Thursday, March 21, 2013

Magnificent Batting And Beautiful Fielding, Part One

The day was everything that could be desired, and when the "Red Stockings" arrived upon the field they were enthusiastically cheered by the crowd, which is estimated to have been between two and three thousand people.  The "Red Stockings," of course, played excellently, and their magnificent batting and beautiful fielding elicited rounds of applause from the spectators.  Few bad players could be noticed.  The Union boys found it difficult to make much impression against Brainard's swift pitching, and until the sixth innings did not succeed in making any runs.  They, however, got their work in in this innings, and, by some splendid batting, managed to score six runs.  The muffs made by the Unions were very frequent, particularly in the field, but their fielding, on the whole, was very good.  The game began with the Unions to the bat.

Unions - First Innings.

Cabanne, first striker, out on a fly to Sweasy.  German out on foul bound by Allison.  Strrong made his third on a tremendous hit to centre field.  Mellier knocked high ball to McVey, who caught it, putting him out.  Whitewash.

Red Stockings - First Innings.

George Wright to the bat; got to first on easy ball to second; run his second; went to his third on pass ball; brought home by bat of Gould to right, who took second.  Waterman went to second on bat to left, Gould going to third; brought home by Allison, who went to first, Waterman taking his third; Allison run second; both brought home by a strong hit of H. Wright's to centre, who came home on it.  Leonard knocked ball to left, but was put out on second by Mellier.  Brainard made first on easy ball; went to third on bat of Sweasy, who took first; Sweasy went to second; both brought home by McVey's knock to left, on which he made his second; sent home by G. Wright, who went to second on hit to left; run third on ball thrown to Gorman by Turner.  Gould made his first on easy ball to Gorman, who threw it badly to Carr; brought home by Waterman, who made second.  Allison knocked to centre, making his first, sending Waterman home.  H. Wright went to second on ball to centre, Allison coming in.  Leonard went to first on ball to left, H. Wright going to third.  Brainard made first on high ball to Strong, who muffed.  Sweasy brought Wright home, himself going to first; the others took a base.  McVey out on fly by Gorman.  Leonard came home; the others each taking a base; both brought home by hit of G. Wright to left.  He made his first and run second; sent home by blow of Gould to left, on which he made his first; was sent home by another lick to left by Waterman, who went to second, run third.  Allison out on high fly to left, which Lucas held.  Waterman left on base.  18 runs - 18 to 0.  

Unions - Second Innings.

Lucas out on three strikes.  Warner out on foul bound by Allison.  Carr out on high fly by Sweasy.  No runs.

Red Stockings - Second Innings.

H. Wright made second on high ball to right, which Cabanne badly muffed.  Leonard went to first on ball to left, sending Wright to third.  Wright came in on bat to centre by Brainard who made first, Leonard going to third; both brought in by Sweasy on a hand hit to right, on which he made a home run.  McVey made second on hit to left; brought home by G. Wright, who went to second on ball to right; run his third.  Gould came home on terrific bat over Lucas' head.  G. Wright came in.  Waterman made second on ball to Gorman, who threw low to Carr; sent home by Allison on ball to left.  Allison reached his third on bad throwing; came in to ball on right by H. Wright, who went to first; Leonard batted Mellier, who stopped on his base and passing the ball to Carr, made a pretty double play; Brainard made second on a safe hit; sent home by Sweasy, who made second on ball to right; took his third out on trying to run home, by Turner.  10 runs - 28 to 0.

Unions - Third Innings.

  Easton out on one by fielding of Waterman and Gould; Turner out on foul bound by Allison; Cabanne made a terrific knock over the fence, but was put out at home base by Leonard and Allison.  Whitewash.

Red Stockings - Third Innings.

McVey out on fly by German.  By tremendous hit to right G. Wright made home run; Gould made second on ball to left; Waterman made first on grounder to left, Gould going to third; Waterman took second, both came in on hit by Allison to left, by which he made second; H. Wright made third by hard hit to right; Leonard made first by easy ball to Gorman, who threw to first, Carr failing to hold it; Brainard sent H. Wright home and Leonard to third, himself going to first, run his second, both in by hit of Sweasy to centre, who went to first, took second on pass ball; McVey out second time by very high fly by Easton; Sweasy coming in; G. Wright out on first by fielding of Gorman and Carr.  7 runs - 35 to 0.

Unions - Fourth Innings.

Gorman got to first on ball to left; Strong out on first by ball to Sweasy forcing Gorman out on second; Mellier out on first, by knock to Sweasy, who stopped it beautifully, then threw to Gould - Whitewash.

Red Stockings - Fourth Innings.

Lucas pitching for Unions.  Gould got his first on three balls; run his second ditto third; Waterman made first on easy ball to Strong, who threw to Carr who muffed it; Gould came home on throw from Lucas to Carr who again failed; Waterman going to third; Wilson out on foul bound by Turner; Waterman came in on pass ball; H. Wright went to third on easy ball near first base and bad handling.  Leonard out on pretty foul bound by Turner; H. Wright run in on bad throw to Lucas; Brainard made first on high ball to centre - reached second on pass ball; ran third [and] home on pass ball; Sweasy came home on high ball to Cabanne, which he muffed, then the ball was badly thrown to Gorman; McVey made first on ball to left, got his second on pass ball; G. Wright made first on high ball which either Gorman or Strong should have taken; McVey came in on ball passing Gorman, G. Wright going third stole home; Gould made second on high ball to left which Warner muffed; ran third sent home by Waterman who went to second on hit to left; Allison out on fly by Strong, which after considerable juggling he secured.  Eight runs, 43 to 0.

Unions - Fifth Innings.

Lucas sent to 1st on 3 balls.  Warner and he put out by double play by G. Wright, Sweasy and Gould.  Carr out on fly by H. Wright.  Whitewash.

Red Stockings - Fifth Innings.  

H. Wright came home on grounder to centre, which went through Easton's legs.  Leonard made 2d on knock to Cabanne.  Brainard out on a high fly by Strong; Leonard went to 3d on ball thrown by Strong to 2d, which was not covered.  Sweasy out on fly to Carr.  Leonard came home on ball that struck striker, glancing off; McVey made 1st on safe bat, G. Wright made 1, on easy bat to left, sending McVey to 3d, ran 2d.  Gould out on foul boud by Turner, leaving McVey and G. Wright on bases.  2 runs.  45 to 0.

Unions - Sixth Innings.

Easton made 1, on hot ball to Waterman, which he muffed.  Turner went to 1 on high knock to Leonard, which he muffed.  Easton going to 2d.  Easton came home on pass ball by Allison; Turner taking his 2d.  Cabanne out on little fly to pitcher.  Turner brought home by splendid stroke off Gorman's to right, on which he made 3d; brought home by grounder to left by Strong, who took 2d. Mellier made 1st, on ball to right, giving Strong 2d.  Each took base by pass ball of Allison; both brought home by Strong; bat of Lucas to right, on which he reached 3d; came in on very high hit of Warner's to centre, which H. Wright nabbed.  Carr hit a nice ball to left, making 1st; forced out on 2d by Easton's tick to short-stop; himself going out on 1st - 6 runs.  

Red Stockings - Sixth Innings.

Waterman went to 1, on safe bat to centre; to 2d on pass ball.  Allison knocked to Gorman, who stopped and sent it to Carr who failed to stop it and went to 3d, Waterman coming in.  H. Wright at sent a high one to Easton who muffled it, thereby making his 2d, bringing Allison in; ran 3d, sent in by high ball by Leonard to Cabanne, who muffed it.  Leonard came home.  Brainard sent grounder to centre, making his 3d.  Sweasy out by fielding of Strong and Carr, Brainard coming home.  McVey made 1, on ball to centre.  Sent home by terrific high ball by G. Wright to centre, which Easton muffed.  Home run for Wright.  Easton partially redeemed himself by catching a very high fly of Gould.  Waterman went to 1, on safe hit to left; stole 2d, also 3d.  Allison given 1st on 3 balls; ran 2d; Waterman in on pass ball, Allison going to 3d, then home on wild throw of Turner to Gorman.  H. Wright went to 2d on grounder to right.  Leonard out on foul fly by Turner.  9 runs - 54 to 6.

Unions - Seventh Innings.

Harry Wright, pitch; Waterman, catch; Brainard, centre field; Allison, third base.  Easton made first on ball through Allison's legs.  Turner got to first on ball to centre.  Easton going to second; Easton forced on third, Turner on second, by Cabanne's knock to Allison; Cabanne secured his first; sent to third on a beauty by Gorman to right, who made his first; Strong out on a high fly to Leonard; Cabanne and Gorman left on bases - whitewash.

Red Stockings - Seventh Innings.

Brainard reached second on ground ball to left; sent home by daisy cutter of Sweasy's to left, on which he made first; got to third on a wild throw of Turner to second; McVey out on foul bound by Turner; G. Wright made third on high lick to right field, Sweasy coming in; Gould out on foul fly by Turner; Waterman out on easy knock to Strong, who threw to first - 2 runs. 56 to 6.

Unions - Eighth Innings.

Mellier made first on safe hit to left; Lucas hit a safe one to centre, Mellier going to third; both brought home by low hit by Warner to centre, which passed Brainard; Warner reached second; Warner put out running to third by Sharp playing on G. Wright; Carr sent to first on three balls, got his second, brought home by heavy bat of Easton's over Leonard's head; Easton reached second; Turner made first on low hit to left; Easton put out by Waterman on home base; Cabanne out on fly by George Wright - 3 runs.

Red Stockings - Eighth Innings.

Allison hit safely to left, making 1st run; 2d went to 3d on pass ball, brought home by tremendous lick of H. Wright to centre who made a home run.  Leonard went to 2d on ball to centre.  Brainard made 1 on high hit which Cabanne muffed, Leonard going to 2d; Sweasy by a hit to left sent Brainard to 3d himself taking 1st; Sweasy out on 2d by throw from Turner.  McVey sent Low one to left going to 2d, bringing Brainard in.  G. Wright sent a terrific one to right making 3d.  McVey came in.  Wright came in on a wild throw from Lucas to Gorman.  Gould went to 1 on easy hit; 2d on pass ball, sent home by hard ball to left by Waterman who made home.  Allison sent high one to Warner who muffed it; he made his 2d run 3d; brought home by another of H. Wright's fearful licks to centre, on which he made another home run.  Leonard went to 1st on ball to left.  Brainard knocked a red hot ball to Mellier which he held and put out Leonard, returning to 1st; beautiful double play; 10 runs - 66 to 9.

Unions - Ninth Innings.

Gorman out on fly by Gould.  Strong out on fly by Leonard.  Mellier out on foul fly by Waterman - Whitewash.

Red Stockings - Ninth Innings.

Brainard went to 1st on grounder to centre; took 2d on pass ball; brought home by strong hit to right by Sweasy, who made a home run; McVey went to 3d on strong bat to right; George Wright made another home run, by a tremendous lick to left, and McVey came in; Waterman out on 1st by fielding of Strong and Carr; Allison made 1st on easy ball to Cabanne; Henry Wright out on a well taken fould bound by Gorman.  4 runs. 

-Missouri Republican, September 16, 1869

What can you say about this?  It was a dominating performance by the Red Stockings and, given their historical reputation, we shouldn't have expected anything less.  I knew the score of this game and had read some briefer game accounts but looking at the game on an inning by inning basis brings home what a complete and total whipping it was.

Early baseball was a game of defense and base-running.  If you couldn't field the ball and couldn't stop your opponent from running the bases at will, you weren't going to win.  Deficiencies in these areas separated good teams from great teams.  Along with swift pitching, it was solid defense and the ability to take extra bases that defined great teams.  If you read this game account, it's obvious what separated the Red Stockings of Cincinnati from the Unions of St. Louis.  The Red Stockings fielded the ball; the Unions didn't.  This put lots and lots of men on base and those men ran wild on the base paths.  Sure, the Red Stockings did some heavy hitting but without the errors, this would have been a much closer game.  I'm under no illusion that eliminating the errors would have allowed the Unions to win the game but they could have made it respectable by catching the ball.  

No comments: