Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The 1887 World Series: More On Game Eight

The eighth game in the World's championship series between the St. Louis and Detroit base ball teams was played in this city to-day and was won easily by the Detroit men. Caruthers was not nearly as effective as usual, and the Detroiters kept the ball going all over the field, their batting throughout the contest being terrific. The St. Louis players fielded very brilliantly at times, but at others their playing was rather loose. Caruthers fielded his position splendidly, and his playing, with that of Robinson and Bushong, comprised the chief feature for the visitors. Robinson did fine work with the stick, making three two baggers, but he was the only one of the visitors who struck the ball for more than one base. He was presented, when he first came to the bat, with a fine gold-headed cane by his Boston friends, the presentation being made by Samuel Wise, of the Bostons. Thompson's two home runs and the slugging of the Detroits players generally were features, although their fielding, with the exception of two unimportant errors by Ganzel, was absolutely perfect, and White's third-base play was superb. About four thousand people witnessed the game.
-The North American, October 19, 1887

The Inter Ocean's headline for their game account was "Von Der Ahe Alarmed." They never mentioned Von der Ahe in the story or why, specifically, he was alarmed but the Inter Ocean had a nice habit of always twisting the knief when it came to St. Louis baseball. I think one of the pillars of their editorial policy was if it was bad for St. Louis, it was good for Chicago. Therefore, in their view, every Detroit win was a victory for Chicago.

And it's kind of strange talking about a St. Louis/Chicago/Detroit 19th century sports rivalry given (and forgive the hockey talk) the nature of the relationship between the Blues, Blackhawks and Red Wings. That relationship (and the vile hatred that defines it) is central to my sports world and has been for a long time. I can't imagine what would happen if we moved the Tigers to the NL Central or the Rams to the NFC North. It would be St. Louis/Chicago/Detroit sports Armageddon.

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