Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: Exclamations Of Disapprobation

The St. Louis Unions won another victory yesterday, the Baltimore Unions contributing the trophy.  Heavy batting decided the contest, the visitors outplaying the home nine in the field, but being unable to offset their terrific work with the willow.  The day was a lovely one and the attendance was about 2,500, the capacious grand stand containing a good part of the gathering.  The Baltimore battery were J. Sweeny and Fusselbach, and, notwithstanding that Sweeny was hit for fourteen bases, their work commanded the admiration of the spectators.  For the local nine Hodnett pitched up to the close of the ninth inning, with Brennan as his support.  In eight innings only four hits were scored off Hodnett's delivery, but, when in the ninth inning, Robinson and J. Sweeny, the first two Baltimores at the bat, both made two-baggers, Capt. Dunlap immediately substituted Taylor, Rowe coming in to cover first and Hodnett taking center field.  The crowd, which appeared to desire the defeat of the St. Louis nine, did not take kindly to the change, and it was greeted with exclamations of disapprobation and hisses. 
Taking No Chances. 
Dunlap was quite surprised at its reception but said he did not care, as he believed he did right in protecting his club's chances for the game.  Hodnett, he said, had pitched splendidly, but it was possible the Baltimore batsmen might have become accustomed to his delivery, and a change at that stage was the safest thing to do.  When the first batsman that faced Taylor made a safe hit the crowd cheered frantically.  Brennan was off in his throwing to second, and three times sent the ball wild to Dunlap.  He also misjudged a foul fly, but it was an excusable error, the sun being in his eyes.  Whitehead and Hodnett likewise misjudged fly balls from the same causes.  The features of the game were brilliant catches by O'Brien and Shafer and a grand one-handed stop of a liner by Robinson.  O'Brien's catch was the best seen in St. Louis this season.  In the seventh inning Rowe raised a long high one out to center.  O'Brien turned and ran with the ball, and while running at full speed, to the astonishment of all beholders, succeeded in capturing it.  Many of the spectators did not know that he had secured the ball until he turned and threw it to Phelan, whose assist to Lewis doubled up Gleason.  Shafer, with his back toward the diamond, nipped a liner that O'Brien sent out to right, Gleason led at the bat, scoring three hits, one of them a two-bagger.  On the latter he, unfortunately stopped short at second, turning his right ankle so that it swelled up alarmingly, and bids fair to keep him off the field for some time.  Taylor made a three-bagger, and Fusselbach, Robinson and J. Sweeny, of the visitors, two-baggers.  Umpire Sullivan, who has a voice that suits a crowd, gave good satisfaction.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 15, 1884

The Maroons were 14-0 after this game but this was really the first game where the decision was in doubt.  Their seven runs was tied for the fewest runs they had scored in a game so far in the season and the five they gave up was the second most they had surrendered as of yet.  It was a 3-2 game going into the fifth and a 5-3 game after seven.  The Maroons scored two in the eighth but Baltimore answered back with two of their own in the ninth.  The game was tight enough for Dunlap to make a pitching change, the club's first of the season, after Baltimore opened the ninth with two doubles.  St. Louis won by two but it appears that the home crowd was cheering for the visitors by the end of the game.  It seems likely that the Maroons' fans were getting a bit tired of watching their club beat up on inferior opposition and was looking for someone to give them a game.  When Baltimore did just that, the fans cheered them on.

As to Captain Hook, What Did Dunlap Do?  Besides riling up the home crowd by making a pitching change, Dunlap went his usual two for five.  He was a machine.    

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