Sunday, February 7, 2010

The 1876 Brown Stockings: Out-Fielded and Defeated

By magnificent fielding, a tolerable exhibit at the bat, and fine base running, Chapman's crew again scored an important victory over the Brown Stockings at the Grand Avenue Park, in the presence of about eight hundred spectators, many of whom were ladies. The game was poorly umpired by Mr. Quinn, of Chicago, whose decisions were frequently erroneous. The Kentuckians took the lead in the second inning by scoring two unearned runs, on errors by Bradley, Mack and Battin, and Hague's long drive for two bases. In the fourth, Pike, by a fine base hit and a three-base drive by Bradley, earned the only run of the game. The score was tied in the sixth inning, Pike again earning his base, and coming home on a base hit by Battin and a sacrifice hit by Blong. This was all St. Louis could do in the way of run getting, while Louisville scored singles in the seventh and eighth innings by errors by McGeary and Cuthbert, and the good batting of Fulmer, Snyder and Devlin. During the game Cuthbert and Ryan made magnificent catches. The main features of the contest, however, was Snyder's brilliant work behind the bat, and his superb throwing to bases, every man who attempted to steal being easily caught. Somerville's second base play was also a splendid exhibition. The four errors charged to Louisville consisted of a misjudged foul fly by Snyder, grounders juggled by Fulmer and Somerville, and a dropped foul fly by Hague. Fine fielding won the game, the visitors being outbatted.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 28, 1876

You can't shut-down Pop Snyder; you can only hope to contain him. But should I really be refering to 21 year-old Charles Snyder as "Pop?" Why do I have a feeling that he picked up that nickname later in life?

Anyway, this is the kind of baseball game that I really like. Low-scoring, good defense (at least by Louisville) and tight-going into the late innings. This would have been a fun game to watch. And check out the top of the order for St. Louis. Zero hits by Cuthbert, Clapp and McGeary. I might not know much but I do know that you're not going to score many runs when the top three spots in the order take an O-fer.


David Ball said...

In the Cincinnati press, I've seen Snyder called Pop only late in his time with the team, probably not until 1886.

Interesting man, a degenerate gambler and womanizer, but also a straightforward, stand up guy who almost put himself under suspicion by his staunch defense of his battery mate Jim Devlin when Devlin was accused of game throwing at the end of the 1877 season (unfortunately, it turned out Devlin had already confessed). He also once volunteered to give up some of an offered raise if the Reds put the money into signing a better first baseman (or change pitcher, I've seen the story told both ways).

Jeffrey Kittel said...

He sounds like my kind of guy. And I have to stop being surprised when gambling pops up in every single story about this era.