1870 -1879

  • 1870

MARCH

26th The first game of the season is played in Brooklyn at the old Star Grounds in Carroll Park. The amateur Star Club plays a practice game against a hand picked nine, including such renowned stars as Lipman Pike, Flanley, and George Hall. Candy Cummings pitches the Stars to a 5-inning, 19–7.

27th In a letter to the editor published in today’s New York Sunday Mercury, Cincinnati Red Stockings’ manager Harry Wright writes about hand signals, “There is one thing I would like to see the umpire do at (a) big game, and that is, raise his hand when a man is out. You know what noise there is always when a fine play is made on the bases, and it being impossible to hear the umpire, it is always some little time before the player knows whether he is given out or not. It would very often save a great deal of bother and confusion.” (as noted by Bill Deane)

APRIL

9th The amateur Stars, behind the pitching and hitting of Candy Cummings, wins, 27-8, over a hand-picked nine that includes Chapman, Ferguson, and Pike. Candy has 3 singles and a home run.

21st For the first time, two major teams open the season by playing a practice game. A crowd of 1,200 pays $.25 apiece to enter the Capitoline Grounds and see the Atlantics defeat the Unions of Morrisania, 24–10.

25th  Cincinnati begins a week of play in New Orleans with a 51–1 rout of the local Pelicans team. The Chicago White Stockings will soon arrive in town, marking the first time teams have gone this far south for spring training.

29th The Chicago White Stockings open their season in St. Louis, whipping the Union Club, 47–1.

MAY

4th At Memphis, the Cincinnati Red Stocking defeat a local team, the Orientals, 100–2 in a game stopped at the end of six innings.

7th The highly regarded Mutuals of Brooklyn are soundly whipped by the amateur Stars, 14–3, behind the “dodgy delivery” of Candy Cummings.

12th In Cleveland, the Cincinnati Red Stockings defeat the Forest City Blue Stockings, 12–2.

13th The Unions of Morrisania, losing 6–3 in the 9th to the Philadelphia Athletics, score 4 runs inn the 9th to win, 7–6. Dick Higham helps with a home run.

14th The Atlantics open their season with a close, 8–1, win over the Stars. The Stars outhits the Atlantics, 8–6.

20th Gardner Brown, 15, is killed in Denver, N.H. while playing baseball. The ball strikes him on the head.

25th In Baltimore, the Atlantics of Brooklyn edge the Maryland Club, 13–12.

30th In a drizzling rain in Philadelphia, the Atlantics lose to the Athletics, 18–13.

31st The visiting Forest City of Rockford club, losers to the Mutuals yesterday, 21–13, rally today to beat the Mutuals, 17–16. The Mutuals blow a 14–4 lead as LF John Chapman drops 3 fly balls in the late innings. .

JUNE

3rd At Dexter Park in Chicago, 3,000 fans watch the new White Stockings beat the Forest City club of Cleveland, 15–9. The game is marred by several wrong decisions by the umpire in favor of Chicago.

13th In New York, a crowd of 7,500 pay $.50 each to watch the Red Stockings defeat the Mutuals, 13–3, in the first game of Cincinnati’s Eastern tour.

14th  After 84 straight wins, the Cincinnati Red Stockings lose 8–7 to the Atlantics of Brooklyn in the greatest game of the year. Twenty thousand spectators watch at the Capitoline Grounds. The Reds had won 24 games this season and 60 last year without a loss. Today’s game, played with a “dead ball”, is tied at the end of the 9th inning 5–5 and at that point Reds captain Harry Wright turns down a proposal that the game be called a draw. The Reds score twice in the 11th, but the Atlantics counter with 3 in their half. Bob Ferguson scores the winning run in the last of the 11th on a hit by George Zettlein. After the game a telegram to Cincinnati is sent: “Atlantics 8, Cincinnati 7. The finest game ever played. Our boys did nobly but fortune was against us. Eleven innings played. Though beaten, not disgraced. (signed) A.B. Champion, Cincinnati Baseball Club.”

15th Asa Brainard pitches a 5-hitter as the Red Stockings start a new winning streak, beating Morrisania, 14–0.

18th Henry Chadwick says, “For the fifth time during the week’s games, the Red Stockings lose the toss and were sent to bat, and as George Wright takes his stand and faces Cummings for the first time, the crowd is on the tip-toe of expectation to see whether George can hit the Star pitcher’s horizontally curved balls, for it is in the delivery of a ball which curves in or out to the right or the left as it leaves the hand of the pitcher that Cummings’ effectiveness as a pitcher lays.”

22nd A huge crowd is on hand in Philadelphia to watch the Athletics take on the Red Stockings. Cincinnati scores 2 in the 9th to win, 27–25. George Wright, who earlier has a home run, scores the winning run.  The Spirit of the Times (June 25, 1870) blathers on: “RED STOCKINGS VS. ATHLETICS—PHILADELPHIANS DEFEATED BY TWO RUNS. Philadelphia, so-called from the Greek by the Quakers who founded it, has long since changed in every particular but its name. Brotherly love there now means brotherly among the residents, but mankind outside the limits of that over-grown village is held in positive contempt, and when a stranger is dropped down there the people cannot make the fact too evident. Fortunate for the outside world, after the strongest exhibition Philadelphians could give this side of physical force of their own greatness, their inflated bodies were pricked, and they were reminded that the world without was entitled to some little recognition even from Philadelphians.”

25th The earliest known reference to a defensive shift is mentioned in today’s The New York Clipper reporting on a game between the traveling Red Stockings and the Atlantics of Brooklyn: “the Cincinnati fielders moved about in the field, according as the different batsmen came to bat” (as noted by historian Bill Francis at the Hall of Fame). By the end of the decade, more shifts will be noted.

28th One of the earliest documented uses of a glove (as noted by author Darryl Brock) occurs in the Cincinnati Red Stockings game against the Washington Nationals in D.C. In a cable to the Cincinnati Commercial, a sportswriter wrote, “[Doug] Allison caught to-day in a pair of buckskin mittens, to protect his hands.” Allison, the regular catcher, suffers from bruised and “split-open” hands, and the Reds have played 8 games in 9 days.

The first of the annual series between the Atlantic and the Mutuals is played before 3,000 fans, one of the smallest crowds since 1864. Interest has diminished since the Red Stockings left town. The Atlantics score 5 in the 9th to win, 15–13.

JULY

2nd In Cincinnati, the Forest City Club loses to the Red Stockings, 14–13.

3rd  As reported in today’s New York Clipper, the Knickerbocker Baseball Club of New York is formally withdrawing from the National Association of Base Ball Players to protest the evils that seem to be inherent in professionalism. This will be a forerunner of a strictly amateur association. Speculation is that the professionals will form their own association.

4th The Red Stockings beat the Forest City Club, 24–7. in Cincinnati.

In Philadelphia, the Athletics use a lively ball to defeat the visiting Mutuals, 24–15. Sensenderfer has 2 singles and 3 home runs for the locals.

In Brooklyn, the Atlantics defeat the White Stockings, 30–20. Switch-hitting Bob Ferguson has 6 hits and totals 17 bases. Henry Chadwick says, “Using a lively ball the game has an abundance of batting and a lack of the fine points of the game.”

9th After losses to Atlantic, Mutual, and Union of Morrisania, Chicago finally win their first game in New York. The White Stockings beat the amateur Star Club of Brooklyn, 9–5.

11th At Rockford, The Cincinnati Red Stockings score 8 runs in the 9th inning to tie Forest City at 16 apiece. Darkness ends the game in a tie.

18th Harvard University visits Cincinnati and almost defeats the mighty Red Stockings. Behind 17-12 going into the bottom of the 9th, the Reds score 8 runs to win, 20–17. George Wright has a bases-loaded double in the 9th and Doug Allison knocks in the winning run.

23rd  Five thousand spectators jam Dexter Park in Chicago to see the White Stockings play the visiting Mutuals of New York. Mutuals P Rynie Wolters holds the White Stockings to 3 singles and no runs, winning 9–0 for the first shutout game in big-time baseball history. George L. Moreland (Balldom, 1914) noted that previous to today’s game only five shutout games had ever been played. The New York Herald will use “Chicagoed” from now on to signify a shutout; the term survives until at least the late 1890s.

27th  After 104 victories and several road defeats, the Cincinnati Red Stockings lose their first game at home to the visiting Athletics of Philadelphia 11–7.

AUGUST

1st With the Mutuals playing in Cincinnati, the NYC sporting good store of Peck & Snyder displays the inning-by-inning score on their window by means of telegrams. Soon, Nassau Street between Ann and Beckman is blockaded. After the Mutuals fight back from a 9–1 deficit to take the lead, a mighty yell goes up. But the final telegram reads, Reds, 15, Mutuals, 12.

9th The Mutuals even their series with the Atlantics by winning their 2nd meeting, 9–5.

15th Forest City of Cleveland loses their first game in the East, 15–9, to the Atlantics. Forest City is led by Jim White, considered the best catcher in the country.

16th  Fred Goldsmith, an 18-year-old pitcher invited by Henry Chadwick to demonstrate his curve ball at the Capitoline Grounds in Brooklyn, succeeds before a large crowd. Chadwick observes: “That which had up to this point been considered an optical illusion and against all rules of philosophy was now an established fact.” But Chadwick will soon credit Candy Cummings with the discovery of the “crooked pitch.” Goldsmith will win 20 or more games each year between 1880 and 1883.

18th The versatile Jim White of Forest City pitches a two-hit, 13–0 victory over the heavy hitting Eckford Club. It is the first time in history that Eckford has been shut out.

20th The Forest City Club edges the Star Club, 9–7, scoring 2 runs in the 9th inning.

29th The Mutuals host the Philadelphia Athletics and score 5 runs in the top of the 9th inning to tie the score. The Athletics score 5 in their half to win, 12–7 (baseball custom has a coin flip giving the winner the choice between “ins” and “outs.” The games are not considered completed until both teams have played 9 innings)

SEPTEMBER

2nd In Cincinnati, the Atlantics of Brooklyn lose their 2nd game in a row, 14–3.

5th In Cleveland, the Atlantics lose their 3rd straight, as Forest City takes them, 15–13, The Atlantics score 10 runs in the 5th inning after 2 are out to come back from a 14–1 deficit.

7th The Chicago White Stockings travel to Cincinnati, and bring along their own umpire. With the help of some questionable calls, Chicago wins, 10–6. George Wright is missing from the Reds lineup.

15th The Philadelphia Athletics travel to Brooklyn’s Union Grounds to play the Mutuals. A crowd of 4,000 is on hand, paying 50 cents apiece, lured by the appeal that it is a match game and not a practice game. The A’s score a run in the 9th to take a 10–9 lead, but the Mutes tie when Alphonese Martin scores and win when John Hatfield scores on Fergy Malone’s passed ball.

22nd  The Mutuals of New York win the Championship for 1870 by defeating the Atlantics 10–4 at the Union Grounds before 10,000. The game has such national interest that telegraph wires are strung and inning-by-inning results are sent nationwide.

24th In a close game in Brooklyn, the Chicago White Stockings score 5 in the 8th to beat the Atlantics, 9–4.

26th In Philadelphia, the White Stockings continue their excellent play with a 12–11 victory over the Athletics. Philadelphia does not have the services of their 10-year vet Dick McBride, out with a sore hand. The Whites score 4 in the last of the 9th to win.

27th Back in NY to accept a challenge from the Mutuals to play a series for the 1870 Championship, now held by the Mutes, The White Stockings win, 22–11. The match attracts 10,000.

OCTOBER

13th The return game in the Chicago-Cincinnati series is played at Chicago’s Dexter Park. The game is tied after 8 innings, but in the 9th the White Stockings score 8 and the Reds 5 for a 16–13 final.

15th The Forest City Club of Rockford hosts Cincinnati. Al Spalding holds the Reds to 6 hits and hits a home run, one of 3 in one inning, as the Red Stockings lose, 12–5.

19th After losing the 1st game of a new series in Brooklyn, 11–7, on the 17th, the Atlantics travel to Philadelphia to play game 2. Dick McBride holds the Atlantics to 6 hits as the A’s win, 15–3. George Zettlein did not make the trip so the Atlantics play the game with 8 players.

22nd With their home-and home series standing at 1–1, the Cincinnati Red Stockings meet the Athletics in Philadelphia, winning 15–8.

The Forest City Club of Rockford visits Chicago on a raw and chilly day and loses to the White Stockings, 10–6.

24th Before 2,000 spectators in Philadelphia, the Athletics down the New York Mutuals, 17–12.

25th A crowd of 3,000 is on hand at the Union Grounds as Cincinnati’s Asa Brainard limits the champion Mutuals to 5 hits, as the Red Stockings win easily, 7–1.

26th In Philadelphia, the Cincinnati Red Stockings take on the Atlantics of Brooklyn, losers of 17 games this year. The Atlantics score 5 in the last of the 9th to beat the mighty Reds, 11–7.

NOVEMBER

1st In Chicago, the Mutuals of New York play the White Stockings at Dexter Park before 6,000 people. With Chicago leading 7–5 after 8 innings, the Mutuals score 8 runs in the top of the 9th. In the bottom of the 9th, Chicago adopts a waiting game and Wolters, the Mutuals pitcher, loads the bases on walks, and complains that the umpire is not calling strikes. A few hits and passed balls makes the score 13–12 in favor of the Mutes when McAfee, the next batter for the Whites, lets a dozen balls go by without swinging. Wolters throws up his hands and walks off. The ump reverts the score to the 8th inning and the Whites win, 7–5. Chicago has now defeated the Mutes twice since they took the Championship away from the Atlantics. The controversial ending of the game makes the Mutual club unwilling to give up the Championship. The New York Clipper says, In 1867 the Union club happened to defeat the Atlantics two games out of three of the regular series them played between them—only one series being played between clubs at that time. By this victory a precedent was established giving the championship title only to the club that defeated the existing champions two games while they were the champions. Of course this is an. absurd rule but it has prevailed ever since.”

2nd The Mutuals, on the road all night from Chicago, play badly in Cincinnati and lose to the Red Stockings, 23–7.

10th  At the New York State Base Ball Convention in Albany, a motion prevails that no club in New York composed of colored men should be admitted to the National Association. a critical Henry Chadwick, writing in the New York Clipper on the 19th, reports the following:

“When the new clubs were proposed for election, Mr. Barnum, of the Gotham club, in order to save time, moved to suspend the rules so as to elect by one ballot. Mr. W. R. Macdiarmid of the Star club of Brooklyn, then moved to amend the motion, by providing that in case any of the clubs to be elected should be composed of colored men, their claim to membership should be void. This was unanimously adopted; and thus, for the first time in the history of the National Association, was a political question introduced as a bone of contention in the council of the fraternity. The mischievous influence of this resolution will undoubtedly be felt in the forthcoming convention, and to the Star club of Brooklyn and its partisan delegate will the National Association be indebted for introducing such an element of discord into the proceedings of the National Convention. After the introduction of this fire brand, an election for officers was proceeded with. In view of the action taken by the New York State Convention, we would suggest that the colored clubs of New York and Philadelphia at once take measures to organize a National Association of their own.”

18th The Union Baseball Ground in Brooklyn will be abandoned next year, and a street will be coming through the enclosure. This will leave only two enclosed parks in the vicinity, Capitoline Grounds in Brooklyn and the Union Baseball park at Tremont.

Chadwick followed up the following week by writing, on the 26th, that Macdiarmid’s resolution barring black was not even supported by his own club:

At a meeting of the Star Club, held at their rooms in Brooklyn, the following resolution was adopted:

“That the motion of one of our delegates in the late New York State Convention of Base Ball Players in regard to the admission of colored clubs to the State Association, involving, as it does, a question of a political nature, the introduction of which, in this club, cannot fail to prove prejudicial to that harmony which is so essential to our success as an organization, does not meet with our sanction or approval.”

21st  The Executive Committee of the Red Stockings Baseball Club issues a circular to the members announcing their determination not to employ a professional nine for 1871. Club president A.P.C. Bonte says that “. . . .we have arrived at the conclusion that to employ a nine for the coming season, at the enormous salaries demanded by professional players [the total payroll for 1869 was $9,300] would plunge our club deeply in debt. Bonte concludes by stating that “[we] have resolved to hire no players for the coming season.”

30th  The 14th annual convention of the National Association of Base Ball Clubs is held in New York, the attendance of delegates being smaller than any previous convention. Wansley, Duffy, and Devyr are reinstated to professional baseball, and William H. Craver is expelled for dishonorable play. Rule changes include allowing the batter to overrun 1B after touching it.

DECEMBER

4th The New York Sunday Mercury reports that “Rule 6 was amended by adding a clause to section 6 that prohibits any fence from being erected within 90 feet of home base, unless it be to mark the boundary of the grounds, in which case, if it be less than 90 feet, all passed balls touching such fence are to give one base.” (as noted by Richard Harshberger).

  • 1871

MARCH

17th  The National Association of Professional Baseball Players is formed in New York at a convention called together by Henry Chadwick. The meeting is held at Collier’s Saloon on the corner of 13th Street and Broadway. Playing rules will be the same as the amateur players’ with the exception of player compensation. Each club will play 5 games with the other clubs and the winner of 3 will have won that championship series. The league championship will be awarded to the team winning the most series against the other teams and not on a total wins or percentage basis as would be done in later years. Teams represented at the convention are: Athletics of Philadelphia, Boston Red Stockings (who hired Harry Wright to represent them after the Cincinnati Reds disbanded), Chicago White Stockings, Eckford of Brooklyn, Forest City of Cleveland, Forest Citys of Rockford, IL, Mutuals of New York, Nationals of Washington, DC, Olympics of Washington, and the Union Club of Troy, NY, known as the Haymakers. All but two of the teams put down a deposit of $10 with the Eckfords and the Atlantics of Brooklyn preferring to play independent of the new circuit. The surprising ninth entry in the new league is the Kekiongas of Fort Wayne, IN.

APRIL

6th The Mutual club of New York leaves on the steamer General Barnes for Savannah, Georgia, where they will start their southern tour with a game on April 10.

10th The Athletics of Philadelphia play their first practice game against a strong, picked nine. This is the first game at the new grounds at 25th and Jefferson, where professional baseball will be played for 21 years.

29th  The new ball grounds in Chicago, located at Randolph and Michigan on the lakefront, are opened as the White Stockings and a picked 9 play before 1,500 people. The New York Clipper says: “They will have accommodations on their grounds to seat 6,500 people. With the single exception of being somewhat narrow, they will have one of the finest ballparks in the country.”

MAY

4th  The first game played in the National Association is played at Fort Wayne, between the Kekiongas and the Forest Citys of Cleveland. Bobby Mathews shuts out the Cleveland team 2–0, one of only 4 shutouts in 1871 and the smallest score of the year. Jim White makes the first hit, a double, and participates in the NA’s first DP when he is caught off second on Gene Kimball’s fly ball. Second baseman Tom Carey makes the unassisted DP.

5th   At the Olympic Grounds, Al Spalding makes his organized ball debut, pitching the Boston Red Stockings to a 20-18 thriller against Washington. Using a baseball of his own making, Spalding allows 10 runs in the first two innings to the Olympics, which bat first. Spalding walks 10 batters, but Asa Brainard passes 18. Boston scores 5 runs in the bottom of the 9th for the win.

8th  The visiting Boston Reds demolish the Brooklyn Atlantics 25–0 in the worst defeat in the history of the Brooklyn club.

In Chicago, Ezra Sutton hits the National Association’s first homer, off Chicago’s George Zettlein, connecting in the 4th inning with a blast over the center fielder’s head. In the 7th, Sutton, playing for Cleveland Forest Citys, connects again, but Chicago wins, 14–12.

16th  The first professional game ever played in Boston is played between the Red Stockings and the visiting Haymakers before 5,000. Boston has Harry Wright playing SS in place of his injured brother George. George will miss half the games played by the Reds, severely hampering their pennant chances. Troy wins 29–14, making 24 hits to Boston’s 13. None are for four bases. The Boston Evening Journal notes the pivotal 7th inning: “The Haymakers now went to the bat, and by some heavy hitting, assisted materially by the fielding errors of the Bostons, scored eleven runs, but two or three being earned.”

25th  The heavily favored Mutuals are soundly defeated by the Haymakers of Troy, in Brooklyn, 25–10. Lipman Pike, the Troy 2B, collects 6 hits.

JUNE

5th  The eagerly awaited series opens between the White Stockings and the Mutuals before 10,000 at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn. Five of the old Eckfords play for Chicago while 5 of last year’s Atlantics play for the Mutuals. Fielding decides the game, as Chicago makes 19 errors to 7 for the Mutuals. New York wins 8–5.

17th Former Civil War General Abner Doubleday, now a Colonel in command of the 24th U.S. Infantry’s “Colored Regiment”, Fort McKavett, TX addresses a request to General E.D. Townsend, Adjutant General, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.: “I have the honor to apply for permission to purchase for the Regimental Library a few portraits of distinguished generals, Battle pictures, and some of Rogers groups of Statuary particularly those relative to the actions of the Colored population of the south. This being a colored regiment ornaments of this kind seem very appropriate. I would also like to purchase baseball implements for the amusement of the men and a Magic Lantern for the same purpose. The fund is ample and I think these expenditures would add to the happiness of the men.”

19th  After 6 innings of play at Troy, NY, the ball becomes ripped. The umpire decides that it is unfit and calls for another. The Kekiongas, winning at the time 6–3, refuse to allow another ball to be used and refuse to continue to the game. The umpire awards the game to the Haymakers, 9–0.

21st  The Kekiongas visit Boston and are shut out by Al Spalding and the Reds 23–0. Ft. Wayne makes only one hit.

22nd  Forest City of Cleveland travels to Philadelphia, and while playing an exhibition game against the Experts of Philadelphia, their substitute C Elmer White, chasing a poorly thrown ball, runs into the fence and breaks his arm.

25th  From the New York Sunday Mercury: Answers to Correspondents—“Of course a player can wear gloves if he likes. A half glove covering the palm of the hand and first joints of the fingers is excellent in saving the hand of the catcher and first baseman.”

28th  The Philadelphia Athletics outlast the Troy Haymakers 49–33 with each team scoring in all 9 innings. The score is tied after 4 innings at 16 each, but Philadelphia scores 9 in the 5th to take the lead. For the Athletics, 4 players score 6 runs and P Dick McBride and John Radcliffe each score 7. The A’s get 36 hits to Troy’s 31.

JULY

3rd At the start of a Mutuals-Haymakers game in Troy, NY, Captain Ferguson of the Mutes at first objects to the ball chosen for the game but finally consents. Troy then wallops the non-standard ball for a 37–16 win, with Steve King and Dickie Flowers collecting 6 hits each. Later, the Van Horn ball and the Ryan ball are found to each have the same amount of rubber but the former is “twice as lively.”

4th  The Mutuals, after a fine start, lose their fifth game in a row, to Eckford, 7–0. Only 2 hits are allowed by La “Phonney” Martin.

5th  The annual contest between Yale and Harvard results in a 22–19 victory for Harvard. Yale scores 4 runs in the top of the 9th to lead 19–17, only to have Harvard score 5 in the last half to win the game.

6th The first organized baseball game between a black team and a white team takes place in Chicago, when the black Uniques and the white Alerts square off. The Uniques win, 17–16.

7th  The Olympics of Washington, at home, score 18 runs in the 6th and defeat Ft. Wayne, 32–12. Four players go to bat three times in the big inning—John Glenn, Andy Leonard, Asa Brainard and George Hall. Leonard scores 3 times.

10th At the Union Grounds in Brooklyn, 200 fans watch the Eckfords wallop the Atlantics, 38–14. Fifty one hits are made in the game, supposedly played with a Peck & Snyder “dead” ball.

12th  The Boston Reds play the Kekiongas at Fort Wayne with the temperature reading 100 in the shade. Losing 8–6 after 5 innings, the Reds win the match 30–9. Al Spalding, Ross Barnes, and Fred Cone get 5 hits each.

13th The Haymakers of Troy defeat the Mutuals of Brooklyn, 9–7. to give them 3 wins and the season series over the Mutuals. The day is marred by the assault of Clipper Lynn, Troy’s 1B, by Dick Higham of the Mutes. Flynn says that Higham hit him in the face for no reason.

24th The Athletics win their 3rd game of the season against the Forest City of Cleveland club to win their season series. Levi Meyerle’s home run highlights the 18–3 win.

AUGUST

1st As of today, the Athletics have the best record, 13–5. The total number of matches played by the 9 teams is 77.

3rd In Troy, George Wright makes his first appearance in a championship game since he was injured here in May. His return doesn’t help Boston as they lose to the Haymakers, 13–12.

7th Five thousand people assemble on the Athletics grounds to see the Bostons trounce the home town A’s, 23–7.

9th  The Eckfords of Brooklyn journey to Troy and defeat the Haymakers 10–7. Ned Connors, the Troy 1B, makes 20 putouts in the 9-inning game.

17th At the Union Grounds in Brooklyn, the Eckfords score 8 runs in the 9th with 2 out to edge the Troy Haymakers, 15–13. John McMullin, the Troy pitcher, helps with 10 wild pitches in the frame.

21st In Chicago, the amateur champions, the Star Club of Brooklyn, plays the amateur champions of the Northwest, the Aetnas of Chicago. The game is decided in the 9th, 4–3, when Star pitcher Candy Cummings drives in the winning run.

28th  At the Union Grounds in Brooklyn, the Chicago White Stockings clinch the season’s series with a 6–4 victory over the Mutuals behind the speedy pitching of George Zettlein. This game gives the lie to the current rumors about the leading teams throwing games for gate-money purposes as the Whites could have insured a 5th and deciding game of the series played on their own grounds by losing today’s game.

30th  The White Stockings journey to Philadelphia where they take the 2nd game out of the 3 played in their championship series. The final score, 6–3, marks the lowest score by the Athletics since they started playing professionally. Zettlein holds the Athletics to 4 hits.

31st The Forest City of Rockford club defeats the Mutuals, 14–4, in an exhibition game at the Union Grounds before just 300 spectators. Most of the public refuses to pay fifty cents unless the game is a meaningful “match” game.

SEPTEMBER

2nd At Boston, the Reds enter the 7th leading Cleveland, 8–2. Two innings later the game is called with the Reds winning, 31–10. Boston scores 12 in the 7th and 11 in the 8th.

5th  With the NA race for the whip-pennant getting closer, Boston defeats the league-leading White Stockings for their first win in the 3 matches played. With the Whites leading 3–0 after 4 innings, Boston scores 6 in the 5th inning, highlighted by a HR over the LF fence by Charley Gould, off George Zettlein, with Dave Birdsall, McVey, and Spalding on the bases. It is the only grand slam hit this year; Zettlein, the pitcher who serves up the slam, also served up the league’s first homer, to Cleveland’s Ezra Sutton on May 8 (as noted by David Vincent). The final score today is 6–3.

9th The Athletics visit Boston without their star pitcher Dick McBride, who misses the game because of illness. George Bechtel pitches and loses to Al Spalding at the Bostons, 17–14. Harry Wright, a .267 hitter, has 4 walks and 3 runs scored.

11th Between 500 and 800 spectators, the smallest crowd of the year on the Athletics grounds, see an exhibition game between Cleveland and Philadelphia. Listless play shows why exhibition games are losing favor as the visitors win, 14–1, behind the 6-hit pitching of Al Pratt.

29th  Boston loses to Chicago, 10–8, and loses the season series 4 games to one.

OCTOBER

7th  The Chicago Fire breaks out at 10 o’clock in the evening. As the Rockford club travels toward Chicago the next day, they see the glow of the fire, turn around and return home. Chicago loses its ballpark and all equipment in the fire. The Whites are leading in the pennant race and must defeat the Haymakers in their remaining 3 games to clinch.

9th  The Athletics win the third and deciding game of their series with visiting Troy by scoring 3 runs in the 9th inning to win, 15–13.

18th  The Athletics defeat the Mutuals 21–7 before a large crowd in Philadelphia. This game puts the Athletics (20-7) in the position of having only to defeat the homeless White Stockings on the 25th to clinch the whip-pennant, provided the Haymakers can win their series with Chicago. According to Frank Vaccaro, the Mutuals arrived in Philadelphia with just seven players and a 9-0 forfeit was awarded to the Athletics. The two teams then played an exhibition which has somehow crept into the official records. The Mutuals were a player short two days ago in Boston and a forfeit was awarded to Boston. At that time, there was some grumbling that New York was trying to help Boston overtake Philadelphia, but today’s shorthandedness erased those suspicions. Frank Fleet is given credit for his first ML game, going 2-for-6 for the Mutuals.

21st  In Troy, NY, the Chicago Whites meet the Haymakers for the first time this season. Chicago, playing a match for the first time since the 29th of September, wins the game 11–5. The White Stockings would lose their next game to Troy, 19–12, on the 23rd and the rest of the series would be rained out. Bad weather prevents the completion of the Troy-Chicago series before the November 1st official end of the season.

30th  The final championship match for 1871 takes place on the Union Grounds in Brooklyn between the Athletics and the Chicago White Stockings. The Championship Committee decrees that today’s game will decide the winner of the pennant. Chicago, having played all of its games on the road since the fire, appears in an assorted array of uniforms. Theirs were all lost during the fire. The 4–1 victory by the Athletics gives them the championship for 1871. The final putout in the game is made by Nate Berkenstock, a 40-year-old retired amateur who appears in his only professional game. With a birth year of 1831, he is the oldest player to appear in a NA game.

  • 1872

FEBRUARY

12th  William Arthur “Candy” Cummings, who has been accused of signing contracts with 3 different clubs for the 1872 season, is released from his obligation to the Haymaker Club of Troy and will be allowed to play with the Mutual Club of NY. Candy maintains that Troy had not lived up to the pact he signed last September, that he never signed with the Athletics, and that he was justified in signing with the Mutes.

MARCH

4th  The National Association of Professional Baseball Players holds its annual convention in Cleveland. Eight clubs send delegates. Bob Ferguson, Atlantics IF, is elected president. Each team is required to play a series of 5 games with each club. Whoever wins the most games will be declared champion. The rules will now permit the use of the wrist in pitching.

APRIL

13th  A gathering of Cincinnatians takes place on the old Union Grounds to witness the auction of the trophies of the famous Cincinnati Red Stockings Baseball Club. Balls from the Reds’ victories of 1869 and 1870 sell for an average of $2–$4 each.

18th  The first match of the season is played at Washington, and the Lord Baltimores hand the Olympics their first “Chicago,” or shutout game, ever, winning 16–0. Other teams in the professional association are the Atlantics, Athletics, Boston, Cleveland, Eckfords, Haymakers, Nationals, Mutuals, and the Mansfields of Middletown, CT.

26th  Troy and Middletown begin their season with a well-pitched game by George Zettlein, now with the Haymakers. For the Mansfields, in their first big- league game, a 10–0 loss, are Tim Murnane and future Hall of Famer Jim O’Rourke. O’Rourke, later a prominent Boston Reds player, will close out a noteworthy career by catching a full game for the New York Giants in 1904.

MAY

4th  A cold, blustery day in Philadelphia does not deter 5,000 spectators who turn out to see the season’s first game between last year’s champions, the Athletics, and the number one contender, the Boston Reds. Philadelphia scores 6 in the 7th inning to win the game 10–7.

9th The drawing power of the regular pro clubs and the co-operative clubs is shown as 500 fans witness the Boston Reds defeating the Eckfords of Brooklyn, 20–0. The co-ops, or teams whose players are paid using the team’s share of the gate receipts, are the Atlantics, Olympics, Nationals, Mansfields, and the Eckfords. Indications are that the people are not willing to spend fifty cents to witness games in which the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

20th  A dispute stops play in the Baltimore-Athletics game. With one out and Mike McGeary on 2B and Adrian “Cap” Anson on 1B, Anson is thrown out at 2B on an attempted steal on a pitch that gives the batter a base on balls. The umpire calls Anson out on the grounds that he attempted to steal before Denny Mack received the pitch, a ball, entitling him to his base. During the argument, McGeary steps off 3B and is tagged out, ending the inning. A great uproar starts and the game is stopped. The game will be replayed.

29th  The first game to be played in Chicago since the Great Fire is played on the new grounds of the Chicago Base Ball Association before an enthusiastic crowd of 4,000. Baltimore defeats Cleveland, 5–3.

JUNE

6th Al Spalding holds the Lords to 2 hits as Boston has no trouble with Bobby Mathews, winning 7–0. Charley Gould, first sacker for the Reds, has 17 putouts at 1B.

15th  During the Athletics-Atlantics game, Tom Barlow bunts the ball and reaches first safely. The New York Clipper describes the play: “After the first two strikers had been retired, Barlow, amid much laughter and applause, ‘blocked’ a ball in front of the home plate and reached first base before the ball did.” That is one of only 3 hits off Dick McBride, as the Athletics win 11–1.

26th The Washington Nationals (0-11) (NA) play their last game of the season with a 9-1 loss to Baltimore. A moral victory of sorts: it is their first game holding opponents under 10 runs. The Nationals had opened the season with a 21-1 loss to Baltimore.

30th The Boston Reds complete June with an 18–1 record. Ross Barnes leads the team in batting with a mark of .380, with George Wright at .368.

JULY

5th  The Cleveland “Forest Citys” find themselves with just eight men in the middle of their nine day East coast swing. Team captain Scott Hastings has neither starting pitcher Al Pratt (sick) nor backup pitcher Rynie Wolters (absent )at the Capitoline Grounds, just North of Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Hastings pulls occasional pitcher Charlie Pabor from left field who keeps Brooklyn’s lead to 4-3 after four innings. But the Atlantics eventually win, 10-3, behind Jim Britt (as noted by Herm Krabbenhoft).

6th  With pitcher Al Pratt still ill, Playing with just 8 men, Cleveland plays with eight men and defeats the Eckford club at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn 24–5. The pounding sends pitcher Joe McDermott out of baseball. There are 300 fans on hand. Cleveland C Scott Hastings gets 6 hits and scores 5 runs.

The Boston team under Harry Wright leaves for one of the islands in Boston’s Harbor for 10 days of hunting and fishing for a week’s vacation. Boston’s record is now 22–1.

13th The Champion Athletics visit Brooklyn. To the delight of the large crowd, the Mutuals avenge last month’s 19–0 pasting with a 8–0 “chicago” of the champs. Candy Cummings allows 5 hits.

23rd The stockholders of the Troy club dismiss the players on the team without paying them a salary. The players will attempt to operate as a co-op for the rest of the season.

26th  The National Association holds a special meeting, resolving that, because some teams have dropped out of the race for 1872 (Troy, Nationals, and Olympics), 9 games will be played between contending teams this season instead of 5.

29th In only the 5th championship match played anywhere since the “chicago”, or shutout, of the 13th, the Atlantics give the visiting Reds all they can handle, losing 17–12 in 11 innings.

AUGUST

5th  The New York Mutuals use a 7-run 9th to break open their game with the Middletown Mutuals, winning 14-3, as Candy Cummings wins his 19th. Nat Hicks has 4 hits and Dave Eggler has 4 hits and 4 runs. Eggler has now hit in 29 straight games. The Mansfields will play three more games before disbanding.

8th  Twenty-five hundred people watch the Baltimore Canaries rally for 3 runs in the 9th to tie the Mutuals, 8–8, and then win the game in the 12th, 12–8, at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn. Lipman Pike scores the winning run on a hit by Tom Carey off Candy Cummings.

15th  The Maple Leaf Club of Guelph, Canada, the Canadian champions, plays the Mutuals on the Union Grounds. The Canadians started their American tour in Baltimore on the 12th, losing 25–5. Yesterday they lost in Philadelphia to the Athletics 35–8. Today, in a close game, they lose to the Mutuals, 9–4.

19th  After the defeat of the Forest Citys of Cleveland by Boston 18–7 at Cleveland, the club disbands. With the disbandment of the Mansfields earlier this month, there are now only 6 clubs left playing for the pennant.

27th Baltimore journeys to the Unions Grounds in Brooklyn and beat the Eckfords, 15–8, their 7th win in 8 games since Davy Force joined the team after the fall of Troy.

SEPTEMBER

1st  Albert Thake, 22-year-old left fielder of the Brooklyn Atlantics, drowns off Fort Hamilton, in New York Harbor, when his boat capsizes while he is fishing with teammates. A benefit game is arranged by Bob Ferguson between the old Brooklyn Atlantics and members of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings.

14th  An unusual play highlights the Athletics-Boston match in Philadelphia. With the Athletics leading 4–1 in the 7th inning, and runners on 1B and 2B, Fergy Malone pops up to SS George Wright. Wright catches the ball in his hat and then throws the ball to 3B after which it is thrown to 2B. Wright claims a double play has been completed, as a batter cannot be retired with a “hat catch,” and thus runners Cap Anson and Bob Reach are forced out. The umpire finally gives Malone another at-bat, declaring nobody out. Athletics win 6–4.

25th In Philadelphia, the Athletics, losing 14–5 going into the last of the 9th, fall a run short of tying and lose 14–13. Wes Fisler’s bases-loaded triple is the big blow in the frame.

OCTOBER

5th  Baltimore scores 39 runs on 42 hits to the Atlantics’ 14 runs on 11 hits. The ball used was so hard and elastic it was dangerous to try and catch it. Scott Hastings, the Baltimore catcher, scores 6 times on 7 base hits.

8th  The “Grand Base Ball Tournament” begins, a series of games played on the Union Grounds in Brooklyn between the 3 major professional clubs: Mutuals, Athletics, and the Reds of Boston. First prize will be $1,800. Today’s game ends in a tie, Mutuals 7, Boston 7. The tournament will end October 17th with Philadelphia and Boston splitting the prize money.

15th  A field day contest of throwing the baseball is held on the Union Grounds in Brooklyn, first prize being $25. Six contestants make 3 throws each from CF toward home plate with the winner getting $25. Johnny Hatfield’s last throw carries 133 yards, 1 foot, and 71⁄2 inches to capture first prize and break his 1868 record of 132 yards. Leonard is next with 119 yards, followed by George Wright at 117, Bill Boyd at 115, Wes Fisler at 112, and Cap Anson at 110.

22nd  The Boston Red Stockings win the championship of the 1872 season, winning their 39th game by defeating the Eckfords 4–3. When the season ends on the 31st (only 17 matches will be played this month) Baltimore and Mutual will finish behind Boston, with 34 wins.

29th At Brooklyn, the Mutuals lose to Baltimore, 4–1. The New Sun reports that one of the gamblers has two of the Mutes in his pocket. The New York World says the report that one or two of the Mutes had been “squared” appears to be true. A hundred spectators attend the match, the Clipper reporter commenting that with the loss of confidence in the integrity of the players goes all interest in the contests.

  • 1873

MARCH

3rd  Delegates from the existing professional clubs of the country assemble in Baltimore to establish a permanent Professional Association. Teams represented are the Athletics, Atlantics, Baltimores, Boston Reds, Marylands of Baltimore, Resolute of New Jersey, and the Washingtons. A constitution is adopted along with Henry Chadwick’s code of rules. For the first time a uniform ball (Ryan’s dead ball) must be used in all games.

APRIL

14th In the first game of the season the Marylands of Baltimore host Nick Young’s Washington club. Baltimore is missing some of its players and absorbs a 24–3 loss.

18th The other clubs representing Washington and Baltimore meet in D.C. Candy Cummings, pitching for the Lord Baltimores, holds the Nationals to one run and 2 hits to win, 7–1.

23rd  At Boston, 2,000 spectators see the Philadelphias (today called the Quakers, later called the Phillies) and Boston. Philadelphia scores 4 in the 9th to win 8–5.

28th In Elizabeth, NJ, the host Resolutes lose to the Philadelphias, 23–5. Resolute catcher Douglas Allison breaks a finger in the 5th inning and s witches places with SS John Farrow.

MAY

5th  Two thousand spectators pay 50¢ at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn and watch Baltimore play the Mutuals. Baltimore scores 3 in the first inning without a base hit and wins 6–1.

12th The Philadelphias come from behind in the 9th inning, scoring 2 runs on hits by Chick Fulmer and Fred Treacey to defeat Bobby Mathews and the visiting Orioles, 5–4.

14th  One of the most exciting, best-played, and closely contested games yet recorded takes place before almost 5,000 between the Philadelphias and the Athletics. The Philadelphias win in the 13th, 5–4, as Chick Fulmer scores the winning run. Only once before, in 1865, has a match required as many as 13 innings to conclude.

17th In Philadelphia, Athletics P Dick McBride holds the Mutuals to 2 hits, both by Dave Eggler, and wins, 12–0.

19th At the Union Grounds in Brooklyn, 2,000 fans are on hand as the Atlantics beat the Quakers, 13–11. In the first inning, there are two Quakers on base when Malone hits a pop up to Dickey Pearce. Pearce lets the ball hit the ground, then throws to 3B for a force and the relay to 2B Jack Burdock completes a DP.

31st In Philadelphia, the Athletics beat the Atlantics, 10–5, while in Boston, the Mutuals score 8 in the 9th inning but still lose 16–9.

JUNE

3rd  The Boston Reds visit the Union Grounds in Brooklyn to play the Mutuals in a game that goes to 12 innings before Boston wins 6–5. George Wright scores for the Reds on a hit by Ross Barnes.

7th At the Union Grounds in Brooklyn, 2,000 spectators see the Mutuals play the Philadelphias (now referred to as the White Stockings). Forty errors are charged in the game, 26 by the Mutes. Philadelphia scores once in the 8th and 9th to win, 12–10.

11th  The largest crowd of the year, 10,000, jams the grounds at 25th and Jefferson to see the Athletics play the Philadelphias. The Philadelphias score 5 runs in the 7th to win 7–5.

14th  In Boston, 2,000 spectators watch the Reds suffer a shutout for the first time in their history. Dick McBride of the Athletics holds the champions to only 2 hits. An unusual play occurs near the end of the game when Tim Murnane, who later as “Murnane” becomes a famous sports writer, avoids a tag by Andy Leonard by jumping over him to reach 2B.

18th At the Union Grounds, the Atlantics surprise their 500 fans on hand by defeating the Philadelphias, 13–4. Dickey Pearce leads the attack with 3 hits, including a HR.

27th  Michael J. Kelly, former baseball reporter for the New York Herald and editor of the DeWitt baseball guide in 1868, dies of pneumonia at the age of 33. A benefit game for the family will be played between the Atlantics and the Mutuals on July 19th, raising $1,000.

JULY

4th  The Resolutes of Elizabeth NJ upset the Red Stocking, 11–2, in an a.m. game. The afternoon game is close for 6 innings but Boston scores 5 runs in the 7th, 2 in the 8th, and 21 in the 9th to roll to a 32–3 win. At the end of today, Baltimore leads with 30 wins, followed by Philadelphia with 27. Boston and the Athletics have 21 each.

3rd Intense heat holds the crowd to 200 at the Union Grounds as Bobby Mathews of the Mutes pitches a 2-hitter to beat the Washington, 2–1. He also hits a triple and scores the winning run.

10th  In Philadelphia, 3,000 people see the Philadelphias, favorites for this year’s pennant, and Boston, last year’s champions, play a wild game with the home team winning 18–17. The teams have decided to cut short the number of games they will play in August due to poor attendance during that month.

17th The Boston Red Stockings beat the Athletics by a score of 21 to 13. The Bostons make 24 hits, while the A’s have 15—none of the hits for home runs. The time of the game is 2 hours and 20 minutes.

18th  Shortstop George Wright hits 2 HRs in the 3rd off Candy Cummings to stake Boston to an early lead, but Baltimore rallies for 13 runs against Al Spalding in the last 3 innings to overcome a 14–4 deficit. and defeat the Red Stockings 17–14.

21st  One thousand people witness an extraordinary game in Philadelphia between the Athletics and the Lord Baltimores. Lipman Pike’s 3-base hit and Tom York’s groundout tie the game at the end of 9 innings. The Athletics’ 3 runs in the top of the 10th and 2 in the top of the 11th are matched by Baltimore, and it is not until the 13th that Everett Mills scores the winning run for the Baltimores on John Radcliffe’s hit, winning 12–11.

22nd  Tom Barlow’s 6 bunt base hits are not enough to give the Atlantics a victory as the Lord Baltimores win 12–9.

24th  Brooklyn’s Bob Ferguson umpires a close game between the Mutuals and the Baltimores that ends in a 3-run rally by the Mutes in the last of the 9th to win 11–10. A police escort is needed to get the umpire to the clubhouse. Nat Hicks of the Mutuals and Ferguson get into an altercation, the end result of which is the striking of Hicks’s left arm with a bat wielded by the umpire. The men are reconciled after the game, but Hicks’s arm is broken in 2 places, and he will not play for the next 2 months.

30th  The Philadelphia Athletics play their first game in almost 3 weeks after spending a holiday at Cape May, NJ, to rest from the rigors of the season. They are roughly handled at Boston, with the Reds defeating them 24–10.

AUGUST

7th for the first time this season, the Philadelphia White Stockings lose a home game as Baltimore beats them, 5–4, behind the hitting of Levi Meyerle and the pitching of Candy Cummings.

16th  The Athletics, later enjoying a vacation of 3 weeks, make their reappearance at home, shutting out the Washington Nationals 14–0, with Dick McBride allowing but 5 hits.

Seven thousand people in Chicago see the Boston Reds defeat the Philadelphia Phillies (also referred to as “White Stockings,” but not in Chicago) 11–8. After the teams leave Chicago it is announced that a number of players have signed contracts to play in Chicago next year.

At Baltimore’s Newington Park, Baltimore OF Lipman Pike races against a horse named “Clarence.” Pike has a short lead after 75 yards when the trotter breaks into a run. Pike holds on to win in 10 seconds flat.

SEPTEMBER

6th Al Spalding of the Boston Reds pitches one of his best games holding the Athletics to 3 hits. It is hardly needed as the Reds have a 12-run 7th to coast home, 23–1.

12th In a game of unprecedented length, 14 innings, the Philadelphia club wins, 3–2, at the Union Grounds. Jim Devlin scores the winning run when RF Ed Booth muffs a fly ball. Devil is caught in a rundown between 3B and home but Jack Burdock throws the ball away.

25th In Philadelphia, the Mutuals surprise the first place White Stockings (aka Phillies), 8–4. The Phillies have 30 win to Boston’s 28. The games played by the disbanded Resolutes and Marylands have been thrown out.

OCTOBER

2nd With 4 wins for each team, the rubber game of the season series is played in Philadelphia with the Reds of Boston. Boston wins, 18–7, to draw even in wins (30) with the Phils.

9th Davy Force and George Hall each have 6 hits and score 5 runs as the Lord Baltimores humble the host Atlantics, 29–4. The Lords have 32 hits.

10th  After scoring 29 runs on 32 hits yesterday, the Lord Baltimores are held to 2 singles by Bob Mathews, as the Mutuals win the game 7–0.

13th In a slugging contest between Boston and Baltimore, the Reds score 32 runs on 32 hits, while the Lords tally 13 runs on 17 hits. Ross Barnes has 6 hits while the Reds Jim O’Rourke has 5 hits and 6 runs.

16th The Philadelphias win their 32nd game—2 behind Boston—by beating Baltimore, 13–9. Levi Meyerle starts a triple play for the Lords.

17th Boston overwhelms the Atlantics, 29–4. Harry Wright, batting 9th, collects 2 homers, 2 doubles, and a single.

22nd  The Boston Red Stockings clinch the pennant for 1873 by defeating the Washington Nationals, 11–8, in Washington. George Wright leads the attack with a triple and 2 singles.

29th The last match of the year is played in Philadelphia, the Athletics beating the Atlantics, 17–5. The standings, showing games actually played by the 9 teams that started the season, have Boston in 1st (43 wins); Philadelphia (36) Baltimore (33); Mutuals (29); Athletics (28).

NOVEMBER

6th  The first game under the proposed new rule of 10 men and 10 innings is played between the Athletics and the Phillies as a benefit for Ned Cuthbert. The majority present thought the 10th man (a right shortstop) was an unnecessary innovation. The Athletics win, 14–13.

  • 1874

JANUARY

20th The Judiciary Committee of the NA meets at Baltimore’s St. Clare Hotel to consider charges that Bob Addy played with Boston last year before the required 60 days had elapsed since his employment by the Rockford Club, and the expulsion of Candy Cummings for leaving the team without permission. The charges against Addy are dismissed and Cummings is censured and reinstated.

29th  A. G. Spalding, 23, arrives in England where he will call on sporting editors and athletes pursuing his plan to bring two baseball clubs to England this summer and exhibit American baseball and to play some cricket matches.

FEBRUARY

27th  The first match of American baseball ever played in England takes place at the Kennington Oval Cricket Field in London. The match is arranged by Mr. C. Alcock, the cricket editor of the London Sportsman, and the participants include several well-known cricketers. Mr. Spalding and Mr. Briggs, of the Beacon Club of Boston, choose up sides and play a 6-inning game. Spalding loses, 17–5.

MARCH

2nd  The 4th meeting of the Professional Association takes place at the United States Hotel in Boston. Seven clubs send delegates: Athletics, Chicago, Hartford, Philadelphias, Mutuals, and Boston. The Atlantics are not represented but will play this year. Charles H. Porter of the Bostons is elected president. New rules include the adoption of the batter’s box and the prohibition of any player betting on his own team (expulsion) or any other team (forfeiture of pay). The 10-man, 10-inning proposition favored by Henry Chadwick is defeated.

14th  A. G. Spalding comes home from his visit to England after arranging the tour of the Athletic and Boston teams this summer. Plans call for the teams to depart from the U.S. on July 16, play baseball and cricket matches in England during August, and leave Liverpool for home on August 26th. The full number of championship matches during the regular baseball season will be played.

APRIL

16th  The first championship match of the 1874 season is played in Philadelphia, with the Athletics defeating the Philadelphias (now referred to as the Pearls) 14–5.

20th The Chicago White Stockings, under manager Nick Young, leave for St. Louis for 2 weeks of practice before the season starts.

22nd  The first game of the season in Baltimore finds the home team shut out by the Philadelphias and future Hall of Famer Arthur “Candy” Cummings. Candy allows 5 hits.

MAY

1st In Hartford, the home team beats the Mutuals, 10–7. The Nutmegs score 6 runs in the 3rd inning. Lipman Pike has 3 hits.

5th  Tommy Bond pitches for the Atlantics in their 1874 opener. It is his first appearance in the National Association. Bond would later win 40 or more games in 3 consecutive seasons in the NL. Today he limits Baltimore to 4 hits as the Atlantics win the game, played at the Union Grounds, 24–3.

7th The Athletics Dick McBride pitches a one-hitter to defeat the Pearls, 7–1.

9th  The Mutuals meet the Athletics at the Union Grounds before 1,000 fans. Another 1,000 wait outside the gate for the end of the 3rd inning when they will be admitted for half price. The Mutuals commit 11 errors in the last half of the 6th inning, but still win 8–5.

12th The Boston Reds trounce the visiting Nutmegs, 25-3. Hartford’s Cherokee Fisher allows 23 hits while his teammates back him with 29 errors. With 2 on in the 4th, Hartford’s Bill Barnie lifts a pop fly in front of home. McVey, catching for Boston bobbles the ball, but George Wright, coming in from SS, catches the ball before it hits the ground.

13th  The first professional championship match in Chicago, by a Chicago team, since the Great Fire of 1871 is played before 4,000 spectators. George Zettlein and the White Stockings defeat the Athletics of Philadelphia, 4–0. The Athletics have 10 hits and 21 base runners and yet fail to score.

30th At the Union Grounds in Brooklyn, 10,000 fans are on hand for the first match of the year between the Mutuals of NY and the Atlantics. Two runs in the 1st are the only scores as Mathews and the Mutes win, 2–0. Atlantic 1B Herman Dehlman has 21 putouts. The Boston Reds finish the month in first place with an 18–2 mark.

JUNE

12th  Maybe we shoulda loaned them somebody else. At Newington Park, Jack Manning of Baltimore has 6 hits as the Canaries beat the Boston Red Stockings, 17-12. Boston loaned Manning to Baltimore at the start of the season.

15th  Candy Cummings strikes out 6 consecutive Chicago White Stocking batters during an 8–6 victory at Philadelphia.

18th  One of the poorest games of baseball ever played between two professional clubs occurs in New York as the Mutuals defeat the Chicago White Stockings 38–1. Of the 33 hits collected by the Mutes, Tom Carey makes 6 and scores 6 runs. Chicago has two hits and commits 36 errors. Cuthbert and Zettlein are not allowed to play for the Whites because of suspicion attached to their actions during a match in Philadelphia yesterday. They will be reinstated for the game on the 20th and the charges will be dismissed as hearsay.

27th  The visiting Chicago Whites lose to the Boston Reds, 29–6. Pitcher Al Spalding collects 6 hits for the winners.

JULY

4th  Chicago celebrates its return home after a 4-week eastern trip by defeating the league-leading Boston Red Stockings 17–16 before 10,000 spectators. Pitcher George Zettlein bats in John Peters with the inning run in the 10th. Ross Barnes has 6 hits for the losers. And the end of today the Reds are (26–7); the A’s (20–9), and the Mutes (15–13).

10th“Be generous with kindly words, especially about those who are absent (Goethe) Joe Start, the Mutual star first baseman, misses the train to Hartford, and the Mutes are forced to play with only 8 players. Hartford wins, 13–4. Play-by-play in the Hartford Courant shows that New York’s batting order went from Carey batting eighth to Higham batting first without penalty. The player “Absent”, batting 0 hits with 0 runs, appears in the ninth batting slot. The Courant reports that New York played without a center fielder, but that this handicap produced for Hartford “only five runs”. (as noted by Frank Vaccaro).

Jimmy Wood, famed as a second baseman in the early days and more recently known as the man who put together the Chicago White Stockings of 1870, has his right leg amputated above the knee. The cause was an abscess following an accident several months ago.

16th  The Boston and Athletic teams sail from Philadelphia for England. Round-trip tickets for baseball enthusiasts can be obtained for $100.

30th In Liverpool, England, the Athletics score 5 runs in the 10th to beat the Bostons, 14–11.

AUGUST

3rd  The American visitors play their first game of baseball in London at the Lord’s Cricket Grounds as Boston defeats the Athletics 24–7. In the morning, a cricket match between the Americans and the Maryleborne Club is started. At the completion of the match on the 4th, the Americans are victorious 107–105. The American ballplayers will play in 7 cricket matches during the tour and will win all 7. However, the Americans field 18 players while their opponents use 12.

5th Chicago’s first win over the Mutuals is tainted with accusations of crooked play by some of the Mutes players. The host Whites win, 5–4, scoring a run in the 9th. Mike McDonald, a notorious Windy City gambler, is said to have been on a binge last night with a prominent member of the Mutes.

24th  The American tourists arrive in Dublin, Ireland, where they play a baseball game, won by Boston 12–7. They then start a cricket game, finishing tomorrow with the U.S. winning 165–88.

26th In Philadelphia, Candy Cummings allows 2 hits to beat the Atlantics, 23–1.

In Chicago, the Whites defeat the Baltimores, 6–2. Jim White, playing 3B for the Canaries, has 10 assists.

SEPTEMBER

1st In Hartford, Bobby Mathews allows 3 hits as the visiting Mutuals win, 14–0.

9th  The stockholders of the Philadelphias baseball club vote 26–15 to expel player John J. Radcliffe. Umpire William McLean has testified that Radcliffe approached him before the game at Chicago on July 15th and offered him $175 if he would help Chicago win the game. Four other players were in on the plot: Candy Cummings, Nat Hicks, Bill Craver, and Denny Mack.

12th  Boston’s return home after the tour is spoiled by a victory for the Athletics 6–5. Boston still leads the pennant race with a 31-9 record followed by the Mutuals with 29 victories and 17 losses.

14th  To the surprise of 1,000 Boston spectators, Chicago bats Spalding all over the lot with 10 runs on 22 hits while George Zettlein limits the Reds to no runs on 4 hits. Boston’s George Wright makes 3 errors.

16th  The Globes, Louisville’s first black baseball team, play a charity game for yellow fever sufferers, shaming a pair of local white clubs into following suit to avoid, in the words of the Louisville Courier-Journal, being “outdone by the darkly-complected portion of the human race.”

28th In Philadelphia, the Athletics win by a 9–0 forfeit over the White Stockings. The score is tied after 8 innings, but the Athletics score 2 in the 9th with darkness approaching. Chicago starts to delay the game, hoping that it will be called, but umpire McLean refuses. After the A’s score 8 runs, Zettlein hands the ball to the ump saying, “we give it up.”

OCTOBER

1st A bad day in Boston as the Atlantics lose to the Reds, 29–1, getting just 4 hits off Al Spalding. Boston has 26 hits while Brooklyn chips in with 36 errors. Boston and the Mutes are tied with 36 wins.

9th  Five thousand people watch the last match game of the season between the Mutuals and the Boston Reds. Spalding allows only 5 hits, but the Reds lose 4–3. The winning runs score on Joe Start’s double and a throwing error.

20th  Tommy Bond, whom Henry Chadwick says “bids fair to be a second Creighton,” shuts out the Mutual club on 2 hits as the Atlantics win 5–0.

NOVEMBER

1st  The season ends today with the Boston Red Stockings being declared the champions with a record of 43–17. Boston actually had a record of 52-18 but the Committee throws out the Baltimore games because the team did not complete their schedule. The Mutuals finish second.

DECEMBER

26th From Henry Chadwick’s column in the New York Clipper (as noted by Bob Schaeffer): “A vile habit which some catchers are prone to indulge in is that of growling at umpires and disputing their decisions or ill-naturedly questioning their judgment. . . . Aside from the fact that it is illegal and unfair, it is the worst policy a catcher can follow, for growling (complaining) only increases the prejudice of the umpire and confuses his judgment, and his errors are sure to tell against the grumbling catcher’s side.”

  • 1875

 

JANUARY

9th  The first game of baseball played on ice this winter in the New York area takes place at Prospect Park in Brooklyn between 2 teams managed by Billy Barnie and Crawford. Barnie’s team wins 20–7 in a 5-inning match. Only 2 outs per team constitute an inning.

MARCH

17th  The National Amateur Baseball Association meets in Boston. Harry Wright represents the Professionals to try and secure the adoption of a single code of playing rules.

1st The convention of professional clubs meets in the rooms of the Athletic club of Philadelphia. Thirteen clubs will enter the pro arena this year. The Judiciary Committee awards Davy Force’s contract to Chicago, but with the election of a new Committee, Force is awarded to Philadelphia, much to the dismay of Mr. Hulbert and the Chicago club.

APRIL

10th The Mutuals play a practice game against a picked nine, winning 10–7. Henry Chadwick is the umpire.

11th  The New York Sunday Mercury describes the activities of the New Haven club during their training for the upcoming season: “First, each man runs a quarter of a mile, then gentle exercise upon the horizontal bar is taken, after which a trial at vaulting on the vaulting horse is indulged; then a series of Indian Club swinging, followed by the whole team pulling about one mile on the rowing apparatus. After all this, the club retires to a bowling alley where they pass and strike balls.”

19th The season opens in Boston with the Reds beating the visiting Elm City Club of New Haven. Al Spalding pitches a 6-hitter while three members of the Wright family play in the game. Elm City SS Sam, Boston’s SS George and Harry, captain of the Boston team.

22nd  The first championship match between the Athletics and the Philadelphias (called the Pearls or the Fillies) is played in Philadelphia before 2,000 people, including the Boston 9, who stopped on their way to Washington. Highlights are the triple by Cap Anson of the Athletics and the unassisted DP by Levi Meyerle of the Philadelphias. The Athletics win 6–3.

MAY

3rd  The Hartfords wallop the Philadelphia Centennials 13–4. Captain Hayhurst discovers that some of the Hartford players are using an illegal bat. The rules state that the bat must be round, but the bat in question has been whittled down almost flat on one side and painted black so as to disguise it. The bat is then removed.

4th the Chicago White Stockings travel to Keokuk, Iowa and play the Westerns in that city’s first major pro game. Chicago wins, 15–1.

5th Better rethink this. The Athletics trounce the Washington club, 20–8. This is the 5th game in a row that Washington has lost with the winning team scoring 20+ runs.

6th  Before 5,000, the St. Louis Browns defeat the Chicago White Stockings 10–0 at the Grand Avenue Grounds (later known as Sportsman’s Park). St. Louis’s George Bradley allows but 4 hits.

8th  St. Louis holds the White Stockings scoreless for the first 8 innings and hangs on to win, 4–3. The Browns have shut out Chicago for 17 consecutive innings, a feat never before accomplished in baseball.

11th  Two hundred people sit through a windstorm in St. Louis to see a remarkable game as the visiting Chicago White Stockings, behind Al Spalding, defeat the St. Louis Red Stockings 1–0. Each team gets 6 hits in this, the lowest-scoring game in baseball history at the time.

14th A first in pro ball occurs as all the scoring of the game comes in the 1st inning. The Mutuals defeat the Phillies, 2–1.

17th Boston’s Al Spalding holds the visiting Athletics to 5 hits to win, 12–0. Cal McVey belts a home run (“McVey went ’round the square”) over the fence at the Union Grounds to lead the attack.

21st In the best-played game ever on the Union Grounds, Candy Cummings and Hartford win, 1–0 against the Mutuals Bobby Mathews. It is the 2nd game with that score in 10 days.

22nd Bobby Mathews faces just 28 Atlantic batters, allowing one hit by Bill Boyd as his Mutuals make no errors and win 4–0.

26th  The Centennial club of Philadelphia becomes the first professional club of 1875 to disband. The Centennials have the honor of becoming the first team to sell a ballplayer. The rival Athletics wanted Bill Craver and George Bechtel, so the Athletics paid an official of the Centennials to have the 2 players released and transferred to the Athletic club.

27th In Philadelphia, 5,000 spectators watch a close match between the Athletics and the visiting Bostons. Later Boston scores 3 times in the top of the 10th to break 3–3 tie, the crowd rushes the field and the umpire, unable to maintain order, declares a tie.

29th  At Hamilton Park in New Haven, CT, Joseph McElroy Mann of Princeton College pitches a no-hitter against Yale and their star pitcher Avery, winning 3–0. This is the first college no-hitter, according to George Moreland’s Balldom, a 1914 publication.

JUNE

3rd The visiting Mutuals of New York are “chicagoed” by the White Stockings, 8–0, giving the team their revenge after their famous shutout in Chicago by New York in 1870. The White have 15 hits while the Mutes manage 2 off George Zettlein.

5th  In St. Louis, the Boston Reds suffer their first defeat of the season after 26 victories and one draw. The Browns’ George Bradley holds the Reds to 8 hits in winning, 6–5. After Bradley makes the last putout, the crowd rushes on the field and lifts him to their shoulders. Boston will go 34–8 on the road and will win all 37 games at home.

10th The finest game ever played in Keokuk, Iowa sees the Westerns battle the Boston Reds before losing, 6–4. A crowd of 300 is on hand. When the Reds get their share of the gate receipts—$13—they elect to forfeit tomorrow’s match and head back to Chicago. A few more events like this and the short-lived Keokuk club packs it in on June 16.

11th George Hall of the Athletics hits 2 consecutive homers as Philadelphia trounces visiting Washington, 21–4.

12th In Chicago, the Boston Reds hose the White Stockings, 24–7 before a crowd of 10,000. Chicago helps with 21 errors. When Captain Jimmy Wood accuses P George Zettlein of “laying down”, George denies it and threatens to quit.

17th In a Chicago Tribune interview, Chicago’s Jimmy Wood denies any friction with Zettlein and says, “I don’t see why the newspapers should be everlastingly pitching into us when we do so much for them. . . . there seems to be a sort of determination to run down the club.”

19th  Henry Chadwick has this to say about today’s game: “the finest display of baseball playing and the most exciting contest yet recorded in the annals of the national game.” The Chicago Whites and the Dark Blues of Hartford battle 10 scoreless innings before Jim Devlin scores on a fly out by Paul Hines in the 11th to win for Chicago, 1–0. Zettlein is the winner over Cummings. The veteran boxer Billy McLean is the umpire.

21st At Boston, Al Spalding (6-5) tosses a one-hitter and the Red Stockings overwhelm Ft. Wayne, 21-0. Jim Foran, a .348 hitter in his one season, has the lone safety. The Kekiongas back Bobby Mathews with 11 errors. Ross Barnes has 5 hits.

23rd Cap Anson gets 5 hits and scores 6 runs as the Athletics trip New Haven, 18–9.

At Boston, George Wright is 5-for-6 to help Boston beat Brooklyn, 15–1.

24th The Philadelphias defeat the Whites, 5–2, scoring 3 runs in the 12th under suspicious circumstances. The theory is that Mike McGeary of the Phillies has been paid to help Chicago and indeed, he does make 5 errors. A Chicago player gets wind of the deal and wants in, but when the pool-sellers refuse their offer, the player and his teammates lose the game.

26th The White Stockings lose another to Philadelphia, 4–3. A Chicago Tribune reporter, calling for the team to disband, saying, “. . . there seems no good excuse for keeping up the present nine. . . .already the public is disgusted with them.” The Chicago Times reporter feels that the Whites sold out and that Dick Higham, the catcher, lost the game for them.

In torrid heat in Philadelphia, the Athletics hand the Boston Reds a 10–1 defeat in front of a crowd of 5,000. George Hall has a HR and a triple.

28th  An organized gang, having bet on the success of the local 9, interrupt the Boston-Athletic game with the score 12–10 in the last of the 10th inning in favor of Boston. The toughs storm the field preventing further play. Harry Wright says he will not play again in Philadelphia.

29th Joseph Blong, the star pitcher for the St. Louis Reds, leaves for Cincinnati having signed with the Star club of Covington (KY) even though he is committed to the Reds.

JULY

5th  The largest crowd ever seen in the St. Louis ballpark, estimated at 15,000, sees the Browns soundly defeat the Chicago White Stockings 13–2. The Browns pull off a triple play in the 7th when George Zettlein strikes out swinging and C Tom Miller deliberately drops the ball. He then tags home for the force, tags Zettlein, who is standing there, and throws to 3B where Johnny Peters is out trying to advance from 2B. Watching the game are members of the Washington club who, when they return to their hotel, are told by their business manager that there is no money to pay their way back to Washington. With their club disbanding, the players are given fare and expenses by the directors of the St. Louis club.

13th One of the most thrilling games of the year is played on the Union Grounds between the Browns and the Mutuals. St. Louis ties the game in the 9th at 7–7, and then scores 2 in the 13th to win, 9–7.

15th  After discovering that urban rival Cincinnati has revived its professional baseball team, Louisville businessmen form the city’s first pro team the same day, allowing them to keep pace on the ball field.

20th  The Chicago Tribune states that the Bostons will disband at the end of the season, with the Wrights going to Cincinnati to form a club there. The Chicago White Stockings 9 for 1876 will include Al Spalding, James “Deacon” White, Ross Barnes, and Cal McVey of Boston. Harry Wright, having lunch at Taunton, where the Bostons are playing, is told by McVey he isn’t going to play in Boston next year. Wright thinks McVey is joking until he finds out after lunch that 4 players are going to Chicago.

21st  The use of a lively ball is reflected in the score as the Mutuals defeat the Philadelphias 16–13 at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn. 1B Joe Start hits 3 HRs and a triple.

At Boston, the Reds beat the St. Louis Browns, 16–6, despite a 1st inning misplay by George Wright. Wright triples and the ball is thrown in to 3B Bill Hague who tucks it under his arm. Wright doesn’t notice it and, thinking P George Bradley has it, steps off the base and is nabbed by the hidden ball trick.

24th In an 8–3 loss to the Boston Red Stockings, the St. Louis Brown Stockings pull off a slick DP in the 6th inning (as noted by Bob Schaeffer). Boston’s Cal McVey hits a liner to RF but is thrown out, 9–3, with Charley Waite firing to 1B Dehlman. Dehlman’s relay to the catcher Miller nips Boston’s Leonard, trying to score from 3B. The contest takes a lengthy 2 hours: 10 minutes.

28th  Philadelphia’s Joseph E. Borden, also known by the name Josephs, pitches the first no-hitter, beating the (NA) Chicago White Stockings, 4–0. Nick Young is the ump in the game, which takes one hour and 35 minutes to play. Threatening weather keeps the crowd down.

31st  With 3 months to go in the baseball season, the record now shows Boston in first place with a 37-4 record. The Athletics are 2nd and Hartford 3rd.

AUGUST

4th The Red Stockings Al Spalding and Philadelphia’s Josephs lock up for an 11-inning battle won by Boston, 4–3. A triple by Jim O’Rourke and a ground out by McVey result in the winning run.

9th  The underrated Philadelphias and their sensational P Josephs shut out Jim Galvin and the St. Louis Browns 16–0 on 5 hits. It is the first time the Browns have suffered a shutout in their history.

10th Hartford’s Tommy Bonds one-hits the Mutuals to win, 7–0. Jim Holdsworth’s leadoff single is the only hit.

12th  With the score 1–0 and 2 out in the last of the 9th inning, Hartford’s Tom York hits a triple over the center fielder’s head. The next batter, Bob Ferguson, after hitting a number of fouls lefthanded, turns around and bats righthanded, getting a double to tie the score. Rain ends the game with the score Hartford 1, Mutuals 1.

17th The White Stockings open their home stand against the Athletics and take a 4–1 lead into the 8th. Three errors by 2B Dick Higham—tainted in the view of some—lead to 5 unearned runs and an 8–4 A’s win. Only 2,500 are on hand as fan interest is looking towards next year.

20th  Tommy Bond pitches his 2nd one-hit game in 10 days. Bill Boyd of the Atlantics gets the only hit in the 2–0 victory by Hartford.

21st  The St. Louis Browns defeat the Boston Reds, who are minus the services of Al Spalding, suffering from a strained back. With Boston’s Jack Manning pitching, the Browns win 5–3. George Wright pitches the last 3 innings without allowing a run. This is Spalding’s first absence from a professional game in 5 years with the Reds and, before that, 4 years with Rockford.

28th The Detroit Evening News notes, according to historian Peter Morris, that the free list would be suspended for a much-anticipated game, with the “exception of ladies, who are always free.”

SEPTEMBER

3rd The Athletics and Dick McBride absorb their worst defeat, losing 16–0 to Boston. Jack Manning allows 5 hits for Boston, while Spalding plays RF.

11th  The first baseball game played with women professionals takes place in Springfield, IL. The diamond is half-sized and a 9-foot high canvas surrounds the entire field. The uniforms are similar to the male version except the pants are shorter. Final score: “Blondes” 42, “Brunettes” 38.

23rd George Zettlein beats his former team, the White Stockings, in Chicago, allowing one hit in the 5–0 win.

24th George Gage, president of the Chicago White Stockings, dies of a stroke. His death paves the way for William Hulbert to take over the club.

25th  Not normally an infielder, Paul Hines, plays 2B for Chicago, making 10 errors, and helping Philadelphia to a 15–6 victory. An amateur named Brady plays CF, goes 0-for-4, but makes 3 errors in his only ML game. The Philadelphia Mercury (as cited in the Chicago Daily of January 27, 1877) reports that, “The Chicago Tribune says that we cannot name one man in the League who is “crooked.” We beg to differ with our amiable friend and will name, if he wishes it, two players with the Chicagoes who sold a game with the Philadelphia, in Chicago, on the 25th of September 1875, receiving $100 for so doing.” The paper says that one player is still with Chicago [in 1877].

OCTOBER

4th Candy is Dandy. Arthur Cummings allows 4 hits as Hartford costs to an 18–0 over New Haven.

10th At a meeting of the White Stockings stockholders, William Hulbert uses a proxy from George Gage’s widow to declare himself president of the club and to name Al Spalding as secretary.

13th Cap Anson is 5-for-5 in leading the Athletics to a 10-inning, 8–7 win over Hartford.

14th Only 200 fans are on hand but $10,000 is bet on the White Stockings against the host Philadelphias. The bettors are not wrong as Chicago uses 1st inning errors by McGeary and 4 hits for 5 runs. Chicago wins, 10–7.

24th  The Chicago Tribune calls for the formation of an organization of major professional teams: Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Hartford. “Unless the present Professional Association leadership adopts rules to limit the number of teams allowed to participate in the Championship season, all clubs will go broke.”

30th The Boston Reds beat the visiting Blue Stockings of Hartford, 7–4, to finish the season without a home defeat. Boston finishes the year at 48–7. Only 7 teams finish the season with a total of 185 games played between them. Eighteen teams a re signed on for next season.

  • 1876

JANUARY

18th Samuel Hipkiss obtains a patent for a baseball with a bell inside of it. The intention of the inventor is to provide a ball that will help the umpire make a correct call on tricky judgment plays, such as whether or not a batter tipped a ball on his swing. It is not a ringing success.

FEBRUARY

2nd  Chicago President William Hulbert organizes a meeting at the Grand Central Hotel in New York to establish a new organization, the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs. At the meeting are representatives of the Philadelphia Athletics, the Boston Red Stockings, the Hartford Dark Blues, and the New York Mutuals. To win the support of 4 eastern clubs, Hulbert proposes that Morgan Bulkeley of the Hartford club be president and Nick Young of Washington be secretary. The National League is officially organized, with 4 Eastern clubs and Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, and Cincinnati in the West. The group passes several resolutions, the first preventing two clubs from any one city entering for the championship, while a second prevents any two clubs from playing in a city in which neither of them belongs. “This was done for the purpose of heading off two or three clubs and preventing them from going to Philadelphia” to play exhibition games,” states the New York Times.

12th  Al Spalding, pitching star of the National Association, moves from his home in Rockford, IL, with his brother J. Walter Spalding, to Chicago to “open a large emporium where they will sell all kinds of baseball goods.” This will be the start of the Spalding sporting goods enterprise.

MARCH

19th  The Boston Herald reports the first practice of the Red Caps under the direction of George Wright. Manager Harry Wright is still in Florida, recuperating from a severe cold. The team has been weakened considerably by the loss to the Chicago White Stockings of Al Spalding, Cal McVey, and Ross Barnes.

APRIL

8th  After 4 great seasons with the Philadelphia Athletics, Adrian “Cap” Anson reports to the Chicago club to play 3B.

19th  Making the AA look like a football league, the Syracuse Stars beat Brooklyn, 18-12. Yesterday, Brooklyn won, 22-21.

22nd  Because of rainouts in other cities, the only (and first) National League game played at Athletic Park, as Boston scores a pair in the 9th to defeat Philadelphia 6–5 before 3,000 fans. The time of the game is 2 hr: 45 minutes. Jim O’Rourke, who makes the first hit, is the only participant in this game to play in the 20th century. Joseph Borden, (pitching under the name of Josephs) is the winning hurler. Borden pitched for Philadelphia last year, but was lured to Boston after his rookie season. Borden’s pitching will turn sour and he will end the summer as Boston’s groundskeeper.

25th  Chicago manager Al Spalding pitches the NL’s first shutout, 4–0, at Louisville.

27th  In his 2nd outing, Chicago’s Al Spalding hurls another shutout over the Louisville Grays, winning 10–0.

MAY

2nd  Chicago’s Ross Barnes, the great batting star of the National Association, hits the first NL HR, an inside-the-park drive off William “Cherokee” Fisher against the Red Stockings in Cincinnati. According to the Chicago Tribune, “Barnes, coming to bat with two men out, made the finest hit of the game, straight down the left field to the carriages, for a clean home run.” Barnes also hits a triple, single, steals 2 bases, and scores 4 runs in the 15-9 win. Charley Jones of Cincinnati also has a home run in the game,.

“Old Reliable” Joe Start of the Brooklyn Mutuals knocks in the winning run in the 12th inning to give Bobby Mathews a finely pitched 3–2 win over the Athletics.

5th  The Chicago team loses its first game, as St. Louis’s George Washington Bradley outpitches Spalding, 1–0.

10th Chicago plays its first National League home game in history as Al Spalding shuts out the Cincinnati Reds, 6–0. The game is played at the 23rd Street Grounds.

13th  Dick Higham of the Hartford Dark Blues hits into the first NL triple play against New York. It is the only bright spot for the Mutuals, who lose, 28–3. Hartford scores 15 in the 4th inning, a ML record for that frame.

St. Louis shuts out the Reds, 11-0, with a little help from Cincinnati’s new catcher Will Foley, who makes 12 errors.

25th Louisville plays an exciting 2–2 tie with the Athletics, which is called because of darkness after 14 innings. Each side scores a run in the 11th. Devlin, who pitches the distance, knocks in both runs for Louisville.

At Hartford, the Dark Blues pull off a hidden ball trick—SS Tom Carey to 3B Bob Ferguson—on Cap Anson. Hartford beats the visiting White Stockings, 4–1.

30th  Chicago, with 4 former Boston stars in their lineup, play their first 1876 game in Boston. The crowd, estimated at 14,000, is described as “the largest that ever attended a baseball match in the world.” The White Stockings beat the Red Caps 5–1.

JUNE

1st St. Louis makes it easy for George Bradley, pounding Philadelphia 17–0. George Zettlein is the loser.

6th  Manager Harry Wright, 41, makes his only 1876 appearance for Boston, in the OF, but Jim Devlin of Louisville deals the “Beantowners” their first shutout of the season 3–0.

8th The Chicago Tribune, as noted by historian Jerry Malloy, reports the following: “One of the stupidest ideas that ever entered into the head of base-ball managers is the new arrangement on the Hartford grounds, by which they refuse to permit the transmission of any report of the game by innings. As the ‘Courant’ well says, those who have been visitors to the bulletins are those who have an interest in the game, which is kept alive by their opportunity of watching the board, and the increased interest they have had has made them visitors to the games when a game of special interest has been played, or when they could get away from their business to attend. Not to continue the score by innings is to remove a very excellent and cheap feature of advertising, and, in a money way, to cause a loss to the ball manager”

10th  George Bechtel, RF for Louisville, who was suspended for “crookedness in the last Louisville-Mutuals game,” gets in deeper trouble when P Jim Devlin shows his manager a telegram from Bechtel saying, “We can win $100 if you lose the game today.”

14th  George Hall of the Athletics hits 3 triples and a HR in a 20–5 shellacking of Cincinnati. Teammate Ezra Sutton also hits 3 triples, the only time 2 players have done this in the same game.

The Boston-St. Louis game is one for the ML record books, as the Boston infield has 14 errors, and the 2 infields combine for 22, both high marks. This comes 6 weeks after the Boston outfield went into the record books on May 1 with 11 errors against Hartford. Andrew Leonard, the second baseman for Boston, makes 9 errors. St. Louis posts a 20–6 win.

17th  George Hall and Ezra Sutton again gang up on the hapless Reds. Hall hits 2 HRs, a triple, and 2 singles, and Sutton also collects 5 hits in a 23–15 slaughter. Only 39 HRs will be hit in the NL season; Hall will lead with 5, and next year have zero.

21st Captain Frederick Benteen’s H Company of Custer’s Seventh U.S. Cavalry defeats another U.S. Army Cavalry Company team by the score of 51-3. This game occurs several days before the June 25 Battle of Little Big Horn (According to notes in an article written by Harry H. Anderson, entitled “The Benteen Base Ball Club: Sports Enthusiasts of the Seventh Cavalry”, pages 82-87, in a journal entitled Montana: The Magazine of Western History, 20, No. 3, July 1970).

27th Little Davey Force of the Athletics goes 6-for-6 against Al Spalding of Chicago, and Philadelphia scores 4 runs in the 9th to pull out a 14–13 victory. He is the first major leaguer to collect 6 hits in a 9-inning game.

Cherokee Fisher makes his last start of the year for the Reds, losing to Hartford, 5-2. Cherokee’s record is 4-20, while the team is at 4-26. Cherokee will make one more start, for Providence, in 1878.

JULY

6th  Jack Remsen of Hartford clubs the first leadoff homer in ML history when he reaches Chicago’s Al Spalding for a roundtripper. It is Jack’s only HR of the year. George Wright of Boston will hit a leadoff homer on September 16, and the next won’t come for 3 years.

8th  The Boston Herald carries the mid season averages showing hits and errors per game (not per at bat or chance). Chicago’s Ross Barnes is the top batter with 2.1 hits per game, and Dave Eggler of the Athletics is the leading fielder with .19 errors per game.

10th  The New York Mutuals score one run in the 9th to tie the Louisville Grays and then score 4 in the 16th to win 8–5. Bobby Mathews prevails over Jim Devlin in this longest game of the season. In the previous game on July 8th, the 2 hurlers had battled to a 5–5 tie in 15 innings.

15th  George Bradley of St. Louis pitches the league’s first no-hitter, defeating Hartford and Tommy Bond 2–0. It is his 3rd shutout over Hartford in the 3-game series.

20th Chicago coasts to a 18–0 pounding over Louisville as Al Spalding picks up the victory over Jim Devlin. Cal McVey has 3 hits to go along with 3 in the last game, on the 18th.

22nd  Against Chicago, Louisville pitcher/outfielder John Ryan tosses 10 wild pitches and gives up 31 hits in 8 innings, as Louisville is trounced again, this time 30–7. Ryan takes over for Jim Devlin, who gives up 10 runs in the 1st inning. Cal McVey has 6 hits for Chicago, which scores in every inning except the 2nd. Chicago makes up for it with 10 runs in the 4th. This is the only time in history that two teams have combined for more than 100 plate appearances in a game: Chicago has 64 and Louisville adds 42.

25th  For the 2nd consecutive game, Cal McVey of Chicago collects 6 hits in 7 trips as Chicago wins 23–3 over Cincinnati. McVey now has a record 15 hits in 3 games and 18 hits in 4 games, As noted by historian Frank Williams, McVey is in the middle of a 30-game hit streak that started on June 1st and will end on August 8th.

27th It must be contagious. For the third time in three games a Chicago player tallies six hits in a game. This time it is Ross Barnes who goes 6-for-6 as his teammates add another 17 hits to crush the Reds, 17–3. Cal McVey has 2 hits and will have 4 in Chicago’s next game, to again have a record 18 hits in 4 games. Chicago has scored 88 runs in its last 4 games, a major league record.

29th Behind Cal McVey’s 4 hits, first-place Chicago eliminates Cincinnati from the pennant race. Hartford is in 2nd place, 6 1/2 games back.

A questionable hit recorded by Charles Fulmer is all that George Bradley allows as St. Louis blanks Louisville, 7–0.

AUGUST

1st 1B Joe Gerhardt, Louisville’s leadoff hit, hits the first ball pitched from Al Spalding for a HR. But the lead quickly evaporates and Chicago wins, 15–7.

4th  Louisville, trailing Chicago by a wide margin with rain threatening in the 5th, decides to stall. They make error after error until the umpire forfeits the game to Chicago. The contest will later be ruled “no game.”

10th The catcher-jinxed Athletics of Philadelphia borrow turnstile ticket-taker Nealy Phelps from William Cammemeyer’s Union grounds crew to play. Phelps had a heady baseball career in the 1860’s but had only played spot games for much of the past seven seasons, including one game with the Giants this year. He had also umpired several games in 1874. Nealy goes 0-for-4 as Philadelphia loses to New York, 9-7.

12th Chicago’s versatile Cal McVey has the unusual distinction of both pitching and catching in a 5–0 win over Cincinnati. The win goes to starter Al Spalding, his 10th straight win over the Reds. According to Ed Hartig, Chicago has 9 shutouts this season and this is the only “chicago” with a relief pitcher.

18th  With the season two-thirds over, the lowly Louisville club plays its first errorless game of the season and beats Cincinnati 4–1.

21st  The strain of pitching almost every game is taking its toll on Tommy Bond, the 20-year-old, sore-armed hurler of Hartford. Candy Cummings takes his place and beats Boston 10–4. SS George Wright pitches a scoreless 9th for the Red Caps. Dick Higham of Hartford starts a 29-game hit streak that will last past this season.

SEPTEMBER

5th  George Bradley tosses his record 16th shutout of the campaign as St. Louis beats the Mutuals, 9-0. Only Alexander in 1916 will match his shutout total. As related by Tom Ruane, it is rumored that prior to games that season, Bradley would steam open the container holding a game ball, deaden the ball by squeezing it in a vise, before returning it to the box and resealing it. Then he would wait for the ball to get entered into play.

9th  Curveballer Candy Cummings of Hartford wins 2 games over Cincinnati, 14–4 in the morning and 8–1 in the afternoon. They are separate admission games. This marks the first time 2 games are played in the same day.

11th  President G.W. Thompson of Philadelphia informs Chicago president William Hulbert that the Athletics cannot afford to make their final western trip. He suggests that Chicago and St. Louis (the big drawing clubs) play additional games in Philadelphia and take a larger portion of the receipts. Hulbert turns down the offer.

13th  At the Jefferson Street Grounds, the Philadelphia Athletics pull off a 9th inning triple play, but still lose to the Reds, 15-13. The winning pitcher is Charles “Dory” Dean, who snaps his 16-game losing streak. He’ll start all the rest of the games for the Reds, losing 6 out of 7 to finish at 4-26.

16th  After only 200 watch the New York Mutuals lose to Cincinnati, the club announces that they, like the Athletics, will not make their western trip. Their games in the west will be canceled, leaving a thin schedule of league games the rest of the season.

26th  Chicago clinches the pennant with a 7–6 win over the Hartford Dark Blues. Cal McVey, the regular 1B and Spalding’s backup pitcher, hurls the victory. McVey pitched yesterday, and Spalding will pitch tomorrow’s game, the last of the year. Spalding, apparently the victim of a sore arm, will start just one game next year.

OCTOBER

6th  Louisville closes out its season with an 11–2 loss to Hartford. Jim Devlin, injured severely during yesterday’s game, does not pitch for the first time this season. He will still lead the league in games (68), complete games (66), and innings pitched (622).

17th Although the Mutuals did not make their western road trip, they play at home in Brooklyn against Hartford. Davey Force of the Athletics joins the Mutuals and plays SS, but it doesn’t help as Hartford wins 3–0 behind Candy Cummings.

20th  Boston manager Harry Wright shakes up his lineup, shifting brother George to 2B and inserting another brother, Sam, at SS. It is not the “right” combination as Candy Cummings of Hartford blanks the Red Caps, 5–0.

21st  Candy Cummings defeats Boston, 11-1, in the last game of the season to give Hartford a season record of 47-21. It is not quite good enough for 2nd place, as St. Louis finishes 45-19, with all of the decisions being credited to the Brown Stockings’ superb P George Bradley, who hurls a record 16 shutouts. Hartford’s Dick Higham has 3 hits today (as noted by streak master Trent McCotter in a box score in the Chicago Tribune) In 1877, Higham will become captain of the Syracuse Stars in the first year of the International League. He will return to the NL in 1878 and extend his hit streak to 29 straight games while having a stellar season with Providence.

23rd  The Chicago Tribune publishes season-ending batting percentages based on the new method of dividing number of at bats into number of hits. Ross Barnes leads with a .429 average, thanks in part to the fair-foul rule. The following season, the rule is changed so that a ball hit in fair territory and rolls foul before passing first/third base is a foul ball.

DECEMBER

10th  After a 5-day league meeting in Cleveland, these results are announced: the Philadelphia Athletics and New York Mutuals are expelled by unanimous vote; a uniform and lively baseball is agreed upon; the playing rules for 1877 are modified, and William Hulbert is elected NL president. The A’s and Mutuals had declined to make a final western swing at the end of the season, and charges of hippodroming—not playing at 100%—continued to dog the two teams.

  • 1877

JANUARY

2nd According to Louisville manager John Chapman, catching prospect Charley Bennett has agreed to terms with the Grays and will be the change catcher behind Charley Snyder. But on the 7th Bennett will sign with the new independent club in Milwaukee, saying that he prefers a chance to be first-string catcher, then switch again to the A’s on February 19.

6th  Joe Battin reportedly will not sign with the St. Louis Brown Stockings because of the new NL policy of charging players $30 for uniforms and, during road trips, deducting 50¢ a day from salaries to help offset the cost of meals. However, Battin will soon deny that he had objected to these things and will sign a new standard contract.

13th  St. Louis announces the signing of Mike Dorgan for $1,600, much to the surprise of the Syracuse Stars, who claim to hold a signed contract with him.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports that “The first case in 1876 of a regular case of selling a game has been given to the public, and it is that of “Cherokee” Fisher, who has been found guilty of selling a match on the 18th of September, 1876, in which the West End Club, of Milwaukee, was defeated by the Etnas, of Detroit, by a score of 18 to 0. Fisher, it is alleged, owned up to the whole sell. It was the giving away of the game for $100.” (as noted by historian Dennis Pajot)

15th  Al Spalding proposes a League Alliance in which independent teams would affiliate with the NL and the NL would honor their contracts. Spalding also promises to honor all contracts signed after March 15th.

20th L.C. Waite of the St. Louis Red Stockings and originator of the idea of an International Alliance of independent clubs, labels Spalding’s scheme a “walk into my parlor epistle” that will not stop the international movement. Waite’s idea for an International League will catch on as the first minor league.

21st The Chicago Tribune notes “The New York Clipper Almanac has been issued. About all the base-ball figures of reference are correct—that is, they are lifted bodily from The Chicago Tribune. It is a good deal of encouragement for a reporter to work all season in keeping and tabulating scores only to have them stolen bodily by a man too lazy or incapable of making his own averages. It may be fair to add that, out of over fifty republications of The Tribune table of averages by other papers and books, the Clipper Almanac is the first and only one to burglarize them.”

The Hartford Post (as reported in the Chicago Tribune) charges “the Brooklyn Eagle and papers which publish the slops compiled by one Henry Chadwick still insist upon publishing the statement that the Hartford Club is to play its games in Brooklyn next season. This statement is a lie, as Chadwick well knows, but since the League was formed without his consent and contrary to his wishes, he has taken every opportunity to circulate all sorts of malicious statements which would tend to injure the League and the clubs which compose it through the columns in the Clipper and other papers. Persons wishing to keep posted on base-ball matters should steer clear of such papers.” [Hartford will open in Brooklyn on April 30th.]

24th  The Centennial club is organized in San Francisco in an attempt to field the first professional team in California.

FEBRUARY

19th Fickle Charlie Bennett signs to play with the revived Athletics of Philadelphia, apparently for more money than Milwaukee offered. He’ll play just one game in the spring before going to Milwaukee to honor his 1877 contract, but promises to play for the A’s next year.

20th  The International Association is organized at a meeting of representatives of 17 clubs held in Pittsburgh. Although set up as an alternative to the NL, the IA will go down in history as the first minor league.

27th  The IA adopts a $10 admission fee (another report says $15), with an additional $10 (another report says $25) required to enter the pennant race. Candy Cummings, pitcher-manager of the Live Oaks of Lynn, MA, is elected president.

MARCH

5th  The Hartford club completes arrangements to play its 1877 NL home games in Brooklyn. The club will still be called “Hartford.”

10th  The IA Indianapolis Blues play the first game of their spring training tour in Galveston, TX, beating the Dallas team 50–0. No NL clubs will travel further south than Memphis this spring.

15th The National Association of Amateur Base Ball Players meets at New York’s Cooper Union. Re-elected President John G.H. Myers announces that there are 35 clubs in good standing, barely 10% of the number in the original group before the 1871 split with the professionals.

18th After 5 straight shutout wins, in Galveston and New Orleans, Edward Nolan and his Indianapolis teammates lose to the Memphis Reds, 8–7.

22nd  The NL publishes its 1877 game schedule, the first league-wide schedule ever issued. The failure of the Athletics and the Mutuals to finish the 1876 season has convinced the NL of the necessity of agreeing on a schedule.

27th A pro team is organized in New Bedford, MA. Hotel proprietor Frank C. Bancroft is among the directors, beginning a career as a manager and executive that will last, with a few brief interruptions, until his death in 1922.

APRIL

7th George Hall, who led the NL in home runs last year with 5, hits a homer in his first spring at-bat for Louisville, as the Grays begin training with a practice game against local amateurs. Hall will not hit any homers during the regular season.

12th Playing for Harvard College, Alex Tyng wear a catcher’s mask in a game against semi-pro Live Oaks in Lynn, MA. Supposedly the invention of Fred Thayer, the team manager, the mask is manufactured by Peck & Snyder of New York City (In the June 2004 Harvard Magazine, historian Stephen Eisenbach writes that Tyng had a local tinsmith make the mask). Thayer will receive a patent for his invention next year. A February 1, 1903 Washington Post account says oldtimers credit Billy McGunnity of Falls River with using the first catcher’s mitt in 1875.

14th Princeton College’s nine hands the reorganized Athletics an embarrassing 24–11 defeat in Philadelphia.

26th  The IA opening game is played in Lynn, MA. The Manchester, NH, team beats the Live Oaks 14–3. Louis Say stars by scoring 4 runs. IA president Candy Cummings is the losing pitcher.

29th  Jack Manning, outfielder/pitcher, is loaned to the Cincinnati Reds by Boston. Boston did the same thing to Manning in 1874, loaning him to Baltimore.

30th  The Boston Red Stockings and the Hartford Dark Blues open the NL season with a tie game in Brooklyn, 1–1 in 11 innings. Tommy Bond makes his debut with Boston against his old team. Hartford manager Bob Ferguson, who suspended Bond last year after the pitcher accused him of throwing games, drives in the only run for the Dark Blues.

Jim Galvin of the Pittsburgh Alleghenies hurls the minor league IA’s first shutout, defeating Columbus 2–0.

MAY

1st  In a preseason game in St. Louis, the Browns and the Syracuse Stars play a 15-inning scoreless tie, the longest scoreless game yet played by professional clubs. It is suspected that the new “dead ball” used by the NL is partly to blame, as were pitchers Tricky Nichols and Harry McCormick.

2nd  The Allegheny (IA) club of Pittsburgh upsets the Boston Red Stockings behind the brilliant work of Jim Galvin. Not only does he pitch a one-hit shutout, he hits a HR said to be the first ball to clear the fence at Pittsburgh’s Union Park.

5th In London, Ontario, the Brooklyn “Hartfords” beat the 1876 Canadian champion Tecumsehs, 6–2.

8th  The Chicago White Stockings, the defending NL Champs, edge Hartford 6–5 in their home opener. Cap Anson and John Glenn each have 3 hits, while batting champ Ross Barnes adds 2 hits, despite the new foul rule that makes a ball that goes foul before reaching 1B or 3B a foul ball. The old rule, under which any ball that bounced in fair territory first was fair, enabled Barnes to hit many a safe “fair-foul” past the third baseman.

10th There’s no dead ball in evidence as the Reds open their season with a 15–10 win over Louisville. The game was supposed to be in Cincinnati, but 3 days of rain washes out the plans. In a first, the Reds team travels by boat down the Ohio River to play the game. Jim Devlin, loser of last year’s opener, takes another loss with Bobby Mathews the winner. Five Reds collect at least 3 hits. A new rule this year puts the home team at bat first (rather than toss for ups). But even with the Grays scoring one in the 9th, the Reds are unable to finish batting in the 9th and the score reverts to the 15–10 after 8 innings.

11th Harvard College and the professional Manchesters play an unprecedented 24-inning scoreless tie. The ball is blamed, being “dead enough to be buried.”

12th  Chicago makes 21 errors, including passed balls and wild pitches, and loses to Boston 18–9. The winners make 11 errors.

14th Louisville buries Cincinnati, 24–6, under a 32-hit attack. Hall and Bill Hague each have 5 hits, as the Grays score a dozen runs against both Bobby Mathews and Jack Manning.

17th  At a special league meeting, the NL adopts a livelier version of the Spalding ball for all games.

Umpire John Draper walks off the field in the 8th inning of the Cincinnati-Boston game. John Brockway comes out of the stands to finish the game, but the incident underscores the hazards of having amateurs officiate for the NL.

23rd Hartford edges Cincinnati, 5–4, thanks to a grounder that goes through the legs of 2B Jimmy Hallinan, allowing 3 runs to score.

25th Pitching sensation Edward “The Only” Nolan of Indianapolis shuts out the White Stockings, 3–0.

26th Chicago’s Cal McVey is 5-for-5 to lead the Whites to a 12–7 win over Cincinnati. McVey’s last hit starts a tie-breaking rally in the 9th.

31st After having played the A’s in Philadelphia and Brooklyn the previous 2 days, Hartford hosts the Athletics and win, 5–2.

Charley Jones is 4-for-4 with a 3-run HR to lead Cincinnati to an 11–6 win over St. Louis.

JUNE

1st  The Dark Blues play the Athletics in Hartford, CT, for the 2nd day in a row. With a game against amateurs on June 5th, the “Hartford” club plays only 3 games all season in Hartford.

5th  Making his last start as a pitcher, Chicago’s Al Spalding fails to retire any of the 5 Cincinnati batters he faces. Spalding’s old Rockford teammate, Bob Addy, literally knocks Spalding out of the box with a line drive to the chest, but Spalding throws him out at 1B. Spalding gives up 5 runs in his one inning and is replaced by George Bradley, who shuts out Cincy. Chicago wins, 12–5.

6th Louisville nips St. Louis, 1–0, on a 6th inning run by Juice Latham on a walk, a steal, a wild throw, and a fly out.

10th  The St. Louis Browns and Cincinnati Reds stage a Sunday exhibition game, the only Sunday game between NL teams that would be played until 1892.

Lip Pike resigns as Cincinnati captain and is succeeded by Bob Addy.

12th Hartford beats Boston, 7–0, for a second day in a row. This time the fielding is the big difference, Boston making 18 errors to 0 for Hartford.

18th  Lacking the funds to start their scheduled eastern trip, the Cincinnati club disbands.

19th John Morrill is 5-for-5 as Boston pounds St. Louis, 13–0.

21st  Cincinnati stockholders move to reorganize the club. Some trouble could arise if Chicago, which has signed Jimmy Hallihan and Charley Jones, will not return the players. Hallihan was to have played for the Whites today, but he broke a finger in pre-game practice.

23rd Jim Galvin of the Alleghenies shuts out Chicago on 3 hits, 6–0.

25th  Hard luck continues to dog the Cincinnati club, as a heavy windstorm nearly destroys the pavilion at the Cincinnati Base Ball Park.

29th Chicago releases Charley Jones back to Cincinnati but retains Hallihan.

30th  Cincinnati signs P Candy Cummings, formerly of the Live Oaks of Lynn. Cummings will join the NL club but will still serve as president of the IA.

JULY

3rd  The reorganized Cincinnati Red Stockings reappear in action versus the Louisville Grays, losing 6–3. Whether or not their games will count in the NL standings will not be resolved until the NL meeting in December.

4th John Clapp’s 4th hit of the day, an 11th-inning triple, enables St. Louis to beat Hartford in a holiday thriller, 7–6.

6th Indianapolis’ The Only Nolan holds Hartford to one hit but the match ends in a 10-inning scoreless tie.

7th Lip Pike hits a HR in the 1st inning but makes 3 errors at 2B to allow Boston to beat Cincinnati, 3–2.

9th In the IA, Jim McCormick of Columbus gives up only 4 hits in 18 innings as the Buckeyes battle the Tecumsehs to a 1–1 tie.

10th St. Louis manager George McManus signs Louisville battery Jim Devlin and Charlie Snyder for the 1878 season.

11th  Having been struck in the eye by a foul tip one month earlier, Pete Hotaling of the IA Syracuse Stars returns behind the plate wearing a wire mask for protection. Hotaling and teammate Al Hall would often use the mask this summer.

13th  After pitching in 88 consecutive games since the start of the NL, an all-time record, George Bradley steps aside for Cal McVey, and Chicago beats Hartford 6–3. The revamped lineup shows Bradley at 3B, Spalding at 1B, and Cap Anson catching.

14th Davy Force has a 5-for-5 game to lead St. Louis to a 10–3 win over Boston. Boston has a 6-3-6 triple play.

16th Davy Force ends the game with a nifty piece of strategy in the bottom of the 12th to allow St. Louis to beat Hartford, 3–2. With 2 on and 1 out, Force purposely drops a pop fly to short and with quick work turns it into a force at 3B and 2B for a game-ending DP.

18th Boston’s Jim White makes his first start of the year at 1B and continues his hot hitting with a single, double and HR in an 18–4 rout of Chicago. White will finish the year leading the NL in hits, doubles, RBIs, and batting and slugging averages.

20th  Ed Nolan of Indianapolis pitches his 5th straight shutout, all within a span of 8 days, beating Milwaukee 1–0. His previous shutouts were over Louisville, Syracuse, and Manchester twice. Nolan will total 30 shutouts in 1877 against all levels of opponents.

First place Boston gets tripped up by cellar-dwelling Cincinnati, 13-11, with the loss going to Will White, making his ML debut. Will is the brother of Deacon White. Cincy must like what they see because White will pitch for the Reds next year after his three-game rookie year in Boston. The bespeckled White, is the only player in the 19th century to wear glasses on the playing field; Lee Meadows will be the next player, in 1915, to wear glasses.

Slumping Paul Hines receives a letter from Chicago club president William Hulbert threatening him with a release for poor play. Hulbert scolds, “You are not trying to play. Your father would not like to have you home with half your salary lost.”

21st  Jim Galvin of Pittsburgh beats the Champion City 9 of Springfield, OH, 1–0 on one hit. This game would later be claimed as a perfect game, since only 27 Champion City batters faced the pitcher. Part of the confusion may stem from the unrest in Pittsburgh, where the news is dominated by the shooting of 20 people by the militia and the burning of 2,000 freight cars by strikers.

24th Second-place Louisville beats first-place Boston, 3–1, to close to one game behind.

25th The Louisville Grays tie for the NL lead by beating the Boston Reds, 7–4. Bill Hague hits a 3-run homer for the winners, his only homer of the year.

27th With a general strike still shutting down most of the businesses in town, Boston loses to St. Louis, 9–2, before “a very slim crowd.”

28th St. Louis takes over the lead in the NL by beating Boston, 3–2.

31st  Louisville supplants St. Louis in first place, beating the Browns 7–0 despite 13 St. Louis runners reaching 1B. Jim Devlin is the winner.

AUGUST

1st  Umpire Dan Devinney charges that St. Louis manager George McManus tried to bribe him with $250 to help the Browns beat the Grays in Louisville. But the home team wins 3–1. St. Louis management will vehemently deny the charges.

2nd  Charley Bennett signs with Milwaukee for 1878 when the Milwaukee club’s offer of $1,700 is supplemented by a private purse of $300 raised by local fans. The terms are among the most lucrative ever offered by an independent club.

3rd The new Buffalo club, the first pro team from that city, plays its first game, a ten-inning, scoreless tie against Rochester at the local Rhode Island Street Grounds.

4th Paced by home runs by “Orator” Shaffer and Bill Crowley, Louisville beats Chicago, 15–9, to extend their NL lead.

6th  The NL rule calls for the home team to submit 3 names of approved local men as a possible umpire for each game, with the visiting team choosing one of them at random. Today in Louisville, Chicago’s Cal McVey reaches into the hat and picks out a slip with Devinney’s name on it. Disgusted, McVey then grabs the hat and finds that all 3 slips have Devinney’s name on them. The incensed White Stockings demand a new umpire and then snap the Grays’ 6-game winning streak 7–2.

7th  Chicago scores 13 runs in the 2nd inning and trounces Cincinnati 21–7. The rally still stands as the NL record for runs in the 2nd inning by one and both teams.

8th  After St. Louis C John Clapp has his cheek smashed by a foul tip, replacement Mike Dorgan goes behind the plate wearing a mask. Though used earlier in the IA, this is perhaps the first use of a catcher’s mask in an official NL game.

10th Cincinnati’s new owners demonstrate their determination to field a strong team next year by announcing the signing of Cal McVey for 1878.

12th  Johnny Quigley, catcher for the Clippers of Harlem, dies from head injuries sustained in a home-plate collision with Dan Brouthers on July 7th in a game against the Actives of Wappingers Falls, NY, while trying to catch a throw home. The 19-year-old Brouthers was exonerated by the authorities.

16th  Louisville loses in Boston 6–1, but retains first place. Bill Craver takes a called 3rd strike with the tying runs on base, and Jim Devlin fans 4 times, raising suspicions of gambling.

18th The Brooklyn Hartfords outhit the Cincinnati Reds, 18–9, and win, 8–5. Tommy York hits a tie-breaking HR in the 4th, his only homer of the year.

20th  Louisville director Charles E. Chase receives an anonymous telegram from Hoboken, NJ, saying that “something is wrong with the Louisville players” and that gamblers were betting on Hartford. Louisville then loses today’s game to Hartford, 6–1.

21st Louisville drops another, losing in Brooklyn to Hartford, 7–0. Jim Holdsworth hits 2 key triples, his only triples of the year.

23rd Jack Manning is named captain of the Cincinnati Reds, replacing Bob Addy, whose lax habits got him in trouble with management. In Manning’s debut, the western Reds lose to the Boston Reds, 10–4.

25th Boston rallies to beat Louisville, 3–2, in the opener of a key 3-game series. The Reds score one run in the 8th and 2 in the 9th. Jim O’Rourke singles in a run in the 8th and is left on base as the man in front of him is put out on a line-drive double play to end the inning. This means that O’Rourke leads off the 9th, and he walks to start the winning rally.

A group of Chicago and St. Louis gamblers name St. Louis third baseman Joe Battin and outfielder/pitcher/team Joe Blong as willing partners in yesterday’s 3-4 loss hosting Chicago. Battin and Blong, though never officially expelled, never appear again in an NL game (as noted by Frank Vaccaro).

27th Boston takes the 2nd game of the series, beating Louisville, 6–0. Tommy Bond is the winner on a 3-hitter, while Latham, Snyder and Craver make critical errors for the losers.

28th Boston sweeps, taking game 3 from the Grays, 4–3. O’Rourke scores 2, while Sutton drives in 2. Jumbo Latham, 1B for Louisville, is hurt in the field and Al Nichols filled in for him. Jumbo singles in the following inning and receives a courtesy runner, LF George Hall who in turn receives a courtesy runner when his turn at bat comes up. Latham is back in the field the following inning (all courtesy of Retrosheet).

31st At Brooklyn, Louisville loses, 6–1, as Shaffer makes three errors in one inning.

SEPTEMBER

1st Jim Galvin and the Alleghenies edge St. Louis in 15 innings, 1–0. Two days earlier, they beat Milwaukee by the same score in 12 innings.

3rd Will White of Boston shuts out Cincinnati to win easily, 14–0. Except for 3 games against Cincinnati, all of brother Will’s pitching this year is against non-league opponents.

5th  Louisville’s Jim Devlin and George Hall allegedly agree to throw their next game in Cincinnati for $25 apiece. If true, they cut it pretty fine, losing 1-0.

6th  Sam “Buck” Weaver of Milwaukee no-hits the Mutuals of Janesville, to win the Wisconsin state championship. The Janesville battery consists of future stars John Montgomery Ward and Albert Bushong.

Bobby Mitchell of Cincinnati, the first southpaw to pitch in the NL, wins a 1–0 victory over Jim Devlin of Louisville, the first shutout in Reds history. Teammate Lipman Pike, described as the first Jewish player in the NL, provides the margin with a HR, hitting it over the RF fence, also a first. Serving up the homer is Jim Devlin.

8th Chicago snaps Boston’s 12-game winning streak—6 of which came against Cincinnati—with an exciting 1–0 win behind George Bradley’s 3-hitter. Ross Barnes plays but shows “none of his old vim.”

14th A 2-out error by Ross Barnes opens the gates for a 4-run Hartford rally, giving the Dark Blues a 5–2 win over Chicago.

15th  A 3-team tournament in Pittsburgh, featuring the top 3 non-NL pitchers in the game, Galvin of Allegheny, Nolan of Indianapolis, and McCormick of Syracuse, ends in a tie, with each team 2-2. The tournament moves to Chicago.

19th Young Harry Stovey of the Athletics shuts out St. Louis, 6–0, on 2 hits. The gentlemanly athlete plays under the name ‘Stovey’ instead of his given name ‘Stowe’, so that his mother will not see his name in the box scores. Stovey will become a star slugger, not pitcher, in the next decade.

22nd  Hartford plays Chicago in an NL championship game in New Haven before a crowd of 700. Hartford wins 11–9 with 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th. Yesterday’s game between these team took place in New York.

23rd  The Chicago Times denounces the Syracuse-Indianapolis-Allegheny tournament as a “swindle” with the outcomes fixed by gamblers, especially the deciding game won yesterday by the Stars.

24th  Two Allegheny players confirm that the Chicago games were “sold” by 2 other players. They add that 3 of the Allegheny club’s directors bet upon Syracuse.

25th Louisville newspaper reporter John Haldeman charges Devlin and Hall of the Grays with throwing yesterday’s game in Indianapolis. The two will later admit this to the club’s directors.

27th Boston clinches a tie for the NL pennant with a 13–2 win over Hartford. The NL’s top hitter, Jim White, leads the offense with a 4-for-4 game. On defense, Harry Schafer racks up 4 outfield assists, the first player to do so, and accepts 11 chances, both ML records. As Cliff Blau points out, there is some question about Harry’s (and other 4-assist) mark: Schafer played in just 2 games in 1878 and the Macmillan Encyclopedia credits him with no OF assists.

29th  Boston completes its league schedule with its 20th victory in its last 21 games, beating Hartford 8–4. The Reds’ final record is 31-17—42-18 counting Cincinnati games. Manager Harry Wright puts himself in the lineup for this final game.

30th The battered Browns return to St. Louis after a disastrous 5-week, 19-stop road trip in which they played every day except Sundays and rainouts. Against non-league opponents, they were 11–4, but only 2–10 against NL teams. Despite the heavy schedule, the team lost money.

OCTOBER

2nd  In the final game of the IA season, the London, Ontario, Tecumsehs defeat Pittsburgh 5–2 and win the pennant. Pitcher Fred Goldsmith has errorless support until 2 out in the bottom of the 9th, when 3 errors give the Allies their runs. Their championship record is 14-4.

5th Now that it’s too late to win the flag, the Louisvilles win their 6th game in a row, beating Chicago, 4–0. The Grays score all their runs in the 8th following 2 bad throws by 3B Al Spalding.

6th On the final day of the season, Lawrence Reis, a local teenager who pitched the final 4 games for Chicago, shuts out Louisville, 4–0.

The final standings (not counting Cincinnati) are Boston (31-17): Louisville (28-20: Hartford (24-24): St. Louis (19-29): Chicago (18-30). When the games against Cincinnati are counted the standings are: Boston (42-18): Louisville (35-25: Hartford (31-27): St. Louis (28-32): Chicago (26-33): Cincinnati (15-42).

16th Buffalo closes its season, losing to Rochester, 3–0. The club shows a profit of $490, making it the only pro team of 1877 to actually make money, according to contemporary sources.

20th  At an exhibition, LH Bobby Mitchell of Cincinnati and RH Tommy Bond of Boston offer conclusive proof that a ball can curve. Three stakes are set up in a straight line; Bond curves the ball around the center stake on one side, while Mitchell curves it around on the other side. After the exhibition the two pitchers oppose each other, with Boston winning 8–3.

23rd The 1878 St. Louis squad, including Devlin, Snyder and Hall of this year’s Louisville team, beats Boston, 9–1, in an exhibition game.

26th  Louisville club vice president Charles Chase confronts George Hall, the HR leader in ’76 with 5, and Jim Devlin with charges that they threw road games in August and September. Both admit to throwing non-league games (an exhibition game in Lowell, MA August 30 and another in Pittsburgh September 3) and implicate teammates Al Nichols and Bill Craver. Hall implicates Devlin saying that the 2 helped in losses to the NL Cincinnati Reds on September 6 and to the minor league Indianapolis Blues on September 24, but he argues that since the Reds were about to be suspended and the games nullified, it amounted to an exhibition game.

27th  The Louisville club formally expels Devlin, Hall, and Nichols for selling games and tampering with other players, and expels Craver for “disobedience to positive orders.” Their remaining 1877 salaries, which the Louisville team acknowledged, are “forfeited”. Nichols, the exposed go-between who had been dropped by Pittsburgh (International Association) earlier in the year for trying to bribe pitcher Pud Galvin, left town weeks earlier. Craver will deny any wrongdoing but refused to make public his telegrams. Devlin and Hall received $75.00 and $25.00 respectively in the mails. While this was going on, Devlin forwarded an eviction notice from his landlord to the Louisville club for $150.00, which the team ignored despite owing Devlin $470 salary. Devlin’s testimony also stated that Louisville paid umpire Dan Devinney extra to deliver about 20 victories this year to the team, but Louisville directors said that “that part of Devlin’s testimony was a lie.” After the season rules are changed as to how each team picked umpires for home games (as noted by Frank Vacarro).

31st At a stockholders meeting, the St. Louis club announces an agreement with the players that will reduce the salaries still owed from $4,389.68 to $2791.46.

NOVEMBER

4th Craver issues a denial of any wrongdoing and denounces the Louisville club for not allowing him the chance to answer any actual charges. The only “proof” offered by the club against him was his suspicious attitude and his refusal to allow the club to examine his telegrams in September.

12th  The champion Boston Red Stockings play a game against the club’s stockholders. The players play lefthanded as a handicap but still win 28–18.

17th  The Chicago club secures a lease to Lake Front Park, located downtown at Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue. That is the site used before the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The White Stockings have been playing at 23rd Street since 1874.

24th Looking beyond the grim state of baseball, the New York Mercury foretells a dynamic future: “The baseball mania is getting so bad that every city will soon have a mammoth structure like the Roman Coliseum to play in. This will be illuminated by electric lights so that games can be played nights, thus overcoming a serious objection at present existing.”

30th  At Boston’s South End Fair, Andy Leonard wins a gold watch valued at $300 for being voted the league’s “most popular player.”

DECEMBER

4th  At the formal meeting in Cleveland, the NL directors meet and confirm the expulsions of the four Louisville players. The directors also vote to throw out all Cincinnati games from the standings on the grounds that Cincinnati never paid its $100 dues.

5th  The NL confirms the actions of the directors and accepts the resignation of the St. Louis club. The Cincinnati Reds are readmitted for 1878. The Indianapolis Hoosiers and the Milwaukee Cream Citys are also admitted.

6th  William Hulbert is reelected NL president and Nick Young NL secretary. Hartford is stripped of its membership. The NL puts limits on the games its clubs can play against non-league opponents, possibly to avoid as many defeats as they suffered this past year.

9th  August Sloari, operator of the Grand Avenue ballpark in St. Louis, announces that he will take down the stands and stack the lumber now that the pro team has folded. Sportsman’s Park would eventually be built at the Grand Avenue site.

15th The signing of Ross Barnes by the IA champion Tecumseh club is announced. Word out of Barnes’ hometown of Rockford is that he agreed to terms back in February.

  • 1878

JANUARY

5th  Milwaukee signs SS Johnny Peters. With 4 years of experience, Peters will be the closest thing to a veteran the new Cream Citys have in the coming season.

The annual stockholders meeting of the pennant- winning Boston club shows that the team lost money despite a league-leading attendance of 51,204 in 1877. Salaries totaling $22,000 more than offset revenues.

16th  The Grays, a new club that Benjamin Douglas put together in Providence, is finally organized with Henry Root as president, Douglas is hired as manager, and veteran Tom Carey is signed as captain.

21st Providence applies for membership in the NL.

25th  The Boston club is reported to be backing a Massachusetts bill outlawing gambling on ball games.

FEBRUARY

6th  Providence becomes a member of the NL, bringing membership to 7 if the shaky Louisville franchise is counted.

9th  Official averages compiled by the IA list Rochester’s Steve Brady as first-ever minor league batting champion with a .373 average.

12th Fred Thayer is granted a patent for the catching mask, which was first used last April.

l9th  The 2nd annual meeting of the IA is held in Buffalo, 28 clubs attending.

20th The Tecumsehs of London, Ontario, are officially declared 1877 pennant winners in the IA with a record of 14–4.

MARCH

8th  “Being unable to secure a team sufficiently strong to cope with the other nines,” Louisville submits its resignation from the NL, reducing the circuit for 1878 to 6 clubs: Boston, Providence, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

9th  The Cincinnati club puts president J. M. Neff “in full charge of the club.” There will be no manager, just a captain from among the players.

13th  The Pittsburgh Alleghenies mail their $50 entry fee to the International Association to join, beating the deadline by 2 days. Despite the increase in the price from $10 last year, 13 clubs are entered for the championship.

21st  Milwaukee hires Jack Chapman as manager. He had run the Louisville NL team for the previous 2 seasons.

27th  The National Association of Amateur Base Ball Players disbands. This organization had traced its roots back to the first National Association founded in 1858.

APRIL

1st  The NL meets at Buffalo and adopts a schedule. Then the league owners sign an agreement with 6 of the stronger IA clubs agreeing to drop their demand of a $100 guarantee for exhibition games and to split the gate receipts 50/50.

2nd  The NL announces the selection of a staff of 18 umpires for the coming season. The individual clubs will arrange which ones will work which games.

10th  Ben Douglas is fired as manager of the Providence Grays for incompetence and insubordination.

13th  Three NL teams begin practice, the Indianapolis Blues, the Milwaukee Grays, and the Cincinnati Reds. Ed Nolan of the Blues is given a cap with 2 feathers in it to help the fans pick him out.

20th  Chicago’s new Lake Front Park is opened with a practice game. This field with its very short RF fence will house the White Stockings (NL) for 7 years.

22nd The first IA game of the season takes place in Manchester, NH, with the hosts beating Rochester, 9–0.

24th  John “Bud” Fowler, a young black hurler with the Chelsea team, wins a 2–1 exhibition game from the Boston Nationals, the 1877 NL champs. Fowler will sign with the Lynn Live Oaks of the International Association. There are claims that Fowler played professionally in New Castle, PA, as early as 1872.

MAY

1st  A crowd of 5,500 turns out for the Opening Day game at the brand-new Messer Street Park in Providence, but the Boston Reds (NL) spoil the festivities by nipping the Grays 1–0.

4th  Providence returns the favor and spoils Boston’s home opener by winning 8–6. Dick Higham hits a 3-run HR over the cozy LF wall at the South End Grounds.

6th  Chicago makes one error and turns 4 DPs to beat Indianapolis 3–1. The losing Blues make 7 errors.

8th  Providence CF Paul Hines pulls off a spectacular and perhaps unassisted triple play. With men on 2B and 3B and none out in the 8th inning, Boston’s Jack Burdock lines one over SS as both runners go. Hines, racing in, catches the ball at his shoe tops and keeps going to touch 3B. This retires the runner who started on 3B, but did it retire the runner who started on 2B but had already rounded 3B? To make sure, Hines throws back to Charley Sweasy to touch 2B. This touches off a lively debate over whether the triple play was unassisted or not, a debate that still continues over a century later. In the May 4, 1901 issue of The Sporting News publishes letters by four of the game’s participants in which they all agree that Hines threw to 2B to complete the TP. Two of the letter writers are Sweasy, the second baseman, and E. B. Sutton, the runner at 2B.

9th  Sam Weaver pitches a no-hitter to lead the Milwaukee Cream Citys to their first NL win, beating Indianapolis 2–1, one run scoring after a walk. One scorer gave a hit to John Clapp of the Blues, but Weaver is generally credited with a no-hitter.

10th  Indianapolis scores its first NL win, beating Milwaukee 6–1.

11th  Indianapolis edges Milwaukee 1–0 when the Reds are able to field Will Foley’s long drive beyond the carriages parked in the LF corner in time to nip Foley’s bid for a game-tying HR.

14th  A crowd of 1,500 attends the first NL game in Milwaukee and sees the Grays end the Cincinnati Reds’ 6-game winning streak with an 8–5 decision.

15th  Providence beats Boston 24–5, pounding out 25 hits for 34 bases and running up the score with 12 runs in the 8th inning and 7 more in the 9th.

20th Chicago’s Terry Larkin allows only a first-inning single, to Orator Shaffer, to beat Indianapolis, 3–1.

21st  Ed “The Only” Nolan of Indianapolis sets Milwaukee down with just 2 hits, but he barely wins a 6–5 game because of 11 errors and passed balls by his team.

25th With starter Fred Corey disabled in the 1st inning by arm trouble, Providence reliever Tricky Nichols has to stay in the box despite suffering a dislocated finger in the 3rd inning. He is hit hard and loses to Boston, 17–10.

28th  After starter Fred Corey gives out, Providence is forced to try its catchers as pitchers. Backstops Lew Brown and Doug Allison pitch the final 6 innings in a 12–4 loss to Milwaukee.

30th Indianapolis hitter Russ McKelvey strikes out 4 times against Cincinnati right Will White as the Reds beat the Blues, 4–1.

JUNE

1st McKelvey hits a 3-run homer off Reds lefty Bobby Mitchell to pace the Blues to an 8–5 win.

4th Larkin allows 7 hits and knocks in 2 runs to give Chicago a 2–1 win over Providence.

6th  Boston cannot hold a 15–6 lead but is able to push across a run in the bottom of the 9th to edge Milwaukee 16–15.

11th Jack Manning scores a run and drives in 2 in a 3–0 Boston win over Indianapolis.

12th  A great throw for a CF and catcher DP by White Stocking OF John Cassidy in the bottom of the 10th inning saves a 1–0 decision over Milwaukee.

15th League-leading Cincinnati improves its record to 15–5 with a 11–3 romp over Providence.

17th  After he is awarded 3B in a collision with Cal McVey, Johnny Morrill scores the winning run on a double steal. Boston beats Cincinnati in their first meeting of the year 4–2.

19th CF Paul Hines makes 2 great catches to save 7 runs as Providence beats Indianapolis, 9–3.

22nd Cap Anson is 5-for-5 with 5 RBIs as Chicago rolls over Milwaukee, 14–3.

25th Anson is 3-for-3 but makes a critical error in LF as Chicago loses to Boston, 7–2.

26th Milwaukee C Charlie Bennett, still trying to recover from a sore arm and his latest eye injury, breaks his nose when hit by a foul tip in an exhibition game in Waukesha.

27th Red-hot Cap Anson is 4-for-6 and Start is 5-for-6 as Chicago tattoos Tommy Bond for 24 hits in beating Boston, 16–5.

29th Indianapolis P Jim McCormick finishes his first week in the NL by beating the Reds for the third time.

JULY

5th  Cincinnati wins to move ahead of Boston in the standings with 17 games won. Boston has won 16 but has lost 4 fewer games.

2nd Boston (15-7) moves into first place in the NL by beating Milwaukee, 4–1. The Reds (15-11) are 2nd and Chicago (14-13) is 3rd.

4th Cincinnati snaps a 6-game losing streak by beating Indianapolis, 5–3, before a crowd of 5,194.

5th Cincinnati wins a gain and moves into 1st place with 17 wins. Boston has 16 wins, but 4 fewer losses.

7th Unofficial figures compiled by Cincinnati sportswriter O.P. Caylor put Lew Brown of Providence as the top hitter at .375. Following are Shaffer (.373), Anson (367), Allison (.361), and Abner Dalrymple (.359).

9th  Indianapolis begins a transferred “home” series in St. Louis, losing to Boston 6–3 thanks to 4 errors in the 2nd inning by 2B Joe Quest. The 3-game series will total 1,594 in paid attendance.

At Avenue Grounds, the Cincinnati Reds down the visiting Providence Greys, 12–4, using a 15-minute “heat delay” because of the sweltering temperature. The itinerant Cherokee Fisher, 4-20 for the Reds last year, is the starter and loser for the Greys in his only appearance this season. It is his last in the NL.

11th  Blues pitcher Jim McCormick suffers a broken bone in his forearm in the 7th inning and gives up 3 runs in the 8th and 4 in the 9th to lose to Boston 8–4. He will be out of action until the end of August.

15th  John Montgomery Ward makes his NL debut pitching for Providence in Cincinnati. The first game is a fiasco, the Grays losing 13–9 thanks to 17 battery errors by Monte Ward and Brown. But on July 18 and 20th he’ll toss consecutive shutouts and the 18-year-old rookie will pitch every inning of every league game for the Grays for the rest of the season.

16th John Montgomery Ward doubles home a run and posts his first win, beating Indianapolis, 4–2.

17th Thanks to the heroics of Jack Remsen, Chicago nips Milwaukee, 6–5. Remsen drives in the game-winner in the 9th after earlier making a spectacular catch. The White Stockings now lead the pennant race with 22 wins.

18th Daring base running by rookie Mike Kelly leads Cincinnati to a 4–1 win over Boston.

20th Jack Manning, back with Hubbites after being on loan to the Queen City for 1877, scores the lone run on a double steal as Boston edges Cincinnati, 1–0.

22nd Cal McVey and Jim White combine for 6 RBIs, but their errors in the 9th allow Boston to score the winning run. The final is Boston 8, Cincinnati, 7.

23rd Maybe they should change their name to the Cream Puffs. The Milwaukee Cream Citys loses its 14th straight game, the longest losing streak of the year, 5–4 to Providence. The winners steal 5 bases and score 5 runs in one inning as they run on C Charlie Bennett’s sore arm.

25th Boston uses a triple play in the 8th inning and a triple in the 11th to edge Cincinnati, 10–9.

26th At the Union Grounds in Brooklyn, Providence hosts Milwaukee before a disappointingly small crowd. The Grays prevail over the Cream Citys, 4-1.

31st  Lip Pike, recently released by Cincinnati, goes 4-for-5 with 3 RBI for Providence, as the Grays beat his old team 9–3.

AUGUST

1st Boston edges Milwaukee, 3–2, with the aid of an “astonishing muff” in the 8th inning by LF Abner Dalrymple.

3rd A home run by Jim O’Rourke gives Boston another 3–2 win over Milwaukee.

7th  John Montgomery Ward allows 2 hits as Providence beats Indianapolis, 5–0.

8th Errors by 2B Bill McClellan and 1B Joe Start enable Boston to score in the 9th and edge Chicago, 2–1.

9th  Paul Hines and Monte Ward star as Providence wins 2 from Indianapolis 12–6 in the morning and 8–5 in the afternoon. Ward pitches both games, and Hines amasses 7 hits and 7 RBIs.

10th Boston completes a 3-game sweep of Chicago by winning 2–1 in 11 innings. Morrill scores the winning run by stealing 2B and continuing home when the catcher’s throw gets by the second baseman and center fielder.

13th Paul Hines is 3-for-4 and pulls off his second unassisted DP of the year, but Providence settles for a 4–4 tie with Chicago.

14th  The Indianapolis club expels “The Only” Nolan for leaving the team to attend a fictitious funeral.

19th  The NL loses 3 out of 4 exhibition games on this date, Boston beating Rochester 4–2 in 14 innings for the only victory.

21st Chicago scores 5 in the bottom of the 9th to beat Cincinnati, 7–4. After Frank Hankinson’s 2-run single wins the game, two more runs score on an error by SS Bill Geer.

25th The IA certifies Bill Craver to play for the Troy Haymakers (IA). Craver was recently expelled from the NL for failing to cooperate with an investigation into his selling of games. By NL rules, the League could then expel every player who played against Troy. The NL will take no action, however, but will not grant Craver a hearing.

26th  The Manchester IA club plays an exhibition at the state reform school, and during the game their dressing room is robbed of jewelry and $48 in cash.

29th Boston pulls another out of the fire, coring 4 in the bottom of the 10th to beat Chicago, 8–7. Bob Ferguson, catching for the Whites, makes 5 errors and passed balls in the final frame. Ezra Sutton caps the scoring with a game-winning homer, his only HR of the year.

31st  Al Spalding comes out of retirement to play 2B for Chicago. He goes 2-for-4 but makes 4 errors as the Whites lose to Boston 5–2.

SEPTEMBER

2nd  A benefit game played in Chicago raises $682 for yellow fever victims in Memphis.

3rd Cincinnati scores 3 in the 9th to beat Boston, 3–0. Charley Jones cracks a 2-run triple and completes the circuit on an error.

4th  Monte Ward shuts Chicago out for the 2nd day in a row, winning 9–0 on 4 hits this time.

5th  Catcher Jim “Deacon” White picks 2 runners off and throws out 3 more trying to steal to lead Cincinnati to a 5–2 victory over Boston.

7th Cincinnati staves off elimination again by completing a 3-game sweep over the league leaders. Boston still leads with a 37–16 record, while Cincinnati is 35–22.

8th Impressed with his hitting in the recent sweep over them, Boston signs Cincy star Charley Jones to a 3-year contract for 1879-82.

11th Cincinnati beats Chicago 2–0 for their 9th win in a row, tying Chicago for the longest win streak of the year. Boston clinches a tie with a 2–0, 10-inning win over Indianapolis.

12th Boston clinches the pennant with a 4–2 win over the Blues, while Cincinnati finally loses, 9–2, to Chicago.

13th Boston’s Tommy Bond pitches his 9th shutout of the year, beating Indianapolis, 3–0.

14th  The Red Stockings and Blues play an exhibition game in which they experiment with calling every pitch a ball or a strike and allowing only 6 balls for a walk. The reaction is favorable.

19th Providence announces its roster for 1879, including Boston’s star SS George Wright, who will captain the Grays next year.

23rd  The “Chicagos of 1879,” including Ned Williamson and Silver Flint of this year’s Indianapolis 9, lose an exhibition game to the Blues 9–7.

26th  In the first league game in 12 days, Boston’s Tommy Bond beats Providence, 4–1, for his 40th win of the year. Bond won 40 last year and will win 43 next season, pitching more than 500 innings in each of the 3 years. At 40-16, Bond has all but one of Boston’s decisions. He’ll lose his next 3 all by one run over the next 3 days to Providence, as the two teams are the only ones playing.

30th  The NL season ends with a Providence win over Boston, their 3rd over Boston in 3 days. For the first time ever, a league completes its entire schedule. Boston (41-19) is the leader, followed by Cincinnati (37-23) and Providence (33-27) in the top 3 of 6 teams.

OCTOBER

2nd  Buffalo beats Boston 9–5 in 12 innings, giving Bison P Jim Galvin at least one win over each NL club. He will finish 10–5 this year versus NL teams.

3rd  The Stars of Syracuse beat Lowell 12–1 and claim the IA pennant. They celebrate with a “grand collation” in the evening.

7th Jim Devlin, barred by the NL, pitches a benefit game in Troy between the Haymakers and a picked 9.

8th  Buffalo beats Utica and also claims the IA pennant.

15th Providence signs veteran stars Jim O’Rourke and Bobby Mathews.

18th  The Indianapolis club unaccountably finds itself short $2,500. The players are given $60 each in lieu of their salaries due, spelling the end of the Indianapolis Blues.

25th  The Buffalo club plays its final game in Jamestown, NY, finishing the season with an overall record of 81-32-3, including 10-7 versus NL teams and 24-8 in official IA games. P Jim Galvin racks up a 72-25-3 record.

NOVEMBER

1st  Boston beats Providence in an experimental game with 6 balls for a walk and no outs on foul bounds.

8th The Providence club meets and votes to expand its capital stock from $3,800 to $10,000.

9th  The official NL averages give Milwaukee’s Abner Dalrymple the batting championship with a .356 average. These figures do not include tie games, however, and counting ties, Providence’s Paul Hines would have the lead .358 to .354. The calculations giving Hines the batting crown, as well as research showing he led in RBIs, were not made until long after his death in 1935, so Hines did not know he was the ML’s first triple crown winner.

10th  Nearly 8,000 come out to the San Francisco National Trotting Park to see the deciding game of the Pacific Coast championship season. The Athletics beat the Californias 9–7 in a game marred by terrible field conditions.

DECEMBER

4th  The full NL meets and admits the Stars of Syracuse, Buffalo, and Cleveland. Indianapolis resigns, and the Milwaukee club is given 20 days to pay its creditors and resign honorably or be expelled. The also deny the appeals of reinstatement from Bill Craver and Edward Nolan.

New rules include the following:

  • Nonplaying managers are barred from the bench (a rule aimed at Harry Wright of Boston).
  • The pitcher’s box is narrowed from 6 feet wide to 4 feet wide.
  • Every pitch is called either a ball, a strike, or a foul and 9 balls are required for a walk, as opposed to the old rule in which every 3rd bad pitch was a called ball and 3 called balls gave the batter his base.
  • A system of fines is established against pitchers who hit batsmen with pitches.
  • Pitchers are barred from turning their backs completely to the batters during delivery.
  • Batting-order rules are altered to make the first batter in a new inning follow the last batter in the previous inning.

5th  In its final session, the NL votes to abolish all outs on the first bounce, both on fouls and 3rd strikes. The league also institutes a reserve clause (as noted by Cliff Blau) and each team is allowed to designate five players who cannot be signed by other teams. This will increase to 11 players in the next few years. In 1892, following the mergers of the two major leagues, each team will be allowed to reserve 15 players.

10th The Troy City Base Ball club applies for membership in the NL.

29th  The Professional Baseball League of Cuba is founded in Havana. In the first league game ever played, the Havana Reds edge Almendares, 21-20.

31st  It is reported that 8,000,000 bats were sold in the United States during 1878.

  • 1879

JANUARY

1st In A meeting in Rockford, Illinois, the Northwest League is proposed. Rockford, Dubuque, and Peoria are represented at the meeting, and Davenport, Milwaukee, Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown are invited to join.

An article in the Chicago Daily Tribune on square bats states that the League is considering a rule change to “allow the batter the privilege of using a square or flat bat.” It further states that “(t)he idea was originally put forth in the Boston Herald, the base-ball department of which is understood to be ‘inspired’ by Harry Wright.” It then quotes from the article and notes that the rule would not be changed “without at least a year’s notice in advance, in order that players might practice at leisure moments and become accustomed to the flat bat. . . .” The notion will be discarded in February 1880.

26th  Troy receives notification of its admission into the NL. The Trojans are already committed to salaries totaling $10,240 for 11 players and a manager.

FEBRUARY

14th  The Milwaukee NL club’s property (Cream Citys) is sold to satisfy a bankruptcy judgment of $125.61.

18th  At the International Association meeting, the 1878 pennant is awarded to Buffalo with a 24-8 record; Syracuse was 23-9. With no Canadian clubs in attendance, the league changes its name to the National Association.

20th The Troy City club hires a contractor to build a new grandstand seating 1200 to accommodate the crowds at NL games this coming season.

MARCH

8th The Worcester club reorganizes with Frank Bancroft and Jim Mutrie, both of last year’s New Bedford club, among the prominent men involved.

21st  Entry into the NA pennant race is closed with 9 clubs, including 2 in Albany.

24th  The NL meets in Buffalo and adopts an 8-team, 84-game schedule.

25th  Despite some vocal opposition from some members, the NL votes to retain its 50¢ minimum admission price. It also reinstitutes the rule making outs of fouls on 3rd strikes caught on the first bounce.

30th Boston ups its season ticket prices from $10 to $14.

APRIL

1st  The Northwest League is formed with Davenport, Omaha, Dubuque, and Rockford. This league refuses to affiliate with the NA or NL, setting its sights at limited attendance and salary standards. In this sense, it is the first minor league.

3rd The annual Fast Day opener in Boston draws more than 1,000 fans to the Boston Grounds despite the rainy weather. The Bostons play a hand picked nine, defeating the latter, 3-0. All businesses are closed today.

4th  The Providence Grays vote to establish a “bull pen” in CF for which 15¢ admissions can be purchased starting in the 5th inning. This would be a very popular ticket, with a daily rush in the 5th.

16th Worcester manager Frank Bancroft sends out a notice to other clubs stating, “that it is useless to accept the promises of guarantees from D.L. Foutz” of Baltimore. Young Foutz, the player-manager of the Baltimore B.B. Club, had guaranteed Worcester $50 for a game on the 15th. But the visitors had arrived 35 minutes late, and poor weather had kept the crowd to a minimum. So when the Worcester squad finally arrived, Foutz refused to play the game or pay the guarantee. The damage from Bancroft’s announcement would cause Foutz to decamp to Colorado for a few seasons.

24th  The NA season opens with the Capital Cities losing to their crosstown rivals the Albanys 3–0.

MAY

1st  Opening Day in the NL with 4 games, including the first league games ever in Buffalo and Cleveland.

Cap Anson, in his debut as Chicago’s manager, collects 2 singles and a RBI to help beat Syracuse 4–3 in the season opener at Chicago’s Lakefront Park.

2nd Cincinnati 2B Ross Barnes suffers a sprained neck when Troy’s Mike Mansell deliberately runs into him as he attempts a double play. Collisions on the basepaths and “breaking up the double play” are not yet accepted parts of the game. Mansell is severely censured for his actions.

3rd Mike Kelly hits a 3-run homer in Cincinnati as the Reds beat Troy City, 13–12. For hitting the first HR of the season, Kelly receives a bat from the Cincinnati Inquirer.

