Thursday, October 14, 2010

Throwing The Ball At Them Too Swiftly

Who says that base ball is not inspiring? If any, let him read the following, perpetrated by a Western reporter (not a Western editor) on the tour of the Athletics and their appearance at St. Louis. After saying that the grounds "were richly carpeted with green and low lying grasses," he continues "thusly":-

"The unhooded falcon cast off from the fair hand of Philadelphia has swooped from the Schuylkill to the Missouri-from the East to the West-and along the route, over which the fleet wings of the Athletics swept, there are quarries stricken hard and heavily.

Propitious weather came out of the sky and moved in the winds, and the day was everything that could be desired.

The veterans of twenty campaigns march into the arena-eager, active men all, and bronzed brown by sun and wind work. The picked nine are grouped and resolute, and showed beautifully in their tidy gray uniform."

And then, in criticising the players, he says:-

"The playing of Reach was superb. His power of stroke, coolness and swiftness of foot were remarkable.

The strategy and even pitching of McBride, the readiness with which he yielded to every decision of the umpire, and the most perfect discipline he exercised in the ranks of his little battalion made him a host in himself. Full in the glare of the unclouded sun, Radcliff, the catcher, never for a moment lost his nerve and his vigor.

Cuthbert, in the left field, was long of leap and agile as a panther, and Fisher and Berry, first and second base, were hard to beat on any field.

That is something like what the old cricket players call throwing the ball at them too swiftly-viz., 'piling it on...'

The Athletics worsted the crack St. Louis nine, the Unions, with a score of fifty-four to twelve...
-New York Herald, June 18, 1868

While rather flowery, this is easily the best account of the Unions' game against the Athletics that I've found.

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