Clippings:1877

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1877Clippings in 1877

Clippings in 1877 (257 entries)

Contents

a 'double curve'

Date Tuesday, April 24, 1877
Text

Mitchell filled [the pitcher's] position with success. His left-handed double-curves bother the Hoosiers “like sin.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call to abolish the underhand throw; questioning the curve ball

Date Saturday, September 22, 1877
Text

...there are many changes which ought to be made in the playing rules. … We refer to the restoration of straight-arm pitching and the abolishment of the under-hand throw. Of course such a radical change could not be effected immediately. The restoration of straight-arm pitching would throw out of use such curve-throwers as Devlin, Nolan, Bond and Larkin, and as these men are under contracts with club for their services next year, it would not be fair, even if it could be done, to abolish the underhand throw before 1879. but we contend that the only way to restore the old-time enthusiasm and revive flagging interest in the sport is to make this radical change. Heavy batting and large scores alone can pull up the declining interest in the National game. The League, at their meeting last year, recognizing this fact, tried as a remedy for the evil of small scores and weak batting the introduction of the live ball, the but intended effect was not attained thereby. About the only material difference made was to roll up the error scores and disable fielders. The system of underhand throwing has been gotten to that scientific point that base hits are much fewer now than runs were in 1870. catchers are mangled and the game most unmercifully marred. We therefore claim that the League at its meeting this fall should declare that the season of 1879 will begin with straight arm pitching instead of the underhand throwing now in vogue. The latter system is to a great degree a fraud upon the pubic. Pitchers talk about curving the ball this way and that way, when it is an open question whether there is any such thing in existence as a curved ball.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher's mask and gloves used in a railroad nine game

Date Monday, September 10, 1877
Text

[Chicago, Burlington and Quincy v. Chicago and Northwestern 9/8/1877] Moore, who took Birdsall's place in the last four innings, wore a mask and mits...

Source Chicago Inter Ocean
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a charge of sold games

Date Thursday, September 27, 1877
Text

[regarding the tournament between the Indianapolis, Allegheny, and Star clubs] In a conversation which our reporter had last night with two Allegheny players, they frankly stated that the game in Chicago on Saturday was sold, and name the men who sold it. It is unnecessary to mention them here, but they have always been looked upon, and undoubtedly are, among the best players in the club. The other players keenly feel the position in which they are placed by the action of their colleagues, and one of them, who has already signed with another club for next season, says that even if he could get his release from it, nothing could now induce him to remain here. He depends largely upon base ball for his living, and says he can not afford to have the name of belonging to a club that plays crooked games. He claims he is an honest player, and no doubt is. He says he was offered money to assist in the selling of the Chicago game on Saturday, but refused. There is great indignation among the lovers of the game in this city over the conduct of the Alleghenys, and the stockholders and directors of the nine express themselves as determined to institute a rigid investigation, and made public every dishonorable act which they can ascertain was committed, no matter by whom, and no matter who may be hurt. The only way left for the redemption of the Allegheny club, and its restoration of public confidence, is by the summary expulsion of the players who sold out, and the resignation of those alleged to have been implicated and financially interested to a large extent in the sale. And the Syracuse Stars are no better than the Alleghenys. They sold out on Friday to the Indianapolis Club, and the latter in buying is a bad as any of the rest. Last night a Star player said to the writer: “We wanted to beat Nolan’s team the worst kind on Friday, but couldn’t do it, because two of our nine were playing for the other side.” The sale on Friday was even more palpable than the one on Saturday. St., quoting the Pittsburg Gazette

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that Ward threw games

Date 1877
Text

[from a review of the Athletics' season] At least four of the games lost by the Athletics on these two trips, it is alleged, were “thrown,” or else “given away,” under very suspicious circumstances; their pitcher apparently pitching poorly purposely in order to be released, so as to join the Milwaukees, who had offered him a much higher salary. We may be doing this man an injustice, but he has only himself to blame, and that being the general opinion is backed up by the fact of his after fine play in Milwaukee. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury 1877, date uncertain, Athletics scrapbook, Baseball Hall of Fame.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the Philadelphia Club managers threw games

Date Monday, March 19, 1877
Text

[citing the Philadelphia Sunday World] Also that “the Athletic managers can keep down pool-selling by bringing suit for the pools under the law that confiscates all moneys bet to the Guardians of the Poor.” Can it be that such a law has been in existence during all the time that the Philadelphia Club managers have been betting openly and commanding their men to lose according as the preponderance of money lay? If such a law has been on the statute books all along, and not one man in the great city has been found of backbone enough to prosecute under it, then people will have a poorer opinion of Philadelphia’s honesty than they ever had before. Chicago Tribune March 19, 1877

a pick off

[Indianapolis vs. St. Louis 3/22/1877] ...Remsen [was] caught napping at second by Nolan’s quick throw to Quest [second baseman], who handled the ball well. St. Louis Globe-Democrat March 23, 1877

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about low attendance in Indianapolis

Date Tuesday, May 22, 1877
Text

The home team is one of the best non-league organizations in the country, and the public should show that they are appreciated by turning out in large numbers to witness their games. They have defeated the best teams in the league, but never has there been over 1,000 persons to witness their hard earned victories. Hereafter let the lovers of the national sport turn out in full force to tgive the players, as well as the managers, encouragement.

Source Indianapolis Sentinel
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of Sunday baseball

Date Friday, March 30, 1877
Text

Here is what Parson Brownlow thinks of base ball: That wicked city, Memphis, is certainly entitled to the name of the “city of crime,” for scarcely a day passes without reports in their papers of a murder, robbery, or some other species of crime and horrible transactions. It is, no doubt, a judgment visited on them, however, for their sacrilegious and Sabbath-breaking habits. They desecrate the holy day with games of base ball all through the season.

Source Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a conditional three year contract

Date Sunday, September 2, 1877
Text

J. J. Burdock, second baseman of the Hartfords, has contracted to play with the Boston Club in ‘78, ‘79 and ‘80–the last two years conditionally. St. Louis Globe-Democrat September 2, 1877

Tommy Barlow’s morphine addiction

Mr. Thomas Barlow of base ball notoriety living in New York, now a slave to the opium habit, tells a strange story of the manner in which he became addicted to the use of morphine. He says: "It was on the 10th of August, 1874, that there was a match game of base ball in Chicago between the White Stockings of that city and the Hartfords of Hartford, now of Brooklyn. I was catcher for the Hartfords, and Fisher was pitching: He is a lightning pitcher, and very few could catch for him. On that occasion he delivered as wicked a ball as ever left his hands, and it went through my grasp like an express train, striking me with full force in the side. I fell insensible to the ground, but was quickly picked up, placed in a carriage and driven to my hotel. The doctor who attended me gave a hypodermic injection of morphine, but I had rather died behind the bat then have had that first dose. My injury was only temporary, but from taking prescriptions of morphine during my illness the habit grew on me and I am now powerless in its grasp. My morphine pleasure has cost me eight dollars a day at least. I was once catcher for the Nationals, also for the Atlantics, but no one would think it to look at me now.” Rochester Daily Union and Advertiser September 7, 1877

Thomas Barlow, arrested for alleged petit larceny in New York last week, was former catcher for the Hartford Base-Ball Club. During a game with the White Stockings in Chicago, Barlow was struck in the side by the ball. The physicians administered morphine, and Barlow asserts that since then he has been a victim of a craving for morphine, and while under this influence is not a responsible moral agent. Chicago Tribune September 16, 1877

pitching around a batter

[St. Louis vs. Boston September 7, 1877] O’Rourke was given a base on balls and stole second. Three balls also gave White a base, a species of compliment to the two Jims. Boston Herald September 7, 1877

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a criticism of the League and the League Alliance plan concentrating power too much

Date Sunday, February 4, 1877
Text

The great objection we have to the proposition of the League, and it covers all others... is this: The plan, if adopted, gives the entire control of the base ball interests of the country into the hands of a few men, who can almost be counted on one’s fingers. All respect to the gentlemen to whom this may seem persona.. They may be assured that nothing personal is intended. Players have no powers of legislation. This now lies, and is left by the proposed form of agreement, with the management of six clubs, or better, the delegates of those clubs who may be sent to the League conventions. These gentlemen may always legislate wisely; but if they should not, where, by the proposed plan, is the redress? As a matter of fact, what has past legislation been? What rule was adopted at Cleveland for the especial benefit of players, and what for the benefit of non-league clubs? The convention passed acts, assessing a burdensome tax upon players, and affixed a penalty such that, if they would not submit, they could never thereafter secure engagements with League clubs. About how long would it be, if the non-league clubs were brought under control of the League, before this law would be so altered that players who would not submit to any requirements of the League in the direction would be prohibited from playing in non-league clubs as well? Again, this convention passed a resolve that after such a date in March the League would respect the contracts of non-league clubs. Has it occurred to anything that this is a “resolve,” not a constitution amendment, and that there is no penalty affixed for its violation? This may seem like a trifling affair, but generally it will be observed that the League has affixed severe penalties for any infringement of rules and regulations. If the League really respected the rights of non-league clubs and was solicitous for their welfare, it should have incorporated that resolve in the fundamental principles of its body, and provided that it take effect at once, instead of at a remote time, when it should have filled its quote of players. Such legislation looks narrow and partisan, and if the non-league clubs are prepared to submit their destinies to the authorship of legislation of that character–well, they have a perfect right to do so, but let them do so with eyes wide open to the probabilities and possibilities of the future. We should say, wait; wait until the League becomes more liberal; wait until it gives you a voice in its legislative councils and says, by admitting you to membership in its body, that “all men are born free and equal.” We do not side with the League, nor with the “internationals,” but do think that the best interests of the game will be subserved by the non-league clubs letting the League alone (so far as joining it is concerned) until it opens its doors. Mr. Spalding considers the League “no longer an experiment,” and probably it may be, so far as the Chicago Club is concerned, because it picked all the plums last year and divided them on the shores of Lake Michigan. But, for the other clubs remaining in the League, it were better to wait and see how they appear Nov. 15, 1877, after having attempted to play a series of twelve games, before concluding upon the success of the institution. To us, is seems a great pity that the League did not admit semi-professionals to membership in its association last December. Probably the experience of the clubs with the old association was the cause, and as man in quest of reform usually goes to extremes before setting down to solid principles, so may it happen that the close corporation system of the League will be exchanged in time for some thing, which from this standpoint seems more reasonable and enduring. Let time furnish the proof.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a curve pitcher in Binghampton

Date Saturday, February 24, 1877
Text

During the past week we saw little Roche, formerly catcher of the Chelseas, who was badly injured while playing with the Crickets last season. He has entirely recovered from his injury, and is ready to take the field again at once. He is a plucky little player, a fine catcher, and one, too, who is reliable. He speaks highly of the pitching of E. White, whom he caught for last season. He says he has perfect command of the ball, pitches with great speed, and with a curve, and “uses his head” in pitching—in other words, he is a good strategist; so the Boston will have three fine pitchers at command—Bond, Manning and E. White.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of the mandatory guarantee: take it or leave it

Date Sunday, December 30, 1877
Text

The threat contained in the assertion in the Courier, that “the outsiders can live better without the League than the League without the outsiders,” is one with which the League has really very little to do. It has agreed to play thirty or thirty-five games per ground up to the end of the series for the championship. The season is nominally six months or 1844 days. Take out 26 Sundays, 35 playing days, and not less that 15 lost in traveling, and there remain 118 days to guarantee against rain and as leeway at the beginning and end of the season. Now, if the outside clubs want to secure games on any of these days they know the terms–if they don’t want to, why there is not a single person to beg of them. The League has a certain amount of time to dispose of or keep. The price is marked on the goods in plain figures, “$100 per game.” It is a one-price deal. If the purchasers don’t want the goods they can let them alone. But purchasers will remember that they can buy these goods, of this quality, at no other store. It is well enough settled that League clubs can draw better than outsiders... When managers of clubs like the Syracuse Stars and the Tecumsehs get down their books and see how much they made off League clubs per game under the guarantee system in 1876, and how much they made off each other in 1877, they will be apt to think twice before they follow the lead marked out for them by the Courier, viz: to “live without the League.” Chicago Tribune December 30, 1877

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the pennant

Date Sunday, August 12, 1877
Text

The whip-pennant is a flag of the national colors, emblematic of the League championship. It costs $100, and is inscribed with the motto: “Champion Base Ball Club of the United States,” with the name of the club and the year in which the title was won. The champion club is entitled to fly the pennant until the close of the ensuing season.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed meeting of the Athletic Club

Date Sunday, January 14, 1877
Text

The stockholders of the defunct Athletic were to have held a meeting on Tuesday evening last, but “owing to some misunderstanding”(?) As a party interested informed us, but few put in an appearance. No business was transacted, as the hall in which the meeting was to have been held was closed “for repairs.” We hope this will be the last farce enacted in the interest of a defunct organization.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a game on ice at Prospect Park

Date Sunday, February 18, 1877
Text

At Prospect Park yesterday quite an interesting game was played upon the ice.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a lament for the lost innocence of baseball

Date Monday, September 10, 1877
Text

But go to, let us talk of other things; it were impossible to pursue this theme further without distilling the briny tear. The age of amateurs is gone; that of twist-pitcher, league nines and catchers’ masks has succeeded, and the glory of base-ball is departed forever! Never, never more shall we behold that generous muffing of flies and grounders, that proud laying for balls on the bound, that dignified disobedience, that insubordination of the heart which kept alive even in defeat the determination to “wax ‘em next time.” The unbought first nine, the cheap champion of the town, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, is gone. It has gone, that sensibility of fingers, that slipperiness of grip which felt a hot liner like a wound, and inspired courage in the striker, while it fumbled with the ball, which dropped whatever it touched, and under which the game itself lost half its dullness by losing all its certainty., quoting the New York World

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a late rumor of Barlow's recovery

Date Sunday, March 11, 1877
Text

Thomas Barlow, formerly of the Hartford base-ball club, has fully recovered from his protracted illness, and proposes to wield his little bat gain during the coming season.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a lawsuit against the old Athletics

Date Sunday, May 6, 1877
Text

The suit instituted by unpaid players against the Athletic base ball club is against the old club, which, while still retaining its corporate existence, is without a “nine” and is not against the “Athletic Association,” which present the nine known this year as the Athletic. The association is a totally distinct concern, having no connection or application with the club, famous for so many victories, such sad defeats and such hopeless bankruptcy. Philadelphia Sunday Republic May 6, 1877

Mathews’ delivery

Mathews, for several seasons past, has visited Louisville with the Mutual club. His powers are so well known by Louisville audiences that he scarcely requires an introduction. He is one of the few pitchers who hang on to the old delivery of by-gone days, a style which has been almost entirely eradicated by the underhand throw of the present time. Louisville Courier-Journal May 9, 1877

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a member of the Olympics of Philadelphia killed in a riot

Date Monday, August 6, 1877
Text

Lieut. J. Dorsey Ash, who was unfortunately killed in the Pittsburg riots, was an active and much esteemed member of the Olympic Base Ball Club, of Philadelphia, and a large delegation of that time-honored organization paid the last tribute of respect to their deceased comrade by attending his funeral last Friday a week. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a missed foul tip not scored an error

Date Tuesday, August 14, 1877
Text

A great many people imagine that a catcher’s failure to hold a foul tip, when he is close up to the bat, is an error. This is a mistake. The time between the moment the ball touches the bat and his hands is so short that it can not be calculated, and certainly gives the catcher no chance to change the position of his hands. If the course of the ball is not changed by the tip, the catcher usually secures it, but a failure to do so does not constitute an error. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a negro mascot; superstition; broken bats

Date Sunday, August 19, 1877
Text

And now we know why the Bostons won the game on Friday last over the Louisvilles. One day last week George Wright saw a small negro lad, with a face as black as coal, running about the grounds, and to the intense delight of said darkey, engaged him to take care of the bats during the progress of a game. George gave him a pair of old pants and a jacket for his mother to make over for him, and last Friday the new recruit appeared for the first time on the field of battle. That day the Bostons made six runs, only three errors, broke five bats, and won a glorious victory over their powerful opponents. Is luck of another color in store for the boys? Boston Herald August 19, 1877

proto-pitching rotation

It is the arrangement for next year to have Flint and Nolan catch and pitch on alternate days, Williamson and McKelvey relieving them. Indianapolis News August 24, 1877

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a perfect fielding game

Date Saturday, April 14, 1877
Text

[St. Louis vs. Indianapolis 4/3/1877] The reports show that the “Indians” played without a fielding error which gave either a life, a run, or a base. This it was which secured them their victory...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player abandoned by his club

Date Saturday, May 5, 1877
Text

The Ludlow club, it will be remembered, appeared in Louisville last Wednesday, and succeeded in getting pretty thoroughly warmed up. Shortly after the Louisville boys had arrived in Cincinnati, Ritterson, the young Philadelphia player, who caught the first five innings for the Ludlows in the game mentioned above, came to the St. James and poured a pitiful tale into the ears of George Hall and the other Philadelphians on the Louisville nine with whom he was acquainted. He stated that Ben Shott, the manager of the Ludlow club, had written to Philadelphia for him, offering him $50 a month for his services, and inclosing just enough money to secure a ticket from Philadelphia to Cincinnati. He started immediately and arrived just in time to take part in the game a Louisville. Without a particle of practice he was placed behind the bat and made to face Williams’ swift delivery for the first time. He stood the punishment manfully for five innings, but bruised palms and injured fingers at last made him retire and give up to Foley. After the game Shott discharged him, telling him that he might just as well make up his mind to foot it back to Philadelphia, as he did not propose to be taken in on the Pearce order again. Ritterson accordingly came to his Louisville friends in great trouble. He had not a cent in the world, and more than one broke out into tears while relating how he had partaken of only one meal in two days, and how utterly friendless he was. The kind-hearted George Hall immediately began stirring around to see what could be done for him, and before nightfall he had collected twenty or thirty dollars from the members of the Louisville and Cincinnati clubs, which was enough to purchase a ticket to Philadelphia, and leave a small surplus. Hall accompanied him to the depot, the poor fellow was profuse in his thanks, and by this time he is doubtless safe at home again among his friends. Hall’s action in the matter proved that the Louisville’s left fielder has a heart as good a some of his hits. The comparison, indeed, comes in very nicely, for where his good hits often earn him home-runs, his good heart in this instance was instrumental in putting an unfortunate player on his legs again, and helping him score a home-run.

Source Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player borrowed from the other side

Date Wednesday, August 15, 1877
Text

[Indianapolis vs. Chicago 8/14/1877] The home team was yesterday weakened by the absence of Hallinan, who received an injury just before the game, but so near its commencement that no substitute could be found except in the person of Riley, tenth man of the Indianapolis Club, who donned a white uniform and played in Hally’s place. He was not exactly a success at the bat, his record showing that he struck out every time he came up; but he made a splendid running catch on the only chance offered him.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for a joint stock Cincinnati Club; Chicago's advances on Jones and Hallinan

Date Monday, May 28, 1877
Text

A proposition in on foot among some of Cincinnati's wealthiest men to form a joint Stock Company, which will run the Cincinnati Base-ball Nine next season. Definite action will be taken in a day or two. The proposition is to keep the best players of the present nine, and fill up with the very strongest taleknt that can possibly be had from other clubs, so as to, in all probability, bring to Cincinnati the championship of 1878. the refusal of the services of one of the best mangers in the country has been tendered, providing such a stock Company is formed. That there is money in such a move is evident from the fact that last year's nine spite of its unmerciful beating was a financial success and made money for its mangers, and the club this season in the face of defeat has been a paying institution. No less than five thousand dollars has been taken in so far as receipts, and the season is only one-sixth over. With any improvement in the Club's success—which must surely come—it will pay heavily on the investment. But nos is the time to strike for next year. The best men should be secured without delay. It is well to know that good players do not go begging long for engagements. Jones and Hallinan have already been approached by the Chicago Club about engagements for next year; they prefer, however, all other things being equal, to stay here, providing they can read their titles clear. It might be just possible that if the Stock Company was organized right now, the present management, for a consideration, might be willing to transfer to it the present organization for the balance of the season. We speak of this from no knowledge, and state it only as a possibility, and not as a probability; for it seems impossible that the Club can go through the season losers, and they may come out heavy gainers.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to abolish extra innings

Date Tuesday, December 4, 1877
Text

[proposals for the League meeting] 3. A change of the rule which allows a whole game to be decided in one inning. It seems to the writer, and has seemed so to well-known base-ball managers, that the system is an evil one which allows a tie game to go into the tenth or eleventh inning for decision. It is not a fair test of the Clubs' respective strength. When the ninth inning closes the weaker Club may have its strongest batters on deck, and vice versa with the stronger Club. Then the chances to win fall on the side of the weaker nine. Why not establish a usage that if after nine innings have been played the score be tied the game shall be called a draw, and another day be set to play off? Did any one ever hear of a horse-race being run out where there was a dead heat—run out by continuing the horses in their course down the track, say one hundred years, to see which would win?

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to abolish the high and low strike zones

Date Tuesday, December 4, 1877
Text

[proposals for the League meeting] 6. Making a fair ball pitched and which shall cross the plate at any height from the shoulder to the knee. This would encourage free hitting, which is the soul of excitement in a game.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed player trade

Date Wednesday, February 14, 1877
Text

When Mr. Keck met Harry Wright at Cleveland last December negotiations began for Manning’s transfer. But at that time Harry didn’t know whether he would play Manning or not. He didn’t like to give him up, and yet he couldn’t see where he had room for him. He had fourteen men under engagement at high salaries, and must get rid of some of them. Bond was engaged to do the pitching, and he had Jim White’s brother as a change pitcher. Jim would only consent to go to Boston with the provision that his brother should also play in the Club, which Harry agreed to in order to hook the Rev. James from Spalding’s team. So he had no use for three pitchers–or rather four, for at that time Josephs hung on, a useless parasite. First Harry tried to induce Mr. Keck to take Murnan and Josephs together–double or quits. But Mr. K. couldn’t swallow “the phenomenal.” Then Harry said may be we would have to let Manning go–he would see about it. Mr. Keck asked what Manning’s salary was and was told $1,800. Mr. Keck said he wouldn’t pay it, and if Harry wanted to rid himself of a good player he would have to pay part of the $1,800. In such a case he would take Manning gladly. A few days ago Harry wrote to him and said he had determined not to play Manning, and he thought they (he and Mr. Keck) could come to terms. Negotiations are now pending between them for the transfer. If Harry knows whereof his good consists he will close with Mr. Keck instantly. The latter has but one offer, and every body who knows him in a business line knows that he bargains for every thing just as he buys hogs: he sets his highest price and he will, under no circumstances, go higher. Harry Wright has a choice between paying Manning $1,800 to do nothing, or paying him a few hundred to make up the difference in Mr. Keck’s offer. It seems to us like a choice between buzzard and turkey. But he had better strike quickly, because other irons are in the fire heating. Before his letter was received Mr. Keck had written to Dick Higham and his hose to see what salary they would ask to come to Cincinnati and player here. As yet no response has come to hand, and it is thought that the two–Dick and his nose–are hearing testimony regarding the point–of salary, not the nose, for the latter hasn’t any point: it turns down. Then, too, a letter has been sent to McCormick, of the Syracuse Stars, to see whether he would be willing and able to come. We expect to be able to announce the filling of the team before the 1st proximo, and think Manning will be the lacking ingredient.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a protest against Chicago playing Jones and Hallinan

Date Wednesday, June 27, 1877
Text

[St. Louis vs. Chicago 6/26/1877] The St. Louis and Chicago clubs played an exhibition game to-day [6/26/]... The Whites played Hallinan and Jones under protest from the Browns, twenty days not having elapsed since the disbandment of the Cincinnati club. The matter will be carried before the League Board, and will be settled in favor of St. Louis, three of the five clubs having already expressed their intention of fighting such sharp practice to the bitter end. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proto-trade

Date Sunday, June 24, 1877
Text

[reorganizing the Cincinnati Club] The only position, then, that will not be filled is that of pitcher, and here the Louisvilles kindly come to the front with aid. They are willing to give up their change pitcher, Lafferty, an excellent man in that position, and one who last year made a record second to no pitcher in the East. He was engaged by the Louisvilles to hold Devlin to his work when there were fears that he would be inclined to bull-doze the Club. But The Terror has been doing such good work—not exceeded by any pitcher in the League—that Lafferty has been lying off nearly the whole season. Now the Louisvilles kindly offer to let him come up and pitch for the Cincinnatis until they secure the services of a regular pitcher, and if in the mean time he proves efficient and gives satisfaction they are willing to let him play the remainder of the season out with the club.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a provisional contract

Date Sunday, June 10, 1877
Text

The disability of the Chicago team in the catcher’s position has been remedied in the wisest manner possible by the engagement of Quinn, of the Franklins, amateur champions of the city. He has made a provisional agreement which will last until the end of the coming Eastern trip, and not unlikely through the season, for Quinn is certainly an excellent catcher–plucky, quiet, quick–and a good batter.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a reporter plays in the game

Date Friday, July 6, 1877
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Louisville 7/5/1877] The fact that Jones could not go with the Club to Louisville yesterday rather weakened the hopes of victory among some here, and when the news came that Johnny Haldeman, the Base-ball Reporter of the Courier-Journal, was to take Jones' place in the nine, it was feared the boys were betrayed. But all honor to John, who helped valiantly to lick his own Club.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor of official unhappiness with Nolan

Date Sunday, September 23, 1877
Text

They say the Directors of the Indianapolis Club have been opening Nolan's private letters and telegrams. We can hardly believe it.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor the Chicagos to disband

Date Sunday, August 19, 1877
Text

Facts obtained by the Globe-Democrat from reliable sources warrant the assertion that the existence of the present Chicago Club will terminate at the end of the season. “The big four” having accomplished the mission for which they were lured from Boston, are now seeking engagements in other sections, while Harry Wright smiles with satisfaction at the knowledge that the Whites could only retain the championship during one season, and that it was only won because had only five men to play with. If Chicago places a nine in the field at all next season it will be a second-rate affair. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumored black list of suspect players

Date Tuesday, December 4, 1877
Text

Rumor has it that there has been proposed, and will be presented to the League Directors, a black list, consisting of the names of some fifteen or twenty suspected players. It is not the hope of proving these men guilty which induces the preparation of the list, but to put them on their good behavior and under watch. If it be publicly announced through the press in the official proceedings of the League that Messrs., Craver, Blong, Battin, McGeary, Force, Hines, Glenn and others have been suspected of overstepping the prohibition bonds drawn around them by the League, it will serve to bring them under watchful eyes and give them less chance than they had before to “act up” if they should be players of that sort.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a sign prohibiting betting

Date Sunday, June 3, 1877
Text

The following has been painted in large letters on the fence of the Cincinnati grounds: “Games here are for sport alone. Betting, or offers to bet, strictly prohibited. Umpires and players shall respect the public, and, in return, should be respected.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a slide under the tag

Date Saturday, May 26, 1877
Text

[Chicago vs. Indianapolis 5/25/1877] Warner hit sharply to third, and died at first, Houtz running home on the throw. Spalding [first baseman] fielded back to Smith [catcher] in time to touch the runner, but a reckless slide carried Houtz’s heel upon the home-plate, while Smith punched the vacant air. The umpire allowed the tally on a call for judgment, and tremendous cheering rent the air.

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ten-men ten-inning game in California

Date Sunday, June 17, 1877
Text

The game in California has some curious features, it seems. A game played in Woodbridge, May 26, had ten men on a side, the extra played being a “2d c.,” or sort of backstop put behind the regular to nip fouls and prevent passed balls. The game was ten innings, though there was no tie on the ninth, the score was 24 to 20, and the winners, the Eagles of San Francisco, won $50 and a silver cake-basket. The latter implement would seem to be rather useless to a ball club.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a three year contract

Date Friday, August 17, 1877
Text

The Secretary of the League gives official notification of the engagement of Calvin A. McVey by the Cincinnatis for the seasons of 1878-79-80. This settles it. Mac has enlisted for three years or during the war.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a visiting player working the turnstile

Date Friday, May 25, 1877
Text

[Chicago vs. St. Louis 5/24/1877] The new Chicago man did not play, except on the turnstile.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a wager that there is no such thing as a curve ball

Date Saturday, September 22, 1877
Text

One of the best known base-ball men in the country, excepting Harry Wright, and a resident of Cincinnati, declares that no pitcher ever curved a ball in its delivery, and, moreover, declaring it an impossibility to do so. He says he will deposit $1,000 in bank to cover a bet which any gentleman wants to make with him to that amount on the above proposition. To test the matter he will have three stakes driven, fifteen feet apart, in the positions indicated in the cut below [illustrated in the original], and he will wager as above that no pitcher can deliver the ball so that it will take the direction indicated by the black line, or in the reverse order passing around the other side of the first stake. … He declares that what is called the pitcher's curve is merely a straight delivery, caused by the position of the pitcher and the manner in which he holds his arm. Without the resistance of a substance which touches only one part of the ball, this gentleman says , the laws of philosophy teach him that a curve can not be produced, and as the pressure of the air is equal on every part of the ball's surface the theory of the curve is impossible. We shall not take sides on the question, but invite discussion of it through these columns. Should any one desire to accept the gentleman's bet, they can hear from him by addressing the base ball editor of the Enquirer.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

accommodations at the ground for carriages

Date Monday, April 23, 1877
Text

A large space in the rear field has been railed off and provided with hitching rings, able to hold two hundred turnouts.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

adjusting a delivery

Date Friday, October 12, 1877
Text

[Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 10/11/1877] Mitchell [left handed pitcher Bobby Mitchell] had Miller behind the bat again, and developed some of his old-time strength. The Hoosiers got but four base hits off his delivery, and ten men struck out. The sixth and eighth innings each ended by three men striking out in succession, something that has never occurred before in the history of base-ball. Under Miller's guidance and advice Mitchell changed his delivery, standing with his right side toward the home-plate, instead of facing it, as heretofore. The change seems to be a good one. He thereby gains greatly in speed and also in effect.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advertising for a curve pitcher

Date Saturday, April 7, 1877
Text

A curve-pitcher is wanted to play in Buffalo, N.Y., this Summer. See G. F. Schon's advertisement.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an annual sleigh ride

Date Sunday, January 14, 1877
Text

The Nameless Baseball Association, of Brooklyn, went on their annual sleight-ride last week. The route chosen was down the Boulevard to the club-house. The party consisted of twenty-seven members, and the ride was enjoyed by all. This was their fourth annual one. The boys are to have another one this winter if sleighing holds good.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an assessment of Cummings' pitching

Date Sunday, August 5, 1877
Text

[St. Louis vs. Cincinnati 8/4/1877] ...Cummings has showed himself useless as a pitcher. He exercises about as little judgment in pitching as one of the boys of Millcreek. With men on bases he persists in shooting the ball in near the batsman’s body, so that Hastings [catcher] has few chances to make a good throw to second. Half or more of Hasting’s errors are caused by bad pitching. And right here let it be remarked that a pitcher who would not work and for his catcher, had better quit the business and hire our for a stone-breaker. In several instances yesterday, with two balls called on him while pitching to good batters, he followed with straight balls directly over the bases. On the other hand, take the case of Ford when he batted in the second run. There were two strikes and a fair ball called with no ball when he pitched directly at the bat, and the result was a base hit and a run. Cummings has disgusted Cincinnati people game after game by injudicious, careless and headless work on the ball-field. ... If Cummings gives many more such exhibitions as that of yesterday, of the Thursday’s game, and of the Indianapolis game at Indianapolis, people will not go out to see a game. He needs rest. Let him have it.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an assessment of the honesty of the Cincinnati Club

Date Monday, November 5, 1877
Text

There was a sell-out element in the [Cincinnati] nine when it started last May, but fortune favored the game here, and by a series of bad management and managerial kicking the Club heaped up so many defeats that the boys who were ready to fish never got one nibble. After the present directory took charge and reorganized the Club, they had to do the best they could and build up the nine out of what material they could find unemployed. They succeeded so well that after Cummings and Hasting had been tried and shelved, and Mitchell and Miller substituted, the club played twenty-five games with the Louisville, St. Louis, Chicago, Boston and Indianapolis Clubs, of which they won twelve, lost eleven and tied two.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an attempt to reorganize the Hartford Club

Date Monday, August 6, 1877
Text

Ben Douglass, formerly Secretary of the Hartford Base Ball Club, is engaged in obtaining stock subscriptions to the amount of $5,000 to be used in forming a corporation and securing a first-class club for Hartford next season. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an experimental game with the pitcher moved five feet back

Date Sunday, October 28, 1877
Text

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 10/27/1877] The feature of the game lay in the fact that it was played with the pitcher’s position moved back five feet toward the second base. The effect was hardly perceptible in the batting, to everybody’s surprise, but perhaps one game is hardly a fair test. Boston Herald October 28, 1877

The interest in the game centered in the fact that it was played with the pitcher’s position moved back five feet as an experiment to see how it would effect the pitching. The effect was very slight and hardly perceptible. Cincinnati Enquirer October 28, 1877

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an illegal high delivery

Date Thursday, July 12, 1877
Text

Our attention has been called to the fact that Larkin's [of the Hartfords] delivery yesterday was illegal—being purely a throw from above the hip. Perhaps Captain Addy will watch it to-day. Should such be the case, he owed it to the club to see that the young man's hand is held below the hip. 'Tis bad enough to be beaten, but it is provoking to have an umpire and illegal pitching help to do it.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an umpire and a manager talk of selling games

Date Thursday, August 2, 1877
Text

The Associated Press telegram which will be found below, in relation to Mr. George McManus, the popular Manager of the St. Louis Brown Stockings, may cause surprise elsewhere, until it is explained, but will only produce laughter in this city, where a put-up job of some such character has been anticipated ever since Mac succeeded in engaging Devlin and Snyder to play here next year. Threats have been made in an underhand way that the Lousiville folks would endeavor to get even, but just how they intended to go about it could only be conjectured, until the telegram alluded to was placed on the wires, when the plot “gave itself away,” as it were, the moment it reached here. No one in this community will look upon this charge of bribery in any other light than that of a joke. Should Mac fail to see it in the same light, he will doubtless make it hot for Mr. Devinney and the newspaper men who have allowed themselves to publish such an infamous charge without more proof than the assertion or affidavit of a man who, as an umpire, has a very bad reputation throughout the country–the Chicago Tribune and New York Mercury, among other prominent base ball journals, classing him as the tenth man of the Louisville team. St. Louis Globe-Democrat August 2, 1877

[See also SLGD 8/5/1877 for an interview originally from the Indianapolis Sentinel in which McManus claims that Devinney offered to throw the game to St. Louis.]

[an ongoing dispute, from at least CT 8/5/77 et seq., between manager McManus of St. Louis and Louisville umpire Devinney over alleged discussions to sell games] ...a reporter of The Tribune has been reading the affidavits of McManus and Devinney side by side. They agree on one thing which is not creditable to either party,–that the first thing the two did after getting together was to go off into a private room and talk about selling the games which were coming off. To be sure, they disagree as to what was said, but they agree in allowing that they began bantering each other about selling out. Whether this is exactly the right thing for a manager and an umpire to do on the eve of a game may well be doubted. Chicago Tribune August 12, 1877

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

antedating the wire backstop fence

Date Sunday, August 26, 1877
Text

[Louisville vs. Boston 8/25/1877] [bases empty] Devlin [pitcher] looked the “Terror” that he is named as he motioned Snyder [catcher] back toward the wire fence and prepared to shoot the balls in like leaden balls.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

appealing to the umpire on balls and strikes

Date Monday, April 23, 1877
Text

[Indianapolis vs. Louisville 4/21/1877] Devlin [pitcher] would call “how’s that?” on nearly every ball pitched, and on the slightest provocation would drop the ball and come in from the field with the nine following at his heels.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

arm rests and numbered seats

Date Saturday, May 12, 1877
Text

[describing the Louisville grounds] ...the Grand Stand, where the seats have backs, are separated by iron arm-rests and each seat numbered, so as to be possible to reserve them.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

at what point is a fly ball caught and a runner can tag up?

Date Sunday, September 9, 1877
Text

The break-up between the Indianapolis and Star Clubs at Syracuse Tuesday was caused by the umpire’s decision on a fly ball juggled by Cuthbert. Both sides agree in saying that the runner started away from third as soon as the ball first touched Cuthbert’s hands, and before it settled in them. According to the Syracuse Courier, the umpire “considered the run legally scored, being of the opinion that once the ball touched Cuthbert’s hands, and was not dropped, the requirements of the rule had been fulfilled. The Indianapolis, not being willing to abide by this decision, refused to continue the game, and vamoosed the field.” The opinion of The Tribune having been asked on the matter, its reporter has no hesitation in saying that the decision was wrong, because based on a wrong interpretation of the rule. If the ball struck Cuthbert’s hands and bounded up, or out (and that is what is called “juggling”), then it was not “momentarily held.” It might bound up half a dozen times, either by intention or accident, and yet not be “momentarily held.” The runner had no right to leave the base until the ball had so far settled in the hands of the fielder that the catch was an accomplished fact. The following illustration will show the fallacy of the umpire’s position as he gives it above: Suppose McSorley backing up Cuthbert in this case, and then suppose that the ball bounds about twice in Cuthbert’s hands and gets away from him, but is caught by McSorley. According to the Syracuse umpire’s decision, the ball has been “momentarily held” by Cuthbert, when, in fact, it was never held at all except by McSorley. The decision which is referred to is not good. It does not, however, in the least excuse the Indianapolis Club from leaving the ground; that was an inexcusable bit of foolishness. Chicago Tribune September 9, 1877

Cincinnati Club has paid NL dues

The [Cincinnati] club has paid the annual dues, pro rata, from June 1... ... The old Cincinnati lost membership in the League June 1. Boston Herald September 9, 1877

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletics' admission price

Date Thursday, April 26, 1877
Text

We have been looking at the business future of the Athletic club, and we really don’t see how they can afford to play important games at a quarter of a dollar. If the attendance were as large as it sued to be it could easily be done. But with only three or four hundred people on the ground the club will starve to death. If something could be done to awaken enthusiasm, and bring out two or three thousand people, twenty-five cents would be enough. But it looks as if they would be compelled to charge fifty cents, or even a dollar, for important games. The public have themselves only to blame for this state of affairs. Philadelphia Item April 26, 1877

The public should understand that it will be quite impossible to play important games for less than fifty cents.

All the League Clubs are compelled, as we understand, to charge fifty cents. Any smaller price than that would only lead to disaster in the long run; therefore, our citizens will not grumble when they see the matter cannot be helped. Philadelphia Item May 1, 1877

the League demands a livelier ball

[reporting on the NL Board of Directors meeting of 4/26/1877[ The Association also ordered Mr. Mann, the manufacturer of the League regulation ball, to make his balls more lively than those already sent out. It was at first believed that the balls as formerly ordered would be lively enough, but in this they were all mistaken. The change in the ball will not affect the amount of the rubber, but simply the wrapping of the yarn. Cincinnati Enquirer April 27, 1877

There has never been any special admiration for “kedunk” hits and 1-0 games in this city. People who pay an admittance fee want to see somthing going on, and nothing disgusts them more than to see a strong, active man hit a ball a furious blow and then have it hop along toward the short-stop. It isn’t manly, and it isn’t base-ball. It’s some sort of a child’s game. Chicago Tribune April 29, 1877

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

base hit or fielders choice?

Date Saturday, April 14, 1877
Text

[from answers to correspondents] Man on third base; striker bats a ball to right field; he might have been thrown out on the hit, but the ball was thrown home, but not soon enough to head off runner for third base. As no error can be charged, is batter entitled to a first-base hit? He brings in a man and afterwards scores himself. … We give the batsman credit ofr a base-hit on a hit of this kind, for this reason: any batsman who can hit a ball to right-field—not right short, but out in right field—under circumstances like this, is a good batsman; and, though there might be a chance that he could have been thrown out, the play is such as to make it doubtful, and we give him the benefit of the doubt and a base hit.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball reporter for the Philadelphia Dispatch

Date Sunday, July 1, 1877
Text

The reporters stand, located at the Athletic ground, continues to furnish the purloining juvenile with wearing apparel and sun shades. As Bill Hincken, of the Dispatch, where his “bombashoot” has gone to, but don’t come to us for damages.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseman blocking the bag

Date Thursday, August 2, 1877
Text

[Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 8/1/1877] The visitors took serious exceptions to a decision of the umpire, wherein Jones ran against Mack in the fifth inning to get his base. The truth was, however, that Mack [shortstop] was squatted in the path between Jones and the bag, and was in the act of receiving the ball when Jones ran against him trying to reach the base. No umpire in the world could have decided otherwise, as no fielder has a right to the path, unless he holds the ball before the runner reaches him.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

basemen adjusting where they play

Date Saturday, January 13, 1877
Text

Base-players are learning to use their judgment more than they used to do. Formerly they took up one regular position in the field, and waited for balls to come to them, seldom changing their place according to the different style of batting they were called upon to attend to. Now, however, they move about from place to place to suit the batting, the second-baseman frequently playing at “right-short,” while the third ofttimes gets down to the short-stop's position, and then again he will go over to the foul-ball lines. Under the new rule the first and third basemen will not be required to stand as near to the foul-ball lines as hitherto; for it will be difficult for a batsman to hit a ball on the line of the bases, so as to go in front of the base, either to the right or the left, and the infielders will be able to consolidate their forces so as to secure more ground-balls than they did before.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batters adapting to the new pitching style

Date Sunday, May 13, 1877
Text

Another point against him [Bradley] is that batter are more familiar with his style of pitching now than they were a year or two ago. The perpendicular style having almost entirely disappeared, professional batsmen went to work to get the hang of the underhand throw. They have done so in a large measure. It is no longer a dreaded bugaboo. Many of them, indeed, are hitting with as much freedom as they ever did the perpendicular style. ... and here arises the question whether this may not produce a tendency to return to the perpendicular, or Al. Spalding’s style of pitching. The new material of which base ball clubs are made up now are schooled only in the underhand throw. There must, it would seem, come a time when the perpendicular pitching will be the more effective of the two. It would, all things considered, be better for the game if the old order of things in this respect could be revived. One of the great objections to Bradley and all pitcher of his style is, that he wears out a catcher so soon. St., quoting the Chicago Times

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Mathews renounces liquor

Date Sunday, September 30, 1877
Text

Robert Mathews, one of the best pitchers in his palmy days, but less efficient of late, because of intemperate habits, has, it is said, bit adieu to the use of gin cocktails, and formed the determination to regain the prestige he once held as a pitcher. He is likely to secure an engagement in a good club for 1878.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bond's delivery 2

Date Saturday, May 5, 1877
Text

is very deceiving. The ball leaves his hand nearly at the ground and rises as it comes toward the striker, who invariably yesterday swung the bat under the ball, frequently several inches. Indianapolis News May 5, 1877, quoting the Pittsburgh Telegraph

an early suggestion for an out-of-town scoreboard

We suggest to Mr. Keck that he make some arrangement to bulletin on the grounds during the season reports of games, by innings, as they are played on the same day at other points. Cincinnati Enquirer May 5, 1877

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

both catcher and pitcher credited for strike outs

Date Sunday, June 3, 1877
Text

[Hartford vs. Boston 6/2/1877] Out of the first fifteen outs on the Hartfords, Brown, the Boston catcher, secured one dozen, which was, of course creditable to the pitching as well as the catching.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cammeyer's cut of the Hartford receipts

Date Sunday, March 11, 1877
Text

The Hartfords are to play on the Union Grounds, Brooklyn, during the ensuing season, an arrangement to that effect having been consummated during the past week by Messrs. Cammeyer and Ferguson. Cammeyer, it is said, carried his point, he getting twenty-five cents on the dollar out of the receipts.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Canadian Association has both professional and amateur championships

Date Sunday, April 22, 1877
Text

The Canadian Association has made a very proper distinction and offered championship emblems for two classes of clubs,–professional and amateur. There are only two of the former class in the Dominion.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Candy Cummings' nickname

Date Friday, August 3, 1877
Text

[Chicago vs. Cincinnati 8/2/1877] The man who regretting it [the loss] most was Cummings, “Candy Cummings,” as he is known—probably on account of his sweetness.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Caperoon's troublesome curves

Date Friday, June 15, 1877
Text

[Athletic vs. Philadelphia 6/14/1877] The Athletics presented Caperoon, who played with the Eurekas, of Camden, last season, in the pitcher’s position, and his troublesome curves, with the fine support given him in the field, gave the Athletics a creditable victory. Caperoon is engaged for the season to pitch for the South Adams Club, Massachusetts.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher's masks for sale

Date Sunday, April 22, 1877
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] The catcher's mask can be had by addressing A. G. Spalding & Bros., of Chicago, or Wright Brothers, 39 Eliot street, Boston. Cincinnati Enquirer April 22, 1877

[See also advertisements in Clipper, e.g. 9/15/77 last page.]

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catchers playing close to the bat

Date Saturday, January 6, 1877
Text

There was one peculiarity of the catching of 1876 which can be improved upon, and that is the habit many of the catcher had of playing close up behind the bat when there were no base-runners to watch. It is all very well if you want to show off in taking fly-tips sharp from the bat, but many a chance for a long foul bound on a high-foul fly is lost by the custom. Where there is one chance for a sharp fly-tip, there are three at least for foul-ball catches, either high flies or low bounds.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Caylor's tenure as a reporter?

Date Friday, August 3, 1877
Text

[Chicago vs. Cincinnati 8/2/1877] To a cool observer who has reported base-ball now going on four years, the amusement of yesterday's game seem to lack equilibrium.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick reconciles with the NL

Date Sunday, December 23, 1877
Text

The Clipper astonished every reader by abandoning its snarling, and coming out in square approval of the League for the first time since it was rounded. It has kicked against the pricks for two years, and now lays down its weapons, and, in effect, owns up that it was wrong. Whether this is a passing fancy or a well-grounded conversion time alone can tell.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick reporter at the New York World

Date Sunday, July 22, 1877
Text

The New York World (Chadwick) has amended its opinion...

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cherokee Fisher shown to have thrown a game

Date Sunday, January 7, 1877
Text

A few weeks ago a gentleman in Milwaukee wrote to The Tribune relating some facts in connection with William Fisher, commonly known as “Cherokee,” who played several games in the West Ends of Milwaukee toward the close of last season. The allegations against Fisher were so grave that it did not appear proper to print them until they had been looked into. Now that there seems no doubt of the truth of the charges, it is quite proper to publish them to show the character of the player, and perhaps to warn other clubs against employing him. It seems that a good deal of suspicion was excited by some of “Cherokee’s” play with the West Ends, and especially by his conduct in a game where they were beaten, Sept. 18, by the Aetnas of Detroit, by a score of 18 to 0. At the time of that game the Club management announced that they would ferret out the affair, and they were successful when confronted with the accusation and what proof could be obtained, Fisher owned up to the whole sell, and implicated a prominent gambler and betting man in the affair. This last man also gave up the story , and the whole swindle came out. It was a very simple transaction, and needs no especial comment. It was simply $100 in “Cherokee’s” pocket, and the game was lost. Of course he could not stay in the Club after that, and he accordingly made way for another man. The case is somewhat remarkable as being the only authenticated instance of a “sold” game in 1876. There have been plenty of charges, and a good deal of wild talk, but nothing like proof in any single case before this one, and even here, there was no accusation that the Club authorities knew anything about the matter.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago Club finances and prospects

Date Monday, November 5, 1877
Text

The [Chicago] Club has been paying $5,000 a year rent for its grounds on the South Side, which, together with enormous salaries to the players left the stockholders $6,000 in debt at the end of this season. It is now proposed to get much cheaper grounds somewhere on the West Side and to organize a Club of young players for next year at a total expense of not more than half the expenditures of last season. From such a club Chicago people would not expect the best results as they did this year, and expecting not too much they would not be disappointed nor disgusted. Chicago under fair treatment, is a good base-ball city, and such management as is contemplated ought to pay expenses, at least, and maybe net a good profit. It is known that Spalding and Anson have been secretly making overtures to players of late, and, spite of his announcement to the contrary, it should surprise no one to see Spalding at the head of the Chicago team of 1878. Cincinnati Enquirer November 5, 1877

This evening an ordinance was introduced in Council, and very favorably received, to lease the Club a portion of lake-front property which bears about the same relation to the business center that Fountain Square does to the business center of Cincinnati. Most of the Aldermen spoke in favor of the lease, and it will not doubt be granted at the next meeting. The ground is that on which such immense audiences were gathered in 1871. Cincinnati Enquirer November 13, 1877

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago Club finances; outside games on the home grounds

Date Sunday, December 30, 1877
Text

In 1876 the Chicago Club played 31 games on its own grounds with League clubs, and few or none on those grounds with other clubs. In 1877 it played 34 games with League clubs in Chicago, and then added several with Indianapolis, Stars, Alleghenys, and other clubs, besides opening its grounds to a tournmanet and to some games by the Fairbanks Club with other clubs. In all, nearly sixty games for an admission fee were played on the Chicago grounds. The result was ruinous; the taste for the game was palled, the interest was knocked in the head, the appetite was glutted, and the audiences too an awful drop, so that the total of receipt was less than in any previous year. The first reply that the objector would naturally make to this is, “It was the failure of the club, not the number of games, that caused the falling-off.” But wait and see: In 1874, with fewer games and the poorest nine that the city ever had, the receipts were larger than in 1877. In 1875, with a team that was not only poor, but suspected, but with fewer games, the receipts were again larger than in 1877. In 1876, with a crack team and thirty-one games, the receipts were much larger than in 1877. If a man is so thoroughly blind that he cannot see the moral shown by comparing 1874, 1875, and 1876, in turn with 1877, he must be not only blind but idiotic. The case is the same in every other League city.

The truth is...the League has tried the experiment carefully and it finds that it doesn’t want [outside club] on their grounds... The League can make more money off thirty first-class games than they can off sixty; and, now that they have fully tried both ways, and proved that fact, they are going to play the thirty with the clubs they think most likely to interest their patrons... Chicago Tribune December 30, 1877

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago Club meeting, no finances disclosed; uncertainty about fielding a team next year

Date Sunday, September 9, 1877
Text

The regular annual meeting of the corporation known as the Chicago Ball Club, a body of emn composed of the backers of the present White Stocking team, was held Friday morning in the office of President Hulbert. Nearly all the stock was represented, and the session was a short one. The main question of interest to outsiders–whether the Chicago Club is going to put a team in the field in 1878–was not disposed of in any way. No vote showing any intention, whether to stop or go on, was taken, and the question still remains an open one. It was found, under the charter of the Club, that some officers would have to be elected to carry on the business of the corporation until the expiration of the contracts which it had out; and accordingly Messrs. J. B. Lyon, W. H. Murray, Philip Wadsworth, W. A. Hulbert, and A. G. Spalding were chosen Directors. This Board subsequently elected W. A. Hulbert President, and A. G. Spalding Secretary. The list of Directors contains but one new name, that of Philip Wadsworth, who has been a fast friend of the game and the Club for a long time. The delegates to the Louisville meeting, preparatory to the formation of the League, will remember to duly credit Mr. Wadsworth with his efforts on that occasion.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clarifying the rule on the fielder holding the ball to tag the runner

Date Sunday, May 13, 1877
Text

There is something very much like a misunderstanding among the clubs outside the League about one of the amended rules which govern the game this season. The players and managers have read in the papers that the rule concerning touching players with the ball has been changed so as to provide that the ball must be held after the play, but when they look in the League book about it they don’t find any such provision, and they are puzzled. A few words of explanation will set the matter straight. When the section of the rules which governs the point (Sec. 15 of Rule 6 in the 1876 book) was under discussion at the League meeting it was found to have the following provision:

‘Should the fielder, while in the act of touching the base runner, have the ball knocked out of his hand, the player so touched shall be declared out.’

One of the delegates to moved strike out the above words, saying, “That’s all wrong; let us make the baseman hold the ball; if he drops it he is always calling for judgment; and, besides, it gives the umpire too much latitude, and that is what we want to avoid. I move to make the rule so that the player must hold the ball after the play is made.”

The motion was carried, and the last part of the section stricken out with the clear intention as noted above; but, curiously enough, not a single manager thought to insert a clause qualifying the rule; they all knew what they wanted, and thought they had got it by striking out the offensive provision. The fact that the rule is understood and observed in the same way by all the League managers who put it in its present shape should convince outside clubs that it is proper to follow their example, albeit their intention is rather vaguely expressed in Sec. 15 of Rule 6 of the new rules.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

competition from the telegraph; local blackout

Date Tuesday, May 15, 1877
Text

The [Cincinnati] management refused to let the report of the Cincinnati-Louisville game be telegraphed to the city yesterday, although the Western Union Company had an operator on the grounds. The theory, we understand on which this was done is that those who do not go to see a game should not have the benefit of it by innings. No other place in the country has ever carried out such a policy, and we believe it is more damaging than beneficial. The public will be generous to a generous policy. We merely mention this for the financial good of the Club because he have heard a number declare they would not support a picayunish management. We are free to say this is a mistake, and believe it will be corrected. Cincinnati Enquirer May 15, 1877

We are informed that we were wrong yesterday in saying that no other place in the country prohibits the telegraphing of scores from the grounds to pool-rooms in the city. We understand that in no city is it allowed, and that the management here are simply carrying out a policy practiced in every other city where there is a Club. Cincinnati Enquirer May 16, 1877

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

complaining about the umpire calling balls and strikes

Date Sunday, May 13, 1877
Text

[Boston vs. Chicago 5/12/1877] The umpiring of Mr. Cone was not satisfactory in several respects–notably in calling strikes and balls...

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

confusion about scoring on a force out

Date Thursday, July 26, 1877
Text

[Star of Syracuse vs. Indianapolis 7/25/1877] The scorers made an error in giving the Stars a run in the sixth inning. Two men were out and bases full. A hit was made, forcing all to run. The man on third came home before the runner from second was fielded out at third. Under the rules this run should not have been scored. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

contract for fence advertising

Date Saturday, March 17, 1877
Text

[an advertisement] To Whom It May Concern–John Edwards, by contract entered into with the Indianapolis Base Ball Club, has the exclusive right to use the inside northern fence of the Base Ball Park for advertising, by painted lettering, and the rest of the fence, both inside and outside, for other advertising, for the season of 1877... [signed by Austin H. Brown, club president] ... I hereby warn all persons from infringing on the contract, as I will prosecute to the full extent of the law. John Edward, Bill Poster.

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

credit to the catcher

Date Monday, September 10, 1877
Text

...in the case of pitchers like Nolan, Larkin and Bond, half the credit they have monopolized [is] due to the splendid support given them by Flint, Allison and Brown. Look at Bradley–the most effective pitcher in the League–with Clapp to support him, and the same pitcher without Clapp. Nolan owes half his success to Flint, as does Bond to Brown and also Devlin to Snyder. St., quoting the New York Clipper

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cursing the umpire

Date Saturday, July 14, 1877
Text

[Louisville vs. Indianapolis 7/13/1877] In the eighth inning, when a strike was called on Shafer he whirled upon the umpire and called him a liar, prefacing the epithet with the customary profanity.

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

curve balls lead to more ground balls to the right side

Date Saturday, January 13, 1877
Text

The duties of the second-baseman seem to have been extended since the curved-line pitching came into vogue, this delivery apparently having the effect of forcing the batting more towards second base and right short, the large increase in the average of put-outs and assistance by second basemen showing increased work in their position.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Deacon White backs his brother

Date Sunday, October 7, 1877
Text

The player whom everybody had hoped to see in the nine above all others, James White, will not be of the Reds of ‘78. One consideration only will induce him to remain here another season, which is that his brother will be the regular pitcher, or, at least, that he be allowed to pitch until Jim is satisfied that he cannot fill the bill. This is an arrangement that the directory does not feel justified in making, as it means the virtual retirement of Bond. Therefore, the White brothers cannot be counted upon as members of next year’s club.

...

Unless Jim White and his brother Will should be engaged by the Cincinnati or some other people, they will probably organize a club in Elmira, N.Y., only a few miles from their home. Such is understood to be their purpose. Jim does not feel as though Will had been given a fair opportunity to “prove himself” this season, and he desires quite as much to help him along as to play for personal gratification or profit. Of Will’s ability to pitch there can be no question, and he and his brother will make a strong pair for the club that secures them in 1878.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

definition of a sacrifice hit

Date Monday, July 2, 1877
Text

[in answer to a correspondent] A sacrifice hit is when the batter, by striking toward right field, is put out at first base, enabling a runner to come home from third base.

Source Indianapolis Sentinel
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Devlin's accusations against the Louisville Club; suborning an umpire; Louisville Club finances

Date Sunday, November 11, 1877
Text

A gentleman well known to a reporter of this paper writes at some length from Louisville, with the intention, as he expresses if, of “giving both sides” of the story about the expulsion of Devlin and Hall. He begins by saying that the base-ball public will heartily thank the Louisville Club for its efforts to expose corruption in the game, and would be even more profuse in their thanks and congratulations could it be made to appear that the efforts of the management of the Club had been uniformly on the high plane lately assumed by them. One part of the confession of Mr. Devlin has not, it appears, found its way into the Courier-Journal, and that item bears upon the Club’s relations with Devinney [umpire]. When asked upon that subject, Devlin confessed that the Devinney scheme had been put up by the managers after consultation with himself and others, and that it had been brought to such a pitch of perfection that, as he expressed it, “no eighteen men in the country could have won a game from us with Devinney as umpire.” Add the ever-recurring proofs offered by facts to this confession of Devlin’s and it puts the Louisville Club management just ab out where the public have long ago stationed them. Furthermore, the Club cannot afford to repudiate this brand of Mr. Devlin’s revelations any more than they can the others on which they put so much stress. If they accept his proof of his won guilt in one direction, let them not ignore his guilt in the matter of buying up Devinney just because they stood in with the outrage on the other clubs. It will be hard to find any club manager who believes it was much worse for the game for Devlin to sell himself out than for his employers to buy out another man. It was debasing and corrupting the game,–in one case by an ignorant, needy players; in the other by high-toned, wealthy gentlemen. These are the views of Devlin and the correspondent. They would also be those of The Tribune were it absolutely settled that the Directors, as well as the players, were knowing to the Devinney matter, as charged in the supplementary confession of Devlin.

Another thing of which Devlin complains bitterly is what he calls the Club’s lack of faith with him in another matter. He says that when the first suspicion of crookedness was excited the management went to him and asked him to tell all he knew, and that they then absolutely promised him full immunity and protection. Under this promise Devlin made his second confession, expecting, as he says, to be covered up, but the directors broke their promise, and expelled him.–which the same he richly deserved, both because he sold games, and because he was fool enough to own up to it.

While Devlin has owned up to the fact that he lost three games on purpose, and for money, he wishes to call attention to his explanation of the reason why he did so. It is imply that he was in absolute want of the necessaries which money could buy, and which he could not get because the Club would not pay him the money which it owed him. He says that the Club has not paid him a dollar since last August, and that it now owes him $470. Further, that when, in August, he gave his landlord an order for $150 on the Club, that brought only $35. In short, Devlin claims that he has been grievously misused in not being paid according to his contract. On the same authority it appears that the players were owed by the Club the following sums at the end of the season: Snyder, $500; Gerhardt, $500; Devlin, $470; Shaffer, $250; Crowley, $250; Latham, 4200; Craver, $200; Hall, $600; Lafferty, $200; Hague, $250. This sum of $3,420 has not been paid, and the players do not expect that it will be. When the Eastern players went off home they were given $100 each, but the others could get nothing. It further appears, as an evidence of the condition of the Club, that the carpenter who built the stands has never been paid, and that, despairing of ever getting his money in any other way, he has gone into the courts, and that even now the concern in placarded for sale by the Sheriff of Jefferson County, Ky. Chicago Tribune November 11, 1877 [See also CT 12/16/1877 for Devlin’s denial of the Devinney story.]

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dick Higham chooses an IA over an NL club

Date Monday, March 19, 1877
Text

Dick Higham, after having accepted a proposition to play base-ball during the coming season with the Cincinnati Club, went back on Mr. Keck last Friday and signed to play with the Syracuse Stars. The contract for his engagement here was sent to him last week, one night, as we announced at the time. So certain was it that he would sign it that Captain Pike, relying on him, had assigned the Club positions as published by us Friday morning, with Higham at second base. When the word came Saturday night that Dick had positively jumped the Cincinnati engagement and signed with the Stars it could scarcely be credited.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dirty play by Anson

Date Sunday, August 26, 1877
Text

While playing against the Alleghenies, the Chicago Inter-Ocean says: Anson was decided out by the umpire for knocking Williamson over while he was attempting to catch a fly popped up by Hines. It was a very discreditable trick, and Anson’s assertion that he did not see the player makes it even worse, as it is very improbable that such an expert player runs with his eyes closed. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

discrepancies in scoring by newspaper and club scorers

Date Sunday, February 11, 1877
Text

A comparison between the batting averages, as published in the League book and those of the newspapers, shows that the League averages are generally larger than those computed by the baseball newspapers, an indication that the press scorers are less lenient toward batsmen and fielders than the official club scorers who keep the records from which the League averages are made. New York Sunday Mercury February 11, 1877

Borden’s contract is bought out by the Bostons

Borden, better known as “Josephs,” has severed his connection with the Boston Club. He settled with the association by receiving in full what was due him on the salary account, including the sum to recover which suit was begun, and entered upon negotiations for the cancellation of this contract. Mr. Soden, president of the association, made a proposition and Borden did likewise. After one or two meetings a compromise was effected, mutually satisfactory, and Borden signed off all claim upon the association. Mr. Borden leaves the club with kind feelings for all. His engagement proved ill-advised, although he showed some talent as a pitcher–that is to say, his delivery was hard to punish, and had he control of the ball and of himself in critical moments he would have been a valuable man between the points. He is uncertain whether he will play ball any more. New York Sunday Mercury February 11, 1877

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

discussing the possibility of the IA joining the League Alliance

Date Sunday, February 25, 1877
Text

[reporting on the IA convention of 2/20/1877] ... discussing the League Alliance plan with reference to joining it. The last item was the cause of considerable talk but no particular action. The matter was finally settled by instructing the Secretary to write to Mr. Spalding, expressing as the decision of the Convention that the clubs composing it would join the Alliance, provided Art. 8 were expunged. This article is the one which provides that disputes shall be settled by reference to the League Board of Directors. It was suggested that the League Board might be used as an appellate court, but finally the matter dropped without other action than that noted above.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

disparaging the fair-foul

Date Sunday, March 18, 1877
Text

[St. Louis vs. picked nine 3/17/1877] It was an evident pleasure to the spectators to notice that no attempts at fair-foul hitting were made, every man who came to the bat opening out his shoulders and letting drive for all he was worth. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dual membership in the IA and League Alliance

Date Sunday, March 25, 1877
Text

The Syracuse Stars have joined the League Alliance, and have also applied for admission to the Inter-National Association. It isn’t well to forecast any trouble, but The Tribune mildly suggests a care. Suppose–only suppose–that the Stars and the Chelseas should have a little difficulty to leave out. They have both agreed to leave said difficulty to the League Board, and they have both agreed with equal solemnity to leave their difficulties to the International Association Judiciary Committee. Now in case of a difficulty would they do either, or which, or both, or neither? And how would it turn out?

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'half' inning

Date Friday, August 3, 1877
Text

[Chicago vs. Cincinnati 8/2/1877] One old gentleman approached us coming home from the game last night and tried to bribe us to say that the Chicagos kicked in the last half of the last inning, and so prevented the Reds from winning. But after consulting with the Directors, it was not clear how a kick by the Chicagos at that particular time could have wrenched victory from the grasp of “our boys.” [Chicago won 15-1.]

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ernst's delivery; appealing for a balk

Date Sunday, April 15, 1877
Text

[Harvard vs. Boston 4/14/1877] ...the contortions of Ernst. The latter pitches very well, but his habit of turning his back to the batsman just before pitching is as useless as objectionable. The object of this move is evidently to intimidate the batsman, and so, too, must be that awkward movement of the arms when in the act of pitching. Perhaps there is something gained in this way, but we very much doubt if the loss of time and of control of the ball not more than offset all possible gain. Ernst’s whirl “about face” is a part of his movement in pitching, and the umpire should have allowed “a balk” on the appeal of Jim White, when, instead of pitching, he threw the ball to a base.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

failure to enforce expulsions

Date Sunday, September 2, 1877
Text

The League Alliance Clubs will not have, and do not deserve, any particular respect in their efforts to enforce the ban against Walker, an expelled member of the St. Paul Red Cap Club, so long as the Athletic Club, a member of the League Alliance, presents in its nine an expelled player named Say. It was no credit to the League when the Boston Club failed to respect this expulsion and played against the Athletics with Say among them. If the League, which was formed for the purpose of putting down dishonesty, doesn’t refuse to play against expelled players, how can it hope to induce any more honesty than it shows? This Say has now gone to Buffalo, and the Auburns, Crickets, and Stars should see that they don’t get into trouble over his case.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fast curve pitching introduced in 1875; batter adjustments

Date Sunday, April 8, 1877
Text

Last year was only the second season of these terrific fast-curve pitchers, and even during that season the better class of batsmen were getting accustomed to hit the terrors. If, then, this year should bring out batsmen to be able to smite these terrible Philistines of the swift curve, where will they be? If their pace will not save them from being pounded, nothing else will, for they have never studied head pitching. St. Louis Globe-Democrat April 8, 1877

Hayhurst and McBride resign from the Athletics

Base ball has proved too much of a problem in these days for Hicks Hayhurst, so he thought that his resignation would prove acceptable.

McBride, at the last hour, has proved by his conduct in retiring from the Athletic, that he cannot be depended upon. Philadelphia Sunday Republic April 8, 1877

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

finances of the Live Oak Club

Date Sunday, September 16, 1877
Text

The Lynn Live Oaks, after a checkered and zigzag course, disbanded per order of the directors last evening, and for the balance of the this season, at least, Lynn will have no base ball nine, although the grounds are open to all clubs who wish to play. The nine was managed at first by 20 stockholders, who put in $50 apiece, but by the time half the season was over six stockholder withdrew by paying $100 apiece, and the remaining 14 have had to go pretty deep into their pockets to meet the expenses of the team. It is estimated that, after “paying up,” the stockholders will be $5000 out.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fisler and Sensenderfer to dissolve their partnership

Date Sunday, November 25, 1877
Text

Fisler and Sensenderfer shortly will dissolve partnership in the gents’ furnishing business, and Fisler will most likely play out of Philadelphia next year, having had several excellent offers. He is a model player, and is thoroughly honest, suspicion never attaching to him. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

game throwing in St. Louis

Date Sunday, November 4, 1877
Text

Naturally enough comes the question to The Tribune, What do you think of it [the Louisville scandal]? The answers are not long:

1. There has been as much crookedness in St. Louis as in Louisville.

2. The attempt to cut off the investigation by hanging up Joe Blong and Joe Battin is like stopping a fountain with a handful of salt.

3. Honesty cannot be had in the game until at least two other men connected with the St. Louis Club have been put away from it. Professional gamblers don’t make good ball-players.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

games lost to a railroad strike

Date Tuesday, July 24, 1877
Text

Secretary Yohn last night received a telegram from McKelvy, manager of the Alleghenys, stating that his club would be unable to be here to-day and to-morrow. The reason assigned is that all trains are stopped, and it is impossible for the boys to travel.

Source Indianapolis Sentinel
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

gate split for season tickets

Date Sunday, April 1, 1877
Text

League Clubs want fifteen cents for every person holding season tickets admitted upon the grounds.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright to revise the scoring rules

Date Friday, December 7, 1877
Text

[reporting on the NL convention] Rule 8, comprising the instructions for scoring championship games, was referred to a Committee of one, Harry Wright, to report to-morrow. Cincinnati Enquirer December 7, 1877

The scoring system of last year was adopted, with a single exception: The section providing for a score of total bases was stricken out, and the total times reached first base inserted, as suggested by the Enquirer. Cincinnati Enquirer December 8, 1877

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hints of Cummings throwing games

Date Thursday, August 9, 1877
Text

Many of our readers, who simply read and didn't stop to think, condemned the criticism on Cummings in the Enquirer after Saturday's game. Had they known that others knew, there would have been no word of demurrer. We stated at the time that he is a good pitcher, if he wants to be, and called for the substitution of Manning on the grounds that if he was more easily batted than Cummings people would have the satisfaction of knowing that he was working conscientiously. Please pause long enough to think, friends, before you condemn our strong language.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Hulbert reprimands Paul Hines

Date Sunday, November 11, 1877
Text

[a letter from Hulbert to Paul Hines dated July 29, 1877] This club will not consent to pay first-class prices for third-rate play. We have the right to expect of you that you will fully maintain your reputation for skill at the bat, in the field and in base-running. You have fallen off amazingly in all respects, and you show an indifference to the interest of your club which would warrent us in dismissing you. If you desire to retain your position with us, you must wake up and attend to your business in first-class shape. I hereby warn you that unless you do improve in respect to the matters to which I have in the letter called your attention, you will be dismissed and your pay stopped.

The official record of your play this season is as follows–all League games:

Games, 30; runs, 19; base-hits, 29. Last year, 64 games, 62 runs, 101 base-hits.

You see, therefore, that you are not playing much more than half as well as last year. Yet you draw full pay, and, at the same time, rate as last year. You must not expect that this will continue. I tell you frankly, the club will not stand it. In the first 15 games this year you made 15 runs and 12 base-hits. You are not trying to play. You father would not like to have you home with half your salary lost. St. Louis Globe-Democrat November 11, 1877

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hunting up a substitute player

Date Tuesday, July 17, 1877
Text

[Boston vs. Chicago 7/16/1877] The home nine was found in a disabled condition, Bradley being sick abed. His place was filled by McVey, who pitched with less effect than usual, on account of a lame arm. Bradley’s illness left the management in a perplexity, which was at length relieved partially by Cherokee Fisher, of the Chicago Franklins, who was hunted up and put at third base. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Indianapolis Club finances

Date Friday, October 5, 1877
Text

The stockholders and directors of the base ball club held a meeting at the Occidental last night. The season will wind up with an indebtedness of $4,000, which includes the debt carried over from 1876. It was determined to proceed with the organization of a nine for next year, and so it is definitely settled (again) that the business interests of this city will not be allowed to suffer the loss of this important industry.

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

inducing the runner at third to run

Date Wednesday, September 12, 1877
Text

[Indianapolis vs. Allegheny 9/11/1877] [Galvin at third, Williamson at second] Fulmer came to the bat, had two strikes called on him, when Flint [catcher] threw to Nolan [pitcher], who allowed the ball to pass him, and Galvin started for home from third, but the ball was quickly fielded and the runner was put out at the home plate, thus leaving Williamson at second.

Source Indianapolis Sentinel
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the new fair-foul rule

Date Saturday, April 14, 1877
Text

[St. Louis vs. Indianapolis 4/2/1877] ...the Browns objected to the decision of the umpire in the third inning on a ball declared fair, which they claimed to be foul because it did not go more than ten feet from the batter. So long as a ball from the bat does not go from fair ground to foul before passing first or third base, it is fair, even if it first strikes the ground foul, and then rolls forward towards the infield in front of home-base. If it strikes fair, too, and only rolls forward a foot, it is a fair ball. Blocked balls are not done away with under the new rules; only such balls as hit the ground fair, and then rebound to foul ground before passing in front of first or third base.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

is curved ball pitching a fallacy?; a bet on the question

Date Saturday, September 29, 1877
Text

Pitchers talk about curving the ball this way and that way, when it is an open question whether there is any such thing in existence as a curved ball. One of the best known base-ball men in the country, excepting Harry Wright and a resident of Cincinnati, declares that no pitcher ever curved a ball in its delivery, and, moreover, declaring it an impossibility to do so. He says he will deposit one thousand dollars to cover a bet which any gentleman wants to make with him to that amount on the above proposition. He declares that what is called the pitcher's curve is merely a straight delivery, caused by the position of the pitcher and the manner in which he holds his arm. Without the resistance of a substance which touches only one part of the ball, this gentleman says the laws of philosophy teach him that a curve cannot be produced, and as the pressure of the air is equal on every part of the ball's surface the theory of the curve is impossible. We shall not take sides on the question, but invite discussion of it through these columns. Should any one desire to accept the gentleman's bet, they can hear from us by addressing the base-ball editor of the Enquirer. Cleveland Leader September 29, 1877, quoting the Cincinnati Enquirer

There is a curious controversy just now going on as to whether a pitcher can give a ball a horizontal curve. Some papers (notably the Cincinnati Times) declare in leaded brevier that it cannot be done, and some men assert that they want to bet that it cannot. Nothing is more easy than to show and argue that the curve cannot be put on, and at the same time nothing is easier than to show it. Let the doubters go behind the catcher for any such pitcher as Bradley, Ward, Cummings, or Mitchell and they will be convinced or lose their faith in their eyes. Chicago Tribune September 30, 1877

Source Cleveland Leader
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

is the Cincinnati Club in the NL?

Date Monday, July 16, 1877
Text

We are daily in the receipt of letters inquiring whether the Cincinnati Club is in the League, notwithstanding the assurances in the affirmative which appeared in these columns a week or ten days ago. To end all doubt we wish to state here that the Club is as much in the League as the Chicagos, and is governed by all the League rules. A paper was drawn up some three weeks ago, and signed since by all the other League Clubs, declaring the new Cincinnati Club to be readmitted to the League, and that its old games prior to June 1st and those subsequent to July 2d should be counted in the League race, throwing out only those between those dates, which is three with the St. Louis Club, two with the Chicagos and two with the Louisvilles, all lost games. After the Louisvilles lost their Fourth of July game they were inclined to back out of the proposition, and signed the agreement under protest but all have signed, the Hartfords being the last, and the paper is now of full force.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

is the Cincinnati Club in the NL? 2

Date Sunday, September 2, 1877
Text

The Eastern papers are worrying themselves over the question whether Cincinnati is in the League, and, collaterally, whether their game with the Lousivilles July 5 was an exhibition game. The Tribune has repeated stated that the special agreement by which the new Cincinnati Club was permitted to play with League clubs on schedule time settles the question and shuts them out of the League.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

is the Cincinnati Club in the NL? 3

Date Sunday, October 7, 1877
Text

The question as to how many players should be included in the list of those who have played for the championship of the United States is, for the purposes of this paper, settled by refusing to recognize any service in, or games against, the Cincinnati Club. It has been the position of The Tribune from the first that the various and sundry Cincinnati Clubs have none of them held membership in the League, and there seems no reason why, if Cincinnati games are not to be counted in the general club record, they should affect personal averages. It is now universally admitted that these games do not count toward the championship; they are therefore omitted from the following averages...

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

John Montgomery Ward

Date Wednesday, June 27, 1877
Text

The Athletics have secured still another pitcher, in the person of John M. Ward, of Williamsport. He is described as having the curve down fine, and is said to trouble the best of batters. Philadelphia Item June 27, 1877

[Athletic vs. Kleinz 7/2/1877] Ward, the Athletics’ new pitcher, made his debut before a Philadelphia audience, and he proved his ability, no less than fourteen hands striking out on his delivery. His style resembles that of Nolan in this respect. He pitched the ball to suite his catcher, and not the batter. He curves the ball outward and changes his pace, having great command of the ball. Philadelphia Item July 3, 1877

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Jones returned to Cincinnati

Date Sunday, July 1, 1877
Text

[following verbatim reprints of letters between the Cincinnati and Hulbert, and after Jones played a game for Chicago establishing the principle of the thing] Carrying out the idea of doing what he could for the new club, President Hulbert yesterday released Jones from his contract, and the latter left at once for Cincinnati, where he probably arrived this morning. If it be true, as claimed by the cincinnati people, that they could not have gone on without Jones, and that with him they are all right, then they have much success before them, for they have Jones by this time. Chicago Tribune July 1, 1877

how crooked umpires affect the game; complaint about balls and strikes

The creatures created by the League to adjudicate on disputed playing points between clubs–those at least with whom the Browns came in contact on their recent trip–were very carful not to offend the public by erroneous decisions on the bases, as by so doing their real intentions would have been too plainly manifested. ... The way in which a dishonest umpire effects his purpose can be described in a very few words. The Chicago and St. Louis Clubs are the contestants, and the former is “booked to win” in the pool-rooms. Nicholls and Bradley do the pitching. The umpire compels the former to pitch the ball exactly where the batsman demands it. The latter can strike or not, as he sees fit. If he chooses to wait he will be sent to first on called balls. When the Browns come to the bat the reverse is the case. Bradley can pitch the ball close in to the striker, or out of his reach, and never over the plate, knowing that the batsman must slash away at bad balls or be called out on strikes. Is it any wonder, then, that under these circumstances the favored team make all the base hits and their opponents none? When the game is ended and umbrage is taken at the umpiring, the argument advanced by those who stand in with the swindle is that the defeated nine lost by poor batting, willfully forgetting that the failure to wield the ash was due to the umpire’s rascality, and not from any inability to do so. The programme detailed above was carried out so thoroughly on the recent trip of the St. Louis Club as to disgust those who had previously been enthusiastic admirers of the national game. A little more of the same kind of work, and base ball will be ranked with prize fighting as a sport of the past. St. Louis Globe-Democrat July 1, 1877

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

keeping the substitute in uniform

Date Sunday, April 22, 1877
Text

Capt. Pike will have ten men on the ground in uniform during every game of the season. Kessler will be the tenth man, and in this way will be ready at a moment's notice to take the place of any one in the regular nine who may be disabled.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Larkin's delivery

Date Tuesday, May 22, 1877
Text

Larkin, the Hartford pitcher, throws the ball when he “pitches” swiftly. He deliberately stoops and makes an under-handed throw. Strict umpiring will rule him out.

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

late support for the ten men rule

Date Tuesday, June 12, 1877
Text

Having seen and studied this game, we are more than ever inclined to press ten men and ten innings upon the Base Ball fraternity.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

League salaries; finances

Date Saturday, September 22, 1877
Text

A careful observer can not fail to observe the changes in the base-ball world which are working to the surface. In the first place, salaries have been very properly reduced. We believe that McVey will next season be the highest salaried man in the profession, and even his salary has been reduced. Such a general cutting down in salaries was necessary, on account of the lack of sufficient patronage to support a host of “big moneyed” players. The Louisville, Indianapolis and Boston Club along of the prominent teams in the country have made money this year. The Cincinnati management, in spite of the almost continuous defeat of their club, have “come out even,” which they deem a fortunate and encouraging termination to what has been an unfortunate year in base ball circles. … The only three high-priced Clubs for 1878 will be the St. Louis, Boston and Cincinnati teams. Boston comes first and Cincinnati second. The Cincinnati management will pay from $15,00 to $17,000 in salaries to its men, being already under contract to the amount of the first-named sum. The St. Louis, Boston and Cincinnati Clubs have made engagements regardless of money paid, but with strength as the main object in view. Chicago and Louisville for some time were on the ragged edge of indecision as to whether they should put clubs in the field next spring, but at last both have decided to go in on the cheap plan.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville Club finances; prospects

Date Sunday, September 23, 1877
Text

The stockholders of the Louisville Club held their annual meeting September 15. One of the features of the meeting was the expressed intention to run a professional nine next season. All present seemed to be of this opinion, and stated their willingness to subscribe their share towards the maintenance of a good nine. The Treasurer’s report showed that the running expenses of the Club this season were almost $9,000 less than those of last year.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville club room

Date Sunday, April 1, 1877
Text

Mr. J. T. Ritchey has fitted up in elegant style a room for the Louisville club on the second floor of the old Courier-Journal building. The room is very spacious, and is provided with desks, chairs and other conveniences. Last year’s club-room was too public. This year it will be a little more private, and both players and members will feel more at home. Mr. Ritchey has exhibited much enterprise in his undertaking, and as he intends to give the room his personal supervision, it can be relied on that things will be properly attended to and done up in good shape.

Source Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville stockholders charged admission

Date Sunday, April 1, 1877
Text

Season tickets to the Louisville grounds will be sold to the stockholders at $7.50. Last season the stockholders were admitted free to every game, championship or otherwise, played on the grounds. The directors think the rules of almost every corporation, in regard to charging stockholders for certain privileges, should be applicable to the Louisville club also, and hence the new move. Those season tickets will be sold only to stockholders.

Source Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

mandatory guarantee from outside clubs, even if rained out

Date Sunday, December 9, 1877
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 12/4/1877 - 12/6/1877] [The business agreement] provides, further, that non-league clubs shall guarantee $100 per game or 50 per cent. of the receipts, and that $50 shall be payable if the league club presents itself on the ground ready to play, even if the game is prevented by rain. On the other hand, if the league club breaks its contract with a non-league club, it shall forfeit $50.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mathews a control pitcher

Date Monday, April 9, 1877
Text

Mathews does not claim to be a pitcher who can not be hit; he can be batted by most Clubs fairly. But his strength is in his perfect control of the ball, and his ability to compel the batsman to send the ball in almost any direction he sees fit. Much of the percentage made off of his pitching last year was accounted for by a weak nine at his back.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mathews' slow curve balls

Date Wednesday, May 16, 1877
Text

[Louisville vs. Cincinnati 5/15/1877] When Mathews appeared in his position a change in his style of delivery was at one noticed, his slow, curving balls resulting in easy chances for outs on the three opening Louisville strikers. Louisville Courier-Journal May 16, 1877

umpiring is more difficult in the modern game

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 5/17/1877] [The crowd] began to hoot and hiss till Draper [umpire] pettishly threw down his cane and walked off the field, although Captain Pike and Bond followed him and tried to persuade him to remain, but to no effect. He left in a huff, and our advice to him is never to go back again, for he is unfit to occupy the position. He did well ten years ago, during the days of straight pitching, when an umpire sat on a chair two feet from the batter, with an umbrella over him and a fan in his hand. Those days have gone, and the curved, underhand throwing has made Dr. Draper useless as an umpire. George Wright had to instruct him as to his position several times during the game as to where he should stand. Cincinnati Enquirer May 18, 1877

Source Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McCormick's delivery

Date Tuesday, September 25, 1877
Text

[Louisville vs. Indianapolis 9/24/1877] McCormick made his debut before an Indianapolis public, was enthusiastically received, and filled the great Nolan’s place with unusual satisfaction. While he lacks the speed of Nolan he is far superior in many respects, especially in the watching of bases. His rise and in-curve balls are exceedingly deceptive, and worried the visitors extremely. St. Louis Globe-Democrat September 25, 1877 [N.B. McCormick pitched right handed.]

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McVey a Chicago Club stockholder

Date Saturday, August 4, 1877
Text

Thre is no truth in the rumor that McVey will play here next year. Mac is a stockholder in the Chicago Ball Club, and he will stick there.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

more on the Manning trade

Date Tuesday, August 14, 1877
Text

It has not yet been determined whether Manning will stay in Cincinnati next year or not. His three years' engagement with the Bostons includes next season, but Harry Wright intimated when here last that Jack might remain with the Cincinnatis if suitable arrangements could be made. Jack is a favorite here and should stay.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

newspaper scores more accurate than official scores

Date Sunday, October 7, 1877
Text

[discussing the reported player averages] ...The Tribune does not wish to claim that these figures are the same as those which will be given in the official book by the League Secretary next March. These are made up from printed tables, almost invariably from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Boston Herald, The Chicago Tribune, and such reports from Brooklyn as the reporter could lay hands on. It is proper here to say that in many cases the figures given will be smaller than those in the League Secretary’s book. For this reason: Some scorers have a habit of tampering with the figures so as to raise up friends and put down enemies. That sort of thing does not appear in the newspaper scores, but it does in the private League official scores. To a certain extent, therefore, the newspaper scores are the most trustworthy.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

next season's Hartford Club

Date Monday, August 6, 1877
Text

Efforts are being made to reorganize the Hartford Club at Hartford next season, with Higham, Cary, and York as the nucleus. It is stated that Ferguson is not wanted. In many respects it will be the old Club under a new management. Morgan G. Buckeley [sic], the present manager of the Hartford, will not, it is reported, have any connection with the new corporation in an official capacity, although his counsel and advice could not fail to be beneficial, and will no doubt be frequently asked. Cincinnati Enquirer August 6, 1877

ticket price reduction in Indianapolis

The directors of the Indianapolis club have come down to the wants of the public, and hereafter 25 cents admission will be charged to all games. The league games heretofore have been 50 cents, but this reduction takes them in. This is a move in the right direction, and large crowds should be in attendance at future games. Indianapolis Sentinel August 6, 1877

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nichols' curves

Date Sunday, January 7, 1877
Text

I think, said Seward, that he is the best pitcher in the United Stated, with the possible exception of Tommy Bond. His effectiveness is due to his various styles of pitching, for where one fails he has others to fall back on. He uses either “curve” at will to an extraordinary degree. His outward curve is especially deceptive, for though it looks to the batsman as though the ball would go directly over the plate, by the time it gets that far it is beyond his reach. This, of course, keeps his catcher very busy, but not so much so as a tricky habit which has of pitching an apparently fair ball, which drops just as it reaches the plate, and is extremely annoying to the batsman. Nichols has such a perfect command of his ball that frequently during the past season, after two balls had been called and two bad balls delivered, he has pitched the batsman out on strikes. Chicago Tribune January 7, 1877, quoting an interview of George Seward in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Young inspecting baseballs

Date Sunday, March 25, 1877
Text

Mr. N. E.Young, of Washington, secretary of the National League, has been in town, the past week, inspecting the balls manufactured by Mr. L. H. Mann of this city for the use of all League clubs in championship games. He examined 80 dozen of the finest balls, he said, that ever came under his notice. They were in boxes, holding a dozen, and from five to ten in each box were weighed and carefully measured. Enough were cut in sections to show that they were properly made in every particular. Of the whole 960, not over half a dozen were rejected, and these were almost as good as the rest. Each ball was covered with foil and paper, put in a box by itself and securely sealed with a band, upon which was written the name of Mr. Young. This seal will not be broken until it is time for a game of ball to begin, and a deed of forgery will have to be committed in order to substitute any other ball for one which bears the name of the secretary of the League. Boston Herald March 25, 1877

Mr. N. E. Young, the indefatigable Secretary of the League, has been spending several days at the manufactory of the League balls in Boston. He has inspected, signed, sealed, and otherwise prepared for delivery nearly a thousand of the prescribed spheres, and reports the stock as being the best he has ever seen. Chicago Tribune April 1, 1877

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Young proposed for IA secretary

Date Sunday, February 25, 1877
Text

[reporting on the IA convention of 2/20/1877] It was a pleasant tribute to the acknowledged ability of Mr. Young, the League Secretary, that on the first ballot for Secretary of the Association nearly half the ballots were indorsed, “N. E. Young.” It would be a good thing for base-ball if it had plenty more “N. E. Youngs” to take responsible positions in it.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no Sunday games permitted; Cincinnati Club owns its grounds

Date Friday, December 7, 1877
Text

[reporting on the NL convention] It was decided that no League Club should be allowed to play on Sunday, nor should any member be allowed to play with other Clubs on that day. The penalty for a violation of this rule is expulsion of a Club by the League and of a player by his Club. Cincinnati Enquirer December 7, 1877

[reporting on the NL convention] A resolution was passed prohibiting games from being played on Sunday on any League grounds, or for the renting of such grounds for Sunday games. An exception was, however, made of the Cincinnati Grounds because they are alone of all the League grounds owned by the Club. So the Mohawk Browns and other local amateur clubs will have their Sunday games next year as usual. Cincinnati Enquirer December 17, 1877

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no error on an intentionally dropped infield fly

Date Sunday, March 11, 1877
Text

[from Questions Answered] When a fielder drops the ball intentionally and makes a double-play, the ball being evidently dropped for that purpose, he should not be charged with an error.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no third base coach

Date Saturday, May 26, 1877
Text

[Chicago vs. Indianapolis 5/25/1877] In the sixth inning, when Houtz was on first, Rocap hit a “corker” for two bases, and Houtz went round the bases and was coming for the home plate, where he would surely have been put out. There was no one at third to “captain” him. Nolan with quick thoughtfulness ran, bat in hand, and stopped Houtz on third. Houtz then came home on Warner’s hit. [Nolan was three batters later in the lineup] Indianapolis News May 26, 1877

cursing in St. Louis

[describing fans in St. Louis shouting at players] The writer has heard a lot of boys and men who must have gone through the grand stand if they were honestly in the ground, shout out to John Glenn while he was running for a fly within a little distance of where they party stood, “God d–n your black soul to hell, drop that ball you — of a -----,” and then a moment after, when he was running for a foul, “You black-hearted — —, drop it or I’ll cut you in two.” Chicago Tribune May 27, 1877 [See also St. Louis Globe-Democrat 5/29/77 for a denial.]

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan pitches a no-hitter

Date Sunday, March 18, 1877
Text

Should not Nolan, pitcher of the Indianapolis nine be called “No-base?” ... Wednesday last the R. E. Lee Club of New Orleans was whitewashed 13 to 0, not a Lee man seeing first base.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan signs the pledge

Date Friday, April 27, 1877
Text

Nolan signed the pledge on Wednesday. Stick to it Ed., and your average will be much higher at the end of the season.

Source Indianapolis Sentinel
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan tiring

Date Thursday, July 26, 1877
Text

[Star vs. Indianapolis 7/25/1877] From the start it was seen that Nolan was playing off, he seeming to do his best to pitch bad balls. His excuse was this his arm was too sore to play, but it was rumored that he was playing poorly in order to get his release, so that he might join the Chicagos. If that is his game he may find that it will result in just the opposite to what he wishes it, as the rules provide for expulsion in the case of wilful poor playing. In the past he has been humored too much by the directors, and it is their duty now to give him to understand that such playing will not be tolerated, and if persisted in the rules will be rigidly enforced. In the fifth inning he was sent to center field and McSorley sent in to pitch. [The four innings Nolan pitched were in fact scoreless.]

...

Nolan has asked for his release, but the directors have not taken action upon his request. Indianapolis Sentinel July 26, 1877

The Sentinel was misinformed in regard to Nolan having asked for his release, he having made no such application. He says that he has had no offer from the Chicagos, and that he wants to, and is going to play here. He has received the following certificate from Dr. Newcomer, stating the condition of his arm.

Indianapolis, July 26, 1877.

I hereby certify that I have carefully examined Edward Nolan, and find that he is laboring under a sprain of muscles of arm and tendons of right elbow joint. He can not extent the arm perfectly. He is, therefore, disqualified and unable to use his arm in any exercise that will require unusual muscular power. F. S. Newcomer, M.D. Indianapolis Sentinel July 27, 1877

Nolan, although suffering with a sore arm, pitched a splendid game yesterday. Indianapolis Sentinel August 3, 1877

There is a strong probability that Nolan is not receiving justice from the hands of the directory and his former backers. A reputable physician certifies he is in a crippled condition and can not pitch, and it is a fact that he has been overworked this season and has played in many games when entitled to rest. The News does not believe he will willingly lose his reputation as a player, or that he wants to leave his nine bad enough to “skulk,” and therefore claims for him a fair show. Indianapolis News August 4, 1877

Source Indianapolis Sentinel
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan's delivery

Date Thursday, March 15, 1877
Text

[Indianapolis vs. R. E. Lee 3/14/1877] Nolan, the pitcher of the “Indianapolis,” throws the ball in a curve, which nonplussed the “Lees,” who are unaccustomed to the new style of pitching. When the ball leaves his hand it appears that the batter will be struck by it, but it invariably curves and goes over the home plate. Nolan does not pitch, but throws the ball underhand, a style which is now adopted by every professional pitcher, excepting Spalding of the Chicago “White Stockings.” New Orleans Picayune March 15, 1877

[Indianapolis vs. R. E. Lee 3/15/1877] ...the Lees found it impossible to strike Nolan's balls, not a single hit, foul or otherwise, having been made by them during the game. New Orleans Picayune March 16, 1877

Source New Orleans Picayune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan's high delivery

Date Saturday, March 31, 1877
Text

[Indianapolis vs. Memphis 3/18/1877] Nolan began the pitching, but after four innings' play, without a run in, his delivery was objected to, and McSorley took his place. … The umpire in this game must have known whether Nolan's delivery was legal or not in the first inning. It is very easy to tell. The hand in delivering the ball must be below the line of the waist or belt; if it is not, then the delivery is illegal.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan's pitching

Date Thursday, May 31, 1877
Text

Nolan, the pitcher of the Indianapolis, so far this season, has made a brilliant record. He pitches a curve ball, which the strongest professionals find very difficult to hit. Philadelphia Item May 31, 1877

Nolan, the “wonderful curve pitcher” of the Indianapolis club, has come and gone. His success depends not a little on strategy, and Flint, the catcher, understands his every motion to perfection. Nolan stands as far over toward third base as the rules will allow, pitching diagonally across home plate. His delivery is intentionally uneven, and if one ball comes direct to the bat the second will be sure to curve away from home plate before coming in reach of the striker. Not half of the balls are fair, and are not intended to be; and it was noticeable in the game with the Philadelphia the other day that the batsmen who were called out by the umpire struck at balls which a bat of twice the usual length could hardly touch. It is Nolan's policy to cheat a player into the belief that the ball is coming directly where he wants it, but too often before reaching home base it curves away to the striker's right, not passing within reach of the home plate. When Flint plays under the bat the balls are delivered more especially to him than to the striker. These two men are the strong points of the nine. Eliminate them and the Indianapolis would be but a common amateur club. Indianapolis Sentinel June 6, 1877, quoting the Philadelphia Times

Nolan is simply a swift underhand thrower, like Devlin, Mccormick and many others, but their speed compares with Nolan’s about as the velocity of a ball from an old smooth-bore musket would compare with that of a shot from a Springfield rifle. He is also a clever master of the lateral curves, both inward and outward, and on the whole fairly deserves his sobriquet of “the terror.” Flint’s play behind the bat is wonderfully skillful and plucky. Without him or his equal–who is hardly to be found–Nolan would lose half his effectiveness. Indianapolis News June 8, 1877, quoting the Boston Advertiser

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

official scorers

Date Sunday, June 3, 1877
Text

We call attention to the fact that all scores of League games published in the Enquirer are official, and exactly the same as are forwarded to the League Secretary under the rules. Those of games played here all correspond with those of the club scorer. From Chicago they come indirectly from Meacham; in St. Louis, from Spank [sic]; in Louisville, from Haldeman; in Boston, from Harry Wright, and in Brooklyn, from Chadwick, of the Clipper.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

official scorers call fewer errors than do reporters

Date Sunday, February 4, 1877
Text

A comparison between the batting averages, as published in the League book and those of the Chicago papers and the Herald, shows that the League averages are generally larger than those computed by the newspapers, an indication that the press scorers less lenient towards batsmen and fielders than the official club scorers, who keep the records from which the League averages are made.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

organizing a semi-professional club; its grounds

Date Saturday, April 14, 1877
Text

[regarding the New Bedford Association] The par value of the stock was fixed at $15 per share, instead of $10. The grounds of the Association will be known as the New Bedford Baseball Park. The location will include a lot situation on the north side of Kempton street, with a frontage on that street of 450 feet, and a depth of 350 feet. The Association hold a lease for three years, at $150 per year, with the privilege of a renewal for three years more. The ground is well adapted for the purpose, and will require but little grading or other preparation. Sections of seats eight tiers in height and 128 feet in length, for the accommodation of 500 people, will be erected in the southeast, and also in the northeast corner of the Park, nearly adjoining the grand-stand, which will accommodate 400 people, making the entire seating capacity 1,400. a movement is on foot to organize a nine with seven local players and two paid men. For the latter it is proposed to engage Pigott, third-base of last season's Fall Rivers, and Hoxie, who was change-catcher of the same club.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Outfielders backing each other up

Date Saturday, February 10, 1877
Text

Another peculiarity of outfield-play in the old days of the game was that of considering a player to be only required to attend to balls which came within his reach—that is, if the left-fielder saw a ball going to centre-field, and not coming towards his own position, he never thought of troubling himself to either get the ball himself or to assist his brother fielder. Things are very different now, however, as the outfielder who does not back up his companion's activity is of no account New York Clipper February 10, 1877

Harry Wright developed the points of outfield play

Harry Wright was the first to excel in playing points in the outfield, his prompt and accurate returns of balls hit to centrefield which he sent in to send base hurrying the base-runners to a considerable extent. The fact, Harry was the first to “read up” the standard books of the time and to study his business; and the lessons he then learned, practically as well as theoretically, enabled him to teach others as ably as he has done from 1869 to 1876. New York Clipper February 10, 1877

change pitchers should be put at first base, not right field

The right-field has apparently become the regular position of the change catcher or pitcher of a nine, and hence but few right-fielders are enabled to become thoroughly accustomed to the play the position requires. It is getting to be regarded as the best thing to do with change-pitchers and catchers to put them on first base. Their regular play in facing and holding hot balls, from either batsman or pitcher, fits them better for first-base play than any other point in the field; besides which, they get more rest there. At any rate, the right-field has become too important a position not to have a regular man there thoroughly familiar with the points of play new peculiar to right-fielding. New York Clipper February 10, 1877

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

outside clubs the equal of the League

Date Sunday, April 22, 1877
Text

...there are at least three non-League Clubs about as strong as most of the League teams. … It is time that base-bal. fanciers should begin to recognize the fact that in the Lowells, Indianapolis, Syracuse Stars, Alleghenys and Tecumsehs we have clubs little, if any, inferior to half the League organization,s which will intensify the interest that was felt in base-ball circles last year. Cincinnati Enquirer April 22, 1877

Heretofore, or until last season, the National Association and league was supposed to and did include pretty much all of the first-class base ball talent in the country. But affairs have changed within a twelvemonth, and today may be found a half dozen non-league nines almost as strong as those in the league, and there are a half dozen more powerful non-league organizations. Three games in four the non-league Hoosiers of Indianapolis have won from the skillful St. Louis. Six games have the latter won from the Memphis Reds, but by small odds in most cases. The Bostons have met only three nines of any note and barely escaped defeat in two of four games, and this at the opening of the season. Games between league clubs must continue to be the chief attraction, because the national championship is at stake in the struggles, but games between other of the professional clubs will be just as entertaining this year, so far as meritorious play is concerned. Boston Herald April 22, 1877

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

passed balls and wild pitches not counted as errors

Date Monday, October 15, 1877
Text

One thing which the reporter has taken without question, on the dictum of Secretary Young, is a peculiar innovation in making up pitchers’ and catchers’ records. Mr. Young says that neither passed balls nor wild pitches should be counted in”total number of chances,” and they are therefore omitted, to the special advantage of Messrs. McVey, Bradley, and Anson.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

paying off a player to accept a release

Date Tuesday, November 13, 1877
Text

During the last week Foley and Addy have been honorably released by the Managers, Addy receiving $100 as a bonus for accepting the release.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Phonney Martin opens a billiard room

Date Sunday, October 7, 1877
Text

The many friends of Martin, of Mutual Base Ball Club notoriety, will be pleased to learn that he has opened a cozy billiard room at Smith’s Hotel, at the depot and terminus of the Manhattan Beach Railroad, East New York. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitchers' reputations and the lively ball

Date Sunday, July 15, 1877
Text

Tommy Bond is not used to the pounding his delivery received at the hands of the Louisvilles Thursday and Friday. Never, to the best of our knowledge, was he batted so hard as Tuesday. Twelve safe hits with a lively ball were occasionally made off him last year, but a larger number only once. That was in the game of Aug. 20, when the Bostons made sixteen single and 20 total bases against Bond. The lively ball has destroyed the reputation of nearly every pitcher in the country. Nolan, Galvin and a few others save themselves only by the use of the dead ball. Boston Herald July 15, 1877

Chicago opposed outlawing mid-season player signings

...had it not been for the bitter opposition of the representative of [the Chicago] club at the League meeting, the laws which permit players being engaged before the end of a season for which they are under contract, would have been repealed, and, therefore, any complaint on that subject comes from Chicago with a poor grace. St. Louis Globe-Democrat July 16, 1877

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching off the plate; catcher positioning; umpire placement

Date Saturday, July 14, 1877
Text

[Hartford vs. Chicago 7/13/1877] Larkin [pitcher] has picked up Nolan’s idea as his method apparently, and yesterday he devoted his time to pitching to the right of the plate, but at the right height, and then asking that strikes be called. His whole trick appeared to be in delivering the ball to one side of the plate by means of his curve. A glance at Harbridge’s [catcher] position would convince any one that Larkin had no intention of pitching over the stone.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

placing the outfielders for the hitter

Date Monday, May 21, 1877
Text

One of the most curious features of the Hartfords' play is the way Ferguson has of shifting his men from one position to another for the accommodation, or rather inconvenience, of the different opposing batsmen. When Devlin comes to the bat York is motioned to play a deep left field, Holdsworth edges around toward left, Harbridge takes a stand in the center fielders' dominions, right field is left to itself for the time being. Devlin hits a mighty like, and it is ten to one that York nips him on the fly. Many year's active service on the ball-field has given Ferguson an excellent opportunity for studying batsmen, and he has not failed to profit by it. No nine in the country last season excelled the Hartfords in fielding, and Ferguson was at the bottom of it all., quoting the Louisville Courier-Journal

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing too many exhibition games

Date Saturday, June 30, 1877
Text

There is no question among experts about the fact that the Browns have some as fine “timber” as can be found in the business. Properly managed, they could hold their own against any club in the League. The principal cause of their recent defeats lies in the “penny wise and pound foolish” policy of crowding too many games into a limited space of time, and continuous travel on the railroads night after night. The best managed clubs never–or very rarely–play on two successive days–always allowing one day to intervene for rest. No club should be allowed to travel all night and play next day. A good night’s rest before a game is imperatively necessary. The Browns have played their regular championship games, and filled in their “off days” with running away to play some little country club in order to make a few extra dollars for the managers. If the truth were only known, such practices lose more than they bring them. Exhausted and travel-worn and bunged up, they are beaten by the first-class clubs, and hence people will not turn out to see them play. More, too; by such practices they become easy victims for third and fourth rate clubs, and no lover of the game likes to go to see a professedly first-class club play that has been beaten by so many inferior nines. If they would spend their off days in wild practice and in familiarizing themselves with the grounds upon which they are to play championship games, they would come nearer winning the pennant, and people would turn out in greater numbers to see them. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing under a pseudonym

Date Tuesday, June 12, 1877
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 6/11/1877] Lomas, who pitched for the Athletics, yesterday, under the cognomen of “Brown,” made brilliant record for himself. [Lomas was the regular pitcher for the Philadelphia Club.]

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

poaching players from non-League clubs

Date Monday, May 28, 1877
Text

Anson says that every country club has one good bat, which he invariably confiscates to the king's service.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pool room manipulation 2

Date Sunday, June 10, 1877
Text

An experience related to the writer yesterday may be of interest to those people who are in the habit of frequenting pool-rooms to bet on innings in ball games. The speaker was a well-known sport of the better class, and what he had to say was this: “The man who bets on innings in the pool-room is, as a general thing, burning up his money; he cannot win except by chance, and I will tell you how I know. I will give you an instance. The day the Chicagos and St. Louis played their second game in this city my friend {call him Jones} went out to see the game and stayed until it was over. Then he came down on a car and stepped in to tell me about it. As soon as he had given me the result I went over to the pool-room to see if they had posted the returns from the Boston-Cincinnati game which was going on in Cincinnati. When I got over there, judge how astonished I was when I found them selling pools on the Chicago-St. Louis game, which had been over fully forty minutes, or long enough for Jones to come down in a street-car. While I was there a man got up and offered to bet $100 to $50, then to $25, then to $10, and finally to $5, that the Chicagos would win. At this time the eighth and ninth innings were not posted on the board. Now I say that if the pool-man gets his dispatches by telegraph, and then don’t post them fast enough to beat the street-car, there is ‘funny’ business going on. It is pretty good advice to men who bet to let up betting on innings in ball games.” There is more than a little sense in the advice about the betting on innings given above. It is quite possible for a man to get a fair show for his money if he bets on a game before a ball is struck, but if he goes in for innings he is quite likely to be opposed to a man who knows the result of the matter on which he is arranging to rob the unsuspecting innocent.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed penalty for hitting the batter

Date Tuesday, December 4, 1877
Text

[proposals for the League meeting] 5. The establishment of some rule to remedy the evil of pitchers purposely hitting players. It is well known that such an evil exists, and efforts should be made to wipe it out. The practice creates bad blood among players, and is inductive of harm. We suggest as a remedy that whenever a batsman be hit by the ball from the pitcher's hand while standing in his (the batsman's) position, he be entitled to a called ball, or the benefit of three unfair balls.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed scoring changes: abolishing the errors column and base hits

Date Tuesday, December 4, 1877
Text

[proposals for the League meeting] 1.The abolition of the error columns. Bold, daring fielding on the part of every fielder would liven up the game twenty per cent. base ball patrons will remember how, at times, a remarkable play by a fielder in taking great chances has enthused the spectators and given vim to the sport. But, with the error column staring them in the face, alas, most players take but few wide chances. Nothing is so disgusting to a crowd of lookers-on as to see a player shirk a difficult play when it is patent to all that he feared there were too many chances for an error against him to i8nduce him to attempt the play. With no error record to go against him no chance would be slighted by a player, for then he would have every thing to gain if he made the play and nothing to lose if he failed. Give him the benefit of his assists ans put-outs as usual, but demolish that demoralizing factor, the error column.

2. The abolition of base-hits, and the substitution in their place of a column indicating the number of times a player reached first base during the game. As it is, the player, so soon as he sees he has not made a clean hit, loses interest in the “subsequent proceedings,” or at least is not excited to great exertions, and many a run has been lost by a player's failure to take every chance to reach first base after he sees that he has not hit clean. Then let the total base column, such as was used last yea4r, stand, or better yet, revive the old total base hit columns of two years ago to show the total bases made on clean hits. This plan would not entirely put away base-hit scoring, but put it out of harm's way. Let the yearly record of the player be made up of his first-base times, which would be a better indication of his capabilities. This would not be a measure of his batting powers alone, but would gauge his value as a base-runner, a safe batter, or a vicious batter. Then such men as we could name, who play for base hits alone, would be induced to put some soul into their playing.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

protective equipment

Date Sunday, October 7, 1877
Text

The compact ball, struck by an expert batsman, has come to be nearly as dangerous as a missile from a firearm, and the base-ball player, having the ordinary human objection to becoming an angel, has devised various contrivances for decreasing his danger. He protects his thumbs with padded leather; he covers his manly bosom with wadding; he spikes his shoes with iron to avoid slipping, and now he wears about his head and face a sort of wire cage, from which he peers upon the field with the air of a convict obtaining glimpses of the outer world from the window of a penitentiary. As new perils present themselves, new devices will be invented, and there seems now to be a promise that the base-ball player of the early future will enter the field as heavily armored as a knight of the middle ages, and almost as incapable of motion unless he has the muscles of a giant., quoting the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proving the curve

Date Sunday, October 7, 1877
Text

That a pitcher can curve the ball in delivering it for the batsman is believed to be a fact, whether scientific men can or can not demonstrate the process. It was clearly proven to be a fact on the Boston Ground, some days ago. The broad bend which the batsmen use for a seat was set on end near third base, with the smooth or upper surface toward the diamond and upon the foul line. A stake was driven midway between this bench and the home-plate, and, as every ball-player knows, the foul line is a straight line running from the home-p0late to third base. Will White, of the Boston Club, stood in the diamond, just by the bench, and delivered the ball in the direction of the plate. The surface of the bench kept his hand inside the foul line when the ball was sent on its mission. It circles around the outside of the post and struck the ground several inches inside, or to the left of the foul line, near the home base, which could not have been the case without the “impossible curve.” Boston Herald October 7, 1877 [See also Cincinnati Enquirer 10/19/1877 for letters from two professors, taking opposite sides on the possibility of a curve ball, and CE 10/20/1877 for a letter advocating the curve and getting it backwards, and CE 11/03/1877 for a roughly correct explanation.]

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

publicizing the game 2

Date Sunday, April 1, 1877
Text

The rain of Friday night it was thought would prevent the practice game of ball yesterday on the Avenue Grounds. Consequently no advertisement or announcement of the game was made in the morning papers. But the pretty weather in the forenoon induced Captain Pike to place bulletins out at the Gazette office corner, Hawley's and Kramer's, announcing the game. This was done shortly before noon. In spite of all these circumstances, about three hundred persons assembled on the grounds before three o'clock, and more than thirty buggies, carriages and wagons were inside the grounds.

Sign boards have been placed on all the principal streets in the city for the special purpose of advertising the games.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

purchasing 'mush' balls

Date Saturday, July 14, 1877
Text

While on the tour east, the base-ball management purchased in Boston two dozen of Mahn’s balls, said to be “live,” but which have proven to be little better than “mush.” So long as these balls last, and they may last all summer, no other stock will be supplied; and still further, it is thought the home organization is afraid to face the heavy league nines with anything livelier. Hereafter, or so long as the “mush” balls are used, it is unfair to promise an audience a lively game.

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

questioning the curve ball

Date Sunday, October 7, 1877
Text

Quite a discussion is going on in scientific circles in regard to the possibility of the horizontal curve in a pitcher's delivery. The Boston Advertiser says that “Professor Swift, of Rochester, declares that curved pitching is a mathematical impossibility. A writer in the Scientific American joins hands with the Rochester professor, and has prepared an elaborate article, with calculations to prove his position. An expert visited Rochester, and, in the presence of the learned gentleman, caused a common regulation ball to curve seven feet eight inches in a distance of 127 feet.” There is not questioning the fact that it is done.

Source New Orleans Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

quick pitching; calling time

Date Sunday, May 20, 1877
Text

[St. Louis vs. Chicago 5/19/1877] A question of rules arose yesterday which should not cause a moment’s doubt, and yet which was for a few moments likely to cause a row. It is well known that Bradley [pitcher] and McVey [catcher] have at times a trick of sending the ball back and forward with lightning rapidity, and the former’s marvelous control of the ball and quick delivery enables them to puzzle almost any batsman who isn’t as quick in thought. Yesterday they were putting Remsen through this exercise, when he had two strikes in succession called and utterly losing his head he demanded “time” without alleging any reason, but clearly because he was being outwitted. The fact is, he didn’t know whether his head was under his arm or where it was, and he wanted to collect himself. That was owned up to by his nine last night. The new clause of Sec. 7, Rule 2, which was introduced to cover such causes, is: “The umpire shall suspend play only for a valid reason, and is not empowered to do so for trivial causes at the request of a player.” It can hardly be said to come within this rule to stop play to throw the other side off their balance, or to give time to a rattled player to collect his thoughts. It is doubtful whether any excuse can be found for Remsen’s conduct in standing astride of the plate so as to stop the game until he got ready to have it go on again.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rain checks

Date Sunday, May 13, 1877
Text

Parties holding coupons or “” to Brown Stocking games will doubtless be pleased to learn that they are good until used. They will admit bearers to any game during the season. St. Louis Globe-Democrat May 13, 1877

A large number of the spectators at the Base Ball Park yesterday afternoon were admitted on “” presented to them on Saturday. The public should be made aware of this fact for the reason that the St. Louis alone of the League clubs recognizes the right of its patrons to witness a full game after having paid their entrance fee to the grounds. In other cities should the game be interrupted by rain after one inning has been played, and the spectators are supposed to have had the worth of their money and are not again admitted to the grounds until they have repurchased tickets. At the meeting of the League managers the St. Louis delegate opposed this swindle with all his ability, but being in a minority, was forced to give way, though stating most emphatically that the patrons of the Brown Stockings should be protected at home. The rain on Saturday cost the St. Louis club $150, the Chicagos insisting on being paid for each one of the . The money was well spent however, as it will be more than made up by a community which appreciates the motives that dictated such a sensible policy. St. Louis Globe-Democrat July 3, 1877

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rain checks 2

Date Wednesday, July 11, 1877
Text

[Hartford vs. Indianapolis 7/10/1877] [the game called after one inning] During the first interruption by the rain the gate receipts was [sic] divided and as the audience filed out they found neither return checks nor money in compensation for the unfilled contracts. The home management throw the responsibility of this upon Ferguson, of the Hartfords, and as he returns no more this season, little the Hartfords care. It appears that Ferguson, seeing the threatening rain, declined to “dress” for the game unless upon the understanding that if play began the receipts were to be retained and the home management consenting to the understanding, necessarily assumed the risk and were shouldered with the responsibility. It is a bad precedent, and patrons in the future will be more or less chary. The excuse is given that as the Hartfords already had their divide the return of the gate money fell entirely on the home club and involved a loss of several dollars perhaps $75 all told. It will be found more profitable to keep faith even if the loss had figured up $100, and it is safe to prophecy that in the game of Friday next with the Louisvilles the prejudice attaching the gouge game of yesterday will damage the receipts more than that amount. The average American likes to be gouged, but it makes him very mad if he finds it out. Indianapolis News July 11, 1877

Yesterday afternoon the directors of the Indianapolis base ball club held a meeting, and resolved to admit all persons who paid to see the Hartford game on Tuesday to the game Friday with the Louisvilles. This shows the kind of men that are running the home club. In the future “rain tickets” will be furnished when a game is called on account of rain before four innings have been played. Indianapolis Sentinel July 12, 1877

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Rankin reporter at the New York Mercury

Date Sunday, March 18, 1877
Text

Rankin, of the New York Mercury, say....

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reason for no at bat on a base on balls

Date Sunday, January 14, 1877
Text

One of the papers which object to the League system of scoring, asks why a “time at bat” should not be given when a player is sent to base on called balls. The answer is simple: Because, if the umpiring is correct, he didn’t have his proper opportunity to hit the ball, and inasmuch as the time at bat has a tendency to lessen the player’s score, it would be unfair to give it to him unless you also gave him a chance to increase his score of clean hits.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

recruiting effort by the Knickerbockers

Date Saturday, March 31, 1877
Text

They have again leased the grounds at Hoboken, and put the house in order, and they only want some fifteen young collegians or gentlemanly clerks,... The initiation fee is $10, and annual dues. The “Knicks” are a model amateur club.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal

Date Friday, March 16, 1877
Text

Johnny Haldeman, of the Courier-Journal, says he is coming to Cincinnati with his club next month to see the wild sport initiated.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rundowns for a triple play

Date Thursday, August 2, 1877
Text

[St. Louis vs. Louisville 8/1/1877] In the fifth inning Battin, Nichols and Blong followed each other with safe single before a man was out, filling the bases. Dehlman drove a long fly to right which Shaffer caught splendidly and fielded directly in to Devlin's hands. Battin, on third, started home and Nichols and Blong each trying for another base. Devlin threw to Snyder and Battin, seeing he couldn't get home, started back to third. Then Snyder threw to first, and Croft, who was running for Blong, was run down between bases, Nichols hugging second closely. At this point the players became excited, and Craver, who is the coolest and shrewdest man on a ball field, took the ball, and, keeping one eye on Battin, continued running after Croft. Directly Battin started home, when Craver, quick as lightning, threw to Snyder, who caught Battin. Snyder, with the ball in his hand, then ran in on Croft, who was caught between bases, making a triple play. It was all done in a few seconds...

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scalawag umpires

Date Sunday, August 5, 1877
Text

...the idea of getting two reputable citizens and one scalawag made umpires originated in St. Louis, and was quickly adopted by Louisville. Then both cities induced the reputable citizens to withdraw, and both utterly refused to have any one but the other fellow umpire the games. He was paid by the home club, and generally earned his money.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

score book using positions of dots

Date Sunday, April 8, 1877
Text

The Tribune has received from J. W. Kelley, of No. 88 Madison street, and from A. G. Spalding & Bro., No. 118 Randolph street, copies of their new score-books for use this year. The principle in both devises is the same,–that of making the position or a dot or figure show its meaning. Either of the books or systems is so far in advance of anything ever before brought out, in the way of simplicity, convenience, and accuracy, that it seems wonderful that they were not thought of years ago. The new styles will be in universal use for the season is half through.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a base on balls

Date Sunday, April 15, 1877
Text

[from Questions Answered] (1) When a pitcher allows a strong batter to take his base on called balls, ought the pitcher to be charged with an error? (2) If not, is the batsman credited with a base hit? Answer–There is no law on the subject, as there should be: the only authority at hand is the scorer of the Chicago Club, and The Tribune. Neither of these gave an error or a base hit either. In Cincinnati, last year, they gave the batsman a base hit for taking his base on balls. Chicago Tribune April 15, 1877

This column finds itself in error about a base on called balls. It answered you last week that there was no law on the subject; but it has since ascertained that the official blanks sent out by Mr. Young, Secretary of the League, for the use of official League scorers, contain the following note: “Base on called balls should be charged as an error against the pitcher.” That settles the matter for this year, Mr. Young being the highest authority on scoring in this country. Chicago Tribune April 22, 1877

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a base on balls as an error

Date Sunday, May 20, 1877
Text

[from Questions Answered] Tell me if I shall mark a ‘base on called balls’ as one of the ‘bases on error’ for the other side? Answer–Yes: by order of Secretary Young, who attends to the scoring and returns for the League clubs.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a fielder's choice

Date Sunday, March 18, 1877
Text

“Bases shall not be given to a striker when any player, other than himself, shall be put out on this strike.” The above is another one of the League scoring rules, and means woe to the really good batter that is unfortunate enough to have an over venturesome base runner ahead of him. It will work like this: Suppose a man is on second, and the striker makes a safe hit to right field, on which he easily makes first, now the man on second may take desperate and foolish chances and try to get home on the hit; if he is caught on the home plate the striker gets a positive discredit for assisting to put a man out, instead of receiving credit for a base-hit: Pretty, isn’t it?

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring changes; base hits and errors retained

Date Sunday, December 9, 1877
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 12/4/1877 - 12/6/1877] Harry Wright, the great American scorer, was instructed to revise the scoring system, and he did so by throwing out total bases, and inserting instead a column headed “Times Reached First Base.” The rules of last year with this amendment were then adopted. The oft-repeated idea of doing away with base hits and errors did not receive a single vote.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season ticket books

Date Sunday, March 18, 1877
Text

Season tickets for the Boson grounds are on sale at the club rooms only–$10 for a gentleman’s ticket and half price for a lady’s. the tickets are in book form and contain 40 coupons, one of which must be given up at each championship game. They are not good for other games and are not transferrable. The book will pass the owner into games with non-league clubs. Boston Herald March 18, 1877

Season seats for the Chicago Club’s games for 1877 will be sold Tuesday morning of this week at Spalding’s, No. 118 Randolph street, beginning at 9 o’clock. The new system of accounting between clubs and the patent turnstiles have made a new style of tickets necessary, and accordingly the purchaser of a season ticket this time will be furnished with a handsome leather-covered book, containing checks for each game to be played. The demand for the season-ticket this year will be larger than ever before, because it is pretty well known that, besides the League games for the championship, the Chicagos will receive here most of the best outside clubs, like Indianapolis, Star, Milwaukee, Tecumseh, Maple Leaf, etc. the holder of a season-ticket, being entitled to his seat for every game in which the Chicagos take part, will thus get a large number more games this year than he did last year, or ever has before. Chicago Tribune April 8, 1877

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets and the gate split

Date Thursday, May 10, 1877
Text

The patent turn-stile, one of the League requirements, will be in its position at the main entrance to the grounds. This turn-stile registers every person passing through it, and prevents unfair work at the gates. It tells exactly how many people have entered the grounds, and a division of the gate receipts is based upon its count. If it registers 2,000, the visiting club gets fifteen cents on each one of that two thousand. The stockholders of the club have season tickets, but they are required to pass through the stile and be registered as other people are. The visiting club thus receives fifteen cents even on the admittance of officers and stockholders of the home organization. Very few dead-head tickets will consequently be issued, and these few will be confined to the reporters of the daily papers. Louisville Courier-Journal May 10, 1877

over-aggressive base coaching

[Hartford vs. Chicago 5/10/1877] No doubt Capt. Ferguson intends to comply with the playing rules, and he will therefore not be slow to order his men to respect the Captain’s line, fifteen feet from the foul line. Yesterday, on several occasions, when a man was running in from third, three men ran by his side, one inside the diamond, with evident intent to disconcert the catcher. The yelling no one objects to; it reminds one of Mart King’s best days. Will Mr. Ferguson please read to his men Sec. 7 or Rule 7? Chicago Tribune May 11, 1877

Source Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

seats to keep spectators off the field

Date Saturday, June 2, 1877
Text

[Harvard vs. Yale 5/26/1877] [describing Yale's Hamilton Field] ...better arrangements are needed to seat the spectators. Instead of a roped boundary, the field should be bounded by a row of planked seats, which would keep the crowd back from the field. This, and an extension of raised seats like those of the main-stand, are necessary.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Si Keck's financial situation; panic in the Cincinnati Club

Date Tuesday, March 27, 1877
Text

When the news was spread yesterday of the financial embarrassment of the Keck Brothers the members of the Red-Stocking Base-ball Club were thrown into a spasm of alarm that was unwarranted. Of course they thought that should Messrs. Keck fail they would be without engagements. If they will take good advice they will do nothing rash in the premises.... Cincinnati Enquirer March 27, 1877

Keep your seats. The game will go on. Monday's little panic is past and the Red Stocking Club is more of a certainty now than it was last week. Yesterday morning the management paid each members of the Club in the city his salary up to date. Then two dozen bats were ordered and the boys had their measures taken for new suits, which were sent to Chicago to be filled (the orders, not the suits). Cincinnati Enquirer March 28, 1877

[from an interview following Si Keck's meeting with his creditors following the collapse of his pork packing firm] “What are the exact figures of your assets and liabilities?” was the next question propounded. Mr. Keck drew from his bosom the statement which he had presented [to his creditors], and said: “My liabilities are $388,000 and my assets $389,000: this is, giving my property and securities at he valuation placed on them by creditors. In fact, their first valuation was about sixty thousand dollars more than that, though I told them that they were valuing them too high at that rate, and they finally adopted my ideas upon the matter. So you see I can pay every dollar I owe and have a thousand left.” Here Mr. Kick smiled sadly as he contemplated the idea of being reduced to the possession of a mere paltry thousand dollars. Cincinnati Enquirer March 28, 1877

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

signing players later than in past years

Date Sunday, August 26, 1877
Text

Last season at this time there had been forty-two new contracts made for this season, and by November sixty-three contracts had been signed. This, when compared with the three lonesome contracts on the season’s record, shows that the players are for the most part without any prospect of getting a chance to earn any base-ball money next season. No offers are being made, as it is evident that either the League will give up the ghost on account of its heavy losses, or else its clubs will engage cheaper players, and leave the high-priced old-timers out in the cold. Chicago Tribune August 26, 1877, quoting the (unspecified)

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Silver Flint buys a mask

Date Monday, October 1, 1877
Text

“Silver” Flint has purchased a catcher’s mask. It will be a great protection to him when Nolan gets to sending them in like chained lightning.

Source Indianapolis Sentinel
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Silver Flint's nickname

Date Sunday, April 22, 1877
Text

Shaffer foul-flied to Flint, or “Silver,” as he is called up in Indianapolis.

Source Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding to retire from active play

Date Sunday, August 19, 1877
Text

The base-ball profession will at the end of this season lose the best-known and most highly-respected of its active members in the person of Mr. A. G. Spalding, Secretary, Manager, and Captain of the Chicagos for two years. His retirement from active duty is the result of a determination formed at the end of last season, and growing out of the increasing needs of his business, which has grown from a small beginning to a size which imperatively demands his attention, as well as that of his brother. Mr. Spalding’s record of five years in Boston and two in Chicago has never been equaled, and probably never will be; and it is not exceeding the truth to say that no ball-player ever had so wide an acquaintance or so deep a respect among all grades and classes of players as has Mr. Spalding.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding's new score-book

Date Saturday, March 31, 1877
Text

The novel and commending feature of the book is the manner in which each of the squares opposite the names of the player is utilized by a division which originated with Mr. Spalding. Each of these squares is divided into five spaces by a diamond in its centre, from the points of which lines extend to each of the four sides of the square. Each of these spaces is designed for the use of the scorer, according to marks and signs given in the book. By thus dividing the squares into spaces, he scores without the liability to make mistakes. The League rules of scoring are printed in the book.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spectators on the field

Date Friday, May 18, 1877
Text

A better system of police should be adopted. The crowd should not be allowed to fill up the field while the last inning is being played, and to pass back of the pitcher continually on the way to the gate. Indianapolis News May 18, 1877

the umpire disallows an intentionally dropped third strike; quadruple play?

[Boston vs. Indianapolis 5/18/1877] [bases loaded with no outs] Brown had three strikes and missed, and, the catcher, trapping the ball, touched the home plate and fielded to the third; Warner sent it hot to second, and from second to first, and the boys came marching in, under the impression there had been a beautiful triple, or rather quadruple play, as Brown, instead of running to first, dropped his bat and walked off to one side. The umpire, Thomas Titus, of Paterson, N.J., decided none out, but Brown clung to his decision, notwithstanding a fifteen-minutes' kick from the Hoosiers. The decision was a doubtful one, and rested entirely upon whether Flint caught the ball or not. The Bostons objected to changing the umpire, and finally the Indianapolis director ordered their men to resume play, preferring to lose the game rather than be given the name of kickers on their own ground. Brown [was] held to be out, and White, O'Rourke and Sutton kept their bases... Cincinnati Enquirer May 19, 1877

[Boston vs. Indianapolis 5/18/1877] [bases loaded with no outs] Brown came to the bat, struck three times, and on the last strike Flint muffed the ball purposely, touched the plate, passed the ball to third and around the diamond to first, thereby making a beautiful triple play. But this wooden umpire from the east surprised the players and crowd by calling the striker out on strikes, when fairly the three men on bases were out. Captain Mack refused to continue the game, but after a great deal of talking on the part of manager Wright and the directors of the Blues the game was continued, and the red legs who filled the bases were left there at the end of the inning. Indianapolis Sentinel May 19, 1877

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis Club finances

Date Sunday, November 18, 1877
Text

The work of collecting the $2,000 still due the players for services during the past season is progressing slowly, the stockholders seeming to forget that they are in duty bound to pay this money. The Directors of the Association have already paid a very large sum out of their own pockets, and think that before they undertake the responsibility of perfecting the organization for 1878, the trivial amount referred to above should be made good by the small army of stockholders. The Collection Committee report that the latter, when called on for their assessments, are met by the argument that the crooked developments of the past season have robbed the national game of its interest, and that there is no guarantee that players will not repeat it next year. While this may be true, it does not release them from the debt which they have contracted, and which, if not paid, may possibly result in legal proceedings. The soreheads should not forget that, while a dozen dishonest men may have entered the professional ranks, there are still hundreds of honest players from who to pick reliable teams; and if the stockholders evince an intention to pay off the debt of the present season, the directors will secure a first class nine, one capable of winning the championship in /78–otherwise the chances are that this city has seen the last of professional ball-playing for some years to come. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis Club finances 2

Date Sunday, December 16, 1877
Text

[from a letter dated 12/6/77 from “Douce Davie” relating the failure of the St. Louis Club] We have had a club during the years 1875, 1876, and 1877–that is one side. Per contra, we have had a capital stock aggregating all told about $20,000. As near as I can ascertain, we have collected in the neighborhood of $16,000 on this $20,0000. In addition to this, I am given to understand that some of the directors raised money on their notes for the use of the Club and then had to pay the notes, amounting to close to $9,000. That went where the rest went, and, in addition to both items, there is some $3,000 due to the players of 1877...

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis park too far from downtown

Date Sunday, December 16, 1877
Text

[from a letter dated 12/6/77 from “Douce Davie” relating the failure of the St. Louis Club] Grand Avenue Park was too far away from “down-town” to ever hope to induce people to go to games there. A rise of more than an hour on a street-car is unpleasant and tedious at any time, and doubly so in warm weather and with a crowd. When I come to look back on the past, I wonder how so many people ever got out to the grounds.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stipulating to a foreign umpire

Date Thursday, May 10, 1877
Text

At the conclusion of the game [in Indianapolis], Manager Chapman made arrangements for four more games with the Blues in July, three to be played in this city, and one at Indianapolis. Chapman also stipulated that hereafter, whenever his men played in Indianapolis, the services of a foreign umpire would be brought into requisition, to all of which the Indianapolis management agreed.

Source Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stock clubs

Date Saturday, March 17, 1877
Text

[from a correspondent in Lowell] Most of the stock has been disposed of, and still they come. Prospects are brighter than ever before, and Lowell people are looking anxiously for the opening game of the season. New York Clipper March 17, 1877

The Erie (Pa.) Club stockholders held a meeting last week... New York Clipper March 24, 1877

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suppressing the supply of games

Date Saturday, December 8, 1877
Text

The number of games played on the South street grounds next season will probably not exceed fifty, and may fall below that number. This is as much as this place will support, and the interest in the games will be greater, resulting in larger attendance. Indianapolis News December 8, 1877

Cincinnati games not counted

[reporting on the NL meeting 12/4/1877 - 12/6/1877] [a resolution adopted by the NL] WHEREAS, The Secretary has submitted two tabular statements of championship games played during the past season, the first showing all such games played by the Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, and Hartford Clubs with each other, and the second adding thereto certain games participated in by the Cincinnati Club; and the same having been fully examined a considered; therefore

Resolved, 1. That the Cincinnati Club, having failed to pay its annual dues, and having thereby forfeited its membership under the constitution of the League, it is not entitled to have any games participated in by it counted in the championship series, and the table which includes such games in invalid.

Resolved, 2. The table showing all championship games participated in by the Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, and Hartford clubs with each other is the table contemplated by the League Constitution, and shows the following to be the relative standing of the clubs, as the result of the season’s play: First, Boston; second, Louisville; third, Hartford; fourth, St. Louis; fifth, Chicago.

Resolved, 3. The Boston Club, having won the greatest number of games in the championship series, is hereby awarded the championship of the United States for the year 1877. Chicago Tribune December 9, 1877

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suspected crooked play

Date Sunday, October 21, 1877
Text

[from a season summary] There seems to have been the usual amount of “crooked” play, and its influence has been bad. The strangest thing of all is that the very players who have been most “suspected” of this grave misdemeanor have been readily taken for nines next year. The lessons of the season in this particular have been utterly disregarded in very many instances, and it remains for dear experience to impress yet more fully upon club managements the established fact that honest and moral players make the best nines and the winning ones in the long run. Boston Herald October 21, 1877

how players spend the off-season

Many people wonder what professional ball players do in the winter. The majority follow the occupation that Cape Cod fishermen used to follow, namely, loafing. Some take to this business sort o’ naturally, and others are compelled, through inability to secure employment, to lie idle from November to April. It is this necessity, real or imagined, which player look upon as a justification of their demand for seemingly high salaries. The summer’s earnings have to support them through the winter, or, if they have failed to save anything, they live by their wits or by what they can borrow in anticipation of the next year’s income. A few players are paid salaries through the year, but this is rather the exception than the rule. Boston Herald October 21, 1877

a curve ball exhibition

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 10/20/1877] The test was made during the third inning, when rain temporarily interfered with the game. Cincinnati Enquirer October 21, 1877

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 10/20/1877] Infinitely more interesting than the game was the experiment to demonstrate the possibility of pitching a ball so that it would describe a lateral curve in its course through the air. Disciples of Isaac Newton have declared with dogmatic certainty that the thing is impossible; that the force employed by the pitcher sent the ball in a straight line, modified only by the attraction of gravitation and the resistance of the air, which could only curve the ball downward as its projectile force was decreased. Base ball scientists were quite as certain that the expert pitcher knew how to give his ball a peculiar twist which sent it off in a curved line to the utter bewilderment of the batter. Recently the discussion has waxed warm, and on Saturday, after the second inning had been played, the experiment was tried.

The chalk line, running parallel with the line from the home plate to first base, was chosen as the base of operations. It is a line running nearly north and south. The pitcher was placed at the south end of the line. At a point half way to first base a barrier was placed on the west side of the line, with the end resting on the line. This was to compel the pitcher, who stood on the west side of the line, to send the ball across to the east side. Another barrier was placed on the east side of the line opposite first base. This was to stop the ball unless it described a curved line that would carry it back to the west side of the chalk line. Down where the pitcher stood, a board was set on one end of the line and held in position to make sure that the pitcher did not reach over and start his ball at the wrong side. Bond, the Boston pitcher, then took his place at the west side of the line, and tried the experiment. His first effort showed that the board was a necessity to keep him in the right place; his ball struck its edges. He tried again and again, the ball being difficult to manage on account of its being wet. At least he sent a ball which started fairly on the west side of the line, curved over to the east side to pass the first barrier, and back again to the west side to avoid the other barrier, and dropped on the ground two feet from the line. It was a plain case of “curved” ball.

Then Mitchell was called up, and, being a left handed pitcher, he took his position on the east side of the chalk line. The barriers were changed accordingly, and he made the effort. His first ball also struck the board beside him, but it was not long until he sent a “meanderer” that crossed the chalk line to the west side and recrossed to the east side, and was caught fully one foot east of the further barrier. The ball had been curved in opposite directions by these two pitchers, thus disposing of the theory that the wind helped divert the ball from its course. If there was any wind at all it was from the north. The tests were regarded as entirely satisfactory, and created great interest. It is proposed to repeat it in the game this afternoon.

The following diagrams show how the thing was done: [see diagrams in original] Cincinnati Daily Gazette October 22, 1877 see also Cincinnati Commercial 10/21/1877

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 10/22/1877] After the third inning another test was made of the ability of Bond and Mitchell to throw a ball so that it will describe a lateral curve in its course. The same plan was pursued as on Saturday last, and was even more successful than then. Bond threw half a dozen balls before he was twice successful, but Mitchell threw only three. Cincinnati Daily Gazette October 23, 1877

Mitchell and Bond again proved the curved ball reality at the Park yesterday before the spectators and to every body's satisfaction. Mitchell got two balls around out of three pitched, and decidedly beat Bond on the size of the curve,, although Bond put two out of five around the stakes. One of the two barely went past the last post, but the second one passed it with half a foot to spare. Cincinnati Enquirer October 23, 1877

Curved pitching has been demonstrated, and it now remains for the scientists to explain it. At Cincinnati, recently, Bond, the pitcher of the Boston base ball club, caused a ball to curve around a board set up midway between the point of delivery and that where the ball was caught, and to show that the curve was not caused by the wind Mitchell, the left-handed pitcher, at once took the same position, and made the ball curve round the same board in the opposite direction. The tests were very thorough, the motions of the pitchers being restrained by a board so that no deception could be practiced. Lowell Daily Citizen and News October 25, 1877

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 10/27/1877] Another test of the curved ball was made by the two pitchers, Bond and Mitchell, to the entire satisfaction of the multitude. Cincinnati Enquirer October 28, 1877

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suspicions about Nolan

Date Monday, September 17, 1877
Text

Mr. Brown, president of the Indianapolis club, has gone to Chicago to manage the club during the week, and as McCormick and Sullivan, pitcher and first baseman of the disbanded Buckeyes, will participate in the games, it is thought that the gifted Nolan will be held down to business. Mr. Brown will see that there is no more “funny business.” On Thursday last Nolan pledged himself to prevent the Stars and Alleghenys from getting five base hits in either game, and the fact that he kept his word rather “gives him away” in the games recently played in New York, as well as the first two games of the tournament. A suspicion begins to creep over some minds that Nolan is an “addled egg.” McCormick is as good a pitcher as Nolan and more reliable. Indianapolis News September 17, 1877

Last night the directory made a feint of investigating the charges preferred against Mack and Nolan, and passed a resolution vindicating them and exonerating them from the accusation of having “thrown” games. This is all very pretty but resolutions covering a ream of paper can not restore these players to the position they once occupied in the confidence and esteem of the public. It is difficult to understand how the directors could vindicate Nolan in the face of the fact, known to some of them, that a dispatch from one of the pool rooms at New York to that individual was intercepted not long ago and then incontinently suppressed. Perhaps the action is intended as an application of “whitewash” in order to let the boys down easy, as it seems to be very generally understood that they will not play with the Blues next year. Right here it would not be out of place to state that no club ever has prospered, and no club can prosper, in which there is an element tainted with suspicion. It is not so much a matter of good pitching as confidence. Indianapolis News September 27, 1877

Last night the directors of the Indianapolis base ball club held a meeting, at which the charges against Nolan and Mack were investigated. Both Nolan and Mack were present, and told their side of the story, and promised that in the future they would attend more closely to ball playing than in the past. The board gave the following as their action in this matter:

“The charges against D. J. Mack and Edward Nolan have been fully investigated by the directors and each man examined, no evidence being adduced to justify the suspicion that they had been guilty of “throwing games. This puts both gentleman in a better position before the public, and we hope in the future that nothing needing an investigation will ever occur in our club.” Indianapolis Sentinel September 27, 1877

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

swapping players for exhibition games

Date Thursday, May 24, 1877
Text

Next Tuesday the people of Dayton will be treated to what they have never before had in their city—a game between two first-class base-ball clubs. The Cincinnatis and Chicagos will play there on that day according to positive arrangements. In order that it may not be a League-game the two nines will have to “swap” a man; for instance, Glenn may play left field for the Cincinnatis and Cuthbert do the same for the Chicagos. With this exception, which is imperative under the rules to save the game from being a League contest, it will in all other respects be as well-contested a game on the part of each Club as any they will play this season. We are told that all the railroads centering on Dayton will run in excursion trains to the game.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

swift curves

Date Monday, April 16, 1877
Text

[Princeton vs. Athletic 4/14/1877] We are sorry to condemn Weaver [Athletics’ pitcher], but it was very evident that he was not doing his best; instead of putting his swift “curves,” in to the batsman he pitched a slow, winding ball throughout the whole game. It looked as through he was afraid to throw them in, as though he was afraid that McGlinley could not hold them.. Philadelphia Item April 16, 1877

This from the Republic of Sunday last: Weaver has developed a curve that is exceedingly hard to hit. Ferguson says that his delivery is very puzzling, and bothers the best of batsmen. Philadelphia Item May 10, 1877

dissipation on the Indianapolis Club; a hint about Nolan

Early in the year the management of the Indianapolis club made a set of rules to govern the conduct of the players. One of them forbids the use of intoxicating liquors, but the violations thereof have been more numerous than pleasing. The loss of the game yesterday is said to have been owing to the fact that one of the men was unable to play through weakness superinduced by dissipation. It is worse than useless to have good players if their services can not be commanded in times of necessity. Indianapolis Journal April 17, 1877

[Indianapolis vs. Louisville 4/16/1877] Nolan is a hard man to hit, and if he could only be cured of the notion of getting sick whenever he begins to get hit freely, he will yet develop into something formidable. Louisville Courier-Journal April 17, 1877

Bradley’s curves

[Chicago vs. Fairbank of Chicago 4/21/1877] ...the amateurs could not make any sort of show against Bradley’s curves, and struck out with freedom. Chicago Tribune April 22, 1877

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of a players' brotherhood

Date Sunday, January 7, 1877
Text

Schafer of the Bostons and Bradley of the Chicagos have gone on record as not willing to join any protective association such as has been talked about. No need of any talk about the matter, boys; there never was and never will be any such association.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the 'hog pen' in Louisville

Date Saturday, May 12, 1877
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Louisville 5/10/1877] The crowd at yesterday's game, according to the showing of gate receipts, was fifteen hundred in the grounds proper, and two hundred in the “hog-pen” down against the left field fence.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics' curve pitcher

Date Saturday, April 14, 1877
Text

[Athletic vs. Riverton 4/7/1877] Weaver's curve-pitching proved too much for the Rivertons, no fewer than thirteen striking out...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Cincinnati Club admitted to the NL

Date Sunday, December 9, 1877
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 12/4/1877 - 12/6/1877] After considering the Cincinnati application, the Board adopted a resolution recommending its admission, and adding that it had honorably and faithfully carried out its contract with the League,–which was, in effect, that it should take up the schedule where Si Keck’s burst-up dropped it and carry it through. This had been doing under an agreement that, in case of fulfillment, the Club should be admitted to the League; therefore the admission was only formal.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Cincinnati Club never paid its dues

Date Sunday, July 1, 1877
Text

It would seem... that by the terms of the League constitution, no game played by the defunct Cincinnati Club can be counted in the championship series. Last year the League required the payment of the annual dues “on or before the 1st day of January of each year.” ... “and every club failing to pay said sum by such time shall be considered as having withdrawn from the League.” This year the League constitution provides that the payment of the annual dues ($100) may be made “on or before the 1st day of June of each year,” and clearly defines the penalty of default in the following words: “And any club failing to pay said sum by such time shall thereby forfeit its membership in the League.” It does not appear that the League intended, by the change in date of payment, to grant any additional advantages to a defaulting club. They merely extended the time of payment to a date when the clubs would be in possession of gate-receipts, and thus be better enabled to pay the fee which entitles them to the privileges of membership. The Cincinnati has not paid a dollar to the League during the present year, and it does not, therefore, appear how the League can recognize any part of its record of the present year.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Force case and the founding of the League

Date Sunday, December 23, 1877
Text

A good deal has been said at odd times about the effect of the League on the honesty of players, but enough has not been said by half about the effect that body has had upon crooked managements. The year 1875 saw what may properly be called the acme of thievery in the most thievish city in the country, Philadelphia. The club called Philadelphia scarcely attempted to conceal their swindling, and, contrary to the usual custom, the management was the head and front of the rascality. The local papers rather approved of it, but the outside clubs saw that to fraternize with that gang would be to confess themselves at least friendly to thievery. The League was formed and killed the Philadelphia Club in thirty days. In about six months the Athletic Club followed it, and the scalps of those two concerns are among the proudest trophies in the League. It is clear that, whatever may have been the faults of the players, the League has killed off the pool-box managements. It is said that in the spring of 1875 two base-ball men sat in a Philadelphia hotel talking over the infamous decision in the Force case, and closed by pledging each other to put it out of the power of any more Sperings, or Concannons, or Hayhurts to steal either men or money. It took them only two years to do it, and it was thoroughly done.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Hartford Club as Bulkeley's hobby

Date Sunday, February 25, 1877
Text

The principal argument against the proposed change [moving the Hartford Club to Brooklyn] is that Mr. Bulkeley, a great lover of the sport, is wealthy, and can afford to keep the club here [in Hartford] if he chooses to do so, even at a pecuniary loss, simply to gratify his love for the game. With the club in Brooklyn it would be impossible for him to see games played as often as he would like to. All that he wants is to have the Hartford people allow him to manage his club as he sees fit, without proffering him advice in relation to what it is best for him to do. He places implicit confidence in Ferguson’s management, and will brook none of the too current talk about mismanagement of the nine and crooked play, which was rife here last year, especially after Bond and Ferguson had their trouble, and which was very offensive to him. This talk is what will result in the loss of the club to Hartford, if anything does, which, by the way, is by no means certain.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the IA championship code

Date Sunday, February 25, 1877
Text

[reporting on the IA convention of 2/20/1877] The article on championship as adopted provides that any club belonging to the Association may enter, but is not obliged to, for the pennant. The special fee for entrance is $15 above the $10 for admittance into the Association. The championship emblem must cost not more that $50, and the championship season continues from April 15 to Oct. 15, four games all around being required. A committee, appointed specially for the purpose, prepared and presented a supplementary section to the championship code, but only a part of it was adopted. That part was to the effect that each visiting club should take $75, or 50 per cent of the gross receipts, whichever should prove to be the largest sum; also that in all championship games the admission fee should be 25 cents.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the IA organizing convention

Date Sunday, February 25, 1877
Text

[reporting on the IA convention of 2/20/1877] [N.B. Lewis Meacham was the delegate from the Fairbanks Club of Chicago] It is greatly to the credit of the gentlemen who met at Pittsburg that they did not descend to fanaticism, but confined themselves to doing what they could to better their own condition without any desire to follow out the paths made for them by such blinds guides as had neither money nor reputation at stake. In many respects the Convetion was a success, and, if more of the higher class of non-League professionals had been present, it would have been even more so.

...

In the article relating to clubs, the Association did a graceful and clever thing by inserting a clause which prevents any club in the Association from playing or attempting to play any player expelled from another club “in this or any other Association,” clearly meaning that the Association would not hire or play any player expelled from the League. The gentleman who drew the clause explained its meaning in that way, and it was a credit to the Convention that it was adopted without dissent.

...

One great evil from which the non-League professionals have suffered has been the too common practice of playing signing more than one contract. To avoid that in future, a clause was added to the section on contracts providing that if any player sign two contracts covering the same space of time he shall be expelled forthwith. In the same article it was provided that the Secretary of the Association shall notify the Secretary of the League of all contract made between Association clubs and players, the intention being of course to accept the League’s proffer or amity in shape of a resolution not to meddle with players under contract with outside clubs.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Indianapolis Club admitted to the NL based on its record

Date Sunday, December 9, 1877
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 12/4/1877 - 12/6/1877] It will be remembered that at the previous session the League adopted Art. 12, which offered a membership in the League as a prize for the best record by an outside club. The board therefore adopted a resolution setting forth that the Indianapolis Club was entitled to admission under said Art. 12.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the July 4 attendance in Chicago

Date Monday, July 30, 1877
Text

The Chicago Tribune, in deciding a bet, syas there were more than 10,000 people at the Boston-Chicago game of July 4. If that was a genuine bet, the parties thereto should know that the Bostons received a per centage on less than 9,000 attendants. St., quoting the Boston Herald

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League Alliance contract

Date Sunday, January 21, 1877
Text

It is hereby agreed by the parties hereto as follows:

1. No club that is a party hereto shall employ or play in its nine any player to whose services any other club that is a party thereto may be entitled by contract.

2. Any player under contract with any club that is a party hereto who shall, without the written consent of such club, leave its service or fail to perform his contract, or who shall be proven guilty of disreputable conduct, shall be at once expelled by such club.

3. No club who is a party hereto shall play any game of ball with any base-ball club whatever that shall employ or present in its nine any player that shall have been expelled from any club that is a party hereto for breach of contract or disreputable conduct.

4. Each club that is a party hereto shall, upon making a contract with a player, immediately notify the Secretary of the National League of Professional Base-Ball Clubs, such notice to be in writing, signed by the contracting club and the player, and, in the absence of such notice to such officer, any player shall be deemed to be free from contract obligation.

5. Each club that is a party hereto shall, upon expelling a player from membership or releasing him from contract, notify the Secretary of the National League of Base-Ball Clubs, and, in the absence of such notice to such officer, such player shall be deemed to be a member in good standing of the club whose notice of contract with such player had previously been transmitted to such officer, until the expiration of the term of such contract.

6. The notices provided for in the two last preceding stipulations are required to be sent to the Secretary of the League upon the understanding that such officer will, immediately upon their receipt, communicate the same to all League clubs, as well as to all clubs that are parties to this agreement; and in the event of the failure or refusal of such officer to perform such service, or his discontinuance thereof, then the parties hereto shall devise other means for the performance of such service.

7. All games played by the clubs that are parties hereto shall be played in accordance with the playing rules of the National League.

8. All disputes that may arise between the clubs that are parties hereto shall be submitted to the Board of Directors of the National League for adjudication in the manner provided for by Sec. 2, Art. XII, of its constitution, and the finding of such tribunal shall be final and binding upon the clubs that are parties hereto.

9. This agreement shall go into effect on the first day of March, A.D. 1877.

10. Each club that is a party hereto shall retain a copy of the agreement, and the original shall be deposited with the Secretary of the National League.

In witness whereof the club that are parties hereto have, by their duly authorized representatives, signed this agreement on or before the 15th day of February, A.D. 1877. Chicago Tribune January 21, 1877 [see also Chicago Tribune 1/28/77, 2/4/77 for a defense of the scheme.]

one run an official game for gate receipt purposes

[from the special League rules] ...each club...shall pay [the visitors] the sum of fifteen (15) cents for each and every person admitted to such grounds to witness such game, or any part thereof, or admitted to such grounds for any other purpose, prior to such game, and remaining after its commencement... We further agree that, for the purposes of this agreement, a “game” shall be that in which one full inning shall be played by the contesting clubs, in accordance with the playing rules of the League. [Thereby implying no rain checks.] New York Clipper January 27, 1877

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League orders a new ball

Date Friday, May 18, 1877
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting of 5/17/1877] There was a liberal discussion on the merits of the ball adopted at Cincinnati and its lively qualities were indorsed, but its hardness objected to because it stung the hands and could not be held. This was shown to be the fault of the cushion of the ball, the wrapping being cotton instead of yarn. The last-named was ordered to be used, which will soften but not affect the liveliness. The new ball will be known as Mahn's No. 3 League Ball, and all League and League alliance Clubs are ordered to begin its use after Tuesday next.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League recognizes non-League contracts only after March 15

Date Sunday, January 7, 1877
Text

The League...[is] recognizing such contracts as may be made with non-league clubs after the 15th of March. But this seeming concession is in itself an insult. It merely says we will pick and choose from among your men until, having filled our quota, we will begin to respect your rights. Why not recognize non-League contracts as rigidly as League contracts? By all means afford no protection to rotten clubs; but protect each club that by any fair means is paying its players.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League should include every professional club, with multiple divisions

Date Sunday, January 7, 1877
Text

In its beginning the ideas of the League were too narrow. They have been expanded, but yet there is a deal of room for improvement. It is not, as it indirectly claims to be, an association for the general improvement and elevation of baseball playing; its objects are too straightened and its legislation too selfish. Every professional club in the country should be at once admitted into the League. It should be a society for mutual protection by means of laws which shall react beyond its own circle with a negative force. Let every professional club throughout the country pay a membership fee and have a vote in the election of officers; make the laws binding on all clubs, and on all players, with a penalty of expulsion, which, in that case, will mean utter ruin as far as baseball is concerned; for when all are League clubs there will be no money to be earned outside of the League. Divide the League clubs into two or, let us say, three classes, each with a championship of its own, with representative members all over the country. Let there be a regular fixed handicap between the classes, so that when a club of one class should play one of another, the force of the handicap shall bring them on an equality. ... The League, as it now stands, is a powerful and self-asserting minority. The League should be an overwhelming and irrefragable majority.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Louisville four

Date Sunday, November 4, 1877
Text

[see CT 11/4/1877 for a long article quoting LCJ.]

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Manning deal completed; released for the season

Date Friday, May 4, 1877
Text

Manning yesterday accepted the terms offered him by Mr. Keck, and it may be pretty generally concluded that he will play with the Cincinnatis this year. His regular position will be short stop and change pitcher, a place he filled with the Baltimore nine in 1874. Cincinnati Enquirer May 4, 1877

Jack Manning has been released from the Bostons for the season of 1877 and has signed with the Cincinnatis, who it is said will try him at short stop. Boston Herald May 7, 1877

Saturday night, when asked what would be done about Manning, the Louisville directors informed the writer that they would make no objection to his playing with the Reds. At the same they say that some one has been indulging in a little sharp practice in the matter. When a player in any of the League clubs is released from his engagement, it has been the custom hitherto for Mr. N. E. Young, the Secretary of the League, to be immediately notified of the fact by the parties doing the releasing, and then for Mr. Young to give written notice to that effect to all League clubs. Now note the formula which governs the proceedings incident to Manning’s release. Saturday Harry Wright telegraphed to Mr. Young that Manning had been released by the Bostons April 13, and Mr. Young immediately telegraphed the other clubs to that effect. ... A question now very naturally arises as to what was the Boston club doing between the 13th of April and the 5th of May to prevent a written notification of Manning’s release being sent to Secretary Young. What object was to be attained by holding back until the very last moment, and then making the notification by means of the wires? Simply because the two ran very well together, it being a wire-working arrangement all the way round. Mr. Keck, to our certain knowledge, did not close papers with Manning until Friday last, or more likely Saturday. Word was then telegraphed to Boston, and Harry Wright, in his message by wire to Secretary Young, in order to allow Manning the opportunity to play with the Reds in their opening games with the Louisvilles, antedated his release so that he space of time required by the League constitution would be well covered. Perhaps Mr. Keck asked Harry to do this, and perhaps he did not. At all rates, it is pretty evident to the average thinker that “funny business” has been going on somewhere. Louisville Courier-Journal May 7, 1877

By a special and anticipatory agreement made at Cincinnati, Jack Manning’s release from the Bostons is antedated so that he can play with the Cincinnatis in less time than twenty days after the actual release. Otherwise Jack must have taken about a three weeks’ rest. Boston Herald May 8, 1877

a cutoff man; a slide into home

[Star of Syracuse vs. Chicago 5/4/1877] [Anson at first base] Spalding came to the rescue and won the game by the longest hit of the game, a terrific drive away over Clinton’s [right fielder] head and almost to the right-field fence. It doesn’t need to be said that as soon as the ball was hit Anson was getting around to third with as much speed as any 215 pounds of flesh could get up. He turned into home-stretch while the ball was on the way in, and lit out for a run while the Stars were singing out to Farrell [second baseman] to cut him off. The latter drove the ball to Higham [catcher], but so high and wild that he could not handle it until one of Anson’s feet had touched the plate. No friends of the runner’s ever knew how long he was until they saw him slide in with a foot on the plate and his head pretty well up toward third base. Chicago Tribune May 5, 1877

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the NL flexes its muscles on player contracts

Date Sunday, March 11, 1877
Text

Tally one for the St. Louis Base Ball Club and for the National League. The Dorgan difficulty has been amicably settled, and the skillful Mike is expected to cross the big bridge in a day or two preparatory to doing some good work for the Brown Stockings the coming season. It will be remembered that Mr. Marsh, one of the Directors of the Syracuse Stars, come on to St. Louis a few days ago for the purpose of having the Browns relinquish their claim to Dorgan, if such a thing were possible. This the St. Louis Club positively refused to do, proving conclusively to the gentleman from Syracuse, who was treated with the utmost cordiality, that St. Louis and St. Louis only had a valid claim on Dorgan’s services. This Mr. Marsh acknowledged, but he argued that the Syracuse folks had a moral claim on Dorgan, and that if he left them it would do their team an almost irreparable injury. The justness of the Brown’s claims being beyond dispute the St. Louis Directors informed Mr. Marsh that there was a principle at stake, involving the very life of the League, and that the time had come when some decisive action should be taken to prevent players from signing more than one contract, and that, therefore, they should insist on Dorgan coming here or having him expelled at once. This they would do, no matter who the player might be, even if it resulted in breaking up their organization. The upshot of the matter was that Mr. Marsh returned to Syracuse, explained the case to his associates, and it was deemed advisable that Dorgan should come to St. Louis. No further effort was made to detain him, and telegrams from Syracuse yesterday stated the he would start for St. Louis at once. This is the first decisive victory the League has achieved. St. Louis Globe-Democrat March 11, 1877 [See Chicago Tribune 2/25/77 for the details of the dispute over paperwork.]

outfield fence billboards

The fence around the Louisville grounds will be let for advertising this season. Manager Chapman can furnish further information to any one desiring it. Louisville Courier-Journal March 11, 1877

An inside fence has been placed on our grounds and covered with neatly-painted advertisements, making them have a fine appearance. Cincinnati Enquirer April 1, 1877

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the San Francisco Club in the IA

Date Sunday, June 17, 1877
Text

The San Francisco Club have resigned from the International Association for “financial reasons.” It is extremely difficult to see how they could have had any effect on a membership in an association 3,000 miles away.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The St. Louis Reds shut down; the IA convention a failure

Date Sunday, April 8, 1877
Text

Tom McNeary, of the St. Louis Reds, has thrown up the sponge, and will not put a nine in the field this season. This announcement will be received with regret by the many friends of the “ponies” who have so ably represented St. Louis in past seasons. Mr. McNeary did not allow the Reds to disband without carefully considering the situation. The International Convention at Pittsburg, he claims, was a failure, the only man who would stand up for the rights of the semi-professionals being Gorman, of the Tecumsehs. No sooner had the Convention concluded its labors than half a dozen of the Internationals joined the League Alliance, without waiting to see whether an obnoxious section of the agreement would be stricken out, as the Internationals had decided it should be. ... the Reds, were they in existence, could, by the League Constitution, only play one League club in St. Louis–the Brown Stockings–other League teams being prohibited from entering their territory. For these and other reasons which carry pecuniary weight with them, the Reds have gone under. Chicago Tribune April 8, 1877, quoting the St.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the amateur association

Date Sunday, March 18, 1877
Text

The National Association of Amateur Base Ball Clubs, held an annual meeting in New York, last week, electing the following officers: President, J. H. Meyers, Fly Away Club of New York; vice-president, J. L. Brooks, Mutual Club of Washington, D.C.; Secretary, James Treacey, Jasper College Club; treasurer, M. J. Dillon, Confidence Club of New Rochelle, N.Y.; judge advocate, James Shea, Monticello Club of Jersey City. Five new clubs were admitted to membership: The Yonkers of Philadelphia, Penn.; St. Cloud of Orange, N.J.; Nalan of Albany, N.Y.; Harlem of Harlem, N.Y.; and Livingstone of Newark, N.J.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baseball reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal

Date Thursday, May 3, 1877
Text

John A. Haldeman, of the Courier-Journal, represents his paper with the Louisville Club.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher takes a ball to the mouth; rubber mouth guard

Date Friday, July 13, 1877
Text

[Hartford vs. Cincinnati 7/12/1877] Hastings, who was playing close behind Start's bat, was hit in the mouth by a sharp foul-tip. He fell senseless, as if shot, with his face in the dust and his arms extended. The players left their positions, ran to his assistance and carried him from the field. He soon revived, when his injuries were found to be severe, but not disastrous. None of the teeth were destroyed, but the upper lip was cut open in two places clear through to the jaw bone. He immediately left for the city to procure surgical aid in sewing up the wounds, while Booth took his place behind the bat. Hastings used no rubber between his teeth, else the injury might have been avoided. It is universally regretted in base-ball circles that he has thus been disabled for a day or two.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher weakens the pitcher by forcing him to pitch over the plate

Date Sunday, October 28, 1877
Text

McVey was not, is not, and never can be a catcher, especially for such a man as Bradley. Mac is a cool-headed, sure, first-class first-baseman; an effective pitcher for a score of games in a season; and a splendid and scientific batsman; but he is not a catcher, because of his aptitude to get sore hands and to weaken his pitcher by making him pitch over the plate too much.

...

In 1876 [Bradley] was given by Clapp’s efforts a great leeway in his work, and no man used strategy more; but in 1877 he claims that he felt himself confined to a narrower circle by the necessity of always thinking about his catcher, and pitching to him.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher's mask

Date Sunday, March 11, 1877
Text

The catcher of the Harvard Base-Ball Club has invented a brass wire mask for the face. If it were not for our American colleges the latent genius in some men would slumber forever. The best protection is base-ball, however, is to hire another fellow to take your place, while you sit on the fence and watch the players get crippled. Chicago Tribune March 11, 1877, quoting an unidentified exchange

The New York World learns in some mysterious way that the League catcher will wear the newly-invented mask. McVey’s wire fence hasn’t got along yet, and he won’t worry much about it if it doesn’t come at all. There is a good deal of beastly humbug in contrivances to protect men from things which don’t happen. There is about as much sense in putting a lightning-rod on a catcher as a mask. Chicago Tribune March 25, 1877

A new accompaniment of the game is to be introduced this year by this [Harvard] nine in the shape of a “mask” which is used for the protection of the catcher's face. This “mask” is composed of brass wires, and is fastened around the head by a strap. It works fairly well, but needs a powerful thrower to use it, as it is apt to jar the head, thereby upsetting the aim of the thrower. New York Clipper April 14, 1877

Speaking of Tyng’s wire mask, the Providence Dispatch says the near future may bring about many other improvements in the equipment of a base-ball player, and we shall probably soon behold the spectacle of a player sculling around the bases with stove funnels on his legs, and boiler-iron riveted across his stomach. Chicago Tribune May 20, 1877

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher's mask 2

Date Saturday, June 2, 1877
Text

[Harvard vs. Yale 5/26/1877] We commend the wire-mask to Mr. Morgan's use. It will save him from more dangerous injuries than the rubber in his mouth.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher's mask 3

Date Wednesday, July 18, 1877
Text

[Stars vs. Indianapolis 7/17/1877] Hotaling filled the catcher’s stand with credit. He created quite a sensation, by appearing in a catcher’s mask such as is used by the catchers of the Harvard club. It is made of wire and fits neatly over the face, protecting it from swift pitching. It takes up considerable time to arrange the thing, and seems to be a source of continual trouble. Indianapolis Sentinel July 18, 1877

[Stars vs. Indianapolis 7/17/1877] The catcher for the Stars, Hotaling, introduced to an Indianapolis audience one of Tyng’s protectors, a heavy wire cage worn over the face and sued when catching under the bat. The affair is clumsy looking but a safe protection from injury. Hotaling had been hit three times within the fifteen days previous to procuring the “case,” and he thought he needed it. Indianapolis Journal July 18, 1877

[Stars vs. Chicago 7/19/1877] One feature of the game was the appearance of Hotaling in the new “catcher's mask.,” which had never before been seen on the Chicago grounds. The crowd variously named it “the rat-trap” and “the bird-cage,” but offered no opinion to Mr. Hotaling about the matter. Chicago Tribune July 20, 1877

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 7/21/1877] Hastings [Cincinnati catcher] is a beautiful player behind the bat, though yesterday his throwing to second base was not good. Perhaps that mask he wears to protect his face embarrasses him. Cincinnati Commercial July 22, 1877

[Hartford vs. Cincinnati 7/25/1877] Hastings supported him [Cummings] behind the bat in his usual brilliant style, which has made him a general favorite among spectators. He was hit twice on the head and face by foul tips, but never flinched. His pluck was loudly cheered each time. The use of his wire mask he finds bothers his playing, and it has been discarded for the teeth rubber. Cincinnati Enquirer July 26, 1877

An exchange says that the first catcher's mask worn in a League game was donned by Dorgan, of St. Louis, after Clapp had been hurt. This is a mistake of about four or five weeks. Both Snyder and Hastings wore the mask and found it a failure before Dorgan ever saw one. Cincinnati Enquirer August 22, 1877

[Star vs. Indianapolis at Chicago 9/17/1877] Hotaling, the Stars’ catcher, wore the wire mask, or rat-trap, and evidently doesn’t intend to have his teeth knocked out. Chicago Tribune September 18, 1877

Source Indianapolis Sentinel
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the colored Mutuals on tour; interracial game

Date Tuesday, August 7, 1877
Text

The Lowells will play the Mutuals (colored) of Washington at Lowell on Thursday...

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the Beacon Club

Date Sunday, June 24, 1877
Text

The Beacon Club, old time representatives of amateur playing, will soon set the ball rolling in their annual revival, first playing an opening game, new nine versus old. With several of the strongest of their old players and of the Harvard nine, and some new men, as strong a team will be formed as they have ever presented. The club would like to arrange a game for July 4. All communications should be addressed to George Wright’s care.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the Excelsior Club 2

Date Thursday, March 15, 1877
Text

[The Excelsior] Club held its twenty-second annual meeting Monday, and the attendance at the handsome Club House on Clinton street was numerous and influential. The day was when the Excelsiors stood at the head of the amateur base ball class of the country. Organizing from 1855 from that time until 1860, their rise in position as the strongest, wealthiest and most influential of base ball clubs of the period, was rapid and noteworthy. From 1860, when the Club's triumphant career culminated to 1870 they gradually fell out of line as a base ball organization and for the past years have only been a ball club in name, they simply existing on the old fame of the Excelsior Base Ball Club. Now they rank with the Brooklyn Club as a social organization and as far as base ball is practically concerned they might as well be called the Excelsior Polo Club, for they have given up the notion of games for years, their players having become too “rusty” to take the field against the strong players now occupying positions in the base ball arena.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the difficulty of enforcing the pitching delivery rules

Date Sunday, May 6, 1877
Text

[Star of Syracuse vs. Chicago 5/5/1877] Before saying anything concerning the game, a few words of justice would be given to Mr. Cone, the umpire. He had nerve enough to tackle an abuse which has this season, more than ever before, threatened to kill the game, and if there were more men like him in the position, the practice would be put down. No one can misunderstand that round-arm throwing instead of pitching is meant. McCormick, the so-called pitcher of the Stars, has now occupied his position two games in Chicago, and he has not complied with the rules on pitching in over five balls in those two games. The rest of the time his delivery has been from just above his hip to the height of his ear. Yesterday he pitched fully half the time with his hand but very little below his shoulder. Mr. Cone saw this, as every other man who sat behind the plate did, and undertook to carry out the rules. He called two “foul balls’ [sic: should be foul balks] in accordance with Sec. 3 of Rule 4, and another would have ended the game, when Higham, who has been allowed to take charge of the nine, threatened that he would take his team off the field unless McCormick was allowed to deliver the ball as he pleased. Mr. Spalding was unwilling to disappoint his audience, and gave way, rather unwisely it seems. There is no doubt that the first blow at unfair pitching, such as McCormick’s unquestionably is, would have been struck by Mr. Cone had not Mr. Spalding objected. It would have been one of the best things that ever happened to the game to rule out and disbar all the throwing, beginning with McCormick.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of the Louisville scandal on the St. Louis club

Date Sunday, December 16, 1877
Text

[from a letter dated 12/6/77 from “Douce Davie” relating the failure of the St. Louis Club] But in spite of all these things–the debt and all–we should have gone on all right if it hadn’t been for those Louisville expulsions. They struck us right when we were trying to raise a little money to go on with next year, and it flattened us out as flat as the dollar of our dads, and there we have been ever since. Chicago Tribune December 16, 1877

an argument for scoring slugging percentage

The elimination of the “total base” column from the future scores, was a very good idea, and the league could have done worse than expunge with it the “first base” column. We should like to drop both and the “reached first base” column, and substitute a column of “total bases” on hits, old-fashioned system. This is the true record of batting success, that is, it shows just how much a batsman helps himself along off clean hitting. Boston Herald December 16, 1877

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The first appearance of the catcher's mask; bad puns from Harry Wright

Date Monday, April 9, 1877
Text

In a letter to the base-ball reporter of the Enquirer, received yesterday, Harry Wright says: “On Saturday the 14th and Tuesday the 17th we are engaged to play the Harvard University nine on our grounds. It will be the first appearance of a catcher in armor, as Tyng will wear Thayer's mask. It is a good thing, as it enables the catcher to face the hottest kind of foul tips. Even you could—wear it. Some reporters wish that one might take advantage of the protection it affords and speak right out in meeting when a hired player gets a little off, or lazy, or fat, or talks too much. Some players can't beer it; others can.” When we think that it is scare a year since we published Harry' obituary, we look at that pun, weep and moan; Oh, wire such jokes allowed? Cincinnati Enquirer April 9, 1877

[Harvard vs. Boston 4/14/1877] ...Tyng, who appeared in a “bird cage,” as the spectators termed it. This refers to Captain Thayer’s wire mask for the catcher, a substantial but rather heavy looking wire protector, easily adjusted and removed and probably quite serviceable after one becomes accustomed to wearing it. Tyng wore it only when playing under the bat after two strikes had been called. Boston Herald April 15, 1877

The catcher’s mask was used in the Harvard-Live Oak game last week, and proved a complete success. Indianapolis Journal April 17, 1877

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the home club formerly batted first

Date Sunday, December 9, 1877
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 12/4/1877 - 12/6/1877] Instead of sending the home club to bat first uniformly, the rule was changed so as to go back to the old way of tossing a coin between the captains.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ill effects of Sunday games

Date Sunday, December 16, 1877
Text

[from a letter dated 12/6/77 from “Douce Davie” relating the failure of the St. Louis Club] I attribute a good share of our trouble to the fact that we disgusted a certain class of people by playing ball on Sunday. One of the soundest expressions I ever heard on that subject was from a strong well-wisher of the Browns who once said in my hearing: “I tell you the bums and roughs are done busted: they’ve got no money. The money is all a gittin into the church folks’ hands, and just so sure as you git them down on you, you’re gone. And just so sure as you go to playin’ games on Sunday them knock-kneed old dads won’t let their girls go of a week day; and then the curly-haired boys won’t go, and I tell you them’s the chaps that have the money.” There was more of this homely sermon, but it was all to the same purpose, and I firmly believe it was based on better knowledge of human nature than the management had.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the instigation of the International Association; the League Alliance

Date Sunday, January 21, 1877
Text

Seeing how low the standard of baseball was becoming, the secretary of the St. Louis Reds (Mr. Waite), desiring to rescue it from further degradation, addressed letters to all the leading non-League clubs in the country. Favorable responses were received. The movement was encouraged, and its success is fully assured. New York Sunday Mercury January 21, 1877 [see NYSM 2/25/1877 for the report of the founding convention.]

[Spalding’s letter to those “semi-professional as he deemed most likely to consider it leisurely and with fairness” proposing the League Alliance:] There was considerable discussion at Cleveland, and I see there is still some going on in the papers, about the relations between the League and the clubs that are not members of it. Having always been well-treated by non-League Clubs, and having always taken an interest in them, I have given considerable attention to this subject, and have always urged a liberal and paternal policy toward such clubs by the League, believing such to be the interest of both classes. I think I may safely say that I found all the delegates at Cleveland disposed to do the suare thing by other clubs, and their legislation bears substantial evidence of that fact. The League “Address to the Public” contains good reasons why the general class of other clubs should not undertake the obligations of League membership, but the Convention legislates as far as it could to give other clubs the benefit of League membership, while imposing upon them none of the burdens. There are three things that all clubs which hire players require:

1. A uniform system of playing rules.

2. A tribunal to determine disputes between clubs.

3. Security against “revolving” of players.

The first two the League has provided for all clubs that choose to accept them; as to the third, it is impossible for the League to do anything without the formal consent of the clubs interested. Since the Convention adjourned I have been talking with several members of outside clubs, as well as with officers of League clubs, and have been trying to devise some scheme that would cover this vital point, and have come to the conclusion that the inclosed form of agreement will accomplish the objects in view better than any other methods, for the following reasons:

1. It will secure you a system of playing rules that will doubtless be adopted by all the clubs in the country.

2. It will secure you a tribunal to determine disputes that is more liable to be impartial than one chosen from the clubs among whom the disputes may arise, and well fitted by long experience in base-ball, and by their responsible positions in the League, to pass judgment upon questions of such a character.

3. It will give you a far better security against “revolving” of your players than could be afforded you by any independent association, inasmuch as it employs the machinery of the League clubs to take notice of your contracts and your expulsions of players, leaving them no excuse for not complying with the terms of the new League law, prohibiting them from capturing your players.

4. It saves you the expense and inconvenience of instituting a central organization of your own, which it might be difficult for you to constitute so as to have the strength and reliability of the League.

5. It leaves each of your clubs entirely independent to manage its own affairs in its own way.

6. It would establish relations between the League and your clubs well calculated to advance the substantial interests of both.

As various schemes have been proposed, I send you this one for your consideration, because I believe it to be the strongest and best, and, as I have already told you that I take a great deal of interest in this matter of the relations of the clubs to each other, I would like to know what you think of it. Yours, truly, A. G. Spalding. Chicago Tribune January 21, 1877

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the invention of the catcher's mask

Date Saturday, January 27, 1877
Text

The baseball players used to laugh at the idea of cricketers wearing batting pads and gloves, until they faced swift bowling themselves; then they thought better of the idea. Recently defensive articles have been introduced in baseball, Mr. Thayer of the Harvard College Club having invented a steel mask for protecting the face of the catcher of the nine. It is constructed of upright bars about an inch apart, and stands out from the face three or four inches, being fastened at the top and bottom. It has proved a valuable protection to the face, and is in daily use at the gymnasium.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the manager of the colored Mutuals absconds

Date Saturday, August 25, 1877
Text

The Mutual base ball nine (colored) of Washington, D.C., who played with the Irvings, in this city [Worcester], Wednesday and Thursday, and have been some time in the New England States on a tour, have been stranded in this city by the unceremonious departure of their treasurer and business man, Thomas G. Barlow, who played in the nine under the name of Smith. Barlow had all the funds in his keeping, and last night paid the hotel bills in Webster, where the nine played yesterday, and then dusted, leaving his fellow base-ballists penniless. The boys estimate that Barlow took off some $200, and that he has been a defaulter all the time during their trip. The nine managed to get back here today, but have no money to go father, and seem considerably depressed over their misfortune.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the most botched name of the NL

Date Thursday, April 26, 1877
Text

The National League Association of Base-Ball Players will meet... Cincinnati Enquirer April 26, 1877

Nolan claims about St. Louis offers

Nolan states most positively that McManus, of the Browns, offered him $2,100 if he would play for the St. Louis nine next year, with $100 in advance if he would sign the contract then. They further offered him a bonus of $500 if he would not play with the blues any more this season. They also asked him to pretend that his side was sore, so that the managers would release him from his contract, and they offered to get him a certificate from a physician stating that he was unable to play any further this season, but while they promised to do all of this they wanted him to pledge the he would keep in practice until the opening of next season. Louisville Courier-Journal April 26, 1877 [See LCJ 4/27/1877 for the denial.]

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the official scorers

Date Monday, July 9, 1877
Text

These averages are made up from our own scores, which are in almost if not every case official and correct copies of those sent on to Secretary Young. Here at home the Enquirer scores always agree with those in the club book. At Boston we get from harry Wright, a Brooklyn from Chadwick, at St. Louis from Spinch [sic], at Chicago from Meachem, and at Louisville from Haldeman.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the old Hartford Club franchise vacant

Date Sunday, December 9, 1877
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 12/4/1877 - 12/6/1877] The Hartford Club also sent in a letter, which was half applicaiton and half claim. Mr. Douglas, President of the Club, seemed to desire “to remain in the League,” thus assuming or claiming a franchise in it as the success of the old Hartford team. He telegraphed also that he would send Robert Ferguson as delegate, but in that he failed, as Ferguson did not present himself. ... After considering the case, the Board resolved that the Hartford Club was not a member of the League; that is, that it did not fall into the franchise abandoned by Ferguson. It will be proper for Mr. Douglas to make an applicaiton before March 1, if he chooses, and there seems a good show of his getting in if he does. It was, however, clearly the duty of the Board to refuse to permit a new organization to take the place of an old one to which it was in no way a successor.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the owner of the Union Grounds

Date Sunday, September 30, 1877
Text

The death of William B. Ogden, of Chicago, is likely to have considerable influence on the fortunes of base-ball in New York. The Union Grounds, long known as the finest in some respects in the country, belonged to him and are now in the hands of his executors. They find it necessary to offer the land for sale under the terms of the will, and cannot give a lease for any definite time. For this reason it seems doubtful whether Ferguson can hope for any success in keeping up a good team when he is likely to have his grounds sold out from under him at any time.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the popularity of Sunday baseball

Date Sunday, July 22, 1877
Text

Should any one desire to be made aware of how popular Sunday ball-playing is in St. Louis, they can easily be gratified by taking a trip to Grand Avenue Park, this afternoon, to witness the contest between the Stars and Brown Stockings. That more than 5,000 people will be on hand would be a good bet. St. Louis Globe-Democrat July 22, 1877 [The game account did not give a number for the attendance, but described it as “very large and delighted.]

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the price of season tickets in Indianapolis

Date Saturday, January 13, 1877
Text

The Indianapolis base ball directory last night fixed the price of season tickets at $15, and limited the number. Indianapolis News January 13, 1877

[from a letter to the editor] ...it seems to me that $10 for a season ticket would be more popoular with the public and more profitable in the end to the directory. The days of war prices are in the past. Greenbacks are nearly equal to gold. The laboring man has to work for a dollar a day, and glad to get it. Managers of public amusements are aware of this fact and therefore should govern themselves accordingly. Indianapolis News January 16, 1877

[from a letter to the editor by a club director] There was an article in the News of the 16 th inst. in regard to the management of the Indianapolis ball club fixing the price of season tickets at $15. Allow me to say that the reason for so doing was because in getting up our guarantee fund for the season, we found many persons who did want to subscribe any stated sum, but said they would prefer to take a season ticket at $15 or $25, so as to help us; therefore we are going to issue a small number of tickets at $15 to accommodate these person. Indianapolis Sentinel January 18, 1877

The directory of the base ball club have decided to hold season tickets at $10 up to the first of March, after that $15. But 100 will be sold. Indianapolis News February 5, 1877

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the prospects for Philadelphia and the League

Date Sunday, February 18, 1877
Text

[following a long and detailed condemnation of Al Wright and some other leaders of Philadelphia clubs] Lest this should be misunderstood as an assertion that certain League clubs are opposed to another entry from Philadelphia, it should be said that, so far as The Tribune knows, there is nothing that would be so gladly welcomed as a club of gentlemen, managed by gentlemen, backed by gentlemen, and patronized by gentlemen and ladies in that city. Such an enterprise would pay, and would be a credit to the game. But there should be no mistake about it. There should be no Al Wright in it, and no Spering, or Concannon, or Porter, at the head of it. The players are plenty, the grounds are good, the patrons will find themselves–but where is the head?

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reorganized Athletics

Date Sunday, March 4, 1877
Text

[reporting on the reorganization of the Athletics] The first and most necessary thing to be done was, of course, to slough off the old Athletic Club’s embarrassments, and, to do this effectually, the new Directors applied for a charter under the name of “The Athletic Association,” and will act under that name. This was necessary, because the old club was so covered up with debt that, if any attempt to play a game under the same name had been made, the officers of the law would have swooped down and carried away the proceeds, and that wouldn’t have been pleasant.

The officers of the new association are as follows:

President–Charles H. Downing.

Vice-Presidents–S. M. Flanagan and William Warnock

Secretary–Charles I. Cragin.

Treasurer–George W. Thompson.

Directors–Frank Mills and Charles I. Cragin

Manager–Hicks Hayhurst.

The new Association has secured the grounds on the corner of Twenty-fifth and Jefferson streets, and will use them about as they are, not caring to spend much if any money in fitting them up.

As an earnest of the Association’s intent to reform the game, they have agreed to drop all connection with Al Wright and his class. ...

...

...It was, of course, too late when the Association was formed to get the best men in the country, because they were under contract. It was, therefore, thought best to make an attempt to stir up local pride by gather as many as possible of the “old Athletics.” For this reason, and on the score of economy, they cast about them, and found Al Reach, once the model second baseman, now in business, but willing to play with his hold team; Fisler, the sure first base, and Sensenderfer, the natty centre fielders, were also living in the city in business, and Dick McBride, Levi Meyerle, Fred Treacy, and Fergy Malone were also available... Chicago Tribune March 4, 1877 [signed “E. A. I.”]

ATHLETIC CLUB. Those interested in the welfare of this old-time organization held a larger and enthusiastic meeting on Wednesday night last for the purpose of selecting officers for the ensuing year, and in their conferring of honors selected the following well-known and worthy gentlemen, who have stood by their trust in both adversity and prosperity: President, Charles H. Downing; vice president, Stephen Flanigan and William Warnock; secretary George W. Thompson; directors, Cragin and Mills; manager, E. Hickc Hayhurst, scorer, A. H. Wright. Philadelphia Sunday Republic March 4, 1877

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reorganized Chicago Club

Date Sunday, March 18, 1877
Text

No comment has been made in Chicago on the fact that the White Stocking Club for this season is under a new organization, a new name, and a new charter. There is, however, more semblance than reality in the change, for the reason that the same head governs affairs that has done so for some years. The change grew out of the fact that the charter of the Association which had been at thte back of the Club expired by limitation about with the contracts for last season. A new charter was therefore applied for in September, and, after due formality, received. The organization under this was called “The Chicago Ball Club,” and the capital stock was fixed at $20,000 in 200 shares of $100 each. This was taken at once and by a much smaller company of men than held the old stock, less than thirty persons putting down their names for the whole 200 shares. The organization was completed by the election of a Board of five Directors, composed of John B. Lyon, William H. Murray, Edwin F. Dexter, A. G. Spalding, and W. A. Hulbert. This Board then elected as the officers of the club W. A. Hulbert, President, and A. G. Spalding, Secretary. The affairs of the old Association were closed out, and its property sold, mainly to the new club, the proceeds divided, and it passed away to give room to the new dispensation. The advantages of the “new deal” are its compactness of interest, and the fact that it contains within its small number of stockholders all the best elements of the support of the game in this city.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reporter for the Indianapolis Journal

Date Tuesday, April 3, 1877
Text

After a good deal of wind work, it was agreed to have A. J. Halford, of the Journal, umpire the game to-day if he would consent to do so. Indianapolis Sentinel April 3, 1877

a third White brother the superintendent of the Boston grounds

The White brothers arrived in Boston Tuesday morning, and went immediately to the gymnasium to practice with other members. James and W. H. were accompanied East by their brother, Melville, who will have charge of the Boston grounds this season. Boston Herald April 4, 1877

Source Indianapolis Sentinel
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the second baseman covering first

Date Wednesday, May 23, 1877
Text

[Chicago vs. St. Louis 5/22/1877] In the fatal third inning, when Chicago made the runs which won the game, Smith hit a bounder to Clapp [first baseman: he normally was the catcher], which was juggled for an instant, during which McGeary [second baseman] covered first. Had John been familiar with the position he would have anticipated just such an occurrence, but thinking he had lost the man he held the ball and Chicago thereby scored a victory. St.

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire loses count of balls; spectators scoring the game; trophy ball

Date Wednesday, May 16, 1877
Text

[Louisville vs. Cincinnati 5/15/1877] Craver was on third, two men were out, and Crowley was at the bat. The first six pitches by Mathews were decided unfair, and the Umpire called one and two balls on them. The seventh pitch he struck at. The eighth was called a strike. The ninth ball pitched was not over the plate, and, by mistake, the Umpire said, “Take your base.” Crowley, conscious that it was an error of the umpire, hesitated, but finally went to first. Hicks at once called for judgment, and, as often occurs, the Umpire appealed to the scorers. J. A. Haldeman, of the Courier-Journal, was writing out his newspaper report, and frankly confessed that he had no count of the balls pitched. The Cincinnati Club scorer, the Enquirer, and another scorer all agreed to the facts as above stated, viz.: that there were two chances lacking before Crowley could possibly be given his base on called balls. There were more than a dozen private scorers present, and all agreed that it was not a third called ball. The Umpire accordingly ordered Crowley to return to bat. This he refused to do, and was backed up in it by his club. Hall, meanwhile picked up a bat and went to home plate. The Umpire refused to recognize him as a batter, and again ordered Crowley to return, warning him at the same time that unless he returned at once he would, under the League rules, declare him out. Crowley still refused, and sat on first base hugging his knees. The umpire waited a minute or so, when he declared Crowley out. Then like a pack of school-boys the Louisvilles, led by George Hall, began to gather up their bats amid the jeers of the crowd. Manager Chapman at this moment appeared and said to the crowd, “We will play this game out, but with another umpire.” Captain Pike said that the umpire had been of Chapman's own choosing, had done his duty, and he would consent to no change. The audience cheered him. Then the Louisville gathered up their bats, and, let by George Hall and Chapman, left the field amid the derisive cheers of the crowd from the pavilion and grand stand. Manning, the next Red Stocking batter, was called to the home-plate, and, as no one was there to pitch for him, the Umpire declared the game forfeited to the Cincinnatis, and the record of the League will take it 9 to 0. Devlin put the ball which the Cincinnatis were entitled to into his pocket, and carried it away. Some one suggested that it was bad enough to kick, but to steal was worse. Captain Pike started after the ball, but was persuaded to make no disturbance and let them keep it. Cincinnati Enquirer May 16, 1877

Crowley was given his base on called balls, but the Cincinnati players claimed that he had been sent there one ball ahead of time. This doubtless may have been true, but it was Brady’s [umpire] business to know whether it was true or not. To tell the truth, Brady didn’t know what he knew. Time was called, all the cincinnati players came in from their several positions, the Louisville players lifted their voices in argument against the men from Cincinnati, and while all this was going on Crowley calmly squatted down on the first-base bag and took things comfortably. Brady, through some unaccountable means, at last discovered that one more bad ball had to be pitched before corwley could be given a base. Having shown pretty conclusively that his memory needed cultivation; that he had been partial in his rulings; that he was not sell-read on the League rules, and that he was a general stick, this last stroke of Brady, the incompetent, was just about as much as Louisville chose to stand. Manager Chapman spke to Pike and told him that with another umpire he was perfectly willing the game should go on, but that iwth Brady he was positive in saying it should not. Pike, we believe, would have been willing to change, but George Keck, the manager of the Reds, called him to one side and positively forbid anything of the kind being done. In the meantime, Brady, after soothing up with water, waltzed out to his position, saying, “I’ll umpre this game,” and with all the Cincinnati players groupd around the home-plate, and without even calling “play,” he yelled to Crowley to come back and strike again. Crowley still remained seated at first base, and as quick as you could snap your fingers Brady followed his first yell with another which said, “Crowley is out.” With no chance for a change of umpire, and, with Brady’s absurd decision on putting Crowley out still ringing in their ears, Chapman and his men packed up their bats and left the grounds. Louisville Courier-Journal May 16, 1877

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Thomas Pratt a director of the Philadelphia Club

Date Sunday, May 6, 1877
Text

The Philadelphia club held a meeting on Tuesday evening last and elected the following officers: President, Hamilton Disston; treasurer, Wm. Taylor; secretary, P. F. Hagen; directors, T. J. Pratt, James Wittaker...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tommy Bond claims to have invented the curve ball

Date Sunday, July 8, 1877
Text

Tommy Bond has put forth a doubtful claim to the invention of parabolic-curve pitching. For is there not in Holy Writ a statement that when Noah was building the ark he “pitched it within and without?” What more does any curve pitcher do?, quoting the Syracuse Courier

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

training regimens

Date Sunday, March 18, 1877
Text

The [Chicago] players have...begun their exercises in their loft at No. 76 Randolph street. The nine assembled there Thursday morning and went to work for the season. ...the management have struck out a new course in training, and to some extent thrown aside the old theories. Instead of a gymnasium, they have put the men into a bare room with very little apparatus. They have also secured the services of Prof. Ottignon as trainer, and he will have charge of the men until they get on the field. It is evident from the first few days’ practice that he puts great faith in calisthenics and walking as parts of the preparation for getting the men into robust health, which is about all they need or can get indoors. Chicago Tribune March 18, 1877

The gymnasium hours are four daily–from 10 to 12 and 2 to 4 o’clock. Swinging Indian clubs, pulling rowing weights, vaulting, parallel bar exercise, throwing, pitching and, more especially, hand ball, are the exercises they go through each day. Harry Wright is with them, giving them a point here and there, and hardening his own muscle for use, should occasion demand. This practice will continue until the weather will allow them to go to the South End grounds. Boston Herald March 18, 1877

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

trains to the Cincinnati grounds

Date Sunday, April 15, 1877
Text

...on and after May 3d, when the League games begin, trains will be run to and from the base-ball grounds at fifteen cents for the round trip. Cincinnati Enquirer April 15, 1877

[Star of Syracuse vs. Cincinnati 4/28/1877] The threatening weather deterred many from going out to the grounds. ... At half-past two o’clock the manager telegraphed from the grounds to the Plum-street Depot that the game would be played, and at once a train of seven cars full left for the ball park. Cincinnati Enquirer April 29, 1877

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tricking the runner into an attempted steal of home

Date Tuesday, April 24, 1877
Text

[Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 4/23/1877] [Golden at third] At this point Hicks [catcher] turned about carelessly, and, without calling time, purposely walked toward the Grand Stand. Golden fell into the trap and started for home. Mitchell [pitcher], having the ball in his hand, easily ran in and caught him before he reached the home-plate.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire reverses a foul call

Date Sunday, May 20, 1877
Text

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 5/19/1877] In the first inning [the umpire[ called “foul” on Pike’s hit past first base, and Pike, who started to run, came back to bat again. Bond ran to first base and White threw him the ball, when the Umpire reversed his decision, calling it fair and deciding Pike out.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward's delivery

Date Thursday, July 19, 1877
Text

Ward, the new pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics, has a parabolic-hyperborean-double-complicated-convex curve which is pronounced exasperating.

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

will Cincinnati games be counted?

Date Monday, August 6, 1877
Text

It is a mater of speculation whether or not the Cincinnati Club games will be counted in the race. It can only be determined on at the end of the season, when the League Association holds its regular annual meeting. One thing is certain, namely: all the games (of both organizations) will be counted, or all will be thrown out.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

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