Friday, August 6, 2010

The 1885 World Series: Rashomon (or Groundhog Day)

I might as well give you a fourth witness:

The second game was played at St. Louis Oct 15 and...broke up in a row in the sixth inning, owing to Sullivan's umpiring, which was most unsatisfactory to the home team. In the sixth inning play was suspended for some time by a kick over one of his decisions in giving Kelly safe when he was clearly out. Later on, after a ball which hit outside the foul line, but rolled inside before it reached first, had been declared foul, it was given safe, letting in a run, and Comiskey called his men off the field. Sullivan claims it was not he, but Anson who called out foul. Sullivan made no decision of the game on the grounds, but gave it to Chicago that night at the hotel by a score of 9 to 0. The Browns claim the decision will not stick, as it should have been made on the grounds.
-Sporting Life, October 21, 1885

Nothing really new here; I just wanted to make the comparison to Rashomon.

Also, I wanted to point out that this game kind of reminds me of Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. Played one hundred years later, that game saw a poor call at first base (and I'm trying to be kind to Mr. Denkinger), a dropped ball in foul territory and a passed ball. Whitey Herzog has said in the past that he should have pulled his team off the field in protest of the call at first. And if that game or Game Seven had been played in St. Louis, things would have gotten pretty ugly (or uglier, I guess). I think the real difference between the games is that the Browns were trying to systematically intimidate the umpire while the Cardinals just lost it. But time heals all wounds or so we tell ourselves.

And I promise that tomorrow I'll move on to Game Three.

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