Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The 1876 Brown Stockings: The End Of The Road

I shall foot it
Down the roadway in the dusk,
Where shapes of hunger wander
And the fugitives of pain go by.
I shall foot it
In the silence of the morning,
See the night slur into dawn,
Hear the slow great winds arise
Where tall trees flank the way
And shoulder toward the sky.

The broken boulders by the road
Shall not commemorate my ruin.
Regret shall be the gravel under foot.
I shall watch for
Slim birds swift of wing
That go where wind and ranks of thunder
Drive the wild processionals of rain.

The dust of the traveled road
Shall touch my hands and face.
-Carl Sandburg

When the long day's tramp is over, when the journey's done,
I shall dip down from some hilltop at the going down o' the sun,
And turn in at the open door, and lay down staff and load,
And wash me clean of the heat o' day, and white dust o' road.

There shall I hear the restless wind go wandering to and fro
That sings the old wayfaring song-the tune that the stars know;
Soft shall I lie and well content, and I shall ask no more
Than just to drowse and watch the folks turn in at the open door.

To hail the folk I used to know, that trudged with me in the dust,
That warmed their hands at the same fire, and ate o' the same crust,
To know them safe from the cold wind and the drenching rain,
Turn a little, and wake a little, and so to sleep again.
-Cicely Fox Smith

The Boston and St. Louis Clubs finished their series of ball games for the season of '76 at Grand Avenue Park yesterday afternoon, about 1,000 spectators being in attendance in spite of the cold weather. The Browns were out in full force, each man being in his home position; but, owing to Morrill's poor play at second on the pay previous, there were several changes in the Boston team-Murnau going to left, Leonard to second and Morrill to first. McGeary was lucky enough to win the toss, and the Reds were sent to the bat, their first three strikers retiring in succession. The Browns were also blanked in their first inning, although

Clapp Earned First,

and was sent to second by McGeary's fine drive to left center. In the second inning Boston was again treated to a coat of lime, although Morrill earned first, and Brown was sent there on called balls. Clapp marked his fielding in this inning by capturing a hot foul tip from Schaefer's bat. The Browns were treated in a like manner, Wright making two pretty throws to first. In the third inning, after Clapp had retired Bradley on a foul bound, Wright earned two bags on a fierce drive to left center. Leonard then went out on a sharp foul tip, but O'Rourke got in a clean hit, sending Wright home. Jim was then thrown out in attempting to steal second. For the Browns, after Wright had thrown out Dehlman, and Morrill had

Muffed Wright's Beautiful Throw

of Pike's bounder. Clapp was thrown out at first by Leonard. McGeary then shot a fierce one towards left, giving Wright a chance to make a magnificent stop and Pike was caught between second and third. By fast running he saved himself, but over-ran third and Brown caught him between third and home. In the fourth inning for Boston, Murnan struck out and Battin made a splendid running catch of Morril's foul bound. Manning got in a safe one but was left, Brown striking out two being called. In the Brown's half Bradley made a beastly muff of Clapp's easy fly. McGeary then flew out to O'Rourke and Clapp was caught by Brown and Leonard in attempting to steal second. Battin was sent to first on called balls, but was left, Cuthbert flying out to Leonard.

No Runs For Boston

in the fifth inning, Bradley and Wright retiring on flies to Mack, Pike and Clapp. The Browns were also goosed, Blong furnishing Murnan with a fly, and Wright throwing out Bradley and Mack. In the sixth inning, after Leonard had flown out to Dehlman, O'Rourke earned first, but tried to reach second on the hit, and Pike threw him out. Murnan was sent to first on called balls, and reached third on a wild pitch only to be left, as Morrill furnished McGeary with a fly. For the Browns, Dehlman, Pike and Clapp were thrown out at first, the infielding of the Bostons being superb. In the seventh inning Manning led off with a base hit, but it availed nothing, Brown and Schaefer retiring on flies to Blong and Pike, and Bradley

Forcing Manning Out

at second by an easy bounder to Mack. In the St. Louis half McGeary was given life by Morrill, who muffed Wright's throw and he reached second as Leonard disposed of Battin at first. As Cuthbert flew out to Murnan, and Blong to Leonard, McGeary was left and the Browns were again Chicagoed. In the eighth inning Brown earned first by a fine hit and reached third on Dehlman's muff of Battin's throw to head Schaefer off, the striker going to second. Mack retired Bradley at first. Wright hit to Mack, who threw wild to Clapp, and Brown tallied, Schaeffer reaching third. Leonard then drove a high one to center, which Pike grabbed, and by an accurate throw to Clapp Schaefer was caught in attempting to cross the home-plate. The Browns

Wanted Two Runs To Tie,

and Bradley reached first on Leonard's juggle. He stole second in Safety. Mack's foul bound was squeezed by Brown, but Dehlman was sent to first on called balls. Pike then flew out to O'Rourke, but Clapp, by a corker to left, brought bradley across the home plate, and as McGeary followed with a liner just inside the left fould line, he brought home Dehlman and Clapp, the cheering being deafening as the home nine was at last ahead by a score of 3 to 2, and only one inning left for the Bostons to regain their lost lead. Bradley commenced by fouling out, and Mack and Dehlman cooked Wright's goose. Dehlman made a beautiful running catch of Leonard's difficult foul bound, and

Unfortunate Boston

retired again defeated, although the Red Legs had outbatted and outfielded the Browns. In the last half of the ninth inning Cuthbert was thrown out at first by Leonard, Blong by Wright, and Bradley popped up an easy fly for Schaefer's benefit, the final score being three to two in favor of the home nine.

The short fielding of George Wright was again the feature of the game, some of the player's stops being simply wonderful, and his throwing perfection. Leonard also did some pretty work, which was offset by one excusable error. Brown caught beautifully, and Bradley's pitching was very effective, Clapp and McGeary being the only ones who could do anything with it. For the Browns

Clapp Caught Magnificently,

and Pike played brilliantly in center. Mack and Battin are each charged with one error, but their fine playing throughout the game more than paid up for their trifling mistakes. The Browns, by winning the game yesterday, stand credited with winning the series of games from every club entered for the League championship, a record which they may well be proud of.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 5, 1876

And here we are at the end of the road.

The game against Boston on October 4th marked the end of the League schedule for the 1876 St. Louis Brown Stockings. They finished 45-19, six games back of Chicago and in either second or third place, depending on how you want to look at it. The rest is denouncement.

And a long denouncement it will be. We have exhibition games left to be played, an argument over who had the rightful claim to second place, some player movement, a look at the attendance data and I'll probably write up a long essay on the club in a futile attempt to tie everything together.

As to what's next, I can't say that I've made up my mind. The easy thing to do would be to slide right in to the 1877 season but I'm not sure I want to do that. We could look at some of the interregnum Brown Stocking clubs or one of Von der Ahe's teams. But I'm leaning to taking a long look at the pioneer Commercial Club. I'll let you know.

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