Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The 1876 Brown Stockings: Louisville Comes To Town

The Brown Stockings and Louisvilles will play at the Grand Avenue Park to-day, weather permitting, and a closely-contested game is anticipated. These clubs, in playing each other this season, have won and lost a game, and they seem to be pretty evenly matched. The Louisvilles, accompanied by their manager, Jack Chapman, arrived in the city last night. If the weather is fine a large crowd will doubtless be in attendance, as there is much interest manifested in the games between these two clubs. St. Louis seems to have the call, at small odds, in betting circles, and sporting men are backing the home club. The game will be called at 4 o'clock, sharp.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 9, 1876

It's nice to see that the Brown Stockings had won back the confidence of the gamblers.

And we still have a bit of unfinished business with Chicago...

Spaulding and his skillful companions left for Chicago last night, barely arriving at the depot in time to catch the train. They will meet the Cincinnatis to-day.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 9, 1876


David Ball said...

I happen to have been reading the constitution adopted by the National League before the 1876 season, and here's how Article XIII, "Field Rules," begins:

"Every club in this League shall be bound by the following Field Rules, and must have the same conspicuously posted or placarded upon its grounds, namely: No club shall allow open betting or pool selling upon its grounds, nor in any building owned or occupied by it..."

I believe this provision was explicitly flouted in New York, and it does seem that the spirit didn't get a lot of conformity generally.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

It certainly seems that it was flouted in StL. I really am surprised by how much talk there was of gambling in the Globe's baseball coverage. It didn't seem like there was that much in their coverage of the 1875 season (although there some talk of pools). The lesson, I guess, is that the 1877 scandal didn't take place in a vacum and the culture of corruption took hold of the club over time.

And I'm pretty sure they still have signs like that in baseball clubhouses today.