Sunday, August 1, 2010

The 1885 World Series: Game One

The first of the series of games between the Chicagos, champion club of the National League, and the St. Louis, champion club of the American Association, for the championship of the world, was played this afternoon [in Chicago], and resulted in a tie in eight innings, though the Chicagos would doubtless have won in the next, as they had just begun to play when game was called. Previous to the game throwing and running contests were held. Williamson threw the ball 133 yards, 1 foot, 4 inches, defeating five others. Pfeffer ran the bases in 15 1/4 seconds, defeating five contestants. The Chicagos sent the visitors to bat, and toyed with them. The runs were made as follows: For the visitors, Comiskey got a base on error and scored on two other errors in the second. In the fourth O'Neill, Robinson, Latham and Caruthers got in runs off of two safe hits and three errors, Kelly scoring. In the eighth Gore got a base on balls, and scored off singles by Kelly and Anson. Pfeffer followed with a home run, and tied the game. The umpire called the game on account of darkness. The two clubs go to St. Louis, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Pittsburg, Philadelphia and Brooklyn.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 15, 1885

This was a rather inauspicious start to a series that would supposedly decide the world baseball championship.

There was very little build-up in the press for this series. I can't even find a mention of it in the Globe in the days leading up to the first game. The Tribune mentions it in a brief paragraph on the day of the game. This is in comparison to the massive coverage that each club received in their respective city papers after they won their league championship, when there were full page spreads about the celebrations in the cities and short biographies and pictures of each of the players. Of course, the goal of each club was to win their respective league and the series was little more than an exhibition but I was surprised at how little press there was in the days before the series started.

One interesting thing of note was that the first two games were played as benefits for the players. The Chicago players split the gate from game one in Chicago and the St. Louis players split the gate from game two in St. Louis. I'm not certain, as of yet, how the rest of the money from the series was divided but I'm assuming it was pocketed by the clubs.

A quick note: It looks like I'm in the process of going through the 1885-1888 World Series. Hopefully, I can find all of the box scores and find something interesting to say about them. Like I said yesterday, I'd love to go through the Browns' 1897 season day by day but I don't have easy access to that material. So right now, I'm going through the World Series stuff. I'm thinking about doing the 1884 Maroons after this but I'm open to suggestions.


David Ball said...

If you're looking for a bad team, how about the 1885 Maroons, or better, the 1886 team, which nearly collapsed in midseason.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

Those are good ideas. The 1885 Maroons would be interesting and they had the worse record of the two clubs. That whole transitioning to the NL thing didn't go according to plan in 1885 and it'd be fun to see them crash and burn on a daily basis. Not sure why I'm wanting to do a bad team but it probably has something to do with my well developed sense of schadenfreude.