Saturday, November 17, 2007

David Reid

In a post about George Munson, I mentioned the death of David Reid, a prominent 19th century sportswriter. Al Spinks wrote that there "were few newspaper men, if any, who were more prominently and actively identified with the National Game from the inception of professionalism up to his retirement..."

At Baseball Fever, Bill Burgess has a great thread about baseball writers. One of the more than three hundred writers that Bill chronicles is David Reid. Bill dug up Reid's obituary in The St. Louis Republican and posted it in his thread. The obituary was published in the May 3, 1885 issue of the Republican and I'm presenting it in full below.

Dave Reid Dead; Sudden demise of a Well-Known Sporting Editor.

David Lytton Reid, one of the best known sporting writers and base ball enthusiasts, died at the residence of his friend and chum, George Munson, 1321 Pine street, very unexpectedly last evening at 9:40. His death was a very unexpected after a very brief illness. Late Friday afternoon, while at Grand and Easton avenue, he was suddenly taken with a congestion chill, resulting in severe cramping of the stomach and the pain became violent after he arrived at Mr. Munson's room on Pine street. He laid down on the lounge for a while and his wants were administered to by Mrs. Brothers, who at his suggestion called in Dr. Rutledge and after a short while relief was afforded and he passed an easy night, relieving to a great extent the anxiety and fears which the symptoms first aroused. In the morning he woke up early about 6 o'clock, and seemed greatly refreshed over his night's rest. He spoke cheerfully of his condition, and in response to inquiries stated that he was very greatly relieved. During the day, however, he became worse, and toward evening the hand of death became visible over his cold body. Surrounded by a large number of friends, he quietly passed away at 9:10 P. M., being conscious to the last. His death will be a severe blow to his legion of friends throughout the country, his many excellent qualities of heart and mind endearing him to all with whom he came in contact. He was best known by his remarkable knowledge of national game affairs, his writings on base ball having been recognized everywhere as authoritative and thoroughly reliable. Dave Reid was a name familiar to all baseball men, managers, players, and all those associated with the national game, and his untimely death will be all the more mourned, because of the loss of one whose versatile talents and fine abilities as a writer and grand characteristics as a man made him a prominent figure in the everyday walks of life. He was born in Nashville, Tenn., nearly thirty-seven years ago. His parents soon removed to New York city, where he was reared and received his education. He began life in the dry goods business, but his remarkable natural bent for newspaper work soon found cultivation in the large range of the metropolitan press. He wrote largely for the New York Clipper, Herald, Sunday Dispatch, New York Times, Sunday Mercury and other noted New York papers. Early in the seventies he moved to Philadelphia and became one of the managing editors of the Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch, devoting the greater portion of his time and talents to the base ball department, which was recognized as the leading authority on the national game, and established for the paper a grand reputation.

He was secretary of the Athletic club of Philadelphia in its palmiest days - 1872-73. He came to St. Louis, about ten years ago. He was the official scorer of the original Brown stockings club, and for several years did most of the base ball writing for the St. Louis Times. During the base ball season of 1883, and for some years afterwards he was sporting editor of the Republic and afterwards held the same position on the Post-Dispatch and at the time of his death was running the baseball department of that paper. He has also done a great deal of work for the Critic, Sunday Sayings and other weekly local papers. He was also for more than a year amusement editor of the Post-Dispatch. He was unmarried, but leaves a mother and two brothers in New York city.

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