Clippings:1867

From Protoball
Jump to navigation Jump to search
19C Clippings
Scroll.png


Add a Clipping
1867Clippings in 1867

Clippings in 1867 (283 entries)

Contents

'Hired Med vs. Gate Money'

Date Saturday, September 28, 1867
Text

The practice of paying men to playball created quite a disturbance last season and finally became so objectionable, that at the meeting of the Convention last Fall, rules were formed and adopted prohibiting the hiring of players. Now we say of two evils choose the least, and we think the paying of players to play ball a less evil than the practice at present in vogue–that of playing for gate money. Under this last system, first-class clubs have fallen so low as to deliberately loose [sic] games in order to keep up the excitement and make more money on the return and home and home matches. The public will not stand this mode of treatment much longer, and will soon refuse to devote their time and spend their money to see set up jobs. We think that among the delegates to the next Convention...there will be found enough honest, upright, and honorable players and advocates of the noble game willing to vote down the game money arrangement as they did the hired system last Winter. If, however, it be found absolutely necessary to compensate players in some way (which we don’t believe) then repeal the rule passed a few years ago and pay them salaries, and let us have fair square contests in which each nine will do their best to win.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'no strike' after stepping into the pitch

Date Sunday, August 25, 1867
Text

[Athletics vs. Unions of Morrisania 8/19/1867] Rudolph [sic: probably actually Radcliffe] being at the bat, when in the act of striking he stepped forward, and the umpire promptly called “no strike, “ that call, or “dead ball”, being the only call the umpire can legally make on such an infringement of rule 21, for rule 40 makes any play resulting from an infringement of the rules “null and void”. This call, though made the moment the ball was hit, was not heard by the players or the crowd, and consequently when the ball was passed to first in time to put the player out, and yet the crowd saw him return and strike over again, the call of “no strike” being repeated, they began to hiss at [the umpire] and charge him with favoritism. New York Sunday Mercury August 25, 1867

the reason for the rule against stepping forward or back while batting

Rule 21 was originally designed to prevent strikers from standing back of their bases to prevent being subject to the penalty of a poor hit, inasmuch as a hit from the bat perpendicularly to the ground, if the striker does not stand on the line of the home-base, becomes a foul bound, difficult to catch; whereas such a hit, if he were standing as the rule requires, would give the infielder an easy chance to put him out a first base. Hence the necessity of requiring the striker to stand on the line of the home-base, and the amendment preventing stepping backward was made to enforce this rule more thoroughly. The rule does not prevent the movement of the feet, but simply the stepping backward or forward, the latter movement being of no account, except that, with some batsmen, it gives them an impetus in hitting which is of advantage; but it does not, like the step backward, relieve them of the penalty of a poor hit, except that at some times they may get a ball hit close to the base made fair, when otherwise it would be foul. New York Sunday Mercury August 25, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'no strike' on batter stepping forward

Date Tuesday, August 20, 1867
Text

[Unions vs. Athletics 8/19/1867] The umpiring of Mr. George Flanly, as in the game between the Mutuals and Atlantics, gave rise to considerable comment, and at times caused very much murmuring among the crowd. He insisted on calling “no strike” on the batsmen who advanced a foot over the home base when striking, and in almost every instance, instead of proving a penalty to the player infringing the rule, the decision of the Umpire operated to his advantage. This was glaringly shown in the fifth inning of the Athletics, when Sensenderfer was put out by Pabor and Goldie at first base, and as he was third hand out, the Athletics would have been white-washed, but the Umpire decided “no strike,” so Sensenderfer took another chance and made his run, and three other runs were subsequently made in the inning. It seems strange that the rules of the game can be so stupidly constructed and construed that the player violating the rule may derive an advantage from it. The utter absurdity of the “no strike” construction was shown by Goldie in the last inning of the Unions, when he deliberately and intentionally stood and batted ball after ball on the “no strike” principle, being put out several times, but still keeping his bat and enjoying the fun. It is true that under Mr. Flanly's construction the “no striker” may suffer a penalty by failing to secure a run one a good fair hit, but the fault in it is that he runs no risk of being put out, and the penalty is not, what all penalties should be, unfailing and inevitable.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'foul' call drowned out by the crowd

Date Thursday, August 15, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Atlantics 8/12/1867] Start then hit a foul ball to Pike, and as the crowd hollered loudly at the hit, the call of “foul” by the umpire was not heard, and Crane [at first base] ran to his second, and Pike passing the ball to Devyr, and the latter muffing, it, Crane started for his third; then it was that “foul ball” was called by the players, and as the ball was sent to the pitcher, and by him to first before Crane could get back, Fred became a victim of the yells of his Atlantic friends in the crowd, the umpire’s call being drowned by the noise.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'political firebrand' at the upcoming convention

Date Sunday, November 10, 1867
Text

We regret to see that there is an effort being made to introduce a political firebrand into the convention, in the form of a motion for the admission of colored club representatives into the Association. We hope nothing of the kind will be attempted. Thus far we have steered clear of this stumbling-block, and we sincerely hope it will be avoided for years to come.

If the colored clubs are as numerous as represented, it would be advisable for them to get up an association of their own. We wish to exclude every question from discussion in the Convention that in any way has a political complexion, and for this reason we shall oppose any such recognition as the one above alluded to. Let the subject be one excluded from the Convention entirely in any shape or form, and if the two Committees–Nominating and Committee of Rules–avoid it, it cannot legally come up in the Convention for discussion.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk move 3

Date Sunday, August 18, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Atlantics 8/12/1867] Two runs were given on balked balls, Peters lifting his hind foot in delivery. The rule requires that both feet be kept on the ground, it being sufficient if the toe touches the ground, but if the foot is lifted it is a balk. This balk was the result of an extra effort for speed, when the Mutuals ought to have posted Peters on the necessity of less speed and more accuracy in view of the called and passed ball, the pitcher was giving.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a base on balls; catching a runner out on a foul ball

Date Friday, October 11, 1867
Text

[Atlantic vs. Union of Morrisania 10/10/1867] Start had his base given him on called balls, and got to second on Galvin's hit to left, which Shelley threw to Martin, who dropped it, giving Start a life. Crane then struck a ball into right, and Galvin started to run around. The ball was called foul. Pabor [the pitcher] ran quickly to first, and Martin passed the ball to him, catching Galvin.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for reform

Date Sunday, February 17, 1867
Text

We feel safe in promising that there will be no more champion contests among our ball clubs. We wish to direct attention to another matter which should receive the earnest attention of ball players. We refer now to clubs engaging in two or three games a week during portions of the season. This necessitates players neglecting business, and, as it frequently happens, at times when their services can illy be spared. It induces others not players to resort to various devices whereby they can witness the sport at the cost sometimes of a situation. We were informed by the Secretary of the Irvington club, who was in the city last week, that the invariable question put to young men applying for situations in New York is, whether they are members of ball clubs. If they answer in the affirmative, they are told their services will not be needed. The same exists here, and we know of a player belonging to one of our crack clubs who was unable to get a situation from the notoriety he had acquired as a ball expert. He wisely gave up playing. There are higher aims in life than ball playing. It may, and doubtless does, suit those who live by black mailing to encourage such a disregard of the duties of life, but it is purchased at a fearful cost. ...

If there was anything we admired in Tom Pratt, it was his persistent refusal to neglect his business to engage in this pastime. So, too, of Mike Smith, who invariably declines making an engagement to play if his business demands his attention; and Fisler also, as well as others we could mention. Colonel Moore and “Oppy” set a notable example in this particular–“business first, pleasure afterwards.” Another evil is in gadding around the country, in answer to everybody’s beck and call. This is well enough in its way–say one excursion during the season–but making these excursions is ofttimes at a sacrifice, as Berkenstock and Dan Kleinfelder can testify. Those who are fond of guzzling should do it at their won expense, and not be running our clubs into engagements that they may indulge in cheap pleasures. We intend to set our face against these practices, and call upon the Athletic, Keystone, Commonwealth, Camden, West Philadelphia, and other clubs, to unite with us in banishing this evil.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a challenge to Chadwick on playing 'social' games to evade eligibility rules

Date Saturday, August 3, 1867
Text

[a card from Philadelphia, regarding a “social” game in which the Mutuals played the Hudson River club, including in their nine Lipman Pike] We have referred to this game (a full report of which, with the incidents which we have mentioned above, being published in the New York Tribune, of the 23d inst.), for a purpose, and that purpose is not only to remind the gentleman who professes to have bas ball matters under his especial charge in the United States, that, as this game and the circumstances attending it are precisely similar to the games played by the Athletic Club in Boston, we insist that he assumes the same position against the Mutuals that he did toward the Athletics; that he lectures them as severely, denounces them in terms as ungrateful, speaks of them as disparagingly and as bitterly as he did of the Philadelphia Club. We say that we shall insist that he does this, otherwise we shall hold him up to the ridicule of all fair-minded men. He must either do this or retract all that he has said against the Athletic Club. He will find that when the prominent clubs of the country show their independence by interpreting the laws of the association themselves, and not for a moment allowing a single base ball reporter to assume this duty for them, he will find, we remark, that he has mistaken, not only the character of the clubs to whom he was presumed to dictate, but mistaken likewise his calling. New York Clipper August 3, 1867

[editorial comment] We have not seen any attack on the Mutuals for their course with regard to Pike, as in the case of the Athletics, and we therefore presume that the assailants of the A’s, are now convinced that the position they took is untenable. New York Clipper August 3, 1867

The Mutual Club, following the example of the Athletics, we notice, have adopted the Philadelphia plan of violating the rule of the game–prohibiting players from taking part in match games, who have not been members of the club they play with thirty days–under the guise of playing a “social” game; this is, they played the Hudson River Club, with Pike in their nine, before he had been a member the designated thirty days. ... Were these so-called “social” games merely friendly meetings, designed for amusement and recreation alone, without any object of testing the playing strength of the clubs, of course no objection could be interposed, for under such circumstances two clubs could mix up their nines for the sake of making things equal; but they are not; on the contrary, these so-called “social” contests...are regular trials of skill, in which each club tries its best to win, and in which each puts forth its full strength. Hence the injurious effects of the example of contempt for the rules of the game thus afforded to less prominent clubs. If this latest dodge for violating the rules of the game be allowed to go unrebuked, by and by there will be none but “social” games played, and under this guise any and every rule of the game may be violated; for instance players may be paid for their services; the ball may be thrown or jerked; a half dozen players of other clubs can be introduced; money may be played for openly, as in the prize ring, and, in fact, all the evils which the rules prohibit, may be introduced under the plea of this “social” game system. Ball Players Chronicle August 8, 1867

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a collective association for ball grounds

Date Sunday, May 19, 1867
Text

The clubs of Harrisburg, Pa., have united and formed a “Pleasure Ground Association,” and intend to buy or lease land in the vicinity of Camp Curtin, for the purpose of creating an attractive resort for the lovers of the game.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a colored club in an Emancipation Celebration procession

Date Wednesday, September 4, 1867
Text

[a colored Emancipation Celebration procession in Hudson, N.Y., 9/3/1867] At 1 o'clock the procession was formed in front of the City Hall, under the direction of the Chief Marshal, Peter Van Loan, assisted by many Aids, all mounted, some in magnificent style, with batons and other insignia of office. The order of the procession was as follows: Chief Marshal, speakers and invited guests (in carriages), Committee of arrangements (in carriages), Jamaica Base Ball Club (in uniform.,) United Brothers (of Kinderhook, with splendid banner), Kinderhook Colored Band, citizens and visiting brothers, Colored Drum Corps (in gaudy uniform), carriages with ladies, Female Benevolent Society (of Troy, with beautiful banner, and decorated with white sashes and blue rosettes.) The whole forming a very imposing spectacle, novel in the extreme, and quite interesting.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a contrary opinion on calling 'no strike' when the batter steps forward; a jab at Chadwick

Date Saturday, August 31, 1867
Text

[Athletic vs. Eckford 8/21/1867] The umpiring of Mr. Mills in this game gave general satisfaction, and deserves more than a passing notice. His decisions were thoroughly impartial, and were given with a promptness that entitles him to credit. His ignoring of the absurd “no strike” notion, lately imported from the western country by one of our wiseacres of the game, shows his good sense. Unlike the “upright ball player” who umpired the first game of the series [George Flanly], Charley interprets the rules to suit himself, and does not take up with the new fangled ideas of “country” clubs or sensation reporters. In this he displays his good sense. Our national game will never progress so long as these harpies are endeavoring to foist new and childish notions upon ball players, and the sooner they are frowned down the better for all parties.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a correction to Rule Ten

Date Sunday, June 16, 1867
Text

AN IMPORTANT CHANGE IN THE RULES.–We learn from Mr. Gorman, the President of the National Association, that he has received a communication from Dr. Jones, the chairman of the committee of Rules, to the effect that the Printing Committee, in defining his report, committed an error in giving Rule 10, as it now read, as the rule that was adopted instead of the following rule, which was in reality adopted, the whole of Rule 10, as printed, being thrown out. The Doctor, in his communication, says:–“The rule, as adopted by the Convention, and which should govern all play this year, is as follows:”

Sec. 10. If a batsman strike a ball on which “one ball” has been called, no player can make a base on such a strike; nor can any player make a base if the batsman strikes a ball on which “two balls” have been called; and if he strikes a ball on which “three balls” have been called, can more than one base be made by any player occupying a base; in the latter event, however, the batsman shall also be entitled to one base. If he strikes a ball on which a balk has been called, then Sections 8 and 9 of the Rules shall apply. In either case the ball shall be considered dead and not in play until settled in the hands of the pitcher, and in neither case shall it be considered a strike. If the batsman willfully strikes at a ball out of the fair reach of his bat, for the purpose of striking out, it shall not be considered a strike.”

It is to be regretted that this error was not discovered earlier, so as to have had the correct rule go forth through the country, instead of the present absurd rule. All will be glad of the change. We have to say, however, that until the President authorizes the correction over his own signature, the rule as it now reads, must be observed. The experience gained through the working of Rule 10 as it now reads, will be of use in many respects. It has been of no harm whatever, the result only having been to develop new points of play.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of backstops too close to the catcher

Date Sunday, April 21, 1867
Text

...it is to be hoped that certain clubs that have had broad fences constructed a few feet in the rear of their catcher’s position will see the unfairness of such contrivances, and have them removed altogether or placed so far in the rear as to be of no assistance to a catcher. We saw a game played in Philadelphia last season on a ground where they used one of these labor saving machines, and when a ball passed the catcher he simply faced about and caught it on its rebound from the fence, and the whole thing was accomplished so quickly that players either did not attempt to leave their bases at all, or if they did were almost invariably put out. Now this might work very well, if all the clubs erected these barricades, as the catchers would then have an equal chance to practice the above style of playing, but as many clubs will not use them at all, they had better be dispensed with altogether, for they are not at all in accordance with the spirit of the game, and we can find no rule among those adopted by the convention that sanctions or allows it.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a force out on a base on balls

Date Thursday, June 13, 1867
Text

[Mutual vs. Eckford 6/12/1867] Another error [by the umpire] was the deciding a player out at second, who was running his base when three balls were called, no player being allowed to be put out under such circumstances if forced to vacate a base by the call of three balls.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a foul bound behind the scorers' stand

Date Tuesday, September 17, 1867
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 9/16/1867] The feature of the foul catching was a beautiful one taken by Ferguson [third baseman] on the bound considerably behind the scorers' stand [implying the stand was in foul territory between home and third].

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a friendly game

Date Sunday, July 28, 1867
Text

On Monday last the Mutuals visited Newburgh, for the purpose of playing with the Hudson River Club. We say friendly game, because, as Pike played the contest does not come under the head of regular match games, Pike not having been a member of the nine thirty days. Before making arrangements for leaving the city, the Mutuals telegraphed to Newburgh, and requested the privilege of playing Pike in the nine, and consequently , to which the Newburgh nine returned their cordial assent.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a game with two umpires

Date Sunday, April 14, 1867
Text

[Lowells vs. Somersets on Fast Day, with two umpires H.B. Dennison and P. Sullivan, of the Lowell Club] Having two umpires seems something new in the history of the game, as we would suggest that if the duties of the position are found too arduous for one, that three umpires would be better than two, as that would avoid all possibility of a tie in opinion.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a home run over the fence

Date Wednesday, September 11, 1867
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Eureka of Newark, at the Union grounds, Brooklyn 9/10/1867] In the third inning the Eurekas succeeded in scoring two, the result of a magnificent hit of Dockney's high over the fence in left field, on which he easily made a home run. This was the first time a fair ball has been hit over the fence inclosing this ground during the season.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a home run over the fence 2

Date Saturday, September 21, 1867
Text

[Eureka vs. Union of Morrisania at Union Grounds, Williamsburgh 9/10/1867] Dockney...hit a “screecher” over the fence at left field, from which he obtained a clean home run.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a home run over the pagoda

Date Saturday, October 12, 1867
Text

[Keystone vs. Atlantic 10/3/1867] A clean home run by Start, from a long hit over the pagoda, was the only run secured by the Atlantics, and the Keystones took the lead by the totals of 5 to 4.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a late example of a game eight on a side

Date Friday, October 25, 1867
Text

The Oriental met the Fulton... Both nines being short, but eight men were played on a side. [two outfielders were played]

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a lull during the probationary period of new players

Date Saturday, July 27, 1867
Text

There is something of a decided lull in base ball just at present. ... There are numerous causes for this dullness, the principal one being that nearly every first class club is waiting the customary probation of new players.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a novel excuse for halting a game

Date Sunday, July 21, 1867
Text

Since giving our report last week of the match between the [Suffolk and Earnest, 7/11/1867] clubs we have received the reasons of the President of the Earnest Club for stopping the game. It seems that the Suffolk Club does not belong to the National Convention, and the members of the Earnest Club did not find this out until the close of the third inning, and as it is against the policy of the club to play clubs that are not in the Association they refused to play. [The score was 24-8 in favor of the Suffolks at the stop of play.]

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a paper club

Date Sunday, August 11, 1867
Text

[Answers to Correspondents] Will you have the kindness to inform me how many games the Union Club of E.N.Y has played and the number they have won? The club you refer to has played some ten games on paper, winning them all by terrific scores. The offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and chief correspondent are all filled by a Mr. S. B. Squires. He also constitutes the first nine of the club.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pickoff move

Date Thursday, July 4, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Irvingtons 6/28/67] Crawford afterward secured his second...but not being aware of a sharp dodge which Martin plays to perfection, he was caught napping between second and third. The way of it was this: Martin would take his position facing the striker, as if to pitch, but without making any movement to deliver, would suddenly turn and face the second baseman, and nearly every time would catch the base runner off his base by the rapidity with which he would turn and throw the ball to second. He plays this point better than we have ever seen it done. Twice he caught players in this way in this game.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pickpocket's fight and liquor stands

Date Sunday, June 30, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Irvingtons in Irvington, 6/28/1867] Just about this time, a pickpocket’s fight occurred, and the result was an intrusion of the crowd on the field, time being called for about ten minutes. The disturbance was caused by four Newark rowdies and a party of Newark roughs of the lowest order, who had imbibed from the liquor-stands on the grounds, this crowd being incited to a row by a party of pickpockets who wanted to get hold of several gold watches and flush pocket books they had seen in the crowd. For a time the scene was very turbulent, about a dozen fellows being engaged in it, nearly being of the bull-necked, low-brow’d, crop-haired brutes, who degrade humanity so much in our cities. New York Sunday Mercury June 30, 1867

[In the following issue, the secretary of the Irvingtongs denies that any liquor was sold on the grounds.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a practice game

Date Sunday, August 18, 1867
Text

[The Charter Oaks of Hartford] sent word to the Excelsiors soliciting with them, and they were accommodated with one on Friday; four of the new members of the Excelsior Club taking part in the game, although their turn was not up. This was explained to the Charter Oaks before the game was accepted, and as the object of the latter was simply to give them some practice, they were rather glad than otherwise to have a strong nine against them. ... As the game did not count, no trophy being received or given, we do not give the score.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a question about dead balls

Date Thursday, June 13, 1867
Text

What is a dead ball? And what does it prevent or allow? A dead ball is one expressly alluded to as such by the rules, and by right neither the striker should be put out on such a ball, or a player be allowed to take his base on a dead ball.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a question about warnings to pitchers and strikers

Date Thursday, June 13, 1867
Text

What is the customary rule in regard to warning a pitcher or striker? In regard to the warning require to be given in cases of calling balls and strikes, once being warned, for each striker, is sufficient. “Ball to the bat”is all the warning necessary in regard to unfair delivery in pitching, and any simple word of caution in reference to the penalty likely to be incurred, is all that is requisite in the case of strikes.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a question on forfeits

Date Sunday, September 29, 1867
Text

ATLANTIC VS. ATHLETIC.–We were informed by Mr. Menk on Thursday, that the match advertised for tomorrow will not take place, owing to the disabled condition of Mills, Start, and Smith. Mr. Menk also informed us that they had telegraphed to Philadelphia to postpone the match, but that Athletics had replied that they should come on prepared to play. We hope they will change their minds, for even if the Atlantics should meet them, a victory over them in such a disabled condition would be no victory at all, and neither would their receiving ball as forfeit...

THE ATHLETIC CLUB.–A correspondent wishes to know whether the Athletics can claim a ball if they come on here to morrow, appear on the field, and call for the Atlantic players to put in an appearance. Undoubtedly they can. The rule governing this point–Section 39–says that “whenever a match has been determined upon between two clubs, play shall be called at the exact hour appointed, and should either party fail to produce their players within thirty minutes thereafter, the party so failing shall admit a defeat, etc.” The only exception to this rule is in the case of the death of a member of the club failing to appear. Under the circumstances of the disabled condition of the Atlantic nine, no club could lower itself so much in the estimation fo the fraternity as to refuse to postpone a game; and we do not suppose the Athletic Club will if they do, their nine must be sold, body and soul, to the betting-ring. We hope better things from them.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a replacement ball

Date Sunday, July 28, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Harlem 7/26/1867] The ground was exceedingly wet, rain fell during the first and second inning, making the ball wet and soggy that a new one was called for in the second inning.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a resume of Atlantic-Athletic relations

Date Sunday, October 6, 1867
Text

[the Atlantics wish to postpone a match due to injuries; the Athletics insist on playing] Having already done the square thing in sending on a weak nine to meet their first engagement, and finding themselves still further disabled, and in a position to elicit the sympathy of their rivals, and also having been refused a request which common courtesy, if not common justice to a wounded opponent, might have granted, they were placed in a position, which, we thing, justified them in a measure, considering the importance of the issue, in resorting to strategy, to obtain a postponement of the game until they were in a fair condition to defend themselves.

In this connection, a retrospective glance over the past two or three years’ proceeding of the two clubs will not be out of place as showing how the Athletic Club have themselves acted not only when placed in similarly awkward positions, but in their efforts to wrest the championship honors from the Atlantic Club.

In 1865, a match was arranged to be played on the Athletic’s grounds, in Philadelphia, between these two clubs, and considerable interest was aroused in connection with it. With a week of the time appointed, however, that highly esteemed and most worthy member of the Atlantic Club, Matty O’Brien, died, and the Club very properly postponed all games for thirty days, as a tribute of respect to his memory. The Athletic Club, on learning this fact, began to spread reports abroad–or rather their followers did for them–to the effect that the Atlantics were afraid to meet them, etc., and finally resolved to appear on the ground and claim the ball if the Atlantics did not appear at the time originally appointed. Of course, the sentiments of the club, in regard to the death of their brother-member, were entirely disregarded; that coveted ball being made the primary object to be obtained at every cost. Through the promptitude and energy of Mr. Charles Bomeisler, the Atlantics were warned in time of the mine which was about to be sprung upon them, and lo and behold, the afternoon of the day on which the Athletics expected to go on their grounds, and publicly announcing themselves ready to fulfill their part of the engagement, and to claim forfeit for the non-appearance of the champions, who should appear in the city ready to play, but the self same Atlantic nine; and the Athletics, finding their little game blocked, and of course obliged to meet their adversaries, were obliged at the end of the game to acknowledge themselves defeated. Of course, after such an effort to win a trophy as this, the Atlantics had their eyes opened to the character of the governing powers of the Athletic club, and henceforth determined to keep a sharp lookout for them, and in case they tried any more “little games” of the kind, to foil them with their own weapons. That season closed with the Atlantics triumphant.

The next year a new series of matches was arranged, the intercourse of the two clubs, though peaceful, being anything but of that friendly character necessary for the welfare of baseball, but nevertheless, they managed to get through one contest smoothly. The great rush of spectators to witness the contests now began to arouse the cupidity of both clubs, and the second contest promising a third profitable game to both, a third match was brought about; in the meantime, however, a dispute arose in regard to a division of the spoils, and the Athletics retaining from the Atlantic share the expense of a new fence, the result was that the Atlantics refused to play a third game, and a drawn battle for 1866 was the result. We now come to the present season, and all are pretty well aware of the result of the intercourse between the clubs so far, and of the latest dispute which has occurred, the quarrel being the result of another attempt of the Athletics to play a sharp game on the Atlantics, which was very nearly foiled as follows:–Learning that the Athletics were bent upon claiming the trophy on Monday, Sept. 30, the Atlantics then and there presented Judge Cornwell’s champion muffin-nine to meet them, and seeing the ridiculous position his would place them in, the two clubs met in committee, and, seeing the ridiculous position this would place them in, the two clubs met in committee, and, after anything but a friendly talk, the Athletics agreed to postpone the game; but they did so with the proviso that the return-game should now be played in Philadelphia, or that the final result should be considered a draw. As there is no likelihood of the Atlantics again submitting themselves to be bullied by the local partisan crowd of the Quaker City, who this season form the majority of spectators at the championship contests there, the match may be said to be off.

It is worthy of record, too, in showing the unconquerable desire to win at all costs which marks the actions of those who now control the Athletic Club, that on the occasion of the visit of their old friends of the Eckford Club, after appointing a stated time for a meeting, and actually sending a stage for their guests and taking them on the grounds, the Athletics failed to meet their opponents on the field; and had the Eckfords been governed by the same motives which influence the Athletic Club, they would have claimed the ball which the Athletics justly forfeited. But the Eckfords have yet to place a spot upon their fair escutcheon, and afforded their Philadelphia hosts an example which they would have done well to follow. New York Sunday Mercury October 6, 1867 [see also NYSM 11/03/1867 judiciary committee proceedings]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a resume of the Cincinnati Club history and ground

Date Thursday, July 25, 1867
Text

[The Cincinnati Club] began its organization July 23, 1866, Captain H. A. Glassford being its first president. The same efficient officer was chosen to preside over the club during the present year, and it owes its present position much to his energetic management, ably assisted by others of the officials. The club now musters a roll of nearly 100 members, and this season expects to double their number. The enterprise and foresight shown by the club in so promptly securing a permanent ground is noteworthy. We were informed by Captain Glassford that the club paid $10,000 per annum for the use of the ground for eight years, the enclosing of the field, grading it, erecting their club house, and preparing it for a skating park next winter, exceeding $10,000 more. Through this outlay of $20,000 for the first year’s expense is great, the investment will be found a paying one in a year’s time, and what with the ball grounds and cricket field in summer, with the exciting contests which will take place, and the skating pond in winter, the ground will be one of the institutions of the city. The clubs occupying the field in summer are the Cincinnati, Buckeye, and Live Oak Base Ball Clubs, and the Cincinnati Cricket Club–the former and latter being the strongest clubs in the West. Ball Players Chronicle July 25, 1867

[a correction to the previous figures] [from a letter to the editor from H. A. Glassford, former president of the Cincinnati BBC] These grounds are held under a joint lease by the Cincinnati Base Ball and the Union Cricket Clubs of this city, for eight years–annual rental $2,000. Cost of buildings and other improvements this year about $10,000. Each club furnishes half the outlay and enjoys an equal share of advantages; both clubs being represented in the management by delegates to a Board of Directors. Ball Players Chronicle August 8, 1867

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a second nine match; a morning game

Date Saturday, September 21, 1867
Text

[Athletic vs. Eckford 9/15/1867] On Monday Sept. 15th, at 9:30 o’clock, A.M., the second nines of these clubs played the return game of their match at the Satellite Ground, Williamsburgh.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a shutout

Date Friday, July 5, 1867
Text

[Mohawk of Brooklyn vs. Earnest of Riverhead, L.I. 7/4/1867] The Earnests were skunked nine times in succession, and went out of the game without a run to mark their play. [Final score 52-0]

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a substitution

Date Sunday, June 30, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Irvingtons in Irvington, 6/28/1867] Stockman had been allowed to take Hugh Campbell’s place, the latter having been badly wounded in the neck in the fight, which he foolishly went into to put down. Though the injury was not sustained in the game, and the Irvingtons thereby had no legal claim to put in a substitute, McMahon very generously allowed Stockman to take his place, much against the desires of the boys of the Mutual nine, who, boylike, were disposed to take every advantage they could. McMahon’s action was most creditable to him, and his liberal and manly course only added to the laurels won by his club on the occasion. ... He should on future occasions insist upon better discipline by his nine, especially by the younger portion, who too frequently take upon themselves to give directions they are not competent for. New York Sunday Mercury June 30, 1867

In the seventh inning...[the Mutuals] made one of their unaccountable breaks which nearly lost them the game. And here we would speak of the unexampled generosity of the Mutuals in allowing Stockman, who had been absent to take his old place at the beginning of the eighth innings, at short stop ably filled in the first part of the game by Crawford. ...

Eighth Inning–Mutual.–The Irvingtons have asked the privilege of placing Stockman at short in the place of Crawford, who took H. Campbell’s place in the field. Consent being given by McMahon the game proceeded. New York Dispatch June 30, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a tie game in spite of the rules

Date Saturday, July 13, 1867
Text

[Ecford vs. Mutual 6/3/1867] In the ninth the Eckfords made 4 and the Mutuals 5, and so the game was a tie. Everybody expected to see the game played to a finish, as the rules expressly state that where there is a tie on the ninth innings a tenth or eleventh shall be played to break the tie. Bot both the captains agreed to a draw.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a twist is worse than useless

Date Saturday, May 18, 1867
Text

[Eureka vs. Irvington 5/7/1867] In addition to trying for speed, too, both pitchers aimed for “twist” in their delivery, and the result of this was only to make the duties of the fielders more difficult, especially those of the catchers. With a bowled ball, as in cricket, twist is everything; with a pitched ball, in our game, it is worse than useless. It never yet led to anything but to bother the catcher in judging or holding the ball, or in troubling the fielders to judge its rise from the ground in the field.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a vertical pitch a balk

Date Saturday, October 19, 1867
Text

[from answers to correspondents] In a match game a pitcher pitches the ball directly upwards, catches it himself, and throws it to a base to which a man is running: the man is touched and the umpire judges him out. Was the umpire’s decision correct? No. It is a decided balk, and of course the player was not out.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

accessibility of the Irvington grounds

Date Sunday, May 19, 1867
Text

[Eureka vs. Irvington 5/16/1867] Upon arriving at Newark, the immense throng, numbering from three to four thousand persons, found as usual, a few small horse cars detailed to carry them to the grounds. Those who were fortunate hired conveyances, but the large majority “footed it” to the grounds, nearly all of them vowing never to visit the Irvington’s headquarters again, no matter what the inducement.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

accommodations at the Irvington grounds

Date Sunday, May 19, 1867
Text

[Eurekas vs. Irvingtons 5/16/1867] By the time set for the opening of the game, 3 o’clock, a crowd of at least five thousand people had assembled and surrounded the entire grounds in ranks four and five deep, those in front sitting or lying upon the grass over-looked by their less fortunate friends in the rear, while the fences presented an appearance calculated to cause the parties owning them considerable trouble in the way of repairs. The only seats on the ground, were, with the exception of those reserved for members of the Press, occupied by the ladies, of whom some two or three hundred were present to witness the triumph or defeat of their favorites. New York Dispatch May 19, 1867 [see also NY Dispatch 7/28/1867 for their new grounds.]

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advice for touring clubs

Date Thursday, August 15, 1867
Text

...the plan laid out for this trip by Colonel Frank Jones, the President of the National Club, a plan which prohibited all entertainments by the clubs they visited, with the exception of a slight lunch at the club-rooms at the close of the game, such as the Columbus, Cincinnati and Louisville clubs had. But all suppers were tabooed out and out, and also no club was permitted to pay a dollar of the hotel expenses, although the Cincinnati and St. Louis Clubs wished to do so, and all the others would have done it had they been permitted, all being full of that hospitality which is so characteristic of the West. Of course the absence of the expensive suppers, with their accompanying temptations to dissipation, saved the Nationals from the loss of some of the games, for late hours and intemperance in eating and drinking, consequent upon these entertainments, entirely upset a man for ball play, the game as played now-a-days requiring a man to have all his wits about him to save defeat. A clear head and eye-sight, steady nerves, equable temper and good judgment are required to excel in base ball as it is now played by our first-class nines.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advice for umpires to wait before calling balls

Date Sunday, August 11, 1867
Text

Please decide the following: A player has had two strikes, and on striking at another ball delivered, the umpire calls “one ball.’Is the umpire correct? Yes; but if the umpire would wait until the balls pass the striker, this question would not arise. If the striker had hit the ball he would not have been permitted to have made a base upon it.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

agreeing on a draw

Date Thursday, July 11, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Eckfords 7/3/1867] The score now [after nine innings] stood 20 to 20, and as there was neither rain, darkness, or the interference of a crowd to prevent a continuance of the game, as the rules required, there was no right to call it a drawn game, which the two captains agreed to consider it. But a drawn game it was by the mutual consent of the captains, and the tacit approval of their action by the umpire, whose duty it was to have decided it in favor of the party willing to continue the game.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

amateurs in 'club-games'

Date Sunday, April 28, 1867
Text

Though the abolition of match-games, club as club, at Hoboken, is disadvantageous in one respect, it will be of benefit in another, inasmuch as the amateur players of the clubs will be afforded greater facilities for sport. Arrangements are being made this season at Hoboken for a series of club-games, in which those members of the several organizations who pay but don’t play will be allowed to participate, and at these club encounters an effort will be made to get the ladies to be present. Married and single games, muffin-matches, and junior and senior contests, will be more in vogue at Hoboken than ever before.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

amusing the crowd

Date Sunday, August 4, 1867
Text

[Atlantics vs. Unions of Morrisania 7/30/1867] [Galvin] made two heavy strikes, but missed the ball each time, turned around to his associates and smiled, then he hit a heavy foul back of third, and while it was being returned, regaled himself, and amused the crowd by balancing his bat on his chin. The he hit the ball as hard as he could; sent it flying to left-field, and Smith getting before it and holding it handsomely, finished that figure of the dance.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an accidental bunt

Date Sunday, July 7, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Eckfords 7/3/1867] Hatfield led off with a “fluke” on which he made his first, the aforesaid hit–well known to cricketers–being an accidental hit close to home-base, which sent the ball between catcher and third-base, allowing the striker to reach his base before a fielder could get at the ball.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an assistant umpire for baseball on ice

Date Saturday, January 26, 1867
Text

In games on the ice the umpire ought to have an assistant standing near second base, whose sole duty would be to decide on disputed points as regards running the bases, but only when appealed to by the umpire, he having no other duty to perform, and no authority beyond that derived from the umpire.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early fair-foul ball

Date Sunday, July 14, 1867
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Unions of Lansingburgh 7/9/1867] M. King struck one of those teasing fair and foul balls near home to third, and got to first easily...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early proposal for a European tour

Date Sunday, December 15, 1867
Text

[President Gorman of the NABBP addresses the national convention] He made a few suggestions, which he considered would have a beneficial effect. The principal one was to the effect that a sinking fund should be established for the purpose of defraying expenses necessarily incurred in spreading the national game abroad; that it would have a telling effect upon the great American game by sending eighteen representative players abroad to spread the game throughout the European countries, and sinking fund to be used in part for that purpose. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury December 15, 1867 see also New York Clipper 12/22/1867

the judiciary’s justification of the Athletics-Atlantics decision

Charged that the Atlantic Club willfully violated section 39 on the 30th day of September, in refusing to present a nine to play a game previously agreed upon, wherefore the Athletic Club claims that the game in question should be accorded to them. The Committee decided that both clubs should appear at the place agreed upon within fifteen days, and proceed with their first nines to play the game as agreed upon. The Committee feel that, while the latter decision may seem unwarranted under the rules governing the game, yet the importance of the principle which should control every organization in the convention demanded that their powers should be liberally construed when a palpable injury may result to the interests of the game. Your Committee, therefore, in view of all the facts, felt bound to take an equitable view of this case, and they unite in expressing the belief that the higher the reputation of the contesting parties, the more careful should they be of so conducting our national game as to become exemplars to clubs of recent organization. Your Committee desire to say that, deeply feeling the grave responsibility imposed upon them in interpreting your laws, and in maintaining the purity of the game of base ball, they have endeavored to discharge their duty impartially and fearlessly... Ball Players Chronicle December 19, 1867

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early use of 'ball-tosser'

Date Sunday, September 29, 1867
Text

[Mutual vs. Union of Lansingburgh 9/25/1867

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an erroneous call on a 'ball'

Date Thursday, October 31, 1867
Text

[Atlantics vs. Orientals 10/24//1867] The umpire made an illegal decision in the fifth innings, in first calling one ball, and then, when the ball was hit, giving the batsman out. The moment a called ball is hit, it is dead, and no player can be put out on it, and neither can a base be run. If umpires would not call balls until the ball had passed the bat, these errors would not occur.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an erroneous out call at home; block ball

Date Thursday, October 31, 1867
Text

[Nationals of Washington vs. Irvingtons 10/25/1867] Studley would have had another run but for an illegal decision by the umpire. Studley was on his third, when a ball passed Buckley [catcher] and was stopped by the crowd. Studley seeing Walters [pitcher] leave his position, and knowing that the rules required the pitcher to receive all balls stopped by outsiders within the lines of his position, ran home; but the ball Buckley passed in to Walters was held by him at home base, and Studley was touched and erroneously decided out. Pitchers should remember to keep within the lines of their position to receive the ball whenever, in any way, stopped by the outside crowd.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an infield fly double play

Date Sunday, August 11, 1867
Text

[picked nines New York vs. Brooklyn 8/9/1867] Start secured his first, and Klein passing one up. Pike [third baseman] and Kelly [catcher] both ran for it, and between the two it fell to the ground, Klein standing by an interested spectator. The ball being a fair one Hatfield [second baseman], as quick as a flash, comprehended the situation and called to Pike to pass the ball to him, and receiving it he sent it in to first, thus putting Start, who had remained at first, out at second base, and Klein at first...

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an international match

Date Sunday, September 15, 1867
Text

AN INTERNATIONAL MATCH.–A match played between and American and English nine, at Rio Janeiro [sic], on the 30th of July, was witnessed by an immense concourse of spectators, including many distinguished personages; among others, Prince Alfred of England, and his suite; also, many richly attired ladies. The contest was a splendid yet stubborn one; it finally resulted in the success of the Yankees, in a score of 11 to 9. The utmost good feeling prevailed throughout; and in the evening, a grand ball and supper was participated in at the American Hotel, where both parties toasted, and were highly complimentary to each other. Mr. McGowan, formerly pitcher in the Athletic Club, of Harlem, played his old position in this international affair.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an openly professional picked nine match; hundreds of baseball professionals

Date Sunday, November 10, 1867
Text

[picked nines from New York vs. New Jersey 11/6/1867] Playing ball for greenbacks has been a feature of the season’s contests; but this custom has thus far been confined to games played at fairs, for money-prizes. The evil result of this style of the game lies in the precedents it presents for playing games for so much a side, as in the prize-ring, horse-races, etc. The design of the National Association is to limit all contests to games in which the simple trophy of the ball is the incentive. If prizes are to be offered at fairs and public tournaments, let them be of as much intrinsic value as the parties offering them can afford; but let them be in the form of something connected with the game, such as a silver or gold ball, or a valuable set of colors, or costly medals, etc., but we should like to see this playing for greenbacks repudiated by clubs belonging to the Association. It may do for professionals who make the game a business, as hundreds do, but it is not the thing for amateur players, who play for amusement and health’s sake alone.

The latest of these money-prize contests was that which came off on the Agricultural Fair Grounds, at Waverly, New Jersey, in which a number of players from New York and Newark were induced to take part. The match was played for $500, or $250 a side, the money, we presume, being contributed by the managers of the fair, who no doubt looked to the presence of a large crowd of spectators as a means of reimbursement for the outlay, and a profit on the investment. The chilly state of the weather, and the lack of due advertisement of the contest, led to a much less numerous attendance than anticipated. New York Sunday Mercury November 10, 1867

[picked nines from New York vs. New Jersey 11/6/1867] The managers of the late [New Jersey] State Fair were the getters up of the match, and $250 in greenbacks was offered as an inducement to players, to be equally divided between the two nines. New York Clipper November 16, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Andrew Johnson elected an honorary Mutual; played baseball as a young man; and a dissenting view

Date Tuesday, August 27, 1867
Text

The Mutuals held a special meeting at their rooms at Willard's Hotel [in Washington, D.C.] to-day, and elected President Johnson an honorary member of the club. They then visited the President's house, accompanied by a Committee of the Nationals, and held an interview with President Johnson. Coroner Wildey, of New-York, informed the President that the Mutual Club, of New-York, were now on a friendly visit to this city, and were the guests of the National club; that this morning they had unanimously elected him an honorary member of their club, and he was delegated to present him with the badge of membership.

The President replied that he was much pleased to accept the badge, and the honor of being a member of the club. He then attached the badge to the lapel of his coat. He held the game of base-ball to be a moral recreation. The game never attached any disgrace to the members. He had played the game when a young man, and was always delighted with it. He observed with pleasure the admitted fact that the game was now held as a national game. New York World August 27, 1867

On Monday-morning, before accepting of any civilities at the hands of the Nationals, the Mutuals held a special meeting at Willard’s Hotel, at which President Johnson was unanimously elected an honorary member of the club. After which such of them as felt light sight-seeing were taken in charge by the Reception-Committee of the National Club and escorted to the Capitol, Patent Office, Smithsonian Institute, Treasury, and the White House, where the entire party were received and presented to the President. The President of the Mutuals, Coroner Wildey, in a few appropriate remarks, informed the President of the action of the club in the morning and presented him with the badge of membership. The President, attaching the badge to his coat, made a few brief remarks, acknowledging and accepting the honor conferred upon him, paid a high eulogy to the American game of baseball, and signified his initention of being present at the contest about to take place. The Mutuals and their friends then returned to the hotel... New York Sunday Mercury September 1, 1867

The acting President of the United States is reported to have said to the Mutuals on Monday that he had played base ball when a young man, and was always delighted with it! If this man did make this remark, he must be a constitutional liar. Base ball was not known south of the Potomac until within five years. It is a New York game, and it is entirely different from the game known as “Base,” which was played in New York forty or fifty years since. We hope Mr. Johnson did not utter the lie attributed to him, but if he did, let him be impeached at once. If he were a player now, he would be found among the “Hired Men.” Philadelphia City Item August 31, 1867

the President makes an appearance

[Mutual vs. National of Washington 8/26/1867] While the sixth inning was being played President Johnson made his appearance, in his carriage, and having been elected as an honorary member of the Mutual Club, he wore their badge, which was bestowed on him at an interview had by members of that club with him during the day... He was escorted to a comfortable seat on the balcony of the club-house by a committee from the Nationals, where he remained until the close of the game. Washington Evening Star August 27, 1867

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attachment of bases

Date Thursday, July 25, 1867
Text

[National vs. Louisville 7/17/1867] The bases, instead of being canvass bags strapped to base posts, were nailed down tight, a plan that allows of too many risks of sprained ankles.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

balking the base player

Date Sunday, October 27, 1867
Text

R. Hunt, we noticed, tried the boyish trick of trying to balk the baseplayer [i.e. base runner] by running up against him, a style of play no manly player ever resorted to, but Hunt seems to think it quite a point to play. He ought, however, to carry the thing out entirely and push the player off his base at once; one style is just as legal as the other.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bases on balls in the West

Date Friday, June 21, 1867
Text

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Excelsior of Chicago 6/20/1867] Stearns to bat, and walked over to 1 st base on three called balls; Blakeslee to bat and made his 1 st, bringing Stearns home. Foley followed at the bat and made his 2nd with ease, and McNally then walked over to his 1 st on three called balls.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batter abusing his right to request pitch height

Date Saturday, August 17, 1867
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] If the umpire has reason to believe that the striker, in calling for a ball hip high when he usually strikes at one shoulder high, intends to delay the game, he would be justified in calling three strikes on him.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batter calls for pitch placement

Date Friday, June 21, 1867
Text

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Excelsior of Chicago 6/20/1867] Budd called for a hip ball, and while waiting Oberlander tried to make home, but failed, being second man out for the Excelsiors.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batting grip; choking up on the bat

Date Thursday, July 25, 1867
Text

[They] struck out, both timing the swing of their bats too slow for the pitcher, and holding their bats too close to the handle. Batsmen should remember that wrist play in handling the bat is very effective against swift pitching. Against the slows you can swing a long bat, but against swift balls a short swing, bringing the strength of the wrists into play, is the only effective style.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

betting fever and holding the stakes

Date Tuesday, September 17, 1867
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 9/16/1867] As an instance of the betting fever it may be stated that one reporter had $1,100 staked with him by strangers whose only guarantee of his respectability was his respectable appearance and the fact that he was a member of the press.

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

brush back pitch

Date Saturday, August 31, 1867
Text

McBride has more control of the ball than ever, but sends it in so close to the striker nearly every time that it is difficult to avoid being hit, and we have seen it recorded several times that “McBride was trying to lame or disable his opponents.” Philadelphia City Item August 31, 1867, quoting the N.Y.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

brushback pitching

Date Sunday, August 25, 1867
Text

[Athletics vs. Unions of Morrisania at Brooklyn 8/19/1867] McBride has more control of the ball than ever, but sends it in so close to the striker nearly every time that it is difficult to avoid being hit, and we have seen it recorded several times, that “McBride was trying to lame or disable his opponents.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calculating the champion

Date Sunday, October 13, 1867
Text

[following the Union of Morrisania’s defeat of the Atlantics] Quite a discussion has arisen in regard to right ownership of the title of champion club. Now there can be no disputing the fact that the Atlantic Club were champions until defeated in two games out of three and also that the club who thus defeated them became the champion club in turn. But it is argued that inasmuch as the Union Club were defeated twice in succession by the Irvington Club, and Unions, of Lansingburgh, and in two games out of three by the Mutuals and Atlantic [sic: should be Athletic] Clubs, that therefore one or other of these clubs are champions. Granting this to be true, the championship would revert back to the Atlantics, for the Mutual Club have defeated the Athletic and Irvington Clubs, and the Atlantics have defeated the Mutuals. The fact is, however, that the Unions, not being champions until they defeated the Atlantics, could not yield possession of a title not held, and consequently until they are defeated two games out of three by some club or other, after they have defeated the Atlantics, they are to be considered the champion club of the United States.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

called strike on the first pitch

Date Sunday, August 18, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Unions of Morrisania 8/14/1867] The umpire discharged his duties impartially, his only error being in calling strikes on the first ball delivered, the rule requiring the striker to be warned before strikes are called on him.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling 'How's that?' on every pitch

Date Saturday, July 20, 1867
Text

[from answers to correspondents] Is it the custom on east for four or five players on one side to should “How’s that?” at the umpire, every ball that is pitched on either side...? We are sorry to say it is the custom, but one “more honored in the breach than the observance.” Such things should be left for boys.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling balks

Date Tuesday, August 13, 1867
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 8/12/1867] Galvin... now called for the judgment of the Umpire on the baulking of Peters; he was the first to discover this baulking, and it was an unlucky discovery for the Mutuals, as not less than six men got their bases on these baulks. This again caused considerable murmur by the Mutual adherents, who commenced to cry “baulks” and “put up another Umpire.” But as Georgie Flaney [sic] is not one to be overawed by the crowd he stuck closely to the rules, the cries of the crowd notwithstanding. The players were satisfied with decision and that was enough.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling the game a half hour early

Date Saturday, May 18, 1867
Text

[Eureka vs. Irvington 5/7/1867] The match was appointed to commence at 3 P.M., though it was called at 2½, to ensure a prompt attendance by the hour of three.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

candy vendor; concessions

Date Thursday, August 22, 1867
Text

[Athletic vs. Eckford 8/21/1867] Mr. Cammeyer again had the grounds in fine order, and Sam Lewis attended to the inner man in the manner for which he is so well known. Sam's chowder is becoming celebrated. There is another institution coming prominently before the ball-playing public, and that is the cocoanut-candy man-- “fifteen cents a quarter of a pound—ten for five cents.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick rebuffed by the New York State Association; early cite of 'father of baseball'

Date Saturday, November 30, 1867
Text

Through a letter from the Recording Secretary of the State Association, published in one of the Sunday papers, a few facts in regard to the failure of the certain party to manipulate the delegates to that body have come to light. In appears that this individual, who claims to be the “father” of the game of base ball, endeavored to have a weekly something with which he is connected made the organ of the association, and failing in this, tried to have a person connected with his “organ” elected as Corresponding Secretary. This dodge would work either, so he vents his spleen on the Recording Secretary, Mr. M. J. Kelly, alleging that he did not issue his circular to the delegates soon enough, &c. In the spicy letter above referred to, Mr. Kelly effectually uses up “the person,” exposes his little tricks to the base ball public, and administers a scathing rebuke to him in a way that he will not soon forget. “The person’s” attempt at monopoly was a cool proceeding, even for this season of the year, when we naturally look for events of a cooling nature.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick's doings 2

Date Saturday, July 6, 1867
Text

Mr. Chadwick no longer reports for the Clipper. The Clipper has lost the best base ball reporter in the United States–that’s all.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick's manifesto on base hits versus slugging percentage

Date Thursday, September 19, 1867
Text

Our plan of adding to the score of outs and runs the number of times — not the number of bases — bases are made on clean hits will be found the only fair and correct test of batting; and the reason is, that there can be no mistake about the question of a batsman’s making his first base, that is, whether by effective batting, or by errors in the field, such as muffing a ball, dropping a fly ball, or throwing badly to the bases, whereas a man may reach his second or third base, or even get home, through errors of judgment in the out-field in throwing the ball to the wrong man, or in not properly estimating the height of the ball, &c — errors which do not come under the same category as those by which a batsman makes his first base.

For instance, the first striker goes to the bat, and, by a sharp ground hit between short stop and third base, out of reach of both those fielders, easily secures his first. The second striker hits a ball, which is easily fielded by the short stop, and were he to throw it to first, the second striker would easily be put out, but as the point is to send it to second, to cut off the player forced from the first, striker No. 2 gets his first, not from his good hit, but from the ball having to go to second first.

Striker 3 now comes to the bat, and sends a high ball to third base, and the ball is dropped, whereupon B, the second striker, makes his second, and C, the third striker, his first. D now takes the bat, and, hitting a high ball to centre field, which ball gives a chance for a catch, runs for his second, sending C and B before him; the ball being badly judged, and, when fielded, thrown in badly, D runs for his third, and, without stopping, he risks a home run, and gets his run from another high ball.

Now, how stands the record of this play as ordinarily scored ? Why simply as follows: The man who made the best hit of the four strikers is put out at second by the poor batting of his successor, while B and C, who made their bases by poor batting, arc credited with one base each, while D gets four bases through the lack of skill of the out-fielder in judging a high ball, the result of the play being a credit for seven bases on hits and three runs, when, by a just estimate, only one man made his base by a hit, and he was the only one put out.

Now, this is the average result of the batting score in a match game. But again, in estimating bases on hits, any scorer will find that it is quite a difficult task to sift the chaff from the wheat after the first base has been made; that is, he will find that the second and third bases are made more by lack of judgment in the outer fielding, and by errors of play which are not exactly “muffs,” viz., balls handled but not stopped or picked up neatly, overthrows or miscatches; while in the in-field these errors seldom occur, the ball, generally speaking, cither being palpably muffed, thrown wildly, or not held when touched on the fly. In the scores the number of bases made on hits should be, of course, estimated, but as a general thing, and especially in recording the figures by the side of the outs and runs, the only estimate should be that of the number of times in a game on which bases arc made on clean hits, and not the number of bases made.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick's replacement at the Clipper?

Date Saturday, June 8, 1867
Text

We have witnessed many an exciting game in the course of our experience in reporting base ball during the last ten years...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

championship rules

Date Thursday, July 11, 1867
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Irvingtons 7/2/1867] The match was an important one to the Unions, as it was the second game of the series, and on the result depended their chances for the championship; for it is one of the customary rules governing the championship matches that the loss of a match–best two out of three–throws a club out of the ring for the season, as a champion club, in order to have the right to “fly the whip,” must win every series of match games they play. They may lose a single game without invalidating their title, but two defeats out of three games with a club places them hors de combat for the season.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

change of pace pitching

Date Thursday, July 18, 1867
Text

[Nationals of Washington at Capitals of Columbus 7/13/1867] J. Williams, the Capital pitcher, would occasionally drop a ball short, but the change from swift to slow was too apparent to be effective. This style to work well must be done on the sly, the change of pace not being perceptible.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

changing odds over the course of the game

Date Sunday, August 25, 1867
Text

[Athletics vs. Mutuals 8/20/1867] On the grounds, previous to the calling of the game, the Philadelphians bet their money freely at the odds of 100 to 80 on the Athletics, and some very heavy amounts were put up at this rate. As the game progressed, however, the terms became even, and at the close of the seventh inning, when the Mutuals were ahead by three runs, and appeared to be well able to keep that lead, the Athletics supporters became alarmed, and endeavored to hedge by investing their funds at 100 to 50 on the New Yorkers; but before the close of the eighth inning it became evident, too late, that they had made a sad mistake, and many went home in a very unhappy frame of mind. [The Athletics won 18-16.] New York Dispatch August 25, 1867

Placards forbidding betting within the enclosure

[Mutual vs. National of Washington 8/26/1867] Many were confident of the success of the Nationals, and it is said that where there was betting going on, (among parties outside of the clubs, which organizations here discountenance the practice of betting,) it was two to one for the Washington club; yet there were some who, knowing that the crack clubs of the North are in constant practice, while ours play for diversion only, were just a confident of the success of the Mutuals, and not afraid to stake their money on the result, in spite of the placard forbidding betting inside the enclosure, which were posted in conspicuous places. Washington Evening Star August 27, 1867

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

charges of professionalism

Date Wednesday, July 17, 1867
Text

A question excites the interest of the “Burghers” and “Greenpointers,” as much as that of Nicolson pavement does the Western District. The question is, does or does not the Oriental Base Ball Club pay several of its players? The Times first leads off by saying that the Oreintals offered to pay Patterson if he would joint the club, and he demanded of the Eckfords, of which he is now a member, three dollars and a half for each day he played. Whereupon some one wrote to the said Times accusing the Orientals of such practice, which is denied energetically by the Orientals, and now the Times proceeds to cut them up fearfully. Poor Orientals! Hide your diminished heads; you have run against a snag in attempting to fight a newspaper. Take our sensible advice and be quiet. In your case it is the race of the weak with the strong.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Charitable baseball

Date Wednesday, October 9, 1867
Text

BASE-BALL -- MATCH GAME FOR A BENEVOLENT PURPOSE. -- It will be seen from the correspondence between Messers. John Dooley, John Ahern, and others, and Captain Babcock, that a match game of base-ball will be soon played by the Pastime and nine picked men of other clubs for the benefit of St. Joseph's Orphan Asylum. The object is highly praiseworthy, and as the game will be a most exciting one, many will be pleased with the opportunity of gratifying their taste for witnessing manly sport and doing a benevolent action at the same time.

Source Richmond Daily Dispatch, 9 October 1867
Comment

The game would be played on October 15.

Alexander G. Babcock (1835-1894), captain, president and first baseman of the Pastime Club, was a native New Yorker who had played for NYC clubs before moving to Virginia and serving in the Confederate Army.

Submitted by Bill Hicklin

commentary on Fitzgerald's vendetta

Date Sunday, June 30, 1867
Text

The City Item of Philadelphia, in two columns of base ball matter, devotes nearly one column to abusing the Athletic club. It draws from every source disparaging remarks, and gives them the widest publicity. Without taking sides on the question, we would respectfully suggest that the Athletic Club is a member of the National Association, as well as one of the best clubs in the Union, and until it has been tried on direct charges and found guilty, it is worthy of more respect than is shown it by the Item.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

commercialism in club names

Date Sunday, June 16, 1867
Text

A number of clubs in this city have adopted names which savor more of business than of sport. The advertising of any branch of business in the sporting world is reprehensible–although the proprietors make like it, and give pecuniary encouragement to the club. If the practice is continued, we may soon expect to hear of “Maguffin’s Bilious Pill Club” playing against “Smith’s Hair Curling Fluid” nine. If the game is national, let the names be national.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

criticizing the judiciary committee

Date Sunday, October 27, 1867
Text

As we understand it, the Judiciary Committee was organized for the private investigation of club disputes brought before them to adjudicate upon, and not as a court of law to sit in judgment upon the personal character of players, nor as a Star Chamber to pry into the private business of clubs or their members. The best men in the fraternity regard the proceedings of the Committee of late as anything but conducive to the welfare of the game or the interests of the clubs of the association. Had the Committee the powers of a legal tribunal, created to pass judgment upon the actions of baseball players as the criminal courts of the State are upon those of the general mass of the people, the treatment of the cases brought before them of late might be well enough; but they have no power whatsoever; all they have to do is simply to investigate the charges brought before them in the simplest form possible, taking the verbal or written statements made as the truth without question, and without need of any sworn testimony. This having counsel on either side with the forms of a court of law amounts almost to a farce, and the whole thing is calculated to bring the Judiciary Committee, as an official body, into contempt. Taking a legal view of the question, not an act of the committee would be sustained in any of the lower Courts of Appeal, and therefore all this show of legal form is only calculated to make the public discussions of the questions brought before them the laughingstock of the fraternity. The intentions of the members of the Committee are, no doubt, creditable to them, as they are desirous of doing justice to all parties; but the precedents they are forming for future committee to act upon will be found injurious to the interests of the fraternity.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

decisions of the judiciary committee considered by the convention

Date Sunday, December 15, 1867
Text

Mr. Herring, the able chairman [of the judiciary committee] proceeded ot read his report, which was taken up by sections, and each case acted upon in succession , as read. All of the decisions, except those in the case of the Momoweta Club, of Greenpoint, and the Union, of Morrisania, vs. the Mutual Club, were indorsed by the Convention, and the decisions of the Judiciary Committee sustained. In the former case the whole proceedings were ordered to be stricken out of the report, as the Momoweta Club was not in th eAssociation when the hcarges were made. The Devyr case was the most important one reported by the Committee, and it of course elicited a lengthy discussion of its merits, pro and con, and a spirited and very spicy debate between the Chairman, Mr. Herring, and the counsel of the Mutual Club, who had been chosen as one of their delegates in order to have a voice in the Convention. The discussion was becoming a warm one, when it became necessary to move an adjournment, it being near the time when the theatre had to be prepared for the evening performances. ... The business of the Convention was resumed, the Devyr case being again taken up. Now ensued a spirited debate between Messrs. Herring and Curtis. The latter began, and he led off with as much esprit de corps as if he had been conducting the defence of a criminal in the Marine Court. He hit out right and left, and apparently had used up Mr. Herring when his time had expired. The latter, however, had quietly taken notes of the vulnerable points of his adversary’s attack, and unlike Curtis he used his weapons of attack like the skilled fencer, and he thrust the seer-edged sword of sarcasm into his adversary in a manner which made him wince again. The debate over, the decision arrived at, and the “little game” of the Mutuals having been won, Mr. Curtis arose to a question of privilege, and referring to the aspersions of the debate, stated that if anything had been said calculated to hurt the feelings of Mr. Herring he begged to apologize. Whereupon Mr. Herring, gentleman as he is, duly replied by expressing his regret. The final result, however, was shaking of hands between Messrs. Herring and Curtis, and the moving of a resolution by Mr. Herring, seconded by Mr. Albro, that Devyr be reinstated as an honorable member of the Association which was carried, and thus ended the last chapter of the Devyr case. The vote to reverse the decision in the case was 451 ayes and 143 noes.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining a pitched ball; a legal delivery

Date Thursday, July 18, 1867
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] A “pitched” ball is one that reaches the batsman without touching the ground. If it touches the ground it becomes a “bowled” ball. A “jerked” ball is a ball delivered swiftly from the hand by the arm first touching the side of the pitcher; if the arm does not touch his side the ball is not “jerked.” A ball can be thrown under hand as well as over the shoulder; but it cannot be thrown with a straight arm. Therefore, if the pitcher keeps a straight arm, that is, without bending his elbow, he does not throw the ball. The sentence, “time of delivering the ball,” has been interpreted by the Committee on Rules and Regulations of the National Association, to mean the period when the last movement of the arm is made in delivering the ball; and, consequently, if either foot of the pitcher be off the ground when this movement is made–it being nearly simultaneous with the ball leaving the hand of the pitcher–umpires must declare a baulk without being appealed to.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

delaying the game; calling strikes on recusant batters

Date Sunday, October 6, 1867
Text

[Mutual vs. Union of Lansingburgh 9/25/1867

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Devyr reinstated by the judiciary committee

Date Saturday, May 18, 1867
Text

The Judiciary Committee have dismissed the complaint against Devyr, of the Mutual club, on account of lack of legal proof of his collaboration with Wansley. He now therefore, stands square on the books.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

discussions of Rule 10

Date Sunday, June 30, 1867
Text

THE NEW RULE.–Since the change of section 10 of the rules much talk has been indulged in as to the right of making bases on called balls, and the pro and con arguments have been freely discussed.

The rule expressly says that “If a batsman strikes a ball on which one, two or three balls have been called, no player can make a base on such a strike;” further on it says, “in either case the ball shall be considered dead,” etc.

This either case means hitting the called ball, and does not mean that the ball itself is dead. So that, if a player is on a base and “one ball” or “two balls” is called, such player has a perfect right to run, but is liable to be put out by a ball thrown to the baseman from any other player, without the ball going into the hands of the pitcher, provided the ball called is not hit.

A called ball is not a dead ball in the sense of a balked ball. It is, according to the sense of Sec. 6, merely intended as a punishment to the pitcher, and does not make the ball dead; hence, when “three balls” are called, the striker is allowed to take the first base.

The definition of Rule 10, as it now reads, is as follows:–If the batsman, almost simultaneously with the umpire’ call of three balls, hits the called ball, and it be caught on the fly, the striker is not out; and, moreover, he can take his first base on the third ball, just the same as if he had not hit the ball; and so, also, can any base-player [sic], occupying a base at the same time, take a base on the third called-ball. In case of a balked-balled hit by the striker and caught on the fly, however, though the striker is not out, he cannot take a base on the balk, because he is not a player running the base; but any player occupying a base can take a base on the balked-ball. Umpires should study the bearings of this rule well; for though easily interpreted when perfectly understood, a cursory glance at it would lead to some confusion of ideas in defining it. The principle of the rule, however, is that no player can be put out on a hit, balked, or called ball, and that neither can a base-player take a base on a called-ball, except according to such specifications as appear in Rule 6. If a player desires to risk, or attempt to run on a base or called-ball, he can do so; but he cannot be given one on such a ball unless as provided in Rule 6. It should also be borne in mind that if the striker hit a dead-ball foul, the umpire is not to call “foul” as the striker cannot legitimately hit a ball foul unless he strikes at a fair ball. Players occupying bases when balls are called can run on them as before, the ball only being regarded as dead when a called or balked ball is struck at and hit. In such case, the base-player must return and touch his base, as in the case of a foul-ball, leaving it the moment it is settled in the hands of the pitcher.

The fuss made about the recent change in the rules is childish. A mistake in the report of the Committee of Rules led to an error by the Printing Committee. As soon as it was discovered, the President was notified, and he, as the constitution requires him to do, ordered the rule to be corrected as adopted. The Committee are responsible to the next Convention, and to them only.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dispelling a rumor of the Lowell Club throwing a game

Date Tuesday, June 25, 1867
Text

Immediately after the second of the series of games played by the Harvard and the Lowell Base Ball Clubs, a report was circulated very freely that certain members of the Lowell Base Ball Club, for pecuniary reasons, caused the loss of the game. So current did this rumor become that on every hand the assertion was made that the game on Jarvis Field was sold to the Harvards. This rumor has very seriously affected the reputation of the Lowell club, and the club has undoubtedly lost many friends in consequence. Ths club, very unwillingly, was forced to act in its own defence, and by recognizing the charge made against its members, assume the responsibility of an investigation. A committee of seven was appointed to ascertain, if possible, the source whence the rumors came, and either to discover the truthfulness of the charge, or to vindicate before the public the honor and integrity of the club. This committee after a protracted session, during which every possible effort was made to elicit the truth, gave to the club, at a recent meeting, the following report, which they were ordered to publish in the daily papers, over their own signatures –

The committee to whom was refereed the charge against certain members of the Lowell B.B.C., of selling or conniving at the sale or loss of the second game played by the Harvard and the Lowell Clubs, on Jarvis Field, May 25, after a patient and careful hearing of all the evidence, which was taken under oath, find no evidence whatever to justify such a charge, and they therefore declare that the parties whose names are mentioned in connection with the charge are not guilty. They further recommend that this report be published in the papers of the city, that the parties may be fully relieved of any suspicions which may rest upon them by reason of the public circulation of such charge.

By the publication of the above it is hoped that the judgment of the public against this club, so long and so recently the favorites of Boston, will be suspended; and that the Lowell Base Ball Club may not be prevented by any suspicions or coldness of treatment from winning its way back again to the hearty support of its former friends, and so maintaining its right to the title which has been the object of its ambition—that of the Model Ball Club. Chas. L. Fuller, Sec'y L.B.B.C. Boston Daily Advertiser June 25, 1867

a throw to home from behind the line of spectators

[Tri-Mountain vs. King Philip 6/21/1867] The fielding of both clubs was first class–Stewart taking four flies in l.f., besides making of the most effective throws into the catcher, from beyond the line of spectators, ever witnessed, putting out the striking and spoiling a home run... New York Clipper June 29, 1867

Source Boston Daily Advertiser
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dissatisfaction with the selection of the umpire, and with his ball calling

Date Sunday, July 21, 1867
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Niagaras of Buffalo 7/12/1867] The Unions have created an ill-feeling against them in regard to their action in selecting an umpire. Mr. Stearns has accompanied the club and acted as umpire in all the games before reaching this place. At Rochester he caused great dissatisfaction, and it seem to us it would have been better if they could have agreed upon some one else here, and not insisted upon Mr. Stearns acting when there was this bad feeling existing. There were plenty of men, members of the Association and competent umpires, upon the ground, who were offered the Unions. They steadily refused to accept of any, but insisted, and, in fact, forced upon the Niagara an umpire they did not wish. Mr. Stearns gave cause for dissatisfaction in not calling balls upon Pabor, when he repeated pitched wild after being warned–sometimes as many as five balls in succession–apparently for the purpose of bothering the striker. Pabor is a good pitcher, and we think that he is capable of delivering a ball accurately, if he wishes. We formed the idea, seeing this game played, that he purposely pitched wild to confuse the striker; and why we object to Mr. Stearns is, that he did not or would not see it. quoting Turf, Field and Farm

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dissent regarding the revised Rule 10

Date Saturday, June 29, 1867
Text

Now what is the meaning of all this? If section 10, as originally published in the rules, is incorrect, why may not other sections be equally incorrect? We deny the right of any single individual to pass judgment on this matter. If the rules are incorrect, let a committee be appointed by the association to revise them. It is very strange that the errors was not discovered long ago instead of at this late day, when half the season is nearly over. What is to prevent other errors from being declared, where certain rules may be supposed to interfere with certain phases of the game? It is due to the clubs throughout the country that a committee should be appointed to examine into the facts in reference to this alleged misprint, and report accordingly. They have a right to know who it was that blundered, if blunder has been committed, and why the committee on rules permitted such an important error to be incorporated in the rules, and remain so incorporated until the present time. We cannot perceive how such an error could have been passed over by the committee, proof reader and all connected with the original publication. The thousands of ball players throughout the country require an explanation of this matter–a better explanation than has yet been given.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ducking a match?

Date Sunday, September 15, 1867
Text

On Monday, September 9, the Eckfords visited Philadelphia to play with the Athletic Club, but for some reason or other the first-nine game did not take place. The second-nines played in the morning... The understanding was that after the second-nine match was over and the Eckfords had had their dinner, the Athletics were to send their stage for the first-nine, provided the ground was in order. This they did do, but on the arrival of the Eckfords there was no Athletic first-nine present. The absence of McBride was said to be the cause. This was not exactly the square thing with their old friends. New York Sunday Mercury September 15, 1867

On Monday, September 9, the Eckford Club–first and second nines–visited Philadelphia, to play games with their friends of the Keystone and Athletic Clubs, but rain intefered with their programme. On Tuesday the weather admitted of play, and the Athletics having lost their day, the Keystones took their friends in hand... Ball Players Chronicle September 12, 1867

The Athletics would not play the Eckfords on Monday l ast because there was threatening weather and only about three hundred persons on the ground. We did not see any of these three hundred getting their money back! The Eckfords say the Athletics treated them very differently when they were here before. We guess so! Philadelphia City Item September 14, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early applications of 'icicle' to Wes Fisler

Date Sunday, August 25, 1867
Text

On the bases [the Athletics] had Kleinfelder, Reach, and Fisler, the former a sure catch; and the latter a regular icicle of coolness in his style of play, all three unquestionably the right men in the right places, it being unnecessary to refer to Reach’s well known abilities as a second-base player. New York Sunday Mercury August 25, 1867

Peters led off at the bat, but by the good fielding of Fisler, the “icicle” of the Athletic nine, he had to retire. New York Sunday Mercury August 25, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early slides in a country club

Date Saturday, June 1, 1867
Text

[Kent of Galena, Md., vs. Wissahiccons of Washington College, Chestertown, Md.] Messrs. Anthony and Dyer made bases when they were hopeless, by an ingenious mode of slipping into them, in the teeth of the base men.

Source Chestertown, MD, Transcript
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early slides: 'getting down' on the base

Date Monday, September 30, 1867
Text

[Trimountain vs. Lowell 9/28/1867] This strong point in the new champions is strengthened by their manner of running bases. They are nearly all swift-footed, and excel in “getting down” on the base at narrow chances. Kelley's play on Saturday was a good example of this, especially his making the home base on one occasion.

Kelly...sent a good one to left, getting his second... He then stole to third and made his home on a passed ball by Wilder [catcher]--narrowly escaping an out by sliding.

Source Boston Daily Advertiser
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'Red Stockings'

Date Friday, October 25, 1867
Text

The base-ball match to-day, between the celebrated and successful Cincinnati Club and the “Actives,” of Indianapolis, will be played at 12 M., upon the Union Grounds. This game will be the last played this season by the “Red Stockings.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'manager'

Date Sunday, March 10, 1867
Text

[reporting on the National BBC of Washington] Colonel Frank Jones will be manager, we presume.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'revolver'

Date Saturday, June 29, 1867
Text

THE REVOLVER SYSTEM.–Mr. Pike, formerly of the Atlantic, but more lately of the Athletics, and now playing with the Irvingtons, who was still to have become a member of the Eureka, has publish a card denying the report, and state that he will play through the season with the Irvington club.

...

Mr. Chadwick says:–The gossip about players does a great deal of mischief, by creating ill feeling and lowering the standard of leading players. The revolver system is year by year getting more discreditable, and the severest blow to its success is the fact that no revolver can be relied on; for it he will desert his friends he is not likely to hesitate in adopting unscrupulous means of enriching himself when opportunity offers.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'utility' player

Date Saturday, October 5, 1867
Text

[Union of Lansingburgh vs. Mutual 9/25/1867] The Mutuals went into the contest without Martin, their pitcher, a domestic affliction keeping that valuable player from taking part in the game. In this dilemma, and Thorn not turning up in time, “General Utility” Bearman was sent in to pitch.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

eight men until the short stop arrived

Date Saturday, October 26, 1867
Text

[Irvington vs. Atlantic 10/14/1867] Stockman, their [the Irvingtons] short stop did not put in an appearance until the third innings, the game being played in the meantime with only eight men.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

enclosed ground in New Jersey

Date Sunday, August 11, 1867
Text

Since the match with the Mutuals, the Irvingtons have inclosed their field with a high fence, besides erecting rows of seats for the accommodation of spectators, and a covered stand for the members of the press. To defray the costs of these improvements, a charge of twenty five cents admission was made on this occasion, and some 2,000 people passed through the gates and occupied seats; this fact alone showing the deep interest manifested in this game; for it is a fatiguing journey to get to Irvington and the attraction must be great to induce any one to undertake the task. New York Sunday Mercury August 11, 1867

reflections on the status of baseball

[quoting the Doylestown (Pa.) Democrat] We scarce supposed in our hours of buoyant boyhood that our favorite recreation with bat and ball would one day be elevated into such dignity and importance as to become the subject of solemn and sedate State Conventions and the deep deliberations of organized clubs–that newspapers would send their reporters out to the play grounds...that the telegraph, then unknown, would, by woven wire, hasten to inform distant parts of our Union... Ball Players Chronicle August 8, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

enforcing the 'no strike' rule

Date Tuesday, August 13, 1867
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 8/12/1867] Smith struck a ball to right field, but was called back by the Umpire, who very correctly called “no strike,” a sin [sic: probably should be “as in”] hitting the ball, he overstepped the line drawn through the centre of the home base. … The “no strike” business now began to receive the attention of the crowd, who expressed their disapprobation of the Umpire's ruling in loud murmurs. The Umpire was perfectly correct; the rules, not he, being at fault. … His judgment in regard to no strikes was correct, but as the penalty inflicted falls on the field and not on the striker, it hardly meets that which is required of the rule.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

enforcing the position of the batter; and advice to the umpire

Date Sunday, July 21, 1867
Text

[Nationals vs. Cincinnatis 7/15/1867] [The umpire’s] proper enforcement of the rule which requires the striker to stand on the line of the home-base, and which prohibits him from stepping forward or backward, was one worthy of imitation by our [i.e. New York] umpires. Whenever the batsman would take a step to strike he would call out “no strike”, and each man on the base, and the striker, if the ball was hit, had to return to their positions. This ruling is in strict conformance with the rules, and ought to have been observed years ago, but like the neglect of the rule of touching the bases it has always been a dead letter. We would, however, suggest to Mr. Brockway to call “one” or “two balls” instead of simply “ball” in the future, as the simple cry of “ball” sounds like “foul”, and may bother the fielders. New York Sunday Mercury July 21, 1867

the impression of the Nationals on the westerners

[Nationals vs. Buckeyes 7/16/1867] The victory of the previous day had created quite an unusual talk about baseball-matters in this city [Cincinnati], and hundreds were present at this second contest who had never before witnessed a game, and they went away perfectly astonished at the amount of skill requisite to play a first-class game of ball, and with a degree of respect for the game they had never entertained before, their notions in regard to its being a boy’s game having vanished as they saw the manliness requisite to excel in the game. New York Sunday Mercury July 21, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

enforcing the rules

Date Sunday, August 18, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Atlantics 8/12/1867] A feature of the contest was the excellent ruling of the umpire, and we were especially pleased to see him enforce section 21 of the rules, which for years past has been almost a dead letter. This rule, for the past ten years, has required the striker to stand on the line of the home-base when he strikes but hitherto batsmen have either stood back of the line, or failed to stand on it when batting.

Last year, an addition was made to the rule preventing the striker from stepping forward or backward; and for the first time this season, in this vicinity, it was strictly and properly enforced. The penalty of a failure to abide by the rule, is to make the hit ball dead; and whenever the striker waves forward or backward to hit a ball, it becomes the umpire’s duty to call “no strike”, and this was done. Of course, the proper enforcement of this rule puzzled a good many of the spectators when they saw fine hits made and bases run, and yet the striker obliged to return and strike again.

Another point the crowd did not see was, the umpire’s enforcement of the rule requiring the pitcher to have both feet on the ground when pitching. Some of the betting portions of the crowd whose interests were affected by this ruling were “down upon the umpire” in lively style: but George Flanly is too well known to question the integrity of his ruling. New York Sunday Mercury August 18, 1867

Mr. Flaney, for the first time in this vicinity, very properly made the point of calling no strikes on players stepping forward over the line of the base to meet the ball. The rule would operate better if in such cases is counted as one strike, and at the same time deprived the player of benefitting by his hit. As it now reads, it only prolongs the game, and on the average does not harm the striker at all. New York Dispatch August 18, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

erroneous 'foul ball' calls

Date Sunday, September 1, 1867
Text

[Empires vs. Atlantics 8/26/1867] The feature of the match was the illegal ruling of the umpire in inflicting a penalty for the infringement of the Twenty first Rule, Mr. Green following Martin’s example in calling every ball struck, when the batsman takes a step forward, a “foul ball”. Now there is no rule in the game which admits of such a decision, and as all such usurpation of the powers of the National Convention by umpires is in direct contravention of the rules of the association, every game in which such decisions are given becomes null and void, according to Rule 40 of the game. ... We...contend that...the penalty [Rule 40] inflicts is making the ball dead. Whether the penalty is just or improper, one-sided or otherwise, is of no matter; it is the only one legally at command, and none other can be legally inflicted, and it is surprising that any man of common sense can urge the right of umpires to inflict this or that penalty, in view of the fact that none but what the rules expressly apply can be inflicted.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Excelsior Club membership; merger with the Enterprise

Date Friday, March 15, 1867
Text

[reporting on the Excelsior Club annual meeting 3/14/1867] The Enterprise Club was at the same time consolidated with the Excelsior Club, making the latter Club number about 500 members. Brooklyn Eagle March 15, 1867

interpreting balls as dead

SECTION TEN OF THE RULES.–This rule does not appear to be clear to the comprehension of some players; and, at the request of one, we shall endeavor to elucidate it, although the rule, as it read, seems to us quite clear. Last season, it frequently happened that the umpire would call a ball, and almost at the same moment the batsman would strike at it. Now, in this case, either the umpire erred in his judgment of the unfairness of the ball, or the batsman struck at a ball not within his reach, the result being a conflict in the interpretation of the rules, and dissatisfaction. In order to prevent this difficulty in future, Sec. 10 was introduced, and there is little doubt of its working satisfactorily through the season.

In cricket, when a bowler delivers an unfair ball, the umpire is required to call out “No ball”, and this no ball, if it should knock down the wicket, does not put the batsman out, and neither if he hit it and the ball be caught can he be put out; and, at the same time, he is entitled to all the runs he can make off a hit “not ball”.

In this new baseball rule this idea was followed out, and the result is that the rule Section 10 now makes every ball on which a balk or a “ball” has been called dead, and not in play to the extent of putting a player out, and at the same time bases can be given on it in cases where players are on any of the bases, and a [illegible] is called on a third ball. As we interpret the rule, too, when a balk or [illegible] called, and a player is on a base if the base-runner can make the next base before the ball is returned to the pitcher, and by him sent to the base player the base-runner is entitled to his base. The rule would have been expressly worded to make this clear and explicit, but for the confusion which prevailed at the time of adopting the rule; as it was, the other portion of the rule not being clearly worded, was voted down. The object of the rule was to still more enforce fair and legitimate pitching, and at the same time not to give any advantage to the batsman. New York Sunday Mercury March 24, 1867

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

excitement in Philadelphia

Date Sunday, September 1, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Athletics 8/28/1867] The game was appointed for 2, P.M., but at noon not a seat was to be found on the grounds for love or money. The Athletic grounds can been seen from a number of buildings and high places surrounding it, and these choice localities were held at a premium at an early hour. The street fronting the entrance-way was blocked with stages and coaches filled with people standing up to see the game, while the trees never before bore some masses of human fruit.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

explaining the explanation: more on balls as dead

Date Sunday, April 7, 1867
Text

Despite the fact that every effort was made by the committee to so word every rule as to make its definition clear, it has been found necessary to “explain the explanations” as regards the definition of one or two of the amended rules. This explanation has been given in the “Book of Reference”, but we proceed to comment on the subject here to a brief extent.

