Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The 1876 Brown Stockings: The Champion Liar

A man named Meacham, who should have been christened Ananias, sent the following special telegram to the Chicago Tribune, on Monday night, concerning the disgraceful scenes enacted by the white-hosed and white-livered gang from Chicago at Grand Avenue Park:

"An extraordinary crowd for St. Louis witnessed the game, and there were about 3,000 of them by count. After Battin had gone out on an easy fly, Cuthbert came forward, and, after much whispering and consultation among the nine, he was directed to give McGeary a chance to exercise those peculiar talents which have caused him to be tried and suspended so many times. Accordingly Cuthbert refrained from trying to hit out, and bumped a little one down near the foul line. McGeary was aware of what was to be done, and he ran up, and stopping long enough to get a good aim, deliberately kicked the ball away from Anson's hands, and the, laughing at what he had done, ran home and claimed a run. The first impulse of young Walker, the umpire, was to declare the man out, as a matter of course, for so glaring an infraction of the rules, but when the crowd arose and demanded as one man that he give the run, accompanying it with threats of cutting 'the heart out of the [d*mned son of a b*tch] if he dared do anything else, these cries and the like had no little effect on the boy, and, to speak within bounds, his liver turned to water, his head shook, and he repeated after the crowd whatever they saw fit to say. Add to this that the St. Louis players followed by the crowd rushed around the youngster, and it is easy to see that he did what was wisest for his own safety. Of course, Capt. Spalding refused to play under the circumstances, and the game was given to St. Louis by the trembling umpire 9 to 0. It was very good of the crowd not to ask for 100 to 0, for they would have got it if they had."

It would be mighty safe investment to bet that 5,000 of the very best citizens of St. Louis are willing to make affidavits to the effect that the author of the above nonsense is a greater liar than Ananias ever dare be, and that there is not a single word of truth in the telegram, except that Chicago lost the game by a score of 9 to 0, as she richly deserved. As the champion liar of this or any other country, Meacham will, in future, wear the emblematic belt. It can assuredly never be wrested from him.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 24, 1876

No comments: