Monday, November 14, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: The Nationals Put On A Show In the Field, Lose By Four

The Nationals, of Washington, played a beautiful fielding game yesterday, and but for the terrific batting of the St. Louis boys they would have easily won the ball.  The fourteen clean hits for twenty bases does not really represent the batting of the home team.  Three times Gleason drove the ball to the far outfield and three times splendid catches were scored on his hits.  In one inning Dickerson reached first on a clean hit and then Gleason drove the ball to far center.  Wise ran out, caught the ball in one hand and then threw to Baker in time to double up Dickerson at first.  Taylor clipped one to far center, and Wise gathered it in and then threw on the line in to Voss.  The latter threw to McKenna to head Rowe at the plate.  Rowe reached the plate with the ball and knocked it out of McKenna's hands.  Thus another double play was scored.  In the last inning Baker took a foul tip hot from the bat and doubled up a man at first.  Besides these Voss, Baker and Lockwood scored another double play, making the fourth in the game.  These performances illustrate their splendid fielding.  But the batting of the home team would have won against any odds.  Once Dunlap hit the ball fairly at Voss, and the latter had just time to put up his hands and save himself.  As it was the ball nearly knocked him down.  For the home team the playing was done by Dickersona and Dunlap.  The former made four running catches, and his quick fielding in of long hits along the left line prevented the visitors from scoring double instead of single hits.  Hodnett pitched a fine game, and Sullivan caught in his old time style.  Whitehead, at short, played neatly and gracefully, and gives promise of making one of the best of short fielders.  Dan Devinney umpired satisfactorily.  
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 11, 1884

That really does sound like some nice fielding by the Nationals.  But they still lost by four.  All of their great work in the field merely saved them from losing by seven or more.

The Maroons were 12-0 and still looking for a team that could challenge them.

What Did Dunlap Do?  Yawn.  Just another two for five with a run scored.  The man was like a machine.  Two for five, two for five, two for five.  I compared him earlier to a barbarian horde overwhelming his opponents but he seems to be more like the Terminator: a cold-blooded, never-stopping two for five machine.  And now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that the design for the T-800 was based on the King of Second Basemen.

Fred Dunlap


kopper said...

Can you imagine how exciting baseball (sorry, "base ball") must've been in those days? All of that in an hour and forty minutes. Amazing.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

It is amazing that they could play a high scoring game, with all the baserunners and errors and passed balls, in less than two hours. I once saw Greg Maddux win a 1-0 game against the Cards in just under two hours but there wasn't any baserunners in that game. It was a constant stream of three up, three down.

And I honestly get as excited about these games as I do modern baseball. They're every bit as real and with the boxscores and game accounts, you can see exactly what was going on in the game. Even with all the rule changes, it's still the same great game.

Online Greeting Cards said...

Really very intreating game it seems to be..Eagerly waiting for it I alwaays love this types of games.
Thanks for the article & game.