Monday, July 20, 2009

The Brown Stockings In Kentucky (or Play Harder And With Less Errors)

This is starting to remind me of The Monster At The End Of This Book, which, by the way, was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. Let's see if we can move this along.

The Brown Stockings came to the Cincinnati area, as we've seen, on September 15, 1875 and played the Covington Stars, winning 12-8. Right around this time they signed Joe Blong to a contract for 1876, possibly leading to Blong's "incident" during the Stars/Ludlow exhibition a few days later. On September 17, they played the Luds, winning 27-6. The next day, the Brown Stockings played the Cincinnati Red Stockings:

The Cincinnati Commercial thus describes the unsatisfactory finish of Saturday's game between St. Louis and Cincinnati:

Ninth Inning-Clark went out at first, Sweasy on a fly to the pitcher, and Nichols out at first.

Browns-The game now stood 12 to 9 in favor of the Reds, and a half inning yet to be played by the Browns. Pike, with a safe hit, reached first. Battin struck a fly to right field, which was taken by Wardell very close to the ground. The umpire decided it out, and Pike, who had run to second, was declared out at first. The Browns declared that the ball had not been fairly caught, but picked up. The question was noisily quarreled over by the two clubs, and a crowd of spectators who had rushed in. The umpire holding to his decision, the Captain of the Browns refused to finish the game, and so it ended, the umpire deciding the result to be 9 to 0 in favor of the Reds. It was an unfortunate termination. The Browns, of course, claim that they were unfairly used by the umpire, but there is another side on that claim. Had the Browns paid less attention to the cheers of the crowd for the Cincinnati Club, taken less to heart the decisions of the umpire against them, and played harder and with less errors, it is not at all unlikely that they would have come out winners. But if, under these circumstances, they had played the game out and been beaten in the end, they would stand in a better light before the base ball public than they now do.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 21, 1875

Dickey Pearce stated later that the reason the Browns left the field was that they thought there were three outs and the game was over. I'm not sure that that's believable.

To wrap this up, on September 20 the Brown Stockings made a trip to Louisville to play the Joe Ellick and the Eagles, winning 11-3. Also, on the same day, Philadelphia arrived in Cincinnati and defeated the Reds (Cincinnati, not St. Louis) by a score of 6-5.

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