8th Buffalo nips Providence, 3–2. In the top of the 9th, CF Dave Eggler cannily juggles a fly ball and is able to force the speedy John Ward out at 3B. In the bottom of the inning, the Bisons score the winning run on throwing errors by Grays catcher Jim O’Rourke.

10th Buffalo P Jim Galvin twists his ankle in the 3rd inning, and Providence jumps on reliever Bill McGunnigle for 13 runs, including 9 in the 8th inning, to win 16–10.

12th Troy, 0-6 in NL play thus far, wins an exhibition game in Detroit at the opening of Recreation Park.

13th Cincinnati’s Mike Burke is the goat twice in a 3–2 loss in Boston. In the top of the 9th, he overruns 3B and is tagged out, and in the bottom, he makes the error to allow the winning run to score.

15th Chicago losses the toss for choice of innings for the 7th time in 8 games, but beats Providence, 7–2. The White Stockings now lead the NL at 7–1.

16th Troy (1–7) posts its first victory by beating Buffalo, 1–0. Captain George Bradley pitches the shutout and Bison’s 2B Bill Crowley’s 2 errors allow the only run to score.

17th  Plagued by catching injuries, the Cleveland Blues give Fred Gunkley a trial. He finishes the game with 10 errors (including passed balls) even though he is shifted to the OF midway through the game. The Blue Stockings lose to the Syracuse Stars, 11–3.

20th  Boston catcher Charley Snyder suffers a cut hand in the 8th inning, forcing relief pitcher Tommy Bond to ease up on his delivery and allowing Chicago to score 4 runs in the 9th to win, 9–5.

22nd Providence rallies from a 9–2 deficit in the 7th inning to beat Cincinnati, 10–9, in 10 innings.

24th  Providence scores 10 runs in the 1st inning and rout the Cincinnati team, 17–1. Two Providence runners are thrown out trying to steal in the big inning.

28th  Home openers are staged in Boston, Providence, Syracuse and Troy with Boston the only loser.

30th  John Ward of Providence beats Buffalo 4–0 and saves his own shutout with the innovative tactic of backing up home plate on a throw from the OF.

31st Chicago runs its record to 14–1 with a 4–2 triumph in Boston. Providence is 2nd with a 10-5 record.

JUNE

2nd J. Lee Richmond, star at Brown University, makes his pro debut with Worcester by no-hitting Chicago in a 7-inning game, 11–0. Richmond was 1–0 last year with NL Boston.

5th Chicago scores 3 times in the bottom of the 9th to edge Providence, 6–5. Quinn, Williamson, and Larkin provide scoring singles plus errors by O’Rourke and Hines. This ups the Whites lead over the Grays to 5 games.

6th Charley Jones hits a tremendous home run, estimated to travel 500 feet, as Boston beats Buffalo, 7–4.

9th  Back with Brown University, Lee Richmond pitches his school to the College Championship by beating Yale 3–2. In the 9th, Yale puts runners on 2B and 3B with 2 out, but Richmond fans Ripley on a full count (8-2) pitch.

10th  Providence plays errorless ball for the first time this season and beats Cincinnati, 11–1.

12th  Boston shades Cleveland, 1–0, as Sadie Houck scores the winning run after colliding with SS Tom Carey as the fielder was going after a pop fly. The consolation for the losers is the fine performance of their latest catching recruit, Barney Gilligan.

13th  Will White sprains his ankle while horsing around with Mike Kelly before the game, and Cincinnati is forced to use Cal McVey in the pitcher’s box. McVey is pounded for 28 hits, as Providence wins 19–6.

14th  Chicago’s Frank “Silver” Flint hits a ball over the LF fence in the 9th inning in Troy. He takes only 3 bases on the hit because he wants to force the catcher to play close behind the next batter, giving the hitter a better chance. Flint eventually scores but Chicago still loses 10–9.

15th  St. Louis applies to join the IA (then known as the National Association) after having previously rejected offers to take over the NL’s Indianapolis franchise.

20th  Oscar Walker of Buffalo becomes the first ML player to strike out 5 times in a 9-inning game. Luckily, his teammates are able to hit George Bradley’s delivery enough to beat Troy, 8–3. Bradley will lose 40 this year, tops in the NL.

21st With Joe Start out with an injury, Providence quickly recruits Bill White of Brown University to play 1B. He goes 1-for-4 with no errors in his only big league game as the Grays beat Cleveland, 5–3. White, whose father was a Southern plantation owner and his mother was a slave, is significant in that he is possibly the first African-American pro player (details of his life were discovered by a group of SABR researchers, headed by Peter Morris).

22nd The New York Times reports the death of a player named Alexander Taylor. Apparently this fatality took place on the field of play. The article says that Taylor, a catcher, got too close to the batter as he swung, smashing his skull.

23rd Dan Brouthers makes his ML debut with Troy, contributing a single in a 6-run burst that beats Syracuse, 6–0.

26th  Boston edges Providence 3–2, due largely to a triple play started by C Snyder. He drops a 3rd strike with the bases loaded and begins the throws that result in three force outs. The rule eliminating the chance for double and triple plays on dropped 3rd strikes would not be adopted until 1887.

28th  John O’Rourke of Boston hits 2 homers as the Reds beat the Grays, 10–5. O’Rourke will finish the season with 6 homers, 2nd to teammate Jones’s NL-high of 10.

30th  Despite being outhit, 11-3, Cleveland beats Buffalo, 2–1.

JULY

1st Buffalo’s Jim Galvin holds Cleveland to one hit this time and wins, 9–0.

2nd In Chicago, umpire Bill McLean fines players on both teams and even walks off the field briefly before being convinced to complete the game, which is won by Cincinnati, 14–9.

4th  A holiday crowd of more than 5,000 turns out in Philadelphia to see a widely advertised game between 2 women’s teams, the New York Blue Stockings and the Philadelphia Red Stockings. The teams, connected with variety theaters, are playing for “the championship of the U.S.” The Blue Stockings win 36–24 in a loosely played game cut short when the unruly crowd gets out of control.

At Oil City, Pennsylvania, Tony Mullane throws a baseball 416 feet (according to a story in The Lethbridge (PA) Herald, June 26, 1939). The same article notes the distant record of Sheldon LeJeune who threw a ball 426 feet, 9 1/2 inches at Redland Field, Cincinnati, on October 9, 1910. (as noted by Dennis VanLangen). Mullane’s obituary in The Sporting News (May 4, 1944) mentions his ambidextrous pitching, saying, “Tony’s ambidexterity on the diamond was the result of a sore right arm that threatened to end his career, after he joined Detroit. The injury resulted from his efforts in a field meet, in which he was credited with throwing a ball 416 feet 7-3/4 inches.” no date is given for the field meet or even a site. Mullane had played for an amateur team in Akron that year before joining Detroit in late July (as noted by J.G. Preston).

5th  Ned Williamson is 5-for-5 with a triple and HR as Chicago snaps a 3-game losing streak with a 14–6 win over Boston.

8th  Cleveland’s Jack Glasscock drives home a run in the top of the 9th to break a scoreless tie, but then he makes a game-losing error in the bottom of the frame as Buffalo rallies, 2–1.

12th  Galvin pitches the Bisons to two victories over Troy, 5–3 and 5–4 in 12 innings. He also hits the game-winning triple in game 2.

14th  Chicago signs Jack Remsen of the recently disbanded Utica (NA) club.

15th  After having pitched complete games in all of Providence’s 73 NL games since he joined the club exactly one year ago, Monte Ward is relieved for the first time in the 4th inning in a 9–0 loss to Cincinnati.

16th  Frank Hankinson, who has taken over as Chicago’s chief pitcher because of Terry Larkin’s arm trouble, shuts out Troy for the 2nd time in 2 days.

19th  Cincinnati gets homers from Barnes, Dickerson, and J. White, but still needs 11th-inning singles by McVey and Dickerson to edge Troy, 7–6.

At Cleveland, the first all-lefty duel in ML history takes place (as researched by David Nemec). Bobby Mitchell of Cleveland defeats Curry Foley of Boston, 8–2.

21st  Boston’s Tommy Bond, apparently fully recovered from his thumb injury, stops Cleveland, 9–0, on 4 hits.

23rd After having missed a month with a broken finger, Joe Start returns to the Providence lineup as the Grays beat Chicago, 13–4, to take the rubber game of the series from the league-leaders. The Grays still trail by 4 1/2 games.

24th  George Bradley pitches a 5-hitter as Troy beats Cleveland, 2–0. This will turn out to be the Trojans only win in a 19-game stretch.

26th  Syracuse’s Harry McCormick hits a HR in the first and then makes it stand up by beating Boston’s Tommy Bond, 1–0. This will be the only time in ML history that a pitcher wins his own 1–0 game with first-inning HR, a ML record likely to stand.

28th  Boston’s Jones hits a leadoff HR in the 1st inning as the Reds get sweet revenge against McCormick and the Stars with a 12–0 shutout.

29th  Billy Holbert succeeds Mike Dorgan as captain of the Stars, but Syracuse still loses 13-4 to Boston.

30th  Holbert is supplanted after just one game by Jim Macullar. The Stars lose again as their record slips to 17-28.

AUGUST

2nd Bond pitches his 3rd shutout of the week (out of 5 games pitched) beating Troy, 9–0.

3rd The Syracuse club is reportedly 5 weeks in arrears in paying their players’ salaries.

5th  After Providence P Bobby Mathews gives up 6 runs in the first 2 innings, he switches positions with 3B Monte Ward, who pitches shutout ball the rest of the way to rally the Grays to a 7–6 win. Captain George Wright would successfully employ this pitching scheme several more times in the season.

6th  After the Trojans lose again to drop their record to 12-34, Troy hires Bob Ferguson to take over as manager and captain, succeeding Horace Phillips and George Bradley respectively.

7th  An unusual base-path occurrence is the feature in Syracuse. The Star runner from 2B, Mike Dorgan, passes the man from 3B, Hick Carpenter, and crosses the plate before Carpenter is tagged out. There is as yet no specific rule about passing preceding runners, but the umpire calls both men out. The Stars beat Boston 6–5.

11th  Providence posts its 3rd consecutive extra-inning victory and 8th straight overall, beating Syracuse, 3–2, in 12.

12th  McCunnigle of Buffalo shuts out Cleveland for the 2nd day in a row, both final scores being 2–0.

13th  Chicago and Cincinnati try to play a makeup game, but the home team Reds refuse to play after a downpour of rain. The visiting Whites then appoint one of their traveling party as umpire, and he declares the game a 9–0 forfeit victory for Chicago. It will be declared a legal Chicago victory at the NL meeting in December.

14th  Troy snaps a 12-game losing streak, the longest this year in the NL, by beating Providence, 6–2.

15th Providence takes over first place from Chicago in the NL with a 16–7 pasting of Troy.

Cap Anson plays his final game of 1879 for Chicago as they lose for the 6th time in 8 games since the Dubuque trip. The player-manager will leave the club to recuperate from a liver ailment, and Silver Flint will take over. Anson’s illness, coupled with P Terry Larkin’s lame arm, will doom Chicago to a 4th-place finish.

20th Chicago club president William Hulbert “puts some ginger in the boys” with a pregame pep talk, and the Whites respond with an 8–1 victory over Buffalo.

21st Dan Brouthers tries pitching for Troy and is roughed up for 17 hits by Boston. Tommy Bonds (8 innings) and Curry Foley (1 inning) combine to shut out Troy, 16–0.

26th Paul Hines is 5-for-6 and saves the game in the 10th inning with a fine catch as Providence beats Troy, 8–6. Joe Start finishes the game with a 10th inning inside-the-park homer.

27th The Chicago team leaves on an eastern road trip without Cap Anson. Anson will go to his father’s home in Marshalltown, Iowa, to recover his health.

29th Recently signed Lew Brown joins the Chicagos in Rochester and takes over as captain.

30th Troy beats Boston, 4–2, to snap the Bostons 10-game winning streak, which is tied with previous streaks by Buffalo (July 19-August 6) and Providence (July 30 – August 13) for the longest in the NL this year.

SEPTEMBER

1st  Chicago beats Buffalo, 4–1, to briefly regain 2nd place over Boston. The top 3 teams are tightly bunched: Providence (45-21), Chicago (43-21) and Boston 43-23).

3rd  After spending 24 hours on the journey from Buffalo to Providence, the White Stockings are trounced by the Grays, 8–1, in the first game of a 3-game showdown.

4th  The required 10 days since his release having elapsed, Lew Brown is able to play for Chicago against his old Providence team. It’s not enough as the Grays win again, 10–3.

6th  Providence completes the sweep with an 11-5 win over Chicago. Boston, now in 2nd place, is 3 games back.

7th  Despite a respectable .2274 average, Dan Brouthers is released by Troy. He’ll play 3 games for them next year.

8th  Boston shuts out Chicago, 4–0, as Tommy Bond strikes out 9.

9th  Tommy Bond of Boston shuts out Chicago again, 10–0 this time, for his 11th and final complete-game shutout of the season. Bond shut out Chicago yesterday, 4–0. This is the 3rd year in a row that he has led the NL in whitewashes.

10th  Facing bankruptcy, the Syracuse Stars fold after winning their final game. Having played Troy only 6 times, the official NL standings are adjusted so that only the first 6 games of the total each team played versus Syracuse would count. This adds a game to Providence’s lead.

12th  Ex-star Jack Farrell plays with Providence as the Grays beat Cleveland, 8–4. Farrell and Blondie Purcell will be the only Syracuse players to catch on with other NL clubs in the final weeks of the season.

16th  A single by Candy Nelson is the only Trojan hit off Bill McGunnigle who pitches Buffalo to a 2–1 triumph.

17th  Pitching for Troy after the breakup of the Springfield NA club, Fred Goldsmith posts his 1st NL win after many years of non-league ball.

18th  In a rematch against Richmond and the Worcesters, the Chicagos manage 4 singles and are again shutout. The White Stockings let acting captain Lew Brown go and put Silver Flint in charge for the remaining two weeks of the season. Cap Anson will be back at the helm next spring.

19th  Aided by 17 Cincinnati fielding and battery errors, Providence wins 15-5 to sweep a 3-game series.

20th  In a rematch against Richmond and the Worcesters, the Chicagos manage 4 singles and are again shutout. The White Stockings let acting captain Lew Brown go and put Silver Flint in charge for the remaining two weeks of the season. Cap Anson will be back at the helm next spring.

Boston beats Cleveland, 10–7, but still trails Providence by 4 games with just 6 left to play, all against the Grays.

23rd  With Bond injured, Boston manager Harry Wright hires Harvard C Joe Tyng to pitch against Providence. To the surprise of all, Tyng and the Reds win, 7–3.

25th  Providence jumps on Joe Tyng for 16 hits and wins 15–4 to clinch a tie for first place.

Chicago’s Terry Larkin finds enough in his lame arm to toss a 6–5 victory over Cleveland, the last decision of his career. Frank Hankinson will pitch the last 4 games of the year for Chicago.

26th  Providence squanders a 6-run lead, but George Wright scores a run in the 9th inning to beat Boston 7–6 and clinch the pennant for the Grays. The Providence crowd stages a wild celebration that delays the formal last out of the game.

In an International Association game between Albany and Worcester, Albany’s Lou Say pulls off the first hidden ball trick, but the umps deny him the out saying there was nothing in the record books to make the ploy possible. Lou will get his say in the record books, however, in 1884 when he becomes the first player to make 100 errors in a season playing shortstop for the UA Baltimore and Kansas City franchises. He makes 102 errors (as noted by David Nemec).

27th  Lee Richmond makes his NL pitching debut for Boston against Providence. He survives a shaky 5-run first and goes on to win 12–6.

29th  Will White pitches his 74th complete game of the season for Cincinnati, beating Cleveland 13–1. He will finish with 75 complete games and 680 innings pitched, establishing ML season records that will never be broken.

30th  The NL season ends with 3 games. Providence is the winner with a 55-23 record; Boston (49-29 is in second place after the standings are adjusted for only 6 games per team against Syracuse.

From the 2nd day of the NL meeting, word leaks out of a secret agreement among the owners allowing each club to “reserve” 5 players with whom the other clubs agree not to negotiate. This move is to keep their salaries at current levels or below. This represents the beginning of the reserve system that would develop into management’s chief hold over the players for the next century.

OCTOBER

1st  The financially strapped Cincinnati club releases its players, and will not pay them the final month’s salary.

2nd  Chicago’s announcement of the signing of Troy’s Fred Goldsmith leads to protests from Troy that the new reserve system has already been violated.

3rd Adrian Anson rejoins the White Stockings in Chicago as the club prepares to leave for California for a tour with a “Cincinnati” squad.

5th The NL issues a circular stating that 1879 “was one of the most successful seasons financially in history.” But most observers believe that all but one or two NL clubs lost money.

7th Worcester beats Providence, 4–3, giving pitcher Richmond a 7–2 record versus NL teams for the season. Harry Stovey, having been signed with Worcester for 1880, makes his debut.

8th The first pro game of the season takes place at the Union Grounds of Brooklyn with Providence beating Boston, 8–6.

10th Providence beats Albany, 5–1, to snap Albany’s 18-game winning streak against all levels of competition.

13th Albany beats the Nationals of Washington to clinch the NA pennant. The victors’ lineup includes three players, Tommy Burns, Fred Dunlap, and Ned Hanlon, who will be NL standouts in the 1880s.

16th  With the Cincinnati Reds folding, Mike Kelly signs with Chicago for 1880 while on tour with the Whites in California.

17th Troy beats Albany, 16-4, in the final NL versus AL game of the year. The NL has the edge in these games, 26-19, with 4 ties.

24th Cincinnati formally resigns from the NL.

25th The Nationals strike a blow for the prestige of the NA by signing Charley Snyder away from Boston.

28th Former IF/OF Jimmy Hallihan dies of “inflammation of the bowels” at age 30.

NOVEMBER

15th Springfield hires John Chapman to manage a new team in 1880.

21st Frank Bancroft closes a deal with A.S. Soule of the patent medicine firm promoting its hop bitters to take a squad on a tour of Cuba and the South. The team will be called “Hop Bitters” but will consist mainly of Worcester players, not Rochester men.

24th  Although the club reportedly cleared $1,500 in winning the pennant, Providence offers player-manager George Wright a contract calling for a cut of about $300 from his 1879 salary of $2,000. Because Wright was reserved by Providence at the NL meeting, he will receive no offers from other clubs.

DECEMBER

3rd  The annual NL meeting convenes in Buffalo. A new Cincinnati club headed by Justus Thorner and O. P. Caylor is admitted to membership.

4th  NL owners again vote to retain the 50¢ minimum admission charge despite opposition from Troy and Buffalo.

The following rule changes are made:

  • the number of balls for a walk is reduced from 9 to 8.
  • the catcher must catch the 3rd strike on the fly to put the batter out (the first bounce no longer counting).
  • the final outs of the last half inning need no longer be completed if the team batting last is already ahead.

5th  The NL adopts a rule allowing a club to suspend a player for the remainder of one season and the entire following season for drunkenness or insubordination.

6th  The American College Baseball Association is founded in Springfield, MA. The six schools forming the group are Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Amherst, Dartmouth, and Brown, and they vote to exclude professional players from their teams. Yale, with the best team, will withdraw from the Association and only five teams will compete for the pennant in 1880. Princeton will win the 1880 season with a 6–2 record, though Yale will go 7–1. Yale will rejoin in 1881 and go 7–3, tops of the 6.

18th The American College Base Ball Association is founded in Springfield, MA, at a meeting attended by 6 prominent eastern colleges.

21st  The Hop Bitters of Rochester, the first North American team to play in Cuba, beat a local team 21–7 in Havana before a crowd of 5,000.

 

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