1869 April

3rd A reporter for the New York Clippercomments on pitcher Alphonse “Phoney Martin, writing, “His style is peculiar, being neither slow nor swift, but a ‘happy mean.’ He is an extremely hard pitcher to hit for the ball never comes in a straight line, but in a tantalizing curve.” This argues that Martin predates Candy Cummings, generally given credit for inventing the curve.

5th The first practice game of the year takes place on the Capitoline Grounds in Brooklyn, with members of the Atlantic, Mutual, and Eckford clubs participating. It snowed yesterday.

20th The first appearance of the Champion Mutuals occurs on their home grounds, the Union Park in Brooklyn, there being no baseball grounds in NYC. Several hundred spectators braves the brisk breezes to see a 5-inning game. The Mutuals win over a picked nine, 30–7.