Friday, August 27, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Game One

The opening game of the world's championship series between the St. Louis Browns and the Chicago White Stockings was played on the League grounds in [Chicago] this afternoon. The morning was dark, chilly and gloomy, and the prospects were anything but favorable for the mutual contest. About noon, however, the sun came out and shone brightly for nearly the entire afternoon. It was not comfortably warm though, for the spectators. At 11 o'clock in the morning President Von der Ahe, the four umpires, Messrs. McQuade, Kelly, Pierce and Quest, and Capts. Comiskey and Anson met at President Spaulding's office to decide on the new umpire plan suggested by the letter. It was decided not to make the experiment to-day, but it will be given a trial to-morrow. About 2 o'clock the Browns entered their carriages in front of the Tremont house, where a large crowd had gathered to catch a glimpse of the Association champions. As soon as they had entered the gates and the crowd of 5,000 caught sight of them, the yelling and cheering commenced and continued until they were in their positions in the field ready for practice work. About fifteen minutes later the Chicagos appeared from their dressing rooms at the extreme eastern end of the park, and forming into a line, single file, with their bats thrown over their shoulders and headed by a brass band, they marched out into the center of the field and up to the home plate amid a deafening roar of applause. They were given about fifteen minutes for practice. The difficult position of umpire fell upon John McQuade, who has so far done such good work in the St. Louis local series between the Browns and the Maroons. The game to-day resulted in a regular Waterloo for the Browns. They were shut out completely, being unable to get a man beyond the third bag. They did not play in their dashing, brilliant style which usually characterizes their work on the field, and from the first inning, when the Chicagos made their first two runs, they seemed dull and disheartened. Latham was the only exception. He was bright and cheerful as always, and kept the crowd in a constant roar with his jokes and funny sayings. Coaching is something new to Chicago people, and Latham's merry and entertaining way was decidedly refreshing to them after gazing so long at the silent statue-like Chicagos. He never lost hope and did not give up until the home club's victory was certain. The Chicagos played a good game of ball, but to Dame Fortune they owe their success to-day. Their hits, with one or two exceptions, were of the scratch order, landing just out of the fielders' reach. The Browns hit hard, but decidedly unluckily. Most of their hard-hit balls were liners directly in the Chicagos' hands. As the score shows, the home club made ten hits off Foutz's pitching, with a total of thirteen bases. Anson and Pfeffer did the best batting, each securing three singles. Of the five hits secured by the Browns two were made by Comisky and two by Robinson. One of the latter's was a three-bagger, the only hit longer than a single on the Browns' side. Clarkson was also successful in striking out ten men, while but five were retired by Foutz.

The Browns lost the toss and went first to bat. Latham was the first man to step up to the plate, and as he did so a yell went up that could be heard for blocks away. He was at the bat for fully five minutes, and Clarkson pitched seventeen balls before he could retire him. Of this number five were called balls, nine were fouled and three were strikes. Latham worked hard to reach first, and Clarkson had to exert every effort to prevent him from getting there. Caruthers went out from second to first, and O'Neill retired the side by striking out. For the Chicagos in this inning, Gore was the first to wield the willow. Foutz got two strikes on him but was unable to get another over the granite block, and sent him to first on balls. Kelly, the imitator of Latham, then came to the bat. He knocked a hot grounder down to Latham. The latter fielded the ball in good style and threw to Robinson at second in time to cut off Gore, who was forced down. Anson followed with the first hit of the game. He knocked a hot grounder down to center, good for only a single, but Welch, who so rarely makes an error of any kind, let the ball roll by him, enabling the Chicago's big captain to make second base, and Kelly, who had reached second on a wild pitch, to cross the home plate with the first run. Pfeffer made a hard, clean hit to right and Anson scored. Williamson was retired on a foul tip which Bushong captured as only Bushong can, and the latter threw Pfeffer out in an attempt to steal second bag. This wound up the first inning. Gleason was the first man to reach first base for the Browns. He got there safely in the second inning, on an error by Kelly, who missed his third strike. He was retired at second through Comiskey's grounder to short resulting in a double play in which Williamson, Pfeffer and Anson took part. Welch was given his base on balls in this inning, but he did not get beyond first, Foutz making the third out on his slow grounder, from third to first. The Chicagos had two men left on bases in this inning. After one out, Ryan got first on an error by Latham, who ran over into Gleason's territory to field the ball and then fumbled it. Dalrymple followed with the rankest kind of scratch hit to short left field, which resulted in a two-bagger. Neither of the men got in, however, as Clarkson and Gore, the next two men, were retired in order. The Browns retired in order in the next inning, but only a remarkable play between Caruthers and Latham prevented the Chicagos from scoring.

After one out, Anson made a soft hit and Pfeffer followed with a smashing drive to right for another single. Anson started for third and reached there safely, but Pfeffer was put out trying to make second, on a beautiful throw in and Latham's catch of it and quick throw to Robinson, who touched Pfeffer when the latter was only a foot from the base. Foutz struck out the next two men. Both sides were retired in order until the fifth inning, when Kelly got his base on a hit, but was left. In the sixth Robinson led off with a hit, and made a desperate effort to steal second, but a perfect throw by Kelly cut him off. Latham also made a hit in this inning, but was forced out at second by Caruthers retiring the side. The Chicagos scored a run in their half of the inning. Pfeffer got his base on a hit, but he narrowly escaped being thrown out. He knocked the ball with terrific force to Robinson, who knocked it down in a phenomenal style, but could not get it to first in time to throw the runner out. He went to second on a passed ball. Williamson went out on Caruthers' capture of his long fly to right. Burns also knocked a fly to right, and after Caruthers had caught it, Pfeffer started for third and came clear home on Latham's failure to stop Caruthers' throw to head him off. Ryan's foul tip to Bushong ended the inning. O'Neil went out in the seventh on a fly to left, and Gleason was retired on a fly to Anson. Comiskey made a hit to center, and went to second on Gore's inability to stop the ball. He was left, however, by Robinson's out from second to first. The Chicagos, with the exception of Gore, who got his base on balls, were put out on easy plays. In the eighth, after one man had been retired, Robinson made a hard drive to left center for three bases, but he could get no further. Bushong struck out, and Latham went out on a little fly to first. Anson led off with a hit; Pfeffer knocked a grounder to Gleason, who had covered second in plenty of time to put out Anson, who was forced down. Anson, however, squarely knocked Gleason down by running into him and making him drop the ball. Williamson then made a soft hit to center field. Welch fielded the ball quickly and threw it to Robinson. The latter made a wild throw to third to head off Williamson, enabling the latter to follow Anson and Pfeffer across the plate. The Browns had two more men left on the bases in the ninth. Caruthers got first on an error of Burns. O'Neil went out on a foul to Kelly, and Gleason forced Caruthers out at second. Comiskey made a hit and both men were advanced a base on Kelly's bad throw to second to catch Gleason napping. Welch wound up the game and clinched the shut-out by fanning the wind three times.

The only disagreeable feature of the game was the intense bitter feeling on the part of the spectators against the Browns. They were yelled and jeered at continually. The Chicago reporters acted like hoodlums and from their box directed the most abusive language at the visiting club. A person in the grand stands was ejected from the grounds by order of the umpire. McQuade did nobly as an umpire, and did not make a questionable decision on either side. The betting on the game here to-day was $10 to $7 in the Chicagos favor, and to-night on the game to-morrow the odds are the same. Caruthers and Bushong, and McCormick and Flint will be the opposing batteries.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 19, 1886

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