Thursday, September 30, 2010

The 1886 World Series: It Could Decide The Series

Have I ever mentioned how much I love 19th century newspaper ads? They're just fantastic and even these ads for the series, which are rather tame when compared to other newspaper ads of the day, are great. They knew how to do advertising back in the 19th century with great, eye-grabbing graphics. And the products were sometimes rather bizarre. Reading the 19th century classifieds is like taking a trip to a museum of quackery. Great stuff.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Help Wanted

Wanted-To-day, 20 waiters at Sportsman's Base Ball Park, Grand ave.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 23, 1886

I just thought this was really neat. It's an ad that appeared in the Help Wanted section of the Globe and speaks, I think, to the size of the crowds that were coming out for the series.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Sixteen Thousand?

The attendance was large, it being estimated that 16,000 witnessed the game.
-The Atchison Daily Champion, October 23, 1886

Sixteen thousand people witnessed to-day's contest.
-Bangor Daily Whig & Courier, October 23, 1886

...the crowd, estimated at 16,000...
-The Daily Inter Ocean, October 23, 1886

I think the sixteen thousand number is a mistake that began with the Inter Ocean's game account and spread to other papers. The Inter Ocean's account is, word for word, the same as that in the Tribune that I've already posted except that the Trib has the attendance at 10,000 and the Inter Ocean has it at 16,000. I think the Inter Ocean read 10,000 as 16,000 and printed that mistake. When I first saw the number in the Atchison paper, I wasn't sure if it said 16,000 or 10,000 so I can understand how this happened.

And this, of course, doesn't even address the question of whether or not there was really ten thousand people at Sportsman's Park for game five. But I'm rather comfortable saying that there sure wasn't sixteen thousand at the ballpark on October 22, 1886.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Joy Reigns Supreme

The St. Louis Browns won the fifth game of the series with the Chicago club for the world's base ball championship, and as a consequence joy reigns supreme at the west end of the big bridge, while doubtless a cloud of gloom thicker than the aroma from their river towers over the people of the village by the lake. The game was not what could be called a great one, nor were there many very brilliant plays. But it was a great victory, all the same.

The weather was warmer than yesterday, and the crowd assembled earlier and waited rather impatiently for the hour for the beginning of the game. It had been announced that Flynn or Baldwin would pitch for the visitors and Hudson was to occupy the box for the home club. The friends of the home club gave expression to many misgivings on Hudson's account. He was by many considered of too small calibre for the contest, but he came out strong...
-Boston Daily Globe, October 23, 1886

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The 1886 World Series: A Flood-Tide

Never in the history of the National game has the base-ball crank been so numerous and pronounced as in St. Louis today. Even in the old days of '76, when the original Browns came so near wresting the championship from the Bostons, the enthusiasm never reached the flood-tide at which it is now running. It finds vent in a thousand ways, but cruelly in the uncalled-for ridicule and abuse of the visiting League Champions. Anson today elected to pitch Baldwin, a young twirler who won the Northwestern championship for the Duluth club and who was signed by Chicago. Baldwin donned the blue uniform and came on the field. Immediately the 10,000 people present howled their objection, and the Browns took it up and refused to play with Baldwin. As Flynn's arm was very sore, this kick left the Chicago team without a pitcher. Pierce had been selected to umpire for the Browns, but was late, and McQuade took his place, Kelly acting as referee and Quest appearing for Chicago.
-Chicago Daily Tribune, October 23, 1886

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The 1886 World Series: A Tribute To The Browns

The Missouri Pacific branches (Council Grove, Osage City and Ottawa Railway), seventy-eight miles long, forty-two miles completed, stations named after the members of the Browns, i.e.: Ottawa to Foutz, 36.7 miles; Ottawa to Latham, 41.3 miles; Ottawa to Admire City, 47.5 miles; Ottawa to Bushong, 56 miles, and Ottawa to Comiskey, 62.5 miles.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 23, 1886

I think that's kind of neat.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Betting On The Game

The scenes around the pool-rooms were much the same as they had been on the preceding four games, though the betting was less. Starting in even, the Browns soon had the call, and on the third inning $100 to $15 was offered, a very small inducement to the Chicagos' admirers, and betting was about given up on the game and confined to innings and to-day's game and the series. There were all kinds of offers on to-day's game, both sides evidently being a little uncertain, more on account of a general understanding that a seventh game had been practically agreed upon than anything else. The Chicagos nervously offered $4 to $5, while the Browns freely announced their willingness to gamble even, but there were several offers of $100 to $70 on the Browns, and there seemed to be more who were more willing to give odds on that than on the issue of to-day's struggle.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 23, 1886

I freely admit that my favorite part of the coverage of the 1886 series is all the gambling stuff. Don't ask me why. I just find it highly entertaining.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Game Five

The Chicagos are now fully convinced that there is at least one base ball club in the country that knows as much if not a little more about the game than they do. Until they ran up against the St. Louis Browns they had an inflated idea that they were simply invincible on the diamond. The Browns gave them another lesson in ball playing at Sportsman's Park yesterday afternoon. They are improving in their work very rapidly and it is safe to say that if they meet the home club in another half dozen games, they will be able to make a fair showing against the champions of the world. At present, however, they are out of their class, and though it is rather late, they have discovered that fact. Yesterday's contest between the two clubs, the fifth one in the world's championship series, was a veritable walkover for the Browns. They got the lead in the first inning and kept it throughout. They outplayed the League champions at all points. A big wrangle occurred, just as the game was to be called, about the Chicago pitcher.

On Wednesday last President Spaulding announced that he had signed Baldwin, the left-handed pitcher of the Duluth Club, of the Northwestern League, who made such a good showing this season, and has a record of nineteen strike outs in a single game. Mr. Spaulding stated, though, that he was engaged for 1887, and that he would not do any work this season. It was noticed, however, that while he was in Chicago he was constantly practicing. He accompanied the club to St. Louis, and yesterday his name appeared on the score card as either the pitcher or right-fielder, while the same positions were marked after Flynn's name. It was the Chicagos' intention to put Baldwin in first and if he was batted hard Flynn was to succeed him. As soon as President Von der Ahe became acquainted with this fact he made a vigorous protest. He said that the articles of agreement called for games between the two clubs of 1886, and that he did not propose to allow the Chicagos to present an outside pitcher; that Mr. Spaulding had refused to allow him to strengthen his batteries by signing Ramsey, of the Louisvilles, as he could have done, and that Baldwin could therefore not pitch, or, if he did, the game would not be played. Spaulding made long objections and excuses, but Mr. Von der Ahe would listen to none of them. The umpires were appealed to by the Chicagos' President, but they gave him no satisfaction and nothing remained for Mr. Spaulding but to put in another pitcher, which he did.

Ryan was to play left field and Dalrymple was to lay off. Ryan was sent to right field in the first inning, and Dalrymple had to dress and go to left. Williamson was put in to pitch, and Kelly went to short, while Silver Flint did the back-stop work. Three hits were made off Williamson in the first inning. He also sent a man to base on balls, and as a result the Browns scored two runs. That was the last of Williamson's pitching. He retired to his regular position at short, Kelly going to third and Burns to right. Ryan came in and pitched through the remaining innings. He was very wild, and that his balls were not very deceptive may be seen at once in the total base column. Flint also had a hard time catching him. There was another delay when the captains selected the umpire. Grace Pierce was chosen, but he was not on the grounds, as a long search revealed. It was then decided to try the three umpire system, which worked so well in Chicago last Tuesday. Quest was selected umpire for the Chicagos, and McQuade for St. Louis, while John Kelly officiated as referee. The latter was decidedly against the home club and made many unjust decisions, while he favored the Chicagos on every opportunity. Even when Quest and McQuade decided alike, and Anson saw any chance for a kick, he would appeal to Kelly and the latter would invariably reverse the umpires' decision. Hudson, who pitched for the Browns, made another excellent showing. All the "sluggers" could make off his delivery were but three hits and two of these were decidedly questionable. One was a grounder to Gleason which the latter got to first certainly as quick as the runner, and the other was a grounder to third which Latham handled very slowly. Anson's two-bagger to center was the only clean hit that was made; also the longest on the Chicagos' side. The Browns had their batting clothes on. Caruthers did the best work with the stick. Out of three times at the bat he made two singles and a three-bagger. Welch and Comiskey made doubles, and Hudson is credited with a triple. Gleason also did excellently. He made two singles out of three times at the bat.

It was nearly 3:20 before the game was called. The Browns chose the outs. Gore, the first batter for the Chicagos, struck out, and the crowd applauded Hudson's good beginning. Kelly knocked a fly to Welch, Anson and Pfeffer both secured their bases on balls, and when they were each advanced a bag on a passed ball it looked like runs. Williamson's out from short to first left both men on the bases. for the Browns, Latham, by his successful fouling of balls, got his base. He made a brilliant steal to second, and Caruthers' safe hit to right close to the foul line advanced him to third, and O'Neil's single to center brought him across the plate. Caruthers, however, in trying to stretch his hit into a two-bagger, was thrown out at second. O'Neil went down to second on a passed ball and came in on a hit to left by Gleason. The latter tried to make second on the throw in, but perished at second. Comiskey's fly to Pfeffer wound up the inning. The Chicagos scored their first run in the second inning. Burns, the first man, went out from pitcher to first, and Ryan was hit with a pitched ball. The latter, of course, took his base. He stole second. Dalrymple then knocked a hard grounder to short, and Gleason made a bad error by letting it roll between his legs. Ryan scored on the play. Flint struck out and Gore knocked a foul fly in the direction of first. It was in close to the stand, but Comiskey made a run for it. He got past the ball, but as it was coming down he reached out his right hand and succeeded in making one of the most remarkable catches ever seen on the grounds. This retired the side.

The Browns in their half of the inning made another run. Welch struck at three bad balls and retired to the bench, but Robinson made a beautiful hit to left, and a wild enabled him to go down to second. He started for third, and Flint's bad throw to head him off let him reach there in safety, and another wild pitch brought him across the plate. Hudson struck out, and Bushong got his base on balls, but the latter was left by Latham's out from third to first. Robinson is responsible for the run that the Chicagos made in the third inning. Kelly, the first batter, was thrown out at first on his grounder to short. Anson again got his base on balls, but Pfeffer forced him out at second. The latter stole down to bag No. 2. Williamson then knocked a slow and easy grounder to Robinson. Williamson thought there could be no doubt about his being thrown out, and almost stopped running. Robinson made several grabs for the ball, but could not get it up, although it lay right at his feet. Pfeffer came in on the bad error. Burns retired the side with a fly to O'Neil. The Browns' four runs in this inning put at rest all doubts about their winning the game. Caruthers made an encouraging beginning by driving the ball to the bulletin board for a good three bases, and a passed ball let him home. O'Neil struck out, although the heavy batter made a great kick on the strikes that were called. Gleason got his base on balls, and Comiskey brought him home with a two-bagger to right. Burns, however, let the ball get by him and the Browns' captain went all the way to score. Welch made a clean steal to third, but Flint's wild throw to Kelly to head him off enabled him to come in. Robinson went out from third to first, and Ryan sent Hudson to first on balls. The latter was left, however, by Bushong's liner to Gore.

The Chicagos made a run, the last of the game, in the fourth. Ryan led off with a hit to left. Latham fielded the ball and held it in his hands while Ryan went down to second. Sacrifices by Dalrymple and Flint brought Ryan home, and Gore went out on a fly to Welch. A very funny incident occurred in the Browns' half of this inning. Latham was the first batter, and he commenced to work for his base by fouling balls. Ryan pitched no less than seventeen balls to him without retiring him. Anson became angry, and leaving first base, walked over near the grand stand to the right of Flint, with the intention of catching some of Latham's fouls. Latham, however, observing that first was not covered, tried to knock the ball in that direction. He succeeded in doing so, but Pfeffer, suspecting his intention, played rather close to the bag. As luck would have it, Latham knocked the ball directly to him, and was consequently put out. The play greatly interested the crowd. Caruthers and O'Neil, the next two men, were retired on easy plays.

The Chicagos had two men left on the bases in the fifth. Kelly knocked a grounder to Gleason, and got his base on a questionable decision of the umpire. He stole second. Anson knocked a fly to Caruthers, and Pfeffer went out on a grounder to Comiskey, sending Kelly to third. Williamson got his base on balls and stole second. Burns' grounder to short, on which he was thrown out at first, retired the side. The Browns went out quickly. Gleason knocked a fly to second. Comiskey went out from Ryan to first and Welch from short to first. In the sixth Ryan was thrown out at first on his grounder to Latham, Dalrymple struck out and Flint went out from second to first. The Browns' three runs in this inning brought their total up to ten. Robinson struck out, but Hudson made one of the prettiest hits of the day, sending the ball to extreme center for three bases. He scored on a passed ball. Buschong got his base on balls, but Latham forced him out at second. A wild pitch enabled Latham to advance a base, and Caruthers' single to left brought him in. O'Neil hit safely to right, Caruthers going to second. A wild pitch sent Caruthers to third. Gleason hit safely to right and Caruthers scored. O'Neil tried to make third on Gleason's hit, but was easily thrown out, finishing the inning. The Chicago men went to bat in the seventh, but it was so dark that it was almost impossible to see the ball, and when they had been retired the game was called, although Anson, at first, insisted on playing. Gore went out from third to first and Kelly from pitcher to first. Anson made a beautiful drive to extreme center over the fielder's head, but Welch's quick handling of the ball prevented Anson from getting beyond second. Pfeffer's line drive to Welch made the third out, left Anson standing on second with his head drooping like a faded flower and finished the game. The attendance was about the same as on Thursday.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 23, 1886

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Belated Third Anniversary To Me

Meh. Kind of forgot the anniversary of the old blog. Three years is pretty long in the blogging world so, you know, good for me. Anyway, I have game five of the 1886 world's championship series going up tomorrow but, in the meantime, here's some Joy Division (although, sadly, I couldn't find a decent video for Disorder, which is my favorite JD song):

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Recovery Of Asa Smith's Body

The funeral of Asa W. Smith, Esq., will take place to-day, at 2 1/2 P.M., from the Church of the Messiah, corner Ninth and Olive streets. Rev. Dr. W.G. Elliott, who for many years was the friend and pastor of the late Sol. Smith, Esq., father of the deceased, will officiate, reading the church service and preaching a short discourse.

The body of the young banker, whose sudden death is so much regretted, arrived in this city yesterday by express, having been forwarded from Biddleford, Me., by Major E.W. Whedon.

As soon as it was known at Biddleford Pool that Mr. Smith was drowned, every possible effort was made for the recovery of his body. Boats were sent out in every direction to watch for its appearance on the surface of the water, or in the coves and eddies along the coast. Rewards were offered by the family of the deceased, but all efforts seemed to be fruitless. At length, on the nineteenth day after the sad occurrence, two boys were out in the bay fishing, and discovered something floating on the surface. As they approached it a human head was visible, and soon the full outlines of the body came to view. The young lads, by means of ropes, drew the body into the boat, and rowed to the shore. An inquest was held at Biddleford on the body, and friends recognized it as Mr. Smith. The flesh in some places was gone and the limbs considerably swollen, but on the whole the body was in a better state of preservation than was expected.

Soon after the drowning of Asa, Mrs. Smith, by the advice of friends, left Biddleford Pool for South Norwalk, Ct., where she has relatives. Mr. Prentice Smith soon followed his mother to the latter place, and remained until Wednesday last, when he left for [St. Louis,] arriving on Friday evening. Mrs. Smith will remain for the present at South Norwalk, her health not permitting a return to [St. Louis.]

Mr. Sol Smith, the actor, a brother of the deceased, arrived from New York yesterday morning. The remaining brothers will attend the funeral to-day, with the exception of Mark Smith, the oldest and most distinguished member of the family. He is now on his way home from Europe, but will not arrive in New York until next week.
-New Orleans Times-Picayune, August 27, 1874 (originally published in the St. Louis Democrat on August 23, 1874)

I had never heard the story of how Asa Smith's body was recovered and had assumed that the body was lost at sea. Smith is a person for whom I have a great deal of admiration and respect and I was actually rather happy to find out that his body was recovered, a proper funeral held and his remains are at rest. I'm sure that sounds odd to some. Smith is a historical obscurity who nobody cares about but here I am with an emotional attachment to the man and his story. I'm relieved that he received a decent burial and I'm looking forward to finding his grave and getting some photos of it.

A couple of notes of interest:

-Rev. Dr. W.G. Elliot was William Greenleaf Elliot, the founder of Washington University in St. Louis, where Asa Smith went to school and founded the Union Base Ball Club.

