Sunday, February 15, 2009

That's One Way To Look At It

The following well-timed communication appears in the columns of the Louisville Courier-Journal:

To the Editor of the Courier-Journal:
St. Louis September 6, 1875.-I regret to notice in your paper of the 4th inst. a short article reflecting on the Red Stocking Base Ball Club of St. Louis, which you say "started out this season with a big flourish of trumpets, and which has been ignominiously defeated in almost every contest with other professionals." I am at a loss to know what you consider a big flourish of trumpets, for the Red Stockings have had no $20,000 capital to back them, no salaried managers, nor subsidized newspaper reporters, nor any of the clap-trap that attends many of the great professional clubs.

You must have been misled by the flourish of trumpets with which the great clubs and great players of the East declared they would wipe the "Reds" out of existence. They tried their level best to do this and utterly failed, nor could they give them even a disastrous defeat.

The Red Stockings defeated the professional Westerns by scores of 6 to 1 and 3 to 1; the Washingtons, 3 to 0 and 8 to 0. They were beaten by the Chicagos 1 to 0; Brown Stockings 15 to 9 and 6 to 0; the Mutuals 4 to 1; Philadelphias, 4 to 3; Hartfords 8 to 1 and 11 to 6; Bostons, 10 to 5. Do you call these ignominious defeats?

The truth is, the Red Stockings, with reasonable encouragement and treatment, can and will play any club in America-Amateur or professional-and feel confident of coming off victorious in every contest in which they engage. Else why is it that the champion clubs of the East refuse to arrange games with them? These clubs were willing enough to swell the number of games with the Washingtons, a club that was broken up by a series of disastrous defeats administered by the Red Stockings.

Now, you can readily see that it is a brave undertaking of theirs to measure strength in this, their initial, year, under a purely local organization, against the veteran clubs, composed of players selected from every State in the Union, and captained by men gray in the service, and supported by millions of capital. Give the boys a chance, Mr. Editor, and they will stand on their own merits as ball-players, and without any flourish of trumpets, and without even a lamentation over the seductive influences exerted by Kentucky clubs to draw off their best players.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 11, 1875

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