First, in regard to dead balls. According to the new rule on the subject, every ball delivered to the batsman on which a “balk” or a “ball” has been called is “dead”, and not in play until it has again been settled in the hands of the pitcher, while he is standing within the lines of his position. This dead quality of the ball refers, of course chiefly to the striker, no dead ball being allowed to be used to put the striker out, even if the ball be hit by the batsman, and neither can a dead ball put out a player running the bases; at the same time, too, it cannot prevent a player from making his bases, if he has first ceased to be the striker. Let us give a case in point, and at the same time give young umpires a lesson. The first striker is at the bat, we will suppose, and he has just taken his position to begin the game. The duty of the umpire is, first, to see that the striker places his feet on the line of the home-base, and sufficient far from the base, to the right or the left, as to admit of a ball being pitched over the base, “fairly for the striker”, without going too close to him. This done, the umpire then asks the batsman where he wants a ball, whether “knee-high”–the lowest legitimate ball–“hip-high” or “breast-high”. Suppose the batsman calls for a low ball, then the pitcher is required to send in the ball not lower than a foot from the base “as near as Possible over the base, and fairly for the striker”. If he fails to do this repeated–twice in succession, for instance–then the umpire calls out “ball to the bat” or some similar words of warning. After doing this, if the pitcher send in first, a ball too high or too low, or too far off or too near, and the next ball be one touching the ground, pitched to the wrong side, or over the head of the batsman, then “one ball” must be called, and if the very next be in any way an unfair ball then “two balls”; and if a third is so pitched in succession, then “three balls”; and when the third ball is called, the striker is given his base, even if he undertake to strike at a ball and hit it, and it be caught on the fly; for the ball being a called ball, and therefore “dead”, no player can be put out on it; and yet, being the third ball called, the strikers–and all men on the bases at the same time–is entitled to a base on it.

Secondly, suppose a player is on the first base, and the batsman having called for a knee-high ball, and not having one sent to him, “two ball” have already called; and suppose that, getting tired of waiting, he strikes quickly at a ball not sent in as low as he indicated, but near enough to hit foul, and just as the umpire calls “three balls” the batsman hits at the ball and tips it, and the ball be caught on the fly or bound, then the striker is given his base on three balls, the man on the first base takes his second likewise, and the foul ball and the catch is null and void, and not counted; for an unfair ball cannot be struck at fairly, and no dead ball can be hit foul.

Umpires should study this rule over in all its bearings, and get thoroughly familiar with the true intend and meaning of the rule, for it is a more important one than a cursory examination of it would lead one to suppose. Remember first, that every balked or called ball is a dead ball, and cannot either put a player out or be hit fairly by the batsman; and unless a ball can be fairly struck at, no foul hit can follow, for it is only when the batsman has the power to hit a ball legitimately that an opportunity is afforded to hit a foul ball. Last season, under the old rules, the anomaly existed of a ball being called a ball for not being delivered fairly, and yet “one strike” or “foul ball” followed immediately after, if the batsman attempted to hit it and either failed to hit it, or hit it poorly. This obstacle to a fair and correct decision, the new rule section 10 has removed. It would take a column to explain the rules as clearly as we wish to do, but this branch of the question will serve for the first lesson to umpires.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

feelings of betrayal by a member's resignation

Date Saturday, June 15, 1867
Text

June 7, 1867.–AT A SPECIAL MEETING OF the KEYSTONE BASE BALL CLUB, held this evening, the resignation of THOMAS H. BERRY was read, and upon its consideration, the following was adopted:

Whereas, Thoms H. Berry, a member of this club, on the eve of an important match, has left us, and, to the best of our knowledge and belief, intends to play immediately with another club, in violation of the express rules of the National Association, therefore,

Resolved, As a matter of self-respect and the good of the game generally, and a waning to such players in future, we therefore EXPEL the said Thoms H. Berry from our association, for conduct unbecoming a gentleman and a ball player.

...

[Keystone vs. Quaker City 6/10/1865] Owing to the mean and unprincipled desertion of Berry...it was thought the Keystones would make a poor figure...

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielders' gloves

Date Thursday, August 15, 1867
Text

[reporting on the baseball tournament in Detroit] We have noticed in all the matches played thus far that the use of gloves by the players was to some degree a customary practice, which, we think, cannot be too highly condemned, and are of the opinion that the Custers would have shown a better score, if there had been less buckskin on their hands.

Source Detroit Free Press
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

flags and tents

Date Tuesday, August 27, 1867
Text

[Mutual vs. National of Washington 8/26/1867] There floated from the club house of the Nationals their usually victorious banner, together with several national flags, while upon the ground were stakes two small and beautiful blue silk flags, with heavy gold fringe, and in the center of the flats the latter “N.” To the left of the banners was a fly tend provided for the accommodation of those players who might have a leisure moment to rest during the game, which shielded them from the scorching rays of the sun.

Source Washington Evening Star
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Frederick Douglass attends a ball game

Date Saturday, July 13, 1867
Text

The announcement that the Pythian, of Philadelphia, would play the Alert, of Washington, D.C., (both colored organizations) on the 16th inst., attracted quite a concourse of spectators to the grounds of the Athletic, Seventeenth street and Columbia avenue, Philadelphia. The game progressed finely until the beginning of the fifth innings, when a heavy shower of rain set in, compelling the umpire, Mr. E. H. Hayhurst, of the Athletic, to exit game. The score stood at the end of the fourth innings: Alert, 21; Pythian, 18. The batting and fielding of both clubs were very good. Mr. Frederick Douglass was present and viewed the game from the reporters’ stand. His son is a member of the alert.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

getting to Irvington

Date Wednesday, June 5, 1867
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Irvington 6/4/1867] The interest which base ball has created might be ascertained from the fact that fully seven or eight thousand people willingly braved the intense heat which prevailed yesterday, the attempts made by the Jersey Horse Railroad Company, from Newark to Irvington, to crowd the greatest number of people in the smallest possible space, the swarms of Jersey mosquitoes, the exorbitant demands of owners of lumber wagons, and the probabilities of a prolonged stay in the vicinity of the “Camptown Navy Yard,” in order to witness what promised to be a first class match in every particular. New York Herald June 5, 1867

Chadwick’s predecessor at the Clipper now the general business superintendent

[Frank Queen defending against a libel suit] William Henry Bray testified that he is general business superintendent of the New York Clipper... New York Clipper June 8, 1867

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ground rules on passed balls; backstop

Date Thursday, August 8, 1867
Text

[Nationals vs. Excelsiors of Chicago 7/29/1867] In the Forest City match it was very properly agreed upon that passed balls should only allow of one base, there being no fence behind the catcher, as there should be on every ground. In this game, however, the Excelsiors refused to allow this rule, thinking that more passed balls would be made off Williams’s pitching than off their own. In this they made a great mistake, for the very reverse proved to be the case.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hitting a called ball

Date Monday, June 3, 1867
Text

[Harvard vs. Lowell 6/1/1867] Alline struck a called ball, and was obliged to return from his first base, which he had made on it. He then struck a fly which was caught by Shaw...

Source Boston Daily Advertiser
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hitting fouls at the reporters

Date Thursday, August 22, 1867
Text

[Athletics vs. Mutuals 8/20/1867] McBride then exercised himself in the foul ball line for twenty minutes, the scorers’ stand apparently being his objective point. By one shot he demoralized friend Meeser, who sat next to us, and by another nearly knocked McAuslan out of time, Gill, of the Clipper, changing his base during the flying of the shells from McBride’s battery. Ball Players Chronicle August 22, 1867

cutting across the field from third to first

[Athletics vs. Mutuals 8/20/1867] Devyr made his first on a fine grounder and had started for his second when Pike hit a very long and high ball to right field; and as it looked like one that was impossible to be caught, Devyr ran for his third, but Cuthbert judged the ball splendidly, and holding it in his best style, got it to first as Devyr reached the base, Devyr crossing over from third to first instead of returning and touching each base in the same way as he had made them–the result being a double play... Ball Players Chronicle August 22, 1867

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

home field advantage

Date Sunday, October 27, 1867
Text

[Nationals of Washington at Unions of Lansingburgh 10/20/1867] Some trouble was experienced in the choice of an umpire, the Unions objecting to several first-class umpires from the city who were present, they insisted on a local umpire. This has become so customary with the Union club, that suspicion is very naturally aroused that the club benefits by such partisan selections, a complaint to this effect being made by clubs who have played on the Lansingburgh grounds. We have not seen a match played there ourselves, and cannot therefore speak by the card; but where there is so much smoke, there must be some fire.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how the Athletics would play country clubs

Date Sunday, June 2, 1867
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Athlete of Washington Heights, 5/25/1867, 101 to 13 in six innings] This game reminds one of some which the Athletic Club of Philadelphia were partial to “fixing up” with the clubs of the interior of the Keystone State during the past two seasons, in which the Athletics used to stand at the bat until all hands were tired of putting in the big licks, when three of them would get put out “for fun,” and just for a change. Such scores are “high pecoons” for a club’s averages, 402 to 71, and nobody on the winning side “sweating a hair.” Three cheers for our National Game.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ice baseball on the East River

Date Thursday, January 24, 1867
Text

[A long account of an ice bridge in the morning joining New York and Brooklyn, with people crossing, then scrambling for safety when the incoming tide broke it up.] A second ice bridge was formed after by the floating ice again becoming entangled “in a tight place” within a short distance of the former. Few persons ventured on it, however, the experience of the morning having materially chilled the public ardor for glory in that direction. The Fulton Base Ball Club was an exception, and lost no time in taking advantage of the ice field, and they had nearly completed a game, when the ice began again to move with the tide. This movement carried with it about fifty persons, who were rescued by the tug Gray. Three persons—two men and a boy—were on a small cake which was fast drifting down the stream. The ferry-boat Clinton steamed after them and succeeded in rescuing them after great difficulty, owing to the frailty of the ice. New York Sun January 24, 1867

early bowling: answers to correspondents for a description of rules with three-ball frames

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

illegal balls

Date Sunday, September 29, 1867
Text

[regarding an upcoming meeting of the Judiciary Committee] The rule in regard to the size of the ball is set aside by many clubs, and instead of a ball of five and three quarters to six ounces, balls weighing six and a quarter to six and three quarter ounces are used. The Judiciary Committee should inquire into this matter as well as others, for it is quite important that this rule should be complied with.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

implementing the new rules

Date Sunday, May 12, 1867
Text

[Eurekas vs. Irvingtons 5/7/1867] The lack of knowledge of the new points of the game was noticeable on both sides. Pitchers left their positions, too, when balls were called, when they should have stayed in their grounds to take the ball, for it is not in play under such circumstances until they hold it while inside the lines of their positions. The same error, too, was committed in reference to balls passing the catcher, and stopped by the crowd; the new rule requiring all such balls to be first held by the pitcher while standing within the lines of his position. Until the ball is so held it is not in play, and the bases can be run with impunity.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

improvements to the Capitoline grounds

Date Saturday, April 13, 1867
Text

This fine base ball locality has been greatly improved for the coming season. The large field has been divided into two grounds, the lower ground for practice games, and the upper field for matches; besides which a fine enclosed croquet ground for the exclusive use of ladies and their invited guests, has been laid out back of the club house. The rooms occupied by the Excelsior and Enterprise Clubs last year have been thrown into one for the consolidated club.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

improvements to the Union grounds; twenty-five cent admission

Date Saturday, July 20, 1867
Text

The improvements to the Union Grounds this season are of a character so commendable, and evince so much public spirit in Mr. Cammeyer, the proprietor, as to call for a passing notice. Since the advent of the Atlantics and Mutuals on this ground, the prevailing idea with “Boss” Cammeyer–as he is familiarly called–has been to do his utmost to please his patrons, the public. To this end he has erected a large number of seats at the north end of the field, right in the rear of the catcher’s position, and these, with shoe at the sides, will accommodate several thousand spectators comfortably. Having provided so nicely for the public, he has not forgotten the Press, and has erected a commodious desk for the reporters, with cushioned seats and a covering to keep off the sun’s rays. The stand aforesaid will accommodate about twelve persons, including two scorers, and is just what the poor devils who represent the “fourth estate” have long been in need of. A nicely appointed restaurant is attached to the Union grounds, which is presided over by Capt. Lewis, who knows how to keep a hotel. The Union grounds, although by no means the largest, is the best appointed enclosed ball ground in the country. On the occasion of all first-class matches, we understand it is the intention to charge twenty-five cents admission. The principal object of the proprietor in adopting this course is to keep out the crowd of boys.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

improvising a new field

Date Saturday, November 9, 1867
Text

[National vs. Keystone 10/30/1867] Arrived at the ground and a dismal prospect presented itself. Contrary to the promises of Lynch and other members of the Keystones, the ground was found to be wet and unfit to play on. With as little delay as possible a new field was laid out at the other end of the lot...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

intentionally dropping the third strike

Date Sunday, July 14, 1867
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Nationals of Albany 7/8/1867] Waddell then took the bat, and having made three strikes, was giving up the ghost, but Birdsall [catcher]...dropped the ball, and taking it on the rebound, sent it nicely to second, for which Ross [runner on first] had started, and where he found he was out; the ball was then passed back to Birdsall by mistake, and while the Nationals were urging Waddell to run, and he having discovered the dodge, had started, Birdsall passed the ball to Smith [first baseman] in time to catch Waddell, thus ending the inning... New York Sunday Mercury July 14, 1867

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Niagaras of Buffalo 7/13/1867] Three of the Unions were on the bases, and Smith, at the bat, made three strikes, and Holly [catcher] dropped the ball to force the bases, and picking it up again immediately, touched the home-base, and threw the ball to third to make double play, but threw it badly. The three bases were reoccupied... New York Sunday Mercury July 14, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting unfair balls

Date Sunday, August 25, 1867
Text

[Athletics vs. Mutuals 8/20/1867] John Grum was asked to officiate as umpire in this game; he at first declined, but afterward consented. But even he, upright and conscientious as he is known to be, failed to escape the hisses of the betting-men for some of his decisions, although we did not notice a single error in his ruling on any disputed pint of the bases; although in his interpretation of the Sixth Rule he is far too lenient. In this match, however, he was completely outwitted by McBride. And the way of it was this:–When Peters sent in balls “not fairly for the striker”, there was no mistaking them, as they were either on the ground or overhead, or else on the wrong side of the batsman, and it was evident to everybody that the umpire was justified in calling balls on him. In McBride’s case, however, that dodgy pitcher kept delivering them so near over the base, and so close to the height indicated, that Grum could not conscientiously call a ball on him, although the majority were too close or too far off to be hit in safety. Such balls, though apparently fair, are sufficiently out of the boundary of the line indicated by the words “fairly for the striker” as extremely wide balls; but this fact Grum did not fairly realize and hence his apparent leniency with McBride, when, in fact, he was as strict on one as the other, as far as his idea of an unfair ball went. It is in just such instances as this that umpires are considered partial in their decisions, and those who are not so noted for integrity of character as Flanly, O’Brien, and Grum, for instance, have to suffer under unjust imputations of partiality.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

keep it on the down low

Date Sunday, June 23, 1867
Text

[of the upcoming Mutuals-Irvington match] There will be thousands of dollars bet on the result, of course, but we hope none of it will be done openly. Let us prevent the ball-field from being brought down to the level of the prize-ring in this respect.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

making suggestions to the umpire; talking back to the roughs

Date Sunday, September 29, 1867
Text

[Unions of Lansingburgh vs. Unions of Morrisania 9/24/1867] The action of the Lansingburg players in disputing decisions of the umpire, and in “talking back” to the roughs in the crowd, who were taunting them, was anything but creditable. This style of thing has been done away with in our metropolitan games, and is only now indulged in by country villagers who no know better. The rule is to take no notice of what a betting-crowd say, as their object is plainly to annoy players and make them play bad; and especially should every decision of the umpire, right or wrong, be quietly received, without a word of dissent or explanation. It is the umpire’s duty alone to decide by what he sees and not what he is told. New York Sunday Mercury September 29, 1867

Of the Haymakers little can be said to their credit; the good opinions they gained by their effective play were entirely destroyed by their ungentlemanly conduct, in continually making suggestions to the umpire, and answering blackguards in the crowd who chose to jeer at them. We would state for their information, if they are ignorant of the rules of the game that, it is the custom here for members of clubs to make no suggestions whatever to an umpire in order to influence his judgment; neither is it considered just the thing for a player, on being laughed at for dropping a ball, to make faces at the spectators, and stick his fingers up to his nose at them. Such actions gain a club no friends, but simply reduces them to the level of the loafers who choose to make the insulting remarks. They Haymakers must also remember that New York clubs have been treated very badly on their grounds at Lansingburh, and that consequently the feeling here is none too friendly toward them. We hope hereafter that their reputation for upright, square and honorable play will equal the renown they now possess for skill in handling the ball and bat. New York Dispatch September 29, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

making up for last year's 'pence money'

Date Sunday, September 22, 1867
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics at the Union grounds 9/16/1867] The Atlantics themselves rejoiced exceedingly when they saw what a vast assemblage had forked over a quarter each to gain admission; for on this occasion their share of the gate money was two-thirds, the Athletics giving up their share by way of compensation for the “pence money” of last year. New York Sunday Mercury September 22, 1867 [“pence” sic: a reference to the “fence money” from the match of 10/22/1866]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Martin's 'slow twisters'

Date Saturday, September 14, 1867
Text

[Mutual vs. Irvington 9/6/1867] The game took a favorable turn for the Mutuals from the start, their good batting giving them nine runs in the first four innings, while the Irvingtons, not being able to hit Martin’s “slow twisters,” made but two. New York Clipper September 14, 1867

splitting the gate

We are happy in being able to announce that the Athletics have taken our advice and have adjusted their “short-coming” with the Atlantics, who have consented to play them on the Union Ground on Monday next. Should the day prove stormy, the game will take place on Tuesday. The Athletics cheated the Atlantics out of $500, in withholding that amount of the gate money. Not being able to pay this sum, they do the next best thing, they agree to play the third game, which was to have been played on neutral ground, (one half of the receipts of which would have gone to the Athletics,) on the Union Ground, the Atlantics to receive all the proceeds. Philadelphia City Item September 14, 1867

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Martin's twisters

Date Thursday, September 19, 1867
Text

[Athletic vs. Mutual 9/18/1867] ...the continued fouls and balls hit in the air, resulting from Martin's slow twisters, offered chance after chance for catches and base play...

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

members' opportunity to play

Date Saturday, August 3, 1867
Text

The Athletic club, which once boasted over four hundred members, has been reduced to a “professional nine.” When, and where, does the club practice? The gentlemen who joined for exercise have been swindled, they think.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

men taking seats reserved for ladies

Date Sunday, July 28, 1867
Text

[Fulton of New York vs. Oriental of Greenpoint 7/25/1867] Something ought to be done about the preservation of good order at matches. In this instance the ladies, who were present in large numbers, were subjected to treatment that any gentleman would refrain from bestowing. Preparations had been made by the Ground Committee expecting a large crowd, and seats were provided; not enough, certainly, to seat every male and female, but more than enough for the accommodation of the ladies who chose to honor the game with their presence; but some calling themselves men not only took possession of the seats, but by vile language compelled many ladies to withdraw from witnessing the game, rather than listen to insulting and blasphemous language. The committee and members of the Oriental Club used every endeavor to preserve order and make things pleasant, but many acts did not come to their knowledge until after the game had been concluded.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

mixing the pitches up and working the strike zone

Date Thursday, August 22, 1867
Text

[Athletics vs. Mutuals 8/20/1867] On the Mutual side, McBride’s dodgy tactic led to all but Waterman having to retire on foul balls–first a hot one, and then one dropped short, bothering the battling calculations of the Mutuals exceedingly, besides which, scarcely a ball would come just where it was wanted, while it was too close to the spot for a liberal umpire like Johnny Grum to call balls on.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

more explanation of rule ten

Date Sunday, April 28, 1867
Text

The application of this rule in baseball is, that the striker cannot be put out on a called or balked ball–equivalent to a [cricket] no ball–and neither can he run his base, because he does not thereby hit a fair ball. But players on bases can run their bases on dead balls; they, of course, being liable to being put out just the same as when running bases under ordinary circumstances. Next year, should this rule not work well, it will be expunged or changed; but nothing can be done this year, as all action of the existing Committee of Rules has to be indorsed by the Convention before rules go into effect. A rule was introduced governing running bases on called balls; but it was not properly worded, and therefore was not carried, only the first part of Law 10 being adopted.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

more on called balls as dead

Date Saturday, August 10, 1867
Text

[from answers to correspondents] 1. Can a man who is on base run on a ball on which one ball has been called? 2. Has the pitcher to be within the line of his position before a called ball can be in play? 1. Yes, if the ball is not struck at. 2. No. New York Clipper August 10, 1867

rulings of the judiciary committee

In the charge of the Typographical Base Ball Club against the Chestnut Street Theatre Base Ball Club for violation of section 21 of the Rules and Regulations, in playing Messrs. Wm. Dorsay and D. Clinton, of the Alert club, in a game against the Typographical club on May 24th. That the said Wm. Dorsay and Daniel Clinton were members of the Alert club on the day named for the game. The committee therefore declare the game played, May 24th, 1867, between the Chestnut Theatre club and the Typographical club of Philadelphia null and void.

In the charge of the Star club against the Excelsior club for violating section 21 of the Rules and Regulations of National Association Base Ball Player [sic] in playing Messrs. Hall, Chauncy, Cornwall and Cummings, on the 15th of June against the Independent club, the committee find that on the 15th day of June, Messrs. Hall, Chauncy, Cornwall and Cummings were regular members of the Excelsior club within the meaning of the Rules and Regulations of the National Association Base Ball Player. Philadelphia City Item August 10, 1867

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no entertainment planned for the upcoming convention

Date Saturday, December 7, 1867
Text

The annual session of the association will be held in Philadelphia Dec. 11. At the last meeting, Col. Moore, Hicks Hayhurst, and the other Philadelphia delegates, made promises of what the clubs of that city would do in case the association would meet there. A dinner at the Continental and other civilities were mentioned as likely to result from this compliance with their desires. The matter was pretty well managed by the colonel and his brother delegates, and they finally got what they asked for. The time for the meeting is drawing nigh, and we have yet to hear the first note of preparation for the event. The New York clubs failed to provide a suitable reception for out of town delegates last season, but we look for better things from Philadelphia. New York Clipper December 7, 1867

An effort is on foot, we learn, to provide an entertainment of some kind for the delegates to the Ball Convention, which meets this week. The Typographical Base Ball Club long since asked the co-operation of the fraternity in arranging something of the kind, but unsuccessfully, the Commonwealth Club alone responding to the invitation. The interest in base ball and the Convention in this vicinity is about as flat as it is possible to conceive after so brilliant a season. The Convention, we fear, will find its occupation gone if Chadwick, the great American ball player, be permitted to introduce a few more rules such as it is now difficult to interpret.

Several of the papers published in other cities intimate that the approaching National Convention was induced to hold its session in this city through the promises made the last Convention by prominent Philadelphians, that in case the Convention assembled in Philadelphia there would be a big feed and a good time generally. The papers in question express disappointment over the blank prospect. We wish, ourselves, it had been otherwise, though not that we regret that the gourmands of the body conclave will be disappointed. We like to see our city extend hospitality to visitors and endeavor to make them feel at home while with us. But so far as the approaching Convention is concerned, the matter had been interrupted through the selfishness of the Gotham delegates and players who, whenever our city or its clubs’ interests were concerned, have been subjected to all manner of trifling and insults. The entertainment business is well enough in its way, but the Yorkers, over their disappointment at the loss of a spree, are citing that Col. So-and-So and Mr. Somebody else promised that if the Convention would meet here, so and so would be done. These gentlemen, in the fulness of their hearts, probably did promise something of the kind. But they are not responsible for the want of interest everywhere felt in ball circles. They cannot create an interest that others have already destroyed. That would be an impossibility.

