Clippings:1886

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


Add a Clipping
1886Clippings in 1886

Clippings in 1886 (468 entries)

Contents

'cranks' used collectively for spectators

Date Tuesday, October 19, 1886
Text

[St. Louis vs. Chicago 10/18/1886] ...a Chicago audience is about as tough an aggregation of ball cranks as ever sat in a grand stand anywhere. From the very start of the game to the finish the crowd never once stopped yelling, hissing and hooting at Latham, notwithstanding the fact that there teeth were chattering with cold and their lips blue from the strong wind, directly in their faces the game through. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A Sunday League exhibition game

Date Monday, October 25, 1886
Text

[New York vs. Metropolitan 10/24/1886] Nearly four thousand people witnessed the baseball game at Wallace's Ridgewood Park yesterday [a Sunday] between the New York and Metropolitan clubs.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a backdoor scoring of sacrifice flies

Date Wednesday, February 3, 1886
Text

[from a column by Caylor] The base hit theory is badly abused. Two years ago while the Cincinnati Club was playing in a certain city I was surprised to see in the newspaper scores the credit of a base hit to one of the home players who I was quite certain had never reached first base. I spoke of this to the official scorer and asked for an explanation. It was readily given. “So-and-so did not reach first base as you say, but don't you recollect that thus-and-thus was on third base once and came home on So-and-so's long difficult fly to Jones in left field.” Certainly I remembered it, but I suggested that the rules would not admit of a base hit being thus scored. “O, d--- the rules,” was the curt reply. “If a man deserves a thing he ought to have it and we give it to him here, rules or no rules; that long line fly was as deserving as a base hit and much more so than a little poop fly which drops safely midway between fielders.” The theory of the reply was good, but the practical part of it was grossly unfair.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bogus lost ball trick

Date Thursday, September 9, 1886
Text

[New York vs. Chicago 9/8/1886] In yesterday’s morning game a wildly pitched ball went under the chairs to the left of the back stop, and was lost so long that Kelly went home from second on it. A little while afterwards, when McCormick was at second, another wild pitch sent the ball into the chairs on the other side. Deasley found the ball immediately, but pretended not to have done so. McCormick legged it to third and was pretty well toward home when Anson discovered that Deasley was trying to trick him, and yelled for him to go back. Mac couldn’t understand for a minute, but the crowd caught on and had lots of fun while the play lasted. Mac finally held third, and Deasley smilingly tossed the ball to Welch.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a brawl in Newark

Date Friday, April 9, 1886
Text

[Metropolitan vs. Newark 4/8/1886] In the fourth inning, when the score was 4 to 0 in favor of Newarks, Smith made a balk, and it was promptly called by the umpire. His decision made the Newark men angry and they began throwing the ball around the field in a careless manner. This allowed the Mets to score two runs, much to the chagrin of Burns, the third baseman of the Newark team.

“That wasn’t a balk,” he said to the umpire. ‘Yes, it was,” responded Foster, the quiet and gentlemanly second baseman of the Mets. “The umpire gave a fair decision.”

“You’re a liar!” shouted Burns, who had by this time got into a passion. As he finished the sentence he struck a vicious blow at Foster. The latter warded it off, and took hold of his burly antagonist in order to save himself from rough usage. This was the signal for the crowd to take part in the row. Men and boys left their seats, and in an instant all was confusion. The police were called upon, but they were powerless in the hands of the excited throng. While the trouble was at its height, one man rushed out on the field with a revolver in his hand. Some of his friends interfered, and before he could do any damage he was disarmed. Manager Gifford, fearing that his players were in danger of being injured, ordered them to the dressing-room and told them to take off their uniforms. This action restored order. In a short while the police were reinforced and the crowd was dispersed. Manager Gifford, however, refused to play any longer and, with his team, took the train for this city [New York]. He has cancelled all dates with the Newark team. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a brick wall at the new Phillies ground

Date Wednesday, November 3, 1886
Text

The Philadelphia Club is serenely at work pushing the work on the new grounds at Broad and Huntingdon avenue. The grading is nearly completed and the sodding is now being done, and will be continued for another month. The 20-foot brick wall which is to enclose the grand-stand side of the ground is already up and the work on the grand stand is about to be commenced.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken mask 4

Date Thursday, September 9, 1886
Text

[New York vs. Chicago 9/8/1886] A hot foul tip broke Hardie’s mask in the afternoon game, and the broken wire cut his scalp slightly, making a wound that bled profusely for a little while, but is not serious.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken umpire's mask

Date Tuesday, June 22, 1886
Text

Umpire Daniels was injured by a foul ball at Meriden Wednesday. The ball smashed the mask and struck Daniels in the cheek, loosening two teeth. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for minor leagues to band together

Date Friday, December 17, 1886
Text

George M. Ballard, last year’s president of the Eastern Base Ball League, urges managers of clubs belonging to the minor leagues all over the country to call a convention to band themselves together and fight the National League and American Association. By uniting in stringent rules for blacklisting and reserving players Mr. Ballard believes that the minor leagues can break up the great base ball monopoly.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher or fielder's glove

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

When Arthur Irwin [N.B. a shortstop] broke his finger last season he found it necessary to wear some kind of a glove to protect the injured digit from hot balls which he might have to pick up. He didn't think much of the gloves he looked at, and so he went to work and designed one to suit himself. He was so delighted with it that he has been making some experiments with new gloves and now has one which is a beauty. All the players he has shown it to say it is a daisy, and if Arthur puts it on the market, it cannot fail to be popular with players, catcher in particular of course. It is made of the best quality of buckskin and lined with dogskin. The inside of the hand and fingers is padded with felt, but the glove is easy and pliable as a driving glove. Buckskin is very durable, everyone knows, and as Arthur's glove can be sold for about the same as the hard and stiff one of the old style, I think he has hit something that will just suit the boys.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher with sore hands

Date Saturday, June 19, 1886
Text

[Baltimore vs. Athletic 6/18/1886] Fulmer started to catch yesterday’s game for Kilroy with badly “puffed” hands. He wanted to retire in the seventh inning, but Captain Stovey would not permit it. Traffley, however, took Fulmer’s place in the tenth inning, when Umpire Valentine was satisfied that he was playing under great torture.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher's hands in good shape

Date Monday, May 24, 1886
Text

Although Bennett has officiated behind the bat in nearly every [Detroit] game since the season opened, he is not doing more than he is willing to do, or thinks himself capable of doing. He is put in at his own request, and says that as long as his hands are in good shape he is willing to catch every day.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a character sketch of Mullane

Date Monday, August 9, 1886
Text

Tony Mullane, the eccentric pitcher of the Cincinnati Club, is an Erie boy. When a lad he would run away from home and play ball. He wouldn’t learn a trade. He imagined that he was cut out for a ball player and he undoubtedly was. He filled the box in several amateur games at Erie, and then became discontented because no pay was attached. He drifted with the tie to Bradford and did effective work for the local club. Then he went to Youngstown, and next turned up in Oil City, and later in Franklin. Hecker, who is a Venango county boy, got him into the Louisvilles, and he has since been a member of the American Association. When on dress parade Tony delights in loud ties, and frock coat and a high silk hat.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that Phenomenal Smith's numbers were inflated

Date Monday, October 11, 1886
Text

It is said that “Phenomenal Smith’s” great record as a pitcher is more or less manufactured. One of the stories afloat is that an umpire who resided in Newark and who umpired the vast majority of the games had considerable to do with the matter of strikes and balls when John was in the box. Smith has not faced enough of the League batsmen to settle the dispute which will probably be worked for all it is worth until next season disposes of it.

Source St Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that Pittsburgh jumped due to Sunday games

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

[from the St. Louis correspondent] It is truthfully said that both Messrs. Nimick and Scndrett hid themselves in Chicago for several days prior to their joining the League, and that their jump from the American Association to the League was largely due to the fact that the former played Sunday games. Oh, I like a hypocrite, I do. Contrast the sneaking, renegade course of these opponents to Sunday games with the manly action of Chris Von der Ahe, one of the upholders of Sunday games. These “holier-than-thou” people find no structure in their creed against falsehood and sneaking, contemptible, underhand work, but they cannot possibly stomach Sunday games. Out upon such manhood. The American Association is well rid of such people, and I congratulate them heartily.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a coaching trick

Date Saturday, July 10, 1886
Text

Few will forget Kelly’s trick of standing outside the coach lines and having the ball thrown to him on the claim it was ripped, allowing it to pass and the man at third to come home. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a combined manager, field captain, and player

Date Monday, May 10, 1886
Text

...the Kansas Citys Dave Rowe, the manager, field captain and center fielder...

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a commitment to play three innings even in the rain

Date Thursday, September 9, 1886
Text

It has been agreed between the Chicago and Detroit managers that the games of this series shall be played, rain or shine, for three innings, the rules to govern after three have been played.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a committee to divide up the St. Louis NL players; plenipotentiary powers over trades

Date Thursday, August 26, 1886
Text

[reporting the special meeting of the NL 8/25/1886] Resolved, That the president of the league be requested and authorized to appoint a committee of three representatives of league clubs, who shall be empowered to consider and determine all questions relative to the release and employment of players at present under contract with any league club, the decision of such committee in all cases to be final; such committee to have the power in case of the withdrawal of any club from the league or in case of its expulsion to provide for the apportionment of its players among the remaining league club, as, in the opinion of such committee, the best interests of the league may require, the power and duties, of such committee to continue until further action by the league. Each and every club in the league is hereby bound by the action of this meeting, and by this resolution, and in the event of its release of any player such committee shall be the arbiter was to the club by which such player may be employed. Such committee shall bee and is hereby authorized and empowered, in the event of any club desiring to sell its franchise and contracts with players, to purchase the same and to play the players thereof in the same city, or any city, as they may deem for the best interests of the League, and all games played by such club shall be considered and treated as League games, as though played under the present schedule, and count as championship games. In the event of any club disbanding, or withdrawing from the League, or forfeiting its membership therein, said committee shall have the power to dispose of its franchise and players, as in case of purchase thereof. Any action of such committee to be effectual, must be unanimous. Chicago Tribune August 26, 1886 [N.B. This committee would be discharged and the resolution revised at the following annual meeting.]

Messrs. A. G. Spalding of Chicago, John B. Day of New York, and John B. Maloney of Detroit were appointed on this committee by President Young. It will be noticed that the resolutions will effectually prevent any such deal as the Detroits made with the Buffalos last year, and will, in many wyas, result in better discipline and better work among the clubs. But the most suggestive point in the resolutions is the last paragraph: “Any action of such committee to be effectual shall be unanimous.” President Young appoints as the committee men representing the leading clubs in the race for the pennant: Isn’t it plain how beautifully this will work to the league’s advantage? Should any club be disbanded and the committee decide that the players to be distributed around among the clubs, of course the weaker clubs will receive the benefit. Detroit and Chicago would vote against Glasscock going to New York, for instance. New York and Detroit would vote against his coming to Chicago; and Chicago and New York would certainly not agree that he should go to Detroit. In order to be unanimous on the question and settle it, this strong player or any other would of necessity have to go to a weaker club. Chicago Tribune August 26, 1886

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of Pittsburgh's duplicity

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[from the editorial column] The method adopted by Pittsburg and the duplicity displayed by that club in its dealings with the American Association, and its final desertion to the League, deserves the censure of every fair-minded person, and public opinion in condemnation has been outspoken. The door has long been open. Not a straw was laid in the club's way, and it might just as well have gone about the matter in open, honest fashion. Not a hint of the club's contemplated action was given, and no formal notice was in comon courtesy served. Instead assertions of fealty and pledges of fidelity as strong as mortal man could make them have not only time and again been given unasked by the officials of that club, but were proffered almost up to the hour when the act was consummated, and but a few days ago Mr. Nimick put himself on record over his own signature denying any intention of forsaking the Association. And yet all the time negotiations were going on with the League's agent, Mr. Spalding, and preparations were continually being made to make everything secure for the jump. The lease of the only other available ground in the vicinity of Pittsburg in addition to the one now occupied by the club is explained. It was simply a trick to forestall a possible opposition club. The pressing business cares which compelled Mr. Nimick's resignation from the presidency of the club now resolve themselves into a device to evade responsibility for his promises and protestations in his former capacity as president of the club. In fact everything goes to show that a course of systematic duplicity unparalleled in base ball annals has been constantly pursued by this club.

… A general consensus of opinion among the officials of [the AA] indicates that the jump of the club is looked upon in the light of a deliverance from an unmitigated nuisance, not to say evil. The Pittsburg club has for two years been a source of constant irritation and vexation to the Association. Ever since it heroically (?) refused to enter the League, at the solicitation of the latter body, the club has demanded extraordinary consideration, and has upon all occasions endeavored to hold a ship hand over the Association with the bugaboo of desertion to the League. This sort of bluff was at first pleasantly tolerated, but it soon became disagreeable and unbearable. The constant threats of desertion and the ever-present uncertainty of the club's intentions long ago wore out the patience of all the Association people and we may safely say that there is not to-day a man of prominence in the Association who would willingly walk a hundred yards or waste a postage stand in an effort to retain the club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of scoring a base on balls as a hit

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] I hardly dare discuss these new scoring rules to any length. When you get into them there is so much to say before you can leave them in even decent shape that it is dangerous to open up the discussion. If I look over the score of a game I have not seen and find that Sam Wise has made three hits I shall not know whether he has actually made three hits, or has been given three that don't belong to him for the sake of disciplining a pitcher. If a batsman is going to be credited with a base hit when he gets his base on balls, then put some record of it in the summary, so that the reader can tell something about the game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of intimidating the umpire, offensive coaching

Date Tuesday, June 15, 1886
Text

... [Players] rely greatly on confusing or bullying the umpire, and or on disputing angrily every unfavorable decision on called balls or strikes. If the game is close, at frequent intervals the “kicker” behind the bat not only manifests a desire to throttle the umpire, but signals, perhaps to the first baseman, if this functionary happens to be captain, who comes stalking menacingly in, with an expression showing that at last he has the long-sought proof of villainy for making a protest and getting the umpire turned out of his season’s engagement. This business is not specially diverting to spectators who have com to see a game of ball. When men are on the bases it has become the custom with some nine, under the guise of coaching, to depute a loud-lunged player to indulge in frantic yelling and antics, manifestly designed only to distract the attention of the umpire or irritate the opposing players. The average spectator might fancy that “kicking” against the umpire’s decisions or attempts to bully or worry him could not pay, as he would naturally resent ill-treatment. But the simple fact that the present champion clubs of both the leading professional associations are confessed to be the greatest “kickers” in the business disposes of all theories, and shows that no voluntary action can cure the evil. The notion with the players seems to be than an umpire can be worried out of one or two favorable decisions in doubtful matters by clamorous displays f injured innocence and indignation on occasions which were not doubtful, as he desires not to appear one-sided; and perhaps these one or two decisions will win the contest. When a nine in addition to being particularly tricky is exceedingly noisy it becomes rather a nuisance. St., quoting the New York Times

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a different account of the sale of the Providence franchise; a precis of the off-season

Date Wednesday, February 3, 1886
Text

At the annual League meeting, when it became evident that Providence could or would give no guarantee of finishing the coming season, it was determined to let that club out as easy and whole as possible, and for this purpose four clubs—Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and New York each contributed $1,650 to buy Providence's franchise and to hold the players in the League. Philadelphia and Boston were each entitled to two Providence players for their share of the money, while New York and Chicago, already strong enough, were pledged not to touch any of these players, in order to permit the other clubs to strengthen themselves. They were to be reimbursed for their outlay from the sale of the players. The St. Louis Club was then given the next pick, and Washington was promised its choice from the rest, provided it was admitted to membership, which latter hinged upon the securing of a Western club in place of Buffalo, whose franchise had been surrendered to the League by Detroit. This much agreed upon, Mr. Soden, of Boston, was appointed on behalf of the four clubs a committee of one to purchase the franchise and to arrange the details of the transfer of the players, and it so happened that these four clubs being now most interested were appointed the committee on vacancies, about which our readers have heard so much of late. For her $1,650 Boston was allotted Radbourn and Dailey, Philadelphia got Farrell and one other player yet to be selected, and Shaw, Gilligan, Carroll and Hines fell to Washington. With the subsequent course of events our readers are familiar. Spalding's failure to secure Pittsburg, and his determination to oppose any increase in membership owing to the unpromising prospect of securing a paying Western city; Washington's despair and leap into the American Association arms; all are fresh in mind. At that time it seemed certain that the League would have but six clubs, and Mr. Soden presuming upon this boldly signed Paul Hines for the Boston Club. Now this was a clear breach of trust. He had gotten all he was entitled to, and for the rest was acting for his fellow members of the committee, while the Philadelphia Club had still the option of one more man and had a prior right to Hines, as had St. Louis. A strong kick would have been made, even if the eight-club scheme had not finally succeeded, and Hines would, in all probability, have been taken from Boston in any event. Soden's excuse for his tart action was that he considered that there would certainly be but six clubs and that Hines preferred Boston to all the other League cities. Now, however, that Washington is a League member, the original allotment holds good and Hines is Washington's man unless that club voluntarily relinquishes him, an event altogether unlikely we understand. And even if Washington relinquishes him it is by no means certain that the Philadelphia Club will not make a fight against Boston's retention of Hines.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fad for mascots

Date Wednesday, June 30, 1886
Text

The Boy mascot fever is spreading. Chicago started it. Detroit and New York followed suit, and now we suppose all the other clubs will fall into line.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hint at scoring stolen bases

Date Wednesday, February 3, 1886
Text

[from a column by Caylor] A player who can make a batting average of 250 per cent. and knows how to steal second base and always attempts it, is worth two of the 350 per cent. “sluggers” who need several other sluggers to help them make a run. Let the committee on the revision of rules work out a plan of scoring that will give full credit to meritorious base running and they will do the cause of professional ball playing a benefit that will bear immediate fruits. If such a system had been in vogue last year there would be no wondering by the laymen how St. Louis and Chicago won the championship from the “sluggers.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hint of mismanagement in the Metropolitan Club

Date Sunday, August 29, 1886
Text

[from Chadwick’s column] “You know how it is, well enough, Mr. Chadwick,” said Bob [Ferguson’. “Of course, I’ve nothing to say about the club’s affairs. They are treating me very well and I am doing what they want me to do.”

“‘Nuf said, Bob,” I replied. “ A nod is as good as a wing, you know,” and Bob laughed significantly. I needed no more to be thoroughly posted to as “how the old thing worked” with the Mets.

It is an old, old story of a competent man being placed in the position of manager of a team, while the team is really controlled by some self-opinionated official, who has all the say in the running of the team, while the nominal manager is left to act as a mere figure-head.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a history of the error column

Date Wednesday, March 3, 1886
Text

[from the Columbus correspondent “Buckeye,” probably Jimmy Williams] It is claimed that the error columns is the cause of all the wrangles between players concerning the misplays of the game. I will give you a little bit of history on the error column that may have escaped some of the able writers aforesaid,, some of whom did not know a base ball from a mock orange in those days. In 1879, I think it was, the National Association abolished the error column in its scoring—that is the official scorers did not keep errors, and they were not reported to the secretary of the Association. It was done for the very reasons that are now urged in favor of it and in good faith. What was the result? While the official scorers religiously obeyed the rule the newspaper reporters just as religious reported and published the error column, so that it practically did not good and simply prevented the secretary from making his resume of the season's work in fielding what it ought to have been.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hook slide?

Date Tuesday, October 19, 1886
Text

[St. Louis vs. Chicago 10/18/1886] Comiskey made a wonderful slide to second in the seventh inning. A snake-like movement of his body twisted him out of the reach of Pfeffer who had the ball but could not touch him.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a joint rules committee

Date Wednesday, June 23, 1886
Text

The League and Association presidents have each appointed a committee of three with instructions to confer together in regard to making the playing rules for next year uniform. This is a very important work, and with a view that it be done well, each president has exercised unusual care in his appointments. The League committee consists of A. G. Spalding, John I. Rogers and John. B. Day; the Association committee is O. P. Caylor, Wm. Barnie and James A. Hart. These gentlemen will no doubt give the important questions which will be submitted for their consideration careful attention, and the result will not doubt be the much-to-be-desired and often-wished-for uniformity. A joint meeting will be held some time next fall.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a justification of the reserve in the majors but not the minors

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

[from the editorial column] the only privilege withheld from the minor leagues is the reserve privilege. That they should not have. If every organization in the country should have the right to hold its players indefinitely base ball would stagnate. There would be no improvement possible; no further incentive for the players, who could not advance in their profession; no club could strengthen itself; the big clubs could draw no supply of fresh blood from the minor leagues; the minor leagues could draw no fresh supply from each other, and everything would dwindle to a dead level of monotonous sameness which would soon kill the game. Under such a system a champion club would remain so indefinitely, as the other clubs could get no new material to strengthen with. It would also be a rank injustice to minor league players to permit them to be reserved in these smaller organizations. They would be cut off from all chance of promotion and increased salary. Every player of any ability or ambition looks forward to a place in the higher leagues; for that he works and strives to perfect himself; that is the goal of his ambition. Of course he must commence in a minor league; now, what folly it would be to permit that minor league to put the fetters of the reserve rule upon the ambition of the young player, and chain him to a place where no higher honors are possible. The injustice of it must strike all sensible persons at a glance. Reserve is necessary in the highest class, and, with the exception of some few individual cases, cannot be regarded as a hardship to the players. They can get no higher, therefore their reserve does not check ambition; all possible glory having been attained, the player has but the financial reward of his work to consider, and it is sole to prevent ruinous competition here that the reserve rule was instituted, and under these circumstances has proven a wise measure, and to some extend the savior of the National game. None of these conditions exist, however, in the minor Leagues, and therefore the power to reserve would not only be superfluous, but positively detrimental to the game at large and the minor leagues themselves in particular. These bodies now have so little to complain of that all talk of “war” becomes positively childish. Let us hear no more of it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a late sighting of Projector Jackson

Date Saturday, October 30, 1886
Text

Projector Jackson, as usual, has caught on big. He is now the press agent for the American Institute. If he was to fall into the river he would come up with a gold watch in his hand. National Police Gazette October 30, 1886

Commentary on Bobby Mathews age

A cold, cruel wind crept up the Allegheny River yesterday afternoon, and, turning up the side streets, swept athwart the ball grounds. A weak, inform old man, with the stub ends of a silvery beard sticking out of his chin, and flowing white hair curling out from his tiny blue cap, hobbled over to a seat on the players' benches.

Age sat with decent grace upon his visage,

And worthily became his silver locks;

He wore the marks of many years well spent.

Of virtue, truth well tried, and wise experience.

When the venerable patriarch shed his ulster and dropped his great horn-rimmed spectacles the crowd discovered that it was Bobby Matthews—a man who played ball when the Pyramids were building and when the great crumbling Sphinx, with its unutterable mysticism and majestic secrecy towered above the sand, a riddle easily read, a ball player who saw the first course of stone laid for the construction of Niagara Falls, and before whom passed the vision of the world in its geological stages in imagery as gorgeous as the splendor of a tropic morn. The aged player laid down his toga—there was a harmonious conjunction and passage between the cold, cruel wind and the aforesaid stub ends—and he then walked out to the pitcher's box, and proceeded to mow down the Allegheny nurselings, for as a bath of corrosive sublimate is to the bed-bug so is Bobby Matthews to the home team. The Athletics won the game by a score of 6 to 3. Brown, Mann and Barkley were the only players that could hit the “little old man.” National Police Gazette October 30, 1886, quoting the Pittsburgh Dispatch

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a lawsuit over a trophy ball

Date Wednesday, March 24, 1886
Text

Base ball has been in court again, and again ha the law sustained the noble game. The Court of Common Pleas at New Brunswick, N.J., was the scene of the contest, and the question was as to the ownership of a plain everyday base ball. A suit was brought last Wednesday, by the Clipper base Ball Club against the Buckeyes, both of New Brunswick, to recover a ball the former team won last summer. The Buckeyes put in among its defences the plea that playing for a ball was gambling under the laws of New Jersey. The court refused to allow the defence and ordered the defendants to pay $1 and costs.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a lawsuit testing the black list

Date Wednesday, October 13, 1886
Text

Burns, the blacklisted third baseman of the Newark Club, yesterday began a suit in the Court of Chancery to compel the directors of the club to reinstate him, and to restrain them from any acts of opposition or injustice that may prevent him from obtaining a livelihood. The action is based on the ground that no association or individual has the right to deprive him of making his living. The case will be argued in several days. Should Burns be successful in his suit, other similar actions will probably follow.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a legal opinion on baseball contracts, blacklisting

Date Tuesday, August 24, 1886
Text

A well-known Pittsburg attorney, who has made a close study of base-ball players’ contracts and has figured in suit growing out of them, says that they are illegal, and would not stand for a moment in any court in the land. As for blacklisting a player, which is practically issuing an injunction to prevent him from making a livelihood, it gives the victim the best kind of grounds for a suit for conspiracy against the club or association of clubs placing a ban upon him. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a local consensus on how to score stolen bases

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

[from a letter by Horace Fogel] When the Athletic and Philadelphia clubs played the spring series we started for the first time to score “stolen bases.” Of course there was wrangling and disputing at first, and for the first two games the scorer's box was a regular debating society; but we soon had the matter down fine, and it became as easy and nature to us as it was to score runs. We met in the box the first day, and before the game was called the matter was thoroughly discussed. The rule was read and re-read, and we all agreed upon a uniform system. We decided to score every time a man started for another bag, and succeeded in getting there. Of course there was no trouble about scoring “clean” steals. The rule means that if a man starts to steal a base and gets there, no matter if there's a wild thrown a muff, a fumble, a wild pitch, a passed ball or any kind of an error made, he shall be given credit for a steal, providing, of course, that he started to run before the error was made. This is what the rule provides, and this is the way we score it in Philadelphia.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a movement of minor leagues combining for self-protection

Date Sunday, October 17, 1886
Text

The movement of the minor base ball leagues toward combining for self protection is growing rapidly. Within the last few days several of the minor leagues have joined the International League, which was the first to take action in the movement. It is said that the leaders are level-headed men and carefully feel their way before making a move. The manager of one of the leading Eastern League [clubs] said yesterday that there would be a big surprise in base ball before too long.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a mute umpire; hand signals

Date Wednesday, October 27, 1886
Text

It seems impossible that a mute should be able to umpire, but Ed Dundon, the well-known mute pitcher, did so satisfactorily in a game at Mobile, Ala., last week. He used the fingers of the right hand to indicate strikes, the fingers of the left to call balls, a shake of the head decided a man “not out,” and a wave of the hand meant “out.” There was not kicking to speak of in the game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a new sliding pad

Date Wednesday, March 3, 1886
Text

Sam Morton has introduced a clever device which all ball players will doubtless welcome warmly. It is a sliding pad, which fits over the hip and thigh of a player so that he can do the slide act as often as he chooses without bruising and laming himself upon the hard runs. In these days, when men like Kelly, Williamson, Burns and Pfeffer make half their bases by steals, such a device will prove a boon to players, and the mere consciousness of having it strapped about them will render them all the more daring and agile. It is light and yielding, so that it does not impede a player's action in the slightest, yet is sufficiently thick to protect the player from contact with the ground. Kelly tried one on yesterday and is delighted with it.

“Just what I have wanted for three years,” said he “and yet I never have been able to think up the scheme. I will show those shorts and second basemen some sliding now. Why, many a time I have been so sore and lame that I couldn't run just from striking the ground with my thigh in trying to catch the boys asleep.” Spalding Bros. Have the sale of the pad, and it is safe to say that every player who has any reputation as a base-runner will wear one this year.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a players' relief association proposednot a brotherhood or union

Date Wednesday, March 10, 1886
Text

[a letter from “A Veteran Player”] I noticed an editorial in last Sunday's New York World in regard to a ball players' benefit association. The idea made a favorable impression with me and a number of the professionals living in this city [Philadelphia]. I cannot conceive of a more noble plan than the one I heard Mr. W. H. Voltz speak of a year ago. It is he who is the originator of the scheme. He worked incessantly to start the organization last spring, and had succeeded in securing the names of 57 League and American Association players when he accepted the management of the Chattanooga Club in June last. His departure for the South settled the benefit association for the time being. I understand that he will begin his work anew as soon as the ball playing season opens. He is located here and will meet all the players during the season, when he will present a petition for their signatures. Some people got the idea that the organization was to be a ball players' union. This is an error, as it is not his intention to form anything of the kind. His sole desire is to perfect a sick fund. Only members of the League and American Association (including managers) in good standing are to organize as charter members. A meeting will be called at the end of the playing season when the constitution and by-laws will be framed. After the organization is formed any professional players in good health can make application for admission, which will be passed upon by a committee appointed for that purpose. The dues *the amount to be decided upon) say $5 or $10 per month during the playing season, will be paid into the treasury. In case of sickness caused by accident or natural causes a certain sum is to be paid each week during the period of such sickness. In case of death a stated amount is to be paid for funeral expenses. I sincerely hope that all players he approaches with the petition will have no hesitancy in signing, as the scheme is a grand one and is sure to be a success. The Sporting Life March 10, 1886

AA omits scoring strike outs

“What is to be gained by omitting from the score the number of strike-outs made by a pitcher?--Record. The idea is to stop the growing evil of pitchers playing for a strike-out record. With most of the younger pitchers the dominant desire is to strike out as many men as possible, no matter whether the game is won or lost. It has come to such a pass that the first inquiry a pitcher makes after a game is:--”how many men did I strike out? If this isn't record-playing what is it? It will prove a wise decision. The Sporting Life March 10, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a prediction that the new rules won't stick

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

We predict before thirty days of the season have elapsed there will be a rescinding of some of the new rules., quoting the Pittsburg Referee

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for two umpires 2

Date Friday, August 13, 1886
Text

Assuming that the umpire does his best in an impartial manner (and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary we ought to take that view), it seems clear to me, from the many mistakes which are made, that the umpire has more duties to perform than he can accomplish. The game is played with such rapidity and skill that questions requiring the decision of the umpire are constantly arising, and these the umpire (who has had to have his eye on the pitcher, batsman, ball, and the three bases at one and the same time) is expected to decide without a moment’s hesitation. To me it seems remarkable that he performs his duties so well, but if better results can be obtained they certainly ought to be, and to that end I would suggest that two umpires be employed and the duties divided between them. Even in cricket, which is played in a much more deliberate manner, two umpires are necessary. Their duties are well defined and cannot clash, and a man is not placed in a position to judge of something which it is often impossible for him to see. The result is that such scenes as are witnessed on our base ball grounds are utterly unknown up a cricket field. I do not pretend to say in what positions in the field two umpires should be placed, but a very little consideration by the managers of our leading nines would decide that point; but if the suggestion offers any clew to the present difficulty the base ball fraternity are welcome to it. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed guaranty fund

Date Wednesday, January 20, 1886
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the NL special committee on vacancies 1/16/86] ...in order to guard the League against disaster and loss from weak clubs the following resolutions introduced by John I. Rogers were adopted:

Resolved, That this committee recommend to the League to so amend its constitution as to require each league club to deposit with the president he sum of $5,000, in yearly installments of $1,000, payable during the month of March in each year. Said sums to constitute a guarantee fund for the fulfillment of the contractual relations between the several members of the League.

Also that mutual bonds, with approved security in the sum of $5,000 each, be given by each League club to all the other League clubs for the faithful performance of all obligations under the League constitution and the legislation made in pursuance thereof.

The effect of this resolution, if adopted by the League, will be to create a great fund, which will be invested and the interest of which will go to reimburse the League for the losses inflected by any defection in the ranks in the course of a season, as well as repay the individual club the proportionate losses inflected by breaks in the schedule. The money derived by the interest will also help to defray the current expenses of the League, and thus help lighten the burden of the clubs.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed proto-designated hitter rule

Date Sunday, November 14, 1886
Text

[discussing the upcoming rules committee meeting] George Wright, the old Boston shortstop, offers a suggestion that pitchers and catchers be not compelled to bat. This rule would leave it optional with a club whether to allow their battery to take their proper turn at the bat or to allow seven men to do their batting.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a record crowd; clearing the field

Date Monday, June 14, 1886
Text

The largest crowd that ever witnessed a base ball game in New York and probably in this country saw the first game at the Polo grounds between the New York and Detroit clubs. At least 30,000 people were present. The crowd was so great that the game could not be played until a reserve of police had been called out and the crowd forced back from the field. Even then there was not room enough to properly play the game. The excitement was intense throughout and it appeared to be bordering on a riot at one time.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a retrospective antedating of catcher's gloves

Date Monday, July 5, 1886
Text

An exchange says that “Jim White, the third baseman of the Detroit club, was the first man who ever used gloves while catching behind the bat.” This is a mistake. Delavarge, the catcher of the old Knickerbockers, an amateur club of Albany, used gloves when playing behind the bat in the sixties.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a revived colored Pythian Club; Reach involved

Date Wednesday, December 8, 1886
Text

The people interested in the formation of a colored club to represent Philadelphia in the projected Colored League to be organized at Pittsburg Dec. 9met Friday night at No. 336 South Eleventh street for the purpose of organizing. The upshot of the meeting was the formation of the “Pythian Base Ball Association, of Philadelphia.” the following officers were elected: Gilbert A. Ball, president; Herman Close, corresponding secretary; A. J. Reach, treasurer.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor of Kansas City selling out to Pittsburgh

Date Monday, August 2, 1886
Text

And it is now said that Kansas City is to sell her franchise to Pittsburg, and the Allegheny club is to enter the League.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor that Barnie is willing to sell the Baltimores

Date Monday, August 2, 1886
Text

There is big talk of Barnie selling out the Baltimores. He has been offered $12,000 for his plant but wants $25,000 and won’t seel for a less figure.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumored colored player

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

The Cleveland Plain Dealer says that the Zanesville catcher, Johnson, who caught Watson, now of Cincinnati, is a colored man whose real name is Male. Were this true, the International League would have five colored players next year, as Syracuse has signed Johnson. But Johnson denies the dark impeachment.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumored inducement offered to Pittsburgh to jump

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent's column] It is stated on the authority of Mr. Cliff Wharton, the private secretary of Mr. Converse, one of the principal stockholders of the Pittsburgs, that the team was offered anything it wanted by Spalding, representing the League, as an inducement to join that body. One inducement was to give the Pittsburgs the pick of the first five eligible League players. It is freely admitted that the team should have a new first baseman, a middle fielder and another catcher, while a third baseman like Denny would not be out of place. When Scandrett was asked about this he said that being in the League they now had an equal chance with other teams to buy players and added that they expected to get at least three new men to strengthen weak places before spring.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a sheriff's sale of the Allegheny Club

Date Tuesday, December 7, 1886
Text

The franchises of the Allegheny Base-Ball Club were sold today [12/6] by the Sheriff to A. K. Scandrett, trustee, on an execution of $30,788. This sale is said to divest all claims of the original stockholders upon the club’s property, and the debt for which it was sold was created by money to the extent of $29,940 loaned to the club three years ago by W. A. Nimick, H. R. Brown, and E. C. Converse, for whom Mr. Scandrett is trustee. Chicago Tribune December 7, 1886

The franchises of the Pittsburg Club have been sold by the Sheriff for $30,778. It was not a forced sale from financial difficulties, but simply a private arrangement by means of which a number of disgruntled stockholders were got rid of. The club is now said to be on a better financial footing than ever. The Philadelphia Times December 12, 1886

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a slow ball

Date Wednesday, August 11, 1886
Text

Tim Keefe is said to have the best slow ball in the business. “Why, it comes so slow,” says Umpire Kelly, “that when a man strikes at it he almost has time to turn around and strike again before it passes the plate.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a social club outgrowth of the old Athletics

Date Sunday, April 11, 1886
Text

Any list of the social clubs of Philadelphia would be very incomplete that did not include the Liberal Club, the small but festive organization that occupies the cozy white marble and brick front building on the east side of Broad street, north of Chestnut, adjoining Finelli’s. this club, which has a member of less than a hundred, contains possibly more of those elements of good fellowship and good living and spirited enjoyableness generally associated in the popular mind with club life than any of the organizations that are larger and more often heard of. The Liberal Club is quiet, almost secluded; and is averse to noise and notoriety. ... As the Philadelphia Club represents wealth and family; the Social Art society and culture; the Union League the great business and financial interests and the Republican party; the University, the scholars; the Pennsylvania, the bright lawyers and mug-wumps; the Commonwealth, the swallow-tail Democracy; and the Americus, the ward-working element of the same and the sporting fraternity generally, so the Liberal Club represents distinctively good-fellowship... ... Its history is curious. Just as the Philadelphia Club sprang from a whist party, the Social Art from a reading club and the Americus to a great extent from the old Fire Department, so this unconventional and convivial organization had its origin in a base ball club. It grew originally out of the old Athletic Base Ball Club, when that was a purely amateur organization in the palmy early days of the great American game, when each man’s runs and base hits and errors were not counted up and skillfully arranged beforehand in the manager’s office. As soon as base ball began to deteriorate and before it became professional some of the leading spirits and supporters of the Athletic Club, notably Edwin F. Poulterer, now the Liberal Club president; George Thompson, its vice president; William Warnock, the treasurer; Charles J. Cragin, one of the Board of Directors; Stephen Des Granges and a number of others withdrew, and, taking rooms in a building on Chestnut street, formed themselves into a little social club, to which a few years afterwards they gave the present name.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a solution to bases on balls

Date Monday, July 5, 1886
Text

Fine a pitcher $10 for every man he gives a base on balls and this foolishness would soon be stopped.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a special meeting to deal with abuse of umpires; limit coaching

Date Wednesday, June 16, 1886
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 6/9/1886] ...Mr. Wikoff stated his reasons for calling the meeting together, which were, briefly, that fines had been imposed by umpires of the Association against certain players for gross misconduct and abusive language while on the field; that under the rules payment of such fines had been demanded and refused, and that while the law gave him a right to take extreme measures, he hesitated about doing so, this being the first instance of the kind under the new constitution, without the assurance that he would be upheld in his course. … The papers in the case were about being opened when Mr. Von der Ahe, evidently impressed with the fact that he stood alone and that serious results would follow any delay, stopped further proceedings by agreeing to pay the fines. The chairman, however, insisted that as delegates had come from long distances to have the matter determined, immediate payment should be made. In a few minutes Mr. Von der Ahe handed Mr. Wikoff his check for the full amount--$260.

Action was then taken with a view to obviating as far as possible further trouble between umpires and players. Rules 7 was changed to read as follows: “The captains' and coachers' lines must be a line 15 feet from and parallel with the foul lines, commencing at a line parallel with and 75 feet distant from the catcher's lines, and running thence to the limits of the ground. Should the captain or coacher wilfully fail to remain within said bounds he shall be fined by the umpire five dollars for each such offence. This radical change was suggested by Mr. Barnie, and was well received by all.

Mr. Byrne, on a telegraphic suggestion of Major Williams, presented the following resolution, which was adopted: “That captains, assistant captains and coachers shall not address any remarks to the man at bat (except by way of proper caution) or to the pitcher or catcher of the opposing team; but all coaching shall be limited to base-runners only. The umpire shall impose a fine of $5 for the wilful violation of this rule.

Rule 51 was amended so as to prevent any person, captain, player or manager, from questioning any decision of an umpire, or to approach or address him by word or act upon any decision under severe penalties. The umpire may, if he desires, ask for information from one or more players.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a successful lawsuit for patent infringement of the catcher's mask

Date Wednesday, March 31, 1886
Text

Some professional catchers did adopt it that season, that is 1877, but it was not used by the Bostons, very extensively anywhere, until 1878. George Wright and Fred Thayer were handling it together then, and had their patent which is on the chin and forehead rests. Now that the suit is at an end I imagine there will be some fun. Al Spalding has made thousands of masks, and so has Reach. The patent has been infringed on by every one, and Wright & Ditson can collect a royalty for all of them. In fact, every catcher who wears a Reach or Spalding mask could be prosecuted, but the winner of the suit will take no such course. They are going to make the manufacturers show up, however, and those who have been infringing have got to pay now for cutting the prince until the mask sells for half what it used to bring. There are over 10,000 masks sold annually, and the royalty on all that have been made in the past eight or nine years will about to a snug sum for Fred Thayer, George Wright and Henry Ditson, who are now the owners, and have everything in their hands.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a telegraph operator on a pole

Date Wednesday, June 2, 1886
Text

The telegraph privilege on the Boston grounds for this season having been sold to the Baltimore and Ohio company, the operator of the Western Union line, who used to occupy a seat in the scorer's pen, now sends off his news of the game from a perch erected on the cross-arms of one of the company's poles opposite third base.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a telegraphed theatrical display of games

Date Sunday, May 16, 1886
Text

The base ball craze has reached its highest point of development in the South. When the Atlanta Club is playing in other cities the Atlanta people, men and women, rush to the Opera House at the hour set for the game, where there is an actual diamond on the stage, around which are stationed boys in uniform, to represent the actual players. They run the bases by telegraph, as it is being done in the game at the other end of the wire.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a theatrical reproduction of an away game

Date Wednesday, May 12, 1886
Text

We have had quite a novelty with us [in Chicago] this week in the shape of a system of reproducing here the ball games played by our team abroad. A couple of enterprising fellows from Nashville, Tenn., rented Central Music Hall last Monday and gave us the game between Kansas City and the Whites as played in that city. The idea is an excellent one, and I think that after the season is further advanced and the race becomes closer it is going to prove a big success in the hands of its very clever young inventors. …

Upon the stage was a canvas screen, twenty feet square, and upon it was painted a very realistic view of a ball field, with the diamond in the centre and the fence, hills and blue sky beyond. In the centre of the pitcher's and catcher's box, at the home plate, and at each of the three base slots had been cut, through which an assistant behind the picture inserted 12x4 inch cards bearing the names of the players as they took their positions. A telegraph operator was seated at one corner of the scene, the wire from the instrument before him connected with one in the grand stand at St. Louis. At fifteen minutes to 4 o'clock the operator announced the batting order of both teams with Gaffney as umpire. At 4 o'clock the instrument ticked out “Game,” and a minute after “Play ball.” Instantly the name of Seery appeared at the home plate and those of Clarkson and Flint as the Whites' battery. “One strike,” called the operator, then “one ball, “two, three four, five, six balls” and the name of Seery disappeared from the home plate and reappeared at first base, while that of Glasscock showed up at the home plate. “One strike,” two strikes,” called the operator, and the crowd applauded Clarkson. “Three strikes, and Glasscock knocks the ball to Anson, who throws to Clarkson at first. Glasscock out and Seery to second on the play,” called the operator, while the spectators warmly applauded and seemed delighted with the novelty of witnessing a game 300 miles distant. … The Sporting Life May 12, 1886 [See also Chicago Tribune May 4, 1886]

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a trade from a colored club

Date Wednesday, July 7, 1886
Text

The colored Trenton Club did not let its crack pitcher, George Stovey, go to the Jersey City Club without a consideration. The manager of the Trentons had a personal contract with Stovey which would have prevented his playing with any other club in New Jersey, but a cash bonus and a promise of exhibition games with Eastern League clubs induced Trenton to let Stovey go. The Sporting Life July 7, 1886

a pick-off play at second

The latest trick introduced by the Chicagos, and which they worked to the Queen’s taste on their first visit to St. Louis this year, is a terribly puzzling play, in which Williamson and Pfeffer indulge in order to put the base-runner out at second. The runner plays a few feet off the bag and the short stop and second baseman play at the usual position, nearly midway between the bases. Now the fun begins. The pitcher stands ready with the ball to throw it down and divides his time between watching the base and a sort of bluff movement, as though he were going to pitch. Williamson then runs back towards the base and the runner hustles to reach it. As the two run the pitcher makes a motion as if about to throw. Williamson then gets back to his position and the base-runner, thinking the bluff is over, goes back with him. Scarcely are the two on the way when Pfeffer runs like a streak to the bag, the ball is thrown and the runner is out. St Louis Post-Dispatch July 10, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a trade rumor

Date Wednesday, January 20, 1886
Text

[correspondence from Caylor] A Pittsburg dispatch sent out the news (?) that there was “some talk of trading Mann for Jones, of the Cincinnatis.” Is there is an such talk it is all done in Pittsburg.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a trick for a new ball

Date Sunday, July 11, 1886
Text

The Washingtons have protested the recent eleven-inning game played at Detroit. Two balls had been used. One ball was knocked foul over the fence when the Detroits were at the bat. The other old ball Getzein had in the folds of his shirt and would not produce it, and a new one was brought in, this was also knocked over the fence. The umpire would not allow the old ball in till the new one came back.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a walk-on pitcher

Date Saturday, September 25, 1886
Text

[Washington vs. Philadelphia 9/24/1886] [John] Strike, a Philadelphia boy, who has been pitching for the Kingstons, of Kingston, N.Y., saw the announcement in The Times that Harry Wright wanted a pitcher yesterday morning. He went out to Recreation Park and showed up so well in practice that the Philadelphia manager decided to use him against the Washingtons. [Philadelphia won 3-2]

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA player agrees to his trade

Date Monday, July 12, 1886
Text

“Well, I have just been released from the Browns,” said George McGinnis on last Wednesday morning.

“Where are you going?” was the response.

“Well,” replied George, “I understand I have been released to go to the Athletics, but I have made no bargain with them yet.” The Sporting News July 12, 1886

a mob interrupts the game

[Brooklyn vs. Cincinnati 7/11/1886] The crowd was very noisy from the start, and when Umpire Bradley called McPhee out on strikes in the second inning became very abusive. In the sixth inning Bradley rendered a decision, which was afterwards pronounced by the entire Cincinnati club a fair one, but it gave the Brooklyns two runs, and the crowd went wild. The hooting interrupted the game, and finally some fellow in the “bleaching boards” hurled a beer glass at Bradley, the missile breaking within a few feet of him and one of the Brooklyn players. This increased the fury of the crowd, which was making an uproarious disturbance, and the first glass was followed by a dozen more from two or three stands. One of them struck Mr. Bradley on the foot. To add to the confusion, a fight had arisen in the west pavilion, and Bob Clark, one of the Brooklyn players, seeing some of his friends in the fight, seized a bat and clambered into the stand to take part in the affray. He was soon put back in the field and the fight stopped. Meanwhile two or three thousand people poured into the field from the stands threatening the umpire and the Brooklyn players, and the private policemen had all they could do to protect them from the howling mob. Bradley escaped by fleeting to the Director’s room, where he remained for fifteen minutes. After the disturbance in the pavilion had been quelled the crowd slowly left the field and play was resumed without further incident. In the crush in the grand stand a number of benches were broken and the reporters’ stand was demolished, but nobody hurt. Bradley was not molested after the game. There were no arrests. Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette July 12, 1886 [See also Cincinnati Enquirer 7/12/1886.]

Source The Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA players required to buy their uniforms

Date Wednesday, March 17, 1886
Text

The Association players don't like the new rule compelling them to pay for their uniforms. It will be the first time such a thing has been done in the Association. This uniform will cost each player about $35. Von der Ahe, however, will provide the Browns with all the extra pants they need, because the Browns do so much base-stealing that they wear out m0ore pants than any other Association team.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA president's office hours

Date Wednesday, March 10, 1886
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 3/1-3/3/1886] [reporting on the amended constitution] He [the president] is provided with an office and messenger, and required during the championship season to be in the office by person or by proxy, from 9 o'clock A.M. To 6 P.M. every day.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA rules the strike zone is over any part of the plate

Date Wednesday, March 17, 1886
Text

The ball must be delivered at the height called for by the batsman. If at such height it passes over any part of the plate then it is a strike. The idea is to give the pitcher a chance against some cranky umpire who compelled the twirlers to almost cut the plate in two before a strike would be called, even if the height was right.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA splitting the gate at non-scheduled Sunday games

Date Wednesday, December 15, 1886
Text

[from Caylor's column] Isn't it rather gauzy to claim that the Pittsburg Club joined the League because of its repugnance for Sunday games. I can respect any such feeling, but it is not a sincere one in the Pittsburg Club, which has on a number of occasions played Sunday games in this city [Cincinnati] and St. Louis when not scheduled, receiving therefor a percentage of the receipts. Let us be honest.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

abolishing the intentionally dropped third strike

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/17/1886] The batter is out on the fourth strike (no matter what becomes of the ball) at any time when first base be occupied and two hands be not out. The object of this rule is to end all chance at trickery on the part of the catcher to produce a double play and to relieve the umpire in such cases of the responsibility of deciding whether the ball was purposely dropped or not. Of course, if first base be not occupied or if two hands be out there would be nothing gained by a muff of the fourth strike, and in such cases the ball must be held to put the batter out. The Sporting Life November 24, 1886

Captain John Ward, of the New York nine, said that the rule regarding the four-strike system was drawn by him and has been muddled in the papers... The Philadelphia Times November 28, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

adjustments in pitching and hitting technique

Date Monday, August 23, 1886
Text

Hecker thinks that Richmond, the latest Cincinnati pitcher, will prove a failure. His old-time effectiveness is explained when the fact is known that he was almost the first left-handed curve pitcher. Batsmen would now pound him all over the field. Richmond has but one ball, the plain underhand throw and simple curve. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Al Reach on the Pittsburgh jump, fifty cent admission

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

Al Reach is well pleased with the result of the League meeting in general, but does not hesitate to express the opinion that Pittsburg made a mistake when it left eh Association for the League. He admitted that it was a good thing for the League, but he can't see where it would benefit the Pittsburg Club. Said he: “I don't believe that the fifty cents admission will pay in Pittsburg. In fact, I don't see why they left when the present status of the American Association is in such an excellent condition. The Association was never in better shape. So far as the Pittsburg team is concerned, I think it will be strong enough to keep well up in the League race.” Mr. Reach further thinks the club will try the fifty-cent plan, and if it fails will go back to twenty-five cents. “Will the League allow it?” he added; “well, I should say so. The Pittsburg Club can have anything in that line it wants. That is understood.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Al Spink resigns as St. Louis official scorer

Date Thursday, May 6, 1886
Text

There is to be a change in the score-box at the Union Park. The official scorer for the League in St. Louis, Mr. Al. Spink, will resign his position and the place will be filled by Mr. George Munson. Mr. Spink gives up the place for the reason that his arduous duties as managing editor of the Sporting News, combined with his recent ill health, renders his attendance at all the games and the work of score keeping altogether too much for him to bear. Mr. Munson will be at home in the box and is the best man for the position that Mr. Lucas could select. Al. will leave the city soon for a short trip in order to bring himself into the proper condition for the work he will have to do during the coming summer. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

alienating the press

Date Monday, May 17, 1886
Text

[from the New York correspondent] I ran across Pete Donohue, of the New York World, in the press stand at Recreation Park on Wednesday. ‘I see,’ said Pete, ‘that you pitched into us for not doing anything in our papers for Wiman’s team. The trouble is we are not against Mr. Wiman or the Metropolitans, but against Major Williams, who has not treated us right. When the season tickets were issued, the Major sent each of us a simple admission ticket, which did not entitle us to seats in the grand stand. When his attention was called to this by one of the ‘boys’ he sent other tickets with the request that we sent the first tickets back, as he could sell them. We not only sent the first bul all the tickets back, and now we delegate one man to attend the game, and he pays his way in, the rest of us chipping in for his expenses. We thus ignore the team. This ticket business is not the only thing, but it was the one that capped the climax. I imagine the Major does not boast now, as he did in the Winter, that these d-----d base ball reporters were easily handled, when one knew how, and that as managing editor of two papers his experience had taught him how to manage them.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an account of the founding of the Athletics

Date Wednesday, September 8, 1886
Text

Manager Phillips, of the Pittsburg Club, in a talk with a reporter the other day fell into a reminiscent mood from which the following was evolved: “Base ball is not what it used to be as far as making a start is concerned. In 1881 [sic: probably late 1880] Sharsig, Mason and I started the Athletics in Philadelphia with $9. that paid for the stockings, Sharsig having old uniforms. We paid $3 a day for the ground at Oakdale Park. At the end of two weeks we got about $2 apiece for our work. The largest crowd we had numbered 300. I went to work to 'make or break' and engaged the Boston Club to play two games, guaranteeing them $300 and $100 in case of rain, without a cent in the treasury to pay it. Fortunately for all concerned, we had an attendance of five or six thousand people in the two days, although at that time the grounds seated only about four hundred people. We paid the players twenty-five per cent. of the receipts, which they divided among ten men. With the money realized from this game we purchased a small stock of lumber, and three of us went out in the morning and built additional seats, until we had a seating capacity of a couple of thousand. Our hard luck disappeared with these Boston games, and in the four months that remained of the season we divided $5,000 among ourselves. The attendance at the League exhibition games was very large. This is one of a few instances where a base ball club started on little or no capital. From that club over $100,000 has since been made. But there are very few cities where this is likely to occur again. Now, instead of $9, it take $9,000 to get a good team, to say nothing of fixing up the grounds.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an argument for giving assists for strike outs

Date Sunday, December 26, 1886
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] It would be really interesting to read a tangible defense of that rule which omits an “assist” being given to a pitcher, either in the score or foot-notes, in case of a strike-out. Every other player in the team who assists in putting a man out gets credit therefor, but the pitcher may so skillfully twirl the sphere as to strike out man after man, all of which goes so far towards winning a game, and yet he is not entitled to an “assist.

Source The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an assessment of the Staten Island experiment; Metropolitan finances

Date Sunday, June 13, 1886
Text

It is generally accepted here [New York] that Mr. Erastus Wiman’s base-ball venture is not only a financial failure, but that it hasn’t done Staten Island the good he hoped for. When he first got the idea that he would like to be a base-ball club owner, he looked around for a clever man to turn things for him. Mr. George F. Williams had just severed his connection with the New York Herald, whose fight with the newsdealers he had managed, and Mr. Wiman engaged him. Twenty-five thousand dollars in cold cash was paid for the Metropolitan Club, to say nothing of the expenses of the law suits that followed the purchase. Then Mr. Williams started in to make the greatest base-ball grounds that the world had ever seen. They are beautiful grounds, and when they were completed Mr. Wiman footed the bill with a little check for $51,000. Mr. Wiman has expended more money than this, but lately there has been much reticence regarding the workings of the club. When Mr. Williams was told that the Metropolitan Club’s home dates interfered with the New York league clubs, and that the Metropolitans would suffer, he remarked: “I guess that it will be the New York Club that will suffer.” But he was woefully out of the way. At the last game played at Staten Island by the Metropolitans there were fewer than 400 spectators present. Then, there is no reliance to be placed in the Metropolitans’ playing. They have no steadiness, and there is every chance that they will continue to snail along at the end of the American Association’s line.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early intimation of the Players' League

Date Saturday, November 27, 1886
Text

The men who play the game as a rule know a trifle more about what is wanted than the bloated stockholder who sits in the director's box and watches the game, while he sips his wine and puffs his Havana. It is a long lane that has no turn, and the players have kept straight ahead down the lane until they have at least caught sight of the turn. There are some pretty level headed players throughout the country, and if the managers do not keep a pretty sharp look out they will get the toot and the persecuted players will band themselves together and take the business into their own hands.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an editorial against beer and Sunday baseball

Date Friday, July 16, 1886
Text

Last Sunday’s disturbance at Cincinnati during the game between the home nine and the Brooklyns of the American Association was an emphatic argument in favor of the management of the National Association [sic: i.e. National League], and a clear demonstration of the fact that beer, base-ball and Sunday cannot be harmoniously combined. Although the umpire appears to have acquitted himself to the satisfaction of both nines, the Sunday crowd in the “bleaching boards” was of another mind. And so, unwilling to leave him to the chances of escaping death from the ball, the roughs, with beer in their blood and the mugs in their fists, “took a hand in the game.” The Sunday game was the occasion for the presence of so many hoodlums, and the beer for sale on the grounds prompted the attack and furnished the missiles. The even was disgraceful to the American Association, and probably could not have occurred in any other city except perhaps St. Louis or Hoboken. The National Association games has as a rule drawn much larger bodies of spectators and been more successful in every way without the adjunct of beer and without having made it necessary to play Sunday. For the firm stand taken against both these demoralizing innovations the officers of that association deserve credit.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an idea for a ball catching device for the catcher

Date Wednesday, October 6, 1886
Text

A patent for a contrivance to prevent injury to the hands of catchers who play the National game will be introduced to the ball-playing public next season, says a New York exchange. It is described as made of steel and India rubber, in the form of the letter V, and is held on one hand, leaving the other free for throwing. No glove is needed on either hand when using the device, and with it a boy can catch the swiftest ball a pitcher can send in. it can be dropped instantly when there is a prospect that the catcher will have to touch a man trying to run home. Experienced ball players who have tried the deice like it so well that they say it must come into general, use, even if the the present rules of the game have to be amended to permit of its employment.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an incoherent condemnation of buying and selling players

Date Wednesday, September 8, 1886
Text

This buying and selling of players has become so great that a club cannot any longer get a player without paying the usual blood money. Should a club have a player which it cannot even find use for, it will hold on to him until some other club comes along and buys him.

The most telling effect of this evil is that a strong club is forever drawing the life-blood from the weaker ones by buying their players at prices which they are forced to accept through poverty. In this way the club gets weaker and weaker, the patronage drops off and the end soon comes. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an informal expansion draft

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

[The new Cleveland Club, of the American Association, starts out under many favorable and some unfavorable conditions. … It has the best wishes of its associates in the American group, and will receive some help from them in a good many ways. … Possibly a dozen [players] are offered free by the various American clubs, as many more are offered for moderate prices..., quoting the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an intentional base on balls; pitching around the batter

Date Friday, October 22, 1886
Text

[Chicago vs. St. Louis 10/21/1886] Considerable commotion was caused yesterday when Clarkson let in a few runs by injudiciously allowing O’Neill his base on balls on two occasions during the game. Ordinarily the tactics would be pronounced as good headwork, but when he once saw that Gleason was a dangerous man to play with, that once should have satisfied him that good hard pitching was preferable to such powerful risks as those involved in deliberately placing three men on bases with a follower to the last like that which Gleason proved to be. In speaking of the matter later on Clarkson said: “Don’t think that I was quite so careless as I probably seemed to be. That first time I gave O’Neill the base I did it intentionally, as everybody could easily see. But the second time any one who had watched me pitch the game through could tell I did my best to prevent him from hitting the second time. I didn’t succeed, but I tried hard enough just the same.” St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an old coach's trick

Date Monday, August 9, 1886
Text

Few will forget Billie Taylor’s trick of standing outside the coach lines and having the ball thrown to him on the claim that it was ripped, allowing it to pass and the man on third to come home.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an umpire resigns mid-game

Date Saturday, July 3, 1886
Text

[Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh 7/2/1886] On the last strike Carroll caught the ball rather quick and observing Clinton away from his base threw to the ball Whitney[3b]. Arthur touched Clinton and Curry declared him out. The Baltimores, particularly Clinton, howled against the decision, claiming that he was on his base. Warm words were bandied all round. It was extremely close business to decide upon, but the public verdict seemed to be that Curry was right. The dissatisfaction of Barnie’s men, however, grew stronger and Frank walked off the grounds, leaving the players to settle it among themselves. Considerable time was wasted in selecting another umpire. After all qualified persons had refused the office, Jimmy Galvin came to the rescue and proceeded to work by calling Brown out on strikes. Tom remarked, “Galvin is rotten,” but “Jeems” only responded with a smile.

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Anson kicking

Date Tuesday, May 4, 1886
Text

[Chicago vs. Philadelphia 5/3/1886] The most time was lost...by “kicking,” but the plucky manner in which Van Court set down on “Baby” put an end for a time to such foolishness. Anson, however, refused to be kept down and broke out in spots during the rest of the game.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Anson on Sunday games; a response

Date Wednesday, August 4, 1886
Text

Anson's opinion of Sunday games is... of interest as giving the League view of a point of difference between themselves and the Association:

“It may surprise you, but Sunday games, from a business point of view, are very far from profitable. Now, in St. Louis they will have a crowd of perhaps 10,000 people upon Sunday, and then drag along with 500 or 600 during the week. Then if it rains Sunday, where are they? Sunday playing keeps away the better and richer class of patrons who support the game in other cities and make it what it is.” The Sporting Life August 4, 1886

This clearly demonstrates that the bluffer knows nothing of the manner in which St. Louis people patronize the home clubs. The poorest day the Sportsman's Park has witnessed this season was nearly 500, while the average, without Sunday, is from 1,200 to 1,500. The management state they are between $20,000 and $25,000 ahead of their returns this time last season. If the big bluffer things the Browns' stock is below par, let him try to capture a few shares. The Sporting Life August 11, 1886 quoting the St. Louis Republican

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Anson's personal finances

Date Monday, July 5, 1886
Text

With the organization of the National League Anson went to Chicago and he has been there ever since, and there is no doubt that he will play with the white-hosed “kickers” until he gets old and stiff, and unable to play. He never will get too rich to play, for he is said now to be worth over one hundred thousand dollars, invested in good-paying real estate. Beside this, Anson is one of the largest stockholders in the Chicago Club, and has other interests which are daily adding to his wealth.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Anson's reputation as a kicker

Date Monday, May 10, 1886
Text

Anson is the greatest kicker in the business. He kicks because he believes if you don’t kick you will get the worst of it, and he makes a point to kick early and often.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

antedating 'baseball card'

Date Saturday, June 5, 1886
Text

Oh! for mercy's sake, why don't some one send four cents in stamps to Sporting Life for a set of their new baseball cards, and give them a chance to publish a new paragraph.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

artificial noise makers

Date Friday, June 18, 1886
Text

[describing arrangements for Chicago fans to travel to Detroit] Each man in the delegation will go armed with a small wooden duck-call of wonderful volue, and whenever a base-hit is made by the Whites will break forth in a chorus from the grand stand. Chicago Tribune June 18, 1886

[Chicago vs. Detroit 6/19/1886] [The Chicago Club accompanied by a large delegation of Chicago fans] The Whites were the first upon the grounds, and as they filed through the gates upon the diamond they were followed by the Chicago delegation, which took seats in a section especially reserved for them, and received from emissaries of the Chicago Club a pile of big, loud-sounding castanets with which the visitors made more noise than the remaining 12,000 people on the grounds. The Sporting Life June 30, 1886

The Detroit Base Ball Club and a delegation of its friends and admirers to the number of 300 arrived here [Chicago] over the Michigan Central... Every one in the delegation is provided with tin roosters mounted on broom-handles, and the gaily painted birds are said to be the possessor of as shrill a whistle as ever set one’s teeth on edge. These whistles will swell the applause which the Detroiters intend to lavish upon their players. St. Louis Post-Dispatch July 8, 1886

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attempted to negotiate a trade

Date Monday, November 8, 1886
Text

[an interview of Gus Schmelz] “I came here to see if I could make a deal with Mr. Von der Ahe for Nicol. I offered to trade Snyder, our catcher, for the right fielder of the Browns, but Mr. Von der Ahe would not agree to the dicker. Nicol has not been playing lately, and I thought that as long as he could get his pitchers to play the position well Von der Ahe might be willing to trade Nichol off for a catcher.”

“Was any extra money offered?”

“No. The offer was simply to swap Snyder for Nicol. Mr. Von der Ahe, however, made me a counter proposition in which he said he would give me Nicol for Corkhill, our right fielder. Then it was my turn to laugh.” St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance in Boston 2

Date Wednesday, August 25, 1886
Text

In the second home series, which they [Boston] have just completed, they played 20 games, winning 13 and losing 6, and one was a tie. … These twenty games have been attended, according to the turnstiles, by 48, 876 people, divided as follows: Chicago, 10,031; Detroit, 12,874; Kansas City, 4,345; New York, 10,134; Philadelphia (2 games) 3,943; St. Louis, 4,556; Washington, 2,993. the average was 2,444. in the first home series, twenty-one games and including three holiday contests, the attendance was 59,090, an average of 2,814. the total attendance this season has been 107,966, an average of 2,633, and the visiting clubs proved attractions in this order: Detroit, 26,095; New York, 20,396; St. Louis, 16,623; Chicago, 15,195; Philadelphia, 13,822; Kansas City, 10,161; Washington, 5,674.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

awaiting a feeding frenzy

Date Saturday, August 21, 1886
Text

During the last ten days the eyes of the managers of the National League of Base Ball Clubs have been centered on St. Louis. They have been looking to the dissolution of the Maroons in order that they might secure one or two of the very few first-class players that club posses and yesterday morning nearly every club in the League had a representative in St. Louis. The base ball agents were quiet and unobtrusive and avoided being interviewed as far as they possibly could. They had come here on a special mission and they did not care particularly to discuss their private business with others than those with whom they proposed to transact business. The majority of them will remain in the city until some final disposition is made of the Maroons. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

balk rule disregarded

Date Wednesday, September 8, 1886
Text

The balk rule is practically disregarded in all the associations and pitchers balk at will, so that there are no few trials of swift base-running against speedy and accurate throwing. If a rule was established clearly defining a balk and strictly enforced, it would greatly improve the game. Nearly all the pitchers also step out of the box. They would be quickly cured of the habit if penalized by calling every ball so delivered an unfair ball, whether on the plate or not, and even if struck at by the batsman without being hit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ball club finances; salaries

Date Wednesday, December 15, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Chadwick] The profits of the clubs last year were large. The Philadelphia club is now erecting a $60,000 club-house, and the New York club, after paying some $40,000 expenses, cleared more than $50,000. The Chicago and Detroit clubs also did well. These all belong to the National League. In the American Association the most successful clubs were the Brooklyn, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Athletic of Philadelphia. The Brooklyn club cleared about $30,000.

Salaries will form a large item of expense next year. Some of the men will get from $2,500 to $3,500. O’Rourke, the New York catcher, got $3,500 last year. Capt. Ward will probably get $3,000, and the pitcher and center-fielder the same. The Philadelphia club will have four or five men who will receive about $3,000.

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ball player agency

Date Wednesday, February 10, 1886
Text

Sam Morton has opened his lists for unengaged ball players for the season of 1886, and is ready to accommodate both clubs and players as they may call upon him. His address is No. 108 Madison street.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore doesn't practice plays

Date Sunday, September 5, 1886
Text

The Baltimore Club does not practice like the rest of the American Association clubs, and seems to rely on chances. St. Louis practices all sorts of plays under Comiskey’s management. For instnace, a player is on first base. Comiskey plays a deep position and suddenly runs to first base. The catcher knows from the sign received previously that he must throw the ball. He does so, and frequently the runner who is not on to the trick gets too far off and is caught. The same thing works on the other places. Another thing they practice is bunting the ball, which has brought in many runs for them. ... ...but with Baltimore it is different. All managers should have a regular catechism of the different tricks and have regular days for instruction. Players often forget the plays told them, and to keep them fresh in their minds they should be put through a course of questions, and in pracitce should be given a chance to make difficult plays.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Barkley sues the AA

Date Wednesday, March 24, 1886
Text

President Nimick and Secretary Scandrett, of the Allegheny Base Ball Club, and Attorney J T. Buchanan were engaged until an early hour this morning preparing a bill in equity in the Barkley case against the American Association. It sill not be filed in court before to-morrow.

It is lengthy and exhaustive, but does not ask the Court to decide on Barkley’s personal conduct. The question to be determined, according to the bill, is whether or not the association Directors exceeded their power when they punished Barkley. It goes on to show they did, and in substance argues the following:

The Directors had no right to try Barkley on any charges of dishonorable conduct. He was never informed that any such charges were to be preferred against him. Nor were any preferred. He was tried and punished under the old constitution and that constitution did not empower the Directors to punish, fine or expel any player for the first offense. All that the Directors could do was to “direct” the club of which the player was a member to “discipline” him. Only on the second offense could the Directors directly inflect punishment of any kind.

This is the chief line on which the association will be assailed. The bill recites the case from beginning to end, always keeping in view the fact that the Directors had no power whatever under their law to punish him even though charges had been preferred against him. Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette March 24, 1886

The filing of the bill in equity in the suit of S. W. Barkley against the American Association, which was to have taken place yesterday, was delayed through the necessary papers not having been printed in time. I am informed, however, that Barkley's complaint was filed in the Court of Common Pleas here today. The contents of the bill were not made public and the hearing was postponed until Monday owing to the illness of the judge. The Sporting Life March 31, 1886

...Sam Barkley's bill in equity was filed in the Pittsburg Court on Saturday, March 27. On Monday, th 29 th, it was presented to Judge Stowe in champers by Moontooth Brothers and Buchanan, the plaintiff's solicitors, and a motion made to restraining the clubs of the American Association from playing any games with the Pittsubrg Club, in which Barkley was barred from participating. The bill is a very lengthy one, and recites the action of the Association at Louisville and Cincinnati, and the causes which led to Barkley's signing with the Pittsburgs, all of which has already appeared in these columns. … His argument is that the Association could compel the Pittsubrg Club to discipline him, but it could not act in his case as an Association.

The Court did not seem inclined to lose much time over the matter, and when upon brief investigation Judge Stowe found that the defendants were absent, and that notice had been served on the Pittsburg Club only, he refused to grant an ex parte preliminary injunction. He signed a petition for an order for service on the other defendants—that is, all the other clubs of the Association...

Chariman Byrne had a consultation with President Wiman, of the Metropolitans, and that gentleman declared himself unequivocally with the Association in this fight, and at once instructed his Pittsburg lawyers—Messrs. Cassidy and Richardson—to take charge of the case there while the Philadelphia counsel, Messrs. Wagner and Cooper, who so successfully conducted his memorable fight against the Association in the Philadelphia court last winter, were also instructed to confer with Mr. Byrne as to the best methods of defense in the present suit. … The Sporting Life April 7, 1886

The Barkley case is to be settled out of court. At the hearing in the suit at Pittsburg, April 2, Judge Stowe intimated pretty clearly that the American Association acted irregularly and in a manner which could not stand the test of law when they suspended Barkley under the old constitution, under which the club, and not the Association, should have punished the player. The rehearing at Cincinnati it appeared, was also rendered nugatory through President McKnight's failure to serve proper notice upon Barkley. From the whole tenor of the judge's remarks it was quite evident that Barkley had a good case with fair prospect of winning. Still the American Association had a formidable array of counsel present and threatened to make a prolonged fight, with a good chance of avoiding a final judgment until late in the summer. The chances of both plaintiff and defendant for final victory in court were about even, and this fact evidently impressed itself upon both, so that it was less difficult to bring about an amicable settlement than would have been supposed. After the court's adjournment Mr. Nimick and Byrne met in the office of the Association's counsel, and, after a desultory discussion, a compromise was suggested. This seemed to meet with the approbation of the counsel of both parties, and accordingly another meeting of all concerned was held later in the evening to consider the matter. Meantime Mr. Byrne wired all the clubs, asking whether they would sustain him in any settlement he might make, and received affirmative replies from the majority. At the night meeting, after a long session, Mr. Byrne finally, at the request of all the parties present, drew up an agreement, under the terms of which Barkley is to be reinstated, but disciplined by a fine of $500, to be paid to the Association within a specified time. In return Pittsburg is to release M. P. Scott to Baltimore, all the other Association clubs agreeing to keep hands off him. This settlement was satisfactory to all and the counsel agreed to unitedly ask the Court to withhold any further decision or opinion in the case for the present. The Sporting Life April 14, 1886

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Barkley, McKnight, and Pittsburgh jumping to the League

Date Thursday, March 25, 1886
Text

Pittsburgh voted against McKnight’s expulsion and the ex-president stood by that club in the Barkley case from beginning to end. It is will known that the Pittsburg Club last fall seriously entertained a proposition to enter the League and that some of the stockholders have never given up the idea. The decision in the Barkley case caused an unpleasant feeling between the other club members, and it is claimed that Pittsburg is now an unwilling member of the Association and that it will seek and eagerly accept an offer to jump from its unpleasant surroundings into the fold of the League.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Barnie the sole owner of the Baltimore Club

Date Sunday, March 28, 1886
Text

...when the American Association expelled Myers, Mr. Barnie claimed the franchise in Baltimore, and, with the late A. T. Houck, he organized the present Baltimore team. After two seasons of partnership with Mr. Houck, Mr. Barnie obtained control of the club, and is at present the recognized sole owner.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

base ball slavery trade

Date Sunday, December 5, 1886
Text

If ever an evil needed remedying it certainly is the . When a man once becomes a professional player he has no control over himself until he becomes useless. He is owned body and soul by some of the base ball organizations and can only play when they designate. Take the Burns case. That man is blacklisted simply because he made other arrangements than those satisfactory to the club management. Had it been earlier in the season Knowlton, of the same club, would have been sold to a club he did not want to go with, and only escaped through the time expiring for which the Newark Club had any further control over him. He is now censured by friends of the club for his ingratitude for not going where the club wanted to sell him. So it is with many other players. There is a club in this vicinity that holds a man who would not stay with it one hour if he could get away without being blacklisted or sold. Bse ball needs a general overhauling, and the more law it gets the better it will be for the players., quoting the New York Mail and Express

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

base coach deeks a fielder

Date Monday, August 16, 1886
Text

Glasscock of St. Louis was caught by one of Kelly’s tricks yesterday. Williamson was on third and Kelly was coaching near the bag as usual. Burns drove a little grounder to Glasscock and Kelly started down the coaching line on a keen run. Glasscock thought it was Williamson trying to run in and put the ball home. Burns got to first all right, and as soon as Kelly saw the ball leave Glasscock’s hands he stopped running, smiled, went back to his coaching point, and the game went on. Glasscock said last night that if Gaffney had been the umpire he would have fined Kelly $25 for running inside the coaching lines, and would have declared Burns out at first. St., quoting the Chicago Tribune

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball manufacture 3

Date 1886
Text

[fromaninterviewofReachabout]Bothmen,womenandchildrenareemployedinmakingbaseballs.Thecheaperonesaremadebyapress,withleathershavingsontheinside.Thebodyiswrappedwithcottonandcoveredwithleather.Thecoveringisdonebyhand.Thebestballs–theonesinusebytheAmericanBaseBallAssociation–areasolidpieceofPararubberontheinside,coveredwithworstedyardandthenwithanoutsidecoveringofhorse-hide.Mendothiscovering.Theyaremostlyharness-makers,yettheyhavetobebrokenintothework,forevenagoodharness-makermaybeapoorhandatcoveringandsewingaballproperly.

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball on railroad trains

Date Sunday, June 13, 1886
Text

“Yes, breaking is pretty hard work and we don’t get much fun as we go ‘long,” said a freight brakeman, as his caboose stood by the station waiting for orders; “but there’s a new craze on among the boys which gives us a good deal of sport. It is freight train base ball.”

“Base ball on a freight train?”

“Yes, sir; and it’s great fun, too. We don’t do any batting, but we’re great on fielding. The head brakeman stands on the front car, the rear brakeman in the middle of the train, and the conductor gets up on the caboose. Then we play pitch, with the fireman for referee. There ain’t many errors, now let me tell you. An error means a lost ball, and the man that lets it get away from him has to buy a new one. The feller that makes a wild throw, or the one that fails to stop a fair thrown ball is the victim. The craze has run so high that I’ll bet there ain’t a dozen crews running out of Chicago that don’t carry a stock of base balls along in their caboose., quoting the Chicago Herald

Source The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball reporter Boston Herald

Date Wednesday, November 10, 1886
Text

Ned Stevens, the base ball editor of the Boston Herald,...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bases moved inside the foul line; added powers of the umpire

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/17/1886] The umpires' lot is relieved of half the anxiety of former years. In the first place, the third and first bases are moved wholly within the foul lines, so that hereafter the umpire need judge fouls only by the foul line, regardless of whether it passes over the base or not. The base is moved in by moving each base pin from the foul line seven and a half inches down the base line toward second, which puts the outside of the base bag exactly on the base line. Next, the umpire is positively prohibited from reversing a decision after once made, and hereafter a decision given “settles it.” And it is distinctly defined that no player, not even the captain, shall ever dispute or question a decision save by way of asking for the construction of a rule as applicable to a play. This is the only privilege given to interrupt an umpire, and it can be done only by one of the two captains after time has been called for that purpose at his request. The umpires are now masters of the situation, and have only themselves to blame if they do not remain so. Their further powers are these: The umpire is sole judge whether a player is too sick or too badly injured to continue play. They shall be sole judge of fit condition of the grounds for play in case of rain after game begins, and the sole judge of when it becomes too dark to continue play.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Becannon employed by Spalding; employment bureau

Date Sunday, February 21, 1886
Text

W. H. Becannon has at his Base Ball Bureau in New York a regular list of ball players seeking engagements. Players wanting positions would do well to send their addresses to Becannon, care of A. G. Spalding & Bros.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

beer sales at the Polo Grounds

Date Sunday, July 11, 1886
Text

The Police Commissioners received yesterday a committee of music hall proprietors and Messrs. Day and Dillingham, of the Polo Ground, with regard to the intent of the police to prohibit concerts where liquor is sold and baseball playing unless under a theatrical license. The music hall men said they had decided to form a protective association to contest the police interpretation of the Eden Musee decision of the court of Appeals, but asked for a conference with the officials before beginning operations. Messrs. Day and Dillingham say a theatrical license would prevent the sale of been on the ball grounds.

The Commissioners replied that they were averse to giving any advice until they were advised by the Corporation counsel as to their course.

Later in the day Superintendent Murray said that Mr. Lacombe would apply early in the week for a test case inunction against the concert hall proprietors and the lessees of the Polo Ground. According to Superintendent Murray this course is approved by the concert hall men and the Polo Ground lessees.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bickering between the Cincinnati Club and the Enquirer

Date Sunday, June 20, 1886
Text

A bitter fight is going on between the [Cincinnati Club] management and the Enquirer. This paper attributes the demoralization of the club to Caylor’s incompetency as a manager. It styles him a female seminary graduate, and says he ought to be running around in a Mother Hubbard dress. Caylor retaliates in the Commercial-Gazette, of which he is the base ball editor, and the war has reached a climax. The other day the managing editor of the Enquirer was refused admission to the grounds, whereupon the complimentaries to that paper were sent back to Caylor. It is said there are internal dissensions in the nine caused by dislike for the manager.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bids for privileges in Kansas City

Date Monday, March 29, 1886
Text

Bids for privileges, including refreshment stand, fence advertising, cushions, score cards, etc., have been received by Secretary Whitfield, and been awarded to the highest cash bidders.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Billie Sunday joins a church

Date Wednesday, July 21, 1886
Text

Bill Sunday has joined a Presbyterian church in Chicago, and will now proceed to convert his wicked brethren on the Chicago team. A promising subject to begin on would be brother-in-law Anson.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Billy Sunday joins a church

Date Monday, July 26, 1886
Text

Spring-runner Sunday joined the church this week. Ever since his connection the club he has been conspicuous from the fact that he never drank, used tobacco in any form or indulged in coarse or profane language.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Mathews breaks down

Date Saturday, August 7, 1886
Text

In Tuesday’s contest with the Louisvilles Matthews pitched a plucky game for four innings. He used all his curves, employed all the tactics known to pitchers, but his speed was gone, and the heavy Kentucky batters pounded his delivery without mercy. In the fifth inning it was painful to look at him. His arm gave out completely and he tossed the ball over the plate like a child.

Matthews is one of the oldest men in the baseball profession, being 37 years of age. Everywhere he is popularly known as “Bobby.” He is the trickiest pitcher ever known, and not a little of his success is due to this fact. As a rule pitchers wear themselves out and last but two or three seasons, but Matthews has been a winning base ball tosser for fourteen years. St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 7, 1886

Few pitchers last more than half a dozen years without losing their cunning or a partial use of the arm. Matthews is a notable exception. He is a small man, neither muscular nor of a robust constitution, and therefore had not the strength to delivery the ball with much speed. Many pitchers of the present day depend mostly on their speed, but Matthews had none and delivered the ball very slowly. He has been pitching ball continuously for seventeen or eighteen years, and each season has found him more effective. This is where he differs so vastly from other pitchers, who, instead of growing better every season, gradually lose their effectiveness. The Philadelphia Times August 8, 1886

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Mathews's delivery; mixing up pitches

Date Tuesday, April 13, 1886
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Athletic 4/12/1886] Bobby Matthews pitched for the Athletics and when he first stepped in the box the crowd gave him a royal reception. He had not pitched before this season and consequently his curves and drops were a little rusty from want of use, but for all that the League batsmen found his peculiar, slow ball very hard to hit... The Philadelphia Times April 13, 1886

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 5/22/1886] Cincinnati opened on Matthews with a perfect fusillade of hits in the first two innings, when they made seven runs. This was all they scored in the game. Bobby tried the boys from Porkopolis with his slow curves at first, but after they hit him for six hits, with a total of fifteen, including a two, a three-baser and a home run, he gave that style of pitching up. After the second inning Matthews gave the visitors the old unadulterated straight, swift balls, varied occasionally with an out and in curve, and the hits that followed were few and well scattered. The Philadelphia Times May 23, 1886

Chadwick the official scorer for the Brooklyn Club

All the press representatives have, I heard, expressed themselves well pleased with the selection of Mr. H. Chadwick as the [Brooklyn Club] official scorer. The Sporting Life April 14, 1886

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club finances 11

Date Tuesday, August 17, 1886
Text

The receipts of the Boston club, says the Herald, at home to Aug. 8, according to turnstile figures, should be $47,908, outside of money received for various privileges; $13,397 of this went to visiting clubs. By adding in about $9,000 for grand stand, the sum total added to the treasury of the Boston club is $43,710. The privileges will probably make the net sum upward of $50,000. On this basis, deducting salaries and expenses, and adding a mile estimate of what the club receives in other cities, the sum to be divided among the stockholders at the end of the season will be in the neighborhood of $65,000.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club ownership

Date Sunday, December 19, 1886
Text

There are 78 shares of stock, of which number Messrs. A. H. Soden, J. B. Billings and W. H. Conant hold 20 shares each, or 60 shares in all. The remaining 18 shares are divided among nearly as many stockholders. The three men mentioned hold the club, therefore, under their absolute control. If any of the minor stockholders introduce a measure that is not favored by the great triumvirate one of them, generally Mr. Conant, calls for a stock vote. That, according to the rules, is allowed on the call of any one stockholder. That also settles the minor stockholder at once, and he is crushed by at least 60 votes to 18, though generally there are from 5 to 8 votes additional cast on the side of the 60. There is no case on record where the worthy trio failed to vote together. Whatever differences they may have as a Board of Directors, at the annual meeting they are unanimous. The Philadelphia Times December 19, 1886

minor league exhibitions banned when a championship game is going on; putting the squeeze on the St. Louis NL Club

It will be remembered that the League at its last meeting agreed to permit the St. Louis Maroons to play Sunday exhibition games with minor league clubs. At the meeting of the Arbitration Committee the American Association delegates made a strong fight for, and succeeded in having passed, an amendment prohibiting minor league clubs from playing games in any city or within four miles thereof, while a championship game between National Agreement clubs is in progress, without the consent of the local club. This rule will prove of great advantage to the Brooklyn and St. Louis clubs, and particularly the latter, which can now put a most effective damper upon the Maroons' Sunday exhibition games with any but small local or independent clubs, while the Browns are at home at any rate. In fact the League permission upon which the Maroons banked largely for next season will be practically nullified. This will be another source of serious financial loss. Under these circumstances the outlook for the poor Maroons is not of the brightest, and there is just a possibility that the club may come to the conclusion to give up the unequal fight. The Sporting Life December 22, 1886

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Unions financing

Date Wednesday, February 17, 1886
Text

Mr. Lucas' long deferred explanation of his connection with the Boston Union Club, and its financial affairs have been given to the public, and it ought to be satisfactory to those who have confidence in his integrity. He says, and has the documents to prove, that he paid $4,500 into the treasury of the Boston Unions, in return for which, he says: “I received absolutely nothing you could call collateral, except twenty-five shares of stock, which are now not worth the paper they are written on.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston tries to buy Glasscock, is offered the St. Louis franchise

Date Thursday, September 2, 1886
Text

President Soden of the Boston club has authorized the publication of the following history of his efforts to secure Glasscock: Boston’s efforts to secure Glasscock put the work of all other clubs in the shade. These efforts have been made by a special agent, clothed with unlimited powers, by correspondence between President Soden and other League Presidents, and by financial offers that far exceeded any presented by any other League club, or any amount heretofore offered, as far as known, for the services of any base-ball player. One proposition made by President Soden to the St. Louis management was a cash offer of $10,000 for such five players of the St. Louis club as the Boston directors might select. This offer was rejected by the St. Louis people, and in its place came on from St. Louis to President Soden: That for $15,000 the St. Louis club would dispose of its players and League franchise to the Boston club, on condition that the Boston club would give a bond that it sould fulfill all of the obligations then existing between the St. Louis club and the League. This proposition was at once rejected by the Boston directors because the charter of the Boston Club prohibits the directors from locating a base ball team in any other city than Boston; and because the proposition was too preposterous to be considered for a moment by business men. To accept the St. Louis proposition would be to entail a loss of from $5,000 to $8,000, in addition to the $15,000 to be paid for the franchise. President Soden wrote to President Spalding of the Chicago Club, advising the calling of a meeting of the League and authorizing him, if such a meeting was held, to state that the League might designate any sum of money which the members thereof thought that boston ought to pay the St. Louis club for the services of Glasscock, and it might also designate the amount of salary to pay Glasscock, and the Boston club would pay the sums agreed upon. The meeting was held and the proposition of the Boston club made. The result of the deliberations of the meeting was the appointment of the committee to apportion the players. St. Louis Post-Dispatch September 2, 1886 [See SLPD 9/10/1886 for a quote from The Sporting Life disputing this account.]

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston's salary list

Date Wednesday, September 1, 1886
Text

The Boston Globe gives the following as a pretty fair estimate of : Radbourn, $3,200; Morrill, $3,000; Wise, $2,500; burdock, $2,000; Hornung, $2,000; Poorman, $1,600; Johsnton $1,500; Buffinton, $2,800; Sutton, $2,000; Stemmyer, $1,600; Tate, $1,500; Daily, $2,000; Gunning, $1,900; Dealy, $1,500; Nash, $1,500. Total, $30,200.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bowling over the catcher

Date Wednesday, May 12, 1886
Text

In Friday's game Anson was on the third when Burns knocked a fly to Cahill at right field, the latter fielded it to catcher Myers, who had Anson ten feet, and instead of stopping or sliding, Anson went up into the air and threw the full force of his 210 pounds against George Myers' 150 pounds. Myers was knocked almost senseless ten feet or more away from the home plate, but pluckily held on to the ball, thus retiring the side.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

boys' admission rate

Date Saturday, April 24, 1886
Text

Washington has set a corner of their grounds to the side for the boys, which has been dubbed “kid corner.” Last year the 10-cent admission revenue of the boys netted the club something over $2,000.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

breaking in a new ball; spittle

Date Wednesday, May 12, 1886
Text

It is ridiculous to watch the manoeuvres of the St. Louis gang when a new ball is thrown out. It is rolled about from one to the other, and every soul of them spits on it and scratches it on the ground until it looks like the face of a member of the Dirty Dozen. The pitcher gives it an extra coating of spittle and clay and the game proceeds. The Sporting Life May 12, 1886

[Cincinnnati vs. Pittsburgh 5/11/1886] The question of the umpire’s right to introduce a new ball when two have been knocked out of the grounds was brought into question and delayed the game considerably. The two balls had been knocked over the grand-stand and Umpire Clinton called a third into requisition. Just as he took it from the box one of the old ones was thrown back. Barkley and Brown loudly demanded that the latter ball be sued, but the visitors argued for the new one. Clinton ordered play to resume with the new one and a decided kick was made. The crowd hooted and howled and Brown’s emphatic protestations were heard all over the grounds. John Kelly, when here, stated that a third ball cannot be brought into use until the others have been lost five minutes. Finally, however, the game continued with the new ball which had been well blackened by Kuehne during the noisy dispute. Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette May 12, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bunting for hits

Date Wednesday, September 22, 1886
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] Tom [Gunning] had seen Comiskey and Latham making base hits by bunting the ball while in St. Louis, and he thought it a very clever scheme. He has practiced it very assiduously, and on Wednesday he put it into practice in great style. The first time he came to bat he dropped the ball about ten feet in front of the plate and beat it to first. It pleased the crowd immensely, but everybody thought it was a kind of a fortunate fluke. Next time he came to the bat he tried it again, but the ball rolled down towards Mulvey, and the laugh was on Tom. He knew what he was about, however, and the next time he just touched the ball. It landed directly in front of the plate, and as he dashed down to first there was a shout went up. It was the cleverest exhibition of blocking the ball I have seen for many a day. Tom says it was not luck, but that he has got it down to a fine point, and that he does it on scientific principles. If he can continue to do it as successfully he will raise his batting average very perceptibly.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bunting for intentional foul balls

Date Monday, September 6, 1886
Text

Kelly has this season made frequent use of a trick he has only recently perfected. He simply puts his bat in the way of a fair ball and knocks a wide foul. He has done this as frequently as seven or eight times in succession, and it usually rouses the ire of the pitcher to such an extent that he gets rattled and goes to pieces or tires him out, and the wily Mike gets a base on balls, or finds a nice, soft ball that he can hit effectively. Gore tried a somewhat similar scheme when Phil Powers was umpiring here, but desisted after Powers spoke to him. There is nothing in the league rules prohibiting the play, and it must be decidedly disgusting to the man in the box.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bunting for intentional foul balls 2

Date Tuesday, October 19, 1886
Text

[St. Louis vs. Chicago 10/18/1886] Latham started in the first inning with Kelly’s trick of bunting fouls. When, after knocking ten of these he struck out, the crowd howled its approval. When the Chicagos went to bat and Kelly’s turn came he bunted four or five fouls and then, when the crowd had begun laughing heartily, he hit the ball hard enough to get his base, and the laugh turned to cheers.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bunting the ball

Date Thursday, September 2, 1886
Text

The Browns are becoming adepts at “bunting” the ball. Robinson, Comiskey, Latham and Caruthers do it now. It would be really amusing to see Dr. Bushong make first on a “bunt.” St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

burying a horseshoe under home plate

Date Wednesday, June 9, 1886
Text

The Boston Club has had the home plate dug up and a horseshoe placed under it. It has not yet, however, brought the club more luck than Scanlon's horseshoe brought the Washington Club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bushong's catching technique

Date Wednesday, September 22, 1886
Text

[the St. Louis correspondent, quoting Harry Wright] ...this man is the most scientific catcher that ever stood up behind the home plate ready to take the rifle shots in any style the pitcher wishes to put them in, and to pick foul tips right off the bat. He can work day and in day out without injury, because he knows just how to catch a ball without injuring himself of making his hands sore. His hands always give with the ball, and the force of the great speed put on by the pitcher is broken, thereby saving his hands. I consider Bushong the most scientific catcher of the present day.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bushong's position catching

Date Saturday, August 14, 1886
Text

Bushong’s method is such a remarkable one as to have become the talk of all who have observed him. He squats, as it were, on his “haunches,” bends his body down until it is almost parallel with the ground, places his hands about an inch from his kneecaps and thus leaves his elbows sticking out from the whole make-up in a ridiculous manner. The only thing to which he can be properly compared is the appearance of a huge frog sitting on the traditional log and making ready to spring into the depths of his favorite pond. In this ridiculous position “the Doctor” waits patiently until the ball is within reach when he makes a sudden snap at it. The occasions on which he lets it pass him are so few that they need scarcely be mentioned at all.

The quartette of catchers mentioned above [O’Rourke, Baldwin, Bennet and Ewing] have evidently concluded that Bushong is wrong in his method of receiving low balls, i.e., with the hands in a position in which the fingers point downward and invariably use the opposite style, with the digits pointing upwards. Bushong probably understands from experience that the speed of the ball is much neutralized when caught in the manner indicated, that is, with a side and front resistance, dividing up the impulse in two directions. Why it is that Bushong escapes some terrible calamity while exposing himself every day is a mystery, but he goes ahead just as he has been doing for years, with never a scratch. St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 14, 1886

Dunlap sold to Detroit for $4,700; salary limit ignored

For the past ten days negotiations have been pending between the management of the Detroit and St. Louis Club for the sale and transfer of Fred Dunlap, the brilliant second baseman of the Maroons, to the Detroits. This afternoon [8/6] Managers Schmelz and Watkins, Mr. J. B Maloney, one of the Directors of the Detroit Club, and Mr. Dunlap met at the Girard House, where the necessary documents were signed and sealed.

The price paid for the release was $4,700, the highest figure ever paid for one player. Two contracts were executed, a private and the league contract. In the league contract the limit rule is not ignored, but the private contract informs Mr. Dunlap that he is to receive $4,500 a season for two seasons and an advance of $1,100 on the first day of November, 1886 and 1887 respectively. The Sporting News August 16, 1886

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calculating stolen bases average

Date Saturday, May 1, 1886
Text

In figuring a base ball player’s average of bases stolen, you compare the number of bases stolen with then umber of games in which he has participated, just as you would arrive at the average runs made. Thus, if a player takes part in forty games and is credited with eighty stolen bases, his average would be 2.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

carriages banned for the big game

Date Thursday, September 9, 1886
Text

No carriages will be allowed on the ground during the Detroit-Chicago game.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher not wearing gloves

Date Wednesday, August 18, 1886
Text

Catcher Decker, of the Detroits, wears no gloves. He will when he has paid for a little experience by broken fingers, etc.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher only wears mask when playing close

Date Wednesday, June 2, 1886
Text

[St. Louis vs. Brooklyn 5/23/1886] Every one knows Latham's great feat is to “bunt” the ball and beat it to first. Our popular Jimmy Peoples, who, with Porter, formed the Brooklyn battery, tricked the “sprinter” in a neat and surprising way. Instead of standing back as usual, the moment Latham stepped to the plate Jimmy donned the mask and played very close. Latham did not know it. He bunted the ball and quick as a flash Peoples nipped it from the ground and touched Arlie before he had gone three feet. The crowd roared and cheered with delight.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher's chest protector

Date Wednesday, August 25, 1886
Text

A great many visitors at Sportsman's Park wonder why it is that Dr. Bushong never wears a breast protector, it not being generally known that Bush wears one underneath his uniform. A very good idea, I think, as it protects him while at the bat from wild-pitched balls, and saves his breast and stomach from a good many hard raps that he would otherwise encounter.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher's equipment

Date Monday, September 6, 1886
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Chicago 8/28/1886] [the catcher is injured] Then Clements donned the gloves, protector and mask and took his place behind the bat.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher's left-handed glove

Date Sunday, September 19, 1886
Text

Dr. Bushong, of St. Louis, wears a left-hand glove, which is a conglomeration of ragged buckskin, string, sponges and cloth. It has seen good service.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

celebrity treatment of Pete Browning by the judiciary

Date Wednesday, February 24, 1886
Text

Pete Browning, the heavy batter and center fielder of the Louisville Base Ball Club, was arrested in that city recently in a state of wild and disorderly intoxication. Officers Sullivan and McAuliffe gathered him into a patrol wagon, and Peter began to sob and cry in a heart-rending manner. A big crowd collected and followed him to the station, where he soon wept himself sober, and was released on bail. He then took a solemn oath that he would never do so again. This morning he was too tired to appear in the Police Court when his case was called, but Judge Thompson said:--”I understand this is Mr. Browning's first offense of this character. He gave me and the members of the bar and the general public a great deal of pleasure last summer, so it gives me a great deal of pleasure in return to dismiss the case against him, as I understand he promises not to do so gain. I am as patriotic as the next Louisvillian, and may the Louisville Club win the pennant.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick official scorer in Brooklyn; reporters

Date Wednesday, September 15, 1886
Text

[St. Louis vs. Brooklyn 7/24/1886] Mr. Henry Chadwick, than whom there is no more strict and arbitrary [sic: meant to be complimentary] interpreter of the rules at present identified with base ball. Was the official scorer of that game. On inquiry, Mr. Byrne tells me that Messrs. Mandigo,of the Sun; Stackhouse, of the Tribune, Journal and Associated Press, and Kennedy, of the Times, were present and agreed with Mr. Chadwick's scoring...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick proposes six strikes for an out

Date Wednesday, November 10, 1886
Text

In regard to the rule governing the calling of balls and strikes, says Henry Chadwick, I want to see it amended so as to give the batsmen the same chance to hit the ball fairly that the pitcher has to put him out on “strikes.” The pitcher is allowed to deliver six unfair balls. I want to see the batsman allowed to strike at the same number of fair balls. That is, instead of three called strikes, as the rule now is, giving the batsman out, let it be six, as many as the pitcher is allowed in sending in unfair balls. I am confident that this rule will yield livelier batting, and eventually do away with “pitcher’s games,” thereby giving the fielders more work to do, especially the outfielders, and doubling the attraction of the game to the general class of its patrons. St. Louis Post-Dispatch November 10, 1886

Phenomenal Smith doesn't work out in Detroit

Last spring the Newark Club could have secured $3,000 for Phenomenal Smith. They failed to take advantage of the opportunity, and all they got was $500, which Detroit paid for his services for the last two weeks of the season. Smith has shown himself to be very unreliable, and the Detroit management exhibited good judgment in not paying a large bonus on an uncertainty. The Sporting Life November 10, 1886 {See also TSL 861117 p. 1.]

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick still against home runs

Date Wednesday, June 16, 1886
Text

Papa Chadwick very sensibly remarks: “It is astonishing how the 'groundlings' in an audience are tickled with home runs, no matter how made. They think them the perfection of batting, yet if the crowd would only consider a moment they would regard this style of hitting is a great waste of physical strength in a match, each home run requiring a 120-yards dash in spring running at a twelve or fifteen-seconds pace. Suppose the first batsman in each inning of a game leads off with a home run, and the next three are put out, nine runs are thereby scored at the cost of running 120 yards at top speed nine times. Suppose, on the other hand, that the first batsman in each inning leads off with a short hit, which easily earns him first base., and is then sent home by two sacrifice hits and another base hit, each inning. Just as many runs would be scored without half the waste of strength, and pretty fielding would be seen in the place of the fielders standing still while one man runs after a long hit ball. Home-run slugging is a marked feature of weak play at the bat, and experience shows it.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick's rule proposal on balls and strikes

Date Saturday, November 13, 1886
Text

The veteran Chadwick in a recent letter on the subject of new rules wants the batsman put on the level with the pitcher. To bring about this result he suggests that six strikes be called as well as six balls. He argues that if the batsman is given six chances to hit the ball instead of three he will make more hits and there will in consequence be better batting in the future than there has been in the past. The argument is a good one, but there is little likelihood of it being acted upon. The two leading associations have been slow and loath to introduce innovations and that is they the old rules have stood so long. The veriest tyro knows that recently the pitchers have had all their own way and that the game in consequence has lost many of its prettiest features. For this reason alone, if for nothing else, those in authority should respect the veterans suggestion and at least give it a trial.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

challenge for 'the World's Championship series'

Date Monday, October 4, 1886
Text

[from a letter from Von der Ahe to Spalding] Dear Sir–The championship season is fast approaching an end, and it now seems reasonably sure that the Chicago White Stockings and the St. Louis Brown Stockings will win the championship of their respective associations. I therefore take this opportunity of challenging your team, on behalf of the Browns, for a series of contests to be known as the World’s Championship series. It is immaterial to be whether the series be composed of five, seven or nine games. I would respectfully suggest, however, that it would better, from a financial standpoint, to play the entire series on the two home grounds, and not travel around as we did last season.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago Club makes itself obnoxious

Date Wednesday, October 6, 1886
Text

...these victories were over the most powerful club in the League and one whose officers and players had made themselves personally obnoxious to the Philadelphia Club and public, hence the unprecedented whipping administered to that club no only gratified local pride, but also satisfied the universal local desire for revenge for past maltreatment at the hands of Anson and his men.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago reporters

Date Monday, June 21, 1886
Text

Harry Palmer, sporting editor of the Chicago Tribune, and Charles K. Lush, sporting editor of the Chicago news...

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati Club ownership; reasons for selling; Caylor, Sunday games

Date Friday, October 22, 1886
Text

The Cincinnati Base-Ball Club has been sold to Aaron Stern, a wealthy merchant in this city, who owned the club two years ago, and disposed of the nine last year to John Hauck, the present proprietor. During the last year Mr. Hauck has lost money on account of the opposition to his manager, Mr. O. P. Caylor. One of the conditions upon which Stern made the purchase was that Caylor should have nothing to do with the new organization. Gus Schmelz, manager of the St. Louis League Club, will have charge of the new team... Chicago Tribune October 22, 1886

“The reason Mr. Hauck has for retiring,” said Mr. O. P. Caylor yesterday “are many. He is an old man and is president of the German National Bank in Cincinnati. Being a church member he was much worried over the talk concerning the Sunday games and he also imagined that the rumors concerning them damaged his private business. For these reasons he has concluded to sell out the club and we are now looking for a purchaser. Mr. Stern will in all probability buy us out.” The Sporting News October 25, 1886

Mr. Houck has had much trouble over the fight for Sunday ball playing, in which he has had his players arrested every week and nominally fined to keep them out of the clutches of the Law and Order League and the police court. He is too prominent a citizen to spend his time and be harassed by that sort of business. So a proposition from Mr. Stern, the former president of the club, to buy a one-third interest and assume the entire business control has been accepted. The price paid for the one-third interest is about $5,000—probably a little less—and not $50,000, as the Enquirer states. The Sporting Life October 27, 1886

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati Club sold

Date Wednesday, March 3, 1886
Text

The Cincinnati Base Ball Club has changed hands, John Hauch, the wealthiest brewer of Cincinnati and president of the German National Bank, now owns the entire club. He has put the entire business management into the hands of O. P. Caylor, and the policy of the club will be to elevate the tone of it and cater especially to the best classes.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati Giants

Date Monday, May 10, 1886
Text

The . The bright prospects of the Cincinnati Club which many had booked as a sure winner of the American pennant have already gone a glimmering. The members of the team are nearly all giants and at the top of their profession, but the man they have been wrestling with lately has knocked out dwarfs and giants in his day and has already dealt them a blow which has surely placed the pennant beyond their reach.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

claiming credit for scoring stolen bases; batting assist

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

[from a letter by Horace Fogel] Last December I wrote a lengthy article for the Press in which I proposed that the rules be so amended that a record be kept of “stolen bases” and “batting assists.” These were two pets schemes of mine that I advocated for six weeks. My matter was extensively copied by other papers, and nearly all of them made some comment on it. With a few exceptions all these comments were favorable. The Record not only commented favorably upon both schemes, but went a step further and suggested that I change my “stolen base” rule so as to provide that runner be given credit with a stolen base every time he started to steal and succeeded, no matter whether it be a “clean” steal or if the man got there through an error. I had not made this provision, but simply argued that “clean steals” be recorded. As the suggestion of my friend Mr. Gilliam was a good one, I included this in my argument the following Sunday, and if my friend Mr. Caylor will look over the Press file of last January he will find that the rule that has been in vogue all season is almost word for word as I had advocated it. The only material difference is that instead of going into the summary, where I wanted it to go, it goes in the tabulated score but, in spite of the rule, my idea is being carried out anyway by ever newspaper, as they all print it in the summary instead of the score. As stated above, my idea was endorsed by all the best scorers of the country, including Harry Wright, by whose advice the matter was submitted to all the clubs and the two presidents. Twelve of the sixteen clubs endorsed both the “stolen base” and “batting assist” schemes, but Caylor's club was not one of the twelve, and his paper was strangely silent all the time.

After the Louisville meeting a certain delegate told me that the reason the “batting assist” fell through was owing to Mr. Caylor's uncompromising opposition to it. He said that Mr. Caylor claimed it was impracticable. Impracticable, indeed well, my dear Mr. Caylor, as you say in your letter, it was also thought impracticable to to score stolen bases. It has been demonstrated, however, that the latter is practicable, and it would be just as easy to score batting assists. While scoring stolen bases has no doubt had the effect of waking up sleepy base-runners, I claim that if “batting assists” were scored it would produce better team work and bring about more scientific batting than we now have. I am still as ardent an advocate of recording “batting assists” as I was a year ago.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clarification needed in the new base-steal scoring rule

Date Wednesday, March 17, 1886
Text

[from a column by “Scorer”] The rule is, in my humble opinion, hardly explicit enough, and in order to secure uniformity in its execution a circular with full explanations from the president to the scorers would be very valuable. There is naturally a great deal of latitude in the execution of such rule; even more than in the matter of base hits and errors, which no two scorers hardly score alike. It gives an opportunity for a good deal of favoritism. For instance, a base-runner is on first and starts for second; the catcher throws the ball wild, but not out of the reach of the baseman; the balls gets there in plenty time to catch the runner, but comes in such a manner it cannot be handled effectively. If the catchers is a favorite of the scorer the runner gets credit with a stolen base, if he is not the catcher gets an error; again, if the ball is thrown a little low and the second baseman drops it, although it arrives in time, the same thing would occur. Of course instances can be multiplied when the matter of judgment enters into the decision. There is another case it will be difficult to score, for as I understand the rule, there is no provision made for it. A man is on first, he attempts to steal second, the catcher overthrows second base and the base-runner not only goes on to third but comes home through the slow handling of the ball by the centre fielder or by his i8naiblity to throw home accurately. How many stolen bases does the runner get, or does he get any? Such matters as this should in my opinion be made clear.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland Club sues Lucas

Date Wednesday, January 6, 1886
Text

Charles B. Wheeler, representing the Cleveland Base Ball Association, has brought suit in the Erie County Supreme Court against Henry V. Lucas, of St. Louis, to recover $2,000, which it is alleged he agreed to pay for the resignation of the Cleveland Club from the National League. The consideration for the franchise was $2,500, of which $500 was paid down and $2,000 was to be paid when the St. Louis Club was admitted. The St. Louis Club was admitted, but Mr. Lucas has not paid the $2,000. The Cleveland managers caught Mr. Lucas in this State [New York] and at once began suit against him.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland in the Association; Kansas City and Detroit's bids

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

[byline Caylor] [reporting on the AA special meeting 11/22 – 11/231886] ...There were three sessions, lasting nearly two days. The result has been the selection of Cleveland to fill the vacancy made by Pittsburg's secession.

There were three candidates, viz., Detroit, Cleveland and Kansas City—the former having applied only provisionally. It was the opinion of the cool-headed reasoning peole, that the Detroits were at no time in real earnest; that they were a League club hear and soul, and saw an opportunity to use the special meeting of the Association to attain their own ends, and the results show this to have been pretty conclusively the case.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clubs can only jump leagues in November

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/13/1886] Article VI was made to conform to the American Association Constitution so that a club could not resign from its association except during November. The Sporting Life December 22, 1886

minor leagues can sign players at the same time as the majors

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/13/1886] Mr. Dishler, of Utica, asked that the ten days of temptation, from Oct. 20 to Nov. 1, during which the minor leagues were forbidden to sign their players, be abolished. This was afterwards conceded. The Sporting Life December 22, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clubs undermine umpires' authority

Date Sunday, August 29, 1886
Text

[from Chadwick’s column] I asked [George “Foghorn”] Bradley whey it was he and other American Association umpires allowed so many players of the American club nines to dispute their decisions with such impunity as they did, and his reply was to the effect that fining them would not stop their kicking. He quoted Comiskey, of the St. Louis team, as an example. “Comiskey told me,” Bradley said, “that I might go on and find him just as much as I damned please, but that the fines would not be paid.” Bradley further remarked that when umpires fined players the club to which the punished player belonged would not back up the umpire in inflicting the penalty, but went against him by efforts to remove him from his position, and to save themselves umpires had to stop fining players, except in very aggravated cases. This being the existing condition of things it is not to be wondered at that there is so much kicking against decisions of umpires as there is.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

coaching by signals

Date Monday, December 27, 1886
Text

The veteran, Henry Chadwick, has written as article on “Coaching by Signals.” We believe he has touched the right key, and every lover of the game should encourage the plan.–Commercial Gazette. The idea is not original with Mr. Chadwick. A base ball man, Mr. Ted Sullivan, had a similar scheme in operation in the Northwestern League, which it will be remembered was described in the Post-Dispatch last summer. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

coaching position, style; block ball

Date Wednesday, June 23, 1886
Text

The new coaching lines have been marked off, and the coachers got down in the corner for the first time in last Thursday's game. It looks a little bit odd to see the coacher standing near third base, but it is just as good a position as if he was on the catcher's neck. “Latham was there” in the last Pittsburg-Brown game and he made more noise than he ever did before in his life, to the great amusement and delight of the spectators. Even the Pittsburgers were obliged to smile when Latham would shout out: “That's right, Jim; go to second on this ball,” this to Jim O'Neil, when everybody knew that Jim couldn't get to second unless the ball got pat the catcher. “Work him up, Dave; make Galvin throw to first, he'll have the ball in the grand stand in a minute and some boy'll put it in his pocket and keep it there till you score;” this to Foutz. “Foghorn” Bradley wanted to say something to Latham, but he only looked on and scratched his head.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

coaching restrictions

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/17/1886] Coaching has been wonderfully cut down and reduced. The new rules on coaching first start out by confining the two coachers to the narrow territory opposite first and third bases, as practised by the American Association in the latter part of last season. In the next place but two coachers are allowed at any time and the “extinction” penalty will apply if any other player opens his mouth to coach. The rest of the nine at bat must remain on the bench until called to bat and mus sit down as soon as they make a run or are retired from the bases. Then the two coachers are confined in their work to “words of caution or direction or command to the base-runner alone.” They are prohibited strictly from addressing any word to or concerning the batter or any member of the opposite team. The words used are, “words that may refer to or reflect upon.” the penalty for an infringement of this rule is, after one warning, to debar the club of the offending coacher from all further coaching privileges during the game. The committee pledged itself to ask the League and Association to strictly instruct all umpires to take special pains in carrying out the latter of this rule. No longer will we hear the merry war whoop of “Make him put it there, “ Now, Bobby, an old-time hit,” or “it only takes on to hit it.” But we may still hear Arlie's baritone encouragement of “Whoa! Bill, “”That's the way,” and “Get away, Jim.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

coaching technique

Date Saturday, August 21, 1886
Text

[Pittsburgh vs. St. Louis 8/19/1886] The Browns were caught in their own trap last Thursday. Their friends have been going the rounds lately bragging and boasting about their great coaching abilities, and while in the very act a rival team steps in, and on their own grounds the Browns are actually “yelled” out of a game. Catcher Miller got into the cage at third base with the express purpose of drowning out all other noises with his voice and he did it admirably. He kept up an incessant stream of thick, husky and unintelligible jabber that fairly dwarfed the feeble efforts of Latham, who was compelled to lapse into silence and look idly on. The result was the most humiliating shut-out the Browns have received the whole season. The “Allies” can now lay claim to having accomplishes what has been impossible to all others–outcoached the St. Louis Browns. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

commentary on bringing players into the rule committee

Date Saturday, November 27, 1886
Text

The men that play the game as a rule know a trifle more about what is wanted than the bloated stockholder who sits in the director's box and watches the game, while he sips his wine and puffs his Havana.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

complaints about Caylor

Date Wednesday, September 15, 1886
Text

For the past few months there has been an undercurrent of feeling, it is said, in the Cincinnati Base Ball Club, and it is hinted pretty strongly that the owners of the club will, at no very distant date, make a change in the management. A gentleman well up in the matter told a reporter for the Post-Dispatch that not only the managers themselves but also the players have no love for O. P. Caylor, the present active manager of the club, and that as soon as the proper arrangements can be effected “Miss Management” will be requested to step down and out. ... It is stated that there is not a player in the nine who cares to have dealings with him, and this feeling was unreservedly given expression by some of the more independent players on the occasion of their last visit to St. Louis. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Corcoran practicing pitching left-handed

Date Wednesday, October 13, 1886
Text

From the New York Sun we learn that Larry Corcoran has been quietly practicing left-hand pitching, and last Monday morning agave a very clever exhibition of what he could do, to the surprise and delight of Manager Mutrie. Corcoran has great speed and a fine command of the ball. He may be expected to try his hand in a game soon. The Sporting Life October 13, 1886

the uselessness of the fielding average statistic; playing for your record

The almost utter worthlessness of individual fielding averages is shown by the standing of the Chicago players, who have won the greatest number of games and the championship. They have beaten all the teams in the struggle for the pennant, and yet very few of them make a respectable showing in the fielding averages. The record of victories, which is the true test of a ball club’s merit, shows them to be the superiors of all the opposing players. There is a great deal more in the game of base-ball than playing a position so as to obtain a good record. Base-running, quickness of perception and prompt action which enable players to grasp and utilize every possible advantage that presents itself, and finally good management on the field and especially at critical times, are valuable elements in ball-playing, and no system of figuring can present their true value. The position record is interesting to a certain extent, but team work is what wins games and championship.

By reference to the table of club fielding averages it will be seen that the Chicago players took 6,250 changes, while the Detroit club took but 5,789. No other club reached 6,000. The Chicago men were not playing for individual glory, but for the pennant, and the result was that they have the flag. It is the rule of the Chicagos never to miss a chance whereby something by possibly be gained; in other clubs the players, seeing the possibility of an error marked against them, let the chance go by. Their personal records is dearer than that of the club. The Chicago men gave 2,248 assists; the Detroits are credited with but 2,097, and Chicago and Detroit played the same number of games. Chicago Tribune October 14, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cricketers try to hit pitching

Date Friday, October 8, 1886
Text

Manager Harry Wright and Treasurer John I. Rogers, says the Philadelphia Record, took the players of the Philadelphia Club out to Nicetown to see the cricket match and before the commencement of the game Ferguson, Casey and Titcomb gave the members of the English team a few points on curved pitching. Several of the election witnessed Thursday’s Philadelphia-St. Louis ball game, and, while they expressed themselves as well pleased with the exhibition, they could not understand why the players batted so poorly. Mr. Rogers, who sat with them to explain the game, intimated that the lack of heavy batting was due more to the excellence of the pitching than to the weakness of the batsmen. The Englishmen evidently didn’t see it that way, for they no sooner got sight of the ball players yesterday than they expressed a desire to try their hand at hitting a drop curve.

A base ball bat was produced and Key, who is considered about the best bat of the team, prepared to knock the cover off the ball. Ferguson gave him a good wide curve with a quick drop on it, and the cricketer fanned the air nearly a foot from the ball. “Fergy” then gave him a fast in-shoot and Mr. Key missed again. Half a dozen balls were delivered before the cricketers could even touch one. Casey and Titcomb also delivered a few balls, and Buckland and Rotherham took a hand in the batting. The cricketers now understood why ball players are such poor batters. Buckland was much interested in the pitching, and got Ferguson to show him how to hold and deliver the ball for the different curves. He says he will practice them, and try to adapt some of them to bowling. Some of the ball players trying batting Buckland’s bowling, and they had no better success than the cricketers had at batting base ball pitching. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

crippled catcher restricting the pitcher

Date Wednesday, August 18, 1886
Text

Buffinton has been pitching for Boston because all of the catchers were too crippled to hold Stemmyer, thus enforcing idleness upon the latter. The Sporting Life August 18, 1886

Boston is badly off for catchers. Tate has a broken finger, Gunning a split digit, Dealey knocked out a knuckle and has a sore finger, while Daily's fingers are terribly distorted. The Sporting Life August 18, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

criticism of McKnight

Date Wednesday, February 10, 1886
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] What a dear, delightful time is being had this winter over players. Barkley, Orr, Roseman and Burch have now become famous enough to entitle them to seats in Congress. In all these cases it is a strange thing that the president of the Association should get mixed up with it every time, and as often make it a muddle. The League sometimes disagrees about the mode of securing players—the “big four” case, for instance—but their president and secretary never seems to have any trouble of this kind, or, indeed, any other kind. The whole difficulty appears to be that the Association official volunteers, or otherwise gives too much advice to managers and players in the preliminaries to a contract. In doing so he may be overstepping the requirements of his constitutional duty. It would seem that ll he is called upon to do in such cases is to act on the contracts when presented to him, and not advance hypothetical positions and then give instructions as to what would be his decision on them. The duty seems very simple, and that it, when a contract is presented to see that it “be in the form adopted by the Association, and that the player is eligible to contract under the provisions of the National Agreement. If it is, all that is to be done is to record the fact and notify the other parties interested; if it is not, he withholds the certificate and the notification. If the Association managers want advice and instruction concerning their own laws then why not employ counsel... That source could then be sought for legal advice in such cases and probably matters would run more smoothly. As it is, the official, not having a legal turn of mind, gets things mixed and causes disturbances in the camp of his own association. The picture now presented to the country is a certain lot of managers all wrangling among themselves and only united in one thing and that is “pitching into” the president. A house divided against itself must fall and so it is fortunate that there is one point upon which they can all agree and thus save the general structure from the annihilation promised by the proverb. With an able jurist permanently employed so that he would become familiar with the rules and regulations of base ball, there might never have been a Metropolitan case, a Barkley case, a Roseman and Orr case, or a Burch case, and all the immense wear and tear on the managerial mind might have been saved.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

crowding the plate

Date Wednesday, May 26, 1886
Text

The St. Louis Browns have a new trick to worry pitchers and deceive the umpire, and worked it several times in Brooklyn last week. The wrinkle is to hug the plate closely and lean away over it, thus making the pitcher deliver wildly or else hit them. In the latter case the Browns have a knack of stopping the balls against their bodies with their hands, so as to escape injury. Anything to get on base is their motto.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cutting corners

Date Wednesday, May 5, 1886
Text

Billy Taylor “bobbed up serenely” on Wednesday last with the chestnut trick which earned for him the title of “Cross Cut” Billy down South last year. In the ninth inning with the Athletics he made the tieing run by cutting across the diamond when the umpire's attention was centered on another play. This trick necessitated another inning and nearly beat the Athletics. Probably Billy would not have bled at the heart very much if his trick had beaten the Athletics. The Sporting Life May 5, 1886

proposal for unified AA-NL rules

It is not a bad idea advanced by Spalding in his letter to Caylor advocating a code of playing rules to govern all associations under the National Agreement. League and American Association clubs have been frequently annoyed this season in exhibition games through the clubs of the smaller organizations insisting upon playing under their own rules and with the details of which, as a matter of course, clubs outside of their organization are not familiar. It will make the statistic of these games more uniform and therefore more reliable and accurate. Let the National Agreement provide a code by all means. The Sporting Life May 5, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

deeking a runner with a fake foul call

Date Saturday, September 11, 1886
Text

Tricky Kelly got in some of his fine work on Conway in one of the Chicago-Kansas City games. The youth was on first and was stealing down to second, when Kelly shouted “foul.” Conway stopped and started back for first, when McCormick threw him out.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

definition of a 'crank'

Date Wednesday, May 19, 1886
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] The Chicagos and the Bostons will outrank the New Yorks next October, and I should not be surprised if either the Detroits or Philadelphias should show their heels to Mutrie's men. I can imagine some one saying now: “Another crank on the Bostons.” Well I don't object to being called a crank. I heard this species of honor defined once as “Anyone who does not believe as you do.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit considers jumping to the AA

Date Saturday, November 27, 1886
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting beginning 11/24/1886] Secretary Wikoff announced that two applications to fill the vacancy [caused by Pittsburgh jumping to the NL] were on hand. One of these was from Cleveland, Ohio, and the other from Kansas City. … One of the delegates stated that Mr. Watkins, Manager of the Detroit team, was in the hotel lobby, and while he had yet made no application to the Association it was known that his mission here was in the interest of obtaining an American Association franchise. Mr. Von der Ahe, of St. Louis, moved that the representatives of the three clubs be admitted and called upon for a statement. The Detroit club was objected to on the ground that it had ye made no request. On an amendment a committee consisting of Meye5rs, Von der Ahe and Phelps was appointed by the chair to consult with Manager Watkins. They returned with a report that the Detroit Cl8ub, through its representative, would like to hear a proposition from the Association in reference to what inducements would be offered to the Detroit club to comer over to the Association. After considerable discussion it was decided that such action would not be business-like, and that if the Detroit club was in really good faith it would have to apply for admission and state just what concessions in reference to the division of gate receipts they would expect. If the Association was not willing to give them what they requested they would then retire, and the matter would remain right where it had been in the first place.

Manager Watkins at once telegraphed President Stearns a lengthy message, in which he asked him to either come to Cincinnati in person or vest him with authority to make the application. …

On Tuesday the Association did not commence business until afternoon. Soon after the dinner hour, Manager Watkins of the Detroits, asked permission to address the members of the Association. His request was granted, and he read two telegrams from President Stearns to the effect that the League had granted them all the concessions they had demanded and they would remain where they were.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit gets concession from the League

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

[byline Caylor] [reporting on the AA special meeting 11/22 – 11/231886] Manager Watkins was sent for. The convention would have been better pleased to have dealt with one higher in authority than Mr. Watkins, but treated that gentleman very courteously. Mr. W. began by saying to the delegates that the Detroit Club wanted to be perfectly frank and fair in their dealings with the Association and he was authorized to say this: They (the Detroits) would prefer to stay with the League, all things being equal, but they felt they had been directly crippled or shackled by the late legislation at Chicago, and that unless this work, so far as it affected them, was undone the club would ask for a membership in the American Association. They wanted to spend that day (Monday) in a telegraphic appeal to their various League associates for a restoration of their late rights with a perfect understanding and pledge that they would stay with the League should those rights be restored and leave the league to go to the Association were they refused. All they asked of the Association was to defer positive action until next day noon in their election of a successor so as to give Detroit a chance should they be repulsed by the other League clubs.

…...there seemed to be considerable sentiment favorable to the Cleveland syndicate right then and there, and the question was openly discussed whether it would not be a wise course to admit that club at once. There was finally a disposition developed, however, out of courtesy to Detroit, to let everything rest in abeyance until noon of the next day, especially as there was no necessity for haste in the premises. There is, however, a strong suspicion in my mind that a desire pervaded the delegates to aid Detroit in compelling the League to recede from their guarantee ground. However, the convention took a recess till next morning...

Shortly after noon Manager Watkins appeared and read two telegrams from President Stearns. One was that Detroit had received sufficient concessions from the League to warrant their remaining in that body. The second requested Mr. Watkins to express the warmest thanks of the Detroit Club to the Association for their extreme courtesy in the premises. Mr. Watkins supplemented it all by assuring the Association that he, personally, was disappointed, and had hoped his club would have joined the Association. He was kindly assured that no harm had been done, and withdrew, leaving not a ripple a excitement behind him. Indeed, there seemed to be a sense of relief pervading the entire convention. The Sporting Life December 1, 1886

[from the Detroit correspondent] In substance the outcome is just this: Detroit gets the percentage system the same as last year. Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsubrg and Boston have signified their willingness, and there is small doubt that before daisy cutters, hot liners, etc., are again in fashion, the League system of dividing receipts, as far as Detroit is concerned,w ill be precisely as it was last season. The Sporting Life December 1, 1886

[from the Chicago correspondent] [from an interview of Spalding] ...I received a telegram from Stearns at Detroit telling me that it would be impracticable for the Detroits to go through next season as a League club under the guarantee rule, and asking me if the Chicago Club would not agree to play any games that might be scheduled between our two teams upon the division basis so far as receipts were concerned. I understood Detroit's position fully and appreciated it and I thought Stearns' request only fair and just and so agreed to it at once and telegraphed him to that effect. That is all there is to it so far as Chicago is concerned. The Sporting Life December 1, 1886

[from the Boston correspondent] [from an interview of Soden] The Boston Club has made no concessions to Detroit. We have got the guarantee system and we intend to keep it. I imagine Al Spalding has made some private arrangement with Detroit and think it is very possible New York has done the same, but Boston has done nothing of the kind. The Sporting Life December 1, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit gets concessions on the gate split

Date Saturday, November 27, 1886
Text

Referring to the Detroit club remaining in the League, Mr. A. G. Spalding says that he received a telegram from the Detroit club asking whether the Chicago club would consent to a special arrangement, so that a division of the receipts of the Chicago and Detroit games for 1887 should be made the same as in 1886. He had replied that the Chicago club was willing to make that concession. Whether the other clubs had agreed to similar arrangements Mr. Spalding was not able to state. The agreement only applied to the Detroit club, and no similar guarantee had been made by Chicago with any other club in the League. There is no doubt that New York, Boston and Philadelphia made the same concessions. That was why the Detroits demand carried. The Sporting News November 27, 1886

President Stearns of the Detroit Club when asked why his team had changed front said: “Well, this morning we received the last dispatch which guarantees us such concessions as we demanded from all principal clubs in the League. When I say principal, I don't mean St. Louis or Washington. The terms are private, but it is all that we asked. The Sporting News November 27, 1886

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit ownership

Date Monday, September 27, 1886
Text

Wholesale changes in the directory of the Detroit Base-Ball Club will be made soon. One important transfer of stock has already been made, Frank B. Preston having sold his 100 shares to George M. Vail for $7,500. The stock owned by Judge Durfee, Joseph M. Weiss, and John B. Moloney will probably change hands this week, going to F. K. Stearns. The directory will be reduced from nine to five, the present year having demonstrated the unwisdom of having a large board. There has been dissatisfaction among the directors the whole season, and it is asserted that is why President Marsh resigned. He will probably resume his active membership next year, as the balance of power will rest with his friends, who value his ability and energy. Mr. Stearns will probably be President. Chicago Tribune September 27, 1886

The change in the management of the Detroit Base-Ball Club was affected [sic] this afternoon by Judge Durfee, John B. Molony, and Joseph Weiss selling their interests to James L. Edson at an advance of $30 above par. The new Board of Directors will consist of Messrs. Edson, Smith, and Stearns, and as the latter now controls most of the stock he will not doubt be made President. Messrs. Durfee, Weiss and Molony were largely instrumental in having the first league team introduced in Detroit and also bringing the present team to its creditable position in the league. Chicago Tribune September 28, 1886

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit threatens to jump to the Association; Detroit finances

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

When the League meeting adjourned and the delegates began to prepare to leave everybody thought the surprises of the past few days were ended, and that nothing further in League legislation would occur to disturb the base ball horizon, but last evening there fell a bomb into the principal rendezvous, Spalding's store, that has thrown the city into a state of excitement bordering on consternation. There were quite a number of base ball men gathered yesterday afternoon, when Watkins strolled in with the remark:--”Well, boys, we'll be against you next year.” “What?” “That's what I said. The Detroit Club will play with the American Association next year.” (I looked at Anson). “That's right, I guess, from all I can hear,” said he; and then the knights of the pencil present began to gather material for the announcement that has set the base ball world agog this morning. “It is all due to the adoption by the League of the guarantee system,” said Watkins,” and we do not propose to stand any such manifestly unfair ruling. We should be nice suckers, shouldn't we, to go to Boston or to Washington and put big money in their tr3easuries for $125. How much money do you suppose you would put in our treasury whey they played in Detroit? Nay, the Detroit Club has spent too much money in getting its club together to support four or five other clubs in the League at this stage of the game. If the League don't want us upon terms that we can make money under, we can go into the Association at almost our own terms, play a starring tour from the beginning to end of the season, and make dollars there to where we would make cents in the League. The Chicago Club could get rich under the guarantee system where Detroit would suffer. To my mind the adoption of the measure was a direct fling at Detroit, for it will hurt us more than it could possible have hurt any other club in the League. Why, if they wanted to ruin us they could hardly have used a more dangerous weapon than that amendment. Compared with other League clubs, Detroit is a small city, and the attendances there alone would not justify the maintenance of a first-class club. For ever five years Detroit has been trying to get together a good club—one that home people would help support, and one that would be an attraction in other cities. Now we have as good a club as there is anywhere, and a club that is, I think, the greatest attraction away from some of any club in the country. This summer we played [illegible] they would show that the other seven clubs made more money from our visits than from those from any other in the League. Now what do they do, when they have discovered how much of an attraction we are, but tell us we must support ourselves at home, while they will reap the benefits from our being an attraction away from home. But they counted without their hosts. We will be a card anywhere and will prove it before another season has passed. The whole transaction was the meanest piece of business that has ever been done in connection with base ball, and it has started a fight that will continue right along. I tell you the men that managed and helped that transaction will find plenty of fighting to do for some time to come.”

,,,

Spalding, when interviewed, admitted that Detroit had made threats os seceding, but was disposed to regard it as a bluff. He said the adoption of the guarantee plan was due to the fact that the other clubs were tired of carrying along a club like Detroit, which ran its expense to enormous proportions in order to carry a club far beyond its ability to support, and with a salary list far beyond what good business judgment and common sense would justify. Spalding also thinks the Detroit Club entitled to no special consideration because it has always acted selfishly, to the detriment of the other League clubs. In support of this he cited the breaking up of the Buffalo Club, the purchase of Dunlap, which almost caused the disbandment of the St. Louis Club. Because of these acts the other League clubs did not feel like longer sacrificing their own interests for the benefit of the Detroit Club. The League's object, Mr. Spalding continued, is to make each club self-sustaining, and thus to put a curb upon extravagant business methods as Detroits. The Sporting Life November 24, 1886

President Stearns, when questioned on the subject, said: “Until the beginning of last season the Detroit team was not a very expensive one, not costing more than $20,000 for salaries for the season. The directors, thinking that a good team was bound to pay, and feeling that they would be protected by other League teams, put a team in the field last season at a cost of nearly $40,000, little dreaming that some of the Eastern clubs would try to reap the benefit of our enterprise. President Hulbert once declared that the percentage system was the bulwark of the League, for the reason that there would always be some weak clubs who would have to depend in a manner of some of the stronger ones.” The Sporting Life November 24, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Diddlebock reporter for the Times; his resume

Date Monday, October 11, 1886
Text

I was in to see Diddlebock to-day. He is the sporting editor of the Times. ... Diddlebock is well know here [Philadelphia] where he has spent eleven years as an active journalist, always in the sporting line. He has been sporting editor of the Item, the Press, the Enquirer [sic], and now of the Times. It was he who wrote the celebrated “Mark It Down” series of letters when the Sewer [i.e. The Sporting Life] was first started, and which were the best feature of the sheet at that time., and he was commissioned as roving correspondent for the same sheet, and still has his credentials signed by Richter.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

discontent in Pittsburgh over the Barkley and McKnight matters

Date Wednesday, March 24, 1886
Text

If the Alleghenies has but joined the League, all the present contention about that multitudinous official, McKnight, might have been avoided. Has there been any deception in the matter? Was Mr. McKnight entrusted with so many offices as an inducement to prevent the Allghenies from joining the League? Why not leave the Association which has treated the Alleghenies so badly in their treatment of Mr. McKnight, and run the club independently? Or, is the Association such an autocratic affair that the rule “once a subject always a subject” applies? Without Barkley and McKnight what will the Alleghenies do, anyway?

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dissension between the Eastern and Western clubs

Date Thursday, November 25, 1886
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the NL 11/17/1886] Another amendment proposed was that each home club shall pay the visiting club a guarantee of $100. On this question the Eastern and Western clubs were against each other, Boston, new York, Philadelphia and Washington favoring it while Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City opposed. it. Pittsburg was not represented, Mr. Scandrett having returned home and Mr. Nimick being indisposed.

While a vote was being taken a motion to adjourn threw the meeting into a state of confusion, but the vote was finally taken and resulted in a tie. After the result had been announced, Mr. Soden remarked that it was a very serious matter, and the action taken showed that the only thing for the Eastern clubs to do was, as he urged three years ago, to organize an Eastern League.

This brought President Stearns, of Detroit, to his feet, and, with evident feeling he said to Mr. Soden: “You have hit the mark. You ought to form an Eastern League, and I hope you will. We will be glad to get rid of you. When you go we can form a Western League from the Detroit, Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago clubs that will be more profitable than any base ball organization ever has been.” The meeting then became somewhat disorderly and adjourned until 8 p.m.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dividing the responsibilities of two umpires

Date Wednesday, November 17, 1886
Text

[from a letter to the editor] The idea of having two umpires has been strongly urged—one behind the pitcher and one behind the catcher. But the principal objection to that, and it is a serious one too, is that the umpire in the field would interfere to a considerable extent with the fielding. But it is not my intention to become a sophist in this matter, but to advance an idea that for all I know may be a chestnut. If it is ring it down. It stands to reason, and is generally admitted, that there is more dissatisfaction among spectators caused by close decisions on the bases than from any other cause. Person seated in the right field benches on a line with first base see more mistakes of umpires than can be seen from any other part of the field. In almost every game men reach first base safely, but are called out, or vice version. The same applies to second base. The umpire is not in a position to see these things, consequently he has to trust considerably to luck. An umpire has his hands full watching balls and strikes, and has very little time for the bases. Now my idea is this: Place an umpire immediately back of first base, and on a line with second, and let it be his sole duty to watch those bases and the right field foul line; the other umpire's duties to be confined to balls and strikes, third base decisions and the left field foul line. This would do away with the necessity of his running into the field. And, as will readily be seen, the decisions of the two umpires will in no manner conflict. I have read The Sporting Life for several years and have never seen the above idea in print, so thought I would sprint it as new.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

drainage at the new Philadelphia grounds

Date Sunday, August 1, 1886
Text

One of the best improvements on the new [Philadelphia] grounds will be the system of sewerage adopted, which will keep the grounds in a fit condition to play on at all times. New sewers are to be build on Broad and Huntington streets. Under the diamond the ground will be drained by the French system. Stones will be laid on a gradually descending plane along the foul lines and near the bases and the water will flow off as fast as it reaches the surface. The water from the diamond will be collected at a given point and rained through underground pipes into the sewers.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dummy Hoy signed by the Maroons

Date Tuesday, November 2, 1886
Text

The management of the Maroons are amking every effort to secure new players, and they have already contracted with three men, Toohey, the left-fielder of the Binghamton Club for last year and Hoy of the Oshkosh Club were signed Saturday evening... St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dunlap refuses consent to trades; hints he signed for over the $2K limit

Date Wednesday, January 6, 1886
Text

Manager Schemlz came East empowered to sell Dunlap's release. He had an interview with Dunlap at which, we believe, Dunlap refused to sign. Schmelz then proceeded to make a deal with Philadelphia and New York, too, we believe. This fell through, it is understood, through the high sums asked by Lucas and the difficulty of making a satisfactory salary arrangement with Dunlap a letter from Schmelz to Lucas is published in a St. Louis paper. In this letter Schmelz stated that the Philadelphia deal was off. They had offered $3,000 for Dunlap's release, but only wished to give him a salary of $1,000 for the season. Dunlap asked $3,500, and finally the Philadelphians would up by offering him the $3,000, and the St. Louis Club the $1,000. they would not lay out over $4,000. This, of course, ended the matter. … [Dunlap finally signed with St. Louis.] He refuses to say what his salary will be. When the $2,000 limit is mentioned he smiles a significant smile. His salary last season was away over $3,000, and he says the sum he will receive next season will be quite satisfactory. So people can draw their own conclusions.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dunlap sold to Detroit; personal contract to evade the salary limits

Date Wednesday, August 11, 1886
Text

The famous “stone wall” infield of the St. Louis Club has been broken by the transferal of the famous second baseman Fred Dunlap to the Detroit Club. This deal, which has been in progress for some time, was consummated in this city on Friday, Manager Watkins coming on from Boston for the purpose. The release, however, is said to have been $4,700, which, if correct, is the highest sum ever paid for a player. Dunlap is to receive $4,500 a season for two years, a bonus for the remainder of this season of $2,500 and an advance on Nov. 1 of $1,500. In order to evade the salary limit and no advance money rules, personal contracts have been given Dunlap. His regular League contracts only call for the limit in salary. The Sporting Life August 11, 1886

[from the Detroit correspondent] ...Fred Dunlap's release didn't cost any such sum as that given by an imaginative scribe. His release cost $3,000, and he receives a salary equal to that he got from Lucas--$3,300. The Sporting Life August 18, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early proposal for limited substitution

Date Wednesday, December 8, 1886
Text

[byline Caylor] [discussing the joint rules committee] One of the things that was rejected by the refusal of the Association committee to vote for it was a pet proposal of Messrs. Spalding and Anson to allow a team to take out a player and substitute another any any time without the excuse of injury or sickness. And the refusal was caused by the fact that the Association have such pitchers as Foutz, Caruthers, Hudson, Mullane, Hecker, Reccius, Kilroy and Terry, who can play the outfield and there is less necessity for such a rule in the Association than there is in the League. Anson made a hard fight for it but it was again and again refused.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early reference to 'Senators'

Date Monday, July 12, 1886
Text

The Cowboys beat the Senators three straight games.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'batter up' 2

Date Wednesday, September 1, 1886
Text

[ex-Umpire Gaffney at a game in St. Louis] The old war horse was sitting in the grand stand with several of his friends, when he almost frightened the life out of the crowd in his vicinity by shouting, out at the top of his voice, “Batter up!

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'fanatic'

Date Monday, May 17, 1886
Text

The admirers of the home team [Detroit] are now more than ever convinced in their belief that the team is made up of material that will wear well to the end of the year. ... There are, of course, the usual number of fanatics who want the team to win everything and who pounce upon it when they drop a game, but it is a blessing that they are in a minority. The Sporting News May 17, 1886

carriages in the outfield

[from the Cincinnati correspondent] Never before in the history of local base ball have the best people of the town evinced as deep an interest as this season. The entire left-center field fences are invariably lined with conveyances. The Sporting News May 17, 1886

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

electing the AA chairman

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

[reporting on the AA annual meeting 12/16/1886] The election of a chairman to succeed Mr. Byrne, of the Brooklyns, was the first think in order. Mr. Byrne called the attention of the meeting to the fact that his term of office had expired, and that before retiring he wished to thank the members for their earnest support throughout the year. He nominated Mr. Phelps, of the Louisvilles, as his successor. This motion was seconded, and Mr. Phelps was elected by a unanimous vote.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

every day ladies' day

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

The St. Louis League Club officials next year will throw their gates open to the fair sex on all days of the week, and all weeks of the year.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

expanding the reserve to fourteen

Date Saturday, December 18, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/13/1886] They also increased the reserved men's rights to every club from twelve players to fourteen, or virtually the whole team.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

experimenting with two umpires and a referee

Date Tuesday, October 19, 1886
Text

In the game of this afternoon Walter Spalding’s idea on umpiring will be tried in a somewhat modified form. He proposed that an extra player of each club be chosen to do the umpiring, turn about, the man from the B. Club umpiring when the C. Club is at bat and the C. man umpiring when the B. men are at bat. The regular umpire under this system would become a referee, who only has a voice when a decision is questioned. Today this will be tried, except that the umpires and referee will be chosen from the four umpires now here. The one named as referee will stand back of the pitcher, while the other two will alternate behind the batsman, as is the usual manner, changing as the clubs go to bat. In case the man who umpires while Chicago is at bat makes a close decision, which is questioned by the other umpire, the latter throws up his hand and the referee affirms or reverses the decision. It will be an interesting sort of an experiment, and upon the result may depend the introduction of some such scheme into the league next year. With three experienced men, it should work well; whether it would be satisfactory were the umpires members of the contesting clubs, instead of outsiders, is a question. Chicago Tribune October 19, 1886

[St. Louis vs. Chicago 10/19/1886] The chief interest of the day seemed to centre in the new umpiring scheme, which was to receive a trial and just before the game was started the umpires drew lots, and as a result Kelly of the Association was chosen referee. McQuite to umpire while the Browns were at bat and Quest while the Chicagos were in. Kelly took his place just back of the second base, and Anson, having won the toss, sent his men out... Chicago Tribune October 20, 1886

[St. Louis vs. Chicago 10/19/1886] In the new system of umpiring it is expressly stipulated that unless the in umpire’s decision is questioned by the out umpire it shall stand. On questions of fact the umpire is the only one who is suppose to object. On questions of rules time may be called by the captain of either nine for the purpose of settling the point. Yesterday the players seemed to think that any one of them had a right to appeal to the referee, and there was much needless waste of time. If the scheme is tried again, as it undoubtedly will be, these points should be impressed on the men: That on balls, strikes, and base decisions the only man entitled to appeal is the opposing umpire. On a question of rules the captain may appeal. In no case has a player other than the captain a right to protest or appeal to the referee. Chicago Tribune October 20, 1886

The supposed-to-be-new idea now suggested by Al Spalding of having two umpires, one chosen by each club, and a referee, and which received an unsatisfactory trial Oct. 19 in the second Chicago-St. Louis game, turns out to be a venerable chestnut. Prior to 1858 that cumbrous system was in vogue, as each umpire, in a great majority of cases, decided in favor of the club which appointed him, the decision had ultimately to be left tot he referee. The plan was consequently abolished... The Sporting Life October 27, 1886

[from Caylor's column] One thing the [world] series has demonstrated, viz: The system of referee and two umpires seems to be a good one. It originated with Walter Spalding—A. G.'s brother in New York. Its first trial on Tuesday was decidedly successful, but owing to an imperfect understanding as to the rules there were a few errors made in carrying it through. Kelly was the referee. He stood behind the pitcher when no men were on bases and when men got to the bases he moved back behind the base lines. Quest was drawn as St. Louis' umpire and McQuade as Chicago's. Each called decisions when his club was in the field. The captain or player had a right by raising a hand to ask his umpire to appeal from a decision. The umpire would do this if he saw fit and the referee would at once decide. But as I understand it the referee has nothing to say in any play upon which the two umpires agree. The plan is to make the staff umpires referees, and let each club select an umpire for the opposing club from the opposing club's players who are not down to play. Thus the Phillies might name Keefe for New York and New York might name Ferguson as the Phillies' umpire, with Quest as the referee. Of course each umpire would see that his club had the doubt in all cases, but the referee would act as a check to any dishonesty or over-partiality, and much of the mob spirit against the umpire would be allayed. The Sporting Life October 27, 1886

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fogel resigns as official scorer of the Athletics; reporter for the Press

Date Wednesday, December 8, 1886
Text

Horace Fogel has resigned his position as secretary and official scorer of the Athletic Club. He has temporary charge of the base ball department of the Press, and may devote himself to that regularly. Fogel is well posted and the Press could hardly secure of more competent man for a position which requires as much special knowledge and ability as more pretentious departments.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

folding chairs at the Polo Grounds

Date Wednesday, June 2, 1886
Text

The grand stand at the Polo Grounds has been furnished with about twenty-five hundred Andrews' patent folding chairs, which will be numbered and the rows lettered as at the South End Grounds, Boston. Tickets of admission without coupon attached for the grand stand can be procured in advance at Spalding's 241 Broadway, and elsewhere for the regular charge of 75 cents.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

franchise fee

Date Saturday, November 27, 1886
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting beginning 11/24/1886] Mr. Meyers, of the Kansas City club, then submitted a proposition in writing offering $7,000 for the franchise [vacated by Pittsburgh], in addition to paying car fare from St. Louis to Kansas City and back again to St. Louis of all teams in the American Association.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

free admission for retrieving a foul ball 2

Date Wednesday, April 14, 1886
Text

Usually, when a foul ball is knocked out in the street, whoever brings in the ball is allowed free admission. On April 2, in Washington, a ball went foul over the grand stand, and immediately the vast crowd began betting on the fact whether it would be brought in by a little negro or a white boy, when lo! the ball was brought in by a little girl. The crowd yelled themselves hoarse, and clamored for her to be put in the grand stand.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

gate split replaced with a guarantee

Date Thursday, November 25, 1886
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the NL 11/17/1886] Sec. 58, providing that visiting clubs should get 30 per cent of the receipts for general admission at all points except St. Louis and Philadelphia, was stricken out and the following substituted:

Each club shall have exclusive control of its own grounds and shall be entitled to all receipts from any and all sources upon the said ground, but the home club shall, except holidays, pay to the visiting club $125 for each championship game played by it on said grounds. On National or State holidays, in lieu of such payment, the home club shall pay to the visiting club 50 per cent of the receipts from general admission at the close of each championship game. The Sporting News November 25, 1886 [N.B. This ended up being Sec. 61 of the NL Constitution. It was changed the following year to visitors taking 12½ cents per spectator, with a minimum guarantee of $150.]

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright on the new pitching rules; batters will judge curve balls

Date Wednesday, December 8, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Wright] The pitcher must stand with the ball in plain sight of the batsman all the time, and that is going to be a great help to hitting. When a man can watch the ball all the time he can judge of its course and has a better chance of hitting. The curve ball won't go for much hereafter, because if a pitcher attempts to pitch a curve the batter can tell by the movement and position of the hand just which way the ball is coming, and will be able to judge it so accurately that the curve will be useless.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

getting to the ball park

Date Sunday, June 6, 1886
Text

[from a sketch of games at Oriole Park] Between three and four o’clock every afternoon the neighborhood of Baltimore and Hilliday street presents a very animated appearance. The cars of the Hail Spring, York Road, Frick and Fayette stree lines all traverse this street, and at this particular time of the day the York Road line runs two of their heavy lumbering cars every quarter of an hour. The rest of the street, leaving a narrow passage-way for vehicles, is thronged with furniture wagons of every sort and description, and the drivers, in their competition with the cars and with each other for passengers, fill the air with their shouts. The St. Louis Club was an unusually strong attraction during the past week, and the drivers of the wagons, as well as the cars, had a rushing business. Though there are four car lines which carry the base ball enthusiasts within reach of the grounds, they do not provide the necessary facilities to accommodate the three, four or five thousand people who wish the necessary transportation to and from the ball field.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

going through waivers

Date Wednesday, September 15, 1886
Text

Horace Phillips has been negotiating with Detroit for Getzein, and a release bonus has been agreed upon. If all the League clubs consent to his release, the German pretzel curver will be found with Pittsburg in less than a week.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright on Sunday baseball

Date Saturday, September 11, 1886
Text

Harry Wright told me that the reasons for the traditional frowning down of Sunday games by the League were, truly enough, the most powerful in the world. “You people out here in the West,” he said, “are not built like the people in the East. You are not bred with the same ideas, you do not look upon the things of every day life in the same light and consequently you both are naturally unable to understand each other. It seems incomprehensible to you that human beings could see any objection to playing ball on Sundays. It seems incomprehensible to them how any human being could entertain the idea. It is the nice people who patronize us and who swell our receipts and they are against it as one man. If we were to play Sunday ball in Philadelphia, in Boston or in New York we wouldn’t have a soul in our grand stands on days during the week. It is a prejudice firmly rooted; if we fight it we’ll only destroy ourselves, and therefore we work with it.” “But, Mr. Wright,” I asked, “why should Sunday ball played in Detroit, Kansas City, Chicago and St. Louis, and by the clubs in those cities, have any effect upon the people of the cities you mention?” “There is something in your intimation,” replied he, “and I don’t say positively that there may not be something in it. Kansas City, Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis could certainly play ball on Sunday, that is among themselves, without, I think, seriously interfering with the business of the Eastern clubs. Still there would be a residue of objection in the Eastern mind for the simple reason that clubs in the League play Sunday ball with the League’s sanction.” Notwithstanding Mr. Wright’s mild insinuation that such action permitting Western Sunday games between Western clubs will be taken by the League ere the opening of the season in 1887. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

headfirst versus feetfirst sliding

Date Saturday, October 23, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Fred Pfeffer] “In the matter of sliding the Browns are unsurpassed, but they won’t keep it up long. After they have been a little longer in in the business they’ll drap that. This plunging in head foremost is dangerous work. They are liable to break their necks. In Chicago Welch came sliding into me and struck his head against my knee with fearful force. Some day one of them will get stopped so short he’ll break his neck. Sliding feet first is my motto. I will take desperate chances to win a game, but I won’t risk my life.” St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Hecker's delivery

Date Thursday, July 29, 1886
Text

Hecker, who is the most scientific pitcher in the American Association, holds the ball idly in his hand for a moment, then suddenly turns around on one heel, and if a man is on first base he frightens him back to the bag by several lightning motions, when the ball leaves his hand and speeds over the batter’s square. Sometimes Hecker glances significantly at the umpire, then makes a hop, skip, and jump, winding his arm beautifully about his head and throwing the ball swiftly but accurately just where he has signaled the catcher.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

high salaries in the minor leagues

Date Wednesday, July 21, 1886
Text

The rock upon which all the small associations split is the high salaries engendered by the keen rivalry, notwithstanding limit rules.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hitting the ball over the Polo Grounds right field fence

Date Thursday, September 16, 1886
Text

Roger Connor, the New York club’s heavy first baseman, broke the long-hitting record at the Polo grounds Saturday, in the game with the Boston club, by driving the ball over the twenty-foot fence at right field, 300 feet away, and landing it in the lot across the One Hundred and Eleventh street. The hit was the longest that has probably ever been seen in this vicinity. Connor, ever since he first joined the club, has been trying to get the ball over the fence, and although he has often hit the fence, has never heretofore been able to get the ball beyond it., quoting the New York Sun

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

holding out

Date Tuesday, November 2, 1886
Text

Much discussion has been caused by the fact that so few players in the League and the Association have been signed by their respective clubs, but to those who know there is occasion for but little surprise. The fact is that all of the players, or nearly all, are “striking” for higher pay and the managers, failing to see it in that light, are waiting until the men come to their senses. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

home and away uniforms 2

Date Wednesday, March 17, 1886
Text

The Maroons will have two uniforms—white with maroon trimmings will be worn while at home, and dark-blue, with maroon trimmings, while on the road.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

home captain gets choice of innings; condition of grounds

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/17/1886] To the captain of the home club is given choice of innings the same as in the Association. What is more, to the captain of the home club is given the sole right to decide whether the grounds be fit for play at the time set for the game to begin.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hoodlums in the grandstand

Date Friday, September 17, 1886
Text

The Globe-Democrat in the report of Tuesday’s game says: “The game of hoodlums which usually infest the upper portion of the grand stand had some remarks to make on every decision that Quest made in the first few innings, whether it was good or bad. This so rattled him that his decisions in the remaining innings were not as good as they might have been. When he favored the Chicagos the crowd would open up on him, and when the Windy City people thought that they were getting the worst of it Anson, Kelly, Williamson, Pfeffer, and the other pets would set up a howl. With so much grumbling Quest scarcely knew what he was doing. ... There is a crowd of toughs present every day that make it their principal business to hoot and howl the umpire. The management should see that this nuisance is done away with, as respectable people who go out to witness the game are growing tired of it. It is an impossibility for an umpire to do good work if such a state of affairs is allowed to exist.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Horace Fogel official scorer, reporter for the Press

Date Monday, August 2, 1886
Text

The coming man for manager [of the Athletics] is said to be Mr. Horace S. Fogel, the official scorer of the club, and until recently the base ball editor of the Press. The Sporting News August 2, 1886

the players' brotherhood formed

[from the New York correspondent] I am authorized to announce to the base ball public the existence of a protective and benevolent association of base ball players. The necessity for such an association has long been felt by the more thoughtful members of the profession. Under the guidance of the League and American Association the game of base ball in all its departments has unquestionably advanced. It has become popular with the public, and in conse2uent prosperity the players have come in for a fair share. They are probably as well treated, and certainly better paid than ever before, but the control of the associations over their players having been practically absolute, certain abuses have sprung up. With so many and diverse interests to be looked after by the associations, it is not at all strange that the interests of the players have not always received a sufficient considerations. However, well-meaning may have been the intentions of the League legislators and club officials, there was nobody to urge the claims of the players, and it is a fact that these have not infrequently been overlooked. Contract obligations have been repeatedly violated by individual clubs, who in turn have insisted upon a most careful observance of these by the players. A player was once fined for insisting on payment of his salary, which was long overdue. The same man was held under the reserve rule for an entire season, though the club holding him refused either to sign or release him. Another was placed on the blacklist for refusing to play longer after several months' pay were du4e, and there seemed no prospect of its forthcoming. Players have been laid off without pay, though still held subject to the orders of the club, and for no other apparent reason than to curtail expenses. Still others in cases of injuries received have been suspended from the pay roll, though obliged to do duty at the gate. A number of players were blacklisted by the two associations for refusing to break contracts with a rival association, thought the same offence against either of the first two associations would have been considered capital. Others have been blacklisted where there were strong grounds for supposing that the real reason was to satisfy the personal feelings of some club official. The extreme penalty of expulsion has thus been inflicted for comparatively trivial offences. Sometimes even the first principles of justice have been slighted. [illegible] ...operate against the players. In some instances they have been convicted and punished without the formality of a trial, and sometimes even without an opportunity of defence. And so cases might be multiplied where players have been unfairly dealt with by clubs and by the associations. These things have combined to make it apparent to ball players that some scheme for mutual protection was absolutely necessary. The announcement may not be surprising to the public, though it may be unexpected by those more closely connected with the game. It has been forced upon the players, and the only wonder is that its realization has been so long delayed.

...

Several prior attempts have been made to organize ball-players, but they have failed partly through inherent defects in the schemes, and principally because they were originated outside of the players, who were naturally afraid of the motives back of them. Last season a well known Philadelphia reporter, doubtless with the best intentions, made such an attempt and failed partly because, in his plan, the beneficial feature was too prominent and the protective not enough so, but principally because the players not being all personally acquainted with the gentleman reasoned--”what are the motives which prompt this display of interest on our behalf?”

Again this spring another Philadelphia reporter sent out voluminous letters to players in the different club proposing a wild scheme for the organization of a ball-players' union, the abolition of the reserve and salary limit rule, etc., changes which if carried out would have turned base ball upside down. The young man may have been surprised at the lack of interest displayed by the players, but it was due to the reason already ascribed and to the further facts that the present organization was well under way, and that his scheme did not meet with the endorsement of the conservative members of the fraternity.

They don't wish to abolish the reserve rule, because they believe that it is necessary to the prosperity and continued existence of the game. They don't wish to disorganize base ball, but as men of common sense and a fair appreciation of justice they do wish to protect themselves from unjust injury. The means for the accomplishment of this have finally been attained.

“The National Brotherhood of Professional Ball Players” is a fact, and the history of its formation is briefly as follows:--Last fall the players of the New York Club met together for the purpose of formulating some scheme of organization. Officers were chosen, committees appointed, correspondence was begun with players in other clubs, and at the beginning of this season everything was in readiness for the installation of the different chapters in the various League clubs. (This organization includes only League players.)

Under the supervision of the mother chapter the work has gone bravely on, until at present there is a chapter in every League club. In some cases every player in the club has been enrolled. In others it was thought best for the present to omit certain names. In one or two instances desirable men have held off, of their own option, but with this last exception the organization embraces the entire intelligent and reputable element of the profession. It includes among its members such men as Ned Hanlon, John Morrill, Jim O'Rourke, Arthur Irwin, Dave Rowe, Ed. Williamson, Al McKinnon and Cliff Carroll. There is an array of names of which any organization may be proud. The mere publication of that list will insure the confidence and support of the public. This, then, is not a new Union Association. It is no Utopian scheme for the disorganization of the existing order, but it is, as their constitution declares, an association of reputable ball players for mutual protection and benefit. Base ball has nothing to fear. Base ball mangers have nothing to fear so long as they are willing to deal justly with their players. On the contrary, I can see much of good that this brotherhood may accomplish. [an interview of Ward follows] The Sporting Life August 4, 1886

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Horace Fogel's opinion of the new pitching rules

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[from Fogel's column] The object of this new rule is to bring about better batting. This is what the public demands, and for that reason the change is a good one. But I am afraid the change is too radical. The restrictions upon the pitchers, I fear, are too severe for them to endure it. At any rate, I would advise every manager to provide himself with six or eight pitchers, for it he does not do so he is likely to be minus a twirler by July or August. In my opinion this new rule will prove of great benefit and advantage to pitches like Matthews, Hecker, Ferguson, Clarkson, Caruthers, Radbourn, Galvin, and several others who have good control of the ball. … The reason I think the above pitchers have the advantage, is because with such good control of the ball as they have few will receive their base on balls. Well, if they make the batter hit the ball there are nine men to take care of it, consequently there are nine chances against him. I surmise the other pitchers will be batted just as hard if they put the ball over the plate, and in this respect there would be no advantage. But I fear the others who have not as good control of the ball will send a dozen men to base on balls in every game, and we all know that nine out of every ten that receive their base this way score. This is where the advantage lies.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Horace Phillips is old school on scoring

Date Wednesday, February 17, 1886
Text

Horace Phillips also takes a hand in the discussion over scoring rules. He thinks it would be better if the old system of outs and runs were printed and do away with the base hit and error columns. He don't go much on records, anyhow. It is the runs that count, no matter how they are made, and if players would look at it in the same light some of them would win more games than they do.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Horace Phillips' outside interests

Date Wednesday, October 20, 1886
Text

Manager Phillips will have control of the nine next year. There was some talk during the summer of his taking charge of extensive lumber interests owned by his father-in-law in the wilds of Michigan, but Horace is too fond of civilization to make such a break.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

How Cricket is Played

Date Sunday, July 4, 1886
Text

[See Baltimore American July 4, 1886 for a long description of how cricket is played.]

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ignoring the stolen base rule

Date Saturday, May 15, 1886
Text

The stolen base rule is being almost universally ignored by scorers. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

improving the Athletic grounds; drainage

Date Sunday, November 14, 1886
Text

Charlie Mason is spending his pare time in superintending improvements on the Athletic grounds. Cinder paths are being laid around the bases, and the same material is being used in the pitcher’s box. New drains are being laid, and when completed the grounds will be in such a condition that it will be possible to play ball on any day half an hour after a rain.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

in praise of kicking

Date Monday, April 19, 1886
Text

“Billee” Taylor, besides being a good utility man, is a good captain, and kicks invariably for hits team.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

inconsistent scoring of stolen bases

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

[from a letter by Horace Fogel] Do not say I am egotistical when I make the assertion that Philadelphia was the only place where “stolen bases” were recorded according to the rule. At least a dozen player told me that in every other city the scorers gave runner credit for a stolen base only when the steal was a “clean” one. In looking over the official averages I find that Philadelphia has the champion base runners in both associations.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

infield tarps

Date Sunday, May 16, 1886
Text

The Cincinnati Club has provided tarpaulin as covering for the home plate, pitcher’s position, each base and the shortstop’s position. These coverings will be laid during every rain and keep these places dry. In this way the club need never lose a game by rain, unless the rain falls during the progress of the game. The grounds even now can stand and absorb more rain than any in the land. St., quoting the Cincinnati Commercial Gazette

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

intentional foul balls; working the count for a walk

Date Friday, November 12, 1886
Text

The players introduced a new trick in baseball this season–that of tipping every good ball foul until they succeeded in getting their bases on bad balls. This kind of work will not be tolerated next season, as both the leading organizations will so amend the rules at their annual meetings as to put a stop to such trickery. St. Louis Post-Dispatch November 12, 1886, quoting the New York Herald

[from an interview of Latham] Why don’t these people who are kicking so much try it themselves? For the reason that when they do they go out to the catcher or hit a short grounder right into the pitcher’s hands. After awhile they will get the rules down to a point where we can’t play ball at all. A man who can handle a ball skillfully can foul balls right along, and no one can tell he is doing it purposely. I do it the easy way because it is easy and there’s no rule preventing it. Kelly will do it every time there’s occasion for it, and he’s got a right to do it. The other fellows can’t, and that’s what’s the matter with them. St. Louis Post-Dispatch November 16, 1886

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

intentional fouls; working a walk

Date Wednesday, November 10, 1886
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] The fouling process is believed to have originated with Latham, and he has been followed in its use until now there are a number of players who are very judicious in its practice, so that it is a large factor in the problem of their club's success in winning games. Latham's mode is very ingenious and displays an acuteness on his part that illustrates his native intelligence. He is a good, strong batter, and is therefore not driven to fouling as a necessity. When he steps to the plate he is obliged to quickly take in the circumstances of the situation and decide promptly whether his chances are best to get to first base on balls or on a hit. As the balls are pitched he may be even obliged to change his first intentions, especially so if he is opposed to a pitcher who uses good headwork and attempts to outwit him. He seems to be guided by the work of the pitcher. If a fair ball comes in out of the first three or four pitched he attempts to line it out, but if the pitcher has had three or four balls called, then he seems to think his chances of getting the base on balls is best, and from that time he commences the fouling process. Every ball that comes fairly where he has called for it he fouls on his bat to save having it called a strike, and each unfair ball he allows to pass until the sixth one gives him the coveted base. The fight is a very pretty one between the batsman and the pitcher when the latter is a strategist and also has command of the ball. On one occasion, with McGinnis in the box when he felt good, Latham fouled five successive balls after the fifth had been called, and took his base on the sixth.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interest in the World Series

Date Wednesday, October 27, 1886
Text

[from the Kansas City correspondent] The excitement over the world's championship games is intense. The interest taken in these games in this city and hereabouts is really wonderful. They are the topic of conversation even in Missouri and Kansas towns.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

intimidating batters

Date Tuesday, August 24, 1886
Text

Stemmeyer, the Boston pitcher, owes his effectiveness to the intimidation of batsmen. In two games in this city he hit five men and kept others jumping around the plate to keep out of reach of his closely pitched balls.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

John Morrill on the new pitching rule

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Morrill by the Boston correspondent] Perhaps the changes will make the pitchers as a rule a little less effective for a while, but after some practice at the new style of standing they will do just about as well as ever. You see it is entirely different from the experiment they tried a year ago. Then you could not move the forward foot. Now it is simply that a pitcher must not move the rear foot, which only means that he cannot run up several steps before delivering the ball. He can take a step forward with his left foot, and they cal all get used to that.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

John Rogers on the guarantee system

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

John I. Rogers is pleased... most particularly with the adoption of the guarantee plan, which he has advocated and striven for ever since the Philadelphia Club became a member of the League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

John Rogers rewriting the rules

Date Wednesday, August 11, 1886
Text

[from Caylor's column] Mr. day is a member of the League committee on the revision of rules, and we had a talk on the subject. I didn't find him an enthusiast. Indeed, he expressed grave doubts that the committee would ever agree. He told me, however, that Lawyer Rogers, of Philadelphia, has been busy looking over the two sets of rules and recodifying them. In that event the country is safe, for John I. is a hustler.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Kansas City finances 2

Date Wednesday, October 6, 1886
Text

[an interview of Dave Rowe] I want to say, once for all, that the Kansas City team is self-supporting, and more than that. When I left home a couple weeks ago President Heim and myself had just concluded the task of looking over our receipts and expenditures, and the club was then $5,278 ahead. We are drawing well on this trip, and after paying our expenses will have a profit that will swell the total over $6,000. I have heard that some people claim that we have been a burden to the League, whereas the reverse is true. Of the seven clubs that visit us and that we visit only two have paid us more money than we paid them. Those clubs are the Chicagos and Bostons. As for the St. Louis Club, we have paid it $11.70 for every $7 it paid us. We have paid Detroit at least $1.75 for each dollar it paid us, and the other clubs, with the exceptions named, have received more money at Kansas City than we received when visiting them. I say this in defense of Kansas City people, who are liberal patrons of the game, and who are in hearty accord with the efforts of President Heim and his associations. I have calculated that we lost $8,000 by the cyclone last spring, and a club that can stand that loss and have a balance is certainly self-supporting.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Kansas City forced out of the NL

Date Thursday, November 25, 1886
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the NL 11/17/1886] An amendment to the constitution was made providing that any club persistently refusing to tender its resignation when called on for it, will forfeit its deposition of $5,000. this is regarded as an opening more to get rid of Kansas City than anything else. This means that Kansas City must resign or be kicked out. The Sporting News November 25, 1886

Mesrs. Day, Spalding and Young were appointed a committee to consider any probable disbandment or resignation of a League club, with power to act. They can, if deemed necessary, purchase the club's franchise and players and control the release and distribution of players belonging to a retiring club. It is understood that this committee will endeavor to wind up the affairs of the Kansas City club by purchasing its franchise and players. The Kansas City delegates, however, say they will hold their franchise and players if they have to invoke the aid of the courts to do so. The Sporting News November 25, 1886

The fate of Kansas City so far as the League and American Association are concerned, is settled. The Cowboys were given to understand at the League meeting, that they would be compelled to give way to Pittsburgh, and that they must look elsewhere for an existence. … What will become of their present team? Well the League will just about make arrangements whereby their players will be apportioned off among the other clubs and the St. Louis Maroons will get Myers, their fine second baseman and possibly Hackett their catcher.

On Wednesday Dave Rowe manager of the Kansas City's was in town. He was quite crest fallen over the turn affairs had taken, and said Kansas City would resort to the courts in the event of the League trying to oust them from their position in that body. During the day he and Mr. Menges called on President Stromberg and asked him what he would take for his franchise. Remembering that he had the privilege of Sunday games with barrels of stuff in prospect Mr. Strongberg placed his figures at something above a million. Mr. Rowe did not buy. The Sporting News November 27, 1886

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

keeping out of court: baseball law favors management

Date Wednesday, January 20, 1886
Text

not the slightest difficulty will occur between Mr. Byrne and Mr. Wiman in regard to these players [Orr and Roseman]. Mr. Byrne is entirely too wise a man to carry this matter into court against the wishes of the majority of the American Association clubs. It is a question of vital important and one that neither Mr. Byrne nor Mr. Wiman can afford to have decided by the court. At present all the base ball law is in favor of the management, and the poor player is knocked about from pillar to post like the poor slave, and has no voice whatever in the matter, but has to abide by the legislation of the management whether it meets with his approbation or not. There is no alternative. It is either do as you are bid or retire from the arena.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Keystone Club official scorer

Date Tuesday, May 4, 1886
Text

Frank Souder has resigned as official scorer of the Keystone Club.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

kicking and coaching

Date Monday, May 24, 1886
Text

[an editorial] The are two things nowadays taht go hand in hand with successful ball playing. These two are good coaching and good kicking. The Chicago and St. Louis Brown Stocking Clubs are the only teams in the country well-equipped in these respects. One stands at the head of one class and one at the head of the other. It may not be that their has placed them in the lead, but there is not a doubt but that those two qualities have a good deal to do with their fine standing. In base ball, as in all other lines, success brings with it a coterie of friends and followers and eclat and praise follow every victory. Hence it behooves every team striving for standing in the various associations to get there in any manner shape or form, by any means, either fair or foul, so they come within the letter of the rules. If shouting and howling and hooting and hurrahing will annoy and weaken the enemy, then should and howl, and hoot and hurrah just so you get there. But see that you get there, and get there quickly. Pay no attention to friend or enemy, but go into the game with bood in your eye, and if you are coacher, with your throat cleared and your trumpet in position. Your work, remember, at the close of the season, will be judged not by the little kicking you have done and by your good behavior, but by the position you hold in the race. If it is a good one, benefits and banquets will follow. If it is a poor one, you will be allowed to leave the city at your earliest convenience, and to return never. So kick, howl and hurrah while the season is yet young and proceed to get there. And get there as quickly as possible, in any way or manner you like, by any means, so they are honest and fair, and by any route you may choose, just so you get there.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

kneeling to back up a fly catch

Date Wednesday, April 7, 1886
Text

A little pop-fly was kn ocked up over Billy Gleason’s head, and Latham, to make one of this grand stand plays, rushed up to and knelt in front of Billy, to catch the ball if the short dropped it. This play irritated Billy, who, after catcher the ball safely, growled out: “Wot the — are yer kneelin’ ter me fer? I kin ketch der ball.” St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

late advocacy of eliminating the error column; scoring

Date Wednesday, February 3, 1886
Text

[from a column by Caylor] The error column has done more harm to the interests of good ball playing than any other one thing. I have always advocated its abolition, and I hope to live to see it wiped out yet. When it goes, the record player will go with it. Do you say record players are few? I say they are many; very many more than the public suspect, for it has come to that pass where the expert player shirks hard plays with a seeming earnestness of purpose that makes him a hero with spectators. Every club scorer in the land knows that the players who do not fight the error column are very few.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

late-period Only Nolan

Date Wednesday, June 23, 1886
Text

...Nolan is a very gentlemanly ball player, and personally made many friends in Savannah, who will wish him good luck wherever he goes. In the ten weeks that Nolan was with the Savannah Club he pitched just six games of ball. Of these he won four. He exhibited the possession of a long head, and his work in the box was satisfactory to the directors, except that there was not enough of it. To the public Nolan claimed that he wanted to do the largest share of the club's box work, but that the management did not gratify his wish and give him a showing. The directors, on the other hand, claim that Nolan was verbose in expressing his desire to pitch and win games, but that he invariably had an excuse for getting out of the work when the time to play drew near. Nolan's plan in the base ball firmament is to secure good position on the strength of his old reputation and avoid jeopardizing that fame by keeping out of the box as much as possible. His conduct apparently indicates a lack of confidence in his cunning to puzzle batsmen. His record here justifies the assertion that he will probably prove a valuable acquisition to any club that will compel him to play ball. The principal factor in inducing Savannah to release him was the high salary which he drew. When pay day cam nolan was told that the directors would be glad to retain him if he would submit to a reduction to his salary--$200 a month. He said he would prefer a release to less money, and he was accordingly allowed to go. Nolan intimated in public that he paid $150 for his release. The facts, however, are as stated above.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Latham's coaching

Date Tuesday, September 21, 1886
Text

[from Chadwick’s column] I am free to confess that I like the way Latham works his little coaching racket. There is a humor and good-natured fun in his way of doing it, and an originality which, to a certain extent, gives life to a contest. But the vulgar humbug and yelling of his weak imitators, such as that of Roseman, Behel, Miller and others who know nothing of real coaching, is simply disgusting to the spectators and more confusing to the runner than it is any advantage. Were it carried out as these fellows practice it the game would degenerate into a yelling match, and every reputable patron of the game would be driven from the grounds. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

lefty-on-lefty batting

Date Monday, June 28, 1886
Text

It is a well-known fact that a left-handed batter cannot gauge the curves of a left-handed pitcher, and as most of the Detroit players are left-handed the local [New York] Leaguers may create a sensation when they sail down on the metropolis of Michigan. The Sporting News June 28, 1886

Mirror of American Sports defunct

The Chicago Mirror of American Sports, the official organ of the Illinois Division of the League of American Wheelmen, has turned up its toes, and the wind in now whistling through the whiskers of the editor who a couple of years ago predicted short life for The Sporting Life. The Sporting Life June 30, 1886

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

legal opinions on the Pittsburgh move and the reserve

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[See TSL 11/24/1886 p.5 for two legal opinions. See TSL 12/01/1886 p. 1 for a sensible resonse.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

liquor sales at the Polo Grounds

Date Sunday, January 31, 1886
Text

The question was asked one of the League magnates recently why it was that the New York League club was allowed to violate the League rule which prohibits the sale of intoxicating liquors on any of their grounds. The reply was that when the New York Club entered the League three years ago they stated that they held a contract with the bar proprietor on their grounds which they would have to forfeit if the rule was to be strictly observed. On this account the violation was winked at by the League. Last season the sale of liquors was as open on the Polo Grounds as on an American Association ground. The question is how long did that contract extend?

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

looking to the minor leagues for umpires

Date Wednesday, October 13, 1886
Text

Mr. Young is awakening to the idea that as the minor Leagues furnish some good players, that they might also develop some good umpires, and he is now looking around to find some of them who possess good judgment.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville Club finances 2

Date Wednesday, March 3, 1886
Text

The annual meeting of the Louisville Club was attended by about twenty-five stockholders, all, in fact, but Manager H, who is quite ill. President Phelps presided. The treasurer's report showed that last season was the best in the history of the club. About $10,000 was cleared, $7,000 of which was put in improvements on the grounds, which are now the handsomest in the country. This year the club starts out with a clean record, with no improvements to make, and if the club has as good a year as last it will show a balance in the club's favor of from $10,000 to $12,000 at the end of the season, especially as the salary list will be light, but two of the players receiving the limit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville Club management sets a detective on its players

Date Monday, August 9, 1886
Text

Besides being under the eye of Manager James, a detective, it is reported, is constantly on their track, who takes note of the individual doings of each man and reports them in writing to President Phelps each morning. Some of the boys are not well pleased with this sort of thing, especially those who are not adverse to making a night of it now and then.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lucas quits baseball

Date Wednesday, August 25, 1886
Text

Lucas...is out of the club, and is at last done with base ball, after having, according to his own statement, lost $70,000 in his Union Association and National League ventures. The club franchise, grounds and all the other property of the Lucas association were mortgaged August 14 by Mr. Lucas and his brother-in-law, F. Espenschied, to L. A. Coquard, a broker, in consideration of notes amounting to $20,000. Mr. Lucas then withdrew from the presidency, and the control of the club passed into the hands of Messrs. Espenschied and Coquard. The Sporting Life August 25, 1886

Vonderhorst running the Baltimores

We have one thing to cause hopefulness. Harry Vonderhorst has had one season of base ball experience, and so good a business man should, and undoubtedly has, learned a great deal that will be made to work to the advantage of Baltimore another season. When he started he was a new hand at the bellows, and if he failed to strengthen the team it was not for a want of a use of money. He has shown a disposition to use that, and now all that is required is the experience necessary to acquiring good judgment in its investment and the selection of material and the men to handle it. The Sporting Life August 25, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lucas's attempts to sell the St. Louis NL club

Date Thursday, August 12, 1886
Text

The Washington dispatch in reference to the base ball situation published in the Post-Dispatch of last Thursday seems to have hit the nail on the head so far as the “big guns” of the League using the Washington management as a mouthpiece is concerned. The rumored deal of Lucas with that management offering to sells his players for $8,000 must have been very nearly consummated, for on that day, Tuesday, Manager Von der Ahe received a telegram from Mike Scanlon, then at Washington, asking whether the St. Louis Browns would enter the League in case the League would demand no bonus. Mr. Von der Ahe, so he says, replied “no” to the message. The evidently hasty manner in which the questions was asked was proof that, had Mr. Von der Ahe replied “yes,” Mr. Lucas would have been bought out. This shows conclusively that the rumored deal with Pittsburg had not been adjusted at that time and that the League could not fill the vacancy caused by the withdrawal of St. Louis.

While Mr. Lucas was dickering with Washington he had other schemes on foot by which he hoped to sell out at a better advantage than the trade with Washington would give, and on Sunday night he communicated with Manager Schmelz, who was then at Washington. He told Schmelz that he had received a ltter from Erastus Wiman, the Metropolitan millionaire, asking him upon what terms the Lucas team and the League franchise at St. Louis could be purchased. With this in mind, he instructed Schmelz to go on to New York immediately and offer Mr. Wiman the franchise and all the players under contract for the sum of $22,000 to be paid in cash. Should Mr. Wiman agree to the proposition Schmelz was to make the sale on the spot with the stipulation that Wiman was to take the franchise on the risk of the deal being refused acceptance by the League managers.

Schmelz followed Lucas’ orders and left for New York on Monday evening. A private message filed to reach him at Washington on Tuesday. These transactions on Mr. Lucas’ part were made, of course, without the knowledge of the other League managers and explain fully the refusal of Mr. Lucas on Saturday to entertain a proposition sent by telegraph from Spalding of Chicago who wired him asking at what price he would dispose of Glasscock, Denny and Meyers. Mr. Lucas, through his manager, is now endeavoring to sell his club and franchise to the best advantage, and will, no doubt, hol on in playing form until some such arrangement can be perfected. St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 12, 1886

This afternoon there was filed in the Recorder’s office a mortgage of all the properties of the St. Louis Athletic Association to L. A. Coquard, as follows.... St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 14, 1886 [Speculation follows that this is actually a move to ensure clear title for a transfer to Wiman. Espenschied states that it does not affect the operation of the club, but is security for a loan by Coquard to Lucas.]

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

marketing a minor leaguer

Date Wednesday, October 6, 1886
Text

[Phenomenal] Smith...has been in the market for a long time and for the past month has been offered to almost every club in the League. It is true the price demanded [by Newark] was exorbitant...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McKnight asked to resign AA presidency

Date Wednesday, March 24, 1886
Text

At a special called meeting of the American Association held at the Grand Hotel here [Cincinnati] to-day [3/20/1886] there were present... To everybody's astonishment Mr. McKnight did not appear, but telegraphed he was too unwell to come. The object of the meeting was to give Barkley a chance to appear and defend himself, as he claimed he had not been given an opportunity. Barnie filed specific charges against him with President McKnight last Thursday, with instruction for McKnight to request Barkley's presence here to defend himself. President McKnight said not a word about these charges, and left the delegates in a quandary. The meeting organized with Mr. Phelps in the chair, and Wikoff at the desk. Six clubs sent messages to McKnight, asking for his resignation, Pittsburg, on account of their peculiar relation, not being asked to sign the message, and St. Louis' proxy at that hour not having arrived. A long message was then wired to Barkley, explaining that these charges had been filed by Barnie with McKnight on Thursday, and requesting his presence here to make a defense, and that the delegates would wait for him till ten o'clock Monday. This notice was served on him at six o'clock Eastern time this evening by the Western Union Telegraph Company in Pittsburg. At that hour no notice of suit had been served on the Association by him. The delegates then took a recess to await a reply from Barkley, and also from McKnight. The Sporting Life March 24, 1886

...About two weeks ago President McKnight sent out official notices to all the clubs that he had been notified by Barkley that if he was not reinstated by the 13th of March he would bring suit against the Association. Mr. McKnight strongly urged that the meeting should be held—if not to reconsider Barkley's case, at least to engage counsel and prepare to defend the suit. In personal letters to the different club managers he advised that the meeting be called for Pittsburg before that date. To this, according to his own version, no club consented except the Metropolitans. A number consented to the call for a meeting either in Cincinnati or Washington. The majority of the clubs were not chumps to the extent of flocking to Pittsburg to let Barkley get service upon them. But when the preference for another city was shown the president very naturally lost his zeal for a special meeting, and it was only after four clubs had sent him a written demand for a special meeting to be held at Cincinnati on March 20 that he issued the call. This was done two days before (on the 18th, by telegraph.

Meanwhile, in order that Barkley might not say that he had never been allowed to defend himself from the things with which he was charged, Mr. Barnie, of Baltimore, drew up specific charges against him under the provisions of the constitution. These he addressed to President McKnight supplementing them with a very clear request that a copy of the charges should be served on Barkley and the latter be requested to present himself at the Cincinnati meeting and show reasons why the finding at the Louisville meeting should not be approved. These charges were mailed at Baltimore on the 16th, four days before the meeting.

… It was unanimously decided that the Association had borne with their president as long as they could and the one or two men who had stood between him and the outside for some time, this time made no resistance to the almost universal demand for his resignation. A telegram was accordingly drawn up and sent to him demanding his resignation and requesting him to forward it by wire at once as the Association was waiting for it. …

A vote on the resolution [to depose McKnight] resulted in seven ayes and one (Pittsburg) no, and Mr. McKnight was declared deposed. A test vote was then had as to who should be the successor, and it resulted in a unanimous choice for Wheeler C. Wikoff—even Pittsburg's vote being so cast and recorded. There being some uncertainty as to whether the Association or the directors should elect to the vacancy, a special meeting of the board was held, with Mr. Phelps in the chair, and Mr. Wikoff was chosen by a vote of 4 ayes to no noes. This being afterward reported to the Association, the action of the board was confirmed. Mr. Wikoff was accordingly initiated and installed as president, secretary and treasurer. The Sporting Life March 31, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McKnight holding out against his deposition

Date Wednesday, March 31, 1886
Text

Notwithstanding the action of the Association, Mr. McKnight has not yet surrendered his office. He claims that he has not been properly notified of his removal, and also that he was deprived of his office without properly substantiated charges and without being given an opportunity to defend himself. The Association claims that it had ample grounds for its action, and that Mr. McKnight, being but a salaried employee of the Association, it could dispense with his services at any time. McKnight retorts that, this being the case, he is entitled to a year's salary and that he will compel the Association to pay him the same. On Friday Mr. Byrne, chairman of the Association, made a formal demand upon McKnight for all books, funds and documents the property of the Association. McKnight has refused to do so and has retained counsel, by whose advice he also refuses to publish his grounds for his action. An ugly feeling is growing up all around, and unless the affair is promptly and amicably settled some interesting disclosures are likely to be made.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McKnight's explanation for his being fired

Date Wednesday, March 24, 1886
Text

[from an interview of McKnight] The entire business proves the intense hatred the association has to the Allegheny Club. As a way of revenge they have made me the scapegoat for the Barkley affair. This bad feeling comes with ill grace, particularly when the Alleghenys refused to join the League, after being coaxed to do so by the latter.

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mike Scanlon out of baseball

Date Wednesday, December 15, 1886
Text

[from the Washington correspondent] I regret that I am compelled to announce that Scanlon has disposed of his stock and has severed his connection with the club entirely. It will seem strange to see a club running in this city without his finger being in the pie. He has been closely identified with all base ball affairs in this city since away back in the sixties, and made a trip with the old National Club in '67 which did so much toward advertising base ball and gaining for it a firm foothold as the great American sport. He informed me this morning that he desired to see the local club succeed and become pennant winners, but that his private business, on which the support of his family depended, must receive his entire attention.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor league salaries 2

Date Wednesday, May 5, 1886
Text

The Binghamton Club is not afraid to publish its salary list. The monthly pay is: McLaughlin, pitcher, and Roxburg, catcher, $135; Sales and Becannon, pitchers, and Munyan and Kappel, catchers, $125; Toohey, left field, Van Alstyne, third base, and Jones, second base, $100; Hasset, short, $85. Dwyer, first base, $150, is the highest salaries man and has been chosen captain.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor league salaries 3

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

Rochester's team will foot up $16,000 for the season. Syracuse rolls up to $19,000, but that will no doubt be reduced by releases.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor league stats inflated

Date Monday, July 26, 1886
Text

President Byrne has discovered a nice little game going on in the South. Many of the clubs there are fattening the averages of some of their players in order to dispose of them for a good price to some Northern clubs. Several instances of this kind are reported.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor league team buying a release of a major leagers, if the player agrees

Date Monday, July 5, 1886
Text

Manager Bancroft of the Rochesters, who has been trying for some time to purchase Parsons’ release, made Mr. Soden on Saturday an offer which was accepted providing it was agreeable to Parsons. The latter is no considering the offer, and will, no doubt, accept the proposition. Mr. Soden refused to state the price agreed upon, but it is known to be less than $600.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor leagues and the reserve; a movement for a mutual protection association for the minors

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/13/1886]Mr. George M. Ballard, on behalf of the new International League, appeared before the Board and asked that the Reserve Rule privileges be extended to the minor leagues, which, after consideration, the Board refused. The Sporting Life December 22, 1886

[from the editorial column] President Ballard, of the Eastern League, and the Newark Club officials, are considerably exercised by the action of the Arbitration Committee in the smith case, and the former is said to be determined to make an issue on the question. He has written to all the managers of the Eastern, International, Southern, New England and Northwestern Leagues, with a view to holding a convention in New York to form an association for mutual protection. Mr. Ballard says that the League and Association should be combined against for the reason that while they insist upon a strict observance of the reserve rule among themselves, they refuse to recognize it in the minor associations and raid their clubs annual for fresh blood. To break up this practice it is designed by the minor associations to agree upon a reserve rule, and any reserve player who joins a League or Association club, and is retired for incompetency, will be boycotted by the minor associations and his occupation destroyed. Mr. Ballard thinks that no player would jump to an uncertain position in a larger league with the knowledge that if he failed eh could not make his living in a minor league. He also claims that the American Association and National League derive a large revenue yearly from starring in exhibition games with smaller clubs. They cannot play exhibition games with each other, and consequently April and October would yield them no money.

The schemes are not practicable for the reason that the minor leagues lack the cohesiveness, strength and durability of the two big leagues. The refusal to play exhibition games with the big clubs would cut both ways, and injure the minor leagues more than the National Agreement clubs who could more easily afford to be idle than the small clubs. Besides the big clubs, while they take away a large share of the receipts of these games, are really the drawing cards, and attract interest and attendance that no small independent club could. To fill dates these minor league clubs would have to play exhibition games with each other—and these would not pay—or else unprofitably extend the championship season.

Refusal to re-employ players who went into the big leagues and failed would not work either. It would be unjust to the players who have every right to look forward to promotion; besides good players are not found on eery bush and the clubs would soon violate the rules in their anxiety to secure strengthening material.

Finally the Arbitration Committee has stolen the thunder of the malcontents. By the new amendments to the National Agreement the minor league clubs are now placed practically on an even footing with the great leagues in everything but the right to reserve players. They have now an equal chance to sign their players provided they can make it satisfactory to them, and have nothing in future to fear from personal contracts. If they cannot then retain their players it will be because they cannot afford to pay the same salaries the players can obtain elsewhere. The Sporting Life December 22, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

more on scoring stolen bases

Date Wednesday, March 24, 1886
Text

Base-running is hereafter to be a matter of record so far as the new rules can make it so, but it is an art that can never be properly expressed in cold figures. To be of any value the record should also include a debit column showing the unsuccessful attempts and no attempts—that is, the player who fails to steal or refuses to try should be charged with a base-running error., quoting an unidentified Chicago exchange

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Morris's delivery

Date Thursday, July 29, 1886
Text

Morris is a left-handed puzzle, who keeps base runners constantly hugging the bags. Usually he stands squarely to the front, throws out his chest, advances the ball out to the level of his chin with one hand, then plants his right foot forward, and sends the sphere like a thunderbolt over the plate. He is always quick and his movements are graceful in the extreme.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane acquitted of game throwing

Date Monday, July 5, 1886
Text

The Mullane investigation was held here today [Cincinnati, 6/30]. The follwoing clubs were represented: Brooklyn, C. H. Byrne, who is also chairman of the meeting; Philadelphia, Lew Simmons, who also holds the proxy of Erastus Wiman, of the Metropolitans; Pittsburg, A. K. Scandrett; New York, F. A. Abell; Baltimore, Wm. Barnie; St. Louis, C. Von der Ahe, who is accompanied by J. D. Foulon, his attorney; Cincinnati, Charles Phares, O.P. Caylor and Frank G. Deckebach. The meeting was for the purpose of investigating the Enquirer’s charges against Tony Mullane, the Cincinnati pitcher, who is accused of selling games in the East.

Managing Editor Allen O. Myers, of the Enquirer, was asked to attend, but insteand of responding sent word that important business compelled him to be absent from the city. Messrs. Phelps, of Lousiville, and Foulon, of St. Louis, were elected as attorneys for the Association, and Mr. Caylor said that Mr. Phares would act for Mr. Mullane and the Cincinnati club. The affidavits of McMahon and Clayton, the Indianapolis citizens, were then read as they appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer of June 18. Patrick J. McMahon was seen at Indianapolis yesterday by Mr. Phares, and promised to come before the meeting, but this morning backed square out and refused to come, saying he was afraid of being arrested.

Mullane was the first witness to-day. He simply denied that he had ever written the letters McMahon and Clayton claimed to have received, and denied having tried to lose the Brooklyn game. He explained the crippled condition of the nine at that place, and said he pitched his very best. His testimony was very brief, and the cross-examination, which lasted but a few minutes, failed to shake it in the least.

John W. Bowlins of Indianapolis, deputy criminal prosecutor of the criminal court, testified that McMahon and Clayton had a bad reputation. The docket was presented, showing McMahon’s record–fourteen cases in all. Mr. Deckebach and Lawyer Phares detailed their experience in Indianapolis yesterday in attempting to induce McMahon and Clayton to come here. McMahon, when asked about the matter, said emphatically that he he had received a letter advising him [illegible] Cincinnatis. The affidavit says the letter advised his to bet on the Brooklyns. When his attention was called to this mistake he said the affidavit was right, whatever he had said. He said furthermore that after receiving the letter from Mullane he put it in his pocket and did not tell anybody a word about it and did not show it to anybody until Detective Page of Cincinnati called upon him and asked him if he had received such a letter. He was guaranteed perfect immunity from arrest by the base ball people if he would come here, but he backed out. No George Clayton lived in Indianapolis, but a Sam Clayton, a sure thing man, is supposed to be the author of the other affidavit. Diligent search by police failed to discover him yesterday.

After a brief statement by Mr. Byrne, favoring Mullane, a ballot was taken on the guilt or innocence of the charges against him, and he was by a unanimous vote acquitted. Mr. Caylor of the Cincinnatis tried to obtain a further vindication of some kind, but his suggestions were coldly received, some of the delegates having old grudges against Mullane.

A resolution was finally adopted requesting the Cincinnati club to compel the Enquirer to prove its allegations or recover damages for the publication. The meeting then adjourned.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane charged with throwing games; the status of the Cincinnati Enquirer; Mullane's unpopularity

Date Wednesday, June 23, 1886
Text

The Enquirer this morning [6/18] devotes two columns of its first page to an article charging five players of the Cincinnati Base Ball Club with “throwing” games. The only player against whom direct evidence is offered is “Tony” Mullane, one of the pitchers of the team. …

If the above came from any source other than the Cincinnati Enquirer it would perhaps find many believers. As it is, the story is pretty generally received with incredulity and has fallen very flat indeed. The Enquirer has for years hounded the Cincinnati Club under all its changes of management under direct orders from the owner of the sheet, McLean, who is an ousted stockholder of the Cincinnati Club. He has been back of every scheme to injure the club; he was mainly instrumental in having the club dispossessed of its grounds in 1884; he was behind the Cincinnati Union Club, which expected to drive the Association club into bankruptcy and so signally failed, and he was behind the scheme agitated last winter to place a League club in Porkopolis in opposition. This year this warfare has been intensified by the bitter personal hatred McLean entertains for the manager of the Cincinnatis, O. P. Caylor, and by the fact that the latter is also the base-ball editor of the Commercial-Gazette the main rival to the Enquirer. In this war upon the club McLean has been ably assisted by his managing editor, Allen O. Meyers, who also has good cause for hatred, having once been expelled from the grounds for drunken and disorderly conduct. The misfortune of the club this spring has given these worthies a chance to hit the club that they have not bee slow to avail themselves of, and the paper has, ever since the opening of the season, teemed with the must unreasonable and vile abuse and the grossest personalities.

Under these circumstances it is altogether likely that Mullane's personal unpopularity and his strangely poor work on the recent rip, together with his rather unsavory record of old as a contract-breaker, have been seized upon by the Enquirer people as a club wherewith to hit the club. When tripped of its plausible features the story looks fishy enough. ... The Sporting Life June 23, 1886 [See TSL 7/7/1886 for his acquittal.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane files a libel suit for accusation of game throwing

Date Sunday, June 20, 1886
Text

Tony Mullane has sued the Cincinnati Times-Star for $20,000 damages for libel. The article hints that he threw the 10 to 9 game in Brooklyn and refers to him contemptuously. Tony will probably claim $100,000 damages when he sues the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Philadelphia Times June 20, 1886

Tony Mullane has not yet filed his libel suit against the Enquirer. It is said that Tony has concluded to let the matter drop, but when accosted on the subject he maintains a provoking reticence. The Philadelphia Times August 15, 1886

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane on the $2,000 limit

Date Wednesday, January 27, 1886
Text

[from the Louisville correspondent] Mullane has left the city after a three weeks' visit. Tony is perfectly willing to sign in Cincinnati, but he argues that if he was worth $3,200 to sit on the bench last season, he is worth more than $2,000 to pitch two of each three games this sdason. Tony don't stop to think that he was paid too much last year. He also complains that the $2,000-limit rule is unfair, as it brings the salary of the pitcher down to prices of other players. Whey thye should receive more and only play one-half or one-third as many games he does not explain. Tony will be there in the spring, tra-la-la-la, no matter how he talks now.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane's insubordination

Date Monday, June 14, 1886
Text

The first essential requisite of success is a willingness and readiness to obey “orders” and in this Mullane has been woefully deficient. A pitcher who leaves his position, acquainted with the fact of there being no man then in play competent to replace him, while under the fusillade of the opposing batters, and for fear of his reputation suffering thereby, does not impress the crowd with a belief in his greatness. In fact it has a tendency to force one to a reverse conclusion. His conduct in Brooklyn in refusing to occupy the points in a certain game, thus, overriding the authority of his manager drew torrents of abuse on his devoted head from the local public. His work in Friday’s game at the same place tends to make one pause and consider. I luaghed at the very idea of Mullane’s deterioration and still think him capable of holding the place he so ably attained two seasons ago, when he proved the mainstay of the Toledo clu. There is an old adage: “A bird that won’t sing, should be made to sing,” and as you are aware the management have resorted to heroic measures. The sooner Mullane divests himself of superlative admiration of his own power and steps into the box with a will to do himself and the club justice, then so much better for all concerned.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane's reputation as cheap

Date Monday, May 10, 1886
Text

Tony Mullane has the reputation of being the closest man in the profession. No one ever saw him spend a cent. When he was here playing with the Browns, he wore a ten dollar suit until the seat of his pants had entirely disappeared, and he would not have invested in a new suit even then had not the city authorities interfered.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

NL allows Sunday exhibition games

Date Wednesday, March 10, 1886
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting 3/3-3/4/1886] The Sunday playing questions was next disposed of, the League deciding that such games should not be played during the championship season. Clubs, however, are to be allowed to play exhibition games on this day before and after the championship season if any so choose. This favors St. Louis and Kansas City.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

National Club finances

Date Wednesday, November 10, 1886
Text

The directors of the National Club held a meeting a week ago and discussed the affairs of the organization generally. … The report of the treasurer shows that the club comes out about $10,000 behind the gross outlay. The directors are not discouraged at this showing, as they realized that they would be under unusually heavy expense during the first year by reason of the expenditure for new grounds and the advances necessary to secure players.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

negotiations to withdraw the injunction against Mullane

Date Tuesday, April 27, 1886
Text

Mr. Lucas arrived this morning and after a general consultation it was decided to withdraw the injunction [against Mullane] for a certain monetary consideration. The attorney for the League was seen and everything tended to a quick settlement of the matter if not before the day is over at least at an early hour to-morrow morning. The only danger of a hitch in the proceedings was in the fear that the price asked may be considered too much. St. Louis Post-Dispatch April 27, 1886

...the fear that there would be a hitch in the negotiations between Mr. Lucas and the Cincinnati Captain was realized and hinged on a disagreement regarding the sum to be paid for the withdrawal of the injunction. St. Louis Post-Dispatch April 28, 1886

There is no injunction against Mullane playing ball in Ohio, and he was, therefore, put in the pitcher’s box at Cincinnati yesterday... St. Louis Post-Dispatch April 30, 1886

Mullane does not accompany his club this trip and will, therefore, not pitch in St. Louis. Mr. Lucas wanted $400 to request a withdrawal of the injunction, and the Cincinnati management thought the price too high. St. Louis Post-Dispatch June 18, 1886

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

new Cincinnati Club owner

Date Tuesday, March 2, 1886
Text

The Cincinnati Base Ball Club has changed hands. John Hauch, the wealthiest brewer of Cincinnati and President of the German National Bank, now owns the entire club. He has put the entire management into the hands of O. P. Caylor, and the policy of the club will be to elevate the tone of it and cater especially to the best classes. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

new Phillies Huntingdon park

Date Wednesday, August 4, 1886
Text

The Philadelphia Club management have just entered into a contract with Joseph Bird, the well-known builder, for the erection of the grand stand, or pavilion, on their new grounds at Broad and Huntingdon streets. After much time spent in selecting plans, submitted by various architects, those finally prepared by Doery & Keerl, architects and civil engineers, have been approved. These plans are very elaborate, and include a grand stand, or pavilion, with solid brick walls on a foundation of stone, with iron columns and iron truss roof, surmounted by private boxes of the most approved style and gothic turrets. The structure will be of the most enduring and permanent character, and entirely different from the style heretofore prevalent on ball grounds. … Contracts for open seats, fences, grading, sodding, drainage, etc., will be given out in September, the cause of this delay being that the hollow on the northwest end of the ground is not yet filled up. About 50,000 loads of dirt have been dumped since the beginning of the year, and about 200 loads daily are being dumped in the hollow, yet it will require from 5,000 to 7,000 more loads to bring it to the proper level, which will be accomplished, it is hoped, in a few weeks. The cost of all improvements will aggregate about $55,000. The Sporting Life August 4, 1886

The directors of the club will probably purchase the grounds before the opening of the next season. They have the refusal of the block at $100,000 for ten years, the price being advanced $10,000 every two years. The Philadelphia Times August 1, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

new St. Louis Club secretary; an assessment of Von der Ahe's personality

Date Wednesday, January 27, 1886
Text

Mr. Von der Ahe, when last heard from, was in Cincinnati where he closed a contract with Harry Weldon, of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Harry is to be Chris' secretary at a liberal salary. Under any man but Chris this position would be a pleasant one, but under the genial German, as The Sporting Life habitually calls him, it is scarcely less than menial, as Chris is not only whimsical and eccentric, but also extremely arrogant and requires abject submission and adulation at the hands of his subordinates whom he looks upon as mere machines to minister to his caprices.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

New York baseball reporters

Date Sunday, February 28, 1886
Text

Mr. A. B. Rankin will do the base ball reporting for the Herald, Sunday Mercury, and Base Ball Record this year again; Mr. Stackhouse that for the Tribune, Morning Journal and Associated Press; Mr. Donohue for the World; Mr. Kennedy for the Times; Mr. Harry Plummer for the Star; Mr. W. Rankin for the Sporting World, and young Mandego for the Sun.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

New York baseball reporters traveling with the club on its account

Date Wednesday, September 1, 1886
Text

Petey Donahue, of the World, Jim Kennedy, of the Times, and Stackhouse, of the Tribune, are traveling with the New Yorks this trip at the expense of the club. Rankin, of the Herald, was prevented from going along by pressure of work.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

New Yorks prefer to bat first

Date Wednesday, September 8, 1886
Text

[New York vs. Chicago 9/7/1886] New York won the toss and went to bat, as Ward always does.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

new scoring rules; giving a hit for a base on balls; stolen bases

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/17/1886] The committee adopted the American Association scoring rules almost entire. The only change made is to credit a base hit on ever base obtained on balls, and to also give a time at bat on such play. This is done for the double purpose of rewarding the careful waiter on balls, and to punish the pitchers, who would always rather give a batter a base on balls than let him make a base hit. A base on balls is as good as a base hit, and will now be scored exactly the same. The total base column of the League rules is eliminated, and in its place is the stolen base column of the Association. This differs from the stolen base record of the Leagu3e in two respects. First, the League recorded its stolen bases in the summary, and they now go into the main score. Secondly, the League only gave credit for clean steals, and now every successful attempt at stealing is recorded, whether it results from an error made in trying to prevent the steal or is a clean piece of work.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Young sympathetic to the brotherhood

Date Wednesday, August 18, 1886
Text

According to a Washington correspondent League President Young has expressed himself as in cordial sympathy with the players in the National League, who have lately organized the Base Ball Union. Mr. Young is quoted as saying:

“It seems to be a move on the part of the most reputable men in the professional to secure for themselves and associates fair and equitable treatment at the hands of those in authority over them as well as to promote the general welfare of the sport. With such an object the organization is above criticism, and the fact that such men as John War, John O'Rourke, John Morrill, Ed Hanlon and Dave Rowe are the prime movers in the scheme, insures for it the respect and consideration of all who may be brought in contact with the workings of the institution.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nimick denies rumors of Pittsburgh jumping to the NL

Date Monday, August 9, 1886
Text

President Nimick denies all reports to the effect that the Allegheny Ball Club will joint the League this season. He says that the club cannot withdraw from the Association.

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no Phillies players sign

Date Wednesday, October 27, 1886
Text

The Philadelphia players were all paid off in full on Wednesday, and were treated to a conference with the management. Not one signed, however. It is said that nearly all have enlarged views of their importance, and their ideas on the salary question have swollen accordingly. So they were dismissed without coming to any arrangement with the management.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no base coach

Date Wednesday, June 2, 1886
Text

Nearly every one who witnessed the [Baltimore] game on Saturday was disgusted at the indifference displayed by the home team. Kilroy reached first base on an error, but not one single man was upon the field to run him around—all were enjoying the shade of the players' bend, so Kilroy ran himself, and because he could not run, watch where the ball was and all other things at the same time he had to slide to reach third base, and in so doing cut his pitching arm besides being put out.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no chivalry in baseball

Date Monday, September 6, 1886
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Chicago 8/28/1886] [regarding Anson’s initial refusal to allow an injured Phillies player to retire] There seems to be a disposition among a good many people to criticize Capt. Anson for his refusal to permit the change of catchers, and blame him for the entire delay. This is entirely wrong. Base ball is played on its points, and the element of sentiment or chivalry does not and should not enter into the question in any shape whatever.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no home runs over the Polo Grounds fence

Date Wednesday, September 8, 1886
Text

Nobody has yet batted a ball over the Polo Grounds fence. Connor has been trying to do it for a long time and has frequently gotten the ball within a few feet of the top of the high enclosure.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

obviously intentional fouls to be called strikes; bunting

Date Wednesday, November 17, 1886
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the joint rules committee 11/16/1886] Any obvious attempt to “foul” a pitched ball will be scored a strike. St. Louis Post-Dispatch November 17, 1886

The rule giving a strike for any obvious attempt to foul the ball does not apply to an attempt to block it and beat it to first base. St. Louis Post-Dispatch November 22, 1886

[from Chadwick’s column] The rule prohibiting the useless “bunting” of balls foul to weary the pitcher is a good one. At the same time it is not wise to prevent bunting hits altogether, for they are a class of base hits swift runners can make to advantage. I advocate the earning of a base by the batsman by any kind of hitting of a fair ball which will yield first base without any extra exertion of strength. St. Louis Post-Dispatch November 23, 1886

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

offensive coaching

Date Monday, June 14, 1886
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 6/9] “Offensive coaching,” a direct hit at the Browns, was the next important matter discussed. It was decided that, in order to prevent by captains, the lines be so changed as to keep the Captain and his assistants at least seventy-five feet away from the catcher’s lines and on a line fifteen feet from and parallel with the four lines. A rule was adopted preventing the captain from addressing remarks to batsmen, except by way of caution, or to the pitcher and catcher of the opposing team, and limiting coaching to base-runners under severe penalties. The Sporting News June 14, 1886

When men are on the bases it has become the custom with some nines, under the guise of coaching, to depute a loud-lunged player to indulge in frantic yellings and antics, manifestly designed only to distract the attention of the umpire or to irritate the opposing players. Chicago Tribune June 14, 1886, quoting the New York Times

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

official scorer for Detroit

Date Wednesday, September 1, 1886
Text

Manager Watkins is the official scorer of the League at Detroit. There is no doubt but the Wolverines will get credit for all they do.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

official scorer for the Athletics; reporter for the Philadelphia Press

Date Wednesday, June 30, 1886
Text

Horace Fogel is still the official scorer of the Athletic Club, although no longer connected with the Press. Fogel's successor on that paper, Billy Voltz, is doing the base ball quite cleverly.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Olympic Club's fiftieth anniversary

Date Wednesday, May 19, 1886
Text

The Olympic Base Ball Club, of this city, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary at Atlantic City on Thursday. The Olympic Club was organized in 1833 by twenty-nine gentlemen, six only of whom are still living–Peter Ellmaker, Robert Lindsay, Robert P. McCullagh, William H. Carr, J. R. James and Joseph Mort.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

opposition to scoring sacrifices; scientific batting

Date Wednesday, February 17, 1886
Text

The proposition to score half a base hit for every time a batter advances a runner one or more bases, even though the batter himself be put out, is not likely to command favor among scorers. It is the old and exploded notion of giving credit for what is terms 'sacrifice' hitting revived in a new form. Properly considered there is no merit in a 'sacrifice' hit, for the reason that in ninety-nine out of a hundred instances a hit of this kind is a 'scratch.' There are not among the 200 players of the League and American Association six who can more than half the time place the ball in any given direction; much less can they bat it to the ground or in the air at will, while at the same time giving it the desired direction. There is many a hard line hit which goes straight to a fielder's hands and is caught, and possibly opens the way for a double play, which is infinitely more meritorious than the so-called 'sacrifice' hitting. Safe batting is the product of a sure eye, patience to wait, and the power to hit the ball hard. All other theories about batting are worthless. The Sporting Life February 17, 1886, quoting the Chicago Mirror

Save when a man deliberately undertakes to block a ball, he as a rule drives away at it to send it as hard and far as he can send it, with the intention of getting just as far as his legs will carry him before it is returned to stop him. Nine out of ten sacrifice hits are scratches, and in nine out of ten cases the striker only hits the ball with the intention of sending it it far enough to permit of his getting one or more bases. In any event, it would be hard to find a man at bat, even with three men on bases, who would deliberately put a ball into the right-fielder’s hands–admitting for argument’s sake that he could do so–in preference to sending it over the wall or among the carriages, and when a player can plant his bat on a ball so securely and confidently as to be able to put it into any fielder’s hands he can put it further if he has the muscle. Chicago Tribune February 27, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Oriole Park renamed

Date Wednesday, July 28, 1886
Text

Just for luck, Oriole Park is no more. The same old skin diamond and grass-grown outfield stare the spectator in the optics, but superstition has caused it to be denominated by the somewhat romantic appellation of Huntingdon Avenue Park. All the same the first two games played on the old locality with the fresh cognomen resulted in the old way....

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

overhand pitcher delivery allowed contra AA rules

Date Tuesday, May 25, 1886
Text

[Allegheny vs. Athletic 5/24/1884] Mr. Brennan, the umpire yesterday, disregarded one of the strictest rules of the Association in allowing Fox to throw the ball above the shoulder. Captain Stovey requested the umpire several times to enforce the rule, but he refused to do so. Why this refusal to enforce the rule we cannot very well understand, especially as Mr. Brennan has so far shown himself well versed in the rules. The Philadelphia Item May 25, 1886

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pads and gloves for base running

Date Wednesday, May 19, 1886
Text

That the [Washington] club is playing a great fielding game is attested by the following opinion expressed by Joe Gerhardt in a letter to a friend in this city in which he says: “The Washingtons have as strong a fielding team as any other club and very good batters, but a slow in running bases.” I concur in the above and think the sooner the pads and gloves are brought into use, that much sooner will they make a stronger showing.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

peanut and beer concessions

Date Monday, July 5, 1886
Text

The peanut and beer man at Sportsman’s Park collided the other day, and there result was 2 to 1 in favor of peanuts. The latter gentleman got one shiner, which the beer hustler got two.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia scorers meet; scoring battery errors, stolen bases

Date Thursday, April 1, 1886
Text

The base ball reporters of the Record, the Press and The Times met yesterday and discussed the scoring rules adopted by the National League and American Association. It was decided to score all games alike, all fielding errors to appear in the error column and all battery errors, of whatever nature, to appear in the summary. The new rule of the American Association, providing for an additional column for stolen bases, was looked upon as impracticable and was also transferred to the summary. It was also decided to give a player who made a successful “start” to steal a base the credit for a stolen base irrespective of any error made by the battery. The most important innovation made was to describe all errors made in the summary, and hereafter the public will be able to tell just what kind of misplays were made by the players.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia season tickets

Date Wednesday, February 17, 1886
Text

[Philadelphia Club] season tickets entitling the holder to a seat in the grand stand cost $15, but tickets calling for a numbered seat in the pavilion come $5 higher, and only fifty are offered for sale. There are already nearly double that number of applications for pavilion tickets. Previous ticket holders will have the preference.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Phillips' bounce from the Philadelphia Club

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

It will be quite a spectacle to see Messrs. Reach and Horace Phillips sitting together in harmony at the League councils. Mr. Reach could unfold a very interesting little tale of the why and wherefore of in 1882 [sic: should be 1881].

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pitching delivery

Date Sunday, August 29, 1886
Text

[See PT August 29, 1886 for unusually precisely described deliveries with engravings from instantaneous photographs.]

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh Club ownership

Date Wednesday, December 15, 1886
Text

At the close of the season when Denny McKnight was in his glory and at the head of the team, there was a shortage of nearly $3,000, which had to be paid to save the honor of the club. The capital stock was $5,000, divided into 200 shares of $25 each. Messrs. Nimick, Brown and Converse, seeing the position the team was in, offered to take it and give each one of the stockholders season tickets for as many years as the club lasted, provided they would pay its debts. They also agreed, as part of the deal, to spend $10,000 or more on the organization the ensuing year. This was refused, and they finally agreed to pay the debt and take the team, provided the stock was turned over to them. All but about twenty stockholders agreed to this proposition, but the twenty refused either to settle or do anything else. Since then the present directors have spent about $40,000 on the club, but their title was not clear. So to perfect it they confessed judgment for $27,000, an execution was issued and the club wa sold to acting President Scandrett as trustee. This neat little piece of business was perfectly legal, giving the management a sound title, and now the original stockholders, who could have secured season tickets for life probably at about $15 a ticket, are kicking themselves all over town when they think of the 50-cent strain on their pocketbooks next year. The moral of this beautiful lesson seems to be that it is policy to do the fair thing, even in base ball deals.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh attendance, finances

Date Wednesday, September 1, 1886
Text

The present season has been the most successful one in the history of the Pittsburg Club, professionally and financially, the latter being the natural outcome of the former. They have had an average attendance of 3,000 at their games on the home grounds, the lowest attendance for one series being the three last games with the Athletics, when the total attendance did not exceed 5,000. At the same ratio they will end the season with some $25,00 or $30,000 clear money.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh jumped to the League because of the Barkley matter

Date Wednesday, December 8, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Nimick by the Pittsburgh correspondent] I liked the American Association, and we got along nicely. But the Barkley case settled me. After Barnie and the rest of them had assured us that the only question to be decided at the Louisville meeting was whether Barkley belonged to Baltimore or Pittsburg, and after we had sent our attorney home, to have them bring in the verdict they did disgusted me forever.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh jumps to the League

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/17/1886] … A committee was then appointed with power to confer with the representatives of the Pittsburg (Association) Club and arrange, if the club so wished, for their admission to League membership. Messrs. Day, Spalding and Rogers formed the committee appointed, and the delegates then took a recess until 3 P.M.

Upon reassembling the committee reported that they had conferred with the Pittsburg representatives and that the latter had formally applied for admission to the League. The application was then voted upon , and the club at the Smoky City was admitted to the fold by the unanimous vote of the meeting. Messrs. W. A. Nimick and H. K. Scandrett—who, it seems, arrived in the city ?Tuesday and kept their identity and the nature of their business concealed from the public—were then admitted to the meeting as representatives of the new member.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh salary list

Date Wednesday, November 3, 1886
Text

As a rule it is difficult to ascertain the exactly salary list of a club, but your correspondent is able to give nearly the correct figures for the Pittsburgs. Morrisl will receive $2,500 and probably more; Carroll, $2,200; Galvin, $2,300; Miller, $1,800; Barkley, Shomberg, Smith and Whitney, $1,800 each; Brown, $1,600; Coleman, $1,500; Mann, $1,500; Kuehne, $1,500; Handiboe, $1,800; Bishop, $1,000, and Fields, $1,200—making a total in round numbers of $26,000.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh threatens to jump to the League

Date Wednesday, January 20, 1886
Text

[correspondence from Caylor] [Horace Phillips] stopped over in Louisville. While there Horace made some big Indian talk anent the Barkley case. He gave it out freely and numerously at Hecker's headquarters that if the Association did not let the Barkley case alone, or let the Pittsburgs play him, the club would joint the League and Hecker announced Mr. Phillips' ultimatum on the bulletin board at the headquarters. He also saw President Phelps, of the Louisville Club, and MR. Hart, of the schedule committee, and made a demand on the committee for certain dates and privileges on the schedule, under threats of a withdrawal to the League if not accommodated. All of this is not doubtful. I have the assurance of Messrs. Phillips and Hart that the bluff was made. Does it not strike the conservative thinker that such a policy is a poor one? Are the gentlemen of the American Association of that caliber that a few threats will control their acts and intentions? It is not possible.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

placement of the pitcher's lines in the AA

Date Wednesday, April 28, 1886
Text

The moving of the pitcher's lines up six inches seems to have knocked curve pitchers silly and given the speedy drop and in-shoot lads the advantage. It is hard on phenomenals and will make the old heady fellows like Matthews, Lynch, Henderson, McKeon, Mullane and Hecker stronger in comparison than ever. The Sporting Life April 28, 1886

.

the Wiman trophy

[from a letter from Erastus Wiman to G. F. Williams, manager of the Metropolitans] In order to give additional stimulus to the base ball fervor which now prevails, I have just ordered from the Gorham Company a trophy in solid silver, the design being a base ball player at the bat. The figure will be mounted on a pedestal and enclosed in a case, in order that it may be exhibited at all the championship base ball matches in which the Mets engage. I propose to donate this beautiful trophy to the American Association as a permanent emblem of the championship, the same to be held each year by the club that is awarded the Association pennant. Naturally I place the trophy for the current season in the custody of our own club—the Mets—being confident that they will endeavor to hold it by winning the pennant. You will please instruct the Mets to carry the trophy from city to city where they play with our associate clubs, and place it on exhibition during the games, in order that all the contesting clubs may seen the prize for which they are playing. The Sporting Life April 28, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

player complains about the prospect of being traded

Date Wednesday, November 17, 1886
Text

Paul Hines does not like the idea of being traded off to Boston or any other club without being consulted. He says the home management does not treat him with proper consideration in speculating with him as though he were a quantity of merchandise., quoting an unidentified Washington exchange

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

player discipline for drinking moved to the League President

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/18/1886] [an amendment to the constitution] For drinking or gambling a player may be fined or suspended by the president of the League, fine not to exceed $200 and suspension to be for such time as he may deem proper.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

player eligibility for the World Series

Date Saturday, October 23, 1886
Text

[Chicago vs. St. Louis 10/22/1886] The trouble originated before the game, when it was proposed by Anson to pitch Baldwin, the new man whom the Chicagos signed a few days ago. This was objected to by Mr. Von der Ahe on the ground that he had undertaken these games with the understanding that his club was playing the Chicago team which had won the championship from the League in 1886, and also with the understanding that no new man should be played with the Browns beyond those who had won the championship from the Association. A long dispute followed between the two presidents, and as they could come to no agreement they decided to refer to the matter to the Board of Umpires. Pearce was missing and could not be found, so Kelly, McQuade and Quest undertook to dispose of the matter by tossing a coin. Kelly withdrew and allowed McQuade and Quest to do the tossing. Had Quest won he would have decided to allow Baldwin to pitch, but as McQuade was the luckier of the two, he decided that Baldwin should not be allowed to take part in the game. That much being settled, the story of what followed–how the Chicagos were beaten at all points and most ingloriously whipped–is told in the description of the game. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

player trades

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

Mr. Von der Ahe recognized the fact that “Little Nick” (as Nicol is familiarly called) was a strong drawing card here [Cincinnati] and elsewhere, and it took big monetary inducements as well as a good catcher in exchange to secure “nick's” release from the Browns. The Sporting Life November 24, 1886

Four hundred dollars cash is said to be the sum Cincinnati paid Von der Ahe for Hugh Nicol's release. Catcher Boyle had to be thrown in. Nicol will get $2,100 for the season. The Sporting Life November 24, 1886

Al McKinnon, the big first baseman, will not be found with the Maroons next season, having been released to Pittsburg for a monetary consideration, said to be $500 and young Shomberg, who showed up so well as a batter last season in the American Association. The Sporting Life December 8, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing the World Series total gate receipts to the winner

Date Wednesday, November 3, 1886
Text

Whether Spalding's offer to play for the entire gate receipts was a bluff or not I am unable to say, but it looked very peculiar, and he undoubtedly expected President Von der Ahe to say “divide the receipts.” But no; Chris and his boys thought just as ll St. Louis people did, that the Browns were the best club, and the proposition to take all or none was just the “Browns' president's size,” and the result of the series has made Von der Ahe and his boys happy, while the Chicago aggregation are correspondingly blue.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing the pitcher in right field

Date Thursday, December 23, 1886
Text

It is possible that President Von der Ahe will not alternate his pitchers in right field next year as many have been led to believe. It would not be a surprise should he secure a player who will fill that position regularly. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

premium game pricing

Date Monday, August 30, 1886
Text

The sale of the best grand stand seats for “fifty cents extra” in place of the customary quarter, on the Chicago days at Detroit, raised a howl which will echo in the management’s ears for many a day. A big, round dollar for a ball game seems rather large to economical Detroiters–but the reserved seats were purchased, just the same.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposal for joint rules

Date Saturday, April 17, 1886
Text

President Spalding has written to Mr. O. P. Caylor, Secretary of the American Association, proposing that some steps be taken towards having the playing rules of all organizations under the National agreement to read alike. The differences in the rules have proved a source of much annoyance to league clubs in exhibition games with the clubs of other associations, the latter desiring to play under their own rules, which are not always known in detail to league players.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposal to call strikes on intentional foul balls

Date Wednesday, November 17, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Brotherhood meeting of 11/11/1886] [discussing possible rules changes] Among the suggestions not particularly affecting the umpiring department were those of fouling balls to reach first base on six balls, should be prohibited and a strike called on the batter every time he attempts it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed replacement for scoring errors; range factor

Date Wednesday, February 3, 1886
Text

[from a column by Caylor] Do you ask what I would have instead of the error column? This:--I would give every fielder credit for all he did—every assist and every put-out, without recording his failures. Then every fielder would be interested in taking every chance, however, desperate, without fear of loss by doing so. I would then make out the players' averages by the number of assists and put-outs he had, divided by the number of games he played, and compare every man's record only with the record of the other fellows of his position.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed scoring RBIs, sacrifices

Date Wednesday, February 3, 1886
Text

[from the Louisville correspondent] The Philadelphia Press has a article on scoring in last Sunday's issue which had many good points. The main argument of the article is to add a new column to the score in which an account of sacrifice hits and hits which assist in making a run may be scored. This, I think, is an excellent plan; they go further and suggest that a half hit be given for each hit as described above. This, I think would be wrong, as the score should be an exact account of the play, and two sacrifice hits do not make one base hit any more than do four base hits by a player always make a run. The players' average could be made the same as now, when total bases are considered on his averages for safe hits, or average for total bases or average for safe hits and sacrifice hits. The latter would be the true criterion to judge a batsman by.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

prospects for the Kansas City franchise

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/18/1886] … Day, Spalding and Young were appointed a committee to consider any probable disbandment of League clubs, with power to act. They can purchase any club's franchise and players and control the release and distribution of such players belonging to retiring club.

It is believed that the committee will wind up the affairs of the Kansas City Club by purchasing their franchise and players. Kansas City delegates, however, say they will stick if they have to invoke the law.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

railroad stops named after Browns players

Date Wednesday, November 3, 1886
Text

The Missouri Pacific Railway has named four stations on that line after as many players of the Brown Stocking Club, all the towns being in Kansas. “Foutz” is a town of about 200 people, and is said to be strung out for about half a mile—being long and thin. “Latham” is situated on top of a high hill, and is rather a windy place. “Comiskey” is a point where a great many steers and mules are shipped from, and it is said that some of the steers are terrible kickers. “Bushong” is the oldest and prettiest place of the four. Within its limits there are situated two churches, two schools several country stores and the usual doctor and dentist. The town proper is situated in a beautiful valley, and on its outskirts runs a small stream which finds it way from the mountains in the distance. The Sporting Life November 3, 1886 [N.B. This appears to be true.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rain checks 5

Date Wednesday, May 26, 1886
Text

The Athletic Club has finally decided to issue , to be given out as the people pass out of the grounds on days when less than five innings are played.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rain checks up to three innings

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/18/1886] [an amendment to the constitution] In the event of rain before the completion of the third inning the home club shall issue rain checks good for admission to the next succeeding game, and the same shall be considered a postponed game, and no money shall be paid the visiting club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reaction in Pittsburgh to the 50 cent admission

Date Monday, November 22, 1886
Text

The all-absorbing topic at present in base ball circles in connection with the flop of the Alleghenys from the Association to the League is the 50-cent admission. The opinion of over a hundred of the principal patrons of the Allegheny club during the past season has been secured and they all declare that 50 cents admission will kill the game in this vicinity. Many had attended from four to six games a week. If the 50-cent fee is maintained a general boycott will certain by inaugurated. Pittsburgh patrons have generally had a great sufficiency of sport at 25 cents, and consequently look upon the doubling of the price as an outrage.

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reorganized St. Louis NL club; early effect of the Wiman lawsuit

Date Monday, August 30, 1886
Text

William Stromberg, one of the most enterprising business men of the West End will probably be the new president of the Maroon, providing that the new stock company is formed. It was Mr. Stromberg who started the ball rolling in the matter of subscriptions by taking $10,000 worth of stock. The Sporting News August 30, 1886

On last Monday night a meeting was held at the Lindell Hotel for the purpose of organizing an association to purchase the St. Louis League Club and to pay off its indebtedness. ... Mr. Espenschied was questioned by several of those present as to whether the League would have the right to oust the St. Louis League Club if any any time it found what promised to be a better representative. He replied that the courts had already recognized base ball as a legitimate business and would protect its interests. Mr. Wiman’s suit against the American Association, who tried to oust the Metropolitans, had proven that. Therefore, as long as the St. Louis League Club kept its dues paid up there was no fear of its being ousted. The Sporting News September 6, 1886

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporters

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

[describing the banquet at the AA meeting 12/15/1886] A large delegation of newspaper men also participated in the festivities: the New York press being represented by Henry Chadwick, of the Brooklyn Eagle; A. B. Rankin, of the Herald; W. M. Rankin, of the Mail and Express; Mr. Kennedy, of the Times; Mr. Stackhouse, of the Tribune; Mr. Mandigo, of the Sun; Mr. Lane, of the Star; Ed Plummer, of the Sportsman, and Mr. F J. Wood, of the Associated Press. Pete Donahue, of the New York World, was the only absentee, having been assigned to a prize fight. The out-of-town press was represented by the editor of The Sporting Life; O. P. Caylor, of the Cincinnati Commercial-Gazette, and Harry Weldon, of the Cincinnati Enquirer...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rescinded rule requiring runner return to his bas on the run on a foul ball

Date Sunday, November 21, 1886
Text

The old rule requiring a runner to return to his base on the run when a foul hit is made was rescinded; hereafter the runner can walk to his base.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reserve expanded, extended to include hold-outs

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/13/1886] article IV.--Extends the reserve list to 14 players for each club, and in case a reserved player refuses to sign for one year his reserve continues in addition to the 14 players under contract. This is nothing new, but merely inserted to avoid doubts.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reviving the reserve team plan

Date Wednesday, December 29, 1886
Text

Manage Mutrie has determined to take up the old reserve team idea originated by Harry Wright, and will carry two nines next season. One will be the regular team and the other will be known as the New York Club's Reserves, and will play on the Mott Haven grounds under the management of Mr. Becannon, who had charge of the grounds last season. All the players who will play in the second nine will sign regular League contracts with the New York Club. Some of the young players who signed contracts some time since with the New Yorks, instead of waiting to be called upon by the managers of the regular nine, will earn their salaries by showing their points in the second nine. The idea of the New York people in putting two nines in the field is to bring out players for their regular team and to have men in reserve when wanted. It may work well, and if properly handles may even be made a source of revenue. It's worth a trial, anyhow.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Richmond's delivery

Date Monday, August 30, 1886
Text

J. Lee Richmond, at one time the greatest left-hand pitcher in the country, made his first appearance, after an absence of five years from the pitcher’s box. ... Richmond did not show up to expectations, but his work can not be judged from what he did yesterday. He has a slow, underhand delivery. One thing he lacks is the drops and shoots that the present pitchers rely upon for success. St. quoting the Cincinnati Enquirer

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

roster size 2

Date Wednesday, October 20, 1886
Text

It is the intention of the [Washington] club to carry from fifteen to seventeen men through next season, so as to be fully prepared for any emergency which may arise. This is a wise determination, as it is better to have too many than not enough, and in order to carry it out they will retain all of the members of the team as at present constituted, and but few, if any, releases will be made.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rowdy ball playing; breaking up a double play

Date Monday, May 24, 1886
Text

Right here in conjunction allow me to state, the method inaugurated by the Chicagos and aped by the Browns, may come under the head of playing ball to win, but does not tend to elevate the standing of base ball. Base ball owes its standing to skill and science alone and it is no less than sacrilege for a set of players to detract from it one iota of fame by an exhibition of rowdyism as some of your pets gave us [Cincinnati] the past week. ... The game was lost to us Friday was due to Comiskey’s throwing himself full tilt against McPhee [second baseman], causing Bid to throw wild to first and enabling the Browns to score the winning run. Welch in Saturday’s game, not to be outdone, emulated his gallant captain’s conduct and threw himself against McPhee as if hurled from a catapult. McPhee prides himself on his even temper, and yet, but for the influence of the players, trouble would have ensued. Welch, in extenuation said: “Well, we’re playing ball to win.

Source The Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumor of a League club in Indianapolis

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column] When the League meeting adjourned it did not adjourn finally, but with the understanding that President Young should have the power to reconvene the meeting—the annual meeting-- at some future time. Even without this significant provision, however, it is generally understood that the League had by no means closed the business of its annual meeting. I think, and many others with me, that the real business of the League will be transacted when last month's meeting will be reconvened, which will probably occur early in February, or before that time, and if Indianapolis will tumble to anything short of the fall of a brick wall, she will lose no time. Count St. Louis and Kansas City out of the race. Organize a stock company with the same amount of vim and enterprise and backed with the same amount of capital that Kansas City possess and then talk to—well, talk to the League and Kansas City at the same time. The latter will sell you its team and franchise and the former will admit you, if I have been able to size up the situation with any degree of accuracy.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumor of a players' union

Date Wednesday, May 19, 1886
Text

Some Philadelphia crank is again agitating a ball players' union, and is inflicting long letters upon the subject upon leading League players. Billy Voltz denies that he is at the bottom of it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumor of players smoking opium

Date Wednesday, August 4, 1886
Text

Some of the Washington players are accused of being opium smokers. A Washington exchange says: “It seems rather queer that professional base ball players should be foolish enough to indulge in the pernicious and injurious habit of smoking opium. No man can 'hit the pipe' and play ball, too; he must give up one or the other. There are at least two members of the Washington Club who are regular patrons of a Georgetown opium 'joint.' One of them is a great favorite with Washington audiences, and if the fact were generally known that he is a slave to this vile habit we hav e no doubt that he would be driven in disgrace from the club. If these two men continue to indulge in this thing we shall deem it a duty to admirers of base ball to print their names. In the meantime if Manager Scanlon wishes their names for his own information we are prepared to furnish him with the proof.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumored disbanding of the St. Louis NL club over Sunday games

Date Wednesday, August 11, 1886
Text

It is given out here as a positive fact that Lucas and Spalding had a stormy interview here three days ago. Lucas flatly demanded the privilege of immediate Sunday games, and Mr. Spalding as flatly announced the impossibility of granting the privilege under any circumstances. Mr. Lucas then stated that the Lucas Club would not finish the season. It is believed that the strongest players will be sold and the club disbanded upon its arrival from the Eastern trip, and the Dunlap sale is the first step in this direction. Mr. Spalding started at once for the East, and the result of his visit is that Pittsburg will be ready to step into St. Louis' shoes.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of Pittsburgh jumping to the League; 25 cent admission

Date Monday, August 30, 1886
Text

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent] There has been quite a quantity of talk flying around here about the Pittsburgs going to take the place of the St. Louis League club, but a responsible authority has said that there is nothing in it. At the same time it is looked upon here as an almost settled fact that Pittsburg will next year be represented in the League. That body has been trying very hard for some time to coax us in, as there is no better city in the country for base ball than this, but one thing the League will find, and that is that if we do go in, the League must make some concessions for us. A twenty-five cent tariff is the only thing that will pay here. Then we do not want to be treated as Washington and Kansas City, that is to have to make up our team out of the leavings of the other clubs. If we cannot succeed in taking out pick of our present players with us, it will go a long ways towards keeping us just where we are.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

salaries for Louisville officers; dissension among the minor stockholders

Date Wednesday, March 3, 1886
Text

[reporting the Louisville Club annual meeting] After the election there was quite a breeze over a resolution that the officers of the club be salaried, and that the directors be empowered to salary such officers and fix the amounts as they deem best. Various amendments fixing the amount of salary were voted down, and the original resolution was carried. Considerable dissatisfaction was expressed over this by the minority stockholders, as under this resolution the directors may appoint themselves officers as president, recording secretary, financial secretary, treasurer and manager, each at a salary to be determined upon by themselves, even if it leaves no dividends for the other stockholders. In fact, it is the Boston Club scheme over again. Has Mr. Phelps been getting pointers from Mr. Soden? The minority stockholders haven't even the small comfort of free admission to the grounds, as a resolution that every stockholder be allowed a season ticket was voted down, and a motion prevailed that the matter be left to the discretion of the directors.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sand on the base paths to slow runners

Date Monday, June 14, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Comiskey] At Philadelphia when we arrived at the grounds on Decoration Day, we found that Manager Simmons had had the base lines covered with sand. Around first base the sand was fully a foot think and was placed there of course to prevent our running the bases. I called Stovey out and told him that unless the sand was removed we would not play. He said the grounds belonged to the Athletic club and that they had a right to arrange them in any manner they saw fit. I told them that the sand was an obstruction and for that reason I could not play unless it was cleared off the base. Stovey called Umpire Bradley and asked him, what they had better do about it. Bradley said he thought the sand ought to be cleared away. I told Bradley that if he only thought that way I would call my nine off the field. Bradley told Stovey to clear away the sand. He called out John Ryan, the superintendent of the Athletic grounds, and told him to clean the paths. Ryan got a wheelbarrow and a couple of shovels and proceeded to take a wheelbarrow load away. There was fully a cart load of sand around first base, and lathm and myself went out and told Ryan that they would have to get a cart and haul it away. I commenced to shovel the sand of the path. O’Brien, who was catching that day and who appeared particularly anxious that the sand should stay where it was, together with several other of the Athletic players stood around and told Ryan not to allow me to use the shovel. Larkin dropped one of the shovels and came towards me intending to stop me from using my shovel to clear the sand away from first base. Just as soon as he dropped his shovel, Latham took hold of it and jjoined me and then the two of us shoveled away with all our might, while the crowd looked on a shouted and roared with laughter. The rest of our boys came out and helped clear the sand off with their hands. In about ten or fifteen minutes we had the lines about first base cleared off. At second base we did not attempt to clean the sand away as at that point it was two or three feet in depth and we just left it there and slid into it.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Scanlan tries to talk Von der Ahe into joining the League

Date Monday, August 16, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Mike Scanlan] I had a long talk with Von der Ahe of the St. Louis American Association Club. He complained that he was not making as much money as he should, and I showed him that his profits would be more than doubled if his club were in the League instead of the Association. The St. Louis people do not turn out to see Von der Ahe’s club play because they consider that the club has a sure thing on every other club of the Association. Away from home the club draws well, but that is no advantage to Von der Ahe, as he simply gets his guarantee. He admitted the force of my argument, and said that he would be only too glad to get his club into the League, and would endeavor to strike a bargain with Lucas, whom he knew to be sick of the business, except for the fact that he knew the “Millionaire” would ask about three prices just becuase it was he (Von der Ahe) who wanted to buy. After the Washington management had accepted Lucas’ figures I telegraphed Von der Ahe that the way was now open for him to into the League, and without the outlay of a cent either, as we proposed to give him the St. Louis franchise. I explained to him that he would then have the entire St. Louis base ball business to himself, could charge 50 cents admission, and that as the novelty of his popular club meeting League teams would raw big crowds every day, he could do very well without Sunday games. Von der Ahe considered the subject for two days, and then wired me that he could not accept. Just why I am sure I don’t see, unless the other American Association men have hoodwinked him into the belief that he couldn’t transfer his players from the Association to the League. He could, though, and not break the national agreement, either. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

score cards printed on the ground

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

The Pittsburg Club is always doing something new under the spur of the Hustler. The latest is that the club will print their own score cards next year at the grounds. It is thought this will enable them to be more correct and supply the demand, as on a number of occasions last season 1,000 to 1,500 would not be found sufficient, and again, at times, exceed the demand.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scorer of the Boston Club

Date Wednesday, February 10, 1886
Text

E F. Stevens, the well-known official , and one of the ablest of base ball writers...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a base hit for a base on balls

Date Wednesday, November 17, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Brotherhood meeting of 11/11/1886] [discussing possible rules changes] A base hit should be scored for a base on balls; this would reward the batter and properly punish the pitcher; it would remove the cause of much internal dissension between the captain and players and would avoid the tiresome exhibition of pitchers giving bases on balls to save their records.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a hit by pitch; balk scoring and penalty

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/17/1886] A batter now gets a base when hit by a pitched ball which he cannot plain avoid, and no time at bat is counted. He also gets a base whenever a balk is called, and no tie at bat is recorded. The latter is a penalty fixed to punish the pitcher for any infraction of the balk or pitching rules.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring base on balls as an error

Date Sunday, June 27, 1886
Text

... The scoring rules of the League and Association differ in some respects, but those adopted by the former come much nearer the requirements of the game. Since the organization of the League in 1876 there has been one rule which has remained unchanged. [N.B. The NL first adopted scoring rules in 1877.] It is section 7 of rule 70 of the playing rules which says: “An error should be given for each misplay which allows the striker or base runner to make one or more bases when perfect play would have insured his being put out.”

This rule, however, has been misinterpreted for years. No one will deny that a base on balls should be charged as a first base on error and that the pitcher should be given an error in the error column and not in the summary. The League does this, but the Association unwisely charges bases on called balls and batsmen struck by a pitched balls as errors in the summary. What nonsense, when in computing the averages of pitcher these same errors must be charged against them, the same as a fumbled grounder or a dropped-thrown ball by an in-fielder. Wild pitches and passed balls, which allow a base runner to make one or more bases, should also go into the error column, but both organizations persist in placing them in the summary. The American Association has this year, however, added an amendment to this rule, and in Reach’s Guide is now reads as follows: “An error shall be given in the seventh column for each misplay which allows the striker or base runner to make one or more bases, when perfect play would have insured his being put out, except that wild pitches, bases on called balls, bases on the batsmen being struck by a pitched ball, balks and passed balls shall not be included in said column.

Source The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring base stealing averages

Date Wednesday, March 17, 1886
Text

[from a columns by “Scorer”] The question now arises how are we to arrive at this comparative unit; [i.e. base stealing averages]; how are we to tell just what per cent.of stolen bases each man makes. Mr. Caylor, the presumable framer of the law, tells us in the Cincinnati Commercial-Gazette of Sunday last that “the average will be made up from times at the bat as compared with bases stolen.” Now, Mr. Editor, there's where I should join issue with him at once. Times at the bat should not enter into the matter at all. Of course a man could not steal a base until he had a time at the bat, but that is about all the connection there is between the two. Let me illustrate. … Can there be any fairness in the rule that gives one man twice the chances to steal bases on account of his ability as a batsman, and then compel the weaker batter to compare percentage of bases stolen with him? Nor is there any encouragement to a weak batter to attempt to raise his record as a base-runner when he knows he must compete with the best hitter in the team. … No, Mr. Editor, I think there has been an error here but it is, fortunately, very easily corrected. Simply have the number of times a player reaches first base, whether by hit or error, kept, and compare the number of stolen bases with that, which is the true number of chances he has to steal a base, and we shall then get some figures that will be valuable.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring battery errors 2

Date Tuesday, February 2, 1886
Text

[from a column by Caylor] My friend Fogel, of Philadelphia, has published a column of opinion on the present system of scoring, its fairness, and its faults. One of his arguments seems to favor the League system of putting passed balls, wild pitches, and bases on called balls in the error column as the League does, and he speaks of this system as the “new way of scoring.” There he makes a mistake. It is the old system revised. The innovation in scoring was the leaving of these plays out of the errors column. The Association should take to itself much credit for standing by this fair system of scoring. Frequently last year we noticed scores in League games footing up 18 and 20 errors. Often when this was closely examined it would be discovered that four-fifths of the entire number of errors were made by the battery—were what we call battery errors. Yet the hasty reader never closely analyzes this column—merely glances at the grand total and says to himself in a very disgusted way: “What a rotten game it must have been.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring dropped third strikes

Date Sunday, June 20, 1886
Text

According to official notice issued by President Wykoff to scorers, missed third strikes must not be placed in the error column, but scored as passed balls. The Philadelphia Times June 20, 1886

Mr. Wikoff’s latest instructions to the official scorers, “to charge a missed third strike as a passed ball and not as an error,” has caused more than general surprise. A missed third strike has been charged as an error ever since the first set of rules were promulgated and just where Mr. Wikoff gets his authority for this innovation is hard to conceive. The error rule... certainly does not give him the authority to make such a ridiculous ruling. It provides that wild pitches, bases on called balls, bases on the batsman being struck by a pitched ball, balks and passed balls shall not be included in the error column, but it certainly has nothing to say about a missed third strike. The latter certainly constitutes an error. It is a chance to put a batsman out, when the missed chance makes him a base-runner, and there is nothing in the rules which gives Mr. Wikoff the authority to make a batsman a base-runner on a passed ball. The rules provide that a batsman becomes a base-runner on a base on called balls, when he makes a fair hit, when three strikes have been declared by the umpire, or by a fielding error of his opponents. If a batsman is missed on a third strike and the ball is fielded to first base before he can reach there he certainly is out. If the beats the ball to first base he certainly becomes a base-runner on an error. The Philadelphia Times June 27, 1886

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring during an argument with the umpire

Date Tuesday, May 18, 1886
Text

[Louisville vs. Pittsburgh 5/17/1886] Miller, Whitney and Mountain were on the bases, the two former by hits and the latter by called balls. Glenn faced Ramsey and knocked the ball to Mack[2b], between first and second. He fielded the ball to White[ss], who put Mountain out. White aimed for a double play and threw the ball to Hecker [1b] at first, but Glenn was safely on his base before the ball arrived. The ball was at once thrown gain to Mack, who muffed it, enabling both Miller and Whitney to score. The Louisvilles claimed that Glenn had been fairly put out and walked to the home plate in a body. Glenn, during the hot discussion, rounded the bases and scored also. Umpire Pratt stuck to his decision and peremptorily ordered the visitors into the field again amid cheers.

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring errors on foul flies

Date Wednesday, September 29, 1886
Text

Caylor while here said in an argument about the scoring rules that all muffed flies, whether fair or foul ones, should be credited as errors, for a batter is given another chance to either get first base on a hit, an error, a while pitch, a passed ball or get struck by a pitched ball when a catch would put him out.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring sacrifice hits 4

Date Wednesday, February 3, 1886
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] It is noticed that the old scheme in favor of is being revived. The plan is to add to the tabulated score a “batting assist” column, and in it give the batter credit for each sacrifice or long fly hit which advances a runner a base, although the batsman is thrown or caught out. Several years ago it was the custom in St. Louis, it is believed, to score a base hit for this class of plays, but was afterward abandoned to follow the plan in other cities and to make a more uniform system. At first blush it does seem that the player should have credit for this feat attempted and accomplished, but there is the rub—how is the scorer to be able to tell whether the batsman really did try to make a sacrifice hit? He might have selfishly been trying for a base hit and “scratched” a sacrifice. Of course, there are some cases where it is clearly seen that a sacrifice was in the mind of the player, but in the long fly hit it would be almost impossible for the scorer to decide with any certainty. As the tabulated score merely serves to make up a record of the value of a player as far as its intrinsic worth is concerned in the business of base ball, each man should have nearly an equal number of chances offered him to make his record. Each time a player has a “time at bat” he has a “chance” offered him of making a base hit, but if he is the first hand at bat or the last hand at bat he might have no “chance” offered him of making a sacrifice, while his comrade who was second at bat might, if there was a man on base. In other words, the second batsman might have two chances (one for a base hit and another for a sacrifice) to the one each of the other two batsmen. … As there are very few chances in the ordinary game for a sacrifice hit, or at least where it is the best part of wisdom to attempt it (perhaps not more than an average of one or two for the whole team), and there are usually four or five chances per man for a base hit, the one or two lucky men of the nine would have the advantage of the other seven or eight. It hardly seems possible then to make up a fair record of sacrifice hits, but this class of team workers are quite well known to the managers and public and those player have the encouragement of assurance that they are recognized and appreciated. … It does not require a system of averages to rate the value of such men. Sacrifice hitting seems to belong to those points of the game, life base running &c., which is of equal value with batting and fielding, but perhaps not susceptible of being tabulated with sufficient accuracy to make them anything but misleading, and if that should prove to be the case it is one of those things that the spectator alone can enjoy almost to the exclusion of the reader. The Sporting Life February 3, 1886

early mention of Charles Ebbetts

President Byrne of the Brooklyn club now has a private secretary a la Von der Ahe. The gentleman’s name is C. Ebbets. He didn’t resign a profitable newspaper ‘sit” for the job. St. Louis Post-Dispatch February 6, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring stolen bases

Date Wednesday, February 10, 1886
Text

[from a column by Caylor] There is no doubt in the world...that a base-running column could be added that would be very interesting. The player should get credit for every base attempted which he makes, whether by a clean steal or an error of the baseman, for it is often the daring slide of the runner which causes the error. I would not score a stolen base on a wild pitch and passed ball any more than on a force or a base hit, because on such plays any player can make his base. The rule might be this:--In the fourth column put the stolen bases. A player should be credited with a stolen base in every case where he makes an attempt and succeeds, either by this own efforts alone or by the error of a fielder trying to prevent the play, provided that no credit be given for a base obtained when a wild pitch or passed ball is scored. I apprehend that no scorer would have any trouble in correctly interpreting that rule. That what a record it would open up for inspection by the base ball public. Imagine what a showing such men as Reilly, Carpenter, Corkhill, McPhee, Latham, Comiskey, Robinson, Miller (of Pittsburg), Brown, Kuehne, Stovey, Peoples, Baldwin, Hecker, Browning, Kelly, Gore, Dalrymple, Ward, Glasscock and others would have. It would be one of the most interesting studies in base ball to compare a player's base hit percentage with his base running percentage.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring stolen bases 2

Date Sunday, June 27, 1886
Text

The intent of the new column of bases stolen was undoubtedly to encourage base running and the practical interpretation was to give each base runner a base stolen for every time he made the start to steal a base irrespective of any battery error which might be made. This was one of the principal arguments used in favor of the rule. Yet Mr. Wikoff has instructed his official scorers not to credit a base runner with a stolen base when a wild pitch or a passed ball ensues, a consequence of his attempting to steal a base. In other words, a base runner must make a clear steal. He is given no credit for starting, and thereby drawing a wild throw, or by his daring causing a wild pitch or a passed ball.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring stolen bases 3

Date Wednesday, August 25, 1886
Text

[from Caylor's column] On my recent trip East I was surprised to find that probably not one scorer in New York City was according to the rule and some of them seemed absolutely surprised when I told them so. The real truth is that those gentlemen never read the new rule carefully, else there could be no excuse for their failure to score it properly. By referring to the rule in Reach's Guide any of your readers can see readily that the scorer is required to record a stolen base for every base made where the runner attempts to steal a base and gets it either by a clean start and slide or by an error of the catcher in throwing, or the baseman in handling the ball thrown. But these scorers could not understand why the runner should get the credit in the latter case just as if the play had been perfect. The rule is self-explanatory. It was made to encourage base-running. If the base runner would not make the attempt to steal the base, the catcher or baseman would not make the error in attempting to prevent him getting the base. But a base made on a passed ball or a wild pitch or put-out or an error off a ground ball or after a fly ball is caught should never be called or credited as a stolen base. There is no merit in a player advancing himself on such plays, for it is his duty to do it and the base-runner that wouldn't accept such a chance ought to quit playing ball. It is the player who by making the bold attempt and drawing out a fielder—it is he who should be encouraged. The Sporting Life August 25, 1886

Some of the League scorers pay no attention to stolen bases and others do; therefore the base stealing record in that organization must of necessity be unreliable and unsatisfactory. The Sporting Life September 15, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring stolen bases, battery errors

Date Wednesday, March 10, 1886
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting 3/3-3/4/1886] Rule 70 was amended so that in the future credit will be given in the summary for stolen bases, and battery errors will also appear in the summary instead of the tabulated account. The Sporting Life March 10, 1886

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 3/1-3/3/1886] A base-running column is added to the score by the following rule: “In the fourth columns shall be scored bases stolen (B.S.) and shall include every base made by a player except by reason of battery error, by the aid of batting, by a base on balls, by a balk or player being hit by pitched ball, or by being forced from the base.” Briefly the player gets a B.S. Every tie he gets a base on a clean steal or when he gets it on a wild throw or muffed ball in trying to put him out. The Sporting Life March 10, 1886

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 3/1-3/3/1886] An effort was made to incorporate battery errors into the error column, but St. Louis, who was working in Bushong's interest, was the only one to vote for it. The Sporting Life March 10, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Chicago 2

Date Saturday, April 17, 1886
Text

Season tickets for the Chicago League games will be placed on sale at Spalding’s store next Friday, the 23d inst. Owing to the increased number of games to be played this year–63–the price has been fixed at $22,50.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sharing gate receipts versus the guarantee

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[from the editorial column] The adoption of the guarantee, indeed, may be considered a step backward by the League. It was one of the cardinal principles of the founders of that institution, has been one of the main elements of its past success, and is, indeed, the only proper method of conducting any enterprise depending upon gate receipts for support. So long as base ball endures it will be as impossible to equalize matters so that every club may have an equally productive territory to draw upon, as it would be to have the wealth of the world equally divided among its inhabitants. A base ball league should be practically a a cooperative institution. Two, three or four clubs, however rich and powerful, cannot make a successful combination alone. They must have other clubs to play with, and if these clubs, although they hail from poorer and smaller cities, are sufficiently strong in playing qualities to make them drawing cards, there is no reason why they should not reap a portion of the benefit of their drawing power. That they do not draw so well at home is altogether owing tho the fact that they are not so fortunately located and has nothing to do with the merits of the case. This was the principle of the founders of the League and this principle has been firmly maintained until at last the constantly growing policy of consuming greed has overborne it, to the regret of every unselfish lover of base ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

side agreements between NL clubs to use the guarantee system

Date Wednesday, May 12, 1886
Text

The Philadelphias and New Yorks are mutually working the guarantee system, each paying the other $100 guarantee, and keeping the entire home receipts. The Sporting Life May 12, 1886

The League is coming to the guarantee system slowly, but surely. The Philadelphia, Chicago, new York and Boston clubs have now entered into an agreement whereby the home club takes all the receipts, paying the visiting club a guarantee of $100. The other League clubs won’t consent to such an arrangement, but it's only a question of time for them, too. The Sporting Life June 9, 1886 [Chicago Tribune 6/17/86 denies that Chicago is in the agreement.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

signing veterans versus home grown players

Date Wednesday, July 21, 1886
Text

The previous policy [of the Athletics] of buying players of established reputations here and there has always turned out a failure, particularly as regards pitchers. Now the promising young material is to be given a chance.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

single-admission double headers

Date Wednesday, September 22, 1886
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] Wednesday it rained, and the following day the politic Horace, for some reason, would not agree to the now common plan of playing two games the same afternoon for the usual price of admission, and, by the bye, the two-game business is believed to have originated in this city several years ago with the late Mr. A. T. Houck, the former principal partner of the Baltimore Club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sliding gloves

Date Saturday, July 31, 1886
Text

...Arthur Irwin [captain of the Phillies] carr[ied] down a huge pair of buckskin gloves to Andrews or to Fogarty, which ever of the two might happen to be stationed at first base, and then to him yell “slide!”... St. Louis Post-Dispatch July 31, 1886

The Philadelphias have entirely given up the headforemost slide and the use of the . That mode of making a base is entirely too dangerous, and it is now only used in desperate extremities. Chicago Tribune August 20, 1886, quoting the Boston Herald

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sliding styles

Date Saturday, July 31, 1886
Text

... Little Nic [Hugh Nicol] is an artistic slider and goes forward as though he were shot out of a catapult instead of impelled by a motion caused by his own skill. With his right hand forward to touch the bag at the earliest possible moment, his left fast against that side, he skims along the earth as though it were a sheet of ice instead of a hard, sandy soil. Latham, Welch, Robinson and Caruthers are all four sliders, and trained in the same school with Nicol. ...

The less daring, as well as the less effective slide is a sort of wedge movement with the feet forward and the body at an angle of about 45 degrees and is altogether indescribable. It is not nearly so picturesque as the head slide and can only be sued on long throws, whereas the head-first movement is available even when the ball is in the hands of a man but a few feet distant from the baseman. The third slide and the most terrible of all is that adopted by the Philadelphia Club and practised by them this year. Fogarty and Andrews did the most of it in the early part of the season, but they must have noted the extreme danger attendant upon the act, for they have abandoned it of late. Right wisely did they encase their hands in the gloves mentioned before for better protection. This peculiar slide consists in the base-runner making an air dive for the bag head foremost and both arms stretched out to the full extent. In this daring act It is simply a matter of impossibility for a man to control himself and he risks broker arms or a cracked skill every time he makes the slide. Another disagreeable thing in connection with this slide is that it is made with the chest directly on the ground. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sliding; calling for judgment

Date Saturday, July 31, 1886
Text

As a slider, little Nic [Hugh Nicol] is doubtless without a peer in the country. To an old style ball player, one who has grown up with the game, like Joe Start, for instance, Niol is a sad blow. To think of a baseman having both of his beg hands tight around the ball some seconds before the runner arrives at the base, and just as he is about to put him, there is a leap in the air, a whirr, a grating sound, and a white face ppers up through a cloud of dust asking judgment from the umpire. This sort of thing is enough to discourage the best of the. And it does. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

small media market

Date Wednesday, September 22, 1886
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] How they would lionize Kilroy if he was a member of the New Yorks or some other big team.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding proposes League surveillance of players

Date Wednesday, August 4, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Spalding] I shall ask the clubs of the National League to jointly arrange with some detective agency to shadow throughout the League season every player of the National League, and submit a weekly report to President Young at Washington, embracing a statement of each player's habits and of his actions from day to day. We shall make the total abstinence provision an all important section of our club contracts with players, and if it shall be reported to President Young through our agents that a man has been drinking liquor of any kind; that he has been seen intoxicated, or that he has been in any way guilty of ungentlemanly or unprofessional conduct, the president of the League shall have the power to impose a fine not to exceed an amount to be determined by the League, and that a report shall be sent out by the president and secretary of all such fines imposed and the character of the offence, just as notices of contracts and releases are now forwarded each week to the different club presidents. We employ men at good salaries to play ball during six months in the year, and it is only fair to the League and to the public, as well as necessary to the good name and popularity of the National game that they conduct themselves as athletes and gentlemen. Those are my views, and I shall certainly take steps to have them adopted at the next business meeting of the League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding sets detectives on his players

Date Wednesday, July 28, 1886
Text

For two months past, according to President Spalding, communications have been reaching him and the stock-holders of the club to the effect that the boys had forgotten their pledge to abstain from alcohol made at the beginning of the season, so far as to take a social drink with friends when occasion offered. Several of the directors insisted that the matter be sifted to the bottom. President Spalding forthwith called upon a detective agency here and put the case in their hands. The result was that for six weeks past the club has been shadowed at home and abroad, without the knowledge even of Captain Anson, and yesterday morning the detectives made a complete written report to the chief, and you may rest assured it was interesting reading. Armed with this documentary evidence, Mr. Spalding called the boys around him in the club house at three o'clock Thursday afternoon and read them the report from beginning to end. To say that they were thunderstruck but faintly describes the feelings of the men, and when the chief concluded the report with a fine of $25 each against Flint, Gore, McCormick, Williamson, Ryan, Flynn and Kelly there was not a word said. Each man took his little dose graciously, as indeed he had to. President Spalding said to your correspondent this morning: “I do not wish it understood that the boys have been getting drunk or have been dissipating to an extent that has interfered with their playing, but have been taking a glass of beer or a toddy now and then and when seen by others the act was exaggerated and repeated to the discredit of the club.” The boys themselves are very much troubled over the occurrence, and it is safe to say that any of them would have preferred to have lost a clean $100 apiece than to have suffered the unpleasant notoriety the affair has brought about through the severe criticisms and the exaggerated reports of the Chicago press of to-day.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spikes banned in the AA

Date Thursday, March 4, 1886
Text

Mr. Harry Weldon, Secretary of the Brown Stocking Club, returned from Lousiville this morning, where he attended the meeting of the Association held there yesterday. Mr. Weldon says that the Association adopted a new rule relative to the shoe plates used by players. The rule restricts all players in the Association to the use of the regulation plates. The matter is brought up, it is said, for the reason that three players of the St. Louis Club, namely, Latham, Caruthers and Nicol, had been in the habit of wearing a shoe used by sprinters, the spike of which is long and sharp. The argument advanced was that the sprinter spike was quite a dangerous thing to have attached to a player’s foot. The three players mentioned were considered excellent runners. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spiking basemen

Date Wednesday, April 28, 1886
Text

The St. Louis Browns have a new way of in their desperate slides. As they are not allowed spikes, they all wear gigantic shoe plates made of fine steel, and sharp enough to whittle a stick of wood. So it's all the same as if they had the biggest kind of spikes.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis NL Club ownership

Date Monday, August 23, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Henry Lucas] I have sold out every penny of the interest I held in the club to my brother-in-law and L. A. Coquard. I am now done with base ball forever.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis baseball reporters

Date Wednesday, July 21, 1886
Text

[Von der Ahe gives the press a banquet] Shuck, of the Globe-Democrat; Sheridan, of the Republican; Cameron, of the Critic, and Spink, of the News, as well as The Sporting Life's fat man, were all glad that they were alive and able to be at the banquet.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Staten Island grounds inconvenient; proposed fireworks as an attraction

Date Monday, May 17, 1886
Text

The general opinion among base ball men is that the grounds at Staten Island as they are conducted are doomed to be a failure. The transportation is costly and anything but convenient. Mr. Wiman proposes to have other attractions, such as electric and pyrotechnical displays. The last may prove the drawing card. The sail down the Bay on a hot summer day would be pleasant, but the return trip in case of a fob would not be so hilariously agreeable.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

straps to transport bats

Date Wednesday, August 4, 1886
Text

[Chicago vs. Boston 7/28/1886] The Chicagos were so sure that they had won the game when they went into the field after their ninth inning that they strapped their bats up, and so the amused spectators had a grand chance to guy the disappointed visitors as they got out their bats again for the tenth inning.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Sunday baseball in Brooklyn

Date Monday, June 7, 1886
Text

Sunday base ball is popular in Brooklyn. The game with the St. Louis drew between 8,000 and 9,000 spectators.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suppressing telegraph bulletins of games

Date Saturday, February 27, 1886
Text

Messrs. Lucas and Von der Ahe have come to an agreement that they will shut down on the system of bulleting down town the score of the games played at the Union and Sportsman’s Park the coming season. The base ball men argue that the practice of posting up the score at convenient down-town stands not only prevents people from being present at the games themselves, but often causes confusion in wrong impressions gaining prevalence that a certain club has won a game when, in fact, it has not. It is doubtful, however, whether both gentlemen will stick to the proposition, as it is argued that any one who takes the trouble to look at a bulletin will see the game whenever he can. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

taking up a collection for home runs

Date Wednesday, July 7, 1886
Text

The Eastern League audiences seem to be taking up a bad practice discarded in the South. At Meriden last Saturday Murphy and Grant were presented with $42, collected in the grand stand, for home runs, and Umpire Farrow actually called the game to permit the gift to be made at the home plate.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of Pittsburgh jumping to the League

Date Monday, November 15, 1886
Text

[an interview of John Rogers, on his way to the NL meeting] “I know that Pittsburg will go into our Association,” said Mr. Rogers, "if they get their terms, and all the League Managers want them if a satisfactory arrangement can be made. ... " Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette November 15, 1886

Acting-President Scandrett left for Chicago Monday night to attend the League meeting, which commences there to-day. It is now about settled that the Alleghenys will join the League ranks at once. The resignation of Mr. Nimick, it is understood, was owing to his pledging his word of honor that the Alleghenys would not join the League while he was President. The resignation is believed to be only temporary. Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette November 15, 1886

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of a colored club in the Eastern League

Date Wednesday, July 21, 1886
Text

The colored Trenton Club is mentioned as likely to take Meriden's place in the Eastern League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of a colored player to the New Yorks

Date Thursday, September 2, 1886
Text

Director Appleton of the New York club said yesterday that the New Yorks would like to get Stovey, the colored pitcher of the Jersey City club. The team has promised to give him the best of support if he can be got., quoting the New York Sun

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of boycotting the 50 cent admission in Washington

Date Monday, March 29, 1886
Text

Added to the uncertainty of the team is the general disgust of the people over the fifty cent tariff, and pledges are being circulated in all the Government departments and are being largely signed, to the effect that the subscriber will not attend a game until the admission is reduced to twenty-five cents.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of breaking up the Newark club and selling the players

Date Monday, June 21, 1886
Text

It is said that there is a scheme afloat which will lead to the sale of the Newark Club for $15,000. The purchasers propose to realize on the investment by selling individual players of the team to the highest bidders in the League and the Association. Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette June 21, 1886

It is expected that the Newark base ball club of the Eastern League, is about to disband. A number of Philadelphia gentlemen have made overtures to the Directors for the club and its franchise. If the transfer is effected the players will be sold out one by one to the highest bidders in either the National League or Association. Already the Detroits, Bostons, Washingtons and Philadelphias have made offers for Smith, the pitcher, and Trott, his catcher. The Cincinnatis, Athletics and bostons have all tried for Greenwood, the second baseman. Von der Ahe is anxious for Caogan, the big batter, and it is reported that the Allegheny club is after Casey. The prices offered for these players warrant the Philadelphia gentlemen in offering about $10,000 for the club. Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette June 26, 1886

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of game throwing in the Southern League

Date Wednesday, January 27, 1886
Text

It was no secret, and is well known now, that several games in the South smacked strongly of crookedness. Of course much of this talk is all bosh, as almost at each game some betting crank will swear he has been robbed of his money, but those who were watching the closing scenes in the championship race are agreed that Columbus threw two games to Nashville at Nashville; Macon to to the same club at Macon, and Nashville later on, when it was found impossible for her to take the flag, gave four games to Augusta. Manager Mayberry openly announced his intention of doing this, and when charged with it at Atlanta, never uttered a word in defense during the League meeting Sept. 17. The four games lost to Augusta by Memphis in the latter part of the season look also suspicious, and without these, it must be remembered, Atlanta could not be defeated. No money was paid for these favors. Is was all done for love. Kelley, pitcher of the Birminghams, told an Atlanta Constitution reporters that he had been offered $50 by Billy Taylor, of Nashville, if he (Kelley) would lose a game to Nashville. But Taylor denies this, and we cannot judge of the exact facts in this case.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of replacing President Wikoff

Date Wednesday, September 29, 1886
Text

“I don't think Wheeler Wikoff will hold the nominal title of president of the American Association next year,” said the manager of a visiting Association club to a member of The Sporting Life staff the other day. “Personally, I have no fault to find with Mr. Wikoff, as he is an exceedingly affable, courteous and agreeable gentleman. He also does his work faithfully. But we must have a more aggressive officer, and a man who can and will attend to the duties of the office himself instead of being a mere figurehead. As it is now, he holds the title and Mr. Byrne, of Brooklyn, is the power behind him, and as a result the Association is run by the Brooklyn people to suit themselves. … Wikoff made a very good secretary, as he is intelligent, a good penman, and attended to his work in first-class style. But I regard him as not the right sort of a man for president. But understand me, we do not want a man for this office that is in any way connected with any of the clubs. We want a man not interested in any club, and for that reason we don't want Wiman, Byrne, Caylor, Simmons, Von der Ahe or Vonderhorst.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of the International League bid for major status

Date Wednesday, December 15, 1886
Text

[discussing the upcoming Arbitration Committee meeting] It is understood that the International League will make an appeal for equal recognition on a basis with the two great Leagues and ask for representation on the committee. Refusal is certain.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of two regional leagues

Date Wednesday, July 14, 1886
Text

A letter has been received...from a prominent St. Louis base ball manager in regard to a plan that will be brought up this fall at the conclusion of the present season of playing. It is proposed to do away with the American Association and National League, and redistrict the country into territory in which the Eastern League and Western League shall be organized to succeed the present great associations. Chicago, ST. Louis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Kansas City, Detroit and two other good ball towns in the West are to be selected for the Western League, and New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Washington, Baltimore and other cities to go to make up the Eastern League. Sub-leagues to consist of teams from smaller cities, are to be organized. The plan is to arrange schedules for an exchange of games between clubs of the Eastern and Western leagues. President Lucas, of the National League team of St. Louis, is said to be enthusiastically in favor of the plan. The Sporting Life July 14, 1886

The old chestnut about a recasting of the base ball lines into great Eastern and Western Leagues is being revived, and sensation reporters are utilizing the opportunity to get of startling things concerning it. Such a change may be talked of and perhaps be brought about some day, that that day is a long way off. The change is too radical, and the existing state of affairs, although not the best in the world, is good enough not to warrant any risky experiments. The Sporting Life July 14, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

taxing baseball games 2

Date Thursday, May 20, 1886
Text

A meeting of the Allegheny Ordinance Committee was held last evening to reconsider an ordinance which was referred back from Councils taxing theatrical and other amusements $40 per month. It was considered by Councils that some provision should be made in the ordinance for taxing professional base ball games. Two years ago a tax of $15 a day was assessed upon base ball, which was reduced last year to $5 and has since been abolished entirely. The members of the committee are in favor a placing a tax upon this amusement, but consider $5 a day too much. The officials of the Allegheny Base Ball Club have expressed their willingness to pay $40 per month, the same rate as other places of amusements are taxed, but the committee considered it best not to make any addition to the ordinance before them, and therefore reported it back to Councils with recommendation that it be adopted. If Councils deem it necessary an ordinance will be drawn up with special references to base ball games.

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

teaching players how to slide

Date Tuesday, April 6, 1886
Text

Dan Sullivan, the catcher for the Alleghenies, after yesterday’s experiences may resolve to become an acrobat and abandon base ball playing. Sully, Galvin and Miller were practicing to “slide” to a base yesterday in McKelvy’s riding school. Galvin was paternally initiating Daniel into the mysteries of “getting there.” “Now, said Jimmy, “throw yourself loosely down a good distance from this mark, which is the base, and slide in. Do it the way Miller does it.”

“Oh, I see what you want. ‘Miller’s slide’ is it? Here goes.”

Sullivan took a long run, closely pressed by imaginary rivals. Several feet from the base he “plunged” forward and landed squarely on his head. For a moment his feet were where his head would have been had he been standing in the ordinary way. A groan and down his feet came, catching the “gentle” full in the stomach, sending him heads up. Galvin struggled to his feet exclaiming, “Dan, that wasn’t ‘Miller’s slide’ by a blank sight.

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

teams bulldozing umpires; St. Louis refuses to pay fines

Date Wednesday, May 19, 1886
Text

The stand taken by the American Association in the vexatious umpire question through its president, Mr. Wikoff, as set forth in the circular... It has ben intimated that this circular is mainly directed at one club and one or two players, namely, the St. Louis Club and its captain, Comiskey. Such, however, is not the case, although his disgraceful conduct—conduct actually unmentionable in print—toward Umpire Young and the approval accorded this conduct by his superior, President Von der Ahe, has helped precipitate matters. But not alone the disgraceful scenes at St. Louis, but the equally disgraceful happenings at Louisville, where Young was nearly mobbed; the narrow escape Umpire Carlin had from maltreatment at Baltimore, and the unnecessary kicking and bulldozing of Captain Stovey which nearly precipitated a riot on the occasion of the first Sunday game at Brooklyn, all had their effect and led to the decisive step which has been taken by President Wikoff with the advice and assistance of his able coadjutor Chairman Byrne, after a careful consideration and with the approval of the majority of the club...

… The trouble began with the fines imposed by ex-Umpire Young upon Comiskey and Latham, both of whom richly deserved the punishment. Comiskey's fines, aggregating $175, were imposed for the vilest language and abuse it is possible for one human being to address to another—epithets absolutely unprintable. Latham's fine of $50 was for a threatened personal assault upon Umpire Young. Neither player supposed that the fines would “go<” (as it is a well-known fact that Mr. Von der Ahe personally pays the fines incurred by his players for “kicking”) and told Mr. Young so to his face. Mr. Young, however, determined that the fines, deserved as they were, should go so far as lay in his power, and not only notified President Wikoff of their infliction, but gave a detailed account in writing as to the causes of the fines, and the infamous treatment to which he had been subjected. Mr. Wikoff, after consultation with Chairman Byrne, thereupon notified Mr. Von der Ahe that the fines must be paid, and that Comiskey's conduct must be amended, as he was bringing the American Association into disrepute not only in St. Louis but throughout the country with the entire base ball public. In reply Mr. Wikoff received a most insulting letter, which not only in effect resented Mr. Wikoff's entirely proper interference in the matter, but in which the writer—Mr. Von der Ahe—went a step further—indeed, too far—absolutely refusing to pay the fines imposed, which refusal is an expellable offense. Mr. Von der Ahe's attitude precipitated the crisis. Either the president of the Association had to pocket the insults and the Association had to submit to a constitutional violation and to permit St. Louis and her players to rule the Association; or else the Association had to assert its power to restrain an injudicious member from folly; to protect its chosen officer and servants, and compel obedience to the written laws on the part of the clubs and players. … Mr. Von der Ahe's refusal to pay the fines ha also made a square issue with the Association and the matter must now come before the board of directors. The latter have been notified of the state of affairs by President Wikoff, and a majority of the board—Messrs. Phelps, Barnie and Simmons—have taken a manly stand in the matter and emphatically endorsed Mr. Wikoff's action. … The Sporting Life May 19, 1886

There will not be a special meeting of the American Association after all, the necessity therefor having been obviated by Mr. Von der Ahe's submission to the executive's power and to the Constitution. He met Chairman Byrne in Brooklyn last week and the two talked the matter over and the result was that Von der Ahe concluded to pay the fines imposed upon Comiskey and Latham and take an appeal at the annual meeting next September if he deemed proper. President Wikoff was then notified of the result of the conference. The President's efforts for the protection of umpires and the enforcement of fines imposed by them have now met with the approval of all the clubs, all having agreed, without the formality of a special meeting, to sustain the position taken. The fines imposed by ex-Umpire 'Young at St. Louis and Louisville will positively be paid to the Association. Players should take notice that hereafter insolence to and abuse of umpires will be severely punished, that fines “will go,” and that also they run the risk of the President's personal intervention—which means suspension. Under this order of things players will find that ultimately the fines will come out of their pockets, as clubs will quickly tire of paying them in lieu of the players, when they discover that remittance is out of the question. The Sporting Life May 26, 1886

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

telephone notifications of grounds condition

Date Monday, March 29, 1886
Text

The management of the Cincinnati Club has provided to place telephone bulletins at various points in the suburbs to notify patrons of the club on gloomy days of the exact condition of the grounds. They will probably be placed in Newport, Covington, Walnut Hills, Fulton, Cumminsville and Camp Washington. On rainy days notice will be sent to these places one hour before time of calling the game of the condition of the grounds.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

territorial rights

Date Saturday, December 18, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/13/1886] The agreement was further amended making it an expellable offense for any club of an association which is a qualified member under the National Agreement to play any game of ball in any city or within four miles thereof, wherein any other National Agreement club is located, without first obtaining such club's consent. This places the St. Louis Brown Stocking Club at the mercy of the St. Louis League team. From this time forward in fact the Chicagos nor no other League Club can play the Browns in St. Louis without the consent of the directors of the St. Louis League Club.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Terry Larkin in trouble again 2

Date Tuesday, January 12, 1886
Text

Frank Larkin, the base ball player, was arrested by an officer of the Fifth Precinct last night for threatening to shoot his employer, James McEnory, of 112 North Fifth street. Larkin, les than two years ago, nearly killed his wife, and when Officer Timothy Phelan was about breaking in the door he shot himself through the head. He lingered at St. Catherine's Hospital for several months. When he recovered he was arraigned for attempting to destroy his own life and for firing at Officer Phelan. He escaped at the time without any serious punishment. Brooklyn Eagle January 12, 1886

Frank Larkin, the well-known ball player, is again in trouble, his murderous propensities having once more landed him behind the bars of a jail. This time the charge against him is attempting to shoot his late employer, James. T. McAnany, a Brooklyn saloon-keeper. Larkin was McAnany's bartender, but was discharged recently. On Monday last Larkin went to McAnany's saloon under the influence of liquor and insisted upon fighting a duel with McAnany. He produced two loaded pistols and insisted upon McAnany's taking one and fighting a duel then and there. McAnany tried to reason with Larkin, but the latter stubbornly refused to listen to anyting else but about the duel. Finally, being afraid that Larkin would murder him, McAnay took one of the revolvers and started for a corner. When he reached the door he slid out, locking Larkin in. he hailed an offer who arrested Larkin. He was arraigned the next morning before Just Naeber. To him Larkin said he only wanted a square fight. The other fellow did not run any more risk than he did. Larkin's examination was adjourned for a week, so that he could get the liquor out of him. The Sporting Life January 20, 1886

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Terry Larkin in trouble again 3

Date Wednesday, May 26, 1886
Text

Francis, alias Terry, alias “Liver” Larkin, who was prominent eight years ago as a base ball player, and who made the acquaintance of the officials of the city later by first shooting his wife, and two years later attempted to kill Officer Timothy Phelan, of the Fifth Precinct, is again in the meshes of the law. Larkin last night [5/19] went to his father's house, at 92 North Fourth street, and demanded that he be admitted. His father, Terrence Larkin, refused his claim to be allowed to enter, and he then put his foot through the door of the apartments in a style that made the tenants on the other floors think the place was about to fall about them. It required the combined efforts of two of Captain Weglem's policemen and the elder Mr. Larkin to get the young man to the station house. This morning Justice Hacher disposed of Mr. Larkin's case by holding him for further examination. The Sporting Life May 26, 1886

Frank Larkin was last week committed to the Brooklyn jail upon recommendation of the Grand Jury for having threatened a saloon-keeper's life with a revolver last January. The Sporting Life June 9, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the 50 cent admission

Date Wednesday, March 10, 1886
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting 3/3-3/4/1886] The question of admission rate then came up and was earnestly argued. Philadelphia wanted the 25-cent agreement renewed for another season, and St.Louis and Washington wanted the same privilege. Mr. Day made a strong fight against allowing a reduction in the tariff. He said that if it was accorded to one club that it would be no more than right that all have the same privilege. He was backed up in his opposition by Mr. Spalding. The matter was laid over until the following day.

The admission rate question was settled, Philadelphia and St. Louis being allowed the twenty-five cent privilege and Washington and Kansas City refused. The two latter must therefore charge fifty cents at the gate.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA amends its constitution to allow it to expel members

Date Wednesday, March 10, 1886
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 3/1-3/3/1886] [reporting on the amended constitution] Section 10 is new and is as follows: “This Association shall be the sole judge as to the qualifications of its members. It shall have full and absolute power to determine the number of clubs forming the Association, and to increase or lessen its membership as may be deemed best for its interests. But no club shall deprived of its membership in this Association except by a two-thirds vote of the Association at a regular or special meeting, and then only after opportunity has been given by due notice to the president, secretary or other representative of said club to show cause why it should not be deprived of such membership.” This is the result of the lesson learned in the Wiman-Metropolitan case, and is especially referred to his Honor, Judge Thayer.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA interpretation of a balk

Date Sunday, June 27, 1886
Text

Mr. Wikoff gives the pitcher the greatest latitude. He can make all his preliminary motion, except to actually draw his arm forward and make a feint to pitch the ball. These instruction are certainly not in accordance with the rules, and are very different from those given to League umpires, while the balk rule of both organizations is practically the same. The Philadelphia Times June 27, 1886

Mr. Wikoff’s instructions to umpires this season have been decidedly original. His definition of the balk rule is such that the pitcher has the greatest latitude in delivering the ball, and must actually make the whole series of motions to pitch before a balk can be called. The Philadelphia Times September 19, 1886

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA ousts McKnight

Date Monday, March 22, 1886
Text

The action was not expected [sic: probably should be “not unexpected] by those who are best informed, as it is well known that an attempt was made to oust Mr. McKngiht at the last annual meeting. His re-election, however, was a damper top his opponents, and it was not until the Barkley case came up at the meeting at Louisville [sic: should be Cincinnati] that efforts were again made to secure his successor. St. Louis Post-Dispatch March 22, 1886

[reporting on a special meeting of the AA] The meeting convened Saturday, March 20, with Zack Phelps in the chair. They then went into executive session, which lasted for a few moments, when a dispatch was flashed over the wires to Pittsburg, addressed to H. D. McKnight. It was accompanied by an order to the Western Union authorities to deliver at once, and it contained a request to McKnight to resign his office as president of the American Association at once. No answer was received to this before the next day, when a reply came from McKnight expressing his surprise, but neglecting to forward his resignation. The Committee passed the following resolutions:

Whereas, Mr. H. D. McKngiht, since his election to the united office of President, Secretary and Treasurer of this association at the annual meeting in December last, has shown no disposition to comply with the provisions of the constitution, which require the said officer of this association to post bond for the faithful performance of the duties of his offices; and

Whereas, The conduct of Mr. H. D. McKnight in dealing officially with the individual clubs of this association has of late tended to foment discord and misunderstanding among the clubs, thereby greatly impairing the business interests of the associated clubs; and,

Whereas, There has been frequent complaint on the part of clubs in this association that they have experienced difficulty in obtaining prompt and careful attention to business measures presented by them, thereby causing annoyance and confusion; and

Whereas, Mr. H. D. McKnight, in matters of dispute between the associated clubs, has failed to observe a strict impartiality as it was his duty to do so as the executive officer of the association, and has thereby left himself open to the charge of partisanship; and,

Whereas, Mr. H. D. McKnight, having balled a special meeting of this association to be held in Cincinnati, March 20, 1886, agreeably to a call of the requisite number of clubs, not only failed to appear at said meeing as its presiding officer, but also failed to notify the clubs that he would be unable to appear in time to cause a postponement of the meeting; and,

Whereas... [illegible]

Resolved, That the American Association of Base Ball Clubs now declares the position of President, Secretary and Treasurer, held by H. D. McKngiht, to be forfeited by him, and it is hereby declared vacant.

The roll of clubs being called, the vote was as follows:

Yeas—Athletic, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Louisville, Metropolitan, St. Louis.

Nays—Allegheny..

Mr. Wheeler C. Wikoff, formerly secretary of the association, was unanimously elected to fill the vacancy, and Mr. Byrne made chairman to preside at all meetings. Sporting News March 29, 1886

Early word of new ownership of the Baltimore Club

It is said that that Baltimore club is no longer under the sole direction of Barnie, but is being run by a board of directors, Barnie being salaried manager at a sum believed to be $1,800 per annum. The Sporting Life March 24, 1886

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Arbitration on personal contracts; jurisdiction over minor leagues

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/13/1886] ...the Board took up the charges of the Hartford Club against William Barnie, of the Baltimore club, for making personal contracts during the past season with two of their players and advancing $100 to each of them. No damage having been done to the Hartford Club, the only allegation being that Mr. Barnie had “nearly” prevented a sale of the said players to the Washington Club, the Board on motion of Mr. Rogers dismissed the case on the ground that no penalty for personal contracts excep5t invalidity had been heretofore imposed. The Sporting Life December 22, 1886

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/13/1886] [from a legal opinion by Rogers and Phelps on the Thomas Burns matter] ...Was Mr. Burns' personal agreement to play with the New York Club during the ensuing season of 1887 a violation o f his contract with the Newark Club or of the rules of the Eastern League?

That contract was to terminate on Oct. 15, 1886, and Mr. Burns asserts that he fulfilled all duties and obligations as a player thereunder, and this is not denied. But it alleged in reply that the fact of his having signed at a high salary with the New York Club caused dissatisfaction among the other players of the Newark Club and caused them to also refuse to sign with the Newark Club for 1887.

with consequence of a lawful act we have nothing to do and we certainly think that Mr. Burns' contract ending with the season did not prevent his promising to sign elsewhere for a subsequent season. Of course such a persona contract executed before October 20 was, under our rules, premature, and therefore invalid, and is to be treated as if it had never been made.

As under exiting laws there is no other penalty—than invalidity—for such personal contract we do not think the ex post facto punishment of “blacklisting” could be legally imposed. The Sporting Life December 22, 1886 [The Newark Club's blacklisting of Burns was overturned.]

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/13/1886] Article II was amended so as to prohibit personal contracts in future. The making of such will suspend the player for the ensuing season and fine the club in whose “interest the contract was made” $500. The Sporting Life December 22, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Association offers a deal to the Detroits

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Stearns] “I see the American Association has made you an offer to join the Association?”

“Yes,” said Mr. Stearns, “they have made us a very good one. They will play Detroit on the percentage system and give us every protection. The Associaiton is very mad at the League gobbling up Pittsburg, and would gladly take the Detroits in as a means of getting square.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Association player contract

Date Wednesday, November 3, 1886
Text

[See The Sporting Life November 3, 1886, p. 5 for the text and an analysis of the standard Association player contract.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Barkley case and the reserve

Date Thursday, April 1, 1886
Text

[quoting Byrne] Supposing Barkley would win his case. A precedent would be established which would mean that a player, after signing a contract with another club, thus breaking the reserve rule, could do just as he pleases and we would have to pay him, and we would be helpless so far as keeping up discipline in clubs is concerned. For Barkley to win would be the death blow to the greatest sport in the country.

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Barkley case: a player trade, bidding up his price; an undated contract controversy

Date Wednesday, January 6, 1886
Text

Baltimore and Pittsburg have had something of a tussle for Barkley and Barnie only succeeded in bagging his game after a sharp struggle. He had to hunt Barkley up in person and, after much trouble, induced him to sign an agreement to play in Balitmore if released from St. Louis. Barkley at the same time signed a contract all filled up except the date, so that the moment he was released by Von der Ahe the date could be supplied and the contract sent in for approval to President McKnight. … On Tuesday Barnie finally settled all matters with Von der Ahe, and the latter has by this time probably formally released Barkley to Baltimore. Horace Phillips expressed some disappointment when he learned the facts, as he was almost sure that Barkley would go to Pittsburg. He said that he and President Nimick had seen Barkley at Wheeling and he demanded $2,250. Pittsburg offered him the limit and Barkley as good as promised to accept the offer, accepting a railroad ticket to Pittsburg, where he was to have gone to sign. Barnie is very hot at Phillips, and at the meeting, last Monday ventilated himself freely in regard to what he calls his wrongs. He says that Pittsburg, by meddling with the matter, forced him (Barnie) to go to much trouble and an increased expense of several hundreds of dollars. … Barkley's release cost Barnie an even $1,000, his salary will be $2,000 and he will also receive an additional sum for captaining the team, so that he will stand Baltimore just about $3,300. The Sporting Life January 6, 1886

[See TSL 1/13/1886 for an account of how Barnie negotiated a contract with Barkley for $2,000 plus $500 to captain the team, Barkley signed an agreement promising to sign with Baltimore upon his release. The details of how the payment for release was executed, while in the meantime Barkley was persuaded, allegedly with McKnight's collusion, to instead go to Pittsburgh.]

[the other side:] ...it was at once recognized that Barkley's signature to a regular form of Association agreement while he was still under contract with the St. Louis Club was not only void but was a direct violation of the American rule made to carry into effect section 5 of the National Agreement. It was specially provided by that legislation that all the binding acts of employee and employer should be subsequent to the player's release. That is the only key to the legal position, and Pittsburg seems to hold it and Baltimore does not. … [Barkley] stated that when he signed with Barnie it was in good faith, and he had no notion of playing with any other club. He had been approached by the Pittsburg manager previous to that time, and had signed for Baltimore in preference. Having been notified by telegraph from the president of the Association that his signature with Barnie was illegal, and having also been notified by Mr. Von der Ahe that Barnie had not posted the $1,000 [which was working its leisurely way to Von der Ahe], which was the condition of his release, he signed with Pittsburg. Afterward he learned that the money had been received from Barnie, but he was then pledged to Mr. Nimick. The Sporting Life January 13, 1886 [This is followed by editorial commentary that Barkley's defense “is very lame.”]

Now, to thoroughly understand the situation on this first day of the new year, when Barkley is found in Pittsburg, one must put himself in the position of a player and strive to comprehend the situation from his standpoint. He was harassed and made uneasy by doubts. He was hedged in by a code of arbitrary rules and laws, some of them lately passed, and new to him even if he thoroughly comprehended them at all; and his advisers and counselors were those who desired his services. Fearful that he might violate some rule that would take from him the means of livelihood and “blacklist” him from receiving support from his chosen profession, and being already informed by the president of the Association that he had violated the rules and made himself liable by signing with Barnie, he wants to undo what he has done and try to rectify the illegal act. He is not satisfied with what even he knows may be the partisan advice of Messrs. Nimick and Phillips, and so they all go together to President McKnight and the whole case is told to him and his opinion asked. President McKnight tells him that he is on the lawful and correct course, and that he is “justified.” What more impartial or competent adviser can a player expect to have than the chief officer of the Association, whom the eight managers have selected and elected to watch over all their interests? In his troubles did not Barkley avail himself of the adviser that came to him with the patent of knowledge and impartiality stamped upon him by the managers who made the laws and selected him to see them executed? Is not the president, in the eyes of the player, the greatest authority he can appeal to? Who so well qualified to guide his steps safely and honorably through the intricacies of his illegal position as the highest officer in the organization, and placed there by the suffrages of the law-makers? No doubt Barkley felt that he and Mr. Barnie were in a delicate position. Mr. Barnie had offered him a regular form contract and he had signed it. Mr. Barnie had tendered $500 in advance and he had accepted it. … The Sporting Life January 20, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Brotherhood on the reserve

Date Sunday, November 21, 1886
Text

[reporting the Brotherhood executive council meeting of 11/12/1886 at Ward's residence] It was the opinion of the delegates that the reserve rule was the main stay of base ball and they will act with club managers in its maintenance.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood participates in the rules committee

Date Wednesday, November 17, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Brotherhood meeting of 11/11/1886] The request of the League that a representative of the Brotherhood be present at the meeting of the joint committee on rules at Chicago next Monday, was received and acted upon, and Mr. Ward was instructed to attend. … The prevailing sentiment was that something must be done to simplify the duties and responsibilities of the umpire, and that any changes that should be made with this object in view was a step in the right direction.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood suggests the set position

Date Wednesday, November 17, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Brotherhood meeting of 11/11/1886] [discussing possible rules changes] The pitcher [illegible] … left foot in advance of the right, and to the left of the imaginary line from the right foot to the center of the home plate, and the right shall not be raised from the ground before delivering the ball. This change will do away with too flagrant violations of the present rules, which have been a most fruitful source of kicking. The provision requiring the left foot to be kept forward and to the left of the right will prevent the pitcher from turning his back, and it will do away with the outrageous balk practiced by many of last season's twirlers, while the requirement that his right foot be not raised until after delivering the ball, will keep him from running out of the box. These three abuses probably created more difficulty last season than anything else.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League allows Sunday exhibition games

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/18/1886] … Shortly after the afternoon session was called to order Mr. Russell, of St. Louis, opened the ball in a masterly speech, asking the League's consent to the St. Louis Club's playing exhibition games on Sundays with other organizations. He did not think such privilege would interfere with other League clubs, and therefore thought other League clubs had no business interfering with him. The St. Louis people wanted Sunday games, and were willing to patronize them, and his club wanted a share of such patronage.

Soden looked like the little fat monk in “Falka” as he threw up both hands and declared that he would rather give one thousand dollars than have Sunday games played in the League. Spalding said nothing. Discussion grew very warm, and finally Russell declared that Sunday games was what he had come for and was the only thing he wanted. When the temperature of the room was very high John I. Rogers cast oil on the troubled waters by offering an amendment to the constitution permitting any club that saw fit to play exhibition games on Sunday. The motion was carried, and St. Louis smilingly bowed its thanks. The Sporting Life November 24, 1886

the League adopts the guarantee system; division between the East and West; a hint of Kansas City's future

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/18/1886] Then came the proposal for the guarantee system for which Soden and Conant fought hard. In the discussion it was plainly seen that the East and West were divided against each other. On being put to a vote, New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington voted in favor of, and Detroit, Kansas City and St. Louis against the measure. Spalding caused great surprise by not voiting, and as Nick, of Pittsburg, was not in the room, the necessary two-thirds could not be secured. Soden remarked that the result of the vote was significant and that [illegible] said Spalding, but the League will never divide. You may form an Eastern League, but the remaining clubs will still comprise the National League.” Stearns supported Spalding and said he heartily wished the Eastern clubs would pull out, but if they did they would be knocking at the door of the National League before they were a season old. Some one at this point moved adjournment, and amidst much confusion the meeting adjourned until 8 o'clock.

The Eastern men got in their lobby work during this recess and when the evening session convened with Pittsburg represented the vote upon the question resulted in the guarantee system being adopted by a vote of 6 to 3, Spalding and Kansas City joining the Eastern clubs in an affirmative vote. Section 58 was then stricken out and the following substituted:--”Each club shall have exclusive control of its own grounds, and shall be entitled to all receipts from any and all sources upon said grounds; but the home club shall except holidays, and pay the visiting $125 for each championship game played by it on said grounds. On National or State holidays, in lieu of such payment the home club shall pay the visiting club 50 per cent. of the receipts from general admission at the close of each championship game.” After this amendment had been adopted some one suggested that it might be in order for any club wishing to withdraw from the League to make known their wish. A dead silence fell upon the meeting, but this was broken by the ready wit of John I. Rogers. An ugly spirit still lurked in the room, however, and the submission and adoption of an amendment to the constitution providing that any club “persistently refusing to tender its resignation” when called on for it should forfeit its deposit of $5,000, left Kansas City apprehensive and in a very unpleasant state of mind. The Sporting Life November 24, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League amends its constitution to allow it to expel members

Date Wednesday, March 10, 1886
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting 3/3-3/4/1886] Another important amendment was made regulating club membership and resignation from the League. It reads:

Membership of any League club may be terminated as follows:

First—By resignation duly accepted by a majority of all the League clubs in joint meeting. If not so accepted such resignation shall be void and as if never tendered.

Second—By an advised vote of two-thirds of the remaining League clubs convened when for business reasons or such membership shall no longer be desirable.

Third—By expulsion for causes as already set forth in the old constitution.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League and the Association competing for Phenomenal Smith

Date Wednesday, October 13, 1886
Text

Smith cannot be reserved by Detroit, not because of Judge Donahue's decision, but because his contract so stipulates. At the expiration of his contract two weeks hence he will be in the market, and a lively hustle for him may be expected. To still further tangle matters, it appears that Baltimore claims to have Smith's signatures to a regular contract subsequent to that player's release by Newark, and from all we can learn Baltimore proposes to make a fight for the player, backed by assurances of assistance from all Association clubs. Here is a state of affairs likely to precipitate a rupture between the two great organizations.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League to have eight clubs; distributing the Buffalo and Providence players

Date Wednesday, January 20, 1886
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the NL special committee on vacancies 1/16] the result of the long discussion was that the eight-club advocates carried the day, and Washington was formally admitted to membership. The filling of the Western vacancy was not so easily accomplished, owing to the many applicants [Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee] and to the difficulty of choosing one when all presented such strong claims. … ...it was finally resolved to postpone a vote on the Western club, and leave the choice to the three Western clubs—Chicago, ST. Louis and Detroit—the League agreeing to admit the club which a majority of these three Western clubs should designate. Owing to the uncertainty as to which Western club would be selected, the assignment of the reserved Providence and Buffalo players was postponed. Washington asked for Gilligan, Shaw, Hines and Carroll. The matter was left to the discretion of the committee on vacancies.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mirror ceases publication

Date Monday, June 21, 1886
Text

The Mirror of American Sports has suspended publication. The proprietors say it will appear again some time in the near future, but doubtless it has gone to stay. The Mirror was always a queer old sheet, reminding one of a bump on a log, having few, if any, opinions of its own. Perhaps that is the reason of its failure.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the NL allows Sunday exhibitions

Date Thursday, November 25, 1886
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the NL 11/17/1886] The first ripple was occasioned by the St. Louis club, through its Vice-President, Thomas A. Russell, asking the privilege of playing Sunday games with clubs outside of the League. He presented the claim in a strong speech of considerable length. A. H. Soden of Boston opposed the claim, and said he would sooner give $1,000 out of his own pocket than have the League agree to the position. Mr. Russell replied that the ST. Louis club did not want any money; it has as good backing as any club in the League, and all it wanted was a chance to meet the demand for Sunday games that existed in St. Louis. It had come here to ask for that and nothing more. John I. Rogers of the Philadelphia club said Mr. Russell's argument was convincing, and offered an amendment to the constitution permitting such clubs as desired to play Su8nday exhibition games, which was adopted by a unanimous vote.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Staten Island Amusement Company

Date Wednesday, February 3, 1886
Text

Apart from his connection with the Metropolitans as the secretary of the club, Mr. Williams is a very busy man just now. He is also the general manager of , which is a very big concern, duly incorporated under the laws of the State, and has a paid up capital of a quarter of a million dollars. The president of the company is Mr. Erastus Wiman, while Mr. Robert Garrett, of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and Sir Roderick Cameron, a wealthy Englishman, are the vice presidents. It is the intention of this company to play base ball in the afternoon and give grand open-air concerts on the same grounds in the evening. Besides the orchestra, which I hear will probably be Cappa's famous Seventh Regiment Band, there will be some startling electrical exhibitions. The principal one of these is an illuminated fountain. Huge columns of water will be thrown over a hundred feet in the air and illuminated from a sort of crystal cavern.

Mr. Wiman makes no concealment of the matter, which is to increase the traffic for the Staten Island Rapid Transit Company. If these amusements bring half a million people to the Island during the hot season they will bring in one million fares, or $100,000, and that will be a nice little sum of money. Mr. Wiman is only learning a lesson from Coney Island. The railroads made that sandy beach an attraction, just to induce the people of New York and Brooklyn to go there and pay the railroads for carrying them, and there is no reason why Staten Island may not be made as great, if not a greater attraction. The convenience of the ferry to the elevated railroad system, and the delightful sail down the bay, should make this route a favorite one.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the aim of the Brotherhood

Date Wednesday, October 27, 1886
Text

“Hello, Sam! When is the National Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players going to strike?” was asked of Sam Crane the other day at the St. Louis ball ground.

“Well,” replied Sam, with a smile, “I don't s'pose such a thing will ever occur. That is not the purpose of the order. People think because it is a union, that like other unions, it must get up a strike, but there you make a mistake. The union was established mainly for the purpose of equalizing the rights and privileges of contracts between managers and players. This thing of laying off a man for little excuse without pay or releasing him, is tyrannical and makes the players mere chattel. It is not the intention of the union to meddle with the salary question except that we believe there should not be a limit. It is clearly not right that Glasscock, for instance, should be compelled to play for $2,000 in St. Louis when he could get $4,000 with the asking from any club in the country. A man should be paid what he is worth.

“We expect to take some important steps this fall at the November meeting of the League management. We shall be represented there and lay our grievances before the meeting, and by next season matters will be in a better fix for the players.”

“What if they should take no heed of your demands?”

“In that case we will take some decided action to obtain our rights. With possibly two or three exceptions, every man on the League reserve lists is a member of the union, besides most of the outsiders, and as fast as men come into the League they will be taken into the order. If all those men combined cannot gain a point, I'm fooled, that's all. But, then, the League is too wise to oppose us, and will do the square thing. We have seven hundred dollars reserve fund already, which is for the purpose of employing competent legal aid should it become necessary to take anything to court. We will also probably have all professional players in the union by next season. If the joint committee, which meets a few days before the convention, should formulate one set of rules for the League and Association, it will be but a short while until all Association players have combined with us, for then we will all be under the same contracts. I have just received a letter from Johnny Ward and Tim Keefe, president of the council, calling my attention to the fact that the grand council convenes next month and to get my report ready. There will be a delegate from each chapter at the meeting, and after then I can better state what shall be our line of work for next year. Deacon White, of the Detroits, is the only prominent League player not a member of the union, and he would be but for his contract with Watkins which was made for two years, and detains him from joining us.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the argument against first base on a hit by pitch

Date Monday, June 28, 1886
Text

President Spaulding, of Chicago, has written Fred. Dunlap a letter, asking him to give his views regarding the proposed change of rules.

“What reply will you make regarding the American Association rule which gives the batsman who is hit by a pitched ball his base?” he was asked.

“I will not favor that rule,” said Fred. “I think if we had such rule as that in the League the players would be colliding with the ball early and often, and that a continuous wrangle would follow. No, I think they had better let that rule alone,” and Dunny smiled as though he thought that if it was introduced he would not be a sufferer thereby.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the argument against giving a base for a hit batsman

Date Monday, March 8, 1886
Text

Mr. Schmelz says that a hard fight was made in the [NL] meeting for the adoption of a new rule to the effect that a batter may take a base when hit by a pitched ball. The reason the rule was not adopted, he says, was because the opposing members claimed that there were no more of the League players hit than of the Association players. They suggested that a record be kept during the coming season of the number of players hit in the League and that in case it equals or exceeds those hit in the Association it will then be proper to adopt the rule.” Another reason,” said Mr. Schmelz, “was the argument advanced that there were players in the Chicago Club who would not hesitate a moment to allow themselves to be struck in order to get a base. For instance if Kelly was batting and there were men on the three bases, it does certainly look that he would stand a pretty heavy thump in the ribs to bring a man home. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the argument against letting Detroit in the Association

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

[byline Caylor] [reporting on the AA special meeting 11/22 – 11/231886] The Association, in my opinion, is better off to-day with Cleveland to occupy the vacancy than they would have been with Detroit's big club in the breach. When I urged this from the first I was ridiculed, and yet before a year passes I will be vindicated. Detroit would have been a tremendous card, no doubt, and would have added many additional hundreds to the other clubs' treasuries during the opening days of next season, but there is more to consider in looking out for the good of base ball and the welfare of the Association than a temporary financial benefit to the various clubs. The work of this special meeting was not to provide against one month or one season, but will be felt for years to come. The Detroits have one of the greatest drawing cards in the country; that cannot be controverted. But there the advantages end. By the club's own confession Detroit alone cannot support such a club, and had they come into the Association they would have asked, and probably received, outside help. By the club's own confession Detroit alone cannot support such a club, and had they come into the Association they would have asked, and probably received, outside help. That would have necessitated the entire change of the guarantee system, which the League has just adopted, and which has worked so well in the Association from the start; would have necessitated an entire system of dividing gate receipts, for in the Association no special provision is granted to one club over another. The admission of Detroit, therefore, would have revolutionized the good and healthful guarantee system, to which the League has just come. Would the ends have justified the means?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the balk rule a dead letter 2

Date Wednesday, November 17, 1886
Text

The balk rule should receive earnest attention at the hands of the rule-makers. It was a dead letter this year.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baneful influence of Day on the AA

Date Sunday, January 3, 1886
Text

The American Association is to be congratulated on one result of Day’s Metropolitan “deal,” and that is that they have thereby got rid of the Metropolitan Exhibition Company’s baneful influence, which has been antagonistic to the interests of the association ever since that company was admitted to league membership. The whole difficulty which culminated in the now celebrated injunction case was, that in the determination of the majority of the members of the American Association to no longer submit to the trickery and deception they had been subjected to at the hands of the Metropolitan Club, they lost sight of the fact that there was a possibility that the sale of the franchise of the club was a bona fide disposal of “all right, title and interest” in the Metropolitan Club by the Metropolitan Exhibition Company, and in their haste to throw out the club they forgot to examine fully into the matter.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the brotherhood and the standard contract

Date Wednesday, August 4, 1886
Text

[from an interview of John M. Ward] A great majority of the cases in which players are unfairly treated arise, not from the reserve rule or salary limit, but from a contract which legally is injustice—a contract in which the parties of the one part sign away all rights, and the party of the other 'reserves' all. I should consider it the first duty of this organization to meet the League officials, and in a spirit of fairness draw up a contract in which the equities of each might be reasonably protected.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the brotherhood favors arbitration

Date Wednesday, August 4, 1886
Text

[from an interview of John M. Ward] “How do you propose to enforce your claims?” “In the first instance, presumably by arbitration—the different club officials are too clear-headed a set of gentlemen to kick against the inevitable, besides from my own knowledge of them, they are not a body of men disposed to resist a reasonable demand when properly and fairly presented.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the case against Kansas City; franchise fee

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

[byline Caylor] [reporting on the AA special meeting 11/22 – 11/231886] The pluckiest set of men who ever went before a base ball convention were the Kansas City delegation. Their cause before the Association was hopeless from the beginning, but they made the delegate stop and hold their breath several times. The offer of $7,000 cash for the vacant franchise came I the way of a paralyzer. It made everybody realize that the Kansas City Club was backed by gentlemen who had the wealth and public spirit to back up their wishes, and a regret that their city was so situated as to be so undesirable. The jump from New York to St. Louis requires thirty-five hours and that is considered quite a hardship. None of the clubs were willing to increase this extreme trip by adding ten hours more of time.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the crowd at game six of the World Series; gate receipts

Date Sunday, October 24, 1886
Text

Although the sky was overcast with the threatening clouds which promised rain at any moment, the crowd began to arrive early, and continued to pour through the gates until long after the game was well under way. The attendance was slightly larger than yesterday, the receipts of the day being $2,500. This made the total amount won by the St. Louis Club by the result of the game $13,910.20, of which sum $6,365.85 was taken in at Chicago, and $6,365.85 at St. Louis. … [at 2:15] the Chicagos marched upon the field and were warmly received by the audience, which, by this time packed the free seats and comfortably filled the grand stand.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the danger of sliding, unpopularity of sliding pads

Date Saturday, July 24, 1886
Text

Many players are now injured every week through the daring and reckless manner in which some of them run bases. The slide over the rough, uneven ground, not infrequently covered with pebbles and stones, could only be performed by a man of unusual courage. A sliding pad to protect the player’s hips and side from cuts, sprains and bruises has been invented, but the players do not look upon the invention with favor and few of the great players wear them. St., quoting the New York Morning Journal

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the deleterious effects of sliding

Date Wednesday, December 22, 1886
Text

Tim Murnan ascribes the endurance of Jim White, Anson and other old-times to the fact that they never slide. “Players that slide don't last forever,” says Tim.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the difficulty of buying and selling games

Date Wednesday, June 23, 1886
Text

We do not believe that at this day base ball games are played otherwise than upon their merits. There is no money in them for the gamblers, as the sport is too uncertain and requires too large a combination of confederates, and players are not so easily cajoled. They know that detection is easy and only a question of time, and the punishment remorselessly sure and lasting, the cases of Devlin et al being forever before their eyes.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of moving the batter closer to the plate

Date Friday, April 23, 1886
Text

Nearly all the pitchers of the Association are being batted hard. Foutz, Morris, Lynch, Ramsey and Carruthers ahve at times been batted all over the field. The reason is evident. The batters’ box has been moved four inches nearer to the plate, and an out curve has accordingly lost its effect. The drop and the in-shoot are now the only effective balls that the pitcher can command. Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette April 23, 1886

The reason given by ball players for the inordinately large scores being made this season is the close proximity of the batters’ box to the plate. The distance has been shortened by six inches, thus, to a great degree, destroying the effectiveness of the outshoot. St. Louis Post-Dispatch April 26, 1886

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of personal contracts; Chadwick's commentary

Date Wednesday, October 13, 1886
Text

...if personal contracts are to supersede regular base ball contracts the reserve rule might just as well be abolished... The Sporting Life October 13, 1886

The officials of the Metropolitan Exhibition Company, through the medium of the personal contract system of engaging players, which they have recently carried into practical effect, have introduced an element of discord into the ranks of the various professional associations comprising the clubs belonging to the National Agreement, which will require very earnest and careful legislation at the coming conventions of the National League and American Association to remove. From the very year in which the first national professional association was organized, up to the period of the establishment of the protective system embodied in the National Agreement, the most difficult problem the professional legislators had to solve was that of preventing the engagement of players by clubs for service during an ensuing year before the close of the existing base ball season. Even from the time of the organization of the National League this trouble was a leading obstacle in the path of progress to the successful establishment of an honorable plan of running the business of stock company professional base ball clubs. The League itself was the outcome of a fight for the possession of players illegally engaged before the close of an existing season; and the evil of seducing player from their club allegiance was the cause of all the disturbances, bickerings, dishonest, and ill will which arose out of the Union Association movement of three year ago. The efforts to reform this abuse which culminated in the establishment of the protective system of the National Agreement was supposed to have ended all difficulty in the matter, but the firebrand which the New York Club has just thrown into the field has renewed all the old troubles, and if something is not done to abate the difficulty the advantages of the National Agreement and the beneficial effect it has thus far had in making the professional business run smoothly will all be sacrificed. The Sporting Life October 20, 1886, quoting the Brooklyn Eagle of 10/10/1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ethics of buying and selling players; the reserve

Date Monday, August 30, 1886
Text

The awakening came with Dunlap’s sale to the Detroit Club by Mr. Lucas. That transaction did more to disillusionize the managers, as well as the public, than all other base ball deals that have gone before. It gave a glimpse of possible transactions, which, if allowed to be made, would be very injurious to the game. This buying and selling players is not right, and to the public sounds even worse than it really is. If a ball player is of such value that it is profitable for a club to pay several thousand dollars for his release, besides paying him a regular salary, the player himself, and not his former employer, should reap the benefit. A man is not a horse, and should not be treated as one. The interests of the players and managers are identical, and the sooner this is realized by both the better it will be for the game. It is to the best interest of both to elevate base ball. If a club has no use for a player he should be released and allowed to go where he sees fit or where he can make the best terms for his services. The rule compelling a man to play for season after season with a club in which he is not satisfied is bad policy. It would be far better to do away with the reserve rule altogether. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the high and low strike zones abolished; number of balls and strikes

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/17/1886] First of all, the low and high ball was absolutely wiped out, so that next year a fair ball will be any ball which passes over any part of the plate between the shoulder and the knee. To counteract the advantage this gives to the pitcher, the number of balls has been reduced from six to five entitling the batter to a base, and the number of strikes have been increased from three to four. The Sporting Life November 24, 1886

[reporting on the meeting of the joint rules committee 11/16/1886] The high and low ball system of delivery was eliminated, and in future any ball sent over the plate at any point between the batsman's knees and shoulder will be called a fair ball. The Sporting News November 25, 1886

[reporting on the meeting of the joint rules committee 11/16/1886] A good change was made in relieving the umpire from the difficult duty of judging of waist-high balls--”high or low”--by obliging the batsman to strike at every ball which comes in from the pitcher over the home-base above knee high and not higher than the shoulders. This rule, however, offsets to a certain extent the increase of strikes from three to four, as he cannot now call for a “high” or a “low” ball as he did before, and therefore has few specially delivered balls to select from. He will now, however, only have to watch the ball's direction as to its crossing the plate, and not, as before, as to its being high or low, the “waist” ball formerly being the great obstacle to the batsman's clear judgment of the ball as it was to the umpire. New York Clipper November 27, 1886

suppressing the balk, stepping outside the box; reducing the size of the box

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/17/1886] ...Then the committee undertook the task of suppressing, or wiping out, the evil of pitchers balking every time a base-runner gets to base, or stepping out of the box in delivering the ball. It was admitted that even the stone slab does not keep the pitcher inside, but that half of the step over it, while some, by using rubber soles on their shoes, step onto the slab with impunity. The stone slab it, accordingly, dug up and shelved, while the pitcher's box is shortened from seven feet to five and a half feet. The pitcher is then corralled by this new rule: “The pitcher shall take his position facing the batter with both feet squarely upon the ground, the right foot on the real line of box, his left foot in advance of the right, and to the left of an imaginary line from his right foot to the centre of the home plate. He shall not raise his right foot until in the act of delivering the ball, nor make more than one step in the delivery. He shall hold the ball before delivering it fairly in front of his body and in sight of the umpire. In the case of left-handed pitchers the above words 'left' and 'right are to be reversed. When the pitcher feigns to throw the ball to a base he must resume the above position and pause momentarily before delivering the ball to the bat.”

To further help the base-runner the American Association balk rules were adopted verbatim, with the addition of a sentence making a balk to be also “any motion whatever calculated to deceive the base-runner.”

...It was urged that the new position rule would meet with disfavor because nearly eery pitcher in the land uses the double step, the running jump or hides the ball in delivering it. Three of the Chicagos' pitchers take the jump; Foutz hides the ball and Caruthers takes the jump; the Phillies pitchers all the take jump—yet everybody in the committee and the advisory board [i.e. the players] advocates the change. It is saving the pitchers from themselves, and is so general in its prohibitions that no one club can be affected more than another. It will increase batting as well as base-running. The Sporting Life November 24, 1886

[reporting on the meeting of the joint rules committee 11/16/1886] Five balls and four strikes will now be allowed the batsman; instead of six balls and three strikes, as the rule of last year declared. The Sporting News November 25, 1886

[reporting on the meeting of the joint rules committee 11/16/1886] As regards the new rules governing the work of the batteries, a decided step in advance has been made by the increase of chances for striking at fair balls from three to four, and the decrease in the number of unfair balls the pitcher is allowed to deliver before a base is given on balls to five instead of six. This is a point gained in equalizing the powers of attack and defense as between the pitching and batting. Hereafter the batsman will have four chances to strike at fair balls, and five unfair balls will give him his base. New York Clipper November 27, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Cincinnati Club owner; suspension of Sunday games in Cincinnati

Date Wednesday, March 17, 1886
Text

The suspension of Barkley does not cause near the amount of comment as the stoppage of the Sunday games does by Mr. John Hauck, the new owner of the Cincinnati Club. Some of the largest audiences that ever attended ball games in this city were the ones that attended the games played on Sunday. Mr. Hauck claims that it will be more money in his pocket by the end of the season, it is true that managers are looking after the golden shekels, but how it will be more in his pocket by stopping Sunday games, is a hard matter to solve, as the audiences at Sunday games are persons who cannot attend the games during the week. They will probably see their mistake before the season is fairly on, and the public will again have the pleasure of seeing Sunday games. Sporting News March 17, 1886

The surprising news that the Cincinnati Club will play no Sunday games this season ins confirmed by the omission of Sunday dates from the championship schedule. The news fell like a bombshell not only in Cincinnati, but in base ball circles generally, it has always been argued and accepted as a fact that base ball in Cincinnati could not be made to pay without Sunday games, and this was one of the main arguments against transfer to the League. Under the circumstances Mr. Hauck's experiment will be watched with great interest. … Mr. Hauck can hardly be different from the ordinary run of Croesuses, and we take it that he has entered the base ball business for the money there may be in it, not for love. In fact he was forced into it by peculiar circumstances, and is therefore bound to get his money out again if possible. Public sentiment in Cincinnati is divided on the Sunday question. Mr. Caylor tries to make it appear that the change in the club's policy has met with the greatest favor, and received the endorsement of the very best classes of the supporters of the game. The local press, however, with the single exception of Mr. Caylor's paper, fails to see how the club can be made to pay without the Sunday games, which are the best attended, and whose patronage is chiefly derived from that portion of the working community which cannot find time or means to attend the games during week days, and the general opinion is that Mr. Hauck will probably see his mistake before the season is fairly on, and the Cincinnati public will again have the pleasure of seeing Sunday games. … It seems to us, however, that in one respect Mr. Hauck's experiment is not such a foolish one as appears at first glance. Sunday ball playing in Cincinnati and St. Louis will be stopped by law sooner or later; in fact, rather sooner. Public sentiment seems to be slowly, but surely, changing on this subject, and steps are everywhere in the West being taken to legislate against it. Mr. Hauck, by his action, forestalls any measures the Cincinnati Law and Order Society may have contemplated, thus apparently yielding to the law and public sentiment voluntarily. At any rate no better time could be selected to decide the question whether Cincinnati does or does not want Sunday base ball. The so-called respectable element will now have a chance to come to the front and show that its influence and patronage amount to something and is worth chiefly catering to by making up to the club in increased week-day attendance for the loss of the Sunday revenue. The Sporting Life March 24, 1886 [N.B. The club did play Sunday games after all.]

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new interpretation of the reserve; Brotherhood

Date Friday, December 31, 1886
Text

Regarding the new interpretation put on the reserve rule by the late meeting of the Arbitration Committee, a well-known player the other day said:

“Heretofore we have taken for granted that, in case a player had strong personal reasons for refusing to sign with the club which had reserved him, he could, by remaining idle for a season, be at liberty to sign elsewhere if he chose to do so; but now he can be placed on the reserve list from year to year. There is nothing equitable about the rule, and if the Players’ Brotherhood is as strong as the members claim it is, they can never find a more fitting opportunity to call a halt on the club owners. At the rate they are taking us along we shall all be slaves before the end of next season.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch December 31, 1886

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher moved back

Date Thursday, November 25, 1886
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the joint rules committee 11/16/1886] The pitcher's box shall in future measure five and a half instead of five feet, and the pitcher will be required to stand with his right foot, if he be a right handed pitcher, or his left foot, if he be a left-handed pitcher, upon the rear line of the box and his other foot advanced upon a direct line in front of him or a little to the left of a direct line. He must hold the ball before him ,and will not be permitted to hold it behind himself nor at his hip. He can swing himself around upon his rear foot to throw to bases, but must assume proper position again before delivering the ball over the plate, and but one step forward, and that, too, inside the lines of his box, can be taken in his delivery. The Sporting News November 25, 1886

[reporting on the meeting of the joint rules committee 11/16/1886] The amendments made to the rule governing the delivery of the ball to the bat are, we think, well calculated to relieve the base-runners from the obstacle to successful running which they had to encounter last season through the latitude given pitchers under the balking rule of the past code. Now the pitcher is prohibited from making any attempt to throw to a base while he is in his defined position for delivering the ball to the bat, and this position is that of standing squarely in the box, with his forward foot kept on the ground. He can throw to a base before taking this position of delivery but not then, this new rule putting a stop to those feints of pitching which were allowed last season. Moreover, the pitcher can only take one step in delivery now, and this step must be taken with a space of five and a half feet by four, instead of seven by four, as last year. New York Clipper November 27, 1886

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher's box expanded

Date Wednesday, March 10, 1886
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting 3/3-3/4/1886] Rule 5 was amended to give the pitcher an extra foot of space in his box, which in the future will be 7 feet by 4 feet instead of 6 feet by 4 feet. The Sporting Life March 10, 1886

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 3/1-3/3/1886] The pitcher's box is made seven feet long instead of six, as heretofore, and the stone slab becomes a part of every diamond by the adoption of this rule. “In front of this space (the pitcher's box) must be a smooth flat stone one foot broad, fixed in the ground even with the surface. This stone must extend across the entire space, one side to be on the forward line of the square and the other one foot outside of the box.” The Sporting Life March 10, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reemergence of pool room betting

Date Wednesday, September 15, 1886
Text

Very few people know that pools are at present being sold on base ball in New York, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago and several other cities represented in the National League and American Association circuits. This news may take the directors of these two principal associations by surprise, but The Sporting Life knows whereof it speaks and will not only point out to them the danger that confronts them, but explain where and how it is done and how it can be stopped . … [An explanation follows that Western Union has monopoly contracts with all NL and AA clubs, runs inning-by-inning information to its offices, and sells this data to any buyer; and proposes that Western Union be barred from the grounds entirely.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the relative merits of six or eight clubs in the League

Date Friday, January 15, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Day] While I would like to see eight clubs in the League, yet I would rather have but six clubs, all strong, and making a good fight for the pennant. Anybody can understand that six good clubs are better than six good and two poor clubs. Where two clubs were palpable tail-enders from the start, all the clubs would suffer. When the strong clubs resisted the weaker ones, the friends of the latter would agree that a one-sided game would result and they would remain at home or at business. The same is true of the admirers of a strong club when a weaker club was on a visit. I recognize the fact that what I say is an argument in favor of six clubs, but I am making an extraordinary case and am taking the worst view. I have worked on a schedule, too, and find that a six-club schedule can be completed in five months, but I must admit that I am not an admirer of such a schedule. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the relative merits of splitting the gate versus the guarantee; parity

Date Wednesday, September 8, 1886
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] Undoubtedly it strikes many that the League's percentage system is a much better plan than the guarantee of the Association in the way of fostering a balancing of the playing strength of clubs in the long run. To be sure, the clubs of the League are now no more equal than the Associations—comparatively they are about the same—but a long service in the League with the same clubs retaining membership ought, theoretically at least, to enable them to even up very nicely. The Association club must make all its money at home, and the sum that can be invested in strengthening its team is limited by the size of the city it represents and the consequent patronage there, while Detroit has demonstrated that a small League city can invest profitably as large a sum as the greatest city. This is so, because the progressive manager receives the benefit of his enterprise in all the games played away from home, and reaps the ducats in proportion to the attraction he presents. If the city with a small population can present a good card in New York or Philadelphia it gets a proper proportion of the patronage it helps to draw, and it therefore puts them on a financial equality with the big city to expend the money for players. Now that Detroit has shown the theory is practicable, no doubt it will in time have a tendency—other things being equal—to have all the teams having a nip and tuck fight, as is now the case with Chicago, Detroit, New York and perhaps Philadelphia.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the rubber band foul tip trick; snapping fingers variant

Date Wednesday, June 9, 1886
Text

During an amateur game at Thirty-fourth street yesterday it was noticed that a great number of players went out on foul tips to the catcher while he was taking off the bat. One batter who went out win this matter kicked, claiming that his bat had not struck within three inches of the ball. An investigation revealed that the catcher had a gum band attached to his glove, and when he desired to foul out a man he would raise the band with one finger, and when the ball passed under the bat released it. The band would snap against the glove, and all within hearing would hear a supposed foul tip. The Sporting Life June 9, 1886, quoting the Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph

During a contest in Chicago in 1884 Kelly was catching when Orator Schaeffer came to the bat. Schaeffer at once asked the umpire to watch Kelly, as he was in the habit of snapping his fingers in a manner that would lead the umpire to believe that the striker had fouled the ball. The Philadelphia Times January 9, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the two-umpires and a referee scheme rejected

Date Wednesday, November 17, 1886
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the joint rules committee 11/16/1886] The rules governing the umpire were modified and the referee and two umpire scheme, which was brought up, rejected. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the value of liquor sales in St. Louis

Date Wednesday, August 25, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Congressman O'Neill regarding the St. Louis Club jumping to the League] The privileges sold at the American club's grounds annually bring in between $7,000 and $8,000, and if we went into the League all our Sunday patrons would desert us, and those who like to enjoy a glass of beer during a game would follow suit. It can be stated most emphatically that Von der Ahe will not be tempted by the League, but will keep the champions of the American Association in the field.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the weakness of a two man rotation

Date Wednesday, September 15, 1886
Text

[analyzing the New Yorks' late-season fade] ...the weakness [of the New Yorks] which was sure to be developed was in the batteries; that Keefe and welch were obliged to oppose pitchers who were in far better physical condition; that Keefe and Welch had taken part in about 48 and 46 games respectively—the opposing pitchers had played in about 30 per cent. less—and yet there are those who expect the former, under these circumstances, to be equally as effective. The Sporting Life September 15, 1886

Nowadays a winning club must have at least three great pitchers. The average pitcher breaks down or weakens at the end of his fortieth game for a season, according to a calculation based upon long experience. The Sporting Life September 15, 1886, quoting the Louisville Courier-Journal

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

three batteries used in one game

Date Wednesday, April 21, 1886
Text

[Detroit vs. Cincinnati 4/10/1886] The Cincinnatis used their three batteries, each taking their turns. Pechiney and Baldwin served the first three innings, Mullane and Snyder the next three, and McKeon and Keenan the seventh and eighth. The result was entirely satisfactory.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tom Pratt an NL umpire

Date Wednesday, March 31, 1886
Text

The many friends of genial Tom Prat, the famous old-time player and late manager of the Keystone Unions, will be pleased to learn that he has been appointed a National League umpire. He received official notice of his appointment Friday. Pratt is an old player, thoroughly familiar with the rules, and no doubt will amply fulfill all the duties of the position. His friends have tendered him a benefit at the Columbia rink April 5.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tom Pratt lost his fortune

Date Monday, May 10, 1886
Text

Tom Pratt, who umpired the first two games of the Detroit-St. Louis series, was once a wealthy paint and oil dealer of Philadelphia. Those who knew Tom in his prosperous days hated to see him guyed by the crowd as he was on Friday and Saturday. He is a royal good fellow and should be in better business than umpiring. The Sporting News May 10, 1886

the new catcher’s glove

The new base-ball catcher’s glove is out for the season and is widely different from that of 1885. The palm is not so heavily padded, and the ends of the fingers are protected the sole leather helmets. When a hot ball comes against the end of the catcher’s hand, when encased in one of those new style assassination protectors, simply unhinges the arm at the shoulder, where it can be readily replaced by any one, without delaying the game for a moment. The old style glove did not take this kind of care of the wearer’s fingers. Generally they were driven in through his ribs, when they were with difficulty coughed up or removed with a pip wrench, in a damaged condition, or else they were completely worn out by the attrition and impact of the ball, so that they had to be filed completely off. The advantage of the new glove will be obvious to all men who have looked upon the catcher when he moveth himself aright, after stopping a solid shot with the first joint of his longest finger. Fort Wayne Sentinel May 10, 1886, quoting the Boston Herald

sliding head-first vs. feet-first

A brilliant suggestion: “Harry Wright should make his men slide feet first instead of head first, as then the basemen would give them the line. When a base runner slides head first an evil disposed baseman can easily hurt him.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch May 11, 1886

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tommy Bond in Brockton

Date Monday, August 9, 1886
Text

Tommy Bond has been released by Brockton. His arm is unequal to the demands made upon it.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

trading votes

Date Thursday, March 4, 1886
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting 3/3/1886] ...Philadelphia demanded the privilege heretofore accorded it of charging but 25 cents to League games, and St. Louis demanded the same privilege. There was not dispute as to Philadelphia’s demand, but boston was averse to granting St. Louis’ request. As Mr. Soden afterward got what he wanted in a certain matter, he appeared willing to allow St. Louis’ request, and to-day the Mound City will be voted the privilege. The demand made and granted Boston was a bonus for the release of Whitney, the pitcher. Kansas City wanted the big Californian, but haggled as to the price. The difference was agreed on, however, and Kansas City will begin the season Whitney... St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

trophy balls?

Date Wednesday, June 16, 1886
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 6/9/1886] To avoid misunderstanding, it was settled that hereafter the winning club shall be entitled only to the ball last used in the game, no matter how many balls may have been played with.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind the pitcher 4

Date Wednesday, October 6, 1886
Text

In the New York-Kansas City game of Sept. 25, Umpire Powers started in to judge the play from behind the pitcher's box, but gave up the task at the end of three innings and then took his accustomed place. The idea of so umpiring a game of ball originated with Jim White in 1876, and in that year Joe Gerhardt attempted the feat. Kelly tried it in New York in 1883 and at Pittsburg in 1884, but its feasibility is yet to be made plain. Batsmen, pitchers, basemen and catchers are alike troubled by the additional man in short field, and it seems that behind the bat is the best place for an umpire. Powers also tried it in Detroit a week before last. There it was damned with faint praise.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire fines and player discipline

Date Tuesday, August 31, 1886
Text

I [Chadwick] asked Bradley why it was he and other American Association umpires allowed so many players of the American club nines to dispute their decisions with such impunity as they did, and his reply was to the effect that fining them would not stop their kicking. He quoted Comiskey of the St. Louis team as an example. “Comiskey told me,” Bradley said, “that I might go on and fine him just as much as I damned please, but that the fines would not be paid.” Bradley further remarked that when umpires fined players the club to which the punished player belonged would not back up the umpire in inflicting the penalty, but went against him by efforts to remove him from this position, and to save themselves umpires had to stop fining players, except in very aggravated cases. This being the existing condition of things it is not to be wondered at that there is so much kicking against decisions of umpres as there is. St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 31, 1886

the League to apportion St. Louis players; potential to induce defections from the AA

[reporting on the NL special meeting of 8/26/1886] The most important action taken during the meeting...was the adoption of a resolution providing for the appointment of a committee, which shall virtually control the questions of the release and employment of players; the apportionment of players in case of the disbandment or expulsion, and to purchase for the League the franchise of any club, offered for sale or contracts with players so offered, and to play the club or players in question in any city they may deem best, such games counting as championship games. … [This resolution] will do away with any such deals as that consummated between the Buffalo and Detroit clubs of last year, and will tighten the lines of the League power os an organization, to the end of securing an equal division of playing strength as well as better work, and better discipline among the clubs. The Sporting Life September 1, 1886

If Pittsburg wants to enter the League, that body will now be in a position, with the aid of the new committee, to offer that club extra inducements in the way of strengthening its team. There are a few men in the St. Louis team who would just about suit Horace Phillips' notion. The Sporting Life September 1, 1886

The new League committee will enable the League to transfer such St. Louis players as may be wanted to the successor of the St. Louis Club, if that club should not go on next season. For instance, if Pittsburg should go into the League this committee could transfer such players as Pittsburg may deem necessary to strengthen herself; see? It's a shrewd move, and one cannot help but admire the League for the careful, far-seeing and practical way in which they do business. The Sporting Life September 1, 1886

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire never went inside the diamond

Date Wednesday, May 26, 1886
Text

[St. Louis vs. Brooklyn 5/19/1886] ...from the beginning to the end of the game Mr. Clinton [the umpire] never stepped inside the diamond, in fact never got nearer than ten or fifteen feet of the plate, but still decided men out or not out at first, second and third bases, he being anywhere from one hundred and five to one hundred and thirty-five feet away. The course he pursued invited the comments of the crowd...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire's mask 3

Date Wednesday, September 22, 1886
Text

No regular umpire showing up, Morgan Murphy, of the Boston Blues, was agreed upon, and, by the way, he did very well, too. He is a catcher, and, after calling two strikes once, he put on a mask and, walking up behind the batsman, got into position to catch, forgetting for the minute that he was not playing.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpiring breaking balls

Date Tuesday, August 10, 1886
Text

Umpire John Kelly was recently asked which of the Association pitcher were the hardest to umpire for, barring all kicking propensities. “I regard Ramsey and Morris the hardest,” said Kelly. “Ramsey has a drop ball taht is very hard to judge. It looks like a ‘rising ball’ until just about the time it gets up to the plate, when it suddenly drops, and of course fools both the batsman and the umpire. With Morris, however,” continued Kelly, “this is different. Morris, if he had a good ‘drop ball’ like Ramsey, would be invincible. His mean balls are those that he sends shooting around the batsmen’s neck and body. To look at the ball it seems as if it were coming straight over the outside corner of the plate, when in reality it shoots in, and if the batter is not pretty active he is very liable to get a soaker in the neck.

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

underhand pitching

Date Wednesday, March 17, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Henry Boyle] “How’s the lame arm?” he was asked.

“Lame no longer,” he replied, “and since last fall, even, I have learned something in the pitching line. While acting as professor of pitching at Girard, I not only taught others, but taught myself, and to-day I can pitch as well under as over-hand.”

In other words Boyle has become a scientific pitcher as well as an over-hand thrower. He commenced pitching two years ago, when he joined the St. Louis Union team. Since then he has mastered all the curves, and to-day, besides being the swiftest thrower in the land, is an artist and has complete command of the sphere. Sporting News March 17, 1886

a sliding pad

Mike Kelly has given Sam Morton’s sliding-pad his hearty indorsement. This little invention is to enable runners to steal bases without injury to their cuticle. Sporting News March 17, 1886

The sliding pad has not yet met with much favor. Welch, of the St. Louis Browns, and Miller, of the Pittsburgs, are the only players in the country who use the patent. The Sporting News May 24, 1886

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

uniform rules under the National Agreement; official balls

Date Wednesday, November 24, 1886
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/17/1886] It was declared the purpose of the Arbitration Committee to be to so amend the National Agreement at its next meeting, so as to make it a requirement of membership and protection under that instrument, qualified or unqualified, that all base ball bodies coming under its rules and government must play only under this common set of rules, which are called: “The National Playing Rules of Professional Base Ball Clubs.” To further this plan a rule was adopted making only a Spalding League ball or a Reach Association ball a legal ball for any championship game under these rules. This is done so as to prevent the use of light or dead balls in games between the clubs of different bodies, a has frequently been the case in the past.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Union Association, St. Louis NL Club finances

Date Monday, August 23, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Henry Lucas] I will also give you the real figures of the losses I have incurred in base ball. In 1884 while in the Union Association I lost $17,000. That lost was incurred, however, not by my own team, but by others whom I had to keep afloat. In 1885, my first year in the League, I lost 410,000. This year I have not lost a dollar. Had I continued in the business until the close of the season, however, I would have lost probably as much money this year as I did last. The money I received for Dunlap’s release offset all my losses for this year. The Sporting News August 23, 1886

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

usage of pitcher winning a game

Date Sunday, August 22, 1886
Text

New-Yorkers are not satisfied unless their pitchers win every game.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

use of an illegal flat bat

Date Wednesday, August 18, 1886
Text

Bobby Caruthers has been detected using a flattened bat, which is not permissible by Association rules. Geo. McGinnis gave Bobby's snap away.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

using more than two balls

Date Wednesday, June 2, 1886
Text

President Young has instructed League umpires to the effect that where both balls are knocked over the fence before the first could be returned a new ball has to be used.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

using personal contracts to evade the National Agreement

Date Monday, September 27, 1886
Text

Last week Director Appleton, of the New York Club, was noticed in the different cities in this [International] League, but his object was not found out till Saturday. It seems that he has had his eye on several players in this League who had done good work, and before the directors of the Stars new it, he had signed Tomney and Knouff of this club. When asked if he was not violating the national agreement of base ball associations, he said he was not, as he had signed the players under personal contracts. ... It seems that the object of this signing is for speculation. The League clubs will buy up the promising players in the minor leagues and when the clubs want to strengthen themselves next year, they will sell them to them at a handsome profit. It is evident that unless such transactions can be stopped this League will go to pieces.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

varying types of pitch

Date Thursday, June 24, 1886
Text

[St. Louis vs. Pittsburgh 6/23/1886] Handiboe pitched a phenomenal game. He evinced that steadiness characteristic of an old ‘un at the game. He sent in a terrific drop ball, now and again varied with a curved one, that made the St. Louis players sometimes wonder whether or not the ball had passed the plate. He is now one of the great hopes of the local club.

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Von der Ahe finally pays Toledo

Date Wednesday, July 28, 1886
Text

Chris. Von der Ahe has sent his check to the Toledo Club for $600. This settled the old deal for Welch, Barkley and Mullane, and litigation ceases.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Vonderhorst and the Baltimore Club

Date Wednesday, June 2, 1886
Text

Before the game of to-day [5/28] Mr. Vonderhorst visited the players at the club house, and the good effect was seen by more animation in the club, better team work and more life and better judgment used in coaching.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Vonderhorst backing Barnie

Date Monday, August 9, 1886
Text

Vondererhost [sic], a wealthy brewer of Baltimore, is backing Barnie in his base ball venture. He says Barnie has enough money on hand to run the club this and next season if the games were not patronized by a single person.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Vonderhorst backing the Baltimore Club

Date Sunday, September 12, 1886
Text

Mr. Harry Von Der Horst, the financial backer of the Baltimore Club, was interviewed a few days ago in reference to the reports and alleged interviews promiscuously circulated that he had become disgusted with his experience in base ball the present season and would withdraw his support. He laughed at the idea of such a thing, and replied that he had made known his intentions of running the Baltimore Club for two seasons... With the management Mr. Von Der Horst seemed perfectly satisfied. He has attended most all the games played on the home ground, and has seen for himself the cause of the club’s ill success. Being a business man, he desires the club to be run on business principles, which has been done. “When I told you,” remarked Mr. Von Der Horst, “that I would run the Baltimore Club, I meant it, and when I said run it, I meant place the money in the hands of the management to keep it going.” At present the club is financially about even, and while they expect to lose some money, it will be a small sum.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Vonderhorst backing the Baltimores

Date Sunday, August 8, 1886
Text

If it were not for Harry Vonderhosrt, the Baltimore brewer, Barnie's nine would have gone to pieces long ago. Vonderhorst, like Von der Ahe, is rich and willing to spend money to have a good ball team. Vonderhorst has spend plenty of money this season and continues cheerful, when it would be supposed that he would be discouraged.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Vonderhorst backing the Baltimores 2

Date Sunday, September 19, 1886
Text

Harry Vonderhorst, the wealthy Baltimore brewer and financial backer of the Baltimores, now says that he started out with the intention of running the Baltimore club two seasons whether they finished first or last. He would render the required assistance both this year and next. If the club is composed of as bad material and as poorly managed next season as this Vonderhorst's purse will have a heavy drain on it, as people will not patronize as they did this summer. Von der Horst says he is willing to lay out large sums of money, and will get the best players at any price. He has not lost much, if anything, this season, for Baltimore is one of the best-paying ball cities in the country. The Philadelphia Times September 19, 1886

claimed right of the League to oust Kansas City and Washington

The Pittsburgs...will in all probably take the place of the Kansas Citys. Right here we are asked how the League will get rid of the Kansas City team. At the time the Kansas Citys and Washingtons were admitted to League membership there was some doubt as to their eligibility and they were compelled to hand in their blank resignations with the understanding that the League should have the right to act upon them at any time. For this reason they can be ousted from the League at any moment. The Sporting News September 20, 1886

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Vonderhorst has partners

Date Wednesday, September 15, 1886
Text

It seems to be accepted on the stands and on the street, especially among those who claim special information, that neither Mr. Vonderhorst nor the less prominent “backers” will go on another season as in the past...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Vonderhorst the Baltimore delegate to the AA

Date Wednesday, December 1, 1886
Text

[byline Caylor] [reporting on the AA special meeting 11/22 – 11/231886] The limited express from the East [to Cincinnati] Monday morning brought in … Vonderhorst, of the Baltimores. The Sporting Life December 1, 1886

Vonderhorst, of Baltimore, caught on at Cincinnati, and made a most agreeable impression upon his new associates. The Sporting Life December 1, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Vonderhorst the backer all season

Date Wednesday, October 20, 1886
Text

...the [Baltimore] club is now, and has for the past entire season, been backed by Mr. Vonderhorst, the wealthy Baltimore brewer.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward on rule change proposals: pitching delivery

Date Monday, November 15, 1886
Text

[from an interview of John Ward] Today the successful pitcher is the man who makes a hop, skip and a jum and makes the ball whistle past your face with the speed of the win. If this thing continues it will be necessary to have a surgeon and corner on every diamond. This style is pitching is not alone dangerous, but it is fatal to good base running and batter, two of the most essential points of the game, and pounds the hands of the catchers who have to receive the balls into a jelly. Our plan is to make a pitcher stand facing the batter, the left foot in advance of the right and to the left of an imaginary line from the right foot to the center of the home plate. The right foot is not to be raised before delivering the ball. The provision requiring the left foot to be forward and to the left of the right will prevent the pitcher from turning his back and it will do away with the balk practiced by many of the twirlers of the past season, while the requirement that the right foot shall not be raised until the ball has been delivered will keep him from moving out of the box. These changes would bring back the old style of delivery, increase the batting and base-running, and, in a word, increase the popularity of the game. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Washington Club finances

Date Sunday, November 14, 1886
Text

...“Our expenses this season,” said Mike [Scanlan], in conversation with The Times representatives, “figured up about $62,000. This amount includes two items to which I would call your special attention. We paid during the past season over eleven thousand dollars for the release of players and the sum of seven thousand dollars was put into the grounds at Capital Park before the gates were opened. Our gross receipts from gate money at home and abroad amounted to $45,000. The apparent deficit of $17,000 was reduced by the revenue of the grand stand, privileges, etc., to about $10,000, but this loss we had to pocket. Now, glance at the prospect for next season. The grounds are in fine condition; the buildings and fences are new and will cost next to nothing for repairs for two or three years. Here we have a saving over this year’s expenses of nearly $7,000.

“We will begin the season of 1887 with a strong nine and will probably pay out very little money for releases during the schedule. Here we hope to effect another large saving, though the management will be characterized by a liberality which will insure the signing of as many good players as are needed and can be secured. I have put our salary list for next summer at $28,000. It may be somewhat higher, but I am confident that figure is approximately correct. Add to this about $7,000 for traveling expenses and hotel bills and we have a total of $35,000 representing the season’s outlay. With indications pointing to an extraordinarily successful season in 1887, it is certainly reasonable to assume that our receipts will at least equal those of 1886. This would leave us a prospective margin of $10,000 as a very modest estimate.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Washington said to have bought out the Lucas franchise

Date Wednesday, August 18, 1886
Text

...the League may have some difficulty in filling the vacancy which is threatened, and such a vacancy is more than probable at the end of the season, as there will be no Lucas club in the field next year. The St. Louis League Club, or a semblance of it, will undoubtedly play out the season, as in all the history of the League—particularly in the instances of the Buffalos and the Providences—the League has not allowed a vacancy to occur during the season. Indeed the franchise has been practically sold for a goodly sum to the Washington Club, which wants the players only. It has no use for the franchise, but has been informed by the league that a success to the Lucas Club must be found to finish the season ere any deal or transfer will be ratified. … So the Washington Club, which now practically controls the franchise, must either provide a successor or assume the responsibilities of the Lucas club and run it through the balance of the season, just as Detroit did with the Buffalo Club last fall. To do this, however, will entail a greater burden upon the Washington club than it is willing or indeed can afford to carry, and so the club is in somewhat of a fix, and any further deal may be suspended until the season ends. … [An interview of Scanlon follows in which he claims that he had arranged a deal whereby Von der Ahe would jump to the League, but Von der Ahe backed out.] The Sporting Life August 18, 1886

[from the St. Louis correspondent] In a conversation with President Von der Ahe at Sportsmans' Park office yesterday morning, he told me that he had received several telegrams from Washington from a party that was no doubt acting for President Young, in which overtures had been made to him to join the League. The telegrams were said to be signed by Mike Scanlon, of the Washington Club. When asked whether he intended to join the League or not, President Von der Ahe replied most emphatically: “No; no indeed. Do you think I want to cut my own throat? These people have said to me that if my club was the only club in St. Louis I would have no trouble in getting a good attendance at fifty cents a head, and that my club would do splendidly without Sunday tames. This talk is all good enough, it's cheap; but when it comes to running a ball club it takes money, and lots of it, too. The fifty-cent admission has been tried here, and it has been fully shown that it will not work; and as for running a club here without Sunday games, the idea is simply a foolish one. …” The Sporting Life August 18, 1886

Washington virtually buys out the St. Louis Club and all its players, etc., for $17,500 and agrees to fill out the season with a dummy team at St. Louis as the Detroit Club filled out last season at Buffalo after securing the “big four.” The Sporting Life August 25, 1886

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

what year is the championship?

Date Wednesday, October 27, 1886
Text

[the Browns charter a car to Chicago for the World Series] The car was beautifully decorated inside with flowers, and on the outside was a streamer the entire length of the car with “St. Louis Browns, champions 1886-1887,” painted thereon.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Wheeler Wikoff's family background

Date Monday, May 3, 1886
Text

Wheeler C. Wikoff, President of the American Base-Ball Association, is the son of Gen. A. T. Wikoff, who was Pension Agent at Columbus, O., for a number of years.Chicago Tribune May 3, 1886 [Allen T. Wikoff, an Ohio Republican, was Secretary of State of Ohio, Chairman of the Republican State Executive Committee, Adjutant General, etc.]

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

when a club can switch leagues

Date Saturday, December 18, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/13/1886] In the next place they took up the question of time when a club can leave one Association to join another, and limited it to the month of November alone. Hereafter no club can jump from the League or Association, save in November. The Association will, in accordance with this move up its annual meeting date from December to November.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

who can black list a player

Date Saturday, December 18, 1886
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/13/1886] The National agreement was so amended that hereafter no club will have the power to black list a player. The club may for the sake of discipline suspend a player, whose case shall at once go before a standing committee of the association to which it belongs, which committee shall inquire into the case, and may either increase, diminish or annul any such term of suspension as the facts in the case warrant, and every member of the National Agreement shall have such standing committee.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

who is running the AA?

Date Wednesday, April 21, 1886
Text

[from Caylor's column] I see the Clipper says Mr. C. H. Byrne is now at the head of the American Association. In this the Clipper conveys a false idea which I think Mr. Byrne does not sanction. He is for as his hard work and honest self-sacrifices goes at the head of all the club officers in the Association, but there is but one head of the American Association and that is President and Secretary Wheeler Wikoff. In him is vested all the powers of those offices, save presiding at meetings of the Association which Mr. Byrne does as chairman. It is not right to deprive Mr. Wikoff of the honor the Association has placed upon him.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

why umpires have difficulty calling balls and strikes; high and low strike zone

Date Tuesday, July 27, 1886
Text

[“Chadwick’s Chat] I met Tommy York near the Brooklyn bridge last week and I had quite an interesting interview iwth him, during which we discussed umpiring in general and Tom’s disagreeable experience in the business in particular. I asked tom why it was that no umpire could decide the question of balls and strikes correctly. I told him that I had noted the work of all the League umpires at the Polo Grounds for the past hree years vary particularly, and that I had as yet to see the first umpire give thoroughly correct decisions in calling balls and strikes. My seat in the reporters’ gallery at the Polo Grounds enabled me to see correctly whether the balls came over the plate or not, but, of course, I could not judge as to their being correct in respect to the height called for, as the gallery is too high for that. I said, “You, yourself, Tom, called strikes on balls yesterday, which were wide of the plate, I have seen Ferguson do it, and, in fact, every umpire I have seen in the position there. Now, why is this, Tom?”

“Well, Mr. Chadwick,” replied Tom, “the difficulty is in judging of balls which suddenly curve in when near to the plate. They look as if sure to come over the base and they generally cross the corner of the plate.”

“But,” I replied, “the balls I refer to, on which strikes were called, were sometimes nearly a foot wide of the plate, and it is in calling strikes on such balls which I do not understand.”

Tom said: “It’s a pretty hard position to fill, anyway, and to judge such speedy balls which curve in, suddenly, correctly, is might hard work, I tell you.”

The fact is I think umpires decide on strikes and balls too much on the impression created by the direction of the ball from the pitcher’s hands rather than from the actual passage of the ball over the pate or wide of it. There was one suggestion made by York, which I think merits the attention of the coming Joint Committee on Rules, and that is to do away with the dividing line at the waist, he finding it extremely difficult to decide whether waist-high balls are above or below the belt and therefore high or low accordingly. A high ball should not exceed the line of the batsman’s shoulder, nor a low ball be lower than the line of his knee when standing upright. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Wiman's business motivation

Date Wednesday, January 6, 1886
Text

The business aspects of base ball were referred to by Mr. Eastus Wiman, in a speech at a dinner given at Baltimore Thursday evening, to Hamilton Disston and other prominent Philadelphians, by the directors of the Batlimore and Ohio Railroad. Mr. Wiman said that the fact was significant that the negotiations for the securing of a trunk line entrance to the harbor and city of New York were carried along side by side with the negotiations for the control of a first-class base ball club. The same motive inspired both negotiations, namely, to obtain for the Staten Island project a large increase of traffic. Now that the trunk line and base ball club had both been captured, he was not quite clear that the base ball business would not yield an earlier, and certainly a larger, return for the money invested than the trunk line connection, greatly as he valued the latter. Mr. Wiman quoted statistics to show that the attendance at base ball matches in certain cities throughout the season approached 350,000 persons, and if he could draw this additional number over the Staten Island ferries in the summer afternoons, and even a greater number in the summer evenings, by other attractions, the increase in the traffic would be very considerable, without much additional cost for handling it.

The growth of the leisure class in New York exceeded the increase of any other class, he thought, and the extent of capacity, capital and culture now employed for their amusement in theatres, operas, concerts, etc., yearly increased, indicating a distinctive class of business, employing a large army and the free circulation of large sums of money. He did not see why the National game should not be elevated by elegant surroundings and correct business methods on a level as high as the average theatrical performance and made equal in public esteem to the Roman and Grecian games. Discipline, temperance, self-control, decision of character and a clear head were just as essential to success as brawny arms or strong muscle, and all these had a strong attraction to the average public. A glance at the newspapers showed that base ball matters occupied the attention o the public to a greater extent than the question of the balance of power in Europe, or the rise or fall of a continental dynasty. Further, this interest indicated that in the business and its attendant traffic were possibilities of profit beyond the dreams of avarice.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

wins as a pitching stat; run support

Date Wednesday, July 28, 1886
Text

Radbourn, of the Bostons, says:--”The best pitcher is the one who wins the most games for his club, and not the one who suffers for fewest base hits.” Under this argument some good pitchers would be considered very weak, as many good twirlers have not the backing in the field or at the bat to achieve many victories.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

working the count 2

Date Wednesday, April 21, 1886
Text

Harry Wright instructed his men to take every chance at the bat by waiting for a good ball or secure the base on balls, and, when on bases, take every chance offered to get to the plate.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

World Series a contact sport

Date Wednesday, October 27, 1886
Text

[from Caylor's column, reporting on the World Series games] ...there was a good deal of bad blood between the two nines, and it showed itself. The little sport of running into one another was indulged in quite extensively. Monday Anson struck Gleason at second base as if Bill was a bastion gate to the enemies' citadel and Ans was a battering ram. Brother Bill for a while didn't know whether the sky had fallen or whether it was a sort of condensed earthquake. But he dropped something, and on looking to see what it was found out that part of it was himself and the other part was the ball. That was a starter, and next day the Browns had all the sport (?) to themselves. O'Neill took the first turn, and he went into Pfeffer at second base a good deal as an express train going at the rate of forty miles an hour runs into a train standing on the track. Fred landed about three feet from the base on his back, and Tip fell in him for good measure. Soon after Burns was about to receive a thrown ball from Ryan to head off Foutz when Dave gave him a rushing razzle-dazzle right in the stomach, which caused Tommy to perform a flip-flap worthy of a gymnast, and when he got his breath he saw Foutz on third base and the ball at his side. Welch performed the third act. He was heading across the plate on a throw-in, and McCormick was backing up Kelly. Robby was clipping along right behind Curtis, when the latter collided with the massive form of the Paterson blonde just as the latter was about to squeeze the ball. Of course, the jar sort o' mussed up Mac's calculations, and instead of gripping the festive sphere Jeems aimed a straight shoulder roaster at Curt's head, which missed the mark by an inch or so. Wednesday Robby came sailing in from the East to the home plate just as Kelly got the ball, and instead of sliding Robby went broadside against the receiving end of the Jersey batter, and for a while Kel imagined a mule had kicked him. I remarked to Mr. Spalding at the time that such doings was not ball playing, and ought to be stopped. The St. Louis players carried it too far, and yet they were undoubtedly trying to administer to Anson's men their own medicine.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

World Series bonus

Date Monday, October 25, 1886
Text

The total receipts for the six games played in St. Louis and Chicago by the Browns and White Stockings amount to $13,920.10. From this amount the expenses of the Browns’ trip to Chicago and the salaries and expenses of the umpires must be deducted. Then the remainder will be divided by two, and one-half will be distributed equally among the twelve players on the Brown Stocking club, each player receiving a little over $500. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

World Series format

Date Monday, September 27, 1886
Text

[from an interview of Von der Ahe] “Where would you like to see the games played?

“At Chicago and St. Louis. Let the series be five or nine games and let two or four games be played in each city. Then toss to see whether the odd game shall be played in either Chicago or St. Louis. It is nonsense to talk about going outside of those cities to play the games in question for it is only the local interest that brings out a crowd at that time of year. Last year we drew no one to speak of in the games with the Chicagos which we played in Pittsburg and Cincinnati, while those played here and in Chicago were well patronized.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

World Series player shares

Date Wednesday, November 10, 1886
Text

...the Brown Stockings were paid off the other day; each player received, in addition to his regular salary, $530.51 from the Chicago-Browns series, and $56.68 from the Maroons-Browns series. The boys ought to be able to eat “mountain oysters” and sweet breads this winter.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Debug data: