In the early days in St. Louis my most intimate young men friends were John Riggin, Louis Hutchinson, John Stetinius and Paul Prewett, all “high rollers,” except myself. We belonged to the St. Louis Cyclone Base Ball Company in 1860. We leased what is now Lafayette Park. At that time, it was surrounded by an osage orange hedge. We spent $600 to put the grounds in shape. This company was one of the first of its kind, formed long before the game became professional. The members were all young men in business, or sedentary life, and the club was for exercise, recreation and social intercourse. I was the first President. Among its members, I remember, were Edward Bredell, who lived opposite on Lafayette Avenue; Jack and William Collier, Ferd Garesche, Alex Crosman and E. O. Matthews, the latter two cadets in the United States Navy; Edw. Farish, my brother W. H. Matthews, now of New Orleans, and others I do not recollect. One afternoon some of us, Ed. Bredell among the rest, were lying in the shade of the hedge, pitching a ball from one to the other, when someone remarked – “Boys, we will soon have another kind of ball to pitch” – and poor Ed. caught one in battle in Virginia, early in the war.
A couple of notes:
-Both Leonard Matthews and his brother William H. Matthews worked for J. Matthews & Co., an apothecary business that they owned along with their father John Matthews, Jr. and their brother John III.
-Matthews account confirms the fact that the Cyclone Club played games at Lafayette Park (an idea advocated by Bill Battle); Al Spink lists Lafayette Park as one of the places were some of the earliest baseball games were played in St. Louis.
-Members of the Cyclone Club mentioned by Matthews but not by Griswold include Leonard Matthews, Louis Hutchinson, John Stetinius, Paul Prewett, Jack Collier, William Collier, and Alex Crosman.
-Interestingly, Matthews does not mention Griswold, Ed Bredell's co-worker from Brooklyn. I'm not sure how to interpret this. Matthews also fails to mention that the Cyclones were the first baseball club in St. Louis and that they played in the first baseball game in the city. While this suggests numerous possibilities, I don't want to read too much into it.
-That quote about "we will soon have another kind of ball to pitch" sounds awfully familiar. I don't know if I've heard it before, if Matthews "borrowed" it, or if I'm just imagining things.
-The photo of Leonard Matthews that is at the top of this post was taken from Life in St. Louis: The Matthews Family Exhibit 1851-1933, the website where I also found Matthews' autobiography.