Thursday, July 16, 2009


To add to his other troubles, it is now rumored that Joe Ellick, captain of that nine, has abandoned them to accept a position with the Eagles of Louisville. It certainly is to be hoped that the association will take such cases in hand and deal with them severely, which they, no doubt, will in all the cases where the jumpers come under their discipline...Your correspondent has been credibly informed that in the case of Blong, he was released by McNeary before joining the Covington Stars. Both (Ellick) and McSorley are absent with the club on a trip through Ohio, but both will, no doubt, have something to say in defense of their action...
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 15, 1875

I really like the use of the word "abandoned" to describe Ellick, Blong, et al. leaving the Reds in 1875. It seems fitting.

The two most interesting things in this piece is that Ellick was "captain of that nine" after Sweasy and that Blong is "credibly" reported to have secured his release from the club before joining Covington. I think that little facts like Ellick serving as captain adds needed detail to what we already understand about the broad picture while there are still questions about how Blong left the Reds.

And if you can't tell, I'm working my way (in my own meandering style) up to the Brown Stockings' September 22 game against Philadelphia in Ludlow, Kentucky.


David Ball said...

How do you interpret the remark about "the association" taking a hand in the matter? Does "association" refer to the Red Stockings themselves (I've seen the term used not infrequently in talking about ball clubs) or is it the National Association?

Jeffrey Kittel said...

My assumption was that it refered to the National Association. There's something about "if they come under their discipline." I was thinking that Louisville didn't fall under their jurisdiction and therefore there was nothing that the NA could do about the matter.

David Ball said...

That's probably the right interpretation, and it's true that the NA had no direct jurisdiction over clubs such as the Eagles and Stars because they were not members. But at a little later date, the NL would pressure outside clubs that violated its contract rights or signed suspended and blacklisted players, by refusing to play those teams in exhibition games. I don't believe the NA ever made any attempt to do this, and it certainly didn't do so effectively.