Saturday, November 28, 2009

The 1876 Brown Stockings: An Incident Worthy Of Note

The Clipper weighs in on the McGeary game:

One plain fact was elicited in the week's play, and that was that the St. Louis team, with all playing their level best to win, is one strong enough to successfully cope with the best in the League; but if doing their best can not be insured, the strength they possess becomes comparatively useless...But there appears to be other drawbacks in the composition of the team, which will tell against their record before the season is over. There was an incident connected with this game which is worthy of note. Cuthbert, before the game began, was very active in the field, holding difficult fly balls with ease. After the second inning had ended, though he had not handled the ball in the game, he declined to play further, the alleged cause being "a sore hand." Pearce was put in to play in his stead at left field, and the veteran, when he stepped up to the bat, received a hearty greeting of applause.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 1, 1876

The Cuthbert incident was mentioned in a previous post and the insinuation was that Cuthbert left the game in disgust, angered by McGeary's play.

I'm still surprised that there were rumors of game fixing surrounding the club in 1876. It's not that this kind of thing wasn't going on (see the 1877 Brown Stockings) but that I've never heard anything like this in connection with the 1876 Browns. We can now say that, regardless of the facts on the field, there were allegations of game fixing surrounding the Brown Stockings in both 1876 and 1877.

I believe that the most relevant question right now is whether or not there were any allegations made against the 1875 Brown Stockings. As of right now, I'm not aware of any but it seems like we need to take a closer look at that. Allegations of game fixing against the 1875 club would significantly change the story of the 1875-1877 Brown Stockings.

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