Clippings:1866

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1866Clippings in 1866

Clippings in 1866 (268 entries)

Contents

232 Base Ball Clubs in CT

Date Tuesday, October 16, 1866
Text From the last number of the “Bat and Ball” we learn that there are 41 base ball clubs in this city, 42 in New Haven, 9 in New Britain, 15 in Norwich, 13 in Waterbury, 14 in Bridgeport, and 98 others scattered about in different parts of the state.
Source Hartford Courant, Oct. 16, 1866
Submitted by Bruce Allardice

a balk move 2

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

Zeller began play by balking, he moving his foot nearly every ball he delivered, but the umpire failed to see it, and it was permitted, although the Unions called the umpire’s attention to it. The pitcher is required by the rule to keep both feet on the ground until after the ball has left his hand, and Zeller plainly made a balk nearly every time he pitched.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball is fair if touched in fair territory

Date Saturday, December 15, 1866
Text

[from answer to correspondents] A player is on the 3d base; A is at the bat; he knocks a sky ball which alights in the pitcher’s hands inside the foul lines. The ball bounds out of the pitcher’s hands and strikes the ground outside the foul line, and is caught on the first bound by the catcher. In the meantime the player on the 3d base runs home. The ball is passed to the pitcher and then to the 3d base. Who is out? ... No one is out. The fly catch was missed on a fair ball, consequently, the bound catch did not count, and the base player could run home.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball knocked from the baseman's hands

Date Sunday, June 17, 1866
Text

Birdsall, after making his first-base by a fine grounder, in attempting to get to his second, was touched by the ball in Fryat’s hands before he reached it, but just as the ball was held–and held it was, too–they came into collision, and the ball was knocked out of Fryat’s hands, and the umpire, as is usual, decided the player not out. Now, it is very seldom, under such circumstances, that a ball can be held by the base-player when his opponent runs or stumbles against him, and if the ball is held, if but for a moment or two, the fact of its being knocked out of the fielder’s hands by the collision of the two men should not nullify the previous act. We refer to this instance, not as an error of judgment, for it was a close thing any way, but simply to point out the error of considering every ball knocked out of a fielder’s hands as not held.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball touched by an outsider; block ball

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

[A question to the editor:] In the match-game Empire vs. Eagle the Eagles were skunked the first inning, and the first two strikers on the Empire side were out when Williamson went to the bat and made his third-base on a ball passed by the catcher; he ran home, but the ball was stopped by the crowd, and he was touched out by the pitcher on the home-base. Was the umpire correct in deciding him out, as he would have had plenty of time had some outsider not stopped the ball?

[answer:] When a ball is stopped by an outsider, it is not in play until settled in the hands of the pitcher. In this case, had any other fielder touched Williamson, he would not have been out; but as it was the pitcher, he was.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a base displaced off the base post

Date Sunday, June 3, 1866
Text

Hunnewell, in running to second, pushed the base-bag from its position, and stood on the base post, thereby rendering himself liable to being put out, as the base-bag alone is considered the base. Terrell [the second baseman] did not think of this until too late.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a base on balls

Date Tuesday, October 23, 1866
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 10/22/1866] Ferguson then took a base...on “three balls,” called on McBride's fierce and wild pitching.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball made from a railroad car spring

Date Thursday, December 27, 1866
Text

A boy eight years of age, was killed at Hannibal Mo., last week, while witnessing a game of base ball. The Ball, which was made of an India rubber car spring, struck him in the pit of the stomach.

Source Elk Advocate
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken bat single

Date Wednesday, September 12, 1866
Text

[Enterprise vs. Eckford 9/10/1866] Brown sent a low ball to left field, making two bases. Southworth followed with a hot one, which broke his bat, but secured him his base and sent Brown home. Brooklyn Eagle September 12, 1866

A description of poor pitching; the pitcher's run-up in the old days; no balls called on wild pitching

[Eckford vs. Enterprise 9/10/1866] When it is asserted that the game was well played, it must be understood as applying only to the fielding, as the batting was not at all what it might be, while the pitching was as wild almost as when the pitcher was allowed to run in half a dozen yards before he delivered the ball. But the Umpire did not mind it, and the pitchers were allowed to worry the batsmen to their hearts' content. As an instance, in one innings Hall, of the Enterprise, was at the bat and Southworth pitching. The ball was pitched seven times without reaching the home base once except after a bound or two; then a ball was pitched about eight feet up in the air; then one for which the catcher had to run at least five yards to the left of his position in order to stop. At the tenth ball the batsman struck, but the ball was not at all within reach; then four more bounders and the fifteenth ball was hit. During all this time no “ball” was called. New York Herald September 12, 1866

[Enterprise v. Eckford 9/10/1866] A feature of this game was the wild pitching, the umpire [Eli Holmes of the Oriental BBC] ignoring the Sixth Rule altogether. As an instance, in one inning Hall, of the Enterprise, was at the bat and Southworth pitching. The ball was pitched seven times without reaching the home-base once, except after a bound or two; then a ball was pitched about eight feet up in the air; then one for which the catcher had to run at least five yards to the left of his position in order to stop. At the tenth ball the batsman struck, but the ball was not at all within reach; then four more bounders, and the fifteenth ball was hit. During all this time no “ball” was called. New York Sunday Mercury September 16, 1866

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bucolic championship game

Date Wednesday, October 17, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 10/15/1866] ...it was the most respectable and orderly gathering that ever assembled in the same numbers to witness a contest where diverse interests—each, of course, supported by their mutual friends—were represented. Twenty thousand people were present, and there was not the slightest breach of decorum observed during the four hours in which the issue of the game was being decided. The large force of police on the ground, finding their occupation as conservators of the peace altogether gone, sat on the green sward, and watched the game with as much pleasure as the rest. Ladies waved their handkerchiefs and gentlemen shouted lustily now and then; but the Philadelphia Club received as much congratulations as the Brooklyn boys when they made a good run and a successful inning. The utmost courtesy was extended to the strangers, who were probably struck with the contrast between the good order prevailing on this occasion and the confusion, crowing and interruption which prevented the completion of the match a short time since, when the Atlantics visited Philadelphia to try their mettle with the Athletics.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for the end of championship games

Date Sunday, October 21, 1866
Text

We trust, that, after the game of to-morrow, this will be the last of championship contests. They have been of no advantage, and instead of elevating, have made the game unpopular, and interested in it a class of men who could well be spared, and whose interest extends only so far as they may be successful in making it p ay. A better day is dawning, and the public and press will rescue from the hands of those sordid hucksters what is, and we trust will continue to be, our great national Pastime.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called third strike

Date Saturday, September 29, 1866
Text

[Excelsior vs. National 9/18/1866] McLean and Studley then made fine hits on which they easily secured their bases, and eventually both came home, Studley by a wild throw of Norton’s [the catcher], Randall striking out. We were please to see this player taught a lesson by the umpire. He was over particular at the bat in order to give Studley a chance to get in, and had struck twice without effect and had allowed two good balls to pass him, when the third one led the umpire [Mr. Alliger of the Atlantic Club of Jamaica] to call a strike on him for not batting at a good ball.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called third strike to end the inning

Date Sunday, October 21, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/15/1866] Galvin...was on his third when Mills, having struck twice and missed, had the third strike justly called on him for failing to strike at a good ball. Whatever the intention of a striker may be, the umpire is justified in inferring the batsman’s particularity in selecting balls when players are on the bases to a desire to enable them to run their bases, and, therefore, is justified in calling strikes whenever fair balls are pitched, and he alone is the judge of a fair ball.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a calming influence on Fitzgerald; a toast to the press

Date Saturday, September 29, 1866
Text

[Excelsior vs. Olympic of Philadelphia 9/22/1866] [in the post-game dinner] Excellent speeches were made by the presidents of the two clubs, and appropriate remarks by Col. Fitzgerald and Col. Moore, and Mr. Hayhurst, who sat near each other at the table, the presence of the Excelsiors having a harmonious effect on all discordant elements on this occasion. The Olympics, unlike the other clubs who entertained the Excelsiors, did not forget the press–Messrs. Wells and Meeser responding to the toast tot he press.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a carpetbagger club

Date Wednesday, September 26, 1866
Text

Two base ball clubs in Richmond refused to play friendly matches with the Union club of that city, because the latter was composed of Northern men.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a college nine not considered a club nine, doesn't affect eligibility

Date Saturday, October 13, 1866
Text

[from answers to correspondents] A college nine or a temporarily organized nine is not considered a club nine. A club is a regular organization, with constitution, by-laws, etc., and regularly elected officials. A picked nine, such as you allude to, would not exclude you from playing in the regular club matches of the club you belong to.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a colored mascot?

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Brandywines 8/9/1866] “Scipio,” an African brother, who was engaged to see that the players were refreshed with iced water, created a great deal of amusement over one of Dock’s fancy hits. “Scip” was disengaged when Dock made the lunge, and his wondering eye followed the ball careering through the air, and as it reach terra firma, “Scip” exclaimed, “Golly, dat ball’s lighted clar cross de creek, and killed a cow.” The remark caused a great deal of amusement, as did others from the same “pusson.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A comparison of base ball and town ball

Date Thursday, May 10, 1866
Text

Base Ball resembles our old-fashioned favorite game of Town Ball sufficiently to naturalize it very quickly. It is governed by somewhat elaborate rules, but the practice is quite simple. Nine persons on a side, including the Captains, play it. Four bases are placed ninety feet apart, in the figure of a diamond. The Batsman, Ball Pitcher, and one Catcher, take the same position as in Town Ball. Of the outside, besides the Pitcher and Catcher, one is posted at each base, one near the Pitcher, called the “Short Stop,”—whose duty is the same as the others in the field—to stop the ball. The Innings take the bat in rotation, as in Town Ball,—and are called by the Scorer. The ball is pitched, not thrown to them—a distance of fifty feet. The Batsman is permitted to strike at three “fair” balls, without danger of being put out by a catch, but hit or miss, must run at the third “fair” ball. He may “tip” or hit a foul ball as often as the Umpire may call foul, so he be not caught out flying, or on the first bound. When he runs, he must make the base before the ball reaches the point to which he runs, or he is out. And three men out, puts out the entire side. Those who are put out may continue to strike and run bases until the third man is out.

The Bases form a diamond, the angles of which are occupied by the Batsman and Catcher, and one of the outside at each angle. All putting out on the corners is by getting the ball there before the runner for the inside reaches the base, by catching the ball flying when a fair ball is struck, or by catching a foul ball after it is struck, either when flying or at first bound. A distinctive peculiarity of the game consists in the fact that when a ball is struck by the Batsman it must fly either on an exact angle, or inside of the angles formed by the base occupied by the Batsman, and the bases right and left of him. All balls deflecting from these angles are “foul.”

The above is merely a general view of the game. It is very easy to learn, and is capital sport, barring the cannon ball which the players are expected to catch in rather soft hands. Ladies will enjoy the game, and of course are expected as admiring spectators.

Source Daily Illinois State Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of baseball

Date Sunday, October 14, 1866
Text

The history of this justly popular and healthful amusement is, we believe, not generally know, nor is it our purpose to give it in detail at this time. The game is deduced from English origin, as are all our manly out-door sports; but, whilst cricket is the ruling game amongst our English Cousins, Base Ball has become quite an American institution.

The first Club in the United States which attained any celebrity, as the “Knickerbocker” of New York, which organized in 1845, and still continues in all its pristine vigor. Imitative New Yorkers soon organized other Clubs, all of which prospered greatly, until continued success begot emulous rivalry, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and other cities soon disputed the claimed superiority of the Gothamites.

Now after a lapse of twenty years almost every city and many large towns and villages boast of their Clubs. The clubs by their proficiency do honor to their opportunities, and the general interest the people feel in the sport, indicates the great popularity of the institution throughout the country.

We are heartily glad to know that all who engage in this manly and invigorating pastime, should thus be encouraged by such very general approbation.

A few words explanatory of the game, and a reference to the Club in our midst, and we have done. The field in which the game is played should be at least 400 feet square. The bases are four in number, placed at equal distances from each other, and securely fastened upon each corner of a square, whose sides are respectively thirty yards. The base from which the ball is struck is designated the home base, and is directly opposite the second base; the base on the right hand is the first base, and that on the left the third base. The pitcher's position or base is fixed on a line drawn from home to second base, and is distant from the former fifteen yards. The first, second, and third bases, are canvas bags filled with some soft material, and the home and pitcher's bases are circular iron plates.--Players must make their bases in regular order, and on making the home base are entitled to score one run. The game consists of nine innings on each side but may be decided on the fifth or seventh inning. An inning is concluded at the time the third hand is put out. Eighteen persons constitute a full field, nine on each side. The side having the inning numbers nine batsmen; the side in the field is disposed into catcher, pitcher, short stop, first, second, and third basemen, and right, left, and centre fieldsmen. At the conclusion of their inning the side at the bat change places in detail with the side in the field. To particularize the special part of each individual players, in not our purpose, and if it were, we have neither time nor space to indulge it. We comment, however, the different publications to those designing information on the subject; some of them being very succinct and satisfactory.

It gives us great pleasure to state that the ancient and tranquil borough of Chestertown, through the exertions of J.A.Pearce, Esq., and others, has moved in the matter of organizing a Club, and from the material, as reported to us, we look forward to the no distant time when the Chesterown Club will be known, admired, and dreaded throughout the entire county. When the famed Athletics and Atlantics will be compelled to “pale their ineffectual fires” before the meridian splendors of the Chestertown “Ozenies,” a name, by the way, appropriate from its local associations, being the Indian name for the Chester river.

The Oziene Club was organized on 25th of Sept. last, and a constitution and By-law adopted. On 1 st of October the following officers were elected for the ensuing year; President J.A. Pearce, Vice President J. A. Burgess, Secretary E. W. Newman, Treasurer, C.A.A. Stanley, Directors, W.A. Vickers, W.H. Steward and J.E.Gilpin.

Through the kindness and courtesy of the visitors, of Washington College, the Club have secured the College campus as a field for exercise, a place commodious in size, accessible in distance, an deasily adapted to the purpose. The Club practice on Monday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons, and already attain a tolerable proficiency. May their success exceed their expectations, ALPHA. Chestertown (Md.) Transcript October 13, 1866

preparations for the Atlantic-Athletic match in Brooklyn

The proprietors of the Capitoline Grounds, Brooklyn, in view of the match between the Atlantic and Athletic, have made the following arrangements:

No one will be permitted to enter upon the field except the players during the entire day. Over a hundred policemen will be present, and as the crowd enter, they will be shown their seats or standing-places, and there they will have to remain. There are to be seven separate entrances to the ground opened on this occasion, with eighteen doorkeepers.

No tickets are to be sold, and no change will be made at the office or at the gates; all going in, therefore, will have to provide themselves with twenty-five cents in change. The gates will be opened at 10 A.M., and no seats will be reserved, except those for ladies–admitted free on this, as on all occasions, on the Capitoline grounds–and those for the Athletic Club having badges, the number being limited.

The only parties who will be allowed to take places on the field, or within the embankment, are the players, the two scorers–at separate tables–and those reporters of the local press who regularly report base ball matches, about ten in all. Members of the press of other cities will have seats with the Philadelphia club, as full reports will be given in the local journals, from which the outside papers can copy.

This arrangement is made necessary by the fact of the crowd of members of the press who claim seats as reporters, when it is well-known that but few make a specialty of the game giving daily reports of the doings of the fraternity. Therefore, the seats on the field for reporters will be limited to twelve.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the West Philadelphia Club grounds

Date Saturday, August 11, 1866
Text

The West Philadelphian’s ground is excellent–what there is of it; but that is not much. The fence back of the catcher seriously interferes with that player–the ball no sooner strikes it, than it ricochets over it, thus allowing the opposing side to get many runs they are not entitled to. This cannot be remedied, however, as to move the positions further into the field, would allow of too many balls going over the outer field fences. Besides this, the ground is not laid out in the most advantageous manner. The sun is in the face of the majority of the players, while it ought not to be but in that of one–the catcher. New York, having had a much longer experience than Philadelphia, is better able to judge of such matters, and it is invariably the case there to lay out the ground that the catcher faces the West. By this plan, he is the only player who is interfered with by “Old Sol,” and only in the last part of the game. The Keystone and Equity are the only clubs in this city who have arranged their grounds in this manner. The excellence of the plan is plainly perceptible to any one who has played on them.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the crowd; delegations from out of town

Date Sunday, October 21, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/15/1866] From 9 o’clock in the morning until near 4 in the afternoon, the tide of people flowed to the grounds, and at 3, P.M., the estimate of a veteran of the Potomac army, well versed in numbering large bodies of men, was that there was not less that from twelve to fifteen thousand people within the inclosure. No better arrangements could have been made to insure a fair field for the contest. The scene presented from the scoring-table, during the intervals of the game, were at once novel and picturesque. At the close of each inning, those of the crowd who occupied low seats would get up and stretch themselves, the movement making quite a wave of heads around the circle. As special good plays would occur in the game, out would come the white pocket-handkerchief, and at one time the novel sight was presented of the waving of some three or four thousand of these flags of truce, the appearance being that of a gathering of gigantic white moths on the field.

...

The visiting delegations from distant parts of the country surpassed all previous occasions. From St. Louis, Nashville, and Richmond, on the South; from Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland, on the West; Portland and Boston, on the East; and from the Green Mountains of Vermont, on the North, came delegations of admirers and exemplars of the national game. Among the Vermonters present were a party from St. Albans, including W. H Farrar, A. G. Safford, and Captain Lewis, who, after playing in a match on Saturday, left home to see the model-players.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over gate receipts

Date Saturday, October 27, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/22/1866] Arrangements were made for the second contest at Philadelphia, and the Athletics, in consideration of the disappointment and expense incurred by the Atlantics in visiting Philadelphia, offered to give them a fair field, and divide the receipts of the next game, first deducting ordinary expenses. Well, the second game took place on Monday last, and the receipts were put down at $1999. Out of this large sum they offer the Atlantics $425, which the latter firmly decline to receive. It appears that the new fence of the Athletics cost $1024, and it is demanded by the officers of the club that the Atlantics shall pay half of this sum! ... Now, every one knows that without a fence the game could not have been played, and, therefore, to make the Atlantic Club pay one half of the expense, is simply to resort to that system of falsehood, deceit and fraud which has characterized this one high-toned club all the way through the season.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A gift for Charles Peverelly

Date Saturday, January 6, 1866
Text

The Mutual Club has set an example worthy of imitation, and which we hope to see generally followed.–We quote from the New York Times–“The members of the celebrated Mutual Club, on Christmas Day, presented to Mr. Charles A. Peverelly a bookcase, desk and wardrobe, all of rosewood, costing between $300 and $400. Mr. Peverelly is well known as a reporter of aquatics, base ball and cricket matches, his rowing and yachting contributions to Wilkes’ Spirit of the Times for many years past being a feature of that journal. The resolution was passed some time since, and committee, consisting of Messrs. James O’Neill, Vice-President of the Club, John M. Oaklord [sp?] and John J. Foley, was designated to carry out the intentions of the club.”

Now, let the leading clubs of New York hold a meeting, and pay a compliment to another deserving Reporter–Mr. Henry Chadwick–whose services to the National Game have been inestimable. The Athletic Club will gladly support this proposition.–At the same time, the clubs of Philadelphia ought to show their appreciation of the talent and enthusiasm of Mr. McConnell of the Press, and Mr. Cunnington of the Inquirer. Who will move in this matter?

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hiatus due to the death of a member

Date Tuesday, July 24, 1866
Text

A special meeting of the Enterprise B.B.C., of this city, was held yesterday evening, and the club decided to attend in a body the funeral of their late member, Peter Rice, Esq.

Resolutions were passed expressive of the sorrow at his loss, and condoling with his family.

The Enterprise will play no match games for thirty day. Members of the club will assemble at Montague Hall to-morrow morning at 9 ½ o'clock, for the purpose of attending the funeral. Brooklyn Eagle July 24, 1866

the short field behind home at the Athletics ground

[Irvington vs. Athletic 7/17/1866] The Irvingtons were unfortunate in being obliged in the third inning to change Bailey for Walters as pitchers, but it was rendered necessary by reason of the irregularity of his pitching, and the consequent number of passed balls, occasioned, partly, by the shortness of the field in rear of the home base. Wilkes Spirit of the Times July 28, 1868

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a history of the Atlantics and player recruitment

Date Saturday, June 9, 1866
Text

[Harvard vs. Excelsior 6/1/1866] ...there was a strong partisan element, opposed to the Excelsiors, who visited the grounds purposely to do all they could to cause the defeat of the Excelsior nine, and but for the presence of a large police force their efforts would not have been confined to insulting comments and derisive jeers, but would have taken the form of over acts of assault without doubt. The facts of the case are these, and we refer to them by way of explanation before we proceed to describe the game. In fact a little wholesome plain speaking is required. We do so also in answer to several correspondents who desire to know what the position of affairs is between these clubs, an answer in our correspondent column requiring too much space. In the efforts made by the Atlantic club to retain their title of Champions, which they earned so creditably by the play of the nine of the club in many a well fought battle on the ball fields, they entered upon a course of action in strengthening their nine, when the veterans of the club one after another retired from service, which brought upon them the ill will of those clubs from whom they drew most of their strength, and naturally enough too, for the withdrawal of Chapman, Start and Crane from the Enterprise Club, after they had just achieved a noteworthy success over the Eckfords, weakened them to a degree that almost broke up this fine young club; and afterwards the withdrawal of Pratt from the Athletics, and likewise Sprague from the Eckfords, had a damaging effect on the success of those organizations for the time being. The result of this collection of strong players was the forming of a nine, which in playing strength has had no superior, as the successful career of the Atlantic Club during the past two years fully proved. Thus far things went on satisfactorily enough as far as the Atlantic Club was concerned, although some other clubs did not view it in that light. During the past winter, however, the champion nine became disorganized, from what we are not aware, but if half the stories told about “buying” and “selling,” &c., are true, the club who have been the sufferers act very unwisely in not giving the facts of the alleged corrupt bargains due publicity, and their not doing so argues very strongly in favor of the fact of their inability to substantiate the charges made. At any rate, three of the champion nine left the Atlantics and joined the Excelsiors, and another one returned to his first love. Now, this state of things was a very different one to the before mentioned condition of affairs, inasmuch as it was the Atlantic Club who were the sufferers, and the Enterprise, the Athletics, and Eckfords, or the Stars. When the poisoned chalice is placed to our own lips, we singularly enough realize the bitterness of the contents, and so it was in this case, but strange to say, a very virtuous, do doubt, but rather inconsistent indignation has been aroused by the Atlantics at the conduct of the Excelsiors in thus following an example set them by the Atlantics themselves. Now had the Atlantics and their friends entered court with clean hands as the complainants in this case of alleged base ball felony, this expression of indignation would have been just and proper, but as it is, it appears to us to be about as cheeky a thing to do, to find fault with another club for doing what they themselves have done, as we have heard of for some time past. That is just the light in which we view it, and in which hundreds of the reputable portion of the fraternity see it. The very best thing the Atlantics can do for the interests of their club is to go to work and build up a new nine and win new laurels with it, and to discountenance in every way they can just such action of their friends and followers as that which characterized the proceedings of the match at Bedford on the 1st inst. Any other course must necessarily create a reaction in favor of the club thus attacked.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a lady umpire of a muffin match

Date Sunday, September 2, 1866
Text

The muffs attached to the Union Club of Morrisania and the muffs of the Eagle Club of this city had a very enjoyable match at Morrisania on Thursday last. A lady was chosen to act as umpire, and she acquitted herself in a manner which evinced a thorough knowledge of the game...

The game taken all in all, was one of those soul-loving, mirth-provoking things that go smooth down the stepping stones of life and ease up the business cares of man. A novel and new feature in the game of base-Ball [sic] was the selection of a lady umpire and lady scorers.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a model umpire; calling for high, medium, or low pitches

Date Saturday, July 14, 1866
Text

[National of Washington vs. Athletic 7/2/1866] The moment the striker took his stand–and he was required in each instance to stand upon the line of his position–the umpire [Theodore Bomeisler] asked him where he wanted a ball, and when told, indicated to the pitcher the ball the batsman wanted, whether “knee high,” “waist high,” or “hip high,” as the case might be. This done, after the first poor ball had been sent in, he called “ball to the bat,” and after this warning called balls on the pitcher, and strikes on the batsman, whenever the former delivered unfairly or the latter failed to strike at the balls sent to him where he wanted them and over the base. Adding to this proper and sensible interpretation of the rules a promptitude and decision in deciding men out or not out, thorough impartiality throughout, and sound judgment in the majority of instances, he afforded all present a sample of excellent umpiring which was as creditable to him as it was satisfactory to all parties concerned.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a one dollar admission

Date Saturday, October 27, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/22/1866] About 2500 persons were within the enclosure, so that the ground committee had no difficulty in keeping a fair field–although plenty of policemen were on hand if they had been needed. The embankment that lies to the left and south of the ground, was covered with spectators as deeply interested in the result as those inside, but who thought the tax of $1 admission a swindle, and so expressed themselves.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a planned new Athletic grounds; the status of the club; gate receipts

Date Saturday, February 24, 1866
Text

The Athletic Club, the Champion organization of Pennsylvania–not content with the ground they occupied last year, have, at great expense, procured another, both larger and more conveniently situated. It will be graded, sodded, and have a seven foot board fence around it. A large number of raised seats will be erected, and a beautiful Club House put up. The ground will be so arranged that it can be used as a Skating Pond in winter. These matters have been given into competent hands, and will be commenced as soon as practicable. The Athletic Club having now a list of over four hundred members, will not let out any of the days on the new ground to another club. Philadelphia City Item February 24, 1866

Our old friend, the Athletics, held their annual meeting on Monday last, when some fifty new members were balloted for, and about $1,000 collected. Colonel Fitzgerald was unanimously re-elected president, which, we believe, is the fifth time this honor has been tendered to him. The club was never so prosperous as at this moment; it has about four hundred members, which list will be increased by July to one thousand, perhaps more. The cost of grading, sodding, fencing, benching and putting a fine house upon the new ground, will reach at least ten thousand dollars. The ground will be fitted for a skating pond in winter. Five dollars subscribed secures admission during summer and winter, without extra charge. Of course, everybody now is anxious to join the club, and applications for membership are received daily from our best citizens.

...

Seats and standing accommodations will be provided for 30,000 spectators. It is understood that ten cents admissions will be charged. Philadelphia City Item March 24, 1866

As the new grounds of the Athletic club will not be ready before July or August, the old grounds are being handsomely fitted up and increased facilities afforded for spectators. Another large pavilion and three new rows of seats on the east and west sides will be erected, the whole being capable of seating from 3000 to 6000 visitors.

...

