Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: Amid Uproarious Laughter

The National Club, of Washington, were introduced to the St. Louis Unions yesterday afternoon at the Union Grounds, and received an unusually warm reception.  Indeed, the local ball tossers were quite energetic in their attentions and made the occasion uncomfortably hot for the visitors.  The meeting was witnessed by an attendance of about 2,000, including a number of ladies.  It was not an exciting event, but was amusing.  The Nationals presented Lockwood and McKinney, and for the first four innings made a very respectable showing, the score at the end of the fourth inning being 3 to 0 in favor of the home team.  Up to that point Lockwood's work was excellent, only two hits having been made off him, while he had retired four batsmen on strikes, Dunlap's two chances at the plate availing nothing before his puzzling delivery. 
Knocking Out A Pitcher. 
In the fifth inning, however, he went to pieces, and in addition to being hammered for seven safe hits, three of them two-baggers, he made a wild pitch and gave three men bases on balls.  Errors by Kinney and McLaughlin further assisted the Unions, who realized ten runs from the inning.  Kinney's error was a ludicrous one.  He had just put out Brennan on an assist from Lockwood, when he was called on to throw to third to head off Rowe, who was running from second.  In an effort to throw, the ball slipped out of his fingers and over toward the west wing of the grand stand, just where no fielder had a chance to intercept it.  Rowe ran home amid uproarious laughter.  In the seventh inning Lockwood was hit so hard that the battery was changed, Wise going to the box and Baker behind the bat.  The inning yielded 8 more runs for the home team.  They made 1 more in the eighth inning, making their total 22, and did not go to the bat in the ninth.  Ten base hits were scored by the visitors off Hodnett, but they failed to obtain a run until the last inning, when they scored 2.  Brennan was not up to his usual mark behind the bat.  Jack Gleason failed on two foul flies, misjudged on account of the sun being in his eyes.  The battery of the Unions was simply terrific, and it is doubtful if there is a heavier hitting nine in the country.  
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 9, 1884

So, seriously, there were twenty-four runs scored in this game and it only took two hours to play it.  I'm not the kind of guy who complains about the length of baseball games but how long do you think it would take them to play a twenty-four run game these days?  Five hours?

And the Maroons were up 22-0 in this game?  Is anybody going to give them a fight?

But What Did Dunlap Do?  He went two for six with a double and two runs scored.  Not too bad, although it does appear that he and the club had some trouble in the early innings figuring Lockwood out.    

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