Saturday, February 6, 2010

Died Of The League

The Indianapolis management is endeavoring to engage McSorley and Houtz, of the Covington Stars.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 27, 1876

The Cincinnati Gazette of Thursday says: The Stars have gone to pot. The club was formally disbanded last night. No games are expected for the balance of this season, and it has hardly been a paying institution this year. We believe the club stands "square" with its nine. The epitaph on this club might be, "Died of the League." The rule forbidding the playing of any League club with them starved them out. Houtz, Flint, McSorley and Golden will leave to-night for Indianapolis.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 29, 1876

According to this report, Covington disbanded on Wednesday, July 26th. Indianapolis must have been trying to grab some of their players before the club disbanded and I assume it's possible that this added to their troubles. Regardless, the Stars were a fascinating club and played a significant role in the history of St. Louis baseball. Even their demise effected the careers of several St. Louis players and the National League. I have a soft-spot in my heart for the 1875-1876 Covington Stars.


David Ball said...

To avoid overexposure, the rule was that no League team could play an outside club in any other League city, even with the permission of the local NL team.

This must have been a serious problem for the St. Louis Reds as well. L.C. Waite of the Reds publicly proposed the formation of a national association of non-League clubs (the International Association, as it became known), with a blast at the National League, and I would guess this particular policy must have been a major source of his hostility to the League.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

It certainly was a problem for the Reds and they even struggled throughout 1876 to get a game with the Brown Stockings. There was an exhibition scheduled right around the time New Haven came to StL (mid to late July) but it got cancelled because the Browns wanted to leave early for a road trip. And Reds management certainly took their shots at the NL in the Globe.