Friday, March 15, 2013

An 1875 Interview With Jack Chapman

During the recent visit of the "Brown Stockings" to Louisville a number of the players were interviewed by the Courier-Journal relative to the base ball prospects for the season.  The last victim of reportorial pertinacity was Chapman, who is charged with having delivered himself as follows:

Reporter - How came so many Atlantic men to leave for St. Louis?

Mr. Chapman - St. Louis is bound to be the greatest place on the continent for base ball this season.  Her stock company offered big inducements, and we accepted.

R. - Who compose the St. Louis stock company, and why is it to be a great base ball place?

Mr. C. - Very rich and nice people form the company.  Its officers are mostly millionaires who desire their city ably represented in base ball.  The people "turn out" there in thousands, and are all agog with base ball excitement.  Five thousand people witnessed our practice game last week.

R. - What are base-ball players paid?

Mr. C. - Substitutes get from $900 to $1,200.  Regulars receive from $1,000 to $2,500.  Bob Ferguson, of our old club, gets $2,500 this year for captaining the Hartfords.

R. - What becomes of players during the winter?

Mr. C. - A good many loaf, and others work at different jobs.  Generally, whatever they hit upon that suits.

R. - From your observations, how do our Eagles compare with other clubs?

Mr. C. - They are a fine set, and compare favorably with any junior club in the land.  They are all gentlemen.

R. - In what respect are they deficient?

Mr. C. - Nerve.  All else they have, and only need more mixing with professionals and closer observance of the fine points of the game to become experts.

R. - Is Mr. Ellick a good player?

Mr. C. - He is very fine.

R. - Do you hope to beat the Boston Reds this season?

Mr. C. - We hope to do it, and I believe we shall.  The Reds are a good team, made excellent by having stuck together so long.  I consider the Athletics the stronger nine this year.  Harry Wright is the best captain in America.  The Mutuals were the best club of last season, and but for the bad feeling among members, would now be the champions.

R. - Do you think Louisville could support a professional club?

Mr. C. - I do, indeed, and am surprised she hasn't one.
-Mears Baseball Scrapbook, Volume 5

That's a cool interview and I have to dig around to see if I can find the rest of them. 

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