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.

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