Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Second Nine Of The Baltic Club

Local Editor Missouri Republican - Sir:  A match game of base ball came off yesterday on the old Commercial grounds, between the Baltic (second nine,) and the Independent Base Ball Clubs, which resulted in the defeat of the latter [by a score of 33-14.]
-Missouri Republican, June 5, 1863

Again, I'm talking about the fact that there was more baseball going on in St. Louis during the Civil War than I previously believed.  Here we see the Baltics, who were one of the antebellum clubs, still playing in 1863 and fielding two active nines.  In fact, just above this notice was a report of another game played between the two clubs that resulted in a victory for the Independents.  I haven't sat down and put a list together but, if I did, I'm reasonably certain that the number of clubs, adult and junior, that were active during the 1861-1864 period exceeded the number that were active during 1859-1860 period.  Not all of those clubs were active during the entire period but there were a substantial number of clubs and a substantial number of games being played as the war was going on.

Also of interest here is that the above notice was sent to the paper by the secretary of the Baltic Club, Shepard Barclay.  Barclay also was the field captain and pitcher for the Baltic's second nine that day.  After the war, Barclay would play for the St. Louis University and Union clubs but at this point he was a fifteen year old kid.  It probably says something about the nature of baseball in Civil War St. Louis that a fifteen year old held such a prominent position in what was, at that time, one of the oldest active baseball clubs in the city.

Note:  I see that I posted the box score to this game earlier this year, when I was first going through the Civil War era papers, but I think it's worth noting again, in light of the fact that I'm drawing different conclusions based on the evidence.  After almost two thousand posts and six years of blogging, it gets tough to remember sometimes what I've posted what I've not posted.            

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