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$1000 paid for a release

Date Monday, September 24, 1883
Text

...[Fred] Lewis, the crack centre fielder, for whom St. Louis paid $1,000 to the Philadelphia Club for his simple release... The Sporting Life September 24, 1883

reaction to the formation of the UA

As foreshadowed last week, a movement toward the formation of a rival base ball association has taken shape at a meeting in Pittsburg last Wednesday, whereat was organized what is called “The Union Association of Base Ball Clubs.” Officers were elected, and a constitution adopted which is said to be similar to that of the American Association, “with a few changes.” What these changes were may be inferred from the adoption of a resolution that “while we recognize the validity of the League and American Association, we cannot recognize any agreement whereby any number of ball players may be reserved for any club for any time beyond the term of his contract with said club.” The meaning of this is that the new Association proposes to adopt the club-wrecking policy and go into the “cut-throat” business helter skelter. If this programme were backed up by men of means, responsibility, and respectability, the League and Association clubs might well feel alarmed at an outlook so injurious to their own prospects generally. But we search the list of officers and directors in vain for the name of one person of means or responsibility, or whose business and social standing is such as to inspire confidence either among ball-players or ball-patrons. The organization savors of the wildcat species all through. Nevertheless a wildcat may scratch around and do considerable mischief when people are off their guard. Believing firmly that a wide-open competition for players will force salaries up to a point where financial failure and insolvency are a certainty, and that in this way an injury will be inflected upon players and upon the game of base ball, American Sports favors the reserve system as wise and judicious, and condemns the policy of the new association as mischievous and censurable. Players will be foolish if they fall into any such trap as that set by the adventurers and speculators who made up the Pittsburg meeting. There is a vast difference between a big salary promised in May and a big salary not paid in July or August, and if players allow themselves to be tempted by a large offer by parties without capital or character they will have nobody bu themselves to blame for the consequences. The Sporting Life October 1, 1883, quoting the Chicago American Sports

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

$2,500 for the release of a minor league player

Date Wednesday, June 22, 1887
Text

Al Reach went all the way to Nashville after Maul, the Philadelphia lad who has created such a sensation in the Southern League as a pitcher and batsman. Al went, saw, and was convinced, and landed his fish for $,2500, the highest sum ever paid for the release of a minor league player. Three thousand dollars was the original price, but Al's persuasive voice resulted in a reduction of 500 simoleons.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'American League' floated as the name of a combined league

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

[from C. F. Holcomb's column] How would “American League” do for the consolidated name? I have not seen it mentioned.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'Boss' Cammeyer

Date Saturday, June 13, 1874
Text

[Boston vs. Mutual 6/13/1874] ...at 4 P.M. Harry and Cammeyer tossed for the inning, the “Boss” winning and sending the Reds to the bat.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'Boss' Hulbert forbids an exhibition game

Date Saturday, May 3, 1879
Text

The second game which was to have been played by the Troy Citys and Capital Citys April 23, did not occur, as the Troy Citys received a telegram from “Boss” Hulbert, informing that nine that the League rules did not permit of such games. New York Clipper May 3, 1879 [See the same issue for a longer discussion of this restriction.]

Wes Fisler taking a government position

Weston D. Fisler is now in Washington, D.C., where he expects to have a position in one of the Government offices. New York Clipper May 3, 1879

West Fisler has returned to Philadelphia, and denies the report that he purposes playing cricket this season. It is strange that a player of his ability as a batsman and fielder in any position should be disengaged, while so many mediocre men have positions in the profession. New York Clipper May 24, 1879

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'Bridegrooms' nickname

Date Saturday, March 31, 1888
Text

Sporting Life calls the Brooklyns the “bridegroom team.” That name will stick to it all season. Tearry, Silch, Cauthers and Smith were all recently married.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'Deacon' Whites' nickname

Date Saturday, March 9, 1878
Text

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

Source ’ New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'George Wright style' of fielding

Date Saturday, May 14, 1870
Text

[Stars vs. Mutuals 5/7/1870] C. Mills...was beautifully caught out by Dollard in George Wright style.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'Good and Bad Umpiring' and time of game

Date Sunday, July 17, 1870
Text

Whenever a game is marked by quick time, say from an hour and a half to two hours, then the umpiring will be found to have been good. The longer the game the poorer the umpiring is the rule.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'Hired Med vs. Gate Money'

Date Saturday, September 28, 1867
Text

The practice of paying men to playball created quite a disturbance last season and finally became so objectionable, that at the meeting of the Convention last Fall, rules were formed and adopted prohibiting the hiring of players. Now we say of two evils choose the least, and we think the paying of players to play ball a less evil than the practice at present in vogue–that of playing for gate money. Under this last system, first-class clubs have fallen so low as to deliberately loose [sic] games in order to keep up the excitement and make more money on the return and home and home matches. The public will not stand this mode of treatment much longer, and will soon refuse to devote their time and spend their money to see set up jobs. We think that among the delegates to the next Convention...there will be found enough honest, upright, and honorable players and advocates of the noble game willing to vote down the game money arrangement as they did the hired system last Winter. If, however, it be found absolutely necessary to compensate players in some way (which we don’t believe) then repeal the rule passed a few years ago and pay them salaries, and let us have fair square contests in which each nine will do their best to win.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'Jim Crow' and a German team

Date Thursday, August 10, 1882
Text

This season, when the base ball fever began to rise, several compositors in the Commercial office were severely attacked. They organized a club, and accepted challenges sent them to play. They played their first game in Harrison, and were defeated by a score of 50 to 7. Their next game was a contest with German printers (the Volksfreund nine) and were defeated by a score of 23 to 9, the German printers playing the pitcher and catcher of the Buckeyes as their battery. Their third game was a contest with the same nine, and the Commercials were defeated by a score of 13 to 8. After thus being thrice defeated the compositors of the Commercial office raised objections to the nine playing as representatives of the Commercial office, and they selected a nine in the office, and proposed, as they said, to “do the original nine up.” They styled themselves the “Jim Crow Nine,” and made arrangements for a game yesterday. The original Commercial nine accepted their challenge, and played the game with them yesterday, the score at the end of the seventh, when the game closed on account of darkness, being 67 to 6 [in favor of the original nine]. The “Jim Crow” nine left the grounds thoroughly convinced that the original Commercial nine could play a fair game of ball, and are willing to back them against any other club in the city composed of compositors.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'Martin's' twists

Date Wednesday, October 4, 1871
Text

[Olympic of Washington vs. George M. Roth 10/3/1871] The Olympic found great difficulty in hitting Carr’s pitching. He is without a doubt one of the finest young pitchers in the country, swift, accurate; watches the bases closely, and has one of which is very effective.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'Martinizing'

Date Sunday, July 4, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Mutual 7/3/1869] The Mutual men became demoralized: they had no idea of the Williamsburgers walking over them so easily, while on the other hand they could not overcome the which the ball received and batted up for fly catches or into the fielders' hands, or else the ball just glided off the bat for Jewett [the catcher[ to take it, which he did, of course.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'Mr. Umpire'

Date Saturday, June 21, 1890
Text

The rule calling upon players to address the autocrat as is deader than a salted mackerel. Everybody calls the gentleman now presiding by his christian name or his abbreviated surname.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'Oscar Wilde' BBCs

Date Saturday, January 20, 1883
Text

It is estimated that there were over one hundred Oscar Wilde Clubs in the United States last season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'The Only' Flint

Date Saturday, March 22, 1879
Text

of last year’s Indianapolis Club, but who has signed with the Chicagos for the coming season, was in Milwaukee last week on a brief visit.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'We are the People'

Date Monday, October 7, 1889
Text

The train from the West over the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railway yesterday afternoon brought to this city [New York] the champion New York base ball team. The club traveled in a special car, on each side of which were long white strips of muslin, bearing the legend in red letters: WE ARE THE PEOPLE. At every station along the road the train was met with crowds, who cheered the champions time and again. In fact, it was almost one continual ring of cheers all day yesterday for the boys, but their reception at the depot in Jersey City and at the ferries in this city capped the climax.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'blacklist' changed to 'ineligible'

Date Wednesday, November 20, 1889
Text

[reporting the Arbitration Committee meeting 11/11/1889] The matter of amending the Agreement was next taken up. No startling changes were made except to chagne in many places the language of the document. The word “blacklist” was changed to “ineligible” wherever it occurred.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'blocking' a fair-foul hit

Date Saturday, June 21, 1873
Text

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'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

'fly tips' definition

Date Tuesday, July 15, 1862
Text

...we have again to award high praise to Leggett for his splendid catching. He took four balls on fly tips, two right from the bat, he standing close behind the striker... [i.e. a “fly tip” is both a foul tip and a foul pop-up] New York Sunday Mercury July 15, 1862.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'going down' to get a base: an early slide?

Date Saturday, July 2, 1864
Text

[Athletic vs. Mercantile 6/24/1864] Mr. Schofield seriously hurt his back in the act of “going down,” to get his third base. Although he pluckily played until the close of the game, he was scarcely fit to take the field.

Source Fitzgeralds City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'innings' should be plural

Date Saturday, October 12, 1872
Text

[from answers to correspondents] Innings is a technicality of base ball and cricket, meaning the turns of the players at the bat, and as each innings is a series of nine or eleven turns, the verb should always be used in the plural number. The word inning is not used in the printed rules of the Mary-le-bone Club, therefore Webster’s definition is wrong.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'many' bases on balls

Date Saturday, June 6, 1868
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Buckeye 5/23/1868] Fisher pitched very swiftly, but seemed to have little control over the ball, and many of the Cincinnatis went to first on called balls. New York Clipper June 6, 1868 [umpire was from the Riverside Club of Portsmouth, Ohio; box score shows 7 Cincinnatis with bases on balls, 3 Buckeyes]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'no strike' after stepping into the pitch

Date Sunday, August 25, 1867
Text

[Athletics vs. Unions of Morrisania 8/19/1867] Rudolph [sic: probably actually Radcliffe] being at the bat, when in the act of striking he stepped forward, and the umpire promptly called “no strike, “ that call, or “dead ball”, being the only call the umpire can legally make on such an infringement of rule 21, for rule 40 makes any play resulting from an infringement of the rules “null and void”. This call, though made the moment the ball was hit, was not heard by the players or the crowd, and consequently when the ball was passed to first in time to put the player out, and yet the crowd saw him return and strike over again, the call of “no strike” being repeated, they began to hiss at [the umpire] and charge him with favoritism. New York Sunday Mercury August 25, 1867

the reason for the rule against stepping forward or back while batting

Rule 21 was originally designed to prevent strikers from standing back of their bases to prevent being subject to the penalty of a poor hit, inasmuch as a hit from the bat perpendicularly to the ground, if the striker does not stand on the line of the home-base, becomes a foul bound, difficult to catch; whereas such a hit, if he were standing as the rule requires, would give the infielder an easy chance to put him out a first base. Hence the necessity of requiring the striker to stand on the line of the home-base, and the amendment preventing stepping backward was made to enforce this rule more thoroughly. The rule does not prevent the movement of the feet, but simply the stepping backward or forward, the latter movement being of no account, except that, with some batsmen, it gives them an impetus in hitting which is of advantage; but it does not, like the step backward, relieve them of the penalty of a poor hit, except that at some times they may get a ball hit close to the base made fair, when otherwise it would be foul. New York Sunday Mercury August 25, 1867

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'no strike' on batter stepping forward

Date Tuesday, August 20, 1867
Text

[Unions vs. Athletics 8/19/1867] The umpiring of Mr. George Flanly, as in the game between the Mutuals and Atlantics, gave rise to considerable comment, and at times caused very much murmuring among the crowd. He insisted on calling “no strike” on the batsmen who advanced a foot over the home base when striking, and in almost every instance, instead of proving a penalty to the player infringing the rule, the decision of the Umpire operated to his advantage. This was glaringly shown in the fifth inning of the Athletics, when Sensenderfer was put out by Pabor and Goldie at first base, and as he was third hand out, the Athletics would have been white-washed, but the Umpire decided “no strike,” so Sensenderfer took another chance and made his run, and three other runs were subsequently made in the inning. It seems strange that the rules of the game can be so stupidly constructed and construed that the player violating the rule may derive an advantage from it. The utter absurdity of the “no strike” construction was shown by Goldie in the last inning of the Unions, when he deliberately and intentionally stood and batted ball after ball on the “no strike” principle, being put out several times, but still keeping his bat and enjoying the fun. It is true that under Mr. Flanly's construction the “no striker” may suffer a penalty by failing to secure a run one a good fair hit, but the fault in it is that he runs no risk of being put out, and the penalty is not, what all penalties should be, unfailing and inevitable.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'roughs' at matches

Date Sunday, August 26, 1860
Text

At all important base ball matches, there is more or less a crowd called “roughs,” who occupy nearly the same relative position to base ball clubs that “runners” do to fire companies, with the exception that the base ball “roughs” are never permitted to take a hand in or assist at a game. What they omit in action, however, they make up in swaggering and “blowing,” and are always ready to “make a little bet of a five” on the side of their favorite club. With their money at stake, these individuals become deeply interested in the issue of the game, and occasionally undertake to dictate to the umpire (when judgment is called for) what his decision shall be, or, in the event of his decision being contrary to their judgment, give loud expression to their opinion, with comments to suit.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'sliding in' to the base

Date Sunday, August 26, 1860
Text

[Atlantic vs. Excelsior 8/23/1860] McMahon ran from the second to the third base, where he was put out... The ball was thrown by Leggett to Whiting to head off McMahon, who reached the base simultaneously with the ball; but in “sliding in,” he so far overreached the base that his arm was the only part of his body on the base. Judgment was asked for, and the umpire promptly decided that McMahon was “not out.” But McMahon, immediately after, incautiously raised his arm from the base before Whiting had a chance to deliver the ball; and the latter, detecting the movement, instantly touched him with the ball, and demanded judgment, which the umpire, of course, gave–deciding McMahon “out,” as he undoubtedly was.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'stealing in' home

Date Sunday, October 23, 1859
Text

Morris was safe, and finally made his run, after reaching the third base, by stealing in.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

'traveling expenses' as a cover for professionalism

Date Sunday, March 14, 1875
Text

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

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

...note, however:

Date Sunday, June 7, 1863
Text

...but, of course, this does not exclude the usual sandwich and lager business at the close of each game.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

18 bases on balls in one game

Date Saturday, June 12, 1869
Text

[Keystone vs. Expert 6/8/1869] The game was a vile one, owing to the wretched attempts at pitching of Messrs. Fulmer and Bechtel, but the Umpire tried to mend matters by calling balls freely. To his credit be it spoken, he gave 18 men their bases on called balls. He might and should have given 50 their bases–but 18 was pretty fair, considering all things. He stood up very pluckily through all the chaffing and hooting and boo-hooing, and deserves a great deal of credit for independence and manliness.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

25 cent admission for the Phillies

Date Sunday, June 17, 1883
Text

[Cleveland vs. Philadelphia 6/11/1883] A notable increase in attendance was witnessed at the Philadelphia ground, on Monday, on which day the 25-cent rate first went into effect.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'club' nine vs. a 'picked' nine

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

The advantage the Atlantics possess over other professional clubs is their having a club nine and not merely a picked nine. The Atlantic players have a personal interest in their club as a club, apart from any pecuniary advantages they may derive from their connection with their organization, and this in itself is a valuable element of success, as it imparts a vigor, earnestness, and spirit into their efforts in play which no mere money interest can convey. This is the strong point several leading clubs of the country have lost sight of in the organization of their nines, and none more so than the Mutual Club.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'double curve'

Date Tuesday, April 24, 1877
Text

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

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'drop hit' a bunt?

Date Sunday, August 6, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Eckford 8/5/1871] McVey began with a drop hit in front of the plate, making his first. New York Dispatch August 6, 1871

[Haymakers vs. Eckford 8/17/1871] Gedney began with a drop hit in front of the home plate, making his base...

...

Hicks began with a drop hit in front of the home base, making his base. New York Dispatch August 20, 1871

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'drop hit' bunt; playing in to defend against it

Date Sunday, July 14, 1872
Text

[Athletic vs. Mutual 7/13/1872] Sixth inning.–McGeary made his base on one of his beautiful drop hits. ... [Eighth inning] McGeary was next, but Boyd [third baseman] was on the lookout for him this time, and he did not think it safe to try the “drop hitting” dodge again, so he made a hard drive to left field, and McMullen took it splendidly on the foul fly. New York Dispatch July 14, 1872

[Athletic vs. Mutual 7/13/1872] Since he [McGeary] had made his base by one of his artful drop hits in the sixth inning, Boyd [the third baseman] had crept in as close as he dared and watched his every movement, prepared to spring upon the ball as a cat would on a mouse with which she had been playing... Baltimore American July 16, 1872, quoting the New York World

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'foul' call drowned out by the crowd

Date Thursday, August 15, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Atlantics 8/12/1867] Start then hit a foul ball to Pike, and as the crowd hollered loudly at the hit, the call of “foul” by the umpire was not heard, and Crane [at first base] ran to his second, and Pike passing the ball to Devyr, and the latter muffing, it, Crane started for his third; then it was that “foul ball” was called by the players, and as the ball was sent to the pitcher, and by him to first before Crane could get back, Fred became a victim of the yells of his Atlantic friends in the crowd, the umpire’s call being drowned by the noise.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'foul' call; and a force play remains intact even after the batter is out

Date Sunday, August 12, 1860
Text

[Excelsior vs. Atlantic 8/9/1860] [Brainerd on third base, Reynolds on first] Flanly then struck a ball, which touching the ground inside of the foul line, bounded far off into the foul district, and had started for first base, while Reynolds ran to the second, when some outsider called “foul,” and Reynolds immediately returned from the second to the first base, where Flanly also remained, but off the base. In the meantime, the ball was quickly fielded by Matty [O’Brien], and by him thrown to Price, who touched Flanly with the ball, and passed it to the second base; and judgment being demanded, the umpire decided that the ball struck by Flanly was fair, and that both hands were out–Flanly on the first base, and Reynolds on the second, it being his business to vacate the first base–“a fair ball having been struck, and not caught flying, nor on the first bound.” This was a very bad go for the Excelsiors, but strictly “according to Gunter.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'fusion' game of mixed sides

Date Saturday, December 8, 1860
Text

One of the most interesting and exciting matches of the season was a “fusion” game of base ball, made up from nine members of the Athletic Club and also from the Olympic. Particularly bad feeling never was entertained by these two respectably standing clubs, one toward the other, although a short time ago some trivial thing transpired which slightly wounded the sensibility of two or three individuals of the above-named clubs. In order to allay anything which might possibly terminate in a permanent feud, the gentlemen of these two clubs concluded to play a game, the sides arranged against each other to be composed of an equal division of members of each organization. The match came off on Thanksgiving day, on their grounds at Camac’s Woods.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'peculiar home base hit' bunt?

Date Saturday, October 31, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 10/26/1868] [Mills on first] Dockney, by one of those peculiar home base hits, sent Mills to second and made first himself...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'point' of the game illustrated

Date Saturday, August 31, 1861
Text

[Enterprise vs. Gotham 8/20/1861] [Smith of the Enterprise at second base:] Ibbetson was the [next] striker, and began with a high foul ball over the catcher’s head. Cohen the catcher returned the ball to McKeever the pitcher, who purposely allowed it to slip through his hands towards right field, seeing which, Smith forgetting that it was a returned foul ball, and that he could not make his base until the ball had been settled in the hands of the pitcher, ran for his 3d base, when McKeever immediately picked up the ball and stood on 2d base, thus putting out Smith, it not being requisite to touch the player in such cases. This was an imperfect error, especially for a player who has been practiced in the Atlantic school. New York Clipper August 31, 1861 [see also Philadelphia picked nine vs. Newark picked nine 6/2/1862]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'point' of the game:

Date Sunday, June 8, 1862
Text

[a picked nine of Philadelphians vs. a picked nine of Newark players, in Newark 6/2/1862] In the third inning the Newarkers taught their visitors one of the “points” they had come to get posted up in, it was as follows. Johnson was on the third base and Loughery was the striker, Loughery struck a foul tip which went out of the reach of the catcher; in returning the ball to the pitcher, Osborne thought [sic] it rolled to short-stop who threw it to the third base man, but in such a way as to miss him; whereupon some one called to Johnson to run home, and, forgetting that the ball had not been in the hands of the pitcher, he did so–the consequence being that the ball was promptly forwarded to the pitcher, and by him to the third base man again, thereby putting Johnson hors de combat and giving the Philadelphians a capital illustration of a fine “point” in the game which they themselves had learned from their old opponents, the Gothams. A noticeable feature of the incident was the action of McKeever, the umpire, who, forgetting that he was not a player, instinctively called Johnson to go back. It put us in mind of the time when Mat O’Brien while acting as umpire, asked for judgment on a play on the home base, forgetting he was umpire. New York Sunday Mercury June 8, 1862 [see also Enterprise vs. Gotham 8/20/1861]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'political firebrand' at the upcoming convention

Date Sunday, November 10, 1867
Text

We regret to see that there is an effort being made to introduce a political firebrand into the convention, in the form of a motion for the admission of colored club representatives into the Association. We hope nothing of the kind will be attempted. Thus far we have steered clear of this stumbling-block, and we sincerely hope it will be avoided for years to come.

If the colored clubs are as numerous as represented, it would be advisable for them to get up an association of their own. We wish to exclude every question from discussion in the Convention that in any way has a political complexion, and for this reason we shall oppose any such recognition as the one above alluded to. Let the subject be one excluded from the Convention entirely in any shape or form, and if the two Committees–Nominating and Committee of Rules–avoid it, it cannot legally come up in the Convention for discussion.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'pudding' ball

Date Thursday, June 22, 1865
Text

The slow, twisty pitching of Martin was not as efficient against the Atlantic batting as some supposed it would be. The ball, however, was “pudding” and soft, and it was almost impossible to drive it any great distance; nevertheless, the Atlantics punished Martin's pitching rather lively.

Source Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'shell battery'

Date Saturday, May 14, 1870
Text

[Stars vs. Mutuals 5/7/1870] As it was evident that the Stars had got the range of Wolter’s delivery, and that they were in for punishing him, the Mutual Captain very judiciously brought Martin in to pitch, and as the noted “shell battery” was placed in position the Stars prepared themselves to face the usually telling fire with the determination to soon silence it.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'short hit' bunt?

Date Monday, July 11, 1870
Text

[Chicago vs. Star of Brooklyn 7/9/1870] Hodes hit one of those short hits close to the home plate, making first...

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'steal' on a batted ball

Date Monday, September 2, 1872
Text

[Eckford vs. Athletic 8/31/1872] [Cuthbert on second base] Reach fielded out at first by Snyder. {Cuthbert allowed to steal third on Reach’s hit.}

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 'weak block' bunt

Date Sunday, August 3, 1873
Text

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

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 4-3 line drive double play; second baseman playing off the bag

Date Tuesday, June 29, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Atlantic 6/28/1869] McMahon, next in order, hit the ball on the second or third delivery as hard as he could just as Eggler left first base. The ball went on an ascending line toward right short and Pike [second baseman], jumping for it, caught it handsomely and sent it quickly to first before Eggler could get back to the base, thus making a splendid double play and receiving for his work cheer after cheer from the assemblage. New York Herald June 29, 1869 [Thus implying that Pike was playing on the first base side of the bag]

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A Boston condemnation of revolvers

Date Sunday, January 22, 1882
Text

When a base ball player affixes his signature to a contract to play in a certain city for a certain period, he is in honor bound to keep that contract, regardless of any tempting offers made for his services by other cities. Contract breakers will always be looked upon with suspicion.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Boston opinion on the Wise case

Date Sunday, March 26, 1882
Text

Competent legal authority in Boston ridicule the idea of the American Base Ball Association, or, what is virtually the same thing, the Cincinnati club, endeavoring to get out of an injunction against the Boston club to prevent the latter from playing Wise. No court in Boston will for a moment entertain an application for an injunction on so trivial a matter—one that involves at the utmost only a few hundred dollars. If such a claim should be allowed, the doors would be open for hundreds of cases of a similar trivial nature, and the business of the court seriously interfered with. The remedy for Cincinnati, if she has one at all, is in an entirely different direction than in any interference with the Boston club. Boston Herald March 26, 1882

season ticket prices; no tickets for stockholders; payments to visiting clubs; Boston Club finances

At a meeting of the directors of the Boston club, held the past week, the price of season tickets was placed at $15 for gentlemen and $10 for ladies, the tickets to be transferable. The old custom of giving a complimentary season ticket to the stockholders will be abolished, and everybody,. Including the president and directors, will be required to purchase their tickets. This decision meets the approbation of nearly all of the stockholders, who, in view of the fact that no partiality is to be shown, but every one is to be placed on an equal footing, see no cause to complain. The tickets can be procured at Wright & Ditson's George Howland's, or of any officer of the club, and already a goodly number have been engaged. Season ticket holders will be admitted to the stockholders' seats. Boston Herald March 26, 1882

...a petition has been drawn up and shown to most of the stockholders, reading a follows: “The the President and Directors of the Boston B. B. Association: The undersigned, stockholders in the Boston B. B. Association, having purchased their shares in said association with the understanding that they thereby became entitled to free admission to all games played on the Boston grounds, hereby respectfully request that the customary season tickets be issued to them as usual, and that no assessment be levied therefor.” It is claimed that every owner of stock considered he was guaranteed a complimentary season ticket, and the original subscribers are said to have fully understood this to be the case. For this reason the petitioners claim that a majority of the whole stock had already signed the above document, and look to the directors for a revocation of their action. Boston Herald April 2, 1882

[a letter to the editor from “Stockholder”] An article in the Sunday Herald in regard to a recent vote of the directors of the Boston Base Ball Association discontinuing the custom of issuing complimentary tickets to stockholders, was evidently written by some disappointed stockholder, who, doubtless, purchased his stock at a round price, perhaps for the purpose of electing himself and friends to office in a corporation he knew to be bankrupt, but, being defeated, now endeavors to make a value for his stock and unload. The stock of the Boston Base Ball Association was subscribed for originally by a few persons, no one taking less than five shares (par value $100) while several of them subscribed for 10 shares. Of the original subscribers there are but four holding stock, in all 11 shares: the balance of the stock is held by persons who have purchased at prices ranging from $15 to $30. the only possible value to the stock was the fact that it had been customary to issue one complimentary ticket to each stockholder, whether owner of one or more shares, and, in some instances, ladies' tickets have been given with the gents' tickets, to a stockholder of a single share. Season tickets for gents being sold at $15 and for ladies at $10, a person buying one share had the equivalent of his stock often in one, but always in two seasons, and, as the club has to pay the visiting club the sum of 15 cents on each person admitted, this tax has been a severe strain on the finances of the club. A question having arisen, on which legal opinion is divided, whether the stockholders are not personally liable for the debts of the corporation, will soon be decided, and if it is found they are, and after all the debts are paid, I can see no objection to issuing complimentary tickets to responsible stockholders, who, at the end of the season, if there is a deficiency in the finances, will gracefully come forward and pay any equitable assessment necessary to liquidate all debts. The public is interested in having a good nine; this can only be done by cutting off all unnecessary expenses, as experience has shown that every year but one out of six has resulted in pecuniary loss. The directors are expected to provide for any deficiency, and, while they furnish us with a first-class nine, let us support them as well as the club, as it is the only way to insure success. Boston Herald April 4, 1882

To C. H. Porter and others, Petitioners—Gentlemen: The board of directors of the Boston Base Ball Association has carefully considered your petition, that the customary complimentary season tickets be issued to stockholders, and, after due deliberation, has unanimously decided that the best interests of the association demand that your request be denied, and that for the ensuing season no dead-head tickets be issued to stockholders. Upon investigation nothing is found in the original articles of association, or in the constitution and bylaws of our association, that intimates or implies that stockholders are to receive free admission to witness games of ball or other athletic sport. It is true, in the past, that the unwise custom of giving complimentary season tickets to stockholders has prevailed, greatly to the detriment of the association and to its serious financial loss. Your board, aware that the association is largely in debt, with an empty treasury, feels it incumbent upon it to stop every leak, and to manage all the affairs of the association in such a wise and economical manner as to insure itself support, that there may be no deficiency to report at the close of the year. It would be manifestly unequal to issue a complimentary ticket to each holder of a certificate of stock, for in such an event the stockholder who owned one share of stock would receive exactly the same benefits as the holder of a certificate representing 10 shares of stock. If it was deemed advisable to issue free tickets to stockholders, the only equitable basis of such issue would be to issue a free ticket to each share. Such a course would entail a large expense to the association, and is not favored by your board. A railroad corporation would hardly be expected to give free passage over its roads to each stockholder, and, so far as this board is informed, such a custom does not prevail. Certainly, such a course would be open to severe criticism, and justly merit the condemnation of the public. All corporations divide their benefits, not to each certificate holder alike, but acco4rding to the number of shares which each certificate represents, and any division upon any other basis would be unfair and undoubtedly illegal. No league base ball association issues to its stockholders free tickets of admission, and the past policy of the Boston association of issuing complimentary tickets to stockholders has received the serious condemnation of other league clubs, and been pronounced detrimental to the general good of the game. Your board of directors trusts that this explanation of its action will be satisfactory to all the stockholders of the association, and that it may have the earnest and hearty cooperation of all, to the end that the association may be relieved of its present financial embarrassment, and be placed upon a firm self-supporting basis. Boston Herald April 5,1882

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a California player comes East

Date Sunday, December 5, 1880
Text

Jeremiah Denny, late of the Athletics of San Francisco, has been engaged by the Troy nine to play third base. He is said to be a good batter, and will be a valuable acquisition to the nine.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Canadian joint stock company

Date Saturday, November 11, 1876
Text

Next season it is the intention to manage the Maple Leaf Club of Guelph, Canada, by a joint stock company. A handsome amount has already been subscribed by many influential citizens, and we are informed that there is no doubt but what a team will sail under the old Maple Leaf banner during the season of 1877 that will be a credit to Canada.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Chicago Base Ball Academy

Date Wednesday, November 21, 1883
Text

[Spalding's] plan contemplates the engagement of ten or twelve auxiliary players separate and apart from the regular members of the Chicago team. These auxiliary players will be drawn from semi-professional and first-class amateur ranks, and opportunity will be afforded to young men of ball-playing qualifications and tendencies to demonstrate, under careful and competent supervision, their possibilities as exponents of the game.

The auxiliary team, which may perhaps be called “Chicago No. 2, “ or following the style of English cricket clubs, “Chicago Colts,” will be under the direct charge of Capt. Anson for daily practice and training, and he will exercise to the utmost his skill and tact in ascertaining the special and peculiar qualifications of the players who shall enroll themselves as students in the “Base Ball Academy” of the Chicago Club. A large number of applications have already been received by President Spalding for admission to the auxiliary team, and several players of exceptional promise are already under engagement. It should be understood that there is no distinct limitation fixed to this number of young men who will be afforded the opportunity of testing their capacity as ball-players. Any person with reasonable claims to consideration and trial in this regard will not be denied the privilege of showing what he can do in the various field positions or as a batsman and base runner. The strongest possible inducement is held out for active and athletic young men with some skill as ball-players to enter the competitive examination. If accepted the player is given an engagement as a member of the Chicago Club at a regular salary, and the higher his grade of efficiency the larger will be his compensation and the more certain his advancement to a place on the regular nine. Should the experiment result in developing a larger number of players than the Chicago Club has use for, there will be forty or fifty other professional clubs throughout the country next year which will be only too glad to engage players bearing Chicago's certificate of efficiency and success. Such players will be in brisk demand at lucrative salaries., quoting the Chicago American Sports

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Cincinnati reserve team

Date Wednesday, March 2, 1887
Text

The Cincinnati Park will have very few idle days the coming season. Manager Schmelz wilol never take more than thirtee men on a trip. In consequence there will be four or five extra players left at home all the time. It iwll not do to let these men lay around the ctiy with nothing to do. Idleness would only do them harm, and in order to give them occupation and also afford the public an opportunity of witnessing games during the absence of the Cincinnatis, President Stern has determined to organize a team similar to the Shamrocks of 1883 and 1884. This team will be made up of Cincinnati’s extra men and a number of amateurs to be engaged hereafter. This team will play exhibition games with Ohio League clubs and other combinations during the absence of the Cincinnatis.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a German language baseball column

Date Sunday, January 18, 1880
Text

Among the new features in base-ball circles of Cincinnati this season will be a regular base-ball department in the Volksblatt, containing reports of games, score and all. This will be the first German paper in the country to introduce base-ball reports. It is done because a great many German citizens are taking an interest in the new Club.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Grand Duchess in Philadelphia

Date Saturday, March 18, 1876
Text

The Athletic Club will have exclusive control of their grounds this season, and the pavilion occupied by the Philadelphia Club last season will be transformed into a “Grand Duchess,” as the Cincinnatians call the stand devoted to ladies. This will be a much-needed improvement.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Japanese delegation at a ball game, catches a foul ball

Date Sunday, May 5, 1872
Text

[Boston vs. Athletic 5/4/1872] The attendance was immense, and there could not have been less than five thousand persons on the grounds. A pleasing feature was the presence of Colonel Wood’s Japanese, who attended in a body, and, during the game, one of them–singularly and appropriately cognomed “Fli Ketches”–made a really pretty catch of a hot foul which intruded in the pavilion. The applause received by that “Japanee” was no doubt a pleasing unction to his oriental mental calibre. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch May 5, 1872

The Japanese troupe had a game of base ball in Washington on the 6 th inst. Several reporters were pronounced “mentally incompetent” after the game. Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch June 9, 1872

high payroll as a marketing tool

[from an advertisement for the upcoming Haymaker vs. Baltimore game of 5/11/1872] This [i.e. the Haymaker] is the Largest Salaried Club in the United States, which amounts to over $20,000 per year. Baltimore American May 10, 1872

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a League club poaches a player

Date Saturday, August 26, 1876
Text

By a unanimous vote of the Executive Committee of the Indianapolis baseball Association, Dale Williams has been this day dishonorably dismissed from its service for gross violation of his contract, which obligated him to give his exclusive services to said Association, and to not play for, or accept money from, any other baseball club during the season of 1876. On Saturday last he obtained leave of absence to visit his parents, in Cincinnati, and while there played with the Cincinnati Red Stockings, accepting money therefor. His contract with the Indianapolis Club is therefore declared forfeited, together with all unpaid balance of salary. It is further ordered that the manager debar said Williams from participating in any games to be played on Indianapolis grounds.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a League game in Brooklyn

Date Saturday, August 3, 1878
Text

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Massachusetts professional circuit?

Date Monday, March 20, 1876
Text

The seven professional clubs of Massachusetts have got up an association of their own, of which the Live Oaks, of Lynn; the Taunton and Lowell clubs, and Suffolk, of Boston, are the principal members; also the Fall River Club. Philadelphia Item March 20, 1876

The annual meeting of the New England Amateur Association was held at Boston, March 27. The following clubs were represented: Suffolk, of Boson; Fall River, of Fall Rive; Taunton, of Taunton; Lowell, of Lowell; Live Oaks, of Lynn; Rhode Island, of Providence. The New Haven Club, of New Haven, Conn., was admitted to membership. The application of the Fly Away Club, of Boston, for membership was laid on the table. Mr. Rotch, from the committee previously appointed, reported a constitution which, after considerable discussion, was adopted. Prominent among the articles forced on was one that only one club in a city shall belong to the association. Many of the better rules laid down by the National League were adopted, but in regard to the engaging of players the constitution prohibits any signing of contract between a player in an association club and a manager of another club in the association before Nov. 1. Philadelphia Item April 2, 1876

Athletic Club finances

An adjourned meeting of the Athletic Association of Base Ball Players was held last night at their new headquarters, Theurer’s Hall, No. 1108 Sansom street, Mr. Chas. Spering in the chair, with Al. Wright secretary.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. The Treasurer’s report showed a balance on hand, March 16 th, of $166.30. Directors report that the City Solicitor had giving an opinion that they were entitled to the exclusive use of the ground... ...they had also formed a reserve nine, composed of the best amateur talent of the city. Philadelphia Item March 21, 1876

An adjourned monthly meeting of the Athletic Base Ball Club was held last Monday evening at No. 1108 Sansom street. Despite the inclement weather the attendance was quite large, one hundred and ten shares of stock being found to be represented, one hundred shares being necessary to constitute a quorum. Charles Spering occupied the chair in the absence of the president, Thomas J. Smith. The Treasurer’s report was a highly satisfactory one, exhibiting, as it did, a balance of $166.20. The directors reported that through the courtesy of the Olympic Club, the use of their club house for dressing purposes had been tendered to the Athletics, thus making it unnecessary to use their former headquarters, which were obnoxious on account of the pool-selling carried on there. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury March 26, 1876

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Pennsylvania state association

Date Saturday, May 31, 1879
Text

An adjourned meeting of the Pennsylvania Baseball Association was held at 607 Sansom street, Philadelphia, May 21, when representatives of the Athletic, Philadelphia, Defiance, Hartville and Harper Clubs of that city and the Easton Club of Easton were present, and effected a permanent organization. E. Hicks Hayhurt was elected president; C. C. Wait, vice-president; E. R. Gardiner, secretary; and Thomas Slater, treasurer. It was agreed that each club pay $5 upon entering the Association, to defray general expenses. The contest for the championship of the State is to begin May 26 and end Oct. 1, each club playing every other club six games, and an expensive silk flag will be awarded the winning team. Mahn’s ball was adopted as the one to be used in all championship contests. The Athletics and Defiances will open the championship contests on May 26. New York Clipper May 31, 1879

The Pennsylvania Association held an adjourned meeting on the evening of May 28 in Philadelphia, when it was agreed that no club be eligible for membership in the Association unless it has inclosed grounds or shall secure the same by June 9. This resolution excludes from the record the Philadelphia-Harper game of May 26, unless the Harper team obtains inclosed grounds by June 9, in which case it will be counted. New York Clipper June 7, 1879 [They secured an enclosed ground at Suffolk Park per NYC 6/21/79]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Providence reserve player released to go to Philadelphia

Date Saturday, June 2, 1883
Text

[Edgar] Smith [of the Providence reserve nine] was released on Friday, and was immediately sent for by the Philadelphia management. He will go to the Quaker City next week, after certain important matters pertaining to his majority and property are settled. He has in him the making of a valuable pitcher, and as he bats freely, will probably show up well in the league before long. Providence Morning Star June 2, 1883 [Smith has played two games for the Providence Club.]

Source Providence Morning Star
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 Sunday ground outside Baltimore

Date Sunday, June 1, 1890
Text

There is going to be a big row in this old town over Barnie's Sunday base ball movement. The Law and Order League is already preparing to jump upon him, and to-morrow the preachers will make their protests against it. The city laws plainly forbid ball-0playing on Sunday, but the management, in connection with a beer garden proprietor across the river, in Anne Arundel county, propose to have a grounds especially for Sunday games. The stands are being erected and the grounds laid off. Accommodations will be provided for over five thousand people and Manager Barnie thinks he can pack the gardens every Sunday. The proprietor furnishes the grounds and expects to reap his reward in the profit on the beer and cigars sold. The Baltimore Club is running behindhand in its finances and the Sunday game movement is a desperate resort to raise funds to make ends meet. The attendance at the home games have been thin and but little interest is manifested in the team. Barnie expects a big enough crowd at the first Sunday game, billed for June 8, to pay for the stands and other improvements and a handsome margin of profit besides. Should ti rain next Sunday, however, Barnie will be ruined, particularly if the authorities prevent further Sunday playing. This innovation is likely to hurt Manager Barnie's reputation in Baltimore. Some of his strongest supporters have been church people, who are bitterly opposed to Sunday games. Such a movement will cause these people to withdraw their patronage from the week-day games. Barnie had often been urged by the sporting community to have Sunday games, but never made the effort until he got into the Atlantic Association. No beer is sold on the grounds at the week-day games.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a UA alliance Western League

Date Wednesday, October 29, 1884
Text

A meeting of those interested in the formation of a Western Base Ball League was held at the St. James Hotel, Kansas City, Oct 20. There were represented in person or by letter Kansas City, Leavenworth, Hannibal, St. Joseph, Atchison, Topeka and Lawrence, and the delegates were very enthusiastic and sanguine of the success of the new organization. ... It was decided to name the organization “The Western Base Ball League.” It will work as an alliance of the Union Association, adopting the playing rules of that association and arranging its schedule so as not to conflict with the Union dates in Kansas City.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Western Pennsylvania semi-pro league

Date Friday, January 25, 1889
Text

[from an interview of Al Pratt] The clubs agreed upon to form the League are Johnstown, Blairsville, Lat4obe, Greenburg, Scottdale and Uniontown. … I want to give people to understand that the league means business. Every club has an inclosed ground,and each has a good team made up now. Of course, I think, the batteries of each team will be paid, but the balance will be made up of home players who play for the honor of playing. As far as can be estimated, about two games per week will be played, but this number may be increased.

Source Pittsburgh Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baby grounder: a bunt?

Date Saturday, August 22, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 8/17/1868] Galvin then sent a “baby grounder” to right short which Smith [second baseman] picked up easily and passed to Start, putting Galvin out and leaving Pike at second.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a backdoor reduced admission in Philadelphia

Date Saturday, February 17, 1883
Text

Al. Reach of the Philadelphia Club visited The Clipper office Feb. 10. He says that the increase of the tariff of admission consequent upon the Philadelphias being admitted to the League will not hurt the attendance. Fifty cents will give each person entrance to the ground and a seat also in the grand-stand, while those that come late or prefer to take a seat elsewhere than in the grand-stand will be allowed a rebate equivalent to their car-fare to and from the ground.

Source New York Clipper
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 bad call on a slide

Date Saturday, July 11, 1874
Text

[Baltimore vs. Chicago 7/8/1874] In the fifth inning Bulaski was running to second when Malone threw the ball to Myerle, who was standing to the left of the base. Bulaski slid under him when Myerle tried to touch him as he passed, and although he did not come nearer than one foot to Bulaski the umpire decided Bulaski out. Philadelphia All-Day City Item July 11, 1874 [Note: the report signed Horace R. Phillips]

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk

Date Tuesday, June 22, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 6/21/1869] [McMullin pitching; George Wright at third base] McMullin made an offer of the ball, and G. Wright attempted to run in when McMullin drew back his hand. The umpire decided that he was entitled to his run.

Source Philadelphia Inquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk 2

Date Sunday, June 22, 1884
Text

[Chicago vs. St. Louis (Unions) 6/21/1884] After two men were out Brennan was given his base on balls and reached second on a passed ball. A balk by Daly who left his box gave Brennan third and Hodnett first. . (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk called for a sidearm delivery

Date Saturday, May 2, 1874
Text

[Powhatan vs. Mutual 4/22/1874] [Hartman of the Powhattan] having a a “foul balk” called on him for delivering the ball by a side-throw. New York Clipper May 2, 1874 [Note: Chadwick was the umpire.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk delivery; a slow delivery favors base runners

Date Saturday, May 27, 1871
Text

[Yale vs. Mutual 5/20/1871] ...as the Yale pitcher commenced his delivery of the ball we noticed that he began his movements with his left foot touching the ground outside the lines of his position in order to admit of a long forward step inside the square. The umpire did not observe it, though the captain of the Mutual nine did, but he said nothing an it was allowed to pass. We may as well, however, inform Mr. Strong, that this action of his is illegal and every time he delivers a ball as he did in this match he commits a balk. His style of delivery, too, in other respects is faulty, inasmuch as the long backward and forward swing of the arm he makes in delivery is such as to admit of a sharp base runner stealing a base on every pitched ball.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk move

Date Sunday, July 25, 1858
Text

[picked nines New York vs. Brooklyn 7/20/1858] The pitcher (M. O’Brien) here made a feint, which, upon appealing to the umpire, was decided to be a baulk, and the parties on the bases were declared, under the rules, to be entitled to a base each, which they took.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk move 2

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

Zeller began play by balking, he moving his foot nearly every ball he delivered, but the umpire failed to see it, and it was permitted, although the Unions called the umpire’s attention to it. The pitcher is required by the rule to keep both feet on the ground until after the ball has left his hand, and Zeller plainly made a balk nearly every time he pitched.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk move 3

Date Sunday, August 18, 1867
Text

[Mutuals vs. Atlantics 8/12/1867] Two runs were given on balked balls, Peters lifting his hind foot in delivery. The rule requires that both feet be kept on the ground, it being sufficient if the toe touches the ground, but if the foot is lifted it is a balk. This balk was the result of an extra effort for speed, when the Mutuals ought to have posted Peters on the necessity of less speed and more accuracy in view of the called and passed ball, the pitcher was giving.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk move 4

Date Friday, June 5, 1885
Text

Radbourn has a new move—that of throwing a back-hander ball to Start, in trying to catch a man napping at first.--Providence Star. Before this item travels any farther, let it be known that the above “new move” is a balk, and Radbourn did not use it but once in Boston last Wednesday, in consequence of a warning from Umpire Cushman.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk move 5

Date Thursday, May 1, 1890
Text

[Jersey City vs. Baltimore 4/30/1890] German has a peculiar way of tossing the ball from one hand to the other while in the box, but it is not legal. Yesterday Burdock got on to it, and requested Umpire Valentine to prevent it. He cautioned German that he must use no motions to deceive the runner outside of his usual movements.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk move 6

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

The Baltimore Sun says: “Umpire Valentine put a veto yesterday upon German's well-known trick of tossing the ball from hand to hand before hurling it in. captain Burdock, of the Jersey City team, entered a protest, and Valentine adjudged the motion to be illegal on the ground that, as stated in the rules, it is “calculated to deceive the base-runner.” German can continue to use his other deceptive movements, however.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk not a dead ball

Date Saturday, August 26, 1865
Text

[Answers to Correspondents] In playing base ball a man is on third base, a baulk is called on the pitcher, which the striker hits to field, and is caught out on the fly. Is the striker out, and does the player on third base make his run? ... The baulk gives the player his run in this instance. According to the present rules the striker is out on the fly. The rules will be amended at the next convention so as to make a ball dead on which a baulk is called.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball blocked by the crowd

Date Friday, September 2, 1859
Text

[Eckford vs. Empire 8/26/1859] Snyder was somewhat singularly put out in the third innings. He had made his first base, and the ball, thrown by short stop to first base, being missed by , was stopped by the crowd, who were within a few yards of the base. Snyder, thinking the ball had gone by them ran for his second base, but Gough had the ball before he got there. Pidgeon made a special appeal to the Umpire, who decided Snyder out, remarking that he had nothing to do with the action of the crowd. P. O’Brien, however, when Umpire in a match between the Excelsior and Neosho Clubs, in a similar case, decided that the ball had to go to the pitcher first. Rule 22 states, that a player taking a ball from a person not engaged in the game, the player running the bases cannot be put out unless the ball goes to the pitcher first. It is impossible for a ball to have a free course to travel when the grounds are surrounded by such crowds as are usually present on these occasions, and due allowance should be made for such cases as are unavoidable; but when a ball is touched, or wilfully stopped by an outsider, it ought certainly to go the pitcher first, and the Umpire is the sole judge of the case, and should decide accordingly, as we think he has to do so.

Source Porters Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball club of girls

Date Saturday, August 15, 1868
Text

At Peterboro, writes Mrs. Cady Stanton, there is a base ball club of girls. Nannie Miller, a grand-daughter of Gerrit Smith, is the captain, and handles the bat with a grace and strength worthy of notice. It was a pretty sight to see the girls with their white dresses and blue ribbons flying, in full possession of the public square, last Saturday afternoon, while the boys were quiet spectators of the scene., also NY Clipper 8/15/1868; see also NY Clipper 8/29/1868

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball dropped on the fly, caught on the bound

Date Sunday, August 5, 1860
Text

...Pearsall picked up a foul ball on the bound, from Stimson’s bat, which Creighton dropped in his effort to take it on the fly.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball goes under the fence

Date Sunday, May 31, 1874
Text

[Hartford vs. Chicago 5/30/1874] Shaffer followed him with a hit to right, which under ordinary circumstances would not have yielded more than two bases. The ball got lost under the fence, however, and as there was no apparent error on the part of the fielder the striker must be credited with a home run.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball goes under the fence 2

Date Saturday, September 11, 1880
Text

[Providence vs. Buffalo 8/31/1880] Singles by Start, Farrell and Ward and a wild throw by Moynahan gave the visitors two runs at the outset, and they added another run in the second on a fortunate hit by Gross, the ball going under the left-field fence, and before it could be fielded in Gross had scored a home-run.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball hit over the fence bounces back onto the field for a triple

Date Wednesday, May 25, 1887
Text

[Athletic vs. St. Louis 5/18/1887] Larkin knocked a ball into the right field seats in Wednesday's game, and Sylvester was over the inside fence in a twinkling, but the ball struck a seat and bounded back again, and before the ball could be fielded Larkin was on third base.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball hits a building and its stoop

Date Saturday, July 20, 1872
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] A ball is knocked foul, strikes a building, and rolls back on a stoop attached to said house, and is taken by the catcher before touching the ground. Is the striker out? ... He is not out.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball in the catcher's mask

Date Wednesday, June 4, 1884
Text

[Detroit vs. Boston 5/16/1884] ...a foul ball lodged between the wires of Hines' mask. The umpire gave it “out.” Boston Herald May17, 1884

Secretary Young is said to have decided that in the case of a foul tip becoming embedded in the mask the batter should be given out.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball in the crowd in play

Date Saturday, September 2, 1871
Text

[Boston vs. Mutual 8/22/1871] Wolters then hit a high ball to the club house, and as it bounded in among the crowd, Wolters got round to third by his hit, sending Higham home. New York Clipper September 2, 1871

interfering with the fielder

[Boston vs. Mutual 8/22/1871] Eggler opened the sixth innings with a high foul ball, wihch Spaulding ran to catch, and, just as in the case of Leonard, in the Boston and Olympic game in May last, Eggler ran up against Sapulding and prevented him from catching the fly ball. As before, the umpire [Nick Young] failed to do his duty and decided Eggler not out, though there was not the slightest doubt that Eggler could have avoided obstructing Spaulding if he had chosen to do so. Spaulding was hurt by the collision and it was some time before he could resume play.

...

In the convention book of 1858, rule 20 reads:–“Any player who shall intentionally prevent an adversary from catching the ball shall be declared out.” This rule has been in force now for thirteen years, and formerly players were frequently decided out on a “hinder,” as it was then called. In 1867 the rule was amended so as to include the following clause:–“Any obstruction which could readily have been avoided shall be regarded as intentional.”

In regard to the right of way in base running the rule always has been, and is now, that the base runner shall have the right of way except when a fielder is in the act of catching a fly ball from the bat, then the fielder, of course, is entitled to the right of way and no rule would be a fair one which was worded otherwise. New York Clipper September 2, 1871

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball into the crowd, who assist the home team

Date Monday, August 12, 1872
Text

[Baltimore vs. Athletic 8/10/1872] [Mack on first base] McGeary followed Mack, with a weak hit to Force [third baseman], who make a most shocking underthrow to Mills [first baseman], the ball going into the crowd. Of course it didn’t come out again until Mack and McGeary were both safely across the home-plate!

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball is fair if touched in fair territory

Date Saturday, December 15, 1866
Text

[from answer to correspondents] A player is on the 3d base; A is at the bat; he knocks a sky ball which alights in the pitcher’s hands inside the foul lines. The ball bounds out of the pitcher’s hands and strikes the ground outside the foul line, and is caught on the first bound by the catcher. In the meantime the player on the 3d base runs home. The ball is passed to the pitcher and then to the 3d base. Who is out? ... No one is out. The fly catch was missed on a fair ball, consequently, the bound catch did not count, and the base player could run home.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball knocked from the baseman's hands

Date Sunday, June 17, 1866
Text

Birdsall, after making his first-base by a fine grounder, in attempting to get to his second, was touched by the ball in Fryat’s hands before he reached it, but just as the ball was held–and held it was, too–they came into collision, and the ball was knocked out of Fryat’s hands, and the umpire, as is usual, decided the player not out. Now, it is very seldom, under such circumstances, that a ball can be held by the base-player when his opponent runs or stumbles against him, and if the ball is held, if but for a moment or two, the fact of its being knocked out of the fielder’s hands by the collision of the two men should not nullify the previous act. We refer to this instance, not as an error of judgment, for it was a close thing any way, but simply to point out the error of considering every ball knocked out of a fielder’s hands as not held.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball lodged in a carriage spring

Date Sunday, December 8, 1878
Text

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

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball lodged in the catcher's mask

Date Thursday, June 19, 1884
Text

Although extensively reported otherwise Secretary “Nick” Young has notified the League umpires to decide a batsman not out when the ball lodges in the catcher’s mask after a foul tip. In all cases the ball must be fairly caught with the hands to make a put-out. That is correct. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball of Ferguson's own make

Date Saturday, July 11, 1874
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 7/4/1874] The ball used was one of Ferguson’s own make, and a decidedly dead ball.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball off the club house

Date Saturday, September 13, 1862
Text

[Resolute v. Star 9/9/1862] One [foul] ball that [the catcher] caught as it bounded from the club house, before it had touched the ground, was objected to as being against the rules of the ground, but the umpire correctly decided it to be a fair catch, as there were no rules at all being applicable in making it otherwise. Had the ball first struck the ground, and then been caught, as it rebounded from the house, why then the question of its being a rule of the ground, or not, could have been brought in; but as it was, it was a fair bound.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball players employment agency

Date Wednesday, March 27, 1889
Text

The “National Ball Players Employment Agency” is the name of the new players' employment bureau recently opened by George H. Geer, at 16 Clinton Block, Syracuse, N. Y. C. S. Rogers is secretary and treasurer. The terms of the agency are as follows:--To clubs, $3; players' engagement fee, $2, and players registration 25 cents. It will thus be seen that clubs in need of players can get them for less money than it would cost them railroad fare to go after the men, and as Mr. Geer is well acquainted with and a good judge of ball players, he can be depended upon to furnish managers with such players as they want to strengthen the weak spots in their teams. Mr. Geer is in the business to stay, and for that reason will do his level best to please and gain the confidence of all managers and players alike. Players out of engagement will find it to their advantage to communicate with Mr. Geer, as it will cost them less to pay his fees than to waste postage tamps writing to all the mangers and the country and after all not getting fixed for the season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball to the mask

Date Sunday, July 10, 1881
Text

[Providence vs. Buffalo 7/9/1881] A foul tip struck Gross' mask in the sixth inning, cutting a deep gash over the left eye, but he pluckily played out the game.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball touched by an outsider; block ball

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

[A question to the editor:] In the match-game Empire vs. Eagle the Eagles were skunked the first inning, and the first two strikers on the Empire side were out when Williamson went to the bat and made his third-base on a ball passed by the catcher; he ran home, but the ball was stopped by the crowd, and he was touched out by the pitcher on the home-base. Was the umpire correct in deciding him out, as he would have had plenty of time had some outsider not stopped the ball?

[answer:] When a ball is stopped by an outsider, it is not in play until settled in the hands of the pitcher. In this case, had any other fielder touched Williamson, he would not have been out; but as it was the pitcher, he was.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a barnstorming team goes south

Date Sunday, October 30, 1881
Text

The picked nine of league players organized to play in Southern cities is now in St. Louis. The aggregation calls itself the Chicago Champions, but is operating wholly outside the control of the Chicago Club. The Chicagos contribute Corcoran, Flint, Kelly, Quest, Williamson, Gore, and Dalrymple, and Cleveland is represented by McCormick and Dunlap. Chicago Tribune October 30, 1881

“The Combination” is the title of the team which is now playing in Southern cities under Frank Flint's management. They were at first advertised as the Chicagos, but President Hulbert telegraphed to Flint forbidding the use of that name. The players are not subject to the control of the Chicago Club, and should not be known as such. Chicago Tribune November 6, 1881

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a barnstorming team to play exhibitions with the PL

Date Sunday, March 2, 1890
Text

[from a letter from Charley Mason] I have organized a strong club called the “Philadelphia Professionals” for the sole purpose of playing exhibition games with the Brotherhood clubs, and I am pleased to say that I have this day completed the entire circuit, playing two games in each city with each club as follows...

The team I have selected are the strongest players that are to be had, and will give a good exhibition of ball playing. I think it will be only a matter of time, when all the clubs will be only too glad to play the Brotherhood clubs. I was quite surprised to see the college clubs refuse to play the Players’ League. It certainly would be more to their credit and honor to play against the Brotherhood clubs. Why? The college clubs are mostly composed of gentlemen’s sons, and don’t you think it would be more to their credit to associate and play with men of honor, such as those who compose the Brotherhood, instead of playing against contract jumpers, oath violators, etc.? For good practice for any club it is best to select the best clubs to play against; hence, the Brotherhood comes in again.

Source Sunday Item Philadelphia
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a base ball manufactory partnership opportunity

Date Thursday, April 22, 1869
Text

A PARTNER WANTED—IN A BASE BALL MANUFACTORY, a smart man, with $250 cash. Call at 47 Ridge street, room No. 12, on Friday, at 7 P.M.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a base displaced off the base post

Date Sunday, June 3, 1866
Text

Hunnewell, in running to second, pushed the base-bag from its position, and stood on the base post, thereby rendering himself liable to being put out, as the base-bag alone is considered the base. Terrell [the second baseman] did not think of this until too late.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a base on balls

Date Tuesday, October 23, 1866
Text

[Atlantic vs. Athletic 10/22/1866] Ferguson then took a base...on “three balls,” called on McBride's fierce and wild pitching.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a base on balls after a 'considerable time'; a courtesy runner

Date 1868
Text

[Atlantics vs. Athletics 8/31/1868] Wilkins now took the bat, having Berry to run for him.

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a base on balls; catching a runner out on a foul ball

Date Friday, October 11, 1867
Text

[Atlantic vs. Union of Morrisania 10/10/1867] Start had his base given him on called balls, and got to second on Galvin's hit to left, which Shelley threw to Martin, who dropped it, giving Start a life. Crane then struck a ball into right, and Galvin started to run around. The ball was called foul. Pabor [the pitcher] ran quickly to first, and Martin passed the ball to him, catching Galvin.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a base runner picked off; customary to steal second when a man is on third

Date Wednesday, June 7, 1865
Text

[Enterprise vs. Gotham 6/6/1865] A Gothamite was on the 3d base, another on the 1st, and the striker at the bat. As is customary under such circumstances, the man on the 1st put for the 2d base, but he had mistaken O'Neil [the pitcher], who, quick as lightning, let the ball go the 2d, and quickly the Umpire exclaimed, “Out.” No more attempts were made to reach the base in that way.

Source Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball academy

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

Charley Mason is nothing if not original. His latest venture is the opening of a training school for base ball players. He has leased the Pennsylvania State Fair Grounds, adjoining the Philadelphia Ball Park, and transferred the mammoth main building into a gymnasium. The building is large enough to play a game under its roof and will enable the players wintering in this city to keep in practice, as well as to get themselves into fine trim for next season. There is a gymnasium attached, in which the boys can work off their superfluous flesh and harden their muscles.; a running track on which they can practice sprinting and sliding; a cage where the batteries can work in and the building is large enough to allow hands to practice on batting and fielding. Mr. Mason has engaged four professionals to train the young pitchers and he hopes to develop some phenomenons before the season of 1889 begins. Thus far about thirty-five of the players wintering have entered the school. Mr. Mason's charges for the term, which ends about April 15, are $15, or about $3 per month.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball battalion is proposed

Date Sunday, August 18, 1861
Text

A BASE BALL BATTALION.–We are informed by a correspondent that several gentlemen, well known in base ball circles, have a project under consideration for the formation of a battalion or regiment, exclusively of base ball players; and it is seriously contemplated to recommend a call for a special meeting of the National Association of Base Ball Players, for the purpose of bringing this matter more immediately before representatives of all the clubs. There are now eighty clubs belonging to the Association; and there are upwards of a hundred others located throughout this State, which it is thought would gladly join in such a movement. An average of five men from each club would form a regiment; and better material for soldiers than could be gathered together could not be found.

Of course, the whole idea is as yet mere suggestion. From the fact that a large number of base ball players have already been carried off to the war in different regiments, we do not know that the project under consideration is practicable. We have no doubt, however, that hundreds would flock to the standard of such an organization, if it were put in proper hands. In order to test the matter, we are wiling to receive answers and suggestions from officers of different clubs, for the purpose of ascertaining the practicability of the project prior to any decided movement being made. Let us hear what would be the chances for a Base Ball Battalion.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball club fundraiser

Date Thursday, June 1, 1871
Text

...the Savannah Base Ball Club will give a grand entertainment at the Park tomorrow, consisting of a ball match, foot races, and a tournament by the Sabre Club. The game of ball will be between the Savannahs and Oglethorpes, both clubs appearing in uniform. … The entertainment is given for the benefit of the Savannah Base Ball Club, to aid in defraying their expenses on the projected tour, and it is hoped their friends and the admirers of the “noble game” generally, will turn out and patronize the occasion liberally.

Source Savannah Daily Advertiser
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball club in Cincinnati

Date Thursday, March 14, 1861
Text

The Use of the orphan Asylum Lot was granted to the Buckeye Base ball Club, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, for their usual play.

Source Cincinnati Daily Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball club-turned social club

Date Sunday, January 14, 1872
Text

The tenth annual ball of the Orion Club, of this city, will be given at the Academy of Music on Wednesday evening next. The Orions, some seasons back, were known as one of our best amateur base ball clubs, and although not actively engaged in the pursuit of the National pastime of late years, yet their organization has been maintained intact, and now numbers some of the leading members of the Athletics and other base ball clubs. Their annual re-unions are notable for their brilliancy, and the present occasion promises to be a recherche and most enjoyable affair. The Athletic’s championship flag and streamer will occupy a prominent position in the decorations of the ball.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball hustle

Date Sunday, September 12, 1869
Text

During the Western and Southern tour of the Haymaker baseball Club, from Lansingburg, they were matched for two games at Baltimore–one with the Pastime Club, and one on the day succeeding with the Maryland Club. The first-named was only an ordinarily skillful nine; the other was made up of superior players, and was considered the champion club of the south. The First meeting took place, and the Haymakers were defeated. At every point the Pastimes outbatted and outfielded them, showing superior play in every respect. Baltimoreans looked on with contempt, and wondered how such a club had ever achieved a reputation for superior skill. If the Pastimes could vanquish them, the Marylanders would white wash them on almost every inning. Consequently, betting upon the game of the next day was made with large odds in favor of the Maryland Club, which the friends of the Haymakers were not slow in taking. When the contest with the Marylands took place, the Haymakers presented altogether a different front. Their pitching, catching, batting, and fielding were all of the most excellent character–absolutely without mistakes. At the close of the game, the champion Southern organization, whose Baltimore friends had so confidently anticipated its easy victory, was found to be beaten two to one. It was then discovered that the Haymakers had deliberately allowed themselves to be vanquished by the Pastimes on the day previous, as a gambling manoeuvrre, and with the object of securing long odds in the betting upon the other match. New York Sunday Mercury September 12, 1869 quoting the Albany Evening Journal [compare with PSM 8/16/1868]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball made from a railroad car spring

Date Thursday, December 27, 1866
Text

A boy eight years of age, was killed at Hannibal Mo., last week, while witnessing a game of base ball. The Ball, which was made of an India rubber car spring, struck him in the pit of the stomach.

Source Elk Advocate
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball recall

Date Sunday, April 29, 1883
Text

A. Reach, the maker of the American Association ball, has confessed to the unfitness of those already sent out to the clubs. Word comes from Philadelphia that he has called in all that were sent out, and will forward to Secretary Williams a new supply for delivery for Tuesday's games. If this be true, it will be important. Reach says his first supply of balls were covered too tight, and with a leather in which he was deceived. He claims that the new supply of balls have no such defects. We shall see when they are tried.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball resort in East New York

Date Saturday, May 19, 1860
Text

The enterprising proprietor of the Howard Hotel, at East New York, is about preparing a Base Ball ground adjoining his hotel, for the use of those clubs who desire a neutral ground in home and home matches. The ground will be laid out by the 1st of June at the farthest, and the bases, bats, and balls will be found at the hotel in readiness for the use of such clubs as may play matches on the ground. Dressing rooms have been prepared and seats will be provided, so that ample accommodations will be afforded for the lady friends of the contesting parties who may occupy the ground. As it will be entirely for match games only, either club against club, or sides chosen by parties who come out to play a match, we have no doubt but what before the season is over it will become a general resort for ball players. It is unquestionably a fine locality for a ball ground, and one that will afford a good opportunity for spectators, as 10,000 persons could easily witness a contest on it. New York Clipper May 19, 1860

Col. Reid, of the Howard House, East New York, has, at considerable expense, laid out a fine base ball ground adjoining his Hotel, where ball clubs can at any time engage in a game by giving him a few hours notice. Chichester’s bases are the ones used, and bats and balls are at hand in readiness for the gratuitous use of any club or association that require them to play a match with. There will be a grand opening day’s play on these grounds on the 4th of July, when both cricketers and ball players can enjoy their respective games, as the cricket and ball grounds are apart, there being plenty of room for both. Indeed, five or six club could play matches the same day on these expansive premises. The ball ground is especially adapted for a neutral arena, when such is required for third games in home and home contests. ... We commend these facilities for base ball matches to all parties who desire a good ground for a game. The liberality of Col. Reid is commendable, in granting the use of grounds and materials free of expense. New York Clipper June 30, 1860

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball statistician

Date Saturday, February 13, 1869
Text

We are again under obligation to our obliging statistical contributor, Mr. Frank Rivers, for an interesting tabular statement of comparison of last season’s play of the Athletics, Atlantics and Unions, in their games with the same clubs. In a note of the subject, he says–

“Year before last the chief aspirants of the championship were the Athletic, Atlantic and Union clubs. During the early part of last year each of these clubs started on a tour through the west, and since these clubs have played with similar clubs in a majority of matches, I have prepared the following tables, taking all games in which they have played with the same clubs. It is curious to notice how the ranks of the players change, when averaged with different clubs. I have heretofore been accustomed, during the winter, to compare the averages of the leading clubs in the same manner as the tables I sent you before. I had thus many curious tables. I had a file of the Clipper and other papers for several seasons back, since 1862, and was thus enabled to combine season after season; but, unfortunately, while removing last July from New York my files were lost–how, I know not–so I have to be content with the present season, and some few matches which I copied in a book.” New York Clipper February 13, 1869

We are pleased to announce to our readers that we have effected an engagement with Mr. Frank P. Rivers, of Port Richmond, Staten Island, N.Y., one of the ablest base ball statisticians in the country, to write for our paper. We have several valuable statistic from his pen which we are getting up in neat style, and which will be published shortly. National Chronicle April 17, 1869

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball storefront diorama

Date Saturday, August 5, 1882
Text

The window of Jordan, Marsh & Co.’s establishment in Boston attracts hosts of spectators daily. A grassplot has been laid in the show-window, in which a miniature baseball field is marked out. The bases, base-lines and positions are accurately placed. The Bostons, represented by nine miniature puppets in full Boston uniform are in the field, while the Chicago White Stockings are at the bat. No detail of the game has been omitted. The pitcher is in the act of delivering the ball, and the catcher, with a genuine mask, stands ready to receive it. Behind the catcher is a diminutive umpires, clad in a natty blue-flannel suit, in an attitude of supreme intention [sic: perhaps “attention”?] The ninety-foot fence may also be seen, behind which is the grand-stand, filled with an interested crowd of spectators. The whole display is at once natural and artistic, and is a credit to the artist of the establishment.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball team playing cricket

Date Wednesday, October 3, 1888
Text

The [Syracuse] Stars will play cricket to-morrow [9/28] with the Syracuse Cricket Club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bases loaded walk

Date Sunday, September 20, 1874
Text

[Chicago vs. Boston 9/16/1874] In the fourth inning the Bostons received a run on called balls. The bases were full, and White was at the bat. Mr. McLean called two wides and two balls, and then, after a long succession of bad pitches, he gave White the base, which brought O’Rourke home. The umpire was sufficiently lenient, but not too much so; but the error was very expensive to the Chicagos, as the inning did not close until six runs had been scored by the Bostons, although two hands were out when Zettlein made the error.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a batter now must take his turn or be out

Date Sunday, December 20, 1868
Text

The amendment putting a player out who fails to take his regular turn at the bat, unless for good cause, is a good one. Before, a captain had it in his power to play a point in a close game. For instance, suppose the opposing nine had played their last inning and had scored 20, and your nine had obtained 19, with two hands out and a man on the third base; and suppose that the striker whose turn it was at the bat was a poor one, and almost certain to bat out, and that the next one to him was a sure bat and just as certain to make a base, what was there to prevent the absence of the weak bat and the substitution of the strong one? Now, this point cannot be played. Another this, too; before, a player running the bases, if a poor runner, could get a man to run for him who was a better runner; now, this cannot be done.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a batter refuses to take first on a hit by pitch

Date Friday, May 31, 1889
Text

[Pittsburg vs. Philadelphia 5/30/1889] In the eighth inning Thompson was hit by a pitched ball. It was scratchy, but he would not take his base, that is he did not appear anxious. The next ball he put over center field for a home run.

Source Pittsburgh Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a batter skipping his turn

Date Sunday, August 22, 1869
Text

[Unions of Morrisania vs. Powhattans 8/17/1869] In the eighth inning, Goldie had to leave to take the train, and two hands were out when it came his turn to strike, and he having retired by consent of the contesting sides he was out of the game, as had he not been, his absence when his turn came for him to strike would have obliged the umpire to have given him out and the inning would have ended with but one run; as it was, however, Wieburg and Haines struck afterward and another run was scored. ... In the ninth inning, finding he still had time, Goldie came in at the bat and made the hit when gave the tie run. Now this he had no legal right to do without the consent of the opposing nine, which, in this instance was not asked, as it was not regarded as necessary. The whole thing had an important bearing on the result, for if Goldie had a right to come in again, he certainly had no right to be absent, and thereby lost a hand; whereas if the reverse was the case, and he had a right to be absent–which he did–he certainly had none to take his strike again. The occurrence was a new point in play, and one which had been anticipated in a measure when the rule was changed so as to prevent strikers from being absent when their turn came at the bat, without consent of their adversaries.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a batting cage at Penn

Date Tuesday, January 15, 1889
Text

The Baseball Committee of the University of Pennsylvania has succeeded in securing a loan of %4,000, with which it is proposed to build a cage immediately. The cage will be 220 feet long by 110 feet wide, and between 40 and 50 feet high. That team will be able to begin practice on or about February 15.

Source Pittsburgh Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bench-clearing brawl

Date Wednesday, April 25, 1888
Text

[Chicago vs. Indianapolis 4/20/1888] The row on the ball field yesterday between the local and visiting players has been the talk of the town. A difficulty among the players occurred in the first inning, when Darling foolishly struck Hines just after the latter had scored. Hines was walking away from the plate, and Darling ran backwards to catch the ball, which was being thrown in by Ryan. Hines did not see Darling, who ran into him, and the ball went on to the grand stand. Then Darling struck Hines in the back and rushed after the ball. Hines stopped a moment and looked at him and then walked to the bench.

More trouble occurred in the fifth inning. Sullivan flew out to left field, but was not watching the ball and ran on to first base. As he passed the bag he and Esterbrook collided. They stood for a moment talking to each other, and then Esterbrook threw up his hand and struck at Sullivan's neck. The latter warded off the blow and tried to return it. And then they separated of their own accord. It looked as if the trouble was over, but the men passed remarks and Esterbrook again advanced upon Sullivan and struck him two quick blows on the neck. Sullivan tried to ward off the blows, but made no effort to return either one of them. Very few in the crowd realized what was going on at first, as there seemed to be no cause for the quarrel. The players, however, started over towards Esterbrook and Sullivan. Anson was standing near third base when the fight began, and ran across the diamond crying to Sullivan, “Hit him, hit him.”

Two officers joined the players and endeavored to separate the men. Anson said to one of them:--”You get out of here or we'll put you off the ground.” The other officer turned to Anson then and said:--”Another word from you and I'll arrest you for inciting a riot.” Capt. Denny did his best to quell the disturbance. Umpire Valentine fined Esterbrook and Sullivan $25 each, and last night telegraphed the particulars of the affair to President Young. The men were also arrested after the game but released on their promise to appear in the police court this morning.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bench-clearing brawl on the diamond

Date Tuesday, July 1, 1890
Text

[New Haven vs. Baltimore 6/30/1890] Perhaps the little second baseman touched the runner too hard, for McKee turned savagely and dealt Mack a stinging blow in the neck. Reddy retaliated with a right-hander on McKee's jaw, and then they clinched, and the crowd recognized that what they at first thought was play was a real slugging match. The players of both clubs surrounded the men. The crowd shouted: “Knock him, Reddy!” “Clean him out!” and then the police took a hand. Both combatants were arrested and bailed for a hearing to-morrow.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a benefit game for Sharsig

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

The game netted Sharsig quite a neat sum, and will give him another start in life. It is worth noting that neither Whittaker, Pennypacker or any other ex-Athletic official, except Director Mink, put in an appearance or even purchased a ticket.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a benefit game for abandoned Washington players

Date Wednesday, August 13, 1884
Text

The players that were left financially embarrassed by the failure of Mr. Moxley’s club were helped out of the hole very generously by Mr. Scanlon, who gave them a benefit game at Capital Park on Wednesday, and the money so taken in was given to the players, netting them about $35 or $40 each.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a benefit match

Date Wednesday, October 12, 1864
Text

We trust all our ball players will remember that the game on the Atlantic grounds to-morrow is for the benefit of that worthy and esteemed member of the club so well known as “Joe Start, the first baseman of the Atlantics,” than whom there is no better player in the club, and none who so uniformly marks his play in matches with conduct which is worthy a gentlemanly ball player.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A benefit match for George Wright

Date Sunday, November 12, 1865
Text

[Camden vs. Olympic 11/8/1865] The Olympic and Camden Clubs engaged in a social contest on the Olympic ground, on Wednesday afternoon. The occasion—designed as a testimonial benefit to Geo. Wright—brought out a goodly number of spectators.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a benefit match, and crowd deportment

Date Sunday, September 27, 1863
Text

The Atlantic and Mutual match was played [9/24/63] on the neutral ground of the St. George Cricket Club, an admission-fee of ten cents being charged on the occasion, the proceeds being for the benefit of Harry Wright, who is a general favorite of the ball-players. We were in hopes that, on this account, much of the outside annoyances would have been avoided, owing to the absence from the crowd of spectators of those annoying juveniles who congregate on these occasions, and who materially help to create disturbances by their noisy actions, and loud comments on the play. But though the Bay rowdies were absent, there were a sufficient number of well-dress blackguards present to attend to the dirty work they are generally engaged in at all championship matches; and the result was, insulting remarks on the decisions of the umpire, and blackguard allusions to some of the players–one or two loafers making themselves very conspicuous in this respect. All that these fellows visit matches for is, to make money by betting, and if the club they bet on fails to succeed, they go in for making a muss to break up the game and thus save their bets. If any proof were needed in support of the fact we have so often asserted, that every disgraceful disturbance at a ball match has emanated solely from “club followers”, not from members of the contesting clubs, the conduct of a portion of the crowd in this match was sufficient to prove the fact.

On this occasion, the good sense of the contesting nines led them to disregard the remarks of the betting roughs present, and to play the game in a gentlemanly manner throughout; and as the result of the play in the first inning almost decided the game in favor of the Atlantics–especially in view of the fact that the Mutuals were not in their usual good condition to play, the betting fraternity were cut off from any excuse to interfere, and so they revenged themselves by insulting the umpire and the victors in the match as much as they well could. The Mutuals exerted themselves to put a stop to this objectionable conduct, but all to no purpose, and being on a neutral ground, they could not well act as they otherwise would have done. Had it been on their own ground, the blackguards would have been hustled off the ground in short order. New York Sunday Mercury September 27, 1863

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 9/24/1863] The third and test game of the home and home series between the Atlantic and Mutual clubs came off on the enclosed grounds of the St. George Cricket Club, and admission fee of ten cents being charged on the occasion, the proceeds going to Harry Wright for his benefit. New York Clipper October 3, 1863

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a better offer from a minor league club

Date Sunday, June 3, 1883
Text

Smith, change pitcher of the Providence Club, was released on Friday and bespoken by the Philadelphia management. … A despatch from Harry Wright, received yesterday afternoon, however, says that it is doubtful if the young man will come here, and he has better offers from Brooklyn and Trenton, and rather leans toward the former.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bicycle track at the new Chicago grounds

Date Sunday, May 31, 1885
Text

The question of providing the park with a bicycle track for racing purposes was suggested to the management by local wheelmen and so earnestly was the idea supported that three weeks ago the Chicago Bicycle Track Association was formed and the sum of $2,500 raised to meet the expense of laying a track which it was intended shall be equal if not superior to any in the country.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bid to split gate receipts in the AA

Date Sunday, March 13, 1887
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 3/7-8] The Metropolitans, through O. P. Caylor, tried to get a change from the present guarantee system of paying visiting clubs to one of a division of the gate receipts. But he stood alone, and the change wasn’t discussed. The Philadelphia Times March 13, 1887

an AA reserve fund

[reporting the AA meeting of 3/7-8] The Messrs. Stern and Weldon spring their pet--the reserve fund scheme--on the Association. It went through in the reduced form suggested some weeks ago in The Sporting Life, seven votes being cast for it, Mr. Caylor declining for the Mets to vote in its favor, but saying that the vote would undoubtedly be cast later on. The fund is to amount to $10,000---$1,250 from each club, paid in five annual installments of $250, Oct. 1, of 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892. The chairman of the finance committee is its custodian, the money must be invetsed and he must give a bond for the full amount--$10,000. The club withdrawing except from financial distress, forfeits its share in the fund. The Sporting Life March 16, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a big crowd expected on Rosh Hashanah

Date Thursday, September 14, 1882
Text

This is the Jewish New Year, or “Good Yondof.” It is the great Jewish holiday, and as the Israelites are most ardent admirers of the game, one may look out for a big attendance. There will be extra street cars put on to-day to accommodate the big crowd expected. Cincinnati Commercial September 14, 1882

[Louisville vs. Cincinnati 9/15/1882] There were 3,412 people on the Cincinnati Base Ball Grounds yesterday to see a great game of ball. It was the largest crowd of spectators seen this season at a championship game save the Fourth of July afternoon. The grand stand was filled before 3 o’clock, and the ticket seller was instructed to quit selling tickets to that place. Every available seat was taken and a few put upon the ground. Cincinnati Commercial September 15, 1882

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a blackboard scoreboard

Date Monday, May 12, 1884
Text

[Baltimore Union vs. Cincinnati Union 5/11/1884] The figures on the blackboard ran tie for several innings...

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a blackboard scoreboard 2

Date Sunday, September 2, 1888
Text

Said Comiskey as he looked at the blackboard last Monday: “That’s the way the first four association clubs will finish–St. Louis, Athletics, Cincinnati, Brooklyn.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball

Date Monday, August 6, 1883
Text

[Baltimore vs. Athletic 8/5/1883] [Rowe and Gardner on base.] Sweeney next lifted a fly to Knight and Rowe started for home. The ball was in Rowan's [catcher] hands in time, but Rowe knocked it out and it passed the catcher. Gardner thereupon also started for home. A boy picked the ball up and handed it to one of the Athletic players, who threw to Rowen, but, of course, this was illegal and both runs counted.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball 2

Date Friday, May 18, 1888
Text

[Boston vs. Chicago 5/17/1888] Lynch [umpire] fined Anson $10 in the fifth. When Williamson sent the ball into the crowd along the right field fence, and the Captain, who was coaching near third, saw that a block had occurred, he rushed into the diamond and shouted to Ed to come on. Ed got the base and Anson the fine.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball 3

Date Thursday, May 31, 1888
Text

[Kansas City vs. Cleveland 5/30/1888] In the eighth inning the Clevelands were presented with the winning run. Esterday let Hotaling’s sharp one through his legs and when Faatz drove one to big Jim Davis [3B] he threw the ball past Phillips [1B] and into the crowd in right field and Pete ran home on the throw. Allen [P] got the ball while out of the box and his throw to Donahue [C] would have retired Peter at the plate, had Allen held the ball in position. But he didn’t and Hotaling’s run counted and won the game.

...

The rule under which Umpire Ferguson allowed Hotaling to score the winning run in the eighth inning is as follows: Rule 56. “Whenever a block occurs, the umpire shall declare it, and the base runners may run the base, without being put out until the ball has been returned to and held by the pitcher standing in his position.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball 4

Date Sunday, May 5, 1889
Text

In the second inning Purcell hit over O’Brien’s head for two bases, and as the ball was blocked by the crowd he took third on the hit.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball 5

Date Tuesday, August 20, 1889
Text

[Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland 8/19/1889] Tebeau batted a swift grounder to Rose which the short stop juggled and then threw over Beckley's head into the pavilion. Tebeau continued in his chase around the bases, and crossed the plate before the ball was fielded back to Morris.

Source Pittsburgh Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball candidate

Date Saturday, July 13, 1889
Text

[Chicago vs. Philadelphia 7/12/1889] Wood, the Phillies’ first batsman, in the sixth hit an easy grounder to Dwyer, and the latter threw it over Anson’s head into the right-field seats, Wood coming all the way home on the error.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball for an out; a ground rule

Date Monday, September 10, 1888
Text

[Kansas City vs. Cleveland 9/9/1888] Before the game Capts. McKean and Barkley agreed that a hit into the crowd or over the fences should be good for two bases. In the last inning a dispute came up over this rule. Albert’s [3b] wild throw gave Cline first and the ball went to the crowd. Cline trotted on to third, but the throws of Faatz [1b] and O’Brien [p] to Albert caught him as he came to the base. Crowell said “out.” Barkley claimed two bases because the ball had gone to the crowd. But it was not a batted ball.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball in a game on ice

Date Sunday, February 12, 1888
Text

[Spaldings vs. Chicago Boys on ice 2/11/1888] A rotund and blooming individual playing centre field in the Spalding nine distinguished himself by making a home run on a blocked ball. The ball was “blocked” by the ear of a small boy who was standing behind the first baseman. Mr. Huck stopped to see if what there was left of the small boy was worth putting together again, and the first baseman tapped him several times on the arm to signify that he had been put out at first. A happy thought struck Capt. Morton.

“Run, Huck, run!” he yelled; “it's a blocked ball! Why don't you run?”

Mr. Huck, who is not so good a ball-player as he is handsome, obeyed his Captain in a perfunctory sort of way, and by the time the Chicago Boys had discovered that blocked ball must be returned to the pitcher he had reached the home plate and scored. The small boy will recover.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball; the crowd blocking the ball to favor the home team

Date Saturday, June 24, 1876
Text

[Chicago vs. Mutual 6/17/1876] Spalding's long high ball to the building struck one of the crowd in such a way as to rebound back to Booth's [right fielder] hands, the crowd making no effort to get out of the way of the ball. It was therefore claimed that the ball was “willfully stopped.” In such a case the umpire should consider the ball as dead—as far as putting out a base-runner is concerned—until it is settled in the hands of the pitcher while standing within the lines of his position. This Mr. Daniels did not do; for, though he inquired into the matter, he decided that the ball was no “willfully stopped.” Booth took the ball from the crowd, threw it to Mathews [pitcher] near home base, and the latter passed it to Hicks [catcher], who put out Glenn on the really dead ball.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball?

