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.

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