Friday, December 16, 2011

The 1884 Maroons: Paradoxical Results

The Keystone Club, of Philadelphia, made their first appearance in St. Louis yesterday, at the Union Grounds, where they met the St. Louis Unions, and were defeated by a score of 8 to 4.  About 2,500 spectators witnessed the game, which was a peculiar illustration of the chances of base ball, inasmuch as the visitors outbatted and outfielded the home team and still failed of success.  They made only three errors, but all were costly, and, together with a fortunate bunching of hits and admirable base running by the home team, brought about the singular result.  The home team obtained a commanding lead in the first two innings, which rendered the victory almost a foregone conclusion and dwarfed interest in the contest.  Bakely and Gillen were the visitors' battery, while Taylor and Baker were presented for St. Louis.  Dunlap, Shaffer and Dickerson, who bat in the order named, made seven of the nine hits scored by the home team, and each of the three made a two-bagger.  This largely accounts for the somewhat paradoxical result.  Bakely displayed considerable speed, and was well supported by Gillen.  Taylor did not pitch with his usual vigor or effectiveness, and was hammered for eleven hits, including two-baggers by Bakely and one by Clements.  Baker's work behind the bat was not so neat as usual, still he did not let a ball go by him.  His two errors consist of a low throw to second and a high one to third.  Quinn got one of Whitehead's swiftest throws on his right thumb, and as a result has a bad hand.  
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 28, 1884

So the Maroons responded to their first defeat with a victory over Philadelphia.  Their record stood at 21-1.

These UA clubs were an unimpressive lot and the Keystones were as unimpressive as any of them.  They had a young Jack Clements and an old Levi Meyerle and not much else to recommend them.  The fact that they eventually picked up Clarence Cross doesn't speak well of the talent on the club.

As the Globe mentioned, the top of the order carried the Maroons' offense in this game, which leads us to our  What Did Dunlap Do? shtick.  Fred went two for four with a double and two runs scored.  And I'm almost becoming numb to Dunlap's offensive proficiency.  Two for four, a double and two runs scored is a darn good game but, for Dunlap, it's kind of a quiet, normal day at the plate.  I just can't imagine watching someone today having the year that Dunlap did in 1884.

Okay, that's not exactly true.  We have recently seen a season similar to Dunlap's 1884 season.  It was Barry Bonds in 2001.  Look at Dunlap's numbers and compare them to Bonds.  Note Dunlap's 258 OPS+ and Bonds' 259 OPS+.                  

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