The second baseman of to-day is an entirely different unit in the field work of a team than was his fellow-tradesman of ten years ago. There is a wide difference between the play of a Beals, a Farrell and a Burdock of 1873 and a Dunlap, a Farrell and a Burdock of 1883. Not only has the area of territory over which the second baseman of the first class does not permit a grounder to pass grown larger, but the work in throwing and attention to fly balls has increased nearly as much. To the shortstop and second baseman has gradually been assigned the work of attending to all fly balls "between the fields," as the gap between the infielders and outfielders of a team in play is called. And well have the men filling the positions grappled with their task. Years ago it was a wonderful feat for a fielder to capture a fly running with the ball. Now it is an every-day occurrence, and by that means and fast backward running many an apparently safe "pop fly" has been captured. The picking up of grounders has also improved of late, some of the short bound stops being marvelous, and by skillfully placing the ball when first batted many a difficult stop is made with no seeming effort. The second baseman has fully half of the infield hits to attend to on an average, faces all kinds of wild, swift throwing by the catcher, is expected to make quick pickups and lightning and accurate throws for double plays and run-outs, and must never loose his head or the game goes with it. Added to this he must always stand the brunt of rough base-running and hold his ground and the ball after a touch and a tumble. All this is done by the majority of the leading second basemen, and with all the advances in the game, the players of this position have advanced. There is no doubt but that the most brilliant work of the infield is done by the second baseman.-[Cleveland Herald.]
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 25, 1883
This is a nice little article about the evolution of second base play but let's not kid ourselves. This is all about The Second Baseman: Fred Dunlap. First mentioned among the "second [basemen] of the first class" and "the leading second [basemen]," he is the once and future Kingpin of Second Basemen. And he was coming to St. Louis.