Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The 1876 Brown Stockings: A Very Awkward Predicament

McGeary is the principal topic of conversation in base ball circles, at the present time, and the manner in which he has stirred up certain gentlemen is amusing in the extreme. At the time McGeary was engaged by the St. Louis Club there were only two newspapers in the country that saw fit to speak of the man as a "marked" player, and to maintain that the Browns had made a vital mistake in hiring him. The Globe-Democrat and the New York Clipper are the journals referred to, and the result was that bigoted partisans availed themselves of every opportunity to sling mud at Mr. Henry Chadwick, the base ball editor of the Clipper. Because that gentleman maintained that McGeary and Blong had been guilty of discreditable acts and should not have been employed, he was roundly abused by those who were willing to overlook the former records of the men in the hope that their playing skill would enable the St. Louis Club to win the championship. If McGeary is the traitor that the Brown Stocking manager, by his telegram, would lead the public to believe, the officers of that club have learned the lesson which Chadwick maintained they would be taught before the end of the season. It is exceedingly lucky that this expose has occurred thus early, thereby enabling changes to be made in the team, which, later in the season, might prevent the Browns gaining one of the first places in the championship race. If the charges against McGeary can be substantiated, the National game will profit greatly thereby. The League will doubtless see that he is punished, and punished so severely that other players will be deterred from similar actions. A noticeable fact in connection with this affair is that the very men who could see nothing wrong in the engagement of players with tarnished reputations are now howling like hyennas at the result of the game in Brooklyn on Saturday. "Such is life."

At noon yesterday the Directors of the St. Louis Club held a meeting and decided to sift the charges against McGeary thoroughly, and, if they are well founded, he will at one be expelled from the League. The action of Manager Graffen in suspending McGeary for the time being was also upheld, and that official was notified to that effect. It is very evident that the gentlemen connected with the club intend doing all in their power to suppress fraud of every description. The death of Miller and McGeary's suspension place the Browns in a very awkward predicament, as they are now without substitutes in the event of injury, illness or accident. For this reason it is more than likely that the nine players left will do their level best to show St. Louisians that they are worthy of the confidence reposed in them, and the team may possibly be strengthened, instead of weakened, by the club's misfortunes.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 30, 1876

It was a rough couple of days for the Brown Stockings. They lost to the Mutuals, McGeary was accused of throwing the game and suspended and then Tom Miller died in Philadelphia. Such is life, indeed.

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