At the Stocks' Park yesterday afternoon, the Black Stockings defeated the Independents-both strong colored clubs-by a score of 18 to 14. Al Pierce did not strive with the brilliancy of a Wright at short.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 29, 1876
Al Pierce, I believe, was playing with the Independents and most likely was the club's manager as well. He's a rather interesting gentleman who was an outstanding athlete and had the reputation as a successful gambler. It's unique that the Globe would mention him by name, regardless of the derogatory nature of the reference.
I think it says something about his status in the community that he's mentioned in a newspaper which, to a great extent, ignored black baseball and black athletes. The reference to Pierce, without any other information other than that he was playing short, leads one to believe that he was well-known in St. Louis.
Edit: Brilliant reader James Brunson corrected me in the comments. Pierce was playing for the Black Stockings. The Independents were a Kansas City club. Much thanks to James. And, again, I make no apologies for stealing Joe Posnanski's shtick (but I like to credit him because he's the best baseball writer in the business).