Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Rehabilitation Of Ted Sullivan

For remaining in St. Louis to manage the Unions and failing to go to Richmond to fill a similar position for the Virginia club, Ted Sullivan was black-listed by the latter organization.  Since leaving the Unions he asked for and obtained reinstatement from the National Agreement Association, to which he is now eligible.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 7, 1884

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Anheuser-Busch Nine

The Anheuser-Busch nine were defeated by the Consolidated Express nine yesterday morning, at the Union Grounds, the score standing 28 to 7.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 7, 1884

This is a nice, little reference to an A-B baseball club from 1884.  Adolphus Busch was one of the original investors in the Maroons and was probably the largest investor in the club besides Henry Lucas.  And that's why the club was playing at the Union Grounds in July of 1884.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: The Return Of Bill Taylor

Taylor, the jumping pitcher of the St. Louis Club, appeared in the box to-day, having been won back by Lucas, notwithstanding he received $300 with the understanding that he should sign to play the remainder of the season with the Athletics.  He proved a winning card, as the home team were unable to do anything with his twisters.  Gleason at third and Whitehead at short played wonderfully, disposing of no less than eleven players, while Rowe led at the bat.  For the Nationals, Deasley, Voss, Evers and Joy played their positions for all they were worth.  Dunlap and Quinn made a very pretty double play in the seventh inning, thus cutting off the last chance for the home team to increase their score.  About 1,000 people witnessed the game.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 6, 1884

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: A Fourth Of July Doubleheader, Part Two

Fully 8,000 persons witnessed the game between the St. Louis and Baltimore Union clubs this afternoon.  The game was won by the Baltimores by the score of 12 to 10.  In the first inning both sides were blanked although Dickerson made a single and Fusselbach a double.  In the second inning Robinson made the finest catch ever witnessed here-a running fly.  In the fourth inning Taylor made a clean home run.  In the sixth inning St. Louis added four runs to their score by safe hits of Taylor, Brennan and Dickerson and an error by Phelan.  In the ninth inning they made two more runs by safe hits of Gleason, Baker and Whitehead.  The visitors proved superior players in every respect to the home club, and the latter only won by lucky hits at critical points of the game.  Taylor carried off the honors in batting for the St. Louis and Whitehead excelled in the field.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 5, 1884

So the Maroons lost both of their games on July 4, 1884.  Remember that the club only lost nineteen games in 1884 so they took ten percent of their loses in one day.  And they still had seventeen games left on the road trip.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: A Fourth Of July Doubleheader, Part One

The St. Louis Club was swamped by the Nationals in this morning's game before an audience of 2,200 people. The home team batted Hodnett all over the field and earned seven runs.  They also fielded in elegant style, not being chargeable with a single fielding error.  In this first inning Baker led off with a three-bagger, and a single by Evers and Moore's two-baser earned two runs.  In their half of the inning the St. Louis made what proved to be their only run.  Shafer drove the ball over the right field fence, and made the circuit of the diamond.  The home boys kicked because the ground rule allows but one base on a ball knocked over the fence in right field.  The umpire, however, allowed Shafer a home run.  The game was suspended for twenty-five minutes in the third inning on account of rain.  In the fourth Joy made a brilliant double-play by jumping in the air and capturing a hot one from Hodnett's bat and stepping on first base in time to put out Whitehead, who had started for second.  In the sixth the Nationals earned two runs on hits of Voss, Gunson, Baker and Deasley.  A one-hand catch of a line ball by Whitehead in this inning, closing it with two men on bases, was a feature of the game.  In the eighth inning singles by Baker and Deasley and a double by Wise yielded four runs, two earned.  The St. Louis boys took their defeat rather hard, but the terrific batting of the home lads made them invincible.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 5, 1884

The Maroons played an interesting doubleheader on July 4, 1884.  The first game was played in the morning in Washington and the second was played later that day in Baltimore, against the Monumentals.  The day was not off to a good start, as the Washington Unions snapped the Maroons' nine game winning streak.  And things were not going to get any better in Baltimore.

By the way, I forgot to mention that the Maroons were in the midst of a twenty-four game road trip.  The trip started in Philadelphia on June 24 and the club would not see St. Louis until after they played Kansas City on July 30, with stops in Washington, Baltimore, and Cincinnati along the way.  Their last home game, before the trip, was on June 22 and they would not play in St. Louis again until July 31.  I'm not sure what prompted this epic road trip but I'm sure that it wasn't easy for the players.  It most have been a rough month for the Black Diamonds.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: The Lucas Pets

The heavy batting and magnificent fielding of the St. Louis and National clubs to-day afforded great sport for the 1,500 people that witnessed the game.  Had it not been for the partiality of Holland's umpiring there would not have been more than one run difference between the totals of either nine.  Dunlap opened the game with a single and was brought in by Dickerson's double.  The home team also got a run by a hit by Deasley, who went from first to third on a wild pitch and came home on a sacrifice hit by Evers.  In the second inning Wise gave Baker his first on balls and Whitehead's single, Hodnett's sacrifice and a hit by Dunlap yielded two more runs for the Lucas pets.  In the next inning Dickerson went to first on balls, Rowe hit for two bases, and Gleason got in a single, the yield being one run.  The Nationals were retired in their half of the inning by an assist of Gleason to first and a fine double play by Gleason, Dunlap and Quinn.  The Nationals were blanked in the fourth by the brilliant stops of Gleason and a long running catch by Shafer.  In the fifth singles by Dickerson and Quinn and a double by Baker earned two runs.  For the Nationals Baker got first on balls, and hits by Wise and Evers brought him in.  Dunlap, in the sixth, went to first on balls, and two errors by McKe, supplemented by two-baggers by Dickerson and Gleason, and a single by Shaffer, netted four runs, two of which were earned.  The home team earned a run in the seventh on Joy's single and Baker's two-bagger.  Hodnett allowed Moore to occupy first in the eighth by making a balk, which was followed by a magnificent stop and wild throw by Gleason, the ball going over Quinn's head.  A two-base hit by Gunson and a single by Baker added 3 unearned runs to the home score.  In the ninth inning Quinn's single, errors by Joy and McKee, a double by Dunlap, Shaffer being sent to first on balls and a wild pitch by Voss resulted in 2 more runs for the visitors.  A double by Evers and a single by McKee gave the Nationals an earned run, which made the game 12 to 7.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 4, 1884

Thursday, February 23, 2012

In The First District Court

The case of Hardy Henderson, of the Baltimore Base Ball Club, and Fred Lewis, of the St. Louis Browns, charged with disturbing the peace at 602 Clark avenue, will be heard to-day, the defendants having given bond to appear.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 3, 1884

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

And Here's The Suspension

At a meeting of the Directors of the St. Louis Base Ball Club last evening Messrs. Von der Ahe, Walker, Williams and Reid were present.  It was decided to suspend Fred Lewis for the season of 1884, which disbars him from playing with any club under the tripartite agreement.  Jim O'Neill claims that he had no connection with the trouble on Tuesday night, and that the reports regarding him were unfounded.  Tom Deasley was also fined heavily for insubordination and enthusiasm.  Mr. Von der Ahe gave the other men a quiet sensible talk and desired them to do their best and work in harmony and keep up their present good record.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 3, 1884

This is so good that I'm going to have to go with the bullet points to cover it all quickly:

-Well, of course, Lewis gets suspended.  You can't get all drunk and tear up a whorehouse and not expect to get suspended.

