Sunday, October 21, 2007
A Brillant Struggle Between The Home Clubs
On May 29, 1875, "(about) one thousand spectators were in attendance" to witness the Reds play the Brown Stockings at the Grand Avenue Ballpark in the second and last game of the season between the two clubs. The Browns won the game 6-0 in what the St. Louis Globe-Democrat described as a "brilliant struggle".
"The Browns succeeded," wrote the Globe, "by good fielding and the weak hitting of their opponents...while (the Reds), by equally good fielding, kept the score of the Browns down to six runs." George Bradley, pitching for the Browns, held the Reds to five hits while "Chicagoing" the crosstown rivals. The Browns' Joe Battin, Lip Pike, and Jack Chapman were singled out by the Globe for their fine hitting while Joe Ellick and Charlie Houtz got two hits apiece for the Reds. The defensive play of the game was probably Ned Cuthbert's "brilliant running catch" in short left field that retired Joe Blong in the ninth inning.
I am continually amazed at the fact that these teams only played two games against each other. By contrast, the Athletics and Whites, both of Philadelphia, played ten games. The Centennials of Philadelphia played almost half of their 14 games against the other Philadelphia teams. The New York Mutuals and the Brooklyn Atlantics played seven games against each other.
While it's true that the Reds did not schedule NA games after July 4th, the opportunity was there in the first half of the season for the Reds and Browns to play each other. The fact that they didn't lends credence to the Globe's insinuations that there was animosity between the two organizations.