Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Brown Stockings Open The Season

This game, which was played on March 27, 1875 and was described by the Democrat as the Brown Stockings' first of the season, was not exactly competitive. The Brown Stockings had their best team on the field and the picked nine was a motley crew. Charles Turner and Robert Lucas had been members of the Union club in the 1860's. Turner was involved in the management of the Brown Stockings as was Lucas' family. Deviney played left field for the Atlantics. Joe Blong, of course, played with the Reds in 1875 and would go on to play for the Brown Stockings in 1876 and 1877. George Seward, Frank Fleet, and Charlie Waitt all saw action with the Brown Stockings in 1875 but were not regulars. Eugene Wolff "used to be a good player" and Maynard was "a young man from Brooklyn."


Richard Hershberger said...

This sort of season-opening picked nine game was very common in this era. Many of the best clubs did it, as a warm-up game and to spur interest. And yes, they usually were blow-outs.

What interests me about this example are the eastern players on the picked nine: Charlie Waitt and Frank Fleet. (I don't know where George Seward was from.) They would have no reason to be in St. Louis apart from being paid to play baseball. Perhaps they were members of the Brown Stockings, and this game was really the starters versus the backups, supplemented with local amateurs. Do they appear in earlier listing of Brown Stockings signings?

Jeff Kittel said...

Off the top of my head, I can't remember if they were on the lists of Brown Stockings' signings that I've seen. Most of the lists just gave you the starting nine. I'll check the Globe this weekend and see if they mention them.