Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Little Preliminary Practice

Yesterday afternoon the Browns were out to their park in full force, and indulged in passing the yarn and leather around for a couple of hours. With the assistance of amateurs present two nines were selected, and several innings played. Bradley pitched and Clapp caught on one side, while Blong occupied the six foot square, and Miller took his hot shots, on the other. Three or four brilliant plays were made during the scrimmage, the most noticeable being a fine one-handed catch made by Mr. Eugene Wolff, which was loudly applauded by the hundred spectators in attendance. Clapp did not seem to get the hang of Bradley's pacers, but will no doubt soon work well with the old man. McGrary occupied second base, and attempted to everything that came his way in apple-pie order. The Browns seem determined to put themselves in good playing trim at as early a day as possible.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 5, 1876

The Brown Stockings were reasonably active prior to March of 1876. There are notices in the Globe for games on Christmas and New Years Day. Sadly, I've never been able to find reports of those games. Also they played a couple of games in February against the Grand Avenues and the Empire Club. Obviously, these games do not constitute part of their League schedule and I don't even see the February games as part of a tune-up for the new season. It appears to have been a rather mild winter in St. Louis and they took the opportunity to play some games and make some money.

Also, as I had recently mentioned nicknames, note the use of "Browns" to identify the St. Louis Club. The usage of "Browns" was not particularly uncommon but, as an editorial policy, I use "Brown Stockings" to distinguish the 1875-1877 club from the later 1882-1898 Brown Stockings/Browns. Put, for the sake of accuracy, it should be stated that the 1875-1877 club was identified, in print, as both the Brown Stockings and the Browns.

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