Thursday, April 22, 2010

The 1876 Brown Stockings: A Tradition Continues

The fact that the St. Louis and Chicago Base Ball Clubs were announced to meet each other in an exhibition game at Grand Avenue Park yesterday afternoon proved a sufficient attraction to draw 3,500 spectators from the city and the Fair Grounds. At 2:15 Barnes was sent to the bat, Chicago having lost the toss. He was beautifully thrown out at first by McGeary. Anson flew out to McGeary, and McVey fouled out. St. Louis was also goosed, Pike flying out to Hines, Peters making a beautiful catch of Clapp's fly, and also throwing McGeary out at first.

In The Second Inning,

after Peters had retired on a foul fly to Battin, White got in a beauty past short, but was left, Hines and Spalding furnishing Pike and Cuthbert with flies. The Browns fared no better, Battin flying out to Addy, Spalding throwing Cuthbert out at first and Blong retiring on a foul bound to Glenn.

The third inning commenced by Mack throwing Glenn out at first, but Addy got in a base hit, and was caught in a splendid attempt to steal second. Barnes was sent to first on called balls, and Anson sent him to third by a model hit to right. Anson stole second, but both were left, Mack making

A Magnificent Stop

of McVey's hot low liner. In the Browns' half Bradley sent a fly to center, and although Hines fell down, he picked himself up in time to make the catch. Anson's juggle gave Mack a life at first, and Dehlman sent him to second by a right field hit. Pike was disposed of by Barnes and McVey, Mack reaching third and Dehlman second, where they were both left, Hines making a good catch of Clapp's liner. Peters opened the fourth inning with a fair foul to left for two bases. White's foul fly was grabbed by Clapp. Hines hit safe to canter, and Peters tallied on

Pike's Wild Return,

a wild throw by Clapp to third also letting in Hines. Spalding was thrown out by Mack, and Glenn flew out to the same player. The Browns were retired in one, two, three order, McGeary and Battin being thrown out by Anson and Spalding, and Barnes making a grand backward running catch of Blong's apparently safe fly, Chicago was ahead by a score of 2 to 0. Addy commenced the fifth inning with a bounder to McGeary, and retired. Barnes furnished Pike with a fly. Anson followed with a

Long Hit For Two Bases,

and a wild pitch gave him third, where he was left, McVey furnishing Clapp with a foul fly. For the Browns, Blong made a bad beginning by striking out, and Bradley gave Peters an easy fly. Mack mended matters by a corker past short, and Dehlman sent him to third by a fine hit to right center, but both were again left, Pike sending up a sky-scraper, which White seized. In the sixth inning an error by Mack gave Peters first, but he was forced at second on White's hit to Bradley, Hines flew out to Pike, and McGeary and Dehlman disposed of Spalding.

Clapp Commenced

for the Browns with a fly to Hines, but McGeary hit safe, only to be caught in trying to steal second, and Battin was third out on a fly to Anson. Glenn, in the seventh inning, went out by Mack to Dehlman, Addy retired on a foul fly to Clapp, and Barnes on a fair one to Pike. The Browns did better, for after Spalding had thrown out Cuthbert, Blong earned two bags on a drive over Addy's head. Bradley's sharp foul tip was held by White, however, and as Peters and McVey disposed of Mack,

Blong Was Left.

Anson commenced the eighth inning by giving Pike a fly, but Mack's excusable error gave McVey first, and he reached second on Peter's fine hit to left. White drove a long one to left which Cuthbert held, and as Battin held Hines' foul fly, McVey and Peters were left. For the Browns Dehlman sent a hot one to Peters and was headed off at first. Pike hit direct to McVey and retired. Anson and McVey ended Clapp's career at first. The whites went in for their last inning with a

Lead Of Two Runs,

and Spalding was thrown out at first by Mack. Glenn flew out to Cuthbert who made a handsome running catch. McGeary muffed Addy's fly, which properly belonged to Blong, and the striker reached second only to be left as Barnes hit direct to Dehlman. The Browns started in for two runs to tie and three to win. McGeary commenced with a hot one to Barnes, and was headed off at first. Addy dropped Battin's fly and Joe reached first in safety only to be forced at second on Cuthbert's hit to Peters. Blong ended the game by furnishing White with a foul fly.

The Brilliant Fielding

of the Chicagos, which was marred only by Anson's juggle, and Addy's missed fly undoubtedly won them the game, as not a run was earned on either side. The wild throwing of Pike and Clapp in the fourth inning prevented the game from being a tie at nothing each. The game abounded in stops and throws of the most brilliant nature, the marked features of the fielding being Barnes' wonderful catch, another by Peters, and a splendid stop and throw by Spalding. The latter gentleman also

Pitched Very Effectively,

as but five base hits, of which Dehlman secured two, amply proves. Pike and Cuthbert had lots to do in the outfield, and did it well. Anson and Peters led at the bat for Chicago, with a double and a single each. The umpiring of Mr. Medart seemed to give satisfaction to both nines, except in two instances; once when McGeary was given out at second, and again when Addy knocked a chunk out of the foul line and lost a base hit, the ball being decided foul.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 6, 1876

It was a bit of a tradition during the 1870s for Chicago to come to St. Louis during the Fair and play baseball. I believe that they had been doing this for a couple of years before 1874 but when this tradition began and when it ended is unknown to me. I know that in 1881, a Chicago club came to St. Louis to play the interregnum Brown Stockings and it was reported that it was the first time a Chicago club had come to St. Louis in several years so the tradition most likely ended when the NL Brown Stockings ceased operations.


David Ball said... first I thought "the tradition continues" referred to Chicago beating St. Louis.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

We can't be talking about 1875 or 1876. And we're not talking about 1885 or 1886. I know we ain't talking about the last hundred years. So I guess this tradition of Chicago beating St. Louis that you speak of extended from Chicago's cheating in the Bloomington tournament in 1866 through 1874 and then a brief period after the turn of the century. And 1871-1874 shouldn't really count as it was a top-level professional club beating up on a lower level of competition.

Most of the time, I forget that the 1876 Chicagos are actually the Cubs and reason overrides my hatred, bile and bitterness over all things Cub-related. I've actually written nice things about that club and admired their play. But no more. To hell with Ross Barnes. No, wait. I like Ross Barnes. To hell with Albert Goodwill Spalding and his band of Boston mercenaries. Except for Barnes. And John Peters. And maybe Paul Hines and Cal McVey and Deacon White. Crap. That was a good team. Tough to hate them.

james e. brunson said...

Funny... :)