1871.18

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First Pro League Game Doesn't Feature Offense

Salience Prominent
City/State/Country: Fort Wayne, IN, United States
Game Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Adult
Text

"THE NATIONAL GAME -- The First Dose of 1871 -- A Whole Nest of Goose Eggs -- 000000000 -- Where Are We Now?"

(Cleveland newspaper headline for the 2-0 loss in Fort Wayne to the Kekionga Club by the visiting Forest City Club of Cleveland)

" . . .  The play throughout was nearly perfect as could be imagined . . . the difficult pitching of  [Cleveland's] Mathews kept our score down to a continual whitewash"

 

Sources

Cleveland Leader May 5, 1871.

Comment

Richard Hershberger, FB posting of 5/5/2021:

"This is remembered today as the first game of the first professional league. So it was, but this account only barely hints at this being a momentous occasion. This was the first game only by accident, earlier scheduled games being rained out. But more to the point, few thought of this game as the beginning. The season has been ramping up for several weeks now. Nowadays we think of those earlier games as mere spring training, preparing for the real season. At the time they thought of a game such as this as yet another game, but one that happened to be for the championship.  [Note: "for the championship" then meant "in a regular season game."]

The most modern aspect of this account is that Bobby Mathews, the Kekionga pitcher, is given at least partial credit for the shut out. Earlier on, the fielding would have gotten all the credit." 

 

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Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Submission Note FB posting of 5/5/2021



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