Monday, August 2, 2010

The 1885 World Series: More On Game One

The last professional game to be played in [Chicago] this season took place yesterday between the St. Louis Browns and the White Stockings, resulting in a tie game at the end of the eighth inning, by a score of 5 to 5. The Browns are, without doubt, a very smooth organization, and can play ball with the best of them. Had they been the League instead of the American Association team at St. Louis during the past season, the Mound City would quite likely have ranked other than last in the race. Latham's play at third was admired by every one of the 2,000 people that witnessed it yesterday, and the invariable rule which seems to obtain among the entire nine of going for everything and missing nothing was seen and appreciated. They pull together splendidly, and are unquestionably one of the strongest teams in the country. It is undeniably a fact that Chicago has let down astonishingly since winning the pennant by beating the Phillies in the first game of their last series. The strain upon the boys had been a long and hard one and with the championship in their possession they have seemed to feel that their season's work was accomplished and that the many restrictions that they had voluntarily placed themselves under could with safety be tossed overboard. The result is that late hours and other indiscretions have unfitted the boys for work upon the diamond and their play has most plainly shown it of late. One of the results of the game yesterday was the suspension of Gore, who for some time past has been playing indifferently. Yesterday his indifference was so marked that he was told by Anson at the conclusion of the game that he might remain in Chicago, and that Sunday would look after his territory during the coming games with the Browns. Gore's disposition is not one of the most amiable in the world, and the lesson may prove of value to him. It has been intimated that the centre fielder has been playing for his release, but this report is not credited, and Gore himself refuses to talk upon the subject. The Whites left for St. Louis last night for games with Browns at St. Louis today, Friday and Saturday, at Pittsburg on the 22d, Cincinnati on the 23th and 24th, Baltimore the 27th, Philadelphia on the 28th and 29th, and Brooklyn on the 30th and 31st. The team winning the majority of the games in the series will take the $1,000 deposited by Spalding and Von der Ahe as a special purse to be divided equally among the players of the winning team. The season has practically ended here and interest in the game has vanished with the season.
-Sporting Life, October 21, 1885

I think this article gives an idea of how the players were looking at the World Series. Yes, there was some money at stake but the real championship had already been won and the season was over. These were nothing more than exhibitions. Sporting Life treated the games similarly, putting the box scores with the box scores of all the other exhibition games that were being played around the country.

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