Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The 1887 World Series: After The Struggle

The Detroit players were very sore last night after their defeat. They seemed very much surprised at the outcome, as they full expected to win yesterday's game. They sat around in groups at the hotel last night, discussing the game, and all seemed to have awakened to the idea that they had their equals, if not their superiours, to cope with in the Browns. Dan Brouthers said that the Detroits had never seen such ball playing as the Browns put up, it being different from anything they had ever come up against. Gaffney, the king umpire, spoke in the most enthusiastic terms of the home team. "You never know what to expect from them; when you expect them to drive the ball out they bunt it, and vice versa. They have different styles of ball playing, and change their style so rapidly that it is hard to follow them." Betting had switched considerably last night, the odds being 60 to 18 on the Browns for to-day's game, and even money on the series.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 11, 1887

Monday, November 29, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Down-Town Betting

The betting on the game at the various base-ball exchanges and pool rooms yesterday was lively, and the amount wagered on the result of the first contest between the clubs was placed from $10,000 to $15,000 in the city alone. In the morning the betting favored the Detroits, the backers of the Wolverines offering odds of $13 to $10. There was no scarcity of Brown money, however, and cards at these odds were penciled fast. Several large bets were made in the morning and before the game commenced in the afternoon. One of $1000 to $700 and another of $500 to $300 were recorded at one place, and others equally as large were registered at the other pool-rooms. After the first inning, when the score was 2 to 0 in the Browns' favor, the betting was even, but even at this stage of the contest there was not an overabundance of Detroit funds. The odds remained unchanged until the result of the fifth inning was made known, and then the Wolverines' backers had dwindled almost out of sight, and although offers of $100 to $35 on the Browns were made they found no takers. As the game progressed the backers of the home team grew more liberal in their offers and were willing to give almost any odds. Several of the more enthusiastic Brown cranks bet $10 to $50 that the Detroits wouldn't make a run, but all such propositions were quickly snapped up. The pool-rooms were filled by an anxious crowd of speculators all the afternoon, and every good play on either side was loudly applauded.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 11, 1887

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The 1887 World Series: The Game One Boxscore

I haven't exactly worked out my Word problems but I found another program that would turn an image from a pdf file into a jpeg file. Blah, blah, technical nonsense, blah, blah. Bottom line: here's the boxscore from game one of the 1887 world's championship series.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Brouthers' Injury

From present prospects the Detroits will be deprived of the services of big Dan Brouthers, their first baseman, during the entire series of games for the world's championship. Brouthers hurt himself running from first to second at Indianapolis Saturday. Last night at the Lindell he was so lame that even with the assistance of a cane he was hardly able to move about. The injury is a sprain, and the ankle is puffed considerably.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 11, 1887

Friday, November 26, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Game One

After months of wordy arguments as to the relative strength of the Detroits and Browns, champions of the League and American Association respectively, the two teams at last came together on the ball field yesterday at Sportsman's Park to settle the much mooted question in actual battle. From yesterday's game it would seem that the local team is safe in its title of champions of the world. Still base-ball is a most treacherous game, and ere the sun has set to-night victory may have perched on the Wolverines' banner by even a more decisive score than yesterday's. A more unfavorable day for an athletic contest could not have been made to order than that which dawned upon St. Louis yesterday and which froze up the enthusiasm of the thousands of admirers of the national game. A drizzling rain fell all the forenoon and right up to the time the game was called, while a cold, piercing wind out of the north placed overcoats at a premium. But there was no open date to which the game might be postponed, and Manager Watkins and President Von der Ahe decided to play despite the elements. As soon as this determination was reached, the players were gathered and the parade took place as announced. The Browns wore their uniforms, while the Detroits rode around in their citizens' clothes. Players and managers alike were chilled to the marrow before the line of march had been covered. Notwithstanding the rain the crowd commenced to gather early at the park, and by 3 o'clock a large number had congregated to witness the sport. The stand was crowded, all the open seats to the north and west were jammed, and the fringe of seats around the fence of the park was also well filled. If the weather had been fine it is doubtful if the accommodations would have been sufficient for the multitude that would have gathered. It was an enthusiastic crowd, too, and most thoroughly impartial. When the Detroits came upon the field they were greeted with cheer after cheer, which did not subside until the visitors had dofted their caps. All through the game every good play they made was applauded, and they were forced to admit after the game that they had never met a more impartial crowd than the St. Louis audience. The visitors brought with them their pennant which flaunted triumphantly from the flagstaff in center field. The appearance of the Browns was the signal for a burst of applause which amounted almost to an ovation. The home boys looked very giddy in suits of bright blue, forming, with the brown hose, a very showy combination.

After considerable discussion as to the best method of choosing umpires, it was finally decided to use both Gaffney and Kelly, letting one man take care of the balls and strikes and the other the base decisions. This worked like a charm. Both men are rare judges of the fine points of the game, and but little kicking was indulged in, being a marked contrast to the Chicago games last fall, which were one continual wrangle from start to finish. Kelly and Gaffney alternated in their different positions, Kelly calling balls and strikes while the Leaguers were at the bat and Gaffney performing a similar service for the Browns.

Just where the honor of victory and the blame of defeat is to be laid it is hard to say. It is true that Richardson and Getzein made costly errors, but that did not affect the result, as the Browns earned 5 runs, thus fairly winning the victory. The play of the home team was simply magnificent, not being charged with an error of any kind, not even a wild pitch or a passed ball, and the game they put up would have beaten any ball team on earth. They batted Getzein, too, without effort, and succeeded in stealing a number of bases on Bennett, the "Nonpareil." But the credit of the victory probably belongs to Bob Caruthers, who gave as fine an exhibition of pitching as has ever been seen on the home grounds. The Wolverines were completely at his mercy and made but four safe hits off him, two of these being of the scratch order. Such was his effectiveness that but five of the visitors saw first base, and but one of them reached second, that one being Getzein, who made the visitors' solitary run. Bushong supported Caruthers in rare style. The fielding honors were taken by Bill Gleason, who accepted seven difficult chances in perfect style, assisting in two double plays. Bill is certainly playing the game of his life just now. Robinson, too did magnificent work, and the pair gave the greatest exhibition of infield work ever seen on the home grounds. The Browns' diamond was indeed a stone wall, as Comiskey and Latham played perfect games. The outfield had but little to do. Foutz made a brilliant capture from Dunlap's bat, and O'Neill and Welch played perfect games.

For the Detroits Getzein, the "Pretzel" pitcher, was in the box, and was hit hard. He was also very wild, sending four men to bases on balls, and keeping Bennett very busy behind the bat. Bennet caught in fine style and threw beautifully to bases. Rowe did some nice work at short, but marred his record with a bad fumble. Owing to Brouthers' injury, White played first base and Richardson went to third. The former did very well, but the latter was evidently not at home, as he made several costly errors. Dunlap, the ex-St. Louis Leaguer, played his old-time brilliant game. The others had but little to do. The sluggers' attempts to hit the ball were infantile in the extreme, Getzein appearing to be the only man who could do anything at all at the bat.

First inning-After Latham had made three strikes he drove a line ball to right for a base. On the second ball pitched he made a break for second, and as he landed safe on the bag the crowd cheered long and loud. This seemed to rattle Getzein, who sent Gleason to base on balls. All eyes were turned on Jim O'Neill, the champion batter, as he walked up to the plate. Getzein made a wild pitch, advancing each runner a base. "One strike," "two strikes," shouted Gaffney. "Three strikes," and the crowd groaned. The groan was changed to a cheer a moment latter as the great hitter drove a ball to center on which Latham crossed the plate. Comiskey flew out to White. Caruthers had four balls called on him before a strike. Then Getzein put two good balls over the plate. On the third the little pitcher lit on to the ball, and as it rolled into right Gleason crossed the plate and O'Neill went to second. Foutz hit in front of the plate, and died at first on Getzein's fine throw, O'Neill going to third and Caruthers to second. Both were left, however, as Welch hit to Getzein, and died at first. Kelly now went behind the bat to call balls and strikes, while Gaffney went back to second. Richardson, after three strikes, hit a high foul fly, which Bushong captured in great style right off the south side of the grand stand. Twitchell hit a grounder to Robinson, and died at first. Rowe hit past Caruthers, and Robinson, after a hard chase, captured the ball, fielding to first and ending the inning.

Second inning-Robinson demonstrated his well-known ability to wait, and went to first on balls. Bushong hit a foul fly to Bennett, and as Robinson had started for second he was doubled at first on Bennett's assist. Latham hit safe to left. Gleason was hit by a pitched ball. It was now the great slugger's turn to again distinguish himself, but he was unequal to the task, flying out to Dunlap and leaving Latham and Gleason. It was now Thompson the champion hitter's turn at the bat. He fully demonstrated League slugging ability by striking out. Deacon White hit a high fly which O'Neill captured. Dunlap, the old Maroon player, now stepped to the plate, and was greeted with cheers. He furnished Robinson with a grounder and died at first.

Third inning-Comiskey hit to Rowe, who fumbled, and the Browns' Captain landed safe at first. Caruthers flew out to Rowe. Comiskey made a great steal to second, making a long head slide. Foutz struck out. Welch ended the inning by hitting frantically at the air four times. Bennett hit the first ball pitched him to Gleason and was retired at first. Hanlon hit a difficult grounder to the Browns' short-stop and never reached first. Getzein went to first on balls, but Richardson flew out to Welch, ending the inning.

Fourth inning-Robinson started out by striking out, making the third successive man Getzein had retired in this manner. Bushong drove a beauty to center, Latham foul-tipped out, Gleason hit to Richardson, who threw wild to first and Gleason reached first, Bushong going to third. Once more did O'Neill have a chance to drive in runs, and again did he furnish Dunlap with an easy fly, ending the inning. Twitchell hit to Latham and never reached the initial bag. Rowe put a hot grounder to Robinson, and was thrown out at first. Thompson hit direct at Caruthers too hot to handle, and the tall fielder landed safe. He got no furthur, however, as White hit a line ball to left, which O'Neill gathered in.

Fifth inning-Comiskey bunted the ball and reached second on Getzein's throw over White's head. Caruthers bunted the ball to Richardson and beat it to first, Comiskey going to third. Caruthers stole second. There were now two men on bases and no one out and the chances for runs were very bright. Foutz drove a high fly to Thompson on which Comiskey scored and Caruthers went to third. Welch hit to Rowe, who fielded to Bennett and Caruthers was caught between the base lines, and after a lively chase run down, Welch going to third. Robinson then drove the ball into the left field seats for three bases and Welch scored. Bushong set the crowd wild with a drive to right, on which Robinson scored. Latham hit to Richardson, who threw the ball over White's head, and Bushong scored, Latham going to third. Gleason hit to Richardson, who really succeeded in throwing the ball accurately and retiring the side. Dunlap hit to Caruthers and died at first. Bennett hit to Gleason, who made a great one-hand stop and threw the runner out at first. Hanlon drove a difficult grounder to Gleason, who made another beautiful stop and throw, receiving rounds of applause for his clever work.

Sixth inning-O'Neill opened with a terrific drive to center for two bases. Comiskey reached first on balls, worrying the pretzel pitcher by several attempts to bunt the ball. Caruthers hit a fly ball between Rowe and Getzein and the bases were full. Foutz hit a hot grounder to Rowe, who forced O'Neill at the plate. Welch foul-tipped out. Robinson hit to Dunlap and died at first, and what had promised big results ended in blank. Getzein hit a beauty to left, making the third man that had reached first base for the Wolverines; Richardson flew out to Welch, Twitchell hit to Gleason, and Brother Bill was all there again, making a clean stop; the ball flew to Robinson, and thence to Comiskey, and a double play was the result, the crowd cheering loudly.

Seventh inning-Bushong went to first on balls. Latham hit to Rowe. The ball took an unlucky bound and the runner reached first in safety, Bushong going to second. Gleason hit a line ball to Dunlap, who fielded to second, completing a double play. O'Neill furnished Dunlap with his third fly ball. Rowe flew out to Latham, Thompson hit down to Robinson and was retired at first. White fouled out to Bushong.

Eighth inning-Comiskey flew out to Thompson, Caruthers hit to Getzein and was thrown out at first. Foutz hit a hot grounder to White, who fielded to Getzein who had covered to first. The latter muffed the ball, and the tall pitcher landed first. Welch hit to Getzein, who fielded him out at first, White making a splendid capture of the ball. Dunlap hit to the right-field, but Foutz went out and pulled down the sphere just as it was sailing into the seats. Bennett flew out to Gleason, and Hanlon followed suit to Latham.

Ninth inning-Robinson hit a high foul fly, which Twitchell captured. Bushong hit to Rowe and died at first. Latham hit a high fly, which fell into Twitchell's hands. It was now Detroit's last opportunity to save a shut-out, and they started out as though they were determined to score. Getzein drove a line ball to left for two bases. Richardson flew out to Foutz, Getzein reaching third on the play. Twitchell hit safe to right and Getzein crossed the plate. Row hit to Gleason, who then fielded to Comiskey, and a double was the result.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 11, 1887

This was the first of fifteen games St. Louis and Detroit would play in the 1887 series. At the moment, I'm unable to post the boxscore, due to some weird problems with Microsoft Word. Hopefully, I'll solve the problem and get the boxscores posted.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Noted For Sabbath-Breaking Proclivities

The fall meeting of the St. Louis District Association of Congregational Churches and Ministers was held yesterday...

A discussion on the duty of the churches in relation to the desecration of the Sabbath in St. Louis was opened by Rev. J.F. Merrill, who stated that St. Louis was noted for its Sabbath-breaking proclivities. The base-ball parks were crowded, the saloons were open, train after train entered and left the Union Depot, and the Sunday newspaper was rampant. An effort had been made to stop this desecration of the Lord's Day, but a judge had been found who threw himself into the breach and nullified the efforts of those who sought to obtain for this city a Christian Sabbath...The only refuge left those in favor of a Christian observance of Sunday was in creating a healthy public sentiment among the people which would bring such pressure to bear that a change would be made in the judiciary and laws enacted and enforced which would free St. Louis from the stigma which now rested upon her.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 14, 1887

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Glasscock Unhappy In Indianapolis

In an interview to-day Glasscock said:

"It might as well be understood right now that I am not satisfied to play ball in Indianapolis, never was and never will be. I won't play here again next year no matter what may happen. I will quit the business first. I never have been treated right here and have been a mark for almost everybody. I have been given errors when I wouldn't have gotten them in any other place in the country, and in spite of the fact that I have played the best ball I ever played, my record was away down."

"What do you care for a record?" was asked. "You never have played for one, and don't need it."

"I only want what I'm entitled to, that's all," said Glasscock. "Another thing-there are men in this club I don't speak to and never will. I am dissatisfied here, and it would be better all around for them to trade me off. I know they can get Pfeffer for me. Anson and I talked it over the other day and I think they can get Sam Thompson for me, and they had better take one of them. Either of them is a more valuable man to this club than I am and would get along better. A lot of papers lately have quoted me as saying that I was satisfied here. It is not so. I never wrote such a statement of Joe Pritchard, of St. Louis."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 7, 1887

Glasscock was back in Indianapolis in 1888 and 1889. However, based on the letter we have from him, it doesn't appear that he was ever happy there. This interview sheds some light on some of the specifics but, in the letter, it appears that the root cause of the problem was that Glasscock never wanted to go to Indianapolis. He was happy in St. Louis and, after the Maroons shuffled off the mortal coil, there was a deal for him to go to Boston but the League stepped in and he was forced to play in Indianapolis.

And, for the record, Glasscock was credited with 73 errors in 1887, the highest season total in his career. He was also third among shortstops in fielding percentage.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Another Storyline

In the palmy days of the old Northwestern League there were three pitchers whose fame had spread all over the section of the country in which they twirled the sphere. Dave Foutz was then the Bay City's mainstay, and came very nearly being the whole team. So well was this recognized that when Mr. Von der Ahe wanted to buy Foutz, the management said, "Well, the team goes with Dave" and the Browns' President was compelled to buy the entire team before he could secure Foutz. At the same time Getzein, the "pretzel pitcher," of the Detroit Club, was doing yeoman work for the Grand Rapids team and some of the battles between Getz and Fouz are talked of to this day in that portion of the country. During this time Bob Caruthers was doing the pitching for Minneapolis, where he first gained fame as a twirler. Now these great pitchers are to battle once again for supremacy, not in Union League Clubs, however, but on the two crack clubs of the world. Certainly history repeats itself.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 9, 1887

So there are several nice storylines to follow in the 1887 world's series. We have the battle between Foutz/Caruthers and Getzein. We have Dunlap returning to St. Louis. We have the sluggers vs. the defense/base running club. We have the champions trying to retain their crown. We have the usual League vs. Association stuff. And we have the possible negative impact of high ticket prices. I'm sure there will also be some gambling/pool related stories as well.

This is some good stuff. The series seems to lack the intensity and high-profile of the St. Louis/Chicago battle of 1886 but there's more than enough here to keep our interest. Plus, there's the possibility that the Globe will turn on Von der Ahe and the Browns once they start losing. I wasn't all that excited about this series and thought it was a bit of a letdown after the 1886 series but I'm looking forward to seeing how this all shakes out.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The 1887 World Series: The Question And The Parade

The contest about to be inaugurated for the leading position among ball clubs is especially interesting because the result will decide an important question which has long been the subject of discussion among the patrons and admirers of the national game, viz: The collective qualities necessary for the best ball team, strong batters or good fielders and base runners. The Detroits and the Browns will have answered this question when the world's championship games are over. One is a team of "sluggers," or heavy batters, and the other is not so handy with the stick, but has no equal as a fielding and base-running team. Every arrangement has been made for the grand entree on Monday, even to a parade. Although the price of admission has been raised thousands of reserved seats have already been sold, and the demand for them increases as the opening date approaches. The Detroits will stop at the Southern, and from there at 10 o'clock Monday morning they will join in the base-ball parade and be driven through the streets in carriages. The parade will be headed by Phillips' Knights Templar Band. Presidents Von der Ahe and Stearns, of the two clubs, will occupy the front carriage in the procession, and in those that follow will be H. Clay Sexton, Dr. Ahlbrandt, the Directors and other officers of the Detroit and St. Louis clubs and visiting reporters. The last four carriages will contain the players who are to do battle.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 9, 1887

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Caught On The Fly Style

Fred Dunlap, of the old Maroons, is giving out tips on the pitching points of Foutz and Caruthers to the Detroit nine. The sluggers (in their mind) have the matter of knocking out the Browns' twirlers all mapped out.

It will be a rare sight to see the greatest hitters in the country, Tip O'Neill and Dan Brouthers, pitted against one another. Tip leads all players in hitting this season, his average being at high-water mark-above .490...

President Stearns, of Detroit, telegraphed yesterday that if Dave Foutz pitched in Detroit, the city of Bay City, Mich. [where Foutz had played in 1883], would suspend business on that day and the people would attend the game en masse. Dave is worshiped in Bay City, and Foutz street is one of the prettiest there.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 8, 1887

There's some interesting stuff here:

-I can't really see Dunlap sitting around giving pointers to his teammates. It doesn't fit what we know about his personality.

-O'Neill's batting average for 1887 was .435 but his OBP was .490.

-Was Foutz street in Bay City, Michigan named after Dave Foutz?

Friday, November 19, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Paying Pretty Big Money For Seats

The Detroit club have already won the championship of the League, and after finishing their season to-day at Indianapolis leave for St. Louis to-night. They will arrive in the morning and witness the Cleveland game at Sportsman's Park. Manager Watkins will bring twelve men with him, headed by Fred Dunlap, including big Brouthers, Capt. Hanlon, Hardy Richardson, Deacon White, Ganzel, Getzein, Twitchell, Jack Rowe, big Sam Thompson, Charlie Bennett and Pete Conway. They will make their headquarters at the Lindell. President Stearns, of Detroit, wired President Von der Ahe yesterday that Getzein and Bennett and Conway and Bennett would be the Detroit batteries for Monday and Tuesday, respectively. The champions will have Bob Caruthers and Doc Bushong in the points on Monday, and Dave Foutz and Jack Boyle on Tuesday. The coming games are exciting greater interest than any games ever played in St. Louis, and every seat and all available space at Sportsman's Park will no doubt be occupied. The admission will be 50c, and 50c extra to the grand stand. Special reserved seats in the sections on either side of the press box are on sale at Appler & Hodge's, 618 Olive street, and the Lindell Hotel cigar-stand, for $1.25 each. The seats are selling fast, and it behooves those who desire seats to get them at once.

"Every seat in the immense pavillion at the Detroit park has been sold for our game in Detroit on Wednesday next," said President Von der Ahe yesterday. "The people there have gone fairly wild over the series, and now that we have two games they want at least that number there. Of course, since our schedule is arranged up to October 25, we can not accommodate them, but they are paying pretty big money for seats at next Wednesday's game. The admission there is $1, and reserved seats 50c extra. President Stearns telegraphed me that late purchasers bought the early birds out for $2 to $5 a seat. Without question the attraction will be the greatest ever seen on the diamond. The impression seems to prevail that because the Detroits are a lot of sluggers that they will clean up the earth with our boys. Well, they'll find Caruthers and Foutz are as skillful and scientific pitchers as they ever met in their lives. Yes, I think we'll knock their weather eye out."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 8, 1887

It will be interesting to see what the attendance is like for the series because they were charging a lot of money for a ticket. One dollar in 1887 was worth about $23 in our money and I would think that it was a much larger percentage of an average worker's annual salary than it would be as a percentage of ours. When we get to the games, I just expect to see smaller crowds than in 1885 or 1886, especially outside of St. Louis and Detroit. I would imagine that the later games of the series, after the outcome was already decided, were sparsely attended. From a business point-of-view, I think they made a serious mistake in setting ticket prices so high.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Get Your Tickets Now

Reserved seats for the world's championship games can be had at Appler & Hodge's, 618 Olive street, and the Lindell Hotel cigar store. Only a limited number are on sale.

Secretary Munson, of the St. Louis club, goes to Pittsburg to-night in the interest of the world's championship games. From there he goes to New York; and will be in advance of each game about four days.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 7, 1887

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Miss Duavray's Cup

Miss Helen Dauvray telegraphed President Von der Ahe yesterday that the Dauvray Cup and medals had been forwarded to him, and would reach [St. Louis] tomorrow.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 7, 1887

Miss Helen Dauvray, who would marry John Montgomery Ward on October 12, donated a trophy that was given to the winner of the world's series in 1887, 1888 and 1889. It seems natural enough that they (or she) named it the Dauvray Cup. Sadly, to the best of my knowledge, the Cup is now lost. The New York Times, which referred to the thing as Miss Duavray's Cup, described it as being solid silver and of exquisite craftsmanship. The pins (or Miss Duavray's Pins) were made of gold.

I think we need something like this today, rather than that dull World Series trophy we have today. We need a Cup for teams to fight over. Can't we find an actress to donate a Cup and some medals? I think Alyssa Milano would do it. She's a big baseball fan. Wouldn't it be a better world if the winner of the World Series received the Miss Milano's Cup?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Umpire Kelly

President Von der Ahe yesterday closed a contract with Manager John Kelly, of the Louisville club, to officiate with either Gaffney or Dorscher in the world's championship series as umpire. There is no better umpire in the profession than King Kelly, as his admirers call him, and he will no doubt give great satisfaction to all concerned.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 6, 1887

Edit: I orginally had a picture of Mike "King" Kelly with this post but one of the brilliant readers pointed out that we're dealing with Honest John Kelly and not THE King Kelly. You can read my lame excuse for the error in the comments.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Exciting Greater Attention

Next Monday and Tuesday, the Detroit sluggers, winners of the League pennant, will meet the St. Louis Browns, champions of the world, for the first time, at Sportsman's Park. The games are exciting greater attention than any series ever played, and it is safe to say they will attract the largest crowds ever seen at Sportsman's Park. Notwithstanding the crippled condition of the champions, their friends regard their chances equally as good as those of the Detroits, whose strong slugging abilities are regarded as of a big advantage over the champions. The latter's wonderful base-running and fielding strength will more than offset Detroit's hitting propensities, and the many elements of attractiveness that contribute to the uncertainty of the game will be especially strong in this series. Following St. Louis the games will be played in Pittsburg, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Washington and Louisville. They will be contested for all they are worth, and the winner of the series takes 75 per cent and the loser 25 per cent of the receipts, after expenses are deducted.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 4, 1887

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The 1887 World Series: I Called This

Should the Detroits beat the Browns, the latter will have good excuses to offer. Comiskey has a broken thumb, Robinson a very bad hand, Foutz a broken thumb, Bushong a broken finger, and Caruthers hasn't been feeling well. But very likely they'll all get in trim by October 10.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 2, 1887

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The 1887 World Series: What Rot

The Detroit Free Press claims that O'Neill would not have as large an average against League pitches as he has against the Association twirlers. What rot! The Association twirlers are superior as a class to the League ones. Detroit's alleged sluggers were able to get but four hits off off Shreve, an Association cast-off, a few weeks ago, yet the Browns knocked this pitcher out.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 1, 1887

Friday, November 12, 2010

A 1887 World Series Program

I found this over at Robert Edward Auctions. They described it as an "Extremely rare fold-over program from the 1887 World Series between the American Association Champion St. Louis Browns and the National League Champion Detroit Wolverines. One of only five or six examples known to exist, this is one of the rarest and most significant programs of the 1880s, and also one of the premier display pieces of the nineteenth century. The program features sepia-toned woodcut portraits of the Browns on the front cover and the Wolverines on the back cover."

The program sold for $7,637.50.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The 1887 World Series: The Challenge Received

President Von der Ahe has received the challenge of the Detroit Club for a series of fifteen games, to take place immediately upon the close of the Association championship season, which closes October 10. As the champions' President has full control of the ultimate arrangement of the series, which will probably consist of fifteen games, he will have the first one played in St. Louis, and either the second or the last one will also be played in this city, thus insuring two games at least. The challenge sent by President Stearns, of Detroit, contains the following suggestions:

1. That the number of games played be not less than fifteen, and that not more than one game be played in any city, with the possible exception of such cities as where both League and Association clubs exist.

2. That a purse be made up between us, so that each player of the winning team shall receive $100.

3. That 75 per cent of the net proceeds of the series go to the club winning the majority of the games played.

4. That an appropriate championship banner be played for, the cost of which shall not exceed $200.

5. That two umpires be chosen, one each from the League and Association, and that they serve alternately. Would also be pleased to test, in a game or two, the plan of having two umpires, one stationed behind the bat for passing judgment on balls and strikes, the other near second base for deciding all put-outs made on the bases and in the field.

Any suggestion or objections that you may have to offer will be gladly received.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 25, 1887

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Busy September

The organization of the new Western League will be perfected at Chicago to-day. It will comprise the cream of the cities at present comprising the Western and Northwestern Leagues, with the addition of Chicago and in all probability St. Louis. A preliminary meeting of the delegates at present in Chicago was held yesterday, and though no actual business was transacted, it was decided to get everything in readiness for to-day when the real work will begin. President Meyers, of the Kansas City Club, was authorized to represent St. Louis at the meeting, President Von der Ahe giving him instructions if a good circuit were arranged and the new organization were financially sound, to count on him for membership. The prospects are St. Louis will be represented in the new organization.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 27, 1887

Von der Ahe had a rather busy September. He had a world's series to organize, a player's revolt to deal with and he was in the process of putting together the St. Louis Whites. And all of that was on top of the normal day to day operation of his ball club and his other business ventures. Plus, he probably had a couple of girlfriends on the side. If you ever run into someone who doesn't take Von der Ahe seriously, just mention what he was doing in the fall of 1887.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

John Riggin's Grave

The other day I got an email from Norm Luppino, a historical researcher from Bradenton, Florida. He was kind enough to send along the above photos of John Riggin's grave.

According to the information that I have, Riggin, a member of the Cyclone Club, was born in St. Louis in 1837. Obviously, his tombstone has his year of birth as 1835. He worked for his father as a real estate agent and, during the Civil War, he served as a staff officer to General Grant, eventually being promoted to Brigadier General. After the war, he moved to Florida and died in Bradenton in 1886.

Much thanks to Norm for passing along the grave photos.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Union Park Sold

Union Park, which has been the scene of many hard-fought ball games and athletic contests, was sold yesterday morning to satisfy a claim of the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company, of $461. The ground is merely leased, and the sale yesterday was merely of the grand stand and fixtures. Samuel F. Myerson and Geo. S. Rhodes, acting for the Missouri Amateur Athletic Club, bought the entire lot for $425, and the club assumes all the responsibility of leases, etc. This is as it should be. St. Louis can easily support a first-class athletic club. A cinder track will be built down the middle of the field, so as to give 135 yards straightaway. A man will be placed in charge of the grounds, who will be at the service of members always. The membership dues of the club will probably be placed at $10 per annum. and the holders of memberships will be richly repaid for their outlay.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 24, 1887

Anheuser-Busch was one of the original investors in the Maroons. In April of 1884, Adolphus Busch, owner of the brewery, bought out Ellis Wainwright and A-B was, at that point, probably the largest investor in the club besides Henry Lucas.

I'll throw this question out there, since I don't know the answer: How significant was it that one of the major investors in the Maroons was a company? That, I assume, was a rare thing in this era. How many other companies do we know of that invested in major league clubs prior to 1884?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The 1887 World Series: An Excellent Advantage

Though the arrangements for the world's championship series between St. Louis and Detroit have not yet been fully completed, the recent conference between Presidents Von der Ahe and Stearns resulted in placing the final selection of cities with the former. This, at least, is the announcement made in Detroit dispatches, and if President Von der Ahe has full control of the matter he will certainly see that St. Louis does not get left. If the games open in St. Louis it will be an excellent advantage for the local public, inasmuch as they will thus be privileged to see the first meeting of Detroit and St. Louis that will have ever taken place. It is an honor justly due President Von der Ahe also, whose champions have achieved the greatest distinction of any team ever organized. It will likewise test the claims of League organs of Detroit's alleged superiority over St. Louis on Association grounds, and before crowds of enthusiasts, whose sympathies are patriotically bestowed upon the success of home talent. Last year the champions opened up the world's series at Chicago. This year the series should, as they certainly will, commence at home. The first game is announced to take place on October 10. Local patrons ask why not start in on Sunday, October 9. Sportsman's Park would be filled overflowing on that day. This arrangement could be easily made by closing the American Association season in Cleveland with St. Louis on Saturday, October 8, playing two games that day instead of one. Then let President Von der Ahe arrange a second game to take place in St. Louis on Monday, October 10. This will afford general satisfaction, and will no doubt be a splendid stroke for the public and St. Louis club.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 24, 1887

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Bigger Clubs Have Tried

Bigger clubs than Detroit have been knocked out by the St. Louis Browns. The former's trumpeters are heralding their advance notices that Detroit will knock the champions clean out. Crippled as they are, they will make Detroit sea-sick batting on the world's championship seas before they get through with them. Chicago had a little experience of this nature in St. Louis last fall.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 23, 1887

Friday, November 5, 2010

The 1887 World Series: The Greed Of The Detroit Players

Chris Von der Ahe, the hustling manager of the St. Louis Browns, arrived [in Detroit] this noon to confer with President Stearns about the series of games to be played between the Detroits and Browns for the world's championship, provided, of course, the League pennant doesn't slip by the confident Detroits. This might happen if the postponed Chicago-Boston game should be played and won by Boston and the Detroits should slip up on winning the games yet to be played with Indianapolis, and lose others through bad weather or other cause. This, however, is a remote possibility, and the two clubs have gone ahead with their arrangements to play for the world's championship, when the greed of the Detroit players loomed up as an obstacle which had to be overcome. Mr. Von der Ahe was told to-day that his journey hither was futile unless the difficulty with the players could be adjusted, so he stood about and whistled and looked disgusted. When President Stearns and the big four and others of the team went into secret session before the game this afternoon, the players stood firm for their figures at first, but finally they agreed to play the Browns for a slight advance on the sum offered by the board, the exact amount not being made public. A conference followed with Von der Ahe, and fifteen games arranged for, one to be played in each League and American Association city except one. The first game will be played in St. Louis October 10.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 23, 1887

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just Back From Vacation

So I just got back from a week of vacation. I got out of town for a few days, visiting friends and family, and had a great time driving from one side of Illinois to the other in search of the perfect hamburger. But the reason I mention this is that on the last day of my vacation, I chaperoned a group of high school students on a tour of Union Station and Busch Stadium, here in St. Louis. Let's just say that the highlight of my week (other than a great burger) was being in the dugout at Busch.

It's good to be home.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The 1887 World Series: A Triumphal Tour

[From the Detroit Free Press]

"How many games will the Detroits and Browns play?" President Stearns was asked.

"Thirteen or fifteen, very likely the latter number."

"And what is the programme?"

"Well, the first game is to played in Detroit October 10. Then Two games will be played in Philadelphia and one each in Baltimore, Washington, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. We thought about playing in New York, but they wanted one-third of the receipts, which was too rich for us. If fifteen games are decided on, a couple of good cities can be found, as applications are coming in thick.

"These games with the Browns are going to be the greatest event in base-ball history. We are going to have two special cars, one for the Detroits and one for the Browns, and make a triumphal tour. The receipts will be divided on the basis of 75 per cent to the winner and 25 to the loser, and the tickets to the games will be placed at $1 each. Each team will carry twelve men on the trip."

"Who will be the umpires?"

"Gaffney for the League and Kelley for the Association. There's a great pair."

"The contracts of the Detroit players expire before the world's series begin."

"Yes, I know it, and, of course, expect to pay the boys for their extra work. I should be willing to let their salaries run right along, or pay each player $25 per game."

"How has the Detroit club come out financially this season?"

"About $5000 ahead. The stockholders have reaped principally glory. The fact is, our players are paid salaries 50 per cent higher than those of any club in the country, and they have reaped most of the benefit. It strikes me that in these games for the world's championship the stockholders should get a peep into the pasture. In addition to their salaries each player gets a nice present from the club for winning the League pennant. Every club in the League has made money this season, but Detroit makes less than any, even Indianapolis."

"How do you think the games will result?"

"Well, I saw the Browns play in the East and Detroiters will see a style of ball playing they never saw before. They are a great team and play great ball, but I think the Sluggers will do them about ten out of fifteen."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 21, 1887

Some thoughts on what I thought was a very interesting article:

-Not to give anything away but Stearns was dead on in his prediction on how the series would turn out. Nailed it perfectly.

-One dollar tickets? Really? I haven't finished the research yet and the series was still in the planning stages at this point but I can't imagine one dollar tickets. I know that wouldn't go over very well in St. Louis in 1887.

-When I read that the contracts for the Detroit players would expire before the series, all I could think about was how Fred Dunlap would use that to his financial advantage. I love Dunlap but he was rather predictable when it came to contracts and money.

-I think this series was a step backwards in the evolution of the World Series. The 1886 series was rather similar to a modern series with seven games scheduled, the competitive level displayed by both teams and the interest by the press and public. That probably had a lot to do with the fact that it was a rematch of the disputed 1885 series. The 1886 series had the feeling of a grudge match while the 1887 series already feels like an exhibition.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kansas City Is A Good Baseball Town

President Nimmick and Manager Phillips, of the Pittsburg club, Chris Von der Ahe, of St. Louis, and E.E. Menges, President of the Western League, held a long secret conference [in Kansas City] this morning. What subjects were discussed is unknown, but a rumor is in circulation to the effect that the Pittsburg club may be transferred to Kansas City. It is a well-known fact that Von der Ahe has been looking for an opportunity to get an interest in a good club in Kansas City for several years, as he considers it a good base-ball town. All of the gentlemen who took part in the conference refuse to disclose the matters discussed. It is thought that the union of the Western and Northwestern Leagues, which is to be consummated before the beginning of next season, was one of the subjects which was talked about.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 20, 1887

I would imagine that this meeting laid the foundation for the establishment of the St. Louis Whites.

And the title of this post was meant non-ironically. Kansas City is a good baseball town. They just have a bad baseball team.

Also, it's Election Day. Get out and vote a few times. If the FEC is monitoring this blog (and why wouldn't they be), that bit about voting a few times was a joke.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The 1887 World Series: Getting In Shape

President Von der Ahe will meet President Stearns, of Detroit, at Cincinnati next Wednesday and arrange details for the world's championship series.
St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 19, 1887

From the same issue:

Dunlap is trying hard to get in good shape to play against the Browns.

Which begs the question: What kind of shape was Dunlap in before he decided to get in good shape?