Friday, October 19, 2012
I love 19th century advertising and have said more than once that I'd like to start a blog on the subject. It would be fun and very funny. But, sadly, I have no time for a project like that. Regardless, you have to love the above ad that appeared in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat on September 1, 1884. Rifles and baseball; can't beat 'em. Of course, there was a day and age, not particularly long ago, when sporting good stores sold guns, rifles, ammunition and the like. I don't think they still do but I wouldn't swear to it.
Anyway, I'm going to get back to the Maroon's 1884 season tomorrow. In case you've forgotten, going into the game on September 1, 1884, the Maroon's were up 19.5 games and were eight games into a twenty-four game road trip. They also were in the middle of a streak that saw them win thirty-nine of forty-two games.
In all honesty, the Maroons are kind of boring. All they did was win. They were never really challenged (although the Cincinnati Unions developed into a very good club that could have given them a fight if they had had their team on the field for the whole season). There is no real drama or tension in their story. The most interesting thing about the story is the political and business angle and that takes place off the field. The Black Diamonds were just a good team that dominated a crappy league and that's the whole story. All the conflict between the UA and the established leagues had little bearing on what was taking place at the ballpark. You had some players jumping around here and there but nothing too dramatic (except for Sweeny). The story that I'm telling here is just the day to day slog of the Maroons winning game after game. And I don't have a lot of interest in it anymore.
But I'm trying to see the project through to the end. I think that once we get past the end of the season, we'll see some interesting developments as the league breaks up and the Maroons join the NL. In all honesty, the best part of the story is the beginning and the end. The rest is just the Maroons beating up on crappy teams.