Clippings:1868

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1868Clippings in 1868

Clippings in 1868 (290 entries)

Contents

'many' bases on balls

Date Saturday, June 6, 1868
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Buckeye 5/23/1868] Fisher pitched very swiftly, but seemed to have little control over the ball, and many of the Cincinnatis went to first on called balls. New York Clipper June 6, 1868 [umpire was from the Riverside Club of Portsmouth, Ohio; box score shows 7 Cincinnatis with bases on balls, 3 Buckeyes]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'club' nine vs. a 'picked' nine

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

The advantage the Atlantics possess over other professional clubs is their having a club nine and not merely a picked nine. The Atlantic players have a personal interest in their club as a club, apart from any pecuniary advantages they may derive from their connection with their organization, and this in itself is a valuable element of success, as it imparts a vigor, earnestness, and spirit into their efforts in play which no mere money interest can convey. This is the strong point several leading clubs of the country have lost sight of in the organization of their nines, and none more so than the Mutual Club.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'peculiar home base hit' bunt?

Date Saturday, October 31, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 10/26/1868] [Mills on first] Dockney, by one of those peculiar home base hits, sent Mills to second and made first himself...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baby grounder: a bunt?

Date Saturday, August 22, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 8/17/1868] Galvin then sent a “baby grounder” to right short which Smith [second baseman] picked up easily and passed to Start, putting Galvin out and leaving Pike at second.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball club of girls

Date Saturday, August 15, 1868
Text

At Peterboro, writes Mrs. Cady Stanton, there is a base ball club of girls. Nannie Miller, a grand-daughter of Gerrit Smith, is the captain, and handles the bat with a grace and strength worthy of notice. It was a pretty sight to see the girls with their white dresses and blue ribbons flying, in full possession of the public square, last Saturday afternoon, while the boys were quiet spectators of the scene., also NY Clipper 8/15/1868; see also NY Clipper 8/29/1868

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a base on balls after a 'considerable time'; a courtesy runner

Date 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] Wilkins now took the bat, having Berry to run for him.

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a batter now must take his turn or be out

Date Sunday, December 20, 1868
Text

The amendment putting a player out who fails to take his regular turn at the bat, unless for good cause, is a good one. Before, a captain had it in his power to play a point in a close game. For instance, suppose the opposing nine had played their last inning and had scored 20, and your nine had obtained 19, with two hands out and a man on the third base; and suppose that the striker whose turn it was at the bat was a poor one, and almost certain to bat out, and that the next one to him was a sure bat and just as certain to make a base, what was there to prevent the absence of the weak bat and the substitution of the strong one? Now, this point cannot be played. Another this, too; before, a player running the bases, if a poor runner, could get a man to run for him who was a better runner; now, this cannot be done.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for a slide

Date Sunday, July 12, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Excelsior of Rochester 6/29/1868] ...hope never forsook any of us, until Dick [McBride] hesitated in the last inning between second and third base, undecided whether to run back to second or to go on; and, mind you, there was a man on second. Dick’s hesitancy broke the camel’s back. Had he listened to “Cuthy,” and slid for his third, he would have got it. Had he run for it he would have made it.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called ball is still live

Date Saturday, August 22, 1868
Text

[from answers to correspondents] In a game of base ball a player was occupying third base; a ball was called by the umpire and not struck at by the striker; the player started to run home from third base, and was touched with the ball by the catcher between the bases without the ball having been first returned to the pitcher. Was the player thereby put out, or should not the called ball have been returned to the pitcher before it could be considered in play again? ... The player was out.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of hippodroming; and a retraction

Date Thursday, October 22, 1868
Text

The telegram sent by the Agent of the Associated Press at New York, eastward, last Monday night and published in the Boston dailies Tuesday morning, rather lets the cat out of the bag in regard to the victories of the celebrated Mutual Club last week. That the Mutual Club should in three successive games defeat three of the smartest clubs of the country, was an occurrence which le the knowing ones to surmise that a cat was concealed in the meal somewhere, and the aforesaid dispatch opens the bag, and shows th “animal” in plan view. Gate money is what is the matter, as the following dispatch will show:–

NEW YORK, Oct. 19. The champion base ball match between the Atlantic and Mutual clubs was to-day postponed until Monday next, there NOT being MONEY ENOUGH ON THE GROUND TO MAKE IT PROFITABLE.

Gentlemen of the Fraternity! Has it come to this, that a series of games cannot be played on the merits of the contesting clubs, but by an arrangement each club wins a game, and when the decisive contest is about to take place, is postpone, all because there are not enough paying spectators present to make it profitable to the Club who is to receive gate money. This is really a little too steep, gentlemen, and if this sort of thing is allowed to prevail good-bye to the reputation of our National Game for it is but a step farther and the crack clubs become mere tools in th hands of speculators and the betting fraternity. New England Base Ballist October 22, 1868

Our article last week in regard to the victories of the Mutual Club, of New York, did injustice to that club, as by later advices it appears that two of the three games won by them were obtained by their superior fielding and batting over clubs who previous to these contests were looked upon as much their superiors in both these specialties. There is an old adage that “appearances are deceitful,” and this was most certainly so in this instance, when first reports served to give the impression that there was something wrong in the games of the Mutuals with the Atlantics, Athletics and Unions. Such is not the case, however, and we congratulate the Mutuals upon their well-earned victories, which should be, and probably are, appreciated all the more from their very unexpectedness New England Base Ballist October 29, 1868 [A separate report in the same issue states the Union grounds were muddy from a morning rain on October 19. “Some parties in the city charged the postponement of the game on Monday to a desire for increased gate money, but I know that both nines were anxious to play, Cammeyer being the only man in favor of a postponement, except those of the players who were not in good trim, or who could not readily get off to play.”]

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a continuous seam ball; figure eight

Date Sunday, January 26, 1868
Text

Al. Reach has a new ball that promises to eclipse anything now in use. The ball in question is made with a continuous seam, and won’t rip. It is of Al.’s own getting up, and made under his personal supervision.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a credible claim to a thrown game

Date Saturday, September 26, 1868
Text

[Maryland vs. Enterprise of Baltimore 9/15/1868] [Maryland won 33-16] ...our Baltimore correspondent says:–“It is reported throughout the city that the game was sold by several members of the Enterprise Club to parties interested in the Maryland, but as yet nothing satisfactory has been proven, although your correspondent was informed by three of the Enterprise nine that various amounts, from $300 to $500, had been offered them the night previous by several parties interested in the other club. Some prominent players of the Enterprise are suspected, and an investigation is now getting on before the directors of the club, the result of which, will all papers and names, will be transmitted to you. Circumstances are very strong, and the belief is general throughout the city that members were bought. The whole transaction has brought base ball playing into bad repute here. As a matter of course, the Enterprise Club is completely disorganized, and they will not visit New York and Philadelphia as anticipated. Part of the bets on that game have been held over until the results of the investigation are known.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a criticism of the word 'ballist'

Date Thursday, August 27, 1868
Text

“The title ‘Ballist’ is a verbal atrocity and bastard, and ought never to be uttered or printed. New England Base Ballist August 27, 1868, quoting the Boston Post.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of professional athletes

Date Thursday, January 23, 1868
Text

...Ministers, Physicians and Lawyers who have earned their degrees and diplomas at College are professionals of the highest class, as are Editors, reporters, lecturers and actors, each and all of whom are professionally skilled in certain mental attributes, the results of natural ability trained to excellency by judicious education. The second class of professionals includes those who excel as Gymnasts, Equestrians, Acrobats, Pedestrians, Jockeys, Rowers, Cricketers, Billiardists, Ball Players, and of late years Skaters, all of whom may be as justly termed professionals as the former, the difference between them being that the one class excel as practical exponents of the highest degree of educated skill in mental attributes, while the other class are specimens of physical excellence, fully developed by thorough training.

As with the Lawyer or Physician, whose professional status is degraded by the actions of the pettifogger or quack, so it is with the professional athlete, whose reputation suffers from the class who lower their occupation by degrading association, dissipated habits, and too frequently dishonest practices. With the higher class of professionals whose working capital is based upon mental talent, the black sheep of the flock are the exception and not the rule. With those who excel in physical attributes, however, the contrary, unfortunately, is the case, and hence the term “professional,” which in the one case is an honor, in the other is too frequently applied as a title, almost the very reverse of honorable. How frequently do we hear the remark, “Oh, he’s only a professional,” applied to men who use God’s gifts of physical talent, in the place of the higher gifts of the mind, to earn their bread. Now this reproachful sentence is simply the result of the fact that the majority of those who excel in physical prowess or skill, are not men of moral habits or integrity of character, but a class to easily led into evil habits and degrading associations. We do not see the justice of making the minority of a class suffer for the evil practices of the majority, and therefore we enter our protest against the injustice of making this term “professional,” as applied to those excel naturally or by judicious training in any physical sport or exercise, one calculated to lower them in the estimation of the community.

...

It is in this connection that we regard the question of “professionals” in the ball playing fraternity, and hence our efforts to remove the stigma upon this class, applied by the rules of the National Association in their enactments against “professionals” as a class of players. Why should it necessarily follow that, because one ball player, out of a number who use their skill to earn money, is an ignorant fellow, vulgar in manners, low in language, and dishonest in his practices, all should be so? As well charge all doctors with being quacks, and all lawyers with being legal swindlers. On the contrary, it should be the object of the Association to give this class of players an incentive to honorable conduct, and not, by degrading the position, drive them into the arms of those whose whole efforts are used to secure recruits for the army of criminals which is rapidly overrunning the land.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a deliberately dropped third strike for a double play

Date Saturday, September 26, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs Union of Lansingburgh 9/17/1868] [McMahon on third, Dockney on second, Hunt on first] ..as Galvin went to the bat it looked as though the Mutuals were going to get a good send-off for the first innings; Galvin seemed bothered, however, by the novelty of facing the pitching of Bearman and struck twice ineffectually; as he struck at the ball for the third time and failed to hit it, Craver, who, as usual, was playing close behind the bat, dropped the ball and deliberately picking it up stepped on the home base and threw it to third; Abrams passed it to second, but not before Hunt, who ran from first, reached the base. This sharp feat of Craver’s was much applauded, and as the Mutuals came in from the field they seemed rather chop-fallen. The umpire, not having seen Craver touch the home plate, decided that Dockney and Hunt were the outs, when it should have been McMahon and Dockney.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a detailed claimed betting scheme

Date Thursday, September 17, 1868
Text

It is plainly evident now why the Atlantics were so badly whipped last Monday week by the Athletics. The Atlantics will take away the championship from the Unions by defeating them twice before the Athletics play them, and then if the Philadelphians want the championship, they will have to challenge the Atlatnics to a new series, as they have not defeated the Atlantics as champions; the Athletics having beaten the Atlantics so badly twice this year, the odds in betting circles will be nearly two to one in their favor on the first game of the new series. John Morrissey and the Brooklynites will fill their pockets for what they lost on the last game. John Morrissey would lose $20,000 when he knows he can make $100,000 the next time. It is disgraceful and mortifying to all true lovers of our national game to know that none of the first class contests in New York can be relied upon.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disagreement over when a foul ball is live

Date Sunday, November 1, 1868
Text

Rogers, editor of the New England Base Ballist, says if a foul ball be caught on the fly that it “must be returned to the pitcher, and he in his position,” before a player running the bases can be put out. Section 3 of Rule 4th says: “No run or base can be made on a foul ball. Such a ball she be considered dead and not in play until it shall first have been settled in the hands of the pitcher.” It will be seen, therefore, that it is not required of the pitcher to be in his position to take the ball after it has been hit “foul,” to place it again in play, and that Mr. Rogers is slightly in error.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over use of the field

Date Wednesday, July 29, 1868
Text

The Quill and Scissors and Sock and Buskin nines obtained permission from directors Chapman and Henry, of the Atlantic Club, to occupy the Union grounds on the occasion of their late game. One member of the Atlantic Club, or a person purporting to be a member, went to the ground and wanted to take possession of the field. Mr. Cammeyer, relying on the word of gentlemen in regard to the matter, refused to allow the person to take possession, and from that shabby circumstance arose the question as to where the Atlantics practice. The directors of the club have verified, over their signatures, the fact that they gave the newspaper nine permission to use the ground, and the miserable attempt to create ill feeling by using some insignificant member of the club as a tool has succeeded only in reverting to the discredit of the parties by whom the attempt was made.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dissenting opinion of Chadwick

Date Sunday, July 5, 1868
Text

We have not the space to day to take up on detail a few points Henry Chadwick has submitted for our consideration. We will say this much, that what he states concerning the Atlantic’s desire to get up a game in Chicago with the Athletics [where they were present simultaneously], is all “bosh.” He it was that proposed it, and when the matter was broached to the Athletics, on the authority of his newspaper chin, they hooted at the idea. There very frankly stated to all interrogatories, that the Atlantics had a challenge from them yet to be acted upon. He states the truth, though, when he alludes to the couple of thousand dollars the match would probably have netted. But the Athletics are not running a circus; they did not have a puff writer with them, puffing the concern in advance. The caravan was run for their won amusement and that of the many friends who came to witness honest, quare play. Chadwick cares as much about the Atlantics, as we do–which we are free to admit, does not amount to much. He will not hesitate to give prominence to any harpooning we may administer the Atlantics; and then commiserate with them over our naughtiness, laughing in his sleeve at their discomfiture. We will state further, that we have read and heard more from Henry, concerning this Atlantic and Athletic matter than we did during our entire cruise.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair foul

Date Saturday, August 22, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 8/17/1868] McMahon hit a short “fair foul” toward third, on which he made first..

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair foul into the crowd; arguing with the umpire

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Keystone 8/10/1868] Wilkins, by a hit to left, secured his first, sending Radcliff to third. Fisler hit in front of the plate, the ball bouncing out among the crowd, one of whom picked it up and threw it in. Fisler went to his first, Radcliff getting home, and Wilkins running to third. He was declared out by the Umpire, the pitcher fielding the ball to third, but as the pitcher was not in his position, Mr. Bomeisler revered his decision, and gave Wilkins his base, which did not please Mr. Flowers, who pulled off his belt and walked toward the club-house, declaring that he would not play longer. Mr. Bomeisler very promptly rebuked this action of Flowers by demanding that the Keystone substitute another player and the game go on. Flowers thought better of his conduct, and returned to the field. We have only to say to the Keystone Club, now that they are re-organized under an efficient leader, that we recommend, if Mr. Flowers attempts such a line of conduct again, to promptly expel him. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 16, 1868

umpires should not call “ball” too quickly

“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 on it. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 16, 1868

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair foul; bunt?

Date Saturday, September 26, 1868
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Mutual 9/18/1868] Goldie...took his second on one of those peculiar fair-foul hits that strike in front of the home plate and bound off onto the foul field.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fifty cent match in Cincinnati; ladies wearing club colors

Date Sunday, May 31, 1868
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Buckeye 5/23/1868] ...a close and exciting contest was anticipated, and, notwithstanding the admission fee to the grounds was raised to fifty cents, some six or seven thousand spectators were present, the ladies wearing the colors of their favorites, and taking a decided interest in the play throughout.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a freak accident

Date Sunday, November 8, 1868
Text

In the Union and Eckford match, Friday, Goldie, the crack first-baseman of the Unions, was obliged to go into the field on account of a disabled hand. The accident by which he was laid up was rather peculiar. In the last Union and Mutual match, a swift ball was struck to George Wright at short-stop. On its way the ball picked up a splinter; and, when Wright threw the ball to Goldie at first-base, the splinter went through his hand just below the base of the thumb. Nevertheless “Old Reliable” caught the ball, and put out his man; but since then he has been in no fit condition for play, as his hand is swelled badly, and he is threatened with lockjaw.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a home run over the fence 3

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] McDonald made a terrific hit to right field, which just touched the top of the fence and bounded over into Columbia avenue, and on which McDonald made a clean home run.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a jerk pitch

Date Saturday, September 5, 1868
Text

[Union of Lansingburgh vs. Mutual 8/26/1868] In the fourth innings Davis was sent in to pitch, Rus having been pretty well tired out. The Mutuals objected to Davis’ delivery, declaring it a “jerk,” and the umpire sustaining them in the appeal Davis retired and Rus resumed his position. New York Clipper September 5, 1868

[Union of Lansingburgh vs. Atlantic 8/27/1868] Davis, who was ruled out of the Mutual match because the umpire said he delivered the ball with a “jerk,” was not objected to by the Atlantics, and pitched all through the game. New York Clipper September 5, 1868

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a lager saloon at the Athletics ground?

Date Saturday, August 1, 1868
Text

We hope Mr. Joseph Fraley Smith, President of the Athletics, will prevent the establishment of a Lager Beer Saloon on the ground of the club. Such an institution will do much to demoralize the club and the game, and will prevent ladies and gentlemen from visiting the enclosure. We don’t object to lager, but a ball ground is not the place to sell it. Philadelphia City Item August 1, 1868

the Atlantics cut of the gate, renege on a game

... On the 18th of July, by the letter of their [the Atlantics] Corresponding Secretary, they positively agreed to play the Excelsiors, of Rochester, on the 28th, remarking; “It is customary with the club to receive fifty per cent of the gross proceeds of a match.”

To this an answer was returned immediately by the Excelsiors, accepting the challenge on the terms proposed. They did not say to the Excelsiors, however, that, doubting the integrity and honesty of other clubs, now that their own reputation was becoming so questionable, they in Syracuse (a plan which they undoubtedly adopt in other places) stationed one of their number at the gate to count the tickets, that they might be assured the ticket sellers returned the right amount of funds received. However this may be, upon the strength of the positive arrangements made by the correspondence above referred to, the members of the Excelsior Club have been to a good deal of expense to prepare for the match, and were greatly surprised on Saturday to receive the following very cool dispatch:

BROOKLYN, N.Y., July 25.

To John. W. Gothout, Secretary Excelsior Base Ball Club:

We have two matches here next week. Have made no arrangements to play you there on Tuesday.

Signed, J. C. CHAPMAN, Director.

Now there can be but one explanation for such conduct; either the club is afraid to meet the Rochester and Buffalo boys, or else they have transformed themselves from a first-class ball club into a second-class hippodrome, and are only willing to play at such places where the gate money promised to be abundant. If the former, they should certainly be dropped from the national Association; and if the latter, they are unworthy the fellowship of first-class clubs, and should be ignored by the public generally. New York Dispatch August 2, 1868, quoting the Auburn Morning News July 28, 1868

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a last minute change of venue from Tremont better drainage

Date Thursday, August 6, 1868
Text

[Trimountains vs. Gramercy 9/21/1868] Both clubs took the cars at the Harlem Depot for Tremont, the new grounds of the Unions had been selected for the match, owing to the rain however, the ground was quite wet, and it was finally decided to go to Melrose, and play on the Unions old grounds...

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a legitimate dropped third strike

Date Saturday, October 3, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 10/21/1868] Hunt, Jewett and Devyr scored, the latter coming home on three strikes by Kelly, Radcliff [catcher] letting the last ball go by him; Swandel left Kelly on second base by hitting high to centre field, which Sensenderfer [center fielder] attended to.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a literary and pictorial depiction of a slide

Date 1868
Text

The snow was now beginning to fall thicker, nearly blinding Rice, as he took the bat, and the very first ball seeming pretty good, he gave it as hard a knock as he knew how, and ran. But he had miscalculated the twist, and the ball fell very near the short stop, making an easy throw into first base. Nothing but Rice’s matchless fleetness of foot saved him; he hurled himself at full length on the base, just as the ball was received from the short stop by Riley... Changing Base; or, What Edward Rice Learnt at School, pp. 164-165. William Everett. Lee and Shepherd, Boston. 1869 [copyright 1868] [an engraved illustration from Changing Base by William Everett, published 1868, showing the runner on the ground on his stomach, and a baseman standing over him holding the ball, with the caption “Rice makes his Base.”]

Source Changing Base by William Everett
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a match between two professional nines; the ideology of professionalism

Date Sunday, April 26, 1868
Text

Nearly a thousand people paid the 25c. admission-fee to the Capitoline grounds, on April 23, to witness a game played between two professional nines of New York and Brooklyn...

The game on Thursday last week was appointed to be played between nines–most, if not all, professional players–from the Mutual, Union, and Active Clubs, of New York, and the Atlantic, Eckford, and Star Clubs, of Brooklyn. The catcher and pitcher of the Active Club, however, failed to put in an appearance; and consequently it came to pass that the Mutual and Union Clubs had to face the Brooklyn music by themselves, while on the other hand the Brooklyn nine was strengthened by the addition of the finest player in the Excelsior Club–who, by-the-way, is an amateur player... By-the-way, these games are for the individual benefit of professional players; and none other should take part in them. If leading amateurs are desirous of playing, let them get up a picked nine of their own class and not keep those in need of the pecuniary assistance the games render from earning an honest penny by their skill as players. No admirer of the game begrudges a quarter to witness two hours of such interesting play as even this game afforded; and when a game of the kind is played in the friendly spirit this was, and marked by such excellent decorum throughout, the professionals may be sure of receiving the countenance and patronage of the best class of spectators, as such patronage is placing the professionals in a position likely to make them independent of rings and gambling influences, and this is the great temptation this class of players is subject to. Now is the time to get up these games; and if they are properly managed and marked by the good order and regulations this one was, they will soon become popular. The success of this experiment, by-the-way, and that is what it was, establishes the precedent of a charge of twenty-five cents as the admission-fee for first class games, whether contestants be club-nines or picked nines. New York Sunday Mercury April 26, 1868

This match was arranged for the pecuniary benefit of the two nines who took part in it. It was in this respect an experiment, and as such it was an undoubted success. It was publicly announced that a grand match would take place between the noted players of the principal clubs of Brooklyn and New York, and though among the last-named were several amateurs, it was well known that the majority had adopted base ball as a means of earning a livelihood, and had therefore become professional ball players. As this was plainly apparent, and in view of the fact that twenty-five cents admission was charged, it was equally plain that the object of the match was to earn money, the proposed contest became a test game whereby it was to be ascertained how far the public would go in patronizing an affair of this kind, and by patronizing it, of course, endorsing the system of professional ball playing; and, inasmuch as nearly a thousand spectators were congregated on the ground at the cost of a quarter of a dollar admission fee, that alone was proof of the approval of the system, and hence we may set it down as a fact that two classes of ball players have been practically created, viz., professionals and amateurs, the former being those who play for money or place, and the latter those only who play the game of the healthful exercise and the exciting recreation it affords. American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes April 30, 1868

Seventeen of the players who took part in the contest New York vs. Brooklyn, on the Capitoline grounds, on the 23d of April, accepted the sum of $6.50 each as their share of the game money, thus stamping themselves as professional ball players. The odd man and the only one refusing to receive any compensation was Mr. Chauncey, of the Excelsior Club. We do not write this as condemning professional players, as a person who gives up his entire time to the interests of the game must of course be paid for it, but only to show who may and who may not be considered as professionals. New York Dispatch May 3, 1868

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a match game postponed due to the weakened stated on one side

Date Sunday, July 26, 1868
Text

The match game between the Harvard and Lowell clubs, set for the 17th inst., did not come off. Both parties appeared on the ground at the appointed hour, the Harvards with their full nine, and the Lowells with Lovett, Sumner and Alline, who were sick, their places being filled by Lowell, Conant and Dennison. The Harvards, learning of this state of affairs, very generously refused to play a match game, but not to disappoint the large number of spectators, decided to play a practice game... At a meeting of the Lowell Club held the following evening, the following preamble and resolution was unanimously adopted... Resolved, That the Lowell Club desire to express their sincere thanks to the Harvard Club for this polite and gentlemanly act, and assure them it is fully appreciated.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a member of a contesting club declines to serve as umpire

Date Saturday, June 13, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Allegheny 6/2/1868] The Allegheny boys were anxious to have either Harry Graffen or Hayhurst for umpire, but both being members of the Athletic, that was ruled an impossibility. The Allegheny boys strenouously endeavored to carry their point, but Hayhurst was resolved, and could not be made to “see it,” just as it was hoped he would. A good, impartial umpire, one posted in the rules and points of the game, like Bomeisler, Graffen or Hayhurst, would prove of immense service to the Pittsburgh clubs at just this poin in their history. It is probable, though, that in any important matches they may have arranged as to the future, they will secure the services of one of the above professors. Henry Arden, of the Cincinnati Club, was finally prevailed upon to act, and did so satisfactorily to both parties.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a new method of keeping statistics

Date Sunday, March 29, 1868
Text

The season of 1867 will be the last by which our leading clubs will make up their averages from the scores of outs and runs. The new system of scoring, introduced by Mr. Chadwick, will give correct information for an estimate of averages on the number of times bases are made on clear hits, not by errors of fielding; and this, and the number of bases on hits, will be the basis of the averages for 1868. The close of the season of 1868 will therefore see, for the first time, the true estimate of a batsman’s skill shown in the figures of the seasons’ averages.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a one-handed running catch

Date Saturday, June 13, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Allegheny 6/2/1868] On Brossey’s bat Sensy captured a ball with one hand that he was compelled to chase to secure. This exploit made him a favorite with the spectators, who applauded him vociferously.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a plea for a simpler vocabulary

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

The editor of the Cincinnati Commercial, who has been reading the report of a base ball match, and gave it up, says: “between muffs, grounders, flies, stingers, daisy cutters, corkers, hot and high bounders and whitewashes, we came to as clear a comprehension of the game as though the report was written in hieroglyphics and recorded upon the Loretta [sic] stone.” He appeals to the fraternity, in conclusion, as follows:

“Gentlemen, gentlemen! If this thing goes on, to what amazing dimensions will the next edition of Webster’s Unabridged be swollen in the effort to define all known words employed by the English tongue. Spare the coming generations. Make one effort to give an intelligible account of your interesting game, that will not require a glossary of terms and an amount of painful study equal to the translation of a page of Sophocles. The antiquarian of the twenty-first century should be considerately thought of. When he digs out of the dust of centuries a file of the Commercial of the year 1868, and comes upon the account of the great match game of base ball between the Red Stockings, of Cincinnati, and the Union Club, of Morrisania, imagine his perplexity and despair as he attempts to make it intelligible to his generation–and be merciful.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a poor second baseman and the stealing game

Date Saturday, August 1, 1868
Text

[Yale vs. Eckford 7/21/1868] Patterson, at second, was about the only weak spot in the [Eckford] nine. When a ball was thrown to him by the catcher to cut off a player running from first he was sure to let the ball go by him unless it came right into his hands.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a possible presidential candidate and the Athletics

Date Sunday, June 14, 1868
Text

[the Athletics seeing the sights in Cincinnati:] One of the places visited was the residence of Mr. Pendleton, who is looming up so prominently in connection with the Presidency. He was not at home, however, which was a disappointment to some of them. His excellent lady received them, and entertained them so agreeably that, should her husband be the choice of his party for the high office for which he is named, I am inclined to think one or two of the boys would poll for him in remembrance of his wife’s courtesy. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury June 14, 1868 [George H. Pendleton was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 1864 under George McClellan.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pre-modern use of 'struck out'

Date Saturday, September 12, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] Both clubs were nervous and uncertain up to the sixth inning, when the Athletics went in pluckily, struck out resolutely from the shoulder, and stopped not until they had scored 14 runs.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a present to Jack Chapman

Date Thursday, September 3, 1868
Text

Chapman received a present of $100 from some of the betting men, who won on the Atlantic match, for his fine catch by which the game was ended.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for reserved seating

Date Sunday, August 23, 1868
Text

Editors Sunday Mercury:–Being desirous of attending the base ball match between the Athletic and Atlantic, on the 31st inst, and not being able to leave my office until one o’clock, noon, the chances are slim of my obtaining a view of the game. I would suggest that Messrs. Berry and Cuthbert, having the refreshment saloon this season, and having seats on the top, rent them out as secured, say two or three dollars each, so that a person can depend on a good view on arriving at the ground. If you would propose such a thing through your valuable paper, I have no doubt but Messrs. B. and C. would gladly acquiesce; they, of course, numbering the seats and notifying the public through your paper. By giving this your attention, you will greatly oblige A SUBSCRIBER.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed baseball and cricket grounds on the Paterson Race Course

Date Saturday, May 2, 1868
Text

[Discussing the new management of the Paterson Race Course] Another feature of sport will also be offered by the new management. It is contemplated to lay out in the centre of the enclosure base ball and cricket grounds that can be used by the various clubs of the country both for matches and for practice. Dr. Underwood, the well known pool seller, will be the business manager of the concern.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed rule amendment on runners advancing on bases on balls

Date Sunday, November 8, 1868
Text

[A correspondent writes:] As the rule now reads, not only is the striker permitted to take his base on ‘called balls’, but also a base is given to every man on bases.

I think the rule should be so amended as that no one but the striker should take his base; and, in case there is a player on first base, then, and only then, should the man on base be permitted to take a base. In other words, the bases should only be given to those players who are obliged to vacate their base by reason oft he base being given to the striker by ‘called ball’.

Then the only case in which a run could be scored on account of ‘called balls’, would be when there were three men on bases.

I may be met, however, by the objection that inasmuch as it was the fault of the pitcher in not delivering the ball so that it could be struck, the base is given the same as if the ball was struck so as to give the striker his first base.

In answer to this, I would reply that the evident intention of the rule was merely to give the striker his base, and any other player his, only when he was forced off by reason of the striker taking his base on ‘called ball’. It is manifestly unjust to permit a player to take third-base when there is no one on first-base, or to allow a player on third-base to score a run when there is no one on second-base.

It is a sufficient punishment to a pitcher to give the striker his base on ‘called balls’ without adding the additional penalty of allowing a player to score his run on a supposed hit, which, had the ball been hit, would possibly have put the striker out, or at least, prevent the player from scoring.

I think if the delegates to the convention will consider this rule, they will make a move to have it modified.

“HARVARD.”

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proto-old-timers game

Date Saturday, September 12, 1868
Text

[Knickerbocker vs. Excelsior 9/1/1868] [ten on a side] It was not a first nine game, neither was it a second nine contest; it was a meeting between the veterans of the two clubs, and, as will be seen by the names in the subjoined score, quite a number of the old boys were on hand. Old Joe Leggett, once the famous catcher of the Excelsiors, captained his side in masterly style.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a resume of the Athletics history

Date Sunday, February 16, 1868
Text

The Athletic Club has probably done more than any other leading club now in existence to extend the popularity of the game by visiting country-towns year after year, certainly, so far as Pennsylvania and the several adjoining states are concerned. The good it accomplished in this respect, however, was in days gone by, when it was under very different auspices than it has been within the past two or three years. In fact, there is no questioning the truth of the statement that the Athletic Club owes its good name and fame to the energetic and liberal management of its old presiding officer, Col. Thomas Fitzgerald.

The Colonel talked a good deal about his pet club, to be sure, when he was running the machine, as others have done since he left; but his successors, unlike him, have done nothing but talk. With him there was liberality and hospitality. He talked big, to be sure, but he acted big. When a club became the guests of the Athletics under the Fitzgerald regime, they were liberally treated; and if a Convention of ballplayers had been held in the Quaker City when he was the controlling power of the club, every delegate in the Convention would not only have returned home impressed with the liberality of the people of the city of Brotherly Love, in general, but especially with the generous hospitality of the Athletics in particular. But the powers that have held sway since the Colonel retired–Fitzgerald, we mean, and no more–have [illegible] the club’s name for liberality; and allowed its nine to become, in a measure, the mere tools of the “ring masters” of the Quaker City. This evil will, however, eventually work its own cure; and we hope this season will see the Athletics, as of old, as noted for playing every game as much to promote the popularity of the sport, as they were for their skill as players. New York Sunday Mercury February 16, 1868

division in the Mutual Club, and the temptations of gate receipts

THE MUTUAL CLUB.–This crack playing-club of New York are at present considerably exercised among themselves in regard to the policy to be pursued by the club this coming season. A large number of the oldest and best members of the club are in favor of a return to the good old times when the Mutuals used to play at Hoboken more for sport than anything else; while, on the other hand, a class of the club are in favor of the gate-money policy, bit matches, large crowds, exciting items, plenty of cash receipts at the gate, and precious little fun except to the small minority of the club. Which of the two parties will prevail and govern the club we cannot say; but probably both will have their way, and a division be the result. In regard to the gate-money question, it is not that a club brings discredit upon itself by being the recipient simply of a share of the receipts at the gate, so much as it is that the system offers such temptation for getting up bogus matches, and for losing games for purposes of giving advantage to parties who bet high on a particular club’s winning. Besides, this gate-money system was so worked last yea as to make every club liable to suspicion of unfair play which was known to enter into it largely. If a club were to play the same fair and square games under the gate-money system that they used to do under the old style of tings, it would not matter; but experience has shown that they do no do so as a general thing. For instance, an exciting series of games is arranged between two crack clubs, and one wins the first game, and also have all the chances in their hands to win the second, with the odds in the betting-market largely in their favor. Now just see what temptation lies in their way to induce the winning party to lose the game, either by willful misplay, or by going into a match in a condition almost to insure defeat. The simple fact is, that they gain a heavy amount of stamps by betting against their own club, which has the odds in its favor, and they have another game–and the most exciting contest of the three–to reap a large amount of gate-money from; all of which would be lost if they were to win the second game, and thereby end the match. Of course, the credit of winning counts as nothing when so much money is in the way, and defeat becomes pecuniarily profitable. It is this temptation which is the evil of the gate-money system; and when men are found unscrupulous enough to aid clubs to thus bring discredit upon themselves and the game, by countenancing such arrangements for a share of the profits, it is no wonder that baseball begins to be regarded as [a] disgraceful occupation. That clubs can play on the square, and be the recipients of gate-money, we know for a fact. But others, again, cannot resist the temptations to enter the “Hippodrome” arrangements which the system admits of. Knowing this, many of the best members of the fraternity are beginning to frown upon the system; and, hence the efforts in the Mutual club to get the club back to Hoboken and the good old times of fun, frolic, and exercise which prevailed when gate-money arrangements were unknown. New York Sunday Mercury February 16, 1868

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a scoreboard at the Capitoline grounds

Date Thursday, March 19, 1868
Text

[The Capitoline Grounds] will have a find stand for reporters, and a special place adjoining for the two scorers, and will also use one of Wright’s base ball telegraphs for giving the state of the score at the close of each innings.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a temporary substitute for a tardy player

Date Saturday, October 17, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Union of Morrisania 10/6/1868] Some time was lost in waiting for one of the Union nine, but finally Bellam took Smith’s place temporarily, and a little after 3 o’clock the game commenced.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a victory of an amateur over a professional nine

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

[Active vs. Mutual 8/10/1868] This victory of an amateur nine over a professional one is noteworthy.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

adjustments to the pitching delivery

Date Sunday, August 30, 1868
Text

McBride has recovered the old swing, and he delivers the ball after his former fashion. The trouble, it appears, was in the step; since Dick has discovered where the difficulty lay, he has regained his appetite and spirits, and the world looks like it once did.

...

Elias Cope’s pitching we noticed, on a recent match in this city, was not near so effective as “it once was.” He can regain his old delivery, if he will, like McBride, cease taking the step. Try it, Elias.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

admission price in Cleveland

Date Saturday, June 27, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Railway Union of Cleveland 6/17/1868] ...not less than three thousand persons were on the ground, notwithstanding the high price of admission, gentlemen fifty cents, ladies twenty-five cents.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advice in selecting an umpire

Date Sunday, June 14, 1868
Text

In selecting an umpire, be careful not to choose a man who wishes you bad luck, or who has remarked of a previous game, that had he been umpire your club would have been defeated.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early bunter?

Date Thursday, October 29, 1868
Text

[Trimountain vs. Harvard 10/27/1868] [second inning] Record hit a short one in front of the plate, made his first, Bush [the catcher] throwing to third over Smith’s head to catch Crosby, who was quite a distance from that base, Crosby coming home.

...

[sixth inning] Putnam went out on a fly caught by Soule, Crosby sent a short one to centre field, making his first and sending O’Brien to second. Kelly a hit short one in front of home plate bringing O’Brien to third, and Crosby to second. Record gave another of his “little ones” in front of plate, O’Brien scoring his run.

...

[seventh inning] Willard hit an easy one “a la Record” made his first stole around to home base, making his run. ... Record hit a short one on home plate making first, Kelly coming home. New England Base Ballist October 29, 1868

[see also NEBB 10/15/1868 for Record’s first game with the Trimountains, including “Record hit a short one to Bearman [the pitcher] and made the first.” NEBB 10/01/1868 Record with Archon of Stoughton, a junior club; Linfield of Trimountain umpire]

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early example of fence advertising billboards

Date Sunday, May 17, 1868
Text

We passed the grounds of the Allegheny Club, Allegheny City, yesterday. The field looked very pretty. Some enterprising chap has taken advantage of the fence behind the catcher to cover it with advertisements. A good idea. What are you about, Reach?

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early hint of Chadwick as 'father of baseball'

Date Sunday, July 12, 1868
Text

[from an editorial by Charles Graffen, preparing to criticize Chadwick by name:] Please understand that I am forced into a position I should have avoided but for your action. Understand, also, that I am not the father of the game, neither am I its great defender. I am simply a votary, and so subscribe myself.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early sacrifice?

Date Sunday, September 13, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Union of Morrisania 9/10/1868] Pearce sent Fergy home by a hit between the pitcher and third base which Pabor [pitcher] got and threw home to but off Fergy, but Birdsall [catcher] didn’t see it.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early shift; how to score it

Date Saturday, September 5, 1868
Text

[from answers to correspondents] In the club contesting there was a left-hand striker. When this striker took the bat the players changed positions, the short stop taking the second base, the second baseman the right field outside the square. The third baseman played behind the pitcher and also the third base. One party bets the third baseman played short stop at the time the left hand striker was at the bat, and the other party claims the short stop did not, by changing his position from the usual position, forfeit his claim as short stop for the time being. Now the question is this–was the short stop, while playing second base, short stop? And if not, who was? ... As you state the case, the third baseman was playing short stop.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an open criticism of Chadwick; his rebuttal

Date Thursday, November 5, 1868
Text

The Chronicle failed to succeed from the unpopularity of its editor and not from any want of enterprise on the part of its proprietors. This fact is so well known among the fraternity that the knowing ones are predicting the early decease of Rogers’ paper [the New England Base Ballist], of which “Old Chalk” is the New York Correspondent. As Chad treats the New Englanders to a weekly rehash of his Mercury-Union articles, we have no fears on that account, however. New England Base Ballist November 5, 1868, quoting the New York Sunday News.

That paper [the Chronicle] was started in June 1867, on a very limited capital, and late, too, in the season for an enterprise of this kind; but yet within three months from the day of its first issue it was paying its expenses, a noteworthy success in the history of the progress of journalism. During the winter of 1867-8, the outlay incurred in publishing the paper was of course greatly in excess of its receipts, but it was anticipated that the increased circulation of 1868 would offset this expenditure. Up to July 30th, 1868, this did not prove to be the case, for though the Chronicle had steadily increased its list of subscribers, and also its general circulation up to the above period, the receipts were not sufficiently in excess of the expenses to make up for the previous winter’s deficits, and as the gentleman who had advanced the capital for the enterprise refused further supplies, and as no one could be found to take his place, the paper necessarily had to be suspended for lack of funds to publish it, just at the very time, too, when it was obtaining a foothold for a permanent existence. New England Base Ballist November 19, 1868 [from a piece signed “H. Chadwick, Editor of the ‘New York Sunday Mercury.’”]

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an outsider calling out and not-out; ruffian assault

Date Saturday, September 19, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Irvington 9/11/1868] The game was conducted in the most friendly spirit as between the players, but we regret to record a most disgraceful scene which took place on the way to New York. It originated in an attempt on the part of a drunken rowdy from Newark calling “out” and “not out” during the progress of the game. When remonstrated by Mike Henry, an insulting answer was returned and a belligerent attitude assumed. Mike knocked the fellow down, and this was supposed to be the end of it. On the way to Newark, however, the friends of the individual, thirsting for revenge, being unable to find Mr. Henry, pitched into a Mr. Buckley and a general fight ensued. Mr. McGonigle, a friend of Mr. Buckley’s, who interfered to protect the latter gentleman, finally became the special object of attack for the ruffians, and he was so badly beaten that he was left by the roadside for dead. Mr. Buckley was also severely beaten, but was able to proceed to his residence in Brooklyn. This is the second or third disgraceful scene that has resulted from ball matches at Irvington.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

are the Athletics professionals?

Date Sunday, August 2, 1868
Text

Very many persons, both at home and abroad, suppose that the Athletics are professional players, which up to this writing we are positive and free to state is not the case. But we have insisted, and shall continue to insist, as long as they are receiving the credit of being professionals, that they will insist upon receiving a share of the “spoils.” It is right that they should receive it. We know further, that no one of the boys, on their recent tour West, received a cent of salary; though the Western players everywhere considered them in the light of professionals, and so accorded them; but never once offensively. So much for the Athletics being professionals.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

arguing about allowing a courtesy runner

Date Saturday, August 15, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs. Union of Lansingburgh 8/4/1868] ...another half hour was lost by the refusal of the captain of the Mutuals to allow any one to run for Rus, the pitcher of the Unions. It appears that Rus, although an excellent pitcher, is unable to run, from some cause not stated, and that it has been the custom heretofore to allow some one to run for him. After considerable “chin music” had been indulged in, the point of conceded, and the game commenced. New York Clipper August 15, 1868 [Later the account makes clear that someone ran for him.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

arguing balls and strikes

Date Sunday, June 14, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Cincinnati 6/6/1868] Dick [McBride] never pitched better. He was not swift, but he did deliver fair balls, and just where they were called for; but the Cincinnati players would not hit at them, or at least Gould, Grant and King did not get the balls that suited them. They said so, and the Umpire called balls. Dick felt very sore over this, and complained to Yours, Truly, of the injustice of the thing. Grant had two bases given him on as fair balls as ever came from a pitcher’s hand. Fisler, who, at first, could see the balls, declared that he had never seen fairer balls go over the plate than those that the above parties permitted to pass them, and on which strikes ought to have been called. Charley Sweezy [the umpire] apologized afterwards; offered inexperience and the awkwardness of his position as an apology.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

army surplus tents for ball clubs

Date Sunday, May 10, 1868
Text

TO BASE BALL AND CRICKET CLUBS.–A large assortment of Hospital, Wall and Wedge Army Tents, suitable for your grounds. J. C. Collins, 325 N. Water Street, above Vine.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Atlantics arrangement with the Union grounds

Date Saturday, May 2, 1868
Text

The Atlantics were desirous of calling the Union grounds the Atlantic’s, seeing that they had hired the grounds for the season. But the proprietor does not see it in that light, apparently. He insists upon calling the grounds as hitherto, the Union grounds; which, of course, implies that the Atlantics merely get a share of the gate money.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

awareness that first base is best suited of lefties

Date Saturday, February 22, 1868
Text

At second base there is that veteran of the old Eckford nine, Al Reach; and though he is a left handed player, and therefore better suited for the first base than any of the other positions in the in-field; still he has so ably acquitted himself in the position of second base as to make it his permanent post., quoting the New York Sunday Mercury

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

back-room dealing in the New York State convention

Date Sunday, November 15, 1868
Text

...The business of the Convention was greatly facilitated by the arrangement made for the reception of the credentials of delegates before the meeting of the Convention; and as the caucus of delegates at the Delavan House, before the Convention, had laid out a slate for the election of officers of the Association, of course but little time was consumed in the election itself in Convention.

The delegates from New York and vicinity, too, who went up on the boat on November 10, amended the Constitution and Bylaws in caucus; and when the subject came up for action in the Convention, a Committee on Constitution and Bylaws were given power to report an amended Code of Laws, and this still further shortened the time of the session; thereby leaving ample opportunity to fully discuss the principal question of the session, viz., the Mutual case.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ball grounds at the new Prospect Park in Brooklyn

Date Sunday, November 15, 1868
Text

[reporting the New York state association’s convention] The Ground Committee, through Mr. Jenkins, the only member present, reported that they had had no meeting; but Mr. Jenkins stated that the Brooklyn clubs had at their command five free ball-fields on the parade-ground at the new Prospect Park.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

base running on swift pitching

Date Sunday, October 18, 1868
Text

[Mutuals vs. Atlantics 10/12/1868] The Atlantics found but little difficulty in getting round their bases after safely securing their first-base, owing to Walters’ swift delivery when men were running bases, it being almost impossible for the catcher to stop the balls pitched to him and get them down to second-base in time to put base-runners out.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball experience in cricket

Date Wednesday, July 15, 1868
Text

[St. George's CC vs. Montreal Garrison officers 7/14/1868] George Wright's base ball experience was very evident in his manner of fielding and throwing the ball, which had an appearance of life that none of the others...seemed able or willing to put into their play.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball isn't like it was in the good old days

Date Thursday, January 9, 1868
Text

[a column by “Peto Brine”] Somehow or other, they don’t play ball nowadays, as they used to some eight or ten years ago. I don’t mean to say that they don’t play it as well, for the fact is I never saw the game played in the splendid style it was last season. But I mean that they don’t play with the same kind of feelings or for the same objects they used to. It appears to me that ball matches have come to be controlled by different parties and for different purposes than those which prevailed in 1858 or ‘59. Just look at last season’s games if you want to understand what I’m driving at, and then think of the games which were played in Brooklyn and Hoboken ten years ago. Look at the class of men who now fix up your matches, and then think of the fair and square style of men who controlled your clubs in the good old times of base ball. Ah! It’s a pity things are so, boys; but I tell you now, you’ve got to put a stop to this heavy betting business, and to get your clubs out of the hands of the politicians, or the first thing you’ll know will be that every respectable man will be down upon your game like a thousand of brick. But it’s no use talking like a father to you fellows; you’re in for “biz” in playing your matches now, and have forgotten the time when your club’s name stood higher as a fair and square club than it does now. When I say “your club,” I mean that you can take the cap and put it on, and if it fits, keep it there.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batter calls for a low pitch

Date Tuesday, August 25, 1868
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Cincinnati 8/24/1868] How began by calling for his usual low ball: not getting it, the umpire gave him his first. Cincinnati Enquirer August 25, 1868

[Union of Morrisania vs. Cincinnati 8/25/1868] How asked for his regular low ball, and having succeeded in getting it, he sent a grounder to center, that gave him his first... … Brainerd called for a waist ball, and not being gratified he took his base on called balls. Cincinnati Enquirer August 26, 1868

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batting average more important than slugging

Date Thursday, March 19, 1868
Text

...we can ... illustrate the difference [between counting base hits versus counting bases] by noting from actual play. In the match between the Mutuals and Haymakers last fall, Pike scored four times, made his base four times on clean hits, and made seven bases on the same hits, and not one base on an error in fielding. C. Hunt made two runs, one of which was on a clean home run, for which he was credited with four bases on his hit, and with having made his base once on his hit, the other run being made from a base given on a wild throw. Now, according to the average of bases on clean hits, Pike is credited with less than two to a hit, and Hunt with four; yet Pike secured his base four times by clean hits, getting four runs, and Hunt only once, getting two runs, one of which followed his getting a base by an error of fielding. Had Hunt scored home runs, instead of being twice put out–though he would have sent no more men home by his hits than Pike did by his–he would have been credited with twelve bases on hits to Pike’s seven, although Pike would have even scored four runs to Hunt’s three, and made his first base by his hit four times to Hunt’s three, and, as a matter of course, batted the most effectively for the interests of his club in the match; and yet Hunt would have carried off the honors in an estimate of batting made on the number of bases made on hits.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batting out of order; a broken bat

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] Start [third in the lineup]...reached his second by a grounder past Al. Reach, the rain falling in torrents. Chapman and Crane [fourth and fifth] not being ready, having gone to dress themselves, Mills [sixth] went to the bat, and, after breaking one bat, made his first by a high ball to centre field...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bechtel's balk move

Date Sunday, August 23, 1868
Text

[Keystone vs. Mutual 8/22/1868] Bechtel has a trick of stopping as if to pitcher, but instead of delivering the ball he takes up a pinch of gravel. The movement is such as to deceive the players running the bases, and is, in fact, made with that intention. He tried this while Galvin and Stockman were running the bases, and the former immediately called for “judgment on the balk.” The “balk” was declared by the umpire, whereupon Mr. Connor, of the Keystones, wanted to know “how it could be a 'balk' when there was no batter up?” It was a “balk” in accordance with section 3 of rule 2, which say, among other pints, “whenever the pitcher moves with the apparent purpose of pretension to deliver the ball he shall so deliver it, and if he fails in either of these particulars it shall be declared a balk.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

betting with advance knowledge

Date Saturday, September 19, 1868
Text

[from answers to correspondents] In the match between Athletics and Atlantics at Philadelphia, A–after receiving score by telegraph–bets B that the Athletics would win the game. B accepts the bet and puts up money, then accuses A of knowing what the score was before betting. A denies knowing the score, at first, but afterwards acknowledges that he knew the score. Can he claim the stakes? B claimed it was a draw, on account of his denying that he knew the score and afterwards acknowledging he did. ... If A did not use any deceit before the bet was made then he wins.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

boors in the ladies' seats

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

Will our right excellent friends, General Kleinfelder or Father Hayhurst, inform us by whose authority a number of boors are permitted to occupy seats on the Athletic’s grounds reserved for ladies, and there indulge in the pleasant pastime of squirting liquid tobacco, to the annoyance of the Athletic’s lady friends, as well as to the detriment of their apparel?

