Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Base Ball Sensation Of The Year

The feature of the game was (John) Peters' play in short field, all the more noteworthy in view of the fact that he was suffering horribly from an attack of pleurisy. This young man is the base ball sensation of the year up to this time. Taken from a St. Louis amateur club, in which he played semi-occasionally, as often as he could spare the time from his underground employment as a miner, he was placed in the White Stocking nine to fill the difficult position made vacant by the illness of Jimmy Wood. After playing second base extremely well, he was transferred to short field, where his record is a marvel among ball-players. At first he was nervous at the bat through lack of experience with professional pitching, but he has got bravely over this, and is now giving Meyerle, Cuthbert, and Force a hard rub for the batting supremacy. Peters was out of place in St. Louis, and Chicago took him in. It may gratify his many admirers to know that his engagement with the White Stocking nine continues for three years.

-Chicago Tribune, July 26, 1874

According to Tobias, Chicago "perpetrated highway robbery" in May of 1874 when, after playing in St. Louis, they signed Peters, of the Reds, and Dan Collins, of the Empire Club. However, Tobias wrote, "the Reds did not feel the loss of Peters to any tearful extent..." That, of course, is utter nonsense. The Reds were not a particularly heavy hitting club and Peters proved to be a fine hitter. I think there's enough statistical evidence to show that he would have been an improvement at shortstop over Billy Redmon.

No comments: