A State Junior Base Ball Association has been formed, which appears likely to become a strong organization. The Convention at which the organization was effected was well attended, there being the following delegates from the following clubs:
Atlantic, Junior - T. Ryan, E. Mitchell.
Niagara - J. Long, J. Donovan.
Mutual - J. McMahon, B. Keise.
Union - W. Austin, E. Wolf.
Missouri - G. Walters, C. Thornburg.
Aetna - J. Blony, J. Loftus.
Empire - M.J. Virtue, M.J. Kinderick.
Dirego - E. Washburn, R. Avia.
Star - J. McCaffery, P. Reilly.
Stonewall - J. Reider, P. Clifford.
Mystic - A. Jones, H. Hecong.
Excelsior - P. Davis, P. Tucker.
An election of officers ensued with the following results:
President - James Ryan.
Vice Presidents - Jas. Donovan, Jas. McCaffery, George Walters.
Treasurer - E. Washburn.
Secretaries - M.J. Virtue, M.J. Kinefick and R. Greenhouse.
-Missouri Republican, August 27, 1868
I think this a great example of what I was talking about yesterday. There were a lot of clubs in St. Louis and a lot of games being played that weren't being covered in the press. The game was very healthy and rather popular in the city in 1868 and I think the formation of an association of junior clubs is proof of that.
The game played last Sunday between the Resolute and St. Louis Base Ball Clubs, for a silver ball, offered by Mr. Solari, of St. Louis Base Ball Park, was won by the Resolutes. Score, 33 to 22.
It's great to find some information about baseball in St. Louis in 1868 that doesn't involve the Unions or the Empires. Baseball in the city at this time was more than just those two clubs or just the clubs that were members of the state association. I understand that those were the big clubs, they played the big games, drew the big crowds, and it was natural to focus coverage on them. But I love to find stuff about the smaller clubs because it gives us a fuller picture of what was happening in St. Louis during the period. The game was popular and there were clubs like the Stonewalls and the Adventures playing all of the time. Their games just generally weren't covered during this period and that's kind of a shame.
Stonewall vs. Missouri.
So maybe the first match game of the season was on May 16. That's a little more reasonable than the end of May but it's just a little strange that the Republican would have misidentified the first match game of the season. The only thing I can think of is that the Union/Atlantic match was the first championship match game, as compared to just your ordinary game between two clubs. The Union/Atlantic match was, if I'm correct about that, the first match involving the big clubs of the city. I checked Tobias and the first match game of 1868 that he mentions was the Union match against the Athletics of Philadelphia in June of that year so there couldn't have been too many big matches prior to that.
A match game of base ball came off on Thursday afternoon, between the Laclede and Young Commercial Base Ball Clubs, which resulted in a victory for the former.
So we have a couple of games, another reference to the St. Louis Club and the first known reference to the Missouri Club. That's great. Let's talk about Sherman.
On the day that this all appeared in the Republican, William Tecumseh Sherman began the Atlanta campaign, which was the prelude to the March to the Sea. Sherman happened to have been a baseball fan. In 1874, while serving as General of the Army, he moved his headquarters to St. Louis and, while living in the city, was known to frequent the Grand Avenue Grounds. The Union Club noticed this and named him an honorary member. So, officially, Sherman was a member of the Union Base Ball Club of St. Louis. He also happened to have been living in St. Louis at the beginning of the war and witnessed the Camp Jackson Massacre.
Sherman loved St. Louis, owned a house on North Garrison, and, while he moved around quite a bit during his life, always seemed to return here. His wife was buried at Calvary Cemetery in 1888 and it was Sherman's wish to be buried next to her.
Edmund Tobias described Sherman as "that grim old warrior" and I just love that. He's the man who coined the phrase "War is hell." You've no doubt heard that but you need to read the whole quote:
I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.
There is nothing ironic in Sherman's quote. War IS hell and he knew that as well as anyone. How can you not love this guy?
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