Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The 1876 Brown Stockings: Giving The Field A Presentable Appearance

Two or three hundred people assembled at Grand Avenue Park yesterday afternoon to witness the contest between the New Havens and Browns, most of the interest, of course, centering in Nichols, the New Haven pitcher, who is to supplant Bradley in the Brown stocking team next year. George Seward, who was always, and justly so, a great favorite in St. Louis, as well as Waitt and Fleet, who played with the Browns last season, were recognized and warmly welcomed by those in attendance. Shortly before 4 o'clock a thunder-storm came up, and the rain fell in torrents just long enough to make the grounds unfit for playing purposes. Mr. Solari and his assistants, aided by the irrepressible Battin, Dicky Pearce and one or two other industrious experts, went to work with a will, and, by means of sawdust and brooms, gave the field a presentable appearance, although the diamond looked more like a circus ring than anything else. Play was not called until 5 o'clock, and a conclusion was not reached until nearly dark. Mr. Burtis having returned from Chicago, where he gave great satisfaction to the Bostons and Whites, occupied the umpire's position, and acquitted himself with is usual accuracy. Nichols did not pitch, his place being supplied by Cassidy, the center fielder, Manager Jewett holding the former in reserve for the game with the St. Louis Red Stockings this afternoon. Loud cries were heard for "Nick," but he was really not in a condition to occupy the "six by six," and the disappointment could not well be avoided. For the Browns Blong pitched seven innings and Bradley two-the seventh and eighth. The in-fielding on both sides was very fine, especially the work of Pearce and young Sam. Wright at short.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 18, 1876

It appears that Bradley gave up a run in the seventh but since this was a non-League game, it doesn't count against his consecutive shutout innings streak. Also, this gives us a nice account of Solari getting the grounds ready after a rain delay. Don't think I've ever come across anything like that before. Peter Morris sees Solari as one of the pioneers of grounds keeping and this gives us a rare look at the kind of work he was doing.


Richard Hershberger said...

I was going to ask why this was not a League game, but then I realized that you seem to have misdated the article to the wrong year.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

I do it all the time but usually catch myself while typing. Thanks for pointing it out. I'll fix it.

In case there's an confusion, the game was played in 1876.

David Ball said...

Well, nobody's perfect. For example, I notice the New Haven putouts actually total only thirteen or fourteen (looks like Waitt should have a lot more) and the errors don't add up to what is at the foot of that column, either.

I know players don't always work very hard in exhibition games but it seems that is true of the scorers, too.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

I'm just glad that somebody's paying attention. I have too many projects going on, work's been a bear lately and I'm seriously feeling lazy so my attention to detail and my focus is not what it should be. I think I need a week on the beach. Or a week of silence in a monastary.