Clippings:1869

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1869Clippings in 1869

Clippings in 1869 (303 entries)

Contents

'Martinizing'

Date Sunday, July 4, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Mutual 7/3/1869] The Mutual men became demoralized: they had no idea of the Williamsburgers walking over them so easily, while on the other hand they could not overcome the which the ball received and batted up for fly catches or into the fielders' hands, or else the ball just glided off the bat for Jewett [the catcher[ to take it, which he did, of course.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

18 bases on balls in one game

Date Saturday, June 12, 1869
Text

[Keystone vs. Expert 6/8/1869] The game was a vile one, owing to the wretched attempts at pitching of Messrs. Fulmer and Bechtel, but the Umpire tried to mend matters by calling balls freely. To his credit be it spoken, he gave 18 men their bases on called balls. He might and should have given 50 their bases–but 18 was pretty fair, considering all things. He stood up very pluckily through all the chaffing and hooting and boo-hooing, and deserves a great deal of credit for independence and manliness.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 4-3 line drive double play; second baseman playing off the bag

Date Tuesday, June 29, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 6/28/1869] McMahon, next in order, hit the ball on the second or third delivery as hard as he could just as Eggler left first base. The ball went on an ascending line toward right short and Pike [second baseman], jumping for it, caught it handsomely and sent it quickly to first before Eggler could get back to the base, thus making a splendid double play and receiving for his work cheer after cheer from the assemblage. New York Herald June 29, 1869 [Thus implying that Pike was playing on the first base side of the bag]

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk

Date Tuesday, June 22, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 6/21/1869] [McMullin pitching; George Wright at third base] McMullin made an offer of the ball, and G. Wright attempted to run in when McMullin drew back his hand. The umpire decided that he was entitled to his run.

Source Philadelphia Inquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a base ball manufactory partnership opportunity

Date Thursday, April 22, 1869
Text

A PARTNER WANTED—IN A BASE BALL MANUFACTORY, a smart man, with $250 cash. Call at 47 Ridge street, room No. 12, on Friday, at 7 P.M.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball hustle

Date Sunday, September 12, 1869
Text

During the Western and Southern tour of the Haymaker baseball Club, from Lansingburg, they were matched for two games at Baltimore–one with the Pastime Club, and one on the day succeeding with the Maryland Club. The first-named was only an ordinarily skillful nine; the other was made up of superior players, and was considered the champion club of the south. The First meeting took place, and the Haymakers were defeated. At every point the Pastimes outbatted and outfielded them, showing superior play in every respect. Baltimoreans looked on with contempt, and wondered how such a club had ever achieved a reputation for superior skill. If the Pastimes could vanquish them, the Marylanders would white wash them on almost every inning. Consequently, betting upon the game of the next day was made with large odds in favor of the Maryland Club, which the friends of the Haymakers were not slow in taking. When the contest with the Marylands took place, the Haymakers presented altogether a different front. Their pitching, catching, batting, and fielding were all of the most excellent character–absolutely without mistakes. At the close of the game, the champion Southern organization, whose Baltimore friends had so confidently anticipated its easy victory, was found to be beaten two to one. It was then discovered that the Haymakers had deliberately allowed themselves to be vanquished by the Pastimes on the day previous, as a gambling manoeuvrre, and with the object of securing long odds in the betting upon the other match. New York Sunday Mercury September 12, 1869 quoting the Albany Evening Journal [compare with PSM 8/16/1868]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball statistician

Date Saturday, February 13, 1869
Text

We are again under obligation to our obliging statistical contributor, Mr. Frank Rivers, for an interesting tabular statement of comparison of last season’s play of the Athletics, Atlantics and Unions, in their games with the same clubs. In a note of the subject, he says–

“Year before last the chief aspirants of the championship were the Athletic, Atlantic and Union clubs. During the early part of last year each of these clubs started on a tour through the west, and since these clubs have played with similar clubs in a majority of matches, I have prepared the following tables, taking all games in which they have played with the same clubs. It is curious to notice how the ranks of the players change, when averaged with different clubs. I have heretofore been accustomed, during the winter, to compare the averages of the leading clubs in the same manner as the tables I sent you before. I had thus many curious tables. I had a file of the Clipper and other papers for several seasons back, since 1862, and was thus enabled to combine season after season; but, unfortunately, while removing last July from New York my files were lost–how, I know not–so I have to be content with the present season, and some few matches which I copied in a book.” New York Clipper February 13, 1869

We are pleased to announce to our readers that we have effected an engagement with Mr. Frank P. Rivers, of Port Richmond, Staten Island, N.Y., one of the ablest base ball statisticians in the country, to write for our paper. We have several valuable statistic from his pen which we are getting up in neat style, and which will be published shortly. National Chronicle April 17, 1869

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a batter skipping his turn

Date Sunday, August 22, 1869
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Powhattans 8/17/1869] In the eighth inning, Goldie had to leave to take the train, and two hands were out when it came his turn to strike, and he having retired by consent of the contesting sides he was out of the game, as had he not been, his absence when his turn came for him to strike would have obliged the umpire to have given him out and the inning would have ended with but one run; as it was, however, Wieburg and Haines struck afterward and another run was scored. ... In the ninth inning, finding he still had time, Goldie came in at the bat and made the hit when gave the tie run. Now this he had no legal right to do without the consent of the opposing nine, which, in this instance was not asked, as it was not regarded as necessary. The whole thing had an important bearing on the result, for if Goldie had a right to come in again, he certainly had no right to be absent, and thereby lost a hand; whereas if the reverse was the case, and he had a right to be absent–which he did–he certainly had none to take his strike again. The occurrence was a new point in play, and one which had been anticipated in a measure when the rule was changed so as to prevent strikers from being absent when their turn came at the bat, without consent of their adversaries.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bogus game account

Date Saturday, December 4, 1869
Text

A correspondent who took good care to conceal his real name sent us a week or two since an account of a game played in St. Louis between the Empires and Atlantics for the State Championship. No such game came off as we related and the person who out of pure malice palmed off on us the bogus score of a bogus match is welcome to all the satisfaction the mean trick afforded him. One thing is certain, he cannot be a ball player. The Empires have played the Atlantics twice this season, and defeated them easily both times.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a borderline infield fly

Date Saturday, July 24, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Irvington 7/23/1869] Wood [second baseman] in attempting to make a double play, took the ball on the fly, guided it a short distance toward the ground, and then clutching it as it rebounded and throwing to Hodes [short stop], who in turn threw it to Allison [first baseman], succeeded in “heading off” two men. The umpire decided both men out. This, of course, is in compliance with the law, but to a certain extent only, as it was questionable whether Mr. Wood did not actually hold the ball. The point is perfectly legitimate, but it is one which should require the greatest nicety to be kept strictly within the law.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bursted ball

Date Sunday, October 24, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Cincinnati 10/18/1869] The “Red Stockings” retained their lead by scoring one for their share of the eighth inning. Allison led off, but was disposed of on the fly by McBride. At this point the old ball was found to be bursted, and a new one was accordingly furnished.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for Gentleman Amateur clubs

Date Sunday, November 21, 1869
Text

One feature we are most anxious to see carried out next year and one which we are satisfied will prove not only interesting but advantageous to the health and minds of our young readers, is the establishment of Base Ball Clubs, strictly confined to Gentleman Amateurs. We do not for one moment wish the dissolution of any of our clubs of professionals, because we think they would be the means in a great measure of stimulating our Amateurs to increased exertions, and it is at all times a pleasure to witness the finest points of the game, illustrated as we do, when a couple of professional clubs meet in friendly rivalry, at the same time, as is exemplified by the perfection to which English Amateur Cricketers attain, we not only see why many of the Amateur Base Ball Clubs should not run a great many of their professional brethren a very close race in any contest in which they may engage. An annual home and home contest might thus be established between the amateurs and the professionals, and we have no doubt it would prove one of the most attractive in the year’s programme.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for a convention of professional clubs

Date Saturday, August 7, 1869
Text

The only way to properly settle the [championship] question is for the professional clubs of the country–there are not twenty of them–to meet together in committee, or rather to call a convention of delegates from each club, and let them draw up a set of championship rules, which shall govern all contests for the championship. quoting the New York Sunday Mercury

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher has swollen hands

Date Saturday, July 10, 1869
Text

[Ivanhoe of Sing Sing vs. Eagle of New York 7/9/1869] Murphy, the new swift-pitcher of the Eagles, delivered the ball with great force and speed, rendering the batting of the visitors weak and uncertain. Stevens had to resume his old post in the last inning, Hick's hands having become so swollen that he was unable longer to catch for Murphy.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a caution not to violate the laws of God or man

Date Saturday, July 17, 1869
Text

The following advice has been given the Red Stockings, which were included in the report of the Grand Jury of Common Pleas, in Cincinnati, O., last Saturday:–

“While we, has individual citizens, congratulate our young men, the Red Stockings, in their victorious career over all competitors in the United States, we would, at the same time warn them, and all others who participate in all such exciting games, to do so with moderation, and that they be careful not to violate the laws of God or man.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comic take on the pitcher and batter

Date Sunday, October 31, 1869
Text

The attitude and motions of the “pitcher” were a source of interest to us. He catches the ball as it is tossed to him, holds it in his hand, contemplates it a moment, something like Hamlet contemplates the skull of “alas! Poor,” &c., turns around and take a pace or two meditatively–forgetful, apparently, of the ball–thinking of mother, and home, and friends, and sweetheart, debts and things, quite oblivious to the awaiting batter and expectant crowd. Suddenly his eyes fall upon the ball–a moment of bewilderment ensues–he wonders what it is, and how it came there–then his brain clears us–his thoughts gather–it’s a base ball–ah! ah!–the match is on–he’s the pitcher–away! and turning swift as lightning, he lets drive at the batter. And the batter (no batter than she should be, perhaps,) he adjusts himself after the model of the Colossus of Rhodes. He throws out his chest and a few other pieces of baggage, and straightens up his trunk, and plants his valises firmly; he spits upon his hands and grasps the club with a grip equal to a District Collector holding on to office. He is ready, awaiting the inauguration ball. It comes. He inclines his head a little to one side as it passes, rests on his club, looks as if he hadn’t done anything, as he hadn’t. This performance is repeated several times to allow the pitcher a chance to renew his meditation over the skull of Yorick, think of home, &c., and give opportunities for the batter to exhibit his skill as a posturer and his exquisite talent of spitting on his hands.

At length the blow comes, and the ball is sent skimming through the air or bouncing along the ground. We couldn’t help thinking all the time how much easier it would have been to have sent it through the post-office, or by the telegraph, and saved all this trouble. But it was none of our match. We don’t belong to the Red Stockings or any other club.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about baseball writing

Date Thursday, July 22, 1869
Text

Again, we have before us the report of a base-ball duel in Philadelphia, in which we are assured that one of the clubs “did splendid play;” that one of the players “made two magnificent hits;” and that “the Athletics” have a “splendid nine.” Possibly, these are superlatives which might have been properly used by the laureate of the Olympian games, but when applied to a game at ball, they strike us as somewhat excessive. We once heard a young lady declare a cup of coffee to be “gorgeous;” and we remember another who expressed her admiration for a clergyman's person by averring it to be “noble and pretty.” This was the result of an intellectual indolence which resorted to adjectives because it was too much trouble to remember nouns. We entreat all teachers charged with the castigation of young women's “compositions” to strike out all adverbs and adjectives. It will do the Misses no harm whatever.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a delay of game for a replacement ball

Date Sunday, October 3, 1869
Text

[Olympic vs. Athletic 10/2/1869] The game was not called until after 3 o’clock, and then another delay arose in consequence of the Olympics not providing a new ball, and finally an old one had to be substituted and used during the game.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the fair-foul

Date Friday, August 6, 1869
Text

He [Andrew K. Allison] is noted for hitting what is termed “fair fouls,” the ball striking just outside the fair line and bounding foul to the field between the 3d and home bases. In one game this season he struck eight of these balls in succession, making his 1st on three of them and his 2d on the remainder.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dig at Chadwick over printing the rules; Chadwick's reponse

Date Saturday, March 6, 1869
Text

It has been customary, since the first meeting of the National Association, to publish its proceedings, together with the new rules and regulations of the game, in book form, for free distribution among the clubs sending delegates to the national body. Heretofore, for some reason, the publication of this book has been delayed till the middle of March or first of April. Why this should be done we are at a loss to know. The association meets early in December, its session lasting but a day or two. The base ball season opens about the first of May, generally earlier. We see no reason, therefore, why the proceedings of the National Association should not be published on the first of February or the first of March at the latest. In order to be thoroughly conversant with the new rules and regulations of the game, members of clubs should receive the book by the first of March, or even earlier, and not have to wait a month or six weeks after that time. We do not know what has been the reason of this delay heretofore, but this season the Printing Committee, as we are informed by its chairman, Mr. John Wildey, have been unable to procure the copy necessary to proceed with the work. Private parties, however, manage to obtain what the Printing Committee cannot. It is well known that one or two books are published each season generally about this time or a little later, which contain the new rules and regulations. These publications generally have a large sale, and are thoroughly read and digested long before the authorized edition reaches the clubs. We do not complain of those parties who anticipate the regular publication of the Association book and thereby turn an honest penny. It is a little singular, however, that while the Printing Committee are unable to procure the copy necessary for the publication, private individuals find it an easy matter to do so. It is a little odd also that during all the years this nice little game has been going one, no one has seen through the “little arrangement.” We do not mean to assert that the officer of the National Association, whose duty it is to prepare the copy for the Printing Committee, is in collusion with the private parties above mentioned. There is something wrong about the matter, however. Will some one elucidate? New York Clipper March 6, 1869

[Chadwick responds:] In the very full report of the Convention published in the Clipper in December last, there appeared an explanatory chapter on the new rules, which was better calculated to make members of clubs conversant with the amendments adopted than the publication even of the rules themselves. But again, in the Clipper of the last week of January there appeared a full and exhaustive review of the amended rules, expressly adapted for the instruction of players and umpires, from which all information desired by clubs throughout the country could be obtained, and doubtless it was taken advantage of by all anxious to [illegible] themselves upon the new rules.

The fact is, the “Convention Book,” as a means of instruction on the amended rules each year, has been, for some years past, entirely superseded by the base ball books which have been published early each year, and now the book in question is of no use, beyond being a more official record of the proceedings of the Convention. Taking into consideration, also, the fact that there are fully 100,000 members of the base ball fraternity in the United States, and over a thousand regularly organized club, I think it will be glaringly apparent that 2,000 copies of the “Association Book” would ... [line cut off in microfilm] ...copy of the rules is not correct. Up to March 3d I received to request for copy from the Chairman of the Printing Committee, and it was not until I met Mr. Wood and that Committee that I was informed of the reason why no effort had been made to prepare the book, and that was because the minutes of the Convention, which it is the Recording Secretary’s duty to furnish, had not bee received. The copy which I was required to furnish was ready for Mr. Wood at the appointed place and time, but not knowing his address, I sent it to Mr. Wildey’s care, at the latter’s request. Had the book been issued in December, its useful as an instructor in regard to the new rules was forestalled by the full reports I refer to, which appeared in the Clipper during the week of the Convention.

In regard to the allusions of “a little arrangement” contained in the article, all I have to say is that every entry in the record of the actions since I have been officially connected with the Association, is open to the public inspection of the whole fraternity. For four years I prepared the book for the printers’ hands, simply in the interests of the National Association, and this year I publically offered, in January last, to prepare the copy, so that all that the Printing Committee would have had to do would have been to have brought out a printer to publish the work. But, as I before remarked, the Convention Book is now useless, save as the mere official record of the proceedings of the Convention; the rules, &tc., are published in your paper, together with the full and complete instruction books, which are now issued every year, having entirely superceded it. Trusting this explanation will satisfy you, I remain, Your, truly, H. Chadwick. New York Clipper March 20, 1869

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disputed game as darkness falls

Date Sunday, August 15, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Central City of Syracuse 8/12/1869] The Buffalo Courier says: “In the game on Thursday, at Cincinnati, between the Red Stockings and Central Citys, the score was tied at 22 each on the seventh inning. The story of the Central Citys is, that it was growing dar, and the Red Stockings tried to strike out, so that their opponents could also play an eighth inning, which would probably result in their defeat. The Cincinnatians, state, on the other hand, that the Syracusans did not try to get them out, so as to run the game into the dark and have a game called the seventh inning. These baseball imbroglios are tangled messes...”

On the other hand, a correspondent of one of the Syracuse papers says: “We won the toss, took the field, and after waiting some time for one of their men, commenced playing. From the score you see the game was very close and exciting. Our boys did some heavy hitting. At the end of the seventh inning we were 22 each, when the Red Socks went in and batted for 14 runs; two or three errors on our part assisting them–the errors owing principally to want of light, it being very late. The Red Stockings perceived the impossibility of finishing the innings in a legitimate way, so undertook to strike out. Harry Wright out on three strikes-something that has not happened him in two years. Leonard struck at a ball two feet over his head, just touching it. Fully convinced of their determination, our captain and men declined to play longer, when the umpire declared the game in favor of the Cincinnatis on the seventh inning. We regretted exceedingly that the affair should have occurred, as we were treated with marked courtesy by all the members of their club during our visit in Cincinnati, both on the field and off.” We should like to learn from Harry Wright the true state of the case.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed infield fly play

Date Sunday, August 1, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Forest City of Rockford at Chicago 7/31/1869] cone popped up a short fly which Brainard went for, and, trying to make the double play successfully made in their recent game with the Mutuals of New York, purposely dropped the ball, but did not pick it up quick enough to cut off Barker at second and also lost the chance to put out Cone, who reached first.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair foul 2

Date Sunday, September 5, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Eckford 9/1/1869] Flanly sent a ball back of third base, the hit being what is termed a “fair foul,” and took his first...

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair foul hit

Date Sunday, October 17, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 10/11/1869] Chapman made one of those peculiar hits which, striking fair, bound off outside the foul ball line, and Charley Smith, who had previously worked his way round to third, came home–“Chap” taking his first.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair-foul to right field

Date Sunday, October 31, 1869
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 10/25/1869] Reach made two bases by ...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fifty cent game; proportion of ladies present

Date Saturday, September 18, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Union of St. Louis 9/15/1869] The attendance was estimated at three thousand, mostly of the male persuasion although probably a dozen ladies were in carriages upon the grounds. The price of admission was fifty cents.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a forfeit and a 'social game'

Date Wednesday, September 8, 1869
Text

[Haymaker vs. Keystone 9/7/1869] the Haymakers and Keystone of this city played a social game this afternoon [9/7/69] on the grounds, Seventeenth-st. and Columbia-ave. The terms of the original challenge stated that they should play a series of match games, the first of which was played in Troy, the Haymakers winning by 22 runs. The second game of the series should have been played here to-day [9/7/1869], but the Keystones, wishing to play Cope, who was not entitled to play until Sept. 3 [sic], and the Haymakers not consenting to play with him, the Keystones presented the Haymakers with a ball, which gives them the second game of the series.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a foul ball bounces off the scorer's table

Date Sunday, September 5, 1869
Text

[Empire vs. Social 8/30/1869] The ball had been hit foul by Dr. Bell, and popped up in the air pretty high; Higham gauged it nicely for a high bound, and it fell on the scorers’ table, bounded very high, and was caught by Higham. The catch was a good one, and was loudly cheered for; but Mr. Thorne, as the crowd prevented him seeing it, decided the striker “not out”. It would not have been out any way, as the table is considered in the same light as a fence, a house, or a tree in such cases. See Section 4 of Rule 3.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ground rule giving one base for a ball over the fence

Date Thursday, October 7, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Maryland 10/6/1869] Pinkham made the only run, and that should not have been allowed him by the Umpire, as the ball was batted over the fence, a standing rule on the grounds allowing but one base on such a hit.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a home run over the fence 4

Date Sunday, October 31, 1869
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 10/25/1869] Pike made a clean home run...by a splendid hit over the fence at right field.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a home run over the fence and across the street

Date Sunday, October 3, 1869
Text

[Olympic vs. Athletic 10/2/1869] Meyerle...made a home run by a tremendous hit, clearing the fence at right field and across Columbia avenue.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a jibe at the umpire

Date Sunday, June 20, 1869
Text

Peck's dummy has created quite an excitement on Ann street. Dressed in full base ball rig, he looks quite natty. Scofield, of the “Haymakers,” did think about bringing the figure over to the Union grounds to act as umpire in the Haymakers-Eckford game yesterday, but a young man named Monell was found who answered nearly as well.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a large crowd for a social game

Date Sunday, July 18, 1869
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 7/12/1869] The return game of the social series between the Athletics, of this city, and the Atlantics, of Brooklyn, was played last Monday afternoon, at Seventeenth street and Columbia avenue. The ground presented a very animated scene, a living wall of spectators, some eight or ten individuals deep, surrounded the whole area, and the embankments outside the grounds were also occupied by an immense crowd. The outside delegation being fully as large as that of the Athletic-Cincinnati game. Considerable money was invested at odds on the Atlantics prior to the game; but as soon as it was known that Smith and Start would not play with the Atlantics, the betting veered around to even on the Athletics.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a late example of 'steal to'

Date Friday, August 27, 1869
Text

[Union of Lansingburgh vs. Cincinnati 8/26/1869] [George Wright at first base] Gould followed at the bat, and George Wright stole to second base.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a lively ground

Date Sunday, July 11, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 7/5/1869] [score 7-8 after one inning] It was now very perceptible that, owing to the liveliness of the ground, a very large score would be made by each club, almost every ball hit bounding clean over the fielders’ heads, or else shooting along the hard ground with such great velocity as to render them almost impossible to be stopped.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a loophole in the rules, allowing a run on a foul ball; block ball

Date Sunday, September 19, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Athletic 9/16/1869] In the first inning, a new point of play occurred–viz., that of running home on a foul ball thrown in to the fielders by an outsider. A tipped ball went back into the crowd while Martin was on third base. The ball was passed to the catcher by one of the spectators, and by the catcher to the pitcher while the latter was out of his position. Martin waited at the base until the ball was in the hands of the pitcher, and then started for home. McMullen ran and touched him, but as McMullen had not gone to his position, Martin was declared not out; and properly so, too. The rule governing the play in question is this. Section 1 of Rule 5 says: “If an adversary stops the ball with his hat or cap, or if a ball (mark the words–‘a ball’‘ simply not ‘a fair ball’) be stopped by any person or persons (as the crowd, for instance) not engaged in the game, no player can be put out unless the ball shall first have been settled in the hands of the pitcher while he stands within the lines of his position.” This rule and the precedent adopted by the umpire in this game should be remembered. We noticed that Mr. Hayhurst alone of the Athletics saw the correctness of the decision. New York Sunday Mercury September 19, 1869

Martin struck a bounding ball to centre field, and got home, working around to third on passed balls, eventually completing his run on a foul ball, it having been passed in by the crowd, the pitcher not being in position when he received it. This point mystified some of the Philadelphians; but it was well taken. National Chronicle September 25, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a lost ball results in a drawn game

Date Thursday, August 5, 1869
Text

Mr. C. Gilman, umpire of the game played between the Osceolas and Athletes on Saturday, says that the latter were not beaten, as reported. Eight innings, he says, were played by the Osceolas, but when the Athletes were called to the bat, it was found that the balls was non est, a member of the Osceolas having made a home run with it. As the continuance of the game under these circumstances was impossible, the umpire decided that it was a draw, and the contestants withdrew. New York Daily Tribune August 5, 1869

a resume of Alphonse Martin's career; his slow curved twisters; the Eckfords practice regime; pitcher directing the catcher

Alphonse C. Martin, Pitcher and Captain, is 24 years of age, 5 feet 6 inches in height, weighs about 148 lb., and is by occupation a mason. He commenced ball-playing in 1860, by joining the Unions, a junior club of this city, as catcher. He remained but one season with them and joined the Junior Atlantics in 1861, playing first base. After two years' experience in that club he connected himself with the Irvings, then a well-known junior club of this city. It was in this Nine that he first became known as a pitcher, and in three seasons acquired a high reputation for efficiency in that position. So much so that the Empires, a well-known senior club, invited him to pitch for them. He accepted the invitation, and in one season became the leading slow pitcher of this section of the country. In 1865, the Mutuals succeeded in getting him in their Nine, then one of the strongest in the country. With the Mutual he remained one season. At the opening of the present season Martin linked his fortune with the Eckfords, and was made Captain of the Nine. He exercises sure judgment in selecting the material for the Nine, and placing his men in the positions they are best fitted to fill. He has also recognized the importance of thorough practice, and has had the Nine in the field at least three times each week of the season. It is unnecessary to say much of Martin's style of pitching. He is known as the leading slow pitcher, and probably no one player gives so much concern to his opponents. His “slow curved twisters” are exceedingly difficult to hit, and his delivery is graceful and generally even. He assists the catcher to a great degree in taking foul balls, showing remarkable judgment in directing him where to play for the ball. New York Daily Tribune August 6, 1869

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A member of a competing club umpires an championship game

Date Monday, July 5, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Mutual 7/3/1869] After considerable delay in selecting an Umpire, Mr. John Grum of the Eckfords was finally persuaded to accept the thankless position.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a mixed-sex challenge

Date Saturday, October 30, 1869
Text

The Diana Female Base Ball Club, composed of young ladies connected with the Northwestern Seminary, at Evanston, Ill., have been challenged by the Baltics of Chicago, a junior club, but it is probable the ladies will decline.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a one-dollar admission game; the roughs of Troy

Date Tuesday, August 10, 1869
Text

[Atlantics vs. Haymakers at Saratoga 8/9/1869] This [game] to-day was a money speculation, but as such it was a failure, as the interest of the day was in the racing. The attendance was not near as large as expected, and so a charge of $1 did not pay as the Clubs expected. The roughs and blackguards of Troy and vicintiy, drunken and noisy, were on the ground in great numbers and behaved shamefully. They pressed in on the players and became boisterous as the game progressed and went against the Haymakers.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a one-handed backwards running catch

Date Sunday, April 25, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. picked nine 4/21/1869] Sensenderfer made three handsome fly catches; one of which–an extraordinary one-hand catch, taken while running backwards at full speed–we do not remember ever to have seen it surpassed. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury April 25, 1869

a home run over the fence

[Athletic vs. picked nine 4/21/1869] West [Fisler] sending the ball clean over the fence at the extreme corner of the ground, securing, of course, a clean home run. This was one of the longest hits on this or any other ground, Berkenstock’s famous hit in 1865, on the same ground, being the only hit at all approaching it. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury April 25, 1869

[Olympic of Philadelphia vs. Athletic 4/28/1869] Fisler [hit] the ball a regular “corker” over the fence at right field–sending Oram on an “exploring expedition” down Columbia avenue–of course securing a clean home run, this being the second he had made during the game... Philadelphia Sunday Mercury May 2, 1869

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pitching delivery 'martinizing' the ball

Date Saturday, July 17, 1869
Text

The Eckford practice game with the Powhattans, on Monday last, was rendered remarkable by the excessive martinizing the ball received. There were twenty of the twenty seven outs on the Powhattans side taken by Hodes behind the bat, and but one put out at the base. National Chronicle July 17, 1869 [The box score lists 19 Powhattans out on fouls, 3 on strike outs.]

