If all work and no play make Jack a dull boy then I'm a very dull person right now. I don't think I've ever been busier at work than I am right now and I'm struggling to find time for anything else. By struggling, I mean failing. So I'm taking the week off from posting and hope that I can find the time this week to get some stuff together to post next week. Hope springs eternal in the hearts of men. See you next week.
A meeting of the judiciary committee of the State Base Ball association was called for last night, in order to take action on an appeal made by the Union club against the Empires. The former state that the Empires played illegally at a recent contest. In consequence of the absence of Mr Hantz and Mr. Stith, two members of the committee, it was decided to adjourn until a full meeting could be had.
If I had to guess, I'd say the Unions were complaining that the Empires were using an illegal player. Shockingly, that complaint had come up before and would come up again with regards to the Empire Club. To the best of my knowledge, nothing every came of this specific charge.
A matched game of base ball between the White Stars of Reeb's station, and the Lone Star, of Alma nines, St. Clair county was played on the 4th at Reeb's station. The contest was for a silver cup. At the close the score stood for the White Star club 14 to 28 for the Lone Star.
It took a bit of digging to figure out where this game was played and who played in it but, essentially, this was a game between Belleville and O'Fallon, played in Belleville. Reeb's Station was in Belleville, on a railroad line that ran from East St. Louis to Belleville. I thought originally that Alma was the Alma located north of Salem but it was a small village on the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad line, just a bit east of O'Fallon.
On the Fourth the Garden City base ball club played the Unions at the park. The number of spectators was not large. The game was a most interesting one, as the Chicago men took the lead from the first, and maintained it throughout the game, badly beating the Union's score. It is due to the Union club to say that they played under some disadvantages. Three of their best players were absent, which necessitated the employment of other men, and the changing of the regular positions of the nine.
According to Tobias, the three missing Union players were Charles Turner, Robert Lucas, and Joseph Carr.
A large crowd of spectators assembled yesterday afternoon at the base ball park to witness a game of base ball between the Garden City club of Chicago, and the Empire club of this city. On the part of the Empires the play throughout was very indifferent. All of the players except Murray on the third base, who played well up to his standard, batted and fielded poorly, and muffed a great many balls.
Tobias wrote that this game was "devoid of interest and not complimentary to either club insomuch as both failed to come up to their standard of play." He contradicts the Republican by stating that the umpire made numerous errors but does agree that Jake Murray was the standout for the Empires.
A meeting of the State association of base ball players was held last night in the rooms of the St. Louis base ball club, on Pine street, between Sixth and Seventh streets, when there were fifteen delegates present. The resignation of J.B. Ketterer, president, and J.S. Foster, vice president, were read and accepted. Mr. Miller was elected president of the association, and Mr. S.L. Steth vice president. The charges which the Atlantic club had preferred against the St. Louis club were withdrawn. The meeting adjourned until the first Friday in August.
I'm not sure if this is significant or not. Jospeh Ketterer, of the Lone Star Club, and James Foster, of the St. Louis Club, had both been elected as vice-presidents of the Missouri State Base Ball Association in June of 1869. Asa Smith, of the Union Club, had been elected president but resigned at the end of the season. At that point, Ketterer assumed the presidency of the association and Foster remained as first vice-president.
It's possible that the association simply held their elections for officers in June or July and this is just a new election. But it specifically states that Ketterer and Foster resigned. So I don't think that's it. I think this was an election that was held because of the resignation of the top two officers of the association. It's possible that their term was up but that's not how I read this squib.
Why would they resign? I have no clue. Smith resigned in 1869 to devote himself fully to business. He had been involved in the game for a decade, providing extraordinary leadership and vision, but I understand why he felt it was time to get out of the game. I don't know enough about Ketterer or Foster to make those kinds of judgments. They're not names that I recognize and can't find them in my notes.
The game of base ball for the championship of this state which, as has been advertised, would be played yesterday between the Empire club, the preset champions, and the Union club, came off at the appointed time and place and resulted in the defeat of the Unions. Notwithstanding the extreme severity of the heat yesterday afternoon, some 800 to 1,000 people assembled at the park to witness the contest between these rival clubs.
The Republican's account of the game goes on to give a detailed inning-by-inning account but I'm going to spare myself the burden of typing that up. Bottom line was that the Empires won the first game of their championship series against the Unions by a score of 36-28.
The Clipper also published an account of this game:
These old rival clubs of St. Louis entered the arena for the championship of Missouri for 1870, on the 23d of June, the game being played at the base ball park at St. Louis, in the presence of a large crowd of spectators...The ball played with was a lively one, and hence there was no less than 39 fielding errors in the game, heavy hitting deciding the contest...
A base ball match between the Shoofly and Nine Spot of Clubs was played on the 19th, on the grounds of the former club at Bremen. The Shoofly won it, the score being - Shoofly 27; Nine Spot 25.
The town of Bremen was located in what is now the Hyde Park neighborhood of North St. Louis. By 1870, it had already been incorporated and was part of St. Louis proper.
In 1888 [Thomas C. Nicholson] was engaged by President Von der Ahe for his White Stocking team, of the Western Association, and after participating in thirty-four championship games as a second baseman, the team was disbanded, and Nicholson returned to the Wheeling team, of the Tri-State League...
One of these days, I'm going to have to put up some stuff about the St. Louis Whites. They were a fascinating bunch, with some very good ballplayers on the club. Also, the reasons why they even existed are fascinating and make a good tale. I'll have to remember to get to that.
The St. Louis Club...was in want of players [in 1893] and made [Jimmy Bannon] an offer, which he accepted, taking part with its team in twenty-three championship contests, and ranking tenth in the official batting averages of the major league for that year. He was tried at short stop on the St. Louis team, but did not make a success there; then he was placed in the outfield, but was not very fortunate as a fielder. However, he became popular with the Mound City enthusiasts on account of his hard and timely batting. When President Von der Ahe released him before the season was over there was a storm of indignation, and his release was recalled, but it was finally decided to let him go for good, as Mr. Von der Ahe considered Cooley, who was on his club's pay rolls, to be as a good, if not a better player.
If you look at Bannon's stats, there is no doubt that the guy could hit. But the stats also so a guy that was a terrible fielder, as the article above hints at. Bannon, in his major league career, made 118 errors in 370 games, while playing mostly in the outfield. Just looking around the records, I'm pretty sure Bannon has to be near the top of errors per game/career for an outfielder. He may very well have set a record for errors by an outfielder in a season in 1893, when he had 41. In 1895, Fred Clarke set the record with 49, so Bannon is right up there. He just wasn't very good with the glove and that's the reason his major league career was so short.
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