Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The 1876 Brown Stockings: The Game As A Whole Was Decidedly Brilliant

About eight hundred spectators at the Grand Avenue Park, yesterday afternoon, were delighted at the display made by the rival ball-tossers of the two most prominent home organizations. The Browns had on their new suits, and the uniforms, though it varies little from that of last year, is a very tasty one. The Reds presented their full nine, and the ponies acquitted themselves nobly. Play was called promptly at 4 o'clock, with the Browns at the bat, Capt. McGeary having again lost the toss. The professionals opened well in the first inning, scoring two runs, one of which was earned by Cuthbert's ferocious drive for three bases, followed by Clapp's single. Run-getting after that was slow, the Browns adding one run in the seventh and one in the eighth, neither of which was earned. The Reds were presented with an unbroken chain of nothings, the boys, failing utterly to master Bradleys delivery, off which but two safe hits were made, one by Collins and one by Magner. The Browns secured five base hits, Dehlman being credited with two, and Cuthbert, Clapp and Blong with one each. The pitching on both sides and the fielding throughout were admirable, errors being few and far between. Loftus made as brilliant a catch as any ever seen in St. Louis, and carried off the honors, he making no less than five catches. Dolan caught in splendid style, and all did well. The Browns one and all played up to their usual high standard, and the game as a whole was decidedly brilliant.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 23, 1876

This is another great game account by William Spink. Being an admirer of his writing, I'm really looking forward to following his day-by-day game reporting on the Brown Stockings. Just in this paragraph, there are four turns of phrase that forced me to stop, admire his work and despair over my own ponderous prose stylings. William Spink was a darn fine writer.

Also, note Spink's description of the Brown Stockings and Reds as "the two most prominent home organizations." It's almost shocking to see the Empire Club not included as one of the two most prominent clubs in St. Louis. That this was certainly true goes to the point that I was trying to make the other day.

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