Sunday, March 24, 2013

They Play A Rattling Good Game

The St. Louis Reds. - This club is in better playing form now than ever.  Recently they secured the services of Tom Sullivan, a St. Louis amateur, to play centre field and change catcher.  He played behind the bat so well that the managers of the club intend keeping him there, and the regular catcher, Dolan, will play at centre hereafter.  The Reds are composed entirely of St. Louis players, and their team as now fixed upon is as follows: Morgan, p. and captain; Sullivan, c.; Croft, 1st b.; Dillon, 2d b.; Redmon, s.s.; Collins, 3d b. and change pitcher; Magner, l.f.; Dolan, c.f. and change catcher; Loftus, r.f., with Oran as tenth man.  The Reds have been trying to get clubs to visit them, but so far only the Stars of Covington have called on them.  The Reds have got a first-class park, and, as they play a rattling good game, they draw better than ever.  The two games they played with the Browns proves that they play well, and when they get a chance at other League clubs they intend to show what they can do.  The Reds are all strong batters, and by practicing regularly every day they are fast becoming good fielders.  All clubs wishing to play them should address the secretary, Mr. L.C. Waite, No. 3,001 Olive street, St. Louis, Mo.
-Mears Baseball Scrapbook, Volume 4, 1856-1907

This report on the 1876 Red Stockings comes from late May or earlier June.  It appears right under a piece (from the Clipper) about the death of Tom Miller, who passed away on May 29, 1876.  The Globe picked up the piece and ran it on June 8.  So this probably originally ran in the Clipper in early June.

Two things stood out to me.  First, Packy Dillon was playing second base for the club.  I probably already knew this and had forgotten it but I'm used to thinking of Dillon as a catcher.  Second, Tom Oran wasn't good enough to crack the starting nine.  One of the best players in the history of pioneer-era, St. Louis baseball, he was only 28 years old and couldn't start for a minor, independent, professional club.         

No comments: