Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Just Beat Chicago

A letter from Chapman announces the arrival at St. Louis of the Brooklyn contingent of the St. Louis professional club, and John, in his epistle to the Brooklynites dated from the Everett House, St. Louis, Jan. 22, says:

Pearce, Dehlman, Fleet, and myself arrived here last Sunday morning, after a tough ride of over three days and as many nights.  We are all well pleased with our new friends.  They are all gentlemen of high standing and as fine a set of men as I have ever met.  They are very anxious for us to beat Chicago.  If we only do that - which I know we will - they will be satisfied.  This will be the greatest city in the country for baseball the coming season.,  Everyone appears to be red-hot on it here.  We had a very pleasant time last evening at the new club-rooms of Manager Graffen, a large party being present.  The directors of the new club are determined to have their club rules observed and to make each and every player live up to his contract.
-Mears Baseball Scrapbook, Volume 4, 1856-1907

It's always interesting and reasonably rare to hear directly from the players with regards to what was going on in St. Louis in 1875 (and this most likely comes from the January 20, 1875 issue of the Clipper).  I was most interested in what Chapman said about beating Chicago.  It's reasonably well known that the reason the Brown Stockings were put together was because of the failures of the St. Louis clubs to beat the White Stockings of Chicago but I don't think that I've ever heard anybody connected with the club state that.  This is direct, contemporary testimony supporting the thesis that the Brown Stockings formed because of the success the Chicagos enjoyed in St. Louis in 1874.   

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