Thursday, November 12, 2009

The 1876 Brown Stockings: Batting With Vim

The thirty-five hundred spectaters at Grand Avenue Park yesterday afternoon were very much disappointed at the poor showing made by the Cincinnati Club against the famous Brown Stockings; who are at present playing a wonderful fielding game, and batting with vim. The Red Legs made a pretty picture as they appeared on the field. They are an athletic and well-behaved set of ball players, and have thus far this season made a creditable record. They were unfortunate yesterday in again being without the services of their valuable little catcher, Pearson, who, in the first inning hurt his hand so badly that he was compelled to retire, thus necessitating the sending of Will Foley-a model third baseman-behind the bat to support Fisher's ferocious pitching. Foley having been tried in the strange position but once before, the result was, as might have been anticipated, a series of damaging errors, principally passed balls and wild throws, which told disastrously against the visitors.

The game commenced promptly at 4 o'clock, with Cuthbert at the bat, and Jimmy Wood, the famous second baseman of the old Eckford nine, in the umpire's position. From the first inning to the last, the Reds failed to score a single tally, their batting being extremely weak, and the fielding of the home team almost perfection. But two safe hits were made, one a scratch by Kessler and the other a corker by Foley, off Bradley's swift pitching. This was a terrible fall for batsmen to take who had created such sad havoc with the Browns only a few days before, and a result that was not at all anticipated by the Cincinnati gentlemen. On the other hand, the Browns wielded the willow with great effect, the main feature of the game being the manner in which Battin punished Fisher every time he came to the bat. He faced the "Cherokee" five times, and on each occasion secured a base hit, no two of them dropping in the same part of the field. Pike also helped his average along by three fine hits, while Cuthbert, Clapp, Dehlman and Mack got one each. Clapp caught magnificently throughout, although charged with two errors. He retired ten of his opponents, three or four sharp foul tips cleanly handled, being credited to him. McGeary muffed a difficult fly, and one man was sent to his base on called balls, these four errors being all that were charged to the Browns. For the visitors, nothing very brilliant was done in the field, except a very vine catch at left center by Jones, which brought down the house. Kessler had a good deal of easy work to do at short, and did it in a fair manner. The only man who played up to the mark in the infield was Fischer. His pitching was of necessity slow, and therefore punished. He was evidently afraid to let himself out on Foley, and the Browns were not slow in profiting thereby.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 14, 1876

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