Thursday, September 29, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: The Opening Day Line-Up And A Poorly Crafted Sentence

William Spink

The opening championship game of the season in St. Louis will be that which is to be played at the Union Grounds, commencing at 3:30 to-day, the Chicago and St. Louis Clubs of the Union Association being the competitors.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 19, 1884

The Maroons line-up was announced as Brennan, catcher; Hodnett, pitcher; Taylor, first; Dunlap, second; Gleason, third; Whitehead, short; Dickerson, left; Rowe, center; and Shafer, right.

One other point that I've been meaning to make for awhile is that the Globe really missed William Spink.  The quality of the writing on the sports page declined noticeably after he left the paper in 1883.  The sentence that I quote at the top of this post would never have made it into the paper if Spink had still been the sports editor.

I'm a great admirerer of the elder Spink and believe that he has never gotten his due as a pioneer of baseball jouranlism.  His work in 1877, when he wrote several great expository pieces about the scandals surrounding the Brown Stockings, was particularly outstanding.  He was the first great St. Louis baseball writer and was a much better writer, and journalist,  than his better known brother.  

No comments: