Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The First Game

Grand Avenue Park presented a decidedly animated appearance yesterday afternoon, on the occasion of the opening base ball game of the season, between the red-legged champions of Boston, who, owing to their skillful play and gentlemanly deportment, were always prime favorites in St. Louis, and the Indianapolis Club, which has decided to make its home here for the remainder of the year. The crowd reminded one of old times, when the enthusiasm manifested for the National game was unbounded. While the park is not as large as in previous years, it is still amply sufficient for all practical purposes, and the "diamond," thanks to Superintendent Solari, is in perfect condition. Nothing is lacking to make the visitor comfortable, and the seating capacity is equal to anything but an extraordinary emergency. That great interest is still taken in the game was manifested by the presence of so many spectators from all branches of life, and the demonstrative manner in which they received the rival athletes...Clapp, Croft and Flint were quickly recognized, and each was accorded an ovation...The Reds won the toss, and after the third inning had everything their own way, having all the luck and the best of the umpiring...It was evidently an off day for the Hoosiers, six of whom could do nothing with the stick, while all except Croft, Flint, Shaefer and Williamson were shaky in the field...No brilliant play was exhibited on either side outside of the pitching and catching, which was a model display, and a fine catch each by Leonard and Warner. While a majority of the spectators would have preferred seeing the Bostons beaten, the applause was distributed in an impartial manner.

The disagreeable feature of the contest was the boorish conduct of Burdock, who, as usual, had more to say than all others pub together, and who, by his idiotic shouting, endeavored to disconcert the opposing players at critical points of the struggle. His appeals to the umpire were based on the most childish pretexts imaginable, and the respectable people present were surprised that Harry Wright did not sit down on him.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 10, 1878

Boston won the first game of the series, 6-3.

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