Wednesday, March 13, 2013

He Needs Practice, And A Great Deal Of It.

A practice gem of base ball was played last Saturday afternoon between the St. Louis Reds (professionals) and the Nationals (amateurs), at the Red Stocking Park, which resulted in a victory to the professionals by a score of 35 to 14 - report of which was crowded out of columns yesterday.  The weather was very disagreeable for playing ball, being entirely too cold and windy.  The attendance was small, not more than 200 spectators being on the grounds.  The game was not a brilliant one by any means, both sides indulging in muffing at a great rate, although there were at times some fine plays made.  The game was the first one the Nationals have played this season.  Bobb, their [pitcher], sent in the balls fearfully wild; the three players that attempted to catch him allowed twenty two balls to pass them.  He had no less than sixteen wild pitches charged to him during the game.  Fact is, Bobb never ought to pitch unless he can control the ball much better than he did.  He needs practice, and a great deal of it.  Boles, the catcher of the Nationals, is a good player and did well, he having made three fine base hits.  Lee, at short, did splendidly.  As for the Reds, they could have done much better, but, they did not seem to try.  Packey Dillon caught during most of the game, but his sore hand prevented him from doing his best.  Morgan put on a full head of steam and pitched well.  Old "Sweez," who, by the way, is a young man, only twenty-six years of age, played his base in good style, but did nothing with the stick.  Charley Houtz batted well...Indian Tommy (Oran) did nobly in the eighth inning; he and Houtz made a double play.  Joe Blong had nothing to do while in the field; he made a couple of fine base hits, and got in three runs for his side.  Litttle Croft and Redmond got in three base hits apiece.  
-Mears Baseball Scrapbook, Volume 5

Sixteen wild pitches.  I just want you to know how difficult it is to refrain from making Rick Ankiel jokes here.

The most interesting thing here is the reference to Tom Oran, the first Native-American to play in the major leagues, as "Indian Tom."  I've seen the reference in secondary sources but I believe that this is the first time I've seen it in contemporary accounts.

And like yesterday's game account, this appears to come from the St. Louis Democrat of April 20, 1875.     

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