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

boyishly calling for judgment all the time; pitcher's privilege to ask judgment on pitches

Date Saturday, August 15, 1868
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Detroit 8/1/1868] We wish here to condemn such babyish actions as were exhibited by Burroughs [Detroit shortstop], who persisted in almost every play made by the Detroits in calling “How’s that?” while he sought to supersede the pitcher’s privilege, and was constantly asking judgment on balls pitched by Lane [Detroit pitcher].

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

broken bats 2

Date Wednesday, August 26, 1868
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Cincinnati 8/25/1868] Waterman began by breaking a couple of bats, making some safe foul hits, and then took his first by a safe hit over George Wright's head.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brooklynites on the Detroit club

Date Saturday, August 15, 1868
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Detroit 8/1/1868] We notice in this nine Burroughs, of the Eureka, Brown and Bergen, of the old Powhatan, and Clark, of the Typos, of Brooklyn. (This last we are not sure of.)

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

buying and selling games

Date Saturday, April 4, 1868
Text

The coming base ball season promises to be unusually brilliant. While favoring outdoor recreation calculated to physically benefit our young men, we deprecate the system of betting so prevalent on ball grounds last season. Games were jockeyed and sold with the most open indecency. Each club appeared to have its own exclusive gang of “roughs,” who made it their business to swindle outsiders through an understanding with the players. Ladies were driven from the ground, and toward the close of the season ceased attending match games. Unless this state of things is changed during the coming season, the game will sink to a level with dog-fighting.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling balls and strikes; high and low

Date Thursday, April 30, 1868
Text

Now neither strikes or balls can be fairly called until two balls have been delivered, and certainly not until the required warning is given. In reference to calling strikes the intention of the batsman must be taken into consideration. There must be some object on his part to delay the game or to gain some point before strikes can be called. If a player is on a base or there is an advantage to be derived from delay, then the umpire can impute intention where it may not be plainly apparent, but otherwise he should be more lenient on judging of strikes than in calling balls. A “fair ball” is one within the legitimate reach of the bat; a ball delivered “fairly for the striker” is one within reasonable distance of the point indicated by the batsman. Of course if the batsman asks for a ball knee high and over the base, balls are not to be called if the ball should happen to be within five or six inches of the point indicated. A foot or more out of the way, however, should lead to balls being called, and in the case of strikes, if the ball is within five or six inches, or even more, of the point indicated, and players are on the base, then strikes should be called. All balls out of the legitimate reach of the bat should be called, especially after the first ball called.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling for pitch location; working the count

Date Saturday, August 15, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs. Union of Lansingburgh 8/4/1868] Rua took the bat, and the general impression was, that as he cannot bat any better than he can run, he was sure to go out; but he had received his instructions, and persistently refused to strike, although Wolters pitched him several balls just where he called for them, waist high; hit “patience” was finally rewarded, and his “dummy” [i.e. a courtesy runner] took first base, stole second, went to third on a passed ball, and came in on S. King’s high hit to centre field...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling strikes on the second pitch; calling balls.

Date Sunday, June 7, 1868
Text

Section 3 of Rule Third, plainly state that, “Should a striker stand at the bat without striking at fair balls for the apparent purpose of delaying the game, or of gaining an advantage to a player, the umpire, after warning him, shall call one strike,” etc. Now, two fair balls must have been pitched at not struck at before the umpire is called upon to warn the striker even, and not until he has been warned–and that, too, after it has been made apparent that he is delaying the game purposely or waiting for a player to get off a base–can one strike be called. It will therefore be plainly seen that to call a strike on the first ball is to do that which is not a rule of the game warrants. Mr. Pike did not do this exactly; but he called strikes on the second ball frequently, which the rules do not allow the umpire to do, as we shown. While thus strict with the batsmen, he was far too lenient with...the pitchers. Now, balls can undoubtedly be called oftener than strikes can, for balls are called for unfair delivery from any cause, while strikes cannot be called unless the purpose to delay a game or give advantage to a player is made apparent.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

candy sales at the park

Date Sunday, July 5, 1868
Text

The Cocoa Nut Candy man has returned from his Atlantic tour. In Buffalo he created quite a stir with his “quarter-r-r-r of a pound, fifteen cents, all the way from Brooklyn.” He did a good business at Niagara Falls.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick now a contributor to New England Base Ballist

Date Thursday, September 3, 1868
Text

We are making arrangements to add to our list of contributors, Mr. Henry Chadwick, editor of the late “American Chronicle,” and our New York correspondence in this edition is from his very able pen.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cheers given the visitors at the end of the game

Date Sunday, August 30, 1868
Text

We admire the Western fashion–instituted by Harry Wright, we think–of heartily applauding visitors, and that too when victorious. The Athletics were loudly huzzared [sic] by the Buckeye and Cincinnati players at the conclusion of the their game. And that too, when nearly the entire audience on both matches had hoped that the games might have terminated differently.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clarifying scoring when the batter is the third out

Date Sunday, December 13, 1868
Text

Section 6, of the fourth rule, has been amended so as to read as follows:

“If two hands are already out, no player running home at the time the ball is struck can make a run to count in the score of the game, if the striker or player running the bases I put out before reaching the first base.”

This is an important amendment; the rule, last season, prohibiting any of the base runners to score a run when the striker of the ball should be the third hand out–this being manifestly unjust, as a man might be the third out on the home base after sending three men home, and yet according to the letter of the law, these three runs would not be counted in the score.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

club rooms in the West; Count Sensenderfer an employee of the Mercury

Date Sunday, August 30, 1868
Text

Nearly all the leading clubs in the West have costly fitted up rooms, where the members retreat to read or to amuse themselves as their inclinations may lead them. Visiting clubs or individual representatives of clubs are escorted to their rooms, and are made to feel at home. And what player is there who would not prefer whiling away an evening in company with the boys to visiting the theatre? The drama has few, if any, charms for the Simon Pure “tossist.” The rooms that we refer to are ornamented with photographs of noted players, local and foreign, and the tables are kept plentifully supplied with just the kind of literature that the genuine sharp appreciates. The Mercury wings its way every week to twenty and more such depots, and woe be to “Count” Sensendorf [sic] if he, by any mischance, neglects to supply the usual wrapper, whereby the paper fails to come to time. We are happy in stating, though, that the “Count” is a little particular in this matter, as no more than one indignant protest has reached him from those who play the game lime himself, cautioning and urging him “to do better.” Why, some of the rooms we refer to are fitted up splendidly and boast of grand action pianos, and have all the little etceteras and comforts found in luxurious homes. What is to prevent the East from imitating the West in this matter? Nothing that we can see or ever heard of.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

club sets of foul-ball flags

Date Thursday, April 30, 1868
Text

We noticed that the Jefferson Club had a lively time on their grounds, and also that some very pretty fielding and good batting was shown in their game. Their handsome foul-ball flags were conspicuous, too. This, by the way, is a peculiarity out West, and one we like to see. Whenever the weather is fine, and a stranger visits the outskirts of St. Louis, he can always tell whether a party of ball players are engaged in a match or practice game simply by the foul flags. If it be a match, the flags of the two contesting clubs stand together in their positions; if it merely be a practice game, then only one set of flags are seen; and if the party playing are not a club, then no flags are up. But it is a poor club out West which does not own a set of foul-ball flags. In fact, every club ought not only to have such colors as handsome as they can, but also to have a regular club banner. All this club insignia materially assists in establishing an esprit de corps in the organization. The more legitimate forms there are in a club, the more binding the organization.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clubs should be openly professional

Date Saturday, February 22, 1868
Text

The [Athletic] club should be re-organized. Each member of the nine should receive $1000 a year, and all traveling and hotel bills paid. We should give the Captain of the Nine $1500. Scorer, Corresponding and Recording Secretaries and Treasurer, $200 each. With good management, the receipts of the club could be made to reach $25,000 during the season. Philadelphia City Item February 22, 1868

We hope the players of this city will be regularly and liberally paid for their services. A good player is worth at least $20 per week. If men are paid, let it be done openly. Base Ball is now a profession. We object to deception in this matter. Philadelphia City Item March 14, 1868

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

confusion about the program

Date Friday, August 28, 1868
Text

There seems to be some misunderstanding about to-day's work on the Union grounds, and in all probability the visitors there will be treated to a game of ball between the Mutual and Harlem, and a fine game of Lacrosse by the young Canadians.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cricket vs. baseball fielding and throwing

Date Friday, September 18, 1868
Text

It is said that the base ball experience of the Wright brothers is very evident in the cricket match against the All England Eleven. The base ball players face the ball, no matter how hot it comes, pick it up and throw it in with a vim, but the others run sideways with the ball, coax it up and then jerk it in from under their arm with much show but little effect.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

criticism of Harry Wright's leadership

Date Sunday, August 2, 1868
Text

What, again, our correspondent complained of, was Harry Wright’s ridiculous action on the field, forbidding such players as Waterman, Hatfield and Brainerd to hit at only such balls as he approved. The Athletic felt ashamed to see Americans being bamboozled in their own game, and that by a Britisher. As Wright plays the game, it is English all over, or as far as he can make it so-even to the uniform. ... The Cincinnati Club, if they had any regard for their players, would see to it that the game was not played by one man, no matter how much reliance they may place in his skill, judgment and wisdom. All such nonsense as Wright indulges in about placing the men in position in the field, tends to make them ridiculous in the eyes of other clubs, particularly eastern associations, who know some little about usages, &c. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 2, 1868 [see also PSM 6/14/68]

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

deaf mute clubs

Date Sunday, June 14, 1868
Text

The Fanwood Club (deaf mutes) ought to visit Washington and play a game with their brethren of the Kendall Club, who are similarly afflicted.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Death to flying things???

Date Wednesday, September 23, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Eckford 9/22/1868] Holmes acquitted himself creditably as catcher, and Eggler at centre field covered himself with glory. He was “sure death” to any “fly” that went towards centre field, and is entitled to the highest credit for general good play.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

definition of an 'active' member

Date Thursday, April 23, 1868
Text

[discussion at the convention of the New Jersey Association:] The report of the Committee of Rules was then taken up for adoption, and as each article was read it was acted upon singly. The first and second articles were adopted unanimously, but the section of the third article referring to “active” members elicited a brief discussion, there being some doubt in regard to the definition of the word “active” as applicable to the members of base ball clubs. In explaining the matter, one delegate stated that there were three classes of members in his club–viz., contributing members, honorary members, and active members, the former being, in fact, the only supports of the club, the honorary list including those complimented, and the active those who played in the nines. The term “active,’ as defined by the Committee of Rules of the National Association, refers to members who take an active part in the support of the club, and not simply playing members alone. ... Every man who pays his dues into a club, attends its meetings, and takes any active interest in its welfare, is an “active” member, though he may not play a game throughout the season.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

denigrating getting a base on balls

Date Sunday, June 21, 1868
Text

[Union vs. Mohawk 6/15/1868] The Mohawks won the toss, and sent the Unions to the bat, who hit well for five runs, with the exception of Birdsall, who obtained his first on three balls.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

difficulty getting the Mutuals to practice

Date Wednesday, July 1, 1868
Text

The directors of the Mutual Club are naturally becoming tired of the apparent apathy of some members of the “nine” who neglect the games arranged for the purpose of giving them practice.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

don't be profligate with club badges

Date Thursday, April 9, 1868
Text

Another rule to be observed by all visiting clubs valuing their club reputation, is to be extremely careful in regard to who you allow to wear your club badges. Let no man wear them who is not a member of your club, or of the club of which you are temporarily the guest. The indiscriminate way in which club badges are given out not only affords opportunities for “dead beats” to sponge on clubs, but largely extends the responsibiltiy of a club for the action of its assumed representatives.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

don't swing when a runner is attempting to steal

Date Sunday, June 7, 1868
Text

When a foul ball is hit, players running the bases must return and touch their base, and should the ball handled by the pitcher reach the base from which they started before them, must be decided out. For this reason, batsmen should be very careful not to strike at a ball when they see a player attempting to steal.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

drainage problems at the Tremont grounds

Date Sunday, October 25, 1868
Text

The grounds of the Union Club, at Tremont, are almost useless, a day’s rain making them so wet and muddy that play is impossible for a week afterward. We have not seen them really dry and in first-class condition once this season, and unless more perfect drainage can be effected, the boys had better return to the old “triangle” at Melrose, or find some more suitable sport for play. A good coat of turf would do much to improve the ground, and we hope that next season we shall find green grass instead of mud. New York Dispatch October 25, 1868

[English cricketers vs. Union of Morrisania 10/23/1868] The arrangement should have located the game on the Capitoline grounds, which are fit to be played on a few hours after rain; but instead the meeting was appointed for the Unions grounds at Tremont, and rain the night previous had nearly the field a swamp... New England Base Ballist October 29, 1868

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'exhibition game'

Date Sunday, August 30, 1868
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Cincinnati 8/25/1868] [The Cincinnatis] challenged the champions to play them the return-game on Tuesday, and hoped, in the weakened state of the visitors, to win a trophy from them. But the Morrisanians were too smart for that, and would only play upon one condition–that the contest should be simply an exhibition-game, and no return-match or regular match-game. Rather than not play at all, the Red Stockings finally consented to this arrangement, and on Tuesday the affair came off, resulting finally in the defeat of the champions, by a score of 13 to 12.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'flies'

Date Saturday, September 5, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Keystone 8/28/1868] The batting of the Athletics was very fine, but in fielding they were not up to their usual standard, McBride rendering himself particularly conspicuous by missing a couple of “flies,” something unusual for him.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'homer'

Date Thursday, August 6, 1868
Text

[Trimountains vs. Gramercy 9/21/1868] The second inning saw a change as the Champions [i.e. the Trimountains] went out for two runs, one of these a “homer” by Franklin...

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'homer' 2

Date Saturday, October 31, 1868
Text

[English cricketers vs. Union of Morrisania 10/20/1868] In the fourth innings the cricketers made five runs on good hits, Willisher hitting clean for a “homer.” New York Clipper October 31, 1868 [Note: earliest cite in Dickson is from 1875.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'liner'

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] Berry, first striker, hit a “liner,” handsomely taken by Pearce on the fly.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'representative' club

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] Of all the annual contests which take place between the most prominent clubs of the country, none attract more attention than the games between the Atlantic and Athletic Clubs, the two representative organizations of Brooklyn and Philadelphia.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'streak'

Date Sunday, October 11, 1868
Text

[Unions vs. Atlantics 10/6/1868] Now, however, followed one of those Atlantic “streaks of batting”, as they are termed, for Crane, Mills, Ferguson, Zettlein and McDonald followed each other with short sharp hits out of reach of the fielders.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'team'

Date Sunday, August 9, 1868
Text

[Empire vs. Eagle 8/3/1868] The Eagle presented a good, well-trained, and steady working “team”...

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'utility man'

Date Sunday, November 1, 1868
Text

[Swandell, of the Mutuals] is one of those general utility-men without which no nine is complete. He plays in any position creditably without excelling in any one.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early uses of 'wild pitch'; distinguished from passed ball

Date Sunday, July 12, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Central City of Syracuse 6/29/1868] Adams got his second on a muff of Fislers. ... A wild pitch immediately afterwards gave him his third... Telford, by a low one a little to the left of second, made his first; a passed ball gave him second, a wild pitch third, where he was left through Yale striking out... Philadelphia Sunday Mercury July 12, 1868

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 10/12/1868] Start sent a “daisy cutter” along by third; made first and gave Smith second. They each made an extra bag on a wild pitch... New York Clipper October 17, 1868

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

effective pitching 2

Date Sunday, November 1, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Eckford 10/29/1868] Martin’s p itching was remarkably effective throughout the game, no less than eight of the Atlantics going out on fouls. New York Dispatch November 1, 1868

criteria for the championship

[Mutual vs. Union 10/28/1868] [The Mutuals win the third game of their series.] Under ordinary circumstances this victory would have returned the championship to the Unions; but as it is it does not, as the Unions have to win two games from the Mutuals after the latter become champions to be entitled to fly the whip. [see also a long discussion on “The Championship Question” same issue.] New York Sunday Mercury November 1, 1868

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

effective pitching resulting in foul outs

Date Sunday, May 31, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs. Mohawk 5/27/1868] The Mohawks, with one exception, played unexpectedly well, and if they could have batted Martin’s slows, would have rolled up a good score; but there was the difficulty, the efficiency of the delivery being attested by player after player going out on fouls, Jewett alone capturing no less than thirteen foul flies and bounds.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

extra innings optional

Date Sunday, December 13, 1868
Text

The first section of the fifth rule has been amended so as to provide that two clubs in the case of a tie score, at the close of the ninth inning, may mutually agree to call the game drawn; before, the play had to be continued until one side had a majority of runs, and neither club had the option of declaring the game drawn.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

facing Martin's pitching for the first time

Date Saturday, August 8, 1868
Text

[Olympic of Philadelphia vs. Eckford 7/28/1868] They [the Olympics] seemed incapable of knocking the ball beyond the bases, and when they did get it outside it was sent skyward, and of course that the kind the Eckford fielders gobble up. Martin’s peculiar delivery had something to do with this, without doubt. He has never been batted yet by a club that faced him for the first time, and it would be expecting too much, perhaps, to suppose that the Olympics would hit him away.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

failing to beat the spread

Date Sunday, August 23, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs Mutual 8/17/1868] Although a large amount of money changed hands, the Mutual supporters did not lose as much as was anticipated, they having won considerable sums of money on the failure of the Atlantics to beat them five runs.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielder calling for the ball

Date Saturday, August 22, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 8/17/1868] Swandel [hit] a pop up back of pitcher, “The Charmer” [i.e. George Zettlein, pitcher] backed out for the fly, and Pearce [short stop] called to him to get out of the way, but George took it and then gave Pearce such a look.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielding still considered dominant

Date Saturday, July 25, 1868
Text

[Yale vs. Atlantic 7/18/1868] Though no one expected that the collegians would defeat the ex-champions, yet everybody was fully convinced of the fact that if they fielded as sharply as they did with the Unions [of Morrisania, the previous day], they would give their opponents plenty of work.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fifty cents admission

Date Thursday, September 10, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] The first contest this season between the Atlantic Club, of Brooklyn, and the Athletic Club, of Philadelphia, the two strongest representatives of their respective cities and states, took place on the Athletic grounds, on 15th Street and Columbia Avenue, Philadelphia, on Monday, Aug. 31st, in the presence of an immense assemblage of spectators, some three or four thousand people, including about a hundred ladies, being within the enclosure–the charge for admission being 50 cents–and double that number outside.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

first class clubs must pay their players

Date Saturday, June 6, 1868
Text

The Athletics last week beat the Keystones 34 to 12. The Keystones must pay their men, as other first class clubs do. Men play more cheerfully and better when their wallets are full. No honest young man can give all his time to base ball for nothing. Mr. Lynch [the president of the Keystones] must look into this matter immediately, or give up the idea of being first class. Base ball has become a profession, and professionals require pay, and good pay, too. We opposed this thing with all our might for two years, but the money beat us, and we acknowledge the corn. Therefore, let the Keystones give their men $20 per week, and soon they will rank with the Athletics, Atlantics, Mutuals, etc. Come, Mr. Lynch, down with the dust! Bring back Malone, Cope, Flowers, Cuthbert, Berry, etc. Outbid your opponents!