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player dishonorably working a base on balls?

Date Sunday, May 30, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Lowell 5/26/1869] [The umpire] favored the Bostonians remarkably in the way of giving their bases on called balls, they receiving three when they should certainly have had but one, a certain player of their nine evidently refusing to strike, in order to obtain his base in that manner. There is an honorable and honest way of playing ball, and a dishonorable, tricky style. We must say that we prefer the former. New York Sunday Mercury May 30, 1869

[Mutual vs. Lowell 5/26/1869] In the allusion in said paragraph to a certain player of the Lowell Club refusing to strike, in order to secure his base on called balls, our New York contemporary is wrong and unjust. The balls pitched the player referred to (the second baseman of the Lowells) were all shoulder balls, which, when a player wants a knee ball, would be considered by SOME very high knee. They player would not have waited if the pitcher had at that time been pitching even, but being quite the reverse, he was warned by the Captain of the Lowell nine to wait until the pitching suited, and he got a ball where he wanted it. No mention is made when the same player, the very next time at the bat, had a strike called on him–a ball pitched striking the ground was out of reach, and said player retired on three strikes. Our friend of the Mercury has done the said player and the Lowell Club great injustice; for a more honorable and manly player than the one referred to can not be found, if the country were searched through and through. So friend Mercury come out and acknowledge your error. National Chronicle June 5, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player reputedly refuses to play in an amateur game unless he is paid

Date Wednesday, August 4, 1869
Text

[Eagle vs. Gotham 8/3/1869] The Eagles sadly missed their catcher, and, although they tried two or three behind the bat, yet they could not find one as fearless and as au fait in the position as Hicks. It was currently reported on the field that Hicks had refused to play unless paid for it. This Mr. Hicks emphatically denies, and as some persons who were present, seeing him near by, jibed him in a most insulting manner in regard to the calumnious statement, and one member, in uniform, went so far as to make a personal assault on him, he has tendered his resignation to the club. Men who circulate such calumniating reports, and who, in addition, do not know how to conduct themselves as gentlemen, reflect no honor on a club, no matter how good they may be as players, and the organization in which they exist should get rid of them at once.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a plea on admission prices

Date Sunday, August 1, 1869
Text

[a letter to the editor] Cannot some arrangement be made by the Athletic as follows: On important matches, when fifty cents is charges for admission to the grounds, to give persons a check, which would entitle them to a seat; or twenty-five cents when the parties do not with that accommodation; on ordinary occasions to charge twenty-five cents for the privilege of a feat and admission to the ground, or ten cents for standing room? There is considerable complaint on the part of those who are not members or dead-heads, as they say that some of the games are not worth the car fare to the grounds, which you know to be the truth; so we look to you for assistance.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a point to prevent a double play

Date Saturday, October 2, 1869
Text

[Haymakers vs. Atlantics 9/29/1869] Start was a first base when Smith batted to right short; Bearman [the second baseman] fielded the ball nicely, but Start played a smart point of not running to second. This balked Bearman, and he ran up to touch Start, who kept backing from him, so that Smith succeeded in getting to the base safely. Had Bearman thrown the ball to Powers [the short stop], who had taken second, and who could have passed the ball back to McAtee [the first baseman], there was every probability of a good double play. ... The same was played by Start in the next innings, but Bearman recollected himself and instead of chasing Start up, he threw to McAtee, who putting the striker out, and then threw to Powers to head Start off, but throwing wildly the latter was saved and subsequently made his run.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pop foul caught behind the reporters' table

Date Wednesday, June 16, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Mutual 6/15/1869] McMahon then hit a foul high up, and it fell just back of the reporters' table. Allison [catcher] was after it in lively style, and caught it nicely, thus ending the Mutuals.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a practice game swindle

Date Sunday, July 11, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 7/5/1869] The first meeting this season between the Athletic Club of Philadelphia and the Atlantics of Brooklyn which took play July 5, on the Capitoline grounds, Brooklyn, in the presence of over 15,000 people, the receipts on the occasion exceeding $3,000, proved to be one of the poorest displays in the field for a first-class match we have yet seen this season, and an exceedingly long and tedious game to those who had witnessed the beautiful fielding contests of the Mutual and Cincinnati clubs, the Mutual and Atlantic, Star and Atlantic, and Mutual and Eckford, etc., in contrast to which the game on Monday was almost a muffin display.

The match was intended to have been the first of a home-and-home series of games for the championship, or rather a trial of skill between the clubs, in which both would put forth their utmost efforts to win. The continued inability of McBride to play in his position, however, and also of that of Radcliffe to play in his, from the fact of his not having been a regular member for the legal period, led to a postponement of the regular matches, and a substitution of a series of practice-games instead, the games of Monday being the first of the series, and that of the 12 th inst. the second. Of course, under these circumstances, both sides went into the contest, almost, indifferent as to the issue, and the result was a display in the field creditable to neither organization....

...

On Monday last, a third of the assemblage left before the game was half over, thoroughly disgusted with the play of both parties. Let us hope that both will in future find it to their advantage to cease these mutual agreements to break the rules of the game called social practice-games... New York Sunday Mercury July 11, 1869

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 7/5/1869] When the two nines finally presented themselves in attitude for play, much disappointment was felt at seeing Radcliffe in the Athletic nine, as his presence (not being entitled to play) made it evident to all that the game was to be a social one instead of a regular match game, as had been anticipated; and we were informed by a Philadelphia reporter who accompanied the Athletics that the intention all along had been to make the two first games mere contests for gate money, the regular matches to be played in the Fall. New York Dispatch July 11, 1869

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 7/5/1869] The game had been mutually arranged as one of a social series. Radcliffe and Fulmer, although not legally entitled to play, both took part. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury July 11, 1869

BASE BALL–ASSOCIATION vs. SPECULATION GAMES.–Some of our base ball clubs have taken to “jockeying,” or “hippodroming”–this is, playing games simply for the gate money. Such games may appropriately be styled speculative enterprises, wherein that great body, the public, are made to pay the fiddler for the privilege of witnessing a sham dance. The latest and greatest swindle of this kind was that of last Monday, when the Atlantics of Brooklyn and Athletics of Philadelphia exhibited themselves to an admiring public for the very small sum of twenty-five centers per capita from said public. The 5th was a holiday, and it was a certainty, weather being favorable, to fill the Capitoline enclosure with great numbers of people if a good card could be sent out; so the above clubs entered themselves for an association game, the first of the annual series, and some sixteen thousand confiding but deluded mortals paid the tariff for the privilege of witnessing the play. The tariff was, perhaps, the least of their suffering, for notwithstanding the accommodations, the throng was so vast as to make everybody in the highest degree uncomfortable. There were thousands present, too, whose occupations hold them so tightly that, save upon a general holiday, they never can witness a game, and to this latter class the sham game played was an outrage as well as a swindle. Lest there may be mitigating circumstances found in the judgment of some people in the manner of bringing the game on, they are given as near as we know of as follows: A month or so ago, the Atlantics challenged the Athletics, and the day fixed was the 5th of July, the game to be played in Brooklyn; this fact was duly announced by the press. Since that time, however, the Athletics admitted Radcliff to membership, but as he would not be eligible as a player on the day named, and the continued illness of their pitcher, the Athletics became fearful of the Atlantics, and, as they could not break off their engagement, they proposed an exhibition game. The Atlantics, in a fit of supposed magnanimity, accept the second offer and released the Athletics. So far as the clubs were concerned, this was generous of the Atlantics, and doubly so when it is stated that under similar circumstances the Athletics refused a postponement to them two years ago. Could the matter rest there, the conduct of the Atlantics would be above praise; but unfortunately it does not. Their magnanimity to the Athletics makes them the successful promoters of a swindle and an outrage, and as having committed an error, the results of which cannot but be damaging to the interests and name of the game and the professional votaries. Like a powerful magnate [sic], the Atlantic Club has drawn audiences of almost incalculable numbers, but whether that power of attraction has been due more to the merits of the club as players, than a purpose to deal honestly with the public is a question for future solution. The concealment of the fact that such a result had been arrived at by the two clubs as referred to, is the part dishonorable. It reduced the affair to a swindle, and to outrage the whole, the exhibition was mutually made scandalous by the conduct of the players, who, so far from doing their best, evidently did the worst in their power. But the disagreeableness of this matter forbids farther remarks, and the public can judge whether we have watched their interests or not, in discussing the question thus far. Philadelphia City Item July 17, 1869, quoting the New York Spirit of the Times; also reprinted in National Chronicle 7/17/1869

The two games played this season between the Athletics and the Atlantics, have been designated by some of the New York papers as “social swindles,” “put-up jobs,” “hippodrome games,” and even asserting that the “players so far from doing their best, evidently did the worst in their power.” All such statements are totally false and without any foundation in fact, as both games were fairly lost and won, although called social games; and the report of the intentional poor playing in the said games, could only have emanated from persons enviously of the reputation attained by the Atlantics and Athletics. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury July 18, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for paid umpires

Date Saturday, July 17, 1869
Text

The Philadelphia City Item comes out in favor of paid umpires, and says each club should pay his five dollars, and then if he does not do his duty pitch into him unmercifully.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a report of the first inter-racial match

Date Monday, September 6, 1869
Text

[Pythian vs. Olympic of Philadelphia 9/4/1869] A Game of Whites and Blacks.--They had such a game of base ball in Philadelphia on Saturday last. Score—Whites, 44; Blacks, 23. Our American citizens of African descent will have to try it again, or give it up that “de white man can't be beat by cullud folks, no how.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a revival of amateur clubs; the amateur championship

Date Sunday, April 25, 1869
Text

The wise distinction made by the National Association at their meeting last Winter between professional and amateur players has had an exceedingly beneficial effect on the amateur organizations throughout the country–the result in fact being a revival among this class of players similar in its effects on the interests of the amateur clubs to that of the base ball furore of 1860–old and once popular organizations which were rapidly dying out from want of interest and an object to work for, have taken a new lease of life and the amateur championship will be battled as stoutly for this season and valued as highly by the victors as the whip pennant of the professionals has been heretofore.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a run down 3

Date Wednesday, June 16, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Mutual 6/15/1869] Leonard, the first striker, got to first on a muff of Eggler's; but starting for second at the wrong time he found himself flanked by E. Mills and Hatfield, to the former of whom Wolters had passed the ball. Leonard was in a bad spot; but he dodged backwards and forwards between Mills and Hatfield, who were closing on him coolly but surely. He was close to Hatfield when the ball was passed to Mills, and, thinking himself safe, he darted past Hatfield to gain second, but Eggler had posted himself there, as Hatfield and Mills had faced him. The ball was passed to Eggler; Leonard darted back again to Hatfield, and by him passed to Mills, who touched the young red-legger, and placed a quietus on him, amid the laughter and applause of the spectators.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a scheduling error leads to double booking

Date Sunday, September 19, 1869
Text

The Social Club, of New York, met the Union Club, of Morrisania, yesterday, on the grounds of the latter in Tremont. Before the beginning of the game, a difficulty occurred from the appearance of the Alpha Club, of Brooklyn, on the ground, They had received a challenge to play the Unions, but as no acceptance of the challenge had been received by the officer of the Union Club, a match was arranged with the Social Club of the 18th instant, the day for which the challenge was sent to the Alphas. As the Unions could not play both clubs... an amicable arrangement was thusly effected, by which the disappointed Alphas were put off until a future day, not named, when the Unions will send a nine to Brooklyn.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a scoring method for general daily use

Date Saturday, October 23, 1869
Text

Mr. Piccot the able base ball editor of Wilkes’ Spirit, and New York Tribune, has introduced the following score as best adapted to give the particulars of leading games for the daily press. For full details the double score as introduced by Mr. Chadwick is more ample in details. But this score answers general purposes very well. The score given is that of the last Atlantic and Athletic match, played Oct. 11th. In this we have the outs, runs, bases on hits, first base and total. Also the number of players, each fielder put out, and the times he assisted...

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a slide into home 2

Date Saturday, May 22, 1869
Text

[Princeton vs. Atlantic 5/14/1869] ...Eby [made] a determined, and, as we think, successful attempt at scoring, the umpire gave him out, when, in fact, he slid right under Pratt, and the latter did not touch him.

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a suggestion for a professional association

Date Saturday, November 20, 1869
Text

Why would it not be a good idea for the professional clubs, to instruct their delegates to withdraw their names from the National Association at the next meeting, and empower them to organize an Association on a thoroughly professional basis?

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a tie should go to the runner

Date Sunday, October 31, 1869
Text

[Atlantics vs. Mutuals 10/28/1869] The umpiring on the whole was very good; but we noticed that several players were put out at first-base by the umpire, when the ball and the player reached the base simultaneously. The ball must in all cases be held by the baseman before the player reaches the base, or the latter is not out.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a vision of the future; an encomium to sport

Date Sunday, June 20, 1869
Text

It requires no great stretch of the imagination to see in the future enclosed grounds of vast extent, surrounded by seating accommodations for twenty-five or thirty thousand people, where the public will gather to witness the play of athletes trained and skillful to a degree not yet reached. There is no reason why such a result should not be reached. ... A dozen years ago there was here and there a base ball club; but very few people went to see the matches, and but little honor attached to the performer. He might be a star of the first magnitude, but his light was obscured; and altogether there was something unbusinesslike and unpractical about the whole affair that debarred all but a select few from taking part in it. But, during the interval between that time and the present the gospel of Muscular Christianity has been more fully preached and expounded. It has been shown that a man who can play a good game of ball, run, jump, box, and ride, is a much more agreeable fellow, and much more likely to get on in the world, than another who can only shut himself up in his study and read dull books; that, if a large amount of brains is a good thing, a large biceps is better; and that, though it may be a fine thing to understand the Differential Calculus, or to be able to elucidate obscure–and usually improper–puns in Aristophanes, it is far more profitable to comprehend the full use of your arms and legs, and to avail yourself of them with ease and dexterity.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a waiting game for bases on balls

Date Sunday, October 10, 1869
Text

[Keystone vs. Olympic of Washington 10/1/1869] The Olympics, it is asserted, played a “waiting game,” and were given their first base seven times on called balls. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury October 10, 1869

financial shenanigans depress attendance

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/11/1869] The first game of the first regular series of contests this season between these clubs took place on the Capitoline Grounds on Monday, October 11, in the presence of about 2,500 people... For years past, these clubs have never met to play the first of their regular series of games together each season without the match being attended by at least from 5,000 to 10,000 spectators; but by bad management in playing social and exhibition games, and by allowing contests to go by default in order to have third games, they have so weakened the interest taken in their meetings that, by-and-by, they will find it as difficult to get a thousand people together as they now have to get twice the number; whereas formerly, when their rivalry led to eager efforts to win every match, and each match was marked by the excitement consequent upon legitimate contests between rival organizations, assemblages numbering from eight to twelve thousand, and even as high as fifteen thousand, used to be attracted to their matches. This seasons’ experience, it is to be hoped, will teach both clubs the folly of indulging in these mistaken views; for, assuredly, it will ultimately cost them the loss of thousands of dollars for the gain of a few hundreds. New York Sunday Mercury October 17, 1869

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advice to umpires 3

Date Saturday, April 10, 1869
Text

Our Senior has had large experience as Umpire in some of the most important games played during the last ten years, and he says the first impression should govern the Umpire. The decision should be quick, and given in a loud voice. Whether right or wrong, an instantaneous decision settles the question as to the honesty and sincerity of the Judge. The talk about giving decisions in favor of runner or of ball, ahs long since gone out of fashion. Every Umpire makes mistakes–but, he who decides quickly, is generally esteemed above suspicion.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Aerial ball

Date Saturday, April 10, 1869
Text

Horseman, who is a great caterer for the ladies in sports and games, has lately introduced a capital lawn game for parties who have hitherto been obliged to resort to croquet for a light game. The new pastime is called Aerial Ball, and it is a recreation well calculated to become popular with those lacking the physique to indulge in more vigorous sports. Aerial Ball is played by six or more individuals, divided into equal sides. It can be played on a comparatively small space of ground, but for a good match, a space is required about 200 feet by 75 in extent. The ball is light and small, being less than half the size and weight of a cricket ball, so that there is no danger of broken fingers, especially as it is never caught, the features of the pastime being continuous batting, as in battledore and shuttlecock. Activity is the requisite in the game, and it is far more exciting the croquet. The peculiar feature of the material is the bat. This is in the form of a tambourine, with the edge of the sides so rounded as to insure a firm grasp of the hand. The game is commenced by tossing up the ball and hitting with the bat as it falls. The batsman aims to sent it over the boundary line, and his opponents aim to return it before it falls, the failure to do either counting a point in the game. A party will shortly play a match on the Capitoline grounds as soon as the game has been practiced sufficiently.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

amateur Unions of Morrisania

Date Friday, July 9, 1869
Text

The ex-champion Unions, once professionals, but now amateurs, will play their first match this season some day this week. They have a strong nine, and will be prominent aspirants for the amateur championship. John Goldie is still wit ht hem, and will play at his old post—first base—where he has always been a terror to feeble batsmen. Hen Austin, formerly centre fielder, will catch, and a first-class swift pitcher will be brought out. Dan Ketchum, Norton, Smith, and akin will be in the nine, and possibly Abrams. Several fine players from junior clubs are candidates for the vacancies, and we see no reason why the Unions should not turn out as strong a team as any they ever had upon the “old triangle” at Melrose.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an argument for batting average; proto-fielders choice; base on balls an error

Date Saturday, February 20, 1869
Text

It is argued by some that the only correct estimate of a batsman’s skill is that made up from the record of the number of times he secures his first base by “clean hits,” and the total number of bases he similarly obtains, together with the number of times he is left on bases after clean hits, and the number of times he secures his first base by positive errors on the part of the fielders, or by their failure to avail themselves of fair chances for outs through errors of judgment. In regard to the record of outs and runs, as a criterion of skill, one illustration, among others, is advanced to show that it is not always reliable. For instance, a batsman hits a sharp ground ball to the out field, on which he easily secures his first base, and also enables the base runner previously occupying it to easily secure his second. The next striker, however, by a poor hit to short stop, enables that fielder to easily pass the ball to second base and to put out the occupant of the first base by his being forced off. In this instance the batsman who has secured his base by a good hit is charged with an out, while the poor hitter has his base given him, though, of course, he is not credited with a base earned. And if a good hitter follows him he is credited with a run scored, though, by right, he ought to have been charges with an out; and he would have been had it not been the point of play to have put out the player running to second base.

This style of play has been known to occur in a match to the extent of giving a man five runs and one out, who had not earned a solitary base by a good hit, and of charging another with five out and one run who had made his base every time by sharp hits, which no fielder could have put him out on...

...

...In addition there is, of course, the data of the total number of bases so made [on clean hits]; but inasmuch as scorers are apt to be mistaken in their estimate of the total bases scored on hits, this is record not as reliable as that of the number fo times the first base is so made, for there is but slight chance of mistakes being made in a record of how a batsman makes his first base...

...

The instances in which batsmen are not entitled to bases on hits are as follows:–Firstly, when a ball from the bat is dropped by the fielder. Secondly, when, if well stopped, it be wildly thrown to the base. Thirdly, if it be muffed by the fielder. Fourthly, if it be muffed by the baseman when thrown to him; and fifthly, when the base runner, occupying any of the bases, is put out by being “forced” to vacate his base, for in this latter case any ball hit to a fielder so as to enable him to put out a base runner, who is forced to vacate his base, would have put out the striker if it had been thrown to the first base instead of the second or third...

...

In making up a score at the close of the match the record should be as follows:–Name of player, total number of times the first base was made by clean hits, total bases so made, left on bases after clean hits, and the number of times the first base has been made on errors, which include called balls, wild throws, dropped fly balls, muffed balls and bases made by the ball thrown to other bases to put out players forced off by poor hits.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early bunt

Date Tuesday, June 29, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 6/28/1869] Pearce soon gave the ball one of his peculiar taps, sent it rolling lazily, but safely towards second base, and reached the first in time to spare.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early proposal for a European tour 2

Date Saturday, April 3, 1869
Text

Hon. James N. Kerns, the new President of the Athletics, has determined to signalize his administration. He will endeavor to arrange a trip to England and France for twenty members of the club, for the purpose of giving the old world a taste of Base Ball. The Athletics would like to meet the Atlantics, or any other first class organization, in England, there to play for the championship of the world. The Committee on European trip is as follows–Col. Ellmaker, Col. Clark, Hon. Samuel Daniels, Hon. Jas. N. Kerns, Hon. Jos R. Lyndall, Hon. James N. Marks, Hon. Harry Bumm, Alderman Hurley, Alderman Godbou, Alderman John White, Alderman Beitler, and Gibson Peaco’, each of whom will contribute $500 to the trip.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early proposal for a field manager

Date Sunday, October 31, 1869
Text

It has been suggested to us also that the introduction of a tenth man in a game, whose duty is shall be to act only as captain, and not either to field or bat, would be a decided improvement.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early use of 'Stockings' nickname outside Cincinnati

Date Saturday, July 3, 1869
Text

The Blue Stockings (Intrepids) and Experts played again last Wednesday... Philadelphia City Item July 3, 1869

the condition of the Cincinnati club; the Cincinnati grounds

The Cincinnati club numbers over five hundred active members, and is composed almost exclusively of business men. The President, Mr. A. B. Champion, is a lawyer of considerable repute in the Buckeye State. Thomas G. Smith, the Vice President, is an iron merchant. Mr. Edward E. Townly, the Treasurer, is secretary of the Eureka Fire Insurance Co., and Mr. J. P. Joyce, the Secretary, is a member of the firm of Joyce & Co., of Cincinnati. The club own beautiful grounds, 600 feet square, which they have fitted up at an expense of $20,000. On the grounds there is a large and well-fitted club house, and several stands for the accommodation of spectators, for which about 4,000 seats are provided, a special stand being provided for lady visitors. For the last two or three seasons the officers have been making every exertion to strengthen their nine, and have finally succeeded in getting a body of players each of whom is almost unrivaled in his particular position. National Chronicle July 3, 1869

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an exhibition game

Date Thursday, September 2, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Eckford 9/1/1869] The wintry aspect of the weather yesterday did not deter the admirers of the game of base ball from flocking to the Union Grounds to witness the contest between the Mutuals and the champion Eckfords. The majority of those present, however, entertained the idea that this was the first game of a new series for the championship, and for that reason the play was watched with much more interest. It was not one of a new series, but simply a friendly, single, practice game between the nines.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an ineligible player dispute results in a social game

Date Saturday, May 29, 1869
Text

[Maryland vs. Olympic of Washington 5/20/1869] The game was advertised to commence at four, P.M., but five o’clock came round and they had not got to work, the delay being occasioned by the Olympics who insisted on playing Forker of the Nationals; the Marylands protesting, and justly so, as it was a violation of the rules and would render the game null and void. Mr. Forker, for some cause best known to himself, it appears, having seen fit to sever his connection with the National Club, joined the Olympics, as I am told, on the Tuesday preceding the game and expected to take part in this game, before the Nationals should hold their regular monthly meeting to take action on his resignation. Upon inquiry from the secretary of the Nationals, the captain of the Maryland nine found Mr. F.’s resignation could not be accepted when presented on account of being in arrears. This statement created a war of words between Mr. F. and the aforesaid secretary. The Marylands standing firm to their refusal, the matter was settled by playing a social game. National Chronicle May 29, 1869 [Forker soon returned to the Nationals.]

