Clippings:1879

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Clippings in 1879

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Clippings in 1879 (200 entries)

Contents


the catcher’s mask

Date Saturday, January 11, 1879
Text

...under the swift pitching now in vogue serious injuries must undoubtedly occur unless catchers resort to the use of the protective catcher’s mask, introduced by Mr. Thayer of the Harvard College Club. Among catchers who possessed more reckless pluck than moral courage an absurd prejudice existed last season against the use of these masks; but it is disappearing as fast as the public perceive the value and importance of them as protectors from severe blows in the face. One might as well laugh at fencers who use the wire masks to protect their faces in practice, as to ridicule a catcher for using his mask. They prevented many a black eye and broken nose as well as smashed teeth, last season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harvard’s trophy ball case

Date Saturday, March 8, 1879
Text

In the steward’s office of Memorial Hall a very handsome case is built across part of one side of the room, extending perpendicularly about five feet, containing 195 base base balls, each painted and inscribed with the name of the vanquished club, date and place of game, and the score. Each ball is impaled on an iron needle, and the whole are very cleverly arranged in order of sequence. In the bottom of the case rests a mammoth ball, commemorating the great game between Hard and the Manchesters, played May11, 1877, at the end of which, after a series of 24 innings, the score stood 0 to 0, not a run having been scored on either side. The case also contained an elegant gold medal, won by the University nine from the Lowells, in the autumn of 1868, Harvard having won the best two games out of three played. The scores of these games will be of interest in this connection: First game, Harvard 27, Lowells 24; second game Harvard 30, Lowells 33; third game, Harvard 28, Lowells 15. The names of the victors are engraved on the reverse side of the medal, as follows: Smith ‘69, Willard ‘69, Shaw ‘69, Rawle ‘69, Peabody ‘69, Soule ‘70, Bush ‘71, Austin ‘71, Wells ‘71, Eustis ‘71, Wells ‘71.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

wounded by a catcher’s mask

Date Saturday, June 7, 1879
Text

In a recent game Clapp, of the Buffalos met with an accident through wearing a catcher’s mask, a wire being driven in his head above the left eye. After having the wound dressed he pluckily finished the game.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher’s mask breaks

Date Saturday, June 28, 1879
Text

[Flyaway vs. Jersey City 6/18/1879] In the latter part of the game Joe Farrell was hit hard on the mask by the ball, one of the wires of his mask giving way and cutting his cheek slightly. But for the mask, however, his jaw might have been broken.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher’s gloves, catchers’ gloves

Date Error: Invalid time.
Text

Reach is making a new catcher’s glove that is excellent. The left hand covering is a full one, the right or throwing hand being covered with a half glove to aid throwing. The palm and joint padding is of felt. Reading Times March 31, 1884

A Cincinnati firm is making a new catcher’s glove that is said to be excellent. The left hand covering is a full one, the right or throwing hand being covered with a half glove to aid throwing. The palm and joint padding is of felt. Cleveland Leader April 2, 1884

The catchers at the game yesterday [Cleveland regulars vs. reserves] worked without gloves and consequently could not stand close to the bat. It was, of course, easy to steal bases, which accounts in a measure for the large score [10-9]. Cleveland Leader April 4, 1884

A new style of left-hand glove for catchers has been brought out. The fingers are stiff cowhide, jointed at the bottom with buckskin. The finger-ends are stout enough to withstand the severest blow, thus preventing the breaking of joints, from which men behind the bat have so long suffered. Cleveland Leader April 4, 1884

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, Reading Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rowdy behavior by players on the road

Date Saturday, January 4, 1879
Text

There was one feature of the professional season of 1878 which needs special comment on it, and that was the rowdyism or rollicking, skylarking ways of some of the teams when traveling from place to place. The minority behaved like gentlemen, orderly, quiet and unobtrusive; but the majority seemed to think–judging from their actions–that the moment they got on a train or on a steamer, or entered a hotel, then and there commenced their license to indulge in questionable “skylarking.” The old saying is to the effect that you are to judge your many by the company he keeps. In the professional baseball business it is very certain that you can always judge the ability of the club manager by the behavior of his team when traveling. ... The rule is that just in the proportion that you see a professional team traveling quietly and under discipline and orderly control, just in the same proportion will you find them honest and reliable.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing for a release

Date Saturday, January 4, 1879
Text

Another thing which characterized the professional season of 1878 was the system of releasing players, which was so grossly abused. It was tantamount to regular revolving. We tell you, gentlemen of the professional club directors and stockholders, that just so long as you allow the rule of engaging players during an existing season to prevail, just so long will you find it costly to retain a good nine in the positions they first contracted for early in the season. For instance, the A club engages a first rate pitcher and catcher in April, and secure a good field to support them. In June the B club, finding that the A nine is stronger, set to work to induce A plyers to “get a release” and then to join them, offering tempting baits for secession. As the rule admits of release and new engagements, of course it does not take long for the tempted players to work things to suit them so as to obtain the required release; and thus is the A nine broken up early in the season, because the B nine was not strong enough to cope with the C or D nine. Engagements for players should be made for the entire season, and no player should be allowed to engage himself to another club until the close of the season. There are certain exceptions to this rule, as in everything else; but, while the present system prevails, you cannot retain a nine in position except at a heavy pecuniary outlay in extra salaries. New York Clipper January 4, 1879

objections to rules that might lengthen the game; a proposal for flat bats

[from the Providence correspondent] The new rule regarding foul bounds and the idea of Harry Wright’s of introducing flattened bats do not meet with much favor, simply from the fact that the games will be prolonged to such an extent as to become decidedly tedious, and thus public interest begin to wane. Some will be found who will advocate it strongly because they desire to see more batting, and, consequently, more work done in the out-field. Boston Herald January 10, 1879

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

Cummings credited with inventing the curve ball

Date Saturday, January 11, 1879
Text

Cummings was the inventor of curved pitching. That ought to settle the curve business. Cincinnati Enquirer January 11, 1879

Troy Club finances

During the past week the Troy City directors made an assessment of $25 on each $100 subscription–$15 payable on or before Feb. 1, and $10 on or before March 1. New York Clipper January 11, 1879

[from the Troy correspondent] The capital of the club is $8000, of which sum $6400 has been subscribed in shares of $100 per share. On Thursday last an assessment of $25 on each $100 subscription was made, $15 payable before Feb. 1, and the balance before March 1. We doubt if there is any league club that has a better backing than Troy. Boston Herald January 13, 1879

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

curve pitching; Cummings first exemplified

Date Saturday, January 11, 1879
Text

Cummings, who was the first to exemplify the curved-line delivery, of late years has had a host of imitators, and during 1878 a pitcher without the “curve” was nowhere. Of course speed is the elementary power in a curved-line delivery, for without it you cannot produce the curve. The great difficulty in curve-pitching is to obtain the required command of the ball at the same time that you impart to it the rotary motion which produces the curved line. The pitcher who has the fastest delivery, and who, while giving the necessary rotary motion or “twist” to the ball to curve its line of delivery, can also command its direction, is the best pitcher necessarily. There are plenty of men who can throw in an underhand ball with the curved line, but there are few who can “place” the ball where they want under such circumstances. A great many curve-line pitcher do not know how they curve the ball–they know that it does curve sometimes, and does not at others. When they try to pitch straight, they are apt to drop the curve; and when they do get the curve on, they don’t pitch straight. Many pitchers who have gone into curved-line pitching hastily have lamed themselves so as to prevent their pitching a swift underhand ball at all. The reason is that they have strained previously unemployed muscles. It is like a man accustomed to ride downtown every day starting out to walk fifty miles in a day. To get into curve-pitching one must practice it by degrees. First get the speed, then the twist, and then practice for command of the ball. First get the speed, then the twist, and then practice for command of the ball.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Spalding versus the Nolan style of pitching

Date Saturday, January 11, 1879
Text

During 1878 strategic pitching was neglected by the majority of pitchers. They went in too strong for the curve, and thought of little else. There were altogether too much of the Nolan style, and too little of the Spalding...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher's mask 4

Date Saturday, January 11, 1879
Text

...under the swift pitching now in vogue serious injuries must undoubtedly occur unless catchers resort to the use of the protective catcher’s mask, introduced by Mr. Thayer of the Harvard College Club. Among catchers who possessed more reckless pluck than moral courage an absurd prejudice existed last season against the use of these masks; but it is disappearing as fast as the public perceive the value and importance of them as protectors from severe blows in the face. One might as well laugh at fencers who use the wire masks to protect their faces in practice, as to ridicule a catcher for using his mask. They prevented many a black eye and broken nose as well as smashed teeth, last season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the abolition of the foul bound out

Date Saturday, January 11, 1879
Text

This season, under the new rule of the complete fly game, catchers will have to stand up close to the bat more than they did I 1870, as all catches now must be made on the “fly.” Foul-bound catchers are done away with, as also foul-bound tip-catches. A great deal of activity was indulged in by first and third basemen and right and left fielders, as well as catchers, in trying to get hold of foul-bound balls last season, and some good fielding was done in this respect. What has been lost by the change in the rule, however, will no doubt be made up by some newly-developed play under the new rule.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielding scoring for pitchers

Date Saturday, January 11, 1879
Text

There is one thing worthy of note in regard to the pitching of 1878, and that is that under the scoring rules of the League no correct estimate of a pitcher’s skill as a fielder can be arrived at. There are two absurd sections, one of which credits the pitcher with a fielding assistance when batsmen strike out, while the other charges him with a fielding error when a batsman takes his base on called balls. The fielding records of a pitcher can only be fairly made up from the very same data which govern the fielding average of a base-player or outfielder. These are credited with put-outs only when they catch a man out or touch him when off bases; and they are credited with an assistance only when they throw a ball accurately to another fielder to put a runner out. They are also charged with errors only when they fail to catcher or stop a ball, or throw wildly to other pitchers. Called balls may be the result of poor pitching or of strategy, while striking-out may just as readily result from poor batting as from the skillful delivery of the pitcher. It would be just as reasonable to credit the pitcher with an assist in the case of foul-ball catchers, as for outs on strikes. Moreover, if it be an error to give a batsman a chance to take his base on three called balls, it is equally an error to give the umpire an opportunity to call one ball, and the pitcher is as rightfully chargeable with nine errors on three balls called as with one.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proto-ERA

Date Saturday, January 11, 1879
Text

One more matter before closing, and that is in reference to the blunder of last season’s estimate of a pitcher’s skill in judging him by the base-hits scored against him. “Bond was knocked all over the field for twenty odd base-hits,” says one report. “Larkin was fearfully punished, no less than ten base-hits being scored off his pitching in one inning,” says another report. And so on throughout the season was this false estimate of a pitcher’s ability in his position made. There is but one true estimate of a pitcher’s excellence in playing the position, and that is in the number of earned runs charges against him. Just look at the matter in its right light. The A nine got to the bat; their first striker hits a high ball to the outfield, which is dropped; their second makes a base-hit, their third hits a ball to short-stop, who throws it badly to second, and base-runners occupy second and third bases. The fourth striker then hits a ball to third base, who throws it wildly, and three men run home, but one base-hit being made, the three chances were plainly offered the field to put the side out for a blank. Discouraged by this, the pitcher becomes less effective, while the batsmen hit with confidence; a dozen base-hits follow, and down goes the record of the pitcher, being “hit all over the field” for so many base-hits, when the fact is that, had he been properly supported, not a run would have been scored. Judge pitching and pitchers solely by the runs earned charged against them; the base-hits are of no account unless they yield earned runs, and surely base-hits don’t yield an earned run if three chances for outs are given before base-hits can send home those who make them.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clarifying the new rule, who was the last man to bat

Date Saturday, January 18, 1879
Text

[from answers to correspondents] Suppose there are two men out an a man on a base; the fourth man goes to bat, and, say, has a strike called on him. Just about that time the man on base is put out, making three men out, according to the new rule, “that the first striker in each inning shall be the man that follows the last man at the bat.” Now, that fourth man was the last at the bat. I cannot see how he can go to the bat the next inning, and I don’t see why he should lose his turn at the bat. ... A player is not charged with having been at bat until he becomes a base-runner, or has been put out. The new rule is: “After the first inning, the first striker in each inning shall be the batsman whose name follows that of the last man at bat in the preceding inning.” Should a base-runner be third out through no act of the batsman, said batsman would be first striker next inning.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ten-men games in Cuba

Date Saturday, January 18, 1879
Text

[a report on three games for the championship of Cuba, most of the players having Hispanic names, played ten men with a right short, two games eight innings each and one nine.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Al Wright now in New York

Date Saturday, January 18, 1879
Text

Al. Wright, formerly of The Philadelphia Sunday Mercury, has returned to his old home, in this city, to reside.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the purpose of the International Association

Date Saturday, January 18, 1879
Text

[from a letter to the Clipper by Jimmy Williams:] The International is a protective Association, and I hope one day to see it the only one of the country. Championship contests are side-issues, so to speak and should be governed by mutual agreements between clubs under certain general restrictions adopted by the central organization. Thus we might properly have sectional championships, North, South, East and West, with a grand wind-up for the championship of the country; but we need but one protective association, to which all professional and semi-professional clubs should belong, and in which all should be entitled to equal rights. This was the object of the founders of the Association, and I hope yet to see it accomplished.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

International Association members need not compete for the championship

Date Saturday, January 18, 1879
Text

[from a circular by Jimmy Williams regarding the upcoming IA convention:] We cordially invite all professional clubs to become members of this Association and enjoy its protective privileges. The impression having obtained among some clubs that they cannot be members of this Association without competing for its championship, they are hereby informed that such is not the case, as only such clubs compete for the championship as enter under the rules of the Association governing the same; and of the membership of the past year only about one-half competed for the championship.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the first baseman needs to leave the bag to take wide throws

Date Saturday, January 18, 1879
Text

In the old-time playing at first base, all the base-player was expected to do was to stand on his base and take in every ball thrown to him within reach. This was the style in vogue when Wadsworth of the old Gotham nine used to spread his hands to take in a straight ball... In those days going off the base to capture a widely-thrown ball was the exception–of late years Joe Start has made it the rule. His play is the right one. The first-baseman, if he plays his position up to the right mark, should never allow a ball thrown to him anywhere–except out of reach overhead–to pass him. If he cannot hold it, he should stop it. This is what Joe does. Of course, this style of play requires pretty active movements in getting back to the base; but it saves many a badly-thrown ball from giving two or three bases.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Syracuse Club finances

Date Sunday, January 26, 1879
Text

At the annual meeting of the Star Baseball Club the old Board of Directors was re-elected. The report showed the expenditures to be $1,000 above receipts. The team next year will cost less than $10,000, and the club hope to make $3,000 the coming season. The nine are to have new grounds and new uniforms. The suits will be made of white Canton flannel, trimmed with brown, with “Syracuse” (probably) on the breast of the shirts; caps to match and brown stockings.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Star of Syracuse finances

Date Saturday, February 1, 1879
Text

[reporting on the Stars’ annual meeting:] George S. Leonard, treasurer, submitted a detailed report of the finances of the club, which showed expenditures above receipts amounting to something like $1,600. The secretary’s report of receipts and disbursements for next season, prepared, he said, with care and based on sound assurances showed that a profit of $3,000 nearly was within reach. The team of ten men are engaged at a cost of less than $10,000, which is considered by other club managers as an extremely reasonable figure. The audiences are estimated at 1,200 per game in other cities, and 500 in Syracuse.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Devlin pleads for admittance

Date Tuesday, February 4, 1879
Text

Devlin is sending copies of the following letter to leading base ball men in the hopes of being given another chance:

Philadelphia, January 27, 1879.

Dear Sir–In presenting this petition for reinstatement in the International Base Ball Association I am actuated by a desire to retrieve the errors of the past, and put myself in a position for which, by my past record, I feel myself qualified. That I have suffered tenfold for the errors into which I permitted myself to be drawn is fully attested by the present condition of myself and family, who for several months past have, at very frequent intervals, gone without the common necessities of life, and I have endeavored by every means in my power to alter my condition, even at a rate of remuneration that would barely furnish bread. You will perceive by this that my punishment has not only reached me, but has overtaken those nearer and dearer to me that life itself. Since I have become convinced that an honorable, straightforward course brings with it the reward of the honest man, I sincerely and firmly pledge myself to sustain an honest and industrious course under all circumstances, and further assert that, should I be reinstated, my professional ability will eclipse my former merit. Rather than plead any excuse for my former conduct, at cost of the really guilty party, I prefer to acknowledge the wrong I committed, and beg your cooperation in my efforts to regain that which I have lost. Should you do this, I shall not again during my life shame your favor by any act of mine. I have gone through the fire of affliction, and feel myself all the better and purer for the ordeal. Should you give me any hope of my petition being favorably received, I shall get to Utica if I have to walk. Yours, respectfully, James Devlin

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

number of balls used; Spalding balls manufactured in Philadelphia; inspection routine

Date Sunday, February 2, 1879
Text

The Cincinnati Club used during last season about eight dozen regulation balls. This manufacture has grown to be one of considerable importance, and this year the contract for them has been given to A. G. Spalding & Brother, of Chicago. The balls required for the league games are forwarded in bulk to the Secretary of the League, who makes a separate examination of each by trying the circumference with calipers, weighing, inspecting the seams and quality of the cover, and cutting open one ball in each dozen to see that it is properly made. Spalding & Brother are having them made to order, in Philadelphia, but will probably have to give the work to L. Mahn, of Jamaica Plains, Mass., who has been recently sending circulars broadcast warning persons against making the double cover ball as he has a suit pending in the United Stated Court to protect his right in this specialty.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for square bats; the ten men game

Date Saturday, February 8, 1879
Text

A number of experienced baseballists are in favor of the radical change of a four-sided bat in the place of the round one which has been in use since the game originated. There is also an opposition to this change, and, singularly enough, it comes chiefly from the quarter from which calls for “livelier balls and more batting” have been heard for two or three seasons past. There is one thing in regard to this proposed change which is worthy of consideration, and that is that the batsman with the four-sided bat will be able to do with comparative ease what he can only accomplish with difficulty with the round bat, and that is to place the ball. ...

...

There is one thing the four-sided bats will introduce, and that is a right-short fielder; in other words, the ten-men-and-ten-innings game, and that, too, with a dead ball. When the batsman gets hold of a bat which will enable him to place a ball, there is going to be lively work in the infield to prevent him making a base-hit, and the three basemen and two short-fielders will be found none too many to get in the way of a well-placed ball. ... Experiments will be tried with the new bat by Brooklyn professionals at Prospect Park before they leave for their respective clubs. Of course the round bat will be in use this season, but it is probable that the season of 1880 will see the four-sided bat introduced.

Source New York Clipper
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 proposal for regional championships

Date Sunday, February 9, 1879
Text

Secretary Williams of the International Association, is using his best energies toward having one grand central base ball organization, and his efforts meet with great favor. It is one of his ideas to have sectional championship contests.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scorer for the Providence Club in 1878

Date Monday, February 10, 1879
Text

George Ware, scorer and Secretary for the Greys last year, and acting as Treasurer on the Western trips, will not serve this year. A lower-salaried man is wanted.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

relative pay by position

Date Wednesday, February 12, 1879
Text

Holyoke will pay its catcher $200 per month, pitcher $125, short-stop $90, and the other players $70 each.

Source Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

unaccompanied ladies not permitted

Date Saturday, February 15, 1879
Text

The Troy City Club, at a meeting on Feb. 8, discussed plans for a new grand stand, reporters’ stand, and turnstile entrance. The uniform has not yet been determined upon. Ladies unaccompanied by gentlemen are not to be permitted entrance to the grounds.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring rules

Date Tuesday, February 18, 1879
Text

[reporting on the upcoming I.A. convention] It will be the aim of the convention to do away with the present complicated system of scoring. From all sections one hears the cry, “Abolish the error column.” Of course there must be an error column, but the idea is to score only inexcusable, or, as one delegate puts it, “resulting errors.” “If there must be a batting column,” says a delegate, “let it record not so-called base hits, but let it record the number of times each player hits the ball, whether it stops within or beyond the diamond.” Boston Herald February 18, 1879

proposed east and west divisions for the IA

Secretary J. A. Williams, of Columbus, Ohio, had a consultation with the Judiciary Committee this evening, J. H. Gifford, who will manage the Columbus nine next season, also made an argument before the same Committee. They urge the establishment of a Western circuit, which shall, however, be under the government of one general organization. They convey assurances that Clubs will be organized in the following Western cities: Columbus, Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit, Davenport, Dayton, Dubuque, Peoria and Rockford. It is asserted that the National Association will be stronger if the Eastern and Western sections are left to fight their respective battles, both sections recognizing a common executive head. Cincinnati Enquirer February 19, 1879

Source ” Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

delegates to the IA convention

Date Friday, February 21, 1879
Text

[reporting on the IA convention] The list of delegates was as follows: Charles J. Everett, of Uticas; J. S. Hollingshead, of Nationals, Washington; B F. Clark, of Manchesters; J. Mutrie, of New Bedfords; F. C. Bancroft, of Worcesters; G. H. Blelock, of Springfields; W. H. Myers, of Albanys; W. A. Cummings, of Capital Citys, Albany; J. H. Gifford, of Buckeyes, Columbs; F. C. Malone, of Holyokes. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle February 21, 1879

the International Association championship record

[reporting on the proceedings of the National Association convention] The Judiciary Committee heard arguments for five hours on the championship awards, and in the evening unanimously reported that the Buffalos stood first, the Stars, of Syracuse, second; and the Utica club third. On motion of Mr. Clark, of Manchester, the convention, by a vote of 6 to 8, refused to agree to the report of the committee, on the ground that as the Stars and Buffalos had joined the League, they were no in the International Association. The convention then adopted a motion giving the Uticas the first place, the Manchesters the second, and the Tecumsehs, of London, Ca., the third. On Thursday this action was reconsidered, and the committee's report was adopted. New York Tribune February 22, 1879

Source Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring sacrifice hits

Date Thursday, February 20, 1879
Text

An effort will be made before the International convention to have a column inserted in the scoring system to chronicle sacrifice hits. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle February 20, 1879

The association...have decided to add another column to the score which shall give an account of the sacrifice hits. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle February 21, 1879

Source Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

removing errors and adding sacrifices to the box score-sheet

Date Saturday, February 22, 1879
Text

[reporting on the proceedings of the National Association convention] The error columns was abolished in the scoring rules and a “sacrifice hit” column added.

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Devlin permitted to umpire N.A. Games

Date Saturday, February 22, 1879
Text

[reporting on the proceedings of the National Association convention] James Devlin, the expelled Louisville club player, talked before the convention for about twenty minutes, expressing penitence and begging for one more chance to show that he repented and meant to do right in future. The convention decided that, as the League Association expelled him, they must not reinstate him, but gave him the privilege of umpiring games the coming season. New York Tribune February 22, 1879 [Devlin would in fact umpire NA games, e.g. National vs. Worcester 8/15/79, per NYC 8/23/79.]

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pennant money

Date Saturday, March 1, 1879
Text

[reporting on the National Association convention] After thoroughly looking over the matter the [judiciary] committee decided to...give the championship to the Buffalos, and they reported that they had unanimously awarded the pennant-money, $165, to the Buffalos, the Stars taking second money, $110, and the Uticas third, $55.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fines for intentionally hitting the batter with a pitch

Date Saturday, March 1, 1879
Text

[reporting on the new National Association rules] If the umpire shall be satisfied that the pitcher, in delivering the ball, shall have so delivered it as to have intentionally caused the same to strike the batter, the umpire shall fine the pitcher therefor in a sum not less than $10 nor more than $20.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scientific batting 2

Date Saturday, March 1, 1879
Text

...the one thing in the science of batting which has hitherto been but little understood, or, if understood, has been sadly neglected, is the rule governing what is technically called “facing for position”–that is, taking your stand at the bat in such a manner as to lead to the regular swing of the bat, causing it to meet the ball so as to send it in the direction of either one or the other of the three outfield positions of the filed, viz., the right, centre or left field.

Just as a man stands at the bat, just so will the regular or forward swing of the bat meet the ball, all things, of course, being equal, viz., the rapdity of the forward swing being in proportion to the speed of the delivered ball. Of course, when the batsman makes a slow swing of the bat forward, it will meet the ball back of the home-base. When he swings it with the same speed as the ball, it will meet at right angles; and if faster than the pitched ball, it will meet the ball forward of the home-base. In the former case the ball will go to the right, and in the latter to the left. But the general direction of the ball, from a regular and proportioned swing of the bat, is governed by the manner in which the batsman stands when prepared to strike at the ball–that is, in proportion as he “faces” for the right, the cetnre of the left. As a general rule, in order to send a ball to the right he should face almost as if the first-baseman was going to pitch him the ball, and not the pitcher. The three men, therefore, to face any one of whom the batsman should stand when about to strike at the ball, are the first-baseman, the pitcher and the short-stop, just as he desires to send the ball in the direction of the right, centre or left field.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

score keeping

Date Saturday, March 1, 1879
Text

For some years past there has been a decided waste of figuring over the record-scores of baseball matches. Experience has shown that all that is essential in the record-score of a match for publication is just the amount of figures necessary for data in making up the season’s averages of a player. Now, what comprises a player’s averages? The answer is his average of base-hits and his average of chances for putting players out–or assisting to put them out–arrived at by comparing the chances offered to those accepted. The figures required for this data are simply the record of the times at the bat and base-hits made–not total, but only single–to cover the batting, and the chances offered and chances accepted to cover the fielding. The score of runs is immaterial as it really has but little to do with the base-running, inasmuch as a runner is sent round the bases by hits or errors ten times to twice that he steals his way round. Stealing bases is exception; being sent round by hits or fielding errors is the rule. Add to this the score of runs made each inning, and a summary score showing runs earned, times, first bases made by fielding errors, and total fielding errors, and your record-score is complete as far as data for averages is concerned. The important question as to what are to be considered base-hits and what not, also what are to be regarded as chances offered, remains to be answered, and it can only be answered by an established rule governing each special play.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

errors and assists

Date Saturday, March 1, 1879
Text

By this record-score it will be seen that while every error in fielding, as well as every good play made which bears upon the record of chances offered and accepted for putting opponents out, is duly recorded, no errors are directly charged to each player. For instance, suppose a hot line ball is hit to the short-stop which is sent with such force that he is not able to do anything but stop it, either catching it on the fly nor being able to field in time to throw the runner out. In such a case the batsman is credited with a base-hit. Suppose, also, that the next ball hit is sent to the short-stop, and is well held and thrown accurately to the first-baseman, but is muffed by the latter. In this case the short-stop is credited with a chance offered and accepted, while the first-baseman is charged with a chance offered and missed. This is the principle of the method, and it can readily be carried out in all its variations. Of course there are exceptions to the rule which will have to be particularized; such as passed balls and wildly-pitched balls, which are not chances offered for putting players out, and therefore cannot be justly charged as chances not accepted, and yet they are errors to a certain extent. New York Clipper March 1, 1879

There is a possibility that the present scoring system will be made a subject for consideration, if not ultimate action, at the Buffalo meeting. We earnestly hope no alteration will be made this year, at least. The system now in vogue is about as near complete in its details as can be conceived, is easily understood and comprehended by the average lover of the game, and, while it may not be popular among those players who play for a record only, it is exceedingly popular with the masses, and has no dread for those players who play to win. The system recently promulgated by Henry Chadwick in the New York Clipper, of substituting “chances offered” and “chances accepted” for the columns “P.O.” “A.” and “E.” has been favorably regarded in some quarters, and, while it would eventually show the record of a player, it is open to several objections, the consideration of which is reserved for another time. The nationals have abolished the error column, and it would be well for the league to see from a year’s experience how the plan works, before it follows suit. Let the various proposed changes in the score be discussed for a year, and then, in 1880, when, in all probability, an alteration in the bat will be made, and batting greatly benefitted, if a general desire is found for a change in the present method of scoring, then let the best and more comprehensive system be adopted. Boston Herald March 30, 1879

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Stars of Syracuse change their name

Date Saturday, March 1, 1879
Text

The old Stars of Syracuse have disappeared, and in their place stands the Syracuse Club.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright advocates the square bat

Date Sunday, March 2, 1879
Text

The above cut represents the square bat which was recently tried in New York City with so much success. It is scarce three months since this innovation was proposed through the columns of the Boston Herald. The first impression it made everywhere was that of derision. At the Cleveland Convention, however, Harry Wright confessed to the Enquirer reporter that the idea was his own, and explained why he believed the flat bat would become a necessity. Every body knows that Harry has made base-ball what it is in the United States. He has for twelve years been a living baseball Edison. He eats base-ball, and incorporates base-ball in his prayers. So whenever Harry Wright proposed something new in base-ball he has good reasons to back it up. Thus it was with the flat bat. His arguments on this score were published through the columns of the Enquirer other papers took up the theme, and the first words of ridicule were soon changed to sentiments of conviction and advocacy for the flat bat. It is hard to overthrow the outgrowth of the game, such as underhand throwing; with underhand throwing the ball must be less lively than in old-time days of straight-arm pitching, else the catcher's hands would have to be made of cast iron. So Harry Wright comes along with the flat bat. The best base-ball authority including Mr. Chadwick, of the Clipper, that that next year (1880) will see the new feature most certainly introduced, though it can not be brought into use this season.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Northwest League and the NA

Date Sunday, March 2, 1879
Text

[a letter to the editor of the New York Sunday Mercury] In your issue of February 8th I notice an item to the effect that if the Western gentlemen who recently formed an Association at Rockford desire to further their own interests they can best do so by joining the “Internationals.” I infer from its tenor that it is from the pen of Mr. Williams. Now it is not my purpose to open up a controversy between said gentleman and myself, although I received a very kind invitation to joint the Internationals and be “benefited” thereby. I wrote Mr. Williams declining, stating as my reason the utter impracticability and consequent financial failure that would surely follow should we attempt to make trips East, and cited to him as an instance the way certain Clubs of his Association “”jumped in” and made trips, received the $75 guarantee per game, went home and disbanded, and pocketed the proceeds. Now, Mr. Editor, I would ask in plain English, where are the benefits to be enjoyed by belonging to such an Association? In what way would we “further our interests?” I would add that Rockford has organized and maintained a better Club, and has more players who are now holding positions in nearly all the League Clubs, than all of the “Internationals” put together, and this, too, before the “Internationals” were even thought of. We are not novices in the base-ball business, and we think that we can take care of ourselves and regulate our own business, rather than link ourselves to an uncertainty.

Truly yours, James F. McKee

President N.W. League

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

mayors as baseball presidents

Date Saturday, March 8, 1879
Text

His Honor Mayor Powers of Springfield, Mass., is the new president of the National Association. New York Clipper March 8, 1879

This [Worcester] club has emulated the National Association, and placed a Mayor in its presidential chair. Our correspondent says: “The stockholders of the Worcester Baseball Club held a meeting Friday night, Feb. 28, and elected the following officers: President, Hon. C. B. Pratt, Mayor of Worcester; treasurer, Freeman Brown, local editor of The Spy... The selection of such officers places baseball on a high footing in this city, and insures the patronage of the better class. New York Clipper March 8, 1879

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

encouraging double plays on dropped third strikes

Date Saturday, March 8, 1879
Text

[discussing the rules for the upcoming season] In doing away with the bound-catch from a third strike missed, the catcher is now afforded a better chance to play the point of dropping the ball for a double play. Now all he has to do is to stop the fly-ball with his hands so that it rebounds to the ground, after which he can pick it up on the rebound, whereas before he had to take it on the second bound or the striker was out, and the forcing process would cease to drive runners off the bases. New York Clipper March 8, 1879

narrower pitcher’s box

[discussing the rules for the upcoming season] The change in the pitcher’s position narrows the position by tow feet, the space now being six feet by four. This affords the pitcher a length of six feet for making his forward step in delivery, but limits him to a range of but four feet instead of six in going from the right to the left. The object of the change from right to left is to force the batsman to hit more to one part of the field than another. For instance, by standing on the extreme right of his position the pitcher obliges the batsman to hit more towards third base and shortstop than if the pitcher were to deliver the ball from the left side of his position. This range is now made smaller by two feet. New York Clipper March 8, 1879

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the abolition of the foul bound out 2

Date Saturday, March 8, 1879
Text

[discussing the rules for the upcoming season] One radical change has been made, and one only, and that is the adoption of the fly-catch as the only legal catch. The foul-ball business has always been a stumbling-block in the way of perfecting the game, inasmuch as it causes a loss of time for one thing; and, secondly, because it has always been unfair on the batsman, the rule allowing the batsman to be put out on balls on which he could not leave the home-base. With the abolition of the bound-catch of foul balls one-half of the unfair rule disappears. With the adoption of the four sided or square bat, foul-ball hitting should become almost exceptional in its occurrence, and thereby, it is thought, would the game be placed nearer the point of perfection in its rules. An effort was made to adopt the square bat, but it failed.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harvard's trophy ball case

Date Saturday, March 8, 1879
Text

In the steward’s office of Memorial Hall a very handsome case is built across part of one side of the room, extending perpendicularly about five feet, containing 195 base base balls, each painted and inscribed with the name of the vanquished club, date and place of game, and the score. Each ball is impaled on an iron needle, and the whole are very cleverly arranged in order of sequence. In the bottom of the case rests a mammoth ball, commemorating the great game between Hard and the Manchesters, played May11, 1877, at the end of which, after a series of 24 innings, the score stood 0 to 0, not a run having been scored on either side. The case also contained an elegant gold medal, won by the University nine from the Lowells, in the autumn of 1868, Harvard having won the best two games out of three played. The scores of these games will be of interest in this connection: First game, Harvard 27, Lowells 24; second game Harvard 30, Lowells 33; third game, Harvard 28, Lowells 15. The names of the victors are engraved on the reverse side of the medal, as follows: Smith ‘69, Willard ‘69, Shaw ‘69, Rawle ‘69, Peabody ‘69, Soule ‘70, Bush ‘71, Austin ‘71, Wells ‘71, Eustis ‘71, Wells ‘71.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

new order of batting

Date Saturday, March 8, 1879
Text

[discussing the rules for the upcoming season] The difference between the working of this rule and the one in force last season is this: Under last year’s rule the order was governed as follows: A went to the bat and made a base-hit; B was put out on the fly; C made a base-hit, and D hit a fly-ball on which a double-play was made, D being second out and C third out; consequently, D, being next on the list to the third man out, was the first to take his turn at the bat in the next inning. Under the new rule, D being last man at the bat, E takes first strike, though C was third man out. The question as to what constitutes the completion of a turn at the bat has to be answered, and our interpretation is that the batsman only completes his turn at the bat after he has given a chance to the field to put him out which has been accepted, or has made a base on his hit, or reached first base by a fielding error after having hit a fair ball. If, while he is in position to strike at the ball, and before he has given any chance to the fielders to put him out, the third man should be put out, leaving him at the home-base, the batsman preceding him is to be regarded as the player who has completed his turn at the bat. In other words, the moment a batsman become a base-runner he completes his turn at the bat.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

criticism of the elimination of the error column

Date Sunday, March 9, 1879
Text

Baseballists in Springfield, Mass., regard the action of the recent National convention in abolishing the error column from the score as a great mistake, and in this opinion they are upheld by a majority of the fraternity. Inasmuch as there is no possibility that the League will take similar action, this legislation on the part of the Nationals will practically amount to nothing.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Sunday games in Cincinnati 2

Date Friday, March 14, 1879
Text

The Mohawk Brown Stocking Club yesterday closed a contract with the Cincinnati Club for the privilege of the refreshment department and the use of the grounds for Sunday games during the coming season. The Browns have good backing, and their players are well-known young men of the city who are honestly employed during the week. They deserve success.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
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

strategic pitching

Date Saturday, March 15, 1879
Text

... The moment the pitcher faces the batsman in the first inning of a match he should begin to study his man and endeavor to find out his weak points of play. Watch how he holds his bat, and, if he does not poise it properly in his preliminary movements, count it a point in your favor. The same, too, if he points his bat at you as he takes his stand. Then watch the speed of his stroke, wether he swings his bat to meet the ball with a short, quick stroke, or only with a sort of heavy lunge at the ball. Then watch him closely to see if he takes a temporary rest from standing in readiness to meet the ball. The latter is important, as a batsman may stand in good form for hitting for five or six balls, and then suddenly get tired of waiting and “stand at ease,” as it were, when he immediately becomes open to attack from a strategic pitcher.

A great point in is well-disguised change of pace. It should be borne in mind that change of pace in pitching is comparatively useless unless it be well disguised. Nothing bothers a batsman more than to be prepared to strike quickly at a fast ball, only to find that his stroke has been too quick to meet the ball fairly, owing to the lessened speed of the ball. The same, too, when he is expecting a medium-paced ball, and suddenly sees it flash by him at the utmost speed of the pitcher. It requires a keen-sighted, nervy and experienced batsman to be ready to meet this style of pitching. Another strong point in pitching is that of catching the batsman unprepared to strike, or, if prepared, not ready to hit the ball he wants to.

The effectiveness of the curve in pitching depends greatly upon the pitcher’s command of the ball, not only as regards accuracy of aim in delivery, but in being able to control the curve itslef. As we said before, the curve without “headwork” in its use loses half its effectiveness; and it is almost impossible to use strategy in connection with the curve unless you have thorough command of the ball. Of course, a wild pitcher who has the curve will sometimes attain results in keeping his batting opponents down to small figures, owing to the laxity of the umpire’s observance of the rules; but when the umpire does his duty properly, your wild-curve pitcher becomes costly in his work, especially when faced by batsmen who have the patience to wait at the bat, as they should do, for balls to suit them. When, however, a pitcher possesses the command of the ball which admits of his sending in a curved line ball just where he wants it to go, he becomes a “bad man” for any batsman to meet, provided, of course, that with such command in delivery he also knows ho to avail himself of strategy in his work. The pitcher should study up the position he occupies when facing a skillful batsman, and that is this: The batsman, we will say, wants a low ball over the base, one nearly waist high. Now, the whole aim of the pticher should be to send him in every other kind of ball, except the one that he wants; but in doing this the pitcher’s utmost skill must be employed in disguising this refusal to obey the call, not only from the batsman, but from the umpire; for a pitcher has frequently to pitch against the umpire as well as against the batsman–that is, he has to work so as to prevent an undue number of called balls, and to induce as many called strikes as he can, and this must not be done by the plan of annoyance by frequent appeals, but simply by deceiving the judgment of the umpire as well as of the batsman.

Curve-pitchers should remember that it is frequently a good point to play to drop the curve for a ball or two. In fact, this must be done when a change of pace is made, for the curve is the result of speed in delivery, and will not follow a slow-pitched ball. And, by the way, we here state that it is a fallacy to imagine that a pitcher has several curves at command in delivery. Only three are possible, viz., the one resulting in the case of a slow toss of the ball to the bat, which is formed by the attraction of gravity, to the right or the left, just as the pitcher imparts the rotary motion of the ball so that it revolves to one side or the other.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pick off attempts

Date Saturday, March 15, 1879
Text

A point of play peculiar to old-time pitchers was throwing to bases; but experience has so plainly shown that, as a general rule, throwing to bases should be but rarely indulged in, that it has gone out of use to a considerable extent. Not one pitcher out of four can throw accurately enough to a base to catch a runner napping off base. The average result of such throwing, especially to first base, is about five useless throws to one effective one, and about three errors to each man put out. Of course, it won’t do for a pitcher to neglect throwing to the bases, but he should only do it when well practiced in it, and when sure of throwing straight. Throwing to first base should never be done except on signal from catcher. Watch bases well, but throw only when a throw will be sure to tell.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

limited beer sales in Cincinnati

Date Thursday, March 20, 1879
Text

No beer will be sold at the Cincinnati Grounds up above either in the grand stand or about its entrances or approaches, this season. The boys who get rusty must go down stairs to moisten.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

extending a street car line to the ball park

Date Saturday, March 22, 1879
Text

[reporting on the Buffalo Club] Announcement was made that the Street-railroad Company had asked for the privilege of extending their tracks by building a branch from Niagara street to the grounds on Rhode Island street. It is the intention to lay double tracks just back of the entrance to the grand-stand, so that cars may be kept standing there in readiness for the crowd as soon as the game is finished. The privilege was granted by the directors.

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

a request for privileges by NA clubs

Date Tuesday, March 25, 1879
Text

[reporting on the NL meetings] Applications were received from the Utica, Worcester and Manchester clubs, of the National association, asking for the privilege of allowing them to pla on league grounds during the championship season and also to play on National grounds with league clubs, without guaranteeing $100 as provided in the rule. The application was most emphatically denied. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle March 25,1879

NA clubs can't play on NL grounds; gate set at fifty cents; no negotiations with players during the season

[reporting on the proceedings of the National League convention] Applications presented by the Utica, Manchester and Worcester national Clubs, asking for the privilege of playing on League club grounds, were denied; as were also applications to play on National grounds with League clubs, without the guarantee of $100, as provided in the rules. Additional umpires were adopted, and the price of admission to championship games was fixed at 50 cents. An agreement binding clubs not to engage or negotiate with any players for 1880 before November 1, 1879, was adopted. New York Tribune March 29, 1879

Source Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

press credentials

Date Saturday, March 29, 1879
Text

SPECIAL NOTICE–To correspondents who report sporting matters only a card of LIGHT-BLUE COLOR, having printed diagonally across its face in RED INK “For Sporting News Only.” and otherwise precisely like the credentials recently held by our amusement correspondents, will be issued. These will bear date of March 1, 1879, and be good for eight months, expiring Nov. 1. They will not be good for admission to theatres or other like places of amusement.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the improving economy

Date Saturday, March 29, 1879
Text

Everything seems to give promise of a very successful baseball season for the Summer of 1879. Business prospects are brighter than they have been since the time prior to the Panic of 1873; and such a furor for athletic sports generally prevails throughout the land that the professional class of the baseball fraternity should reap their share of the pecuniary profit which is likely to accrue from it.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

League admission set at fifty cents

Date Saturday, April 5, 1879
Text

[reporting on the special meeting of the League held 3/24 - 3/25/1879] The delegates signed an agreement to the effect that the price of admission to League championship games be fixed at fifty cents for each adult person.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Horace Phillips with the Troy Club

Date Saturday, April 5, 1879
Text

[reporting on the special meeting of the League held 3/24 - 3/25/1879] [listing the delegates:] Troy Club, Gardner Earl, C. R. Defreest, C. H. Dauchy, H. B. Phillips.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

League clubs no longer to recruit players early

Date Saturday, April 5, 1879
Text

[reporting on the special meeting of the League held 3/24 - 3/25/1879] For years have we endeavored to impress League club managers with the vital importance of adopting a rule prohibiting the engagement of players for an ensuing season before the expiration of the existing season. They have experimented with the subject for two years, and at last have endorsed The Clipper’s view of the matter, as will be seen by the appended agreement, which goes into effect on Tuesday, April 1.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foul bound out reinstated; arguments for and against

Date Saturday, April 5, 1879
Text

[reporting on the special meeting of the League held 3/24 - 3/25/1879]The reamendment of the rule prohibiting bound-catches of foul balls was then taken up, and Mr. Neff of the Cincinnati Club moved that the old rule of allowing batsmen to be put out on foul-bounds and three-strike bounds be adopted, and that the action at Cleveland doing away with all bounds be rescinded. He said that such a rule would have a tendency to lengthen the game, also to destroy many beautiful plays, and, the strongest argument of all, it compelled the catcher to be up behind the bat too much. The delegates of Boston, Providence and Syracuse were opposed to the return to the old style, and claimed that all talk about fine plays, etc., was bosh, and that with the new rule the game would be more exciting to spectators, as the batsmen would be less liable to be thrown out, and the batting would necessarily be freer. Mr. Neff’s motion was passed by a vote of 5 to 3.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Olympics at Oakdale Park

Date Saturday, April 5, 1879
Text

A new fence is to inclose Oakdale Park in Philadelphia, and the Olympics will play there every Tuesday and Friday during their forty-seventh season. The Defiances have secured the ground for the other four afternoons each week.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season ticket, late admission prices in Providence; press seating

Date Saturday, April 5, 1879
Text

The season ticket question was first considered, and, in view of the steady and great demand for them, the meeting voted to offer them for sale only until the 20th of this month, the rate to be $15 for gentlemen and $10 for ladies. ... Prices for exhibition games were fixed at 25 cents for adults and 15 cents for boys, and a gull yard was voted for league games, that is, after the fifth innings the admission to the lower gate to be 15 cents, and the receipts to be divided with the visiting nine. It was voted to pen up the directors stand, and bar out all but club officers, newspaper men and visiting club officials. Press seats are to be regularly assigned this year to avoid trouble, Boston and Providence papers have the preference.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Boston

Date Sunday, April 6, 1879
Text

The Bostons have increased the price of season tickets from $10 to $14.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club salaries

Date Sunday, April 6, 1879
Text

The salary of the Boston team is as follows: Bond, $2,200; Snyder, $1,500; Burdock, $1,500; Jones, $1,500; Sutton, $1,500; Morrill, $1,200; O'Rourke, $1,200; Hawes, $800; Foley, $800; Hauck, $600. Total, $13,100.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

liquor sales in Buffalo

Date Thursday, April 10, 1879
Text

A well-known cater has offered the directors of the Buffalos $1,000 for the privilege of keeping a saloon under the grand stand. The offer was refused.

Source Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ross Barnes loses a lawsuit against the Chicago Club

Date Saturday, April 12, 1879
Text

In the Appellate Court, Chicago, Ill., Judge Bailey April 2 affirmed the judgment in the case of Ross C. Barnes against the Chicago Base Ball Club. It will be remembered that Barnes sued the Chicago Club for salary accruing under his contract while he was sick and absent from duty during the season of 1877. Judge Loomis of that court on the trial gave judgment against Barnes on the ground that, while Barnes’ illness excused him from the performance of services during the period of his enforced absence, and prevented the forfeiture of his contract, it also excused the club from liability for wages during the same period. The affirmance of this judgment ends the case, as no appeal lies to the Supreme Court. New York Clipper April 12, 1879 [see also Chicago Legal News v. 11 pp. 82-83 for the opinion of the County Court of Cook County dated Nov. 23, 1878.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a professional regional league

Date Saturday, April 12, 1879
Text

The Northwestern League of professional clubs met in accordance with the call of the president, Jas. F. McKee, at the Buris House, Davenport, Ia., April 1. Representatives were present from Rockford, Dubuque, Omaha and Davenport. ... A constitution and by-laws were adopted, modeled after those of the National League...

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

explaining the decline in offense

Date Saturday, April 12, 1879
Text

The flat-sided bat is not favored by George Wright, and he attributes the decrease in heavy batting to the introduction of curve-pitching.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season ticket prices

Date Saturday, April 12, 1879
Text

The charge for season tickets to the League Boston Club grounds this year will be $14 for gentlemen and $7 for ladies. The Troy Club charges $20 for season tickets, the National Utica Club charges $10 for men and $5 for ladies, and the Providence Club $15 for gentlemen, $10 for ladies. The Cincinnati Club will sell no season tickets this year.

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advertising on the outfield fence

Date Wednesday, April 16, 1879
Text

If any advertisements are printed on the fence this year, they will be on the east end only. The players complained greatly of those on the north fence last year. The first bases men were loudest in their complaints, and claimed that half the time on a bright day they could not see a ball thrown from third base. That portion of the fence will probably be pained a dark red. quoting the Buffalo Express

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

credit of inventing scoring; the Chicago Times reporter

Date Wednesday, April 16, 1879
Text

“Henry Chadwick is still writing notes all over the country, vowing that he invented short-hand scoring, and calls on Go(ul)d to witness the truth of what he asserts.”--Chicago Times. Give the “old man” his dues, friend Davidson. The writer has one of Beadle's base-ball books of 1861 before him, edited by Chadwick, and in it is the short-hand system of scoring referred to. “Chad” is too old for such kids as “we uns.

Source ” Cincinnati Enquirer
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 proposed throwback game

Date Saturday, April 19, 1879
Text

The design is to play a match either between picked tens of veterans, or to play nine of the old Pastime Club members against a nine composed of old Atlantic, Excelsior, Putnam and Eckford Club players 1858 to 1860 inclusive. The game will be played under the old 1858 rules, with a large, old-fashioend elastic ball made by Marsters specially for the game. After the match there will be a super at the hotel adjoining the park, given by the Pastime Club to the players and specially invited guests, at which old-time speeches, toasts, songs, &c., will be given. Messrs. Barre, Furey, Biggs, Quevedo and others of the old Pastime club have the matter in hand and the event bids fair to be one of the most noteworthy of the season in the local base ball arena., quoting the Brooklyn Eagle

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a theatrical manager

Date Saturday, April 19, 1879
Text

J. H. Mack, for several seasons agent for Haverly’s Minstrels, has been engaged to manage the Clevelands this season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

required guarantees keeping down business

Date Saturday, April 26, 1879
Text

We now have three strong co-operative professional nines in the metropolis–the Jersey City Browns, the Atlantics and the Alaskas. These clubs ill be ready to play all visiting professional nines on the Union or Centennial Grounds. It would not take a month’s play to build up a handsome paying patronage for the national clubs stopping in the city en route to and from Washington to play one or the other of these local nines. But it appears that there is an obstacle in the way of the form of a required guarantee fund, which the local nines are neither willing nor able to pay. To refuse to play these games on this account is a very unwise policy on the part of the visiting clubs adopting it. How are we to build up the professional game in the city if this sort of thing goes on? The local locals do not leave the city to visit other national club cities, and, therefore, have no opportunity to receive a guarantee in return. We are surprised that Mr. Bancroft, for one, does not see that6 it is to the interest of the visiting clubs passing through the metropolis to play a match, even if receipts should only at first defray actual expenses. If the public became aware that ll the National clubs would stop en route whenever their engagemen5ts in the championship arena admitted of it, they would soon crowd by hundreds to see the games; but it needs time to build the patronage up, and our local clubs cannot afford to do it at the cost of $50 guarantee-fund each game. Ferguson knows how the position is, and he will not doubt set the other club managers right by bringing his team here when he can without requiring any guarantee-money.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bill Parks playing in Easton

Date Saturday, April 26, 1879
Text

Manager Charles C. Waitt has located himself at Easton, one of the best base ball towns in the State of Pennsylvania, and at the head of a very strong nine will be ready to receive all clubs after May 1. The enthusiasm is once more at fever-heat in Easton, and a repetition of the successful season of 1874 is anticipated. Wealthy men are at the head of the movement, and all players are under contract for six months. The nine includes the following well-known players... Parks l.f. ... Parks and Dockert are natives of Easton, and the other seven players hail from Philadelphia, five of them having formerly played with the Athletics.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

official scores

Date Saturday, April 26, 1879
Text

[from a notice by J. A. Williams to National Association clubs:] I hand you herewith blanks for scores of championship games. I would respectfully urge that you have them made out carefully, proving the figures every instance, and forwarded promptly, and that special attention be paid the statement in regard to postponed games. I would also request that whenever a game is postponed you notify me at once, so that I may be able to keep track of our championship contest, and be able to answer the many questions of members and others in regard to it.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Tecumseh Club sues unpaid stockholders

Date Saturday, April 26, 1879
Text

A false impression has been created by the statement that suits have been entered against the shareholders of the Tecumseh Club at London, Canada. The suits referred to are being brought by the directors of the club against shareholders who have failed to pay up the amount of their shares. There have been no suits brought against the club. In fact, the Tecumsehs honorably met all claims, and it is only justice to a club that was always noted for its prompt payment of players and honorable dealing with other clubs to correct the impression that they are defaulters in any way to their players or the public, or that they have left themselves liable to suits at law for the payment of debts.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward's delivery 2

Date Saturday, April 26, 1879
Text

[Ward] has what the witty Boston Herald calls a “new wrinkle” this year in his delivery. He merely conceals his plan of delivery by carrying the ball in his right hand behind his band and with the aid of this left arm thrown over tot he right in front of his body, he prepares it for a curved pitch.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the scorer of the Chicago Club

Date Sunday, April 27, 1879
Text

The official scorer [of the Chicago Club] has not been chosen yet. It will probably be no one of the press reporters, but a thoroughly competent gentleman who owns stock in the Club. Cincinnati Enquirer April 27, 1879

Al Spalding will probably be the official scorer for the Chicago Club, taking the lamented Meachem's place. Cincinnati Enquirer April 27, 1879

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Knickerbockers in the field 2

Date Wednesday, April 30, 1879
Text

The veteran Knickerbocker Club opened play for their thirty-fifth season on Friday, 25 th, at Hoboken, and the weather being find they had an enjoyable afternoon's sport. Sides were drawn by Messrs. Taylor and Kissam at half-past four and a game of six innings was played, Kissam pitching one one and Chadwick on the other, the former doing the most effective work. The Club will meet every Tuesday and Friday now.--New York Herald. The forty-seven-years-old Olympic boys, who play every Tuesday and Friday at Oakdale Park, were just twelve years old when the Knickerbockers were born, and we think they can beat them just twelve runs in a game. How we would like to see Grandfather Richards—who is nearly four-score—knock the life out of Chadwick's pitching. Oh! Golly, get up a match, just once for luck.--Philadelphia Item.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
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

official scorers 2

Date Friday, May 2, 1879
Text

The Cincinnati management imported an official short-hand scorer from the East and had him on hand yesterday. He took the game in short-hand, and when it was over hadn't any score at all. Jim White met with him last evening and helped figure one out. His name is Holmes, and it is understood he comes from the home of the White brothers. When he gets initiated into the art of scoring the local papers will be kindly furnished copies of his score—those that want them. Cincinnati Enquirer May 2, 1879

Mr. Pearce, the base-ball reporter of the Cleveland Leader, is official scorer of the Cleveland Club. Cincinnati Enquirer May 5, 1879

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
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

Ross Barnes an early adopter of sacrifice hits

Date Saturday, May 3, 1879
Text

[from a sketch of Ross Barnes] He was among the first to practically introduce the new well-known “sacrifice hits,” which were written up in baseball books of 1869-1870. In fact, as a “scientific batsman”–one who goes in to place a ball advantageously–we never saw Barnes’ superior.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire calls a foul balk on a high delivery

Date Saturday, May 3, 1879
Text

[Albany vs. Capital City 4/24/1879] In the third inning the Capital Citys were easily retired in succession off Critchley’s effective pitching, the latter this time having a “foul balk” called on him for too high a delivery. New York Clipper May 3, 1879

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

more spectators outside the enclosure than inside

Date Saturday, May 3, 1879
Text

[Albany vs. Capital City 4/24/1879] Unluckily for the pecuniary interests of both clubs, two high hills, located outside of the right and centre fields, afforded such a fine view that fully two thousand people witnessed the game free of charge.

...

The game was called for 3 P.M., and at that hour fully three thousand spectators–outside and in–were anxiously awaiting the first move of the game.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Davy Force the reason for the creation of the NL

Date Saturday, May 10, 1879
Text

[from a sketch of Force] In 1874 he was selected to play in the Chicago nine, and he left them to go to the Athletics in 1875. Incidentally this last change was the cause of the origin of the League. It is not worth while to probe old wounds, however, especially in view of the fact that since Force left the St. Louis team in 1876 he has been doing good service for the Buffalo Club.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Buffalo Club finances

Date Wednesday, May 14, 1879
Text

The receipts of the Buffalo Club last season were $21,669, but the balance in the treasury at the end of the financial year was only $243. The club lately refused $1,000 for the restaurant privilege on its grounds.

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire doesn't know the force out rule

Date Friday, May 16, 1879
Text

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 5/16/1879] ...if Mr. Fountain is the best Cleveland can do in the way of an umpire the Forest City ought to get a wooden Indian manufacturer to make them a better one. He was perfectly harmless yesterday, but in a close game he might be an impediment. The young man doesn't know the difference between a ball and a strike, and Tommy Bond several times yesterday had to smile at the funny decisions. Then Master Fountain didn't recognize a force out when he saw it yesterday; with a man on second and one on first, the ball was batted to Burke, who fielded it to third base; Gerhardt held the ball on the base till the runner from second came up. Fountain decided not out, because the runner had not been touched. He would not listen to a protest or explanation from Jim White, but turned up his blessed little nose and said, “Safe on third.” The young man was rescued by the Captain of the Boston team calling his man in, and declaring him fairly forced out. From such umpires the good Lord deliver us!

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the appearance of dissipation

Date Friday, May 16, 1879
Text

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 5/15/1879] Jim White had to cover space behind the bat as wide as the side of a house in order to catch the erratic pitching of his awfully off brother. It is a wonder that his errors are so few, for his hands must be pulpy. If one didn't know that Will White doesn't drink, one should say he had been out the night before.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher's signals

Date Friday, May 16, 1879
Text

It is said that Flint, catcher of the Chicagos, by a system of sign-language, which no one has been able to fathom, wholly relieves Larkin from the duty of watching either first or second base. This is done by Flint, who, in the catcher's position, has a good view of all the bases. He signals Larkin to throw either to first or second, and by the same signal notifies Anson, Quest or Peters to be on the lookout for the ball. One of the league umpires, who has been trying to find out what the signals are, but without success, says: “I know there is an understanding, but how it works I can't find out, though I have watched Flint closely. The result is to make players hug the bases closer than formerly.

Source ” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the fielder intentionally juggles the ball

Date Saturday, May 17, 1879
Text

Eggler last week played a neat point on the Bostons. A base-runner was on third base, when a high ball was hit to Eggler at centre field. In preparing to catch it he placed his hands in such a way that the ball would rebound from them in the air. The base-runner seeing the ball caught, as he supposed, ran for home. Eggler then took the ball on the fly as it came down, and, passing it to Richardson at third, put the base-runner out, the latter being obliged to return to the base on the fly-catch. Fisher once played this point well while at centre-field in a match at Brooklyn in 1876.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a racially integrated nine

Date Wednesday, May 21, 1879
Text

MUTUAL INDIGNATION–The Color Line.–The Alexandria Gazette says: “On Saturday evening the Deaf and Dumb Base Ball Club, of Washington, came to this city according to appointment, to play a game with the Whitestone Club, of this city. The Washington men, however, had the bad taste to bring a negro as a member of their nine, whereupon the Whitestones very properly refused to play with them. The Washington party were very indignant, but not more so than the Whitestones, who regard the affair as an insult to them.

Source ” Washington Evening Star
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher using the backstop rather than catching

Date Saturday, May 24, 1879
Text

[Springfield vs. Atlantic 5/13/1879] The wind favored the pace of pitching, and it was pretty fast on both sides, but especially on the part of Corcoran, whose pitching was exceptionally good. As the striker faced him he would send ball after ball in the hottest kind of style, obliging Baker to stand back and let the fence do the stopping until a player reached a base, and then Baker faced the fast music pluckily.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a shift

Date Saturday, May 24, 1879
Text

[Springfield vs. Atlantic 5/13/1879] The game opened with the Atlantics at the bat, and as Cramer–a left-handed striker–took up his position it was noteworthy how finely Ferguson placed his field for him. Smith [third baseman] stood at left-short, Ferguson [shortstop] covered second, Crane [second baseman] was deep right-short, and Latham [first baseman] covered first well back, while Cassidy [right field] was ready for a right-field assistance, Pike [center field] at right-centre, and Powers [left fielder] at left-centre. The moment a right-handed batsman took his place, the field was moved round to the regular positions to suit the probable hitting.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fences, ground rules, and home runs

Date Saturday, May 24, 1879
Text

[Springfield vs. Atlantic 5/13/1879] Pike’s hit in the third inning, by which the ball was sent high over the fence fairly at right field, “brought down the house,” as did O’Leary’s three-baser to left field in the same inning. Mr. Brown wanted to limit hits over the fence to one base; but this would be against the rules. Ground rules governing the batting only apply when the boundary lines–fences, etc.–are so located as to contract the extent of the field on one side or the other. In this case Pike’s hit, if made at Prospect Park, would have given him a clean home-run easily.

Source New York Clipper
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

can a runner take second on a strike out?

Date Sunday, May 25, 1879
Text

It is a serious question whether a player by right can run a second base at the same time that a batsman has struck out. It is frequently done, but it is contrary to all principles of the game. The catcher certainly takes a fly ball on a strike out, and why a base can be earned in this particular instance, and not when any other fly ball is caught, cannot be exactly understood. New York Sunday Mercury May 25, 1879

How an amateur club becomes professional

The Oakland Base Ball Association when the year began was in a comparatively crude state, now it has a membership of over sixty. On its first organization last year, the main object was simply exercise with the attending allowance of fun. They succeeded so well on the diamond field that higher aspirations seized upon the young men, and visions of a champion pennant doubtless disturbed their waking dreams. The matter was pushed along and now the shadow of the pennant becomes heavier and darker every day, and the hope is very strong that some day the reality may float to the breeze over Oakland's nine, fairly and honorably won. Lately a general overhauling has been going on, culminating this week in the adoption of a new constitution and By-Laws, election of officers, etc. … Oakland Tribune May 30, 1879

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

can the umpire leave his position?

Date Saturday, May 31, 1879
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Troy 5/30/1879] Barnes...was also caught napping by a trick of Clapp. He was sliding to the base, when Clapp [first base] crabbed his ankle, held it fast and called for the umpire. Williams [sic: should be Wilber, the umpire] started down to the base on a run. Barnes says his foot was against the base, and he laid still; but just as the umpire came up Clapp pushed the base away, and the umpire decided out. Jim White claims the umpire had no right to leave his position.

Source ~
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ground rule for the outfield crowd

Date Saturday, May 31, 1879
Text

[Albany vs. National 5/22/1879] ...an immense assemblage, that complete encircled the ground and even encroached upon the playing field, so that it was found necessary to make an agreement that all balls hit to the fence should be only two-base hits.

Source New York Clipper
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 question of college eligibility

Date Saturday, May 31, 1879
Text

There is trouble in the college baseball camp, and it all grows out of the fact that Ernst and Tyng are the most effective battery ever presented in the field by a college club. There being no special college authority or regular baseball association of the college clubs to give “official utterances” on occasions when disputes occur in the championship arena, it follows that the clubs do pretty much as they like in putting in players. Both Ernst and Tyng are collegians who have practically retired from college work, and thereby are supposed to be inelgible to enter the lists as players in the championship matches. The editor of The College Chronicle says:

“The point involved is this: that though the return to the nine of Mr. Ernst, who has since graduation been in good faith a member of the Harvard Medical School, may be merely a matter of taste, the return of Mr. Tyng to the Harvard Law School, in order thereby to obtain a technical right to play on the nine, is in effect a breach of intercollegiate comity. ...

Source ” New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bradley pitches a fit

Date Saturday, June 7, 1879
Text

[Troy vs. National 5/26/1879] [Troy ties the game in the top of the tenth] After the Nationals had obtained the winning run in the tenth inning, Bradley suddenly came to the conclusion that it was too dark to play any longer, although it was only half-past six o’clock; and after a short parley with the League umpire, who declined to call game, Bradley positively refused to play, and, throwing down the ball, called his nine from the field and left the ground. Common sense might have told Bradley, whether he played or quit, that, under the rule, the victory would go to the Nationals, they being ahead on even innings at the time playing ceased, and that this childish exhibition of bad feeling would only render him unpopular.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an implied argument for banning the manager from the field

Date Saturday, June 7, 1879
Text

The experience of 1878 plainly pointed out to the Chicago Club people two obstacles–not to mention others–to that club’s success in the championship arena. The primary one was to secure a catcher to support Larkin properly, and to close the weak gap at second base; and, secondly, to contrive some plan for depriving the Bostons of Harry Wright’s tenth man’s place on the field in giving direction.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

wounded by a catcher's mask

Date Saturday, June 7, 1879
Text

In a recent game Clapp, of the Buffalos met with an accident through wearing a catcher’s mask, a wire being driven in his head above the left eye. After having the wound dressed he pluckily finished the game.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reporter for the Syracuse Courier

Date Monday, June 9, 1879
Text

C. E. Sherlock is making a fine impression as a base ball reporter. He does the work for the Syracuse Courier, and does it with good judgment.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a slow curve

Date Wednesday, June 18, 1879
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Boston 6/17/1879] Jones...faced his old chum Will White, and catching on his bat, lifted it over the left field fence for a home run.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

poaching players from the NA

Date Saturday, June 14, 1879
Text

...the Troy Club visited Rochester to play; and here is where the peculiar workings of the institution which is pledged “to encourage, foster and elevate” our national game come in. It seems that the Troys wanted a first-baseman, whereupon Gardner Earl (who, I believe, is president of the Troy Club), by representing to A. McKinnon of the Hop Bitters that said club was not a member of any Association, and would not be admitted to the National, and that therefore his contract was of no account or binding force, induced McKinnon to break his contract with said Hop Bitters Club and sign with Troy. Mr. Earl must have known that he was making false representations, but justified himself in the manner hereafter explained, as he was informed that the Hop Bitters club was a member of the National Association. Mr. E. further stated to the president of the Hop Bitters that any way to get men was allowable under the rules (I suppose of the League, of which his club is a member), and that he would do things in baseball that he would not do in any other business. This is the way the president of one of the League clubs interprets the constitutional provision above quoted. Now see how the president of the League itself feels about such matters. Mr. Earl showed the president of the Hop Bitters club a telegram on the subject received from the president of the National League, a portion of whose constitution is above quoted, advising him (Earl) as follows: “Get all the men you can of the Association, and break up the – {big, big D.–Ed.) concern, if you can.”

This is making baseball-playing “respectable and honorable” with a vengeance. This action by the president of an association formed for the very purpose of preventing revolving and other disreputable practices, directing one of his members to use every effort to induce men to break their contracts anything but encouraging for our national game in such hands. [from a longer letter by J. A. Williams]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an expelled player; non-intercourse between the League and the NA

Date Saturday, June 21, 1879
Text

The proposed games between the Cincinnatis and the New Bedfords and the Cincinnati and Worscester Clubs have been declared off. League Clubs are forbidden to play any club which had played against the Flour City since McKinnon was expelled by the Troy Club. Both the Worcesters and New Bedfords have played against McKinnon, and come under the ban. The Bostons also had games arranged with both clubs, but could not play, for same reason. Who are most out of pocket by this, Hulbert’s crowd or the Nationals? We should say the former, decidedly. New York Clipper June 21, 1879

As things are, League clubs cannot play on National grounds, which is as it should be so long as the League clubs will not let National clubs play on its grounds. The backbone and foresight which the Association needed have been forced upon it by the McKinnon expulsion. What money there is in Association towns should be kept for Association clubs, and not given to support rivals who demand everything and concede nothing. The Association can well afford to give the Troy club a vote of thanks for its action. New York Clipper June 21, 1879, quoting the Utica Herald

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

NL trying to induce a player to revolve

Date Saturday, June 21, 1879
Text

The Jersey City Club, through their manager, J. H. Brown, complain of the action of the management of the Stars of Syracuse in endeavoring to tempt Farrow to desert the former organization by offering him extra inducements. Farrow does not want to leave the Jersey City Club, and the League Club should stop any further attempts to steal a player from a National club. New York Clipper June 21, 1879

The Stars of Syracuse say that they would not take Farrow if he gave his services for free, unless he came to that city with an honorable discharge from his present engagement with the Jersey City Club. New York Clipper June 28, 1879

The morning of the day on which Decker left for Syracuse he was told emphatically by the Brown Stocking officials that he would be held to a strict accountability for his desertion. Secretary Williams of the National Association was at once informed by telegraph that Decker had applied for and had been refused his release, and that his conduct was inexcusable. Through Mr. Williams the Brown Stockings informed the Syracuse Club that Decker was without a release, that the Browns had carried out their part of the contract to the letter, and that they protested against the Stars playing him, all of which seems to have had no effect on the high-minded ‘gentlemen’ who control the affairs of the Syracuse Club. New York Clipper July 12, 1879, quoting an unidentified St. Louis paper

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a revolver from the NA to the NL

Date Monday, June 23, 1879
Text

A week ago the Brown Stocking Base-ball Club were admitted to the National Association, and among the players who signed contracts to play throughout the season was Frank Decker, who has officiated in the catcher's position for the Browns. Saturday night Decker received an offer from the Stars, of Syracuse, and without notifying the Brown Stocking management left the city for the purpose of accepting the offer. Manager Solan, learning of Decker's sudden move, telegraphed Secretary Williams, of the National Association, to the effect that Decker had inexcusably and willfully violated his contract, and asking Williams to notify the Star management that the Browns would contest Decker's right to play under the circumstances. Cincinnati Enquirer June 23, 1879

All the fuss made by the Nationals about Decker, recently of the St. Louis Browns, now of the Syracuse Stars, is bosh. He never signed a contract with the Browns while they were members of the National Association. Prior to July 14th, and while he was in St. Louis, the Browns were working on the co-operative plan. Cincinnati Enquirer June 29, 1879

In regard to the engagement of Syracuse Decker, the St. Louis player, by the Stars, Mr. Robert Townsend, Secretary of the Stars, writes to this paper, as follows: “On the recommendation of Peters and Flint of the Chicagos, and on their assurance that the St. Louis Club was an independent, co-operative Club, I telegraphed Decker, offering him a position in the Star nine. He accepted by wire before it was known in St. Louis that the Browns had been admitted to the National Association. From the above statement of facts it will be patent that our record is as clean as it always has been in the past.” We are glad to publish this statement, and it only remains for the Star management, if they are satisfied that Decker was under contract with the St. Louis Browns, and that the latter were members of the National Association to immediately present him with a return ticket to St. Louis. Cincinnati Enquirer July 2, 1879, quoting the Boston Herald

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Worcesters to incorporate as a stock club

Date Saturday, June 28, 1879
Text

The members of the Worcester Club held a meeting on June 20th, and voted to organize as an incorporated stock company. It was voted to retain Manager Bancroft, and a resolution of confidence in him was passed, with but one dissenting vote.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

taking a triple rather than a home run to keep the catcher close to the bat

Date Saturday, June 28, 1879
Text

In Troy, recently, Flint of the Chicagos hit the ball over the fence for a home-run, but was stopped at third base by Anson, in order to keep the catcher up behind the bat. This is a pretty sharp point.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher's mask breaks

Date Saturday, June 28, 1879
Text

[Flyaway vs. Jersey City 6/18/1879] In the latter part of the game Joe Farrell was hit hard on the mask by the ball, one of the wires of his mask giving way and cutting his cheek slightly. But for the mask, however, his jaw might have been broken.

Source New York Clipper
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

run-ins with the law

Date Saturday, July 5, 1879
Text

[Chicago vs. Star of Cincinnati at Indianapolis 6/26/1879] Just as the game was about to commence a constable appeared on the grounds and served a capias for Shaffer and Flint, who, while playing in the local nine, incurred sundry pecuniary obligations which remained unpaid. The constable claims that he was obstructed in the performance of his duty by Bob Smith, who was managing the clubs on this occasion, and the oily tongue of Captain Anson. At any rate, he didn’t get his men. After the game Flint and Shaffer secreted themselves in a hack, and were hurriedly transported to an out-of-the-way place from which to board the train, leaving at 5:45 P.M. for Cincinnati. The remainder of the club went to the depot, as also did the constable. Not finding his men, the latter questioned Anson concerning them, who used profane language to the minion of the law, for which he was unceremoniously hurried off to the station-house, several policemen participating. In the meantime the train had gone with the remainder of the club, including Flint and Shaffer. Anson put up $30 for his appearance on June 27 on a charge of profanity, and went to a hotel, where he was shortly afterwards again arrested–this time for resisting an officer. A Justice promptly assessed him $16.20. As Anson’s presence in Cincinnati was imperatively necessary, he forfeited his bail in the first case. Whenever a fee is in sight, Indianapolis officers are very prompt in asserting and enforcing the majesty of the law. But the end is not yet. Hearing that the Chicago Club would pass through here at 11 o’clock on June 27 on its return home, a special detail of twenty deputy constables assembled at the Union Depot to capture Flint and Shaffer. The train was raided, the gentlemen sought could not be found, but little Joe Quest was captured. The bill of a creditor for $55 was presented, which Mr. Hulbert, president of the club, paid, and Quest was released. The action of Treat, Quest’s creditor, is severely criticised, inasmuch as he was a stockholder of the Indianapolis Club of last year, which is still indebted to its players in a considerable amount. Flint and Shaffer were on the train, stowed away under the adipose form of a friend in need.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Devlin reinstated?

Date Saturday, July 5, 1879
Text

James Devlin, after more than a month’s hard work, pleading with the members of the judicial committee of the National Association, has been reinstated, the question being decided in his favor on June 28. The movement for his reinstatement was started in Philadelphia, a petition to the effect being signed by the entire baseball fraternity of that city, including many of the most influential and wealthy citizens. Nothing definite is know as to this future intentions, although it is rumored that he will pitch for a nine that Fergy Malone intends organizing to represent Philadelphia. New York Clipper July 5, 1879

A letter from Secretary Williams, in reply to a query in regard to the truth of the report of the removal of Devlin’s disabilities as far as the National Association is concerned, states that “an effort has been made by the Utica Club to get the constitutional clause which prohibits any expelled player being employed by a national club annulled. But the National constitution differs from the International of 1878, as it prohibits any amendment or change in its constitution or rules except at an annual meeting. The Judiciary Committee have no power now to change a single law of the Association, and consequently neither Devlin nor any other player can be given the right to paly in a National club. Only the League can reinstate him, he never having been expelled excepty by the League. The Utica Club wanted him as their pitcher, he having promised to play there if they got his disabilities removed.” New York Clipper July 12, 1879

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

kicking for a draw

Date Saturday, July 5, 1879
Text

[National vs. Utica 6/23/1879] The score was tied at the end of the ninth, and in the inning following the Uticas had been blanked, and the Nationals had two men out and a base-runner on third, when Keefe pitched a ball which passed the catcher, and the man on third scored the winning run for the Nationals. The Uticas, however, claimed that the passed ball was dead, having touched the batsman, and the crowd took possession of the ground, causing great confusion. The umpire at first decided in favor of the Nationals, but afterwards reversed his decision, and erroneously decided it a draw.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

high pitching deliveries

Date Sunday, July 6, 1879
Text

The attention of managers, captains of teams and umpires is called to a part of section 2, rule 3 of the playing rules of the League, in relation to pitching, which reads thus: “The ball must be delivered to the bat with the arm swinging nearly perpendicular at the side of the body, and the hand in swinging forward must pass below the waist.” this rule is absolutely a dead letter, having never been enforced this season. The consequence is, that there are but one or two pitchers in the League who pitch legally, simply because those on whom it devolves to enforce the rules fail to do their duty. There is no reason why this rule should be made inoperative any more than any other.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the NA briefly reinstates Devlin

Date Tuesday, July 8, 1879
Text

After reinstating Jim Devlin the Judiciary Committee of the National Association weakened and reversed their decision. Jim is just where he was.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

what games of a disbanded club to include in the championship

Date Saturday, July 12, 1879
Text

[Manchester drops out of the NA] These rules are that when a club disbands without at least playing one game of its schedule series with every other club, then all the games played by the disbanded club are thrown out. Should they have played one or more games with every other club, then the smallest number of games played with any one club is taken as the basis of the record calculation. In this instance the Manchesters have played but two games with the Rochesters, and two or more with every other club; consequently all but the first two games played by the Manchesters with other clubs are to be thrown out of the record.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a treasurer absconds, leaves two clubs in the lurch

Date Saturday, July 12, 1879
Text

The Davenport Club of Davenport, Ia., it is said, disbanded after playing the Detroits on June 27, their treasurer going away with the receipts, and leaving the Detroits minus their guaranty of $250 for three games. The latter nine were thereby detained two or three days at Davenport, being without money and unable to get home.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bud Fowler; his delivery; the disadvantage of the high delivery

Date Saturday, July 12, 1879
Text

[Malden vs. Jersey City 7/2/1879] The games of the Maldens [of Malden, Mass.], and especially the fact that they had brought with them a colored pitcher, did not get full publicity, or the attendance would have been larger than it was. . Fowler, the colored member, opened the pitching, then Brosner took his place for two innings, and, as he was badly punished, Fowler resumed in the fourth inning. Fowler delivers illegally, his hand passing above his waist at almost every ball. Batsmen don’t mind this, however, as the higher the delivery the easier the ball to judge. Pitchers make a great mistake in the adoption of this waist-high delivery. They lose all the advantage of sending in a rising ball, pitched from within six to eight inches of the ground, as Creighton used to do. Fowler in this game only showed himself to be a swift, wild, curve pitcher. He has but little command of the ball, or showed but little in this game, and he apparently knows nothing of strategic effect. New York Clipper July 12, 1879

The Boston Herald says: “The attempt at calling foul-baulks by the umpire yesterday at Stoneham on Fowler, the pitcher of the Maldens, was “rather think,” inasmuch as Mr. Fowler has been in the baseball arena for six or seven years, played in National and other clubs, that point never having been raised.” We saw Fowler pitch at Jersey City, and then he delivered nearly every ball above the line of the waist, and, had the umpire done his duty, he would have called “foul-baulks” on him. Club-captains let this foul-baulk business pass because they know that the higher a ball is delivered the easier it is to judge. Every ball delivered above the line of the wiast is a “foul-baulk,” and the umpire has no option but to declare it such. New York Clipper July 19, 1879

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

chatter from the bench

Date Sunday, July 13, 1879
Text

[Boston vs. Cincinnati 7/12/1879] There was entirely too much yelling and buncombe hallooing at base runners yesterday, all done to confuse fielders. Both Clubs offended alike in this respect, and it is greatly to the discredit of the game to hear it. Such cries as “Run hard: he'll muff it,” deserve just condemnation.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the cost of not working the count

Date Tuesday, July 15, 1879
Text

If any Cincinnati man has waited for a base on called balls lately, nobody has found it out. The indications lately have been that about eery thing the players care for or think about is to make a base-hit, and they bang away at any thing after five or six balls have been called. The consequence is that pitchers have them at their mercy.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

working around the ban on games with NL clubs

Date Saturday, July 19, 1879
Text

Another change of base has been made in Rochester by the enterprising Soule, who found the McKinnon barrier to his games with League nines inconvenient, if not annoying. By an adroit pice of manoeuvring, he practically disbanded his previous team, and after doing this at once re-engaged all the players he required of the team, and, adding some from the disbanded Manchesters, he made up a new team. This new Rochester nine he claims can play League clubs, and the first result will be a profitable match with the Buffalos at Rochester. New York Clipper July 19, 1879 [The game was played 7/14/79.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire removes Hulbert from the field

Date Saturday, July 19, 1879
Text

The best joke of the season is reported to have been perpetrated in Chicago on Juy 8. President Hulbert had settled himself in a comfortable chair inside the field, when the catcher of the Bostons observed him, and said to the umpire: “Make that man move.” McLean went and promptly bounced Hulbert, to the audibly expressed delight of Harry Wright, on his read seat.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the condition of the Athletic Club

Date Sunday, June 22, 1879
Text

Upon request of the players of the Athletic Club, of Philadelphia, Manager Diddlebock resigned his position on June 18, and upon his solicitation Mr. Terry Connell was elected temprary manager.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

John B. Day's doings

Date Sunday, June 22, 1879
Text

A meeting of the delegates composing the Metropolitan Baseball Association will be held at the rooms of the Fly Away Club, 253 Avenue A., on Monday (to-morrow) at 8 o'clock P.M. for the purpose of considering the advisability of reorganizing for the present season. Secretary John B. Day states that clubs within a radius of twenty miles of this city are eligible to membership and all such are invited to send delegates. New York Sunday Mercury June 22, 1879

The Metropolitan Baseball Association has reorganized for the season of 1879, with the following officers: President, Mr. Cloughen, of the Fly Aways; vice-president, Mr. Fry, of the New York Nine; secretary, day, of the Orange Club; treasurer, Mr. Raleigh, of the Alaskas. Five clubs, viz.: Fly Aways, Alaskas, New Yorks, Chelseas and the Orange Nine, will constitute the Association. The championship series will consist of seven games each with every other club, making a total of seventy games during the season. Each week five games will be played at the Union Ground and one at Orange. New York Sunday Mercury July 6, 1879 [N.B. The Alaskas withdrew a week later and were replaced by the Montgomerys. The Orange Club withdrew at the end of the month. The association faded away in August.]

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

alternating called balls and strikes

Date Saturday, July 26, 1879
Text

[from answers to correspondents] When the umpire has called one ball or more, and the batsman has made or had one strike called, does the umpire then commence calling balls at ‘one ball,’ or go on from the number of balls that had been called before the strike was made or called? ... The calling of strikes does not interrupt or interfere with the call of balls. One ball being called and then a strike, the next unfair ball would be “two balls.” New York Clipper July 26, 1879

the qualities of the good pitcher

Richmond showed himself to be a strategist of no mean order, having speed, command of the ball, and a well-disguised change of pace, and pitching with head-work. New York Clipper July 26, 1879

Source ” New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an intentionally dropped infield fly

Date Friday, August 1, 1879
Text

[Buffalo vs. Cincinnati 7/30/1879] ...Barnes made a characteristic play, such as belongs to the old-timers alone, and which greatly entertained the crowd. The visitors had only one out, one man had scored and Clapp was a second base and Hornung on first. Galvin batted a fly, which came down to Barnes, within ten feet of second base; the runners held their bases. Barnes took in the situation at a glance, and letting the ball hits his hands on the open palms, he broke its force. It fell to the ground at his bat [sic: should be “feet”], and before any body saw what he was about he had picked it up, ran and touched Clapp and put his foot on second base, forcing out Hornung. This retired the side, and, maybe, saved several runs.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a female catcher wears a mask

Date Saturday, August 2, 1879
Text

The catcher of the New York female base-ball team wears a mask with a patent extension.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
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

the umpire takes a foul tip: behind the plate?

Date Saturday, August 2, 1879
Text

Bradley of the defunct Flour Citys met with a painful accident while umpiring the Boston-Rochester game on July 22, a foul-tip inflicting an ugly bruise under his right eye.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

consulting the rules

Date Monday, August 4, 1879
Text

[Cleveland vs. Chicago 7/30/1879] [Anson] struck an easy bounder to Carey, who, though having plenty of time, threw wide about three feet, compelling Phillips to step off first base toward the runner to receive the ball. He got and held the ball and touched Anson just as the big Captain was within two feet of the bag, but unfortunately let the ball drop out of his hand directly ha head touched the runner. The Umpire decided Anson out, but the latter, sticking to his base and ordering Peters and Williamson to do the same on the play, called time, and at once put in a protest against the decision, on the ground that it was clearly a violation of the rule. Pratt, the Umpire refused to budge, and after a long controversy Anson sent Williamson down to the Club house for a copy of the rules, and when the book was brought he began searching for the particular rule in question. By this time fifteen minutes had elapsed, and the crowd demanded a resumption of play. The pressure grew so strong that President Hulbert left his seat in the Grand Stand, and, going into the field, gave Anson a peremptory order to give up the point and go on with the game. Anson, however, knew he was right, and he also knew that Mr. Hulbert was himself violating the rules and setting a bad example by coming on the ground at all. He flatly refused to obey the President's order, and went on with his search for the rule which prescribes that a player must hold the ball after touching out a runner. Finally he found it, and the Umpire as in duty bound reversed his decision to conform with the plain requirement of the rule.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

passed balls not counted as errors

Date Thursday, August 7, 1879
Text

Please inform your many readers why a passed ball is not an error. Suppose that two Clubs are playing: the first makes no earned runs, the second makes no errors, but the first makes a run on a passed ball—then why is not a passed ball an error?

It is an errors; but, according to the instructions of the League Secretary, such errors are not included in the error column. His reasons for excluding passed balls, wild pitches and bases on called balls is to give the pitcher and catcher equal chances in fielding with the other players of the nine.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the frequency of home runs

Date Saturday, August 9, 1879
Text

The Albanys have so far this season made a dozen home runs, of which four were by Thomas, two each by Dunlap and Tobin, and one each by Hanlon, Burns, Sullivan and Critchley.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

switch hitting

Date Tuesday, August 12, 1879
Text

[Chicago vs. Cincinnati 8/11/1879] A feature of the game was the left-handed way in which the Cincinnatis batted Larkin, five out of the nine men facing him from the right-hand side of the plate. Beside Hotaling, Dickerson and Jim White, who always bat left-handed, Barnes and Will White also faced around, to the no small amusement of the crowd.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an intentional walk?

Date Saturday, August 23, 1879
Text

[Rochester vs. Jersey City 8/13/1879] Poorman, with so good a base-runner as Leonard at second, thought it advisable to give McClure his base on balls, as with two men out the chances of putting the third player our with players on first and second bases would be increased.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Buffalo Club finances 2

Date Saturday, August 23, 1879
Text

The stockholders of the Buffalo Association held a meeting on Aug. 12, when it was stated that $3,000 would be required to place the club on a sound financial basis, and to carry it through in good shape to the commencement of next season. A motion was made and passed that each stockholder should be asked to subscribe $25 towards the desired amount.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Hulbert swears

Date Sunday, August 24, 1879
Text

[reporting a dressing down of the Chicago Club by Hulbert] A verbatim transcript of his remarks would fail to convey their entire force, and there was an unusual quantity, even for him, of very big D's. He addressed them both in sorrow and in anger...

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batting first voluntarily

Date Saturday, August 30, 1879
Text

In the Boston-Syracuse games at Boston, Mass., the home team has almost always won the toss, and, instead of sending their opponents to the bat, as is usual, they have taken the bat first themselves, and in such cases invariably started off with too strong a lead to overcome.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

poorly placed grounds

Date Thursday, September 4, 1879
Text

All talk about using the Star Grounds is useless. They are about as inaccessible as the present Cincinnati Grounds, requiring thirty-five minutes to reach them from the center of the city by street cars.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a medium-paced curve

Date Saturday, September 6, 1879
Text

[from a sketch of John M. Ward] His curve-pitching is very puzzling to most batsmen, although but medium-paced, he displaying much headwork, having a thorough command of the ball, and having no superiors in fielding his position.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire calls a double play due to runner interference

Date Saturday, September 6, 1879
Text

In the National-Albany game on Aug. 28, Glenn, while running from first to second base, came into collision with Dunlap and prevented the latter from making a double-play. The umpire, however, decided both of the Nationals out, the same as though Dunlap had made in fact the double-play prevented by Glenn.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clubs to visit California

Date Thursday, September 11, 1879
Text

President Hulbert signed a contract with the mangers of the bush street Theater, San Francisco, to send the White stocking team on amonth's trip to California, leaving here [Chicago] October 3d and playing games on the way at Omaha, Dubuque, Denver and Salt Lake. Cincinnati Enquirer September 11, 1879

The Cincinnati Club will, in about three weeks, set their faces toward the Occident and start for California. It will not be the present Club which is going, but the members of the Cincinnati Club reorganized. … Manager Bob Miles, of the Grand Opera-house, is one of the parties who is engineering the scheme. He has closed the contract with the Cincinnati Club, and is now endeavoring to secure the Providence Club...to go with the Cincinnatis. Just how long Miles' contract lasts is not known, but our reporter was informed some time ago that it was the intention of the Cincinnati management to play the team on the Pacific slope all winter, and return in time only for the opening of the League season next year. For this reason the team which goes to California has been carefully selected, with the understanding that the team will be retained as a whole for the League race of 1880. Cincinnati Enquirer September 16, 1879

The Providence team yesterday “went back” on Bob Miles and signed with Jack Haverly for a trip to California, this winter. A day or two ago George Wright, by telegraph, promised Miles that if his Club should win the championship he would engage with Miles to go with it to California in company with the Cincinnati team. Yesterday Mr. Miles received a dispatch from his Boston agent, stating that the Providence management refused to sign the contract unless the money, $1,700, was deposited. Mr. Miles immediately deposited that amount in bank here, and notified the agent accordingly. Last evening his agent telegraphed back that the Providence management had gone back on their word, and had signed with Jack Haverly for $2,000 and a condition that they should be required to play no games on Sunday. Our reporter had a talk with Manager Miles at the Grand last evening, and there was blood in his eye. … He has the bulge on Haverly & Co. from the fact that he has secured the exclusive use of the San Francisco grounds for five weeks, from the 10th of October to the 15th of November. If the Chicago and Providence teams expect to play any6 games before November 15th, they will have to play them outside of San Francisco or open new grounds. Cincinnati Enquirer September 24, 1879

Secretary A. G. Spalding, of the Chicago Club telegraphs to this city that the Chicagos will not go to California. The contemplated trip was tripped up by Bob Miles, who secured the exclusive use of the San Francisco Grounds for five weeks. The Providence team will stay at home for the same reason. The Cincinnatis and companion team will enjoy the California monopoly. Cincinnati Enquirer September 28, 1879

The Cincinnati Commercial of Sunday contained a paragraph to the effect that Secretary Spalding, of the Chicago Club, had telegraphed President Neff, of the Cincinnatis, stating that the White Stockings were not going to California, because Miles, a Cincinnati theatre manager, had leased the San Francisco grounds. Inquiry of Mr. Spalding yesterday developed the fact that no such telegram had been sent, and that the White Stockings will leave for California at the close of the present week, playing one or more games in this city before their departure. Mr. Kelly, who arrived from San Francisco last Saturday, and who will manage the nine during the trip, says that the story relative to the hiring of the San Francisco grounds by Miles is without foundation. He (Kelly) has secured the grounds, and also those at Oakland. Chicago Tribune September 30, 1879

The few remarks dropped in this column Thursday were not meant to cast any reflections of unfairness on Manager Miles' part in his negotiations for taking the Cincinnati team to California. Every body knows “Bob” to be as square a man (figuratively speaking) as lives. His only trouble with the California scheme was that he could not find out what it was he was negotiating for. He first wanted to take the Cincinnati Club as it existed during the season; but Jim White and Gerhardt wouldn't go. Then it was proposed to engage the team for next season, and take it out to the Slope. But nobody seems to know when that team is to be engaged. Next it was proposed to “fake” a team for the occasion. If any body can get a ball Club to California that man is Miles. He has already spent about $700 in the enterprise, and thinks he'll succeed at last. Cincinnati Enquirer October 4, 1879

[see Cincinnati Enquirer November 16, 1879 for financial results]

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati players given twenty days' notice

Date Friday, September 19, 1879
Text

The members of the Cincinnati Club have received the requisite twenty days' notice that their services will not be wanted after October 1st. When the clause in the League contract, to the effect that the Club official can dismiss a player at any time, on a twenty days' notice, was under discussion, President Neff of the Cincinnati Club opposed it strenuously, on the ground that it was unfair and unjust to the player. Yet he improves his opportunity to put that clause into practice, and he does it by the wholesale., quoting the Boston Herald

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

definition of a sacrifice hit 2

Date Saturday, September 20, 1879
Text

[from answers to correspondents] A sacrifice-hit is one that advances a base-runner one or more bases, although the batter may be retired on said hit.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Syracuse Stars disband; their finances

Date Saturday, September 20, 1879
Text

Last week we had to comment on the failure of National teams. This week the League falls into line in this respect, much to the disgust of those people who had declared that the disbandment of a League team was something entirely out of the question; but the Syracuse Stars, after fighting hard against bankruptcy, went under on Sept. 10. The Stars have struggled hard for months, with alternate success and failure, under the disabilities of poor field-captaincy, inefficient management, and an inharmonious team. All these drawbacks weighed down their energies and disheartened them in their struggles in the present race. But they bore up well until an opposition attraction in the shape of the rival teams of the State Democratic factions, who selected Syracuse for their series of games for the political championship of New York, came into town, and they succumbed. The disbandment of the Syracuse Stars throws out of the championship record every game except the first six games the Starts played with every other club in the arena.

...

The salaries of the nine, it is said, were p aid up to Sept. 15, leaving the directors losers to the amount of $2,500. The Stars had played 70 championship games this season, winning 22 and losing 48. Now, but 42 of these games will be counted, the Bostons and Cincinnatis being the greatest losers by the Stars’ disbandment, each having five victories less to their credit, Providence four, Cleveland three, and Buffalo and Chicago each two. The Cleveland and Providence nines have two. The Cleveland and Providence nines have each two, and the Bostons, Chicagos and Cincinnatis each one defeat less to their record.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effects of pool selling

Date Monday, September 22, 1879
Text

The base ball season now drawing to a close has been most disastrous to the League, both morally and financially. Many reasons can be given for this state of affairs, among them an excessive tariff of admission, a too frequent recurrence of games and the demoralizing influences exerted by the pool room; and to the latter more than any other may be attributed the waning interesting in the National pastime. With the advent of the pool seller all local pride in the organization was lost, and thenceforward it was a momentous question as to which was the safest club to bet on. How different in the olden days, when a victory of the home nine was followed by a gathering of the club members for the purpose of mutually rejoicing over the result, and discussing future games and their probabilities. Today, under the evil influence of base ball gamblers, the contest is disposed of by one or two commonplace remarks, made by those who happen to meet in a beer saloon, on the street corner or elsewhere, somewhat after the following fashion: “That winning run cost me ten dollars.” “I’m out a hat on that game.” “Well, if I ever bet on that crowd again, I’m a liar.

Source ” Cincinnati Commercial
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

insider information in pools

Date Monday, September 22, 1879
Text

As a matter of interest to pool buyers, who fancy t make their investments with as good chance of wining as any one else, the following information is given: Throughout all of last season the telegraph operator stationed on the Cincinnati grounds was provided with a cipher for use in transmitting an account of the game, as it progressed, to the managers of the pool-rooms, where no figures were put upon the blackboard until the inning was completed. Those familiar with the auctioneer’s method of selling can thus readily understand how great are his advantages. For instance, let it be supposed that neither side has scored for the first five innings. It is fair to presume that the game is being characterized by good pitching and fielding. Let it be now imagined that one side has gotten the hang of the opposing delivery and made five runs before the side was put out. The pool-sellers are cognizant of this fact and their audience a innocent of it as unborn babes, and they suffer for it in consequence, as the ringsters supplied with the information, offer the most alluring bets as to runs being made in coming innings, their offers being eagerly snapped up. Cincinnati Commercial September 22, 1879

the Cincinnati Club to disband

The Directors and stockholders of the Cincinnati Base Ball Association have one and all determined that they shall not reorganize a nine for next season, having been led to this conclusion from a want of patronage of the game as well as a lack of co-operation on the part of the team, and also on account of the difficulties experienced in attempting their management, so that, as the case now stands, Cincinnati will be without a League team, unless others step in and purchase the shares, or form another corporation under a new name, that of the Cincinnati Base Ball Association belonging to its inceptors. Cincinnati Commercial September 22, 1879

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

using Pinkertons to detect dissipation

Date Monday, September 22, 1879
Text

[One of the Cincinnati Club officers], when in Chicago with the nine on one occasion, sat talking with a gentleman in the hotel vestibule one night until after 1 o’clock, at which time he saw Hotaling come in hurriedly and go up stairs. He asked McVey the next morning if the men had gone to bed in good season, and was told in reply that they had all retired at 10 o’clock, and were feeling in first rate condition for the game that afternoon. The conclusion was at once drawn that Hotaling, after going to his room in the evening, had quietly put on his hat and taken a stroll up town. This was given as an instance of once of the difficulties attendant upon the control of players. President Hulbert, he said, at one time purposed a course at once novel and effectual. Having reason to suspect a player of dissipation, he engaged on of Pinkerton’s detectives to shadow him. He did so, and for two days and nights scarcely lost sight of him, and then Mr. Hulbert was astonished on receiving from Pinkerton’s Agency several sheets of foolscap on which was detailed every movement of the shadowed individual. The players were summoned together that afternoon and the repor tread to them. That player was given to understand that his resignation, if sent in, would receive favorable consideration. It came in forthwith , and ever afterward there was less trouble in the organization.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing an expelled player

Date Wednesday, October 1, 1879
Text

A Boston special to a Chicago paper says: “In an interview with Harry Wright to-day as to the standing of the League Clubs, he admitted that if the League rules were enforced there are only two Clubs in the League (Boston and Cleveland), all others having forfeited their membership under Art. 5, Sec. 8, providing that no game shall be played with a Club employing a player expelled from the League. The trouble is with McKinnon, who played in the Rochesters till July 3d, and was expelled for signing contracts this season with the Hop Biters and Troys. He played with the former, or was employed by it, when games were had with the Albanys, Holyokes, Worcesters and Nationals. The Chicagos played the Nationals; then the Buffalos played the Albanys; the Cincinnatis the Holyokes; the Troys the Albanys, and the Providence the Hoyokes. The Bostons also played the Worcesters; but the latter Club sent an affidavit to the League Board that they didn't know of the McKinnon affair at the time, and the Board decided that they would not be held to the rule. Wright thinks the rules are explicit enough to rule out all the Club expect Cleveland and Boston, if any one pushes the matter.” But that won't do, Harry. In a conversation which took place in Harry Wright's store in Boston on the 16th of last June, Harry, in the presence of Jim White and the Enquirer reporter, held that the McKennon expulsion was all bosh, and advocated the policy of ignoring it entirely in playing games with non-League Clubs.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McLean walks from Boston to Providence to umpire the game

Date Saturday, October 4, 1879
Text

Umpire McLean officiated at the partially-played game between the Boston and Providence Clubs, at Providence, R.I., on Sept. 24, having previously, by way of a morning stroll, walked from Boston to Providence, leaving Boston about 3 A.M., and reaching Providence about noon.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

maneuverings to shut down the Cincinnati Club

Date Monday, October 6, 1879
Text

...the dissatisfied element was represented by six shares in the possession of a single stockholder—the largest stockholder, by the way, in the Club. He was disgusted with base-ball, and expressed himself in a “one man” way several times on the streets that there would be no Club here next year. It was supposed to be this street talk which originated a similar statement published a fortnight ago in a morning paper. This statement called together the stockholders, when the gentleman found that the majority of the stock was against him, and that he was not in accord with any other man, but eleven shares of stock would be enough to give him the controlling interest. He held six. Since that time he has bought up a number of single shares, among which, we believe, are those held by J. D. Ellison., Wilson Brown, – Sullivan and S. S. Davis. There may be more which he has bought, and there certainly are more which he can buy, for other stockholders who once hear that such men as Messrs. Ellison, Brown and Davis have drawn out will be ready to walk out also. It may be safe to say, therefore, that the consolidation of all the stock is rapidly going on. Cincinnati Enquirer October 6, 1879

President Neff, of the Cincinnati Club, and at present the chief stockholder in the concern, yesterday announced to a gentleman of this city that he is disgusted with the thing, and will draw out, if any one would buy his stock. This is hardly of the nature of news, however, since it has been long understood that such was his feeling. … The latest proposition is for the transfer of the whole concern into the hands of Manager Bob Miles, of the Grand Opera-house. That gentleman is engaged for a consultation today with Mr. Neff. What will come out of it is, of course a matter of conjecture. Mr. Miles feels confident that he could manage a League team in Cincinnati successfully next season, provided he would be allowed to secure grounds within the city limits. Cincinnati ball lovers would hail such an arrangement with pleasure. No man in Cincinnati enjoys the confidence of amusement lovers more than he does. His financial backing would be undisputed. Mr. Miles informed our reporter last night that he can have the services of a majority of the present California team, including Clapp, Force, McVey, Hotaling and Kelly. He would organize a strong team and go in to win. So far as the playing management is concerned, he would leave that to a club manager of base-ball experience. The base-ball world hereabout will watch this new movement with deep interest, and if Manager Miles takes hold, the confidence which will follow will pull him triumphantly through. Cincinnati Enquirer October 8, 1879

Manager Bob Miles announces that a two months' business trip to Europe next summer will make it impossible for him to take charge of the Cincinnati League team. Cincinnati Enquirer October 11, 1879

The Cincinnati Club stockholders held an executive meeting Wednesday, and though nothing definite was done, it was understood the present concern will draw out of the League. One of the officers of the Club yesterday so informed the President of the Star Ball Club Association [Justus Thorner], and advised him to proceed at once if he desired to organize a League team for the Star Base-ball Association. Cincinnati Enquirer October 17, 1879

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

maneuverings by the Cincinnati Stars to join the League

Date Monday, October 6, 1879
Text

The Cincinnati Star Base-Ball Association, containing among its stockholders some of the most substantial moneyed men in Cincinnati, have written to President Hulbert and to Secretary Young, of the League, applying for the vacancy, if there will be a vacancy, in the League from this city. President Hulbert and the Secretary have both replied, assuring the Star Association that if the Cincinnati Association goes out the Stars' application will receive speedy consideration; but that, so far, the Cincinnati Club have reached no conclusion, and, of course, no definite action can be taken as regards their application.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

prospects already signed with outside club; bias against left-handed catchers

Date Tuesday, October 7, 1879
Text

Trott and Lynch have signed with the Nationals so much look elsewhere for catcher. Trott catches finely but throws left handed which I do not like. It may be a fancy only. [from a letter by Harry Wright, writing from Washington, to Frederick Long dated October 7, 1879]

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

Chicago Tribune baseball reporter

Date Wednesday, October 8, 1879
Text

Mr. White, base-ball reporter and sporting editor of the Chicago Tribune, is in the city in attendance on the Chester Park races.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

charges of drunkenness

Date Thursday, October 9, 1879
Text

The charge of drunkenness has been made by Mr. Neff in a general way, though he knows that the chief and almost sole offender in this respect was Dickerson. He says [in an interview with the Cincinnati Times]:

“While the Club were going to Cleveland one of our players was so helplessly drunk that he was unable to undress himself, and one of the players, assisted by the Captain, were compelled to undress him.”

That man was Dickerson. Why did not the Cincinnati Club act manly about it, and instead of casting reproach upon the hwole team, do their duty and pitch Dickerson out of the League. His drunkenness and insubordination were no secret. A weak management which lacked the grit to make an example of him waits till the season is ended and then tells a newspaper that “one of the players did so and so.” This is hardly just.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan is reinstated to clear the way for the Chicago Club to tour California

Date Saturday, October 11, 1879
Text

The League “manager” [sic] convened a special meeting of the Association last week at Buffalo to take action upon certain matters bearing upon the interesting of the Chicago Club in particular and the League clubs in general. ... Then, too, there was another snag in the way of the pecuniary success of the Chicago Club’s contemplated tour to the Pacific coast which it was necessary to have removed, and this was that the San Francisco clubs had all done that which barred any League club team from playing them, viz., played with Nolan, a player expelled from a League club. Now, it should be remembered that we protested against the action of the League in inflicting the severe penalty of expulsion on Nolan when his offense was comparatively a small one–disobedience of orders or something of that nature. At any rate, no proof of a charge of dishonest play was brought against him, and for this only should expulsion be meted out as a punishment. Then, again, it should be borne in mind that early this season the League made a great to-do about the action of McKinnon, who had been induced by a League club-official to sign an illegal contract. Bearing these facts in mind, we now proceed to show what was done at this special meeting of the League, held at Buffalo. ...

“Whereas, Edward Nolan, whose expulsion by the Indianapolis Baseball Association of Indianapolis for violation of contract with said Association was approved by the Board of Directors of the National League by resolutions adopted at the last December meeting, ahs made formal application to this Board for a rehearing of the case; and

Whereas, It never appeared or was proven that the said Edward Nolan was guilty of throwing or selling games, or any dishonorable action of that nature, but has in these respects sustained a good character, and now sincerely repents of the conduct which resulted in his expulsion; therefore,

Resolved, That the said Edward Nolan shall be eligible to play in or against any League or League Alliance club on and after this date...”

Now, why was it that similar justice was not done to McKinnon? His expulsion was even more unjust than that of Nolan. But, unluckily, he was not in the way of the Chicago Club’s visit to California. Consistency appears to be a jewel unknown to the managers of the League, to say the least.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early word and criticism of the reserve clause

Date Saturday, October 18, 1879
Text

The plan said to be adopted by the League to prevent competition between the several clubs for the others’ players is open to criticism, as by it a League club could force a player who has been under contract with it the past season to either play at a reduced salary or play with no League club the coming year. New York Clipper October 18, 1879

At the recent meeting of the League it was agreed, for the sake of securing good players at small salaries, that five men in each nine should not be negotiated with by other League teams. The result of this agreement is now plainly shown, as the Buffalos have lost Clapp, who has signed with a club of the National Association, and Ward of the Providence refuses to sign unless he is given a salary equal to that offered him by National clubs. New York Clipper October 25, 1879

It has been “officially” decided that the agreement about players adopted at Buffalo, N.Y., does not bar outside clubs from hiring any chosen players and entering the League. New York Clipper November 22, 1879

early hint of the fate of the Union grounds

The Brooklyn Board of Supervisors have decided to recommend the purchase of the Union Baseball Grounds, in that city, as a site for a new armory. New York Clipper October 18, 1879

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Cincinnati Club withdraws from the NL

Date Friday, October 24, 1879
Text

The statement made in the Commercial last month that Cincinnati would not have a nine in the field next year under the present management, and about which such a hue and cry was raised by another morning paper, was verified yesterday.

The Cincinnati Club Directors met on Wednesday, and, as a result of the meeting, a resignation of League membership was forwarded yesterday to President Hulbert. It will be accepted and a vacancy declared. The Star managers have made application for the place, and the question of their admission will be passed upon at the League Convention, to be held in this city in December next. Prior to that time a committee, provided for in the Ball Ball Constitution, will have investigated the financial standing of the Stars, and final action will be based upon their report.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

frequency of home runs

Date Saturday, October 25, 1879
Text

Fifty-six home-r87ns were made in League championship games during the season recently closed, of which number Jones of the Bostons made nine; O’Rourke of the same club, five; Brouthers of the Troys, four; Eden of the Clevelands, three; and Houck and Snyder of the Bostons, two each.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Mathews holds out

Date Saturday, October 25, 1879
Text

Matthews has returned, unsigned, the contract papers sent to him, refusing to play for the salary paid him last year, and demanding an increase. The management refuses to accede to his demand, and another change pitcher will be secured at once., quoting the Boston Herald

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright injured playing cricket

Date Saturday, October 25, 1879
Text

[an exhibition of professional cricketers, Nottinghamshire vs. Yorkshire, supplemented by American players, at Germantown CC 10/24/1879] During the inning G. Wright sustained an injury which rendered him unable to continue at the bat... Philadelphia Inquirer October 25, 1879

George Wright is still suffering from the injury to his hand, sustained in a cricket match at Philadelphia last October, several of the small bones having been broken. George has not signed to play anywhere next year, but will probably stay in Providence. Chicago Tribune January 4, 1880

Source Philadelphia Inquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Cincinnati Club reserved players

Date Wednesday, October 29, 1879
Text

When Kelly signed the contract [with Chicago] the Cincinnati Club was still a member of the League, and it is still a member and will continue one until its resignation is accepted by the League at its meeting in December. Now, the Cincinnati Club, in its reservation of five men, included Kelly. That reservation is and will be of force until the Club has resigned from the League. No other League Club has a right to any one of those five men named. The Chicago Club violated its agreement, and this violation will be of no benefit to them. Cincinnati Enquirer October 29, 1879

[from an interview with Hulbert, discussing the Buffalo meeting, at which he held Cincinnati's proxy] Accordingly, when the agreement relative to the reservation of five players by each Club was drawn up I signed it for the cincinati Club, and when it came to naming the five players I again wired Mr. Neff for insturction, and again was requested to act absolutely for Cincinnati in the matter. I therefore named the Cincinnati five, taking care to select the five who in my judgment were most to be desired, and I think few persons will disagree with my selections, which were Jim and Will White, Kelly, McVey and Hotaling. The League meeting adjourned, and shortly afterward notice was received by Secretary Young from Mr. Neff of the absolute release of all the players in the Cincinnati Club. This notice abrogated the reservation agreement so far as the Cincinnati Club was concerned, and I immediately instructed Secretary Spalding to engage Kelly for next year, if possible, and he did so. Cincinnati Enquirer November 16, 1879

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a theatrical manager running the Cleveland Club

Date Saturday, November 1, 1879
Text

That enterprising young manager of theatrical enterprises, Mr. Mack–Haverly’s right-hand business man–in his first venture in baseball management has done far better than several club managers who have had three times his experience in the business. When he took hold of the Clevelands the team had been selected–“neither wisely not too well”–and he had to make the best of the material ready laid out for his to work upon; and what he did was shown in the good work done by the Cleveland nine in the later months of the season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the benefits of joining the National Association

Date Saturday, November 1, 1879
Text

It should be borne in mind that every club joining the National Association has a voice in its council, provided they send a duly accredited representative to the convention or meetings of the Association; but no voting by proxy is allowed. It does not follow–as in the League Association–that every club joining the National Association must necessarily incur the expense and responsibility of entering for the championship; for in the National pennant race for 1880 none will enter the lists except those fully able financially to carry out the season’s appointed schedule. What membership of the National Association gives to all clubs is protection and prestige–protection from the knavery of crooked players and violators of contracts, and the prestige of being members of an established National Association.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reserve doesn't apply to non-League clubs

Date Tuesday, November 4, 1879
Text

President Hulbert has decided that the Buffalo agreement does not control non-League Clubs. For instance, the Washington Club engaged Snyder, one of Boston's five reserved men. Mr. Hulbert says that if Washington had engaged ten of the reserved players it would not destroy her right to admission to the League. Then the Star Club, of this city, not being a member of the League, can cut loose and engage from among all the League reservation, if they see fit. Cincinnati Enquirer November 4, 1879

Hulbert has informed the Cincinnati people that the agreement entered into in this city [Buffalo] some time ago by the various Clubs did not hold good in their case, and they have therefore endeavored to sign Clapp. Now the Cincinnatis are in an entirely different position from the Albanys or any other outside Club. They have from the beginning announced their intention of taking the place caused by the retirement of the Cincinnati nine, and have signed all of their men under League contracts. The Secretary of the League has, in his regular heralding of the hiring of players, included those secured by the new Cincinnati organization. Now, if this does not practically make them a League nine, the Directors [of the Buffalo Club] would like “Boss” Hulbert to explain. Cincinnati Enquirer November 24, 1879, quoting the Buffalo Express

[reporting on the NL meeting] The Clapp controversy was amicably settled, and Secretary Young authorized as to announce his engagement by the new Cincinnati Club. Cincinnati Enquirer December 5, 1879

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

in and out, rise and drop curves

Date Saturday, November 15, 1879
Text

[from a biographical sketch of John Lynch] He commenced the season of 1878 as the short stop of the New Haven-Hartford Club, and, after playing a few games in that position, relieved Arthur Cummings in pitching, first as an experiment in a game at Washington, D.C., and as he enjoyed a remarkable degree of success, it encouraged him to persevere in his new position, and, studying the in-and-out curves, rise and drop deliveries, he rapidly acquired a reputation as an effective and puzzling pitcher.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Goldsmith not properly reserved by Troy

Date Sunday, November 16, 1879
Text

[from an interview of Hulbert] Before a contract was offered to Goldsmith by the Chicago Club it was ascertained beyond question tha6t he had no contract with the Troy Club. This we learned both from his own statement and the fact that no notice of his engagement with Troy had ever been received by the Secretary of the League. He was simply eking out the season at Troy, playing for so much per game. He was one of the five men named by Troy for reservation, but illegally named, for the resolution expressly provided for the reservation of players then under contract, and no others. Goldsmith, not being under contract to the Troy Club, could not be reserved, and the Club was notified by Secretary Young, and acknowledged its error by dropping Goldsmith and naming somebody else.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Clapp discusses his injuries; the curve ball

Date Sunday, November 16, 1879
Text

Mr. Clapp quietly remarked that he, too, had been slightly hurt on one or two occasions. Pointing to a scarcely noticeable hollow in his left cheek bone, he said that one side of his face had one been knocked in by a hot ball. His left ye had been closed one, his right eye three times, and his nose broken. 'From 1873 to 1877,' continued he, 'I was very fortunate, and not the slightest accident occurred to me. I have been lucky this season also, and the only accident has been the knocking off of a finger nail.' McVey also told of a broken eyebrow and a few other unpleasant occurrence of like nature. In speaking of the curve pitch, he said it was invented by Arthur Cummings as far back as 1860. it never came into use, however, until 1875, when Bond, the pitcher of the Boston Club, brought it into use. Subsequently Nolan, now of the Knickerbockers, Larkin, White, McCormick and Ward all became very effective curve-pitchers. Cincinnati Enquirer November 16, 1879, quoting the San Francisco Call.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Providence Club finances

Date Saturday, November 29, 1879
Text

The annual meeting of the Providence Baseball Association was held at Providence, R.I., on Nov. 29... The treasurer’s report showed that the past season had been a successful one financially, the profits of the year being $1,500. The schedule has been a serious obstacle to the pecuniary success of the club, as in 1878, when the Providence and Boston Club opened the season on their respective grounds, the receipts of the twelve games were $7.000, while for the same number of games between these clubs in 1879 but $3,400 were realized. The gate-moeny receipts of the club aggregated $21,450.86.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the perfection of the curve ball

Date Saturday, November 29, 1879
Text

The past season’s play has seen the curve brought nearly to perfection. It is now a strong feature of a pitcher’s delivery. Straight pitching can easily be punished now by batsmen experienced in facing the curved delivery.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a losing proposal on admission fees

Date Friday, December 5, 1879
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting] ...a resolution by Buffalo, seconded by Troy, that each Club be allowed to regulate its own admission fee. The resolution was vigorously opposed by Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston and Providence, and was finally defeated by that vote. Troy and Buffalo fought the measure on every point possible, either technical or apparent.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the incorporation and capitalization of the Nationals

Date Saturday, December 6, 1879
Text

The Nationals of Washington, D.C., filed on Nov. 29 a certificate of incorporation as a limited stock-company, with a capital of $5,000, divided into fifty shares of $100 each. The following gentlemen were named as incorporators... [includes Michael Scanlon and R. C. Hewitt].

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A. G. Mills recodified the rules

Date Friday, December 5, 1879
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting] A vote of thanks was tendered A. G. Mills, of Chicago, for so earnestly working in the recodification of the playing rules of the League.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a new Baltimore Club

Date Saturday, December 6, 1879
Text

The Baltimore Baseball Association was formally organized on Nov. 25 by the election of the following officers: President, Wm. H. Shryock; vice-president, J. T. Worthingon; treaturer, John W. Calthcart; secretaries, Wm. T. Applegarth and Chas. A. Hadel; directors, T. J. Shryock, N. Lee Goldsborough, Chas. G. Joyce, J. Sewell Thomas, and C. F. McCullough. The above board of officers includes some of the most influential and prominent citizens of Baltimore, Worthing being well known as a leading amateur about ten years ago, and Hadel having figured favorably in the management of the professional teams of that city in 1872 and 1873. A stock-company has been formed, who will engage a strong professional nine to represent Baltimore in 1880, and join the National Association.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Inter-Ocean's baseball reporter

Date Wednesday, December 10, 1879
Text

Byron Andrews, the base-ball man of the Chicago Inter-Ocean, was in the city this week. Last year he made the base-ball columns of the Inter-Ocean second to none in Chicago.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'shut out' 3

Date Saturday, December 13, 1879
Text

The Holyokes was the only club that “shut out” the Albanys last season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitchers using an illegal high delivery

Date Saturday, December 13, 1879
Text

The rules require that the pitcher’s hand, in swinging forward to deliver the ball, must pass below the waist. This section of the rules, however, was openly violated in a majority of professional games last season.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Star Club of Cincinnati joins the NL; the Nationals excluded

Date Saturday, December 13, 1879
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the NL Board of Directors] The application of Messrs. Thorner and Caylor for admission of the Star Club of Cincinnati to take the place of the Cincinnati Club in the League for 1880 was then brought up before the Board, together with other applications, one of which was made by Mr. Hewitt on behalf of the National Club of Washington. In this matter Messrs. Sage, Root and Evans were appointed a committee, and they reported in favor of the admission of the new club from Cincinnati, which desired to enter the League unconditionally, fully endorsing the present management and financial policy of the League. The report was adopted, and the names of the two delegates from the Cincinnati Stars thereupon were duly entered on the secretary’s book. The National Club, through Mr. Hewitt, made a qualified application, stating the conditions upon which they would like to enter, a feature of which was a reduction in the League tariff. This was enough to have the League doors shut upon them, and they were finally informed that they would be permitted to withdraw their application. New York Clipper December 13, 1879 [The application also asked for a $100 guarantee rather that a division of gate receipts.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Syracuse expelled from the League

Date Saturday, December 13, 1879
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the NL Board of Directors] The Syracuse Club was declared expelled on account of its failure to play out its schedule games, thereby violating the League rules.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

provision to suspend a player

Date Saturday, December 13, 1879
Text

[reporting on the NL convention] A new section was inserted into this article [article 5 section 3], as follows: “Any player under contract with a League club who shall be guilty of drunkenness or insubordination, may be suspended by such clubs for the remainder of the season, or for the remainder of that and all of the ensuing season, at the option of such club, and during the period of said suspension such player shall be disqualified from playing in or against said League.” The object of this new law is to punish offenders who do not deserve the severe penalty of perpetual expulsion.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Sunday baseball

Date Saturday, December 13, 1879
Text

[reporting on the NL convention] An effort was made to have the law against Sunday playing repealed, but it failed. The League teams played on Sunday in San Francisco.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rules amended for walk-off runs

Date Saturday, December 13, 1879
Text

[reporting on the NL convention] A new section provides that when the last part of the ninth inning of a match is being played, and the winning run is scored, that shall end the game, no matter whether there are any men out or not.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

amending the playing rules

Date Saturday, December 13, 1879
Text

[reporting on the NL convention] ...the president, assisted by Mr. Spaulding, had previously prepared a revised code, and the remainder of the session was occupied in considering these amendments.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reducing the number of balls for a walk

Date Saturday, December 13, 1879
Text

[reporting on the NL convention] The number of called balls was reduced to eight instead of nine, but on what just grounds so limited a reduction was made is not stated. New York Clipper December 13, 1879

playing outside clubs; regional division

[reporting on the NL convention] The matter of the free-trade principle of allowing League clubs to play outside clubs whenever it was to their pecuniary interest to do so was bitterly opposed by the three Western clubs, but was favored by the four Eastern clubs. The pith of the matter was that the Western clubs, not having any outside clubs of prominence to play with the free trade rule would not benefit them, while it would benefit the Eastern clubs greatly, and therefore they opposed allowing the latter to derive a profit from games they themselves would not play.

The Western club, however, agreed to toss a bone to their Eastern brethren by conceding them the right to play outside games before May 1, but not afterwards. New York Clipper December 13, 1879

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the financial failure of the California trip

Date Wednesday, December 17, 1879
Text

It was known here during the last few days that the members of the Cincinnati-California team were in trouble, but the cause, for reasons which will appear further along, was not apparent. President Thorner on Monday got the following dispatch from Charley M. Smith, who will play with the new Cincinnati Club next year:

San Francisco, December 13, 1879

Justus Thorner, Cincinnati Base-ball Association: Send $100 at once. Luck has gone back on us. No way to get home. Answer immediately. C. M. Smith

Though under no obligations to do so, morally or legally, President Thorner, in the goodness of his heart, sent the money by telegraph yesterday. Later, when he learned the Bob Miles had taken steps to bring all the players home, he notified Smith of the fact by telegraph, advising him to wait and save the expense of coming with his own money.

Our Chicago telegram above is calculated to create wrong impressions; first, that the Cincinnati team did not do so well as the Chicagos, whereas we have the figures below to show that they did better. But the Chicagos did not start West till the money had been put up to secure them against loss, while the Cincinnatis depended more upon their own resources. The Chicago team was a greater failure financially to its managers than the Cincinnatis. The man Kelly, who put up $5,000 to send the team to the Pacific Coast lost nearly every cent of it. And while the Chicago men were living this money up and not winning any of it back, Kelly went crazy over the loss and attempted suicide at the Palace Hotel. It was after this occurrence that the managers of the other team made the mistake of taking up the Chicago team, thereby sinking still more money. Cincinnati Enquirer December 17, 1879 [See same issue also for financials from the trip for both Cincinnati and Chicago teams.]

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright ranges into the outfield

Date Saturday, December 20, 1879
Text

George Wright’s special point of play in going out to left field for short high balls outside of the infield was last season played by every first-class short-stop, and in good style, too. New York Clipper December 20, 1879

shortstop covering second base

As regards the short-stop acting as temporary second-baseman, except when a ball is hit to right-short and a runner is on first and is forced, it depends upon the peculiar style of batting of the man at the bat as to whether short-stop plays as second-baseman or not. Ordinarily, with a right-hand batsman at the bat, the short-stop will play in his own position. But when he sees the batsman “facing” for a right-field hit, he should move down to cover second base, leaving the second-baseman to go to right-short. The same course should be pursued, too, when left-handed men come to the bat. Under the circumstances of the marked increase in right-field batting of late years, and of the introduction of batting quartets of left-handed hard hits–such as the Holyoke four–the necessity for the short-stop being able to be a good second-base player becomes very apparent. New York Clipper December 20, 1879

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

short throw on a delayed double steal

Date Saturday, December 20, 1879
Text

A point played last season with good effect at times was that of the catcher throwing to short-stop when a runner was on third, and another ran down from first to second to get the man on third home. This was not done in the old style of throwing to short-stop’s position, but in throwing a little to the left of second base, the short-stop jumping forward and taking the ball and promptly returning it to the catcher in time. When the ball swiftly thrown and accurately returned, the play invariably yields an out. But it must be understood by signal to be done effectually.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Troy considers leaving the NL

Date Saturday, December 27, 1879
Text

The stockholders of the Troy City Club held a meeting recently, but did not come to any definite conclusion as to whether the club will play in the League or National Association during 1880. It was determined, however, that if the club remained in the League some scheme should be devised whereby the patrons of the game in Troy would be enabled to witness the contest at a less rate of admission than fifty cents.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

outfielder play

Date Saturday, December 27, 1879
Text

The great point in outfielding is to send each man into the position to play as if he were the only outfielder present to cover the whole outfield. ... Here is an instance of how this thing works: In a match at Jersey City last season a long high ball was hit to Gedney’s position at left-field. The moment the ball was seen flying to the outfield all three of the fielders–Gedney, Clinton and Booth–were on the move after it. Gedney backed down, running to catching; Clinton ran down near him, to be ready to field it in case of a drop; and Booth ran up towards the in-field to be ready to forward it in on a sharp, quick throw towards infield. A splendid catch was made by Gedney, and he had time for a long throw in to third base; but the point we wish to show is that of the prompt assistance afforded by the other two outfielders working together as a team, which the three outfielders should be taught to do in all first-class nines.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

financial failure of trips to California

Date Saturday, December 27, 1879
Text

[see for a lengthy account and accounting of failed trips to California by the Chicago and Cincinnati clubs.]

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston club finances 2

Date Saturday, December 27, 1879
Text

The ninth annual meeting was held Dec. 17 at the club’s headquarters, 786 Washington street, Boston, Mass. The treasurer’s report showed the net receipts [probably meaning Boston’s share of home and away receipts] the past year to have been $19,602.64. There was a shrinkage in gross receipts in 1879, from 1878, of $5,752.80, the gate-receipts of 1879 being $5,397,55 less than in 1878. The shrinkage in home receipts in 1879 over 1878 was $3,204.27, while away from home the receipts were $2,183.28 less than in 1878. There was $427.36 more received from League clubs away from home in 1879 than in 1879, but there was a loss of $2,500 in the receipts from non-League clubs in 1879 over the year preceding. The amount paid visiting clubs last season was $5,475.15; the receipts from League clubs, $6,863.41. The causes which led to the shrinkage of the receipts the past year were principally the successive defeats received by the Bostons at the hands of the Chicagos the first of the season, the unfortunate (to say the least) arrangement of the League schedule, whereby the first Boston-Providence games came in June, and, further, that Boston was forced to play twenty-four successive games with Troy and Syracuse–two of the weakest clubs. New York Clipper December 27, 1879

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
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