Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Time-Honored Custom

For the past five or six years the Chicago Base Ball Club has put in an appearance at the Grand Avenue Park during fair week, and although St. Louis is without a club this season, the White Stockings intend keeping up the time-honored custom, and games with the Indianapolis club have been arranged for Wednesday and Thursday.  The Blue Stockings have been in the city for several days, and have been practicing vigorously for the coming contests, yesterday annihilating a strong picked nine by the slab-sided score of eleven to nothing.  The games alluded to will be as exciting as any of the present season, and the friends of the old Brown Stockings and the national pastime generally should attend them if they ever desire to see a League club in St. Louis again.  The support given the visitors may ave a good deal to do towards influencing the gentlemen who have an idea of placing a nine in the field for next season to carry out their project.  Old-time crowds on Wednesday and Thursday would undoubtedly revive the old-time enthusiasm.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 8, 1878

There's some interesting stuff here.  First, this is the first I've heard of a "tradition" of the White Stockings coming down to St. Louis to play during the Fair.  I'll have to go back and check but this probably dates back to 1872 or 1873.  Second, you have to love the argument given by the Globe for people to come out to the ballpark.  Come to the ballpark and that will show everybody that we can support a club.  For several years during the late-1990's, there were people trying to bring an NBA team to St. Louis and they would schedule an exhibition game at the Kiel Center during the preseason.  And the same argument was used to try and draw a crowd to the basketball game.  The more things change... 

Also, I don't think I've ever posted anything about the Chicago/Indianapolis games in St. Louis.  I'll have to get on that at some point.  But if memory serves, the crowds were rather disappointing.   

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