The Treasurer, in his annual report, stated that the gross receipts for 1865 amounted to more than $5,000! Of which $2,200 was received at the gate. This one fact is highly illustrative of the advantage of a permanent and inclosed ground; for, to say nothing of the advantages accruing from having a ground entirely under club control, and kept in order, the receipts from grand matches not only places a club in a position to make visits to towns and cities, thereby greatly promoting the popularity of the game, but it also relieves those liberal members of every club who usually bear the heavy burdens of expense, from the onus of sustaining the principal expense of an organization by themselves. ... They have leased a new ground on the corner of Twenty second and Brown streets, the extent of the field being 721 feet by 376, and every exertion will be made to make it the ground of the country. Philadelphia City Item March 31, 1866

The Treasurer, in his annual report, stated that the receipts of the club, during 1865, amounted to $4444.62, of which $2282.98 were received as gate-money, and the expenditures, $4306.97, leaving a balance of $137.97. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury January 16, 1871 [in a historical retrospective of the Athletics]

[The Athletic] Club is making extensive improvements upon the property so long occupied by them, and which, fortunately for them, they still retain possession of. The new grounds will not be in condition to be played upon this season; and the job of putting it in order is a more extensive one than was contemplated. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury April 1, 1866

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a prize fight under cover of being baseball games

Date Monday, September 3, 1866
Text

There is still a general disposition among the fancy to indulge in the “manly art of self defence” whenever an opportunity offers, or whenever they can evade the officers of the law in so doing. The prospect of a good fight always draws a good crowd provided sufficient notice of the affair can be spread among the “fancy.” Crowds of sporting men and politicians might have been seen yesterday morning mysteriously wending their way through the streets in the southern portion of Brooklyn; but beyond their immediate circles nobody knew where or when they were going.

Accordingly about four o'clock on Sunday morning a wagon was dispatched to a place near Sheepshead bay, the wagon containing the ropes, stakes and other paraphernalia incident to such an occasion. A farmer's wagon was chosen for the purpose in order to deceive the police if possible, and as will be seen the plan was entirely successful. No notice was taken of the vehicle until all danger was past, and the success of this part of the movement was entirely safe.

Knowing that the preliminaries had been complete, about sixty or a hundred of the fighting fraternity of Brooklyn and the lower wards of this city started for the scene of the action yesterday morning, arriving at the grounds about twelve o'clock.

The fight took place in “The Cedars,” near Sheepshead bay, and within a short distance of the residence of constable John Frend, well known as an energetic officer of Kings county. Frend was, however, outwitted this time, and in such a manner as he had never been outwitted before. When approaching the place, he met the party in squads of about ten or twenty each, all of whom carried sticks resembling base ball bats, while one athletic individual displayed a ball of the latest and most approved style. Of course the object of all this was to deceive the officers of the law as much as possible. The ruse was entirely successful, and when the parties arrived on the ground the ring was already formed, the stakes set and the ropes arranged.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proto-wave?

Date Sunday, October 21, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/15/1866] Quite an amusing incident here occurred, which we cannot refrain from noticing. Directly in front of the Philadelphia delegation a number of planks had been arranged as seats, the same being packed full of interested spectators. Said seats being too low for comfort, several of their occupants arose and indulged themselves in a good stretch, accompanying the action with the yawning sound peculiar under such circumstances. The cue was taken by the opposite side of the field, and soon the entire assemblage became infected, producing a scene ludicrous in the extreme. The satisfaction produced by this little by-play was heartily and good-humoredly manifested by the crowd on the left side of the field waving their handkerchiefs, which was promptly returned by their friends opposite, and soon thousands of pieces of white drapery were floating in the air, creating a sight probably never before witnessed on a similar occasion.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a resume of the Athletics' history and prospects

Date Saturday, May 26, 1866
Text

In March last Mr, Fitzgerald was unanimously re-elected President of the famous Athletic Club. One month thereafter he resigned, intending to withdraw from active Base Ball life, but, within a week he has been induced to accept the Presidency of the Equity Club, the oldest Base Ball organization in the State, and a highly respectable body of young men. ... It took six years and an incredible amount of hard work to make the Athletics the first club in America. When Mr. Fitzgerald accepted the Presidency of the Athletics the club consisted of but three or four individuals. It had neither men, money, ground, nor character. At the time of his resignation, the club had over four hundred members, the best nine in the country, and about seven hundred dollars in the treasury. It remains to be seen how long this prosperity will continue. If good counsels prevail, all will go well–but ignorance, vanity, selfishness, willfulness, and conceit, if allowed to get the upper hand, will destroy this splendid organization, the work of so much labor, thought, and anxiety.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a resume of the history of the Athletics

Date Sunday, May 6, 1866
Text

The Athletic was organized April 7th, 1860, and its first President was Wm. Ernst, Esq. At this meeting Thomas Fitzgerald was elected Vice President, Henry W. Karcher, Secretary, N. Berkenstock, Treasurer, and D.W.C. Moore, Field Captain. The Athletic’s grounds at this period were at Thirty-second and Hamilton streets, West Philadelphia. The club, after its organization, had a difficult [illegible] of it. The members who united with the gentlemen above mentioned at the organization, dropped off one by one, until only Fitzgerald, Berkenstock, Moore and Heizlet remained. These gentlemen persevered under many disheartening circumstances, and resolved among themselves never to give up the ship, and they have witness their bantling grow in numbers and influence, until now it is the foremost club of the State, and ranks the strongest in players of any club in the United States. About the depressing period in its existence to which we have alluded, the hopes of its founders were considerably heightened by a flourishing young club, then known to fame as the “United,” merging with the Athletic. This infused new life into the club, and by it the Athletics obtained Mr. Isaac Wilkins, the present short stop of the club, together with some influential and prominent gentlemen who have remained its fast friends ever since.

Cricket, as some of our readers will recollect, was exceedingly popular several years ago, and attached to one of the clubs were two young men who exhibited talent in that game. Col. Moore, we think it was, who, on seeing them play at cricket, saw that they would prove valuable to base ball players, and induced them to link their fortunes with the Athletics. These boys–since grown to man’s estate and fame–were none other than Messrs. Thos. Pratt and J.D. McBride, who are considered and acknowledged to be the two swiftest pitchers in the United States, and who are also excellent fielders and batters.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a sidearm pitching delivery

Date Sunday, July 22, 1866
Text

Considerable criticism has been passed upon the pitching of Eakin [of the Hamilton Club of Philadelphia]–it being asserted that he does not deliver a fair ball. The rule of the National Convention prescribes:–“The ball must be pitched, not thrown or jerked.” From our interpretation of the rule, we think he delivers a fair ball. McBride’s pitching is underhand bowling; Lex’s, semi-round and underhand, and that of Eakin round arm bowling. Apart from this delivery, he has a serious fault; that is, lifting his foot off the ground as he pitches. This is a clear violation of the rule, and is a “baulk.” If he can keep his foot stationary, his pitching is admissible.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a slide into first?

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

[Mutual vs. Union of Lansingburgh 8/10/1866] In the third inning, McQuade retired, from lifting his hand off the base and being touched by Goldie, Waterman fielding the ball to the first-base finely.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a slide into home

Date Thursday, October 18, 1866
Text

Ives obtained his run by a tremendous jump and slide on to the base under the pitcher’s hands.

Source Detroit Advertiser and Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a suggestion for a score board

Date Saturday, July 14, 1866
Text

By the way the scorers of the game ought to have a place by themselves, for they need to be freed from talkative people and enquiries as to the score. In this latter respect we are surprised that our ball clubs do not adopt the crickets’ style of having a telegraph announcing the state of the game each innings, so that all on the field can see it.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a town ball club switched to baseball

Date Wednesday, September 26, 1866
Text

By an article in the [Cincinnati] Enquirer of this morning, we see that the Olympic Town-Ball Club, of Covington, Ky., still claim the championship. Previous to the match between the Eclipse and Kenton Club, it was understood by us, and so published in Wilkes' Spirit of September 22, that the Olympic Club had changed their game to base-ball, and consequently have no right to the champion Belt. The Eclipse Club of this city, being victorious on last Saturday, now claim the Championship, and shall continue to do so until vanquished. J. B. ABEL, president, E.T.B.C., L. Chrisman, Secretary.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a tree removed from the Hoboken ground

Date Saturday, May 5, 1866
Text

The ground of the Mutuals, which is also the rendezvous of the Active and Gotham Clubs, has been somewhat metamorphosed. The poetic and pathetic appeal of “Woodman, spare that tree,” so long observed to the discomfort both of players and spectators, has at length been disregarded. The proprietor of the grounds having yielded to the logic of President Wildey, that tree has submitted to the incisive strokes of the woodsman, and is no longer an obstacle to the advance of base ball. In addition, the mammoth rock–no less an eyesore than the gigantic vegetable–has been toppled from its foundation and in the bowels of the earth buried.

Source Wilkes Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a trip to 'Spreeville'

Date Sunday, October 21, 1866
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantics 10/18/1866] In the first inning, the Atlantic nine were all in their regular positions when the game began; but the first ball that came to Pearce notified him that he was not in trim to play, “a trip to the Island” having disagreed with him a night or two before, the air of Spreeville not being good for ball-players, and so he concluded to go into retirement at right-field...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

accommodations at the Capitoline grounds

Date Thursday, April 12, 1866
Text

On the Capitoline Grounds will be found the Atlantics, Excelsiors and Enterprise. … Everything has been done by Messrs. Weed and Decker to put the ground in good order and accommodate the players, their friends and the curious public. The admission to the ground will be the same as on previous years. It is a pleasure to chronicle the fact that Lewis will have charge of the edibles at this place. No one will need to go dry or hungry.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

admission fee in Troy

Date Saturday, September 8, 1866
Text

[Mutual vs. Union of Lansingburgh 8/27/1866] [from a letter by “Umpire”:] I met my old friend Stover selling tickets at the gate, and he told me they took in over $180. [from the gate account:] ...by 2 o’clock fully 3000 people were in attendance, quite a number of whom were ladies. New York Clipper September 8, 1866 [These figures imply an admission fee of $0.06, but if we subtract club members and ladies admitted gratis, and assume some of the spectators were outside the fence, the customary fee of $0.10 is more likely.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advertising for a pitcher

Date Saturday, July 21, 1866
Text

WANTED–A FIRST-CLASS BASE BALL PITCHER, for a series of match games, to come off this season. By addressing to A. SNEIDER, P.O., Box 141, Sunbury, Northumberland County, Penn., you can learn particulars

We call the attention of pitchers, who desire to hire themselves out by the day, week, month, or year, to the above advertisement, which we cut from the New York Clipper. How much will Sneider give? Can he pay $20 per week? What security does he offer? Has he any poor relations? Will cold victuals be thrown in?

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advice on practice technique

Date Saturday, May 12, 1866
Text

Young clubs should bear in mind that batting is a secondary consideration in practice. Any muffy player can bat well, as a general thing, from the start; but accuracy in throwing and the ability to pick up a ball well is only acquired in constant practice. In New York, our ball players are in the habit of passing the ball around the bases on practice days, and throwing it rapidly from player to player, and it is this practice which improves a player in fielding.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Al Reach begins manufacturing equipment

Date Sunday, November 18, 1866
Text

Al. Reach has received an order to manufacture a set of base ball bats, bases, guidons, &c. Al. promises that they shall be, in all respects, first-class. They will be voted for at the annual fair of St. Joseph’s, and be given to the club polling the highest vote. Go in, boys, and win them.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Al Reach discusses base ball versus town ball

Date Sunday, June 3, 1866
Text

[Al Reach, while in Harrisburg to umpire a match, calls on the governor:] Reach posted the Governor as to in what consisted the difference between base ball and the old game of town ball. The Governor said he had played the latter when a boy at school, and related one or two humorous instances of his experience in playing town ball.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Al Reach goes into business

Date Saturday, April 21, 1866
Text

The great second Base of the Athletics, invites attention to his advertisement. Base Balls and Bats for sale, and Segars and Tobacco of his own importation and manufacture. All the Ball players in the city, and thousands who admire the game will call on Reach daily and hourly just to talk Ball talk, and be edified. The store is No. 404½ Chestnut. Players throughout the State, would do well to order their segars and Tobacco of Reach.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an account of Chadwick

Date Saturday, September 15, 1866
Text

[from a letter from “Umpire”] How that fellow [“Chad”] does like to write about ball matters, to be sure. They say he sleeps on bases and has score books for his pillows. Ain’t the roughs and the betting men down on him, though? He don’t care for that, I guess, for he’s bound to support the game through thick and thin, and he writes “on the square,” and the boys know that no clubs can buy him. He’s a distant, silent kind of chap, and though I know him he don’t know me. But enough of him.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an agreement not to call balls

Date Tuesday, August 7, 1866
Text

[Typographical vs. American Bank Note Company 8/6/1866] The Umpire was Mr. Garrison, of the Stars. His decisions were impartially given; but, by mutual consent of the contestants, he ignored the sixth rule almost entirely, and the consequence was a game of over four hours duration and but seven innings played at that. It is better in all cases to “stick to the text” closely.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an ill-manner lout in the ladies' pavilion

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Young Bachelors 8/7/1866] Mr. Vanhook, the manager of Oakdale, is determined to enforce the rules adopted for the government of the park. A fellow planted himself on the topmost seat of the ladies’ pavilion on Tuesday and commenced squirting tobacco juice right and left, to the annoyance of ladies and to the detriment of sundry coat tails. He was reproved by Mr. V., but paid no heed to it, and in consequence was landed outside the grounds. This is a good beginning for Oakdale, and Mr. Vanhook’s prompt action will be the means of deterring others who might feel similarly inclined.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an imposter reporter

Date Sunday, October 21, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Thespian 10/19/1866] Dan. Kleinfelder has the thanks of newspaper men for insisting that the reporter’s stand should be kept clear from intruders. The sublimest piece of impudence was have seen attempted in a long time, was that of the well known fraud attempting to pass himself off as a reporter for the New York Herald. The point of the joke is, that the Herald had a correspondent upon the platform as a looker one, and who, if the occasion had demanded it, would have made the Herald acquainted with the particulars. This imposter, whose name is Chandler, was inquired for at our office by his wife a few weeks ago, and who is extremely anxious to lay hands on him, that she may make him provide for her support.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an injury during pre-game practice

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/22/1866] [Al Reach] was badly injured in one of his fingers while practicing previous to the arrival of the Atlantics. He played his little game, however, with a disable hand, and bore his sufferings like a Major. The fingers was frightfully swollen.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

another account of the failed match

Date Sunday, October 7, 1866
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 10/1/1866] There was witnessed on Monday last, on the Athletic grounds, the largest concourse of people ever assembled together at one time in this or any other city. We arrived on the ground at twelve o’clock, and then ladies were being permitted to enter and occupy seats reserved expressly for them. In a few minutes after this time the crowd began to enter and to occupy every available inch of standing room–and still they came. As far as the eye could reach down Columbia avenue and across the open space in front of the grounds, one steady stream of humanity was observable, pushing and jostling its way towards the desired spot. The Committee had no difficulty in preserving order, and the multitude “bore with patient resignation” the long delay, and we heard no complaints. Indeed, we never saw a better-humored assemblage; and remarkable as it may appear, there was no one we saw who gave signs of being under the influence of intoxicating drink. We felt like congratulating all assembled; and probably this would have been the result, but for the unprincipled action of a party of Girard House thieves and Continental blacklegs, who, wearing Atlantic badges, broke through the lines and set an example for others to follow. The field committee were powerless–the Atlantic were their honored guests, and of course this included the rag and the bobtail of Brooklyn, New York and Philadelphia. We have, in the course of the season, spoken our sentiments in reference to this promiscuous distribution of badges. Our Athletics and Keystones have suffered through the folly of it, and have ordered their respective committees to be careful upon whom they confer a badge of acknowledgment.

The field was clear, and the crowd itself disposed to extend the courtesies of a fair field to the contestant, when was manifested by their keeping within the prescribed limits. Another mistake was in obligingly permitted females to walk across the field previous to and during lulls in the game. Ladies have no right to expect such courtesies, when the pleasure of twenty thousand people is thereby jeopardized. We trust that at the game to be played on the 22d inst., a new order of arrangements will be introduced. We have attended a great many matches on the Capitoline Ground, and saw some pretty large assemblages. We have never, from being of a delegation from this city, received any special privileges. We protest, then, against extending such favors to those who accompany nines, we care not where they come from, and particularly when the parties receiving them are citizens, and very respectable citizens, too, of this city.

At two o’clock the scene was one of the most imposing ever beheld (the field still remaining clear). Away, a distance of three squares, was one impenetrable mass of human beings, and it was as bewildering a sight as we ever looked upon. Even the housetops and trees in the neighborhood had occupants, and one of our reporters counted twenty-seven persons on the roof of the old farm-house at Fifteenth street, and the avenue.

... The crowd began the encroachments noticed above, until there was scarcely room left for Signor Dockney to perform the duties which he does so satisfactorily. Efforts were made to induce the crowd to keep a respectful distance; but to our “experienced eye,” we saw that this was impossible, and that the jig was up. It did not take Mr. Bomeisler [the umpire] long to come to the same conclusion, and to the regret of thousands, many of whom had come a long distance to witness the sport, the game was called. As if by instinct, the masses caught the conclusion, and in the twinkling of an eye the field was literally covered with those whose eager curiosity had spoiled the sport. For an hour afterwards, several thousand people still hovered around the spot, expecting and confident that the game would be played on the sly. Dan Kleinfelder, Esq., mounted the reporter’s stand, and expressed a desire that they should visit a spot not far distant, wand where Dan hoped, in view of the disappointment, they would enjoy themselves. Following Mr. K., we were taken to a shady grove, where on the arrival of the Atlantics, a collation was spread to which the company were invited to do justice. Dan did the honors in an unostentatious way, and to the satisfaction, we presume, of every one–of course, excepting the bummer fraternity, who were out in strong numbers.

The city was surrendered–or at least Chestnut street was–to the disappointed ones, by the result of the match. Up to midnight we could hear the wailing of the enemy, and the growls of the poor devils who had put their last cent in the way of betting upon the club that was bound to win. Several well-known characters, who had been prominent in bringing about just what occurred, were both demonstrative and boisterous. These fellows, by their own account, had stakes thousands of dollars upon the result. We doubted whether they had invested that many cents.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

another account, from a correspondent

Date Saturday, October 13, 1866
Text

A Philadelphia correspondent, who seems to have had an eye on the proceedings on the grounds, sends up the following report of men, matters, etc., as they came under his observation:-

FRIEND QUEEN.- October the 1st being the day selected for the great match for the Championship of America, between the Atlantic, of Brooklyn, and Athletic, of ye Quaker City, I wended my way to the scene of strife arriving on the ground at fifteen minutes after twelve. I found at that time every available seat was occupied; in fact, standing room from which a view of the field could be obtained, was at a premium. Having secured a seat on one of the places arranged amphitheatre style, by giving a small boy the sum of one dollar, I sat down to wait two mortal hours for the play to begin. A cheer now arose on the arrival of the Atlantic, accompanied by the Keystones, in an omnibus, drawn by four horses; they immediately went to the club house and in an astonishing short space of time had doffed their civilized suits and donned their playing suits and went on the field for play. The specified time 1 o'clock to play having arrived, the services of Theo. Bomeisler were secured for umpire, and the Atlantic—winning the toss—sent their opponents to the bat...

...Here the crow pressed forward so that it was impossible to go on with the game. They broke down the fences and benches, ran across the field in defiance of the numerous policemen in attendance to keep order, and as there was no hope of bringing the crowd to subjection, the field captains of the respective clubs decided it a drawn game, much to the indignation of the orderly spectators, also those who bet their pile on the result of the game. The field committee, in my opinion, were very inefficient, there not being half enough appointed. The police force was also too small: there should have been at least four times as many. The ropes were not one fourth thick enough. The police, considering their number, did very efficient service until the rope broke and then it was impossible to keep the mass of human beings back. The crowd inside and outside the gates numbered between thirty and forty thousand people, many of the fair sex of Philadelphia, as well as New York, lending their pleasing presence to the occasion, and applauded lustily when their favorites made a good play or secured a run. Let me add, that the persons accompanying the Atlantics from New York must observe better order hereafter than they did on this occasion. It is surprising to me that everything pass of as orderly as it did. R.B.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Atlantics raid the Excelsior roster

Date Monday, July 23, 1866
Text

The Atlantics have but recently organized their Champion nine, but they now have a chance to show whether they are still to “fly the whip” or make room for some other Club. Brooklyn Eagle July 23, 1866

The Excelsiors at first gave good promise of following their motto and taking a position at the head of the list; but their nine is now broken up and they must content themselves with maintaining their old position and reputation as a club of gentlemen who play base ball from a love of the game itself and not for the sake of trophies or championship. Since Pearce and Crane have gone back to their “first love” the Atlantics have now—or will as soon as they can play—a stronger nine than ever before and will probably distance all competitors... Brooklyn Eagle August 4, 1866

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attempts to disconcert the opponents

Date Sunday, September 9, 1866
Text

[Vigilant vs. Central 8/21/1866] A closely contested match was played...and had it not been for the ungentlemanly conduct of some members of the Vigilant, who endeavored to disconcert their opponents by shouting and other ungentlemanly demonstrations, the game would have been a pleasant one.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

backstop removed from the Eureka ground

Date Sunday, September 2, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Eurekas of Newark 8/27/1866] It was remarked by all that the fence in the rear of the catcher had been removed, which gave rise to considerable discussion among the friends of the contestants. The result of its removal, however, was disastrous to the Eurekas, as Osborne, their catcher, allowed ten balls to pass him and Dockney only two.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ball knocked out of the hand of the baseman

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

Reed had his base given to him by the mistake of the umpire. He had hit the ball to Mitchell, who picked it up nicely and sent it to Whiting, the latter holding it clearly, and touching Reed with it before he reached the base; but in the act of touching him, the ball was knocked out of Whiting’s hand, and the umpire erroneously declared him “not out”. When the ball is once held, the knocking it out of the player’s hands does not change the play at all, as it frequently happens that the collision sends the ball out of the fielder’s hands.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

base players deceiving the umpire

Date Saturday, April 28, 1866
Text

When players are touched in running bases, the Umpire should judge of the fact by the probability of the occurrence, from the proximity of the players to each other, rather than by the action of the base player in touching his opponent, as the base player frequently feigns to touch his adversary, when he knows he is not within reach, or has his foot on the base, for the purpose of deceiving the umpire.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball excitement in Philadelphia

Date Saturday, October 13, 1866
Text

Any one skeptical as to the great popularity of base ball, would have had his doubts on the subject instantly removed by a sojourn of a few hours in Philadelphia on Monday, Oct 1st, for on that day Philadelphia “had base ball on the brain” to an extent hitherto unequaled, the occasion being the visit of the champion Atlantics to play their first game of the series of home and home matches with the Athletics, a club not yet defeated in a single game this season, a success achieved by no other first class club in the country this season. We frequently hear of a furore for this, that and the other, but on this special occasion any one who couldn't talk base ball, or who was not in some way connected with the grand contest of the day, was nobody. The theme pervaded all corners of the city, and was the topic of interest among all classes for the day. On “change” the prospects of success of the contesting nines were discussed at the same time with the rise and fall of stocks. In the markets the merits of the leading players formed the subject of commerce among the dealers, in preference to the price of beef, port, butter of cabbages. On the streets, politics and base ball divided the conversation. In the offices, betting among the clerks was the order of the day, and even the “bosses” entered in the spirit of the thing to an extent that led many of them to close their establishments in the afternoon, and thereby allow their employees, equally with themselves, an opportunity of going out to see the “big match.” The lions of the day, of course, were the members of the two contesting nines, and even those who were merely members of the two clubs achieved a notoriety, for the time being, , that tickled the vanity of the majority of them amazingly. “Muffin” Atlantics and Athletics became important personages, wore their hats on one side, and looked on ordinary beings in pity. Editors of journals, who hitherto had “pooh poohed” base ball matters as unworthy of serious attention, had their eyes opened to the fact that “ye national game” was a “bigger thing” than they had estimated it, and those of the reportorial corps of the city papers, who had “always told them so, you know” enjoyed their triumph not a little, as they saw that the great excitement in regard to the match, and the thousands upon thousands who showed the deep interest they took in the matter, was having the right influence in high quarters, in removing the obstacles which had previous excluded from the columns of their papers all the extended and well written reports they had frequently sent in, only to be excluded altogether, or so cut down as to take away the very pith and marrow from the subject entirely.

City railroad company directors smiled in anticipation of large returns for the day, and those whose lines did not run near the favored spot began to elaborate plans for getting up ball grounds and bit matches near the terminus of their routes. But of all parties who enjoyed special advantaged in the way of profit and popularity, those residing within the immediate vicinity of the grounds exceeded all others. Brown, Jones and Smith, whose homes overlooked the field, were never such “splendid fellows” as they were on this day. What hosts of new friends they had, and as for influence, why, “You can have anything you like, my boy,” “Do anything in the world for you.”

Al Reach's “Base Ball Exchange,” on Chestnut street, has always been a popular resort since the “institution” was organize, but on this day there was no getting within reach of the place at all. Outside, a big crowd was collected, discussing, betting and pushing, joking, buying, selling and quoting, the Wall street “bulls” and “bears” on a panic day. “Who wants a hundred of Athletic at, buyer ?” “Here's fifty of Atlantic at, seller 5.” “One hundred to eight on Dick's nine,” says a Morrisanian disciple. “Take that five times,” replies a Brooklynite. “Ten to five Berky leads the score,” cries a third. “Fifty to forty Start hits Dick for a home run.” “Done,” is the prompt reply from rive or six, and so the little game goes on, and the excitement increases.

In the meantime, as the hour approaches for the contest to commence, the steady tide begins to flow Columbia avenueward, until towards 1 P.M., when the mob of people, the crowd of vehicles, and extraordinary numbers of men, women and boys en route for the scene of action, is only equalled [sic] by the exodus from London on the great Derby day. The ground reached, what a sight is presented! No such scene of the kind was ever before presented to the public eye in this country, and probably will not again for some time, certainly not this season. Within a radius of a quarter of a mile from the centre of the circle were collected nearly 40,000 people, it is thought. Every window of every house within sight of the field was crowded. The house tops were peopled to an extent endangering the roofs. Trees were loaded with human fruit, and vehicles of every description surrounded the field, filled with all who could get a foothold on them. Inside the enclosure, the pressure was immense, and by the hour appointed for commencing play standing room within fifty feet of the base lines was at a premium, and, as a consequence, there was no space for the players for field operations, at least to an extent admitting of an equal contest. At last, out of patience with the delay, an effort was made to begin, but one innings play on each side sufficed to show that a game on such a crowded field was out of the question, and reluctantly both parties consented to a postponement.

The disappointment consequent upon the unforeseen termination of the meeting was very great, and the Athletic Club came in for no small share of censure, some pretty hard things being said about their “grasping for gate money,” etc. But this charge was unmerited, for it that had been their object they could have trebled their receipts of the day by disposing of tickets to speculators a premium prices, but they determined to give all a chance to see, their error being in not calculating upon so large an attendance.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baseball's ubiquity; Sunday ball playing

Date Monday, September 3, 1866
Text

Base ball is the American national game. That is about settled. Base ball is here what cricket is in England. For some time past frequent complaint has been made at the Nineteenth ward station house of parties engaging in this amusement in that locality on Sunday to the scandal of some and the annoyance of others. The different gardens there, the open lots, and even the streets, it is said, were so occupied every Sunday, and regular matches were frequently played out on that day. The aid of the police was invoked to put a stop to it. That aid was freely given, but with ill success. What particular law or ordinance it infringed is not stated; but despite the efforts to suppress indulgence in this pastime on Sunday it continued. Frequent descents by the police upon parties thus engaged caused a skedaddle at sight of an officer; bats and balls were often left upon the field to be confiscated, but no arrests were made. Yesterday quite an invasion of the ward took place. It was represented by the police that between four and five hundred were participants in base ball matches there during the day. A more successful effort was made to satisfy the numerous complainants, and about fourteen base ball players, mostly under age, and all belonging to the ward, were arrested during the day. There were all locked up, and will be brought before Justice Kelly this morning.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Batters standing behind the plate; umpire calling balls

Date Sunday, June 3, 1866
Text

[Harvard vs. Eureka of Newark 5/31/1866] A feature of the game was the excellent umpiring of Mr. Hayhurst. He was far in advance of his predecessor in regard to calling balls, and yet was lenient. We were glad to see him keep the strikers up to the rule. In one instance he learnt Callaway [of the Eureka] a lesson which he ought to profit by at once. Callaway, like many others—Crane, for instance—has a habit of standing about four feet back of the home-base when he strikes, thus giving him a better chance to judge the ball. He does not hit from where he stands, but jumps forward to meet the ball, thus obtaining an additional impetus in strike. It is a good point, but being an illegitimate one, he will have to drop it. The striker has no more right to stand off the line of his base when striking than the pitcher has to move his feet in pitching. It is about time this rule was properly observed.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batting and throwing practice

Date Tuesday, October 23, 1866
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 10/22/1866] There was considerable delay in the arrival of the Atlantics, during which the Athletic players occupied the field and amused the crowd with throwing and batting practice.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

battling off pitches; taking first on a called third strike

Date Tuesday, October 23, 1866
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 10/22/1866] Wilkins stood at the bat again until “two balls” and “two strikes” had been called, and struck foul after foul. At last the umpire called three strikes on him, and Mills, who thought he had caught him out, did not throw the ball to first. Somebody told Wilkins to run, and he did run, and then Mills threw the ball to first, but too late. A first-class muffin proceeding all round.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

beer in Morrisania

Date Wednesday, June 27, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Union of Morrisania 6/26/1866] Arrived on the field,the combatants commenced to prepare for the contest, while the crowd wandered around, drinking lager and other fluids not contraband in Westchester.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

broken bats

Date Sunday, June 10, 1866
Text

[Bachelor vs. Quickstep 6/5/1866] We do not know how many bats were broken by the Bachelors, but Reach, who acted as umpire, kept a jealous eye on the destructive qualities exhibited by the Bachelors, and could probably furnish the score in that particular.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

called strikes balls; a base on balls

Date Tuesday, September 25, 1866
Text

[Irvington vs. Atlantic 9/24/1866] Dick Pearce took the bat and seemed to be rather shy of Walter's fierce pitching, waiting until the umpire [Brientnall of the Eureka] called “one ball.” At length he got one that suited him, and straightway went out on a foul tip. … Chapman waited for a chance until the umpire called “one ball” on Walters, and then made a safe hit to right field, securing his first base. … Walters at the bat, one strike, one ball, caught out by Chapman on a foul. … Mike Campbell, after the umpire had called one strike and one ball, secured his first on a ball muffed near the third base. Mills having gone out on three strikes once, was cautious about what balls he struck at. The umpire called one ball, two balls, and finally “three balls,” so that Mills walked to his first...

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling balls 2

Date Sunday, June 17, 1866
Text

The pitching before...was bad enough, but now it became awful. It was near 5 o’clock when the fourth inning began, with Oliver at the bat. At 5, P.M., Oliver had a chance to strike; at 5:10 another opportunity was afforded him; at 5:15 “foul ball” was called, and at 5:20 we believe John got another ball near enough to hit, and then made his base. Just so it was on the other side, about one ball in ten from Potts being within reach of the bat. The umpire called balls, to be sure, but not a third the number that should have been called. Umpire seem to think that the intention to pitch fair balls is enough to prevent them from inflicting the penalty. Now, this is an error. The rule says plainly enough “or for any cause”. When we see an umpire do his duty fully in this respect, we shall go in for giving him a prize-medal.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling balls and strikes

Date Tuesday, October 23, 1866
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 10/22/1866] Kleinfelder led off at the bat, and seemed inclined to stay at the home base. The umpire called “one strike,” “one ball,” “two strikes,” “two balls,” and then Kleinfelder knocked a grounder to Charley Smith, which was promptly passed to first base, putting him out amid great cheering by the New-Yorkers.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling for low pitches

Date Saturday, October 13, 1866
Text

[Star of Newton, N.J. vs. Randolph of Dover, N.J. 10/3/1866] We noticed, by the way, that when players were on the bases the batsmen on both sides—the Irvingtons beginning and the Actives following suit—called for low balls, “about a foot over the base,” though nearly all who called for them were in the habit of striking at balls waist high. Now this style of thing Umpires ought to put a stop to. No batsman can insist upon a low ball unless he is in the regular habit of striking at low balls.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling judgment on the pitcher

Date Tuesday, September 25, 1866
Text

[Irvington vs. Atlantic 9/24/1866] The Atlantics began to growl at Walters's pitching, one of them said, “Mr. Umpire, I call judgment on that man's throwing the ball. He don't pitch it.” Walters said, “that is the first time I ever head any man say that.” … the Atlantics...thus far don't like the pitching at all; it is like trying to hit a rifle ball. “Never mind,” says Dickey Pearce, “let them throw them, so long as we get them where we want 'em.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick apparently at the Clipper

Date Saturday, April 28, 1866
Text

We have endeavored for two years to get a rule adopted in Conventions defining unfair balls–our object being to remove the discretionary powers of the Umpire as much as possible; but owing to a lack of proper definitions being presented to the convention, nothing has been yet done.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick's doings

Date Saturday, May 26, 1866
Text

Henry Chadwick, the great Base Ball Reporter, is again at his old post in Brooklyn. He will report this season for a half dozen leading journals, and Secretaries of clubs would do well to address him frequently. Mr. Chadwick is a gentleman of ability and integrity.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick's self-assessment

Date Saturday, August 18, 1866
Text

[Eureka vs. Atlantics, second nines, 8/17/1866] The Umpire, Mr. Chadwick, of the Star Club, gave entire satisfaction to both parties; his decisions being very sound.

Source Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Charles Commerford in Massachusetts

Date Sunday, May 6, 1866
Text

[Waterbury vs. Plymouth, both Massachusetts] Charles Commerford, one of the old original players of the Gotham Club, of this city, played in the Waterbury nine.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

club officers should be interrogated about paying players

Date Tuesday, June 26, 1866
Text

...we are assured that one or two, perhaps more, of the prominent clubs of the country, are in the habit of paying, directly and indirectly, some of their players. Of course, all who break the law will not too curiously interrogate rival clubs; but all others, before beginning a match, should put the President of Vice-President on the witness stand to answer, on honor, whether there are any players on the nine who receive pay for the services. This, we hear, will be the rule hereafter, and it will be found to work advantageously for the best interests of our noble national game. Let the hired men take notice., quoting the New York Tribune

Source Philadelphia Evening Telegraph
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

commentary on Fitzgerald's feud

Date Saturday, August 11, 1866
Text

[from a letter by “Umpire”] You don’t read Fitzgerald’s Item, do you? If you do, you must be aware that the Colonel is going it pretty strong on Col. Moore. The fact is, the Athletics have not done the right thing towards the man who built them up, and, consequently, the colonel is “down upon ‘em” for it; but his course of opposition is not as wise or politic a one as he might pursue. Personalities don’t pay. Pitch in all you like, but do it in a way that hurts your opponent without hurting yourself. In my opinion, Fitz does himself more harm than he does Colonel Moore, who is deservedly popular with the fraternity in Philadelphia. I’m sorry Fitz does so, because I like him. He is an enthusiastic, whole-souled fellow, who never does things by halves; and can’t he talk a club up, though. The Athletics certainly made a mess of it when they let him be over-run by new men.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

competition for use of the field

Date Tuesday, September 11, 1866
Text

TYPOGRAPHICAL VS. AGATE.--A match between the above clubs was set down for yesterday afternoon at Carroll Park. The game was commenced and four innings played, when an interruption occurred of which a correspondent gives a very good account, and it is annexed:

“We were sorry to see this game interrupted in the manner it was, by a club who were winning their way to favor by their playing qualities, but we feel like informing them that there are reputations for other qualities not to be despised, which no club can afford to dispense with, and which are not attainable by any such boorish displays as this to which we refer on the part of the Powhatan club. As regards their coming on the ground in the manner they did, and causing the game to terminate there and then because it was their day, it would be inexcusable ever were they embarked in the enterprise of training for the purpose of wresting the laurels of the championship from the Atlantics. Their discourtesy is unprecedented and unusual, and may arise from forgetfulness on their part, as they have not been a playing club within the last five years, and may forget the courtesies that are usually extended in the fraternity of ball clubs one to another.

The game opened and continued so well in favor of the Typos that when the interruption occurred, and before it was ascertained that the Mohawks freely tendered their ground for the purpose of playing it out, brother Marin, of the Union, and others of the Agate were glad to be excused from further participation in the honors of the “game” the typos had in store for them and made home runs. They will please to note that though being turned off the ground seems bad on the part of the Typos, they usually manage to offer some sort of treat to their brother chips from New York.” Brooklyn Eagle September 11, 1866 [The game was not completed. The score after three and a half innings was 32-7 in favor of the Typographical club.]

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

confirming Chadwick at the NY Sunday Mercury

Date Saturday, August 11, 1866
Text

[from a letter to the City Item] By the way, here is a capital take on... It is cut from the N.Y. Sunday Mercury, and is, no doubt, the production of that excellent base ball reporter, CHADWICK:

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

confusion over a false foul call

Date Saturday, June 23, 1866
Text

[Eureka vs. Union of Morrisania 6/12/1866] Brientnall...made his first base, Fryatt being the next striker. At this time a regular mixed up state of things occurred, which finally resulted in a manner unfavorable to the success of the Unions. It was as follows:–Brientnall, who was on this first, started en route for his second, when Fryatt hit a fair ball, but so close to the line of the base that the crowd on the left thought it was foul, and one over-excited Newarker called out “foul,” whereupon the half dozen captains of the Eurekas now began yelling out to Brientnall to go back, which he did, and owing to wild throwing returned to his first in safety. It being then ascertained that it was a fair ball, there was more excited calling out, and the ball being hastily passed to Smith at first base, in order to cut off Fryatt, who again ran for his first, it passed Smith [first baseman], and Fryatt made his base, and the ball afterwards being thrown to third base and missed by Abrams [third baseman], Brientnall not only secured his third but also came home, Fryatt securing his second base. Here was a run secured instead of a man out, the whole blunder being the result of a lack of discipline on the part of the Eureka nine, four or five men acting as captains in the place of one.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

connection between the Atlantic Club and the Brooklyn Eagle

Date Sunday, September 2, 1866
Text

[from Answers:] “Can you inform me through the columns of the next issue of your valuable paper with what journal David A. Sutton, Esq., of the Brooklyn, N.Y., Vice President of the Atlantic Base Ball Club, is connect, and what his connection is? By so doing, you will very much oblige.” He was connected with the Brooklyn Eagle, but is not now; he was Vice President of the Atlantic Club, but is not now. When last heard from, he was delivering Fenian lectures through the country.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

counterfeit muffin matches

Date Sunday, August 5, 1866
Text

We protest against the infliction of these counterfeit affairs on the fraternity as muffin-matches. Either give us the genuine thing, or call these amateur or third-nine games by their right name. No one should take part in a muffin-match save those who by excessive weight, lack of experience, or by some physical incompetency are unfitted for ball-players. This smuggling in of second-class players under the name of muffins, simply because they have ceased to equal the high demands of the game in these days of improved play, is not the right thing to do. A genuine muffin-match is as enjoyable an affair as we know of, but these hybrid affairs are quite the reverse.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cricket clubs challenging one another to baseball

Date Sunday, August 19, 1866
Text

Noticing in last Sunday’s Mercury a communication saying that the Olympian Cricket Club were desirous of playing the Athletic Base Ball Club a game of Base Ball; and as the Chippewa would also like to play a game of Base Ball, the Chippawa hereby challenges the Olympian to play them a match game of Base Ball at as early a date as convenient. We would prefer a home and home match. An answer, addressed to the Secretary, will meet with prompt attention.

Respectfully, SAML. W. MERRILL,

Sec’y Chippewa C.C. 1342 N. 11 thst.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

crowd control, and umpire calling time

Date Sunday, September 2, 1866
Text

[a letter from James P. Butler of the Eckford BBC, who umpired a junior match] In the ninth inning, the crowd got so near the first-base that it was impossible for me to see it at all. I called time, and said that if the crowd was not kept back I would call game.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

deeking the runner

Date Saturday, October 13, 1866
Text

[Active vs. Irvington 10/3/1866] [H. Campbell at third base] M. Campbell at this junction hit a ball to Collins [third baseman] and ran for his 1st base; Collins picked up the ball just back of the line of the base, and at the same moment H. Campbell, waiting until Collins made the motion to throw to first base, started to run home. Collins was close by at the time and was on the lookout for a point, and holding the ball instead of throwing it as he had motioned to do, turned suddenly upon Campbell and touched him, thus cutting a sure run off in the nick of time, M. Campbell reaching his base. This play had quite a discouraging effect on the Irvingtons, for it was like taking the victory right out of their hands.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining a balk; pitchers' deliveries

Date Saturday, July 7, 1866
Text

[from answers to correspondents] Nearly every pitcher has three movements in pitching: first, to bend the body; then, to draw back his arm; and third, to swing it forward to deliver. The moment he makes the first of these preliminary movements, and fails to follow it up by delivering the ball to the pitcher, he commits a baulk without doubt. The Association Book is standard authority, and the rule is plain enough. New York Clipper July 7, 1866

McBride’s pitching; what constitutes effective pitching; batters calling for high or low balls; fooling the umpire

[Athletic vs Union of Morrisania 6/26/1866] The game opened very favorably for the Athletics, the Unions being unable to score a single run in their first three innings, they having had no such truly legitimate and effective pitching to contend against as McBride’s this season. New York Clipper July 7, 1866

Of one fact there is no doubt now in our minds, and that is that the Athletics have in McBride the most effective pitcher in the country. He is no swifter–if as swift–than Williams, of the Nationals: but he has far more command of the ball, and he pitches with more judgment than any pitcher we know of. For instance, if the batsman says he wants a low ball, it comes to him; but either too close to his body or too far out to be one to suit him. This, of course, outsiders do not perceive; they only see that the ball is sent in the right height indicated. And when the ball is sent in just when it can be fairly hit by the bat it is too low or too high; and when it does come in just in the right position, it happens that it is exactly when the batsman is unprepared to strike. Now, in the first instance, when a striker sees balls come to him the right height from the ground, and knows that the crowd think he ought to strike at them–they not knowing that they are out of reach or too close to him–he is apt to strike at a ball he cannot hit, a “tip” on a fair hit of course being the result; and so it is with the other style of balls sent him, and this style of thing it is that constitutes effective pitching, and which shows head work in delivery. Mere pace alone is nothing unless the command of the ball is its accompaniment, for without such command this strategical pitching cannot be indulged in. This is the secret of McBride’s success, and hence those who with to succeed against his pitching should offset his playing point in this with, with equal judgment in batting, a good umpire being an essential aid to the attainment of such success. New York Clipper July 7, 1866

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dick McBride's return to work after the big game

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

When Dick McBride entered the City Controller’s office on Tuesday morning last, he was surprised at seeing his desk beautifully festooned with flags, and with the magical numbers, 31 x 12, with other devices, in commemoration of the engagement of the day previous. The surprise to Dick was an agreeable one, and was arranged by his fellow clerks, with whom Dick is justly popular.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

disputing Chadwick's assessment

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

It is strange what errors those who write for the New York and Brooklyn papers fall into respecting the game in this city. Thus, our friend Chadwick–able and impartial as a reviewer of matches–writes that a certain individual is the father of the game hereabouts, and that the Athletic owe their present position to his exertions. Admitting that the person in question did talk and write the Athletic up, what benefit would accrue from his doing so? Not any, as every newspaper man in the city will inform “Chad.” when he makes the inquiry. The Athletic is now reported in papers that were not given to noticing them, and from the fact that the person whom “Chad.” is disposed to ascribe so much to, is no longer at their head. It may be some little while ere “Chad.” comes this way, and we feel anxious that he should post himself. Suppose, then, that he inquires of Frank Queen, Esq., or Col. T. Allstop Brown, concerning the press, and the influence of its individual representatives in this village. Be sure you are right, “Chad,” and then go ahead. When “Chad.” does drop in upon us, the scales will be removed from his eyes, and he will be given ocular proof of the influence of the humbug he has credited for more than is awarded in this locality.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dissipation of baseball

Date Tuesday, October 2, 1866
Text

[following the failed Atlantic-Athletic match] The rush to see the contest was so great that the contest itself was prevented. So it will be with the whole system, unless something like moderation is instilled into its devotees. The business men of our city are getting disgusted; and althou8gh they may like to see the young men indulge in the game once or twice a week, the present dissipation will not be tolerated much longer. But even if they were willing, the excitement is now at such a fever heat that it will degrade the sport to a level with horse-races and prize-rings. We know that there are hundreds of respectable people who attend these matches, but there are hundreds of gamblers, pickpockets, and other scoundrels, who are present also; and the latter class will soon drive the former from the field.

Yesterday we witness the betting freely and openly performed inside the field, and in the presence of a crowd of witnesses, notwithstanding the rules of the Athletics. Such infringements of the law and such exhibitions of immorality are calculated to drive all honorable admirers of the game to their homes in disgust. It is a duty which the clubs owe to themselves, to save their amusement from becoming disreputable.

This great congregation of people drew together a vast number of liquor booths, rum shops, and lager beer dealers. They surrounded the outskirts of the crowd, and made the game tend to promote intemperance. The whole this is “being run into the ground.” The rowdyism exhibited was enough to drive all respectable people forever off the field. The betting engaged in resembled more the scenes at the old Suffolk Park Races than a respectable game of base-ball. The drinking done was calculated to alarm all lovers of morality, and unless a total revolution is effected, the game of base-ball will be ranked with the vices, and all little boys who engage in it will, like those of the novel, who watched horse races, be considered the synonym of fast young men, and parents will frown down that which will only degenerate.

Source Philadelphia Evening Telegraph
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

duties of umpires: calling foul balls

Date Saturday, April 28, 1866
Text

He should call foul balls in a loud tone of voice, but not until the ball actually becomes a foul ball by touching the ground, the person of a player, or any other object behind the range of the home and first base and home a third base. In cases of foul ball tipped, he may call them promptly as soon as struck; but when a ball rises in the air to the right or left, and presents the appearance of going either fair or foul, he should wait until the ball touches some object before he calls foul. When a ball is fair he should keep silent.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early example of umpire calling 'Play'

Date Sunday, September 23, 1866
Text

[Excelsiors vs. Nationals 9/18/1866] It was near 3 P.M., before all was in readiness to begin, a partial delay being caused by the taking of a photographic picture of the two nines in costume... The picture taken, the field clear, “Play” was called and the game began.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early score cards

Date Tuesday, October 23, 1866
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 10/22/1866] One of those enterprising Yankees who always turn up with a new advertising dodge, was on hand on this occasion with neat blank scores, on the reverse side of which appeared his card. The crowd indulged its humors in scrambling for them, as they were thrown up for the wind to distribute.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'change pitcher'

Date Sunday, July 1, 1866
Text

If McSweeny will change his delivery from throwing underhand to pitching with a straight arm, he will be a valuable man in the nine as a change pitcher...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'error'

Date Sunday, September 30, 1866
Text

[Atlantic vs. Eureka 9/27/1866] Pearce [led] off with a hit which should have led to his being put out at first-base, but Brientnall overthrew the ball, and Pearce was safe. This error was followed up by others... New York Sunday Mercury September 30, 1866

southern attitude

On the 16th inst., the Union Club, of Richmond, a new organization, comprised of residents of Richmond, sent a challenge to the Richmond Club, the message sent being as follows:

ROOMS UNION BASEBALL CLUB

Richmond, Va., September 16, 1866

SECRETARY OF THE RICHMOND BASEBALL CLUB:

Sir:–Having been authorized, I hereby challenge the Richmond Club to a match-game of baseball, single game, to be played at any time between 5th and 20th of October, and according to the rules of the National Association. Please advise me of the action of the club as early as possible. Should the club think proper to decline the challenge, you will oblige me by stating plainly the reasons therefor.

Respectfully, J. F. Dooley,

Corresponding Secretary of the Union Baseball Club.

The following was the gentlemanly(!) reply:

RICHMOND, September 22, 1866

J. F. DOOLEY, SECRETARY UNION BASEBALL CLUB:

SIR:–Your communication of the 21st [sic] instant is before me. I am instructed to state that the Richmond Baseball Club does not desire, and will not play the Union Club a single game. We are not or do we expect to be members of the National Baseball Convention. Our reason: We are Southerners. Hoping this may be satisfactory. I am,

J. V. BIDGOOD,

Secretary Richmond Baseball Club

New York Sunday Mercury September 30, 1866

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'season ticket'

Date Tuesday, August 14, 1866
Text

Mr. Cammeyer's projected Base Ball Tournament, to take place sometime in September, promised to be a decided success.

Owing to his heavy expenditures and with a laudable desire to keep out the “rowdy element” that has so often disgraced our base ball fields, Mr. C. has changed, or rather will change, the price of admission to twenty-five cents for a single ticket. “Season ticket” – i.e. tickets admitting the bearer to the entire series of ten games—will, however, be sold for one dollar, the old price.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

effective pitching

Date Saturday, September 8, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Eureka 8/27/1866] It was at once evident that McBride was “on his pitch” in this game, for he sent in ripping balls, and so near where the striker indicated he wanted them, that the umpire had but little chance for calling balls.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

eleven men on a side

Date Sunday, July 22, 1866
Text

[Eureka vs. Empire 7/18/1866] The first of the annual series of these games between the amateurs of these clubs took place at Hoboken... [eleven on a side, with a right short and a fielder]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fan interference does not give a base; block ball

Date Saturday, August 18, 1866
Text

[from answers to correspondents] In playing a game of base ball, the ball is stopped by an outsider and a player claims that it gives him one base. I claim by Sec. 24 that if the ball is settled in the pitcher’s hands and then passed to the base before he reaches it, and he is touched, that he is out. ... He is out of course. It does not give a base.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fan reaction to player moves

Date Sunday, June 3, 1866
Text

[Harvard vs. Excelsior 6/1/1866] [three players having moved from the Atlantics to the Excelsiors] Men will act like boys at times, and when they imitate the frolicsomeness and sportive spirit of the juniors it is well and good; but when they descend to the level of quarrelsome juveniles, and act like a party of boys, who, being kept from fighting each other by the fear of the law, revenge themselves by calling their adversaries names, as street-boys do under such circumstances, their boyishness becomes contemptible, to say the least. Just so it was on this occasion. The retirement of three first-class players from one club, and their entry into another, it appears, has excited a degree of animosity toward the players individually, and the club they entered collectively, that is surprising under the circumstances. We say surprising; because this virtuous indignation emanates from parties who, for the past four years, have observed the same course of action in procuring players from other clubs that they now so loudly denounce when applied to themselves. Had the complainants in this case entered court with clean hands, there might have been some consistency in their conduct; but as it is, it is simply the old story of the ox and the bull over again. It was all right enough when it was their bull that gored their neighbor’s ox, but a very different thing when their own ox was the victim. New York Sunday Mercury June 3, 1866

...the Excelsiors played well enough to provoke expressions of petty spite and ire from the less gentlemanly of the friends of the Atlantic Club, and throughout the game the players were subjected to comments as discourteous and gross as they were undeserved. It is gratifying to know that the Harvard Club fully appreciated the spirit which prompted this rudeness, and despised it. It was not so much the success of the Collegians, as the defeat of the Excelsiors, that was aimed at; and the applause bestowed upon the former club at almost every play, whether meritorious or otherwise, as a most palpable expose of the underlying motive which ostensibly developed itself only in the form of good-wishes for the success of the Harvards. The Atlantic Club, who were certainly not accessories to this manifestation of envy and ill-feeling, have a severe task before them this season. They have more than the single duty of maintaining themselves as champions, for it devolves upon them also to discountenance and make amends for the indiscretions of their too warm supporters. Wilkes Spirit of the Times June 9, 1866

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fitzgerald denounces Al Reach

Date Saturday, September 8, 1866
Text

Reach is again whining about going back to the Eckfords. Is this a bid for a new loan? Is this another attempt at the house and lot business–house to be furnished, too? Shall meanness and hypocrisy be further rewarded? Are not the “Hired Men” rather greedy? For two months we have been waiting for the cry–“this business does not pay- - I shall be compelled to go back to New York.” We heard that melancholy whine more than a dozen times last year and the year before. Reach sets high value on his services. In 1865 they cost the Athletics about $800. We suppose he will make $1000 in 1866. Indeed, we love hypocrisy. When Reach told us last year that the Eckfords had offered him $1000 to come back, we simply said–“Go!” How the ‘umble 2d Base wilted! He crawled for a month afterwards–but, the’umble and faithful creature got his $800 for 1865 in the shape of extras and a present. We fear he is into poor Moore heavily. Either Moore or the Treasury will wilt under his whining and persistent attacks! This is the Sunday school teacher! Is Base Ball a game for gentlemen?

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fitzgerald does not write the baseball items

Date Saturday, August 11, 1866
Text

Mr. THOMAS FITZGERALD, Senior Editor of The City Item, has nothing to do with the Base Ball Department. He does not even see it until it is published. Therefore, all abuse of him is labor thrown away.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fitzgerald expelled from the Athletics

Date Sunday, September 9, 1866
Text

The Athletics held a meeting at their rooms on Monday evening last. The Athletics did the second best thing we ever knew them to do, and which is contained in the resolutions appended. The action of the club was nearly unanimous–there being but one dissenting vote–and the members holding opposite views expressed the belief that the illustrious D.B. was too small game for the Athletics to crack at. However, the Athletics but seconded what their friends long since demanded. The resolutions are worthy of preservation:--

WHEREAS: The Athletic Base Ball Club, of Philadelphia, has been the subject of repeated scurrilous attacks from Thomas Fitzgerald, lately its President, and now one of its members; and

Whereas, The said Thomas Fitzgerald, regardless or ignorant of the decencies of social intercourse, the privacy of business relations and the sanctity of domestic life, has written libelous articles against the characters of our President, Vice President and several of our members;

And Whereas, He has circulated and published malicious and wilful falsehood against this organization, using as confirmatory of his assertions the influences of his late office and his present membership–therefore

Resolved, That Thomas Fitzgerald be, and is hereby expelled from the Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia.

