Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Nationals At St. Louis, Part Three

On Tuesday the Nationals played the Empire Club of St. Louis on the same grounds, at 10 A.M., the game being called thus early in consequence of the Nationals having to leave for Chicago in the 4:30 [train...]  The Empire Club was the champion club of the State last year.  Their first game with the Unions this season resulted in the success of the Union Club, and they now claim the championship honors, though the Empire do not lose the title until they have lost two games out of three played, providing they do not refuse to meet the Union Club.  At an early hour on Tuesday, President Fruin, of the Empire Club, with a committee of reception [was here] on hand with carriages to take their guests to the grounds, and at 10:30, all being in readiness to begin, play was called by Mr. Coon, who had been especially solicited to act as umpire by the Empire Club.  Far better order was observed on the occasion by the crowd than the day previous; the police, too, were more efficient in keeping the crowd back, the strictures in the Democrat evidently having had a good effect.  But few ladies were present in such numbers as marked the games in Cincinnati and Louisville.  Several ladies, however, occupied seats and some were in carriages.  The attendance of spectators was not generally as numerous as the day before, the early hour keeping many away.

The Nationals led off at the bat in the game, and in a decidedly better style than the day before, five runs being the result of their first innings' play.  The Empires for their share managed to secure two, the tally standing at 5 to 2 in favor of the Nationals.  Two things were apparent in the play of even the first innings, the one being that all "vim" had been taken out of the fielding of the Nationals by their day's hot work on Monday, and secondly, that they had a better trained nine against them than they had in the Union game, the Empires playing more in the New York style than any of the other nines.  In the second innings the result of the contest in favor of the Nationals was made a dead certainty by their scoring 21 runs.  But as the Empires followed the lead of their able captain, Jerry Fruin, by good batting, he leading off with a fine hit, no less than nine runs were scored, the fielding of the Nationals showing how totally unfitted they were for play, Fox fielding very loose in this inning; in fact, it looked as if he did not care about the game at all, and the Empires were not slow in taking advantage of it.  After four runs had been scored, Wright went in to pitch, Williams going to left field, and Parker at second.  The moment Parker touched second he began to feel at home, and, of course, fielded better.  Had all the chances offered off Wright's pitching been taken, not another run would have been scored, but three fly balls were dropped and four more runs were scored, the tally at the close leaving the Empire score at 11, while the Nationals stood at 26.  Barron took two balls well in this innings and Murphy one.

In the third innings the Nationals added 8 to their score, Worth capturing two prisoners at first, one ball being well picked up with one hand.  He will find that the one-hand business won't pay with swift throwing, and the sooner he gets out of the habit of it, the better.  He plays the base well, however, but he is not a Joe Start by any means.  On the Empire side but one run was scored, Duffy making a good hit.  In this innings the Nationals resumed their positions, with McLean playing behind well.

In the fourth innings the Nationals retired for thee runs, while the Empires scored five; in the fifth innings this order was reversed, the Nationals scoring double figures again, while the Empires secured but three, the tally at the close of the fifth innings standing at 50 to 20 in favor of the Nationals.  In the fifth inning Parker, when striking for the second time, hit a ball to Jerry Fruin, who sent it in hot to Worth, the latter taking it with one hand, but he did not hold it until it had rebounded in his hand, and before it was held the base was touched.  The umpire did not see the point, and Parker had to retire.  A ball must be held before the striker reaches the base, or he is not out.

In the sixth innings, the Nationals again had to retire for three, the fielding being quite sharp, while before the Empires retired they had placed six on their score book.  In this innings George Wright was at third base, dodging round, when a ball was thrown to the base man and not held.  George picked it up afterwards, and when he was off the base, and prevented the player from putting him out.  It was a clear case of obstruction, though doubtless not intentional; but a player on the in side has no right to touch a ball.  The tally at the close of the sixth innings stood at 53 to 26, and as it was now nearly half past one, and not time to play another innings out, the game was called, much to the annoyance of a party who had bet high on the Empires beating the score of the Union game, which they did not, though there is no doubt they would have done had the game been played out; but it should be taken into consideration that it is questionable whether the Empires would have made half the score they did had the Nationals played as strongly against them as they did against the Unions the day previous.

After cheers for the two clubs, the Nationals returned to their hotel, and after dinner took their departure for Chicago, being taken to the depot in carriages, escorted by both clubs, mutual cheers being given as the Nationals left the depot.
-The Ball Players Chronicle, August 1, 1867

Again, thanks to Richard for passing this along to me. 

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