We do not propose to give the technicalities of this game, nor the gossip connected with the players, nor the bad "fielding" here and the worse "running" there; but we do propose to say that there is no excuse on earth for the Unions being beaten as badly as they were on Saturday.
The swoop of the Athletic eagle had been broad and pitiless, but the swarth mown by the Atlantics was wide and clean and perfect. To get breath and to do well the Unions had played two games with the Empire Club. In both of these games the Unions had striven well and won fairly; and the Empires had striven well, too, and lost.
After the home games the Atlantics came. Pearce was with them, a great athlete; Smith's bronzed face was tanned by the St. Louis sun; Start had his muscles perfect; Chapman ran like a deer; Zettlein's ball was as sure as a Parrott shell; Pratt had perfect hands to catch; Mills was superbly cool; Crane possessed iron nerve; and Ferguson was a splendid "left field."
The uniform of the Athletics assimilated to the uniform of the Unions; but after the playing commenced there was no more comparisons. In their blue pants, their white caps, their white shirts, or in the blazon of the initial letters "U. and A.," the two clubs looked clean limbed and workers.
A toss for position came and the Unions went to the field and the Atlantics to the bat. From the first the game was in favor of the Atlantic. More athletic; more thoroughly drilled; paying better attention and understanding perfectly the strategy of the game, was it any wonder that they won? The day was pleasant, and the great June sun was bathing in the sea of the sky; and, to screen his naked majesty, cloud after cloud came up, and to introduce the clouds the winds sent their avant couriers. Of the Unions, Lucas, Oran, Smith, Eastin, Duncan, and Carr played elegantly. To criticise them it would be necessary to say that Oran had learnt strategy from the Athletics; that Duncan was a splendid fielder; that Carr ran swiftly; that Lucas was a good pitcher, and that Greenleaf was a better pitcher than Lucas; that Yore was good in the field, and that, as skirmishers, Yore, Eastin, Freeman and Cabanne were excellent...
The Unions were whitewashed on the first, fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth innings; and, as the game progressed, they played without animation and without any seeming interest. Ferguson, of the Atlantics, a splendid player; Start, as good as Ferguson, and Mills, as good as either of them, made beautiful home runs. Oran, the catcher of the Unions, played excellently; Duncan made a home run, the only one of the Union Club that accomplished it; Smith wanted energy; Greenleaf caught some beautiful "flys;" Carr made one or two bad "muffs;" Eastin was struck hard in the side, and felt it, and Cabanne did not play with his accustomed prestige.
-Missouri Republican, June 28, 1868
First, I want to note that the box score comes from the July 11th issue of the New York Clipper and not the June 28th issue of the Republican. Second, this is only the first part of the Republican's coverage of the game. I still have the second part as well as the Clipper's coverage. So there's a lot more to come with regards to the Atlantics' 68-9 whipping of the Unions.
About one thousand spectators were present yesterday afternoon at the Compton avenue park to witness the first professional game ever played in St. Louis, the contestants being both St. Louis clubs, namely, the "Brown" and "Red Stockings." The weather, which had prevented the games on Saturday and Monday, cleared off about noon and a more beautiful afternoon could not have been wished for. Had the sun made an earlier appearance and the certainty of the game coming off been more generally known a much larger attendance would no doubt been the result.
Cuthy took his customary hitch at his trowsers, threw the ash over his shoulder, and called for a "high ball," after striking twice in vain, and two "balls" had been called on Blong, he succeeded in hitting the ball, but it went straight to Redmond, and from thence to Houtz, and first out for the Browns was duly recorded. Pearce imitated his predecessor in the matter of strikes and balls, but could drive the ball no further than to the pitcher, who of course sent it to Charlie Houtz at first base, and Dick sought his companions to tell them exactly how it was. Pike had some difficulty in getting one to suit him, but when Blong did favor him, he drove it over the right-fielder's head, and reached third in ample time. Chapman indulged in some half-dozen foul hits, finally hitting a soft one towards first, which Houtz neglected to run in and take on the fly, but redeemed himself by quickly gathering it on the ground and touching Chap., ere the latter "pressed canvas" - no runs.
Hague, by an overthrow of Redmond's not only reached first safely, but went all the way round to third. Redmond did better for Bradley and Battin, too, found the lively left-hander could play short-stop "up to nature." Hague in the meantime had scored the first run for the "Brown Stockings" by a passed ball. Dehlman reached base No. 1 on a safe hit to right field, and took second on the wild throw in; he scored on Redmond's muff of high-base hit by Miller. Cuthy hit hard to third base and reached first, Flint fumbling that ball badly. Pearce closed the innings by sending a high fly to Morgan, the "Handsome Dan" of course taking it in. For the Reds Houtz led off with a fly to Chapman; Sweazy hit one directly on the home plate and it bounded safely into Bradley's hands. Cuthbert surprised the St. Louisans by dropping an easy fly from Redmond's bat. Oran drove a beauty past Pearce and two men were on bases, Redmond being as far as third. All eyes were on Croft, but a foul tip well caught on the bound by Miller ended the "trouble," leaving both men on bases and no runs.
With a high one to Croft and retired. Champman, however, succeeded in getting to second base on a fair foul past third, Hague by a safe one along the right foul line sent him to third and reached first himself. Sweazy fielded Bradley out at first and Redmond made a beautiful stop and throw that disposed of Battin - Chapman having in the interim crossed the marble on a wild pitch, Hague being left on third.
Miller scoring; after driving a long one over the left-fielder's head he was sent to second by Cuthbert's hit to Morgan, who had taken Flint's place place at third, Pearce hit to Sweasy, Miller thereby getting third and Deck first; Cuthbert suffering an "out" at second, "Red" got his run on a wild pitch of Blong's. Pike was given a base by fumbling at second but Chapman left them both, his weak hit to third base being carefully thrown at first by Morgan.
Redmond attending to Hague and Bradley, Flint making a surprising one hand catch that thoroughly disgusted Battin. The other side fared no better, though Flint and Blong reached first, the latter on a safe hit that sent the former to second only to be forced at third by Hague and Pearce, Dillon being well caught on foul bound by Miller, Houtz retiring at first by the aid of Bad Dicky.
With a determination to put a wider margin to their credit, the way the Reds were hanging on not being at all comfortable, their playing too was evidently improving. A good rally was made and eight runs were scored by the good batting of Pearce, Pike, Bradley, Battin and Dehlman, the outs being Chapman at first and Miller twice by weak hits to Morgan and Blong.
On safe hits by Pearce and Cuthbert, assisted by Pike's out at first and a wild pitch, Chapman being left on second, Redmond distinguishing himself by a splendid stop and throw that retired Hague, Bradley striking wind and out.
Retired Battin, Dehlman and Miller in the order named, Redmond attending to two of them, Packy Dillon catching Dehlman out on a foul bound. At their turn at the stick, Sweasy, the first striker, was well caught by Bradley; Redmond succeeded in getting a safe on between first and second. Oran sent him along one bag by a straight one over second that Battin almost got. Croft sent him home by a liner over Cuthbert's head. Cuthy made a splendid effort (and in his palmy days we have seen him take many a harder one) but he dropped it. Flint went out on strikes and then the trouble commenced in earnest. Blong, Dillon and Morgan followed with magnificent two-base hits each. Houtz with a hot one past third for one bag, Hague with a hot one past third for one bag, Hague helping things along by a wild throw over Dehlman's head on Sweasy's hit. Chapman finally taking in the fly Redmond sent him on his second turn at the bat. The way the boys "let on" Bradley was a thing the "old man" never dreamed of. Eight runs was the result and the Browns came in from the field looking queer indeed. The
Yielded the professionals one made by Cuthbert, the Reds going out in the order in which they toed the plate...
The pleasant weather and the attraction of a match game between [the Empire and Atlantic] clubs drew several hundred lovers of our national game to the Grand avenue park yesterday afternoon. The game was, we understand, for practice only, and will not count in the games for the amateur championship of the state of Missouri.
I love the description of Lipman Pike as "the nobby centre fielder of the Brown Stockings." I'm going to steal that and add it to my collection of rhetorical tics. From this point forward, Lip PIke is Lipman Pike, the nobby centre fielder.
The professionals donned their new uniform in the game with the Empire on Thursday last, and the taste displayed in its make-up was very generally admired.
Because photos from this era are so rare, I'm always a sucker for some information about a club's uniform. Not much here but I guess it's nice to know when the Brown Stockings first put on their brown stockings.
The Reds have been practicing daily at their park during the past week. They will not play to-day at the Atlantics have engaged the park for their own use. The work on the new fence at the park is well under way and will soon be completed. Their new uniforms will be done to-day. This uniform consists of a gray cap, gray shirt and gray pants, all trimmed with red, and red stockings. The nine is now definitely fixed with "Pack" Dillon, Dan. Morgan, Wm. Redmon, J. Blong, John McSorely, Chas. Houtz, Arthur Croft, Thos. Oran, and Chas. Sweasy. John Dillon will be the tenth man. Sweasy is a new man, and will arrive in the city on Tuesday. He was one of the old Cincinnati Red Stockings and is a very strong player.
The nine was most definitely not set and the Reds had at least one more player to add to the club. Hint: He was mentioned in yesterday's post and I'll mention him again tomorrow.
Per my obsession with Sweasy, this is an important note about when he joined the club. On April 5, the Republican mentioned that the Reds were negotiating with an Eastern player and here, on April 11, they mention that Sweasy had agreed to join the club and was on his way to St. Louis. So, Charlie Sweasy signed with the Reds sometime between April 4 and April 10.
Our city will make its debut in the professional arena with a nine composed of Philadelphiane and Brooklynites...The difficulty of organizing and harmonizing a new nine had been appreciated by the directors, and proper steps taken to bring their men together and train them in season. Everything possible for the comfort and convenience of the men has been done for them, and we have no doubt the players will make for themselves and their club a record to be proud of...
And, after recovering from my holiday weekend, we're back to the baseball.
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