Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On Vacation: I'm Not Fatalistic; Bank Tellers Are Fatalistic

I'm taking a bit of a blogging vacation this week.  But don't worry, I'll be back next week talking about the adventures of Basil Duke and the exploits of the 1884 Maroons.  Just need some time to recharge the batterys.  So in the meantime, I leave you with this:


Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Civil War Reminiscences Of General Basil W. Duke, C.S.A.: Part One

At the beginning of the Civil War I was a citizen of Missouri and resident of St. Louis, and first did service in the cause of the South, or, as our opponents termed it, gave aid to the rebellion, in that city.  If I had needed other excuse for such action than the approval of my own judgment and conscience, I might have found it in the character of my associates; for no men were ever influenced by sincerer convictions or impelled by more unselfish motives.  I may add with pardonable pride that many of my comrades of that period, the majority of whom were very young men, subsequently won enviable reputation in the Confederate army; but the daring courage and adventurous spirit which distinguished them as soldiers were never more conspicuously shown than in that exciting novitiate in St. Louis.
-The Civil War Reminiscences of General Basil W. Duke, C.S.A.

I've been reading through Basil Duke's memoirs again and thought I'd share some of it with you.  I know that I've posted the above quote about "the character of my associates" in the past because it made me think of some of Duke's fellow Cyclone Club members, specifically Ed Bredell and Ferdinand Garesche, and I also know that I've mentioned some of Duke's war exploits in the past but I have a few reasons to want to go back into Duke's reminiscences here.

The first reason I'm doing this is that I got a new copy of Duke's memoirs.  It's a nice edition put out by Cooper Square Press and I picked it up new at a very fair price.  Second, I have to do something to break up all the Maroons' stuff.  That's a project that has run on way to long and, honestly, there's no end in sight.  The 1884 season was much more complicated than I thought and I'm only looking at it from the Maroons' perspective.  But I need a little break from Lucas' pets and Duke gives me that.  Also, I want to give you Duke's story in his own words without an editorial from me or anyone else.  I have difficulty in looking at Duke as something other than an unsympathetic figure, simply because he fought for the "wrong" side in the Civil War.  That's not fair or rational but it's the truth.  And it's a bit strange because I see Ed Bredell, who also fought for the South, as a romantic and tragic figure while I tend to see Duke as a bit of a villain.  So I'm aware of my own biases and I'm aware that Duke tells his story differently than I would.  Finally, Duke's activities at the outbreak of the war make for a great story.  Before he even joins up with Morgan's Raiders, the man was involved in some extraordinary exploits.  Regardless of what one may think of Duke's political beliefs, he was a many of courageous action and he certainly lived a full life that is interesting to look back upon.

The true significance of Duke's memoir, as far as this blog is concerned, is that it gives historical context to the beginnings of the pioneer baseball era in St. Louis.  The game came to St. Louis, was established in St. Louis and began to flourish in St. Louis as the Civil War was breaking out in the United States.  On can not separate the the origins of baseball in St. Louis from the history of the Civil War.  Also of significance is the fact that these are the memoirs not just of someone who was in St. Louis as the pioneer era began but who played an important role in the establishment of baseball in the city.  Basil Duke was a member of the first baseball club in St. Louis history and a participant in the first games played in St. Louis using the New York rules.  He's a significant figure in the history of St. Louis baseball and his memoirs, while not specifically mentioning the game, are a significant document.     


Friday, April 20, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Coming Home

The St. Louis Unions arrive home from Kansas City this morning, bringing home a record of nineteen victories and five defeats.  This afternoon, commencing at 4 o'clock, they play their first game with the Kansas City Unions, Ted Sullivan's team...
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 31, 1884

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Calling It A Draw

The game of ball to-day between Kansas City and the St. Louis Unions resulted in a drawn game, ten innings being played, with the score 8 to 8, and as both teams are to play in St. Louis tomorrow, they were compelled to call it a draw in order to make the train.  It was a very exciting game, the home team having the game won several times, the champions never being in the lead after the first inning.  It was lost through pure hard luck, although the St. Louis team outbatted their opponents.  The features of the game were a home run by Whitehead in the third inning when a man was on first base, resulting in two earned runs, and the brilliant infield work of Dunlap, Turbidy and Berry...
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 31, 1884

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Sweeney In The Box

The St. Louis Unions had no trouble in defeating the Kansas City Unions to-day, the score standing 9 to 1.  A finer exhibition of ball-playing than that of Lucas' champions was never seen, their work at the willow being very clever, they hitting Hickman hard for twelve hits, with a total of fifteen bases, and playing a faultless fielding game, not a single error being charged against the whole team.  Every play was made with clock-work precision, some of them being remarkably brilliant, Dunlap, as usual, carrying off the honors of the infield by some magnificent running catches.  Shaffer in right field and Boylein left also succeeded in throwing out men at first and second.  Sweeney's work in the box was excellent, although he did not strike out as many of the Kansas City nine as was expected.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 30, 1884

This was the first game that Charles Sweeney pitched for the Maroons.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fred Lewis Joins The Salvation Army

The Philadelphia Sunday World says: Lewis, of the St. Louis Club, is now a member of the Salvation army, and he just looks too cute for anything in his little red cap with a gold band bearing the inscription: "Salvation Army," and his natty little blue bow on the lapel of his coat.  As he walks through the streets the ladies all exclaim: "Oh, how sweet Freddie looks since he has signed the pledge."  They chuck him under the chin, pat him on the back and encourage him in his good work.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 30, 1884

It's interesting to think of the Salvation Army as something other than the organization that stands outside my grocery store and begs for money during the holidays or the group that runs the thrift store.  In 1884, the Salvation Army had only been operating in the United States for four years and was, and still is, a Protestant church.  When Lewis joined them, the Salvation Army was, essentially, a missionary organization focused on ministering to the poor, offering soup, soap and salvation.


And regardless of how this video is titled, the song was recorded by Lone Justice.  Now Marie McKee, who is all kinds of awesome, was the lead singer but the song is by Lone Justice.  Just wanted to be clear about that.  And I might as well give you a little more Lone Justice, from way back when:

From an article about Fred Lewis joining the Salvation Army to Marie McKee singing about being wicked, all in one post.  Who else is going to give you that?

Monday, April 16, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Up Around The Gold Diggings

Sweeny, the new pitcher of the St. Louis Unions, is only 22 years of age.  He and Nava, the Providence catcher, were both born in California.  They did their first work with the Athletics, of San Francisco.  Sweeny, when not engaged at ball playing, was up around the gold diggings, and he talks of gold, quart and mining like an old veteran.  He and Nava are much attached to each other.  It was Nava that had him brought to Providence, and the little Spaniard would like to follow him here.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 29, 1884

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Sweeny's First Game

The Kansas City Unions met their second defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Unions to-day, by a score of 8 to 2.  The game generally was not so exciting as the opening game, the visitors taking the lead in the start and increasing it steadily as the game proceeded.  So far as the merits of the play were concerned, however, there was little difference, both teams being credited with an equal number of base hits, while in fielding errors, outside of bases given on balls, the honors were easy.  The work of the Kansas Citys in the field was better than that of the visitors, with the exception of the brilliant work of Dunlap at second, who accepted all of ten chances, making some very fine stops of hard ground balls.  But the outfield work of Berry and Wyman was execrable, the former misjudging two fly hits, and the latter one that gave at least three of the runs made by the champions.  Their work at the bat was however commendable, they together with Turbidy, leading at the willow.  The great Sweeny, in the left garden, captured the only fly ball that came his way and led at the bat, with Dunlap and Boyle close seconds.  The work of the respective batteries was not as good as in the Sunday's game both pitchers being hit freely.  Brennan, the St. Louis catcher, did nobly, throwing out four men who tried to steal second, Turbidy being the only one to make the sneak successfully, and he was thrown out the first time he tried it.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 29, 1884

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Prevented From Making Large Amounts Of Money

What a stupendous humbug the national agreement is, anyhow!  Here is St. Louis with two rival clubs, and the entire local base ball patronage anxious to see them play a series of games, but because one organisation is a subscriber to the national agreement they can not meet.  As a result both clubs are prevented from making large amounts of money for their management.  This condition will not last.  Next year St. Louis will have two first-class clubs, and they will play against each other.  It can not only support two first-class clubs, but local games alone will make them highly prosperous.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 29, 1884

Friday, April 13, 2012

After Patience Had Ceased To Be A Virtue

It makes a wonderful difference whose ox is gored.  Quincy, under the iniquitous reserve rule, stole Baldwin from the Unions, and also subscribed to the national agreement, a narrow-minded device designed to crush out the Unions and monopolize the base ball business.  The Unions, however, were not crushed, but after patience had ceased to be a virtue, retaliated by fighting the national agreement associations with their own disreputable weapons, especially contract breaking, whereupon there is a howl as if virtue had been supplanted by vice.  Such hypocritical canting is valueless in the light of past events, and having hot only endorsed but practiced contract-breaking under those contemptible subterfuges, the reserve rule and national agreement, it may as well swallow its own vile medicine without even making a wry face.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 29, 1884

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Working Hard To Win

The St. Louis Unions defeated the Kansas City team this afternoon by a score of 9 to 4.  It was a hard-fought game, Manager Sullivan's reconstructed team forcing Lucas' pets to work hard to win.  The features of the game were the brilliant work of both the infields, and the heavy batting of Whitehead, Shafer and Gleason, of the visitors, and that of McLaughlin and Turbidy, of the home team.  About 5,000 people were on the grounds.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 28, 1884

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Sweeney Hits Town

Sweeny, the new pitcher of the Unions, arrived yesterday morning from Providence.  In the afternoon he attended the game between the Columbus club and the Browns, and was cordially greeted by the Browns, on whose bench he occupied a seat for some time.  He said but little about his trouble with the Providence club, except that he did not want to go to right field after having pitched seven innings of the game in which the trouble occurred, and Bancroft threatened to fine him $50.  He then left the field, took off his uniform, gave Bancroft a piece of his mind, in language more expressive than elegant, told him to keep his salary, and left the ground knowing very well that he would be expelled.  He does not think very highly of Bancroft as a manager, and his views in this respect are shared by Dunlap and Shafer.  Sweeny left last night for Kansas City, where he joins the Unions to-day.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 28, 1884

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Why Do You Build Me Up, Buttercup?

Dickerson played with the Baltimores yesterday at right field.  He will be expelled by the Unions for drunkenness.  Several days ago President Lucas announced that he was only waiting to locate him before expelling him.  He says there is now not a lusher on his nine and he will never have another.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 27, 1884

So Buttercup jumps the club.  He's gone.  Ain't coming back.  But, just as a matter of principle, we're going to expel  him for drunkenness.  Whatever.  And I love the part about how the Maroons on longer have any lushers on the club.  Without getting into the character of the players on the club on July 27, I will just point out that the newest member of the club got kicked off of his last team because he showed up late for a game, drunk and in the company of a couple of women of questionable character.  Just sayin'.

But, anyway, you should really watch this video.  It'll put a smile on your face:


That's just a great song.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: A Quick Stop At Home

The St. Louis Unions arrived home from their long Eastern trip yesterday morning, and in the evening left for Kansas City.  Boyle, the Union's new left fielder, is of tall, athletic build, and while standing full 6 feet, weighs but 164 pounds.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 27, 1884

And, let's not forget, Handsome Henry was also very handsome.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Good, Honest Average Work

About 900 persons witnessed the game of base ball to-day between the Cincinnati Unions and the St. Louis Unions.  The weather was almost as hot as that of yesterday.  The game, as a whole,, was commonplace, though the visitors did good, honest average work and won on their merits, assisted materially by the blunders of the home club.  The umpire got off to-day without being censured by anybody.  From the very first, Kelly, of the home club, began to play badly, as his five errors and three passed balls show but faintly.  His example infected the entire home nine, and never before since the organization of the club did they so thoroughly disgust their backers as they did in the game to-day.  The St. Louis Club took all sorts of chances and ran bases on Kelly with impunity.  In the field the work of the Cincinnatis was a dismal failure, and at the bat they got but few men on bases.  O'Leary proved a solitary exception, and in the sixth inning made a fine running capture of a high fly from Dunlap.  There were several instances of good, not to say splendid, individual players on the part of the visitors.  Boyle caught five flies, some of them quite different.  Werden, the pitcher, was hit but four times.  His work challenged admiration.  In the second inning Crane was hit in the ankle by a batted ball and had to be retired.  Rowe, of the St. Louis Club, had to be retired in the second inning on account of a felon on his finger.  In the first inning after one man was out, the St. Louis Club scored 1 on singles by Shaffer and Rowe and a sacrifice hit by Gleason.  An inning passed without a run.  Then the visitors made 2 in the third, when Whitehead led with a single, which was followed by a single by Dunlap, a fumble of Quinn's grounder by Kennedy and a three-bagger each by Shafer and Boyle, out of which the visitors netted 4 runs, 2 earned.  In the next inning, after one man was out, they added 2 more to their score on a single by Whitehead, two wild throws by Kelly, a muff of Dunlap's hot liner by Haws and a muffed fly by Sylvester.  In the fifth inning the visitors made nothing, ,while the home club made their lone run, and this is the way they did it.  O'Leary, the least demoralized man of the home nine, sent a single spinning to left which Ryder kindly fumbled, and then Swartz made a safe hit and brought O'Leary home.  The sixth, seventh and eighth innings went by without a run or incident worthy of mention.  In the ninth inning Dunlap sent a fly to Sylvester, who very courteously muffed it.  Shaffer struck a sacrifice to the pitcher and Gleason made a single, which let Dunlap home, netting 1 run and rounding up the score 7 to 1 in favor of the visitors.  The home club and their managers blame the business on Kelly, and it will not surprise one who hears the talk to-night to learn within a few days that Kelly has been retired unless he redeems himself very speedily.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 26, 1884

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lucas Plays For The Union Blues

The Lucas who is to play at short field for the Union Blues in to-day's game is Henry V. Lucas, the President of the Union Association.  He is the first President of a professional club to don a uniform.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 26, 1884

Friday, April 6, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Between The Three Fires

A thousand people attended the game of base ball between the Cincinnati and St. Louis Clubs to-day.  The weather was very hot, the mercury ranging up in the 90s.  There was a good deal of dissatisfaction with Devinney as an umpire.  The spectators fell out with him early and hissed him unmercifully, and both clubs complained of him.  The St. Louis Club was displeased with his rulings on balls and hits, but the home club made the loudest complaints, accusing him of deciding against them at critical points when they had men on bases, and deciding in favor of the visitors when they had men on bases.  Devinney was between the three fires to-day, of the the spectators and the two clubs, which made it pretty hot for him.  The complaints against him are so serious that they are likely to take the shape of a protest.  The home club say that he made six unjust decisions against them to-day.  It has not been customary to complain of the umpire at games played here this season.  One of the salient features of the game to-day was a very brilliant left-hand catch, made on a dead run, by Whitehead, off hit by Swartz in the ninth inning.  The feat seemed impossible until Whitehead demonstrated the contrary.  Burns' long drive for a home run was one of the finest ever made on the grounds.  Crane and Dunlap challenged universal admiration by their splendid second base play, as well as by their brilliant batting.  An assist by Shaffer to first won merited applause.  The home club made the first score, in the second inning, after two men were out, ,when Jones made a single and Crane sent a fine three-bagger to left, which netted 1 earned run.  In the fifth, with one man out, Hawes hit a grounder too hot for Dunlap to hold, and Burns made his long centerfield drive for a home run, which netted 2 more runs, one of them earned, and tied the score.  In the seventh, after one man was out, Kenedy hit safe to left, Hawes hit to right, and it was here that Shafer made his splendid assist to first, which but Hawes out.  Meantime Kennedy got to third, from which a single by Burns brought him home, giving the home club an earned run and rounding up their total score of 4.  The St. Louis Club made goose eggs in the first two innings, but in the third scored 3 runs, two of them earned.  Dunlap made a scratch hit, Shaffer, Rowe and Gleason struck singles, and Burns made a wild pitch.  They skipped two innings without scoring, and then, in the seventh, made 2 runs in the following fashion: After Ryder was out Whitehead and Dunlap struck singles and Harbidge fumbled a grounder.  Here the home club claimed Dunlap had been put out at the home plate, but the umpire decided otherwise.  In the ninth inning they added 3 to their score, two of them earned, bringing it up to 8, on a fumble and wild throw by Jones, a single by Whitehead, a long drive for home by Dunlap and a single by Rowe.  Here again the home club claimed that Dunlap was put out at the home plate, but the umpire decided to the contrary.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 25, 1884

Thursday, April 5, 2012

That Was All

Baldwin only made three errors in the game at Kansas City on Tuesday.  That was all.  Kansas City will be likely to set down on him.  
-Quincy Daily Herald, July 31, 1884

Man, they just couldn't let it go.  The interesting thing is that the paper reported that Bob Black did not sign with the KC Unions and that he played with the Quincy club on July 30.  Now, the point is not whether or not Black signed and played with KC, because he did end up on the club.  The point is, after all the crap the paper wrote about Baldwin and Black, when they believed that Black was going to stay in Quincy, they commended his actions and called him honorable.  Not like that piece of sh*t Baldwin, who was a lecherous traitor and a mouthy drunk.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Poor Kid

Poor Black.  Poor Kid. 
Josh Billings must have meant Black and Baldwin when he said, "Put a beggar on horseback and he will ride to the devil..." 
Black and Baldwin cursed the newspapers of the city yesterday. 
The "Kid" played with the Kansas City Unions Sunday.  For this he ill be blacklisted.  Poor Kid.
Black abused the Quincy newspapers yesterday.  And yet had it not been for the newspapers of the city Black would be very near a pauper to-day. 
The nine men form the Gem Citys played a better average game yesterday afternoon than the "pony" battery of Black and Baldwin.  That "pony" battery would break up any club in the league.  What Black's pitching couldn't do Baldwin's mouth could.
-Quincy Daily Herald, July 29, 1884

I have to admit that I got a kick out of the Quincy paper's coverage of Baldwin jumping to the KC Unions.  There's nothing like bitterness and anger fueled by provincial insecurity.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Quincy Has Had Enough Of Kid Baldwin

"Kid" Baldwin, one of the players of the Quincy club, left town last night and the report was that he had jumped the club to join the Kansas City Unions.  This means that the "Kid" will be blacklisted.  Those who have been familiar with the "Kid's" goings-on of late will not be surprised at this announcement.  The "Kid" was picked up by Overrocker last year after he had been fired by Springfield on account of his mouth.  When he came here he was made a pet of, and was spoiled.  He is a good player, but his tongue demoralizes the club he plays with, and to him, as much as to any one else, the recent defeats of the Quincy club can be attributed.  He got the idea into his head that he was the whole club, and his egotism ruined him.  Besides, this year he has been associating with lewd women and drinking.  In one of the Saginaw games he was with two disreputable women up to the time of going to the ground, and drank enough beer to render him unfit to play.  for some time past notorious women have been associating with him.  The "Kid" plays well, but his conceit kills him.  He has scarcely a friend among the players in the League.  He will, if he joins the Kansas Citys, burst up the club before the season is through.  Quincy has had enough of him, and Kansas City can take him and welcome.  It was reported that Black was to jump at the same time, but the report was not confirmed.  If Black wants to go, and be blacklisted, by all means let him go.
-Quincy Daily Herald, July 27, 1884

Dang.  That was a bit harsh, don't you think?  So according to the Quincy paper, Baldwin was a mouthy, conceited, egotistical, drunken, spoiled kid who associated with loose women.  He was a loser and nobody liked him.  One has to believe that the paper's opinion of Baldwin was colored, just a bit, by bitterness and, possibly, anger.   

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kid Baldwin Jumps To The Kansas City Unions

Ted Sullivan on yesterday signed Black and Baldwin, the "kid battery" of the Quincy Club, to play with the Kansas City Unions.  This jump will about break up the Quincy Club.  "Kid" Baldwin is one of the pluckiest catchers that ever stood behind a bat and will no doubt be valuable acquisition for the Kansas Citys.  Last Winter he signed with the St. Louis Unions and accepted $200 advance money, but afterwards signed a second contract with the Quincy Club, which had "reserved" him, and failed to return the advance money.  President Lucas says he is glad Sullivan has taken him away from the Quincy's, but Ted will have to settle that $200.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 25, 1884

While Baldwin was born in Kentucky, his family moved to St. Louis when he was still young.  He made a name for himself as a ballplayer while playing for various St. Louis amateur clubs, including one of the later incarnations of the Red Stockings.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: The St. Louis Unions Have Engaged Sweeney

As was indicated in the Globe-Democrat yesterday, the St. Louis Unions have engaged Sweeny, the phenomenal California pitcher, recently expelled by the Providence club.  He has been engaged at a larger salary than is paid to any other pitchers in the country.  He joined the Providence club last year and proved a valuable man.  This year he is greatly improved and has had wonderful success against the Boston Club, the League champions.  That he is the equal of any pitcher in the League is generally conceded.  He left Providence last night and will arrive here to-morrow.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrats, July 25, 1884

And just like that, Charlie Sweeney was a Maroon and Lucas finally had a star pitcher.