Clippings:1870

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Clippings in 1870

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1870Clippings in 1870

Clippings in 1870 (236 entries)

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fifty cent admission fee

Date Tuesday, August 30, 1870
Text

[Mutuals vs. Athletics 8/29/1870] The proprietor of the Union Grounds tested the popularity of the game of base ball yesterday by charging fifty cents for the privilege of witnessing a contest between the Mutual Club, of new York, and the famous Athletic Club, of Philadelphia. The experiment was a great success, as four or five thousand people were present—the interest felt in the result of a game between these two clubs being extraordinary.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Clipper’s baseball man

Date Saturday, January 8, 1870
Text

Frank Rivers has been engaged by Frank Queen, to take charge of the base ball columns of the Clipper. A good man for the place.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Association shenanigans

Date Saturday, January 8, 1870
Text

In the convention of 1866 a request was made by a prominent New York Professional Club, to have a law passed expelling any member of any club who should be guilty of the offence of selling, or attempting to throw any game of base ball. This law was aimed a three players, who (according to the statement of this club) had been guilty of this act, and these three persons, were, by this law, forever prohibited from participating in any association game. The following year this club found themselves in need of the services of one of these same players and the result is to be seen in the proceedings of the National Association held at Philadelphia, in 1867, vide the action taken in the case of Thomas Devry [sic]. The grounds upon which the decision of the Judiciary Committee was reversed were just, as far as they went, but the ulterior object was gained, and this club was satisfied. Time rolled on past another annual meeting of the National Association, and once more this same club found themselves again in need. This time they wanted a good third baseman, and Mr. Duffy, one of the three above named, was found to possess all those qualifications necessary to fill that position, and the Mutual Club set about accomplishing this object. In the State Convention of New York, held last month, there were found to be fourteen or more clubs on the roll book that had failed to pay their annual dues for 1868-9, and who should thereby have ceased to become members of the State Association; but by a resolution passed they were allowed sixty days in which to pay up or be dropped from the rolls. This action gave New York a representation of eight-one club or nine delegates, as within the sixty days grace the National Association would hold its annual meeting. Of those nine delegates all of the professional clubs of New York obtained one each, the balance being composed of New York men with two exceptions. It will thus be seen that the professional clubs of New York went to the National Association meeting with the balance of power, and could do as they had done before, obtain any object by the judicious distribution of the officers, &c, within the gift of the Association. A resolution was introduced by the New York delegation under instructions from their State Association, to remit the penalty imposed upon Mr. Duffy, and it was done. The Convention should have gone further and accomplished their good work by reinstating Mr. Wansley, who has been unfortunate enough in not being wanted by the Mutual Club. ... How much in contrast has been the action of the Mutual Club in these two cases to that they took when Mr. Wansley joined another club, immediately upon his so doing, charges were preferred against the club receiving him, and the Judiciary Committee decided against Mr. Wansley, and he was obliged to retire disgraced from base ball circles. This is not written to advance any interest of Mr. Wansley, as I have not the honor of his acquaintance, but to show how a certain few have managed to control the last several meetings of the N.A.B.B.P. in the interest of Professionalism.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

open betting by the Troy club president

Date Saturday, January 8, 1870
Text

Of late the public exhibitions of loud betting have become a great nuisance, so much so that the papers of some localities have felt called upon to deny that the clubs from their vicinity have any such followers. A fitting example of this may [be] seen in the attempts of the daily papers of Troy, N.Y., to exculpate the Haymakers from any such imputation, while the facts of the case are that there has been hardly a game played by that club upon their own grounds (especially when they have succeeded in choosing their own umpire and think they are a sure thing) but that their President and other members of the club boldly stand out in front of the assembly and loudly proclaim, “I’ll bet 100 to 40 that the Haymaker club wins this game.

Source ” National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pre-game warm up

Date Saturday, January 8, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Southern 12/26/1869] Of course the Mutuals, the moment they came on the grounds attracted great attention, their style of play in passing the ball around from one to another being much admired.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shaking hands before the game

Date Saturday, January 8, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Southern 12/26/1869] The New Yorkers quite enjoyed the new custom they had to go through, shaking hands with their opponents before the fight began. This is the custom in the extreme South in base ball matches. The way it was done is as follows:– Everything being in readiness, the field cleared, the umpire chosen, the two nines formed in line, the Southerns at second base, and the Mutuals at the home plate. To the air of Dixie, which was rung out by Jaeger’s band, the boys marched to the centre of the infield, where they shook hands, amidst the loud applause of those assembled.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

skipping a turn at bat

Date Saturday, January 8, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Southern 12/26/1869] C. Mills, the next striker–Flanley having lost his turn by not being on hand–{By the rules Flanley ought to have [been] decided out, for not taking his turn at the bat, that being now the rule of play.–Ed. Chronicle} got his first by a fine hit to centre.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

deeking the runner 2

Date Sunday, January 9, 1870
Text

[Mutual of New York vs. Lone Star of New Orleans, 12/–/1869] A double play, made by Hatfield, astonished the Lone Star boys. A player was on third when a ball was hit to Hatfield, who, picked it up and looking at first-base, threw the ball sideways to home-base, and the player on third, thinking the ball had been sent to first, ran home, and he was perfectly astonished to find himself touched by Mills.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hitting a pitch in the dirt 2

Date Sunday, January 9, 1870
Text

[Mutual of New York vs. Lone Star of New Orleans, 12/–/1869] A double-play by Walters and Flanly was spoiled...by a mistake of the umpire. The ball was hit by the batsman as it rebounded from the ground in front of the home-base, and the umpire called out “foul strike”, and the ball going foul the batsman and base runners were put out. But the umpire decided no one out on a foul strike. Now, the batsman has the right to hit any ball bounding to him as if it came from a fair pitch. The only foul strike the umpire can call is that made when the striker does not stand astride the line of the home-base when he strikes at the ball, or when he takes a backward step.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

big talk in Chicago

Date Saturday, January 15, 1870
Text

The late gossip about the new nine organizing in Chicago is rather interesting. When the club was first started, considerable of a splurge was made by those having the matter in charge. The new nine was to “wipe out” all the leading clubs in the country. Above all others, however, they were to “go” for the “Red Stockings.” ... After making overtures to nearly every first-class player in the country, the managers of the new club have come to the conclusion that getting a ball club on paper is one thing, and getting together nine players and making them “stick” is quite another. ... Tom Foley, the billiardist, who is the business manager of the concern, is getting discouraged, it is said. He thought at first that all he had to do was to offer the players he wanted an engagement, and they would take the next train for Chicago. George Wright, Wolters, Charley Mills, Joe Start, Dick McBride, Fisler, Sensenderfer, Craver, Spaulding, of the Forest City, of Rockford, Ill, and others were offered positions on the nine at $1,500 a year, and in some instances the offers reached $2,500.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a trick on the Mutuals’ southern trip

Date Saturday, January 15, 1870
Text

While stopping at Lamar, Miss., between Canton and Jackson, Captain Jack [i.e. John Wildey] played a rich joke on the passengers. When the train stopped, the conductor told the passengers that if they went anywhere to get their feed they must be careful not to be far off when the locomotive bell rang; for he should leave the moment the Northern train arrived. Those of the passengers who were posted went to a tavern some distance from the depot to get dinner, well knowing that the train could not start for an hour at least; but the Mutual part, not knowing the ropes could not find anything to eat, and so Wildey took his crowd up to the hotel where the others had gone. But when he got there the table was full, and no chance for outsiders. Wildey seeing this, hit upon a plan to get possession of the grub, so he quietly collected his party near the house, and then started for the train, previously telling his boys the moment they heard the bell right to rush for the hotel and take the vacant seats. Jack then got on the engine and set the bell going. Just about that time there was a helter-skelter race for the train from the hotel by the first party and in their haste to be in time the half of them tumbled into a ditch they had to cross, Eggler among the number–a friend having taken him up to dinner with the first party. By the time that their victims had discovered the sell the Mutuals had eaten all the feed at the hotel, and when the other went back they found all gone. The train did not leave for ten hours.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Eckford club 2

Date Saturday, January 22, 1870
Text

The Eckford club of Brooklyn, N.Y., is in a sorry condition for the approaching season. Out of the splendid nine which they had last summer but one remains, the others have sought shelter under the banners of five different clubs.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

changes to the rules on balls and strikes

Date Sunday, January 23, 1870
Text

The heavy-hitting class of batsmen are hereby duly notified that they will henceforth be no longer allowed to pick and choose as to what kind of balls they will have pitched to them. The new rules do away with the calling of balls knee-high, waist-high, or low balls. So long as a ball is pitched over the home-base and within the legitimate reach of the bat, that is all the batsman can require. The new regulation will relieve the umpires from much of the annoyance of their position. No warning is now necessary, and batsmen who do not strike at the first good balls they get will be put out on called strikes. This will force them to depend more upon skillful batting for success and less upon heavy hitting.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

professionals and amateurs

Date Saturday, January 29, 1870
Text

Prior to 1869 it had become apparent that amateur players had been year by year gradually losing interest in their clubs, and almost in the game itself. The reason of this was that the palm of superiority had for some years been monopolized by clubs employing players who were compensated either by pay or office for their services in the field, but who claimed to stand on the same footing as amateur players, as that enjoyed by the legitimate amateur clubs. The result was an ostensible equality of position as players, but in reality quite the reverse: for the clubs having professionals had time to devote to practice and training, whereas the really amateur clubs had not; hence, though they entered the arena as equals, the one party were practiced and the other were not. Under this condition of things it was not to be wondered at that the effect of the continued defeats sustained by amateur clubs in their contests with professionals should be demoralizing, of that amateur players should lose interest in the game.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Keystone club

Date Saturday, January 29, 1870
Text

The Keystones, dissatisfied with their ill success with a professional nine, have decided to dispense with the services of professionals altogether this season, and play a nine composed solely of amateurs. The club ought to be able to select from its members a very good amateur nine, which, properly disciplined, will doubtless prove fully as effective as a professional nine.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the organization of the Haymaker club

Date Saturday, January 29, 1870
Text

The Haymakers of Lansingburg, held a meeting for re-organization last week. It was decided to sell five hundred membership tickets at five dollars each, and the officers are to be elected by the members. As to the playing nine, nothing has as yet been decided.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of “command of the ball”

Date Sunday, January 30, 1870
Text

[reviewing the Atlantic players of the upcoming season] Next, there is Zettlein, the pitcher, who is not only a first-class pitcher, who posses great command of the ball, is swift in his delivery, and has plenty of pluck and endurance; but he has that great requisite, thorough good humor, something which was one unknown in the Atlantic nine.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Unions of Morrisania to be professional; willful losses of match games

Date Sunday, February 13, 1870
Text

The reorganization of this time-honored club [the Unions of Morrisania] with the promise that they will enter upon the campaign of 1870, fully prepared to cope with the strongest professional clubs of the country, is an event of more than ordinary interest, for it gives appearance that there will be at least one club in the professional arena from this State that will do their very best to win every game they play, without regard to the amount of bets pending any particular contest, or of the fact that a victory would be only obtained at the cost of the receipts at the gate of a third contest. We harp on this topic of the willful loss of match-games for the special objects referred to, from the fact that it is the one great evil of professional playing, which is the only barrier to the honorable career of that class of the fraternity.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals try to induce Sweasy to revolve; Cincinnati club contracts

Date Saturday, February 19, 1870
Text

[A delegation from the Mutuals visit Cincinnati:] They...took an extraordinary liking to Sweasy, and were beneficial in their offers of cigars and other luxuries. Their overtures were unsuccessful however. Sweasy gets a salary of $800 from the Red Stockings, and the Mutuals, through these representatives offered at first $1,500 and finally $2,000, but all to no avail. We expect a few more of the Mutual stragglers here in a few days, and if they are not more careful, they will be more exposed. The Mutuals and all other clubs, should understand that the Cincinnati Base Ball Club is an incorporated body, and governed by the charters of the State of Ohio. The contracts made by them are legal, and any infringements or losses can be made good through the courts. The Cincinnati club hold written contracts for the season of 1870, signed by each of the nine of ‘69, and they have no fears of these gentlemen forgetting their honor, and relations to society to stoop so such a base thing as breaking an honorable contract. Mr. Sweasy has...acted honorably, and, he never shall have cause to regret his action.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Olympic of Philadelphia professionals

Date Sunday, February 20, 1870
Text

The Olympic Club, of Philadelphia, at a late meeting decided to organize a professional nine this season.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a definition and condemnation of “revolving”

Date Sunday, February 20, 1870
Text

[There are] certain rumors we have heard in regard to several proposed transfers of players from one club to another, in which regular engagements and contracts are to be broken. Now, the man who breaks a written engagement with a club in order to better his position pecuniarily by joining another club, is simply a fool, not to say an innate scamp, and should be discountenanced by every club as the class which are ready to sell games where opportunity offers. Men have a perfect right to better their condition legitimately by leaving one club for another at the close of the season. This can be done honorably, as [a] number of players we could name, have done it; but what we object to, is the miserable system of “revolving” which consists simply of this very style of breaking regularly made engagements. Let all of this class be hooted out the ball fields, for there is not one of them fit to be trusted. They only lack opportunities to sell a club for a fifty-dollar bill.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hints on scoring base hits; early form of fielder’s choice

Date Saturday, March 5, 1870
Text

A correspondent from Washington send the following question in regard to bases on hits, and his queries are answered below. He says in regard to judging of bases on hits: “I find there is a wide difference on the subject, scarcely any two agreeing in scoring. I would like some hints on these points. 1. What is a base on a hit? 2. How many bases should be given? that is, what sort of a rule should govern in the latter question. 3. Would you score ‘base on a hit’ when a ball is hit to the ground and bounds either just high enough to tip an infielders fingers, or is batted to the one side with the same result? 4. Would you score bases on a hit when an out fielder runs in for a ball and lets it go over his head, or stays in with the same result, or stays out too long, so that it drops short of him? 5. Would you score base on a hit when a hot bounder is well stopped, but held a little too long, or when it strikes the leg or foot and bounds one side? 6. Would you score ‘base on a hit’ when an infielder seemingly, made no effort to stop the ball? 7. Or, when the first base man is knocked from his base by the base runner just as he is receiving the ball? 8. How many bases would you give when a man bats to the left field, and the ball is thrown to the third, thereby giving the striker his second? 9. What constitutes a home run? 10. If, on the third strike, the catcher fails to hold the ball, and the striker is put out on the first, should it not be scored ‘out on first, with catcher assisting,’ putting three strikes to the batsman discredited?”

We will proceed to answer the above queries in the order in which they are given: 1. A “base on a hit” is a base made by a hit which sends the ball in such a way to the field that it cannot be either caught on the fly or stopped in time to field the batsman out at the first base. 2. The number of bases given on a hit depends entirely upon the nature of the hit. It is comparatively easy to tell whether the first base is made by a hit or not; for the catalogue of errors which yield that base is limited to instances which can pretty readily be defined. For instance, a dropped fly-ball, a wild throw to a base, a failure to hold a well thrown ball, or a failure to stop and field a moderately hit ball are all errors which prevent bases being recorded on hits; and also when the ball is fielded to second or third base to cut off players forced from bases, instead of being thrown to first base, that also prevents a base being scored on a hit; and if a high ball is hit, and owing to the hesitation of two fielders as to which should take it, it fall to the ground, that also prevents a base being recorded on a hit. Now all these errors are readily defined; but when it comes to judging as to whether a player is entitled to more than his first-base, the difficulty of judging accurately is increased threefold. In fact there can scarcely be any rule worded to cover all points on which exceptions could be taken, as regards giving two and three bases on hits. 3. No base on a hit should be recorded when a ball is hit direct to a fielder, but which, owing to its great elasticity bounds over the fielder’s head; for this is not a result of good batting, but of a lively rubber ball. But balls sent bounding out of the reach of the in-fielders, and not over their heads, should give bases on hits. 4. In judging of such a ball you must score a base on a hit–one base only as a general things–unless the error of judgment on the part of the fielder is very palpable, in which latter case you do not credit the hit, but charge the error. 5. Yes, as a general thing; for in such cases the fielders does well even to check the progress of a hot ball from the bat. 6. No, if the chance offered him to field the ball was a plain one. Otherwise, yes. 7. In this case certainly not, for it was not the base-player’s or fielder’s fault that the base-runner was not put out, but the latter’s foul play. Of course, in such an instance it would not be good batting, but unfair play, which gave him his base. 8. Only one, unless the chance of his reaching the second if the ball had been thrown to the second, was good, in which case he would merit two bases. 9. A home run is a run obtained by a hit to the out field which sends the ball so far out of the reach of the fielder that it cannot be returned in time to put him out at the home base. If a ball, however, be put to the out-fielder, and he runs leisurely after it or muffs it, or throws it in so poorly that the base runner can easily get home, but could not have done so with sharp fielding, in such case it is not a home run, but only so many bases, generally not more than two. 10. Yes, but it should be recorded with the letter “K,” as for “struck out,” and with the letter “A” for first base also.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletic grounds

Date Saturday, March 5, 1870
Text

The fence of the grounds will be moved back to the top of the hill on Fifteenth street, and the low ground filled up and leveled off. The restaurant will be in the northeast corner, and the place where it now stands will be occupied by a pavilion. The reporter’s stand will be enlarged, as it should be, and made weather proof on top. The ladies’ pavilion should be separated from that occupied by the male sex by a board partition, which would no doubt make it very popular. Philadelphia City Item March 5, 1870

A high board fence will be built on Columbia avenue to the lane at the eastern section of the ground, and thence along the lane to Montgomery avenue, thus effectually cutting off the view of the multitudes who were accustomed to assemble outside the ground. Philadelphia City Item April 2, 1870

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for a professional championship tournament

Date Sunday, March 6, 1870
Text

All the fraternity will rejoice to learn that we are to have a grand baseball tournament every year henceforth, in which the contested question of the right ownership of the whip-pennant will be satisfactorily settled. The idea is to have a week’s play in which the four leading clubs of the country would meet each other, thereby playing six games, the winner of the greatest number to be declared the champions for the season.

...

The idea of the tourney is to count the best of contestants to the four clubs taking the lead in the play by the close of August, by which time it will be pretty definitely ascertained which of the above clubs are fairly entitled to enter. Any crack club losing a series of games, should not be classed among the leading clubs we should say. This tourney bids fair to be the solution to the knotty questions as to which club is entitled to the championship this season. At any rate it will be the great baseball event of the year. The first tourney will be held in the metropolis; but whether on the Capitoline, Union, or Tremont Grounds is not yet settled and will not be until the season sets in. Should there be a promise of a very large assemblage than the largest held, will of course, be selected. In 1871 the tourney will be held in Philadelphia; in 1872 in Cincinnati, and then in Boston, thus changing the locality each year.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the failure of the NA to deal with revolvers

Date Saturday, March 12, 1870
Text

We had hoped that the Convention would have adopted Mr. Chadwick’s suggestion, and have amended the Constitution of the National Association so as to have given clubs the power to punish “revolvers.” But the controlling power in the late Convention were too busy in playing their certain “little games” to do anything so well calculated to advance the welfare of base ball!

...

Mr. Chadwick informs us that he had prepared a code of rules governing the action of professionals in their engagements with clubs, which he did not present in his report simply because the whole section referring to professional play were voted down by the professional club delegates. The result of this action by professional clubs is that they are left at the mercy of these “revolvers,” there being no law bearing upon revolving either in the rules of the game or in the Constitution of the National Association. The only remedy the clubs have in the matter is to agree not to play in any game with a club that takes into their nine any player who has broken his written engagement to another club.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hints to umpires, runners given the benefit of the doubt

Date Saturday, March 12, 1870
Text

There are, of course, periods in the progress of a contest when the movements of the players are so rapid, and when, perhaps, appeals are made on several points at once, when an umpire is likely to become confused; and when this happens to be the case, be careful to avoid deciding a player out on a doubtful point. The players on the “in” side may be regarded as prisoners at the bar in jury trials, and, as such are to be given all the benefit of a doubt and must be proved guilty before being punished. In the game a player must be plainly out, or he should be decided in.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the Athletic club

Date Saturday, March 12, 1870
Text

The Athletic Base-ball Club held their annual meeting last Monday evening [3/7/1870]. The attendance was the largest yet known in the annals of the club, and the utmost unanimity of feeling prevailed among the members in regard to making the Athletics the champion organization of the country. The Athletics have now 191 active and contributing members, and 53 new members were last evening elected to swell the already large total. The treasurer reported that the sum of $8,530.36 had been received during 1869, and the amount expended was $8,524.02, leaving a balance in the treasury of $6.34.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed round robin tournament for the championship

Date Saturday, March 12, 1870
Text

All the fraternity will rejoice to learn that we are to have a grand base ball tournament every year henceforth, in which the contested question of the right ownership of the whip-pennant will be satisfactorily settled. The idea is to have a week’s play in which the four leading clubs of the country would meet each other, thereby playing six games, the winner of the greatest number to be declared the champions of the season. ... In case of a tie, there would be a supplementary match. ... This tourney bids fair to be the solution to the knotty question, which club is entitled to the championship this season. At any rate it will be the great baseball event of the year. The first tourney will be held in the metropolis; but whether on the Capitoline, Union, or Tremont Grounds it not yet settled ,and will not be until the season sets in. Should there be a promise of a very large assemblage then the largest field, will, of course, be selected. In 1871, the tourney will be held in Philadelphia; In 1872, in Cincinnati and then in Boston, then changing thus changing the locality each year. National Chronicle March 12, 1870 [see also NC 4/2/70 for a refinement to this proposal.]

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

durable bats

Date Saturday, March 12, 1870
Text

Six of the “Red Stockings” of Cincinnati, struck with the same bat during 45 games last season, and the bat being broken is now on exhibition in a store in New York City. National Chronicle March 12, 1870

The Atlantic Club of Brooklyn, have on exhibition at their rooms...a bat which has been in use three seasons. It has been used by six and sometimes seven of the nines, in over one hundred match games. The bat is appropriately styled “Old Reliable.” It is good for many a game yet, and will assist the opening of the season by the Atlantics next month on the Capitoline Grounds. National Chronicle March 26, 1870

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

new rules of the Athletic Club; division of gate receipts, a man in the ticket office

Date Saturday, March 12, 1870
Text

[rules adopted by the Athletics:] That no lease of the grounds be made to any other club without the insertion of a clause in the lease stipulating that members of the Athletic Base Ball Club be admitted to the grounds at all times, free of charge.

That in accepting challenges from clubs, or in sending challenges, it shall be with the condition that the Athletic Club shall have the right to place a man in the ticket-office whenever the gate-money is to be divided between the two clubs. This right to be extended to other clubs in games with us.

That a new style of tickets for the members be adopted which will prevent members from loaning their tickets to other people with the intention of passing them into the grounds.

...

That the Treasurer shall pay each player every week, upon presentation of an order drawn by the Secretary of the club, and countersigned by one of the Executive Committee, which order shall be retained by the Treasurer as his voucher.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reporter for the Brooklyn Eagle

Date Saturday, March 19, 1870
Text

Mr. Hudson, the able base ball reporter of the Brooklyn Eagle...

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Olympics of Washington grounds

Date Saturday, March 26, 1870
Text

The Olympics have enclosed their grounds, erected their club-houses, and nearly completed their grading. As we understand it, they propose laying out their field, to bat from North to South, this will scarcely give them the desired space necessary for outfielders to capture the long high “flys” that such batters as Wright, Hatfield and others send them greeting. To take the angle of the square would certainly give them more space.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no warning before calling balls and strikes

Date Sunday, March 27, 1870
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] [answering questions about umpiring under the new rules] Is it necessary for me to warn the pitcher and striker before calling balls or strikes on them? ... ...it is not now necessary or legal to give either the pitcher or striker warning before calling balls on them.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining the legitimate reach of the batsman; high and low strike zones

Date Sunday, March 27, 1870
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] [answering questions about umpiring under the new rules] ...it is advisable, when a man takes his stand at the bat, to ask him what height he is in the habit of batting the ball, so as to enable you to judge what the legitimate reach of his batting is. If we were to act as umpire we should first ask the batsman before he struck at a ball whether he was in the habit of hitting at the ball high or low; and if he answered, “I want a low ball,” we should ask him if that was the ball he was in the regular habit of hitting; and if he answered “Yes,” we should consider his legitimate reach as one lower than that of a batsman who struck at a shoulder-ball. But these questions would be only for our own information, so that we might decide fairly in regard to the question of the legitimate reach, and not because the rules required any such question, for they do not.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no need to call every pitch a ball or a strike

Date Sunday, March 27, 1870
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] [answering questions about umpiring under the new rules] Can I call a ball on the pitcher when he delivers the ball over the home-base, if it be out of proper reach? ... Yes; unless the ball is at the same time not very wide of the mark, in which case you can safely be a little lenient, and let it pass.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining the legitimate reach of the batsman

Date Sunday, March 27, 1870
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] [answering questions about umpiring under the new rules] What is the limit of the legitimate reach of the batsman? ... The limit of the length of the batsman’s reach is the length of his bat from him; the height of his shoulder, the extent of the width of the base, as he stands near the base, and not lower than a foot from the ground.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright proposes umpire hand signal

Date Sunday, March 27, 1870
Text

[from a letter from Harry Wright] There is one thing I would like to see the umpire do at the big games, and this, raise his hand when a man is out. You know what a noise there is always when any fine play is made on the bases, and it being impossible to hear the umpire, it is always some little time before the layer knows whether he is given out or not. It would very often save a great deal of bother and confusion.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick back at the Clipper

Date Saturday, April 2, 1870
Text

Chadwick is again the base ball reporter of the Clipper. He is great in this specialty. Philadelphia City Item April 2, 1870

Mr. Henry Chadwick, the well-known base ball reporter, and the editor of the new base ball manual now being published, has been engaged by Frank Queen, as base ball editor of the Clipper. Mr. Chadwick is one of the best informed men on the game in the country, and he can but fill his old position with credit. We wish him every success. National Chronicle April 2, 1870

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright on called balls and strikes

Date Saturday, April 2, 1870
Text

[from a letter by Harry Wright] We are waiting very patiently for the new rules. I would like to know just what the umpire has got to do this season, and if he has to warn the pitcher and striker before he calls balls and strikes. I hope not. I got tired last season of “look out for your next,” etc. “Two balls” or “two strikes” brings both down to business at once. quoting the Brooklyn Union

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a spite fence

Date Saturday, April 2, 1870
Text

The pleasant weather of the past week has enabled the workmen to commence operations in fitting up the Athletic Ground for the season of 1870. A high board fence will be built on Columbia avenue to the lane at the eastern section of the ground, and thence along the late to Montgomery avenue, thus effectually cutting off the view of the multitudes who were accustomed to assemble outside the ground.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed professional convention

Date Saturday, April 2, 1870
Text

It is proposed to have a meeting of delegates, from the principal professional clubs, to take action upon the subject of putting a stop to revolving. We hope the plan will be carried out, and that such stringent rules will be adopted as will settle this matter until the next meeting of the National Association. The meeting will doubtless be held in June.

...

While the delegates from the different professional clubs are settling the “revolver” question next June, let them fix some regular basis for the payment of professional players. An arrangement of this sort would go a great way towards removing temptation from professionals. The preliminaries of the Professional Tournament could also be arranged, and in fact, the delegates would have much important business to transact. Select your best men and then the business will be well done.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

inducing players to revolve

Date Saturday, April 2, 1870
Text

[The Chicago Club] has attained to an unenviable reputation by their efforts to secure a first-class nine by unfair means. Not satisfied with securing the best talent possible, unengaged, they seek to secure crack players by offering them large salaries, in some cases double that they have engaged for, thus tempting them to break their contracts with the clubs they have engaged to play with. In nearly every case, however, they have failed to carry out their little schemes successfully, not that they could not find their men, but that popular opinion against “revolving” is so strong that players are afraid to brave it. Treacy and Hodes are the only revolvers now actual members of the Chicago Club. They tried hard for Fisher, Craver and White but at last accounts had been unsuccessful in obtaining either.Fisher denies that he ever signed agreement with the Chicago Club, but admits having received some money from Foley. It is more than probable that Fisher did sign such an agreement, but his friends claim that if he did so, it was while under the influence of liquor, as he was seen very much intoxicated in Foley’s company, at Albany, N.Y.

...

[now quoting the Cleveland Leader:] Among others, they set their hearts upon securing James White, catcher of the Forest City club of Cleveland, who has for some months been under engagement to remain in this city, as a player, during the coming season. Notwithstanding the Chicago managers knew this, they began by glowing letters and munificent offers of money to win the Forest City player from his allegiance. Failing in these efforts, it was determined, on Monday last, to send Mr. Tom Foley down to Cleveland, to see about things. Accordingly on Tuesday Mr. Foley arrived at the Kennard with his carpet bag, and having duly breakfasted he set out to hunt up and harpoon his prey. The victim was found and plied with entreaties and threats until tea, but all in vain. The Forest City play had given his promise, and that promise was sacred. He must fulfil his contract. ‘Stuff and nonsense,’ shrieked the emissary from Illinois, ‘Didn’t Fisher have a contract to play with the Athletics, and didn’t I snake him?’ Still the incompatible [sic] Clevelander was firm. Go he could not, and would not, and there was no use in talking about it. But the Chicagonian did not lose heart. There was nothing impossible for Chicago, and he knew it. Another session was appointed for the evening; but White, not caring to be further troubled, failed to come round, whereat the uncompromising T.F. lost his temper, and filled two who pages of the Kennard House letter paper with threats and denunciations against the obdurate catcher. Next day, he was met by the officers of the Forest City Club, who told him something. That night T.F. returned to Chicago.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the finances of the Forest City club

Date Saturday, April 2, 1870
Text

The Forest City Club of Cleveland, held a meeting last week, to make preliminary arrangements for the advancing season. The composition of the first Nine was discussed, but not finally determined... The club is now in correspondence with several excellent players, with a view to secure their services, but the difficulty with the officers is that the club has not a fund such as it should have. That the receipts of the season will be large is believed, but the club does not feel justified in hiring too many players on an uncertainty. What is wanted is that a number of men of means, interested in base ball, should agree to be responsible for the debts of the club if the proceeds of the season be not sufficient to meet all liabilities. A committee to solicit subscriptions was appointed, and the meeting adjourned.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the status of the Keystones

Date Saturday, April 9, 1870
Text

The Keystones will divide the gate money this season; and if this is the case, they will rank as a professional club, as heretofore, and not as an amateur organization. The Keystones are without a ground, but are endeavoring to obtain the use of the Athletic’s for one day in each week.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball in Prussia

Date Saturday, April 9, 1870
Text

Our National Game is becoming a popular pastime in foreign countries. Last week Messrs. Peck & Snyder of New York, filled an order for a full outfit for a club in Prussia. National Chronicle April 9, 1870

Bonn on the Rhine, April 10, 1870.

Editor National Chronicle.

It is with real pleasure that we announce to the base ball world of America, that a club has been organized here. We perfected our organization March 12th. Our name was adopted because it is a name, respected all over the world, we call ourselves the “Lincoln Base Ball Club.”

We have twenty active members, of whom eleven are Americans, the rest are Russians [sic: should be “Prussians”] and Scotch. We have members from California, as well as from the Eastern states. We were all pretty rusty, but now are picking up and will soon be ready to accept any challenge provided it is not too many thousand miles away. Everything is going on splendidly. We have a ground for certainly two days per week, and we may have it two more if not occupied. We have an elegant club room, with a bust of Lincoln and flags; the walls are papered with the American colors. We expect to find clubs at some of the watering placed during the summer. If they will only send their address to you, it would be a favor. Any communication addressed to the Secretary of the club, C. Hof, Bonn, will come all right. Three cheers for base ball, and the L.B.B.C. LINCOLN National Chronicle April 30, 1870

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

what to do with revolvers?

Date Saturday, April 9, 1870
Text

One of the principal questions of the day among the fraternity is, what shall be done with the revolvers? There is no distinction according to the rules, between an amateur and a professional player. This being the case, all that needs to be done, is for the club that first held a revolver to refuse to accept his resignation. This will it seems to us effectually kill the thing, as far as playing by the rules is concerned, but the clubs that make matches with these organizations that they know will play revolvers, will doubtless consent to call the games “social matches” or anything else, as long as they can reap the benefits of a first-class match, viz. stamps.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new New Orleans grounds; railroad money

Date Saturday, April 16, 1870
Text

Yesterday some 1500 persons assembled to witness the opening game on the new grounds oft he Louisiana Base Ball Park Association, near Burtha Station. The accommodations were ample for those in attendance yesterday, and will be largely increased by next Sunday, when the great game for the championship of the South will be played between the Southerns and Lone Stars.

We understand that the railroad company have generously offered to assist in filling up this park, and that it is intended to build a “Grand Duchess” for the ladies with the money thus contributed. It has been suggested that a turn table ought to be placed opposite the park, and additional cars run, as hundred walked down after the game on Sunday in preference to waiting for an opportunity to ride. The success of the park is now assured, and it will be to the interest of the railroad lines communicating with it to afford ample accommodations for the public.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reserved seats at the Athletic grounds

Date Saturday, April 16, 1870
Text

The stated monthly meeting of the Athletics was held on last Monday evening, northwest corner of Eighth and Vine streets, when it was resolved to reserve one hundred and fifty seats in the pavilion at ten dollars a seat for the season, for the members of the club and others who are willing to pay for them.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

getting the range of a pitcher

Date Thursday, April 21, 1870
Text

[practice game mixed sides of Mutual, Eckford and Oriental players 4/20/1870] The only real point of interest in the play was the desire to learn the effectiveness of the Eckfords new pitcher, Mr. McDermott. Like all swift deliverers he was wide, and, though effec5tive at the send-off, easily enough punished when the strikers had learned his range and rapidity.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the practice habits of the Atlantics

Date Saturday, April 23, 1870
Text

The second practice game of the Atlantic Club took place Thursday, April 14, and as they were favored with a remarkably fine day, there was quite a turnout of the friends of the club in the expectation of seeing a good practice game; but they were disappointed, for the club did not have their full nine out, and neither did they have a strong field party against them. It was understood that the Atlantics were going to start out this season on a new path, and to have out their full nine every practice day, and to go in for thorough training; but this does not look like it.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early season practice games

Date Sunday, April 24, 1870
Text

The Union Club, of Morrisania, have opened play for the season of 1870, by inaugurating a custom well calculated not only to promote friendly feelings between clubs, but also to materially assist them in arriving at that perfection of play which judicious practice and training alone yield; and the custom referred to is that of opening the season with practice-matches with a leading club, in place of playing the ordinary games which have hitherto marked the inaugural proceedings of a clubs’s season. The arrangement made by Mr. Ford with the Atlantic Club to open each other’s season with games on their respective grounds has proved to be an advantageous one to both clubs, and no doubt it will be followed up each year by both.

Last Thursday, the weather being tolerably pleasant, both clubs assembled on the Capitoline Grounds to play their first practice-match together, the occasion being the regular opening-day’s play of the Atlantics Club. Ordinarily these occasions attract but few spectators, and but little interest is taken in such meetings; but this year there appears to be more than ordinary excitement manifested in regard to the movements of the leading clubs; and instead of the two or three hundred people ordinarily seen gathered together to watch an opening-game, we were agreeably surprised to find over a thousand spectators present, and that, too, in spite of the entrance fee of twenty-five cents, which was charged.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the merits of left-handed infielders

Date Sunday, April 24, 1870
Text

Start’s left hand comes in handily for first-base playing, but Pike’s left-hand throwing weakens the second-base play, as it necessarily must do in every instance. But the Atlantics, like the Athletics, have no one who can do better at second-base then their left-handed men, Pike and Reach, and therefore they have to keep them there.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a direct telegraphic link

Date Sunday, April 24, 1870
Text

Mr. Delaney has connected the Athletic ball-field of Philadelphia with the telegraphic lines of the country, and he is going to send telegrams direct during the playing of the principal matches this season.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Sunday ball playing in New Orleans

Date Saturday, April 30, 1870
Text

The “Reds” are decided in their original idea to not play any games on Sundays [while in New Orleans], although it is unquestionably a fact that were they to play on those days, their exchequer would be replenished to the extent of thousands of dollars.

The people hereaway have become so accustomed to the celebration of Sunday as a holiday, that to get them out during the week is a hard task.

The great Chicago Club has accepted the invitation of the Lone Star Club, and will play their opening game here Sunday, May 8 th, with the Stars. Monday they will play the Lees. Tuesday they expect to be on hand to see how Mace proposes to use up Mr. Allen [an upcoming major boxing match]. Wednesday they will play the Southerns and Thursday play their second game with the Stars.

Unlike the Cincinnati Club, they do not dictate terms, but say, “go ahead and make the best arrangements you can.” Friday they expect to leave for home, the fine weather in the west rendering their proposed four weeks practice here unnecessary. National Chronicle April 30, 1870

The “Red Stockings” have been warmly commended on all sides for their refusal to play ball on Sunday, during their recent trip to New Orleans. Although they lost hundred of dollars by it, they gained what is more to their credit, a reputation for morality, that all clubs visitng the South would do well to strive for. It may be all very well for clubs in their own section to follow the customs, and indulge in out-door sports upon the Sabbath Day, but clubs going from localities where the day is strictly observed have no excuse in breaking the day, for the sake of adding a few dollars money to their purse.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runner put out stealing; intentionally dropped third strike

Date Saturday, April 30, 1870
Text

The Chicago Club have had several practice games... In one game played lately, Craver put out no less than five men by throwing to the bases, and twice made his original double play of dropping the ball on the third strike when a man was on the first.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

why some “social” games are objectionable, but not all

Date Sunday, May 1, 1870
Text

The social games of last season were made objectionable by the fact that the rules were violated in playing men in the nines who had no right to play. The same was the case in regard to the majority of the exhibitions. All that is required in playing these practice-games is that the public shall be fully informed beforehand that they are practice-games and not regular match-games. It should be understood that the new rules only admit of one series of match-games being played between clubs in one season, all others played will be considered merely as practice matches, and of no account as games for average statistics; and, moreover, no bets on such games hold good unless made with the express understanding that they are practice-games.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mutual amateur nine

Date Sunday, May 1, 1870
Text

The Mutual Club have organized an amateur nine and they propose going in for the amateur whip-pennant.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mutuals’ practice regimen

Date Sunday, May 1, 1870
Text

The Directors of the [Mutual] club have adopted the following practice-regulations for the professional nine: The rule is that three substitutes are first put to the bat against the nine, and when these have been put out, the three out-fielders are brought in, the “subs” taking the vacant positions; these put out, they are restored to their original places, and the basemen come to the bat, the subs taking their posts. Again, the pitcher, short stop, and catcher, have a turn at the bat, the subs a third time changing positions, becoming pitcher, short stop, and catcher. In this wise they have two hour’s practice, and there is no flinching from it. It will be seen that the men are in constant play, and never out of position.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Lowell club rooms

Date Saturday, May 7, 1870
Text

The [Lowell] Club has, by the addition of the adjoining room, which has been supplied with water and fitted up for the reception of base-ball apparatus, provided finer accommodations for the members. The larger room has been perfectly put in order; a splendid Chickering Piano has been purchased and placed in it, and provisions have been made for the supply of this room with all the best newspapers and periodicals of the day. The interest of the club in the nines (for there will be two if not more) is such as to make them feel that their efforts to sustain the reputation of the organization is appreciated, and they are thus encouraged to perfect themselves by steady practice.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Cincinnati Club amateur nine

Date Saturday, May 7, 1870
Text

The Amateur nine of the Cincinnati club played the first game on the Union Grounds, yesterday afternoon. They had quite a number of spectators and played well.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a snark about baseball clubs

Date Saturday, May 7, 1870
Text

“To the parent whose son dies in infancy,” says the Louisville Courier Journal, “there must be something peculiarly soothing in the thought that no matter what may be the fate of the child in the next work, it can never become a member of a base ball club in this.

