Monday, March 29, 2010

The 1876 Brown Stockings: Bent On Achieving Victory

The seventh meeting of the season between the St. Louis and Boston clubs occurred in [Boston] to-day, and was accorded the patronage of fully 1,500 individuals, including a number of ladies. The weather was fine, and but for a great misfortune the game would have been one of the most interesting of the year for both nines. Bent on achieving victory, both were prepared to contest every inch of ground. It was in the matter of the selection of an umpire that the misfortune happened. The St. Louis brought none with them, and the gentleman finally chosen, Mr. Hurll, of Boston, was what John B. Gough would style an "ignoramus." His intentions were good, but his decisions were simply wretched, and kept both clubs on nettles throughout the game. No partiality was shown, however, and the game resulted as it very likely would have done had it been played entirely on its merits.

The St. Louis were first at the bat, and Pike opened with a magnificent drive for three bases. Schaffer's fumble of McGeary's grounder gave Pike a life at the home plate, and enabled him to score. Battin forced McGeary at second, where he was left when the side went out. In the second inning Blong struck out, and Bradley and Mack retired in order. Dehlman made three ineffectual attempts to hit the ball in the next inning, but reached first on Brown's error. Three called balls, and Clapp out on a long fly to Manning, helped Dehlman to a run. The blanks then fell to the St. Louis in as many innings. In the seventh, Dehlman was given a base on balls, and two more on a wild throw by Brown and a poor stop by Morrill. Pike again rallied with a three baser, and was sent home by Clapp's safe single for a base, which earned a run. Errors gave the Browns another run in the ninth inning, Dehlman being the lucky runner. The Bostons scored only in the second and the sixth innings, and then by errors of their opponents. The individual playing of Clapp, Bradley and Battin was good; also that of Wright, Leonard, Murnan, Morrill and the Boston Bradley.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 13, 1876

We need, in this country, a reinvigoration of the kind of spirit that makes it proper and good to call an umpire an "ignoramus" in print.

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