Forker, the splendid first baseman, has joined the Olympics, and to him the champions of the South objected on the ground that he was still a member of the Nationals. There was considerable chin music over him, after which the Maryland Club pulled down their flag, passed over to the further side of the field, and the supposition was that no play would be the result; but after roosting a while on the fence, they consented to play a friendly game, so as not to disappoint the crowd. New York Clipper May 29, 1869

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an ineptly executed rundown

Date Tuesday, October 19, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Cincinnati 10/18/1869] Allison sent one between second and third and made his first. Harry[sic: should be George] Wright, who had been dancing between third and home, made a desperate rush at the hit, but was caught between the bases by McBride [P] and Foran [3B]. He led them a lively dance for a while, and finally when the ball was passed to the latter, he made a desperate rush for home. Foran was excited, and threw the ball somewhat wildly to McBride, who was excited, too, and failed to get it [illegible] home plate. They play was an exciting one, and when George came in the audience rose to their feet and screamed with delight. Cincinnati Gazette October 19, 1869

Allison struck a hot one to Foran [3B], who made a feint of throwing it to first. George Wright starting thereupon for the home plate, and was caught between Foran and McBride [P], a pretty lively place it may be imagined; George, however, was equal to the occasion, and tallied amid much amusement and applause. Allison meanwhile went to second. Cincinnati Enquirer October 19, 1869

Source Cincinnati Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an infield fly double play 2

Date Sunday, June 20, 1869
Text

[Cincinnatis vs. Mutuals 6/15/1869] Eggler popped up a high ball for Waterman to take, and, as it looked like a sure catch, Swandell and Mills kept their places on the second and first bases, seeing which Waterman let the ball drop from his hands, stepped on third-base, promptly sent the ball to second, and the result was that Swandell and Mills were both out, Eggler getting his base on the dropped ball. ... The point played by Waterman, though apparently simple, is really one of the most difficult plays to be made in the position he occupied. In the first place, to drop a ball and avoid a catch, and yet manage to have the ball drop dead in readiness to be quickly picked up again, is very difficult to do, and Waterman failed to legally accomplish the feat. Secondly, the ball, when thus purposely missed must not be held for a second, or it becomes a catch. In this instance the ball seemed to us to have been caught–that is, it was settled in Waterman’s hands sufficiently to constitute a catch. The umpire, however, gave the field the benefit of the doubt–for there was barely a doubt–and decided both were out.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an injury in pre-game warmup

Date Sunday, August 8, 1869
Text

On Saturday, 31st ult., just previous to the opening of a game between the Washington Club, of Waterbury, and the Yale College Club, Deming, the well-known left-fielder of the latter club, met with a serious accident. The boys were indulging in some preliminary practice in a field where mowers were at work. A ball was thrown up, and Deming ran for it, when, getting into the edge of the standing grass, he struck one foot against a scythe-snath, which had very thoughtlessly been left there. The snath turned, bringing the sharp blade against the calf of his left leg, inflicting a ghastly cut, laying open muscles, tendons, chords, severing two arteries, and the point of the blade penetrating almost into the knee joint. Notwithstanding the terrible wound, Deming secured the ball, rose to his feet, and hobbled a short distance, when he began to realize the extent of his injuries and sank to the ground, simply asking if any doctor was on the field. A physician soon arrived, and Deming’s wound was bound up. It is to be hoped the injury will not prove permanent.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an intentional walk

Date Sunday, June 20, 1869
Text

[Union of Lansingburgh vs. Eckford 6/19/1869] Martin made one point which is worthy of mention. … McAtee had reached the third base, when M. King, who would not strike at balls delivered to him, and who seemed determined to tire the pitcher or worry the umpire, stood coolly at the bat. Martin, remembering perhaps that the next striker, Fisher, had not so far succeeded in making anything, called Jewett up halfway and pitched the ball high up and slowly into the catcher's hands. This, of course, was clearly beyond the reach of the batsman and the third ball was soon “called,” and Mr. King got first base. McAtee, of course, could not leave on the third “called” ball and was obliged to stay on third, and was left there by Fishe r, who, true to Martin's expectations, popped up a foul and was caught by Nelson on the fly.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an intentionally dropped infield fly; short stop covering third

Date Wednesday, June 16, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Mutual 6/15/1869] As Eggler popped the ball up for Waterman [third baseman] he dropped it to make the point and passed it to G. Wright [short stop], who had taken possession of third base, and by the later player it was sent to Sweasy at second, thus catching Swandell and C. Mills. There was some little uncertainty as to whether the point was properly made; whether Waterman did not actually hold the ball. Here is a nut for the expounders of the law to break their teeth on. How long must the ball be held? However, both men were declared out and the sharp play was well applauded. New York Herald June 16, 1869

[Cincinnati vs. Mutual 6/15/1869] [Swandell at second, Mills at first] Eggler took the bat immediately after Mills, and sent a little fly to Waterman at third, which was purposely dropped, thus throwing off their guard both Swandell and Mills. Swandell, in attempting to make his third, was put out by G. Wright, who had got into Waterman's place, and then the ball was fielded to Sweasy at second, and C. Mills, who was trying to make that base was a goner. Cincinnati Daily Gazette June 16, 1869

[Cincinnati vs. Mutual 6/15/1869] One or two fouls were sent flying against the fences on either side, but at least up went a fair ball, and Waterman getting under it designedly, stopped its force, but did not catch it, and then, picking it up quick as lightning, threw it to George Wright, who had run to third base, and George, passing it over to Sweasy at second, two of the Mutuals were out almost before any one realized it... New York World June 16, 1869

[Cincinnati vs. Mutual 6/15/1869] Waterman, the third baseman, is a fine player; his judgment can not be surpassed. He made a capital double play by his coolness and discretion. C. Mills was on the first and Swandell on the second. Eggler at the bat struck a high ball to Waterman near the third base, Waterman held his hands so as to make the ball drop at his feet, when he picked it up, touched Swandell, who was hurrying to make his third, and then threw it to Sweasy at the second, putting out Mills, who had been forced off the first by Egger. Cincinnati Daily Gazette June 18, 1869, quoting the New York Tribune

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an intentionally dropped third strike

Date Saturday, June 19, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Irvington 6/18/1869] A pretty play was made by which two men were put out. Stockman had made three strikes, and Allison, instead of catching the ball, hit it down and took it on the second bound. Then standing with his hands on his hips, he coolly gazed on the perplexed Jerseymen. Eaton was on second base and H. Campbell on first. They were, of course, obliged to leave, but did not exactly understand the situation. G. Wright called for the ball to second. Allison threw it there, when George instead of touching Eaton, touched the base and then passed it to Gould, thus putting out H. Campbell and Stockman. When the crowd finally came to understand the point they laughed and applauded to their hearts' content.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an intentionally dropped third strike for a double (or perhaps triple) play

Date Sunday, June 20, 1869
Text

[Cincinnatis vs. Irvingtons 6/18/1869] Allison [the catcher] made a splendid double-play, and he would have made a triple one but for George Wright’s call. The point played was follows: Eaton had made his first by a muff of George Wright’s, and was on his second when Hugh Campbell secured his base by a good hit. Stackman then went to the bat, and for the second time struck three times, and missed. The third ball as it bounded up to Allison’s hands, was sent back to the ground and caught on the second bound, which forced Stackman to run to first-base; but Stackman, thinking he was caught out, as many thought, threw his bat down and walked off. Allison first cooly held the ball and looked round for a point to throw it, Hugh Campbell staying on his base, he thinking Stack had been caught out on three strikes. Just then George called for the ball, held it on second–he had time to have touched Eaton, and thereby to have made a double-play–and then threw it to first-base, putting the striker out. Allison’s coolness, in fact, we may say “cheek” so puzzled the crowd that but few saw the point of the second-bound-catch. The whole play was the best of the kind we have ever seen made, and when it was understood it was fully appreciated. New York Sunday Mercury June 20, 1869

An Irvington was on first, and one on second base when Stockman struck out. Allison purposely took the ball on the second bound, and then throwing to first, second, and third bases put all three men out, much to the discomfiture and amazement of the Jerseyites. New York Dispatch June 20, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

another exhibition game

Date Sunday, September 5, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Eckford 9/1/1869] The Atlantics, Athletcs and Haymakers, having had their exhibition games this season, the Mutuals and Eckfords thought they would have their little exhibition game too, and so on Wednesday, Sept. 1, the two clubs met together for a “single” game on the Union grounds Brooklyn... Under the idea that the match was the first of a new series of championship contests an immense gathering of spectators was present; but of course the result, so far as the possession of the whip pennant was concerned, was a matter of indifference to both clubs, neither caring who won, or lost, for that matter.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

antedating interracial ball

Date Wednesday, August 11, 1869
Text

A very interesting game of base-ball was played on the Newtown Grounds on Thursday August 5 between the Black Hawks (colored), of Africa, and the Temperances (white), of Newtown. The following is the score: [box score follows; Black Hawks 47, Temperance 43] …

A very interesting game of base-ball was played on the Newtown Grounds on Saturday afternoon, August 7, between the Black Owls (colored), of Africa, and the Alers (white), of Plainville. Too much praise can not be given our young friend, T. Corwin Bodine, left fielder of the Alerts, formerly a citizen of this place, and recently an active member of the Newtown Base-ball Club. He made some very fine plays, muffing only one fly, the first of the season. His fielding was very fine; also his heavy batting was a fine feature of his playing, making a home run in the last inning, and has not been heard of since. The following in the score: [Black Owls 41, Alerts 16]

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

appealing for judgment; selling the play

Date Sunday, January 10, 1869
Text

In appealing for judgment, baseplayers frequently make important errors. For instance, they should never make two movements to put a player out by touching him when off a base, unless they failed in the first movement; as, should they have put him out by the first movement, and palpably have failed to do so in their second attempt, the umpire will naturally conclude that their second movement was made in consequence of the failure of the first attempt, and decide the player not out when he really was. Appealing for judgment, too, when baseplayers know that they have not put the player out, is poor policy; and for this reason, that when umpires know that a player is up to this tricky, unfair dodge, they are very apt to doubt the fairness of all appeals made by such players, unless it is plainly apparent that the man was put out.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

appreciation of range in the middle infield

Date Saturday, June 5, 1869
Text

Next comes Charles Sweezy, one of the very best of second basemen. Charley is a splendid fielder, an accurate thrower, and sure at flies. ... He covers a large space...and can render the same too dangerous to bat to. National Chronicle June 5, 1869

He [Al Reach] covers a large space around the [second] base, but no more than he can manage. Now, this latter expression needs explanation, for there are several basemen who endeavor to imitate that paragon of second basemen–Al. Martin, of the Unions, in covering a large space. Now, both Martin and Akin (who played short), were extremely active and quick runners, and would support one another effectively, thus allowing Martin to play farther from his base then he could with a less active short. Now, Reach does not attempt this, but covers just as much as he can by vigorous work manage to render dangerous. National Chronicle June 12, 1869

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

arguing over the ball to use

Date Sunday, June 27, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 6/21/1869] Over a quarter of an hour’s time was wasted in a dispute as tow hat ball should be played with, the Athletics insisting that a lively elastic Ross ball should be used, whilst the Cincinnatis claimed that as they were the challenging party, they had the right o furnish the ball, and therefore proposed to use a ball made expressly for them, of a non-elastic nature, by which they hoped to equalize any advantage that the Athletics might possess over them in batting. The dispute was finally decided by the Cincinnatis agreeing to play with the ball furnished by the Athletics, as it always has been the custom for the club on whose ground a match is played to furnish the ball.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

arranging a championship match

Date Sunday, June 20, 1869
Text

Previous to any day having been set for a game between these clubs, the Mutuals agreed that, if the “Haymakers” would visit New York and play them the first game here, they would play the return game at Troy within fifteen days after the first game, whether it was lost or won; therefore, it was very necessary for the New Yorkers to defeat their opponents in the first game if they would retain the championship, as they would be pretty certain to lose the return game at Troy, never having won a game from the Haymakers at theat locality. As an arrangement had also been made that the Unions were to select their umpire here, and the Mutuals in Troy, the former exercised their privilege on this occasion, picking out Mr. Macdiarmid, of the Star Club.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

assuring the public the game is official

Date Sunday, September 12, 1869
Text

[Atlantic vs. Eckford 9/6/1869] On Monday last, the first of the regular series of “grand matches for the United States championship” between the Atlantic and Eckford clubs, took place on the Capitoline grounds, and as it was publicly announced beforehand that it was to be a bona fide game, and neither a so called “social” contest or an “exhibition” game, both of which kind of games are now played out, a very large concourse of spectators were assembled, and considerable interest was manifested in the match.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Atlantic Club second nine

Date Thursday, July 8, 1869
Text

Yesterday there was a match at the Capitoline between the club of base-ball reporters of the various daily papers of New York and Brooklyn, and the seconds, or muffs, of the Atlantic.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball on velocipedes?

Date Sunday, April 25, 1869
Text

The new Atlantic Secretary is a noted velocipedist, and the Atlantics will back him against any other Secretary ridist.

They are to have a baseball-match on the Capitoline grounds soon, in which the baserunners will ride round the bases on velocipedes, and the outfielders likewise. It will be fun. [This is probably a joke.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball vs cricket bats and balls, and their effect on fielding

Date Saturday, July 24, 1869
Text

The desideratum aimed at is a ball as suitable to the character of the bat used in base ball as the cricket ball is to the elastic, spring-handled, willow bat used in cricket. In cricket, the elasticity requisite to give life to the ball has wisely been divided between the bat and the ball. In our game, it is all in the ball; and the result is, that, while in cricket skillful batting is required to secure runs against equal skill in the field, in base ball “muffin” batsmen–provided they are heavy hitters, and an over-elastic ball is played with–can obtain runs against the most expert fielders. Of course, the effect is to give prominence to heavy batting, at the cost of the most attractive feature of the game, which is fine fielding.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batters hit by multiple pitches

Date Sunday, October 31, 1869
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 10/25/1869] McDonald...was hit a couple of times by the pitcher, and then put out at first base–McBride fielding the ball. Pearce was next at the bat, and he was also hit a couple of times by McBride; Pike in one case coming home.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batting out of turn

Date Friday, May 21, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Irvington 5/20/1869] The New-York Mutuals paid their annual visit to Irvington yesterday to engage the club of that name; but the latter by their conduct did not seem to care much for the popularity of the national game. They showed their disrespect for the rules by first putting in a player (Farrar) who is not more than 17 or 18 years of age, and afterward willfully striking out of turn. It is always unpleasant to speak other than in a complimentary way of base-ball organizations; but it would not be just to clubs in general to ignore the conduct of the Irvingtons yesterday.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batting out of turn 2

Date Sunday, May 23, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Irvington 5/20/1869] [The Mutuals] did not enjoy their trip as they expected to, the reception they received from the Jerseymen not being very courteous, and the conduct of the latter throughout the game was simply disgraceful. They insisted upon striking out of turn, and contrary to the rules of the Association, put in a boy not over seventeen or eighteen years of age to play third base. It is a great pity that such fine players as the Irvington Club is composed of should cast discredit, not only upon themselves, but upon the National Game itself, and should they continue to pursue the present course, they may find difficulty in prevailing upon decent organizations to visit their pleasant and quiet village at all.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batting practice; calling 'game'

Date Wednesday, October 27, 1869
Text

[Champion of Jersey City vs. Star of Brooklyn 10/26/1869] The Stars appeared upon the ground at 12 p.m., and exercised themselves by knocking slowly-pitched balls till the hour of play, 2 p.m., when “game” was called.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

behind catcher?

Date Sunday, October 3, 1869
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] “Knickerbocker” wants to know whether there is anything in the rules which prevents the captain of a nine from taking a fielder from his position any where in front of the bat and playing him behind the catcher to catch foul balls. We cannot find anything in the rules prohibiting such a course; and there is nothing to prevent an umpire from deciding a player out from a catch made in any part of the field by any player of the fielding nine or regular side of “ten” or more as the case may be.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bob Ferguson takes a ball to the face

Date Friday, July 30, 1869
Text

[Maryland vs. Atlantic 7/30/1869] Quite a serious accident happened to the Atlantic catcher, Fergason [sic], in the fourth inning. Mincher was at the bat and “Fergy” close behind him, watching Sellman on first base. The striker tipped the ball, raising it up about a foot, and before Ferguson could get his hands up it struck him full in the face with terrific force, splitting his nose open and knocking him down as fairly and quickly as though he had been hit on the head with a hammer. Plenty of cold water, court-plaster, and a little breathing spell, however, brought him around all right, and after a delay of twenty minutes the game was resumed, the wounded man going to short-field, Pearce taking his position as catcher. Ferguson seems to be particularly unfortunate, as early in the season he was struck by a ball in the same way and had two of his front teeth knocked out. On that occasion he held the ball and put the striker out, and then quickly picked up his teeth to preserve as mementos of the occasion, as he said. New York World July 30, 1869

[Maryland vs. Atlantics 7/30/1869] In the fourth inning, when Mincher was at the bat, he struck at a very swift ball from Zettlein, and, just tipping it, of course increased its impetus; and the ball, striking Ferguson in the face, just above his mouth, knocked him down as if he had been struck with a fist. For some minutes, Fergy had to succumb to the effects of the blow, play being stopped for twenty minutes; and when he took the field, and gave up his place to Pearce, he had to retire for a couple of innings to get over the effects of the loss of blood and the stunning severity of the blow. New York Sunday Mercury August 1, 1869

In the fourth inning Ferguson was badly hurt by a tipped ball of Mincher’s bat, which took him fairly in the nose, knocking down as though he had been hit by one of the ball clubs instead of a ball. Time was called at once, and the sounded man attended to. Cold water, plenty of court plaster, and a little time, however, brought the plucky players around all right again, and in twenty minutes play was resumed., Pearce going behind the bat, and “Fergy” to short field, where he played in splendid style during the remainder of the contest. New York Dispatch August 1, 1869

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

botched field direction

Date Tuesday, June 29, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 6/28/1869] Start then popped the ball up near short field, and Mills and Swandell both got ready to take it. C. Mills [catcher] called out “Third base,” instead of the player's name, and E. Mills, thinking he meant that he should take the ball and send it to third, grabbed it down just as Swandell was closing on it, and thus both lost it.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling balls now mandatory; strikes are not

Date Sunday, June 6, 1869
Text

Any ball not within the legitimate reach of the bat is now required to be called after due warning has once been given the pitcher. When the pitcher sends in a high ball, the umpire, instead of calling out to him to “get them down” or to “pitch lower”, should promptly call balls. In regard to strikes, more latitude is allowed, now strike being permitted to be called unless the striker is previously warned, and the, even, it must be apparent that he is willfully refusing to strike.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling for a new ball

Date Sunday, August 29, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Keystone 8/27/1869] In the eighth inning, after disposing of the Keystones for three runs, the Mutuals called a new ball, and a lively one being furnished them, the game at once assumed a different aspect, and before the inning was finished the Keystones had reason to regret their unwise change. The ball was but slightly ripped, and the Mutuals at the least could have finished the inning with it, and thus allowed both clubs to have had an equal chance in batting the new ball. The Keystones very plausibly attribute their defeat to this circumstance, and with some show of justice, as most of the balls hit by the Mutuals in the eighth inning bounded over the heads of the outfielders.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling or suspending a game for rain

Date Sunday, June 6, 1869
Text

The rules leave the suspension of a game, or the power to call it and end a contest, entirely in the hands of the umpire. In case of an impending shower, which does not look likely to last all day, the umpire has the power to call time, and suspect play, and if after waiting he finds that there is no chance of a fair contest after the shower, from heavy or wet grounds, or any such cause, he can then call the game. When a game is suspended it can be resumed the same day; when it is called, however, that ends it.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher has swollen hands

Date Wednesday, June 23, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Keystone 6/22/1869] Allison's hands have become greatly puffed up and swollen by the hard work they have had to do, and he was unable to play to-day. He was really unfit to play the Athletics yesterday, but his pluck and endurance carried him well through the game. To-day George Wright stood behind the bat, Leonard playing short stop, and Hurley going into the left field.

Source Cincinnati Daily Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cauldwell president of the Unions

Date Sunday, June 27, 1869
Text

The club will accept invitations to play a reasonable number of matches; and such invitations may be addressed to Wm. Cauldwell, president, office of the SUNDAY MERCURY.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick leaves the New York dailies; the metropolitan reporters

Date Saturday, May 29, 1869
Text

You will see by the editorial notice in the Clipper, written by Frank Queen, that I have severed my connection with the New York dailies, as a reporter of out-door sports, having made a permanent engagement to write exclusively, as far as daily papers are concerned, for the Brooklyn Daily Union, which has made its sports and pastime columns a specialty of the paper for years. Mr. Piccott, an impartial and truthful reporter, will write for the Tribune, Times, and Sun. Hudson does the Brooklyn Eagle, Mallison the World, the Kelly the Herald. The Sunday News has discharged their base ball reporters, and dropped base ball for velocipeding, on account of the advertisements it gains by it. Taber does the Sunday Dispatch. The Mercury still has the same base ball editor it has had for the last eight years. National Chronicle May 29, 1869

The base ball column of the New York Sunday Mercury is edited by Mr. J. A. Taber, a gentleman every way competent to fill the place. National Chronicle June 5, 1869

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

changing a pitcher during the inning

Date Sunday, July 11, 1869
Text

[Harvard vs. Athletic 7/8/1869] On the sixth inning the Athletics, who appear to have conscientious scruples against changing a pitcher in the middle of an inning, no matter how badly he is punished, put McMullin in Brosey’s position. The latter part of the game was more evenly contested...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati Club dues

Date Wednesday, November 3, 1869
Text

[reporting the Cincinnati Club monthly meeting] When miscellaneous business was reached Mr. Glassford said he would like to see annual dues and initiation fees changed from $5 to $10. He, therefore, offered an amendment to that effect to the constitution. Laid over thirty days under the rules.

Source Cincinnati Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati Club rooms

Date Wednesday, November 3, 1869
Text

[reporting the Cincinnati Club monthly meeting] [Mr. Glassford] moved the appointment of a committee to secure permanent rooms for the meetings of the club. Mr. Glassford's idea was that a house should be secured such as would furnish rooms for reading, checkers, chess and any games proper for a club house, and would afford accommodations for a man and his wife, to take charge of it. The motion passed.

Source Cincinnati Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati Club second nine

Date Friday, August 6, 1869
Text

[Central City vs. Syracuse vs. Cincinnati 8/5/1869] [Brainard is absent] His absence as a matter of course made it necessary to call upon a substitute and accordingly this lot fell upon Mr. Bradford, one of the best players in the Junior Nine.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

claimed shenanigans to keep the championship in New York

Date Saturday, July 24, 1869
Text

The Cincinnati Commercial of the 12th inst. contains the following remarks: “In our issue of June 16 we discussed the championship, and asserted that our boys would come home without it. Further, we said the Haymakers and Red Stockings could beat the then champion Mutuals the second game, as each had already won the first; further yet, we predicted that a certain New York club, yclept the Eckfords, would most probably win the championship. To all of which certain Eastern reportorial spirits took exception most gravely; yea, they fumed about it in high dudgeon. The champion Mutuals were to be sent West, to give our base slander the lie, etc. Time settles all things, even slanders. The champion Mutuals are not champions: per consequentia the champion Mutuals cannot come West. The Eckfords have received the championship, the Haymakers have defeated the Mutuals the second time, and the Red Stockings can do the same thing. Now, we take this to be strange, that people who regarded our prediction a slander and an insult should permit each point of that prediction to be realized. We overturn another remark, that the people of the country generally regard the Red Stockings as the champions, and the Eckfords owe it to themselves, if they wish to be possessed of the honors of championship, to return the visit of our boys and play them a full match this season before losing the championship. A hearty welcome will be given them, and our glorious game will be improved by an affair so eminently just.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clearing players' schedule for a trip

Date Saturday, November 20, 1869
Text

[The Atlantics are trying to schedule a trip to Cincinnati on short notice:] The next day, Mr. Henry [of the Atlantics] called on Georgie Zettlein and Charlie Hunt, obtaining for them leave to go on the trip... National Chronicle November 20, 1869

[The Atlantics earlier in the season begging off a trip to Cincinnati, from a letter from William Hudson, secretary of the Atlantic BBC to John Joyce, secretary of the Cincinnati BBC dated August 19, 1869:] To be frank, I must say that we have arrived at a conclusion which is very doubtful. Two of our most important men–Zettlein, the pitcher, and Smith the third base man–say that, from present appearances, it is very doubtful whether they can leave their business for so long a time. National Chronicle December 4, 1869

scoring on an inning-ending double play

[from Answers to Correspondents] Suppose A is on first-base and B on third, second-base vacant. There is one hand out, when the striker makes a fair hit and the ball is fielded to second-base, cutting off A, then to first-base, retiring the Striker; But makes home after A is put out at second, but before the third hand is retired at first. Does B’s run count in the score of the game? Again, suppose in the case above cited, B makes home before A is put out a second base, would his run count? {Sec. 5 of Rule 4th says: “A player making the home-base shall be entitled to score one run; but if two hands are already out, no player running home at the time a fair ball is struck, can make a run to count in the score of the game if the striker or player running the bases is put out before touching first-base.” This rule wants rewording; but even under its present reading, as applied to the cases quoted by our correspondent, in both instances the run counted, as in both the player reaching home before the third hand was put out, and in both he was running home before two hands were already out.} New York Sunday Mercury November 21, 1869

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clearing the field

Date Sunday, July 11, 1869
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 7/5/1869] Most of the Brooklyn police having been detailed for other duty, only five or six of the blue-coated and brass-buttoned guardians of the public peace were on hand, a force entirely inadequate for the occasion, as they were totally unable to clear the field, until the Atlantics themselves, clubs in hand, volunteered their assistance. The ground once clear, those spectators who were in front would insist on standing up, obstructing the vision of those in the rear, which occasioned such a roaring and shouting that play could not be commenced until the obstinate individuals were at least prevailed upon in some cases and forced in others to sit down. New York Dispatch July 11, 1869

the low visibility of colored clubs

[from Answers to Correspondents] We cannot furnish you with the desired information in regard to the Pythian Club of this city. Perhaps some of our readers may be able to inform us whether the club is still in existence, and the name of its officers. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury July 11, 1869

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

club rooms

Date Sunday, February 7, 1869
Text

...The Athletic Club contemplate taking the large room over Al [Reach]’s [new] store, and fitting it up as a club room, where the members can meet in social intercourse.

