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.


Cliff Blau said...

It wasn't a doubleheader, which is defined as two games played in close succession for one admission price.

Long road trips like that were common in the early days, and in the deadball era. Remember the 1916 Giants had a 27-game unbeaten streak that was all at home, and a 17-game winning streak all on the road.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

Well, I wouldn't argue too much about it but I think an argument can be made that it was a doubleheader. You've had doubleheaders where two teams played the games in different stadiums and you've had doubleheaders where a team (playing at home) had games against two different opponents. This is a combination of that. It's two games in one day, making it a doubleheader. It's not a classic doubleheader but that's what makes it interesting.