-I imagine Tip O'Neill standing with his hands up and saying "It wasn't me."

-Was Tom Deasley involved in all of this or was his fine a separate incident.  And how does one get fined for "enthusiasm"?  Have to assume they meant a lack of enthusiasm, or a general piss-poor attitude.

-I laughed out loud when I read that VdA gave the players "a quiet sensible talk."  Compare this treatment of VdA with the coverage from the 1890s.  If this was being reported in 1895, we'd get a made up quote from VdA's speech.  Something along the lines of "Now boys youse canks goes to de horse's house und mistreats de horse.  Dats bad far de horse's bisniss und de baseball bissniss."  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fred Lewis Gets In A Bit Of Trouble

Hardy Henderson, of the Baltimore Base Ball team, and Fred Lewis, of the St. Louis Browns, were arrested and placed in the holdover at the Four Courts at an early hour this morning, charged with creating a disturbance at a house of ill-repute, 602 Clark avenue.  They attempted to clean out the establishment and broke the furniture.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 2, 1884

This will not end well.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: The Anxiously Looked For Sluggers

The anxiously looked for Lucas sluggers arrived here to-day and got away with the Nationals in a very brilliantly-played game.  It rained at intervals all day, and it was very doubtful that the game could be played.  This kept away many hundreds, and the spectators did not exceed 700 in number.  At the end of the second inning the game was suspended twenty minutes on account of rain, during which time the crowd amused itself by singing and whistling "Wait Till the Clouds Roll By."  The game was resumed and played in a drizzle.  Taylor did not play, having to-day jumped his contract to play with the Athletics.  Lucas will howl when he arrives here to-night and learns the news.  Neither side got a man past second base until the second inning, when Rowe came to the bat and sent the ball over the center-field fence, where it was lost in the Capital grounds.  He made the circuit in a jog while the management was hunting for a new ball.  In the fourth inning a single by Wise and a double by Moore yielded 2 runs, 1 earned.  The visitors added 3 to their score on hits by Gleason, Quinn, Brennan and Whitehead, 2 of which were earned.  The bases were full, when Brennan made his hit, sending two men home.  The home team got a run in the fifth by errors of Brennan and Dunlap.  The St. Louis Club earned 2 more runs in their half of the inning on hits of Shafer, Dickerson and Rowe.  This ended the run-getting. 
The Nationals bid fair to swell their total in the seventh inning, when the first two batters got in hits, but a fly to the outfield and a great double play by Gleason, Dunlap and Quinn closed the inning with a blank.  Wise, in the sixth inning, and Baker, of the St. Louis, distinguished themselves by making magnificent running catches.  Wise also made a double play in the eighth inning.  The Nationals were wound up in the ninth inning by a double play of Gleason and Dunlap after two base hits had been made.  The visitors earned five runs to the Nationals one.  
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 2, 1884

I love American roots music and, recently, I've been listening a lot to the Anthology of American Folk Music.  Actually, what I've been doing is listening to A Tree With Roots, the full Basement Tapes bootleg, reading Grail Marcus' Invisible Republic (which, in the new edition, is called Old, Weird America) and listening to the Anthology, all kind of at the same time.  If you have any idea of what I'm talking about, that all makes sense.  If not, I'm sorry.  But "Wait Till The Clouds Roll By" is one of those great old songs with an interesting history that fits into that old, weird American pattern and I love the idea of it being song by baseball fans during a rain delay.  In the video below, Pete Coe performs a nice version of the song and also gives a brief history of its origins and evolution.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Taylor Jumps His Contract

Billy Taylor, who is reported to have jumped his contract with the Lucas Unions at Philadelphia, played with the Alleghenys of Pittsburg for several years past, and was released last year.  He is a good general player and has won many games for the Lucas club by his effective pitching.  His salary was reported as $1,700 for the season.  His loss will be severely felt.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 2, 1884

As we saw yesterday, Taylor pitched for the Maroons in Philadelphia on June 30th, throwing a one-hitter.  Two days later, the papers are reporting that he jumped to the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association.  For a team that was winning as much as the Maroons did in 1884, they sure had some bad luck with pitchers.

Somebody needs to buy Charlie Sweeney some drinks because the Black Diamonds have a roster spot they need to fill.      

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Taylor Throws A One-Hitter

The St. Louis Union Club gained an easy victory over the Keystone nine to-day by a score of 6 to 0.  The visitors played a fine game in the field and bunched their hits in three innings.  The Keystone players found an enigma in Taylor's delivery, and but one safe hit was made off of him.  Only two of the home nine reached first base in the whole game.  The Keystone men made six errors, two of them bases on called balls, but their fielding was generally sharp.  The catching of Clements and Baker and the batting of Dunlap and Gleason were features.  The visitors scored two runs in the first inning on singles by Dunlap and Dickerson, a fielded hit and a wild pitch.  Gleason, Quinn and Dunlap made good hits in the seventh inning, but the two runs scored were let in on a muff of a thrown ball by Peak, on which he had an easy double play.  After two were out in the last inning, McCormick missed a foul fly.  Dunlap, Shaffer and Gleason followed with singles and Rowe hit the ball through McGinnis, two more runs being the result.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 1, 1884.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Short Biography Of Edward Bredell, Sr.