Source ” Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cummings’ pitching

Date Sunday, May 8, 1870
Text

[Stars vs. Mutuals 5/7/1870] The Mutuals found Cummings to be the most difficult pitcher they had ever faced. His dodgy delivery, with his well disguised change of pace, bothered them immensely, only three men of the nine earning more than single bases off his pitching. New York Sunday Mercury May 8, 1870 [The Stars won 14-3.]

[Star vs. Mutual 5/7/1870] Cummings improves in his pitching, and uses great judgment in varying his speed... Brooklyn Eagle May 9, 1870

[Stars vs. Mutuals 5/7/1870] The Mutuals now went in to get square again, but this Cummings was opposed to, and so, using his best judgment, he caused the first three Mutual strikers to give chances for outs on fouls, and all but one were taken, Jewell [the catcher] giving Wolters a life...

...

A feature of the contest was the judgment displayed by Cummings in pitching. He completely outwitted the Mutual batsmen, Martin alone being able to meet him with equal skill in batting. New York Clipper May 14, 1870

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a tie to the runner or the ball?

Date Saturday, May 14, 1870
Text

[Stars vs. Mutuals 5/7/1870] E. Mills was next, and sending a hot ball to Beavens, which he failed to pick up quickly, Mills reached first base as soon as the ball; but Ferguson [the umpire] thought the ball should be favored with the doubt, and therefore he decided Mills out, which was at least an error of judgment, for the rules expressly require that the ball must be held by the baseman before the striker reaches the base, or otherwise the striker cannot be legally be given out.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a “shell battery”

Date Saturday, May 14, 1870
Text

[Stars vs. Mutuals 5/7/1870] As it was evident that the Stars had got the range of Wolter’s delivery, and that they were in for punishing him, the Mutual Captain very judiciously brought Martin in to pitch, and as the noted “shell battery” was placed in position the Stars prepared themselves to face the usually telling fire with the determination to soon silence it.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

“George Wright style” of fielding

Date Saturday, May 14, 1870
Text

[Stars vs. Mutuals 5/7/1870] C. Mills...was beautifully caught out by Dollard in George Wright style.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

varying degrees of strictness from the umpire

Date Saturday, May 14, 1870
Text

[Stars vs. Mutuals 5/7/1870] Ferguson discharged the duties of umpire impartially, and properly observed the rule of calling balls and strikes, through he was not as strict as the rules admit of, though strict enough to prevent wild pitching.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a courtesy runner

Date Saturday, May 14, 1870
Text

[Stars vs. Mutuals 5/7/1870] We noticed that Cummings did not run the bases. Now this is against the rules, no one being allowed to run bases for a player, unless the player is too sick or injured to take part in the game.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the Atlantic Club

Date Saturday, May 14, 1870
Text

Other clubs do not profit by [early season tours], and it is just here that they have the advantage over the Atlantic club. The Cincinnati and Chicago clubs, having a full treasury, can send their nines over the country, while with the Atlantics, with an empty treasury, it is an impossibility. There is no club, occupying a similar position in the base ball world, but what is better situated than the Atlantics. Their players make far less in the season than the players of other clubs, as the membership of the club is small and the members are by no means rich, and they are unable to send the nines out to practice. Under these circumstances, the record of the Atlantic nine is very bright, and great credit it due to the individual members of the nine for the firmness in resisting the tempting offers of rival clubs. The members of the club have thoroughly canvassed the subject, and have reached the conclusion that if they can send the nine out, they can safely venture them against any nine in the country. To the end that a sufficient fund may be acquired, a subscription paper has been started in the club among the members, and friends of the club hearing of the proposed arrangement have come forward and requested to be allowed to contribute. It is thought, therefore, that a sufficient amount to start them will be collected, and the end attained. National Chronicle May 14, 1870

a shutout

[Atlantics vs. Resolutes of Elizabeth] [score 19-0] New York Sunday Mercury May 15, 1870

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

score cards for sale

Date Saturday, May 21, 1870
Text

Edward E. Rice & Co., Printer and Publishers, 5 Hawley St., Boston, have just issued the most attractive Score Card it has even been our lot to see. The front of the card represents a very laughable base ball scene, and also gives room to write the day of the match, etc. On the reverse is a nice arrangement for keeping the score. The price is five cents. The same firm also issues a very neat card which they furnish for three cents. Samples sent on receipt of price and stamp.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the travails of travel

Date Saturday, May 21, 1870
Text

The [Chicago] Club arrived in Memphis, after a hot, dusty, tedious ride by rail from New Orleans, and proceeded direct to the Overton House where a suite of elegant rooms were allotted to them. Not one of the party was feeling well, the change of water since leaving home having begun to show its effect in producing bowel complaint. However, a few hours’ rest, a wholesome dinner, and above all plentiful doses of the brandy and Jamaica ginger, with which Tom Foley the general inspector of the club, was largely provided for such emergencies, sufficient to bring about a better physical condition all around.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

game-fingers

Date Saturday, May 21, 1870
Text

Craver got excused from catching behind, by reason of the on each hand.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Poor planning by the Unions; reserve amateur corps; duplicate membership with a college nine

Date Saturday, May 21, 1870
Text

[Athletic vs. Union of Morrisania 5/13/1870] ...as few were aware of such a meeting the attendance was sparse. The Union nine were not all notified, either; consequently when the Athletics appeared, the Unions could only present seven of their nine... The Unions, however, being determined to keep their engagement, procured the assistance of two of their reserved amateur corps, who also belong to the Fordham College nine, and taking the field with their accustomed pluck, proposed to “fit it out on that line” even if defeat stared them in the face.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a home run to the bleachers

Date Saturday, May 21, 1870
Text

[Athletic vs. Union of Morrisania 5/13/1870] Higham now came to the bat, and putting his “muckle” to the ash, he sent the ball flying to the seats at centre field, and sending home Gedney, scored a clean home run, amidst the wildest excitement, for this score game the Unions a lead by a score of 7 to 6.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Boston Union grounds

Date Saturday, May 21, 1870
Text

For the benefit of the fraternity throughout the country, but more particularly those clubs proposing to visit Boston this season, we desire to state that these grounds, partially graded last year, are now being put in fine order, thoroughly graded and turfed, a new and higher fence, and more width secured. There are seats for 2,000 people and plenty of standing room, also a substantial club house. They have enclosed five acres of land, which are accessible from the heart of the city by horse cars running to and from them every two minutes, and taking thirty minutes only to make a trip. Hammond, the cricketer, is in charge.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sixteen bases on balls

Date Sunday, May 22, 1870
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Athletics 5/18/1870] His [umpire Theodore Bomeisler] decisions were somewhat partial. He called 73 balls on Pabor, and only 33 on McBride; in fact, out of fifteen consecutive balls pitched by Pabor, he gave three men their first base, giving the Athletics sixteen bases in all.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Olympics not to field a nine this season

Date Saturday, May 28, 1870
Text

The Olympic will not present a nine this year. They play only for exercise.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baseball reporter of the Eagle

Date Saturday, May 28, 1870
Text

Mr. T. Walden is the base ball reporter of the Brooklyn Eagle, and he should have the praise accorded by us last week to Mr. Hudson who is we are glad to learn, not tied to the laborious duties of a reporter, he being the City Editor of the same excellent journal. That Eagle swings a strong talon.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

excitement over baseball

Date Saturday, May 28, 1870
Text

The excitement over the National Game out west is at fever heat and our exchanges teem with the most glowing accounts of matches between local clubs, and the movements of the “big guns.” If the Red Stocking announce that they will on a certain day play the crack club of some populous district, the papers in the towns for miles around call attention to the fact, and detail how the people can visit the scene for half fare and witness the “greatest club in the world” play their champions while they speculate as to whether “their boys” will make half a dozen runs. This argues well for the continued prosperity of the game, and nothing tends to increase and keep up the interest so much as the tours fo good clubs. So far from being on the wane Base Ball was never in so flourishing a condition as it is to-day.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

when the umpire can begin calling strikes

Date Saturday, May 28, 1870
Text

An umpire has no right to call a strike on the second ball delivered, if the thirst ball was struck at. The striker must have “repeatedly” refused fair balls before strikes can be called on him.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a home run over the fence 5

Date Saturday, May 28, 1870
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Keystone 5/17/1870] Pabor, the first striker [in the fourth inning], led off with a tremendous hit over the right field fence, making a clean home run.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

charging extra for a premium game: differing opinions

Date Sunday, May 29, 1870
Text

The Atlantic and Red Stockings match is off for the present. The cause assigned by the Atlantic managers is the extra charge for admission made by the Red Stockings. In view of the fact that the grounds could scarcely hold the crowd at twenty-five cents admission, we think the increased fee a politic arrangement. The Unions and Mutuals do not object to it, and we do not see why the Atlantics should. New York Sunday Mercury May 29, 1870

If professional ball-players have any fancy for self-destruction, they cannot more certainly attain their object than by following the course they at present seem inclined to pursue. Base-ball, although styled the National Game, does not possess such inherent attractions as to induce the public to submit to any imposition which it may please a professional club to enforce. We are induced to make these remarks in consequence of the “Red Stocking” having declined to play the Atlantics or any other club here, unless they charged fifty cent admission fee to the ground on the day of the match. Fifty cents do not constitute a very large sum of money, but there are thousands who are regular supporters of the game, and whose quarters are very acceptable on ordinary occasions, to whom the extra “quarter” will make a material difference, when there are four or five games to be witness, and who are therefore to be “left out in the cold” because the “Red Stockings” won’t exhibit at less that fifty cents a head. We highly applaud the resolution of the Atlantic Club, in the present instance, not to accede to the request of the Cincinnati nine: and although there are some persons who wish to insinuate that they have done so for fear of losing the championship, they can afford to treat such opinions as they deserve. The Red Stockings are, no doubt, very fine players, but we don’t know that they are so much better than the players in this little village and the neighboring hamlet of Brooklyn; and when our two crack clubs, the Atlantic and Mutual, meet to struggle for the championship, they are quite content to play with the admission fee restricted to twenty-five cents.

This attempt, therefore, to put the screw on, will, we believe, be resented by the public at large, not only by stopping away from these fifty cent shows, but from the twenty-five cent ones also. Our citizens don’t like to be told that their company is good enough upon ordinary match days, but when a grand field day is to come off, they must stand aside and allow their wealthier neighbors, alone, to enjoy the treat. When the Red Stockings have departed “to seek fresh fields and pastures new,” to whom do the professional clubs and ground owners look for support but to the “quarter dollar” paying public. It is not wise, therefore, to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, and those clubs which have submitted to the dictation of the Western men may find, when too late, they that have practically killed their goose. We trust, therefore, the Atlantic Club will not be induced to rescind their present resolution, and we feel assured they will meet with the cordial approbation and support of the public. An exceedingly fair proposition was made by the Atlantic to the Red Stockings, in respect to the lowness of the charge for admission. They said if the Red Stockings thought that a sufficient sum would not be realized by the twenty-five cent admission fee, they, the Atlantics, would take all the proceeds here, and when they went to Cincinnati to play the return game, on or before the 1 st of October, the Red Stocking might charge what admission fee they thought proper, to their ground, and take the entire proceeds, but this proposition they declined. New York Dispatch May 29, 1870 [The game was in fact played 6/14/70 with fifty cents admission.]

[Cincinnati vs. Forest City of Cleveland 5/31/1870] Over 5,000 people paid the entrance fee of 50 cents to witness the match, and double that amount for seats on the grand-stand. New York Sunday Mercury June 5, 1870

We are led to these remarks with a view of calling the attention of the fraternity of the East to the true position the Cincinnati nine occupy in the baseball world, in order to offset an effort which has been made in one quarter to create a prejudice against the cincinnati Club because of their adoption of an increased tariff of admission fees to their matches. As a professional nine, the Red Stocking have just the same right to increase their admission fee from twenty-five cents to fifty as our professional clubs had to raise their gate money charge from ten cents to twenty-five. Not a word in demur at the increased tariff has been heard in other cities, and it would be a very small business for the wealthy metropolic of this country to inaugurate any opposition to it. In Philadelphia a dollar admission was charged on occasion of a meeting between the Atlantic and Athletic Clubs, and at that price four thousand people entered the inclosed grounds. The fact is, so great is the desire to witness the coming test games between the Red Stocking nine and our c rack clubs, that we have no ground large enough to hold the mass of people which would crowd the field at an admission fee of twenty-five cents; and rather than the stranger club should not have fair field to play on it would be better to charge even a dollar admission. New York Sunday Mercury June 12, 1870

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

criticizing the umpire ought not be permitted

Date Sunday, May 29, 1870
Text

[Eckford v. Union of Morrisania 5/23/1870] We would recommend the proprietors of the various grounds to instruct the policemen to put a stop to the impertinent remarks occasionally made by a few blackguards, who, betting upon the game, insult the umpire by impugning his decisions when they are adverse to their interests. This game was umpired with the strictest impartiality, yet Mr. Meyers must frequently have been annoyed by the coarse remarks we allude to. Such vagabonds ought to be turned out of the ground at once, if they do not know how to behave themselves.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the financial demands of the Cincinnati club on the Atlantic

Date Monday, May 30, 1870
Text

As matter of fact, the demand of the Red Stockings [for a fifty cent admission] is nothing, if not downright impudent. It assumes that the mangers know more about the temper of the Brooklyn public than the managers of the local club does. That the club is grasping and avaricious is seen in the demand first made, that the Atlantics should give them forty per cent of the total proceeds, when they knew that parties, other than the Atlantics, were interested in the management of the Capitoline Ground.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

working the count for a walk

Date 1870
Text

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Atlantic 5/31/1870] ...when [the Forest City] had bravely crept ahead of the Brooklynites, the latter resorted to the mean, barefaced dodge of waiting–taking advantage of the reprehensible leniency of the umpire–to worry the pitcher or get a base on three balls...

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Leech’s delivery

Date Saturday, June 4, 1870
Text

[Atlantic vs. Olympic of Washington 5/23/1870] The game was very close at the beginning, the peculiar style of Leech in turning his back to the batsman, makes his delivery very effective, and also seems to come in swifter than they really do.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute between the press and the Capitoline grounds

Date Saturday, June 4, 1870
Text

We hear strange reports from New York regarding the treatment of reporters who attend the Capitoline Grounds to report the base ball matches. The trouble seems to be caused by the refusal of the New York press to announce a day or two before hand, gratuitously, the match games that are arranged to take place upon the Capitoline, and Mr. Tweed [sic throughout] one of the proprietors, as a sort of retaliatory measure, has told the reporters that he intends to remove the stand devoted to their use, and will show them no more favor. Mr. Decker, his partner does not joint with Mr. Tweed in his movement, which must result in a great depreciation of Capitoline stock. The best thing Mr. Tweed can do is to retire as gracefully as possible from the position he has taken in this matter, for it he persists in withholding favors from the newspapers, he will see his audience growing small and beautifully less.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an amateur club taking gate receipts; a player given a position

Date Saturday, June 4, 1870
Text

In the first place we will here say that notwithstanding the statements to the contrary, the Forest City’s [of Rockford] are a purely amateur organization. It is true that they have an enclosed ground at Rockford, and charge a regular admission fee to all games, and also that they accept their share of gate-money on their present trip; but not one cent of this money goes into the hands of the players. The treasurer takes charge of the fund, and pays from it the expenses of the club trips, and keeps the grounds at Rockford in perfect order. The uniforms and necessary equipments are also purchases with money from this source; but if at any time there is a surplus in the treasure not needed for club expenses, it is given to some charity in their village. Simmons, the only Eastern player in the nine, was once a member of the Empire, Mutual, and Union clubs. He joined the Excelsior club of Chicago three years since, and last season was found by one of the officers of the Rockford club driving horse cars in that city. Simmons was taken to Rockford, a situation in a store procured for him there, and he then joined the Forest City nine. National Chronicle June 4, 1870

sharp umpiring; dodging a wild delivery

[Riverside of Portsmouth, Ohio v. Cincinnati 5/28/1870] The commencement of the game was marked by sharp umpiring, which was needed so far as the pitching of the Riversides was concerned, George Wright and Gould, two heavy hitters, taking their bases on called balls, an occurrence very uncommon with them. Both of them struck fouls repeated and dodged about the home plate very lively in order to save themselves from being struck with the ball. Such a deliverer as Fitzsimmons prolongs a first-class game, and the audience weary of the performer. In this case the promptitude of the umpire in applying the remedy saved us. National Chronicle June 4, 1870

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reporter for the Herald

Date Saturday, June 4, 1870
Text

Mike Kelly of the New York Herald says the new uniform of the Mutuals is no great shakes.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Chicago grounds; orientation of the field; early use of “back stop”

Date Saturday, June 4, 1870
Text

It is located on Dexter Park, near Chicago inside the racing course, where ample space has been set apart for the purposes of base ball. The field is laid out precisely west of the grand stand, and the batting plate will be nearly on a line with, and immediately beyond, the club-house. The diamond-shaped space which the base lines enclose will front to the southwest, which is an admirable arrangement, as the sun will thereby be at the backs of the pitcher, second baseman, short stop, and fielders, and upon the side faces of both the first and third basemen, the catcher being the only player who must squarely face the sun at any time. About sixty feet behind the home plate will be placed the back stop, and directly in the rear, and circling on either side, will be erected the tiers of seats, made somewhat after the style of circus seats, portable, so that the upper tiers may be taken down when the park is used for facing purposes. In addition to these, it is contemplated to construct a low tier of permanent benches around the right and left circumferences of a circle 650 feet in diameter, which is sufficiently large for the purposes of the entire field. Back of these seats will be ample room for carriages around the entire circle. The plan provides for the comfortable and eligible seating of about 12,000 persons. Add to this the carriage room, the balconies of the club house, the ladies’ stand overlooking the race course, and a portion of the grand stand itself, and the total facilities for viewing the game of base ball are such as to provide for an attendance of over 30,000 people. The calculations are on a grand scale, but it is believed that nothing short of the vast provisions to be made at Dexter Park would be adequate for the accommodation of the multitude which will assemble there on the occasion of the contest between the two great stocking nines, the Whites and the Reds. By means of filling, grading, and rolling, together with a complete system of drainage, the surface of the field has been splendidly adapted to the uses of the game. The ground is smooth, level, and compact, and is covered with a fine sward of grass. In fact, the whole arrangement is as nearly perfect as could be desired by either players or spectators. No objection can be urged upon the score of distance, as there is no spot in or about Chicago for reaching separate lines of steam railway, a well-equipped street railroad, and a smooth attractive carriage-way over the entire distance, the five miles between Dexter Park and Chicago, are rendered a very easy, short and comfortable trip.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

comparative drainage at the Nationals and Olympics grounds

Date Saturday, June 4, 1870
Text

[Atlantic vs National of Washington 5/24/1870] Rain fell very hard at 3:30 P.M., and when it was over, their grounds, which are low, were covered with water so as to preclude playing. Hearing of this the Olympics courteously placed theirs at the disposal of the two nines, and the game adjourned across the street. These grounds are higher and well drained; a little sawdust fixed them all right and the game proceeded. New York Clipper June 4, 1870

Bob Ferguson threatens the wrong reporter

[Mutual vs. Eckford 6/3/1870] An event occurred after this game was concluded, which is much to be regretted, as being inimical, in the greatest degree, to the interests of base ball players, by bringing the game into disrepute. Mr. Ferguson, the catcher of the Atlantic Club, feeling annoyed at some comment upon him, which appeared in the Herald on Wednesday last, came up to Mr. Piccot, the representative of the Tribune, who was quietly walking out of the ground, demanding to know if he had written the said report, and threatening at the same time, if he had done so, to knock the teeth out of his head. If base ball reporters are to be debarred from attending to report the games, in consequence of such threats, there will soon be an end of the game of base ball, altogether. If Mr. Ferguson wishes to resent the comments passed upon him in the Herald, he had better tackle the representative of that paper, and not a man who is suffering from illness, and who is perfectly innocent of the matter. New York Dispatch June 5, 1870 [Note: William Piccot died 7/17/1870: see NYSD 7/24/1870.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spectator interference

Date Sunday, June 5, 1870
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 6/2/1870] The Atlantic men complain that the spectators in many cases behaved in a most unruly manner, on several occasions breaking into the field, and in a measure interfering with the play.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a tie game dupe of the public

Date Monday, June 6, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Eckford 6/5/1870] The game between these clubs yesterday resulted in a a tie game, the score was 13 to 13. Inasmuch as there was plenty of time, it is very strange that a decisive innings was not played. The probabilities are, that an opportunity to draw another crowd together at twenty-five cents a head was seen and seized and thereby the public was duped.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a joke about a loud umpire

Date Tuesday, June 7, 1870
Text

[Unions of Laningburgh vs. Atlantics 6/6/1870 at the Capitoline Grounds] Popping a foul over to left field, Wildey [the umpire] determined that no fault should be found with him for not calling out in distinct tones, and shouted “foul” so loudly that Charley Mills, who was playing over on the other ground [the Union Grounds] and had just made a good hit over third base, ran back home and came near being put out before he discovered his mistake. The Mutuals and Eckfords were bothered all through their game by Wildey's loud shouting, and request that on the next occasion he will moderate his tones a little.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

changed attitude about expecting scoring levels

Date Tuesday, June 7, 1870
Text

[Unions of Laningburgh vs. Atlantics 6/6/1870] Many will think that with so large a score [32-31] there must have been much muffing. The contrary was the case. With the exception of two or three bad throws and a couple of dropped flyballs there was really nothing to find fault with. Most of the balls were too hot for an in-fielder to hold, were his hands of iron, and a player who did succeed in holding them and putting a base runner out is deserving of great credit. Thirty-eight clean first-base on the one side and thirty-three on the other will serve to show what the hitting was without further comment.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a late example of the wait game

Date Saturday, June 11, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Atlantic 5/31/1870] ...when [the Forest City] had bravely crept ahead of the Brooklynites, the latter resorted to the mean, barefaced dodge of waiting–taking advantage of the reprehensible leniency of the umpire–to worry the pitcher or get a base on three balls..., quoting the New York Herald 6/1/1870

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bob Ferguson’s leadership style

Date Saturday, June 11, 1870
Text

Ferguson, the captain of the Atlantic nine, was formerly a quiet hard working member of the nine, but since he has been crowned with a “little brief authority” he lords it over his men in an insultingly demonstrative and domineering way that cannot fail to wound the feelings of the nine, make them sulky and indifferent and act against the interests and success of the club., quoting the New York Herald 6/1/1870

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bogus “practice” game

Date Saturday, June 11, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Chicago 6/3/1870] Owing to a previous agreement, which was that the first match played by the Chicago nine with a visiting club should be with the Forest City of Rockford, June 15, it was understood that the contest with the Clevelanders should be technically considered a “practice game”–that is, a game which should not go upon the record. Both clubs were willing to enter into the arrangement, although it was well understood that, should the White Stockings get beaten, they could not shelter themselves behind the plea of a “practice game,” and so with the Forest City.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

balls and strikes not being called

Date Saturday, June 11, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Atlantic 5/31/1870] ...the umpiring from the very first had been marked by a willful ignoring of plainly written rules of the game. Ball after ball, pitched by both pitcher out of the legitimate reach of the bat, were allowed to be delivered unnoticed by the umpire, while the strikers on both sides were permitted repeatedly to refuse to strike at fair balls within their reach.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a questionable call provokes speculation of betting by the umpire

Date Saturday, June 11, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Atlantic 5/31/1870] [McDonald at third, Smith a first, Start at bat, one out, Forest City leading 17-16] ...Start hit a ball to Barnes at short field. Start ran for fifth [sic] base, Smith for second and McDonald ran home. Just at this time, to the surprise of everybody, the umpire declared to ball to be foul. At once Spaulding secured the ball, passed it to Foley at third before McDonald could get back, and Foley sending it back to Spaulding, the latter forwarded it to Doyle, thereby cutting off Smith, the umpire deciding both out and giving the game to the Forest City nine. The reporters, one and all, were astonished at the foul ball decision, as no such impression had been made upon any one by the hit made by Start; but, granting that the ball was foul, the fact that the call of foul was not uttered in the “distinct and audible manner” required by the rules was, to say the least, a glaring error of the umpire's, and it had a disastrous effect on the result of the game of the Atlantics. The Brooklyn Eagle we notice, openly states that the umpire had bets pending on the result, and, if this is the case, the Atlantics ought to bring the matter before the Judiciary Committee. Poorer umpiring we have not seen in a match this season that that of McMahon [of the Mutual Club] in this game...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no unnecessary appeals or fault-finding

Date Saturday, June 11, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Atlantic 5/31/1870] Before closing we have to award to the Forest City nine the highest praise for their quiet, gentlemanly deportment in this exciting contest. Their action in avoiding all unnecessary appeals to the umpire, their quiet acquiescence in every decision, and the plucky manner in which they fought the game up hill against odds, and the absence of all fault-finding for errors committed by their nine, presented an example which both our own clubs and the Philadelphia organizations can follow with profit and credit to themselves.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics attempt to induce Charles Mills

Date Sunday, June 12, 1870
Text

It will be seen, from a card published in our columns, that Mr. Charles Mills has, notwithstanding the extraordinary inducements offer to him by the Atlantic Club, declined to break his engagement with the Mutuals. All lovers of the game of base ball will be glad to find that this attempt, upon the part of the Atlantic Club, to break up the team of a sister club, when the services of its players are most in requisition, and when the efforts of the captain to organize a first-rate nine are possibly about to be crowned with success, has been so signally frustrated.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

switch hitting to avoid the shortstop

Date Wednesday, June 15, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] “Fergy” [i.e. Robert Ferguson] then took the bat, and with commendable nerve batted left hand, to get the ball out of George Wright's hands, took his base and sent Start home.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pearce's peculiar hits

Date Wednesday, June 15, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] Dick Pearce led off with one of his peculiar hits, the ball flying in a tantalizing manner just over Geo. Wright's [shortstop] head. Dick took his base amid loud applause.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

passive use of “flied out”

Date Wednesday, June 15, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] Harry Wright was flyed out by McDonald... [i.e. Wright hit a fly ball which was caught by McDonald]

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fan interference 2

Date Wednesday, June 15, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] It will be remembered that the “Red Stockings” defeated the so-called champions last year by a a score of 42 to 10. They traveled out to the enclosed grounds at Bedford yesterday to play the nine which they had dressed of so finely last season, and the result of the game will, no doubt, astonish very many. Eleven innings were played, and the “Reds” were defeated by a score of 8 to 7. Disinterested parties who were present assert positively that the visitors were obliged to play against the crowd, together with the opposing nine players; that the crowd interfered with them in fielding long hit balls, and that they received nothing like a fair show to win. To the initiated this is not remarkably strange, as the same tactics have been practiced at this place on previous occasions—notably when the Eckfords were playing with the soi disant champion nine last summer. The result of and conduct in this game will revive the interest in the Cincinnati nine, will also arouse a great deal of sympathy for them, which would not otherwise be engendered, and will help to swell the crowds today at the Union's ground in Tremont, and to-morrow at the Eckford's grounds in Brooklyn. New York Herald June 15, 1870

The charge in the New York Herald, that the crowd had beaten the Red Stockings, is a gross outrage, and should be taken as a personal insult by every person present at the ground. Its falsity is found in the fact that the Red Stockings themselves have acknowledged that they were beaten on their merits, and had a fair field to play the game in. The only instance known in which the ball has handled by one of the crowd was in the eleventh inning, when Start hit a ball to right field, which, if it had not been stopped and thrown to McVey, by a person who did it ignorantly enough, too, would have bounded over the bank and among the carriages, surely giving Start his home base, but which prevented him from going only as far as third base. Brooklyn Eagle June 16, 1870

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a suggestion to Baltimore players to practice

Date Thursday, June 16, 1870
Text

With an abundance of practice, such as could be obtained in friendly games once or twice a week, between the Pastime and Maryland Clubs, there is no reason why Baltimore players should not win numerous laurels during the remainder of the season. The petty jealousies that too often exist among base ball players should not be allowed to interfere with the success of our clubs. Practice is all that is needed, and it can easily be obtained in a match game where each side takes an interest in doing its best. The desire to defeat all visiting clubs should actuate our players, and to that end should they work, regardless of the merits of any individual organization over another in our midst. Baltimore American June 16, 1870

The first of what is intended to be a series of practice games came off on Madison Avenue Grounds on Saturday afternoon between the Maryland and Pastime Base Ball Clubs. Baltimore American June 20, 1870

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling for the height of the pitch

Date Saturday, June 18, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Olympic of Washington 6/6/1870] Barnes was the last striker. On coming to the bat he called for a knee ball, and said he would strike at no other. The umpire told him he must strike at all balls within the legitimate reach of his bat. Leech, hearing the discussion, gave him hip, and waist high balls, which, being in his legitimate reach, were promptly called strikes. The third strike was called on the fourth fair ball not struck at. Mr. Foley “chinned” considerably at the umpire, but it is evident to all conversant with the rules that he was correct in his interpretation of them. Mr. Beardlsey's umpiring has been satisfactory to the Athletics, Atlantics, Olympics and Marylands this season, and we think the Forest Citys cannot complain, as the errors of judgment, if any were made during the game, were certainly in their favor.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the headwork of the Red Stockings

Date Sunday, June 19, 1870
Text

No one who saw the Red Stockings play, ever saw one of the nine hesitate for a moment as to where the ball was to be returned; it was invariably thrown in to the man who could make best use of it. Such proficiency is only to be attained by the players studying the points of the game, and using his brains before the ball is struck, and not after. He should make his calculation beforehand as to whom the ball ought to be returned in the event of its being sent in his direction. Much more is required to make a player than the mere mechanical skill necessary to stop a ball well, or to strike it fairly when pitched to him. Hatfield [of the Mutuals] exemplified this on Monday last. He is a good fielder and a powerful batter; yet, when called upon to exercise his judgment, after fielding a ball, he was at sea, losing valuable opportunities of making double plays, by throwing the ball to first base, when it should have gone to second, and so on. With such antagonists as the Red Stockings, or any other first-class team, our clubs must play with judgment as well as with skill.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an infield fly dropped for a double play; short stop playing back

Date Sunday, June 19, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] In the tenth inning on the Atlantic side, after Pike had been caught out, McDonald and Pearce batted finely for their bases, and the one was at first base and the other at second with but one man out and the winning run almost sure of attainment, when Smith sent a high ball to George Wright who was standing back of short-field. George, instead of taking the ball on the fly standing up, stooped down and letting the ball fall in his hands and bound out again on the ground, picked it up, threw it to Waterman, who stood at third base, prepared for the play, and thereby put out McDonald, forced off at third; and as Waterman promptly threw the ball to Sweasy, Pearce was also forced off at second, the double-play ending the inning for a blank. This piece of strategic play, done so coolly as it was, quite took the crowd of partisans back, and it was some time before they could see the point. The play was the finest thing of the kind we ever saw played in a game.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spectator interference 2

Date Sunday, June 19, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] Start...hitting a long ball to right field, which fell upon the side of the bank in such as way as to break its force. McVey went for the ball, and in stooping to get it where it had fallen among the crowd, one fellow jumped on his back. McVey quickly threw him off, and sent the ball into Wright, but not before Start had reached his third. The fellow who made the effort to stop McVey was at once arrested, and it saved him from the crowd, who were indignant at such contemptible conduct.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a poor range factor at short

Date Sunday, June 19, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Mutuals 6/13/1870] A more careless game the Mutuals have not played this season, Nelson not only muffing on several occasions, but appearing as if he were quite indifferent about moving out of his exact position to try and stop a ball. If he is to occupy the position of short stop in future, he will do well to try and copy G. Wright in the same position.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

disagreement whether a game was a practice or a championship game

Date Tuesday, June 21, 1870
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 6/20/1870] On the closing of the ninth inning, the President of the [victorious] Athletic club made his appearance in the reporters' stand, and stated that the game was the second of a regular series for the championship, the first having been won in Philadelphia some time since by the Athletics, by a score of 18 to 13. He further said that he had never understood that these games were to be practice games, had never consented to any such arrangement, and that this view of the matter was held by all the other officers and directors. The Athletics were quite elated over the result, and announced the intention of flying the champion whip on their return to Philadelphia. The Atlantics seemed to be quite taken by surprise at the denial of the Athletics that the games were practice ones, and one and all asserted that one agreement to that effect was entered into prior to the playing of the first game in Philadelphia. The following document was drawn up and signed on the grounds yesterday, and would seem to bear the Atlantics out in their version of the affair.

BROOKLYN, June 20, 1870

We, the undersigned, of the Atlantic and Athletic Clubs, of Brooklyn and Philadelphia, do hereby agree that the first series shall be played as practice games. We do also agree that the second series shall be the regular games, to be played in August or September.

(Signed) For Atlantic – M. Henry, E. Lewis, J.H. Hamilton, Directors

For Athletic – John Abel, Jr., Chairman Board of Directors

This document the President of the Athletic Club refused to sign, and the Athletics claim that it is good for nothing without the signature of the majority of their Board of Directors. The Atlantics claim that Mr. Abel always makes the matches for his club, and that his signature is as good as a dozen.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a sell-out

Date Thursday, June 23, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 6/22/1870] The crowd became so dense all around the enclosure that the sale of tickets was stopped by half-past two o'clock, and the gates closed, except for those that had already procured tickets. The n umber present is variously estimated from 15,000 to 20,000.

Source New York Evening Telegram
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ridiculing a rumored thrown game

Date Friday, June 24, 1870
Text

Throwing the Game.--The Philadelphia Telegraph accuses the Athletics of allowing the Reds to win the game. That's good, to say the least of it.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the choice of the ball

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Resolute of Elizabeth 6/16/1870] Harry Wright presented a Ryan ball for the contest, which has but an ounce and a half of rubber in it; but the Resolutes claimed their right, as the challenging club, to furnish the ball, and they presented one of Peck and Snyder's “bounding rock” balls, though not as lively a one as they had in their previous games. New York Clipper June 25, 1870

[Cincinnati vs. Eckford 6/17/1870] As the Cincinnatis were the challenging club, of course the Ryan dead ball was played with... New York Clipper June 25, 1870

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an attempted triple steal

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Resolute of Elizabeth 6/16/1870] [Ritter at third, Beardsley at second, Campbell at first] ...three men were on the bases and a run was looked for, when the ball was thrown to 2d to cut off Campbell, seeing which Ritter ran for home, but Sweasy [second baseman] promptly returned the ball to Allison [catcher] without attempting to put Campbell out at 2d, and the result was Ritter was put out at home, and the ball being thrown to Waterman [third baseman] to cut off Beardsley a double play would have been the result, but Waterman failed to hold the ball, and Beardsley availed himself of the chance to run home, the scoring of the run being loudly cheered, as the majority seemed to expect that the Reds would serve the Resolutes as they had done the Unions.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the crowd preventing a home run

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Resolute of Elizabeth 6/16/1870] George Wright led off with a hit which, if the ball had not been stopped by an outsider at centre field, would have yielded a home run.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

underhand thrown pitches

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Resolute of Elizabeth 6/16/1870] Farrow caught the underhand thrown balls of H. Campbell very well...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fence jumpers

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Star of Brooklyn 6/18/1870] This game took place on the Capitoline grounds on June 18th, in the presence of a numerous assemblage of the patrons of the game, fully 8,000 people being within the enclosure. A large number of a less reputable class, however, managed to get in some way or other without paying, for not more than 5,000 tickets were sold.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

amateurs have trouble getting away from work early

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Star of Brooklyn 6/18/1870] The Red Stockings, as in every game of the week, were promptly on hand, and were at their posts in the field at 3 P.M. It was half an hour later, however, before the Stars appeared, as they are in business offices, and they are not able to get off as early, or to be as prompt in their attendance on match days as the professional class.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

facing Cummings' delivery

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Star of Brooklyn 6/18/1870] ...as George Wright took his stand and faced Cummings for the first time, the crowd were on the tip toe of expectation to see whether George could hit the Star pitcher's horizontally curved line balls, for it is in the delivery of a ball which curves in or out to the right or the left as it leaves the hand of the pitcher that Cummings' effectiveness as a pitcher lays; combined, of course, with speed, accuracy of delivery and good judgment. “Arthur,” being a dodgy pitcher in trying to out-manoeuvre his adversaries, George waited for the passage of a few balls to see what the pitching was like, and letting some good balls pass him, had strikes called on him; he then settled himself for a good hit, and directly afterwards the ball was sent bounding safely between third base and short stop's position, and George took his base leisurely.

...Waterman and Harry Wright, hitting hastily at the curved line balls, struck [sic: should be stuck out?] it being necessary to watch the ball from Cummings' hands right up to the bat, and not to judge them from the pitcher's hand, as in the case of most swift pitcher.

In the fifth innings the Reds began to get the range of Cummings' peculiar delivery, and, the whole nine going to the bat, they punished him in handsome style for 5 runs, all earned...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitcher should only throw to the bases at the catcher's signal

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Star of Brooklyn 6/18/1870] [George Wright at first base] While there he induced Cummings to overthrow to the base and of course made his second; and again distracting the pitcher's attention, he induced him to deliver the ball wide, and on the passed ball George came home. In this Cummings received a lesson which he should profit by, and that is, never to throw to bases except by signal from the catcher, the being the only effectual method of catching a player napping on a base.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advocacy of a red ball

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Star of Brooklyn 6/18/1870] Jewell followed with a high ball, which Harry Wright could have easily taken had he seen the ball in time, but the sun shining on the white ball dazzled his sight... (We are surprised that the red color of the cricket ball is not adopted by our base ball makers, that being the proper color for a ball.)

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ball stolen by the outside crowd; a livelier replacement ball

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Star of Brooklyn 6/18/1870] By a foul ball [Dollard] sent the lively ball over the fence, where it was stolen by some of the outside crowd, and a new ball was called for. This happened to be a livelier ball than the first, and the Stars, having the first show at it, began to hit it about lively...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielders positioned for the batter

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] Zettlein opened on the Atlantic side, and, sending what would ordinarily have been a safe grounder to right field, he was captured at first by Sweasy's [second baseman] admirable play in judging his hit, the style in which the Cincinnati fielders moved about in the field, according as the different batsmen came to the bat, being a model display. In fact, Harry Wright [center fielder] would at one time be seen playing almost back of second base, while Sweasy would be nearly a first base fielder, and so they changed about, coming in nearer or going out further, just as they judged the balls would be sent by the different batters. It is in the lack of judgment like this that our out-fielders show their inferiority to the skillfully trained Red Stockings.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called ball is dead if hit; an appeal to Chadwick; appeals of rule misinterpretations

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] Brainard sent a ball to Pearce, which was so low as almost to touch the home base, and, seeing that is was a ball to be called, Mills [umpire] called “one ball.” Just at the same moment Pearce hit at it in the hope of sending it safe back of third base, but he sent it instead to the in-field, and the ball was at once fielded to first, McDonald, who was a first, running to second, no effort being made to put him out, as two hands were already out. On judgment being asked, the umpire properly decided Pearce not out, as the ball having been called could not be hit at without being made dead if hit. But he also decided McDonald as being entitled to his base. Seeing this, Harry Wright called “time” and claimed that McDonald had no right to his base, on the ground that the hit called balls are dead, and that neither a player can be put out or a base be run or taken on such a ball. Ferguson claimed the McDonald had a right to take the base. As the umpire had not a copy of the rules by him—all those who are accustomed to act should have—the question was referred to the Chairman of the Committee of Rules who was seated at the reporters' stand, and he at once reversed the decision of the umpire, and stated that no base could be run or taken on a hit called ball, and McDonald was then sent back to first base in accordance with the rules. The crowd not being posted thought the dispute was about a foul ball, and some wanted to know why the umpire did not decide it. But in all cases when any rule of the game is plainly misinterpreted by the umpire, as in this instance, it is the duty of the captain to consult the rules, as was done in this case. In fact the captain of a nine ought never to be without a copy of the season's rules in his possession on a match day.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of fair-foul hitting

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] Pearce was at 1st, which he had reached by one of those “fair-foul” hits, as they are called, viz.: by hitting the ball close to the base so that it bounds to the foul ball ground back of third base...this style of hitting almost always ensuring 1st base, though it is not a showy style of batting...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Trenton grounds a neutral site

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

The Trenton Club, of Trenton, N.J., have purchased six hundred acres [sic] of commons, in the most desirable locality, and are having them enclosed. They are erecting suitable buildings, with a view of making it a permanent institution for clubs of New York and Philadelphia to play on neutral ground, being situated between the two cities. Professional or amateur clubs can make arrangements for the “Trenton” Grounds by applying to the secretary, W. H. Grant, Trenton, N.J.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ferguson's habit of arriving late

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Eckford vs. Atlantic 6/24/1870] The game, on account of Ferguson not appearing till 3:30, did not commence till 3:40. Ferguson has a habit of not making his appearance till after the game has been advertised to commence, much to every one's disgust.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics throw a (practice?) game? the Athletics claim the championship from it

Date Sunday, June 26, 1870
Text

...within a week of their [the Atlantics] grandest victory, their most brilliant and honorable triumph [over the Cincinnatis], they play a game with the Athletic Club of Philadelphia, the result of which has been received throughout the country with a universal shout of derision and contempt. No one who has read any of the reports of the game, can arrive at any other conclusion than that the game was sold; whether the Philadelphians were in the “ring” or not, of course, cannot be proved, but matters begin to assume a very doubtful aspect respecting even them. There was a real, or apparently real “shindy” between them and the Atlantics, respecting the right to fly the champion pennant, the Philadelphians declaring that the last two games were match games, while the Brooklynites, on the other hand, stated they were agreed upon, so far back as April, as practice games. The President of the Athletic Club requested the members of the press to place upon record his emphatic denial of this last being recognized as a practice game, stating that he had documents to prove the correctness of his assertion. A week has elapsed, however, and he has taken no steps to fix the misstatement upon the shoulders of the Atlantic Club. The public therefore are slowly and unwillingly arriving at the conclusion that the game on Monday last one of the Athletics-Atlantic games, in the performance of which they became so notorious last year. Such fizzles as these can have but one result, namely, to prevent all respectable persons from attending at, and being victimized by such exhibitions.

...

[in the article immediately following:] On Monday last these [the Atlantics and the Athletics] played a game at the Capitoline Grounds, the result of which was received with surprise and indignation. That the Atlantics never tried to win was patent to the most superficial observer of the game. In the first place Zettlein’s pitching was not up to his usual standard, and was batted with the utmost impunity by the Athletics. In the second place the batting on the Atlantic side was so weak that throughout the entire game they made a total of only seven bases, while their antagonists made nineteen runes. Such conduct on the part of the Brooklyn club cannot be reprobated in language too forcible. If an individual player be guilty of unfair play, he is brought before the National Convention and he is punished either by expulsion from the Association or suspension for a considerable length of time. Why, therefore, should a club be exempt from such wholesome retribution? When people pay their money to witness a game, they naturally expect to see a contest between the two sides, and not to witness a game willfully thrown away. Such conduct will, however, sooner or later bring its own punishment, as the public will become so disgusted that they will not care to witness any game in which the Atlantic club takes a part. New York Dispatch June 26, 1870

What the Red Stocking nine have done this season–and especially during their recent week’s play here–to give first-class professional ball-playing a well-merited popularity, the Atlantic Club, of Brooklyn, and the Athletic, of Philadelphia, have offset with the proceedings well calculated to have the very reverse effect. The game between the Atlantic and Athletic clubs, on Monday last, viewed in any light the friends of the two organizations choose to look at it, is discreditable to the professional fraternity; f or it was a game carelessly thrown away for some special reason or other by one party, and a contest which the surprising result induced the other side to take advantage of to claim a title by the victory which they know they had no right to claim.

In THE SUNDAY MERCURY, of Sunday last, we called attention to the imposition which was being played on the patrons of the game by the posting of bills on the fences announcing the match in such a manner as to lead the public to believe that it was a regular contest, when the Brooklyn club knew all the while that it was merely a practice-game. In the same paper our Philadelphia dispatches claimed that it was a regular match. So that, despite the public announcement that it was not so, some twelve hundred people were present to witness the contest, and we question where there was ever a more disgusted or indignant party on the field at the close of a game than on this occasion.

...

[a discussion ensues of whether this was a practice or a regular game, including a joint letter confirming it as a practice game, signed for the Athletics by John Abel, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors] This document the President of the Athletic Club refused to sign, and the Athletics claim that it is no good for nothing without the signature of the majority of their Board of Directors. The Atlantics claim that Mr. Abel always makes the matches for his club, and that his signature is a good as a dozen. New York Sunday Mercury June 26, 1870

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a game nullified due to a rain delay

Date Sunday, June 26, 1870
Text

[a letter dated June 22d from Thomas Severn:] I, being the umpire in the game between the Atlantic club, of Philadelphia [sic: should be ‘between the Atlantic club, of Brooklyn, and the Athletic club, of Philadelphia’] at Philadelphia, May 30th, 1870, do consider the game to be null and void, according to the rules of the National Association, it having rained for one hour or more steadily during the game. The game was only played to oblige the Athletic Club, there being a large crowd present on the ground.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Philadelphia crowds

Date Sunday, June 26, 1870
Text

[Athletics vs. Cincinnati 6/22/1870] Philadelphia is, of all cities in the States, perhaps the most easily aroused to a feverish pitch of excitement about anything concerning base ball, and of all the crowds which assemble where base ball players “most do congregate,” a Philadelphia crowd is the most partial and one-sided. Wednesday last was no exception to the rule; from a very early hour in the morning crowds of people were seen wending their way toward the base ball ground, regardless of the time they would require to sit in the broiling heat, and perfectly indifferent as to the possibility of sunstroke, as long as they had the satisfaction of seeing their boys take the shine out of the Cincinnati nine. This, to them, happy and satisfactory result they did not have the pleasure of witnessing, although they did all in their power in the way of encouragement and assistance in the shape of kicking the ball out of the crowd when it happened to be sent there by a Red Stocking batsman, while they offered rather more than a passive resistance to the efforts of the Cincinnatians when they came among them on a leather hunting expedition. There must have been at least 15,000 persons present on the ground, while every housetop, tree, wall, or in fact, any place, no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient, which afforded the slightest glimpse of a Red Stocking, was eagerly sought after and fought for by the great unwashed. Verily, Philadelphia is a great place for base ball.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tossing for the choice of the umpire; an early use of “umpire” as a verb

Date Sunday, June 26, 1870
Text

[Athletics vs. Cincinnati 6/22/1870] The gallant Red Men made their appearance on the field about 2:45 o’clock, but, notwithstanding their timely arrival, the game did not commence for an hour after. This delay was occasioned, as usual, by the Athletics disputing about the choice of an umpire. Harry Wright, the Cincinnati captain, proposed Mr. Glover, of the Empire Club, from New York, and who was perfectly agreeable to the Philadelphians when he umpired their game their game with the Atlantics on Monday last; but upon this occasion he did not meet with their approval–they wanted one of their own school. To this Harry objected, as he had allowed them to have their choice last year, and did not feel inclined to be coerced on this occasion. Finally, however, rather than delay any longer, he agreed, as a compromise, to toss for choice of umpires, and lost, the Athletics choosing Mr. McMullen, a person who had been one of the members of their club a fortnight ago, but hailing now from the Haymakers.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling for judgment on balls and strikes

Date Sunday, June 26, 1870
Text

[Athletics vs. Cincinnati 6/22/1870] Whatever disposition the umpire may have had to act impartially, he certainly had not strength of mind enough to carry out his intention, as whenever he was appealed to by Malone or McBride, and that was nearly at every ball, he called a “strike” upon the Cincinnati batsmen. This system of attempting to surprise, or bully an umpire into a decision, although frequently very successful, is directly contrary to the rules of the National Convention. He is the sole judge of fair or unfair balls, or whether a man has declined to strike at a fair ball, and if he does not voluntarily call either a “ball” or a “strike,” the presumption is he is satisfied as to the fairness of the play.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

gate totals of the Cincinnatis in New York

Date Sunday, June 26, 1870
Text

The following are the appended figures of the number of tickets sold at half a dollar each in the six games of the Red Stockings in this vicinity:

Mutual match on Union grounds..............................7,260

Atlantic match on Capitoline grounds......................5,998

Union match at Tremont grounds.............................2,310

Resolute match at Waverley grounds.......................1,150

Eckford match at Union grounds..............................1,532

Star match at Capitoline grounds..............................4,967

_______

Total........................................................................23,217

This gives a total cash receipt of over $11,508, of which the Red Stockings share was $4,474. This shows how profitable it is for a professional nine to have a reputation for square play.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

junior matches at Central Park: the Central Park champions

Date Sunday, June 26, 1870
Text

The playgrounds in Central Park were captured yesterday by over twenty juvenile clubs. The match which commanded attention was played between the Osceolas and Sioux, being one of the series for the championship of the Park, which the former have held for three years.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind the catcher

Date Saturday, July 2, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] See Harper's Weekly July 2, 1870 for a sketch of the game, showing the . http://digitalcollections.nypl.4a99

Source Harper's Weekly
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a small attendance; male spectators in shirt sleeves

Date Sunday, July 3, 1870
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 7/28/1870] The first of the annual series of games between these clubs was played on the Union grounds, on Tuesday, June 28, in the presence of about 3,000 people, the interest in the matches played by the Atlantic club having diminished of late to a considerable extent. In fact the professional clubs are now beginning to reap the results of the gate-money contests they have arranged of late years, and now, instead of having crowds of 10,000 people at their grand matches, scarcely a third of the number will patronize them. Were all of the professionals’ nines to play to win as the Red Stockings, the Union, and one or two others do, we should see the same interest manifested as ever. But now no one knows whether these big games are to be played on their merits, or for certain objects best known to the club managers, and hence they cease to be attractive. Moreover, the public, after having seen the splendid displays of fielding which playing with a dead ball admits of , as shown in the Red Stocking games, will no longer tolerate the muffin displays which mark the contests in which a rubber ball is used, and in which the main feature is heaving hitting for home runs... New York Sunday Mercury July 3, 1870

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 7/28/1870] The attendance would in all probability have been much greater, had the weather been a little less hot, as it was, between 5,000 and 6,000 persons assembled in spite of the risk they ran from sunstroke, and the inconvenience they suffered from excessive perspiration. ... The ground presented a peculiar appearance, as nearly all the male members of the perspiring humanity were sitting in their shirt sleeves, creeping together wherever they could obtain the slightest shelter from the Sun’s burning rays. New York Dispatch July 3, 1870

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dishonesty or carelessness?

Date Sunday, July 3, 1870
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Atlantics 7/1/1870] Had their [the Unions] reputation not been above suspicion, the many flyballs and catches which their best men missed...would have created a doubt in many persons’ minds as to the honesty of the game. There is no doubt, however, that they always play upon the square, and, therefore, to carelessness must be attributed the many mistakes which have been made.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an attempt at pre-selecting an umpire

Date Sunday, July 3, 1870
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Athletics 6/27/1870] The umpire whom the Unions had taken the wise precaution of selecting previously, and tow hose acting they had secured the Athletics’ written consent, was unfortunately absent, so the Athletics selected their own fancy, Mr Halbach...

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Knickerbockers withdraw from the NABBP

Date Sunday, July 3, 1870
Text

The fraternity will be surprised to learn that the Knickerbocker Club, of New York, has formally withdrawn from the National Association, and that the National Club, of Albany, and other amateur clubs, will shortly follow suit. This action is the most important taken by any club since the organization of the association, and in its results must necessarily have an important bearing on the future interests of the game. The fact is the reputable clubs of the fraternity have become so disgusted with the evils which seem to be inherent in professionalism, that they have at last come to the conclusion that as they cannot control the class in question, to an extent sufficient to keep them respectable and honorable members of the fraternity, they will withdraw from all association with them. Of course this movement of the leading amateur clubs is simply a forerunner of the establishment of a National Association on a strictly amateur footing, one rule of which will be the prohibition of match games with professional nines, and another rule the entire repudiation of every form of professional ball-playing. That the Knickerbockers will soon have plenty of indorsers of their action in other amateur clubs there is not the slightest doubt, so that by next fall the probability is that there will not be a sufficient number of clubs left in the National Association to call a convention, unless the professionals have one of their own.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a live ball and showy hitting

Date Tuesday, July 5, 1870
Text

[Chicago vs. Atlantic 7/4/1870] The play on the occasion was not up to the usual mark of either club. A live ball was on play and heavy, showy hitting was the order of the day, as the large score [30-20] shows.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken bat out

Date Tuesday, July 5, 1870
Text

[Chicago vs. Atlantic 7/4/1870] McDonald broke a bat hitting to Hodes [shortstop], and went out on first.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a last minute demand for a guarantee

Date Wednesday, July 6, 1870
Text

The National Base Ball Club, of Washington, was advertised to play the Pastime on the morning of the Fourth, but as is usual with them, failed to keep their engagement, much to the disappointment of the crowd assembled on the ground. The Pastimes gave them a game in Washington some few weeks ago, with the understanding that they would return the favor on the 4th. They, however, demanded fifty dollars on Saturday night before they would leave the city. This unreasonable request not being yielded to by the Pastimes, they did not come up from Washington, and the umpire, Mr. Lennon, gave the game to the Pastimes. A match afterward was gotten up between the Maryland and the Pastimes... Baltimore American July 6, 1870.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foul balls from the Athletics ground

Date Saturday, July 9, 1870
Text

What a pity the Athletics cannot arrange to have the foul balls returned from Wagner’s lot a little more promptly? The time lost in this way brings contempt on the management of the club. Let it be remedied.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpiring in Philadelphia

Date Saturday, July 9, 1870
Text

On the night of June 24, McMullen, who umpired the game between the Red Stockings and the Athletics, was brutally assaulted, in front of Al. Reach’s store, in Philadelphia, by Berry and Schaffer, of the Athletic Club. Mc Mullen was first ordered out of Reach’s store by the proprietor, and when on the sidewalk the above members of the Athletics “went for him.” This shows to what a low status the Athletics have descended. It shows, too, that any man daring to umpire a game in Philadelphia against the interests of the Athletic Club runs the risk of being brutally assaulting by the betting-ring roughs who run the outside crowd at the Athletic matches. And this is the present condition of the once reputable Athletic Club. What does Col. Fitzgerald say to this outrage? We have had bad umpiring enough here, but we have yet to see the first insult offered to our umpires. Truly are the professionals doing al they can to ruin themselves in the estimation of the patrons of the game. Brooklyn Union.

Reply.–Reach may have ordered McMullen out of his cigar-store; but, we hardly think Berry or Schafer are the men to attack him. Both are peaceable, and neither has cause to set himself up as the fighting champion of the club. Berry is off the nine, and Schafer is there on trial only. The latter was loudly cursed on the Red Stocking Athletic day. We saw this game, and are of the opinion that McMullen’s decisions favored the Athletics. This was unintentional, of course, The young man is honest, and he did his best. The trouble hereabouts is, that McBride will not have a gentleman for Umpire, if he can help it. He fancies it is safer in the hands of some wretched ignoramus, who is Athletic-blind. However, Philadelphia is so thoroughly Athletic, that it would go hard with any one who should make a mistake against the club–the would “take his scalp, certain.” This is all wrong–but, it is true, and it has driven gentlemen from the Umpire’s position. McBride is to blame for this–nobody else. The worthy President, Mr. Kerns, has done and is doing his best, to stop profane swearing and gambling on the ground. Doubtless he will succeed, as Col Fitzgerald did, in banishing these evils. There is imperative necessity for reform.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cummings's delivery

Date Saturday, July 9, 1870
Text

[Star vs. Mutual 7/8/1870] In pitching Wolter's swift delivery was not only surpassed in speed by that of Cummings, but in strategic play did the Star pitcher fully equal even Martin, this being a rare combination of pitching talent in one man. In fact, the play of Cummings in his position as pitcher in this game shows conclusively that he has studied the science of his art, for it was not his speed which troubled the Mutual batsmen, but a command of the ball which enabled him to practically illustrate “how not to do it”--a peculiar power of giving a curve to the line of the ball to the right or to the left, and this is one of the chief elements of his success. Brooklyn Union July 9, 1870, quoted in Elwood A. Roff, Base Ball and Base Ball Players, p.

Source Brooklyn Union
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Clipper's Washington correspondent

Date Saturday, July 9, 1870
Text

Although much has already been written regarding the difficulty between the Stars, of Brooklyn, and the Olympics, of Washington, we make room for the following letter from our regular correspondent... [A letter signed by one “H. A. Dobson, Washington Base Ball Cor. N.Y. Clipper” follows.] New York Clipper July 9, 1870 [note an item later in the same issue about Dobson being struck by lightning.]

[Boston vs. Olympic of Washington 5/5/1871] The umpire finally selected was H. A. Dobson, of the Flower City club of Rochester, who lost a leg in the war, but who moves about nimbly on crutches. He is well known as the base ball editor of the New York Clipper, and as a staunch friend of the Olympics... Worcester National Aegis May 13, 1871, quoting a special dispatch to the Boston Journal

[Boston vs. Olympic of Washington 5/5/1871] There was considerable difficulty in selecting an umpire, but a compromise was finally effected on a department clerk here, who, although he had assisting in getting up the Olympic organization, was not a member of it. Cincinnati Gazette May 6, 1871

[Boston vs. Olympic of Washington 5/5/1871] H. A. Dobson, reporter of the New York Clipper, was chosen umpire. Cleveland Leader May 6, 1871

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Knickerbockers leave the National Association

Date Saturday, July 9, 1870
Text

The veteran Knickerbocker club, of New York, the oldest of the base ball organizations, have officially withdrawn from the National Association. Should other amateur clubs follow this lead, it is questionable whether there will be any meeting of the National Association as heretofore organized this next Fall. Whether this is the inaugural movement for the ultimate organization of a strictly amateur association, we know not, but it has a look that way. It would be greatly to the interests of the amateurs if this was to be the end and aim of the movement.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a gift to a lighthouse keeper

Date Sunday, July 10, 1870
Text

DELICATE COMPLIMENT.–It is said that the White Stockings, of Chicago, recently presented Miss Ida Lewis, the famous Newport heroine, a costly pair of white stockings, fashioned curiously from a rare lace, with the emblems of the great American game elaborately worked over them. The stockings, which were imported at an expense of some five hundred dollars in gold, were accompanied by a very artistically-engrossed certificate of honorary membership in the club, and these verses:

“If these poor stockings mar thy sight,

Drawn o’er they feet so fair,

They’ll blush to find themselves less white

And turn Red Stockings there!

But if thy rosy lips they spy

As kiss them thou may’st deign,

With envy they will lose their dye–

White Stockings once again!”

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an old fashioned club game

Date Sunday, July 10, 1870
Text

AN OLD TIME GAME.–The married and single members of the Atlantic Club had an old-time game on the Capitoline grounds on July 4, which was in many respects as good a batting display as the game of the afternoon, while it was in every way more pleasant and enjoyable.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

mocking the Chicago club

Date Sunday, July 10, 1870
Text

[Chicago vs. Atlantic 7/4/1870] The celebrated Chicago, or $18,000 nine, made their appearance here on Monday last, with the full intention of knocking spots out of our Metropolitan clubs, but although they came for wool they may go home shorn. Their costume is such as one would expect to find among the masquerade dresses in a theatrical costumers–being light blue Knickerbocker breeches, white cotton stockings (at least they were white on Monday last) with white flannel shirts and white caps or hats, trimmed with blue. They look, for all the world, like some of the ballet masters we see at the Grand Opera House.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

putting on their game faces

Date Sunday, July 10, 1870
Text

[Chicago vs. Mutual 7/6/1870] For an hour before the game the Mutual men were sitting in their dressing room, with such an expression of determination on their faces, as is not often seen there, and which boded no good to their antagonists. They talked very little, but, like the parrot, perhaps they thought all the more. They came on the ground like men determined to do or die, and they played the game out in the most solemn style. If it is to be attended with such triumphant success on other occasions, as it was upon this, we would recommend them to continue the same style.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a “short hit” bunt?

Date Monday, July 11, 1870
Text

[Chicago vs. Star of Brooklyn 7/9/1870] Hodes hit one of those short hits close to the home plate, making first...

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletics arguing about choice of umpire

Date Sunday, July 17, 1870
Text

[Chicago vs. Athletic 7/11/1870] As usual, the Philadelphia club insisted upon a Philadelphian as umpire, and this the Chicago captain objected to. Wood named Grum, a good umpire, but rather lenient; but the Athletics would have none but a Philadelphian, and Wood withdrew his nine from the field. Afterward a compromise was had, and Osterheldt of the West Philadelphia club was chosen. The best way to stop this disputing about Philadelphia umpires, is to leave the Athletic Club out of the list of clubs to be played with, then perhaps the loss of dollars and cents, which will result from it, will bring them to their senses. To say the least, it certainly has a suspicious look to see this club always insisting upon their own citizens of umpires. It’s as bad as Troy.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

‘Good and Bad Umpiring’ and time of game

Date Sunday, July 17, 1870
Text

Whenever a game is marked by quick time, say from an hour and a half to two hours, then the umpiring will be found to have been good. The longer the game the poorer the umpiring is the rule.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a colored club victory

Date Sunday, July 17, 1870
Text

The Empire Club, of Utica, a colored baseball organization, visited Richfield Springs on the 13th inst., and defeated the Union Club (white) of that place by 28 to 26.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A line drive home run over two fences

Date Tuesday, July 19, 1870
Text
Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

courtesy runners

Date Sunday, July 24, 1870
Text

[Harvard vs. Cincinnati 7/18/1870] George Wright stepped to the bat... He would have no one run for him this time, and he stood at the home plate alone. New York Sunday Mercury July 24, 1870

An amusing and singular occurrence marked the closing innings of the Mutual and Haymaker match, something, in fact we have never before seen in all our experience. McMullen, who generally has a substitute to run for him, but on this occasion meant to run on his own account, was at the bat; Foran and McGeary were on bases, and when McMullen hit to centre field, the ball was returned to one of the inf-field players to try and prevent either of those on bases from getting home, but in the excitement consequent upon this act it was not observed that McMullen had not run to his base until one of the Haymakers seeing “Mac” standing at ease, called out to him to run to his base. This aroused the Mutes in a moment, but before they could get the ball to E. Mills, McMullen reached his base, amid shouts of laughter. New York Sunday Mercury August 28, 1870

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair-foul past third

Date Sunday, July 24, 1870
Text

[Harvard vs. Cincinnati 7/18/1870] At length he [George Wright] was suited, and striking a “fair foul” past third base took second for himself, and gave home to three men.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cummings’ curve

Date Sunday, July 24, 1870
Text

If, like Cummings of the Star, you can give a horizontal curve to the line of the ball, then you send in a very fatal ball...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

positioning the outfielders

Date Sunday, July 24, 1870
Text

[Athlete of Brooklyn vs. Champion of Jersey City 7/21/1870] We noticed that the out-fielders stood out too far, considering that a dead ball was played with. The rule in out-fielding is not to have any regular positions in the out-field in a game, but to vary your standpoints according to the batsman who faces you and to the style of pitching in the game. With a dead ball the centre-field should cover second base, the left-fielder cover short-stop, and the right fielder act as if he were an outer right-short. If a ball or two goes over your heads, it is only an occasional occurrence, as the average of balls will fall short of the regular out-field positions, as they did in this game.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The knothole gang

Date Sunday, July 24, 1870
Text

[Eckford vs. Harmonic 7/23/1870] Every crack...in the dilapidated surrounding board fence served as a spectroscope to a soiled and ragged small boy, who seemed to be intimately acquainted with the Eckford nine, and correspondingly enthusiastic in their behalf. New York Sunday Mercury July 24, 1870

updating statistical records kept

As the object in giving a detailed score of a game is to give as much information regarding the play, both at the bat and in the field, in as condensed a form as possible, we will for the future publish such scores in a different form to what we have hitherto done. The columns of outs and runs are practically of very little use, as neither forms a criterion of the players’ skill at the bat. For instance, a muffin player may have the luck to obtain his first, or even his second base, on a hit which has been muffed in the field, and get home on a passed ball or an overthrow; while a good player may reach his third base on a clean hit, and, in consequence of the next player’s being put out on a fly or foul-bound ball, he may be left on the base. This would appear in the columns of outs and runs as no “out” and one “run” for the muffin, while it would show one “out” and no “run” for the really good player. By publishing the score, however, as we intend to do after the present week, in games which merit a detailed account, the merits of each player, both at the bat and in the field, will be plainly shown by the use of the columns of “first base hits,” “total bases,” “put out,” and “assisted.” In this way will be exhibited the number of first-base hits each player has made, the full number of bases he has made, when his hit game him more than the first base, the number of his opponents he has put out, and the number of times he has assisted in putting one out. By so doing, we think we will enable our readers to form a better and more correct appreciation of the play than has hitherto been the case. New York Dispatch July 24, 1870

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

consternation over a called strike after swinging strikes

Date 1870
Text

[Athletic vs. Cincinnati 7/27/1870] George Wright...was retired on three strikes, the third one being called on him after he had shown his willingness to strike at a good ball by making two ineffectual attempts. A strange decision, and a mystery to the audience.

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

only one shutout on record before the Chicago game

Date Wednesday, July 27, 1870
Text

[regarding the Mutuals shutting out the Chicagos] ...[the Chicago club] have achieved an honor at the hands of the Mutuals that no other club has been thought worthy of. But one other such game is on record.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called third strike to determine the game; bullying the umpire

Date Sunday, July 31, 1870
Text

[Athletics vs. Cincinnati 7/27/1870] [ninth inning, two outs, Cincinnati behind in the score:] George Wright allowed two strikes to be called upon him, and McBride’s “heady” pitching was curtailed by an equal number of balls. One more, two more balls at most, were pitched, when Malone, passing th ball to McBride, that Hector of the National game, running in on the striker, put the ball on him, and said: “How is that on three strikes?”

“Out,” said the immortal and nervy man addressed, and the game was won by Philadelphia.

The crowd were ready to cheer the victory of the Athletics, as they had cheered their good plays, but so few understood the decision, and so many were disgusted with it, that the applause was not uproarious.

...

The feeling on the streets and at the crowded Gibosn House, last night, was one of intense regret, not that the Red Stockings had been beaten, but that the umpire had not allowed them to be beaten on their merits. We heard one disgusted individual say: “If George had a mind to strike out, why didn’t Boake [the umpire] let him do it? If he could send McVey in, why didn’t the umpire give him a chance to do it?

...

We approach this subject with reluctance, and only because it was a matter of public discussion everywhere last night. We do not lay much stress on the story–though we have good reason for thinking it true–that Mr. Boake was selected for the position by the Athletics before they left Philadelphia, through the correspondence of a staunch friend of theirs, for we give to him and to every man who accept the thankless task of umpiring as we give to every baseball player of every nine, credit for honest intentions, until the reverse is proved. Neither do we find fault with his discrimination in favor of McBride’s pitching, nor any decision except one, for his honestly in the premises no man has a right to question, but this we do say, that any man who would allow himself to be Hectored into such a decision as his last by Dick McBride, or any one else, is not fit to umpire a fist-class game of baseball., quoting the Cincinnati Enquirer

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early use of “Chicagoed”

Date Sunday, July 31, 1870
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Haymakers of Troy 7/27/1870] ...the Unions, nothing daunted, took a strong lead in the second inning by putting on no less than three runs, while they Chicagoed their Trojan adversaries.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

snark about the Chicago shutout

Date Sunday, July 31, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Chicago 7/23/1870] We communicated the result of this game to the Dispatch last Sunday; but as no comments respecting the game could be made, and many persons fancied the game, from the score being 9 to 0, was forfeited, and not played, we append the following...

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the seating capacity of the Chicago ball park

Date Sunday, July 31, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Chicago 7/23/1870] Between 5,000 and 6,000 people assembled to see [the game]. Thanks to the liberal expenditure of greenbacks and pine lumber on the part of the managers of the Chicago Club, all these people found comfortable and eligible seats. There was room for as many more, and it was only owing to the great heat of the afternoon that the seating capacity was not pushed to its extremity. The present arrangements are admirable in every respect, and are vastly superior in extent and quality, to those of any base ball ground in America., quoting the Chicago Tribune

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick reporter at the Tribune

Date Monday, August 1, 1870
Text

Mr. Henry Chadwick, better and more widely known than any other man connected with base ball in this country, has resigned his position upon the Union to take charge of the base ball column of the Tribune—a position lately made vacant by the death of Mr. William J. Piccot. Mr. Chadwick has been with the paper from which he has just resigned for six years, for the three years previous he was connected with the Eagle, and previous with the City News, now deceased. Since the earliest days of the game he has been known in the foremost ranks, battling for its improvement and moral character. A man taking the advanced grounds he has invariably taken will bring upon himself the ill feeling of those less progressive and disposed to injure the good character of the game for their own personal ends. That Mr. Chadwick has been so fortunate as to win the ill regard of only the worst classes connected with base ball is the best commentary upon his course. How much the progress of the game is due to him will be told hereafter. On severing his long connection with Brooklyn journalism the best wishes for his future success go with him.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire not calling balls and strikes; pitcher throws at him

Date Thursday, August 4, 1870
Text

[Pastime of Baltimore vs. Mutual 8/3/1870] Charlie Hunt, of the Eckfords, acted as umpire, and reminded us of one of those wooden images we see placed before cigar stores, for, although McDonald and Wolters pitched wildly, only six balls were called on the former, and two in the latter; while, strange to relate, not a strike was called on the strikers, although they had fair balls repeatedly.; this was the means of Wolters getting off a good joke on friend Hunt. Walters [sic] was pitching very steadily, but not a strike would Hunt call; Ryner [i.e.Reinder Wolters] got quite vexed and pitched one almost direct to the umpire; Charlie jumped aside, when Walters said: --”Oh! I thought you had gone to sleep, and wanted to wake you up!” This was well-times, causing the hearty laugh of all within hearing, and should be placed on record. Charlie Hunt don't umpire another game! Brooklyn Eagle August 4, 1870 [note: time of game two hours]

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

finding a catcher for Cummings

Date Friday, August 5, 1870
Text

[regarding an upcoming picked nine match] The great novelty of the affair will be the catching of Ferguson, to Cummings' pitching. It has been a common saying, that had Arthur a catcher upon whom he might rely, so he could let himself out when he choose, he would be far more effective than now, and would cast into the shale all the pitchers of the period; for that reason, Fergy, with his characteristic good nature, kindly volunteered his services, if Arthur preferred. The “boy” was willing, and will do his best, knowing if Rob cannot catch for him, no one can; so look out for squalls, for Arthur has let all the reefs out, and will enter the match under full sales, with colors flying. Brooklyn Eagle August 5, 1870

The game was beautifully played, hardly an error being accounted, as the appended score will show. Arthur pitched with rare skill and judgment, while Fergy backed him in a style to bring forth comment of applause from all; indeed, neither Arthur nor Bob ever did better; the former seeming to know that Rob would do his best, and placed implicit faith in him, while Robbie determined that if defeat perched upon their banners, it would not be the fault of Robert Ferguson. Brooklyn Eagle August 8, 1870

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

choosing the ball

Date Sunday, August 7, 1870
Text

[Pastimes of Baltimore vs. Unions of Morrisania 8/2/1870] Previous to the game a rather boyish dispute arose between the directors of the clubs as to which should furnish the ball; the Pastimes claimed the right on the grounds of their being the challenging club, the game being one of a new series; whereas the Unions claimed that it was the return game. The best way of arranging a series of matches is to have it down in plain black and white as to the character of the contest, whether practicing or regular, first or return games. As both presented dead balls it was a matter of indifference which ball was played with, but the Pastimes, being the visiting club, under the circumstances courtesy demanded that they be allowed their choice. Had it been a question of the use of a lively or a dead ball then it would have been different. Finally, when the question was narrowed down to the point of either allowing the Pastimes to play their ball or to return the gate-money, they were given the choice of the ball, and then the Pastimes gave up their claim and the white ball was played with. In consequence of the delay, the game did not commence until 4 P.M.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

outfielders tardy about trying for outfield assists

Date Saturday, August 13, 1870
Text

[Harvard vs. Atlantic 8/12/1870] One reform we notice Ferguson is trying to make in the outer-field, and that is a quick return of the ball when caught on the fly. A majority of fielders, when in luck, seem loath to give up the ball immediately, holding it so long that when they do throw it in, there is no chance to put a man out running home. Now yesterday, there were chances to do this, but the out field on both sides did not throw in on time, so the man got in, though one had a close shave. Rob should insist upon this point, as it is an important one.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reduced attendance from the old days

Date Sunday, August 14, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 8/9/1870] The attendance showed a large falling off from the numbers who used to be attracted to these contests, not quite four thousand people paying the entrance fee on this occasion while on the occasion of the return match between these clubs on the Capitoline grounds three years ago fully 12,000 people were present. Of course this is the penalty all professional clubs will have to pay who sacrifice their prestige of invariable success and of always going into win, to the poor policy of playing solely for gate money receipts. By “practice matches” and “social” games, together with allowing first or second games to go by default in order to have third games, the Atlantic club have so lowered their playing status as to have ceased to be attractive to hundreds of people who used to consider their contests the only matches worth seeing. For every dollar they have made by the policy they have adopted the past three years they have lost ten by means of their lost prestige of invariable success, and an earnest effort to win every game they played. The Cincinnati club have showed that fair and square dealing with the public is the only style of professional playing which really results in pecuniary profit, while of course it is the only honorable method of transacting base ball business. Let us hope that the lessons taught them this season have induced them to change their policy to that adopted by the Red Stocking managers. If so, they will soon realize the benefit from it in a restored reputation and largely increased pecuniary profits.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the batting team tossing the ball for practice

Date Sunday, August 14, 1870
Text

[writing of a new ordinance in Hoboken] By the new law, as stated by the police after much questioning, two balls must not be used on one ground, that is, if the men at the bat, as always been customary, should, awaiting their turn, throw another ball around for practice, they are liable to arrest, and will be fined according to their apparently ability to pay, although in uniform, and upon their own ground.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how captains respond to muffs

Date Sunday, August 14, 1870
Text

[regarding Bush, the captain of the Harvard nine:] His behavior toward his men when unfortunate enough to make an error in the field, was very generally commented on and approved by the spectators, the system of bullying usually adopted by captains under such circumstances, being totally discarded by him, and a few words of encouragement to try and do better next time, substituted instead. Unlike many other captains, he does not think that his men muff on purpose, and that a good bullying in public, will steady their nerves for the next chance they get. Many an otherwise good player has been rendered perfectly unfit to play from nervousness, in consequence of being bullied and sworn at by his captain for dropping an apparently easy fly.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpires still not calling balls and strikes, to the advantage of bad pitchers

Date Sunday, August 14, 1870
Text

[Harvard vs. Atlantic 8/12/1870] Mr. Hatfield was elected umpire, and although he gave general satisfaction, he seems to suffer, like many others in a similar position, from a disinclination to call “balls” or “strikes,” as the rules direct. It is only fair to a good pitcher, that the rule should be strictly enforced, otherwise an immediate and decided advantage is given to the side whose pitcher is not so careful or effective. ... [The umpire] is not there to give his idea on the subject, but to fulfill his duties as prescribed by the rules of the convention.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

theoretical vs. practical knowledge; an early use of “father of the game”

Date Sunday, August 14, 1870
Text

[a reporters nine vs. St. George CC 8/10/1870] ...strong in their knowledge of the points of the game, they felt sanguine of being able to reduce it to practice; but they found it much easier to criticise the game than to play it. The “Father of the game” worked like a beaver in the first inning, and gave his “little ones” the very best advice; but this, like most parental instruction, when not backed up by the force of example, had not a very striking effect. New York Dispatch August 14, 1870 [The box score confirms Chadwick as the catcher.]

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the color line

Date Monday, November 14, 1870
Text

The Colored Club Question.--There is considerable unnecessary agitation in base ball circles concerning the admission of colored clubs by the National Association of Base Ball Players. The fact that they are not so allowed will place outside the Association a bone of contention, and none but political agitators will raise the question.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed championship tourney

Date Monday, August 15, 1870
Text

The Atlantics, Mutuals, Athletics and Red Stockings have proved themselves to be the best ball players in the country. While the Red Stockings are East, let us settle the question. Let the Atlantics and Athletics throw thei4r claims into the balance, and meeting on the Capitoline Ground (the best in the country) let the four clubs play a week, and the victor of the week's play be proclaimed the champion club, and provided with a symbol which it will retain.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed professional nine

Date Sunday, August 21, 1870
Text

The managers of the Maryland nine, having become sick of the numerous defeats sustained by their nine, have disbanded their professional team, and for the remainder of the season they will play local amateurs. Next year a rousing Baltimore nine will be organized.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the captain should not be the first baseman

Date Sunday, August 21, 1870
Text

They [the Forest City of Cleveland] have made a serious error in electing Carlton as their captain, not because he does not possess the necessary knowledge of the game and its most difficult points, but that the position he fills in the field, first baseman, is one in which his attention is to fully occupied that he cannot act with that coolness which the duties of a captain require.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Al Pratt’s delivery

Date Sunday, August 21, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Atlantic 8/15/1870] When Pratt began pitching, his style was so elaborate, and apparently requires so much physical exertion, that the general opinion was, he would not last. In this respect, however, the spectators were mistaken, as he continued to pitch in the same style, and as swift, from the first to the ninth inning.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cummings’s pitching: twelve strike outs; sixty day rule does not apply outside Association

Date Sunday, August 21, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Star of Brooklyn 8/20/1870] We have on previous occasions stated our opinion that Cummings was literally and figuratively the Star pitcher of the States, and our opinion was confirmed yesterday. Had the reputation oft he Forest City Club depended upon their game with the Stars yesterday, they would have been set down as rank duffers, twelve men out of twenty-seven being “struck out.” It certainly was most amusing to see batsman after batsman go up to the home plate and have three strikes called upon him. Had Cummings been properly supported in the field, the Forest City nine would have been Chicagoed eight innings out of nine, the fourth being the only inning in which his pitching was batted, and in that they earned three runs. The Clevelanders themselves were obliged to laugh at the ridiculous figure they cut at the bat. New York Dispatch August 21, 1870

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Star of Brooklyn 8/20/1870] The Stars presented a new nine, with a new catcher... In view of the ambitious desire of their young pitcher to excel in speed, a new catcher became a necessity, as Jewell, though he has played finely in the position, was regarded by the nine as a bar to their success... By good fortune, Hicks, the late catcher of the Washington Nationals, became disengaged in July, and the Stars got him to join them, and as the Forest City club are not in the Association, they placed him behind in this game, in order to allow their pitcher full swing in his pace. ...

The game was commenced at 4 P.M., with the Forest City nine at the bat, and at once a regular old fashioned display of swift pitching marked the contest, the manner in which the Blue Stockings retired from failures to hit the ball reminding us forcibly of the days of Creighton’s play in 1860, when the same style of thing used to be seen when he and Leggett faced each other in the Excelsior nine. ... Cummings went in entirely for speed and showed less judgment in his delivery than in any previous game of the season, he depending solely on his pace. New York Clipper August 27, 1870

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

confusion about a courtesy runner

Date Saturday, August 27, 1870
Text

[Haymaker vs. Mutual 8/26/1870] Foran was on third and McGeary on first, McMullet struck a beauty to the centre bringing Foran in and Mac to third, but Eggler throwing badly to third Mac came in, but in the meanwhile McMullen was standing with the boys, thinking someone was running for him. Everett Mills [first baseman] called for the ball, Charlie Mills threw wildly to him and Mac got to second, and when he reached there so comical was the expression of his face that all hands had a general laugh at him which Mac did not relish.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

switching balls

Date Sunday, August 28, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Mutual 8/24/1870] The ball was furnished by the Mutual Club, it being their right, and they selected what they thought was a dead ball, but it was soon found the reverse, and after scoring seven runs by knocking it bounding over the field, it was changed for a dead ball, the Forest City nine getting but one inning’s play with it at the bat, while the Mutuals had two.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a discussion of underhand throwing

Date Sunday, August 28, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Mutual 8/24/1870] James White did not remain long in the pitching department, the umpire [Chapman] ruling him out for throwing. A word or two about this throwing business before we continue. Let any ball-player take a ball in hand, and, keeping his arm perfectly straight, and swinging it perpendicularly, or, in other words, let him deliver the ball by a square pitch, and not by an under-hand throw; and having done this and noted the pace of the ball so delivered, let him send the ball by means of a well-disguised under hand throw, or half jerk, and he will then realize the fact that there is not a swift pitcher in the country who does not get his speed from under-hand throwing. James White’s deliver in the games he has pitched in here does not differ in the least from that of Cummings, of the Stars; Wolters of the Mutuals; Pabor, of the Unions; or, in fact, any of the number of our swiftest pitchers. No such pace can be got out of a really square-pitched ball. Creighton inaugurated this style of delivery, and since his time really fair pitching has been rarely seen on the ball-field. The rules, it is true, prohibit throwing, but the difficulty is in being able to define what is an underhand throw. We can readily rule out an overhand throw, or a palpable jerk, but where is the authority competent to perceive this well-disguised underhand throwing of the ball; and, after all, this underhand throwing business does no harm to the game. In effectiveness against skillful batsmen the swiftest pitching–or underhand throwing in reality–costs more than it yields. But few catchers can support it, and what with missed chances of foul tips and passed balls, and the impossibility of putting out players from throwing to bases from it, it does not begin to pay as well as strategy in pitching. To be consistent, the next time Chapman set as umpire he should rule out every swift underhand throwing who faces him, for it White does it all our swift pitchers do it.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

doubtful catches should go for the batter

Date Sunday, August 28, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Mutual 8/24/1870] [James White] sent a high ball to right field, and as Martin ran in for the ball, picked it up close to the ground–many said off the ground–and appealed for the catch by holding up the ball and calling out that he had caught it on the fly, the umpire decided the striker out. ... In regard to the decision on the catch made by Martin, it was very plainly manifest that it was next to an impossibility for the umpire to have seen whether the ball was taken on the fly or the bound; and as for the appeal, a fielder in taking balls on the run so close to the ground is himself very apt to be deceived. At any rate the doubt involved should have led to a decision in favor of the batsman, for unless the player is really and plainly put out all doubts go to his favor; that is the spirit of the rules of the game.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

deliveries of various pitchers

Date Sunday, August 28, 1870
Text

All distinguished pitchers are eccentric. McBride invariably carries a straw in this mouth, and before delivering the ball makes a deeply suggestion motion at Reach. Spaulding, of the Rockfords, clenches the ball in both hands, raises it to a level with his eyes and over the upper portion of its periphery cautiously eyes the third-base man. Burns, of the immaculately-hired Chicagoes, nearly disjoints himself at every delivery, while even Henderson, of the Intrepids, works his leg as though trained to the tread-mill. Not so with Pratt. Fitting the ball tightly in his right hand he draws his arm rapidly back, whirls it so rapidly that it flickers before the eye like the spokes of a fast turning wheel and then with a forward lounge [sic: probably ‘lunge’] sends it to the batsman with the velocity of a cannon ball.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a member of a contesting club is chosen umpire

Date Sunday, August 28, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Haymakers 8/26/1870] There was quite a delay in the commencement of the proceedings, occasioned by a difficulty in the selection of an umpire, the Haymakers refusing the services of Grum because he did not enforce the rules strictly. They finally agreed to John Wildey, who is becoming quite a desirable umpire...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Union and Capitoline grounds in a bidding war

Date Sunday, August 28, 1870
Text

The spirit of rivalry between the proprietors of the two inclosed ball grounds of Brooklyn which this season has prevailed to an extent which has led each party to use their utmost influence to monopolize the first-class contests of this season, last week culminated in a regular match for the championship between them Boss Cammeyer and brother Lewis on the one hand, and bosses Weed and Dicker and the Cleveland brothers on the other. The “little game” played resulted as follows: Boss Cammeyer had managed to secure an agreement from the Forest City and Mutual Clubs to play their home-and-home games on his ground, though the customary rule requires that all home-and-home games should be played on neutral grounds. Like English neutrality, however, self interest too often nullifies the rule, as it did in this case, Cammeyer’s offers tempting the Cleveland managers to give up their right to play on a neutral ground. Harry Cleveland, of the rival house, did not see this thing, however, in the same light as Cammeyer, and so he goes ten percent better on Cammeyer’s offer, and receives the match, the Forest City manager going back on his agreement, so it is alleged. Well, the festive William feeling sore over his defeat in the first game of the championship series, make the preparation to win the second and in order to do so he offers the Atlantic and Mutual Clubs the whole of the proceeds at the gate if they will play their match on his grounds. This offer was met by another from the other side which consisted of a premium. Seeing this, William offered to fill out a premium check to any amount the two clubs would name, as he was bound not to be beaten. Billy McMahon, however, thought it was best to let well enough alone, and so, refusing to take the advantage of the excitement between the rival houses to the extent he could have done, he chose to settle the dispute by tossing up a copper, and this was done on Thursday night in the presence of the respective managers and ground proprietors; and as McMahon won the toss the match is to be played on the Mutual grounds, and the proceeds at 50c admission is to be shared between the two clubs, Boss Cammeyer being content to have the game played on the Union grounds without his receiving a cent. Of course there will be a third match to settle the question as to which will secure the Athletic and Cincinnati home-and-home game, though there is a rumor that this is to be played at Tremont, which field the two clubs can secure at a mere nominal outlay. ... As it stands now, the professional clubs look on with quiet pleasure, as they monopolize all the profits, they being the masters of the situation; when, by proper management the ground proprietors would have had the upper hand. By and by both parties will see the folly of their ways, and should wisely agree upon a compromise, as they have the full power to do, there being but three inclosed grounds in the metropolis–viz., the Captioline, Union, and Tremont ball grounds. Why not have a meeting of the three parties and agree upon stated terms for next season?

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a forfeit for an ineligible player, followed by an exhibition game

Date Sunday, August 28, 1870
Text

The Stars went to Waverly on Thursday, to play the Amateurs, of Newark. Circumstances forcing them to play Hicks in their nine, they presented a ball to the Jerseymen, and afterward played an exhibition game, when they polished off the Jerseyites to the tune of 42 to 13.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fifty-cent match

Date Tuesday, August 30, 1870
Text

[Athletic vs. Mutual 8/29/1870] The proprietor of the Union Grounds tested the popularity of the game of base ball yesterday by charging fifty cents for the privilege of witnessing a contest between the Mutual Club, of New York, and the famous Athletic Club, of Philadelphia. The experiment was a great success, as four or five thousand people were present—the interest felt in the result of a game between these two clubs being extraordinary.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

earned runs

Date Tuesday, August 30, 1870
Text

[Athletic vs. Mutual 8/29/1870] ...through some awful muffs and bad throws on Nelson's part the Athletics scored three runs, not earning one. … [The Mutuals] made the most bases, earned the most runs, and did the best batting, but alas! They also did the most muffing, and thereby lost the game.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

facing Martin's pitching for the first time

Date Friday, September 2, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Eckford 9/1/1870] In the sixth inning, Martin went to pitch... This was quite a novelty to the Eckfords, most of them never having faced Phonny before, and it was quite amusing to see them try to hit him.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire reversed a call, resulting in an out

Date Sunday, September 4, 1870
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Mutual 9/3/1870] In the fifth inning Mr. Hatfield showed a very bad example by loudly and vulgarly disputing the umpire’s right to correct his decision, and manifesting a desire to know “what the –– was the use of an umpire.” The point in dispute was this: Eggler was at the bat, Hatfield on first base when Pabor pitched a ball at which Eggler struck, on the impulse of the moment the umpire called one strike, but hearing the ball tip the bat he shoulted “foul, out.” Birdsall then sent the ball to Pabor who threw it to Bearman, putting Hafield [out] who had run to, and was standing on the second. But this did not suit Mr. Hatfield who, while stealing to second base, heard the impuls[ive] shout “one strike,” and on the strength of the idea that he could bully the umpire into the belief that he could not recall his decision proceeded on the second and found himself out at above.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

doubtful decisions should go to the runner

Date Sunday, September 4, 1870
Text

As for giving decisions in favor of the ball in doubtful cases, the very reverse is the rule of the game; for in baseball, as in law, the judge is not justified in regarding a man as guilty unless proved so, and so in baseball. He, therefore, has no right to decide a man out until he is plainly out. New York Sunday Mercury September 4, 1870

Western clubs hippodroming?; the Red Stockings without George Wright

It is a noticeable fact that the Atlantics have lost every return game of the series played on their tour except the one which would have lost them the championship. Every other game they won with ease, witness their games with the Amateurs, of Chicago, and Niagaras, of Buffalo.

The defeat of the Red Stockings by the Chicago nine shows how unprepared the former were to sustain their high reputation, the absence of George Wright weakening them greatly. This defeat only shows more clearly that their victory over the Atlantics was of the same character as those in Chicago and Cleveland.

It would almost appear from the results of games recently played out West, that the Brooklyn policy of letting first or second games go by default, in order to insure third games, is being adopted by Western clubs. It is either this, or else that the Chicago Club is really looming up as the crack club of the country. New York Sunday Mercury September 11, 1870

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

first game umpired according to the rules

Date Sunday, September 18, 1870
Text

[Eckford vs. Mutual 9/14/1870] This was the only game which has been properly umpired this season, that is to say, umpired in exact accordance with the rules in this district, and Mr. John Goldie, of the Union Club of Morrisania, was the person who discharged the duties so efficiently.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Leech of the Olympics throws a tantrum

Date Sunday, September 18, 1870
Text

[Olympic of Washington vs. Mutual 9/13/1870] The disgracefully childish conduct of their [the Olympics] pitcher, Leech, tended in a measure also to deprive them of confidence in their own exertions, although few persons can be of any other opinion than that the loss of his services (?) Was an actual advantage tot hem. This leech is one of the worst pitchers we have seen with any nine which had the slightest pretensions to a first-class reputation, and, inasmuch as he is inferior to men like Wolters, Zettlein, Cummings, &c., &c., so is he correspondingly conceited. To hint, therefore, that he is an inefficient pitcher, is to wound him in his most sensitive point; what, therefore, must have been his feelings when, after the second inning, in which the Mutuals had scored 14 runs alone, Ewell, the catcher [of the Olympics] remarked that the pitching was so wild, he would require a long bat to enable him to reach up and stop the balls. His feelings could not find expression in words: choked with emotion, he could merely gasp out, “I–won’t–pitch–any mo-o-ore.” The officers of the club remonstrated with him upon such a course, as it would make the nine look like fools in the eyes of the large number of spectators who were present; they begged him to go on for this game, and he could then vent and redress his grievances afterward. He was apparently satisfied, and, taking up his bat, went forward to the home-plate, to be in readiness to strike. When it came to his turn, however, he turned tail, and walking back to the reporting stand, informed the treasurer and the other officers of the club that he would not play at all. Although these gentlemen were naturally indignant at such outrageous conduct, and the other members of the nine felt ashamed that they had such a poltroon among them, they did not appear to fearfully appalled by Mr. Leech’s declaration as he had anticipated. Glen, the sick man, who was to have had a rest, was put in in place of the Leech, and Frank “Strong” pitched. So well did he perform with the ball, that the “Mutes” were got out in the next four innings for four runs, and wonderful improvement from 14 runs in one inning. This made the Leech rather sick as he sat sulkily watching the game in front of the reporting stand. If, therefore, the officers who have the direction of this club allow Mr. Leech to play in their nine again, they will have themselves to blame if he again serves them such a scurvy trick.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletic growling

Date Sunday, September 18, 1870
Text

The Athletic nine is unquestionably one of the strongest nines in the country. They are all good batsmen and sharp fielders, and McBride is one of the most successful pitchers there is, and it is evident, therefore, they possess all the elements necessary to constitute a first class team, and to conquer whom must be a task of no little difficulty. Unfortunately for them, however, they are such a set of inveterate growlers and fault-finders, that they, unless in Philadelphia, very seldom carry with them the sympathy or good wishes of the lovers of base ball in any city which they may visit.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher Charlie Mills takes a foul tip to the eye

Date Sunday, September 18, 1870
Text

[Athletic vs. Mutual 9/15/1870] In the beginning of the second inning, an accident occurred to that general favorite, Charlie Mills–the ball tipping off McBride’s bat, and inflicting a fearful smash upon Charlie’s eye, which it completely closed in a very few seconds. The game was delayed for a few minutes to see whether he could resume his position or not; but although he came up to the mark very pluckily, he found it was impossible to continue, the sun shining full in his good eye, and entirely preventing him from seeing the ball. He therefore retired, and Billy McMahon was put in to make up the nine. A consultation was held among the Mutes, the result of which was that Hatfield took Charlie’s position behind the bat, while Eggler played short stop, and McMahon centre field. ... When Billy McMahon muffed the first two balls that came to him, a general feeling of disappointment prevailed, as it was evident that what would otherwise have been a close and exciting contest, would now be a regular jug-handled affair, without interest to anyone except those who had invested in Athletic stock, as being a test of the merits of the respective teams. When, therefore, Charlie Mills came up to the scratch, at the end of the third inning, he was greeted with the heartiest applause. He had had his eye lanced and bathed with hot water until the swelling had considerably decreased, and he brought a large tin can of hot water along with him, in which he dipped a cloth at intervals, when a foul hit was made, so that he might be enabled to keep the swelling down. So long as the sun shone out warm and brilliantly, he was all right; but, as the afternoon advanced, and the air began to feel chilly, the bruised eye began going up again, and if the game had lasted a few minutes longer, he would have been compelled again to retire.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

turn out for an honest match; a “championship match” between non-champions

Date Sunday, September 18, 1870
Text

[Athletic vs. Mutual 9/15/1870] Because several of the contests between prominent clubs this season had been slimly attended, the idea has been entertained that baseball was played out. Now, such a notion is simply absurd. The game was never more popular than now, and the only thing connected with baseball which is played out is the so-called social, practice, or gate-money matches, in which the sole incentive to exertion is the stamps received at the gate. This style of matches ought to be played out; but as for the attraction of such a match as this third game of the championship series between the Mutual and Athletic Clubs there is no play out at all for such contests, and will not be. Professional clubs would do well to remember this fact in future, and play fewer games, and more earnest contests than they have done this season. New York Sunday Mercury September 18, 1870 [The attendance was 4,000 at 50 cents.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an underhand throw

Date Sunday, September 25, 1870
Text

[Dunderberg of Peekskill vs. Harmonic of Brooklyn 7/4/1870] In this game the umpire, in the second innings, ruled out Sullivan, the pitcher of the Harmonics, on the ground that he threw the ball underhand. Ordinarily it is difficult to discover or define , but by Sullivan’s delivery it is easy, as he does not deliver the ball with a straight arm, but bends his elbow. Now Section 4 of the Second Rule says: “When the pitcher’s arm is swung forward to deliver the ball to the bat, his arm must be straight, and must swing perpendicularly to the side of his body.” It was for a violation of this rule that the penalty was inflicted in Sullivan’s case. All the umpire has to do is to call a balk on every ball delivered which is not pitched. He cannot rule a player out of the game, but simply inflict the penalty of calling a balk for either throwing a jerking a ball. Sullivan retired to right field...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

claims of thrown games

Date Sunday, October 2, 1870
Text

A man named McAlls has published a statement in a Brooklyn recently offering to bet $5,000 that he could prove that the game with the Mutuals, on the 22d, was sold by the Atlantics. Mr. Ferguson tried to interview the man, in order to ascertain the truth of the charges; but could not find him. Ferguson wants any man that can prove any fraud on the part of the Atlantic players to let him know the facts of the case at once.

The Chicago Club recently published a card, expelling Craver from their nine, for alleged dishonorable conduct, including selling games. Now, by the rules of the National Association, every club playing with a nine, in which an expelled member of another club plays, is liable to expulsion from the National Association.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed championship tournament

Date Sunday, October 2, 1870
Text

[from a letter from the Mutual Club:] 1st. All the games of the tournament to be played on the Union Grounds of Williamsburgh

2d. The club winning two out of three games to be declared the “Champions.”

3d. The receipts for admission shall be divided equally as follows: One-third to the competing club, one-third to the Mutual Club, and one-third to the proprietor of the grounds.

4th. On account of the probable length of the Tourney and the lateness of the season, the following plan has been adopted and must be adhered to:

Tournament to commence Monday, October 17 th.

All games to be played with a dead ball, to be furnished by the Mutual Club. But one game shall be played on one day. Each club shall play one game with the Mutual Club, before second games are played. Any club losing the first game with the Mutual Club shall be declared out of the tourney. Should the Mutual Club be beaten two games before other clubs have an equal opportunity of contesting with them, then the Mutual Club shall be declared “out of the tourney,” and the club beating them, shall take their place, and remain to play. (The club winning two out of three games to be Champions). “No “home-and-home” games to be played until all have an equal chance.

5th. The order of play to be decided by lot.

6th. Availing ourselves of our right as the present holders of the Championship, and to limit the duration of the tournament, we hereby invite the following representative clubs to be the participants in the tournament:

Red Stockings, of Cincinnati.

Atlantic Club, of Brooklyn.

Athletic Club, of Philadelphia.

White Stockings, of Chicago.

7th. Upon the acceptance of this invitation of any three of the above named clubs, the arrangements will at once be made for play. New York Dispatch October 2, 1870

TO THE BASE BALL FRATERNITY: The challenge issued by us to the leading representative Base Ball Clubs of the country (and having agreed to modify and amend the same), inviting them to meet us in a tournament and play for the championship, not having been accepted by them–We, the Mutual Base Ball Club of New York city, hereby give notice to all concerned that we claim the title of “Champion Club of the United States,” and will, in virtue thereof, fly the “whip flag” until deprived of the right on the ball-field. Owing to the lateness of the season, all games we engage in for the balance of the year 1870 will be exhibition or practice games, and not to count in championship series. We desire to give notice that we will be prepared to defend our title of Champion Club in the base ball season of 1871. New York Dispatch October 16, 1870

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the proportion of ladies present

Date Friday, October 14, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Chicago 10/13/1870] The number [of spectators] is estimated at fifteen thousand, more than five hundred ladies were present.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

explaining Cincinnati losses

Date Sunday, October 23, 1870
Text

Everybody in this vicinity is making the inquiry, “What is the matter with the Reds?” Their recent defeats at Chicago and Rockford have surprised their friends here. ... But our Cincinnati friends in calculating upon the invincibility of their club seem to lose sight of the important fact, and that is that the time has come when no single club can retain the supremacy even for a single season. ... The game is too uncertain in its results for any one club to maintain the first position long unless they could monopolize the playing strength of the whole country, and this cannot be done while other cities than Cincinnati are to be found ready with plenty of stamps to outbid the enterprising club managers of Porkopolis.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

conflicting professional and amateur interests

Date Sunday, October 23, 1870
Text

It is about time that some action was taken in calling together the New York State Association Delegates to meet in convention as appointed at Albany. They have little work to do except to come together and elect officers for the season of 1871, and delegates to the Convention. It would be worth while though while they do this, to also examine into the cause of the disobedience of the last delegates to the National Association from this State in not carrying out the request of the State Convention. There are just five professional clubs in this State, and two of these rules the action of the other delegates at Boston last year. In order to favor the interest of these five clubs those of the remaining eighty odd amateur clubs of the State were sacrificed. The question is, are our amateur clubs going to allow the thing to be done again? If they are, the sooner a new association is formed the better.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a one dollar admission 2

Date Sunday, October 23, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 10/22/1870] The was played at Seventeenth and Columbia avenue, in the presence of about 3,000 spectators, the admission fee being $1.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an accidental bunt 2

Date Sunday, October 30, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Haymaker 10/24/1870] In the fifth inning...the Reds made [a run] by a lucky accident. Waterman was at the bat, preparing to strike at what he thought was a favorable ball. The ball, however, came closer to his head than he anticipated, and he ducked to avoid it, leaving his bat sticking up in the air. The ball struck the bat with such force that it bounded forward midway between pitcher and first base, where it was picked up and fielded to second, to head off Gould, but without success. Up to this time Waterman was not sure whether he should run to his base or not, as he did not know Ferguson’s [the umpire] decision as to whether it was a hit or not. The latter ruled it as a fair hit, and Waterman just got to his base in time, the Haymakers having foolishly lost a chance of a fine double play.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

internal strife in the Mutual Club

Date Sunday, October 30, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Mutual 10/25/1870] ...few, if any, anticipated seeing the Champions defeated in the style they were; but then few persons are aware of the internal and infernal strife which exists between some members of the nine. ... Had Nelson in the second inning, when E. Mills was muffed by Dean in the right field, ran on to his third base, instead of perversely remaining on his second for the pleasure of sending E. Mills back to first, to be put out, one or more runs would have been secured...

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

courtesy runner: tagging the wrong man; the courtesy runner not credited with the run

Date Sunday, October 30, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantics 10/26/1870] G. Wright then went to the bat, and for a second time struck out, but Ferguson failed to hold it at once. He picked the up quickly, however, and rushing forward, touched George Wright, quite forgetting that he was practically a dead man, as Leonard was running the bases for him, and he was the person to touch or be put out at first. This slip created great confusion, but the umpire was perfectly correct. Gould then went to the bat, and by a splendid drive to right-field brought G. Wright and McVey home and reached his third.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players bother reporters for individual scores

Date Sunday, October 30, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 10/28/1870] We were glad to see Charlie Mills assume control as Captain in this game to the extent of keeping his nine from bothering the reporters in regard to their individual scores.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

switching the ball

Date Sunday, October 30, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 10/24/1870] The contest proved to be exciting throughout, but the result was the defeat of the Mutuals, brought about by the adroit maneuvering of the Athletics in their last inning, when they managed, while at the bat, to change the dead ball for a lively one, and going in for some of their old-time rubber-ball batting, they added ten runs to their score, the ninth inning of the Mutuals having ended with the total at 12 to 7 in favor of the New Yorkers.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a gate receipt dispute

Date Sunday, October 30, 1870
Text

The Cincinnati Commercial, in commenting on the Red Stocking match in Chicago, says: “After the game last Thursday, Mr. Gassette, President of the White Stocking, offered the officers of the Red Stockings less than $1,600 as their half of the receipts, stating that only 7,000 tickets had been sold. Mr. Gassette was quite nervous in his eagerness to settle on this basis, but Messrs. Bonte and Corre refused the tender as visibly unfair, if not dishonest. The papers stated that the crowd numbered 18,000, and that the vehicles alone, by actual count, were 1,215. Messrs. Corre and Bonte subsequently measured the seating capacity of Dexter Park, and securing abundant data to prove that Thursday’s crowd could not have been less than 12,000, they laid their case before the stockholders of the White Stockings, who appeared to be equally surprised and annoyed at Mr. Gassette’s singular exhibit. Mr. Bonte remained in Chicago after the club started home, and through the aid of the stockholders, received a considerably larger amount than the anxious Gassette had offered.

Source ” New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a radical rules proposal to reduce uncertainties

Date Sunday, October 30, 1870
Text

We give below a communication from a correspondent in regard to a radical change in the rules. We should like to hear from others as to their views on any needed changes:

“October 27, 1870

“EDITORS OF THE N.Y. SUNDAY MERCURY: To relieve baseball of one of its uncertainties I propose as the following alterations:

“1. To count the runs by bases–that is, once around four runs, and not one as now–one run. The game now, from the present method of counting, often goes to the club making the fewest bases, and necessarily playing the poorer game, for clearly one base is as hard to make as another. Let us presume, for the sake of illustration, that for nine innings a club gets three men on the bases and then loses the third hand, that would be nine “Chicagos.” Now, let us suppose they are beating by their opponents by a score of 9 to 0, their opponents having no men left, the total number of bases made by the winners is 36, by the losers 54, and yet the latter have played a better game, for no one can claim it is more difficult to make any one particular base than any other.

“2. This alteration should be so in justice to the individual players. A gets to his first, B follows and bats to third: A gets home and counts 1, B is left on third and counts nothing, and yet B is the man that has done the work.

“3. I propose that the game be lengthened to not less than twelve innings–the uncertainties of the game are certainly better averaged in a long game than in a short one. Do you believe that the “Reds” can keep up a score of 7 to 1 with the Mutuals? If they cannot, then the result of the late game must by the consequence of unevenness in the chances of the game to reduce to chances to equality lengthen the game. I once was beaten thirteen times hand-running, cracking “Lou,” and yet at the forty-ninth crack I was even. To illustrate again my first proposition I refer to the game of billiards; it is used to count white and red 2; to the reds 3. It was altered simply because it was just a hard to make one carom as the other; so with baseball, it is just as hard to run one base as another, and ought to count accordingly.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing in the rain to secure the gate money

Date Sunday, November 6, 1870
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 11/5/1870] The game was commenced while rain was failling, with the evidence intention of playing only one or two innings for the purpose of securing the gate-money of the four or five hundred spectators who had paid for admission, and a little loose play was indulged in; but when the sky cleared up, and the afternoon came out fine and bright, and they found they would be compelled to go on with the game, both sides played their level best to win, and an extremely pretty fielding game they played.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the New York State Association convention controlled by the professionals

Date Sunday, November 13, 1870
Text

...only fifteen clubs were represented. But as the association has a sufficient number of clubs recorded on its books to warrant the election of nine delegates of course the voice of the State with Captain Wildey as the controller will again be heard in the convention, as of late years, and of course in the interests of the professionals.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

colored clubs banned (again?)

Date Sunday, November 13, 1870
Text

After the usual preliminary business [of the New York State Association] had been transacted a motion previaled emanating from W. R. Macdearmed [sic] of the Star Club, that no club in the State composed of colored men should be admitted to the National Association.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a move to reinstate Wansley; and to prevent college players from other nines

Date Sunday, November 13, 1870
Text

Of course, the case of Wansley was brought up, and on motion of Mr. Wildey, the delegates were instructed to vote for his restoration, as in the case of Devyr and Duffy. The festive William is wanted in the nine. The aforesaid delegates were also instructed to prevent members of college clubs from playing in other nines. This is a blow aimed at the Harvard.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the status of the rules committee; and of the convention; and of the rules

Date Sunday, November 20, 1870
Text

The Chairman of the Committee of Rules will close his connection with the National Association as a member of the committee of the next convention, his business obliging him to resign his position. He has been seven years in the committee, and has acted as chairman for four years.

It has been proposed to make the Committee of Rules an elective body, and it is to be hoped that this will be done, if only to get rid of the caucusing for President in order to get control of the appointments. Among the candidates for chairman of the Committee will be Hicks Hayhurst, of the Athletics; C. E. Thomas, of the Eurekas; Seaver Page, of the Actives; and G. Hubbell, of the Charter Oaks, all of whom are delegates to the convention. All are competent men, and all will act in the best interests of the association.

...

...There is no need of an annual meeting any longer. The rules will be as near completion at the end of this Convention as the game requires; and it is better that the fraternity have a good Convention every two or three years than only hold an attendance annually. The State Association Conventions will answer every purpose by their annual meetings.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Atlantics

Date Sunday, November 20, 1870
Text

A Brooklyn paper recently reported that the Atlantic nine will be divided up amongst outside clubs. It has been stated since by parties who seem to be posted up that the report is not correct; that, on the contrary, the majority of the nine will remain in the old club, and reorganize a stronger professional nine than ever. One thing is certain, however, and that is that there will have to be some change made both in the nine and in its management, for harmony has been lacking in the one and a judicious control of the affairs of the nine in the other. This season the management has had too much of the hippodrome business about it. The report that the members of the Atlantic Club had dwindles down to less than thirty is false. The club has eighty-eight active members and thirty honorary members on the roll.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor of players colluding to increase salaries

Date Sunday, November 27, 1870
Text

We learned last night, from excellent authority, that an understanding has been entered into during the past season, among the strictly first-class players of the county, the object of which is to raise the market value of ball players. The prime movers in this movement, it is said, are Messrs. George and Harry Wright, late of the Cincinnati Club.

During the various tours our club made through the country the past season, these players, it is said, convened councils of the best and most prominent members of opposing nines.

In these councils they took pains to impress upon the minds of their fellow professionals the great value of their services, and the limited compensation they were receiving for them. They also arranged with these players that they shall not engage for the ensuing season without previously notifying them.

The result of all this maneuvering has been that the players whose services are desirable hold themselves at such enormous figures as to preclude the possibility of an established club engaging them with any hope of meeting expenses from the receipts of games. A club such as the Chicago Club now is, or the proposed Indianapolis and Boston clubs promise to be, may engage these high-priced players during the brief term of their unprofitable existence, but it is hardly to be expected that the stock-holders in these ephemeral concerns will consent for any great length of time to the constant draft upon their private purses for the wherewithal to pay their representative nines.

A club that expects to maintain itself after struggling into existence cannot pay such prices as are demanded without going into debt or passing round the hat for more subscriptions.

Prominent members of the two Forest City Clubs, the Atlantics and the Mutuals, are said to be bound by the arrangement referred to above, and will not enter into negotiations for next season without first consulting their mentors., quoting the Cincinnati Gazette 11/23/1870

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the professionals control the NABBP convention

Date Thursday, December 1, 1870
Text

The amateur interest found able defenders only in Mr. Heard of the Pastime Club, of Little Falls; Mr. Cantwell, of the National; Mr. Overbach of the Atlantic, of Missouri; Mr. Sterling of the Stars, and one or two others. New York, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, numbering eighteen votes, were devoted to the professional interest. Missouri, Massachussetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, numbering ten votes, advocated the amateur interest. Louisiana was not allowed to vote on account of the delegate [Chadwick] the State had selected—a dead set being made against the Chairman of the Committee of Rules by the Wildey clique. The professional Clubs represented were the Mutuals, White Stockings, Athletics, Haymakers and the new Indianapolis Club. The only amateur Clubs of this State represented were the Stars and Alphas, of Brooklyn, Nationals, of Albany, Eagle and Oriental, of New York—both of whose delegates voted with Wildey throughout—and the Pastimes, of Little Falls. In fact, a more complete farce was never exhibited than was presented by the so-called Convention of the Base Ball Clubs of America.

Resolved, That this Association regard the custom of publicly hiring men to play the game of base ball as reprehensible and injurious to the best interests of the game.

The discussion was listed to by the delegates while acting as a Committee of the Whole. When it was over, they dissolved and reported the resolution back to the Convention to be acted upon, and when the screws were applied but nine of the delegates were found to favor the resolution...[including] Chadwick, the latter's vote not being recorded. There were seventeen votes against the amateur resolution, all from Illinois, Pennsylvania and Indiana, five from new York and one from Connecticut.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a forfeit on three bases on balls in one inning

Date Thursday, December 1, 1870
Text

[The rules adopted by the NABBP convention:] It I decided that the pitcher must not throw the ball or delay the game in any manner; and supplementary to the old penalty of called balls, if three men are sent to their bases in one inning on thrown or wildly pitched balls, when it is apparently the pitcher's intention to delay the game, the game shall be called by the umpire, and the victory given to the club that is at the bat at such a time, by a score of nine to nothing.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick resigns from the rules committee

Date Thursday, December 1, 1870
Text

When the report of the Committee of Rules was adopted a resolution of thanks to Mr. Chadwick, the Chairman of the Committee, was adopted by a majority vote for his services to the Association, he having resigned his membership a month previous, to take effect at the close of his report.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the distance from home to the backstop

Date Sunday, December 4, 1870
Text

Rule 6 was amended by adding a clause to section 6 prohibiting any fence from being erected within ninety feet of the home base, unless it be to mark the boundary of the grounds, in which case, if it be less than 90 feet distant, all passed balls touching such fence are to give one base.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Wansley reinstated

Date Sunday, December 4, 1870
Text

On motion of John Wildey, the penalty attached to William Wansley, for instigating the plot to sell the game between the Mutual and Eckford Clubs, played in Sept., 1865, was removed, and he was reinstated as a member in good standing in the professional clubs of the fraternity, as Devyr and Duffy were.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an amateur national association floated

Date Sunday, December 4, 1870
Text

Notice is hereby given to all amateur organizations throughout the country that an Amateur National Association is soon to be organized in New York, and that all amateur clubs desirous of becoming connected with such an organization will send a notice to that effect, directed to the Secretary of the Amateur National Association, New York, care of the Sunday Mercury. The object is to have a convention of the amateur clubs, and to establish a code of playing rules of their own. It is desirable that replies should be received at once. New York Sunday Mercury December 4, 1870

The initiatory steps for the organization of such an association were taken last week, and a meeting is to be held in Brooklyn this week to take further action, by the appointment of a committee to make arrangements for an amateur Convention. It should be understood that while the new association is to be organized on a basis solely in the interests of the amateur clubs–which form the great majority of baseball clubs throughout the country–no desire exists to make it in any way antagonistic to the professional class of the fraternity. The fact was made plainly apparent from the very inauguration of the professional system that the two classes could be [sic: should be “could not be”] governed harmoniously by the same association; and, in fact, the death blow was given to the old National Association, at the Convention of 1867, when the effort was made to legislate for both classes under one constitution and one code of regulations. Since the convention in question, the annual meetings have been controlled by a regular clique of professional club managers, and by incompetent and illiterate men at that; and the late Convention was but the crowning farce of a series of similar performances which were given in Boston and elsewhere of late years. With the establishment of an Amateur National Association will come the transformation of the old institution into a professional organization, an institution much needed by that class of ball-players, if only as a means of bringing about several requisite reforms, the principal one of which is to do away with revolving professionals, a class who make and break written engagements, and prove as false to their words, as they doubtless are dishonest in other respects. Through a professional National Association, too, some definite rules might be adopted governing the much-disputed question of the championship, and also to punish that fatal evil of professional playing–the custom of allowing games to go by default for betting-ring or third-game objects. In fact, did the professional clubs know what conserved their best interests, they would use their best efforts to promote the establishment of two National Associations, one professional and the other amateur. New York Sunday Mercury December 11, 1870

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the high and low strike zones

Date Saturday, December 10, 1870
Text

[reporting on the new rules] The umpire cannot call strikes on the batsman unless he refuses to strike at fair balls; besides which, the striker is privileged to call for either a high or low ball, the former being a ball between waist and shoulder, and the latter between knee and waist.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

overrunning first base 2

Date Saturday, December 10, 1870
Text

[reporting on the new rules] In running to first base, [the striker] is allowed to over-run his base after touching, and in doing so he cannot be put out unless he fails to return to the base immediately or attempts to run to 2d base. This rule was suggested by George Wright, whose lameness, like that of many other players, is attributable to an effort to check his speed when running to first base. The new rule, by allowing the base runner time to stop beyond, will avoid a frequent cause of injuries to base runners.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fake amateur clubs

Date Sunday, December 18, 1870
Text

This coming season there ought to be a more distinct rule made making the boundary line of professional playing. Hitherto professional clubs have consisted only of such clubs as employed regularly salaried players; while clubs which either paid their players under the rate, or pofited by gate-money receipts, have claimed to be amateur clubs, though they have regularly received their share of gate-money from grounds-keepers. It is to be hoped that the new amateur association will establish a code of rules which will distinctly place clubs of this latter class in their proper position among professional organizations. The fact is, that any club–not owning a ground–which shares the gate-money receipts at match games with ground proprietors, and just as much professional clubs as those who pay their players regular salaries. New York Sunday Mercury December 18, 1870

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The baseball reporters, the baseball reporters

Date Error: Invalid time.
Text

I met Mike Kelly, ye noted Herald Reporter, last week. He is studying up for velocipede reporting. Mike, however, will be on hand for base ball reports, and as usual will give us spicy and well-written accounts of the leading contests. Piccott will still ably manage the base-ball columns of the Spirit, and this season will report for the Sun and Tribune. Piccott is a fair and impartial writer, and moreover a fearless one in fighting the evils of the game. National Chronicle March 20, 1869

The Printing Committee... have given the printing of the Convention-book into the hands of E. L. Gill, the base-ball reporter of the New York Sunday News... National Chronicle March 27, 1869

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The noted chess problemist, Theo. M. Brown, has been engaged to edit the base ball columns of Wilkes’ Spirit. He used to report the game in St. Louis.

...

Mr. Englehart is to write up base ball for the Turf, Field and Farm this year. He now edits the boating column, and all the theatrical as well as billiard news.

The New York Sunday Dispatch, since the death of Mr. Brodie, has given up base ball. The only Sunday paper having a base ball column is the Mercury. The only daily, too, which makes it a speciality, is the World.

Source National Chronicle, Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher’s gloves, catchers’ gloves

Date Error: Invalid time.
Text

Reach is making a new catcher’s glove that is excellent. The left hand covering is a full one, the right or throwing hand being covered with a half glove to aid throwing. The palm and joint padding is of felt. Reading Times March 31, 1884

A Cincinnati firm is making a new catcher’s glove that is said to be excellent. The left hand covering is a full one, the right or throwing hand being covered with a half glove to aid throwing. The palm and joint padding is of felt. Cleveland Leader April 2, 1884

The catchers at the game yesterday [Cleveland regulars vs. reserves] worked without gloves and consequently could not stand close to the bat. It was, of course, easy to steal bases, which accounts in a measure for the large score [10-9]. Cleveland Leader April 4, 1884

A new style of left-hand glove for catchers has been brought out. The fingers are stiff cowhide, jointed at the bottom with buckskin. The finger-ends are stout enough to withstand the severest blow, thus preventing the breaking of joints, from which men behind the bat have so long suffered. Cleveland Leader April 4, 1884

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, Reading Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielders’ gloves, fielders gloves

Date Error: Invalid time.
Text

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

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In NY Giants vs. Philadelphia game - "All the New York players wore gloves except pitcher Mattimore, and he probably would too, except that he would not have been able to pitch if he had.  Someone has suggested that the New York players are getting their hands white and soft for their appearance in society next winter."  Close play at 3B where third baseman Ewing appeared to tag out Farrar, "in spite of Ewing's deliberate movements with his heavily gloved hands." New York Tribune June 15, 1887 [from David Aricidiacono]

Source Detroit Free Press, New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
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