The lethargy felt in ball matters, in this city, is solely chargeable to a few individuals who pretend to hold the reins, and who are at present busily engaged in undermining what it took years to erect. The parties to whom we allude do not reside in this city. Where they belong, it would be hard to determine. The Keystone Club, of this city, proverbial for its hospitality, was permitted, by the Atlantic Club, on a recent visit to New York, to gad about unattended, hunting up their own amusements, and providing their own entertainment. This, however, is the Atlantic’s method of doing the largest amount of good. The Keystone boys have, in the past, spent their last dollar upon the Atlantics, but such is the game at p resent. So sunk is it in selfishness, that the Atlantics would permit what we have related. We are glad, then, that there will be no merry-making. Let the lines be drawn tighter, if possible. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury December 8, 1867

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no judgement against Martin's 'twisters'

Date Saturday, November 2, 1867
Text

[National of Washington vs. Mutual 10/23/1867] Two things were now plainly evident, firstly, that the Nationals did not use judgment in batting Martins “twisters,” and secondly, that they were not fielding up to their mark. New York Clipper November 2, 1867

litigating the Athletics-Atlantics dispute

The last case on the docket was the charge brought before the Committee by the Athletic Club against the Atlantic, to the effect that on the occasion of the return-game of the last series between the two clubs, the Atlantics had failed to present their nine on the field prepared to play, according to the agreement, and that, in consequence thereof they had forfeited the ball to the Athletic Club. Testimony was then presented by the Athletics in support of their allegations, and by the Atlantics in defence; the counsel of the Atlantics moving for a dismissal of the case on the grounds that the Atlantics not only had nine players present ready to play the game, but had also offered the Athletics a ball–this latter offer is new to us–and that, consequently, if any party had forfeited the game, the Athletics had. The substance of the Athletic statements in support of their case was, that the Atlantics had presented an amateur nine instead of the first-nine of the club. After the presentation of the testimony in the case, and when the subject came up before the Committee for deliberation in regard to a decision, Messrs. Tassie and Colonel Moore temporarily resigned their positions on the Committee, the decision rendered being that by Messrs. Herring, Bache, Yates, and Kelly, and it was to the effect that the Atlantic Club had not complied with the rules in not presenting their first-nine, and that they must do so within fifteen days of date of the decision, and the party failing to appear to forfeit the game. The whole question appears to us as plain as day itself. The Committee have the letter of the law before them, which says: “their players” – “within thirty minutes thereafter”–viz: the appointed time–“the party so failing shall admit a defeat”. The Atlantic Club most assuredly did so present “their players” ready to play the game, and moreover, when the Athletics refused to play with the players so presented, the Atlantics then proffered them a ball–so the witness stated–which was refused. Now, in the face of this testimony, how the committee could decide that the Atlantics had failed to obey the letter of the law–and that is all they had to decide upon–is something beyond our present comprehension, and we, in common with a host of others, would like to be enlightened on the subject. Either the Atlantics failed to produce “their players” in the meaning of the law, or they did not; if they failed to do so, then they forfeited the ball; if they obeyed the law, then the case should have been dismissed. New York Sunday Mercury November 3, 1867

The Athletics alleging that the Atlantics intended to play a muffin nine, Mr. Davenport, one of the said nine, was called upon to testify as to his ability and that of his associates. Upon being questioned as to whether he considered himself a muffin, he said most decidedly not; that he had caught in a club for six years, and would face McBride, or any other man, to-morrow. He also spoke well of his companions, remarking that they were terrific batters, and expressed the opinion that the Athletics would have had a tough job to win a ball from them. New York Dispatch November 3, 1867

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no ladies at the game

Date Friday, September 20, 1867
Text

[West Philadelphia vs. Atlantic 9/19/1867] These Occidental Quakerites have achieved considerable distinction during the season, and are regarded, in the City of Fraternal Affection, as second only to the Athletics. ... Notwithstanding the prestige attaching to their performances, however, the announcement of the game attracted comparatively few spectators, none of whom were ladies.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no more championship games in Hoboken

Date Sunday, April 14, 1867
Text

Mr. Stevens, the owner of all the Hoboken ball fields, has prohibited match-games from being played on any of the fields, unless with express permission in each case–his object being to put a stop to championship-contests, no more of which are to be allowed at Hoboken. This will lead to every prominent match at baseball either being played on the new cricket ground of the St. George Club or on the new ball field of the Nationals of Jersey City. This is a bad thing for championship games, but a good thing for clubs generally. The enclosed grounds at Brooklyn will also be needed more than before.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no more match games at the Elysian Fields

Date Tuesday, April 16, 1867
Text

Perhaps the only subject which seemed to trouble the fraternity was the decision of Mr. Stevens not to allow any more match games being played at Hoboken during the season. This is a great blow to the ball players, as the rivalry between the leading clubs in the country was never more alive and anxious for match games than at the present time. It must be admitted, however, that the excitement caused by what were termed “champion” matches of the past two years, was of such a character as to admit of gambling by outsiders, and the consequent abuses that always follow in the wake when heavy wagers are at stake. The game itself will not lose any of its prestige or popularity by abolishing champion contests.

The Elysian Fields will still be open to the public to play practice games on; and doubtless many of the clubs will avail themselves for that purpose, and play their match games on some enclosed grounds, when an admission-fee will be requite, in order to keep the “hangers-on” and “loafers,” who haunt the public grounds on the occasion of a contest between two noted associations.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no more suppers at ball-matches

Date Sunday, May 12, 1867
Text

We are glad to learn that the custom of giving refreshments at the close of a game is to be done away with this season, except on occasions of visits from out-of-town clubs. It has always been an onerous expense to clubs, and was merely supplying a free lunch to hundreds who neither took part in the games nor paid a cent of expense as members.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no series loss a prerequisite for the championship?

Date Saturday, September 28, 1867
Text

The Athletics cannot reach the championship this year, even if they should beat the Atlantics in the present series of contests. The fact that they have been beaten by the Mutuals twice in succession settles their claims for this season. The rigmarole about beating the Atlantics, and then getting the Atlantics to beat the Mutuals, won’t do. We don’t want a constructive championship. The real thing or nothing.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

non-regulation balls

Date Sunday, August 18, 1867
Text

We were yesterday shown a sample of a baseball, with the stamp of a well known maker on it, weighing 6½ ounces, and measuring 10 inches in circumference. These balls, we understand, are made to order for country clubs, who depend more upon hard hitting for their success than upon their skill in the field. All we have to say is, that balls over size or weight render every game null and void in which they are used; and, moreover, it is discreditable to any ballmaker to manufacture a ball of the kind. We hope to learn that the name on the ball in question has been fraudulently used; if not, we shall feel called upon to expose the name of the party.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

non-regulation balls 2

Date Sunday, October 6, 1867
Text

OVER-WEIGHT BALLS.-We have in our possession a very elastic ball 9½ inches only in circumference, and yet it turns the scale with six ounces in the balance. It bears the imprint of Harvey Ross, and is just one of those deception-balls which have led to so many injuries to the hands this season. The next Convention ought not only to lessen the weight of the ball, so that it should not exceed 5½ ounces, but should limit the amount of rubber to two ounces. Now nearly three ounces are used to give advantage to clubs, whose batting powers–not skill at the bat–exceeds their ability as fielders. A muffin-nine of good batsmen could defeat an excellent fielding side with these exceedingly elastic and over-weight balls. All such fielding as that of Martin’s needs a light ball, in order to afford full scope for the fine fielding chances it yields. If we are, however, to make long hits and heavy batting the feature of first-class games, heavy-weight balls are required. There is more in this matter of the weight and elasticity of the ball, as bearing on the interests of the game and a full development of its beauties than appears on the surface. Mr. Van Horn, and, we believe, Mr. Horseman, are ready to guarantee to the Convention that no over-weight balls shall leave their hands.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

over-applying the new rules; and asking the baseman if he had touched the runner

Date Sunday, May 26, 1867
Text

The umpiring of Mr. Martin was impartial and satisfactory as a general thing. In the fourth inning, however, after two hands had been lost, he ruled, in regard to a foul struck when a player was running the bases, that the pitcher must stand within the lines of his position in receiving the ball before it can be in play. This rule has not been altered since last season, and the umpire consequently was wrong in his decision... The other point was in the last inning, where in the case of a ball thrown to third base to cut off a player running from second, he asked the baseman if he had touched the runner. This is decidedly wrong, and should not be tolerated. The umpire should give his decisions entirely upon his own judgment, and not consult either party.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

over-weight balls

Date Sunday, October 6, 1867
Text

...playing with , which are all the rage among the batting-clubs of Philadelphia...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pay back; early use of 'popped up'; suspend play

Date Sunday, September 29, 1867
Text

[Unions of Lansingburgh vs. Mutuals 9/25/1867] The fifth inning now commenced [with the Mutuals leading], and the appearances of things above indicating a coming storm, word was passed to hurry up the cakes; and the Mutuals went in to get out. The storm was now gathering rapidly overhead, and threatened to burst every moment, and Waterman began to strike at every ball pitched. Not liking this style of thing, the Unions began doing likewise in the field; that is, they did not see balls that were thrown to them, and let others go by that were batted–Waterman thereby getting round and scoring his run. Bearman, too, got round to his third, when Hunt popped up a foul ball, and Craver thought he had better stop this style of thing and end the game; so he caught the ball, and thereby left the Mutual score at 19, with the Unions 13 to get to tie. The rain now poured down in pretty lively, and a rush across the field was made by the crowd for shelter; and what with rain, wind, and dust, ballplaying was not exactly in order. But the umpire refused to call the game, or even to suspend play, ordering the men instead to go on with the game. As it was to the interest of the Mutuals to play the game out, and of course obey the umpire, they took their positions on the field and called for the striker. The Unions, first remonstrating, afterward positively refused to play in such a storm, no matter what the umpire said; and seeing this, Birdsall [of the Unions of Morrisania, the umpire] stuck to his post, called for balls to be pitched, put up imaginary strikers, decided five innings played, and then called the game, and signed his name on the Mutual book, giving the game to the Mutuals. There was a great deal of talk about this action after the rain was over, and the sun shone out again; but as there was no appeal from a legal decision of the umpire, the losers of bets had, of course, to grin and bear it.

Had the Unions gone to the bat, the game would have been called before the close of the fifth inning, as no fielding could have been done in such a storm; but they chose to do otherwise, and lost the game...

EDITORS OF THE N.Y. SUNDAY MERCURY:

NEW YORK, Sept. 26, 1867

In the report of the game between the Mutual and Union, of Lansingburgh, published in the Chronicle of Sept. 26, I find the following: “And certainly the umpire has not raised himself in the esteem of his friends, except, perhaps, those who won their bets by his refusal to call the game, etc.” With all due respect to the gentleman who makes this assertion, allow me to say that the umpire, Mr. David Birdsall, is, in my opinion, as honest a ballplayer as ever handled the bat, and the last man that should be charged with unfair conduct on the ball-field.

On the 9th of July, 1867, the Union Club, of Morrisania, played with the Haymakers on their ground, at Lansingburgh. During that game, it rained so hard that the umpire found it necessary to have an umbrella to protect himself; yet I heard no intimation from the Haymakers that the rain was troublesome to them at that time, and the game was continued.

In conclusion, allow me to state that I freely sanction the conduct of Mr. Birdsall, and feel confidant that on no condition would he act otherwise than as an honest, upright, and gentlemanly ball-player. Respectfully yours,

THOMAS E. SUTTON

President Union B.B.C., of Morrisania

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

percentage of women in attendance

Date Tuesday, September 17, 1867
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 9/16/1867] The great contest attracted the largest gathering that has ever been within the [Union] grounds. The number present could not have been less than 10,000, many of them being visitors from Philadelphia and adjacent ball-playing centers. The fine accommodations afforded for ladies attracted hundreds of the fair sex, who watched the play with all the eagerness of novices and the interest of veterans.

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Phonney Martin's delivery

Date Thursday, June 13, 1867
Text

[Independent vs. Mutual 6/8/1867] The Independents apparently thought they could easily punish Martin’s “slows,” a mistake several clubs have fallen into. Martin is not a slow pitcher, his delivery is medium paced, and, what is more, varies in pace as much as any pitcher’s delivery we know of, and therein lies much of his success against all but the most experienced batsmen.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching delivery restrictions loosened

Date Sunday, December 8, 1867
Text

In view of the fact that the batting, of late years, has rather had the advantage over the pitching, an amendment has been introduced doing away with certain restrictions of the pitcher’s movement. He is now allowed to deliver the ball in what way he pleases, provided he delivers it from within the lines of his position, extended to six feet square, and does not throw or jerk the ball, these prohibited movements being expressly defined. New York Sunday Mercury December 8, 1867

a reminiscence about schoolboy play, in contrast to modern adult play; the National Association convention

When I was a schoolboy, only a few years ago, it was the fashion for boys to assemble at noon on the play-ground for a game of ball. Occasionally an hour on Saturday afternoon was added to the regular mid-day recess. By common consent, two boys, equally matched, became the leaders. One of these took a wooden “paddle,” spit on one side of it, and whirling it into the air, called out, “Wet or dry!” Wet,” said the contestant ,and all the boys crowded round to see “which side was up.” Now the choosing began. “I'll take Leonard;” “I'll take Reuben;” “I'll take Isaac;” “I'll take James;” and so on from the best players to the worst until all were chosen. Now for the first “ins,” wet or dry!” “Dry!” Up went the “paddle” spinning in the air like a top. All eyes were strained to see the paddle strike the ground. “Wet!” “wet!” exclaimed a dozen voices, and all hands rushed to their places. “I'll catch behind, you'll give ball, and the other boys will stand round in front of the striker,” said the chief player. Immediately the game began. All this done within five minutes. No advertising, no challenging, no costume, no excursions, no waste of time, no betting, no gambling, no drinking, drunkenness, fighting, or nonsense. The was play—genuine, hearty, healthful boys' play. The folly and crime of riper years never entered into those youthful sports. Newspapers, more enterprising than wise, did not herald these games, wit the names and challengers of the champions, and the innings displayed and minutely set down.

But we have ceased to be boys; our time and strength are now exercised on graver games, and on more serious results than were those on the playground of the country school-house. Others, however, have learned what we have forgotten, and in the years of manhood play the games of boyhood, demoralized by practices happily unknown to the innocence of school-days. Now, bats and balls, grounds and club-rooms, costumes and trainers, matches and excursions, meetings and convention, are patented, purchased, created, devised, made, maintained and organized at a waste of time, money and strength, that in earlier and purer times would have been pronounced downright wickedness. Here then, in keeping with the change of men and things, we have a “National Convention” of ball-players held in the Chestnut-st. Theater, with president, vice-presidents and secretaries; delegates from “State societies,” and delegates from “private clubs;” Committees on “Credentials,” “Order,” Nominations,” “Rules,” Judiciary,” &c., all sitting and deliberating, grave, and wise, and pure as legislators; no graver, no wiser, and no purer. First, rules of order are discussed; then additional clubs are admitted in the Association; and thirdly, and selfishly and cowardly, it is resolved that “No club composed of persons of color, or having in its membership persons of color, shall be admitted into the National Association.” Great applause by the delegates and hisses in the galleries: whereupon the President, with more feeling than dignity, declared as one having much authority, that if these demonstrations were repeated, he would “order the galleries to be cleared immediately.” New York Daily Tribune December 12, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

plans to limit the crowd in the upcoming game; the ladies have to pay

Date Sunday, August 25, 1867
Text

The excitement consequent upon the return match between the Mutual, of New York, and the Athletic Club, on Wednesday next, has induced the Committee to limit the number of tickets, instead of increasing the price of admission, which will be twenty-five cents for men, women and children. The seats in the pavilion to the left will, as usual, be reserved for the ladies.

All persons holding a season ticket will be compelled, however well they are known, to show their tickets. Tickets can be procured at Reach’s 401½ Chestnut street, until Wednesday at 10 A.M. After that hour at the office at the ball ground.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing 'like a professional' a compliment

Date Monday, September 30, 1867
Text

[Trimountain vs. Lowell 9/28/1867] During the game on Saturday Franklin, left field, played like a professional, being sure to hold every ball within possible reach.

Source Boston Daily Advertiser
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing a 'social' game

Date Thursday, July 25, 1867
Text

[Mutual vs. Hudson River 7/22/1867] The Mutual Club of New York visited Newberg...to play a “social” game with the Hudson River Club of that place. ... we are not informed whether the Mutual Club received the usual token of victory; but as it was merely a “social” game this formality was probably dispensed with. It is astonishing how little some prominent clubs are willing to risk on what they style merely “social” games. The Mutual Club have a powerful reserve force which one would suppose would make it entirely unnecessary for them to ask the Newberg Club to consent to a violation of the rules of the Association.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing a game under protest

Date Tuesday, October 8, 1867
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 10/7/1867] A good deal of speculation was excited to know what course the Atlantics would take in view of the recent decision of the Judiciary Committee, adverse to Devyr and the Mutual Club. They, however, took the mild and reasonable course of simply protesting against Devyr, so as to protect themselves from the consequences before the Convention. The Mutuals, of course, took no notice of the protest, and the game proceeded.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing without a short stop, the third baseman tries to cover the ground

Date Wednesday, September 11, 1867
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Eureka of Newark 9/10/1867][The Eureka have only eight players.] ...the weak place in the field from the absence of the short-stop became very noticeable, balls being hit low between 2d and 3d bases with impunity, as it was impossible for Mills to cover the ground.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

policing the grounds

Date Sunday, May 19, 1867
Text

[Eurekas vs. Irvingtons 5/16/1867] A clear field and accommodations for members of the press, and the ladies [were] provided, the members of the Irvington club, not engaged in the game, acting as a most efficient police-corps on the occasion; an example which we have only seen followed by the Mutual and Union clubs.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

positioning fielders in foul territory

Date Thursday, September 5, 1867
Text

1. A match game is being played, and the sides are changing; the centre fielder does not start for his position in the field until the pitcher delivers a ball which is struck foul and caught by the centre fielder. Is this man out or not, and why?–He was out, as there is no restriction as to where the fielders shall play. 2. Can a captain place on of the fielders behind the line of the home base for the purpose of catching foul balls?–Yes.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pre-game warmup

Date Sunday, April 28, 1867
Text

Mr. Norris Bell, a member of the Bachelor Base Ball Club of Philadelphia, died at an early hour last Tuesday morning, from the effects of an injury received on Saturday. Previous to the game of the Athletic and Bachelor clubs, on Saturday, Mr. B. was struck on the side of the head with a ball. The foolish habit of “throwing around” before the game had a most melancholy result. Norris, after playing the game through, went home, and in the course of Monday inflammation set in, resulting as before stated.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

professional baseball a curse

Date Tuesday, May 21, 1867
Text

[a letter to the editor] I would state, as far as I know, Base Ball is a curse to the community. You speak of its making strong, muscular, healthy boys. I know of mothers and sisters that are delicate and suffering for the necessaries of life, trying to keep a house over their heads, and why? Through these same strong, muscular, lazy boys, whose sole ambition is to be good ball-players and who have lost situations through following it up. Men that ought to be at work are living on charity that gamblers pay towards supporting base ball clubs. The boys are going on the same principle if you talk to them about work they know something better. They know men who get good salaries to do nothing but play ball, and want to know why they cannot do the same. The fact is, Mr. Editor, while these boys are growing to be large, strong, lazy, ignorant, good-for-nothing boobies, in a good many cases; their parents are suffering and trying to keep their families from want; and as to its being innocent amusement, it is the initiation of boys into the mysteries and miseries of gambling and of becoming good for nothing to themselves or any one connected with them in after life.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proper batting stance

Date Thursday, July 18, 1867
Text

[Nationals of Washington at Capitals of Columbus 7/13/1867] We noticed...that the Capital players, in batting, held their bats in front of them before they struck, a style of play which necessitates a double swing with the bat, backward and forward, thereby rendering the aim difficult. The proper way is to half shoulder the bat, bringing it down to meet the ball, especially for swift pitching.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

question and answer about three-out innings

Date Saturday, August 10, 1867
Text

[questions from Fairbury, Ill., players] 1. When the striker is put out, either at the home, or at other base, must he still keep batting and making his regular runs, or will he be considered dead in play until two others are in like manner put out?

2. If so, shall his runs be scored the same as any other player?

3. Can the striker be put out more than once on the same run?

Ans.1 When the striker is put out the next player follows at the bat, and so on until the side is out or it is the striker's turn to bat again. When it is his turn he goes on with his batting, just like those who have preceded him—his being put out does not make him a dead man in the game. (2). His runs will, of course, be counted like the rest. (3)-No player can be counted out more than once on the same ball. The above questions are very simply, and their settlement belongs to the very rudiments of the game. The interrogators will do well to provide themselves with a set a rules, which may be had from any news dealer.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

questions about foul balls 2

Date Saturday, July 20, 1867
Text

[from answers to correspondents] As umpire in a late base ball match I made two decisions which were objected to by some; was I right or wrong? 1st. Their first striker make a long foul and went nearly to second base before he heard “foul called; then he returned to the bat without going round to 1st base. The base was put by pitcher to 1st and judgment asked on the ground that he had not touched 1st base. I decided not out. 1. A foul was knocked while a player was running from 1st. The 1 st baseman left his base to take it. The base was taken by the pitcher and the ball fielded to him before the runner could return. This I decided “out on 1st.” It was contended by some that I was in errors, as the ball should be held by the pitcher while in the line of his position. This I held applied to dead balls and not to fouls. ... 1. The player was not required to touch his base. 2. An excellent point by the pitcher, for which the rules justify him.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reactions in Philadelphia to the Athletics match

Date Sunday, August 25, 1867
Text

[Athletics vs. Unions of Morrisania at Brooklyn 8/19/1867] ...the excitement during Monday night was intense. The Mercury office was visited towards dusk by hundreds anxious to hear the result, and who anticipated that the news, if any had arrived, would be in our possession. Citizens, some of them venerable in years, as they are honored in the community, sought our office, or hovered around the doors, mistaking every running boy as a messenger bearing us the intelligence. The telegraph offices were also besieged, but the clerks knew nothing. Reach’s was literally jammed with those interested in the success of the champions. The sidewalk in front, to the inconvenience of pedestrians, was occupied until the full score arrived, and even then many remained to calculate upon the chances of the match on the morrow. The news was discussed everywhere, and there was hardly a policeman but what was posted as to the result.

At a late hour two of the Mercury’s staff were serenaded by the American Glee Club, in honor of the Athletic’s success.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reduced attendance due to cost of admission, market competition

Date Sunday, October 6, 1867
Text

[Keystones vs. Atlantics 10/3/1867] The attendance was not large, as the public will not pay 25 cents to see anything but a first-class match for the championship. The colored game [Unique of Brooklyn vs. Excelsior of Philadelphia] on the Satellite grounds, also operated to the disadvantage of the Union ground, drawing away many who almost invariably turn out to see the Champions play.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

refusing to play for gate money

Date Sunday, October 27, 1867
Text

[Nationals of Washington at Mutuals 10/22/1867] About two thousand people were present, the tariff of a quarter preventing hundreds from being present. The funds on this occasion were divided between Cammeyer and the Mutuals, the Nationals refusing to play for a share of gate-money.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporters at the game

Date Tuesday, August 6, 1867
Text

[Atlantic vs. Irvington 8/5/1867] A goodly number of the representatives of the press were on hand to chronicle the doings of these famous players. New York, Brooklyn, Newark and Philadelphia were there. In the immediate neighborhood of the writer was seen Kelly, of the Herald, Gill, of the Times, Chadwick, of the Chronicle, Warner, of the Tribune, Ormsby, of the World, MacAuslin, of the Brooklyn Times, Bell, of the Sunday Mercury, and Crane, of the Newark Daily Advertiser.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

resistence to new rules

Date Saturday, May 25, 1867
Text

[Eurekas vs. Irvingtons 5/16/1867] Of course, in regard to the amended rules, there was the usual amount of objections interposed, such as “getting the game down to too fine a point;” “I vote to have a better Committee of Rules next year;” “Who ever heard of such an absurd as as that,” &c. Just the same silly talk was heard when the fly game succeeded the bound rule, and also when calling balls was first introduced.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

revised rules discussed

Date Sunday, December 8, 1867
Text

and December 22, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rule ten finally corrected

Date Sunday, June 23, 1867
Text

A CHANGE IN THE RULES-PRESIDENT GORMAN’S OFFICIAL ORDER.–We give below a copy of the official order of the President of the National Association, changing Rule 10, the rule as printed in the Association book being now a dead letter; the rule as given below taking its place.

The following has been sent to every Association club:

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF B.B. PLAYERS.

WASHINGTON, June 17, 1867

SIR:–My attention has been called by Dr. J. B. Jones, Chairman of the Committee on Rules of the National Association, to an error in the printed rules for 1867.

An examination of the original minutes of the Association satisfies me that such is the fact, and I therefore deem it my duty to inform you, and through you, your club, that the correct reading of the rule in question is as follows:

“Sec. 10 If a batsman strikes a ball on which one ball has been called, no player can make a base on such a strike, nor can any player make a base if the batsman strikes a ball on which two have been called, nor if he strikes a ball on which three balls have been called, can more than one base be made by each player occupying bases; in the latter event the batsman shall also be entitled to one base. If he strikes a ball on which a balk has been called, sections eight and nine of the rules shall apply. In either case, the ball shall be considered dead and not in play until settled in the hands of the pitcher; in neither case shall it be considered a strike; and if a batsman wilfully strikes at a ball out of the fair reach of the bat, for the purpose of striking out, it shall not be considered a strike.”

On and after receipt of this communication all play in which your club is concerned will be governed accordingly.

Very respectfully, ARTHUR P. GORMAN

President N.A.B.B.P.

From this date, June 20, the above rule must be observed by all Umpires in place of Rule 10, as contained in the several books of rules.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumor of hippodroming, the Atlantics duck out of a game

Date Tuesday, October 1, 1867
Text

Upon the settlement of the difficulties between the Athletic and Atlantic Clubs a few weeks since, an agreement was entered into by the two clubs that, after the playing of the third and deciding game of last year's series, a new series should be commenced, the first game to be played in Philadelphia on the 23d ult., the second on the Atlantic ground on the following Monday, and the third, if one were necessary, also upon the Atlantic ground, on the 7th of October. It was agreed in writing, we understand, that these games should come off upon the dates and at the places specified. The first game was duly played and won by the Athletic Club by the score of 28 to 3, the one sided character of which is only explained by the friends of the Atlantics upon the supposition that in order to secure two games upon their ground and the accruing gate money, they intentionally lost. Last week the Atlantics played three other games in Philadelphia, in the last of which, their catcher, Mills, broke a finger, and is at present unable to handle a ball. AS to play another game without his services might result in the loss of their honorary championship, the Atlantics telegraphed on Friday last that they would be unable to play upon yesterday; but the Athletics conceiving that in consenting to play three out of four games this year upon their adversary's ground they h ad yielded as much as they felt inclined to, responded with a demand that the game should be played, and the intelligence that they themselves would appear ready to play as they had contracted to do. Accordingly, they were upon the ground yesterday, duly equipped. The Atlantics, fearful of defeat in their crippled condition, and feeling themselves uncourteously treated, resorted to an unworthy artifice to save themselves from defeat. They selected nine of their worst players to represent them, and openly avowed that they could play in such a manner that it would be impossible for the game to be finished, by improving every opportunity for delay and refusing to put their opponents out. This scheme had the desired effect. The Athletics considered that to enter upon such a contest would belittle them, and declared that all games between the clubs were off. The facts tell their own story, and we do not care to comment upon them.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of thrown games

Date Sunday, August 11, 1867
Text

[Atlantics v. Irvingtons 8/5/1867] We have heard a great deal about charges of “throwing” this that, and the other game [vs. the Unions of Morrisania 7/30/1867], made against the Atlantics, but we have yet to see the first evidence of the fact. Especially is the charge false in reference to the Union and Irvington contests. In the former, the Atlantics went up to Morrisania sanguine of defeating the club who had played so poorly as did the Unions against the Irvingtons, forgetting that since then they had had a week’s good training against strong nines, while they themselves had scarcely handled a ball except in the few match-games they had played, the Atlantics thinking practice-games ‘first nine vs. field’ useless, apparently.

In the Irvington match, though they expected a tough time, they were just as unprepared for success, by training, as before; and, moreover, were short-handed again. They ought by this time to have found out that they never play their old Atlantic game throughout unless they have a full nine in their regular positions.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of thrown games 2

Date Sunday, September 22, 1867
Text

It is currently reported that the Atlantics, on Tuesday, out of friendship for Pratt and Chapman, will throw the game [with the Quaker City Club], by either permitting the Quakers to win, or closing the innings by a very small majority. We ourselves, do not believe this, nor do we pay much heed to Madame Rumor; but we recollect, last season, that the Atlantic backers won considerable money on a match played here by the Atlantics throwing the game. The matter is yet fresh in the memory of those who witnessed that contest, and hence gives color to the rumors afloat concerning the Quaker’s game of Tuesday.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

running on called balls

Date Saturday, May 11, 1867
Text

[from answers to correspondents] There is but one rule which distinctly prohibits runs or bases being made on dead balls, and that is in section 19, which refers only to foul balls. Players are obliged to return and touch their bases in cases of fly balls when the ball is alive and in play–see section 26. It will be seen that on these two rules the prohibition of running bases applies in two different cases, the one for dead balls and the other–only in part a prohibition–for live balls. Consequently, as there is no rule in which the words distinctly prevent bases being run on dead balls as such, there is no objection to running bases on “called” balls, which are made dead balls by rule 10. This rule (section 10) as reported from the committee of rules reads so as to allow bases to be taken only when given on a third called ball or a baulk, but the convention struck the latter clause out very unwisely, as the rule as it now reads gives an advantage to the batting nine, except the pitcher is very careful and accurate in his delivery.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

running on dead called balls

Date Thursday, June 13, 1867
Text

[Pequot of New London vs. Charter Oak of Hartford 6/5/1867] ...it wouls appear that a lack of familiarity with the “points” of the game, developed by the erroneous working of Rule 10, had much to do with the failure of the Pequots to come off the victors in the match, the pitcher and catcher not being quite au fait in handling the ball quick enough on called balls. The operation of the rule was this: A player on his third base; the umpire calls “one ball” on the pitcher. Now before the ball is in play, it must be returned to the hands of the pitcher in his place, and before this can be done a smart runner will make his home very often, unless the catcher stops the called ball close behind the striker, and returns it to the pitcher instantly. But if the called ball happens to pass the catcher, the man on the third gets home every time, and a man on the second may do it almost as surely the trouble on the occasion was that the pitcher instictively ran up on a called balled, and could not get back to his position in time. This rule puts upon the short stop or first baseman the duty, in case of “called” passed balls, or running up to take care of the home base, leaving the catcher to throw to the pitcher at his position. The operation of the rule occasioned great interest to the many ball players present.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

running out bases on balls

Date Sunday, May 19, 1867
Text

[Eurekas vs. Irvingtons 5/16/1867] The Umpire selected, Mr. George Flanly, of the Excelsior Club, gave his decision in his usual prompt and effective style, and rendered general satisfaction, although he was led into error in the first three innings by deciding that after a player had been given his base, on three balls he could be put out, if the ball was returned to the pitcher and sent into first base in time to ordinarily cut him off, while the rule reads, “When three balls have been called, the striker shall take the first base, and should any base be occupied at the time, each player occupying it or them, shall take one base without being put out. Under Mr. Flanly’s construction of the rule, wild pitching was decidedly beneficial to the club occupying the field, as it was found almost impossible for a player to reach first base on three balls. An understanding was had at the beginning of the fourth inning, between the umpire and the captains of the nines, and the game from that point was played as the rule directs. New York Dispatch May 19, 1867

[Eurekas vs. Irvingtons 5/16/1867] In these innings two errors were committed by the umpire, on one each side, and that was in putting out Buckley and Calloway at first-base when they had been given those bases on called balls. When a third ball is called the striker is entitled to the first-base, and so are players on the bases similarly entitled to the next base to that they occupy when the third ball is called, and they cannot be put out. One of the most creditable features of the match was the manner in which these errors were received. Not an appeal was made, not a point disputed. Both clubs merit the warmest praise for this conduct. What they had a right to do, however, was this. When the errors was made, the Captain of the nine against whose interest the error told, should have called “time”, before another ball had been pitched, and have quietly inquired, for information merely, whether the interpretation of the rule was the correct one, and if it was not, then the umpire could readily have reversed his decision; but after the committal of the error and the resumption of play without any such calling of time, no appeal could be made and no decision of the umpire reversed, there being no appeal from the decision of the umpire. As soon, however, as Mr. Flanly discovered his mistake, he corrected it, and afterward decided according to the rule, except in the instance in the fifth inning–Lewis being entitled to his run while on the third-base when a third ball was called, and in the sixth innings, when H. Campbell was erroneously given out at first-base when attempting to run to second after having his base given him on a third ball. Had he been put out a second-base under similar circumstances, viz., while running from first to second after receiving his first base on a third ball, then he would have been out, but as it was he could not be put out at first-base until after the ball had been pitched to the bat, and the game resumed after the third called ball. New York Sunday Mercury May 19, 1867

enforcing the interference rule

[Eurekas vs. Irvingtons 5/16/1867] The decision in giving Pike out for intentional abstraction [sic] in preventing Lex from fielding the ball elicited applause from all present. It is the first time we ever saw this rule properly enforced. New York Sunday Mercury May 19, 1867

Pike hit a ball along [the] line to first base, and seeing that Lex was likely to capture it in time to put him out, kicked it with his foot, for which the umpire decided him out. (Applause.) New York Dispatch May 19, 1867

For the first time we witnessed in this game the striker put out for obstructing a fielder in fielding the ball in running the first-base, and the prompt infliction of the penalty elicited the applause of all. New York Clipper May 25, 1867

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

running unnecessarily into basemen

Date Sunday, June 9, 1867
Text

[Unions vs. Irvingtons 6/4/1867] The Irvingtons should be careful...how they run unnecessarily against basemen, one of them being cautioned by the umpire for running against Birdsall, and preventing his catching a ball. A game unfairly won is not won at all.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

satire and baseball and politics

Date Saturday, August 31, 1867
Text

[from the column of “Corry O'Lanus”] The Corry O'Lanus Club, organized to further my prospects for the Mayoralty, were to play the John Brait Club, but the weather dissolved our meeting. When a man wants an office now he has got to be a Base Ballist. On my skill as “short stop” depends a good deal of my chances of election. I have been studying the game at Hooley's every evening this week, and have quite an idea of it.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shifting players around

Date Saturday, July 27, 1867
Text

[Irvington vs. Eckford 7/16/1867] The Eckfords have fallen into the practice of changing their men round when they commit errors, and in this game nearly every innings witnessed the shifting of the men from one position to another. The uselessness of this system was apparent all along. In rare instances it works well enough, but in most cases it is productive of more harm than good.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

short stop covering home

Date Sunday, June 23, 1867
Text

[Atlantic vs. Eckford 6/23/1867] We noticed that the fools in the crowd didn’t see his [Powers, the Atlantics short stop] good judgment in running to home-base to take the ball from the pitcher on a called ball passing the catcher. It was a good point, without doubt. [The purpose of this was to cover a runner coming in from third base, as the practice early in the season was to call such a ball dead but allow base running]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

short stop positioning himself in right short for a left handed batter

Date Sunday, July 14, 1867
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Nationals of Albany 7/8/1867] Pabor essayed his skill and struck a wicked ball to right-short, where Woolverton [the Nationals’ short stop] had posted himself, when he saw the “south paw”. Charles stopped his race at first-base as Woolverton fielded the ball handsomely to Lansing [first baseman], before he could get there.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shortstop not covering bases

Date Saturday, July 20, 1867
Text

[Eckford vs. Star 7/19/1867] They all played well in fact, except Johnson, who does not seem to realize the duties of a short stop; hardly ever, when a baseman left his base to field a ball, did we see him cover the position.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shouting 'foul' on fair balls

Date Thursday, August 29, 1867
Text

[a correspondent from St. Louis writes] It is a well-known fact, however strange, that whenever a hit is made to the neighborhood of the foul line, some one almost invariably cried “Foul!” This being so often the case, players running the bases have to judge for themselves and run the risk of being put out one way or the other, or appeal directly to the umpire for information. I have seen many a case where a player has been put out on a forced run, or saved his base by the skin of his teeth only, and by no fault of his own, from this outside interference, the advantage of such mistake being all on the side of the field.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shutouts

Date Thursday, June 13, 1867
Text

On Saturday week, the Harvard nine defeated a nine of Dartmouth College, at Lowell, by the remarkable score of 38 to 0 in a full game. On the 8th of May, however, the Pastime Club, of Baltimore, played against a field-nine, and scored 53 to the field’s 0. The Excelsiors, in 1860, also defeated nine players of the St. George Cricket Club in a full game by a score of 25 to 0, Creighton pitching on the occasion.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

size and weight of baseballs

Date Thursday, September 5, 1867
Text

Our attention has of late been called to the necessity of a change in the size and weight of the base ball, and the establishment of some stringent rule having the effect of preventing any manufacture of base ball, for club purposes, of a greater weight or size than that established by the National Association. We now scarcely receive the report of a ball match in which some severe injury has not been sustained, and that, too, mainly from the ball, the result, in nearly every instance, being traceable to the weight and size. Experiments were made by cricketers years ago, to ascertain the best size and weight of a ball for fielding purposes, and the result was the permanent establishment of 5 ½ ounces in weight and nine inches in circumference; and this weight and size, with a limit to 5 3/4 ounces in weight and 9 ½ inches in circumference, would be found to correct figures for the standard measurement of a base ball.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

slow pitching allowing the catcher to stand close to the bat

Date Saturday, August 17, 1867
Text

[Eureka vs. Union of Lansingburgh 8/13/1867] The slow pitching of Abrams was very effective, yielding very few passed balls, and enabling Craver to stand so close to the bat as to render base stealing almost impossible. New York Clipper August 17, 1867

sharing the gate

[Mutuals vs. Atlantics on the Union grounds 8/12/1867] The charge for admission was 25 cents, and as between $1,500 and $1,600 was taken in at the door, the two clubs made a good thing out of it, each realizing a third of the amount, over $500 each. New York Sunday Mercury August 18, 1867

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spectators encroaching on the field, police too interested in the game to keep a fair field

Date Tuesday, August 20, 1867
Text

[Athletic vs. Union of Morrisania 8/19/1867] The field was not kept as clear as it should be, the policemen being somewhat interested in the progress of the game, and with pardonable oversight, in view of the excitement of the occasion, allowed the other spectators to encroach on the ground allotted to the players. This was particularly the case in respect to the catcher's position, a number of foul balls being lost by the proximity of the crowd, that would have been taken in a fair field.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stalling for rain

Date Saturday, October 5, 1867
Text

[Union of Lansingburgh vs. Mutual 9/25/1867] The sky had been threatening rain for some time, and it was plainly seen that when it did come it would be no child’s play. The fifth innings was commenced by the Mutuals with an evident intention of getting through in a jiffy. The first two strikers were not very particular what kind of balls they hit at, and were easily put out. Waterman attempted to strike out, but finally hit the ball and took his base. Bearman then went to the bat and Waterman started to walk round his bases. The Unions shows no disposition to interfere with him, and when Bearman hit the ball, it was plainly evident that the “Haymakers” did not try to put him out, as they refused to field the ball. Waterman came in on Bearman’s hit and Hunt went to the bat. Charley hit a high foul, which Craver took nicely on the fly, thus acting squarely and putting his fellows to shame.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stalling the last inning

Date Sunday, September 8, 1867
Text

[Athlete vs. Oriental 8/28/1867] The Orientals (their pitcher and catcher) refused to see or catch a ball–their desire plainly seemed to be to prolong the inning until the umpire should be compelled to call the game back to the seventh inning, in which they were 2 ahead. They allowed their opponents to walk their bases. The umpire seeing the uselessness of longer continuing, and knowing of no rule that would allow him to act otherwise, called the game back to the seventh inning, giving the victory to the Orientals, much to the dissatisfaction of several members of that club, who were honorable enough to acknowledge the ball not fairly won.

[Champion of Jersey City vs. Oriental of Greenpoint 9/6/1867] The Champions took the bat in the eighth inning, and had made eight runs with none out, when the Orientals came off the field, and desired to have the game called to the seventh inning, their plea being that it was too dark to play. They had several opportunities, in the eighth inning, to put men out, but they refused to do so, as they did not wish to terminate the inning. It was (as every one present knows) but 6 o’clock at the latest when they refused to play. The umpire informed them that it was quite light enough to play, and to proceed with the game, which they refused to do, when he informed them that he would be compelled to decide the game in favor of the Champions, as there was ample time to finish the game, and the Orientals could give no good and sufficient reason for not doing so. New York Sunday Mercury September 8, 1867

the proper penalty for an illegal swing

The Rules says, “the batter shall stand when striking.” Some of the “smart” critics hereabouts have contended that this rule may be violated with impunity. In every case of violation, we have advised Umpires to call “one strike.” Mor Bomeisler endorses our interpretation, and will always call “one strike,” and now the Tribune endorses it. That paper, speaking of the game betwixt the Atlantics and Empires, says:–The Umpire, Mr. Green, followed the example of Mr. Martin of the Mutuals in calling “foul ball,” preferring this, which is punishment to the batsman only, [Query–Does it not punish the pitcher?–Eds., ITEM.] to the senseless decision of “no strike,” which is often a punishment to the fielders, as the batter might otherwise be out. But the punishment of “foul ball” is too severe, as the batter runs the risk of being caught out on a ball hit between the bases, without any chance of making his first. The proper decision undoubtedly is that first advocated in the Tribune of “one strike.” By this a proper modicum of punishment is inflicted, and it is strictly logical, as the batsman certainly has hit at the ball, yet has not hit it within the rules; consequently he has not hit at it at all. In future we hope to see this decision universally made by umpires. Its correctness must commend it to every intelligent player. Philadelphia City Item September 7, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stealing to second, overrunning the bag

Date Sunday, July 14, 1867
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Nationals of Albany 7/8/1867] Akin sent a safe ball to centre-field, and got to the first; then, depending on his nimble legs, stole to the second, but was almost caught as Cantwell threw nicely to Ross, and the latter held it well, but just late enough to have allowed Akin to have touched the base; but he running over it, came near losing again, and would have been out but for his quickness in reaching for the bag.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

substituting a new ball

Date Thursday, July 4, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Irvingtons 6/28/67] By this time [the seventh inning] the ball had become so soaked with water that a new one had to be substituted...

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suggested ground rules on passed balls; backstop

Date Thursday, August 15, 1867
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] Should the fence back of the catcher be too close–so much so as to enable the catcher to save bases on passed balls-then a base should be given on passed balls; whereas, if there is no fence behind the catcher, the rule should be to limit the running of bases on passed balls to one base.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suggesting a score board

Date Sunday, August 25, 1867
Text

By way of improvement in one thing...we would suggest to Mr. Cammeyer the placing of a board-sign in some conspicuous place which would indicate the score at the close of each inning, such as the telegraph the cricketers have on their grounds, showing the state of the game at the fall of each wicket. This was done in the Cincinnati matches when the Nationals played there, and proved to be very convenient and desirable.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Sunday games in Memphis

Date Sunday, May 19, 1867
Text

The clubs of Memphis play practice games on Sunday.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

taking a loss gracefully

Date Sunday, October 6, 1867
Text

[Keystones vs. Atlantics 10/3/1867] The best feeling prevailed on all sides... The Atlantics said that if they must be beaten by any club, they preferred to suffer defeat at the hands of the Keystones, while the latter returned the compliment by saying that if they must defeat any club, they would much rather win a ball from the Champions.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of an enclosed grounds in Jersey City

Date Friday, May 24, 1867
Text

There is a move on foot to establish an extensive base ball ground at the northern portion of this city [Hudson City, now part of Jersey City], adjoining the Paterson plank road, the ground for which has already been secured, the same to be controlled by a stock company. They propose fencing in the ground, building suitable outhouses, each club to have its own house; also to erect a fine hotel, with all the necessary accommodations, both for ladies and gentlemen. There will be three practising grounds and one match ground, each to be provided with seats, the main ground to seat ten thousand spectators.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tariff too high

Date Sunday, September 15, 1867
Text

[Excelsiors of Rochester vs. Atlantics 9/11/1867] The attendance was not numerous. The tariff being too high for this class of games; in fact, there were not a thousand people within the enclosure.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ten pin bowling

Date Saturday, December 21, 1867
Text

[from answers to correspondents] A string of ten pins of ten frames may be rolled with as many as thirty balls, or as few as twelve, and almost any intermediate number. It depends on the number of “strikes” or “spares” made.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics refuse to play the Eckfords

Date Saturday, September 14, 1867
Text

The Athletics would not play the Eckfords on Monday last because there was threatening weather and only about three hundred persons on the ground. We did not see any of these three hundred getting their money back! The Eckfords say the Athletics treated them very differently when they were here before. We guess so!

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics' bad reputation

Date Sunday, September 29, 1867
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Athletics 9/21/1867] We hear complaints on all sides of the conduct of the Athletics in this game, and Mr. Malone, the umpire, comes in for a good share of censure, some of his decisions being extremely one-sided. How a player can be decided out when standing with both feet on a base, on a ball thrown to the baseman, is more than we can imagine. We hear complaints made of the Athletics by nearly every club visiting them, and where this is so much smoke there must certainly be a little fire. Clubs that are in the habit of acting dishonorably will soon become so notorious that they will be left out in the cold altogether, and for our part we think it would serve them right.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantic move to the Union grounds: a better share of the gate

Date Sunday, April 21, 1867
Text

Many will be surprised to learn that the Atlantics have vacated the scene of their greatest triumphs, and have located themselves on the Eckford grounds, or rather the Union ball grounds, in Williamsburgh, entirely out of the way of the residence of the majority of their members, and in opposition to the wishes of many of the best men in their club. It would appear from all accounts that the present ruler of the club, failing to make any advantageous arrangement with Weed & Decker for a greater share of the proceeds in match days than the players received last year, and finding Cammeyer of the Union grounds ready to offer good terms to secure the club, they availed themselves of the latter offer of sixty per cent of the receipts and closed with him at once. But this being against the rules of the association, they made out a new form of agreement and hired the grounds after paying forty per cent of the receipts taken in lieu of rent. They change will not benefit the club, and it is the worst precedent Cammeyer could have adopted as all clubs can now fully claim a share of the sale money. New York Sunday News April 21, 1867

This club [the Atlantic] have made a very important move. They have left their old field on the Capitoline Grounds, and will play on the U nion Grounds this season. Several things have led to this change. The arrangement with Cammeyer is that the club are to have the grounds for a season, paying him 40 per cent, of the receipts on match days, and the expenses of the ground. New York Clipper April 27, 1867

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics back out of a match

Date Saturday, October 5, 1867
Text

After a long consultation between the officers of the two clubs, word was given that the game would be played, and the large crowd present, who had been waiting patiently for over an hour, filled the seats up and took another rest. It was now found that the “champions” were not going the keep faith in the true spirit of the promise. Instead of playing their first nine, or those of them who were able to play, they stated their intention of putting a “muffin” nine in the field against the Athletics, with the avowed purpose of playing so poorly, that five innings could not be finished, and thus tricking the Philadelphians. No effort was made to disguise this shabby trick, and the members of the Atlantic Club openly talked of it as something “smart.” These facts coming to the ears of the Athletics, they very properly refused to play such a nine and the game was declared off. New York Clipper October 5, 1867

The Athletics on Friday were waited upon by Mr. Reagan, Secretary of the Atlantics, who requested a postponement. A dispatch was received also from the Atlantics themselves, desiring that the game should not be played. The Athletics felt that there was no just grounds warranting a postponement, and refused to entertain such a proposition, and so notified both Mr. Reagan and the Atlantics. They felt that they had already given up too much by Hayhurst’s arrangement. They knew that it was just by such quibbles that the Atlantics had held the ball year after year. They did not forget that the Atlantics had visited them upon one occasion, late in the season, on a few hours’ notice. They remembered that Berkenstock and Reach had both played where they were incapable of doing duty. The Atlantic’s reputation for selfishness in this particular was too long established to warrant the Athletics entertaining such a flimsy plea. There were too many precedents, one of which was insisting upon the Mutuals playing them when the latter were without the services of their regular pitcher. The Athletics, according to their agreement, left for New York, on Monday last. They were permitted, as has been the custom of the Atlantics, to be their own escort, and find the grounds a best they could.

Arriving at the Union enclosure at an early hour, they got themselves in readiness to play, and were soon driving the ball around the field. The Atlantics hovered around their club house, which is distinct from where the Athletics made their preparations for play. Having nothing special on hand, we mixed in with the Atlantic crowd, and our ears were regaled with wrathful expressions, as well as threats, as to what Atlantic indignation would do when it got to blood heat. The multitude commenced to pile in pretty lively by this time, and Master Cammeyer’s agents were kept busily employed taking charge of the quarters paid for admission.

The Match Committee, of the Athletic were invited by the proprietor, to meet a Committee on behalf of the Atlantic, in his private office, which McBride, Fisler and Reach at once acceded to. Hereafter they were asked what they came over for. Of course they stated their business, and were flatly told the Atlantics would not play. McBride then said: “If you will play us in Philadelphia, next Monday,(to morrow,) we will guarantee you every farthing taken at the gate.” The Atlantics had no intention of measuring swords with the Athletics, and declined a proposition for which liberality we think unparalleled.

If the Atlantic Club is to be bribed into playing matches, it is about time, we thing, that match games ceased. Master Cammeyer, with an eye to business, and to propitiate the large assemblage present, proposed that the Athletics should play a picked nine. This Dan Kleinfelder heard of, and quickly repudiated. Dan was right in saying that he had not joined a menagerie, to be trotted around the country to be exhibited for gate money.

Wilkins was also emphatic, and so was Cuthbert, in refusing to enter into any such compact. The other members, on hearing of the proposition to play a picked nine, begged to be considered out. Some strong motive induced Dick to lend his assistance, and a scrub match was played, and Dick’s side, or the one he played one, was badly beaten. Previous to the adjournment of the confab between the clubs, the Atlantics said that they would put a muffin nine on the field to contest with our boys, but we would never reach the fifth inning. This muffin business was suggested by that adroit trickster, Chadwick, who professes to have the interest of the game at heart, and who, on occasions of this kind, is to be relied upon for just such a suggestion as we have stated. We refer him to the article above [not copied here], from his pen, wherein the Atlantics are ready, with defeat staring them in the face, to keep their engagements.

We wonder if the “adroit” can explain what he meant when he penned what we have quoted? He will probably wriggle out of it by declaring that he never wrote it.

Thus ends the history of the recent attempt of the Athletics to get on a match with the Atlantics. We inquired of an enthusiastic member of the Atlantic Club why it was that they could play the Keystone on Thursday, and yet not meet the Athletics? Oh, we can wollop them with any kind of a nine, but with you fellows we want our whole team. Charlie Smith was well, and would have more than supplied Mills’ place had the Atlantics been anxious to play. They had an excellent substitute in Kenny; but, as we have said, they did not mean [to] play, and were only too glad to use the contemptible means they did to avoid defeat, which, to calculating observers, they know awaits them. The popular verdict everywhere accords to the Athletics the title of champions. Those who dispute it can rectify the matter by calling in at Fifteenth and Columbia avenue. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury October 6, 1867

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics backing out of a match

Date Sunday, September 29, 1867
Text

The Athletics were taken by surprise on Friday, on receiving a dispatch from the Atlantics stating that they would not play the return game on Monday on their grounds, Brooklyn. We confess we were not surprised, as the matter was broached to me as being probable on the evening previous. The Atlantics assert that Mills and Start not in condition–they should have added Pearce, who was not, when in this city, except on the first match–to play. Start and Mills are both suffering from bruised hands; but Al Reach is in the same category, and Radcliff was badly hurt in one of this hands not long since; yet he has played in all matches since in which the club were contestants. Berkenstock and Reach both played at great disadvantage from the same cause in Atlantic matches. Our boys refused to entertain the proposition to postpone, and that indefinitely, and so notified the Atlantics. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury September 29, 1867

talk of a game being thrown

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 9/23/1867] The Atlantics excuse themselves by saying that they were short Smith, and that Start had a sore hand. Still we would like to know why men who usually bet on the Champions remained at home and invested their money at 100 to 80 on the Philadelphians, how could they do this in view of the recent decided defeat of the Athletics on the Union grounds in a home-and-home match. Start’s sore hand did not cause him to muff badly, and the absence of Smith could not make such a great difference. Therefore we would like to be informed how it was that they met with such a decided defeat, and why the betting men changed sides so suddenly. New York Dispatch September 29, 1867

At Reach’s last week, we hard men assert that the game was played off by the Atlantic, but, in the same breath, they sang the praises of the Atlantic nine–extolling Crain’s play at second base, which it afforded us pleasure in our report of the game to acknowledge was above the average. The parties to whom we allude noted also Mills’ splendid play behind, and the delivery of the “Charmer” captivated them beyond expression. If they found so much to admire in the individual play of the Atlantic, how was it the game was thrown? ... Let the rooster to whom we allude hold their peace, or else strive to be consistent. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury September 29, 1867

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics trying to get back Chapman and Pratt?

Date Sunday, August 11, 1867
Text

Thursday last saw a delegation of Atlantics here, whose errand was to induce Tom and Chap to return.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brooklyn Eagle baseball writer

Date Thursday, August 15, 1867
Text

The Brooklyn Eagle–the base ball column of which is generally well written up by Mr. Hudson... Ball Players Chronicle August 15, 1867

an infield fly

[Mutuals vs. Atlantics 8/12/1867] McMahon then hit a high one over right short’s head, which was falling nicely into [second baseman] Smith’s hands, and Bearman [at first] stopped at his base; but McMahon, thinking Charley [Smith] would drop it for a double play, called to Bearman to run for second, and as Smith held the ball and then passed it to Start before Bearman could get back, the result was a double play, and the closing of the innings for a blank score, a round of Atlantic applause greeting the good fielding. Ball Players Chronicle August 15, 1867

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Carroll Park ground

Date Thursday, June 20, 1867
Text

We witnessed the game, but the intrusion of the crowd around the scorer’s desk, and the impossibility of obtaining a good view of the game on the occasion of a match on the Carroll park grounds, prevented us from taking notes... We do not see why the South Brooklyn clubs do not avail themselves of the use of the Capitoline Grounds for match games, as the Hoboken clubs do the union Grounds, for having a fair field at South Brooklyn is out of the question, the limited extent of the grounds allowing balls to go to the streets; and when a lively ball gets on the cobble stones a home run is inevitable.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Central Park ball grounds

Date Sunday, April 7, 1867
Text

The Central Park grounds are used only by the schools in the vicinity, match-games by senior clubs being prohibited on account of the crowds which they attract, and the destruction that would result to the turf. Philadelphia City Item April 7, 1867, citing the Tribune

This year is seems that the Park Commissioners are really in earnest in trying to make base ball the national game of America. They have allotted two splendid pieces of ground, provided iron home and pitchers’ bases, &c.; they also check bases, shoes, caps, balls, bats, &c.; and it well pays a person to visit the grounds while the clubs are playing. Ball Players Chronicle July 25, 1867

Seeing an item in your paper about the Excelsior Club, saying that we have been forbidden to play in the [Central] Park, allow me to correct it, it being a mistake. Only the older members of the club, or some of the first nine, have been prohibited from playing, they being over the age allotted to boys allowed to play in the Park. Ball Players Chronicle August 1, 1867

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Central Park grounds

Date Saturday, March 30, 1867
Text

The Central Park grounds are used only by the schools in the vicinity, match games by senior clubs being prohibited on account of the crowds which they attract, and the destruction that would result to the park.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Cincinnati club grounds

Date Sunday, July 21, 1867
Text

The ballgrounds [are] adjoining Lincoln Park, where the Cincinnati Club have a fine field and clubhouse. The inclosure encircles seven acres, and has been nicely graded for both a cricket-field and ballground, seats being erected for spectators on the right of the entrance. The locality is within a block or two of city cars, and not much more than a mile from the centre of the city. The club holds the ground on a lease for eight years, and have recentlyf laid out several thousand dollars in preparing it for use.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsior consolidates with the Enterprise

Date Sunday, June 16, 1867
Text

The playing strength of the Excelsiors has been considerably augmented since last season by the consolidation of the Enterprise and Excelsior Clubs; and their new nine, later in the season, will undoubtedly make a good record for themselves.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Irvingtons new ground

Date Sunday, July 28, 1867
Text

We congratulate the Irvingtons upon having at length an enclosed ground, and upon their admirable arrangements made for future games. Hereafter a fee of ten cents will be charged for admission to the Irvington grounds at all matches with thfe exception of grand matches, when the price will be raised to twenty-five cents... We hope that the horse railroad company will see fit to provide more cars and more horses, and endeavor to provide in some degree for the comfort and convenience of their patrons.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Lansingburgh grounds and admission

Date Saturday, November 2, 1867
Text

[National of Washington vs. Union of Lansingburgh 10/21/1867] [The ground] is situation half way between Troy and Lansingburgh, is enclosed, and is about 500 feet square. The usual price of admission to the grounds is 15 cents, but on this occasion the tariff was raised to 25 cents.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Morrisania grounds

Date Sunday, July 7, 1867
Text

The field at Morrisania is entirely too small and badly shaped, many fouls which would be taken on other grounds going into the crowd, or on the railroad track on either side, while long fly balls are almost impossible to get hold of, the fielder being obliged to run backward up the embankment of the railway, and was even prevented from doing this by the crows on Tuesday.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals ground situation

Date Sunday, April 28, 1867
Text

The Mutuals, after making some preparations to vacate Hoboken for the Lake Lincoln grounds, near Jersey City, have reconsidered the change, and concluded to retain their Hoboken grounds. To render the proposed Lake Lincoln grounds suitable for ball playing, would involve an expenditure of $5,000, and as the Mutual could only obtain a single year’s lease, the project was abandoned. We understand that over $2,000 was subscribed by a few members at an impromptu meeting of the club, and that the requisite amount could have been readily obtained if the owners of the property would have given a lease of a few years’ duration. The Mutuals will, therefore, practice at Hoboken as heretofore, but play all match games upon the Union Ball grounds in Brooklyn, Eastern District.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals have grounds trouble

Date Sunday, April 28, 1867
Text

The members of [the Mutual] club have decided not to remove from Hoboken this season. It was found that the inclosing and fitting up of the grounds they designed hiring at Lake Lincoln would prove very expensive, and as the ground could only be leased for a year, it was thought advisable to practice upon their old field. Their match games will be played on the Union grounds, Williamsburgh.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals went on a 'jamboree'

Date Sunday, June 30, 1867
Text

[Mutual vs. Independent 6/29/1867] Yesterday, [the Independents] caught the Mutuals jaded out from their trip to New Jersey, and, as a consequence, came near defeating them. ... The Mutuals went on a “Jamberee” all Friday night [following their victory over the Irvingtons], and were in no condition to play. [They beat the Independent, but only by 28-26.]

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the National Association convention rules on judiciary committee decisions

Date Thursday, December 12, 1867
Text

The order in the evening was the debate of the report of the Judiciary Committee, which settled the momentous questions, why certain games advertised to be played between rival clubs last summer did not take place; also, who won in sundry other games that did take place. The documents and affidavits presented on these questions exceeded in voluminosity the report of the Committee on the impeachment of Johnson. …

The Convention, in session this evening, reversed the decision of the Judiciary Committee that all games between the Union Club of Morrisania and the Mutual club of New York were null and void, under the operation of the previous question.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The National Association kept white

Date Sunday, December 15, 1867
Text

[reporting on the convention of the National Association] The Nomination Committee then read their report through Mr. Daves[sic], of the Knickerbocker Club, the features of it being a recommendation to reject all applications from colored clubs for representation in the Association. The recommendation was fully indorsed by the convention, and the report was adopted with but few dissenting votes.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the National grounds; extra street cars

Date Tuesday, August 27, 1867
Text

The grounds of the National are rapidly approaching completion, and will, when finished, compare favorably with any in the country. A large two-story house has been built and arranged in the most comfortable manner for the use of the club. The front balcony of this house had been neatly decorated with flags and streamers, and when crowded as it was with beautiful ladies, presented a handsome appearance.

The seats for spectators are well arranged, and before the game was called they were crowded to overflowing with ladies and gentlemen, who were present to witness the game. This crowd was being augmented every few minutes by crowds who had availed themselves of the increased street railroad facilities (President Gideon having ordered a number of special cars on the 14th street road) to be present. Among the audience assembled our reporter noticed large numbers of our best citizens, who all seemed anxious to see the crack club of Washington prove victorious.

Source Washington Evening Star
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Quaker City grounds

Date Saturday, April 27, 1867
Text

The Quaker City, the new organization...appears to be progressing finely. They will present a good nine, headed by Pratt and Dockney, and will make a gallant struggle for local supremacy. They have a beautiful ground, the most convenient in the city, which has been put in admirable order, and is now being fitted up with fence, seats, club house, &c., at an expense of over $1,200.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Union ball grounds of Cincinnati

Date Saturday, March 9, 1867
Text

The best ground for cricket and base ball is, doubtless, the one rented conjointly by the Union Cricket club and Cincinnati Base Ball Club of the city of pork. It has an area of seven acres, is beautifully level, has a good turf, which in the heat of summer is watered from the reservoir, from which source also they are to flood it for a skating park in winter; the requisite pies and hose having been laid on for the purpose. The watering process enables them to keep the grass green and in a growing condition all summer. It adjoins Lincoln Park, and is reached in twenty minutes by horse cars from the Post Office, so that it is not only convenient but easy of access. They are having a most convenient house erected on the ground, having dressing rooms, bar room, private room for Harry Wright, (their esteemed professional, late of New York, and eldest son of the veteran Sam), and ladies’ room both up and down stairs. Verily the ballists of Cincinnati have reason to rejoice.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Union club's new grounds

Date Sunday, November 24, 1867
Text

The Union Club of Morrisania has made arrangements for an inclosed ground at Tremont, Westchester County, which are now being graded, and will be in first-class order by the opening of next season. The grounds leased by the club cover a space of ten acres. On a portion of the grounds will be erected a spacious saloon, dressing-rooms, etc., and etc., and the ball-field will accommodate nearly twice as many spectators as could be either into the Capitoline or Union grounds of Brooklyn. The location of the grounds is such as to be very conveniently reached. The horse cars from Harlem Bridge go direct the grounds, and the Tremont station of the Harlem steam cars is within two minutes walk of the ball-field. The enterprise of the Union club in securing these grounds will be amply repaid.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Union grounds; recycled seating

Date Sunday, May 19, 1867
Text

THE UNION GROUNDS, WILLIAMSBURGH. The proprietor of these grounds is doing everything in his power to make himself and his grounds popular. In addition to the accommodations provided last year, a large number of seats, purchased of the Mutual Club, are in process of removal from Hoboken to the grounds, and a cover stand will be erected for the members of the press in close proximity to the catcher’s position. The ground itself is perfectly level and beautifully laid out, and as a ball field it is without an equal. At all the grand matches to be played upon the Union grounds this year, the covered stands will be reserved for ladies–a provision which is justified by the increasing attendance of the fair sex at ball matches.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the argument to allow professionalism

Date Thursday, December 5, 1867
Text

We shall first present to our readers the argument in favor of changing the rules so as to allow a club to compensate any of their players for special services rendered, or, in other words, the reasons given for an amendment abolishing the restrictions prohibiting the services of professional players in match games. In the first place, the existing rules in reference to paid players in match games are mere dead letter laws, having no effect beyond that of leading to dishonest practices in disguising the method of compensating professionals of a nine. Secondly, we do not see anything more discreditable in paying a man for his services in a base ball match than there is in doing the same thing in cricket, and cricket professionals are, as a class, as honest as any that can be found–the Wright family, for instance. The most potent reason for the change, however, is that there is no rule that can be adopted that will prevent players from being paid, and the only question, therefore, is whether it is not better to make a law to regulate that which cannot be prevented, if legally prohibited, or to have rules on our statute books which are regularly violated season after season, thereby bringing all our rules into contempt.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ball grounds in Louisville

Date Thursday, July 25, 1867
Text

[National vs. Louisville 7/17/1867] The Nationals took the large stage provided for them and proceeded to the enclosed grounds at Cedar Hill, one of the most picturesque and well laid-out grounds in the country. The enclosure includes a swimming pool, bowling alleys, dancing rooms, groves for picnic, and a delightful place for summer out door sports and exercise generally. The feature of the grounds is the ball field. On this occasion the covered seats on the left of the catcher were occupied by as handsome and fashionable a delegation of Southern ladies as we ever saw at any out-door gathering in the South. All along the edge of the outer field, too, the seats placed under the cedar trees were occupied by ladies, outside of which circle were ranged dozens of carriages, the whole scene presenting a tout ensemble worthy the brush of an artist to delineate. On the right of the catcher there were rows of seats, too... On the trees outside the fence, too, the boys were gathered...

... The fact was made apparent, too, that the field, pretty as it is, and suitable for ordinary games, was not extensive enough for a match of this kind, the crowd being too close for one thing, while there was a lack of room for catching foul balls. The best thing the Louisville ball palyers can do is to secure an enclosure of their own, giving a level field of six or seven acres in extent. They would find the income would pay for the expense in less than a couple of years.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ball touched by an outsider; block ball

Date Saturday, May 25, 1867
Text

When a fair ball is hit, or when a ball is thrown from one player to another, the umpire should watch the ball, and see that it is neither stopped by the crowd nor handled by any one not engaged in the game; for in either case the ball must first be settled in the hands of the pitcher before it is again in play, and that, too, while he is standing within the lines of his position. Suppose, for instance, the striker hits a ball to third baseman, and he throws it wildly to the first base, and it goes by the base player and is stopped by the crowd, the ball cannot be fielded by the fielder who goes after it to the baseman, or to any other fielder, to put the player running his bases out, until it has been settled in the hands of the pitcher, and held by him while standing within the lines of his position. Also, when a ball passes the catcher and is in any manner stopped by the crowd, the ball cannot be used to put a player out until it is first held by the pitcher while he stands within the lines of his position.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baseball reporters of 1867

Date Thursday, June 13, 1867
Text

[describing the improvements to the Union Grounds] In view of the fact, however, that nearly every daily paper sends a competent short-hand reporter, the seats [reserved for the press] are not quite numerous enough, and we take this occasion to give the names of the regular reporters who attend the leading contests, viz: Messrs. Kelly, Gill, Ormsby, Taber, Warner, and Hudson, of the Herald, Times, World, Tribune and Eagle. Besides there are Messrs. Peverelly, of the News, Bull of the World; the reporter of the Union and Tribune, and the weekly sporting papers.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the bases in ice baseball

Date Saturday, January 26, 1867
Text

The base lines should be marked on the ice in the form of the letter T, the lines being six feet long and four inches wide. The first line, at first base, crosses the foul ball line at right angles, and extends three feet on each side of it. All a base runner has to do, when making the first base, is to cross this line; the moment he does so he makes his base, and he may either stop at the base or continue on, turning to the right, however, as he gradually returns and occupies the base. Should he skate outside the range of the line of six feet, placed on the ice at right angles with the line from first to second base–this line touching the end of the other base line–he is off his base, and can be put out in returning just as if he had his foot off the base on the field. The rule in making the other bases is the same. After crossing the line of the base, the base runner must turn to the right and return to his base as soon as he well can do so, without suddenly stopping, which he is not obliged to do. In running two or more bases, he must cross both lines at the base, as the second line must be crossed before he can make the next base.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the benefits of good umpiring; time of game

Date Sunday, May 19, 1867
Text

[Eurekas vs. Irvingtons 5/16/1867] The hum of satisfaction which emanated from the whole assemblage, when it was seen that the rules were to strictly enforced, was noteworthy, as showing the general desire which exists to witness the fine display of fielding a prompt enforcement of the new rules develops, and the additional interest good umpiring imparts to a contest. New York Sunday Mercury May 19, 1867

[Eurekas vs. Irvingtons 5/16/1867]The game was a lively and exciting one, and occupied but two hours and forty-five minutes. George Flanly, of the Excelsior Club, of Brooklyn, performed the duties of umpire in a correct and satisfactory manner. New York Sunday News May 19, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the benefits of twenty-five cent admission

Date Thursday, August 22, 1867
Text

We notice that the admission fee of twenty-five cents now charged for first-class matches on enclosed grounds is not relished by the masses, but by the respectable portion of the community it is regarded as a desirable improvement, as by means of the increased price hundreds of blackguard boys and roughs generally are kept out, while the respectable patrons of the game are afforded better opportunities for enjoying a contest. The character of the crowd kept off the Union Ball Grounds by the extra charge of twenty-five cents may be judged by the blasphemy and obscenity of the language used by the hooting assemblage which congregates on the outside and peep through the fence holes at the players. It is these juvenile roughs who have been the cause of half the disturbances at match games on free grounds, as we are glad to see that the increased tariff has been the means of keeping them off the enclosed ball grounds. In regard to the charge itself, it is the smallest fee demanded for any kind of amusement.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher playing too close to the batter

Date Sunday, October 6, 1867
Text

[Keystones vs. Excelsior 10/1/1867] The [Excelsiors] would have had a much better chance of winning if the catcher [Jewell] had kept farther back from the bat, for while the Keystones were not prevented by his close proximity from running the bases, several fly tips were missed, one striking Jewell directly in the throat. We counted no less than seven of these missed tips, which could have been easily taken by a catcher twenty feet back of the base, and a very different score would have been the result.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher responsible for stolen bases

Date Saturday, August 31, 1867
Text

Radcliff’s catching we have never seen excelled, but he lacks the ability to throw accurately and swiftly to bases, and player who are moderately sharp runners, can steal from first to third with impunity. In fact, in the game of Monday and Tuesday, 17 or 18 bases were stolen easily, and but one man–Martin–put out–and he did not start from first until Radcliff was about to lay hold of the ball. Philadelphia City Item August 31, 1867, quoting the N.Y.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the championship series carried over from previous year?

Date Tuesday, September 17, 1867
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 9/16/1867] Each club won a game of the other last season, and the winner of this one would therefore be champion.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the colored championship; vast condescension; early use of 'chin music'

Date Sunday, October 6, 1867
Text

[Excelsiors of Philadelphia vs. Uniques of Brooklyn 10/3/1867] The contest for the championship of the colored clubs, played on October 3, on the Satellite grounds, in Brooklyn, attracted the largest crowd of spectators seen on the grounds this season, half of whom were white people. The Philadelphians brought on a pretty rough crowd, one of them being arrested for insulting the reporters. They also refused to have a Brooklyn umpire, and insisted upon an incompetent fellow’s acting, whose decisions led to disputes in every inning. The Excelsiors took the lead from the start, and in the sixth inning led by a score of 37 to 24. But in the seventh inning the Brooklyn party pulled up and were rapidly gaining ground, when the Philadelphians refused to play further on account of darkness. A row then prevailed. New York Sunday Mercury October 6, 1867

The match between the Excelsiors, of Philadelphia, and the Uniques, of Brooklyn...proved to be about as interesting, amusing, and laughable, as anything we have seen this season. We have had the real thing now, and hereafter Tony Pastor and the minstrels will have to take a back seat, unless they were upon the grounds Thursday, and can improve on the display by the original article, which we very much doubt. ... The colored belles of both Philadelphia and Brooklyn were out in force, and enthusiastically applauded the efforts of their favorites. The backers of the nines followed the example of their white brethren, and invested their money freely on the results. We heard on enthusiastic “gomman” crying out “Ise bet nineteen dollars, and Ise got jus’ one more dollar to bet on the ‘Celsior Club.” The Umpire, Mr. Patterson, of the Bachelor Club, of Albany, was subjected to a fearful amount of chin music, and finally had to call upon the police to protect him from the players. One pugilistic darkey in the crowd called out to him when he was about to give a decision: “Youm say dat man am out, and I jis knock youm damn head off.” Players running the bases, unable to hear the decisions of the Umpire, were informed by their captain that, “Judgement says dat am out,” or “Judgment says dat am foul.” ... The game finally ended up about six o’clock in a regular row, the Umpire being carried off by the Quaker City “darkies,” who were then ahead, and feared to run the risk of playing another inning. New York Dispatch October 6, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the crowd throwing stones

Date Tuesday, June 18, 1867
Text

[Baltimore vs. Athletic 6/17/1867] The crowd of men on the field were very noise, many being disposed to be violent in their language. While the game was progressing small stones fell in the left field, rendering the Baltimoreans exceedingly nervous, and causing York to drop two easy flies. A strong police force was present but made no attempt to suppress the cowardly actions of the Philadelphia roughs.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the first game played on the home ground of the challenged party

Date Saturday, July 27, 1867
Text

[from a letter from the Quaker City club] As to our being invited, or challenged, by the Athletic Club, we can only say that no official communication has as yet reached us, nor has anything being a few mere personal propositions, and a manifest desire upon the part of the Athletics that we may challenge them, in order that they, as the challenged party, may have the first game played upon their grounds.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the grounds in Albany

Date Sunday, July 14, 1867
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Nationals of Albany 7/8/1867] [the Parade ground] The ground was not the best in the world for a good game. Although apparently level, it was filled with little ruts, and was withal so hard, the spikes of the ballshoes could scarcely scratch it. The field was of good length, but too narrow, as the streets run close to the first and third bases, and balls were continually batted over the fence, and thus, perhaps, debarred the players from making at times a better show both in the field and at the bat. ... Martin...swung the club and sent the ball bounding in lively style along the base-line to third, over the base-man’s head, and over the fence, by which, according to the rules of the ground, he could make but two bases.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the grounds in Brooklyn

Date Saturday, March 30, 1867
Text

There are three permanently inclosed ball-grounds in Brooklyn, viz: the Capitoline, Union, and Satellite, the former being the largest, and located near Fulton ave. on Nostrand ave., the Fulton ave. cars going direct to the grounds. The Union and Satellite adjoin each other in the Eastern District, Marcy ave. and Broadway bounding the eastern sides respectively. The Carroll Park grounds—vacant lots adjoining Carroll Park, South Brooklyn—is the locality at which the opening games of the season are played every year, the hard sandy soil of the lots admitting of play before the turfy fields are in condition elsewhere.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the journey to the Irvington grounds

Date Tuesday, August 6, 1867
Text

[Atlantic vs. Irvington 8/5/1867] A trip to Irvington is not one calculated to make a nervous man feel very pleasant. In the first place, ther eis the dusty ride from Jersey City in close and crowded cars, and the long and tedious ride by horse cars, where one is even lucky to get a toe-hold, a foothold as a general thing being unattainable. If it be p0ossible to get inside the car, you are compelled to bear the weight, in fact the concentrated weight of half a dozen who will lean on you. The return is by far the most tedious; everybody wants to get back at the same time, and every kind of vehicle is laden down to the imminent risk of the frail structures that run on four wheels in Jersey. Then the jam in the cars on the ride, the jostle on the ferry-boat, all conspire to make a man vow he will not again go to Irvington, but as often as a first class game takes place the same faces may be seen wearily wending their way to the grounds of the Irvington Club.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the junior nine of the Excelsior Club

Date Sunday, May 26, 1867
Text

The junior nine of the Excelsior Club of Brooklyn played their second match this season... [Note: Excelsiors pitcher was Cummings.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the midsummer lull; thirty days rule

Date Monday, July 8, 1867
Text

...the crack club of Newark, the Eurekas, have recently made some strong additions to their nine, and in consequence they propose waiting the expiration of the required 30 days before they again enter the arena with the champion nines.

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Irvington grounds

Date Sunday, May 12, 1867
Text

[Eurekas vs. Irvingtons 5/7/1867] The present ground of the Irvington Club does not seem to be much of an improvement upon the one they played upon last season. It is not level, running down from home base to first and second, and rising from there to third and home; it also is very uneven and very soft. With the best of case, it can never be made a good ball-ground. In match games, the odd are greatly in favor of the club owning and practicing upon the ground, and visiting clubs accustomed to playing upon perfectly level fields must necessarily labor under great disadvantages. ... the means of conveyance from Newark to the grounds were entirely inadequate to supply the demand, most of the spectators–some two or three thousand in number–having to return on foot, the railroad company providing only four or five cars. New York Dispatch May 12, 1867

The company owning the horse railroad to Irvington should make efforts to afford better accommodation to visitors than heretofore, or people will finally refuse to go to Irvington to see even a championship match. New York Dispatch June 2, 1867

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the newly enclosed Irvington grounds

Date Saturday, August 3, 1867
Text

The Irvington club have inclosed their ball ground, and in future will charge the same entrance fee as is exacted at the Union and Capitoline grounds. A special police force to keep down the rowdy element, and a covered stand for the scorers and reporters, will make the ground equal to the best in the country. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 3, 1867

The Irvingtons have lately made considerable improvements to their grounds, the field now being enclosed by a high fence, while a row of seats, back of the catcher’s position, have been erected for ladies, and single rows of seats to the right and left of the bases forming a boundary line. A still further improvement would be an enclosed stand for ladies exclusively, and single rows of seats close the fence all round the field. The more seats there are provided the better the order likely to be observed, for the crowd occupying seats will keep those of the assemblage from getting in front of them. Ball Players Chronicle August 8, 1867

This noted club is evidently determined to keep pace with the times. They have inclosed their ball field with a substantial board fence, and hereafter will charge an admission fee of ten cents to the grounds. They have erected seats for the accommodation of spectators, and in a short time will have all necessary buildings erected for the use of the public. A marked feature of the improvement is a covered desk for the reporters and scorers, which, when completed, will be a model affair of the kind. Now, if the soulless corporation that runs the single track railroad from Newark Irvington will only have gumption enough to put on a sufficient number of extra cars when there is an important match to be played on this ground, the patrons of the sport will rush Jerseyward in large numbers. New York Clipper August 10, 1867

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the old courtesies abandoned

Date Friday, September 27, 1867
Text

[probably Athletics vs. Atlantics 9/16/1867] [the Athletics at their hotel in Brooklyn]Not knowing what disposition was to be made of the boys, a little delay occurred in waiting the arrival of a messenger or committee from the Atlantics.No messenger or committee made their appearance;so the boys dressed, and procured conveyances to the field.We are not fault-finding;and if it is the Atlantic's way of returning courtesies, we have not a word to say.But the treatment of the frields of the Athletics we docomplain of.At every game the Atlantics have played on the Athletic's grounds, the best seats have been invariably reserved for their friends, and our ire has been excited more than once in noticing that the friends of the Atlantics, on these occasion, composed the scum of our population.But the friends accompanying our boys were charged admission—which also we do not complain of.We are glad that the rule has been established, and we hope it will be rigidlyobserved in the future with this club playing on our grounds.Unidentified Philadelphia newspaper, 1867? Athletic scrapbook, Hall of Fame

Complaint about the umpire not giving decisions until asked

[Trimountain vs. Eagle {of Boston?} 9/26/1867][The Eagles refuse to continue the game with the same umpire:]This is the second time within a few weeks that a game has been thrown up by one side who were displeased with the umpire, and we think that in almost any case like this the players are in the wrong.In this case the umpire was impartial, but it was certainly disagreeable not to have decisions made until they are called for, and as at the time when they took offense a player reached the third base from the first before he heard plainly that a ball was declared foul.

It is a failure of the umpire to carry out the rule which requires him to declare audibly and immediately without being calledupon all foul balls, and also to declare a man out without waiting for the decision to be called for.Boston Daily Advertiser September 27, 1867[Note:the rule requiring the umpire to declare all outs unasked was in force only in 1867.]

Source Boston Daily Advertiser
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the old courtesies in decline

Date Saturday, November 2, 1867
Text

The Excelsiors [of Brooklyn] were the first and only members of the fraternity who paid their respects to the visitors [the Nationals of Washington] on their arrival at the Astor House on the 20th.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the organizing of the Quaker City club

Date Sunday, February 24, 1867
Text

We noticed in our last that a party of experienced and first-class ball players were about organizing a new club, which will be made up of picked men, as follows:–Kleinfelder, of the Athletic; Pratt, of the Atlantic; Shane, Brown, Wallace, Weaver and Cuthbert, of the Keystone; Malone, of the Diamond State, of Wilmington, Delaware, and perhaps one from the Camden club. We were disposed to favor the organization of such a club, on the principle that “competition is the life of trade;’ but we understand that the great “D.B.” is to be the controlling spirit of the club, which fact is enough to, and will, damn any organization, political, social or otherwise, and we therefore wipe our hands of the whole affair. The Dead Beat, we learn, also, is running around and exerting himself to get players by promising them situations in the Post Office, and that one player was promised a certain sum of money, to be left for him at a certain place, if he would pass his word to play with the “new club.” Should the new organization elect as their presiding officer some respectable man, we shall give it al the aid we can in accordance with their deserts. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury February 24, 1867

This new organization, which has lately given rise to a great deal of gossip, held a meeting on Wednesday evening last, at the Humane Engine house, and a spirit of evinced, determining that the Quaker City should be in all respects a first-class, a No. 1 club. There was but one drawback in the formation of this club, which would probably have impeded its prosperity and growth, but as we learn the club is still inchoate, there is a hope that some live man may be chosen its chief executive. Tommy Pratt’s experience and reputation as a ball player guarantees that if the thing is possible the club will be an honor to our city. We have heard it said that Tommy will be off to Brooklyn ere the season is fairly opened. If any one feels disposed to make a wager on this contingency, they can be accommodated. Pratt is determined to play no longer with other than a Philadelphia club. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury March 10, 1867

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the parade ground in East New York

Date Thursday, September 5, 1867
Text

[Eagle of New York vs. Cypress of East New York 8/31/1867] The weather was splendid for ball play, and as the parade ground at East New York is large enough to have no less than four or even five matches played at once on the field, the Eagles found themselves in the midst of quite a lively party of ball players during the afternoon, three games going on at the same time, the greatest muffs of the three parties making the most noise as a matter of course.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the penalty for stepping forward while swinging

Date Thursday, August 29, 1867
Text

[Atlantic vs. Eckford 8/24/1867] [The umpire ruled] a ball hit by the strikers when making a step forward as a foul ball, and giving him out, when it was caught in fact of the fact that the ball never touched the ground at all but went from the bat direct to centre field and was there held on the fly.

This usurpation of the powers of the National Association by an umpire is something new in the history fo the game. On what grounds Mr. Martin bases his illegal decisions in these instances, we know not, but because rule 21 has no worded penalty attached to it, it neither follows that the umpire can amend the rule by introducing one or that he has the right to ignore the penalty which rule 40 inflicts for every infringement of the rules of the game. But especially is the calling of such a ball foul an erroneous penalty, as it conflicts with every rule in which a foul ball is referred to.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the proper penalty for the batter stepping over the line

Date Tuesday, September 3, 1867
Text

[Empire vs. Atlantic 9/2/1867] The marked point as to what a ball struck by stepping off the line shall be considered came up for decision in the game. The Umpire, Mr. Green, followed the example of Mr. Martin of the Mutuals in calling “foul ball,” rightly preferring this, which is a punishment to the batsman only, to the senseless decision of “no strike,” which is often a punishment to the fielders, as the batter might otherwise be out. But the punishment of “foul ball” is too severe, as the batter runs the risk of being caught out on a ball hit between the bases, without any chance of making his first. The proper decision undoubtedly is that first advocated in The Tribune of “One strike.” By this a proper modicum of punishment is inflicted, and it is strictly logical, as the batsman certainly has hit at the ball, yet has not hit it within the rules; consequently he has not hit it at all. In future we hope to see this decision universally made by umpires. Its correctness must commend it to every intelligent player.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the proper treatment of pickpockets

Date Sunday, July 7, 1867
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Irvingtons 7/2/1867] Not the slightest occurrence–with one exception–marred the harmony of the occasion, and the exception was the effort of a pickpocket to pursue his nefarious vocation–a sound thrashing first, and imprisonment afterward, being the result. If the fraternity would only make it a point of making ball matches too hot for these scoundrels, by giving each and all of them a sound thrashing whenever they attempt to practice their profession, they would stop the evil very soon; as pickpockets, indifferent to arrest as they be, don’t like rough handling by excited crowds.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reason for the new pitching rules; the state of the Athletics

Date Saturday, May 11, 1867
Text

The new rule for pitchers was introduced expressly to affect McBride, and others like him, who make B.B. merely a game of Pitching and Catching. In the Convention, the Athletics and all their friends voted against the innovation, because they thought it would injure them; but, as the law was passed over their heads, is it decent of them to refuse to recognize and obey it! Is not this perversity almost as bad as the questionable morality of cheating the Atlantics out of their share of the gate money last year. Why is it that more than two hundred gentlemen have withdrawn from the Athletics since last season? Is the old club to be destroyed?

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reason to favor batting average over slugging percentage

Date Thursday, September 5, 1867
Text

Our record of bases on hits includes only the number of time bases are made on hits, and not the number of bases made. We find by experience that while it is comparatively easy to record the number of times a batsman makes his base by his hit, it is very difficult to impartially record the number of bases made on hits, for the chances of errors increase very greatly after the batsman has made his first. For instance the batsman hits a grounder out of possible reach of the in-fielder, and it is stopped by an out-fielder, who cannot throw it well, and the batsman, without stopping, runs to second; now in once sense he has made two bases on his hit and yet he has but fairly earned one. This same rule especially applies to home runs, in fact there is not one run out of twenty, recorded as home runs, which are in fact fair bases earned by the bat. We have, therefore, concluded to record the number of times bases are made, in preference to the number of bases.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reporters

Date Tuesday, August 27, 1867
Text

[Mutual vs. National of Washington 8/26/1867] Off to the right was a number of tables for the accommodation of the reportorial fraternity, where were seated besides the representatives of the city press, Mr. Gill, of the New York Mercury, New York Times and New York Clipper; J. R. Young, of the New York Tribune; W.S. Hineline, of the New York Herald; and H.A. Dobson, of the Owego (N.Y.) Times.

Source Washington Evening Star
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The reporters' match

Date Thursday, September 12, 1867
Text

[the reporters to play in the upcoming game] [New York side] Lewis, ___, Taber, Brooklyn Union, Hudson, Brooklyn Eagle, Warner, N.Y. Tribune, Ormesby, N.Y.Word, Kelley, N.Y. Herald, McAuslan, Programme, Bull Express, Chadwick, Mercury, Scorer—Gill, of the Times. [Newark side] Scot, Journal, Crane, Advertiser, Smalley, Courier, Jackson, Special, Spencer, Advertiser, Thorn, Courier, Reeves, Advertiser, Conselyea, Special, Baldwin, Journal, Substitute—A.D. Foulwer, Special, Scorer—R.W. Gilder, Advertiser.

Source Newark Daily Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the shortstop playing deep

Date 1867
Text

Young Devyr played part of the season of 1867-68 in the Mutual Club as short stop, but failed to meet expectations, the short stops began playing deep field about that time, and as he was a short thrower playing inside of the base lines, he failed to improve and passed out of existence. "History of Baseball 1867" scrapbook Hall of Fame, in the Phonney Martin collection. Internal evidence supports that this is Martin’s work, c.

Source History of Baseball
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the size of the strike zone

Date Saturday, August 24, 1867
Text

[from answers to correspondents] The pitcher is obliged to deliver the ball over the home base and within legitimate reach of the batsman. If the latter wants a ball waist high, one to the shoulder or at the knee is not considered within legitimate reach; but if the pitcher delivers the ball within six inches of where it is called for, the batsman must strike at it, or the umpire would be justified in calling “one ball.” [sic: should be “one strike”]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The state of the Mutual club

Date Tuesday, April 16, 1867
Text

A present the [Mutual] club is in a most prosperous condition, numbering some 300 members, and their playing strength has yet to be seen. New York World April 16, 1867

yet more on called balls being dead

An inquirer from San Francisco desires to know whether a player running a base can make a base on a called ball, and offers the following example:–A player, for instance, has made his second-base and has started for his third, when the umpire calls “one ball”, or “two balls”. The question is, can the base-runner continue on, or is he obliged to return to his base? The answer of course is, that he can continue on and try to make the base. Players running bases are only required to return to the base they have left when a foul ball has been struck, or a flyball caught. The “Book of References” will be found a convenience in all such queries.

...

A man can run his bases on called balls, but only at the risk of being put out. He is not required to return to his base on a called ball. New York Sunday Mercury April 21, 1867

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Quaker City club

Date Saturday, May 18, 1867
Text

Under the able and most gentlemanly management of the President, Mr. William C. Ewing, the Quaker city club is increasing in power daily. New members pour in upon them, and the Treasury is in a comfortable condition of fullness. This club is determined to maintain an unimpassioned and genteel deportment on and off the field. The mere winning or losing of a game is to them of little moment. Certainly they would not lie and cheat to maintain their supremacy. Some other clubs may well emulate the Quaker City.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the tedious practice of the pitcher throwing to the bases

Date Sunday, June 16, 1867
Text

We, with all present, were disappointed at the tedious and uninteresting character of the contest, growing out of...the too frequent adoption of that played-out custom of throwing from the pitcher’s post to the bases, a habit which not only results in 100 wild throws to one man caught at the bases, but a custom which prolongs the game and helps to make it tedious and uninteresting.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire calling strikes and balls without proper prior warning

Date Thursday, July 4, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Irvingtons 6/28/67] Pike was the first striker on the Irvington side, and as a good ball came to him the first time and he failed to strike at it, the umpire called “one strike,” thereby giving an illegal decision. Both in regard to “strikes” and ‘called” balls, the umpire in a match can neither call a “strike” or a “ball” until he has first warned the pitcher...

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire favors the pitchers

Date Tuesday, October 15, 1867
Text

[Irvington vs. Atlantic 10/14/1867] The umpiring of Mr. Lowell was impartial, and notable for its distinctness of decision, but in calling strikes he was entirely too severe, while in calling balls he was as much too lenient.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire not calling balls

Date Sunday, July 7, 1867
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Irvingtons 7/2/1867] Up to this point [five innings played] the game had occupied two hours, the umpire allowing the two pitchers to send in ball after ball, which ought to have been called. With such a plain rule as that of Section 6 before them, we cannot conceive how umpires can be so lax as some are in properly interpreting it and strictly enforcing what the rule expressly requires them to do in so many words. New York Sunday Mercury July 7, 1867

[same game] The umpire, Mr. McKeller, of the Harlem Club, was the most silent man on the field, and kept his place while ball after ball was sent in the wildest kind of style, about as apt to hit the striker or go behind him, as over the base. New York Dispatch July 7, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the use of a courtesy runner

Date Thursday, July 25, 1867
Text

[Nationals vs. Buckeyes 7/16/1867] George [Wright] waited for a good length ball; and away he sent it “over the hills and far away” easily securing his second, or rather Smith did for him, George being rather too lame for active running.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the value of statistical analysis; pitching stats

Date Sunday, November 24, 1867
Text

The properly-prepared statistics of a season’s play of a club are not only interesting to each club, but are valuable in pointing out the weak points of play, and the best batsmen and fielders of a nine. Figures don’t lie, and they are infallible in giving the true criterion of a man’s play. A, for instance, may make a dashing show in one or two games, and be generally rated as a splendid batsman, while B, as one of the quiet plodders, who go on making small but steady scores in a game, may be set down as second-class; but the analysis at the end of the season finds A a third on the bat, while the undemonstrative B ranks as No. 1.

Especially is an analysis of the season’s play of the pitchers of the club important, and in this respect the statistics of balls called, and players retiring on strikes should be kept, and likewise the number of errors in the field in the way of missed catches, wild throws, muffed and passed balls; for these errors deduct from the list of failures ordinarily charged to pitchers. If the average of support in the field of a match shows, for instance, but 6 or 8 errors in a game and defeat is the result then the fielding may [sic: should be may not] be reasonably charged with weakness; but if the average of misplays reaches 15 or 20 in a game, then the fielding is to be looked to for the cause of defeat. In all these estimates the cause of a nine’s weakness will be discovered, and hence the value of these annual statistics.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

thirteen on a side

Date Sunday, April 28, 1867
Text

The Eclectic Club of New York, had a lively game upon their opening day at the Red House grounds, One Hundred and Sixth street and Second avenue. A. H. Wright was captain of one of the side, and George Taylor of the other, which consisted of thirteen players each.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Thomas Devyr reinstated to the Mutuals

Date Sunday, April 14, 1867
Text

[reporting the Mutuals’ annual meeting] Thomas Devyr, who was expelled from the Club in 1865 for being one among others accused of selling a game played with the Eckfords, has been unanimously re-elected, and will play as short stop this season. Mr. Devyr wrote a very penitential letter to the Club, acknowledging the fault he had committed and begging to be forgiven by his old associates. We think the club have acted not only kindly, but wisely, in readmitting Mr. Devyr to membership. He succumbed to temptation, he was punished, he acknowledged the justice of his punishment, and he has been forgiven. He will likely prove none the worse member for having once fallen from grace.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tie goes to the runner

Date Thursday, August 1, 1867
Text

We noticed that the umpire–who gave excellent decisions as a general thing, erred in giving men out on the base when the ball was held simultaneously with the player’s puttin ghis foot on the base. Now the rule in each case requires, that if the ball be not held before the player reaches the bases, the latter is not out.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

too much ball play

Date Sunday, June 23, 1867
Text

The following communication from a well known citizen is worthy of consideration:

PHILADELPHIA, June 19th, 1867,

Editors Sunday Mercury:–Gentlemen:–I appeal to you as the organ of base ball in this Commonwealth, to strive and induce our young men to seriously consider whether they have not other duties devolving upon them of more importance concerning the future than the indulgence of a love of base ball. When I began my business career, employers were loth to let the young men in their employ have one afternoon in the week. Now, very few young men think of asking permission of their employers to participate in or witness this pastime. When is this going to stop? I hear of raids through the country that contemplate several weeks’ absence. The young men in my employ converse about little else save base ball. They gather in knots, and for hours keep a lively, and it may be interesting conversation about the merits of players and clubs. In my family I have the same evil to complain of. My sons appear to have lost all interest in their studies; and the claims of the Athletic and Atlantic, and what the Mercury says, is the staple upon which prolonged arguments are based.

In am not in favor of denying young men a reasonable amount of recreation, but I think the matter of base ball is being run in the ground, and will result in serious injury to its votaries. I ask your assistance in calling upon the young men of this city to weight well the duties that devolve upon them, and to consider wether, by pursuing their present course, they will be fitted for the positions in life that sooner or later they must assume. Pardon the length of this communication; and may I not ask that you wield the influence you possess in endeavoring to inculcate in the minds of the young the considerations I have thrown out? W.W.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tricky tactics of the Atlantics

Date Friday, October 11, 1867
Text

The prowess of the Atlantics has been everywhere acknowledged, yet is not their escutcheon without a stain, for when the lion's skin was too short they have eked it out with the fox's, choosing to adopt the most tricky tactics rather than lose the laurels of victory.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

trying to explain a legal delivery

Date Saturday, February 23, 1867
Text

The rule in question, No. 7, states that “it shall be regarded as a throw if the arm be bent at the elbow at an angle from the body, “ &c., and further on it says, “A pitched ball is one delivered with the arm straight, and swinging perpendicularly and free from the body.” Now, this does not mean that the arm must literally be kept straight, or not bent at the elbow, in delivery, but only that it must not be so bent outward from the body, and to prevent this outward bend of the arm the word “perpendicularly” was introduced. Creighton pitched with a perfectly straight arm as far as the perpendicular line was concerned, but of course his arm was bent at the elbow in making the forward swing in delivery. A ball can be sent in at full speed with a straight arm, and with a straight arm no ball can possibly be thrown, and the main object of the amendment was to put a stop to the jerking and throwing style of delivery which prevailed to such an extent last season.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

twelve bases on balls in one game

Date Tuesday, August 20, 1867
Text

[Athletic vs. Union of Morrisania 8/19/1867] Pabor pitched wildly, having thirty-five balls called on him and no less than twelve bases were given on called balls.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

types of ball club members

Date Thursday, April 4, 1867
Text

Base Ball Clubs, with few exceptions, are organized in a similar manner. And not only are their offices and constitutions very similar, but even the members of every club may be divided into classes. The club is yet to be found whose list of members cannot be so divided. Having divided them into classes, we number them one, two, three and four. In class number one may be placed the first nine, or experts.

This class is the most prominent, because more frequently before the public. They seem to take the least interest of any in their club, and in ball matters generally. We have a faint suspicion that this is assumed for effect.

In class number two are placed the second rate players, always to be found on the ground on practice days, and every other, in fact. They are very ambitious to excel, and attain a position on the first nine, so as to rank as experts. This they will not acknowledge. They claim it is so as to be able to play on matches more frequently.

Class number three is the back bone of the club, the hard workers; they live for the club and the club alone. This is the class from which the officers are chosen. They are the life and the support of the club. Their purse strings are always untied for any demands of the club, and the time is never inopportune for them to do duty in its cause. They may be seen in all their glory at the assembling of the National Association of Base Ball Players. To this class the nation is indebted for a national game. They work earnestly and energetically without any hopes of popular applause, and are actuated solely by the pure interest they take in the game. Give them their meed of praise and let the players attend to their counsels, for they are not governed by selfish motives.

In the fourth and last class may be placed those members who take but little interest in ball playing. They joint through the influence of friends, already members; and also from the hopes of finding that pleasure and excitement that is to be found in such associations, and are willing to ope their purses pretty frequently for the benefits derived. Occasionally they play on a practice game or muffin match, but very seldom.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire keeping the game moving

Date Thursday, July 11, 1867
Text

[Eckfords vs. Mutuals 7/3/67] The game thus far [five innings] had occupied but fifty minutes, the umpire [C. Mills, of the Atlantic] keeping both parties to a strict observance of the rules, though we noticed that he made the same error in calling strikes and balls on the first ball delivered that he did in the Irvington match, he not having read the last number of the Chronicle apparently...

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire not giving bases on balls

Date Wednesday, May 8, 1867
Text

[Eureka vs. Irvington 5/7/1867] The pitchers of both clubs were very swift, and their whole idea seemed to be to endeavor to send them in as swiftly as possible, regardless of accuracy, and as the umpire never called three balls at any one time, the pitchers and batsmen took full advantage of his weakness. Brooklyn Eagle May 8, 1867

[Eureka vs. Irvington 5/16/1867] Owing to a judicious choice of Umpire, those who witnessed the match yesterday between the Irvington and Eureka clubs, witnessed a good game. It seems strange that the difference between umpire should have had such a marked effect. Mr. Flanly of the Excelsior club of Brooklyn, was chosen Umpire in this game. He called balls and strikes in quick succession until the pitchers and strikers found that he was not to be trifled with, when they endeavored to pitch regularly. Brooklyn Eagle May 17, 1867

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire's call on a fly out; proto-infield fly rule

Date Thursday, July 25, 1867
Text

[National vs. Louisville 7/17/1867] In the sixth innings a very peculiar double play was made by the Nationals, and the noise of the crowd cost the Louisvilles an out in this instance. It occurred in this way: L. Robinson was on his first when A. Robinson hit a high ball to Fox, who was playing at second... Fox held the ball on the fly, but in turning to throw it he dropped it. The umpire called out “out on the fly,” but the yells of the crowd were so deafening when Fox dropped it that L. Robinson did not hear the cry of the umpire, and seeing the ball dropped, ran for his second. Fox made no effort to pass the ball to Parker at second as he knew he had caught the ball, but leisurely passed it to Fletcher [the first baseman]. An appeal being made, the umpire called “time,” and stated to the Louisville players that he could not proceed unless better order was observed. ... If a fly ball is held if but for a second or two, unless it plainly rebounds from the hand, it should be considered a catch, and when an umpires sees a ball dropped purposely for a double play, he should decide the ball dropped as a fair catch.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

uncalled interference

Date Thursday, July 11, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Eckfords 7/3/1867] R. Hunt then took the bat and he hit a ball to Mills at third, which was well stopped, and accurately sent to Klein, who, with one foot on the base, and out of the way of the base-runner, received it, and would have held it had not Hunt purposely run up against him, thereby knocking the ball out of his hand. The action of Hunt was a clear infringement of rule 23, as the collision was entirely avoidable, and hence the obstruction was intentional. Had Hunt been given out, as was Pike at Irvington in the Eureka match for similar unfair play, the innings would have been closed...

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Unions vs. Atlantics in the judiciary committee

Date Sunday, October 27, 1867
Text

On this occasion the business of the evening was opened at 8 ½ o’clock by the Chairman of the Committee, who called the assemblage to order, and at the same time stated that the examination of the case, Atlantic vs. Union, would be resumed. The Atlantic Club was then called upon to produce the evidence of Mr. Shelley’s election as a member of the Eclectic Club, whereupon Mr. Wrights was called up to testify in regard to said election, and the minutes of the club were presented and read, from which it appeared that Mr. Shelley was duly elected a member of the Eclectic Club on the 20th of April, 1867, the by-laws of the club having been suspended for the purpose of an election at the date named. Mr. Glover also testified to the fact of Shelley, as a member of the Eclectic Club, having notified him to attend a match on the 26th of September with the [illegible] Club, a probationary member of the National Association, thereby showing that Shelley acted as a regular member of the club. Considerable discussion here ensued in regard to the admission of an affidavit of Dr. Bell as evidence; but it was finally agreed to admit the document, which was to the effect that Shelley acted as a regular member of the Eclectic Club, and therefore had no right to play in any match as a member of any other association club. This temporarily closed the testimony on behalf of the Atlantic; and on the part of the defence, Mr. Gifford submitted a point of objection to the evidence, on the ground that no protest had been entered by the Atlantic Club, at the time of the match, against Shelley’s playing in the Union nine, and that therefore the Atlantic Club could not legally bring the charge before the committee. This point the Committee refused to consider as objectionable, and the Union Club were again thrown upon some other sources of defence; and their counsel then claimed a dismissal of the case, on the grounds that, As Shelley had never been notified of his election, and had not paid dues to the Club, he was not, therefore, a member. In reply to this, a previous decision of the committee was quoted, wherein it appeared that in the case of the Americus and Neptune Clubs they had decided that inasmuch as the player referred to had played in the club after his election, and thereby had publicly announced his membership, that that alone was sufficient to make him such. Evidence was then adduced to the effect that Shelley was duly elected member of the Union Club on the 20th of July, 1867, as an exempt member of the Union Club, and a cross-examination elicited the fact that this class of members of the Union Club neither vote or hold office, nor pay initiation fees or dues, but can play in match games. The most important testimony given was that of Shelley, who stated that he was elected a member of the Union Club, and responded to the notification of election, and henceforth considered himself as such, and when solicited to “take a hand in” with the Eclectics in their games, did so as a member of the Union Club, and not as an Eclectic player. Some more testimony in regard to the case was then presented, after which the Committee decided that they would conclude the case next week. New York Sunday Mercury October 27, 1867 [see also Ball Players Chronicle 10/31/1867]

The Atlantic and Union case was resumed, and Dr. Bell was the first witness called by the defence, his testimony being to the effect that Shelley was elected a member of the Eclectic, in April, and as such member took part in the September games. He admitted the important fact, however, that Shelley had been proposed and elected without his having first consented to the same, but Shelley certainly consented to play after being informed that he had been so elected into the club; but this the Committee did not regard as important. After some further testimony in relation to the matter, the Committee went into secret session, and on a reopening of the doors rendered a decision in favor of the Union Club. The decision signed by Messrs. Bache, chairman, pro tem; Yates, Kelly, Colonel Moore, Herring, and Tassie, was as follows:

“That the Committee decide, upon the evidence submitted by Dr. Bell and others, after due deliberation, that Mr. Shelley is a member of the Union Club, and the charges against the Union Club are not sustained. That the Committee censure the officers of the Eclectic Club for loose management of their club affairs. They also censure Mr. Shelley for conduct unbecoming a member of any club of this Association, he having the knowledge of his membership in the Union Club, and playing as a member of the nine of the Eclectic Club.” New York Sunday Mercury November 3, 1867

Dr. Bell, of the Eclectic Club, testified in behalf of the Atlantics that Shelley was elected a member of the Eclectics on the 20th of April, 1867, and played in match games with them in September. The Doctor also said that he saw Shelley after the Active and Union game, and previous to the Atlantic match, and showed him a letter from Mr. Page, of the Actives, inquiring if Mr. Shelley was not a member of the Eclectics, and if he had not played in Eclectic games. Shelley replied that he would make it all right, and said: “I am the only one to blame in this matter, and will call upon Mr. Page and fix it up.” The Doctor also testified that Shelley asked him to put him in his nine on the day of the Fulton match, the 3d of September, under an assumed name, so that he would not be known. On cross-examination by Mr. Gifford, the Doctor stated that he proposed Mr. Shelley without his consent or knowledge, and in fact never saw him until about the 1st of September. Mr. Gifford also elicited the fact that the Eclectics were in the habit of electing members without their consent and without notifying them. Mr. Sterry, Secretary of the Union Club, testified that Shelley was regularly elected a member of his club on the 20th of July, and that he first played in a match game as a member of the Union nine on the 25th of the same month. On motion of Mr. Page, the Committee decided to strike out the testimony of Mr. Shelley, in consequence of his absence. The room was then cleared, and after a brief consultation, the doors were reopened, and Mr. Herring, the Chairman of the Committee, read their decision, which was as follows... New York Dispatch November 3, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

various actions of the Judiciary Committee

Date Sunday, October 6, 1867
Text

[among other actions, the Unions of Morrisania against the Mutuals for playing Devyr] Some members of the Committee, who apparently were rather loth to assume the responsibility of a decision, were in favor of laying the matter on the table, but Mr. Herring very properly urged a decision on one side or the other, and after a brief secret session...the following result was arrived at, viz: That the contests between the Mutual and Union Clubs were declared “null and void,” and of no account. After this case was settled, an informal charge was made by the Union club, through Mr. Ford, against the Olympic Club, of Washington, to the effect that the said club had attempted to bribe members of the Union Club to leave that organization. No notice having been sent to the Olympic Club to the effect that such charges would be made, the subject was dropped, and the committee adjourned. New York Sunday Mercury October 6, 1867 [This decision was later reversed by the convention: see PSM 12/15/1867.]

In the matter of the charge brought by Mr. Herring, of the Union Club, against the Mutuals, it was decided, after a lengthy argument, that the contests between these clubs in which Devyr played were null and void. This decision has caused much excitement in base ball circles, and the right of the Committee to render such a decision is seriously questioned. The whole subject will be brought before the next Convention for final adjudication. New York Dispatch October 6, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

what looks like a professional club

Date Thursday, June 20, 1867
Text

The Quaker City was organized this spring, and is made up of first-class players taken from Philadelphia and Brooklyn clubs; prominent among whom may be mentioned, Pratt and Chapman, of the Atlantics; Shane, Wallace, Brown and Malone, of the Keystones; and Donahue and Heubel, of other clubs.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

when to call balls and strikes

Date Thursday, July 18, 1867
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] Before balls are called on a pitcher, he must be warned by the umpire; but only one warning is necessary for each striker. If two balls are pitched unfairly, after such warning, then “one ball” should be called, and if after that, one unfair ball be delivered, then “two balls” and “three balls” should be called. A little latitude should be allowed in the first innings, but not afterwards. A pitcher “repeatedly” fails if he fails twice in success; and he “persists” in his unfair delivery if pitch one ball after the first penalty has been imposed. By the rule as amended the umpire is now obliged to call every ball a “ball” if it be delivered as above described. The only discretionary power he has in the matter, being in regard to balls “fairly for the striker,” this class of balls being left to the umpire’s judgment. (No “ball,” however, must be called unless the pitcher has first been warned., one warning for each striker being sufficient.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Zettlein adds a twist to his pitching

Date Saturday, September 21, 1867
Text

[Excelsior of Rochester vs. Atlantic 9/11/1867] “George the Charmer” laid himself out on his pitch, and with his new “twist,” somewhat bothered the “bakers.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger