Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fifty-two Runs A Game

In 1867, in the published averages of the previous season's play, we find the Athletic Club's average of runs to a match reaching the high figure of fifty-one; the Cincinnati Club, fifty-one; the Active of Indianapolis, fifty-two; the Union of St. Louis, fifty-two...
-The New York Clipper Almanac 1877

So if I'm reading this correctly, the Union Club averaged fifty-two runs a game in 1866, the club's first season of play after reorganizing following the end of the Civil War.  In 1867 and 1868, the Unions would go on to win the championship of Missouri.   

1 comment:

Richard Hershberger said...

It was indeed a high-scoring era. The ball was lively, with more rubber content than the modern ball. Pitching technique was not yet widespread. A lot of the pitching was still of the soft-toss variety, with the occasional fastballer wowing them. In that environment it is easier to get the hang of batting than it is fielding: hence the high scores.

At least that's my take on it. I don't think there really is any consensus opinion on the subject.