Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Empire-Union Series Of 1867, Part Two

Again, this comes from Anthony Lampe's The Background Of Professional Baseball In St. Louis, published in the Missouri Historical Society Bulletin, October 1850:

Everybody in St. Louis was in favor of the game except "Old Man Weather," and he proved to be an efficient stumbling block.  A shower in the early innings caused the game to be postponed until July first.  Spectator interest was not dampened, however, and a large crowd was on hand when game time arrived on July 1, 1867.  A newspaper account [from The Missouri Republican, July 2, 1867] described the event, with particular attention to the ladies: 
Baseball is now generally conceded to be our national game, although it is of comparatively recent origin.  From the infant of a few years ago it has risen to the proportions of a giant, and strides through the country gathering new followers at every point.  That which in the earlier days of most of us was deemed a childish pastime has become a game that requires skill, manliness and strength.A few gentlemen, whom we need not particularize, have within the last two or three years devoted almost their entire time and energies to the advancement of the baseball game in St. Louis, and their success has been most cheering.  Numerous clubs have sprung up here, some of which might not hesitate to throw down the gauntlet to any in the Northwest. 
A few weeks ago a challenge was given by the Union and accepted by the Empire Club to meet in a friendly contest for the championship--the game to be best two in three.  A meeting occurred last week as our readers will remember on the grounds of the old Veto Club, but was interrupted by the rain, and many visitors present were deprived of witnessing the anticipated match.  Yesterday the elements were more propitious, and the first trial was completed, resulting in an overwhelming victory for the Union Club, which, in nine innings scored 49, while the Empire scored but 29.  The almost insufferable state of the weather, and the unfortunate health in which two or three players were said to be, doubtless caused the game to be played with less brilliance than it would otherwise have been.  Still, however, there were some very fine exhibitions of skill on both sides, as the scores will show.  There was some splendid batting by both nines, particularly the Union; while the members of the Empire seemed to be more expert in fielding.  A number of plays were made by the members of either club which have rarely been surpassed. 
Apparently about two thousand spectators were on the ground, including quite a large number of ladies.  For the most part order prevailed.  Young America, as is usual on such occasions, manifested his displeasure at intervals, by hoots and groans when something transpired that did not exactly meet his imperial favor.  It is to be regretted, that it is not within the bounds of possibility, to repress these disagreeable demonstrations in the midst of outdoor sports.  We learn that large sums of money changed hands among the spectators on the issue of this contest...

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