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fitzgerald and the Athletics reconcile

Date Friday, September 4, 1868
Text

The “little unpleasantness” which has existed during the past few years between Colonel Fitzgerald and the Athletics, of Philadelphia, has become thing of “the dead past.” Those who had the pleasure of witnessing the meeting between “Hicks” and the Colonel on Monday last say it was quite a treat to see the hearty greeting and hand shaking that took place, all parties acting as if there had never been any difficulty, but as if there had been a long distance crossed to reach the place of meeting after a long separations. 'Tis well, so let it be recorded.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fitzgerald and the Athletics reconcile 2

Date Thursday, September 10, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] A feature of the contest was the restoration of the entente cordiale between the Athletics and their former efficient President, Col. Fitzgerald, the latter being invited to the grounds, well received by all, and finally paid the compliment of being selected to discharge the duties of Umpire, which he did with the thorough impartiality and with but one error in interpreting the rules.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

five hundred members of the Cincinnati Club

Date Saturday, October 31, 1868
Text

Of the , not one has died since its organization, over two years ago.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright fails to call balls as umpire

Date Sunday, June 14, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs. Oriental 6/10/1868] The umpire [George Wright] failed to observe the rule governing the pitchers properly, and hence they took advantage of it to pitch wild balls... Inaccurate and swift pitching, plenty of passed balls, wild throwing, and dropped flyballs, entirely marred what might have been an interesting contest.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

good feelings between the Athletics and the Atlantics

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

When [the Athletics and the Atlantics] first played together, they most friendly feeling prevailed between them; but as the Athletics increased in strength, and the rivalry between them became greater, the pleasant meetings diminished, until ill-feeling replaced the previous harmony. This interruption to the kindly intercourse between the two clubs proceeded to such a length at last, that both resorted to discreditable conduct in their efforts to win victories or to avoid defeats. But these evils have their own cure. It was not long before both organizations found that they were only cutting their own throats simply to gratify the evil passions of the class of patrons who sought only to use the two clubs merely as tools to advance their pecuniary interests; and, finally, we are glad to see both clubs have arrived at the conclusion that the interests of both, not only a regards pecuniary considerations, but also in reference to the reputation of both, as fair and manly exponents of the game, required that the childish ill-feeling and school-boy pets and quarreling should cease, and be replaced by actions more characteristic of men than street-boys; and this season a movement was inaugurated which has led to the restoration of the friendly feeling which prevailed under the Fitzgerald regime, and singularly enough the event was signalized by the reinstating of their old President in the good graces of the best members of the club, and now we shall hope to see the era of good feeling and of playing ball for the excitement and sport of the thing between the two clubs replace the bickering, bad management, and evil influences which have of late years brought both clubs down to a rather low level, greatly to the prejudice of the good name of baseball, and to the injury of the two organizations.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ground rule singles on balls over the fence

Date Sunday, July 5, 1868
Text

[Athletics vs. Forest City of Cleveland 6/24/1868] The Forest City boys have established a rule giving one base only on balls batted over the fence. ... The Forest City boys claimed that it was as fair for one as the other. This is not the case; the Athletics, or at least some of them, are renowned for their heavy batting. A rule of this kind tends to keep their ardor in check. Little Radcliffe, on going to the bat, looked anxiously at the “confounded” fence, then batted, and away careened the ball over the fence. ... Good, heavy, sure batters like Hayhurst, Fisler, Cuthbert and Radcliffe, were discouraged by this ruling, but they accepted it and did not complain.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Brainard starts a club in Brownsville

Date Sunday, May 10, 1868
Text

We met Harry Brainard, Friday. He is just from Mexico, Texas, and those “strange countries,” where he has been making heaps of money. He is as bronzed as a veteran campaigner. He started a ball-club at Brownsville, while there.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright rusty on the rules

Date Sunday, June 14, 1868
Text

[Athletics vs. Xenia 6/4/1868] Harry Wright was selected as umpire, but not until Father Hayhurst has posted him upon the rules, in which Wright is decidedly rusty. He is looked upon as the great “I am” in ball circles in Ohio–or at least this section of it, and that by people who should know better, or at least, who are intelligent enough to give a correct interpretation of the rules, if they would only take the trouble to read them. Singular enough he presumed to teach Asa Brainerd, Johnny Hatfield and Freddy Waterman how to play the game, either being his superior in the points of the game, as well as in the matter of head work. However, he kept remarkably shady after Hayhurst had given an ambiguous rule an interpretation, and the Atlantics and Mutuals will still further open the eyes of the friends of the national game in demanding a correct understanding of the rules. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury June 14, 1868

In [the Buckeyes’] last match with the Cincinnati Club, “Dock” [Dockney] was absent, suffering from his wounds. If he had played, it is probable the result would have been different. He is the superior of Wright in all the points of the game, but the latter comes the dignified dodge, and by a certain mysterious reticence, which is intended to say to the Cincinnati folks, “I am right,” secures his point. He, of course, is endorsed by a chap on East who is of the same kidney, but who, so far as base ball is concerned, is a dead letter. Mr. Wright’s time has come. Hatfield, Waterman, and the other Eastern players, laugh in their sleeves at him, but the Porkopolite noodles still accept him as the law and the gospel. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury June 14, 1868 see also PSM 8/2/68]

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Hatfield suspected of being bought; only one western player on the Buckeyes

Date Saturday, September 12, 1868
Text

[Buckeye of Cincinnati vs. Cincinnati 5/23/1868] There was an unprecedented excitement over this game, which was increased greatly by the rumors a day or two before the match that Hatfield had been induced to join the Buckeyes... The Buckeyes paraded the strongest nine they have ever played, Brookshaw being their only western man; while the Red Stockings were minus Hatfield’s splendid fielding, the latter not being allowed to play under the circumstances. Johnnie shed tears of vexation, and asserted that the tales about him were base slanders to prevent his playing. Grant was put in left field in his stead and did admirably. New York Clipper September 12, 1868

At a meeting of the club on the 7th, the Hatfield matter was brought up, he having till then been suspended. It was there stated that Mr. Hatfield had been offered two hundred dollars and a position in the Internal Revenue office to take charge of the Buckeye nine as captain, it being their intention then to make an eastern tour. However, Johnny did not accept the offer and the matter was dropped. New York Clipper September 19, 1868

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

headwork of a successful pitcher

Date Sunday, September 13, 1868
Text

The game has arrived at that point of excellence which requires judgment in the pitcher’s position, as well as the physical attributes of command of the ball in delivery, and speed and endurance. A pitcher, now-a-days, must be a man competent to outwit his opponents at the bat,

and not merely to depend upon mere speed along for success. The point of first-class pitching is to pitch fairly for the bat apparently, but in reality to be able to do the very reverse, without the knowledge of the batsman and umpire. This very few pitchers can do. ... This is what constitutes “head-work” in pitching; and without this requisite to success all other pitching is mere machine-delivery, marked only by speed, accuracy, and endurance.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how games come to be thrown; professionalism defended and illustrated

Date Thursday, February 13, 1868
Text

[commentary by “A Professional”] There as been a great deal of unnecessary and unjust abuse of professional ball playing, I take it, and the reason has been that the class who may now be ranged as professionals, have not been as careful of their character as they might have been. You know well enough that the class of first-rate ball players who have been playing ball for money, as well as for a love of the sport, for these past five or six have, have not been, as a general thing, men you can trust or rely on. The temptation to act dishonestly I know to be very great. For instance, a grand match is to be played between two clubs ranking as champion contestant, and the day is appointed, great excitement exists, and considerable money is bet on the result. Now, I am one of the nine, we will say, and two or three well known betting men come down to my place to see me early on the morning of the match. They want to know what the chances are of my club’s winning. We sit down at the table, and all have a drink around. Says A to me, “Bill, I know a man who has bet high on this match that the --------- club will win, and who would like to bet two hundred dollars to two cents with you that they will, and he has put the money up in my hands. If you take the bet, all you have to do is to give me two cents as your share of the bet, and see to it that your club gets beat. You know that they are down on you, and don’t treat you right, and it would be a good chance to get square with them. We don’t want you to ‘sell’ the game, or anything of that kind, but just go in and play kinder mad, you know.”

Now, you see how this works, Mr. Editor. If I am not particular, and am badly in want of stamps, of course I take the bet. If am I honest, I just say to them that I am not “on” that style of thing, you know, and don’t care about betting. But how many are there of us professionals who will do this? Now, this thing has been done time and again. There is another way, too, which may be called implied dishonesty, or wining at fraud in a match, and it is this: A party of five or six make up a betting “ring” on a big match, one out of town, we will say, in which case the rascality can be easier accomplished. This “ring” have an understanding with one or two of the nine of one of the contesting clubs, in which it is arranged that a handsome per centage of the bets won shall go to the players who enter the “ring,” and this being amicably arranged, these players are then informed that the “ring masters” have bet their pile on the success of the other club. It then, of course, becomes the interest of these players to see that that other club wins, and it generally happens that it does win. This little game was to have been tried in a game some four seasons ago, between a certain club located on the Island which faces the Atlantic Ocean and an old club of the city of Gotham; but a certain honest old veteran found out the “little game” in time, and, threatening exposure if it was carried out, put a stop to it. It was not known, as he kept it quiet for the sake of the club. The same thing has since been tried both at Hoboken, where it was publicly exposed, and in Philadelphia.

Now, it is this kind of thing which has brought disgrace upon the name of professional ball players, and not the fact that they are paid for their services. I don’t see what possible objection there can be to a man being paid by a club for his services as a ball player. Suppose I am in a store as a clerk or porter. I am engaged to work from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M., with no chance to get away to enjoy a game of ball of an afternoon. Now, suppose that before I went to work as a clerk I had become a noted player, and was very fond of the game, but could not engage in it without losing my place and having nothing to live on. Suppose, too, that, as a clerk or porter, I was getting $12 or $15 a week. If Mr. A or Mr. B, who is a wealthy member of this or that club, should say to me that if I would join his club and play in the nine when I was wanted, we would give me $5 a week more for my services, will you please tell me wherein I should be acting dishonorably in accepting his proposition, and thereby becoming a professional ball player? If you can tell me how I act a dishonest part in doing so, I shall feel obliged, for I can’t se it, to save me.

Again, say I am a first-class ball player, and that I have a father or a mother to help to support, and through my skill as a player, and because I belong to a club having influential politicians in it, I am placed in a good clerkship, but only on conditions of my playing with the club in question, is there any just reason why I [line cut off] do not allow of, say, [illegible] receiving compensation for his services as a player? I don’t know of any sound reason against my taking such a position. The fact is, the rule prohibiting compensation to players is a rule which actually promotes the very evil it is designed to prevent, namely, getting in a class of men in ball matches who will do anything for pay. I adopt this playing ball as a business, conscientiously believing that I am simply earning my living by my skill as a player, just as I would as a penman or accountant, or a pilot or engine-driver, and while I act an honest part, prove faithful to my club, scorn to act as an accomplice of any “betting ring” arrangement, and play the game fairly and squarely, I claim to be just as much entitled to the respect of my companions as the man who plays in the club for exercise and love of sport only. If I am to be found loafing around drinking saloons when not playing ball, and always associated with professional gamblers or “sports,” as they are called, and depend solely on my “pay” for ball playing for a mere living, and don’t avail myself of my leisure time to work other irons placed in the fire, when then people are justified in believing that I am one of the tools of the “ring,” ready to sell or be bought, and this is the class of “professionals” I do not belong to. The fact is, professional ball players have their characters in their own hands, that is, it depends upon themselves whether they are to rank with the reputable portion of the fraternity, or with the school of professionals who cultivate “plants” like that which disgraced the game in 1865.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how the game is played on ice

Date Thursday, January 2, 1868
Text

Playing base ball on the ice differs from the field game in regard to the form of the bas and the method of running them. The ordinary rules governing the batsman and the pitcher, too, are not so strictly observed as in the field game, the impossibility of obtaining a good footing making the operation of pitching and batting rather difficult. In running the bases in a game on the ice on skates, all that is necessary for the base runner to do is to cross the line of the position, after which he cannot be put out until he has returned to the base, and again leaves it. In order, too, to make the succeeding base, he must cross the base line in starting from the base he leaves a well as the line of the base he runs for.

The base lines are laid down on the ice so as to enclose a space of three feet square, each line being marked at right angles to the base lines from base to base, and three feet from each side thereof. This space forms the base, and within this space the base players must have some part of his person when he holds the ball, in order to put a player out. The base runner makes his base if he crosses the line of the base before being touched, or before the ball is held on the base. After hitting a ball on which the batsman can only make one base, he should start from the home base so as to turn to the right in crossing the lines of the base; but in cases where his hit entitles him to two or more bases, then he should start so as to turn to the left. Until he has returned and occupied a base after crossing the line in making it, he cannot be put out.

Were the regular bases used in games on the ice and the rules of the field game observed, the effort of players to stop suddenly would lead to severe falls, and, therefore, the extended lines of bases are used, and the rules changed to conform to the new line. In match games on the ice ten men are usually selected, the tenth man playing at the right short field. Five innings only are generally played. The bound game is played, as bound catches are difficult on the ice.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

in injury time out

Date Sunday, July 19, 1868
Text

[Yale College vs. Union of Morrisania 7/17/1868] McClintock now sent an easy grounder to Akin, which was passed over to first in time, but Goldie failed to hold it, as it lacerated one of his fingers terribly, breaking the first joint. Deming sent another to Akin, and as it touched the sore spt, Goldie again dropped the ball, Deming thereby securing his base, and McClintock his run. Game was not called for a few minutes, and the wounded finger was bathed and bound up, and Goldie pluckily resumed his position at first.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interference not called

Date Saturday, July 4, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Niagara of Buffalo 6/27/1868] [Atwater] popped up a fly ball that McBride endeavored to secure, but as Dick stood in the line of Atwater’s run for the base, the little pitcher of the Niagaras jostled Dick by running into him, causing John Dickson to spill the milk, and Atwater getting his base and eventually home.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

junior and exempt members

Date Thursday, January 23, 1868
Text

[pseudonymous commentary, the pseudonym illegible:] The matter I allude to is that of the rule in the Constitution [of the New York state association] making it imperative for each player in a match game to be a voting member of the club he represents before he can legally take part in a match.

It appears to me that this clause in our State Association Constitution is an arbitrary interference with the private business of clubs, not warranted either by a regard for the welfare of the Association, or by a desire to promote the best interests of the game. Its operation is to interfere with the private regulations of two of our principal clubs, viz., the Excelsior of Brooklyn and the Union of Morrisania. As regards the former, it has compelled the club–in their desire to abide by all regularly authorized laws and enactments while they remain on the statute books of the Association with which they are connected–to admit their junior members to vote; and its effect on the latter has been to the same purpose, in giving their exempt class of members a right to vote on the disposition of the funds they have in no direct way contributed to place in the treasurer’s hands. ...

... One of the most potent arguments against [this rule] likes in its injurious effects on the interests of junior players. We are all fully aware how necessary it is to the welfare and permanence of base ball that the junior players should be encouraged, and in no way can this object be so thoroughly attained as by organized junior nines of senior clubs. Junior organizations are advantageous in their way, but, unfortunately, they are too liable to be affected by the injurious influences of older parties, who have special axes to grind; beside which, they will ever find it difficult to keep up a regular organization. On the other hand, if they exist as a class under the fostering care of a well established senior organization, they have not only incentives for improvement as player, arising from opportunities afforded to enter the nines of the senior class, but the pecuniary liabilities cease to trouble them, and they also enjoy, as a class, all the facilities of a large club for playing purposes, without any of the attendant expenses. This should always be the status of the junior class of a senior club, and this is the position of those in one club I know of. Now, under these circumstances of non-liability for expenses, and of free access to the advantages of field exercise, I certainly think that the privilege of voting, which takes with it the power to dispose of the funds in the treasury of a club, should be confined to those members of a club who contribute their yearly amounts to the treasury as regular members of the club; and I also consider that these paying members of a club have a perfect right to elect players into the club and grant them any special privileges, without the impertinent interference–for that is what it amounts to–of either the National or State Association.

If this law should be continued in effect, the result would be that clubs–like the Excelsior, for instance–would be deprived of the power to organize and encourage junior players, and other clubs, like the Union Club of Morrisania, would be deprived of affording good ball players opportunities to indulge in their favorite game, who have not the means to contribute to the funds of the club, except through their services as players.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Knickerbockers play eleven on a side

Date Saturday, May 16, 1868
Text

The veteran Knickerbockers showed up at the fields on Monday last, and had a practice game of eleven on a side.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ladies admitted free in Troy

Date Saturday, October 10, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Union of Lansingburgh 9/29/1868] The ladies, who are admitted free, generally turn out in large numbers, and as Troy is a great manufacturing city, and abounds in collar manufactories and woolen mills, there is no lack of pretty girls at the ball games.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ladies get in free

Date Sunday, May 24, 1868
Text

We are glad to see that our ball-clubs have realized the importance of encouraging the presence of ladies at their contests by giving them the privilege of free access to their grounds. There is no charge for ladies at any inclosed ball-ground in New York or vicinity.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Martin's twisters 2

Date Saturday, August 1, 1868
Text

[Yale vs. Eckford 7/21/1868] Martin’s peculiar medium-paced “twisters” puzzled the collegians, and they were whitewashed in five innings.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

match games with ten on a side

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

[Knickerbockers vs. Excelsiors 9/1/1868] The side included ten players, a right short being added to each nine. New York Sunday Mercury September 6, 1868 [also Knickerbockers vs. Excelsiors 10/15/1868, NY Sunday Dispatch 10/18/1868; 10/26/1868, NY Sunday Dispatch 11/1/1868; continued into 1869 e.g. NYSM 10/24/1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McBride's celebrity with the boys

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Keystone 8/10/1868] McBride, on stepping into the enclosure, was heartily cheered by the entire assemblage, and a number of little fellows surrounded him, putting all sorts of queries to him, and bidding him go in and do his prettiest. Dick, in his good-natured, smiling way, inquired “what was the matter with them?” “Nothing, Dicky,” answered one little fellow, “only glad to see your riverince [sic].” It was impossible for Dick to make his way through this army of youngsters, and as the immortal J.N. would say, the “pressure” was intense. Dick’s popularity with the juveniles is owing solely to the fact that he does not forget that he was once a boy, and the kindness that he invariably extends to them meet them where he will.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

negotiating the umpire

Date Saturday, September 26, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs Union of Lansingburgh 9/17/1868] For reasons satisfactory to themselves, the Mutuals determined to play the third and deciding game at Lansingburgh... There were several reasons for this, the most prominent of which was that they did not consider that they had been fairly treated on their visit to the burgh. The umpire was said to have been prejudiced against them, and for this reason the Mutuals determined to go to Lansingburgh again to endeavor, if possible, to win a game from the “Haymakers” on their own ground. It had been agreed by the Unions that the Mutuals could bring any first-class ball player for umpire, and they would accept him. Charley Walker, of the Active Club, was first determined upon, but as that gentleman’s business engagements would not allow him to leave New York, Mr. John Grum, of the Eckford Club, one of the best umpires that could have been selected, consented to go up.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no hit scored on a force play

Date Thursday, April 9, 1868
Text

In recording “bases on hits,” it is not fair to credit a batsman with a base on a hit when he sends a ball to a fielder in such a manner as to lead to the player on first base being put out at second, from being forced off, as in nine cases out of ten, had there been no player on the first base, the batsman himself would have been put out.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no out on outside interference

Date Saturday, September 19, 1868
Text

[from answers to correspondents] In a base ball match, played the other day, the striker tipped an easy foul, which the catcher could have got had it not been for an outsider (a member of the other club), who put up his hand and stopped the ball. The umpire declared the man out; the players would not give it out. We leave it to you–was the man out or not? ... The umpire was wrong; the player was not out.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no skipping weak batters

Date Sunday, December 13, 1868
Text

Second section of the third rule has the important amendment added to it, providing that any player failing to take his place at the bat, unless by illness or consent of the captains, shall be declared out. This will prevent sharp practice, as in the case of a poor batter absenting himself when it becomes his turn to strike.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

not over until it's over?

Date Sunday, June 28, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Rockford 6/18/1868] One old chap had faith even in the Rockford Club, when the Athletics were at the bat for the last time, the Rockford players having been disposed of for two runs, “The game’s not over yet,” he kept asserting. “But it is,” said a disinterested bystander. “Your club have had their last show at the bat.” “I don’t care,” he continued; “the game’s not over.” A sporting reporter, who must have netted something handsome in his investments, went for the old chap to induce him to make a wager, but he was not on it.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

organization and finances of a western tour

Date Saturday, May 2, 1868
Text

The Atlantic club propose to take but ten players with them on their tour. If they go with less than twelve they make a mistake. They will probably be absent from the city until the last of July, as some twenty odd clubs want them to visit them, and it will be far more profitable to stay than it would be to play at home–at least until August. The club will make more out West in a week than they would in a month at home. In order to accommodate those of their nine who cannot stop so long, they might arrange to play their strongest opponents in June, and then let the remainder of the nine travel around and have their fun with the country clubs.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

overrunning first base

Date Thursday, January 2, 1868
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] [question:] A short time ago I umpired a match game of base ball, when the following circumstances arose: A batted a short ball, which was fielded smartly to first base. By dint of hard running, A reached the base and touched it with his foot before the ball was held there; but his momentum carried him on and he fell beyond the base. The baseman held up the ball and cried “judgment.” I ruled “not out,” as the runner recovered the base without being touched. Was I not right? [answer:] Certainly, as the player reached the base before the ball, and then had to be touched by the ball to be put out from overrunning the base.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pabor's peculiar left hand delivery

Date Saturday, September 19, 1868
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Atlantic 8/30/1868] Pabor was looked upon as a pitcher more difficult to hit away than Zettlein, his peculiar style of delivery–left hand–being considered not so easy to get at successfully. New York Clipper September 19, 1868

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pabor's pitching; a curve ball?

Date Sunday, September 13, 1868
Text

Pabor’s pitching is marked by speed, and a tolerable command of the ball when he does not go in solely for pace; besides which, he imparts a curve to the ball in his delivery–peculiar to most left-handed pitchers–which renders it necessary for his opponents to watch the ball closely after it leaves his hand, or before they are aware of it it is close upon their hands, instead of coming to the point of the bat they want it.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia croakers

Date Sunday, July 12, 1868
Text

[The Athletics return home from their western tour:] To bring the story to a close, they arrive home, and instead of a welcome, are met by the croakers with the salutation: “Oh! You’re pretty chaps, aint you, to lose the Rochester game?” and similar expressions. This is Philadelphia all over. The players, themselves, felt bad enough, and did not need a reminder of an occurrence that was painfully uppermost in their minds. No recognition is given them. They are allowed to straggle off tot heir homes–conquerors though they be, and victors though they were in eighteen contest–without any one saying, “Welcome home.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitcher and catcher positions mud holes

Date Saturday, October 31, 1868
Text

[Maryland vs. Atlantic 10/22/1868] On account of the heavy rains of the previous day, the ball field was not only wet, but the pitcher’s and catcher’s positions were very muddy.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players avoiding a picked nine game due to rumors of hippodroming

Date Saturday, May 23, 1868
Text

The return game between nines selected from New York and Brooklyn clubs came off on Tuesday, May 12. ... Flanly, of the Mutuals, was on the ground, but refused to play, saying that his name had been used without his authority. He had other reasons beside. An unpleasant rumor had been in circulation for a few days previous to the match that the New York Nine were going to lose this game in order to get on a third one. Be this as it may, Flanly refused to play, and this is also said to be the reason why Pabor and Birdsall, of the Unions, did not take part in the game.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players not in uniform 2

Date Tuesday, August 11, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs. Active 8/10/1868] The Mutuals, whether under-rating their opponents or giving way to an unworthy apathy, did not appear in full strength, and those that did had not all club uniforms, so that the appearance of the Mutuals was greatly against their credit as a well managed or properly spirited organization. A club boasting of such a large number of members as the Mutual, having so many good players at command, should never contract a match game unless the club can be properly represented and without players being put to the humiliating necessity of borrowing parts of the ball suit from one place and other parts from another and presenting on the field the appearance of a “scrub nine.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players who don't swear

Date Sunday, August 9, 1868
Text

Some time ago...”Chad” gave his reasons for liking the Wright Brothers. He stated among other things, that they did not use profane language, which we believe is true, and certainly reflects great credit upon them. We have been thinking the matter over a great deal since, and wondering what other players there were of whom the same could be said. In this city we know of the following players who never permit an oath to pollute their lips, viz: Al. Reach, Gwynn, McBride and Wilkins. There may be others. Elias Cope, of Washington, no man ever heard take his Maker’s name in van. We outselves never heard Hayhurst, Berkenstock, the Gaskill Brothers, Wes. Fisler, and several of the Olympic players, indulge in profanity. We have seen McBride at times quietly rebuke others for intemperate language, induced by a provocation that really affected him more than any one else. All honor to these gentlemen.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing out the game for the spread

Date Saturday, October 3, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 10/21/1868] A very disagreeable scene occurred in the last innings, which did not reflect much credit on either side. The Athletics were at the bat, and had run up a tally of 12 runs, making the score two to one. Two hands were out; it was getting quite dark, and it became a question whether the innings could be finished. The batters seemed anxious to make an end of it, and commenced to strike out. The umpire noticed this, and in once or two instances called “no strike.” The Mutuals also saw it, and began to play loose in the field. Dockney, who was pitching, delivered the ball wildly, so that the batters could not hit it. At this stage of the proceedings, the umpire walked out to McMahon, and after a short consultation, Billy went in to pitch. After one or two more runs had been made, Wilkins hit a short ball to McMahon, who fielded it to first, and the game closed. Considering that the game was delayed half an hour in waiting for Wilkins, and that it was near six o’clock before the last innings was commenced, we think it was the duty of the umpire to have called the game at the end of the eighth innings. Quite a number of the New Yorkers who wished to take the 6:30 train were prevented by this circumstance from so doing. It was evident from the remarks made in our hearing that bets had been made that the Athletics would win by a score of two to one, and probably if it had not been for this circumstance, we should not have had the unpleasant duty of recording a scene that reflected very little credit on either side. New York Clipper October 3, 1868 [final score Athletics 51, Mutuals 24]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

practice games are useless

Date Thursday, April 9, 1868
Text

[The Unions of Morrisania:] every Wednesday and Saturday, if not on every fine afternoon, there will be practice games played on the grounds. On Saturdays, we believe, it is the intention of the club to present their nine against the strongest field party that can be had on those days, and Mr. Ford has liberally offered a prize bat and ball for the best play on the day of the first regular game, Nine vs. Field, which will probably be next Saturday. It would be policy on the part of the club to appropriate a fund for the purpose of supplying prizes of a bat and ball on each of these occasions during the early part of the season. Ordinary in training up a nine, as no earnest effort is made in such games; but when an incentive for extra exertion is offered in the way of prizes for good batting and fielding, then an effort is made to play well, and the game becomes a practice game in reality.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

practice-day games

Date Sunday, May 10, 1868
Text

Match-games for practice-days, nine vs. field, have taken the place of the old scrub games clubs used to play on practice-days. The nine frequently play against a field of twenty. This admits of lively play for all hands, and a good practice-game for the club nine.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

practicing for the big game

Date Saturday, August 15, 1868
Text

The first grand match of the championship series will come off on the 17th inst., between the Atlantics and the Mutuals. ... the Mutuals are doing everything in their power to put themselves in the proper position for the grand trial of skill. They have played two games a week lately, and last week they pulled three engagements.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pre-game warm-ups

Date Saturday, September 5, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 8/31/1868] The Athletics had been in and around the field for some time, and for a few moments previous to the commencement of operations the players amused themselves by knocking “fungoes” and tossing the ball around.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pre-game warmup 2

Date Sunday, June 7, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Olympic of Pittsburgh 6/1/1868] The Athletics, on their arrival, found the Olympic boys practicing at the old fashion of swinging the ball from the corners.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pre-game warmup 3

Date Sunday, July 5, 1868
Text

[Athletics vs. Forest City of Cleveland 6/24/1868] Three o’clock saw the boys pitching the ball around. ... An Umpire was chosen...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

preparing the ground 2

Date Sunday, August 23, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs Mutual 8/17/1868] The Union grounds never presented such a beautiful sight as on this occasion. The grass had been cropped close and rolled; the base spots, from pitcher’s to catcher’s position, had been moistened and rolled, and the bases, foul lines, home and pitcher’s plates and lines, were distinctly drawn and whitened.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

professional and amateur players

Date Sunday, May 17, 1868
Text

[picked nines of New York vs. Brooklyn players 5/12/1868] The success of the class of contests inaugurated by this series of picked nine games depends entirely upon the way they are managed. The public and the fraternity in general will not object to paying the quarter of a dollar admission-fee, provided the trial of skill is a legitimate one in every respect, and not one “arranged” either to benefit “betting-rings” or to necessitate the playing of a third contest. But once resort to any “Hippodrome tactics”, and the professionals may at once give up their experiment as a failure; in fact, they will kill the goose which lays the golden egg.

We notice that quite a fuss has been created by some statements in reference to the alleged participation in the profits of these games by parties who claim to be non-professionals. Now, though we see no objection to any player’s taking part in this class of games, either for the pecuniary profit they yield to individuals, or merely for the advantage of the practice derived from them, we do see an objection to amateur-players dipping their fingers into the professional jam, and yet claiming to play merely as amateurs. It is this shabby-genteel style of thing which is justly complained of, and not the simple fact of taking part in a game played for receipts at the gate. If a man can make–honestly, mind you–more money by his talents as a ballplayer than he can by his skill either as a car-conductor, a marketman, a porter, or a clerk, what earthly objection can there be to his doing it? But if he cannot play ball for money without becoming a knave and the tool of gambling rings, then he had better go and hoe corn or handle a shovel at a dollar a day. The time has arrived for the existence of two classes of ball-players, professionals and amateurs; and the sooner the fraternity recognize the fact the better for the interests of the game. This distinction has not been voluntarily accepted, it has been forced upon the fraternity. The National Association has fought against it until their laws on the subject have become dead letters, and now all they have to do is not to refer to it at all, but to leave it to club-action entirely for regulation.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

professional baseball

Date Sunday, September 20, 1868
Text

It is quite refreshing, after witnessing the one-sided professional contests which have been late played, to see a good, well-contested and sociable match-game, such as was played last Thursday, between the Endeavors fo this city and the Americus of Newark, on the grounds of the latter, at Irvington. New York Sunday News September 20, 1868

A year or two since, we gave it as our opinion, that Base Ball would become a regular profession. Events since then, assure us we were right. Base Ball is already a profession and a very important and lucrative one. Often $1000, $2000, $3000, $4000, and even $5000 are received at the gate for entrance fees to matches. This proves that the amusement is more attractive than any other field sport. The result will be the formation of firms with capital, who will employ nines, and play them against opponents, the firms paying the nines and giving them at the rate of from $1000 to $3000 per annum, according to their value. Two such nines as the Athletics or Atlantics, ought to bring in every year about $50,000, if ably managed. Give half of this sum to the players and a good round $25,000 will remain to the capitalists or managers. ... Certainly the National Game is a profession, and nothing else! Philadelphia City Item October 3, 1868

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed separation of professional and amateur players

Date Sunday, November 22, 1868
Text

[from the Rules Committee's proposed amendments] Sec. 6. All players who play baseball for money, or who shall at any time receive compensation for their services as players, shall be considered professional players; and all others shall be regarded as amateur players. No professional player shall play in any nine the opponents of which are composed entirely of amateur players. And no professional player shall take part in any match game in which amateur players compose the majority of the contesting nines unless by mutual consent of the captains of the two nines. No person who shall be in arrears to any other club than the one he plays with, shall be competent to take part in any match game. The penalty for an infringement of this rule shall be the forfeiture of the game, and suspension from membership of the Association for one year. New York Sunday Mercury November 22, 1868

the New England Base Ballist

The New England Base Ballist, edited by Mortimer M. Rogers, President of the New England Association of Ball Players, and a member of the well-known Lowell Club, comes to us every week as fresh and interesting as ever, and we are pleased to learn that its circulation and advertisements have so increased as to render its welcome visits to our office a certainty for the future. New York Dispatch November 22, 1868

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

publicizing the game

Date Saturday, August 8, 1868
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Auburn 7/29/1868] This [Auburn] club has been most earnest in its preparations for the game. Posters had been stuck up all over the town and had been sent to all the adjacent places. In the morning such papers as that were circulated through the town: “Don’t fail to see the champions to-day. Game called at three o’clock,” etc.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

re-covering old balls

Date Sunday, May 3, 1868
Text

Base Ball Manufactory... None but the best material used, and every ball warranted regulation size and weight, solid, lovely, and not to rip. Old balls covered equal to new.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reduced incentive to stall for darkness

Date Sunday, December 13, 1868
Text

One of the most important amendments made was that in which the opportunities for playing a game in the dark were removed. As amended, the rule now decides a game by the score of the last equal innings played, unless one nine shall have completed their inning, and the other nine shall have exceeded the score of their opponents in their incompleted [sic] inning, in which case the nine having the highest score shall be declared the winner.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporters at the big game

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] Among the reporters present from New York were–Messrs. Chadwick, of the Brooklyn Union and N. Y. Mercury; Gill [per PSM 10/25/1868 “E. L. Gill”], of the News and Clipper; Ormbsby, of the World, and Piccott, of the Tribune and Wilkes’ Spirit.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reviving the Olympic of Philadelphia

Date Sunday, August 23, 1868
Text

The Olympics, since the present management got control of the Club, have made a desperate effort to put the organization in the position it once proudly maintained. We do not mean to insinuate that the Club lost caste during the period the old fogies were in power, but that it ceased to rank as a first-class playing organization. Since a change in the management, not a few mistakes have been committed, but that was to be expected–nay, was unavoidable. The Olympics, we hear, propose now to take position as a first-class amateur organization. If, as reported, Bomeisler, Berkenstock, Ned Gaskill, and some others have joined it, it will certainly acquire that distinction. Little Harrop, we presume, will retain his connection with the club, as will some others of the nine, who are gentlemen as well as players. The Olympics by this action will revive the old prestige of the club, and give tone and stamina to the game.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ropes bounding the field; poor crowd behavior

Date Sunday, June 7, 1868
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Olympics of Patterson 6/1/1868] We must not close without saying a word condemnatory of the conduct of many of the spectators, who crowded in front of the ropes bounding the field, completely obstructing the view of the few ladies that were present, annoyed the scorers so that it was nearly impossible to take notes of the contest, and occasionally indulged in a free fight, using horrible oaths and disgusting language shocking to hear. The Olympics, assisted by the police under Marshal Hayes, used every effort to preserve order, but with so little effect that the attempt was eventually abandoned.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumored salary level

Date Sunday, January 5, 1868
Text

Rumor hath it that $1,500 is the nice little yearly sum first-class professionals get in the New York Baseball market. To be able to trot round the streets in good clothes during the winter and have plenty of leisure time, and to play ball for the betting rings in the summer may be pleasant sport for some individuals, but it cannot be a very legitimate style of earning a livelihood. However, it is better than touting for gambling-hells or hunting up pigeons to pluck for worse places.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of a thrown game in a hustle

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

In the game between the Nationals, of [Albany], and the famed Atlantics, of Brooklyn, which has been the theme of so much discussion for a few days, came off yesterday afternoon at the Van Rennselaer Park. A large crowd attended. The result was a decided victory for the Nationals, at least so far as the figures of the score can make a victory. That score was 27 to 19. Without in anywise detracting from the great merit of the winners, the fact cannot be disguised that there is a very general opinion that the Atlantics intended from the outset to lose the game. Upon no other hypothesis can the character of their playing be accounted for. A reason given for this belief is, that a game of far greater importance was to day to have been played between the Atlantics and Haymakers of Lansingburgh and prudential considerations dictated the propriety of giving to that game greater inducements for betting than might have ensued from a victory yesterday. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 16, 1868, quoting the Albany Evening Journal. [Compare with NYSM 9/12/69]

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of game throwing

Date Sunday, May 17, 1868
Text

The reason the players named to take part in the matches between New York and Brooklyn, on the part of New York, did not take place, was because they had been told that Brooklyn was to be allowed to win for the sake of a third game. The professional clubs have realized by experience that any “arrangement” that leads to a third game of a series costs more in loss of prestige and reputation than it yields in the pecuniary profits in the way of receipts at the game, so it is no longer countenanced. It may be that no game has ever been lost for the purpose of having a third game played, the object in view being gate-money; but you cannot make the majority of the fraternity think so. The fact is, wherever you see a contest about to be played, and the bets are laid on the result to the amount of thousands of dollars, you may set it down as a fact, that the side having the most money bet will try to win at all events, and if they can in any way influence the club or the individual players of the club; they bet against either, to allow their opponents to win, or for the player to play so as to lose, they will do it. Of course, the result of this kind of thing is not only to prevent all interest being taken in leading contests, but to give a bad reputation to clubs and players who do no merit it. For the interest, therefore, of the betting classes along, it becomes their best policy to have every game played on the square, for then only will people visit the grounds or bet on the result.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runner didn't hear the foul call

Date Sunday, August 9, 1868
Text

[Mutuals vs. Irvingtons 8/5/1868] Lewis, in running home on a passed ball from a missed foul tip, did not hear the call of the Umpire, and neither did the scorers, and the result was, Lewis, after getting home, was given out at third base for not returning on a foul ball.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runner out on a foul ball

Date Saturday, August 1, 1868
Text

[Trimountain vs. Atlantic 7/23/1868] Sullivan, after getting his base, got too far off, and Barrows hitting foul, Zettlein [pitcher] passed the ball to Smith, and Sullivan retired.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runner out on a foul ball 2

Date Saturday, October 17, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 10/12/1868] Swandell sent a hot ball between second and short, making first base... Mills hit three or four fouls and one looking rather doubtful. Hunt, who was running for Swandell, left first, but was put out by Start [first baseman] and Zettlein [pitcher] on the return.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runners no longer advance on bases on balls unless forced

Date Sunday, December 20, 1868
Text

In giving bases on called balls the striker alone takes a base now, unless a player be on the first base when three balls are called; but unless obliged to vacate a base in accordance with the rule governing base-running, no base can be given on called balls except the first. Last year, if there was a player on third-base and three balls were called, the player in question came home; but now such a player cannot take a base on called balls unless all three bases are occupied when the striker is given a base. New York Sunday Mercury December 20, 1868

some batsmen in the habit of running in on the ball

The amendment to the rule governing the striker’s movements are judicious. Last season the words “About to strike the ball”, were found to be too indefinite, this working giving the striker too much latitude in his movements. Now, while at the same time he is permitted to move with freedom in striking at the ball, he is obliged, when in the act of striking, to stand astride the line of the home-base. This not only prevents his taking any backward step; from doing which he is otherwise expressly prohibited by the rule; but it prevents him from running in to meet the ball, as some batsmen are getting in the habit of doing, and by which they shortened the distance between themselves and the pitcher, and made the latter’s position far more dangerous even than it is now. The batsman now has all the legitimate freedom of movement he is entitled to, and the man who cannot bat a ball as skillfully under the new wording of the rule as he did before, is not much of a batsman. New York Sunday Mercury December 20, 1868

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

running outside the lines

Date Thursday, September 3, 1868
Text

[answers to correspondents:] “A” is running between 1st and 2d bases. The ball is thrown to “B” on 2d, “A” not having time to turn, dodges past B and heads for 3d not having touched 2d nor been touched by B, B holding the ball on 2d called for judgment, and A taking advantage of this again, slips past B, and now stands between 2d and 1st and soon succeeds in touching 2d. Nevertheless, A is decided out, although at no time has he been touched by the ball, or been 3 feet from one or the other of these two lines... Answer.–According to your statement the player is not out.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runs and outs a poor measure of a batsman's skill

Date Thursday, March 19, 1868
Text

In regard to the score of outs and runs, that is no criterion of a batsman’s skill at all. We have known of dozens of instances in which batsmen have secured their first or second bases on their hits, and either by being left on their bases or put out in being forced off through the inferior batting of their immediate successors, have had a large score of outs and no runs, while batsmen who have escaped being put out on poor hits, either by throws to second or third bases, when players are put out from being forced off, or who have made their bases by errors in the field, have scored five or six runs and perhaps been put out but once. In such cases the batting score has shown 6 outs and 1 run for the good batting, and 1 out and 6 runs for the poorest display perhaps of the nine. This occurs more or less in every game that is played. For instance, the ifrst striker takes the bat, hits a fine daisy-cutter between first and second, and easily takes his first base by the hit. The second striker hits a poor ball to short, which the short stop picks up and send to second to put out Striker No. 1, forced off his first, while the ppor hit is rewarded with a base given. It will be readily see, therefore, that the score of outs and runs is no criterion of a batsman’s skill. In reference to being left on bases, too, that is not always a criterion either of good batting or base running. Take, for instance, the case of Striker No. 2, just refereed to; had Strikers 3 and 4 sent him round to third base, and had he there been left, he would stand credited with “left on his third,” when he had not earned a base. If it were possible to record “left on bases” so as to discriminate between bases earned by good hits or good base running and bases given by errors of fielding or the good batting of others, this would do well enough as an assistance in judging of a man’s play; but, taking into consideration the fact that men are frequently left on bases from poor base running, and still more frequently through being batted off the first or second base, it will be seen that it is but little better as a criterion of play than is the score of outs and runs. In fact, there is but one true criterion of skill at the bat, and that is the number of times bases are made on clean hits. Next to this comes the number of bases made, then left on bases, and finally the score of outs and runs.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sabermetrics, 1868 version

Date Sunday, May 10, 1868
Text

The only correct estimate of a batsman’s skill in a match is the score of the number of times he makes his first base on clean hits, and not the number of bases he makes on such hits. The score of “outs” and “runs”, and even of “left on bases” are unreliable in the extreme. A batsman may make his first-base by a good hit, five times out of six, and yet, owing to being followed by a poor hitter, may be pout out five times out of six at second-base by being forced off his first base, while the poor hitter, being followed by heavy batsmen, may be sent home each time. In these instances, it will be seen that the player who did not score a base by a good hit scores five runs and one out, whereas the player who batted skillfully for his bases each time is charges with five outs and but one run. Now, if the estimate of batting had been correct, the skillful player would have been credited with having made his base five times on clean hits while the poor player would have scored but one, the others being made by his poor hits in sending balls to short stop, by which the player on the first-base could be readily put out at second. In this case the batsman is not credited with a base on a hit; as in every such case, when a ball is hit so as to enable an in-fielder to put a player out at second from being forced off, the batsman could readily have been put out at first. In regard to being left on bases, too, that, as an estimate of skill, is no reliable criterion, for plenty of men are left on bases who never earned them, and others by lack of skill in running their bases. In reference to taking the number of times bases are made on hits in place of the number of bases, we have to state that while it can easily be ascertained whether the batsman makes his first base on his hit or on an error of play, the difficulty of judging is increased ten-fold each base that is run. In fact, it is hard to tell how many bases a man is entitled to after securing his hit, but quite easy to ascertain how he made his first base.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

score a hit on misjudged fielding

Date Thursday, April 9, 1868
Text

In doubtful cases [the batter] should be credited, as in the cases we have referred to in which chances were offered off the pitching, but not accepted from lack of activity and skill in judging of the play.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sending out of town for an umpire

Date Thursday, August 13, 1868
Text

Of late years, [John A. Lowell] has officiated as Umpire, in prominent games all over this section of the country, and several times he has been telegraphed for by New York clubs to go on there, and act as Umpire, and acknowledged by all to be fair and impartial.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sending the runner home with only one out; an outfield assist

Date Sunday, July 19, 1868
Text

[Yale College vs. Union of Morrisania 7/17/1868] Wright hit a grounder to left field, and Akin was ordered to run home from second...but it was not use, the throw was a beautiful one, and just in time, and Akin had to retire at home base, grumbling at having been called in when only one man was out.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

should errors be scored?

Date Thursday, March 12, 1868
Text

When our system of abbreviations came into general use...more interest was taken in recording the details of each game, and especially in regard to fielding, and last year a decided improvement was manifested in scoring, while some of the best scorers in the country took pains to prepare model documents in the way of analytical statements of the season’s play of their club’s nine. A feature of all of these statements, however, was columns of figures showing the errors of fielding in the form of muffed balls, overthrows, dropped fly balls, passed balls, &c. Of course, in forming a very correct estimate of a man’s skill as a player, not only his good plays but his bad ones should be enumerated; but, unluckily, while the record of the former greatly encourages a player to make more strenuous efforts to excel, that of the latter generally has the reverse effect. In fact, experience has shown us conclusively that a record of errors of play inserted either in the club score book, or published in the scores of matches played, has a far more injurious than beneficial effect, and we have come to the conclusion that it is better for the interests of the game that it should be abolished; and with that object in view the system of recording matches which we adopted for The Chronicle from its very first issue, was marked by the absence of all record of errors in the fielding department, our idea being that it was punishment enough to a player to have but few good marks for skillful p lay, or his name left out altogether in the list of such awards, without adding to it a detailed record of his every failure to hold or throw a ball properly. This, therefore, is the feature of the new system of scoring we have established and which we propose to the fraternity as a substitute for that previously in vogue. American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes March 12, 1868 (see issue of 3/19/1868 for a long description of the scoring method.)

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

signal flags for outs

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

[Olympics of Washington vs. Unions of Lansingburgh 8/3/1868] In this game, a new feature was introduced, which pleased the spectators of the game so well that it will be continued hereafter. It is a white flag on which the word “Out” is painted in large letters. When a striker or any player is put out, and the decision of the umpire is announced, this flag is raised. So that hereafter, on a close decision, all may know the result.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

slugging versus batting for percentage

Date Sunday, May 31, 1868
Text

Willis is heavy at the bat...and when he gets a ball in the right place, it goes. But this style of batting does not pay in the long run as well as the style which gives first-base sure every hit.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

small ball vs. long ball

Date Sunday, October 18, 1868
Text

[Mutuals vs. Atlantics 10/12/1868] The style in which the Mutuals opened play at the bat in this game shows that they are beginning to realize the advantage of hitting balls down and simply striving to secure their first base by safe hits, rather than by going in for long showy hits, which yield, on average, one home run for about ten outs by catches. The majority of hits made by the Mutuals in this game were sharp bounders on safe hits, dropping short of the out-field.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stalling for darkness 2

Date Saturday, October 17, 1868
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Keystone 9/28/1868] [a card from “Fair Play” of Philadelphia] I am an admirer of the national sport. A well contested and fairly played game is to me a treat that I would go a great length to indulge in. On September 28th I witnessed a game between the Keystone Club, of this city, and the Cincinnati Club, of Cincinnati. The game up to the ending of the ninth innings, when the Cincinnatians went to the bat with six to tie and seven to win, was one full of excitement and interest, being very sharply played. The sun was about setting, but the Keystones were on the alert to put one, two and three out in succession, and exerted themselves to do so. The Cincinnati boys batted well, and had scored three runs with three men on base, the Keystones still playing their best. At this juncture one of the Cincinnatians went to the bat and made a home run, bringing home the three men then on their bases, thus winning the game. Then commenced a disgraceful scene, one calculated to destroy all interest in the game among gentlemen. The Cincinnatians, whose gentlemanly deportment through the entire game was the subject of remark, still kept up the game by batting well, but the Keystone intentionally lost several chances to put out the strikers, and this, I am satisfied, every fair minded gentleman on the ground at that time will substantiate. All within my hearing expressed their mortification at such scurvy treatment by our boys. The strangers still kept at the bat, determined to do justice and play fair, when to the surprise and disgust of every disinterested person on the ground, the umpire called the game on the eighth innings, which act gave the game to the Keystones. Strange, nevertheless, but painfully true as facts are to wrong doers, this same umpire [Theodore Bomeisler] who has, by the by, a false reputation for competency, in the game with the Keystone and Olympic, of Washington, and Athletic and Mutual, recently played here, made the two latter clubs play the game out when they were each in the same plight as the Keystones, and attempted the very same trick that he approved of in the Keystones. This is an impartial statement from a Philadelphian who is imbued with a natural desire to see his own clubs win, but only when ‘tis fairly done. By inserting this you will oblige a large number of readers of your excellent and reliable sporting journal, and those who like to see the game of base ball countenanced by gentlemen.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of losing for a third game

Date Sunday, October 18, 1868
Text

[Mutuals vs. Atlantics 10/12/1868] Those who had invested at the odds of two to one on the Atlantics felt rather down in the mouth, and of course began to talk of the Atlantic play being too thin, and to remark upon the pecuniary advantages of a third game, etc.; the inference of this class being that the game had been willfully lost. But if ever the Atlantics lost a game fairly, they lost this one. Season after season have they had just as good opportunities for losing second games with the Mutuals in order to have profitable third games, but season after season have they won every game, and they tried to win this as they had done other contests with the Mutuals.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of throwing a game for a third match

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] This gave the lead to the Athletics at the outset by the totals of 7 to 0; and Atlantic stock immediately went down way below par, and some of the Philadelphia admirers began to talk indignantly about the game being thrown, “in order to have a third match”, etc; and, to tell the truth, it did look a little fishy to see them play so indifferently after coming to Philadelphia, too, without Charley Smith. None of the bettors got bit by the operation, if operation it was, very little betting being done, except on the relative figures of the score by which the Atlantics would be defeated, for the success of the Athletics was regarded apparently as a foregone conclusion.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ten men on a side in a match game

Date Sunday, November 22, 1868
Text

[Acme vs. Empire 11/16/1868] The Acmes having challenged the Empires to a series, and it being too late to commence and finish it this season, it was determined to give them a single game, and that one of the last of the season. [The box score shows ten on each side, including a right short.] New York Sunday News November 22, 1868

a manifesto on professionalism

The time has arrived in the progress of our national game to maturity, when the fraternity will have to be divided into two classes of players, viz., professionals and amateurs, the former consisting of the class of ball-players who play base-ball for money, or who receive special compensation in any way for their services as ballplayers, and the latter being composed of ballplayers who engage in the game either for mere sport or for recreative exercise alone.

Ever since we had a standard code of rules for the game, there has been a statue law against playing ball for money, or for compensation in any way; but, nevertheless, for the past five years at least, but in fact since 1860, this rule has been a mere dead letter. In 1867, too, the rule governing this point was so worded as to class ballplayers who played for “money, place, or emolument”, as professional, and following this came an express rule prohibiting this class from taking part in any match-game. But the rule has been still less observed than it was before. In fact, it is a law which has been easily evaded; and we doubt whether any law could be framed which would prevent a certain class of ball-players from playing for money. But why this opposition to professional ballplaying? is a question many worthy members of the fraternity have asked. The argument against it is, that it will eventually bring the game down to the low level of many of the ordinary sports in vogue. On the other hand, even granting that professional ballplaying is an evil in its way, or in its ultimate results, as it is one we cannot prevent, but one we may regulate and control, is it not rather the part of common sense to try and keep it within legitimate bounds by a proper code of rules governing the system, rather than by dead-letter laws face it with a useless opposition, and thereby aid in promoting the worst evils of the system by making professional ballplaying a discreditable occupation, besides lowering the game in public estimation.

If this season’s experience has shown any one thing more than another, it is that professional ballplaying has become an institution in the land. The way this system has come into vogue is as follows:–When, in the good old days of the Knickerbocker and Gotham matches, at Hoboken, the game was played merely for recreative exercise and the excitement incident to the sport, baseball was in its infancy. The game was then played up to that point of excellence only which the limited practice of the game enabled the leading nines of the day to attain. Since then, not only have the rules of the game been yearly improved, but the degree of practical skill evinced on the field has been kept on a par with the advanced position of the game itself. AS baseball, too, has progressed in popularity, and since club-matches have been transferred from free ballfields to inclosed grounds, and thousands of people have been found willing to pay a quarter of a dollar entrance-fee to witness a well-played game, a calss of regular ballplayers, who devote their whole time to ballplaying, have come into existence; and one important result of this new order of things has been the substitution of regularly-trained and practiced experts in the place of the amateur-players of the days of the Knickerbocker and Gotham meetings; and, a sequence, too, we have the game now played up to a point of excellence, as regards fielding and batting skill, never before attained.

The question now being discussed by the fraternity at large prior to the meeting of the National Association at Washington is whether this system of professional ballplaying is to be be legalized or repudiated by the National Association. As an example of the opposition the movement for its indorsement is likely to meet with, we have simply to quote the direct instruction from the New Jersey Convention to its delegates to vote “square against professional ballplaying.” On the other hand, four of the eight delegates from the New York Convention are from clubs having professional nines. We think that the majority of the fraternity, at the same time that they are in favor of adopting some regulation likely to prevent the evils of the revolver system and of gambling ring associations, are also in favor of giving professional players some legal status in the game whereby they can take to ballplaying for money as a calling honestly, and not as now by surreptitious means. As nothing the Association can do will prevent professional ballplaying, it is by far the best plan to adopt a code of rules applicable to the nine, than, as at present, have on the statue-book rules which are openly violated each season. New York Sunday Mercury November 29, 1868

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

that Atlantics place a man at the ticket office while on tour

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

The desire to see our boys succeed was enhanced by the extraordinary actions oft he Atlantics in placing a man in the ticket office to receive money and also another at the gate to take tickets. By this proceeding they cast a reflection upon the Nationals [of Albany] and clearly established the truth of the declaration made by us a few weeks since that the Atlantics were money players. No other club in the country would think of questioning the honesty of the home club and it was an unwarranted and most ungentlemanly act on the part of the Atlantics when they virtually refused to allow the Nationals to handle the gate money by placing their own men in the office and at the gate. quoting the Albany Express

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the 'Only' Fisler

Date Sunday, May 31, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Geary 5/26/1868] The “Only” Fisler hit a grounder towards left, upon which he gained his second... Philadelphia Sunday Mercury May 31, 1868 [This is one of multiple instances in PSM of this year.]

[Athletic vs. Bloomington, Ill. 6/15/1868] ...Lawrence hitting a ball over Fisler’s head, but which the “Only Filser” jumped up for and secured, much to the astonishment of the natives, and which won the admiration of the Bloomington players. New York Clipper June 27, 1868

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Allegheny grounds

Date Sunday, June 7, 1868
Text

The grounds are enclosed, and bid fair, when some improvements contemplated shall be made, to be “just the thing” for ball purposes. The surface is a little rough, but the grass is coming up I places, and I learned that it was the intention of the club to sod it. A stand has been erected for the accommodation of spectators, but it is without covering, and consequently it will not be an attractive resort with the fair sex, particularly of a bright sunny afternoon. The club ought to remedy this matter. Lumber is a cheap commodity in this country, and if the experiment was tried, it would soon pay for itself.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletic Club forms a reserve nine

Date Sunday, April 19, 1868
Text

General Dan Kleinfelder, of the Athletics, is arranging a nine to be composed of the A’s Reserves. The General heads the list that the affable and courteous “Philadore” handed us, and after him comes “Old Reliable”–two good names–Kleinfelder and Berkenstock–to begin with, but the General’s Reserve force boasts of others who have at one time or another distinguished themselves upon the gree sward–Charlie Gaskill and his brother Neddy, Hayhurst, Jimmy Diehl, Johnny Kalmer, Sterling, Tiers, Flanagan, Beasley, and other. Now wouldn’t it be strange if the “Reserve Guard” should resolve upon defeating the A Ones? It would be funny. To horse at once, General.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics default on an Atlantic series

Date Sunday, November 1, 1868
Text

As soon as the Athletics received the news that the Atlantics had ceased to be champions, they sent on word that they would not play the new series of games so lately arranged for, as they would have no chance of becoming champions, and nothing to gain. The Atlantics did not view the matter in the same light, and, having their nine in readiness on Thursday, at the Union grounds, claim a ball on the failure of the Philadelphians to put in an appearance.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics receive offers of positions in the west

Date Sunday, July 12, 1868
Text

The boys ever kept uppermost in their thoughts the good name of Philadelphia, and the honor of the game itself. It had been currently reported through the West that the crack organizations East were composed mainly of roughs. By their gentlemanly deportment they gave the lie to this slander. In almost every city they visited, tempting offers were made several of the boys to return and located permanently. These propositions were in every instance promptly, but positively declined; though, to state the truth, the West made a very favorable impression on almost every member of the nine.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics trying to schedule a new championship series

Date Sunday, November 1, 1868
Text

The great trouble of the Athletics, just at present, seems to be how to obtain the championship... The President of the [champion] Mutual Club offered, last week, to pay the expenses of the Athletics if they would come on and play the home-and-home game, as well as one-third of the gate-money; but this arrangement did not suit the Philadelphians, who wished to arrange a new series, so as to get a chance at the championship, which they would not obtain even should they defeat the New Yorkers in the home-and-home game of the series... ...as the Mutuals will hardly arrange a new series this Fall, the “whip pennant” will probably remain in this city until another season.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics vote on whether to continue their tour

Date Sunday, July 5, 1868
Text

[the Athletics approaching the end of their western tour] ...on the ride from Cleveland to Erie, Father Hayhurst asked the boys whether they felt like continue their trip. He had received invitations from Rochester and Syracuse, asking us to visit these cities. A vote was taken, and it was decided to continue the advance from Buffalo, but no farther, the Fourth of July was looming up and the patriots desired to be at home on the anniversary. Johnny Kahmer–resolute, decided Kahmer–alone voted nay to the proposition to proceed further. Father Hayhurst said, “I have no arguments to urge in favor of the proposition. Here are the telegraphic communications. Act on them as you see proper.” Johnny Kahmer’s argument was that we had lost the services of Reach; that the players were tired; we had fulfilled our contract; and that it was time to return home. It was decided to proceed.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics abandon the old courtesies

Date Sunday, September 13, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 9/7/1868] [The Athletics in their hotel:] 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 friends of the Athletics we do complain of. At every game the Atlantics have played on the Athletic’s grounds, the best seasts have been invariably reserved for their frineds, and our ire has been excited more than once in noticing that the friends of the Atlantics, on these occasions, composed the scum of our population. But the friends accompanying our boys were charged admission–which also we do no complain of. We are glad that the rule has been established, and we hope it will be rigidly observed in the future with this club playing on our grounds.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics and Athletics kiss and make up

Date Sunday, May 3, 1868
Text

The fraternity generally will be pleased to learn that the Atlantic and Athletic clubs have shaken hands for 1868, this even being consummated when the Atlantics accepted the challenge of the Athletics, which they did on the 14th inst. The Atlantics have done themselves credity by this act, and we trust the old era of good feeling between the two clubs which prevailed during the Fitzgerald regime will be restored.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics deal with some bullies

Date Sunday, June 21, 1868
Text

After the game, the Atlantics returned to their hotel, and had a social time with their Syracuse friends, and at 12:20 took the train for Rochester, where they arrived at 2, A.M., after a rather exciting trip; for shortly after their departure from Syracuse some roughs, headed by a big bully, attempted to stop the express-train to get out at a way-station, and, insulting the conductor, the latter called upon the club for assistance, and if ever a party of drunken bullies found themselves in hot water, these blackguards did; Mike Henry polishing off the big fellow with a couple of his terrible blows, while the others soon found it necessary to apologize, and glad were they to get off at the first station the train stopped at. Whether their friends would know them when they got home or not, is uncertain, for they did not present a very comely appearance, being rather red in the face.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics lose to a country club; rumors of throwing the game as an excuse

Date Sunday, June 21, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Niagaras of Buffalo 6/16/1868] We regret to notice that there is a disposition evinced by partisans as well as rivals of the club to attribute this defeat to causes anything but creditable to the club; some regarding it as less disgraceful to have lost the game by fraudulent arrangement than by inferior play.

This latter opinion, however, is only entertained by the class who judge others by their own standard, and who know that they themselves would rather be charged with smart knavery than want of skill. Be this as it may, as we witnessed the play of the Atlantics, and their conduct on the tour up to the time of their departure from Buffalo, we are enabled to state what the causes of defeat really were, and to pronounce the charges of fraud or intemperance as among the causes of the defeat of the nine as false. Those who know us are cognizant of the fact that we should not hesitate to expose any discreditable conduct had any been committed, but we have to state that we never traveled with a party who behaved more quietly, or more in a way to do themselves and their club credit, by their deportment than the Atlantics have done on this trip; and, in regard to the game on June 16, we have the proof on our scorebook that, on the part of the Atlantics, it was one of the best fielding games they have played this year.

The truth is, the Niagaras entered the fight with nothing to lose and all to gain; and they happened to play just as the Nationals did with the Excelsiors at Chicago–this is, they played one of those exceptional games which mark a club’s career about once in a series of years. They never played so well before, and will not be likely to play another such a game this season.

As for the conduct of the Atlantics, they have won golden opinions from all. Not a man of the nine has given way to any intemperate indulgence; and as for any throwing of the game, that is a gross libel; for all their friends bet high on their winning at large odds, and all lost. We warrant there will be no second defeat on the tour; and this one will do the club no harm, except that they will have to wait another season to equal the Eckford score of 1863.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics paid a share of the gate; a justification

Date Sunday, August 9, 1868
Text

They play not for salary...although they do have a certain portion of the proceeds of the gate. And that is nearly what every club in this vicinity receives. It is not considered a disgrace, and in the case of the Atlantics, it is but just. For, as they stand at the head of the base ball clubs, they are compelled to play very frequently. Now, as they are men who are engaged in business, and who are not wealthy, it is but right that they should be remunerated in some way or other. There are several of the nine who are compelled, every time they play, to hire some one to take their places at their business. If this was not returned to them in some way, their salary would amount to but little at the end of the week, playing as many matches as the Atlantics do., quoting an unnamed Brooklyn newspaper

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics' flags

Date Tuesday, October 13, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 10/12/1868] Just above the enigmatical tiger flag of the Atlantics, floating from the staff at the lower right hand angle of the Union grounds, the champion streamer, released from its long confinement, curried and twirled, and whipped and whizzed, and snapped all saucily as if some Western John were handling it to touch up the leaders of the Atlantic team and remind them of the fact that they had a heavy load to carry and that, perhaps, they would find the road before them rather hard to travel. New York Herald October 13, 1868

distinction between a wide pitch and a passed ball; pitcher coving home; an easy steal of second when a runner is on third

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 10/12/1868] Pearce sent the first ball delivered very prettily along the ground to centre field and made first base. He was soon enabled to get 2d on a wide pitch, which Dockney [catcher] tried well to stop but didn’t succeed. He was helped to third by Smith’s safe hit back of short, on which Charley made 1st. Smith ran down to second very soon, as Pearce was on third. A passed ball allowed Pearce to get home, but he would have been out had Wolters [pitcher] caught the ball when thrown back to him. Start sent a pretty ball to centre field, on which he made 1st, and Smith got home. A wide pitch gave Start second base. New York Clipper October 17, 1868

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Bloomington boys not practiced in preventing base stealing

Date Saturday, June 27, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Bloomington, Ill. 6/15/1868] The Athletics in this and the previous innings had shown how easily bases could be run. The Bloomingtons discovered also that they lacked accuracy, and were not in practice in this particular. They now ceased entirely from making any effort to prevent the Philadelphians, running the bases; every throw in the previous innings had told fearfully against them, and they saw that it was fruitless to stop the “Quakers” on that pace.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Bowdoin Club reconnoiters the New York play for updates

Date Thursday, August 6, 1868
Text

As the game had undergone some changes since its adoption in 1857, the Bowdoin Club detailed a committee of three, consisting of Messrs. Lowell, Gill and Forbush, to visit New York to witness some of the New York style of playing. This was the first of June 1860 and on their return the club at a special meeting extended an invitation to the Excelsiors of Brooklyn, who were then in their prime, to visit Boston and give our players a lesson or two in the game.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Cincinnati Club becomes a joint stock company

Date Saturday, December 5, 1868
Text

A meeting of the Cincinnati Base Ball Club was held at Mozart Hall last evening [i.e. 11/23]. The president of the Club, Mr. A. T. Goshorn, occupied the chair, and Mr. H Beesly acted as secretary. The deeds and leases of the Cincinnati Union Cricket Club, conveying the right, title and interest of the Union Grounds to the Cincinnati Base Ball Club, were first presented and confirmed. The Union Grounds will henceforth be conducted under the auspices of the Cincinnati Base Ball Club. A joint stock company of the members of the Cincinnati Club having been originated it was resolved that the club sell to the corporation formed under the name of the Union Grounds, the right, title and interest of the grounds. It was also resolved that of this $15,000 capital stock of the new association, the Cincinnati Club should reserve to itself $7,500, and that the committee appointed for the purpose dispose of the remaining $7,500 worth of stock, in shares of $25 each. One share entitles the holder of it to a lady’s ticket of admission to the skating pond; two shares entitle the holder to a ticket admitting himself and lady, and four shares secures to him a ticket admitting his whole family. Holders of stock in the association will be entitled to the dividends derived from the gross proceeds of the grounds from skating and the summer games. Under the new corporation, the club intends to rapidly improve the grounds, and give to Cincinnati one of the best skating parks in the country. The new organization assumes the responsibility of all debts owed by the Union Cricket Club, and concedes to them the privilege of using the grounds on each Wednesday of the week, until the expiration of the present lease

We learn further that a joint stock company has also taken the Buckeye grounds, the capital stock being fixed at $25,000, divided into shares of $50 each. New York Clipper December 5, 1868, quoting the Cincinnati Commercial of 11/24/1868

New York professionals against the Athletics

An informal meeting of the influential members of the professional clubs of New York and Brooklyn took place this week, to consider the question of ceasing further intercourse with the Athletic Club, of Philadelphia. The reason for this action is an alleged series of grievances complained of against the Athletics. We should have though it advisable under the circumstances for the professional clubs to help sustain each other as much as possible, rather than by action like this remove from among their list of contestant in their leading games, a club whose nine when meeting the others in the field draws such crowds as the Athletics do in their games with New York clubs. This action of our professional clubs will probably have the effect of organizing a strong movement against professionals on the part of the Pennsylvania delegation. It is unwise in any light, and can but do harm. New York Sunday Mercury December 6, 1868

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Cincinnati grounds

Date Sunday, June 14, 1868
Text

[They] are, indeed, what they are represented, beautiful, and still being improved. They are having erected a mammoth pavilion, which is intended to be for the exclusive use of ladies, and will accommodate at least eight hundred of them–provided they are reasonable in their measurement of crinoline. The pavilion is in height about the size of a three-story house, and the view is a splendid one, as it takes in all the positions–facing the pitcher and in the rear of the catcher.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Cincinnatis at practice

Date Monday, August 24, 1868
Text

The Cincinnati's nine have been practising for the game to be played to-day with the Unions of Morrisania. On Thursday the Cincinnati first nine played against the reserved nine. Asa Brainard pitched for the reserves, and the game resulted in favor of the first nine with a score of 32 to 4.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Cincinnatis in town recruiting

Date Thursday, April 2, 1868
Text

While in at Peck’s base ball quarters on Saturday, we met Mr. Champion, the worthy president of the Cincinnati Club. He was with Harry Wright selecting material. Mr. Champion is sanguine of a very successful campaign for his club, and anticipates a very brilliant season out West. American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes April 2, 1868

different categories of strikes?

[from Answers to Correspondents:] How does the new rule work in [this] case? A man is at the bat, and two strikes have been called on him for missing the ball, and the third time he strikes he steps backward and infringes the rule? [Answer:] In this case, you call “one strike” and “two strikes” for the two balls struck at and missed, and for the third ball so missed, but hit so as to infringe the rule, you call “one strike, “the penalty for the infringement of the rule taking precedence of the third strike for failing to hit the ball. American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes April 2, 1868

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Detroit grounds; seat backs

Date Saturday, August 15, 1868
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Detroit 8/1/1868] These grounds were the most extensive that the club has yet met with on its tours... The seats are the handsomest that it has been our privilege to see; all those in the main stand are provided with backs, while the whole is covered with an extensive roof or top. The reserved seats are situated back of and to the left of the catcher’s position, and are placed on the roof of the club house, while the reporter’s stand is “lofty,” being a broad platform built about half way up a large tree situated behind the catcher.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Elysian Fields for amateur practice games; the old clubs

Date Sunday, May 10, 1868
Text

Hoboken, the classic ground of the fraternity, was last season almost deserted, except by club and social parties who went over to the fields to while away an hour or so of an afternoon. This season, however, quite a revival has set in in that quarter; and though no professional clubs are allowed to play matches there, still some very lively and interesting practice-games have marked the opening-play of the season at the Elysian Fields, and more are to come; the probability being that Hoboken–the only free ball-playing locality almost we have left to us–will be as lively with amateur clubs practicing their nines against field parties, as it used to be by the crowds who visited the fields to see the old-time club-contests. The veteran Knickerbockers led the van in opening play at the fields this season–the Active, Empire, Social, and Jefferson following suit; and on Tuesday last the old Eagle and Gotham Clubs fell into line, and Sparta Club also opening play the same day. Now we are very glad to be able to record these facts, and also to notice the fact that the older organizations have made a renewed effort to keep up their clubs to a standard as near on a par with the stains of the clubs in the old-time as the changes which have taken place will admit of. The Knickerbockers–now in the twenty-fourth year of their organization–have inoculated the old club with some young blood, and they can now place in the field a very promising lot of young colts, who bid fair to make stylish time, with a little judicious training under the hands of the veterans. The Knickerbockers have opened play quite early this season, and anticipate playing many a friendly game with amateur organizations like themselves, especially with their old companions the Excelsiors, with whom they have played regularly every season since 1857. The Empire Club are also early at work, and the promise is that they will be carrying off the palm among that class of contestants.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Empire club to play amateur clubs only

Date Sunday, April 5, 1868
Text

THE EMPIRE CLUB.–This club, this season, will occupy the old Mutual grounds, at Hoboken, and will go in for enjoyable club-matches among themselves, and also for games with clubs playing amateur nines only, such as the Excelsior, Eurekas, Knickerbocker, Active, etc.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the English cricketers watch a baseball game; Americanized rounders; pre-game warm-up

Date Sunday, September 20, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs. Unions of Morrisania 9/15/1868] Among the visitors were the members of the All-England Eleven, who expressed themselves much pleased with the manner in which the game of rounders had been Americanized, and intimated a desire to have a trial of the game before they leave the country. New York Sunday Mercury September 20, 1868

[Mutual vs. Unions of Morrisania 9/15/1868] The scene was somewhat enlivened, just previous to the commencement of the game, by the appearance of the famous English eleven on the field. They watched the preliminary practice of the ball-players with evident interest, and when the game was underway, occupied reserved seats in the pagoda. New York Sunday News September 20, 1868

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Eureka club withdrawing from the championship

Date Sunday, March 22, 1868
Text

After two years’ experience of a policy adverse to the one which gave this club the title of being one of the finest club of fielders in the country, the Eurekas have come to the conclusion that a certain individual unnecessary to name was right in his idea of what was the best plan of operation for the Excelsior Club of New Jersey to pursue, and they have concluded this season to return to the old tactics of the club, and to play their amateur experts in the place of professionals, and to decline entering the championship-arena until the same is open only to amateur-nines. ... The Eurekas propose playing with the amateur nines of the Excelsior, Active, Star, Independent, and others who are not classified as professional candidates for the honors of the championship arena. Such contests as these the gambling fraternity will not care about, and consequently no “rings” interfere with them, and no gate-money arrangements demoralizes them. New York Sunday Mercury March 22, 1868

The Eurekas having lost Dockney and Lex, will satisfy themselves this season with playing pleasant and social games, the nine to be made up of the old stock. Such a course cannot fail to be productive of more enjoyment and pleasure than exciting contests for the championship, and we are not sure but as fine games will be the result. At all events the Eurekas are a fine set of fellows and it is a pleasure to witness their quiet and gentlemanly style of playing even if they don’t pay their men a thousand dollars apiece. New York Dispatch March 22, 1868

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsior Clubroom

Date Sunday, January 5, 1868
Text

The Excelsior Club, of Brooklyn, have engaged a handsome suite of rooms at the new hall in Washington street, near Fulton, and they will occupy the same as soon as the building is completed. The Excelsior Clubroom has been the scene of nightly reunions among the members of the club and their friends, and social enjoyment of a high character has been the result.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsior clubroom

Date Sunday, May 24, 1868
Text

The Excelsior Club have taken possession of their new clubrooms, No. 381 Fulton street, Brooklyn, opposite the City Hall. The floor is laid with black-walnut stripes, and the room has been furnished in handsome style. They have a very fine-toned piano; and what with music, chess, cribbage, social converse, and files of paper making baseball a specialty, the clubrooms are made very attractive. Ballplayers from out-of-town clubs should call and leave their address with the Secretary. The Excelsiors are always glad to see their friends.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsiors of Chicago raising money to hire professionals

Date Sunday, August 2, 1868
Text

[a meeting of the Excelsior Club of Chicago:] Mr. Erby...stated that the real object of the meeting was to consult in relation to the recent defeats of the Excelsiors and to see if something could not be done to retrieve the good name of the Club. He said that many of our citizens were greatly interested in the national game, and would willingly subscribe liberally towards making the club efficient. The Buckeye Club, he said, was composed principally of hired players, seven of the nine who recently defeated the Excelsiors being from the East. The Excelsiors, he said, had five first-class players in the organization–with four more of the same kind they would be all right. He was sure that fifteen hundred or two thousand dollars could be raised among citizens, as well as not, to promote the well being of the club, and he moved that a committee of three be appointed to solicit subscriptions., quoting the Chicago Tribune

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsiors only playing amateurs

Date Sunday, May 24, 1868
Text

The Excelsior Club, of Brooklyn, in issuing their challenges this season, have barred all professional players. They will play this year entirely on an amateur basis, and for the first time since 1858, as their first professional-player was Creighton, the best ball-player we have ever had.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mohawk Club reverts to amateur

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

We learn that the Mohawk Club will shortly be reorganized on their old amateur footing, when they ranked as high in social status as any club in the city. Their professional experiment has been a dead failure. New York Dispatch August 16, 1868

a late example of the Massachusetts game

Boyd Corey & Co., vs. Clapp & Billings.–A match game of base ball was played at Marlboro, Aug. 1st, between employees of the above mentioned firms., which brought to remembrance, the doings on the ballfield in the “days of yore.” The match was played in accordance with the rules of the old “Massachusetts game” and was for a prize of $100. The game throughout was marked with good plays on both sides and was both interesting and exciting to the lookers on who were numbered by hundreds. The conditions were to play from 2 P.M. until 7 P.M. the club scoring the greatest number of runs at the expiration of that time, to be considered the victors. [The game lasted 28 and a half innings, final score 24 to 23.] New England Base Ballist August 20, 1868

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutual Club is expelled and reinstated

Date Sunday, November 15, 1868
Text

[reporting the New York state association’s convention, debating the Mutual Club and the Devyr affair:] The findings [of the Judiciary Committee] in the Mutual case were approved, and the club was declared to have forfeited membership: but, on motion of Judge-Advocate Belton, was immediately reinstated, there being only one dissenting vote. New York Dispatch November 15, 1868

...the action of the [Judiciary] Committee in virtually expelling the Mutual Club from membership of the Association was sustained by a vote 38 to 23, several of the delegates absenting themselves when the vote was about being taken, from lack of moral courage to face the music in support of the organization it is the interest of every club in the State to sustain.

...

After the Mutual case had thus been disposed of, the club punished for its flagrant violation of the law, and the action of the State Judiciary Committee very properly sustained, ...by vote of the Convention the Mutual Club was reinstated to membership, the vote being nearly unanimous...

...

The effect of the indorsement of the action of the Judiciary Committee, and the consequent expulsion of the Mutual Club, is to render null and void every game played by them from the date of the publication of the decision of the Judiciary Committee up to the period of their reinstatement as members of the Association by the Judiciary Committee [sic]. This, of course, affects the championship question materially; but we presume that as the Atlantic Club, through their delegate, have disavowed all intention to claim the title on any such grounds, no doubt other clubs will do the same, and hence it will be safe to consider the Mutual Club still the champions of the United States, that matter being something the National Association intends to ignore. A delegate did ...try to introduce the subject of the championship, but the Convention would not listen to it for a moment. New York Sunday Mercury November 15, 1868

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutual Club's status and the national convention

Date Sunday, December 13, 1868
Text

The New York State delegation was the first to be called [at the national convention], and when their delegates answered to their names, Mr. Wood, of New Jersey, arose to protest against the reception of the same, on the ground of the action of that association at their last Convention in reinstating the Mutual Club. On motion, however, any further discussion of the subject was postponed until a later period of the session, and the call of the roll proceeded with. As it was afterward ascertained, in regard to the Mutual case, that no charges had been presented to the National Judiciary Committee against the New York Association, no matter affecting the status of that association could be legally brought before the Convention; and, moreover, the Mutual Club, as reinstated by the State Association, did not have the objectionable member of their list, the Association, of course, infringing no rule of the National Association by their action in this respect.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals can't buy a pennant; managing a professional nine

Date Sunday, October 4, 1868
Text

The Mutual Club have had the pecuniary power in their hands or organizing the most powerful picked-nine in the country, and yet they have so managed affairs as to lose all the advantage their great facilities gave them. ... Now, there are two causes for what is called muffin-play, viz., incompetence to field well at all, and an over-anxiety on the part of fielders to do their very best, for fear of certain consequences, such as dismissal from an advantageous pecuniary position, or a suspicion of willful misplay. These latter causes are very influential in professional nines in inducing errors; and hence managers of professional nines, in order to develop the full skill of their nine, should so arrange things as to give each man a fair show to make his mark, and especially strive to make each man of the nine a member of the club, not in name and uniform only, but in his interest in the welfare of the organization he plays with. Until this is done, no club may expect tow in with their nine, no matter who the players are or what their celebrity who compose it.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals litigated for playing a banned player

Date Sunday, October 4, 1868
Text

The meeting of the Judiciary Committee of the State Association to hear and determine charges, was held last Wednesday evening at the Study, in Hudson street. ... The next case was that of the Mutual Club, in having reinstated Edwin Duffy to full membership. The Judge-Advocate made the formal charge. Counsel for the Mutuals moved the case be quashed, reading from the By-Laws that a charge must be made within thirty days after the offence is committed, and the offence charged, the reinstatement by the Mutual Club of Edwin Duffy, had taken place on the 28th of July, the time had elapsed. The committee deliberated for a time, when the President announced the unanimous conclusion that the point was well taken, and the charge must be rejected. New York Dispatch October 4, 1868

Judge Advocate Balton has preferred charges against the Mutuals for playing Duffy in the game with the Actives on September 30th. He has also preferred charges against the Actives for entering into the contest with the Mutuals, the latter having Duffy in the nine. There will probably be a meeting of the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday evening, to take action on the complaints. New York Dispatch October 11, 1868

The Judiciary Committee decided, on Wednesday evening, that the Mutual Club has violated Section 4 of Article IX of the Constitution of the State Association in admitting and retaining Mr. Duffy as a member of the club, and in playing Mr. Duffy in a match game with the Active Club on September 30, ult. The Mutuals will probably appeal to the Judiciary Committee of the National Association. New York Dispatch October 18, 1868

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Oakdale grounds for sale

Date Sunday, May 24, 1868
Text

Oakdale Park, which in a few years will be centrally located, is now for sale, and can be purchased on very reasonable terms. The Athletic, Olympic, and one other first-class club, should look into this as a matter of speculation as well as for base ball and skating purposes. We confidently predict that, if purchased this year, it would be the most popular, if not the only, skating and ball grounds in this country.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Red Stocking uniform

Date Sunday, October 4, 1868
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 9/28/1868] [The Cincinnatis] wear a very near and tasty uniform of white flannel, with the letter “C” worked on breast of their shirts. Their pants are what is generally known as “Knickerbockers” with red stockings.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Red Stocking's uniform

Date Thursday, April 16, 1868
Text

The Cincinnati players have adopted the Knickerbocker dress of the Young America Cricket Club.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Star Club turning the tables on the Excelsior

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

The Star Club placed in the field for the first time their new amateur nine, including Jewell and Cummings, the late catcher and pitcher of the Excelsior Club. The time was when the Stars, like the Enterprise Club, used to furnish material to the older organizations, but now the tables are turned somewhat and the debt is being repaid.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Tribune's baseball reporter

Date Sunday, May 3, 1868
Text

Mr. James C. Warner, who during the great part of last season, reported Base Ball and other sporting matter for the Tribune, and who has since been engaged as a special correspondent for the same paper at Panama, died in that city on the 15th ult., at the age of twenty-three.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Union Club's new Tremont ground

Date Sunday, July 5, 1868
Text

The [new Union club’s] grounds are situated close by the Tremont way-station of the horse-car line, and not far from the occasional steam accommodations of the Harlem Road. They cover several acres well wooded in the higher part, with a fine expanse of open space for games to be contested on. This season, the loose and sandy nature of the soil will scarcely operate advantageously in the interest of brilliant play. Time must be given for grass to grow and thicken, and the turf to get elastic; but fall rains and constant care will effect all this before another year. A better place for the purpose could not have been selected. There is a high, sloping plain, plentifully shaded, on which a stand to accommodate several thousands of spectators will be erected–another excellent location for a ladies’ pavilion, and still another for the special convenience of scorers and the press. The club-house is a handsome frame structure, planted on the crest of the hill which rises from the road; and in this are all hotel-facilities for temporary guests, while round about it are to be established attractions for the better class of picnic parties. The hotel is dwelt in and conducted by Messrs. Pabor and Birdsall, the accomplished pitcher and catcher of the club, and admirable hosts they promise in every way to prove themselves. New York Sunday Mercury July 5, 1868

In fact, its surroundings of shady groves, and the picturesque locality of the ground, are its present attractions. We think the home base could be put back some twenty-five feet further to advantage, and the line from home to second changed in direction more to the left. At present, the centre-field is too close to the spectators for long hits from heavy batting, as experience will show, we think. The facility with which the ground is reached from the city is a great advantage. Not only is Tremont station, on the Harlem road, but twenty minutes ride from the Twenty-sixth street depot, but the horse-cars run to the very entrance of the Park from Harlem bridge, every five minutes; and from Harlem to the city by the Harlem boats is a delightful sail. The ground is surrounded by a very high and well-put-up fence, but the accommodations for spectators are the feature of the locality, these surpassing every other ground. Seats will be arranged for three thousand people under the shade of elm-trees, while a special stand with covered seats is to be located back of the first base for ladies. And, by the way, the reporters’ stand should be transferred to this side, for at present the glare of the sun from the ground is very distressing, the covered stand really affording very little protection. New York Sunday Mercury July 19, 1868

Union Park, the new enclosed ground of the Union Club, although not entirely completed, is yet in such a forward state as to admit of match playing. The ground is rough and uneven, particularly the catcher’s position, and it will take another season at least to render it equal to our best enclosed ball fields. The seating accommodations are far ahead of anything in this vicinity, however. At the foot of a small hill, covered by trees and almost entirely protected from the sun, comfortable seats for two ro three thousand spectators have been erected. To the south and back of the seats is located the club house, a neat and unpretending wooden structure. Directly in front of this building is a roomy platform, with the reserved seats for ladies and members of the club leading therefrom. Just outside of the enclosure, and yet within the grounds, is the restaurant and bar, under the charge of Messrs. Birdsall and Pabor,, the pitcher and catcher of the club. To the north and back of the home base the reporters’ desk is located, affording a fine view of the field and protected from the sun by an awning. Altogether the new Union Park, even in its unfinished state, is one of the most picturesque ball fields in the country. New York Clipper July 25, 1868

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Unions field but seven players

Date Sunday, October 18, 1868
Text

[Mutuals vs. Unions 10/15/1868] On October 15, the Mutual Club, not being officially notified of any postponement of their appointed game with the Unions at Tremont, took a special train for that village at half-past 1 o’clock, P.M., and on their arrival there found that the Unions, anticipating a postponement of the game by their officials, were not prepared to meet the Mutuals, the grounds being in no condition to be played on. The Mutuals, however, had their nine on hand, had been at considerable expense and trouble to get up there in time, and were ready to play; so the Unions had nothing to do but either to present them a ball as forfeit, or get together as many of their players as they could raise at short notice, and go in and do their best; and this latter course they decided very pluckily to take, and so a game–such as it was–was played, the Mutuals, of course, winning, the Unions playing but seven men...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Xenia Club wearing knickerbockers

Date Saturday, June 13, 1868
Text

Their [the Xenia Club’s] uniform is something after the style worn by cricketers–white stockings, dark blue pants, white shirts and belts and blue caps.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the advantages of a professional 'club' nine

Date Sunday, July 19, 1868
Text

[Eckfords vs. Atlantics 7/16/1868] This game, by-the-way, afforded a practical illustration of the immense advantage of forming a professional nine on a club basis; this is, of making it not so much a “picked nine” members of one organization, but of organizing the nine as a club-nine, in which each man, besides having a pecuniary interest in the games played, would also have a club-feeling in the success of the nine. It is in this respect that the Atlantics occupy the most advantageous position of any of the prominent organizations of the country, as all in the nine have been members of the club for years, not a man being in it who joined later than the spring of 1866. The lack of this very element is a weak spot in the Eckford nine; for Martin is a new man, and as yet apparently has not won the suffrages of the club, and some others of the nine also are new to the club, and hence things do not work together in a match as they will do, no doubt, when a greater familiarity with each other’s play is arrived at. When the old Eckford nine worked together, they played for the name of the club as if a defeat was death to the individual hopes of every man in the nine. It is this esprit de corps which is an essential element of success in club nines, and it is these which nearly every prominent club now lacks more or less except the Atlantics, the Mutual Club most of all.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the art of pitching 2

Date Sunday, December 20, 1868
Text

A great many pitcher, in their efforts to learn how not to do it, in their ostensible attempts to pitch to the bat, go to the other extreme, and pitch so wildly, that the most lenient umpire finds it necessary to call balls upon them. Now a pitcher can pitch to the bat, and with apparent fairness too, and yet not send in a ball where the batsman wants it. To do this neatly, and so as to avoid the penalty of wild pitching, constitutes true skill in the position.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ball grounds of western New York

Date Sunday, June 21, 1868
Text

The infield [in Syracuse] was very rough and the catcher’s position poor. We noticed that on all the three grounds at Syracuse, Niagara, and Buffalo, the level piece of laid-out ground which, on our ballfields extends from some fifty feet back of the home-base to ten feet beyond the pitcher’s position, and without which no ballfield is complete, was entirely wanting. Both at Syracuse and Buffalo, too, the legal home-base was wanting–the home-base being now required to cover a foot square of surface.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baseball editor of the Sunday Dispatch

Date Thursday, March 26, 1868
Text

One of the best and most impartially written base ball departments of the Sunday papers last season was that of the New York Dispatch, under the editorial control of Mr. Tabor... We are glad to learn that Mr. Taber is again to edit the base ball department of the Dispatch, for he is a gentleman who never allows his personal feelings to govern him in his comments on the game, and especially avoids that retelling of mischievous gossip, and sneering paragraphs on other writers on the game, which so disgrace others who profess to be fair and impartial commentators on base ball.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baseball reporters for the Phila Sunday Mercury

Date Sunday, July 26, 1868
Text

The Mercury has others besides your humble servant to do its base ball work. Shall I introduce you? Permit me, then, to make you acquainted with the veteran Charles C. Wilson, Joe Robinson, Sammy Cochran. John Sensenderfer you have met; and when it comes to a pinch, Col. Meeser bears a hand. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury July 26, 1868 [the article signed by Charles Graffen]

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the behavior of the players and the respectability of crowds at professional games

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs. Eckford 8/14/1868] The return-match...attracted a very numerous but anything but respectable gathering of spectators, judging from the scenes which were enacted, the outside crowd being of the most disreputable character. It is a little singular that Mr. Cammeyer does not adopt some means to prevent the gathering of the sans cullottes outside; for by their blackguard remarks they not only insult the players, but lead to disturbances inside. New York Sunday Mercury August 16, 1868

[Mutual vs. Eckford 8/14/1868] The odds were laid upon the Mutuals in every instance, 100 to 60 being the ruling figures, but many bets were made at 100 to 40. Whether the players were influenced by these bets of course, only those who are within the “Ring” know; but that both clubs acted as though their dollars, and not their souls, went with the victory, was too palpable not to be mentioned. The Umpire, Mr. Mills, was the choice of both clubs, his decisions in contests this year winning for him the highest praise among ball-players. Although reluctantly serving in this position, and never giving cause for just complaint, he was badgered almost beyond endurance by the players for decisions on this or that point, and if “judgment” was asked once it was asked a hundred times. Between the excitement within the gates and the abusive remarks hurled by the crowd without, the scene was of the most disorderly character that it has been our reporter’s fortune to have witnessed in this neighborhood. No blows were struck, but threats were made, and many assumed a belligerent attitude. A few more such scenes will effectually rid the game of all respectable visitor and players, and make it a reproach–as it was once an honor–to be connected with a ball club. New York Dispatch August 16, 1868

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 8/17/1868] The estimate of the attendance on the occasion being at a moderate calculation at least 10,000, over 7,000 paying an admission-fee. ... we are glad to be able to state that those...who are hopeless of better things in regard to the moral status of baseball, would have had less reason to feel despondent had they seen the creditable contrast this game afforded, marked as it was by good order and friendly feeling, to the discreditable proceedings on the occasion of the Mutual and Eckford match the previous Friday. That game, by-the-way, opened the eyes of the professional clubs occupying the Union Grounds to the fact that a recurrence of such a disgraceful scene would not only bring the clubs participating in it into disrepute, but also be quite a severe blow to the pecuniary interests of the two organizations, inasmuch as it would prevent all respectable people from patronizing the grounds. On this occasion, therefore, an effort was made to offset the black mark of the Friday-meeting by making this quite a model game for professional nines, and the result was very satisfactory, for it proved to be, the order preserved and the absence of discord and ill-will among the contestants was quite noteworthy. We trust to see all the grand matches of the season pass off as well as this did. New York Sunday Mercury August 23, 1868

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the best amateur players in the country

Date Sunday, July 19, 1868
Text

On the 6th of last month the champions [Unions of Morrisania] visited New Haven and played a match game with the Yale College boys, which resulted, after an exciting contest of eleven innings, in favor of the Unions by the small score of 16 to 14. On the Fourth of July the Stars, of Brooklyn, visited the same locality, to try their luck, but found it bad, meeting with a crushing defeat, by a score of 31 to 14. These two contests immediately placed the Yales in the list of first-class clubs, and they stand recognized to-day probably as .

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the big game was not postponed due to poor attendance; denial of hippodroming

Date Sunday, October 25, 1868
Text

The New England base ballist, Mr. M. Rogers, is out with a burst of honest indignation o the strength of the report that the Mutual-Atlantic game was postponed last Monday because there was not money enough taken in at the gate to make the game profitable. If that were the real reason for which the game was postponed, Mr. Rogers' indignation is quite commendable. Such, however, is not the case. The Mutuals received word in the morning that the directors of the Atlantic Club had conceded the propriety of postponing the game because of the condition of the ground after the recent bad weather, and that one of the directors of the Atlantic club would wait upon the Mutuals and settle about the matter. Seven or eight of the Mutual nine were assembled at the rendezvous awaiting the arrival of the expected director and did not go over to the grounds and, therefore, could not have known whether it would be profitable to play the game. Mr. Roger's intimates that the recent victories of the Mutuals over the Atlantic, Athletic and Union Clubs were the results of arrangements so as to bring on a third game, while immediately after the intimation alluded to he gives a detailed account of the Mutual Atlantic game, which shows for itself that there was no “throwing the game” indulged in. He then gives short accounts of the Athletic and Unions games, which clearly demonstrated the fact that they were lost and won solely on their merits. Look well before you leap, Mr. Rogers, and spare your “feelinks.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the burden of travel

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

[the Unions of Morrisania traveling overnight fro Rockford to Chicago] The entire Rockford Club accompanied the boys to the depot, and as the train departed, rousing cheers were given and returned on both sides. No sleeping car was attached to the train, and an uncomfortable night was passed by all, what little sleep that would have visited them being driven away by an old gentleman who would insist on quoting Shakespeare all night in a loud tone of voice.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher positions himself to prevent a steal of home

Date Sunday, August 23, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs Mutual 8/17/1868] [bottom of the ninth, Swandell at third base, two outs] Charley Mills now called “Time” and going over to the scorers, inquired how the game stood. Being told they were still one ahead, Mills took up his position right behind the batter, being determined that Swandell should not steal in.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the choice of a ball; the Cincinnatis insist on a dead ball, favored by clubs deficient in batting

Date Sunday, October 4, 1868
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 9/28/1868] Prior to commencing the game, a long discussion arose between the captains of the respective clubs in regard to the ball, the Athletics rightfully contending that the party on whose ground the game was played should furnish the ball, but the Cincinnatis would not use any other than a ball of their own make, McBride at length courteously consenting to use their ball. The ball that was used in the game was one totally devoid of elasticity, and by this means the Athletics were weakened in batting, one of their main elements of strength, it being very difficult to hit such a ball, and for that reason clubs that are deficient in batting generally use such balls in matches, in hopes to equalize the batting. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury October 4, 1868

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 9/28/1868] Of course the friends of the Athletics were somewhat surprised at the close rub their favorites had received, but when it was recollected that the visiting club introduced a ball made expressly for their own use which was devoid of elasticity, the wonder was not so great. The Athletics discovered the trick before the game commenced and refused to play with the “dead” ball, but the Cincinnatis would have no other. After considerable time cut to waste, McBride yielded the point and the game commenced. New York Clipper October 10, 1868

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the crowd at the big game

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] As early as ten o’clock, the prominent positions outside of the grounds were fully occupied, and shortly after noon the grand rush began. Thousands of people who had arrived from out of town by the morning trains were on hand, while the street cars were fairly filled to overflowing. Seats were at a premium, and the majority had to stand, the accommodations not being sufficient for half of those present. The windows of the dwellings in the immediate vicinity were all occupied by interested spectators, as well as the tops of the houses, while vehicles that had brought spectators to the grounds were made to do service as stands for those doing “outside duty.” Within the enclosure the ladies’ covered stand was filled with the representatives of the fair sex, and the members’ seats were filled to repletion. New York Dispatch September 6, 1868

Every available point of sight within the ground was occupied. The roadway in Columbia avenue and Fifteenth street was a dense mass. The many trees in the neighboring lots were loaded down with men and boys. Speculators had seats erected on wagons, which they disposed of at quite a lively rate at twenty five cents per head. The grand stand was reserved for ladies, a very numerous assemblage of whom were present. The seats on the top of Messrs. Cuthbert and Berry’s restaurant were all occupied at two and one dollar a seat. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury September 6, 1868

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the death of Charles Graffen

Date Saturday, October 3, 1868
Text

The death of Mr. Charles H. Graffen has filled base ball circles with the deepest regret. He was doing all in his power to elevate and ennoble our National pastime. Philadelphia City Item October 3, 1868 [see also obituary Philadelphia Sunday Mercury 10/4/1868]

Mr. Graffen was one of the most versatile newspaper men in Philadelphia, having under his charge the religious, dramatic and sporting departments of the Mercury. He was also correspondent for several western papers, and was well known to the press throughout the country. He accompanied the Athletics on their western trip, as the special correspondent of the Clipper, and his graphic accounts of the games will be pleasantly remembered by our readers. New York Clipper October 3, 1868

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the death of Mike Smith

Date Sunday, December 13, 1868
Text

The base ball fraternity of Philadelphia have sustained a severe loss in the death of Michael W. Smith, a well known member of the Keystone Club of this city. He was, also, during 1864 and 1865, one of the nine of the Athletics, taking the position of left field and third base generally. We only know Mike Smith as a base ball player, and his acknowledged abilities as a player, combined with his quiet, unassuming manner and demeanor, won the high esteem of all who came in contact with him, either on the ball-field or in social intercourse. He died on the morning of the 10th instant after a severe illness at the age of twenty-six, and was consigned to his last earthly resting place in Cadral Cemetery [sic: should be Cathedral Cemetery], yesterday morning. Solemn High Mass was read at St. Phillip’s Church and evidence of sincere grief which marked the countenances of the very large circle of friends present was a most flattering testimonial of the high esteem in which he was held.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the end of the Red House grounds

Date Sunday, April 12, 1868
Text

The Red House grounds have been built upon, a house being in progress of erection where the home-base of the ball-field stood.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the financial benefits of touring

Date Sunday, April 26, 1868
Text

The Atlantic Club propose to take but ten players with them on their tour. If they go with less than twelve they will make a mistake. They will probably be absent from the city until the last of July, as some twenty odd clubs want them to visit them, and it will be far more profitable to stay than it would be to play at home–at least until August. In fact, the club will make more out West in a week than they would in a month at home. In order to accommodate those of their nine who cannot stop so long, they might arrange to play their strongest opponents in June, and then let the remainder of the nine travel around and have their fun with the country-clubs.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the first fly game in New England

Date Thursday, August 6, 1868
Text

Sept. 22, the return game of the Bowdoins and Tri-Mountains took place on the Common, resulting in a second defeat of the Tri-Mountains by a score of 36 to 19. This game is also of importance inasmuch as it was the first “fly game” played in Boston as previous to this, the bound catch was allowed in all games.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the introduction of pool selling

Date Sunday, August 23, 1868
Text

At Troy, regular pools were made up in the Atlantic and Union match, hundreds of professional gamblers from the races at Saratoga visiting Troy for the purpose. This kind of thing will mark all these championship matches to the close of the season... New York Dispatch August 23, 1868

In looking over our exchanges a few days since, we came across the following, which to a casual reader would not seem to be of any great importance; but to those who have the welfare of “Our National Game” at heart, it is the beginning of what will give a death blow to base ball playing if its evil influences are not nipped in the bud. The article was as follows:–

“At the Atlantic National match at Troy, a few days since, pool-selling was inaugurated, and some $15,000 changed hands on the result of the game.”

