Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The 1876 Brown Stockings: Dissatisfaction, Recrimination And Envy

To the Editor of the Globe-Democrat:

St. Louis, July 29, 1876.-It is a good rule to let well enough alone, and the Brown Stocking management would have done well to recollect it when they laid off Pearce, who had been playing a beautiful game, and replaced Mack at short. The result might have been the same in the first two Louisville games, but the chances are that it would not. We all see, too, the result of engaging players for the ensuing year in the height of the playing season. Dissatisfaction, recrimination and envy take the place of unity, good nature, and the determination of each player to do his level best. They all laughed at Chadwick when he urged club managers to stop the pernicious practice a year ago. It will be adopted by the League next year for their very preservation.

-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 30, 1876

When I get to writing up this part of the Brown Stockings' story, I think "Dissatisfaction, Recrimination And Envy" will make a nice chapter title.

By the way, it certainly looks like we have a bit of a shortstop controversy. Mack had a bit more power (and I use the term loosely) while Bad Dickey was probably the better fielder (even if he was forty years old). Six of one, half dozen of the other. Neither covered themselves with laurels in 1876. There's a reason the club picked up Davey Force for 1877.

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