Friday, October 16, 2009

The 1876 Brown Stockings: Advancing The Cause Of Morality

Merely because our Brown Stockings showed their good nature and their real kindness by allowing the Louisvilles to present them with nine goose eggs, there are people so unjust and so unreasonable as to make cursory remarks about them and to suggest the propriety of receiving them with a calithumpian band and escorting them home with a procession of bill board men, headed by the peripatetic donkey cart which sets forth the nocturnal existence of Looney's Varieties. But we would remark that when two clubs play it almost always happens that one of them gets beaten, and the St. Louis Club is that one. Instead of saying harsh things about them the lovers of base ball should thank them for valuable services they have rendered to the manly game; they have settled the vexed question as to whether the Cincinnati Club or the Louisville Club was the worst club in the League, and they have set forth with a clearness never before illustrated the evils of betting. In the conduct of a strictly religious paper, we have frequently had occasion to warn young men about the pernicious and deplorable effects of betting, especially of betting on a base-ball match. But we doubt whether a year's preaching would reach home so thoroughly and achieve so complete a conversion as the one short week's experience of our home club in its first four games. We are confident that a great many young men, who would have bet wildly and lavishly on the game this afternoon will now see the wickedness of such conduct, and witness the game without degrading its healthy excitement with the feverish pollution of gambling. To have accomplished this much is to have done a great deal for the cause of morality, and we can utter no better wish for the Brown Stockings than that before the end of the season they may take as high a rank among the base ball clubs as among the teachers of morality.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 4, 1876

I don't know about you but I'm detecting a high degree of 19th century snark. Also, I'm not exactly sure what they're talking about in that first sentence with their calithumpian bands, bill board men and peripatetic donkeys but I don't think it's complimentary.

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