Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Reds, Of Course, Were Not Allowed To Score A Run

On April 28 the amateur Red Stocking Club of St. Louis, called so in compliment to the Boston champions, met the professional White Stocking nine.  The players of the St. Louis "Reds" are lithe and active youngsters, who go in for fielding skill in preference to heavy hitting, and on this special occasion they gave the Chicago professionals about as close a fight as they are likely to have in their championship battles in the professional arena.  The contest up to the close of the fifth inning was marked by one of the prettiest displays of fielding ever seen in St. Louis, neither side scoring a single run.  In the sixth inning, owing to a wild throw of Redmond's, the Chicagos escaped a blank, and before the inning closed they had credited themselves with four runs, not one of which was earned.  In the seventh and eighth innings the "Reds" again "whitewashed" the "Whites," and it was only in the last inning that the Chicago nine even came near earning a run, errors giving them two more, which made their total 5.  The "Reds," of course, were not allowed to score a run.  The game was witnessed by a numerous assemblage of spectators, and the result of the game, so different from that anticipated, will have a tendency to give a new interest to the national pastime in St. Louis.
-Mears Baseball Scrapbook, Volume 2, 1870-1877

I'm always entertained, for some reason, by the whipping the Chicagos gave to the St. Louis clubs in 1874.  They went through the best that St. Louis had to offer like a knife through butter, like Sherman marching through the South, like something something through a goose.  And it's an important moment in the history of St. Louis baseball.  When the Chicagos got through chewing bubble gum and kicking butt, the baseball fraternity in St. Louis realized that it was time to put together a serious professional club, leading to the birth of the Brown Stockings.