Clippings:1871

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1871Clippings in 1871

Clippings in 1871 (278 entries)

Contents

'Martin's' twists

Date Wednesday, October 4, 1871
Text

[Olympic of Washington vs. George M. Roth 10/3/1871] The Olympic found great difficulty in hitting Carr’s pitching. He is without a doubt one of the finest young pitchers in the country, swift, accurate; watches the bases closely, and has one of which is very effective.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'drop hit' a bunt?

Date Sunday, August 6, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Eckford 8/5/1871] McVey began with a drop hit in front of the plate, making his first. New York Dispatch August 6, 1871

[Haymakers vs. Eckford 8/17/1871] Gedney began with a drop hit in front of the home plate, making his base...

...

Hicks began with a drop hit in front of the home base, making his base. New York Dispatch August 20, 1871

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk delivery; a slow delivery favors base runners

Date Saturday, May 27, 1871
Text

[Yale vs. Mutual 5/20/1871] ...as the Yale pitcher commenced his delivery of the ball we noticed that he began his movements with his left foot touching the ground outside the lines of his position in order to admit of a long forward step inside the square. The umpire did not observe it, though the captain of the Mutual nine did, but he said nothing an it was allowed to pass. We may as well, however, inform Mr. Strong, that this action of his is illegal and every time he delivers a ball as he did in this match he commits a balk. His style of delivery, too, in other respects is faulty, inasmuch as the long backward and forward swing of the arm he makes in delivery is such as to admit of a sharp base runner stealing a base on every pitched ball.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball in the crowd in play

Date Saturday, September 2, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Mutual 8/22/1871] Wolters then hit a high ball to the club house, and as it bounded in among the crowd, Wolters got round to third by his hit, sending Higham home. New York Clipper September 2, 1871

interfering with the fielder

[Boston vs. Mutual 8/22/1871] Eggler opened the sixth innings with a high foul ball, wihch Spaulding ran to catch, and, just as in the case of Leonard, in the Boston and Olympic game in May last, Eggler ran up against Sapulding and prevented him from catching the fly ball. As before, the umpire [Nick Young] failed to do his duty and decided Eggler not out, though there was not the slightest doubt that Eggler could have avoided obstructing Spaulding if he had chosen to do so. Spaulding was hurt by the collision and it was some time before he could resume play.

...

In the convention book of 1858, rule 20 reads:–“Any player who shall intentionally prevent an adversary from catching the ball shall be declared out.” This rule has been in force now for thirteen years, and formerly players were frequently decided out on a “hinder,” as it was then called. In 1867 the rule was amended so as to include the following clause:–“Any obstruction which could readily have been avoided shall be regarded as intentional.”

In regard to the right of way in base running the rule always has been, and is now, that the base runner shall have the right of way except when a fielder is in the act of catching a fly ball from the bat, then the fielder, of course, is entitled to the right of way and no rule would be a fair one which was worded otherwise. New York Clipper September 2, 1871

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball club fundraiser

Date Thursday, June 1, 1871
Text

...the Savannah Base Ball Club will give a grand entertainment at the Park tomorrow, consisting of a ball match, foot races, and a tournament by the Sabre Club. The game of ball will be between the Savannahs and Oglethorpes, both clubs appearing in uniform. … The entertainment is given for the benefit of the Savannah Base Ball Club, to aid in defraying their expenses on the projected tour, and it is hoped their friends and the admirers of the “noble game” generally, will turn out and patronize the occasion liberally.

Source Savannah Daily Advertiser
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a botched infield fly; a blown call; stealing bases during the ensuing argument

Date Saturday, April 29, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Lone Star of New Orleans 4/16/1871] [the bases loaded] Treacy popped up a fly to Leonard [Lone Stars pitcher], who made a muff of it for a double play, but becoming confused, instead of throwing it home to cut off Kind, he threw it wildly to second, King going home at once, and each runner advancing a base–no hand out. The umpire, however, decided Treacy out. This cause considered commotion, the Stockings claiming that the decision was unjust, and it certainly was, for if Treacy was out on the fly, then those running bases were also out, the ball having been passed by the pitcher to the basemen. This the umpire refused to allow, and ordered the game to proceed. During the commotion Hodes managed to get in, and both Foley and Simmons advanced a base.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken bat single 2

Date Sunday, November 5, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Chicago at Union Grounds, Brooklyn 10/30/1871] West Fisler broke his bat in sending one to short left field.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for an amateur association; a contrary view

Date Sunday, February 19, 1871
Text

The following is the call issued by the committee: “We, the undersigned, respectfully invite the amateur baseball clubs to each appoint a delegate to attend a meeting to be held at the Excelsior Baseball Club-rooms, in Fulton street, Brooklyn, on Thursday, March 16, for the purpose of organizing an amateur baseball association that will discountenance the playing of the game for money or as a business pursuit. S. B. Jones, M.D., F. S. Dakin, and H. S. Jewell, Excelsior Club, Brooklyn; Samuel H. Kissam and James Whyte Davis, Knickerbocker Club, New York; A. J. Bixby, Eagle Club, New York; C. E. Thomas, Eureka Club, Newark; A. K. Dunkele, Equity, of Philadelphia, and many others. New York Sunday Mercury February 19, 1871

A call has been issued for a convention of delegates from amateur clubs, to meet in Brooklyn, N.Y., on the 16th of next March. The management of the affairs seems to be in the hands of a clique of New York and Boston men, who have outlived their usefulness on the ball field, and who, failing to obtain control of the National Association, now seek to raise dissensions in that body by creating an invidious distinction between amateurs and professionals. The Excelsiors of Brooklyn–a club who in the year 1860 introduced the practice of playing professionals–have issued an address... Philadelphia Sunday Mercury February 19, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club named after its president

Date Saturday, August 12, 1871
Text

The [George M.] Roth is a surprising young amateur club, considering that this is their first season of any note, having beaten some of the best clubs in the city. Much of its success is due to the energy and perseverance of its faithful and popular president, Mr. Geo. M. Roth, who personally superintends the regulation of the nine.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about Athletic members' seating

Date Sunday, May 28, 1871
Text

To the Editor of the Sunday Mercury:–Have the members of the Athletic Base Ball Club any rights? Is there no remedy for the imposition put upon them this season? The best seats are now set aside for a select few, who are enabled to pay an additional sum of $0 per annum; and a further reservation is made, whereby an additional sum of 25 or 50c per seat is charged extra, while the members of the club are assigned seats where a more obstructed view of the game is obtained, and over this portion so assigned, no guard is kept, but all are allowed to rush pell-mell into this pavilion, to the exclusion of the members of the club, who, if they happen to arrive a little late, find every seat occupied mostly by parties having no right thereto; and they are informed, upon asking the reason, to find seats wherever they can. Is this thing to be tolerated by the members? Certainly not. If it should continue, the Athletic Base Ball Club will next season find a great decrease of its members. We hope through your journal to have notice taken of what we consider a great injustice to MANY MEMBERS OF THE ATHLETIC B.B. CLUB. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury May 28, 1871

To the B. B. Editor Evening City Item: Now that there is a little lull in base ball matters, our crack organization being out West demolishing all they come in contact with, I would like to call your attention to some of the abuses countenanced by the Directors of the Athletic Club which should be remedied, or next year the members will “grow small and beautifully less.” It is the habit of many of those entitled to members’ seats on the east pavilion, after having passed to a seat by virtue of a ticket, to get from others who are seated their tickets, take them outside, distribute to those who are not member, and thereby enable to them to pass the guard on display of said ticket, which, after getting seats in this surreptitious manner, are of course handed to the owners to do that sem thing over again if they see fit. There should be some means devised by the Directors to prevent this–as those who have members’ tickets and are a little late at a match find themselves unable to get a seat, they being filled up in the manner stated. Also, the practice of allowing women and children to fill up the members’ pavilion in the way they have been doing heretofore, is wrong, as I think a member by paying his five dollars has a prior right to said seats, and if ladies are to be accommodated, let a certain number of seats be set apart for that purpose. I have seen children, certainly not eight years old, occupying seats tot he exclusion of members of the Club of long standing, Please call the attention of the Directors to this abuse, and I know they will remedy it. AN OLD MEMBER Evening City Item September 19, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about baseball reports

Date Saturday, May 27, 1871
Text

Editor of the Herald: Isn't it about time that this Base Ball literature was played out? Nobody has any objection to the boys getting together and enjoying themselves in a game of ball, but why in the name of common sense the public should be bored with long accounts of games between companies of boys I can't imagine. The mass of the people care just about as much, and no more, about the result of a game between the coppertoes of Spunkeyville and the short jackets of somewhere else, as they do about a game of marbles between little Patsy Broligan and Jeminy O'Toole. OLD FOGY.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a counterfeit reporter

Date Saturday, July 1, 1871
Text

The young rascal who for some time past has been representing himself as the regular base ball reporter of a certain two-penny Sunday paper, and on the strength of such representation has been not only admitted within the Union ground, but to a seat among the Simon pure representatives of the press, very much to their disgust, was last Wednesday nominally ordered from the grounds by the proprietor, Mr. Cammeyer. It may be well to state just here that none others than base ball reporters are allowed to occupy seats in the reporters' stand, and that all others who crowd in simply to get a good view of the game will in the future be required to “vamose the ranche.” [sic]

Source New York Evening Telegram
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disbanded club's games don't count

Date Sunday, October 29, 1871
Text

The Kekionga games are thrown out in consequence of the disbanding of the Injuns.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disorderly spectator

Date Sunday, July 2, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 6/26/1871] At times, the conduct of one man, who holds a position in the Water Department, was disgraceful. We consider the officers of the Athletic were derelict in duty in this instance, as they had but one course to pursue, and that was to eject this drunken individual. It is the toleration of just such fellows as this that calls forth the disagreeable comments that have appeared in the newspapers of other cities with relation to Philadelphia ball audiences. The Mayor has kindly detailed a squad of policemen for the purpose of preserving order, and if the officers of the club are unable to remove these disorderly characters, it requires but little exertion to notify a policeman, who will escort them without the enclosure, and, if necessary, to the station. One example will be sufficient, and it is to be hoped that the next instance will receive the attention it merits.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over player eligibility

Date Sunday, May 21, 1871
Text

[Eckford vs. Athletic 5/15/1871] Before the game two hours were spent in a discussion as to Chapman’s right to play with the Eckfords. The Athletics refused to play if Chapman played, for the reason that as the game was one for the championship, under the rules it would count only as a practice game. Captain Martin, of the Eckfords, then ordered his men to withdraw from the field, but the Eckford players got together and by a majority vote overrules the Captain’s decision and agreed to play without Chapman. The game then went on with Snyder in the place of Chapman, In fact the contest could not legally have been proceeded with had Chapman taken part in the game in the Eckford nine, as the fact was well known that he had played in a regular match with the Atlantics against the Boston Club, on May 8, and no umpire fit to occupy the position would have allowed him to take the field under such circumstances. All credit to the Eckford players for their repudiation of the captain’s action in the matter. Martin has not gained credit by what he did. New York Sunday Mercury May 21, 1871 [See the same issue for the Eckford justification. Note also references therein to the Atlantics having disbanded.] [See also Philadelphia Sunday Republic 5/21/71 for a similar account of the dispute.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over replacing a damaged ball

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

[Fort Wayne vs. Troy 6/17/1871] ...after playing six innings, in which Kekionga had scored 6 runs to 3 for their opponents, the ball had by this time become ripped. The captain of the Haymakers objected to its further use, and the umpire decided the ball not in condition to play, and called for another ball. The Kekiongas refused to allow another ball to be used, although the Haymakers offere3d to accept any ball they wished, and would not continue the game. The umpire called “play,” and the Kekiongas failed to respond. He therefore decided the game in favor of the Haymakers by a score of 9 to 0, as provided for in the rules. New York Sunday Mercury June 25, 1871

At the commencement of the seventh innings, the Haymakers requested a new ball, saying the one they had been using was ripped, and the umpire ordered a new one, and as the Kekiongas refused to abide by the decision, the umpire gave the game to the Haymakers, by a score of 9 to 0. The Kekiongas claim that the old ball which they had furnished was perfectly sound and that the Haymakers wished to substitute a lively ball. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury June 25, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a double play on a foul ball

Date Saturday, May 27, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 5/20/1871] Gould now struck a foul, and as both McVey and Harry Wright ran on the hit, supposing it to be a fair ball, they were easily put out, McBride, Reach and Fisler assisting in the “doubling up” process.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair-foul to left field

Date Sunday, October 1, 1871
Text

[Eckford vs. Athletic 9/25/1871] [Shelly] going to second on a fair-foul hit to left field.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a grand slam over the fence

Date Sunday, September 10, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Boston 9/5/1871] Gould was the next striker, and thousands of pairs of eyes were fixed upon him in almost painful expectancy. Suddenly his powerful arms made a tremendous sweep, and the ball was sent flying high over the fence well inside the foul line. Thousands of spectators sprang to their feet with yells of encouragement as the striker sped around, and when he crossed the home-plate the friends of the Reds went into ecstasies. Their extravagance was pardonable, for at one blow the bases had been cleared and four runs scored, putting their favorites well in the van, and giving the game a decidedly new turn., quoting the Boston Advertiser

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hole in the bat?

Date Sunday, August 13, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 8/7/1871] With two men on the base, George Heubel stepped to the plate, made a desperate strike–failed to collide, and carefully examined the end of his bat. George once more missed the object of his wrath–and once more scrutinized the extremity of his ash. He then put up a foul fly for Gould, who missed it, and then picked it on the bound. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch August 13, 1871

overworking the pitcher; early use of “relieve”

McBride has been worked very hard, and as the peculiar force of his delivery is very exhausting, he needs rest more than any man in the nine. There is no worse policy than over-working a pitcher, and we are inclined to think that Bechtel should relieve McBride whenever occasion will allow. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch August 13, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a home run over the fence 6

Date Thursday, October 5, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Boston 10/4/1871] Start won considerable applause in the fifth inning by sending a fair ball over the fence in the right field and making a clean home run.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hot fair-foul

Date Saturday, August 12, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Chicago 7/28/1871] Hatfield then took a hand, and hitting a fair foul red hot past third... New York Clipper August 12, 1871

the uncertainty of the game creates distrust

We have been often told that our game was dying out, that trickery and fraud had been resorted to in some of the great contests of the past. The spectacle of a leading club, composed of the most celebrated players, failing to score a single run against a club that thought themselves unable to compete for the eagerly sought for title of champion, and only a few days after defeating them by overwhelming odds, has created a feeling if distrust, which cannot be easily smoothed over. New York Clipper August 12, 1871, from a letter from an unidentified Cincinnati correspondent [His suggestion was to play fewer games, giving fewer chances for disparate outcomes.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a large crowd in Chicago; ticket scalping; the number of ladies

Date Saturday, August 12, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Chicago 7/28/1871] Some idea of the interest evinced in the game may be gleaned from the fact that eery seat in the grand stand was taken three days ago, and to-day speculators made comfortable little “stakes” in disposing of reserved seats at a high rate of premium. Up to noon over 7,000 tickets had been sold, and at that hour, although the gates were not to be open until 1.30 P.M., a crowd of fully three hundred had assembled to secure the first chances for good seats. At half past two every seat on the ground was occupied, and for a time it appeared as if the vast throng pouring in at the gate would overwhelm everything. New seats, capable of accommodating 2,000 persons, had been erected and held back as reserves until the old accommodations were taxed to their utmost capacity; then the lower gates were opened and in “less than no time” the new tiers presented a similar appearance to the old, all occupied by enthusiastic lovers of the sport. Next the fence was devoted to spectators, and finally, when the hour for play approached, there was hardly room from the players. All sorts of estimates as to the number in attendance were made, but those in the neighborhood of 14,000 to 15,000 are nearest the mark. There must have been at least 2,500 ladies present, the fair sex of this city being as enthusiastic as their cavaliers over base ball and the White Stocking., quoting an unidentified Chicago correspondent

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pitched ball if it touches the umpire, suggesting umpire behind home?

Date Thursday, May 4, 1871
Text

Any ball pitched to the bat which strikes the person of the umpire must be promptly decided a “dead ball” by the umpire, and on such ball neither a player can be put out nor can a base runner take a base on such a ball, if he left the base after the ball left the pitcher’s hands. Evening City Item May 4, 1871 [N.B. The rule was amended the next year to exclude passed balls.]

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a policeman assigned to the reporters' table, and his dereliction of duty

Date Sunday, October 15, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Eckford 10/10/1871]On this occasion a policeman named Bell was assigned the duty of keeping the reporters from being annoyed by intruders, but instead he showed himself to be a bitter partisan of the Eckfords, and expressed himself as very anxious to see Mills [the umpire] well thrashed. In fact he went about among the players during the time the dispute occurred at the close of the ninth inning commenting on the umpire’s decisions. Captain Waglom will oblige by substituting some one in his place on future occasions, as this man is unfitted for the duty assigned him.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for batting average

Date Saturday, March 11, 1871
Text

[from H. A. Dobson, a correspondent for the Clipper] According to a man’s chances, so should his record be. Every time he goes to the bat he either has an out, a run, or is left on his base. If he does not go out he makes his base, either by his own merit or by an error of some fielder. Now his merit column is found in “times first base on clean hits,” and his average is found by dividing his total “times first base on clean hits” by his total number of times he went to the bat. Then what is true of one player is true of all, no matter what the striking order...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to pay umpires

Date Monday, August 7, 1871
Text

Nearly all the improvements in our National Game were suggested in this paper.

We now desire to call attention to the important of paying Umpires.

An Umpire should receive $10 for each game, and $5 for every hundred miles he may travel.

No professional player should serve as Umpire.

These are important suggestions.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed scheduling meeting of the professionals

Date Sunday, February 12, 1871
Text

The efficient secretary of the Olympic Club, of Washington, suggests that the corresponding secretaries of the leading baseball clubs throughout the country have a meeting some time during the month of March, and arrange all tours for the season of 1871. By doing so they can have games at more regular intervals, and make them more profitable. Last season, he says, we were visited by three first-class clubs in one week, and the result was that neither game was a success financially. This can and should be avoided. He suggests that the meeting be held in New York City, Friday, March 17, 1871.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rapid decision by the judiciary committee

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

The Judiciary Committee of the National Association met in this city last Wednesday evening, for the purpose of investigating the charges made by the Olympics, of Washington, against the Forest City, of Rockford, for playing Scott Hastings before he was eligible by the rules. We have received from the Hon. John I. Rogers, the able Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, their decision to the effect “That all regular match games played by the Forest City Club, in which Scott Hastings participated, after April 16th, 1871, and before June 16th, 1871 are hereby declared forfeited and must be recorded as lost by them by a score of 9 to 0.” This includes the two games lost by the Athletics, to the Forest City, of Rockford, the last having been played on the 13th of June, 1871. The decision of the Judiciary Committee of the Professional Association will, however, have to be procured before the championship record is affected. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury June 25, 1871

The Olympic Club, of Washington, having brought charges against the Forest City, of Rockford, in regard to Hastings playing on their nine without legal qualifications, a meeting of the Judiciary Committee was called in this city on the 21st instant, when the matter was investigated and the game in question declared “null and void.” This decision will serve as a precedent for other contests in which this player has taken part in connection with the Rockford Club. His legal membership in that organization commenced on the 16th instant. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch June 25, 1871

[see also NYC 7/8/1871]

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rump NABBP?

Date Tuesday, December 12, 1871
Text

The National Association of Base Ball Players was held last evening, J. J. Connolly in the chair. Eighteen clubs were represented. Among the officers elected for the ensuing year are:--President, J. J. Connolly, New York; Vice Presidents, Edward Tye, Troy, N.Y.; J. J. Dillon, New Rochelle; John Platt, New New York, and J. J. Courtney, New Jersey; Recording Secretary, W. H. Clegg, new York; Corresponding Secretary, C. D. Cunningham, Morrisania, N.Y.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a short throw against a delayed double steal

Date Saturday, August 5, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Eckford 8/4/1871] In this inning McVey [catcher] and Barnes [second baseman] played a very fine point against Swandell, which was the means of preventing his scoring a run for his side. He was on third base and Martin was on first, and when Martin started for second McVey threw the ball to Barnes ostensibly for the purpose of putting Martin out, but really to get Swandell to try to run in, when he would be put out on the home plate. Swandell, who was of course very anxious to score a run, started as soon as the ball had left McVey's hand, never noticing for a moment that Barnes had run up nearly to the pitcher's position, and the result was that the ball was passed back to McVey again before he (Swandell) could get home.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a special meeting to sort out the championship rules

Date Sunday, October 29, 1871
Text

The special meeting of the Professional Association will be held next Friday evening, at the Girard House. Mr. James N Kerns, the energetic presiding officer of the Association, has called a special meeting in order that interpretation of the championship rules may be definitely settled, and for the transaction of other important business. Every professional club in the country should be represented, if they are alive to their own interests. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury October 29, 1871

[at the meeting held 11/3/1871] Mr. James N. Kerns then presented a protest from the Athletics against the Forest City, of Rockford, for playing Scott Hastings before he was legally entitled to play. This elicited considerable discussion, and a statement from the Rockfords that Hastings was a member of their club, and no other, for the last three years, and therefore not eligible to play with the Lone Stars, of New Orleans, in the games that he did. It was, however, immediately resolved that all games played by the Rockfords with Hastings on their nine, prior to the 16th day of June, be declared forfeited, and this applies to two games won by the Rockfords from the Athletics, one from the Kekiongas, and one from the Olympics, of Washington, making four games in all that were forfeited. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury November 5, 1871

Mr. James N. Kerns said that the rules governing the championship were faulty, and considerable doubt existed whether they were to be interpreted as meaning the most number of games won or series won. He suggested that the rules be changed, so that each club would be obliged to play five games with every other contestant, and all the games to count, the club winning the most and losing the least number of games to be declared the champions. Mr. Clark moved that a series of five games be played, the club losing the least to be the champions. Mr. N. E. Young moved to strike out the words “best three” in the championship rules, which would do away with the objection. Mr. Clark withdrawing his motion, that of Mr. Young’s was unanimously passed.

...

The chairman then asked for protests against illegal games, and presented one from the Athletic Club, of Philadelphia, protesting against the legality of the games played between the Athletic and Forest City of Rockford on the 5th and 15th of June, 1870 [sic: should be 1871] on the ground of the ineligibility of Scott Hastings, who acted as catcher of the latter club, he having played with the Lone Stars, of New Orleans, within sixty days of the games in question, and being disqualified to play with any other club until the 16th of June, 1870 [sic].. Mr. A. H. Wright [acting as delegate for the Forest City] then read the following extract from a letter received by him from Mr. H. H. Waldo, the secretary of the Forest City Club, of Rockford, in regard to this matter:–“Hastings has not been legally a member of any club but the Forest City Club, of Rockford, for the last three years. If we regard the rules of the National Association as binding and decisive, his connection with the Lone Star, of New Orleans, was wholly illegal, and we did not forfeit our rights by his playing games in said club. These games must all be declared practice games and Mr. Hastings’ membership regarded as only with the Forest City Club, of Rockford. It is unnecessary for me to state reasons, for the question is not, not cannot legally come before the convention at this time, or any other time; the third days’ rule applies here. The Olympics made a complaint against us but they took their complaint to the wrong market, to wit, the judiciary committee of the National Association instead of the Professional Association.

Mr. James N. Kerns said that when the Rockfords came to Philadelphia to play the first game, he protested against Hasting playing with the Rockfords, having understood that Harry Wright, the Captain of the Boston, had pursued a similar course in the Boston-Rockford game. That the Rockfords had replied that they were willing to give up the game by a score of 9 to 0, but that if the fact became generally known throughout the country it would hurt the attendance at future games. Mr. F. H. Mason said the fact of Hastings having played with the Lone Stars on the 16th of April–which was not disputed–rendered him a member of that club, according to Section 2 of Rule Fifth of the National Association, which says:–“they also must not have been members of any other club, either in or out of the National Association–college clubs excepted–for sixty days immediately prior to the match * * Every player taking part in a regular match game, no matter what number of innings are played, shall be, in the meaning of this section of the rules, considered a member of the club he plays with.”

Mr. Mason argued that this last clause was expressly framed in 1867 to cover such cases as Hastings, and moved that the games played by the Rockfords with the Athletics on the 5 th and 15 th of last June be declared forfeited to the latter clubs. Mr Mason accepted as an amendment to his motion that all games of the Rockford club this season, in which Hastings took part, prior to the 16 th of June, be declared forfeited; and after some further discussion, the motion, as amended, was carried.

...

The Eckfords were declared by the committee [sic: probably an error, as no committee met] to be ineligible as contestants for the championship. New York Clipper November 11, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a stolen base, a ruling, no call for 'judgment'

Date Sunday, June 11, 1871
Text

[Forest City vs. Athletic 6/5/1871] ...Anson having previously stolen to second, where a close decision by the umpire gave rise to a good deal of dissatisfaction; but as Reach refrained from asking “judgment,” the umpire should not be blamed.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a substitute runner being used for multiple batters; courtesy runner

Date Sunday, August 6, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Olympic of Washington 8/3/1871] ...Radcliff, Heubel, Malone and Fisler, were all in a more or less crippled condition, and the services of that excellent base-runner, Cuthbert, had to be often called into requisition for running the bases for those men who were lame.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a suggestion for an amateur Athletic nine

Date Sunday, September 10, 1871
Text

An excellent suggestion was offered to the managers of the Athletic Club in last Sunday’s Republic, in regard to organizing a strong amateur nine any of whom can be used in case of emergency. We hope this will be acted upon as Philadelphia always has a surplus of players, and there is no reason why the professional nine of our city should suffer want in this respect, with so much abundance at hand. There are several first-class players who do not care to devote their time to base ball as a profession, but who could be called upon at any moment in case of emergency.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

accusation of hippodroming in a country club

Date Thursday, August 3, 1871
Text

[Empire of Chillicothe, Mo. vs. Haymaker of St., Mo. 7/22/1871] The citizens were disappointed in the result of the game, the Haymakers getting beat, 16 to 31, which was caused by the pitcher Mr. Dean jockeying the game, for which he was expelled on the same evening. Dean is supposed to be engaged by the Empires the balance of the season, on a salary. He is evidently a good pitcher. Evening City Item August 3, 1871, quoting an unnamed newspaper from St.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

admission fees to amateur games

Date Monday, August 7, 1871
Text

We are positive that a majority of persons who attend the games between the Athletics and visiting clubs, attend solely with the expectation of seeing a fine game. To all such persons we advise them to pay our amateur clubs a visit upon match games, as they will be amply repaid the admission fee in witnessing some of the finest and closely contested games ever played.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advance tickets for the big game

Date Sunday, August 27, 1871
Text

On Wednesday next, the White Stockings of Chicago will play in this city, at Twenty-fifth and Jefferson, the third game of their championship series with the Athletics. An immense assemblage will doubtless be present to witness the contest between these clubs–the two most prominent competitors for the championship. In order to avoid the immense rush at the ticket offices on Wednesday, persons would do well to purchase their tickets early. Tickets will be fore sale from Monday morning up to Wednesday noon at Al Reach’s, John Abel’s, Cuthbert’s, Malone’s, and Frank McBride’s.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

agreeing on a curfew to catch a train

Date Saturday, September 16, 1871
Text

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Athletic 9/7/1871] In consequence of the late arrival of the Cleveland club on the ground, the game was not commenced until four o’clock in the afternoon, and as the Athletics wished to take an early train that evening for Boston it was mutually agreed that the game should terminate at 5:45 P.M.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Al Wright's eidetic memory: first trivia expert

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

Al. Wright, the secretary of the Athletic, possesses a most wonderful faculty. He can give scores and dates of games played between first-class clubs since the game has become popular. He is a valuable reference.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Alex Davidson manager of the Mutuals

Date Sunday, June 18, 1871
Text

Alex. V. Davidson has been elected business manager and Secretary of the Mutuals, of New York city, a position which he resigned some time ago.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an amateur curve pitcher

Date Sunday, August 20, 1871
Text

[Neptune of Easton vs. Expert of Philadelphia 8/17/1871] Titus [of the Neptune] then took pitcher’s position... This [illegible] young pitcher will undoubtedly make his mark in time, his style of delivery resembling that of Cummings of the Stars, the ball making an obvious curve during its passage, and carrying an ugly twist. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch August 20, 1871

the new Baltimore grounds

Mr. A. T. Houck is reported to have leased a fine lot of ground on Pennsylvania avenue near Chappell streets, Baltimore, which is being laid out as a base ball park. It has a frontage of 400 feet on the avenue and a depth of 600 feet, making a ball ground as large as any in the country. It will be inclosed by a high fence, and it is the intention of Mr. Houck to have erected not only a large but a beautifully designed grand stand, for the especial accommodation of ladies; and this stand, with other amphitheatrical seats, when completed, will afford sitting accommodations for fully 6,000 persons. New York Clipper August 26, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an amateur dispute over the sixty day rule

Date Saturday, August 12, 1871
Text

[Neptune of Easton vs. Resolute of Elizabeth 8/8/1871] There was some little delay in getting to play, on account of two of the Neptune men playing in other clubs inside of sixty days, Parks playing with the Trentons against the Amateurs, of Newark, within a week, and Donnelly playing with the Kekionga Club inside of six weeks. It was at last settled by their playing under protest.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an enterprising outside vendor

Date Sunday, August 13, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 8/7/1871] Notwithstanding the heat and threatening appearance of the weather, which betokened a heavy fall of rain, a large attendance was assembled–some four thousand persons having passed the gate, while on the trees and houses in the vicinity, a large number took a cheap and distant view of the proceedings. An amusing piece of shrewdness was exhibited on the part of a Jefferson street speculator, who erected a shed of planks and hired the desirable locations beneath to those who were willing to invest a dime to keep comparatively cool and shady.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an infield fly rule?

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

...it might be as well to state that the general impression seemed to be that a player was not allowed, by this season’s rule, to drop a ball purposely in order to make a double play, and we were of the opinion that such a rule was adopted last November, but a careful perusal of the different versions of the rules failed to find any such clause.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an umpire refusing to serve due to kicking

Date Sunday, October 15, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Eckford 10/13/1871] It was some time before the game could be started, in consequence of the regular umpires’ refusing to serve in any match in which Nelson, of the Eckfords, took part. Finally, Mr. Wiggins, of the Athletics, was induced to serve, and this time Nelson refrained from his usual conduct, as he did not dispute a single decision, and kept remarkably free from growling, Martin monopolizing that peculiar department of Eckford Club proceedings.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an unannounced admission fee increase

Date Saturday, June 3, 1871
Text

[Haymaker vs. Mutual 5/25/1871] If the Mutual and Eckford Clubs have concluded to charge half a dollar admission on occasion of their games with professional opponents they have a perfect right to do so, but they should do it on the square and not as in this case, for it is nothing more nor less than an imposition to lead people to believe that the ordinary charge for admission is to be made, and then when the crowd have arrived at the grounds to notify them that the charge is double the price.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

another brother of Mike and Jack Smith

Date Sunday, July 2, 1871
Text

Jim Smith, formerly of the Keystones of this city, and a brother of the lamented Mike Smith, is now playing with the Elk Horns of Omaha.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

appealing balls and strikes to the umpire

Date Saturday, January 21, 1871
Text

Appeals should only be made in rare instances and very seldom on calling balls and strikes. The evil of bullying the umpire, which some pitchers and catchers have indulged in too much of late, is rapidly disappearing, however, and we hope to see it done away with. It is poor policy and works against the nine adopting it.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

arguing with the umpire; profanity

Date Friday, June 30, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Haymaker 6/28/1871] King, who was on second, attempted to steal third; he reached the base after the ball, but Meyerle failed to touch him. Judgment was asked for, and the umpire decided that King was not out, Meyerle having neglected to touch him. “The hell I didn’t,” shouted Meyerle. McBride then turned to the umpire and said, “That’s a damned one-sided decision.”

Now in regard to the profanity that Myerle [sic] is reported to have made use of, we do not believe a world of it. As long as we have known Myerle (that has been since he first appeared upon the ball field in a public match,) he has always conducted himself gentlemanly, and no one who has seen this great third baseman upon the field, and observed his quiet, inoffensive way, can be made to believe he was guilty of the above profanity. And of Mr. McBride, it is the first time we have ever heard of Dick using improper language, upon the field. He has always been upheld, both by the New York and Philadelphia press, as one of the fairest, squarest and most modest of players. Observe his conduct this year in several of the important matches that have been played; when he would make an appeal, and an answer was given, that was the end of it. He is the first man always to severely reprimand his men and the spectators for any unjust treatment that an umpire may receive. Why should Dick make use of such language? Surely he could not have been nervous, no. A more cool, and collected man, we venture to say, was never seen upon a ball field., the first paragraph quoting the New York World

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletics' finances; effect of membership on split of gate receipts

Date Tuesday, November 14, 1871
Text

[report of the Athletics’ annual meeting] The Treasurer presented his report, which showed $22,621.10 had been received and $22,457.14 had been expended, leaving a balance of $145.07. Evening City Item November 14, 1871

...the rather incomplete report of the Directors for the season of 1871 was read, by which it appears that the receipts for the year were $21,032.93, and the expenditures $31,962.27, thus leading one to infer that the club was largely in debt, whereas the contrary is the case, as was shown by the treasurer reporting the receipts from all sources during the year, were $22,602.21, and the expenses $22,457.14, leaving a balance of $145.07. The apparent discrepancy between the two reports is easily accounted for by an error of book-keeping arising from the fact of two items in the Directors’ report, amounting to $11,100.94 are charged to expenditures, although that amount evidently had been previously deducted from the receipts. On motion, the Directors’ report was referred to an auditing committee, consisting of the following gentlemen: Gilbert S. Moore, chairman, Joseph Megary, Charles Dougherty, Frank Mills and John P. J. Sensenderfer. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury November 19, 1871

Great interest was manifested in the report of the committee appointed at the last meeting to audit the accounts of the Board of Directors for 1871. The Committee reported that they had attended to the duty assigned them, and stated that the Club was free of debt and had a balance of $2512.80 in the treasury.

During the season the receipts from all sources amounted to $28, 957.55, while the expenditures were $31,162.06. Of this amount $8713.92 was paid without orders being drawn upon the treasurer. There is due to P.M. Roger, $3000, advanced by him to meet club expenses, and for which he holds directors’ receipt. There is also due to the players of last season the sum of $1474.25. The total indebtedness of the club is $4113.17–in which amount we have included the sum of $725, advanced to players for 1872. The total loss on the season past amounts to $6629.51–or after deducting $3839 paid for improvements to ground and advanced to players for season of 1872, which may be considered assets, $2799.51

The committee also called attention to the loose manner in which the affairs of the club had been managed, and recommended the appointment of a committee to devise rules and regulations for the government of the club. The report was signed by Messrs. Gilbert S. Moore, John Sensenderfer, Joseph Megary, and Frank Mills.

Mr. Hayhurst alluded to the complaint that had been made by visiting clubs, as to the small amount of gate money received, and recommended a reduction in the membership, and an increase in the subscriptions. Evening City Item December 12, 1871

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance past and present

Date Sunday, November 5, 1871
Text

The past season has been decidedly the most brilliant and exciting known in the annals of the game. More money has been received by the professional organizations in the aggregate than ever known before, and the attendance for the season at the principal matches has been largely in excess of previous years; for though we have not had quite so large crowds at matches, taking into consideration the increased expense and the greater number of games played, the attendance of spectators has been double that of any previous year.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

balks versus illegal deliveries

Date Saturday, June 17, 1871
Text

A “balked” ball gives a base only, and refers to balls not delivered after making a movement to deliver. A “foully delivered ball” is a thrown or jerked ball, and balls are called on such balls.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

balls outside of the high/low zone

Date Saturday, April 29, 1871
Text

The umpire having called for a “low” ball for the striker, if the pitcher fails to send in such low ball the umpire must call balls in the order of the delivery of every ball not pitched as called for, and at the same time over the home base. If they are pitched “low,” as called for, and yet not over the home base, balls must be called.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

balls still too lively; cheap knock offs

Date Sunday, June 18, 1871
Text

Considerable complaint has been made by some of our best fielding nines in regard to the difficulty of obtaining dead balls of regulation size and weight. Unless specially made to order, the legal one ounce of rubber, admits of altogether too much elasticity in the ball for fielding purposes. Among the several manufacturers of base ball, the best made balls, and, especially, the deadest, are those made to order, by John Van Horn, the oldest and most experienced ball-maker in the country. It has been established by experience that the more skillful a nine is in wielding the bat as in fielding the ball, the more such a nine need a dead ball. Any nine of heavy hitters can sent a lively ball to the field safely for base hits; but it wants keen sight, good judgment, and batting skill of the first order to hit a dead ball safely, and hence it should be the policy of the best professional nines to use the deadest ball they can get, leaving to muffer batsmen the boyish sport of knocking a lively ball over the heads of out-fielders.

The “Yankee” balls, which are palmed off upon unsuspecting persons by the Nassau street dealers in baseball materials, are not made according to rule, and are shoved on purchasers simply because they being made more cheaply are more profitable to sell. The Van Horn ball is used by the Mutual and all the first-class clubs, and is the most durable and the best in the market.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball factories

Date Thursday, July 20, 1871
Text

The manufacture of base balls is carried on extensively at Natick, Massachusetts, already widely known for its large establishments for making boots, shoes and other articles of which leather forms a component part. The largest of these base ball manufactories has a capital of ten thousand dollars, employs six men, fifty women and twenty children, and turns out thirty thousand dozen balls, valued at forty-two thousand dollars. It uses six tons of India rubber waste, eight thousand pounds of woolen yarn and sixteen hundred sides of horse hides. The other establishment has a capital of two thousand five hundred dollars, employs one man, ten women and three children, and every year makes four thousand dozen balls, valued at eight thousand three hundred and fifty dollars. It uses one thousand pounds of rubber waste, fifteen hundred pounds of woolen yarn and four hundred sides of horse hides. In both establishments, an aggregate of twenty-one thousand eight hundred and fifty dollars is paid for wages during the year. Evening City Item July 20, 1871

large crowd in Chicago

[Athletic vs. Chicago 7/13/1871] The attendance was very large, nearly 8,000 persons being present, the most that has been congregated at any game this season. New York Clipper July 22, 1871

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball good for business

Date Sunday, April 23, 1871
Text

The period of time when the Athletic shall be occupied in winning trophies which shall not only add laurels to the club, but which shall also redound to the credit of the city; for the time has come when the merchants admit that most of their business depends upon the prowess of the city’s representative base-ball nine. This may be doubted by some, but we know from actual experience it is so. A trip with the Athletic last year has convinced us of the fact.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

basemen holding the runners

Date Saturday, June 3, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Olympic of Washington at Union Grounds Brooklyn 5/27/1871] [Birdsall and McVey at first and second] Harry Wright now took up the ash, and seeing that Mills [first baseman] and Leonard [second baseman] were kept close to their bases watching Birdsall and McVey, he essayed to send the ball to the open and unguarded space at right short...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batter forfeits the right to call for a high or low ball

Date Saturday, July 1, 1871
Text

[from answers to correspondents] When the batsman calls for a low ball and strikes at a high one, I claim that he loses his privilege for that time at the bat and notify the pitcher accordingly that a ball delivered over the home plate, between the knee and shoulder, will be considered a fair aball and so decided; vice versa, a batsman calling for a high ball and striking at a low one should be ruled in the same way. Am I right? ... Yes.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batters intimidated by called strikes

Date Thursday, September 14, 1871
Text

[George M. Roth vs. Marion 9/13/1871] It was ridiculous to see good, safe batsmen stand up to the plate, and ask for a low ball, and strike at one far over their head, and if the umpire should call one strike, this would intimidate them so, that they would hit at one behind them. Evening City Item September 14, 1871

the Elysian Fields closed

The famous old ball grounds in the Elysian Fields is no longer available for players. Placards are posted around it, inscribed:--”Ball playing is prohibited on these grounds under penalty of the law.” New York Evening Telegram September 15, 1871

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Matthews' pitching

Date Tuesday, June 27, 1871
Text

[Kekionga vs. Mutual 6/26/1871] The pitching by Matthews was very fine. He is exceedingly hard to hit, and he uses his head, as well as his hands, while playing. His style is very similar to that of Cummings, of the Stars, and is quite as effective.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boss Tweed bankrolling the Mutuals

Date Sunday, January 8, 1871
Text

The Mutuals, of New York city, will be re-organized for the coming season, and have already secured three of the best players of the Atlantics, viz: Start, Ferguson and Smith... Wm. M. Tweed has advanced a large sum of money to the club, and if a man is a good player, of high reputation and sober habits, he can command his own price for the season. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury January 8, 1871

In New York, the Directors of the Mutual Club, having their own treasury and the private wealth of William M. Tweed, the “big injun” of Tammany to draw upon, will present a nine stronger by far than any they have ever yet placed in the field. A lively competition has been going on between this club and the White Stockings, of Chicago, for the services of Ferguson and Start, the main stand-bys of the veteran Atlantics in the days of their prime, but the Mutuals, through the kindly offices of Mr. Tweed, have been enabled to out-bid the famous club of the Garden City, and have marshaled these choice players under the green stocking banner for 1871. Cincinnati Daily Gazette January 19, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

brawling between the Mutuals and Haymakers

Date Sunday, July 16, 1871
Text

It appears that on the occasion of the recent contest in Troy between the Mutual and Haymaker Clubs, quite a disturbance took place on the grounds, the gentlemanly secretary of the Mutual Club, Mr. Davidson, being one of the individuals who was insulted by the Troy mob at the end of the game. It is also alleged that Higham, one of the Mutual players, was struck by either a member of the nine–Flynn, it is said–or one of the members of the club. Be this as it may, it is unquestionable that considerable animosity was engendered between the partisans of the two organizations by what occurred at Troy, and so much so, indeed, that trouble was anticipated on the occasion of the return-game in this city. One result of this feeling was that a less reputable and more numerous assemblage of spectators were gathered on the Union Grounds on Thursday last than ordinarily, and as the crowd congregated in great force outside the inclosure, there was present just such an element of the mob spirit as was calculated to bring about a similar exhibition of brutality; however, when the spark was applied there were present sufficient number of courageous policemen to prevent any insults and to keep in awe the cowardly curs who would otherwise have severely, if not fatally, maltreated the visiting club. In fact, Captain Woglom and half a dozen policemen kept in check some hundreds of the vilest mob of roughs ever seen on the grounds–fellows who had jumped the fence like a pack of wolves which had scented helpless prey from far off. The fruits of the moral lesson taught in the streets of the city on Wednesday were, however, seen in the refusal of the crowd to brave the ugly locust clubs and the death-dealing revolvers of the preservers of the peace, which they well knew would have been used without mercy had the crowd made any further attacks on the Haymakers. The cause of the trouble was the personal assault committed on Mr. McDonald, of the Haymakers Club, by Wildey, of the Mutuals, and the attack made on Flynn, of the Haymkers nine, by Higham. The Troy Whig of Friday states also that Hatfield and Ferguson participated in the attack. But we have seen no statement substantiating this charge. But in regard to Higham’s assault, Flynn, in a card over his own signature, expressly says that Higham struck him in the face without the slightest provocation. Our reporter was not personally cognizant of the alleged assaults, as the first he knew of the trouble was the appearance of Flynn running through the crowd with a bleeding face, followed by two or three big fellows, and the sudden rush of the police to protect the Haymakers. The Brooklyn papers, however, expressly charge Wildey with the assault on McDonald, and there is very little doubt that both charges are correct. New York Sunday Mercury July 16, 1871

At the close of the game there was a disgraceful scene. Two members of the Mutuals, chagrined by defeat, assaulted some of the Haymakers, and the police were compelled to interfere to protect them. Great indignation is expressed in base ball circles. John Wildey, Ex-Coroner of New York city and Ex-President of the Mutual Club, made an attack on Secretary McDonald, of the Haymakers. An attack was also made on Clipper Flyyn and Umpire Bomeisler, and in both instances the police had to interfere to preserve the peace. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury July 16, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling for judgment too often

Date Friday, May 19, 1871
Text

We would say a few words by way advice... Give up that contemptible practice of wrangling with the umpire, and continually asking judgment on every play. ... The sooner you discontinue it, gentlemen, the better it will be, as it will eventually draw your club into great disfavor.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

can fielders wear gloves?

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] Of course a player can wear gloves if he likes. A half glove covering the palm of the hand and first points of the fingers is excellent in saving the hand of the catcher and first baseman.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

challenging courtesy runners

Date Tuesday, August 8, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 8/7/1871] One or two incidents occurred yesterday, which, if continued, will have a tendency to mar the good feelings that have existed between the contesting clubs. Al Reach was upon second and was slightly injured, time was called and a man requested to run for him. Cuthbert, who is a swift runner, and had been running for every man in the nine who could not run, was the one appointed, but Geo. Wright made objections, very properly, against his running, and Reach was compelled to run, but this was not the worst feature, for when Geo. Wright appeared at the bat, a man who has been laid up for two months with a sprained ankle, and who has been walking on crutches until within three weeks ago, and who is still lame, some one of the Athletic nine raised an objection to Schafer running for him. The spectators took up the question, and abused Geo. Wright fearfully. What a mean action it was to abuse such a gentlemanly and brilliant player by raising such an objection! The umpire, however, very properly decided that a man should run for him.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

choosing the umpire

Date Sunday, November 5, 1871
Text

[at a meeting of the NAPBBP 11/3/1871] It was then decided...that the umpire be selected from three instead of five men, and the names be forwarded by the local club.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

city politics interfering with organizing clubs; Tammany Hall and the Mutuals

Date Sunday, November 26, 1871
Text

The Mutual are making no effort to organize for the campaign of 1872 on any base likely to make them prominent contestants. What they may do by next spring is another thing. But clubs that intend to be strong should organize now. By March next material of the best kind will be scarce. The critical condition of political affairs in the metropolis has put a stop to several baseball enterprises, the ready cash so available last season not being now at command; besides which the opportunity for sinecure places for ball tossers is not now available, the reform movement having stopped that source of professional club assistance.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Clipper Flynn nickname

Date Saturday, June 24, 1871
Text

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Haymaker of Troy 6/12/1871] Pabor hit a fly to right field and Craver called for “Clipper” [Flynn: right fielder] to take it, but York was also running for it, and they were afraid of a “collision,” so the ball dropped between them and Pabor got his base.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

club rooms and social status

Date Thursday, January 19, 1871
Text

The [Atlantic] club will, in future, have their headquarters at Samuels' billiard house, in Washington street, an elegant club-room having been provided for them in the extensive establishment. This will have the effect of improving the social status of the club.

Source Cincinnati Daily Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clubs dropping out of the championship competition

Date Sunday, September 17, 1871
Text

The Kekiongas have retired from the arena, they having no legal nine to play with. The Eckford games are not likely to be counted, they not having entered in time; and the Rockford and Olympic records are incomplete, owing to their not having legal nines during the first two months of the season. The only legal nines in the arena, therefore, are the Athletic, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Haymaker, and Mutual Club.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

committees of the National Association

Date Sunday, February 19, 1871
Text

John Wildey, the President of the National Association, has at last made the appointment of committees of that body as follows...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

complaints about absence of rain checks

Date Sunday, June 4, 1871
Text

[Olympic of Washington vs. Athletic of Philadelphia 5/31/1871] ...a severe gust and thunder storm of half an hour’s duration caused a cessation of play. The two nines waited over an hour, in the expectation of resuming the game, but the condition oft he ground was such that it would have been the height of folly to have attempted to play. We have received numerous complaints from parties present at this game in regard to the failure to return either money or tickets for a subseqeunt game, to the spectators present, and we think, under the circumstances, that those who had paid for admission should be at least furnished with tickets to witness another game between these clubs.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

confusion over the force rule

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 6/20/1871] [Reach at second base, Sensenderfer at first] Meyerle, however, made a very weak hit, and Pearce dropping the ball as if purposely, fielded it to Higham at second in time to cut off Sensenderfer, who was forced off his second [sic: should be first] base; and as Higham threw the ball to Ferguson at third, Reach was also decided out, an erroneous decision, as he was not obliged to leave his second base, the double play closing the innings...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

confusion over what rules to use

Date Monday, April 3, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Lone Star of New Orleans 3/26/1871] After the selection of an umpire considerable controversy arose as to the rules that should govern them—those adopted by the National Association of Base Ball Players, owing to the vacillating conduct of Mr. Haynie, its secretary, not having been printed yet; but a compromise was finally made, and the game began...

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

criticism for intentionally dropping a ball for a double play

Date Wednesday, June 21, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 6/20/1871] His [Pearce’s] willful dropping a fly-ball yesterday to secure a double play cannot be too severely criticized.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

crowd throwing rocks at the catcher

Date Sunday, September 24, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Chicago 9/18/1871] Malone played throughout with his usual coolness, though some of the roughs tried by every means in their power to distract his attention from the ball, going so far as to throw stones at him, one of which struck his cap in the eighth innings, luckily without doing any injury. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury September 24, 1871

Al Reach past his peak?

[Eckford vs. Athletic 9/25/1871] Al. Reach gave us some beautiful play at second, reminding us of the day when he had not a superior in that position. Evening City Item September 26, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cummings' curved line pitches

Date Saturday, June 17, 1871
Text

[Star vs. Athletic of Brooklyn 6/10/1871] [in the first inning, a fly ball out followed by a double and a triple] Cummings now began to get in his curved line balls, and the result was Booth struck out... [followed by two singles and two triples]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cummings's reputation

Date Sunday, October 1, 1871
Text

There is a great deal of curiosity in this city to witness Cummings, whom Mr. Chadwick thinks is the best pitcher in this country. He is living well on his reputation, which has never been put to such severe tests as have been those of McBride, Zettlein, Martin, and a number of others we might mention. We must content ourselves by exclaiming with the poet:

‘Twinkle (Cummings) little Star–

How we wonder what you are?

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cummings's side-curve

Date Sunday, December 31, 1871
Text

The catcher is that old reliable man, Charley Mills, who will do his work effectually when facing McMullin; but whether he can attend to delivery is yet to be seen. We have yet to see the catcher who has done it thoroughly.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

decisive calling of balls and strikes surprise the crowd

Date Sunday, June 4, 1871
Text

[Olympic of Washington vs. Athletic of Philadelphia 5/31/1871] Mr. Holley’s quick, sharp and decisive way of calling strikes and balls surprised the crowd not a little, and a buzz of criticism went around after each judgment.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining an earned run

Date Saturday, August 5, 1871
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] The difference between runs which are earned and those which are not is as follows:–If the first striker is missed on the fly, the second gets his base on a wild throw, and the third by a ball muffed by the fielders, then the batting nine escape a whitewash, and if any runs are afterwards scored, no matter if obtained by base hits, no run is earned. But if the first striker makes a base hit, and the second makes a three base hit, and the next three are out out on foul balls, one run is earned.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dick Pearce's batting style

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

His [Pearce’s] batting is of the safe order, endeavoring only to make his first base, and he is a good base runner. He is short and very stout, and full of muscle, which enables him, after fourteen years’ steady play, to still rank as one of the best in his position.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

disputes over player eligibility, umpire

Date Sunday, August 20, 1871
Text

[Trenton vs. Resolute of Elizabeth 8/15/1871] The Trenton Club visited Elizabeth...and, judging from the accounts in the local papers, the visitors did not add to their reputation as a reputable club of the New Jersey amateur fraternity on the occasion. The Elizabeth Herald states: The visitors arrived at about 1:30 P.M. with a large crowd of hangers-on, and proceeded to the grounds. Some dissatisfaction was felt by the Resolutes on account of the Trentonians presenting Lovett, as pitcher, and Gummere as centre fielder, both of these men having played in other clubs, in violation of the rules. The next matter to be settled was the selection of an umpire. However, after a good deal of talk, Mr. Radcliffe was agreed upon, with the understanding that the Resolutes should have the privilege of changing him if they became dissatisfied with his decisions. New York Sunday Mercury August 20, 1871 [The two players played in the game.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

division of gate receipts; fifty cent admission

Date Sunday, May 14, 1871
Text

A Philadelphia paper says the Mutuals and Eckfords have resolved to demand the entire gate-money from all clubs playing on the Union ground, and in return give the entire gate-money to the clubs they visit. The Boston and Olympic Clubs are not satisfied with this plan, but it suits the Athletics, as the attendance is much larger in this city at baseball matches than elsewhere. New York Sunday Mercury May 14, 1871

[Athletic v. Eckford 5/9/1871] The ardor of the majority [of the spectators], however, was somewhat dampened, when, on reaching the field, they found out that the usual tariff for admission had been doubled, and that, too, without any preliminary notice. As the new rule of the Eckford and Mutual clubs relative to gate money receipts have been acceded to by the Athletic club, viz.: for each club to take all receipts at home games, of course the Athletics had nothing to do with the extra charge. The result was anything but satisfactory to patrons of the game, nor was it advantageous to the pecuniary interests of the Eckford club, for every extra quarter they received by the half dollar fee will eventually cost them twice its value. The patrons of the game in the metropolis will not begrudge a half dollar fee on occasions when some grand championship contest bids fair to attract 10,000 people, and there is a probability of the field being overcrowded by spectators; but imposing a charge of the kind for ordinary contests will be found a losing policy, and one in every way unsatisfactory. New York Clipper May 20, 1871

It appears that the proprietors of the Brooklyn ball fields–the Union and Capitoline grounds–have adopted a rule which requires that one-third of the receipts at each game shall be paid to the proprietors of the grounds, the other two-thirds to be shared between the two contesting clubs in such a way as they may mutually agree upon. New York Clipper May 20, 1871

Phonney Martin’s pitching

[Athletic v. Eckford 5/9/1871] The batting of the Athletics was also excellent; they could not, up to the sixth inning, get the hang of Martin’s “peculiars,” but in the sixth inning it was astonishing to see them bat. Evening City Item May 10, 1871

[Athletic v. Eckford 5/9/1871] Martin sent the ball flying in his usual puzzling style, and the batsman soon popped up a foul... Philadelphia Sunday Republic May 14, 1871

[Eckford vs. Athletic 5/15/1871] “Fondy” [i.e. Phonney Martin] put his peculiar grip on the ball, and tossed it in ever so easily. Ed [Cuthbert] waited a moment, then hit a high one to Gedney, who accepted it. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch May 21, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

drying the ball with sawdust

Date Tuesday, August 29, 1871
Text

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Athletic 8/28/1871] The ground was in miserable order, totally unfit for ball playing. The heavy drizzling rain which had been prevailing for some time thoroughly saturated the ground, so that after one or two balls had been hit in the field, the ball was soaked, which made it very difficult to hold. Both pitchers, by many applications of sawdust to the ball, managed now and then to give a good ball. In fact the game was the most unenjoyable one that we have witnessed this season. Delays were numerous, foul balls knocked by the scre–more than we have ever seen heretofore in a first-class match. Most of them going over the fence, of course when returned to the pitcher, the ball would go through a course of sawdust. Evening City Item August 29, 1871

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Athletic 8/28/1871] Painter [the groundskeeper] had to place a pile of sawdust by pitcher’s place, which was well patronized, particularly by Fisher, who coated the “sphere” with it almost every time he delivered the ball, thus delaying the game to its inordinate length. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch September 3, 1871 [The game last 2.5 hours over seven innings.]

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

duties of the outfielders

Date Saturday, April 15, 1871
Text

[Outfielders] should never hold a ball a minute, but promptly return it to the in-field as soon as handled. In thus returning the ball they should invariably send it in to the second baseman unless some other fielder is designated on call by the captain. But in the case of a fly catch in the outer field, when the bases are being run, the out-fielder should, of course, throw to the bas player the base runner is returning to. ... When a good batsman is at the home base they can get in closer than when a home-run hitter handles the ash. New York Clipper April 15, 1871

Chadwick’s antipathy to the National Association; the NA book

[from a letter from James Haynie of the Chicago Times, recording secretary of the NABBP convention of 12/70] It will be remembered by every delegate in attendance at the convention, that after the chairman of the committee on rules had submitted his report, he was peremptorily ordered to hand the same to me, with which mandate he complied in no very gracious manner. It is for this reason that he, Chadwick, has ever since been trying to break up the national association. And, further, because I refused him a copy for his own private use, to trade upon at the expense of the ball-playing fraternity, as he has always done, he has, since that time, lost no opportunity of misrepresenting my position before the public.

The book, which is now ready for delivery, free of cost to all clubs belonging to the association, has been copyrighted in my name, with all rights reserved. Any infringement thereon will be promptly dealt with. According to law. That the book has been needed there is not doubt, but that it will not be ready before the season commenced, I positively deny. It is now ready for delivery, and the regular season has not yet commenced. I would like to ask, just here, why there were no complaints made last year? It is a well-known fact that during the season of 1870 we had no correct rules in existence, and that was the very reason why the late convention removed Mr. Chadwick from what he thought a permanent chairmanship. It was but another instance of the ingratitude of the party in power, from which, no doubt, a touching moral might be drawn. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury April 16, 1871

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early talk of an England tour

Date Sunday, November 19, 1871
Text

We hear it talked about that the Boston and Athletic clubs contemplate a trip to England next year for a month, by way of pecuniary experiment. Some may laugh at the notion, but we have an idea that it would pay well. The expense would not exceed a trip to New Orleans, and the novelty of seeing the American national game played in perfection by the two leading clubs would, no doubt, attract paying audiences in London, Liverpool, and Manchester, at least.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

every pitch a ball or a strike; criticisms of this rule

Date Saturday, May 13, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Olympic of Washington 5/5/1871] Mr. H. A. Dobson, of the Flour City...umpired the game strictly in accordance with the letter of the new rules, never letting a ball pass after the first one, without it was called either “strike” or a “ball.”

It is the first game so umpired here, and if not satisfactory to either players or the audience, the fault is in the rules, and not with the umpire; for he has as much right to violate any other rule of the game as to disregard the requirements of the rule governing the calling of balls and strikes. The enforcement of the rule precludes fine batting. To show how the rule works when so strictly applied, it is but necessary to say that in this game the Bostonians were out-batted and out-fielded, but won the game by waiting. Harry Wright’s orders were to wait for three balls, as they must necessarily come before three strikes in nine cases out of ten. Eighteen of the Boston nine were sent to their bases to twelve of the Olympic; forty-six strikes were called on the Boston to twelve on the Olympic, showing that the game was won by simply waiting. Truly not very scientific play.

In the last innings, when Brainard had dropped his pace to accommodate Waterman, who was catching, the Boston began to bat lively and made six out of their twelve first base hits.

...

This is no criterion of the strength of the two nines, and the second game will have more interest in it than this one, for we predict that nine out of ten umpires will disregard the strict letter of the rule; and batting may be the thing to win in the next contest.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

exemplary umpiring

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Olympic 6/21/1871] The umpiring in this game...was a decided feature. Mr. Holly gave the spectators a fine exemplification of the rules, and the other gentlemen present who act in that position were much benefitted thereby. He not only keeps the pitchers down to their work, but he also admonishes batsmen that they must strike the first good ball that comes along.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

exonerating a pitcher from throwing the game because he would have done it better

Date Sunday, August 20, 1871
Text

[Haymakers vs. Eckford 8/17/1871] The Trojans would undoubtedly have won the game had it not been for their pitcher, McMullen, who, in the most extraordinary manner appeared to lose all control over the ball in the last inning after two of the Eckford men were out, and when it was Broadway to a banana that the Eckfords would not be able even to tie the game. Of course there were many persons kind enough to insinuate that he had thrown the game, but it seems utterly improbable that he should have been such a fool as to wait until the last inning before he commenced such a line of conduct, when he might so much more easily and certainly have obtained the object by doing a little wile pitching in the earlier part of the game.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fake pitches

Date Saturday, September 2, 1871
Text

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Olympic of Washington 8/26/1871] ...the score standing six to one at the end of the fourth in favor of Rockford. Up to that time Fisher had outwitted the batters by several make believe motions to pitch which could not be constructed into baulks, and every man went out without reaching first; as soon, however, as a man reached first he had to drop his motions, and then by some errors and six hard hits for bases eight runs were scored.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

favoring 'scientific' small ball

Date Sunday, September 3, 1871
Text

The perfection of scientific batting is to earn first base by a hit which renders it impossible fo the infielders to catch the ball on the fly of to field it in time to put a player out at either of the three bases. There is not a muffin player who cannot hit a ball pitched to the bat for a home run. New York Sunday Mercury September 3, 1871

an attempt to distract the fielder

The New York correspondent of the Albany Times, speaks of an old Haymaker player’s trick: “At the match on Monday, between the Mutuals and Forest Citys, of Rockford, a player of the latter was guilty of one of the lowest tricks conceivable. In the ninth inning two of the Rockfords were out and the Mutuals one ahead, when Anson sent up a high fly over first base. Start prepared to take it; when it was a few inches from his hand Fisher uttered a roar which would have done credit to a mad bull. Start, however, held the ball, and the crowd hooted the ruffian, who, unable to win a fame fairly, strove to do so by a contemptible trick. New York Sunday Mercury September 3, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ferguson splits his pants

Date Sunday, October 22, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 10/19/1871] [a benefit for the Chicago Club, with mixed sides, Cummings pitching for the Athletics] Ferguson fell in this inning [seventh] and damaged a portion of his breeches, covering the locality with mud. As the blemish was gradually disclosed to the different parts of the auditory, successive peals of laughter were given vent to.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielders calling for the ball

Date Monday, May 15, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Troy 5/9/1871] The accident occurred during the sixth inning. A fly ball was struck to the left field, about half way between George Wright [the short stop] and Cone [the left fielder], which both started for, and as they neared each other George sang out, “Let me take it.” The noise of a passing train of cars prevented Cone from hearing distinctly, and just as he had dropped on one knee and had the ball in his hand, George collided with him on a full run, striking his right leg about half way between the knee and ankle on Cone’s knee, which compelled him to retire from the game. The force of the collision knocked the ball from Cones hand, and two men, Bellan and Craver, scored runs. He cannot bear any weight upon his right leg, and he had to be carried from the cars to a carriage, and was taken to Harry Wright’s residence, at the Highlands.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

financing the new Baltimore club

Date Sunday, November 26, 1871
Text

The capital stock of the club, consisting of $20,000, is being taken very rapidly. The par value of each share being fixed at $25, with five months to pay up in, makes it not burdensome, and places it within the reach of every lover the game to give some support to the undertaking.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fish balls

Date Friday, July 14, 1871
Text

Judge Hartmann, President of the Mutual Club, claims to have discovered a substitute for India rubber in the manufacture of base balls. The substitute consists of a small piece of sturgeon’s back bone, one ounce of which is declared by the Judge to be more elastic than four ounces of ordinary rubber. The Judge has several of these in course of manufacture, and intends, it is said, to have them endorsed as the only regulation balls at the next meeting of the National Association.

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fisler and Sensenderfer in business together

Date Sunday, January 8, 1871
Text

It is with great pleasure that we call the attention of our readers to the fact that Weston D. Fisler and John P. J. Sensenderfer, two of the most popular base ball players in this city, have opened a new and handsomely fitted up store at No. 207 North Eighth street, above Race, where they have on hand a large and elegant stock of ladies and gents’ furnishing and fancy goods, perfumery, &c. We with them all possible success in their new enterprise, and recommend our readers to give them a call, and patronize two of the most estimable and courteous members of the base ball fraternity. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury January 8, 1871

Many of our city and country clubs will appear in new uniforms during the coming season, and those clubs needing base ball shirts and stockings to complete such uniforms, will find a large and varied stock from which to select, at the store of Fisler and Sensederfer, No. 207 North Eighth street, in this city. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury January 22, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fisler the 'icicle'

Date Saturday, November 4, 1871
Text

Fisler is noted for his quiet deportment. His strongest characteristic is his remarkable reticence and his unvarying imperturbability of temper. Nothing disturbs him; in fact, his great coolness, nerve and silent style of play have led to his being called the “icicle.” He stands up to his work like an automaton, as far as his movements are concerned, but when necessary he displays an intelligent appreciation of the salient points of the game he is engaged in, which gives him a degree of skill in playing the position that few equal and none surpass.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright in business dealing baseball goods

Date Saturday, April 8, 1871
Text

George Wright and C. H. Gould have gone into partnership as dealers in base ball goods, and clubs and players wanting anything in this line, to whom Boston is a convenient market, are referred to their card in another column.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

going easy in an exhibition game

Date Sunday, May 21, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs Agile 5/16/1871] The Athletic played rather carelessly, not caring to fatigue themselves in consequence of starting on the Boston trip. McBride pitched slow, or the result [Athletics winning 19-11] would have been rather different.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

growling; picked off by the catcher

Date Sunday, September 24, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Eckford 9/21/1871] As usual with the Eckfords when in bad luck, they did considerable growling among themselves, but that done by Nelson was the worst heard this season. From the first ball struck in the first inning to th last in the ninth it was one continued growl. In the sixth inning, when Hicks, who had been badly hurt by a collision on the home plate with Eggler, was staggering after the ball, Nelson brutally declared that Hicks was not hurt, and that he was shamming. In the eighth he turned his attention to the umpire, Mort. Rogers, because that gentleman had rightfully declared Nelson out at third by a throw from Mills to Ferguson, Nelson having been caught feet off the base, the ball reaching there before he could return and touch the base with any part of his person.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harrison Park in Philadelphia

Date Sunday, September 3, 1871
Text

Harrison Park, the only available enclosed ground in the northeastern section of this city, was the scene of an interesting contest on the afternoon of Friday last, between the Athletics and the Park Nine, the latter being an organization of picked players from the different clubs practising at that locality.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright chooses an elastic ball; usually the home club provides the ball

Date Sunday, August 13, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 8/7/1871] A red ball put out by the Boston club was used in this game, although it is generally the custom for the home club to furnish the ball. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 13, 1871

[Boston vs. Mutual 8/22/1871] In this game the Mutuals allowed Harry Wright to select the ball, and choosing an elastic red Ryan ball he afforded the New Yorkers a chance to go in for some heavy hitting... New York Sunday Mercury August 27, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Hicks Hayhurst forms an amateur club

Date Sunday, August 13, 1871
Text

Harrison Park club is the name of an amateur organization about taking the field under the captaincy of Hicks Hayhurst, and who will select their nines from the following strong players: Hayhurst, Rocap, McAllister, Green, Payne, Horton, Moore, Siner, Eills, Doerr, and Deetz. They will play at Harrison Park. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 13, 1871

The Athletics will play a game at Harrison Park on Friday next, with the Park Club, a new organization composed of some of the most promising amateur players in this city. The game has been arranged as a well-deserved complimentary testimonial to Hicks Hayhurst, one of the Athletic veterans in days gone by, and who has devoted liberally much of his time and means in assisting to place the Athletics in their present proud position. The many old and new friends of Hicks Hayburst will welcome this opportunity of showing their appreciation of his merits by attending what promises to be a very interesting game. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 20, 1871.

The Athletics play to-day, at Harrison Park, the Park Club, a new organization, composed of some of our finest amateur players, the foremost being our much esteemed friend, Hicks Hayhurst. Hicks is an old Athletic player and manager, and no man of to-day has done more for the interests of our national game and the Athletic club than he. Evening City Item August 25, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hissing the umpire

Date Tuesday, June 27, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 6/26/1871] We wish to call attention to the disrespectable practice of hooting and hissing umpires, as instanced yesterday. When Gould on a fine hit to centre was making second, Sensy put the ball to Meyerle to put out Jackson, who was going to third base, but failed. Meyerle threw the ball to Reach to prevent Gould from making second base, but there is no question about it but that Gould was there before the ball, and when an appeal was made the umpire very judiciously and promptly decided safe; then came yelling, hooting and hissing, the like never being heard before on the grounds. For the sake of the fine reputation oft he Athletic Club, and the game, let it be discontinued, or it will be the means of bringing the beautiful game to the level of a brutal exhibition of a prize fight, and the utter impossibility of getting a gentleman to umpire a game.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how the championship is calculated

Date Sunday, October 1, 1871
Text

...the club winning the greatest number of games, and not series, shall be entitled to fly the streamer, and that the games lost do not affect the result except there should be a tie between two clubs, and even then the club having the best average is declared champions. It also states that the series for the championship shall be the best three in five games, meaning that the club winning the first three games win the series, and any other games that may be played after the series is won are not to be counted. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury October 1, 1871

The championship rules expressly state that the championship series shall be “best three” out of five games, and the club winning the greatest number of these games wins. Of course, the club which wins the most series necessarily must win the most games of such series, or they could not win the series. Consequently the most series takes the lead. No games count except those which form the series. For instance, if it takes five games to settle the question–each party winning two–then all five games count. If four–one side winning one–then the four count. If all three are won in succession, then only the three count. The average referred to is not the average of runs made, but of match games played. Evening City Item October 10, 1871

The professional clubs made a great mistake when they threw out all games played after the match series was won as “exhibition” games. The regular series of championship games should have been declared to be five games, all such games to count as the record of legal games won and lost, the winner of the most match series—best three out of the five of the regular series—to win the pennant, and in case of a tie in match series, the winner of the most regular games to take the whip, and in case of a tie in this latter respect then the club losing the fewest of the match series to win, and lastly the club losing the fewest regular games. By such a rule as this every one of the five games would be of interest as regular contests even after the match series of three out of five had been won or lost; whereas, as it was this season, the moment the match series was settle the other games of the five became “exhibition” games, and as such were worth less in drawing a crowd. Philadelphia Sunday Republic October 29, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how the championship is calculated: series won and games won

Date Sunday, September 10, 1871
Text

...the fifth game of the series between the Rockfords and Mutuals...the Mutuals having already won their series. The daily papers erroneously termed this latter match an “exhibition” game. It was not so, as it was the fifth game of the regular championship series between them, and for that reason important, as in the case of ties on series of games then these single regular games will count, whereas regularly announced exhibition contests will not. New York Sunday Mercury September 10, 1871

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Athletic 9/7/1871] The fourth game of this season between the Athletics and the Forest City, of Cleveland, was played on Thursday last... The attendance was rather limited, which may be accounted for on the ground of its not being a game for the championship–the Athletics having won the three first games of the series. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury September 10, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how to determine the championship

Date Sunday, October 15, 1871
Text

According to Mr. N. E. Young, the Championship Committee propose giving the whip pennant to the club winning the most, and losing the lowest of the match games played during the series, settling their contest for the best three in five. By this rule, if a club wins their three games in succession, only three games are counted, and if they lose two before winning the three, then five games count. This is what we have always claimed was the only interpretation of the rules; but we do not agree with Mr. Young’s estimate as to the Chicago having the best position, as excluding the Eckford and Kekionga games, and also the games forfeited by the Rockfords from playing Hastings, we find the record stands...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

implementing balls and strikes and the strike zone; early hint at the wides rule

Date Saturday, November 18, 1871
Text

[discussing proposals for new rules] We now come to the most important of all, viz., that governing the pitcher’s department, Rule Second. The interpretation of this rule the past season has been very variable, some umpires observing the strict letter of the law, while others have ignored both the spirit and the letter, and been so lenient in their interpretation of the sections governing the calling of “balls” and “strikes,” as to allow both the pitcher and the batsman a license which the rules were neither intended to warrant nor legally admit of. ... Sections 2, 3 and 6...need re-wording in order to make a fair interpretation more clear to the average mind than now seems possible. While there can be no doubt in regard to the necessity of having every unfair ball–as described in section 4–called in the order of delivery, it is a matter of question in regard to what power the umpire shall possess in deciding upon balls pitched within what may be regarded as the fair reach of the bat, and yet not pitched the height called for, or so that the striker can fairly hit them to advantage. For instance, no one will deny that it should be the duty of the umpire to call every ball in the order of its delivery, which is pitched so as to strike the ground in front of the regular position, or such as are pitched over his head, out of reach of his bat, or opposite to the side he strikes from. All such balls are unfair in every respect, and should be called whenever delivered, even three in succession. But the balls which need to be specially referred to in other words than those contained in the existing rule are those which are too low or too high for the accustomed habit of the batsman’s style, or which, though within reach of the bat, are not sent in over the home plate. In considering the re-wording of the sections governing this point, it must not be forgotten that the interests of the game require that the pitcher should be allowed sufficient license for strategical play, or, otherwise, one of the finest points of the game will be sacrificed. In other words, we want to get rid of wile and reckless pitching by rigid penalties, and to keep pitchers down to a legitimate exercise of skillful play in their position.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

importing an umpire

Date Sunday, June 4, 1871
Text

[Olympic of Washington vs. Athletic of Philadelphia 5/31/1871] The umpire was Mr. Holley, of Buffalo, who had come from that place specially to umpire this game. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch June 4, 1871

[Olympic of Washington vs. Athletic of Philadelphia 6/21/1871] Mr. Samuel Holley, of the Niagara Club of Buffalo, had previously been agreed upon as umpire, and his excellent judgment on former occasions gained him a hearty round of applause as he came on the field. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch June 25, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

inconsistent reports of scores

Date Saturday, September 23, 1871
Text

The Chicago nine claim a series won from the Rockfords, but the Rockford scorer informed us that they stood two each. One of the Haymakers’ games was accidentally left out. Errors cannot well be avoided when the figures of the scores are incorrectly sent in some times, while other games are not reported at all in the eastern journals. Some of the Kekionga and Rockford scores are yet wanting. Scorers send in records of victories but forget defeats, sometimes.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

instant reporting

Date Friday, June 30, 1871
Text

Hereafter full particulars of all important matches which take place on the Union grounds will appear in an extra edition of the Telegram ten minutes after the game ends.

Source New York Evening Telegram
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interference by a partisan crowd the only legitimate reason to withdraw from a game

Date Saturday, May 27, 1871
Text

No club gains anything by withdrawing from a match on account of partial decisions by the umpire. If they are interfered with by a partizan crown, then a withdrawal may be justified, but on no other account.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting overrunning first base

Date Sunday, August 13, 1871
Text

The Atlantics, of Brooklyn, defeated the Mansfield, of Connecticut, on Monday last, by a score of 16 to 15. The only noticeable incident about the game was a decision by the umpire–Ferguson, of the Mutuals–to the effect that a player over-running the first base may run to second without returning and touching the first base. We understand that Mr. Bomeisler, in the Olympic-Expert game, played week before last, gave a similar decision; and that in the Athletic-Boston game, of Monday last, the two captains made an agreement to the same effect. With all due deference for Messrs. Ferguson and Bomeisler, we think that their decisions are directly contrary to section ten of rule four, which says:–“Should a player running the bases touch and overrun his first base, he shall be privileged to return at once to the base, without being put out, provided he does not attempt to make his second base.” Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 13, 1871

In reply to queries by several correspondents, we give below the rule and its correct interpretation governing the point of play of overrunning first-base. Section 10 of Rule Four reads as follows: “Should a player running the bases touch and overrun his first-base, he shall be privileged to return at once to the base without being put out, provided he does not attempt to make his second-base.” It is claimed that the “privilege” granted in the rule is that of returning to retouch the base or not, as the player chooses. This is a mistake. The privilege refers simply to the player’s being allowed to return to first-base without being put out. If the privilege meant anything else than this, then the base-runner would be as liable to be put out at first-base for overrunning as at any other. Besides, if the base-runner was not required to return and retouch the base, there is nothing in the rule to prevent him, every time he overruns first-base, from running half-way down to second, instead of running on the line of the base toward the foul-ball post. The rule is as we state, and no player can legally make the second-base after overrunning the first-base unless he first returns and retouches first-base. New York Sunday Mercury August 27, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting overrunning first base 2

Date Saturday, September 2, 1871
Text

[from answers to correspondents] The striker had no right to attempt to make second base until he had re-touched first base after overrunning first base, and had he been touched by the ball, in the hands of a fielder, before he had so re-touched first base he was out. The umpire was wrong. The privilege accorded in the rule is simply that of being allowed to return to the base without being put out, and not that the base runner has the option of returning and touching the base or not. Were this the right interpretation. Fo the rule, what is there to prevent the striker every time he overruns the first base from turning to his left and running half way down to second base?

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting overrunning first base rule

Date Sunday, November 19, 1871
Text

The other matter is one which has occasioned not a little dispute during the past season, viz.: the right of a man who has over-run first base–taking advantage of the new rule on that point–to have the privilege of keeping on to second without returning to first. The present rule requires that he should do so in case he is merely over-running the base, but very many cases have come to note wherein the umpire has been in a decided quandary. Take, for instance, the following supposable case: A striker send the ball to third baseman, and runs for first; he over-run his base a slight distance; the ball has been thrown wildly, and he runs to second without returning to touch first. The umpire is unable to discriminate, not knowing whether the base was over-run ro whether he had attempted to run to second on the bad throw. According to the present ruling, the umpire might decide him out or not as the case might be, and it might be recorded as an error of judgment or a correct decision. Now the proposition in point is, that the man shall declare his intention of running to second or over-running his base by making an angle to the left or right from the base, decision to be based on this deviation. Of course the change from the line must be quick, and the player is sure to make it, as it is to his own advantage. Should he keep straight on, even for a couple of feet, it must be inferred that he is over-running his base, and must return to first before he can attempt to make second. This amendment is absolutely necessary, as we have seen several times this season decisions given on the same point which gave considerable dissatisfaction, and at the same time no blame could possibly attach itself to the umpire.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting overrunning first base; the rule proposed by George Wright

Date Saturday, May 20, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Eckford 5/9/1871 In one instance, Cuthbert forgot that in running over first base he had to return and touch the base before he could run to second. It would never do to allow a base runner such a privilege, and then to add to it that of going to second, after over-running the first. New York Clipper May 20, 1871

Ferguson, in umpiring the Excelsior and Amity match on Friday, committed an important error when he decided that a player overrunning first base can run to second without touching first base. The amended rule was introduced by George Wright, and at the November convention the Secretary was expressly requested to word the rule so that it should be imperative that the player should return and touch the base. That is the law, beyond a doubt. New York Sunday Mercury May 21, 1871

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the sixty day rule

Date Sunday, June 4, 1871
Text

The loose interpretation placed by many professional players on the membership clause will probably cause some trouble. It seems to be a very generally accepted rule that not playing in any match game for sixty days will validate a player’s claim to join any club he pleases, and that he may at once assume active duties on the nine. This is not the case, membership alone being preclusive; and if any player–whether he has played in a match game or not–acknowledges his membership of any organization, by election, presence at meetings, payment of dues, or any other sign, he is ineligible to play on the nine of any other club until he has ceased to be a member of that club for the specified time.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

is a pitch that glances off the bat a foul ball?

Date Saturday, July 1, 1871
Text

[Kekionga vs. Mutual 6/26/1871] [Smith at third base] ...and the ball striking Start’s bat and glancing off, he came home. On all such occasions as this the umpire is justified in calling the ball foul and thereby stopping base running.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

juvenile roughs and idlers

Date Friday, April 21, 1871
Text

The Atlantics have concluded to charge a ten-cent admission fee on all practice days, in order to exclude those annoyances of ball fields, .

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

knickerbockers nearly universally adopted

Date Sunday, October 22, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 10/19/1871] [a benefit for the Chicago Club, with mixed sides, Cummings pitching for the Athletics] Cummings appeared...looking anything but like a professional, in the handsome uniform of the Star Club–the only organization in the country, by the way, which has not adopted the stockings in their “make up.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

lefties suited to first base

Date Saturday, November 4, 1871
Text

As a left handed player Pike is specially adapted for a first baseman.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

luxury suite?

Date Sunday, May 21, 1871
Text

Mr. Cammayer, the energetic proprietor, has erected a platform in front of and above the dressing-room of the Mutual Club, to which those persons who with to be exclusive can obtain admission by the payment of an extra “quarter.” Tickets of admission to this platform will be presented to the officers of any visiting club, in order that there may not be any excuse for crowing the reporters’ stand.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Martin and Wolter's pitching

Date Saturday, February 4, 1871
Text

Martin, of the Mutuals, is the medium paced pitcher par excellence, he having no superior, if an equal, in his specialty. With first class fielding support, and especially against strong batting nines of the heavy, hard hitting class, we would rather invest on his success in preference to any pitcher we know of. ... Martin’s average of chances for outs offered off his pitching exceeded that of any other pitcher in the fraternity, and this has been the case for several seasons past.

...

Wolters has a long reach, and sends in a swift, rising ball from within some eight or ten inches off the ground.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Martin's delivery 2

Date Saturday, October 21, 1871
Text

...Martin, of the Eckford nine, the king of medium paced pitchers, and perhaps the shrewdest manipulator of the ball who occupies the position. Martin’s forte is pitching “dropping” balls, and the command of the ball which he possesses; the peculiar curve with which he tosses it to the bat is fatal to every unskilled batsman, provided he has any good support in the field.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Martin's pitching 2

Date Saturday, August 5, 1871
Text

Marti’s forte is his sound judgment and skill in the delivery of a medium-paced ball. No one knows how to outwit a batsman better than Martin, his practical knowledge of strategy in pitching being equal if not superior to that of any player occupying the position. When he increases his pace he loses in effectiveness, but when he gets to work on his slow dropping balls and has decent support in the field only the most skillful batsmen can punish him with effect. New York Clipper August 5, 1871

an experimental bat modification

LYMAN’S PATENT SELF-ADJUSTING BAT

In the accompanying cut “AA” represents a hold bored in the larger end of the Bat, in length and size proportioned to the length and weight of the Bat.

“B” represents a piece of Lignumvitae closely fitting in the hold, yet sliding freely; “CC” are pieces of cork, tightly fitting and stationary. “D” is a plug driven firmly, and fastened in its place.

The advantages of this over all other Bats are:--

First. It gives the full regulation size without the extra and useless weight at the larger end of the Bat, which is removed by the boring.

Second. This extra or stationary weight is replaced by a movable or sliding weight, “B,” which may be either greater or less than that removed, as may be desired.

Third. This movable or sliding weight is always where most needed in using the Bat, viz:–When the Bat is elevated for the stroke, the weight is near the centre, giving the striker a more perfect control of Bat, and, as the stroke is made, the weight slides toward the end, greatly increasing the weight of the blow.

Fourth. A much quicker and heavier blow can be given that with the ordinary Bats. This is the universal testimony of those who are using them.

Fifth. The stinging or jarring sensation, often felt when the ball is squarely hit near the centre of the ordinary Bat, is never experienced in using the Self-adjusting Bat.

CAPT. JAS. WOOD, of the White Stocking, and many other well known professionals, who have used LYMAN’S PATENT BAT in their most successful games the present season, fully endorse them in every respect, and will use none others since obtaining them.

Nothing but the best, straight grained, seasoned, second growth White Ash, used in their construction.

Manufactured exclusively by the

CHICAGO FILE WORKS.

Office and salesroom, 195 Lake street, Chicago.

For sale by dealers generally. Retail, $1 each.

, running at least into 1872

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Martin's twisters 3

Date Saturday, July 29, 1871
Text

[Eckford vs. Chicago 7/17/1871] Martin’s pitching was watched with great interest by the spectators, and as fly after fly popped up, the crowd testified their appreciation of the “slow twisters” in the heartiest manner. Of the fifteen men, nine went out on fly balls...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

moving a home game to the road for pecuniary advantage

Date Sunday, October 15, 1871
Text

The fourth game [of the championship series] ought to have been played in Brookly, but as the Boston Club made it pecuniarily advantageous for the Mutuals to play the game in Boston, they went there...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mutual professionals and amateurs

Date Tuesday, April 25, 1871
Text

The professional and amateur nines of the Mutual Club played their first game together yesterday afternoon, on the Union Grounds, Williamsburgh, before about six hundred spectators. Of course the professionals won the game, but, nevertheless, the contest was interesting from first to last. The Amateurs had never played their nine together, nor have any of them had any practice in “ball tossing” since last season, a fact which goes far towards explaining the great difference in the two scores.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no attempted stolen bases

Date Thursday, August 3, 1871
Text

[Eckford vs. Athletic 8/2/1871] One point the Eckfords lacked materially was in the running of bases. It was evident that they were either poor runners or they were aware of the destructiveness of Malone’s throwing. Not a man of the Eckfords attempted to make a base during the entire game.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no earned runs on bases on balls

Date Saturday, May 27, 1871
Text

No run can be earned on called balls which are, in one sense, errors by the pitcher. We do not count them in the list of “first base by errors,” as only errors in the field, such as muffs, wild throws and dropped fly balls are alluded to in this list.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no interference if the runner has right of way

Date Sunday, August 6, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Olympic of Washington 8/3/1871] Radcliff hit straight to Force, and as Cuthbert came into collision with that individual, the ball went to centre field, and Radcliff made three bases, bringing home Cuthbert and McBride, the Olympics making an appeal to the umpire to put Cuthbert out, on the ground of an intentional obstruction, which it was not, as Cuthbert had the right of way.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no true amateurs in Washington; the definition of an amateur club

Date Sunday, March 12, 1871
Text

The Washington Clubs will not probably send delegates [to the amateur convention], as there is not a club in the district which will not share in gate-money receipts this season. How such clubs can be considered as amateur organizations in the light of a proper definition of the term as applicable to baseball organizations cannot be perceived.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

obstructing the umpire's view

Date Friday, September 8, 1871
Text

The New York World says that in the Haymaker Rockford game Fisher played rather a mean trick in the ninth inning. One of the Rockfords, after batting to third base, started for first, Flynn fielding the ball to Connors before the man reached the base, but Fisher placed himself between the umpire and the base, and Mr. Dabney was unable to see for himself whether the ball reached Connors first or the runner his base. AS it was, he decided the striker not out.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

obstruction: who has the right of way on the base path?

Date Saturday, June 3, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Olympic of Washington at Union Grounds Brooklyn 5/27/1871] Leonard opened play at the bat in this innings by popping up a high foul ball, which Spaulding ran in to take on the fly as the ball was falling near the line of the base. Seeing this Leonard–who could just as readily have run on either one side or other of Spaulding, without at all losing ground in his effort to reach first base–ran deliberately up against Spaulding, and thereby he plainly prevented him from making his catch, as also McVey from taking the ball on the bound. Leonard’s action was not only a piece of unfair play unworthy of an honorable ball player, but a plain violation of the rules which prohibit any base runner from obstructing a fielder when trying to catch a ball, for which he should have promptly been decided out by the Umpire. The rule governing the play is as follows: Fule 6, Soc 2 reads:–“Any play who shall intentionally prevent an adversary from catching or fielding the ball, shall be declared out.” This Leonard did without question. And as regard the intention, sec. 0 of Rue 4 th reads:–“Any obstruction that could readily have been avoided, shall be considered intentional.” That Leonard could readily have avoided a collision with Spaulding none will gainsay who saw the play. In the brief discussion which ensued in regard to the occurrence, it was claimed that Leonard had a right to run on the line of his base, and that no fielder had a prior right to field a ball on the line, or to cause the base runner to run off the line. This is not so, and no such law has ever been observed. In equity as well as by rule the player running to catch the ball has the right of way. In regard to the rule referring to running out of the line of the base, that is only in force when the ball is in the hands of a fielder, not otherwise. Leonard’s action was inexcusable and illegal, and the decision rendered was a misinterpretation of the rules.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Olympics supported by government patronage

Date Thursday, January 19, 1871
Text

...for the past two seasons Washington has not been fairly represented in the base ball arena. Her prospects for the ensuing season, however, are of the brightest. She has, by the judicious use of government patronage, administered in the shape of official sinecures, secured a body of players who will do her justice, beyond a doubt, in the coming season.

Source Cincinnati Daily Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

only one attempted steal

Date Sunday, August 13, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 8/7/1871] Malone did not have much opportunity to distinguish himself, save in putting out the only man who attempted to run to second. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 13, 1871 [Note: the final score was 23-7 Boston, who may not have felt the need to steal bases.]

an amateur pitcher with speed and twist

Carr, their [the George M. Roth Club] pitcher, delivers the ball with great swiftness, and with much twist, he also uses excellent judgment, and throws to bases accurately. Evening City Item August 15, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

only one lady at the game

Date Sunday, September 10, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Mutual 9/4/1871] The feminine gender was present in a singular number–but one of the “softer sex”–...gracing the occasion with her presence.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

opinions on Cummings' pitching

Date Sunday, October 22, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 10/19/1871] [a benefit for the Chicago Club, with mixed sides, Cummings pitching for the Athletics, Martin scheduled to pitch for the Mutuals] Martin failed to put in an appearance, but his absence from the Mutuals was not missed, as McBride kindly volunteered his services, and his excellent pitching lost nothing in comparison with that of the more youthful, but rather overrated Cummings. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury October 22, 1871

[Mutual vs. Athletic 10/19/1871] [a benefit for the Chicago Club, with mixed sides, Cummings pitching for the Athletics] The chief interest was centered in Cummings, whose peculiarity of delivery renders comparison with any other pitcher in the country difficult. Its element of strength is a curve, seemingly given at will, deviating to either direction, and at times, particularly when he is sending them in swift, this deviation is so obvious that looks as if the ball was actually recoiling from some object struck in its progress. The batsman, although he may hit is, is generally unable to drive the ball in any particular place. He requires the finest support, particularly in the infield, a majority of the balls being hit towards third base. Without this support he would not be available to any professional club. At the bat he is very weak, and this point is an important element. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch October 22, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

organizing the Athletics' annual meeting

Date Sunday, November 19, 1871
Text

The called issued for the annual meeting of the Athletic Club was attended with a hearty response, several hundred persons having assembled at the room selected for the purpose. This selection was apparently made on the spur of the moment, the managers probably being unable to find a room entirely suited to the purpose. The subsequent arrangements were also poor, as every open who wished entered without discrimination, and it was finally found necessary to clear the apartment, and admit only those whose names were on the membership rolls, and who held their certificates.

...

The vote was then taken, the voters passing in line to an ante-room, there depositing their ballots, and passing thence into the hall. The last vote deposited, they were re-admitted, and the process repated until all the offices had been voted for.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

overrunning first base 3

Date Saturday, November 18, 1871
Text

[discussing proposals for new rules] In regard to section 10, which refers to the new rule of overrunning the first base, a new wording is undoubtedly required. Indeed, the question has been discussed in reference to applying this rule to all the bases. Whatever may be the merit of this addition, there is no doubt of the fact that the rule should be worded as to require the base runner to return and re-touch the first base whenever he avails himself of the privilege of overrunning the base. The necessity of his doing this, in all fairness to the field, is this:–when he overruns first base he escapes being put out by being touched when off the base. Now if in so overruning the base he should turn to the left instead of keeping straight on in a line with the foul-ball post, he thereby gains ten or twenty feet on his way to second base; and in so doing, should the ball not be handled properly, his chances of reaching second base through the privilege of overruning first base would be in his favor in eight cases out of ten. It will therefore be seen that in such a case he would be given a double privilege. Now, by causing him to return and touch the base a second time, he is prevented from taking the unfair advantage of getting half way to second on the overrun. This is but an equitable offset for the privilege of escaping being put out while off his base. We would suggest, therefore, that the player, every time he chooses to avail himself of the privilege of overrunning the base, should be required to either turn to the right–his best plan–or to keep straight on, and in either case he must return and retouch the base; and his turning to the left should deprive him of the privilege of overrunning the base with impunity. The new rule has worked most advantageously in preventing sprained legs and ankles, and we question whether it would not be well to apply the rule to each base. New York Clipper November 18, 1871

The new Baltimore Club; the Newington grounds

The formation of a first class nine for the new Baltimore Base Ball Club is progressing favorably, and every effort is being made to present such an organization as will reflect credit on the city, and give an impetus hitherto unknown =in this vicinity to the great National sport. The players thus far engaged are Mills and Hall, formerly of the Washington Olympics, and in their respective positions of first baseman and centre fielder have no superiors in the fraternity. Matthews and Carey, of the Kekionga Club, well known as players of distinction. Radcliff, the short stop of the champion Athletics of Philadelphia, and Pike, of the Haymakers, one of the most powerful batters in the country, and a good general player. This leaves three yet to be engaged, and negotiations are now pending with several well known players, with a view of filling the vacancies. The capital stock of the club is being taken very readily. The par value of each share being fixed at $25, with five months to pay up in, makes it not burdensome, and places is within the reach of every lover of the game to give some support to the undertaking. The officers of the club are all well-known citizens, and are as follows. President, R. C. Hall, Esq., of the firm of Hall Bros. & Co. vice President, Captain N. S. Symington, of the firm of Davison, Symington & Co. Corresponding Secretary, [illegible initial] Dall, Esq. Recording Secretary, J. M.Uhthoff, Esq. Of the Monumental Cotton Press. Treasurer, Wm. J. Davison, Esq of the firm of William Davison & Co.; and Directors, Messrs. A. K. Fulton, American office; Wm. H. Shryock, of Wm. H. Shryock & Co., and A. H. Henderson, of the Baltimore post office.

The new base ball ground on Pennsylvania Avenue, on which the new club will play during the coming season, is being gradually put in proper order, and when completed will be one of the very finest in the country. The proper grading, which has been done at a very large outlay, renders the field nearly level, whilst the area of space covered is sufficiently large to give ample room to the players, and at the same time to afford room for thousands of spectators. Three covered stands are now completed, in which two thousands persons can find convenient seats and an excellent view of the entire field. The grand stand is a two-story structure, and is intended for the accommodation of the bondholders of the grounds, stockholders of the club, and members of the press. The club house is very large, and is fitted up with every convenience for the accommodation of the players, a separate apartment being reserved for the officers of the club, and when finished will be supplied with suitable carpeting and furniture. It only remains for the lovers of the game to give a liberal support to the enterprise, and Baltimore may fly the championship pennant for 1872. Baltimore American November 18, 1871

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

overrunning should be allowed at all bases

Date Saturday, March 11, 1871
Text

It must be borne in mind by base ball players this season that a player, running from home to first base, is allowed to over-run his base without running the risk of being put out, provided he promptly returns to the base after over-running it; but should he attempt to make his second after over-running, then he loses his privilege of returning. The rule is confined to the first base, but it should have applied to all, and no doubt the Amateur Convention will amend it to that effect.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pabor's peculiar twist

Date Monday, July 24, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Forest City of Cleveland 7/22/1871] In the second inning, as Pratt had been so badly punished in the first, Pabor went in to pitch, which had an instantaneous effect on the batting of the Philadelphians. His slow, left-handed balls, with their peculiar twist, were such a contrast to Pratt's lightning ones, that it completely nonplused the strikers.

Source Cleveland Leader
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Phonney Martin a 'tricky' pitcher

Date Sunday, June 4, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Eckford 5/29/1871] The Chicagos anticipated trouble in playing against Martin, as they knew what a tricky pitcher he was, and also were aware that their men could not hit medium-paced pitching as well as they could swift.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching strategy

Date Sunday, June 4, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Stars 5/30/1871] Until their catcher can play in his position, Cummings should pitch as he did on Tuesday, viz., when no men are on the bases, send the ball in red-hot, and let the catcher allow the ball to pass him until fouls are hit; but when the bases are occupied send in medium-paced balls, and trust to the field to do the work.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching strategy 2

Date Sunday, June 11, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Mutual 6/5/1871] Zettlein’s pitching was exceedingly effective, and, with proper support, would have won the game, as he outpitched Wolters in this contest. Zettlein is not so liberal in sending in good balls as he used to be, and therefore is more effective.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

plans for a new Boston ground

Date Saturday, January 21, 1871
Text

[from an address by Ivers. W. Adams to the founding stockholders of the Boston BB Association:] Having completed our nine, the place to play it was the next important consideration; and while we have not concluded arrangements where to play, preferring to confer with you before taking definite action, we have decided a much larger ground must be secured than any very near, or in our city, and negotiations are now pending for accommodations on the line of the Boston and Providence Railroad, where better facilities for playing and seeing the game than any yet enjoyed can be had. We would suggest the erection of a covered building capable of seating about a thousand people, with reserved seats for ladies, shareholders, members of the club and those of our friends who may take suitable interest in the success of this enterprise to assist us at any time. Boston Herald January 21, 1871

The ground formerly occupied by the Union Base Ball Association and known as the “Union Grounds,” having been leased by the Boston club soon after its formation, and dubbed the “Boston Grounds,” was the point of attraction... Boston Herald April 8, 1871

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

plans for the Boston grounds; numbered reserved seats

Date Monday, February 20, 1871
Text

The club has leased the ground known as the Union Base Ball Ground, situated at the South End, near Milford place, and intend to fit it up in the most complete manner. The ground itself will be improved, and a decided change will be made in the arrangements for the accommodation of spectators. The seats will be covered with a roof, and will be numbered so that they can be reserved, all of which will be a great convenience to ladies and gentlemen attending match games. Arrangements will also be made whereby tickets for matches with reserved seats can be obtained down town, and these, with improved facilities for reaching the ground, which are proposed by the Metropolitan Railroad Company, by the laying of a side track proceeding direct to the ground, promise to make it extremely popular the coming season.

Source Boston Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players for the Olympics not voting members

Date Sunday, March 12, 1871
Text

The Olympic Club, of Washington, do not allow their professional players any vote in their club meetings at all.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players to be retired from the Athletics

Date Friday, November 17, 1871
Text

For some reasons or other those fine players, Reach, Sensenderfer, Bechtel, Radcliffe and Heubel have been invited by the directors of the Athletic Club to retire from the nine, after several years of uninterrupted fine playing, and upon more than one occasion, by their brilliant play, leading the club to victory. Why Reach and Sensy should have been set aside, we cannot imagine, for not only do they show the second and third best average in batting, but their fielding score proves them to be the best men in their position in the country.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pool selling introduced to the Union grounds

Date Sunday, June 4, 1871
Text

A noteworthy occurrence of the past week was the introduction of pool-selling, as at turf-races, on the Union Grounds. Mr. Cammeyer says that the betting crowd has become such an annoyance that he thought he could not do better than introduce pool-selling, which places the betting in responsible hands and puts a stop to the quarreling incident to the ordinary plan of betting.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

poor record keeping by the Mutuals; the value of keeping statistics

Date Sunday, November 26, 1871
Text

Once more do we find the Mutual Club of this city closing a season without an official record of their season’s play, their score book having been filled with incomplete records of the games played. All data for getting at the averages of the club must therefore be more or less irregular, or incorrect. New York Sunday Mercury November 26, 1871

The Mutual Club have closed their season, with an incomplete record of the work of the several members of the nine, and, in consequence, it will be impossible to rightly credit any one with their achievements. When will organizations learn the value of keeping a correct book of reference? It would seem that one of the chief points of advantage to a professional club would be something they could consult while making their engagements for the next season. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch November 26, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

posting out-of-town scores

Date Sunday, July 9, 1871
Text

Through the enterprise and liberality of the Western Union Telegraph Company, the results of the various innings of the game between the Mutuals and Olympics, at Washington, will be posted on the Union Grounds on Monday during the Atlantic-Eckford game.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pratt and Wilkins don't have time to play professionally

Date Sunday, May 21, 1871
Text

On Tuesday the new Olympic [of Philadelphia] nine made their first appearance this year. ... Among them we find the old Athletic favorites, Tom Pratt and Ike Wilkins, who, not having time to spare to play professionally, have joined in order to keep up their practice in the game.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pre-game warm up 2

Date Sunday, August 13, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 8/7/1871] The Athletics were early on the ground, a trifle of exercise being sufficient to warm them up.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pregame warmup

Date Friday, May 12, 1871
Text

[Flyaway vs. Mutual 5/11/1871] The Fly Away boys were on the ground sometime before the hour for the commencement of the game, and, as is usual upon such occasions, spent the interval in batting and tossing the ball around, and the manner in which they picked up the hot grounders and “scooped in” the still flies showed plainly that they understood their business and that the “Mutes” would have to play a might sharp game.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

price of Athletic season ticket

Date Sunday, April 23, 1871
Text

The price of Athletic tickets, admitting to all their games, is fixed at the very low figure of five dollars each.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

professional winter ball

Date Sunday, January 1, 1871
Text

The professional Montgomery Base Ball Club are to arrive in our city this morning by mail boat from Mobile, and will play the Lone Stars at the Park this afternoon. They number several first class professional players, such as Hicks, of the Brooklyn Stars, and Fisher, of the noted Haymakers.

Source New Orleans Daily Picayune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proof of no hippodroming

Date Sunday, September 3, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Mutual 8/28/1871] The most costly defeat sustained by the Mutual Club this season was that received at the hands of the Chicago White Stockings... But especially it was costly in the sacrifice of the fifth game of the [series[ which it entered, inasmuch as had the Mutuals been successful the fifth game in Chicago would have attracted 10,000 people at least. There is one consolation, however, resulting from the contest, and that is that it has given the lie to the current rumors about the leading professional clubs “throwing” games for gate-money purposes, and in this respect the victory is a double triumph for the White Stockings; for, pecuniarily, they had every temptation to allow the game to go by default in order to insure the fifth and deciding contest of the series on their own ground. Instead, however, they preferred victory for the club flag, and they creditably achieved it after fighting a good up-hill game, and under circumstances which were calculated to demoralize an undisciplined nine like the White Stockings.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

protocol of asking for judgment

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

Allison, of the Eckfords, hit a ball to the out field, made his first and tried to reach his second, when the ball was fielded into Leonard, who touched or tried to touch Allison, and then called to the umpire, “How is that?” Before Mr. Hatfield could give a decision, Allison very improperly called out, “No touch,” which he had no right to do, and which placed the umpire in a very awkward predicament, as if he decided not out, every one interested in the affair would have declared he had decided “on the evidence of a player,” which would have been in direct contravention of the rules. This trick of holding up the ball, as if the base runner had been touched, and asking for a decision when the field knows he has not touched the runner, is dishonest and [illegible]...asking the umpire for a decision is equivalent to informing him that he (the fielder) had touched the player. Master Nelson did the same thing in an earlier stage of the game, when he knew he was not within two feet of the man running the base. This is frequently done, and is considered “clever,” but is simply an attempt to cheat, for which any player ought to be expelled from a respectable club.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

public acceptance of the fifty cent admission

Date Saturday, June 3, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Olympic of Washington at Union Grounds Brooklyn 5/27/1871] The weather was fine, the ground in admirable order, and, though the admission fee was half a dollar, fully 3,000 people were present within the inclosure; and, as the price of admission had been previously announced both by the daily papers and by bills, the attendance of so large an assembly cannot but be regarded as a public indorsement of the new rates of admission to first class professional contests.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

put out trying to run on a foul ball

Date Thursday, August 31, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Athletic 8/30/1871] Wood opened and was sent to first on three balls, but was put out by Fisler to McBride in attempting to run on a foul...

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

quality of different types of rubber

Date Saturday, November 18, 1871
Text

[discussing proposals for new rules] Beginning with Rule First, governing the ball, bat and bases, we see no need of any change in the first section of the rule, except in reference to naming the quality of the rubber in the composition of the ball, the object being to avoid the difference in the elasticity of balls possessing the same weight of rubber, but having a variable quality. In the case of the difference between the vulcanized of “mould” rubber, and that of the sheet rubber cut in strips, the elasticity of an ounce of the former is not half that of an ounce of the latter. We therefore suggest that the rule should be amended so as to allow only one quality as well as one weight of rubber, the preference, of course, to be given to the non-elastic kind.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

questions about rain checks

Date Saturday, June 17, 1871
Text

To the B.B. Editor Evening City Item:

SIR:–I want to know. For instance. Wife and self travel to the Athletics grounds to see a “championship” game of base ball. Entrance 50 cents a head. A shower comes up after the first inning, lasting about half an hour. Umpire calls game just about the time sunshine reappears. Wife and self have to walk out–no money returned at the gate. Is this sort of thing mutually satisfactory? B.S.G. Evening City Item June 17, 1871

On Thursday last, some four thousand people paid fifty cents each for admission to the Union base ball ground, to witness the match between the Mutuals and White Stockings, of Chicago. Having paid to see the game, the question remains, were they entitled to value for their money? Most reasonable persons would suppose they were, and would reply by remarking, “Why ask such a silly question?” One reason for asking what with most persons would be considered a silly question is, that Mr. Cammeyer, the proprietor of the ground, along with the Mutual and Chicago clubs, consider that they were not entitled to a proper consideration for the their money, and we will show how we arrive at such a conclusion. At the end of the first inning several peals of thunder were heard, and before the second inning was played out rain was falling heavily. A third inning was commenced and partly played during a perfect torrent of rain, when “time” was called by the umpire, and the game was suspended about twenty minutes, to see if the weather would clear up, but this satisfactory result did not follow, and the umpire called the game. So far this was all right and fair, but it certainly was most unfair to send those four thousand spectators away without either giving them their money back, or at least a check to admit them when the game would be played out.

It is perfectly true there is a placard posted up in the ground signifying that “no money will be returned after the first inning. This proclamation, however, must be taken for what it is worth, as it is well known that one person cannot make a contract. The public in this matter have no voice whatever in this contract, they are compelled to accept the condition or retire, and there is very little doubt that if any one who was present and paid for admission would, if he sued for the recovery of his fifty cents, have a verdict awarded in his favor. Leaving the legality of the affair, however, altogether on one side, we ask if the public were treated with common honesty in this matter? ... those persons who paid for admission were entitled to their money or a ticket of readmission up to the end of the fifth inning, as it required that number of innings to constitute a game. Fifty cents is a large sum to demand for admission to a ball match, and surely when people pay that amount they are entitled to see more than one dry inning and one and a half wet ones played.

The rules which govern other places of public amusements are surely applicable to base ball exhibitions. If any person pays for a seat in a theatre or opera house, and the performance is interrupted in such a manner as not to permit of its being concluded, he will have his money returned, or a check given to him for re-admission when the play is to be performed again, and this is what the public were entitled to on Thursday last. What makes this matter the more aggravating is that it was publicly announced that if the weather prevented the game coming off on Thursday, it would be played on the Friday following. It was evident, therefore, that both clubs had made arrangements for such a contingency, and need not have manifested such unseemly haste in getting out of town. An immense deal of dissatisfaction was expressed respecting this, to say the least, extremely shabby affair which we must say reflects discredit upon the parties concerned. Some persons growled because the game was not continued after the rain had cleared off, but this would have been absurd as the ground was not in a condition to play on, but the game could and ought to have been played on the following day. This principle of grabbing everything will do no good to the interest of base ball. New York Dispatch June 18, 1871

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reasons for reduced scoring levels

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

The Athletic never played a better fielding game, while their batting was equal to any they have done in first-class games this season. People express some surprise at the weakness, as they term it, of the Athletic at the bat, whereas the truth is, that they are no weaker than they ever were; but fielding has become so superior to what it used to be, that the same chances for batting are not given. Again, it must be remembered that the ball now played with is a soft one, in comparison tow hat it formerly was, and hit s that in times passed would have easily yielded two and three bases are attended to by in-fielders, or taken on the fly the out-fielders. Fisler, Cuthbert, Sensenderfer and Reach, particularly suffer from this, when taking into consideration that they cannot wait for a ball to come in just a certain position.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reports by carrier pigeon

Date Sunday, July 2, 1871
Text

The excitement in this city on the afternoon of Thursday last [when the Athletics played the Mutuals in Brooklyn] was most intense. Telegraphic reports were received of each inning at several places and at Frank McBride’s where there is no “wire” convenient to the neighborhood, they were receiving the reports from Roth’s by means of carrier pigeons. There was a large crowd present, and a black hen pigeon, who had the ninth inning, was so frightened that she would not enter the coop, while the boys were almost crazy to get the news.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reserved and numbered seats

Date Sunday, March 5, 1871
Text

The [Boston] Club has leased the Union Grounds, which will be improved. The seats on the ground will be numbered so that they can be reserved, and will be covered with a roof.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

resolutions of the Pennsylvania State Association

Date Saturday, April 29, 1871
Text

1. The National Association is composed of state associations and of individual clubs in states where there are not sufficient clubs to form associations.

2. That, therefore, clubs belonging to state associations cannot, by any individual action, withdraw from the National Association of Base Ball Players, but must first resign from or sever their connection with state associations in the usual legal and prescribed manner.

3. That it is folly to suppose, much more to declare, that the action of the Olympic Club, of Philadelphia, in joining the National Association of Amateur Base Ball Players, and of the Athletic Club, of Philadelphia, in becoming members of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, could either impair the status or rights of the forty-six (46) other clubs belonging to the Pennsylvania State Association, or even dissolve their connection with the National Association of Base Ball Players.

4. That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the secretaries of the three national associations, and that they be published in the New York Clipper and Philadelphia Sunday Mercury.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

revolving among the amateurs

Date Thursday, August 3, 1871
Text

REVOLVING. This disreputable practice has become so common of late among amateur clubs that we deem it necessary to call the attention of clubs to the rules, which are very explicitly in regard to such cases. We are positive that there are several prominent amateur players in this city who have signed an agreement to play with a club and are playing with different clubs under assumed names. So frequent has this got to be that, if it is continued, it will eventually depopularize the national game. No later than last Saturday, at Reading, the Schuykill Club, of that place, played upon their nine three members of the Rising Star Club, of this city, against the Geo. M. Roth, imported for this special occasion, but who are now members of the club. Another case is that of Bunnell, who is now playing with the Union Club. This player signed an agreement to play with the Geo. M. Roth for the season of 1871. He therefore is a member of this club and of no other, yet he played in a game recently with the Union. What benefits a club to have these revolvers? All match games played by the Union, whilst this player is a member of the nine, are either counted against them, or declared null and void, which ever way the association may determine. As this business has been pretty effectually stopped in the professional association, so should it be in the amateur. If you with to uphold the noble game, play honorably, abide by the rules, and do all that may become a gentleman.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ross Barnes insults a reporter

Date Saturday, August 5, 1871
Text

It would be well for Harry Wright to look after the conduct of some of his players during the progress of a game, and see that they not only remain in their proper positions, but that they maintain the deportment of gentlemen. While the first portion of the second inning was being played yesterday Barnes, the Boston's second baseman, went over to the reporters' stand and deliberately seated himself upon the desk immediately in front of one of the reporters, so as not only to obstruct his (the reporter's) view of the field, but to partially crowd his book off the desk. When politely requested to move he positively refused to comply and coupled his refusal with insulting remarks. Will Harry look after this case?

Source New York Evening Telegram
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rowdyism

Date Wednesday, May 31, 1871
Text

[Troy vs. Mutual 5/25/1871] During the match on Thursday between the Haymakers and Mutuals, a party of young roughs stationed themselves in the vicinity of left field, and whenever Hatfield, of the Mutuals, was in hearing, delivered themselves of opinions disparaging to the Mutual Club, couched in no elegant language, and calculated in every way to irritate the individual at whom they were aimed. At length a ball was knocked amongst them, and as Hatfield went for it, a looker on remarked to him that he was surprised at the state of the game, whereupon one of the aforesaid ruffians shouted, ‘The h--l you is,’ and followed up the blackguardism by making a most insulting remark about Ferguson, coupled with disgusting language, and, this time, addressed direct to Hatfield. The latter, irritated beyond all patience, faced him, and slapped him in the face, sending him on the green sward. A sense of injured dignity brought on a fit of tears, after which the vagabond arose from his recumbent position to seek the services of a legal adviser. It is said that he has instituted a suit, and intends to haul Hatfield before the bar of justice to answer a charge of assault and battery. If justice be done, the prosecutor will be remanded for further lambasting, but such a proceeding not being sanctioned by the code, the law will, we presume, deem his present punishment sufficient and let him go his way and sin no more. ‘From hence, ye rowdies, undeceived;’ know that no man is an object of insult, even while engaged in a game of base ball, and be careful lest ye, also, run your diaphragms against the horny palms of a ball player., quoting the New York Globe

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of the Mutuals throwing games

Date Sunday, October 15, 1871
Text

Last year the impression was general in baseball circles that one, if not two, of the professional nines in the arena were guilty of losing games by default for the object of benefitting special betting “rings,” and so fixed did this idea become in the minds of the baseball public that the suspected club never lost a game but what they were charged with wilfully sacrificing it. Strange to say, the parties incurring this odium were apparently more willing to bear the stigma of fraud than the discredit of being out-played in the field, and their denials of complicity in the dishonest arrangements they were charged with were made in such a way as rather to confirm their guilt than to establish their innocence. Lately a similar impression has existed among the least reputable class of the patrons fo the game in regard to the defeats sustained by the Mutual Club this season, and especially in reference to their games in Boston. Now, whatever grounds there might have been for the charges made last season certainly there have thus far been none for those now made. The games lost by the Mutual club in Boston were legitimate defeats, and if proof were wanting of the fact it would be afforded by the result of the contest of October 9, and for these reasons: if the Mutuals had allowed the games on Boston to go by default of earnest efforts to win there was certainly no reason why they should allow the Bostons to defeat them in the exhibition game. On the contrary, under such circumstances, they would have every incentive furnished them to win, as, in consequence of the impression we have referred to, the betting would be naturally on the success of the Bostons, and were they defeated a rich harvest of bets would be reaped. But on Monday last when the fact leaked out that it was an exhibition game the betting was in favor of the Mutuals, the investments being made on the basis of the supposed ability of the Mutual nine to defeat the Reds whenever they chose to exert themselves. Those who witnessed the game, and who noticed the strenuous exertions of the Mutuals to win, must have realized at once the falsity of the reports about their wilfully losing the Boston games, for in this contest, where it was important that the Mutuals should win in order to save the bets of their friends, they were more signally defeated both at the bat and in the field than in any of the series of games the two clubs have played together.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runners tagged after failing to touch their bases following a time out

Date Sunday, November 12, 1871
Text

[Expert vs. Roth, both of Philadelphia 11/9/1871] A somewhat tickling point came up in the second inning–the first case of the kind we have ever seen–and we think the umpire made an error of judgment. Carr and Sinnott were at first and second, “time” had been called and play suspended for a few moments, as McKenna had wrenched his knee, and was unable to resume his position for a short time. Waitt then followed with a base hit, and send Carr to third and Sinnott to second. Weaver received the ball and passed it to Donnelly at third, who touched Carr, and then sent it to Battin at second, who touched Sinnott, and an appeal made to the umpire, who decided both men out for not touching their bases after play had resumed. The rule distinctly says “that no base shall be run after time has been called until play is resumed,” this covering all the ground. There is no rule whatever about a player touching his base after time has been called, and accordingly this decision was without warrant.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runners take a lead: their responsibility to advance themselves

Date Sunday, September 3, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Mutual 8/28/1871] The game opened against the Mutes, the White Stockings making one run in the first and one run in the second inning, while they Chicagoed the Mutes in both, notwithstanding the Mutes had had several opportunities of tallying, if they had not stood shivering about two or three from their bases, until they were forced off.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

salary and cooperative nines

Date Sunday, November 19, 1871
Text

The experience of the past three years of regular professional ball-playing has pretty conclusively shown that there is but one plan for running a professional club successfully, and that is by regularly engaged and salaried players, paid by an incorporated stock company. The system of co-operative nine has proved a failure, for the simple reason that no such nines can be made amenable to that control of its members required to created a thoroughly trained and disciplined professional nine.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scheduling Saturday games

Date Sunday, May 7, 1871
Text

The policy of the Athletics in arranging first class games on Saturday afternoon is a very poor and short sighted one for a professional club, as the attendance on that day is smaller than that of any other day in the week. Our experience in base ball matters extends over thirteen years, and during the period of that time we cannot call to mind thirteen first class games that were played on Saturday afternoons.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring the value of a base hit

Date Saturday, November 4, 1871
Text

[from answers to correspondents] In case of a hit to the out-field over the heads of the outfielders, by which the striker reached home base by an error of the catcher, the striker would earn three bases only.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

signals between pitcher and catcher

Date Saturday, October 28, 1871
Text

Another point in which he [Doug Allison] is not a proficient is, in not being competent to direct a pitcher in strategical play when a game is in a critical position; for this reason the pitcher he faces should always have the command of his catcher. With others the reverse is frequently the case, the catcher doing the “headwork” in strategic play by directing–through private signals–the pitcher how to deliver particular balls.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

simultaneous games on the Capitoline grounds

Date Sunday, August 6, 1871
Text

During the progress of the Savannah-Star game, on Thursday, the lower ground of the Capitoline was occupied by the Amitys and the Fly Aways, of New York...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

slow vs. swift pitching

Date Saturday, October 28, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Star 10/21/1871] The Mutuals were unable to present Wolters, who is said on the sick list, Fleet playing in his stead, the latter being sent in to pitch “slow tosses,” leaving the field to do all the work of the game.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

small attendance due to unimportance of games

Date Sunday, September 3, 1871
Text

The contests in Brooklyn the past week, with the exception of the Chicago match, have been very slimly attended, there being a decided falling off in the interest taken in professional contests. One cause has been the fact that no games of such importance as the Chicago match have taken place; the best patrons of the game having become tired of paying 50c. to see contests which is reality are but little else than mere gate-money or “exhibition” games. Depend upon it whenever the professional clubs will place in the field two contending nines bent upon doing their level best to win, as the White and Green Stocking [i.e. Mutuals] did on Monday last, they will come out strong in numbers to witness the match. But they don’t feel disposed to pay half-a-dollar to such contests as the Mutual and Rockford and Eckford and Cleveland games, on the result of which no important issue is pending, and there is nothing to play for except the receipts at the gate. Policy would dictate an advertised reduction in the rates of admission at this season of the year to all games not immediately bearing upon the question of the battle for the whip-pennant. When the important series of closing games, on the result of which the possession of the whip is to be settled, are to be played we shall no doubt see the games liberally patronized. But our people will no longer patronize anything in the form of exhibition contests, the same having become a played-out institution.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

snap throws from catcher to first

Date Saturday, January 21, 1871
Text

[Charley Smith] has a neat trick of throwing to first base with a motion of the body and arm, as if he were simply returning the ball to the pitcher; this is very apt to catch unwary base runners napping.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spring gymnasium training; the Red Stockings' living arrangements

Date Sunday, April 2, 1871
Text

The Boston nine are busily at work training themselves in the Tremont Gymnasium, Boston. They are under the watchful eye of Harry Wright, who with his brother George and Gould live together in New Heath street, Boston Highland. The other seven “boys” live next door in a private house, so they are all under Harry’s wing.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

strict calling of balls and strikes

Date Saturday, September 23, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Forest City of Cleveland 9/14/1871] C. M. Holly, of the Niagara Club, of Buffalo, was selected as the umpire, which proved to be a very judicious selection, his strictness in calling balls and strikes and his perfect impartiality giving entire satisfaction to all concerned.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

substitutes from outside clubs in a match game

Date Sunday, August 6, 1871
Text

[Olympic of Washington vs. Athletic 8/5/1871] The fourth game between the Athletics, of this city, and the Olympics, of Washington, was played yesterday... The Olympics could only muster seven men, Waterman and Allison being absent, and in this emergency, Rastall of the Olympics of this city, and Halback of the Experts, filled the vacancies existing on their nine. The Athletics had also a substitute, Bechtel playing in the place of Meyerle, who is still unable to take part in a game. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 6, 1871

[Olympic of Washington vs. Athletic 8/5/1871] The Olympics were sort of Allison and Waterman, and in order not to disappoint the people, Halback and Rastall volunteered to fill the vacancies. [Implying it was regarded as an exhibition game.] New York Sunday Mercury August 6, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suspicions of the thrown game

Date Sunday, October 15, 1871
Text

[Eckford vs. Athletic 10/14/1871] Cuthbert then struck a high ball to left field that Nelson very suspiciously made no apparent effort to catch, and three men came home, thus tying the score. McBride hit a grounder that Shelley allowed to pass through his fingers, and Cuthbert scored the winning run. ... That the Eckfords could have won this game had they so felt disposed seemed to be the opinion of nearly all on the ground, and the conclusion of it looked very suspicious. The Athletics tried their best to win and are entirely free from any complicity with this apparently most discreditable proceeding. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury October 15, 1871

[Eckford vs. Athletic 10/14/1871] ...the so-called Eckford Club deliberately threw the game away. When we say the Eckford Club, we mean that the players who did it received the sanction of the acting captain and the majority of the players. We charge Nelson as being the main instrument of this contemptible action. Two balls were sent to left field, on by Meyerle, on which he made a home run, and one by Cuthbert, on which he made second, sending three men home. The ball hit by Meyerle was good for two bases, and probably, by a swift runner, for three, but there is not a man in the country that can make home on a ball hit to left, if properly fielded. Nelson, ingoing for the ball, took it leisurely, and when the man arrived home he threw the ball in. But his contemptible work was more palpable in Cuthbert’s hit. A high ball was hit by this player to left, which Nelson wilfully misjudged, and even then had he shown the slightest effort to catch it, he could have secured it easily; but instead of turning in the proper way to catch it, he kept running with the ball and put out one hand, but of course the growler couldn’t sell us that way. The consequence was three men came home. Cuthy being sent home by McBride’s hit, which Shelly should have stopped, but he merely put one hand to it. This run tied the game.

There seems to be a difference of opinion among some, whether Shelly could have stopped the ball; we think he could, as the ball came directly to his position; but Nelson’s misplays were deliberately done, for the offence he should be expelled by the Association, and not be permitted to associate with honorable ball players. One or two other players of the nine, we think, had a hand in it, but before charging them with this most serious offence, we shall look carefully to their plays upon this occasion. The game certainly should have gone against he Athletics, by a score of 10-11 on the last inning. But their opponents desired it otherwise for some purpose. Perhaps the gamblers had something to do with it? We noticed several of their players very attentive to hat quarter, during the playing of the ninth inning. Evening City Item October 16, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of a Europe trip

Date Saturday, November 11, 1871
Text

The Athletic and Boston clubs contemplate making a visit to England next year.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

technical terms of pitching

Date Saturday, February 18, 1871
Text

The following are most of the technical terms used in reference to the pitcher’s department:–

A Balk.–A balk is made when the pitcher either throws, jerks, or bowls a ball; or if he steps outside the lines of his position when making any of the preliminary movements in delivering the ball to the bat, or if he fails to deliver it after making one or other of such movements.

A Bowled Ball.–If a ball be bowled along the ground to the bat, the umpire it required to call a balk.

Called Balls.–A called ball is the penalty inflicted on the pitcher for sending a ball to the bat out of the striker’s legitimate reach.

Chances.–A chance in base ball means an opportunity afforded off the pitching for the fielders to put a player out. A pitcher is never “punished” so long as his pitching affords chances for outs, no matter how many runs the opposing side may score in the game.

Dropping the Pace.–This term is applied when the pitcher lessens the speed of his delivery and substitutes a medium paced ball for a swift one. It is very effective in some cases.

Headwork.–This term is applied to a pitcher who uses his judgment in his work and brings mental power into play to aid physical skill.

Over-pitch.–This term is applied to a ball which is pitched over the catcher’s head, out of his reach, or so wide of his position, on one side or the other, as to be just as much out of reach as in the first instance.

Pitcher’s Points.–These are the two iron quoits laid down on the centre of the front and back line of the pitcher’s position.

Punishing the Pitcher.–The pitcher is “punished” when the balls he pitches to the bat are easily hit to the field in such a manner as to prevent them from being fielded to put either the batsman or a base runner out. No pitcher is “punished” simply because runs are easily scored by his opponents, but only when bases are earned by clean hits off his pitching.

Pace.–This is the technical term applied to the degree of speed with which the ball is pitched to the bat. There are three degrees of pace, viz.–swift, medium and slow. Creighton was the swift pitcher, par excellence, and Martin is the representative medium-paced pitcher. The best slow pitcher is the man who can toss in a ball to the bat which is most likely to deceive the eye of the batsman by the peculiar curve of the line of its delivery.

Slows.–“Slows” are balls simply tossed to the bat with a line of delivery so curved as to make them almost drop on the home base. When tossed in by a pitcher who has command of the ball, and who knows the weak points of his batting opponents, this style of delivery can be made very effective, but otherwise slow pitching is easy to punish.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

telegraphing for an umpire

Date Thursday, June 1, 1871
Text

Mr. Theodore Bomeisler has been telegraphed for, and has consented to act as umpire in the great game at Boston, on Friday, between the Chicago and Boston clubs. This is, indeed, a great compliment to Philadelphia ball players; and also showing great judgment on the part of the clubs in making the selection.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ten on a side

Date Wednesday, May 17, 1871
Text

A lively game was played yesterday, between the “Duke’s Motto” B.B.C., and “Playing with Fire” B.B.C., at Harrison Park. Our old friend “Hicks” Hayhurst played in his usual good style, and excelled at the bat. Evening City Item May 17, 1871 [The game had , with right shorts. At least one other local professional played in it, which appears to have actually been a pick up game.]

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the 'waiting game' for bases on balls

Date Sunday, September 10, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 9/9/1871] The umpire was very strict on Bechtel, and seven of the Bostons, who played a waiting game, went to the bases on called balls–Harry Wright being given his base four times. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch September 10, 1871

[Athletic vs. Chicago 9/18/1871] McBride pitched with unusual swiftness and precision, and although the Whites played what is called “a waiting game,” they only obtained three bases on called balls, and the fact of their getting so many, completely refutes the slanders of the Western journalists regarding the partiality of the umpire, as the Athletics only obtained one base on called ball, and that off the very wild pitching if Zettlein. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury September 24, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletic Club is incorporated

Date Sunday, January 15, 1871
Text

On the 11 th of April, 1866, the Athletics, by a special act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, were incorporated as a base ball club, thus giving a permanence to the organization, and tending to make the members feel more interest in the club’s reputation and welfare. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury January 15, 1871 [in a historical retrospective of the Athletics]

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletic grounds; an early press box

Date Monday, May 15, 1871
Text

It must be a source of pleasure to the Athletics to know the fact that they have one of the finest, if not the finest, bas ball grounds in the country. It is a splendid sight to view from an elevated position the beautiful and finely arranged ball fields [sic], the extensive accommodations, (seating 3,000 persons,) the neatly constructed reporters’ stand, built on the top of the pavilion–no finer position could have been selected–and everything pertaining to a ball ground so systematically arranged that ll credit is due tot he President and the Directors for the vast improvements which have been made.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics' business manager

Date Sunday, July 2, 1871
Text

The Athletic party [traveling to Troy] numbered sixteen, including Messrs. [sic] Wm. A. Porter, their efficient business manager.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics to field a 'volunteer co-operative nine'

Date Sunday, March 26, 1871
Text

The chances are now that [the Atlantics] will play only a volunteer co-operative nine this season. They offered Cummings $1,800 for his services as pitcher for the season, but he did not accept; and not obtaining the pitcher they wanted, no further effort was made to get up a salaried nine. Last season the nine received $1,300 each as their share of the gate money, and that too not under the best management. The club have yet plenty of good material from which they can select a good nine, and it is to be hoped that they will at once organize a volunteer team for the season. Their career with a volunteer nine cannot be much more successful than it was last season with a nine having a record of seventeen lost games, the greatest number the club ever lost in a single season. Chapman has been sent for by the Athletics, and Hall has been offered a position on the Cleveland nine. At the last meeting of the club the new headquarters were decided upon, Mr. Samuel’s Assembly Billiard House being the place selected. Judge Buckley, the new President, wanted to make Campbell’s Niagara House in Court street, their headquarters, and Mr. Samuels seconded the motion; but the club voted against the proposition; whereupon Judge Buckley tendered his resignation. Why not accept the offer, and elect that worthy old player, Peter O’Brien, as President? Under such auspices the Atlantic Club would be restored to its former position very quickly. New York Sunday Mercury March 26, 1871

In the opening part of the season of 1864 the Atlantic Club were in a more demoralized condition than they had ever been before. They had been defeated by the Eckfords two years in succession, and their old prestige of success had almost deserted them. Yet in 1864 they went through the season without losing a single first-nine game, and they flew the whip-pennant the three following years. Once more they are found occupying a position similar to that of 1864 as regards their disorganized condition; but then they had men in the club who had pride and energy enough to make a plucky rally. Now, however, it would really appear as if, in the place of men competent to reorganize the club under circumstances likely to develop creditable business tact and enterprise, they had a set of officials utterly unfit for the positions they occupy, for, with ample material at command wherewith to form a strong playing nine, scarcely an officer of the club is to be found willing or competent to render willing aid to rally round the old victorious banner of the club. All the professional clubs want to see the Atlantics in the field this season, and all are ready to make matches with them, if the officials of the club will only give them a chance to do so. New York Sunday Mercury April 9, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics won't play without an enclosed ground

Date Sunday, September 10, 1871
Text

The Eagle Club have issued the following card: “New York, September 5, 1871.–To the Baseball public:–For three years the Eagle Baseball Club have played the Atlantics on their own grounds, where the latter have taken all the gate-money. On the 4th of September the Atlantics agreed to play the Eagles at Hoboken, N.J., but when the Eagles arrived there they found a letter from the Atlantics declining to play the Eagles except on inclosed ground. The Eagles regarded this back out by the Atlantics as neither fair nor square, and a decided show of the white feather by the Atlantics. George C. Phillips, Secretary Eagle Baseball Club.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Boston Club incorporated

Date Saturday, December 16, 1871
Text

The annual meeting of [the Boston] club was held at their rooms...on the night of the 6 th inst., the business of the occasion being the election of officers and the adoption of the act of incorporation granted by the Massachusetts legislature.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Boston Club is proposed to be incorporated

Date Saturday, January 21, 1871
Text

[from an address by Ivers. W. Adams to the founding stockholders of the Boston BB Association:] We would further suggest, immediately following our organization, application be made to our Legislature, now in session, for a special act of incorporation.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Boston club predicated on signing the Wright brothers

Date Saturday, January 21, 1871
Text

[from an address by Ivers. W. Adams to the founding stockholders of the Boston BB Association:] Twelve months ago the idea of a professional nine for Boston first entered my mind, and at that time I determined ...that our city should have a nine and a club she would be proud of. I determined it should be first class in every particular; that the greatest care should be exercised that men of good character and temperate habits only should belong to its nine; that they should be men of unquestioned abilities as players and therefore good teachers of the sports; that they should agree to conform to all the rules and regulations of the club, and should be under the complete control of the captain of the nine. I determined, further, from satisfactory information which I possessed myself of, that I should secure Harry and George Wright first, and, failing to secure them, should let the whole matter drop. This position was taken from a firm conviction that they were the only two men possessing the knowledge and ability to manage and discipline a nine known to myself, and in whose honesty and integrity I could place implicit confidence...

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Boston uniform

Date Monday, February 20, 1871
Text

For some time the fraternity hereabouts have been interested to know what sort of uniform the Boston Club would adopt, and at a recent meeting of the club this important matter was settled by the selection of a uniform already familiar to the eyes of every base ball player in the country, and one which has attached to it a prestige such a no other enjoys. It is similar to that worn by the Cincinnati Club for the last two seasons, which gained for them the sobriquet “Red Stockings.” There may be some who will question the propriety of the Boston Club selecting a uniform which has already been worn on the field, but these questions will be set at rest when it is known that this uniform originated with Mr. Harry Wright, now of the Boston Club, who was the first person to don it, and now that the Cincinnati nine, which achieved such fame while wearing it, are no more, the uniform can, with perfect propriety, be selected by its originator for his new nine. The uniform, as is well known, is one of the most tasty, and at the same time one of the most serviceable, yet worn. It consists of a white flannel suit of shirt, knee breeches and cap, red stockings reaching to the knees, and a red belt. On the shirt front the word “Boston” in red German text will be worked, which, with the usual canvas gaiters, will complete the uniform.

Source Boston Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Bostons go on tour

Date Thursday, April 27, 1871
Text

Au revoir, ye red-legged invincibles, and come back crowned with victory.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Chicago grounds

Date Saturday, May 13, 1871
Text

[The Chicago Club] will have accommodations on their grounds to seat 6,500 people, and standing room for plenty more. With the single exception of its being somewhat narrow, they will have one of the finest ball parks in the country. New York Clipper April. 29, 1871

Back of the catcher’s position the grand stand is now in course of erection, and when that is completed everything will be in readiness for the season. The stand will accommodate about 1,000 spectators, and will be occupied solely by stockholders, holders of season tickets, and reporters. Every seat will be numbered, and none but the holders of tickets can occupy them. The seats extending from each side of the grand stand are the uncovered seats, capable of accommodating fully 6,000 persons. These seats are most admirably arranged, and, for comfort and convenience, are far better than on any other grounds in the country. Reaching around the upper portion of the ground, from the line of the first base to that of the third, they afford every facility for witnessing the game. Two feet in width, they enable spectators to sit comfortably, and also give plenty of room for the feet of those occupying the range next above. Extending the entire from of the range of seats is a wire fence placed a sufficient distance from the lower tier to permit free passage, and at the same time preventing all encroachment upon the field devoted to the players., quoting the Chicago Republican

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Chicago uniform

Date Sunday, June 4, 1871
Text

Considering the reputation they have acquired already, and the renown they are still further likely to gain, the directors of the [Chicago] club ought really to dress the nine in a less outlandish costume than the one in which they are at present attired. It is the most tin-pot, Dutch tinselly-looking thing we ever saw, and creates ridicule wherever it is exhibited.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Chicago's reputation for trickery; switching in a lively ball

Date Sunday, May 21, 1871
Text

So unenviable a reputation for trickery have the White Stockings acquired, that it was currently believed yesterday on the Union Ground that they had “rung in” a lively ball on the Olympics, in the ninth inning of the game they played on Friday, in order to save themselves from a “Chicago.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Eckfords not in the championship competition

Date Sunday, August 20, 1871
Text

The claim of the Eckfords to a position in the arena has been declared void by the Championship Committee, and consequently their games do not count as championship contests.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Elysian Fields

Date Saturday, April 22, 1871
Text

The classic locality known as , Hoboken, is this season to be used exclusively by the amateur clubs which have their grounds for the season. Last season crowds of roughs used to gather there every evening and annoy the regular ball players so much that finally the Hoboken authorities interfered and put a stop to ball playing except by clubs having special permission from the city authorities, Mr. Perry acting as their agent. Already the south field has been engaged for the season by the Knickerbocker, Eagle and Social Clubs, and no other clubs will be permitted to use the field. On the north field the Gothams will play, as also the Columbia College Club, leaving two days a week for another regular organization. The western field has been set apart for the Saturday games of the newspaper nines, and these are all the clubs which will play on the Elysian fields this season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsiors absorb a junior club

Date Saturday, October 28, 1871
Text

[Harmonics vs. Excelsior 10/17/1871] ...the Excelsiors were minus the services of Peters, their pitcher, Wells, Dohrman and others. Under a misapprehension of the rules they supplied their places with players of the junior class, composed chiefly of the young members of the Junior Concord Club, which was recently absorbed by the Excelsior Club.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsiors engage a steamer

Date Thursday, June 29, 1871
Text

No base ball club arranges more thoroughly enjoyable excursion parties than the Excelsiors of this city. In the first place, knowing that they have a high social reputation to sustain, they never forget to be gentlemen while out on their excursion, which so many members of pleasure parties only too frequently do; and secondly they arrange things in first-rate style, and with an eye to thorough gentlemanly pleasure.

On the Fourth of July, as will be seen by the appended club circular, the Excelsiors intend having a pleasant time up the Hudson, and this time they will go in for a right merry old-fashioned game of ball with a country nine. The circular of the excursion is as follows:

EXCELSIOR BASE BALL CLUB, 201 Montague street.

The club having decided to visit Haverstraw, on the Fourth of July, to play the Spartan Base Ball Club of that place, have engaged a steamer for the use of members and their friends, and fixed the assessment $5.00 each. If you intend accompanying us, please communicate with the committee at once. {signed} Wm. H. Slater, E. P. Davis, H. S. Jewell, D. Chauncey, Jr., M. B. Sweet, Committee

Brooklyn Eagle June 29, 1871

alleged counterfeit balls

[Athletic vs. Haymakers 6/28/1871] The Haymakers introduced a lively ball, calling it a dead ball, but it worked rather disadvantageously against them, as the score will show. The Haymakers should know by this time that when they spring a lively ball on the Athletics, they have no equal in the country as batsmen. Evening City Item June 29, 1871

[Athletic vs. Haymakers 6/28/1871] The Haymakers had presented what they claimed was a Van Horn dead ball, but it was quickly evidenced that the globule must have had a lively resurrection, for at the slightest tip it flew around in a manner that made it dangerous to handle. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch July 2, 1871

Quite a number of counterfeit Van Horn balls are in the market. One of these was sold to one of our local clubs week ago, and it was found to be a ball of last year’s make. Mr. Van Horn has not placed a ball in the market this year that was not the regulation size and weight, with but one ounce of rubber in it. As down-town dealers are trying to crowd Van Horn’s balls out of the reach of the clubs, we have permitted him to keep a supply of them on sale at this office. New York Sunday Mercury July 2, 1871

The following is the communication from Jr. Joseph Egoll, Director of the Haymaker Club, of Troy, received by Mr. Van Horn:

“Some time in the fore part of June, Mr. A. L. Hotchkin, of the Haymaker B.B.C., of Troy, telegraphed you to send him one dozen of your regulation dead balls. They were received, and our club commenced to use them in every game we played; first with the Athletics, of Philadelphia. They defeated our club, but claim, on account of the large score–49 to 33–that we put in a lively ball on them. They took the ball home with them, stating that they would cut it open and find out how much rubber there was in it; but in their lively-ball report they do not state the weight of the rubber. Second game played for the championship with your ball was with the Mutuals, of New York, on Monday last. During the game Dickey Pierce, and other players of the Mutuals, said there was over an ounce of rubber in the ball. I offered to bet $100 to $50 that there was not an ounce of rubber in it, and the ball should be cut open at the end of the game. It happened to be too lively for the combination nine, and they were defeated. Dickey got the ball on the last man out, and was going to keep it. I, after hard work, got the ball in my possession and gave it to Chapman, the umpire of the game, and had him cut it open, and he weighed the rubber. It was a trifle less than one ounce. I send you three pieces of rubber by express. No 1 was in the ball of the Mutual game. No. 2 was used in a practice game. No. 3 out of a Ryan dead ball. You will please return them to me. We would as soon use one ball as another, but we want the best regulation ball, and therefore adopted yours to play with on our grounds.”

Mr. Van Horn desires us to say that there is no foundation for the statement in the Clipper that he has asserted that the balls used by the Haymaker Club were of his last year’s manufacture. On the contrary, the balls received by the Haymaker’s from him were made exactly according to the regulation size and weight, and as dead as one ounce of rubber can make them. New York Sunday Mercury July 9, 1871

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Haymakers and a dead ball; testing the ball

Date Friday, July 14, 1871
Text

[Haymaker vs. Mutual 7/13/1871] That the Haymakers knew nothing of how to play with a really dead ball was quite apparent, as, notwithstanding their reputation as powerful batters, they could only make eight first base hits, while the Mutes made thirteen. New York Herald July 14, 1871

[Mutual vs. Haymaker 7/3/1871] The players were all on the ground by 2 ½ o’clock, and Mr. Chapman, of the Eckfords, having been agreed upon as umpire when the day was fixed for the match, nothing remained, apparently, but to commence the game. But Tony Hartman, the new president of the Mutuals, and Captain Ferguson, were seen in close confab, and afterwards Fergy and Craver put their heads together. It finally leaked out that there was a wrangle over the ball. The Haymakers insisted on using a Van Horn “dead” ball, and Ferguson, with the recollection of the Athletic-Haymaker match haunting him, urged the claimed of the red dead ball. But still, notwithstanding he had a dread of using the Van Horn ball, he could urge no valid excuse for refusing to play with it. It had about the same bounding power as the dead red when they were tried together, but it looked a trifle larger and felt heavier. It also had a peculiar feeling, a sort of hardness, which is not found in the dead balls usually made by the leading firms of this city. With no means to tell whether the ball was over weight or over size, Ferguson had no alternative but to accept.

...

The result confirmed Ferguson in the belief that the Van Horn ball was a fraud, and he determined to test. If. For this reason he insisted that it should be cut open, and after considerable opposition and much bad feeling on the part of the Haymakers and their friends, the ball was handed to the umpire, who proceeded to the covered stand in the rear of the catcher’s position, where, in the presence of Ferguson and Craver, the ball was dissected. Nothing especially alarming was found inside, but in the absence of a scale or measure to test the weight or size of the ball nothing could be done. The rubber was subsequently taken to a store, weighed and found correct. Singular enough, however, the yarn and cover were not weighed, and as the Trojans decidedly object to let Mr. Ferguson take the rubber away with him, there is no way of determining whether there was any foreign substance inside the rubber to increase its elasticity, or, if fact, anything about it of a satisfactory nature. From the manner in which it was batted it could not have been a “dead” ball, as alleged by the Trojans. The Haymakers batted and fielded it, while the Mutuals did not. This may seem odd, and to a great many difficult to explain. The theory is that the Haymakers have used the Van Horn ball all the season, and become thoroughly used to it. The Mutuals, on the contrary, having become accustomed to a ball much lighter and more yielding to the touch, did not know what to do with it. It was like a stone in their hands, and after the third innings Mills [catcher] could hardly hold it. It was the say way with the rest of the nine. Eggler, usually a very certain catch, dropped several flys [sic]. Ferguson dropped one, and so did Hatfield. Nearly every one of the nine took a hand at muffing, and all complained of the ball. Certain it is, nothing of the kind in the way of base hits is ever done with the dead balls made in this city, and it is to be hoped that a thorough investigation may follow, to the end that the whole truth may be known. New York Clipper July 15, 1871

It will be seen by the records that the Haymakers have lost every dead ball game they have played with professional nines, except the one of July 13th, and that they have won every lively ball game with professional nines, except that with the Athletic club. They have, after every series of defeats, gone to work to reconstruct the nine, when the principal cause of their defeat was their inability to bat a dead ball with the skill of scientific players, together with their failure to field up to the required standard in support of their able pitcher. New York Clipper July 22, 1871

testing the elasticity of balls

In regard to the question of whether two regulation balls, both containing an ounce of rubber, can be made so that one will be lively and the other dead, we have to state that experiments were made by the Mutual Club managers with two balls of Van Horn and Ryan’s make last week, with the following result:–Each ball was rolled off a table, and the height of the rebound from the floor was noted. The balls were then cut open and the rubber in each was weighed, and the rubber portion was also tested as to the rebound. Both balls had just one ounce of rubber each, but of different quality. The Van [Horn] bounded twice the length of the Ryan ball, as did the rubber it contained when tested separately. There is no doubt that one ounce of rubber makes too lively a ball for fielding purposes, and it is to be hoped that next winter the rule will be changed to half an ounce weight of rubber. New York Clipper July 15, 1871

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Haymakers suspected of switching balls during the game

Date Sunday, July 9, 1871
Text

It is said that the Haymaker nine, on their ground this season, have been in the habit of, when they left the field in each inning, substituting a lively ball, thus allowing themselves to mount high scores while their opponents were batting against a dead ball. It is said that in the Athletic Haymaker match suspicions were aroused that this thing was going on, and so closely did McBride watch the thing, that after the fourth inning the lively ball was the only one played with. The rumor is undoubtedly worthy of investigation, as the substitution business is practicable, and Troy is the only place where the remarkable scores have been made this season. In the Mutual-Haymaker game, the former made an appeal to the umpire, that the ball played with was a lively one, but on cutting it open it was found to contain just the amount of rubber required by the rules. Is it possible for any two clubs to make such scores as have been secured, ad that, with first-class fielding, in the recent games at Troy?

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mansfield ground

Date Saturday, June 17, 1871
Text

[quoting an unnamed Atlantic player] ...located about one-half mile south of the city, enclosed, and that is all that can be said for it as a ball field. From the catcher to the outfield the ground gradually rises, and his, in addition to hills and hollows in the infield, makes it next to impossible to properly gauge a ball or handle it with any precision.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mansfield, Connecticut grounds

Date Sunday, June 11, 1871
Text

The [Mansfield] grounds are enclosed, and that is all that can be said for it as a ball field. From the catcher to the outfield the ground gradually raises, and this, in addition to hills and hollows in the infields, makes it next to impossible to properly gauge a ball or handle it with any precision.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the National Association still in existence

Date Sunday, April 16, 1871
Text

The National Association is still in existence–“Chad.” to the contrary, notwithstanding.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the New Jersey State Association reorganizes

Date Saturday, November 18, 1871
Text

The annual meeting of the New Jersey State Association was held at Trenton on Nov. 8th, at the office of Judge Reid, delegates from four clubs only putting in an appearance. ... On motion the convention resolved itself into the New Jersey Amateur Association of Base Ball P layers, independent of any other association whatever...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the New York state association

Date Sunday, September 10, 1871
Text

[a circular to member clubs:] The time appointed for the meeting being close at hand, it is deemed advisable to address you in reference to the importance of our annual Convention and the merits and present status of our Association.

During the past year the claim has been made and sedulously fostered by a few of the members of the fraternity having access to the columns of our city press that the professional clubs and interest have controlled our organization; and, in furtherance of private interests, an attempt was made last spring to form a new organization, professedly amateur in its character, with a view of controlling the game in this country.

The claim, or rather complaint, of professional control made is not only untrue, but, from the small proportion which the professional clubs bear to the amateurs, is impossible if the amateurs take a proper interest in the game. The system of individual representation which the Brooklyn meeting adopted is impracticable by reason of distance and expense, unless the use of proxies is allowed, and their dangerous and subversive character was fully demonstrated at the last Convention under the old constitution—Philadelphia, in 1867—when the present legislated machinery of State and National Associations, &c., was adopted.

Out of the eighty-five clubs belonging to our State Association not more than six have withdrawn.

Our present organization is national in every sense, affording the best and most equitable means of regulating our national pastime; furnishing certain and thoroughly recognized laws for the government; and the creation of rival organizations is not only needless, but can only result in discord and confusion. Our next annual State Convention will be held in this city on the second Thursday (14th) of September next, at Tammany Hall, when every one of the club belonging to it should answer to the roll call. If any club be unable to send delegates it should be represented by letter, addressed to the Secretary, to whom should also be remitted the annual due, $5. The penalty for failure to do so is expulsion, and the National Constitution forbids association clubs from playing match games with any but members.

The Secretary will receive he credentials of delegates, at Tammany Hall, on the mo rning of the day of the meeting.

Very respectfully yours, E.B. BARNUM, President. M.J. KELLY, Secretary.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Olympics of Washington grounds; the Olympics have stockholders

Date Saturday, April 15, 1871
Text

The grounds of the [Olympic] club are the same occupied by them last season, and are situated on and occupy the entire square of ground bounded by Sixteen and Seventeenth, R and S streets [probably NW], owned by Mr. George W. Riggs, the well known banker, who is a stockholder in the club. The square is 450 by 420 feet. The grounds are surrounded by a fence ten feet high. The club house is 24 by 18 feet, a grand stand 60 by 16 feet. There is a first class restaurant on the ground, so that people leaving business hours and the departments needs not go home for lunch before the game, ample accommodations being made for all. There are covered seats that will accommodate 3,000 people, and uncovered seats and standing room for as many more, with space for a large number of carriages. From the top of a ninety foot pole floats their club flag, forty-four feet long, while the grand stand bears the national emblem, flanked on each side by two pennants representing the club colors. The grounds have been leveled off, re-sodded, rolled and properly drained, and the expense of fitting up this fine ground has been over $4,000.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Prospect Park grounds

Date Sunday, March 12, 1871
Text

The Prospect Park parade ground, which is quite level, and half a mile long by a quarter wide, and nicely turfed, is to be prepared for the use of twelve amateur baseball clubs, one portion of the field being reserved for schoolboys.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Savannah Club recruiting players

Date Saturday, July 1, 1871
Text

Kimball, of the Savannah Club, was after players in Washington last week. Frank Norton, of the National, and H. S. Burroughs, of the Olympic, it is stated, will return with him.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the abuses of the state association system

Date Sunday, March 26, 1871
Text

The Amateur Association have...struck out all reference to State associations; experience having shown that under the existing position of baseball affairs the best system of representation is that by individual clubs, for the system of State Association delegates has been proved to be open to gross corruption. In fact, under the latter system any unscrupulous knave was afforded opportunities for organizing a bogus State Convention, and through that medium, of entering the National Convention with a delegation powerful enough to control the vote of the body.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the amateur status of the Star club

Date Sunday, December 24, 1871
Text

The Star Club, of Brooklyn, having realized that the semi-professional status they have occupied the past two or three years is not a source of profit or credit to the club as an old amateur organization, have wisely determined to return to first principles and to give up further efforts to again win the merely nominal title of amateur champions, which they have held for several years past. Their crack fielder, F. Rogers, has become a professional, and also their noted pitcher [Cummings]; and Bevins, their second-base man, is again going in for stamps in the professional arena, as he did last year. The amateur portion of the nine will remain with the club, and in future go in for recreative games only, leaving the custom of sharing gate-money to the semi-professional class of amateurs.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the backstop too close at Oakdale Park; the game moved to another site

Date Saturday, June 10, 1871
Text

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Expert at Oakdale Park 6/9/1871] On the beginning of the second inning Fulmer, of the Rockford, ran in from third to home, but was put out three feet from the home plate. After the decision by the umpire, the Forest City members claimed that the legal 90 feet distance [to the backstop] was but 40 or 50 feet, and therefore that Fulmer was entitled to his run. The umpire decided that it was as fair for one as for the other, and that he would not recall his decision. Thereupon the Forest City refused to continue the game and left the ground. At the request of the Experts the umpire did not decide the game against the Forest City, as the game was arranged to be played again on next Thursday on the ground at Twenty-fifth and Jefferson, when the Forest City return from their trip. Evening City Item June 10, 1871

[Forest City of Rockford vs. Expert at Oakdale Park 6/9/1871] In the second inning, after the Rockfords had scored a run, Fulmer, who was on third, ran home on a passed ball, and was touched by Lovett. A dispute then arose as to the right of the umpire to decide the man out, as the fence back of the catcher was not the legal distance from the home plate. After some talk, it was finally decided to play the game at Twenty-fifth and Jefferson streets on Thursday next, as the ground was in poor condition, and the arrangement would prove more satisfactory to all concerned. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch June 11, 1871

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baseball editor of the Clipper

Date Saturday, May 6, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Olympic 5/5/1871] 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...

Source Boston Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the cause of the decline of the Atlantic Club

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

The [Atlantic] club was virtually broken to pieces last season by the severe defeats it suffered during the illness of its excellent pitcher, George Zettlein. Without the stamina to stand up against such a reverse in its fortunes, the demoralization was complete and the Mutual Club, with its plethoric purse, had but little trouble in absorbing what it wanted from the once crack combination...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the championship flag

Date Sunday, November 26, 1871
Text

The Championship Committee purpose having a flag made with a white ground and red border, and the word “Champions” worked thereon in blue letter. The flag to be from 26 to 28 feet long and by 10 to 12 feet wide, and to be retained as a memento by the club winning the championship each year, while a handsome silk whip pennant, which accompanies the flag, will remain the property of the Association, and be thrown to the breeze during each club’s tenure of the championship. The above are the suggestions of the Championship Committee, through Harry Wright, their Chairman, and it remains with the Athletics to accept or make such amendments to the same as they may think fit.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the cost of admission to championship games; the division of the gate receipts

Date Saturday, March 25, 1871
Text

A motion was made by one of the western delegates to the effect that all professional clubs should charge a half dollar admission fee to all contests between professional clubs, and that the visiting club’s share of the gate money receipts should be one third. This proposition, however, was voted down, it being desirable that the clubs should be allowed to charge according to circumstances, and in ordinary contests 25 cents admission is ample in Eastern cities, while in the west the regular charge is half a dollar. There may be occasions, too, when the demand of admission may require the fee to be raised to one dollar.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the crowd at Chicago; an outside umpire

Date Sunday, July 30, 1871
Text

[Mutual vs. Chicago 7/28/1871] The second game of the championship series between the Mutuals, of New York, and White Stockings, of Chicago, was played on Friday at Chicago before an assembly of 10,000 persons. The game was called at 3 P.M., with Mr. Theodore Bomeisler as umpire.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the difficulty in dealing with revolvers

Date Sunday, March 19, 1871
Text

If there is anything in this world that will tax human patience to a degree almost unbearable it is the manage a professional baseball club. Players, almost without exception, entertain a high opinion of the value of their services, and in a manner put themselves up at auction, to be knocked down to the highest bidder. The club manager, after months of worriment and genuine hard work, succeeds, as he imagines, in securing the requisite number of players to constitute a club. This accomplished, and at least a couple of months’ rest is anticipated. Vain delusion! One or more of the engaged men, as the case may be, resort to ‘ways that are dark and tricks that are vain.’ The manager is speedily up to his neck in hot water. The players have the advantage, for it is too late to secure capable men to fill their places. They make the most outrageous demands, and in nine cases out of ten the manager, having no alternative, is obliged to yield. But, presuming that the manager should be so situated as to be safe in refusing to comply with the demands of a rascally player, and at once cause him to be expelled from the club, what is the result? One of the rules adopted by the recent Convention is, in effect, that no club shall play a man who has been expelled from another club. If this rule was strictly adhered to there would be no complications. But more than one first-class club has already violated is as far as engaging players is concerned. And the example set will be followed by others. A ‘rounder’ signs papers to play with a club for the ensuing season. Another club prevails upon him to break his contract and sign new papers. The club that have the right to his serves expel him for dishonorable conduct, and are justified in refusing the play any club that engages the expelled man. Now, supposing it is a first-class club that plays this expelled man. To refuse to meet the club by reason of this action would result in a loss of $5,000, for that amount would, in all probability, be the receipts of a season’s contests between the two nines. What is the manager to do? The less of the services of the man is of itself injurious to the club. It would not be good policy to incur still greater injuries, so the manager is forced to make the best of the matter, and has no redress whatever for the trouble he is put to by the rascality of the ball-player., quoting “a Chicago editor”

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the duties of the second baseman; delayed double steal

Date Saturday, March 11, 1871
Text

[The second baseman] is required...to cover second base and to play “right short stop,” but his position in the field must be governed entirely by the character of the batting he is called upon to face. If a hard hitter comes to the bat and swift balls are being sent in, he should play well out in the field, between right field and second base, and be on the qui vive for long bound balls or high fly balls, which drop between the out-field and the second base line. When the batsman makes his first base the second baseman comes up and gets near his base in readiness to receive the ball from the catcher. ... When the first baseman runs after the ball hit by the striker the second baseman should at once make for the first base, as he is generally nearer to it than either the short stop or pitcher when balls are being hit between first and second bases. ... When a player is on the first base and another on the third, the second baseman should be on the watch, so as to make a prompt return of the ball when the catcher throws to the second and the man on the third attempts to run home on the throw. There is ample time for a ball to be thrown from home to second and back to put out a player running home, if the throwing is accurate and swift and the catching sure. This was a regular point with Allison and Sweasy last season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effectiveness of the fifty cent admission

Date Saturday, July 1, 1871
Text

The fifty cents admittance, which is now charged by all professional clubs to any of their games, works like a charm for the big clubs—such as the Mutuals, the Athletics, the White Stockings, the B ostons, and the Olympics—but the remaining six clubs are scarcely making money enough to pay their laundry bills. There will be a falling through of some of these “small fry” before the season closes.

Source New York Evening Telegram
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the extent of the umpire's leeway in calling balls

Date Sunday, November 5, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Athletic 10/30/1871] The umpire allowed both the pitchers full play for strategy by his failure to punish wide balls. Whatever option an umpire may have in regard to calling balls which are within the batsman’s reach, and yet not over the home-plate or as the batsman calls for, he has no choice but to call every ball which is out of the legitimate reach of the bat, viz., all those balls which are enumerated under the head of “unfair” balls, the rules expressly requiring the umpire to call all such balls “in the order of their delivery.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the five game championship series to be played out; effects on Hippodroming

Date Sunday, July 2, 1871
Text

...each club has to play five games, even if they win three, so there are not third games to play for.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the four players the Cincinnati Club meant to re-engage

Date Saturday, January 21, 1871
Text

[from an address by Ivers. W. Adams to the founding stockholders of the Boston BB Association:] ...I have some reason for believing the actions of that executive committee [of the Cincinnati Club] was intended, partly at least, for us here, as cold water thrown upon our enterprise; but we knew our men, and instead of giving up the Wright brothers, whom they accused of impossibilities for such men, or of taking one step backward, I took one step forward and secured two more of the “Red Stocking” nine, Messrs. Charles H. Gould and Calvin A. McVey, being just the four players, and those only, the Cincinnati club had proposed to re-engage.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the gate receipt split

Date Tuesday, May 9, 1871
Text

The dispute in regard to the gate money question among the professionals is likely to prevent several fine contests this season. It appears that the Mutuals and Eckfords have resolved to demand the whole of the receipts at the gate from all clubs playing the Union grounds with their nines, and in return to give the whole of the receipts of the return games to the clubs they visit. Should the Western clubs combine with the Philadelphia, Boston, and Olympic clubs, all they will have to do will be to play the champion matches among themselves, and then the winner will play the Mutuals five games or less, as the case maybe. This will deprive New Yorkers of the sight of many fine games. Evening City Item May 9, 1871

The proprietors of the Union and Capitoline grounds in Brooklyn have agreed to demand one third of the net proceeds of every match game as their share of the gate money, leaving the local clubs to make what arrangements they like with visiting clubs. The Boston, Olympic, Athletic, Haymakers, and the Western clubs work in harmony together on the question of terms, and should the Mutuals and Eckfords insist upon the demands they have made, which broke off their matches with the Boston nine in this city, there will probably be but few games played in Brooklyn this season, on the Union grounds. New York Clipper May 13, 1871

The Mutuals have decided not to share gate money this year, but to let each club take the entire receipts in its own city. The Eckford Club are with the Mutuals in enforcing this rule through the season. The Boston and Olympics have demurred at this arrangement, and have positively decided not to play any games with the Mutuals, unless upon the basis of an equal distribution of the net receipts. Unless one or the other of the contesting clubs back down, there will be no games between them this season. The White Stockings, of Chicago, have joined hands with the Boston and Olympics, in defense of which the Chicago Tribune says: “Chicago could well afford to adopt the plan of the Mutuals if it were honestly carried out, but it is to be hoped that Mr. Gassette will insist upon an equitable division of the gate receipts in all games played, inasmuch as any such one-sided arrangements as that proposed by the Mutuals would be altogether unfair to strong and deserving clubs who chance to have their headquarters in smaller cities.” Evening City Item May 18, 1871

It is asserted that the question of a proper division of the gate money in games where the Mutuals and Eckfords play visiting clubs on the Union grounds has been satisfactorily arranged. Evening City Item May 24, 1871

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the grand stand at the Union grounds, extra admission fee

Date Tuesday, May 23, 1871
Text

A Grand Stand is in the course of erection on the Union Grounds. It is situated a little to the right of the entrance, at an elevation of between 20 and 25 feet from ground. Complimentary tickets will be issued to the members of the Mutual Club, to outsiders fifty cents extra will be the admission fee.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the grandstand at the Capitoline grounds

Date Sunday, June 4, 1871
Text

The “Grande Duchesse’–as the ladies’ stands on ball-grounds are called–at the Capitoline was inaugurated on the occasion of the Star and Chicago match, and the new stand was fully indorsed as one of the most desirable improvements yet introduced by Messrs. Weed and Decker. The reserved seats are located in the rear of the catcher’s position, and having a roof over the seats, the spectators are protected from the heat of the sun and the rain too, besides which, it being open at the back, the breeze goes through it with refreshing coolness. We hope Messrs. Weed and Decker will keep this place for reputable spectators, and exclude all gambling and betting men from the new stand. These fellows, who proved such a disgrace to the crows on the day of the Olympic and Star match, if they cannot be kept off the grounds, should be kept by themselves as far away as possible. It would be well also to rail off one portion for ladies and those with them. At any rate, keep the new stand free from betting-men.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ground to uneven to catch the pitcher

Date Saturday, September 2, 1871
Text

[Star of Brooklyn vs. Alert of Syracuse 8/16/1871] Cummings pitched the first innings, but the ground was so rough and uneven that Barlow could not catch his pitching, the Alerts making three runs after two hands were out, the third striker being missed on three strikes. Jackson was substituted for him, and he did very well.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the language of a running commentary

Date Monday, September 18, 1871
Text

At a late match game in Brooklyn, a very pleasing feature of the occasion was the commendably demonstrative conduct of Mr. Mark King, a sick member of the Chicago nine, who having been accorded a place on the reporters’ stand, edified the occupants by considerable “chin music” and lively conversation generally, encouraging his companions by such sentences as “You’re ketchin’ like h--l, Charlie; Go in tom, give it to ‘em; lick ‘em to h--l, old boy; smash her, Pinkey; bust the kiver off her, Jimmey,” etc. Mr. King probably forgot that he was in the company of gentlemen, but possibly from lack of contact therewith he was unable to discriminate.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Athletics' field; grandfathering reserved seats

Date Sunday, March 26, 1871
Text

The grading and turfing of the new field of the Athletic Club of Philadelphia was commenced last week at Twenty-fifth and Jefferson streets. A substantial board fence, ten feet high, is to be erected, and other improvements made, so that the ground shall be the finest in the country. The pavilions now on the old ground will be placed on the left of the catcher’s position, and additional seats will be provided and so arranged that every spectator can have a perfect and unobstructed view of a game. The reporters’ stand will be placed directly back of the catcher, and will be elevated sufficiently to be out of the reach of stray foul balls that may chance that way.

...

Those gentlemen holding seats last year in the reserved seat pavilion, Athletic ground, can have the same renewed in the new pavilion on the ground at Twenty-fifth and Jefferson streets, if they make application before the 5th of April, to Al. Reach, No. 6 South Eighth street. After that date all seats will be disposed of to the first comers.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Baltimore Club

Date Friday, October 20, 1871
Text

A meeting of the members of the Baltimore Base Ball Club was held last night at the Rose House on Gay street, and a committee appointed to take subscriptions for the maintenance of a first-class base ball organizations for next season. A resolution was also adopted looking for the immediate engagement of competent players to the extent of the money already subscribed, and which now amounts to over $5,000. Negotiations are pending with Woods, Treacy and Hodes, of the White Stockings; Hall, Allison, Leonard and Mills, of the Olympics; Pike and McGeary, of the Haymakers, and Martin, of the Eckfords, and hsould an understanding be arrived at, a fine club will be organized for next season. Matthews and Carey have signed, and favorable responses are expected from most of the players named. The management of the club is in good hands, and the subscription list numbers some of our most responsible citizens, and a determination to form a club second to none in the country seems to exist. The next meeting will be held at the same place on Thursday night, the 26th instant, at 8 o’clock, and all the stockholders are invited to attend. Baltimore American October 20, 1871

At a meeting of the stockholders of the Baltimore Base Ball Club, held at the Rose House, on Gay street, last night, a Constitution was adopted, and next Wednesday night fixed for the election of officers. The capital stock of the organization was fixed at $20,000, seven thousand of which has already been subscribed, and there is a good prospect for a thorough success of the project. Baltimore American October 27, 1871

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new amateur association won't count play with professionals

Date Sunday, March 19, 1871
Text

The [amateur] Convention afterward adopted the new rules for play which were passed at the November Convention, with the addition of a clause dividing the fraternity into two classes, and prohibiting the amateur clubs from playing professionals.

...

...the Convention expressly prohibited any club in the Association from devoting one cent of any gate-money receipts in compensating players in any form or shape, a penalty for violation of the rules being expulsion from the Association. Consequently no cooperative nine can enter the Association. At the same time there is nothing in the constitution of the Association in the rules which they adopted which either prohibits them from sharing in gate-money receipts, for the purposes of paying for ground expenses, or for outlays incurred on tours; nor is there anything which prevents their playing with professional clubs. But all such games are, by the above rule, rendered irregular, and such as cannot be counted either in the Association record or averages of the season’s play, as all such games are outside affairs, the only regular Association games being those played by members of the Association, one with the other.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new championship system

Date Sunday, March 19, 1871
Text

A synopsis of the resolution is that there shall be a committee on championship consisting of three persons, appointed by the president of the association, by whom the averages of each club contesting for the championship shall be examined, and by whom decision as to the merits of clubs shall be made. To the chairman of that committee each club desiring to contest for the championship shall communicate previous to the 1st of May of each year, and with such communication shall transmit $10 to be used in the purchase of a whip to be flown by the champion club. The championship series shall consist of five games, three out of which must be gained by the winning club.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the old Eagle Club

Date Sunday, June 18, 1871
Text

The old Eagle Base Ball Club, with their new and energetic President, Charles Wilson, will have a grand opening day on Monday, June 19, on which occasion the nine will appear with a new uniform, consisting of white shirt, blue pants and white and blue check stockings, first nine against the field. The old and new members, and friends of the club are cordially invited to partake in the festivities of the day.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the old National Association an illegal organization

Date Sunday, March 12, 1871
Text

The committee [organizing the amateur convention] propose to consider the National Association as having practically become a defunct institution at the Convention of 1867, when it ceased to be entirely controlled by the amateur portion of the fraternity, in whose interest and for whose sole benefit the association was organized. They consider that the association which has been run since 1867 is an illegal institution, inasmuch as it was based on laws adopted in violation of the printed constitution of 1866. By this cause the convention of Amateurs will occupy a position which will give them the future control of the National Association, and throw out of power and office every member of a professional club now assuming control of the association, under the auspices of which the November Convention was held.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the old short throw trick on a delayed double steal

Date Sunday, October 8, 1871
Text

[Aetna of Chicago vs. Olympic of Philadelphia 10/5/1871] [Cope on third, Wagner on first] Wagner...started for second, and Quinn [catcher] played the old trick of throwing the ball to short stop, just behind the pitcher. Cope, who started for home, found himself taken in, and caught between bases... Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch October 8, 1871

exhibition games

The professional clubs made a great mistake when the adopted the plan of making all games exhibition contests after the match series had been played; but their worst mistake always has been that of leading the public to attend a match under the supposition that it was regular when it was in fact but an exhibition game, on the result of which nothing was pending, and besides which it was a matter of indifference which nine won, no earnest effort being made by each side to win under such circumstances. It is time this class of contests was ended. They do well enough in the spring, but after the season has been inaugurated the clubs should play nothing but regular matches. In first-class and “regular” contests the public will not object to pay 50c. fee; but even 25c. is regarded as too much for exhibition games, or contests which have no important bearing on the pending question of the season, or are only played for gate-money purposes. New York Sunday Mercury October 15, 1871

...an arrangement was made in writing between the officials of the [Boston and Mutual] clubs, whereby the two nines were to play an exhibition game in Brooklyn on October 9, and the deciding game in Boston the week following. This arrangements was duly made public by the Boston Club in that city, but not a word of information relative to the change in the programme was given the New York journals by the Mutual Club, and as no “exhibition” games had previously been played between the two clubs, it was naturally inferred that the game of the 9th was to be the deciding contest of the series, and it was so announced in this paper, and also in other journals, the result being the assemblage of an unusually large number of spectators on the grounds on the 9th inst. for this season of the year. The disappointment of the crowd when it was known that it was to be only an “exhibition” game was great, and the Mutual officials very properly came in for a considerable amount of censure for allowing the public to be left ignorant of the change. They will find that the extra gate-money taken in by this trick will be more than offset by the limited attendance at all their remaining games this season consequent upon their lack of fair dealing with the public. ... It is true that the Mutual Club did not announce this game as the deciding contest, but they took good care not to correct the impression that it was to be the last match. Our surprise is that Mr. Davidson should have been led to countenance anything of the kind, his action hitherto having been above reproach in his management of the club affairs. New York Sunday Mercury October 15, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the organization of the Boston Club

Date Saturday, January 21, 1871
Text

...a series of fifteen articles, constituting the by-laws under which the association is to be governed, were presented and unanimously adopted by the gentlemen present, comprising the holders of ninety shares. These set forth that the organization should be known as the Boston Base Ball Association, the officers to consist of President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary, who with another stockholder should constitute a Board of Directors. The stock, of which there is $15,000, is divided in 150 shares, having a par value of $100 each. One article states that a number of tickets entitling holders to membership in the club, with access to the grounds and rooms of the association and a season ticket to all games, would be issued in limited number, as the Directors might decide. Boston Herald January 21, 1871

There was a large and enthusiastic meeting of the gentlemen connected with the new professional base ball organization of Boston on the afternoon of Jan. 29th, at the Parker House, Boston, and before the meeting closed the new club had been fully organized and the nine selected for the grand campaign of 1871.

...

The club will provide a ground which will be in keeping with the nine they have secured, and two hundred tickets of membership are to be issued, which will entitle the holder to a free admission to all games played on those grounds, and the use of the club room, but they will have no voice in the management of the club. The capital stock of the association is $15,000. New York Clipper January 28, 1871

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher badgering the umpire

Date Saturday, February 4, 1871
Text

It is of course right and proper for a pitcher to be on the watch for his special interests if he finds an umpire listless, indifferent or not properly attentive to his duties; but the habit of badgering umpires for decisions on strikes or on the character of the balls pitched is a very unwise thing for a pitcher to indulge in. It may lead to a favorable decision in one or two instances, but only at the cost of adverse ruling in a majority of appeals made, as umpires are bound to revenge themselves in nine cases out of ten for the annoyances the pitcher thereby subjects them to.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher isn't expected to cover first base; bunted balls?

Date Saturday, February 25, 1871
Text

Joe [Start] ... knows how far to leave his base to field a ball, which is something all first basemen are not posted in. In regard to this point, it is now known that there is a certain kind of ball just hit quietly along the ground to the centre of a triangle formed by the positions of the pitcher, first baseman and second baseman at right short field, which almost invariably gives first base to an active runner, simply because it is a ball which tempts the first base player to try and field it himself, and all but old hands get trapped by it. Last season we saw E. Mills and other noted first base players try to field such short balls, and in nearly every case they failed. Joe Start judges these balls admirably, and leaves them to the pitcher or second baseman to field to him unless they happen to come within a certain distance which he knows he can get to and back before the batsman can travel from home to first.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the players' influence in the Association

Date Sunday, November 5, 1871
Text

[at a meeting of the NAPBBP 11/3/1871] It was suggested that the players of each professional club be permitted to offer suggestions regarding the government of the game. Philadelphia Sunday Republic November 5, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the positioning of the infielders; backing each other up

Date Saturday, March 18, 1871
Text

The third baseman takes a position closer to his base than either of the other basemen. Sometimes, however, he takes the place of the short stop when the latter covers the second base in cases where the second baseman plays at right short for a right-field hitter, a position frequently taken by a first class nine. ... Every base player should be active in “backing up” in the in-field. The life of fielding is in the support afforded each other by the fielders who are located near together. A good fielder or base player never stands still; he is always on the move, ready for a spring to reach the ball, a stoop to pick it up, or a prompt movement to stop it, and he always has his eye upon the ball, especially when it is flying about inside the base lines or from base to base. Poor base players seldom put themselves out of the way to field a ball unless it comes within their special district, but a good base player is on the alert to play at a moment’s notice, on any base from which the players had gone after the ball.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the professional convention

Date Saturday, March 18, 1871
Text

A convention of delegates from the professional base ball clubs of the country was held a No. 840 Broadway last evening. At the time the call for the convention was sent out its objects were stated to be the settlement of the manner of achieving the title of champion club of the county, and the arrangement of the routes of the club tours during the season. But the action of the amateur clubs in withdrawing from the National Association, in which both professional and amateur clubs had been represented, and their organization of an exclusive convention, caused the scope of the Convention's duties to be enlarged, and, in the opinion of a majority of the delegates, made necessary the reorganization of the National Association on a professional basis. This idea was for a time combated by those delegates who did not conceive themselves to be clothed with power further than to carry out the original objects of the Convention, until a clause necessitating its approval by their clubs was appended to the resolution carrying it into effect. All the delegates, with the exception of Mr. Davidson, secretary of the Mutual Club, who withdrew for a time from the proceedings of the convention because of the “gabbling” of an officious director of his club, then voted for the passage of the resolution, and the convention became known as the “National Association of Professional Base Ball Players.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reorganization of the Boston club

Date Sunday, December 17, 1871
Text

The Boston Base Ball Association held its annual meeting on Wednesday evening, in Boston. After receiving the report of the Treasurer for the past year, the meeting adjourned sine die as an association, and immediately afterwards the members of the old association were called to order by Mr. Adams, under the advertised call for the purpose of accepting and organizing under the act of incorporation granted by the last Legislature. Harry Wright was chosen clerk pro tem, and Mr. Adams, chairman.

The act was then accepted and a committee appointed and a committee appointed to draw up a code of by-laws, which were reported to the meeting and duly adopted. Mr. Adams was then nominated by acclamation, and unanimously elected President of the corporation for the ensuing year. Mr. Adams thanked the association for this expression of good will, but felt that he must decline the honor as his business engagements would not permit of this giving the proper time to the duties of the office. His declination was accepted by the meeting.

The following vote of thanks was then passed unanimously: Recognizing the efficient services of Mr. Ivers W. Adams in organizing this association, we learn, with regret, that circumstances prevent his longer occupying the position which has so just been his due; and we desire him to accept the sincere thanks of the club for his earnest and praiseworthy efforts in its behalf.

The stockholders then proceeded to ballot for directors for the ensuing year, with the following result: John A. Conkey, John P. Reed, George H. Burditt, George Homer, and Harry Wright. Of these gentlemen, John A. Conkey was elected President, George H. Burditt, Treasurer, and Harry Wright, Secretary.

After transacting other business of minor importance, the meeting adjourned at a late hour.

The record of the Boston Club is certainly a very creditable one. Its capital stock is $15,000, and the stockholders are young merchants and business men who sustain the organization from a pure love of the national game, and the players of the past season and those engaged for the coming season are gentlemen whose conduct, both on and off the field, is worthy of all praise.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reporters of the Philadelphia Dispatch and Mercury

Date Saturday, November 11, 1871
Text

D. L. Reid, of the Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch, and A. H. Wright, of the Philadelphia Sunday Mercury, also made speeches...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reporters' stand

Date Sunday, May 28, 1871
Text

The proprietors of the Capitoline Grounds have determined very properly to enforce the excellent rule in regard to the occupancy of which was so thoroughly carried out by Mr. Cammeyer–namely, that of allowing no one to have seats at the stand except the two club-scorers, the Presidents of the contesting clubs, and the regular base-ball reporters.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The return of Tom Pratt

Date Sunday, September 10, 1871
Text

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Athletic 9/7/1871] Tom Pratt, the last year’s third baseman of the Athletics, but lately of the Olympics, of Philadelphia, made his reappearance with the Athletics in his old position, Meyerle and McBride not playing on account of sickness. Pratt is legally entitled to play with the Athletics, and will strengthen them both in the pitcher’s position and at third base, now that Meyerle and McBride are crippled.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the score card in Boston

Date Monday, May 22, 1871
Text

One of the institutions of the Boston Grounds, as lately improved, is an elegant new score card, got up by Mort. Rogers, which made its first appearance Saturday. The first one bears on the outside a photograph of Harry Wright, and it is proposed to give on each issue the photograph of some distinguished player.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of hippodroming and revolving

Date Sunday, November 5, 1871
Text

...all that is needed to assure continued success and popularity for the professional ball-playing is to preserve their class from “hippodroming” and “revolving,” both of which evils are death to the pecuniary success of professional organizations. Thanks to the beneficial effects of the rule of the Professional Association, there has been less of both these fraudulent features of professionalism this season than there was in 1871; indeed it is questionable whether a single instance of allowing a game to go by default can be shown to have occurred–certainly not in any regular championship contest, whatever there might have been in “exhibition” or gate-money games.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Atlantic club

Date Thursday, May 18, 1871
Text

Various rumors are afloat concerning the Atlantic Club, to the effect the Atlantics will go to every expense in reason to secure a first-class nine for this year. Another and more reasonable report asserts that the Atlantics will play very little this year, but will make grand preparations for having in ‘72 the greatest nine that ever came together. A member of that club is alleged to have recently declared that neither labor nor money should be spared to nail the whip pennant to the Atlantic Club House again.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Atlantics; an amateur reserve nine; the failed Brooklyn BBC

Date Sunday, January 15, 1871
Text

On January 10 the Atlantic Club held a meeting at their headquarters for the reorganization of the club, and an election of officers for 1871. Considerable interest was manifested in the proceedings by all present, an eager desire being expressed to see the old club placed upon the record once more as one of the most prominent organizations of the country. The past season was shown to have been pecuniarily a very successful one, and that too in the face of drawbacks which are not likely to occur this year. It was resolved to continue the club as a professional organization, on the co-operative principle of last year. As Mike Henry has been appointed Assistant Keeper of the Penitentiary–where he will keep quarters for revolvers and other baseball frauds if he catches them at their tricks–the club resolved to change their headquarters, and in future their clubroom will be located at the Assembly Billiard House. Judge Buckley was elected President, and the Board of Directors includes John Chapman. McGonigle is also one of the newly-elected officials; and, in fact, quite a new order of things has been introduced, and we hope to see the old club better managed this season than it has been for years past. The Atlantics will play on their old field at the Capitoline grounds, and though they will not have old nine entire, they will have Zettlein as pitcher, and with a strong team of new hands under the training of the veteran, Pearce, the club will no doubt be able to hold its own with the best. Pearce is the man for Captain, for he has no superior in judgment, coolness, and nerve, and skill in the points of the game. Dick has learnt to control his temper, too, and in this respect knows how to handle his nine with more effect than before. No better man could be selected from the club to train up a new nine. We are glad to learn that the new directors propose to organize a junior nine, in connection with the club, as a school for substitutes. This is what all professional clubs should do, even if they have to go to some expense in doing it. Had this been done years ago clubs would not have had to go round hunting up players, tempting them to break engagements and doing other disreputable business of that kind. This reorganization of the Atlantics is the result of the breaking up of the project of a Brooklyn nine. The Brooklyn nine was to have been the crack nine of the country for 1871. The capital was fixed at $20,000, $10,000 of which was promptly subscribed. The officials were to have been influential political leaders, having snug sinecure positions in the municipal government at command. Heavy salaries were to have been paid, and a nine was to have been secured, upon whom the political and other “sports” of the city could have invested their funds in full reliance of every earnest effort being made to win every single game played. The fact is, the betting fraternity have become tired of having to beat round the bush and go behind the scenes to find out how this or that match is going before they bet. They want to see nines in the market that they can bet on as they did on the Red Stockings, and this they intend to have this season or they won’t patronize the professionals at all. This Brooklyn nine project, however, came to grief in consequence of the howl the taxpayers of all parties made over the outrageous increase of their bills for this year, and the politicians, not being able to stand the pressure, gave up the enterprise, and the proposed nine failed. Instead we are to have the old Atlantics again in the field, under new and more favorable auspices. New York Sunday Mercury January 15, 1871

Last month the fraternity of Brooklyn were considerably exercised over a rumor which was circulated, to the effect that the Atlantic Club was to be superseded by a new organization, to be known as the Brooklyn Club. The new club was to be built up on a capital of $20,000, and all the political “bit guns” of the City of Churches were to have control of the new enterprise. The rumor had not long been given publicity before the local democratic organ launched out against the excessive tax burdens, and called for prompt reform. The pressure was too great to be avoided, and consequently, all the snug sinecure places in the city government which had been “slated” for the new nine, had to be given up, and as the “liberal patrons of the game,” who were so ready do dip their hands in the public purse for base (ball) purposes, were loth to use their own funds for any such object, of course the new club fell through. Then it was that the friends of the Atlantic Club rallied around the old flag once more, and attending the annual meeting in force, they elected a new set of officers, with some energetic men amongst them, and once more the old Atlantic Club, which was reported as “gone up,” “disbanded,” and we know not what, was placed upon its feet again, and the coming season of 1871 will no doubt see the club once more taking the field and battling with the strongest for victory. New York Clipper January 21, 1871

The secession of so many of the best players of the old Atlantic Club has had the effect of rousing up some of the old grit of the club, and in this regard the whole fraternity of Brooklyn seem to have joined in a movement to build up the Atlantics stronger than ever. With four of their old nine in the Mutual Club, their pitcher in the Chicago nine, and the second-baseman with the Haymakers, but few are left wherewith to form the nucleus of a new nine. But Chapman who is one of the new directors of the club is busy organizing a very strong nine, which will include some of the most noted players in the country. There is plenty of material at command yet to enable the Atlantics to place in the field a Brooklyn nine that would rather astonish even the strongest of their rivals. New York Sunday Mercury February 5, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Olympics

Date Sunday, May 21, 1871
Text

On Tuesday, the 18th instant, the Olympic nine made their first appearance this season. Their uniform is of white flannel with red stockings, bearing close resemblance to that of the Boston club. They present a good team, amongst whom we fine Tom Pratt and Ike Wilkins, formerly third base and short stop on the Athletic nine.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the status of the amateur association

Date Sunday, December 17, 1871
Text

The delegates from the amateur clubs of several States assembled at Masonic Hall, this city, on the night of Dec. 13, to revise the code of playing rules for the coming season, and to elect officers for 1872. Owing to the limited attendance of delegates, however, the legal quorum required to organize was wanting, and after some discussion a motion to adjourn prevailed, and the convention was postponed until the second Wednesday of March next, the week following the Professional Convention in Cleveland.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the theory of pitching

Date Saturday, February 4, 1871
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The theory of pitching may be summed up in a few words. It is simply that a ball sent to the bat at a medium pace in a curved line is more difficult to hit in its centre than a ball sent in very swiftly and nearly on a straight line. The rule is that the line of the swing of the bat intersects the line of a swiftly pitched ball at a far more acute angle than in the case of the curved line of a slow ball, and hence the chances for hitting the ball in the centre are greater in the former case than in the latter. Herein lies the whole theory of pitching, and the true art of doing so consists of being able to change the pace in delivery, and consequently to alter the curve in the line of the ball, so as to deceive the eye and aim of the batsman in striking at it. Much stress has been laid on the importance of imparting a bias or “twist” to the ball in pitching; but experience has shown the fallacy of the thing very plainly, all “twist” given to the ball only adding to the difficulties of the catcher’s position, by rendering the re-bound of the ball as uncertain and eccentric as in the case of a foul, the latter being caused by the twist imparted to the ball by the stroke of the bat in hitting it below or above the centre line of its diameter. The fact is, the practical results of a curved line delivery, and good judgment in pitching, have hitherto been erroneously attributed to “twisting,” and hence we see pitchers sacrificing accuracy of aim and command of the ball in efforts to impart a twist thereto, the only result of which is to fatigue and annoy the catcher. The three important elements of successful pitching, and without which no man can excel in the position, are: –First, command of the ball; second, the pluck to face the swiftest batted balls; and third, the judgment to outwit your adversary at the bat. Of course, the ability to pitch swiftly, the endurance to stand fatigue and the power to control temper, with the nerve to fight an up-hill battle, are also essentials of success. But without the three first named qualities no pitcher can be successful, inasmuch as speed without command of the ball is too costly, and without pluck the judgment can never be brought into play, and a man who does not use his brains in pitching becomes a mere machine, whom any skillful batsman can punish at will. So much for .

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire lenient by request

Date Sunday, May 14, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Atlantic 5/8/1871] Mr. Tilton is to be complimented for the impartial manner in which he discharged his duties of umpire. Though very lenient with the pitcher of the Atlantics–at the request of the Reds–he nevertheless showed an intelligent appreciation of the spirit of the new rules...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire not posted on the rules

Date Sunday, July 23, 1871
Text

[Resolute of Elizabeth vs. Champion of Jersey City 7/21/1871] [The umpire] allowed ball after ball which was pitched over the striker’s head, and which touched the ground before reaching the home-base, to go by without being called, when the rules expressly require that every such unfair ball must be called in the order of its delivery. He also allowed the strikers to call for a “waist” ball, something the rules prohibit, the striker only being allowed to call for either a high or low ball, and he must strike at the balls called for when delivered, or strikes must be called on him.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire showing some hustle

Date Sunday, September 10, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Boston 9/5/1871] The game was exceedingly well umpired, the umpire [Nick Young] frequently following the striker two-thirds of the way from the plate to the first base.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the upcoming professional meeting

Date Sunday, March 5, 1871
Text

The [professional] meeting originated from a call of the Secretary of the Olympic Club, of Washington, who desired that the Secretaries of the principal professional clubs should meet in New York on [March 17], to arrange the date of their matches of the entire season. In accepting the proposition, it was suggested by the secretary of the Chicago Club that the meeting in question discuss other questions affecting the interests of the professional class, and this meeting with general favor, the third proposition was made, viz.: to form the meeting into a convention of the professional clubs, and this is likely to be the result of the gathering. At present there is no authorized code of rules governing championship contests, and a code is greatly needed. Moreover, it is desirable that some arrangement be made by which the disputes over the selection of umpires may be avoided. The discussions of these and other interesting questions will make the convention quite an important one. It is to be hoped that it will not culminate in such a face as the convention of November last. New York Sunday Mercury March 5, 1871

Following Mr. Young’s suggestion comes an excellent one from Mr. Thatcher, of the Chicago Club, and this is, to the effect, that the meeting of the secretaries shall be to all intents and purposes, regarded as a convention of professional club delegates, inasmuch as Mr. Thatcher desires that the meeting in question shall be authorized to settle questions other than the mere arranging of the dates of coming contests, the important–to the professional clubs–question of the championship, and also of selecting umpires being among those proposed to be settled by the meeting. Now, why not at once make this meeting a regular convention of professional clubs? Such a convention has long been needed. There are at present no rules governing championship matches, and in consequence, everything connected with the claim to the whip-pennant is in the most unsatisfactory position. Besides which the rules and regulations adopted by a convention of their own will receive more respect and obedience than any code emanating from the convention of November last, which satisfied neither class of the fraternity. Harry Wright, writing from Boston, says that if the meeting be made one as originally intended, then nothing beyond the fixing of dates for contests can be acted upon, as unless it were a regular meeting of appointed delegates to a convention, any rules they might decide upon would not be regarded as authoritative; but make it a convention, and then all the professionals would be bound by it. Harry is strongly in favor of a convention and a regular professional association. New York Sunday Mercury March 5, 1871

The meeting of delegates from the professional clubs of the country, to take action in reference to adopting a regular code of rules regarding the championship, to arrange an equitable rule for selecting umpires and for playing the games of the season, is to be held in this city on March 17th–St. Patrick’s day–at 849 Broadway, corner of Thirteenth street. The Secretary and Directors of the Mutual Club will be in attendance at the rooms on the afternoon of the 17th to receive the delegates, and the meeting will be called to order at 7 P.M. The best way for all the professional clubs to do would be to adopt Harry Wright’s suggestion, and to come prepared to organize a regular association of professional clubs. Their proceedings will then be apparently authoritative and binding, whereas a mere meeting of the secretaries nothing can be done of importance which would be regarded as law to the clubs, except to arrange the dates of their matches for the season. Let the professional clubs send their presidents as well as their secretaries, and let us have a regular professional convention which will adopt rules governing champion matches. New York Clipper March 11, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the veterans of the Knickerbockers issue a challenge

Date Sunday, July 23, 1871
Text

The old “vets” of the Knickerbocker Club are spoiling for a match with a Brooklyn nine of their age or any other nine no professionals. They would like to polish off an old Excelsior nine, or an old picked nine of vets of the Eagle, Empire and Gotham clubs. Any young fellows ranging from forty-two to fifty-seven years of age, who are either active or honorary members of an amateur club, and who think they can whip the vets of the Knickerbockers, can be accommodated with a match at the shortest notice by addressing veteran James Whyte Davis, 42 Clinton place, or Brother Pundy, at 142 Bowery. Miller, Cameron, Bixby, Howe, Williams, Culyer, Thorne, Russell, Yates and others of the old-time ball-tossing crowd will please make a note of Davis’s challenge at once. Don’t let these Knickerbocker fellows bluff you in this way, but go for them at once. Where’s P. O’Brien, Ed. Russell, and others of the old Brooklyn vets? Bring out the fathers of the game.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

throwing to the short stop to break up a delayed double steal

Date Saturday, April 1, 1871
Text

When a player is on the first base and one on the third and the catcher holds the ball ready to throw to second, the short-stop should get nearly on the line of the pitcher and second baseman and have an understanding with the catcher to have him throw the ball to short-stop instead of second base, for on seeing the ball leave the catcher’s hands, apparently for second base, the player on the third will be apt to leave for home, in which case the short-stop will have the ball in hand, ready to throw either to the catcher or third base; by this means, though the player running to second will have his base given him, the player on the third will be likely to be put out, and the player nearest home is the party to be put out first when there is any choice.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tips to umpires on overrunning first base

Date Thursday, May 4, 1871
Text

Umpires must allow players running to first base the privilege of over-running the base without being put out, that being one of the new rules of the game. In observing this rule they must be guided by the following instructions:

First.–The moment the player has over-run the first base he must promptly return and touch it before attempting to run to second base, or otherwise he forfeits the exemption the rule admits of.

Second.–If a player in running to first base, turns on reaching the base and continues one, as in the case of making a home run, he does not over-run the base, as referred to in the rule in question, and therefore is as liable to be put out when off the base as he is at any other base.

Third.–A player over-running first base can, of cours, continue on and go to second base, but by doing so he runs the risk of being put out in attempting to return to first base; that is, he forfeits the privilege of exemption from being put out after over-running the base, unless he promptly returns and touches first base after over-running it. He is not obliged to return and touch the base again, however, in over-running it, if he thinks he can get to second safely, but in such case the umpire must see that the player does not infringe the rule which prohibits the base runner from running out of the line of the bases to avoid the ball in the hands of the fielder.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

trashing hotel rooms

Date Saturday, July 29, 1871
Text

Quarters had been provided for the Experts [of Philadelphia] at a first-class hotel, the proprietor of which had furnished them with well-located, suitable and reasonable room, six of them being domiciled together in three communicating rooms on the third floor, while the balance were located elsewhere. The main on entering the rooms yesterday morning, was surprised to notice them in a state of considerable confusion. Pitchers and washbasins were broken, water spilled over the floor, two panels of the door kicked in, the frames broken and mosquito nets cut to pieces, feather beds and pillows cut open and the feathers strewn over the floor half an inch deep. In addition to this the walls were marked up and other depredations committed, which show that the perpetrators were actuated only by a low malicious purpose and one which must follow them and brand them as unworthy of admittance into any decent house for all time to come., quoting the Washington Chronicle 7/22/1871

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire calling too many balls and strikes

Date Saturday, May 6, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Olympic of Washington 5/5/1871] The score was spoiled by the umpire, whose ruling were of such a character as to put all batting qualities out of the question. He kept the bases full continually by calling every ball either as a strike or as a count, and the consequence was that the poorest batter got his base equally with the best. Cincinnati Gazette May 6, 1871

[Boston vs. Olympic of Washington 5/5/1871] Mr. Dobson umpired the game in an impartial manner, and claimed he did so in accordance with the rules. He followed the letter, but surely not the spirit of the law. No pitcher in the country can be expected to pitch every ball over the plate, nor must the batsman be expected to hit at every ball so pitched. There must be some latitude allowed or the whole beauty of the game is destroyed. New York Sunday Mercury May 7, 1871

[Boston vs. Olympic of Washington 5/5/1871] [The umpire] called balls sharply, and gave men their bases on called balls, thereby depriving the game of much of its interest. Worcester National Aegis May 13, 1871, quoting a special dispatch to the Boston Journal

Source Cincinnati Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire giving decisions on appeal

Date Monday, May 1, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Expert of Philadelphia 4/29/1871] We venture to say there is not one man in the Base Ball fraternity who is more capable of umpiring a game, or who is more thoroughly posted with the rules of the game than Mr. Bomeisler. Listening to his decisions when appealed to, which were rendered with firmness and quickness, reminded us of Colonel Fitzgerald’s umpiring.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire hit by pitch

Date Sunday, August 13, 1871
Text

[Mutual of Washington vs. Pythian of Philadelphia 8/12/1871] While Thomas, the first batsman, of the Mutual, was at his station, Mr. [Theodore] Bomeisler [the umpire] was severely hurt from a wild ball, pitched by Brown, and immediately walked from his position to the stand, and asked if a surgeon was in the audience. On lifting his sleeve a large lump, as big as a regulation ball, was disclosed on his arm, and it was found necessary to bandage it and keep it bathed in ice water. He was suffering the most intense pain, but some of those present were inconsiderate enough to gather about him, while his arm was being attended to, and he almost fainted. Although the hurt was a very serious one, and caused him considerable suffering, he again resumed his position as umpire, and, as if to make him doubly unfortunate, he received another severe blow on the mouth in the ninth inning, this being from a foul ball, hot from Bell’s bat. For a moment he thought his teeth had been knocked out, the wound bleeding profusely. After bathing the cut, he once more, with remarkable determination, resumed his position, and continued there until the close of the game.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire not calling balls or strikes

Date Monday, August 7, 1871
Text

[Olympic of Washington vs. Athletic 8/5/1871] Mr. Donnelly is a rising young player, but as an umpire he will never gain renown. An incident occurred yesterday [sic: actually two days previous to date of publication] which we were sorry to see. When Hall was at the bat, at least twenty balls were delivered to him, sufficient either to send a man to his base on balls or out on strikes, but neither a ball or a strike was called. This so incense the pitcher that he commenced to deliver slow balls, which Hall took advantage of, and hit safely for a base. It was very discouraging, we admit, but still, we think Dick [McBride] should have kept on in his usual way. It established the fact very clearly that Hall wanted his base on balls, but that was for the umpire to determine and no other. No matter how incompetent he may have been for the position, he was agreed to by both captains, and he was the proper person to decide all such points.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire should call injury timeouts

Date Saturday, June 10, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Boston 6/2/1871] Two strikes had been called upon Pinkham, when he struck at the ball and hit McVey on the arm, disabling him for some minutes, and as the umpire failed to call time Simmons and Duffy came in and Pinkham got to second. ... Whenever any accident occurs in the game to a player on either side, the umpire should promptly call “time.” In this case the Chicagos, availing themselves of every legal point, took advantage of the position, and got in two runs they were not fairly entitled to.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

when does the umpire call a ball foul?

Date Saturday, October 7, 1871
Text

The umpire need not call foul until the ball touches the ground foul, as until then the ball is not foul according to the rules.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

winter ball in the South

Date Sunday, November 19, 1871
Text

On the 5 th instant it is said that there were twenty-one games of base ball at New Orleans. They must have it quite severely there. A proposition to innoculate children for base ball is under consideration by numerous anxious parents and the Board of Physicians. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch November 19, 1871

In the extreme South November is the inaugural month of the championship season, and the New Orleans Baseball park is now every week the scene of contests for the championship of the South. New York Sunday Mercury November 26, 1871

pool selling on the grounds

One of the first acts at the special meeting of the association in Philadelphia on November 3, was the adoption of a rule prohibiting pool selling and open betting on the professional ball grounds of the country, a custom which was introduced this season at the Union Grounds, Brooklyn, and adopted on the Chicago ball grounds, much to the injury of professional ball playing. New York Sunday Mercury November 26, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Woods attempts to distract the Athletics

Date Sunday, June 11, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Athletic 6/8/1871] As the Athletics went into the field in this [fifth] innings Wood and Pinkham, of the White, commenced tossing a ball around in close proximity to the first base line, and although they were politely asked by McBride to desist, as they were distracting the attention of the fielders, yet they contemptuously refused, and then McBride ceased pitching, and the game was temporarily interrupted for several minutes, the immense crowd showing their disapproval in no measured terms of this most disgraceful and discreditable conduct. Finally, after Mr. Kerns, the President of the Athletics, had vainly endeavored to stop this “childish” exhibition on the part of wood and Pinkham, the better sense of Mr. Gassette, the President of the White Stockings, induced them to desist and the game went on. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury June 11, 1871

The retirement of Woods seemed especially palatable to the crowd, as at the commencement of their inning Pinkham and himself went on the field with a ball and began throwing it from one to the other, seemingly with the purpose of disconcerting the players. McBride refused to pitch until this child’s play was stopped. Wood refused to desist, even when Mr. Kerns, the first officer of the Athletic Club, came on the field and requested him to discontinue the annoyance. The crowd howled and yelled for some minutes, Wood exchanging compliments with them, and making an exhibition of himself generally. The president of the Chicagos then walked over to Wood, and, after a few words were had passed, Wood put up the ball. Wood has always been rated as a square, quiet and gentlemanly ball player; but he certainly has taken queer means of sustaining his reputation. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch June 11, 1871

An untoward incident in the game was the action of Wood, the Chicago captain, during the fifth inning. The Athletics having gained the lead, when the first striker on his side came to bat, Wood called Pinkham to his side of the field, in the immediate neighborhood of first and home bases, and proceeded to toss a ball about, with it, is possible, a view of distracting the attention of the fielders, which, with or without the intention, it would have done. On being requested to desist he declined to do so, and the game was necessarily suspended for some time, until he finally ceased. This behavior excited the ire of the multitude, and cries of disapproval were yelled from all parts of the spectators’ benches, and during the rest of the game Mr. Wood was made fully aware of the fact that he was a very unpopular individual. New York Sunday Mercury June 11, 1871, quoting the Philadelphia Age

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger