Saturday, March 7, 2009

Some Notes On Bradley's 1877 Season

McVey was not, is not, and never can be a catcher, especially for such a man as Bradley. Mac is a cool-headed, sure, first-class first-baseman; an effective pitcher for a score of games in a season; and a splendid and scientific batsman; but he is not a catcher, because of his aptitude to get sore hands and to weaken his pitcher by making him pitch over the plate too much...Bradley was heavily handicapped by the change of the ball this year, as well as by the failure of McVey to support him properly.  With a "soft" ball on which the cover would loosen up a little, Bradley was the best pitcher in the country; with a hard ball he was not by any means so good.  In 1876 he was given by Clapp's efforts a great leeway in his work and no man used strategy more; but in 1877 he claims that he felt himself confined to a narrower circle by the necessity of always thinking about his catcher, and pitching to him.  There is unquestionably much truth in this; Bradley never could do half the work before McVey that he could before Clapp.  Another thing growing out of this general subject had to do with loss of games, and that was the utter impossibility of Bradley and McVey pulling together.  The former is high-strung, quick-tempered, and nervous to a degree; the latter has also a temper of his own, and when Bradley made a comment Mac sent it back with interest and there was too much growling between those two important men.  Each had his coterie of admirers, and there was not a remark or a hint dropped by one but came to the other.  But both wanted to win all the time, and had no intention of embarrassing each other's play-they simply didn't give way to each other's failings, and especially is that true of McVey.
-Chicago Daily, Oct 28, 1877

These thoughts on Bradley's poor 1877 season come from an article entitled "Some Reasons Why The Chicago Club Could Not Retain the Championship."  

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