Resolved, That these resolutions be published in the Philadelphia Sunday Mercury, New York Clipper and New York Sunday Mercury.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fitzgerald expelled from the Camdens

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

At a meeting of the Camden Base Ball Club, held Monday Evening, August 6th, it was unanimously

Resolved, That whereas Thoms Fitzgerald has been found tampering with, and offering inducements to members to leave this club, that his name is hereby stricken from the roll of honorary members of the Camden Base Ball Club, and that these proceedings be published in the Philadelphia Sunday Mercury.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fitzgerald makes a formal charge of the Athletics paying professionals

Date Saturday, December 22, 1866
Text

[from the report of the Judiciary Committee to the National Association convention] A sixth charge was received December 10, dated December 6, from Thomas Fitzgerald, Philadelphia, charging the Athletic Club, of Philadelphia, with paying certain members to play ball, the persons so paid being Pike, Dockney and McBride, the amount of such compensation being $20 per week. The complainant and defendants were notified that investigation would take place on Tuesday, the 11th inst., but neither made their appearance. The committee would most respectfully draw the attention of the new committee about to be appointed to the fact that these charges still remain for investigation.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fitzgerald's epistle to the Athletics

Date Saturday, September 1, 1866
Text

[a long letter, including:] In 1865, in opposition to the views of nine-tenths of the club, I caused the ground at Fifteenth and Columbia avenue to be rented. There was scarcely a dollar in the treasury, and the members generally predicted failure. Yet, the most gratifying success attended our every step. ... At the close of the season, the treasurer’s report showed that we had taken in over $5000, paid all our debts, and had a large balance on hand. Our membership, too, had gone up from about sixty to nearly four hundred. All this to the dismay of the croakers, who had assured one another of disaster and ruin. When play was over for 1865, I resigned for the second time–but, the resignation was again refused, and in March, at the largest meeting every held by the club, I was once more unanimously reelected. In a few weeks thereafter, I resigned for the third time, because I could not approve of the insane course of the half dozen men who are managing the club to its destruction. ... There are four playing in the nine who are paid for their services–two are regularly paid, and two are paid constructively. This is an offense wholly unnecessary, unwise and criminal, and for this outrage I arraign and denounce the officers of the club. I have tried to Nationalize and elevate the game of Base Ball; the officers of the Athletic Club have done much to bring the game into contempt by employing men to play in their nine who have been repeatedly arrested and confined in the station house within a few weeks of the charge of drunkenness and rioting. There was a time when a player would have been expelled from the club for drunkenness and rioting, but that day seem to have passed. ... If you persist in your present disreputable course, I shall be compelled to give the names of the hirelings and the amounts which have been paid to them. For the honor of our city and state let this wretched business be stopped. I am, as I have always been, the friend and well-wisher of the club, and will go all honorable lengths to serve it. Respectfully,

THOMAS FITZGERALD.

Philadelphia, August 27, 1866

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fitzgerald's resignation

Date Saturday, June 2, 1866
Text

It is a matter of regret to learn that Colonel Fitzgerald, the editor and proprietor of The City Item, of Philadelphia, has been obliged by his arduous business labors to withdraw from the Presidency of [the Athletics]. ..., citing undated The People, New York

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

force double play and scoring

Date Sunday, June 10, 1866
Text

[bases loaded, one out] Martin and Smith made a fine double play, Brown and Zeittlein being left; Brown came near scoring his run any way, as he was home nearly at the same time Klein was put out, but as it was just after the second hand was out, instead of just before, the run did not count, as he then became a player running home when two hands were out, and the “striker” being put out, his run failed to count. In such cases as these the Umpire needs to watch the play closely...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Frank Pidgeon on professional players

Date Sunday, June 24, 1866
Text

[in a letter to the editor from Frank Pidgeon] I am sorry that any respectable person will allow himself to appear in a match with a set of shiftless vagabonds that have no visible means of gaining a livelihood, but drift about from one club to another, first here, then there; you never know where to find them, and it would be better for all if they were hid where they might never be found.

Let every man who loves the game shun these fellows as he would a pestilence. Don’t countenance them in any way. Don’t feed them, but starve them out, and perhaps they will conclude to go to work; at any rate, we will get rid of them and their demoralizing influences.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright switches from the Gothams to the Unions

Date Saturday, August 4, 1866
Text

George Wright belonged to the Gotham Club up to the second week of July, when he became a member of the Union Club.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

getting to the big game

Date Tuesday, August 14, 1866
Text

The game of the championship, between the Atlantic Club of this city and the Mutual Club of New York, is being played this afternoon on the Capitoline grounds. The match has created the greatest excitement we have seen in Brooklyn for some time. The Fulton avenue cars have been crowded for hours with passengers literally piled on the tops, going up to the grounds. Hotel coaches, omnibuses, hacks and all sorts of vehicles have been called into requisition and thousands of persons have crossed the Fulton Ferry to-day to see the game. … The whole base ball fraternity is interested in the event, the excitement is great, and there is likewise much betting on the result.

Source Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

good fielding 'death' to fly balls

Date Saturday, October 27, 1866
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 10/18/1866] ...the way the field was attended to was death to any ball rising bat into the air, none but grounders yielding bases...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hangers on on road trips

Date Sunday, August 5, 1866
Text

On our fourth page, our reporters furnish an account of the visit of the Keystone and a Picked Nine, to Atlantic City. Both nines were hospitably treated, and their stay made pleasant through the kindness of the proprietors of the United States and Surf Hotels. These gentlemen were unremitting in their attentions, as was also Major Dick White, of the Galt House. The latter deserves to be elected an honorary member of every crack club in the country. We have a protest to offer, and we do it, in the best possible spirit; but, if not hearkened to, we shall be compelled to advert to it again, perhaps in a manner not to be misunderstood. What we have to complain of is that clubs leaving the city to play at places, where invited, generally have with them from three to half a dozen of the low spirited curs, known as sponges. We care not whose friends they are, or how respectably they may be connected, socially or politically, we ind, if the thing is not stopped, to stop it.

We have grown tired of these ill-mannered “beats,” and have put up with their audacity out of respect to the clubs whose badges they wore. But the thing is “played out,” and is no longer to be tolerated. It ought to be a standing rule with clubs, on leaving the city, to inquire who is of the company; and players should be prohibited from inviting their personal friends. These bummer follow all of our clubs in their peregrinations, and their meanness is only excelled byt heir impudence. Verbum sap, for the present.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hints to umpires in calling balls

Date Sunday, May 20, 1866
Text

One of the most difficult of an umpire’s duties is that of calling balls on a pitcher for unfair delivery. Owing to the failure of the Committee on Rules to add a section to the rules last season limiting the discretionary power of the umpire in this respect, it requires considerable experience to be able to judge well in calling balls on a pitcher.

The principal question in the matter is, What constitutes an unfairly-delivered ball? And in answer to this query we give below the definitions of such balls as are undoubtedly unfair and illegitimate balls, and such as the umpire would be justified in calling balls whenever delivered:

First. A ball which strikes the ground in front of the home-base is certainly not a fair ball, as, for one thing, by striking the ground before reaching the batsman, it becomes a “bowled” ball, not a “pitched” ball; and it is not a fair ball, because it is not “pitched for the striker”, or “over the home-base”, as required by the rules–the words “pitched over the home-base” meaning that the ball must not touch the ground before it passes over the base.

Second. A ball which is pitched so as to hit the batsman while he is standing on the line of his position is decidedly not a fair ball, because not “pitched for the striker”.

Third. A ball which is pitched on the side opposite to that the batsman is in the habit of striking from is not a fair ball, for the same reason.

Fourth. A ball which is pitched beyond the legitimate reach of the batsman–namely, the length of his bat distant from the striker–either in front of him or over his head, is clearly an unfair ball, simply because not pitched “for the striker”.

Certainly all of the above balls are clearly unfair balls, and the umpire should not hesitate to call them, after due warning has been given, whenever they are delivered.

The sentence “pitched for the striker” is a term rather too indefinite for the wording of a rules, as it may be interpreted either to suit the pitcher of the batsman. As defined by the last Committee on Rules, it refers to the delivery of such balls as are pitched within the legitimate reach of the batsman–and not such balls as the whim or fancy of the batsman calls for–when he is standing on the line of his position, as required by the rules nineteen of the game. When the batsman does not stand with one foot on the line referred to, then the umpire has no right to calls balls on the pitcher, for the striker is not in a position to demand a fair deliver.

In calling, balls the umpire must disregard the fact that the unfair delivery was not intentional. The rule expressly says it for “any cause”; consequently, if a pitcher is not bale to pitch accurately enough to send in fair balls, the umpire should promptly inflict the penalty.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hitting a pitch in the dirt

Date Saturday, June 16, 1866
Text

[Answers to Correspondents] 1. A Ball in being delivered by the pitcher to the batsman strikes the ground in front of the home base, and is struck by the batsman on the bound. Is the ball fair or foul providing it goes in the field? 2. A ball is struck in the same manner as in the first question, but strikes behind the home base. Is it out if caught on the first bound from bat, it having bounded before being struck? 1. If it strikes the ground, when so hit, in front of the base, it is fair. A ball striking the ground as you describe should be called a “ball.” 2. Yes.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hospitality to visiting delegates at the upcoming convention; defining the metropolis

Date Saturday, December 8, 1866
Text

The expense absolutely necessary is merely to provide a dinner for about 200 delegates, to take place between 6 and 8 P.M., on the day of the Convention, none but the visiting delegates from clubs outside a circuit of 30 miles from the metropolis to be the guests, all others to pay for tickets. New York Clipper December 8, 1866 [Note: the dinner did not come off.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how New York clubs made arrangements in Philadelphia

Date Saturday, August 25, 1866
Text

[responding to a letter complaining about an earlier statement that Fitzgerald gave the Camden club status] We will tell [“Camden”] how we gave his club status. The organization had never been heard of outside of Camden, when we made engagements for it with New York clubs, which engagements at once brought it into notice, and made it of some consequence. Visiting clubs came here on our invitation, and in nine cases out of ten we were requested to make the arrangements for them. Of course, if we had omitted the Camden club, no one would have missed it. We could just as well have named the Olympics or Keystones. Thus, it will be seen we did give the Camden club status. And further, what have the Camden club done since we ceased to take an interest in it–since, in fact, a certain false and shameful publication, made by the Directors of the club last fall? Why, simply, nothing. It has fallen into insignificance. ... We make these remarks more in sorrow than in anger, and conclude by again reminding “Camden” that we gave the Camdens all the status they ever had.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how much will people pay to see a match?

Date Saturday, October 27, 1866
Text

The officers of the Athletics, before the recent match [with the Atlantics 10/22/86], announced that they had concluded to sell 4000 tickets at one dollar each. The public differed with these officers, and only 1900 tickets were bought–a just and telling rebuke to the greed of the club. About two thousand persons only, including ladies and dead-heads, were within the inclosure.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

identifying the members of the press

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/22/1866] We repaired to the reporters’ stand, where we found, provided with seats, Messrs. Wm. Fisher, of the Ledger; Cunnington, of the Inquirer; Paiste, of the Press; Dorris, of the Age; Clark, of the Dispatch; Ormsby, of the New York World; McConnell, of the New York Tribune; our own representative, and the New York Herald’s special.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

improvements needed to the Athletics ground

Date Sunday, July 29, 1866
Text

The Athletic Club, of this city, have had so far a very prosperous season. The public have rushed to see them play inferior clubs, and have cheerfully put up with the accommodations furnished. The Athletic’s receipts must count up among the thousands. We are glad of it, but we respectfully protest against the accommodations provided. We want that the dear public should be better accommodated, and we trust that McBride, Kleinfelder, Wilkins, Pratt, Berkenstock, Charlie Gaskill, and those of the nine who have the interest of the club at heart, will see that the et ceteras are forthcoming. Or course the “bummers” will object, but it is about time “their say” was measured. We want the Athletics to wake up and do for the public what is right. Let them select a representative man, and give him the authority to make the improvements so sadly felt. What say you, Athletics?

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

in praise of muffins

Date Monday, August 27, 1866
Text

[Atlantic vs. Gotham muffins 8/24/1866] First nine matches may serve to show the fancy players and sharp points of the game, but the muffin nines number among them those who have been most instrumental in fostering and forwarding the national game, and who, when they join a club, are ready to help it by word and deed, whom neither capital nor caprice can swerve, but who stand by their organizations in weal or woe, through good report and through evil report, watching he progress and popularity of the game and advancing it in every possible way. The men opposed to each other on Friday, at Hoboken, were genuine muffs, and the game played, although not abounding in splendid points, was characterized by unalloyed good feeling.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

increased admission fee

Date Saturday, November 3, 1866
Text

[Eureka vs. Atlantic 10/25/1866] The third of the series of contests between these clubs for the championship took place on the Union grounds...in the presence of about fifteen hundred people, the extra charge for admission, the cold weather, and the counter attraction of the grand military parade, all having the effect of diminishing the attendance. The extra charge resulted from the fact that two-thirds of the receipts went to the two clubs, it being the second match this season in which the gate money has been a primary object the contesting nines played for.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

increased admission price and creeping professionalism

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

[Atlantics vs. Eureka 10/25/1866] The proprietor of the [Union] grounds was induced to give the two clubs one third the receipts for playing the match on his ground; and, as a matter of course, had to make up the deficit consequent upon this bonus by an increased charge. Whether the baseball public will again submit to anything of the kind, is a problem we should like to see solved. On occasions like that of the Athletic and Atlantic match, when such a vast crowd of people are eager to witness a game, an increased price, in order to lessen the crowd, is legitimate; but there was no such excuse on this occasion. But about fifteen hundred people were present, at the highest estimate; and, if the clubs each realized $100, they did more than we think they did; and for this amount of stamps they have lowered themselves in the estimation of the fraternity ten times the value. If anybody can make out this style of thing to be anything else but playing baseball for money, they will oblige us by showing us how they do it. However, the odium attached to such a business will have the effect of putting it down; for assuredly it will be the subject of discussion and censure in the Convention in December.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ineligible players justified by the opponent not being in the National Association

Date Saturday, August 18, 1866
Text

[Union of Lansingburgh vs. Atlantic 8/8/1866] ...instead of playing the nine they [the Atlantics] were legitimately entitled to play, they smuggled in Pearce and Crane, who will not be legally able to play in the Atlantic nine until September 4 th. This infringement of the rules was made under the plea that the Unions were not in the National Association, an excuse which did not hold good at all, as the Atlantics were, and as such had no right to break any law of the game, as they did in this instance.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

insulting the City Item

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

[Answers] F.P.J.–“Will you be kind enough to inform me where I can procure a paper call the City Item, edited by one Fitzgerald? I have been endeavoring for some time to ascertain the necessary information, but have been told by an intelligent contraband that there are only three copies published, one of which is put upon the bulletin board, and the others kept at the office for reference, which fact, of course, makes them very valuable.” The City Item is published over Jay Cooke & Co.’s Banking House, Third street, below Chestnut.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the dead ball on a ball or a balk; the rule the same as in cricket

Date Saturday, September 8, 1866
Text

[from answers to correspondents] The ball is “dead,” to the extend of putting a player out, when either a “ball” or a “baulk” is called. The rule is the same as in cricket. For instance, a “no ball” in cricket can be hit by the batsman, and he can score a run on it, but if the ball be caught it is not considered an out. So in base ball when a baulk is called, and the striker chances to hit the ball and it be caught, he is not out, and he can take his base on it on the grounds of his being “a player running the bases,” which he is when he hits a ball that is not foul. The ball, though “dead” as regards putting a player out, is not “dead” so as to prevent the striker counting what he is entitled to count under the rule.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interrogating club officers about hired men

Date Saturday, June 30, 1866
Text

SHALL WE PAY OUR PLAYERS?–There is a great deal of talk just now in base ball circles as to whether base ball first nine players should be paid. ... We are assured that one or two, perhaps more, of the prominent clubs of the country, are in the habit of paying, directly and indirectly, some of their players. Of course, all who break the law will not too curiously interrogate rival clubs; but all others, before beginning a match, should put the President or Vice President on the witness stand to answer, on honor, whether there are any players on the nine who receive pay for the ri services. This, we hear, will be the rule hereafter, and it will be found to work advantageously for the best interests of our noble game. Let the hired men take notice. Philadelphia City Item June 30, 1866 [citing the New York Tribune]

The rule is now to take the President or Vice President of the suspected club, aside, and ask him on his honor whether they pay players. Recently, the question was put to Mr. Hayhurst at Morrisania, when he replied, on his honor, that the Athletics did not pay their nine–but, if one happened to be out of employment they took care of him and paid his expenses until he could obtain work. “Only this, and nothing more!” Philadelphia City Item July 14, 1866

Let us play ball for the fun of the thing. Who would lie and cheat to win a Ball? “Sir–on your honor as a gentleman–are there any paid men in your nine?” At Morrisania,, poor Hayhurst stammered–“No, sir–this is to say–upon my word–ahem–when a man–ah–is out of employment–ahem–ten dollars a week–ah–you see–and sick–and no friends–ah–why, then you know–we don’t pay–ah, no–we merely–ah–excuse me, sir, you are on my toes–ah–ah–I do not play ball for a living–no, sir, not by a d--d sight, on my honor as a gentleman!” Poor Hayhurst! Little man in a tight place, and badly squeezed. Club suffers. Better to do the fair, manly, honorable thing. Philadelphia City Item August 18, 1866

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Jack Smith secretary of the Mozart club

Date Saturday, March 31, 1866
Text

The Mozart Base Ball Club, organized May 3d, 1865, wishes to inform the base ball fraternity that they are now ready to receive challenges. The nine are in excellent condition for the coming season. All communications will be received...to the Secretary, J. J. Smith, 428 Christian street.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Keystone admission policies

Date Saturday, June 16, 1866
Text

[responding to a complaint about the Keystone’s charging ten cents admission] The Keystones have gone to the expense of some hundreds of dollars to provide seats and other accommodations ... and not one person in ten thousand objects to the charge of 10 cents to see a match. The Keystones do not charge for practice games. ... The best interests of the game require that there should be a charge for admission to all match games. Every club of any character makes a charge of 10 cents to see a match game, but ladies are always admitted free.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

lager shed at the Capitoline Grounds

Date Tuesday, October 16, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 10/15/1866] Pike struck a foul into the lager shed and got to third on a left field hit, bringing Fisler home.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

line of descent of the championship

Date Sunday, November 4, 1866
Text

[Atlantic vs. Irvington 10/29/1866] If the Atlantics lost this game, the good-bye championship for them, the Athletics being the direct heirs to the laurels from the fact of their being the conquerors of the Irvingtons in two matches–the Unions, however, being in the way.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lip Pike leaves the Athletics

Date Saturday, November 3, 1866
Text

On Monday, Pike, of the Athletics, called to bid us good-bye. He stated the club owed him two weeks’ wages, which they declined to pay. This makes one hired man the less in the city. We have no personal dislike to Mr. Pike. We sought simply to break up the paying system. Players in Brooklyn and New York may now learn from Mr. Pike all about the Athletics and their mode of doing business. He will assure them, we feel confident, that we have been right throughout our controversy. Philadelphia City Item November 3, 1866

baseball tournament in Cincinnati; admission charged

A grand tournament of all the base ball clubs of this city and the Eagle Club of Dayton, Ky., will take place on the Union Cricket Ground at the foot of Richmond street today, commencing at 10 o'clock A.M. The clubs will play in the following order: Live Oak vs. Eagle, Buckeye vs. Cincinnati, and we are assured that it will be one of the most brilliant affairs ever witnessed by the citizens of this city, as all of the contending clubs are excellent, having some of the best players in the West. … The price of admission is twenty-five cents. All ladies admitted free. Cincinnati Daily Gazette November 3, 1866

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

marking the batter's position

Date Wednesday, August 15, 1866
Text

[Atlantics vs. Mutuals 8/14/1866] On this game the “line drawn through the centre of home base” for strikers was distinctly chalked, the first time this season on any match.

Source Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Martin's pitching

Date Tuesday, October 23, 1866
Text

[Excelsior vs. Mutual 10/22/1866] Martin was well in on the pitch again, as the unusual number of foul balls plainly showed.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McBride compared to Creighton

Date Sunday, September 2, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Eurekas of Newark 8/27/1866] McBride’s pitching [was] quite a marvel of speed and accuracy combined, and quite up to the mark of the lamented Creighton.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McBride's pitching

Date Sunday, July 1, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Unions 6/26/1866] bothered [the Unions] badly. It will never do for any one, that expects to make his base, to hit “Dick’s” high balls. If the Unions had known and acted upon this at first, they might, perhaps, have saved those three “skunks.” New York Dispatch July 1, 1866

A striking contrast was afforded all present by the fair pitching of McBride compared with that last seen on the same grounds; McBride sending in a ball with a perfectly straight arm swinging perpendicularly from his shoulder, and swiftly from within a few inches of the ground, the ball rising up to the bat as Creighton’s used to. New York Sunday Mercury July 1, 1866

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

medium vs. swift pitching

Date Sunday, July 1, 1866
Text

This match afforded a striking illustration of the superiority of medium paced pitching, with judgment, and command of the ball in delivery, over merely swift pitching, with balls sent in anyhow so as they went in swift. In the Star game, Sullivan sent in the balls alternately fast and slow, pitching carefully, slowly, and with considerable judgment, delivering according to his batsman; and the result was that the Athletics found it no easy task to punish him. In the Empire game, Ward, on the contrary, pitched as swiftly as he could and without command of the ball, and those balls out of reach of the bat were passed by the catcher, it being impossible to dispose of them, and those near the batsman were hit away without difficulty–swift pitching just suiting the Athletics. Afterward, Ward moderated his pace somewhat, and pitching steadier, caused an improvement the play, the Athletics not scoring as many runs in the next six innings as they had in the first two.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

missing a base

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/22/1866] Kleinfelder...reached first base. McBride succeeded him, and by a tremendous hit to left field, landed on third base, driving Dan [Kleinfelder] home. A home-run would have been Dick [McBride’s] reward, had not Dan been obliged to return and touch the second base, he having been charged with passing that point without communicating with it in person.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

more on Fitzgerald's resignation

Date Saturday, September 15, 1866
Text

In March last, I was unanimously re-elected President of your club. Why did I resign? Because I refused to sanction your disreputable practices. Those who had the management of the club insisted upon hiring men to play for them. I strenuously opposed it. I contended that a situation should be obtained for Dockney. A conductorship on the Fifteenth street cars was the result–but Dockney would rather play than work, and he declined the post. I remonstrated against his playing, and was overruled. In the same manner, I objected to others, but my objections were disregarded. I said, the idea is abroad that we pay men. When we play an important match, the question will be put to me: “Do you pay any of your nine? We hear you do.” I give you notice, gentlemen, I shall not tell a lie–therefore, get them situations, or get rid of them. But, as it generally fell to me to obtain situations for all the unfortunates in the club, and as I had begun to lose heart for this wholesale drudgery, I resolved to resign, and thus rid myself of further annoyance.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

more on calling balls

Date Sunday, July 29, 1866
Text

THE SIXTH RULE.–For the benefit of several correspondents who desire information on the subject of the proper definition of this rule, we have to state that the following is the duty of the umpire in observing this rule: When the striker goes to the bat, the umpire should require him at once to indicate to the pitcher where he is in the habit of striking the ball, and when this is done the umpire should call “ball to the bat”, or any similar words of warning; and after this is done, the third ball pitched out of the legitimate reach of the batsman, or not where he is in the habit of striking, should be called “one ball”, and the second after that “two balls”, and the third after that “three balls”. The umpire, however, cannot compel the pitcher to send balls just where the striker happens to want them for the time being, but only where he is in the habit of hitting them.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

more on calling balls and strikes

Date Sunday, August 26, 1866
Text

His [umpire John A. Lowell of Boston] intelligent interpretation of the rules in this game, and the thoroughly impartial and resolute manner in which he held the contestants up to the strict letter of the law, merits commendation. His decisions, in regard to calling balls and strikes for unfair delivery or efforts to play a waiting game, afforded an excellent example for our city-umpires to follow; and even those noted referees, Messrs. Grum and P. O’Brien, can take a lesson from him to advantage. On nearly every occasion of a match this season we have seen pitchers and batsmen fool umpires to the “top of their bent” with plausible excuses of one kind or another in regard to pitching balls and waiting for them at the bat. But this time they had a man to deal with whom they could not influence by soft words, and who was competent to carry out the duties of the position not only from a practical experience in the points of the game, but also from an intelligent study of the spirit and true intent of the rules; and, moreover, one with that spirit of resolution to do what he considered his duty, no matter who was pleased or displeased, which is a striking characteristic of a first-class umpire; and the result was the most satisfactory umpiring we have seen in a match in the metropolis since the new rules came into vogue, and what is more, both parties spoke in high praise of it, for it was apparent to all that they had a thoroughly fair and competent umpire for their game.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

news board

Date Saturday, September 8, 1866
Text

THE CITY ITEM NEWS BOARD.–We have supplied a public want; in other words, we have had erected, at the foot of the stairs that lead to our office, a large bulletin board, on which, as soon as they can be obtained, will be posted accounts of the various matches played in all parts of the country. With the facilities we possess for obtaining base ball news, this undertaking cannot but prove a success. Remember, 114 South Third street, is the place to obtain the latest news.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no enclosed grounds in Newark

Date Saturday, September 8, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Eureka 8/27/1866] The advantages of enclosed grounds in like these are becoming more manifest each season, and we are surprised that the local pride of the Newark people in their pet organization is not up to the mark of securing a permanent locality for grand matches.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no growling over errors

Date Saturday, June 9, 1866
Text

[Harvard vs. Atlantic 5/30/1866] We have especially to commend to the notice of our clubs the...behavior of the Harvards on the field. When errors were made not a word of fault finding was heard, gentlemanly words of pardon for errors of play replacing the growling that we have so often heard on the same field.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

opening day; lager and liquids stronger

Date Tuesday, May 1, 1866
Text

The Mutuals of New York opened play at the Elysian Fields, Hoboken, on Thusday last, with two nines chosen from their own ranks... The day passed off pleasantly, with plenty of chowder, lager and liquids stronger.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

orienting the field due to the sun

Date Sunday, April 22, 1866
Text

We are glad to perceive [the West Philadelphia club] have taken the hint the Mercury threw out last year, and have changed the bases, the batter now facing southeast instead of northeast, thus placing the sun’s rays to the back, and not in the face of most of the players, as was the case then. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury April 22, 1866

The West Philadelphian's ground...is not laid out in the most advantageous manner. The sun is in the face of the majority of the players, while it ought not to be but in that of one-- the catcher. New York...is better able to judge of such matters, and it is invariably the case there to lay out the ground that the catcher faces the West. By this plan, he is the only player who is interfered with by "Old Sol," and only in the last part of the game. The Keystone and Equity are the only clubs in this city who have arranged their grounds in this manner. The excellence of the plan is plainly perceptible to any one who has played on them. Philadelphia City Item August 11, 1866

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

out on a foul ball dropped, recaught on the bound

Date Tuesday, September 25, 1866
Text

[Irvington vs. Atlantic 9/24/1866] Pearce went out on a foul ball caught by Buckley, and dropped by him amid the derision of the crowd, but recaught on the first bound amid the derision of Buckley, to the great disgust of Dicky.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

over-aggressive running

Date Tuesday, October 16, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 10/15/1866] [bottom of the ninth inning, Athletics down by eleven runs] Reach got to first on a safe hit to right field, and stole to second. Wilkins got to his first after two balls had been called, by a safe hit to right field, bringing Reach home; but he was immediately caught napping at first base by Pratt [pitcher] and Start [first baseman].

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

parlor base ball

Date Saturday, December 1, 1866
Text

PARLOR BASE BALL.–This is the title of a new parlor game designed to theoretically illustrate the game of base ball, and a more successful or attractive thing of the kind has never before been introduced to the public. ... The board represents a regular base ball field and covers a space of about two square feet. A common cent represents the ball, and this is laid on the board close to a spring located at the pitcher’s position, which spring sends the penny towards a bat, which is located at the home base, and is also attached to a spring. The bat lies flat on the board, and, as the penny slides rapidly towards it, the spring sends the bat to meet it, and away the penny slides to the field, where it either enters one of a series of holes, located in similar positions to those of the fielders and basemen, or it goes into spaces, or stops on circular spots, which either entitle the fielders to throw to bases, or the batsman to home runs, and when it does not stop on any marked positions the batsman is entitled to his first base. When the penny is hit so as to stop on certain spots, the fielder is entitled to a throw, and when this occurs the pitcher takes the penny and puts in front of another spring, and, “throwing it”–viz: sending it by means of the spring into one of the base holes–puts out the man running the base. When the penny fails to reach the bat it is “a baulk,” and when it fails to touch the bat it is “one ball,” and when the bat fails to hit it is “one strike.” There is a hole behind the batsman, too, which, if the penny fall into, puts the striker out on “a foul fly,” and there are marked circles on the board which, if the penny touches, is out on a “foul bound.” In fact, it is the game in miniature complete, and as much interest can be centered in a contest between expert players on the board as between rival clubs on the green field. The price of this complete amusement has been fixed at $5. Specimens can be seen at this office, where orders for them may also be left.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Peverelly's book

Date Sunday, November 11, 1866
Text

Chas. A. Peverelly intends publishing a work which he has entitled the Book of American Pastimes. He desires information in reference to the date of organization, list of officers, number of members, active and honorary, matches played, grounds played on, date and result. Location of grounds, practice days. Address, care New York Leader.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphians learning the news of the game in Brooklyn

Date Sunday, October 21, 1866
Text

The scenes around the Mercury office, and at Reach’s, last Monday, were of a very exciting character. Towards four o’clock knots gathered in front of our pavement, and as the messenger boy from the Telegraph office was seen crossing Third street, bearing a message, he was besieged by a crowd of the anxious, who were bent upon obtaining the news ere it passed into our possession. The result at the end of the fifth and sixth innings, made it look as if our boys had victory within their grasp. Of course the crowd received the joyful intelligence with much enthusiasm, and the same was quickly communicated to all sections of the city. Towards dusk the crowd increased, and Chestnut street was literally packed with merchants, bankers, brokers, mechanics, and others interested in knowing the result. “What can be the matter?” quoth a very nervous individual. “Why, they have to come four miles to reach the nearest telegraph station,” replies an individual who looks posted. “What do they say at the Mercury office?” remarks a diminutive specimen of the male sex. “Don’t know; but suppose we go down there and see.” Our F.P. is recognized on the street, and is beset by hundreds of ardent admirers of the game, who wish F.P. to inform them “on the sly” as to how the game has gone. F.P. holds his peace–he has nothing to communicate. F.P. is a sagacious youth–he knows a thing or two. However, F.P. is followed to the office; and Lew Simmons, Esq., who has perches himself upon a high stool, stays, in answer to twenty different interrogatories:–“Be a little patient, gentlemen; we will have the news, be it good or bad, in a very few minutes.” The crowd did endeavor to keep still, but it was an impossibility, and the nervous interest felt would break out and display itself in a variety of ways. Finally, the news came–Atlantic, 27; Athletic, 17. “Don’t believe it, “ says one. “Oh! That be darned,” sings out another. There were few who believed it, but in a few minutes, Lant Jones, Esq., a well known telegraphic expert, confirmed the intelligence, and Lant’s reputation for truth telling, and his means of obtaining information, satisfied the doubtful ones and unbelievers that “the jig was up.” “What can’t be cured, must be endured,” was the consoling reflection that escaped the lips of a ver enthusiastic admirer of our Philadelphia Club. The crowd now left Third street, and sought Reach’s, and as one or two of our representatives made their appearance in that locality, they were appealed to as regards the truth of the report. Unwillingly did they confirm the unpleasant intelligence. “How did it happen?” “Who played off!” “Who led the score? Were the questions put the Mercury’s corps thick and fast, and which were to be answered satisfactorily in the course of an hour or so.

The crowd did not lessen any in numbers until nine o’clock. In the meantime, Carncross & Dixey’s Opera House was crowded, even to standing room. Lew Simmons being known as an active member of the Athletics, was interrogated as he appeared in his banjo solo as to “What was the news?” “Bad, my friends,” was Lew’s laconic reply; but, continuing, he said: “We have been beaten, and I’m sick.” A silence followed, which showed how deeply interested were the public in the success of our representative club. Had it been otherwise, and had Lew have had more pleasing intelligence to communicate, we fear our friends Carncross & Dixey would have been out to the expense of a new roof. The Chestnut Street Theatre was also crowded. Mr. Wm. E. Sinn frequently manifested interest in the Athletics, as well as the fact that the Chestnut boasts a star company of experts in the national science, induced many to look to that theatre to gain the latest. Josie Orton refused to communicate what was green-room gossip, which had no authority as yet, and which Josie and the company hoped would prove untrue. Nevertheless, it was true; but Josie and the admirers of the Athletics in the company refused to believe that “our pets” had been vanquished, and were as stubborn in their opinions as they are excellent as artistes, and warm-hearted sympathizers with this public in what to them was a matter of municipal pride.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pickpockets at the game arrested

Date Wednesday, October 17, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 10/15/1866] Four suspicious looking youths of the light-fingered fraternity were arrested by the detectives while in search of victims at the base ball match on Monday afternoon. They were all taken before a justice of the peace yesterday morning, but not having been “caught in the act” the evidence was not considered sufficient to hold them, and they were consequently discharged. It may prove a lesson to the rascals for the future to be more prudent while the lynx eyed detectives of Brooklyn are upon them when they least expect it.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching deliveries and balks

Date Sunday, June 10, 1866
Text

In the course of the game, we noticed the throwing of Thorn to the base, and we have to say that his action is a decided balk. In pitching, he makes three movements preliminary to delivery–as do all pitchers; first, bending the body; second, drawing back his arm; and third, swinging it forward to deliver. Now, the failure to follow up the commencement of either of the preliminary movements by a delivery of the ball undoubtedly constitutes a balk, for the rule reads “whenever the pitcher moves with the apparent purpose or intention to deliver the ball”. Now, Thorn unquestionably does this when he bends his body, and then throws to first-base instead of delivering the ball to the striker.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching given its place in winning the game

Date Sunday, September 2, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Eurekas of Newark 8/27/1866] It was manifest from the start that [Athletics pitcher] McBride and his nine were bent on winning this game if the best of pitching and fielding could do it, to say nothing of batting, which he well knew was their forte; and the “ripping” balls which he sent in at once gave warning to the Eurekas that they had an up-hill and heavy piece of work cut out for them, to save themselves from a disastrous defeat, without thinking of victory.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching rules versus strategical points of play

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/22/1866] ...the strict observance of the rules by the umpire...in this game made it less a trial of skill in the strategical points of play than before–batting and fielding coming more into play as elements of success in the game than in the previous match at Brooklyn. Pratt [the Atlantics pitcher] had more opportunities afforded him for “points” of play in his position than he had in Philadelphia.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching speed versus control, and an appeal to proto-statistics

Date Sunday, August 5, 1866
Text

[Southworth of the Eckford] has a good style of delivery with but few preliminary movements, and has the power to send a swift ball, but he sacrifices all his advantages at the shrine of speed. The first lesson taught a bowler in cricket is to secure “length” to his balls, and this length, as it is termed, is simply sufficient command of the ball to pitch it at any distance from the “crease” he likes. Now, what “length” is in bowling, so is command of the ball in pitching. With it, speed is dangerous to even experienced batsmen; without it, speed is worth than useless. This theory we have advanced for years, and the wide-awake portion of the fraternity are rapidly adopting it; but others yet stick to the old and exploded idea that speed is the great thing in pitching, irrespective of command of the ball. By-and-by, as the game advances toward perfection it will be seen that those pitchers who have the most command of the ball in delivery are those whose average of success is greatest. McBride, with all his speed, would be nothing without his accompanying command of the ball; and Zettlein would be even less effective. ... Both Ward and Southworth would excel in their positions by striving to be more accurate, pitching with more judgment, and allowing pace to follow, not lead, a command of the ball.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching versus throwing 2

Date Sunday, August 19, 1866
Text

We hope to see the Convention dispose of the vexed question of pitching and throwing in baseball, by allowing every style of delivery that is not a decided overhand-throw or a jerk to be considered a pitch. Half the pitching now-a-days is an underhand throw, and as it is difficult to distinguish the difference in most cases, this allowing everything delivered underhand to be a pitch would get rid of the trouble we now have.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

player movement and rumors of 'unfair dealing'

Date Saturday, May 5, 1866
Text

As regards the “change of base” made by some of the Atlantic players, we have to say, that the loss sustained by the Atlantics is one all clubs are liable to. They have themselves been benefitted by just such changes. For instance, when Start, Crane, and Chapman joined the Atlantics from the Enterprise. The changes which occur in the organization of the first-nines of our leading clubs each season, though they sometimes lead to unfriendly feelings and give rise to reports of unfair dealing, are nevertheless more beneficial than injurious to the game, inasmuch as a monopoly of success, year after year, tends greatly to lessen the public interest in the principal contest which take place. The excitement in regard to a match between two strong clubs arises, in the main, from the doubtful character of the issue. Were one club to stand at the head of the list for three or four successive seasons, almost walking over the course from want of an opponent worthy of its mettle, what would people care for such games? Why, nothing. New York Sunday Mercury May 5, 1866

The Atlantics...have lost Crane, Pratt, Pearce, and Norton, and have gained Ferguson, Post, McDonald, Bergen, and one or two other well known players, whose names, for obvious reasons, your correspondent was requested to suppress at present. The Excelsior have gained the seceding members of the Atlantic with the exception of Pratt. The Mutuals have been considerably strengthened by the addition of Waterman, Jewett and Martin, late of the Empire... Philadelphia Sunday Mercury May 6, 1866

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing baseball for money, and a call for boycott of 25 cent games

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

The excessively large crowds of people who have been attracted to witness the championship-games this fall, and the profits arising therefrom which have been realized by the parties having control of inclosed grounds, have led to evils which, if allowed to pass unnoticed, will ere long bring baseball into great disrepute, lower the high standard of our national game, and place the fraternity in the hands of the gambling-community.

The National Association does not recognize championship-matches or any such title as the “champion club,” and the only legitimate object of every contest is the simple trophy of the ball. Of late, we regret to state, clubs have been allured into playing “big matches” for “gate-money”, or a share of the receipts for admission to inclosed grounds. Proprietors of inclosed grounds have never made a greater mistake for their own interests, or aimed a more severe blow at the welfare of the game, than when they were led into consenting to share their legitimate profits with the clubs occupying their grounds or desiring to play contests upon them. Every lover of the game, and ever may who does not make ball-playing a “profession” or a business, is “down upon” this playing ball for gate-money. All those who have invested capital in inclosed ballgrounds, and who thereby furnish fair fields and respectable localities for games, besides special facilities for clubs, are fully entitled to every cent of their receipts. And every club who deems it advisable for the permanence of their organization to purchase or lease land and inclose a ground for their won use, are equally entitled to any profits legitimately derived from their investments. But for clubs to go round from one party to another, soliciting alms in the way of a share of receipts, is about the smallest kind of business an independent club can be engaged in. Hitherto first-class matches have been enjoyed on the inclosed ground a Brooklyn, for the small sum of ten cents admission, an amount none object to, and on such an occasion as the match of October 8, when tens of thousands of spectators seek to occupy a position on a field that will not accommodate half who desire admission; and extra charge for the purpose of having an orderly assemblage is excusable; but this charging of 25 cents admission, because the proprietors of the grounds are forced into sharing receipts with money-making clubs, is something we hope to see the baseball public put a stop to, and that by staying away from such matches. This evil will work its own cure, however. Already its effect has been to place the Atlantic and the Athletic clubs in the position of being suspected of the dishonorable deed of “throwing” a game in order to have the opportunity of sharing the profits of a third match. The thing is about played out already. It may safely be put down that every match where more than the regular 10 cents admission is charged is a match got up for the benefit of the two clubs playing, and therefore is to be let alone and not patronized.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing shorthanded

Date Sunday, September 16, 1866
Text

[Empire vs. Jefferson 9/10/1866] Quite an interesting and agreeable game was played between these clubs on Monday last, on the Jefferson grounds, the result of which was a creditable victory for the Empires, they pluckily facing the music with but seven men. [They played with three infielders and two outfielders.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

politicians and baseball

Date Sunday, June 24, 1866
Text

Our base ball players should beware of the tricks of the politicians. We see present at nearly all the most important matches, men seeking office, and some who hold the same. These worthies have “axes to grind.” They care very little about the National Game and their devotion amounts to just what capital they can make out of the pastime. Jake Ridgeway, last summer, devoted months to the study of the science of base ball. He never missed an important match, and "run with the Keystone." He does not take quite as much interest as he did. But Jacob will pull up about election time.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

poor enforcement of pitching delivery rules

Date Sunday, July 1, 1866
Text

Eakin “threw” the ball to the batsmen in his own peculiar style. Is it not curious that those who attempt umpiring do not know the difference between a thrown ball and a pitched one? Can it be that they don’t know how to read; and, supposing they do, they have not the brains to understand?

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

poor losers

Date Sunday, July 29, 1866
Text

[Enterprise of Philadelphia in Chester, Pennsylvania] When the Chester Club was beaten they assaulted the nine. There were a thousand baseball men from this city [Philadelphia] in the ground, and in two minutes the Chesterians hid diminished heads. The next baseball club that makes a tour toward the South will give Chester a wide berth., quoting a Philadelphia paper

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pratt returns to the Atlantics

Date Saturday, September 1, 1866
Text

The Base Ball world receives with surprise the announcement that Mr. Pratt has gone back to the Atlantics. We have known for some time that he was playing reluctantly with the Athletics. The fact is, nobody but the stupid officers of that splendid organization are to blame for this result. If they had but kept their promises to this superb and honorable player, he would have remained with them. They have lost one of their strongest and best men, whose place they cannot fill. Philadelphia City Item September 1, 1866

Now that Pratt has retired from the Athletics, we may be permitted to state that he was one of the four in the nine who protested against “hired men,” and declared that he would not play in such company. Let the gentlemen of the Athletic club think of this.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pre-game warmup?

Date Sunday, September 23, 1866
Text

...At 9 A.M., a party of enthusiastic “muffs” of the two clubs were assembled on the ground, passing the ball around, as if they were the championship teams.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

preparing the ground for the big game

Date Wednesday, August 15, 1866
Text

[Atlantics vs. Mutuals 8/14/1866] Messrs. Weed and Decker, desirous that all should have a fair chance, prepared the grounds, so that no fault could be found with their management. The grass had been cropped as low as machinery could accomplish it, the sod had been rolled, the bare spots, from pitcher's to catcher's positions, and the circle around the bases had been moistened and rolled, and the home and pitcher's plates, bases and foul lines were distinctly drawn and whitened. A new platform for ladies was erected, and on this occasion was filled with the grace and beauty of Brooklyn. But one other feature of the ground deserves even more marked notice. Over the scorer's stand—hitherto subjected to the burning rays of the sun—was erected a fine canopy, composed of the American flag, which, with its corresponding canopy on the opposite side, gave the grounds a very picturesque appearance. Never did any grounds present as complete, perfect and regular a ball field, as the Capitoline yesterday.

The crowds began to arrive as early as half past twelve o'clock, every car, upon arrival at the corner of Fulton and Nostrand avenues, emptying itself almost entirely. The dense stream of spectators was visible from all quarters, taxing even the extra accommodations, which had been made for their reception. In the ticket office were Mr. Weed and four companions, while at each of the three gates were two assistants, superintended by Mr. Reuben Decker.

About two o'clock a splendid body of men made their appearance, marching in regular step and order, attracting the attention of all. Upon arrival at the grounds they proved to be Inspector John S. Folk and one hundred and fifty picked men, to whom was entrusted the entire control and management of the grounds. The good order is mainly attributable to the able manner in which the police discharged their duties. The Atlantic club take this opportunity of extending their thanks to the police, and especially to Inspector Folk. By this time the crowd came in perfect flocks, and the platform was soon filled with visitors from all sections of the country, who had assembled to witness the grand championship game. No one can gainsay the opinion, hereafter, that the game of Base Ball is the great national game, when spectators numbering 20,000 and over will assemble on one occasion to witness an encounter between eighteen men. The crowd was arranged around the banks, so as to keep the field clear all the time, and hence there was but little chance for an interference with the players. The presence of the police was a guarantee that no such disgraceful wholesale stealing and pocket-picking would take place as at Hoboken [earlier that season], and hence all breathed free, when the “blue coats” arrived. When the field had been cleared and the two nines stood in position for work the sight was indeed a grand one. The crowd pushed far back to their limits, the police forming a square around the crowd, the scorers, reporters and umpire alone allowed inside with the players. There the two nines stood, confronting each other, both looking determined as if they really meant work.

Source Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

professional baseball teachers

Date Saturday, December 15, 1866
Text

The time has arrived when professional ball players, like professional cricketers, have become necessary to the growth and establishment of the game. Students in college, clubs of young men in country towns, and collections of amateurs, desirous of becoming “posted” in the points of the game find it desirable and advantageous to engage some experienced player to become connected with their club for a season of a few weeks or months for the purpose of teaching them the game, and these services they are willing to pay for. This has been done to a considerable extent this season, and we know of some very worthy members of the fraternity who have left town to pass a few weeks at a collegiate institute, and to earn pecuniary compensation, in order to teach the students the points of the game. This has been done legitimately, and those who have done it would scorn to do an unworthy action. This demand for teachers will increase each year, and we see no reason why the teaching of base ball cannot be as honorably followed as an occupation as that of any other exercise or recreation. As a class, professional cricketers–judging from those of this country–are among the most honest and worthy men of any class of our citizens, and we cannot see why a class of base ball professionals cannot grow up equally honest. Far better is it that this making a business of base ball playing be guided into a legitimate channel, than that it should be allowed to be carried on in the underhanded style in which it has been of late years, and especially this past season. This is a view of the subject which we think it advisable for the fraternity to reflect upon, and if it e properly considered in the right light, and an official recognition of a class of professional ball players be adopted by the Convention, we think a complete stop will be put to the system of hiring playing t win matches, and that is the even that is doing the most mischief in the future welfare of the game.

There are many young men, now in the fraternity, whose skills as experts in the game, and whose ardent love for the sport, is such as to make them unfit for any of the every day occupations of a business life. This class, naturally seeking to gratify their taste for the game, and yet placed in such positions as to make them neglect their regular occupations to follow their peculiar end, of course, resort to such opportunities for”making things square”–that is, making a living and playing ball at the same time–as are afforded by playing in clubs for a regular compensation, or in accepting money for their services in the form of occasional gifts, and if this thing cannot be done, of resorting to a worse course of action, such as that for which the three players of the Mutual club were drummed out of the fraternity last year. By making professional ball playing a legitimate occupation, much of the evils of the the hiring system will be done away with, and what is now done on the sly can be openly done before all. In fact, by recognizing professional ball players, and yet excluding them from all match games–except such games as those in which professionals will play professionals only–we give the very class of men who desire to make ball paying a business an opportunity of doing so honestly, instead of, as now, by dishonorable and deceptive means.

While base ball was a mere pastime for a few city clubs, it was all very well to frown down any attempts to make it anything else; but we cannot control events, and now that the furore for the game has made base ball the National game of America, and brought it prominently before the public as the most effectual means of introducing physical culture, an element of national advancement as important almost that of mental education, it becomes necessary to provide such means for the proper advancement of the game as will deprive it of the evils connected with almost every exciting sport of a nature that may be made its peculiar institution. Where money is to be made, men will resort to the means of making it. If we can, therefore, guide them by an honest path to the goal of their ambition, let us do it, rather than force them to seek it by the wise road of dishonor and fraud. New York Clipper December 15, 1866

There are dozens of young men physically competent to become expert players, whose love for the game and devotion to it unfits them for the ordinary business occupations of life, and this class it is who are professional players, for, in order to “make things square,” that is, earn a living and yet devote their time to ball play, they tender their services for pay sub rosa, and, under the disguise of ordinary members of the clubs, take part in match games and win trophies for clubs who would otherwise occupy a secondary position. This is the system that should be done away with, and as there is no rule stringent enough, and none that can be made so binding as to prevent this fraudulent system of paying for the services of experts, the best way is to create a class of professional ball players, make their occupation a legitimate one, and exclude them from taking part in club match games. By this means every club will stand upon the merits of its legitimate members, and those of the class we refer to, who desire to form professional nines, and to play matches like the All England eleven do at cricket in England can do so. By this means the gambling class will be excluded from interesting themselves in clubs, and confine their attentions to contests in which professionals alone take part. Philadelphia City Item December 15, 1866, citing the Brooklyn Union.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed addition of the right short ten-men rule

Date Sunday, May 20, 1866
Text

On Saturday next, the first of a series of prize-games will take place on the Capitoline Grounds, the object of which is to test by experiment the advantage of adding a “right short-stop” to the game. The batting in baseball is rapidly overcoming the pitching and fielding in the game, as the increased averages last season conclusively show; an average of three runs to a match being the best average in 1863, while last year an average of five was reached. New York Sunday Mercury May 20, 1866

A series of games will be commenced, on the Capitoline grounds, on Saturday next, for the purpose of testing the utility of putting a new man in the field as “right short-stop.” The batting is so evidently getting the better of the fielding, that many think an additional man needed in the position mentioned. Brooklyn Eagle May 21, 1866

One of the quickest and best-played games witnessed on the Capitoline grounds for a long time past, was that played yesterday on the Enterprise ground, on the occasion of the first of the series of prizes arranged to test the merits of a right short-fielder in the game. New York Sunday Mercury May 27, 1866 [Also in the same issue, a match between the Knickerbocker and Excelsior with ten on a side.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proto-earned run average

Date Sunday, September 2, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Eurekas of Newark 8/27/1866] Taking a fair average of the Eureka pitching, by deducting the additional runs in the first inning from the four miscatches, and allowing the one run only which the Athletics first earned in that inning, we find a total of 17 runs in three innings charged to Ford’s pitching, to offset which there was but one miscatch, and but 16 runs charged to Faitoute in six innings, an average of over two to one in his favor. These figures tell the story. We refer to this matter in order to do justice to Faitoute; many laying the defeats sustained in the two matches mainly to his pitching, whereas the fault lay in the errors in the field and in the lack of skill displayed at the bat, the superior of play on the part of their adversaries of course having a great deal to do with the result.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proto-slugging percentage

Date Saturday, November 24, 1866
Text

[from answers to correspondents] The true estimate of a batting score...is the number of bases made on hits. Thus, a player making his 1st base twice, his 2d once and his 3d once, and getting home but once, thereby being left four times and scoring but one run, makes a better score than the player who makes his 1st base four times by his hits, and yet gets home every time by the good batting of the players following him. The score of batting never tells the truth, as one man may be credited with six runs who get his base twice or three times on miss-catches or wild throws, while another player may be credited with but one run and may have made his base each time by clean hits and yet have been left.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

quite a score

Date Sunday, November 4, 1866
Text

[Nationals of Washington vs. Unions of Richmond 11/2/1866 Nationals 143 Unions 11]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

refreshment dealers

Date Saturday, July 14, 1866
Text

[National of Washington vs. Liberty of New Brunswick 7/7/1866] When the first carriage load of players arrived at the field, not a soul was to be seen, and the field glowed with heat reflected from the red soil of the surface. In about an hour afterwards, tents were raised outside the field by ...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

refusing to take a base on balls; early use of 'three strikes'

Date Sunday, May 27, 1866
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Surprise 5/19/1866] We would suggest to Pabor, that in the future, he drop such boyish play as that of refusing to take his base on three balls. He would not hesitate to take his base on three strikes or on a missed catch, both of which are discreditable to the play of the batsman, whereas, boy-like, he refused to take his base on three balls, which is not discreditable to the batsman. The rule in this case says that the player “shall” take his base on three balls. Smith acted very properly in running his base for him. Another such act should lead to his being put off the nine for disobedience of orders. New York Sunday Mercury May 27, 1866

[Eureka of Newark vs. Union of Morrisania 6/12/1866] Brientnall opened play in the fifth inning and was sent to his first-base on three balls, and, as usual, he took the base very reluctantly. There appears to be considerable objection to taking a base on three balls on the part of players, and in this they show both a lack of sense and great inconsistency of conduct. There is not a player who, the moment a ball is missed on the bound on the third strike, won’t run as fast as he can for his base, and he will run just as early for it and take it readily on a missed flycatch from a poor hit, and yet will make a fuss about taking a base on three balls. In the first place a base made either on the third strike or a missed catch from a poor hit is really a discredit to the batsman, and he would be right in feeling ashamed of it; but there is no discredit in taking a base on three balls, and we hope to see the boyish objection shown by players in this respect done away with. New York Sunday Mercury June 17, 1866

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

requesting a pitch for the bat

Date Saturday, October 27, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/22/1866] Pearce, the first striker of the Atlantics, took his place at the bat amid profound silence, only broken by Mr. Bomeisler, the Umpire, saying “A knee high ball.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of professionalism in the Atlantics; a situation does not make a man a professional

Date Saturday, August 18, 1866
Text

[from a letter by “Umpire”] Talking about the Atlantics, what a small piece of business that was of theirs in putting in Crane and Pearce against the Troy fellows. Between you and me and the post, things ain’t working so smooth as they might do in the Atlantic club, “So how you can fix it.” “I know a man–not that man, but another man”–as knows another man, who said that he knew a man that said he wasn’t “going back again”–to his club, he meant–unless he had dollars and cents. Now you know very well that a man who makes a business of playing ball is not a man to be relied upon in a match where great interested are centered, or on which a large amount of money is pending. ... Ball playing is ball playing, and every good and true man likes to see his club take the highest seat of the row: that’s all right an proper. And another thing I believe in is this: if I know a first-class player who has been a crack pitcher or fielder when hwas a junior, but who, as he grows up, has to attend to “biz,” and can’t get away to play, but who would be just the man for “our nine,” I goes at once and gets him a good “sit” with a field of mine, who likes ball play, and who is a friend of our club, and who lets him off to play now and then; and, because I have done so I don’t think I have done anything on the “square,” either. But this playing ball for so much a week, or for a suit of clothes, or for “license fees,” or anything of that sort, in fact, making a business of it, has just got to be put down...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sarcasm about professionalism

Date Sunday, June 17, 1866
Text

[a card from the Eckford Club] BASEBALL-PLAYERS FURNISHED.–Any club desiring to have a championship-nine this season, and who are in want of some good players to fill their nine, may call on the Eckford Baseball Club, as they still have some very desirable players yet. We refer to the Atlantic, Mutual, Active, and Athletic Clubs, having supplied vacancies in their nines.

N.B.–No club need apply unless they are willing to pay the highest market-price, as those remaining are all high-priced. ECKFORD B.B.C.

June 16, 1866 Union Ground, Brooklyn, E.D.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring on a forced third out

Date Saturday, June 30, 1866
Text

[from answers to correspondents] A man has reached his 3d base, another his 1st base (two hands lost) and a man at the bat knocks the ball and it is fielded to the 2d base, putting the man out running from the 1st base, and just before this 3d hand is lost the man on 3d base reaches home base. Can the tally or score be given him? The man at bat, of course, reaches 1st base, and the man who was on 3d base reaches home base before the 3d hand was lost. The time between the arrival of the man from the 3d base and the 3d hand lost was not over two or three seconds. ... The run in question counts: but had the striker been put out either on the fly or at 1st base the run would not have counted.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scurrilous personal anecdotes about Fitzgerald

Date Sunday, August 26, 1866
Text

The incorruptible Fitzitem has been, and is still, engaged in defaming his betters. He has never recovered from the disappointment of having his resignation accepted by the Athletic Club, which, by the way, was the most sensible thing we ever knew that club to do; as, per consequence, it ideprived him of the only particle of social status he ever had–his political character being summed up in a few words, and which consists in being the most obsequious “dorg” that ever licked the Dead Duck’s boots. As contemptibly low as Forney is in the estimation of this public, and of that of Washington City, he is infinitely superior to the D.B., who does his bidding. The Fitzitem has long wanted a biography, and we propose, in the course of a few weeks, to furnish it, with letters, graphic interviews, and a full exposure of the history of blackmailism and dead-beatism, as practiced by the great expounder.

Burton, when managing the National Theatre, Walnut street, above Eighth, a few years ago, had the following notice appended to the bills of the day:

“The editor of a city weekly is requested to note this item. When he visited New York in the spring, and sent a demand to Burton’s Theatre, in that city, for twelve free tickets and a private box, the bearer of the refusal was told by the angry editor that when Mr. Burton came to Philadelphia he would give him fits. Mr. B has visited Philadelphia, and he finds that “Fitz means blackguardism. Fitz can go on, but can’t come in.”

But we have full and interesting particulars concerning the modus operandi, by which these things are “did,” and in which storekeepers and tradesmen, actors, and even actresses, feel and interest. Together with the number of free carriage rides that the great D.B. indulged in, and which the Board of Control are respectfully asked to verify. Unrecognized by his associates, and with a circulation confined to a few dead heads, this man has managed to exist, and impress the people and the representatives of the press in other cities with a sense of importance, which was never heard of here. His assumptions abroad have been reprobated by us in person.

...

The Athletic Club–composed of gentlemen–was ever the subject of attack while this fellow was their President. They were frequently made acquainted with his manner of doing things, and were made to blush more than once by a knowledge of his contemptible meanness, as practised upon those whom they recognized as friends.

The recent action of the Camden Club, in unanimously expelling him from the roll of membership, is sufficient of itself to place his character in its true light. The Camden’s judgment was the result of deliberation, and should he dare to deny over his own signature, or in his worthless sheet, the truth of this assertion, they will minister to his carcase a decoction of boot leather. Admitted at no place where gentlemen assemble, and shunned and spurned everywhere, he has attempted to decry those whose only fault has been that they too long gave him position, which enable him to riot and indulge, ad libitum, in pleasure that can no longer be gratified. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 26, 1866

arguing a called strike

[Eckford vs. Active 8/22/1866] We regret having to censure, and in no measured terms, the discreditable conduct of one of the Eckford players, whom we were not aware was one of the growling fraternity. The circumstances were as follows: Previous to the game, Beach and Kelly, the two captains, walked round the ground looking for an umpire, and seeing Mr. A. H. Rogers, of the Resolute Club among the spectators, they pounced upon him as umpire and he reluctantly consented to act, to oblige the two clubs. Mr. Rogers being the gentlemanly Secretary of the National Association, and well read in the rules, and moreover, being determined to observe them to the strict letter of the law, informed the two clubs that he should keep them down to the rules, and the game had not progressed through the first inning before it was seen that he was following the excellent example of Mr. Lowell, in the Star and Excelsior match. Balls were first called on Walker, accurately as he pitched generally; and though Walker did not, of course, fancy this strict interpretation, he quietly submitted to it. When it became Southworth’s turn to go through the ordeal, the inaccurate delivery of the Eckford pitcher soon became costly, and yet, strange to say, the Eckford Captain retained him in his position, instead of at once putting in a more accurate pitcher and depending upon the fine field they had to support slow pitching. Things went on favorably enough, however, as long as the Eckfords had the lead, but when, toward the latter part of the game, it became evident that the Actives would win, affairs assumed a different appearance, the outside betting influence beginning to show itself in more ways than one.

In the ninth inning, when Klein went to the bat, three runs had been scored, thereby making the score a tie, and Beach was on the first-base. Klein had previously struck out twice, and was “kinder riled” at his ill-luck. Being over particular in selecting a ball to strike at, and having struck once without effect, and refusing to strike at a good ball, the umpire–as he had impartially done with one of the Actives the previous inning–called a “strike” on him, whereupon Klein turned round to the umpire and remarked to him that he “wasn’t going to stand any of his nonsense any more!” Not being willing to submit to this kind of talk, Mr. Rogers called “Time!” asked who was the Eckford Captain, and at once inquired of him whether he was satisfied with his decision–“because, if you are not,” said Mr. Rogers, “I want you to get another umpire.” Beach asked him what the trouble was, and Klein answering, said, “I want a ball here, and he calls strikes when they are there,” both times indicating the spot where he wanted a ball. Beach, instead of telling Klein to keep silent, as should have done, countenanced him [in questioning the] decision of the umpire by telling him to wait until he got a good ball to hit. Mr. Rogers, not content with this, against asked Beach whether he was satisfied with his decisions or not, Beach replaying to the effect that he had not seen any one disputing them. Finally, the crowd sustaining the umpire, he retained his position; and the next ball Klein struck out, the crowd greeting his being put out with applause. This is the first time in our recollection that we ever knew a decision of an umpire disputed by an Eckford player, and for the credit of a club having such a good name as the Eckfords, we trust never to see it occur again. The excuse that Klein is a man who “doesn’t know better” is valid to a certain extent; but Beech, who partly countenanced him, is too old a player not to know that a dozen victories would not offset the discredit of disputing the decision of an umpire in the way in which Klein did. Here was a club which, knowing that they could not proceed in their game without a referee, and who, after asking a man whom they knew to be a thoroughly impartial player and one holding an honorable position in the National Association, to oblige them by acting as umpire, returned his kindness by disputing his decision, and rating him all the way home–as one of the Eckfords did–for his “lack of judgment” and “partiality”. Why, the thing is simply disgraceful, and if it is s allowed to go unrebuked by the club whose member thus disgraced it, it will soon be difficult to get any man to serve as umpire in a match in which the Eckfords play. New York Sunday Mercury August 26, 1866

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

second baseman covering right short

Date Sunday, July 8, 1866
Text

The point of play by our experienced clubs now is for the second-baseman to play right short, leaving the second uncovered until a man reaches his first, it being the short fielder's duty to watch balls toward second base, and the third baseman's place to act partly as short-stop; but of course these positions are changed according to the man at the bat, the positions referred to being only a general rule, and for positions when no players are on the bases.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Shanghai vs. Hongkong

Date Saturday, August 18, 1866
Text

We have just received news of a game of base ball, played recently in China, in which the Shanghai Club contended with the Hongkong Club. After a very spirited contest Shanghai won, in fine style. The game was for a ball and dinner. The Hongkong Club is composed of English cricketers. Our old friend, L.F. Fisler, (brother to W.D. Fisler,t he powerful and most gentlemanly player of the Athletics,) is the captain of the Shanghais, and this accounts for their brilliant success. Bully for Fisler, who introduced our National Game into China. His club has never been beaten.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

social standing of clubs

Date Sunday, September 2, 1866
Text

EXCELSIOR VS. EUREKA.–These clubs played their first match together on Tuesday at Newark... It is a little surprising that these clubs have never come together before, for they are of the same social standing.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

social status of clubs

Date Saturday, September 8, 1866
Text

[Excelsior vs. Eureka 8/28/1866] ...the Excelsiors paid the Eurekas a visit for the first time, and they met with a very cordial reception, the two clubs fraternizing at once, both occupying a similar social position.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

someone cried foul

Date Tuesday, October 16, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 10/15/1866] Ferguson unfortunately went out on a misunderstanding. He struck a ball to first base, which Kleinfelder failed to get, but as somebody cried foul, Ferguson did not run. The ball was subsequently put on the base, and the umpire being appealed to, said the ball was fair, and Fergy was out to his great disgust.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stepping up to the plate

Date Sunday, September 2, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Eurekas of Newark 8/27/1866] We noticed one infringement of the rules in this game by some of the Athletics, and that was the habit McBride and others have of stepping forward to meet the ball, thereby gaining more power to give impetus to their strikes. Now the rules expressly require the strikers to stand on the line of the base, the words of rule nineteen being: “The striker must stand on a line drawn through the centre of the home-base, not exceeding three feet from either side thereof, and parallel with the line of the pitcher’s position.” The attention of the umpire was called to the infringement of the rule, but the players continued to spring forward when they struck.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

substitutions for tardy players

Date Saturday, September 15, 1866
Text

[Active vs. Eagle 9/8/1866] The Actives being short handed, as usual, when the time arrived for play, put in Hibbard in Stockman’s place, Hibbard always being on hand in time. Now, according to the rules of the game, Hibbard ought to have retained his place in the nine, after taking his turn at the bat. Rule 29 says: No change or substitution shall be made after the game has been commenced, unless for reason fo illness or injury, and according to rule 32, not even then, unless with the consent of both parties. This rule has been hitherto almost ignored, and it is about time it was strictly enforced. If any players are absent, the game must be commenced without them, the side short-handed playing all but the absentees. If men are substituted, the substitutes must play through the game, and neither party, not even by mutual consent, can make any chance, except in cases of palpable injury or illness.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suggestions of hippodroming

Date Saturday, November 3, 1866
Text

We scarcely know what to make of our championship base ball matches of late, for they resemble very much those hippodrome affairs which our turfmen are in the habit of indulging in for money-making purposes. The Atlantics, of Brooklyn, have been the champions for some time. Well, they go to Newark to play the Eurekas, by whom they are defeated. The Athletics, of Philadelphia, also play a match with the Eurekas, and beat them badly; they also play a match with the Unions, of Morrisania, and beat them, too. They next play the Atlantics, of Bedford, and meet with a reverse. Then the Atlantics go to Philadelphia to play a second game with the Athletics, and this time th Atlantics are beaten almost out of sight. Right on the top of this, the Unions, of Morrisania, play a second match with the Athletics, and the Athletics are vanquished by a score of 42 to 29. We confess that we cannot understand it. Do all these clubs play as good as they can play in each and every match, or do they purposely “throw off” for betting purposes? We are afraid that “money” has much to do with this base ball muddle, and that sundry “little arrangements”–if not made by clubs–are “acquiesced” in by the individual members. New York Clipper November 3, 1866

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 10/22/1866] In this game the Atlantics had their field placed less advantageously than in the previous game. Pearce [illegible] out at right field when his position is in the infield. Smith took short field when he should have been at home at 3d. A total of 34 errors of play for the Atlantics against 10 in their previous match, and of 12 on the part of the Athletics to 42 in the first game, shows the contrast in the fielding of the two nines in the two contests. In view of the fact that the gate money was to be divided between the two clubs in this game, and that if the Atlantics had played to win, this game would have closed the series, but by the success of the Athletics another profitable match would be afforded them, there are hundreds who will not believe otherwise than that the Atlantics did not care to win the game. When clubs descend to playing ball for gate money they must expect to be suspected of just such correct doings as mark the Hippodrome trotting races. New York Clipper November 3, 1866

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

taking first on a balk; dead balls on balks and balls

Date Saturday, July 21, 1866
Text

[from answers to correspondents] 1. If a striker hits a ball fair, on which the umpire calls a “baulk,” from the pitcher having moved his feet in delivery, and that ball be caught on the fly, or passed to 1st base in time to put the striker out, is he out? 2. Is not a ball dead that is called a baulk or a ball by the umpire. 3. If a ball or a baulk be called by the umpire, and the striker, having twice struck, strikes for the third time, and the catcher takes the ball on the bound, is the striker out? ... 1.The striker is not out, but is legitimately entitled to his 1st base; for the moment he struck a fair ball he became a player running the bases, and as such was entitled to take his base on the baulk called. 2. It is, and no player can be put out on such a ball; and neither can he make a base on it unless a baulk or three balls be called. 3. No, he is not out, and not only that, but the strike does not count, as the ball at which he struck was not a fair ball and therefore not one to call strikes on.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of a racially integrated Quaker club

Date Sunday, July 8, 1866
Text

The Quakers of Kennett Square are talking about organizing a ball club. A serious item of dispute with “the Friends” is as to whether respectable people of color should not be admitted as members. By all means admit them, the darks would give a savor to the exercise at this season.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

testing the ten man right short rule

Date Monday, May 21, 1866
Text

Right Short-Stop.--A series of games will be commenced, on the Capitoline grounds, on Saturday next, for the purpose of testing the utility of putting a new man in the field as “right short-stop.” The batting is so evidently getting the better of the fielding, that many think an additional man needed in the position mentioned. Several prizes have been offered, and the games will be at least interesting and will doubtless settle the question in dispute.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletic ground committee

Date Saturday, October 13, 1866
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 10/1/1866] The field committee of the Athletic Club was in a great measure responsible for much of the disorder that prevailed. Many of these gentlemen affect a dictatorial style and manner which is very unpleasant; and they seem to be impressed with the idea that they are entitled to special privileges for themselves and friends. The majority of people are not disposed to submit to this sort of thing; and when those who pay their admission fee at the gate see the committee placing their friends in all the best positions, they very naturally become dissatisfied. We had occasion to speak about this matter once before; and if the Athletics expect to preserve good order on their grounds they will have to make a change in their manner of doing things. The club has been doing a pretty good business during the present season, and we think they ought to be able to provide better accommodations for their visitors. A little attention to matters of this kind would, in a great measure, prevent scenes of disorder. Philadelphia City Item October 13, 1866 [quoting the Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch]

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletic muffs hold the field

Date Saturday, August 11, 1866
Text

[from a letter by “Umpire”] I was in Philadelphia on Saturday, and went up to the Athletic grounds to see the boys practice, but the muffs had possession of the ground.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics club meeting following Fitzgerald's resignation

Date Saturday, June 9, 1866
Text

THE ATHLETICS.–There was great excitement and a number of surprises at the meeting of this splendid base ball organization on Monday evening, June 4th. During the day, a self-constituted committee from the club, numbering twenty, called on Mr. Fitzgerald, and requested him to attend and preside, as they had certain important measures which they wished pressed to a passage, and it was feared that all attempts at reform would fail, unless a full and patient hearing could be had. But, it was subsequently resolved not to present those reforms until a future day, as it was evident that an unbiased expression of opinion could not be had during the excitement of the moment. After the preliminary business of the club had been gone through with, Mr. Fitzgerald’s resignation of the Presidency was read, and accepted by a vote of 41 to 37. The Athletics then proceeded to ballot for a new President, and Col. D. W. C. Moore and Mr. E. H. Hayhurst were put in nomination. The result of the ballot was as follows: Hayhurst 43, Moore 41, scattering 3. Here was a surprise indeed! We regarded Moore with the deepest commiseration. He was astounded! “Could it be possible?” “Was there not some mistake?” Surely he had “the thing set up all right?” “Would the club go back on him?” Some ill-natured fellow (probably a friend of Jim Freeborn’s) remarked, when the result was announced–“there’s a stunner for the psalm-singing hypocrite!” We were sorry to hear a remark so ill-natured. Personalities are always in bad taste. A second ballot was ordered, with a nearly similar result–Hayhurst, to his astonishment, being one or two votes ahead of Moore. Here the discovery was made that there were only about eighty persons in the room, while eighty-four or eight-six ballots had been cast. Another ballot was then ordered. Mr. Hayhurst arose and said that he hoped his friends would not attempt to stuff the ballot box to serve him. Again the count showed Hayhurst to be three or four votes ahead of Moore; but, it was said, too many votes had again been cast, and another ballot was ordered. Now, the politicians of the club took the matter in hand. They went from member to member, in vehement expostulation, and said the club would “bust” if they persisted in electing Hayhurst. Vigorous electioneering gave Moore a majority of three or four on the next ballot, and he was declared duly elected, although the ill-natured fellow who called Moore a “psalm-singing hypocrite,” said he couldn’t see it. Immediately, Mr. Fitzgerald moved the vote be made unanimous. Mr. Fitzgerald then said, by a promotion of Moore, a vacancy existed among the Vice Presidents, and he moved that Mr. Hayhurst be elected by acclamation to said office. Carried enthusiastically. It may be well to remember, that when Moore was nominated for the Presidency, Mr. Fitzgerald moved that nominations close, but a gentleman in the lower end of the room nominated Hayhurst, and thus almost fatally jeopardised Moore’s chances, as none of his friends dreamt of opposition, much less defeat, so carefully had the matter been arranged. Before the club adjourned, Mr. Moulder offered the following resolution, which was unanimously passed–

Resolved, That the thanks of this club be presented to our much respected retiring President, Thomas Fitzgerald, for his long, faithful, and invaluable serves as President of the Athletic Club. Philadelphia City Item June 9, 1866

Fitzgerald’s resignation as President of the Athletic Base Ball Club, was accepted at the meeting of the club held one evening last week. The G. L. was present, and made a speech, relating the great services he rendered the Athletic. He was under the impression that the boys would and could not get along without him. But the Athletics have got posted. They have inquired some, and have got the dots on the G. L. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury June 10, 1866

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics don't meet the Atlantics at the station

Date Sunday, October 7, 1866
Text

The Atlantic arrived in this city on Sunday evening last, and were met on their arrival at the depot by the representatives of a different club, who escorted them to the American Hotel, where a large crowd had assembled to bid them welcome. The Secretary of the Athletic wrote the Atlantic, requesting them to send their time of departure, that the club might make arrangements to receive them. No answer was returned to this, and hence the Athletic had no appointed committee in waiting to extend the honors. The Atlantic probably conceived that they could get along without a committee, and their formal reception smacks to us of humbug.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics in Harrisburg meet the governor

Date Sunday, June 10, 1866
Text

The Athletics visited Harrisburg on Friday last. Their visit was induced by a letter in the Mercury stating the desire the Governor expressed to see them play. His Excellency was in town last Monday, and repeated to one of our corps the pleasure it would afford him to see the Athletics “bat and field.” The Tyroleans, of Harrisburg, were also anxious to have a bout with the Athletics. Both clubs being willing, soon came to a mutual understanding, and the match was arranged for Friday last. The Athletic boys having a few hours to spare, called upon his excellency the Governor, who gave them a cordial welcome, and made the boys feel, as the Yankees say, “to home.” Wein Forney, Esq., State Librarian, and Col. Morgan, his polite assistant, showed them the wonders of the capitol, and pointed out to them whatever was worthy of interest in the way of a view from the cupola. ... We must not forget to mention that his Excellency Governor Curtin was an interested spectator [in the game], as also a large concourse of ladies and gentlemen.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics stall out a game

Date Saturday, October 20, 1866
Text

[Eurekas of Newark vs. Athletics 10/11/1866] A correspondent furnishes the following sketch of the Eureka and Athletic encounter of last week–The Eurekas reached Kensington depot about 10:30 A.M., Thursday, and were met by The. Bomeisler and two Athletics (Dr. Garvin and Hayhurst). A car was provided for them, and in a short time they reached the Continental, which was made their head-quarters. They were here informed by the Athletic committee, above named, that at one o’clock a coach would be in waiting to take them to the ground. The fact of there having been a committee to receive them at the depot, and their having a coach for their accommodation, shows conclusively that the Athletics expected and intended to play the game. Most of the Eurekas retired to the billiard room of the Continental to pass away time before lunch, and while there a number of the Athletic Nine came in. They inquired who were to play, and when they found out, they didn’t seem to think they had quite so “soft a thing” as when they were in Newark. Bets of one to two being offered by Philadelphians and others, that the Eurekas would win, didn’t seem to make them feel very comfortable, and presently Hayhurst and others got together to hold a council of war. It was evident that they did not feel so very confident of an easy victory. And from what they said, and the manner in which they acted, the Eurekas began to think that they were getting a trifle nervous. This, of course, all tended to make the Eurekas more confident. When the time came to start for the grounds, Hayhurst said, “Boys, I guess there’s no use in going out; I don’t believe we can play to-day; looks stormy.” After considerable delay and parleying the Eurekas began to think that they wouldn’t even take them to the ground. So they all said–“Go it anyhow. The Eurekas will be on hand and put in their appearance; if it rains we won’t play; if no, we’re ready for you.” With that the Eurekas unceremoniously left the house, found the coach in waiting, got in, and were soon off for Fifteenth and Columbia Avenue and a game. Arrived there, and found Pike, Wilkins and Kleinfelder. Game was to have been called at 2 P.M. The Eureka Nine were all equipped and on the field, time up and only three of the Athletic Nine there. One by one, however, they came dropping in, until 3 o’clock, when McBride finally showed himself. Thomas, of the Eurekas, immediately went to him and urged him to get his men out in the field. Such squirming and wriggling you never saw. They were determined not to play if it could be avoided. But there was no reasonable excuse for them to offer. It did not rain, and their “nine” were there, with the exception of Berkenstock and Fisler. The Eurekas urged them to send for them, offering them the privilege of playing substitutes until they came, when they might take their regular positions. It was now quarter past three, and they wanted the Eurekas to wait three quarters of an hour until the other two could get there. That would have made it four o’clock, and would not have given the Eurekas over an hour in which to play. The Eurekas were now getting impatient–some of them having changed their clothes, and were about starting for home, when they held an informal meeting on the field, and instructed Thomas to say, “Have your Nine in the field for play in 5 minutes or we will demand the ball.” This was a settler. Game commenced at 3:30–Berkenstock arriving before it was his turn at the bat. The first three innings were fairly and squarely contested, the close of the third showing Eurekas 8, Athletics 4. The Athletics went out for one run on the fourth, leaving them 5 to 8, and the Eurekas had another inning. It was in this inning that the Eurekas got to bear on McBride, and they punished him awfully. Seeing that there was no earthly salvation for them, (as they couldn’t hit Harry Lex at all,) and that they were bound to be defeated, they (with one or two praiseworthy exceptions) did all in their power to delay the game. McBride would stand watching the bases for a long time, and would finally throw when the man was not two feet off his base, and there was no possibility of his getting out. This he kept up for a long time, keeping the Eureka men standing at the bat. The fielders were unusually careless as to when they returned foul balls to the pitcher. But, in spite of all these discouraging features, the Eurekas made 3 runs in this inning. The last man out was on a fly sent to “Pikey;” the crowd calling out for him to drop it, but to his credit be it said, he held it. Now came the deciding inning. Athletics would stand at the bat, and waste as much time as possible, and but for the fact that the Umpire was afraid to call strikes on them, the Eurekas could have compelled them to play it out; but they had already filibustered so much that darkness and rain set in, and of necessity, the game had to be called. Score–even innings–Eureka, 16!!! Athletic, 5. W.A.J.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics' version of negotiations for the return match with the Atlantics

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

The Athletic Club immediately proposed playing the game on the following morning, on the grounds of the Olympic B.B.C. at Twenty-fifth and Jefferson streets, without public notice, which proposition was rejected. Finally, a committee of five was appointed to confer with an equal number from the Atlantic Club. On meeting, the chairman of the Athletic committee, on behalf of his colleagues and the club, proposed that their “nine” should proceed to Brooklyn, and play them (the Atlantic) on their own ground, on the 15th of October, and also that they (the Athletic Club) would pay the expenses of the Atlantic “nine,” to substitutes, and the scorer of the club, if they would play the return match on their grounds in this city, on the following Monday, the 22d of October. The first proposition was accepted, the second they rejected, unless they were guaranteed a fair field and half of the receipts, AFTER THE EXPENSES WERE DEDUCTED. So anxious were the Athletic Club to play them and so confident were they of an easy victory, that the committee acceded to even such a demand, and matters were again settled. On the 15 th of October, the Athletics put in an appearance on the Capitoline grounds, at Brooklyn, at their own expense, even for a conveyance to and from the grounds at Bedford. The result of the game there, and its causes, are well known to all who witnessed it. The first base was seriously disabled, the catcher had scarcely one hand, and the left field, besides being slightly injured by a “hot ball,” was insulted and intimidated while playing, by a gang of rowdies near whom it was his misfortune to be necessarily stationed. On Monday last, according to the programme, the Atlantic “nine” made their appearance, but (unlike the Athletic “nine,” who were nearly an hour ahead of time a Brooklyn) did non reach the ground for more than an hour after the appointed time, for which various reasons have been assigned, but which, for various reasons, we will not here recount. They found, however, on arrival, that every preparation had been made for them and their friends. A board fence nine feet high enclosed the grounds, seats were provided for their friends, appropriate and comfortable places found for the reporters, and a large body of police to enforce order. In order to “made assurance doubly sure,” the number of tickets was limited to four thousand, and the price of each ticket put at one dollar. Only nineteen hundred dollars were realized. After the game, and before the amount of the receipts was actually known, the probable number of dollars and cents accruing to the Atlantics was freely and openly discussed–not, we are pleased to say, by the “nine” who were to receive it, whether large or small–but by officious outsiders of very little character, and, if possible, less influence. On Tuesday last, the respective committees again met for a settlement, when the Atlantic committee refused to submit to a reduction of expenses, as per agreement, but insisted that the expenses incurred to insure them a fair field should be borne by the Athletic Club alone. The Athletic committee insisted upon a faithful adherence to the letter and spirit of the bond, and thus the matter stands. The public, however, can judge of the merits of the case as stated, but we do not think they will decide that all the expenses should be borne by the Athletic Club, out of their half of the receipts.

It is now rumored that the Atlantic Club will not play the third game, unless it be arranged to play it on their grounds at Brooklyn, which the Athletic Club will not do. The rule is to play it on neutral ground, and the Athletic Club will play according to the rules whenever their opponents are ready, this season.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics' version of the failed match of October 1

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

On that day [of the match], notwithstanding the unprecedented numbers in attendance, the field was kept perfectly clear until the friends or followers of the Brooklyn club made their appearance; and in violation of all decency, as well as of all rules and regulations, planted themselves just where they obstructed the view of those who had paid to witness the game, and where they interfered with those who were expected to play it. Seeing this, those who had paid, conceiving themselves to be entitled to at least the same privileges as those who did not pay, forced their way into the field, also, until it was found utterly impossible to proceed with the game, and it was consequently called, at the suggestion, we believe, of the captain of the Atlantic “nine.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics get 'sold'

Date Saturday, June 23, 1866
Text

ATLANTIC VS. IRVINGTON.–About the neatest thing in the way of a “sell” ever got off on the champions was that which their President and the Club were the victims of yesterday ‘over in New Jersey.’ The particulars of the practical joke–one the champions don’t relish very well, by the way–are as follows: The other day a committee of country-looking from the Irvingtons called on Mr. Babcock to see if he would accept a challenge from a ‘country club’ in New Jersey. ‘Our club,’ said the committee, ‘are mostly country ball-players, and they simply want to play the Atlantics to learn some of their points. We will treat you well, and it will be a good practice-game, you know, to play us fellows. It will be a big thing for our club and our village to have the champions visit us.’ This talk touched the heart of ye President, and he said he would talk the matter over with the boys, and he did; and he consented to go over with a nine, and yesterday he went over, and what came off of it will be ascertained from our report. On the arrival of the champions at Irvington, they found a nine to confront them in which were Buckley and Lewis–two of the best players of the old Newark Club; the two Campbells, Crawford, Leonard and Bailey, of the old Pioneers–who defeated the Excelsiors so badly last season–and Swezie and Williams, two crack players of the Irvington Juniors, the champion junior club of New Jersey last year. All of these now compose the Irvington senior nine, and a pretty strong team they are.

Since this defeat the champions have been “chaffed” in Brooklyn until they are sore on the subject; and, as for Babcock, his “little game in New Jersey” will be buzzed in his ears until the snow falls. Philadelphia City Item June 23, 1866 [the first paragraph quoting the Brooklyn Union]

Now the Jerseymen of the Irvingtons, as it now appears, had simply been playing a nice little point. Their modest talk about “a country club” to President Babcock, was simply talk. They knew how good natured he was, and how he liked to encourage young clubs, &c., and so they put it to him strong about their being a new member [of the National Association] club, wanting practice, &c., and all that kind of thing, and so Babcock got the boys to take a trip into the country, and what came of it we will briefly tell. The Atlantics took the 1 P.M. train to Newark, with a party in which there were neither Charley Smith, Galvin or Ferguson. On their arrival at Newark they were met by some of the Irvingtons and escorted on a horse car to Irvington. On their arrival at the ground they found a large assemblage present, ropes for boundary lines, seats for ladies, and a large can of strawberry lemonade under the scorers’ desk, ready for them when they got warmed up. But there was nothing to cool them off in case the nine should give them a warming. In addition to these preparations, there was a remarkably strong nine present, which was something the champions were not looking for... New York Clipper June 23, 1866

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics got Pratt back, agreed to play the Athletics

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

The Atlantic declined to play [the Athletic] in June, and again in July, August and September. But when Pratt seceded from the Athletic Club, and rejoined the Atlantic, they agreed to play as soon as he was legally qualified by the usual thirty days’ membership.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Clipper backs Fitzgerald

Date Saturday, August 25, 1866
Text

Six years ago the occasional games between the inexperienced players of some three or four clubs, prominent among which was the Equity Club, was all the attraction the base ball fraternity of Philadelphia had afforded them. Now clubs flourish by the hundred, and the city boasts having one of the strongest in the country, and the only club which has not lost a single game thus far this season. In 1860 cricket rules in the Quaker city, there then being a great number of clubs in existence; now some five or six are all that take part in match games. To what is this change attributable? We think it is to the efforts of man that the popularity of base ball in Philadelphia is mostly to be attributed, viz., Mr. Thomas Fitzgerald, the late President of the Athletic Club. Of course he has been ably assisted by others, but for years he fought up hill and almost alone, pushing and talking and writing the game into popularity, until the club he presided over reached the highest round of the ladder. The time was when it was a favor to get the editors of the Philadelphia papers to put in a score of a match; both when they saw the game attracting people by thousands, and some games creating an excitement in the city equal to that of some great event, they began to open their eyes to the fact that the Colonel was not quite the mad enthusiast on the subject of base ball they thought he was, and began to follow his example, and write up the game a little, until now the editor of the paper who neglects base ball matters is conscious of losing sight of an important influence in extending the circulation of his paper. Having pushed the Athletic Club to the top of the hill, the Colonel has left it to itself to pluck the fruit from the tree, and has taken hold of the old Equity club to build it up to the same position, if not a higher one, than that occupied by his former pets, the Athletics, and we have no doubt that, by 1867, this club will rival in playing strength, as well as in other respects, the most noted organization of the Quaker City. The club now has a large list of members, and they are preparing a find ground at an expense of between $1,000 and $2,000, and intend visiting New York this fall, to gain a little practical experience, such as games with our leading clubs alone yield.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Columbia ground

Date Sunday, May 13, 1866
Text

The [Columbia] ground is tastefully laid out, surrounded by a neat board fence, and amply provided with seats for the accommodation of spectators, as well as rooms for the use of the clubs occupying the grounds, and is superintended by our enterprising fellow-townsman, Mr. Albert Lawrence.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Columbia grounds

Date Sunday, March 18, 1866
Text

The Columbia Base Ball Ground and Skating Park is situated very nearly at the junction formed by Columbia avenue, Twenty-fourth street, and Ridge avenue, and can be approached by exchange cars, or directly by the Ridge avenue passenger cars. The fence, seven feet high, has already been erected, and it is the intention to build a substantial brick house for the use of the playing clubs; also, a large covered stand, for the accommodation of visitors. A large flag pole is to be placed at the entrance on Ridge avenue. Nothing has been spared to make this the most attractive ground for the exhibition of that most exciting outdoor exercise and national game of base ball, which is now creating such enthusiasm among the young men of our country. The following clubs have secured the ground for ball playing:

Swiftfoot Base Ball Club, Tuesday and Friday.

Alert Base Bll Club, Wednesday and Saturday.

Hatters’ Base Ball Club, Monday and Thursday.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsiors pull out all the stops; Chadwick active in 1859?

Date Saturday, July 14, 1866
Text

On Thursday, the Nationals became the guests of the Excelsior Club, and we have to state that July the 4 th, 1866, will henceforth be a day specially noteworthy in the annals of the National Club, and of the national game itself, for it was one marked by the most splendid reception ever given by one club to another. The National Club themselves had previously equaled, if not excelled, all efforts of the kind by the manner in which they welcomed the Athletic, Atlantic and Excelsior clubs in Washington, in 1865, and we have a distinct recollection of a certain Knickerbocker affair in 1859, which was one worthy of special record. But this reception surpassed all previous efforts of the kind without doubt.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Irvington Club furore

Date Sunday, July 22, 1866
Text

[Irvington vs. Athletic 7/17/1866] The sudden erratic Excelsior march of the Irvington, recently erected a great sensation in the Base Ball world. Emerging from comparative obscurity, and securing the first trophy the Atlantic Club lost since 1863, and in a short time afterwards vanquishing the renowned Eckford, their organization necessarily attracted great attention from the aspirants to championship honors. The Athletic Club challenged them, which they promptly accepted, and on Tuesday last they visited our city full of overweening confidence, and having their actions clothed with a glorious prestige, that the realities of play dispersed and scatter as the fitful shadows play upon waters, coming and going with the changing clouds. An immense concourse greeted the strangers–to say they were disappointed, does not adequately express their feelings–grumbling and discontent were “household words” among the spectators, who formed great expectations, destined to be shattered in fragments as fragile as their judgments.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Irvingtons refuse post-game cheers

Date Saturday, October 13, 1866
Text

[Active vs. Irvington 10/3/1866] At the close of the play the Actives got together and gave three cheers for the Irvingtons; the latter, instead of responding like men, walked off the field like a party of beaten school boys, much to our surprise. If anything shows manliness in a club, it is bearing defeat gracefully. If a nine is beaten by superior play, common honesty should lead the defeated party to acknowledge it; if beaten unfairly or by errors of judgment on the part of the umpire, then the defeat reflects no discredit on the defeated. We trust never again to see a club having such a high reputation as players as the Irvingtons, guilty of such very small conduct as refusing the cheer the victors and the umpire. This cheering business is a good finish to every game, and is calculated to rub off the asperities occasioned by the close contest.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Keystone ground

Date Sunday, June 3, 1866
Text

[The Keystone’s] new ground...is located on Eleventh and Wharton streets, and when completed will be a fine location. Two pavilions have been erected on the north side, one for ladies and the other for gentlemen. The former is covered at the top so as to protect the ladies from the heat. We understand that an additional pavilion of some thirty feet in length is to be erect on the west of that reserved for ladies. These structures will give excellent accommodations to at least a thousand visitors. In addition to the pavilions, seats have been fixed upon the east and a portion of the north side of the ground.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Knickerbockers at play

Date Sunday, May 13, 1866
Text

The Knickerbockers play ball in the spirit it ought to be played, and not as if it was an important business, to be attended to as a business. Another thing we notice, and in this as in other respects their example should be followed, and that is, that even in their practice-games they play according to the strict rules of the game, balls being called for unfair delivery, and strikes for failure to bat at good balls, as promptly as if they were engaged in a regular match. This is the right way to practice, even for “the fun of the thing,” as the saying is.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Mutual grounds

Date Sunday, May 13, 1866
Text

A finer ground they could not well have, and the great credit is due the officers of the [Mutual] club for their energetic action in supplying the fraternity with such a good field for viewing the leading contests of the season. By-the-way, we would suggest that they extend the row of seats to the flagstaff on one side, and remove the fence on the other. These seats form good barriers to the encroachments of the crowd on match-days.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals can't get their nine out on Saturdays

Date Saturday, June 9, 1866
Text

The Harvard had challenged the Mutuals for June 2d, but owing to the shortness of the notice, and the fact that the Mutuals cannot get their men out for Saturday games, they were obliged reluctantly to decline.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Nationals ground

Date Sunday, September 23, 1866
Text

[Excelsiors vs. Nationals 9/18/1866] The inclosed space known as the “President’s grounds” was on this occasion partially inclosed by the erection of an amphitheatre of seats on the east and west sides of the ballfield, the other portion being inclosed by a rope fence extending from the platform-seats around the field. For the seats in the amphitheatre a charge was made, but the crowd in general were admitted free to a full view of the proceedings outside the rope line, and some five or six thousand people witnessed the contest from this latter position. About two thousand were provided with seats, those on the west side being reserved for ladies; but so great was the pressure of crinoline on the occasion, and so deeply interested in base-ball games have the fair sex of Washington of late become, that a portion of the seats on the east side had to be given up to the ladies, the gathering of the fair admirers of the two clubs forming a galaxy of beauty and fashion far surpassing any previous assemblage of the kind we have ever before witnessed.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the New York game and the school-boy game

Date Saturday, September 1, 1866
Text

The Susquehanna Club was organized in July, 1865, by about twenty young men of Wilkesbarre; the majority of whom were practically ignorant of base-ball as improved by the National Association, the game of their school-boy days being the only one they were familiar with. It was not long, however, before they acquired the requisite skill, by practice, to place them on an equal footing with other clubs of the State outside of Philadelphia...

Source Frank Leslies Illustrated Newspaper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Oakdale grounds

Date Sunday, May 6, 1866
Text

We visited these extensive grounds on Tuesday morning last, and were very much leased with the appearance of things. The new park is upon a lane leading off from the first tollgate upon the Germantown pike, and the Fourth and Eighth Street (yellow) cars take you to the ground for a single fare. The property has two fronts. The western one borders upon and Germantown and Norristown Railroad, and that company intend erecting a passenger station upon the premises for the convenience of their Germantown and Philadelphia patrons. The property has long been known as “Duke’s Garden,” and is admirably adapted for th uses for which it is being prepared.

The workmen are now busily employed in getting ready the ball-ground, which we have no hesitation is saying will be the finest in this country. The choice fruit and shade trees that adorned the property have been removed, and a beautiful space made clear for the players. The ground will be put in excellent order, and our clubs have a field to give their exhibitions of skill upon worthy of our great national game. Stands will be erected capable of seating comfortably ten thousand people, and Mr. Wm. Vanhook, under whose superintendence these improvements are going on, had ordered preserved a number of excellent shade trees, under which seats will be erected, and which will enhance the comfort of the spectator, and no way impair the view.

There will be a sixty foot wide drive around the grounds, which will be for the accommodation of those visiting the premises in carriages. We walked over the park with Mr. Vanhook–some eleven acres in extent, and were asked by him to locate the “reporter’s boudoir,” which, by the way, is to be something exclusive, and will not be open for the use of the “dead beat” tribe.

On behalf of the legitimate members of our fraternity, we beg leave to thank Mr. Vanhook and the gentlemen who are associated with him, for the thoughtfulness in remembering the wants of the press. The courtesy will not be forgotten as the season advances.

Among the improvements will be a spacious refectory, which will be conducted in a manner to make it popular with visitors. No liquors will be sold or allowed upon the premises. Players who have visited the new grounds are in ecstacies over its advantages and conveniences for baseball and cricket purposes, and the skating park will be in all respects equal to the best in the country. We should not omit to mention that the property has been inclosed, and the visitor will not be annoyed by the gratuitous slang of the mob who generally congregate on important matches, and whose phraseology does not grate pleasantly upon polite ears.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Oakdale grounds 2

Date Sunday, May 27, 1866
Text

The Oak Dale ground are acknowledged to be the finest for this purpose in this country, having an extent of some five acres, with splendid shade trees on both sides of the field, and having a handsome sixty feet carriage drive, which extends not only around the ball ground, but also around the skating basin, making a drive of over half a mile. Seats will be erected on both sides of the field, being shaded by fine large trees, and will be capable of seating comfortably 5000 or 6000 persons. There will also be a handsome green-house upon the grounds, where visitors will be able at all times to purchase all kinds of fine and rare plants and flowers.

Attached to the grounds will be a first-class restaurant, which will be conducted in such a manner as to gratify the most fastidious taste, and nothing objectionable will be allowed upon the premises.

The strictest order will be enforced while matches are being played, in order that those interested in the game may not be annoyed, as they frequently are, by persons running over the ground, and thereby interfering with the players and marring the beauty of the game. This will not be allowed under any circumstances.

The accommodations for players will be of a very superior class, and will consist in part of a club room sixty feet long, with glass front, amply provided with closets for use of the players, together with every other improvement that can in any way add to their comfort.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the amateurs of the club

Date Sunday, May 13, 1866
Text

[The Mutuals] should get up their attractive and enjoyable muffin games at once. Give fulling scoring this season, for they pay tribute like all the rest, more in proportion to the play they have in most clubs.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the bag is the base, not the location; Chadwick lost that rules fight

Date Saturday, August 4, 1866
Text

The rules require that the base bag should be “securely fastened” to the post, and in our judgment a man cannot be fairly given out unless the base is fastened but the rules say differently. The question whether the base post–the base proper–or the base bag–the base according to the rule–should be considered the base was discussed considerably in the Committee on Rules before the Convention met, and the reason why it was decided to make the base bag the base was, the difficulty an umpire would have in seeing whether a player’s foot was on the base post or not; whereas he could plainly see whether he touched the base bag, and so it was finally determined to consider the bag the base, and to regard a man out if he was touched with the ball when he was not touching the bag, whether he had his foot on the base post or not.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ball grounds in Norwich, Connecticut

Date Sunday, July 29, 1866
Text

...a prettier ground it would be harder to find. It very much resembles the Eagle ground at Hoboken, except that it is level, and the trees are wider apart and not so numerous, streets forming the boundary on three sides of it. ... The...grounds can be greatly improved by removing the home-base back about fifty feet, thereby giving more space at left and right fields... The absence of chalk-lines, too, was noticeable. The rules positively require these at all match-games.

...

[On the same grounds the next day:] A larger crowd than that of the day previous was in attendance, but in character it was not up to the mark of the attendance at the Uncas match, although thorough order was maintained throughout. The arrangements, however, were very poor, the crowd encroaching on the scorers and reporters until they were almost excluded from a sight of the game, and the roads on each side of the ground were so blocked up by vehicles that it was impossible for the left or right fielders to attend to any balls knocked beyond the trees. This is the only drawback to the ground, and this will partially be remedied by moving the home-base back...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baseball mania

Date Monday, October 1, 1866
Text

We all know that at irregular intervals dangerous epidemics sweep over countries, affecting more or less all the people. The East tells us of thousands infected, and it requires no historical knowledge to see it in our own land. As with physical maladies, so also with moral contagions. Philosophers say that crime is infectious, and that one example of a mighty offense against law causes others. And it is a moral epidemic which is now raging in our land. Good, quiet people may smile, but there is a fever which is in the brains and affecting the minds of thousands of American citizens. Strange to say, this disease is principally limited to the male sex, and seldom attacks those who have attained the age of thirty.

The prevailing mania is known as “base-ball,” and never was there a Juggernaut with more devoted followers than this god of physical sport. There seems to be a reckless abandon exhibited by its devotees, which savors of the mad ecstasy which the Pythoness continually lived in. All of the leading players have had their fingers broken, and some have every finger broken twice. The loss of a tooth or an eye is received with such slight interest that we might suppose that the member had offended, and been “plucked out.” The number of these reckless devotees is legion. Every boy who has attained the mature age of six feels qualified to belong to a “club,” and all the adjectives in the language are applied as titles to the organizations. The “Invulnerables,” the “Invincibles,” or the “Inwhatable,” as Toodles has it, are all composed of young Americans whose lives have not witnessed a decade. Then, also, is mythology laid under contribution, and “Olympic” brought down to the level of a plain. The venerable gentleman who rushed out of his bath without making a toilet has a delicate compliment paid to his memory, and the “Eureka” appears on the base-ball board. “The youth who bore 'mid snow and ice” is not forgotten, and “Excelsior” is inscribed on the banner of another. As to all the American statesmen, the patriotism of the players compels some recognition of their merits, and “Washington,” “Franklin,” “Hamilton,” and all the signers and all the Presidents are remembered. The fact is, the organizers of new clubs are driven to desperation to secure names, and if the fever continues much longer, they must resort to the expedient of the unfortunate fathers who, having exhausted their vocabulary, devised the scheme of duplicating names. We will have the “Washington Washington” and the “Eureka Eureka.” But we are in hopes that before this dreadful pass is reached, the fever will have commenced to abate, and that ere long it will be reduced to control.

In 1854 the excitement over cricket first began to assume formidable dimensions, and in 1857 it was at its height. We all remember the way in which it took off small boys from school, and enlisted even men in its ranks as victims. It overdid the game. The excitement rose in an hour, and utter subsided; and instead of being a rational amount of healthy exercise, it was either a mania or none at all. Within two years after the visit of the English eleven, there was not found a dozen cricket clubs in the whole country.

Two years ago, base-ball commenced, and the course of the epidemic is the same as that of its predecessor. It is to-day being carried to such an excess, that unless there is something like reason in the exercise, the whole game will complete disappear. What was originally a healthy sport has grown to be a positive dissipation. We hear complaints from all our business men, because of the continual absence of young men in order that they may engage in the game. If it were once a week, it would be an excellent thing. It would give vigor to the frame, buoyancy to the spirits, and make the time lost to them compensated for by the addition activity. But when it is four times a week, and sometimes more, it becomes a decided nuisance. We admire the game of base-ball. We admire the results, if indulged in moderately, and it is because we want to see young Americans have such a game always as a recreation, that we oppose the present excess. Unless it is remedied and the over-indulgence abated, we see that it will disappear, as did cricket. Our business men will lose patience, and refuse continual absence from duty. At present it is positively losing money to both the employees and their employers. This state of affairs cannot continue, and as lovers of the sport, we call upon those who actively engage in it,”to draw it a little more mild,” as the meek philosopher says, and “not run the thing into the ground.

Source Philadelphia Evening Telegraph
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the batter positioning himself four feet behind home

Date Sunday, June 3, 1866
Text

[Harvard vs. Eureka of Newark 5/31/1866] Callaway, like many others–Crane, for instance–has a habit of standing about four feet back of the home-base when he strikes, thus giving him a better chance to judge the ball. He does not hit from where he stands, but jumps forward to meet the ball, thus gaining an additional impetus in striking. It is a good point, but being an illegitimate one, he will have to drop it. The striker has no more right to stand off the line of his base when striking than the pitcher has to move his feet in pitching. It is about time that this rule was properly observed.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the benefit of charging admission

Date Sunday, September 23, 1866
Text

For the credit of the Keystone Club we hope to see them secure a ground of their own, and charge such a price for admission as will exclude the presence of the juvenile rabble who disgraced the good name of the city on this occasion. New York Sunday Mercury September 23, 1866

Fitzgerald loses his custom house position

The Fitzitem D.B. has been dismissed [from] the Custom House, and the Treasury of the United States is just one hundred dollars per month richer. This righteous act was consummated on Friday last, and was the cause of arousing the D.B’s virtuous(?) Ire. His “phrenzy” knew no bounds; but there were none to console with him–no, not one. Seriously, this fellow should have been removed long since, as he has rendered no equivalent for the money he monthly received. A well fed pauper, and impudent at that. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury September 23, 1866

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The capacity of the Capitoline Grounds

Date Tuesday, October 16, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 10/15/1866] When the game was called...there could not have been less than 20,000 spectators present, inside and out. The margin of the ground inside is calculated to accommodate 15,000 easily, and this was closely filled, as was also the ladies stands and temporary erections.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the championship and the whip pennant

Date Sunday, May 13, 1866
Text

The National Association does not recognize the title of championship... The club entitled to “fly the whip”, as the phrase is, is the one who goes through a season without losing a single game. If they do not lose a match of best two out of three, however, they can still claim the honors of being champions, as far as custom allows of the existence of the title. The success attained by the Eckford Club in 1863 is yet to be equaled, viz., the winning of every first-nine, second-nine, and amateur match the club plays during the season–a feat the Eckfords accomplished in 1863.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the National Club; the scene of the President's grounds; the state of the game

Date Saturday, May 5, 1866
Text

They have erected a new club house, in conjunction with the Union Club, and their field is about a hundred yards more to the northward than before, and far better located. The National number over a hundred members, and applications for admission are on the increase. A full field is present every fine Monday, Wednesday and Saturday afternoon, at 4 P.M., at which hour the Departments close business and the employees take a bee line for the President’s grounds, which now present, every afternoon of the week, one of the liveliest scenes imaginable. One the left the National and Union Clubs play, on the right the Potomac and Jefferson Clubs have their field, and in the centre the Amateur and a new club are to play. In the centre of the grounds, the Washington and American Cricket Clubs pitch their wickets, and what with the half a dozen junior organizations who occupy all the spare ground on the margin, one can imagine what a crowd of ball players there are on the field every day. In fact, the way the balls fly in every direction is enough to remind a veteran of the army of the time when he found himself like the “six hundred” in the Crimea, who had “balls to the right of them, balls to the left of them.” The contrast between this time last year, when the game was comparatively unknown, and now, when there is a perfect furore for it, affords a very striking illustration of the popularity our national game has attained since the close of the war.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the difference between a missed and a muffed catch

Date Saturday, December 1, 1866
Text

[from answers to correspondents] A missed fly catch is recorded with the ball “touches” the hands or hand of the fielder and he fails to hold it on the fly. A “muffed” catch is when the ball falls directly into the hands of the fielder and he fails to hold it. In the one case the ball, if held, would have been a splendid catch perhaps, the very effort to get at it showing good fielding and yet it may nevertheless be a miss-catch, the rule necessarily being an arbitrary one.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effects of betting; rumors of thrown games

Date Sunday, August 5, 1866
Text

OPEN BETTING AT BASEBALL-MATCHES.–We earnestly call upon every baseball-layer who has the interest of our game at heart to make an effort to put a stop to the custom of making open bets at ball-matches. Bets will be made; and when the investments of this kind are of trifling amounts, say for instance, not exceeding a five or ten dollar bill, no harm is done. But what we allude to, as a vital blow to the popularity and permanency of baseball, is the custom of making our leading contest [sic], especially those for the so-called championship, a means of making money by wagers of from fifty up to five hundred dollars; and of parties going about among the crowd at a baseball match with greenbacks in hand, calling out for bets, like the blacklegs at a hippodrome trotting-match. It is this betting business, in which hundreds of dollars are put up on single wagers, that has led to the purchase of players. What is to prevent a man who has a thousand dollars bet on the result of a match, from approaching a player of a match, and promising him a gift of a $100 bill, either to use his influence to “throw” a game, or to do something or other of a dishonorable character to win it. It has been done, as we all know; and arrangements have also been made to sell games for the purpose of winning bets, and that by parties who doubtless would never have been guilty, but for the temptation offered by the large sums invested. If all the reputable members of the fraternity will frown this open betting down, it will be put a step to; but just so long as it is countenanced, just so long may we expect disturbances.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the host club's responsibility for crowd control

Date Sunday, July 29, 1866
Text

[Unions of Morrisania at Hartford, Connecticut 7/26/1866] ...they found a numerous assemblage of spectators occupying the field... The Ground Committee were not at hand to attend to their duties, and it was therefore some time before the field could be cleared even sufficiently to allow of the game being commenced–the members who volunteered being too few to be of service–and when play was called, there was anything but a clear field being presented, other [sic] to the right or to the left. ...when [the umpire’s] decision did not suit the ignorant portion of the crowd, they hissed or otherwise commented on the decisions in a manner we did not quite expect to see in a New England city; and besides that, undertook to decide points for the umpire, and of course always in favor of the local organization. The Charter Oaks tried their best to suppress these demonstrations, but they could not control the assemblage at all. The action of the crowd was in such striking contrast to the Norwich assemblage in the Uncas match, that all of the Unions noticed it. We thus comment on the matter with a view of inducing other clubs, on like occasions, to make some special effort beforehand to see that due courtesy is shown the visiting club by the local assemblage. It can be done on all occasions by a united effort. But if, out of a club of a hundred members, all the heavy work is left to be done by those who volunteer to do it, while the majority play spectators, it is not to be expected that either good order or any fair field will be shown the visiting club.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the importance of a catcher's throwing ability

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

...Leggett taking the position of short-stop, his inability to throw as swiftly as he did in his palmy days obliging him to retire from the catcher’s position.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the improved Athletics grounds

Date Sunday, April 22, 1866
Text

The [Athletic] grounds have been greatly improved, and new seats have been erected capable of accommodating three thousand people.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the legendary growling of the Atlantic nine

Date Sunday, September 16, 1866
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 9/13/1866] [4-0 in favor of the Mutuals after three innings] The game, of course, began to get intensely interesting, and though the Mutuals were beaming with smiles all round from the result, the Atlantics took things very cooly, and with commendable good-humor. A great many were on the look-out for the old growling time from the Atlantics, but we were glad to see that they were disappointed. Especially did Pearce preserve his temper throughout this exciting game, and we must do him the justice to say that he never deported himself in a match more creditably as a ball-player than he did on this one; not a single growl, “not a funeral-note” was heard, in fact, from the whole party; and certainly, at one time, the exciting character of the game might have excused an ebullition of the kind. We trust this reform will be carried out on all future occasions, and hope that we have heard the last of the legendary growling of the Atlantic-nine.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the membership of the Cincinnati Club

Date Tuesday, March 13, 1866
Text

At the annual meeting of the Cincinnati Base Ball Club, Tuesday, March 2d, a very large number of members were present, and the meeting was very spirited and unanimous. ... The treasurer reported that he had four hundred and ninety-eight active members on his roll.9

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the membership of the Excelsiors and the Athletics

Date Thursday, May 3, 1866
Text

They [the Excelsiors] held a special meeting last evening at the Clubhouse, No. 371 Fulton street, the President, Dr. Jones, in the chair, and considerable business was transacted. Twenty-four new members were elected, making in all about a hundred that have joined the club this season. Brooklyn Eagle May 3, 1866

The Excelsiors of this city already count over two hundred and fifty members while the Athletics of Philadelphia number something like a thousand. Brooklyn Eagle May 4, 1866

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the origin of the Athletic Club

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

The Athletic Base Ball Club came out of a Town Ball Club that originated in the Handel and Haydn Musical Society. At a primary meeting, held at John Heisler’s, Eighth and Callowhill sts., various names were submitted for the then embryo Base Ball Club. That of “Athletic” was proposed by W. H. Cunnington, Esq., a member of the Town Ball Club, and at a subsequent meeting, it was adopted.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The pitcher misses an opportunity to revive a dead ball for a double play

Date Thursday, August 30, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Irvington 8/28/1866] McBride missed an opportunity of making a fine double play in the seventh innings. Lewis had struck three times, but Dockney missed the catch, and the striker made his base. Bailey, the next striker, struck a foul ball pretty high, and just back of first base, which Fisler captured in good style, when McBride, instead of covering first base to head off Lewis (who had started for second) on the return, ran to Fisler to get the ball leaving the first vacant and allowing Lewis to reach it in safety. The point was one which was very easy, and yet required to be done so quickly that had McBride kept his wits about him and made it would have been eminently noteworthy.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the police retrieve foul balls

Date Tuesday, October 23, 1866
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 10/22/1866] Wilkins then got the bat, and seemed inclined to keep it all night, as he struck foul after foul over crowd, and fence, and shed. The police were kept busy fielding for him...

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the presumption of naming both dates in a challenge

Date Saturday, September 8, 1866
Text

As soon as the Athletic club got to work in May last, they sent a challenge to their old New Jersey rivals, the noted Eurekas, of Newark, naming, not only the day of the first match, but also that of the return game. Not being quite prepared to enter upon so important a contest, and not exactly liking the naming of both days of the series of games by the Athletics, the Eurekas declined the challenge for the time being...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the proportion of ladies

Date Wednesday, August 15, 1866
Text

[Atlantics vs. Mutuals 8/14/1866] There must have been present not less than 15,000 to 20,000 and nearly 1000 ladies.

Source Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the provision of a trophy ball

Date Saturday, July 21, 1866
Text

In a series of games the party on whose ground the match is played furnishes the ball, and on the third game each furnish a ball, one being used and the other–the new one–going to the victors.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the relationship between the Excelsiors and the Knickerbockers; social games

Date Thursday, May 3, 1866
Text

The Knickerbockers were the pioneers of Base Ball playing in this country, and to their efforts mainly may be attributed the present high position that the game now holds in the estimation of the public. They occupy a high social position, have always been on the most intimate and friendly terms with the Excelsiors, and the two cubs have met from year to year in friendly rivalry. The matches are not “first nine” games, but are gotten up for the sake of social enjoyment, and a good time generally, regardless of victory or defeat.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the retirement of Pete O'Brien

Date Saturday, December 8, 1866
Text

That esteemed member of the Atlantic club, P. O’Brien, has voluntarily resigned from active service as a playing member of the club, and, at his own request, has been transferred to the list of retired veterans, like Boerum, Pike, Oliver, etc., etc. The career of Mr. O’Brien as a ball player has been one that should be held up as an example to the juniors of the fraternity to follow. As a manly, conscientious player, one incapable of taking an unfair advantage, or of committing a single action on a ball field in a match not consistent with the most honorable and fair play, P. O’Brien has been without a superior, and his reward is a popularity in the fraternity such as any man ought to be proud of. No man who plays ball commands more of the general respect and regard of the members of the metropolitan clubs, and, in fact, of all others who have known him, than this new retired and honored veteran, of the Atlantic club. We should like to see a few more of the same sort in the fraternity., citing the New York Sunday Mercury

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the rule against professionals

Date Saturday, December 22, 1866
Text

[adopted by the National Association convention] Sec. 39. No person who shall be in arrears to any other club, or shall at any time receive compensation for his services as a player, shall be competent to play in any match. All players who play base ball for money, place, or emolument, shall be regarded as professional players; and no professional player shall take part in any match game; and any club giving any compensation to a player, or having to their knowledge a player in their nine playing in a match for compensation, shall be disbarred from membership in the National Association, and they shall not be considered by any club belonging to this Association as a proper club to engage in a match with, and should any club so engage with them they shall forfeit membership.

{This amendment practically carries out the theory suggested in last weeks Clipper. Now players who desire to make money in match games can do so honestly, but only by the organization of professional nines. They can, however, legitimately receive compensation for instructing young clubs; but they cannot take part in match games between two clubs.}

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The saloon concession

Date Monday, August 20, 1866
Text

[in classified advertisements] To Hotel and Restaurant Keepers—The Satellite Cricket Association of Williamsburg will sell by auction the privilege of supplying the saloons attached to their base ball and cricket grounds (which in the winter season will be converted into a skating pond), up to 1 st of May, 1867. For particulars, apply to P.W. Metcalve, Secretary of the Association, 151 Grand street, Williamburg, L.I. New York Herald August 20, 1866

suggesting a backstop at the Olympic grounds

We would respectfully suggest to the Olympics the propriety of putting up a board fence back of the catcher. It need not be so close to him as that on the Athletic ground, (which rather interferes with the catcher,) but near enough to stop those balls which pass him, and yet allow a base to be made. As it is, when the ball goes by him (in many cases not his fault, but owing to wild pitching) if a player be on the first base, he generally gets home before the catcher gets the ball; anyhow, he is sure of his third base, and not then by any good playing on his part. This is as fair for one side as the other, but it makes the game one of too much luck. Besides, it is not right that the catchers should have so much more to do than the rest of the fielders; it is imposing on human nature. Let this matter be attended to. Philadelphia City Item August 25, 1866

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the scene at the Capitoline Grounds

Date Tuesday, October 16, 1866
Text

[Athletic at Atlantic 10/15/1866] The presented at this time from the reporters' stand in the centre of the enclosure was picturesque in the extreme. From the rising borders of the large field a dense mass of people eagerly watched the progress of the game, while in the background along the northern and western borders of the Park, the rising ground was packed with vehicles of every description, from the roofs of which an excited crowd looked down upon the players beneath. Back of the catchers' position, and sufficiently out of the way, were rows of plank seats, while upon the north and south sides of the enclosure, and commanding a fine view of the playground, were erected two immense canopies, for the accommodation of the female portion of the audience, and a stand was also set apart for the use of the delegation from Philadelphia—a body of men representing nearly every base ball club in that city, and numbering, in all, over 300 persons. Seats were also provided for the officers and members of the club, President Moore having a seat on the field. Outside the enclosure, the scene presented was equally animated with that within. Along the northern border of the park a good view of the playground is accessible from the road. At this point a crowd of about 4,000 persons was collected, who elbowed and jostled each other in their eagerness to catch a glimpse of the spectacle within . The housetops overlooking the enclosure were also thickly studded with spectators, while the large trees around the Park, from the South, bent beneath the weight of their living burdens. Notwithstanding the huge placards which, posted in conspicuous positions about the enclosure, warned the spectators against gambling, this vice was freely indulged in, and the amount which changed hands during the playing could be counted by thousands of dollars.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the scene of the big game

Date Tuesday, October 23, 1866
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 10/22/1866] The crowd was not kept away—not even by the unheard of price of one dollar admission which was charged for entrance to the grounds. The Athletics had determined that the fiasco of the last attempt of the Atlantics to play with them in Philadelphia should not be repeated, and made the most complete arrangements to provide a clear field. A stout fence, eleven feet high, had been erected, completely enclosing the grounds; and, after much persuasion and promising to pay for their services, a competent force of police was secured. The consequence was that the field was kept perfectly clear, while those within the grounds enjoyed an uninterrupted view of the game. … Every available point of sight within the ground was occupied, and yet the great majority of the spectators were outside the fence. The roadway in Columbia avenue and fifteenth street was likewise a dense mass of lookers-on, who were satisfied with a distnat view and saving their dollars. A number of express wagons and other vehicles were posted on Fifteenth street, the owners of which derived considerable profit from the sale of seats at fifty cents a head. But probably the best view of all was obtained by the dead-heads in the many adjacent trees in the neighboring lots, in which the boys and men roosted for at least four hours, in order to get a good view. The total number of spectators is estimated at from ten to fifteen thousand. … One of those enterprising Yankees who always turn up with a new advertising dodge, was on hand on this occasion with neat blank scores, on the reverse side of which appeared his car. The crowd indulged its humors in scrambling for them, as they were thrown up for the wind to distribute.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the social aspect of competition

Date Saturday, September 29, 1866
Text

On Saturday the Excelsiors became the guests of the Olympic club at Philadelphia, and so handsome was the entire reception given the Excelsior, that a permanent friendship was inaugurated between the two clubs, and the Olympics will be among the clubs selected by the Excelsior for their opponents in a regular series of home and home games each year.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Eckford club

Date Sunday, August 5, 1866
Text

It is a little surprising to see how the Eckford Club survives the repeated depletions from their strength. Player after player of their club has been added to the nines of rival organizations, and yet within a short time afterward the old club is found hard at work fighting an up-hill game for victory in the most plucky and commendable manner.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Excelsiors; the status of the season

Date Saturday, August 4, 1866
Text

This season has witnessed some queer doings in Base Ball circles and incidents entirely unexpected at the outset have happened. Clubs that at the opening of play promised to take a leading position have modestly retired, while others have stepped to the front and borne off the honors with apparent ease. So many changes have been made among players that it is now a difficult matter to know where to place some of them.

The Excelsiors at first gave good promise of following their motto and taking a position at the head of the list; but their nine is now broken up and they must content themselves with maintaining their old position and reputation as a club of gentlemen who play base ball from a love of the game itself and not for the sake of trophies or championships.

Since Pearce and Crane have gone back to their “first love” the Atlantics have now—or will as soon as they can play—a stronger nine than ever before and will probably distance all competitors, although the Athletics may give them something of a brush. Meanwhile the Unions of Morrisania, have fought their way gallantly to a foremost position and are prominent candidates for the honors of the championship. The Eckfords, though suffering severely from defections in their ranks, have not lost their pluck, but must give up their hopes of “flying the whip.” Brooklyn Eagle August 4, 1866

The Excelsior nine has been broken up by the defection of Pearce and Crane, who have gone back to their “first love,” the Atlantics. This move has taken many by surprise, and numerous conjectures have been hazarded as to its cause. It is better, perhaps, to state the fact simply, and trust the future for explanations.

Of course the Excelsiors must now resign all hopes–if they ever had any–of attaining the championship this season; but they can still remain what they always have been, a set of true gentlemen as well as good ball-players. They have never played merely for the sake of winning trophies, and will not “go into a decline” over the slight cloud that for the time overshadows the brightness of their future prospects. New York Dispatch August 5, 1866

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the status of the National club

Date Sunday, March 18, 1866
Text

Our champion base ball club, the National, now number over one hundred members, and some of them are, as you very well know, proficients in the use of the bat. ... It is proposed to fence in the base ball grounds south of the Executive mansion, and to erect comfortable seats for visitors.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the switch from town ball to base ball in Cincinnati

Date Saturday, August 4, 1866
Text

[a correspondence from the Live Oak BBC of Cincinnati:] In our sister city of Covington, the Town Ball Club, which has taken away the championship from Cincinnati in that line, has recognized the superiority of our national game, and is about to become a base-ball club. One or two of our city town ball clubs are also expected to change before the end of the season. So we expect exciting time in the way of match-games before a great while.

Source Wilkes Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire calls balls and strikes

Date Tuesday, June 19, 1866
Text

[Atlantic vs. Peconic 6/18/1866] For the first time this season, an Umpire—it was Mr. Cummings, of the Enterprise—performed his whole duty. He kept both pitcher and striker closely to their business, calling balls and strikes promptly and at the same time keeping a keen eye to the field and bases.

Mr. Cummings deserves the thanks of all base ball players, and it is to be hoped his example will be followed—it cannot be improved on—by other Umpires in future matches. Owing to his rulings, the game was short, lively and interesting, as all games should and may be.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire standing behind the catcher

Date Saturday, September 1, 1866
Text

[Mutual vs. Star 8/21/1866] A feature of the game was the excellent ruling of the umpire [John A. Lowell]. ... Especially was his ruling excellent when players were running their bases and the batsmen prone to be too particular in regard to the balls sent them. Mr. Lowell stood on a line behind the catcher so as to watch the pitching closely, and strike after strike was called when the ball pitched was a good one, though not struck at; the result was to improve the sight of the batsmen wonderfully and to render the playing of a waiting game impossible. Our umpires, one and all, are too easy in this respect, and allow the pitchers to do just what they like.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire's chair

Date 1866
Text

[Athletics intraclub game early 1866] Dick McBride espied Theodore Bomeisler, Esq., of the Eureka, of Newark, stowed away under the shadow of a cane, and he, Capt. Dick, brought forth limping, and seated in , to the delight of those who, knowing the man, fet assured that the right man was in the right place.

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the use of revolvers

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

[Atlantics of Brooklyn vs. Unions of Lansingburgh 8/8/1866] Owing to the fact that the Atlantics put in Pearce and Crane in their nine, the game is rendered “null and void”, and neither counts as a game won, nor will it be recorded or be noticed in the averages of the season. Section 29 of the rules of the National Association, by which all clubs belonging to the Association are bound in eery game they play, whether with clubs in or out of the Associations, says:–“In playing all matches, nine players from each club shall constitute a full field, and they must have been regular members of the club which they represent, and of no other club in or out of the National Association, for thirty days prior to the match.”

Now Pearce and Crane, though re-elected as members of the Atlantic Club on the evening of August 2, did not have their resignations accepted by the Excelsiors until the evening of Saturday, August 4, and until this was done they could not legally become members of any other club. Consequently not until thirty days from August 4 will they be legally entitled to play in the nine of the Atlantic Club in any match-game. Of course, it will be seen by the above rules that they had no right to play in the Union match on August 8.

Last season, this illegal action could be committed with apparent impunity, all that was requisite being that each contesting club should agree to ignore the rules as the Mutuals and Atlantics did in regard to Thorn. This year, a penalty is inflicted, and it is done in the form named in Section 38 of the rules, which says, “Any match-game played by any club in contravention of the rules adopted by this Association, shall be considered null and void, and shall not be counted in the list of match-games won or lost.”

If Pearce and Crane were allowed to play by consent of the union Club, it did not relieve the Atlantics from the penalty of the law; and if they were put in without their consent, it was playing a very illiberal game on a visiting club, to whom in all instances courtesy calls for action quite the reverse.

Once establish a precedent of this kind, and any rule of the game not advantageous to the interests of this or that club, could be ignored. With any club this breaking of the rules would merit censure; but emanating from a club on which the whole baseball-fraternity looks as one occupying a position that makes their action in such matters an example for others to follow, or an excuse, rather, for other clubs to similarly break the rules, it becomes important that prompt action should be taken to place their action in the right light. Pearce and Crane cannot legally take part in any game until thirty days after their resignations have been acted upon by the club they left, viz., September 4th, next.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the value of match over practice games

Date Saturday, August 25, 1866
Text

The Neptune Club should play more matches, and not devote so much time to practice. With all the practice possible, boys, you can never obtain that experience which characterizes a veteran, unless you play matches constantly.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the value of timely information

Date Sunday, October 28, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/22/1866] At the end of the fifth inning [with the Athletics ahead 14-10] the gamblers thought it advisable to inform their friends in New York of the state of affairs, and, of course, advise them to hedge. A Herald reporter, however, had his messenger boys upon the ground, by whom he despatched the news to a convenient telegraph station, and anticipated these fellows fully half an hour.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the view at the Athletic ground; the 25 cent admission

Date Monday, October 1, 1866
Text

The Athletic grounds are so situated that outside the inclosure an immense crowd can see the play at right and left fields, and within some 10,000 can obtain a view of the play, seats being provided for over 3,000. Speculators, we learn, have offered the club $5 each for the platform seats on the ground, but the club determined to give them to those first occupying them on the day of the match. The tariff of admission was raised from 10 to 25 cents to keep the boys out, for our juveniles are so badly brought up that they are the foremost in creating disturbances at exciting ball matches. New York Tribune October 1, 1866

a failed match in Philadelphia

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 10/1/1866] At this point the game ceased. The crowd that had been increasing every moment now swelled in turbulent numbers to at least thirty thousand. Great as was the interest manifested in the contest the Athletics had anticipated no such demonstration. The throng became unmanageable. To confine it to proper limits ropes stretched upon short stakes were the only checks. They were trampled under foot, and the crowd encroached twenty yards within the foul line flags and surrounded the catcher, so that Dockney's patience gave way, and he appealed to the policeman to clear him space to play. On the left of the home base the crowd rushed in over the stand and compactly filled the enclosure to within a few feet of the line between the third base and home. Dicky Pearce here refused to play until the crowd was driven back. The Ahtletics tried to exclude them from the playing limits, the but overpowering numbers were irresistible. When forced back on one point they rallied in another, and at last breaking down whole sections of the fence twenty thousand rushed upon the field, and play was suspected. At four o'clock the nines left the ground. The crowd soon followed, and then it was seen that the fence, between the fence and Mr. Wagner's Institute was prostrate; a hundred yards of the paling on Columbia avenue was thrown down, and a much longer section in the left field. The rope stakes in the western part of the ground had been pulled up and the woodwork on the field generally broken. The Athletics unanimously regretted the violation of their rules. The evil was one that could only have been anticipated by a foreshadowing of the immense throng. The largest estimate of the numbers that would attend the game was ten thousand. When three times that appeared, the limited area was insufficient to hold them, and they broke in upon the lines. With the Atlantics, for withdrawing from a contest under such circumstances, no fault could be found, and the Athletics chivalrously commended them. No game could have been played with the crowd lining the field forty deep on every side, and the game would have been thrown away if continued. New York Sun October 3, 1866, quoting the Philadelphia News October 2, 1866

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 10/1/1866] The first of the games between these rival organizations was set down for Monday, October 1st, but owing to the bad management of the officers of the Athletic Club, the whole affair broke up in a row and a number of heads had been smashed by the police, amidst the cries and screams of the ladies and children, the breaking down of fences, the throwing of stones, and the [illegible] of the coarse and brutal. We blame on the officers of the club for these disgraceful and deplorable results. Early last spring we drew up and influenced the passage of a resolution in the club that a high fence should be placed around the ground–particularly along Columbia avenue and at the southeastern corner of the lot. Had our advice been followed the fence would have been erected and the receipts would have covered the expense ten times over; but the stolidity of the officers is such that nothing can move them. The disgraceful scenes of yesterday will weigh heavily against our city, and particularly against the officers of the club. The Atlantics came here, asking only a fair field and no favor. They found the game choked up with a mob. Was this fair? Yet, the officers of the Athletics, in their greed, went on selling tickets so long as there was one person to buy, when they ought to have known that all the spare room one the ground was occupied. And, further, they intrusted some of their most important arrangements to a well known blackguard, whose acquaintance is shunned by every respectable person. Philadelphia City Item October 6, 1866

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the yelling business: trying to intimidate the runner

Date Saturday, August 18, 1866
Text

[Unions of Lansingburgh vs. Mutual 8/10/1866] In the last innings the Mutuals adopted the junior tactic, in allowing their players to follow the striker round the field, yelling him to the base or home like a parcel of Fenians attacking a Canadian regiment; a style of thing a club like the Mutuals should leave to the boys. With any ordinary club the yelling business might have had its effect, but the Unions are too old a set of players to be intimidated by that style of thing, and the only effect it had was to make them play up sharper, and be more determined to win than before.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

throwing or jerking rather than pitching the ball

Date Sunday, June 24, 1866
Text

When the Mutuals went to the field and McSweeny began to deliver the balls, it was apparent to all that instead of pitching he was throwing the ball. Several of the members of the Union Club began to object to this style...but as the Umpire in a match is the sole judge of fair or unfair play...and as the Umpire seemed to think it a fair pitch–on what grounds we know not–the unfair delivery was submitted to, and the game went on; but the Union Club will not play another match with the Mutuals, with McSweeny as pitcher, unless he changes his style of delivery and sends in a fair ball, which he certainly did not on this occasion.

Baseball players, in judging of fair pitching, should be guided by the experience of first-class cricketers in the matter, for they are posted in regard to what constitutes [illegible]: a thrown ball by the bowler not being allowed in cricket, a straight arm, whether an underhand, round-arm, or over-the-shoulder delivery being requisite. The fact is, the Committee of Rules of the National Association ought to have properly defined fair pitching last year; had they done so the unfair delivery now in vogue would not have been permitted a day. No ball is pitched [illegible] that is not delivered with a straight arm, swinging perpendicularly with a free from the body of the pitcher. If his arm touches his side at all, the delivery is a jerk; and if his arm be bent at all, or not swinging perpendicular, like a pendulum, for instance–but, on the contrary, the elbow be bent outward from the body...then it is throwing, and not pitching; and it becomes the duty of the umpire to call a balk on every ball so delivered.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

twenty-five cent games on the Union grounds

Date Tuesday, October 23, 1866
Text

Atlantic vs. Irvington.--The home and home game between these two clubs for the championship will be played on the Union grounds, Williamsburgh, Monday next, the 29th instant. … The gates will be opened at 11 A.M., and game called at 1 ½ P.M. Admission 25 cents. Brooklyn Eagle October 23, 1866

Atlantic vs. Eureka.--The home and home game between these clubs for championship will be played on the Union grounds, Williamsburgh, Thursday next. … Game called at 1 ½ o'clock “sharp.” Twenty-five cents admission fee will be charged, the gates being opened at 11 o'clock. Brooklyn Eagle October 27, 1866

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire called but one ball

Date Saturday, July 21, 1866
Text

[Camden vs. Hamilton 7/20/1866] The decisions of the Umpire [Wes Fisler] were fair and impartial, although he was not strict enough, but one ball being called upon the pitchers, who were very irregular throughout the game. The most notable thing (although the Camdens did not see it,) was the pitching of Eakin, which, from the first inning to the last, was a succession of baulks! Why the Camdens did not observe a fact so plain, we cannot imagine. We suppose, however, they were satisfied in having the lead, and as long as it was so, and entirely regardless of the rules established by the National Convention, they did not care how he pitched.” In the future, we hope to see a better game, with more respect to the rules of an Association to which they belong.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire explaining balls and strikes

Date Sunday, September 2, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Eurekas of Newark 8/27/1866] The umpire impartially discharged his duty, but in observing the Sixth Rule committed a mistake which the majority do, and that is in explaining to a pitcher that this or that ball is not over the base, or too far out, or a little too high or low. There is not only no need of this, but after the pitcher has been warned, it is the umpire’s duty to call every unfair ball delivered; and every ball is unfair that is not within the legitimate reach of the batsmen, or that is not pitched for the striker, provided he indicates the place he is in the habit of striking a ball, not where he wants it. ... This calling of strikes and balls is no easy task; but the more prompt the umpire is to observe the rule strictly, the more satisfactory the result will be in the long run. Clubs with poor pitchers don’t like it, but they ought to get accurate pitchers.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire reluctant to call balls

Date Sunday, May 27, 1866
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Surprise 5/19/1866] Out of about a hundred unfairly-pitched balls during the game, only twice did the umpire give the striker his base on “three balls”. Why do not umpires ignore calling balls and strikes altogether, and also balks. They might as well break the rule in one instance as in another.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire ruling on throwing versus pitching

Date Sunday, August 19, 1866
Text

McSweeny went in to pitch in the first inning, but the umpire ruled his delivery as a throw, and Martin was at once put in his place. Mr. Wilson is entitled to credit for discharging his duty in this matter without fear or favor. We have too few umpires who have the moral courage to decide what they really think in regard to throwing not to award him special praise for his impartiality in this respect.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire's chair

Date Sunday, April 29, 1866
Text

[Athletic mixed sides game 4/28/1866] Dick McBride espied Theodore Bomeisler, Esq., of the Eureka, of Newark, stowed away under the shadow of a cane, and he, Capt. Dick, brought forth limping, and seated in the , to the delight of those who, knowing the man, felt assured that the right man was in the right place.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

using fixed seats to establish a playing boundary

Date Saturday, July 14, 1866
Text

[National of Washington vs. Athletic 7/2/1866] The game was called for half-past two o’clock, but at least an hour before that time all the seats on the field, except those reserved for ladies and the visiting club, were occupied, and, by the time they began, standing room in available places for witnessing the contest was at a premium, the crowd being so vast that it was nearly half an hour after the time appointed before the players could proceed, owing to the difficulty experienced in getting the crowd back without the boundary of the field. In view of the fact that there will be some three or four equally attractive games on the ground this season, it would be as well to erect another row of seats to the left of the ladies’ stand, and a row or two of single board seats in front of the other stand, at the right of the club house, these seats forming boundary lines themselves, which are not apt to be encroached upon.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

waiting until a ball is called

Date Tuesday, September 25, 1866
Text

[Irvington vs. Atlantic 9/24/1866] Dicky Pearce took the bat and seemed to be rather shy of Walters fierce pitching, waiting until the umpire called “one ball.” At length he got one that suited him, and straightway went out on a foul tip.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

when does the batter become a runner?

Date Sunday, May 20, 1866
Text

A ball was hit so as to drop just in from of the home-base, and the striker thinking it foul, stayed on the base rather than running for his first-base. The pitcher ran up, and, taking the ball, touched the striker, and asked “judgment”, the umpire declaring the striker out. Objection is taken to this ruling, on the ground that in no part of the rules is the “striker” declared to be out by being touched by the ball; and those objecting to the decision assert, that none but players “running their bases” can be put out by being touched with the ball when off a base; and that in this case, as the striker had not become a player “running the bases”, from not having made his first-base, that he could only be put out on a catch, or on a ball held at first-base. We agree with the objection, but desire the written opinion of the Committee of Rules. [See also the 5/27 issue for a gloriously detailed argument, and the 6/10 for the final resolution, with the modern rule.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

when is a player no longer a member of a club?

Date Sunday, August 26, 1866
Text

In reply to “An Old Player”, we have to state that the rules are a little cloudy in reference to the subject he desires information upon.

The rules of the game prohibiting p layers from taking part in match-games, unless they have been legitimate members of the club they play with, and “of no other club”, for thirty days, being well understood, it becomes a matter of importance to know when a player legally ceased to be a member of a club. In the first place, he must be clear of being in arrears for dues, and secondly, must have given in his resignation to some officer of the club he leaves. The question now arises, however, as to whether he is to be considered a member until his resignation has been accepted, or whether his resignation dates from the day it was given into the hands of the official of the club. In the one case, unless it was personally handed to some officer of the club, the resignation might be dropped in to the Post Office misdirected, and there allowed to lie; whereas, in the other, if the member was to be considered as such until the club he resigned from chose to act upon it, he might e kept out of the club he wished to play with for months. If any players be legally entitled to leave a club–and he is so entitled if not in arrears for dues, and every player can be charged with dues if the treasurer of the club he belonged to has not a clear record of his payment of the same on his books–we see no just cause why he should not be allowed to do so at any time he chose, and why he should not be considered as having ceased to be a member from the date of his resignation. If all clubs were to act as promptly in this matter of receiving and acting upon resignations as the Excelsiors did in the case of Crane and Pearce, there would be no trouble in regarding a player as still a member of a club until his resignation has been acted upon and accepted. But as some clubs refuse to accept resignations at times, and other purposely postpone action upon them with a view of delaying or preventing the player from playing in a rival club, we should think the fairest way would be to date the time of a player’s being a member of a club he joins form the day he handed in his resignation to an officer of the club he leaves. The next Convention will have to settle this controversy.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

when the umpire can follow the testimony of spectators

Date Sunday, April 29, 1866
Text

[from a column of advice to umpires] The umpire has no right to give a decision upon a point of play he has not seen; or to decide upon any point in dispute by the testimony of any of the contestants. He alone is the judge of the play, and if he has not seen a man touched or a ball caught, he has no right to decide a man out. In cases, however, when a foul ball is caught by a fielder outside the circle of spectators, and when hundreds of witnesses can testify to a catch being made, he will not do wrong to regard the catch as made, although he may not have seen it. But still, unless such overwhelming proof as that of a crowd of spectators is furnished, he should only decide by what he sees himself.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Whispers of hired players

Date Monday, September 3, 1866
Text

HIRING PLAYERS.--considerable has been said on this subject of late, and the matter will undoubtedly soon come up for settlement. Of course it is unknown how far any club in this vicinity may be guilty of this practice as no specific charges have been made, although there are some pretty loud whispers heard occasionally. The Athletics, however, have not escaped so easily. Col. Fitzgerald is “after” them “with a sharp stick.” he charges them directly and openly with paying four of their first nine. If the Colonel can sustain his statements, of course all games played by the Association clubs this season are at once “null and void.” It seems hardly possible that a club of gentlemen, as the Philadelphians have been and are considered, should be guilty of a practice so injurious to the interests of the game, and so directly contrary to its rules and regulations. For their own sakes, therefore, the President of the Athletics should immediately deny and refute the charges. Silence in this case is almost an admission of the truth of Col. Fitzgerald's statements.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

yet more on called balls

Date Sunday, August 5, 1866
Text

Several of the batsmen would indicate to the pitcher that they wanted a ball about waist high, and then strike at one about as high as their shoulders, or one nearly touching the ground. And in these circumstances, an umpire has no power to call balls, except in such cases as balls sent widely out of reach.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger