Clippings:1860

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Clippings in 1860

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Clippings in 1860 (103 entries)

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third nines game

Date Wednesday, August 1, 1860
Text

Excelsior vs. Atlantic—The third nines of these Clubs had a match together on the Excelsior's grounds yesterday, which proved to be quite a closely contested affair, the scores being 25 to 34, the Atlantics being in the minority. Both parties being short handed, recruited their nines from the ranks of the “muffins,” the latter players acquitting themselves with credit in many instances.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitchouts

Date 1860
Text

We would suggest to the Catcher the avoidance of the boyish practice [of] passing the ball to and from the pitcher when a player is on the first base...a feature of the game that is a tiresome one.

Source Beadle's Dime Base Ball Book
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Eckford Club Invitation Ball

Date Saturday, February 4, 1860
Text

This exceedingly agreeable social re-union took place at the Odeon, Brooklyn, E.D., on Tuesday evening, January 24th, and proved to be as fully successful, in every respect, as we anticipated. The large assembly room was crowded with the members of the various base ball clubs and their friends, an unusually large number of ladies gracing the festive occasion with their ever-welcome presence. The room was tastefully decorated with the flags of the prominent ball clubs of New York and Brooklyn, conspicuous among which was the handsome banner of the Excelsior club. On the walls were hung several photographic groups of ball players, among which we noticed the excellent ones, taken by Williamson, of the Atlantic and Pastimes clubs of Brooklyn. A large glass case contained the trophies of the Eckford club, in the for of twenty five gilt balls, among which one from the Atlantic club was noticeable for its rarity. It was a cheering sight to the advocates of out-door sports and exercises to see the ruddy and healthy countenances of the ball players,. And to observe their manly and handsome appearance; in this latter respect, among those of the delegates from other clubs present, we are free to confess that we are inclined to award the palm to those from the Atlantic club. We shall not name the individual whom we deemed the best looking of the party, because it would be likely to place him all of a twitter, besides there are many who are inclined to give him a secondary position. Prominent among those in whose charge the arrangements were placed, we noticed Messrs. Pidgeon, Grum, Manolt, Brown, Cohen, &c., and their management of the details reflects great credit upon them, for assuredly the whole affair was a complete success. These social gatherings lead to many capital “home-and-home” matches, and therefore we trust to see many more of them ere the close of the winter ball season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Knickerbocker club chartered

Date Sunday, February 5, 1860
Text

We notice in the proceedings of the State Legislature at Albany, that the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of this city has been chartered [i.e. incorporated]. The object of this, we believe, is to enable them to secure from the Central Park Commissioners jurisdiction over the ground to be allotted for base ball players.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shortage of playing fields

Date Sunday, March 4, 1860
Text

MORE PLAYGROUNDS WANTED.–We have often wondered why the owners of unproductive property up-town, lying contiguous to the railroads on the east and west side of the city, did not seize upon the idea of converting their lands into grounds for the use of base ball clubs, and thus, without in the slightest degree depreciating the value of their property, realize a rental sufficient to pay handsomely for the investment necessary to improve the ground, besides liquidating the heavy taxes which are now eating up the property. There is a great demand for suitable and convenient playgrounds. Many more ball clubs would be organized in this city if these conveniences were afforded them. With the exception of the Red House ground, at Harlem, and the grounds occupied by the Harlem and Baltic Clubs, there are no good fields for ball exercise at present accessible on this island, and twenty good places would be in active demand. Many of our clubs now have to practice at Hoboken; some are compelled to go to Brooklyn or Greenpoint to play; and the inconvenience of getting to and from these places renders the attendance of ball-players on practice days much more limited than it would be.

A correspondent throws out some hints to railroad companies, upon this subject, which are worthy of attention:

“NEW YORK, Feb. 29th, 1860

“To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

“I am a constant reader of your excellent paper, and consequently, am aware that you will do anything in your power to advance our national game of base ball. I am a member of the Metropolitan Club, of this city, and although unknown to fame as a player, yet I take as lively an interest in the game as the best of them; and, this being the case, I am induced to write a few lines to you with regard to certain difficulties we have to encounter in New York, hoping to have an expression of your opinion on the subject.

“I firmly believe, Messrs. Editors, that the superiority of the Long Island Clubs over those of New York is because they have better facilities for practicing on playing grounds contiguous to their homes and convenient of success. The contrary is the case with us who reside in New York. If we go to Hoboken to play, we have got to start early to get there (and that is impossible with a good many); and then it occupies an hour or two to get home, after getting pretty well tuckered out by playing. The same may be said of Harlem, Yorkville, and Hamilton Square, particularly for those individuals who reside on the North River side of town; consequently, men who would like to play, and who would make good players, keep away. The New York clubs are sadly in want of a good ground to play on contiguous to the Sixth, Eighth, and Ninth Avenue Railroads. Hamilton Square is a miserable ground to play on, and yet it is the only one near enough for the man who has to work or tend to business till 3 o’clock.

“I have made some considerable inquiry of those who are pecuniarily interested in having the clubs play on Central Park (and they would be likely to know) what the prospects are for us getting the ground there; but the nearest I can come to it is, that we must take our chance among the rest. First come, first served, is good where ib belongs, but it won’t do for organized clubs.

“Now, what are we to do? There are hundreds of men that would play ball if they could get into a car at [illegible] o’clock, reach the playground in half an hour, and, when through playing, get into a car and ride within a stone’s throw of home.

“Why cannot the Common Council grant us Crystal Palace Square for a playground? It would do for three clubs, and, at present, it is good for nothing else. Wouldn’t it p ay the Sixth Avenue Railroad, as well as skating now does? There is the Beckman property, at Fifty-eighth, Fifth-ninth, Sixtieth and Sixty-first streets, between Second and Third avenues, with room enough for nine clubs. Don’t you think it would pay the Second and Third Avenue Railroads to rent it and make a playground of it? I think sop; but perhaps my judgment is at fault.

“I would be much pleased to have your views on this matter. Give us good ground to play on, and I am vain enough to think that we will be soon ble to play as well as our neighbors on Long Island.

“Begging your pardon for thus intruding upon your valuable time, I remain. Yours, respectfully,

“J.C.W.”

We hope this matter will arrest the attention of some men of enterprise, and stir up the railroad companies to action. Every base ball match of an interesting character–and there are many such–attracts hundreds of spectators, and in some cases thousands. Would it not be worth while for the Second, Third, Sixth and Eighth Avenue Railroads to pocket the fivepences which would fall to their lot during the season of out-door sports?

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

country play in California

Date Sunday, April 1, 1860
Text

The play was at first in favor of the San Francisco Club, when in the third or fourth inning the Red Rover boys imagining that their opponents’ pitcher was not doing the fair thing by them, objected to him. The ground of their objections, as stated to the umpire, was that he pitched too swift, and put too much of a twist on the ball. This they contended was underhand bowling, and not pitching. They finally succeeded in talking another pitcher in for that innings, the result of which was, that they made, before being put out, thirteen runs on the new pitcher.

...

I had watched the pitcher for the last three innings, and consider him as fair a pitcher as ever took ball in hand. His motion in delivery, the speed and twist of the ball, form an exact counterpart to the pitching of P.B. Kelly, of the Putnam Club.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

origin of the trophy ball

Date Sunday, April 15, 1860
Text

By the way, speaking of the matter of a prize ball, it may not be generally known to our readers that the custom originated with the Union Club of Morrisania, under the presidency of Thomas E. Sutton, in the fall of 1855. The first ball received as a prize was received by the Union Club of Morrisania from the Young America Club; and the example so set has since been universally adopted. [The game was played October 25, won by the Unions 25-8.] [from a letter by “M.E.G.”, Mr. Gelston, formerly of the Eagle BBC of NY, then Eagle BBC of San Francisco at time of writing]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball vs cricket

Date Saturday, April 28, 1860
Text

Every Base Ball player of any note among his confreres, is already fitted to the measure of an excellent cricketer as far as fielding goes, or would be so after a few weeks practice in the leading points of the game; but he is lacking in a practical knowledge of two essential elements of cricket, batting and bowling. Place him on an equal footing in these latter respects, and our word for it, he will not be found inferior to any cricketer in any other. The same cannot be said of a cricketer in reference to Base Ball, for the reason that there are certain qualifications required in one who would excel in Base Ball, that are not absolutely necessary, though of course desirable, in him who aims at excellence in cricket–one of these qualifications being the ability to throw a ball far and quickly, which every first-nine player of a Base Ball club should be able to do well. In cricket, a good thrower is only required in two or three positions out of the eleven on the field. Suffice it to say, however, that a Base Ball player who has never practiced cricket, is better fitted to take a position in an eleven at that game, than a cricketer, who has never practised base Ball, is suited to take the place of a player in the nine of a ball club. ... Many a person who is physically incapacitated to excel as a Base Ball player, will make a very creditable cricketer, and for the reason that he need but be proficient in one of the elements of cricket, viz.: batting, bowling, and fielding, to be a desirable member of an eleven; that is, provided he is not very deficient in his ability to field; whereas, in base ball, any marked inferiority in any one of the qualifications of a first-rate player, will lead to his exclusion from the best nine of a club.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a new style of base

Date Sunday, April 29, 1860
Text

Mr. Chichester, of the Putnam Club of Brooklyn, has manufactured an improved base, which will no doubt soon entirely supersede the old style of base-bags. In the improvement, an iron circle is fastened to one side of the base, and a screw with a nut-head is inserted into the base-post; the base is placed on it, and the head of the screw enters the iron circle on the base, similarly as a key into a lock. The base revolves on this centre, but never moves away from it, and it is easily taken up at the close of the game by turning it round once. No straps are required, and the new base can be put down and taken up “in a little less than no time.” The Putnam, Eagle, and Knickerbocker Clubs have adopted the use of Mr. Chichester’s bases. Those who wish to examine them may do so at the manufacturer’s office...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Creighton joins the Excelsiors

Date Monday, April 30, 1860
Text

The addition of Creighton and Flanly, late of the Star Club, will give the Excelsior Club an almost invincible strength, and perhaps make them “more victorious than ever.

Source ” Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spreading the word

Date Sunday, May 6, 1860
Text

We learn from the Baltimore Sun, that Mr. James W. Davis, of the Knickerbocker Club, of this city, took place in a recent practice-game of the Excelsior, of Baltimore. The reporter says: “As a pitcher and catcher, he exhibited consummate skill. He was, however, unfortunate in batting, and was caught out on the first ball on each of the innings.

Source ” New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

points of rules for Philadelphia clubs

Date Sunday, May 13, 1860
Text

It appears that some base ball clubs of recent formation, in other cities, do not play strictly in accordance with the Rules of the Game. We notice that a New York player, in a card published in a Philadelphia paper...calls attention to the fact as follows:

[much of what follows is illegible]... the players in this city have the foolish habit of running with the ball and striking the bases. Now there is not a single line in the rules that says anything about striking the bases with the ball. ... I have seen players refuse to run, when a fair ball has been struck, for fear of being put out, when, according to the rules of the game, they may be out anyhow. And there is another thing not set down in the rules; that if a player gets put out, and it comes to his turn to strike again, he must strike the same as if he was not out, and if he gets put out the second time, it counts two hands out, and so with the third time. ... The rules of the game are so plain and simple, that we cannot well conceive how they can be misunderstood. In new organizations, the Rules should be read, commented upon, and explained at the regular or special meetings of the club; and then every one would understand them.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early complaint about no facilities for reporters

Date Friday, May 18, 1860
Text

[Charter Oak vs. Excelior 5/17/1860] Owing to there being no accommodations for reporters, we could obtain no list of names—and were only successful in getting the synopsis of the each innings, which we append...

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball resort in East New York

Date Saturday, May 19, 1860
Text

The enterprising proprietor of the Howard Hotel, at East New York, is about preparing a Base Ball ground adjoining his hotel, for the use of those clubs who desire a neutral ground in home and home matches. The ground will be laid out by the 1st of June at the farthest, and the bases, bats, and balls will be found at the hotel in readiness for the use of such clubs as may play matches on the ground. Dressing rooms have been prepared and seats will be provided, so that ample accommodations will be afforded for the lady friends of the contesting parties who may occupy the ground. As it will be entirely for match games only, either club against club, or sides chosen by parties who come out to play a match, we have no doubt but what before the season is over it will become a general resort for ball players. It is unquestionably a fine locality for a ball ground, and one that will afford a good opportunity for spectators, as 10,000 persons could easily witness a contest on it. New York Clipper May 19, 1860

Col. Reid, of the Howard House, East New York, has, at considerable expense, laid out a fine base ball ground adjoining his Hotel, where ball clubs can at any time engage in a game by giving him a few hours notice. Chichester’s bases are the ones used, and bats and balls are at hand in readiness for the gratuitous use of any club or association that require them to play a match with. There will be a grand opening day’s play on these grounds on the 4th of July, when both cricketers and ball players can enjoy their respective games, as the cricket and ball grounds are apart, there being plenty of room for both. Indeed, five or six club could play matches the same day on these expansive premises. The ball ground is especially adapted for a neutral arena, when such is required for third games in home and home contests. ... We commend these facilities for base ball matches to all parties who desire a good ground for a game. The liberality of Col. Reid is commendable, in granting the use of grounds and materials free of expense. New York Clipper June 30, 1860

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Creighton’s delivery

Date Sunday, May 20, 1860
Text

The Excelsiors lost more hands by tips than their opponents, notwithstanding the swiftness of Creighton’s pitching, and the twist which he is known to [illegible] to the ball. The pitcher of the Charter Oak side [Shields] delivers the ball with his left hand, and also with great force and precision, though apparently requiring much greater exertion on his part than on the part of Creighton, whose easy action and motion was the subject of general remark.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

accommodations for reporters

Date Sunday, May 20, 1860
Text

We would suggest to clubs, upon whose grounds matches are played during the season, the propriety of providing a small table and a few chairs for the accommodation of the press. We have frequently found all the best places for seeing a match monopolized by members of the playing club, while we have been compelled to do our reporting on the back of some kindly-disposed gentleman on the outside circle. The Eckfords, Excelsior, and a few other clubs we might name, manage business better; and all ought to follow their example. New York Sunday Mercury May 20, 1860

[Excelsior vs. Charter Oak 5/17/1860] We are obliged to confine our remarks on the play of the game and our reference to particular details almost entirely to the first innings, for afterwards the crowd encroached so much on the ground occupied by the scorers that we were unable to see the game, except by occasional glances. The accommodations for the press were very meager and insufficient, and we missed the efficient services of Captain Shaurman, who usually has charge of the ground on these occasions. New York Clipper May 26, 1860

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

carpets laid out for players

Date Saturday, May 26, 1860
Text

[Excelsior vs. Charter Oak 5/17/1860] The carpets, laid down for the occupancy of the players only, were monopolized by outsiders...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a steal of home 2

Date Saturday, May 26, 1860
Text

[Excelsior vs. Charter Oak 5/17/1860] Vanderhoef commenced his play with a fine hit to centre field, reaching the third base thereby, and made first run for the Charter Oaks by stealing home when Leggett and Creighton were off their guard.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

off-season recruitment 2

Date Saturday, May 26, 1860
Text

Since the close of last season, both clubs have been fortunate in recruiting A 1 players. The Charter Oak Club gaining Murphy and Shields, formerly of the Niagara, and J. Patchen, and S. Patchen, from the Star Club. The Excelsiors have added Creighton and Flanly, last season of the Stars, to their first nine. The Niagara, once most favorably known as a junior club, has turned out many splendid base ball players; among them, Creighton, Shields, Flanly, and Murphy.

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

hints to umpires

Date Sunday, May 27, 1860
Text

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

I beg to call your attention to the following rules, which I hope to see strictly enforced by umpires this season. Rule 5 of the laws of the game reads as follows

“Sec. 5. The pitcher’s position shall be designated by a line four yards in length, drawn at right angles to a line from the home base to the second base, having the centre upon that line, at a fixed iron plate, placed at a point fifteen yards distant from the home base. The pitcher must deliver the ball as near as possible over the centre of the home base, and for the striker.”

The rule, it thus appears, requires the ball be pitched for the striker, and not the catcher, which is so generally done when a player is on the first base. Section 6, too, reads as follows:

“The ball must be pitched, not jerked nor thrown to the bat, and whenever the pitcher draws back his hand, or moves with the apparent purpose or pretension to deliver the ball, he shall deliver it; and he must have neither foot in advance of the line at the time of delivering the ball; and if he fails in any of these particulars, then it shall be declared a baulk.

According to this, the pitcher makes a baulk when he either jerks a ball to the bat, has either foot in advance of the line of his position, or moves his hand or arm with the apparent purpose of pitching the ball without actually delivering it. Section 17 also reads as follows:

“The striker must stand on a line drawn through the centre of the home base, not exceeding in length three feet from either side thereof, and parallel with the line of the pitcher’s position.”

Umpires should especially see that this rule is abided by. The necessity of it is obvious to every one familiar with the game; and to those who are not, I will endeavor to explain the matter. I will suppose a striker to stand on the line referred to, the pitcher sends him a fine ball to hit, but one with a great twist on it; the striker hits it below the centre line of his bat, and it strikes the ground perpendicularly almost from the bat; the consequence is, a ball that is easily fielded by the pitcher [illegible] short step to first base, the pitcher thereby getting the reward for his twisting ball. Now, suppose the same kind of ball is sent by the pitcher and similarly received by the striker, as the above one, but the striker, instead of standing on the line of the base, stands one or two feet back of it, the result is, that the ball, falling as before, falls behind the base, instead of in front of it, and becomes a foul ball, instead of a fair one–and the pitcher loses the benefit of his good pitching, and twisting of the ball. Under these circumstances, I consider it the duty of the umpire to declare a ball fair, by keeping silent, when it touches the ground perpendicularly from the bat, when the striker stands back of the line of his base. He certainly should be required to keep one foot on the line. These rules should be strictly enforced. There has been too much latitude allowed altogether, in reference to theme, and I trust that umpires, this season, will pay more attention to these than they hitherto have done. H.C.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

touching the base with the ball not an out

Date Saturday, June 2, 1860
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] If a fielder on the 1st base should stop a ball from the striker, and merely reach forward and touch the base with the ball, without touching the base with his hand or some part of his person at the same time, and the striker should reach the base before the baseman did so touch the base, with the ball in hand, the striker would not be out, as the law expressly requires that the ball must be held by the base man, with some part of his person on the base at the time of holding the ball, otherwise the striker cannot be put out. In such cases, run to the base with the ball in hand, and place your foot on it. It is useless touching the base with the ball unless you at the same time touch the base with your hands.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the position of the first baseman

Date Saturday, June 2, 1860
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] The base tender can either stand on his base or not; before the ball is struck, however, he should stand back of his base towards the right field, and then run to his base to receive the ball, which, if held before the striker reaches the base, the latter is out.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the batter standing behind his line

Date Saturday, June 2, 1860
Text

[from a letter to the editor] I will suppose a striker to stand on the line referred to; the pitcher sends him a fine ball to hit, but one with a great twist on it; the striker hits it below the centre line of his bat, and it strike the ground perpendicularly almost from the bat; the consequence is, a ball is easily fisted by the pitcher or short stop to first base, the pitcher thereby getting the reward for his twisting ball. Now, suppose the same kind of ball is sent by the pitcher and similarly received by the striker, as the above one, but the striker, instead of standing on the line of the base, stands one or two feet back of it, the result is, that the ball, falling as before, falls behind the base, instead of in front of it, and it becomes a foul ball, instead of a fair one, and the pitcher loses the benefit of his good pitching and twisting of the ball. Under these circumstances I consider it the duty of the umpire to declare a ball fair, by keeping silent, when it reaches the ground perpendicularly from the bal, when the striker stands back of the line of his base. He certainly should be made to keep one foot on the line.

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

New York vs. Canada

Date Sunday, June 3, 1860
Text

On Saturday, May 19, an interesting match was played between the Mohawk Club of Schenectady and the Union Club of Upper Canada, upon the grounds of the Mohawk Club. We give the score: [Mohawk 31, Union 22]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

putting a runner out on a foul fly catch

Date Saturday, June 9, 1860
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] Do not balls caught on the fly go as foul balls as far as running the bases are concerned? ... Yes, and players can be put out the same as on running to 1st base. New York Clipper June 9, 1860 [This seems to imply that the ball need not be returned to the pitcher to be live, and the runners can tag up.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

criticizing the pitcher for allowing runners to advance

Date Saturday, June 9, 1860
Text

[Stars vs. Atlantics 5/25/1860] Oliver, while acting in the 8th innings as catcher, censured Matty for letting one of the Stars to run bases on him. New York Clipper June 9, 1860

suspending play out of respect for the dead

Out of respect to the memory of James McFaul, late a member of [the Powhatan Club], his associates have resolved to suspend play for thirty days. New York Sunday Mercury June 10, 1860

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

home club offers cheers

Date Saturday, June 16, 1860
Text

[Eckford vs. Putnam, second nines, 6/6/1860] There was one thing we were sorry to notice on the part of the Putnams, and that was a want of the friendly feeling which exists between the opposing clubs. It is customary, when the game is finished, for the Club on whose grounds it has been played, to cheer the other, but in this instance no such thing was done. Just as soon as the ninth innings was finished, the Puts picked up their bats and left, without saying a word. Was it on account of their very bad defeat?

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

the Putnam grounds

Date Sunday, June 17, 1860
Text

...the new and beautifully located ground now occupied by the Putnam Club, at East New York. The ground is an immense field, presenting a well-graded surface, and affords ample facilities for several thousand spectators to witness a game without any interference with the players. We like its appearance better than any other ball-grounds in this vicinity, and it presented a peculiarly charming aspect on this occasion–graced as it was by an unusually large number of ladies, whose attendance at base ball matches always adds to the interest and harmony of the occasion; and we were pleased to see that the Putnam Club made ample provisions for their accommodation.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fine batting

Date Sunday, June 17, 1860
Text

[Putnams vs. Eckfords, 6/13/60] Those who may glance at the score, without any knowledge of the facts in the case, and see that thirty-six runs were made on one side, and twenty-nine on the other, might suppose this large score indicative of what is called a very “soft match” for two such clubs as those which were engaged. When we state, however, that during the game, as many as twenty-two balls were struck (twelve on the Eckford side and ten on the Putnam) on which the strikers made the second base, and seven balls (four on the Eckford and three on the Putnam) which carried the strikers to the third base, and the reader will readily divine the mystery of the matter. The style of batting was also very fine. Most of the balls which were raised were very long-winded ones, while the great majority were very swift line-balls or grounders, calculated to a nicety to avoid the positions of the fielders. We have seen as good batting, in spots; but we never saw so much of it in one match.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of the word “steal”

Date Sunday, June 17, 1860
Text

[Putnams vs. Eckfords, 6/13/60] McKinstry [of the Putnams] “made a steal” from the third base to home, in the second inning, in consequence of [Eckford pitcher] Grum paying more attention to the field than to the base.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting “in the hands of the pitcher”

Date Sunday, June 17, 1860
Text

[Putnams vs. Eckfords, 6/13/60] ...Gillespie [of the Putnams] got a run in from the third to the home base, in the sixth inning, for which “Johnny” [Grum, Eckford pitcher] was slightly to blame. A foul-ball was struck by Wanzer, and both Beach [Eckford catcher] and Grum were eager to catch it, some distance to the left rear of the home base. Before either got to their places, Grum received the ball from Beach, which put the ball in play, and Gillespie seized the opportunity, when the base was completely unguarded, to complete his run. About this point in the game there is a difference of opinion–some contending that the rule providing that a foul-ball “must be settled in the hands of the pitcher” before it is in play, contemplates that the pitcher must be in his right position, and that, therefore, the ball is not in play until the pitcher takes his position. We have not room to argue this question. Custom interprets the rule as it was illustrated, last Wednesday, when the umpire [A. J. Bixby of the Eagle Club] made no objection to Gillespie’s run.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an over-excited crowd

Date Sunday, June 17, 1860
Text

[Putnams vs. Eckfords, 6/13/60] We have never witnessed more excitement at a match, and we were fearful, at one time, that it would lead to very unpleasant consequences. A strong feeling of antagonism seemed to exist among the more turbulent masses against the Putnam Club; and when the Eckford side succeeded in overcoming the majority of their opponents, the noisy brawlers indulged in an excess of enthusiasm and in insulting jeers, at the expense of the Putnam Club, which were highly disgraceful. We hope that such exhibitions of ill-humor will not occur again. Those individuals who travel after and “holler” for a club, should bear in mind, that indecorous behavior on their part reflects upon those for whom they profess most friendship. It is the exhibition of good feeling which gives the greatest charm to a base ball match; and the delight attendant upon success may be expressed with the greatest heartiness, without wounding the feelings and insulting the pride of an opposite party.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a suggestion of a proto-pitch out

Date Saturday, June 23, 1860
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] Is it allowable for the pitcher to deliver a ball (over the base) directly to the catcher, and too high for the batsman, for the purpose, for instance, that the catcher should send the ball to the second or any other base, to anticipate a runner? ... The duty of the pitcher is to deliver the ball as near as possible over the home base and for the striker.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

prematurely making a foul ball live

Date Saturday, June 23, 1860
Text

[Putnam vs. Eckford 6/13/1860] Gillespie marked his play by making a good point on Grum. The latter ran to assist Beach in catching a foul ball, which Beach missed, picked up the ball, he being the pitcher, seeing which, Gillespie, who was on the 3d base, ran home, Grum being too far off to get to him in time.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

can a batter put out bat again in the inning?

Date Saturday, June 30, 1860
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents, from a Philadelphia correspondent] 1. In playing Base Ball, A has the bat and strikes a foul ball, the ball is caught and he is put out, has he a right to strike again? 2. If the striker hits a ball fairly, and the ball is held by an adversary on the 1 st base before the striker reaches it, has he a right to strike again that innings? 1. If he be the third striker out he of course cannot strike again, but if his turn comes round again before three hands are put out he strikes a second, and even a third time, and so on until the third hand is out. This rule hold good in cases both of fair and foul balls.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advice to umpires about seeking help from players

Date Sunday, July 1, 1860
Text

[Eagle vs. Union of Morrissania 6/26/1860] We think, however, Mr. Liscomb [the umpire] made a mistake in questioning the players, in the second inning, when judgment was asked for, in regard to Mr. Pinckney at the third base. He should have decided promptly, in accordance with his first impression. Pondering adverse answers from two parties, both believing they were right, and deciding, as he had to, in favor of one, was a rather unpleasant reflection upon the veracity of the other. It is not necessary for the umpire to ask any questions; it is his judgment which is appealed to.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

swift pitching 2

Date Sunday, July 1, 1860
Text

[Manhattan vs. Charter Oak 6/29/1860] Better pitching is seldom seen in a game of ball than that exhibited by Shields, of the Charter Oaks and Jackson and Dunphy of the Manhattans. There were none of those slow, easy balls, that enables even an ordinary batter to send sky-rockets over the fielders’ heads, but every ball was delivered swiftly and with vigor.

Source New York Atlas
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Creighton’s pitching; and a pick off

Date Saturday, July 7, 1860
Text

[Excelsior vs. Star 6/28/1860] Tracy then took the bat, but tipped out on the fly, and Manly struck out, the pitching of Creighton being extremely swift and accurate. J. Morris also struck a high foul ball, which Leggett held, and that closed the Star’s 1st innings. ... Their 3d innings resulted similarly, tips, fouls, and three strikes, being the order of the play against Creighton’s pitching. In their 4th innings, T. Morris hit a good ball to left field, and made his 1st base, but was caught napping there by Creighton and Pearsall [first baseman], who play into each others hands in style in their positions.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early muffin match

Date Saturday, July 7, 1860
Text

There are a class of ball players connected with our leading clubs in this country, who are known among the initiated as the “Muffins,” their peculiar style of play being decidedly of the muffy order. As a general thing they are excluded from play in any regular matches, but every now and then there are instances of very good play shown by the muffins, and where such occur those guilty of such un-muffin like conduct are excluded from the ranks, and placed in 3d and 2d nines, according to the skill they have shown. On the 25th ult., two muffin nines of the [Excelsior and Putnam] clubs had a match together...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an intercollegiate challenged foiled by rules disagreement

Date Saturday, July 7, 1860
Text

A selection of a “Union nine,” picked from all the clubs in the institution [Union College, Schenectady] was made a week since, and a challenge immediately forwarded to Williams College, but the differences in the New York and Massachusetts games prevented an acceptance.

Source Wilkes Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

harmonizing rules

Date Saturday, July 7, 1860
Text

[Kalamazoo vs. Schoolcraft 6/16/1860] The difference between the rules of the two clubs was harmonized by yielding to Schoolcraft 10 feet in pitching the ball, and 20 tallies on the game–making the game 30 tallies instead of 50–best two in three. There were other differences, which were yielded to Schoolcraft. [Schoolcraft won two of three games] Wilkes Spirit of the Times July 7, 1860

a fly game between minor clubs

The America and Twilight of South Brooklyn, played a fly game on Saturday, July 7th... Brooklyn Eagle July 9, 1860

Source Wilkes Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suppressing outside talk

Date Saturday, July 14, 1860
Text

[Putnam vs. Atlantic 6/29/1860] As the game progressed towards a termination, and the result became a matter of doubt as to which would prove victorious, the usual excitement began to be evinced on the part of those pecuniarily interested in the game, and occasionally some outside comments on a misplay, or a decision of the Umpire, would be made, and doubtless would have led to others of a like character, until a similar scene had occurred to that which marked the Eckford and Putnam match. But as the most friendly feelings prevail between the Putnam and the “Champions,” both parties at once interfered and suppressed all outside talk, by simply requesting the spectators to cease, which they at once did, the crowd present being a pretty orderly one.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an accidental bunt declared a “no hit”

Date Saturday, July 14, 1860
Text

[Putnam vs. Atlantic 6/29/1860] Brown was at the bat, and Price pitched him a low ball, which, in bringing his bat down, Brown hit with the bat in a similar manner to that in which a cricketer blocks a straight ball; judgment was asked, and as the Umpire deemed it an accident, I was decided “no hit,” but we think it should have been considered fair, for the reason, that had a player been on the first base at the time, he could easily have made his second base before the pitcher could have fielded it, and the decision may lead to similar accidents on other occasions when play would have a more important bearing on the game. If, in the act of striking, the ball be hit forward of the home base, however light the touch, it ought to be considered a fair ball, otherwise accidents similar to the above will be of frequent occurrence.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pernicious effects of betting, and rumors of thrown games

Date Sunday, July 15, 1860
Text

BETTING ON MATCHES.–We feel it is our duty to raise our voice against the practice of betting at base ball matches, which seems to be countenanced by certain of our clubs. A match was played one day last week, at which the reprehensible practice was indulged in to a most offensive degree. Offers of bets were freely made and taken, and even the corers were not free from the contagion. We are also told that some oft he players had large amounts of money staked on the results; and this, in open and flagrant violation of the rules of the game, which all clubs of respectability are bound in honor to uphold and maintain.

We sincerely hope that we shall never witness a repetition of such a scene at a match as we have here briefly hinted at. The game of base ball has always been free from the pernicious influences of gambling. Its advocates and admirers have ever frowned down all attempts that have been made to convert matches into mere gambling operations; and we hope that they will ever do so. We have heard, on one or two occasions, rumors that certain parties had sold this and that match–meaning that they were rewarded to play badly–and so contribute to the defeat of their side–by those who had staked a large sum on the issue. We have never given credence to these rumors of base ball jockeying; for, believing that all our clubs are controlled at least by gentlemen of respectability and honor, they would not permit parties against whom such a suspicion could be raised to remain among them. We desire to maintain this favorable impression; and we believe that it is highly essential to the present standing and future progress of the game, that any disposition that may be evidenced at matches to bet on the game, should be nipped in the bud. At least, let the members of base ball clubs be the last to indulge in such practices; and it remains with the older clubs to show a worthy example.

We are glad to see that the Eagle Club has taken a stand in reference to the matter we refer to above, that reflects credit upon its officers and members. In our advertising columns will be found a resolution, unanimously adopted by the club, in favor hereafter of strictly enforcing the rule of the National Association to which we have directed attention, and which reads as follows:

“SEC. 30. No person engaged in a match, whether as umpire, scorer, or player, shall be, either directly or indirectly, interested in any bet upon the game. Neither umpire, scorer, nor player, shall be changed during a match, unless with the consent of both parties (except for a violation of this law), except as provided in Section 37, and then the umpire may dismiss any transgressor.”

While on this subject, we may state that there is another rule which is very frequently totally disregarded; and in reforming one, let us reform the other delinquency also. The rule reads as follows:

“SEC. 33. No person shall be permitted to approach or speak with the umpire, scorer, or players, or in any manner to interrupt or interfere during the progress of the game, unless by special request of the umpire.”

Let us have all the rules enforced, and everything will go harmoniously and well.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

short throw to the short stop breaking up a double steal with a “point”

Date Tuesday, July 17, 1860
Text

[Eagle vs. Gotham 7/10/1860] A beautiful display of fielding was shown by the Gothams in one instance. Commerford was on first base, and Schwab on the third. The Eagles had two hands out, and as Commerford was running to the 2d base, Cohen, catcher of the Gothams, instead of throwing the ball to 2d base as is customary, threw it to short, who threw it home to Cohen, who put out Schwab as he was making his home base, thus closing the inning for the Eagles... Porter's Spirit of the Times July 17, 1860

[Eagle vs. Gotham 7/10/1860] Schwab got to his third base, when he was nicely caught napping by an old “point” of the Gothams. Commerford had made his first base, and ran for his second, when Cohen threw the ball to the 2d base apparently, seeing which Schwab ran for home, but Cohen had placed short field just where he wanted him, and the ball was stopped by short and thrown back to Cohen before Schwab could get home, the play eliciting considerable laughter and applause. New York Clipper July 21, 1860

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

simultaneous first and second nine games

Date Tuesday, July 17, 1860
Text

[Gotham vs. Eagle 7/10/1860] While the above [first nines ]game was being played, the second nines of the respective clubs were having a match on the adjacent grounds.

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

the path from the pitcher to home

Date Saturday, July 21, 1860
Text

...it is requisite that the turf be removed from the pitcher’s base to the position occupied by the catcher, a space six feet wide or more being usually cleared for the purpose, in order to give the ball a fair opportunity to rebound behind the striker.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spectators from far-flung places

Date Sunday, July 22, 1860
Text

[Excelsior-Atlantic match of 7/19/1860] Hundreds of base-ball players from all parts of the adjacent country came to witness this match; Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Newburg, Albany, Troy, Rochester, and Buffalo were more or less largely represented on the occasion...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

building the Excelsior nine

Date Sunday, July 22, 1860
Text

...The long continued success of the Atlantic Club has been a thorn in the side of the other first class Brooklyn clubs for a long period, and repeated efforts have been made to wrest the championship from them for several years, but without success. The Excelsior Club have been for a year or two in preparation, to contend with the Atlantics, skimming the cream of the players from other clubs, one of which, the “Stars,” was nearly broken up by the desertion of several of its best players to the Excelsiors. Malicious rumors were circulated that these men were induced to join the Excelsior Club for a “consideration,” but such reports, of course, could only arise from the envy and jealousy of unsuccessful rivals, and are not worthy of the least credit. All that is known is, that Creighton and others chose to join their fortunes with the Excelsior Club, which they had a perfect right to do, without subjecting themselves to unfavorable comments.

...

In order to be fully prepared for the Atlantics, they now took the precaution to start their nine on a tramp from one end of the State to the other, playing for the sake of practicing their nine, nearly all the clubs from New York to Buffalo, and of course winning easily every game. New York Atlas July 22, 1860

praise for Creighton’s pitching

[Atlantic vs. Excelsior 7/19/1860] ...to Creighton, the pitcher, must be awarded the highest praise, his pitching being the theme of universal commendation both for its swiftness and regularity. He has earned the reputation of the most effective pitcher in this region. Porter's Spirit of the Times July 24, 1860

Source New York Atlas
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a question from a country club about fly balls

Date Sunday, July 29, 1860
Text

WHEN A FLY BALL CEASES TO BE A FLY BALL

–We have received the following communication, asking for a little light on a not very dark subject:

ST. LOUIS, July 21, 1860

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury.

Pardon my intrusion upon your columns in relation to that vexed Art. 16, of the Base Ball Rules. A difference of opinion has arisen here, which we wish settled at the fountain head of ball playing.

In case of a foul ball, a man must touch his base after the ball is in the hands of the pitcher. Why is not this just as applicable to a fair ball caught on the fly? I contend that it is, for the very reason that a fair ball caught on the fly remains a “fly ball” until it is settled in the hands of the pitcher; and that part of Art. 16 which refers to parties running the bases, says: “No ace nor base can be made,” etc., and if no base can be made, he can no more take six inches than he can thirty yards. Mr. Bendle [?] says: “After returning to the base, a man can immediately endeavor to make the next,” etc.,; but I differ with him on that point, and contend that he cannot leave the base until it ceases to be a “fly ball,” and he therefore must touch his base after the ball is in the hands of the pitcher. Will you be so kind as to give us your opinion in your next issue, and much oblige us Western ball players.

Yours respectfully, “NATIVE.”

Our correspondent, “Native,” errs in supposing that it is imperative for a player running the bases on a foul ball, to touch the base after the ball is in the hands of the pitcher. It is his duty to return and touch the base; and, until the ball is settled in the hands of the pitcher, he cannot be put out in returning. The intention of the rule is, that the player cannot run upon a foul ball. As soon as the ball is placed in the hands of the pitcher, however, he can start as soon as he likes.

In the case of a ball caught on the fly, it is imperative that a player should return to the base he may have run from; but it is not, according to the rules, necessary for him to remain on that base till the ball is placed in the hands of the pitcher, for the ball remains in play, and the runner is able to be put out in returning to his base, without regard to the pitcher. If a ball taken on the fly is badly thrown to the base to which the players is returning, he is fully entitled to make as many bases as he can on the misplay, after touching that base. It is by no means necessary for him to hug the base till the pitcher gets hold of the ball.

A fair ball ceases to be a fly ball when it is caught. A foul ball only ceases to be a foul ball when it is in the hands of the pitcher. This is the popular understanding of the rule, and we think it is correct.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

third nines game 2

Date Wednesday, August 1, 1860
Text

Excelsior vs. Atlantic—The third nines of these Clubs had a match together on the Excelsior's grounds yesterday, which proved to be quite a closely contested affair, the scores being 25 to 34, the Atlantics being in the minority. Both parties being short handed, recruited their nines from the ranks of the “muffins,” the latter players acquitting themselves with credit in many instances.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball dropped on the fly, caught on the bound

Date Sunday, August 5, 1860
Text

...Pearsall picked up a foul ball on the bound, from Stimson’s bat, which Creighton dropped in his effort to take it on the fly.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

smoking while at bat

Date Sunday, August 5, 1860
Text

Holder, who was indulging in the pleasure of the weed, while at the bat, struck out.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

holding a runner on base

Date Sunday, August 5, 1860
Text

...Brown got to the first base. Here Creighton [the pitcher] and Pearsall [the first baseman] put him through a sharp course of sprouts [sic], and a miss by Pearsall enabled him to make the second base, where Brown was again severely exercised; and he finally got home on Dakin’s strike...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

status of baseball clubs in Baltimore

Date Sunday, August 5, 1860
Text

We have very good reports of the spirit evidenced by the ball players of Baltimore. The Excelsior club has set a very good example to insure punctual attendance of its members on field days. As soon as any member becomes inattentive, or misses two regular play-days, without a good and sufficient excuse for his absence, his name is dropped from the roll; and applications for membership are so numerous that the club is always full. Several of the best cricketers in Baltimore have recently joined the Excelsiors.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two Gotham Jr. clubs

Date Sunday, August 5, 1860
Text

There are two Gotham, Jr., clubs in existence. But we do not know which is which. There seems to be a great scarcity of names among the ball clubs, or each would have a distinct name of its own.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

country clubs using “associate umpires”

Date Tuesday, August 7, 1860
Text

[preparations for the Fair of the Cayuga County Agricultural and Horticultural Society] “The game to be played... in every particular according to the rules and regulations of the Game of Base Ball, adopted by the National Association of Base Ball Players, held in New York March 14, 1860, laid down in Beadle's Dime Base Ball Player.

Umpire—Charles D. Cook

Each club entering for competition, to choose an associate umpire.

Auburn (NY) Weekly Union August 7, 1860

dislodging the ball from the baseman

[Excelsior vs. Atlantic 8/9/1860] [Whiting] then ran to the third, where Pierce threw the ball to Peter [O’Brien] to head him off, but Whiting coming into contact with him, knocked the ball out of Peter’s hands, and Whiting was–on judgment being called–declared safe. New York Sunday Mercury August 12, 1860

Source Weekly Union
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a “foul” call; and a force play remains intact even after the batter is out

Date Sunday, August 12, 1860
Text

[Excelsior vs. Atlantic 8/9/1860] [Brainerd on third base, Reynolds on first] Flanly then struck a ball, which touching the ground inside of the foul line, bounded far off into the foul district, and had started for first base, while Reynolds ran to the second, when some outsider called “foul,” and Reynolds immediately returned from the second to the first base, where Flanly also remained, but off the base. In the meantime, the ball was quickly fielded by Matty [O’Brien], and by him thrown to Price, who touched Flanly with the ball, and passed it to the second base; and judgment being demanded, the umpire decided that the ball struck by Flanly was fair, and that both hands were out–Flanly on the first base, and Reynolds on the second, it being his business to vacate the first base–“a fair ball having been struck, and not caught flying, nor on the first bound.” This was a very bad go for the Excelsiors, but strictly “according to Gunter.

Source ” New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no force on a ball caught on the first bound

Date Sunday, August 12, 1860
Text

[Excelsior vs. Atlantic 8/9/1860] [Pearce on first base, no other runners] ...he left at the instant Smith struck, and was running to the second base, when Holder [Excelsiors second baseman] caught the ball on the bound, and had a fine opportunity to put out Pierce, by touching him with the ball. Momentarily forgetting that the rules compelled him to touch the player, he simply covered the base himself, and passed the ball up to Pearsall at the first base. Dicky was thus saved an “out”...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of shenanigans after the Excelsiors lose to the Atlantics in the late innings

Date Sunday, August 12, 1860
Text

[Excelsior vs. Atlantic 8/9/1860] Both clubs undoubtedly put their best abilities to the severest test. The idle rumors spread by some disappointed bettors, that there had been “backing and filling” on the part of the Excelsiors, are simply ridiculous. The character of the men engaged on both sides is a sufficient guarantee–if any were needed–to every one that the game was played right on the square. We watched the whole proceedings most attentively; and we fancy, from our long experience in such matters, we could have easily detected any departure from the right course on either side.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

illustrating the game

Date Sunday, August 12, 1860
Text

[Excelsior vs. Atlantic 8/9/1860] Messrs. Currier & Ives, the well-known print publishers, had a corps of artists on the ground, last Thursday, taking elaborate sketches of the immense field, and of the players. They propose publishing a handsome colored lithograph, which will present an accurate view of the interesting scene.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

more on force plays

Date Sunday, August 12, 1860
Text

NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 1860

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

Will you please give your opinion on the following points of base ball? The first striker has made the first base; the second striker knocks a high ball, which is not caught on the fly or on the first bound, the pitcher throws the ball to the first base, and is held, and puts the second striker out; the ball is sent to the second base before the first striker gets there. Now, is the first striker out without being touched with the ball; or can he return to the first base–the base not being occupied, inconsequence of the second striker being put out first?

Yours, etc., BASE BALL

A case in point occurred in the match between the Atlantic and Excelsior Clubs, on Thursday last, in the third inning (as will be seen by reference to the report), when Flanly and Reynolds were decided out by the umpire, in accordance with Section 18 of the Rules, which says, “When a fair ball is struck, and not caught flying nor 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”; and “players may be put out upon any base, under these circumstances, in the same manner as the striker when running to the first base.”–which, of course, precludes the necessity of touching the player with the ball; for if a ball is held by an adversary on the first base, before the striker touches that base, he is out. As there is no provision for the player (under the circumstances pointed out by our correspondent) returning to the first base–notwithstanding it is vacated–it is to be presumed that he has no right to do so; but must vacate–that is, leave–the first base.

When a ball is caught upon the bound, a player can, of course, return to the base, because there is no one to push him off. The object and meaning of the rule was evidently to compel his [illegible] to make room for the striker.

The decision of the umpire in the point referred to, at the match on Thursday last, has given rise to much discussion. In our opinion, it was strictly in accordance with the rules.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Creighton injured

Date Sunday, August 19, 1860
Text

[Empire vs. Excelsior 8/18/1860] Creighton, by over-exertion at cricket practice, the previous day, had so wrenched his side, that he was unable to take his position as pitcher, which was filled by Russell. New York Sunday Mercury August 19, 1860

Creighton’s first attempt to pitch showed him to be out of play in that respect, he having been practicing bowling recently... Wilkes Spirit of the Times August 25, 1860

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

recruiting from the Star club

Date Sunday, August 19, 1860
Text

Ticknor, formerly of the Star Club, appears to have joined the Atlantics, and fills the position vacated by Pierce, in the short field. There can’t be many of the original Star Club now left in that organization. Little Manly, one of the best of the original stock, still remains, we believe; and there is chance for some other club to “take a hand in.

Source ” New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fifty active members

Date Tuesday, August 21, 1860
Text

Their [he Bowdoin of Boston] roll is a full one, numbering some fifty active and twenty honorary members. Their play ground is on the Common, and they practice two afternoons every week.

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

the failed Excelsior-Atlantic match

Date Friday, August 24, 1860
Text

[Excelsior vs. Atlantic, Putnam grounds, 8/23/1860] Another vast assemblage of people collected yesterday on the grounds of the Putnam Club, between Gates and Lafayette avenues; the occasion being the third contest of the home and home series between these clubs, the first of which was won by the Excelsiors and the second by the Atlantics. There were fewer ladies present yesterday than on either of the previous occasions, some fear of the result that accrued being influential in keeping numbers away, and others again that did come were unable to procure seats. The police were out in great force, there being over a hundred present, and they were not too9 many, considering the character of a large number of the spectators who were on the ground. We hope it will be the last great match that takes place, if such scenes as took place yesterday are to result from them. Such confusion and disorder, and such gross interference with a match by the spectators, we never witnessed. If the admirers of this manly pastime desire its future welfare, they should at once proceed to adopt stringent rules among the various clubs, against betting on the result of the matches played, for it was unquestionably a regard for their pockets alone that led the majority of those peculiarly interested in the affair, to act in the blackguard manner they did. The game had proceeded so far as the 5th inning, and matters seemed to be progressing favorably enough somewhat tardily, to a successful issue, when one of the decision of the Umpire in the case of a player of the Atlantics on the third base gave rise to such loudly expressed terms of dissent from the friends of the Atlantic Club, or rather those who had bet on them—a majority of whom would discredit any club they favored—that it was sometime before the game could be proceeded with.

The decision in question was a just and impartial one, and would not have been noticed by the crowd but for the objectionable conduct of the player who was decided out, who instead of leaving the base at once chose to dispute the umpire's decision. However, this little affair finally settled, and the Excelsior's began their 6th innings, in which two separate missed at 1st baser by Price of the Atlantic's gave rise to another series of outside comments, and the expressions of dissent became so decided, and symptoms of bad feeling began to manifest itself to such a degree, that the Captain of the Excelsior nine, Mr. Leggett, than whom a fairer, more manly, or more gentlemanly player does not exist, ordered his men to pick up their bats and retire from the field, much to the regret of the Atlantic nine, but greatly to the delight of the large crowd who had “bet high on the Atlantic's,” for they evidently, by their rejoicings afterwards, regarded the affair as one advantageous to their pockets, the result of the contest being a drawn game, all bets being off. Brooklyn Eagle August 24, 1860

It will be remembered that the match between the Atlantics and Excelsiors was not completed, the Excelsiors throwing up the game, which the Atlantics claim has conceded them the victory. A few days since a parcel was left with the Secretary of the Atlantic Club, which on opening was found to contain a ball that had evidently been used, with the following inscriptions:--

“Atlantic vs. Excelsior, August 23, 1860; six innings played; Atlantic 6, Excelsior 8; game unfinished.”

Whether this ball was sent by the Excelsiors or by some individual has not been ascertained; it is looked upon as a very discourteous act, but the Atlantics have chosen to recognize the ball as the one played with, and have placed it among their other trophies. If the Excelsiors did not sent the ball they will probably state so. The affair has created some feeling among base ball players. Brooklyn Eagle September 5, 1860

...the Atlantics were entitled to the ball, but they generously refused it, and the game is considered a drawn one. It was hoped that the question of superiority might be decided, but the Excelsiors did not seem ti wish it, and the Atlantics never send nor never refuse a challenge. Brooklyn Eagle October 30, 1860

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpretation of a foul ball off the hands of the pitcher in fair territory

Date Saturday, August 25, 1860
Text

[Mutual vs. Empire, 8/13/1860] P. O'Brien was the Umpire, and as he is considered able in that position, and his decisions always worthy of respectful attention, we shall briefly notice one that he made in which we think he decided correctly. Leavey, in the 8th inning, hit a high ball to the right of the pitcher, which Powell—who was pitching then—ran for, but missed taking it on the fly, the ball bounding from his hands outside the line, between the home and first base. Leavey reaching his base by the hit and miss. The Umpire decided it foul, as it first touched the ground outside the base. Section 8 of the rules states, that if a ball “first touches the ground behind the bases, it shall be termed foul.” No player trying to catch a ball on the fly is going to miss it for the purpose of making it bound outside the line of the bases, in order that it shall be a foul ball, and that is the only objection that can be raised to the decision in question.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire abuse by “Brooklyn blackguards”:

Date Sunday, August 26, 1860
Text

UMPIRES FOR BROOKLYN MATCHES.–Twice during the past week have gentlemen from the New York clubs, who have been solicited and consented to act as umpires for matches in Brooklyn, been subjected to sneers, insulting allusions, and ungentlemanly criticism. If this conduct is not repudiated by Brooklyn base ball players, New York gentlemen, we imagine, will be very scarce who will hereafter consent to act as umpires in such matches and subject themselves to insults from Brooklyn blackguards. In our columns we have always treated Brooklyn clubs very fairly, and we have always given them the credit of producing the largest number of and best base ball players in the world, and we regret that owing to the unruly conduct of some of the fraternity we cannot say that they are the most gentlemanly body of players in the country. We hope in future that no New York player will again place himself in the position occupied by Mr. Thorn in the Atlantic and Excelsior; but when the Brooklyn roughs and sporting men undertake again to quarrel about their favorite clubs, let them have the fight to themselves, and let an umpire from Brooklyn be chosen to be the subject of their blackguardism of those who are likely to lose bets on the game. We do not mean to insinuate that the games of all the clubs of Brooklyn are associated with rowdyism, and spectators whose presence are annoying and unpleasant. Of several of the clubs no complaint of this kind can be made. We hope such unpleasant scenes as have been witnessed at matches during the past week will not occur again.

Source New York Atlas
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Excelsiors Atlantics final game

Date Sunday, August 26, 1860
Text

ATLANTIC V. EXCELSIOR.–The home-and-home game between these two clubs, of which so much was expected, was commenced last Thursday, but not completed on account of the rowdy demonstrations made by some of the spectators. The game was played on the ground of the Putnam Club, and a large number of respectable gentlemen and ladies were present. Five innings were played, when the Excelsiors made eight runs to the Atlantics’ six. During the first part of the sixth inning, the crowd of roughs who backed the Atlantic Club considered that the Umpire, Mr. Thorn, of the Empire Club, gave some decisions that did injustice to their side, whereupon they commenced annoying the Umpire and the Excelsior nine with insulting and blackguard epithets. The mob became so noisy and disorderly that Mr. Leggett withdrew the Excelsior nine from the field, and so the game ended. It will be seen that the great match for the championship between these two clubs has not been decided, and probably never will be. Thus it had better remain, for if these two clubs cannot play a game of ball without developing rowdyism, they had better let it alone.

Neither of these clubs can be held altogether responsible for the conduct of a crowd of outsiders who follow them. Both clubs this summer have been followed by crowds of dirty-faced roughs and half-grown ragged-tailed boys, who have made it very disagreeable for decent spectators to witness the games. Mr. Leggett, it is reported, however, has made commendable efforts to keep order, and repress noisy proceedings on the Excelsior grounds. It is said that the Atlantics cannot say as much.

If it is expected to popularize the game of base ball, and to have it become in this country what cricket is in England, it is high time that influential base ball players should take some steps to free matches from outbreaks of rowdyism and blackguardism, among the crowd of hangers-on that follow around several of the prominent clubs, especially in Brooklyn.

Source New York Atlas
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

“roughs” at matches

Date Sunday, August 26, 1860
Text

At all important base ball matches, there is more or less a crowd called “roughs,” who occupy nearly the same relative position to base ball clubs that “runners” do to fire companies, with the exception that the base ball “roughs” are never permitted to take a hand in or assist at a game. What they omit in action, however, they make up in swaggering and “blowing,” and are always ready to “make a little bet of a five” on the side of their favorite club. With their money at stake, these individuals become deeply interested in the issue of the game, and occasionally undertake to dictate to the umpire (when judgment is called for) what his decision shall be, or, in the event of his decision being contrary to their judgment, give loud expression to their opinion, with comments to suit.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

“sliding in” to the base

Date Sunday, August 26, 1860
Text

[Atlantic vs. Excelsior 8/23/1860] McMahon ran from the second to the third base, where he was put out... The ball was thrown by Leggett to Whiting to head off McMahon, who reached the base simultaneously with the ball; but in “sliding in,” he so far overreached the base that his arm was the only part of his body on the base. Judgment was asked for, and the umpire promptly decided that McMahon was “not out.” But McMahon, immediately after, incautiously raised his arm from the base before Whiting had a chance to deliver the ball; and the latter, detecting the movement, instantly touched him with the ball, and demanded judgment, which the umpire, of course, gave–deciding McMahon “out,” as he undoubtedly was.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the waiting game

Date Error: Invalid time.
Text

[commenting on the new rule allowing the umpire to call strikes] This last section is a very good one, and will, if strictly enforced by umpires, effect a desirable reform.  It will do away with the system very much in vogue the last two seasons, of striker refusing all balls thrown them until the second base was cleared.

,

[Harlem vs. Charter Oak 8/22/1860] We regret to add that this game was marked with some unpleasantness toward the close, growing out of mutual dissatisfaction at the mode of striking which each club adopted–namely: waiting until the previous striker had worked his way around to the third base. The Charter Oaks began this style of business, and the Harlem followed suit. It is not a kind of game, however, which any club of the character and standing of either of the contestants should countenance.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics’ side of the third game with the Excelsiors

Date Tuesday, August 28, 1860
Text

[from a letter to the editor by “Home Run”] The field was clear, the rope was perfect around its entire extent, and every player could exhibit as perfect play as he was capable of. Why should such experienced and able players as the Excelsiors heed or pay any attention to the noisy demonstrations of the rabble? Porter's Spirit of the Times August 28, 1860

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

In consequence of there being so much comment reflecting on us in regard to our late match with the Excelsior Club, and the Press so unanimous in adjudging all the odium consequent upon the abrupt termination of the game on the Atlantic Club and their friends, we think that, in simple justice to ourselves and them, we are bound to make a frank records of the affair, in the confident hope and anticipation that a discerning public will, now that the excitement has in a measure subsided, give our side of the story a fair and just hearing.

In the first place, we used every possible effort to have “a clear field and no favor,” and in this, as in the last game, we feel happy to say, that through the exertion of Mr. Folk, aided by his efficient body of police, we succeeded beyond the possibility of a doubt. What more can any club do? Can we restrain a burst of applause or indignation emanating from an assemblage of more than 15,000 excited spectators, whose feelings are enlisted as the game proceeds, by the efforts of this or that player or players?

He who has witnessed the natural excitement which is [illegible] miscellaneous assemblage, whether called together by a regatta, an important test of speed on the turf, or a match between noted base ball organizations, know [sic] full well that it is an utter impossibility to prevent a crowd from expressing their sentiments in a manner and audibly as they please.

Mr. Thorn, the umpire on this occasion, was calm, and expressed himself not at all annoyed by the exclamations of the spectators. The members of the Atlantic nine remarked to him at the most exciting period of the game, that they would sustain him in all his decisions, and urged the continuance of the play. Then let us ask what caused its abrupt termination?

Nothing, in our opinion, judging from the language made use of, but the ungovernable temper of a friend of ours on the other side, and who seems to be getting exceeding nervous of late; and, if the nine is to be called off the grounds on all occasions where the pressure is rather high, we think ball-playing will soon lose its most essential feature; this is, first, the presence of the ladies–which, of course, ought to be best guarantee for good behavior of the players, and the crowd in general. We thinks such conduct by first-class clubs, as a precedent, will lead to similar occasions by inferior clubs, and finally terminate in the ruin of the game as a national pastime; and how the press can uphold a club, or individual, in such an instance, and say they have the interest of the game at heart, is something the Atlantics cannot understand, as, after listening quietly to all that has been said, they still claim to know something of the game of base ball, and believe that such conduct cannot, and has not, been anything but detrimental to the game.

We wish the public to understand that we do not win our battles in the newspapers, but on the green turf, and we also are firm in the faith that the club is yet to be organized which can deprive us of our well-earned championship.

On the field, it has always been our pride and pleasure to preserve good order, and to render every accommodation and courtesy in our power to our friends of the press, the ladies, and to all evincing any interest in the noble old sport of base ball. In conclusion, we must say that no one was more surprised or disappointed at the termination of the game than ourselves. We were confident of victory, and we wish the public to remember that the “Old Atlantics” are used to fighting these exciting battles; and we would recommend those aspiring to the championship not to bee too hasty in leaving the field, as it is a “poor road to travel” and does not lead to that enviable and coveted position. F. K. Boughton

Secretary Atlantic Base Ball Club

Brooklyn, Aug. 31, 1860

New York Sunday Mercury September 2, 1860

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

watching a pop fly drop for a double

Date Sunday, September 2, 1860
Text

[Empire vs. Excelsior 9/1/1860] Leggett caught out Miller on the fly; and then he and Creighton missed an air ball between them, from Moore’s bat, each expecting the other to catch it–Moore, in the meantime, making two bases.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a postscript to the third Excelsior-Atlantic game

Date Wednesday, September 5, 1860
Text
Source New York Evening Post
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the runner not out if the umpire doesn’t see the play

Date Saturday, September 8, 1860
Text

[Exercise vs. Atlantic of Jamaica 8/31/1860] P. O’Brien discharged the duties of umpire with his usual marked ability, and of course with satisfaction; the only decision that was at all questionable being one when Cole was put out at home base, Ashmead [the catcher] tumbling over him. Those who were on the left of the striker saw Cole touched, but those on the right did not, among them the Umpire, who declared it not out, and correctly, too, for were an umpire to change his decisions from the explanations of the players, there would be no end of trouble. He is placed there to decide on points that he alone can see, and if fails to see a player put out, he cannot decide him out properly. New York Clipper September 8, 1860

the power of the contestants to control the crowd; the power of the press; the Clipper did not have a reporter at the Atlantic-Excelsior match

We were not present at the match ourselves, but judging from the unanimity of the press in their approval of the course of the Excelsiors, we think the Atlantics amenable to censure in not joining with the opponents in rebuking the disorderly action of the crowd. They are mistaken in supposing that it is not in the power of the contestants in a match like the one in question to repress such conduct as was there exhibited; for it is unquestionably in their power to do, for were it known that such actions on the part of spectators would at once put a stop to the match, we should see no more of it in future contests. The reference to the press is in bad taste; for it is to the press that they are mainly indebted for the present popularity of the game. Once let the press be silent on the subject, and base ball would soon be obsolete, except as a bay’s game at ball. New York Clipper September 8, 1860

[Eckford vs. Union of Elizabeth 9/10/1860] A feature of the match was the prompt manner in which the sneering remarks of some of the big boys in the crowd of spectators, on the play of the Unions, were suppressed by the Eckfords. Such action, taken so promptly, was very creditable to the club. New York Clipper September 22, 1860

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the banner of the Joe Leggett BBC of Cohoes, NY

Date Sunday, September 9, 1860
Text

To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury:

GENTLEMEN: As your paper is generally read by all base ball players, and is conceded and accepted as the organ of base ball for the State, I have less hesitation than I should otherwise have, in requesting you to permit my club, through your columns, to acknowledge the reception of a magnificent present from Joseph B. Leggett, Esq., of the Excelsior Club of Brooklyn.

The “Joe Leggett” Club, of Cohoes, received last week, by express from New York, a large package, which, upon being opened, proved to be an immense base ball flag, from Mr. Leggett. As the flag is much handsomer than any I have ever seen either in New York or Brooklyn, I will endeavor briefly to describe its form and appearance. It is of pennon shape, and the groundwork is of white, surrounded by three stripes of red, white, and blue–the white strikes being charged with stars throughout its whole extent. On the haulyard [sic] extremity of the flag is a large shield, on which are emblazoned the emblems of base ball, viz.: two bats placed saltier-wise, with a ball above and below, while on the right and left side are the representations of a pitcher’s plate and a base, and in the centre is the name of the club in very handsome, large blue letters; the whole being made of the very best quality of bunting. Our club wishes, through your courtesy, to thank Mr. Leggett for his costly and beautiful gift, which it will be their endeavor to never disgrace; and they trust that when its ample folds float above them in the field, they may waft either brilliant victory or honorable defeat upon their efforts.

Yours, respectfully,

Jos. Chadwick, Sec. JOE LEGGETT B. B. C.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A relic of the Charter Oak

Date Friday, September 21, 1860
Text

Last evening, the Charter Oak Engine Company No. 1 of Hartford, Conn., presented to the base ball club of the same name, of Brooklyn, a ball, of about the size of a base ball, made from the celebrated Charter Oak. The ball is contained in a rosewood box, lined on the inside with black velvet. On the lid of the box is the following inscription--“Presented to the Charter Oak Base Ball Club, of Brooklyn, N.Y., by the Charter Oak Engine Company No. 1, Hartford, Conn.” The presentation was made at a well known billiard saloon in Court street, by Mr. William Folk, on behalf of the Hartford people.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

twist pitching

Date Saturday, September 22, 1860
Text

[Excelsior vs. Union 9/7/1860] The Excelsiors, for the first time this season, were the recipients of similar treatment to that they have been in the habit of giving to others, their score of “runs in each innings” being marked with no less than five cyphers, and their total score of runs being the small figure of 7!–the lowest score they have ever made in a match. This result was chiefly owing the very effective pitching of young Hannegan, of the Unions, who imparted such a twist to the balls he pitched, that it was almost impossible to hit them squarely and fairly into the field, and when they were so hit, they were so well fielded that the bases were but seldom reached, and even then, the close attention Hannegan gave them rendered it necessary to be very careful in retaining them. New York Clipper September 22, 1860 [final score 7-4 Excelsiors]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire calling strikes

Date Saturday, September 22, 1860
Text

[Eckford vs. Union of Elizabeth 9/10/1860] The Umpire, Mr. P. Welling, acted his part satisfactorily, except in one important part. He should have called out the strikes and foul balls in a loud voice. An umpire should always give his decisions promptly, and call foul balls and strikes distinctly, so that all may hear.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the spread of the game: a base ball jubilee

Date Sunday, September 23, 1860
Text

[Excelsiors of Brooklyn vs. Excelsiors of Baltimore] Among the spectators were all the principal ball-players of Washington City and of the adjacent country; and the occasion proved to be a great base ball jubilee, the effect of which will add greatly to the popularity of the game in this section.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

continued confusion about tagging up

Date Sunday, September 23, 1860
Text

[in correspondence] There was a man on the third base, when the striker struck a ball, which was caught on the fly; the man at the base went back and touched the same, when the ball was thrown to the pitcher, whom it passed, as it did alike the catcher, when the man at the base came home. The ball was then thrown to the pitcher, and by him to the third base, and decision called for, when the umpire decided not out. By answering in your next issue, whether the decision was right or wrong, you will much oblige the

NEWARK BASE BALL CLUB

The decision was a perfectly just one. If the player returned and touched his base, after the ball was caught on the fly, he fulfilled all the obligations of the rules; and if his adversaries mis-fielded the ball, he was entitled to all the advantages he could gain thereby.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

another club named after a player

Date Sunday, September 23, 1860
Text

The Creighton Club in the name of a new organization in Mount Vernon, Westchester county.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how umpires should call strikes; batter calling for placement; high low zones

Date Saturday, September 29, 1860
Text

Section 37 of the rules [allowing for called strikes] is a dead letter... Again, when a striker has stood at the home base long enough to allow a dozen balls, not plainly out of reach, to pass him, he should at once be made to declare where he wants a ball, and the first ball that comes within the distance pointed out, if not struck at, should be declared one strike, the second, two strikes, and the third, three. If this were done, a stop would at once be put to the unmanly and mean “waiting game” frequently played, and the cause of much unpleasantness removed. Out of all the matches we have reported this season we have yet to see the Umpire having moral courage enough to call strikes on a batsman who willfully breaks the 37th rule of the game.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batters standing behind the line

Date Saturday, September 29, 1860
Text

Another rule Umpires neglect to enforce, is that which requires the striker to stand on the line of his base. Not one striker in twenty does this: all more or less avail themselves of the neglect of Umpires, to stand from two to four feet behind the base instead of on a line with it, and thus balls that would be fairly struck, if the striker were in his right position, are struck foul from his being so far behind his base, and he thereby escapes being put out at 1st base, which he would be if he were to strike such balls from the positions required by the rules.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher takes a foul ball to the face

Date Saturday, September 29, 1860
Text

[Vigilant vs. Exercise 9/28/1860] Up to the close of the third innings the game was considered a close one, and had not Mosserole, the catcher of the Vigilants, met with an accident by a 'foul' ball striking him in the face, and also the first-base man playing rather careless, letting a ball pass him which he might easily have stopped, the Exercise boys would have had their hands full to beat them. These mishaps put a damper on the Vigilants, and they played very careless the remainder of the game.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of Creighton’s pitching on the locals

Date Monday, September 24, 1860
Text

[Excelsior of Brooklyn vs. Excelsior of Baltimore 9/22/1860] The Baltimore boys picked up the bats very cautiously, while Creighton, the pitcher, stood at his post, carelessly tossing the ball in the air. The first ball thrown to the bat went like a bullet, the stroke of the bat being made simultaneously with the ball entering the catcher’s hands. The batter had never struck at such balls, and three misses followed, and he stepped aside. The inning was lost without a player reaching the first base. The (Baltimore) Daily Exchange September 24, 1860

[Excelsior of Brooklyn vs. Excelsior of Baltimore 9/22/1860] Mr. Beam, of the Baltimore nine, a very fine batter usually, led off, but he was hardly prepared for the swift, lightning-like balls which Creighton began to favor him with. He struck once without effect, and looked astonished; he struck again, and missed; again he made an ineffectual stroke at the ball, and gave up his bat, apparently in wonder...of the performance of the pitcher. New York Sunday Mercury September 30, 1860

Source Daily Exchange
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a triple play

Date Sunday, September 30, 1860
Text

[Excelsior of Brooklyn vs. Excelsior of Baltimore 9/25/1860] Many fine plays were made by the Brooklyn Excelsiors–among them three double plays, and one in which three hands were put out with the same ball. This was a very brilliant performance, which has not been equaled before this season. Mr. Shriver (who, by the way, was one of the best fielders on his side, and made several fine catches) was at the bat, while Sears occupied the first base, and S. Patchen (substitute for Hazlett) was on the second base. As Shriver struck the ball, both Sears and Patchen ran fro their bases–pausing somewhat to witness the fate of the ball, which Creighton was after. This was in the sixth inning, when Creighton was playing in the left field, in place of Russell. By one of the handsomest backward single-handed catches ever made by Creighton, he took the ball on the fly, and instantly, by a true and rapid throw, passed the ball to Whiting, who caught it, and threw it as quickly to Brainerd, on the second base, before either Sears or Patchen had time to return to their bases, thus putting three hands out “in a jiffy.” But there was more yet, in the ball, for Brainerd hardly received it before it was on its way from his hands to Pearsall, who caught it in his own steel trap style, and made all the motions necessary to put out another hand, if there were any “lying around loose.” The entire performance was so quickly and neatly done that it elicited a spontaneous mark of approbation and applause from the vast assemblage of spectators. [Note the implication that only the bag need to tagged, not the runner, following a fly catch; this is contrary to answers to correspondents the previous year.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

verbal assists among players

Date Sunday, September 30, 1860
Text

A call from McKeever to Turner in the second inning, to let a ball bound, which Turner could easily have taken on the fly, saved a round O to the Mutuals in that inning. [i.e. the verbal advice was erroneous; but shows that such was given]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foul call not heard by batter or runner: direct return path at issue

Date Sunday, September 30, 1860
Text

[Henry Eckford vs. Harlem 9/28/1860] An incident worthy of note occurred in the seventh inning, when the [Henry] Eckford Club had two of the five runs now placed to their credit and had two hands out. Holt took the bat, with O’Farrell occupying the first base. The striker got a good square hit at the ball, sending it well down in the direction of the left fielder, and at once made tracks for the first base, and kept on running around to the third, while O’Farrell got home, neither one hearing the call of the foul ball by the umpire. The ball, in the meantime, was fielded to the pitcher of the Harlem side, who turned around and threw the ball to the second base man, and demanded judgment. The umpire decided that no one was out: the striker was not out, because the ball being foul he had no business upon the bases, and that O’Farrell was not out because the ball just struck being foul, he had to return to the first base, and the ball had not been fielded to that base. At this instant, O’Farrell, who was home, started off to return to the first base direct from the home base, and the ball was sent to head him off, but was not held, and he reached the base safely.

Permitting the player to regain the first base in the manner in which he did, was wrong. The plain meaning of the word return is retrogression–the act of moving back to a former place. The intent and meaning of the rule, thus, is that the player–no matter how far he may have proceeded on his homeward way–must retrace his step (not move forward) to the starting point. It was clearly O’Farrell’s duty to return to the first base, by way of the third and second base. He had no more right to run from the home base to the first–commence his run de novo–than he would have had to have crossed the field from the third to the first base. Such being the case, and the ball being fielded to the second base by the pitcher, the question arises was not O’Farrell out–he having, by right, to return to the second base on his way to the first, and his retreat having, by the act of the pitcher, been cut off by the ball being held on that base? We think he was: but we shall not discuss the matter further at present. New York Sunday Mercury September 30, 1860 [see also Clipper 10/06/60]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a question about a ball off the hands of the pitcher in fair territory into foul territory

Date Sunday, September 30, 1860
Text

If the ball is knocked, and the pitcher runs inside the line of the bases, and the ball comes into his hands, but bounds from his hands outside the line–is that foul?

This is a point regarding which there is a difference of opinion, and we have, during the season, seen it decided both ways. The umpire who decided that the ball (under the circumstances pointed out by our correspondent) was foul [probably referring to the Mutual vs. Empire, 8/13/1860] based his decision upon the idea that is was the point at which the ball first touched the [...illegible line...]struck fair, and is evidently descending within the lines of the bases, and a player, in his effort to catch it, throws it from its natural inclination beyond the line, we should still regard it a fair ball; for it is not knocked foul by the batter, but if foul, it becomes so through the misplay of an adversary. A foul ball, in our opinion, is one that is knocked beyond the line of the bases by the batsman; and, therefore, we should not consider the ball, in the instance pointed out by our correspondent, a foul one. This and other points concerning which there may be a difference of opinion, will no doubt be definitely determined by the National Convention, at its next session.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher throwing to second

Date Sunday, October 7, 1860
Text

Russell, who officiated as catcher the greater part of the game, played in a careful and creditable manner–his only fault was in not throwing to the second base quickly enough.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire intimidation

Date Sunday, October 7, 1860
Text

[Constellation vs. Oriental] At the close of the seventh inning, our captain waited upon the umpire, and wished him to call the game, as it was nearly night; but the outside crowd of the Orientals (the game was played on their ground), having a moneyed interest in the game, would not permit him to do so, as we were four ahead. He therefore ordered us to play the eighth inning, which we did, finishing it at a quarter to seven o’clock (two ahead)–a time of night in the latter part of August which you will admit, Messrs. Editors, was rather dark to bat or field.

The umpire would then have called the game; but the outside Orientals again interfered, and playfully threatened to “punch his head” if he did so. Not having force enough to protect him in his duty, and the Orientals evincing no intention or desire of so doing, our captain called us from the field. No decision was given by the umpire at that time, nor has there been any given by him at all. Believing we were justified in leaving the field where the umpire was not permitted to give an honest and impartial decision, we claimed the ball.

...

In all cases, it is the duty of the umpire to decide the result of the match before leaving the ground. This will prevent all dispute. The umpire is the judge whether it is too dark to continue the game or not–and he should have so stated. Had he called upon the parties to proceed with the game [...illegible...] would undoubtedly have to acknowledge defeat. As no decision to the contrary seems to have been given by the umpire, in this case, the party having the greatest number of runs at the stoppage of the game should be regarded as the victor.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a tie goes to the ball

Date Sunday, October 7, 1860
Text

[Juniata vs. Niagara]...a striker was running to the first base, and the ball was passed to, and held by the baseman at the very instant that the striker reached the base. [The umpire] rendered judgment in the case in favor of the ball... ...his decision was according to custom.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pickoff by the catcher

Date Saturday, October 13, 1860
Text

[Empire vs. Excelsior 9/29/1860] This time we caught “Old Joe” [i.e. Joe Leggett, catcher] at his trick, and must confess his tactics deserve credit, for Millen [sic: should be Miller] was watching Creighton, and did not see him look at the base before he threw, and was therefore caught off his guard.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the disadvantages of championship games

Date Saturday, October 20, 1860
Text

[Powhattan vs. Oriental 10/9/1860] Altogether, the match, as far as the playing was concerned, was very creditable to both the clubs, but in other respects we cannot speak well for the feeling that was occasionally manifested by some of the members of both clubs, but especially of the Powhattans; it was boyish in the extreme, to say the least of it. From what we have seen of the result of these matches for the championship, we are inclined to the belief that they are anything but beneficial to the interests and welfare of the game, for though they lead to the acquirement of a great degree of skill in the practice of the game, the ill feeling that is engendered is an offset that is more important as a matter to be considered.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing baseball for money

Date Saturday, October 20, 1860
Text

We highly commend the following card from the Knickerbocker B.B. Club, of Albany, to the attention of the members of the base ball community who are disposed to play the game for pecuniary rewards, instead of the mere honor of the victory. It will have a tendency, we hop, to put a stop to all future matches for money.

BASE BALL–A PROTEST.–We, the undersigned members of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, protest against the further unauthorized use of our names in connection with Base Ball challenges for money. Entertaining the opinion, that the initiation of such a course in connection with the game, would have a tendency to destroy its present enviable reputation as a field sport, and to cause unfriendly rivalries between those clubs that now maintain the most harmonious relations, we now desire to express our strong disapprobation of all attempts made to bring about a match for money between the players of our city clubs.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher throwing true to the bases

Date Saturday, October 27, 1860
Text

[Eckford vs. Atlantic 10/15/1860] Pidgeon pitched through the entire nine innings in the most able manner, making good catches from the bat, and throwing truly to the bases.

Source Wilkes Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the first shut out

Date Saturday, November 10, 1860
Text

[Excelsior vs. St. George 11/8/1860] These Clubs played a match at base ball at Hoboken on the 8th inst., the result being the signal defeat of the St. George nine, the score of the Excelsiors being 25 to nothing for their antagonists! This is the first match on record that has resulted in nine innings being played without each party making runes. The contest with the Flour city Club, wherein they made one run the Excelsior's 26, was the nearest to it.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pick-off

Date Saturday, November 10, 1860
Text

[Eckford vs. Atlantic 10/29/1860] M. O’Brien pitched in grand style, and watched his bases with unceasing vigilance. Any Eckford, on his base, had to keep a bright lookout for Matty’s movements, as Pidgeon learned to his cost, when he had ventured too far away from the first base, and was obliged to return to his seat on the “carpet.

Source ” Wilkes Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

New York veterans in California

Date Saturday, November 17, 1860
Text

[Eagle of San Francisco vs. Sacramento 9/23/1860] The respective captains proved themselves veterans in the game, and fully competent to command. Gelston is from the Eagle Club, of New York, and Robinson, is from the Putnam Club, of Brooklyn.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a “fusion” game of mixed sides

Date Saturday, December 8, 1860
Text

One of the most interesting and exciting matches of the season was a “fusion” game of base ball, made up from nine members of the Athletic Club and also from the Olympic. Particularly bad feeling never was entertained by these two respectably standing clubs, one toward the other, although a short time ago some trivial thing transpired which slightly wounded the sensibility of two or three individuals of the above-named clubs. In order to allay anything which might possibly terminate in a permanent feud, the gentlemen of these two clubs concluded to play a game, the sides arranged against each other to be composed of an equal division of members of each organization. The match came off on Thanksgiving day, on their grounds at Camac’s Woods.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

confusion over club names

Date Sunday, December 16, 1860
Text

GOTHAM, JR., CLUB.–A communication from this club informs us that it was erroneously stated in last week’s MERCURY, that they had been beaten by the Lone Star Club, of Brooklyn, on the 31st inst. The young Gothams state that they suspended play on the 29th ult., and were not beaten once during the season. We presume that it was another Gotham, Jr., that was referred to; for there are two or three clubs of the same name.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
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