Clippings:1875

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1875Clippings in 1875

Clippings in 1875 (231 entries)

Contents

'traveling expenses' as a cover for professionalism

Date Sunday, March 14, 1875
Text

Some of the regular amateur clubs in the convention tried to pass a rule prohibiting any phase of professionalism by the Amateur Association clubs, but the gate-money influence out-voted them, and so the convention simply prohibited players being paid except in the case of “traveling expenses.” It si simply “whipping the devil round the stump.” Instead of giving a players a salary, or a present, he is given traveling expenses. There can be but one rule for amateur clubs defining their status, and that is the rule defining an amateur player to be one who is not compensated for his services on the field, either by “money, place or emolument.” For 1875, therefore, under the ruling of the convention, there will be two classes of amateurs, viz.: those who go from place to place, sharing gate-money receipts under the name of “traveling expenses,” and those who, like the Knickerbocker club, always pay their own expenses, and never share in receipts of any kind for any purpose. In the metropolis, here, the former class of amateurs will play on enclosed grounds, such as the Capitoline and Fair Ground ball fields, while the regular amateur clubs will play only on free grounds.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim of unfair pitching; Chadwick appealed to

Date Sunday, May 16, 1875
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 5/11/1875] Clinton’s pitching somewhat bothered the Athletics, and they were unable to bat him. In the fourth inning McBride claimed Clinton was pitching foul, a long delay ensued, and Mr. Chadwick [who was not the umpire] being appealed to, he decided Clinton’s pitching fair. The Athletics finally got used to it, and in the seventh inning scored three runs.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a colored club in the amateur association; touring enclosed grounds

Date Sunday, August 1, 1875
Text

The Mutual Club, a colored organization of Washington, D.C., also belonging to the National Association of Amateur Baseball Players, intend taking a tour through the western part of New York in the latter part of August, and request all clubs having inclosed grounds, and desirous of playing them, to forward the address of the secretary to their president, Chas. R. Douglas [sic].

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint baseball being just between the pitcher and catcher

Date Saturday, May 1, 1875
Text

[from a letter to the editor by Paris M. Crane of Louisville] Being an ardent admirer of the game of baseball, I have tried to be present at all the games played here in which professional clubs participated, commencing by witnessing the game between the National Club of Washington, D.C. And Louisville, years ago, and ending with the Philadelphia vs. Eagle, last season; and I can truly say that in all the game played here during this period, in which professional clubs were engaged, their style of play was exactly the same, they neither doing their best nor their worst playing, If their object was to give an exhibition of their pitching and catching, it was a success, but in every other way a palpable failure. Four-fifths of the outs (by the local club) in these games were by strikes and fouls, which is too great a disproportion, giving no chance to display the chief beauty of the game, viz., the in and outfielding. Professional clubs or their managers seemed to forget that the spectators paid for admission, and desired to see the whole nine perform, and not merely two of their players. … A professional club visiting here should always commence with their best pitcher and catcher, and, after the spectators have been regaled with about four innings of strikes, outs, tips and fouls, they should send in their medium-paced pitcher. This would at least obviate the necessity of our boys striking out. In fact, I think they might hit some balls which would give the basemen and fielders an opportunity to get in the game and distinguish themselves. It would at least keep them from standing grinning at their pitcher and catcher, while they do all the playing.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a country club can't handle Cummings's curves

Date Wednesday, September 1, 1875
Text

[Hartford vs. Expert of Harrisburg 8/30/1875] Cummings, the celebrated curve line pitcher, was too much, however, for the Experts, and about eleven batters struck out.

Source Harrisburg Patriot
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a country club with a curve pitcher

Date Wednesday, October 20, 1875
Text

[Expert of Harrisburg vs. High Boys of Harrisburg 10/19/1875] The first four innings the Experts batted Miller's pitching all over the field, but Nebbinger having arrived on the fifth inning, he was put on to pitch. His curve line pitching proved very effective, the Experts making but three runs off his pitching.

Source Harrisburg Patriot
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of the Centennials' fifty-cent admission

Date Sunday, April 25, 1875
Text

[from a letter to the editor] When you first mentioned the Centennial base ball club as a fixed organization, you told us the charges for admission would be but 25 cents, and 50 cents for a reserved seat, now I went to see the match on Wednesday, and had to pay 50 cents, and no reserved seat was given me. How about it? Can’t you have the price reduced?

[reply:] The scarcity of good players and the consequent high salaries, prevents cheap admission at this season. We must all help at present, without grumbling. The Centennials have shown commendable pluck and enterprise, and it would be a pity to retard their success. Look at their ground, their fence, their seating accommodation. All superior. Advise all your friends to subscribe.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of the Force decision and a condemnation of Nick Young

Date Sunday, April 4, 1875
Text

[see PSD 4/4/1875 for a lengthy discussion]

last year’s high underhand pitching

The new rule in relation to pitching prohibits the high underhand throwing of last season, as it says that “The ball must be delivered to the bat with the arm swinging nearly perpendicular to the side of the body, and the hand swinging forward shall not be raised above the hip.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over the correct text of the rules

Date Saturday, April 17, 1875
Text

The Hartford Times says: “Harry Wright, Chairman of the Committee on Professional Rules, states that the rule on “calling” balls, as printed in professional books, is incorrect, as the Association adopted the clause that 'all balls which hit the striker while within the lines of his position must be called.'” No such rule was adopted by the Convention nor was it in the section presented by Harry Wright at the Convention. The rules as published are exactly as they were presented to the Convention and adopted.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dissent regarding scientific batting

Date Sunday, October 17, 1875
Text

A Hartford paper sniffs at the commonly received idea of scientific batting, and advances the following heretical notions: “Among the absurd notions dispelled by the season’s play is ‘scientific batting,’ so-called. More games than a few have been lost by players who believe that a ball should only be hit scientifically, and with a view of sending it to some particular point in the field. There probably is not a player in the professional who would not admit that he has driven the ball in a contrary direction to that intended more times than he has where he set his mind upon sending it. Scientific pitching is a great thing, and, as long as men have to face such skillful pitching as that of Spaulding, Bond, Knight, and Josephs, scientific batting is an absurdity. The only thing to do is to hit the ball, and its course after is as much a matter of luck as science.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a double-cross game?

Date Saturday, October 23, 1875
Text

[Chicago vs. Philadelphia 10/14/1875] It was openly charged on the field that it was a “hippodroming” affair or “double-cross,” players on both sides endeavoring to “throw” the game. New York Clipper October 23, 1875

proposed rule revisions: tagging up on foul flies, and no longer catching a man off his base on a foul ball

Among the new rules to be proposed at the next convention of the National Association is one providing that foul flies caught shall be considered in play as are fair flies; that is, when a foul fly is caught a man on the base shall be allowed to start for his next base, directly after the ball has been caught, instead of being obliged to wait until it has reached the pitcher’s hands. It is also proposed to change the rule so that a base runner who attempts to run on a foul hit shall be allowed to return to his base instead of being “caught off,” as is now the case. New York Sunday Mercury October 24, 1875

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed 'celebrated' fair-foul

Date Sunday, July 18, 1875
Text

[St. Louis vs. Mutual 7/17/1875] ...Pierce, who went out on a foul while attempting one of his celebrated fair-foul hits.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair-foul into the crowd is dead

Date Saturday, May 29, 1875
Text

[Boston vs. Hartford 5/18/1875] Carey then hit a safe fair-foul to left among the spectators, and got his second; but was sent back to first on a dead ball...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fifth infielder

Date Thursday, August 26, 1875
Text

In a match in Columbus last week, a new “point” was played which merits attention; it was that of playing the ninth man as “right short” instead of “right fielder.” The Captain of the nine, who made the change in his field, had noticed that but few balls had been hit high to right field from his pitcher’s swift delivery; and also that several base hits were scored, owing to the unguarded position at second base when the second base player stood at “right short” to stop right field balls which went short of right field’s position. So he placed his centre fielder more to the right, brought up the right fielder almost to “right short,” and allowed the second baseman to cover his own position. The result was that the “right short” assisted three times, and not a chance for a catch was missed at right field, as no high balls were sent there off the swift pitching. For a swift pitcher, delivering on the third base side of his position, thereby lessening the chances for right field hits, this is undoubtedly a good point to play.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a game reputedly thrown by both sides

Date Sunday, October 17, 1875
Text

[Chicago vs. Philadelphia 10/14/1875] Before the game was called, there were spread and accredited wild rumors that certain players had been fixed on both sides, and that the opposing gambling cliques were in battle array, and that there would be fun ahead. The pool room was extraordinarily lively, and one man, and he a prominent director of the club, was the most conspicuous at the pool box, buying up pools against his own club, wiling to take nay odds that were offered, until he had nearly $2000 in the pool box, and all against his own club.

Why should we look then to the players, under circumstances like these, for honesty or integrity? What right have the management to complain, when they themselves set the example?

That the game was “crooked” on both sides, there can be no doubt. Both club tried to give the victory to the other, and Chicago, despite the fact that it had accumulated the most errors, was forced to succumb and wear the trophy of victory.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a huge crowd at an amateur game

Date Saturday, September 25, 1875
Text

[Chelsea of Brooklyn vs. Flyaway of New York 9/24/1875] Ten thousand people were present at the game at the Elysian Fields, Hoboken, yesterday afternoon, to witness the return game between the Chelseas of Brooklyn, and the Flyaways, of this city. This is good proof that the interest in professional playing has faded out, and that those who like to see the game played earnestly and honestly flock to see the amateurs play, as this was the largest crowd that has assembled at any game this season. New York Herald September 25, 1875

disbanded clubs, released players and the sixty day rule

We notice that there has been a protest entered against the playing of Higham, simply on the plea of an erroneous wording of the rule governing the eligibility of players, by the accidental insertion of the word “and” instead of “or.” If a club disbands, that fact in itself releases all players and cancels their engagements. To insert a special clause, therefore, requiring a written release, would be superfluous, and it never was done for that purpose. The clause requiring a written release was advocated and introduced by Harry Wright himself to cover just such a case as that of Harry Higham, he quoting an instance wherein he might engage a player on trial for a month to fill a certain position, and he, not filling it, as required, is given a written release, as the rule requires. But for such a clause such a player would be debarred from joining another club for sixty days, a positive injustice to an honest player, who, though he might not be able to fill the one position required, might be fully competent for another. New York Clipper September 25, 1875

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a humorous account of an imaginary game Democrats vs. Republicans

Date Sunday, September 26, 1875
Text

[see Philadelphia All-Day City Item September 26, 1875]

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a large strike zone gives the umpire too much power

Date Sunday, August 8, 1875
Text

[Athletic vs. Chicago 8/6/1875] We have on several occasions called attention to Mr. McLean's unfair construction of the “strike” rule, so far as the Athletic were concerned, but never did he so enforce it so unjustly as in this game. With such a construction as he placed upon it, the umpire can throw any game. We do not charge that this was done in this case, but the batsmen were surprised at having “strikes” called on balls which should have been considered “balls,” and fearful if they waited for a good ball they would be retired on “strikes,” struck at any and everything, the result being a game lost.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a member of the Athletics President of the School Board

Date Sunday, January 31, 1875
Text

Frank Greiner, one of the old members of the Athletics, which he joined ten years ago, has been honored by his constituents of the Sixteenth Ward with the renomination for the School Board, of which body he has been President for three consecutive years. He was also elected delegate to the Magisterial Convention.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a mid-season tryout for the next season

Date Sunday, September 12, 1875
Text

The successor of Spalding as pitcher for the Bostons next year will be Josephs of the Doerr amateur club of this city. Contracts were signed Friday week in this city. Joseph is better known throughout the country from his connection with the Philadelphia club, with whom he has played a number of games since Fisher left them. ... In his recent visit to Boston, in the early part of August, he and Snyder played with the Bostons in a practice game against the “Phillies” with Spalding and White. The score of 7 to 2 in favor of Josephs’ side afforded another proof of his skill, and two days alter in a championship game, a muff by Malone of a ball thrown to first base was the only thing which saved the Bostons from defeat, they winning by only one run, in a score of 4 to 3 in eleven innings.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a monotonous low-scoring game

Date Thursday, July 15, 1875
Text

[St. Louis vs. Atlantic 7/14/1875] [final score St. Louis 2 Atlantic 1] The game was played with a dead ball, but was marked by heavy fly hits to the outfield on both sides. These caused the monotonous continuation of whitewashes.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player getting spiked

Date Sunday, October 3, 1875
Text

[Philadelphia vs. St. Louis 9/27/1875] Miller was not in condition, having been spiked by Meyerle at Cincinnati...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player undecided between an amateur and a professional club

Date Sunday, April 11, 1875
Text

Al Pratt is as yet undecided whether he will join the Westerns, of Keokuk, or remain in Pittsburg and play with the Xanthas.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a private claim of a thrown game; tension in the Boston Club

Date Wednesday, September 8, 1875
Text

[Boston vs. Atlantic 9/7/1875] Yesterday the Atlantics batted [John Manning] very freely and hard, and but for stupid base running, and one man to all appearances striking out purposely, they should have had double the number of their runs. I was told, before the game was through, that this same man and his friends were betting that we would beat them in one inning, and he was playing to win his money. His play in his position, 3.b., was very bad. Such is base ball in N.Y. and B. Spalding, Jim White and Barnes are very thick and their caucuses are frequent. I asked Jim yesterday if he was yet of the same mind, and would play in B. if released from his promise to play in Chicago. He said they would not release him he was certain, and things were different now; that is his brother is not to pitch. I can see he has made up his mind to go to Chicago. [from a letter by Harry Wright, writing from New York, to Frederick Long, dated September 8, 1875] [The Atlantics’ third baseman was Maurice Moore. He won his bet.]

Source From a letter by Harry Wright, writing from New York, to Frederick Long
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a property of the defunct Baltimore club sold off

Date Sunday, February 7, 1875
Text

The uniforms, bats, balls, and effects generally, of the defunct Lord Baltimores, were recently sold at auction, the Peabody Club of Baltimore becoming the purchasers of the same at a low figure.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a refusal to pay the umpire in an exhibition game

Date Sunday, October 24, 1875
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Quickstep of Wilmington 10/20/1875] Dave Eggler, of the Athletics, umpired impartially, but received nothing but abuse from the Wilmington “hoodlums;” the managers of the Quicksteps also refusing to pay him the usual fee for his services.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a resume of championship rules

Date Saturday, September 11, 1875
Text

[see NY Clipper September 11, 1875 for a resume of the changing championship rules of the professional NA.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a reverse corked bat

Date Sunday, August 1, 1875
Text

A correspondent from Pittsburg says: “It would not be healthy for the late Washington, D.C., professional club to visit this city again just a present, as the sharp but meanly contemptible trick they played on our Xanthas has just come to light. The Washington and Xanthas played at Allegheny, June 17, and lately when the X's were examining their assortment of bats they came across one which belonged to the Washington nine, and upon being closely inspected a small knob was found at the end. It was split open and found to be hollow and filled with cork, small pieces of wood, rags, etc. this bat was thrown among those belonging to the Xantha several times during the progress of the game, but it is not absolutely certain whether it was used or not. A ball struck with a bat of this kind would scarcely go past the base.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a riot to force a tie game

Date Sunday, July 4, 1875
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 6/28/1875] [score 10-10 after nine innings] The Boston Club had finished their tenth inning, and by heavy batting, had secured two runs. The Athletics then went to the bat, Eggler and Force were quickly retired, and then the crowd of ruffians began to press in. Clapp and Fisler reached their bases, and Craver was called, and had he gone up to the home plate, as he should have done, we believe the whole affair could have been prevented; but no, he stepped up, and immediately retired back again, and then, with a rush and yells, horrid oaths and imprecations, the low browed, cropped heads soon filled the field, and the exertion of three policemen to quell the mob was about as effectual as throwing peas against a stone wall, and were only dispersed when the heavy shower came up. After the shower, Mr. Gould decided that the game must be played out, and this was received with hoots, groans and derisive cheers. Another effort was made to clear the field, but proved a failure, so the game was called at the end of the ninth inning. New York Sunday Mercury July 4, 1875, quoting an unnamed Philadelphia paper. [Note: Phila Sunday Mercury estimates crowd at 5,000.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor of the upcoming National League

Date Sunday, November 28, 1875
Text

Announcements are made that we are to have thirteen professional base ball clubs in the field next season, as follows: Atlantic, Athletic, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Hartford, Louisville, Mutual, Philadelphia, New Haven, St. Louis, St. Louis Reds and Washington. Of these it is well known that there are but seven first-class clubs, and it is proposed that they withdraw from the Professional Association, and play only among themselves, as it is a well-known fact that it does not pay such clubs as the Boston, Athletic, or St. Louis to make extended trips to the haunts of the co-operative professionals, and play a game where the receipts would not pay a tenth part of the expenses.

...

We want to see good play, equally matched clubs, and plenty of honest fair work. Without these, clubs cannot prosper. Let us say one thing–the one thing we have been saying all along–no more shyster clubs–no more gate money catch-penny humbugs. Let decent clubs–and these know themselves–carry out some such regular organization as we have lately pointed out, and rest assured that the financial outcome will be satisfactory. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury November 28, 1875

We regret to see that attempts have been made in certain quarters to ignore the Philadelphia Club, and their nine next season so as to keep them out of the Professional Association, on the ground of the alleged “crooked” play of some of their nine. We should be extremely sorry to see such a course pursued, as we regard the Philadelphias to be vital to the pecuniary success of the Athletics in this city, and there is no reason why the two clubs should come in conflict, but should on the contrary, work harmoniously together, as what would be injurious to one would also prejudicially affect the other. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury November 28, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a staged action photograph

Date Sunday, July 11, 1875
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 7/8/1875] Previous to the game the nines were photographed, first in a group and then the field, the Athletic in a playing position, George Wright at the bat and McVey as a base runner on first. Philadelphia Sunday Republic July 11, 1875

a proposal that the home club forfeits if the crowd does not permit the game; tension between the Boston and the Athletic clubs

[reporting on the monthly meeting of the Athletic Club] Director Thompson stated that he regretted that an impression had gone abroad that the Boston had got the Athletic in Boston, and after playing there refused to come here. The Boston, he said, denied any such intention, and were willing to come if insured protection, which he had guaranteed them. He then presented a paper addressed to the secretary of the National Association, and signed by the secretary of the Boston Club, to which the signatures of the Athletic officials was asked. It was an agreement that whenever the clubs play the home club shall be responsible for the care of the grounds, and if a mob intrude shall clear the ground within ten minutes. At the expiration of that time, if it I is not done, the umpire shall, at the request of the visiting nine, declare the game forfeited to the visitors by a score of 9 to 0, without regard to the innings played.

Mr. Houston moved that the President be directed to urge this paper on behalf of the Athletic Club. He said the paper could have no standing legally, but it would show the Boston Club that the Athletic were acting in good faith and as gentlemen who wished to win games fairly only and by no trickery. Mr. Spering considered the paper a reflection on the Athletic Club, and the work of Harry Wright, who has been busy ever since the beginning of the season to depreciate [sic] the Athletic Club. To give but ten minutes to clear a mob off a ground he thought ridiculous. He was willing to make an agreement, but not to sign a paper like this. For fifteen years the club had maintained its good name, and it could still do it and protect visitors. He excused the conduct of the crowd at the game spoken of on the ground that there was a good reason–a terrible error of the umpire–which led to excitement among the spectators. He cited the acts of Harry Wright in the beginning of the season when he interfered in the Force case, which did not concern him, and endeavored to get all the clubs in the country to agree to refuse to play the Athletic Club, in which he failed. He thought it humiliating to be asked to agree to and sign every paper this man sends.

Mr. Thompson believed the Boston would be justified in refusing to come here if protection was not given. Mr. Zane believed the paper was a trick, or it would have been dated before the games played in Boston by the Athletic, and then presented. The motion directing the signing was defeated by yeas, 10; nays, 12. It was then agreed that the president be directed to write to the Boston Club, and state that ample protection would be guaranteed them. Mr. Spering stated that if necessary one hundred policemen would be employed. Philadelphia All-Day City Item July 13, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a suggestion for infield tarps

Date Friday, July 30, 1875
Text

Why do not the managers of the Athletic Club spread tarpaulins over the bases, and the pitcher’s and catcher’s position, when a shower comes up on a day of a match. It would save considerable trouble.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a total of eight strikes called in a game

Date Wednesday, May 19, 1875
Text

[Mutual vs. Centennial 5/18/1875] [box score includes:] Strikes “called”–on Mutuals 1; on Centennials 6.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a wildly implausible argument for the ten-men ten-inning rule

Date Tuesday, June 29, 1875
Text

[a letter to the editor from “A Convert] I am a constant reader of the Item, and find that it is beyond doubt the very best base ball paper published. It is not my intention to write you to inform you or your readers of this fact, but to express my concurrence with your idea relative to the “ten-men and ten-inning game.”

At first I set it down as a wild theory incapable of becoming a practical success, but your persistent manner, and the strong arguments you used in its defense, led me to pay particular attention to the principal games of the season, and especially to the batting of the clubs; this has proved to me beyond controversy, that in this part of the game some improvement is really needed, as the batting has become extremely weak, as the number of “Chicago” games this season is a proof. What, then, do we need? Why, scientific batting; its must certainly become a part of the game as well as scientific fielding, and, in my humble opinion, it can never become a science until the field is more fully covered with fielders.

Therefore, ten men will be the means of securing it. The base-ball fraternity are awakening to it fast, and you will have their thanks for your earnest efforts in the direction of the ten-men and ten-inning game.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advertisements on the outfield fence; a double fence

Date Sunday, March 21, 1875
Text

A party in this city has purchased from the Athletic Club the right to use for advertising purposes the fence surrounding the ground, and purpose to erect a new fence inside of that now enclosing the ground. The erection of this inside fence will prevent the boys from obtaining a gratis view of games through means of cutting holes in the fence, as they have in former seasons. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury March 21, 1875

A neat and substantial board fence has been erected on the Athletic’s ground inside of the old fence, on which it is proposed to place a limited number of advertisements, which will be continually in view of the spectators, and can be seen from all parts of the field. Philadelphia All-Day City Item April 27, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an amateur Athletic nine

Date Saturday, April 3, 1875
Text

The professional Athletics of Philadelphia will have a strong amateur nine this season to recruit their ranks from.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early sighting of Scanlan

Date Thursday, April 8, 1875
Text

[a letter to the editor giving a resume of instances when Harry Wright signed another club’s player before the end of the season, signed “W. B. SCANLAW” {sic}]

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early use of 'stands'

Date Sunday, May 30, 1875
Text

The game on Thursday between the Athletic and Boston drew together the largest crowd of spectators that has been within a ball enclosure this season, all the stands and available spots being packed, as well as the field along the fence to the north and west.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an effective delivery results in strike outs; early use of 'base hit' without 'first'

Date Saturday, May 22, 1875
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Hartford 5/12/1875] The Philies [sic] struck out six times, showing the effectiveness of Cummings' delivery, from which but three base-hits were made...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an enclosed ground in Providence

Date Sunday, May 9, 1875
Text

The Mercury correspondent sens us the following: The season for baseball here [in Providence, Rhode Island] looks more promising than ever. We are to have inclosed grounds this year, which are rapidly being put into condition. There is to be a driveway around it for the accommodation of those who come in carriages, and the grounds will also have accommodations for seating between 2,000 and 3,000 persons. All amateur games will be played on them, also professional ones.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an enclosed ground in Providence 2

Date Saturday, May 29, 1875
Text

The new inclosed ground in Providence, R.I. was opened on Thursday, May 20, by a game between the Rhode Island Club and the Harvards of Cambridge, Mass. The ground, well laid out, supplies a want long felt, and the enterprise will doubtless prove a success.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an illegal flat bat

Date Saturday, June 12, 1875
Text

[Beacon of Boston vs. Boston Amateurs 6/4/1875] The baseball fraternity generally have heard of the fraudulent flat bat used in Hartford recently. One was discovered in this game. The Beacons noticed that during the first two innings most of the Amateurs were using a peculiar black bat, which was not to be seen when they themselves came up from the field. During their second inning one of the Beacon nine found this bat concealed under the players' seats. On one side it was shaved down so as to present a broad flat surface, and the whole bat was colored a dusky black, so that the fraud would pass unnoticed without a very close examination. When the Beacons went to the field a watch was kept, and Hogan soon appeared at the bat with this illegal instrument. The umpire was appealed to, and the bat at once thrown out, of course; but it seemed that some further penalty should be incurred by a club or a player guilty of such dishonest practices further than being held up to reprobation of all honest ball-players.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

An improvised Atlantic nine; the state of the club

Date Saturday, September 11, 1875
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 9/4/1875] It was after 4 P.M., however, before nine men could be got together to represent the Atlantics, inasmuch as Clinton, Nichols and Kessler have gone West, Boyd was in Philadelphia umpiring, and McGee was an absentee. Finally, with the assistance of Al. Martin of the old Morrisania Unions, Mr. Munn, who used to play occasionally in the Atlantics in 1872, and O'Neil and Boland, two amateurs Van Delft has recently picked up, a team was raised to make up a game, and play was proceeded with.

In justice to the veteran Charley Pabor, as honest a professional as there is in the fraternity, and an excellent outfield, a good heavy hitter and an earnest worker in a nine, we have to state that his position as captain of the Atlantics has been merely a nominal one. He has had no real authority over his men, and therefore is not at all responsible for the bad management which has characterized the working of the Atlantic team for 1875. It cannot be said either that Van Delft has been responsible; for, apparently, there is some one in power behind the scenes who has nearly all to say in the direction of the nine. It is barely possible that the Atlantics may plya their quota of six games with every club yet; but any more such work as that of Saturday should lead to the prompt disbandment of the team, for it is little else than humbugging the public to induce them to attend games marked by such play.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

arranging and paying an umpire

Date Sunday, August 29, 1875
Text

[the St. Louis refuse to play the Athletics with William McLean as umpire] The Globe-Democrat reporter, meeting Mr. Jos. P. Carr, who is prominently identified with the St. Louis club, got his version of the affair. Mr. Carr stated, “that, while in Philadelphia, a triangular arrangement was entered into between the St. Louis, Athletic and Chicago clubs by which Mr. McLean was to accompany the Athletic on their present tour and umpire five games here for the Brown and five in Chicago for the White. He was to receive $125 for this service, and all his expenses were to be paid by the three clubs. McLean did not give satisfaction to the St. Louis club in the game on Monday, and the indignation against him being so bitter, it was determined by the management that he should not act yesterday. The Brown endeavored to come to an understanding with the Athletic on the subject, but failed to do so. The names of innumerable well-versed ball-players were presented, but the visitors would listen to no change. The St. Louis managers, as a last resort, proposed to take Fisler, one of the Athletic players. This offer was refused. The Blue finally expressed a willingness to have Bechtel, one of their subs, act if the Brown would allow some one to run for Fisler, whose foot is sprained. This was agreed to, but on arriving at the park, Bechtel was found to be in uniform, and the visitors went back on the arrangement. This was Mr. Carr's story, told with indignation. … Anxious to learn what the Athletic had to say on the subject, the same reporter hunted up Mr. Charles Spering, the president of that organization, and held a brief interview with him. Mr. Spering claimed that while in Philadelphia the St. Louis club selected Mr. McLean from a number of names furnished to umpire these Western games. The Athletic strongly objected to the gentleman in question, but as the St. Louis held out for him, and would accept no one else, they finally agreed to bring him along. The arrangement, he said, was consummated by Mr. Bishop. Mr. Spering asserted that McLean did not violate the rules of the game in any respect on Monday, and after selected him, they would not insult him by choosing some one else to take his place. Both clubs having agreed upon McLean to umpire the game yesterday, and the Brown refusing to play, Mr. Spering said, according to the rules, the game was forfeited, and the club which he represented claimed the penalty. A warm discussion took place between the officers of the rival organizations for some minutes after the hour to commence play had arrived, and strong efforts were made to accomplish some sort of a compromise, in order that the large crowd present might not return to town disappointed, but the Athletic would no yield an inch, and the Brown would not allow McLean to act. This did the business. The visitors entered their omnibus and drove off, amid the jeers and scoffs of the crowd. A scrub-game followed, but all who desired to leave the park did, and their entrance fee was returned them as they made their exit. With this plain statement of facts, outside parties can arrive at their own conclusions as to where the blame rests.” [A discussion follows of the failings of McLean as umpire.]

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletic Club finances 3

Date Tuesday, November 9, 1875
Text

[reporting on the Athletic Club annual meeting] The Board of Directors submitted their report, from which we gleaned that the receipts of the present season fell two thousand dollars short of that of last year, while the expenditures exceeded that of last season by forty-five hundred dollars.

...

The treasurer’s report was next presented, and showed that there was a balance of $875.19 from 1874; total receipts during the past season, $23,609.90; receipts of games, $18,682.02; salaries, $13,775.11; traveling expenses, $5570.93, leaving a deficit of $261.90. Philadelphia All-Day City Item November 9, 1875

[reporting on the Athletic Club annual meeting] Great expense had been incurred by the club in getting players, while the season was unprofitable. ... The scarcity of money among the patrons of the game, and the disrepute brought by gamblers, had been the causes of the falling off in the receipts, and it is hoped the club will do something to counteract the growing evil of gambling, which, if not suppressed, must eventually ruin the game.

...

The treasurer’s report showed a balance from 1874 of $875.19. The receipts from [illegible] members were $2083 [?]; from games, 18,628,02, and the total receipts were $23,699. The expenditures amounted to $23,900.90, of which $13,745.11 were to players for salaries, $5570,93 for traveling expenses, and $37.64 [?] for grounds. The deficit is $261.90. There is a floating debt, which will soon be extinguished. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury November 14, 1875

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bad baseball jokes; early use of baseball metaphor for dating

Date Sunday, March 28, 1875
Text

Is it right for one player to make “base” proposals to another? If the fellow gets hit in the “centre” with a swift ball, is his breath allowed to take a “short stop?” If a fellow expects his Dulcinea to be present, and she doesn’t come, can the poor fellow be “put out” about her? In case of a free fight would a player be allowed to use a brick “bat?” If a player has “struck out” for home with the girls does the scorer put it down? Suppose a player accidentally hits one of the “dear little ducks” who witness the game, would it not be a “fowl ball?” How much beer will the “pitcher” of a base ball club hold?

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

balls and strikes under the new rules

Date Saturday, March 20, 1875
Text

...[the umpire] must remember that there are now but two classes of balls delivered by the pitcher, which are, first, fair balls, viz., balls pitched over the home plate and “high” or “low,” as called for by the striker; and, secondly, unfair balls, which include every ball not pitched over the home base and “high” or “low,” as the striker calls for. Last year the rules defined three classes of balls, viz., those fairly over the plate, those which were out of all fair reach of the bat–wides–and those which, though not fair exactly, were still within reach of the bat. Now there are, but two classes of balls, viz., actually fair balls, and the reverse. The umpire will find it very easy, when he takes his stand in a game, to settle in his mind what a fair ball is, inasmuch as the rules expressly confine him to a distinct and unmistakable definition:

Section 4 of Rule IV says: “Every ball fairly delivered (viz., not a foul balk, etc.,) and sent in over the home base and at the height called for by the batsman, shall be considered a fair ball.”

This defines fair balls; and unfair balls are all balls which are not sent in as above described. This simplifies matters considerably, and the umpire can therefore have no difficulty in defining an unfair ball. Having done this, the next thing he has to consider is, How am I to call these unfair balls? And the following section of the rules gives him the required instruction pretty plainly, as we read it:

Section 6 of Rule IV says: “All balls delivered to the bat which are not sent in over the home base, and at the height called for by the batsman, shall be called in the order of every third ball thus unfairly delivered, etc.

Here, then, are the two classes of balls defined as clearly as they can be; and under these two rules no umpire, howsoever dull of apprehension, can readily err in his interpretation of their reading. But let us see how they are to be practically carried out. We will suppose the umpire to be in his position and the striker in his, ready to receive the first ball. The umpire first asks the striker whether he wants a “high” or a “low” ball, and he must then instruct the pitcher to deliver the ball “high” or “low,” accordingly. Should the striker, however, fail to designate the height of the ball, the umpire must then (see the section of the rules under the heading of “Failing to Call”) regard each ball as fair which is sent in over the home-base, and not lower than a foot from the ground nor higher than the striker’s shoulder.

Suppose the first ball send in is wide of the base, the second goes over the batman’s position, and the third over the base, but not as called for: in such case the umpire calls “one ball,” as three unfair balls have been delivered–the first ball is not now excepted, but has to be counted like the rest. Suppose, in continuation, that the fourth and fifth balls are equally unfair, and the sixth is at the height called for, but not over the base, though pretty near: in such case “two balls” must be called; and if three more unfair balls are sent in, “three balls” must be called and the striker sent to his base. It will thus be seen that the rule does not admit of the striker having a base given him on called balls until nine unfair balls have been sent in. Last season the striker could be sent to his base on three wide balls in succession, or on four balls, including the first delivered, which was not then counted. Now he cannot take a base on called balls until nine unfair balls have been delivered. The order of calling is plain. It is every third ball. The pitcher, therefore, can under this new rule send in in succession no less than nine balls out of possible reach before the striker can have his base given him on called balls. And yet, on the other hand, if he send in three balls in succession over the homeplate and high or low as called for, and the batsman fails to hit at any one of such balls, the striker can be given out on three successive called strikes; indeed, he must be so given out, or the umpire violates the rules. This, it will be seen, is rather one-sided. Every second ball would have answered the purpose well enough and been more equitable. But the rule is as we have stated it, and it must be abided by, or the umpire who violates the rule renders himself ineligible to act in the position.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

banning the umpire from the infield

Date Sunday, March 7, 1875
Text

[reporting on the new rules from the NAPBBP convention] Sec.11–Rule7.–This is an important amendment, keeping the umpire off the infield by adding to the rule, “and he shall not enter the infield while the ball is in play.” It will be remembered that several umpires had a habit of running to 1st and 2d while watching the play at those bases; this amendment prevents such a proceeding. Philadelphia All-Day City Item March 7, 1875

blocked balls dead

[reporting on the new rules from the NAPBBP convention] Sec. 14–Rule 7., This is an important amendment, making it the duty of the umpire to call “dead ball,” when the ball is stopped by an outsider, etc., as provided in the section. Philadelphia All-Day City Item March 7, 1875

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batters should work the count for a walk

Date Saturday, May 15, 1875
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Atlantic 5/5/1875] The wild pitching of Cassidy bothered the Philadelphias, who only hit him for nine base-hits. That it did so shows weak play in batting and a lack of judgment in playing batting points. Accuracy in delivery in pitching is more than ever necessary now; and when a pitcher does not possess the requisite command of the ball to put it about where he wants it, the rules provide a penalty which the batting side have only to avail themselves of to score plenty of runs from wild pitching. That the Philadelphians did not do so in this game was owing to their failure to take full advantage of the wild delivery by waiting for balls within reach. It does not always follow that, because runs are not earned or bases are not made by h9its off wild pitching, therefore the delivery is effective. The only effective delivery is that marked by accuracy of aim, combined with speed and strategic skill. Wild pitching, the result of efforts to obtain great speed, is costly when brought to bear against really skillful play by the batting side in a match, as the Atlantics will find to their cost when they come to put Cassidy's pitching against the Bostons or Athletics.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bechtel practicing a curve ball; indoor batting cage

Date Sunday, February 7, 1875
Text

George Bechtel, the pitcher of the Centennials, has been practising daily during the past week at Nicholas’s ball-court in this city, and has now obtained a wonderful twist. Standing behind Fisher, who was practicing batting, one would think the ball was going straight through Cherokee, but just before reaching him it would twist off to the right or left, and Fisher struck only the air, which he did 410 times in succession last Wednesday afternoon. You might as well undertake to hit humming birds with twenty-inch Rodman guns, as to hit the “twisters” that Bechtel now sends in. So marked was this twist that several balls described a complete circle and returned to the pitcher’s hands. This was not only once but repeatedly done, and illustrates the power of magnetism and the human mind over leather and yarn.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bill Parks returns to barbering

Date Sunday, August 1, 1875
Text

Parks, of the late Washington, is now engaged at his trade of barber in a Phillipsburg shop.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Matthews pitching against an amateur club

Date Sunday, February 7, 1875
Text

In the game played two seasons ago between the Mutuals and Chelseas, Higham put out seventeen of the crack Brooklyn amateurs on “three strikes” off Bobby Mathews’ pitching.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bond's 'parabolic' pitching

Date Sunday, October 10, 1875
Text

[Hartford vs. Athletic 10/8/1875] This match was essentially a pitcher’s game, and Bond carried off the premium far above McBride, who was hit easily, while the “parabolic” pitching of Bond the Athletics found it hard to hit.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bond's delivery

Date Saturday, August 14, 1875
Text

[Hartford vs. Mutual 8/5/1875] For the first time [the Hartfords] placed Bond in as pitcher in a Brooklyn match, and Tommy just handled the ball in a masterly manner, alike in his delivery and in his fielding. He has lowered his delivery almost down to the Creighton point—James used to send the ball in from a point in which his hand was not over six or eight inches from the grounds—and the result is, of course, an improved delivery; for, the nearer the line of the waist a ball leaves the hand of the pitcher, the straighter the curve of its delivery, and , as a matter of course, the easier it is to judge. This is what makes mere underhand throwing from the waist-line comparatively easy to hit—rising curves making it difficult, when the pace is fast, to hit the ball on its centre line.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Borden's no-hitter; credit to the pitcher

Date Thursday, July 29, 1875
Text

[Chicago vs. Philadelphia 7/28/1875] Of course all the honor of this contest falls on “Josephs,” the amateur pitcher, and the only one who can say an opposing club made no hits on him.

His pitching was magnificent, swift and effective, and the rapid and peculiar delivery was kept up all through the game.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Borden's sidearm delivery

Date Sunday, August 15, 1875
Text

[describing Joseph Borden's delivery”] His delivery is moderate, as a general thing, but is capable of being increased to a considerable speed when Josephs so decides. The swing of his arm is perpendicular to himself, but it is a fair and square pitch., quoting an unidentified Boston newspaper

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston can't compete with the Western clubs on salary

Date Saturday, August 7, 1875
Text

[a letter from James White:] Since my decision to play ball in Chicago next season has become known, several articles have appeared in the Boston papers conveying the impression that I was under obligations to remain another season with the Boston Club, and I deem it my duty to define my position in the matter and correct erroneous impressions. A day or two before starting on our late Western trip, I met Mr. Apollonio at the club-rooms, at his request, and the conversation that ensued was in substance as follows: He desired to close a contract with me for a one or three-years' engagement, urging as his reason for so early an engagement that I was about going West, and might receive some flattering offers for my services there; that the Boston Club were desirous of retaining me with them, but gave me to understand in plain terms that they salary list was as high as they could afford to pay, and, to use his own words, “they could not and did not propose to compete with 'fancy' Western prices.” The only promise I made him, or anyone else, was to the effect that I would not receive or open any negotiations with any club managers on that trip, which promise I have kept to the letter. Nearly a month after my return from this trip, during which time nothing further was said to me, I met the management of the Chicago Club in Boston, who offered me the “fancy” price that the Boston Club did not propose to compete with, and, under these circumstances, I did not feel like forcing the Boston Club, as they claim others have done, to pay me any “fancy” price. New York Clipper August 7, 1875, et al.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bostons play 135 games in the season

Date Saturday, December 25, 1875
Text

[report at the Boston Association annual meeting] In conclusion the report pays a high compliment to Captain Harry Wright, and also says that in the 171 week days of the season, 135 games have been played, showing a loss of but 36 days on account of rainy weather and traveling.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bostons running out of traveling funds

Date Wednesday, April 28, 1875
Text

Raining–raining, and our funds are dwindling–dwindling. Tomorrow we change our base and will “on to Richmond,” and may possibly play there Friday also. We hope to come back with money in our purse. By letter sent to Mr. Appolonio this A.M. you will learn the state of our funds. I am sorry, but owing to circumstances over which we have no control, with the greatest reluctance we call for a remittance to pay hotel bill. Should this rain continue we will need $200. I shall have to borrow money to purchase our round trip tickets to Richmond. We had hoped to get them for $6.50 each, but we could not reach there in time to play, so must go by another route. I hope we will do better there than in this city. No good here. [letter from Harry Wright writing in Washington to Frederick Long, dated April 28, 1875]

Source Letter from Harry Wright writing in Washington to Frederick Long
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bradley's delivery

Date Friday, May 7, 1875
Text

[Chicago vs. St. Louis 5/6/1875] Bradley's pitching is very peculiar. It is an underhanded thrown, and the ball is delivered with a sort of jerk, which puzzled the Whites terribly. Their batting was of the weakest and most wretched description. Scarcely a ball was struck into the out-field.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

breaking up a double play

Date Sunday, May 16, 1875
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 5/15/1875] [bases loaded with one out] Barnes sent an easy bounder to Reach [second baseman], on which there was every prospect of a double play, but McVey [running from first] while on the way to second, ran into Reach and nearly laid him flat on the grass. The ball, of course, went by him.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher's gloves 3

Date Saturday, July 24, 1875
Text

[contained within an advertisement from Ryan & Davenport] Catcher’s gloves at from $1 to $3 per pair.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

censuring a player for an illegal contract, but not the club; a three year contract

Date Sunday, March 7, 1875
Text

[reporting on the report judiciary committee of the NAPBBP convention] John Murdock was censured for signing with the Chicagos for the seasons of 1875-1876 and 1877, before the 1st of November, 1874, and while still a member of the Mutuals. This, like all the other decision of this committee, was an absurd one, as the proper party to censure was the Chicago Club, who had tampered with a member of the Mutuals, in direct violation of the rules.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick condescends at Harry Wright regarding rules committee work

Date Saturday, March 13, 1875
Text

[reporting on the professional convention] The President first read each section [of the playing rules] which was proposed to be changed, and then the amendment was read by the delegate offering it, Harry Wright presenting the most amendments, some of which were adopted, some altered, and others rejected entirely. Harry, in fact, acted pro tem. as chairman of a Committee of Rules, and as it was his first appearance in that character, he, of course, did not succeed so well as he does as chairman of his champion nine in the field. The fact is, a considerable amount of experience is required for the responsible position of chairman of such a committee, inasmuch as thorough familiarity with the practical working of each rule is needed, and the ability to promptly and clearly explain the meaning and working of each amendment. The convention, seeing that it would require an all-night session to get through with Harry’s schedule, made short work of the business, and the result was that but few amendments were made to the rules... New York Clipper March 13, 1875

[Wright’s response and Chadwick’s backtracking:] Referring to our remarks on his prosecuting the amended rules, [Harry Wright] says:

I had no idea that I was so very ignorant until reading the comments on The Clipper on this part I took in the proceedings at the meeting in Philadelphia. I was vain enough to consider myself thoroughly conversant with the “practical working” of every rule in the game of baseball, and that my many years’ experience warranted me in thinking so: but, having presumed too much, I thank The Clipper for recalling me to my senses.

Nothing was said in the report in question at all reflecting on Mr. Wright’s practical knowledge of the rules of play, or in regard to his ignorance of any point in baseball; for we well know him to be about the best-posted man in the fraternity. All we did refer to were the novelty of the position he was placed in, and his inability to fill it at so short a notice. His failure was remarked by all, and it was nothing to be ashamed of, either, as few can be successful under such circumstances. New York Clipper March 20, 1875

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick not involved in the rules discussion

Date Sunday, March 14, 1875
Text

We noticed at the Convention, that while Harry Wright was evidently non-plussed at times in his efforts to clearly explain the object and meaning of several points of the amendments to the rules he suggested, Mr. Chadwick–who was present–took no part in the proceedings. Experienced as he is in the business, acting as Chairman of the Committee of Rules in conventions, we should have thought that he would have relieved Harry from his troubles, as he readily could have done.

We are informed, however, that as he had no voice before the Convention–not being a delegate–he refrained from obtruding his advice.

In this we think he was mistaken. This objection could readily be removed in the future, by the Association electing him an Honorary Member as the old Association did.

This would give him a voice, but not a vote. He had a list of amendments to offer at the preliminary meeting of the delegates, but refrained from presenting them under the circumstances of the outside attendance there, so he informed us.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

charge of thrown games by the Philadelphias

Date Sunday, December 5, 1875
Text

[reporting on the Philadelphia Club annual meeting] Mr. Walsh [stated] that to his certain knowledge telegrams had been sent from the club while absent from home, telling certain parties how they should bet...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

charges and counter-charges of game selling

Date Tuesday, August 31, 1875
Text

[Hartford vs. Philadelphia 8/30/1875] The pools were selling before the game at 100 to 40 on the Philadelphias, and as a matter of course, the backers of the club were very indignant at their defeat, and immediately charged that the game was a “crooked” one, and that some of the players had been engaged in “funny” business.

This discussion was carried into the club room, while the players were undressing, and McGeary in an angry voice charged Fred. Treacy with being in collusion with the gamblers and selling the game, and pointing to George Zettlein, said, there is another who is in it. Both indignantly denied the charges.

Dr. Young, the President of the club, came up, and hearing the charges, demanded of McGeary his reasons. Mac. said he had been approached by a certain person and given the “steer,” and knew all who were in the ring. Treacy and Zettlein demanded that the charges against them should be immediately investigated, and they were suspended until such investigation could be made.

The matter was soon noised around, and Zettlein and Treacy had a talk with Burdock, of the Hartford. Last night a meeting of the Philadelphia club was held, at which the subject was brought up. Zettlein and Treacy were present, and made statements to the effect that Burdock said he intended to publish a card and show that prior to the game McGeary had approached him and told him he had a large amount of omoney bet on the success of the Philadelphia, and had offered him $1000 to throw the game so that the Philadelphia should win, and that he refused to have anything to do with such an arrangement. Also, that on the Atlantic game last week McGeary said to him, “Let them make four or five runs in one inning and beat those whoa re betting on us winning in one inning.” Also, that on the Doerr game McGeary approached him with offers, saying they could make plenty of money. There was an exciting discussion over these astounding charges, in which the general management of the club was dragged in, and at last a committee was appointed to thoroughly investigate the case, and notice was sent to McGeary to attend its sessions.

Treacy and Zettlein say there will be some interesting developments, while McGeary declares that he is on the war-path after those whom he charges with selling the game.

To say the least it is a sad state of affairs, and we exceedingly regret that it should occur at this time, when the Philadelphias were doing so well. Yet villainy in base ball must be checked; let the matter be thoroughly investigated, and the guilty parties, whoever they are, properly punished.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

charges of a thrown game

Date Sunday, September 5, 1875
Text

[Hartford vs. Philadelphia 8/30/1875] [Hartford victorious 11-3] While the Philadelphia and Hartford clubs were yesterday afternoon divesting themselves of their uniforms an excited discussion arose as to the cause of the game being lost. Words followed words, till finally McGeary openly charged Treacy with throwing the game and Zettlein pitching so that the Hartfords could not fail to hit him, saying he was simply repeating his ‘Chicago business.’ Then the president of the club stepped up and asked McGeary for proof, who replied that he had been approached by a certain person and given the ‘wink,’ and knew all about it, and who were in the business. Treacy demanded that proofs should be given against him, and Zettlein made a similar demand. Dr. Young said the charges were pointed, and must be investigated, and he suspended Treacy and Zettlein. Both players were very indignant, and Treacy said that if he had really made any money in the way charged he would say nothing, but it was rough to be blamed when he was innocent. At a meeting of the club held that night the matter came up, when Treacy and Zettlein stated that Burdock [of the Hartfords] had told them he intended to publish a card and show that prior to the game McGeary had approached him and told him he had a large amount of money bet on the Philadelphia, and had offered him $1,000 to throw the game so that the Philadelphia should win, and that he refused to have anything to do with such an arrangement. Also, that on the Atlantic game, last week, McGeary said to him, ‘let them make four or five runs in one inning and beat those who are betting on us winning in one inning.’ Also that on the Doerr [a Philadelphia amateur club] game McGeary approached him with offers, saying that they could make plenty of money. An excited and angry discussion ensued; the management of the club was referred to in language not at all complimentary, which was only ended by the appointment of a committee to investigate the matter. They will at once take hold of it, and, we hope, will probe it to the bottom, so that the public may know who the wretches are we have been harboring. New York Sunday Mercury September 5, 1875 quoting the Philadelphia Evening Chronicle August 31, 1875

In respect to the charges preferred by McGeary against Zettlein and Treacy for alleged purposely loose play in the Philadelphia-Hartford game, of Aug. 30, and the counter charges of the two last named against McGeary, for his action in the last Philadelphia-Atlantic game, George Concannon, one of the directors of the Philadelphia Club, instituted an investigation into the matter, with the intention of expelling these three players if found guilty; but, after evidence had been given by the interested parties, and no further proof than their unsupported and vague testimony being given, it was found that the whole trouble narrowed down to a personal feeling, and these three players were therefore exonerated each, and, amicably settling their differences, resumed their places on the nine. New York Sunday Mercury September 12, 1875

[Hartford vs. Philadelphia 8/30/1875] [The Philadelphia] did not win, and the reason for it was, that Zettlein either did not pitch up to his usually high standard, or that the Hartford was suddenly transformed into good batters, a forte in which they have made no display this season. It is a notorious fact that they are among the weakest batting teams in the country, and their exhibition on Monday was a marvel among those who have paid any attention to base ball. It was not at all surprising to such, when at the conclusion of the game, charges were made by McGeary that Zettlein had premeditatedly contributed to the victory of the Hartford. His charge also included Treacy, who in no way could have aided in the victory and brought forth a counter-charge that McGeary had rendered himself liable not only to expulsion from the Philadelphia club, but also from the Professional Association, inasmuch as he had made an offer to Burdock of the Hartford to throw the game into the hands of the Philadelphia. The management did as they ought to do under such circumstances. They immediately suspended Treacy and Zettlein and instituted an inquiry, which unfortunately has resulted in what some would term a whitewash. All are exonerated, and hereafter will hold a position on a level with such players as McBride, Fisler, George Wright, Ferguson, Harbridge and the dozen others who are recognized as strictly honorable players. We think with Harry Wright, that when a man plays badly he either cannot play or that he is throwing a game, and therefore should be discharged. Philadelphia Sunday Republic September 5, 1875

...after evidence had been given by the interested parties and no further proof than their unsupported and vague testimony being given, it was found that the whole trouble narrowed down to a personal feeling, and these three players were therefore exonerated from all blame, and amicably settling their differences, resumed their placed on the nine, and harmony reigns once more in the Philadelphia camp–a consummation most devoutly to be desired. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury September 5, 1875

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cherokee Fisher discharged for drunkenness and game throwing

Date Sunday, July 25, 1875
Text

The Philadelphia club has parted with Fisher, their pitcher, by canceling his engagement for the remainder of the season. This act of the Board of Directors was a surprise to all the patrons of the game, who, notwithstanding the weak spot of “Cherokee,” which is possessed by several other ball tossers, never doubted his honesty as a player. However, besides intoxication, Manager Jacbos, who had charge of the club on its recent Eastern tour, preferred the additional charge of throwing the 16-13 Mutual game. He cited several instances in which Fisher had contributed to the loss of the game, all of which were denied as emphatically as they were urged. Nevertheless, Fisher was discharged, and he now bears a stigma of which his many friends believe him guiltless. We hope, for the sake of the player as well as of the game, that “Cherokee” may be able to set himself right. In connection with this subject, it would be well to remember that this is not the first instance in which the Philadelphia have cast suspicions against pitchers, as both Zettlein and Cummings were under the ban for a time. Philadelphia Sunday Republic July 25, 1875

Fisher has been released from his engagement by the Directors of the Philadelphia club.

Charges were brought against him for conduct unbecoming a ball player, and after hearing proof, the directors concluded to dispense with his services, Josephs, the pitcher of the Doerr club, an amateur organization of this city, will beyond doubt be secured to pitch for the club for the remainder of the season. Philadelphia All-Day City Item July 25, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cherokee Fisher's high delivery

Date Sunday, July 4, 1875
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Athletic 7/3/1875] ...McBride and Fisher pitching with wonderful effectiveness, although it is questionable whether the very high delivery of the latter in this game is sanctioned by the rules. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury July 4, 1875

[St. Louis vs. Philadelphia 7/8/1875] Pearce objected strongly to the pitching or rather throwing of Fisher, and, while the umpire did not rule it out, it resulted in Fisher sticking closer to the law in this matter. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury July 11, 1875

Fisher’s delivery in the Hartford-Philadelphia game in Hartford on the 14th was illegal. It was bold throwing, his arm swinging far above the hip every time. New York Sunday Mercury July 18, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago Club finances; reduced admission for children

Date Saturday, December 11, 1875
Text

How well honorable play in professional contests pays may be judged from the Chicago Club's appended financial exhibit of ninety-one championship games played in 1874 and 1875 with the first first-class Eastern clubs. Division of gate receipts on the basis of give and take 33 1/3 per cent., valuing all tickets at 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children:

IN CHICAGO

Philadelphia, 10 games; we paid them...............................$2,168

Athletic, 7 games; we paid them........................................ 2,010

Mutual, 8 games; we paid them......................................... 3,118

Hartford, 8 games; we paid them........................................ 1,846

Boston, 10 games, we paid them......................................... 6,585

Total—43 games...................................................$15,725

IN EASTERN CITIES rec'd

We played in Philadelphia with Philadelphia, 10...............$1,008

We played in Philadelphia with Athletic, 9......................... 920

We played in Brooklyn with Mutual, 9............................... 1,134

We played in Hartford with Hartford, 10............................ 591

We played in Boston with Boston 10.................................. 2,136

Total—48 games.....................................................$5,789

Philadelphia, with two clubs, 19 games, $1,928

Boston, with one club, 10 games, $2,136

Hartford, average, $59.

With an expense of over $30,000 during 1875, the Chicago Club closed the season with a surplus of receipts over expenses of $3,170. The club pay $2,400 a year rent and taxes for their grounds. Things are different in Louisville, where the club has their ground rent free. The Boston Club lead all others on receipts for 1875.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago's fancy salaries

Date Sunday, July 25, 1875
Text

[writing of the Boston four signed by Chicago] Increased salaries are undoubtedly what induced the men to leave, and it is pretty well known that Chicago can lay over almost any other city in its ability to pay “hired men” fancy prices for playing ball.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Clapp refused to play with the Athletics, claims he was released

Date Sunday, October 17, 1875
Text

[Chicago vs. Athletic 10/15/1875] Clapp refused to play with the Athletics, although able, claiming that he had been released... New York Sunday Mercury October 17, 1875

At the meeting of the Athletic Club, of Philadelphia, Oct. 11... at the request of John Clapp his contract was returned to him. New York Sunday Mercury October 17, 1875

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clarifying a legal pitch delivery

Date Saturday, May 22, 1875
Text

For the benefit of umpires generally, we would state that any delivery of the ball is legal provided the arm which holds the ball when swung forward passes the body of the pitcher below the line of the hip. That is the rule in both professional and amateur codes, and therefore all the umpire has to do is to watch the pitcher's arm when it passes the body. If it passes above the line of the hip, he must call “foul balk;” if below that line, it is a legal delivery.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

climbing the fence after a home run

Date Sunday, June 20, 1875
Text

[Athletic vs. New Haven 6/17/1875] ...Luff’s splendid hit clean over the left field fence, the latter of course making a home run, although the ball was splendidly fielded in by George Hall, who had to do some “tall” climbing to get over the high fence.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

confusion in the Athletic Club

Date Sunday, October 24, 1875
Text

It is said the Athletic managers have been slow in paying their men, and that dissatisfaction has become general. The club has fifteen players, and not one knows when he is to play until a game begins. The directors are in a row with the president, with one another, and with the players and Philadelphians generally, and the players in particular are disgusted with the club and its management.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

creating a rules committee

Date Saturday, March 13, 1875
Text

[reporting on the NAPBBP convention] The President then announced the committees for 1875, which were as follows... on Rules, Messrs. Wright, Arnold and Hulbert. The latter is a new committee, added by a unanimous vote of the convention.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Devlin's pitching; finding a catcher up to the task; Hastings' catching

Date Sunday, January 31, 1875
Text

A large number of Chicago amateur basll-tossers have been sufficiently enthusiastic lately to brave a trial of catching for Devlin, but all were compelled to retire in short order. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury January 31, 1875

Devlin has made his debut as a pitchist, and the Chicago scribes think him the “red-hottestist” sling of a ball in the fraternity. It appears that several players tried to catch for him, but all gave it up. Scott Hastings, one of Chicago’s catchers, who resides in Bloomington, Ill., was sent for recently to see if he could catch Devlin’s red-hot underhand throw. He having acquired such speed, doubts were expressed about anyone being able to catch for him, and on his arrival at the grounds Devlin was just beginning to pitch. Scott watched him for a while, and saw him shiver the board fence he was pitching at, and then calmly took off his coat and went to work and showed such a creditable exhibition of catching that he was loudly applauded by the large audience who witnessed the work. New York Clipper February 6, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

different types of dead balls

Date Saturday, July 3, 1875
Text

There are several kinds of dead ball. One is a ball striking the batsman's person, on which no bases can be run. Then, the ball is dead when stopped by outsider s until held by the pitcher in his position; and on these bases can be run.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

disrespecting Cummings

Date Sunday, March 28, 1875
Text

Arthur Cummings is reported to have said that he wouldn’t play in a Philadelphia nine this season if they would give him the whole town. A good reason why he could not play here is that fact that no club, even the weakest amateur organization of this city, would hire this over-rated “boy pitcher” at any price. One season sickened the Philadelphians with him. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury March 28, 1875

[Hartford vs. Philadelphia 6/2/1875] The Philadelphias in these two innings punished the over-rated “boy pitcher” for three runs on seven clean hits. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury June 6, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

doctored bats

Date Sunday, May 9, 1875
Text

It is stated that a very unfair trick was played by the Hartford nine on the occasion of their games with the Atlantics (second match) and the Centennials. In the latter contest quite a talk occurred over the violation of the rules, the offense being the fact of the Hartfords playing with illegal bats. Hayhurst, it appears, was surprised to see the Hartfords hit Bechtel’s pitching so well, and on inquiring he ascertained that it was owing to some of the Hartford playing using a bat which was not round, as the rule requires, it having been whittled down almost flat on one side, and then painted black so as to disguise it. Hayhurst protested against the use of such bats and they were removed.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early player product endorsement?

Date Saturday, April 24, 1875
Text

Reach has introduced a new brand of cigars, called the “Dick McBride.” All the boys are after them, and they do smoke well. Philadelphia All-Day City Item April 24, 1875

the Centennial ground is small

The [Centennial] ground is rather small, hard hits to centre and right fields only yielding a couple of bases at the most. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury April 25, 1875

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early rumor of the National League

Date Sunday, October 10, 1875
Text

It is said that a Western clique has been formed by the St. Louis Brown Stockings, Chicago, Louisville and Cincinnati Clubs, and will also embrace Boston and Hartford. The object of the ring is to break the power of the Athletic Club in the National Association and Judiciary Committee next year. A prominent director of the Browns says they will also keep the Atlantic, New Haven, Washington and St. Louis Red Stocking Clubs out of the professional arena.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'bunt'

Date Friday, May 7, 1875
Text

[Chicago vs. St. Louis 5/6/1875] The field were called upon to do but the easiest kind of play, to stop weak “bunts,” catch puny fly balls and fouls, and scarcely a ball was struck that would bother an ordinary player.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'phenomenon'

Date Sunday, August 8, 1875
Text

A nine composed of seven Red Stockings, with Snyder for catcher, and Josephs [pseudonym of Joe Borden], the latest phenomenon, for pitcher, played a game Aug. 2, in Boston...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of a team looking good 'on paper'

Date Sunday, July 25, 1875
Text

Next year the Chicagos will have a nine which, as now seen on paper, looks remarkably strong.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early word of a revival in Cincinnati

Date Sunday, January 24, 1875
Text

At a meeting recently held in Cincinnati, a committee was appointed to select and engage grands for a professional club for 1876, when it is expected that a large number of the old Red Stockings will play on their own soil.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

earned run average

Date Sunday, March 14, 1875
Text

The Clipper answers a correspondent, that “Bond has the best average of least earned runs and fewest base hits off his pitching.” This is incorrect, as McBride was superior in both respects last season. The runs earned off Bond last season averaged 1.75 to a game, while but 1.27 runs to a game were earned off McBride. The average, also, of base hits to a game was 9.21 off McBride and 10.47 off Bond’s pitching. Matthews, of the Mutuals, had also a better average than Bond in regard to the base hits made off him in each championship game.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fear that the pitcher can throw the game

Date Tuesday, May 18, 1875
Text

Our clubs are beginning to fear that the pitcher has much to do with the loss of their games. Can this be true? It cannot be questioned that the pitcher, to a great extent, controls the result of the game. He may win for his side up to the close of the 8th inning , and then “throw the game” on the 9th, by delivering easy balls square to the bat.

...

What is the matter with Fisher? This question was asked a number of times after the game yesterday. How was it that the Mutuals, after failing to hit him during the early part of the game, made such tremendous hits in the last inning? This looks queer. Can anyone explain?

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

financial report of the Boston Association

Date Saturday, December 25, 1875
Text

RECEIPTS

Balance from former account..................................... $833.13

Gate receipts............................................................... 34,987.74

Members' tickets........................................................ 1,946.19

Total income................................................. 37,767.06

EXPENSES

Players' salaries.......................................................... $20,685,00

Advertising, printing, etc........................................... 1,440.88

Rent of grounds.......................................................... 617.50

Care of grounds and wages........................................ 888.82

Repairs of grounds..................................................... 689.27

Sundry expenses at grounds...................................... 304.00

Uniforms, balls, bats, etc............................................ 223.94

Old accounts............................................................... 470.33

Rooms at 39 Ellot st., viz:

Fitting up.......................................... 713.00

Furnishing and fixtures.................... 898.37

Rent.................................................. 344.00

1,955.37

Less subscriptions............................ 328.50 – 1,626.87

Traveling expenses..................................................... 6,808.56

Telegrams, postage, etc.............................................. 750.83

Total............................................................... 34,505.99

Balance.......................................................... 3,261.07

New York Clipper December 25, 1875

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

forgot to put the courtesy runner in

Date Wednesday, July 14, 1875
Text

[St. Louis vs. Mutual 7/13/1875] In this [fifth] inning, through a misunderstanding, nobody ran for Matthews, and although his hit was a clear one-baser he was nabbed at first base, a piece of stupidity that probably cost the Mutuals the game.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

freedom to place fielders; two catchers

Date Saturday, December 18, 1875
Text

The captain...can place most of his men in the infield or most in the outfield, or put two men behind the bat,, or change his pitcher each inning.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Bradley's slow delivery

Date Sunday, July 25, 1875
Text

[St. Louis vs. Boston 7/19/1875] Bradley sustained the reputation he has acquired for swift delivery and effectiveness, though he possesses a bad habit of waiting before delivering the ball, which may add to the grace of the position, but is not pleasing to the crowd.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright puts on a display of scientific batting

Date Sunday, August 15, 1875
Text

Recently in this city, during a game betwixt the Bostons and the Athletics, Col. Fitzgerald stated that Geo. Wright, at his (Col. Fitzgerald) request would put his first ball in left fied, the next in centre, and the next in right field.

The exhibition was received with astonishment by at least a dozen gentlemen, who thought the feat was impossible.

After the game, Mr. Wright said all that was required was a slight change of position to enable a practiced batsman to put the ball about where he pleased. And this has long been the opinion of Col. Fitzgerald, Mr. Chadwick, Mr. Harry Wright, Mr. N. E. Young, and other students, advocates, and exponents of the game. All the intelligent base ball enthusiasts are now of the opinion that the special and imperative want of the game is scientific batting.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

gloves and abdominal pads

Date Saturday, January 2, 1875
Text

Besides the ability to pitch swiftly and accurately, an effective player in the position requires to be a first-class infielder and the pluckiest of players. He has to face the hottest balls send from the bat; for this reason he ought to wear abdominal pads, and gloves covering the palms of his hands and the lower part of his fingers. A blow to the chest or limbs can be borne, but a ball striking “below the belt” is dangerous; while stout hand gloves will prevent a hot ball from splitting the hand while admitting of the free grasp of the ball by the uncovered fingers. In fact the gloves we refer to should be used alike by catcher, first-basemen and pitcher.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright tries to coordinate rules changes

Date Saturday, March 13, 1875
Text

[reporting on the professional convention] An attempt was made by Harry Wright to get the delegates together to go over the rules and discuss the merits of the few amendments suggested by Mr. Chadwick, and the numerous changes–some of them radical ones–offered by Harry Wright. The meeting in question, however, proved to be a failure, as not half the regular delegates were present, and parties who were not delegates were present, who monopolized the time of the meeting by discussion of the Force case and other irrelevant topic, and so nothing practical was done.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Higham released for throwing games; goes to the Mutuals

Date Sunday, August 22, 1875
Text

Higham, the catcher of the Chicago, has been suspended from the club, on account of selling the game on Tuesday last, with the Athletic club. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch August 22, 1875

Higham, late of the White Stockings of Chicago, will play with the Mutual for the balance of the season. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch August 29, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hints of skullduggery in Baltimore

Date Sunday, January 31, 1875
Text

[quoting an unnamed Baltimore newspaper:] After three momentous years in the professional arena, we take a back seat, content to realize that the end has come, and with it, the relief that none can so appreciate as those who were numbered among the officers. The inside history of the game here has never been written, and for the benefit of the sport we trust it never will be. The game will never prosper here again (if it ever did) until we can produce such an honest set of players as Harry Wright always places in the field. Even should we ever succeed in doing so, some one of the nine will be sure to start a cigar store, and we would end as before–in smoke. To some it may be pleasant to recall those days of enthusiasm when viewed safely in the distance. When ‘the boys’ in their most guileless manner enchanted the enraptured stockholders–when diamonds, watches, clothes and what-not, were lavished upon them in all the profusion of generosity and extravagance. Of what did it avail us? Did we receive any more honest labor or renewed endeavors to win? No: but we acquired the experience that will serve us right royally in the uncertain future, and which weighs in the balance far heavier than these base baubles of man’s insatiable avarice. Of a few of these ‘trophies from Baltimore,’ we find a watch in the St. Louis club, a diamond cluster ring in the Chicagos, two watches in Philadelphia, two watches in Brooklyn, one records the flight of time in the ‘Nutmeg State,’ while diamond studs, watch, chain and charms, cuff buttons, and et cetera, attest in Boston our inexperience and indiscretion in Baltimore.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

history of the Athletic club merger with the United

Date Sunday, July 4, 1875
Text

The deceased [Col. D. W. C. Moore]...was originally one of the members of the United Club, a young organization which consolidated with the Athletics in 1862.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

home plate and the batter's box to be outside the foul lines

Date Sunday, January 3, 1875
Text

Among the amendments to the rules likely to be presented for adoption next spring is one placing the home base outside the foul ball lines, and with it the lines of the striker’s position, so as to make all hits close to the base, which, under the existing rule, the umpire finds it difficult to decide plainly fair or foul. New York Sunday Mercury January 3, 1875

In reference to placing the home base in a new position, there appears to be everything in favor of the change. At present the meeting of the foul ball lines at the home base now makes them intersect the centre of the base. By the new rule the base is placed outside the lines, and with it the lines of the striker’s position are set back eight inches, so that the front line of position does not, as now, cross the foul ball line. This will make it difficult to make any of the class of fair-foul hits except those which plainly strike the ground in front of the foul lines, all such doubtful balls as are now hit being made plainly foul by the new position of the base. New York Sunday Mercury January 10, 1875

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

home plate moved back to reduce fair-fouls

Date Sunday, March 14, 1875
Text

[reporting on the NA convention] The most important [rules change] was that of removing the home-base from its former position to one located outside the foul-ball line, whereby the striker's position, too, is set back, and the facility for hitting “fair fouls” greatly reduced.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how a club becomes semi-professional

Date Saturday, December 4, 1875
Text

[writing of the Eagle Club of Louisville] In introducing the records of this strong Southern club, the scorer, F. H. Johnson, says: “At the beginning of the season the club opened play with a strictly amateur nine in every respect, but owing to the rivalry existing between them and the Olympics, it was decided to engage a catcher. The Olympics then strengthened their nine with paid players, and, in order to stand first in the State the Eagles did the same, in consequence of which action not one of the Eagle nine played in all of the forty-two games of the season. New York Clipper December 4, 1875

paid club officers

[reporting on the Philadelphia Club annual meeting] The follow by-laws–presented at the last meeting–were then unanimously adopted: “The Secretary and Scorer for his services shall receive for his salary the sum of three hundred dollars per year. The Manager of the Club shall receive a salary of one thousand dollars per year.” Philadelphia Sunday Mercury December 5, 1875

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how the Philadelphia Club treats its players; its condition

Date Sunday, July 25, 1875
Text

A St. Louis paper contains the following: “The rumor that Bradley and Miller have been engaged to pitch and catch for the Philadelphias next season is hardly credible. They have been well treated in St. Louis, and are aware that the club with which they are now connected has been established for all time; while it is not unlikely that the Pearls may disband at any moment. The gamblers who back the Philadelphia nine are noted for their shabby treatment of the players when the game does not go their way. The expulsion of Radcliffe in 1874, and the abuse of Fisher this year, go to substantiate this fact.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

is a horizontal curve possible?

Date Sunday, May 16, 1875
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] Can any pitcher send the ball to the batsman in a horizontal curve? A bets that it is impossible, B bets that it is done by Cummings, of the Hartfords. {It is unquestionably done by Cummings and Mathews, and Hall and other fielders throw with the same curve–Ed.}

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

joking about thrown games

Date Sunday, May 30, 1875
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Athletic 5/29/1875] After the game somebody said that the Athletics threw off! That Force “weakened” on purpose–that Clapp was not on his metal [sic]–that McBride could not pitch-that Craver got a chunk of dirt in his eye–that Hall had the pip–that Bechtel had no poor relations, and that there was but one Richmond in the field.

All these remarks were made derisively. If any body meant them in an unworthy sense, we say that they were wrong.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

keeping the first string battery in reserve

Date Saturday, July 17, 1875
Text

[St. Louis vs. Atlantic 7/12/1875] The St. Louis Club did not present their full team, as neither Bradley nor Miller were in the nine, they being reserved for the Mutual match. [They were not in the lineup.] New York Clipper July 17, 1875

a bulletin board by the scorers' table

[Star of Covington vs. Buckeye of Columbus 7/8/1875] The Buckeyes on this occasion sported for the first item their elegant new pennant, presented to by club by one of its admirers' and as its beauteous folds were given to the breeze, the defiant rippling of its fair white field seemed to presage a certain victory for the gallant club whose name it bore. That was the poetical view of it. Stern reality, in the shape of the bulletin-board near the scorer's table, said: “Ninth inning—Stars, 9; Buckeyes, 2.” New York Clipper July 17, 1875

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

late questions about force plays

Date Saturday, June 19, 1875
Text

[from answers to correspondents] When there is a man on first-base, and the man at the bat hits a ball to the infield, is it only necessary to have the ball at second base before the runner from first base gets to second, and to the first base before the runner gets there, to retire him at first base? Or is it necessary that the runner from first base to second must be touched by the second baseman? … It is only necessary to hold the ball while touching the base. New York Clipper June 19, 1875

[from answers to correspondents] Dixey, Little rock.-- Base-runner on second base, and another on first, as the ball is delivered to the striker. The man on first runs to second, touching the base; the man on second runs within ten feet of the third. I have the ball on third—do I (playing third) have to touch him, or is it a forced run, or can the man, after having touched second, return to first? … The player running to third was not forced off, and had to be touched to be put out. The player who touched second had to right to hold that base until the man at second running to third had touched third. New York Clipper June 19, 1875

[from answers to correspondents] Constant Reader, Baltimore.-- In the game of base-ball between the Washington and New Haven nines, in Baltimore, one of the Washington nine was on the first and one on the second base; the one that was on the first ran the one that was on second off; the one that was on the second was caught between the second and third; the third-baseman got the ball and touched his base. The umpire decided him out. Was he right? … The player running to third, not being forced off, had to be touched while off a base before he could be legally put out. New York Clipper June 19, 1875

[from answers to correspondents] A is on 1st base (running); B, at the bat, bats the ball to pitcher, who fields it to 1st, putting B out. 1 st-baseman throws to 2d, the ball getting there before A. Is A out? 2d-baseman fails to touch him. … A is not out. Noting forced off, he should have been touched while off the base. New York Clipper July 10, 1875

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

late support for the ten men ten inning rule

Date Wednesday, March 3, 1875
Text

We talked with a majority of the delegates to the Convention, and while they admitted that they thought Ten Men and Ten Innings would be a great step in advance, they all said the clubs (several of which were largely in debt,) could not afford the expense. It would compel, they said, the engagement of the eleventh man, at a salary of at least $1200, to which add traveling and other expenses, and the total would be at least $2000.

Mr. N. E. Young has no doubt the improvement will come in another year or two, when Base Ball is on a sounder financial basis.

This is the opinion of Mr. Davidson, of Harry Wright, of Mr. Chadwick,of Mr. Douglass, and others.

Col. Fitzgerald’s offer of a beautiful Gold Medal, worth $250.00, to the Champion Club, in the event of the adoption of Ten Men and Ten Innings, is esteemed liberal dn public spirited, and in keeping with his whole Base Ball career.

We modestly suggest that Ten Men and Ten Innings would largely add to the interest of the game. One of these days the wisdom of the innovation will be admitted. An estimated expense of $2000 ought not be suffered to check improvement. The broad and liberal policy is always the soundest and best.

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

legal and illegal under hand throw deliveries

Date Sunday, March 14, 1875
Text

[reporting on the NA convention] In regard to the delivery of the ball the typographical error which marked the wording in the printed rule of last year, and which consisted of inserting the word “to” instead of “at,” was corrected, and the rule now reads so as to require the pitcher to deliver the ball with the arm swinging “nearly perpendicular at the side of the body, and with the hand swung forward, not raised higher than the hip.” This excludes the illegitimate underhand-throwing of last season, but allows of the legal underhand-throwing practiced by McBride, Spalding, Mathews, Cummings, and the other prominent pitcher.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

legal pitching delivery

Date Saturday, August 14, 1875
Text

[from answers to correspondents] What constitutes a legitimate delivery of the ball to bat from the pitcher? My understanding of the ruling is, that any ball delivered to the bat from the hand when below the line of hip is a fair delivery, whether round-arm or underhand throw. Please decide. … Your understanding of the ruling is correct.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Manning's illegal delivery

Date Saturday, January 9, 1875
Text

[Manning] must change his delivery for 1875, as he delivers above the hip, and that will be illegal next season. The underthrow must be made with the arm swinging so as to keep the hand below the hip. The most effective underhand throw is made when the hand is low, and near the ground, so as to send in a rising ball, that being the most deceptive to the batsman’s eye. Creighton used to deliver with his hand not six inches from the ground at times.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

more on what is a balk

Date Saturday, July 10, 1875
Text

[from answers to correspondents] The pitcher of the Rhode Island club gets into position to deliver the ball to the batter. He has a habit of raising his heels from the ground, balancing himself on the balls of his feet, and then letting himself down again. In a game played here [Fall River], I saw him go through this operation every time before delivering the ball to the batter. He had no certain number of ties for raising himself, but varied from one to eight times. Sometimes, after making one or two of these motions, he stops to rest or turn, and throws to the bases. My reason for writing is to inquire if the pitcher, after making one of these motions, does not make a balk if he fails to send the ball to the batter immediately thereafter? After making one of these motions, a base-runner starts for next base—has the pitcher any right to throw to the base? … The motion referred to is undoubtedly one of his preliminary movements in pitching; and if he fails to deliver the ball after making such motion, he commit a balk.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nichols' delivery

Date Thursday, August 19, 1875
Text

[New Haven vs. Philadelphia 8/18/1875] The most noticeable feature of the game, and that which called out the most praise, was the fine and effective pitching of Nichols, who has a delivery peculiar to himself. The ball apparently comes direct to the bat, but when it comes to the batsman, it takes a sudden curve and goes beyond the reach of the batter, who strikes at nothing.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

not running out ground balls

Date Sunday, August 22, 1875
Text

Zettlein has a bad habit, and it is one that is common to Chicago players, which should be corrected, and if in no other way, a fine should be imposed upon him whenever he commits it. That is, if he hits a ball to the infield he halts to see if it is handled, and if it is, he makes no start for first. This is a grave error, and in addition to rankling the spectators, has a demoralizing effect upon the players.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

notice of a no hitter

Date Sunday, September 12, 1875
Text

When the Chicago club played the Philadelphias on the grounds of the latter, Josephs performed the hitherto unparalleled feat of putting out a professional nine in a game of nine innings without their being able to score a single base hit, the score of the game standing 4 to 0. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury September 12, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

only five Atlantics show up

Date Sunday, July 25, 1875
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 7/19/1875] [The Atlantics] visited this city with but five of their nine: Cassidy, Nichols, Moore, Pabor and Dailey. The rather “attenuated” excuse given for the non-appearance of the rest of their nie was that they had missed the train, this being, by the way, the second time that the same club have disappointed the people of this city under similar circumstances. Rather than disappoint by public by forfeiting the game, four excellent amateur players volunteer their services to fill out the Atlantic’s ranks... Philadelphia Sunday Mercury July 25, 1875

umpire has difficulty calling balls on and strikes on left-handed batters, suggesting he positioned himself on the first base side for all batters

Mr. McLean umpired in both of these games, and as a general thing proved himself equal to the task; but in the case of left-hand strike [sic: probably should be left-handed strikers], he shows a failure to appreciate what is a good ball. In the case of Nelson, who is particular about the locality in which the ball must come, he would call “balls” on the pitcher, while in the case of Hall, who is equally tenacious, he would call “strikes.” We do not say that there was any partiality, but to the stranger it looked so. Philadelphia Sunday Republic July 25, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

out of town players in an amateur nine

Date Sunday, April 4, 1875
Text

The J. B. Doerr Club have secured Thursday of each week on the Centennial grounds this season, and have adopted a neat uniform of white flannel shirts and pants, and green stockings. Their nine this season will be a very strong one, including, as their latest accessions, Harry Riffert, from the Harrisburg High Boys, and Sam Fields, of the Actives of Reading, besides players from last year’s nines of the Jeffersons, Modocs and Shibes.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

outfield assists

Date Saturday, February 13, 1875
Text

It used to be sufficient for an outfielder to go to his position, stay there until a ball came within his reach, and then to stop it and throw it in to the pitcher, or catch it on the fly. Now, however, something far more important is required in each and all of the outfield positions. Such a thing as a double play from an outfield catch used to be very rare; and putting out a player at first base from a throw in from right field was a feat almost unknown. Now an outfielder does not play up to his mark unless he frequently makes such plays during a season’s campaign. In the old day s of heavy “muffin batting,” when all a batsman thought of was making duffer home-runs, the outfielders used to lay out well for fly-catches. It is very different now. Then all that was required in an outfield players was that he should be a sure catcher and a long thrower. At present an outfielder incapable of using his head in his play is not worth much.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

overrunning all bases; definition of 'overrunning'

Date Sunday, January 10, 1875
Text

Among the amendments to the rules likely to be adopted in March next are two or three which should commend themselves to special favor with the fraternity. One is a rule allowing all bases to be overrun... The object of the first rule is to reduce the number of injuries to players from base-running... New York Sunday Mercury January 10, 1875

Of course no base is overrun in the case of a home run, nor is first or second overrun on a three-base hit. New York Clipper January 23, 1875

[the rules deliberations at the professional convention:] The overrunning of all the bases was not presented... [perhaps due to lack of time] New York Clipper March 13, 1875

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pearce's block hits

Date Sunday, July 11, 1875
Text

[St. Louis vs. Philadelphia 7/8/1875] Another fearure of the game was the number of block hits made by Pearce and McMullin, the former of whom secured his bases four times in this manner.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia Club finances 2

Date Tuesday, November 30, 1875
Text

The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Philadelphia Base Ball Club was held last evening, Major McCuen in the chair. The treasurer’s report was submitted. It states that the receipts from all sources in 1875 were $16,674.45; expenditures, $16,423.64; due players of 1874, $724.42; due players of 1875, $916.46. The present indebtedness is $1,640.88; decrease of debt last year, $963.75. An assessment of $20 per share was ordered to be levied.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pie sold at the refreshment stand

Date Friday, May 7, 1875
Text

[the game cancelled due to rain] An incident of the day is worth noting: The great McBride was seen to run for the refreshment stand, just after the rain commenced, and seize a big piece of pie.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching delivery rules

Date Sunday, March 21, 1875
Text

The rule governing the delivery of the ball will not allow it to be delivered from any position above the hip, or at the side of the body. To comply with this rule pitchers will have to deliver the ball with the arm swinging close to the body. None of the professional pitchers will be affected by this rule, which will, however, cause the ruling out, as unfair, the delivery of a great many amateurs.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

player contracts cannot be signed during the previous season

Date Sunday, March 14, 1875
Text

[reporting on the NA convention] The rule governing the making of contracts by players was amended so as to make any contract made with a player before Nov. 1 of each season illegal...

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players don't know the rules

Date Saturday, January 9, 1875
Text

Every professional player of a nine should be directed, by his club-managers, to study up the rules immediately after the March Convention of each year. Last season there were dozens of professionals who for the first time knew what this, that, or the other rule meant at the very close of the season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing the right fielder in

Date Saturday, August 28, 1875
Text

A new “point” was introduced in baseball on the occasion of the meeting between the Delaware and Buckeye Clubs at Columbus, O., the new point consisting of playing the right-fielder as right short, or nearly so, leaving the centre-fielder to attend to long-hit balls to right field. It was done from the fact that the pitching was too swift to be hit to the outfield as often as it was likely to be at right short, and by the playing of the second baseman well back of second, an open place was covered, which usually yields base-hits when the second baseman plays to cover right short.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

post-mortem: charges of hippodroming

Date Tuesday, November 2, 1875
Text

...It is, of course, almost impossible to furnish proof positive that a game is not decided on its merits. Yet there were doubtless many of them “thrown” to benefit the gambling fraternity. The Philadelphia and Mutual Clubs, as they always have been, were looked upon as the black sheep in the flock, each particular organization being controlled by a coterie of sporting men,. The Mutuals were not strong enough this season to successfully “hippodrome” to a very great extent. Hicks, their catcher, it is said, could tell how many runs their opponents would make in each inning, and his friends used to lay their bets accordingly. With the Philadelphia nine it was different, its players being skillful enough to win when they pleased, except when pitted against the Bostons or Athletics. Hippodroming places them next to last in the championship race, while their proper position should be third. Zettlein, their pitcher, only last week, openly charged his associates with selling out, and retired in disgust. During the season half a dozen of the players have been frequently charged with “crooked” conduct, among them Treacy, McGeary, Meyerle, and Zettlein. Of other clubs, it is openly charged that Chicago lost her three final games to Hartford to beat St. Louis out of third place, which is about as probable as that Chicago and St. Louis arranged at the beginning of the season that each organization should win all games on its own grounds, which proved to be the case. Many there are who assert that they are confident such was the case.

Although numerous players were accused of dishonesty, desertion and unfaithful conduct during the season, not a single member was expelled from the association. On the contrary, they were all released from their engagements; and, by being at once hired by some rival club to the one which they had left, were tempted still further to sell out and “revolve.” Higham left Chicago, and the Mutuals received him with open arms. Blong was expelled from the Reds and Stars, to be affectionately received in the Brown Stockings fold. Latham went from Boston to New Haven, and thence to Canada. Fields skipped the Washingtons for the Ludlows, and others too numerous to mention, skipped from one club to another with perfect impunity. This has done more than anything else towards killing base ball, and, unless the players to which class those mentioned belong are at once emphatically informed that their services are not desired, another year will show that base ball is assuredly played out. Philadelphia All-Day City Item November 2, 1875, quoting the St. Louis Globe-Democrat

naming clubs with fraudulent play

There has been but one drawback to the credit of the season's play, and that is the fraudulent play which has been indulged in by a small minority of the players of the Philadelphia, Mutual, Atlantic, and Chicago Clubs. There is no need of mincing matters on the subject—the facts are too plain, in showing the “crooked” play indulged in by a few members of each of the above mentioned teams during the past season, to be doubted. The Chicago and Philadelphia Clubs have openly suspended players for alleged dishonest practices, and the style of play exhibited by the other two clubs shows plainly enough what both could have done had all of their nines played with earnest efforts to win in every contest in which they were engaged. The worst cases of this “crooked” business have occurred in the Philadelphia Club team; and for the credit of the honest portion of that corps, we hope to see the Judiciary Committee throw light on the frauds committed, and place the knaves outside the pale of the Professional Association. Out of about a hundred and thirty regular professional players who have taken part in the contests of 1875, there are about ten whose record for honest play will not bear examination. This list includes a well-known pitcher, a catcher, a short-stop, a second baseman, and two outfielders, all of whom are marked men in the cities where they play. New York Clipper November 6, 1875

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

posting scores inning by inning

Date Saturday, May 22, 1875
Text

[Chicago vs. St. Louis 5/8/1875] All the newspaper offices and a number of prominent saloons exposed bulletins, upon which was represented the rules of each inning as telegraphed from the base ball park. Around these central resorts multitudes flocked, and received with the wildest cheers the results as announced. St. Louis is enthusiastic over its second triumph, and nothing else is talked about on the streets or in the hotels or in the barrooms.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

practice uniforms 3

Date Sunday, February 7, 1875
Text

The St. Louis Club have a neat bluish gray flannel uniform to practice in the gymnasium and on the ball-field, and for match games they have a very handsome uniform, consisting of black and gold narrow stripe silk cap, white Hale [?] thread undershirt, with monogram of club worked in brown on breast; white belts with “Walls of Troy” figure worked on it in brown; white English cricket flannel knee-breeches, brown stocking and brown undressed leather cricket shoes, with double breasted cricket flannel jackets.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

preliminary motions and balks

Date Saturday, May 22, 1875
Text

Clinton, in his debut as a pitcher [with the Atlantics], showed that he had speed and tolerable command of the ball; but he should avoid all the preliminary motions in delivery that he can; for the moment he makes one of these movements, and fails to follow it up by delivering the ball, he commits a balk—that is, he cannot make such movement and afterwards throw to a base. Therefore he should avoid as many such movements as possible, especially that of moving his forward foot with a series of steps.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

quasi-professionalism

Date Sunday, April 11, 1875
Text

For a great many seasons past there has existed in New York and Brooklyn a sort of , which cloaks itself under the garb of amateurism. The rivalry between such clubs as the Flyaways, Silver Stars, Concords and organizations of that class has attracted ofttimes more attention than has professional contests. Many of the players are compensated for their services–some drawing regular salaries.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Radcliff is reinstated

Date Sunday, March 7, 1875
Text

[reporting on the report judiciary committee of the NAPBBP convention] No formal charges having been made to the committee against Radcliff, they declare that he is reinstated. The numerous friends of this well known player will receive this news with satisfaction. Philadelphia All-Day City Item March 7, 1875

In the case of John S. Radcliff, as the Philadelphia Club did not wish to press the charge, he was reinstated. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury March 7, 1875

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Record now with the Live Oak of Lynn

Date Sunday, May 16, 1875
Text

The Washington Baseball Club, of Washington, played the Live Oaks, of Lynn, Mass., on the latter’s grounds May 11. There was a good attendance of spectators. This game was a very fine one, the fielding of the Live Oaks being almost perfect, and Record is particularly worthy of mention.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

refusing to allow a courtesy runner

Date Sunday, August 22, 1875
Text

[Athletic vs. St. Louis 8/16/1875] Pearce’s contemptibly shabby trick of refusing to allow any one to run the bases for Fisler led, as might be expected, to the latter’s retirement; in the first innings he having again sprained his ank.e, and this deprived the Athletics of one of their best batsmen and fielders, the conduct of Pearce in refusing to allow Fisler’s substitute in running the bases being an unprecedented act of discourtesy toward one of the brightest ornaments in the professional fraternity, and something that the captain of no other club would be guilty of.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reserved seats; additional admission fee

Date Saturday, March 6, 1875
Text

[describing the Hartford Club pavilion] There are twelve rows of seats, which are separated by three aisles, extending from the front to the rear of the stand. These rows are subdivided into seats, in the same way that the seats in the dress-circle at the Opera-house are divided, and each of these will be numbered, and no one will be entitled to any seat here, excepting the holder of a season ticket with the number of the seat on it. If possible, of course, all of these seats will be sold, but if at the opening of the season any remain unsold, spectators will be admitted to these seats on payment of 25 cents in addition to the regular admission.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

revolving among the amateurs 3

Date Saturday, June 26, 1875
Text

[from a letter to the editor] I know not how it is in other parts of the country, but here in New York and vicinity many clubs care only for a victory—never for the means they employ to obtain it. We have seen Mr. P. Carr, originally of the Jaspers, play already in three different clubs, and then announce himself ready to play in a fourth.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rooftop spectators

Date Wednesday, August 11, 1875
Text

The roofs of a row of houses adjoining the Athletic grounds are let out on days when games are played. A terrible accident is going to occur some day.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumor of a thrown game

Date Saturday, May 29, 1875
Text

A Philadelphia correspondent, in referring to the Hartford-Atheltic match of May 22, intimates that there was “something wrong somewhere.” He says: “The Hartfords had out their full team, while the Athletic were without Fisler, Eggler, and Rach; and McBride and Richmond, who played, were in no condition to do so; yet the odds, after being 100 to 80 in favor of the Hartfords, suddenly veered around to the same odds on the Athletics, all this change taking place an hour before the game commenced. $1,100 is said to have been paid to two of the Hartfords to throw this game.” …. We do not know how much truth there is in this. If the report is correct, it would be well to offer $1,000 reward for the detection of the parties than lose ten times the amount by not having every man reliable. The Hartford Club is in the hands of men who will not stand even the suspicion of fraud on their nine.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumor of both teams playing to lose

Date Sunday, July 4, 1875
Text

The Chicago papers have, of late, been throwing a good deal of dirty water at the home club, and, in their eagerness to destroy the reputation of the players, attempt to cast odium on other clubs, the latest attempt in the direction being a most ungenerous attack upon a member of the Philadelphia Club, in the Chicago Tribune. For the benefit of the individual who wrote the article we beg leave to say that the Philadelphia Club, as at present constituted, is as honorable and honest as any in the arena, not one of whom would descend to the dirty action charged to them. That our readers may see the meanness of the charge, we publish the article in full: “much comment was provided by the result of Thursday’s baseball game, and especially by the errors which lost the game for the White Stockings, as well as those which ought to have lost it for the Philadelphias. So strong was the impression of good judges of the game that something was out of tune, that an investigation was had yesterday, by those interested, to ascertain whether there were any grounds for suspicion of foul play. That investigation has developed some peculiar theories which may be briefly narrated, as follows: after the first game between the Whites and the Philadelphias, it is asserted that a parcel of bunko men, low gamblers, and general disreputables made up a pool to secure the result of Thursday’s game. They raised, it is said, a sum variously estimated at from $300 to $500, and opened negotiations with a player occupying a responsible position in the Philadelphia’s field. The gang, it is claimed, were successful in buying their man, and went at once to work to make the most of the purchase. They bought all the pools they could on the Chicagos, at any and every rate, and were free with offers of all sorts of odds that the Whites would win, putting up freely and confidently. When the nines made their appearance on the ground, the members of the pool were still anxious to bet, and wagered considerable sums after the game began. Their purchase looked promising, and the man whom they had bought performed his share of the work to the best of his ability, making all the wild throws possible, and muffing everything that came to him but there was a hitch in the proceedings. One of the Chicagos learned of the transaction, and, it is said, demanded to be let in. He was refused admittance to the ring, and he at once held a consultation with his friends and with other players of the Chicago nine, and they determined to lose the game for Chicago, and they did it less than two minutes. How much they made is not known–perhaps they made nothing, but were animated solely by a spirit of revenge. It makes no difference about that either way. There is a moral to this story, and it is not very long either. It is in the form of advice to the public like this: If you attend the game to-day, watch it carefully, and if you see any player make five errors on easy throws, demand that he be removed, and if that is not permitted, walk boldly on the field and stop the game. There has been just enough of this suspicious business in baseball in Chicago, and it would be better for the game if the crowd would tear down the fence and stands rather than ever suffer another player to be bought or sold on Chicago ground.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumor the Washington Club throwing games to amateurs

Date Sunday, June 27, 1875
Text

There have been ugly rumors afloat in the base ball world this week concerning the Washington Club, which is now on a Western tour under the charge of Mr. Bruce, to the effect that they were allowing country clubs who would give them $50 and the full gate receipts the name of defeating a professional nine, the number of games they have lost with amateur clubs has had the effect of making the story plausible, yet for the name of the game and the Washington Club, we hope the rumors are without foundation.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

running up the pitch count; pitching around the batter

Date Thursday, May 27, 1875
Text

[Boston vs. Philadelphia 5/26/1875] An now what were his [Harry Wright] tactics: First, his men were ordered to tire out Fisher [pitcher] by remaining at the bat as long as it was possible. Second, by changing pitchers in the eighth inning and giving the opposing club balls they could not reach, giving them if necessary their bases on called balls, rather than run the risk of the very heavy batting which they had been doing. These are the points, the feats in generalship, if you please, that won for the Boston club their victory.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring on a force third out

Date Saturday, August 7, 1875
Text

[from answers to correspondents] 1. Suppose the bases are full, and the batter hits a ball to short stop, which is fielded to third base in time to put out the base-runner going from second base, which is the third hand out; and the runner going from third touched the home-plate at the same time the ball is held on third base. Does the score count? 2. Does it count if touched before the ball is held on third base? … If the player is put out at the same time, the run does not count; but if the home-base is touched before the player is put out, then the run counts.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sharp practice for the umpire to call strikes in succession

Date Friday, May 28, 1875
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 5/27/1875] We thought it sharp practice to call two strikes in succession on Latham, who always plays a fair game and never “waits,” and cannot be charged with trickery.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Simultaneous games hurting attendance

Date Sunday, May 23, 1875
Text

The fact of having two championship matches going at the same time in the same city is an unusual one, and as all the patrons of the game could not see both, the participants in one of them must of necessity suffer pecuniarily. Such was the case yesterday, and as the Boston had already been seen on Thursday, it was but natural that the crowd should wend its way to the Athletic ground, where the Athletic and Hartford were to contend. The Centennial-Boson match therefore was witnessed by a very small audience...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

six games the minimum legal series

Date Sunday, March 7, 1875
Text

[reporting on the new rules from the NAPBBP convention] Upon motion, six games of each series were declared necessary to be played, to make the series legal. Adopted.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding a director, and secretary and manager of the Chicago Club

Date Sunday, November 7, 1875
Text

At a recent meeting of the Chicago Club, Spalding was elected a director and secretary, and afterwards appointed manager.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding the Chicago Club manager, and other offices

Date Saturday, November 13, 1875
Text

At the last meeting of the [Chicago] Club, Mr. A. Spalding was chosen one of the directors; and, by a unanimous vote, he was also appointed the club-manager and secretary for 1875.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spring training by playing handball

Date Monday, April 19, 1875
Text

Mr. Cammeyer has at last awakened to the importance of thorough training before playing any match games, and accordingly has put his men through a pretty thorough course of exercise during the last three weeks. The weather has been such as to preclude the possibility of much out-door practice, but this difficulty has been overcome by placing the nine at work in a hand ball alley over in Brooklyn. No practice is more valuable to a base ball player than that attained by playing hand ball. Every muscle is brought into play, and the eye becomes trained and accustomed to those short, chopping bounders which are the dread of most players of out national game. Of course, very little can be learned in a hand ball alley in regard to the very essential point of batting; but if the men become thorough fielders their batting will come to them easily after a few encounters with some of our bets amateur pitchers.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

strategy in pitching

Date Saturday, January 2, 1875
Text

Two seasons ago it was regarded as the point to play, in pitching, never to send a ball tot he bat near enough to be hit unless forced to do so by fear of the penalty of called balls. Now, however, experience has shown that the most effective pitcher is he who can send on the swiftest balls directly over the home-plate. The reason why this is now the point to play is this: The position the batsman takes when he is fully prepared to hit the ball, is one which cannot well be sustained for any length of time, as it is necessarily one similar to that a man would take in a tableaux position. By sending in wide balls the batsman has an opportunity afforded him to rest, while by continually sending in straight balls over the base he is obliged to be prepared to hit the ball every time it is pitched; and this is something few batsmen can keep up. Varying the height of the ball while pitching over the base is telling in its effect, but it is not skillful play any longer to pitcher either side of the base. It follows, therefore, that his is the most effective pitcher who can pitch the “straightest,” viz., the most continuously over the bas. The perfection of the art of a swift delivery is the power to send in the ball by the horizontal curve. Just as the curved line of a tossed ball bothers the sight of a batsman, so does the side curve of a swiftly-pitched ball, such as Matthews and Cummings send in when they put on their speed. The reason that this style is so difficult to punish, is that the batsman is led to expect that the ball is coming close to him, while, instead, it curves out from him, and vice versa. To send in the ball with this side-curve, therefore, so that the ball curves in over the base, is to deliver the ball in the highest style of the art.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

striking a pitch in the dirt

Date Saturday, September 11, 1875
Text

[from answers to correspondents] ...the first ball delivered is bowled in and the striker (standing within the lines of his position) hits it as it bounds toward him, and, before short-stop can field it, makes his first base. The umpire rules that the striker is entitled to his base, and, upon the [fielding] club refusing to continue the game, decided int in favor of [the batting club] 9 to 0. Is the ruling correct? … Yes.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

substitute runners overused; courtesy runner

Date Saturday, January 9, 1875
Text

Another objectionable custom granted to pitchers was that of allowing them to have substitutes in running the bases. After a lengthy inning in pitching, and when the pitcher happens to be the first or second striker, such a thing may be excusable; but under no other circumstances. For the very same reason the shot-stop or catcher might claim exemption from the fatigue of base-running. No man on a nine should be allowed a substitute to run bases for him unless actually disabled from running for himself by some injury or illness.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

substitutes not in uniform

Date Thursday, September 16, 1875
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Athletic 9/15/1875] The game was a tedious one, occasioned greatly by long waits. A half hour’s delay was caused by “Josephs,” who had promised faithfully to be on hand, not putting in an appearance, a misfeasance upon his part which gave rise to some ugly suggestions thouching “the cause.” Zettlein, however, donned his uniform, and was applauded as he took his position.

When the Athletics took the field, Knight was practicing Coons, when on the second ball pitched, Coons was further disabled, by having his fingers fearfully lacerated, and he was compelled to leave. This caused another tedious wait, as Clapp had to go from the field to the house to rig up.

Does not the constitution and by-laws of the Athletic Club require the substitutes to be dressed in uniform, and upon the field? If this was done, such disagreeable delays would not occur.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suggestion to refuse to play Western co-op clubs

Date Sunday, April 4, 1875
Text

...it has been suggested that the Easter clubs should combine together and refuse to play at all with the co-operative Western nines, viz., the Keokuk and Red Stockings, and it would undoubtedly be to their pecuniary advantage to do so.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

support for eliminating the foul bound

Date Friday, February 19, 1875
Text

[from a letter from N. E. Young:] The proposition, to make it strictly a “fly” game, will add very much to its beauty and science, and there can be very little doubt of its adoption at the next meeting of the association. Philadelphia All-Day City Item February 19, 1875

[from a letter from Benjamin Douglass, Jr., of the Hartford Club][supporting a rule change] ...to annul foul bounds. Are we not old enough now to have the ball caught on the fly only, when foul as well as fair? Let a legal catch be on the fly only. Philadelphia All-Day City Item February 28, 1875

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

switch hitting within one at bat

Date Saturday, August 21, 1875
Text

[Mutual vs. Hartford 8/12/1875] [Bobby Mathews, RHP, pitching] Ferguson then took up the ash, and after hitting a number of fouls, while batting left-handed, turned and began his right-hand batting, by the safest kind of a hit over the third-baseman's head into the let field, which earned him two bases...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tagging up on foul flies

Date Sunday, January 10, 1875
Text

Among the amendments to the rules likely to be adopted in March next are two or three which should commend themselves to special favor with the fraternity. ...and lastly, allowing bases to be run on foul-ball fly-catches, just the same as those of fair fly-balls caught; this is, to allow, the base runner to leave the base he has returned to and touched on a foul ball, hit high for a catch, the moment the ball is caught, just the same as he now does in the case of a fair fly-ball caught.

...

In regard to allowing base runners the privilege to run bases on a foul fly catch just the same as in the case of a fair fly ball caught, there is not a point that can be made against the new rule, while several can be urged in its favor. The foul ball feature of the game is already too one-sided in its character to be as fair as other points of play are. By the existing rule the striker of a foul ball is not only punished, but also the base runner occupying an earned base when the ball is hit. Sure the latter is entitled to as much freedom in running bases on a foul ball as caught on the fly on a fair fly ball. The new rule will introduce livelier work in base running, and consequently improve the game. New York Sunday Mercury January 10, 1875

[from a letter by Benjamin Douglass, Jr., of the Hartford Club] There are several reasons why this should be adopted. In the first place, it is very seldom the fault of the players on the bases when they do thus get out. It is often caused by the umpire’s being slow in calling four or by his being unable to hear him when he does call, on account of the noise made by the crowd, so that it is an accident when base runners are so put out, and not by any good play by opponents, therefore it should not be taken advantage of by them. Philadelphia All-Day City Item February 28, 1875

the Atlantic Club annual meeting

At the annual meeting of [the Atlantic Club], held Jan. 7, the following officers were elected, a large number of the old members being present: E.W. Stafford, president; Wm. A. Powers, vice-president; Benj. Van Delft, corresponding secretary; Samuel Davenport, recording secretary; W. Gleason, treasurer. Directors, J. C. Cornish, Jos. Hamilton, James Campbell. Auditing Committee, Hugh F. Campbell, Rich. Goodwin, Jr., James H. Preaton. The players engaged for the Atlantic team of 1875 include Barlow, Rosman, Crane, Patterson, Nichols, Kessler, Booth, Pabor, Clack, Boyd and two or three other good men, and true Charley Pabor, the honest old veteran of the Morrisania Unions, will captain the team. New York Sunday Mercury January 10, 1875

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ten-men exhibition games 2

Date Sunday, April 4, 1875
Text

The subject of the proposed exhibition games to be played by the Athletic during the next few weeks is creating considerable talk among the more knowing in base ball circles, and its pros and cons are being discussed rather animatedly. There are two sides to the question, of course, and nothing but experience will enable us to learn whether this action will be beneficial or not. The lesson given the Philadelphia club on this score is one that would prompt an abolition of exhibition games; but the directors of the Athletic seem to think that it is good to give their men practice against professionals, ere entering upon work that counts in the championship records. They also think that the fact of games being played early in the spring, combined with the new plan of ten men and ten innings, will attract large audiences, and yet not detract from the size of succeeding audiences on championship games. On the other hand, however, it is contend, and, we must acknowledge, with great force, that the carelessness generally displayed over exhibition games will disgust many people with the game, and so initiate a littleness that will prevent many from taking that ardent interest that makes up and draws large audiences to the grounds, and also in addition to that, there is the liability of players becoming injured in such games, and the clubs thus being deprived of their services when actually needed. Then, again, by playing a man as right short, it confuses the first and second basemen and induced them in regular games to play too near their bases, and not cover ground enough. We believe that the experiment will be detrimental to the interest of the club, and it had better be abandoned while there is time.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

terms offered to visiting clubs

Date Saturday, May 29, 1875
Text

The Buckeyes of Columbus, O., have secured enclosed grounds, and offer extra inducements to visiting clubs, allowing those from a distance fifty per cent. of the gross receipts. New York Clipper May 29, 1875

a huge attendance

[Boston vs. Hartford 5/18/1875] So great was the interest taken in this match, that all the manufacturing firms in the city found it necessary to close their factories, and extra trains were run upon all the railroads, bringing large delegations from the surrounding cities and towns. Game was announced to begin at 3:30 P.M.; but by noon people began to gather upon the grounds, and before two o'clock all the seats except those that were reserved were occupied; and by the time game was called, fully 10,000 persons were congregated within the inclosure. New York Clipper May 29, 1875

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the 'waiting game' for a base on balls

Date Sunday, October 10, 1875
Text

[Boston vs. Philadelphia 10/7/1875] Beals played the “waiting game” in the eighth inning of the Bostons, and was the second time presented by the umpire with a base on called balls...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics depose McBride

Date Sunday, October 17, 1875
Text

The Athletics have been rather unfortunate of late, especially in their match of Oct 8, with the Hartfords, they having deposed McBride as pitcher in consequence...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Baltimore club wraps up its affairs

Date Saturday, March 20, 1875
Text

A bill of complaint was filed on March 6 in the Circuit Court of Baltimore to wind up the affairs of the Baltimore Baseball Company. Robert C. Hall, John W. Hall, trading as Hall Brothers & Co., Robert C. Hall in his own right, W. J. Davison, W. Stewart Symington, A. K. Fulton and John K. Sears filed the bill of complaint, stating that in September, 1872 they, with others, formed a joint-stock company, called the Baltimore Baseball Club, for the purpose of hiring experts in the game of baseball, forming a club of the experts, in order to derive profit from entrance fees to see the games. R. C. Hall and Messrs. Symington, Fulton and Sears were directors, and W. J. Davison was treasurer. The capital stock was divided into shares of $25 each, par value. The names of the other subscribers to the stock are then given, and it is stated in the bill the operations of the company were carried on during the Summer and Fall of 1873, but were not successful, and the company became indebted inconsiderable sums to the players whom they employed, to the proprietors of the grounds and other persons. The complainants say they have advanced nearly $10,000 at various times for the company, and have not been repaid. They have also been sued as officers of the company by five of the players for their salaries, namely, William H. Craver, Thos. Carey, Thomas York, John Radcliff and Scott Hastings, and by George H. Houck for the rent of the baseball grounds. They say that the company is insolvent; that, owing to the large number of stockholders, it is impossible to get any unanimity or concert of action, and they ask that the statement of an account may be ordered by the Court, that the partnership may be wound up and dissolved, that such of the stockholders as have not paid may be compelled to pay their subscriptions, and that the players who have sued them may be restrained by injunction from prosecuting their suits at law. There are about one hundred and fifty subscribers to the stock named in the bill, for whom subpoenas were issued for the Sheriff to summon them, and when the paper with all their names was handed to that officer he at first took it for a petition which somebody wanted him to sign. New York Clipper March 20, 1875 quoting the Baltimore Sun.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Boston Club stockholders play a game

Date Saturday, November 13, 1875
Text

The regular Boston Club team played against ten of the stockholders on the 6th inst., the nine winning by 25 to 23.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Boston club rooms

Date Sunday, March 14, 1875
Text

The new headquarters of the Boston Club will be at No. 39 Eliot street, Boston, and will shortly be ready for occupancy. George Wright will have a cigar store and billiard table in the front room and in the rear will be two rooms, to be occupied by the Boston Club; one as a card and reading room, and the other as a parlor, both being neatly furnished. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury March 14, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the English opinion of baseball

Date Sunday, October 3, 1875
Text

The following dispatch, per Atlantic cable, is just in time for this issue. It comes from our special base ball correspondent in London: “Cricketers, heads of schools, of athletic clubs, and of the universities in England, have long been deliberating over the merits of base ball. Their decision is at last arrived at, and it in unanimous. It is to the effect that the game is more fit for boys under twelve or fourteen than for men, and that it is never likely to find favor with English adults. Excitable and erratic young gents may safely indulge in it. The authoritative and dictatorial powers wielded in the game by umpires are sufficient to militate against the possibility of its ever becoming popular in England.” So it would appear that “Capt.” Spalding’s mission to England was a failure in more ways than one.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsior Club dinner

Date Saturday, December 4, 1875
Text

The Excelsior Club of Brooklyn.--This once famous baseball organization will celebrate its coming of age—its 21st anniversary—on Dec. 8, on which occasion they will have a grand dinner at Delmonico's, in New York, where there will be quite a reunion of the “old boys” of the club, as well as the “rustics” and youngsters. “Poor Jim Davis” of the Knickerbockers is preparing a grand speech and song for the occasion. Tickets to the dinner are ten dollars.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsiors drop baseball

Date Sunday, March 21, 1875
Text

THE OLD EXCELSIORS OF BROOKLYN.–This baseball organization, which for twenty years has been a star in the amateur firmament, is about to be blotted from the record of baseball clubs, a proposition having been made to discard the name of baseball in connection with the objects of the association.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Excelsiors in the field

Date Sunday, September 19, 1875
Text

The old Excelsior club, of Brooklyn, went to Englewood, N.J., Sept. 15 to play the Englewood Club, of that place. The Excelsiors excelled at the bat, though defeated. Benner was the only one of the Excelsiors that earned a run. New York Sunday Mercury September 19, 1875 [per PCI 9/17/1875 score 7 - 4.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Knickerbockers in a scrub cricket game

Date Sunday, September 5, 1875
Text

A sort of scrub game at cricket was played yesterday on the grounds of the St. George’s Club and the Knickerbocker Baseball Club, playing nine instead of eleven on each side. It was not really a trial of skill, because the Knickerbockers do not profess to be crack cricketers, which the others are.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Olympic Club anniversary

Date Sunday, June 6, 1875
Text

On Friday the Olympic club celebrated its forty-second anniversary, the ceremonies incident to the occasion transpiring on the grounds at Twenty-fifth and Jefferson streets. They consisted of two games of ball and a banquet. There were about one hundred gentlemen present, among whom we recognized the following veterans: W. E. Whitman, Colonel Ellmaker and Messrs. Draper, Paul, Dusenbery, Payne, Richards, Berkenstock, Reach, Wilkins and Kleinfelder. The festivities were of the usual character and much enjoyed by the participants.; see also PCI 750605

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Washington manager absconds?

Date Sunday, July 11, 1875
Text

On Sunday evening, just as the Washington ball-tossers were ready to start for home, it was discovered that their manager who is known as “Binel,” was not forthcoming. He had, but a few minutes before, told them to eat a hasty supper in order to catch the train. They were stopping at the Everett House, and when it was discovered that the manager was not in the office, the players were loth to believe that he had left them in the lurch, many thinking that he was talking to a friend in some obscure corner, and would be on hand in time for the train. When the omnibus called he was still missing, and the players began to suspect that all was not as it should be.

What had become of the gate money intrusted to his case was a question asked on all sides. The manager had $350 or $400 of the club’s funds in his possession. Philadelphia All-

Day City Item July 11, 1875

The members of the disbanded Washington club have arrived from the West, and are very severe upon the action of Bruce, who stole away with their earnings. Philadelphia All-Day City Item July 14, 1875

Mr. Bruce, the runaway manager of the Washington Club, has not yet been apprehended. The amount stolen is estimated at between three and four hundred dollars. Women and wine were the causes of his downfall. Philadelphia All-Day City Item July 17, 1875

Sam Fields, of the unfortunate Washingtons, states that the Washington boys had been transported home through the generosity of Mr. George McMannus, of St. Louis. New York Sunday Mercury July 18, 1875

[Mr. Bruce] gives a statement of receipts and expenditures, claiming the former, (which he says included $206 of his own money,) to have been $1,148.20 and the latter $1,147.00. He says that after he had paid out all the money he had with him, and his credit was good for no more, he was thrown overboard, and the news sent over the country that he had absconded with all the funds of the club, in order to enable the men to get up a subscription to get them home. Philadelphia All-Day City Item July 23, 1875

Source Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Western of Keokuk disbands

Date Saturday, June 26, 1875
Text

A variety of causes contributed to this result, but pecuniary affairs did not cause the disbandment. The principal cause was the difficulty of arranging games with Eastern clubs, as they would not come here nor give the Westerns dates for the Eastern trip. The population of this place is not sufficient to furnish audiences that would induce professional clubs to play their quota of games here... A number of them [the players] have already secured positions in some of the best nines in the country, which fully demonstrates the fact that the club embraced first-class material. This fact was well known to the managers of the leading clubs, and there is no doubt that they have been doing all in their power to bring about the dissolution that has at length taken place.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Westerns of Keokuk disband

Date Sunday, June 27, 1875
Text

The Centennials ‘stepped down and out’ some time ago, and the Keokuks came to grief last week. The Eastern clubs did not propose to go to a country village, and not get enough gate-receipts to pay their fare from the hotel to the grounds. Think of a club receiving $1,300 in Chicago, and then have to put up with $13 in Keokuk. They may have got more, but clubs never get enough to pay expenses. Now let the Red Sox, Washingtons, New Havens, and Atlantics disband, and leave the diamond to the clubs that know how to play the national game, even if they don’t always do it.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the argument for abolishing fair fouls; the positioning of the umpire

Date Friday, February 19, 1875
Text

[from a letter from N. E. Young:] In my opinion, one of the most important changes proposed, is that which dispenses with what is called “fair-foul” batting. This can be effectually done by making the foul lines extend from home base to first and home base to third, making all balls foul which cross those lines before reaching those bases. An umpire then could stand back in his proper position, and judge better of fair and unfair balls, a delivered by the pitcher, and not be compelled to stand opposite to the striker to judge balls that are “bunted” down at the batsman’s feet.

In whichever position the umpire stands, there must, of necessity, be a good deal of queer work in judging one or the other.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the balls and strikes rule unfair to the batter

Date Saturday, May 22, 1875
Text

The Hartfords have much to learn yet in...batting under the new rules; which, by the way, bear unfairly on the striker, inasmuch as he is obliged to strike the first fair ball sent in, and also at three fair balls in succession, while the pitcher can pitch nine unfair balls before a batsman can take a base on called balls. The rule ought to be the calling of every second ball, both for unfair balls and fair balls, thus making the rule equitable for pitcher and striker alike. Now it is one-sided, and bears hard upon the batsman...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the benefit of two professional clubs in one city

Date Sunday, January 3, 1875
Text

The mistake made by the new St. Louis club in selecting their players entirely from the East is having its effect in bringing about the organization of a new St. Louis professional club, under the plan of co-operative-nine management. If this is carried out, it will have a tendency to largely increase the receipts of the regular stock-company organization, owing to the local rivalry which will be created in the struggle of the St. Louis Eastern regulars to defeat the St. Louis co-operative Western boys. This having two professional clubs in a large city was proved to be the right thing to do by the increased receipts brought about by the creation of the rival Philadelphia nine, they and the Athletics dividing nearly $50,000 in receipts in 1873. Chicago has made a mistake in not having two such nines, and St. Louis ti will be seen is to profit by her experience, as the organization of the co-operative nine there shows. What with contests between the St. Louis “regulars” and the “cops,” together with the games with the Chicagoes and Westerns, of Keokus, there would be lively baseball times out West in 1875.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the center fielder playing in close

Date Saturday, February 13, 1875
Text

The centre-fielder now–under the nine-men rule–is very frequently required to play a long second-base position. That is, when the second baseman is playing “right-short” and the “short-stop” is well up towards third, and the latter looking out for fair fouls on foul ground, the second base is necessarily left unguarded unless the centre-fielder plays well in towards the base, so as to partly cover it. This, of course, can only be done at the risk of a ball now and then over his head, but the cost of this is compensated for by the bases saved by thus guarding or backing up second base. It will be plainly seen by this that the centre-field position requires a man used to “headwork” play, and one who keenly watches the play at the bat and in the infield.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the championship flag and pennant

Date Saturday, April 17, 1875
Text

The championship flag and pennant of 1875 are on exhibition at the new rooms of the Boston Club, on Elliot street, Boston. The flag measures 30 feet by 10; the groundwork is white with red trimmings; and the inscription in red and blue letters as follows: “Boston—1873—1874—1875--Champions.” The pennant is 40 feet in length, and resembles that of last year.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the change pitcher is put in right field

Date Sunday, April 11, 1875
Text

[the Hartfords have a practice game] Cummings and Bond, the pitchers of the nine, proved conclusively that the right field will be well cared for. Bond is a fine fielder as well as a good pitcher, having played at short stop for an amateur nine before Ferguson persuaded him to enter the Atlantics.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the colored Mutuals in the amateur association

Date Saturday, July 31, 1875
Text

The Mutual Club, a colored organization of Washington, D.C., also belonging to the National Association of Amateur baseball Players, intend making a tour thorugh the western part of New York in the latter part of August, and request all clubs having inclosed grounds, and desirous of playing them, to forward the address of their secretary to the president, Charles R. Douglass, 1,116 F street, Washington, D.C.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the complications of arranging a game

Date Sunday, September 12, 1875
Text

Our Binghamton (N.Y.) correspondent, in writing about the game played between the Crickets and Fly Aways, at Binghamton, Sept. 2, makes the following charges against the latter nine: “The game was called on the understanding that the Fly Aways should play again on the 4 th. After they got off the ground the Fly Aways said they would not play unless they were guaranteed $70 for expenses. This was agreed to. On the 3d they played the Stars at Syracuse, and while there sent word that they would not come for less than $100. A telegram was sent notifying them that they should have it, and was delivered in time for them to make all arrangements, but after waiting until all trains had left, answered that if the Crickets wanted them to play they would have to send a special train at their own expense. The amount of the business was they were afraid to meet the Crickets again.” New York Sunday Mercury September 12, 1875

John G. H. Meyers, of the Fly Away nine, of this city, defends the action of his club against the strictures made by our Binghamton correspondent in last week’s issue. He says: “Respecting the cricket game I have this to say. When the game was tied on the tenth inning it was a representative of the cricket club who suggested the calling of the game and playing again. It was known that we had to be home Saturday night, and the game would have to be played in the morning. In order to reach Binghamton we must have left Syracuse at 5:15 P.M. Friday night. Our game at Syracuse was posted for 2:30 P.M., and in order to have time to reach this train I made application to Messrs. White and Campbell to commence game at 2 P.M., or to release us in time to reach this train. These gentlemen could not assent, and I therefore stated to the cricket managers if it was possible I should reach the train, and in the mean time make every arrangement to do so. We then discussed terms, and I figured our expenses about $70, and claim this they should guarantee, but they could then only offer 50 per cent. of receipts. They were to telegraph the following morning if my guarantee was acceptable; and, if so, I was to arrange things to come. The telegram only offered the 50 per cent. refused, and which I again refused. Friday, as we were leaving for the field, a telegram offering $100 was received. Here it was after 2 o’clock, with no chance to make the arrangements I should have made, had they sent the reply to Norwich the day before; and, still anxious to play them, I telegraphed that if they arranged for a special train, we would come. Taking the above addition $30, and adding $30 more, they could have procured this train, were they so disposed. The facts are as above stated. Our game with the Starts was not concluded until after 5:30 P.M., and we were then a mile and a half from the depot, so that to take the regular train would have been impossible.” {The public have now had presented to them both sides of the question, and we will let the matter rest here.} Ne York Sunday Mercury September 19, 1875

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of baseball

Date Saturday, November 20, 1875
Text

Judging from the orders received for baseball goods during the past season, and from the number of club-matches reported throughout the entire country, it is quite safe to say that not less than two thousand clubs have participated in the baseball campaign of 1875. Of these fully fifty were semi professional organizations; and that is making a low estimate of this class of the so-called amateur clubs; while there were but thirteen regular professional clubs, the remainder being the ordinary class of amateur organizations. Of genuine amateur clubs, probably not fifty in the entire country took part in the season's contests. What we mean by “genuine amateurs” are clubs which take in no members who do not one and all participate in the expenses of the organization, and which never compensate any of their players by “money, place or emolument,” and never share in any gate-receipts, even to “defray7 traveling expenses.” New York Clipper November 20, 1875

the Athletics to form a stock company

At the annual meeting of the Athletic B. B. Club, held Monday evening, November 8th, the undersigned were appointed a committee for the purpose of forming a stock company. They are progressing with the duties imposed on them, have already made application for charter, and respectfully request your aid by subscribing yourself and securing subscribers to the capital stock of the new company.

It is proposed to issue Two hundred shares at Fifty Dollars per Share, Twenty-five Dollars ($25) to be paid in when certificates of stock are ready for delivery. Each subscriber to receive one Season Ticket (which, you are aware, now costs Fifteen Dollars) for each share of stock subscribed for, and all subscribers who shall pay fifteen dollars at the adjourned annual meeting, to be held Monday Evening, November 29th, will receive creit for that amount, leaving but ten dollars to be paid in on issue of certificates of stock.

We earnestly call on all friends of the Club to be present at the meeting, as aside from the fact that your presence and aid will be a great help to the Club in its present condition, we think it will prove a good and profitable investment.

The subscription book is now open at Reach & Johnson’s, No. 6 South Eighth street. Philadelphia All-Day City Item November 21, 1875

The club resolved to proceed to the formation of a stock company with a capital of $10,000, 400 shares to be issued at $25 each. Philadelphia All-Day City Item November 30, 1875

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the Atlantic Club 3

Date Sunday, August 29, 1875
Text

There are amateur clubs both here and in New York who would be ridiculed by the ‘gamins’ if they played such a loose game or acknowledged the Atlantics were their superiors. At this late day it would be bad if they disbanded, as it would materially affect the championship record, so that we hope they may live long enough for each of the other clubs to play the required five games., quoting the Philadelphia Evening Chronicle August 27, 1875

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The condition of the Excelsior Club

Date Wednesday, March 10, 1875
Text

The Excelsior Club.--This veteran base ball organization of Brooklyn—the oldest amateur club in existence except the Knickerbocker of New York—held their twenty-first annual meeting Monday night, at their elegantly fitted club room, corner of Clinton and Montague streets, and the principal business transacted was the election for officers, which resulted as follows: President, R. Oliver; Vice President, E. Arnold; Recording Secretary, G. B. Abbott; Corresponding Secretary, W. C. Little; Treasurer, D. Chauncy, Jun.; Directors, Messrs. D. Chauncey, W. W. Richards, C. Sharpe and W. T. Laurence. It is to be hoped that with such an efficient board that they will look sharp after getting up a good nine to play ball in the amateur arena at Prospect Park this season. The club now musters 122 active members, and has a $2,000 surplus in its treasury. Brooklyn Eagle March 10, 1875

The Excelsior Club.--This base ball organization, which has such honorable antecedents as the most influential amateur club in Brooklyn, is about to disband as a base ball club, by discarding the name of base ball in connection with the Excelsior Club. Let the veterans and all lovers of the good old times of the Excelsiors rally to prevent this lowering of the old flag to the mere social element. Brooklyn Eagle March 19, 1875

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the Mutual Club

Date Saturday, November 27, 1875
Text

The business of managing profession nines admits of no half-way measures. The enterprise must be gone into boldly, or not at all, as no other line of policy will pay. The best and most reliable material as to players should be obtained. It is for this reason that the half co-operative style of running professional nines turns out to be such a failure. The Mutual Club has never yet been a stock-company organization, and until it is those who invest in the business of engaging the club players cannot expect to run the machine successfully. Last season some of the players were paid regular salaries, and other were remunerated differently; and the result was that the team was practically undisciplined. … That some mysterious influences were at work in governing the play of certain members of the nine admits of little doubt; and this greatly interfered with the profits of the club's gate-receipts, as the public came to regard the team as unreliable for earnest work.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the conditions and finances of the Athletic Club

Date Sunday, October 31, 1875
Text

The Athletics are but slightly in debt, and even this is due to the clique of clubs who combined together against them in the early part of the season, and by refusing to play the Athletics only when it suited their convenience, put them to much pecuniary loss.. Instead of the Athletic Club owing Clapp any salary, he is indebted to that organization, the members thereof having unanimously passed a resolution fining him a month’s salary for absence from championship games.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the denominator in batting average

Date Sunday, January 24, 1875
Text

It is the wish of every club so to arrange its players as to bring the best batsmen oftenest to the bat; therefore, as a general rule, the best batsmen head the list. The effect of this arrangement is to give the three players heading the list a better chance than those below them; and therefore in making up the averages at the close of the season, the only proper mether would be to give the percentage of runs or base hits to times at the bat, and a correspondent has called our attention to the fact of the omission of the same in the averages of the Philadelphia as published last week; and in reply we would state that it is simply impossible to give the number of times at the bat unless access is had to the score-book of the club whose averages are given, which we did not have in the case of the Philadelphia Club. Every professional club should have a regular scorer competent to attend to a correct recording of every particular of a game, as a true record of the fielding and batting is essential to the success of a club, and absolutely indispensable to those who wish to know the relative merits of individuals or clubs. The first three men have almost invariably one more chance at the bat in each game than the others, and it gives them an advantage if the average is computed by base hits to games, as is proved in the instance of McGeary, the second striker of the Athletics, being second in hits to games and fourth in averages of times at bal.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the difficult early days of the Athletics

Date Sunday, June 6, 1875
Text

[from an obituary for D.W.C. Moore] The club, after its organization, had a difficult siege of it, the members dropping off one by one, until only Col. Moore and Berkenstock and two other gentlemen remained. These gentlemen persevered under many disheartening circumstances, and they lived to see their bantling grow in numbers and influence, until now it is the foremost club in the country, and ranks the strongest in players of any club in the United States.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the difficulty arranging an umpire; Athletic management unpleasant to deal with

Date Friday, September 3, 1875
Text

Now in regard to umpire for today’s game. When in N.Y. I could get no word from Blodgett, but learned that his father had stopped him playing and was making him tend to business, so there was no likelihood of his getting off. Pabor they say is no good as umpire, and would be useless in a game here, so I did not communicate with him, preferring to wait and see if the Athletics would accept some other and more competent person. I called on Spering yesterday morning and after some talk, he selected Boyd if Wilkins or Thompson would agree to him. I then went to Mr. Wilkins and he accepted him also. I then telegraphed Cammeyer, stating Boyd had been selected as umpire for Fri. & Sat., and to let me know if he would come. I had not heard from him last night, so telegraph again and told him if Boyd could not come to send Mathews. Up to the present time I have received no reply to either dispatch, and cannot understand why as Cammeyer is always so prompt. I also tel. to Grand Central last night, Mr. Apollonio stating circumstances. In a letter rec’d yesterday he told me to send messages there had I anything special. I rec’d word this A.M. from G.C. stating Mr. Apollonio was not there. I presume he will be there this morning but doubt if he will have time to do anything before starting for this city. I do hope Boyd will come on; should he not I don’t know what we will do. Spering suggested Hayhurst as a good man for umpire. Would save expense, you know. Reach, too, he thought would prove satisfactory. That is the way they do business here, and are an unpleasant lot to deal with. [from a letter by Harry Wright, writing from Philadelphia, to Frederick Long, dated September 3, 1875] [Boyd arrived in time to umpire the game.]

Source From a letter by Harry Wright, writing from Philadelphia, to Frederick Long
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the difficulty for a minor club to arrange games

Date Sunday, July 18, 1875
Text

A St. Louis paper thus speaks of the “pony team:” “This week the Reds will start on their Eastern tour if games can be arranged with the professional clubs. Manager McNeary will telegraph them for dates, but, from all that can be learned, it is doubtful whether the old clubs ill accommodate the ‘ponies.’ The Reds intend doing all they can to arrange for Eastern games, and if they do not succeed, the fault will be with others. The idea of disbanding has never entered the manager’s head, and the boys will dot heir utmost endeavor to play their quota of games with every club in the arena. The Bostons and Philadelphias will probably not play them, and the Athletics will doubtless join in. The fact is, there seems to be no show for a new club unless it goes into the hippodroming business.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the difficulty of investigating a charge of a thrown game

Date Sunday, August 22, 1875
Text

It is all very well to demand that allegations of dishonesty against this and that suspected member of a nine be investigated by those who employ them, but no person will come forward and testify. The tender of a bribe is not made in the presence of witnesses, neither is an agreement to buy pools entered into in public. If any such things are done at all they are done “on the quiet,” as the saying is, and surely the interested parties will not tell on themselves. If an association feels that it has the worst of a bargain in a player, the best thing, and in fact the only thing, it can do is to put up with him until his contract expires, and then get rid of him forever.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ethics and financial importance of the Chicago club

Date Sunday, March 14, 1875
Text

The financial standing of the [Chicago] club is, we believe, excellent. The management is unpopular to a degree with other organizations, on account of rather unscrupulous attempts to entice players to their club. Their method of business has brought them considerable trouble, and the treatment they received in the Force matter was not only just, but deserved. It is very necessary for the club to make a fair success, as Chicago is depended upon, to a great extent, by visiting clubs to help their treasuries, and it is an important stopping-place on Western tours.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the finances of the St. Louis Club

Date Sunday, July 18, 1875
Text

The St. Louis club have earned $10,000 this season. Their paid-up capital amounts to $7,000, and they can now discharge the obligation and be $3,000 ahead on the season. This exhibit shows that base ball, in the West at least, is in a prosperous condition. Philadelphia Sunday Republic July 18, 1875

a player fined for “indisposition”

[St. Louis vs. Mutual 7/17/1875] ...a less numerous assemblage of spectators than at either of the other Mutual matches of the week, the cause of this falling off being the decline in the play of the Mutual nine, they failing to field up to the standard they did prior to Hallinan's defection. The latter was fined fifty dollars for his “recent indisposition.” New York Clipper July 24, 1875

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the financial status for the season

Date Sunday, October 31, 1875
Text

There is not the slightest doubt but that the different club managers, with one or two exceptions, have come out of the contest of 1875 more or less indebted to their employees, which without doubt tended greatly to demoralize them as the end of the season approached. This fact alone would make the most plodding of men careless, no matter in what capacity they were placed, far more the nervous and excitable ball-tosser. There is one thing to be taken into account in the season’s play, and that is, if club stockholders and directors had attended more to the interest of their teams in the field, and less to their own personal gain in the pool-room, the salary of each player would have been liquidated in full at the present time, and club members would have finished their engagements with a clean record. Still what could be expected from players who were the constant companions of those who made a living by gambling in baseball pools. The public wisely surmised that the former were in league with the latter, and consequently withheld their patronage. It would be as well if all professional baseball managers of the future would bear in mind that all semblance of throwing games by players must be punished with instant suspension on the field, and after an immediate investigation (if found guilty,) no matter what his merits as a player may be, an ignominious expulsion should be the consequence from all professional nines. No white washing reports will do as of late. If managers do not act thus summarily the public and press of the country, at least that portion who love the national game when honestly played, will discountenance such clubs, and try and prevail upon the honest and honorable ones from contesting matches with them. New York Sunday Mercury October 31, 1875 [Also PCI 10/31/1875 for an nearly identical piece.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the formation of the Louisville Club

Date Saturday, September 4, 1875
Text

The Louisville (Ky.) Club, the new professional organization, has filed its papers of corporation, and is now looking for talent for the season of 1876. the club is founded on a very solid bases, and, having a large capital to start on, $20,000, and solid men to back it, it starts in under as favorable auspices as any club in the country. Louisville has always had the reputation of having a fine amateur organization, and now she proposes to bed steep for a professional team that will rank high in the championship list. W. W. Haldeman, President of The Courier-Journal Company, has been elected president; Charles E. Chase, vice-president; and T. B. Cratcher, one of Louisville's solid iron merchants, secretary. Harry Wright was offered $5,000 to manage the new club, but declined the tempting offer.

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the gate opened for the ninth inning

Date Sunday, May 30, 1875
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 5/27/1875] [The score reverting to a tie at the end of eight when the crowd took over the ground in the ninth inning] There was one thing which has been customary here and elsewhere, which this game shows the necessity of dispensing with. We allude to the custom of throwing open the gates on the ninth inning, and admitting the outside crowd, for it was this element that served to help the decision of a draw game. This is a matter that can be remedied and should be attended to hereafter.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ill treatment of players by the Philadelphia Club

Date Sunday, July 25, 1875
Text

The rumor that Bradley and Miller have been engaged to pitch and catch for the Philadelphia next season is hardly credible. They have been well treated in St. Louis, and are aware that the club with which they are now connected has been established for all time, while it is not unlikely that the Pearls may disband at any moment. The gamblers who back the Philadelphia nine are noted for their shabby treatment of the players when the game does not got their way. The expulsion of Radcliffe, in 1874, and the abuse of Fisher this year, go to substantiate this fact. Philadelphia Sunday Republic July 25, 1875, quoting an unnamed St.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the importance of the pitcher

Date Saturday, January 9, 1875
Text

Though it cannot be said that the result of a contest depends upon any one player of a nine particularly, it is certainly a fact that success depends more upon having an intelligent and well-trained player in the pitcher’s position than upon the ability of any other one player.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the jurisdiction dispute in the Force case

Date Sunday, March 28, 1875
Text

A regular meeting of the Judiciary Committee of the National Professional Association was called to meet March 1, 1875... The first case on the docket was known as the Force case, being a question as to the legality of a properly-prepared and signed contract between the said Force and the Chicago Base-Ball Club. The first move was on the part of the Athletic Base-Ball Club, who, by their representative, raised the point of want of jurisdiction, and called the attention of the Committee to Sec. 4, Rule 4, of the Championship Code, wherein it says unless the charges have been presented in writing to the Judiciary Committee, or any member thereof, on or before Nov. 14, of the championship season, they shall not be adjudicated on by the Committee. The question, being upon the interpretation of the section and rule, was argued by the representatives of the Chicago and Athletic Clubs, and then they withdrew. The committee, after a little discussion, took a direct vote, and it was found to be their unanimous opinion that the point was not well taken. Upon the case being recalled, the Athletic Club filed a protest, and it was so continued. … They [the committee] believe they had jurisdiction for the following reasons: These rules relate solely to the Championship Clode. Its name is Championship Code. Rule 4 is upon the awarding of the championship pennant. Section 4 relates to the presentation of charges. Charges of what? Violation of the rules of the Professional Association, as far as it affects the award of the pennant for the championship. Nothing else. The Committee inquire here what the Force case has to do with the championship of 1874. the answer is at once given. Nothing at all. How then can the clause relating to Nov. 15, applying wholly to the championship, affect this case? Not al all. When did these events happen? In 1874, while the Judiciary Committee of 1874 had full powers. Why then has not this Committee full power and jurisdiction over this case? They have. This Committee is the judicial body of the base-ball community. It is so agreed and understood. Whey then should not questions affecting the interests of the clubs be brought before this judicial body and passed upon? There is no reason at all. Therefore you Committee did act and gave to the consideration of the question the best of their judgment and powers. Upon this ground they decided that they could hear the case. Chicago Tribune March 28, 1875 [See same issue for a detailed presentation of the facts of the substantive argument.] [See also CT. 4/16/75 for the proposed boycott.]

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the jurisdiction of the judicial committee

Date Sunday, March 7, 1875
Text

This committee had no legal right to hear any case whatever, and their action is, therefore not final or binding in the slightest degree, as in none of the cases had any of the charges been presented in writing on or before November 15 of the championship season in which such disputes had arisen. The championship code is very explicit on this point, and cannot be ignored. ... That the above-quoted se3ction of the championship code cannot be ignored, is proved by the action of the Judiciary Committee of 1873, they refusing to hear charges brought by the Philadelphias against the Bostons because they were not proffered in writing before November 15 of that year, and we would like to have N. E. Young, who was on the committees of 1873 and 1874, explain how it is that this rule, which was operative when used in the interest of the Boston Club, should be deliberately ignored and set aside when the Athletic Club was an interested party.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the membership of the Alpha Club of Newark

Date Saturday, August 21, 1875
Text

[The Alpha Club of Newark] has a membership of nearly two hundred, including among its members four members of the Common Council, a member of the Legislature, several county and city officials, and many of the best and wealthiest citizens of Newark. The club is entirely free from debt, has a handsome balance it its treasury, and money proffered by its members and friends sufficient to rent and inclose a ground and pay all necessary and legitimate improvements and expenses, but not one cent for players. It has eight or ten first-class amateur players and the services of many more offered gratuitously.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Athletic grounds superintendent

Date Sunday, August 29, 1875
Text

The Athletic grounds need a good rolling and the grass wants mowing. Mr. Rifferts, the superintendent, should see to this, in view of the great games to take place the coming week.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Cincinnati Club

Date Sunday, July 18, 1875
Text

The Cincinnati club is to be reorganized immediately. A ten-acre field has been leased, and $15,000 will be expended in fencing and improving it. Mr. John R. McLean, of the Enquirer, goes [sic] security for the rent, and Mr. John P. Joyce, the secretary of the old Red Stockings, becomes manager. He will engage a temporary nine at once and place it in the field as soon as the grounds are ready. The club will enter for the championship next year.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new white ball

Date Saturday, August 7, 1875
Text

[Athletic vs. Mutual 7/28/1875] The game was commenced by the Athletics, who opened in lively style at the bat, Force leading off with a high ball to right field, which Booth would have got under in time had he seen it; but was dazzling to the eyes in the sun, and he did not see it until too late, and Force reached third base instead of being put out.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the perceived frequency of thrown games

Date Saturday, April 24, 1875
Text

[quoting an unidentified Buffalo newspaper] “As a general thing, any professional baseball club with 'throw' a game if there is money in it. A horse race is a pretty safe thing to speculate on, in comparison with an average ball match.” The italicised clause in the above paragraph is a libel on the professional fraternity. Thus far there is but one solitary instance in which players have been openly convicted of “throwing” or “selling” a game of ball. There have been charges made, suspicions formed, and circumstantial evidence of fraud at sundry times. There may, too, have been instances in which a very small minority of the players of the Professional Association Club have become so interested in bets or pools on the game they played in as to unfit them for faithful service for the time being; but taking the great majority of professional ball-players into the estimate, we can confidently assert that there is no sport now in vogue in which so little of the element of fraud prevails as in the baseball arena; and as for comparing the professional of the green field disparagingly with those of the turf, “One Who Knows” says that the one is as white to black in the estimation of all parties who know them.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitching rules

Date Sunday, March 7, 1875
Text

The pitcher is now obliged to deliver the ball to the bat with the arm swinging nearly perpendicular at the side of his body, and with the arm swinging forward, not higher than his hip. ... the underhand throwing–with the hand above the line of the hip–has been prohibited. New York Sunday Mercury March 7, 1875

the rule on wides repealed

Every ball sent in over the home base and at the height called for, is “a fair ball,” and must be struck at, while every ball not so sent in is “an unfair ball,” and must be called a ball in the order of every third ball delivered, counting the first ball pitched. The rule calling wides was repealed on the ground that the call of “wide” sounded too much like “strike.” New York Sunday Mercury March 7, 1875

[Mutual vs field 4/10/1875] The new rule on calling balls worked satisfactorily, and umpires will evidently have less trouble in this matter than they had last season. New York Sunday Mercury April 11, 1875

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the primacy of fielding

Date Saturday, April 24, 1875
Text

The question is, which nine are in the best condition to support their pitcher? For whichever team can do this best that team will win. It is not batting that wins—it is fielding. The pitching that prevents base-hits being made, and the fielding that interferes with success in base-running, will “knock spots” out of the play of the best batsman; for the latter rarely succeeds in the face of thoroughly effective strategic pitching aided by sharp fielding support. Of course keen-sighted and experienced batsmen are valuable in a nine; but there is not, nor can be, in baseball such ability shown at the bat as there is in the field. There is too much of the element of chance in batting to make it as invariably successful as an element of play as fielding, and hence the principle of saving runs by skillful fielding is of more importance in winning games than that of trying to make runs by hard hitting.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the revived Cincinnati Reds

Date Tuesday, August 10, 1875
Text

Yesterday was a large occasion for Cincinnati, and it is well it was, else there would have been some of our citizens crowded out into to-day so much puffed up were the masses. It was the day when base ball was to be rebaptized; the day when the old Red Stocking prestige was to be pushed forward by an initiatory game; the day when the new-born club was to measure bats with the celebrated Chicago White Stockings, which had been the death of Cincinnati's pride in 1871. And it almost makes the books balance when we are able this morning to record a victory for our new club of 13 to 5. Cincinnati Daily Enquirer August 10, 1875 [the roster bears considerable overlap with the Cincinnati roster of 1876.]

Source Cincinnati Daily Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the right fielder should average two to three assists per game

Date Saturday, February 13, 1875
Text

The right-fielder’s duties, too, have of late been extended by the increased number of hits made to “right-short.” A sharp player at right-field can average two or three “assistances” to a game from his position in putting out players at first base.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the runner fails to slide into home

Date Sunday, August 8, 1875
Text

[St. Louis v. Athletic 8/3/1875] In the fifth the Athletic had a chance to score, and would have done so had Eggler exercised the least judgment in running. He was on second when Clapp hit to right field, and Eggler, thinking he would not get beyond third, came along lazily, but discovering his mistake, tried for home, and would have got there had he dropped down, but he did not.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the side underhand throw

Date Sunday, March 14, 1875
Text

The pitching rule of the amateur code now prohibits the raising of the arm swung forward above the line of the hip. This prevents of last season, but admits of the same kind of underhand throwing all of the professional pitchers indulge in.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the sixty-day rule

Date Thursday, October 28, 1875
Text

[a dispute between the Athletic and St. Louis over St. Louis playing McGeary] The case is about as follows: Michael McGeary, who was connected with the Philadelphia Club, on Monday received a discharge from the managers, playing with the club, however, on Tuesday. McGeary, it seems, signed with the St. Louis to play with them next season.

He had no legal status with the St. Louis yesterday, as, under the rules, sixty days must elapse before a player can join a club after being released from another, except that the club should disband, when he would be at liberty to play at once. The Philadelphians having not disbanded, McGeary cannot have that benefit.

The position of the St. Louis club is disgraceful, to say the least; to try and force a player like McGeary on the Athletics, does not reflect much honor or credit upon the management of the St. Louis team. As for McGeary, he must be lost to all shame to allow himself to become the tool of this club. All that he is he owes to this city, and had he remained honorable and upright in his transactions, the name of Michael McGeary would be handled with more reverence than it now receives.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the sixty-day rule dead?

Date Monday, August 9, 1875
Text

[Zettlein], by the way, has been released from his Chicago engagement, and he is once more in the Philadelphia Club.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Knickerbocker club

Date Sunday, May 2, 1875
Text

The Knickerbocker Club.–This veteran organization, under their esteemed and veteran president, Father Davis, will this season take part in a series of invitation contests with the college club nines of Yale, Princeton, Harvard, etc., something they should have done seasons ago. The Knickerbockers will play on the same grounds at Hoboken as last year, and, as hitherto, will decline to participate in any professional or semi-professional matches. They very properly ignore the gate-money business in connection with amateur playing, the club never having countenanced in any way any phase of professionalism, not that they regard the system, under honest auspices, as objectionable, but that it does not accord with their idea of amateur playing to participate in the gate money business. For this reason, while playing with college nines on enclosed grounds, they, of course, will have nothing to do with the receipts at the gate, which the leading college clubs are in the habit of availing themselves of to support the incidental expenses of their organization, just as they are obliged to do with their boat clubs. The Knickerbockers will open play at Hoboken some fine day next week, when it is to be hoped that the cheerful voice of the veteran, “poor old Jim Davis,” will once again enliven the Knickerbocker field.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the Mutual Club

Date Sunday, March 21, 1875
Text

Up to a season or two ago there had always been a great deal too much money in the Mutual Club. Its class of admirers were of the “peculiar” Gotham politician order, heavy wagers were made on every game, and, of course, heavy losses ensued. It is almost certain that the players of the Mutual Club have been tampered with for the past two years, and every opportunity has been seized by the gamblers to prostitute this club in using it to retrieve their fortunes. The harm thus done is almost incalculable, and has shaded the standing of professionals all over the country. We need not allude to the manner in which the Mutes threw away all their excellent chances last year against the Bostons in the final brush for the championship; but the “betting was in their favor,” and the result was that they “tossed” their lead away. In justice to Messrs. Cammayer and Davidson, who have been for many seasons identified with the interests of the club, we will say that we know that they have labored most determinedly and against heavy odds to make their men put their best feet forward, and to compel them to play the game on its merits. The nefarious and injurious “pool-sales” on the Union ground were stopped by their exertions, and we hope that next season the metropolitan club will commence and rebuild its reputation, which has now almost crumbled away.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the state of the game in Pittburgh

Date Sunday, August 1, 1875
Text

By actual count by the Mercury correspondent there are in Pittsburgh and Allegheny, Pa., inside the proper city limits, 237 baseball clubs, of all imaginable sizes, ages and conditions.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the substitute runner forgets to run; courtesy runner

Date Saturday, July 24, 1875
Text

[St. Louis vs. Mutual 7/16/1875] On the Mutual side Booth led off with a two-base bounder to left field, and Nelson and Matthews did the same thing as far as the hit was concerned, though only single bases were scored, the latter's hit sending both Booth and Nelson home; and so busy were Matthews and his running substitute, Holdsworth, in watching the players run home that both forgot to run to first base on Matthews' hit; and Miller [catcher], seeing the error, sent the ball there after it had been fielded in. although Matthews afterwards tried to reach the base, he failed.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the supply of players

Date Monday, August 9, 1875
Text

Pitchers are looming up quite numerously, of late, but the material is of the crude order as a general thing. Catchers of the White, Allison, Hicks and Clapp order are in active demand, with but a limited supply, but the other positions can very readily be supplied from the amateur organizations. What are wanted most, however, are reliable players, men of temperate habits withal. Now that Chicago “fancy prices” are being offered, probably a full supply of all the staple articles will be forthcoming.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the twenty-fifth anniversary of Davis as a Knickerbocker

Date Sunday, October 3, 1875
Text

A celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the active membership of James Whyte Davis, of the old Knickerbocker Baseball Club, took place a Hoboken, N.J., Sept. 27. In the afternoon a game was played between the old and young members of the club, at the west end of Eighth street, which was won by the young men by a score of 20 to 0. Some of the old members have not played ball for fifteen or twenty years. On the field, just before the game began, Mr. Davis was presented with a handsome silk embroidered belt by the lady guests as a memento of the interesting occasion. During the evening celebration a silver ball and two silver bats were presented to Mr. Davis by the other members of the club.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire perusing the rules

Date Saturday, May 29, 1875
Text

[Boston vs. Hartford 5/18/1875] [O'Rourke of the Bostons at second base] The was now called by the umpire for reasons best known to himself, and play called soon after, at which time O'Rourke had secured third base. Burdock them passed the ball to Ferguson, who touched O'Rouke, who was decided out by the umpire [Phonney Martin], O'Rourke not having touched his second base after play was called. A delay of fifteen minutes followed, during which time Martin, assisted by Spalding, was perusing the book of rules to see whether O'Rourke was out or not. The crowd became impatient, meanwhile, and cries of “Read it out loud!” “Pass it around and let us all read it!” “Take it home and read it!” etc., were heard. The umpire finally decided O'Rourke should go back to second, as he could find so rule on which to put him out. McVey then hit a hot liner to centre field, on which hit O'Rourke scored...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the unfair balls for a called ball need not be consecutive

Date Saturday, May 8, 1875
Text

[from answers to correspondents] Does the rule bearing on calling balls convey the idea that one ball must be called for every three delivered? Or must three unfair balls be delivered consecutively before one ball can be called? … The rule requires the umpire to call a ball on every “third consecutive ball.” Thus, if the first ball is over the striker's position, the second on the ground, the third a “fair ball,” and the fourth over the striker's head, a ball is to be called on the fourth ball. Only unfair balls are to be counted.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

thrown games arranged by the club officers

Date Saturday, December 11, 1875
Text

[reporting on the Philadelphia Club annual meeting] The following startling resolution was offered for adoption by Mr. John Welsh:

That officers of the club go before a judge or magistrate and make oath that they will not knowingly or willingly allow any game played during their administration or term of office to be sold or given away.

To this strong opposition was made by Samuel Davies. Mr. Welsh then informed the club that “to his certain knowledge telegrams had been sent from the club while absent from home, telling certain parties how they should bet, and, although there should be 'honor among thieves,' still on the strength of these telegrams one party was getting the best of the other, and that all such dishonest practices should be put down.” The motion as then agreed to. So it will be seen that hereafter the officers of the Philadelphia Club will have to go before a Justice of the Peace and take oath that they will not allow any game to be sold in their club. The inference, of course, is that this thing has been done.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tommy Barlow sick

Date Sunday, February 28, 1875
Text

Barlow is sick in bed again, and it is doubtful whether he will ever again take the field. New York Sunday Mercury February 28, 1875

the origin of the National Association

The origin of the Professional Association is due to a suggestion made through the columns of the Mercury and Clipper early in 1871, by N. E. Young, of Washington, to the effect that there should be a meeting of the secretaries of the different professional clubs to arrange the dat of the respective tours they would take during 1871. This was approved of by all the clubs concerned, and the day selected by Mr. Young, March 17 th, was agreed upon. Jesse M. Thatcher, then the secretary of the Chicago club, suggested as an amendment that the meeting in question should take action upon the question of selecting umpires and adopting championship rules. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury February 28, 1875

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tommy Bond the 'new Creighton'

Date Sunday, January 17, 1875
Text

For catcher they [the Hartfords] have the old Cincinnati Red Stocking man, “Dug Allison,” who will have to face the rifle shots of the new Creighton, Tommy Bond.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tommy Bond's delivery

Date Sunday, August 22, 1875
Text

[Hartford vs. Philadelphia 8/19/1875]...there is nothing peculiar about Bond's delivery, it being a swift underhand throw. He, however, is capable of changing his mode, as was shown in this game, resorting, as he did finally, to the “break-away” style of Nichols [Frederick Nichols of the New Haven Club], and it was then that he was most effective. He, however, lacks the regularity of that young player...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

trickery of switching balls

Date Saturday, August 21, 1875
Text

[a letter from a correspondent in Lebanon, Ky.] The Brown Stockings of Louisville played the Stars of this place on the 5th inst., and defeated them by a score of 24 to 1, and on the following day they beat them by a score of only 10 to 8. On the last day their regular catcher, Kraus (who was so used by in a game at Danville that he could not play), acted as back stock, and he was seen by at least twenty responsible persons to change the ball—it was supposed that he had a live ball—and when the Browns were at the bat, to throw it back and let them bat it, and when the Stars came to the bat to throw out the dead ball (which it was understood the game should be played with). He was caught in the first game in assisting the catcher when the Stars were running bases. We deem our first defeat owing in a great measure to the fraud practiced, as he is supposed to have used his live ball in that game also. In justice to our boys, I request an insertion of this in The Clipper. Yours with respect., FAIR PLAY.

P.S.--It is a certain fact that Kraus had two balls, the one we proposed playing with, and the supposed live ball. The club do not deny that Kraus did this, but deny knowing it at the time. New York Clipper August 21, 1875 [This is denied in the issue of 9/4/1875]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tricky play by batters getting hit by pitches

Date Sunday, March 14, 1875
Text

The Committee on Rules [of the Amateur Convention] reported in favor of indorsing the playing rules of the game adopted by the Professional Association, and this the convention did, with one exception, which was, to make every ball striking the batsman’s person a called ball, instead of a “dead” ball as the Professional Rules do. The working of this change will be to give batsmen the same chance for tricky play in this respect which they had a year ago, viz.: that of letting a ball hit them so as to get a base-runner home from third base.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind the catcher 4

Date Sunday, March 7, 1875
Text

[reporting on the new rules from the NAPBBP convention] Section 10 of [Rule 4] was amended so that balls passing the catcher and hitting the umpire should not be considered dead, as was the case last season.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire has difficulty judging fair fouls

Date Sunday, August 8, 1875
Text

[St. Louis v. Athletic 8/3/1875] Mr. Halbach made his first appearance this season as umpire in a championship game, and with the exception of bad judgment on fair-foul strikes, did very well. His mistakes in that respect were against both clubs...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire not calling strikes

Date Saturday, June 5, 1875
Text

[Beacon of Boston vs. Rhode Island 5/29/1875] The clubs, says a correspondent, were very unfortunate in the choice of an umpire, who, though he doubtless intended to do his duty, completely disheartened the Beacons by his timidity in calling strikes. Losing sight of the fact that the present rules are intended to develop free batting, he utterly failed to call strikes on good balls, all counting against the pitchers. This made but little different to a free batting nine like the Beacons, who struck at the first ball within fair reach; but the Rhode Islands, who are very light batters, had every advantage in simply waiting for a ball just where it was wanted, with the danger of an occasional called strike. This neglect in calling...told very heavily against the Beacons... The scorer of the Beacons counted twenty-three good balls pitched by Lamb in the seventh and eighth innings alone, on which five strikes were called, the R.I.'s playing a waiting game.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

who is responsible for a disorderly crowd?

Date Sunday, July 18, 1875
Text

The Athletic Baseball Club held a meeting at Philadelphia July 12, at which a communication was received from the Boston Club asking the Athletics to sign an agreement that the home club shall be responsible for any disorder on its grounds during the game, and if the disorder continues for ten minutes and stops the play that the game shall be decided in favor of the visiting club by a score of 9 to 0. This was not agreed to, but the president was instructed to notify the Bostons that they should be guaranteed protection when playing in that city.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

why women can't play baseball

Date Sunday, October 3, 1875
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There are some things that women can’t do; the teachings of centuries have established the fact that a woman can’t whistle any more than she can pass a better dressed lady on the street without looking back. Women absolutely cannot shoe horses, fire off a cannon, keep secrets, or pull teeth. And a female woman can’t play base ball. None but a perverted and bald-headed advocate of female suffrage would permit the assumption to dally in his mind that a woman could throw a ball under-handed, or attempt to catch one without shutting both eyes just when she should see the biggest. Now how could a delicately-reared, white-fingered miss get down in the weeds and dust and pick up a hot daisy-cutter waltzing through space at the rate of twenty knots a second? How could an able-bodied young lady jump three feet high and stretching her arms up another three feet take in a crazy fly without tearing the cloth somewhere! Preposterous! Now would it look well for some high-minded graduate of a high-toned Sunday-school to skip over to a sympathizing short-stop and swear at the umpire., quoting an unidentified Illinois newspaper

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

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