The Covington Stars, in their game with the Louisville Eagles, on Tuesday, were caught again using a spring bat. Mr. Blong went to the bat and struck a foul, breaking his bat in two pieces. He made an attempt to conceal the pieces, but accident disclose the fact that it was a bored bat, the same he and his friends used here, contrary to all the rules of fair play. This discovery threatened for a time to put an end to the game, but it was finally allowed to continue. A Lexington gentleman, who was on the ground, testified to this fact. Is this honorable dealing? Can the Covington News defend such practices? But why ask? It has already shown its capacity for that sort of dirty work.-The Lexington Press (published in The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 29, 1875)
This story, in and of itself, is classic but the fact that Joe Blong was involved is icing on the cake. Blong certainly had a nose for trouble.
It seems that the tradition of corking a bat is a long standing one. In A Game of Inches: The Game on the Field, Peter Morris quotes George Wright as saying that it was being done as early as 1860 and he notes that the National League had a rule in place in 1876 that stated that bats had to be made "wholly" of wood.