Sunday, February 10, 2013

The 1884 Maroons: The Baby Act

Yesterday's game between the St. Louis Unions and the Nationals of Washington was a very brief contest, the visitors quitting the field after three innings play, on account of a decision by Umpire McCaffery which they did not relish.  Yesterday's game, like all other contests which have taken place at the Union grounds during the past three weeks, was played with two balls.  That is, a new ball was thrown in just as soon as the one previously used was knocked outside the grounds, the object being to avoid delay.  Of the two balls used yesterday one at the conclusion of the third inning was quite badly used up, while the other looked white and lively.  In the fourth inning, after there were two out, Boyle knocked a foul past McCormick, and the ball bounded over the low fence just in front of the seats in the left field.  McCormick ran after the ball, and vaulting the fence, pretended to be hunting for it.  In the meanwhile Capt. Baker shouted to the umpire to throw in the other ball, which was comparatively new.  Baker evidently saw that with the new ball he would have the best of it, as they had but one more man to put out when they would have their turn at the bat.  Dunlap seemed to view the situation in the same light, and ran over and found the ball which McCormick had gone after.  Then throwing the old ball to Gagus, the Nationals' pitcher, he told him "to pitch that."  Captain Baker objected, and insisted on the new ball being thrown out.  McCaffery decided that the old ball had not been "outside" the grounds, and hence they must continue playing with it.  Baker refused to abide by the decision of the umpire and withdrew his team from the field.  The umpire then decided the game in favor of St. Louis by a score of 9 to 0.  At the end of the third inning, however, the score stood 1 to 0 in favor of St. Louis.  Checks admitting the holder to to-day's game were given those in attendance so that barring the loss of time no one suffered by the baby act of the Nationals.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 12, 1884

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