Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sometimes You Just Kind Of Scratch Your Head And Move On With Your Life

A game of base ball was played on the Fourth of July by the Concordia and Ambidextrous Clubs, which resulted in the defeat of the later by five runs in two wings, when they gave up the Ball.
-St. Louis Daily Press, July 7, 1865

I'm not sure what to make of this. Both clubs are unknown to me but the Concordia Club could have been made up of students from Concordia Seminary. I have a vague feeling that I've seen references to baseball at Concordia in the postbellum period but I don't have it in my notes.

Two wings? I had to look at that for a long time before I was certain that it said what I thought it said. It may just be a misprint or it may be some strange colloquialism that I've never seen before.

They gave up the Ball? This could be taken literally in that the Concordia Club gained the game ball as a trophy upon winning the match. Or it could just be a figure of speech.

And did the Ambidextrous Club forfeit the match after being down five runs after two innings or was the game only scheduled to last two innings? There are baseball variants where you had to retire everyone on the opposing club before the inning would end and this kind of game could have been played for only two innings. Of course, this wouldn't have been the New York game. Most likely I'm over-thinking this and this was a baseball match played under the rules of the National Convention and the Ambidextrous Club just quit after two innings.


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