Monday, October 27, 2008

A Report Of The Empire Club's 1865 Freeport Match

The forenoon (of July 4, 1865) was passed in frantic endeavors to keep cool-efforts were not crowned with success. At two o'clock, p.m., the St. Louis and Freeport Base Ball Clubs met on the common (in Freeport, Illinois) to ascertain, we suppose, what exercise would do toward keeping the blood cool. A large crowd of spectators from Stephenson and adjoining counties was present to watch the game. The members of both clubs were dressed in a very picturesque costume. The cap of white muslin with red trimmings was a union of beauty and utility. To your humble correspondent the game seems a boyish one, but "men are only boys grown tall." The Freeport boys were beaten, but they say it was not fairly done, and it is rumored that it is to be tried over again to-morrow. By the way the umpire was from Chicago, and there are complaints of partiality.
-The Chicago Tribune, July 7, 1865

This is the match that E.H. Tobias claims was the first fly match ever played in the West. The Empire Club won the game 27-20.

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