Tuesday, November 17, 2009

1876 Brown Stockings: The Chicagos Patch Up Their Prestige

The Chicagos managed to-day to patch up their prestige a little, which had been left sadly out of repair by the events of the previous day. They turned the tables on their St. Louis opponents in a substantial, if not in a very handsome, style, winning the game by a score of 6 to 3. The game was quite evenly contested, both in the field and at the bat, but the home club contrived to pop in their errors at the least critical junctures, and what most surprised the 6,000 people in attendance, they actually struck two or three fair streaks of batting, and sped around the bases at a lively rate, in spite of the excellent fielding of their competitors. Neither side, on the whole, made a good batting display, and the outfielders hardly performed their share of the work.

The Browns won the toss. Battin signalized himself, the first thing, by a low throw to first, permitting Barnes to take his base on a poor hit. By a neat double-play, however, Anson was retired on a fly catch by McGeary, and Barnes was caught between first and second. McVey's grounder went right through Mack, and he took an unearned base, upon which he was left, as Hines failed to cross the plate. The Browns retired with even greater precipitation. Cuthbert lifted a high one, which Glenn gathered. McGeary fouled out to White, and Pike dropped the ball at second base, whence it was neatly fielded to first before he got there.

The game was won for the Whites in the second inning. Bradley helped the thing along by permitting Spalding to take first on called balls. Bielaski feebly wailed the leather to second, and was cut off at first. Then the fun commenced. White made a beautiful base hit to center field, and Spalding took third. Peters made a fair foul base hit, giving Spalding an unearned run, and advancing White to third base. Glenn then sent a grounder to the left field, which Cuthbert picked up nimbly and sent home just as White crossed the plate. Clapp failed to gather in the ball, as he should have done, and, striking White on the shoulder, it bounded one side twenty feet, and Peters got home. White's run was earned. The crowd was wild with enthusiasm, and breathed easier in the expectation that the Whites would now certainly retrieve their fallen fortunes of the day before. Barnes then went out on a high fly to center field, and Glenn was nipped by Clapp as he essayed to reach the home plate before the ball did. The Browns failed to emulate the example of their opponents. Pike gracefully retired on three strikes. Anson caught Battin's little fly, and after a neat base hit to center field by Blong, Bradley retired the side by lodging a foul fly in Anson's hand.

The third inning was noteworthy only for the splendid fielding of a hot grounder from Cuthbert's bat by Barnes to McVey. Dehlman excited a storm of hisses by hunting a ball at his feet, after which exploit he ingloriously attempted to reach first base. Neither side made a base hit. A fine effort by the Browns to tally in the fourth was thwarted in the nick of time. Clapp made a clean base hit to center field. McGeary and Pike were then retired, Clapp advancing to third. Battin then sent a hot grounder to Barnes, which was fielded in the finest possible form to first, where it lodged in McVey's hands just as Clapp was within five feet of home.

The fifth inning presented no interesting features, except a fine base-hit to left by Dehlman, which filled him with such conceit that he tried to steal second, and came to grief. In the sixth, the Whites scored another unearned run. Anson went out on a foul tip to Clapp. McVey then tapped the ball gently, and sent it rolling to Mack, who fielded it well to first, but Dehlman made a horrible muff, and McVey took his base, whence he had the cheek to steal to second. Hines then made a two-base hit to left field, bring McVey Home. The side was then retired. In the latter half of the inning Mack was sent to first on called balls, and by the time that Cuthbert and Clapp had taken their seats, he had reached second. McGeary then sent a ball way over the short fielder's head, and made a creditable effort to get home, but was cut off almost over the plate by a fine throw from Hines to White.

The Chicagos revived their batting powers for another fail display in the seventh inning. White made a fine base hit to center. Peters made another first base hit, and White took second. A short ball from Glenn's bat was fielded from Bradley to Battin in time to cut off White at third. Battin then, in his haste to shorten Glenn's life, threw rather high to first, and the ball hit Dehlman on the bridge of his nose, turning his thoughts heavenward for a minute, while Glenn took second, and Peters third. Game was suspended for a few minutes to enable Dehlman to recover his breath. Barnes then sent a grounder to Mack, which was fielded to third in time to cut off Glenn, and Peters meantime came home. A base hit from Anson's bat brought Barnes home, and the Whites had scored two more unearned runs.

The exhibition of the Whites in the two last innings was not worthy of detailed mention. In the seventh, the Browns tallied their first run. After Cuthbert and Clapp had been easily retired, McGeary made second base on an error of Anson's in fumbling the ball and then throwing wild to second. A fine base hit from Pike's bat to right field brought McGeary home, amidst the hearty cheering of the audience. The Browns made their only earned run in the eighth inning, on a safe hit from Blong, a fair-foul base hit from Dehlman, and a fine base hit from Cuthbert to the left field gave Blong a tally. McGeary tallied again in the ninth inning, thanks to a very bad muff of his fly by Glenn and Battin's base hit. Pike, Blong and Bradley retired the club gracefully and ended the game, leaving Battin on second base.

Bielaskie took Addy's place in right field yesterday, to see if he would make a better record than that young man had achieved in the preceding game. He did nothing at the bat, and had only one opportunity in the field, which he improved in good style. Pools on the game sold at odds of $10 to $7 in favor of Chicago. Only a small number were disposed of.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 21, 1876

And so the 1876 Brown Stockings ended the first part of their western schedule with a loss to the Chicagos but with an overall record of 7-5. They also split their four games with the Whites and established themselves as a championship contender. After this game, the club would head east for twelve games and the championship wheat would get separated from the pretender's chaff.


Anonymous said...

It was certainly interesting for me to read the blog. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

Thanks for the kind words and I hope you come back.