Edward Bredell was born near Snowhill, Worcester County, Maryland, Oct. 21, 1812.  His father's ancestors were French, his mother a daughter of Peter and Catherine Collier of that place. 
In the year 1820, when eight years of age, his mother being dead, and his grandmother, Mrs. Collier, having settled in St. Charles, he was brought to Missouri by his uncle, John Collier, and remained with his grandmother at St. Charles until 1823, when he returned to his father's residence in Maryland to receive his education, which being completed, he returned to St. Louis in the year 1833, and was admitted to the bar at the age of 21 years. 
Soon thereafter in 1834, concluding to change his vocation, he entered into partnership with James T. Sweringen, as Dry-goods Merchants, on North Main Street. 
In 1838, he associated with him, his brother John C. Bredell, as Dry-goods Merchants, at the southwest corner of Main and Market Streets.  About the year 1850, Mr. Bredell retired altogether from business, and removed his residence to the south side of Lafayette Park, where he continues to reside to the present day. 
April 6, 1835, Mr. Bredell was married to Miss Angeline Cornelia, the only daughter of the late Samuel Perry, Esq., of Potosi, Washington County, Mo., born Oct. 12, 1818; she died June 28, 1887, at the age of 68 years and 8 months. 
Lieut. Edward Bredell, Jr., the only child they raised, born Aug. 3, 1839, was killed in the Confederate service at Ashby's Gap, Virginia, Nov. 16, 1864, at the age of 25 years, 3 months.
-Annals of St. Louis in its Territorial Days, from 1804 to 1821

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Louisa Kearny Letter

Louisa Kearny's grave

In their Civil War Collection, the Missouri History Museum has a letter, dated August 28, 1862, written to Edward Bredell, Jr., by Louisa Kearny.  

This is interesting for several reasons.  First, Louisa Kearny was the daughter of Stephen Watts Kearny and the sister of Cyclone Club member Charles Kearny.  Obviously, there was some kind of relationship between Louisa Kearny and Bredell or, at the very least, between the Kearny and Bredell family and this helps explain how Charles Kearny ended up in the Cyclone Club.  Second, Louisa Kearny mentions several of Bredell's old club members in the letter.  While detailing the goings-on of their mutual friends, she mentions Joseph Fullerton and John Riggin in the letter.  She also mentions one of her brothers and, given the way she writes about him, I believe she's talking about Charles.  Lastly, the letter gives an interesting account of what life was like in St. Louis during the Civil War from the point of view of a Southern sympathizer and is worth reading just for that.

Also, I should add that, according to the Missouri Digital Heritage site, the letter "was intercepted by federal forces and published in the newspaper under the title 'Gems from the Rebel Mail Bag.'"  I have to say that the idea of Ed Bredell not getting this letter kind of breaks my heart a bit.  And I can only imagine the horror that Miss Kearny felt upon the publication of her private letter.  I find the whole story of the letter kind of sad.  

I'm posting some of the more interesting parts of the letter below but, if you'd like to read the whole thing, the full letter can be found at the Missouri History Museum's website.

St. Louis, August 28, 1862, 
Capt. Bredell:  You see your letter was appreciated, that I answer it so soon; and I hope this mail will get safely through.  St. Louis is very stupid now.  We have nothing in the way of amusement, and there is not the visiting there used to be, for we have no beaux to visit; indeed, our streets would be deserted if it were not for shoulder-straps.  Your friend, Mr. Fullerton, is fourth sergeant in the Hallack Guard, and went up to Lexington; but succeeded only in burning and sinking some little boats belonging to private individuals, for which the Democrat urges they should have some public demonstration for their personal bravery. 
...Mary and I spent the day last Tuesday with your mother.  She read us your letter, where you thought the young ladies should take care of the "little fellows."  We are very much obliged for the suggestion and think of forming a society immediately.... 
Our neighbor across the street is as savage as ever.  His daughter is Secretary to the "Ladies' Union Aid Society," and her favorite song is "John Brown's bones lie mouldering in the grave," which we have the full benefit of.  How some people fall to their proper level... 
John Riggin is in town again, and I expect there is soon to be a fight, as he always leaves about that time.  He was up here before and brought a negro man that he had stolen from the South. 
Oh! what would we not give to see our old Hero marching through the streets.  We have waited a long time, but I trust that before many months you will all come to release us from the hateful fetters that bind us, for nearly every day they come out with some new order; and this morning a man signing himself "Justice" thinks the women and children should be sent, with all traitors, out of the Federal lines.... 
Remember me to all my friends South, and if that brother of mine is with you, tell him to send me word.  I had a letter from him from Springfield, in which he said he was going back to Mississippi. 
I have set you such a good example that I hope to hear again from you, and with my best wishes and kindest regards for yourself, 
Believe me your friend, 
Miss L.

The photo at the top of the post comes from Louisa Kearny's memorial at Find A Grave.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Edward Bredell In Virginia

Arrivals At Rockbridge Alum From 16th to 22nd Of August. 
...Edward Bredell and wife, St. Louis...
-Daily Richmond Examiner, August 28, 1866

We know that, by 1867, the body of Edward Bredell, Jr., had been returned to St. Louis and buried on his family's property on Lafayette Avenue.  There is a report that his parents went to Virginia and brought the body of their son home.  The above report from the Daily Richmond Examiner shows that Edward Bredell, Sr., and his wife went to Virginia in 1866 and this, most likely, would have been when they retrieved the body of their son.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Arrest Of Edward Bredell, Sr.

Edward Bredell, an old resident and a well known and wealthy citizen, was last Thursday arrested by the U.S. Police, by order of Department Provost Marshal General Dick, and committed to the Military prison on the charge of having corresponded with officers of the rebel army, communicating intelligence for the benefit of the enemy, &c.  On Saturday he was released on parole to remain at his residence-in Lafayette avenue, opposite Lafayette Park-and await examination on the charge preferred.  Mr. Bredell has a son in the rebel army. 
The arrest of Bredell, and some others not yet made public, appears to have resulted from the interception of a rebel mail.
-The Daily Southern Crisis (Jackson, Mississippi), March 17, 1863

The above article originally appeared in the St. Louis Democrat on March 3, 1863, and is a reminder that St. Louis, during the Civil War, was a city under Federal occupation and martial law.  It's a difficult idea to comprehend but it's true nonetheless.

Following the declaration of martial law in Missouri by General Fremont, Provost-Marshal M'Kinstry has issued an order forbidding any person passing beyond the limits of St. Louis without a special permit from his office; and railroad, steamboat, ferry, and other agents are prohibited from selling tickets to any one not holding a proper pass. 
-Harper's Weekly, September 14, 1861

One of these days, I'm going to have to write up a long post about what life was like in St. Louis during the Civil War but, as of now, I'll just note that, under martial law in St. Louis and Missouri, there were summary executions, drum head courts martial, arbitrary confiscation of property, restrictions on travel and banishments.  This was the world that existed as baseball began to take root in St. Louis.       

Monday, February 13, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: No Difficulty In Hitting Straight Pitching

The St. Louis Union Club won its third successive victory over the Keystones team to-day by a score of 12 to 10.  The game proved the most exciting of any yet played on the new ground here, and the 1,500 persons present were constantly cheering good plays and hard hits.  Errors of Peak and McCormick started the visitors off with the lead in the first inning and they increased their score by batting for four earned runs in the fifth.  Two men were out in this inning when Rowe and Gleason made singles, Taylor and Brennan two-basers and Quinn a three-base hit.  Good batting by Dunlap, Shaffer, Taylor and Gleason earned the last three runs scored by the visitors, who found no difficulty in hitting Weaver's straight pitching.  The Keystones batted Taylor and did the best fielding, but lost the chance of tieing the score, if not of winning the game in the last inning, by poor base running.  Clements played right field for the Keystones, and carried off the honors.  He sent the ball over the right field fence for a home run in the first inning, and in the sixth he caught a long fly hit in extreme right field and made a double play by throwing the runner out at the home plate.  Mr. Sullivan, the Union umpire, did not put in an appearance and Mr. Brady, late of the Altoona club, filled the position to the satisfaction of both nines.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 29, 1884

Sunday, February 12, 2012

John Peters At The End Of The Road

John Peters
Johnny Peters, the short stop, left town yesterday morning to join the Stillwater (Minn.) Northwestern League Club, with whom he has signed for the rest of the season.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 28, 1884

John Peters was an outstanding ballplayer going back to the amateur, pioneer era in St. Louis when he played with the Empires and Reds in the early part of the 1870s.  He was probably the best shortstop in baseball in the early days of NL but, by 1884, he was at the end of the road.  He hadn't hit well with Buffalo of the NL in 1881 but had a decent season with Pittsburgh in the AA in 1882.  And that was really it for Peters.  He got into eight games for Pittsburgh in 1883 and one game in 1884.  According to his entry in Major League Baseball Profiles, 1871-1900, Volume 1, Peters had put on a great deal of weight and this led to his decline as a ballplayer.  By 1884, he couldn't hit, couldn't field his position and couldn't find a job in the major leagues.  In 1885, he was out of professional baseball, although he continued playing with minor clubs in St. Louis for several years.        

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Billy Taylor Pulls A Bit Of Skulduggery

The Keystone Unions lost a game to the St. Louis nine to-day by a score of 6 to 4.  The visitors outplayed the home nine at all points, and were much superior in running the bases.  But with all this the Keystones would have won, had it not been for bad umpiring.  Taylor, of the St. Louis Club, scored a run in the fourth inning by cutting across the diamond from second base, not coming within forty feet of third, and when Umpire Sullivan allowed the run to score there was a perfect howl from the crowd of 1,200.  There were several close decisions and they were all given in favor of the visitors.  The Keystones surprised "Billee Taylor" by pounding him hard.  The features of the game were the throwing to bases by Baker and Clements, and a long-running catch by Dickerson.  The Keystones scored two runs each in the first and fifth innings by good batting, while poor base running lost them at least three more runs during the game.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 28, 1884

That particular piece of skulduggery, the skip play, was an old play that was actually rather popular in the 1880s, thanks to guys like Arlie Latham and King Kelly.  It was tough for one umpire to see everything that was happening on the field and smart, heady players took advantage of that.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Union Blues

The Union Blues, the new team which is to hold forth at the Union Grounds during the absence of the regular team, met yesterday and effected a permanent organization.  Among the players present were Clark, Boils, Lancaster, Lee, Daily, Wipps, Gartland, Murphy, Whelan, Shields and several others.  All of these report for duty at the Union Grounds on Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock, and the playing team to play the St. Gotthards willl then be selected.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 27, 1884

The Union Blues would be a great title for a book about Lucas and the UA.  Feel free to steal the idea.  Just give me credit in the introduction.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: The Team From St. Louis

The team from St. Louis crushed the Keystones under a score of 15 to 1 to-day.  The visitors took more interest in the game than might have been expected under the circumstances, and appeared to be exerting themselves vigorously.  Taylor in the pitcher's box worked much harder than in his old American Association days.  Up to the eighth inning he only allowed four hits to be made.  Then he grew weary, and the first four batters of the Keystones each caught him for a base hit.  He took warning then, and settled down to work again, allowing only another single to be scored against him.  Though not doing anything remarkable, the honors of the game were his.  Dunlap made two errors and one or two good plays, and Shafer captured one difficult fly in right field.  The whole team seemed able to do better playing if they had it to do.  On the side of the Keystones Siegel was conspicuously the worst player on the ground.  He is credited with six errors and one assist, but if McGinniss had not made a remarkable good pick-up of a low-thrown ball every chance offered him would have produced a mistake and his score would have shown errors from one end to the other.  The small boys finally got so disgusted as to offer suggestions for his retirement at every inning, and one of them presented him with a well-worn bouquet as he went to the bat for the last time.  Hoover nearly equaled him in dropping easy flies in left field.  McCormick, McGinnis and Easterday made good plays.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 25, 1884

A quick note on "the worst player on the ground."  Baseball Reference lists a John Siegel as playing eight games with Philadelphia in 1884 and Morris, at his website, lists John Siegel as a potentially misidentified player.  At BR Bullpen, there's an entry for a Fred Siegel that mentions that Peter recently identified him as the Siegel that played (rather poorly) for the Keystones in 1884.  It appears that Fred Siegel was a local amateur who played with the Baily and Atlantic Clubs of Philadelphia around that time and managed local clubs into the 1890s.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

With Spring Training Just Around The Corner...

...that means it's time for new baseball books to come out.

Peter Morris sent me a link to an article that lists twenty-two new baseball books that are coming out this spring.  The article includes brief synopses of the books, release dates and prices.  There are some really great books coming out and I'm looking forward to picking up Roy Kerr's biography of Buck Ewing and Tim Wendel's Summer of '68 (as in 1968, not 1868).  I love the fact that two of my favorite annual events, spring training and the release of the new baseball books, are tied together and it makes me yearn (like Rogers Hornsby staring out a window) of the baseball season.


The reason Peter passed the link along was that the article contains a nice, little review of Base Ball Pioneers, which is available for pre-order.  I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this book.  I was fortunate enough to get to write the chapter on St. Louis pioneer clubs and, while that's great and all, I really can't wait to read what everyone else wrote.  Also, the article has a review of The Rank and File of 19th Century Major League Baseball.  This is, essentially, the third volume of Major League Baseball Profiles, 1871-1900, and has over one thousand biographical sketches that we couldn't fit into the first two volumes.  I'm excited about this book coming out because David Nemec, who did such a fantastic job editing the books, told me that the Packy Dillon bio that I wrote would be included. It's also available for pre-order.


In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, I recommend you get both books (as well as the first two volumes of Profiles, if you don't have them yet).  Trust me when I say that I'll have more on both books as we get closer to the release dates.  And pitchers and catchers report in ten days.          

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Joe Hallesbeck, Secretary

Empire Base Ball Club.—At the regular monthly meeting of this Club, held at their hall, corner of Third and Vine streets, on the 3d of July, 1860, the following officers were duly elected: B.J. Higgen, President; Peter Naylor, Vice-President; John F. Walton, Secretary; and Patrick Cooney, Treasurer. 
 The following resolution was adopted: 
 Whereas, The [Cyclone] and Morning Star Ball Clubs are matches for a game on the 9th inst. 
Resolved, that the Emprie Base Ball Club challenge the winning party.  If not accepted by them, then this challenge is extended to any Ball Club in Missouri
Joe  Hallesbeck, Sec’y.
-Daily Missouri Republican, July 7, 1860 

I posted about the Empire Club's challenge to the winner of the Cyclone/Morning Star match before, having found basically this same article in the St. Louis Daily Bulletin.  The one piece of information that the Missouri Republican includes that the Daily Bulletin did not is the mention of the secretary of the Empire Club, one Mr. Joseph Hollenback.  The impossibly illusive Joseph Hollenback, or Hollenbeck, or Hallesbeck, or Hallenbeck.

This is the first contemporary reference to Hollenback (as it's spelled in the 1860 census and the 1860 St. Louis city directory) being involved with the Empire Club that I've ever seen.  Edmund Tobias wrote in The Sporting News (October 26, 1895) that "The origin of the Empire Club was mainly due to Joseph Hallenbeck, a deputy under Constable Dan Manning, who acted as such for both Justices Ed A. Allen and Peter W. Johnstone.  Hallenbeck was a New Yorker, and had played with the old Knickerbocker Club before his advent in St. Louis, and he was assisted by L.P. Fuller in forming the club."  Al Spink, in The National Game, stated that "Jacob Hollenbeck" was at the first meeting of the Empire Club and was elected as the club's first secretary.  The above article from the Republican seems to confirm that Hollenback was indeed the first secretary of the Empire Club.

Finding information about Hollenback has been very frustrating.  I can't really even tell you how his last name was spelled.  What I do know is that he was born around 1836 in New York state.  In 1860, he was single, was living in St. Louis at Mrs. Boston's Boarding House, was working as a constable, was involved in the formation of the Empire Club and was elected as the club's first secretary.  What I think is probable but can't prove is that he played baseball in the East (although I seriously doubt he was a member of the Knickerbocker Club) and was one of the founders of the Empire Club (the distinction being that while I know Hollenback was at the first meeting, I'm not certain what his role was in the organization of the meeting).  What I think is possible but can't prove is that he was serving with the Missouri Militia in 1864 and died in 1866. 

That's all kind of convoluted but that's how I've had to organize my thinking about Hollenback because I have a lot of information about him but can't confirm most of it.  The major problem is the spelling of the last name (of which I've given you four variations).  It's tough to track down information about a guy when you don't know how to spell his last name.  Also, I really believe that he died young.  I thought for a time that he was killed during the Civil War but I found the death record for a Joseph Hollenbeck, who died in St. Louis in 1866, and that feels right to me.  But it's possible that he lived into the 20th century.  I can't say for sure but if he died young, that would be a reason why there's not a lot of information about him in 19th century databases.  

Regardless of my personal struggles with the Hollenback problem, the above article from the Republican gives us some contemporary confirmation of the secondary sources.  And that's a good step in the right direction.                   

Monday, February 6, 2012

Still More About The Missouri Glass Company

The Missouri Glass Company's Works are situated in the First Ward of the city of St. Louis, west of the Arsenal.  The Company was incorporated by an act of the Legislature and went into operation under their charter on the 29th day of May, and elected Edward Bredell, President, and Edward Daly, Secretary; and  now, having erected their additional buildings and completed their furnaces, cutting and mould rooms, are prepared to furnish the trade of St. Louis with a superior quality of Flint and Green Glassware equal to any manufactured in the United States, and will furnish it on such terms as if will be advantageous to the trade to purchases of them.  Having the facilities for manufacturing their own moulds, will continue to introduce all new styles and patterns that may be desirable.  They will keep on hand a stock of all the staple articles sold by Druggists, Grocers, Glass and Lamp Stores. 
Persons wishing ware made from private moulds are particularly requested to give orders at least 30 days before they wish the goods, to insure prompt delivery. 
A large assortment of Black Bottles, viz.: Hocks, Brandies, Schnaps, Claret, Champagne and Bitters.  They will be continually adding to their stock.  Samples of ware can be seen, and orders left at their office, No. 33 North Fifth street, between Pine and Olive streets, and at their works, corner Lemp and Utah streets, South St. Louis, west of the U.S. Arsenal. 
-Daily Missouri Republican, December 26, 1859

The significant thing, as far as baseball is concerned, that we find in this classified advertisement for the Missouri Glass Company is the relationship between the company and druggists, something I forgot to point out yesterday.  This is significant because Cyclone Club members Maurice Alexander, Leonard Matthews and William Matthews all worked in the apothecary business.  One can image that they met Merritt Griswold and Ed Bredell by buying bottles from the Missouri Glass Company.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Missouri Glass Company

I'm serious.  This article, which appeared in the Daily Missouri Republican on October 23, 1859, is absolutely everything you ever wanted to know (and more) about the Missouri Glass Company.  Since the thing runs three thousand words, I'll give you some of the important information up top:

-The company was founded in May of 1859.  This is interesting because it helps us date Merritt Griswold's arrival in St. Louis.  One would have to believe that Griswold, who went to work for the company when he moved to St. Louis, arrived after the company came into existence.  Griswold coming to St. Louis in the late spring or early summer of 1859 fits with the information that we already have.

-Edward Bredell, Jr., Griswold's Cyclone Club teammate, was actually the company's business manager.  That surprised me a bit.  I knew he worked for the company but didn't know that he ran it.  So, basically, Griswold worked for his teammate.  

-Archibald Gamble, the father of Cyclone Club members Joseph and Rufus Gamble, was one of the investors in the company.  I knew about the relationship between the Gamble and Bredell families and this just supports that.  

Anyway, if you read this whole thing (and I do recommend it), you'll know more about 19th century glass making than 99.9% of the people on the planet.  So, you'll have that going for you: 

The Manufacture of Glass In St. Louis—Interesting Visit To The Works—A Morning With The Glass Blowers.—Everybody is acquainted with the transparent, hard and brittle substance which is called glass, for its use is limited to no country, and to no condition of life.  The Knowledge of its properties is universal.  The babe that delights to flatten its nose against the window pane, glories in its translucency, which it soon comes to understand; and it does not require long to find out that glass, though hard and durable, will break, as shown by the careless knocking off a tumbler from the table or the casual displacement of the camphor bottle from the mantel.  We used to think that glass was everywhere, being led to this conclusion by the number of broken bits which found their way into the balls and heels of our youthful trotters when, in summer, we flung our shoes into a corner and “went barefoot.”  But everybody don’t know all about glass, about the way it is made and how fashioned into the beautiful shapes which meet us everywhere we go, and about the people who, if they do not exactly “live” in glass houses at least spend a good deal of time there.

For our own part, until the other day, we had never been inside a glass house, and, except by hear-say, which the lawyers will tell you is poor testimony, knew as little of the manufacture of glass as we did of glaciers.  We take it for granted there are others as ignorant as we, and will be surprised if some notes which we have picked up will not prove both interesting and instructive.

The Missouri Glass Works.

West of Arsenal stand the Works of the Missouri Glass Company, a corporation which was chartered by the Legislature last winter, but which was not fully organized till May last.  The stock of this Company is principally owned by Edward Bredell, Sr., Archibald Gamble and James W. and Samuel Wallace.  The latter two are brothers, and practical men, having been in the business, one twenty-seven and the other twenty-five years.  The Company have five acres of ground, on which are something like $50,000 worth of improvements.  Edward Daily is the Secretary of the corporation, and the business management of the concern is in the hands of Edward Bredell, Jr., who has an office near the corner of Olive and Fifth streets.  The Messrs. Wallace have the general superindendence of the works, direction of the men employed, &c. 

Facilities Enjoyed.

The facilities for making glass here are excellent, and it is said they will compare very favorably with those afforded at any other point in the country.—The great desideratum is sand of the proper quality, and in this particular the Missouri Glass Company avail themselves of very great advantages.  In Franklin county, this State, on the line of the Pacific Railroad, is a bluff of sand of remarkable whiteness and fineness, which is fifty feet in height, a quarter of a mile long and goodness only knows how deep, which probably contains enough to furnish the whole world for a century.  The bank may be said to be inexhaustible.  Such is the fame of this sand that a quantity of it is exported to Pittsburgh, and is thought to be the best for manufacturing glass in the known world.  We have a sample of it which is as fine and white as loaf sugar.  The transportation of the sand to the works is attended with but little cost.  A car is switched off immediately under the “quarry,” which is easily loaded and brought to the city at trifling rates of freight.

Another considerable item is the clay used in making the pots in which the materials of the glass are fused.  The pots must be of such a quality as to withstand the most intense heat without breaking or cracking; and as at best these vessels cannot last more than a few months, their constant manufacture becomes a matter of economic necessity with every glass establishment.  The German clay has long been considered of most excellence to withstand fire in making glass, but it has been ascertained that the clay which is found in large quantities at Cheltenham, in this county, and which for two or three years has been used for fire-brick, possesses all the qualities required for the purpose alluded to, being heavy, ductile, coherent, compact, and showing great lack of fusibility. 

In the particulars of sand and clay, therefore, the Missouri Glass Company may take advantage of natural conveniences which are not enjoyed to the same extent, perhaps, at any other large city in the country.  There are various other facilities found herebouts which make St. Louis an important point for the location of glass works.  The principal draw-backs, as we learn, which place this city behind Pittsburgh in this respect is the difficulty of obtaining hands and the difference, in favor of the latter place, in the price of coal.  But these drawbacks are more than counterbalanced by superior advantages. 

The Premises.

As we have before said, the grounds of the Glass Company embrace five acres, situated west of the Arsenal, in the lower part of the city.  The improvements consist of several buildings, erected expressly for the different purposes for which they are used, being divided off in separate compartments.  We do not intend to describe these buildings, but only to say that they appear to us to have every convenience required.  Piled up about the yard is a great quantity of glassware in boxes-“right side up with care”-awaiting shipment, with here and there a heap of straw or hay to be used in keeping the breakables a proper distance apart when they shall be placed in layers in barrel, hogshead or box.  Elsewhere is a mass of old glass of every shape known to geometry and of rainbow hues-broken tumblers, window panes, bottle necks, inkstands, pitchers, etc., etc., etc.  On the whole, the grounds look as though business was done there, and that of an interesting kind.  The reader will please step with Mr. Bredell and us into

The Pottery.

Here is a long, dry cellar, as it were, paved on the bottom, and appearing as neat and cleanly as a good housewife’s kitchen.  The pots for melting glass are made here.  After the clay has gone through a mill, and been ground into fine particles, it is passed through a sieve, to relieve it of all extraneous substances.  It is then put into a large trough, and water poured upon it, to give it consistency, when it is ready to be mixed like bread.  The dough, for the mixture looks something like that, is moulded and moulded and moulded, day after day, being trampled by a pair of good-sized feet, attached to the lower part of the body of a stout Hibernian, till it becomes smooth and moist throughout, and every particle adheres.  This requires about two weeks, at the end of which time the clay is moulded into the shape of large deep tubs, called pots, which are set aside for six or eight weeks, to become perfectly dry.  The pots are heated to a very high temperature before they are put in the furnace, which is done to prevent their cracking and flying to pieces. 

The Mixing Room.

The mixing room is the place where the materials for the manufacture of glass are prepared.  Flint, or white glass, is made of sand, potash, saltpeter, oxyd of lead, arsenic, manganese, and sometimes other substances.  The sand has to be washed, burned and sifted, to relieve it of all organic matter, which, if left, would give a greenish tinge to the glass.  Everything about the room is kept with most scrupulous neatness and care.  It is necessary in order to turn out superior qualities of work, that this apartment should be at all times perfectly clean; and we opine that no pastry cook in the incorporation of the ingredients of an extra fine cake is more attentive and particular than the workmen in this department. 

In one corner of the mixing room is a place to refine and purify pearl-ash.  The refined quality is used for flint glass and the residue, which is called “slurry,” is thrown aside to be employed for green glass, or the poorer quality.  The oxyd of lead, which forms one of the components of glass is made on the premises in a neat building erected for the purpose.  The process is an interesting one.  There is a sort of oven, containing an iron bath tub into which receptacle pigs of lead are thrown and subjected to the heat of the furnace.  The lead melts, and as a draft of air is allowed to pass over it, forms a scum.  This is pushed back over the inclined rim of the bath tub, where it is baked to more thoroughly extract the metallic substances, and comes out the oxyd of lead.  It may do to state here that the process of oxidation increases the weight of the lead ten per cent, a pig of one hundred pounds producing one hundred and ten of the oxyd. 

The Green Glass House.

We are now ready to enter the green glass house and see the men at work making bottles.  Green glass is the commonest quality, and is made of sand, lime, soda and salt.  The materials are not worked with much particularity and care, as this would add to the cost of the ware.  The color from which it takes its name is produced by the foreign substances, which it requires considerable labor to remove. 

The green glass-house is a square building, having in the center a large furnace, provided with five pots.  A fireman for day and night stands pitching lumps of coal upon the fire continually, and we can assure the reader climate thus generated is exceedingly warm, being over a thousand degrees in intensity.  Every one of the pots holds twelve hundred pounds of material, and each is “worked out” every day, thus turning out, independent of waste, six thousand pounds per week.  The pots in the green house furnace last from three to four months before becoming unfit for further use.  In the building are twelve annealing ovens, where the glass is placed after it has gone through the manipulations of the blowers, for the purpose of cooling it gradually to make it less brittle.  The process of annealing, or nealing, as the workmen call it, is one exceedingly simple, but of the highest importance.  We were shown a lump of unannealed glass which looked strong enough to “fell a bull,” but which broke into countless pieces on the merest touch of our pen-knife.  No sooner does a piece of work leave the hands of the blowers than it is taken to the oven, where it remains from thirty-six to fifty-two hours, the heat being allowed to die out slowly beneath it. 

The Glass Blowers.

In the green-house we saw fifteen men and twenty boys at work.  The men were ranged around the furnace, each with his hollow iron rod or stem.  Dipping the end of this pipe into one of the pots containing the molten factitious metal, the workmen twirls it out with a quantity of the white semi-fluid attached.  Keeping the rod revolving he passes the “dip” over a stove plate which serves to roll the glass out.  Then applying his metal to the tube, he inflates the glass with air till it assumes a certain size, when he gently dips it into a mould which opens or shuts with the touch of his foot.  Another blow in the tube presses the glass against the sides of the mould, filling it completely, and after a moment’s pause the mould is thrown open, like waffle irons, disclosing the shape of a soda bottle, Godrey’s cordial vial, castor oil bottle, essence vial, or whatever the matrix is intended to fashion.  It is amusing to witness the contortions of countenance shown by the blowers when filling their tubes with wind.  Their cheeks swell up to a most extraordinary size, as though practice had given them a strange ability to stretch; their eyes appear to sink in their heads, and wear a peculiar wildness which, under other circumstances, would be alarming, and every feature is irresistibly ludicrous.  This remark, however, has not an universal application, for some of the workmen do their blowing with apparent ease.

After the bottle comes from the mould, a rim is adroitly placed upon the neck, and a sudden twitch releases from the tube the new-made vessel, which is caught on an iron prong by a boy in waiting, who takes it off to the annealing oven, the blower meantime having taken another dip into the pot.  We were astonished at the uniform good guessing of the blowers in making these dips and bringing out every time just the required amount of metal.  We were told that, in taking out from the pot, an experienced workman will not vary half an ounce from the proper amount in a whole day.  On inquiring how expert the blowers were in getting out work, we were informed that a deaf and dumb man named William Diamond recently made fifty-two dozen soda bottles in a day!  This was certainly proof that Diamond, though deprived of hearing and speech, is highly gifted in the way of wind.

The Flint-Glass House

Is a very commodious circular building, provided with a large “nine pot furnace.”  Here every kind of flint or white glassware is made, from an insulater for a lightening rod to the most costly globe.—This is the only establishment west of the Allegheny Mountains where plated glass is made.  Even in Pittsburgh and Wheeling, which are somewhat noted for the manufacture of glass, this kind is not made.  The large plated globes which were exhibited at the late Fair by the Missouri Glass Company, and which attracted great attention, were splendid samples, and we doubt if anything of the sort got up in this country could surpass them.  We were shown some tumblers made here which, compared with the celebrated French glass tumblers, are very little, if any, inferior.  A large business is done by this Company in the manufacture of lamp shades, chimneys, &c.  For this work the very best hands are required, men of experience in the business, judgment and taste.  It would be worth the while of anybody to visit the flint-glass house and observe the skill displayed by the blowers in the manipulation of glass.  We cannot undertake to describe the wonders we saw there, nor tell of the many pretty shapes into which we witnessed a mass of liquid glass formed.  While we were there, Mr. Samuel Wallace took off his coat, and in a few moments made an imitation of a pair of bellows, which, combining three colors, white, red and blue, brilliantly interwoven throughout, was exceedingly beautiful. 

The pots in the furnace of the flint house contain twenty-two hundred pounds of “metal,” which are worked up twice a week.  As the fire (which burns day and night) is all underneath, and the flames are not allowed to communicate directly with the glass, as is the case in the green house, the pots last about twice as long, or from six to eight months.

In the flint house is an annealing oven sixty-two feet long, in which pans are fixed on rollers, and the ware to be “nealed” is gradually removed from the heat of the fire immediately under the entrance or “door,” to the rear, where, at the expiration of the allotted time, it is taken out, ready to be packed and shipped. 

Thirty-four men and boys are at present employed in the flint house, which number is to be increased twelve in the course of a couple weeks.

Glass Cutting, The Mould Room, &C.

The cutting room is a kind of finishing department for the finer ware.  Here lamp-globes are “roughed” on the outside by placing them on a lathe and allowing them to revolve against a bundle of small wires dipped in wet sand.  The inside is “roughed” by filling the globe with sand and placing it in a revolving cylinder, lined with straw.  The most interesting work done in this department, however, is cutting designs upon vases, shades, &c., which is performed simply by holding with the hands the article to be cut against a very soft grindstone.  The visitor cannot help feeling astonishment at the proficiency shown by the workmen in this.  It is in this way that emblems, figures and other sketches we see on various articles of glassware are made, and it is this tedious and skillful work which accounts for the costliness of such.

The mould-room is the place where the different moulds for bottles, tumblers, pitchers, and in short for nearly everything that is manufactured from glass, are kept.  The moulds must present the highest degree of polish, and hence those of brass are best.  The reader will form some idea of the importance of this branch of the business when he is informed that less than $20,000 worth of moulds would hardly do to carry on anything but a very limited business.  It requires one man’s undivided time to keep the moulds in a perfect condition of cleanliness.

Near the mould-room is an apartment devoted to the making of flint glass vials, syringes, etc., from tubes prepared into lengths of six or eight feet.  The manufacture of syringes and kindred druggists’ ware is an important feature of the business of the Missouri Glass Company, a large quantity being exported even to Pittsburgh, which place, notwithstanding its reputation in the matter of glass, cannot begin to compete with St. Louis in this particular. 

Concluding Remarks.

We have already used up so much space that we cannot dilate upon other branches of the business of the Company.  The whole number of men employed at present is one hundred and five, which will be considerably augmented in a few weeks. 

The reader who has had the patience to follow us from the beginning of this article, will have probably concluded that the manufacture of glass in this city is likely to become of great commercial importance.  We certainly think it will, for it is already assuming proportions which, a few years ago, would have been deemed almost preposterous to think of.  Any department of trade that promises to be of benefit to the place where it is carried on should be, and is generally apt to be, encouraged. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The St. Louis Cricket Club

There was an exciting match at Cricket yesterday between the married men of the St. Louis Club on one side, and the single men on the other.  Gamble's Addition was the ground chosen, and there was quite a crowd of spectators.  Much interest was manifested by the bystanders throughout.  The single men, after a well contested battle, won a score of six more than the married men.
-Daily Missouri Republican, May 28, 1859

Cricket Match Between The Two First Elevens Of The St. Louis Club.-The long expected match between the two first Elevens of the St. Louis Club, came off yesterday in presence of a large number of friends of the Club and lovers of the game. 
-Daily Missouri Republican, May 28, 1859

We can date the playing of cricket in St. Louis to the mid-1850s, so these matches are not, in and of themselves, that significant.  The significant thing is that playing in both matches, as members of the St. Louis Cricket Club, were James Yule, James Reynolds and David Duffy, all original members of the Empire Club.  It's interesting that we can now say that two of the earliest baseball clubs in St. Louis had their origins in other bat and ball games.  The Morning Star Club was originally a town ball club and part of the original core of the Empire Club played on a cricket club together.

I've always argued that the tradition of various bat and ball games in St. Louis provided an infrastructure that the New York game used to help establish itself.  There were clubs, grounds and a tradition of playing bat and ball games among adults in St. Louis prior to the advent of the New York game in the city in 1859.  The new game latched onto these traditions and the community of ballplayers gravitated to the new game.  The traditions that surrounded the playing of town ball and cricket in St. Louis made it easier for the new game to be accepted and grow in St. Louis.  I think that the fact that some of the original Empire Club members were cricketers supports that argument.

Friday, February 3, 2012

By Order Of Sheridan

William Barclay Napton

[December] 20.  An only son of a citizen of this place, Mr. Bredell, was shot by order of Sheridan, as one of Mosby's men, in retaliation.  Mr. Bredell, the father, is one of our wealthiest citizens.
-The Union on Trial: The Political Journals of Judge William Barclay Napton

Napton was a member of the Missouri Supreme Court from 1857 to 1861 and was a pro-southern slaveholder.  His account of the death of Ed Bredell, which comes from an 1863 journal entry, is interesting, if not likely accurate.  We have accounts of Bredell's death that comes from men who served with him and those accounts state that he was killed in battle, rather than executed on the orders of Phil Sheridan.

There is a note to this journal entry that states that "Despite Napton's characterization of the incident, the circumstances of Bredell's death are unclear."  I don't believe that the circumstances are unclear.  Bredell was killed in battle.  Napton's version of Bredell's death speaks to the problems of communication in 1863 and to his own pro-southern sympathies.

Napton, in his journal, also mentioned that Bredell was buried on January 17, 1864.  I can't say if this was the first or second of Bredell's burials.  Like something in a Faulkner novel, the remains of Ed Bredell kept getting buried, dug up and reburied.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Humiliation And Retaliation (And Joe Quinn Really Couldn't Hit)

Quinn, the promising young first-baseman of the St. Louis Unions, was approached yesterday with an offer to jump his contract and join the Washingtons, of the American Association.  It was reported that Ted Sullivan, the former manager of the Unions, had exerted his influence to induce Quinn to break his contract, but Sullivan denies the story most emphatically.  He says, on the contrary, he advised Quinn to stick to the Unions, and claims that Quinn will corroborate his statement.  Mr. Lucas is very indignant over the matter, and declares that, having stood the dishonorable attacks of the League and American Association without retaliating until he feels almost humiliated, he will, on the 1st of July, propose to the Union Association to go into the contract-breaking business.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 23, 1884

Given that he was going to get another job in the UA in the not to distant future, I actually believe Sullivan.  I don't think Lucas would have let him have the KC job if he was trying to poach Quinn for the AA.

And speaking of Quinn, he has rather odd career numbers.  It looks like he was a pretty good defensive second baseman and was better defensively at second than he was at first, which is kind of weird.  Also, for a guy who was a regular in the major leagues until he was thirty, the guy really didn't hit much.  He lead the NL in games played in 1893 and had an OPS of 50.  Fifty.  He had -2.1 WAR that season and played every game (which, I assume, is one of the reasons the Browns finished 57-75 that year).  For his career, over 1769 games and 7352 at bats, Quinn had 1.6 WAR and -1.1 oWAR.

I've been sitting here thinking about putting up a negative oWAR over seven thousand at bats and I'm having trouble wrapping my head around it.  Guys who hit like Quinn shouldn't get 1700 games in the big leagues.  If  I had to guess, I'd say that Joe Quinn was one of the twenty worst hitters in the history of baseball (minimum 5000 AB).  The numbers suggest that he was a very good, but not a great, fielder but he had to have better than that.  Right?  He had to have been just an outstanding defensive second baseman or his career doesn't make any sense.          

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Chicago Plunks Dunlap

There was a large attendance at the Union Grounds yesterday, the attraction being the Chicago and St. Louis Unions.  It was the final contest of home series of spring championship games, and the fine performance of the same clubs on Saturday caused a general anticipation of an interesting and exciting struggle, and between 6,000 and 7,000 people turned out to witness.  The result was quite disappointing, the game being one of the poorest ever played on the grounds.  The weather was very hot and sultry when play was called.  During the first half of the second inning a heavy shower necessitated a delay of fifteen minutes, and thereafter the ball was wet and difficult to handle, and the diamond became so slippery that it was quite amusing to see the fielders slipping in their efforts to intercept the ball, and the runners slipping by the bases, falling in trying to stop and scrambling back on all fours.  In one instance Rowe's feet shot from under him and he sat down with a dull thud, and in another Daily lost his footing in the pitcher's box and measured his length.  In the second inning Dunlap was hit by a pitched ball on the left forearm, on which a big lump was raised.  During the interruption caused by the rain, he left the field, Hodnett coming out and taking right field, Brennan moving to the center, and Rowe, who took charge of the nine, going to second.  The home nine batted Daily from the start, scoring fifteen hits with a total of nineteen bases off his delivery.  In five times at the bat Dickerson scored four hits, three drives by third and a slow one in the same direction that Leary could not handle in the time to score an assist.  Rowe made three hits, Taylor two and Quinn two.  Whitehead struck out three times, twice missing the first three balls pitched to him.  The visitors hammered Taylor for ten hits, so scattered that they did not earn a run.  Gross, Krieg and Leary led for their side at the bat, each scoring two hits.  Daily made one base hit and drove to left a fly that Dickerson had to go back after, each hit eliciting hearty applause.  Whitehead's work at short was the feature of the home nine's fielding.  Baker made a difficult foul fly catch, taking the ball close to the north wing of the grand stand.  In the fourth inning he let in two runs by a wild throw to Gleason.  Rowe piled up four errors at second.  After fielding a ball in front of second, he threw so wide to Whitehead, covering second, only fifteen feet away, that the ball went untouched out to center field, giving Ellick second and Householder one, and right afterward a passed ball was charged to Gross.  Notwithstanding his errors, McLaughlin played brilliant at second.  Krieg made a fine running catch at left that was loudly applauded.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 23, 1884