In other cites, almost all the base ball organziations have suitable –in a great many instances one handsomely furnished–and we will be very much surprised if the Athletics do not embrace the opportunity now offered them of possessing a club-room where they can hold their meetings, and receive their friends and visiting clubs.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

confusion about the effect of a called ball

Date Saturday, September 11, 1869
Text

[Athletics vs. Haymakers 9/6/1869] Mr Pratt [the umpire] has never read the rules, and is lamentably ignorant of them. We do not impugn his integrity–we never question the integrity of any umpire–we merely say he is ignorant, and his ignorance beat the Haymakers. One instance will suffice. Bearman was on the second base, when McAfee was given his first on three balls, the third ball being a passed one. Before the third ball was called, Bearman started for his third, having safely reached which, McBride demanded that the ball should be put to second, and called judgment on the runner, when the umpire declared him out. This glaring bit of ignorance beat the Haymakers, who behaved like gentlemen under the unjust infliction. Philadelphia City Item September 11, 1869

[Athletics vs. Haymakers 9/6/1869] McAfee...was given his first on called balls. Bearman, at the time the third ball was called, attempted to steal his third, and the ball passing Radcliff, was enabled to do so. The ball was passed to NcMullen, thence to Reach, and the umpire decided Bearman “out,” according to the second setion of Rule 2, which says: “No base runner shall take a base on called balls, unless he is obliged to vacate the base he occupies.” This decision gave rise to a great deal of comment, and at one time threatened to put an end to the contest; but ultimately better counsel prevailed, and the game went on. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury September 12, 1869

It is really surprising how generally ignorant of the Amended Rules of the game the majority of professional players are. There is Tom Pratt, for instance, who is captain oft he Tri-Mountain nine, of Boston, who did not know that the rule, which in 1867 prohibited base running on called balls, had been changed so as to admit of such running, except in cases of a called ball hit. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury September 19, 1869, quoting Chadwick in the New York Sunday Mercury.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

confusion over a false 'foul' call

Date Sunday, October 17, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 10/11/1869] [McMullin on second, Meyerle on first, no outs] Radcliff was next at the bat, and hit a grounder to third, which was handsomely stopped by Smith shilst off his base, and as some one called “foul,” Smith, without touching the third to head off McMullin, threw the ball to Zettlein [the pitcher], and Zettlein to Start, to put out Meyerle before he could return to first. The umpire [Wm. McMahon of the Mutual] now decided that the ball was fair, and the ball was quickly fielded by Start to Smith, who touched his third, and sending the ball to Pike at second, and amid great confusion, an appeal was made to the umpire and he decided that McMullin and Meyerle were out and Radcliff was entitled to his first-base. This was an erroneous decision, as Radcliff being clearly put out at first-base, the other two men were not forced off their bases, and consequently were not out.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

copying the Red Stockings model

Date Saturday, July 24, 1869
Text

The “Base Ball Guides” and “Books of Reference” which have been published from time to time have contained essays on the importance of nines being placed under the control of one person, who should see that the players were properly trained to the working of their respective positions, and who should be clothed with power to command. The efficacy of this system has been amply demonstrated in the Cincinnati “Red Stocking” nine and others in different parts of the country, and at last the Mutuals have adopted it.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cork balls

Date Saturday, July 24, 1869
Text

The materials used in the composition of a base ball are now limited to rubber, yarn, and leather; yet, in defiance of the rule, cork is used in some instances, where a very elastic ball is required, and more rubber is wanted for the purpose. The variation in the weight of the rubber in a ball is from two to three ounces, the quantity of yarn, of course, being in proportion. As three ounces of rubber would not admit of a sufficient quantity of yarn to reach the limit of size, cork is introduced in the centre, to increase the size, without adding much to the weight; and this yields an exceedingly hard and elastic ball.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

country umpires vs. city umpires

Date Sunday, July 18, 1869
Text

Here we take the most noted player as the best man for umpire, though the majority only know the rules as they have been taught them by experience in field practice, and not thoroughly at that; while in the country, the men chosen as umpires are generally those who have studied the rules from the books, and who have thereby fitted themselves for the position by properly learning the laws and how to interpret them. New York Sunday Mercury July 18, 1869

the training of the Cincinnati nine

Now that [New York clubs] have been badly beaten on their own grounds, at the game they thought they excelled in, by players generally regarded as not more than their equals at best, and by many as their inferiors, they have woke up to the fact that training and regular habits are, after all, the most important elements of success in a professional nine. If we were to place the Cincinnati nine in the hands of the same management which has hitherto controlled our leading professional clubs, and allow them to follow the same course of action, they would are no better than our nines have done—they have not done when they have been so placed. It is not the excellence of the players so much as it is the soundness of the training they have been obliged to follow. New York Sunday Mercury July 18, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cummings pitching hard to hit

Date Monday, July 26, 1869
Text

[Alpha vs. Star 7/24/1869] The Alphas, with but few exceptions, played a good game. Their batting was poor, but this was mostly owing to Cummings's pitching, which is exceedingly difficult to hit.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

definition of professional and amateur clubs; how the Atlantics are paid

Date Sunday, November 14, 1869
Text

All clubs are to be known as professional clubs who divide gate-money with their players, and all who don’t will rate as amateurs, even if they collect gate-money, provided it be on their own grounds, and not by a division with other clubs, except so far as mere expenses are concerned. Amateur clubs are allowed one professional to take care of grounds, etc., but no more; if any more are paid in any way, they become a professional club. New York Sunday Mercury November 14, 1869

The amateur-professional question was brought before the meeting [of the New York State Association] by the offering of a resolution that the delegates to the national Association be instructed to take grounds to obtain a definition of what constitutes a professional and what an amateur club.

A delegate from the Atlantics desired to have the resolution of instruction passed, as from listening to the arguments advanced by the amateur side of the house, he had become convinced that the Atlantics were amateurs, inasmuch as that club does not pay its players, and officially knew nor, nor did not care what became of the money received at the gate. The resolution was passed, as was also one that was offered, that it was the sense of the Association, that a club receiving gate money, so long as it was not devoted to remunerating players, was not a professional. The general impression seemed to be that any club whose players were pecuniarily benefitted by reason of their ability to play ball, was a professional club. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury November 14, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dickey McBride's delivery

Date Saturday, June 12, 1869
Text

Dick is regular in his delivery, watches his opponents closely, never gives them a ball where they want it, but so near that both umpire and batsman are deceived. I have seen strike after strike called on batsmen when the ball was at least a foot near or from the base, yet being of the right height, completely deceiving the umpire...

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

disregard for professional matches

Date Friday, October 1, 1869
Text

[regarding the Cincinnati tour to California] … these baseball matches are getting to be mere performances, given for the purpose of making money for the performers, and as such have no claim upon our regard beyond any other show. If a lot of professional base-ball players from Cincinnati happen to beat another lot of professional players in San Francisco, we decline to be thrilled with gratification at this victory of the East over the West, or to admit that the public has any such interest in any such performance as makes it worth while to telegraph the result of it from San Francisco to New York. In fact, glory is not the object of the game at all, but gate-money. New York World October 1, 1869

the umpire giving too many warnings before calling balls

[Keystone vs. Mutual 10/1/1869] The umpire was too timid to enforce the rules strictly, although he “gave” more bases than usual; yet before “calling” balls he gave too many warnings, and the pitchers soon learned to take advantage of his lenity. National Chronicle October 2, 1869

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dissension in the champion Unions; reduced spectator interest in amateurs

Date Sunday, August 8, 1869
Text

Up to 1867, the [Union of Morrisania] club flourished as a harmonious organization, but unluckily at the close of that year, it became the nominal champion-club of the country, and from the date of its taking possession of the whip-pennant to the day it was obliged to resign it, things did not progress as harmoniously in the organization as in the days of its history as the crack amateur club of Morrisania. Reorganized, however, and on the footing of aiming only at success as an amateur club, the Unions once more look forward to a renewal of the many pleasant meetings they have had on the ballfield, and also to a reoccupation of the playing position in which they have stood so creditably for so many years. New York Sunday Mercury August 8, 1869

[Union vs. Atlantic 8/5/1869] A game between these clubs a year or two ago would have drawn out an immense assemblage; but the Morrisania club having withdrawn from the championship arena, and discharged their professional players, are not as strong as of old, although they have plenty of good material yet, as some of the amateur clubs will find out to their cost before the season is over. New York Dispatch August 8, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dodging wild pitches

Date Saturday, June 19, 1869
Text

[Union of Lansingburgh vs. Mutual 6/18/1869] Beaman, by patience at the bat and by skillfully executed dodges of jumping out of the way of the ball (?) [parenthetical question mark in the original] and such like, secured first base on “called” balled, and, eventually, his run.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dressing for the heat

Date Sunday, August 22, 1869
Text

[Keystones vs. Mutuals 8/18/1869] The weather was exceedingly hot; in fact, it was one of the most oppressive days we have had this summer; but nevertheless there was quite a numerous assemblage of spectators present, the whole of the shady portion of the ground being occupied, an unusual array of shirt-sleeves marking the crowd. New York Sunday Mercury August 22, 1869

an attempted fair foul

[Eckfords vs. Cincinnati 8/16/1869] Allison tried to get a fair foul out to left field, but popping the ball up, Leonard held it in fine style. New York Dispatch August 22, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early citation for 'Icicle' Wes Fisler

Date Saturday, April 3, 1869
Text

He [Wes Fisler] is noted for his cool, steady and safe play; indeed, so quiet is he in a match that he has obtained the soubriquet of “Icicle.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

East New York and Prospect Park ballgrounds

Date Sunday, January 10, 1869
Text

The ballgrounds at East New York have been laid out into streets and building longs, and houses are in progress of erection.

The Prosepct Park Parade Ground will accommodate six baseball clubs, all playing at the same time. The ground is to be rolled early in the spring, and prepared for baseball-playing. The Eagle Club, of Flatbush, have secured one day a week.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

effective pitching keeping scoring down

Date Sunday, May 30, 1869
Text

The pitching of Martin, of the Eckfords, of Brooklyn, must be very effective this season, as in two of the games played by the Eckfords, their opponents have only scored three runs to a game; and in another game, only five runs were scored; the grand totals of the three games played by the Eckfords this season being 125 to 11!

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

effective pitching results in fly balls

Date Thursday, October 7, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Maryland 10/6/1869] The Eckford had out their famous slow pitcher, Martin, and the other side had considerable difficulty in hitting his slow, twisting balls, but not more than the champions had in batting Matthews. The hitting was almost entirely upward, and a majority of the outs were on fly catches, only a few being at the bases.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Elysian Fields open only to amateurs

Date Sunday, April 18, 1869
Text

The authorities of Hoboken have come to the conclusion to allow amateur contests at the Elysian Fields this season, but no professional matches.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

evaluating the Red Stockings

Date Wednesday, July 28, 1869
Text

...the brilliant success of the Red Stockings has not been owing to their being an eclectic nine, but simply to the fact that they are the only thoroughly trained, disciplined and well practiced base ball nine there is in the country. The Cincinnati Club gave that experienced professional cricketer, Harry Wright, carte blanche to organize and train up a nine which should, in every respect, do credit to the club they belonged to, the city they hailed from, and the State they were ambitious of carrying off the honors of the United States championship for. This, harry Wright has done. By good judgment, he secured what he considered the best nine for the club, and then he went to work to train them together to play as one man; and it is in this training, in their practice together, and in the way they support each other in the filed that their recent success is mainly attributable. The Eastern players of the Cincinnati nine, before they were trained, had the same powers for base ball skill they now have, but it lacked development. Practice and thorough training have brought them up to their present point of excellence; and thus the liberal and sensible managers of the club are entitled to credit. When our club managers adopt the same course they may expect a similar degree of success, and not until then., quoting the NY Sunday Mercury

Source Cincinnati Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

expansion of the 'stockings' nickname

Date Friday, August 6, 1869
Text

[advertisement] Base Ball “Blue Stockings,” (Forest City, of Cleveland,) vs. “Red Stockings,”...

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fair-foul hitting

Date Tuesday, July 13, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Powhattan 7/12/1869] The display of safe by Allison was splendid. Up to the ninth inning he had a clean score—nine runs, no outs, nine first and 15 total bases—but in his second time at the bat in the last innings he scored his first out.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fan interference to avert a shutout

Date Sunday, August 22, 1869
Text

[Athletics of Philadelphia vs. Mountain City of Pottsville 8/19/1869] The game...was one of the most one-sided on record. The Athletics whitewashed their opponents seven times out of the eight innings played, and would have put them out for no runs, had not some spectators, laying down in the left field, prevented Cuthbert from making a catch in the only inning in which they scored. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 22, 1869 [The final score was 107-2.]

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielders backing each other up

Date 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Cincinnati 10/18/1869] Fisler's perpendicular shot in mid-air found a resting place in Waterman's hands (George Wright attitudinizing for a support if necessary).

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

first baseman playing off the bag

Date Thursday, June 10, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Yale 6/9/1869] In the second inning Swandell was on first base, when Eggler sent a sharp grounder along towards right short. French [first baseman] captured it, and with remarkable presence of mind under the circumstances he sent the ball to Selden [second baseman], heading off Swandell, who had passed him on the way to second.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

first baseman playing off the bag 2

Date Tuesday, June 29, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 6/28/1869] Crane by a good hit sent the ball bounding toward right short, and Eggler [first basemen]--at some distance from his base—stopped it and started on a race for first, by which he beat the curly-headed youth, thereby ending the inning...

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

flags flying at the Union grounds

Date Saturday, June 19, 1869
Text

[Union of Lansingburgh vs. Mutual 6/18/1869] ...small signal flags fluttered in the breeze from the poles at different parts of the grounds. Above the Pagoda floated a white flag with the word “Haymakers,” in red letters emblazoned on it. From the staff at the lower right hand corner of the grounds the Mutual banner waved, while above it from the same mast the champion whip snapped and twirled.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foul ball post colors

Date Sunday, February 7, 1869
Text

...a special committee from the Americus Base Ball Club, of Newark, paid a visit to this city, and presented to the Endeavor Baseball Club a splendid set of foul-ball-post-colors, made of silk, and bearing the name of the latter club thereon. ... We are glad to learn that all our clubs this coming season will sport the gayest style of foul-ball-post-colors on match-days.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foul balls hitting spectators

Date Tuesday, June 29, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 6/28/1869] Chapman followed, and, after a few fouls sent into the crowd at left field, creating a laugh at the luckless individuals who were obliged to take the ball on their backs or heads, he sent a high fly to left field and gave C. Hunt a chance, which he took.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foul balls hitting spectators; returning the ball into play

Date Thursday, June 17, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/16/1869] During the game a great number of foul balls were hit into the crowd, and were the occasion of much merriment, as the spectators were packed so tightly that they generally could not get out of the way, and somebody was almost certain of getting hit on the back or head. Policemen or others who favored the players by returning the ball after foul hits were awards with good plaudits.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foul tips with the catcher close to the bat

Date Tuesday, June 29, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 6/28/1869] Smith tipped once or twice, and as Mills was playing close up to the bat the ball went over his head each time. But, at last, Smith tipped not quite so much, and mills picked the ball from the bat with astonishing celerity. The tip and catch sounding like “click clack.” This play was the signal for cheers from the Mutuals' friends, aided by all the admirers of fine play present.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Games which should be null and void

Date Sunday, January 3, 1869
Text

Among the matches rendered null and void this season for violation of the rules of the game are the following:

The Athletics lose eight games, including the two they won from the Atlantics; the Cincinnatis lose five, and the Atlantics two. Seven of the eight Athletic games were rendered null and void through the action of that club in playing Foran in their nine before he had been a member the required thirty days...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

going easy on the country club

Date Sunday, August 22, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Riverside of Catawissa 8/20/1869] In consequence of the game not being commenced until half-past four o’clock, only six innings could be completed. The Athletics plays a quick game, striking at everything in order to finish even five innings. The game, as expected, was very one-sided, Dick McBride pitching “slow” in order to allow the Riversides a chance tor un up their score. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 22, 1869 [final score 69-7]

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ground proprietors arranging games with out of town club

Date Saturday, July 17, 1869
Text

Yesterday Messrs. Weed & Decker, proprietors of the Capitoline Ground, received a telegram from Mr. Young, the Treasurer of the [Olympic of Washington] Club, stating that if games could be arranged with the Stars on Monday next and the Atlantics on the following day they would come on and play. Mr. Decker arranged the games as desired, and telegraphed the Olympics to that effect. It is probable that the visiting club will also play the Eckfords and Mutuals during their stay; so next week promises to be a lively one for base ball.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ground rule doubles

Date Sunday, August 1, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Forest City of Rockford at Chicago 7/31/1869] It was very evident to those who have any knowledge of the game of base ball, that the Ogden Park is a place very poorly adapted to first-class players of the game. It does not require a very strong batting to send a ball over the sand bank in the direction of the lake, or to knock it over the fence either in a north, south, or westerly direction. This leaves a fair margin for what may be termed “luck” in such a circumscribed place. As a consequence, before the game was commenced it was mutually agreed between the clubs that whenever a ball should be batted over the fence, or out of certain bounds in any direction, the striker could take no more than two bases for the same.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ground rule singles for hits over the fence

Date Sunday, October 17, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Mountaineer of Ebensburg, Pa. 10/15/1869] The ground was very uneven and entirely too small; consequently all hits going over the fence counted only one base.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

groupies

Date Tuesday, June 22, 1869
Text

[the Red Stockings in Philadelphia] How far they had succeeded in winning the especial admiration of some of Philadelphia's fair daughters may be determined from a slight circumstance. During Sunday night the rain had fallen pretty freely, and thus an excuse was afforded several of the Philadelphia darlings for raising their skirts, just to keep them from trailing on the wet sidewalk in front of the hotel at which the Cincinnati folks were staying, and to show just enough of pretty ankles, enclosed in red stockings, which, despite the intense heat of the day, the proprietors of the aforesaid pretty ankles had procured and donned to assure the visitors that they had influential “friends at court.” Whoever can secure the favor of the ladies has certainly influential “friends at court,” and the fine-looking young men composing the Cincinnati nine had gained, beyond a doubt, the favor of the ladies.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright's delivery

Date Saturday, June 5, 1869
Text

Harry Wright will continue as pitcher for the [Cincinnati] club. His style is slow and regular, never pitching a ball fair for the striker unless he knows he is unprepared. Harry is a professional cricketer, and is one of the best bowlers, and having great experience in this, which requires great headwork, he has applied it to his base ball pitching, and has made himself the hardest slow pitcher to bat we have. He is a great coaxer, the ball coming at one time so slow that the striker will hit too quick, either missing or making a weak blow; or little above medium pace causing them to strike too slow, with the same result. In the Atlantic-Cincinnati match I noticed this particularly, especially after the first innings, most every time the ball was struck at the end, or near the handle of the bat.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hints for the organization of club nines

Date Sunday, January 24, 1869
Text

When engaging professionals, engage them for the entire season, and make your arrangements to pay them a regular weekly salary and not at so much a game, or by giving them a share of the receipts at the gate, the latter being a very unwise plan. Let it be plainly understood that any player becoming intoxicated on the day of a match, or habitually in the habit of drinking liquor, shall forfeit his position on the nine.

...

In your treatment of professionals, let them be made to feel that they are members of the club, and not merely hired men. Some club members were in the habit of speaking to their professionals last season as if they were so many slaves. This is poor policy in every respect, and the imperious way in which some men use their brief authority shows their own smallness of mind and low character more than anything else. A really manly Captain never abuses his authority in this way.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hints to umpires on calling balls and strikes

Date Saturday, August 7, 1869
Text

The following hints to Umpires will be found useful, and should be read attentively by every player:

THE PITCHER

1. Never call on the first ball.

2. Never call a ball until the pitcher has been warned.

3. After stating to the pitcher where he is to pitch, call out the words, “Ball to the bat,” on the next unfair pitch.

4. After having warned the pitcher, call the next unfair ball, and follow it up with successive calls if unfair balls are pitched.

5. Never give two warnings while one striker is at the bat. “One warning for each striker.”

6. Never call until the ball has passed the striker.

7. Every ball pitched over the head of the batsman must be called, provided the pitcher has been warned.

8. Every ball pitched on the opposite side of the striker must be called.

9. Every ball touching the ground before passing the home base must be called; likewise every ball pitched beyond the reach of his bat.

10. The Umpire should remember that the intention of the pitcher should have nothing to do with his decision. He must call whenever unfair balls are pitched, whether the unfair delivery arises from inability to pitch or not. The Umpire should bear in mind that it is not optional with him to be strict or lenient; he must be strict at all times in enforcing the rules, or he is incompetent for the position.

THE STRIKER

1. Call a strike on the first ball, if it is pitched where the striker desires. This rule should be strictly observed, for it is the duty of the batter to be as ready for the first ball as for the second, third, and so on.

2. Never call a strike until you have warned the batsman.

4. [sic] When a player is at first base, and the striker is at all over-particular in regard to balls, warn him at once, and call strikes on him promptly, when fair balls are delivered.

5. Also, when darkness or storm is approaching, and it is to the advantage of the striker, or the club he plays for, to delay the game, at once give warning, and promptly call strikes on every fair ball.

6. Should it, however, under similar circumstances, be to the striker’s advantage to hasten the game, and for the interest of his club for him to strike out, do not call strikes on him, even if he hit at the ball, unless it be a ball which he can hit and would have selected in the early part of the game; as the rules particularly prohibit any wilful striking out.

7. Remember, too, that in calling strikes, if the batsman is in the habit of striking at a ball of any particular height, and yet calls for a ball lower or higher than he is in the habit of striking at, for any special purpose, you must call strikes on him if he fails to hit at the ball he calls for, whether they really suit him or not.

8. You can only call strikes on a batsman for his refusal to hit at balls within the legitimate reach of his bat.

9. Finally, remember to be very strict in calling strikes whenever players are running bases, and especially when a player is on first base; and also be strict when it is getting dark or a storm is approaching, and delay is advantageous to the striking party.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hits to umpires on calling strikes

Date Saturday, July 17, 1869
Text

1st. Never call a strike on the first ball delivered, of course except the batsman strikes at the ball–as such a call is positively prohibited.

2d. Never call a strike until you have first warned the batsman of the penalty of his refusal to strike at fair balls. This warning can be given in some such words as “a fair ball, I shall call the next.”

3d. Never call a strike on a batsman who, either in the early part of a game, or when there are no players running the bases, fails to strike promptly, as in such cases there is an absence of the required motive, “to delay the game,” or “to give advantage to a player.”

4th. When a player is at first base, however, and the striker be at all over-particular in regard to selecting balls to strike at, warn him at one, and call strikes on him promptly, when really fair balls are delivered.

5th. Also, when darkness or storm is approaching, and it is to the advantage of the striker, or of the club he plays for, to delay the game, at once give warning, and promptly call strikes on every fair ball sent in and not struck at.

6th. Should it, however, under similar circumstances, be to the Striker’s advantage to hasten the game, and to the interest of his club for him to strike out, do not call strikes on him, even if he hit at the ball, unless it be a ball which he can hit and would have selected in the early part of the game; as the rules particularly prohibit any “unlawful” striking out.

7th. Remember, too, that in calling strikes, if the batsman is in the habit of striking at a ball of any particular highth [sic], and yet calls for a ball lower or higher than he is in the habit of striking at, for any special purpose, you must call strikes on him if he fails to hit at the balls he calls for, whether they really suit him or not.

8th. You can only call strikes on a batsman for his refusal to hit at balls within the legitimate reach of his bat. When they are pitched to him out of his legitimate reach, or not within reasonable distance of the height he calls for, you cannot call strikes on him.

9th. Finally, remember top be very strict in calling strikes whenever players are running bases, and especially when a player is on first base; and also be strict when it is getting dark or a storm is approaching and delay is advantageous to the striking party. But when there is no apparent motive, either to delay the game, to give advantage to the player, or weary the pitcher, you cannot fairly call strikes on a batsman unless he becomes tediously or unnecessarily particular as to the ball he wants pitched to him.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how Radcliffe became a revolver

Date Saturday, March 6, 1869
Text

Mr. Radcliffe has written a letter to a friend in New York, in which he explains his position and the causes which led to his being denounced as a “revolver.”

By this letter it appears that when the Athletic Club came home from their tour last fall Radcliffe resigned and went to New York, and joined the Mutuals. The Athletics sent a committee after him, who offered him a certain sum to go back, and he did so. They gave him a little at a time until the season was over, when they heard that he had joined the Cincinnati club, they concluded to give him the balance – $65 – if he would sign a paper. He did so, and he made arrangements with the Cincinnati Club for the season of 1869.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how professionals are paid; salary vs. co-op

Date Saturday, April 3, 1869
Text

The Mutuals have adopted the plan of paying each player a yearly stipend, in lieu of the old system of dividing any proceeds accruing to the club from gate-money. The sum so given is good and even generous wages.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

integrated play in North Carolina?

Date Saturday, May 15, 1869
Text

There are two Base Ball clubs in Wilmington, North Carolina, composed of colored men, but they allow white men to play with them occasionally.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

James Creighton's delivery

Date Saturday, June 12, 1869
Text

[Niagara vs. Star, date not given] On the fifth inning of this game, when the Star were a number of runs ahead of the Niagara, the pitcher of the latter was changed, Jimmy [Creighton] taking that position. Peter O’Brien together with our informant, witnessed this game, and when Creighton got to work, using the language of our correspondent, “we saw something new in ball, the low, swift delivery, the ball rising from the ground past the shoulder to the catcher.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Joe Start's nickname

Date Sunday, February 7, 1869
Text

Joe Start’s steady play, cool pluck, and, above all, his fidelity to the Atlantic Club, has [sic] obtained for him the sobriquet of “Old Reliable”; and truly was he properly christened, for he is the most reliable player in the club.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

literal physical championship pennant

Date Tuesday, August 17, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Cincinnati 8/16/1869] The champion pennant which had been placed just above the Eckford flag, and which had been whisking about quite lively all the day, as the winds caught it stretched at one out to its full length swinging itself around the renowned Red Stockings' banner and there fastened itself. This was a happy omen.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

long matches due to poor umpiring

Date Saturday, July 17, 1869
Text

[Keystones vs. Harvard 7/9/1869] The fault of the match was its length. It lasted three hours and twenty minutes [for seven innings]. This was the fault of the umpire, who, by refusing to call balls and strikes, as the rules require, consumed that time in only seven innings. It is necessary that we protest against this bad umpiring, which wearies the players and disgusts the public. Peale wish to see a good lively brisk game of base ball, and do not care to sit longer than two hours and a half for a full game. But, upon the average time of innings, had nine been played the game would have lasted nearly five hours! And chiefly because the umpire does not enforce the rules., quoting the Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

lowered admission for ordinary games

Date Sunday, May 23, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Olympic of New York 5/17/1869] The admission fee of the Union grounds for ordinary games has wisely been reduced to fifteen cents instead of twenty-five.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

makeshift travel arrangements

Date Sunday, July 18, 1869
Text

[Olympic of Washington vs. Keystone of Philadelphia 7/16/1869] The Olympics are deserving of great credit for the praiseworthy efforts they made in order to keep their engagement with the Keystones, having to travel seven hundred miles in a freight car, just arriving in the city an hour before the commencement of the game. As might be expected, the Olympics were not in the best condition, although they played a very good game in the majority of the innings, the superior batting of the Keystones alone enabling them to win.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

manufacturing non-regulation balls

Date Saturday, December 4, 1869
Text

The leading cricket ball manufacturers are obliged to look to the interests of the game and to their reputation as first class ball makers, more than they do to any immediate pecuniary profit, simply because they know that the best made balls, and the balls best suited to the game will always pay the best in the end. The majority of makers of base ball, however, look solely to the sales; and, if they find that any particular balls sell the best, even if it be not “regulation” as to composition, they go on making and selling such balls, even to the extent of making special balls to order for clubs, and to suit special purposes. Thus, balls are made very “lively” for heavy batting nines, and others are very “dead” to suit skillful fielders, while trashy balls are made simply for sale and not for use; the result of all this that we have no really “regulation” ball in use, though some claim to be so.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Martin's delivery

Date Sunday, January 24, 1869
Text

An ordinary pitcher, when he faces a batsman, relies simply upon his speed or wild delivery to bother his opponent. A first-class pitcher does neither; he simply studies his man, and tries to discover his weak points, and to take advantage of them. This is the feature of first-class pitching, and not either swift pitching, or the unfair delivery which marks wild pitching. For instance, Martin, when he is told to send in a ball knee-high, does not pitch every other ball or so out of the reach of the batsman; but he first tries to find out where the batsman can best hit a ball, or where he really likes to have them pitched to him–every batsman has a favorite spot, which, if wise, he keeps to himself–and having found that out, Martin takes care to send as few balls there as possible. The fact is, his success in pitching has been the result of his skill in being able to apparently send in a ball easy to hit without doing it. Let almost any other man attempt to pitch the same paced ball which Martin does, and he would find himself a badly-punished pitcher. It is not because he does not pitch swiftly; and especially is it absurd to attribute his success to any twist he imparts to the ball; for twist, in fair pitching, is worse than useless, as it only bothers the catcher and adds to his chances of passed balls. The simple secret of Martin’s success is that he uses his head as well as his arm, and studies his man, finds out his weak points, and uses strategy instead of relying upon mere speed or unfair delivery. itself is a good point of his play. He gives as little warning of the delivery of the ball as possible. It leaves his hand quick; and what is most important of all, the ball comes to the bat in deceptive curves. The nearer the line of a pitched ball reaches the horizontal in its approach to the bat, the easier it is to judge and to hit it. Very swift pitching causes a ball to approach the bat nearly on a straight line, and a quick eye can direct the bat to hit it every time. But in this case the pace of the ball renders necessary the most rapid movement of the arms in swinging the bat; and hence it is that those not strong in wrist play, or who wield too heavy a bat, or who take too wide a circle in swinging the bat, fail to hit swift pitching; but in reality the swiftly-delivered ball is the least difficult to hit of the two, provided both are pitched for the bat.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McBride's pitching: deceives both the batter and the umpire

Date Saturday, April 3, 1869
Text

He [McBride] is mainly celebrated for his skill in deceiving the batsman and the umpire at the same time. When Pearce caught for him, the finest play was shown that has ever been witnessed, both being as tricky as coons. He always studies his opponents, and although they may bat him on the first round, after that he sends the ball just where they “don’t” want it. His common style is to pitch wildly at first, in order to give him this chance.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

modern players don't appreciate the history of the game

Date Saturday, May 1, 1869
Text

Of late years the present “brood” of players think and care little for those who first brought our noble game into existence; but for those who have an interest in its welfare, those old players have a peculiar interest for them. Those old clubs have gradually lost their former high prestige, and become mere wrecks of their former greatness. Thus the old Knickerbocker Club, once so powerful and, for those days, so skillful, where are they? Once in a while we see their names as contestants with second rate clubs. So with the Gothams. Empire, and Eagle clubs, they too have sunk down to a lower grade, their old “trumps” have long since passed from sight, their memory only cherished by their old companions or the enthusiasts of the game.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

moral courage needed to call balls

Date Sunday, September 19, 1869
Text

[Mutuals vs. Athletics 9/15/1869] Mr. Nelson showed good judgment in his decisions, as a general thing, but he evidently lacked moral courage in calling balls; if not, he has certainly failed to read the rules correctly. For instance, when Wolters was at the bat in the fourth inning, two or three balls had been sent in out of the legitimate reach of the bat before a word was said, and then came a warning, “Look out for your next”. After this, three separate times were balled pitched which the rules positively oblige the umpire to call “balls”, and yet all the umpire did was to repeat the warning–four times in succession–“Look out for your next”.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

multiple balls required for the game

Date Sunday, August 22, 1869
Text

[Athletics of Philadelphia vs. Mountain City of Pottsville 8/19/1869] A singular feature of this game was the number of balls required to finish it; Al. Reach knocking three over the fence, and Fisler one–all of which were stolen and run off with by the numerous urchins outside the ground. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 22, 1869

a difficult slow pitcher

[Oriental of New York vs. Athletic 8/16/1869] The Orientals played exceedingly well during the early part of the game, and for four or five innings had their opponents in a pretty tight place. The Athletics at first could not hit Fitzsimmons’ pitching–he delivering a slow ball, but apparently a difficult one to hit to [sic] squarely. The Athletics warmed up towards the close of the contest, and by their tremendous batting, in the sixth and eighth innings, not without, however, a little luck, secured an easy victory. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 22, 1869

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

never objected to paying ball players

Date Saturday, April 24, 1869
Text

We never objected to paying men to play ball; but, we did think it mean and wrong to pay men, and then deny it–thus adding falsehood to a violation of law. Now, that Base Ball has become a Profession, and men are entitled to receive p ay, every player may honorably make terms, and place his services at their highest value. The richest club will become the strongest because talent will go where it receives the best pay. ... We take it for granted that the Athletic nine will cost the club at least $200 per week throughout the season, and this will be found reasonable if the club is well managed. The earnings of the club ought to amount to three times that sum, each week, from May to November. In a year or two everybody connected with professional Base Ball will be paid, from President to scorer, and capitalists will employ and pay and play clubs just as the theatrical managers do with their companies.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no calls for judgment in a game

Date Friday, June 18, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Eckford 6/17/1869] Mr. McMahon of the Mutuals acted as umpire. It may be well to state here that, as there were no points raised, his duties were not at all difficult, and therefore general satisfaction was given. New York Daily Tribune June 18, 1869 [repeated verbatim in the National Chronicle 6/26/1869]

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no rain checks

Date Sunday, May 16, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Princeton 5/15/1869] [game called due to rain in the second inning] At the gate passing out many thought that Mr. Cammeyer should either return their money or give them tickets for the next game, and as a consequence, on the refusal of the proprietor to do either, there were some hard words and hard knocks also; the services of the police finally being invoked to quell the disturbance. Mr. Cammeyer stated that it was the rule of the grounds that after a game had begun, no money would be returned or tickets given back. Mr. Cammeyer should have this notice printed, then post it about his grounds, to avoid trouble in future as well as save money, as many left yesterday in anger, owning that they would never visit the place again.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no seats reserved for the visiting club

Date Sunday, July 11, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 7/5/1869] The Atlantics had not reserved any seats for the Athletic delegation–as is customary–and the latter, consequently, had to seek a view of the game as best they could–all the choice positions on the ground being occupied two or three hours before the game commenced.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

non-Association, college clubs exempt from the sixty day rule

Date Saturday, January 23, 1869
Text

Last season no man could belong to any other club than the one he p layed with, or rather could not play in a match game as such a member, no matter whether the other club was one in or out of the Association. This year, provided the club he belongs to is not in the Association–such as a junior club for instance–or if in the Association it be a College club, it does not matter. For instance, Mr. Bush is catcher of the National club of Albany, but while in College at Harvard he is the catcher of the Harvard nine. Now last year he could not play in the National Club matches unless he resigned from the Harvard club; this year he can play in both nines, as College nines are exempted from the prohibition applied to all other Association clubs. Also junior clubs are now out of the list, consequently it is not now necessary that a member of a junior club should have to wait sixty days, or two days even, before he can play in a match as one of the nine of a senior club, provided he does not also belong to some other senior club.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

obstacles to arranging an integrated match

Date Saturday, August 7, 1869
Text

Five thousand persons would pay fifty cents each to see the Athletics play the Pythians. Now, as the Athletics want money, here is a chance to raise it in an honorable way. The Pythians think they can beat the Athletics. Why not give them a trial? Oh–but Fisler, who is a roaring, red-hot Democrat, objects; and so does that Black Republican Reach, and so does Cuthbert, and so does that other fine gentleman–that refined, educated, tasteful young gentleman–who says “the Pythians are d–d niggers!” But, an intelligent public–a fair-minded, liberal generous public, would like to see this contest, and it should take place. Let the Pythians begin with the Athletics, then the Keystones, next the Olympics, then the City Item, and keep on until they find their playing level. We are sure they will play like gentlemen, and beat everything except the professionals.

Speaking of this interesting proposition, the Sunday Dispatch says:

“The propriety of playing the Pythian Club is now a subject of debate in base ball circles. The Pythians are a colored club, and that is an objection to playing them. But they are anxious to measure their strength against some first-class white club, and are especially desirous to play the Athletics. We have not seen the Pythians play, but are told they are a very strong club. They are stout, muscular, active colored men, well-behaved and genteel, who take a deep interest in base ball, but have been unable to find any club to meet them. Now the question is, “Will the Athletics or Keystones play them a match?” Some of our players think it would not be en regle for white men to play against colored men, and oppose any proposition for a match. But others say that if colored muscle can beat white muscle it ought to have a chance. For ourselves, we only state the fact that the Pythian Club is willing to play against any organization in this city, and that thus far no white club has consented to meet them. It is certain that any match of the kin would draw an immense crowd, and we are confident that such players as Reach, Foran, Cuthbert and Radcliffe would see that the modest colored youths would have fair play, and that the spectators would look at the game with unusual interest. One or two of the Republican papers have intimated that the Athletics are afraid to play the Pythians. This is merely one of the slanders to which the Athletics are exposed. They are not afraid to play any club in the country, and they will prove it in any proper way.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

one-dollar admission speculation; unannounced exhibition game

Date Sunday, August 15, 1869
Text

[Atlantics vs. Unions of Lansingburgh 8/9/1869] The Atlantics, of Brooklyn, and “Haymakers,” of Lansingburgh, met for the third time, this season, on Monday last, the race-course at Saratoga being chosen as the scene of the final trial for superiority. The ground was very bad, being rough and uneven, making fine fielding impossible, while the spectators crowded in on the catcher, and annoyed the right and left fielders. As a speculation, the affair did not pay as well as was expected, the charge of one dollar evidently being too high, while the races drew away hundreds who would otherwise undoubtedly have been present. ... Since the contest, it has been reported that the affair was only a gate-money, exhibition game, and that the home-and-home game will be played on the Capitoline grounds, in the Fall. If such was the case, it is a pleasure to record that the affair was not a pecuniary success.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

partial innings can now count

Date Saturday, January 23, 1869
Text

One of the very few changes made in the playing rules of the game this season is that in which the rule governing games “played in the dark,” as it is called, is altered. Last year, when two clubs had a tie score, on an equal innings, and were obliged to cease play before the following innings were completed, the game was decided by the score of the last even innings played, and in the case of a tie score, on the 8th innings for instance, the game would be made a drawn one by being thrown back if anything occurred, such as rain or darkness, to prevent the full nine innings being played. In consequence of this rule, it became a “point” to play by clubs who disregarded fair and honorable play in their games, to throw the game into the dark; that is, to refuse to put out their opponents, so as to prevent the completion of a game in cases where their opponents had the lead in the score in the incompleted innings. This was done in the case of the Keystone and Cincinnati game last season, the keystones finding their opponents would win if the ninth innings were played to a close, made wild plays, and purposely delayed the game so much that it had to be decided by the score of the even innings played, which, of course, was in their favor. This year, however, no such mean game can be played, for the rule now gives the game to the nine having the most runs scored in the incompleted innings. For instance, suppose the Keystones and Cincinnati Clubs had each scored 20 at the close of their eighth innings, and the Keystone had been put out for a blank score in their ninth innings, and the Cincinnati had scored one run and no hands out in their ninth innings, and that rain or darkness then put a stop to play and obliged the umpire to call the game, according to the new rule the victory would remain with the Cincinnati Club, they having won by a score of 21 to 20, with three hands to lose–equivalent to so many wickets to fall in cricket. By this amendment the motive for unfair play is removed, and a blow given to the tricky conduct of those who try to play games into the dark. This is an excellent change, and one much needed.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

passing the next ahead runner

Date Sunday, September 5, 1869
Text

[Excelsior of Norristown, Pa., vs. Keystone 9/4/1869] Kulp made three home runs, and should have been credited with four, but was very singularly put out on the home base after making a heavy hit to left field. Kulp touched the home plate in advance of Weaver, who had preceded him, and the umpire [McMullin of the Athletics], on appeal, decided Kulp “out,” for failing to touch his base in the regular order of striking. This is the first decision we recollect seeing under section first of rule fourth.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

paths between the bases and the pitcher and catcher

Date Thursday, June 17, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/16/1869] The bright yet pleasing hue of the grass was relieved somewhat by the dark brown gravel paths between the bases and the pitchers' and catchers' placed and the dazzling whiteness of the bases.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Phonney Martin's delivery 2

Date Thursday, October 7, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Maryland 10/6/1869] Martin, the famous slow pitcher, was with the Eckfords, and completely bewildered the Baltimore players by his peculiar style of delivering the ball. It appeared as if the ball, when it quitted his hand, would fall to the ground before reaching the bat, but, on the contrary it went, to the pitcher [sic: perhaps should be catcher?] very swift, and the result was that, instead of the striker forcing the ball down the field, it assumed an upright position, and was easily taken by the Eckford players.

Source Baltimore Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Phonney Martin's pitching

Date Sunday, June 6, 1869
Text

[Mutuals vs. Eckfords 6/5/1869] The Mutuals now went in to bat Martin, but, like other clubs who have played the Eckfords this season, found the medium paced twisters hard to hit, and when fairly hit they had a provoking way of puffing up in the air for some anxious fielder to lay hands on. New York Dispatch June 6, 1869

[Mutuals vs. Eckfords 6/5/1869] Their [the Mutuals] inability to hit Martin’s medium-paced “twisters” was very evident. They either popped the ball into the air, when it was sure to be caught on descending, or they sent it flying or bounding behind the bat, to be taken care of by Jewett [catcher]. New York Clipper June 12, 1869

[Martin’s] “medium-paced,” curve-line style of pitching [has] bothered so many first-class nines. National Chronicle June 26, 1869

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Phonney Martin's tantalizing curve

Date Saturday, April 3, 1869
Text

[Martin’s] style is peculiar, being neither slow nor swift, but a “happy mean.” He is an extremely hard pitcher to hit, for the ball never comes in a straight line, but in a tantalizing curve.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

picnic of the 'Eckford Socials'

Date Tuesday, August 24, 1869
Text

The non-playing members of the Eckford Club held their annual picnic at Ridgewood Park, Brooklyn, yesterday afternoon and evening. The attendance was numerous, and everything passed off in the most harmonious manner. A game between the champion nine and nine of the Socials was played in the afternoon. … After conclusion of the game, the party repaired to the commodious platform devoted to the dance. Here a fine band was in attendance and discoursed choice selections. Dancing was kept up until a late hour in the evening, when the merry party dispersed, delighted with the day they had spent as guests of the Eckford Socials. New York Daily Tribune August 24, 1869

The non-playing members of the Eckford Club, of Brooklyn, held their annual pic-nic at Ridgewood Park, on Thursday last. The attendance was god, and everything passed off in the most enjoyable manner. The champions were present, and in the afternoon played a seven-inning game with a nine picked from the Socials, and result being the success of the former by a score of 27 to 12. Allison, Jewett, and Treacy did not play, the two latter being present, but not in condition for active work. After the game the day was devoted to dancing and other festivities, the party dispersing at a late hour, well pleased with the day they had spend as guests of the Eckford Socials. New York Dispatch August 29, 1869

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitchers should not be given all the credit or blame

Date Sunday, September 19, 1869
Text

One of the errors of old-time ball-playing was that of attributing every defeat and every victory to the lack of skill, or an excess of it in the pitchers of the nines. It was never then considered that so long as chances for putting players out were offered off the pitching that the pitcher did his duty, and also that is was only when he was badly punished, that is, when the batsmen made bases off his pitching by clean hits easily, that he could be justly charged with the loss of a game. We have noticed that the erroneous estimate of a pitcher’s skill which charges him with the results of bad support in the field, and which credits him with the results of skillful fielding or poor batting, is still in vogue among certain classes of the fraternity, although the condition of things as regards an estimate of good and bad pitching is being improved each season.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

placement of the catcher; signs with the pitcher

Date Saturday, March 27, 1869
Text

When a person is on first base, it would be well [for the catcher] to stand closer to the bat, but no nearer than is necessary to take the ball on the fly. It would be well to practice throwing from different positions behind the bat, so as to be accustomed to a change on pace or pitcher. He should arrange signs with the pitcher, so as to be ready for a change in pace.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing members of the Mutuals; Wildey plays in a match

Date Saturday, June 19, 1869
Text

[Oriental vs. Mutual 6/4/1869] The Mutuals were without the services of Wolters, and no other playing members of the club showing up at the time, President Wildey slipped on the Jerseyman’s suit and played all through the game, making his first base three times on hits. New York Clipper June 19, 1869 [Wildey played right field]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

poor umpiring not calling balls

Date Sunday, July 18, 1869
Text

[Olympic of Washington vs. Athletic 7/17/1869] There was another feature of this game that deserves to be strongly condemned. That is the umpiring. It is the custom when a good player from another city is on the ground to compliment him by making him umpire, and yesterday Mr. D. Allison, of the Cincinnati Club, occupied that important position. Mr. Allsion made one of the worst umpires of the season. He called about one ball in ten, while the rules require that every ball improperly pitched shall be called. The result was that this game lasted four hours and twenty minutes! Surely this is wrong. The spectators get tired out and the players become exhausted. No occasional brilliant play will redeem the tedium of a game which drags along by the refusal of the umpire to strictly enforce the laws.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pratt's factory?

Date Saturday, June 26, 1869
Text

[Atlantic vs. Union of Lansingburgh 6/21/1869] The fact is, Pratt met with a severe pecuniary loss by destruction by fire lately, and he is not, therefore, in the right trim for play. National Chronicle June 26, 1869

The Atlantics played a different nine to that they presented against the Cincinnati, inasmuch as Zettlein pitched in place of Pratt... This, we believe, will be the future disposition of the nine this season, as Pratt’s misfortune in losing his factory by fire will debar him from giving the necessary attention to practice. New York Sunday Mercury June 27 , 1869

...their pitcher, Tommy Pratt, had just suffered a severe loss by fire in Philadelphia, which required his unceasing attention, and rendered him totally unfit to play. National Chronicle November 20, 1869

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pre-sold tickets available; a board to display results by inning

Date Sunday, June 20, 1869
Text

Tickets can be obtained for the game tomorrow [versus the Cincinnati Club] at Al. Reach’s, No. 6 South Eighth street, and at the “Board,” No. 49 South Third street, where each and every inning, as fast as played will be reported.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

professionalism and amateurism

Date Friday, September 3, 1869
Text

[commenting on the tour of the Southern Club of New Orleans] ...they ventured a step further than they should have gone in contesting with the 'Red Stockings' of Cincinnati. That step was a erroneous as it would be for a fair whist player, or cribbage player to take challenge from or give challenge to a professional gamester. The 'Red Stockings' are mere hirelings paid annual salaries by jobbers in base ball, who bet upon the achievements of their chosen men whose only business is to practice the game and assiduously think by what trick success can be assured. The Southerns demeaned themselves by playing against such men, as much as a gentleman would demean himself by riding against a professional jockey. The introduction of base ball or any other manly exercise, to invigorate the constitution and develop strength and activity, is beneficial, but the votaries of the game must not descend to the level of competing with the instruments of gamblers. The Southerns were very bold but they were not discreet, in consenting to meet the “Red Stockings” even if the Cincinnati Club were socially their equals, for the Orleanians were already too severely tried by journeys on railroads and steamboats, coming in quick succession, and by a series of games played under the influence of exhausting weather. Cincinnati Commercial September 3, 1869, quoting the New Orleans Bulletin

So far as the social status of the gentlemen composing the “Red Stocking” Nine is concerned, in opposition to what we had been led to believe from their appellation as “professional base ball players,” we are happy to state on the authority of the members of the Southern Club, that they are intelligent and clever gentlemen, several of whom are married and have left clerkships and other occupations to take to base balling, in order to gratify their enthusiasm for the game, and, at the same time, follow remunerative occupation. Cincinnati Commercial September 8, 1869, quoting the New Orleans Bulletin

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Radcliff goes on a pleasure excursion

Date Sunday, September 5, 1869
Text

The Athletics left for Washington last Sunday evening, in the 4:30 train. On arriving at the depot all nine were found to be “on deck,” with the exception of Radcliff, who failed to put in an appearance, after promising faithfully that he would go on the trip. It was reported that he had gone on a pleasure excursion, and if such was the case, his conduct cannot be too severely censured in thus leaving the Athletics in the “lurch.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Reach opens a new store

Date Saturday, February 13, 1869
Text

Reach has taken a store on Eighth street, near Chestnut. This settles the talk about his going back to New York to live. The Athletics will open a club room over Reach’s store. Philadelphia City Item February 13, 1869

[Reach] opened a new store last week at No. 68 Eighth Street, his old quarters on Chestnut Street were too small, but now he has “changed his base” of operations, and has a larger store in a more central location, he can accommodate all his friends who may favor him with a call. National Chronicle February 13, 1869

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reasons for poor umpiring

Date Saturday, July 3, 1869
Text

How any player can read this rule, and , remembering it well, fail to interpret it correctly in his ruling in a match without laying himself open to a charge of partiality in his decisions or of alack of intelligence in comprehension, I cannot perceive. One great cause of erroneous decision in regard to calling balls, arises from the prevailing idea with players who acts as umpires, that they have a right to decide in the matter not in accordance with the spirit or letter of the law; but only as they consider fair and right. Another cause of bad ruling in this respect, is the too general neglect in not reading up for the position. I have seen men take the position this season who had not even seen a book of the rules since 1867. Custom, too, goes a great way in causing poor umpiring, many umpires following the example of others whom they have heard spoken of as giving good decisions, instead of reading the rules for themselves.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Red Stockings compare to General Sherman; NY clubs upping their game

Date Tuesday, July 27, 1869
Text

The march of General Sherman through the Southern States was fraught with no more disorganizing elements to the Southern army than the march of the “Red Stockings” through the base ball districts of the East demoralized the camps here. … Reconstruction is the word now. … The first club to feel the necessity was the Mutuals of New York, though the act was not the result of foresight, but the exigency of the hour. … The training of the players, while not so rigid as the one pursued by the Harvard University crew, is nevertheless a complete one. The Atlantic Club of Brooklyn, have also an eye to the training of their men. A first-class organization in thee days of ball playing can not be sustained by men dividing their time between business and pleasure. To play ball for pleasure is no longer a part for a man holding a prominent position in a prominent club., quoting Wilkes' Spirit of the Times

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Red Stockings supporting each other in the field

Date Friday, June 18, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Eckford 6/17/18 69] Harry Wright their trainer, profiting by his extensive cricket experience, has made them support each other as no other nine in the country does. This is one of the secrets of their great success. Their strength lies in their unity—each fully understands each other's peculiarities of play, and acts accordingly.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

relative importance of pitching and fielding

Date Saturday, February 13, 1869
Text

A comparatively poor pitcher may send in balls easy to hit, but by means of skillful fielders, the yield of outs may far exceed the allowance of runs; and, on the other hand, the best of pitching may yield chances for blank scores each inning, and yet by the inferior assistance in the field, a large score of runs may be obtained from it.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reneging on an agreement about ineligible players; giving up a ball on a forfeit

Date Sunday, September 12, 1869
Text

[Haymakers vs. Keystone 9/7/1869] It was originally intended that a regular match game should be played, but when the Haymakers arrived on the ground, they objected to Cope and Wood taking part in the game, as they were not legally entitled to play. The Haymakers had previously consented that these two men should play but changed their minds after being defeated by the Athletics. The Keystones, therefore, gave their opponents a ball, and rather than disappoint the large crowd present, played a social game.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reorganizing the Union of Morrisania

Date Sunday, July 4, 1869
Text

An effort is being made to resuscitate the Union Base Ball Club, of Morrisania. On the 21st ult., Mr. William Cauldwell, of the New York Sunday Mercury, was elected President of the club, and measures taken to restore it to its former vigor.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

restaurant on the Athletic grounds

Date Sunday, May 2, 1869
Text

Harry Painter, the energetic Superintendent of the Athletic’s ground, deserves a great deal of credit for the thoroughly fine condition in which he has placed the ground, it never presenting such a fine appearance, especially so early in the season. Mr. Painter will have charge this year of the restaurant on the ground, and will be prepared to dispense the best of beverages at reasonable prices.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

revived spectator interest in an amateur match

Date Sunday, June 27, 1869
Text

[Empires vs. Alerts of Seton Hall 6/24/1869] The old North Field at Hoboken presented quite an old-time look, as there were not only two nines on the field contesting for the supremacy, but the players were surrounded by a large crowd of spectators, and the committee of the club had the same old work to do as used to mark the leading contests of 1861, and ‘62 and ‘63, in getting the crowd back.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

revolvers

Date Sunday, February 21, 1869
Text

We are glad to see that the leading professional clubs are ignoring . The action of Radcliffe has led to his dismissal from the Cincinnati Club. It appears, from what we are informed by our Philadelphia correspondent, that Radcliffe received a bonus of $65 from the Athletics, in consideration of signing an agreement that we would play with that club. With the money thus received he started the next day for Cincinnati. In fact, he had his ticket for Cincinnati in his pocket when he signed the agreement. The Cincinnati Club were promptly notified of the facts, and they replied that if the charge could be sustained, they would have nothing to do with Radcliffe. Suffice it to say, that he is now in Philadelphia. Report states that Hatfield did the same thing with the Cincinnati Club but we cannot credit it, as the Mutuals have determined not to receive any into their club.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors the Red Stockings were going to sell the game

Date Monday, August 30, 1869
Text

[Haymakers vs. Cincinnati 8/26/1869] Very many inspired devotees of the noble game predicted a sell out on the part of the “Red Stockings,” or if not by the club entire, at least two or three members would “throw off.” The result of the game demonstrated considerable misapprehension on the part of these individuals. New York Daily Tribune August 30, 1869, quoting the Cincinnati Daily Enquirer

baseball and cricket and American and British national characters

The game of cricket being an English game, and the base ball being American, we should expect to find in the national differences of character an explanation of the differences in the two national amusements. And we should expect this all the more because the basis of both games is the same. Both games rest, first, upon the desire of the Anglo Saxon--(we do not say Caucasian or Aryan, because we like to be exact)--upon the desire of the Anglo-Saxon to arm himself with a stick and drive a small round body with it and, secondly, upon the desire of any other Anglo Saxon who happens to be in the way to stop this body, deprive the other of his stick and bat himself. In these fundamental instincts may be clearly seen the terms of the two games of cricket and base ball. Lest there be, instead, of two men, two sides, one of which has the bat while the others function is to stop the ball and let the rude violence of nature be restrained and regulated by law, and yet have at once a game of all. As the methods of striking and stopping or “batting” and “fielding” vary you obtain now cricket, now base ball. It is the fundamental similarity of the two games then, which enables us to say that their superficial differences are the result of national differences of character. If the difference between the favorite amusement of English and American boys were something intrinsic, the case would be changed. Suppose that English boys found their highest amusement in surf swimming like the boys of the Sandwich Islands, while the sport most keenly enjoyed by American boys was vivisection—it would certainly be difficult to say how far such wide differences could be accounted for by analysis of national tendencies. But in the actual case the generative principles of both games between the same, the investigator is confident at once that the explanation of what diversity exists must be found in the diversity of the character of the two nations.

Now, in two points, at least, is may be said with certainty that the American character differs from the English—in being less brutal, and in being more fond of novelty, of change, of the excitement which novelty and change produces. And to any one who carefully watches the two national games it becomes evident that they also differ in the same way—cricket being the more brutally dangerous and also affording the least excitement of the two. … Cincinnati Commercial August 30, 1869, quoting the Nation

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

semi-professionalism

Date Saturday, February 13, 1869
Text

The managers of the Buckeye Club are a little undecided whether to have a full professional nine, or to arrange a strong amateur nine, with professional pitcher and catcher.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shenanigans to keep the championship in New York

Date Sunday, August 1, 1869
Text

It seems as if a concerted effort was being made by the prominent New York and Brooklyn clubs to keep the nominal title of championship in their locality. Last season, the Athletics–through chicanery–were deprived of any chance of contending with the Unions of Morrisania and the Mutuals, for the title, and this season, the Eckfords–the present champions–decline meeting the Athletics until after they have played the Atlantics. The Athletics and Atlantics are the only tow first-class clubs in the country, who have any chance of winning the championship from the Eckfords, as all the other prominent clubs have commenced a series of games with the Eckfords before they became possessed of the title; and even if the Red Stockings should again defeat the Eckfords, they could not be champions, according to the absurd rule now in vogue. The giving of the precedence, therefore, to the Atlantics, in the playing of the two games, is manifestly unjust, and looks as if the Eckfords intended lending their assistance towards keeping the nominal title of championship in Brooklyn, without giving any other club a chance to win it.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

short stop fails to cover second base

Date Friday, June 18, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Mutual 6/15/1869] Eggler demonstrated very forcibly that he is out of his place at short field, and, owing to that fact alone, several chances for outs were lost. In the seventh inning, for instance, McVey hit a good ball to right field, and kept right on to the second base, as Hatfield [2B] had gone to field the ball in, and Eggler did not leave his place at short field to man the second as he should have done., quoting the New York Herald

Source Cincinnati Daily Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

short stop moving to right short for a left handed batter

Date Sunday, November 21, 1869
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] Will you inform me...whether a short-stop should change his position when a left-handed striker goes to the bat; and should the second-base man take the position he has vacated? {Short stop should go to right-short, and second-base man between second base and short-stop’s position.}

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shortstop covering second

Date Monday, November 8, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Cincinnati 11/07/1869] [Hatfield at first base] tried to steal second, but Allison's [C] hawk eyes saw the movement, and he sent the ball to George Wright [SS].

Source Cincinnati Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

size of the Cincinnati Club

Date Saturday, August 28, 1869
Text

About one hundred members of the Cincinnati Base-ball Club met last night at their hall in the Mozart Building, to take into consideration a just and proper disposition of the money received at the games on Thursday last, during their game with the Haymakers.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spectators leaving early

Date Saturday, November 13, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Cincinnati 11/6/1869] The last [i.e. previous] inning had virtually decided the game, it being deemed impossible for the Mutuals to recover their lost grounds; any many persons who had sat as if rooted to the seats, until the end of the eighth inning, now suddenly discovered that they were well nigh frozen, and left the ground.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Sunday services at the Union Grounds

Date Monday, June 14, 1869
Text

The Young Men's Christian Association of Brooklyn, E.D., a young and vigorous organization of five hundred Christians, are holding free religious services every Sunday afternoon at the Union Base Ball grounds, Williamsburg. [A summary of a sermon delivered there, with wretched theology, follows.]

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

taxing baseball clubs

Date Tuesday, August 10, 1869
Text

The Internal Revenue Department has decided that Base Ball Clubs are subject to taxation, and accordingly they will in future be compelled to take out licenses at the rate of $10 per annum for their exhibitions, and pay a tax of 2½ per cent on their gross receipts, while the Treasurers of Clubs will be required to make monthly income returns.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

taxing baseball clubs 2

Date Sunday, August 22, 1869
Text

The Assessors of Internal Revenue are after the base ball fraternity, having notified them that they must take out a license, which is ten dollars a year; also pay two and a half per cent on the gross receipts. The treasurer must make his return once a month. In this it should be clearly understood that the Government does not tax sport–does not impose any burden on recreation–but only on the show business. Ball clubs get up matches as exhibitions, and charge a fee for the sight, and thus a ball company stands on the same level as any other company that entertains the public, so far as the tax-gatherer can see.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

taxing baseball exhibitions

Date Wednesday, August 11, 1869
Text

The revenue authorities have decided that people who go into base ball as a means of making money must fork over to Uncle Sam the usual percentage on their receipts. In this it should be clearly understood that the government does not tax sport—does not impose any burden on recreation—but only on the show business. Ball clubs get up matches as exhibitions and charge a fee for the sight, and thus a ball company stands on the same level as any other company that entertains the public, so far as the tax gatherer can see.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

taxing baseball exhibitions 2

Date Saturday, September 4, 1869
Text

Ever since the opening of the present ball season, there has been considerable talk concerning the question of collecting an Internal Revenue tax on the receipts from the admissions to the ball grounds, by the revenue offers. During the late tour of the Mutuals, however, a step was taken in this direction by the Deputy Collector at Washington. On the day the Mutuals were to leave Washington, he called upon Mr. John Wildey, the President of the Club, and demanded two per cent. of the gross receipts taken at the gate in the National and Olympic games. This demand led to a protracted discussion between the Internal Revenue officers and the managers and directors of the clubs, but the law so distinctly sets forth its requirements, that all Mr. Wildey could do was to settle the matter to the satisfaction of Mr. Delano’s officers, which he did.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

taxing baseball games

Date Thursday, August 26, 1869
Text

Ever since the opening of the present ball season, there has been considerable talk concerning the question of collecting an Internal Revenue tax on the receipts from admission to the ball grounds, but up to Tuesday no definite action had been taken by the revenue officers. On that day, as the Mutual Club of this city were about leaving Washington for Baltimore, the President, Mr. Wildey, was called upon by a deputy Collector, and a tax of 2 per cent on the gross receipts at the gates in the National and Olympic games, was demanded. The subject led to a protracted discussion between the Internal Revenue officers and the mangers and directors of the clubs, but the law so distinctly sets forth its requirements, that all Mr. Wildey could do was to settle the matter to the satisfaction of Mr. Delano's officer, which he did late on Tuesday night. The following is the section of the law of July 13, 1864, that provides for the collection of the tax:

Sec. 103. And be it further enacted, That any person, or corporation, or the manager or agent thereof, owning, conducting, or having the care or management of any theater, opera, circus, museum, or other public exhibition of dramatic or operatic representations, plays, performances, musical entertainments, feats of horsemanship, acrobatic sports, or other shows which are opened to the public for pay, but not including occasional concerts, school exhibitions, lectures, or exhibitions of works of art, shall be subject to and pay a duty of two per centum on the gross amount of all receipts derived by such person, firm, company, or corporation from such representations, plays, performances, exhibitions, shows, or musical performances.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Teutonic origin and lack of headwork

Date Saturday, April 3, 1869
Text

George [Zettlein] always endeavors to pitch the ball just where a player wishes it, and from habit is unable to break himself of this. He lacks in head-work, however. Descending from Teutonic origin no doubt accounts for this.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the 'nominal championship'

Date Sunday, October 10, 1869
Text

[Atlantic vs. Eckford 10/9/1869] The return match between these clubs for the nominal title of the championship of the United States... In referring to this match as that for the nominal title of champions, we simply desire to be understood that the real championship belongs only to that club which as not been defeated in a regular series of matches throughout the season; and there is but one club in the country which can justly lay claim to this latter title, and that is the Cincinnati club, for they have not only not lost a series of games with any club this season, but they have yet to encounter their first defeat, although they have played games with every first-class club in the National Association.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletic second nine

Date Tuesday, June 22, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 6/21/1869] In the Athletic nine it will be seen McMullen was taken from right field to officiate as pitcher, and Heubel, from the second nine, taking McBride's place in the field.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantic Club House

Date Saturday, July 17, 1869
Text

The Atlantic Club House is the title of Mr. Henry’s new location, near the corner of Fulton avenue and Boerum street, New York [sic: actually Brooklyn], and it is a decided improvement over his old place. The saloon is a very neat one, and well appointed, the upper floor forming the Atlantic club-room, the same being very tastefully fitted up, indeed. This will be the headquarters of the Atlantic Club hereafter. Mike will keep a bulletin of all the matches, and will have the scores of the games within half an hour of the closing of the principal contests of the season.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics are practicing

Date Saturday, April 17, 1869
Text

The Atlantics are now regularly at work and have enjoyable exercise games every Monday and Thursday on the Capitoline grounds.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics don't practice 2

Date Sunday, July 25, 1869
Text

One of their [the Atlantics] first nine remarked on Wednesday last that he had not played in a practice game in two years. No wonder the boys are not so successful as of old.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Boston commons closed to baseball

Date Sunday, May 30, 1869
Text

Friends of the National game in Boston feel greatly aggrieved at the action of their City Government in making the parade ground on the common simply ornamental. It has compelled the ball-players to look out for other grounds... New York Dispatch May 30, 1869

Chadwick ignoring the Mutuals

Chadwick refuses to attend the Champion’s games or give reports of them, because the latter do not notify him officially when they are to be played. He says “they (the Mutuals) can please themselves about it.” They probably will, and about buying the Mercury to read ball news also. New York Dispatch May 30, 1869

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Buckeye Club goes bankrupt

Date Saturday, March 27, 1869
Text

The “Buckeyes” have about given up the ghost, or in other words have abandoned their grounds to their creditors. The stockholders having been sued by the men who had erected their improvements, and the skating season having proved a flat failure, and the rents of the ground having more than swallowed all other income, the stockholders filed an answer asking for a receiver to take charge of the whole matter and assess them equitably. The Buckeye Ball Club may still hold together, but it will lose its former position, as a matter of course. New York Clipper March 27, 1869

the pitcher should automatically cover home plate when a man is on third

If a man is on third base, he [the pitcher] should invariably follow the ball immediately on delivery. New York Clipper April 3, 1869

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Buckeye Club in financial straits; a stock company?

Date Saturday, March 27, 1869
Text

The Buckeye Club of Cincinnati, according to Dame Rumor, has “gone out on a foul.”

The stockholders having been sued by the men who had erected their improvements, and the skating season having proved a flat failure, and the rents of the ground having more than swallowed all the other income, the stockholders filed an answer asking for a receiver to take charge of the whole matter and assess them equally. The Buckeye Ball Club may still hold together, but it will probably lose its former position. The Great Western Club which played upon the Buckeye grounds last season, will probably play on those of the Cincinnati Club.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Buckeye Club to be amateur

Date Saturday, February 20, 1869
Text

A letter from Cincinnati says: “Several professionals are reported as having an engagement with the Buckeye Club next season. I can assure you the report is erroneous. The Bucks intend having an amateur home nine. So far from having a professional nine, I doubt very much if they will accept a challenge from a professional club. One year’s experience with an imported nine was sufficient; home players were debarred from playing, or even practicing, while their pockets were taxed for those whose interest in the club was their weekly salaries. You may rest assured that the Buckeyes will not be troubled with “revolvers,” who carry their pockets filled with offers from clubs, thereby keeping a club in a stew from the beginning to the end of a season.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Eckfords win the championship

Date Sunday, July 4, 1869
Text

[Eckfords vs. Mutuals 7/3/1869] [Eckfords ahead 31-5:] One man and one run scored, when the rain came down in torrents, and all rushed for shelter. In a few minutes the rain ceased, and the Eckfords were getting ready to go on the field again, when John Wildly [sic] was seen approaching. In a few minutes he appeared in the clubhouse with champion penant [sic] and ball in his hands; he announced he acknowledged defeat of the Mutuals in a few well chosen remarks presented the trophies to the victorious Eckfords, whose President responded with appropriate expressions.

In a few minutes, the Eckford’s flag with the champion penant flying on it was hauled up to the staff where the Mutuals flag formerly so proudly waved.

The Eckfords are champions, but how long they will be is very uncertain, for few things in this life are more uncertain than baseball.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Haymakers a sporting implement

Date Saturday, September 4, 1869
Text

The Haymakers are, it is notorious, a sporting implement in the hands of a clique of New York gamblers, chief of whom is the Hon. John Morrissey. They are used like loaded dice and marked cards.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutual Club rooms

Date Saturday, February 20, 1869
Text

The Mutual club, of New York, is making extensive preparations for the coming season. They have rented three large rooms in which will be billiard tables, the papers containing intelligence of our great National Game, Cricket, etc., etc., and everything else that tends to make the eyes twinkle for the stomach shake with delight will be there in abundance. The rooms are above the Olympic Theatre, and are under the charge of John Wildey, president of the club. Everything has been removed from the old rooms at the “Study” in Hudson street, to the new ones. The house will be the headquarters of all base ball visitors to New York.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals copy the Red Stockings' uniform

Date Wednesday, July 28, 1869
Text

It is probable that in Saturday's game with the Marylands the Mutuals will appear in their new uniforms, consisting of white shirts, blue caps and stockings, and either blue or gray trousers, reaching only to the knee, after the style of the “Red Stockings.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals in New Orleans; gate money

Date Sunday, December 26, 1869
Text

The visit will entail a heavy outlay by the visiting club [the Mutuals], as the distance is great; and the gentlemen of the Southern Club [of New Orleans] deserve great credit for their generous action in the matter of the proceeds (giving all the gate money to the visiting club) and the encouragement held out to make the trip. New York Sunday Mercury December 26, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals in contract dispute with Cammeyer

Date Saturday, April 10, 1869
Text

The Mutual B.B. Club held a meeting on Monday night at their headquarters, and unanimously agreed not to use the Union Grounds, Williamsburgh, upon the terms offered by the proprietor. They may accept an invitation to use the St. George Cricket Grounds. National Chronicle April 10, 1869 [The Mutuals played that season on the Unions grounds.]

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals' new regimen

Date Wednesday, July 28, 1869
Text

The directors have given Mr. John Wildey, the President of the club, absolute control of the players—a move that cannot fail to be productive of the best results. Mr. Wildey has already set apart two days in the week for practice, which, together, with the three or four matches that will be played weekly seems likely to give the nine but little chance to grow rusty. A fine of $5 will be imposed upon a member absent on a practice or match day, while the penalties for other offences have been made equally severe. Charley Mills, the captain of the nine, will report all delinquents to Mr. Wildey, and will be held personally responsible for the good conduct and punctual attendance of the players on all occasions.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the NABBP convention controlled by professional interests

Date Sunday, December 12, 1869
Text

The attendance was smaller and less influential in character as a whole than any previous convention for some years past, the professional interest alone being fully represented. The result was mainly attributable to the lack of attendance of representatives from amateur clubs at State Association Conventions, and the severe storm. Only sixteen delegates were present to represent clubs from Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Alabama, and Kentucky. The absentees were replaced by members of clubs from other State Associations, and the result was an attendance of a working delegation of twenty-three voters, the majority of whom were controlled by the professional interest. New York Sunday Mercury December 12, 1869

the National Association convention controlled by the professionals

No one can have perused our detailed report of the proceeding of the recent base ball convention, without being forcibly struck with the fact that in but one sense was it a representative body, and that was as regards the professional clubs of the fraternity. Another fact made apparent by the action taken by the controlling power in the convention was, that the leaders of the professional interest have adopted the shrewd but unscrupulous tactics of the New York politicians, the end of which is to place the ruling powers in the hands of the worst classes of the community. In fact it was made plainly manifest that the convention was controlled by a professional “right,” and if something be not done this next year by the amateur clubs to counteract this pernicious influence, the next Convention will be marked by the repeal of the rule against betting; which is now a dead letter to professional clubs, and championship contests will be officially recognized, in which case we may say, good-by to the future welfare of the national game. National Chronicle December 18, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Red Stockings' success

Date Sunday, June 20, 1869
Text

The Cincinnati Club is probably the only organization in the country that has been properly and thoroughly trained and disciplined, and to this fact we attribute wholly their extraordinary success. The members are required to be strictly temperate in their habits, to eat none but wholesome and nutritious kinds of food, and to retire to rest at a certain and reasonable hour. Here we see the secret of their being able to play matches day after day without apparent fatigue; and we insist that no club in the country will be able to compete successfully with them whose members will not adhere strictly to the rules of health, and in addition exercise daily and constantly with ball and bat on the green field. The members of this celebrated club were at one time mostly Eastern players, and no more skillful than hundreds of their brethren; therefore we say, it lies in th power of any good club here, to so train and discipline their nine as to compete successfully with these Wester athletes.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Union grounds more convenient than Tremont

Date Sunday, April 4, 1869
Text

It was supposed for a time that [the Mutuals] would go to Tremont, but better sense prevailed and the Union grounds...because of its easy access to the city, has been determined on.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Union grounds of Boston

Date Saturday, June 26, 1869
Text

Up to this spring the Common was the usual ground for matches, but this year the upper part was fenced in, and as Jervis’ Field was forbidden to all but College matches it was necessary to fine some other place. By the liberality of several gentlemen connected with the various clubs, a ground has been procured which is superior to any in that vicinity. It is 396 by 635, with a turfy soil, which is quite level, and with seats for about 3000 persons, and is enclosed by a fence 12 feet high; admission to same being 25 cents, ladies accompanied by gentlemen admitted free. These grounds are entered from Milford Place, are between the Velocipede Rink and the Boston and Providence R.R., being quite easy to reach. National Chronicle June 26, 1869

It is about 500 feet by 600, with a tufgy soil, which is quite level, and with seats for about 1,000 persons, and is enclosed by a fence about 12 feet high... New York Clipper June 27, 1869

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Unions new grounds in Troy

Date Sunday, June 6, 1869
Text

The new field of the Unions was found to be a great improvement on the old one at Lansingburgh, the space being ample, the ground level, except in the far out-field, and the accommodations for visitors first-class. By two o’clock all the seats were occupied, two or three hundred ladies being present, and at three o’clock, when game was called, over six thousand spectators were upon the grounds, a large force of police being on hand to maintain order and restrain any too marked exhibition of partisan feeling calculated to annoy the visitors and injure the players, the “Haymakers” being determined that clubs visiting their grounds shall experience the best of treatment and have a fair chance to win if they have the ability.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Western custom for warning the batter

Date Sunday, April 25, 1869
Text

[The umpire called] fair-ball by way of warning the batsman, this being the Western custom and it is a good one, and ought to be adopted here.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the White Lot closed to baseball

Date Saturday, May 15, 1869
Text

General Mitchell has issued a final order, refusing all clubs permission to play upon the “White Lot.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the amateur status of the Star Club is questioned

Date Sunday, July 25, 1869
Text

Quite a little controversy has arisen in Brooklyn this past week in relation to the status of the Star Club. A correspondent of one of the local journals having questioned the accuracy of our statement in regard to the Star Club being an amateur club, Mr. Jewell, of the Stars, has replied to him, denying his charge of their receiving a share of gate money. The following from Messrs. Weed & Decker, however, settles the question:

“We desire to state for the benefit of all those who may hereafter inquire, that the Star Club, of Brooklyn, have never received, either directly or indirectly, from us (except some two or three years ago, in the case of the Southern Relief Association match) one cent of gate-money. They have never asked for it; and when making arrangements for the ground at the commencement of the season, the subject was broached by us, and they stated that they would rather leave the ground than do anything of the kind. As far as we know they play only for pleasure and a desire to excel in the game.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baseball reporter for the Philadelphia Sunday Mercury

Date Sunday, August 22, 1869
Text

A number of communications, questions, &c., for this department, received this week, have been carefully laid aside to await the return of our base ball reporter, who is absent with the Athletic Club on their State tour. They will be attended to in our next. Any seeming neglect on the part of Mr. Wright must be attributed to the above cause.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the batting average denominator

Date Sunday, November 14, 1869
Text

In making up the averages of a club’s batting, it has been proposed, as more proper and correct way, in finding the average of bases on strikes, to divide the number of times first-base made by the number of times the striker actually as at the bat, than by dividing the number of times first base made by the number of games. We think that this is the most sensible plan. The first striker in a game has generally more strikes than the ninth man, and, therefore, more opportunities of making runs; but, by the old method of computing averages, both t he first and ninth striker were placed on the same footing.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the batting order should be changed routinely

Date Saturday, October 9, 1869
Text

The system of striking that prevails among base ball clubs at the present time is susceptible of a great change for the better, and we propose, as far as we may be able in a brief a article, to show the fraternity wherein they err in adhering to the present mode of striking, whereby a certain man is first striker in every game. If any of our readers will take the trouble to investigate the matter, they will see that the first striker has a great advantage over the others, so much so that they will be surprised, and wonder that the matter has not been discussed before. In nearly every club, amateur or professional, each man strives to lead the score at the bat, although some are content to win a game not caring which of their members lead the batting score. Take the Atlantics for instance, each member considers his confreres as rivals and does his best to out bat the others, all in an honorable manner. All know that Joe Start works like a beaver to lead the batting average and generally he is successful. Now to illustrate the theory that the first striker has an advantage over the others... [a long statistical analysis follows: note that the average is of runs scored per game played].

Thus it will be plainly seen that under the present system of striking equal justice is not done the nine, and the only way, which will give each man an equal chance is, to let that man strike first in a game, who comes immediately after the third man out on the last inning of the last game played. This will give all an equal chance to lead the averages. Let clubs give this system a trial and we are assured that they will ever after adhere to it, while at the same time we shall have less jealousy and less reorganization of nines than at present.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the classes of ball clubs

Date Sunday, February 14, 1869
Text

There is quite a revival going on in baseball all over. Now that amateurs have no one but their own class as rivals in the area, there is going to be quite an effort made among them to recover their lost ground. There will be three classes of clubs who will enter the lists: among them one set–the regular professionals–who will have the strongest nines; amateur clubs with single professionals, and amateur clubs with no professionals at all.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the composition of balls; illegal balls; skillful batting

Date Saturday, July 17, 1869
Text

Now, a cricket ball is composed of cork chips, tightly wound round with yarn, and covered with thick, hard, stamped leather. This, combined with the elasticity of the cricket bat, suffices to send a hard-hit cricket ball a very long distance. A cricket ball has been hit over 200 yards distance. Our base balls, however, are now made–legally–of rubber, wound round with yarn, and covered with thin leather. This composition admits of a ball as heavy and almost as hard as a cricket ball; but it is of treble its elasticity. Some base ball are made–illegally–with a small ball of cork in the centre, covered with nearly three ounces of hard rubber, and this with about two ounces of yarn and leather. The result is a ball which will rebound on hard ground from twenty to thirty feet, and one which a fielder finds it very difficult to hold, and our ordinary batsman very easy to send over the heads of the outfielders for home runs. For several years past “heavy batting nines” have made it a “point” in making up their games to secure the privilege of selecting the ball, and having had balls specially made for them of extra elasticity, they have of course carried off the palm over their better fielding but less heavy batting opponents. The experience of the last few years, and especially of that of this season, has plainly pointed out to me the necessity of the Association’s taking some action at the next convention to secure for match playing a perfectly made base ball, which shall give skillful fielding an equal chance at least to offset the batting. At present heavy hard hitters, who go in at the bat to hit a ball as far as they can without the least idea of where it is going to, and of course, hitting without judgment, have a great advantage over really skillful batsmen who go in to out-wit active and expert fielders, rather than to obtain runs by similar muscular display of those country-village batsmen.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the composition of the ball

Date Sunday, December 5, 1869
Text

At the special request of the State Conventions of Ohio and Massachusetts, the Committee of Rules have fixed a regular weight for the amount of rubber used in the composition of the regulation ball for 1870. In 1858, ‘59 and ‘60 Mr. Van Horn, the noted ball maker, never used more than an ounce and a half of rubber in the balls he then made, and they were found to be fully as elastic as was required. At that time, the boundcatch was in vogue, and it was not desirable that balls should be made so elastic as to bound over the player’s head. Afterward, as heavy batting became popular, and especially when large scores were considered the acme of good batting and a specialty of leading clubs, very elastic balls came into sue, and the heavier and livelier a ball was the more it was liked by heavy-batting nines; the Athletic Club, of Philadelphia, especially favoring this style of ball. The abolition of the bound catch, too, put a stop to the demand for dead balls; and since then a hard, lively ball, and especially very elastic balls, have always been asked for by clubs whose strength in play lay in their muscle in batting rather than in their skill as fielders. In 1867, the great increase of severe injuries from the large, heavy and elastic balls at that time in use led to a change in the size and weight of the ball, which was reduced in both respects to its present size, and in neither respect can it be improved upon; for it is now exactly heavy enough to throw well, and just the size for a good grasp by the hand. But there is need of one great and important improvement, and that is in regard to the elasticity of the ball, for it has been found by experience this past season that though the decrease in size and weight of the ball has lessened the danger of injury to the hands from swiftly thrown or batted balls, the excess of rubber used in by which it is made more hard and elastic than ever, has had the effect of offsetting the advantages derived from the lessening of the size and weight of the ball, and hence severe injuries to fingers and hands have marked all contests in which these heavy over-weight and over-elastic balls have been used. Balls have been opened in which nearly three ounces of rubber have been found, and three balls have been found to be capable of being hit so hard from the bat, and of being sent with such an impetus, both from the bat and from the hands of a fielder when thrown, that even the hardest handed fielders have been unable to hold them or stop them, without the risk of broken fingers or split hands. Besides this, these over-elastic balls have been sent from the bat in such a manner as to bound over the heads of the in-fielders, whereby giving based to the strikers on hits that, if made with a dead and hard ball, would have led to their being put out by good fielding. In addition, too, these elastic balls have been sent flying over the heads of out-fielders, not by skillful batsmen, but merely by heavy hitters, who simply use force in batting, and not judgment or skill in handling the ash.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the crowd in Cincinnati

Date Saturday, October 23, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Cincinnati 10/18/1869] The match, which has been on the tapis for some weeks, excited great interest in this section, and yesterday afternoon the attendance to witness it was immense. The vast semi-circle of seats was densely crowded, and in its rear was a tier, three deep of persons standing. The large galleries set apart for ladies were thronged. Hundreds stood on the west side of the enclosure, and the north side was lined with handsome carriages. The number witnessing the game must have reached six thousand five hundred. ... The order preserved during the nine innings was excellent, occasional cries of “down in front!” being the only noisy demonstration, except the applause which followed the handsome strokes of play, which was showered on the Philadelphians as well as on “ours.” Visitors from neighboring cities were present by hundreds, and their sympathy seem to be for the Athletics.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the crowd in Philadelphia

Date Sunday, June 27, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 6/21/1869] The Athletics...did not make the fine display that was expected of them. They had, however, the entire sympathies of the audience, which was without exception the most bitter and partisan in its nature of any crowd it has ever been our lot to see assembled on a ball field–enthusiastically cheering the good plays of their favorites and greeting a muff or bad play of their visitors with hisses and jeers. Leonard, who made the catch of the game, capturing a high ball with one hand after a hard run, was not greeting with a single cheer.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the crowd wants to see the stars in their positions

Date Saturday, October 23, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Occidental of Quincy, Illinois] Harry Wright pitched most of the time, and Waterman caught; but the audience wished to see Brainard and Allison in their regular positions, and at the close of every inning, the crowd would call for them. In the third inning “Harry” and “Fred” changed with “Asa” and “Doub,” and the change was greeted with applause. Brainard only remained in for two innings, and during the same, the Occidentals were whitewashed.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of Martin's pitching

Date Friday, July 30, 1869
Text

[Maryland vs. Eckford 7/29/1869] ...yesterday was a grand triumph for Martin, for his pitching they could not hit to any extent—that is hit safe—the balls would go up and come down in the hands of the fielders, as it will be seen by the score four men did not make a base, and the most first bases that any of the nine made was two.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of covert professionalism on amateur clubs

Date Sunday, February 21, 1869
Text

There is no doubt of the fact that from 1865 up to the present time, amateur players have been gradually losing their interest in their clubs and almost in the game itself, and the reason of this is that by the palm of superiority in playing skill has been, year by year, monopolized by clubs employing professional players. No matter what effort an amateur organization might make to obtain players for a strong nine, they either lost them by their becoming professional players, or if they retained them as amateurs they were outplayed by nines in professional clubs, who, as professionals, of course had more time for practice; and, after all, practice in the game is one of the chief elements of success in a nine. Of course, this condition of things naturally destroyed much of the interest players would naturally be disposed to take in a successful club. The fact is, this being beaten, season after season, by nines ostensibly their equals, as amateur organizations, but in reality nothing more than clubs of trained professionals, was demoralizing in its effects; and last season, the evil culminated in a degree of indifference to further effort on the part of amateur organizations, which, if not put a stop to, would have soon destroyed the permanent popularity of our national game; its damaging effect on the welfare of the game being plainly perceptible to all. ... the last Convention...divided the clubs of the country into two classes–amateurs and professionals–and now we have before us the prospect of a revival among amateur organization on a par with the brilliant amateur season of 1860.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effects of elastic balls

Date Sunday, July 25, 1869
Text

When the baseball was reduced in size and weight at the convention of 1867, it was supposed that there would be fewer accidents from lamed hands and broken fingers; but of late, ballmakers have had such a demand for lively balls, that the ball has now become as dangerous from its elasticity as it was before from its overweight and size. The fact is, we have yet to see a perfect ball in use in our national game, and at the next Convention the rule governing the ball will have to be so amended as to require this ball to be made of materials of a certain relative weight; and it is questionable whether cork should not become a component part of the ball in place of rubber. At present, ball-manufacturers are at liberty to make their balls just to suit the demands of different clubs, and hence two or three kinds are made, from the hard dead balls available only for first-class fielding nines, to the hard and over-elastic balls which are in such demand by heavy-hitting nines and muffin players, who depend entirely upon batting for success.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effects of put-up jobs on betting

Date Sunday, October 17, 1869
Text

The Cincinnatis, singularly enough, stand higher in the estimation of the betting classes than any other club, simply from the fact that they can depend upon them doing their “level best” to win every game they play, which they cannot do with any other club apparently. In fact, so unreliable are some of our leading nines in this respect, that the betting-men have ceased to invest their funds on the result of our big matches, and now only bet on the innings’ play, or the runs on bases made by each player as he goes to the bat. By this means they escape being made the victim of “little put-up jobs”, as there cannot well be any collusion in regard to the result of one inning’s play, or the making of a base or a run by any particular player, as the bets are made on the spur of the moment.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the error rate

Date Tuesday, September 7, 1869
Text

[Atlantic vs. Eckford 9/6/1869] The fielding on both sides was of a very superior order. Of the Atlantics, but three men made first bases on errors—once on a muff by Allison, again on a dropped fly-ball by Wood (a most difficult catch to hold), and the third on bad judgment by Treacy at second. Of the other errors, Jewett and Martin dropped one fly-ball each: Jewett had five passed balls, and Martin three over-pitches; these were all the errors made by the Eckfords. The Atlantics allowed the first base to be made eight times—once on a wild throw by Smith, four times on muffs (none of them very bad) by Crane, and once on a dropped fly-ball by McDonald; these and two passed balls by Ferguson comprised the errors on the Atlantic side. Although the scores were large, the game was well played on both sides, and was won by the superior batting of the Atlantics.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the explanation for a low scoring game

Date Sunday, June 20, 1869
Text

[Cincinnatis vs. Mutuals 6/15/1869] [final score 4-2] The batting was of course weak, the small number of bases on hits testifying that such was the case; but when we consider that the ball was wet and soggy, weighting a third more than usual, and the extraordinary efforts put forth by the pitchers on either side, such a result was not at all strange.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the fielder turning his back on a hard-hit ball; a pick-off

Date Thursday, June 17, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/16/1869] Leonard sent a hot bounder towards first base, and everybody concluded at once that he was done for. He was not well done for, however, as “Old Reliable” actually turned his back to the ball and Leonard was saved. He soon went out, though, as he got a litle too far off the base and was obliged to start for second, but Pearce [first baseman] had sent the ball down to Pike [second baseman] and Leonard was put out.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the first inter-racial match; appeal plays

Date Saturday, September 11, 1869
Text

[Olympics vs. Pythians 9/3/1869] The Pythians are a fine body of men, and are superior players generally; their fly catching and throwing being first class; but they are not accustomed to bat swift pitching (the Olympics making first-two bases on hits, the Pythians only thirty;) here they showed their weakness; besides, there was a little nervousness perceptible in the early part of the game, owing to the novelty of their situation and surroundings. This will account for their failure to note certain important points of the game. For instance, they allowed two Olympics to score, who neglected to touch the home-plate on running in, and they did not observe that another Olympic did not touch his base after a foul ball. Again–they did not call judgment on Mr. Lovett, whose pitching, more than half the time, was a swift under-hand throw. If judgment had been called, the umpire would have ruled him out, or compelled him to pitch regularly, with a straight arm. If these points had been noticed by the Pythians, and judgment called on them, the score must have been very close. An umpire cannot voluntarily interfere between two clubs, without being charged with partizanship; therefore, judgment should be demanded.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the going rate for the various positions

Date Saturday, December 18, 1869
Text

Catchers............................................ $2,000

Pitchers............................................. $2,000

First base........................................... $1,500

Second base (good general players).. $2,500

Third base (great demand, few in market) $3,000

Short stop (good general players)..... $2,000

Fielders............................................. $1,500

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ground in Wheeling, West Virginia

Date Saturday, March 27, 1869
Text

Last year we rented and kept up an enclosed ground which for accommodation of spectators and players is excelled by but few in the country. We have a grand stand capable of seating about 1,000 persons, and about 10 acres of land almost as level as the Olympic Grounds of Philadelphia.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the grounds of the Maryland Club

Date Sunday, September 5, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Maryland 9/1/1869] The ground is enclosed by a high fence on three side, the left field side bordering on gardens of residences adjacent. The ground sloped gradually to the out-field, and presented a pretty fair field, the only drawback being the limited space at left.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the home club chooses the ball

Date Sunday, August 8, 1869
Text

[Cincinnatis vs. Forest City of Rockford 7/31/1869] On July 31, the Cincinnatis against visited Rockford, and this time, the Rockford Club having choice of the ball, used a lively rubber ball, and the result was a tedious four-hour contest, which was marked only by heavy batting and alleged muffin play on both sides...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ideological argument for dead balls

Date Saturday, July 24, 1869
Text

Naturally, it would be supposed that, in either case, the over-elastic, or the hard, non-elastic ball, would be as fair for one side as the other; but it is not so. In the case of the elastic ball, the advantage lays with the party having the most muscular power in handling the bat, not with the most skillful batsmen; while in the hard, but non-elastic ball, the fielders are afforded a fair opporu8nity to offset the batting by fielding skill, which they are not in the other case. Now, a first-class match should be marked by a legitimate trial of skill in both departments of the game, and not a contest in which the mere possession of the most muscular power decides the victory.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the importance of fielders backing each other up

Date Sunday, January 10, 1869
Text

Every base player should be active in “backing up” in the in-field. The life of fielding is in the support afforded each other by the fielders who are located near together, but especially is this requisite in the in-field. A good fielder or baseplayer never stands still; he is always on the move, ready for a spring to reach the ball, a stop to pick it up, or a prompt movement to stop it, and he always has his eye upon the ball, especially when it is flying about inside the base-lines, or base to base. Poor base players seldom put themselves out of the way to field a ball unless it comes within their special district; but a good base-player is always on the alert to play at a moment’s notice on any base from which the player has gone after the ball.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the incorporation of the Champion Club of Jersey City is vetoed

Date Saturday, March 13, 1869
Text

[a letter from the governor explaining his veto of the incorporation of the Champion BBC:] GENTLEMEN–I feel constrained to return to the House of General Assembly, Assembly bill No. 106, entitled “An act to incorporate the Champion Base Ball Club, of Jersey City, Hudson County,” without my approval.

The fourth section of the bill authorizes the Club to give “exhibitions of feats of strength, and all games requiring skill and science.”

I respectfully submit, that with the existing diversity of opinions as to what constitutes “skillful and scientific” games the section of the bill may indirectly sanction and legalize that which the long established laws of the State have made illegal.

The ninth section of the bill gives authority to the “Club to appoint, from time to time, one or more fit persons “ who, upon certain prescribed and easily performed conditions, are invested with constabulary powers which may be exercised upon the grounds of the Club and in the immediate vicinity thereof.

I cannot sanction, by any act of mine, the delegation of so important a power as that of the arrest of citizens to persons who may be appointed without sufficient care or at the caprices of a private corporation of the State. The evils growing out of the unduly guarded exercise of such a power–always to be most carefully exercised–are too manifest to need further reference at my hands.

Were it proper to confer upon a corporation of the State such discretionary power, it will hardly be urged that the minor corporations should be given that which the greater could scarcely obtain–or if obtained, then guarded as to the number of appointees, their fitness for the service required, and their more direct responsibility to the municipal or other authority, for acts performed.

If your honorable bodies, upon reflection, deem the incorporation of base ball clubs and similar societies (beneficial no doubt when properly conducted) or sufficient importance to engage your deliberation and thought, I hope you may concur with me in the propriety of confining such organizations to the exercise of the simplest powers consistent with corporate existence. Respectfully submitted,

THEO. F. RANDOLPH, Governor

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the largest score on record

Date Saturday, June 19, 1869
Text

[Niagara of Buffalo vs. Columbia of Buffalo 6/8/1869] [score 209-10 in favor of the Niagaras] We are somewhat inclined, in baseball matters, to reason logically. For instance, the ‘Red Stockings’ beat the Niagaras by a score of forty-two to six, or seven to one. The far inference is, if the Cincinnatians had played the Columbias, the score would have been fourteen hundred and sixty-three to one or two; that is, by multiplying the score of the Niagaras by seven, and dividing that of the Columbias by the same number., quoting the Buffalo Courier and Republic

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the march of progress encroaching on the Elysian Fields

Date Saturday, April 24, 1869
Text

The is probably the last season of the once famous Elysian Fields as a place of resort for our metropolitan ball clubs. The march of improvement, which has been gradually bur surely asserting itself in Hoboken for a number of years, reached so near the old Mutual ground so as to make it almost practically useless. This was rendered necessary on account of the digging away of the hill near the Stevens’ mansion, to make room for the extension of Washington street. Another street will cut a large slice off the ground nearest to the turnpike road, but this will not be done till next year. The lower field, the one near the river, where the veteran Knickerbockers have held forth so many seasons, remains intact, but by another year that too will be invaded by the ruthless hand of commerce. A dock is being built opposite Perry’s Hotel, and very likely a ferry boat line will be established next year. As soon as this is accomplished, the whole property will be cut up into lots and sold for residences, or for purposes of business. ... No matter how soon or how far off the time may be when the Elysian Fields will cease to be the resort of ball clubs of New York, the memory of those who have resorted thereto, either as participants or spectators, will always go back to them with pleasant recollections.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Boston grounds

Date Saturday, June 12, 1869
Text

The Base Ball Fraternity of Boston have at last awoke to the fact that an enclosed ball ground is necessary for the future welfare of the National Game in this city. Ever since the game was first introduced into Boston the common has been the scene of nearly all of the important base ball contests in this vicinity, and now that the city fathers have let it “go to grass,” the fraternity had nothing to do but to secure another place to play or else give up playing to any extent.

A few gentlemen, however, seeing the need of an enclosed ground–the same as is to be found in all the principal cities of the country–have come forward and subscribed an amount sufficient to erect one, and the work on the same is being rapidly pushed forward at the present moment. All of the gentlemen are well known as being deeply interested in the welfare of the game in this section, and in their number all the principal clubs of the city are represented. It is in fact a union of clubs to effect this object, although the enterprise is being carried out by individuals.

The grounds are situated at the south end, beyond the skating rink, and back from Tremont Street about 300 feet. The Providence Railroad runs along side of the grounds, and the Railroad Corporation will doubtless build a platform and stop the trains there on match days. The ground is of turf, and when ready will be perfectly level. A high fence will surround it and seats will be fitted up on each side for the accommodation of spectators. The ground contains 300,000 square feet of land, and is the most eligible lot to be found within the city limits. The grounds will be easy of access, as it is but twenty minutes right at the most by any of the Metropolitan horse cars, while trains on the Providence Railroad can reach there in five minute.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new organization of clubs

Date Saturday, July 17, 1869
Text

THE MUTUAL NINE.–This club which has within a short time lost much of its prestige, is to undergo a severe “course of sprouts” at the hands of the efficient President of the Club, Mr. John Wildey. Mr. Wildey is eminently fitted to take charge of the nine, and under his control the club will, no doubt, soon regain much of its former prestige. The Union Ground, Williamsburgh, has been secured two days in the week for practice for the balance of the season. The men are paid a salary for the season, and Mr. Wildey takes the right view of the case when he says that he will consider the nine as so many persons in his employ, and will hold them to accountability for absences and make proportionate reduction from salary. The arrangement of matches is to be left to Mr. Wildey’s judgment. He is sais to have declared that if possible he will so arrange it that the nine will play every pleasant day of the season. The recent action of the club has met with general commendation, and it will not be surprising if one or two more professional clubs will adopt this directing system. Tuesday afternoon the Mutuals had their first practice-game under the new regime. National Chronicle July 17, 1869

The reorganization of the Mutual Club on a regular professional basis–that is, with a picked nine of trained and practiced players, under the control of one responsible leader instead of that of a Board of Directors with divided counsels–is the latest topic of interest in metropolitan baseball circles. It is a little singular that the leading clubs of New York, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia should be driven by actual experience only to realize the importance of thorough training, with its constant practice and attention to regular habits of living, as the great essential of success in the baseball-nine; but so it is. The several books of baseball, in articles on the organization of club nines and on the method of training them to excel in the game, have pointed out, for several years past how a club should go to work, and what it should do to place itself in a leading position as a strong-playing club; and yet, season after season have city-club managers and directors kept on in the old beaten track of incompetent management, only to be urged forward by degrees through actual and costly experience to adopt the advice which they had regarded as merely book-theories. No so, however, has it been with clubs in other cities, and especially out West. There, having no record of the experience of their own clubs to go by, they have wisely adopted the precepts of the books issued from the headquarters of baseball at New York, and we see the result in the brilliant success of the Cincinnati Club, which is the only organization in the country which has illustrated sound theories by their practice. New York Sunday Mercury July 18, 1869

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new professional system

Date Saturday, April 3, 1869
Text

Three days of warm and sunshiny weather now, will bring Base Ball upon the field for the season. There is reason to believe that it will flourish this year as never before. The system that has long prevailed among cricketers in England—that of procuring the best professors of the game, and paying them wages for their services, whether in instructing a club or playing in its matches—has now been attained here. Professional ball-players have for several years been known in this country, but for whole “nines” to be exclusively made up of them, is something of recent date. During the coming season the professional base ball organizations are to be placed on a distinct footing from amateur or social clubs, and as a consequence there will be fewer contests than heretofore between the professional and amateur. But there will be none the fewer meetings. On the contrary, owing to the fact that our largest cities have now organized trained “nines,” all of which will contend in series with each other, the battles will be more numerous and fiercer than ever. The vanquishing of one or two crack Clubs by an opposing local organization will no longer settle disputes of merit as formerly. A season's interest in base-ball will not culminate hereafter in a series of games between the Mutuals, Atlantics, and Athletics. The club which shall claim the title of champion at the close of the season of 1869 will have to meet and defeat a dozen or more organizations presenting trained and professional players like themselves.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the organization of the Athletics; matches now arranged by the players

Date Sunday, July 25, 1869
Text

The Athletics of Philadelphia held a large and enthusiastic meeting last week at Al Reach’s. The principal business brought before the meeting was a resolution to the effect that in future the selection of the nine, and the arranging of all matches, should be delegated to a committee of three, chosen from the nine. This resolution was, after an animated discussion, unanimously adopted, and Messrs. Reach, Fisler and Sensenderfer were appointed by the President to act as said committee. The resignation of Mr. Philadore S. Bell, as Corresponding Secretary, was read; but the club, by an unanimous vote having declined to accept the same, that gentleman will in future continue to occupy the position he has so long and ably filled. At a subsequent meeting of the nine, the popular Weston D. Fisler was elected Captain, and, under his efficient leadership, we expect to have the pleasure of chronicling a brilliant and uninterrupted series of victories for the Athletics such as have marked their career in former years.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the organization of the Atlantic Club

Date Sunday, January 17, 1869
Text

The best friends of the Atlantic Club will no doubt be glad to learn that the club, at a regular meeting last Tuesday-night, resolved by nearly a unanimous vote, to reoccupy their old field at Bedford again, on the famous Capitoline grounds. Not only will this move advantage the club in every respect, but it will be a source of pleasure to the old members of the club, inasmuch as it will enable them to re-enter the field as second-nine and amateur-nine contestants. The club this season will have their regular professional ten, their amateur first-nine, and their muffins, and no doubt some of the old-time sport which used to make the Atlantic seasons so enjoyable, will again be had. New York Sunday Mercury January 17, 1869

We learn that the Atlantics will have two first nines this season, viz.:–Their professional nine, ... and their amateur nine, with such players as previously composed their old nine and second nine. New York Clipper January 23, 1869

The Atlantics had the fullest attendance of members at their [illegible] monthly meeting which they have had for a long time. There is quite a revival in the club since the change of [illegible] from the Union to the Capitoline grounds. New York Sunday Mercury February 7, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the organization of the Chicago club

Date Thursday, November 18, 1869
Text

Last November a call was issued to those interested in seeing Chicago armed with a first-class base ball club to assemble and organized for that purpose. The shares were first disposed of—600 at $25 each, $15,000 in all, on which 60 per cent was called in before the receipts began to tell against disbursements. Besides these 600 shares, which are held by forty-eight members, there are 150 honorary members, who pay $10 a year each and get a season ticket. A well-known sporting man was sent East to negotiate for a complement of ball players—to “woo the nine,” as one might say. He visited Philadelphia, and engaged one of the best fielders of the Athletic Club; he swooped down upon New York, and bore away four of the Eckford players, including their highly-prized pitcher; he descended upon Troy and Lansingburg, and captured from the famous Haymakers their great catcher and three other favorites. To secure these and entice them westward it became necessary to offer large salaries compared with those paid at the East. The catcher was to have $2,500 a season, as a consideration for keeping sober, refraining from ungentlemanly conduct, and catching the regulation ball two hours of an afternoon during the ball season; another man, for playing second base, maintaining a dignified demeanor, and setting as captain of the nine, was to receive $2,000 of the season; while the remainder were allowed $1,000 each, all necessary expenses while on the wing being, of course, paid from the company's funds. That is the “business” of base ball; plainly it has ceased to be a popular amusement, and has become a “show,” a rival of the horse race. The Chicago nine...the club proper, or company, [is] the only one founded in the manner described. The Cincinnati or Red Stocking club has now, I believe, a charter of incorporation; but it is much more of a club and less of a corporation. It devotes the profits of its starring tours to the adornment of the club rooms, &c., and does not declare dividends out and out, as the Chicago Club intends doing., quoting the Western Monthly

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the organization of the Mutuals

Date Sunday, February 21, 1869
Text

The Mutuals have organized for the campaign in tiptop style, and are in a flourishing condition. They have $15,000 in their club treasury, have twelve picked professional players from which to select their nine, each of whom will not only become a regular salary to be paid whether games are played or not, but every man of the nine who is injured in the service of the club will be properly cared for at the club expense. All the gate receipts are to go into the club treasury, and therefrom [sic] it will be a matter of indifference to the players whether third games are played or not. ... The headquarters of the club is at Wildey’s splendid saloon over the Olympic Theatre, and the club will probably play on the Tremont grounds, which are to be placed in fine condition for use this season.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the organization of the Union Club of Morrisania

Date Sunday, February 7, 1869
Text

The Union Club, of Morrisania, have determined to resign from contesting for the palm of superiority in the professional arena, and to return to their old amateur status, under which so many enjoyable summer seasons were had. Their experience with a professional nine has resulted in a less harmonious condition of things than was desirable, and they long to reinaugurate the glorious days of 1864, ‘5, and ‘6, when they had a thoroughly united club composed of men who went in for healthful exercise and exciting sport rather than filing a treasury from gate-receipts. Geo. Wright has left; and so has Shelly; Goldie, and Smith have placed themselves on the retiring-list, and the others are on the fence as to what they will do this coming season. But the club will organize a regular amateur-nine and go in for old-time ballplaying, with all its solid enjoyment; and one result will be the return of many old members of the club who have not exactly indorsed everything that has been done the past season or two. New York Sunday Mercury February 7, 1869

The Unions, of Morrisania, having ascertained that the cost of a professional club and an enclosed ground would amount to upwards of seven thousand dollars, have decided to let their professionals go, and play an amateur nine next season. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury February 14, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the professionals tried to get rid of Chadwick

Date Saturday, December 18, 1869
Text

Their [the professional ring] efforts to legislate out of office an old and faithful member of the fraternity; one who had done more to bring the game to its present standard than any other person in the country, although not successful, shows what the purposes of the ring are, and that it is their aim to manage the National Association as they manage a professional nine. Happily in this instance, their intentions were frustrated, and the gentleman is still to hold the position where for so many years he has labored so diligently to foster and perpetuate our noble game. We allude to Mr. Henry Chadwick, the Chairman of the Committee on Rules, one of the most important positions in the National Association. His reappointment by President Bush is an acknowledgment of his former services, and is a fitting rebuke to the “ring” who sought to eject him from that position.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the renovated Tremont grounds

Date Sunday, September 12, 1869
Text

We recommend the amateur clubs to go and take a look at the Tremont Baseball park, and they will find that, taking time, fare, convenience of accessibility, and good accommodation into consideration, no grounds equal them. The grounds have been prepared with no money-making idea; but were gotten up by certain admirers of the game in and around Morrisania, for the purpose of having a permanent playground for the Union Baseball Club, of Morrisania. When not used by that club the ground may be used by other clubs upon making application to Henry J. Ford, Tremont, one of the lessees.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reorganization of the Mutual Club

Date Wednesday, July 14, 1869
Text

It is now conceded on all sides that Wildey will from this time henceforth direct the action of the professional nine. Mr. Wildey is eminently fitted to take charge of the nine, and under his control the club will, no doubt, soon regain much of its former prestige. The Union ground, Williamsburgh, has been secured by Mr. Wildey for two days in the week for practice for the balance of the season. He can have it four days, but at present only two days are set for regular practice. The men are paid a salary for the season, and Mr. Wildey takes the right view of the case when he says that he will consider the nine as so many persons in his employ, and will hold them to accountability for absence and make proportionate reduction from salary. The arrangement of matches is to be left altogether to Mr. Wildey's judgment. He is said to have declared that if possible he will so arrange it that the nine will play every pleasant day of the season. The recent action of the club has met with general commendation, and it will not be surprising if one or two more professional clubs will adopt this directing system. Base-ball has become a business, and the sooner players recognize it as such the better it will be for them.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reorganized Mutual club

Date Sunday, August 8, 1869
Text

The Mutual nine, of New York, since their reorganization, are bound by penalties to appear on the ground on match days in uniform, and at least half an hour before the time appointed for calling the game. Each man is assured his position through the entire season, without fear of change, except for personal misconduct, and each man is held to a responsibility only to the Captain (Charles Mills), the Captain only to Wildey, and he to the Club; so outside influence will no longer affect the nine. Each is paid a salary of $900 yearly, and occupies his position as a regular professional ball player.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the secret of the Cincinnatis' success

Date Saturday, October 23, 1869
Text

The members of the strong clubs which have this season been obliged to succumb to the superior play of the Red Stocking Nine, of Cincinnati; ask why; it is that a nine individually not superior to nines of other prominent clubs, have managed tow in by superior play, every game they have thus far taken part in. The answer is, they are more skillfully managed, for one thing; and lastly, they are treated by those who employ them, not as slaves or as hirelings, but as members of the club they play for. But the one great element of their success is, that each man is trained in a home position in which he invariably occupies, added to which is an esprit de corps or innate feeling of regard for the good name of their club, which proves such a powerful incentive to extra effort to a true ball player. Without this feeling a player aims to succeed only to the extent success is calculated to benefit him individually; with it selfish considerations are mastered by the desire to see the “old club win eery match.” Many a player we know of have stood to his post manfully, endured fatigue without complaint, suffered severely from injuries with quiet pluck, and worked for success as men only work for that they love; while on the other hand, when the incentive for exertion is deprived of this element, the only inducement is that likely to effect the personal and pecuniary interests of the individual player. National Chronicle October 23, 1869

Allison’s catching

Allison, the catcher of the Red Stockings, through whose efforts in the main games are won, is a remarkable player, and beyond question, the best catcher in the United States. Endowed with unparalleled quickness of sight and movement he stands behind the batter, almost touching him, and woe be to the ball that is not fairly struck, for he will catch it within a few inches of the bat, and yet he never interferes with the batter. National Chronicle October 23, 1869, quoting the New York Democrat

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Empire club

Date Sunday, April 4, 1869
Text

The Empires have been exceedingly dormant during the winter. An effort was made to get up a meeting but the secretary could not be found nor could his books be found, so that when a few of those who took an interest in the club came together at Voorhees' they were obliged to adjourn to some future day. It is to be hoped that “future day” is at hand and that the Empires will at once set about completing arrangements for the season.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Gotham club

Date Sunday, April 4, 1869
Text

The Gothams say they will present a live team this year. This club was drooping very fast and a number of overgrown boys seemed to be the powerful aids to the club. The state of affais was so bad as to actually shame the old members into taking an interest in the matter, and the result has been that they have reorganized on a firm basis. Mr. E.B. Barnum has been elected president, and a good corps of officers has been chosen to assist him.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Mutual Club; the retirement of the Hunt brothers

Date Tuesday, July 13, 1869
Text

The Mutual Club held its regular quarterly meeting at Wildey's Club-house, Broadway, last evening. The attendance was very large. The successive defeats the Club have met of late has occasioned much comment among the members of the organization. It was supposed that the matter would be finally disposed of last evening, but in a measure such was not the case. After considerable discussion, in which the non-playing as well as the playing members took part, it was finally agreed to transfer the whole matter to the consideration of the playing nine, who will meet this evening and decide the future course of action for the season's campaign. From the tenor of the remarks last evening it is though that the Nine will vote to do away with the Board of Directors, and elect one man to direct the movements of the Nine. This one man is to put the Nine under a thorough course of training at once. They are to play at least twice a week, and as much oftener as practicable. Other much needed reforms in relation to temperate habits, wholesome food, &c., are to be enforced. Who this one man will be is of course at present not definitely known, but there is hardly a doubt but what John Wildey will be the man. The unfortunate difficulty that led to the retirement from the Nine of the Hunt brothers has made it necessary for the future success of the Club to make a number of changes in the playing Nine. So many stories are in circulation regarding the action of the Hunt brothers, that a true statement of the causes should be made public. Not until two or three days previous to the day on which the last Eckford-Mutual game was played it was definitely known that the game was to come off. C. Hunt had been informed that it would not be played, and so had made preparations to spend the day out of town. Afterward it was decided to play the game, but Mr. Hunt refused to play, and went into the country. His brother, R. Hunt, also refused to play the Eckford game, assigning for his reasons certain pecuniary matters relating to the Club, in which he did not consider himself fairly treated. This action of two such players, on the even of an important match, caused much indignation among the members of the Club, and it was the almost universal determination not to permit them to play in the nine again.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Unions of Morrisania

Date Sunday, April 4, 1869
Text

The Unions, of Morrisania, have determined to stand on the amateur ground this season. This movement on their part is a good one, and cannot fail to have a good effect on the game in Westchester county.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the status of the Excelsior club

Date Saturday, March 20, 1869
Text

The clubs are beginning to hold their annual meetings, and one of the most prominent of these gatherings was that of the Excelsior Club last week, the attendance at their annual meeting being larger than for years past, whilst more than usual enthusiasm in the welfare of the game was manifested. An excellent corps of officials were elected, the choice of President being a very judicious one, Mr. Richard Oliver being elected to fill the position. The old members of the club have not, of late years, taken that interest in the club as a base ball organization they should have; in fact, but for the junior members and a few seniors the club would have taken no active part in the seasons’ play for the past two years. Now, however, the promise is, under the new regime, that a different state of affairs will exist. Dr. Jones, on the night of the meeting, addressed the club and forcibly and eloquently appealed to them to rally once again in the good cause, he pointing out tot hem that under the new status of the game the club now had a path presented to them to follow which would yield them the fame which their club enjoyed in 1860.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the status of the Union of Morrisania

Date Saturday, April 17, 1869
Text

Dear Sirs,–So much having been said respecting the Union Club of Morrisania, I have at last determined, through you as a medium, to place the club before the fraternity in a proper light.

The club is stronger to day as an organization than ever before; it has a more numerous membership list, and its friends are fully determined to prove how radical a change can be made, and still remain, not only one of the soundest organizations, but a good playing club.

In refusing to accept the services of professionals, they regretted the loss of such gentlemen as Wright, Birdsall, and Pabor, but as they could only be induced to remain by promise of money, their resignations were promptly accepted. The Union Club won its proud name as amateurs, and so nearly lost it in their endeavors to be champions by the use of “hired men,” that the inactive members refused longer to lend their aid, and for that reason the change was made in the board of officers.

The Unions will produce a nine that cannot prove an inferior one, and with such players as Collins, Goldie, Akin, Austin, Smith, Reynolds, Abrams, Ten Eyck, Norton, Murray, Pinckney, and Parker, they fully intend to battle successfully in defending the honor of the Union.

The nine play upon the old ground at Melrose, playing more for their own amusement than any thing else. “LOYALTY”

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the terms and finances of a trip to Cincinnati

Date Saturday, December 4, 1869
Text

[from a letter from John Joyce, secretary of the Cincinnati BBC, to William Hudson, secretary of the Atlantic BBC, dated April 27, 1869] We are ready to meet you on the following terms: One game on our grounds here, one game on your grounds, and if a third be necessary, at a time and place to be agreed upon before the first game is played. Gate money of the two or three games as may be played, to be shared equally and alike. The success of the Atlantic Nine in our city was great, and they would this year draw very large crowds. Your Nine can make a trip from your city here, play a game, and return in the space of four days, and at a cost not exceeding $250, as I presume you can get half fare tickets, and we have arranged at a first-class hotel for accommodations at two dollars per day, for visiting clubs, so I feel sure your visit to Cincinnati would be a pecuniary success, even if you played no club but ours.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire a member of one of the contesting clubs

Date Wednesday, August 25, 1869
Text

[Empire vs. Union of Morrisania 8/24/1869] Mr. Hudson, of the Union Club, was selected to act as umpire, the Empires feeling assured that he would deal justly under all circumstances.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire compelling the pitcher

Date Saturday, September 18, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 9/14/1869] Had the umpire been more strict in his rulings, and kept the pitchers well down to their work, the result would have been more favorable for the Mutuals, for, while Wolters, according to the Athletics themselves, pitched with great regularity, McMullen would not send a ball anywhere near the desired spot, unless compelled to by the umpire.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire didn't call balls and strikes

Date Sunday, August 1, 1869
Text

[Maryland vs. Atlantics 7/30/1869] Mr. Bass [of the Powhattan Club], the umpire in this match, is a good ball-layer, but his forte is not umpiring. He does not lack impartiality, but he is not posted in the rules, and his judgment is questionable. He did not call a ball in the game, and but one “called” strike. [The full nine innings took 2:25.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire uses an umbrella

Date Saturday, September 18, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 9/14/1869] The clouds had been gathering again for some time, and in the eighth inning, rain began falling again, and the umpire should have obeyed the rule provided expressly for such an emergency, and called the game. Mr. Weaver, however, standing under an umbrella, kept the men in the field, for half an hour longer, and the result was a complete drenching of all hands...

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the usual pregame warm-up

Date Tuesday, June 29, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 6/28/1869] Before the game opened there was the usual tossing around of the ball by members of the two nines, while crowds stood around and admired the skill and bearing of the athletes.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the veteran Knickerbockers attempt a trip

Date Sunday, September 19, 1869
Text

The Excelsior and Knickerbocker Clubs, of Brooklyn and New York, the latter the Nestors of the game, having had two exciting encounters together this season, in which victory perched alternately upon the banners of the two clubs, finding that a neutral ground is demanded to settle the vital question in a third battle, have selected Washington as the scene of the next conflict; and, accordingly, the two nines of the clubs will take their departure for Washington next Thursday, and on Friday the grand match is to be played on the National ground, Washington, in the presence of the elite of Washington society, and under the patronage of the prominent officials of the United States Government. Indeed we have heard that General Grant is to stand umpire on the occasion. All Knickerbockerdom is excited over the coming event, and the Excelsiors are higher in their expectations of victory than ever before. We shall send a special reporter to note the important event. New York Sunday Mercury September 19, 1869

Tomorrow night a party composed of about seventy or eighty of the members of the veteran Knickerbocker Club of New York, and the Excelsior Club of Brooklyn, will leave Jersey City for [Washington, D.C.] direct, for the purpose of playing their home and home game on the National Base Ball Grounds, and also to play games with the National and Olympics of [Washington]. New York Daily Tribune September 23, 1869

The proposed contest between the Knickerbocker Club, of this city, and the Excelsiors of Brooklyn, announced to take place at Washington on Friday last, was unavoidably postponed, owing to the inability of the majority of the members of the Knickerbocker Club to leave town in consequence of the critical position of things in the money-market, several of the Knickerbockers being in business in Wall street. It was also difficult for the Excelsiors to get off; but rather than disappoint their Washington friends they made an effort to raise a nine for the purpose... New York Sunday Mercury September 26, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

three points of the game attributed to Thomas Devyr: deeking the runner

Date Saturday, April 17, 1869
Text

He [shortstop Thomas Devyr] comes next to Pearce in tricky play. ... It was one of his tricks, and one of three originally his, of fielding a ball when a player was on third, making a movement as if to throw to first to put the striker out, when the one on third would start for home, but found the ball there before him, for Tom. did not throw to first, but directly to home base, which was the required plan. Trick number two was as follows:–When a man was on second and a ball was batted to short, Tom. fielded the ball, and likewise made a pretense of throwing to first. The man on second starts for third, when Devyr turns quickly around and throws to third, thus putting the poor “dupe” out. Trick number three is played with the catcher, and is the prettiest of the three. Players on third and first: the one on first starts for second, thinking the catcher will now throw there from fear of letting the one o third home; the latter, imagining the ball cannot be thrown back from second in time to put him out, starts for home, but alas! finds the ball in the catcher’s hands when it is too late to turn back. The trick lies in throwing to the short, who plays close to the pitcher, and returning the ball quickly, which rather astonishes “ye” man on third. These tricks are played splendidly by Devyr, when he wishes. New York Clipper April 17, 1869

the condition of the Union Club of Morrisania

The ex-champions, of Morrisania, have been so quiet since they became an amateur organization, that a great many have got the idea that they have gone out of existence altogether. The Unions sill live, but as an amateur organization. They have given up all connection with their new grounds a Tremont, and will go back to their old field at Melrose. Since the election of the new board of officers some weeks back, and the resolve to give up the professional business, there has been quite a revival among the old members of the club. In fact, the Unions are in a better condition, numerically and financially, then they were last season. Those who love the game for the game itself are now the best friends of the club, and will continue to be so as long as its affairs are conducted as they are at present. Of last year’s nine, Goldie, Austin, Smith and Reynolds still remain members of the club, and will play. Al. Aiken has signified his intention of tossing the ball round again, and everybody knows that Aiken is a trump. Of old stock, Sammy Collins (he used to be little once, and that was what he was called) will pitch, and in his time, Sam was good at it. Abrams, one of the originals, has also signified his intention of resuming a position at which he was quite an adept. There are others of the old stock who will be available, but whose names do not occur to us now. New York Clipper April 17, 1869

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tossing for the location of the home and home game

Date Tuesday, November 9, 1869
Text

[Atlantic vs. Eckford 11/8/1869] The Eckfords, having won the toss for choice of ground, obliged the Atlantics to meet them on the Union grounds...

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tossing the ball around before the game

Date Saturday, June 26, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletics 6/21/1869] Shortly after two o’clock the “Red Stockings” appeared on the field, and were greeted with applause from the immense throng. The callous and “gallus” lads did not bow their acknowledgments, but went to work tossing a ball around while the preliminaries were being settled.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

training for swift pitching

Date Saturday, November 20, 1869
Text

[The Atlantics] substituted their old reliable, George Zettlein for Tommy [Pratt], (whom business prevented from giving that attention to training so necessary for a swift pitcher).

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

transportation arrangements

Date Sunday, October 31, 1869
Text

The managers of the Erie Road have furnished the Mutuals with a special car to take them to Cincinnati. They leave at 6:30 P.M., on Wednesday, and return 4:35 P.M. on Saturday. Members wishing tickets can obtain them at the Club headquarters, Nos. 622 and 624 Broadway.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

twisting the ball

Date Sunday, July 25, 1869
Text

One of the most singular delusions indulged in by the members of the fraternity is the idea that by imparting a bias or twist to the ball, in pitching, all the results of such pitching as that of Martin’s follow. Never was anything more erroneous. The only effect of in fair pitching is to bother the catcher. In fact, the only bias that can be given to a ball in pitching is by the right or left, and neither of these affect the batting. If a forward rotary motion could be imparted to the ball, as in round-arm bowling in cricket, then it would assist in producing foul balls; but this cannot be done in fair pitching. The results attributed to a twist are the effect simply of curved lines and of judgment in outwitting the batsman. Let any man twist a ball as much as he likes, and pitch it fairly for the batsman, and the ball will be hit square to the outer-field every time it is sent in. Martin’s effectiveness lies in his strategy and judgment, and in the deceptive curved lines of the balls he sends in, and not to any twist he imparts on the ball; for the less he twists the ball, the less trouble he gives his catcher. Let every one examine into the theory of the bias given a ball, and its effect when the ball is hit, and he will see the absurdity of attributing the “Martinizing” of the ball to twist. New York Sunday Mercury July 25, 1869

[Maryland vs. Eckford 7/29/1869] Undoubtedly, if the Marylands had been favored with swift pitching, the expectations of their admirers would have been more fully realized; but Martin’s slow twisters were incomprehensible to the Baltimoreans, fresh from the rifle shots of Harrop and McBride, and they could do little but put up fouls and flies, and retire in rapid succession. Hopper and Worthington, however, got in two splendid cracks, knocking the ball over the out-fielders’ heads, each thereby scoring a clean home run. New York Dispatch August 1, 1869

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two home runs over the fence

Date Sunday, July 18, 1869
Text

[Olympic of Washington vs. Athletic 7/17/1869] Al Reach made two clean home runs by very long hits over the fence, and played very finely at second.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two proposals for a championship system

Date Saturday, December 4, 1869
Text

[from “A Veteran”:] Let the Atlantic be recognized as champions, and for this let them be taxed a beautiful devised streamer or “whip” pennant, which shall be recognized as the symbol of championship, to be given to the club defeating the champions in a series. During the winter, not later than March 1st, let each club send a delegate or representative to the Atlantic club rooms, and let there be a drawing, that is, in one box place a lot of numbers equal to the number of clubs desirous of contesting less one (the Atlantics), and in another box place slips containing the names of these clubs then draw as in a lottery. If 1 was drawn from one box and the slip containing the Cincinnati club from the other, that would show that the Atlantics were to meet that club first. So on through each number drawn, showing what turn the club plays, supposing the Haymakers draw 2. Now let it be arranged that all games must be played within 10 days of each other, and if the 10 th day comes on Sunday, let the 9 th day be chosen. Let the first game commence about the middle of June, on the grounds of the champions, the second game would then (if the Red Stockings drew the first chance) have to be played at Cincinnati within ten days, the third if such be necessary, within tend day s of that, the choice of grounds to be tossed for at the conclusion of the second game. Now, suppose the Red Stockings won, then the Haymakers would have to go there to play the first game, and if they in turn won, they would have to play the club drawing 3. So on through the numbers, the winners of the last series to be acknowledged champions for that season.

...

[from “Daisy Cutter”:] Let each State Association recognize the right of its members to arrange games for the State championship outside of the State organization, said games to be concluded and the State championship decided before the 30th of June. That would cause the clubs to early arrange their nines and take to practice. Then let there be a sectional championship–say of New England, the Middle States, the Southern States, and the Western States. The sectional championship to be played for by the State champions of their respective sections, these games and the sectional championships to be decided before the 30th of September. Then, before the 15th of November, the champion nines of the four sections to contest for the championship of the United States. The winning club to receive a pennant only, an honorary symbol of no great money value, with the word Champion in conspicuous letters, with the right to fly it until the succeeding champion contest decides its further guardianship. Then we would truly have an American champion nine, without the wretched cavil and intrigue accompanying the present arrogant assumption of the National championship by our local clubs.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire calling too many balls, should let the players play

Date Sunday, June 13, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Union of Lansingburgh 6/7/1869] The contest from this point was chiefly interesting from the heavy batting on both sides, and the constant calling of balls and giving of bases by the umpire, who seemed disposed to play the game himself, instead of allowing the players that privilege. Thirteen times on the Union side the players were given their first base, and four times on the Cincinnati side, and this, taken in connection with the heavy batting, ran up the score to larger figures than we are accustomed to seeing in championship matches.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire giving too many warnings, should call balls

Date Saturday, June 12, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Irvington 6/1/1869] Mr. Nelson impartially discharged his duties as umpire, but he labors under the same mistake as others do in his construction of the rules in calling balls and strikes. For instance, after expressly stating to the pitcher where the striker wanted a ball, if balls were sent in close to the batsman, over his head, or out of his legitimate reach, he would call out, “over the base,” “Get them down,” or call out again and again where the ball should be pitched. Now this style of thing is not only in direct opposition to the rules, but is playing into the hands of the pitchers. Any ball not within the legitimate reach of the bat is now required to be called after due warning has once been given the pitcher. When the pitcher sends in a high ball, the umpire, instead of calling out to him to “get them down” or to “pitch lower,” should promptly call balls. In regard to strikes, more latitude is allowed, no strike being permitted to be called unless the striker is previously warned, and then, even if must be apparent that he is wilfully refusing to strike.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire makes a call without an appeal

Date Sunday, August 1, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Forest City of Rockford at Chicago 7/31/1869] ...McVey, in making his second was wrongfully given out by the umpire as hasting dropped the ball though the umpire gave his decision before the muff was made and could not retract.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire makes for a quick game

Date Thursday, July 22, 1869
Text

[Excelsior vs. Harmonic 7/21/1869] George Flanly, of the Mutual Club, acted as umpire, and kept both pitchers and strikers down to their work, making the contest much shorter than it otherwise would have been.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Umpire not calling balls and strikes

Date Saturday, July 31, 1869
Text

[Maryland vs. Atlantic 7/30/1869] Its [the game's] tediousness was much increased by the laxity of the umpire [Bass of the Powhattan Club], who is a fine player, but not at all competent to discharge the duties of an umpire. He did not call a single ball and but one strike during the whole game.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire now supposed to call all balls

Date Saturday, May 1, 1869
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[Athletics vs. Princeton 4/24/1869] McBride worked heroically, but his pitching is not so strong as it used to be, and the batting has improved. If the Umpire had enforced the amended rule in respect to pitching, the Athletics would have been nowhere. This rule takes from the Umpire all discretionary power–now he must call all balls not pitched within the legitimate reach of the bat. Let Umpires take notice, and do their duty.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpires not calling balls; strikes should be called only if batter wilfully refusing to strike

Date Saturday, June 19, 1869
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Mr. Nelson impartially discharged his duties as umpire, but he labors under the same mistake as others do in his construction of the rules in calling balls and strikes. For instance, after expressly stating to the pitcher where the striker wanted a ball, if balls were sent in close to the batsman, over his head, or out of his legitimate reach, he would call out, “Over the base,” “Get them down,” or call out again and again where the ball should be pitched. Now this style of thing is not only in direct opposition to the rules, but is playing into the hands of the pitchers. Any ball not within the legitimate reach of the bat is now required to be called after due warning has once been given the pitcher. When the pitcher sends in a high ball, the umpire, instead of calling out to him to “get them down” or to “pitch lower,” should promptly call balls. In regard to strikes, more latitude is allowed, no strike being permitted to be called unless the striker is previously warned, and then, even, it must be apparent that he is wilfully refusing to strike., quoting the Boston National Chronicle

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

undisciplined batters

Date Sunday, June 27, 1869
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[from a letter to the editor re Cincinnati vs. Athletic 6/21/1869] ...had they batted as they did last year, they would have won it. Relying too much on their traditional renown as batters, instead of waiting till they got balls to suit them, in their impatience, they struck at any thing, and in consequence, for a long while, failed to score; or when they did hit, it was either as if they were afraid they might hurt the ball, or else deference to the feelings of their visitors, compelled them to be as delicate and gentle as possible; while each man asserted, before he went in to bat, that he was going to wait for his ball and hit it hard, either his courage forsook him, or his patience oozed out. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury June 27, 1869

A man calls for a ball knee high, yet he can be seen flying at one far out of reach, and over his head. Another called for a waist-high ball, only to find himself hitting at every ball pitched at his feet. This clearly shows that the striker doesn’t know where he wants the ball. Such a thing as a first-class player ‘striking out’ should never be heard of; yet it occurs every day. If the batting department were oftener practiced, such defeats as related above would never be known. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury July 4, 1869, quoting Wilkes Spirit of the Times

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Unions and Buckeyes now amateurs; the new labor market

Date Saturday, April 3, 1869
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The relapsing of the Union Club of Morrisania and Buckeye of Cincinnati to the full condition of amateurs, threw some dozen first-class players out of employment. These have been added to the playing stock of other clubs, needing but one or two men to complete first-class nines, and the “weak spots” complained of heretofore have consequently been strengthened. Beside these quite a number of good players, graduates of amateur clubs, have gone into the professional business. With a market well filled—which was never the case before—it has become an easy matter to strengthen clubs, and first-class organizations will not longer present a patched-up field of “rank and file.” New York Daily Tribune April 3, 1869

The [Buckeye] club will play as an amateur nine. The club have unanimously resolved to dispense with professionals, having come the to conclusion that tossing the ball themselves was more beneficial than looking on and paying men to do it for them. New York Sunday Mercury May 2, 1869

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

West Virginia paper mockingly “endorses" baseball

Date Monday, July 26, 1869
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BASE BALL -- The old Club, we are pleased to note, have reorganized for the “fall campaign." This is a step in the right direction, for it will doubtless result in many a job for the doctors, and several “Severe Accidents" to be chronicled in THE DEMOCRAT. In these days of dull times, even a base ball accident is not to be sneezed at by your humble picker up of “unconsidered trifles" -- ye Local. Go in, fellers, and if you can possibly kill half a dozen people, for our sake, please kill 'em. If we can't laugh at anything, let's try a few weepin' and wailin'.

Source Weston Democrat, Weston, WV
Submitted by Bill Hicklin

What Constitutes an Amateur Base Ball Club

Date Saturday, April 17, 1869
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The question has been asked, “What is an Amateur Club?” The rule prohibiting ball playing for money having been repealed and another adopted, legalizing professional or paid players, it becomes of no little interest to the majority of clubs to determine their standing as to whether they are professionals or amateurs. The greater number of ball clubs in this vicinity are anxious to be classed as amateurs, as experience has proven that they are seldom, if ever, able to vanquish the thoroughly-professional Atlantics or Mutuals, of this city, although they (the would-be Amateurs) have men who indirectly receive money for their time spent on the ball field. The wording of the new rule does not strictly imply that there is a marked difference to be made in clubs, as it only applies to players; and here is the point on which it is to be decided whether a club is professional or amateur.

To my mind a professional club would be one composed wholly, or of a majority, of professional players. It would hardly be proper to just to style a club professional that has one, two, or three paid players: yet they are not strictly amateurs. Neither would it be just to not style a club amateur when they have one man playing in the nine to whom it would be a pecuniary loss were he not paid for his time spent in playing match games. If the opinion of your New York correspondent was to prevail, and be accepted as the meaning of the rule in question; viz., “That matches between professional and amateur Clubs did not count or affect the list of victories and defeats of each club.” I am of the opinion that considerable trouble would be experienced in matches played between clubs claiming to be amateurs, could it be proved by either club that their opponents had paid players. It is very doubtful if there are any clubs, as a class, that do no have one or more playing members whose time is paid for whenever they are engaged in matches, while a great many clubs who have heretofore been classed as strictly amateur, have been, and intend this season to play upon enclosed grounds, to which an admittance fee is charged, and the proceeds going to the club, being divided among the players of the first nine.

The rule in question was intended to make a class of certain clubs that had heretofore had the reputation of employing and paying men to devote their time to playing ball. But as it reads, it virtually does nothing but to designate a man that plays ball, as a professional player. Therefore a professional club would necessarily have to be composed of a majority, or wholly of paid players. The rule should be definite. Yet who shall define it. We have both professional and amateur officers in the National Association. Their views may differ, while some may hold strictly radical views, and insist that a club to be an amateur one, must be composed wholly of players devoting their without any compensation, either directly or indirectly. The adoption of the rule has undoubtedly increased the interest in base ball, as many clubs that have heretofore been drooping and dying out, now give signs of renewed vigor, and are filling up with active members. “Jerry” [elsewhere in the issue described as “a gentleman of high standing in the fraternity”]

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger