Clippings:1878

From Protoball
Jump to navigation Jump to search
19C Clippings
Scroll.png


Add a Clipping
1878Clippings in 1878

Clippings in 1878 (235 entries)

Contents

'Deacon' Whites' nickname

Date Saturday, March 9, 1878
Text

The White brothers are strictly moral and religious men. James is a Sunday-school superintendent, and goes by the name among his associates of ‘the Deacon., quoting an unnamed Cincinnati paper

Source ’ New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a League game in Brooklyn

Date Saturday, August 3, 1878
Text

[Milwaukee vs. Providence at Brooklyn 7/26/1878] The League clubs of Milwaukee and Providence visited Brooklyn, N.Y., July 26, to play one of their championship games, by way of experiment, to see if it would pay to play others there. The situation in the metropolis, as far as the pecuniary success of professional nines is concerned, is a peculiar one, and it ought to have been studied out well before the managers of these two clubs arranged their game. It appears that the meeting was a hurriedly arranged one, and, as it wanted the requisite public notice given of it, it proved to be a pecuniary failure, not over three hundred people being within the inclosures; besides which, the outside crowd was not double that–a fact plainly showing how few people new of the match coming off. The clubs divided about a hundred and twenty-five dollars between them, when, if two weeks’ notice had been given of the meeting, a couple of thousand people would have been in attendance. The fact we have to relate in connection with this meeting will scarcely be credited; but the story has to be told, and it is this: Just before the game was to have commenced, the managers of the two teams, in view of the comparatively slim attendance, decided to withdraw the teams from the field and not to play the match, simply because by doing this they could return by the 5 P.M. boat to Providence, and thereby save the additional expense of taking the evening train. That the crowd present would be disappointed was of no account, compared with the saving of a few dollars; so they proposed to Mr. Cammeyer to act in the matter; but this plan Mr. Cammeyer would not submit to. In his extensive experience he had seen almost every variety of managerial blunders and objectionable proceedings, but this capped the climax, especially as coming from two League Association clubs. The result was that he managers were compelled to keep trust with the public, and the game was played out. The receipts more than offset the loss sustained by remaining and acting a proper part, but the stigma remains.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball lodged in a carriage spring

Date Sunday, December 8, 1878
Text

The loss of the last Utica-Buffalo game was attributed to a curious incident. Two of the Buffalos were out, and the game stood a tie at two each when Galvin went to the bat, and the chances were about one in a thousand that he would make a home run. Galvin hit to Smith at third base, who made a fine stop, but a wild throw. The ball continued on its mad career until it lodged where no ball ever lodged before—in a carriage spring. The accident was peculiarly unfortunate. The Uticas scanned each blade of grass for the missing ball, while Galvin was getting his work in between the bases for a home run. The Uticas looked everywhere but the carriage-spring. A man who occupied an adjoining carriage was regarded as a lunatic because he kept shouting “In the spring! In the spring!” They knew there was no spring there, and asking the lunatic if he did not mean the river, Alcott suggested that they would probably find the ball “In the spring” if they had good luck. By this time Galvin had caromed on third base, and was getting to the home plate with the celerity of motion that characterizes a man who knows he is making the winning run. Meantime the lunatic was yelling “In the spring! In the spring!” Purcell, exasperated beyond measure, was about to fall upon the man and throttle him when somebody else shouted: “In the carriage spring!” and sure enough, there the ball was, neatly wedged in the carriage spring. Thus the game was lost. Smith could not throw a ball into a carriage spring again if he should try for ten years. It is useless to philosophize on the subject, however, for Smith won't try.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken mask

Date Friday, June 28, 1878
Text

[Boston vs. Chicago 6/27/1878] In the fourth inning yesterday Snyder caught a foul tip from Start's bat on the mask, and it had force enough to break one of the steel bars. Unless these bars can be made strong enough to resist a hit, it becomes a question whether a catcher would prefer being bruised by a ball or cut by broken steel.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher's mask in street play

Date Wednesday, June 12, 1878
Text

A couple of bank clerks were practicing base ball in an alley this morning, tossing to each other, standing fifteen or twenty feet apart, and one of them, ambitious to be a catcher, wore a wire mask on his face. Next time they ought to be promoted to wearing boxing gloves on their hands.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of pitching for strike outs

Date Wednesday, June 5, 1878
Text

Heretofore the “Only” has considered that he was not playing base-ball unless about every other batter struck out on him. The consequence was that he worse out the catcher, himself, and the audiences. It may be more scientific playing, but it is not nearly so satisfactory to the crowd. Spectators enjoy the sport much more when hits and runs are made, and a chance given for exhibitions of good fielding a base running. Strictly scientific games, where the scores are kept down, never were and never can be very popular, because they become tiresome and exceedingly monotonous.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a denial that the Louisville four's pay was in arrears

Date Sunday, March 10, 1878
Text

The expelled players have sought to give the impression by cards, by word of mouth, and through their Philadelphia organ, that the reason they sold games was to support themselves and their families. It is an open secret that, at the League meeting, Mr. Chase, of the Louisvilles, referred to this matter, and produced receipts and other evidence to show beyond a doubt that every man in the club was paid in full up to and past the date of the games which were confessed to have been sold.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a different set of Boston finances

Date Sunday, January 27, 1878
Text

Having reason to know that this [the published Boston financials] was not true, application was made to the Boston Club for the facts, and they were courteously furnished. The following are the essential points: The gross receipts from non-League clubs outside of Boston were $4,797.53, instead of $7,516,... In the second place, the Bostons took from League clubs outside of Boston $7,494.60 instead of $4,476... Chicago Tribune January 27, 1878

no return to straight arm pitching

[reviewing the new rules] Some wiseacres wanted to return to the old rule, which prohibited every method of delivering the ball to the bat, save that of the old square pitch or toss, forgetting the important fact that thorough command of the ball with accuracy of delivery was nearly impossible under such a rule. The Convention contented itself with simply reworking the pitching rule so that the “waist” and not the “hip” should be the limit of the heighth of the hand, holding the ball, when the forward swing of the arms I s made in delivery. Brooklyn Eagle January 27, 1878

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disinterested opinion on the Hines triple play

Date Sunday, May 19, 1878
Text

[from Questions Answered, a letter from Providence:] To decide a bet I submit the following question to a local authority: 'A player is on third, and another on second, no one out. The batsman strikes a high ball towards centre-field, on which the men on bases run home. Centre field catchers the ball on fly, and runs to third base, both of the runners having run home. Are not both of them out by the catcher of the fly-ball touching third base before they returned to that base without his throwing the ball to second base?' The party appealed to decide that the ball must be thrown to second. One of the parties to the bet kicked, and we sent to the Clipper. It says, 'Certainly they are.' meaning that the ball need not be sent to second. Now will you please pass on the matter, and quote the rule, if there be one, to cover the matter? Answer—The thing is simple enough. Sec. 12 of Rule 5 reads: “Any player running the bases on fair or foul balls caught before touching the ground must return to the base he occupied when the ball was struck, and retouch such base before attempting to make another or score a run, and said player shall be liable to be put out in so returning, as in the case of running to first base when a fair ball is hit and not caught flying.” The man who was on second base must return to that base, it being the one he occupied “when the ball was struck,” and he can be put out by holding the ball on that base (not some other base) before he gets back. So far as putting the man out is concerned, the ball might as well be held on the manager's nose as on the third base. It would affect as much one way as the other.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over telegraphy rights

Date Sunday, May 5, 1878
Text

The absence of the usual telegraphic facilities on the Boston grounds was noticeable yesterday afternoon, and is accounted for in this way: Last year the Atlantic & Pacific corporation had a line, which run on to the grounds, by which the progress of the game could be telegraphed into town. This year the Western Union Company, which controls the Atlantic & Pacific, would not allow the latter to have their line as usual, but they themselves wanted to put a line in, and telegraph the innings to the principle pool rooms in the city. This the managers of the Bostons would not allow, they being in no sympathy whatever with the pool rooms, and consequently there were no telegraphic facilities on the grounds yesterday. The Western Union Company, however, had a man stationed in a convenient place, where, at the end of each innings, he signaled the result to the Providence freight depot, and from there it was dispatched to the pool-rooms.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair-foul on a pop fly

Date Saturday, August 24, 1878
Text

[Indianapolis vs. Boston 8/14/1878] Leonard, in the seventh inning, hit the ball about ten feet in the air, close to the foul-line between home and first. It struck the ground fair, and then bounded out. As it was not a “ball batted directly to the ground” the runner earned his base, even if it did go out foul.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a foul bound catch off the chest; umpire asking for assistance

Date Friday, July 5, 1878
Text

[Providence vs. Chicago 7/4/1878] The batsman hit a sharp tip to Harbridge [catcher[, and it struck that plucky little player in the breast and fell to the ground, but he made a quick recovery and caught it on the first bound. Mr. Egan -umpires--did not see the catcher, and, in his attempt to take the testimony of bystanders (as he has a right to do under the rules), he was met with anything but the polite treatment to which every umpire is entitled.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ground rule double over the fence at Lakefront

Date Wednesday, May 22, 1878
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Chicago 5/21/1878] [Hallinan] led off with a two-baser over right-field fence... Pike got a two-baser over the fence... Chicago Tribune May 22, 1878

[from Questions Answered] If a man is on first base when a batter hits a ball over the fence, can he run all the way home? Answer-- No; only to third base on the Chicago ground. Chicago Tribune June 23, 1878

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hint of widespread dishonest play

Date Saturday, January 5, 1878
Text

Force, Craver, Nelson and Nicholls all played finely as far as pitching ability was concerned. They can all play ball in tip-top style when they want to; but, unluckily for the teams they played with, they did not always feel in proper trim. They had too many “off days” as well as “too many telegrams.” Nicholls was short-stop of the Louisville nine when they were defeated by the Rochesters 9 to 1. It is a painful fact that less than honest service was rendered in the short-stop’s position in 1877 than in of any previous season since 1864.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hint that not every club will be allowed to enter the IA championship

Date Saturday, February 16, 1878
Text

While every professional club–now outside of the League–can join the International Association at trifling expense, of course none of these can enter the International championship arena unless they can bind themselves to carry out the engagements of the championship series of games. In considering this question the Championship Committee will, of course, be guided by the number of clubs entering and their locality. It will be desirable to limit the entries to such clubs as are located on good paying circuits, for it will not pay a club this season to go out of its way to a city simply to play a championship match. It, of course, will happen that a club located in a small town between two large cities, or on a regular traveling route between two baseball centres, will be a more desirable club to have enter the lists than a stronger playing club would be if located in some city or town off the route of regular travel. This season professional clubs will have to consider traveling expenses more than ever they have done, for the utmost economy in this respect, as well as in their salary lists, will be absolutely necessary to carry them through.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a home run over the fence is fielded home

Date Thursday, May 16, 1878
Text

[Boston vs. Providence 5/15/1878] Now Hines wielded the willow and with seeming ease sent the sphere whistling through the air to some two or three rods south of the foul post, where it went over the fence, and Hines was away around the bases, together with York and Brown, long before the ball was fielded home.

Source Providence Morning Star
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a late question about force plays

Date Saturday, June 8, 1878
Text

[answer to a correspondent ‘Easton B.B. Club, Easton’] A is on 1st b., attempts to steal second; catcher throws to 2d b.; the ball is held on the base, but the runner is not touched by the baseman. Is the runner out? ... Not out unless touched, as he was not “forced.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a late question about force plays 2

Date Saturday, August 31, 1878
Text

[from answers to correspondents] A man running has reached second and a man first. The ball was then struck into the field, and is not caught. Ball is sent to second, and the man running from first is put out. Ball is sent to third, and reaches the base before the man running from second. Is this man out without being touched with the ball? ... No. He has to be touched.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a legal judgment against the St. Louis Club

Date Sunday, March 17, 1878
Text

Charles H. Turner, treasurer of the St. Louis Club, has, on behalf of its creditors, received judgment in the amount of $6,500 against the stockholders. Several declare their intention to fight the matter out. New York Sunday Mercury March 17, 1878

Mr. Charles H. Turner, treasurer of the St. Louis Baseball club, on behalf of the directors, sued a large number of the members to compel them to pay up the balance due on their subscriptions, and executions have been ordered to issue against the defendants in sums varying from $12 to $90. New York Sunday Mercury June 2, 1878

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a movement for solidarity in the IA, and to divide and conquer

Date Sunday, January 20, 1878
Text

News from various non-league cities indicates that there is quite a unanimity of sentiment that the time has come when the interests of non-league clubs demand positive instead of negative legislation, and, unless the league shall be able to work a change of feeling in the minds of their opponents, it is probable that the International Association will vote not to give a guarantee to any club playing on their grounds, which is equivalent to a refusal to play league clubs, since the latter are pledged to play no club that refuses to give such guarantee. The present indication is that they will not rest here, but will utterly refuse to play league clubs on any condition until the league modifies its rules of intercourse. The battle ground for the next month will doubtless be in Lowell, Syracuse and London, where an element is at work to induce the Lowells, Stars and Tecumsehs to cast their lot with the league. This latter association sees that if it can win over these clubs, which are representative in their districts, that the battle is substantially won. The Internationals will be less powerful antagonists without these strong allies; indeed, it would appear that no resistance of any moment could be offered without the cooperation of these clubs. Both associations need them, and will strive hard for an alliance.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a multi-year contract

Date Friday, September 13, 1878
Text

Flint and Quest yesterday signed with the Chicagos... Flint’s engagement covers a period of three years, for which time he is to receive $7,000. Quest signed for one year only, on private terms.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a multi-year contract 2

Date Friday, September 13, 1878
Text

A report comes from Cincinnati that Jones, the left-fielder of the Cincinnatis, has signed a three years' contract with the Bostons.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a multi-year contract 3

Date Sunday, December 8, 1878
Text

“Sadie” Hauck, who has played shortstop for the Nationals of Washington during the past two seasons, has signed a three years' contract with the Boston Club. Chicago Tribune December 8, 1878

It is understood that Harry Wright's latest captures—Foley and Houck—have signed for two years at nominal salaries. Chicago Tribune December 29, 1878

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a peace conference between the NL and IA

Date Saturday, April 13, 1878
Text

[following the NL special meeting] The conference meeting between the members of the League Association and a delegation from some of the most prominent of the International Association clubs held at the Mansion House, Buffalo, on Monday and Tuesday, April 1 and 2, resulting in the League rescinding their non-intercourse act of December last, and making arrangements to play the clubs of the International Association which were represented at the meeting. On the part of the League there were the following representatives present: President, W. A. Hurlburt, Chicago; secretary, N.E. Young, Washington; A. H. Soden, Boston; Henry B. Winship, Providence, R. I.; H. B. Bloodgood, Providence, R. I., W. B. Petitt, Indianapolis; J. C. Chapman, Milwaukee; J. Wayne Neff, Cincinnati.

...

...the primary object of the meeting came up in order, this being a conference with delegates from clubs of the International Association who had been invited to attend the meeting by private correspondence. The gentlemen who attended were President Whitney, President Porter of the Rochester, President Banker of the Buffalos, and R. Townsend of the Stars. The Internationals were courteously received, and after an animated discussion, pro and con., of the subject of friendly intercourse on the field between the clubs of the two Associations, the following mutual agreement was entered into:

THE CONFERENCE AGREEMENT.

The parties to this agreement, to wit: The national League of Professional Baseball Clubs by its president duly authorized, and the Tecumseh Baseball Club of London, Ont.; the Buffalo Baseball Club of Buffalo, N.Y.; the Syracuse Star Baseball Club of Syracuse, N.Y.; the Rochester Baseball Club of Rochester, N.Y.; the Lowell Baseball Club of Lowell, Mass.; and the Springfield Baseball Club of Springfield, Mass., hereby agree that during the year 1878, in consideration of the advantages to each of mutual intercourse upon an equitable basis, they will play games between the clubs composing said League, and said six other club, upon the following business conditions:

1. That for each game between a League club and any one of the other six clubs named, the home club shall pay to the visiting club 12½ cents for each person (excepting only players of the contesting clubs, policemen in uniform, and ten other persons) who shall be admitted to the grounds to witness the game.

2. Either one of the clubs made party to the agreement, on receiving or agreeing to receive any game from any club of the other subscribing party, may demand that a date be then fixed on which said game may be returned.

3. It is understood by the six clubs separately named, and made part of this agreement, that neither of them shall be entitled to claim from any League club any date until after September 14.

4. And it is further agreed by said six clubs last-named that the general admission-fee to a game between a member of the League and one of said six clubs on the grounds of the latter shall be twenty-five cents, and no other.

5. This agreement, having been signed by an officer delegated for that purpose by the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs at the reconvening of its annual meeting, is hereby declared by said League to vacate all former legislation with which it may conflict so far as said Tecumseh, Buffalo, Rochester, Star, Lowell and Springfield clubs are concerned.

...

[the next day] Several communications were read, asking that exceptions to certain rules of the League might be made, such as to allow League clubs to play an exhibition game on outside grounds during the championship season; others, requesting that certain non-League clubs might play on League grounds; and one from the Harvard College Club, who wanted to play the Bostons on the College grounds during the championship season. As all of these were contrary to the League laws, they were refused. New York Clipper April 13, 1878

It will be seen by the foregoing that the remaining clubs of the International are left out in the cold, and whether or not any action will be taken by them regarding the selected six remains to be seen. Just what the result will be of this agreement is as yet to be determined, and its main effect will be better shown as the season advances. By some it is believed the treaty will destroy the International Association, and while bringing into the League those who have any right there by virtue of a standing attained, will cut off and put out of the way those clubs which have no particularly brilliant reputation. It certainly removes any possible chance for ill-feeling among the six clubs which have become a party to the agreement, and puts them on a good business basis with the League. New York Sunday Mercury April 7, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for fixed salary tiers

Date Saturday, April 20, 1878
Text

Mr. Pettit of the Indianapolis proposed at a recent meeting of that club a scheme for grading the salaries of professional players in 1879, which is decidedly unique. The proposition empowers the secretary of the League to be the sole judge of the fielding and batting skill of every League player of 1878, the data on which he is to base his estimate of each player’s skill being the averages he makes up from the scores of the championship games played ruing the present season. Following this will come a fixed salary for each grade of players. ... That something should be done to regulate the salaries of professionals, and to drop the fancy figures which have prevailed of late years, there is no question; but this is no way to do it.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed rule to carry base runners over from one inning to the next

Date Wednesday, September 25, 1878
Text

One of the Chicago papers announces that in the game to-day the clubs will try some crazy scheme of putting the men left on bases in one inning back on those bases in the next. It is scarcely possible that anybody will endure any such foolishness as this, but they may—Chicago audiences will stand a good deal. The effect of this particular idiocy would be to make the game one inning long instead of nine; it would take away all incentive to run bases or otherwise exert one's self; it would break up any catcher in two games, because he would have to catch almost every ball under the bat, and, finally, it would confuse crowd and players beyond ho0e. For instance: Suppose Cassidy, Start and Hankinson were to make clean hits after two hands were out, and Larkin were to follow with a hit on which Cassidy was forced out. Then the rule would demand that Start come to bat, but the alleged improvement would insist on his staying at second. Perhaps this could be avoided by having the pitcher turn around and pitch toward Start standing on second. Then he could fulfill both schemes. But if he got home on a two baser, would it be two runs? But, seriously, let us have no more fool-play. Chicago Tribune September 25, 1878

[Milwaukee vs. Chicago 10/3/1878] The third inning was a surprise to a great many in the audience, for the new-fangled scheme of placing the men back on the bases on which they were left in the previous inning was put in practice. It was not quite clear to some what it all meant to see a man on a base at the commencement of the inning, and the few people on the ground were at a loss to know how to score this new wrinkle. … The fourth inning saw Holbert still on a base for the Milwaukees, making three innings in success in which he was on his way to the home plate. … The new idea of placing the men back on the bases has some admirers, but it appeared yesterday as if it would not be much of a success. The players themselves did not apparently know where they belonged, and it will require a remodeling of score-sheet should the plan be adopted, which is not likely. … It may not have had a fair trial yesterday, on account of so few being left on bases, but it certainly does not look like an improvement. Chicago Tribune October 4, 1878

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed scoring change to combine put outs and assists

Date Wednesday, September 18, 1878
Text

Early in the season The Tribune suggested that “pout outs” and assists ought to be grouped in one column to save space, and for the reason that they were really of equal merit.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a questionable delivery; but everyone does it

Date Saturday, August 3, 1878
Text

The manager of the Lowells threatens to appeal to the Judiciary Committee of the International Association as to the legality of the pitching of Sullivan of the Rochesters, asserting that the umpire admitted that Sullivan’s delivery was illegal. Mr. Wilbur, who umpired the games in which Sullivan pitched, publishes the following card: “I did not assert that Sullivan’s pitching was illegal. On the contrary, I told, not only the Lowell nine, but several other nines, that his pitching was in conformity with the present custom, and if other pitchers–Leary, McCormick, Ward and others–were allowed to keep their places in the centre of the diamond, I, for one, could see no reason why Sullivan also should not be allowed.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a register of available players

Date Sunday, January 13, 1878
Text

There has always been a lack of some convenient means of communication between ball-players who want engagements and ball clubs wanting players. The best way, if it were possible, would be to have a central office where both clubs and players could apply for their needs. This will not be possible until a man in whom every club and player has confidence takes up the idea. Meanwhile, The Tribune offers its services, so far as they may serve, to bring the employer and employee into communication.

From this time until the opening of the playing season (May 1, or even later) each issue of The Sunday Tribune will contain in its Base-Ball Department a register of players who desire engagements for 1878, and also of clubs, or associations, which have need of players. The notices by players should be something like the following which refer to players who wish to contract:

FIELDER AND CHANGE CATCHER—A PLAYER who has been in League and International teams, and has a good record as a batter and fielder, wants an engagement for 1878. would prefer the West; could captain a team. Address ONE, care Sporting Department Chicago Tribune

SECOND BASEMAN—A PLAYER WHO WAS WITH a Western club last year would like an offer for 1878; has permission to refer to his late club. Address TWO, care Sporting Department Chicago Tribune.

Each player and club can express best for themselves their wants and fitness. The player can do as he likes about giving his name; many object to it. The Tribune will receive and forward all letters addressed as above.

The charge for inserting the name of a club or a player in the register will be $5 [reduced to $3 the next week], which must be sent with the description. The notice will be allows to stand, and will be published in every Sunday's paper until the applicant orders it withdrawn, or until May 1, or even later, if the applicant wishes.

It is proper to say that The Sunday Tribune has a larger circulation among the ball clubs and ball-players of the Western and Northwestern States than any other paper. Nearly every club keeps it on file, and the player who wishes to make himself known to the best clubs can find no way more sure than to insert his name in the register referred to. Clubs in the Northwest, or in any other section, will have no difficulty in getting into correspondence with the best disengaged players in the way referred to.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a resume of Craver's dishonorable history

Date Sunday, September 15, 1878
Text

...let us recount [Craver's] history briefly: Dismissed from the Haymakers of 1869 for alleged crookedness; reinstated and hired by the Chicagos of 1870; expelled from the Chicagos of 1870; fired out of the Haymakers of 1871; chucked out of the Baltimores of 1872-73; let out of the Philadelphias of 1874; bought from the Centennials into the Athletics of 1875; whipped on the Union grounds in 1876 for giving a gambler the “double-cross”; expelled from Louisville and the League in 1877; reinstated by the International Association in 1878. he is like an old-fashioned Queen's arm; does more exertion at the breech than the muzzle; sometimes hurts the other club, but always kills his own.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a revived Baltimore Club

Date Thursday, July 18, 1878
Text

A. H. Henderson, connected some hears ago with the Lord Baltimore Club, has assumed the management of the Baltimore Club. Mr. Henderson has in view the formation of a professional Club in Baltimore next season.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a scheme for player salary rates

Date Thursday, April 4, 1878
Text

[On September 1] a meeting will be held in Chicago, at which Mr. Young, secretary, will present a statement giving the batting and fielding averages of every player in the League. The League will fix upon a standard of mean average of batting and fielding, each class of fielders, catchers, pitchers, baseman and short-stops, and fielders. [sic] Every player who comes up to that standard will be considered first class; those falling below it, second class. All players who have not played in League nines to be ranked as second class without regard to their record. The League will also agree upon a certain fixed rate of compensation for each class of fielders, to be the same as in all League clubs; and Mr. Pettit says the tendency is to a material reduction in salaries next year–probably $1,400 at the outside for first-class pitchers, and a corresponding reduction for other fielders. A difference of from $100 to $200 will be made between first and second-class players in the same position.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a sprinkler in the field

Date Thursday, April 11, 1878
Text

Work on the improvement of the grounds and buildings is actively progressing every day. … Water-pipes have been laid to a plug near second base, from which, by the aid of hose, the grass of the in-field will be watered every morning and kept cut close.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a team signs the pledge

Date Thursday, August 22, 1878
Text

The members of the Worcester nine voluntarily signed the temperance pledge before starting for the game at Lowell yesterday.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Al Wright organizing a club

Date Saturday, March 9, 1878
Text

Through the efforts of Mr. A. H. Wright, sporting editor of the Sunday Mercury, a professional base ball club will be established in the city this season. The team will probably play at Oakdale Park, and will be managed by Mr. Wright.

Source Philadelphia Inquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Albany Club finances

Date Sunday, December 22, 1878
Text

The old Board of Directors of the Albany Club held a meeting on Dec. 5... The following report, showing the financial affairs of the Club, was then made: Receipts—From season tickets, $830; gate and grand-stand, $12,699; refreshment stand, $110; sundries, $16; total, $13,655. Disbursements—Amount paid visiting clubs, $5,104; amount paid players, $2,821; police, etc. $561; paid umpires, $179; miscellaneous, $3.329; balance on hand, $1,660; total, 13,655. The showing is an excellent one, considering the time the Club was in existence. The balance on hand will be expended on the grounds, erecting another stand, etc.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early complaint about the umpire's calling of balls and strikes

Date Saturday, August 24, 1878
Text

[The umpire’s] judgment in calling strikes and balls may be poor, and those who sat behind the home plate to witness the game between the Indianapolis and boston clubs Aug. 14 saw as wretched a display of poor judgment in these two particular as could well be.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early rumor of the Indianapolis Club moving to St. Louis

Date Tuesday, June 4, 1878
Text

[quoting the Chicago Tribune of 6/1/1878] It is reported here [St. Louis] that there is more than a prospect of getting the present Indianapolis club to transfer themselves to St. Louis. Negotiations have been going on for some days, and the parties in charge of them said to-day that there was not much doubt of their success. It is alleged that the club was hired too early last season, and that many of the salaries are too high, and the sum total entirely too large for such a city as Indianapolis. The team has not earned its way so far, and the prospect of a considerable deficit is not pleasant. It is hoped that this may be avoided by taking the nine to a larger city, and one which has not been surfeited this season. The matter is to be promoted by Mr. Fowle and others of the Brown Stocking team.

Mr. Pettit authorizes the Journal to state that the above report is wholly untrue, and that the club will remain here, as the directors have no idea of making such a change.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early season change in management

Date Sunday, May 19, 1878
Text

The Auburn nine has not disbanded. When the management which organized the nine failed to get crowds large enough to pay advertising, ground, and other expenses, it withdrew, and a new subscription having been raised the nine, now playing with good seconds, was again placed on a substantial footing.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an experimental rules game: moving the pitcher back

Date Sunday, September 15, 1878
Text

[reporting on a series of experimental games Boston vs. Chicago] The second game, to be played Tuesday, will be an exposition of Harry Wright's pet plea,--that the pitcher should be moved farther back, so that the batsman can get a longer range at the ball, and be able to bat more effectively. To test this idea, the pitcher's square will be put back six feet, so that its front line will be where the back line is now. Chicago Tribune September 15, 1878

Yesterday's experiment [moving the pitcher back] can hardly be called a success. The object sought in the changes proposed is, of course, to make more batting and general play, but not to lengthen the game. To play the game as yest5erday would no doubt make it more lively, but would also prolong it, which is to be avoided. Chicago Tribune September 18, 1878

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an experimental rules game; balls and strikes

Date Sunday, September 15, 1878
Text

[reporting on a series of experimental games Boston vs. Chicago] For Monday's game the rules as to balls and strikes will be changed so that the pitcher will be allowed only six balls instead of nine as now, and the batsman will have only three strikes instead of practically four as now—that is, the warn or “good ball” will not be called but when three strikes have been called the batsman retires. Another improvement in the way of making the game better understood by the attendance will be the manner of calling balls; instead of waiting until three bad balls have been pitched before calling one ball, the umpire will count all the balls pitched out loud as they are delivered, from “one ball,” “two balls,” “three balls,” up to “six balls.” it is hoped that this will make the game more easily understood by the spectators. In this game, also, the batsman will be allowed to stand a little nearer to the home-plate than now—that is, within six inches instead of within a foot as at present. Chicago Tribune September 15, 1878

As to Monday's experimental game, the question of main importance is of course whether the improvement is proved worthy to be recommended for adoption or not. It is certain that the players favor it,--that is, a majority of them. In point of fact, however, the change disturbs the relation between pitcher and batsman so slightly that it amounts to very little in that respect. Under the old rule the pitcher had to deliver four good balls before he delivered nine bad ones,--that is, he must give four good balls out of the first twelve pitched, or one good one to three bad ones. Under the new rules he must give three good balls before he gives six bad ones,--that is, he must give three good balls out of the first eight pitched, and that proportion is a little greater than in the other case. If the umpire is to be considered in the matter, it must be admitted that his power (or his discretion) is somewhat increased. Chicago Tribune September 18, 1878 [See also Indianapolis vs. Chicago 9/24/1878 in Chicago Tribune September 25, 1878 for another game played under these rules.]

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an improved score card

Date Sunday, April 28, 1878
Text

Harry Wright has just perfected a score card which embraces several new features, and is a great improvement over those now in use. This new system divides the upper half of the square into four spaces, one for each base and the home plate. The total at the bottom of the card are so arranged that at the end of each innings not only the runs but the first-base hits, first base on errors and total errors may be recorded. Beside this, the first column to the right of the players' names is so arranged that the position and fielding number can both be written.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an incorrect interpretation of force plays

Date Thursday, August 8, 1878
Text

[from answers to correspondents] A man is on first base. The batter hits a grounder to first baseman, who picks it up, touches his base, and then fields it to second to cut off a runner. Is the runner allowed to return to first, and must he be touched with the ball to put out, or must he continue on toward second, having been forced off first? [answer:] The runner at first is forced off that base as soon as the batter bats a fair ball, and can not return. If the second baseman holds the ball on second before the runner gets there the runner is out.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an incurve and drop

Date Sunday, April 21, 1878
Text

Golden, of the Milwaukees, is giving first-rate satisfaction. The boys thus far have been unable to hit him hard. His incurve and drop are said to be entirely phenomenal.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an overhand delivery

Date Sunday, July 14, 1878
Text

And so the game at Peoria, Ill., the other day, in which the Bostons were defeated, was not a game of base ball after all. The pitcher of the Peoria club, instead of pitching, persisted in over-hand throwing. Harry Wright protested several times to the umpire, but it was of no avail, and rather than disappoint the large crowd present—it being the inauguration of a new base ball ground—coupled with the fact that he would lose a large guarantee if he withdrew his men, he played the game, even at the risk of a defeat.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an unassisted double play by the center fielder

Date Wednesday, August 14, 1878
Text

[Chicago vs. Providence 8/13/1878] The seventh saw a glorious play for Paul Hines. Harbridge [sic: should be Ferguson] pulled a single-baser off Ward, and was stealing second as Hankinson drove the ball into the air. It looked safe, and Ferguson kept on. But Hines ran, reached out and caught the ball on the fly, and then chased Ferguson down the base line, hit5ting him on the back before he had got within ten feet of the first bag. Boston Herald August 14, 1878

Ferguson started the seventh with a base hit. Hankinson dropped a fly back of second base, which by a gigantic effort Hines caught; Ferguson was so sure that it was a base hit, he was half way to second; Hines was running at full speed and had a foot race with “Fergy,” catching him neatly, thus making a double play unassisted. Providence Morning Star August 14, 1878

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an upward curve

Date Sunday, April 21, 1878
Text

[New Bedford vs. Harvard 4/16/1878] Bradley’s pitching was very effective, he adopting the ‘upward curve” style, and one that the collegiates could not hit.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Anson's bullying

Date Monday, May 27, 1878
Text

A Chicago man of some note told the writer some time ago that Anson would practice any trick, fair or unfair, to carry a point for his Club. In his private life he is quiet and gentlemanly, but on the ball-field he is known to be unscrupulous and unfeeling. Evidence of his bullyism have been seen wherever he has played, until, at last, he has become disliked universally by ball players and ball patrons. Larkin, of the Chicago Club, seems to be patterning after Anson. The conduct of these two young men in the Chicago game last week is said to have been brutal. They, between them, ran into purposely and knocked Sullivan off the base four time, laming him up considerably. There should be some protection provided among ball players to protect the weaker players physically from the brutality of players devoid of feeling or fairness.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

arms and backs in the grandstand

Date Thursday, April 11, 1878
Text

...next week the arms and backs to the seats in the Grand Stand will be put on.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

assessments of Nolan

Date Tuesday, May 7, 1878
Text

The present weakness of the Indianapolis club seems to be Nolan's wild delivery, and a tendency to weaken when closely pushed. The catching of Flint in all three games [with the Chicagos] has been wonderful, considering Nolan's wild delivery and lack of coolness. Boston Herald May 7, 1878

...while Nolan is the strength of the team, he is also its weakness. In an up-hill game he loses his head completely, pitches wildly, and becomes, as the boys say, ‘all broke up.” He seems to lack nerve at critical points in a game where he needs it most. There is no doubt that when the conditions are favorable Nolan is the best pitcher in the League, but as before remarked, is prone to go off the handle. Indianapolis Journal May 7, 1878

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

balls hit in the air are fair or foul by where they land

Date Saturday, June 1, 1878
Text

[answers to correspondents] A ball is batted in the air about twenty feet high, strikes the ground ten feet in front of first base, and about eight feet inside the foul line, and bounds outside said foul line. Is it a fair or a foul ball? ... It is a fair ball.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bancroft accuses the League of trying to induce a player to revolve

Date Saturday, March 30, 1878
Text

[a letter from Frank Bancroft:] I wish you would let the public know that the Milwaukees are trying every means in their power to induce Geo. W. Bradley to break his contract with the New Bedfords, in which event Mr. Bradley will be expelled from the Association, and under the International rules no Association club can play a nine employing an expelled player. Brilliant prospects for Bradley and the Milwaukees if they succeed by big offers in inducing him to sell his future prospects. Don’t think he will do it, but it certainly is not square for any club to advise him to, and it is to the credit of Harry Wright and Ben Douglas that they condemn it. New York Clipper March 30, 1878 [N.B. compare with Bancroft managing Detroit in 1882 and the Dasher Troy affair.]

A correspondent, writing from Milwaukee, says: “The Milwaukees have failed to secure Bradley, and, in consequence, there is much dissatisfaction expressed. The management sent Bradley $100 by telegraph in response to a dispatch from him saying he could secure his release from New Bedford for $50. He failed to secure the desired release, because, it is said, someone else had a finger in the pie–someone who is intensely interested in the ill-success of one or more of the League clubs. New York Clipper April 6, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

banning Harry Wright from the players' bench

Date Saturday, December 14, 1878
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting of 12/4/1878] The next amendment was to Article 14 of Field Rules, and was in substance the prohibition of the manager or scorer from appearing upon the field during the progress of a game. It is understood that this amendment was a direct slap at harry Wright, who, it is claimed, during the past season, often sat on the players’ bend on the field and gave his men points on the game, and told them where they could gain an advantage. Other clubs noticed this, and a feeling that it was not just the right thing got abroad among the clubs with which the Bostons played. Harry Wright was a veteran baseballist, and it was an advantage for his club to receive instructions and suggestions during the progress of a game. When this amendment was proposed it was no more than natural that Harry should “kick,” and he did, with considerable energy. A lively discussion ensued, and finally a vote was had, resulting in a victory for the amendment. The vote by clubs was as follows: Ayes–Cincinnati, Providence, Cleveland and buffalo. Nays–Boston, Chicago and Syracuse.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball and due process

Date Sunday, June 30, 1878
Text

It is a standing rule, as well as law, that every man is innocent until he be proven guilty; however, even where the least suspicion is attached to a player of being dishonest, no rebuke can be too severe.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

basepaths in clay; circular cutouts in the infield grass for the bases

Date Sunday, April 14, 1878
Text

[describing the new Lakefront ground] The paths from base to base have been laid in yellow clay, firmly packed, and at each base, except home, a circle eight feet in diameter has been cut out of the turf and packed with clay.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club finances 2

Date Sunday, January 6, 1878
Text

[reporting on the Boston BBA annual meeting] The report of the directors, which embraced the report of the treasurer, Mr. F. E. Long, showed the gate receipts the past year to have been $30,934.61, an excess of $2023.31 over the receipts for 1876. The receipts during the year, at home, amounted to $18,642.48, and abroad to $12,292.13. The amount received at home from non-league clubs was $2323.44; received from championship games abroad, $4776.42; paid to clubs playing championship games in Boston, $7686.17. The salaries of players amount to over $22,000. The estimates of salaries for 1878 amounted to considerable less. There were at present eleven men under contract, with the probability that the number would be reduced to ten. … The expenditures had exceeded those of last year by about $800, and this was due to an extra Western trip. The report was accepted. Messrs. J. G. Billings, A. J. Chase and G. W. Sanford were appointed an auditing committee, and the meeting adjourned. Boston Herald January 6, 1878

The finances of the Boston Club, lately published in the Herald, have been pronounced incorrect in one or particulars. The figures were kindly furnished by an officer of the club, and were supposed to be correct. The exact figures are said to be, gross receipts on trips, $12,292.13, of which $4776.42 was received from championship games, $2718.18 from other games in league cities, and $4797.53 from non-league clubs. Boston Herald February 3, 1878

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club finances 3

Date Friday, February 1, 1878
Text

The Bostons' financial statement for 1877 is as follows: The gate receipts during the past year were $30,934. The receipts during the season at home amounted to $18,642, and abroad to $12,292. The amount received at home from non-League clubs was $2,323, and from championship games in Boston was $7,686. The salaries of players amounted to over $22,000. New York Herald February 1, 1878

[from a letter to the editor by Harry Wright dated January 25] Our total gross receipts on trips were...$12,292.13. Of this amount $4,776.42 was received from championship games, $2,715.18 from other games in League cities, and the remainder, $4,797.55, was the proceeds of games with non-League clubs. ... The October Western trip did not prove a loss to us; but on the contrary, netted a profit of between four and five hundred dollars; neither did we close the season $800 in debt, but after paying all liabilities, there was a balance on hand in the treasury. New York Clipper February 2, 1878

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club finances 4

Date Sunday, December 15, 1878
Text

[reporting the Boston BB Association meeting 12/9] The club has traveled 8,300 miles, at a cost of $3,744.53, against 120, 563 miles in 1877. The saving in traveling expenses this year was $2,094.80 over 1877. The salary list for 1879 will be $3,500 less than in 1878. During 1878 the falling off in receipts over 1877 was $6,272.17. A saving of $7,337.31 has been made in the general expenses of 1878 over the year before. The receipts on the home grounds in 1878 were $2,698.98 less than 1877, and on grounds abroad $3,245.44 less. New York Sunday Mercury December 15, 1878

The annual meeting of the Boston Club was held last Tuesday evening, forty-seven of the seventy-eight shares being represented. The report of the Treasurer showed a decrease in the amount of business as compared with the previous year, the actual loss, however, being less than in 1877. This deficit was mainly owing to unfavorable weather on two occasions on the home grounds, when, if the game had been played, a handsome profit would have been shown on this year's business. It was announced that the salary-list for the coming season was over $3,000 less than that of the present year. Chicago Tribune December 22, 1878

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston stockholder game

Date Sunday, November 3, 1878
Text

The annual game between the Bostons and the stockholders of the Boston Base Ball Association will take place next Friday afternoon, and this will close the season.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston stockholders game called off

Date Sunday, November 10, 1878
Text

The Bostons, who now hold the base-ball championship of the country for 1878-79, disbanded on Nov. 8. The game that was arranged to take place between the regular nine and the stockholders on the 7th, did not come off, as the latter did not put in an appearance.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Buffalo doesn't want to join the NL; talk of state leagues

Date Sunday, January 27, 1878
Text

The directors of the Buffalo Club held a meeting on Jan. 21, and among other topics the subject of joining the League was thoroughly discussed, but no definite action was taken in regard to the matter. The Commercial says: “The subject, it is well known, is attracting much attention in baseball circles, and strong efforts are being made to get the Buffalo nine into the League. The managers do not think favorably of the proposition, they failing to discover any material good that would come of such a move, and therefore do not propose to enter the field with the Western clubs, the coming season, at any rate. There are now twelve first-class nines in this State, and it is not unlikely that they will organize a league of their own in order to have a series of matches for an inter-State championship, provided, of course, that the clubs in other States organize in the same way. This is a good idea, and no doubt if it resolves itself into practical shape, thepopular sport will assume a greater national interest than formerly, because then every State will feel a special pride, and the citizens will take as great, if not greater, individual interest than that which characterized them when a local contest takes place, or when the ‘crack’ teams of two cities meet.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling for judgment on balls and strikes 2

Date Sunday, August 18, 1878
Text

[Indianapolis vs. Boston 8/17/1878] Healy [Indianapolis pitcher] made himself ridiculous and worried the umpire by continually asking for judgment on balls that he pitched, when it was apparent to every one that the balls were far from good ones.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling for judgment; no appealing balls and strikes

Date Saturday, May 25, 1878
Text

The fielders have no right to appeal for judgment except in the case of players running bases, or on foul balls. The umpire is the sole judge as to the character of the ball pitched, whether it is fair or unfair; and neither the pitcher nor catcher has the right to appeal to him in regard to balls or called strikes.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cammeyer renews the lease on the Union Grounds

Date Sunday, March 17, 1878
Text

Mr. Cammeyer has leased the Union Grounds, in Brooklyn, for another year, and proposes to put a nine in the field second to none in the State. He has engaged Bobby Matthews and Knodell already as a nucleus, and expects to have Holdsworth and several others of the same batting calibre to complete the team. Mathews proposes the ensuing season to regain his old-time prestige, and his many friends have confidence in his doing so.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

capitalization of clubs

Date Thursday, December 5, 1878
Text

The Syracuse Stars presented an application for membership [in the NL], claiming to be on a sound basis, with a capital stock of $5,000. the Directors considered that, although the city represented comparatively a small population, the Club was an old-established one, and likely to attract. … The application of Buffalo was next considered. Its representatives, Messrs. Smith and Sage, claim for the club a sound corporation, with a capital basis of $5,000, all paid in. … Then came the application of the Cleveland Club, representing a capital stock of $4,000 and a regularly-incorporated Board of Directors...

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catchers use the mask in an amateur game in Maine

Date Saturday, April 13, 1878
Text

[Portland Reds vs. Atlantic 4/14/1878] Both catchers used the wire mask.

Source Portland Daily Press
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick advises managers to ignore baseball reporters

Date Saturday, January 26, 1878
Text

It is surprising how soon a baseball scribe learns to regard himself as the very best judge of the manner in which a local-club team should be run. It’s a habit they get into. Especially is this a weakness of the gentlemen of the baseball departments of country papers, who have jumped into the work, new to it in every way, from a field of operations diametrically opposite, and who generally come to the conclusion at the outset that “any fellow can edit a baseball column.” Unluckily, it is men of this class who, as a general thing, think themselves fully competent to run a baseball nine–on paper. Let club-managers avoid the pernicious influence.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

championship entry fee divided between the top three clubs

Date Saturday, March 2, 1878
Text

[reporting on the IA convention] [the championship rules amended to read, in part:] The emblem of the championship shall be a pennant... The amount received shall be divided as follows: To the club winning the championship, three-sixths; to the club standing second, two-sixths; and to the club standing third, one sixth. Before dividing the champion entrance-fees into sixths, a sum shall be set aside, with all the funds of the Association, sufficient to make the secretary’s salary, including expenses, $500 per annum.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Changing the batting order to the next man after the last man at bat the previous inning

Date Saturday, December 28, 1878
Text

The new reading of the rule governing the striking order is as follows:

The batsmen must take their positions in the order in which they are directed by the captain of their club; and, after each player has had one time “at bat,” the striker-order thus established shall not be changed during the game. After the first inning the first striker in each inning shall be the batsman whose name follows that of the last man at the bat in the preceding inning.

This is an improvement to the extent that it gets rid of the confusion which frequently prevails among the spectators and even players as to who is the first striker in the second or following inning of a match, and it also prevents a batsman having an undue number of chances at the bat. Now, no matter how players running bases may be put out, the player next in order to the man “last at the bat” becomes the first striker in the ensuing inning. The last man at the bat may be the third striker put out, and he may not be, as the case of his forcing a base-runner out after two men had been retired; nevertheless, the batsman next in order takes the first strike. Under the old rule a batsman might force third man out at second base, and in the next inning take his strike over again, because he was “next to the third man out,” whom he had himself forced out. Under the new rule each batsman will have the same number of times at the bat in a match, so far as the rules can possibly control the matter. New York Clipper December 28, 1878

A very important change in the rules for the spectator to note is that the “next man” to bat in future will be the one following the last batter, not the third man out, as heretofore. This will greatly simplify the score, and not permit of the frequent doubling back and repeating, as under the old rule. Chicago Inter-Ocean December 7, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

check swings

Date Sunday, June 9, 1878
Text

[from Questions Answered] If a batsman swings his bat less than half way around can it be called a strike? Answer--.. There is no rule that covers exactly that point. The umpire judges as best he can as to whether the batsman intended to strike or not. The intention is the only point.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clubs expelled from the IA for non-payment of dues; playing an expelled player

Date Saturday, July 27, 1878
Text

[a letter from Jimmy Williams] I have read your note and inclosed slip concerning A. H. Nichols’ playing in International clubs, and I deem it my duty to explain as follows: At the convention of this Association last February the Alaska, Crystal, Enterprise, Resolute, Alaska of Staten Island, and the Orange Clubs, from new York, Brooklyn and vicinity, were admitted to membership in this Association which membership they all forfeited, except the Alaska of Staten Island, by their failure to pay their dues, as required by Sec. 1 of Art. VI of our constitution. This fact should have been certified to our members, but has never been, partly through negligence and partly because I desired to give any of them tho wished a chance to pay up, and not deprive them of membership simply for non-payment of dues at stipulated times. I have never heard a word from any of these clubs–except the Alaska of Staten Island–since the convention, though I have sent bulletins and letter to all of them.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

coining Nolan's nickname; marketing

Date Sunday, May 5, 1878
Text

President Pettit, of the Indianapolis Club, who cannot fairly object to being called the Western Yankee, has done what he could to widely advertise his club, and, among other devices, has had made a lot of large photographs (perhaps 2 feet by 18 inches), of Nolan and Flint, his pitcher and catcher. The former is labeled “The Only Nolan,” and the latter “The Champion Catcher of America.” So far as notoriety goes Mr. Pettit has gained his end, for all the ball-players and lots of ball men have felt called on to discuss the good or bad taste of hanging up such pictures in the windows about town. The jokes cracked at the expense of the unfortunate Nolan are innumerable, and in last Thursday's game, when he began to be hit pretty freely, the crowd sang out with one accord, “The Only Nolan—shoot him.” John Peters, of Milwaukee, avers his intention of getting a huge deer's head printed for “Buck” Weaver, so he can label it “The Only Buck” or else he will get an elk (for Ellick) and label it “The Only Ellick.” Putting aside any question of taste, it may be questioned whether Mr. Pettit has not put more of a load on Nolan than he can carry. To be “The Only Nolan,” he must win right along, and it isn't yet sure that he can do that.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

commentary on journalistic priorities

Date Sunday, June 30, 1878
Text

Emperors may be shot down by the dozen; gigantic political frauds may be may be exposed; steamships may collide and go down with all hands on board; Europe may be plunged in bloody and universal strife—but still the “base-ball editor” will walk in with eleven full scores and fill up two-thirds of the space in the paper., quoting the Boston Globe

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Complaining about umpire's strike zone

Date Sunday, June 2, 1878
Text

[Chicago vs. Boston 6/1/1878] Larkin had two strikes and a fair ball called on him, and also two balls. Bond then pitched a ball squarely over the base, at the height asked by the batsman, so it is universally conceded, but the umpire called three balls, and Larkin took his first...

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

complaints about calling balls and strikes; perspective

Date Friday, June 28, 1878
Text

In presenting his resignation as an umpire to the Utica Base Ball Association Mr. Taylor makes the following sensible remarks, and they are equally applicable to games on the Boston Grounds: “Complaint has also been made as to the calling of strikes and balls. If the directors and scorers were about twelve feet lower they would be better able to criticise my decisions. I will admit that they can plainly see when a ball passes over the plate, but they should also admit in return that I am better able to judge with accuracy the fairness of a high or low ball. When the ball passes the plate my head is on a level with the striker's waist, while the heads of those in the scorers' stand are at least twelve or fourteen feet above the plate.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

concern about expulsion from the IA

Date Thursday, June 13, 1878
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Providence 6/12/1878] Bradley, of the New Bedfords, had come to this city to pitch for the home nine. The Providence management had understood that the New Bedfords had entirely withdrawn from the Internationals, but had found out at the last moment that they had simply withdrawn from the championship contest, and were yet with the Internationals. Bradley was afraid that he would be expelled if he played, and so backed down, suiting Captain White and manager Neff, who had no desire of batting, as they said, against “the terror.” It is reported that the New Bedfords are bankrupt and in a fearful condition financially. Bradley's release from them and engagement with the Providence Nine may be looked for inside of forty-eight hours.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

contracts to include right of release and suspension

Date Sunday, November 3, 1878
Text

The contracts under which the players of the Utica nine for 1879 will be engaged differ materially from those of the past season. The new ones give the association power to lay off a player, any game or games, for any reasonable excuse, to deduct from this salary so much per game, as the number of games not played by him are in proportion of the number of games played during the season.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

controlling salaries

Date Sunday, August 11, 1878
Text

[reporting on a special League meeting held 8/9/1878 in Providence] The National League of professional clubs, after an all night session at Providence, R. I., adopted a report yesterday morning, stating that the expenses of the League would exceed its receipts this year, and that, therefore, the aggregate salaries to be paid in 1879 must not exceed the sum which the experience of this year indicated that each club would be likely to earn; that the contract season of 1879 would be but six months–April 1 to September 30–and that no money advances should be made to clubs during the winter. A uniform contract for the engagement of players was adopted. The question of fixed salaries was discussed at length, but no action was taken. All the League clubs were represented except Cincinnati and Milwaukee, they being represented by proxy.

It is stated that the highest salaries to be paid are as follows: Pitchers, $1,200; catcher, $1,000; first basemen, $700; second basemen, $800; third basemen, $900; short fielders, $700; out fielders, $600; substitutes, $500. New York Sunday Mercury August 11, 1878

[reporting on a special League meeting held 8/9/1878 in Providence] Considerable business was transacted, but the most important question discussed was the salaries of players for next year. It called forth five hours' discussion, but was finally dropped, no action being taken. The league declines to continue business on the same basis as this season, and announces to players that in 1879 the aggregate salaries paid by each club must not exceed the sum which the experience of this year indicated that each club would be likely to earn. The league established a rule which binds its members to make the contract season for six months, April 1 to September 30, and no longer. No advance money is to be paid players during the Winter. New York Tribune August 13, 1878

[reporting on the NL special meeting of 8/9/78] It is part of the experience of league clubs for the season of 1878 that business depression has so far affected the receipts that a loss is already assured. At the same time it is apparent that under the present system the loss must fall on the association from whom the players receive the money earned, and much more. The league declines to continue business on this principle, and takes this time to announce to players that in 1879 the aggregate salaries paid by each club must not exceed a sum which the experience of this year ha shown can be earned. It has not, after discussion, seemed wise, at this time, to attempt to restrict any association as to what it shall pay any or all of the men in its employ. In the line of the reduction of expenses within the probable income, the League has, at the meeting above dated, entered into an agreement which binds its members to make the contract season of 1879 six months, and no longer, to wit: from April 1 to September 30, both included. It is expected by thus giving the player fully half the year for the pursuit of any trade or business which he may have, he will be enabled to devote the other half to play at less cost to the club than when (as in the past) he received his entire support from them. By the terms of agreement last-named, the club have bound themselves not to pay money advances during the Winter season, they believing that this practice has, in the past, encouraged idleness and discouraged some players from following such business or trade as they were fitted for. New York Clipper August 17, 1878

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

counting wild pitches and passed ball separate from errors

Date Saturday, July 27, 1878
Text

[a letter from Fred W. Thayer on the Harvard record] The passed balls and wild pitches have been kept apart from other errors, as those two kinds of errors are such as the players outside of pitcher and catcher are not liable to, and we wish to compare players where all had the same chance. New York Clipper July 27, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

coupons to the grandstand

Date Sunday, April 28, 1878
Text

The Cincinnati Club sells twenty coupon admissions to the grandstand for $10. So many as the owner chooses may be used at each game, but if more than one is then only one is good for a reserved seat.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cummings the inventor of the curve

Date Sunday, January 27, 1878
Text

Cummings, the inventor of the curve, and a once noted pitcher, is in want–of an engagement, and all that the term implies.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dave Eggler's lawsuit

Date Thursday, February 7, 1878
Text

DavidEggler'ssuitagainstFrankMcBrideandothers,tradingasthePhiladelphiaBaseBallClub,torecover$1400,whichheallegestheyagreedtopayhimforsevenmonth'sservicesasabaseballplayers,wasbeforetheSupremeCourtyesterdayonawritoferror.ThelowercourtrefusedtogivehimjudgmentbecauseFrankMcBride,whosignedtheagreement,wasdeniedtohaveauthoritytorepresenttheclub,andbecausethepartiesheprofessedtorepresentwerenotpartners.Heldunderadvisement.PhiladelphiaInquirerFebruary7,1878[seealsoWeeklyNotesofCasesArguedandDeterminedintheSupremeCourtEgglerv.Fleischmanetal.,copartnersunderthenameandstyleofthePhiladelphiaBaseBallClubarguedintheCourtofCommonPleasDecember1877,casecitation4W.N.C.574,1,287.]

[describingEggler:]Anaffidavitofdefencemaysetforthadenialofaperson'sauthoritytodoacertainactasagent,bynecessaryimplication,andbesufficient.ThusanactionwasbroughtuponaspecialtyexecutedbyM.“onbehalfofthepartyofthesecondpart,”--thepartyofthesecondpartbeingthedefendantssuedascopartnersunderthenameofthePhiladelphiaBaseBallClub.TheaffidavitofdefenceallegedthatthedefendantswerefouroftheshareholdersofanorganizationknownasthePhiladelphiaBaseBallClub(thenamesoftheremainingshareholdersweresubsequentlysetforthinasupplementalaffidavit;)thatnoarticlesofcopartnershiphadeverbeenenteredinto;thatnoneeverexistedwherebythedefendnatswereboundtodefraytheexpensesoftheorganization;andthattheyneverenteredintoanyagreementwiththeplaintiff.ThecourtheldthedenialoftheagreementtoamounttoadenialofM.'sauthoritytocontractforthedefendants,anddischargedtheruleforjudgment.[fromG.A.Endlich,TheLawofAffidavitsofDefence,inPennsylvaniap.426FrederickD.Linn&Co.,JerseyCity.1884]

Source Philadelphia Inquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Deacon White wears a mask

Date Saturday, June 29, 1878
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis 6/28/1878] ...Clapp got to third on a passed ball and home on a high hit by McKelvey down near second base, within easy reaching distance of three or four players. McKelvey arrived at second while Clapp was coming home, and just at this juncture White [catcher] let another ball go by him. The even-tempered James deliberately took off his mask and walked after the ball, McKelvey in the meantime scoring. McVey started in direction of the plate to lecture White, but that citizen motioned him back. He was in a “state of mind” and did not wish to listen to a lecture just then.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defending the League's guarantee demand

Date Saturday, February 2, 1878
Text

[from a letter to the editor by Harry Wright dated January 25] Another step was taken by the League clubs which has provoked a great deal of what seems to me unmerited abuse. I refer to the resolve passed not to play non-League games except for guarantee. I do not purpose entering into a defense of this course, for the reason that I see nothing to defend. It may be a mistake; that can only be determined by trial. The League clubs passed the vote simply to secure a uniform matter of transacting their business, and because they thought it for their interests so to do. Should the non-League clubs conclude that they and their supporters will dispense with League games this year, both classes will doubtless be the losers. What I do object to is, that the League should be charged with a desire to oppress clubs not belonging to their organization, for it seems to me to be a strictly commercial transaction. The term “arbitrary” has also been freely applied to the measure, but as non-League clubs cannot be forced by League clubs to do anything against their will, I fail to see the significance of the word as used. I have already written at greater length than I first intended, but wish to say in conclusion, that there appears to be a determination upon the part of some writers to establish a breach between the two classes of clubs; to that end much has been written that is full of misrepresentation. I think that if the practical men who officer or manage the clubs should decide for themselves upon the points apparently at issue, there would be found to be little cause for argument. It is conceded on all hands that the baseball business has not yet followed as closely the laws governing the other pursuits of man as it should. I think the late League legislation is in that direction.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Devlin in Canada?

Date Sunday, August 18, 1878
Text

The Milwaukee Club recently made up a purse for Devlin, and presented it to him. The great “Terror” is at present pitching for a semi-professional club in Canada on a salary of $15 a week.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Devlin's travails

Date Sunday, November 3, 1878
Text

Devlin, the crooked pitcher of the Louisvilles, is in town, and will remain here for some days. The story of his wanderings and suffering since his expulsion from the League is pitiful in the extreme. He has played most of this season in the champion amateur club of Canada, and, after winning the pennant for them by his superb work, he was cheated of a liberal part of his salary, and was obliged to leave his wife and 3-year-old boy in that country. He claims that if he can obtain the signatures of three out of the five members of the Judiciary Committee of the Internal Association, he can be reinstated. Devlin is in Utica now for the purpose of presenting his petition to Mr. Lynch for his signature, and promises, if he is successful, and the Association allows him to play once more, that he will come to Utica for next season at a nominal salary, notwithstanding the liberal offers he has received from other clubs., quoting the Utica Republican

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dismissing the IA

Date Wednesday, March 27, 1878
Text

As for any compromise with the Internationals, none should be made. The League first set forth their rules. If second-rate Clubs see fit not to come within their requirements, it is not for the League to get down on their bellies and servilely ask, “What is it you wish, gentlemen?

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

distracting fielders throwing to home

Date Sunday, May 12, 1878
Text

The umpire should be forced to fine players who played dirty tricks, such as crowding around home-plate to distract a fielder's aim. In one game this season a man was running home from third while a player inside the diamond that the ball. Four of the runner's friends gathered around the plate and, by shouting and motions, distracted the throw. The umpire paid no attention to the infraction of the rule.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

division of gate receipts 2

Date Saturday, March 2, 1878
Text

[reporting on the IA convention] [the championship rules amended to read, in part:] Section 10 was changed so as to entitle visiting clubs to 12 ½ cents for each male adult, excepting twelves, who entered the gate. By a new section the clubs were allowed to use their own option in th price of admission of boys under thirteen years of age, fifty per cent of this going to the visiting club. The visiting club were to receive at least $75 in any case.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Douglas resigns from Providence; the duties and salary of the manager

Date Saturday, April 20, 1878
Text

A telegraphic dispatch from Providence, R.I., dated April 9, says: “Benjamin Douglas, Jr., manager of the Providence Baseball Club, will resign tomorrow, at the request of the directors, on account of difficulties growing out of the former’s alleged indiscretion in communicating and making dates with International League clubs unauthorized by the directors. The directors will not elect a new manger, but will look after the affairs of the club themselves. Douglas was employed at a yearly salary of $1,4000, and had $500 worth of stock in the club, which will be purchased by members.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Douglass fired from the Providence Club

Date Sunday, April 7, 1878
Text

A note from a gentleman in Providence intimates that Douglass will be given an opportunity to resign before long. It seems from accounts that he has a taste for writing letters which has killed him as dead as Gen. Scott. Some of his efforts in which he expressed his opinions of the League have not been marked by that calm and dignified tone which a member of the League should take.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early sighting of John Day

Date Sunday, November 10, 1878
Text

J. B. Day, secretary, has issued a call for a meeting of the Metropolitan Baseball Association to be held on to-morrow (Monday) evening, Nov. 11, at 8 o'clock at Academy Hall, 307 Third avenue, for the purpose of receiving the report of the Championship Committee. Clubs belonging to the association are notified to send delegates to the meeting.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early talk of moving the Indianapolis Club to St. Louis

Date Thursday, June 27, 1878
Text

The board of directors of the I.B.B.C. held a meeting at the Occidental last evening to consider a scheme for the removal of the club to St. Louis for the remainder of the league season. Two or three members of the directory are dissatisfied at the size of the crowds drawn in this city, and hope by this transplanting plan to increase their revenues.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'shut out'

Date Saturday, August 10, 1878
Text

[Chicago vs. Boston 8/9/1878] [headline:] The Chicagos Shut Out.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'shut out' 2

Date Saturday, October 5, 1878
Text

[Boston vs. Springfield 9/25/1878] A gathering of three thousand people, by far the largest crowd of the season, witnessed an exhibition game...which resulted in a complete “shut out” for the home team [i.e. Boston won]. New York Clipper October 5, 1878

Springfield Club finances

The Springfield Association is almost the only one in the international league which will complete the season without having assessed its stockholders, and this is the more remarkable as $1200 was the extent of the stock subscriptions. Next year the capital will be increased to $3000, possibly to $5000. Boston Herald October 6, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

eliminating the foul bound out

Date Saturday, December 14, 1878
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting of 12/4/1878] Mr. Spalding offered an amendment to the third clause of Sec. 12, Rule 6, by inserting the word “before” in the place of “after,” and taking out the final words of the clause “but once,” making the game a fly game throughout. This, which is about the only radical change made in the rules, was urged by Harry Wright of the Bostons and George Wright of the Providences. Considerable discussion ensued, but it was finally carried by a vote of 4 to 3. New York Clipper December 14, 1878

We now come to the amendment throwing out the bound-catch of foul balls and of bound catches from “three strikes.” This is the only radical change in the rules which the League convention adopted. In the estimate of the merits of base-ball made by unprejudiced cricketers, the putting-out of the batsman on foul balls has always been regarded as an objection, on the ground that by such play he was subject to a penalty without any opportunity being afforded him for an offsetting play at the bat. If he hits a fair fly-ball, while he runs the risk of being put out by the fly-catch, he also has the chance of making a base on a missed catch. Not so, however, in the case of the foul ball, for then he can neither make a base himself nor give his partner on the bases a chance to make one. In reducing the number of outs on foul balls, therefore, by prohibiting bound catches of such balls, a nearer approach to excellence in the game is made in a cricketer's point of view. Whether it will add to the record of base-hits and runs, by the reduced chance for outs, remains to be seen by the experience of actual play. There is one thing about this amendment, however, worthy of note, and that is that it introduces the rule of the fly-game in reality for the first time in the history of base-ball. Now no player can be put out on any caught ball that is not caught on the fly. New York Clipper December 28, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

experimenting with pitching rules

Date Sunday, September 15, 1878
Text

[Boston vs. Indianapolis 9/14/1878] In accordance with arrangements of managers Clapp and Wright the present rules regulating the pitcher were laid aside and the game was played under the following conditions: Every ball pitched was to count either a strike or a ball, and six unfair balls delivered entitled the batsman to a base on balls. As the rule regarding this sort of pitching is contemplated for next season, it was an experimental game, and the rule in today's game worked admirably. This change compels balls to be delivered over the plate. Boston Herald September 15, 1878

[Boston vs. Chicago 9/17/1878] The champions and the Chicagos played a game today to test the proposed scheme of putting the pitcher six feet farther back than now. The result was very free hitting on both sides, but Bond appeared to get the worst of it as compared with Larkin. The general expression of opinion was that the scheme would not work satisfactorily, because it lengthened the game too much. Boston Herald September 18, 1878

[Providence vs. Boston 10/26/1878] The game yesterday was, by mutual agreement, played according to the proposed new rule, viz., to have every ball pitched called either a “strike” or “called” ball, doing away with the “fair” ball, allowing the pitcher six “called” balls before giving the batsman his base, and all batted balls must be taken on the fly to ensure an out. Boston Herald October 27, 1878

[Boston vs. Providence 11/1/1878] The game was played under the proposed six-ball pitching and fly-catch regulations,... Boston Herald November 2, 1878

experimenting with the number of balls and strikes; calling every pitch; moving the pitcher back; an attempt to shorten the game

[Boston vs. Indianapolis 9/14/1878] ...a somewhat novel experiment was tried, viz: calling every ball pitched either a ball or a strike, and sending a man to his base at the sixth ball, instead of the ninth as by the old rule. Harry Wright thinks that he has discovered that lovers of the game want to see more runs and harder batting than the scores average now, and thinks that this would have the desired effect, as the pitcher would not have the opportunity to practice strategy on the batter in order to make his strike out. It if doubtful if the scheme is adopted, however. Indianapolis Journal September 16, 1878

To-day and to-morrow the Bostons and Chicagos will play exhibition games at White Stocking Park, at which some changes will be made in the play. In to-day’s game, instead of the usual nine balls, there will be but six pitched, every delivery being counted a “ball” or “strike.” The batter will have but three “strikes” instead of the practically four, as now, by dropping the calling of the fair ball. In this way six balls will give a man his base and three “strikes,” without the customary warning, will put him out. The umpire is to count the balls out loud, “one,” “two,” “three,” etc., up to six. In Tuesday’s game the pitcher’s position will be moved back six feet, and the batter will be allowed to stand six inches nearer the plate. There are experiments with a view to shortening the game and at the same time give the batter a fair chance. Chicago Inter-Ocean September 16, 1878

The Chicagos and Bostons played an exhibition game of ball yesterday afternoon... It was thought that the result would be to shorten the game, but yesterday’s exhibition would hardly warrant such a conclusion. It is extremely doubtful if it ever shortens the time much, for the reason that the batters do more work, the fielders do more work, and as a consequence a larger number of errors and runs are made, and the game kept up to its usual length. The reason that there will be more batting under this plan is obvious. The batter, having no warning, dos not know when a strike is to be called on him, and will make greater efforts to hit the ball. Of course more than the usual hits will be made, as was the case yesterday to a marked degree. The only virtue in the plan seems to be that it will tend to enliven the game and not give the men a chance to grow drowsy by waiting so long for a ball to handle. On the other hand it has serious objections. It will tend to make the pitcher a machine. He must pitch more for the batter, and the natural consequence will be that having to pitch at least half good balls he will cease to attempt to worry the batsman by curves and wide or high balls, and pitch for him to strike it. If the scheme should go into effect the “head work” of the pitcher would pretty nearly be done away with. It s doubtful whether or not the system will come into vogue. Chicago Inter-Ocean September 17, 1878

The Chicago and Boston Base Ball Clubs played another exhibition game yesterday, at which the Whites won by a score of 18 to 10. As announced, the pitcher’s stand was moved back six feet, so as to weaken its effectiveness and favor the batter. The result was that an old-fashioned game was played that reminded the spectator of the times when the score ran up into three figures. The batting was terrific. The longer distance necessary to deliver the ball not only weakened its force but gave the batter a better chance to determine its direction and make a safe hit. The scheme is not a good one, at least without some modifications. It lengthens the game, and so much pounding of the ball becomes monotonous. Possibly combined with the plan of the day before, of delivering only six balls instead of nine it might work better, but not with the old number. Chicago Inter-Ocean September 18, 1878

...in a game played at Chicago Sept. 16, between the Boston and Chicago nines, there were, instead of the usual nine balls, but six pitched, every delivery being counted a “ball” or “strike,” the batter having but three “strikes” instead of practically four, as now, by dropping the calling of the fair-ball. In this way six balls gave a man his base, and three “strikes,” without the customary warning, put him out. The umpire had to count the balls out loudly “one,” “two,” three,” etc., up to six. This change is not of the least practical advantage. Its only effect is to give the pitcher a greater license in sending in unfair balls than the batsman is allowed in striking at fair balls, by the rule of six to three, instead of, as now, by nine to four. If it be deemed an advantage to increase the batting range, instead of seeking to do so by using a livelier ball do it by giving the batsman the same license to strike at fair balls that the pitcher is allowed in sending in unfair balls. In other words, adopt the rule advocated by The Clipper some years ago, which limits the pitcher’s delivery to six unfair balls by calling every second ball a ball, instead of, as now, every third; and allow the striker to strike at every second fair ball, instead of, as now, every ball. By this means the batsman would have a better chance for base-hits, and livelier hitting would necessarily follow. New York Clipper September 28, 1878

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

final year of a multi-year contract cancelled

Date Sunday, January 6, 1878
Text

The Boston Club is relieved of Brown, last year’s catcher. His engagement covered next season, but it is cancelled by mutual agreement. Brown was subsequently engaged by the Hartford management. New York Sunday Mercury January 6, 1878

Baseball on ice in Chicago

Base-ball in Chicago expects to take an airing to-morrow, when a game will be played at the corner of Madison and Ada streets on ice, and with the players on skates. The field is in good condition and the occasion will be one of a good deal of interest, few or none of that kind of games having ever been played in Chicago. Chicago Tribune January 6, 1878

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

finances of the Buffalo Club; payments to other clubs for stockholder admissions

Date Saturday, November 23, 1878
Text

The receipts and disbursement of the Buffalo Club for 1878 are said to have been as follows: Receipts–Gate receipts at home, $11,236.51; gate receipts abroad, $4,669.75; receipts from season tickets, $160; receipts from advertising and peddling, $325; fines imposed on players, $81.77; rent of ground for lacrosse, $75; interest on bank balance, $46.95; total, $16,594.98. Disbursements.–Salaries to players, $11,068.33; railroad fare, $1,782.66; hotel fate, $1,131.89; carriages, etc., $106.42; care and maintenance of grounds, $331.15; balls and bats, $140.10; uniforms and equipments for team, $320.48; rent, $600; printing, billposting, advertising, etc., $631.40; telegrams, $257.03; incidental expenses, settlements, $336.01; total, $16,795.47; paid visiting clubs for stockholders’ admission, $1,122.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

franchise relocations

Date Saturday, June 1, 1878
Text

...by a unanimous vote of the Judiciary Committee of this Association [the IA], the New Haven B. B. Club of New Haven, Ct., has been permitted to change its name and location, and will hereafter be known as the Hartford B. B. Club of Hartford, Ct. ... There is no change in the officers of the club or its position in the championship contest. New York Clipper June 1, 1878

The latest deal is the transfer of the Live Oak nine to Worcester, and their absorption by the club of that city, the “reconstructed” nine which is to take the place of the Live Oaks in the championship arena... New York Clipper June 8, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright holds out against a salary cut

Date Sunday, February 3, 1878
Text

George Wright has not yet signed to play with the Bostons in 1878, the reason being that he objects to a deduction of $500 from his salary.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright signed by Providence

Date Friday, September 6, 1878
Text

George Wright, in a letter under date of Sept 3., announces that he has fully decided to play in Providence next season. This decision will be received with regret by all lovers of the national game in this vicinity. Mr. Wright has been connected with the Boston club ever since its organization, and has contributed no small part to its success. He is an extraordinary ball players; and is the best short-stop that ever entered the field. Others will play as brilliant a game at times, but none excel him in playing everywhere. He covers all the ground there is to cover in his position. He leads all the short-stops of the country in his fielding records; has a good batting records; as a base-runner he has no superior, exercising, as he does, his best judgment in running bases, while his brilliant lightning throws to first base have always won the heartiest applause of admirers of the game. So long and closely has he been identified with the base-ball fraternity of this city, that to see him playing in any other than the Boston club will seem exceedingly strange and unnatural. Our friends in Providence are to be congratulated on being able to secure Wright for their club of next year—one who wi8ll play for the club and not to make an individual records, while our consolation is that our loss will be their gain.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright's history

Date Sunday, November 24, 1878
Text

I was born in Harlem, N.Y., January, 1847. When quite young—10 or 12 years of age—I moved to Hoboken, N.J., where father was placed in charge of the St. George's Cricket Grounds. There I first commenced playing cricket under a large grape-arbor, father and his cricket friends frequently bowling to me. Father used to cut old bats down so that they would be the proper length for me. After living in Hoboken two years, we moved out to the then suburbs of the place, to a brick house that now stands with its back to the present cricket grounds. There is where I learned most of my cricket, and also base-ball. There used top be open lots on the side of the house, where Harry, Dan, Sam, and my self would get up mornings early and play,--Dan and Harry before going to New York City to business, and Sam and I before going to school. Oftentimes in the winter we have swept away the snow to play, while our hands, with gloves on, would stick to the bat from the frost. Most of the time we played with a rubber ball. This is where our early knowledge of cricket and base-ball came from. The first cricket match I ever played in was with the Third Eleven of New York Club against the Second Eleven of Manhattan, I being about 14 years of age, and not much taller than the wickets.

I first commenced my base-ball career in the Gotham Juniors, from which I was taken into the Gotham Seniors, playing my first match with them at the age of 15 against the Star Club of Brooklyn, I playing the position of left field.

While playing with the Gothams I was made assistant professional of the St. George Club, getting off now and then to play in match games of base-ball. In 1865 I was professional to the Philadelphia Cricket Club for that season, when I used to get off every Wednesday to play base-ball with the old Olympic Club of that city. When in Philadelphia I visited Toronto, Canada, as one of the Selected Eleven of the United States against Canada, the United States Eleven winning by one wicket. During 1866 I played with the Unions or Morrisania. In 1867 I was in Washington playing with the Nationals. In 1868 I returned to the Unions. IN 1869 I joined the noted Cincinnatis, where I played for two seasons. During this time I filled the positions of catcher, pitcher, second and third baseman, left-field, and short-stop. In 1871 I was the first player contracted with to come to Boston, which Club I have played with up to date, October, 1878. During this time I have been in the Champion Clubs nine years altogether,--Unions one, Cincinnati two, and Boston six. Chicago Tribune November 24, 1878, quoting an unidentified “boys' paper in New York”

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Hallinan released for intemperance

Date Sunday, August 25, 1878
Text

Hallinan was released last night [8/23] by the Indianapolis management. He had been fined $25 for intemperance the night before.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright the Boston Club scorer

Date Sunday, March 24, 1878
Text

Harry Wright, who has acted as the official scorer of the club during the seasons of 1875, 1876 and 1877, has had the record for each year bound in separate volumes. Containing, as they do, the record of each player in every game that the Bostons participated in during those years, these books are of incalculable benefit as sources for reference.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Hartford expelled from the IA for not paying a guarantee

Date Saturday, July 27, 1878
Text

[a notice from Jimmy Williams] Where, on the 17th of June last, in the championship game of the International series between the Hartford Baseball Club of Hartford, Ct., and the Buffalo Baseball Club of Buffalo, N.Y., that was played at New Haven, Ct., the Hartfords failed to pay, as required to do by Section 10 of Article XIII of the constitution, tot he Buffalo Club, the visitors, the guarantee of seventy-five ($75) dollars, therefore, as directed so to do by the Judiciary Committee, I do hereby make proclamation of the fact that the Hartford Club has been expelled from membership in the International Association.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how the balls are shipped

Date Sunday, March 31, 1878
Text

Considerable of a stir has been made by some of the international clubs over a statement that has been circulated all over the country, to the effect that Mahn, the base ball manufacturer, is furnishing the league clubs with his ball at $1,50 cheaper per dozen than he is to the international clubs. The statement is true, and is accounted for in this way: The league clubs purchase the balls by the bulk, unstamped and unsealed—simply the bare ball thrown into a box or other convenient receptacle in which to transport it. On the other hand, by pacific rules, the International Association requires that the balls shall be stamped with the size of the ball, etc., wrapped in tinfoil and packed in separate boxes, and then sealed with the maker's name. The difference in the cost of packing in the two instances, Mr. Mahn says, is more than $1.50 per dozen, and the price seem to be reasonable in either case. Had the Internationals adopted the same rules relative to packing the balls that the league has done, undoubtedly they would have received them at the same price.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

IA judiciary rulings

Date Saturday, March 2, 1878
Text

[reporting on the IA convention] [see NYC 3/2/1878 for a long list of player contract cases.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

IA no longer notifies NL of contracts

Date Sunday, February 24, 1878
Text

[reporting on the IA convention] The rule making the Secretary notify the League Secretary of engagements was rescinded.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

IA secretary's salary

Date Saturday, March 2, 1878
Text

[reporting on the IA convention] [the constitution amended to read, in part:] [The secretary-treasurer] shall receive in lieu of salary the annual dues paid in by each club being or becoming a member of this Association... New York Clipper March 2, 1878 [The annual dues were $20 per club.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

IA to award cash prizes

Date Sunday, February 24, 1878
Text

[reporting on the IA convention] An innovation is the dividing-up of the money from entries [into the championship: $30 per club], like purses in a horse race,--one-half the money from entries will go to the first club, one-third to the second, and one-sixth to the third. This is the first case on record where an association in base-ball put up money instead of an emblem for competition.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

IA to divide gate receipts equally

Date Sunday, February 24, 1878
Text

[reporting on the IA convention] The most remarkable and stupendously foolish thing in the whole legislation seems to be the division of the gate receipts equally between the clubs in each game. It works a rank injustice to such clubs as Buffalo and Syracuse, and every other good-paying city, as compared with the smaller towns and villages. Buffalo will give, very likely, $150 or $200 as one-half to such clubs as it can never hope to receive more than the guarantee [$75] from. Reduced to practicability, the scheme is a graceful one on the part of the best clubs to help support their poorer brothers.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Indianapolis Club rules

Date Wednesday, March 27, 1878
Text

The following are the special rules governing the Indianapolis Club for the coming season:

The excessive use of intoxicating drinks is positively prohibited, and total abstinence earnestly recommended.

Smoking not allowed on the day of playing a game of ball between the hours of 1 p.m. and the close of the game.

Players will abstain from the use of profane language both on the field and in their dressing-room, and conduct themselves in a gentlemanly manner.

Players are particularly requested not to associate with prostitutes.

All players will report to the Managers of the head-quarters each day at ten o'clock, unless previously excused.

Any violation of these rules will subject the offender to a fine of not less than $10 or more than $50, or expulsion from the Club, at the option of the Board of Directors.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Indianapolis Club's removal to St. Louis; talk of Pittsburgh

Date Monday, July 1, 1878
Text

[dateline Pittsburgh June 30] A conference of responsible gentlemen was held this evening with Mr. R E. McKelvey, of the Indianapolis Base-ball Club, with reference to the transfer of that team to this city. It was represented that no final action had been taken relative to St. Louis, that while Pettit was anxious to go there all the members of the Club Directory were in favor of Pittsburg, and that whatever the President had done at St. Louis would have to be ratified by them. Accordingly a written proposition was made, believed to be quite as good as that offered by St. Louis. The provision was inserted that the consent of the League should first be obtained, and that all games played be allowed to count for the championship. Mr. McKelvey left fo Indianapolis at 11:47 p.m. Cincinnati Enquirer July 1, 1878

[from the Indianapolis correspondent] The Indianapolis Club will play alternate series of games for the league championship in St. Louis and Indianapolis. The change is based upon finances. The Indianapolis Club has not been patronized to any paying extent since its return from its last Eastern trip. From conversation with the public in general, the opinion prevails that President Pettit's charge of crookedness against Nolan without any evidence whatever has had a wonderful tendency to decrease public patronage of the game in this city. The club, previous to its Eastern trip, was well patronized, and, in fact, the club so far this season has lost no money, but from the recent fall-off in the attendance, losses are feared by the directors. The Grand Avenue Grounds, St. Louis, have been furnished to the Indianapolis Club, free of charge, to play these alternate series, and thus the change. Accordingly the Boston games next week will be played in St. Louis, and the Providence games in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis is sound financially, and this move will be a paying one to the directorship. Boston Herald July 7, 1878

The attendance on Tuesday was about 800, on Thursday 600, with prospects of a decrease, for some reason or another, right straight along. They had arranged for a series of twenty games, but with the failures already made staring them in the face, and no prospect of making their playing here to pay, it is possible and probable that they will look to greener pastures after their next week's games. Their poor success is due to a number of unfortunate circumstances, principal among which is the ill-repute into which ball-playing has fallen in St. Louis during previous years, aided also by the intolerably hot streak of weather during which they struck the town. It was pretty plainly intimated to the Enquirer correspondent that the next week would wind up the Indianapolis Nine here. Then they will probably turn their faces toward Pitsburg. Cincinnati Enquirer July 15, 1878

President Pettit says reports from Pittsburg that the Indianapolis club will play the rest of the season at that place are without foundation, and, as stated heretofore, they will play here [Indianapolis] and in St. Louis, going to the latter place when the weather is cooler. Boston Herald July 21, 1878

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Indianapolis finances

Date Monday, July 22, 1878
Text

The receipts thus far aggregate $14,686.25, and out of this sum the management has paid its players and promptly met all claims. The expenses for the remainder of the season are estimated at $7,500, and as there are yet twenty-four league games to play, and more than that number of games with international clubs before the close of the season, it will be seen that the financial prospect is very bright, and that the probabilities are that instead of there being a deficit there will be a handsome surplus to the club’s credit at the close of the year. Indianapolis Journal July 22, 1878

Mr. Pettit added that he wished the people to understand that he had never contemplated any transfer to any place. The club was owned and backed in Indianapolis, and was in good shape, having made money so far this season. They would close the season in Indianapolis with the Bostons, Sept. 10, 12, and 14. Chicago Tribune July 26, 1878

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Indianapolis games banned from Cincinnati pool rooms for game throwing

Date Thursday, August 1, 1878
Text

People who have depended on pool-room returns in this city for news of games in which the Indianapolis Club figure will hereafter have to wait for newspaper dispatches. All the pool-rooms in this city have refused to sell pools on any game in which the Indianapolis Club takes part. The cause of this move seems justifiable, and is this: Tuesday several Indianapolis men, and among them the keeper of a pool-0room up there, came down to Cincinnati with pockets full of money and backed the Chicagos recklessly, making bets as low as $100 to $40 on the Chicagos; this, too, right upon two defeats of the Chicagos at the hands of the Hoosiers. Before the game ended the Indianapolis betters grew so reckless in their odds and bets that ever body dropped, and pool-selling on that game was closed entirely, though the loud-mouthed concentric fellows still bellowed out their bids and fluttered their money against the Indianapolis Club. Another queer feature of their betting was that they could name every inning in which the Chicagos would score or would not score. The pool-room proprietors concluded they had their fill of the Hoosier Hippodrome, and refuse further to allow a bet for or against them.

It may be well to state here that the Enquirer's doubt of the honesty of the Indianapolis Club was not founded on jealou8sy, as some wild people charged. And we say now to our readers what we have already said, that the Indianapolis Club will not doubt win some games during the rest of the season—they will find it necessary to do so—but the Enquirer has no faith in the pretended earnestness of the Club. The management may be all right, but the team itself is N.G. There has been on our table for several weeks the following communication from a responsible party:

[a letter to the editor from Cincinnati date July 10, 1878] “I notice in your edition of Monday last a communication concerning the Indianapolis and St. Louis nine and pool tickets, and I write to say that after the Fourth of July game I saw one of the players looking over a number of pool checks—at least that is what they looked like. He was in a carriage with four others, and was sitting between two of the players, with his back to the driver.”

The writer has it from another responsible party that in one of the last Indianapolis-Cincinnati games played in this city a well-known member of the Indianapolis team, who was laying off that day, stood under the Grand Stand during the progress of the game and openly bet on runs and the result of the game, putting up money as the bets were made. It is not at all improbable that should the management of the Indianapolis Club wish to investigate these charges they can find the parties with whom the bets were made. The Club's duty under the rules is plain and forcibly laid down in section 5, Article 5 of the League Constitution as follows: “Any player, under contract with a League Club, who shall, without the written consent of such Club, leave its its service, or who shall be proved guilty of offering, agreeing, conspiring, or attempting to lose any game of ball, or of being interested in any pool or wager thereon, or of any dishonorable or disreputable conduct shall at once be expelled by such Club.” Cincinnati Enquirer August 1, 1878

We can now state that it was Nolan whom we alluded to some time ago as the player who last Fourth of July stood under the grand stand and boldly bet and put up money on the result of the game. If necessary, the men who bet with him will testify to the fact. The good of base-ball needs the expunging of all such players from the ranks of professionals. Cincinnati Enquirer August 13, 1878

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

infielders charged with too many errors

Date Monday, January 7, 1878
Text

Scorers, as a general thing, were too hard on short-stops last season in the way of charging them with errors. We saw some scorers charge short-stops with errors when they failed to stop a hard-hit ground ball well enough to pick it up sand throw it to the base. To stop a hard-hit grounders, even if the ball be not sent to the base in time, is a good play and no error. If it is sent to the base in time it is a splendid piece of fielding. Frequently hard-hit balls from curved, low pitching, when they strike the infield in front of the short-stop, diverge on the rebound at a tangent, and thus escape capture. This, too, was frequently charged as an error, when a base-hit should have been credited. There is altogether too great a tendency to charge errors to fielders—to short-stops in particular—in cases where hard-hit ground balls are not stopped in time. It is difficult 6to do it on a smooth, velvety turf like that of the infield of the Union Grounds, and almost impossible on a rough or uneven infield, like that of the majority of ball fields. quoting the New York Clipper

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

intentionally throwing at the batter

Date Sunday, June 9, 1878
Text

The practice of purposely aiming balls at batsmen with a view to maiming if not entirely disabling them is quickly diminishing, due, no doubt, to a great measure to the threat thrown out by a number of players that if injured hereafter in such a manner, the matter would be made a personal one and settled outside the ball field.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Joe Leggett absconds

Date Sunday, January 6, 1878
Text

Joe Leggett, seventeen years ago the crack catcher of the country, last week absconded with several thousand dollars collected from Brooklyn liquor dealers in payment for their licenses. Chicago Tribune January 6, 1878, quoting the New York Mercury

a player under contract playing Sunday ball

There is a chance for cavil, but hardly one for argument, in the fact that Geer, who is announced to play in Cincinnati next season is playing Sunday games in San Francisco this winter. One paper has an idea that he should be expelled from the League for this, and it is true that the League law is very strict upon the subject. If the matter were made the subject of complaint, it would be held that neither the League, nor any member thereof, could equitably claim to control the services of Geer, or any other player, until the beginning of the championship season, at which time his contract goes into effect. Chicago Tribune January 6, 1878

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

John Clapp auctions off his services

Date Sunday, November 3, 1878
Text

One of the largest salaries ever paid to a base-ball player was that paid John Clapp two seasons ago by the St. Louis Club.Clapp was to meet Messrs. Apollonio of Boston, Bulkley [sic] of Hartford, and Graffen of St. Louis, at Earle's Hotel, New York.He did so, and stated to them that he was on the auction block;that he had a surety offered him of $2,500, and that the club paying him the largest amount over that sum would secure his services.He then left them to make their “sealed proposals,” and the result was that John opened the envelopes in their presence, and said in a moment, “Gentleman, I will play in St. Louis.”The offer accepted was in the neighborhood of $3,000, but what the others were it is difficult to state.Chicago Tribune November 3, 1878, quoting reminiscences of Ed Cuthbert in the St. Louis Spirit.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

keeping the identity of the upcoming umpire secret

Date Saturday, January 19, 1878
Text

...it is important that it shall not be known to any but the captains of the contesting nines who it is that has been selected to umpire the game; and the more extensive the circle of men to choose from as umpires, the less the chance for opportunities for corrupt influences being brought to bear. New York Clipper January 19, 1878

Boston Club finances

The Boston Club took in $30,000 in gate receipts during 1877, exclusive of season-ticket sales. But for their unwise exhibition tour out West in October, they would have had a surplus. Their salary list was $22,000, and traveling and other expenses were over $8,000. In their games on their own grounds they took in $18,642, and on outside club grounds $12,292, of which but $4,776 was from League championship games, $7,516 being from non-League club games. Under the new enactments of the League for 1878 much of this will be lost to them. They paid to clubs playing on their grounds $7,686. The club receipts in 1876 were $28,000 odd, and in 1875 $38,000, the best season the club ever had in every respect. New York Clipper January 19, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

legalizing the high delivery

Date Sunday, December 1, 1878
Text

[discussing proposed rule changes] ...legalize the present practice of pitching. The past season has seen the rule regarding pitching most flagrantly violated without protest from player or umpire. Pitcher after pitcher has swung the hand above the waist, almost, in fact, even with his shoulder, and not a word said against it. It is proposed simply to legalize what has become a practice, for of what consequence is it to have a rule remain a dead letter?

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lewis Meacham dead; baseball reporter for the Boston Herald

Date Thursday, October 3, 1878
Text

Mr. Lewis Meacham, the base ball correspondent of the Herald in Chicago, died suddenly in that city yesterday. Boston Herald October 3, 1878

Mr. Lewis Meacham, who died in Chicago on Wednesday, was attached to the editorial staff of the Chicago Tribune for a number of years, and was a journalist of considerable ability. He was born in Vermont,... He is best known from his position as base-ball editor of the Tribune, which has for years been the acknowledged authority of the Northwest in matters pertaining to the national game. He was associated with Mr. A. G. Spalding in the publication of Spalding's Base Ball Guide, one of the best publications of that character ever issued. He has also done considerable editorial work for the National League, an institution in which he seemed especially interested. He was well-informed in all matters relating to base ball, and his opinion was often sought by learners at the game. He was a genial companion, very liberal-hearted, esteemed highly by his intimate friends, and he will be missed by a large circle of acquaintances. Boston Herald October 3, 1878

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville withdraws; finances

Date Sunday, March 10, 1878
Text

It is pretty well known that the stockholders of the Club lost money last year, and it is also clear that some of the players were not paid what they were entitled to under their contracts. It is therefore probable that the real reason for not going on was, beside the difficulty of getting players, the unwillingness of the Directors and stockholders to enter into contracts with new men while old contracts were left unsettled. Moreover, the prospect of making the game pay for itself was very doubtful,--in fact, it was nearly impossible that the receipts could have met the expenses.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lowell Club finances

Date Tuesday, September 3, 1878
Text

At a meeting of the Lowell Base Ball Association this evening [9/2], it was voted to continue the organization during the present month, provided satisfactory arrangements can be made by the directors with the players. The present indebtedness of the association is $1752.80, and there is but $368.82 in the treasury, leaving a deficit of $1203.94. a committee of 20 was chosen to solicit subscriptions from stockholders and the public to pay the indebtedness.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mathews expelled for drunkenness

Date Sunday, July 14, 1878
Text

An Associated Pres dispatch from Worcester states that Mathews, the pitcher of the Worcesters, has been expelled on account of drunkenness. Chicago Tribune July 14, 1878

Last week it was noted that Mathews had been expelled from the Worcesters for cultivating a too close acquaintance with the cocktail. It now seems that he has been reinstated, though the account does not say how that can be done under the rules. Chicago Tribune July 21, 1878

Bobby Mathews takes the pledge

Matthews has been reinstated by the Worcesters, having taken the temperance pledge. Boston Herald July 14, 1878

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McCormick's delivery; an upward curve

Date Thursday, June 27, 1878
Text

[McCormick’s] pitching is not quite so swift as Nolan’s, but he exercises fully as much control over the ball as the “only,” getting more curves out of it than any pitcher in the country excepting bond, whose delivery is very much similar in many respects. The upward curve is particularly noticeable, and this is one of the most puzzling peculiarities that a batter can encounter. Indianapolis Journal June 27, 1878

a home run through the fence; ground rule double for balls over the fence

[Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis 6/26/1878] ...Quest made his send base-hit, Clapp immediately thereafter driving a ball through a hold in the right-field fence. Under the rules a ball knocked over the fence counts only for a two-base hit, but as this one went through the fence and not over it, Clapp ran clear around to home plate. The umpire, who had already made two close decisions in favor of the Blues, decided that this was taking an unfair advantage of a technicality, and sent Clapp back to second and Warner [presumably substitute running for Quest] to third, where they were left. Indianapolis Journal June 27, 1878

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mills living in Cincinnati

Date Monday, May 6, 1878
Text

Mr. A. J. [sic] Mills, one of last year's stockholders of the Chicago Club, and formerly President of the Washington Olympics, is now a resident of Cincinnati. He takes much interest in the Cincinnati Club, and will be on hand at the games this week, eager to see them worst the Chicagos.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Milwaukee grounds seized by the sheriff

Date Sunday, June 30, 1878
Text

[The Milwaukee Club] ball grounds were recently seized by the sheriff in order to satisfy an indebtedness, and which had to be liquidated by a number of friends and admirers of the game; so that the club might be enabled to go on for another while.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Milwaukee rescheduling home games for the road; season ticket holders unhappy

Date Saturday, August 24, 1878
Text

The season ticket holders of the Milwaukee Club are much dissatisfied with the course of Manager Rogers in playing in other cities the games that ought to be played here. The manager claims that the average attendance he receives from this city will not pay expenses, and he proposes to play his club where he can make the most money. This may be eminently satisfactory to Mr. Rogers, and it may be a fine financial system, but it is questionable whether it is the square thing for the stockholders and season-ticket holders. It must not be forgotten that these gentlemen went down in their pockets at the beginning of the season and helped the club out of an awkward pecuniary difficulty, for which they received many thanks. But thanks cost nothing, and the ticket holders want to know if the club is to continue violating its contract in this manner., quoting an unidentified Milwaukee correspondent

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

mocking Chadwick

Date Sunday, February 17, 1878
Text

Chad Henrywick has been doing very well so far this season, and if he can conquer some of his old stereotyped eccentricities he may yet bring the Clipper base-ball column up to its former pristine standard., quoting the Sunday Dispatch

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

multi-year contracts

Date Sunday, September 22, 1878
Text

Bond, Burdock, Morrill and Sutton hold over with the Bostons [to 1879] on unexpired contracts.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

NIMBYism in Chicago

Date Sunday, March 24, 1878
Text

A short time ago the City Government of Chicago granted a lease of what are known as the Lake Front grounds to the Chicago Base Ball Club, to be used by the latter as the playing ground the coming season. Immediately considerable opposition to the club taking possession began to manifest itself among certain real estate owners in the vicinity, a prominent religious denomination being among the number, and so strong did the opposition become that an injunction was freely talked of. Matters assumed such a shape that it did not seem possible to avoid an injunction beyond last Monday, but the managers of the club outwitted their opponents by going to the grounds on the day before (last Sunday), and taking formal possession. Of course, no injunction could be granted on Sunday; consequently all the real estate owners could do was to look on. A temporary fence was erected by the managers of the club, sufficient to establish lawful possession, and a watchman detailed to guard the premises. By Monday morning 20 men were on the ground engaged in grading, sodding, moving the club's property thereto, &c. The friends of the club are greatly pleased at this coup d'etat on the part of President Hurlburt [sic] and his associates, who have evidently learned the wisdom of the expression that “possession is nine points of the law.” The new grounds are much more favorably located for base ball purposes than the old locality on Twenty third street, being more centrally situation, and it is anticipated that the change will increase the exchequer of the visiting clubs a great many dollars.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

negotiating an exhibition game

Date Tuesday, July 2, 1878
Text

I have about concluded arrangements to play at Peoria, Ill, next Monday at $150.00; have asked $200–, will probably compromise at $150– and hotel expenses. We will leave here [Milwaukee] Sat. night for Chicago, stop at Tremont House on Sunday, and take sleeper Sunday night for Peoria. Should the latter fall through will start for St. L. Monday morning. [from a letter from Harry Wright, writing in Milwaukee, to Frederick Long, dated July 2, 1878]

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

nine balls for a walk, every pitch called

Date Sunday, December 8, 1878
Text

[reporting on the NL convention 12/5] Harry Wright's amendment was adopted requiring the umpire to call every unfair ball pitched, from one to nine, the ninth giving the batsman his base, instead of calling every three, and the third giving the batsman a force.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no harm, no error

Date Wednesday, May 22, 1878
Text

Two gentlemen who had a bet asked yesterday of the scorer: “When Hallinan muffed White's fly, but picked it up soon enough to force Geer out at second by throwing it to McClellan, did you score an error to Hallinan?” The answer was, “No: because it was not a play which lost anything to the side; if the ball was caught, there was Geer on first and one out; if it was not caught, there was Shite on first and one out. Unless the side lost something by the play—unless it lost at least one base—why should an error be charged?

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no warning for a swinging strike

Date Saturday, August 3, 1878
Text

[answers to correspondents] Can the umpire call three strikes in succession... Yes, if the third strike is called on an actual strike.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan accused of throwing a game

Date Saturday, July 6, 1878
Text

The charges of “crookedness” preferred by President Pettit against Nolan were investigated by the directors of the Indianapolis Club June 25. The specification was that the first game at Providence last week was operated through pool-rooms in Cincinnati and Chicago, but nothing was offered to prove the charge. Nolan was reinstated, with the statement that no proof could be found to substantiate the charges.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan expelled

Date Sunday, August 11, 1878
Text

It is likely that “The Only Nolan” will be expelled from the Indianapolis Club and from the League. He has been acting strangely of late, and Thursday night refused duty on the ground that his brother was dead in Paterson, N.J., and he wanted to go to the funeral. It appears from the best evidence at hand that no brother was dead or ill, and if that be proved, Nolan will be expelled for refusing duty on false pretenses. Chicago Tribune August 11, 1878

The only Nolan is doomed to expulsion. At the close of last Thursday's game the management allowed him leave of absence to attend the funeral of a brother named William. Nolan left for Patterson that night, and by accident the fact was disclosed that he had no brother of that name. A Catholic priest of Patterson, in answer to a telegram, says that Nolan has no brother William, that none of the family are nor have been sick, and none have died lately. Nolan will be expelled at once. Clapp says he things Nolan was afraid to pitch before the officers of the league, and invented an excuse to get away. Boston Herald August 13, 1878

[a letter from William Pettit to Edward Nolan dated August 13, 1878] By virtue of the authority vested in the Indianapolis Base Ball Association, by section 1 article 5 of the constitution of the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, said association, by and through me, its president, hereby declares your contract with it forfeited, and that you are dismissed and expelled from its service. This action is based on the fact that you have by misrepresentation, lying and absence from duty seriously prejudiced the interests of the international [sic: should be 'Indianapolis' as corrected in the following issue] club, contrary to the obligation assumed by you in your contract with it. Boston Herald August 14, 1878

Manager Pettit, in notifying Nolan of his expulsion, assigns as a reason therefore: “Misrepresentation, lying, and absence from duty, seriously prejudicing the interest of the Indianapolis club.” Indianapolis Journal August 19, 1878

“The Only Nolan” owes his downfall to the fascinations of a beautiful habitue of an avenue assignation house, who has ruined more men in this city than she can count on the jeweled fingers of both her hands. The “Only” is now showing his inamorata the sights of New York City. He will be carrying the hod in a few months. Indianapolis Journal September 7, 1878

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan in California using a pseudonym

Date Sunday, December 1, 1878
Text

The Cincinnati Enquirer is responsible for the following item of interest: Nolan is now reported to be in California, playing with the Athletics there under the name of Warren.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan suspended

Date Friday, June 21, 1878
Text

A meeting of the board of directors of the Indianapolis Base-ball club was held yesterday afternoon to consider a telegram from W. B. Pettit, president of the club, who is now at Providence, announcing the suspension of the “Only Nolan” and Nelson for crookedness. The exact character of the charge against Nolan was not made public, and cannot be ascertained, but a well defined suspicion exists that he was caught in some sort of a scheme to throw games. It is known to many that he was picked up in that sort of rascality last fall, and in the judgment of the elect he should never have been given his place again. He was only retained through the clemency of the directors, and his play all through the season thus far indicates that the confidence of the directory in his reformation was misplaced. Why the directory should have bounced Denny Mack and kept Nolan is one of the things that no fellow con find out. If they didn’t know it before, the Journal will hasten to inform them that the only way to make a club successful is to preserve its integrity. Let the faintest taint of suspicion go abroad that there is crookedness among the players, and the public at once loses its interest in that club. The hippodrome business is played out.

Nolan is to have his trial on the return of the club, and whether he is found guilty of this particular offense or not, the directors should change President Pettit’s order of suspension to one of expulsion. In any event he should never be permitted to pitch another game for the Indianapolis club. If he had been dropped while the season was in its infancy, as the Journal advised, the club would have had more “won games” to its credit.

The directors formally indorsed the action of President Pettit, and forwarded an order directing that Warner be put in permanently to fill the position of short stop. Whether Nelson was suspended for crookedness, or simply on account of inefficiency, can not be learned. Indianapolis Journal June 21, 1878

[dateline Providence 6/20/1878] The “only Nolan” has been suspended for alleged crookedness. His playing the last Boston game and in yesterday's contest was open to severe criticism. Yesterday afternoon Manager Petit received a message from home stating that in the pool room there it was perfectly understood that Providence was to win the game. Taking that into consideration Petit called the team together last night, and had a talk with them. The result was that the “only” was suspended for one week without pay. Mr. Petit says “I do this in justice to the base ball patrons, the fraternity, and to Mr. Nolan. If the charges are not sustained, he will be reinstated; if they are proven he will be dismissed at once.” Nolan today did not appear to be much concerned, and claimed that he was only suspended because of the great number of errors charged to him in yesterday's game. None of the team have much to say of the movement, and are quite sullen. Flint today had to be taken from behind the bat and placed in the field, and Clapp substituted. … From what is said tonight, Nolans' career as a league player is very limited for the future. Boston Herald June 21, 1878

[an interview of President Pettit] Pettit says, in relation to his suspension, that upon the starting for Providence, where the Cincinnatis had been having a picnic, he requested Nolan to do his level best. The game opened in good condition, and neither side scored for several innings. Then two of the Providence Club reached bases, with Wheeler at the bat, who couldn't hit a barn-door. The first two balls pitched were strikes, then two bad balls were pitched, after which one good one, making two strikes, two balls, and one fair ball. Nolan then pitched one along the ground, and the second high in the air, Flint having difficulty in stopping either, while the third he threw to one side so far that Flint could not have reached it with a ten-foot pole, and this sort of work was kept up until the game was past salvation. Then he buckled down, and the heaviest hitters struck out. Upon being suspended Nolan kicked, and protested he had never thrown a game in his life. Further, he couldn't do anything but play ball, and he didn't want to lose his character. Pettit answered that he was either crooked or he couldn't play ball like he did last year, and the he would have to stand an investigation. If he was acquitted his character would be improved. The feeling around town is against Nolan, and even if he is reinstated it is pretty certain that McCormack will pitch in the games to be played this week. [An editorial note follows averring that Wheeler is in fact a good hitter.] Cincinnati Enquirer June 24, 1878

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan's temper

Date Saturday, May 11, 1878
Text

[Milwaukee vs. Indianapolis 5/10/1878] Nolan’s pitching yesterday afternoon was something after his old style. He is looking up, and if he can only be induced to keep his temper, may make a man of himself. Indianapolis Journal May 11, 1878

pitchers throwing at batters

There must be some rule to prevent the injury and intimidation of batsmen by pitchers. Two years in succession the League has tried to draw such a rule, and abandoned it because the could not agree on a penalty. It is a great evil, and must be stopped; it gives the unscrupulous pitchers a great advantage over the fair-minded ones, and places too much power in their hands. Bond is the worst of the intimidating pitchers, and Nolan is little better. In the last two weeks' play of the Chicagos they have been hit by the ball from the pitcher and temporarily disabled eleven times. Per contra, Larkin has hit only one of his opponents. Now it cannot be suffered to be in fairness a method of winning games to disable and discourage the batters of either side, and every club is interested in making a law which shall stop the evil. How shall a penalty be inflicted? Chicago Tribune May 12, 1878

It is claimed for Nolan by his admirers that he has more control of the ball than any other pitcher. Then it must be that he bruises up his opponents on purpose. Th plan of having a stout man with an available club to go out and put lump on him would work well with Nolan. Why should he be allowed to do what no other pitcher would do? It is a brutal and ungentlemanly trick to would a player with the ball. Chicago Tribune May 15, 1878

[Indianapolis vs. Chicago 5/20/1878] Nolan hit only two men yesterday, but one of the attacks was a serious and dangerous one. He hit Cassidy on the head, temporarily disabling him. Two of the men in the Chicagos made little speeches to him about what would happen if he bruised them. They were not hit. Chicago Tribune May 21, 1878

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

opposition to requiring every pitch be called a ball or a strike

Date Sunday, December 1, 1878
Text

...”the every ball a strike or ball” should not be engrafted on the rules. The striker should have more chance, for every lover of the game wants to see big batting., quoting the Providence Dispatch

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

paying for a release

Date Thursday, July 4, 1878
Text

The managers of the League Providence Club offered Mr. Bancroft, manager of the New-Bedford Club, $5600 to give Bradley, his pitcher, a release. The offer was declined.

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pike released

Date Thursday, July 11, 1878
Text

Pike was employed by the Cincinnati Club to obey orders on the ball field. McVey was employed to give these orders. Then, if Pike doesn't obey orders, he must not expect leniency, and it matters not whether the orders were right or wrong. A man engages to work under a foreman—can he expect to run counter to the foreman's will and keep his employment? Pike is a good ball-player, a gentleman and a “good fellow,” as all acquainted with him know. But he made a mistake in being too hasty, and then being too proud to acknowledge it before it became too late.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitcher hitting batters

Date Friday, July 5, 1878
Text

[Providence vs. Chicago 7/4/1878] If it be not conceded that Wheeler is a poor pitcher, without command of the ball, then he is open to the same strictures that have been made on Nolan for hitting men. Yesterday he hit Cassidy, McClellen, Larkin, and others in a painful manner. There was no excuse that the ball was wet.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching too dominant

Date Sunday, December 15, 1878
Text

Even Harry Wright admits that the new League rule, limiting the pitcher to a space six feet by four, will somewhat impair Bond's efficiency. On general principles, a little more of the same kind of legislation would do no harm. Pitchers have become disgustingly efficient during the past five years, and the general public would not object to a little of the slugging style of batting in vogue in the earlier days of the game. As long as the Chicago Club plays on the grounds now used by it, however, it cannot be expected to advocate the use of a lively balls, as, in case of its adoption, more fish-net fence would have to be constructed.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

player discontent with the League contract

Date Sunday, September 15, 1878
Text

[from the Indianapolis correspondent] There is strong and general opposition among the Indianapolis and other players to signing the present form of contract adopted by the league, and many assert their preference to playing in an international club rather than submit to the present arrangement. The main objections to the present contracts are the right reserved to lay players off if they fail to play a strong game, and also the right of the management of any club to deduct salary during the sickness of a player, or any wound or injury he may receive which would incapacitate him from duty.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

player salaries

Date Saturday, July 27, 1878
Text

[in answer to a query] Of the Cincinnatis, one man gets $2,350, another $2,000, two get $1,500 each, and the rest from $1,350 to $1,000 each, aggregating about $16,000.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players expelled by other organizations

Date Saturday, March 2, 1878
Text

[reporting on the IA convention] [the constitution discussed:] ...discussed the clause related to the employment of players who had been expelled by other associations. The subject was an interesting one, and the question was voted upon three different times before the Association decided that players expelled from any organization should not be employed by the clubs of this Association under a penalty of forfeiture of membership. New York Clipper March 2, 1878

This suicidal measure was fathered by the delegates from Auburn, Troy and Springfield, who through it sought to make effective their negotiations with Hall, Devlin and Craver, the black sheep of the Louisville flock. It gained an adoption, during the absence of numerous members, by a vote of 8 to 6. Later in the day some of the wiser delegates discovered the mistake and sought to rectify it. Mr. Townsend of Syracuse led the good fight, but failed in three votes to get the requisite two-thirds majority necessary to secure a reconsideration. The debate waxed warm, and a disruption of the convention was imminent. The Stars, Lowells, Buffalos, Rochester and Tecumsehs threatened to withdraw unless an amendment was passed restoring the reading of the old article prohibiting the employment of any crooked player. By sheer strategy such an amendment was adopted and the premium placed on dishonest play removed. New York Clipper March 9, 1878, quoting the Syracuse Courier.

George Wright buys the patent for the catcher’s mask

George Wright induced Wm. Thayer to patent his catcher’s mask, and then bought the exclusive right to make it. New York Clipper March 2, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

policies on rain checks

Date Thursday, August 8, 1878
Text

Each club makes its own rules in this respect [to rain checks]. In Chicago and other places the rule is that after a person has passed through the gate neither money nor tickets shall be refunded under any circumstances. On the Boston grounds, however, the policy is a more liberal one, the rule being that where rain prevents play from commencing—as in the case of last Tuesday—tickets (no money) shall be refunded, but, where play has commenced, nothing shall be refunded. This has been the rule upon the Boston grounds for years, but fortunately its enforcement has been called for so seldom that undoubtedly it had passed out of the minds of the general base ball public. Then look at the equity of the thing. Every visiting club that presents its players in readiness to play a game is entitled to its share of the proceeds, viz.: 15 cents for every person that enters the grounds, whether the game is played or not. On Tuesday upwards of 1200 people, in round nu8mbers, were present. Before play commenced the rain descended in torrents, as will be remembered, and, in accordance with the rule, the tickets were given back. The Chicago club were entitled to $180, but President Hurlbut [sic] of that club very generously waived his rights in the ratter. Yesterday 1800 people were present, and of that number 800 entered on the tickets that were returned to them the day before. The Chicago very properly demanded their share of the receipts, viz., $240. Supposing they had demanded and received their p4roportion the day before also, that would have been 30 cents on each returned ticket. Then, supposing that each of the 1600 people had received their ticket back yesterday and 1200 of them go in on the strength of it to the game that will probably be played this afternoon, there would have been another percentage due the visiting club, making 45 cents in all, on a large majority of the tickets, leaving five cents to the Bostons as their proportion. The Chicagos, however, waived their right on Tuesday, but it would have made the sum of 30 cents to be paid them on each ticket returned yesterday and used any day while they are here. The clubs all have to run risks as well as the spectators. When the hour arrives for opening a championship game, though the day be cloudy, and five, ten or 50 people are present, the clubs are obliged to play. When the work of the season is summed up, it will be seen that the receipts of a good many games have not paid the expenses of the same, because the weather was unpropitious and the attendance small. Whey, in equal fairness, should they not adopt such rules as would redeem in part this financial loss, and the loss be borne by the public, whom the clubs endeavor to please and entertain?

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

politicking at the IA convention

Date Sunday, March 3, 1878
Text

[from a letter to the editor by an unidentified delegate at the IA convention] ...Underhill, of Auburn, N.Y., had in his pocket conditional contracts with Devlin and hall which were to take effect in a certain contingency. The most active and influential men in the Convention were the Tecumseh Club's delegate and Underhill. The latter holds a position in the State Prison at Auburn, and has had a good political and war meeting training. From the word “Play” he was busy lobbying and log-rolling for his pet scheme. How nearly successful he was you can see from the fact that three times the majority voted squarely to ignore the disciplining of those men by the League, and the measure was only finally defeated by some counter log-rolling and by the absence (accidental?) of a delegate who voted for the measure against his convictions, because he had written instructions to do so. They were a fine lot. I never was in such a body before, and I never will be again.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposals to increase offense

Date Sunday, February 17, 1878
Text

[a long article demonstrating that batting has been going down from year to year] The duty of the League is plain—to add some provision to the rules which shall give the batting more chance as compared with the fielding. There are plenty of plans, and all open to some objection. One of the easiest ways to neutralize the undue effect of the curve pitching would be to wipe out the batman's box and let him go where he chose sidewise. Another way would be to put the pitcher back a little.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposals to increase offense; requiring every pitch be called a ball or a strike

Date Sunday, December 1, 1878
Text

[discussing proposed rule changes] People have become tired of confining their pleasure at a baseball match to steady, unchangeable moiton of the eyes to first the pitcher and then the catcher. To increase the facilities for good batting will, then, be an important work before the League at its next meeting, and, in order to do this, several plans have been suggested. First, to adopt the proposed new rule requiring each ball pitched to be either struck at, a “called ball,” or a “called strike,” and to do away with the foul bound rule, thus requiring all batted balls to be caught on the fly to insure an out.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed rule changes to increase offense; pitching delivery rule; flat bats

Date Sunday, November 24, 1878
Text

It has been plainly evident the past two years that one cause of the decrease in interest in the sport has been the poor batting. Base ball has been brought down to such a science that but few chances are offered for a good display of batting, and nothing so arouses the enthusiasm of an audience as to see the ball flying to the out-fielders. The player, regardless of the side he represents, is always sure to win a round of applause whenever he makes one of these fortunate strikes. People have become tired of confining their pleasure at a base ball match to steady, unchangeable motion of the eyes to first the pitcher and then the catcher. To increase the facilities for good batting will, then, be an important feature of the work before the league at its next meeting, and, in order to do this, several plans have been suggested. First, to adopt the proposed new rule requiring each ball pitched to be either struck at, a “called ball,” or “called strike,” and to do away with the foul bound rule, thus requiring all batted balls to be caught on the fly to insure an out. One advantage of this proposed change is that it has won favor wherever it has been tried. Whether, in the long run, it will perform the desired result is only a matter of conjecture at present. One thing is certain, viz., that more balls will be struck at and more errors committed, for it is a well-known rule that, the freer the batting is, the more chances for errors are given and more committed. Second, to legalize the present practice of pitching. The past season has seen the rule regarding pitching most flagrantly vio9lated without protest from player or umpire. Pitcher after pitcher has swung the hand above the waist, almost, in fact, even with his shoulder, and not a word said against it. It is proposed simply to legalize what has become a practice, for of what consequence is it to have a rule remain a dead letter? It is claimed that the present practice of pitching, while it affords a pitcher greater opportunities to deceive the batsman than the legal way, is also an assistance to the batsman. Third, to omit the word “round” from the rule describing the bat to be used. This would allow a player to use any shaped bat that he pleased, provided it was not more than two and a half inches in thickness. This is a comparatively new idea, but it has many warm advocates, who certainly present strong arguments in its favor. Boston Herald November 24, 1878

[reporting on the NL convention] It was reasonable to expect that some steps would be taken to improve the batting, but beyond two or three measures, which, at the most, will assist the batsman only in a slight degree, nothing of the kind was done. Boston Herald December 8, 1878

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proto-fielder's choice and earned runs

Date Saturday, September 14, 1878
Text

[from answers to correspondents] 1. A man on first base; the striker bats a ball to short-stop, who fields it to second base, thereby putting the man out who is running from first base, and the striker gets his first. Is that a base-hit? 2. Suppose this man gets his first, and the batter following him makes a three-base hit and drives the man on first home. Is that an earned run? ... 1. No. 2. It is not an earned run, because no base-hit was made previously.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Providence admitted to the NL

Date Monday, February 18, 1878
Text

The Providence Nine, recently admitted [to the League], will make a good showing during the season.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporter for the Globe-Democrat

Date Sunday, January 13, 1878
Text

The Globe-Democrat, which has put its base-ball conscience into the charge of Waite, announces...

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

restrictions on games with outside club; too many championship games

Date Saturday, January 5, 1878
Text

There is a general complaint by the press of League club cities in regard to the exacting character of the regulations adopted at the recent convention governing the intercourse of League clubs in 1878 with non-League teams. The Boston Herald makes out quite a gloomy picture for the coming season. It says, as a result of League legislation, that “the annual matches between the Bostons and Harvard University nine, which have been witnessed with so much pleasure, cannot occur in Boston the coming year. The skill of the rival Lowells and the plucky Manchesters cannot be seen in Boston; for on no consideration will they be allowed to play here. In a word, all games in League cities will be between League clubs. In non-League cities there will be games between non-League clubs, the same as last year, except that the matches will be rather of a local than an international character.” While it was certainly desirable to reduce the number of League contests for 1878–too many having been played in 1877–it was a great mistake to enact the arbitrary regulations they have done in reference to playing non-League clubs. Where would the League teams of 1877 have been, in a pecuniary point of view, but for their remunerative contests with the non-League clubs? As for the $100 guaranty and the $50 forfeit rule, that will either have to be repealed or no games will be played. The result of the League legislation in this respect has given an admirable opportunity to the advocates and friends of the International Association to place that organization on a permanent basis as the leading professional association in the county.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reusing old turnstiles

Date Monday, April 29, 1878
Text

Turnstiles have been placed at both of the Delaware and Alabama street entrances. They are the old ones used by the St. Louis club last year. Indianapolis News April 29, 1878

Deacon White wears a mask

“Mercy!” screamed a lady in the Grand Stand Saturday, as Jim White put on his wire mask, “Mercy on me; they've got him muzzled!” Jim did look fierce. Cincinnati Enquirer April 29, 1878

“Why,” said President Hulbert at the Queen City Club Sunday night--”why, we'll crush that Club of yours; you haven't any pitcher or catcher.”

“But,” Mr. Hulbert, “didn't White catch for you in 1878” asked one gentleman.

“Yes; but he wasn't afraid to do it then. Do you call that man in a mask a catcher?” Cincinnati Enquirer May 8, 1878

[from a card from Hulbert:] It is true that if I had supposed any of the jokes passed between myself and any of the gentlemen privately entertaining myself and party would appear in print, I would have been more guarded, even in the friendly badinage incident to such occasions. Cincinnati Enquirer May 9, 1878

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rules changes; pitchers box; modern batting order

Date Sunday, December 8, 1878
Text

[reporting on the NL convention] Instead of every third bad ball pitched being called, every bad ball will be called in one two three order till nine is reached, when the batsman will take his base. In no other respect is the matter of calling balls and strikes changed. The foul-bound “out” is abolished, rendering all fouls to be caught on the fly to insure an “out.” While it by means [sic: should be “by no means”] follows that a batsman will make a safe hit the next time he strikes, instead of going out on a foul, as he does at present, yet it gives him one more chance to make a hit, and is, therefore, a slight step in aid of improved batting. The altering of the pitcher's position, from six feet square to six by four, may possibly aid the batsman, inasmuch as some pitcher will be disabled from using so much strategy in their delivery. This, however, remains to be tried, and opinions differ as to the effect. The striking order was changed so that, after the first innings, the man at the bat shall be the one who follows the last batter in the preceding innings, instead of following the last man out as at present. This is done to equalize the batting, and to prevent the audience from becoming confused in this respect, as was often the case under the old rule.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of crooked play in the Tecumsehs

Date Monday, July 15, 1878
Text

[dateline London, Ont., July 14] At a meeting of the Tecumseh Club last night, the rumors against the integrity of the players were entirely dispelled. Goldsmith's failure was shown to have resulted from physical weakness. The affairs of the club are in good condition, and it was unanimously resolved to continue, without change of players or any alteration in the management.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

salary levels

Date Friday, November 29, 1878
Text

The Cincinnati Club will play three of its men $3,250 each next year. This club pays higher salaries than any other club in the country. The team of last year was supported on a paying basis, and, it is claimed, made $3,500 over all expenses. The managers plan to have the strongest team in 1879 that money can get together. New York Tribune November 29, 1878

The joint share of White, Barnes and McVey in the Cincinnati club's salary fund for 1879 is $6,250. New York Tribune March 13, 1979

a proposal for more strikes

There is a great cry for livelier batting games out West, and the only way to bring about a change of the kind is to give the striker more latitude than he now has. Instead of obliging him to strike at every fair ball, give him the latitude of every second ball–then you will see more base-hitting, despite the swift and curved-line pitching. New York Clipper November 23, 1878

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a dropped third strike 2

Date Monday, May 6, 1878
Text

We wrote the Secretary Nick Young, of the League, and asked him...: When a batter strikes three times at a ball, and the catcher fails to hold it on the last strike, but fields the batter out at first base, is it not a strike out? … Mr. Young replies as follows: “...I should say 'Yes,' for the reason that it was not through any fault or good play of the batter that he was not put out by the catcher; but the latter player, having missed the third strike, took advantage of his only remaining opportunity to redeem the error by fielding the player out at first base. There are two sides to this question, and I am inclined to think that a strong argument could be made in favor of the other side, but the above expresses my private opinion of the case.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring an error on an out

Date Saturday, June 8, 1878
Text

[answers to correspondents] If a man on third base fails to stop a knocked ball, but the short-stop runs behind him and stops it, throwing to first in time to get the runner out, is the third-baseman marked an error on the score-book? ... It depends on the character of the hit. He might be liable to be so charged, and he might not.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring an error on the dropped third strike

Date Saturday, August 24, 1878
Text

[from answers to correspondents] A bets that the first muff should not be counted as an error for the catcher, on the ground that he saved himself by putting the batsman out before any base was made or any advantage accrued to the opposing nine in consequence of his muff. Who wins? ... It was a chance offered for an out, and it was not accepted. The second chance offered is on a new play, and therefore the error counts. New York Clipper August 24, 1878

Nolan expelled; the arbitrariness of expulsion

The expulsion of Nolan by the Indianapolis Club last week calls attention to the irregularity of the penalties inflicted by the League Association rules for violation of its laws. If a player be guilty of the grossest act of rascality known to ball-playing–such as willfully selling a game out and out–he is very properly expelled, and prevented from being employed by any reputable professional club; but, if he be guilty simply of some act of insubordination, the penalty of expulsion is applied as in the case of the dishonest player. This is not justice. Here is the case of Nolan, for instance. ... Nolan’s offence, which elicited his expulsion, was his leaving the club in the lurch at Providence under a false plea. This may have deserved dismissal, with forfeit of salary, but it did not merit the extreme penalty of expulsion. There ought to be a distinction made, classifying the penalties according to the offense made, leaving expulsion, with its consequence of being thrown of professional employment, as the severest penalty known to the Association laws, and only to be applied in the case of actual dishonesty. New York Clipper August 24, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring neither an error nor a base hit

Date Saturday, September 28, 1878
Text

[from answers to correspondents] A ground ball is struck to the first-baseman, who stoops to take it; but the ball, in rolling, when a few inches in front of his hands, strikes a small stone and bounds over his shoulder without striking his hands or any part of him. Is it an error or a base hit? ... Not an error, and certainly not a base-hit–an exceptional case.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring total bases

Date Sunday, February 10, 1878
Text

At the beginning of 1877 the club and newspaper scorers kept an additional item of play called total bases. This before long fell into disfavor with the papers, because in all telegraphic dispatches it necessitated additional expense. The papers therefore dropped it before the season was half gone, but the official scorer kept it up with regularity until the last game was played. … Following are the figures, arranged in order of merit, as shown by dividing the total bases by the times at bat: …

It will be remembered that the intention of the total-base system was to give credit for helping other players along and to award a premium for earnest base-running and taking advantage of the errors of the other side. Let us see how this worked: In the first place it is noticeable that all the Boston players are away up top; that is, that nine of them are among the first twenty-one, though as far as batting alone is concerned, the same nine are not so close to the top by any means. It is well known that it is Harry Wright's eleventh commandment that a man must run on every hit, and it seems as if the wisdom of his course were vindicated by this showing. … it is quite proper to recommend all the players to compare the batting averages with the total base record and see if the latter does not after all indicate who the sharp and earnest base-runners are. It may be that there is something in the total-base plan, and that it may not have been wise to abandon it before it was tried.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Chicago

Date Sunday, April 7, 1878
Text

The sale of season seats will begin Tuesday morning at 10 o'clock, at President Hulbert's office, Room 4 No. 166 Randolph street. The terms will be $12 for each seats in the grand stand, and for this the purchaser will get a book of coupons, just as last season. The economy of a season seat is apparent, because it gives the purchaser a 75 cent seat for about 40 cents. The sale is likely to be very large on account of the accessibility and splendid arrangements of the ground.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Cincinnati

Date Wednesday, April 17, 1878
Text

The season tickets of the Cincinnati Club have been issued, and can be obtained at Mose Kramer's cigar-store. They are issued in “book” form of twenty coupons each, and sell for $10 each. The buyer will be entitled to one admission to the Grand Stand for each coupon. The gate-keeper is compelled by the terms of the ticket printed on the back of the “book” to himself detach the coupon and the owner can admit as many into the grounds as he may desire to have coupons detached; but only one of all will be admitted to the Grand Stand free, which will be done by virtue of the book itself. So, if a gentleman takes a lady with him two coupons will admit him and her to the grounds and the book will admit him to the Grand Stand, but he must pay twenty-five cents extra for the lady's seat in the Grand Stand unless he has two books.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Indianapolis

Date Thursday, April 4, 1878
Text

Season tickets to the Indianapolis ball grounds can be procured for $15. These will admit holders at the gate; season tickets, with grand-stand coupons, will be $25. Indianapolis Journal April 4, 1878

lecturing the players

All the players were gotten together, last night, and subjected to a fatherly talking to by the directors. This was kind of a parting shot, as henceforth the president, Mr. Pettit, it to do all the talking. Indianapolis Journal April 5, 1878

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Providence

Date Sunday, March 31, 1878
Text

The sale of season tickets for the Providence Club commenced on March 22, a large number having been disposed of on that day. They are sold at $15 for gentlemen and $10 for ladies.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

selecting an umpire from the crowd

Date Wednesday, July 3, 1878
Text

[Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 7/2/1878] The Umpire's name is Harry Deane. He now lives in Indianapolis, though formerly, we believe, he lived in Cincinnati, much as it is to be regretted. He was brought down from Indianapolis by Clapp and his men, with the hope that Walsh could not come up from Louisville. That hope was verified, and under the League rules the visitors had a right to select an umpire from the crowd. Deane was there for that purpose, and he was put in to umpire.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sheriff's sale of the Athletic Club property

Date Sunday, February 3, 1878
Text

The Athletic Club has been closed out by the Sheriff, its fences and pavilions bringing $52, and their ground lease $5. Peace be to its debts—for it left more debts than ashes. It was once an honorable association, governed by gentlemen. When it came to be a swindling scheme which kept no faith, it deserved to die.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

slides

Date Wednesday, June 26, 1878
Text

[Pittsfield vs. Utica 6/25/1878] Latham, one of the Uticas, stole second, sliding eight feet and tearing his stocking and the skin from his leg. This he followed by stealing third, performing another famous slide, and this time carrying away the ampler portion of the garment that marks the dividing line between the sexes. The ball was thrown over third and Latham ran home with the vest ventilated uniform ever seen on the diamond.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sodding the infield, seeding the outfield

Date Sunday, March 24, 1878
Text

[describing the new Lakefront grounds] The grading is being done with loam and a mixture of street-dirt, the latter giving enough manure to the composition to insure the rapid growth of the grass which will be sown in the outfield. The diamond and a little space outside it will be covered with sod brought from outside the city.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

some of the IA clubs cut out from the herd

Date Sunday, April 7, 1878
Text

[reporting on the NL 4/1 – 4/2/1878] As was expected and previously announced, there was quite a delegation of officers of outside clubs present to confer with the League about games. It was not to have been expected that they would have been such infinite fools as to have taken part in the crusade which some of the papers had been trying to carry on against the League; but it was agreeable to find that they were not even balky or stubborn. They wanted League games, and were ready to do what was fair to get them. In the same way, the League was willing to accommodate the strong, honorable, and deserving clubs, while it had no wish nor intention to affiliate with the riff-raff, which, to put the matter plainly, forms more than a majority of the International Association. Thus believing, it was agreed in the League meeting to treat only with the five best Clubs outside, viz.: London, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, and Lowell. To this list the Springfields were afterwards added, at the request of the Eastern delegates, making six clubs in all. Delegates from three of these six were present, and with them certain other representatives of outside clubs with whom the League did not care to come to any agreement. Messrs. Townsend, of Syracuse, Whitney, of Rochester, and Baker, of Buffalo, representing three of the best clubs outside the League, were invited to talk over the matters in dispute, and an earnest but agreeable conference was had. The result arrived at was put in form of the following document [agreeing on gate split and games at NL parks only after 9/14, with no guarantee]. … The International Association was composed of some strength and much weakness. The latter element hoped to live off the former and to be carried along by it; but now that the strong clubs have made their own bargain, the other fellow must fuss along as they best can.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding's Journal

Date Sunday, March 31, 1878
Text

Messrs. A. G. Spalding & Bro. of this city have just issued the spring number of their Journal of American Sports. It is a very attractive-looking paper, about the size of The Tribune, and contains illustrations and interesting articles on baseball matters, archery, lawn tennis, croquet, fishing, and other popular out-door sports, together with a comprehensive catalogue and price-list of all the necessary implements. It is one of the most complete publications of its kind ever issued in this country, and reflects credit on the enterprising base-ball and sporting goods house. Sample copies furnished free upon application to the publishers, 118 Randolph street.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spectators crowding the field

Date Friday, July 5, 1878
Text

[Providence vs. Chicago 7/4/1878] ...an attendance of about 8,000... The crowd was no better and no worse than others assembled on previous holidays. Like all other crowds, it would not stay where it was put, and took great delight in being where it had no sort of business to be, in crowding around the catcher and into short left-field. There was a sort of a field rule about balls in the crowd, but it was rather elastic, it seemed, and gave first or second base on substantially the same kind of hits.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spectators cutting across the field early to the exit

Date Tuesday, May 7, 1878
Text

The management should adopt some effective measures to prevent the audience from running across the field during the ninth inning. Yesterday two or three hundred spectators made a break for the gate at the conclusion of the first half of the ninth inning, rushing across the grounds and delaying the game several minutes. It is an annoying and undignified habit that should be discouraged and broken up. There is no killing need of every fellow getting out of the gate first.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Star Club finances

Date Sunday, January 20, 1878
Text

The Star Base-Ball Association of Syracuse held its annual meting last Monday, and decided to go on this year. Their finances showed a hole in the box of about $700.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Stars of Syracuse finances

Date Sunday, September 15, 1878
Text

On Wednesday evening last, the stockholders of the Star Club assembled at the Empire House to consider the question of sustaining a ball club in this city. Much to the surprise of many, it was found that the Star Club has thus far paid expenses, and that the prospect for a surplus in the treasury at the end of the season is very good., quoting the Syracuse Times

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stealing balls hit over the fence

Date Wednesday, May 15, 1878
Text

The small boy who steals balls was abroad yesterday, and got away with three which were hit over the fence.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

substitute player not in uniform

Date Friday, May 3, 1878
Text

The tenth man should be held ready in uniform to take the place of a disabled player at a moment's notice. Then there would be no unpleasant delay.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suit against the St. Louis stockholders

Date Sunday, May 19, 1878
Text

Mr. Charles H. Turner, Treasurer of the St. Louis Base-Ball Club, on behalf of the Directors, sued a large number of the members to compel them to pay up the balances due on their subscriptions, and yesterday executions were ordered to issue against the defendants for sums varying from $12 to $90. Chicago Tribune May 19, 1878 quoting the St.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Sunday games in Cincinnati

Date Saturday, February 23, 1878
Text

The Mohawk Brown Stockings, who have rented the Cincinnati Grounds for Sunday games, are getting ready for business...

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

switching playing sites for a better crowd

Date Thursday, July 18, 1878
Text

The Indianapolis Club, which removed to St. Louis last week, left there on Saturday for their old headquarters in Indianapolis, as the change was not a successful one. They will play the Providence Club in Indianapolis today and Saturday, and will probably remove to Pittsburgh, Penn., next week. New York Tribune July 18, 1878

[Milwaukee vs. Chicago 7/17/1878] The last game of the Milwaukee-Chicago series was played here [Chicago] yesterday, by consent of the management of the Grays. It was unquestionably better for them in the way of an audience. Chicago Tribune July 19, 1878

About the time that Mr. Pettit was arranging to play some of his games in St. Louis, McKelvey, a former Pittsburg player, was sent by some of the Indianapolis people (but without Mr. Pettit's knowledge) to Pittsburg, and on his return reported that the Pittsubrg people would put the grounds in order, and pay for police and bill-posting for 10 per cent of the gross receipts. Some time afterward, Mr. Pettit wrote to Mr. McKnight, of Pittsburg, saying that it was likely that he might play some of the Indianapolis games in Pittsburg, and asking if 5 per cent of the receipts would not be enough for use of the ground, etc. He added that it was possible that the games with the Chicagos might be played there if matters could be arranged to suit. Mr. McKnight wrote back insisting on the 10 per cent deduction. Mr. Pettit replied to the effect that he doubted about getting the Chicagos to play in Pittsburg, as Mr. Hulbert was opposed to it, but that he would see him Monday evening, and telegraph his conclusions Tuesday. If Mr. McKnight received no dispatch Tuesday, he was to know that the games with Chicago would not be played in Pittsburg. At the same time he hoped to play the Providence games there the week beginning Aug. 18. Chicago Tribune July 26, 1878

The Indianapolis Club has arranged with the Chicagos to play their last three games on the Chicago grounds in preference to returning to Indianapolis for that purpose. The course is a wise one for the visitors, because they are sure to have a larger attendance here than at home. Chicago Tribune July 28, 1878

W. B. Pettit, manager of the I.B.B.C., writes the Journal to contradict in toto the stories about the proposed transfer of the Indianapolis club to Pittsburg. The only thing the directory proposed, or authorized anyone on its behalf, to propose, was to learn upon what terms the Pittsburg grounds could be obtained to play a portion of the games upon. The club is still an Indianapolis institution, is owned and controlled here, and will not be transferred to any other city. Indianapolis Journal July 29, 1878

It is announced that the six games remaining to be played between Cincinnati and Milwaukee will all be played in Cincinnati, beginning next Saturday, and continuing the following week, till all are done with. Chicago Tribune August 4, 1878

The Blues will play three games with the Providence club at Pittsburg, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week, closing the series. Indianapolis Journal August 19, 1878

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tagging a runner out and dropping the ball-field

Date Sunday, January 27, 1878
Text

[reviewing the new rules] Last season considerable disputing was occasioned by the indefinite wording of the rule governing the action of the base player in touching a base runner when off the base, it being a matter of doubt whether the runner was out or not out when the ball was knocked out of the base player's hands in the collision which so frequently ensued in the playing of the point in question. … According to the amended rul no base runner can be put out by being touched by a base player or fielder while off his base, except the latter retain full possession of the ball after touching the runner. If, in the collision, the ball be knocked out of the fielder's hand, the base runner escapes being put out. The objection to this amendment is that it offers a premium to base runners to collide with base players purposely to prevent their holding the ball.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Allegheny Club collapses; guarantee system

Date Tuesday, June 11, 1878
Text

The Allegheny Club, of Pittsburg, have collapsed and disbanded, which was to have been expected from the nature of things. It was a co-operative concern with no backing, and has been the most unsuccessful of all the Internationals. To understand the reason why the Club should burst now, it is only necessary to know the International guarantee scheme. It is that the home club shall pay the visitors at least $75 per game out of the gate money, or, if there be not so much gate money, then the home club must make it up out of its treasury. The Alleghenys went on a trip through New York and New England, getting their $75 per game right along, and living off it. As soon as they got on their own grounds they had to pay guarantees. This they couldn't do, and so they collapsed. Judging from reports, International audiences in many cities don't reach $75 very often. Chicago Tribune June 11, 1878

The Alleghanies were organized by a few parties, headed by one Fullwood, an irresponsible youngster of Pittsburg, and, starting from home with but eight men, picked up one here and one there, played more than twenty games with International clubs, receiving each game $75, or an amount aggregating $1,600, out of which he paid for salaries and traveling expenses about $600. on Fullwood's return home he declared the Alleghanies to be disbanded, thus dishonorably failing to meet his engagements with the clubs that paid him guarantees, and netting a cool $1,000. we think that the International clubs should make an example of this man. Chicago Tribune June 23, 1878, quoting the New York Sunday Mercury

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Alleghenys manipulate the guarantee system

Date Saturday, June 15, 1878
Text

The latest failure reported is that of the Allegheny. The management of this club appears to have played a nice little game. Entering for the championship, they take the club on a tour, receive the $75 guarantee at each place, and then, on their return home after a few games, disband, leaving the visiting clubs who expect their $75 in return to whistle for the money.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Amateur Association dissolves

Date Saturday, March 30, 1878
Text

[from a letter by John G. H. Myers, president] At the adjourned meeting of the National Association of Amateur Baseball players, held this day [3/20/78], it was on motion dissolved.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Boston Club rooms

Date Sunday, March 24, 1878
Text

The management of the Boston Club has just completed the furnishing of three rooms at No. 786 Washington street, to be used as the headquarters of that organization. They are located up one flight of stairs, and are immediately over George Wright's base ball emporium. The apartment facing the street is to be used as the parlor and reading room, and here files of all the leading sporting papers will be found. In the rear of this apartment is the smoking and card room, and, leading from the parlor, is a smaller room for the use of the directors and stockholders at their meetings. The rooms are plainly but neatly and substantially furnished. All members of visiting clubs, and other players who happen to be in the city, are cordially invited to call at the headquarters, and ever facility will be afforded to render their stay pleasant.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Chicago catcher using a mask, gloves

Date Friday, August 30, 1878
Text

[Boston vs. Chicago 8/29/1878] Leonard got to first on an error of Start's and to second on another passed ball, when the crowd lost patience and called in uproarious tones, “Harbrdge! Harbidge!!” Ferguson immediately removed his mask and beckoned Harbidge in from the field. The old catcher quietly donned the gloves, and the very first ball that Larkin sent in let it pass him, while Leonard slid up to third.

Source Chicago Inter Ocean
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the IA Judiciary Committee reinstates Craver

Date Sunday, July 7, 1878
Text

The International Association Judiciary Committee had a hearing in the case of Wm. H. Craver, who was expelled by the Louisville Club, and after a careful deliberation decided that he was dealt unjustly with, and have reinstated him. The Haymakers, of Lansingburgh, N.Y., presented affidavits, one from C. M. Wellington, cashier of the Manufacturers’ National Bank of Troy, and a director of the Haymakers, stating that he had applied to the League to reopen the case, and they had refused to; also one from Craver stating that he played fairly last season. Mr. Haldeman, president of the Lousiville, sent word that Craver was not guilty of crooked playing, but was expelled for indiscretions off the ball field, and that the Louisville directors had no desire to protest against Craver being reinstated. The judiciary committee thought if Craver was guilty of the offenses charged, the Lousivilles ought to have taken action when the alleged offence too place (which was in August), and not waited until the day before Craver’s time expired. It was very evident to the committee that Craver was dealt with unjustly. His reinstatement is a great pleasure to his many friends in Troy. New York Sunday Mercury July 7, 1878 [Craver played both games of Troy’s July 4 doubleheader.]

A letter was received, says a Troy journal, from the Secretary of the International League stating that Craver had not been re-instated, and therefore he could not play with the Haymakers until some official action had been taken in his case. The managers of the club, acting under the advice of the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, allowed him to play in two games, but were obliged to withdraw him, and they now await the action of the League, which it is expected will be favorable. New York Sunday Mercury July 21, 1878

Our Troy correspondent says: The Judiciary Committee (or at least a majority of them) of the International Association have reinstated Craver to full membership in the association. On Aug 7 Manager Dauchy received the following telegram from Secretary Williams:

Mr. C. H. Dauchy: I congratulate you. Craver is reinstated. Will notify all clubs to-day. Williams.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the IA and players expelled by the NL

Date Sunday, February 24, 1878
Text

[reporting on the IA convention] The joke of the matter is pretty carefully covered up, but it can be hunted out. Read the clause about one-third the way through the second section [of the constitution], as follows: “Or who has been expelled from this Association.”The only amendment to the section was to strike out the words “or any other” before the word Association. Last year it read “or who has been expelled from any club belonging to this or any other Association.” The effect is as plain as need be. Last year the Internationals pledged themselves to respect the expulsions of the League; this year they strike out that provision and give any of their clubs liberty to hire Devlin, Hall, Craver, Nichols, Bechtel, and Walker. It could hardly have been for any other purpose that this change was made, especially since it has been the constant boast of the promoters of the new enterprise that they would whitewash these men. They seem to have done it,... and now let them go before the country and see what the people think of them. Chicago Tribune February 24, 1878

This action was taken and this platform adopted three times, but just before the close of the meeting half a dozen of the best clubs in the party succeeded in bulldozing the majority by preparing to withdarw unless the enactment were repealed. Chicago Tribune March 3, 1878

...when the New Bedfords, Lowells, Stars, Buffalos, Tecumsehs, and Rochesters threatened to withdraw from the Association if said was was not changed, and it was finally agreed to reconsider the matter, which was done, and a resolution was offered that no player expelled from this or any other Association shall be employed by this Association under penalty of expulsion of the club from the Association. The motion was carried by an overwhelming majority. Chicago Tribune March 3, 1878, quoting the Providence Sunday Dispatch

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the IA policy on inter-league games

Date Sunday, March 10, 1878
Text

[from a letter by Jimmy Williams] The object of the rule [of the IA] is to allow clubs of this association, which desire it, to play with league clubs on an equality, and the rule allows them to do so when the league rescinds its previous legislation on this question. The friends of this measure stated that all they wanted was that the league should have an opportunity to so rescind, and if they did not see fit to do so, then our clubs would not desire and would not play them. The wording of the rule is not as good as it should be, but the meaning of it was thoroughly understood by all present at the convention to be as above stated.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League adopts a uniform contract

Date Saturday, August 17, 1878
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting of 8/9/78] A uniform style of contract has been approved.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League's war on the International Association; the status of the League Alliance

Date Saturday, January 19, 1878
Text

This season the League has made war upon the International Association by refusing to recognize any professional association except the League and League Alliance. The latter cannot be regarded as a regular organization, as it has no members, nor have its members any voice in its legislation, that being done by the League. There remain, therefore, but two associations at all representative in their organization to which a professional club can attach itself this coming season, viz., the League and the International Association.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Louisville Club withdraws

Date Friday, March 8, 1878
Text

At a meeting of the directors and stockholders of the Louisville base ball club, last night, it was resolved to resign their position in the league and to recommend the grounds in that city for use by a good amateur club.

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Milwaukee Club ousted by the League

Date Saturday, December 14, 1878
Text

[reporting on the NL Board of Directors meeting of 12/4/1878] Next in order were communications from Peters, Golden and Ellick of the Milwaukee team, complaining of that club for its failure to fulfill its contracts with them by not paying them the full amount of their salaries. Mr. Rogers, as a member of the Board, was requested to “rise and explain,” and he did so to the effect of showing receipts in full from Golden, but that in the case of Peters a dispute in regard to the amount due had led to his claim not being settled; there was a like dispute, too, in regard to Ellick’s salary. At this stage of the proceedings a telegram from Messrs. Giffney & Gibson of Cincinnati was read, stating that the Milwaukee Club was in debt to these hotel-keepers to the amount of $260. This charge being admitted by the defendant, the “prosecution” went for Brother Rogers on another count in the Chicago indictment, and that was in relation to the failure of the club to pay a fine imposed on Goodman of the Milwaukee nine by the umpire in a game at Providence. These charges not being as satisfactorily explained as required by the Board, the result was the adoption of the following resolution:

Resolved, That if within twenty days from the date hereof the Milwaukee Club shall have paid all just claims against said organization, it shall be allowed to withdraw honorably from the League. But if said claims are not paid at the expiration of said time, and satisfactory evidence furnished to the secretary of the League of the liquidation of the same in full, then, and in that case, said organization shall be declared expelled under this resolution. New York Clipper December 14, 1878

The twenty days allowed “proprietor” Rogers by the League in which to square the accounts of the Milwaukee Club and retire gracefully hve expired, and now the concern stands expelled. Chicago Tribune December 29, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the NL's discipline extended

Date Saturday, December 14, 1878
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting of 12/4/1878] The amendments to the League constitution being next in order, each article was read, and adopted as read or amended, as follows: The first, offered by Mr. Hurlbut [sic], was adopted as to an addition to Section 9, Article 5. The following is the rule in full, the part in italics showing the addition:

“No game of ball shall be played between a League club and any other club employing or presenting in its nine a player expelled from the League: nor shall any League club that has at any time during the same playing season played a game of ball with any other club employing or presenting in its nine any player expelled from the League.” New York Clipper December 14, 1878

players no longer eligible to be delegates

[reporting on the NL meeting of 12/4/1878] The third amendment was... to the effect that no person who is under contract with a club and receives a salary as a ball player shall be admitted to the League meeting as a delegate. For instance: George Wright now holds a seat in the meeting as a delegate for the Providence nine. He receives a salary from that club as a ball-player, and under the amended rule he will not hereafter be entitled to a seat in the meeting as a delegate. New York Clipper December 14, 1878

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Providence Club organizes, discusses whether to join the NL or IA

Date Thursday, January 17, 1878
Text

The Providence base ball club was fully organized last night. ... A committee of the board was appointed to visit Boston, to consult with Harry Wright,and the managers of the Lowells on the advisability of joining the League Association. The popular feeling among the stockholders in Providence is in favor of the International, they fearing the League is trying to shut out eastern clubs from extensive practice, and thus have a better opportunity of getting away with them.

Source Lowell Daily Citizen
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Tribune reporter the official scorer for the Chicagos

Date Sunday, May 26, 1878
Text

[from Questions Answered] Who is the scorer for the Chicago Club? … Answer--... The ball reporter of this paper.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the arbitrary power of the IA judiciary committee; Craver reinstated

Date Saturday, August 24, 1878
Text

The recent action of the judiciary committee of the International Association on the “Craver Case”–whereby they have, by a vote only of a majority of the committee, given license to that expelled player’s taking active part in International-club contests–calls special attention to the position the committee occupies in its absolute and despotic control of the affairs of the Association. The members of the committee in question are Messrs. Gorman of the Tecumseh Club, Butler of the Lowell, Kelly of the Manchester, Spalding of the Buffalo, and Waite of the St. Louis Reds, the last club being one which has taken no active part in the International club campaign this season. Of these five, but the last three could be induced to consent to the practical nullification of the majority vote of the convention that gave the committee its existence, which their action in the Craver case has amounted to. The working of the constitutional law which gave to this committee the absolute power they have used so unwisely and injudiciously has been such as to render the government of the International Association little else than a mere legislative farce. A convention of the representatives of thirty odd professional clubs is held; the club delegates at this convention adopt a constitution and by-laws, one of the provisions of which, by a majority vote of the convention, is very properly made to exclude players who have been expelled from the International “or any other Association” from taking active part in any International club contest. By a clause of the Association constitution the power is given to the judiciary committee to amend the constitution, by-laws and rules of the Association at their option, provided the vote on the subject is unanimous. The first important case they are called to adjudicate upon is one which results in a divided opinion, and it is found that the unanimous-vote clause is in the way. By some means or other the committee is induced to change the law on this point so as to make a majority vote of the committee decisive; and, this being done, they go to work and by this majority vote license a player expelled by the League Association–which Association refuses to reinstate him–to play in International-club contests. Under such circumstances, it may justly be asked, of what use was the adoption of a constitution and laws by a majority vote of the International Convention, which the practical effect of one pernicious clause of the constitution is to give th whole government of the Association into the hands of three men–three out of the five composing the judiciary committee really having despotic control of the entire Association. The pernicious effects of such a law are apparent to the most obtuse understanding, and it only needed the instance of this Craver case to show the evil of it in a very striking manner. The action of the committee does not reinstate Craver–it cannot reinstate him, as it is not in the power of any Association except the one which expelled him so to do. It simply says, in effect, to the majority of the convention delegates who voted to have nothing to do with expelled players until they were reinstated by the Association that expelled them; We, the minority, have determined to gain our point, and we have done it in spite of your majority vote. Messrs. Dauchy, Underhill and Arnold, and those who have backed them in their peculiar ideas on the subject of “giving expelled players a show” have won their little game, and they should now give it a sequel by “reinstating” Devlin, Nichols, and Hall of the famous Louisville quarter of hard-used players, who “couldn’t get justice done them” either in Louisville or in Cleveland.