Pool-selling is nothing more nor less than gambling–right down systematic gambling. Suppose two clubs are about to play an important match. The pool-seller announces that the pools for the game are ready to be sold, and when those interested are assembled, he announces the names of the clubs to play and calls for bids for first choice and then for second. These two bids constitute a pool, and the one who is fortunate or unfortunate enough to hit the right club takes the amount of the pool. After one pool is made up the same thing is done over again, until all present have, if so inclined, invested their money on their favorite club.

Now all this is wrong, and not only wrong but the evil influences, which betting has led to in turf and aquatic sports in inaugurating a system of fraud, will be the same in base ball matches, if the clubs once get within the influences of the betting ring.

There is nothing that can be more detrimental to the continued success of our national pastime than this one thing, and if it is not stopped, and that at once, farewell to any thing like fair and honest base ball contests. The game will degenerate until it becomes a power in the hands of the sporting men, and the clubs mere tools, to aid them in their money getting plans. Let all then, who would preserve base ball from the evil influences, which must result from the system of betting, now in its infancy, rally, and by their influence and example check this evil ere it becomes too late to cope with it with any certainty of success. New England Base Ballist September 3, 1868

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Athletics president

Date Saturday, April 11, 1868
Text

The new President of the Athletics, Mr. J. F. Smith, is a millionaire to begin with, and he is a man of brains, of high social position, of the most generous impulses, and of the loftiest integrity. He is an old ball player, and a gentleman for whom we have a high personal respect. It remains to be seen whether the Athletics can appreciate and retain this invaluable accession to their moral, social, pecuniary, and intellectual strength. Anything mean, cowardly indirect, or improper–a repetition of last year’s conduct, for instance–will whock and disgust Mr. Joseph Fraley Smith, and all his immediate friends. Philadelphia City Item April 11, 1868 [J. Fraley Smith appears as director of The Northern Pacific Rail Road, The National Bank Exchange of Philadelphia, incorporator of the National Fire and Marine Insurance Company of Philadelphia, etc.]

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Mutual grounds; playing on the independent principle

Date Sunday, March 15, 1868
Text

The Mutual Club have leased the Satellite grounds for the year, if not longer; and henceforth this locality will be known as the Mutual Club grounds. The club, with their characteristic energy, have made arrangements to improve the ground so as to make it the best in the district, and special accommodations are in the process of completion for the large attendance of spectators. The admission-fee to the grounds is not to exceed 10 cents, except on occasions of matches, when an excessive crowd may be anticipated. The club will neither share receipts with other clubs nor accept of a share in match-games on other grounds, but play their game on the independent principle.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Union Club grounds

Date Sunday, April 5, 1868
Text

Workmen are still busily engaged in grading the field of the new baseball-park at Tremont, and preparing the grounds of occupancy in early May. The new park promises to be the most complete and attractive baseball-field in the State. The grounds are bordered on three sides by trees, and around the new hotel which has been erected (and which, by-the-way, is now in the full tide of successful operation under the management of Messrs. Birdsall and Pabor, of the Union nine) there is a beautiful grove of cedars, making a locality truly charming for picnics, as it is on the high hill overlooking the surrounding country. It is, we believe, the design of the club to prepare a cricket-field on their grounds, which comprise some ten acres, and serve the purpose also of a croquet-field, Sunday school and other social picnic parties. The grounds are on the line of the Harlem Bridge, Morrisania & Fordham Railway, and cars pass the park every five minutes.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new balls

Date Saturday, February 22, 1868
Text

The new rules require that all balls used in a match must be stamped with the size, weight and maker’s name, and if any other is used the game played will be “null and void.” The new ball is smaller and lighter than the old one, being but nine inches in circumference, and weighing five and a quarter ounces.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the origin of the Olympic Club of Boston

Date Thursday, August 27, 1868
Text

[from a biographical sketch of George Arnold:] In the Spring of 1851 he came to this city and began work with the firm of James Munroe & Col, booksellers. The years following, he, with the late Mr. Albert S. Flye and a few young men, used to meet on the Common as early as five o’clock, a.m., to play ball; here we may trace the origin of what was afterwards known as the “Olympic Ball Club of Boston,” and no doubt the first Club organized in New England. It was formed in the Summer of 1854. Mr. Arnold took an active part in organizing the same.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the origin of the term 'base ball'

Date Sunday, November 15, 1868
Text

It has been generally supposed that the term “base ball”–designating our national game–was of American origin. But Miss Austen, in her “Northanger Abbey,” published about the beginning of the present century, writes of a young heroine, who preferred “cricket, base ball, etc.,” to dolls.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pecuniary aspect of a grand tour

Date Thursday, April 9, 1868
Text

Base Ball Clubs now make tours for two objects, the primary one, and the only object hitherto, being to have a good time generally, and to extend the popularity of the game. The other object in view is to make the trip advantageous in a pecuniary point of view–that is, to the extend of participating in the profits derived from the receipts at the gate on occasions of matches played on enclosed grounds at the cities and towns a noted professional club may visit. Hitherto no grand tour or even club excursion has been made where the latter rule has prevailed, but this season–and it should be understood by country clubs generally that, unless a visiting club expressly disavow their desire for a share of gate receipts, such arrangement will have to be made–several such trips will be made. Last year the National Club made a tour westward, which cost the club several thousand dollars, but they neither received a cent of the receipts at the gate on any one occasion, nor allowed any club to pay their hotel expenses during the whole tour.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the physical characteristic of baseballs; figure eight

Date Thursday, February 27, 1868
Text

We have received from Messrs. Peck & Snyder, and E. Horseman samples of their new balls for 1868 Each of the four samples we have hanging up in our office differs from the other. In regard to weight and size, those of Horseman, Ross and Van Horn’s make are alike, being 5 1/4 ounces in weight, and 9 1/4 inches in circumference. But Peck’s is but 5 ounces in weight, while it is the full size. In regard to the seams in each ball, the “Bounding Rock” of Pecks is decidedly the best, as it has continuous seam, and is therefore less liable to rip open. Ross’s ball has five seams, and the others have three seams. Peck’s is the most elastic ball of the four.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher covering first base on a ground ball to the right side

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] Al. Reach, as usual, was the first striker on the Athletic side; he hit a hot bounder which Joe Start [the first baseman], in consequence of the wet grass, slipped in trying to stop, and the ball rebounding from his hands, was thrown wildly by Kenney [the second baseman] to Zettlein [the pitcher], who had run to the base to take the ball from Start, and Reach, therefore, reached his third base.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher covering first base on a ground ball to the right side 2

Date Sunday, October 4, 1868
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 9/28/1868] Kingsley hit a hot grounder to Fisler [the first baseman], who could not pick it up in time, and making a poor throw to McBride [the pitcher], who had covered the base, Kingsley made his first. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury October 4, 1868

a corner outfielder backing up center field; scoring on the third out

[Atlantic vs. Union of Morrisania 10/6/1868] [Martin], after hitting a low ball to centre field, which Crain [center fielder] muffed, started for second base, but the indefatigable Chapman [left fielder] had “backed-up” the centre, and, passing the ball in to Ferguson at second, heading Martin off. Goldie ran home on Martin's hit, and as Martin, the striker of the ball on which Goldie got in, was put out, an appeal was made the umpire to know if the run was to be counted. Mr. [Mortimer] Rogers, having the “letter of the law” in his mind, no doubt, decided that the run was not to be counted. In this instance the absurdity of the rule s was seen, and Mr. Rogers, reconsidering the matter, revoked that ruling shortly after and gave a decision in accordance with the “spirit” of the law, and very justly allowed Goldie's run to be counted in the score. New York Herald October 7, 1868

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the price of a pitcher

Date Saturday, May 30, 1868
Text

Two hundred dollars a month for six months was the sum offered by the Haymakers to Walters, to pitch for them. He refused it, because, he said, “he could get more!

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the prospects for Prospect Park

Date Thursday, March 19, 1868
Text

We are glad to learn that it is the intention of the Prospect Park Commissioners to prepare a ball ground for School and Academy clubs this season in Prospect Park, the same to be used by school nines in charge of one or more of their teachers. No public park is complete without its base ball and crickets [sic] grounds, and Prospect Park is to have both. There ought to be a refreshment department adjoining as at the skating pond.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reasons to allow professional clubs

Date Sunday, December 13, 1868
Text

The report of the Committee of Rules came up in order, and Mr. Chadwick, the acting Chairman, proceeded to read the report, in which he referred to the necessity of adapting [sic] such changes in the playing rules of the game as the season’s experience had shown to be advantageous, and also to the fact that bearing upon the subject of professional ball playing, that though a prohibitory rule had been on the statute-books for years, it had been merely a deal letter; and that in view of the impossibility of framing a law on the subject which could not be evaded, and also of the lack of power to enforce even if such a law could be framed, the committee had deemed it expedient to divide the fraternity into two classes, viz, professionals and amateurs, leaving the two parties to have their intercourse governed by such rules as their State associations might adapt. New York Sunday Mercury December 13, 1868 [also found verbatim NY Clipper 12/19/1868]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reorganized Olympics of 1868

Date Sunday, November 29, 1868
Text

In the beginning of the present season a change was made in the management of the [Olympic] club–Messrs. Taber and Thatcher, the most prominent under the new regime, by their activity and energy, infusing new life into the club. The first step taken was the formation of a new nine, which was selected from prominent young players in the junior fraternity, and several seceders from the Commonwealth forming the nucleus, and Rorke, of the defunct Arctic, being selected to fill the important position of pitcher.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the roughs at the Union grounds

Date Sunday, May 31, 1868
Text

...all clubs except the regular organizations occupying the grounds [are] subjected to the obscene jeers and comments of the congregation of blackguards who form the majority of the peepers through the fences, stones being thrown at the out-fielders by these roughs. This is something Mr. Cammeyer will have to put a stop to, or by and by no decent club will consent to play matches on the Union grounds on this very account., quoting the Brooklyn Union

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the rules as observed

Date Sunday, October 11, 1868
Text

[Union vs. Atlantic 10/6/1868] On an appeal of the scorers as to whether Goldie’s run counted, the umpire at first decided that it did not, but afterward corrected his error by giving him the run, the “striker” not having been put out before the run was made. Dr. Jones’ amendment to the rule which prohibited runs being scored after two hands were put out if the striker of the ball was put out, no matter where, being in conflict with the spirit of the rule, has not been observed this season. The Doctor inserted the words “of it” after the word “striker”, but it is considered questionable whether this covers the ground. At any rate, the rule which governs the play now is, that all runs count after two hands are out, provided the third hand is not put out before reaching the first-base; and the rule will be amended, not, doubt, to make this a permanent law of the game.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the season in the South; Sunday baseball

Date Sunday, January 5, 1868
Text

The baseball season is now in the ascendent in the extreme South, the winter-season being the time chosen for playing champion-games in Louisiana and adjoining States. The great ball-playing day in New Orleans is Sunday; and every fine Sunday, all the ball grounds are occupied, except those of the best social status. New York Sunday Mercury January 5, 1868

social status of the Eurekas

The Eurekas, it is said, have tired of their last year’s policy, and have reorganized on a basis more in keeping with their high social status, and that this next season will see them with their old fielding-nine together again. New York Sunday Mercury January 5, 1868

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the split of the gate

Date Sunday, August 23, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 8/17/1868] The first grand match between these clubs, of Brooklyn and New York, took place on Monday last on the Union grounds, on which occasion over 12,000 people were present in and around the inclosure, over 8,000 people paying the admission fee to the field, a result which benefitted the Atlantics to the extent of $200 each, a good day’s work. New York Dispatch August 23, 1868 [Note: contradicted by the following, from the same issue:]

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 8/17/1868] The estimate of the attendance at the Atlantic match vary from 10,000 to 20,000. Now, the number who paid for admission was 8,405. The receipts were $2,100, of which $700 went to Cammeyer, and $700 to each of the clubs, the club treasuries taking $70 each, and each member of the two nines $70. A good day’s work. The average yield per man is about $10 per match. The Mutuals took in the most on bets, about $5,000 changing hands. New York Dispatch August 23, 1868

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the spread of the revolving system; the reputation of the Atlantics

Date Thursday, September 3, 1868
Text

The Auburn N.Y. Journal in commenting upon the revolving system, says:–

We “laid the flattering unction to our soul” that the clubs in this vicinity were not engaged in this very reprehensible practice, but we find that we must take that back, as wee it is stated in several papers that “the handsome sum of $1,200 was the inducement which led Pat Grace to leave the Knickerbocker Club of Albany to become a member of the Central City Club of Syracuse.” We can only understand from this that the Central Citys, emulous of the very questionable reputation of the Atlantics of Brooklyn, are thus adopting the bad example set by that club. Stop it, boys! Let the Atlantics gamble under the leadership of John Morrissey if they choose to do so, but don’t you in any way assist them in bringing the game into disrepute. “Play ball for the fun of it,” and play as well as you know how, but don’t try to be professional players for the purpose of making money. It is not laudable, and as now conducted, cannot be made honest or respectable.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Elysian Fields

Date Saturday, July 11, 1868
Text

Hoboken, whilom the resort of all our crack New York clubs, has fallen into disuse with a few years. Time was when the spectators at a match on the Elysian Fields could be numbered by thousands. Now-a-days a few hundreds are all that can be got together on the once famous ball fields, and the grass grows high and the grounds are ill-kept. Improvement is now the order of the day, and new buildings and streets have made their appearance in close proximity to the play grounds. In a few years the giant strides of commerce and trade will obliterate what is left of the renowned Fields, and nothing will remain but pleasant memories of the many exciting contests that have taken place there.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Excelsiors

Date Sunday, July 26, 1868
Text

The Excelsiors, of Brooklyn, expect the Olympics to visit them this week; and if they do, they purpose presenting the Philadelphians with a ball after a good game, as they have had no practice and apparently taken no interest in the game of late. Cummings, Hall, Booth, and Jackson, of their junior nine, have joined other clubs; and Jewell, Clyne, and Flanly, of their last year’s nine, are in other nines. They will, however, doubtless muster a good amateur nine to play the Olympics.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the status of the Empire Club

Date Wednesday, July 1, 1868
Text

The Empire Club, an organization and jovial gentlemen, still holds its own, and its semi-weekly recreations at Hoboken are occasions of good natured, old fashioned sport.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the theatrical connection

Date Sunday, December 6, 1868
Text

A well-known theatrical manager of this city has in contemplation the project of organizing a nine of professional players to travel all over the United States, next season, and he thinks that, properly managed, the gate money received at matches would make it a profitable speculation.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the third Wright brother

Date Sunday, July 5, 1868
Text

[Active vs. Gramercy 7/2/1868] On Wednesday, the 2d inst., the friends and admirers of the Active and Gramercy Clubs gathered at the old Mutual Ground, now occupied by the Gramercys, to witness their first meeting. ... We have particularly to commend the base playing of young Sam. Wright [third baseman of the Gramercy]...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the thirty day rule changed to sixty days

Date Sunday, December 13, 1868
Text

The “revolvers” have been checked in their operations by the amendment changing the time of prohibition from thirty to sixty days. John Wildey voted for ten days, and Mr. Ward for ninety; but finally sixty was fixed upon, and now no man can take part in a match-game unless he has ceased to be a member or has not played in any other club’s nine, then the one he plays with for sixty days prior to the time he plays. New York Sunday Mercury December 13, 1868

This amendment elicited a lively discussion. John Wildey, of the Mutuals, speaking in favor of ten days, and Mr. Ward in favor of ninety days... College clubs, however, have been made exceptional to this rule. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury December 13, 1868

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire gives satisfaction despite being an old school player

Date Saturday, September 5, 1868
Text

[Union of Lansingburgh vs. Star 8/28/1868] The umpire [John Wildey of the Mutual] although one of the old school players, discharged his duties very acceptably, and gave general satisfaction.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire grows impatient, calls a strike

Date Saturday, September 5, 1868
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Cincinnati 8/25/1868] Shelley went to the bat, and every one felt that on his hit the game depended. He...was over cautious; ball after ball was pitched, until the umpire became impatient and called a strike.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire's discretionary powers in calling balls and strikes; high and low

Date Thursday, December 24, 1868
Text

An important amendment to the rules governing the pitcher’s movements is that obliging the Umpire to call all unfair balls after due warning has been given the pitcher. Last season the Umpire had far too much discretionary power in this respect. Now he is bound to call all balls not within the legitimate reach of the bat.

...

In calling balls however, the Umpire has still the discretionary power to judge all balls not expressly considered unfair balls, such as balls sent within the legitimate reach of the bat, but not as high or low as the batsman desires, or, sufficiently near the home base as to be pitched “fairly for the striker.” In calling these balls, however, he should see that the striker hits at balls called for; if the batsman calls for a knee-high ball and then hits at a higher ball, the Umpire should not call balls on the pitcher except when obliged to do so in the case of unfair balls out of reach. The habit batsmen have of calling for balls lower than they are in the habit of striking at is an unfair one, and should not be allowed by the Umpire. The query to the striker should be, “where do you generally strike at a ball?” and not “where do you want a ball.” The new rule governing these points will have a tendency to put a stop to games made long by wild pitching.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Thorne's slow twisters

Date Saturday, May 23, 1868
Text

[picked nines of New York vs. Brooklyn professionals 5/12/1868] [The New York side playing with only eight players] Without a short stop it was supposed that it would be an easy thing for the skilled batters of the Atlantics to drive the ball right though the vacant space between second and third, but for once they were mistaken. were found to be harder to hit than they at first imagined...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

too honest a pitcher to be successful

Date Sunday, September 13, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 9/7/1868] The general impression seems to be that [the Atlantics] have made a mistake in leaving Pratt out of their nine, as Zettlein is . There is no question but that there is something in this, and for an illustration we have taken the pains to look up the scores of the games between the Athletics and Atlantics, in which these two pitchers took part. The result is that in the first four games in which Pratt pitched, the scores were as follows: Atlantic–21, 27, 27, 12–87; Athletic–15, 24, 17, 31–87. In the four last games Zettlein pitched, the total are as appended: Atlantic–28, 8, 9, 13–58; Athletic–16, 28, 18, 37–99. From this it will be seen that the advantage is largely in Pratt’s favor.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

trash talk

Date Saturday, June 27, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Rockford 6/18/1868] After the game with the Excelsiors, which was witnessed by the Forest City Club, the Athletics were informed by the Rockford players that they would have to play a sharper game with them to come off victorious. Several of their players intimated that the Athletics would not run the bases in the dare-devil style they did on the Excelsior match. They boasted that they were all experienced throwers and that it would be found a difficult matter to hit their pitcher. ... Arriving at the field a goodly company assembled, reviewed the men as they stepped upon the sward and engaged in throwing the ball around. Al. sent a ball wizzing to Fisler. “Oh, that’s nothing,” said a Rockford sharp, “wait until you see our chaps.” A brother chip, who does the sporting intelligence for on of the Chicago papers, immediately takes the Rockford man to account and offers to bet him even that the Forest City players have not got a player that can hold three balls out of five that either McBride, Cuthbert, or Fisler will throw from base to base. This was not accepted, but a great deal of “chin” follows, when the reportorial sport gets on a bet that the Rockford Club will be defeated; the same enthusiast before the first innings has closed has made bets on two and three to one, and after that at various stages of the game he offers odds of four, five and six to one, but no takers, the Rockford boys having put out their money on an even thing, and are sick and sore of their bargain; wild and almost incredulous inducements were held out to them to bet, but they would not accept; they had lost faith in the invincibility of their pet club and began to see that it was no match for the eastern party. ... The Athletics went in resolved to win and that by a big score. The friends of the Excelsiors wanted to see the Rockford Club thrashed, but they wanted it done thoroughly.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire calling 'fair ball' before calling strikes

Date Sunday, October 4, 1868
Text

[Mutuals vs. Actives 9/30/1868] The crowd was amused with the calling [by Dr. Draper of the Cincinnati Club, the umpire] of “fair ball” as a warning before calling strikes. Now this is what all umpires should do before calling strikes, the rules requiring the warning. The fact is country umpires, as a general thing, are far better posted on the true intent and meaning of the rules than our first-class players are.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire ignoring calls for judgment

Date Sunday, October 4, 1868
Text

[Mutuals vs. Actives 9/30/1868] We were specially struck with the coolness and self-possession fo Dr. Draper in the position [of umpire], and also with the manner in which he turned a deaf ear to the continued appeals for judgment.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire reluctant to enforce balls and strikes

Date Saturday, August 22, 1868
Text

[Keystone vs. Eckford 8/21/1868] Mr. Smith, as umpire, was as impartial in his judgments as a man could be, but he seemed top have a decided objection to bear down heavily with the rules on the pitchers and batters, and to that fact may be attributed the extraordinary length [3:35] of the game.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire relying on the probity of the player

Date Sunday, September 6, 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] Pearce led off on the Atlantic side with a hot grounder, which was too quick in its movements for Reach, and Dick earned his base. In trying to run to second, however, he was captured by Reach from a pretty throw by Radcliffe... Dick did not think he was out; but as Reach appealed, and the Colonel [Fitzgerald, the umpire] well knew that “Al” is too square a man to appeal except he thinks he has put his man out, the Colonel promptly decided him out. The tricky men who are constantly appealing even when they know the player is not out too frequently overreach themselves, as umpires, when appealed to by men of this tricky style of play, pay no regard to their movements, and the result is that men are sometimes given in who are really out. Fair play is the best policy at all times, besides being the manliest.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpires now must call balls

Date Sunday, December 13, 1868
Text

The rule, too, has been amended so as to take from the umpire the discretionary power he previously had in regard to calling balls. Now he must call all balls not pitched within the legitimate reach of the bat.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

unnecessary risk of throwing to the bases

Date Monday, July 13, 1868
Text

The Atlantics...are admirably drilled; no unnecessary steps were taken, no foolish risks run. They seldom throw balls to bases, and men on base seldom miss balls when they are thrown., quoting an unnamed Cincinnati newspaper

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

why Pratt left the Athletics

Date Sunday, April 5, 1868
Text

When Pratt was a member of the [Athletic] club, Dick [McBride] refused his assistance... It was this that led Pratt to sever his connection with the Athletics.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger