate succession so as at the same time to put out both men who were returning to those bases.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an outfield assist

Date Sunday, August 7, 1859
Text

Kissim, in the field, made two or three beautiful catches, and threw a ball from the centre field (caught on the fly) to the home base in time to head off a runner–a feat which astonished everybody; it was an immense throw.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

another defense of the New York game

Date Sunday, October 30, 1859
Text

Noticing, a few days since, a paragraph in the Tribune, in regard to the anticipated match at base ball between the English cricketers and the New York ball players, which does gross injustice to the National Game; and, thinking some of your readers in New York–more especially ball-players–may imagine that it expresses the sentiments of the players of Massachusetts, or New England, I would inform them that the game played in New York is acknowledged by hundreds of players in Massachusetts and New England, as well as scores of clubs who play under the rules of the National Association, to be the only game of base ball worthy of being adopted as the National Game. Whether they are correct in their opinions or not, may be judged from the fact that the game is known and appreciated from Maine to Louisiana, while the Massachusetts game is hardly known beyond the New England states, and the rules of the Massachusetts Convention are only acknowledged by some twenty clubs in Massachusetts. I give you a few of the points of the Massachusetts game, that your readers my judge how far it is superior to the National game:

1st. The ball used in the Massachusetts game weighs two ounces, is six inches in circumference (about the size of a respectable English walnut), and about as hard as a well boiled dumpling. The New York ball weighs six ounces, and measures ten inches in circumference, and is nearly as hard as a cricket ball, as the crooked fingers of many players will testify.

2d. The distance between the bases is sixty feet–two-thirds of the space between those of the Nation game.

3d. The man who can poke the ball in the most awkward manner–over his head, between his legs, or to the side–is considered a first-class batsman, in the Massachusetts game; while in the other the striker, is obliged to bat fair and square into the field.

4th. Instead of one player behind, as in the New York game, there are generally three, and sometimes four, to stop and catch the ball.

5th. Nearly the whole of a game, in the Massachusetts style, is played by the thrower, striker, and first man behind, the other nine or eleven players having little or nothing to do, except to run after the ball and return it to the thrower, while–as the rules of the game make an inning finished when one man is out–an hour’s time is sometimes occupied by the players in trotting to and from their positions without either party making a run. In the National game, the interest and action of the game is much more equally divided, and all engaged have an equal opportunity to exhibit their skill, courage, and activity–the game depending as much upon the fielders and base-men as upon the pitcher and catcher.

These are but a few of the comparisons which might be made between the two games, but the only favor I ask of the cricketers–or any other disinterested parties, would be for them to witness the two games fairly played, and then to decide which is the genuine game of base ball, and best entitled to the name of the National game. I would mention, as a significant fact of the progress of the National game, that the Olympic Base Ball Club of Boston, who were the most active in calling the Massachusetts Convention, and whose president framed nearly all the rules of play, Constitution, etc., that were not copied from the National Association, has been virtually disbanded, and its most active members and best players are now members of clubs which play the National game. , Very respectfully yours,

“A BOSTON BASE-BALL PLAYER”

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

are trees part of the ground?

Date Sunday, September 4, 1859
Text

[a question from the Cazenovia BBC] A ball was once batted, and it landed in a crotch of the tree. A number of the outside party climbed the tree, secured the ball, and throwing it down, it was also caught by one of the outside party.

Query–Is the knocker out?

The umpire decided it not out, because he considered it a dead ball, while the majority of the players were of opinion that it was out according to Rule 23.

By giving and answer, you would confer a great favor on your obedient servant, R.N.E.

The case presented by our correspondent is rather a peculiar one, and one not provided for in the Rules–in which “trees” are not spoken of. At the Elysian Fields, Hoboken, balls are frequently knocked into the trees; but they always come down of their own accord, and if caught before touching the ground, are considered “fly catches,” because, we presume, the trees “have no business to be there.” If a ball should be lodged in the crotch of a tree, it would, if we were the umpire, be decided a foul ball, or no ball; and we think that, in the justice of the decision, all would coincide. It is true that Sec. 23 expressly states, that if a ball from the stroke of the bat is held “under any other circumstances” than as enumerated in Section 22 (which refers to taking the ball from the hands of a party not in the game) and “without having touched the ground more than once” the striker is out. Still, taking the ball from the crotch of a tree ought not be considered very different from the hands of a party not in the game; the only difference being, that one is “nominated in the bond” and the other is not. It certainly was not a fair catch; and our opinion is, that the umpire did right in not deciding the striker out; but he did wrong, if he did not make him strike over again.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

asking for judgment on a balk

Date Sunday, September 11, 1859
Text

Mills being now on the third base, detected a baulk on the part of the pitcher, asked judgment, and it being decided in his favor, went home. New York Sunday Mercury September 11, 1859

broken bats

There was another feature in the game, which was the result of the strong batting, and that was the number of bats broken. “Old Knick” [i.e. the Knickerbocker Club] made the splinters fly on this occasion. [goes on to list the total bats broken: two by Davis, one by McLaughlin]. New York Sunday Mercury September 14, 1859

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball an Old-Country game

Date Saturday, June 25, 1859
Text

The revival of the Old-Country games of cricket and base-ball affords some of the best examples of a growing desire for athletic sports. They have manyt things to recommend them, and, as we conceive, no objectionable features. New York Spirit of the Times June 25, 1859 (quoting The Atlantic Monthly)

Source New York Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling for a balk

Date Sunday, August 14, 1859
Text

[Eckford vs. Gotham 8/12/1859] Mr. Pidgeon was very nervous about Tom Van Cott’s “peculiar” style of pitching, and frequently asked judgment on what he conceived to be baulks. In the fourth inning, he ran from the first to the second base under the impression that Van Cott had made a baulk, and was put out in consequence, the umpire deciding “no baulk.” Mr. Pidgeon surely knows that if a baulk had been made, there was no occasion for him to run to the second base–he would be entitled to it, under the Rules. This is the second time this season he has been put out in a similar manner, for a like cause–once in a match with the Atlantic Club. Running bases upon a supposed baulk is not only very hazardous, but unnecessary–better wait upon the decision of the umpire.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

can a player who has struck out bat again that inning; early use of 'strike out'

Date Sunday, July 24, 1859
Text

COHOES, July 12, 1859

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

GENTLEMEN: Will you have the kindness to decide the following question? In a game of Base Ball, has a player who has struck out a right to the bat again during the same inning?

W.A.

Of course, he has when his turn comes around again. There is nothing in the Rules which prescribes a heavier penalty for a player who “strikes out” than for one who gets out in any other way.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher letting the ball go past if no one on base

Date Sunday, July 10, 1859
Text

[Eckford vs. Atlantic 7/8/1859] We have...in our report noticed only those passes which were of consequence, or had an effect upon the runs. Brown, whose fingers were in anything but playing order, did not make his usual effort to stop balls when the bases were unoccupied. New York Sunday Mercury July 10, 1859

up and comers and old fogies

CHAMPION CLUB OF YORKVILLE.–This is the best of the Junior Clubs of this city, and as its members have now grown pretty well towards manhood, we learn that they intend soon to re-organize themselves into a senior club. Whether this movement will be made this season or at the commencement of next, we are not informed. They have amongst them some of the best players on this Island, and take their nine altogether; there are but few clubs that can excel them. When they become a senior club, we should like to see them matched with some of the old fogy clubs at Hoboken, who put on a great many airs, assume to know all about ball-laying, and claim to be first class clubs on the strength of their former reputation. It will not be forgotten how the “Mutuals” knocked the bottoms out of these rickety old concerns last year, and all the Brooklyn clubs manage to give them a good drubbing every time they have an encounter. Let some of them send the “Champions” a challenge. New York Atlas July 10, 1859

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

changes of pace

Date Sunday, July 3, 1859
Text

[Eckford vs. Putnam 7/1/1859] Mr. Pidgeon (their pitcher) at first annoyed the strikers on the opposite side somewhat, by his style of pitching–first very slow, then a very swift ball; but the Putnam players soon got posted, and were on the look-out for the “gay deceivers.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

comparing the New York and Massachusetts games

Date Sunday, October 23, 1859
Text

...the game of base ball, as played under the rules adopted by the National Association, differ very materially from the Massachusetts game...but each difference is an undoubted improvement upon the old original, and was made for the purpose of adding greater interest to the game–and end which has been successfully accomplished. In the Massachusetts game, for instance, the rule is, that when one hand is put out, all are out; in it, also, the ball is thrown at the runners, instead of the base men; they play with a soft ball instead of a hard one; and the game is not limited to any particular number of innings, but is decided in favor of the side which first makes one hundred runs. Balls caught upon the bound do not count, in the Massachusetts game; they must, in all cases, be caught flying; and, instead of being pitched, the ball is thrown to the bat. Pitching the ball is undoubted a decided improvement, requiring far more skill and muscular force than throwing the ball. The fly rule is the only point of difference which is–in the estimation of many–in favor of the Massachusetts game. Otherwise, it is the plain old game of our schoolboy days, with few, if any, nice points to invest it with especial interest. The National Game, which is played in this vicinity, is more scientific, requires the exercise of judgment, and activity of the mind, as well as of the body.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

credit for low scoring goes to the fielders

Date Saturday, September 10, 1859
Text

[Star vs. Excelsior 9/3/1859] The fact of such players as the Excelsiors being able to obtain only three runs in seven innings, is ample proof of the splendid fielding of their opponents. New York Clipper September 10, 1859 [This is the game in which Creighton came to notice.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

definition of 'short stop'

Date Saturday, June 25, 1859
Text

[in Answers to Correspondents] What is the meaning of 'short stop' in the game of base ball? I can find nothing concerning it in the rules of the New York or Massachusetts game.

...Short stop is the point in the centre of a triangle, of which third base, pitcher, and second base are the corners and requires an able and active fielder to fill it.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

does the runner have to touch the base?

Date Saturday, September 10, 1859
Text

[Eagle vs. Pastime 9/2/1859] ...Houseman ran to 2d base without touching the first base, the ball was sent to 1st base, and an appeal made, but he was decided in, and correctly, too, as far as the rules go, for there is no mention of a player having to touch his base, which he certainly ought to be made to do, as otherwise on running to third base he can gain several yards by not doing so. The rules are not as correct as they should be, and probably will be next season, and therefore we comment thus upon them for the purpose of drawing attention to these disputed points.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early call of 'time' by the umpire, and ground rules

Date Sunday, October 23, 1859
Text

[Stars vs. Atlantics 10/18/1859] Oliver got safely round to the third base. Price then struck a foul ball, which struck the ground and fence, and bounded into Tracy’s hands. The umpire decided him out, and the ball sent to the pitcher, but not stopped. Oliver ran in [from] the third base, when Creighton [the pitcher] picked up the ball and sent it to Manly on the third, and everybody supposed that Oliver was, in consequence, also out; but, it appears, the umpire had called “time”immediately after the catching of the ball by Tracy, in order to ascertain whether his decision was in accordance with the established usages of the ground, and after a satisfactory explanation, Oliver was sent back to the third base, he having run after “time” was called and the play on both sides being void, and without effect.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielders wearing gloves against the cold

Date Saturday, November 5, 1859
Text

[Excelsior vs. Putnam 10/22/1859] One outsider was found who was self-sacrificing enough to stand umpire, while the remainder of the hundred spectators herded together in one shivering mass, seeking protection from the cold. The view presented was, to say the least, amusing–the “outs” resorting to various devices to keep them warm; while those players who had no gloves would not permit the others to use such “protectives.

Source Porters Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

first baseman pulled off the bag

Date Saturday, October 29, 1859
Text

Powell was next, and he also received a life, [the first baseman] having to reach high for the ball, lifted his feet off the base, when he took the ball, Powell in the interim having put his foot on it.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

first-nine ringers in the second nine

Date Sunday, June 19, 1859
Text

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

A match at base ball was played on Saturday the 14th inst. between the first nine of the Superior, and the so-called second nine of the Albion, which resulted in the victory of the latter club by two runs. It is not so much to report the result of this match that I address you as to give you the facts, and ask you to inform the clubs of Brooklyn what ought to be the punishment for clubs that are so unprincipled as the Albion has shown itself to be.

The facts of the match are as follows: The Superior’s first nine challenged the second nine of the Albion, and at the time fixed upon (Saturday June 14th) for playing, the respective nines appeared and they proceeded to fix upon an umpire. The members of the Albion introduced a young man as a member in good standing in another club, and insisted that he should be the umpire, and would not consider the names of some others who were acquainted with both clubs; also, they represented themselves to be the second nine of their club. As this all seemed fair and right, we commenced the game, but before the close, the Superiors were informed that three of the so-called second nine of the Albion were not of the second, but of the first nine, and upon being charged with this fraud, they admitted that such was the case. Then we objected to the runs of the first nine being counted, and claimed the victory; they then speak’ed to the umpire, who, with the same impartiality which had characterized all his proceedings, ruled that “the runs were regular, and he should count them” although members of other clubs who were present, denounced it as against the rules of the game and unfair. We were then informed, and have reason to believe it true, that the umpire had been bribed, and was a member of the Albion.

We then left the field, determined to ask you to give us your opinion (which we now do) on the question of honor involved; and we hope you will say a word to the Albions which may induce them to mend their ways.

Respectfully yours, SUPERIOR

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

forgetting the new rule on tagging up

Date Sunday, July 3, 1859
Text

[Knickerbocker vs. Excelsior 6/30/1859] Russell was caught on the fly by Kissam, who, apparently forgetting himself, send the ball to the third base, instead of the second (from which Leggett had ran, and was bound to return to, and could easily have been put out). This was a sad mistake; had it not been made, the inning would have terminated without a run for the Excelsiors.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

forgot to bring a ball

Date Sunday, August 21, 1859
Text

The junior clubs have funny times now and then. A match was to have been played between the Nassau and the Hero Clubs of Brooklyn on Thursday, but a correspondent informs us, “owing to the Nassaus not procuring a ball, the game was decided in favor of the Heroes.” New York Sunday Mercury August 21, 1859

disagreement over whether a force is broken

[Excelsior vs. Pastime 8/18/1859] In the fifth innings of the Excelsiors, Leggett being on the second base and C. Whiting on the first, Polhemus struck a ball which was prettily fielded by Beers to second base–putting out C. Whiting–and by Boyd to third base, at which point Leggett would have been fairly put out if Hold had touched him with the ball, but instead of doing so he threw it to first base in order to put out the striker. The Umpire, however, decided Leggett out, forgetting that in consequence of Whiting being put out, Leggett was not obliged to vacate the second base, and that, therefore, it was necessary that he should have been touched with the ball. Porter's Spirit of the Times August 27, 1859

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

going to California

Date Sunday, December 4, 1859
Text

Mr. Gelston, of the Eagle Club, and who is well known to the base ball fraternity generally, leaves, on Monday morning, in the steamer Baltic, for California. We have no doubt that when he gets there he will stir up the two or three base ball clubs now in existence in San Francisco, and make the game as popular in that section as it is here. [note correspondence in 1860 from “M.E.G.” and name change of San Francisco BBC to Eagle BBC]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

grumblings about the umpire from idle club members

Date Sunday, September 18, 1859
Text

We only regret that among the spectators at these matches there should be evinced so ripe a disposition to find fault with the decisions of the umpires, and that these growlers too frequently prove to be idle members of the clubs engaged in the match. Every gentleman who officiates as umpire is selected by the captains, but the position, in consequence of the grumbling, and not unfrequently insulting remarks of outsiders, has become so unenviable, that it is difficult to get anyone to assume the place. The very fact, if nothing else, that there are so many pairs of eyes watching the proceedings must induce an umpire to act impartially in his decisions; and we do think that common decency, and gentlemanly courtesy, should, under the circumstances of the case, restrain all comment upon the proceedings on the part of the spectators of a match.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

holding on runners

Date Sunday, August 7, 1859
Text

Powell (pitcher) played in that position in a masterly manner, and kept a very sharp look-out for the bases. Beard (catcher) acquitted himself in his usual style; in fact, surpassed himself on this occasion–more men were put out by his throwing the ball to the second base than we ever recollect seeing in any match game. New York Sunday Mercury August 7, 1859

the umpire misunderstands the force play rule

[Excelsior vs. Pastime 8/18/1859] In the 5th innings of the Excelsior’s, Polhemus having the bat, C. Whiting being on the first base, and Leggett on the 2nd, Polhemus struck a ball which was finely fielded by Beers at short field, to Boyd at 2nd base, who immediately threw it to Holt at 3d base, who in turn sent it to Carroll at 1st base. The umpire–Mr. Sniffen, of the Atlantic club–decided Whiting out at 2d base, Leggett out at 3d base, and Polhemus not out at 1st base, the error being in the case of Leggett, Holt failing to touch him with the ball, which it was requisite he should have done, inasmuch as Whiting, being out out at 2d base–through Boyd’s holding the ball before Whiting reached the 2d base–Leggett was not forced from his base. Had the ball been thrown from short field to 3d base instead of 2d, and then form 3d to 2d, Leggett would have been out, but as it was, it was requisite he should have been touched with the ball at 3d base. The error was a very pardonable one, as few are sufficient well versed in the laws of the game to give correct decisions in all cases. Rule 18 provides for this case. This is the first decision similar in character to the above that we have yet noticed. New York Clipper August 27, 1859

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

junior clubs in an inter-city match in 1859

Date Sunday, August 14, 1859
Text

A match was played on Monday last between the Marion (junior) Club of this city and the Union (junior) Club of New Haven, Conn., on the ground of the latter, which proved an exciting and interesting contest.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

murmuring about the umpire

Date Sunday, August 28, 1859
Text

[Eckford vs. Empire 8/26/1859] There was considerable murmuring in the “crowd” at one of [the umpire’s] decisions, but Mr. Miller [of the Empires] very properly put an end to in, in a brief but pithy speech. After this, good order was maintained.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

non-members in a match; a junior fly match

Date Sunday, August 14, 1859
Text

[Champion of Morrisania vs. Enterprise of New York 8/13/1859; junior clubs; incidentally, a “fly” match] It has been reported in some of the papers that the Enterprise had among its players a member of the Baltic Club, Mr. E. Durell, who happens also to belong to the Enterprise Club as an honorary member, playing only occasionally with that club. This is true. But we understand that this player would not have been enlisted, had not the Enterprise Club been aware of the fact that the Champions had in their nine three members of the Metropolitan Club, one of the Manhattan Club, and one of the Monument Club. If this be true, while it cannot be doubted that both clubs did wrong (under the Rules), the Champion Club certainly committed the greater wrong.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

off-season recruitment

Date Sunday, May 22, 1859
Text

Many clubs will be found much reduced in strength this season, owing to the loss of several of their more valued aids; and others, again, which have been recruiting, will possess a “tower of strength.” The Putnam Club, for instance, “has been making hay while the sun shone,” and has gained two or three good players from the Excelsior and Eckford Clubs–the loss of whom both these clubs will feel, perhaps. The Baltic has also been recruiting during the winter, and the members have resolved to make determined effort this season to retrieve some of the lost laurels (or balls) of their club. The Eagle, Empire, and Gotham Clubs, have also had valuable accessions to their ranks, and we are glad to hear favorable reports from other quarters.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ownership of Brooklyn PL Eastern Park

Date Saturday, November 19, 1859
Text

A syndicate has purchased a site suitable for a ball ground at East New York which they propose to lease to the players’ league club on good security for next season. The syndicate includes Colonel McAlpine and Edward Talcott, who are incorporators in the New York Limited Base Ball Club. Mr. George Chauncey, of the old Excelsior club, is the real estate agent through which the transfers have been made. The price is said to be $88,000, secured by bond and mortgage on the purchased tract. Two streets run through the property on the map, and if cut through would spoilt for base ball purposes. The streets in question are Belmont avenue and Junius street. The Ridgewood Land and Improvement Company is the title of the syndicate. Mr. Byrne had the option of the property two years ago, but declined it on account of the streets being likely to be opened through it.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitcher covers third base for an out on a foul

Date Sunday, October 23, 1859
Text

[Stars vs. Atlantics 10/18/1859] Webber, who had gone to the third base, ran in for home at the same time that Boerum struck a foul ball, which Manly [the third baseman] ran after, while Creighton [the pitcher] as quickly ran to cover the third base, and the ball being passed to him by Manly before Webber could return to the base, put him out. This was very neatly done.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitcher's job to keep runners on the bases

Date Sunday, July 31, 1859
Text

[Excelsior vs. Baltic 7/26/1859] Etheridge, as pitcher, did his part well and by sharp playing kept the Baltics well on their bases.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

questions about an attempt steal of home

Date Saturday, July 16, 1859
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] 1. A was pitcher, B striker, C catcher, D on 3d base. When C returned the ball to A, D attempted to make the home base (being a good runner). A pitched the ball to C, who stepped up to home base to receive it, to put out D. B, who stood at a convenient striking distance from home base, hit the ball and made the 1st base. Now, who is out, B or D, or neither? 2. Has the striker a right to strike such balls when passed in to catcher for putting out a man as above? 1. Neither were out. 2. The striker has a right to strike at any ball, so long as he is on his position.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

questions about foul balls

Date Sunday, May 29, 1859
Text

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

Will you please give your opinions to the following questions:

1st Sec. 19 says: “Players running the bases must, as much as possible, keep upon a direct line between the bases,” etc. Can a player returning to base after a foul ball or ball caught on the fly, run from third base across to first base–or must he return on the line of the bases?

2nd Again: “A foul ball requires that the ball must go into the pitcher’s hands before it is in play.” Must the pitcher be in the position designated for him at the time he pitches the ball, or can he receive the ball in any part of the field?

3d Again: after a ball is caught on the fly is the player running the bases out if the ball is held on the base he must return to, or must he be touched?

Yours truly, FLY BALL.

As regards the first query, our correspondent must see it is clearly wrong for a player to cross the field in the manner described. There is no difference between returning to a base, and running to make a base. The aim in both cases being the same, the same rule equally applies. Crossing the field, we should say, betrayed a very evident disposition, on the part of the player, to “avoid the ball in the hands of an adversary,” and is, therefore, “contrary to law.”

In reply to query No. 2, the Rule (No. 16) does not provide that the pitcher, at the time he receives a foul ball, shall be at his designated point. We think that such is the intention. The Rule, previous to its recent amendment, it will be remembered, provided that the ball should not be settled in the hands of the pitcher, but pitched to the striker, before the ball was in play. The ball could not be pitched to the striker, unless the pitcher were in his proper designated position. Does the amendment of the rule, doing away with the necessity of pitching the ball to the striker, give the pitcher a roving commission to fly to any part of the field to receive a dead ball, in order to head off a returning player? We should say not. In case a foul ball is struck, out of the reach of the pitcher, he should seek his post in order to receive the ball, and then pass it to the bases; or, in the event of the pitcher stopping a foul ball, he should reach his post before deliver the ball to the bases.

For an answer to the third query, we refer our correspondent to the Mercury of Sunday, May 22. A player must always be touched by the ball while in play in the hands of an adversary, in order to be put out, except in the instance provided in Rule 14, wherein it is expressly stated that if the ball is held by an adversary on the first base, before the striker touches that base, the player is out. In every other instance, the player must be touched by the ball. [In the following issue it was pointed out that force plays also did not require the runner be touched with the ball.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

roping off the crowd

Date Saturday, September 3, 1859
Text

[Empire vs. Mutual 8/29/1859] There was a large assemblage on the grounds, and everything passed off satisfactorily, although the crowd would at times encroach upon the space allotted to the players. The only way to keep them off, is to place a rope from tree to tree, especially on the grounds of the Mutual and Hoboken Clubs.

Source Porters Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rules questions about foul balls

Date Sunday, August 28, 1859
Text

There are several questions concerning base ball which you will oblige me much by answering:

1st Suppose a foul ball to have been struck, and the striker is not aware of it, and runs to the first base, the ball is thrown to the pitcher and from thence to the striker’s point–before he returns to it–is he put out?

2d Suppose the first and second bases are occupied, have the pitcher and catcher a right to throw the ball from one to the other, until the men on the bases run?

3d Suppose a foul ball is struck, and a man on any of the bases attempts to make a run; the ball is thrown to the pitcher, he throws it to the base the man has run from, before he can return to it. Can he be put out without being touched by the ball?

4th When a fair ball is struck, and caught on the fly, can any man running the bases be put out without the ball passing through the hands of the pitcher?

By answering the above in your next, you will oblige.

Yours, respectfully, R. D. V. S.

We have answered some of these questions before, but we will reply as follows:

1st. The rule is not recognized as applicable to the striker of a foul ball. It might be so construed, perhaps, but it is not so regarded. Besides, a case of the kind presented must be very rare; for it is the duty of the umpire to call foul balls; and the striker, if he is attentive, must be “aware of it.”

2d. The pitcher and catcher generally assume that right, because it is not forbidden in the Rules, but it is a foolish waste of time. The umpire can regulate the evil, if he chooses. It is the pitcher’s duty to “deliver the ball as near as possible over the centre of the home base, and for the striker.” If he does not do so, he can be reprimanded by the umpire.

3d. Most decidedly no. An adversary must be touched with the ball to be put out, except when the striker is running to the first base and when the bases are all occupied, and a fair ball is struck, and not caught.

4th. Certainly. Read Section 16 of the Rules.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Star club as 'offshoot' of the Excelsior

Date Sunday, June 5, 1859
Text

The Stars are an offshoot from the Excelsior Clubs [sic] and are nearly all young men, under twenty-one years of age. They were the favorites of the juvenile portion of the audience, and did not fail to give them hearty applause, whenever they did any “tall” playing. New York Atlas June 5, 1859

The Charter Oak had hardly grasped the laurels they gained by beating the Excelsior Club, when they were handsomely taken away from them by the Star Club–a promising offshoot of the Excelsiors. New York Sunday Mercury June 5, 1859

interpreting force plays–note the answers to the second and third questions; note also the usage of “basing” the ball

SYRACUSE, N.Y. June 14th, 1859

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

One or two questions have come up in our Club (the Syracuse Base Ball Club), in regard to the rules of play:

1st. The three bases are occupied. The ball is struck fair, but falls very near home base. The ball is fielded, and held on home base:

Question.–Is the player occupying the third base–that should make home base–out without being touched by the ball? and can the ball be passed to third base, putting out the player occupying the second base in the same way, and so round until players reach the bases they are entitled to?

2nd. The three bases are occupied. The ball is struck fair, and fielded so as to reach the first base before the striker:

Question.–Have the players occupying the bases a right to remain on them? and, if they have not the right, can they return to them after the striker is out? If not, can the ball be passed to second, or any of the bases, putting the man trying to make that base out without touching, as in the case of the striker.

3d. The first and second bases are occupied. The ball is struck fair, and fielded to second base before the man that occupied the first base reaches it.

Question.–Is he out without being touched? and if the ball is passed to third base before the man that occupied the second base reaches it, is he out without being touched? If not, can he return to the second base?

We think Sec. 18 of the Rules very clearly answers the first question of our correspondent: “When a fair ball is struck, and not caught flying, or on the first bound, the first base must be vacated, as also the second and third bases, if they are occupied at the same time. Players may be put out, upon any base, under these circumstances, in the same manner as the striker, when running to the first base,” that is to say, by basing the ball in advance of the runner. The rule, as will be seen, gives authority for putting out all the players in the manner described by our correspondent.

The same section (18) applies equally well to the second query. “When a fair ball is struck, and not caught flying, or upon the first bound, the first base must be vacated” as also the other bases. The players, therefore, have no authority for remaining on the bases–they “must be vacated,” and they have no right, under the circumstances of the case, to return to them; they must go forward. As we have shown above, by the rule, the players may be put out, under these circumstances, in the same manner as the striker, when running to the first base. Consequently it is quite clear that it is not requisite that the runner should be touched with the ball.

In all other cases, except where the bases are all occupied–as provided in Sec. 18–and as regards the striker in running to the first base, it is imperative that the players running the bases should be touched with a ball in the hands of an adversary, in order to be put out. Therefore, in the case pointed out by our correspondent, in his third query, the playing running to the second base is not put out unless he has been so touched. It is not sufficient, in this instance, to base the ball in advance of the runner. As regards returning to the bases, the rule expressly provides that the bases occupied by players at the time a fair ball is struck and not caught must be vacated, and even if the runner from the first to the second base were put out, the runner from the second to the third base has no right to know it–there is no turning back for him. New York Sunday Mercury June 19, 1859

Source New York Atlas
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

swift pitching, and strike outs

Date Sunday, October 9, 1859
Text

Norton pitched in his old-fashion style, putting lightning-speed on the ball, causing the striker frequently to tip, and occasionally to strike out three times. He is “pisen” [i.e. poison] to a batter not accustomed to swift balls. [“Old-fashion style” may refer to Norton’s earlier performance as a swift pitcher.]

Source New York Atlas
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tagging up

Date Saturday, September 10, 1859
Text

[Eagle vs. Pastime 9/2/1859] Furey was on the 3d base, when Barre was put out at left field by a catch on the fly–the former was running home, but returned and touched his base, and then made his run. The Eagles appealed, stating that Furey could not run until the ball had been in the hands of the pitcher; in this they were mistaken. Rule 16 says, “No ace or base can be made upon a foul ball, nor when a fair ball has been caught without having touched the ground. In the former instance” (viz, in the case of a foul ball) “the ball shall be considered dead, and not in play until it shall have been settled in the hands of the pitcher. In either case the players running the bases shall return to them.” Now, if it was requisite that in both instances the ball should be settled in the hands of the pitcher there would have been no need of alluding specially to the case of a foul ball, and therefore the inference to be drawn is unmistakable.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ten baseball players for every cricketer

Date Tuesday, May 3, 1859
Text

[reporting on the national cricket convention] Mr. Wallace, of the St. George's club, stated that there would be a cricket ground in the Central Park, but it would not be finished this year, and when finished, the base ball players would claim it. As there were ten base ball players for one cricket player, it was very doubtful as to who would get the ground, although the Commissioners were willing to favor the cricketers.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Clipper gets the rules wrong

Date Sunday, May 22, 1859
Text

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

Enclosed I send you a copy of the Rules of Base Ball, as published by the Clipper, purporting to be those of the Base Ball Association. I find, on examining them, that Sec. 13 is minus anything in regard to catching the ball on the bound, and Sec. 1 is only partially printed. What does this mean? Are they right, or are those published in the MERCURY correct? I would not trouble you in regard to this but I already have seen some who suppose by the Rules, as published by the Clipper, that a player is not put out by a ball caught on the bound; and if it is not corrected, it will lead many astray in regard to them. Will you please give some notice of this in your next paper? and oblige, A JERSEYMAN

We can assure “A Jerseyman” that the rules, as published in the MERCURY, are correct, and therefore, the publication referred to by him must be erroneous. The Rule, as accepted by the Association, was the same as that which has always been in force...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Marion Club tour

Date Sunday, July 3, 1859
Text

NYSM 7/3/1859 Marion a junior club; NYSM 10/23/1859 Marion vs. Tempest of New Haven 10/17/1859, Marion vs. Hancock of Boston 10/19/1859; PST 11/19/1859 Union of New Haven vs. Marion @ Marion 11/13/1859

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the art of pitching

Date Sunday, October 16, 1859
Text

... consists in throwing it with such force that the batman [sic] has not time to wind his bat to hit it hard, or so close to his person that he can only hit it a feeble blow, which enables one of his antagonists to get the ball before he has time to reach the first base.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the expansion of the game

Date Sunday, August 28, 1859
Text

THE INCREASING POPULARITY OF THE GAME.–It gives us great pleasure to note the increasing popularity of the game of base ball, East, West, North, and South. Not only in the principle cities, but in almost all the interior towns where the good seed has been sown, it has sprung up, and brought forth good fruit. Clubs are organized and matches are played with great frequency–and the closeness with which games are contested by the Boston, Portland, Rochester, Buffalo, Lockport, Louisville, and Chicago clubs (as reported in our columns from time to time) in convincing proof of the interest which is realized by their respective players.

It has been our aim and desire–and we have taken extraordinary pains, by the dissemination of the Rules of the Game throughout the country–to cultivate a taste among the young and old (for both can profit by it) for the game of Base Ball, which we consider and once the most pleasing and attractive of all the sports of the field. The proof of this is the great success which has crowned our efforts. It is a game which all can easily understand and acquire; it does not occupy much time; it is free from dissipation of any kind; and the effects are most wholesome. Therefore, it is popular; and it shall ever be the aim of the Mercury to foster and enhance its rapid growth in the affections of the people throughout the land. We took hold of base ball in its infancy, when there were but two or three clubs in existence, and we shall yet see the day when they will number as many thousands.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the first victory of the season by a New York over a Brooklyn club

Date Sunday, September 4, 1859
Text

[Eagle vs. Pastime 9/2/1859] ...a match was played between the Eagle Club of New York and the Pastime Club, of Brooklyn, at the Elysian Fields, Hoboken, which resulted for the first time this season in a conquest for New York. Hie de doodle do! ... It was a great day for Hoboken–Friday last; and never was a club more courteously treated and well beloved by their conquerors, than was the Pastime. The Eagle folks could have hugged them to death for joy; and when all was over, they celebrated their victory in a very joyful manner. New York “ain’t dead yet!

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the hidden ball trick

Date Sunday, October 23, 1859
Text

[Stars vs. Atlantics 10/18/1859] Flannelly, the first striker, was put out on second base by a dodge on the part of Oliver [the Atlantics’ second baseman], who made a feint to throw the ball, and had it hid under his arm, by which he caught Flannelly–an operation, however, which we do not much admire.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher covering first base

Date Sunday, July 3, 1859
Text

[Knickerbocker vs. Excelsior 6/30/1859, Excelsiors at bat] The ball struck by [Russell] was fielded by Stephens (first base man) while McLaughlin (pitcher) [parenthetical additions in the original] ran to and covered the first base in time to receive the ball, and to head off Russell.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reason for no official championship

Date Sunday, September 25, 1859
Text

[a correspondent suggests a formal championship ball] A suggestion similar to the above was advanced at the last meeting of the National Association, but it was received with no favor, and for the reason that it was doubted whether the plan proposed would add anything of interest to base ball. Matches, except with the club holding the champion ball, would sink into insignificance, and the popularity of the game would therefore decline.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the trophy ball is a symbolic prize; the price of a baseball

Date Sunday, July 24, 1859
Text

[from Correspondence] A club challenges another to play a match, and furnishes the ball, as is usual and customary. The challenging club wins the match. Ought not the vanquished club furnish the winning club with a ball, as a trophy of victory?

[Answer:] We should say not. The strife in a game is not for a ball, as a piece of property. Mr. Van Horn, of second avenue, will furnish the best kind of balls for a dollar and a quarter each; and if a ball were the only aim of contestants, it would be cheaper to buy them than to play for them. The aim is victory, and the evidence thereof is the ball used on the occasion; and as a trophy of victory, it possesses a value greater than a brand new ten shilling ball. The challenging club, having won the game, is in possession of the trophy ball, and that is all they should desire.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tie goes to the ball

Date Sunday, October 16, 1859
Text

It is the universal practice with umpires, in all cases which admit of a doubt, to give the ball the benefit of the doubt, by deciding in its favor [i.e. calling the runner out].

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

time of commencing play

Date Sunday, September 18, 1859
Text

The days are now getting so short, that all matches should begin as early as half-past 2 o’clock in order to insure their completion before dark. This is generally the case with all the matches announced in this week’s Mercury.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Use of 'ace' for home run?

Date Monday, April 18, 1859
Text

[Neosho vs. Wyandank 4/16/1859] Martin Bennett and James McKnight each made an ace on the fifth inning. Brooklyn Eagle April 18, 1859 [The final score was 49-11.]

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

what determines the length of a game

Date Sunday, August 21, 1859
Text

The duration of a game depends equally upon the pitching, batting, and fielding. If the balls pitched are such as the batter will not refuse, the play is, of course, quicker and more lively; and if the balls struck should partake, generally, of a lofty character, they will be likely to be caught, and thus help to hurry a conclusion; but if fifty or sixty balls are pitched on each side to an inning (as we have frequently seen done), and the batting is of a style known as “long grounders,” the game must necessarily be a long one...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

wild pitching to delay the game

Date Saturday, September 24, 1859
Text

[Independent vs. Monument 9/9/1859] All this innings [the seventh] the pitcher of the Monument pitched over the striker4, and also delayed the innings by not catching the ball from the catcher. The pitcher insisted on closing the game, saying it was too dark, which was not so, as the fielder had not found any fault. If fair balls had been pitched the innings might have been finished and the Monuments won the game fairly. [The score reverted to the end of the sixth, Monuments winning 14-11]

Source Wilkes Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger