Monday, October 31, 2011

Clarence Cross Is Not The Answer

Cleary Cross, short stop of the Lucas Amateurs, has been engaged by the Altoona club, for which he will probably play third base.  He left last night for Altoona.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 4, 1884

Altoona needed all the help they could get but I don't think that Clarence Cross was the answer.

Cross, who was born in St. Louis in 1856, played in twenty-nine Union Association games in 1884, with Altoona, Philadelphia and Kansas City.  He got back to the big leagues in 1887, with New York of the AA, and, in sixteen games, didn't do much.  For his career, he hit .226/.282/.262 in 164 at bats.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: Altoona Torn To Pieces

The same sad story is told again to-day--Altoona torn to pieces on the diamond, such ball-playing that the St. Louis Unions exhibit would conquer almost any club that was ever organized.  To see them take hold of Altoona is like seeing a giant jumping on an infant and throwing it in mid-air.  J. Gleason played a wonderful game at third base for St. Louis, while Hodnett's pitching was excellent.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 4, 1884

The sad thing is that the Maroons still had one more games with this club.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: Their Vigorous, Hurricane Way

The St. Louis and Altoona Clubs played there second game [in Altoona] to-day before another large audience.  The St. Louis Club were without the services of Dunlap, who was called home to Philadelphia on important business.  Schafer captained the nine and played second base, Brennan going to right field.  The St. Louis Club started in their vigorous, hurricane way, and never let up until they piled up fifteen runs.  The fielding of the Altoonas, in the face of the heavy hitting of the St. Louis Club, was very good.  The conspicuous features of the St. Louis Club's play were the right fielding and batting of Brennan, the short stopping of Whitehead, the catching of Baker and the first base play of Quinn.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 3, 1884

Brennan did indeed have a good game, with three hits and four runs scored.  But nobody could replace Dunlap.  Oh, wait.  The Maroons won 16-3 without their captain and best player?  I guess it didn't really matter.  I'd have to assume that the Maroons would have won the UA even without Dunlap.


Friday, October 28, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: On To Altoona

The game to-day between the St. Louis and Altoona Clubs was witnessed by over 2,000 people.  The fame of the St. Louis Club had attracted hundreds from adjoining towns, and as the visiting team came upon the field they wee received with enthusiastic applause.  Their neat appearance and deportment attracted considerable attention.  The game, although ending largely against the home club, was nevertheless relished by the audience, as the St. Louis Club treated them to such batting as never before seen in Altoona, besides playing a great game in the field, having but one error charged to them.  The batting of Dunlap, third base play of Gleason and the battery work of Hodnett and Brennan were the great features of the St. Louis Club's play.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 1, 1884

And then the Maroons moved on to Altoona, PA, to continue their destruction of the Mountain City club.  But the important thing here is that Dunlap finally went all Dunlap on the Altoonas.

So What Did Dunlap Do?

This box score says he went five for five with two runs scored and, of course, his batting was one of the "great features" of the game.  I looked around for a better box score because I would like more details about Dunlap's day at the plate but I was unable to find one.  I just have this feeling that he didn't hit five singles.   

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The 1884 Browns Open Their Home Season

I've mentioned the advertising war between the Maroons and the Browns and have shown some examples of the ads they were running in the Globe-Democrat.  The above ad ran in the Globe on May 1, 1884 and is a nice example of the extent to which the two clubs were going to as far as advertising is concerned. This was a big ad and took up half a column.  It wasn't as big as the ad the Maroons ran when they opened the season but it's larger than anything I've ever seen the Browns run before.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Woman Explains Baseball

"You must come down and visit me when the base ball season opens," wrote the Detroit girl to her country girl chum.  "It's great fun to see the games.  There is so much skill and grace displayed.  The pitcher, I think--but, my! you never saw a game.  I will explain it to you.  The pitcher--a dear little thing--stands in the middle and throws a ball at another who stands in front with a long stick in his hand.  The thrower tries to hit this stick and the other young man, who is called the knocker, tries to so swing the club that it will be impossible for the thrower to hit the stick with the ball.  Some of the knockers become very good at this, and some of the darlings could stand there all day and never have their clubs hit once.  The catcher stands behind the knocker, and is just too brave for anything.  We girls think he is the nicest one in every club.  Some of the horrid men say they 'work the grand stand,' but I don't know what they mean.  I think the catchers are very cute and heroic."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 30, 1884

I have to admit that I found that to be funny.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: Astonishingly Poor

The concluding game of the first series of championship games between the Altoona Club and the St. Louis Unions was played at Union Park, yesterday afternoon, in the presence of 400 people.  It was an uninteresting contest, in which the home club won by a score of 8 to 1.  The visitors appeared to have been exhausted by their brilliant work on Sunday, and lapsed into an unreliable and spiritless condition.  Their battery was Brown and Moore, and while the former was weak in delivery, the latter's support was unquestionably poor.  Harris at first, Doherty at second, and Smith at short field played their positions perfectly and brilliantly.  They are a strong trio.  Koons, at third, was astonishingly poor, and could hardly have held a ball of sott glue.  He made one dashing effort, a left handed reach for a liner from Gleason's bat, and succeeded in checking the ball and 
Nearly Breaking His Hand. 
After that he performed like a novice.  Murphy played left field very creditably, and appears to be a valuable man in almost any position.  The home organization presented Taylor and Baker as their battery, and they worked together very effectively.  Only two hits were scored off Taylor, while he struck out nine men.  Baker made a low throw to second, but with that exception played his position neatly and perfectly.  Quinn, at first, could not have been bettered.  Dunlap had few chances.  Brennan made his first appearance at short.  He had very little to do.  A wild throw to first surprised his admirers.  Jack Gleason fielded his position superbly, but was unsteady in his throwing, and scored two errors in consequence.  In the outfield Dickerson fastened on to three high hits.  Rowe did not get a chance, and Shaffer made an error on a grounder, which took a shoot just as he posed for it.  At the bat, Dunlap, Shaffer and Quinn led, with two hits each.  Shaffer and Rowe each made a two-base hit.  In the fifth inning Dickerson was given first, and Shaffer advanced from second to third on a balk.  Mapledoran's umpiring was in every respect highly satisfactory.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 29, 1884

The Altoonas just weren't much of an opponent for this Maroons' club and, not to give anything away, St. Louis would go 8-0 against them.  Of course, there weren't too many teams in the UA that would give the Maroons a fight.

But What Did Dunlap Do?

Fred went two for four with what appears to be two singles and two runs scored.  Ho-hum.  I'm getting a little antsy waiting for him to go all Fred Dunlap on somebody.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Photos Of The 1876 Brown Stockings

Your 1876 Brown Stockings

As I mentioned yesterday, Paul Batesel sent me the cropped Packy Dillon photo.  He also sent me these pictures, cropped from the above team photo of the 1876 Brown Stockings.  The individual pictures look fantastic and Paul did a great job with them.  Much thanks to him for passing them along.

John Clapp
George Washington Bradley
Herman Dehlman

Joe Battin
Mike McGeary

Denny Mack

Ted McGinley
Ned Cuthbert
Lipman Emmanuel Pike
Bad Dickey Pearce

Paul also sent me the cropped photo of Joe Blong but it was in a different format and I haven't bothered to change it into a jpg yet.  So you don't get to see that.  Sorry.

Also of note, and something that I never considered until just now, the inclusion of McGinley in the photo means that the photo was taken after June 23, 1876, when McGinley joined the team.  For some reason, I always just assumed that the photo was taken at the beginning of the season.

Again, big hat tip to Paul.  These pictures are just great.      

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A New Picture Of Packy Dillon

Patrick Henry Dillon

Well, it's not exactly new.  The above photo is the head shot from the photo that the Dillon family provided me, cropped and lightened by Scott Brandon and sent to me by Paul Batesal.  Pretty awesome, isn't it?    

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The First Baseball Game In Quincy, Illinois

 The first game of Base Ball ever played according to regulations in our city, came off yesterday at Alstyne's Prairie, before a large crowd of spectators.  Great interest was manifested by all present in the exciting sport and the "boys" played remarkably well considering that this was their "first appearance in public."  A few more such games as we had yesterday and the "championship" will be Quincy's.
-Quincy Daily Herald, June 24, 1866

This small blurb in the Quincy paper helps illuminate the process by which baseball spread in the Illinois/Missouri/Iowa region.  Quincy, Illinois, which sits on the Mississippi River not too far south of where the three states meet, was founded in 1818 and, geographically, lies within the boarders of a west-central Illinois region that had an active, documented town-ball culture in the early and mid 19th century. There is enough evidence to support the idea that St. Louis shared in that ball-playing culture, prior to the arrival of the Regulation Game in the area in the late 1850s.

What appears evident to me is that, at least in this area of the United States, the evolutionary spread of the New York game of baseball took place in two steps.  The first took place prior to the Civil War, when the game reached the larger cities of Illinois, Missouri and Iowa.  The second took place after the war, when the game began to spread beyond the big cities and reached smaller towns such as Quincy.  I believe that this is evidence that the war hindered the development and spread of baseball, rather than that the war was a factor in the spread of the game to places like Quincy.  If not for the extreme disruption of life that the war brought, I believe that the game would have spread to the smaller towns in the area in the early 1860s rather then in the immediate post-war era.  If not for the war, Quincy probably would have had their first baseball clubs in 1860 or 1861 rather than in 1866.


Friday, October 21, 2011

David Reid Was A Better Writer Than Shakespeare

David Lytton Reid

"Chris Von der Ahe's old secretary, Dave Reed, was a valuable assistant to the boss, and being popular among the newspaper men, he settled many of the disputes that arose between the boss and the reporters," says Tom Brown.  "Dave wielded a facile pen and knocked off many clever articles for the papers that advertised the German band far and wide.  Dave was a genial soul, and often indulged in kite flying expeditions and red paint soirees.  These periodicals of Dave's started Chris' temper, and he discharged the genial Dave as often as six times a month.  He went to Comiskey once and said: 'Say, Commie, dot tem Dafe Reet is out again bainting der down.  He can't keep sober two days in a bunch alreatty.'  Comiskey said he knew a steady, temperate fellow out of a job, who would write better articles than Dave.  'Vot's his name?' said Chris.  'Shakespeare,' said Comiskey, 'and he is in a class by himself.  Dave ain't in it with him.  He wrote a great play, called "As You Like It.'  Now Chris always held that Dave Reed was the most brilliant writer in America, and sure, though, he was on Dave, he wouldn't believe that any one was capable of spinning out the gems of thought that trickled from Dave's pen.  'Dot Shagespear you shpeak of, Commie, may be a good writer, but I don't gif a dem if he wrote "As You Like It," as 'Catch-as-catch-can,' or 'Vere You Tem Please,' he can't write such good stories as Dafe Reet.  If Dave ain't sober tomorrow you can send Shagespear arount to der office, and I vill gif him a trial.'"
-Washington Post, September 7, 1896

Putting aside the Von der Ahe nonsense, this little story does tell us quite a bit about David Reid.  He was popular among newspaper men.  He was genial and a bit eccentric.  He liked to drink and his drinking interfered with his work.  He was respected by Von der Ahe.

I think it's a bit rare to find this kind of information about the personality of someone who's a rather obscure 19th century baseball figure.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Great Realistic National Entertainment Of America

I've written before about the time Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show came to Sportsman's Park so that makes this post almost, kind of, sort of tangentially related to what I'm supposed to be writing about.  Doesn't matter.  These ads are so cool I have to share them.  They ran in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat on April 29, 1884.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: The Crowd Testified Its Appreciation

One of the most enjoyable games of base ball ever witnessed in St. Louis was played yesterday at the Union grounds between the Altoona and St. Louis Union Clubs.  It was a free-hitting game, abounding in brilliant catches, stops and throws, that delighted and excited the 9,000 or more spectators who were present.  the home team won by a score of 7 to 1, but the disparity in figures does not represent a disparity in skill.  The visitors played a great game, but were unlucky.  Up to the eighth inning they outfielded and outbatted the local organization, the hits being 6 to 5 in their favor, while they had made the fewest errors, and yet at that point the score was 3 to 1 against them.  Their fielding errors consisted of a misjudged fly by Koons, at third, and a muff and fumble by Noftsker, at right field.  The infield work of Harris at first, Dougherty at second and Smith at short field has never been surpassed on any diamond.  Smith and Dougherty each made four assists, all the result of sharp fielding.  One by Smith, in the second inning, was exceptionally brilliant.  Rowe drove a hard grounder close to second, the hit appearing safe beyond doubt, but Smith, who was playing deep and midway between second and third, dashed across and intercepted it.  Steadying himself the best he could, he threw to the left of Harris, but the latter jumped off his base, got the ball and touched Rowe as he came along.  The stop electrified the crowd, and when it was supplemented by Harris' fine performance, enthusiasm knew no bounds.  That there is good material in the Altoona club can no longer be doubted, for their work yesterday would have done credit to any nine in the country.  They presented Murphy as pitcher and Moore behind the bat.  The former proved to be a twirler of unusual skill, capable of deceiving the best batsmen in the home nine.  In the eighth inning he was 
Punished Severely, 
but that fact does not detract from his ability, since the men who hit him are likely to knock out any pitcher.  Moore's support was a great improvement on his work on Thursday last, and he must be credited with having done very well.  Of the seven hits made by the visitors Smith scored three. 
The St. Louis battery were Hodnett and Brennan.  Hodnett pitched in fine form, but marred his record with one wild ball, a wild throw to first and a muff of a high fly.  Brennan had one passed ball, which was totally eclipsed by his otherwise remarkable work.  His throwing to second was beautiful and resulted in outs for four venturesome base runners.  The manner in which Dunlap handled the catcher's throws was delightful to behold.  Taylor played first in great style and executed a catch, running with the ball, that elicited a perfect storm of applause.  Jack Gleason continued his rare work at third.  Baker fielded well, at short, but made a low throw to first.  In the outfield Dickerson made three admirable catches and threw one man out at the plate; Rowe made one muff and accepted two opportunities, in one instance taking a high ball on a side run, and Shaffer captured the only fly that he had any chance for, by making a great run from extreme right field to right center.  In the batting Gleason carried off the honors with a home run on a long hit over the left fence and a two-bagger on a grounder in the same direction.  The small boys called for a hit over the fence, and when their request was complied with, round after round of applause was given.  Shaffer, Taylor, Rowe and Dickerson also made two-base hits.  Dunlap did not get a hit, and struck out once.  In the seventh inning, trying to run to second on a muff by Koons, he got hemmed in between first and second.  While trying to make second, he was hit by the ball thrown by Harris to Dougherty, and was decided out for obstructing a fielder.  The ball was very lively, and when in the eighth inning Shaffer started with a hit for a single and Dickerson, Gleason, Rowe and Taylor followed with two-baggers, earning five runs, the crowd testified its appreciation of the lively work in a most emphatic manner.  Mapledoram umpired the game very impartially. His judging since his arrival has been equal to any ever seen here.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 28, 1884

This was actually the second game of a double-header at the Union Grounds.  In the first game, the Lucas Amateurs defeated the Willows by a score of 15 to 6.

Before we get to Dunlap, I want to point out that the Globe used a lot of ink praising an Altoona club that got beat by six runs.  I understand that it was close into the eighth but the Maroons jumped out to a three run lead and only gave up one run the entire game.  My thinking, as I read the article, was that the Globe was praising Altoona in an attempt to build up the club and, by extent, the Union Association.  Altoona was not a good baseball club and, while I understand sports journalism in the 19th century could lean towards the overly positive, the idea that there was not a disparity of skill between St. Louis and Altoona was absurd.


What Did Dunlap Do?  Not much of anything really.  No hits in four at-bats and reached base once, where he was promptly put out on interference.  The Globe praised his defence but it seems the Globe was in the mood to hand out praise, so take it for what it's worth.  He was off to a bit of a slow start, going five for eighteen in the first four games.  He was also one for his last nine.  I'm not worried, though.  I'm expecting him to get hot any time now.        

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: Ticket Information

According to an ad in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 28, 1884, reserved seats at the Union Grounds were fifty cents, general admission was twenty-five cents and boys got in for ten cents.  Reserved seats could be purchased at a cigar store on the south-east corner of Fifth and Olive and at Monarch Billiard Hall, which was located in the Merchants' Exchange.  For the ladies, who probably didn't wish to visit a cigar store or a billiard hall, tickets could be purchased at Alexander's Drug Store.

I know that I've posted a lot of this information already but ticket information for the first few Maroons' games was a bit different, due to the fact that the Union Grounds weren't completed and all the reserved seating wasn't in place.  This is most likely what ticket prices were like for the remainder of the 1884 season.

Plus the information about where you could buy tickets was kind of neat and I wanted to post that.    

Monday, October 17, 2011

Take Notice

Personal--Base ball clubs and other societies, Take Notice!  That M.A. Nash & Co., 618 Pine st., formerly Washington ave., are the only original house in the city that manufactures base ball and boxing gloves, also other sporting goods, and from all special or general orders filled by them a perfect satisfaction guaranteed.  Recollect street and number, Pine, 618.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 27, 1884

Sunday, October 16, 2011

This Will Become Relevant Soon Enough

Sweeny, of Providence, pitches as a roundarm cricket bowler delivers the ball.  The ball leaves his hands above his head, takes a most decided drop, and is very puzzling.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 27, 1884

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: Cheered To The Echo

The second game between the St. Louis and Altoona Unions, played yesterday afternoon at Union Base Ball Park, attracted about 1,000 spectators, and, like the previous contest, resulted in a victory for the local team.  With the exception of a strong wind, that rendered high hits difficult to judge, the day was very well adapted for fine playing and the enjoyment of it.  The visitors presented as battery Leary and Hoftsker, while Taylor occupied the points and Baker went behind the bat for the St. Louis organization.  Leary was hammered for eleven bases, and Noftsker was decidedly weak, showing no qualification whatever for the position he occupied.  On the other hand, Taylor was so effective that only six hits were scored off his delivery, and Baker's support was the feature of the game.  In the first two innings the Altoona nine played wretchedly, Murphy, Smith and Leary making muffs, while Noftsker allowed four balls to pass him, and as a result the St. Louis team, who were batting freely, earned two runs and scored five additional that were unearned.  Thereafter they exhibited more steadiness, and developed so much strength that the home side made only two more runs, scoring one in the fourth and another in the eighth.  The visitors scored singles in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings, one of which was earned. 
The Fielding. 
Harris, Doherty and Koons showed to advantage on the bases, covering their positions without an error.  Harris demonstrated that he can hold down first with almost any player in the profession, and both Doherty and Koons made some difficult stops and fine throws.  Murphy, at left, made two shocking muffs to start with, and then distinguished himself by three handsome catches and one of the best throws from left field to the home plate that was ever seen on any grounds.  In the eighth inning Shaffer undertook to run home after Murphy had captured a fly from Gleason's bat, but the ball came home so swift and true that he was easily put out.  The local nine fielded brilliantly, but, withal, rather loosely.  Baker had one passed ball and made a wild throw to second, but played strong on the whole and made a wonderful one-handed stop of a wild pitch, the feat being cheered to the echo.  In the fifth inning he and Dunlap executed another brilliant play, which was received with unbounded enthusiasm.  Doherty was on third and Leary on first.  Leary made a dash for second, and as Baker threw to Dunlap Doherty broke for home.  Dunlap quickly returned the ball to Baker, and Doherty died sliding in.  Dunlap scored one out on a terrific liner, six assists and an error on a bounding ball that shot between his legs.  Quinn's first base play was simply superb.  Jack Gleason made five great stops, but marred his record with a wild throw to first and by letting a bounder slip through his hands.  The throw was quite excusable, inasmuch as he had just made a wonderful stop and could not steady himself for an accurate effort.  Whitehead was nervous.  Some of his pick-ups were exceptionally neat, and his throwing was very remarkable.  He sent one ball to first a trifle too wide for Quinn to get it, but it was in a case where he had to fire in a hurry, the runner being close upon the bag.  Dickerson and Rowe attended to everything that came their way, but Shaffer muffed a fly and fumbled a grounder.  The muff was the result of hesitating to see whether Dunlap who was running back after the ball would get under it.  Shaffer, however led in the batting.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 27, 1884

You have to love a 19th century game account, with its emphasis on pitching, catching and defense.  Compare that to a modern game account which usually focuses on offense and how the runs were scored.  Now it's true that 19th century reporting also would give detailed accounts of how runs were scored but you will almost never see a player-by-player review of the game's defense in a modern newspaper.

But What Did Dunlap Do?

It was a bit of a quiet game for Teh Fred.  Just one for five with two runs scored.  In the field, he had the error but also the great play, on the attempted double steal, that got Doherty at home.  Also on the plus side, it doesn't look like he pissed off any of his teammates.    

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pete Sommers

Pete Sommers

I get the best emails.  I'm always finding stuff in my inbox from folks who read the blog or have stumbled across it while doing a bit of research and they ask great questions.  These emails are often rather challenging and it takes some time and effort to answer the questions that people bring to me.  But I love a good challenge.

Week before last, I got an email from Paul Winter, who runs a nice website about St. Louis baseball.  One of the questions that he asked regarded the identity of the man pictured in the Old Judge card at the top of this post.  I made an educated guess, based on a reference that I had regarding the St. Louis Whites, that this was Pete Sommers.  I figured that he was one of the guys that Von der Ahe signed in the 1887/1888 offseason when he was collecting talent in order to replace the players from the Browns that he had just sold and also stock his new Western Association club.  But this was just a guess and I had to do a little research to run the thing down.  However, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and again, and it looks like I guessed correctly.

According to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Pete Sommers signed with the Browns in early December 1887.  "The first [player signed by the Browns] is Peter Sommers, a South Paw twirler.  He pitched for Savanah the first part of last season, and finished the year at Columbus, O.  He is not overstrong, but is considered a first-class man for one game a week."

The next mention of Sommers I have comes from the May 5, 1888 edition of The Sporting News.  "St. Louis takes second place but it is not likely she will stay there long as she has such pitchers as Staley, Somers, Nyce, Sproat and Devlin."  This reference shows that Sommers had not made the Browns and was, as of early May, a member of the St. Louis Whites.  It also shows, to a certain extent, the relationship between the Browns and the Whites.

Sommers stay in St. Louis, however, did not last long.  According to the May 14, 1888 edition of The Daily Picayune, "Peter Sommers is at large again, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to give him a trial in the box."  Sporting Life (May 23, 1888) is a bit more specific about what happened.  "Pete Sommers, who has just been released by St. Louis, pitched his first game for Mansfield [on May 11]..."

So we know that the Pete Sommers, who pitched with Columbus and Mansfield, had signed with the Browns and was, for a time, also with the Whites.  What I don't know and what I don't have any evidence of is whether or not he ever got into a game for either club.  But the information that we do have explains the Old Judge card.  Also we know that he was a left-handed pitcher.  This is of some significance given that his Baseball-Reference pages doesn't have that information.

I also have a reference from The Milwaukee Sentinal of a Sommers pitching for Des Moine in 1890.  While I can't be certain that this is Pete Sommers, it appears likely.  According to Baseball-Reference, Sommers pitched in three games for Evansville in 1890 and, given that he was active through 1897, he was probably pitching somewhere besides Evansville that season.  Des Moine is as good a guess as any but the evidence is not conclusive.    

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: Visiting Sportsman's Park

The members of the Union Club, headed by President Lucas, attended the game between the Browns and the Bay City Club, at Sportsman's Park yesterday afternoon.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 26, 1884

How should we take this?  Was this a friendly visit?  Lucas and the players were baseball fans and enjoyed the game so it would make sense for them to go to Sportsman's Park and take in a Browns' game.  Or maybe this was a tactical move by Lucas.  Maybe this was a bit of showmanship on Lucas' part, attempting to show-up Von der Ahe at his own ballpark.  Maybe he was trying to goad him into arranging a game between the two clubs.  It's impossible to say but it is rather interesting.    

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: The Visitors Were Very Weak

The second Union Association championship contest of the season was played yesterday by the Altoona Club, of Altoona, Pa., and the St. Louis Unions at Union Park.  About 3,000 spectators were present and witnessed a game, which, while it developed many brilliant features, was by no means interesting.  The visitors were very weak in their battery, Brown and Moore, the former being severely punished by the veterans of the home nine, and the catcher doing very poor work.  Fourteen hits were scored off Brown's delivery, and five passed balls and three errors were charged against Moore.  Brown, however, got his revenge on the young players, and succeeded in striking out seven men.  The home team presented Werden and Brennan.  Werden was but little more effective than Brown, the visitors slashing him for nine clean hits, one of them a home run, scored by Brown.  Brennan had two errors in his score, one for a throw to second when Dunlap was playing wide from the base, and another for overrunning a foul fly that he went back after.  Otherwise his support was admirable. 
The Batting 
was strong on both sides, Shaffer, Rowe and Brennan of St. Louis, and Smith and Coons of Altoona making two-base hits.  Shaffer and Rowe led for the home team, each scoring three hits out of five times at the bat.  Brown, of the visiting team, made three hits out of four chances, and achieved the honor of being first to knock a ball over the left field fence, the feat being accomplished by a wonderful drive that carried the sphere high over the wire screen.  Great cheering followed the performance.  In the field Dunlap, Jack Gleason and Shaffer did the best work for St. Louis.  Dunlap put out six men and assisted once, and made one muff on a rather wide short throw by Whitehead.  In the fourth inning he made a brilliant catch of a hot liner from Moore's bat, having to jump to get the ball, and doubled up Koons, who had moved away from second, by a quick throw to Whitehead.  Jack Gleason, who is playing great ball, scored three outs and three assists without an error, and closed the game by taking a sharp hit fly from Smith's bat and throwing to Taylor in time to put out Leary.  Shaffer had three chances and accepted all.  Whitehead was weak at shortfield.  Taylor played first faultlessly.  Harris, at first, made one error, but redeemed himself by playing in good form afterwards, his score showing 12 outs.  The game was umpired by Mapledoram, of New York, who filled the position very creditably.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 25, 1884

The Mountain City of Altoona were not a particularly good baseball team and they wouldn't last long in the Union Association, playing only twenty-five games and winning only six.  Is their rather tenuous claim to fame that Jim Brown hit the first home run at the Union Grounds in St. Louis?  Maybe it's the fact that Orator Shafer's brother, Taylor Shafer, played for the club.  I guess it has to be that the young Germany Smith broke in with them as a rookie.  I'm sure that somewhere out there is somebody who loves this club but, to me, they're a pretty nondescript bunch.

So let's get to the important stuff:

What Did Dunlap Do?

Just your regular old two for five game with three runs scored.  He made an error but was busy in the field and made a jumping snag of a line drive, resulting in a double play.  Also, he probably pissed off Jack Brennan by not being in position to receive his throw to second.  Getting hits, scoring runs, making great plays in the field and pissing off his teammates-just another day at the office for Teh Fred.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Israelites

The Israelite Base Ball Club has organized for the season with the following players:  M. Levy, c.; S. Lowenstein, p.; B. Isaacs, 1b.; P. Linz, 2b.; F. Jacobs, 3b.; P. Reilly, s.s.; J. Cashbaum, l.f.; E. Samuels, c.f.; B. Munchweiler, r.f.  Would like to hear from all clubs whose players are under 18.  Address all challenges to Isadore Stern, 1109 Chouteau avenue.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 24, 1884

I think this is cool.  We have white clubs and black clubs and Irish clubs and clubs of all sorts, shapes and sizes.  Now we have a Jewish club.  I'm sure they made Lip Pike proud.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Ball Says "Whiz"

Lewis Pessano Dickerson

Lew Dickerson says:  "Boys, that Dailey is the boss pitcher.  When he fires a ball at you it says 'whiz' as it goes by and makes you think it would burn you up if it touched you."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 22, 1884

Buttercup Dickerson was no scrub.  He was a heck of hitter who played in the big leagues for seven seasons.  So when he says that Hugh Daily threw the ball hard, I'm inclined to believe him.

An interesting fact:  According to Baseball-Reference, the most similar hitter to Buttercup Dickerson is Nyjer Morgan.  It's kind of rare when the similarity scores kicks up a modern comp for a 19th century guy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: Rain, Rain And More Rain

If the sun comes out bright and warm this morning the "game to-day" banner will be hoisted at base ball headquarters, Seventh and Pine, at noon and will remain up until 3:30, at which time the Chicago and St. Louis clubs of the Union Association will commence the second game of the championship series.  If the banner is not up at noon no game will be played... 
The Chicago Unions leave here for Cincinnati to-morrow night.  So even if they play to-day and to-morrow, one of the four games which they were to have played here on this trip will have to be postponed.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 22, 1884

It appears that there was a four game series scheduled between the Maroons and Chicago, with games on April 20, 21, 22, and 23.  The only game that was played was the first game on the 20th.  The Maroons' second game was played on April 24, against Altoona.

I Hate My Hockey Team

I apologize for the language in advance.

I have put up with this bullsh*t for over 30 years.  I don't know how much more I can take.  I have been living and dying with this team since the 1980-81 season and my father was taking me to games even before that.  Is it too much to ask that once, before I die, I see my hockey team win the Stanley Cup?  Just f*cking once.  Is that too much to ask?

F*ck you, Halak.  One more game, f*cker.  One more game like this and I'm putting all me tickets up on StubHub.

Res ipsa loquitur.      

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: The First Championship Game Of The Season

Notwithstanding the disagreeable temperature and dampening drizzle that prevailed yesterday afternoon, fully 10,000 persons attended the opening game in the Union Association championship schedule for this city, between the St. Louis Unions and the Chicago Unions.  This fact may appear quite incredible to those who sat all the afternoon in their homes and pitied people who were obliged to be out and exposed to the dreary elements, but it is nevertheless an astonishing yet positive fact.  What was most remarkable was that at least 6,000 occupied uncovered seats, and all sat through a six inning contest apparently cheerful if not grateful for having an opportunity to see the game.  It is doubtful if under similar circumstances any other city in the country could produce such a gathering.  considering the conditions under which it was played it was the most remarkable base ball event that ever occurred in the West, and, perhaps the most remarkable in the annals of the game.  To a man the spectators were base ball enthusiasts, if not absolute cranks.  But they were good-humored, and evidently appreciating the fact that brilliant playing should not be expected, laughed at errors and heartily applauded each good play.  As a matter of course, they were partial to the home club, but they were liberal to the visitors, and particularly so to Hugh Daily.  In fact the one-armed pitcher was the favorite of the occasion.  He caught the sympathy of the crowd in his preliminary practice, in which his catching with one hand and a stump was greatly admired.  When the first time at the bat, after two strikes, he knocked a grounder to left field, scoring a two-base hit, he became
The Hero Of The Hour, 
and was wildly cheered.  The field and diamond were both very slippery and the spikes of the fielders were of comparatively little value.  Dunlap suffered twice from this cause.  In one instance after securing first base on a hit, he sneaked away from the bag.  Daily threw to Schoenick to nip him.  He got back all right, but in sliding, passed the bag, and was put out before he could get back.  Then in the fifth inning he nearly fielded a grounder from Cady's bat, hit near second, but after getting could not steady himself, and in throwing to first sent the ball over Taylor's head.  In the outfield, owing to the peculiar atmosphere, the players experienced great difficulty in judging fly balls.  The home battery was Hodnett and Brennan, while Daily and Krieg were presented by the visitors.  Hodnett executed some remarkable curves, but was quite unsteady in his delivery.  Brennan fully sustained the high opinions that have been expressed concerning his ability, and there need be no hesitation in pronouncing him the most promising young catcher in the country.  Daily did not have his usual control of the ball, and besides being somewhat wild gave three men bases on balls.  The young players, Whitehead, Brennan and Hodnett, were his special victims, and were sorely puzzled by his delivery.  Krieg's support was excellent.  Indeed it was quite a surprise.
 The Game.
The game was called at 2:10, twenty minutes before the announced time.  There was, however, no reason for further delay as the crowd present was very large and impatient to have the contest begin.  The St. Louis team were first at the bat.  Dunlap led and was given his base on balls.  Shaffer followed with a hit to short that gave an opportunity for a double play.  Mathias made a clean pick up, but threw so high to second that Hengle had to get back from the bag to stop the ball.  Deing unable to return to the bag before Dunlap had reached it, Hengle threw to first and just managed to put out Shaffer.  Dunlap then stole third and came home on a passed ball.  Dickerson struck out and Gleason retired the side by hitting to third and going out on Foley's assist to Schoenick.  The visitors failed to score.  Ellick hit to Dunlap and went out at first.  Krieg hit a liner to left field that Dickerson misjudged, and it fell just beyond his reach.  A good stop and throw held the striker at first.  Heugle raised a foul fly to right and Shaffer attended to tit.  A passed ball gave Kreig second base, but he died on the very next ball.  Brennan fumbled it but recovering quickly threw to Gleason and cut short the runner in an attempt to gain third. 
In the second inning neither side scored.  Rowe started with a two-base hit to right and was finally left at third.  Taylor made
 A Stupid Play
hitting high to the right of Daly he stood and watched the one-armed man attempt to catch the ball, and did not leave the plate until Dunlap ran up, pushed him off and started him for first.  Daly muffed, but Kreig who was right under him, gathered the ball and threw Taylor out at first.  Rowe ran to third on the error.  Then Whitehead and Brennan struck out.  The Chicagos went out in quick succession.  Householder and Foley on Hodnett's assist to Taylor, while Schoenick hit direct to Taylor.  Both sides realized blanks from the third inning.  Dunlap scored first on a safe one to center, but was put out by Daly's throw to Schoenick.  Daly made a two-bagger for the visitors and then was left.
 In the fourth inning the local club scored two runs and the Chicagos one.  Gleason led off with a drive over the left fielder's head, the ball bounding against the fence, but had to be content with one base.  Rowe hit between second and first.  The ball was fielded by Schoenick and Daly covered first only to make a muff on which Gleason reached third.  After Rowe had taken second by sufferance he and Gleason were brought home by Taylor's slashing grounder to left.  The ball was fielded home and Taylor thereby gained second.  A passed ball gave him third where he was left, Whitehead, Brennan and Hodnett striking out.  Kreig opened for the Chicago team by getting first on called balls.  In attempting to steal second he was nipped by Brennan's brilliant throw to Dunlap.  Hengle, who also started with a base on balls, stole second, Brennan throwing a trifle wide to Dunlap, and came home on Householder's hit to short, which Whitehead fumbled and then threw wild to Taylor.  That was the only run scored by the visitors.  In the next two innings the game dragged and became slow and tedious.  The misty rain increased in density, the pitcher became unable to handle the ball with effectiveness, and the players slipped at almost every run on both turf and bare ground.  Two more innings each realized two runs for the St. Louis nine, while the Chicago contingent retired with zeros.  The game was then called.  The crowd would have been satisfied with a call at the end of the fifth inning, but in order to avoid possible dissatisfaction Dunlap had an additional inning played.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 21, 1884

A few thoughts on the Maroons first official game of the season:

-Gleason's hit in the fourth was interesting.  A ball to left field that went over the outfielder's head, it only resulted in a single.  Either Gleason was really, really slow or this is evidence of the Union Grounds being a small ballpark.  It's possible, I guess, that Gleason thought the ball was going to be caught and did run it out but a ball over the left fielder's head with no one on base should have been a double.

-I forgot that Joe Ellick played for the Chicago Unions.  Always nice to see an old Red Stocking.

-"It is doubtful if under similar circumstances any other city in the country could produce such a gathering."  You hear that a lot in St. Louis.  You'll be sitting at the ballpark on a Tuesday night against Colorado, there will be 40,000 people there and you'll hear somebody say something like "They probably have 2,000 people at the game in Florida."

-Again, I think it's necessary to point out that One Armed Daily actually had two arms.  Also, his middle name was Ignatius.

-No mention of Ted Sullivan.  Dunlap was the guy who made the decision to play or call the game and you would think that Sullivan, who was the manager, would have made that decision.  Dunlap was the field captain so maybe that fell to him.  It's just kind of odd that Sullivan isn't mentioned in the article at all, especially given his relationship with the press.    

-And that brings us to:

What Did Dunlap Do?

Teh Fred went two for two, with a walk, a stolen base and three runs.  A nice start to the season.  He also got picked off first and made a throwing error, but the Globe blamed those on the weather.  Even more interestingly, he probably really pissed off Bollicky Bill Taylor.  Taylor was a veteran and one of the older guys on the team so I doubt he appreciated Dunlap shoving him out of the box in the second inning, regardless of circumstances.  Teh Fred was not exactly known for his people skills and this is kind of an example of that.


Friday, October 7, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: You Can't Beat Cheap Tickets And Free Stuff

Boys will be admitted for 10 cents to to-day's game at the Union Grounds... 
A Union Association Guide-Book will be given away to each purchaser of an admission ticket to the Union Grounds to-day.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 20, 1884

Thursday, October 6, 2011

An Astrological View Of The Game

I just had to pass this along:

There is one man in the Government Hospital for the Insane, near Washington, who is perfectly sane on every subject except base ball.  He knows more about base ball than any other man in America.  The authorities have humored him so that he has been able to cover the walls of his large room with intricate schedules of the games played since base ball began its career.  He has the record of every important club and the individual record of every important player.  He takes an astrological view of the game.  He explains every defeat and every success on astrological principles.  It is because a man was born in this month or under this star or that.  He has figured it all out.  His sense has gone with it.  He is the typical base ball crank.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 20, 1884

I was going to make some kind of snarky comment about the BBWAA but that's too easy.  Instead, I'll just say that it's a shame that we don't have access to all the information that this poor soul had written on his walls.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: The Lamentation Of Their Women

Fred Dunlap
The Union Association uses a lively ball, and as a result its batsmen will make more long hits than the League and American Association players, and also more muffs of flies and grounders.  The increased elasticity, which will cause it to go faster and farther from the bat than a dead ball, will cause it to be more difficult for fielders to handle.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 20, 1884

A lively ball, small ballparks, a lower level of competition and the best player in the game.  I think that's a nice recipe for a monster season.

Fred Dunlap took one look around him in the spring of 1884 and said the following: "I am the punishment of God.  If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."  Yeah, that was Dunlap.  Or Genghis Khan.  Can't remember.  

The 1884 Maroons

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Herrs: The Error That Went Viral

I got an email from friend of the blog Cliff Blau two months ago pointing out a discrepancy and some confusion regarding Joe Herr and Ed Herr.  I've been meaning to write something up about this ever since and never got around to it until now.  This is a convoluted story, so bear with me.

Over three years ago, I wrote a series of posts about the 1888 St. Louis Whites, a club that David Nemec, in The Beer & Whiskey League, called "a kind of farm team."  The club was owned by Chris Von der Ahe and played in the Western Association.  Essentially, I was looking for evidence of a relationship between Von der Ahe's Browns and his WA club in order to prove or disprove David's statement about the nature of the Whites, an opinion that Peter Morris also supported.  While I was initially sceptical, I think that I was able to prove that the Whites were essentially a proto-farm team for the Browns and that David and Peter were correct.

Now in the course of writing up the series on the Whites, I identified on of the players on the club as Ed Herr.  If you look at the tags in the right-side column of the blog, you'll notice a tag for Ed Herr that leads you to all of the posts I've written that mentions him.  I wrote the following brief sketch of Herr:

Ed Herr: shortstop; played three seasons in the majors between 1887 and 1890; played with the Browns after the breakup of the Whites (and again in 1890); after he was finished with baseball, Herr worked as a carpenter in St. Louis; he died in 1933, drowning in the Mississippi.

The problem here has multiple parts.  First, there was a 19th century baseball player by the name of Ed Herr but he never played for the Whites or the Browns.  Second, the player who did play with the Whites was named Joe Herr but Ed Herr's full name was Edward Joseph Herr.  Both Joe Herr, of the Whites, and Ed Herr, not of the Whites, were born in St. Louis, less than a decade apart.  Both Herrs died in St. Louis, exactly a decade apart.

What appears to have happened is that somehow Joe Herr became identified as Ed Herr, essentially confusing the two men.  The error appears in numerous places.  It's on my website.  If you search "Ed Herr" at Baseball-Reference, one of the entries that pop up is Joe Herr.  It's at Deadball Era, where Frank Russo provides an obituary from The New York Times that identifies Ed Herr as having died in 1933, information that matches Joe Herr's date of death at Baseball Reference.  It's at Find A Grave, which has entries for Edward Joseph Herr, Joseph "Joe" Herr and Edward Joseph "Eddie" Herr.  The Beer & Whiskey League identifies the Whites' player as Ed Herr (although David has told me that, like myself and just about everybody else, he made an error).  It's at BR-Bullpen.  It's at Wikipedia.  

This error, which essentially is the misidentification of Joe Herr as Ed Herr, is everywhere you look.  It is an error that went viral.  And I played a part in that, something which I have to take responsibility for.  I made a mistake and the information that I passed along about was wrong.  I take a great deal of pride in this website and I've spent years building my credibility as a historian and researcher.  I make a lot of jokes about how few readers I have but the truth is that there are a lot of people who read this blog and use it as a resource.  The people who visit my site trust me to provide them with accurate information and, in this case, I failed to do so.  Now, I don't want to be all dramatic about this but I did make a mistake and I think I played a role in spreading this error.  So I do feel the need to apologize and take steps to correct the error.

So here's what I know:

The guy who played with the Whites and the Browns in the late 1880s was always referred to as Joe Herr.  The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Sporting Life, Inter-Ocean and various other papers always referred to him as Joe.  I have not seen one reference to this player being called Ed Herr.  Joe Herr played with the Whites in 1888 and with the Browns in 1888 and 1890.

Ed Herr played with various minor league clubs, beginning in the mid 1890s.  In the newspaper sources I've seen, he is always referred to as Ed, Eddie or Edward.  He was never, to the best of my knowledge, referred to as Joe.  Ed Herr never played with the Whites or the Browns.

Now as to their biographical data, I haven't bothered to run that down.  I assume that the data given for Joe Herr at Baseball-Reference and Find A Grave, which states that he was born on March 4, 1865 in St. Louis and died on July 12, 1933 in St. Louis, is correct.  Also, I assume the information for Ed Herr, which states that he was born on May 14, 1873 in St. Louis and died on July 18, 1943, is correct as well.  It does appear that their baseball records, as they appear at Baseball-Reference, are also correct.  But just to be clear, this is Joe Herr and this is Ed Herr.

Again, I apologize for my part in all of this but the best part of working in the media I do is that I can run corrections like this and make it a permanent part of the record.  To that end, I want to note that there is an entry for Joe Herr in Major League Baseball Profiles, 1871-1900, Volume 1 that was written by Peter Morris and David Nemec.  They wrote the following:

A carpenter by trade, Joe Herr grew up near where the St. Louis Maroons' Palace Park was built in 1884 and by 1885 was a member of the famed semi-pro Peach Pies.  He began 1886 with independent Bellville, IL, and then moved to St. Joseph of the Western League.  Signed for 1887 by the new Cleveland AA entry, Herr was released to Lincoln of the Western League in May of that season at his own request after deciding that he could not play his best with such a weak team. 
The following spring Herr was named captain of the Western Association St. Louis Whites...In a WA game on May 1, 1888, he became only the fourth man to hammer a ball over the LF fence in Sportsman's Park...Herr later also became the fifth and sixth man to perform this feat.  The latter blast came in an AA game on June 27 after he had joined the Browns once the Whites folded.  Having established that he had extraordinary power, Herr soon also demonstrated that he lacked the necessary range to play SS...Although Herr remained on the Browns for the remainder of 1888 and participated in the World's Series against the New York Giants, he collected just 172 ABs.  Since RBI were not an official stat then, no one could have realized that his retrospective 43 RBI would be 12 more than any other player in AA history compiled in a season with less than 200 ABs. 
Something appears to have happened to Herr that winter, or perhaps he simply lost motivation after the Browns dropped him the following spring.  Herr began 1899 in the Western Association but was released by Milwaukee after 26 games...He then played in the Central Interstate League with Evansville...Riddled by Players League defections, the Browns rehired him in June 1890 and then released him less than two weeks later to Waco of the Texas League...That July, Herr took an offer from Jamestown of the New York State League but regretted it almost as soon as he arrived in that tiny town and was back in St. Louis in August.  Over the next eighteen months or so he married and began a family, seemingly having wasted a large quantity of baseball potential.  He was an unemployed carpenter living apart from his wife, Marie, in a men's shelter when he drowned in 1933.

Go buy the book so David doesn't yell at me for copying and pasting such a big chunk of it.  And remember, Joseph Herr played for the Whites and the Browns and Edward Joseph Herr, no relation, was a career minor leaguer who never played for a major or minor league St. Louis club.  


Perfectos Win Griswold Trophy Ball

As I mentioned last week, the St. Louis Baseball Historical Society presented the Merrit W. Griswold Championship Trophy Ball to the winner of a tournament played between area vintage base ball clubs.  The tournament was held Saturday and the Brown Stockings, Unions, Cyclones and Perfectos all vied for what we hope will become a treasured St. Louis baseball tradition.

Brown Stockings vs. Perfectos

The Griswold Trophy Ball is a recreation of the trophy ball awarded by Griswold and the Cyclone Base Ball Club of St. Louis to the Morning Star Base Ball Club of St. Louis in 1860, commemorating the Morning Stars victory over the Cyclones in the first match game ever played in St. Louis.  Griswold took the game ball from the match, had it gilded and inscribed with the date of the match, the two participants and the score.  Throughout the 1860s, the ball was awarded to the club that claimed the championship of St. Louis and came to represent baseball excellence in the city.  One of the goals of the St. Louis Baseball Historical Society is to revive this tradition and to bring awareness to the contributions of Merritt Griswold to the history of St. Louis baseball.

The St. Louis Perfectos Base Ball Club won the round-robin tournament and were the first recipients of the Griswold Trophy Ball.  Steve Pona, founder, president and generalissimo of the St. Louis Baseball Historical Society had the pleasure and honor of awarding the trophy to the club.

Congratulations to Steve, who worked hard to put all of this together, and, of course, congratulations to the Perfectos.

The First Cardinals

The Cardinals (colored) have organized for the season, with the following players: P.Chauvin, p; B. Leger, c.; J. Brooks, 1b.; H. Brown, 2b.; G. Fields, 3b.; W. Collins, s.s.; J. Johnson, l.f.; J. Thomas, c.f.; C. Manu, r.f.; L. Paul, sub.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 20, 1884

You have to love this.  To the best of my knowledge, this is the first baseball club in St. Louis history that used the Cardinals nickname.  It would be fantastic if our currant Cardinals would take some interest in the 19th century history of the game in St. Louis and acknowledge their forebearers, both these Cardinals and the American Association Browns.  It would be nice but I'm not holding my breath.

Can you imagine the amount of attention that the St. Louis Cardinals could bring to the history of 19th century black baseball?  Can you imagine the amount of resources they could bring to table to further our research and study into all of this?  I think I need to have a little sit-down with Mr. Bill DeWitt.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: An Opening Day Rainout

Rain interfered with arrangements at the Union Grounds yesterday, and the opening championship game between the St. Louis and Chicago Clubs was necessarily postponed until to-day.  Quite a crowd, notwithstanding the threatening weather, paid their way into the grounds and were given rain checks instead of a view of the game.  The Chicago boys, who little thought rain would come, at the last moment drove to the grounds in their regular uniforms, which are a handsome maroon, with old gold caps and stockings.  They were not only admired for the uniforms they wore, but for their stalwart appearance, two or three of the lot being six-footers.  To-day's game will be called at 3:30...
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 20, 1884

Rain?  In April?  In St. Louis?  Shocking.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: The Finest, Nearst And Prettiest

The above ad ran at the top of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat's sports page on April 20, 1884.  And by the top of the sports page, I mean that it ran across all seven columns of the page.  The ad was huge and the picture I have really doesn't do it justice.  It's an impressive piece of advertising.    

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Asa Price's Obituary

While looking around for more information on the Price brothers, I found Asa Price's obituary.  It was a bit tough to read so I'm transcribing it the best I can.

On Thursday, July 31st, 1889, of [malarial] fever, in this city at the [illegible] Died, Acie Price, aged 23 years. 
Mr. Price was a native of St. Louis, Mo.  Four years ago he came to this city with the Eclipse Base Ball Club of that city and remained here until his death.  By his excellent manners he had gathered around him a host of friends and admirers.
 He was a prominent member of the champion Pinchback's...He was buried by the Pinchback Base Ball Club and his remains were followed to their last resting place by a number of friends.  May he rest in peace.
-Weekly Pelican, August 3, 1889

The Weekly Pelican was an African-American newspaper published in New Orleans from 1886 to 1889.

The words along the left margin of this article were distorted and difficult to read.  I'm reasonably certain that I have Price's cause of death, malarial fever, correct but it was a bit of an educated guess.