Sunday, July 15, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: The Home Battery Played Without An Error

The Cincinnati Unions and St. Louis Unions played a very sharp and brilliant game at Union Park yesterday afternoon.  Like the preceding games of the series, it resulted in a victory for the home team.  The batteries were Burns and Swartz for the visitors and Sweeny and Baker for the home team.  Burns was batted for twelve hits, with a total of sixteen bases.  Whitehead making two two-baggers and Dunlap and Gleason one each.  Gleason made a very long hit, the ball striking near the top of the screen on the fence at left center.  Rowe made three singles, while Shafer scored one.  Burns made one wild pitch and Swartz had one passed ball charged against him.  The home battery played without an error.  Sweeny was batted for six hits, which earned one run.  The St. Louis team scored 1 in the first.  Dunlap hit hot to Barber, who checked, but could not hold the ball.  After reaching first Dunlap went to second on Hawes' muff of Burns' throw to third on a passed ball and came home after Harbidge's catch of Shafer's fly.  In the second inning, after Sweeny's fly had been taken in by Crane, Baker and Whitehead made singles, Dunlap a two-bagger, Shafer a single and Gleason a two-bagger, all of which yielded four runs.  The next six innings produced blanks for the home club. 

The visitors scored one in the third.  On a grounder that bounded over Dunlap's head, Swartz gained first, only to be forced out at second by Barber hitting to Whitehead.  Safe hits by Hawes and Burns scored Barber's run.  Barber scored again in the fifth inning.  Jones was fielded out at first by Whitehead's assist.  Swartz hit safely to left.  Barber missed three strikes, and Baker, after muffing the third, threw to Dunlap, putting out Swartz at second.  Hawes' two-bagger advanced Barber to third, from which he got home on Dunlap's double fumble of Burns' hit.  The feature of the game was a marvelous catch by Dunlap.  O'Leary sent a low fly, very nearly a liner, to back of second.  Dunlap turned and ran with it, and after turning clear around twice trying to get under the ball, finally made a spring into the air, shot out his left hand and captured the ball, which an instant later was in Whitehead's hands at second base, thus scoring a double play.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 10, 1884

Just so you don't think this is turning into a Civil War blog, let's check in on the Maroons and their interminable 1884 march to the UA championship (not to give away the ending or anything). 

Interestingly, this game is not listed at B-Ref.  They have the games against Cincinnati on August 5, 6 and 7 as well as a game at Cincinnati on August 10 but no mention of a game against them on August 9.  Retrosheet doesn't list the game either.  But here it is.  For some reason, this game is being treated like an exhibition game although there is nothing in the Globe's game account to support that idea.  I assume there's a reason why they think this was an exhibition and while it's entirely possible that it was, I don't know what that reason is.         

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