The national interest in base ball is by no means on the wane. During the season which closed on November first, audiences composed of the best class of people, and numbering all the way from wight to ten and twelve thousands have been drawn together in St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York whenever there was to be a game between two crack organizations. Those familiar with the game and its patrons say that the prospects for the coming season are of the most brilliant character. More money will, they say, be put into professional clubs, several additional organizations will then enter the diamond field, while the tone of the clubs has been perceptibly raised, and to a greater extent than formerly the interest has been transferred to the better portion of the community from the rough element that often ruled it.-St. Louis Republican, December 12, 1874
Of the three additional professional clubs to enter the field - the St. Louis, Centennial and Keokuk - none have been inaugurated under better auspices than our own. When such young men as John B.C. Lucas, Charles H. Turner, Charles A. Fowler, Joseph P. Carr, Wm. Medart, Wayman C. McCreery, C.O. Bishop, [and] Will C. Stegers put their hands to getting up a base ball club there is a guarantee that it will be "solid,' and that its respectability and entire freedom from the bad features with which some of the clubs have been characterized cannot be questioned. The association has just been getting down to its work and the arrangements for engaging the players, which were commenced immediately on the close of the season, have been completed within the past few days. The contracts have all been signed, and for the first time an authoritative and official account may now be given.
Pitcher: George W. Bradley of Philadelphia, late of the Easton club, who enters the professional arena for the first time next season. His style of pitching is a swift underhand throw, strictly legal, and very difficult to hit, as is shown by his record of the season of '74, during which he played in 38 games, putting out 45 men, and assisting 120 times, while he is charged with but 20 errors. He is also a very safe batter, having averaged two base hits to a game during the last season. He is, besides, a first-class third-base man.
Catcher: Thomas P. Miller, also of Philadelphia, who caught for the Easton and Athletic clubs during the season of '74. His playing with Bradley has been often remarked by the Eastern papers, his pluckiness, agility and accurate throwing to bases being especially noticeable. He is also a splendid short stop, and is very strong at the bat.
First base: Harmon J. Dehlman of Brooklyn, who has played in that position for the Atlantics during the last season. He has no superior in playing his base; is a quiet, easy and reliable fielder; is a strong batter and is second to none in running bases. The club is to be congratulated on securing his services.
Second base: Joseph V. Battin of Philadelphia, a young player who has held the position of second baseman and short-stop of the Athletic nine of 1874. He is also a good third-baseman, having filled that position so acceptably upon the Easton nine of 1873 as to cause his transfer to the professional arena last spring.
Short stop: Richard J. Pierce of Brooklyn, who is too well known to the patrons of the game to need any extended notice from us. At short, he has no superior, and is to-day the best batter in the professional arena.
Third base: William Haug of Philadelphia, who played that position for the Easton club during '74; he is not what is called a "showy" player, but is a careful, accurate and sure fielder and a beautiful thrower to bases. He is also very strong with the stick, having led the batting score of his club this season, his average being 2.10 base hits per game.
Left field: Edgar E. Cuthbert, late of the Chicago club, who has been before the public several years and is acknowledged to be one of the very best fielders in the country, a superb catcher and a very strong batter. That he will sustain his past reputation, no one will doubt, and he is a valuable acquisition to the club.
Centre Field: Lipman Pike of Stamford, Conn., late of the Hartford club, an old reliable player, who doesn't know how to drop a ball, and whose record at the bat is unexcelled. He is also a fine short-stop and an excellent second baseman, and in running the bases has no superior and but very few equals.
Right field: Charles C. Waitt of Easton, Pa., who has made a brilliant reputation during the past season as a fielder and as a first baseman. He is a strong batter, a fine base runner, and will make his mark next season.
Substitute: Francis Fleet of New York, late of the Atlantic nine, who is considered one of the very best general players in the country. His catching this season for Bond, who had successively used up Farrow, Ferguson and Knowdell, excited great admiration. He is also a fine pitcher, can play any base in first-class style, and is a reliable out-fielder, so that he can take the place of any disabled player on the nine and fill it acceptably.
John F. McMullin of the Athletics signed a contract with the club and was to have played centre field, but for some unexplained cause broke faith, and it is understood is to play that position for the Philadelphias.
Charles Fulmer will play with the club if the Philadelphias do not comply with the terms of his conditional engagement with them, in which event he will play third base, at which he is perhaps stronger than Haug, although an inferior batter.
It is understood, also, that Thomas Barlow, late of the Hartfords, will play with the club. He will be right fielder and change catcher, and will also play short stop in Pierce's absence...
The club will be managed by S.M. Graffen of Philadelphia, who virtually managed the old "Olympic" of that city for years. His long acquaintance with the game, and his previous experience as manager constitute him perhaps as good a man for the position as any one who could be found. It was to a great extent under his advice and direction that the club was made up. Traveling over the country almost all the time, and familiar with all the crank clubs and players, Mr. Graffen has selected the club from what he has seen the men do, and not solely on account of their newspaper notoriety, although several are of national reputation. Three points mainly have been looked to in their selections - their ability as players, as shown by their previous records, their temperate habits and their adaptability to discipline.
The men will arrive here early in January, with the exception of Cuthbert, who is now in town, and will go into training almost immediately at the St. Louis gymnasium. The regular base-ball season does not open until the first of May, but here the game can be enjoyably played in the latter part of March and through April. About the first of February the club will make its first professional trip, which will be to New Orleans.
Nothing definite yet has been done in regard to obtaining grounds for the club, but a conditional prospect is held out that the club may succeed in obtaining a site more conveniently located, larger and better adapted for the purpose than any yet used in the city.
That's a lot of information there. You get a nice list of the men who put together the Brown Stockings, a breakdown of the players and more information about Mase Graffen than you've probably ever seen in one place.