Source New York Clippber
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The bar concession at Cincinnati

Date Tuesday, January 1, 1878
Text

[advertisement] Cincinnati Base-Ball Association! Bar Privileges. Several of the bids presented having been at the same figures, the Association rejected all, and will receive new bids for the Bar Privileges on the Grounds of the above Association from March 15, 1878, to November 15, 1878, until Thursday noon, January 3d, at the office of S. S. Davis, 61 W. Third st., where bids will be opened, the Association reserving the right to reject any and all bids.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the bill board franchise

Date Friday, March 22, 1878
Text

Alex Harbison has leased the bill board privileges at the base ball park.

Source Indianapolis News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the closing of the 25th and Jefferson grounds

Date Thursday, April 18, 1878
Text

The old baseball ground at Twenty-fifth and Jefferson streets, Philadelphia, which was the scene of so many close contests, was recently sold, and several blocks of houses are being erected on it. The question is now being agitated and is receiving the tangible encouragement from leading business men of that city with regard to enclosing another ground for the Athletic professional club of that rectangular city.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the Indianapolis Club; charges of financial impropriety

Date Saturday, November 2, 1878
Text

The unfortunate–perhaps criminal–ending of the Indianapolis Club is a surprise to many of its friends who supposed that it would at least close the season with sufficient funds on hand to cancel all indebtedness. At a meeting of the directors it was found that the club was some $2,500 in debt, most of which sum was due to players. This disclosure settled the club’s fate, and it may safely be said that Indianapolis will not be represented professionally next year. When the club started from Cleveland on its last Eastern trip there were $2,500 in the treasury–so said the treasurer. The question is, What has become of this money? There has evidently been a good deal of “funny” business going on–somebody has been fooling with the string to the bag. Since the men returned from Chicago, an effort was made to pay them to Oct. 1, but it failed. Messrs. Brown and Applegate were the only stockholders who responded, putting in $250 each. Each member of the club received $50 of this–just enough to get out of town with, but they have not gone yet. McCormick suffered $300 worth, and Quest, Schaffer and McKelvey are heavy losers. An investigation is to be had. Had everything been on the square, the project of a club for next year would not have fallen through. quoting an unidentified Indianapolis correspondent

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the Milwaukee Club

Date Friday, September 6, 1878
Text

The Milwaukee-Indianapolis game did not come off today [9/5], on account of the former failing to appear, owing to their not being paid off, in consequence of which Manager Chapman's crew are on a strike for salary. Later advices by telegraph tonight from President Rodgers state that matter have been arranged, and the club will arrive tomorrow and play Friday, Saturday and Monday... Boston Herald September 6, 1878

A paragraph is yesterday's Tribune... indicated that Peters had been suspended from the Milwaukee Club. Mr. Rogers, Manager of the Milwaukees, being asked upon the subject yesterday, said this was an error; that Peters had been honorably released from the Milwaukee Club for some cause growing out of their relations. Shortly after, the reporter met Peters himself and asked him about the matter. He said that he had not been released from the Milwaukee Club at all; that he was ready to play as soon as $350 overdue pay was handed him. He was not complimentary in his remarks about some of the treatment he had had, and his explanation of the promises given and broken repeated was not what the public would have expected from the Milwaukee Club. Chicago Tribune September 8, 1878

This club is at present in a bad state of demoralization. It appears the players have not been paid for nearly two months, and they have only remained together on the strength of Manager Rogers’ repeated promises. Matters were brought to a crisis on the afternoon of Aug. 31, the day advertised for a game with the Indianapolis nine, when, in the presence of 150 spectators, they refused to play the game unless Rogers would guarantee their salaries. After a good hour of delay Rogers secured two gentlemen to back him up and assure the boys they would get their pay if they would don their uniforms and play the game. All agreed to do this except Weaver, who flatly declined to play until he saw his money; it seems he had not avery high opinion of Rogers’ promises. The game was played without him, however, and the home team did not get a run. Up to Wednesday of this week the boys had not received a cent (one member excepted). Rogers did not fulfill his promises, and his backers were probably repenting their undue haste, for they did not put in an appearance. The club was advertised to play in Indianapolis Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and were to leave here on the 4 P.M. train Wednesday. They made all arrangement and left the hotel in a body, with the exception of Peters, who absolutely refused to stir a step until Rogers had made good his promises. When the depot was reached, Foley, Holbert and Golden concluded that they would not go; the train started with Jack Chapman and the remnant of the team, but before it had gone a quarter of a mile they jumped off, and left the portly “Jack” to continue the journey alone; he managed to get off, however, when he saw the men meant business. The men are all here, and emphatically refuse to budge an inch. The Indianapolis games have been advertised, but the Milwaukees will not be there. The sympathy of the people is with the men; they have been living on promises for two months, and have discovered that promises won’t pay board-bills. They may be liable to expulsion from the League for disobedience; but the facts of the case certainly justified them in their action. Rogers has deliberately violated his contract with the men, and the rule as to expulsion must be a queer one if it protects only the manager. At present it is not known what Rogers will do. New York Clipper September 14, 1878, quoting an unidentified Milwaukee correspondent

After a number of promises, Mr. Rogers came down with the lucre and paid off the improvident Milwaukees Sept. 25. The team is to make a Western tour next (this) week, playing with small clubs in Iowa and Illinois. At the termination of this trip the club will disband for the season. New York Clipper October 5, 1878, quoting an unidentified Milwaukee correspondent

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the end of the Athletic grounds

Date Saturday, January 19, 1878
Text

The old Athletic grounds in Philadelphia, on Twenty-fourth and Jefferson streets, are having a street cut through them.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the finances of exhibition games

Date Sunday, January 27, 1878
Text

During the season of 1877 the Chicagos played forty-five games with the best class of non-League clubs on the grounds of the latter. The Chicago receipts from these games were $5,184.40, or an average of $115.20 per game. The expense account of the Club for the year shows the following items:

Paid railroad fares …........ $2,977.74

Paid hotels......................... $1,673.74

Paid carriages.................... $ 214.61

Total traveling expenses... $4,866.09

This bill of expenses covered the absence of the Club for ninety-eight days, during which they played seventy-six games of ball. It therefore appears that the expenses made in playing each game away from home were $64.02. And here is the point made by the anti-League critics: they say: “On your own showing you get $115.20 by paying out $64.02; that's what we have always said: you are making $51.18 off each game with us: you are living off us.”

Softly, sirs: gently a moment; the Chicago Club paid in salaries last season $179.06 for each game its team played. Add that to the expense of traveling, and you find it cost $243.08 to play each game outside of Chicago. But this doesn't show, nor attempt to show, the whole expenses of the club. Last year it paid out for ground rent, printing, advertising, and other expenses not noted above more than the whole cost of running many of the clubs which are grumbling about the League “living off them.”

The fact is, without any word of explanation beyond what is shown by the figures, the Chicago Club last year sold for $115.20 what cost it $248.08, and repeated this forty-five times in the season, thus giving away and actual cost of $10,938.60 for a return of $5,184.40.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the need to shorten the game

Date Sunday, September 15, 1878
Text

[reporting on a series of experimental games Boston vs. Chicago] The intention of all these experiments is, of course, to find some way to shorten the game, and also to make more runs. It is unquestionably true that, under the present system, the pitchers often spend a good deal of time in pitching wildly for the annoyance of the batter. … by cutting off one-third of the pitching to each man the game ought to be shortened in the aggregate, though it is probable that more men will get to bases in each game. By the second scheme, if it works as Harry things it will, we shall have more hitting and more runs.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the number of professional clubs

Date Friday, April 5, 1878
Text

Over 2000 clubs played ball in the United States last year—50 of them being known as professionals.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the number of professional clubs 2

Date Sunday, April 7, 1878
Text

Over 2,500 clubs played baseball in the United States last year, fifty of them being known as professionals.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the proposed Indianapolis move to St. Louis; Indianapolis Club finances

Date Saturday, June 29, 1878
Text

W. B. Pettit, Esq., President of the Indianapolis Ball Club, arrived in the city yesterday morning, and, by appointment, met President Hulbert of the Chicago Club, and Harry Wright, of the Bostons, to consult about the legality of moving the present Indianapolis team to St. Louis. Their conference was a long and secret one, but the results arrived at are known. It appeared that Mr. Pettit has been in negotiation with Mr. Solari, who controls the Grand Avenue Park, on which the Brown Stockings used to play. Before closing any arrangement, he wished to ascertain how the move was looked on by his partners in the League. Both the Chicago and the Boston Clubs were willing that a trial in St. Louis should be made, and Mr. Pettit accordingly left for the City by the Bridge last evening to conclude his negotiations, if he could get terms to suit him.

The change would not, Mr. Pettit said, involve a change of management, nor any transfer of contracts.

...

[The] audiences in Indianapolis have lately been about 600 to a game, which would clearly not pay salaries, to say nothing of other expenses; $200 per game for thirty games, or $6,000 receipts for the season at home, would starve any club. Mr. Pettit did not care to name his salary-list, but it can hardly be less than $13,000 or $14,000 for ten men, and it would take a clever financier to pay that bill with $6,000 receipts. Chicago Tribune June 29, 1878

It is now definitely settled that the Blues will play the remainder of the season at St. Louis. The basis of the transfer is that the managers of the St. Louis Grand avenue Park agree to play the club the remainder of the season, and to assume all liabilities. Up to date the club receipts have fallen about $4,000 below the estimated receipts, and at this rate the management would find itself some $8,000 in debt by the end of the season. Financially the transfer is a wise one, as the attendance upon games in this city has not been large enough to justify their continuance. One of the conditions of the contract is that Mr. Pettit shall still retain the management. It is barely possible that after the close of the league season, September 14, the club may play a few games here, otherwise the game this afternoon will be the last one played in this city in the present year. Indianapolis Journal June 29, 1878

W. B. Pettit, president of the I.B.B.C., returned from St. Louis last evening, and reports having leased the Grand Avenue grounds in that city. The management has definitely decided to play the greater number of the remaining league games in St. Louis, though Mr. Pettit promises that games with all the league clubs, excepting the Cincinnatis, will be played here before the close of the season. Indianapolis Journal July 1, 1878

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reputation of ball players

Date Friday, August 9, 1878
Text

An amusing incident occurred during the recent rip of the Chicagos to Boston. The club started on ahead of President Hurlbert [s8ic], for the purpose of playing a game at Utica, heaving Mr. H. to follow on in a sleeping car, arrangements having previously been made for the boys to occupy the same car with himself on its arrival at Utica. Hurlbert ingratiated himself into the good graces of the sleep car porter, and as the train approached Utica the latter confidentially whispered to him to look out for his watch and other valuables, as the base ball club was coming aboard to go to Boston.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire not calling balls 2

Date Saturday, June 29, 1878
Text

[Yale vs. Princeton at Hoboken 6/21/1878] Had the umpire done his duty in calling balls–in which he was negligently remiss–half of the men would have been sent to bases on called balls...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire takes Deacon White's word for it

Date Friday, June 7, 1878
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis 6/6/1878] The batter made three strikes, White [catcher] dropping the ball on the last strike. It rolled away several feet, and before Croft [batter] reached first base–the ball in the meantime having been picked up and sent after Flint, who was going around the diamond–McLean [umpire] after a pause and consultation with J. White, declared Croft out on the ground that White had touched him as he started for first, though a hundred spectators can testify that White did not touch the runner at all. McLean did not see Croft put out, and does not pretend to have seen it, but he claims that when “J. White says a thing is so it is so, and that is the end of it.” Therefore, when White said he touched Croft nothing remained but to order first base vacated. The managers rested under the delusion that they had employed McLean, and not White, to umpire the game. Now they know better, and in view of the events of yesterday it is proposed to dispense with an umpire altogether and get White to run that department. In this way the salary of an umpire can be saved and the same end subserved. Such a break as that of McLean’s yesterday was never seen on an Indianapolis ball field, and it is to be hoped that it will not be repeated. “White’s mistake” lost the Indianapolis team at least one run and maybe more.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the unequal status of the NL and IA

Date Sunday, March 10, 1878
Text

The International Association forbids the engagement of any player who has been expelled from any association, while the League declines to recognize any other association, and allows any of its clubs to engage a player who has been expelled from the Internationals, or any other association.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the usual claim that the runner missed the base

Date Saturday, May 18, 1878
Text

[Star of Syracuse vs. Auburn 5/6/1878] In the seventh inning one hand had been retired when Mansell, for the second time, batted the ball over the fence and made a clean home-run. The ball was fielded back into the Park after Mansell had reached home and sat upon the bench. The usual claim that bases had not been touched was made, and the ball was held on second base and judgment asked for. Mr. Woolin said: “Safe on second,” placing a suggestive emphasis on the last word. The hint was accepted and the balls was thrown to Fair, when the umpire called Mansell out., quoting the Syracuse Courier

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tie goes to the runner; scoring borderline errors

Date Sunday, August 25, 1878
Text

If you are umpiring and are in doubt, give the runner or striker the benefit; if you are scoring and are in doubt, give the batter a hit and save the fielder an error. A strict adherence to the above would greatly simplify the duties of these officials.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tom Dolan a lawyer

Date Sunday, November 17, 1878
Text

Dolan, late of the Buffalos, has been admitted to practice law. He tried his first case a few days ago, having Webb Hayes for an opponent, and, much to his credit, he laid out the President's son handsomely.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

too many games; the fifty cent admission; exhibition games on League grounds

Date Saturday, February 2, 1878
Text

[from a letter to the editor by Harry Wright dated January 25] That baseball has been overdone, as far as the number of games is concerned, is generally admitted. In this city the number of persons who can and will attend thirty matches in a season is not large enough to pay expenses. I do not believe that a reduction of the admission fee to 25 cents would help the matter, as there are plenty who are willing to pay 50 cents, but who cannot spare the time. Now it has been seen in Boston, as well as in other League cities, that non-League or non-championship games, will not draw. In nineteen games upon our grounds in 1877 with the Lowells, Stars, Indianapolis, Allegheny, Tecumseh, Harvard, Live Oak, Manchester and Our Boys clubs the gross receipts were but little over an average of $100 a game; our share averaged $53.70 to a match, and from this we had to pay ground expenses and advertising. The admission to some of them was 25 cents, and to others 50 cents, and any one of the first six named clubs could play us a close and interesting game. We have been able to see that our having those games upon our grounds has not been free from harm to us. Players have unwisely shown a disposition to play carelessly in non-championship games, and in many cases I know that spectators have shown their disapproval by staing away from championship matches. The main point, however, was that the time had come to reduce the number of games played, and, of course we decided to discontinue those which had paid us the least.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

turnstile attendance count

Date Thursday, May 2, 1878
Text

[Milwaukee vs. Cincinnati 5/1/1878] Before the days of turn-stiles the crowd would have gone down in newspaper history at about thirty-five hundred, but the turn-stiles counted sixteen hundred, and probably two hundred more came in through the carriage-gate.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind the catcher 5

Date Saturday, July 13, 1878
Text

[answer to correspondents] There is a man on third base and one at the bat; the man at the bat strikes and misses the ball; the catcher fails to hold ball, and it strikes the umpire, who is standing behind the catcher. In the meantime the runner comes home, the catcher gets the ball and touches the base-runner before he crosses the home plate. Is he out or is it a passed ball? ... The ball having “passed” the catcher–that is, missed by him–could not be made dead by striking the umpires; consequently, the runner was legally put out. The rule should make every ball hitting the umpire and bounding back, or being stopped, dead.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind the catcher;

Date Saturday, September 21, 1878
Text

[from answers to correspondents] Two men out, man on third base; ball pitched on which strike is called, but ball goes through catcher’s hands, and is partially stopped by hitting the umpire;...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire must call a ball or a strike

Date Sunday, September 8, 1878
Text

At Booneville, Lewis county, N.Y., on August 3, a large crowd had assembled on the fair grounds to witness a match between the nines belonging to Turin and Constableville, who are playing five games for the championship of the county. … The first man was called to the bat, and the umpire duly called two balls and two strikes. The next ball must have made either three balls or three strikes.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire not wearing a mask

Date Thursday, August 15, 1878
Text

[Chicago vs. Providence 8/14/1878] ...the fearful hit McLean [umpire] got in the mouth. He was knocked out of time, and had to be lifted from the ground and carried to a settee. As it was, he sustained a frightful gash of the upper lip, and had to seek surgical aid after the game. [He apparently completed the game.]

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpires given the right to fine players

Date Saturday, January 19, 1878
Text

This coming season the experiment will be tried of giving the umpire power to punish players who are guilty of any of the abuses connected with umpiring which prevailed in 1877. By way of penalty for the violation of any rule, disgrace will sometimes produce good results, but in other instances it fails. But touch a man’s pocket in this way and you have a sure means of controlling him. Hence the principle of inflicting fines on players who violate the new code of League rules applicable to umpires. The umpire of 1878 can protect himself, and if he finds a player disputing–except in cases where a palpable misinterpretation of the rules is concerned–the infliction of a fine of ten or twenty dollars, to be deducted from the offender’s salary, will be likely to have a magical effect in taming the noted chin-music performers.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

uniforms need laundering

Date Wednesday, July 17, 1878
Text

We would respectfully suggest that the members of both the Indianapolis and Providence clubs have their uniforms washed.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward goes to Providence

Date Thursday, July 11, 1878
Text

Ward, pitcher of the disbanded Crickets, goes to the Providence Club. He joins them at Cincinnati, where Dickerson, left fielder of the Crickets, goes to sign with Pettit.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward's high delivery; arguing with the umpire

Date Saturday, August 3, 1878
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Providence 8/2/1878] During the game Dicky Pearce [umpire] called “foul balks” on Ward. Ward thrice happened to pitch above his waist, and Dicky wanted to throw him out. Carey objected and said “Why didn't you do the same thing in the first game as well as today?” Pearce turned about and said, “I wish the secretary of this association to take notice that I fine Carey for using insulting language,” quoting the language. The crowd hooted him and yelled and hissed. Dickey shot off one explanation to the grand stand, and Carey had his little say also. The end was that the game progressed and was won by the Grays in spite of the umpire, who now seemed to be off his base on called strikes. After the game Pearce said, “A man has got to be a thief to umpire in this city.” Which the same was overheard and duly noted just the same.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward's illegal delivery

Date Sunday, October 13, 1878
Text

[from a letter from “Fair Play”] [Ward] seldom, if ever, occupies the prescribed lines of his position, and...delivers certainly two out of five balls above waist—many people say more than that proportion.... Boston Herald October 13, 1878

Indianapolis finances; players penniless

The sorrowful truth about the financial condition of the Indianapolis Club has at last come out. When the nine visited this city recently it played a couple of games with the Shite Stockings to audiences of microscopic proportions. The few people who did attend these games wondered why the nines should arrange and play games when it was evident that the gate receipts would be little or nothing, and, if nay of the curious ones happened to seek information from those who were posted, they were told that the Indianapolis team was “froze in,”--the boys not having money enough on hand to get home with. On Oct. 18 the Directors of the Club held a meeting in Indianapolis, and the sorrowful result of their session is briefly but eloquently told in the following, from the Sentinel of last Sunday... Chicago Tribune October 27, 1878

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

when a foul ball becomes live

Date Saturday, August 24, 1878
Text

[from answers to correspondents] A man is on second base; striker hit a foul; pitcher ran for the ball, but muffs it; then picked it up, threw it to second base, the man on second having started to go to third, and was returning to his base when the pitcher threw to second before runner got back to his base. The umpire decided that the man on second base was out, the pitcher not being in his position at the time of throwing the ball. I claim the runner not out. ... He was out. It was not necessary for the pitcher to be in position.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Whoop-la White's nickname's first appearance?

Date Friday, July 19, 1878
Text

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 7/18/1879] [the headline, “Whoop-la, William!] By this time the pleased crowd had become enthused over Will White's work, and when Geo. Wright struck out they arose almost to a man, and such cheers and waving of hats and handkerchiefs were never heard and seen on the grounds, while cries of “White! White! White!” made the welkin ring. To pile more agony on, Will White walked straight to the home-plate and lifted the first ball Bond pitched clean over Andy Leonard's head for two bases. Then there was more howling and yelling, while one screaming, frantic man yelled: “by G - -, that's worth five dollars!” Cincinnati Enquirer July 19, 1878

refusing to play against an expelled player

The Syracuse Courier says: “The Haymakers of Troy have boxed themselves by playing Craver, who was expelled by the League; and the Albanys, by consenting to enter a game with the offending club, have likewise been put on the black list. The Haymakers and Albanys have, by their connection with Craver, debarred themselves from the privilege of meeting League clubs, and any club which plays either of these organizations will forfeit the same rights.” A Troy paper, in reply, says: “If this is so, the Manchesters, Lowells and others are out. It is a mistake, however, on The Courier’s part, to say the Albanys had any connection with Craver. He did not play in the Albany-Haymaker game, and the Albanys would not consent to his playing. New York Clipper July 20, 1878

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger