Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The 1887 World Series: Game Fourteen

Oh! it was cold for base ball at White Stocking Park [in Chicago] this afternoon. At 2:15 o'clock there were two blue-nosed shivering individuals in the grand-stand and about seventy-five cranks sought the sunny side of the bleaching boards and stamped their feet and kept their hands in their pockets to keep warm while waiting for the appearance of the great rival ball teams. The frozen ground of the base lines was raked and softened, and the whitewash marks looked positively chilly and made the poor spectators hug themselves a little tighter. There was quite a debate as to whether the game should be played or not. The money that would be taken in would certainly not pay for one-half the discomfort of the players in trying to handle a ball with the thermometer but [twenty degrees] above zero. Mr. Stearns at first decided not to play, but Mr. Von der Ahe thought it would be better to play the game anyhow, even at a great inconvenience, rather than disappoint the people who braved the wintry weather to see the champion representatives of the national game. At 2:25 there was not a sign of a ballplayer on the field. The wheezy strains of the alleged band were again heard by the crowd who had so often suffered during the past season. Time when play should have been called came and went, and there was no ball club, champion or otherwise, on the field, but it was said the game would be played, and the people waited in hope.

The Browns came out for practice at 2:50, and were welcomed with as much enthusiasm as the half-frozen spectators could give. The cheer was repeated with a little more emphasis when the Detroits appeared, but it was evident that "wild applause" would not be a feature of the description of the game. The Browns lost again after a hard struggle. King pitched a great game, striking out nine of the Wolverines. He was poorly supported, however. The errors made were excusable, owing to the cold weather. Getzein pitched for Detroit, and, although hit hard, managed to keep the hits well scattered. He was fairly well supported. Both teams left for St. Louis to-night. Owing to the cold weather the three games between the Browns and Chicago, scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, have been postponed until next spring.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 26, 1887

The Daily Inter Ocean reported that "Von der Ahe insisted upon playing the game" and that there "were possibly 250 people who considered a game of base ball better than their personal comfort." They also mentioned that the Browns wore sky-blue uniforms with red jackets and brown stockings. I have no comment on that combination of colors.

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