Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: A Battery Equal To Any In The Country

The second game at Union Park between the St. Louis and Kansas City Unions resulted in a victory for the home nine in a very pretty game.  Sweeny made his first appearance with the Unions and pitched in great form, not a hit being made off his delivery in the first five innings.  In the sixth Oberbeck scored a safe one to center.  In the eighth Shafer sent a slow one toward third, and by good running beat the ball to first, scoring the second hit.  The third was made in the same inning by Kirby.  In the ninth Davis made a single and Turbidy a two-bagger.  His effectiveness is shown by the fact that he struck out ten men.  The ease with which Baker handled his delivery was pleasing to behold and the general verdict is that no catcher is doing better work.  That the Unions now have a battery equal to any in the country can hardly be denied.  The Kansas Citys were short of a pitcher, McLaughlin having failed to arrive, and they secured the services of Kirby, of the Wedge House nine.  The latter was quite a surprise to all but his immediate friends, for he not only held the sluggers down below anything that was anticipated, but showed good qualities as a batsman, facing Sweeny like a veteran, and making one of the hits credited to the visitors.  The fielding was sharp on both sides, Strief carrying off the honors with five put-outs and six assists.  Baker and Quinn put out twenty-one of the visitors, and Baldwin, Cudworth and Strief put out twenty of the twenty-four of the local players that were retired.  Oberbeck made a fine catch of a long fly by Dunlap, taking the ball close to the left field fence.  Boyle led at the bat, scoring two two-base hits, one a drive to the screen over the left fence.  Sweeny made a single and a two-bagger, and Geo. Shafer made two singles. 
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 2, 1884

So Sweeney's finally in the fold and pitching for the Black Diamonds.  But, to me, the most interesting thing here is the major league debut of John Kirby.  David Nemec has a nice right-up on Kirby in Major League Baseball Profiles and I'll pass that along in the next day or so.

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