Sunday, July 12, 2009

We Have Witnessed Many Worse Games Than This

Last Monday a large number of the male population of Ludlow visited the new Star Base Ball Grounds, at the head of Madison street, Covington, to witness the great game between the much-talked of and loudly advertised "Shining Stars" (see Covington news in all the Cincinnati dailies,) and the famous St. Louis Reds. The Stars having defeated the Ludlow club when it was in its infancy, and the Ludlows having made four runs in their game with the Reds, keeping their score down to 13, and whitewashing them five times, an easy victory was anticipated for the Covington boys.

A crowd estimated at between 3,000 and 4,000 was on the ground when game was called, about 4 o'clock, and as the larger proportion of those in attendance were Covingtonians, the enthusiasm was unbounded. When the Asterisks began to toss the ball, just to show how they were going to do it, the crowd applauded, and smiled pityingly at the St. Louis boys, especially poor Blong, the lame pitcher, and Houtz, the first baseman, who, in practicing, muffed every other ball. Some of them felt sorry for Sweasy, too-he had seen better days, when he belonged to a club which could play almost as well as the Stars. Then there was a delicate-looking boy named Flint, who was going to try to catch!

All of this was preparatory. The Reds went to the field, when game was called, with the air of men determined to do their best, even though their cause was hopeless. The Stars went to the bat, and for some reason, unexplained as yet, they didn't make any runs. The Covington people winked and smiled, and "guessed" the boys were throwing off on the Reds, to make it appear like a close game. But the St. Louis boys were evidently not let into the secret, for in their half of the the first inning they scored 8.

In the second inning the Stars seemed undecided as to whether they would merely "tie" the Reds, or make it 16 to 8; but after some reflection and consultation, they concluded to give their opponents a still better chance, and generously permitted themselves to be whitewashed a second time. The St. Louis boys, not to be outdone in matters of this kind, also scored a goose egg.

When the third inning had been played, and the score stood 9 to 0, it began gradually to steal over the minds of the Covingtonians that if the Stars were really going to score two to one, they had arrived at a point in the game where it was necessary to make a start-just the smallest kind of a start. This conclusion was made known to the directors, who communicated the same to the Nine.

Then, after the Umpire had remarked "Out on first," three several times, the still Shinning Stars went to the field, and the St. Louis, still in the dark as regards the intentions of their opponents, went to the bat, and after a reasonable time spent in exercise, left the score 14 to 0.

At this state of the proceedings Coroner McCabe, in a very excited manner, asked if any one had heard from Campbell's Creek. Our reporter, who has an aunt living in that vicinity, lost all further interest in the game, and in his struggles to get within speaking distance of the man of inquests, lost his score card; and to add to his misfortunes, he was lost in the large crowd, and failed to hear any of the Campbell's Creek news. The rest of our report, therefore, is made up from our exchanges, principally the Covington papers...

We have witnessed many worse games than this; and we believe that with close application, much practice, harmony, discipline, &c., the Stars will be a very good club by next summer...
-Ludlow Reporter, July 3, 1875

This may be the best account of a 19-0 game I've ever read. Good stuff.

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