-Mark Smith, who is mentioned as being in Europe, never made it home to the United States. He died in Paris in August of 1874. As I've written before, it was a difficult summer for the Smith family.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Another Great Game

An ad for game five that appeared in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat on October 22, 1886:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Of The Hoodlum Order

Just after the Browns had tied the score, in the fifth inning, yesterday, some devoted admirers of the Chicagos thought that the spectators were applauding a little too much, and one of them, doubtless a Chicagoan, made a rather uncomplimentary remark concerning "the St. Louis cranks" and their actions, which he thought decidedly rude. A second later the young man who had been so free in expressing his opinion of St. Louis base ball audiences was rolling around the ground in a rough-and-tumble fight with a Brown enthusiast. At the same time several other fights occurred in about the same locality, but the timely arrival of the police prevented any serious disturbance.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 22, 1886

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Down-Town Scenes

There was interest in the closing one of the Chicago-Browns games played at Chicago, but there was much greater interest in the opening one of the Browns-Chicago games played at Sportsmen's Park yesterday. The pool-rooms were all crowded, and around the Globe-Democrat office and on the Pine street side there was such a jam that the street was almost impassable. The base ball patrons were not all at the park, though there were 12,000 and more of them there. The first inning of the game had hardly begun when the ringing of the Bell Telephone and the rattle of the Pan Electric began in both the editorial rooms and the business department of the Globe-Democrat, where, as in all cases, the people turn for information. The entire time of two strong-lunged young men was occupied in answering these calls, and even then the answers were short and sharp. The St. Louis sports and patrons were thus thoroughly aroused, though Chicago had not warmed up to sending as much money to St. Louis as St. Louis had sent to Chicago. Everybody around the Merchants' Exchange who could get off went to the park, but there were enough left to pack the pool rooms to their capacity. Wiseman's also had much more than its usual crowd; and at both places the betting was very lively, though it was only for a few moments that all of the Browns' money could find takers. Before the opening of the game the Browns had the call at $10 to $8. The St. Louis crowd was paralyzed by the Chicagos making three runs in their first inning, and deserted their standards, the Chicagos then having the call at $10 to $5, but this was soon changed, and all of the Browns' courage returning the betting was soon changed to $10 to $5 in favor of the Browns, at which it continued.

On to-day's game there was considerable betting during the progress of yesterday's game at even money, and later at $10 to $8. At night the Browns had the call very strongly at Wiseman's, the betting being $20 to $15, and even on the series, $200 being posted on the latter without a taker. After the close of the game some of the on 'Change crowd made some good bets on the series at Donovan's, putting up $100 to $80 on the Browns.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 22, 1886

Friday, September 17, 2010

The 1886 World Series: I'm Pretty Sure This Is An Insult

If there is any particular variety of honorable activity which Chicago knows more about than playing base ball, it would be well perhaps for her to display it in St. Louis. Of course, in sports of all kinds Chicago expected to be beaten by this city, as she has always been in general business, culture and progress. The fact, however, that she ranks second to the metropolis in these respects indicates that the pretentious little city at the head of Lake Michigan is, to use a Shakspearean phrase, "no slouch."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 22, 1886

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The 1886 World Series: The Inter Ocean's Account

Not much to add but some things of interest:

The day seemed a trifle cold for ball playing, and the spectators buttoned up in overcoats, shivered in their seats when time was called...The seats in the grand stand were all occupied and the line of benches to the left and right were nearly filled. The crowd was estimated at 10,000. The grounds were in splendid condition....[In the fifth,] O'Neil took first on balls deliberately pitched by Clarkson...[In the sixth,] O'Neil went to first on balls...
-The Daily Inter Ocean, October 22, 1886

Another game another variety of sources disagreeing on the attendance. It's not all that important but I do find it amusing. The important point is that there was a large crowd at the ballpark for game four.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The 1886 World Series: The Crowd Was Simply Brutal

Eight thousand base-ball enthusiasts gathered at Sportsman's Park this afternoon to witness the fourth game of the world's championship series. Both clubs arrived this morning, the Browns going to their homes and Anson and his boys to the Lindell Hotel. Regarding the rumors of hippodroming the big captain said: "I know that the receipts of the Chicago games are deposited in the First National Bank. I was present when the agreement was made in Spalding's office and I heard all that passed. If we win the series the Chicago players get half the money, and that is what we are playing for." The day was bright and cool. A few minutes before the game was called it was announced that Foutz and Bushong and Clarkson and Kelly would be the batteries. The game was a most remarkable one, as the Chicagos played in fine form, but Clarkson failed to repeat his performance of yesterday. The crowd was simply brutal. They hooted and jeered at Mike Kelly, Anson, and Clarkson until the club consulted upon withdrawing from the field. In the second inning Kelly and Gleason almost came to blows. The latter ran in from third, and as Kelly was preparing to receive the ball Gleason struck him on the hands, injuring him so that play was delayed fifteen minutes. Kelly followed Gleason up and denounced him him roundly. It is feared that trouble will yet result before the series is finished.
-Chicago Daily Tribune, October 22, 1886

While the Trib's game account mentions both of O'Neil's walks, they did not mention if either was intentional. So I'm still looking around for a source that supports the idea that there were two intentional walks in the game.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Game Four

At least 12,000 people were at Sportsman's Park yesterday afternoon to witness the fourth game between the Browns and the Chicagos for the championship of the world. It was the most exciting game of the series played thus far. It was also one of unusual interest and import for capt, had the Chicagos won it, their chances for capturing the championship and the gate receipts would have been decidedly favorable. On the other hand, had the Browns not won they would have lost heart and confidence, and with such a big lead staring them in the face would have undoubtedly succumbed to their opponents without resistance. The result of yesterday's game was not altogether a surprise. The Browns were seen to have a slight advantage over the Chicagos, and the betting was accordingly regulated that way; $20 to $15 being the latest odds before the game. The Chicago management announced Wednesday that they would pitch Flynn yesterday. Probably because they thought that his curves might be batted rather freely, but possibly for the reason that Clarkson, like Caruthers, was anxious to have his name heralded through the country as having pitched two winning games on two succeeding days, the position in the box was, therefore, filled by Clarkson. The latter's work yesterday, or Caruthers' on Wednesday, plainly demonstrated that no pitcher can appear against a team that is equally matched with his own, two successive games, with any satisfactory results.

But one more hit was made off Clarkson yesterday than the Chicagos made off Foutz, but the latter's wildness and inability to control the ball properly at the most critical times lost the game for his club. The long hits were also equally divided. Three-baggers were made by O'Neil and Dalrymple, and doubles by Foutz and Burns. O'Neil's hit should have been a home run, but by a poor decision on the part of Umpire Quest he was put out at the plate. Foutz started out to pitch in precisely the same manner as Caruthers did Wednesday, and the chances for the home club's winning were decidedly blue. When the Chicagos had got three men in and Browns were unable to score a single run, the League club, of course, was the favorite in the betting and the Browns' backers hedged out all they possibly could at odds of 2 to 1. When the Browns were just two runs behind, however, at the end of the third inning the home club's stock took a decided rise, and even money was obtainable. When the Browns, in the fifth inning, took the lead by two runs there was a scene at the park that has never been equaled on similar occasions in the past. The yelling, hand-clapping and cheering, which made a deafening roar of applause, lasted for fully five minutes. Hats, canes and umbrellas were thrown in the air, men shook hands and embraced each other and the ladies showed their delight by waving their handkerchiefs. The game was stopped until the demonstration was over. When in the sixth inning, however, the Chicagos tied the score there was scarcely a ripple of applause, which showed very plainly that the visitors had but few admirers in the vast audience. In the same inning, though, when the Browns run three men across the plate, and made it a sure victory, there was a scene similar to that which marked the fifth. Both teams fielded in a remarkably fine style, brilliant catches being made by Ryan and Gore for the Chicagos, and Welch, O'Neil and Caruthers for the Browns. Four errors were made on each side.

It was 3:15 before the game was called. Under American Association rules Capt. Comiskey had the choice about taking ins or outs. He chose the field. Joe Quest, of the League staff, was drawn as the umpire. Foutz's work in the opening inning was anything but encouraging. Gore was the first batter, and after two strikes and four balls had been called on him, he made a safe ground hit to right good for only a single. Kelly then stepped into the batter's box. Foutz was unable to get the ball over the plate, and Mike was sent to his base on balls. Capt. Anson was the next man to handle the stick. After two strikes had been called he knocked the ball with great force between short and third. Gleason made a dive for it, and succeeded in getting it up, but could not throw to first in time to put Anson out, the ball reaching there but an instant later. This filled the bases, and with no one out the crowd and the Browns knew that it would be impossible to prevent scoring, but did not expect to see Foutz, who is usually so reliable, send Pfeffer to base on balls and force Gore across the plate with a run, as he did in this case. Dave worked hard to get them in over the plate, but could not do so. He sent in an easy one to Williamson, the next batter, who knocked a long high fly to right. Caruthers caught it safely, but Kelly, who was on third, scored before it could be thrown in to cut him off. Pfeffer started to steal down to second and Bushong threw down to Robinson to catch him, while Anson, who was on third, started for home. Robinson, in attempt to make a quick return of the ball to the plate, threw wildly, Anson scoring in safety and Pfeffer reaching third on the error. The latter was left, however, by Burns' foul fly to Comiskey and Ryan's out from short to first.

For the Browns Latham, after bunting the ball several times, finally struck out. Caruthers knocked a long fly to right which was captured by Ryan after a long run. O'Neil went out from short to first. Dalrymple opened the second with a fly to Caruthers and Clarkson went out from short to first. Gore got to first on Latham's fumble of his grounder to third, but Kelly's out from Foutz to Comiskey retired the side. The Browns secured their first run in this inning. Gleason led off with a slow grounder to second. Pfeffer fumbled it and Gleason got safe. Comiskey reached first in precisely the same manner, and, but for Pfeffer's blunder, a double play might have been made. Welch's grounder to Williamson forced Comiskey out at second, but sent Gleason along to third. Foutz then came to the bat, and about the third ball that Clarkson delivered the tall pitcher was sent whizzing out to the left field for two bases, Gleason of course scoring on the hit. Robinson succeeded in getting his base on balls, but Bushong's fly to Yore left him. The Chicagos were unable to score in the third. Anson was retired from second to first. Pfeffer went out on a foul tip to Bushong, and Williamson was sent to first on balls. Burns followed with a neat two-bagger. Neither base-runner, however, could get in, as Ryan's out from Foutz to first made the third one. The Browns got in another run in their half of the inning, Latham was the first batter. He successfully fouled no less than ten balls, had five balls called and but one strike, when a scarcely audible foul tip to Kelly retired him. Williamson fumbled Caruthers' grounder to short, letting Bobby to first safely. O'Neil, the heavy slugger, was the next man to face the pitcher. He knocked the ball with tremendous force to right. He started to make the circuit of the bases. He passed third in safety, and started on home and reached there certainly as quick as, if not before, the ball did, but Quest declared him out. Caruthers, of course, had come in. Gleason went out from pitcher to first, ending the inning.

Foutz struck out Dalrymple, the first man to bat in the fourth inning. Clarkson knocked a short high fly to Robinson at second. Gore was retired on a fly to O'Neil. The Browns also went out in quick order. Comiskey was thrown out at first on his grounder to Pfeffer, Welch fouled out to the catcher, and Foutz knocked a long fly to Ryan. The next inning, the [fifth], the Chicagos were again retired on easy plays. Kelly struck out. Anson got his base on balls and stole second. He got no further, though, as Pfeffer's fly to Caruthers and Williamson's grounder Comiskey made the three outs. The home club came to the bat and secured their three runs. Robinson was the first batter. His hot grounder to third was stopped in fine style by Burns and thrown to first in plenty of time to put Robby out. Bushong got first on bad balls and Latham hit safely. Bushong was advanced to third on Caruthers' sacrifice to Ryan. Then followed a most insignificant and contemptible play on the part of the Chicagos. As O'Neil came up to bat kelly walked up to Clarkson and whispered something in the latter's ear. As soon as Clarkson pitched the first ball Kelly's secret became known. He had instructed Clarkson not to give O'Neil a chance to hit the ball, but to give him his base, and it was speedily done. Kelly stepped at least five feet to the right from his regular position, and Clarkson commenced to toss the ball to him. The sphere, of course, didn't come near O'Neil, and the batter trotted to first after the six balls had been thrown in. This filled the bases. Two men were already out, and nothing but a hit or an error would bring in a run. Gleason was the batter upon whom so much depended. The game was to be won or lost right here.

As Gleason stepped up to the plate there was a marked stillness, both on the part of the spectators and the players. Even Latham became silent. Gleason struck at two balls, but without success, and all hopes of getting in any runs were abandoned. The next ball that was pitched Gleason hit squarely and drove it between second short to a safe place in the field. Bushong and Latham scored, and O'Neil got around to third base. Comiskey, the next man, knocked the ball to almost exactly the same territory as Gleason. The hit brought O'Neil in. The side was finally retired by Welch, who fouled out to Kelly. Gleason, for his good work, received a great ovation. Several pool tickets, amounting to over $100, were thrown at him from admiring spectators. Bushong also was presented with some. When the Chicagos retired in the sixth the score was tied. Burns led off with a hit to left, but he was forced out at second by Ryan. The latter scored on Dalrymple's drive to the right field seats for three bases. A safe hit to the right by Clarkson brought Dalrymple in. Gore went out on a fly to Welch, and Kelly from third to first. It was in this inning that the Browns won the game. Foutz made a rather bad opening by striking out, Robinson got his base on balls, and was advanced to second on a safe hit by Bushong. Robinson successfully stole third. Latham also was given first on six balls, filling the bases. Caruthers knocked a short fly to Pfeffer, which the latter purposely muffed, forcing everybody to run. Robinson and Bushong got in safely. Latham, however was thrown out at third. O'Neil again got his base on balls, but Clarkson this time tried hard to pitch them over the plate. Gleason again was the batsman at a critical time, and again he showed his reliability by knocking the sphere safely to center, sending Caruthers safely across the plate. Comiskey's fly to Burns finished the inning. It was now quite dark, but the Chicagos insisted on playing, and opened the seventh inning. They were retired in order on easy plays. As the Browns were making their way to the dressing-rooms a large crowd gathered around them and carried a number of the players on their backs off the ground.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 22, 1886

Where to begin?

-This was a rather poorly edited article and is a bit difficult to follow in places but I pretty much left everything as is except for one edit, fixing the confusion about whether the writer was talking about the fifth or sixth inning.

-The Globe contends that there were 12,000 people at the game and that seems a bit high. The Tribune, who's account of the game I'll post tomorrow, has the crowd at 8,000. Regardless of the exact number, it was a big crowd.

-The use of the intentional walk is reasonably rare in this era. It wasn't something new or unique but this was probably the first big moment when the strategy was employed. Peter Morris wrote in A Game of Inches that O'Neil was intentionally walked twice in this game but I don't see any evidence of a second intentional walk. Morris has the Globe's account of the game so there may be another source out there that mentions the second walk as being intentional. I don't know.

-I loved the Globe's description of the reaction of the crowd and I particularly loved the crowd throwing pool tickets at the players. Very nice. The Trib has a different take on the behavior of the crowd, as you'll see tomorrow.

-Best line in the article: "Even Latham became silent."

Monday, September 13, 2010

King Short Stop

The greatest short stop in the business, taken as a short stop only, is John W. Glasscock, sometimes called "Pebbly Jack," and universally known as Jack. His habit of picking up pebbles, clods of grass and other things that he can seize when in his position earned him the nickname of "Pebbly Jack."

There are only two short stops who can approach Glasscock in fielding. These are Ward and Williamson; only one who can equal him in brilliant plays-Ward; none that can excel him in batting, and only one-Ward again-who can equal him in base running. Aside from short stops Kelly is the only base runner I know of that can touch Glasscock for daring on the bases. Many people think Ward and Kelly use better judgment, but on this point I am doubtful.

Glasscock is a peculiar man any way you take him. On the field he is never in repose. Always on the move, anxious, enthusiastic, spurring and inspiring, the universal opinion has always been that on a great team in a great city he would be the greatest ball player of the day. He is now in just that position, and as captain of the New York team it is my opinion that he will prove that, as a ball player, he is as great as any in America. Not even Ewing, Ward, Kelly or Anson will excel him.

Glasscock's disposition is little understood. He appears to be a man of morose and surly disposition, but this is but his outward semblance. He is uncouth, perhaps rough, but not near so black as he has been painted. Speaking of him, Charley Bassett, of the New York team, says "Jack is a hard man to understand. When I first played with him his apparent surliness used to break me up. But I soon learned to know him."

Beneath his roughness Jack is a good fellow, and can give some of his detractors points on manliness. He is a good friend and a bitter enemy. I have seen him when he appeared to be in a bad temper, when I knew he was just the reverse. When Jack was made velvet was left off. Hence he cannot gild his words like some other men whose hearts could not be seen if placed alongside his.

Glasscock is the most enthusiastic base ball player I ever knew. His peculiar temperament hides much of it. He is the ball player and nothing else when on the field. He is tricky-all great players are-to the verge of unfairness, and his anxiety to win, as is the case with Ewing, Kelly, Anson, Ward and others, often leads him beyond it; he seldom lets a point escape him; he has very little use for what he calls "mildness" in base ball; he believes in winning, fairly if you can, unfairly if you must and can get away with the umpire, but win, no matter how; a hard man to manage, and yet a good man to manage others, a driver always, and seldom a persuader; during a game lost to all but the thought of winning and the methods for doing so. Such is John Glasscock on the field. Away from it he is quiet and deep, not over talkative, not always agreeable, but on the whole an every-day, decent sort of fellow, gentlemanly and fairly entertaining.

Glasscock is a resident of Wheeling, W. Va., having lived in that city since a young man. He is now about 34 years of age. As a ball player he came into prominence when playing short stop and second base for the famous gilt-edged Cleveland team in the years 1881 and 1882. Previous to this he played with numerous minor organizations, none of which were of any prominence. With the Cleveland team he was immediately recognized as a superior fielder in the above positions and it was here that he gained the title of "King of Short Stops." His famous jump from the Cleveland team to the Cincinnati Unions is still fresh in the minds of base ball cranks. With the Cincinnatis he played only a few months, being transferred from that club to Henry V. Lucas' famous aggregation in St. Louis. This club was known as the Maroons, and under this name, in 1885, was taken into the League.

In 1886 Glasscock was transferred to Indianapolis, where he has since remained. Last season during the closing months he was manager of the Hoosiers and got better work out of them than anyone had ever been able to do previously. He is now captain and short stop of the New York League team.

Glasscock's punishment for his Cleveland jump was a fine of $1,000 and the necessity of playing for tail-enders ever since at a less salary than other men not half his equal were earning elsewhere. Surely he expiated that offense, which has always been the regret of his life. Glasscock is not ungrateful. He knew he was wrong and he realized that the League had treated him with great leniency. He hesitated when the Players' League scheme was presented to him. Finally he decided to remain with the League.

Glasscock and the Players' league men differ materially in their stories of his relation with the Brotherhood. Ward and others contradict him. They say he lies, and Glasscock returns the compliment. Among batsmen he stands foremost. He has always been well up in the averages, and generally stood quite as well from a utility and reliability standpoint. In 1886 he stood sixth with .325. In 1887, the year when "ghost hits" were in vogue, he stood twenty ninth, but in actual base hits he was up near the top. He was twenty sixth in 1888 and second in 1889 with .353, having made the largest number of hits, 209, made by any player for many years...

Glasscock's attitude at the bat is characteristic of the intensity with which he plays ball. He stands in a slightly crouching attitude, so much so that he appears round shouldered; he favors his left foot...and swings his stick clear of his body with a sort of menace that makes a pitcher hate to give him a ball that he can hit. When he hits square the ball goes to the field like a shot and the man who gets in front of it is often "sorry for what he has done." Glasscock, with his heart in his work as it was last year, as it is this year, ranks with Anson, Ewing, Brouthers, Kelly, Tiernan, H. Richardson and Connor as a giant with the stick. He is a more scientific hitter than any, barring Anson and Ewing, and fully the equal of either. His worst enemies admit that as a ball player he is a king. In my estimation he is the equal if not the superior of any in the land.
-Wheeling Register, May 4, 1890

This article, written by W.I. Harris, is just outstanding and gives us a fantastic portrait of Jack Glasscock. I don't think I've ever read a 19th century newspaper article that gave a better sense of the personality and character of a baseball player. I wish we had more articles like this one.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

George Munson's Obituary

George Munson, one of the best known sporting authorities in the country and for four years secretary and manager of the old St. Louis Browns Baseball Club, died [in St. Louis] last night of double pneumonia. During Munson's service with the club, the Browns won the pennant four consecutive years. Munson came here from New York in 1883.

In the days when Chris Von Der Ahe, the quaint old owner of the St. Louis Browns, four-time pennant winners, was in the heyday of his career as a baseball magnate, George Munson was secretary of the St. Louis club. He was the man who successfully advertised the Browns and who looked after the financial business of the club, something for which Von Der Ahe was unfitted, except in the way of reckless disbursements.

At that time Munson was one of the best known and most popular men in baseball. He had more friends than any club official in the league and was the best "hustler" in the National League.

Munson and Von Der Ahe parted about the time the latter inaugurated his policy of employing cheap teams and selling all his good players. Von Der Ahe's downfall was rapid after Munson left him and he is now old and penniless.

Munson became publisher of the Horse Show Monthly, a St. Louis publication, and branched out in the advertising business in which he was successful up to the time of his death. He and Von Der Ahe was lavishly entertained in St. Louis last spring by Charles Comiskey, owner of the Chicago White Sox, who was the first baseman of the Browns when they were champions.
-Dallas Morning News, March 16, 1908

Munson died on March 14, 1908 and I'm just going to pass on commenting about the way Von der Ahe is portrayed in this article because sometimes even I get tired of beating a dead horse.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The 1886 World Series: See The Champions Play

This ad for game four appeared in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat on October 21, 1886.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Conflicting Attendance Data

The third game in the contest for the world's championship was played this afternoon before an audience of 6000. The game was fought hard from first to last, but the Chicagos played with even more than their wonted vigor. Clarkson's work in the box was excellent, while Caruthers was not so hard to hit as on yesterday.
-Los Angeles Times, October 21, 1886

The third game of the series between the Chicago champions and the Browns of St. Louis was played this afternoon in the presence of about 4000 people. The weather was favorable, a strong wind blowing directly in favor of the batters. The morning's rain had not affected the condition of the diamond.
-Boston Daily, October 21, 1886

And the Globe had the attendance at 5000. This certainly isn't unusual and the first two games also have conflicting attendance data but I find it a bit amusing that I have three sources that list the attendance data for game three of the 1886 series and I have three different numbers.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The 1886 World Series: In The Pool Rooms

The interest in the third game of the Chicago-Browns series, played yesterday, was more intense than on either of the two preceding days. Probably the damp, rainy weather here, and the general idea that the game would be off, had something to do with this, as it was a sharp reaction when a Chicago bulletin was put up announcing the weather clear and pleasant. The crowds about that time became very large, the throng about the Globe-Democrat not only taking possession of the street and sidewalk, but also of all the available space in the counting-room, hanging around there as if each tick, each dot and dash of the telegraph instrument was plain English to them. When the Browns' battery was posted as Caruthers and Bushong there was a very marked disapproval on the part of a great many, as it was not believed that Caruthers was strong enough to pitch a second game after his work of Tuesday. The frequency with which he was hit, and with such effect, sustained the judgment of these objectors, and long before the game was played out there was an almost unanimous expression of the opinion that Hudson, who has won several hard victories from clubs to whom the Browns had on preceding days lost with Caruthers and Foutz, should have been put in the box, saving Caruthers for to-day. This talk was also accompanied by a great deal about hippodroming and sell-outs, and great surprise was expressed that such a pitcher as McCormick should have been pounded as he was on Tuesday, but while there was unbounded rumor and numberless assertions made by those on the losing side to this effect, none could point to any absolute indications of the fact. One of the strongest arguments against it was the absence of any large amount of money-seeking takers on either side. The arguments used to back up the sell-out theory was the scores of 6 to 0, 12 to 0 and 11 to 4, and the fact that Chicago won both the first and third games and was not able either to make a run or hold the Browns down in the second. Had the Browns won either the first or third game the talk would have been very little, but even as it is the sell-out was left in as delightful uncertainty as is the result of the games yet to be played.

But while there was all this dishonorable rumor there was actual interest. The Merchant's Exchange crowd was wild, and, as a matter of course, Donovan's down-town room showed the result. It was not an uncommon sight to see business men, and some of the largest ones in the vicinity of Third street, too, rush breathlessly into the pool-room with check, bank, cash and account books in their hands, evidently not caring to leave them on their desks or to take time to put them away. The room was so crowded that it became necessary for Officer Fox, on duty at the Chamber of Commerce, to exclude boys, or to allow them to push in just long enough to catch a glimpse of the blackboard. The crowd was also as nearly evenly divided as it could have been, few being imbued with local pride and the Chicagos having many friends. The betting was in about the same amount as on the two previous days, though the amount telegraphed here from Chicago was small. At the opening the Browns had the call at $11 to $10 and a great deal of money was put up at this and even. When the Chicagos made their two runs in the first and the Browns were credited with a goose egg, the betting changed slightly, the Chicagos being favorites at $10 to $8, a great deal of hedging being done. The Browns' single run in the second held them in place, but when the Chicagos made one each in the fourth and fifth they dropped badly, and when the Chicagos scored two in their half of the sixth, there were numerous offers of $100 to $25 in their favor. When the Browns closed that inning with two runs it enabled some more hedging at $100 to $50, but when in the next inning the Chicagos added three runs it was all one way and the betting on the game practically ended, and was confined to the innings and to to-day's game. It was the same way at Wiseman's again, though the crowd was of such a different character. Considerable money was then put up even on to-day's game and a number of bets made on the series at $100 to $80 in favor of the Chicagos, the first made where odd were given. There were also a number of bets made even that the Browns will win two out of the three games played here, and a number to the same effect, but worded that seven games will be required to decide the contest. At night it was discovered that the base ball patrons were either meditating or joining in the excitement of the turf exchanges, where there were good crowds. At Wiseman's, however, there was some betting, $30 to $24 being posted that the Chicagos will win the series. The Browns again had the call on to-day's game at $10 to $8...

As showing the enthusiasm of business men over Tuesday's game, the Mermod-Jaccard Jewelry Company yesterday telegraphed congratulations to Mr. Von der Ahe, and said they would present each member and the manager of the Browns with a solid gold monogram scarf pin, if they win the championship, which, they added, "We know they will." On 'Change a purse was raised to buy a present for Bushong, to be presented to-day.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 21, 1886

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Game Three

Caruthers was again put in to face the Chicagos from the pitcher's box to-day in the third game of the world's championship series, and had he pitched one-quarter as good a game as he did yesterday the Browns would have again come out victorious. No greater mistake could have possibly been made than in again allowing him to do the twirling. He felt so confident, though, of giving a repetition of his good work of yesterday, and was so certain of success, that President Von der Ahe was finally induced to grant his request. The score tells how the experiment worked. He was batted hard and often, a total of twenty-one bases being made off him. Home-runs were made by Gore and Kelly, a three-bagger by Burns and a double by Ryan, while every man in the Chicago team, with the exception of Clarkson, Anson and Williamson, made singles. The two runs which were given to the home club in the first inning by Caruthers' wildness, took the heart out of the Browns, and they played something after the style in which they handled themselves in Monday's game. They batted Clarkson hard though, but their hits were mostly unlucky ones and scattered badly. They also fielded in excellent style, making many remarkable catches, which were roundly applauded by the spectators. But two errors are placed against them and the Chicagos won simply through their batting. In the seventh inning Bushong retired to third base, and Latham came in and caught for the remainder of the game, doing very well. In the eighth, Anson relieved Kelly behind the bat, and Williamson succeeded Clarkson in the box. John Kelly officiated as umpire. The attendance was 5,000. Both clubs left for St. Louis this evening. It has been decided to play the odd game in Cincinnati.

The Browns won the toss for the first time, and went to the field. Caruthers pitched six bad balls to Gore, the first batter, giving him his base. Kelly got to the bag in the same manner. Anson went out on a grounder to first, sending both runners ahead a base. Pfeffer also got his first on balls, filling the bases, and Williamson then came to the bat, and much to the disgust of the audience Caruthers sent him to his base on balls, forcing Gore across the plate with the first run of the game. Burns knocked a grounder down to Robinson. The latter threw to first in time to cut him off; Pfeffer was playing quite a distance off third, and Comiskey threw to Latham, putting him out also. This double play retired the side, but not until Kelly scored. For the Browns, Latham struck out, much to the delight of the spectators. Caruthers got his base on balls. O'Neil also got his base on balls. Both men were sent ahead on a passed ball. Gleason went out on a fly to Pfeffer, who made a remarkable catch, running with the ball. Comiskey retired the side with a liner into Pfeffer's hands.

Ryan, in the second inning, made the first hit of the game. Dalrymple went out on a long fly to Hudson. Clarkson knocked the ball to Gleason, forcing out Ryan at second. Clarkson stole second, and Gore sent a fly to left, which O'Neil captured in good style.

For the Browns, Welch hit safely to right; Robinson made a single to the same field; Kelly missed Hudson's third strike, but threw Welch out at third, who was forced to run. A long wrangle and discussion followed between Anson, Umpire Kelly and others. The former claimed that Hudson was out for not running immediately after Kelly had dropped the ball. The umpire finally decided it a fair play. Bushong hit to center for a single, and Robinson scored. A wild throw in by Gore let Hudson to third. Latham struck out, and Caruthers went out from second to first, ending the inning and leaving two men on bases.

In the third Kelly was retired on a fly to Hudson. Anson went out from second to first, and Pfeffer went out on a grounder to Comiskey. For the Browns, O'Neil struck out, Gleason fouled out to Anson, and Comiskey also struck out.

In the fourth Williamson led off with a grounder to Comiskey, on which he was easily put out. Burns knocked the leather to center for three bases, and was only prevented from making a home run by the quick fielding of the ball on the part of Welch. Ryan went out on a long fly to Welch, and before it could be returned to the the plate Burns had scored. Dalrymple went out from short to first. Welch for the visitors secured his base on balls. Robinson knocked a fly to Dalrymple, who muffed it. A passed ball advanced both men a base, but Welch only got to third safely by one of his remarkable steals. On Hudson's grounder to Williamson Welch started to come in, but was thrown out. Bushong went out on a fly to center, on which Robinson tried to come in, but he was also retired. Kelly stood on the plate as Robinson came in, and the latter ran into him and doubled him up on the ground.

In the fifth Clarkson knocked a long fly to Welch, which the latter caught easily. Gore went out from second to first. Kelly knocked the ball over the right-field fence for a home run, amid great applause. Anson fouled out to Bushong. Latham, for the Browns, knocked a liner directly in Williamson's hands. Carruthers hit safely to left for a single, and got second on a passed ball. O'Neil knocked the sphere to right for a single, and Gleason was retired on a fly to Anson. Comiskey wound up the inning with a fly to Ryan, leaving two men on bases.

In the sixth Pfeffer opened with a fly to Robinson, and Williamson struck out. Burns hit the ball to right for a single and Ryan followed with a double to the same field. Dalrymple knocked a high fly back of first, which Comiskey muffed, and Burns and Ryan came home. Clarkson went out on a fly to center. For the Browns in this inning Welch made a single to center and Gore let the ball roll through his legs and Welch made third on the error, coming home on Robinson's short hit to right. Hudson flew out to Pfeffer. Robinson got third on a half-passed ball enabled him to reach third. Bushong was thrown out at first on his grounder to right field, but Robinson scored on it. Latham hit safely to left center. Caruthers went out on a grounder to Anson.

Gore opened the seventh by a base hit to Robinson, who could not recover himself in time to throw to first. Kelly hit safely, while Anson went out on a fly to Hudson, which advanced both men a base. Pfeffer hit safely and Gore scored. Williamson knocked a fly to Latham, which the latter purposely muffed, forcing Kelly out at third. Burns hit a hard grounder to second, which Robinson fumbled, falling down in attempting to get it up. Pfeffer crossed the plate on the play. Williamson also started to come in, and Robinson made a very bad throw to head him off, but he scored on the error and Burns reached third. Ryan retired the side with a fly to O'Neil. For the Browns, O'Neil went out from second to first, Gleason struck out, and Comiskey retired on a foul fly to Anson. In the eighth Dalrymple hit safely to center. Clarkson's long fly to O'Neil sent Dalrymple to second. Gore lifted the ball to center field far over Welch's head for a home run. Kelly hit safely to center. Anson went out to the catcher. Welch for the Browns led off with a two-bagger to left. He got to third on a passed ball, and came home on a wild pitch. Robinson got first on Anson's miss of his third strike, and stole second. Hudson struck out, Bushong flew out to Gore and Latham fouled out to the catcher. The game was then called on account of darkness.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 21, 1886

Kind of an interesting game, wasn't it? Some random stuff that jumped out at me:

-Von der Ahe made the call on who was going to start game three? I don't really see this as an instance of VdA meddling with the team but rather Caruthers going over Comiskey's head. Regardless, Caruthers wasn't too sharp to start the game.

-Even with Caruthers not pitching well, the Browns still had a chance to win the game. Two things did them in. They had two runners thrown out at the plate in the fourth and if both runners had scored, they would have tied the game up. In the seventh, Yank Robinson just killed them in the field.

-Lots of walks, strikeouts and home runs in this game. Combined with the errors and poor baserunning, it was kind of like a modern game, except that they played it in two hours and fifteen minutes. And Arlie Latham was running around like a maniac.

-Completely random but Yank Robinson led the AA in walks in 1888 and 1889. He also led the Union Association in walks in 1884 when he was playing with Baltimore. Don't let this one game color your opinion of him. He was a heck of a ballplayer and was a starter on all four of the Browns' championship teams.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Latham's Coaching

The following comments from the leading Chicago dailies show what Latham's style of loud-mouthed coaching is thought of in the Windy City:

Times:-"Latham, of the visitors, made an antiquated idiot of himself in a vain attempt to rattle the veteran players of the Chicago team by continual loud-mouthed and useless 'coaching,' and the crowd got even with Latham by jeering at his bat plays, which were conveniently frequent."

Tribune:-"It was a good game, well played by both clubs, and chiefly remarkable for the coaching of Latham, a sawed-off Brown, with a voice that would put to shame the most ambitious fog-siren on the lakes. His incessant howling, a meaningless jumble of catch phrases, was funny for about fifteen minutes. Then it grew tiresome, and before the fourth inning he was universally conceded to be the worst nuisance ever inflicted upon a Chicago audience..."

News:-"We have purposely refrained from comment upon Mr. Latham's bar-room manners, because we knew that the Chicagos had undertaken to defeat the Browns at the Browns' own game, and had accepted the noisy, clamorous, jockey features permitted by the American Association as one of the inevitable penalties of meeting the representatives of that Association. Mr. Latham is a capital base ball player; he gains nothing but an evil reputation for himself by his tiresome exhibitions of alley wit-he certainly does not disconcert his opponents, and as certainly he does hurt base ball as a profession every time he emits his yawp."
-Sporting Life, November 3, 1886

Sporting Life also included the Inter Ocean's opinion of Arlie Latham, which we've already seen. It certainly appears that Latham made an impression on his Chicago audience during the series.

Peter Morris has much of this information in A Game of Inches, in the chapter about coaching. He writes that the American Association "was characterized by a brashness that contrasted dramatically with the more businesslike National League. One of the most conspicuous manifestations of this in-your-face attitude was the loud and annoying style of coaching. Many of the players who filled this role made little pretense of the fact that they went 'in line to disconcert the opposing players-generally the pitcher-not to 'coach' or assist the base-runner' (Sporting News, December 23, 1893)." He also writes that this "style of coaching became increasingly associated with the St. Louis Brown Stockings...Some went so far as to attribute the club's success to its style of coaching: 'It is a well-known fact that St. Louis won the pennant twice through this rowdyism on the field' (Philadelphia Press, reprinted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 7, 1887)."

Monday, September 6, 2010

The 1886 World Series: An Ad For Game Three

This ad ran in the Inter Ocean on October 20, 1886.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The 1886 World Series: The St. Louis Players Mean Business

Painful as defeat is under any circumstances, it was doubly so yesterday when the St. Louis club pounded McCormick's pitching and outplayed the Chicagos at every point. There is no excuse to offer in extenuation of the severe defeat. The reasons for which are well known by President Spalding and Captain Anson. But what can they do to enforce discipline in this series, since the players are not under league rules and must govern themselves? The St. Louis players are in this for the money to be obtained and mean business. They play every point just as carefully one day as another. They made five errors yesterday and seven the day before. The Chicagos not only piled up twice the number of fielding errors made the first day, but they failed to hit Carruthers' delivery, with one exception, Gore making two singles. The St. Louis men, on the other hand, hit McCormick thirteen times for a total of twenty-six bases, and made six of their dozen runs, the other six being presented by the Chicagos. One feature of the St. Louis game might be eliminated with success, and that is the disgusting mouthings of the clown Latham. There was

A Universal Sentiment

of disgust expressed by the crowd that left the ball park at the close of the game at this hoodlum's obscene talk on the ball field. One well-known merchant remarked that he never would attend another game that Latham played in. The roughest element that ever attends a ball game in this city could not condone the offense of such a player as Latham. President Spalding should insist upon his being silenced; such coarse mouthings may pass in St. Louis, but will not be tolerated in Chicago.

There were fully 7,000 people present at the game yesterday, the weather being excellent for outdoor sport.
-The Daily Inter Ocean, October 20, 1886

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The 1886 World Series: A Remarkable Contrast

When time was called this afternoon for the second game of the world's championship series there were between 8,000 and 9,000 people on the grounds. The weather was decidedly warm and pleasant, in marked contrast with yesterday. The scores of the two days also presented a remarkable contrast-one that is unaccounted for except on the basis that the batteries of the two teams had been materially altered. Notwithstanding the introduction of the new system of double umpires, there was considerable dissatisfaction with the various decisions, and the system was not generally voted a glittering success.
-New York Times, October 20, 1886

Friday, September 3, 2010

The 1886 World Series: A Sick And Disgusted Lot Of People

If ever there was a sick and disgusted lot of people they are the backers and admirers of the Chicagos. This morning, before the game, the betting [in Chicago] was very heavy, and the Chicagos had the call at odds of $10 to $7. It is estimated that at least $10,000 in this city alone changed hands on the result of to-days game. The Chicagos' victory yesterday seemed to convince the betters that they were simply invincible, and that the Brown's stood no more of a show of defeating them than any of the tail-end clubs in the association. To-night the opinions are decidedly different as is shown by the betting. Even money is all that can be obtained. The admirers of the White Stockings have not weakened much though, and are backing their club heavily for the game to-morrow in the hopes of getting back some of their money. Then there are others who were formerly devoted friends of the Chicagos, who saw the game to-day, and are convinced that the Browns are the better club, and are laying their money on them. The result of to-day's game fell like a thunderbolt on the base ball population of the city. They could not believe that the Chicagos were beaten, and refused to be convinced until the figures were shown.

Last night, after the game, a large crowd followed Capt. Anson to his dressing-room, where he stood for fully a half hour shaking hands and receiving congratulations. The big captain assured them all that they need have no fear about his team beating the Browns as many games as they wanted.

"Why," said he, "it is just good practice for us." To-night the big blow-hard could not be found. He sneaked off the grounds as soon as the game was over, and has not been seen since.

A large crowd of people jumped onto the ground as soon as the game was called and escorted the Browns to their carriages, and as they were driven out of the grounds they were given three prolonged cheers. Tonight they are the biggest people in all Chicago. President Von der Ahe has been engaged all evening in opening congratulatory telegrams, no less than 100 such messages having already been received by him. They come principally from St. Louis, but many are from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Pittsburg and other cities. The Browns and their friends think that if they can win to-morrow's game they will have no trouble in placing the series to their credit. They feel confident of winning at least two out of the three played in St. Louis. They will make a desperate effort to win to-morrow. It has been decided to put in Caruthers again, he being very anxious to pitch and feeling confident of success. He will be backed up by Bushong. The Chicago's will have Clarkson and Kelly in the points. The three umpire system will again be used. Caruthers was this evening presented with a handsome gold-handed came from his Chicago friends.

The receipts of the two games amount to $5,589, and the proceeds of to-day's game will, it is expected, swell this amount to $9,000 at least. The receipts of the games played in St. Louis will certainly be as large, so the winning club will receive $18,000 or $20,000.

A great many St. Louis people arrived this morning as well as a large number from other cities. President Stein, of the Detroits, O.P. Caylor, of the Cincinnatis, President Stromberg, of the St. Louis Maroons, and many other prominent base ball men are in the city. Both clubs leave for St. Louis to-morrow evening.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 20, 1886

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The 1886 World Series: The Betting Was Running In The Same Way

The Browns' friends in St. Louis were not discouraged yesterday on having lost $10,000 on the 6 to 0 score of the day before, and went in with even more enthusiasm and greater expectations than the day before. The Chicagos' friends also seemed to be disposed to push things, the Merchant's Exchange crowd particularly having a leaning that way. Several of these later gentlemen remained in Donovan's early in the game, and before the first inning was announced they rather freely offered and bet $120 to $90 on the Chicagos. Then they dropped to $100 to $80, and when the big "two" was put down to the credit of the Browns in the first inning they dropped out of sight, and the friends of the St. Louis nine came to the front in offers to bet $100 to $75 that the Browns would win, and found it to be a most difficult matter to secure takers. At all of the other exchanges the betting was running in the same way, and at Wiseman's the crowd was bigger than on the day before, and decidedly more enthusiastic. In front of the Globe-Democrat the crowd extended out to the street car tracks, and such expressions as "Bobby's got the heart disease bat," were frequent. When the Browns marked two more runs in the fourth inning, and the row of goose-eggs placed to the credit of the Chicagos was continued out, the crowds became a little boisterous, and offers of $25 to $5 on the Browns were made, or $5 to $1 straight, with but few takers. When there more runs were scored in the seventh the Browns' friends went wild, and offers of $50 to $1 were made. Before that time, however, the betting on the game itself had almost ceased, and the business was confined almost exclusively to gambles on certain innings and on the Chicagos being entirely shut out. There were quite a number of bets of the latter kind. Altogether, the betting was heavier than on Monday, even though sufficient Chicago money could not be secured to take the offerings on the Browns, and the day wound up with Monday's loss recovered and a little added to the score on the profit side. The betting in the pool-rooms amounted to about $7,000, while the amount on the outside was fully as large as on Monday.

At the same time betting was tolerably free on to-day's game and on the series. The Browns' friends were confident they would win on the series, and even money backing that opinion went begging. Bets on to-day's game were taken a little more freely, but all even, neither side caring to give out odds. The amount estimated as being up on the series up to the close of the game yesterday was $10,000, about two-thirds of which is in the exchanges.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 20, 1886

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The 1886 World Series: Game Two

Never before since the club's organization did the Chicagos sustain such a stinging defeat as they suffered at the hands of the St. Louis Browns this afternoon, in the second game of the World's Championship series. Six thousand people attended the contest and saw the pets of the "windy city" out-batted, out-fielded, and out-played generally. The Browns played in their old time brilliant style, and showed the spectators, as well as Anson's crew, that they knew a little about ball at least. There was no howling, yelling and screeching, such as marked the progress of the game the day before; the audience being orderly and quiet. All the good plays on both sides were applauded. The Browns, by their excellent conduct on the field, have made many friends. Caruthers, who occupied the box for the visiting club, twirled the ball for all he was worth and, taken altogether, pitched one of the best games of his life. But one small insignificant hit of the scratch kind was all that the big Chicago sluggers could find his curves for. They could knock nothing but hard grounders, on which they were easily thrown out at first. Several long flies were knocked to the outfield, but O'Neil,Welch and Foutz did not let a ball go by them, and made several remarkable catches. McCormick was never so badly slaughtered.

Thirteen hits, with a grand total of twenty-five bases, is a pretty good record to make off a pitcher belonging to a champion League club. That is what the Browns made off him to-day. Their batting, unlike that of the Chicagos of yesterday, was hard and clean, and but one or two hits that had any semblance to scratches were made. O'Neil made a wonderful record; out of four times at the bat he made three hits, and two of them were home runs. His first four-bagger was made in the first inning, with one man on the bases, and the second in the fifth inning. Both of the drives were to left field, far out of the reach of all fielders,k and were the longest hits ever seen on the grounds. His other hit was a single. Caruthers also showed that he knew a little something about handling the stick. He lined the ball out to right once for three bases and once for a double. Both were only prevented from being home runs by striking the fence a few inches from the top. Foutz got in a two-bagger and a single. The only man on the Browns' side who failed to get a hit was Latham, but he more than made up for his weakness at the bat by his excellent coaching. He is also credited with the only two errors charged to his club. Both were entirely excusable, though. One was an error in judging a ball, and the other a bad throw to first of a hard-hit grounder. Bushong again caught a superb game. Kelly started in to catch for the Chicagos, but Anson, in the sixth inning, seeing that the game was gone, sent him to short, probably to save him for to-morrow, and Williamson came in behind the bat. In the eighth inning Anson succeeded Williamson in catching and Kelly went to first.

The three umpire plan was given a trial and worked very well, to-day at least. Ex-umpires John Kelly, now manager of the Louisvilles, was selected as referee. John McQuaid was chosen umpire for the Chicagos, and Joe Quest officiated in the same capacity for the St. Louis team. The Browns lost the toss and went first to bat. Latham, after fouling a number of balls, and after two strikes had been called on him, got his base on balls. McCormick made a quick throw to first to catch him napping, and Anson made a motion as if he touched him. McQuaid called Latham out. Quest, for St. Louis, protested. A long wrangle then ensued between Comiskey, Anson and the three umpires. Referee Kelly finally decided Latham safe. The decision was greeted with applause. He went to second on Kelly's wild throw to catch him stealing. Kelly missed Caruthers' third strike; Latham thinking that Kelly had thrown the ball to first to head off "Bobby," started for third, when Kelly threw to second and put him out. O'Neil then came to the bat, and the first ball pitched he knocked for a home run, as described above. Caruthers, of course, scored with him. Burns fumbled Comiskey's grounder, and Williamson handled Welch's grounder in the same manner. Both were left, however, by Foutz's foul to Kelly. For the Chicagos Gore made the first and only hit. Kelly struck out and Anson got his base on balls. Pfeffer's long fly to Caruthers advanced both men a base, but they were both left by Williamson, who went out from second to first. In the second inning Robinson was retired on a fly, and Bushong got first on Burns' wild throw of his grounder to first. Two wild pitches enabled him to reach third, and he attempted to come home on Latham's fly to left, but Dalrymple's beautiful and perfect throw to the plate cut him off. Burns for the Chicagos, after one out, got his base on a bad throw of Latham's, but the next two men were retired in order. Caruthers opened the third with a fly to right, and O'Neil got his base on six bad balls. He was forced out at second by Gleason. Comiskey hit safely, but Welch retired the side by going out form second to first. The Chicagos went out in order.

The Browns increased their score by two in the fourth. Foutz led off with a hit to left for a single, but he made second on Dalrymple's failure to stop the ball. Pfeffer captured Latham's fly to second. Bushong then made a drive to left for two bases, and Foutz came in. Latham's sacrifice advanced Bushong to third. Caruthers knocked a pop-up to Burns, but the latter muffed it. He threw Caruthers out though on his attempt to made second the error, Bushong, of course, had scored in the meantime. The Chicagos were retired quickly Pfeffer and Williamson struck out, and Burns went out on a fly to Caruthers. The Browns made three more runs in the fifth. O'Neil was the first man to bat and he made the circuit of the bases on his second home run. Gleason hit safely to left, and Comisley struck out. Welch made a single to center, advancing Gleason to third. He stole second successfully, and on the throw down to put him out Gleason scored. Foutz then drove the sphere to right center, making third base on the hit and sending Welch in.

As the latter crossed the plate McCormick, who was standing in, struck him on the head, knocking his cap off without any provocation whatever. Welch returned to McCormick, and had not some one interfered, would have doubtless laid the big burly pitcher out on the ground. McCormick was hissed severely. Robinson struck out and Bushong fouled out. The Chicagos went out in one-two-three order. In the sixth no runs were scored. Caruthers made a two-bagger, but was unable to get beyond second base. The Chicagos got no men on bases in this inning. Five runs in the seventh brought the Browns' score up to 12. Comiskey, the first batter, was retired on a little grounder to short and Welch waited for his base on balls, and got it. Foutz knocked a slow ball down to Pfeffer, and had that player not fumbled the ball, a double play might have been made. As it was, Welch got to second and Foutz to first in safety. Robinson knocked the leather to left for a single. Dalrymple picked up the ball and threw it in wildly, enabling Welch and Foutz to score and Robinson to make third. The latter came in on a sacrifice by Bushong. Latham got second base on Kelly's wild throw of his grounder to first, and scored on Caruthers' drive to left for three bases. O'Neil's safe hit brought in Caruthers. Gleason retired the side. The Chicagos were now pretty badly broken up and could not do much of anything. Pfeffer struck out and so did Burns, but the latter's third strike dropped out of Bushong's hands, and the ball rolled in the path. Burns gave it a kick and started for first. Quest called him out. The Browns appealed to Kelly, but as the latter did not see the play, he allowed Burns safe. Ryan fouled out. A passed ball advanced both the base runners a bag, but they got no further, as Dalrymple sawed the air and struck out. Comiskey opened the eighth with a hit, but Welch's grounder to second resulted in a double play. Foutz got first on an error of Burns, but was thrown out trying to steal second. McCormick, for the home club, struck out. Latham judged Gore's grounder badly, giving the latter first. Kelly knocked a long fly to left, which O'Neil caught in fine style and threw in to head off Gore. As it was growing dark, it was difficult to see the ball, and Comiskey let it get by him, Gore going to second. Anson's foul tip, which Bushong caught, ended the inning. The game was then called on account of darkness.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 20, 1886

There's a bunch of good stuff here for such a one-sided game. You have Caruthers throwing a one-hitter and getting a triple and double at the plate. Caruthers, by himself, outhit Chicago in game two. You have O'Neil with his two home runs, the three umpire system getting tested in the first inning, the scuffle at home plate in the fifth and Kelly moving from catcher to short to first. It was a neat game.