Date Saturday, May 24, 1890
Text

In a game between two amateur clubs, the Elliots and Woodburns, of Cincinnati, O., played at Walnut Hills May 18, before about a 1000 people, a remarkable home run was scored. With two on bases, the batsman hit a ball to left field, an ordinary base hit, but the ball took refuge in a lady spectator's dress and was not found or recovered until three runs had crossed the plate, the batsman counting a home run. It was the feature of the game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a blown call on a block ball

Date Thursday, August 27, 1885
Text

[Lawrence vs. Brockton 8/26/1885] In the sixth inning Tanner of the home team struck a long one over the fence for a home run, but the umpire said only two bases. The ball was thrown back to the diamond, and should have gone to the pitcher's box in order to make it a live ball, but instead Brosnan held the ball and touched Tanner, who was off the base, and the umpire called him out. The audience protested, and Stewart [umpire], feeling insulted, left the field, and would not return until 35 minutes had passed. The game was then continued under protest...

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a blown pick-off attempt

Date Saturday, June 7, 1873
Text

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bogus 'practice' game

Date Saturday, June 11, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Chicago 6/3/1870] Owing to a previous agreement, which was that the first match played by the Chicago nine with a visiting club should be with the Forest City of Rockford, June 15, it was understood that the contest with the Clevelanders should be technically considered a “practice game”–that is, a game which should not go upon the record. Both clubs were willing to enter into the arrangement, although it was well understood that, should the White Stockings get beaten, they could not shelter themselves behind the plea of a “practice game,” and so with the Forest City.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bogus game account

Date Saturday, December 4, 1869
Text

A correspondent who took good care to conceal his real name sent us a week or two since an account of a game played in St. Louis between the Empires and Atlantics for the State Championship. No such game came off as we related and the person who out of pure malice palmed off on us the bogus score of a bogus match is welcome to all the satisfaction the mean trick afforded him. One thing is certain, he cannot be a ball player. The Empires have played the Atlantics twice this season, and defeated them easily both times.

Source National Chronicle
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 bogus reporter scam

Date Friday, March 27, 1857
Text

We are informed, that some person, pretending to be a reporter for this paper, made a demand for reporting the proceedings of the last annual election of officers of the Base-ball Convention, and also endeavored to collect pay for reporting certain matches during the last season.  This, therefore, is to give notice, that such person was an imposter and a rogue, and that any person making similar application hereafter should be regarded as of similar character.  The reporters for Porter’s Spirit of the Times receive ample remuneration for all their duties from this office, and we give room to anything that will interest our Base-ball friends with pleasure.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bonus to players for winning the championship

Date Sunday, November 4, 1883
Text

The Boston players, as a reward for their winning the championship, each go an extra hundred dollars from the directors and $250 each from a benefit game. This, it is claimed, brought their salaries up to the average of the high wages of some of the gilt-edged teams. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a borderline infield fly

Date Saturday, July 24, 1869
Text

[Eckford vs. Irvington 7/23/1869] Wood [second baseman] in attempting to make a double play, took the ball on the fly, guided it a short distance toward the ground, and then clutching it as it rebounded and throwing to Hodes [short stop], who in turn threw it to Allison [first baseman], succeeded in “heading off” two men. The umpire decided both men out. This, of course, is in compliance with the law, but to a certain extent only, as it was questionable whether Mr. Wood did not actually hold the ball. The point is perfectly legitimate, but it is one which should require the greatest nicety to be kept strictly within the law.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a botched attempt to trade Indianapolis players to Detroit

Date Wednesday, June 24, 1885
Text

This city [Detroit] was thrown into a flutter of excitement over the wholesale transfer of the Indianapolis team to Detroit. The soothing pill administered to the Indianapolis directors by the Detroit management was too agreeable to let pass, and the result was that $5,000 of Detroit's money captured the prize. It was a well-known fact that Buffalo, Chicago and St. Louis were dickering for players from this nine, but they were left in the shade to cool off from this unexpected move of the Detroits. The team, comprising ten men and Manager Watkins, started with Messrs. Moloney and Stearns, Detroit directors, for Detroit, from when they go pleasuring through Canada, up the St. Lawrence, until the ten days limit expires, when they will be eligible to sign.; their signatures will then be secured, and they will then return to participate in the July series. The Sporting Life June 24, 1885

From the reports of our correspondents and from other sources we learn that Indianapolis will have considerable trouble to deliver its team to Detroit, and the famous Brooklyn-Cleveland deal will not be so successfully emulated, as the matter was not so well managed. When the agreement between Indianapolis and Detroit was made the latter paid over part of the purchase money, $2,000, the balance, $3,000, to be paid when the men were signed. Secretary Young was then communicated with, who informed the Detroit management that the Indianapolis team could not be signed until the expiration of the ten days' limit. All the men except Casey then signed temporary contracts and notice of their release was promulgated, which made them eligible to contract June 24. In order to prevent any tampering with the team they were sent to Mt. Clemens, Mich., there to remain and practice until the legal limit had expired. Keenan and McKeon, however refused to go notwithstanding all entreaties, threats and blandishments. McKeon and Keenan each were offered a three years' contract, the former's being for $500 a month for the remainder of this season, and $4,000 a season for the next two years, making him one of the highest priced ball players in the country. Keenan's contract was for $3,400 a year.

The pair, really the most important of the purchased team to Detroit, however, held off and remained in Indianapolis until Wednesday, when they left for Cincinnati, where offers from other clubs at once poured in upon them. Cincinnati made a dead set for them, and Mr. Herancourt is said upon good authority to have offered McKeon $1,000 a month for the balance of this season, as well as for next year, Keenan to receive $600 a month for the same time. The Chicago and St. Louis clubs also made them great offers, and Detroit informed them that if there was nothing in the way to prevent but the difference in salaries offered, they had as much money as any one else and would pay as much for them. They manifested no disposition to accept any of these offers, but from the fact that they went to Cincinnati to consult with Mr. Herancourt, and from statements made by the latter, it may be inferred that Cincinnati has bagged the prize. The Detroit people are mad and threaten legal proceedings and an injunction. Of course, under base ball rules the players cannot be blacklisted. Detroit will also refuse to pay the balance of $3,000 due Indianapolis on the deal. Meantime the club will conclude to hang on to its old players, although they expected to retain only Bennett, Hanlon, Wood and Weldman, and had sent out requests for bids for the release of Scott, Phillips, Ringo, Getzein, Morton and Dorgan. It is also reported that San Crane will not sign with Detroit, but will come back to his old love the Mets. The Sporting Life June 24, 1885

At exactly twenty-five minutes past twelve o'clock last Tuesday night the celebrated and much desired Indianapolis battery—McKeon and Keenan—affixed their respective signatures to contracts to play in Cincinnati the rest of the season. The officials of the Cincinnati Club were not worrying themselves sick in regard to signing these men, as they had the matter all satisfactory arranged before they completed negotiations. Last week President Herancourt telegraphed to every club in the American Association asking if they (Cincinnati Club) could open negotiations, and received an immediate and favorable reply from all of them. He did this in order to give the men assurance that they would incur no risk in signing with the Cincinnati Club. The Sporting Life July 1, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a botched infield fly play; early use of 'trap'

Date Friday, June 28, 1889
Text

[Washington vs. Pittsburgh 6/27/1889] [bases loaded with no outs] Wise then knocked an easy one into short right field. Dunlap ran for it and “trapped” it, expecting to make a double or triple play. Beckley, however, was away from first and failed to catch Dunlap's throw. As a result Hoy scored and three men were still left on bases. The mistake caused animated comment, some people blaming Beckley and others blaming Dunlap. The latter claimed that he shouted to Beckley to get on his base, and if this was so Dunlap's play was a very wise one. Manager Phillips states that Dunlap did just as he ought to have done. It is probable that Beckley did not hear Dunlap, and was not expecting a play of the kind. Dunlap, however, was exceedingly indignant.

Source Pittsburgh Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a botched infield fly; a blown call; stealing bases during the ensuing argument

Date Saturday, April 29, 1871
Text

[Chicago vs. Lone Star of New Orleans 4/16/1871] [the bases loaded] Treacy popped up a fly to Leonard [Lone Stars pitcher], who made a muff of it for a double play, but becoming confused, instead of throwing it home to cut off Kind, he threw it wildly to second, King going home at once, and each runner advancing a base–no hand out. The umpire, however, decided Treacy out. This cause considered commotion, the Stockings claiming that the decision was unjust, and it certainly was, for if Treacy was out on the fly, then those running bases were also out, the ball having been passed by the pitcher to the basemen. This the umpire refused to allow, and ordered the game to proceed. During the commotion Hodes managed to get in, and both Foley and Simmons advanced a base.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a botched intentionally dropped third strike

Date Sunday, August 10, 1873
Text

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

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a botched transfer from the New York to the Metropolitans

Date Tuesday, December 4, 1883
Text

Secretary Williams, of the American Association, has refused to approve the contract of O’Neill with the Metropolitan Club, on the ground that it is invalid. The rules are that the player shall not be eligible to contract with another club until ten days after the notice of his release has been mailed to the Secretary. In the case of O’Neill his contract with the Metropolitan Club was received one day before the notice of his release from the New York Club. St. Louis Post-Dispatch December 4, 1883, quoting the Philadelphia Record [N.B. O’Neill signed with St. Louis] [N.B. Williams was already hired to manage the St. Louis Club.]

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A bound game on ice

Date Thursday, January 12, 1865
Text

[Gotham vs. Atlantic on ice 1/12/1865] ...the rules of the National Association of necessity varied to suit the circumstances of the case, the old bound rule being observed in order to save time. Inasmuch as the Atlantics did not take a single fair ball on the bound, and their opponents only three in the whole game, but little time was gained by the change.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
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 brick wall enclosing the grounds

Date Wednesday, March 11, 1885
Text

[describing plans for the new Chicago West Side Grounds] Instead of the unsightly board fence that usually surrounds base ball grounds, a handsome brick wall, twelve feet high, will entirely surround the grounds. No other base ball and athletic grounds in America will have a brick wall for a fence, and in fact there is only one such grounds in the world, and that the celebrated Lords' grounds in London, located in the very centre of the finest residence part of that city. The Sporting Life March 11, 1885

Work on the improvements is being rapidly pushed. The twelve-foot brick wall that will enclose the entire block is nearly completed and the grand stand and other buildings are rapidly assuming shape. Beyond all question the Chicago base ball park will be the finest and best in the world. Its neat brick buildings, substantial wall, and well-kept lawns will place it far in advance of any other base ball grounds, and the cities of the East will undoubtedly pattern after Chicago's usual excellence as soon as they see how far they are surpassed. The Sporting Life April 22, 1885

an Olympics player goes semi-professional

The Nationals, of Philadelphia, have reorganized as a semi-professional team for 1885. The nine includes Siffel, of the Athletics, Metz, of the Olympics, and McCann, catchers.... The Sporting Life March 11, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken bat

Date Monday, October 14, 1889
Text

The old bat which Ward, the Giants’ brainy shortstop, has used for the past three seasons, and which he carried on the world’s tour, was broken a few days ago.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken bat out

Date Tuesday, July 5, 1870
Text

[Chicago vs. Atlantic 7/4/1870] McDonald broke a bat hitting to Hodes [shortstop], and went out on first.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken bat single

Date Wednesday, September 12, 1866
Text

[Enterprise vs. Eckford 9/10/1866] Brown sent a low ball to left field, making two bases. Southworth followed with a hot one, which broke his bat, but secured him his base and sent Brown home. Brooklyn Eagle September 12, 1866

A description of poor pitching; the pitcher's run-up in the old days; no balls called on wild pitching

[Eckford vs. Enterprise 9/10/1866] When it is asserted that the game was well played, it must be understood as applying only to the fielding, as the batting was not at all what it might be, while the pitching was as wild almost as when the pitcher was allowed to run in half a dozen yards before he delivered the ball. But the Umpire did not mind it, and the pitchers were allowed to worry the batsmen to their hearts' content. As an instance, in one innings Hall, of the Enterprise, was at the bat and Southworth pitching. The ball was pitched seven times without reaching the home base once except after a bound or two; then a ball was pitched about eight feet up in the air; then one for which the catcher had to run at least five yards to the left of his position in order to stop. At the tenth ball the batsman struck, but the ball was not at all within reach; then four more bounders and the fifteenth ball was hit. During all this time no “ball” was called. New York Herald September 12, 1866

[Enterprise v. Eckford 9/10/1866] A feature of this game was the wild pitching, the umpire [Eli Holmes of the Oriental BBC] ignoring the Sixth Rule altogether. As an instance, in one inning Hall, of the Enterprise, was at the bat and Southworth pitching. The ball was pitched seven times without reaching the home-base once, except after a bound or two; then a ball was pitched about eight feet up in the air; then one for which the catcher had to run at least five yards to the left of his position in order to stop. At the tenth ball the batsman struck, but the ball was not at all within reach; then four more bounders, and the fifteenth ball was hit. During all this time no “ball” was called. New York Sunday Mercury September 16, 1866

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken bat single 2

Date Sunday, November 5, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Chicago at Union Grounds, Brooklyn 10/30/1871] West Fisler broke his bat in sending one to short left field.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken catcher's mask

Date Friday, September 1, 1882
Text

A foul tip broke Holbert's mask in the game at Detroit on Wednesday, cutting his head severely. A similar accident happened to him the last time he was there.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken catcher's mask 2

Date Sunday, June 3, 1883
Text

[Brown vs. Yale 6/2/1883] In the latter part of the sixth inning Hubbard’s mask was bent by a ball, and his forehead was badly cut, but he pluckily played on.

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken catcher's mask 3

Date Thursday, October 18, 1883
Text

A sharp foul tip broke the wire and the broken wire cut a long gash in Phil Powers' face, yesterday. He patched it up with a little piece of court-plaster and kept on in the position.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken catcher's mask 4

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

[from the Rochester correspondent's column] A foul tip from Greenwood's bat collided with catcher Munyan's mask, breaking it, and the wires cut his face so badly that several stitches were necessary to close the would. He retired from the game in favor of Trost.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken mask

Date Friday, June 28, 1878
Text

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

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken mask 2

Date Friday, May 2, 1879
Text

[Providence vs. Cleveland 5/1/1879] In the first inning, while Brown was at the bat, he knocked a foul that broke Kennedy's wire face mask into pieces.

Source Chicago Inter Ocean
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken mask 3

Date Thursday, September 22, 1881
Text

[Chicago vs. Providence 9/21/1881] Gilligan was cut badly by a broken wire of his mask, caused by a foul tip.

Source Chicago Tribune
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 mask 5

Date Sunday, April 29, 1888
Text

In the New York-Philadelphia game Thursday a foul tip struck Ewing's mask with such force that the bars were crushed against his face, cutting it. Crane was pitching.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken mask 6

Date Saturday, October 5, 1889
Text

[Louisville vs. Cincinnati 10/4/1889] Umpire Gaffney was struck on the mask with a foul tip in the second inning and one of the wires cut a deep gash over his left eye.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken promise about the reserve

Date Wednesday, January 1, 1890
Text

[Ed Morris speaking of Fred Carroll] If for no other reason than that the Pittsburg National League Club broke a promise to him, Carroll should abandon the National League. When the club was transferred to Pittsburg from Columbus, President Nimick gave Carroll a written guarantee that at the end of the first season he would be given a release to go wherever he desired. When the season ended, though his guarantee bore the personal signature of President Nimick, he absolutely refused to live up to it, giving as an excuse that while he was willing to do so the other stockholders objected. He also took the pains to assure Carroll that any attempt to go to law about the matter would result fruitlessly, as he (Nimick) had no right to make the pro9mise without the consent of his co-partners, and that the document would not hold in law. Carroll then asked for an increase of salary, which was also ignored until he was forced to sign at the old terms on the opening of the season.

Source Sporting Life
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 bucolic championship game

Date Wednesday, October 17, 1866
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 10/15/1866] ...it was the most respectable and orderly gathering that ever assembled in the same numbers to witness a contest where diverse interests—each, of course, supported by their mutual friends—were represented. Twenty thousand people were present, and there was not the slightest breach of decorum observed during the four hours in which the issue of the game was being decided. The large force of police on the ground, finding their occupation as conservators of the peace altogether gone, sat on the green sward, and watched the game with as much pleasure as the rest. Ladies waved their handkerchiefs and gentlemen shouted lustily now and then; but the Philadelphia Club received as much congratulations as the Brooklyn boys when they made a good run and a successful inning. The utmost courtesy was extended to the strangers, who were probably struck with the contrast between the good order prevailing on this occasion and the confusion, crowing and interruption which prevented the completion of the match a short time since, when the Atlantics visited Philadelphia to try their mettle with the Athletics.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bunt hit

Date Saturday, August 26, 1882
Text

[Athletic vs. Cincinnati 8/25/1882] [men on first and second, no outs] Joe Sommer then came up. Joe had all day been hitting to the infield, and feared a double play. Therefore he surprised everyone by blocking the ball toward first base, and succeeded so well that he not only advanced Macculler and White to third and second, but himself reached first in safety, filling the bases, with nobody out.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bunt pop-up

Date Sunday, May 25, 1873
Text

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

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bunt with Barlow's 'penholder'

Date Sunday, September 7, 1873
Text

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

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bunted foul ball

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

[from the AA umpire instructions] If the batter, in attempting to “bunt” the ball, or to make a sacrifice hit, makes a “foul,” the umpire must first call “foul ball,” and then inflict the penalty under section 3 of rule 31, by calling a “strike” on the batter, and no bases shall be run or runs scored on such foul ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bursted ball

Date Sunday, October 24, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Cincinnati 10/18/1869] The “Red Stockings” retained their lead by scoring one for their share of the eighth inning. Allison led off, but was disposed of on the fly by McBride. At this point the old ball was found to be bursted, and a new one was accordingly furnished.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a calculation of Phillies finances

Date Sunday, January 1, 1882
Text

The Philadelphia club cannot play more than thirty games with League clubs during the season. On an average it cannot draw over 2,500 to a game. This will make a total of 75,000, at 25 cents each, $18,750. of this sum the League club will take one-half, leaving the home club $9,375, out of which to play salaries, field rent, umpires, advertising, etc. this would leave the club behind in finances which it would have to make up with the Metropolitan club, the only other Alliance club. Can it be done? We think not. These figures apply alike to the Metropolitans, and the best thing these clubs do is to shake the League at once and save themselves.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for Gentleman Amateur clubs

Date Sunday, November 21, 1869
Text

One feature we are most anxious to see carried out next year and one which we are satisfied will prove not only interesting but advantageous to the health and minds of our young readers, is the establishment of Base Ball Clubs, strictly confined to Gentleman Amateurs. We do not for one moment wish the dissolution of any of our clubs of professionals, because we think they would be the means in a great measure of stimulating our Amateurs to increased exertions, and it is at all times a pleasure to witness the finest points of the game, illustrated as we do, when a couple of professional clubs meet in friendly rivalry, at the same time, as is exemplified by the perfection to which English Amateur Cricketers attain, we not only see why many of the Amateur Base Ball Clubs should not run a great many of their professional brethren a very close race in any contest in which they may engage. An annual home and home contest might thus be established between the amateurs and the professionals, and we have no doubt it would prove one of the most attractive in the year’s programme.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for a convention of professional clubs

Date Saturday, August 7, 1869
Text

The only way to properly settle the [championship] question is for the professional clubs of the country–there are not twenty of them–to meet together in committee, or rather to call a convention of delegates from each club, and let them draw up a set of championship rules, which shall govern all contests for the championship. quoting the New York Sunday Mercury

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for a minor league association; Western Association hints at going major

Date Wednesday, November 6, 1889
Text

A dispatch from Minneapolis says:--Secretary Morton has notified the managers of clubs in minor leagues in every part of the country to send representatives to the Western Association's meeting. An alliance offensive and defensive will be formed, and then all will lay back on their oars to await the action of the League and Brotherhood meetings. The Brotherhood meeting will be held Monday, Nov. 4, and the League the week following. If the League passes reasonable rules relating to the minor associations, Morton's plan is to receive propositions from the Brotherhood. Should these propositions not meet with favor a general session of the minor leagues is pretty sure to result. Mr. Morton has a big scheme for th4 government of these associations, which has in view the Western Association becoming to the minor associations what the National League has been in the past. In a nutshell, Morton proposes that the Western Association shall become an open competitor to the National League. The Sporting Life November 6, 1889

[editorial matter] There is a silent but nevertheless strong sentiment in minor league ranks that the time has come for the minor organizations to insist upon a more equitable and less extortionate levy for protection than that now exacted of them by the two major leagues. They heavy tax of $1500 to $2000 per league, levied by the major leagues for a protection which is to a very considerable extent mutual is neither right nor just. Of course, it is quite proper that the minor leagues should share the expenses of maintaining the National Agreement, but anything more than that is simply an enforced tribute on the stand-and-deliver order, especially in view of the fact that the advantages of the protective system are not monopolized by the minor leagues by any means. How much the major leagues profit by such a system apart from the tax question is being made manifest now, and will be made more strikingly so, as the conflict between the League and its players becomes more defined. The Sporting Life November 13, 1889

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for a minor league convention on salary control

Date Wednesday, June 27, 1888
Text

[from the New Orleans correspondent] The days of high salaries in minor leagues are past. It has taken the minors a long time to realize that they cannot pay the salaries they have been paying and live, but most of them understand it fully now and are disposed to discuss plans for relief. I strongly advocate a convention of all the minor leagues, to be held early in the fall, before the close of the present season, so that whatever remedies are decided upon can be used in the signing of contracts immediately at the close of the present season for next year. I talked with Sam Morton in Chicago a short time ago on the subject of the convention of minor leagues the coming all, and he agreed that such a thing was necessary and promised to take an active part in bringing about such a meeting.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for a slide

Date Sunday, July 12, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Excelsior of Rochester 6/29/1868] ...hope never forsook any of us, until Dick [McBride] hesitated in the last inning between second and third base, undecided whether to run back to second or to go on; and, mind you, there was a man on second. Dick’s hesitancy broke the camel’s back. Had he listened to “Cuthy,” and slid for his third, he would have got it. Had he run for it he would have made it.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for an amateur association; a contrary view

Date Sunday, February 19, 1871
Text

The following is the call issued by the committee: “We, the undersigned, respectfully invite the amateur baseball clubs to each appoint a delegate to attend a meeting to be held at the Excelsior Baseball Club-rooms, in Fulton street, Brooklyn, on Thursday, March 16, for the purpose of organizing an amateur baseball association that will discountenance the playing of the game for money or as a business pursuit. S. B. Jones, M.D., F. S. Dakin, and H. S. Jewell, Excelsior Club, Brooklyn; Samuel H. Kissam and James Whyte Davis, Knickerbocker Club, New York; A. J. Bixby, Eagle Club, New York; C. E. Thomas, Eureka Club, Newark; A. K. Dunkele, Equity, of Philadelphia, and many others. New York Sunday Mercury February 19, 1871

A call has been issued for a convention of delegates from amateur clubs, to meet in Brooklyn, N.Y., on the 16th of next March. The management of the affairs seems to be in the hands of a clique of New York and Boston men, who have outlived their usefulness on the ball field, and who, failing to obtain control of the National Association, now seek to raise dissensions in that body by creating an invidious distinction between amateurs and professionals. The Excelsiors of Brooklyn–a club who in the year 1860 introduced the practice of playing professionals–have issued an address... Philadelphia Sunday Mercury February 19, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for minor league representation on the Board of Arbitration

Date Wednesday, April 4, 1888
Text

[from editorial content] Every phase of the Kansas City squabble [between AA and Western League clubs] serves to illustrate the strength of the position taken by The Sporting Life in its battle last fall for Reservation Privileges and Representation upon the Board of Arbitration for minor leagues... Reservation was granted, but representation, unwisely and illogically, was refused, mainly through the opposition of the Association members of the Board, aided by Mr. John B. Day, of the League trio, Col. Rogers and President Young alone working and voting for it. … A minimum representation of the combined minor leagues upon the Board of Arbitration will make it in fact what it is in name, and not only avert all the dangerous possibilities lurking in the present condition, but be also the means of cementing and solidifying the vast and growing base ball interests of the country, without in the least destroying the individuality of the various leagues or at all interfering with the prerogatives of either of the major organizations—a contingency at least one of the two powers seems to unreasonably and weakly fear. Representation for minor leagues is a safety-valve that must be applied sooner or later to the engine of the National Agreement, in order that that bulwark of the National game may be placed beyond the possibility of destruction through ignorance, malice, caprice or selfishness.

Source Sporting Life
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 call for reform

Date Sunday, February 17, 1867
Text

We feel safe in promising that there will be no more champion contests among our ball clubs. We wish to direct attention to another matter which should receive the earnest attention of ball players. We refer now to clubs engaging in two or three games a week during portions of the season. This necessitates players neglecting business, and, as it frequently happens, at times when their services can illy be spared. It induces others not players to resort to various devices whereby they can witness the sport at the cost sometimes of a situation. We were informed by the Secretary of the Irvington club, who was in the city last week, that the invariable question put to young men applying for situations in New York is, whether they are members of ball clubs. If they answer in the affirmative, they are told their services will not be needed. The same exists here, and we know of a player belonging to one of our crack clubs who was unable to get a situation from the notoriety he had acquired as a ball expert. He wisely gave up playing. There are higher aims in life than ball playing. It may, and doubtless does, suit those who live by black mailing to encourage such a disregard of the duties of life, but it is purchased at a fearful cost. ...

If there was anything we admired in Tom Pratt, it was his persistent refusal to neglect his business to engage in this pastime. So, too, of Mike Smith, who invariably declines making an engagement to play if his business demands his attention; and Fisler also, as well as others we could mention. Colonel Moore and “Oppy” set a notable example in this particular–“business first, pleasure afterwards.” Another evil is in gadding around the country, in answer to everybody’s beck and call. This is well enough in its way–say one excursion during the season–but making these excursions is ofttimes at a sacrifice, as Berkenstock and Dan Kleinfelder can testify. Those who are fond of guzzling should do it at their won expense, and not be running our clubs into engagements that they may indulge in cheap pleasures. We intend to set our face against these practices, and call upon the Athletic, Keystone, Commonwealth, Camden, West Philadelphia, and other clubs, to unite with us in banishing this evil.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for the end of championship games

Date Sunday, October 21, 1866
Text

We trust, that, after the game of to-morrow, this will be the last of championship contests. They have been of no advantage, and instead of elevating, have made the game unpopular, and interested in it a class of men who could well be spared, and whose interest extends only so far as they may be successful in making it p ay. A better day is dawning, and the public and press will rescue from the hands of those sordid hucksters what is, and we trust will continue to be, our great national Pastime.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for the return of straight arm pitching

Date Sunday, August 15, 1880
Text

[from a letter to the editor of the Boston Herald] Will you permit an old lover of the National sport, and one of the original founders of the Boston Base Ball Association to make a suggestion? I havee found of late that, although my interest in the game could not be lessening, as I was still possessed of the same eagerness to read in your columns the reports of the various league matches as also to scan the details of the fielding and batting of the Bostons, yet when I attended a match I would become wearied as at a dull play at the theater, and although the Bostons would be playing what might be called a good game, yet I could not “enthuse” at all. If ind that I am not alone in this feeling, and it is growing on the “veteran” patrons of the game, as shown in the decreasing attendance. Now this is all accounted for in the fact that the game itself has changed. … ...the change made from the old style of delivery of the ball at base ball. When the ball was fairly pitched, and not thrown, and delivered below the waist at straight arm, good pitchers were scarce, but since underhand throwing has been in vogue good deliveries of the ball—not pitchers—are plenty. Underhand throwing, from one having good command of the ball, can not be batted successfully, if he is properly supported. Consequently the balls from the bat do not come hard to the fielders and the records of games show less than five errors to a club and less than ten runs in all. But is the game any shorter, so that the spectator may not be wearied? One would naturally suppose that, in a game where only seven runs are made, under the new style of playing, the game would take less time than in the old style of game, where double the number of runs were scored. But such is not the fact. The writer being an unfortunate suburban is obliged to leave the grounds at 5:30, and on Friday at the same time six innings had been played. Now for the remedy. The spectators would rather see good batting that good fielding, and there was more enjoyment in the old Harvard and Lowell matches of 30 run on a side than in all of the present 3 to 0 contests. Go back, gentlemen managers of the League, to the old base ball game, with straight-arm pitching, and abolish the rule allowing the pitcher to deliver 11 balls to each batsman. Let six bad balls at the most, give a batsman a base, and stop the warning of “good ball” after two strikes. This will make the pitcher sharper in his deliver, the batsman more eager to strike the batting heavier, and the game ll the more interesting and the patronage consequently better. Cincinnati Commercial August 15, 1880

George Wright has been recently interviewed, and expressed himself strongly in favor of a return to the old style of straight-arm pitching, adding that with the present curved underhand throwing a base hit is only made by chance. It is his opinion that Corcoran, Will White, Ward and McCormick throw the ball almost from the shoulder, and should be ruled out. Cincinnati Commercial September 5, 1880

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for two umpires

Date Wednesday, June 29, 1887
Text

Says the New York Sun of Thursday:--”A new functionary is made necessary in the ball field through the dishonesty of certain players. What we want is an assistant umpire. On Tuesday, McGarr, of the Athletic Club, seeing the umpire looking in another direction, cut across the diamond on his way to third base, and was thus enabled to score a run, the umpire not having seen him. It is a well-known fact that McGarr has many distinguished precedents for such performances. The Hon. Michael Kelly, of Boston, was notorious in this way. But perhaps Boston did not know it when she shelled out $10,000 for him.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for two umpires in regular season games

Date Wednesday, November 2, 1887
Text

[from Brunell's column] The Cleveland Club will also be found to favor the double umpire system, so successfully tried in the world's championship series. The cry of economy raised against the system will not do. Base ball cannot afford to let economy stand in the way of a so9lution of the umpire problem. It has presented too many knots for too many seasons for that. The Association should adopt the system and use two umpires in all its championship games next season. By means of it all the annoying errors made by umpires on base decisions will be wiped out, and it is worth a great deal of money to have them wiped out. Of course, the chances for bad calling of balls and strikes will not disappear; but they will be diminished, since the calling umpire will not have his attention diverted from that branch of his work by base plays.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for umpires to be paid

Date Sunday, January 12, 1873
Text

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

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

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

Date Saturday, September 22, 1877
Text

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

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call to fire the manager

Date Sunday, June 3, 1883
Text

The failure of the Philadelphia club to make a stand against its colleagues in the League has been the source of much regret to the many warm friends of the club. In our judgment the club is composed of players as good as any in the country, and occasionally they prove it by an exhibition that revives hopes of their supporters, but then fall back again to such miserable playing as to invite disgust. All lovers of the game are interested in the club and would like to see it make a respectable showing, but until certain remedies are applied this can never be expected.

In conversation with one of the players the latter said: “There is no use talking, we cannot play under Ferguson. He is harsh, cruel and unjust. Fines are inflected for the most trivial offenses and the entire team is in a state of demoralization. We don't object to discipline, but there is such a thing as too much of it. We are treated more like slaves than players.” This in our judgment is the key-note to the whole trouble and if the club is to be saved at all it must be through heroic measures. There are only two courses open: Release the players who are “kicking” or release the manager. The remedy must be applied at once, too, or it will be too late.

It is also evident that the feeling held by the players toward Ferguson has extended to the audiences, and the scene on the ground last Wednesday afternoon was such as is seldom witnessed. Cries of “Lynch Ferguson,” “Somebody hit Ferguson on the head with a bat,” being uttered throughout the game. When players see this the manager's usefulness is at once gone, and he should resign to save his own self respect.

No one holds Manager Fergsuon in higher respect as a gentleman, and a ball player than the writer of this, but it is too evident that as a manger he is a colossal failure. He lacks magnetism, his idea of discipline is false, his domineering tendencies fatal.

Managers Reach and Pratt are suffering by this a much as the public, as the slim attendance at games last week shows. Mr. Reach is deserving of better fortune than this. He is honest and conscientious in his efforts to raise the standard of the game, and is one of the few professionals who have risen from the ranks to a business that is rapidly making his fortune.

To these gentlemen, then, we respectfully submit whether something should not be done at once. The club has many friends, and if it plays good ball, the attendance will be large.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called ball is dead if hit; an appeal to Chadwick; appeals of rule misinterpretations

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] Brainard sent a ball to Pearce, which was so low as almost to touch the home base, and, seeing that is was a ball to be called, Mills [umpire] called “one ball.” Just at the same moment Pearce hit at it in the hope of sending it safe back of third base, but he sent it instead to the in-field, and the ball was at once fielded to first, McDonald, who was a first, running to second, no effort being made to put him out, as two hands were already out. On judgment being asked, the umpire properly decided Pearce not out, as the ball having been called could not be hit at without being made dead if hit. But he also decided McDonald as being entitled to his base. Seeing this, Harry Wright called “time” and claimed that McDonald had no right to his base, on the ground that the hit called balls are dead, and that neither a player can be put out or a base be run or taken on such a ball. Ferguson claimed the McDonald had a right to take the base. As the umpire had not a copy of the rules by him—all those who are accustomed to act should have—the question was referred to the Chairman of the Committee of Rules who was seated at the reporters' stand, and he at once reversed the decision of the umpire, and stated that no base could be run or taken on a hit called ball, and McDonald was then sent back to first base in accordance with the rules. The crowd not being posted thought the dispute was about a foul ball, and some wanted to know why the umpire did not decide it. But in all cases when any rule of the game is plainly misinterpreted by the umpire, as in this instance, it is the duty of the captain to consult the rules, as was done in this case. In fact the captain of a nine ought never to be without a copy of the season's rules in his possession on a match day.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called ball is still live

Date Saturday, August 22, 1868
Text

[from answers to correspondents] In a game of base ball a player was occupying third base; a ball was called by the umpire and not struck at by the striker; the player started to run home from third base, and was touched with the ball by the catcher between the bases without the ball having been first returned to the pitcher. Was the player thereby put out, or should not the called ball have been returned to the pitcher before it could be considered in play again? ... The player was out.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called game reverting to the half-inning

Date Saturday, April 19, 1879
Text

The League rules provide that in case of “rain or darkness” the game shall be decided by the score of the last equal inning played, unless one nine shall have completed their inning, and the other nine shall have equaled or exceeded the score of their opponents in their incompleted [sic] inning, in which case, the game shall be decided by the total score obtained. The National rule is the same as the above in case of “rain;” but should the game be called on account of darkness, it is decided by the score of the last equal inning played.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called shot

Date Friday, August 31, 1888
Text

[Chicago vs. Indianapolis 8/30/1888] “Silver,” called Anson in the fifth, “where are you going to hit?” “Out there,” Flint said, pointing his bat to left. “Yes you will,” spoke up Boyle, who had struck the catcher out once. The ball came tot he plate and “Silver” placed it where he said he would. Anson laughed, but Boyle did not.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called third strike

Date Saturday, September 29, 1866
Text

[Excelsior vs. National 9/18/1866] McLean and Studley then made fine hits on which they easily secured their bases, and eventually both came home, Studley by a wild throw of Norton’s [the catcher], Randall striking out. We were please to see this player taught a lesson by the umpire. He was over particular at the bat in order to give Studley a chance to get in, and had struck twice without effect and had allowed two good balls to pass him, when the third one led the umpire [Mr. Alliger of the Atlantic Club of Jamaica] to call a strike on him for not batting at a good ball.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called third strike to determine the game; bullying the umpire

Date Sunday, July 31, 1870
Text

[Athletics vs. Cincinnati 7/27/1870] [ninth inning, two outs, Cincinnati behind in the score:] George Wright allowed two strikes to be called upon him, and McBride’s “heady” pitching was curtailed by an equal number of balls. One more, two more balls at most, were pitched, when Malone, passing th ball to McBride, that Hector of the National game, running in on the striker, put the ball on him, and said: “How is that on three strikes?”

“Out,” said the immortal and nervy man addressed, and the game was won by Philadelphia.

The crowd were ready to cheer the victory of the Athletics, as they had cheered their good plays, but so few understood the decision, and so many were disgusted with it, that the applause was not uproarious.

...

The feeling on the streets and at the crowded Gibosn House, last night, was one of intense regret, not that the Red Stockings had been beaten, but that the umpire had not allowed them to be beaten on their merits. We heard one disgusted individual say: “If George had a mind to strike out, why didn’t Boake [the umpire] let him do it? If he could send McVey in, why didn’t the umpire give him a chance to do it?

...

We approach this subject with reluctance, and only because it was a matter of public discussion everywhere last night. We do not lay much stress on the story–though we have good reason for thinking it true–that Mr. Boake was selected for the position by the Athletics before they left Philadelphia, through the correspondence of a staunch friend of theirs, for we give to him and to every man who accept the thankless task of umpiring as we give to every baseball player of every nine, credit for honest intentions, until the reverse is proved. Neither do we find fault with his discrimination in favor of McBride’s pitching, nor any decision except one, for his honestly in the premises no man has a right to question, but this we do say, that any man who would allow himself to be Hectored into such a decision as his last by Dick McBride, or any one else, is not fit to umpire a fist-class game of baseball., quoting the Cincinnati Enquirer

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called third strike to end the inning

Date Sunday, October 21, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/15/1866] Galvin...was on his third when Mills, having struck twice and missed, had the third strike justly called on him for failing to strike at a good ball. Whatever the intention of a striker may be, the umpire is justified in inferring the batsman’s particularity in selecting balls when players are on the bases to a desire to enable them to run their bases, and, therefore, is justified in calling strikes whenever fair balls are pitched, and he alone is the judge of a fair ball.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a calming influence on Fitzgerald; a toast to the press

Date Saturday, September 29, 1866
Text

[Excelsior vs. Olympic of Philadelphia 9/22/1866] [in the post-game dinner] Excellent speeches were made by the presidents of the two clubs, and appropriate remarks by Col. Fitzgerald and Col. Moore, and Mr. Hayhurst, who sat near each other at the table, the presence of the Excelsiors having a harmonious effect on all discordant elements on this occasion. The Olympics, unlike the other clubs who entertained the Excelsiors, did not forget the press–Messrs. Wells and Meeser responding to the toast tot he press.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a capacity crowd

Date Sunday, June 3, 1883
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Athletic 5/30/1883] From noon until nearly five the people poured in and when the time to play arrived at least 16,000 people were within the enclosure, one third of whom swarmed over the ground, as every available space was filled. It was with the utmost difficulty that sufficient room was made to play and then it was nearly five o'clock. The diamond was completely surrounded and this seriously interfered with the catchers, and, in fact, lost the Athletic the game, as in the fifth inning O'Brien had two chances to put out men on foul flies, but he couldn't get through the crowd in time and these batters afterwards made hits and two runs.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a capacity crowd in Providence

Date Thursday, May 31, 1883
Text

[Cleveland vs. Providence 5/30/1883] There were 7,500 people present at the afternoon game, every seat, all the standing room, and fence, and even the roof of the shed adjoining the fence being covered. The “bullpen” was filled, and the carriage way was four and five deep with vehicles from the right field way around to the carriage gateway.

Source Providence Morning Star
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a carpetbagger club

Date Wednesday, September 26, 1866
Text

Two base ball clubs in Richmond refused to play friendly matches with the Union club of that city, because the latter was composed of Northern men.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catch off the fence not an out

Date Monday, June 1, 1874
Text

[Athletic vs. Baltimore 5/30/1874] A foul bound catch by Clapp, although the umpire was at first doubtful as to whether the ball touched the fence before it was caught, was finally given in favor of the Athletics [fielding side]...

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher has swollen hands

Date Saturday, July 10, 1869
Text

[Ivanhoe of Sing Sing vs. Eagle of New York 7/9/1869] Murphy, the new swift-pitcher of the Eagles, delivered the ball with great force and speed, rendering the batting of the visitors weak and uncertain. Stevens had to resume his old post in the last inning, Hick's hands having become so swollen that he was unable longer to catch for Murphy.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher not wearing a mask?

Date Tuesday, July 3, 1883
Text

Billy Holbert, the gentlemanly catcher of the Metropolitans, while attmpting to catch a foul ball from Deagles bat in the sixth inning yetserday, was hit in the eye and knocked down. He recovered a short time afterward and pluckily caught through the rest of the game. He will have to adron his phiz with a piece of raw beefstead for several days to come, however, to get the optic back to its normal condition.

Source Cincinnati Enqiurer
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 released due to sore hands

Date Friday, June 12, 1885
Text

The reason for the release of Fusselbach, who caught for the Athletics, is that his hands were so pounded out of shape that he was compelled to quite playing ball. He will catch no more this season. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher reluctant to play close to the bat

Date Saturday, August 13, 1887
Text

Two strikes having been called on a player of one of the visiting clubs Captain Ewing seeing O'Rourke made no move to come up to the bat to take the flyers, kindly called to him to put the mask on and take his place behind the bat. O'Rourke hesitated for a moment and then very reluctantly adjusted the mask on his face and placed himself close to the batter. In the next inning a similar occurrence transpired. He showed no sign of taking his place up by the batter again and there was a perceptible [illegible] among several of the players. Captain Ewing bit his lip and finally called out “Come Jimmy, put the mask on and give us a show.” For a time it seemed as if he was inclined not to obey the orders of the captain but he once more very deliberately took his proper position, amid a hiss or two from those in the grand stand who had noticed the little farce.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher suffering from sore hands

Date Saturday, June 6, 1885
Text

Bushong complained of sore hands last Monday and Robinson caught in his place. He expressed a willingness to take his place behind the bat, but Mr. Von der Ahe would not allow him to do it. Bushong’s hands are not hurt in any way but simply sore from constant use. He expects to catch in all the four games with the Athletics. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher who doesn't use a mask

Date Sunday, April 30, 1882
Text

[Chicago vs. Philadelphia 4/24/1882] Quinton, the catcher of the Philadelphia Club, met with a painful and perhaps serious accident during the progress of the seventh inning. He never wears a mask over his face while playing behind the bat, and he became a victim of his own recklessness. He was in his usual position close behind the batter, when a foul-tipped ball from Corcoran's bat struck him in the eye and nose. Not being able to finish the game, Quinton's place was taken by McCloskey.

Source Philadelphia Item
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 glove manufacturer

Date Wednesday, February 29, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's column] Among the notes in your last issue is one describing a new catcher's glove. Do you know where more good catchers' gloves are made than in any other place? And how the maker came to secure the trade? I'll tell you. One spring day in 1882 Charley Snyder was walking up Main street in Cincinnati when his eyes rested upon a modest sign, which read:-- “--- Hermann, glove-maker.” He was in need of a glove, and he went in to solicit the making of one. He found a German and his wife in a small room about 10 by 15 feet in area and a patronage which was so meager they barely lived. After much trouble Snyder made them understand what it was he wanted. In a few days he had his glove, and it proved to be one of the best he ever used. Several visiting catchers saw the glove, got a point and, hunting up the German, left orders. Those gloves in turn secured other orders, and in a year or so the glove-maker had rented a neighboring building, employed help and was manufacturing gloves for players in almost every part of the country. Presently orders came in for supplies of gloves from Spalding Bros., Reach, Wright and other base ball supply dealers, so that in the years which have followed the German and his wife have made a small fortune. Snyder's visit to that little room on that spring morning nearly six years ago was like the fairy's visits of which we read.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher's glove pad

Date Wednesday, March 28, 1888
Text

[from an advertisment] Henderson's Patent Catcher's Glove. Made of Heavy Gray Felt and Sheet Lead. Shaped Like a Glove, With Half and Full Fingers. Price, 50 Cts. Each. Impossible for the ball to hurt your hand. Can be used in any glove. [i.e. this is a glove insert] No Catcher Should be Without one.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher's hands in bad condition

Date Thursday, July 30, 1885
Text

Crotty’s hand is still in a bad condition, and he will not be able to catch for several days. St. Louis Post-Dispatch July 30, 1885

rumored AA meeting to consider the reserve, war with the NL

To-day a secret meeting of the American Association of base-ball clubs is to be held. The place of meeting has not been made public, but the probability is it will be held in Pittsburg. The main question before this meeting will be a discussion as to whether or not the reserve rule is to be abrogated, and it is not an easy matter to predict what the result will be. Three clubs are quoted as being against the rule and four in favor of it, while one is on the fence. St. Louis, Baltimore, Brooklyn and the Athletics will vote to abolish the reserve rule, the managers of these clubs having put themselves on record in this regard. Pittsburg, Cincinnati and Louisville will vote against the rule, the two former because they think their clubs are strong enough and the latter because it is too poor to secure a high-priced team. ... The Metropolitans, therefore, will hold the deciding vote, as should they vote with St. Louis the rule will be abolished, and if they vote against a change the result will be a tie, which will leave the rule in place. St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 1, 1885

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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 catcher's mask and gloves used in a railroad nine game

Date Monday, September 10, 1877
Text

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

Source Chicago Inter Ocean
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher's mask in street play

Date Wednesday, June 12, 1878
Text

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

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a caught third strike is not a caught fly ball

Date Saturday, August 2, 1879
Text

[from answers to correspondents] The in-side had a man on first and a man at the bat, with two strikes against him. As the pitcher delivered the ball, the man of first started for second and the striker went out on three strikes. The catcher delivered the ball to first-baseman, and the umpire declared the runner out, he (the umpire) claiming it a fly, three strikes, and that the man had no right to run. Was this correct? The decision was incorrect. The catch on strikes is not regarded as a fly-catch of a fair ball in the light of requiring base-runners to return to bases, as in the case of fly-catches made from fair or foul balls. It ought to be, of course, but is not.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a caution not to violate the laws of God or man

Date Saturday, July 17, 1869
Text

The following advice has been given the Red Stockings, which were included in the report of the Grand Jury of Common Pleas, in Cincinnati, O., last Saturday:–

“While we, has individual citizens, congratulate our young men, the Red Stockings, in their victorious career over all competitors in the United States, we would, at the same time warn them, and all others who participate in all such exciting games, to do so with moderation, and that they be careful not to violate the laws of God or man.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a celebratory riot following a victory

Date Wednesday, May 1, 1889
Text

[Boston vs. Philadelphia 4/30/1889] Over 12,000 persons saw the Philadelphia Club defeat the Boston yesterday, and those who witnessed the game are not likely to soon forget the occasion. The overflow from the seats took possession of the field, lining the fence from three to six deep all the way round. On the left field terrace the crowd was about twenty deep. It was an enthusiastic assemblage from the start, but good order was preserved until the game was ended, when a wild scene of excitement ensued. Fogarty's catch of the last hit from big Dan Brouthers' bat, which ended the contest, was the signal for a great shout, and in an instant the field was covered with men and boys. They swarmed up to the pavilion in hot pursuit of the retiring ball players, howling and cheering. They occupants of the pavilion began throwing cushions, and those on the field were not slow in returning the compliment. The friendly fight waxed hotter and hotter, and many a hat came to grief. The battle was waxing furious, when Harry Wright rushed to the rescue. Single-handed he advanced on the tumultuous throng, expostulating by word and hand, and admonishing the men and boys to cease their wanton destruction of property. But it was like talking to a whirlwind. To the on-lookers the strangest part of the conflict was that Manager Wright's tall beaver hat escaped injury. It was in the thickest of the fray, and at times the air seemed black with cushions around it, but the hat came out unscathed.

Source Philadelphia Record
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a challenge to Chadwick on playing 'social' games to evade eligibility rules

Date Saturday, August 3, 1867
Text

[a card from Philadelphia, regarding a “social” game in which the Mutuals played the Hudson River club, including in their nine Lipman Pike] We have referred to this game (a full report of which, with the incidents which we have mentioned above, being published in the New York Tribune, of the 23d inst.), for a purpose, and that purpose is not only to remind the gentleman who professes to have bas ball matters under his especial charge in the United States, that, as this game and the circumstances attending it are precisely similar to the games played by the Athletic Club in Boston, we insist that he assumes the same position against the Mutuals that he did toward the Athletics; that he lectures them as severely, denounces them in terms as ungrateful, speaks of them as disparagingly and as bitterly as he did of the Philadelphia Club. We say that we shall insist that he does this, otherwise we shall hold him up to the ridicule of all fair-minded men. He must either do this or retract all that he has said against the Athletic Club. He will find that when the prominent clubs of the country show their independence by interpreting the laws of the association themselves, and not for a moment allowing a single base ball reporter to assume this duty for them, he will find, we remark, that he has mistaken, not only the character of the clubs to whom he was presumed to dictate, but mistaken likewise his calling. New York Clipper August 3, 1867

[editorial comment] We have not seen any attack on the Mutuals for their course with regard to Pike, as in the case of the Athletics, and we therefore presume that the assailants of the A’s, are now convinced that the position they took is untenable. New York Clipper August 3, 1867

The Mutual Club, following the example of the Athletics, we notice, have adopted the Philadelphia plan of violating the rule of the game–prohibiting players from taking part in match games, who have not been members of the club they play with thirty days–under the guise of playing a “social” game; this is, they played the Hudson River Club, with Pike in their nine, before he had been a member the designated thirty days. ... Were these so-called “social” games merely friendly meetings, designed for amusement and recreation alone, without any object of testing the playing strength of the clubs, of course no objection could be interposed, for under such circumstances two clubs could mix up their nines for the sake of making things equal; but they are not; on the contrary, these so-called “social” contests...are regular trials of skill, in which each club tries its best to win, and in which each puts forth its full strength. Hence the injurious effects of the example of contempt for the rules of the game thus afforded to less prominent clubs. If this latest dodge for violating the rules of the game be allowed to go unrebuked, by and by there will be none but “social” games played, and under this guise any and every rule of the game may be violated; for instance players may be paid for their services; the ball may be thrown or jerked; a half dozen players of other clubs can be introduced; money may be played for openly, as in the prize ring, and, in fact, all the evils which the rules prohibit, may be introduced under the plea of this “social” game system. Ball Players Chronicle August 8, 1867

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a challenge to prove a ball can curve

Date Saturday, July 24, 1880
Text

Soule of Rochester, N.Y., is said to have offered $1,000 to the person who could demonstrate to him the possibility of a baseball being curved in the air. He has received many offers from parties prepared to prove that such a feat can be performed, and he now intends to divide the amount into two prizes, the first to go to the pitcher who can make has ball describe the greatest curve.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a championship game changed to an exhibition

Date Saturday, July 5, 1873
Text

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a change pitcher needed for practice

Date Wednesday, May 28, 1873
Text

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

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a 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 charge of an illegal delivery

Date Sunday, May 27, 1883
Text

Coleman, Philadelphia's pitcher, in the game of May 11 got his hand above the shoulder a little more than half the time. Capt. Anson did not call for judgment on his illegal delivery, and he kept up his overhand throwing all through the game., quoting Chicago American Sports

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a charge of game throwing in St. Louis

Date Thursday, July 18, 1889
Text

The Post-Dispatch here [St. Louis] to-day published a sensation story that the Browns are putting up a game for the pool rooms and that two members have thrown games. It seems that Latham and King have been putting up such uniformly bad ball that it created suspicion and was some nasty talk. After the second Athletic-Brown game, in which King was knocked out of the box, there was a howl from all over the country. Letters were received by the club management from pool-room keepers and Kansas City and Omaha complaining that certain members of the Browns were throwing games. The Omaha letter stated that a man had entered the pool-room there and offered to bet $100 to $50 against the Browns. This was considered the stronger club, had the advantage of playing on their home grounds, and had in one of their strongest batteries. When King was removed from the box, so the letter stated, the man who was backing the Athletics immediately began to hedge, and the odds veered around from $100 to $60 on the, despite the fact that Stivetts, a green pitcher, was substituted.

The Kansas City letter was to the same effect. A man had entered a pool-room there and bet similarly against the Browns, and then commenced to hedge when King was taken out of the box. It was also said that a man had bet $150 against them here and proceeded to hedge at the same point of the game. This information looked so badly for the players that Mr. Von der Ahe immediately placed the matter in the hands of one of the largest detective agencies in the world and had them place officers to watch the pool-rooms, and Kansas City and Omaha especially, and to keep a general lookout at other points. He called King and Latham up before him and charged them with having thrown games. Both men denied it, and he warned them that if he learned that they were guilty of such an offense he would expel them for life...

... It is said that he...expressed himself to them very plainly. Mr. Von der Ahe is busily engaged in investigating the charges.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a charge of sold games

Date Thursday, September 27, 1877
Text

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

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a charged abuse of the reserve system

Date Monday, January 28, 1884
Text

The player who preferred charges against the Fort Wayne Club to the Northwestern League Convention unqualifiedly declare they were unjustly dealt with, and that the Convention was manipulated in the interest of the League and American Association at a sacrifice of their rights. They assert that the Fort Wayne Club was in arrears to the Quincy Club over $200 for guarantees, and also owed dues to the Association, for both of which it should have been expelled, whereas it was reinstated as a member in good standing upon settling those accounts. Then the ten players presented their claims, each one thinking that his case was sure to hold. But they counted without their host. Fort Wayne had reserved them, and, as it was not the policy of the League and the American Association to permit so many reserved men to go out on the market untrammeled, the men who were doing their bidding had no alternative but to sustain the club, and thereby hold the players. St. Louis Post-Dispatch January 28, 1884, quoting an unidentified exchange

the rules of baseball on ice

In base ball games on the ice the rules are of necessity greatly modified from those of the regular field game. In the first place the base running is different, inasmuch as the runners are allowed to over-run every base and to return to them without being put out, provided they turn to the right after passing over each base line. If they turn to the left, however, they cease to be exempt from being put out in returning. The rules governing the battery work, too, are different, the batsmen being obliged to strike at every ball within fair reach, whether high or low, or not exactly over the base, while balls are only called on the pitcher when he sends in balls either by any kind of a throw, or to the left of the batsman or out of his fair reach, and then six balls give a base. The rule for catchers, too, includes bound catches of fair balls as well as of foul. With these exceptions the game is played as ordinarily. The Sporting Life January 30, 1884

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a cheap shot at Caylor

Date Sunday, December 23, 1883
Text

The lizard-like official of the Cincinnati Club should be careful when he enters the Grand Stand at the Cincinnati Ball Park, as he might sit down on a nail, when there would be an awful calamity. There would be nothing left but a little shriveled-up skin and a bad smell. Cincinnati Enquirer December 23, 1883 [see also CE 831225 for more, at length]

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim of a doctored bat

Date Wednesday, August 13, 1884
Text

Sullivan’s “kick” yesterday was in regard to O’Neill’s using an alleged “shaved” bat. He failed to convince Devinney, however, that such was the fact. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim of an illicitly substituted ball

Date Thursday, August 1, 1889
Text

Captain Farrar did a great deal of unnecessary kicking. His worst ebullition was in the fifth inning, when, with two men on bases, Thompson placed the ball against the slats of the right field fence. Thinking that the ball would easily be a home run, the runners, Haliman and Meyers, began to make the round of the bases at their leisure. Kelly stood watching the ball, evidently of the same idea as the runners, but the ball struck the slats, which in that portion are constructed so that a ball cannot go through them, and they allow a ball to bound well away from them. The ball dropped back in the field and Kelly made a run for it. He fumbled the ball, else he would have been able to capture Haliman at the plate. The runners had been going so very slowly that Myers managed not to get beyond third and Thompson made second. Here Farrar made a great bluff about the ball having gone clear over the seats and then having been thrown back again, but he was unable to persuade Umpire Powers of this fact, though he stood arguing and expostulating for quite a number of minutes. All sorts of rumors went the rounds of the grounds about this ball. Some people, however, said that the ball was thrown back; and others claimed that the ball cleared the fence, and that Kelly had another ball concealed about his person and threw it in. The writing visited the bleaching boards at the end of the game, and found several persons who saw the ball hit the top of the slats and bound back onto the field. A moment’s reflection will convince any one that it was simply impossible for Kelly to have a ball concealed about his person from the way that he ran for the ball after it dropped to the ground.

Such a hypothesis is simply ludicrous. Then it is scarcely within the bounds of possibility that any person could have thrown the ball back into the field as quickly as it came back from the slats. With any other man but Kelly in right field it is hardly probable that so many people could have been found who were so positive that they saw the ball go over the fence., quoting the Boston Herald

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim of doctored balls

Date Sunday, December 10, 1876
Text

The Cincinnatis last season used to soak balls thoroughly, and then, after pounding them until they were soft, would present them in all matches on their own ground. No wonder they defeated the St. Louis Club in their opening two games.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim of early signs

Date Wednesday, June 6, 1888
Text

The first player to give his catcher and outfielders signs as to the kind of ball he was about to pitch was Harry Wright, when he was change pitcher for the famous Red Stockings, of Cincinnati, in 1870. he worked the fast and slow ball, and would always let his catcher and outfielders know when he was going to toss a good one over the plate.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim of unfair pitching; Chadwick appealed to

Date Sunday, May 16, 1875
Text

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

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that AA clubs asked to join the NL

Date Sunday, September 24, 1882
Text

[report on the special NL meeting] The secretary then read applications for membership from several of the American association clubs. These were all rejected, however, on the ground that the policy of the league has always been to limit the number of clubs to eight, the present number, and the delegates present could see no reason for departing from this policy. Boston Herald September 24, 1882 [N.B. This does not appear in the official minutes of the meeting.]

Cincinnati sets up a dodge to play NL clubs

The patrons of base ball in Cincinnati have been clamorous for games in October between the Cincinnatis and a few of the best League club teams. The Cincinnati Club have not been able to play such games, because their constitution expressly forbids it. But a certain wealthy admirer of the sport, and a well known citizen of Cincinnati, has made these games possible, and they will be played. The Cincinnati players’ contracts run to October 15. This made two weeks’ salary to be paid by the club, during which time the team could not make half of it by playing local or Association clubs. The aforesaid citizen made an offer to assume the payment of these last half month salaries (amounting to nearly $1,000), if the club would turn over the team to him, and release all the players. As this would be a big saving to the club treasury it was agreed to. The team, were consulted and agreed to take their released October 1, and to remain for two weeks in the employ and at the will of said gentleman. Negotiations were then begun by this gentleman’s agent for a series of League Club visits to Cincinnati. The result was that during the first two weeks in October the Cleveland Club will play three games here, the Chicago two and the Providence Club four. One of the requirements in the agreements between these clubs and the management of the Cincinnatis was that the teams be exactly those as are how playing. Cincinnati Commercial September 24, 1882

They will be the Cincinnati Club only in name. This action was found necessary, as all three teams had competed with the Bostons, who have an expelled player among their men, and the association constitution prohibits one of its clubs from meeting another that has in its nine, or has played with one that has a man thus outlawed. Cincinnati Gazette September 25, 1882

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that Day might get involved with the PL

Date Sunday, October 13, 1889
Text

Representatives of the Brotherhood of Base Ball Players in New York inspected the land immediately north of the present Polo Grounds yesterday morning [10/11/]. One of these gentlemen was Mr. James J. Coogan, and the other very much resembled Mayor Hugh J. Grant. That was palpable evidence that the Brotherhood is looking for a ball ground, and as all the members in New York belong to the New York Base Ball Club, it is further evidence that the League organization in this city is in danger of disintegration.

President John B. Day, of the Giants, is well aware of that fact, and for that matter so are all the magnates of the National League in the eight cities controlled by the monopoly. They are all frightened, and they have good reason to be. But, as the Item indicated, Mr. Day has been treated with more consideration by the players than some of the other aristocrats of the diamond. It is understood that when John Montgomery Ward, the President of the Brotherhood, was in the city last he called upon Mr. Day in a friendly way and gave him a tip about the negotiations going on. It is said that Mr. Day listened to his short stop, and when Ward suggested that there was no reason why Mr. Day should run an opposition team the League magnate meditatively puffed his cigar a moment and remarked that under the circumstances he could not see that there was.

Of course Mr. Day, being a member of the League and the President of its champion team, would not be apt to proclaim the fact that he was contemplating an alliance with its enemies. He says he had no conversation with Ward; that he had no intention of abandoning the League, and that he did not believe that the Brotherhood players were about to desert him and run of club of their own.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that Mills was the brains of the operation

Date Monday, December 31, 1883
Text

Even in the days of the lamented Hulbert, Mr. Mills was the power behind the thrown; his brain brought forth the ideas and Mr. Hulbert fathered them. It is, however, safe to say that three-fourths of all the League legislation ever enacted emanated in his busy mind, though until after Mr. Hulbert’s death he kept himself well in the background. He seldom makes mistakes, and never boasts vauntingly. St. Louis Post-Dispatch December 31, 1883, quoting the Cincinnati Commercial-Gazette

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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 claim that Ward approached Erastus Wiman to back a league

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

[from George Stackhouse's column][from an interview of Erastus Wiman] “It is said, Mr. Wiman, that in case there is trouble between the players and the League owners that you will back the Brotherhood in its fight against the moneyed men of base ball.”

“No, no,” said the financier. “I am out of base ball. Some time ago, probably a year or more, I might have done so, but not now. At that time I had the old Metropolitan Club on my hands, and acknowledged that I did consider such a scheme. Ward came to me and made such a proposition and I thought favorably of it at the time. Now such a thing is out of the question. I am much more interested in Canadian affairs.” The Sporting Life December 12, 1888

[from Frank Brunell's column] Two stories are on the breeze and in our Western ears to which I can add a little testimony. The first is that from Boston, which quotes Arthur Irwin as saying that a year ago while the League-Brotherhood battle was on, Erastus Wiman stood ready to back the players in their project of starting teams in the leading League cities. A New Yorker in a position to know, told me the same story during the recent League meeting, and it is undoubtedly true. And there were more capitalists beside Mr. Wiman in the scheme. The Sporting Life December 12, 1888

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that Ward threw games

Date 1877
Text

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

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the AA asked to put a franchise in Chicago or Boston

Date Sunday, January 1, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's letter] To him who does not cast his thoughts away back it may seem strange to learn from that Baltimore special [report of the previous week] that the committee have been corresponding with the League and asking for the privilege of placing an Association Club in Boston or Chicago. But this the committee has done without a doubt and have been flatly refused. … ...the Association's actions are predicated upon the circumstances surrounding the admission of the Lucas Union Association Club into the League during the winter of 1884-85. It will be remembered that this could not be done without the consent of the American Association. That body blowed and blustered over the affair considerably, and finally came down like Davy Crocket's coon. … ...it was tacitly understood—so it was alleged—that the League then and there agreed that if the emergency ever arose the association should have the privilege of placing a club in Chicago or Boston provided the Chicago or Boston Club officials as the case might be should be granted certain concessions relative to such new club. My impression, however, is that there was a limit fixed to the privilege and that the limit has expired. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette January 1, 1888

a financially self-sufficient player

Frank Fennelly has signed a Cincinnati contract for next season. This will prove good news to the patrons of the game in this city for Frank was always one of the most popular players on the team and is a faithful worker. At first it was intimated that Fennelly was tired of Cincinnati and wanted his release so that he might go to another city, but such is not the case. The great short-stop was well satisfied both with the management and the club and the only thing that deterred him from signing a contract sooner was his business interest at Fall River. On last Wednesday President Stern in returning from the East went to Fennelly’s home thinking by his personal persuasion that he might induce him to sign. He said he was surprised to find that Fennelly had a large business interest to look after which if properly cared for would net him every year twice as much money as the Cincinnati Club could afford to pay him. “I saw at once” said Mr. Stern, “that he was independent of base ball as a means of a livelihood and, though pleased to find him so prosperous, was fearful after all that he might remain firm in his purpose and refuse to come to Cincinnati. He is running a large grocery store, and his business is so good that he has four wagons and as many clerks constantly employed.” Fennelly told President Stern that he must make it an object for him to play ball or else he would never consent to sign a Cincinnati contract. They were not long in coming to terms, and Fennelly was given the limit in salary, and is to draw a handsome bonus besides. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette January 1, 1888

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the AA is trying to throw the pennant to St. Louis

Date Tuesday, October 15, 1889
Text

[from a telegram from Byrne] Under the schedule adopted by the American Association, limiting the championship games to Oct. 14, we have won the American Association Championship. Under the form of law the directors of the Association deprived Brooklyn of a game it was justly entitlted to from St. Louis. The combination to deprive Brooklyn of its victory is still operating. Two games are to be played by St. Louis in Cincinnati to-morrow, to enable St. Louis to get to Philadelphia to play off its postponed games there. This, if done, simply makes our championship race a farce. If we are deprived of the victory we have honestly earned by these methods we must trust our cause to an honest press and public sentiment.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the Brush plan is being evaded

Date Wednesday, June 12, 1889
Text

[from an interview of Frank Bancroft, Pittsburgh manager] ...[the classification scheme is] a fraud as at present obeyed, for New York, Boston and Philadelphia [are] paying the men as they pleased and [will] do it next year. They say Mr. Day told Roger Connor as long as he played ball for him he would give him the same wages. Now I think the plan is a good one if lived up to by all. But now we have some men who are classified, and it riles them to have players in other teams who are lucky to give them the laugh. It makes the classified men careless, and I wouldn't wonder if we lost many a game this way. Something like it must be enforced for Indianapolis, Washington and Cleveland. Even Pittsburg can't pay the salaries the other clubs can.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the League is trying to force Lucas to buy out the Mets

Date Saturday, March 14, 1885
Text

There is something more than a strong suspicion hereabouts that the league’s action at their recent meeting was an attempt to force Mr. Lucas to buy out the Metropolitans and thus relieve the Metropolitan Exhibition company, which also owns the New York league club, of a very large white elephant. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the NA attendance is higher than the NL

Date Saturday, July 5, 1879
Text

The National has become the most interesting of the two campaigns for the United States championship. Not only are the games better played, as a general thing, but the contest for the National pennant is not of that uninteresting, one-sided character the League race possesses. The patronage, too, is largely in excess of that of the League, and it increases as the season progresses and the struggle becomes more and more exciting.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the Philadelphia Club managers threw games

Date Monday, March 19, 1877
Text

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

a pick off

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

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the UA is paying Wilmington Club expenses

Date Wednesday, August 27, 1884
Text

The terms upon which the Wilmington Club was induced to joint the Unions are known to be as follows: The Union Association guarantees to pay the club’s traveling expenses and the salaries of players on the trip, and to give the Wilmington Club 50 per cent of the gross receipts of certain games.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the reinstated players will pay their own fines

Date Friday, May 15, 1885
Text

“It is an error,” said A. G. Spalding, president of the Chicago base-ball club, to a Chicago Herald man yesterday, “to conclude that the contract breakers will not be the ones to pay the thousand-dollar fine we imposed on each of them as the price of the reinstatement into the League or that the money will come out of Mr. Lucas or any other of the managers who may engage them. I know personally, as far as Glasscock and Briody are concerned, that the thousand dollars will be paid by each of them by installments within the year, Mr. Lucas having advanced them the money in order that they might play this season. When Mr. Lucas and myself were talking over the subject when it was first broached, I said to him plainly: ‘Mr. Lucas, if we fine these fellows will you pay their fines, or will you make them pay the money themselves?’ ‘Mr. Spalding,’ he answered, ‘I pledge you my word I’ll not pay a dollar of fines without taking every cent out of the salaries of the men I advance money to.’ On this assurance, I voted to reinstate the men, and Mr. Lucas has since told me that the men were to pay back by the end of the season the money advanced. It strikes me that’s heavy enough punishment.” St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim to inventing the first catcher's glove

Date Monday, April 25, 1887
Text

Al. Pratt and Jim White faked up the first pair of catcher’s gloves ever worn, and Jim was the first man to wear them. Jim was much younger than he is now; but his hands were sore. He and Pratt dropped into a store on Broadway, New York, and purchased an old-fashioned pair of buckskin gloves. They cut the fingers off the gloves, split them and inserted lacing until they had a pair of catcher’s gloves to their liking. If they had had an idea to what extent base ball player was going to grow, they could have made a ten-strike by getting a patent on them. New York Sun April 25, 1887, et al.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claimed flooding of the infield for a rain out

Date Saturday, June 29, 1889
Text

The versatile romancer who sends the Clipper base ball “news” from St. Louey, Mizzourey, tells this story:

“I recently heard a good one on the Cleveland club. During the last visit of the Browns to Cleveland the weather not particularly bright, and two games were postponed on account of the alleged “bad condition of the grounds.” So the wires informed us here, and the papers also noted it. I learned from several of the players, who happened to be at the Cleveland ball grounds on the days when these games were to have taken place that saw, to their astonishment, the grounds-keeper industriously “hosing” the diamond and forming “pools” around the bases. The stream was a stead one, and it accomplished its purpose admirably. The nefarious work cost St. Louis at least one game and the guarantee. Hereafter Cleveland should be held up to summer guide bookmakers as a delightful and charming watering place, with all the summer comforts, hose and water included. This is one on “Cleveland.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claimed peace feeler from the NL

Date Wednesday, September 24, 1884
Text

[reporting on the UA special meeting of 9/20] It was also stated that overtures had been received from the National League, looking to a reconciliation with and recognition of the Union Association. In this case it was the sense of the meeting that the Union would meet the League half way on any terms the latter might see fit to propose, looking to the interests of the National game. On this point all present expressed themselves very freely in favor of harmonious action by a committee representing the three leading bas ball associations. The Sporting Life September 24, 1884 [N.B. A claim was also made at the same meeting that the Athletics and Metropolitans had applied for membership.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club chaplain

Date Wednesday, May 16, 1888
Text

The Chicago Club is the only one in the country that has a chaplain. His name is Rev. Thomas E. Green and he is the rector of St. Andrew's Church. Perhaps the Rev. Mr. Green could, if he tried, persuade the lads to go to bed early when away on trips.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club hostler

Date Friday, June 16, 1882
Text

The management being so well please with the large carriage patronage–no less than forty being there yesterday–have employed a hostler to look after and take charge of every team that enters the games. He will wear a club officer’s cap, and the public should know that he is paid by the club for his services. It is not necessary that he should be feed, and the public must know this.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club made up of reporters

Date Saturday, January 22, 1876
Text

[a report of the formation of the New York Press Club, made up of baseball reporters, identifies T. Bayard Brasher and John R. Carpenter with the Herald and Carl Jay with the Tribune.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

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

Date Saturday, September 27, 1873
Text

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club named after its president

Date Saturday, August 12, 1871
Text

The [George M.] Roth is a surprising young amateur club, considering that this is their first season of any note, having beaten some of the best clubs in the city. Much of its success is due to the energy and perseverance of its faithful and popular president, Mr. Geo. M. Roth, who personally superintends the regulation of the nine.

Source Evening City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club reverts to amateur status

Date Sunday, July 2, 1876
Text

The Brooklyns have withdrawn from the National Association (formed at Philadelphia) of professional players since losing the men who asked compensation for their services. They have now a first-class amateur nine.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club revived after the war

Date Sunday, June 11, 1865
Text

The Equity Club of this city, organized in 1860, but suspended operations during the war has reorganized, by the election of the following officers...

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club trainer

Date Wednesday, April 17, 1889
Text

Bill Hague, the old third baseman of the champion Providence team, has become the trainer of the Athletic club. He has been working on the pitchers' arms, and Seward, Weyhing, Smith and Knouff say their pitching limbs were never before in such excellent condition. St.

Source St. Louis Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club's expenses; finances

Date Monday, March 26, 1888
Text

Here are O. P. Caylor’s figures on the average expenses for running a base ball team of Cleveland’s size:

Salaries, fifteen men........................ $37,500

Railroad fares................................. 5,000

Sleeping car fares............................ 600

Hotel bills, 100 days....................... 3,000

Carriages......................................... 650

Advertising........................................ 1,000

Employees...................................... 2,000

Rent................................................. 3,000

Manager............................................ 3,000

Incidentals, uniforms, etc................. 1,000

______

Total..................................... $56,750

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a clue about the popularity of grandstand seats

Date Monday, August 27, 1883
Text

41,000 people witnessed the four Athletic-Cincinnati games and the receipts amounted to $11,400.

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 collective association for ball grounds

Date Sunday, May 19, 1867
Text

The clubs of Harrisburg, Pa., have united and formed a “Pleasure Ground Association,” and intend to buy or lease land in the vicinity of Camp Curtin, for the purpose of creating an attractive resort for the lovers of the game.

Source New York Sunday News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a collective hold out

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

Dave Foutz, Caruthers and Hudson have formed the Pitchers’ Big Three Combination and will make Von der Ahe come up with the requisite or hold out. Caruthers and Hudson are both well off and can afford to wait. Long Dave has a stake made in California and can make money enough there to keep the wolf from the door and keep Chris guessing. The Sporting Life February 9, 1887

A few weeks ago President Von der Ahe, of the Browns, issued a call to all his reserved champions to report at Sportsman’s Park yesterday. Of the 15 men reserved only 5 responded--Comiskey, Bushong, Sylvester, Robinson and Gleason. The three pitchers, Foutz, Caruthers and Hudson, ignored the call, as also did Latham, O’Neil and Welch. They have conspired to squeeze the manager out of more salary, and he is in a terrible predicament. The Chicago games are scheduled to take place in three weeks, and the Browns are not yet mobilized. Mr. Von der ahe is mad, and threatens to blacklist every one. The Sporting Life March 16, 1887

Now that Gleason and Welch have affixed their sigantures to contracts, the only unsigned reserved men are Latham and the three pitchers--Foutz, Caruthers and young Hudson. These four men are still holding off for an increase in salary. It is said that all of them are asking $3,000. Asking and getting is two very different things. The Sporting Life March 23, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a collective hold-out

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1883
Text

...Corcoran's name is not in the list [of players signed by Chicago], and the reason is that he wants more money than the club will pay. Just before the club disbanded this fall, Flint, Corcoran and Gore agreed to strike the club for big money. Flint asked for $3,500 for next season; Corcoran put his pitching at the neat sum of $4,500; Gore, the best one of the three named, was not so much of a hob and asked for 42,500 only.

Mr. Spalding never lost a single night's sleep over this tremendous strike. He engaged all the other men of the old team at a fair advance in salary and waited for the syndicate to tumble. Flint was the first to weaken. He came to Spalding with a yarn about being offered $2,000 to go to St. Louis, and as his wife's folks lived there he resolved to would accept. Spalding talked to him a few moments and the result was that he signed to play for about $2,500, and catch only half the games, as Kelly had been raised under a contract to play half the schedule. Gore held out for a long time, but as he was starting for his New Orleans tripe he came to Spalding and signed to play for $2,000.

Corcoran, however, had set his mind on $4,000 at least, and went East. He was offered $2,100 next year, but he refused to take it, and Spalding refused to consider the other absurd figure at all. If Corcoran does not sign with the Chicago team he will have to give up the business, as the reserve rule will be strictly enforced. However, the club will not fare badly as to pitchers. Goldsmith is at the top, with Crosby, late of the North Side Stars, second. Captain Anson thinks Crosby will puzzle the boys for a few games at least. The Sporting Life December 12, 1883 [See TSL 12/19/1883 for a letter from Corcoran denying any collective action.]

Larry Corcoran, who signed a contract with the Chicago Club, after having signed with the Chicago Unions, did so, it appears, because he dreaded the blacklist. He had just two more days grace to sign, as on Monday the 9 th he would have been penalized by the Chicago Club, he having had a month to declare himself. Mr. Spalding, president of the Chicago Club, was interviewed on the subject of the prodigal’s return and expressed his gratification thereat.

“What salary do you pay Corcoran?” he was asked.

Mr. Spalding replied: “Twenty-one hundred dollars; not a cent more.”

“How do you account for his action?”

“Good sense; that’s all. Larry had no fault to find with our treatment of him, and he knows that $2,100 in cash goes further than $200,000 in promises.”

“Do you think he falls into line willingly?”

“Yes he has not been bulldozed, bribed, coaxed or frightened. We have proceeded quietly and naturally. He will return and pitch just as good ball or better in 1884 than he ever did. He is no shirk. I know him well; he never does anything by halves.” The Sporting Life January 16, 1884

[from an interview of Henry Lucas] “I am, indeed, surprised at Corcoran’s defection. I thought he was made of more reliable material; that he had a mind of his own. Still it may be that I ought not to blame him, for I have been informed that Mills, Anson and Spalding threatened him with everything but death.” The Sporting Life January 23, 1884

the qualifications of a modern pitcher; fewer balls to a walk speed up the game; more base stealing than previously; catcher signals; pitchers poor batters

First, it is essential that the pitcher should have the curve—as the one out curve and accompanying slants and change of pace are termed. With these deceptive items must be coupled an ability to pitch swiftly or slowly at will, and with such delivery as to render it difficult for the batsman at the plate to gauge the pace of the ball until it is too late to bat it effectively. A skillful change of pace is the most valuable item in a pitcher's work, as Radbourne's success—due chiefly to it—proves. The so-called “drop” is either a ball started at the shoulder and slanting in its course, like Daly's, or a skillfully delivered slow ball, dropping naturally through lack of speed, such as McCormick and Radbourne use. The latter is the best, because easier for the catcher to handle. Then the ball should be so handled that time may not be wasted in the first motion to pitch and the act. Failure to do this, with the improved base running of the day, not only gives the runner a start, but handicaps the catcher in his throwing. McCormick, one of the first-class pitchers of the day, has this failing, and a fatal one it has often been. Command is another feature of the pitcher's work, and this is a technical term for placing the ball at will. League legislation lately has been made so as to shorten the game, by giving the pitcher less change to play with his batsman by means of well-placed ball,s which an anxious man will hit at and fail to drive effectually. Perfect command enables the pitcher to put balls over the plate and at the called-for heights at will. Failure to possess good command means bases given on balls—costly things in a game. Half of these qualifications were enough for the pitcher of eight years ago, but he is called up0on for much more now. He must watch the bases when men are on them and hold them close to their points, and often, when balls are batted to right short, necessitating fielding by the first baseman, he must cover first and make the put out. Added to all this, he must endure for nine and often more innings, and watch his catcher's signs or signal himself. Lately the catcher's signals have been used effectively for watching bases, the pitcher only throwing upon receiving a sign. Then his work must be quick and accurate, or no good results from it and often bad. With all this work it is no wonder that the base-running and batting pitchers are scare. The great pitcher is a valuable man, an expert of an almost art, and well worthy of his high salary. The Sporting Life December 12, 1883

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a collective holdout

Date Wednesday, February 29, 1888
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] ...there is said to be “a combine” within the ranks of the old stagers who were allowed to remain in St. Louis. It is rumored that a very strong combination has been formed and that this combination intend to make the Browns' president dance to their music when a contract is shoved under their nose. The combine is said to contain three of the old club—the champions—and they are said to be Robinson, O'Neil and King. It is said that they intend to demand $3,000 each for their services, and not to sign a contract for a penny less than the above amount. The boys may succeed, and they may not, as the Browns' management will have a large number of youngsters to draw from and President Von der Ahe declares that he will not be dictated to when it comes to salaries. Some of the boys that visited San Francisco during the past winter claim that they have been offered big inducements to return to the land of “rainy weather” and “trade winds,” and Robinson told me a few days ago that he would go back to California unless President Von der Ahe acceded to his demands.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a college club scared off from playing the PL

Date Wednesday, February 19, 1890
Text

It was intended to open the new grounds with the Pennsylvania University team in April, but the manager of the latter has, under pressure of some other parites, decided to break his contract and has so notified President Love. He weakly feared that he would not be able 6to get on games with the Philadelphia League and Athletic clubs. Of course, this is a fact, but the few games he will be able to arrange with these two clubs will hardly compensate him for breaking a formal agreement, especially in view of the fact that he would probably have realized more money for his University team by playing with the Players' league team, which will be the great novelty of the opening season, at least. It is more than probable that the Players' club would also have given the Pennsylvania University team a date for every one they lost by sticking by their agreement. Under any circumstances the Pennsylvania University team should not have permitted itself to be bulldozed into breaking an agreement.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a college nine not considered a club nine, doesn't affect eligibility

Date Saturday, October 13, 1866
Text

[from answers to correspondents] A college nine or a temporarily organized nine is not considered a club nine. A club is a regular organization, with constitution, by-laws, etc., and regularly elected officials. A picked nine, such as you allude to, would not exclude you from playing in the regular club matches of the club you belong to.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a college player expelled for academic failure

Date Monday, February 4, 1889
Text

The Faculty of Harvard College had a very horny dilemma to handle this week. It was a question as to whether athletic skill or mental proficiency was the prerequisite to scholarship in the college. The case involved was that of Harry Bates, of Newton, Mass., the popular pitcher of the college baseball team. Harry, while a hero among the athletes, was only a probationary scholar, and in his practice of curves and drops had failed to secure an acquaintance with his studies sufficient to carry him through the final examinations for full admission. The faculty had been considering his case for a long time, withholding his rejection on account of the pressure brought to bear by the athletic enthusiasts who desired to see the crimson pennant carried triumphant through next summer's college contests. It was a close battle between muscle and brains, with the chances in favor of muscle winning, and Bates being retained, when, unfortunately, the condition of affairs got into print. Then the faculty, recognizing the incongruity of their position, acted summarily. Bates' probation was closed, and he returned to his home in Newton this afternoon. His absence will certainly be felt in baseball circles. He improved wonderfully under Clarkson last year, and showed signs o still greater improvement this winter. Clarkson will have a good deal of trouble in bringing out a man who will make even a respectable showing against Yale or Princeton.

Source Pittsburgh Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a college player with the Chicagos

Date Tuesday, September 10, 1889
Text

...the old Yale player, Hutchinson, who pitched the game of his life...

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a college twist pitcher

Date Saturday, October 3, 1863
Text

[Athletic vs. Nassau of Princeton 9/26/1863] Their pitcher [Frank Henry] helped them [the Nassaus] greatly. He gives a slow ball, with a heavy twist, and is extremely irregular. The Athletics found it difficult to bat him for two or three innings. Fitzgerald's City Item October 3, 1863 [Nassaus won 29-13.]

Source Fitzgeralds City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a collegiate plays professionally under an assumed name

Date Friday, February 1, 1889
Text

Bingham, the Minneapolis pitcher, was a member of the class of '86 at Harvard, and after pitching for his class nine during the spring of '86 he signed with the Oshkosh team under an assumed name, and was known as the “California wonder.” He was recognized by a fellow student while playing at St. Paul, and was exposed. This prevented his playing in any college team in the future.

Source Pittsburgh Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a collegiate professional

Date Saturday, April 6, 1889
Text

The careers of few professional ball players are more interesting than that of Sanders, the strapping Philadelphia pitcher who is paired with Clements. He comes of a highly respectable family and resides at Sudley, Prince William county, Va., where he was born. He graduated from Roanoke College with high honors, and left there with the intention of studying for the ministry. He taught a country school for one year, and joined the Philadelphias in the spring of 1888. Last winter he attended Vanderbilt University, Nashville, where he is studying to become a civil engineer. Sanders, who is 28 years of age, made a phenomenal record as pitcher for the Cartharpins, a Virginia country nine, which defeated some of the best amateur clubs of the country in 1885 and 1886., quoting the Baltimore Herald

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a collision at home

Date Saturday, July 25, 1874
Text

[Chelsea vs. Arlington 7/16/1874] [from a letter from the Chelsea secretary] The Arlingtons...then went in for their eighth inning. They had a player on third and one on second base, and two hands out, when the striker hit to the Chelsea pitcher, who fielded the ball to the catcher. He held it, waiting for the player on third, who had started to run home, the catcher putting the ball on him as he came to the plate, the ball being knocked out of his hand by the runner. The umpire decided the player not out. As this was the fourth glaring decision against the Chelseas by the umpire, the Chelsea captain took the nine off the field, refusing to play any longer with an umpire who was either prejudiced or sadly deficient in the rules of the game.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a collision at the plate

Date Monday, May 26, 1873
Text

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

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a colored club in an Emancipation Celebration procession

Date Wednesday, September 4, 1867
Text

[a colored Emancipation Celebration procession in Hudson, N.Y., 9/3/1867] At 1 o'clock the procession was formed in front of the City Hall, under the direction of the Chief Marshal, Peter Van Loan, assisted by many Aids, all mounted, some in magnificent style, with batons and other insignia of office. The order of the procession was as follows: Chief Marshal, speakers and invited guests (in carriages), Committee of arrangements (in carriages), Jamaica Base Ball Club (in uniform.,) United Brothers (of Kinderhook, with splendid banner), Kinderhook Colored Band, citizens and visiting brothers, Colored Drum Corps (in gaudy uniform), carriages with ladies, Female Benevolent Society (of Troy, with beautiful banner, and decorated with white sashes and blue rosettes.) The whole forming a very imposing spectacle, novel in the extreme, and quite interesting.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a colored club in the amateur association; touring enclosed grounds

Date Sunday, August 1, 1875
Text

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

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a colored club victory

Date Sunday, July 17, 1870
Text

The Empire Club, of Utica, a colored baseball organization, visited Richfield Springs on the 13th inst., and defeated the Union Club (white) of that place by 28 to 26.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a colored female umpire

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

Last Sunday at Sportsman's Park, there were two amateur games played. The first one was between the West Ends, the champion colored club, and the N.O. Nelsons. The feature of the game was the umpiring of a lady, who hailed from St. Charles, Mo., where, it is said, she has umpired several games. She was a lady of color.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a colored mascot?

Date Sunday, August 12, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Brandywines 8/9/1866] “Scipio,” an African brother, who was engaged to see that the players were refreshed with iced water, created a great deal of amusement over one of Dock’s fancy hits. “Scip” was disengaged when Dock made the lunge, and his wondering eye followed the ball careering through the air, and as it reach terra firma, “Scip” exclaimed, “Golly, dat ball’s lighted clar cross de creek, and killed a cow.” The remark caused a great deal of amusement, as did others from the same “pusson.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a colorful nickname

Date Saturday, March 18, 1876
Text

Charley Houtz and “Trick” McSorley have left St. Louis for Covington, Ky., to join the Stars of that burg.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a combine of Association clubs against Byrne

Date Wednesday, November 13, 1889
Text

The proceedings of a little secret session of what is called the “Association Combine” leaked out yesterday morning, and if the “combine” sticks to its resolutions there is apt to be some fun before the American Association completes its labors of the annual meeting. It was mentioned yesterday that a conference had been held in Philadelphia in which five clubs were represented. Instead of Philadelphia the conference was held in Mr. Von der Ahe’s rooms at the Grand Centra Hotel, this city.

Besides the President of the St. Louis Club there were present a representative of the Louisville, Columbus and Athletic clubs. It was intended to map out the procedure for the “combine” at the Association meeting to-day, and to fix matters up generally. The absence of Kansas City from the conclave was rather a surprise, but then no difficulty was expected from that direction, and all arrangements were made to carry out their designs, which are principally to prevent Brooklyn and Cincinnati from receiving any favors in the Association.

Source Philadelphia Item
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 comic take on the pitcher and batter

Date Sunday, October 31, 1869
Text

The attitude and motions of the “pitcher” were a source of interest to us. He catches the ball as it is tossed to him, holds it in his hand, contemplates it a moment, something like Hamlet contemplates the skull of “alas! Poor,” &c., turns around and take a pace or two meditatively–forgetful, apparently, of the ball–thinking of mother, and home, and friends, and sweetheart, debts and things, quite oblivious to the awaiting batter and expectant crowd. Suddenly his eyes fall upon the ball–a moment of bewilderment ensues–he wonders what it is, and how it came there–then his brain clears us–his thoughts gather–it’s a base ball–ah! ah!–the match is on–he’s the pitcher–away! and turning swift as lightning, he lets drive at the batter. And the batter (no batter than she should be, perhaps,) he adjusts himself after the model of the Colossus of Rhodes. He throws out his chest and a few other pieces of baggage, and straightens up his trunk, and plants his valises firmly; he spits upon his hands and grasps the club with a grip equal to a District Collector holding on to office. He is ready, awaiting the inauguration ball. It comes. He inclines his head a little to one side as it passes, rests on his club, looks as if he hadn’t done anything, as he hadn’t. This performance is repeated several times to allow the pitcher a chance to renew his meditation over the skull of Yorick, think of home, &c., and give opportunities for the batter to exhibit his skill as a posturer and his exquisite talent of spitting on his hands.

At length the blow comes, and the ball is sent skimming through the air or bouncing along the ground. We couldn’t help thinking all the time how much easier it would have been to have sent it through the post-office, or by the telegraph, and saved all this trouble. But it was none of our match. We don’t belong to the Red Stockings or any other club.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comment on Fitzgerald as umpire

Date Saturday, July 22, 1865
Text

[Lowell vs. Excelsior 7/21/1865] Col. Fitzgerald acted as Umpire, and had several very close points to decide. The Colonel's integrity is fully established, and of course no one would for an instant charge him with favoritism. An Umpire sees the play from an entirely different standpoint from the outside spectator, and render his decisions as he sees and believes it. If the Colonel would render his decision without essaying explanations therefor to the players who are the sufferers, it would be even better. It is an unthankful position, and deserves more charity than censure.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comment on the AA's inaction to save the Athletics

Date Saturday, September 20, 1890
Text

In the American Association it is too expensive and troublesome to hold directors' meetings to look after a failing club or the grievances of players. Once upon a time it was too much trouble for the League to meet its players in mid-summer, and—well, we all know the result.

Source Sporting Life
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 comparison of base ball and town ball

Date Thursday, May 10, 1866
Text

Base Ball resembles our old-fashioned favorite game of Town Ball sufficiently to naturalize it very quickly. It is governed by somewhat elaborate rules, but the practice is quite simple. Nine persons on a side, including the Captains, play it. Four bases are placed ninety feet apart, in the figure of a diamond. The Batsman, Ball Pitcher, and one Catcher, take the same position as in Town Ball. Of the outside, besides the Pitcher and Catcher, one is posted at each base, one near the Pitcher, called the “Short Stop,”—whose duty is the same as the others in the field—to stop the ball. The Innings take the bat in rotation, as in Town Ball,—and are called by the Scorer. The ball is pitched, not thrown to them—a distance of fifty feet. The Batsman is permitted to strike at three “fair” balls, without danger of being put out by a catch, but hit or miss, must run at the third “fair” ball. He may “tip” or hit a foul ball as often as the Umpire may call foul, so he be not caught out flying, or on the first bound. When he runs, he must make the base before the ball reaches the point to which he runs, or he is out. And three men out, puts out the entire side. Those who are put out may continue to strike and run bases until the third man is out.

The Bases form a diamond, the angles of which are occupied by the Batsman and Catcher, and one of the outside at each angle. All putting out on the corners is by getting the ball there before the runner for the inside reaches the base, by catching the ball flying when a fair ball is struck, or by catching a foul ball after it is struck, either when flying or at first bound. A distinctive peculiarity of the game consists in the fact that when a ball is struck by the Batsman it must fly either on an exact angle, or inside of the angles formed by the base occupied by the Batsman, and the bases right and left of him. All balls deflecting from these angles are “foul.”

The above is merely a general view of the game. It is very easy to learn, and is capital sport, barring the cannon ball which the players are expected to catch in rather soft hands. Ladies will enjoy the game, and of course are expected as admiring spectators.

Source Daily Illinois State Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comparison of professional pay for American and English athletes

Date Wednesday, January 1, 1890
Text

[from the London correspondent] We hear but little—hardly the faintest echoes—of the Brotherhood trouble over here. The few papers that have referred to it have done so in a humorous strain. The highest pay a professional cricket or foot ball player gets is less than $75 a month, and the fact that fellows in the States who have received from $2500 to $4000 a season should be striking for more money is, to the English people, irresistibly funny.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comparison of the Bennett case and the reserve clause

Date Wednesday, February 5, 1890
Text

Marshal Brown, who conducted the defence of Charles W. Bennett when the Allegheny Club sought to enjoin him...in 1882, declares that the old League has no case against the Players for damages or against the stockholders for conspiracy. He says the two cases are very similar, as in many respects the agreement entered into between Bennett and the Allegheny Club is similar to the reserve agreement, in the League contract, in that they are both merely preliminary agreements anticipating the signing of a regular contract.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comparison of the Orioles new black and orange uniforms to the Canaries

Date Wednesday, April 24, 1889
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] Kiffe, of Brooklyn, had fitted the boys out in new uniforms of the patter of the old Lord Baltimores. The canaries looked like dandies in them yesterday when the came from the club house...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comparison of the judicial rulings on the reserve

Date Wednesday, March 26, 1890
Text

[editorial matter] Judge O'Brien based his refusal of a preliminary injunction against Ward on the construction of the contract itself, which he considered unconscionable, lacking in mutuality, indefinite and uncertain. Judge Thayer reached virtually the same conclusion. Judge O'Brien, however, was so ambiguous in his references to the famous eighteen paragraph relating to reservation or option—on which paragraph the League rested its entire case—as to lead the League people to consider it a sort of judicial recognition of the reserve rule, and to hope for favorable results in other courts. But in jumping to this conclusion they simply deluded themselves, as was pointed out in The Sporting Life of Feb. 4, in which Judge O'Brien's decision was so exhaustively reviewed, the results of it so clearly pointed out, and Judge Thayer's decision really so fully anticipated, as to make extended further comment here unnecessary.

Judge Thayer in his thorough analysis of the contract, and the sparing language with which he lays bare its many flaws, shows the League people conclusively not only that they have really no contract that will hold good in law anywhere, but that they need not hope for any legal recognition of the reserve rule as it has been practiced in the past. The decisions of Judges O'Brien and Thayer show that a sort of reservation agreed to in an equitable contract could probably be enforced, but to make such enforcement possible, the terms of reservation would have to be so explici8t, so certain, as to make a one-year contract virtually a two-year contract, and so equitable as to defeat and render useless the reserve rule, whose purpose is to simply hold the player to a club from season to season, in order to keep it intact, without entailing enforceable legal obligations upon the club owners.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comparison of the reserve system to slavery

Date Sunday, April 2, 1882
Text

The League managers have about as much respect for its men as a planter had for his slaves. The slaves, however, could run away and work somewhere. With the ball-player it is different—he is chained down and can not.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about Athletic members' seating

Date Sunday, May 28, 1871
Text

To the Editor of the Sunday Mercury:–Have the members of the Athletic Base Ball Club any rights? Is there no remedy for the imposition put upon them this season? The best seats are now set aside for a select few, who are enabled to pay an additional sum of $0 per annum; and a further reservation is made, whereby an additional sum of 25 or 50c per seat is charged extra, while the members of the club are assigned seats where a more obstructed view of the game is obtained, and over this portion so assigned, no guard is kept, but all are allowed to rush pell-mell into this pavilion, to the exclusion of the members of the club, who, if they happen to arrive a little late, find every seat occupied mostly by parties having no right thereto; and they are informed, upon asking the reason, to find seats wherever they can. Is this thing to be tolerated by the members? Certainly not. If it should continue, the Athletic Base Ball Club will next season find a great decrease of its members. We hope through your journal to have notice taken of what we consider a great injustice to MANY MEMBERS OF THE ATHLETIC B.B. CLUB. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury May 28, 1871

To the B. B. Editor Evening City Item: Now that there is a little lull in base ball matters, our crack organization being out West demolishing all they come in contact with, I would like to call your attention to some of the abuses countenanced by the Directors of the Athletic Club which should be remedied, or next year the members will “grow small and beautifully less.” It is the habit of many of those entitled to members’ seats on the east pavilion, after having passed to a seat by virtue of a ticket, to get from others who are seated their tickets, take them outside, distribute to those who are not member, and thereby enable to them to pass the guard on display of said ticket, which, after getting seats in this surreptitious manner, are of course handed to the owners to do that sem thing over again if they see fit. There should be some means devised by the Directors to prevent this–as those who have members’ tickets and are a little late at a match find themselves unable to get a seat, they being filled up in the manner stated. Also, the practice of allowing women and children to fill up the members’ pavilion in the way they have been doing heretofore, is wrong, as I think a member by paying his five dollars has a prior right to said seats, and if ladies are to be accommodated, let a certain number of seats be set apart for that purpose. I have seen children, certainly not eight years old, occupying seats tot he exclusion of members of the Club of long standing, Please call the attention of the Directors to this abuse, and I know they will remedy it. AN OLD MEMBER Evening City Item September 19, 1871

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about baseball reports

Date Saturday, May 27, 1871
Text

Editor of the Herald: Isn't it about time that this Base Ball literature was played out? Nobody has any objection to the boys getting together and enjoying themselves in a game of ball, but why in the name of common sense the public should be bored with long accounts of games between companies of boys I can't imagine. The mass of the people care just about as much, and no more, about the result of a game between the coppertoes of Spunkeyville and the short jackets of somewhere else, as they do about a game of marbles between little Patsy Broligan and Jeminy O'Toole. OLD FOGY.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about baseball writing

Date Thursday, July 22, 1869
Text

Again, we have before us the report of a base-ball duel in Philadelphia, in which we are assured that one of the clubs “did splendid play;” that one of the players “made two magnificent hits;” and that “the Athletics” have a “splendid nine.” Possibly, these are superlatives which might have been properly used by the laureate of the Olympian games, but when applied to a game at ball, they strike us as somewhat excessive. We once heard a young lady declare a cup of coffee to be “gorgeous;” and we remember another who expressed her admiration for a clergyman's person by averring it to be “noble and pretty.” This was the result of an intellectual indolence which resorted to adjectives because it was too much trouble to remember nouns. We entreat all teachers charged with the castigation of young women's “compositions” to strike out all adverbs and adjectives. It will do the Misses no harm whatever.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about low attendance in Indianapolis

Date Tuesday, May 22, 1877
Text

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

Source Indianapolis Sentinel
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about the AA recruiting NL players before season's end; NL luring a contract breaker

Date Sunday, January 7, 1883
Text

[from an interview of Spalding] An agreement has always existed between clubs of the League that no players shall be approached or signed until the close of the season. [N.B. This is not true.] This left all the players unsigned, and all the league clubs at the mercy of those of the American Association. The latter took advantage of this, and sent their agents along to see our players. Williamson was the only man in the Chicago nine found willing to leave, and he signed with the Alleghenys. At the close of the season, and of his own free will, he signed a contract to continue in the service of the Chicago Club. In signing him we paid no attention to the claim of the Alleghenys, for in the first place they had not considered our claim.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about the Reach ball

Date Sunday, August 26, 1888
Text

For some weeks past there has been a general complaint among Association players in regard to the Reach ball. The opinion prevails that it is a very inferior article and to this, in a measure, is traceable the light batting among the Association players. All the balls that were intended for the Southern League were palmed off on the Association when that organization went under. Yesterday one of Reach’s balls was cut in two, and a careful examination was made of its composition. The small inside rubber ball was taken to a dealer in rubber goods, and it was pronounced by him to be of a very inferior quality.

The woolen yarn pakcing is not what it is cracked up to be, and the plastic composition which forms an inside covering is as thin as tissue paper. The packing was not firm, as an indentation could be made by a slight pressure of the finger. The ball that was examined, a cut of which appears above, was used in the Shamrock game at Dayton last Sunday. The Cincinnati, Athletic, Brooklyn and Baltimore players have made complaints to the respective heads of their clubs in regard to the ball. John Reilly asserts that the Reach ball is nothing but a bundle of old woolen yarn. If Reach can not furnish a good articles it is about time the Association was looking elsewhere for a suitable ball. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette August 26, 1888

Al Reach sent on a lot of new balls yesterday. They are packed with a better article of yarn and there is a larger quantity of rubber in them. John Reilly is amazingly pleased with the new alls and hopes to raise his batting average from now on. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette September 12, 1888

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about the accommodations at the Polo Grounds

Date Saturday, September 3, 1881
Text

Either the Polo Association or the Metropolitan Club management are responsible for a very loose condition of things at the Polo grounds, which were very apparent to strangers visiting the grounds to see the league games this past week. The grand-stand, instead of being a place a gentleman can take ladies to, is like a beer-garden, the cries of waiters, the calls of news boys, the clouds of smoke from cigars, the passing to and fro of urchins rendering it impossible at times to watch the progress of the game or hear the umpire's decision. The hissing at decisions which do not suit all classes is another annoyance. As for the accommodation for the press-reporters, which is made a special feature on League grounds, there is none at all here. The scribes have either to sit at a table on the field exposed to the sun, and annoyed by talkative players and boys, or they have to get the best seat they can in the beer-garden of the grand-stand. There is a small economy observed, too, in the arrangement of the field, such as allowing the players to have ragged and loose bags for bases, etc., which shows very short-sighted management. We have heard so much complaint recently of all these things from the best patrons fo the game, who have visited the Polo grounds this season, that we deem it worth while to comment on the subject with a view to some improvement for the Fall season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about the financial terms imposed by the League

Date Sunday, April 30, 1882
Text

Financially the month has not been as successful as we could have wished for, the cold weather, rain, and exorbitant demands of the League clubs, have made deep inroads into the receipts. For the next two months the “Phillies” will be able to command their own terms and should make money.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint baseball being just between the pitcher and catcher

Date Saturday, May 1, 1875
Text

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a composite bat

Date Monday, July 7, 1884
Text

Anson of the Chicago Club is using a bat made of several separate pieces of ash, jointed and glued together lengthwise, while in the center is inserted a rattan rod about one inch square and composed of twelve strips of rattan firmly glued together, running from end to end of the bat. The handle is wound with linen cord. He thinks the additional spring obtained will send the ball father. This wrapping of the handle, however, is technically a violation of the rule, which requires the bat to be made “wholly of wood,” but it is a rule which nobody will object to changing if the wound handle proves to be an improvement. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a composite bat 2

Date Wednesday, July 9, 1884
Text

Captain Anson in the game of the 23d made a trial of a new style bat just made as an experiment. The bat is made of several separate pieces of ash, jointed and glued together lengthwise, while in the center is inserted a rattan rod about one inch square, and composed of twelve strips of rattan firmly glued together, running from end to end of the bat. The handle is wound with linen cord. This wrapping of the handle, however, is technically a violation of the rule, which requires the bat to be made “wholly or wood,” but it is a rule which nobody will object to changing if the wound handle proves to be an improvement. The object of the glue joints and the rattan rod in the center is to make the bat less liable to break and at the same time to give it more spring. That both of these objects are accomplished there can be no doubt. The first ball hit by Anson with the new bat was a terrific liner to left field for two bases, and he used it throughout the game with great success. Captain Morrill having agreed to waive any objection to the wrapping of the handle. Heretofore bats have been made of a single stick, and the improvement adds materially to the expense of manufacture. Players who have tried it say that the ball can be driven 25 per cen. Further by the exercise of equal force than with the common bat. Anson certainly made a remarkable record in the two games in which he used it. June 23d, Buffington pitcher, in three times at bat he made a single and a double; June 24 th, Whitney pitcher, four times at bat, two singles, one double and a home run. The cost of the new style bat will be about $5 each. The idea is not altogether new, as in 1875 quite a scare was created among the League clubs by the report that the Athletic Club of Philadelphia, had secured a bat containing springs for increased propulsion. Of course the report was unfounded, but it shows that there was an indistinct idea of such an improvement. The Sporting Life July 9, 1884

A new bat is the latest wrinkle in the professional base-ball arena. It is after the style of the string-handle bats used in cricket, being of separate pieces of wood glued together, with cane as the central material. Like that of the cricket bat, the handle is covered with fine thread wound around it to give the hands a good hold. ... One effect of the introduction of these wound bats in base-ball will be to decrease the number of broken bats. What will manufacturers say to that? About five dollars is to be the price of one of these new-fangled base-ball clubs: but this will not compensate for the decrease in bats by breakage. There is a point to be considered that may be worthy the attention of the fielders in particular. It is terribly trying now to the higde and cartilage of fielders to stop hard-hit grounders in the infield. With a bat that will send a ball to the in-field more swiflty than ever before, skirmishing for the sphere in that quarter will become as dangerous work as catching balls from a pacer like Whitney., give the fielders a chance, and never mind filling hospitals! Keep the bats as they are, and “let ‘em break!” St. Louis Post-Dispatch July 12, 1884, quoting the New York Clipper

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a composite bat; the cost of broken bats

Date Saturday, May 2, 1874
Text

While at Geo. Wright’s store, I was shown a new baseball bat. It is a rather expensive bat as regards first cost, as the price is $4; but, as it is alleged that it will last a season without breaking, it is cheap. It is made with a cane fitted through the whole length of the bat, which makes it proof against breaking from hitting a ball with it. And the cane imparts an elasticity to the bat, which is a great aid in batting. The bat weights a little over two pounds only.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a concise statement of the argument that 'reserve' is a technical term

Date Monday, November 4, 1889
Text

[from an interview of Ward] This move by the magnates [to sue for injunctions] was just what we expected, and it will intimidate no one. The best lawyers, if they start on a misunderstanding of the facts, will reach a wrong conclusion, and this is just what Evarts, Choate & Beaman have done. They seem to think that the clause in the contract was the origin of the ‘reserve’ relation between player and club, and that then afterwards the various clubs agreed to respect this resolution. This puts the cart before the horse, for the reserve relation was created by the agreement among the clubs and had existed for years before it was mentioned in the contract. So that when we used the word it already had a definite technical meaning.

Source Philadelphia Item
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 condemnation of Sunday baseball

Date Friday, March 30, 1877
Text

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

Source Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of Wikoff's leadership

Date Wednesday, September 18, 1889
Text

[editorial matter] The Brooklyn-St. Louis row is but the culmination of a long series of complaints and troubles directly traceable to the umpires themselves and to their handling. In his direction of the corps President Wikoff, who was last spring entrusted with exclusive control of the umpires, has shown himself utterly incompetent. Although regularly scheduled, no attempt has been made by him to keep the men up to their work, they have reported for duty or not, as they pleased, excuses of all sorts for non-performance of duty have been accepted as valid, the substitute system has been abused; in fact, a general demoralization was allowed to creep in unchecked. With five well-paid men on the staff, it was an almost daily occurrence throughout the season to find local substitutes, players and all sorts of irresponsible people umpiring important games with consequent dissatisfaction to the contesting clubs, the public, and the other clubs in the race all more or less affected in position thereby. In fact, a goodly portion of the rows of the season were directly due to this hap-hazard system of umpiring.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of beer and Sunday baseball; the brewery influence

Date Wednesday, February 8, 1888
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent's column] League and respectability and Association and beer, together with Sunday ball playing, are beginning to be synonymous terms. How can the Association be so inconsistent as to require temperance among their employees and then tempt them day after day to their destruction by openly selling beer and liquors on the grounds—and advertise it, too, in the most ostentatious manner? And it gives the worst impression, too, when the most hilarious times in this respect are confined to Sundays. True, western towns wink at it, but if more truth may be added, it is not the most respectable portion of the citizens who attend Sunday games and witness, or participate in, the carousing, and to add still more truth, many attend whose conscience fails to approve, and, in fact, cannot help but respect the league more for abstaining from the feature of violating the sensibilities of the general public. The Association should not be ashamed to take a lesson from the League book in this respect. It must come to that, however, if it is wished to divide popular favor. Beer and Sunday playing are keeping thousands of people of one class away from the games, while its absence would not lose ten of the other class. But, while no doub5t many Association people acknowledge all this, they believe it almost an impossibility to accomplish the reform while so many of the association clubs are controlled by brewers, or were first started as merely auxiliary to beer gardens or beer selling. St. Louis, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and now Kansas City, nor or at one time, came under this category it is understood. Such is thought to be the case, but if injustice is done any of those clubs it is unintentional and will be corrected on receipt of information to the contrary. Now, of course, a beer man may own a club without any attempt to utilize his team as a sort of nickel-plated faucet to draw beer, but it is not apt to be the case. This beer causes lots of trouble, too. The outrageous assault by a Baltimore crowd on Umpire Brennan was caused by the beer-befuddled brain of one man who rushed into the field and was followed by hundreds of others. The beer riots of Cincinnati at base ball games, where the umpire is made the target of the heavy and deadly beer glasses, is common knowledge throughout the country. Many instances might be cited where this disgrace to the Association is retarding the growth of the game, and especially the National sport as interpreted by the Association. Don't the Association people see that the League gains in the estimation of all respectable people by contrast? This is certainly so, and unless all such pull-backs are eliminated the Association will always play second fiddle to the League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of hippodroming; and a retraction

Date Thursday, October 22, 1868
Text

The telegram sent by the Agent of the Associated Press at New York, eastward, last Monday night and published in the Boston dailies Tuesday morning, rather lets the cat out of the bag in regard to the victories of the celebrated Mutual Club last week. That the Mutual Club should in three successive games defeat three of the smartest clubs of the country, was an occurrence which le the knowing ones to surmise that a cat was concealed in the meal somewhere, and the aforesaid dispatch opens the bag, and shows th “animal” in plan view. Gate money is what is the matter, as the following dispatch will show:–

NEW YORK, Oct. 19. The champion base ball match between the Atlantic and Mutual clubs was to-day postponed until Monday next, there NOT being MONEY ENOUGH ON THE GROUND TO MAKE IT PROFITABLE.

Gentlemen of the Fraternity! Has it come to this, that a series of games cannot be played on the merits of the contesting clubs, but by an arrangement each club wins a game, and when the decisive contest is about to take place, is postpone, all because there are not enough paying spectators present to make it profitable to the Club who is to receive gate money. This is really a little too steep, gentlemen, and if this sort of thing is allowed to prevail good-bye to the reputation of our National Game for it is but a step farther and the crack clubs become mere tools in th hands of speculators and the betting fraternity. New England Base Ballist October 22, 1868

Our article last week in regard to the victories of the Mutual Club, of New York, did injustice to that club, as by later advices it appears that two of the three games won by them were obtained by their superior fielding and batting over clubs who previous to these contests were looked upon as much their superiors in both these specialties. There is an old adage that “appearances are deceitful,” and this was most certainly so in this instance, when first reports served to give the impression that there was something wrong in the games of the Mutuals with the Atlantics, Athletics and Unions. Such is not the case, however, and we congratulate the Mutuals upon their well-earned victories, which should be, and probably are, appreciated all the more from their very unexpectedness New England Base Ballist October 29, 1868 [A separate report in the same issue states the Union grounds were muddy from a morning rain on October 19. “Some parties in the city charged the postponement of the game on Monday to a desire for increased gate money, but I know that both nines were anxious to play, Cammeyer being the only man in favor of a postponement, except those of the players who were not in good trim, or who could not readily get off to play.”]

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of player sales, the reserve

Date Wednesday, June 6, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] ...Clarkson, for the money he cost the Chicago Club, did good service and earned many times more than the amount he cost the Chicago Club. Therefore, what right had the Chicago Club to sell his release to the Boston Club for $10,000? The only excuse for the inauguration of the sales system was that of money invested in making a player. Said A- -, the selling magnate:--”This man cost me $500 or $1,000 to make him what he is. If you will reimburse me you can have him.” B - -, the buying magnate, paid the price and took the man. These were the original outlines of a player deal. Gradually the system has grown into broad and brutal investment for a raise in price, as hogs, houses and hops are hold and sold. Perhaps in the future the system will run into marginal sales. It will if it swells as it is swelling and has swollen in the past. … Clarkson was ready-made when Chicago got him. He cost an original nothing, outside a large salary for a short season. He earned it. And every season he earned every dollar he drew from the Chicago Club, and was his own man, and had a legal and moral right, had he chosen to exercise it, to go to Boston whenever he chose to do so, his contract with Chicago being fulfilled. Base ball law and the law of the land are very antagonistic. The sooner they are dovetailed the better it will be for the game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of professional ball players

Date Sunday, March 31, 1872
Text

There has grown up within the past two or three years a class of men who make their livelihood wholly by playing baseball matches. The professional player, aside from his private character, is not precisely a majestic object. It may not be incumbent upon any man to lead a life of really productive industry, but it certainly seems as though one might find some other occupation than hiring oneself to win matches for the Black Stockings and Whites, Blue Stockings and Gray, who claim to be exponents of the national game. Evidently the professional player himself sympathizes with this view, for except when compelled to play during the summer season, he keeps himself modestly out of sight in those quiet retreats connected with bars, and not free from a suspicion of rat-pits, where the sporting men of the metropolis meet for social improvement and unpremeditated pugilism. Not to put too fine a point upon it, the professional player, though doubtless occasionally an honest, inoffensive fellow, is usually a worthless, dissipated gladiator, not much above the professional pugilist in morality and respectability. Not only does the employment of these men in match games render the result simply a question of money, for the club which can afford to hire the best players is of course the winner, but it opens the way to dishonest and fraudulent practices. The professional player can, if he chooses, insure the defeat of the side on which he plays. It is only necessary for the gambler who has large sums at stake to buy him in order to make certain of winning his bets. That this is frequently done any one who reads the report of the quarrels which usually follow an important match game will find abundant reason to believe. The professional player thus makes the game an instrument in the hands of gamblers, and so brings it into deserved disrepute. If those who really enjoy baseball as a sport desire to retain for it the interest of the respectable classes, they must sternly set their faces against the professional player. In every point of view he is an eminently undesirable person, and he ought to be peremptorily and completely suppressed. Let our young men meet and play baseball if they choose. They will thus improve physical well-being without detriment to their morals. To employ professional players to perspire in public for the benefit of gamblers is, however, a benefit to no one, and furnishes to dyspeptic moralists a strong argument against any form of muscular Christianity. New York Sunday Mercury March 31, 1872 [quoting, and subsequently disagreeing with, an unnamed daily paper]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of the Mutuals, comparison with the Philadelphias

Date Sunday, February 13, 1876
Text

The Mutuals, of New York, through good and ill success, have always carried the good wishes of a horde of admirers who are always earnest in upholding the Green Stockings and jubilant over their success. That they deserve this devotion we would hardly be willing to subscribe to. Several players have been accused of playing for two salaries, at times, and certainly appearances have been against them. At all events, the Mutuals, when determined to win, do so by every advantage they can possibly take; not only by the legitimate trickery and sharp play of the ball-field, but also by hectoring the umpire and bullying their opponents. The admission of this club, and the exclusion of the Philadelphias, on the ground of corrupt practices, from the recently organized professional association, is, to say the least, very inconsistent.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of the UA for reserve and contract-breaking

Date Wednesday, July 30, 1884
Text

Base ball today is the one great sport that is free from the corruption of the pool box and the gambler’s methods, and herein lies the secret of its great popularity, causing all other popular sports to dwindle into insignificance in comparison, and if this great sport is today threatened in its very life, it is because of the tactics adopted by the Union Association. It will not do for that body to claim that it is but a measure of self-protection. True, the older bodies did not view the newcomer with a friendly eye, and did some things in the crushing-out process which could not and did not meet with the approval of right-thinking people, but the Union Association invited these things from its birth and had to expect just such treatment as it got. It came into the field aggressively, attacking one of the laws most cherished by the older bodies, namely, the reserve rule, which it refused to recognize, thereby letting down the bars at the very start and inviting the very methods employed to crush them out as possible disorganizers. The Union Association ha placed itself in the attitude of a bully who invites a fight and then whines because he gets a deserved whipping. True, the older bodies did take some players from the Union Association, and did some other things of which, at the time, The Sporting Life did not hesitate to express its disapproval, but all this does not justify reprisal which threatens the existence of the noble game. The older bodies have done much for base ball in the past, and so the public is disposed to overlook some irregularities. But the Union Association is a new-comer, which ha not yet demonstrated that it is of any benefit to the game in general, itself in particular, or even that it has a right to live.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of the reserve

Date Sunday, December 2, 1883
Text

A base ball player's services are worth just what they will bring in an open market and the law of supply and demand should govern the price of these services. If every man could play base ball, or if all base ball players were equally expert, there would be no fancy price. Ewing, Mullane, Corcoran and others are exceptionally skillful and consequently the demand for their services is very great. If there was no reserve rule, several managers would be very glad to pay even bigger figures...for a contract with these parties, and would make money out of the transaction. The fact that these men, if they did not play ball, could not earn a fractional part of such of such wages, has nothing whatever to do with the subject. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of the reserve system; a call for a Players' League

Date Thursday, August 12, 1880
Text

What right has the League to say to any player where he shall play next year? The days of slavery are over. This system of Ku-Kluxism in ball-playing ought to be quashed. A ball-player has no better right than to place a price on his services in Cincinnati and another for his services in Chicago. It may be that he would rather play in Chicago for $100 less than in Cincinnati, or vice versa. Let him name his price for each place. Let the city which considers him worth the salary asked pay fo4r it. If he asks too much; that city need not engage him. No man with common business sense would engage a clerk at a salary he could not earn. And no Ball Club will engage a player for a sum stated unless that Club thinks that player is worth the money asked. …

It is time such outrageous policy was ended. If the League will not do it, the players must. It is a poor rule that will not work both ways. Let the players then anticipate the fraud, and meet it half way. Let every League player sign a solemn agreement with every other League player not to play ball next season with any Club that shall attempt to coerce players in this manner. The players command the field. Club can not do without them; but they can do without Clubs. If the League intends to repeat the fraud, it deserves to have its existence ended. Such men as George Wright, Jim White and John Clapp can not afford to be driven out of the profession by such repeated outrages. If the player, or, at least, the better part of them, will but demand their rights as men—freemen--they can have them. If they go on supremely careless and do nothing until forty of them are under the yoke of despotism, they will richly deserve all that they suffer by it. This is the time to act. We warn players that the log is already rolling which is intended to pin them down again under the dictation of a despotic power. The prime movers in the plot are the Club that have been most successful and want to retain some of their players for next year, but are not fair and honest enough to pay deserving salaries not to let the players go where such salaries can be obtained. It is the one great stain upon the record of the National League, and ought to be wiped out effectually. Cincinnati Enquirer August 12, 1880

Isn't it about time for League players to form a “league” of their own, and announce to the world that they do not intend to be sold this fall. New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburg, St. Louis, and probably several other cities, might be willing to step in a do the right thing if the players will give them a change. Think this over, boys. Cincinnati Enquirer August 19, 1880

If the League should continue the Buffalo 'five-man agreement' it would be well for the players affected to rise up in their manhood and rebel. No man or body of men have any right to compel a player to play in a certain city in the League, or to go outside of that organization, against his own free will. If the League should continue this policy, and legislate much more in the same direction, the players owe it to their own self-respect to form a League of their own, which, however, in order to be successful and effective, would require that every professional of prominence should unite with it. Cincinnati Enquirer August 27, 1880, quoting the Boston Herald

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of the reserve; George Wright's hold out; proposal for a salary cap

Date Saturday, October 23, 1880
Text

For some years past a puzzling problem to the League Association has been that involved in the question of how to regulate the salary-list of their professionals so as to make it accord with paying returns at the gate. The yearly struggle to secure the best professional talent has resulted in the increase of salaries from simply remunerative figures up to “fancy prices.” ... Finally a rule was adopted which gave to each League club the power to hold five men of one season’s team to service for a succeeding year at such terms as each club holding them might think fit to offer. The rules was made so as to be mandatory to the extent that the player refusing to abide by it was prohibited from employment in any League Club save the one reserving his services. The arbitrary character of this rule was fully exhibited in the case of George Wright’s engagement with the Providence team in 1880, that player being practically ruled off League fields as a player because he refused to accede to the reservation policy the past season. While it is to a certain extend a necessity with stockholders of clubs to economize as much as possible in the way of ou8tlays for salaries, it is also possible to adopt such a method for controlling salary-lists without resorting to so objectionable a law as the existing five-men rule. The same united action of the clubs required to carry out the five-men law would prove equally effective in the case of a regular limitation of salaries to figures commensurate with the sum of the annual gate-receipt account. Thus it might be easily determined that no club should pay more than $1,200 a season for a pitcher or catcher’s services, nor more than $1,000 a season for those of the in and out fie4lders; but a law which admits of so gross a piece of tyranny as that contemplated by the League in the case of forcing Snyder to play with the Boston Club or no other is one which is a disgrace to the League code.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of trickery and deception; hidden ball trick

Date Tuesday, August 19, 1884
Text

The most marked feature of true manliness of character is a love of fair play. It is a jewel in the crown of manhood of the first water, and without it all sports degenerate into low and dishonest struggles to win by trickery, rather than by honorable efforts to excel. A love of fair play, in fact, is inherent in the breast of every man worthy of the name, and all such men detest to see unfair play exhibited on any field whatever, but especially in games where athletic skill is the chief attraction, for in such games it is that fair play shines out at its brightest. Without referring to any other line sports, sufficient examples can be found in the arena of the National game of base ball to illustrate the nature of fair play and its opposite. When two contesting nines enter upon a match game of base ball they do so with the implied understanding that the struggle between them is to be one in which their respective skill in handling the ball and bat and running the bases is alone to be brought into play, unaided by such low trickery as is comprised in the acts of slyly cutting the ball to have it changed, tripping up base runners, wilfully colliding with fielder to make them commit errors, hiding the ball, and other specially mean tricks of the kind characteristic of corner lot loafers in their ball games. All these so-called “points” in base ball are beyond the pale of fair and manly play, and rank only as among the abuses of the game. St., quoting Henry Chadwick, Brooklyn Eagle

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A conditional release

Date Saturday, June 2, 1888
Text

Oliver Tebeau was yesterday released by the Chicago club, and immediately signed with the Minneapolis club. The release is a conditional one, the Minneapolis club and Tebeau agreeing that he will return to the Chicago club in case President Spalding should want him for the Chicago team. The Minneapolis club pays $1,000 for his release, and contracts to pay him $300 a month for the remainder of the season. Although there is a string tied to Tebeau his release had to go through the regular form, and President Spalding will have to depend upon the honor of the Mineapolis management and Tebeau for his return should it be desired. The Chicago club has for several days had waivers of all claims for Tebeau from all the other league clubs, but made no effort to dispose of him. Yesterday President Spalding told him he could stay with the Chicago club and need not do anything more than he had been doing and his salary would be forthcoming. This was not agreeable. He was not willing to do nothing more than practice and hold himself in readiness for a call to take somebody's place on the team; he wanted to play and for that reason watned to get away. Sam Morton tried to get him for the Maroons, but he was unwilling to play in Chicago on any other than the league team.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a conditional three year contract

Date Sunday, September 2, 1877
Text

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

Tommy Barlow’s morphine addiction

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

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

pitching around a batter

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

Source St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a conference committee with the NL

Date Sunday, December 17, 1882
Text

[reporting on the AA convention of 12/13 - 12/14/1882] ...there was an animated discussion over the motion to appoint a Committee of Conference to meet with the League Committee, the delegates of the Cincinnati, St. Louis, Columbus, and Athletic clubs being dead against it, while those of Pittsburg, Baltimore, New York, and Louisville favored the appointment of the committee.

On motion of Mr. Pank, of Louisville, the matter of the appointment of the Conference committee was brought up again in the form of a reconsideration of Wednesday's vote on the subject. In presenting the motion President McKnight remarked that after due reflection on this matter of conference he had come to the conclusion that it involved a question of very serious import, affecting the future welfare of the organization; and he did not think the convention Wednesday had duly considered the importance of it. “One bearing,” he stated, “which would result from a neglect of combined action with the League in the matter of observing the contracts and black-lists of each other's association, would be to open the door to the evil of revolving, and to introduce a phase of crooked work in the association which could not but be damaging to all the clubs of both associations. For his part, although his club has suffered as badly as any from violated contracts, he was willing to let that pass, rather than to bring about a worse complication of troubles by refusing to second the movement made by the League in favor of some compromise.

Mr. Simmons, of the Athletics, seconded these remarks by withdrawing his vote of opposition to the appointment of the committee, and finally, when the matter came to a vote, only two clubs were found opposed to the compromise measures, and those were Cincinnati and St. Louis, and when the matter was finally explained, the Cincinnati delegate had his vote changed, so that Mr. Von der Ahe was left out in the cold on the question, the vote for the appointment of the Committee on Question being seven to one in its favor. The President then appointed Messrs. Pank, Simmons and Barnie as a Conference committee, and the Secretary was requested to notify the President of the League of the action taken by the convention, and that the American Committee was ready to confer with the League Committee on the subject of a compromise of the existing difficulties between the two organizations.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a conspiracy theory about the ball

Date Sunday, July 15, 1883
Text

It is one of the remarkable feats of base ball that when the Chicagos play at home the balls used are noticeable for their hardness. They remain in this condition during the whole game, and time and again are just as good when the game is over as when it began. All the outside clubs have noticed this, and the players think Spalding manufactures an especial ball for home use. A hard ball can be sent much farther than a soft one, and the players say this is the reason the Chicagos make such long hits on the home grounds.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a contested Boston Club meeting

Date Sunday, December 10, 1876
Text

The president and secretary were away, and Mr. Long, the treasurer, called the stockholders to order, saying that as there was not a quorum present the only motion he could entertain was one to adjourn. Such a motion was made a negatived, but Mr. Long, acting under the advice of counsel, declared the meeting adjourned sine die and retired from the room. The other gentlemen present, believing that a quorum of stock was represented, organized a meeting, elected officers, &c., as heretofore published. The bone of contention was, what constituted a quorum? The by-laws say three stockholders representing a majority of the stock. The whole number of shares issued is 150, but 72 of the number were never paid for in full, that is, rather than pay the last assessment the holders turned their certificates over to the association. After the great fire of 1872 the association found itself in deep water, and the Boston Base Ball Club was formed to help the association out of its difficulty. The 72 shares were transferred to the treasurer of the club with a provision that the club’s income should be paid to the association. The club divided the shares among its officers, who acted as trustees and voted upon them in the meetings of the association. Wednesday afternoon the club held a meeting and voted to dissolve and donate its property–the 72 shares–to the association. In the evening Mr. Long held that the 72 shares, which had not been transferred by the club to the association, could not be voted upon by the officers of the club at that time, and that 76 of the 78 shares aforenamed must be represented in order to constitute a quorum. The meeting, which transacted business voted on 77 shares, 42 of the 78 and 35 of the 72, and threw out two votes, representing some half dozen shares, for a technical informality in voting. It was represented that the by-laws provided that in all cases of forfeited stock the same should be sold at auction, which was never done in the case of the 72 shares, forfeited by the original owners. A question is raised whether the assessment which caused the forfeiture of the 72 shares was legally made; and again, it is asked, whether the treasury of the club could legally divide the 72 shares among the officers? The important question is, who owns and who is the legal custodian of the 72 shares. Let this be settled, and the legality of the two meetings held Wednesday night, and the way would seem open for a clear understanding of the matter. A conference is to be held upon the subject, and it is to be hoped that the affair may be set to rights without recourse to the courts. Boston Herald December 10, 1876

An adjourned meeting of this [Boston Base Ball] Association was held last evening, the President, Mr. C. H. Porter, in the chair. Mr. Porter stated that the difficulties which had arisen in the Club had been unanimously submitted to Mr. Walbridge A. Field, who had decided that the legal meeting of the Association was held December 6, that 78 shares of stock are held by the Association, and that 41 shares being present and voted upon was sufficient for the transaction of business. Although legal gentlemen of eminence and renown differed with Mr. Field, yet both Mr. Apollonio and Mr. Long acquiesced in Mr. Field’s opinion, and had surrendered their books and papers, which he (Mr. Porter) now held in trust.

The report of the Board of Directors was then presented by Mr. Apollonio...

The meeting then proceeded to elect three directors and to fill existing vacancies, and Messrs. F. E. Long, A. J. Chase and Henry Hunt were chosen. Mr. Porter resigned the office of President and A. J. Chase as Treasurer, and to conform in balloting for directors designated A. H. Sowdon [sic] as their choice for President and F. E. Lunt for Treasurer.

On motion of Mr. Sowden the by laws were amended so as to provide that the annual meeting shall be held on the third Wednesday instead of the first Wednesday of December.

Mr. Sowdon in assuming the position of President made a brief speech, in which he wished it understood that he accepted the Presidency only temporarily and in order that the affairs of the Club might not be impeded.

On motion of Mr. Porter it was voted to appoint an Auditing Committee of three, two of whom shall be stockholders and one from the Board of Directors. The Chair appointed C. H. Porter, A. B. Billings and A. J. Chase as said Committee.

Mr. Henry Lunt resigned as one of the Board of Directors and nominated in his stead Harry Wright, who was chosen by ballot. The meeting then adjourned. Boston Journal December 28, 1876

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a continuous seam ball; figure eight

Date Sunday, January 26, 1868
Text

Al. Reach has a new ball that promises to eclipse anything now in use. The ball in question is made with a continuous seam, and won’t rip. It is of Al.’s own getting up, and made under his personal supervision.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a continuous-seam ball

Date Sunday, March 24, 1872
Text

A new ball has been manufactured by Wright & Gould, of Boston, which possesses the advantage of having one continuous seam encircling the ball.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a contract dispute with the media

Date Saturday, July 24, 1880
Text

An amusing controversy is going on between the Troy Club and the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company. The company having refused a request to frank all messages on club affairs, their operator was refused admission to the ground, and accordingly climbed a convenient pole and tapped the wire. The manager was so pleased with the operator's exploit that a seat is to be rigged on the pole. To prevent a successful issue of this device, the Troy directors have ordered a large canvas to obstruct the ope rator's view.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a contrary opinion on calling 'no strike' when the batter steps forward; a jab at Chadwick

Date Saturday, August 31, 1867
Text

[Athletic vs. Eckford 8/21/1867] The umpiring of Mr. Mills in this game gave general satisfaction, and deserves more than a passing notice. His decisions were thoroughly impartial, and were given with a promptness that entitles him to credit. His ignoring of the absurd “no strike” notion, lately imported from the western country by one of our wiseacres of the game, shows his good sense. Unlike the “upright ball player” who umpired the first game of the series [George Flanly], Charley interprets the rules to suit himself, and does not take up with the new fangled ideas of “country” clubs or sensation reporters. In this he displays his good sense. Our national game will never progress so long as these harpies are endeavoring to foist new and childish notions upon ball players, and the sooner they are frowned down the better for all parties.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a correction to Rule Ten

Date Sunday, June 16, 1867
Text

AN IMPORTANT CHANGE IN THE RULES.–We learn from Mr. Gorman, the President of the National Association, that he has received a communication from Dr. Jones, the chairman of the committee of Rules, to the effect that the Printing Committee, in defining his report, committed an error in giving Rule 10, as it now read, as the rule that was adopted instead of the following rule, which was in reality adopted, the whole of Rule 10, as printed, being thrown out. The Doctor, in his communication, says:–“The rule, as adopted by the Convention, and which should govern all play this year, is as follows:”

Sec. 10. If a batsman strike a ball on which “one ball” has been called, no player can make a base on such a strike; nor can any player make a base if the batsman strikes a ball on which “two balls” have been called; and if he strikes a ball on which “three balls” have been called, can more than one base be made by any player occupying a base; in the latter event, however, the batsman shall also be entitled to one base. If he strikes a ball on which a balk has been called, then Sections 8 and 9 of the Rules shall apply. In either case the ball shall be considered dead and not in play until settled in the hands of the pitcher, and in neither case shall it be considered a strike. If the batsman willfully strikes at a ball out of the fair reach of his bat, for the purpose of striking out, it shall not be considered a strike.”

It is to be regretted that this error was not discovered earlier, so as to have had the correct rule go forth through the country, instead of the present absurd rule. All will be glad of the change. We have to say, however, that until the President authorizes the correction over his own signature, the rule as it now reads, must be observed. The experience gained through the working of Rule 10 as it now reads, will be of use in many respects. It has been of no harm whatever, the result only having been to develop new points of play.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a counterfeit reporter

Date Saturday, July 1, 1871
Text

The young rascal who for some time past has been representing himself as the regular base ball reporter of a certain two-penny Sunday paper, and on the strength of such representation has been not only admitted within the Union ground, but to a seat among the Simon pure representatives of the press, very much to their disgust, was last Wednesday nominally ordered from the grounds by the proprietor, Mr. Cammeyer. It may be well to state just here that none others than base ball reporters are allowed to occupy seats in the reporters' stand, and that all others who crowd in simply to get a good view of the game will in the future be required to “vamose the ranche.” [sic]

Source New York Evening Telegram
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a country catcher and the chest protector

Date Saturday, August 23, 1884
Text

Oxley is about the newest man that ever played ball in New York city. He went in to catch just as he had arrived from the Green Mountains, and after catching an inning he saw the catcher of the other club strapping on a chest protector, so he asked him what he was doing that for. And the catcher replied: “To keep the ball from striking me in the chest; there is one on your own side; put it on the next time you go behind the bat.” Acting upon the advice, Oxley strapped on the protector and caught for two innings without a mask and the big rubber shield flapping like the wings of an eagle, and he probably would have finished the game in the same way if some fellow hadn't come along and said: “That thing won't do you any good unless you fill it full of wind.” Oxely took the tip, sneaked off to one side and blew it up, but he continued to catch without a mask until some other kind fellow came along and told him what a mask was used for, that they were not muzzles, but simply to keep a man from being struck in the face with a sharp foul tip. Once more he took a drop and has been catching with a mask ever since. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a country club can't handle Cummings's curves

Date Wednesday, September 1, 1875
Text

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

Source Harrisburg Patriot
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a country club with a curve pitcher

Date Wednesday, October 20, 1875
Text

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

Source Harrisburg Patriot
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a court refuses to enforce a player contract

Date Saturday, June 14, 1890
Text

[a lawsuit by York to enjoin Frank Grant from playing for Harrisburg] Continuing Judge Simonton said:--”There is no distinct allegation in the bill that complainant will be injured by the playing of defendant Grant for the co-defendant, except as such playing involves his loss as a player to complainant. Therefore an injunction restraining Grant from playing for the other defendant would not, in any degree, lessen the injury and damage to the complainant, unless it should have the effect of compelling him to play for plaintiff. This it would not, and could not, do directly, and it is concede by the counsel for the plaintiff that the court could not compel him, by its decree, to do this directly, and, therefore, according to the principle laid down by Justice Sharswood, which is undoubtedly correct, ought not to attempt to do it indirectly.”

The Court holds as another reason why the injunction should not be granted in this case that the contract between Grant and the complainant is not mutual. The agreement set out in the bill contains this clause:

“It is further agreed between the parties hereto that the party of the second part (the plaintiff), reserves the right to abrogate this agreement at any time when it appears that the said party of the first part is not fulfilling his agreement to the best of his ability.” Judge Simonton says, under this clause it would be in the power of the plaintiff, at any moment, to dismiss the defendant from its service, and that the contract is therefore not mutual.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a courtesy runner

Date Saturday, May 14, 1870
Text

[Stars vs. Mutuals 5/7/1870] We noticed that Cummings did not run the bases. Now this is against the rules, no one being allowed to run bases for a player, unless the player is too sick or injured to take part in the game.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a credible claim to a thrown game

Date Saturday, September 26, 1868
Text

[Maryland vs. Enterprise of Baltimore 9/15/1868] [Maryland won 33-16] ...our Baltimore correspondent says:–“It is reported throughout the city that the game was sold by several members of the Enterprise Club to parties interested in the Maryland, but as yet nothing satisfactory has been proven, although your correspondent was informed by three of the Enterprise nine that various amounts, from $300 to $500, had been offered them the night previous by several parties interested in the other club. Some prominent players of the Enterprise are suspected, and an investigation is now getting on before the directors of the club, the result of which, will all papers and names, will be transmitted to you. Circumstances are very strong, and the belief is general throughout the city that members were bought. The whole transaction has brought base ball playing into bad repute here. As a matter of course, the Enterprise Club is completely disorganized, and they will not visit New York and Philadelphia as anticipated. Part of the bets on that game have been held over until the results of the investigation are known.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a cricketer bowls a baseball curve

Date Saturday, September 19, 1885
Text

[cricket: English amateurs vs. Philadelphia picked eleven 9/17 - 19/1885] The visitors had now an average of 30 for each wicket, which if kept up meant 300 runs for the innings, or 100 more than “our boys” made. At this juncture Captain Dan Newhall gave over the bowling into the hands of Noble and Lowry. Noble is very fast, with the curve while the ball is in the air, which is peculiar to base ball pitchers. The Philadelphia Times September 19, 1885 [The innings closed with the Englishmen scoring only 147.]

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critical assessment of the ten-man proposal

Date Sunday, November 9, 1873
Text

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

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

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

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

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a criticism of Chadwick

Date Sunday, April 22, 1883
Text

[in response to a complaint by Chadwick about outsiders in the reporters' box at the Athletics grounds] Chadwick is mistaken, however, as every man in the gallery was a regular newspaper reporter. Chadwick makes the mistake of underestimating the enormous number of newspapers in this city. Isn't it rather cheeky, though, for this would-be base ball autocrat to come over here and dictate to the Athletic management how they should run things? Quite on a par, though, with his usual conduct.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a criticism of the City Item; a dig at Chadwick

Date Sunday, July 21, 1872
Text

The City Item, with that modesty which always characterizes and accompanies true merit, quietly puts all the other Philadelphia papers out of court, by arrogating to itself the title of being “the only unprejudiced base ball journal in Philadelphia,” and it is therefore because it describes itself as unprejudiced that we direct our attention more particularly to its remarks... Like the “Father of the game,” whom the Item has lately taken to eulogizing, it looks at everything through red spectacles... New York Dispatch July 21, 1872

The nonsensical and uncalled-for abusive criticisms of the Athletics that have lately appeared in an afternoon paper of this city meets with a deserved and scathing rebuke in an article from the pen of Mr. J. W. Brodie, one of the most able of the base ball reporters of New York city... [It goes on to quote at length the NY Dispatch pice of 7/21/72.] Philadelphia Sunday Mercury July 28, 1872

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

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

Date Sunday, February 4, 1877
Text

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

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a criticism of the word 'ballist'

Date Thursday, August 27, 1868
Text

“The title ‘Ballist’ is a verbal atrocity and bastard, and ought never to be uttered or printed. New England Base Ballist August 27, 1868, quoting the Boston Post.

Source New England Base Ballist
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of allowing players to sign before the end of the season

Date Sunday, July 30, 1876
Text

The bane of professional base ball, next to the abominably high salaries demanded by the players, is the custom of engaging themselves a year in advance. The season is no sooner open than the player begins to feel uneasy about the next year’s engagement, and until this point is settled he is utterly indifferent about the success of the nine to which he then belongs. And unless engaged he is apt to play like a wooden man, with a sort of “don’t care a snap” feeling. While this state of things exists the only sure way to get the best work from players would seem to be to hire them for a term of years. Of course this would be impracticable. But one thing is certain. The present system of allowing players to engage themselves a year ahead is all wrong. The system is opposed to all business principles. If a salesman in an mercantile establishment who was engaged for a year should hire out to a rival concern months before his term of service expired, how long before he would get his “walking ticket?” He would be very properly discharged without a moment’s notice. And yet in base ball this sort of thing is tolerated. The moment a player hires out to a rival club his interest in the club to which he then belongs ceases. This is a natural result. For example, take the case of Pike. He has been engaged to play with the Cincinnatis, having been crowded out of the St. Louis nine by the engagement of Remsen. As a matter of course, Pike cherished some hard feelings against St. Louis, and could it be expected that he would evince as much interest and put forth as much exertion to win as he would if he were going to remain? Manifestly not. Hence we reason that allowing a player to engage himself to a rival club before the season ends is all wrong. And until the thing is stopped, it will remain the curse which it has proved.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of backstops too close to the catcher

Date Sunday, April 21, 1867
Text

...it is to be hoped that certain clubs that have had broad fences constructed a few feet in the rear of their catcher’s position will see the unfairness of such contrivances, and have them removed altogether or placed so far in the rear as to be of no assistance to a catcher. We saw a game played in Philadelphia last season on a ground where they used one of these labor saving machines, and when a ball passed the catcher he simply faced about and caught it on its rebound from the fence, and the whole thing was accomplished so quickly that players either did not attempt to leave their bases at all, or if they did were almost invariably put out. Now this might work very well, if all the clubs erected these barricades, as the catchers would then have an equal chance to practice the above style of playing, but as many clubs will not use them at all, they had better be dispensed with altogether, for they are not at all in accordance with the spirit of the game, and we can find no rule among those adopted by the convention that sanctions or allows it.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of fair foul hits

Date Tuesday, August 6, 1872
Text

[Athletic vs. Baltimore 8/5/1872] In the seventh inning...the Philadelphians scored three more runs, Mack and McGeary both indulging in fair fouls, according to the Umpire’s judgment. ... The Athletics then [in the eighth inning] went in for ten runs. Treacy and Anson, the first strikers, making their bases on fair hits, and Mack, McGeary and Cuthbert indulging in so-called “fair fouls,” hit which place the opposing side entirely at the mercy of partial umpires–hits not within the scope of the best of fielding to neutralize, and scratches entirely unartistic and not worthy of a well-trained athlete. ... Counting “fair fouls” as base hits, the Athletics made nine in this inning, and scored seven earned runs.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of pitching for strike outs

Date Wednesday, June 5, 1878
Text

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

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of sacrifice hitting

Date Wednesday, May 8, 1889
Text

[from Ren Mulford's column] The sacrifice hit craze has had its day. In their places sacrifice hits are all right, but to begin in the first inning to try to “go out,” in order to send a runner forward a base, seems absolute folly without an excuse for its practice. The element of uncertainty and possibility in a game of ball is so great that it appears to be bad policy to send a man to absolute destruction. Just in illustration and I'm done. In the last St. Louis game here Nicol led off in the first inning with a hit and stole second. Then McPhee, instead of trying to hit the ball safely was ordered to sacrifice, and he did. Nicol gained third on his out, but Reilly's attempt to sacrifice resulted in a bunted fly to Comiskey, and Carpenter sent Boyle a foul. With the auspicious opening not a semblance of a tally was made. McPhee certainly had a chance to make a hit which would have sent Nicol home, but under this new craze he was allowed to be offered up as a sacrifice—a dead sure out exchanged for a chance for a possible hit, a tally and another runner on base! Was the advancement of Nicol one base worth the loss of all those other chances? I say not.

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 critique of scoring rules; a suggestion to abolish the error column

Date Saturday, February 8, 1879
Text

[from a long critique of current scoring rules] A pitcher would be charged with earned runs and base-hits against him by one scorer, while another would charge the field with the errors, thereby relieving the pitcher. In fact, this error business is so ill defined in its rules, and so improperly attended to, that it really becomes a question whether it would not be best to abolish the error column in the score altogether. The League system of scoring in 1877 was a farce in two or three of its rules, and it was but little better in 1878. Charging a pitcher with one fielding error for the delivery of nine unfair balls was one of its absurdities, and crediting the pitcher with a fielding assistance when the batsman was retired on strikes was another. Then, too, charging an infielder with an error for not holding a hot line-ball on the fly, and another for failing to pick up a red-hot ground-ball in time to throw out a runner on a base, were other mistakes. Another matter connected with scoring was the habit many reporters had of crowding their score with special detail-figures. If there was no preliminary report describing the play, it would be well enough; but with a column of description before the score, only a summary score is required to finish the report.

We do not see the fairness of crediting the batsman with what is actually the result of errors by the fielding side. But we have not time or space in this issue to discuss the subject as fully as it deserves. That a revision of the rules of scoring is necessary there is no doubt. How to make the changes so as to do justice to the fielder is the problem. Plans for scoring the game so as to produce a clear, correct and impartial record for each player at the end of the season are now in order. It is the absence of such a record which has thus far been the obstacle in the way of a fair award of The Clipper prizes to the best fielders of the International Championship.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of swift overhand pitching

Date Wednesday, October 1, 1884
Text

More speed in delivery, without thorough command of the ball, is worse than useless. The wear and tear of catcher, the tedious character of play it introduces in a match, and the cost in called and passed balls, not to mention injuries to batsmen who get hit with the ball, are all costly drawbacks which doubly offset what slight advantages the speedy delivery presents in outs on strikes.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of the 'Hop Bitters' name

Date Saturday, May 24, 1879
Text

It looks as if the transferred Capital Citys are to be used as an advertising dodge. Although there is no rule of the National Association prescribing the name under which a club may play, it is doubtful whether Rochester can get a club into the championship contest under the name announced.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of the AA's expansion

Date 1884
Text

Alonzo Knight, the genial manager of the Athletic Club...does not like the admission of the four new clubs. “Too many,” he said; “it is going to weaken us, and will hurt us.

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of the Athletic grounds

Date Saturday, October 5, 1872
Text

The field was only in tolerable condition, the grass requiring cutting badly in the outer field. We also noticed that though there was room to put the seats back twenty or thirty feet, they were crowded upon the ball field in a way well calculated to annoy the fielders, not only by preventing foul ball catches, but also from the vicinity of the crowd of talkers who invest in wagers on the contests. In fact, the field is badly laid out, and offers ample room for improvements in this respect.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of the Brush plan, penalties it imposes

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

[from a collection of excerpts from various newspaper, mostly supporting the Brush plan] The “League's graded salary plan” will prove one of the greatest instructors in the art of record playing ever known to base ball. What a choice collection of perjurers the “graded salary plan” will develop in the territory covered by the National League tape. … The League, with its characteristic consistency, prescribes a much severer penalty for the player than it does for the club president who violates the provisions of the “graded salary plan.” The former is subject to blacklisting and the latter to a fine which will never be collected. The Sporting Life December 5, 1888, quoting the St.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of the block ball rule

Date Wednesday, February 29, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column][discussing the rules with Bob Ferguson] Ferguson objects to the present rule governing “block” balls. He says the umpire, in nearly every instance of a batted or thrown ball going into the crowd cannot tell whether it becomes a “blocked” ball or not when the crowd opens to let the ball go by and then closes up again. He wants the block ball to be declared every time it goes into the crowd out of sight, unless under special ground rules limiting bases run when the crowd encroaches on the field.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of the foul bound

Date Wednesday, November 5, 1884
Text

Managers may still cling to the idea of retaining the “foul bound,” but spectators are fast becoming disgusted with this old relic of school-boy town ball of years ago. It does not require more than the skill of the average amateur to make a short or long run and capture a ball rebounding from mother ear. Spectators pay to witness a game of base ball by professionals rather than amateurs, because the game is more scientifically played by the former, and the more it can be elevated to the grade of a science the greater will be its drawing qualities. It really costs the managers money to retain this feature, and why they should persist in doing it in the face of the experience of the League is a conundrum a little beyond the average comprehension. Another reason for it abolishment is that it would increase the efficiency of the batsman as against the now overwhelming skill of the pitcher. It would give him more chances to get in his hit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of the scoring rules

Date Wednesday, November 5, 1884
Text

[A lengthy critique of the scoring rules as vague and inconsistently applied. The Sporting Life November 5, 1884 p. 3.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A critique of the system of scoring and pitching stats

Date Sunday, April 2, 1876
Text

Fallacy of Base-Ball Averages at Present Computed

The league move in the direction of reforming base-ball matters and purifying the game of some of its foulness, has not yet done all it might have done. It has failed to show how utterly absurd is the present system of scoring, and deducting therefrom averages which are unreliable. First take the pitcher’s average, which is given on a ratio of hits per game. There is no mention made of the ratio of called strikes, or of called balls per game, or of the ratio of balls pitched to either called strikes, called balls, or base hits. Take, for instance, 100 balls pitched by A and B. A pitches 5 called balls, 30 called strikes, 25 foul strikes, 20 balls not called, 7 in-field outs, 5 flys-out, and 8 safe hits. B. Pitches 15 called balls, 9 called strikes, 14 foul strikes, 45 balls not called, 6 in-field outs, 6 flys-out, and 5 safe hits. A has two men put out on strikes, and B lost a base by balls; yet, according to the present way of computing an average, A is worse than B, as 8 is greater than 5, that is to say that A is 3/8 a worse pitcher than B, which no man in his senses who knows anything of the game would say. Deduct from the 100 balls pitched the unstrikable balls not called, and we have A to have pitched 80 balls, and B 65. Deduct again the balls called, we have A 75, and B 50 good balls pitched. Now take the base-hit average, and A has an average of 8.85, or one base-hit to every 9.375 balls pitched. On the same principle B has one base hit in every ten good balls pitched. Each has had twelve men put out in the field, but A has put out two men by strikes, so he has got fourteen outs, but B has lost a base by bad pitching, so he has only eleven men out to his credit. The average should then stand: A pitches 75 balls for 8 base hits and 14 outs; B pitches 50 balls for 5 base hits and 11 outs. This makes a vastly different showing than under the rule adopted by base-ball writers last season. The batsman’s average should also show the number of balls pitched to him, good and bad, to the number of outs and safe hits. Then there is a deal of nonsense in averaging the play of fielders. Second base, third base, and short stop get each about twice as many balls to field as the out-fielders, yet ever man is judged on the number of errors he has made and an error in the out-field is looked upon as even with an error in the in-field. Now, as an in-fielder gets twice as many opportunities of making mistakes as an out-fielder, his errors are only half as heinous, two errors in twenty plays of the former being equal to one error in ten plays of the latter. Then, again, the pitcher and catcher and first base are measured by the same error-standard as the other players, which is a preposterous as measuring a wheeler in a team by the leader, or vice versa. The whole system of charging men with errors for every ball that escapes them (says the Chicago Field) is nonsensical in the extreme. How is a reporter in a far-off stand to know just how that ball came up to a man? How can he say that the ball which just passed C was any harder or easier to stop than the ball that was stopped by D? To reckon errors against individual players in that way is all a fraud, and tends to lower the general standard of play rather than raise it. There are some men who go for every ball with all the force and ability that is in them, and take no heed to its hotness or its difficulty, while there are others who do not. The system of counting errors would have no effect upon the first-mentioned class of men, who delight in overcoming difficulties, but it has a very bad effect on those playing merely “for pay”–men who keep as far away from a difficult play as they decently can, so that the sapient scribblers in the reporters’ gallery may see plainly that there was no error. To these latter the sneer or praise of a base-ball reporter is life or death, but in the former there is no such feeling, and all they dread after the game is that their employers or future employers may be guided by the press nonsense instead of actual facts. A score sheet is now in preparation which will do away with a great deal of the difficulty hitherto surrounding the understanding of the ball game.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of the umpire behind the pitcher; umpire looking over the catcher's shoulder

Date Wednesday, September 4, 1889
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] On more occasions than one during the present season have I noticed the fact that umpires who make their decisions from a position behind the pitcher are a source of considerable annoyance to the man who fills the hardest position on a team. In last Tuesday's game, while Stivetts was in the box and Milligan was up behind the bat, the former was given the “cue” two or three times to throw to second to catch a base-runner, but owing the the presence of the umpire between the pitcher and second Stivets was forced to hold the ball, as the base-runner was able to get back to second during the time consumed by Goldsmith in attempting to get out of the pitcher's way. Team work should not receive a black eye from the position occupied by the umpire, and I know it would be more satisfactory to all pitcher for umpires to return to their position behind the plate just as soon as second is reached by the runner. The proper position of the umpire is behind the plate, as he cant hen know just what is is doing on balls and strikes. Gaffney's position is the only correct one. He stands up close enough to the catcher to be able to look over his shoulder, and his position commands full view of the plate. He can tell beyond a doubt whether the pitcher is entitled to a strike or the batsman to a ball. Gaffney's position is certainly more dangerous than the other umpires' but he is well protected by several pasteboard patents, and is seldom injured.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a crushed catcher's mask

Date Wednesday, June 24, 1885
Text

Dailey's [of Providence] eye was severely bruised by a foul tip crushing in his mask in the Philadelphia game, and he will not be able to play for a week or two at least.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a curve pitcher advertises

Date Saturday, November 18, 1876
Text

A First-Class Pitcher and batter would like to engage for next season. Can be had very cheap by engaging immediately. Can curve a ball in and out. Address J.M., care of Clipper.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a curve pitcher in Binghampton

Date Saturday, February 24, 1877
Text

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a curve pitcher in Minnesota

Date Saturday, October 7, 1876
Text

[Clipper of Winona vs. Red Cap of St. Paul 9/22/1876] But two safe hits were made by the Clippers, they being unable to et the hang of Bachli's curve-pitching.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a curve pitcher on a semi-pro club

Date Saturday, July 1, 1876
Text

[Star of Covington vs. Allegheny of Pittsburgh 6/22/1876] Lane and Junkin each followed with beautiful base-hits, after which the captain of the Stars decided that Golden's straight, swift delivery wouldn't do, and a change was made to McSorley. The latter pitchers an altogether different ball; he is a curve pitcher.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a cutoff man

Date Sunday, July 5, 1874
Text

In regard to the Hartford-Boston game, and the disputed decision of the umpire, it appears that after one hand was out in the last inning, and Harry Wright occupied the third and Hall the second, that Barnes hit a high ball to Pike, and as soon as it touched his hands both of the base runners instantaneously attempted to steal their bases, Pike fielded the ball home, but Fisher stopped it, and threw it to Boyd to cut off Hall, and the umpire decided Hall out, but declared Wright had made his run, the decision according to Harry Wright, being in the following words, he had crossed the home plate, and the run counts.” The run, however, did not count, unless Wright had crossed the home plate before Hall was put out, and it is only reasonable to suppose that Wright, being a slower runner than Hall, could not have reached the home plate before Hall was put out.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a daring slider

Date Wednesday, September 9, 1885
Text

Reccius is the most daring slider in the Louisville nine, and this helps out his base running immensely. He is not a very swift mover, but he gets there by taking the dust.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a de facto payment for being reserved

Date Wednesday, December 7, 1887
Text

The big pitcher Stemmyer signed a graded contract with Cleveland, which gives him but a reasonable salary for the season, but a handsome present at the end of it, if he remains in the club. Stemmyer chose this way of contracting.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dead ball on a quick pitch

Date Thursday, April 19, 1883
Text

[Cleveland vs. Metropolitan 4/18/1883] In the third inning, when Reipslager went to the bat, Daily the one-armed pitcher, delivered the ball before the umpire was in position to judge it on the call, high or low ball, and when Reipslager hit a high foul, and the ball was caught, he very properly made the play dead, greatly to the astonishment of the crowd. In the sixth inning, when Roseman was at the bat, Darby did the same thing, and this time a base hit was made, and it of course counted for nothing. Players should learn the important fact that the ball is not in play for delivery to the bat, firstly as in the beginning of a game or after a suspension of play, before “play” is called; and secondly, before the umpire is in position to judge the ball and has called “high” or “low” ball. The decision rendered by Mr. Lane in calling the ball dead, and the play which followed it null and void was a sound one, and it is well that it occurred in a practice match, so that it can be made a precedent for the championship contest.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dead ball trick

Date Wednesday, June 25, 1884
Text

Brouthers, in one of the games with Chicago last week, worked a very old trick on Sunday. The latter had made a good base hit and was safe on first. The guileless Daniel had thrown the ball to Serad (in his mind), when Sunday slipped off the bag. Dan jerked the ball from under his arm and touched him out before the Chicago right fielder knew what had happened. Any player stupid enough to be caught in that manner deserves a fine.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a deal blocked in waivers

Date Tuesday, February 5, 1889
Text

President Davidson says that the deal in which he was trying to disposed of Hecker and Cooker, will fall through, probably, owing to Cincinnati's objection. He was not after a fielder, but a young pitcher whom he things would have proved of great value to the Louisvilles. He declined to say what player he intended securing, but intimated that the sale would have been made had the Association clubs waived their claim to Hecker. He received answers from all the clubs excepting Brooklyn, and out of these Cincinnati was the only one which refused to relinquish their rights to Hecker and Cook. The action of the Cincinnati club in declining that request, he said, deserved criticism, for they not only rejected his request, but even went so fqar as to offer the insignificant sum of a “few hundred dollars” for a battery like Hecker and Cook.

Source Pittsburgh Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a debate over the proposal to eliminate scoring errors

Date Friday, March 14, 1879
Text

Several journals, the usually sensible Boston Herald among the number, lay great stress on the assertion that, should the error column be excluded from the score, there would be no motive for effort—players would get lazy and not half try. This is sheer nonsense. Knowing that they would be under the eyes of a dozen, more or less, reporters, with pencils as sharp as lances, fear, if no other incentive, would keep the laziest wide awake. Every ball-player knows that the average reporter is as quick to detect the bad as he is to see the good. He knows that any exertion, whether it be crowned with success or not, will be duly noted. – Sunday Courier. There would, perhaps, be some reason in the above, if base-ball journals gave a detailed description of each inning of every game, but it is well known that, except where games are played on home grounds, the papers give only a brief description, and, in a majority of cases, a mere introduction, followed by the full score. If the papers follow the same policy in the future, and undoubtedly they will do so, and the error columns is abolished from the score, how are lovers of the game to know whether or not a contest played at a distance is a good fielding exhibition? – Boston Herald

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a deceptive curve pitcher

Date Saturday, August 12, 1876
Text

In McSorley they [the Indianapolis Club] have a first-class third-baseman, as well as change pitcher, his delivery being marked by a very deceptive curve.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of loud coaching

Date Saturday, July 2, 1887
Text

[editorial matter] They say steps are to be taken shortly to abolish the present system of coaching. In fact in some cities coaching has been done away with just as an experiment and we are told the experiment has worked well. But we do not believe it. In our mind baseball without coaching is just no game at all. Some old fellows, notably Harry Wright, have announced themselves as in favor of the abolishment of the present style of coaching. By so declaring themselves they go back on their own record. Since the days of the old Haymakers coaching has been popular with the real lovers of the game. Who will forget the King boys—Mart and Steve—with their old war whoop as they called on their comrades for a rally at the bat. Who will forget the old Chicago White Stockings with Jimmy Wood on one side of the line, with Mart King as his vis-a-vis and the two coaching their sides like mad. Who will forget the old Cincinnati Reds with George Wright's grinning ivories and his shouts of “Steady there now,” and “Take care, take care.” Who too will forget Andy Leonard's queer antics and the coaching of such men as McGeary, McBride, Mallone, Fisler, Barnes, Hodes, Addy, Hasting and a host of others. It was the tricks of the trade that won in those days just as it is the tricks of the trade that win now. Men of the Anson, Comiskey and Keely stripe have learned these tricks and profited by them. Those who are too dull to learn these tricks and too bull-headed to be taught them are naturally opposed to the game as it is played today, as it was played yesterday and as it should be played for all time.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of professional athletes

Date Thursday, January 23, 1868
Text

...Ministers, Physicians and Lawyers who have earned their degrees and diplomas at College are professionals of the highest class, as are Editors, reporters, lecturers and actors, each and all of whom are professionally skilled in certain mental attributes, the results of natural ability trained to excellency by judicious education. The second class of professionals includes those who excel as Gymnasts, Equestrians, Acrobats, Pedestrians, Jockeys, Rowers, Cricketers, Billiardists, Ball Players, and of late years Skaters, all of whom may be as justly termed professionals as the former, the difference between them being that the one class excel as practical exponents of the highest degree of educated skill in mental attributes, while the other class are specimens of physical excellence, fully developed by thorough training.

As with the Lawyer or Physician, whose professional status is degraded by the actions of the pettifogger or quack, so it is with the professional athlete, whose reputation suffers from the class who lower their occupation by degrading association, dissipated habits, and too frequently dishonest practices. With the higher class of professionals whose working capital is based upon mental talent, the black sheep of the flock are the exception and not the rule. With those who excel in physical attributes, however, the contrary, unfortunately, is the case, and hence the term “professional,” which in the one case is an honor, in the other is too frequently applied as a title, almost the very reverse of honorable. How frequently do we hear the remark, “Oh, he’s only a professional,” applied to men who use God’s gifts of physical talent, in the place of the higher gifts of the mind, to earn their bread. Now this reproachful sentence is simply the result of the fact that the majority of those who excel in physical prowess or skill, are not men of moral habits or integrity of character, but a class to easily led into evil habits and degrading associations. We do not see the justice of making the minority of a class suffer for the evil practices of the majority, and therefore we enter our protest against the injustice of making this term “professional,” as applied to those excel naturally or by judicious training in any physical sport or exercise, one calculated to lower them in the estimation of the community.

...

It is in this connection that we regard the question of “professionals” in the ball playing fraternity, and hence our efforts to remove the stigma upon this class, applied by the rules of the National Association in their enactments against “professionals” as a class of players. Why should it necessarily follow that, because one ball player, out of a number who use their skill to earn money, is an ignorant fellow, vulgar in manners, low in language, and dishonest in his practices, all should be so? As well charge all doctors with being quacks, and all lawyers with being legal swindlers. On the contrary, it should be the object of the Association to give this class of players an incentive to honorable conduct, and not, by degrading the position, drive them into the arms of those whose whole efforts are used to secure recruits for the army of criminals which is rapidly overrunning the land.

Source American Chronicle of Sports and Pastimes
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of scoring a base hit on a base on balls

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] I have been waiting to see some of my confreres of The Sporting Life hit the writers who are continually howling against the base hit for a base on balls rule. Their owls make us tired, because they are the result of a glance. One would think that ere this the value of the patient batsman of good judgment, who waits until he gets the ball he wants before he strikes at it, would have been recognized. But it hasn't been, and week after week I pick up papers who editors should, and generally do, know better, and see condemnations of this rule. Ask the men who make it a business to select players for teams, how valuable is that batsman who hits at only what he calls for. It is his skill against the pitcher's, and—under the new rules—with the chances in the pitcher's favor. Often the pitcher gives the man—if he is dangerous and the situation is critical—his base on balls rather than risk a hit and a consequent run, should he evade the responsibilities upon him without cost? It does not seem that he should. Except when in front of a “skyrocket” pitcher, the batsman who gets his base on balls earns it. Batting isn't the only ingredient of base ball that wins games, and I consider the batsman who is patient and alert enough to refuse the baits offered him by a good pitcher entitled to as much credit as though he hit the ball safely.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of the Centennials' fifty-cent admission

Date Sunday, April 25, 1875
Text

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

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

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

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

Date Sunday, April 4, 1875
Text

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

last year’s high underhand pitching

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

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of the expanded reserve

Date Wednesday, March 12, 1884
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting] The reserve rule was discussed, especially on the point of whether the eleven men reservation was in reality harsher than the five men reserve rule. President Mills brought out a strong point in favor of the eleven men rule. He held that after the five men had been held under the old rule it brought the remaining players not reserved on the market for bidders while tying up the superior player and would be likely to give the inferior player more salary than the stronger reserved player.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of the hit on a base on ball; earned runs

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell’s column] The base-hit-on-balls filled a void and did the game good. It imposed the highest penalty on the base on ball–a kind of prohibitory tax. That was the base hit. It couldn’t be worse, under the rules, than a hit, and it taught the youngsters to put ‘em over the plate. ... An error carries but half the terror of a base hit, and frequent as were bases on balls this past season they will be more so next season. The telegraph gravely informs us that, at Mr. N. E. Young’s suggestion, a base on balls is still to be accounted as a factor in an earned run. Ye gods! An earned run can thus be made on four actual and nominal errors. It was bad enough when made on an actual error, dubbed a hit, but now–. It is too much. The world’s wisdom must be in other than base ball nests. The Sporting Life November 23, 1887

[from editorial content] ...the committee did not stop at retrogression, but went even to the ridiculous in declaring that bases on balls, which are to be set down as errors, shall also figure in earned run statistics. The Sporting Life November 23, 1887

the missing Boston Club shares

The minority shareholders of the Boston Club filed a bill in equity November 12, asking for an account of money received and for a reversal of the action of the directors in regard to the forfeiture and sale of seventy-two shares of stock. The defendants–Soden, Conant and Billings–control sixty-five of the seventy-eight shares of stock now in existence. President Soden says in relation to this suit:–“This whole matter relating to the forfeiture of the seventy-two shares of stock was transacted before I or my associates, Messrs. Conant and Billings, became connected with the club. At the time I was elected president, a question arose as to how those seventy-two shares should be allowed to vote. It seems that they had only been partially paid for, although the certificates had been issued. Finally the matter was referred to the Hon. Walbridge A. Field, now one of the Judges of the Supreme Court, and he went over the ground thoroughly, and finally gave his decision declaring that the seventy-two shares of stock had no legal standing whatever; that the treasurer had no right to issue them until they were all paid for in full, and, having been illegally issued, they had no standing. But I suppose the principal basis for this proceeding in court lies in the desire of the minor stockholders to gain an insight into the financial books of the corporation. We may be compelled to show the books, but until we are we certainly shall not do so.” The Sporting Life November 23, 1887 [See also TSL 5/3/1890 p. 6.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

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

Date Sunday, December 30, 1877
Text

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

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of the player sales system

Date Wednesday, October 16, 1889
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column] “The odious sales system” has been the handle to the lash of every conspirator, and to many fault-finders who have been at a loss for any other cause for complaint. While not a defender of the system and while I should gladly welcome the substitution of any other system for the promotion of demonstrated talent, I am still compelled to admit that even the “sales system” of to-day is of great benefit both to the player and to the minor organizations throughout the country. Indeed, were it not for the sales system, many promising young clubs which have gone through several seasons would never have been able to organize for another race in the face of the financial loss attendant upon their first season. For instance, take the case of the Des Moines Club of last year. It was away behind financially before the season had been complete, but it developed some excellent playing talent during the race and impressed this fact upon the clubs of the greater leagues by winning the championship of the Western Association. Although from $8000 to $10,000 behind when the season closed, the sales system enabled Des Moines to recover its losses and wind up with a few thousand dollars to the good. The sale of Hutchson and Sage alone yielded the club no less than $6000, Chicago paying $3500 for Hutchison. Further than this, the club was not only helped out of the hole, but the players “sold” were advanced to better positions with clubs of national reputation, and at a material increase of salary and unquestionably increased opportunities to add to their professional reputations and consequently to the value of their services. While citing the case of Des Moines I am reminded that the sales system alone saved Omaha—Western Association pennant winners for this season—from financial loss. The howl about “slaves and slave-masters” of the National League is a “bugaboo,” a pumpkin-face with a candle behind it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of the reserve system

Date Sunday, September 5, 1880
Text

Let us see how the abolition of the five-players agreement, or the absence of something of a similar character, would work. Cincinnati, for example, desirous of getting a team that it thinks would win the championship, and being determined to outbid any and all other clubs in order to get the players it wants, enters the field after the 23d of October and begins the engagement of a team for 1880. the local management and the local newspaper advisers agree upon something like this for an outfit: Jones, Gore, and Kelly for the outfield, Will White and Corcoran for pitchers, John Clap and Flint for catchers, Jim White for first base, Burdock for second base, Burns for short-stop, Williamson or Connors for third base, and Hines or Dalrymple for substitutes. This would be a tremendous batting and fielding collection, and might or might not win the championship: much would depend on management, in which respect Cincinnati is lamentably deficient. Anyhow, Cincinnati wants these players, and is going to have them at whatever rate of salaries promised,--payment being quite another affair.

But how about Chicago and Gore, Kelly, Burns, Williamson, Corcoran, and Dalrymple? Presumably Chicago wants to keep these players, and to a certainty Chicago can afford to pay them $2 for every dollar offered by Cincinnati. Boston wants to keep Burdock, Troy wants Connors, Providence wants Hines; more than that, they are going to have them, or else they are going out of the ball business, for a club cannot survive which loses the players having the strongest hold upon the favor of its patrons. Chicago, Boston, Providence, and Troy will pay these players $2,000 apiece before they will let them go. Bu Cincinnati will pay $2,500, and gets them—gets a mean which will cost upwards of $25,000 for salaries alone, or $32,000 when traveling, hotel, and incidental expenses are added. To meet this expense the Cincinnati Club must average $400 per game for eighty games, at home and abroad,--a thing which no club ever did or ever can do. The average will be less than one-half that figure when Cincinnati shall have crippled every other club in the League by taking away their best and most popular players. Result, a net loss of $16,000, which the Cincinnati stockholders must pull out of their pockets and pay into the Club treasury. Will the Cincinnati stockholders do it? Unquestionably they will not. Then the players engaged lose one-half the salaries promised, and have played ball for considerably less than what they would have received had the five-players agreement operated to prevent this senseless competition.

We do not believe the ball-players of the country are so silly and short-sighted as to want to kill the goose that lays for them the golden egg,--said goose being the League, which has been instrumental in elevating and popularizing the game of ball, in creating a demand for players, and in guaranteeing them honest and fair treatment by the clubs employing them.

What is good for the League is good for ball-players, for the day when the League ceases to control the National game in America by wise legislation and judicious business management will see the speedy downfall and obliteration of the game as a grand popular amusement and pastime; and nothing will more surely disrupt the League and reduce base-ball to chaos than a policy which increases salaries beyond a point justified by club receipts. Salaries are already as high as they should be, and the person who advocates a plan that will inevitably increase the present expense of maintaining a club, be he officer, stockholder, player, or newspaper reporter, is no true friend of base-ball. Ball-playing talent is worth what it will bring, and it will bring, in the long run, not what indiscreet club officials are foolish enough to bid for it, but what experience has amply demonstrated the public will pay for it in the shape of patronage, and no more. In many instances this revenue from patronage has not equaled the expense of maintaining the club, and club stockholders, enthusiastic and ardent devotees of the game, have paid the deficit. This will have to do it this year in several instances, and they are willing to do it again, provided the deficit is not too large. How to keep it down to the minimum should be the study of every club management, and no how to make it larger. It was for this that the plan of reserving players was devised, and it is for this it should be continued.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a definition and condemnation of 'revolving'

Date Sunday, February 20, 1870
Text

[There are] certain rumors we have heard in regard to several proposed transfers of players from one club to another, in which regular engagements and contracts are to be broken. Now, the man who breaks a written engagement with a club in order to better his position pecuniarily by joining another club, is simply a fool, not to say an innate scamp, and should be discountenanced by every club as the class which are ready to sell games where opportunity offers. Men have a perfect right to better their condition legitimately by leaving one club for another at the close of the season. This can be done honorably, as [a] number of players we could name, have done it; but what we object to, is the miserable system of “revolving” which consists simply of this very style of breaking regularly made engagements. Let all of this class be hooted out the ball fields, for there is not one of them fit to be trusted. They only lack opportunities to sell a club for a fifty-dollar bill.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a definition of a jerk

Date Saturday, June 3, 1865
Text

We were several times question during the game in reference to the fairness of McSweeny’s delivery, some considering it a jerk. This question of jerking a ball is a rather difficult one to decide upon. A jerk, in the ordinary sense of the term, is made when the elbow of the arm, bearing the ball, touches the side of the person so delivering it, and we believe this is the definition applied in the case of the rules of the National Association. A ball can be sent with all the swiftness of this style of jerking without the elbow touching the side, but as it is difficult to see the motion, such style of delivery is not considered a jerk according to the rules in question, as we understand them. If McSweeny jerks a ball, so does Pratt, Sprague, and McBride. A jerk, in reference to pitching in base ball, is just as difficult of explanation of that of throwing in round arm bowling at cricket.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a delay of game for a replacement ball

Date Sunday, October 3, 1869
Text

[Olympic vs. Athletic 10/2/1869] The game was not called until after 3 o’clock, and then another delay arose in consequence of the Olympics not providing a new ball, and finally an old one had to be substituted and used during the game.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a delayed call

Date Sunday, October 31, 1858
Text

[Atlantic v. Gotham 10/25/1858] Mr. Cudlip was running from the first to the second base. Most people thought he had reached it. Judgment was called, and the umpire for a space of time was silent. Cries of out came from many men of Brooklyn, and as it were, in accordance with such cries the runner was decided out.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a deliberately dropped third strike for a double play

Date Saturday, September 26, 1868
Text

[Mutual vs Union of Lansingburgh 9/17/1868] [McMahon on third, Dockney on second, Hunt on first] ..as Galvin went to the bat it looked as though the Mutuals were going to get a good send-off for the first innings; Galvin seemed bothered, however, by the novelty of facing the pitching of Bearman and struck twice ineffectually; as he struck at the ball for the third time and failed to hit it, Craver, who, as usual, was playing close behind the bat, dropped the ball and deliberately picking it up stepped on the home base and threw it to third; Abrams passed it to second, but not before Hunt, who ran from first, reached the base. This sharp feat of Craver’s was much applauded, and as the Mutuals came in from the field they seemed rather chop-fallen. The umpire, not having seen Craver touch the home plate, decided that Dockney and Hunt were the outs, when it should have been McMahon and Dockney.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a denial that the Boston Club salaries are in arrears

Date Sunday, August 15, 1880
Text

The story that the Boston nine has not been paid regularly by the management was denied by one of the players last night, who says that all the men are paid promptly on the 15th day of each month.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

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

Date Sunday, March 10, 1878
Text

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

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a denial that the Maryland Club is defunct

Date Saturday, June 28, 1873
Text

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a denunciation of beer and Sunday games

Date Sunday, August 15, 1880
Text

...the beer-jerking and the Sunday games are relied on to help the [Cincinnati] Club out financially, and the present Cincinnati nine are employed very much as pretty waiter-girls are,--to increase the consumption and sale of beer and swell the receipts of the Club. It is degrading, offensive, ruinous, this association of base-ball and beer, and the league should legislate against it with as much severity as it has legislated against everything that tends to bring the game into disrepute. Decency requires that this business of running a base-ball team as an adjunct to a brewery should be sat down upon by the League. Similar severity should be displayed toward Sunday games on League Club grounds. Such games are a fraud upon visiting clubs, in that they attract to the Sunday play visitors who would otherwise go to a Monday game, and surfeit and cloy the appetite of the community for base-ball. This question both of Sunday games and beer-jerking is not one of morals, but of sound business policy. Base-ball, outside of Cincinnati, is supported by a class of people by whom these practices are regarded as an abomination,--a class of people whose patronage is of infinitely greater value in dollars and cents, let alone respectability, than that of the element to whom beer is an attraction and a necessity. If the Cincinnati Club wants to have Sunday games and convert its grounds into a beer saloon, let it do it outside the League. There are plenty of cities anxious to take the place vacated by Cincinnati, whose retirement would be hailed with general satisfaction.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a denunciation of curve pitching

Date Saturday, January 5, 1884
Text

During the holidays a meeting of representatives from the faculties of the chief colleges met in New York to discuss athletics. This convention arose from Dr. Sargent's visit to the various colleges and was called by the Athletic Committee of Harvard. There were present Prof. Norton and Dr. Sargent, from Harvard; President McCosh of Princeton; Professor Richards of Yale; Mr. Goodwin of Columbia and many other presidents and professors. After a long discussion on athletics, in which every one seemed to be agreed that professionals and professionalism should be rigorously excluded from college athletics, it was decided to appoint a large committee and who should draw up a series of rules regulations by which all college athletics should be controlled. Professor Richards of Yale was made chairman of this committee, and Dr. Sargent is Harvard's representative on it. Harvard Crimson January 5, 1884

During the recent convention of representatives from Harvard, Yale and other colleges to consider the subject of athletics, one of the speakers unbosomed himself thus:

Athletics have come to the pass where they are no longer fair and open trials of strength and skill, but on the contrary, as at present conducted, they train the young men to look upon victory as the rewards of treachery and deceit. That this is the case, anyone who has seen the game of baseball as it is played by the so-called best college nines will at once admit. For the pitcher, instead of delivering the ball to the batter in an honest, straightforward way, that the latter may exert his strength to the best advantage in knocking it, now uses every effort to deceive him by curving–I think that is the word–the ball. And this is looked upon as the last triumph of athletic science and skill. I tell you it is time to call halt! when the boasted progress in athletics is in the direction of fraud and deceit. New York Clipper January 19, 1884

Source Harvard Crimson
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of Arlie Latham's antics

Date Saturday, July 26, 1890
Text

[quoting the Boston regarding Arlie Latham] He has an inexhaustible fund of wit, and is known among the fraternity as a 'big card.' How well he sustains this reputation can be seen by the large number of spectators who crowd the bleachers near third base and shout themselves horse when he is in particularly high spirits. He is rarely guilty of repetition, which is most remarkable when his volubility is considered. Every phase of the play suggests a new idea. His legs are no less active than his brain, and, when covering his position, he personifies what the boys call a 'dancing jack.' He frequently gives expression to his feelings when an exceptionally fine play is made by his side, in throwing as clean a flipflap as was ever seen in a circus tent. He turns the most trivial incidents into mirth-provoking characterizations. He at all times preserves a remarkable equipoise, and was never known to insult a player or spectator, no matter what the provocation might be. His remarks to the umpire, from anyone else, would bring down upon him the stern reprimand of the autocrat of the diamond, but the cleverness with which he serves out his comments is never followed by a reprimand. If there is any of life in his club he will bring it out and make it show for all it is worth. He is an excellent third baseman, and a ball coming into his territory invariably means that the batsman must retire to the benches.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of Coogan's Bluff

Date Wednesday, July 10, 1889
Text

[from J. F. Donnolly's column] Another circumstance in connection with the [new Polo] ground is that it is below the level of the street, while overhanging it on the west is a big bluff from which a good-sized audience can view the game most comfortably. In addition, the bluf throws a deep shadow over the diamond, and as the sun gets behind it about 5 o'clock every evening it may possibly be necessary to commence the game some thirty minutes earlier than the two hours before sun-set prescribed by the rules. … I must confess that I cannot see anything peculiarly bright in the prospects of the club at the new location.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of a crank

Date Sunday, April 20, 1884
Text

“There is a man in the Government Hospital for the Insane,” said an ex-Governor of Maryland to a Washington letter-writer, “who is perfectly sane on every subject except base-ball. He knows more about base-ball than any other man in America. The authorities have humored him so that he has been able to cover the walls of his large room with intricate schedules of games played since base-ball began its career. He has the record of every important club and the individual record of every important player. He takes an astrological view of the game. He explains every defeat and every success on astrological principles. It is because a man was born in this month or under this star or that. He has figured it all out. His sense has gone with it. He is the typical base-ball crank.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of a delivery

Date Wednesday, May 18, 1881
Text

With the batsman in position, Whitney revolves the ball in his hands several times, then suddenly he curls himself up like a boy attacked with the gripes or a dog retiring for the night, whirls his leg, his right arm shoots straight from the shoulder, and the first thing the sorely-perplexed strike knows the sphere has been discharged and started on its errand. For a few minutes the batter is uncertain whether or not the man has a fit, and two or three balls pass by before he fully realizes the situation. Out of all this hysterical demonstration, Whitney manages to put a great deal of speed in the ball, and to practice considerable deception. But the batter is always in danger, because he doesn't know, neither does Whitney, but what the sphere may land on his ear instead of in Snyder's hands. He struck several of the Buffalos yesterday, and, as he propels the sphere quite swiftly, it did not create the best of feeling within them. Like the untamed steed of the western wilds, he ought to be subdued, broken or driven with a curb-bit. By his wonderful gymnastics he succeeded in effectually mystifying the Buffalos, and six hits represented their batting efforts. Boston Herald May 18, 1881, quoting the Buffalo Express.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of a hit and run

Date Wednesday, January 29, 1890
Text

[from a column by George Edward Andrews] The batting order ought always to be made out with a good waiter leading off. He should be a good batter also to take advantage of any good ball itched, and a cool, level-headed fellow how knows, and will work every point known, to get his base. Once we have a runner on first base we have let on the first steam. Taking it for granted that our men in the batting order thoroughly understand each other, we are ready to begin. The base-runner and batsman following him have it understood that the second ball pitched is to be hit at. This understanding is either had before he goes to bat or is arrived at afterwards by preconcerted signals. This second ball is to be hit at—not blindly, but with method—to punch the ball slowly toward right field, and at the movement of delivery our runner is off for second base. In a successful attempt the second baseman of the side in the field is drawn to cover his base by the man on first starting to run down, thus leaving about seventy-five feet or more of room for the batsman to hit the ball through. In ninety-nine times out of a hundred the second baseman cannot recover himself to field the ball, no matter how slowly hit, and the first baseman cannot go for it except in very rare cases, when he fields the ball to the pitcher, who covers the base. It is very seldom, however, that the first baseman can made this play, being obliged to be right on top of his base to hold the base-runner from getting a start. Here we are now—a man on first and second and no one out, simply by a stroke of “team work.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of baseball

Date Sunday, October 14, 1866
Text

The history of this justly popular and healthful amusement is, we believe, not generally know, nor is it our purpose to give it in detail at this time. The game is deduced from English origin, as are all our manly out-door sports; but, whilst cricket is the ruling game amongst our English Cousins, Base Ball has become quite an American institution.

The first Club in the United States which attained any celebrity, as the “Knickerbocker” of New York, which organized in 1845, and still continues in all its pristine vigor. Imitative New Yorkers soon organized other Clubs, all of which prospered greatly, until continued success begot emulous rivalry, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and other cities soon disputed the claimed superiority of the Gothamites.

Now after a lapse of twenty years almost every city and many large towns and villages boast of their Clubs. The clubs by their proficiency do honor to their opportunities, and the general interest the people feel in the sport, indicates the great popularity of the institution throughout the country.

We are heartily glad to know that all who engage in this manly and invigorating pastime, should thus be encouraged by such very general approbation.

A few words explanatory of the game, and a reference to the Club in our midst, and we have done. The field in which the game is played should be at least 400 feet square. The bases are four in number, placed at equal distances from each other, and securely fastened upon each corner of a square, whose sides are respectively thirty yards. The base from which the ball is struck is designated the home base, and is directly opposite the second base; the base on the right hand is the first base, and that on the left the third base. The pitcher's position or base is fixed on a line drawn from home to second base, and is distant from the former fifteen yards. The first, second, and third bases, are canvas bags filled with some soft material, and the home and pitcher's bases are circular iron plates.--Players must make their bases in regular order, and on making the home base are entitled to score one run. The game consists of nine innings on each side but may be decided on the fifth or seventh inning. An inning is concluded at the time the third hand is put out. Eighteen persons constitute a full field, nine on each side. The side having the inning numbers nine batsmen; the side in the field is disposed into catcher, pitcher, short stop, first, second, and third basemen, and right, left, and centre fieldsmen. At the conclusion of their inning the side at the bat change places in detail with the side in the field. To particularize the special part of each individual players, in not our purpose, and if it were, we have neither time nor space to indulge it. We comment, however, the different publications to those designing information on the subject; some of them being very succinct and satisfactory.

It gives us great pleasure to state that the ancient and tranquil borough of Chestertown, through the exertions of J.A.Pearce, Esq., and others, has moved in the matter of organizing a Club, and from the material, as reported to us, we look forward to the no distant time when the Chesterown Club will be known, admired, and dreaded throughout the entire county. When the famed Athletics and Atlantics will be compelled to “pale their ineffectual fires” before the meridian splendors of the Chestertown “Ozenies,” a name, by the way, appropriate from its local associations, being the Indian name for the Chester river.

The Oziene Club was organized on 25th of Sept. last, and a constitution and By-law adopted. On 1 st of October the following officers were elected for the ensuing year; President J.A. Pearce, Vice President J. A. Burgess, Secretary E. W. Newman, Treasurer, C.A.A. Stanley, Directors, W.A. Vickers, W.H. Steward and J.E.Gilpin.

Through the kindness and courtesy of the visitors, of Washington College, the Club have secured the College campus as a field for exercise, a place commodious in size, accessible in distance, an deasily adapted to the purpose. The Club practice on Monday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons, and already attain a tolerable proficiency. May their success exceed their expectations, ALPHA. Chestertown (Md.) Transcript October 13, 1866

preparations for the Atlantic-Athletic match in Brooklyn

The proprietors of the Capitoline Grounds, Brooklyn, in view of the match between the Atlantic and Athletic, have made the following arrangements:

No one will be permitted to enter upon the field except the players during the entire day. Over a hundred policemen will be present, and as the crowd enter, they will be shown their seats or standing-places, and there they will have to remain. There are to be seven separate entrances to the ground opened on this occasion, with eighteen doorkeepers.

No tickets are to be sold, and no change will be made at the office or at the gates; all going in, therefore, will have to provide themselves with twenty-five cents in change. The gates will be opened at 10 A.M., and no seats will be reserved, except those for ladies–admitted free on this, as on all occasions, on the Capitoline grounds–and those for the Athletic Club having badges, the number being limited.

The only parties who will be allowed to take places on the field, or within the embankment, are the players, the two scorers–at separate tables–and those reporters of the local press who regularly report base ball matches, about ten in all. Members of the press of other cities will have seats with the Philadelphia club, as full reports will be given in the local journals, from which the outside papers can copy.

This arrangement is made necessary by the fact of the crowd of members of the press who claim seats as reporters, when it is well-known that but few make a specialty of the game giving daily reports of the doings of the fraternity. Therefore, the seats on the field for reporters will be limited to twelve.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of baseball cranks

Date Saturday, March 22, 1884
Text

“Cranks in base ball? Well, I should say so,” said Charles Mason of the Athletics. “Do you know, every season brings new ones to the surface. Our mail every day contains applications from players in country towns who are impressed with the idea that they possess some unusual ability, principally as pitchers; and to listen to some of the remarkable descriptions of 'curves' and 'shoots' that they claim as original, would make your head swim. Here is an application from a young man up the country who says that he has discovered a new curve that is impossible to hit, and that with it he can strike out the heaviest batsmen as fast as they come up to the plate. He would be a valuable man to secure if there was anything in his claim, but try him and he would be hit out of the 'box' in one inning.”

“Do you ever give these applicants a trial?”
 “Occasionally, when their application is indorsed by some practical player. This trial of new players costs first-class clubs considerable money during a season. Last season, for instance, we heard of a catcher in Massachusetts, and being in need of such a player we sent for hi, giving him two hundred dollars advance. He caught two innings in an exhibition game and proved a monumental failure the same evening he left for home and that was the last we ever heard of him. Good managers, however, do not mind this, as occasionally a fine player is stumbled across.”

“What is the percentage of successes?”

“Very, very small. In no business or profession does the failures exceed the successes in such a degree as in base ball. I am an old professional, and practical in my views, and when we give a new player a trial I always insist on giving him every chance to show what there is in him. I can generally tell, however, if there is anything in ap layer by the manner in which he goes about his work.”

“Have you any experiments on this season's team?”

“Only one, a young pitcher, from the West, named Atkinson. I have never seen him play, but he comes to us very well spoken of by professionals, who have seen him. For his sake, as well as our own, I hope he will not be a disappointment. There is one great danger, however, in young players that score a success, and that is what we call having a 'big head,' that is, become too much swelled up over their importance. The best of them will get it, but a manager will in the end pretty effectively cure them of the malady.:

“Isn't there often a great deal of fun afforded the old professionals when they test an applicant?”

“Not on our grounds. We view it in the light of business. I am aware that some managers allow it, but we never do. Sometimes the funny fellows get the worst of it. This young man Atkinson is an illustration of this. He went down to Indianapolis last Summer and asked Dan O'Leary, who was running the Indianapolis club, to give him a trial as pitcher. Dan laughed at him, but Atkinson persisted. 'All right,' said Dan, 'If you insist I will make a fool of you this afternoon.' Dan took him out to the ground, and having no regular game, got up a scrub nine and made Atkinson pitcher, and put his own team against them. The result was a terrible beating for Dan's team, his men being unable to hit Atkinson, eighteen of them striking out. Dan wanted to sign Atkinson at once, but he refused to play under O'Leary at any salary, and finally signed with us. So you see it don't always do to be too funny.

Source The Philadelphia Evening Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A description of catcher's equipment

Date Saturday, June 21, 1884
Text

With his frontal liver-pad, his hands cased in thick gloves and the familiar wire helmet on his head, the average baseball-catcher looks for all the world like an animated combination of a modern bed-bolster and a mediaeval knight., quoting the New Haven News

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of fair-foul hitting

Date Saturday, June 25, 1870
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Atlantic 6/14/1870] Pearce was at 1st, which he had reached by one of those “fair-foul” hits, as they are called, viz.: by hitting the ball close to the base so that it bounds to the foul ball ground back of third base...this style of hitting almost always ensuring 1st base, though it is not a showy style of batting...

Source New York Clipper
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 description of the Cuban Giants

Date Wednesday, September 5, 1888
Text

The Cuban Giants, who, by the way, are neither giants nor Cubans, but thick-set and brawny colored men, make about as stunning an exhibition of ball playing as any team in the country. Old-time ball players, who are perhaps a trifle awed and confused by the methodical and systematic manner in which some of the League clubs play, will have a revival of old memories if they go to see the Cuban Giants when they are really loaded for bear. They play great ball, but, outside of that, they do more talking, yelling, howling and bluffing than all the teams in the League put together. There is a sort of “get thar' spirit among them, which carries the spectators back a good many years in ball playing, and, from a spectative point of view, it is one of the best teams in the city to see., quoting the New York Sun

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the Metropolitan grounds

Date Wednesday, February 25, 1885
Text

The park is situation in a rather gritty neighborhood amongst the foundries and refineries on the East River, and is laid out with Spartan simplicity, no unnecessary expense being incurred.

The out field is composed of pure, unadulterated clay, but the diamond is apologetically covered with a consumptive sod, which is not nearly so green as the scum under the free stand, which marks the playful visits of the mighty river that flows by the left field fence.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the Washington AA grounds

Date Wednesday, March 12, 1884
Text

[from an interview of Von der Ahe] It is a splendid, perfectly level inclosure, some 450 x 450 feet; about the same size as the Grand Avenue grounds. The fence is a new and fine one, and at about twenty feet apart are posts, to which will be attached flag-staffs bearing the colors of the different nations. The carriage-way is a very handsome gate, surmounted with crossed bats, with balls, caps and other emblems of the national game, with a handsome United States blaze waving over it. The grand stand is a model, having two tiers of seats, and is strongly constructed without pillars to interfere with the sight of the spectators; the beams and stanchions being strongly bolted and nutted. The skeleton seats extend on eighter side, and the entire seating capacity is about 10,000 persons. At the upper end of the ground is a fine music stand which will accommodate forty-five musicians, and is modeled after the famous stand at Coney Island. About the field is a splendid cinder track for bicycle and foot racing, twenty feet wide, and with several layers of brick and stone, pebbles, gravel and land cement and cinder. It is eighteen inches deep, and cost of itself some $2,100. Col Moxley estimate that he has put $20,000 in his grounds... St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the West Philadelphia Club grounds

Date Saturday, August 11, 1866
Text

The West Philadelphian’s ground is excellent–what there is of it; but that is not much. The fence back of the catcher seriously interferes with that player–the ball no sooner strikes it, than it ricochets over it, thus allowing the opposing side to get many runs they are not entitled to. This cannot be remedied, however, as to move the positions further into the field, would allow of too many balls going over the outer field fences. Besides this, the ground is not laid out in the most advantageous manner. The sun is in the face of the majority of the players, while it ought not to be but in that of one–the catcher. New York, having had a much longer experience than Philadelphia, is better able to judge of such matters, and it is invariably the case there to lay out the ground that the catcher faces the West. By this plan, he is the only player who is interfered with by “Old Sol,” and only in the last part of the game. The Keystone and Equity are the only clubs in this city who have arranged their grounds in this manner. The excellence of the plan is plainly perceptible to any one who has played on them.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the crowd; delegations from out of town

Date Sunday, October 21, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/15/1866] From 9 o’clock in the morning until near 4 in the afternoon, the tide of people flowed to the grounds, and at 3, P.M., the estimate of a veteran of the Potomac army, well versed in numbering large bodies of men, was that there was not less that from twelve to fifteen thousand people within the inclosure. No better arrangements could have been made to insure a fair field for the contest. The scene presented from the scoring-table, during the intervals of the game, were at once novel and picturesque. At the close of each inning, those of the crowd who occupied low seats would get up and stretch themselves, the movement making quite a wave of heads around the circle. As special good plays would occur in the game, out would come the white pocket-handkerchief, and at one time the novel sight was presented of the waving of some three or four thousand of these flags of truce, the appearance being that of a gathering of gigantic white moths on the field.

...

The visiting delegations from distant parts of the country surpassed all previous occasions. From St. Louis, Nashville, and Richmond, on the South; from Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland, on the West; Portland and Boston, on the East; and from the Green Mountains of Vermont, on the North, came delegations of admirers and exemplars of the national game. Among the Vermonters present were a party from St. Albans, including W. H Farrar, A. G. Safford, and Captain Lewis, who, after playing in a match on Saturday, left home to see the model-players.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the double cover baseball

Date Sunday, April 1, 1888
Text

In 1878 the Mahn “double cover” ball was introduced and was the first ball of the kind ever used. It was made as follows: A ball of molded vulcanized rubber, one ounce in weight, was taken and wrapped with woolen yarn very tightly until it was about two thirds the size of the ball required, this was then covered with horse hide; this ball was then again wrapped with yarn, but not so tightly until of the requisite size and again covered with horse hide. The “cushion,” that part of the ball between the inside ball and the outer covering, was not made so hard so as to be more easily handled by catchers and other players; the inside ball being very compact gave enough elasticity to the ball. It was also found out at this time that horse hide was the best covering for base balls and it is still so considered. Other balls were used by the different leagues and associations, made according to the old rule, but not having the double cover.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the double steal

Date Sunday, July 8, 1888
Text

[from Caylor’s column] There is one play which is an excellent one, and one which the Cincinnatis used to good effect last season. With one man out, and a man on second and one on first the play was that a simultaneous steal of third and second should be attempted before the man at the bat had a chance to hit. The object was first to prevent a retirement of the side by a double play on an infield hit, secondly to produce two runs instead of one on a hit, third to score a run sure on an outfield fly. If the basement stayed on their bases this would result in a double play and end of the inning on an easy infield hit. No advancements on a fly to left or center. Only one runner on a base hit. If the play would not be successful a hit would still score the man who had safely reached a base. It is a play that should never be missed by good base runners. St. Louis uses it very much to their advantage and for a while last season the Mets did good work on the plan.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the fair-foul

Date Friday, August 6, 1869
Text

He [Andrew K. Allison] is noted for hitting what is termed “fair fouls,” the ball striking just outside the fair line and bounding foul to the field between the 3d and home bases. In one game this season he struck eight of these balls in succession, making his 1st on three of them and his 2d on the remainder.

Source New York Daily Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the hit and run

Date Sunday, June 24, 1888
Text

[from Caylor’s letter] [quoting John M. Ward’s How to Become a Player] Every ball player, who pretends to play the game with his brain as well as with his body, should be able to hit in whatever direction he wishes. It may not be always possible to hit in the exact direction desired and of course he can not place the ball in any particular spot, but he can and should be able to hit either to left field or right as the occasion demands. The advantage of this to the player himself and to his team can not be overestimated. For example there is a runner on first who signals to the batter that he will try to steal second on the second ball pitched. When he starts to run the second baseman goes for his base and the entire field between first and second is left open. Now if the batter gets a ball anywhere within reach and taps it down toward right field the chances are that it will be safe and the runner from first will keep right on to third. Oftentimes too the batter himself will reach second on the throw from right field to third to catch the runner ahead of him. Here now by a little head work are runners on third and second where an attempt to smash the ball trusting to luck as to where it should go might have resulted in a double play or at least one man out and no advantage gained. Many a game is won by such scientific work, and the club that can do the most of it day after day, will come in the winners in the finish. When a batter is known as one who will attempt a play of this kind it is usual for the second base man to play well over into right field allowing the second to be covered by the short stop. When the batter discovers such a scheme to catch him he should continue toward right field, in order not to betray his intention, but when the ball is pitched he should turn and hit toward left field. If the short stop has gone to take the base, the space between second and third is left open just as the other side was. [end quotation]

...

The plan suggested of the batsman knowing when the base runner is going to start to steal second so that he may hit the ball is a good one to carry out. It will win in the long run. The coacher ought to notify both base runner and batter what ball this double play should be made upon. It could be done by the coacher having a list of word signals which would be understood by all the team. There should be no mistake, either, but on what ball the runner should be off and the batter hit the ball if be a reasonably fair one, or strike at it if it be bad. The starting of the runner usually uncovers the infield at second and short, as both short stop and second baseman are likely to be more intently watching the base runner than the batter. Even if the ball does go at a fielder the base-runner has a start which may prevent a double play. This system was tried frequently by the Mets last year...

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the pennant

Date Sunday, August 12, 1877
Text

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

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a detailed claimed betting scheme

Date Thursday, September 17, 1868
Text

It is plainly evident now why the Atlantics were so badly whipped last Monday week by the Athletics. The Atlantics will take away the championship from the Unions by defeating them twice before the Athletics play them, and then if the Philadelphians want the championship, they will have to challenge the Atlatnics to a new series, as they have not defeated the Atlantics as champions; the Athletics having beaten the Atlantics so badly twice this year, the odds in betting circles will be nearly two to one in their favor on the first game of the new series. John Morrissey and the Brooklynites will fill their pockets for what they lost on the last game. John Morrissey would lose $20,000 when he knows he can make $100,000 the next time. It is disgraceful and mortifying to all true lovers of our national game to know that none of the first class contests in New York can be relied upon.

Source New England Base Ballist
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 different set of Boston finances

Date Sunday, January 27, 1878
Text

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

no return to straight arm pitching

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

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a difficult foul bound catch by the catcher

Date Monday, June 1, 1874
Text

[Athletic vs. Baltimore 5/30/1874] The first striker went out on a brilliant one-hand foul bound catch, taken on the run by Snyder [catcher], and which brought down the house.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dig at Chadwick over printing the rules; Chadwick's reponse

Date Saturday, March 6, 1869
Text

It has been customary, since the first meeting of the National Association, to publish its proceedings, together with the new rules and regulations of the game, in book form, for free distribution among the clubs sending delegates to the national body. Heretofore, for some reason, the publication of this book has been delayed till the middle of March or first of April. Why this should be done we are at a loss to know. The association meets early in December, its session lasting but a day or two. The base ball season opens about the first of May, generally earlier. We see no reason, therefore, why the proceedings of the National Association should not be published on the first of February or the first of March at the latest. In order to be thoroughly conversant with the new rules and regulations of the game, members of clubs should receive the book by the first of March, or even earlier, and not have to wait a month or six weeks after that time. We do not know what has been the reason of this delay heretofore, but this season the Printing Committee, as we are informed by its chairman, Mr. John Wildey, have been unable to procure the copy necessary to proceed with the work. Private parties, however, manage to obtain what the Printing Committee cannot. It is well known that one or two books are published each season generally about this time or a little later, which contain the new rules and regulations. These publications generally have a large sale, and are thoroughly read and digested long before the authorized edition reaches the clubs. We do not complain of those parties who anticipate the regular publication of the Association book and thereby turn an honest penny. It is a little singular, however, that while the Printing Committee are unable to procure the copy necessary for the publication, private individuals find it an easy matter to do so. It is a little odd also that during all the years this nice little game has been going one, no one has seen through the “little arrangement.” We do not mean to assert that the officer of the National Association, whose duty it is to prepare the copy for the Printing Committee, is in collusion with the private parties above mentioned. There is something wrong about the matter, however. Will some one elucidate? New York Clipper March 6, 1869

[Chadwick responds:] In the very full report of the Convention published in the Clipper in December last, there appeared an explanatory chapter on the new rules, which was better calculated to make members of clubs conversant with the amendments adopted than the publication even of the rules themselves. But again, in the Clipper of the last week of January there appeared a full and exhaustive review of the amended rules, expressly adapted for the instruction of players and umpires, from which all information desired by clubs throughout the country could be obtained, and doubtless it was taken advantage of by all anxious to [illegible] themselves upon the new rules.

The fact is, the “Convention Book,” as a means of instruction on the amended rules each year, has been, for some years past, entirely superseded by the base ball books which have been published early each year, and now the book in question is of no use, beyond being a more official record of the proceedings of the Convention. Taking into consideration, also, the fact that there are fully 100,000 members of the base ball fraternity in the United States, and over a thousand regularly organized club, I think it will be glaringly apparent that 2,000 copies of the “Association Book” would ... [line cut off in microfilm] ...copy of the rules is not correct. Up to March 3d I received to request for copy from the Chairman of the Printing Committee, and it was not until I met Mr. Wood and that Committee that I was informed of the reason why no effort had been made to prepare the book, and that was because the minutes of the Convention, which it is the Recording Secretary’s duty to furnish, had not bee received. The copy which I was required to furnish was ready for Mr. Wood at the appointed place and time, but not knowing his address, I sent it to Mr. Wildey’s care, at the latter’s request. Had the book been issued in December, its useful as an instructor in regard to the new rules was forestalled by the full reports I refer to, which appeared in the Clipper during the week of the Convention.

In regard to the allusions of “a little arrangement” contained in the article, all I have to say is that every entry in the record of the actions since I have been officially connected with the Association, is open to the public inspection of the whole fraternity. For four years I prepared the book for the printers’ hands, simply in the interests of the National Association, and this year I publically offered, in January last, to prepare the copy, so that all that the Printing Committee would have had to do would have been to have brought out a printer to publish the work. But, as I before remarked, the Convention Book is now useless, save as the mere official record of the proceedings of the Convention; the rules, &tc., are published in your paper, together with the full and complete instruction books, which are now issued every year, having entirely superceded it. Trusting this explanation will satisfy you, I remain, Your, truly, H. Chadwick. New York Clipper March 20, 1869

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dilatory pitcher, catcher's signals

Date Saturday, April 22, 1882
Text

[Princeton vs. Metropolitans 5/17/1882] The new pitcher [O’Neil of the Metropolitans] had been spoken of as “a ripper” in regard to his speed, and so he proved to be, and a very damaging one, too. He was tediously slow in delivery, watched the bases in the old way without the least regard to signals from his catcher, and, though Clapp promptly returned balls to him for a quick delivery when the batsman was out of form, he never once took advantage of it. ... What O’Neil might do were he to study the art of pitching we cannot say; but, judging by his exhibition in this game, he has nothing but speed to recommend him. [He lasted two innings giving up four runs.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a direct telegraphic link

Date Sunday, April 24, 1870
Text

Mr. Delaney has connected the Athletic ball-field of Philadelphia with the telegraphic lines of the country, and he is going to send telegrams direct during the playing of the principal matches this season.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disagreement over the rules to use

Date Monday, October 5, 1857
Text

October 5, 1857

A CHALLENGE!  The members of the Massapoag Base Ball Club, of Sharon, hereby challenge the members of the Union Club, of Medway, to a Match Game of base Ball, to take place on Boston Common, on Saturday, Oct. 17, or on any other day they appoint during the present month.  The game to be the best three in five, of 25 tallies each.  The rules to be the same as governed the late match between the two clubs.  Per order of Massapoag Base Ball Club, DANIEL MAHONY, Sec'y, Sharon, Oct. 5, 1867

~ ~ ~

October 9, 1857

Challenge Accepted.  The Members of the Union Base Ball Club, of Medway, hereby accept the Challenge of the members of the Massapoag Base Ball Club, of Sharon, to a Match Game of Base Ball, on Boston Common—Time, Saturday, Oct. 31, 9 o'clock A.M.  They, however, claim the customary right of choice of regulations, which they would exercise in regard to Bases as follows, viz:

The number of Bases to be five, instead of four;  the fifth or home base being the batters' stand, which shall be 40 feet (instead of 12 feet) from the first base;  the distance from the fourth to the fourth to the fifth base to be also 40 feet—thus restoring the game to its full and original condition.  Per order of the Union Base Ball Club, DANIEL HAMMOND, Sec'y.  Medway, Oct. 8, 1857. 

~ ~ ~

October 19, 1857

To the Union Base Ball Club, of Medway.  A few weeks since we received a Challenge from you to play of Game of Base Ball, the best three in five–”with {to quote your own language} the same rules and regulations to govern the game which governed your {our} recent game with the Olympic Club, of Boston, when you {we} won the championship.”  Claiming no right, as the challenged party, to alter the game, because you challenged us to play a certain game, with specified rules, we promptly accepted your challenge, knowing no alternative but to do so or decline.  The game was played, and you won the best three in five.  We recently challenged you to play a return game, with the same rules and regulations that governed the game that you won—You answer that you accept the challenge;  and you then claim the right, as the challenged party, to prescribe the rules and regulations to govern the game, adding tht the rules which you propose “will restore the game to its original conditions.”*  

We do not consider your answer to the challenge an acceptance of our challenge.  We believe that according to common usage, if challenged by the losing party, the winning party is in honor bound to play a return game, with the same rules and regulations, to take the alternative, and back square down.

In view of the course which you have seen fit to pursue, self respect imposes upon us the necessity of withdrawing the challenge.

*We are a little curious to learn your authority for the above statement.

Per order of the Massagoag Base Ball Club.  DANIEL MAHONY, Secretary.  Sharon, October 14, 1857

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disagreement over when a foul ball is live

Date Sunday, November 1, 1868
Text

Rogers, editor of the New England Base Ballist, says if a foul ball be caught on the fly that it “must be returned to the pitcher, and he in his position,” before a player running the bases can be put out. Section 3 of Rule 4th says: “No run or base can be made on a foul ball. Such a ball she be considered dead and not in play until it shall first have been settled in the hands of the pitcher.” It will be seen, therefore, that it is not required of the pitcher to be in his position to take the ball after it has been hit “foul,” to place it again in play, and that Mr. Rogers is slightly in error.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disbanded club's games don't count

Date Sunday, October 29, 1871
Text

The Kekionga games are thrown out in consequence of the disbanding of the Injuns.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a discourse on fair-foul batting

Date Saturday, December 12, 1874
Text

A feature of the season’s play has been the success attendant upon the style of batting technically known as “fair-foul” hitting; that is, the hitting of balls which rebound from the bat so close to the home base and which take such a divergent angle from that of ordinary hits–to “foul”–as to render it almost impossible for any infielder to get at them in time to cut off the striker at first base. By players not well versed in what constitutes scientific batting, fair-foul batting is called “baby batting.” This comes from questionable consistency from batsmen who pride themselves on heavy hitting, a style of batting any player in the fraternity can readily excel in. Next to calculating the force of the stroke of your bat so nicely as to sent the ball to any part of the field you regard as safe, the most difficult style of hitting is that of fair-foul batting. It should be borne in mind, in estimating the skill of the batsman, that the style of hitting is the most skillful, and therefore the most “scientific,” which yields as its certain result the easy occupancy of first base without given any fielder a chance to throw or catch the batsman out. This is what “fair foul” batting does under the rule of nine men in the field. To the ordinary looker-on, a long, high hit to the outer field seems quite a brilliant thing to do in comparison to the short, quick hit of the ball, which sends it rebounding, from fair ground to foul, about twenty or thirty yards out of the reach of any fielder. But the former is a hit any muscular novice in the game can readily succeed in making; while the other is one that none but practised batsmen, possessing keen sight and plenty of nerve, can excel in. While it remains the primary object of skillful batsmen to wield he ash so as to secure first base by the least exertion and with the most surety, fair-foul hitting will ever be the skillful feature of batting; and it must prevail until the adoption of the ten-men rule affords the field an opportunity to cover the fair-foul part of the field more effectually than can now be done. There is one amendment of the rules which is applicable to this fair-foul style of batting, which seems necessary, if only to render the decisions of the umpire, given on fair foul hits, more correct and satisfactory than they were last season; and that is, the introduction of a rule which shall require the ball to be struck in front of the line of the striker’s position, or order to be fair. This would considerably reduce the number of opportunities for the least skillful of fair-foul hits, and remove those doubtful cases in which the ball so frequently strikes the front part of the home base as to render it difficult for an umpire to decide on the question of fair or foul ball. In doing this, too, it would be well also to place the home base, not as the other bases are, with their centres on the corner of the base lines, but with the out lines of the home base resting on the foul ball lines. This would be advantageous, however, only in case the previous amendment should not be adopted.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a discussion of underhand throwing

Date Sunday, August 28, 1870
Text

[Forest City of Cleveland vs. Mutual 8/24/1870] James White did not remain long in the pitching department, the umpire [Chapman] ruling him out for throwing. A word or two about this throwing business before we continue. Let any ball-player take a ball in hand, and, keeping his arm perfectly straight, and swinging it perpendicularly, or, in other words, let him deliver the ball by a square pitch, and not by an under-hand throw; and having done this and noted the pace of the ball so delivered, let him send the ball by means of a well-disguised under hand throw, or half jerk, and he will then realize the fact that there is not a swift pitcher in the country who does not get his speed from under-hand throwing. James White’s deliver in the games he has pitched in here does not differ in the least from that of Cummings, of the Stars; Wolters of the Mutuals; Pabor, of the Unions; or, in fact, any of the number of our swiftest pitchers. No such pace can be got out of a really square-pitched ball. Creighton inaugurated this style of delivery, and since his time really fair pitching has been rarely seen on the ball-field. The rules, it is true, prohibit throwing, but the difficulty is in being able to define what is an underhand throw. We can readily rule out an overhand throw, or a palpable jerk, but where is the authority competent to perceive this well-disguised underhand throwing of the ball; and, after all, this underhand throwing business does no harm to the game. In effectiveness against skillful batsmen the swiftest pitching–or underhand throwing in reality–costs more than it yields. But few catchers can support it, and what with missed chances of foul tips and passed balls, and the impossibility of putting out players from throwing to bases from it, it does not begin to pay as well as strategy in pitching. To be consistent, the next time Chapman set as umpire he should rule out every swift underhand throwing who faces him, for it White does it all our swift pitchers do it.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disgraceful crowd in Boston

Date Sunday, July 19, 1874
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 7/13/1874] The conduct of the crowd was very disgraceful, and the Athletic and Boston nines had to use their bats to keep the former from injury. A strong force of officers was necessary to keep Murnan [umpire][the Athletics' substitute] from suffering personal violence at the hands of the scoundrelly gamblers, who were infuriated at a decision at second which Fisler afterwards declared had been mer perfectly justly. Over 1,000 persons gathered, yelling and blaspheming around the Athletic coach, and, for a time, progress was impossible, and it was only with great exertions that the crowd was cleared, and, as the coach left, a volley of stones was sent after it. Most of those indulging in the manifestations were well dressed men, who, from their outward appearance, might have been taken for gentlemen. The Boston newspapers are very cautious as to their acts, but attempt faintly to justify them. Philadelphia Sunday Republic July 19, 1874 [Note: Boston won 7-6.]

[Athletic vs. Boston 7/13/1874] When the game was over the crowd rushed in, and it became a serious questions whether the umpire would get of unharmed. The crowd shouted, jeered and insulted him in every way. This, of course, was inexcusable, and the conduct of the crowd was as much to be condemned as the course of the umpire. He had certainly decided every doubtful point, and some about which there was no question, in favor of the Athletics, but that was no reason why the crowd should have taken up the matter and wantonly insulted the umpire of the Boston's own selection. It was a scene which in the interests of the game should not be repeated again in Boston. Boston Daily Advertiser July 14, 1874

[Athletic vs. Boston 7/13/1874] An umpire is always allowed in Boston the greatest freedom, and is generally treated with more courtesy than is usual on base ball fields in any other city, but the decisions were too much for the temper of the crowd, who were wrought up to an unusual pitch of excitement. They “chinned” him unmercifully, and when the game closed he was surrounded by five or six hundred men and boys, and he was hustled and pushed about, and it was with the greatest difficulty that he reached the coach which conveyed the Athletics from the grounds, It was only the intervention of members of the Boston club and some of the sturdy Athletics and the vigorous movements of the police that gained him an avenue to the carriage. As it was, he was followed by a hooting crowd, some of the “hoodlums” and gamins following the coach far from the grounds, and spitefully following it with occasional projectiles. The whole affair was an unusual one for Boston. Boston Journal July 14, 1874

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disguised balk move

Date Wednesday, June 18, 1884
Text

What is it? McKeon, the clever pitcher of the Indianapolis Club, seems to have a specialty in catching a great many players between first and second base, and, as a natural sequence they are run out. This happens so frequently and is repeated so often with the same players that it invites investigation. The base-runner at first, after being cautioned by his captain, thinks he sees a motion to deliver the ball to the bat, and starts for second, only to be brought up half-way down the patch by observing that the pitcher has turned around in the box and is ready to cut him off. The captain calls the umpire's attention to the play and claims a balk, but the umpire, having been unable to discover a motion to deliver to the bat, disallows it. The inference is plain that the deceptive motion must be made in such a manner that it is observable by the base-runner near first, but not at the umpire's position near home. McKeon's usual preliminary motions are to place himself with his left side toward the umpire and batsman, and place both hands and the ball near his right hip out of sight of them. Whatever deceptive motion is made that misleads the base-runner is done in that position, and umpires should be on the alert to unearth it, and if it is a balk award the penalty. The investigation of it is respectfully referred to Mr. John Kelly, for if it is a balk the opposing club should have the benefit, and if it is not no harm would be done. Players do not usually object to a square put-out on the merits of the play by good fielding, but after making a good hit to be time after time ignominiously run out by a trick which merely baffles the umpire is like being allured to a shameful death by falling into a bear-trap.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disinterested opinion on the Hines triple play

Date Sunday, May 19, 1878
Text

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

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disorderly spectator

Date Sunday, July 2, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 6/26/1871] At times, the conduct of one man, who holds a position in the Water Department, was disgraceful. We consider the officers of the Athletic were derelict in duty in this instance, as they had but one course to pursue, and that was to eject this drunken individual. It is the toleration of just such fellows as this that calls forth the disagreeable comments that have appeared in the newspapers of other cities with relation to Philadelphia ball audiences. The Mayor has kindly detailed a squad of policemen for the purpose of preserving order, and if the officers of the club are unable to remove these disorderly characters, it requires but little exertion to notify a policeman, who will escort them without the enclosure, and, if necessary, to the station. One example will be sufficient, and it is to be hoped that the next instance will receive the attention it merits.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disparaging assessment of the American Association

Date Saturday, October 1, 1887
Text

[from June Rankin’s column] The American Association has been like a naughty boy in the hands of Mother League ever since its organization, and whenever it gets sulky mama League turns it over her knee and warms its bottom with her slipper, and the Association quiets down like a little mouse. National Police Gazette October 1, 1887

[from June Rankin’s column] The League, to a certain extent, still boss the Association, as the latter have weakened every time they ever confronted the League.

In plain words, the League have not only smeared it all over the Association, but they have actually rubbed it in, and the Association people have submitted without a murmur. Thinking, no doubt, it was for the best interest of the game and that they were martyrs to the cause. National Police Gazette December 3, 1887

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute between the press and the Capitoline grounds

Date Saturday, June 4, 1870
Text

We hear strange reports from New York regarding the treatment of reporters who attend the Capitoline Grounds to report the base ball matches. The trouble seems to be caused by the refusal of the New York press to announce a day or two before hand, gratuitously, the match games that are arranged to take place upon the Capitoline, and Mr. Tweed [sic throughout] one of the proprietors, as a sort of retaliatory measure, has told the reporters that he intends to remove the stand devoted to their use, and will show them no more favor. Mr. Decker, his partner does not joint with Mr. Tweed in his movement, which must result in a great depreciation of Capitoline stock. The best thing Mr. Tweed can do is to retire as gracefully as possible from the position he has taken in this matter, for it he persists in withholding favors from the newspapers, he will see his audience growing small and beautifully less.

Source National Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over an exhibition game guarantee

Date Thursday, April 18, 1889
Text

An umpire named Bowman gave the Columbus Club such a roast at Wheeling, W. Va., last Sunday that Captain Dave Orr took his men off the field and refused to continue the game. Manager Buckenberger refused to refund the guarantee and as a result the entire Columbus team was arrested and their baggage, including the trunk of Mrs. Orr, were attached. Arrangements were made to hold the train for ten minutes, a lawyer was engaged, and by paying $30 for settlement and $10 for the lawyer, the baggage was at once released, the team just making the train in time. The Columbus manager got the best of it by $85, as the guarantee was $125.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over gate receipts

Date Saturday, October 27, 1866
Text

[Athletics vs. Atlantics 10/22/1866] Arrangements were made for the second contest at Philadelphia, and the Athletics, in consideration of the disappointment and expense incurred by the Atlantics in visiting Philadelphia, offered to give them a fair field, and divide the receipts of the next game, first deducting ordinary expenses. Well, the second game took place on Monday last, and the receipts were put down at $1999. Out of this large sum they offer the Atlantics $425, which the latter firmly decline to receive. It appears that the new fence of the Athletics cost $1024, and it is demanded by the officers of the club that the Atlantics shall pay half of this sum! ... Now, every one knows that without a fence the game could not have been played, and, therefore, to make the Atlantic Club pay one half of the expense, is simply to resort to that system of falsehood, deceit and fraud which has characterized this one high-toned club all the way through the season.

Source Philadelphia City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over player eligibility

Date Sunday, May 21, 1871
Text

[Eckford vs. Athletic 5/15/1871] Before the game two hours were spent in a discussion as to Chapman’s right to play with the Eckfords. The Athletics refused to play if Chapman played, for the reason that as the game was one for the championship, under the rules it would count only as a practice game. Captain Martin, of the Eckfords, then ordered his men to withdraw from the field, but the Eckford players got together and by a majority vote overrules the Captain’s decision and agreed to play without Chapman. The game then went on with Snyder in the place of Chapman, In fact the contest could not legally have been proceeded with had Chapman taken part in the game in the Eckford nine, as the fact was well known that he had played in a regular match with the Atlantics against the Boston Club, on May 8, and no umpire fit to occupy the position would have allowed him to take the field under such circumstances. All credit to the Eckford players for their repudiation of the captain’s action in the matter. Martin has not gained credit by what he did. New York Sunday Mercury May 21, 1871 [See the same issue for the Eckford justification. Note also references therein to the Atlantics having disbanded.] [See also Philadelphia Sunday Republic 5/21/71 for a similar account of the dispute.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over replacing a damaged ball

Date Sunday, June 25, 1871
Text

[Fort Wayne vs. Troy 6/17/1871] ...after playing six innings, in which Kekionga had scored 6 runs to 3 for their opponents, the ball had by this time become ripped. The captain of the Haymakers objected to its further use, and the umpire decided the ball not in condition to play, and called for another ball. The Kekiongas refused to allow another ball to be used, although the Haymakers offere3d to accept any ball they wished, and would not continue the game. The umpire called “play,” and the Kekiongas failed to respond. He therefore decided the game in favor of the Haymakers by a score of 9 to 0, as provided for in the rules. New York Sunday Mercury June 25, 1871

At the commencement of the seventh innings, the Haymakers requested a new ball, saying the one they had been using was ripped, and the umpire ordered a new one, and as the Kekiongas refused to abide by the decision, the umpire gave the game to the Haymakers, by a score of 9 to 0. The Kekiongas claim that the old ball which they had furnished was perfectly sound and that the Haymakers wished to substitute a lively ball. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury June 25, 1871

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over telegraphy rights

Date Sunday, May 5, 1878
Text

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

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over the correct text of the rules

Date Saturday, April 17, 1875
Text

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over the dropped third strike rule

Date Saturday, May 25, 1889
Text

[Pittsburgh vs. Washington 5/24/1889] There was a long and tedious delay in the sixth. Morrill and Haddock were on second and first and Hoy struck out, Lauer dropping the ball. Hoy was out at first under the rules, but Morrill and Haddock went ahead a base each. Fessenden was included to acceded to Dunlap's claim and sent them back, but Honest John talked loud and long, and finally sent to the clubhouse for the rules. After much reading Fessenden allowed the runners to remain in their places.

Source Pittsburgh Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute over use of the field

Date Wednesday, July 29, 1868
Text

The Quill and Scissors and Sock and Buskin nines obtained permission from directors Chapman and Henry, of the Atlantic Club, to occupy the Union grounds on the occasion of their late game. One member of the Atlantic Club, or a person purporting to be a member, went to the ground and wanted to take possession of the field. Mr. Cammeyer, relying on the word of gentlemen in regard to the matter, refused to allow the person to take possession, and from that shabby circumstance arose the question as to where the Atlantics practice. The directors of the club have verified, over their signatures, the fact that they gave the newspaper nine permission to use the ground, and the miserable attempt to create ill feeling by using some insignificant member of the club as a tool has succeeded only in reverting to the discredit of the parties by whom the attempt was made.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dispute with a telegraph company and a spite fence

Date Sunday, July 25, 1880
Text

An amusing controversy is going on between the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company and the Troy City Base Ball Club. Until yesterday the former, which has several contracts to send the score of each game by innings, was allowed a seat in the reporters' stand, and was paid for all messages sent by the Troy Club. The Directors, having leaned that clubs in other cities were remunerated for admitting an operator, asked the manager of the telegraph company to rank all messages on club affairs. The request was refused, and when the operator reached the ground yesterday the Directors declined to allow him to attach his instrument. The operator was equal to the occasion, and leaving the ground, climbed a pole and tapped the wire. The manager was so pleased with the operator's exploit that a seat is to be rigged on a convenient pole. To prevent a successful issue of the operator's device, the Base Ball Directors have ordered a large canvas, which will be stretched on two poles, and so fixed that it can be moved to any desired point on the ground., quoting the Syracuse Herald

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disputed game as darkness falls

Date Sunday, August 15, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Central City of Syracuse 8/12/1869] The Buffalo Courier says: “In the game on Thursday, at Cincinnati, between the Red Stockings and Central Citys, the score was tied at 22 each on the seventh inning. The story of the Central Citys is, that it was growing dar, and the Red Stockings tried to strike out, so that their opponents could also play an eighth inning, which would probably result in their defeat. The Cincinnatians, state, on the other hand, that the Syracusans did not try to get them out, so as to run the game into the dark and have a game called the seventh inning. These baseball imbroglios are tangled messes...”

On the other hand, a correspondent of one of the Syracuse papers says: “We won the toss, took the field, and after waiting some time for one of their men, commenced playing. From the score you see the game was very close and exciting. Our boys did some heavy hitting. At the end of the seventh inning we were 22 each, when the Red Socks went in and batted for 14 runs; two or three errors on our part assisting them–the errors owing principally to want of light, it being very late. The Red Stockings perceived the impossibility of finishing the innings in a legitimate way, so undertook to strike out. Harry Wright out on three strikes-something that has not happened him in two years. Leonard struck at a ball two feet over his head, just touching it. Fully convinced of their determination, our captain and men declined to play longer, when the umpire declared the game in favor of the Cincinnatis on the seventh inning. We regretted exceedingly that the affair should have occurred, as we were treated with marked courtesy by all the members of their club during our visit in Cincinnati, both on the field and off.” We should like to learn from Harry Wright the true state of the case.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dissent on scoring wild pitches and strike out assists

Date Wednesday, January 14, 1885
Text

[Washington correspondent “Keene” commenting on the Boston sportswriters' proposal in the previous issue.] It is proposed to include wild pitches and passed balls in the error column, and to credit the pitcher with an assistance on each “struck out,” these items to be at the same time specified in the summary.

If uniformity alone is desired, these gentlemen could readily secure it by following the rules of the League relative to scoring, which provide for a statement of the items considered in a proper manner, based upon a well-founded distinction between ordinary field work and the work of the batteries.

There is a wide different, and the elimination of the assistance on strikes and passed balls was a progressive step which should be further improved upon.

The proposed amendments are nothing in reality but a return to the old practice of scoring battery work in the columns which should represent fielding alone.

It is apparent to every one, who has at all considered the matter, that the scores of the games and the records published do no properly show the work of the pitcher and catcher, upon whom, in proportion to their efficiency, the bulk of the work devolves.

The writer of this acted as official scorer during the years 1876-7 for one of the most successful professional clubs in this country, and in the latter year compiled and published the first accurate table showing the work of both pitchers and catchers, which has been imitated very frequently since, but owing to divers and deficient methods of scoring the data are not generally sufficient to properly construct the same.

Excepting the pitcher and catcher, almost every ball handled by the fielder enters into the number of “chances” which form the basis of calculation determining his average.

On the other hand every ball passing from the pitcher to the catcher after the second strike is called until the batter is retired, and especially while a man is on base, affords an opportunity for error.

The line between a wild pitch and a passed ball is sometimes as five-drawn and as hard to determine as the line between law and equity, as every reporter can testify, when he remembers how often he has differed with the man at his elbow on this point.

If such an error is made, to charge it to either pitcher or catcher without any compensating record of the balls pitched upon which errors might have been made and were not, is certainly an invidious distinction.

It is true that this distinction would not be manifested in comparing the records of pitchers with each other, etc., provided the same system of scoring were adopted, but it would be entirely as easy to adopt a system in which all players would be placed on the same basis and strict justice done to each.

Passed balls and wild pitches are certainly errors, and, as admitted by the promulgators of the circular referred to, they are as certainly treated as such; but they are essentially errors of the battery alone.

The best possible solution of the question would be to score only strictly fielding work in the columns “A.” and “E.” whereby all players would be credited with their proper rank in fielding, and to further provide in the summary for the work of the battery, which should include “assistance on strikes, bases on balls, wild pitches, passed balls, put out on strikes,” and the number of balls pitched affording chance for error..

The latter could be scored with less trouble than the “strikes called” and “balls called” in the manner of a few years ago, and the result would enable the base ball statistician to record accurately and correctly the work of each player in his position.

I am sure that those reporters and scorers who have endeavored to compile records of clubs and individual players and experienced the universal difficulty in separating the figures to obtain a correct result, will appreciate the above remarks, and never so much as after demonstrating their value by a practical application. The Sporting Life January 14, 1885

attempting to catch balls from the Washington Monument

Paul Hines, Charlie Snyder, Ed Ewell and several local ball tossers went over to monument lot Thursday [probably 1/8] and endeavored to catch a ball thrown from the top of the monument. Five balls were thrown from the top of the shaft, but none were caught. A ball which was intended for Snyder to catch came to Hines, who stood about fifty yards away from the former. It came so unexpectedly and with such velocity that it went through Hines' hands like a flash of greased lightning.

The players wore very thick catchers' gloves during the experiment, but those who witnessed the attempt declare that the ball comes down with such force as will carry away fingers, hands, gloves and everything that attempts to stop its downward course. Sam Trott, of the Baltimore tea, together with Hines, Snyder and others, went out again this afternoon [probably 1/9] and made another attempt to capture a ball from the monument. The great difficulty appears to be in properly judging where the ball is going to land. It is true, the ball can be seen from the moment it starts on its downward course, but it is almost impossible to guess within ten yards of its stopping place. The Sporting Life January 14, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dissent on the prevalence of underhand throwing

Date Sunday, February 25, 1872
Text

To talk plainly, there is hardly a man in the fraternity who cannot distinguish between a square pitch, a jerk, or an “underhand throw.” Mr. Chadwick says that the practice was only allowable on account of the excellent “development” of the game which it produced, when, in point of fact, it has never been allowed at all, and there is not a ball-ground in the country upon which a pitcher would attempt an underhand throw without being instantly and emphatically ruled out. The talk about the arm being perfectly perpendicular, and regarding the twist of the wrist and elbow is all balderdash, and any lad of moderate discernment knows what the movement of a throw is. If it is practiced, it is in a very slight degree, and in the lightning movement of such pitchers as McBride, Zettlein or Spaulding would almost be impossible to detect. McBride pitches mostly with his body, its attitude helping the peculiar movement of the ball, slanting it up and across toward the end of the bat. The question has been raised as to the legality of Cummings’ pitching, and we must confess that it comes closer to an underhand throw than that of any other pitcher in the country. Martin, too, uses the turn of the arm and wrist, and although it is done toward his body, he could not otherwise impart the peculiar movement to the ball that he does, and it is a clean toss, having very little “pitch” about it.

...

Mr. Chadwick proposes to amend the rules so as to allow the pitcher to throw underhand. The natural result of such an abuse would be that no catcher in the country could play over two games a week, and even then he would in every contest risk the mangling of his hands to such an extent as would incapacitate him for the balance of the season.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dissent regarding scientific batting

Date Sunday, October 17, 1875
Text

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

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dissenting opinion of Chadwick

Date Sunday, July 5, 1868
Text

We have not the space to day to take up on detail a few points Henry Chadwick has submitted for our consideration. We will say this much, that what he states concerning the Atlantic’s desire to get up a game in Chicago with the Athletics [where they were present simultaneously], is all “bosh.” He it was that proposed it, and when the matter was broached to the Athletics, on the authority of his newspaper chin, they hooted at the idea. There very frankly stated to all interrogatories, that the Atlantics had a challenge from them yet to be acted upon. He states the truth, though, when he alludes to the couple of thousand dollars the match would probably have netted. But the Athletics are not running a circus; they did not have a puff writer with them, puffing the concern in advance. The caravan was run for their won amusement and that of the many friends who came to witness honest, quare play. Chadwick cares as much about the Atlantics, as we do–which we are free to admit, does not amount to much. He will not hesitate to give prominence to any harpooning we may administer the Atlantics; and then commiserate with them over our naughtiness, laughing in his sleeve at their discomfiture. We will state further, that we have read and heard more from Henry, concerning this Atlantic and Athletic matter than we did during our entire cruise.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a donkey match

Date Saturday, November 16, 1861
Text

Yesterday afternoon a very amusing, and perhaps the most novel match ever played, took place upon the grounds of the Star Club, South Brooklyn. It being on the plan of a “Donkey Race,” and but for the cold and chilly weather, the affair passed off pleasantly. The conditions of the game were, the nine making the LEAST runs should gain the victory and the player scoring the MOST runs to get the ball. … Each player was numbered, and the runs made by one player was scored to the one on the other nine of the same number. The contest was a well played game, int novelty making it quite activity. Brooklyn Eagle November 16, 1861 [See also BE 11/26/61 and 12/06/61]

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a double fence in Philadelphia; advertising

Date Saturday, April 15, 1882
Text

The Philadelphia Association, in view of the extensive damage done to the fence of the Polo Grounds in this city by the gamins who cut holds for peeping, have wisely put up an inside fence, which is to be used for large advertisements, and this will entirely prevent the cutting process, besides saving all cost for continuous and expensive repairs.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a double fence; improvements to the Providence ground

Date Friday, January 10, 1879
Text

[from the Providence correspondent] Several improvements are to be made at the grounds before the season opens. Last year the boys played sad havoc with the fence, cutting holes with knives and hatchets through the boards, while on one side they complete undermined the fence, and not only boys, but pretty well developed young men, crawled into the enclosure and thus cheated the association out of the gate money. This year a second or inside fence is to be built. The out-field is to be more thoroughly leveled, the pigweed pulled up, and a fine sod will cover the entire field. Nothing will be done in the way of repairing the grand stand and adjoining buildings, except to put them in order where the storms of winter have caused things to be shaken.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a double play on a foul ball

Date Saturday, May 27, 1871
Text

[Athletic vs. Boston 5/20/1871] Gould now struck a foul, and as both McVey and Harry Wright ran on the hit, supposing it to be a fair ball, they were easily put out, McBride, Reach and Fisler assisting in the “doubling up” process.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a double play on a foul tip

Date Saturday, May 6, 1876
Text

[Boston vs. Mutual 4/25/1876] [Craver on second base] In the eighth inning one of the points of play of the new rule for running the bases on foul fly-balls was practically illustrated, a double play being the result. … Treacy then hit a fly-tip and was well caught out, and, the ball being thrown to Leonard, Craver was also out, a double-play being made on the new point. In such case a foul fly is just the same as a fair fly—that is, if the ball is caught, the player running the bases can leave the base the moment the ball is caught; but he is also liable to be put out on returning on the catch, just the same as in the case of a fair fly, the ball not having to go to the pitcher. With foul-bound catches or balls it is different, the baseman being allowed to return without being put out.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a double play on confusion whether a ball is fair or foul

Date Sunday, September 25, 1864
Text

[Union v. Resolute 9/20/1864] The game opened with a blunder which nearly resulted in the Union drawing a blank... The blunder was this: Abrams [of the Union] had secured his first base by a good hit, and Hudson followed suit with another, but Bowie stopped Hudson’s ball in style, and he was pout out at first base. The ball, however, hit the ground in such a manner as to lead Hannegan [of the Union] to consider it foul, and he foul, although the umpire had said nothing; consequently, Abrams ran back to his first base, but before he could get there, the ball was passed to the pitcher and back to first base in time to cut him off, and he was touched between bases. The ball was then declared fair, and, consequently, Hudson was out too...

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a double step pitching delivery

Date Saturday, September 5, 1874
Text

Their [Chelsea of Boston] pitcher [Egan] needs watching by opposing nines, as in his striving to deliver with a double step he places his feet not only back of his position, but also in front, thereby committing a balk each time.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a double stitched ball

Date Wednesday, March 12, 1890
Text

Nobody that ever handled a base ball need be told anything about Reach's American Association ball, which is simply the acme of perfection in ball making, and which can never in its general superiority be excelled. But perfect as this Reach ball was, the manufacturer has actually discovered an improvement which, while it does not make the ball any better—that would be impossible—adds greatly to its durability. This improvement consists of a double stitch, which makes the ball doubly strong, so that a thread or stitch, upon which the greatest strain always falls, can be cut or broken without affecting the ball at all and without rendering it unfit to continue in a game. The advantages from an economic point of view alone are so great as to make a further comment or praise superfluous. Every practical player can at a glance conceive how vastly this new double stitch improves the Reach ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a double-cross game?

Date Saturday, October 23, 1875
Text

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

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

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a doubleheader due to a rain delay

Date Wednesday, May 1, 1889
Text

[Baltimore vs. Brooklyn 4/30/1889] There was something like 3,795 spectators at the morning game between the Brooklyn and Baltimore clubs at Washington Park yesterday, the game was the one prevented by the bad condition of the grounds at Ridgewood on Sunday.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dropped ball caught on the bound

Date Sunday, September 15, 1872
Text

[Boston vs. Mutual 9/12/1872] G. Wright then drove a fearfully hot liner (foul) to Start, but it was too hot to hold, and Joe dropped it; he recovered it on the bound, however, and George retired.

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dropped infield fly

Date Thursday, June 16, 1864
Text

[Eureka vs. Empire 6/15/1864] Miller was at 2d and Benson at 1st, when Jewett hit a high ball which Burroughs–the Eureka pitcher–could easily have held on the fly; had he done so, however, only one player would have been put out, therefore, for stategical reasons, he muffed it, and picking the ball up quickly, threw it to third base, and it being forwarded rapidly to 2d, both the men that were forced to run to those bases were put out.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a drunk ballplayer in court

Date Wednesday, June 4, 1884
Text

Henry Luff, of the Keystone Club, while the club was in Cincinnati a week ago, fell from grace. He had carried himself straight ever since the season opened, but the temptations of the “Paris of America” were too much for him. While intoxicated he boarded a horse car, raised a rumpus, drew a knife and landed in the lock-up. On Saturday his case was called in the Police Court. He was charged with disorderly conduct, having boarded a street car while in a drunken state on the day previous. When the conductor asked for the fare Luff showed him a knife instead of the nickel, and became disorderly. When the case was first called Luff did not appear, and his bond was declared forfeited. He subsequently shoed up. Judge Fitzgerald told him that, had he ever been arrested before, he would send him to the workhouse. As it was, he fined the ballplayer $25 and sentenced him to thirty days in the works, but suspended the days.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a economics of the cooperative plan

Date Tuesday, May 6, 1873
Text

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

Source All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a eulogy for the American Association

Date Wednesday, November 20, 1889
Text

[editorial matter] Base ball history was made rapidly during the past week, and the 14th day of November marked the beginning of a new epoch in professional base ball, for on that day the national League succeeded informing its lines in final array for the battle with that rising power, the National Players' League, and at the same tie dealt its old and hated rival, the American Association, a mortal blow, for that is what the defection of Brooklyn, Cincinnati and the consequent withdrawal of Kansas City virtually amounts to. The American Association may succeed in filling the vacancies and weathering another season, but its position in the front rank of base ball is gone, its prestige destroyed, and it stands shorn of all power for good or evil. With a widely scattered circuit, expensive teams, several semi-bankrupt clubs, but a couple of cities of the first class, and with no financial resources, its chances for more than a precarious existence are decidedly slim, and to all intents and purposes it may now be considered out of the arena as a great factor in the national game.

This is a sad fate for this once powerful organization, and for many reasons its downfall is to be regretted. In its time it has done much for the game, alike for some of the reforms it has aided in accomplishing, and for the larger interest in the sport its existence helped to create and maintain; but it contained almost from its inception the seeds of early dissolution, disorganizing forces were uninterruptedly at work, and it was only a question of time when it would go to the wall. Brilliant opportunities to assume the premier position, to consolidate and strengthen itself presented themselves time and again, but all were frittered away through gross incompetence, despicable selfishness and fatuous perversity, and the melancholy result is visible to-day. … ...blunder followed blunder, and the campaign of 1889 marked the beginning of the end. This campaign was one continual series of petty bickerings, scandalous crimination and recrimination and bitter quarrels over a miserable championship which culminated in a factional division and the discreditable combination and outrageous action of the Board of Directors at the Cincinnati special meeting. From that day every thinking friend of the Association must have realized that the end could not be much longer delayed, as the breach was then widened to almost unclosable proportions and unhealable wounds were made. … Vale, American Association!

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 failed 'celebrated' fair-foul

Date Sunday, July 18, 1875
Text

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

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed attempt to put a UA club in Pittsburgh

Date Tuesday, March 18, 1884
Text

The effort to establish a Union club at Pittsburg was a very determined one, and only failed on account of the impossibility of obtaining grounds. A rental of $4,000 was offered for the Exposition grounds and declined. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed attempt to return to four strikes for an out

Date Thursday, March 8, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Jimmy Williams] “The attempt to change back to four strikes was a failure,” said Mr. Williams. “There was but one club in the league that voted in favor of doing so, and the joint committee, except myself, was unanimously against such a move. So it’s three strikes this season. Well, I don’t know as Cleveland will get any the worst of it. We have some very swift pitchers and it will help those sort of men.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed early attempt to organize a new league

Date Friday, November 5, 1880
Text

The convention of delegates from base ball clubs, which was called to meet at the Fifth Avenue hotel to-day [11/4], to organize a new base ball league, has been postponed until the 8th of December, by which time it will be known what new clubs will be organized.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed game due to a large crowd; clearing the field

Date Monday, May 6, 1889
Text

[Athletic vs. Brooklyn May 5, 1889] The fine weather of yesterday was almost perfect for ball playing, and the fact that the Brooklyn and Athletic Clubs were to play at Ridgewood brought out 18,000 base ball enthusiasts to see the game. Hours before the game they began to come. The early comers had no more than selected their choice seats before a crowd of fully five thousand persons was outside the gates clamoring for admission. From 2:30 o'clock to 3:30 o'clock there was a solid mass of people reaching from the gates of the ball grounds along the Manhattan Beach Railroad to Myrtle avenue, a distance of probably half a mile. Near the gates this treat line was broken up into a number of small lines. For the greater portion of the time it was a go-as-you-please, and every man for himself. The one or two constables who tried to make order out of the confusion might just as well have tried to stop the tides.

A thousand or more persons were jammed into the little space leading to the admission gates, and the outside thousands pushing on them prevented their being able to move at times. When the game began, the seats had all been taken, and with one exception there was no place to stand. The picket fences on each side of the ground had a mass of spectators both outside and in, and the only place left unfilled was the space directly back of the field. This space, however, was filling up fast, and as hundreds packed themselves on that part of the field every minute, it became too small to hold them. The crowd then began to push forward. The great high fences surrounding the grounds bore a solid row of men, and the only thing that those on the field could do was to push forward.

Every few minutes there would be a break in the lines and a general move forward. This continued until the Athletics had finished their fifth inning and the Brooklyns were at the bat for their half of the fifth. The crowd by this time had encroached upon the territory of the outfielders. Left-fielder Stovey of the Athletics called Umpire Holland's attention to the fact, and asked to have the ground cleared. Holland requested the manager of the Brooklyn Club to see that the spectators were moved back. President Byrne, Umpire Holland, and several of the Brooklyn and Athletic players tried to assist the four lone constables in clearing the field. They failed in doing so. Those on the front of the crowd could not get back, and those on the back would not.

Then began one of the finest scenes ever presented on a ball field. The attempt to get the right field side of the crowd back resulted in a break in the centre, and a thousand men moved forward a few steps and then wheeled to the right in a solid body and completely surrounded the men and players who were trying to put the crowd back. For a moment the left field crowd remained on a grassy incline. Then one man in the front jumped up and started across for the right field. This was a signal for another break, and two thousand men reinforced the the right field crowd. The attempt to clear the ground was then given up, and with one grand rush five thousand spectators rushed down upon the diamond, and in a minute the whole ball field was a mass of human beings.

Ball playing was now out of the question, and Umpire Holland called the game back to the even fifth inning, and the players all went home. It is quite likely that this contest will be heard from again, and it may prove no end of trouble for both sides. President Byrne says that Stovey and Larkin incited the crowd to move forward on the field. This may be so, but the players deny it. Mr. Byrne also said that the actions of these two men caused the breaking up of the game, and that he would refuse to pay the managers the usual 20 per cent. due them as the visiting club. On the other hand, the Athletic managers insist that as the Brooklyn managers had failed to provide a sufficient number of police with which to keep the field clear, they should be awarded the game. They say that the umpire should have demanded that the field be cleared in a specified time, as called for in the rules, and if this was not done they should have been awarded the game by 9 to 0...

When asked whether it was true that Stovey and Larkin had made any move toward inciting the crowd to break in on the field, they said that it was nonsense and that the circumstances of the case showed that they had nothing to gain by such a move. They had just a lead in the game but the inning had not been finished by the Brooklyn Club, so that any attempt to to break up the game would have done them no good as far as winning was concerned.

It is certain that they w ill make a fight to have the game awarded them and the money also. If they don't get the money it is not quite plain who will get it unless it goes to the Brooklyn Club it certainly would not be fair for the home club to have it, either, because it was by their failure to have sufficient police to keep back the crowds that the game was not finished.

A walk among the crowd while the diamond was still overrun showed quite plainly the cause of the game being broken up. The great crowd seemed to have made up its mind to get even with Stovey for his kicking in days gone by, and determined that he and his team should not win this game. New York Sun May 6, 1889

The Brooklyn team now went to the bat and Burns opened with a hit to Fennelly, who threw him out. At this juncture a movement of the crowd in on the right center field, back of where Welch was standing, was noticed, and while Foutz was at the bat the umpire called time and notified the Brooklyn officials that the field must be cleared. The ground officers went down to induce the crowd to stand bac, while Stovey and Welch–as dozens of men were ready to testify–told the crowd they could move in if they liked, and they did so, and soon the Athletic players, who had gathered back of second base in a bunch, were surrounded, and it became impossible to place the crowd back in their former position. Umpire Holland , seeing that the ground officials and Mr. Byrne had done their best to clear the field, and also that there was no possibility of having the contest resumed, called the game back to the last even five innings played, which left the game a draw, 1 to 1. ... Under the circumstances no claim of forfeit will hold good, especially in view of the fact that Stovey and Welch encouraged the crowd to break in. They were in a hurry to close the game, so as to catch the train, and they knew that if the crowd broke in it would likely end in a forfeit. That it was their game because of the lead they had secured was a nonsensical claim. Brooklyn Eagle May 6, 1889 [The game was in fact forfeited to the Athletics.]

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed hidden ball trick

Date Sunday, September 1, 1889
Text

Patsy Tebeau has captured the heart of the town [Cleveland] by his tricks and antics. He plays to win games, and that's the kind of playing that pays. In last Monday's game he taught that big Chicagoan, van Haltren, a lesson which he'll not soon forget. Van was on third and pat had the ball. He made a motion to throw it to the pitcher, but deftly hid it in his hip pocket instead. Van, who wasn't watching the ball, led off the base and Tebeau stepped between him and the bag. Then he began to tug at the ball in the hip pocket, but it wouldn't budge. The harder he pulled the closer the ball stuck, until at length the runner noticed what he was doing and ran to his base. Then the unaccommodating sphere slipped out ot he pocket, but too late. Loftus says he'll have the pockets made larger after this.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed infield fly play

Date Sunday, August 1, 1869
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Forest City of Rockford at Chicago 7/31/1869] cone popped up a short fly which Brainard went for, and, trying to make the double play successfully made in their recent game with the Mutuals of New York, purposely dropped the ball, but did not pick it up quick enough to cut off Barker at second and also lost the chance to put out Cone, who reached first.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed maneuver to put Brooklyn in the NL, Cleveland in the AA

Date Wednesday, January 7, 1885
Text

...it may be said that more than talk has been used in finding a place in the American Association for Cleveland. But all endeavors were in vain. At one time such a change could have been made. Now it cannot. … There is no such deal on hand, notwithstanding an alleged reliable authority says there is. Brooklyn had League aspirations if the Mets could have been transferred to the City of Churches. At one time the transfer looked certain. Now, on the authority of President Byrne, of the Brooklyn Club, it is not probable. Cincinnati and Baltimore, notwithstanding an unofficial declaration, have no League aspirations and never had., quoting the Cleveland Herald

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed meeting of the Athletic Club

Date Sunday, January 14, 1877
Text

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

Source Philadelphia Sunday Republic
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed night game

Date Wednesday, July 11, 1888
Text

An electric light game was attempted at Jackson [state not specified] July 4, but was not successful. The shadows were too deep and after five innings play was abandoned.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed professional nine

Date Sunday, August 21, 1870
Text

The managers of the Maryland nine, having become sick of the numerous defeats sustained by their nine, have disbanded their professional team, and for the remainder of the season they will play local amateurs. Next year a rousing Baltimore nine will be organized.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed quick throw play

Date Sunday, August 2, 1874
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Baltimore 7/29/1874] Another misplay occurred between Hicks [catcher] and Craver [second baseman], who tried to trick Gould, who was at third, by the throw to second and return, but the dodge only gave the man his run, so slowly was the ball handled.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed sacrifice bunt?

Date Saturday, September 14, 1872
Text

[Boston vs. Mutual 9/7/1872] [Bechtel at third base] ...Pearce hit to Spalding [pitcher], who returned the ball in time to McVey [catcher] to put out Hicks [sic throughout: should be Bechtel] at home base, Pearce escaping being put out at 1 st by the throw home, Dick running the risk of going out at 1st in order to get Hicks’ run in.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failure to object to a substitute runner; courtesy runner

Date Saturday, July 15, 1876
Text

[from answers to correspondents] On the 24th ult., our college club played the Richmond Club in a match game. At the end of the ninth and tenth innings the score stood 15 to 15; but in the eleventh the Richmonds made 1 and the college boys 0, leaving the score 16 to 15 for the Richmonds. In the tenth inning both sides made one; but I claim that their tally, according to Rule 6 Section 14, is illegal from the fact that, one of their men being unable to run, they put in their catcher (who was decidedly and pre-eminently their best base-runner, as he is acknowledged by either club) to run for this disabled one, without the consent of the captain of the opposite side; and had this privilege of selecting the base-runner been granted to our captain, all know he would have chosen any one but this one mentioned. They try to excuse themselves by saying that our captain could have prevented it at the time, but none of us noticed it till after the illegal tally (as I think it is) was brought in. now, with these facts before you, is the game 16 to 15 on the eleventh inning in favor of the Richmonds, or 15 to 14 on for the College on the tenth? … The game was won by the score at the close of the eleventh inning. The failure of your captain to object to the substitute or to select one to run does not invalidate the record or change the score.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair foul

Date Saturday, August 22, 1868
Text

[Atlantic vs. Mutual 8/17/1868] McMahon hit a short “fair foul” toward third, on which he made first..

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair foul 2

Date Sunday, September 5, 1869
Text

[Mutual vs. Eckford 9/1/1869] Flanly sent a ball back of third base, the hit being what is termed a “fair foul,” and took his first...

Source New York Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair foul hit

Date Sunday, October 17, 1869
Text

[Athletic vs. Atlantic 10/11/1869] Chapman made one of those peculiar hits which, striking fair, bound off outside the foul ball line, and Charley Smith, who had previously worked his way round to third, came home–“Chap” taking his first.

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair foul into the crowd; arguing with the umpire

Date Sunday, August 16, 1868
Text

[Athletic vs. Keystone 8/10/1868] Wilkins, by a hit to left, secured his first, sending Radcliff to third. Fisler hit in front of the plate, the ball bouncing out among the crowd, one of whom picked it up and threw it in. Fisler went to his first, Radcliff getting home, and Wilkins running to third. He was declared out by the Umpire, the pitcher fielding the ball to third, but as the pitcher was not in his position, Mr. Bomeisler revered his decision, and gave Wilkins his base, which did not please Mr. Flowers, who pulled off his belt and walked toward the club-house, declaring that he would not play longer. Mr. Bomeisler very promptly rebuked this action of Flowers by demanding that the Keystone substitute another player and the game go on. Flowers thought better of his conduct, and returned to the field. We have only to say to the Keystone Club, now that they are re-organized under an efficient leader, that we recommend, if Mr. Flowers attempts such a line of conduct again, to promptly expel him. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 16, 1868

umpires should not call “ball” too quickly

“Please decide the following: A player has had two strikes, and on striking at another ball delivered, the umpire calls ‘one ball.’ Is the umpire correct?” Yes; but if the umpire would wait until the balls pass the striker, this question would not arise. If the striker had hit the ball he would not have been permitted to have made a base on it. Philadelphia Sunday Mercury August 16, 1868

Source Philadelphia Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair foul; bunt?

Date Saturday, September 26, 1868
Text

[Union of Morrisania vs. Mutual 9/18/1868] Goldie...took his second on one of those peculiar fair-foul hits that strike in front of the home plate and bound off onto the foul field.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair-foul into the crowd is dead

Date Saturday, May 29, 1875
Text

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair-foul on a pop fly

Date Saturday, August 24, 1878
Text

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

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fair-foul past third

Date Sunday, July 24, 1870
Text

[Harvard vs. Cincinnati 7/18/1870] At length he [George Wright] was suited, and striking a “fair foul” past third base took second for himself, and gave home to three men.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

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