Clippings:1873

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1873Clippings in 1873

Clippings in 1873 (226 entries)

Contents

'blocking' a fair-foul hit

Date Saturday, June 21, 1873
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 6/14/1874] ...Manning in the sixth inning by “blocking” a fair-foul reached first base in safety...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'weak block' bunt

Date Sunday, August 3, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Boston 7/30/1873] The fifth inning now opened and the few confident Philadelphians present predicted that something extraordinary would occur. Cuthbert encouraged this idea in a weak block, which gave him first base.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a blown pick-off attempt

Date Saturday, June 7, 1873
Text

[Mutual vs. Boston 5/31/1873] While Geo. Wright was at the bat and O’Rourke on second, Matthews [pitcher] threw the ball to Hatfield [second baseman] when that player was not within twenty feet of the base; consequently it cost the “Mutes” a run.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a botched intentionally dropped third strike

Date Sunday, August 10, 1873
Text

[Baltimore vs. Philadelphia 8/7/1873] The umpire gave Fulmer his base on called balls, and a singular series of misplays followed. Treacy made three strikes, and McVey missed the last in order to effect a double-play. He threw the ball splendidly to Carey, who missed it, and, instead of catching Fulmer, Charlie was soon trotting to third, where he would have been caught had not Radcliffe missed the ball sent to him by Carey. Fulmer got home, and Treacy to second.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bunt pop-up

Date Sunday, May 25, 1873
Text

[Atlantic vs. Philadelphia 5/24/1873] In the sixth inning Britt attempted to “block,” and put up a weak foul. Meyerle took it on the bound, it being as fine a scoop as we have ever seen.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bunt with Barlow's 'penholder'

Date Sunday, September 7, 1873
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 9/1/1873] Barlow took his penholder and bounced the ball in front of home plate, obtaining first amidst considerable applause.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for umpires to be paid

Date Sunday, January 12, 1873
Text

We hope to see the convention make a rule which allows the payment of umpires a sum which, although nominal, at the same time forces him outside of any direct interest in the contest, the same expense being divided between the clubs engaged. This suggestion has been often made, and is a good one.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a championship game changed to an exhibition

Date Saturday, July 5, 1873
Text

[Mutual vs. Boston 6/28/1873] These clubs were to have played their fifth championship match at Boston, Mass., on June 28, but owing to the wet and slipper condition of the ground the game was changed to an exhibition one. When the managers decided upon the change the people were notified, and those who wished were allowed to visit the box-office and receive the price of their admission. Quite a number, however, waited until the third inning, and then requested their money returned. Of course this demand was not granted, and they thought themselves wronged.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a change pitcher needed for practice

Date Wednesday, May 28, 1873
Text

Asa Brainerd, pitcher for the original “Red Stockings,” of Cincinnati, is to be engaged by the Baltimore Base Ball Club as change pitcher. This will strengthen their batting very materially, as one pitcher cannot hold out long enough in order to give the men proper exercise at the bat on practice days. The engagement is a good one, too, in view of the late Boston games, when Cummings was so badly punished. A change pitcher on the nine might have won the Baltimore one and perhaps both of those games.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club must play five games against every other team for its games to count

Date Saturday, September 27, 1873
Text

We understand that the Maryland and Resolute Clubs have withdrawn from the contest, and as neither have as yet conformed to the rule of the championship code, which requires them to complete five games each with the clubs in the arena, by these rules all their games will be thrown out.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a collision at the plate

Date Monday, May 26, 1873
Text

[Atlantic vs. Philadelphia 5/24/1873] [Mack at third] Wood struck a grounder to third, on which Mack started to come home, and reached the plate at the same time the ball did, knocking down and falling over Barlow [catcher]. {The point being very close here, the umpire decided “not out.” The decision could have been given either way; Mack was as fairly “out” as he was “not out;” indeed , the general opinion was in favor of the latter decision.}

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critical assessment of the ten-man proposal

Date Sunday, November 9, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Athletic 11/6/1873] The game possessed some interest from the fact that the proposed encroachment on the rules of the game in the playing of ten men and ten innings now being strenuously urged by Mr. Chadwick was put in practice. We are exceedingly sorry that Mr. C. ever made a proposition of this kind. He has done so much for the real progress of the game that all propositions from him are received with consideration, if not with favor, and if the change referred to is made it will result in spoiling most of the fine points of the game. Therefore we regreat that Mr. Chadwick has made the move, and he can scarcely congratulate himself upon the support he is receiving.

Base ball is at present as fine a sport as can be perfected; it has taken long years to make it such. What can be prettier than a well covered field, with the shot stop and second baseman working with the agility of panthers within the boundaries of their positions. Add another to their number, and their occupation is well nigh gone–the first baseman becomes a mere mark for hard throwing, dare not leave his post, for the “right short” is covering all the ground about him, and the danger of collision is evident. Between the right short, left short and second baseman the same trouble is imminent, unless they become listless in their places, and this they are sure to do, when they have but a little space to move in, and then half watch their fellow players as well as the ball. In this way we might bid good-bye to all the fine bits of fielding, such as given by Wood, Barnes, Fulmer, Holdsworth, and other expert infielders. Take the vim from a player, contract his room for action, and there is small home for his distinguishing himself.

Another point against the proposition is this: For scientific batsmen, the space about second base has always served as a point to which the ball should be driven. Such hits, when accomplished, are the prettiest in the art, and with an infield completely covered they would be almost impossible. Again, good base running is prevented, as the runner is kept close to his base, and by this means given no chance for the next bag. Good batting and base running essential beauties of the game.

All of this was practically demonstrated on Thursday, when the experiment was made and proved a failure. The players ridiculed the arrangement after they perceived how it worked, and the interest in the game soon died away.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a denial that the Maryland Club is defunct

Date Saturday, June 28, 1873
Text

The statement in a Philadelphia paper that the Maryland Club has disbanded is contradicted as follows: Baltimore, June 19, 1873 Frank Queen.–Sir:–Be kind enough to contradict the statement in your paper in reference to the Maryland B.B. Club being defunct. Such is not the case, and they come North in the early part of July...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a economics of the cooperative plan

Date Tuesday, May 6, 1873
Text

The proposed Troy nine project is likely to be a failure, as the players sought after do not wish to play for a share of the gate receipts, but want a stated salary. The division of the gate money is an unprofitable business, as was fully demonstrated in the case of the Putnams when each player’s share at a match game was from thirty cents to one dollar, hardly ever exceeding the latter sum. It was proposed to play on the Park, but after paying twenty per cent, for the use of the same and the visiting club one half of the remainder, it was justly deemed there would be a very small margin left for division., quoting the Troy Whig

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a feigned dropped fly ball

Date Saturday, September 27, 1873
Text

[Athletic vs. Mutual 9/18/1873] [bases loaded with one out] In the third inning Fisler [sic: should be Fisher] made a double-play, which was marked by a new strategical point, once played in 1867 by George Wright. ... Hatfield hit a high ball towards Fisher [right fielder], and, as it looked safe, each man left his bas. Fisher, however, got under the ball, seeing which the base-runners returned to bases; but Holdsworth [at third] seeing Fisher, as he though, drop the ball, ran for home again, before touching third after the ball was held, Fisher’s point of play consisting of his allowing the ball to rebound from his hands so as to deceive the base runners, which he did, for Holdsworth was captured at third on the double play. All who saw it thought it was an accident catch, but it appears Fisher had been practicing for just such a piece of strategic play.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fifty-dollar guarantee

Date Sunday, May 25, 1873
Text

The Resolute Baseball Club, of Elizabeth, played the Princeton nine yesterday afternoon on the grounds back of the College at Princeton. The Resolutes were paid $50 to come there and play.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a forfeit when not enough players show up

Date Saturday, July 12, 1873
Text

The Mutuals appointed July 2 to play their third game with the Resolute Club at Waverley. The New Yorkers met at the train to go; but finding themselves short two or three of their players, they chose rather to forfeit the game than go, and so they went over to the Union Grounds to see the Washingtons and Atlantics play instead. This gives the Resolutes a game by 9 to 0.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a game postponed due to injuries; announcing the postponement

Date Thursday, June 26, 1873
Text

A telegram was yesterday morning received from Mr. E. Hicks Hayhurst, manager of the Athletic club of Philadelphia, stating that three of his nine–McBride, Clapp and Fisler–were in such disabled condition that it would be impossible for the Athletics to play the Baltimores according to announcement, and placards announcing the postponement of the game were gotten out as soon as possible.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hard fair-foul

Date Sunday, September 28, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Athletic 9/22/1873] Wood accomplished a hard, two-base , fair-foul...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a late example of the Excelsiors in the field

Date Saturday, September 13, 1873
Text

[Excelsior of Brooklyn vs. Englewood 9/4/1873] The old Excelsior Club of Brooklyn took the field for the first time since the Spring of 1872 on Sept.4, when they accepted an invitation from the gentlemen of the Englewood Club of New Jersey to visit that suburban retreat. ... After a well-played game on a very poor field...they were entertained at the Englewood House, the Excelsior Glee Club delighted the guests with their excellent singing.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a leap over the second baseman

Date Saturday, June 21, 1873
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 6/14/1874] [Murnan] escaping an unavoidable out by an extraordinary jump clean over Leanard [second baseman], who was stooping to touch him and who claimed that he did touch him–this being the only decision in the game that was not entirely satisfactory to both nines, and even this decision was one that nine out of ten umpires would give, as it seemed almost impossible for Leonard to have touched him.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a long discussion of game selling

Date Sunday, August 3, 1873
Text

There has been in almost every quarter of late a widely-spread feeling in regard to the honesty of certain players. It is too universal to pass lightly without notice, and, in view of some assertions and suspicions, we consider it a part of our duty to make some suggestions, and give some general advice to those whose tongues wag too freely regarding those who are unable to defend themselves. There are more instances of the old song–“Give a dog a bad name and hang him”–in base-ball circles than are exactly pleasant to contemplate.

To begin with: A player who allows himself to be put under such influence instantly loses his manhood. He becomes a dirty, groveling loafer, and commits an action which the veriest thief would be ashamed of. He is guilty of an act to which robbing helpless children sent on errands with a few pennies is heroism, “going through” a drunken man’s pockets a worthy notion, or robbing a corpse almost a virtue. The victim is not swindled–it is worth than that; there is scarcely a word strong enough to express the extent and meaning of the filthy crime. Gambling is not a pleasant matter to contemplate at the best, but when a wager is lost in good faith, and through the medium of such a wretch’s moral prostitution, it is the meanest, vilest and most putrefied way of putting a hand in a man’s pock and taking his means.

We regret that we have not expressed ourselves quite strong enough in the above. Words are not forcible enough to define the work of such loathsome moral lepers, and we honestly subscribe the opinion that there are but few, if any, in the fraternity. Now, the next thing is simply this: People have been growling from bad to worse in this matter, and have got into the habit of using the names of certain men with utter open recklessness. They could not begin to prove what they say, and it is an outrage, in most cases, which can never be atoned for. An accusation of this kind is no laughing matter. A report spread in this manner not only scandalizes a probably innocent man, but puts him in jeopardy of his life. Had Wansley, Duffy and Devyr been seen immediately after the exposure consequent upon their dishonesty in the famous Mutual-Eckford game, they would have taken their leave of this world in a very summary manner, and we know that a vigorous search was made for them.

These threats we have heard within this week, and we hope that in every instance hereafter, where there is the least suspicion of culpability on the part of players, club managers will have the parties examined on oath. After ferreting out the proof, and where guilt is discovered, the criminal be ejected with disgrace from the professional, and left to the tender mercies of those whom he has victimized. This is the only mode of procedure. Clubs pay efficient players for their services, and they should render their best. Suppose an artist is engaged to do a certain piece of work in his best style. He is a man of more than ordinary ability and is paid accordingly; he gets sulky, perhaps, or, for a consideration from some jealous person, slights his work, daubs through it carelessly, and money is wasted, where a man of mediocre talent would have actually beaten him and honestly done his work for much less money.

Since we have commenced this topic we might as well do it thoroughly. Before the game of Wednesday last it was currently reported that the Philadelphians would “throw” the game. Every player on the nine was aware of this rumor, and the only origin we can find for the same was the fact that a shrewd sporting man anticipated a very easy triumph for the Boston on several grounds. In the first place the Philadelphians had just returned from Cape May, where indolence and over-eating, without further dissipation, put them out of condition. The Baltimore and Boston Clubs did the same thing last year, and lost seriously by it. It was a good ground to base theory on. The two months’ gymnasium practice before the season helped the Quakers to much of their success; to break this good condition was injudicious. Another thing: the party referred to looked at the fine condition of the Boston; and the loss of needed practice by the Philadelphians on account of the postponement of the Washington game of Monday last. So the market was flooded with his case, tongues commenced to wag, and in a short time a scandal was concocted. It is as clear as day. If, on the other hand, the party had paid players to aid him in winning his money, it is very unlikely that he would tell the public or even a personal friend. Men do not care to boast of dirty work of this kind. The result was against the Philadelphians, and it so happened that the game was lost by the poor play of one man, who has a record for honesty that is not questioned by any one, and the defeat was taken gracefully.

...

The following is from Mr. Chadwick’s pen. He is impulsive, and no doubt regrets very many things he does. The mere fact that a player buys pools is to be regretted; but, at the same time, it does not make his dishonest. Still the paragraph is, to a certain extent, important:

‘A record is being privately kept of all the professional ball players who have bought pools on games they have played in this season. It would astonish Philadelphians, Bostonians and Baltimoreans, not posted in the “ways that are dark and tricks which are vain,” in professional circles to see the list already secured. Of course it would be no surprise to our people, as they see it done too often. The clubs which are behindhand in the score would no doubt bring the matter up in conversation but for the fact that no one could enter court with clean hands.

‘At the close of the season, when the comments of the play and the averages of each are made out, not a name of a suspected man will appear on the record. We have also to state that every season we have been written to to know if we could indorse this and that player. Thus far we have eight down on our books who are rated as black sheep, and the blackest of the flock is a fellow we call “Rascal Jack,” because he has “Dunn” so many people. Mr. John Dunn’s great character was “That Rascal Jack.”’

It is hardly necessary to allude to the player referred to in the last few lines. Now, if there are any charges of fraud with good foundation, let them be advanced at once, and let the culprit be publicly and privately disgraced. Until this is done there will be no end of fault-finding and accusation.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a new ball

Date Saturday, June 7, 1873
Text

[Boston vs. Baltimore 6/6/1873] In the seventh inning was substituted, on account of a burst in the old one...

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pickoff at second by the catcher

Date Sunday, July 13, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Mutual 7/7/1873] “Zett” attempted to take too much grounda t second, and was put out on a good throw by Hicks [catcher].

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pitcher called out for throwing, in a junior game

Date Thursday, April 24, 1873
Text

[Zephyr vs. Eureka, both Philadelphia juniors, 4/21/1873] [from a letter to the editor:] The Eureka bullied the umpire and made him rule the pitcher of the Zephyr out as a throw, who pitches as square as a pitch as ever was pitched.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for outfield bleachers

Date Friday, June 20, 1873
Text

We have received letters from many of the interior towns of Pennsylvania about Saturday’s game. A Professor in one of our college3s asks “Why do not the Athletics construct more seats against the fence, behind the out-fielders?” He adds, “the last game cost me, all told, $7.50, and I had to stand all the while.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to outlaw fair-foul hits

Date Saturday, March 15, 1873
Text

[proceedings of the NAPBBP convention] Mr. Hall, formerly of the New York Cricket Club, but now president of the Baltimore Club, moved to amend the rules by making fair-foul balls illegal, but the convention wisely refused to adopt the suggestion. The new rule proposed was one well calculated to largely increase the difficulties of the umpire in giving decisions. The fact is, a legally hit fair-foul ball is the most difficult a batsman can hip; and it is always in the power of the pitcher now to make the hit still more difficult by sending in waist-high balls to those batsmen who are noted for such a style of hitting. New York Clipper March 15, 1873

A rather silly effort was made in the convention at Baltimore to introduce a rule making all balls foul which hit the ground on front of the homebase back of a line from the foulball lines from home to first and home to third, intersecting the front line of the pitcher's position. The object was to do away with balls known as “fair fouls,” or balls which hit the ground close in front of the homebase and which rebound “foul,” these balls not only being difficult to hit, but hard to get at in time to throw to first-base. Now, these very balls are in reality the result of hits requiring the most skillful handling of the bat, and a quick and a steady nerve, beside, the make the style of hitting successful. A “fair foul” hit can never be made except from a low ball, and then the striker needs to step well out so as to hit the ball down to the ground within the line. With proper strategic play by the pitcher, a “fair foul” hit becomes very difficult. The idea of supposing it to be an easy thing to do is absurd, as the slightest miscalculation transforms the hit into an easily caught foul on [sic: probably “or”] a chance to put the striker out at firstbase. New York Clipper April 12, 1873

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed revival of the old amateur Mutual Club; the old-time practice of cheers

Date Tuesday, May 6, 1873
Text

The old members of the Mutual Club, New York, will meet on the 11th inst., to reorganize on an amateur footing. They will have grounds in Harlem, and will no doubt play several matches during the season, when they intend to revive the old-time habit of three cheers for their opponents, three for the umpire, and invite all hands for a free chowder. Baltimore Evening News May 6, 1873; also All-Day City Item May 9, 1873

A meeting is to be held on May 11th to reorganize the old Mutual Club on the old-fashioned basis of playing the game for the sport that is in it. The old members who are starting the movement include McMahon, H. B. Taylor, Gavegan, Green, etc., headed by Judge Tony Hartman. The club will play on a ground near Harlem. New York Clipper May 10, 1873

To-day the old members of the Mutual Club are to meet to organize the Mutual Club on the old amateur footing of ten years ago. Justice Hartman is at the head of the new movement, and all the old veterans of the club are backing him up heartily in it. They all want to get back to the grand old times when the game was played for the fun it yielded, and the invigorating exercise that it furnished; when, too, each man exerted himself to win for the honor of the club flag, and not for salaries or pools. New York Sunday Mercury May 11, 1873

Source Baltimore Evening News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed rule to eliminate fair fouls

Date Sunday, March 9, 1873
Text

Mr. Bob Hall of the Baltimore Club, an old cricketer by the way, tried to get an amendment through making all balls which are hit to the ground back of a line from third to first base, foul. This was done to stop the style known as “fair fouls.” It was wisely voted down, however, as it would have involved an endless amount of disputes with the umpire.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rope separating the crowd from the outfielders

Date Wednesday, June 18, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Boston 6/17/1873] Every seat was taken and every inch of standing room, and hundreds of people were obliged to take positions at the lower end of the field across which a rope was stretched to prevent interference with the out-fielders. The grand stand was crowded with ladies, and in all the number of spectators must have reached nearly 6,000.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A rope separating the playing field from the spectators

Date Sunday, October 26, 1873
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 10/25/1873] In the eighth inning O'Rourke sent out a very long, high ball that McMullin [left fielder] ran backward out for in the foul field, and finally got with one hand, bending back over the ropes. This truly magnificent catch was deservedly and enthusiastically applauded.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a round-arm delivery

Date Sunday, September 7, 1873
Text

[Washington vs. Philadelphia 9/1/1873] The pitching of Greason was of a very peculiar nature, being of a sort of round arm swinging delivery. The ball was sent in with great speed and considerable accuracy, but it puzzled the Quakers but little after the first two innings.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor of Hicks Hayhurst purchasing a betting pool

Date Saturday, June 7, 1873
Text

Mr. Hicks Hayhurst, who we stated in our last had bought pools on the Athletic and Atlantic game, explicitly denies the charge, he never having bought a pool or bet on a game of baseball in his life. Moreover, on that very day he was remonstrating against the countenance given to pool selling in New York. We give this denial with pleasure. The former statement was published on good authority, but investigation shows it to have been a case of mistaken identity, our informant, who was in the pool market, mistaking another purchaser for Mr. Hayhurst.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a runner hit by the batted ball is not necessarily obstruction

Date Saturday, June 21, 1873
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 6/14/1874]...in deciding Schafer out for accidentally stopping a hard-hit bounding ball at right short...while it is the rule to regard as willful all obstruction of a fielder by a base runner or other opponent of the contesting nine–in the meaning of the rules–which could have been readily avoided, it odes not follow that a base-runner should be given out for not getting out of the way of a ball because it happens to hit him. In this case it was so plainly an accident–Schafer not even seeing the ball–that it was surprising the umpire should have regarded it as willful, especially as the ball bounded against the back of Schafer’s hip.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a scaffolding for ten-cent spectators

Date Saturday, July 26, 1873
Text

While the game [benefit for family of Michael Kelly 7/19/1873 at the Union Grounds] was in progress a scaffolding which had been erected outside the fence for ten-cent spectators gave way, about fifty people falling some ten feet to the ground.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a slide beneath the tag

Date Wednesday, June 18, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Boston 6/17/1873] [Barnes at second, one out] Spalding hit to Fulmer, and the latter had plenty of time to put him out, but preferring to catch Barnes he threw to Meyerle [third baseman]. “Ros” was alive, however, and sliding underneath he was safe.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a triple play 2

Date Saturday, July 5, 1873
Text

[Washington vs. Athletic 7/4/1873] ...the triple play made by the Athletics was a great piece of stupidity on the part of the Washingtons, the fly (hit from Stearns,) being easily caught at short right field by Fisher [right fielder], then fielded to Murnan [first baseman], and by Murnan to Sutton [short stop] at 2d, the runners running on the hit as if it were “safe.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a uniform ball adopted for championship games

Date Saturday, March 15, 1873
Text

[proceedings of the NAPBBP convention] On motion of Mr. Smith [of the Maryland Club], the Ryan ball was adopted as the regulation ball in all championship contests. This was an important motion, and it was fully discussed before its adoption. The strongest argument in its favor lay in the fact of its requiring all games to be played with a regularly authorized ball, instead of having continued disputes arising from one game being played with a lively ball and another with a dead one. Of course, the monopoly it gives to one maker is an objection, but it is questionable whether it will injuriously affect the interests of other ball-makers.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a uniform ball for all championship games

Date Sunday, March 9, 1873
Text

Mr. Smith of the Maryland Club introduced a rule regarding all championship games to be played with a Ryan “dead” ball, which was adopted. So but one ball can be used in championship matches now.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advertising match days

Date Saturday, April 12, 1873
Text

Messrs. Poultney, Trimble & Co. intend displaying a flag at their place of business on the days of which a match is to take place.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

all-star fantasy team

Date Sunday, January 26, 1873
Text

Among the leading players of 1872, who bear off the palm in their several positions for the best general play, may be named the following: Hicks, of the Mutuals, as catcher; Spalding, of the Boston nine, as pitcher; Start, of the Mutuals, as first baseman; Barnes, of the Boston Club, as second baseman; Ferguson, of the Atlantic nine, as third baseman; George Wright, of the Boston nine, as short-field, and Eggler, of the Mutuals, as centre-field. The other two positions may be said to have been equally well played by Cuthbert, York, McMullin, etc.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an Athletic intra-club game

Date Sunday, July 6, 1873
Text

An interesting game was played yesterday afternoon at Twenty-fifth and Jefferson streets, between two nines selected mainly from members of the Athletic club and including the veterans Berkenstock, “Ike” Wilkins, Hicks Hayhurst and Fred Richards.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an accidental hit of the bat does not count

Date Sunday, August 3, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Boston 7/30/1873] An episode here ensued which caused considerable excitement for a time. Cuthbert, while waiting for a ball, had his bat struck by one from Spalding [pitcher], causing a seeming foul, which White [catcher] caught on the bound, and an appeal was made. Mr. Young decided the collision as accidental, and an uproar followed, which was hard to suppress. After a time, however, quiet reigned and the game continued.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an appeal for a balk

Date Sunday, August 24, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Boston at Chicago 8/16/1873] Barnes, after reaching first on a fair foul, was again caught by Zettlein in a snapping manner. He put in an appeal of “balk,” but the same was not allowed, a local scribe describing the claim as “emaciated.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an appeal on a tag

Date Sunday, August 31, 1873
Text

[Atlantic vs. Philadelphia 8/28/1873] Mr. Sensenderfer umpired well, and during the game gave an illustration as to how an audience and even the players themselves can be deceived on a close decision. Fulmer [shortstop] had received a ball from Pabor, and made an effort to touch Burdock, who was running to second. Appeal was made, and the umpire decided the man not out. It raised quite a hubbub, but Wood [second baseman], who was questioned, stated that the man was not out.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early ascription of professional baseball to the Red Stockings

Date Sunday, January 5, 1873
Text

The first impetus given to base ball as a profession was the famous tour of the Cincinnati nine in that wonderful season of theirs, when they defeated in succession the Mutual, Atlantic, Eckford and Athletic Clubs, and woke the Eastern folks up to the fact that many of the players in their organizations were living on their old reputations, and that to compete with such as nine as Harry Wright had brought out not only young blood was required, but steady practice.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an ineligible player 2

Date Sunday, June 1, 1873
Text

The Resolute Club, of Elizabeth, visited Philadelphia last week to play the Philadelphia and Athletic Clubs. By the former they were defeated 9 to 2, and by the latter 11 to 2. But owing to a violation of the rules the former game is null and void. The cause of this was the playing of Wadsworth in the Resolute nine, on May 27, he having played in the Philadelphia nine April 8 against the Villanova Club. The rule is explicit on this point. New York Sunday Mercury June 1, 1873

Mr. Chadwick makes some remarkably illogical statements, and the last that he has got off is a good specimen. He states in the Brooklyn Eagle that because Wadsworth played with the Philadelphia nine against the Villanova nine on April 8th he is consequently ineligible to play with any nine before June 8th, and that accordingly the game of Monday last between the Resolute and Philadelphia clubs is null and void, and doesn’t not count as a victory. The standing of Wadsworth, it is true, is impaired until the sixty days elapses, but it is in this case a forfeiture by the Resolutes. The case of Hastings in the Rockford-Athletic controversy of 1871 was precisely similar, and the Rockfords coming under the penalty lost two victories by forfeiture. That was all the law required. It was never made to hurt a non-offender. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch June 1, 1873

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an intentionally dropped third strike, confusion ensues

Date Sunday, May 11, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Washington 5/8/1873] In the sixth inning Mr. Young [the umpire] made a decision which was unimportant in its bearing on the game, but deserves criticism. Hines and Holly had made good hits, and were on the second and first, when Stearns came to the bat and made three strikes–the last held for a moment by Malone, who then dropped it; but, missing the play he had intended to make, he threw to third, thus cutting off Hines, but Mr. Young decided the striker out. In the confusion, Hines, a little dazed, was caught between bases by Addy and Meyerle, and the ball put on him, while Holly reached second safely. Mr. Young ordered them back to their original bases, with what warrant we are unable to say, and Steans only was given out.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an outfield shift against a left-handed batter

Date Friday, May 30, 1873
Text

[Baltimore vs. Philadelphia 5/29/1873] York being a left-handed batter, Bechtel [right fielder] was “laying” for a foul-bound, and Treacy [center fielder] came around to right field, so that in order to take the fly [to center field] Cuthberg [left fielder] ran from left to center, catching the ball while running at his utmost speed...

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

another deceased baseball reporter

Date Sunday, August 24, 1873
Text

Some time since a contemporary remarked the strange fatality attending “base ball reporters.” Mike Kelly, of the Herald; Brodie, of the New York Dispatch; Picot, of Wilkes’ Spirit, all died in a comparatively brief space of time, and now we are called upon to add one more name to the list–that of George P. Rowe, of the New York Times. He commenced his journalistic life as sporting reporter for the New York Globe. His articles attracted immediate attention, and he was engaged for the same duty on the Standard, with which paper he remained until it ceased publication. He then joined the force of the New York Times. The following is from the pen of Mr. W. S. Smith, of Wilkes’ Spirit:

“Again have the already to thin ranks of base ball reporters been decimated, and again are we called upon to mourn the loss of one of the profession’s brightest stars. George P. Row was the base ball reporter for the Times of this city during the season of 1872, and while filing this position earned for himself a reputation for clearness and thorough knowledge of the game second to none in the profession. Last Saturday he went in company with Mr. George T. Keiller, of the Brooklyn Union, to Centre Moriches, L.I., for the purpose of spending a two weeks’ vacation, and on Wednesday last a dispatch was received in this city from the proprietor of the hotel where the two were stopping, to the effect that the young men had both fallen victims to the treacherous undertow, which at that point is exceedingly strong. Mr. Rowe, as also his companion, was a most excellent swimmer, and that he should be drowned in the surf while bathing so near shore seems almost incredible. ... A native of Barbados, West Indies, Mr. Rowe received an excellent English education, and when about sixteen years of age removed with his parents to Brooklyn, where he studied hard, and soon fitted himself for the arduous duties of a journalist, entering the profession at the age of eighteen. Being exceedingly fond of out-door sports, he was assigned to the position of base ball reporter, and in a marvelously short period of time made himself perfectly familiar with the most intricate points of the game. He was invariably clear and concise in his reports, which very soon claimed the attention of base ball men in general, who looked upon them as authority. The retentiveness of his memory was something wonderful, he being able to give, without reference to his score book, the exact score, including the number of base hits on each side, of games which had been played months before.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

another rumor of a sold game

Date Sunday, August 17, 1873
Text

Suspicious Gotham talks loudly of a “sale” in the Atlantic-Mutual game of the 9th instant. The gamblers in the late village of Tweed seem to think that the Mutuals have the power to win and lose at pleasure. The only evidences of the sale were the weak batting of the Mutes and the superb batting and fielding of the Atlantics.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletic grounds to be sold

Date Saturday, May 10, 1873
Text

On May 1 the ordinance authorizing the sale of the ball-grounds located at Twenty-fifth and Jefferson streets, Philadelphia, Pa., rented by the Athletics, and upon which all the principal games in that city are played, came up in Council for a second reading. Mr. Smith opposed the sale on the theory that the ground adjoins the Park, and in a short time must attain an enhanced value, and although the rental paid by the baseball clubs was insignificant, he thought delay in this matter would repay the city. Mr. Hanna read a letter from John I. Rogers, one of the directors of the Athletics, of which the following are extracts:

“This sale, besides being premature for obtaining good prices, will be unfair to our club. A little over two years ago we expended $7,000 in leveling, fencing, and erecting pavilions upon the ground. This large outlay was made under the express verbal understanding that we should be undisturbed in our possession until the ground was needed by the Water Department, in which event we should vacate on three months' notice. The ground is now used by the Athletic, Philadelphia, and Olympic Clubs, and is a means of exemplifying the national game. If ancient Greece fostered and maintained, out of the public purse, the Olympian games, surely the great city of Philadelphia can give a slight encouragement to the American Olympiad by postponing for a few years the sale of a small piece of suburban territory. There is not American institution that will more deeply interest our Centennial visitors than the typically national game of baseball, if its existence be not practically terminated by banishment beyond municipal limits.”

After considerable discussion, an amendment directing the survey of the land and its sale by building lots by plan was agreed to by a vote of 16 to 7; and another motion, to amend and refer to the committee on law was agreed to by a vote of 11 to 10. A parcel of politicians evidently are on the qui vive to make money on this matter, and are regardless of the fact that the persons directly or indirectly interested in the game of baseball in this city form a large and influential portion of the community, and can punish at the polls this attempt to deprive the fraternity of their only ground.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance for a cross-town rivalry

Date Sunday, June 22, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Athletic 6/21/1873] Over ten thousand spectators were within the fences, and a thousand more occupied every available seat outside.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Barlow's little block hits

Date Wednesday, August 27, 1873
Text

[Atlantic vs. Baltimore 8/26/1873] Barlow, of the Atlantics, opened for one of his little block hits, and made his base four other times on just such hits, Radcliffe stopping them each time, but being compelled to run so far for them he could not get them to first in time.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Barnes hits a fair foul

Date Monday, October 6, 1873
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 10/4/1873] The excitement was now intense, the crowd being almost breathless with interest to see what Barnes would do. That sterling player showed his worth by hitting a fair foul to the left field earning two bases, bringing George [Wright] home and making the spectators wild with delight.

Source Boston Evening Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bob Ferguson accused of partial umpiring

Date Friday, July 25, 1873
Text

[Baltimore vs. Mutual 7/24/1873] It was impossible for the Baltimores to win while the umpire was opposed. A series of wrong decisions occurred in the last inning, giving the Mutuals three runs when they should have gotten but one. The Mutuals would hit fouls, and the umpire would give bases on them, but the Baltimores were prevented from making the same kind of hits, as it was against the interests of the umpire. Such a charge as this may appear incredible, as the umpire is so well know, but it is, nevertheless, a fact.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bob Ferguson assaults a player; game selling

Date Friday, July 25, 1873
Text

[Baltimore vs. Mutual 7/24/1873] It is needless to give much account of this game, as it was evidently a square give away. It was impossible for the Baltimores to win while the umpire was opposed. Baltimore American July 25, 1873

The other exciting game of the week was the one between the Mutual and Baltimore nine, which was so exciting in the ninth inning that both the catcher of the Mutuals and the umpire [Ferguson] forgot themselves, and, through the insult given by the one and resented by the other, an emeute occurred which made things spicy for the time being. It appears that Hicks “wanted to know, you know,” whether Hatfield was playing any little game of the Heathen Chinee style of thing, whereupon Hatfield suggested that Hick’s play was rather “pecooler,” and as Ferguson coincided with this view of the case, Hicks got his mad up, and plainly intimated to Rob that the truth was not in him. Now, as Rob is not possessed of that amiable disposition which will bear patiently with remarks of this kind, and as a bat was unluckily handy at the time, Rob picked it up and moved it “kloder lively, ver know,” very near Hicks, and as the latter just then put out his arm, the bat grazed the skin of the elbow just enough to make the blood flow. In a moment Rob was repentant, but Hicks walked off the ground with his arm hanging helpless and apparently broken, and the crowd seeing, and learning that “the umpire struck Hicks,” they became excited. The game, however, was proceeded with, and as it ended in a Mutual victory, the effect of the “foul strike” incident was mollified. Still it was found necessary to have the police accompany Ferguson to the club-house, where the “onpleasantness” was mutually talked over, the misunderstanding explained, and both apologizing to each other, things were amicably adjusted, and afterwards “all was quiet on the Potomac.” New York Sunday Mercury July 27, 1873

On Friday...the Mercury representative met with Hicks on the Knickerbocker Grounds, and was surprised to find his arm bound up in splinters, and to learn that it was broken by the blow of the bat. Hicks complained that the Mercury version of the trouble had not done him justice, and he asked that it be stated, as coming from him, first, that he did not charge Hatfield with fraud; secondly, that not having done anything requiring an apology he had not apologized to Ferguson; and thirdly, that the blow was so forcible a one that it had broken his arm instead of “just grazing the skin” and that he had put up his arm to save his head. New York Sunday Mercury August 3, 1873

There was a choice bit of base ball gossip recalled by the spring race meeting here during the past week, which, though it is slightly antiquated, is spicy enough to be retold, especially as it concerns a character prominent in turf circles and at present stopping in the city. It was in the days when players would sell a game for a consideration, which, to say the least, would not overweight them when divided. The story-teller is an old base-ball man himself, and in a week from now will be following the fortunes of the turf in some distant city. He didn’t like to be particular because the subject was a tricklish [sic] one and he swore the Post-Dispatch to secrecy as to names before relating the incident. One of the clubs concerned was the old Mutuals and there were two players on the nine, one of whom has already been spoken of as the now racing man. One of these was a catcher and the other was in the field. The two, the story runs, were trying to sell out to the club opposing them in a game in which Bob Ferguson acted as umpire. A man was coming home from third, the ball reached the catcher’s hands in time to make a dead out but the catcher stepped aside and allowed him to come in. Ferguson saw the play and called the man out. The catcher objected in language anything but pleasant to the ear and Bob replied by breaking his arm with a bat. This moved the fielder to utter his sentiments on the question but Ferguson’s reply was “Yes, and you crooked blank blank blank come in here and I’ll break your arm too.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch June 12, 1886

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bob Ferguson calls out the pool sellers

Date Sunday, July 27, 1873
Text

Despite the existence of fraudulent play in the professional arena for a year or two past, it is only this last week that a solitary individual connected with the fraternity has been found possessed of the moral courage to boldly and publicly attack this evil and make an effort to put a stop to it, and this plucky fellow is Captain Robert Ferguson, of the Atlantic Club, who on Tuesday last (so says an eye-witness of the occurrence) walked into the building where pools are sold, and thus “rose to explain” to the men “whose ways are dark and tricks are vain,” in language that was undoubtedly “plain:”

“I’ve marked you, you infernal thieves and robbers. I’ll burst you yet; I’ll teach you to buy up my men, you low-lived loafers, every one of you. There’s not a one of you who wouldn’t steal a penny from your dead mother’s eyes and kick the corpse because it wasn’t a quarter. Come out here, if you want to, any one of you who don’t like it, or who the cost fits, and I’ll warm the ground with your miserable carcass till you won’t want to buy up my men again.”

The most singular thing in connection with this torrent of invective against the “knaves of the ring” who had been tampering with his men–Britt, Barlow, and Dehlman are the three under the ban of suspicion, though we cannot realize that they are guilty–was, that not a cur of them all had the courage to become indignant at the charge, or to “take it up” as honest men could promptly have done in some way or other. A Philadelphia paper, we notice, has a sensational article on the matter, in which the “Boss” of the ring is referred to. Now, who is this “Boss” or master knave? Give us his name, so that he may be shown up; for it is the temper of the players and the “receiver” of the profits of the fraud who is the greatest rascal of them all, the poor tools he employs being objects of pity rather than of vengeance. New York Sunday Mercury July 27, 1873

No one accepted the gage thus hurled into their very centre, and while in union there is strength, they all knew that Ferguson is a dangerous man to tackle when his dander is up. And still he kept at them until he had exhausted his vocabulary of words, which if not elegant, are extremely forcible and to the point. And they deserved it, too; while Ferguson raised himself many degrees in the estimation of every honorable man by his conduct on this occasion. Desperate disgrace requires desperate remedies, and we rejoice in the Captain’s pluck in bearding the lion in his den, and giving ...wholesome truths in such a convincing manner. It must be particularly aggravating to six square men, who are determined to win, and who are straining every nerve to accomplish this result, to find themselves thwarted at every turn by three others, who, without honor, having been “seen” from their position can render every attempt abortive. The last of this has not come, and we warn certain, not yet to be named Atlantic players that their rope is short and that Bob won’t stand any more such treachery. The Fourth of July commenced the business–at least it became plain then–and we trust the 23d ended it. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch July 27, 1873, quoting Wilkes’ Spirit of the Times

Among the events of the week were the issuing of cards by Britt, Barlow and Dehlman, of the Atlantic nine, against whom suspicion of fraudulent play had been entertained by Captain Ferguson and the directors of the club. Britt, in his card, explicitly denies the truth of the accusation, and demands the closest investigation. Barlow, in his card, says: “All such charges or insinuations are utterly false, and without the slightest foundation; and I stand ready and willing to submit to the closest examination in the matter, and, moreover, challenge any proof from any one to show that I have ever acted otherwise than as an honest player in the professional fraternity.” And Dehlman states that “I never received or was offered a bribe in any manner of shape, and the party who originated that report dare not come out open and above board, and prove that I ever received a dollar to sell a game.”

Justice to all three requires that the charges made be investigated at once, and if proved false, that they all three be reinstated in the confidence of the club. We do not believe either have been guilty; but it was important to all that the charges which had been so publicly talked about, should be fully ventilated, and hence our comments. We believe in the full exposure of all knavery on the field as the only way of remedying the existing evils surrounding professional ballplaying. New York Sunday Mercury August 3, 1873 [see Phila Sunday Dispatch August 3, 1873 for the texts of the cards.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Matthews's endurance

Date Sunday, September 7, 1873
Text

We have often maintained that Matthews, with strength to last through the game, is the best pitcher in the country. When his strength commences to fail, he is batted heavily. Bob needs to keep in first-rate physical condition to do himself justice, and he seems to have been so of late, as he is playing his position wonderfully. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch September 7, 1873

exhibition games trading batteries

The recent games between the Baltimore and Philadelphia Clubs wherein an exchange of players was made caused a great deal of dissatisfaction to the public. The truth was that the games were experimental: a trial whether the public would take interest in a game where a novelty–the change of pitchers and catchers–was provided. The experiment proved a failure in Baltimore, and, really, here, as the large audience present on August 30th at the ball ground was there under a false impression, viz., that they were to witness a championship game. The real nature of the affair had not been made known very generally, and it is to be regretted, as considerable injury was done by the unfortunate occurrence. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch September 7, 1873

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Matthews's singular curves

Date Sunday, August 17, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Mutual 8/11/1873] Cuthbert was unable to light on Matthews’ singular curves. Wood then followed–made three ineffectual attempts to collide, and, as Allison [catcher] found grease on the last one, James got to first base. Two passed balls gave him third and home. “Bobby” was wroth, and wanted “Doug” to give Higham place behind the bat; but Doug said “nay.”

...

The victory was won by the remarkable pitching of Matthews. Cummings, in his palmiest days, never exhibited the “curve” to such an extent, and an illustration might be in place. Allison stood from three to five feet to the right of the batsman as he faced the field; Matthews the same distance to the right. While Fulmer was at the bat, a ball delivered from this position went over or behind his (Fulmer’s) head, and lodged in the catcher hands, he receiving it without a change of place.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston club finances

Date Saturday, December 27, 1873
Text

The treasurer’s report for 1873 is herewith given:

Receipts.–Balance per old account, $48.40; cash received from old accounts, $80.37; total, $128.77. Donations, $13.50; gate receipts, net, $13,999; gate receipts on tours, $10, 122.42; total, $24,121.42. Stock subscriptions, $1,000; members’ tickets, etc., $2,647.46. Total receipts $27,961.15.

Expenses.–Cash paid old account, 1872, $806.36; salaries for 1872, $3,214.02; total, $4,020.38. Salaries, 1873, $14,966; advertising, printing, etc., $1,359.37; rent of grounds, $300; rent of club-room to Nov. 1, $333.36; care of grounds, McNamara, $585.32; repairing grounds, etc., $319.91; uniforms, etc., $181.73; sundries, $594.55; traveling expenses, $4,370.60. Total expenses, $27,193.22. Cash in the treasury, $767.63.

Actual Profits.– Total receipts, $27, 961.15; less old account, $128.77; total, $27,832.38. Total expenses, $27,193.22; less amount paid for 1872, $4,020.38; total, $23,172.84. Balance, $4,659.54; liabilities, $413.89; actual profits of the season, $4,245.65.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston finances; played 46 amateur games

Date Monday, December 15, 1873
Text

The Boston nine played during the past season 110 games–the greatest number yet played by any club in a single season. Of this number fifty-five were championship games,... They also played nine other professional games not counted in the championship series... They played forty-six games with amateur nines... Boston Daily Advertiser December 15, 1873

The Boston Base Ball Club had a successful season this year, financially as well as otherwise. The following is a statement of the actual profits of the season

Total receipts $27,961.15

Less old account $ 128.77

$27,832.38

Total expenses $27,191.22

Less old account of 1872 paid $ 4,020.38

$23,172.84

Balance $ 4,650.54

Deduct liabilities $ 413.89

Actual profits of the season $4,246.63

It appears that the debt of last year, amounting to $4,020,38, has been paid, and the Treasurer has now on hand, with all debts paid, $767.93. Boston Journal December 15, 1873

Source Boston Daily Advertiser
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston spring training methods

Date Saturday, March 22, 1873
Text

Harry Wright, in a letter to us dated March 15th, says: “To-day the engagements of our players commence Monday, 17th. We expect them all here, when we will commence by becoming members of the 'Young Men's Christian Association,' and exercising every day in their gymnasium, the finest in the city. Thursday, April 21, we will have our opening game, playing a strong picked nine...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling and counting balls

Date Thursday, March 13, 1873
Text

In calling balls, under the code of playing rules for 1873, the Umpire must observe the appended rules–

1. He must neither call nor count the first ball delivered to each striker, as the first ball is dead as far as calling or counting it is concerned.

2. Every ball recorded in the section headed “Unfair Balls” must be called in the order of its delivery after the first ball has been sent in. The section in which the word “repeatedly” occurs does not apply in this case. For instance, suppose the pitcher sends in five consecutive “unfair” balls, the first is not counted, the second is counted but not called, and the next three must be called in succession.

3. When the pitcher “repeatedly” fails to deliver fair balls to the bat, then the umpire must call balls then the umpire must call balls on him. For instance, should the pitcher, on delivering the first ball to the bat, send in a “low” ball when a “high” one is called for, such ball is to be counted but not “called;” that is, it is to be counted as the first of the two balls which will constitute the required repetitions of the unfair delivery necessary to incur the penalty, and should the third ball not be within the specified distance, then “one ball” must be called. It is only in the case of a failure to deliver “fair” balls to the bat that the word repeatedly comes into play, and not in the case of the delivery of unfair balls. It should be remembered that there is a distinction between the class of balls expressly named “unfair balls,” and such balls as constitute a failure to deliver fair balls, as a reading of the appended sections will show:

UNFAIR BALLS

4. All balls delivered to the bat which are sent in over the striker’s head, or on the ground in front of the home base, or on the side opposite to that which the batsman strikes from, or which hits the striker while he is standing in his proper position, or which are sent in within a foot of his person, shall be considered unfair balls, and every such unfair ball must be called in the order of its delivery, after the first ball has been delivered, and the first ball to each striker alone to be excepted.

FAIR BALLS

5. All balls delivered to the bat which are sent over the home base, and “high” or “low,” as the batsman calls for, and which are not delivered by an overhand throw or by a round arm delivery, as in cricket, shall be considered fair balls.

It will be seen that the pitcher may fail to deliver “fair balls” to the bat and yet not send in an “unfair ball.” For instance, a ball sent in over the home base and between a foot from the ground and waist high of the striker is not an “unfair ball,” and yet, owing to the fact of a high ball being called for, it is not strictly a fair ball. The difference in the application of the penalty is, that while every “unfair ball”–as described in section 4 of the rule in question–must be called whenever delivered, the other class of unfair balls–that is, not fair balls for the striker–cannot be called until the pitcher has “repeatedly”–viz., twice in succession–failed to deliver fair balls to the bat. This different in the application of the penalty should be well studied by umpires., quoting from Henry Chadwick’s DeWitt’s Guide for 1873

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling for judgment for called strikes

Date Saturday, May 3, 1873
Text

[Zephyr vs. A.J. Reach, both juniors of Philadelphia, 5/1/1873] Every decision of the umpire which did not suit them [the Zephyr], they disputed, and showed by their actions they were trying to frighten him,–for at every ball pitched, no matter how wild, they asked judgment on the striker, and then because he would not call strikes, he was a ----- of an umpire.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher blocking the plate

Date Sunday, May 25, 1873
Text

[Atlantic vs. Philadelphia 5/24/1873] Mack had reached third and started home on Wood’s hit to Ferguson [third baseman]. Barlow [catcher] stood on the home plate to receive the ball, and Mack collided with him, both rolling over in the dust. The umpire decided Mack not out...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick drafting the NA documents

Date Sunday, February 23, 1873
Text

Mr. Chadwick has drafted a constitution and by-laws for the Professional Association, and also a code of championship rules, at the request of the president of the Association.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

company nines

Date Sunday, November 9, 1873
Text

A feature of the contests which have taken place in the metropolis this past season, has been the number of fine games played by nines known not as club nines, as were the leading teams of ten years ago, but as Insurance nines, Dry goods nines, Hardware, Banking-house, Brokers, Provision-house nines, etc. Indeed, there has sprung up such a rivalry in baseball contests between nines of leading business firms of the city, that as much excitement exists in regard to the championship of the various classes of business as used to mark the matches between the rival clubs of Hoboken and Brooklyn.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

complaints about ineligible players

Date Sunday, November 23, 1873
Text

...The case of Allison, in games with the Mutual Club, was a clear violation of the rules, and admits of no argument in regard to it. We expressed our sympathy with the player at the time of the occurrence; but, in spite of sympathy, the law stands out and should be enforced. Now to the point.

It is very silly to say that the quarrel on the subject of Addy is a matter of the question of championship between the Philadelphia and Boston Clubs. We do not regard it so. The position of the Philadelphia is totally unselfish–a simple demand that the rules be enforced in spirit and letter.

Robert Addy, a popular, hard-working and thoroughly honest player, gave good service to the Philadelphia Club in the early part of the season, and also gave substantial assistance in earning many of its victories. On his return to Rockford–before the season was yet old–he organized an amateur nine, as we can prove by letters from him in our possession. During July he played with his club a game, and a return with the Chicago Club, admission being charged in both cities, other dates being arranged, but rain preventing the meetings. Within a few weeks after this, the Boston and Philadelphia Clubs make their debut in Chicago for the season, and, to the surprise of every one, Addy comes on the field with the well-known uniform of the Boston Club “outside of him.” An immediate protest is made against his playing. Harry Wright, seemingly ignorant of the facts of the case, asks Addy if “it’s all right?” “Yes,” is the brief reply, and the game goes on. Addy continues to play with the Bostons until they have won some twelve victories, under which he was ineligible, and in which, by his magnificent batting, he often brought the club from what would otherwise have been sure defeat.

There is the whole case. Let our readers go once more over the rule and consider whether the charge of the Philadelphia Club against the Boston is wishy washy or without substance or strength. Our surmise regarding the matter is as follows:

Before proceeding further we would simply say that we have always heartily admired the management of the Boston Club, the gentlemanly behavior of its players, the general respect and obedience to the captain, together with the honest skill with which they have played the game. We freely grant that to Harry Wright all credit for the present fine point to which the game has been brought and the wonderful improvement in club discipline. When the Bostons and the Philadelphians went to Chicago it was never imagined for a moment that there was any chance of the latter’s losing the championship. We cannot help thinking that the playing of Addy on the occasion mentioned was a disregard of circumstances which might have come about. Manning had failed in play, was not disabled, yet Addy was conveniently put in his place. Zettlein was sick–suffering–and not able to do himself or his club justice. Meyerle was absent and his absence cost a victory. The Bostons took an illegal, not yet available man. [Edward] Pinkham was at the service of the Quakers, but they played the game on its merits. Those who can be just give them honor for this action.

Zettlein’s illness was the prime cause of the rapid decline from the seat of success so long and so splendidly held by the Philadelphia Club; yet with this hard burden we can but point at the twelve victories alluded to made by the Boston Club, and then ask what Addy did to win them, and, finally, compare the closing records of the two clubs.

But, as we said, the question is not one regarding the flying of the pennant, but one–whether the rules of the game shall be violated without rebuke. Indeed, we doubt whether a decision on the championship can now legally be made...

...

What is to be done? We answer: Call the judiciary committee at once, and settle the questions alluded to. They are more importance than the championship...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

composite bats

Date Saturday, April 5, 1873
Text

If the bat is made of any other material than wood, the umpire must rule it out. Cane is a species of wood, and can be used in the handle. But no metal can be placed in or on the bat.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cummings expelled

Date Saturday, November 8, 1873
Text

The Baltimore American of Nov. 1 says, in referring to Cummings, that “after giving him ample time to report for duty or to present some good excuse for his absence, the officers of the Baltimore Club dishonorably dismissed him.” This act throws Cummings out of the arena for 1874, as the rule prohibits any expelled player from taking part in a match game. New York Clipper November 8, 1873

the ten-man ten-inning game

On Thursday next, if the weather is fine, the Atlantic and Mutual Clubs will practically illustrate the features of the new game of ball for 1874 in an exhibition match in which ten players will take part on each side, and ten innings be played. The new positions will be at “right short.” If the two tens play up to their mark the prospect is that the game will not only be the shortest on record but one marked by the smallest score. New York Sunday Mercury November 2, 1873

The ten men and innings game which Ferguson had arranged to play with the Mutual nine and his club on Thursday last did not take place, though the day appointed was a remarkably fine one, and quite a crowd of spectators would have been present; but the refusal of the Mutuals to play any more this season prevented the game. New York Sunday Mercury November 9, 1873

On Thursday last about a thousand people were attracted to the Athletic ball grounds in Philadelphia, the occasion being the first match played by professionals under the new rule–which will be in vogue in 1874–of ten men and ten innings. The contestants were ten of the Athletic and Philadelphia Clubs, and the game was arranged for the benefit of the left fielder of the Philadelphia nine. New York Sunday Mercury November 9, 1873

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cuthbert's 'patent dive' a headfirst slide?

Date Sunday, July 13, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Mutual 7/7/1873] Wood was at second, Ned at third, when James [Wood] left his base and was sandwiched between Holdsworth [short stop] and Higham [second baseman], who in the meantime kept good watch on [Ned] Cuthbert. Ned then made a streak for home, and Holdsworth passed the ball to Hicks [catcher], but Ned put in a patent dive and scored his run amidst loud applause. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch July 13, 1873

[Baltimore vs. Philadelphia 8/7/1873] [Cuthbert] stole second in the best style of base running, the ball being well thrown by McVey and equally well handled by Carey, but Ned’s patent dive saved him from capture. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch August 10, 1873

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dave Eggler a model hitter of fair-fouls

Date Saturday, September 27, 1873
Text

[Athletic vs. Mutual 9/18/1873] In the last inning Eggler opened with one of his safe hits to left field–he is a model hitter of fair fouls...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dead ball on an accidental hit

Date Sunday, May 25, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Mutual 5/19/173] ...it was quite fortunate that [the umpire] was well posted on the rules. ... the ball struck Meyerle’s bat out of accident, and a runner coming home was sent back to third.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

death of a baseball reporter

Date Saturday, July 5, 1873
Text

It is a little singular that every year since 1869 has been marked by the of the New York press. In 1870 Mr. Warner, reporter of The Tribune under Mr. Young, died. In 1871 Mr. Piccott, his successor, followed him to the grave, and in the 1872 Mr. Brodie of The Sun departed this life; the last victim being Mr. M. J. Kelly, formerly the baseball reporter of The Herald, who died of pneumonia last week. All died poor, Mr. Kelly’s family being left in such need that the ballplayers have arranged a benefit match to take place on the Union Grounds, Brooklyn, N.Y., next week, between the Atlantic and Mutual clubs. New York Clipper July 5, 1873

[The match 7/19/1873] for the benefit of the family of the late Michael J. Kelly, The Herald reporter, who left his wife and children in needy circumstances. The match was gotten up and managed by Mr. Carpenter, the present baseball reporter of The Herald, and as the receipts yielded nearly a thousand dollars, his efforts were crowned with merited success. New York Clipper July 26, 1873

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

determining the championship

Date Sunday, September 7, 1873
Text

There seems to be an impression abroad that the possession of the championship emblem depends upon the record of games lost as well as won. This is not so. It is only the games won which will decide the question. For instance, should the Philadelphia club, by the 1st of November, close the season with a record of 50 games won and with but 10 lost, and should the Baltimore club close their season with 51 games won and 20 lost, the Baltimore club will win the pennant, as the rules expressly state that “the club winning the greatest number of games shall be declared the champions” for the season.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dick Pearce the inventor of the fair-foul hit

Date Saturday, February 1, 1873
Text

Dick [Pearce] is the originator of that strategic style of batting known as “fair-foul hits,” the most difficult balls to field, as well as to hit properly, that there are. Any muffin batsman can hit a fair ball to the out-field, but it takes considerable judgment, a quick eye, plenty of nerve and skilful batting to make first-base by a well hit but fair-foul ball. When it is well done, it is a certain hit for first base, and any hit that ensures one base against sharp fielding shows skilful batting.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

did the batter intentionally let the ball hit him?

Date Sunday, May 25, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Atlantic 5/19/1873] A wildly-pitched ball struck Addy on the arm, and two men took bases on the pitch. An appeal was made to the umpire, who decided that the interference with the ball was not willful, and therefore the player [i.e. Addy] could not be given out. Mr. Chadwick, in commenting, was a little illogical writing that although Addy did not seem to receive the ball on his body intentionally, still his not moving away from it made it willful, and he should have been decided out. The blow was a very hard one, the ball very wildly pitched, and it does not seem probable that a man would take the chance of having his arm broken for the purpose of helping men on bases.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dissension in the Athletic Club; poor financial controls alleged

Date Sunday, July 20, 1873
Text

For a long time there has been considerable trouble among the members of the Athletic club and a universal growl at the unsatisfactory state of the finances and the bad management in forcing the club into games in too rapid succession or when the men were tired and disabled. During the last fortnight these ominous murmurs have culminated in open condemnation of the directors, and at the monthly meeting on Friday night last the subject was at once brought up. A long and heated discussion ensued in which charges were openly made that the t4reasury should have much more money in it than there is. It is true that the balance is on the right side, but the opposition claim strongly that it should be much larger. Several members declared that the fact was obvious that the club is not being rightly managed, and at last a resolution was introduced that the officers be requested to resign at once. This passed by 16 yeas to 4 nays, and the club adjourned to meet again on Friday night next.

The unexpectedly heavy vote the resolution obtained has dismayed the friends of the directors, who are much more in the minority than was anticipated. They are powerless in ths matter, and several of the officers rightfully declare to resign, Mr. Rogers stating so openly. Indeed, whether the accusation be false or not, it is the only manly method, as the matter now stands. The vindication can then be made at leisure. The main charge appears to be against President Hayhurst, whom, it is charged, has arbitrarily taken entire control of the management of the club, and especially the finances. It is alleged that he provides an insufficient number of tickets for the matches, and this often causes the second sale of the same tickets, and therefore, necessitates the disturbing of the tickets taken in, and that he takes charge of the tickets and money at the close of the game, deducts expenses and hands the balance to the treasurer. These charges bear on their faces grave suspicions of the integrity of Mr. Hayhurst, and while we do not pretend to take one side or the other at present, our information being as yet one-sided, we think Mr. Hayhurst should make such an explanation, if in his power, as will complete refute them. We hear that he intends at the meeting, to present a statement of expenditures and receipts, and but enemies say that this will not do, that he must go behind that, and bring proof of the amounts taken in by witnesses. We confess that if he has taken charge of the receipts himself before they have been counted, that it will be a difficult task no matter how innocent he may be. He had pluck and intelligence enough, however, to make a good fight, and we hope for himself clean hands. His best plan will be to resign at once, although we hear that he refuses to do so. If clear, there will be no difficulty in a triumphant re-election. Of course the officers will have their story to tell, and until it appears, the public should withhold their verdict, especially as Hicks asserts that it is a vile conspiracy to oust and disgrace the officers. Philadelphia Sunday Republic July 20, 1873

On Friday night an adjourned meeting of the Athletic club was held, at which the charges against the officers were reiterated, and Mr. Spering presented an affidavit alleging deficits in the receipts of several games as between actual count made by him and the amount turned into the treasury. Much excitement prevailed, and finally a committee of five was appointed to investigate the charges. As the matter stands at present we prefer to make no comments, lest we might damage innocent parties. Te truth will soon be out and then an intelligent verdict can be rendered. In the mean time the officers are unwise in not resigning at once, although the resolution of request was rescinded for the present. Philadelphia Sunday Republic July 27, 1873

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dissension in the Baltimore Club

Date Saturday, June 7, 1873
Text

[Boston vs. Baltimore 6/6/1873] Before the game was ended, it was suggested by a number of persons financially interested in the support of the home club that a change in the organization be made, for if it is not done it is evident that instead of the club flying the champion pennant this season that it will fly the whipped one. There is material enough in the Baltimore club to defeat the Boston or any other club in the country, and as a change is to be made in the game on Monday next, it is to be hoped that the Boston club will be sent home with a flea in its ear.

Source Baltimore Evening News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

division of gate receipts among the players

Date Saturday, July 12, 1873
Text

The fourth championship game between these clubs [Mutual and Philadelphia] took place at Brooklyn, N.Y., July 7, in the presence of about a thousand spectators, quite a falling-off from the Fourth of July game, in which the receipts exceeded $3,200, each player earning $107 [implying the gross receipts were split three ways].

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

does the run score if before the completion of a double play?

Date Tuesday, October 21, 1873
Text

[Boston vs. Baltimore 10/21/1873] Andy made an exceedingly brilliant catch in left field off a hit by Pike, he running with the ball and taking it at arms length with a high jump. The bases were full and all started to run, the hit looking quite safe, but he returned it to second base, making a double play, closing the innings for a blank, one hand being already out. Had Andy not made that catch, it would have been very bad for us, as it would have given them the lead, at the close of the fifth inning. They claimed that the man’s run, who was on third base when the ball was hit, counted, he getting home before the third man was put out. The umpire decided against them, and then there was a row. They objected to his continuing to act. [from a letter Harry Wright to Frederick Long 10/21/1873]

Source From a letter Harry Wright to Frederick Long
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

driving a fair-foul to the third baseman

Date Sunday, May 25, 1873
Text

[Atlantic vs. Philadelphia 5/24/1873] Mack commence the fun by driving a fair foul to Ferguson [third baseman], who did not handle it with celerity.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Early sighting of Hulbert president of the Chicago club, wooing Spalding

Date Sunday, January 12, 1873
Text

It was announced in The Sunday Times of one week ago that the Chicago Base-Ball association would advertise in The Clipper for proposals to play in a club in this city during the season of 1873. The “ad” duly appeared in the last issue of that journal. In response President Hurlbut has already received numerous propositions from ball players; but in view of the fact that the directors had previously promised that all communications should be regarded as strictly confidential it is considered best not to give the names of the gentlemen desirous of an appointment.

...

There is no good reason why Chicago should not have a first-class club next season. The association is in a firm financial condition. The capital stock is $10,000, of which amount 50 per cent. has been paid in. the association is incorporated in accordance with the law of 1872, and under the statute the stockholders can be called on at any time for the remainder of their subscriptions. At present the association are out of debt; they own the fences, grand stand, club-house, dressing rooms, and all other property at the ball park, and there are several hundreds of dollars in the hands of the treasurer.

In this connection it is but proper to state that it is not absolutely certain that Al. Spaulding and Ross Barnes will come to Chicago. There is a disposition on the part of these gentlemen to forsake the ball-field and enter some other business. But it is believed that were they convinced that the directors intend to bring to Chicago none but first-class players, both of them would join our club. Both of the gentlemen named are natives of this state, and both have a greater pride in Chicago than in any other city in the world. They would like to help to bring here the championship, and then forever retire from the field.

Source Chicago Sunday Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'scrub'

Date Sunday, September 7, 1873
Text

The rules, it must be remembered, consider any game a player takes part in as “regular”–as far as it invalidates his right to play in another club–if two contesting nines of two different clubs are opposed to one another. This, therefore, does not include “picked nine” games or “scrub” matches, but only games between two club nines...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'streak' 2

Date Monday, July 7, 1873
Text

The Atlantics, though confident, are still anxious, and do not look upon success as a foregone conclusion, by any means. They regard their success in the last game as owing to remarkable batting “streaks,” assisted by lucky errors in the field.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

eleven man roster

Date Sunday, May 18, 1873
Text

The engagement of James Wood by the Philadelphia Club does not seem to be undoubted by the general public. It was the original intention oft he club to have eleven men under engagement, and, as Wadsworth desired release, it was granted him, and Wood engaged. It does not follow that any change will be made in the nine, all the players giving the best of satisfaction to the directors, while a change at present would hardly be advantageous.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Elizabeth doesn't pay well

Date Saturday, July 26, 1873
Text

[Mutual vs. Resolute 7/16/1873] [The Mutuals] returned home victorious by a score of 13 to 2, and with about two dollars each as a share of gate-money receipts.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

explaining the rule to the umpire; a 'dead foul'

Date Saturday, May 24, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Atlantic 5/19/1873] ...Addy was on third, with two men out, when Meyerle allowed the ball to touch his bat, and Addy ran home on the ball passing the catcher. The ball was a “dead foul;” and when the rule was explained to the umpire, he properly sent Addy back to third. It must be remembered that any obstruction that can be avoided must be regarded as willful.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

factions within the Athletic Club; the new position of salaried manager

Date Sunday, November 9, 1873
Text

The Athletic hold their annual meeting to-morrow night, and from appearances Mr. James M. Ferguson will be elected president, both parties having agreed upon him. Mr. Ferguson is a thoroughly competent man, and has not in any way sought the position, it having been forced upon him, and he yields at least only to the solicitations of his friends, who wish to rebuild the prestige of the good old club that has lost so much reputation during the past year. Mr. F. will infuse that life into the club which has made the Schuylkill Navy all it now is, and will do much to improve the morale of the players and the discipline of the whole club. No better man could be elected. There will probably be an exciting contest over the new position of manager, as this above all others, needs a competent man—one who understands human nature, when to boldly push forwards and when to strategically retreat, and, above all other qualifications, to be able to say and mean “no.” A person should be selected who will not place his club in action when disabled, when there is any honorable way to decline contests, and who, while seeing all advantages of his own position, knows how to push them. If this is done, the gamblers turned out, practice of the nine in gymnasium and on the field began early, the season of 1874 will end with the champion pennant flying over the Athletic grounds. Philadelphia Sunday Republic November 9, 1873

The troubles of the past season in the Athletic club have created much sensation among the members, and although the present administration fought well to keep their positions, it was known two weeks ago that they would be badly beaten. In consequence of the great contest prevailing, the annual meeting of the club on Monday night last at Maeunerchor Hall, Franklin street and Fairmount avenue, was more largely attended than any other meeting in its history. Many persons were present an hour previous, and the situation was well and in some cases excitedly discussed.

The club then proceeded to elect officers for 1874, Col D. W. C. Moore being elected judge, and there being no opposition to James Madison Ferguson for president, he was unanimously elected.

A resolution was passed, giving to the directors power to employ a business manager, if they deem it necessary, and the meeting then adjourned. Philadelphia Sunday Republic November 16, 1873

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

failure to notify the public of a postponement

Date Sunday, June 29, 1873
Text

The Athletic managers yesterday practiced a gross imposition upon the public, in not advertising the postponement of the game placed here for yesterday between the Athletic and Baltimore clubs. Not a line was published in any shape, and although the rumor spread well, some hundreds of persons abandoned their business and went to the grounds under supposition that the game would take place; arriving there they found that the Athletic were to play the Canavan. Many turned and went back to the city, others, however, went in, and, after paying their entrance fee, ascertained that the game was not even to be with the Canavan, but with a picked nine. The game was played in so ridiculous a manner that the reporters did not score, and in the third inning a shower broke up the farce.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ferguson berates the Philly crowd

Date Monday, June 2, 1873
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 5/31/1873] Quite an excitement was caused in the Athletic pavilion, on the 3d inning, by a reply which Ferguson made to some sneering remarks from the crowd on the left of the pavilion. Ferguson said: “You fellows are all Athletic; you never give any club a fair show when they come to Philadelphia. You want the umpire all one way, and when he decides against you, as you think, your brats of boys and young sports try to get him on his ear by all sorts of sneering remarks. This is ungentlemanly, and you ought to know better.” Ferguson was not to be put down, and he chafed the crowd until he gave each bullyrag a bellyful.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ferguson's failed entry into politics

Date Saturday, November 15, 1873
Text

Ferguson obtained 215 votes for Alderman against four candidates on one party ticket, the victor getting 759. He is disgusted with politics.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielders intentionally obstructing runners

Date Saturday, January 25, 1873
Text

In contrast to the square, manly style displayed by Ferguson in 1872 may be named the tricks resorted to at times by others, striking instances of which were shown in the Boston and Athletic matches in Philadelphia. “Anything to win” may do as a rule governing a nine amenable only to “right” government or pool-selling influences, but it is not to be found in the code of an honorably managed organization, nor is it ever followed by a truly honorable and manly ball-tosser. Or course we do not refer to the fact of taking advantage of any of the legitimate points of play involved in a strategic trial of skill in a game, but only to such palpably unfair play as is shown when a fielder willfully stops a base-runner en route to abase, or by any such unfair trick manages to get him put out.

Of Anson's ability as a “playist,” aside from this questionable record in regard to tricky dodges to put opponents out, we have to state that he ranks as high as the majority in his general play in the position.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fifty cent admission for the season?

Date Saturday, May 10, 1873
Text

[Baltimore vs. Mutual 5/5/1873] The attendance was much larger than anticipated, nearly two thousand people paying the fifty cents' entrance fee. This of course establishes that sun as the regular admission fee for the season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fitzgerald's definition of an earned run

Date Tuesday, May 6, 1873
Text

Four successive clean base hits score an earned run. Under no circumstances can a runner who should have been put out, score his run as earned. Three “chances” given the field to put the opposite side out prevent an earned run. No run can be considered as earned by a player who has secured his 1 st base on called, balls, as a base so secured is obtained by errors of the pitcher in failing to deliver a fair ball. If the ball is properly handed no player can “steal” either 2d or 2d base; a failure to put him out is, consequently, an error; therefore, should said player (who has reached 1 st on a clean hit) make his 2d base by “stealing,” and be brought “home” by clean hits, the run cannot be scored as earned.

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

five fair-fouls in one inning

Date Sunday, May 11, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Washington 5/8/1873] The second trial of the Fillies at the bat put a complexion on things which quite robbed the game of interest, making eight clean hits, five of which were fair fouls, while they scored seven runs.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

flipping a coin to choose the umpire

Date Sunday, July 6, 1873
Text

[Athletic vs. Baltimore 7/4/1873] They had plenty of time for preliminary practice, as the anticipated squabble regarding the umpire immediately ensued. The Baltimore...insisted upon a Baltimore man, while the Philadelphia, who had offered a variety of names, from Philadelphia and Washington–the name being refused–were as firm in their determination not to accept to. After a time it was agreed that the captains should “toss up,” to name a Washington or Baltimore man. Malone’s side of the coin showed up, and Mr. Urell, of Washington, immediately took the umpire’s position and play commenced.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

gentlemen switching from baseball to cricket?

Date Sunday, February 2, 1873
Text

Unfortunately, the odium which a minority of the professional class have brought upon our national game attaches itself to the fraternity at large. Hence the existence of a growing prejudice in certain quarters among the l overs of the field sport of ball-playing in favor of adopting the English game of cricket as the game for gentlemen in lieu of baseball, which, it is alleged, has become too low in the associations for the respectable portion of our young people to engage in; once prominent reason advanced being the important essential that cricket is not a game that can be sued for the purposes of betting rings and the pool-selling business that professional baseball playing has undoubtedly been.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright bunts

Date Saturday, September 6, 1873
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 8/30/1873] H. Wright, after making a “block” along the third-base path line was forced out at second by McGeary’s good fielding of George Wright’s hit.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright's deceitful drop pitches

Date Sunday, July 13, 1873
Text

[Boston vs. Philadelphia 7/10/1873] ...the Quakers essayed...to do something with Wright’s slow toaster: Mack was not to be seduced into cutting at the deceitful drops, and soon went to first on called balls.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

high scores attributed to poor fielding

Date Sunday, August 10, 1873
Text

There was quite a falling off in the fielding display made by the professionals during July compared with the record of May and June. In May the average of runs to a match on the winning side did not exceed nine, while in July it was nearly fifteen. Out of the thirty-two games played in July, there were but seven games played in which the scores of the winning side did not exceed ten. This shows poor fielding. As the game is played now no well-played contest should be marked by a score exceeding nine runs, the average of a fine fielding game being six runs in nine innings on the winning side.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hints of a thrown game?

Date Sunday, September 28, 1873
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 9/24/1873] A very curious game was played on the Athletic grounds on Wednesday last–one of those queer affairs in which the noted Mutual Club of New York so often indulges–or, rather, is a participant.

...

Perhaps our comments might be tinged with injustice, therefore we refrain from what we would like to say. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch September 28, 1873 [Athletics won 10-6.]

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

inconsistent scoring

Date Saturday, November 22, 1873
Text

This past season the record of earned runs has been as variable as that of earned bases, scarcely any two scorer of the details of a match agreeing on what properly constitutes an earned run or an earned base; in consequence, no fair criterion of the play of the relatives nines in supporting their pitchers, or of that of the pitchers in giving the fielders chances to put players out, can be arrived at by the record of earned runs.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

intentional walks

Date Saturday, April 19, 1873
Text

We have seen a pitcher purposely allow his adversary to take his base on called balls, simply because he knew him to be a skillful hitter, and chose rather to give him a base then let him make two or three by a good hit...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interview clichs

Date Monday, June 30, 1873
Text

[concerning the upcoming Athletic-Philadelphia match:] Fisler, although suffering occasionally from the injury to his foot, is expected to play. He declines to say anything definite regarding the game, making his usual remark that he will do the best he can; that he hopes his side will win; that the Philadelphias should not be underrated; that Zettlein pitches a straight, fair ball; that clean, safe batting wins at all times; that the Philadelphias play with marvelous unity and enthusiasm; that too much reckless throwing is indulged in when safe hits are made with men on the bases, and that the Umpire is the most important man on the field, if he does his duty.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

James 'Deacon' White gets religion

Date Saturday, April 19, 1873
Text

Harry Wright, in a letter to us dated April 11, says... James White has not arrived. He has been converted, and thinks at present that he would not be doing right if he should play baseball. New York Clipper April 19, 1873

A WHIMSICAL FREAK. Mr. James White, who was engaged for the Boston Club, evidently does not think it wicked to break a contract and seriously inconvenience that organization by doing so at the last moment. It seems that James has “got religion,” and thinks, after many years of “profligate riot” in the base ball field, that further proceedings in that direction will jeopardize his future happiness. He will steal no bases, not put a summary end to batsmen; fly tips will be supplanted by the “Christian Year,” and, instead of making first-base hits, his ambition will now unravel the mysteries of the ‘Young Man’s Best Companion.” But has not James just overdone it? Religion exaggerated is of but little account. To do right is practical, not sentimental. At least Mr. O’Rourke says so, and he will catch for the Reds. The Athletics were not so unlucky after all in not securing White.

LATEST.–We are informed now that the “reds” insist upon Mr. White fulfilling his contract, and that he is likely to give in. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch April 20, 1873

Jim White has changed his mind and concluded that a religious man can play in the Boston nine and not become unconverted. James is now in Boston and with O’Rourke is ready to do his duty in the nine. All-Day City Item April 24, 1874

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Jimmy Wood proficient at the fair foul

Date Sunday, July 13, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Mutual 7/7/1873] ...Wood followed with a fair foul, a style of batting, by the way, at which James is getting au fait.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

keeping the reporters' stand clear

Date Sunday, May 4, 1873
Text

The reporters’ stand at the Jefferson street grounds should be p reserved for the exclusive use of those who come there to work. To remedy all chance of intrusion and annoyance, a lock should be placed on the door at the foot of the stairs, and every one having the right of entrance provided with a key.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

laying off on pitch speed for the sake of the catcher

Date Saturday, August 2, 1873
Text

[Washington vs. Athletic 7/26/1873] Clapp, the catcher of the Athletics, was suffering from sore hands, and McBride consequently failed to pitch with his usual speed.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

lobbying for the ten-men ten-inning rule

Date Saturday, December 20, 1873
Text

...an analysis of the play shows that sharp fielding is preventing runs has more to do with the success of a club than skillful batting in obtaining them. Given two nines of equal batting strength and fielding skill, and the best base-running ten will bear off the most trophies of victory, as a matter of course. But given a first-class batting ten, with one of only moderate skill as fielders and base-runners, and oppose these with a first-class fielding ten who are but comparatively weak batsmen, and the result will be that the best fielding ten will win in the long run. This rule experience shows to be correct. Besides this, the best fielding games are invariably the most attractive. ... it is games of this class which attract most, and which are really the most exciting and interesting. The main object, therefore, in making any important changes in the rules, should be to bring the game up to the highest fielding standard, for one thing, and to make the point of excellence that which most combines mental and physical ability as requisites in all the departments. It is these objects which have guided us for the past ten years in all the amendments we have introduced in the rules of the game, and this well-known fact has been the cause of our success in having our suggestions so fully endorsed by the fraternity as they have been.

The past season’s play has shown pretty plainly that something new would lead to a material increase of interest; and this it is which suggests the coming season as an appropriate time to test the experiment of the ten men and ten innings rules. Thus far, the batting in baseball has had the advantage over the fielding, and it is to bring them more on an equality that it is proposed to introduce the extra fielder. ...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

looking the runner back

Date Saturday, September 27, 1873
Text

[Athletic vs. Mutual 9/18/1873] [Hatfield at third base with one out] Nelson followed, and he hit a hot bounder to Anson at first base, and Hatfield ran for home; but Clapp [catcher] was close to the base to receive the ball from Anson, and John [Hatfield] hesitated. In the meantime Anson, disregarding Nelson, kept Haptfield back, and just as Nelson was about to make his base, Anson touched first, the second man was out, and still no run in, the play being excellent.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Martin's puzzlesome delivery

Date Sunday, July 13, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Mutual 7/7/1873] ...the ninth opened with what seemed in all respect a game lost to the “Fillies.” With desperate pluck they again tackled , and Bechtel opened well with a corker past second.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mathews's delivery

Date Saturday, January 4, 1873
Text

[Mathews] is very similar in his delivery to Cummings, and watches his opponents at the bat with skill and shrewdness.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Matthews' pitching

Date Sunday, May 18, 1873
Text

[Mutual vs. Philadelphia 5/12/1873] The pitching of Matthews was superb, as he sends in the ball very swiftly, with a curve and a heavy twist.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Matthews's and Cummings's curve deliveries; the difficulty catching Cummings

Date Sunday, January 12, 1873
Text

Matthews, of the Baltimore nine of last season, came into prominent notice first from his connection with the Kekionga Club. We have heard many comparisons made between him and Cummings, but if Matthews would last in every game we would much prefer him. His delivery is marked by an obvious curve, longer and not so abrupt as the same peculiarity in Cummings.

...

Cummings, of the Mutual nine of ‘72, has a reputation which is notable for one who has been a professional for only one season. Still his name was made through his connection with the Star club. His peculiarities are well known; and the extraordinary curve which he imparts to his delivery has been so often commented upon that it is useless for us to enlarge upon it now. This is his chief, perhaps his only strength. He fields his position well, but is a poor batsman and a miserable runner.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

mismanagement by the Resolutes

Date Sunday, May 4, 1873
Text

The Resolutes...not only played their first championship game totally unprepared for such a meeting–they not even having played a practice game or been in the field at all before last Monday–but they failed to give our citizens who patronize the game the least notice of their intended match. Now, club managers require to be more than usually on the alert this season, in giving notice of games to be played; and, moreover, they must arrange their contests in such form as to insure the prospect of an interesting trial of skill, or they will find their club matches witnessed by very few paying spectators. New York Sunday Mercury May 4, 1873

The Resolute Club must be rich, judging from their indifference to gate-money, shown by their neglect to give due publicity to games which take place at Waverley. New York Sunday Mercury May 11, 1873

[Philadelphia vs. Resolute 4/28/1873] ...the attendance [was] small (for which the New York papers were responsible, they having stated that the game would take place in Philadelphia)... Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch May 4, 1873 [The NY Sunday Mercury did in fact state the game would be in Philadelphia.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

most fraudulent play in the infield

Date Saturday, February 8, 1873
Text

Probably the finest display of out-fielding ever witness on a ball field was that which marked the majority of the professional contests of 1872. One cause of this was that the out-field class, almost without exception, were composed of players earnestly bent upon doing their best to win, which cannot be said of all who played in the in-field; for it was in the in-field that all the fraudulent play, if any, was committed.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

most pitchers are poor hitters

Date Monday, May 5, 1873
Text

Like most pitchers, [Cummings] is a very poor batter, his average last year standing only at 0.84.

Source New York Daily Graphic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no amateur convention this year

Date Sunday, February 23, 1873
Text

The amateurs will not meet in convention this year, and as a result the same code of rules governing the season of 1872 will be in force in 1873, and the same officers of the National Association will retain their offices.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no earned runs on a stolen base

Date Friday, April 18, 1873
Text

Answer to “Base Runner.” – Second base cannot be “earned” by stealing. If the ball is properly handled, the runner can be put out every time.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no exhibition games until the championship series is complete

Date Sunday, March 16, 1873
Text

The new code of rules governing the contests in the professional arena for the coming season is a decided improvement over the crude code of 1872. One noteworthy amendment is that which prohibits all clubs entering for the championship from participating in any “exhibition” or “tournament” contests with any other side in the arena until each have played their quota of championship games. The application of this rule last season would have saved the fraternity from the discreditable result of some of the October contests.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

nostalgia for the good old days

Date Sunday, February 9, 1873
Text

Just think of one of the old-time seasons, when the coming encounter of two of the crack nines of the principal clubs who met at the Elysian Fields was a topic in the city as general a was any important subject affecting the politics of the country. Then the meetings, too. The crowd used to get over early to get good places, and considerable fun used to be had in getting the field cleared for play. Then came the contest, with its earnest work to win, and the exciting scenes in critical emergencies. And after the battle was over, there came the gathering of the contestants, with “Three cheers for the Eagles!” “Now, then, three rousers for the Gothams!” “Altogether for the umpire, boys!” with a tiger. And then came the adjournment to the club rooms, where good cheer and hospitality prevailed, and kindly greetings marked the intercourse of the rival clubs. In the place of these glorious scenes, what have we now? Money, money, money! Service sought for dollars and cents! A gather of gamblers whose blasphemy and obscenity is copied by the outside crowd of juvenile roughs, until the atmosphere of a ball ground becomes foul with vile language. Then, too, the various phases of latter-day professionalism, with the fraud-tempting pool-selling and the bought-and-sold “exhibition” games–what a contrast does this present to the glorious days of ten short years ago!

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

numerous fair fouls

Date Saturday, September 13, 1873
Text

[Boston vs. Baltimore 9/12/1873] ...the Bostons found the utmost difficulty in batting [Brainerd] at all, nearly all their base hits being “fair fouls,” with not more than one or two square hits to the field in all the game.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

numerous fair-foul hits

Date Wednesday, July 23, 1873
Text

[Baltimore vs. Atlantic 7/22/1873] Barlow, with six chances at the bat, made five fair foul hits, the whole Atlantic following suit when possible. They made eight of such hits out of thirteen. The Baltimores profited by the same tactics, making six fair fouls.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Olympics not to field a nine

Date Sunday, February 2, 1873
Text

The Olympics this season will have no nine but will go in solely for exercise on their field days on the Athletics’ ground Tuesday and Friday of each week.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

paying umpires

Date Tuesday, June 10, 1873
Text

We were the first to suggest that the Umpire should be paid. Stupid people laughed at the idea–but, it is the practice, now, in nearly all important contests.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pearsall's bat

Date Sunday, December 7, 1873
Text

The rules of baseball adopted at the convention of 1857 were crude and very incomplete... Then, too, the bat was allowed to be any length the batsman chose. Pearsall used to handle a bat nearly five feet long.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia Club finances

Date Sunday, November 2, 1873
Text

The Philadelphia Club held a meeting on Monday night last... at which it was reported that there is a surplus of some thousands of dollars in the treasury.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching strategy is pitching as wide as possible

Date Saturday, January 4, 1873
Text

As a strategist...Zettlein is not up to the high mark of Spalding, McBride or Cummings. Experience has, of course, improved his play in this respect, and now “the Charmer” will deliver as wide of the mark as the umpire will allow him.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

policing the reporters' stand

Date Sunday, April 20, 1873
Text

We are requested to state that this year the strictest rules will be enforced in regard to the reporters’ stand. Heretofore, players, hangers-on of newspapers and “bummers” generally have dahsed up and occupied the seats long ere a game has commenced, and when those whose business calls them there arrived they found difficulty to get a seat, and were annoyed throughout the game by the yells, laughter and boisterous conversation of the intruders. These fellows may now take notice that they will be refused admission, and if they should slip in will be ejected as soon as discovered. The stand will be reserved exclusively for those actively engaged in scoring, and these “bummers” may now take notice and save themselves mortification and hurried exits, as a person will be stationed on the stand with full police authority.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pool selling illegal in New York State?

Date Sunday, April 6, 1873
Text

The corporation attorney of Buffalo, N.Y., has addressed a communication to the police authorities of that city, in which he declares that pool selling at race meetings and ball matches is a misdemeanor punishable by fine and imprisonment, according to the statutes of the State against gambling.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

poor management of the Mutual club

Date Sunday, June 29, 1873
Text

The Mutual Club is an unpleasant example of good material under bad influence and bad management. Their men are strong players in position, and, when in proper trim, unexcelled as batsmen in the country; but a lack of head–of management and discipline–has rendered them unsuccessful. While traveling the players do as they choose–drink, dissipate, stay out all night if they choose, for aught to stop them–and then go on the ball field to encounter their better-conditioned opponents. Who could expect them to win a solitary game? It is also asserted that they were under gambling interests in certain games, and that their play was subsidized by cash. This we do not trust or believe until we have proof positive. Their “queer” play we can lay at the door of bad management and dissipation. This is at least charitable. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch June 29, 1873

Setting all rumors of other causes aside as false, we must look to some other cause than lack of ability to field well to account for the loss of so many games by the New York representative club; and in the entire absence of harmony in the nine, and the lack of discipline, to say nothing of the bad condition the team are always in from the want of a proper observance of training rules, it is questionable whether the surprise should not be that they have won the games they have done, instead of having lost so many. New York Sunday Mercury July 22, 1873

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

position the outfielder

Date Saturday, April 19, 1873
Text

...If the pitcher sees an adversary at the bat whom he knows to be very fond of hitting heavily at a particular kind of ball, and generally to one position of the field, by a private signal he places his fielder in the right spot, and then pitches the ball just where the batsman wants it, and away it goes, amidst the plaudits of the crowd, far out to leftfield, only to be held in style by the fielder, judiciously placed there for the purpose.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

praise for an umpire calling balls and strikes

Date Friday, May 30, 1873
Text

Mr. Theodore Bomeisler afforded yesterday the best illustration of good Umpiring seen in this town for many a day. He called every bad ball, and every omitted strike, and this forced the players to do their work. He was prompt, distinct, just, and everybody praised [sic].

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

premature player signings

Date Sunday, August 24, 1873
Text

The Philadelphia Club have under engagement for next season Cummings, Hastings, Hall, and several of the present nine.

...

The attacks on the Philadelphia players who have been booked for Chicago for next season should in all grace leave out the names of Treacy and Wood. The former has had no offer to remain in this city, and the latter has been strictly honorable in all his transactions with his managers.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

professionalism in the South

Date Sunday, February 2, 1873
Text

After the war had closed, the base ball fever, which swept over the North and West, did not leave the South free from its fascination; and, in consequence, professional players were in demand in Montgomery, Savannah, New Orleans, and several other cities, where the game has acquired an immediate and lasting popularity. This was almost the first phase of professionalism, and the parties were of use for the purposes of practical tutorage and instruction more than for their playing qualities–much the same, indeed, as professional cricketers, whose knowledge and expertness develop in amateurs their best qualities as ball players.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed exceptions to the sixty-day rule

Date Saturday, December 6, 1873
Text

[a proposed rule change from Harry Wright:] “Any player on receiving an honorable release from his contract, or who shall by the disbanding of his club be released from his engagement, or who shall be declared released by the Judiciary Committee, shall be eligible to play in another club from date of such release. The sixty-day rule not to apply in such cases.” He adds this also: “The sixty-day rule not to apply to amateur players, or players in amateur games.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed exclusion of co-operative clubs from the NA

Date Sunday, November 16, 1873
Text

The professionals are again in danger of the Washington club entering the list for 1874, as White (Warren), their third baseman of this season, finding that there is a surplus in the treasury, has been so much encouraged thereby that he is determined to organize a nine for next year on speculative principles, as well as to keep up what little interest there is in the game in Washington. This may be very praiseworthy in the Washingtonians, but we submit to the members of the professional clubs whether it is not time to stop the entrance of weak co-operative clubs into the championship contest. They merely complicate the series and prevent many important games from being played. They are known to have little or no chance of success in any game they play, and, per consequence, but very few persons attend as spectators. Their men being paid on the co-operative principles, or by positions in public office, their expenses are but little, especially as they make but few visits, depending on the main clubs to visit them, leave their games all lumped to the end of the season, or else, when they go on a visit, desire to have several games played ruing the visit, which latter fact is not agreeable to the real clubs, who run the risk of injury and weariness often prior to critical games, and that loss of money which is invariably the case, with a certain proportion of spectators who can afford to see but a certain numbers of games per week or month. Besides this, it is a large and real loss of money for any first-class club to visit them, as there are still less spectators in the homes of the co-operative, as a general thing, than in those of the other clubs, so that the co-operatives generally manage to pay expenses, while the others cannot begin to do so. We hope a rule will be adopted to prevent the entrance of these clubs.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed rules amendment allowing runners to tag up on foul flies

Date Sunday, December 7, 1873
Text

In the case of foul balls, it has been argued that the “ins” thereby give a chance to be put out without–as in the case of a fair ball–their having any compensatory chance to score. To obviate this difficulty it is proposed to allow base-runners a chance to make a base on a caught foul ball, whether on the fly or bound, as in the case of fair fly ball caught. As it is now the base-player cannot leave his base on a foul ball until it is handled by the pitcher. This seems nothing more than a fair offset to the chances given for the out.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed rules amendments on balls and strikes

Date Sunday, December 7, 1873
Text

Instead of having unfair balls “called,” as now, it would be advisable to have all unfairly-pitched balls called “wides,” and three of such wides to give a base, as in the case of called balls now, leaving balls to be called only in such cases as a ball pitched within the reach of the batsman, but not at the height he calls for, and allowing bases to be given on every four such balls, instead of three. This would divide the regularly unfair balls from those which are fair in one sense, though not in another, and umpires would have their duties made plainer in judging of an unfair delivery.

In calling strikes, too, a change in the present rule is advisable, inasmuch as experience has shown that the rule admits of too much partiality being shown by an umpire in calling strikes. The rule should be worded so as only to punish the striker for willfully refusing to strike at fair balls. As it is now, it punishes him for not striking at balls which are simply fair in the opinion of the umpire, and one umpire may differ materially from another in his idea of what constitutes a fair ball.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Prospect Park 2

Date Sunday, February 2, 1873
Text

The amateur fraternity of Brooklyn will be glad to learn that early in the summer a new and extensive ball field will be placed at the services of amateur clubs in , near Sixth avenue and Fifteenth street, adjoining the tracks of the Coney Island Railroad. This field, in addition to the extensive parade ground, located half a mile distant on the southeasterly side of the Park, will provide accommodation for nearly fifty amateur clubs; and as the Park Commission have adopted a rule which will exclude the vagabond crowd, who do not work by day and steal at night, from occupying these grounds, a chance will be afforded for all reputable clubs and parties made up for ball matches for enjoying their favorite game without expense. Some very interesting contests may be expected at the Park this coming season, and the Sunday Mercury will pay special attention to this class of games.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

prospects for the Baltimore Club for 1874

Date Monday, September 15, 1873
Text

A meeting is called for to-morrow night at Raine’s Hall, corner of Baltimore street and Postoffice avenue, the object of which is to determine whether Baltimore is to have a base ball club next season or not. Several fine players have signed to play in Baltimore another season, but unless some substantial demonstration is made to-morrow night, and sufficient funds are raised tow arrange the completion of a nine, the contracts now made will be cancelled, so as to allow the players a chance to seek engagements elsewhere. Both the Boston and Philadelphia Clubs are holding off in the hopes of securing players from the Baltimore Club, and unless the lovers of the sport come forward liberally, they will sadly miss the exciting contests of the ball field during the long summer days of 1874. Should it be decided to have a nine next season, the supporters can rest assured it will be a first-class one, and under the control of one of the best managers in the country; and being well managed, it must prove as successful as either the boston, Philadelphia or Athletic Clubs, all of which owe their financial standing to their excellent management. Baltimore American September 15, 1873

There was quite a large and enthusiastic meeting at Raine’s Hall last night, the object of which was to take some action in regard to securing a base ball club in Baltimore, for the season of 1874. Mr. A. H. Henderson called the meeting to order. A Chairman and Secretary was appointed. The Chairman, a well-known gentleman of Baltimore, on taking the chair, stated that the purport of the meeting was to know whether we are to have a base ball nine in Baltimore next year. Some six or seven first-class players were already engaged, but unless some $6,000 could be collected, to insure the prompt payment of the men until the ball season opened, these secured players would be relieved of their contracts so as to allow them an opportunity to seek engagements elsewhere.

On motion a committee of three was appointed to solicit subscriptions and, after canvassing among those present, they reported that the sum of $4,900 was subscribed. The Chairman, in making this announcement, stated that he had just returned from a visit to the North, and in nearly every town he visited he found a ball club in operation. He thought, aside from the mere pleasure which all present felt in witnessing a well-contested game, that the interest of the city laid in having a fine ball club to add to the other attractions which we should hold out to strangers visiting Baltimore. People abroad say that Baltimore is slow, and that we can’t keep a base ball organization here, but he though differently, and was well pleased with the interest already manifested. In conclusion, he hoped that each one would constitute himself a committee of one to solicit subscriptions and report the amounts at the next meeting.

On a question being asked as to what terms the new club could get from the Messrs. Houck, Mr. George Houck stated that he would be prepared to answer definitely at the next meeting.

The meeting then adjourned to meet at Raine’s Hall on Tuesday night next at 8 o’clock. Baltimore American September 17, 1873

The meeting having for its objects the organization of a base ball club for the season of 1874, held last night at Raine’s Hall, drew forth another large attendance of the lovers of the National game. Mr. A. H. Henderson called the assemblage to order, and announced that in the absence of Colonel J. Stricker Jenkins, the Chairman of the meeting, he would propose Daniel M. Thomas, Esq., as Chairman. The motion was carried, and Mr. Thomas took the chair with Mr. Alex. Aboy as Secretary. The first business in order being the report of the Committee on subscriptions, the Chair moved that before submitting their report, the committee canvas the meeting for any additional sums which may have been secured, which being done, a total sum of $5,865 was announced as having been contributed. Mr Henderson, who will have the management of the new club, stated that the sum already subscribed was a little short of the amount needed, but he felt sure that before the first of November the full amount would be forthcoming. In regard to the engagement of the full complement of players, he was not prepared to make a report, as negotiations were still in progress with players, and no decided answer had as yet been received. He would assure those present, however, that a first-class nine would be obtained. In regard to the terms to be obtained from Messrs. Houck in regard to the rent of the ball grounds, he was satisfied from a conversation he had had with this gentlemen, that it would be satisfactory and very favorable to the organization. On motion, Mr. Wm. T. Pitt was added to the Committee on Subscriptions. The meeting then adjourned until Tuesday night, October the 7th, when the subscribers only are invited to attend. Baltimore American September 24, 1873

At the meeting of the subscribers of the new base ball club, held last night at Raine’s Hall, officers were elected for the season of 1874, and it was resolved to call the new organization the “Lord Baltimore Base Ball Club,” so as to make it distinct and separate from the present Baltimore Base Ball Club. Baltimore American October 7, 1873

pitcher covering home on a passed ball; umpire reverses his call–no sign of an appeal

[Boston vs. Philadelphia 9/15/1873] Addy was now on third, and on a short passed ball he ran for home. Zettlein [pitcher] covered the base and Malone [catcher] threw the ball well to him. Had he held it, Addy would have been an easy victim; indeed, the umpire decided him out, but changed his decision when he saw that the ball had dropped from Zettlein’s hands. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch September 21, 1873

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

purifying the game: more on game throwing

Date Sunday, December 7, 1873
Text

It is a fact beyond controversy that certain players were , at times during the past season, engaged in the nefarious practice of “throwing games,” or playing the results, so far as laid in their power, into the hands of their adversaries, for the purpose of their own pecuniary benefit. We may be certain, to judge from surrounding circumstances and from observations closely made on the field, of the identity of these parties; but, if called upon for proof of an actual “sale” having taken place, we could not come to time. The thieves who indulge in this merry pastime are non-committal, except to their supposed “go-between,” who keeps his mouth closed, and probably received a commission for his miserable part in this wretched, unmanly traffic.

A movement is now on foot to put a final and determined stop to this business. When indulged in it is very palpable. Hardly any one decently reared in the sport of base ball can make a mistake as to a player’s dishonesty; and the public, in passing around the names of certain men, recently, made, in our opinion, but few mistakes.

Once and for all, if the season of ‘74 is in this respect a repetition of that of ‘73, we can only say that the rascals in the profession have dug for themselves a decent-sized grave, big enough not only for themselves, but also for the honest workers of the profession. The sustenance of clubs is of no pecuniary benefit to its supporters. The solitary instance for years–that of the Philadelphia Club–of extraordinary financial success, may be supplemented at the end of the coming season by a general assessment on the stockholders. It is hard to put out cash continually merely to be cheated by a few scamps who have not the first spark of gratitude or the first element of manhood.

As we said, there can be no doubt as to who indulges in this kind of thing; but club managers cannot but in few cases bring anything like a positive proof of guilt. Their remedy must, therefore, be of a nature which will not push them to any hasty injustice, and we suggest the following: All contract are made on strict terms, demanding obedience to the very letter from the men. Where these terms are not fulfilled according to requirement, let the player be punished by fine. Should his play be suspicious, if the ground is good, let him be taken from the field and publicly disgraced. If it is certain that he is playing double, let him be expelled on the lightest provocation. Indeed, provocation should be invited when it tends to the expulsion of these wretched leaches who are sucking the very life-blood from the game–for its good name is its life-blood.

Managers will find the following season a hard one to begin–the financial row will be a hard one to row, and, should they allow the least bit of trifling or suspend strict rules for the shortest possible time, they will find themselves in a bad fix. The public is dissatisfied with the past season; and the game...must be dragged up again to make it last.

Our advice as above we think is healthy. Concerted action is now requisite, and hsould a club use or conceal a man from punishment, its expulsion should follow. If something is not done the year will close with an epitaph over the once-noble sport–

DIED–1874–THE NATIONAL GAME OF BASE BALL.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

revolving among the amateurs 2

Date Sunday, October 12, 1873
Text

The amateurs, we notice, pay but little attention this season to the rules of the Amateur Association, which govern every amateur club, in or out of the association, in the country. Last week the Staten Island, Chelsea and Knickerbocker clubs, all violated the rules by playing men in their nines not legally eligible...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runner called out for leaving the base line

Date Sunday, September 21, 1873
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 9/20/1873] Mr. Fulmer umpired well. In one case a ludicrous scene occurred. Murnan ran far from the line at second to avoid the ball, and was given out. He continued running until he reached the home plate, during which time no less than four wild throws ensued to catch him.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runner put out after not hearing the 'foul' call

Date Saturday, October 11, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Mutual 10/4/1873] In the fifth inning, after two men were out, Start made a good base hit, but, owing to Dehlman [umpire] failing to call “foul” loud enough, Start was put out at first base in returning on a foul hit by Nelson.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scientific batting; home runs exhaust the batter

Date Saturday, April 12, 1873
Text

Let us see, then what a player has to study in his mind as to what he has to do when he takes bat in hand to assume the offensive in a contest for the palm of superiority. Of course his main object is to score a run; but there is something to be considered beside the mere fact of obtaining the urn, and that is to secure it with the least fatigue. If the batsman hits the ball over the heads of the outfielders he gets his run at once, but at what cost? Why, at the expense of running one hundred and twenty yards at his utmost speed, the result being that he arrives home out of breath, and entirely unfit for further play without rest. If this were continued by each player, in each inning, the result would be that the strongest nine would be broken down before they had got through half the game. Now, if this style of batting is correct in one case, it is in all; but it is not skillful batting at all, for it is specially characteristic of the least skillful class of players in the whole fraternity, viz./ the “Muffins;” for this class of batsmen can hit balls for homeruns just as well as first nine players can. Again, too given a party of muscular men, with long, heavy bats, and a live, elastic ball, and the game they play is simply a contest as to which can make the most homeruns from heavy hitting, while in such games skillful fielding—which is the attractive feature of baseball, is of but little account. The science of batting, in fact, lies in that skillful use of the bat which yields the batsman first base without any extra effort in running. In order to attain this result, however, he must bring his brains into play so as to outwit his opponents by sending the ball to the field with as little expenditure of force as necessary, bit in such a manner as to render it nearly impossible for the fielders to either field it on the fly, or return it in time to put players out on the bases.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

seats available for an additional fee

Date Monday, May 12, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Maryland 5/11/1873] The scramble for tickets exceeded perhaps anything that has ever been witnessed in this vicinity, and the new arrangement by which seats may be secured at a slight advance in price was eagerly embraced by many in the multitude.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

second baseman also plays right short

Date Saturday, January 18, 1873
Text

Second-base playing now requires the player to be not only a base player per se, but a right short stop in addition, he having to play in both positions. ...he must be able to cover all the ground at “right short,” as well as close around his own base, and to do this well he ought to possess the requisite “headwork” to be able to judge of the hits by the pitcher's delivery, and by the style in which the batsman “faces” or “forms” for striking.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

short stop should cover home

Date Saturday, August 2, 1873
Text

[Baltimore vs. Atlantic 7/28/1873] ...on Pike’s high ball to Higham [right field], which was caught, McVey ran to third. After the catch the ball was thrown in high over Hatfield’s [third baseman] head, and, as both Matthews and Hicks [pitcher and catcher] ran behind Hatfield to back him up, the home-base was left vacant–Holdsworth [short stop] failing to play the point properly–seeing which McVey ran home and scored his run...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shortstop backing up the third baseman

Date Tuesday, October 14, 1873
Text

[Baltimore vs. Boston 10/13/1873] Another feature was one of George Wright’s old-time plays. Craver hit a scorcher to Shafer [third baseman], who stopped the ball, fumbled it and dropped it; but George [short stop] picked it up, and by a chain-lightning throw going to O’Rouke [first baseman] in season.

Source Boston Daily Advertiser
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shouting to distract a fielder

Date Friday, July 11, 1873
Text

[Boston vs. Philadelphia 7/10/1873] A word to Malone. In the Keystones you acquired the noisy habit of shouting, when an opponent is about to catch a ball. This is mean. It is vulgar. It is unworthy. Stop it. If we were umpire and a man dropped a fly as Manning did, owing to the ill-bred shouting of the other side, we would declare it “interfering” with the fielder, and would give the hand out. The Philadelphias are too big to do little things. They should win, if they are to win, in big style. Let Malone speak to Cuthbert, and to other screamers.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

signals

Date Saturday, April 19, 1873
Text

The pitcher should never commence a match without having an understood arrangement with his catcher and outfielders in regard to their movements by . By this means he should be enabled to signal his catcher to lay away back of the striker or close up to him, as also to signal the outfielders to go up closer to the foul-ball lines or out further for a heavy hitter. These can be given by any particular motion, either of the hands, or by dropping or tossing up the ball careless, or by looking to the right, or left, etc.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

signals between the shortstop and catcher; who covers second?

Date Saturday, February 1, 1873
Text

[The shortstop] should also be able to understand signals from the catcher, in order that the latter player, in throwing to second base, should be posted as to which man to throw to—second baseman or short-stop. Thus, for instance, if a player be on first base, ready to run to second, and he should see the second baseman ready to receive a ball, he will hesitate to run; but should he see the baseman standing at “right short,” leaving the second base apparently unprotected, he will run the risk of attempting to make the base. In this case the short-field should be able to signal the catcher that he is ready for the point, and at the same time that the catcher prepares to throw the ball to the base the short-stop should be there to receive it, the latter starting to run from short to second just as the base-runner starts to run from first to second.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

strategic outfield play

Date Saturday, February 8, 1873
Text

The old style of playing the out-field, in which all that was required of a player was to catch the ball whenever it came near to his posiiton, has been superseded by a method of fielding which is characteristic of the new system of strategic play now so necessary an element of success in professional contests. Formerly anything like coming in close to the in-field or going out further, in accordance with the different features of the batting, was almost unknown. Now, however, we frequently see a right-fielder playing almost within reach of the foul-ball line, the left-fielder backing up the third baseman and the centre-fielder close to the second baseman when the pitcher calls in his men for any special point of play; while each man in the outer field is taught never to stand still or to occupy steadily any particular standing-point in the field, but to change his position accordingly as a heavy hitter or a fair-foul strategist takes his position at the bat. Informer years, too, all that an out-fielder was selected for was his ability to catch a ball well and thrown in from a long distance. Now “headwork” is considered essential, and no man can be regarded as an expert and serviceable man in the position who, in addition to his ability to hold a ball well and to make a long throw, cannot judge the play of the batsman from his style of taking his position at home-base and his manner of handling his bat, and who cannot also run in and stop bases from being made, instead of merely waiting until the ball comes to him. In other words, your skilful out-fielder is one who can catch surely throw in accurately to the right position, judge his batsmen well, and especially be effective in stopping ground balls in such a way as to limit a second or third base hit to one base secured. Formerly, too, the left-field used to be regarded as the most responsible; now, the three positions must be equally well attended to, or a weak point will be developed. In fact, no one of the three positions of the out-field is exempt from the requirements of as much skill as is necessary in either of the other points of the out-field. The catching of long high balls, which used to be the forte of an out-fielder, is now a secondary matter when compared with a sharp piece of fielding by which a hot ground ball is stopped, picked up and thrown in so as to oblige the batsman to content himself with a single base on a hit on which he had hoped to get at least “three bags.”

A new and very important point of ply in out-fielding was developed last season, that of standing in close to the in-field for shot high, instead of going quite far out for catches of long-hit balls. Experience has shown pretty conclusively that out of every ten balls hit to the outer field at least six will fall short of the out-fielders; and though it is easier to urn in for a shot high ball than to run out for a long high one, more bases can be saved and runs prevented by standing in close than by waiting for catches by going far out. If your pitcher finds it necessary to send in tosses, especially for catches in the outer field, why then the players should stand out well; but for general play, whether the fielding [sic] be swift of medium-paced, the out-fielders should stand in pretty close, even if a ball or two should occasionally go over their heads. Better that, than bases should be run on ground balls, or lives given from failures to get under high short balls, owing to the fielders standing too far out for catches.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

surprising the fielders with a bunt

Date Tuesday, June 10, 1873
Text

[Mutual vs. Athletic 6/9/1873] On the fifth inning, Anson astonished the fielders, (who were expecting a heavy hit,) by a strategic safety-block, (a mere tip,) between 3d and “home,”... All-Day City Item June 10, 1873

editorial abuse of umpires not calling balls

An explanatory treatise upon the rules is needed for the special use of ignorant umpires. The expression “all unfair balls must be called in the order of their delivery,” is not understood, and should be better expressed. “You ignorant ass! You miserable donkey! You blarsted fool! If you don’t call every unfair ball just as that ere pitcher slams it in, you’ll git imprisoned for a period of not less than fifty days, with a fine of $100.” This might make matters right. Or, if a clause should be inserted in the rule, which would compel the umpire to be publicly kicked every time he failed to call an unfair ball, some improvement might be effected. Or, that he be compelled to leave the umpire’s position upon a failure to call three unfair balls while the batter is waiting. All-Day City Item June 10, 1873

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

swing through the pitch when a runner is stealing

Date Wednesday, June 11, 1873
Text

We will suppose a man at first; the next striker should keep his eye on the runner. If he attempt to make second, strike, but do not hit the ball. It cuts the line of sight and disconcerts the catcher. Let the umpire call a strike; you can afford it, for the runner is safely at second. We gave this point to the Athletics years ago, and they played it successfully.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of excluding co-op clubs from the NA

Date Saturday, August 23, 1873
Text

There is considerable talk among the men who invest in baseball stock companies in regard to taking action in opposition to the entry of co-operative nines into the championship arena. The interests of the two classes of organizations in the professional fraternity have been found by experience to clash, owing to the one party having vested money interests at stake, while the other works with playing capital only. There is no doubt that if the championship arena were confined to regular salaried nines, and fewer games were played, the result would be more profitable.. Another result of such a narrowing of the professional circle would be that more interest would centre in the local club nines; and moreover, there would probably be less chance of players being tempted to enter into fraudulent arrangements. When a player is in command of a regular salary from a responsible club, he has something to do to sustain himself creditably in his position. No so the player who is dependent on the precarious receipts of a co-operative organization. Many believe from the experience of the present season that the co-operative system of professional ball-playing is a failure and an injury to the regular clubs.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ten men on one side

Date Sunday, April 6, 1873
Text

[Boston vs. Harvard 4/3/1873] The Reds played against a strong Picked Ten, of Harvard, and, after a well-played game, won... [Boston had nine players.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the 'Gotham gambler'

Date Sunday, September 28, 1873
Text

[Mutual vs. Philadelphia 9/24/1873] The “friends” of the Mutual club were over here in force. There was no mistaking the jet black-dyed moustache, the scarred face, the occasional blear eye, alog jaw and broken nose, and the flashy ensemble. The Gotham gambler carries a strong personalty with him, and it is difficult to mistake him. “I snick a seventy agen a hundred on the Muchuls” was the burden of their discourse, and so eager were they that it is safe and pleasant to assert that they feathered their nests poorly in Philadelphia.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the (semi-?)professional Irvingtons

Date Sunday, July 27, 1873
Text

The re-entree of the Irvington nine on the professional arena is a good omen for the future, as they promise to play only Jersey experts, and the club has always been noted for their earnest efforts to win every game they have played. New York Sunday Mercury July 27, 1873

On July 23 the newly organized team–half amateur and half professional–of the Irvington Club, met the Mutuals... New York Clipper August 2, 1873

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletic and Philadelphia clubs have separate pavilions on the same ground

Date Sunday, May 4, 1873
Text

[Baltimore vs. Philadelphia 5/1/1873] The pavilions of the Philadelphia and Athletic Clubs were also crowded with spectators...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletic financial statement

Date Saturday, November 22, 1873
Text

Mr. John I. Rogers read the annual report of the Board of Directors, which includes the following financial statement:

RECEIPTS

To balance from previous year.................................................................................. $18.07

Proceeds from professional games............................................................................ 17,130.09

Proceeds from amateur games................................................................................... 323.40

226 members tickets at $15 each............................................................................... 3,390.00

Rent of ground, Philadelphia Club............................................................................ 1,100.00

Rent of refreshment stand.......................................................................................... 150.00

Donation (W. H. Cammeyer)..................................................................................... 30.00

Interest on deposits.................................................................................................... 11.78

________

Receipts from all sources........................................................................................... $22,073.34

EXPENDITURES

By salaries players in full, as per contract.................................................................. $13,451.60

By salary H. Painter, in full to date............................................................................ 582.50

Expenses for season–ordinary running expenses....................................................... 3,843.36

Expenses for traveling department............................................................................. 2,707.55

________

Total............................................................................................................................ $20,885.08

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics put new financial controls in place

Date Sunday, September 21, 1873
Text

[excerpts from a long report of the Athletic Club meeting of 9/16/1873] The trouble in the Athletic Club came to a climax on Tuesday evening last, when a meeting of the organization was held... The meeting was a very large one, and majority and minority reports were presented by the committee. The former was adopted by a vote of forty-six to thirty-two. ... The report also recommends that perfect and complete checks be placed on ticket-takers and ticket-sellers, so as to prevent the possibility of fraud; that it be an imperative rule that neither shall assist a director in the computation of vouchers against himself. It was proven that this practice had been long allowed. The report further states that in making these suggestions there was no intention of putting the brand of dishonesty on any of the club officials, but that it were best that no room be left for an exercise of dishonesty. In cases where these chance are open odium and scandal invariably follow. ... The result of the adoption of the majority report will be a decided change in the monetary transactions of the club in the gate management and in other particulars. All avenues for “picking” will be closed, and all accusations and counter-accusations, generally unjust as they are, will be put a stop to.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Atlantics to be a stock club

Date Saturday, November 22, 1873
Text

The friends of [the Atlantic] club will be glad to learn that it is to be at once reorganized for 1874, on the stock-company principle, with Ferguson as captain. They can raise a strong nine of new men from the amateur clubs of Brooklyn at comparatively little expense.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Baltimore club finances

Date Saturday, December 13, 1873
Text

At the meeting of the Boston Club last week a dispatch was received from Baltimore, stating that the Baltimore club was $7,000 in debt, and that the players who had been engaged for 1874 were open for engagement to other clubs. In confirmation of this statement we give below a letter from Lipman Pike, who has returned to Brooklyn, and who is now free from any engagement...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Baltimores control their ground this year

Date Friday, March 21, 1873
Text

The [Baltimore] Club will rent the Newington grounds from the Messrs. Houck this season, and will thus be enabled to give visiting cubs better terms than formerly, and will also largely increase their own receipts whilst playing in other cities.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Beacon Club recruits from the old Lowell and Harvard clubs

Date Saturday, March 1, 1873
Text

This club [the Beacon Club of Boston], which played as a junior organization until the past year, has during the winter been making great exertions to revive the old-time interest in amateur playing. Its list of members has been largely increased, including many of the old Lowell and Harvard Clubs, and its aim is to organize a genuine amateur club which shall bring together those who wish to play ball from pure love of the national game, and not for any pecuniary benefit.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsiors back in the field

Date Sunday, August 10, 1873
Text

We can scarcely credit the fact, but it is so, nevertheless, that the Brooklyn Excelsiors are going to take to the field again, and their first game will be with their old friends, the Knickerbockers. Messrs. Sister, Maxwell, and Jewell are arranging the details, and they propose to startle Davis and the old fellows with a challenge this coming week. What a congregation of the old boys there will be at Hoboken when the match comes off! New York Sunday Mercury August 10, 1873

The event of the week in amateur ball playing was the re-entree of the Excelsior Club in the arena, Sept. 4, the occasion being the visit of the club to Englewood, N.J., to play the club of that suburban locality. New York Sunday Mercury September 7, 1873

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Jefferson street grounds in jeopardy

Date Sunday, May 4, 1873
Text

On Thursday the bill authorizing the sale of the Jefferson street ball grounds came up in Select Council. It was referred to the Committee on Law by a vote of eleven to ten. The sale of this tract at the present would entail a decided loss to the city, as the property is accumulating value every year, and is at present isolated, and not desirable for building purposes.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Knickerbockers play cricket

Date Monday, June 30, 1873
Text

The Knickerbocker Base-ball Club played their first game of cricket, with the Manhattan Cricket Club, this season, on Saturday, at Hoboken. The game was closely contested, both clubs playing a sharp game. Rain put a stop to the game in the first inning, when the score stood 48 to 44, in favor of the Manhattan Club.

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Maryland Club ignored by the other professional clubs

Date Tuesday, August 26, 1873
Text

The sporting papers seem to take as a matter of course that all the games played by the Maryland Club will be rules out of the championship record. Inasmuch as the Maryland has been ignored by every visiting club, with the exception of the Washingtons, notwithstanding their challenge issued early in the season, and also in view of the the fact that they have not disbanded, but still preserve their organization intact, the Judiciary Committee [illegible] take a different view of the matter.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Massachusetts amateurs reject the ten men ten inning rule

Date Wednesday, November 19, 1873
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the Amateur Association of Massachusetts] The meeting voted unanimously to adopt the following resolution “That the proposed change in the rules to play ten men and ten innings is extremely undesirable.

Source Boston Daily Advertiser
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Philadelphia Club outlaws betting in the pavilion

Date Sunday, October 5, 1873
Text

[a resolution adopted by the club:] “Whereas, the language and behavior which are incident to the betting within the pavilion of the Philadelphia Club have occasioned much annoyance to those who are subjected to their objectionable features, or else compelled to retire from the seats which they should be privileged to enjoy; and whereas, of late this custom has given such unlicensed scope to that particular class as permits them to congregate together and, by loud and boisterous exclamations, to interfere with the nine whilst playing, and as well disregard the wishes of our subscribers, whose support in the future cannot be expected if this is continued; therefore, be it

“Resolved, That the Philadelphia Club, in its earnest support of the national game of base ball, emphatically denounces this pernicious practice, as tending to pervert an athletic amusement into a mean and unfair gambling scheme; and, therefore, strictly prohibits any bet, or offer to bet, to be made within its pavilion by any person whatsoever; and hereby cautions any party so offending that such an offense will hereafter result in the forfeiture of the seats of the parties so offending.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Philadelphia Club's difficulty subletting the Athletic ground

Date Sunday, January 26, 1873
Text

...the Philadelphia Club directors were unsuccessful in obtaining a couple of days each week upon the Athletic ground. They offered that organization a very large rental, also proposing to pay half of the expense of putting the ground in order, and also to pay one-half of the superintendent’s salary. The Athletic directory, however, stated that the Eureka Club had the refusal of that only day they could spare, as the Athletic Club required three days each week. The Philadelphians have thus been compelled to look elsewhere, and will probably take a ground down town, which is most eligibly situated. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch January 26, 1873

We are pleased to state that the Athletic Club directory has decided to lease its ground to the Philadelphia Club on a satisfactory arrangement, and this will insure amicable feelings between the two organizations. This is exactly what we wish to see, and we hope that the friends of the Philadelphia and Athletic clubs will carry on the war in a friendly spirit. This result is due to the exertions of Mr. Charles Spering, who has accomplished it in the face of much opposition. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch February 9, 1873

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Philadelphia collapse is due to the loss of their pitcher

Date Sunday, October 5, 1873
Text

A thousand definitions and explanations have been given lately for the non-success of the Philadelphia nine–a nine which, with the championship long ago assured to them, have utterly broken down and have sustained such a disastrous run of defeats that the longed-for pennant is now well nigh in the hands of a rival club. The definition is simply this: The literal loss of their pitcher–for he is as good as lost to the club as long as his present ill health lasts.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Resolutes disbanded; an ineligible player

Date Sunday, August 17, 1873
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 8/16/1873] The contest between these clubs yesterday was practically nothing more than an exhibition-game, not the slightest interest being attached to it as a legal contest, from the fact that the playing of Allison in the Mutual nine really forfeits the game to the Atlantics by 9 to 0. Not a player who took part in the Resolute nine match of August 7 has a right to play in any other professional club until October 7, even if it were a fact that the Resolute club had disbanded–which is not the case–and therefore every game played by the Mutuals in which Allison take part before October 7, will not only be forfeited to the club playing them, but it will not count in the championship series of games. New York Sunday Mercury August 17, 1873

In regard to the sixty-day rule and its bearing upon disbanded club nines, we see it stated by a city contemporary that the Judiciary Committee have decided that players from disbanded nines can immediately be engaged by other clubs and legally take part in their matches. Now, the fact is simply that the Judiciary Committee of the present Professional Association have done nothing of the kind, simply because they have no legal right to render null and void any law of the playing code of rules adopted by the association in full convention. Why, they might as well pass a law stating that overhand throwing would henceforth be allowed as to enact that a player who has taken part in a match game in one nine could take his place in another nine before the sixty days had expired, simply because the club he had played with had disbanded. They have as much right to do one thing as the other. New York Sunday Mercury August 17, 1873

Last season the ill success of the Troy Club led to its disbandment long before the season was nearly completed, and the result was an appeal made by the unengaged players to allow them to amalgamate with the Eckford nine–a request which was granted seemingly officially, but in direct violation of a standing, albeit an unjust, law. This established something of a precedent, and we had hoped at the meeting of the professional association, held on March 3 at Baltimore, that a rule would be made for the protection of such players, but it seems it was forgotten, or not thought worthy of action.

Some weeks ago the Resolute Club disbanded–went utterly to pieces. Many of its players had previously connected themselves with the Irvington Club, the Resolute reorganizing without avail, and finally being compelled to succumb to the fate which seemed inevitable when they opened the season. Among the men engaged for them in spring was Doug Allison, a player well known and highly thought of on account of his qualities as a player and as an honest, earnest worker. He gave the Resolute club most faithful service; stuck to them through thick and thin, defeat and victory–little they had, however, of the latter–and up to the last moment fulfilled his contract to the letter. The club went to pieces and he was out of employment; he did not “revolve,” but took the best course he could under the circumstances and accepted an offer to play with the Mutual Club, which was under a disadvantage through the disabling of Hicks, their regular catcher. Allison came to this city last Monday with his new alliances, and, after protest was made against his playing, he participated in the game with the Philadelphia Club. The latter lost the game, and the question will come before the board for adjustment. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch August 17, 1873

A New York journal states that the Judiciary Committee have decided that players engaged in the nine of a club which disbands can play in another club nine directly afterwards. The questions are, When did they so decide? And if they did, does not the decision nullify the Professional Association rule? New York Clipper August 23, 1873

The sixty-day rule, apparently, is being ignored by nearly all the clubs... New York Sunday Mercury August 24, 1873

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Resolutes' Waverly Park grounds

Date Tuesday, April 29, 1873
Text

The ground at Waverly Park is wretched. The left field slopes far below the level of the infield, and the centre and right field are also bad for fly catching. To make matters worse, the grass was long, and no matter how “hot” a low grounder might be sent, it would hardly go past “short” or second. The left field should be filled up and leveled, and the grass on the infield kept properly cut, otherwise it will hardly be possible to play either an interesting or a fair contest. The lack of enterprise in not attending to these important “points” speaks badly for the Resolutes.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Waverly grounds

Date Sunday, May 4, 1873
Text

...after lunch a line of march was taken up towards the ground at Waverly, which is located between Newark and Elizabeth. It is seemingly the only bit of hilly ground in all the flat, uninteresting vicinity, and is ill adapted for a ball field.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the amateur Staten Island Club

Date Sunday, July 27, 1873
Text

...the Staten Island Club, on their prettily located field near the ferry landing at Quarantine...participate every week in amateur contests with their brethren of the metropolis and vicinity. This new club, by the way, already numbers nearly two hundred members, and socially it ranks with the highest club in the country. Of late, too, they have materially strengthened their baseball nine with accessions from the ranks of noted amateur ball-tossers of Brookly, among whom may be named that amiable youth Worth, the modest Dollard, the reticent Clyne, and the old champion “pitchist,” Joe Sprague. These, with other amateur experts, have so strengthened the Island team that they have recently been able to “get away with” such nines as the Knickerbocker, Arlington, etc., in a way that rather astonished the city nines, and they do not propose to allow any more “Olympic games” to be played on them. New York Sunday Mercury July 27, 1873

umpire abuse in Philadelphia; the umpire runs to third to better see the play

[Baltimore vs. Athletic 7/21/1873] In the Quaker City, the Baltimore nine met the Athletics, and after an exciting contest requiring thirteen innings to settle the question of victory the Baltimores won by one run. The umpire [Michael Hooper of the Maryland Club] made an adverse decision against the local nine, and in consequence came in for gross abuse at the hands of the gambling crowd, who had bet high on the Athletics. The result was that another umpire has vowed that he will never act in Philadelphia again. As Swandell, Burdock, Hooper, and Ferguson have arrived at the same conclusion, the Philadelphians will soon be unable to get any square man to serve them. New York Sunday Mercury July 27, 1873

[Baltimore vs. Athletic 7/21/1873] McMullin came from second to home, and McGeary, went for third, but was put out. McMullin had been in several seconds before McGeary, but the umpire, upon being appealed to by the Baltimore, decided his run did not count. Clapp and Murnan having been the first two out and McMullin the third.

The amazement of the crowd at the decision which was so glaringly erroneous as to be ludicrous, can scarcely be imagined. It speedily took the shape of indignation, and had there been the slightest suspicion that it was intentional there would have been serious trouble. Each one has his version to give, and ours is that McMullin had crossed the home plate and turned, and was looking back at the play of McGeary, who did well, and troubled his opponents to touch him. The umpire had run down toward third to watch the play, and, therefore, says that McMullin did not get in. Now, had he said he did not see him get in it would have beendifferent, buthe is in the bad position of declaring that he saw McMullin ten feet from the home plate, and running in when McGeary was put out. Philadelphia Sunday Republic July 27, 1873

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baseball reporters

Date Friday, April 18, 1873
Text

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

...

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

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

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher deeks the runner at third

Date Sunday, July 13, 1873
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 7/12/1873] [Fisler at third base] Deceived by White’s [catcher] motion to throw to second, West [Fisler] was caught off third, and finally put out.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the championship should be restricted to stock companies

Date Sunday, November 16, 1873
Text

There is one thing which the stock company organizations must do in self-defence and to conserve their pecuniary interests, and that is to limit the contestants for the professional whip-pennant henceforth to stock-company nines. Too many games were played this past season, and this result was attributable to the entry of such irresponsible nines as the Resolute and Maryland clubs. Clubs which have capital invested in baseball as a business ought not to allow nines to interfere with their contests, which only enter the field on the catch-penny principle or perhaps only to serve betting ring purposes. Co-operative club managers have no control over their players, such as those clubs have which pay regular salaries to their men, and hence such organizations have no remedy at hand against the evil of fraudulent play by the members of their nines.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the Knickerbocker Club

Date Sunday, June 29, 1873
Text

The Knickerbockers are waking up to some old-time energy in playing amateur games, and they now have the strongest nine they have had for years past. There is no mistake about it, but a club to hold any lively existence must do battle in matches for baseball fame, and consequently must have a representative nine to place on the field. At the same time, it is equally essential that they do not sacrifice the interests of the merely exercising portion of the club to the getting up of a strong nine. To secure both interests is to preserve the happy medium of a baseball or cricket organization. Hitherto both games have suffered in regard to club interests by allowing the nine or the eleven to absorb all the attention of the club. Thus far the Knickerbockers have been the most successful club to combat and outlive the evils which have surrounded the game, simply because they have made the recreative principle of their organization the one most to be attended to. At the same time, it is equally necessary, in order to sustain the esprit de corps of a club, that some attention be paid to the getting up of a representative team to sustain the honor of the club flag in matches with other amateur clubs. The Knickerbockers still stick to their principle of not playing professional organizations, and thereby keep from dipping their fingers in gate money receipts, something too many of our so-called amateur clubs have done for some years past. No amateur club can share gate-money. The moment they do they become professionals. The Knickerbockers have an enclosed ground private to themselves, none but members or specially invited guests being allowed on the field. They opened their match-playing season on Wednesday last with a match on the old Morrisania Union Club grounds at Melrose, their opponents being the Arlingtons.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the Pythian Club

Date Saturday, March 8, 1873
Text

We are told that the Pythians will reorganize and enter the field prepared to meet any first-class organization that may come along. We shall be pleased from time to time to hear from the club, and will do all in our power to advance its interests. They should be able early in May to play practice games with the Athletics and Philadelphias.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the definition of a good game

Date Sunday, March 30, 1873
Text

No games can be considered good when the score on either side exceeds ten runs. A first-class match ought not to exceed six on the winning side.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the difficulty arranging an umpire; an prior agreement to replace him if necessary

Date Tuesday, October 21, 1873
Text

[Boston vs. Baltimore 10/21/1873] They [Baltimore] objected to his [the umpire’s] continuing to act. They had refused to take him in the first place, but on my agreeing to change him if not satisfactory, they accepted him. Mr. Beardsley of Washington was the gentleman and I had great difficulty in getting him. In the first place they had consented to take either Burdock, Swandell, Mills, Sensenderfer, or Mack. That is a pretty good list and any one would think it an easy matter to get one of them. Lot those who think as they try it. It is easy to find fault, but not so easy to do better as a great many would think. I commenced with Burdock. He could not come, election business &c. stopped him. Mills was sick and could not travel. (Someone says “good thing,” I know) Swandell promised to go if some relative who was expected to breath her last every moment, did not improve for the [illegible] before that time. He was to let me know by telegraph Monday. Monday came and also telegram “Cannot go.” Mills, Sensenderfer could not go, having to play in Brooklyn. Mack could go, but Baltimore had not consented to his acting. We started for Baltimore Monday 4 A.M., arriving soon after 8, it was near 11 before I could find Henderson. Mack was satisfactory to them, so I telegraphed to him to [sic] late to enable him to catch the train, informing by telegram, which I received soon after 10 A.M. today. I immediately telegraphed to Nick Young “to come on, or send Harry McLean, or send some one to act as sure.” He tried to get McLean, but he would not come. Mr. Beardsley after a great deal of persuasion, consented to act for us, but would not have done so for any other club. He had sworn off umpiring, this being his first game this season, and he returns home tonight to swear off and stick to it. He is sick.

Well, to return to the game, on that occasion they kicked. He had previously given two other decisions against them. So they claimed. Henderson kicked, Carey kicked. Even Pike kicked. Five innings had been played, we were ahead and took things quietly. They would not play unless they had another umpire, I had agreed to another acting, should Mr. Beardsley not prove satisfactory. Had I not, they would been kicking yet before. I should have consented to change. It placed Mr. Beardsley in an unpleasant position, and me too, but I had to do it. Mr. Lennon of “Kekionga” fame consented to act, we played three and nearly four more innings, and won the game. [from a letter Harry Wright to Frederick Long 10/21/1873]

Source From a letter Harry Wright to Frederick Long
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the duties of the second baseman and short stop

Date Sunday, January 26, 1873
Text

The acquirements necessary to a proper attention to the duties of a second baseman are chiefly an ability to cover much ground and sufficient lightness of foot to turn quickly to the left or right, as occasion my require; a short stop generally runs forward to receive a ball–a second baseman, on the contrary, runs on a diagonal line towards the right centre or left field, as the case may be, this requiring considerable [sic] more celerity in gaining a start, as but few balls come directly towards the player. ...

[Barnes of the Boston] plays “very deep” towards the first base, George Wright doing much of the second base play, such as receiving balls thrown by the catcher, &c. Indeed, were these two elegant players termed simply right and left short stops the terms would be more suitable. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch January 26, 1873

Charlie Sweasy drinks too much

[Charles Sweasy] when in proper condition, played a most extraordinary game. He is imprudent, however, and has a partiality for the “enticing cup.” ... Sweasy has ability second to none in the business if he took proper care of himself. ... Sweasy was second baseman of the famous Red Stocking Cincinnati nine, at which time he was accounted without an equal. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch January 26, 1873

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of the bias on Cummings's pitching

Date Sunday, May 4, 1873
Text

Cummings still pitches a ball having a strong bias given it, and the result is that its rebound is so eccentric that the catcher has to be as active and sharp-eyed as a cat, and very sure of hand in order to escape of record of passed balls. Moreover, when these biased balls are hit to the ground in the in-field, they diverge so greatly from a straight line in rebounding that it is just as difficult to field them in front of the bat as behind. Hence so many errors at short field and third base from hard-hit short balls in which the pitcher has previously imparted considerable of a bias.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the fair-foul a difficult play

Date Saturday, May 24, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Atlantic 5/19/1873] The fourth inning was unprofitable to the Atlantics, not a man making a safe hit. Barlow tried the fair-foul style, but he did it badly. It is no easy to play this point well.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the financial returns of the 1873 season

Date Sunday, November 16, 1873
Text

The result of the past season’s play has been profitable to the Boston, Athletic, and Philadelphia Clubs, all having a surplus in their treasuries after paying all expenses, the Athletics showing nearly $2,000 profit, the Bostons over $3,000, and the Philadelphia Club over $5,000. The Baltimores did not come out of the campaign so successfully, while the profits of the Mutuals were monopolized by the betting interest, and the cooperative Atlantics just paid expenses, as did the Washingtons, the Resolutes not being so successful.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the fortieth anniversary of the Olympic Club

Date Sunday, May 11, 1873
Text

On Wednesday afternoon the Olympic Club held its fortieth anniversary , and the full force of the club was represented at the ball ground. A most pleasing feature of the affair was in the large number of the older members present, who retain their young heads on old shoulders, and in the game which was played, many remembrances of former field triumphs doubtless issued.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the late reporter for the NY Sunday Dispatch and World and Spirit of the Times

Date Thursday, January 30, 1873
Text

Mr. Brodie has been for several years connected with the New-York Dispatch, Wilkes’ Spirit of the Times, Sun and other journals. Since his arrival in this country four years ago, he obtained considerable reputation as a journalist, but particularly in his capacity as base-ball editor of the Dispatch and Spirit of the Times. At the time of his death he was City editor of the former journal. Mr. Brodie has contributed, from time to time, to almost every paper of note in this City, and his writings were invariably characterized by impartiality, clearness, and strongly-evinced knowledge of his subjects. New York Times January 30, 1873

We regret having to announce the death of Mr. John W. Brodie, the base ball reporter for the New York Sunday Dispatch and New York World. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch February 2, 1873

Source New York Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the location of the ninth game in the series

Date Sunday, November 9, 1873
Text

Mr. Chadwick states that the ninth game between clubs entered for the championship is not to be played on neutral ground, except in case of each having won four games. He also states that where the first game is played, so should the last be, except in the case referred to. The logic of this we cannot appreciate. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch November 9, 1873 [see also Clipper 11/08/1873]

arguments for and against the ten men rule; the limits of scientific batting; what constitutes a clean hit

The allegations that of late in critical periods of a game, players are apt to endeavor to hit between first and second, which point is unguarded, and that to cover this takes the second baseman so out of his position, that a throw the least bit wild, allows a good runner to reach second, and that the batting of players will be rendered much more scientific, are all true and obvious; but on the other hand, the past season has demonstrated that in the majority of games, base hits are scarce, and it is seldom that they average more than nine or ten times to the game, or one to each player. The addition of a tenth man will render them doubly difficult to make because to say that, by batters giving more study they can acquire a science in batting that will enable them to make good hits with a round bat, in which the slightest change from hitting the ball at 4right angles will send it up or down, is to assert that every man has equal judgment, quickness of sight, nerve and muscle; and this the opponents of the system deny is possible, and that there are only very few exceptional cases of such batters in the country. Again, it is truthfully said that, as fielding has been brought to so great a perfection, batting is the only thing that really determines games, and that one gap should be left open for the display of this skill.

These are the arguments presented by the advocates and opponents of the system. One gentleman asserts that the opening between first and second being left unguarded makes the field “lop-sided,” and so it does, but in old times, and even now, the large majority of hits are to the left of second base...

We side very much with the opposition as to making batting more scientific, for we see batters continually practicing to place the ball in certain places, often with results exactly opposite to those intended.

While it is doubtless true that practice will to some extend give players better control of their batting, it is absurd to suppose that they can place the ball just where they please, even twice out of five times; for, if this was so, it would take fifteen fielders to cover the ground. This position has in its defense the fact that a club possessing players who have practiced, and therefore acquired what science is possible, will beat one that has not; but it will be neutralized by7 the ability to so dispose of the field as to cover more ground than now, and then the only possible base hits will be tremendous flies over the outfielders heads. Short liners, or hot, sharp hits, pass the players; and these latter, according to the theories of one of our city contemporaries who done so much to advance the game, are not really really clean hits.

We also believe it impossible for every man to acquire batting on the same grounds as stated above, vide the numbers of players who do all in their power, but unsuccessfully, to bat well. We contradict the theory that batting would determine games, for clean hits would be about as anomalous as earned runs are of late, and while the latter would doubtless disappear altogether the former would not average more than three or four base hits to the game. Runs would be made on errors, and it is questionable whether it would be more interesting to the audience to thus witness them made than as it is now to occasionally having the monotony of good and bad fielding varied by a few good hits. In other words, fielding and not batting would determine the game, and it does that too much now. Give the batters some chance at least. Philadelphia Sunday Republic November 9, 1873

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the magnitude of pool selling

Date Thursday, June 19, 1873
Text

[from a letter addressed to Col. Fitzgerald:] Having to spend a few days in New York on business, I have learned something about Base Ball matters that will, I think, astonish you and your myriads of readers; notably the excitement prevails here over our Philadelphia and Athletic contests. A friend here invited me to visit with him Johnson’s celebrated pool rooms, and through the kindness of Mr. Johnson, I am enabled to give you some figures, that, to me, seem hardly creditable. He accounts for the large number of pools sold in advance of the game from the fact that many of the buyers intend to be in Philadelphia on Saturday to see the game, and thus make their wagers in advance, so as to have the money in safe hands in New York. He has sold the following pools on the forthcoming contest between the Philadelphia and Athletic clubs, on the 21st, the Athletics being the favorites:

462 pools, $100 to $80–$46,200 to $36,900

172 pools, $100 to $70–$17,300 to $12,110

119 pools, $100 to $75–$11,900 to $8925

531 pools, $50 to $40–$26,500 to $21,240

307 pools, $50 to $35–$$15,350 to $89,980 [sic: should be $10,745]

Grand total–$207,280 [sic: should be $207,170],

on which he retained five per cent commission, or the snug little sum of $10,360. Besides, he is stake-holder for many private bets, among others one of ten $1000 5-20 bonds bet against $10,000 greenbacks, by two well-known Wall street operators. He expects to pay out $500,000 after the game is played. The excitement seems to increase with each game played. I always supposed that pools were only bought by professional gamblers, but he assures me that that class of people do not buy one per cent. of his sales, but that brokers, merchants, lawyers, etc. from Boston to New Orleans, are his patrons. How foolish it is for men to thus waste their time and money, and how fortunate we are in staid old Philadelphia in having so such state of moral turpitude. Yours, truly, T.H.M.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The meeting of the Boston Base Ball Club

Date Friday, January 3, 1873
Text

A meeting of the Boston club was held in Brackett’s Hall last evening for the purpose of receiving the championship emblems. The flag and pennant hung upon the wall, exciting much admiration for their beauty and elegance. The president of the club, Mr. C. H. Porter, in making the official announcement, congratulated the members upon the honors won by the nine in last season’s campaign, and the enviable position which the club had attained. Remarks of a similar nature were made by several members of the club. During the evening the roll of membership was opened and quite a number of new members enrolled themselves, making the whole number now nearly 100.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the meeting of the Boston Base Ball Club; season tickets

Date Thursday, December 4, 1873
Text

The annual meeting of the Boston Base Ball Association [sic: should be BBB Club] was held in Hampshire Hall, Wednesday evening, when the President’s report stated that there are 108 members on the roll of the association. He suggested that the number be increased to 200, and that instead of season tickets there should be issued tickets good for fifty games...

...

The matter of the charges made that certain games last season had been sold by the Boston Club was informally discussed at the meeting, and the charges were emphatically denounced as false and malicious.... Boston Journal December 4, 1873

The president alludes in his report to the alternations of hope and fear, success and failure which have marked the past season, and congratulates the club on the realizatio of their highest hopes.

...

Mr. John C. Haynes, treasurer, reported that the receipts for the past year from membership dues, etc., amounted to $2700[?], and that the amount paid over to the association was $2000[?], leaving a balance of [illegible] on hand.

...

A discussion then sprung up on an inquiry from a member as to the amount of stock held by the officers of the club, and whether the seventy-eight shares held by the association as against the seventy-two held by the club did not place the control of the club and all its affairs in the hands of the association. A member suggested that the question was one of no moment. He was satisfied with the management of last year and has no objection to have the same condition of affairs continue. Without arriving at any definite action, the subject was dropped. Boston Daily Advertiser December 4, 1873

The sum of $2730, received from membership fees, was voted to the Boston Base Ball Association. Boston Evening Transcript December 4, 1873

Source Boston Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Baltimore uniforms

Date Sunday, April 27, 1873
Text

The uniform of the “Lords” is rich, expensive, and was generally admired, being a decided improvement on last year’s garb. It is almost all white, barring the stockings of black and yellow, and trimmings of the same color.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the orientation of the home plate

Date Sunday, December 21, 1873
Text

[from a discussion of proposed rule amendments by Chadwick] ...the home base shall consist of white marble or stone, so fixed on the ground as to be even with the surface, and with one corner of it facing the pitcher’s position. The addition of the words in italics is made so as to insure the pitcher’s having the full width of the home base to pitch over, instead of the one foot of width he would have were the base to be placed with the square side facing him.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the original National Association still in existence

Date Saturday, October 18, 1873
Text

The National Association organized in 1857 is still in existence, its present organized form being that of the National Association of Amateur Ball Players, which met in convention at Masonic Hall, March 13, 1872. No convention was held last March, as the condition of things was such as to render a meeting unnecessary. Now, however, it is advisable to hold a convention next March, and we hope to see some action taken by the officers looking to such a meeting.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the rate of the umpire calling balls; precursor to the nine-ball walk?

Date Monday, June 23, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Athletic 6/21/1873] Mr. Young’s umpiring was, as usual, absurdly lenient. He seems to have got his head filled with queer notions, as there is a peculiar regularity about his calling balls, calling the fourth and seventh balls, and so on. This is amusing, for if the fourth ball proves to be a strike, or a “called strike,” Mr. Young must feel rather queer.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reorganized Boston club

Date Saturday, December 13, 1873
Text

BOSTON BASE BALL CLUB. This organization held their annual meeting at Boston, Mass. Dec. 3, the attendance being small. The report of the president showed that the club numbered one hundred and ten members... Inquiry was made by one or two members of the club in regard to the amount of original stock held by the club, and one of the original stockholders present stated that seventy-two shares of the forfeited stock had been passed over to Mr. Haynes, the treasurer, and was at the disposal of the club. ...

...

The members of the Boston Base Ball Association–or, in other words, the original stockholders in the old corporation–held their annual meeting the same day. The report of the treasurer showed that the receipts for the year had been about $23,000, of which $19,000 were the net proceeds of games played here and elsewhere. The amount in the treasury was some six hundred dollars. Action was not taken in the matter of electing officers for the coming year.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reporter for the Dispatch is also the scorer for the Philadelphias

Date Monday, May 5, 1873
Text

The scorer of the Philadelhpias, (who reports for the Dispatch)...

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the spirit of the rules of pitching and batting

Date Sunday, August 10, 1873
Text

[Baltimore vs. Philadelphia 8/7/1873] Mr. Sensenderfer’s umpiring was favorably commented upon on all sides. Indeed, we do not remember this season to have seen the rules regarding pitchers and batsmen interpreted with fuller appreciation and understanding–the spirit of the same being to compel the batsman to hit at good balls and the pitcher to deliver the same.s

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Knickerbockers

Date Sunday, February 2, 1873
Text

THE KNICKERBOCKER CLUB.–The friends of amateur baseball playing will be pleased to learn that this time-honored organization have secured the same grounds they occupied last season at Hoboken and for two days a week. For nearly thirty years has this club paid rend for ball grounds to the Stevens estate, and when their old field was cut up it became a matter of justice tot hem that the agent of the estate should see that the old club was taken care of even if every other organization had to be without a field. With this object Mr. Shippen has given them two days a week on the grounds foot of Ninth street, Hoboken, and the club are making arrangements to put up a club house on the field on such as plan as to secure a location for their lady friends to visit them on practice as well as match days. The club is in a flourishing condition, has as many members as they desire, a full treasury, and plenty of enthusiasm. We look to the Knickerbocker Club to p reserve a nucleus for that reestablishment of amateur baseball clubs which is bound to come sooner or later.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Philadelphia Club; finances; a dividend

Date Sunday, November 30, 1873
Text

The Philadelphia Base Ball Club held its annual meeting and election of officers on Monday evening... Some idea of the magnitude of the meeting can be formed when it is stated that ninety-two out of one hundred shares of stock were represented–the proportion being extraordinary. The gathering–as did also the recent meeting of the Athletic Club–demonstrated the interest taken in base ball matters in the Quaker City....

The reports of the board of directors and the treasurer were then read, and were very elaborate and complete in item and detail. The following is the report in a more condensed shape, and will give our readers an excellent idea of the working expense of a base ball club:

RECEIPTS

Sale of stock....................................................... $2,625.00

One hundred sixty-six subscriptions.................. 1,660.00

Championship games......................................... 22,107.99

Amateur games.................................................. 579.84

Exhibition games............................................... 1,008.78

Total................................................................... $27,881.61

EXPENSES

Salaries paid............ $13,475.73 Postage...................... 21.00

Incidentals............... 1,200.33 Implements................ 271.50

Rent......................... 1,010.00 Uniforms................... 275.75

Pavilion................... 950.74 Traveling expe.......... 3,919.35

Printing, &c............ 718.61 Balance in treasury... 5,647.87

Advertising............. 271.32

Telegraphing........... 78.90 Total......................... $27,881.61

Stationary............... 40.50

On motion, a dividend of twenty-five dollars per share, or one hundred per cent, was ordered to be paid to the shareholders.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the professional game

Date Sunday, January 19, 1873
Text

The fact was plainly manifest to an ordinary observer of things that the close of the baseball season of 1872 left the status of professionalism at a lower point in the estimation of the general public than it had ever before reached, the proceedings which marked the closing month of the season’s campaign being such as to cast an odium upon professional clubs which it will require some time and considerable effort on the part of club managers and professional players to remove. What with the injurious influence of the pool-selling business, the violation of the rules of the game in regard to betting by players, the evil results of the prize money tourney games, and the bad effect of “exhibition” contests generally, a lack of public confidence in the integrity of professional playing was induced which has almost caused a general disgust with ball tossing among the reputable portion of the patrons of the game. We heard it asserted last summer that but for the patronage of the gambling and betting class of the sporting fraternity, professional baseball palying would die out. We deny this in toto; but if it were true, better that baseball playing should cease altogether than that it should be governed by such vile influences as have degraded so many excellent out-door sports and amusements of late years. That baseball matches, played by trained nines, under responsible club management, which insured earnest and honorable efforts to win in every game played, will attract large assemblages of spectators, there exists not the slightest doubt; but it is very plain, also, that contests played under circumstances which admit of influenced and surrounding such as characterized many of the prominent professional ball matches of 1872 will no longer be countenanced by the better class of the admirers of baseball. This fact professional club managers will have to bear in mind in making their arrangements for the baseball public for the coming season of 1873. If they desire to cater only for the “sports” of the country, then all they have to do is to get together nines composed of men available for all the tactics of the betting ring class, make due preparations for the pool-selling business, arrange a series of “exhibition” games for money purses, and the result will be just such scenes as characterized the late billiard-match for the championship, which marked mahy of the October contests of the baseball campaign of 1872. A reformation is needed in professional ball-playing, and as far as the interests of the professional fraternity are concerned, the very existence of professional playing now depends upon the prompt introduction of the required reforms. As we said before, the admirers of baseball at large are as ready and eager as ever to patronize thoroughly legitimate contests, and such matches will prove as pecuniarily remunerative as ever they have if it can only be shown that the contests engaged in really are bona fide efforts to win, and not cunningly devised arrangements to take in the crowd who invest in bets on each contest. It may be possible that every match game of ball of last season was played “on the square,” but how many of the patrons of the game are there who really believe such to be the case? Not one in a hundred. The first thing, therefore, which club managers have to do this year in making their preparations for the regular baseball campaign, is to remove all doubts in regard to the inegrity of the contests they propose to engage in this season; and to do this effectually they must remove the signs and appliances of fraud, and especially rid their grounds of that curse of all sports–pool selling. Let club managers make a note of these facts and act accordingly.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the status of club employees

Date Saturday, February 15, 1873
Text

The Athletics made a mistake in placing Dick [McBride] on the board of directors. No employee of a professional club should be a member of the club board of management.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the strategy of change pitchers

Date Saturday, January 4, 1873
Text

Of this “change pitcher” business we have a few words to say in reference to the mistaken idea of it entertained by some club managers and captains of nines:--In the first place a “change” pitcher should be one as different in his style of delivery to the regular pitcher as circumstances will admit of. Having two swift pitchers of similar style of delivery and of tactics in a nine weakens the effect aimed at. A “change” pitcher is requisite not merely to supply the place of the regular pitcher in case of the latter's inability to play from sickness or injury, but the second player is needed to be sent in to pitch either when the “regular” man is being easily “punished” or has been what the cricketers call “collared,” in his delivery; or when it is known that the nine opponents in the match of the day know how to hit the regular pitcher easily and with effect. Then, too, the change pitcher should be made more frequently available than he is. For instance, it does not follow that the regular man should not be changed until he is badly “punished,' for by that time the opposing nine have gained a confidence in batting which is an element of success in itself and one that even a change of pitchers will not always remove. The time ot change is when the opposing nine are beginning to be familiar with the regular pitcher's tactics; then it is that the change pitcher should be brought in if only for an innings or two. The “point” to be gained in this matter of changing, or in changing your style of delivery from swift to slow, etc., is to destroy that confidence in their ability to punish the pitching with ease which the opposing nines are beginning to obtain. This very confidence is half the battle in batting. Let a man go up to the bat to face the pitcher with the idea that he is too difficult a pitcher to punish, and the very lack of confidence in his own power will make him an easy victim. This is the weakness of batsmen which made Creighton the master of so many batting opponents and which has led to Martin's great success in half the matches he has played in. Let, however, the batsman face the pitching confidence that he can, by his quick sight, command of the bat, and ability to prevent the fielder from outwitting him, make good hits, and as sure as the ball comes within his legitimate reach he will hit it safely five times out of six. To retain this confidence, therefore, is the essential point in batting; to destroy it, the great point in pitching, and especially in bringing a change in the style of the pitcher's delivery to bear upon the batting forces of the enemy.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the tenth man could be a behind catcher

Date Saturday, December 20, 1873
Text

Suppose that the brung of the battle falls on the speed of the pitcher, and that while having a catcher who can attend to the hottest fire of swiftly-pitched balls, you necessarily have to sacrifice many chances for catchers off long-hit foul balls back of the catcher’s position. By taking your “right-short from the field and placing him as a sort of long-stop, these missed chances at once become available.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the theory of pitching 2

Date Saturday, April 19, 1873
Text

The theory of the art of pitching in baseball may be summed up in a few words. It consists simply of the fact that a ball sent to the bat in a curved line is more difficult to hit on the centre-line of its destination, than is a swift ball sent on a nearly straight line to the bat. Draw two lines on a sheet of paper, representing the curved line of a slow or medium-paced ball and the of a fast ball, and then draw two semi-circles representing the line of the swing of the bat from the shoulder, and it will at once be seen that the chances for hitting the ball in the centre are two to one in favor of the line intersecting the line of the fast delivery, to what they are against the curved line. Herein lies , and the true art in delivering the ball consists in being able to so change the pace of the ball, and so alter the curve of the line of its delivery, as to deceive the eye of the batsman in judging the ball so as to put it fairly in the centre.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the third baseman and defending fair-foul hits

Date Saturday, August 2, 1873
Text

[Baltimore vs. Atlantic 7/22/1873] [The Baltimores] made the mistake of placing Radcliffe at third base, and Force at short field, but they found it necessary to change them back to their old positions before the game was over, Radcliffe showing very little judgment in playing the position, Barlow easily scoring short fair-foul hits through Radcliffe’s failure to judge the play at the bat. The play of Barlow in this respect was a feature of the game, he making his base safely no less than six times, by simply allowing the ball to rebound from the bat so as to touch the ground fair to the left of him, and Radcliffe, instead of fielding back of the foul ball line and closer to home-base than ordinary, in order to be ready for such balls, kept close to his base and thus enabled Barlow to score a base hit every time. When Force too the position Barlow again tried the same thing, but he would have been put out had not Force preferred keeping the player at third base from running home.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire charged with having a pecuniary interest

Date Saturday, June 7, 1873
Text

[Boston vs. Atlantic 6/2/1873] [bases loaded] O’Rourke then struck three times at the ball, and Barlow [catcher], letting the ball drop for a double play, after catching it, touched home-base and then sent the ball to first to put the striker out. But the umpire [Theodore Bomeisler] decided the striker out from a fair catch, and consequently no man out from being forced off. ... As Ferguson came in [at the end of the inning], instead of quietly acquiescing in the decision of the umpire, he began to question Mr. Bomeisler’s motive, calling out to the crowd, “We play ball for recreation, not for money.” The followed considered “chin music,” and eventually Mr. Bomeisler retired from the field, stating that he was not going “to submit to be insulted,” and he positively and properly refused to act longer. It was some time before they could get any one lese to serve, but finally Higham was induced to act in the position and the game went on. New York Clipper June 7, 1873

In commenting on the game of last Monday between the Atlantics and the Bostons, we took occasion to administer a merited rebuke to the Captain of the Atlantic nine for violating the rules of the game in disputing decisions of the umpire not marked by misinterpretations of the rules. This charge Ferguson, in a lengthy car, denies, but his letter fully sustains the charge we made. His imputations against the integrity of the Umpire are as unfair as they are unworthy of credence. We have heard the same against himself, but never believed them. However, they call for replies from the Umpire and Harry Wright, and to these gentlemen we leave the settlement of the question. Brooklyn Daily Eagle June 7, 1873

Mr. Ferguson must make out a case, but, he hurts himself not a little when he attacks Mr. Bomeisler, who is not now a betting man. Here is Mr. Ferguson’s story, which we give in justice to that gentleman:

To the Editor of the Brooklyn Eagle: [note: Eagle printed only a description of this letter, 6/7/73]

In your comments upon the Atlantic and Boston game in the issue of June 3, you take occasion to animadvert severely upon my conduct during the game. I am charitable enough to think that these censures were made by a misunderstanding of the true facts of the case. I desire to stated in the first place that I did not dispute the decision of the umpire in regard to the play behind the bat, and it seems that it s upon this supposed action of mine that you censure me. Let me tell the true story:

The first time Mr. Pearce went to the bat he struck a fair ball but the umpire pronounced it a foul I said nothing concerning this, supposing it to be an error of judgment. When Mr. Boyd was running down to the second base the ball was passed in from the field to Barnes, second base man of the Bostons, and Mr. Barnes failed to touch him. Bomeisler ... [one line cut off] ... “Bostons;” this is all I said, and he made ho reply; this is the only time that I questioned the decision of the umpire. But in the play behind the bat, in which many believe three men were put out, but which the umpire decided two only were put out, I made no dispute whatever as Mr. Wright, captain of Boston nine, can substantiate.

We quietly waited for a third man to be declared out, and then came in from the field. Mr. Bomeisler then accosted me with–

“You must get some one else to umpire.”

I said: “I have nothing to do with it. Harry Wright chooses the umpire of this game.”

He replied: “You must get another umpire.”

Harry Wright then spoke up and said: “I will got no other umpire.”

To which I replied: “You are obliged to get another umpire to play the game out, or let Mr. Bomeisler go on and umpire the game.” Mr. Bomeisler then began to follow me about the ground saying–

“You played your point well; you tried to kill me as an umpire.”

“Yes,” said I, “any one who umpires a game for money, I’ll try to kill them all,” for I have been informed by several who had come to me on the ground, that the umpire had bets on the game; this seemed evident to me from the decision he had rendered as I watched him very closely, because of the information I had received.

This is a true story, and I certain am unjustly treated in thus being censured. I agree with you that umpires should be protected, for no one knows better than myself the onerous and unpleasant duties of that position. But, Mr. Editor, abuse is not protection, and before such unjust censure is given, the true facts of the case should be learned. As to my qualities as a ball player, you have a perfect right to judge; as to whether I am a good Captain, that is for the nine which elected me to decide. But I do protest against this abuse based upon a total misconception of the facts. I beg you will do me the justice to allow my side of the story to go before the public. Robert Ferguson, President, N.A.P.B.B.P., and Captain Atlantic Nine. All-Day City Item June 7, 1873

The Chicago of the week was the defeat of the Atlantics by the champions on Monday–5 to 0. Unfortunately a row occurred at this match which merits special notice. Ferguson says that he had reason to believe, from information given him that the umpire was pecuniarily interested in the result, and yet, with such knowledge in his possession, he accepted him as umpire. He also alleges that in a decision giving a player out the umpire erred in deciding him touched when he was not touched, and on this Ferguson, according to his card, charged him with partiality. At any rate, the decisions were questioned, and the umpire retired. Mr. Bomeisler should promptly meet this charge, or retire from the baseball fraternity. New York Sunday Mercury June 8, 1873

A SERIOUS CHARGE.–It has been openly charged that the Umpire in the Boston and Atlantic match of Monday was interested in pools on the Bostons to the extent of $1,000. Ferguson says that from hearsay he accepted him on purpose to trap him. If this is true, it relieves Ferguson from the onus of having violated the rules, and the Brooklyn paper has done him injustice. New York Sunday Mercury June 8, 1873

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the usual summer lull

Date Saturday, July 19, 1873
Text

The professional clubs have decided to slack up in their games in August and to play up well in September and October. August is the poorest month of the season for New York audiences, as the past three seasons have fully proved, especially the first two weeks. New York Clipper July 19, 1873

The usual summer lull in the base ball world is now upon us, and the nines are taking what recuperation they can get from a spell of excusable idleness. The season has been well pushed, and the three months of incessant activity have exhausted the strength of several nines, and these are in “good condition for a rest.” The audiences, too, during July and the first of August, are not sufficient large in any of the cities to warrant a continuance of the hot campaigns of May and June. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch July 20, 1873

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tricking the runner off the bag; and a hidden ball trick

Date Friday, May 23, 1873
Text

In the Mutual and Baltimore match of last week Jose Start played it upon Lip Pike in a way that latter “despised.” In the second portion of the sixth inning Pike overran first base, and in passing it was touched by Start with the ball, but the umpire, Mr. Young, decided the player entitled to his base. Start, however, held on to the ball, and performed as clever a piece of base ball generalship as could be wished for. He argued with Pike that he had been put out, whereupon Pike left his base for the purpose of explaining how he had overrun the base; and no sooner had Pike stepped from the sand bag than the wily Start touched him with the ball, thus putting him out, and it was so declared by the umpire. It is not often Lip gets caught napping in this style.

Addy was caught off second base in the Atlantic and Philadelphia match on Monday... Addy had reached second base safely on the ball being thrown by Ferguson to Burdock, but seeing Burdock standing apparently without the ball in hand, he stepped off the base, seeing which Burdock touched him with the ball, which he had quietly held.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

trying to intimidate the umpire to call balls; umpire calling neither balls nor strikes

Date Sunday, July 6, 1873
Text

[Athletic vs. Baltimore 7/4/1873] The crowd at this point was disagreeably boisterous, and attempted, in the most cowardly manner, to intimidate the umpire. Certain players, in encouraging Cummings not to strike, sustained this ruffianly behavior, and ball after ball went over the plate in the precise place he wanted it. “Give him his base,” shrieked the crowd, keeping up a constant howl and disturbance. Sixteen balls were pitched, and Cummings not seeming to want to strike, the umpire called “third strike and out.” A storm of hisses greeting this decision, and in a few moments the assemblage flooded over the ground, and it looked threatening for a time, especially as there were no police present. A long time elapsed ere the inning could be finished, the crowd verging closely on the base lines.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

twist pitching 3

Date Saturday, April 19, 1873
Text

A great deal of stress has been laid on the necessity of imparting a bias to the ball in pitching, as if it were just as important an element of success as it is in bowling in cricket, whereas the fact is it is more of a detriment than otherwise. In pitching, in baseball, the only rotary motion the pitcher can import to the ball in delivering it fairly to the bat is to the right or to the left, the movement of arms, in delivering a fairly pitched ball, entirely preventing any forward rotary motion being imparted to the ball, as in the case of a “follow-shot” in billiards; and it happens that this forward rotary motion is the only “twist” the ball can receive that would be of any assistance in causing the batsman either to “tip” balls or to hit them directly up in the air. It will be readily seen, therefore, that the effects of twisting the ball either to the right or to the left is only to cause it to rebound from the ground at an eccentric angle, instead of with a direct rebound, as from a ball having no “twist” given it. The result of this is to bother the catcher, and to make passed balls very frequent, besides increasing the difficulty of stopping grounders and bounding balls sent to the infield. The fact is, all the results of curved lines and good judgment in pitching have hitherto been erroneously attributed to “twisting” the ball, and hence we see pitchers wasting their time, and sacrificing their accuracy of aim and command of the ball, in useless efforts to impart a twist to the ball, the only result of which is to fatigue and annoy the catcher, who is puzzled in his efforts to be ready for the eccentric rebounds of the “twisted” ball; and to make errors in the infield ten times more frequent than they would be were no bias imparted to the ball.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

types of fair-foul hits?

Date Saturday, June 7, 1873
Text

[Mutual vs. Boston 5/31/1873] The Bostons went first to the bat, Geo. Wright leading off with a fair-foul base hit. Barnes sent a weak one to Start [first baseman] and took his seat... ... [in the next inning] Barnes’ peculiar fair-foul let H. Wright in...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind the catcher?

Date Monday, April 7, 1873
Text

In deciding upon such dead balls as strike the umpire, he must call all that hit him “dead,” unless they are passed balls; and in deciding upon “passed” balls, he must regard no balls a passed unless it is sent in within the catcher’s legitimate reach and passes through his hands.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire bias against the dropped infield fly

Date Sunday, October 19, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Athletic 10/13/1873] During the game, Mr. McLean, on a point which there is no mistake about, made an error for which he was very ignorantly applauded. Treacy, in attempting to make a double ply on a high ball just dropped back of second, seemed to catch it in his hands and carry to the ground, and he proceeded to make his point. “Out on the fly” was the decision very properly rendered–if in the opinion of the umpire Treacy held the ball long enough to constitute it a catch. Now, again, Wood deliberately let a fly ball pass through his hands to the ground for the same purpose–a sharp play, to be sure, but one which is quite allowable. Mr. McLean again cried “Out on the fly,” this being entirely unwarranted, as no catch was made, and the decision was evidently made to foil the sharp play. The motive in itself was somewhat commendable, but its carrying illegitimate, as Mr. McLean had the same right to call a fair ball “foul” or a foul ball “fair,” or a caught fly “Not out.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire not calling balls or strikes; difficulty judging (fair?) fouls

Date Sunday, July 20, 1873
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 7/16/1873] The umpiring was seemingly impartial, and yet was extremely weak, giving both pitchers the greatest latitude; and the same privilege was by him bestowed on the batsmen. He seemed utterly unable to pass judgment on those clipping hits close to the foul line, and in almost every case where these hits were made he gave the batsman the benefit of his doubts, although a large number of these were palpably foul. This worked both ways, but aided the Boston very materially, as most of their batting was of this style.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire slow to call balls and strikes

Date Tuesday, May 6, 1873
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Eureka 5/5/1873] Sutton’s umpiring was very slow–very slow. He failed to enforce the rules in regard to batting and pitching, allowing as many as eight balls to be pitched before either a strike or a ball was called.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire to call foul balls immediately; balls on the line are fair

Date Monday, April 7, 1873
Text

In calling foul balls, the umpire must call “foul” the moment he sees the ball is falling back of the lines of the bases, and not wait, as formerly, until the ball touches the ground. No ball is foul unless it touches the ground back of the base-line. If it touches the line it is fair.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

underhand throwing

Date Sunday, March 9, 1873
Text

In view of the opposition made by Hayhurst last season to the new rule for pitching, we fully expected to see him advocating the old rule this year, but this time he was quite resigned to the new rule of 1872 [sic], and so it was indorsed. The reason was that this year the Athletics have that swift underhand thrower Fisher in their nine, whom they attempted to rule out in a game in Baltimore last year. Then his pitching was against the Athletics, now it is for them; and of course the rule comes in handy now, while before they wanted the old rule to govern.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

visit to England abandoned

Date Sunday, January 26, 1873
Text

The proposed trip of base-ballists to England to show the Britishers how to play our American “national” game, has been abandoned. The trip was based on the idea that resident Americans in England, when they heard of the posed trip of Harry Wright’s eighteen ball players to the old country, would have taken some measures to promote the success of the enterprise. But here it was that Harry’s calculations were wrong. He supposed that because our resident English cricketers sought to have an English team come out here to show us how their game was played in England, that Americans in England would be quite as anxious to see the American game of ball played across the water. Unfortunately, it happens that the class of American youth who are located in England as a general thing ignore as much as possible everything American, their ambition being to be considered as Englishmen, while their custom is to copy the worst phases of Young England’s characteristics. From this cause, therefore, to expect anything like encouragement for such an enterprise as Captain Wright’s contemplated tour was out of the question. Aside from this drawback, however, there is the statement of the editor of the London Sportsman, and of Captain Fitzgerald, of the Marylebone Club, sent to us by letter, that a visit of American ball players would not pay expenses. So, in view of the circumstances, Wright has abandoned the idea of “going East” this spring, and instead he will be likely to “go West.” New York Sunday Mercury January 26, 1873

The proposed tour to England of the Boston and Athletic Clubs has been abandoned, word having been received that such a trip would not pay expenses. Both nines, however, will visit California this fall, giving exhibitions of their skill in all the principal cities en route. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury February 2, 1873

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger