5th At a town meeting in Pittsfield, MA, a bylaw is passed making it illegal to play baseball and other sports within eighty yards of the town hall to prevent the breaking of windows. The bylaws were discovered in 2004 by baseball historian John Thorn and it is the first mention of “baseball” in the U.S. The Byelaw (sic) reads as follows: Be it ordained by the said Inhabitants that no person or Inhabitant of said Town, shall be permitted to play at any game called Wicket, Cricket, Baseball, Batball, Football, Cats, Fives or any other games played with Ball, within the Distance of eighty yards from said Meeting House – And every such Person who shall play at any of the said games or other games with Ball within the distance aforesaid, shall for every Instance thereof, forfeit the Sum of five shillings to be recovered by Action of Debt brought before any Justice of the Peace to the Person who shall and prosecute therefore And be it further ordained that in every Instance where any Minor shall be guilty of a Breach of this Law, his Parent, Master, Mistress or guardian shall forfeit the like Sum to be recovered in manner, and to the use aforesaid.
“Conversations on Chymistry, in which the elements of that science are familiarly explained and illustrated by experiments and plates,” by Jane Haldiman Marcet, is published anonymously in London. The first American edition is published in New Haven in 1809 with different additions. An 1836 American edition, edited by Rev. J.L. Blake, who said he did not change the book, relates on pp. 15-16, chap. 1 “On General Properties of Bodies,” a conversation between Emily and Mrs. B., on the subject of inertia:
Emily: In playing base-ball I am obliged to use all my strengths to give a rapid motion to the ball; and when I have to catch it, I am sure I feel the resistance it makes to being stopped. But if I do not catch it, it would soon fall to the ground and stop itself.
Mrs B: Inert matter is as incapable of stopping of itself, as it is of putting itself in motion: when the ball cease to move, therefore, it must be stopped by some other cause or power; but as it is one with which you are yet unacquainted, we cannot at present investigate its effects.
(This discovery was made by Ken Mendelson, a retired physics professor at Marquette University.)
The earliest reference to baseball in the OED is Jane Austin’s “Northanger Abbey,” 1815.
6th Trustees of the Village of Cooperstown, NY enact an ordinance: “That no person shall play at Ball in Second or West Street (now Pioneer and Main Streets), under a penalty of one dollar, for each and every offense.” (as noted by historians Tom Heitz and John Thorn).
5th As noted by historian George Thompson, a mention of the word “base ball” appears in the National Advocate relating a game played today. “I was much pleased in witnessing a company of active young men playing the manly and athletic game of ‘base ball’ at the Retreat in Broadway (Jones). I am informed they are an organized association, and that a very interesting game will be played on Saturday next at the above place.”
13th The following notice appears in the July 13, 1825 Hamden, NY edition of the Delhi Gazette: “The undersigned, all residents of the new town of Hamden, with the exception of Asa Howland, who has recently removed to Delhi, challenge an equal number of persons of any town in the County of Delaware, to meet them at any time at the house of Edward B. Chace, in said town, to play the game of Bass-Ball, for the sum of one dollar each per game.” (as noted by Tom Heitz and John Thorn).
8th The New York City By-laws and Ordinances prohibit New York, NY ball playing.
4th Near Beachville, Ontario, residents watch the first recorded game of baseball in Canada (as noted by John Thorn and Tom Heitz). The Canadian version uses five bases, three strikes and three outs to a side. An oblique, irregular foul line delineates buildings at the playing site creating an out-of-bounds area.
23rd The Knickerbocker baseball club of New York is organized at the suggestion of Alexander J. Cartwright, who formulates rules to distinguish his brand of baseball from other forms played throughout the country.
6th The first recorded baseball game using Cartwright’s rules is played between members of the Knickerbocker Club. Only 14 players participate as Duncan Curry’s team defeats Alex Cartwright’s team 11–8 in a shortened game of only 3 innings. The Knickerbocker Club will play at least 14 recorded games during the fall of 1845.
21st The New YorkHeraldhas an announcement of an upcoming baseball match this afternoon between the New York Club and the Brooklyn Club at the Elysian Fields, Hoboken, NJ. This game is played under different rules than Cartwright’s.
22nd The New YorkMorning Newsreports that in yesterday’s “friendly match of the time honored game of Baseball” the New York Club beat Brooklyn 24–4. A box score of the game is included in the account.
23rd In a rematch at Elysian Fields, the New York club again beats Brooklyn, this time 39–17. The New York Heraldpublishes a box score of the game showing 12 outs for each side during the game, 8 players on each, and 3 umpires. Neither of these clubs leave any records behind but it is likely that this game is not considered a “New York game.”
19th The first officially recorded baseball match, played under Cartwright’s rules, takes place on the Elysian Fields with the New York Club defeating the Knickerbockers 23–1. Alex Cartwright serves as ump and hands out a fine of six cents to Wall Street broker James Whyte Davis for swearing after a disputed call. Knick player Birney makes the lone run. Four of the NY club players played in last year’s October series: Davis, Winslow, Murphy, and Case. Duncan Curry describes the action. “An awful beating, you say, at our own game, but, you see the majority of the New York Club’s players were cricketeers, and clever ones at that game, and their batting was the feature of their work.” He went on, “The pitcher of the New York nine was a cricket bowler of some note, and while one could use only a straight arm delivery he could pitch an awfully speedy ball. The game was in a crude state. No balls were called on the pitcher, which was a great advantage to him, and when he did get them over the plate they came in so fast our batsmen could not see them.”
24th The first baseball uniform is adopted at a meeting of the New York Knickerbocker Club. It consists of blue woolen pantaloons, a white flannel shirt, and a straw hat.
10th Cartwright arrives in San Francisco after traveling across the continent, stopping along the way to teach the game of baseball.
3rd The Knickerbockers win their first match of the year 21–11 against the Washington Club. According to Cartwright’s rules, the first team to score 21 runs wins the game. The match is played at the Red House Grounds in Harlem, at what is now 106th Street and Second Avenue.
17th The Knicks win another game from the Washington club, 22–20, at the Red House Grounds.
5th The New York Clipper reports “the first friendly game of the season between the Gothams and the Knickerbocker Base Ball clubs. The Gothams win, 21–12, with 21 runs constituting a game. In a return match on October 18 at the Red House, the Knickerbockers will win, 21–14. The box scores list names and runs and outs only.
1stAt the annual meeting of the Knickerbocker Baseball Club, the playing rules are amended to include: First base must be vacated by the runner if the batter hits a fair ball; players can be forced out in the same manner as when running to 1B.
30th The first extra-inning game is played with the Knicks losing to the Gothams 21–16 in 16 innings. Even though the 21-run rule is still in effect, this is the first match game ever to exceed 9 innings.
24th The Gothams defeat the Eagle club, 21–14, at Hoboken. The first attempt at publishing a play-by-play scorecard will be presented in the Clipper and will show outs by inning and total runs scored by each player.
26th The first match that results in a tie takes place between the Knicks and Gothams. The game is called at 12–12.
8th The Excelsior club of Brooklyn is organized at a meeting held at Florence’s, on the corner of Broadway and Walker in NYC. Baseball clubs presently operating are the Knickerbockers, the Gothams, organized in October, 1852, the Eagle Club, organized in April, 1852, and the Empire club, formed on October 12, 1854.
1st The opening game of the season is played between the Knicks and the Gothams, the latter winning 21–12. The season usually ends on Thanksgiving.
14th The Atlantic Club of Brooklyn is organized. The Atlantics would be the preeminent club of the 1860s. Starting in 1859, they would win the whip-pennant, emblematic of the baseball championship, 8 of 11 years.
15th The first reported game of Canadian baseball is played in London, Ontario, with the London Club defeating the Delaware club 34–33.
18th Dickey Pearce plays his first game with the Brooklyn Atlantics. He plays in CF but will become famous as the premier shortstop of the 1860s and the inventor of both the bunt and the fair-foul hit.
11th For a game between the Atlantics and Athletics in Brooklyn, scorecards are printed for the first time. The attendance was said to be 30,000.
20th The end of the season finds the Enterprise club defeating the National club, 24–12. The record for 1856 lists 27 matches between the leading NY clubs.
5th The New York Mercury refers to base ball as “The National Pastime”.
6th Porters Spirit of the Timesreports, “The Knickerbocker—of all the clubs in existence, this is the oldest. . . . The principal players in the club, and who have usually composed their ‘first nine’, we deem to be De Bost, who has never been surpassed as catcher, a powerful batter, though often put out from a tendency to raise the ball. Stevens, a pitcher, who sends the ball with exceeding velocity and he who strikes it fairly must be a fine batsman. It is questionable, however, whether his style of pitching is most successful, many believing a slow ball curving near the bat to be most effective.” This is one of the earliest notes about the curve ball (from a letter in The Sporting News, May 14, 1901, by a Mr. W. M. Rankin, who came across the reference while researching sporting data for a history of Princeton College.)
13th The New York Clipper states that “the game of Base Ball is generally considered the National game amongst Americans.”
22nd The first baseball convention is held in New York’s Smith Hotel. It is called by the Knickerbockers and attended by 16 baseball clubs, all located on Manhattan and Long Island. One of the agreements reached is on the diameter the diameter of the baseball and it is to be between ten and ten and one-quarter inches in circumference and weigh between six and six and one-quarter ounces. In 1858, H.P. Harwood and Sons of Natick, MA becomes the first factory to produce baseballs. They also will be the first in the production of the two-piece figure-eight stitch cover baseball, the same in use today. The figure-eight stitching was devised by Col. William A Cutler.
28th As noted by Joe Clark and reported in Bells Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle,the first ever game of American base ball is played in Australia. A match between the Richmond and Collingwood members of the Melbourne Base Ball Club takes place at Carleton Gardens. Pitching prowess seems not to have intruded as Collingwood wins by a score of 250 to 230. Collingwood could not repeat in the 2-inning nightcap, losing, 171-141.
7th The rules committee states that 9 innings shall constitute an official game rather than a team scoring 9 runs. For the first time, the rules specify 9 men to a side, even though the game has been played that way since 1845.
13th A convention is held in Dedham, MA, attended by representatives of 10 New England baseball clubs. Under the name of “Massachusetts Association of Base Ball Players,” playing rules are adopted to illustrate the differences between New England baseball and the “New York Game.” Rule four: 2 bases shall be wooden stakes, 4 feet high. Rule 14: If a player is hit with a thrown ball while rounding the bases, he shall be considered out. Other rules specify 100 runs will constitute a game and each side shall consist of 10 to 14 players. Thus is the New England game set down differently than the New York game. Earlier in the year, the New York Game rules were changed at a meeting of a group of clubs. The Knickerbocker Club recommended that a winner be declared after seven innings but nine innings were adopted instead upon the motion of Lewis F. Wadsworth. The base paths were fixed by D. L. Adams at 30 yards and the pitching distance at 15 yards. It was Adams who, in 1849, invented the position of SS by moving the 4th outfielder into the infield.
16th The Tri-Mountain Baseball club is organized in Boston by Edward Saltzman. Saltzman moved to Boston from New York, where he played on the Gotham Baseball Club. Not finding any teams in Boston playing “The New York game” he taught some friends the rules and formed the club.
10th At Elysian Fields, the Gothams defeat the Eagles, 43-20, before a large crowd. The New York Times reports that “There were thousands of ladies and gentlemen on the ground to witness this game.”
9th The Tri-Mountain team of Boston plays host to a team from Portland, Maine “on the common” today, winning 47-42 in 9 innings playing under the New York rules. According to accounts quoted in the June 24, 1912 L.A. Times, this was the first game decided in 9 innings rather than which team reached 100 runs first. Also, it was reportedly the first match where the ball was pitched not tossed. The ball, which was 10 inches, according to the Times report, surfaced in Kansas City in 1912 and was inscribed with the results of the game.
22nd The Atlantic Club defeats the Eckford Club, both of Brooklyn, to take the best-of-3-games match and claim the championship for 1857. The baseball custom now is that the championship can only be won by a team beating the current title holder 2 out of 3 games.
28th The first game of indoor baseball is played in Chicago under rules formulated by George Hancock, “the father of indoor baseball.” The idea for the game occurred two days ago when members of the Farragut Club were throwing around a boxing glove in a gym at a Thanksgiving gathering. Indoor baseball will remain popular into the 20thcentury, and official rules will be published every year.
30th At a meeting of the Knickerbocker Baseball Club a communication is received from the Empire Club requesting the Knicks call a convention of all regular organized baseball clubs.
10th At Cooper Union in NYC, the formation of the National Association of Baseball Players takes place with the gathering of delegates representing 29 clubs. William H. Van Cott is elected president.
10thAt the Excelsior Grounds at Carroll Park in South Brooklyn, the Putnams defeat the Excelsiors, 31 to 18. The Brooklyn DailyEagle writes that “There was a large gathering of some 1500 or 2,000 persons.” (as noted by historian Craig B. Waff).
12thThe Brooklyn DailyEaglereports today: “There was an error in our notice of the Base Ball matter yesterday which requires correction. It was stated that the defeat of the Excelsiors was owing to the bad feeling existing amongst them. It should have read that they were beaten in consequence of the bad fielding, which makes all the difference in the would (sic).” (as noted by JP Caillault).
8thAt Carroll Park, the Excelsiors of Brooklyn have no problem with Knick’s pitcher Harry Wright pounding him, 31–13, before a crowd of “spectators estimated at 2,000” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle).
20th The first game to attract wide attention in the New York area is an all-star game between players from New York and Brooklyn. The match is played at the Fashion Race Course on Long Island and is the first at which an admission fee (reportedly 10¢) is charged. The admission is to cover the cost of the grounds, with the surplus to be split between the Fire Department Funds of New York and Brooklyn. Nearly 10,000 fans show up and the receipts for the game are $508.84 and the expenses $437.75. John Henry Holder, a player with the Excelsiors, hits the first home run ever recorded in a box score, but New York wins the game 22—18. Brooklyn will take the rematch on August 19th, and on September 19th, New York wins the rubber game and the series. This series introduces Henry Chadwick to the newspaper-reading public, starting a baseball reporting career that will last 50 years.
29thAt Elysian Fields, the Eagles drop the Knickerbocker club, 45 to 18. The New York Times reports that “there were more than 3,000 spectators” (as noted by historian Craig B. Waff).
19th In the 2nd game of the Fashion Course series, Brooklyn beats a team of New York all stars, 29–8.
20th In one of the finest games to date, the Excelsiors defeat the Knickerbockers, 15–14. After the game, the 2 clubs celebrate at the Odd Fellow’s Hall in Hoboken. Dodsworth’s band is on hand to entertain the 200 gentlemen assembled.
8th The first game under the “New York rules” is played in New England, on the Boston Common. The Tri-Mountain Club of Boston loses to the visiting Portland, Maine club, 47–42.
10th The Fashion Course Series comes to an end before several thousand spectators, the largest crowd to witness a game so far. The New York all stars beat Brooklyn, 29–18, with Gelston and Pinckney homering for the winners. This series will catapult baseball in the public eyes.
18th At the Atlantic grounds at Bedford, the Atlantics down Putnam, 18-7 in front of a crowd estimated at 3,000.
16th The Atlantics of Brooklyn finish their season by beating the Excelsiors, 27–6, for their 7th win of the year against one loss. Having been the 1857 champs and not having lost a “home and home” series in 1858, they are considered the 1858 champs. The title is unofficial since no champion is recognized.
14th The Nassau Base Ball Club is organized on the Princeton campus by members of the class of 1862.
15th At the annual meeting of the National Association of Base Ball Players, rule 36 is amended to read: “No party shall be competent to play in a match who receives compensation for his services.” This rule will not be enforced although the first instance of a player moving to accept a professional ball playing position, Al Reach, will not take place until 1864.
26th At Bedford, Neosho (New Utrecht) edges Pastime, 26-22. The New York Times reports, “Nearly five thousand people witnessed the game” (as noted by historian Craig B. Waff).
30th At Star grounds at the foot of Court Street in Manhattan, the team of Star Jr. defeats Charter Oak, 26 to 22, before a crowd of 2,000.
30th The Knickerbockers play a test match with the Excelsior Club to determine the merits of the “fly game.” The Knicks have been trying for 2 years to have the rule changed that now reads a batter can be put out when the fielder catches his fair ball on the first bounce. The Knicks lose the test match, 28–22, “in presence of nearly three thousand spectators” (NY Times)
1st The first intercollegiate baseball match is played between Amherst and Williams colleges at Pittsfield, MA. After taking a early lead, the Amherst squad wins the 4-hour, 26-round game by a score of 66–32 (several sources have different scores for Amherst). The game is played under the rules of the “Massachusetts Game.”
8th The Atlantics defeat the Eckfords in Greenpoint, 25–15. The match draws the largest crowd since the Fashion Series last year, estimate at over 4,000 by the New York Times.
2nd In South Brooklyn, the Knicks demonstrate the “fly game” rule, losing to the Excelsiors, 20–5.
15th In the championship of Chicago between 2 local teams, the Atlantic Club beats the Excelsiors, 18–16 with 2 runs in the 9th. They win the best of three games with 2 straight wins.
8th Before the largest crowd of the year, “in the presence of some six thousand spectators” (NY Times) the host Atlantics lose to the Eckford club, 22–16. Eckford breaks a tie with 6 runs in the 8th. The teams are tied at one apiece in their 3-game series.
12th The visiting Atlantics whip the Eckford Club, 22–12 to win the championship of 1859. The Atlantics score 7 in the first inning and lead 16–4 at the end of 3. They finish the year at 11–1.
28th The first baseball club on the West Coast is formed, the Eagle Club of San Francisco. The idea for the club belongs to Martin Cosgriff, a former member of the Tri-Mountain club, who moved to California in 1858.
29th The Nationals, the first club in Washington, D.C., is organized.
10th The New York Anglo Americanreports on a game between two African-American teams played on November 15, 1859. The Unknown Club of Weeksville, New York lost to the Henson Base Ball Club of Jamaica, NY by a score of 54-43 (as noted in Dean Sullivan’s Early Innings). This is the earliest report of a game involving African-Americans.
22nd The first match game on the West Coast is played between the Eagle Club and the Red Rovers. With the score tied 33–33 at the end of 9 innings, the game is awarded to the Eagles after an argument about the fairness of the pitching.
14th At Cooper Union, the 4th annual convention of the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP )opens with 62 teams represented. The new rules provide for called strikes on a batter who does not swing at good repeatedly pitched to him. The umpire must warn the batter before he calls the first strike on him.
7th The Athletic club of Philadelphia organizes under the “Town Ball” rules, the prevailing rules in Philadelphia. The local Olympic club, organized in 1833, plays those rules. But after seeing the New York style of ball, the Athletics will switch to those rules.
16th The first “New York” game of baseball ever played in Philadelphia takes place between 2 teams of members of the Winona Club.
16th At Charter Oak grounds on Smith Street, between Sackett and Degraw Streets, Charter Oak edges Excelsior, 12-11, before a crowd of two to three thousand spectators.
25th At the Atlantic grounds at Bedford, the host Atlantic club trounces the Star club , 30 to 11 – “Fully six thousand people were assembled.” (NYC)
1st The Bowdoin Club of Boston sends three men, Messrs. Lowell, Gill and Forbush, to observe the New York style of baseball. Upon their return, the club will extend an invitation to the Excelsiors of Brooklyn to visit Boston and teach their players the game.
29th Henry Chadwick, writing in the July 14th New York Clipperabout today’s game between the Atlantic and Putnam clubs, describes a ‘sacrifice bunt play’ as follows: “A circumstance occurred in the 2d innings which we deem worthy of notice: Brown [of the Putnam Club] was at the bat, and Price pitched him a low ball, which, in bringing his bat down, Brown hit with the bat in a similar manner to that in which a cricketer blocks a straight ball; judgment was asked, and as the umpire [Thomas Miller of the Empire Club] deemed it an accident, it was decided “no hit,” but we think it should have been considered fair, for the reason that had a player been on the first base at the time, he could have easily have made his second base before the pitcher could have fielded it, and the decision may lead to similar accidents on other occasions when such play would have a more important bearing on the game. If, in the act of striking, the ball be hit forward of the home base, however light the touch, it ought to be considered a fair ball, otherwise accidents similar to the above will be of frequent occurrence.”
30th The Excelsior’s of Brooklyn leave for Albany, starting the first tour ever taken by a baseball club. They will travel 1,000 miles in 10 days and play games in Albany, Troy, Buffalo, Rochester, and Newburgh.
19th A huge crowd of 10,000 gathers in South Brooklyn to watch the first game in the championship series with the Atlantics and Excelsiors. Jim Creighton holds the Atlantics to 4 runs as Excelsior wins, 23–4.
22nd One of the first triple plays in baseball is triggered by Jim Creighton, playing LF for the Excelsior’s of New York. With Baltimore runners on 2B and 3B, Creighton makes a spectacular catch of a ﬂy ball. The subsequent throws to 3B and then to 2B complete the triple play.
9th A crowd of 12,000 watch the 2nd match between the Atlantics and Excelsiors. Trailing 12–6, the Atlantics score 9 runs in the bottom of the 7th off Jim Creighton and hang on for a 15–14 win. Henry Chadwick, in the New York Clipper, writes that this was “the best played contest ever witnessed.”
23rd The 3rd match between the Atlantics and Excelsiors is played on the Putnam Club Grounds at Broadway and Greene in Brooklyn before a large and rowdy crowd of 20,000. So rowdy that in the 6th inning, some of the crowd breaks loose and tries to mob the Excelsiors. Excelsiors captain Joe Leggett, his team down 8–6, hustles his team into their stages and drives off amid a shower of stones and other missiles thrown by the mob. Umpire R.J. Thorn declares it a draw. The Excelsiors will never play the Atlantics again.
22nd The Excelsiors of Brooklyn begin their 2nd road tour playing the Excelsiors of Baltimore. Jim Creighton gives the host team a good lesson in the New York game, winning 51–6.
The first “fly game” of baseball is played in Boston, with the Bowdoin club beating Tri-Mountain, 36–19.
28th The Unknowns of Weeksville, NY, an African American team, shuts out the Union Club of Williamsburg, NY, 11-0. (According to historian Harry Simmons, The Negro Leagues: A Photographic History, ed. By Phil Dixon and Patrick Hannigan).
15th In the opening match of a home and home series, a crowd of 4,000 see the Atlantics score 4 in the 9th to beat the Eckfords, 17–15. Eckford pitcher Frank Pigeon tells his team before the match to “go in and play the game just as if you are playing with a common club.”
22nd On a damp and cloudy day, the Eckfords hand the Atlantics just their 2nd loss of the year, 20–15. The Ecks break a 13–13 tie with 7 runs in the 7th. “[the match] brought together nearly 5,000 spectators, notwithstanding the cold weather” (NY Times, as noted by Craig Waff)
The Nassau Base Ball Club of Princeton University plays a 42–42 tie game against a team of former Yale and Princeton collegians.
29th In the match for the 1860 whip-pennant, emblematic of the championship of the U.S., the Atlantics top the Eckfords, 20–11 before a crowd estimated at 6,000. With the game tied at 5 each after 5, the Atlantics score 6 in the 6th, 5 in the 7th, and 4 in the 8th to win. Asa Brainard of the Excelsior club umps the game. As agreed upon, all umpires are players from another club.
8th The first shutout game ever recorded is won by the Excelsior’s of Brooklyn against the St. George Cricket Club, 25–0. Harry Wright is the loser.
12th The NABBP holds its second meeting of the year, this time at the Mercantile Library Rooms, Clinton Hall, NY. “The attendance numbered over one hundred representatives of the base-ballclubs from different parts of the country.” At this meeting D. Milliken of the Union Club of Morrisania is elected President, with D.C. Moore of the Athletic Club of Philadelphia elected the first vice president.
4th With the players wearing skates, the first baseball game played on ice in the New York area is played on Litchfield Pond in South Brooklyn. The champion Atlantics defeat the Charter Oak Club 36–27. Each team is allowed 10 players, the extra player being a back-up catcher. The first cricket game on ice will take place on ice on January 29, 1867, in New York.
18th What would be one of the most prominent clubs in New England, the Lowell club, named after James Lowell, president of the Bowdoin Club, is organized.
12th The Confederate Army fires on Ft. Sumter, marking the start of the Civil War. Henry Chadwick will write that the War “has laid an embargo on outdoor sports, especially ball playing.”
5th The first grand match of the year takes place at Bedford, Long Island with the Eckford Club whipping Enterprise, 53–19. All clubs will cut back on their matches this year. With Captain Joe Leggett in the army, the Excelsiors play no games this year and Knickerbockers play no games in 1861 or 1862. The Atlantics and the Unions of Morrisania cut their schedules in half.
5th As Henry Chadwick writes, “The Atlantics visit Newark to play their first match with the club of that interesting village.” They play poorly but still win, 21–11.
21st A unique match is played on the St. George Cricket Club Grounds. One team is composed of 9 players, including Jim Creighton and Dickey Pearce. The other team is composed of 18 players, 9 cricketers from St. George and 9 all-stars from the different area clubs. The 18 players are all in the field at once. When they bat, they are allowed 6 outs per inning. Eight innings are played with Creighton’s team winning 45–16.
23rd In Hoboken, a team selected from teams occupying the North grounds (Mutual and Gotham) play a team from the South grounds (Eagle and Empire). The North wins the mini-Civil War, 19–9.
3rd At Hoboken, in one of the few grand matches of the year, the Mutuals beat the Atlantics, 23–18.
16th At the Atlantic Grounds on Bedford, Long Island, a crowd of 8,000 see the Atlantics score a record 26 runs in the 2nd inning to whip the Mutuals, 52–27 in 6 innings. Because the 3rd game in the series will not be played, the Atlantics retain the whip-pennant for 1861.
21st In Hoboken, the greatest event of the season, the Grand Match for the Silver Ball, takes place on the Mutuals’ Grounds at Hoboken between all-star teams from Brooklyn and New York. The Silver Ball Trophy is the same size as a regular baseball and will be kept by the club whose members score the most runs during the match. Fifteen thousand fans see the Brooklyn team, behind their star Jim Creighton, defeat New York 18–6.
11th The 5th annual convention of the National Association of Base Ball Players is held at Clinton Hall in New York, but the War cuts the attendance down to 34 delegates. This number won’t be topped until 1865.
15th The Union Baseball Grounds at Marcy Avenue and Rutledge Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn opens, the first enclosed ball field to charge an admission fee. The property has been used as a skating pond in winter months. No rent will be charged to the clubs playing there as the admission fee will pay for the upkeep. [This opening date is sometimes listed as May 16. See Seymour The Early Years].
5th In New York, an all-star team from the 4 top clubs of Philadelphia plays an all-star from the 4 top clubs of Brooklyn. Jim Creighton and Charley Smith divide the pitching to beat the Quakers, 27–10.
6th The new Union Grounds is the site of 2nd Philley-Brooklyn all-star match, with Brooklyn winning 23–16. Shortstop Al Reach scores 5 runs for the winners.
1st A pair of all-star teams (A and B) from Brooklyn play their counterparts in Philadelphia. Brooklyn loses both, the A team losing to the Quaker A’s, 16–10 and the Philley B’s winning, 22–9.
3rdIn Philadelphia, the Brooklyn A team beats the Philley B team, 18–15. In the nightcap, the Philadelphia A’s beat the Brooklyn B’s, 41–5. In the 7th inning of game 2, the Brooks are retired on 3 pitched balls, believed to be the first time this has occurred.
10th The Excelsiors of Brooklyn, the first NY club to journey to Boston, play the Bowdoin club on the Common. Jim Creighton pitches as the visitors win 45–15 in a game that takes 4 hours to play.
21st A crowd of 8,000 witness the 2nd game in the series for the Silver Ball, with the proceeds to benefit the U.S. Sanitary Commission. The Atlantics decisively defeat the Eckfords, 39–5.
26th The Excelsior Club loses a rain-shortened game to the Union Club of Morrisania, 12–4. Jim Creighton is hit hard but also hits a home run.
18th The grand match for championship of 1862 draws a record crowd of 10,000 to the Union Grounds. For an hour before game time of 2:45 p.m. all the avenues leading to the grounds are full of people. The Eckfords beat the Atlantics, 8–3 to win the series, 2–1.
22nd The 3rd game in the home and home series, started last year between the Mutuals of N.Y. and the Atlantics, takes place on the Mutuals Grounds, at 63rd Street and Third Avenue. The Atlantics, playing without Charley Smith and John Chapman, lose to the Mutes, 15–10.
14th The Excelsior’s defeat the Unions of Morrisania 13–9. Jim Creighton hits 4 doubles and scores 4 runs, but reportedly suffers “an internal injury occasioned by strain” hitting a HR. In fact, as historian Tom Shieber points out in 1995, Creighton suffers from a strangulated intestine, the result of a hernia incurred well before today’s game, and he did not hit a homer in this his final game. Considered the premier baseball player of the day, he dies four days later at the age of 21.
25th At Hilton Head, SC, a baseball game is played between teams selected from the 165th New York Volunteer Infantry, Duryea Zouaves, and a team picked from soldiers of the 47th and 48th New York Infantry Regiments. According to Abraham Mills, former president of the National League, a] crowd of 40,000 spectators watched the game, certainly an inflated number. The historian Valerie Josephson found that 10 regiments, or about 10,000 soldiers, were stationed on Hilton Head Island at the time; even counting sailors from ships who docked at Hilton Head for rest and recreation, she concluded, “there is no way there could be 40,000 men on the island for the game.” The match is the talk of the military world for weeks after.
22nd The first match of the series for the championship between the Eckfords and the Mutuals takes place in Hoboken, with the Eckfords winning, 10–9.
30th The Eckfords double the Union Club of Morrisania, 8–4.
17th The Athletics of Philadelphia make their first trip to New York and lose to the Eckford Club, 10–5. Eckford P John Sprague is now considered the finest pitcher in the country. The A’s will go 2–4 during their NY visit.
8th The Atlantics host the champion Eckfords at Bedford, with the visitors winning 21–11 behind the hitting and pitching of John Sprague.
6th The Eckfords remain undefeated in first class matches this year by winning their 10th in a row, as John Sprague pitches his team to a 18–10 win over the Mutuals. The Eckfords will finish the year undefeated.
27th The Atlantics play their first game of the season, beating the Mutuals, 26–16. These 2 teams are the favorites for the championship.
30th The Atlantics and the Empire Club meet for the first time since 1856. Frequent rain interrupts the game, which ends in a 5–5 tie after 5 innings.
1st The Gothams and Eagles meet for the first time with the Gothams winning, 22–16, in a brisk 2 hours. The game marks the first appearance of George Wright, 17-year-old catcher for Gotham. His brother Harry plays 1B.
6th The Atlantics play their strongest game ever, both in batting and fielding, defeating a strong Nassau club, 42–7. Dickey Pearce is the catcher for the Atlantics, having slowed down too much to play SS. He’ll return to SS in the future and end his 22-year-long career in 1877.
21st At Newark, the Champion Eckfords play their first match of the year with 2 new players, Pinkham, a pitcher and Wes Fisler, an infielder from Philadelphia. The Eckfords win 37–22, their only win in 5 games this year. According to custom, if the Champion refuses to honor a challenge to a match, it is treated the same as a forfeit.
30th The Resolute Club of Brooklyn winds up a 3-day visit to Philadelphia by losing, 24–23, to the Olympic Club. The Resolutes lost on the 28th to the Athletics, 29–12 and beat Camden yesterday 14–13.
The Atlantic Club plays the Stars of Brooklyn at the Stars grounds in the first “fly-game” match the Atlantics have ever played. The Atlantics prevail 35–16 and will win the rematch on August 4 by a similar, 35–17.
11th The Atlantics of Brooklyn finish a 4-game series in Philadelphia, beating the Athletics, 43–16. The visitors whipped Camden, 64–10 on the 8th, beat the Keystone Club, 65–10 on the 9th, and 58–11 over the 30-year-old Olympic Club yesterday.
23rd Atlantic plays Gotham for the first time in 6 years. Dickey Pearce misses the match due to the death of his child this morning. The Atlantics score 4 unneeded runs in the 9th and prevail, 14–9.
12th The return match between the 2 rival clubs for the championship is played on the Capitoline Grounds in Bedford with the Atlantics whipping the Mutuals, 21–16. The Atlantics have yet to defeat last year’s champs, the Eckfords, but the Ecks do not accept the Atlantic’s challenges and thus acknowledge defeat. The Atlantics will end this year at 20–0.
22nd In a friendly match at Jones Square Ground in Rochester, NY, the Brooklyn Atlantics beat the Canada Woodstock Young Canadians, 75-11. Six thousand fans are on hand (as noted by Bob Tholkes).
13th The Atlantic nine of 1860 plays this season’s Atlantic nine in a benefit match for the new first baseman, Joe Start. Bad weather keeps the attendance down at the Capitoline Grounds in Bedford as the 1864 team beats the old-timers, 19–11.
14th The 8th annual meeting of the National Association of Base Ball Players is held at Clinton Hall with 30 clubs in attendance. The rules committee recommends adoption of the “ﬂy game,” making bounced outs in fair territory illegal and it will be adopted for next season as the “regular” game.
6th At Hoboken, the first game of the year for the Gotham Club against the Enterprise Club of Brooklyn goes 13 innings. Gotham scores a pair in the bottom of the 13th to win, 19–18.
16th The Athletics of Philadelphia finish a successful 3rd tour of the North with a 28–20 win over Gotham. The tour started at the new Eureka Club grounds in Newark on June 12 with a 12–9 win. he A’s won the next day, 24–13 over Eagle at Hoboken; 31-21 over the Unions at Morrisania, and yesterday beat the Resolutes, 39–14 at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn.
21st The champion Atlantics play their first match of the year with the same lineup as last year and defeat Alphonse “Phoney” Martin and the Empire Club, 21–10. The Atlantics trail 7–6 after 5 innings before solving Martin’s unusual style of slow pitching.
28th Playing for the amateur Philadelphia Keystones, 20-year-old Ned Cuthbert records the first stolen base in history. This will be uncovered by researchers in the 1970s. On July 28, 1980 Cuthbert’s name will result in a putout when Ron LeFlore of the Expos steals his league-leading 62ndbase. The scoreboard flashes the information that Cuthbert stole the first base 115 years earlier and LeFlore, engrossed in reading the message while he dusts off his uniform, is tagged out.
3rd Twenty thousand spectators watch a match in Hoboken between the Mutuals and the Atlantics. The game is a 5-inning, rain-shortened 13–12 Atlantic victory. Henry Chadwick writes, ” these championship games are informal matches, there being no established rules for such contests, the title being one established by custom only.” This particular game would be immortalized in the Currier and Ives print: The American National Game of Baseball.
28th The Athletics of Philadelphia visit Washington D.C. and the White House in the morning before trouncing the host National Club in the afternoon, 87–12. Today’s match was organized by A.P. Gorman, later a Senator, and Col. Fitzgerald, the editor of the Philadelphia City Item. President Johnson allows government workers time off to attend the game, and is there himself. Johnson will also attend tomorrow’s match between the Nationals and the Atlantics, in which the Atlantics win 33–19 (Sport magazine, May, 1929). Benjamin Harrison, in 1892, will be the first President to attend a professional game.
28th Four thousand spectators gather at Hoboken to watch the Mutuals lose to the Eckford Club 23–11. The Mutual Club meets after the game and charges William Wansley of “willful and designed inattention” with the view of causing Eckford to defeat Mutual. A committee formed to investigate the matter later reports that C Wansley, 3B Edward Duffy, and SS Tom Devyr, received the sum of $100 from Kane McLoughlin to allow McLoughlin to win money on the game. The players will be barred from baseball at the next convention, but are reinstated several years later, Devyr in 1867, Duff in 1869, and Wansley in 1870.
13th The Eckford play a return match against the Atlantics at the Union Grounds with the latter prevailing, 35–8.
20th The Athletic Club of Philadelphia defeats the Alert club of Denville, Pa., by one of the largest scores on record, 162 to 11. This score is all the more remarkable since the Athletics played a game this morning with the Williamsport club, in which they made 101 to 8. In playing the afternoon game all the bats that could be procured are broken by the Athletics, and they are compelled to use the handle of a shovel as a substitute bat at the finish.
30th The final series for the championship opens in Philadelphia with the Atlantics defeating the Athletics, 21–15.
6th The last grand match of the season takes place at the Capitoline Grounds before 15,000. Henry Chadwick waxes, “is there another sport attractive enough to draw such attendance under such circumstances? In the summer it is not surprising as the weather is pleasant. . . but on a cold November day, in the busiest time of the year, it must be indeed an attractive sport to collect such an assemblage that is present on this occasion.” The Atlantics lead all the way to win, 27–24, and claim the 1865 championship with a record of 17–0.
13th The 9th convention of the National Association of Base Ball Players is held at Cooper Union. There are 90 clubs represented there, three times last year’s attendance.
30th The champion Atlantics have their first practice game of the year. Some differences in this year’s team are the addition of Bob “Death to Flying Things” Ferguson, from the Enterprise club, and the absence of Pearce and Norton, who now play for the Excelsiors.
16th At Morrisania, the Union Club defeats the Enterprise Club of Brooklyn by the score of 42–16. The Unions led all the way and, according to the New York Times, “did some tall batting after the third inning. The fielding of the Enterprise nine was very loose, while the Unions, although, they were short Abrams at third and Austin at right, fielded very well. The attendance was quite large, the belles of Morrisania gracing the scene with their presence in unusual numbers. At the conclusion of the game the Brooklyn boys were nicely entertained by the victors.”
12th Leading 26–22 going into the 9th inning at Morrisania, the visiting Eureka Club of Newark seem headed for their 3rd straight win over the Unions. But the Unions rally for 6 runs and win, 28–26.
20th At Morrisania, the Mutuals play their first match of the year before 7,000 fans. The Mutes score 2 runs in the 9th and beat the Unions, 25–23.
2nd At the Philadelphia depot, the Athletics greet the National Club of Washington and escort them to lunch and the game at the grounds at 15th street and Columbia. A crowd of 12,000 encircles the field and the ladies stand is completely filled. The Athletics win, 22–6. In the evening there is a dinner at Augustin’s.
16th Lipman Pike of the Athletics of Philadelphia hits 6 HRs, 5 in succession, against the Alert Club of Philadelphia. Final score is 67–25.
23rd The Cincinnati Baseball Club is organized.
26th The Olympics of Louisville lure Rochester P Ives to join them for a key game. Three years later Ives will join the Kentucky club and will profit from a special “benefit” game honoring him and two recent Cincinnati transfers. Baseball is growing rapidly in Louisville.
14th The Excelsior club, missing 5 of their regulars, loses to a strong Mutual club, 32–13. The Excelsiors use 17-year-old William “Candy” Cummings, the pitcher for the Star Juniors, a team of young players the Excelsiors are training.
15th At Newark, the champion Atlantics get soundly whipped, 36–10, by the Eureka Club, the worst defeat for the Atlantics since 1860. Bergen subs in CF for the Atlantics, his first appearance with the team since 1857.
28th Young Candy Cummings subs for Asa Brainard and leads the Excelsiors to a 24–2 whipping of the Eurekas. Chadwick writes, “the pitching and general play of young Cummings in this match marks him as a future Excelsior player of note.”
13th At Hoboken, a crowd of 15,000 watch the Mutuals take a14–3 lead on the Atlantics after 6 innings, only to lose 17–15. Dicky Pearce is back at SS for the champions.
14th Enterprise has little trouble hitting Cummings, handing the young Candy and the Excelsiors an 18–16 defeat. Enterprise scores 5 in the 9th.
17th The Excelsiors play the first match of their southern tour against the National team in Washington, winning 33–28. The game starts at 4 p.m. President Johnson watches the game for a brief time. His carriage parks behind the right fielder. The Excelsiors will beat Union on the 19th, 40–23 and on the 20th, beat the Pastime Club of Baltimore, 28–19. They will wind up the tour on the 21st with an 18–18 tie against the Keystones of Philadelphia.
27th At the Capitoline grounds, the Visiting Eureka Club take a lead, 15–11, after 5 innings, before losing 30–20.
1stIn Philadelphia, the greatest crowd in baseball history, 30,000, gather to watch the first match in a home-and-home series between the champion Atlantics from Brooklyn and the Athletics of Philadelphia. Batting first, the A’s score a pair but the press of the crowd makes play impossible and the game is called.
11th The visiting Star Club loses to the Atlantic Club by a 46–18 score. The game is played in one hour, 50 minutes, with not a ball or a strike called. According to the rules of the day, the ump must warn the batter before calling a strike.
15thBefore a crowd of 18,000, the Atlantics host the Athletics, beating them, 27–17, behind pitcher Tom Pratt and hitter Joe Start. Start scores 6 runs. Game stats include Errors of Fielding show that the Atlantics make 10 errors while the Athletics have 44!
22ndIn Philadelphia, 20,000 show up for the rematch between the Atlantics and the Athletics. This time the A’s overwhelm the visitors, 31–12, in a rain-shortened 7 innings. Because of a disagreement over dividing the gate receipts, no rubber game is played.
27thIn Philadelphia, the Unions of Morrisania, with George Wright playing shortstop, upset the Athletics, 42–29.
29thThe final championship match of the season is between the Irvington (NJ) club and host Atlantics, with the 2 clubs playing a rubber match to determine the champion of 1866. The Atlantics break a 5–5 tie by scoring 7 in the 10th inning and winning, 12–6 to keep the Championship.
24th The first ever board version of a baseball game is offered for sale. A description of “Sebring’s Parlor Base Ball game” is published in Wilkes Spirit of the Times(as note by historians Ted Hathaway and John Thorn). Sebring is Francis Sebring, a noted pitcher for the Empire Nine. A patent application is made on February 4, 1868.
12th The 10th annual convention of the National Association of Base Ball Players is held at Clinton Hall in NYC with a record 202 clubs sending delegates. Rule changes include the introduction of called balls, after a warning of course, with 3 called balls allowing the batter to 1B. This session introduces the pitcher’s box, an area 6 feet wide and 4 feet deep, from which the pitcher must deliver the ball.
1st Bat and Ball magazine, in its second year of publication, reports in its May 1 issue that in a game played in San Francisco on February 22 the Eagles routed the Pacifics, 70–22. The editorial in the 4-page publication states “this season, which is now opening, bids fair to be one of the most exciting that our National Game is likely to know.” Another article urges umpires to be more diligent in insuring that pitchers throw where the strikers indicate they want the pitches to be.
4th Princeton wins the first game of its series with Yale, 58–52.
15th On the Boston Common, the first of three games for the championship of New England is played. The Lowell Club, holder of the Silver Ball Trophy, defeats the Harvard Club, 37–28. Harvard will win the next match.
1st In the deciding game for the New England championship, Harvard scores 12 runs in the 4th and defeats Lowell, 39–28.
2nd With 5,000 fans on hand for the return match between the Unions of Morrisania and the visiting Irvington club, the New Jerseyites break a 14–14 tie with 7 runs in the 7th. Irvington wins, 26–22.
2nd With 5,000 fans on hand for the return match between the Unions of Morrisania and the visiting Irvington club, the New Jerseyites break a 14–14 tie with 7 runs in the 7th. Irvington wins, 26–22.
4th The Cincinnati Baseball Club plays its first match a the Union Grounds, in back of Cincinnati’s Lincoln Park, whipping Louisville, 60–24. It is the first game in Cincinnati at which the general public attends, an admission is charged, and a newspaper writes up the game.
9th The champion Atlantics win their 2nd game of 2 with Eckford, 11–4, with the game called after 6 innings. John Chapman, the Atlantics star outfielder, is out for the year with injuries from lifting heavy weights.
11th The National Club of Washington departs on the first western trip ever made by a ball club. They will travel a total of 3,000 miles and cover 5 states. The Nationals have the same team as last season with the addition of George Wright at SS.
15th In Cincinnati, the Nationals hand the Cincinnati Red Stockings their only loss of 1867, 53–10. The Cincinnati club will finish the year at 17–1.
26th The largest crowd to see a ball game in Chicago pay $.50 each watch the Nationals snap back from their loss yesterday to Rockford by whipping the Excelsiors of Chicago, 49–4.
27th The Nationals wind up their Western trip with a 76–17 win over the Chicago Atlantics.
31st The Champion Atlantics play a Championship match with the Union Club of Morrisania at the home park in Melrose, NY. A crowd of 8,000+ see the Unions humble the champs, 32–19.
2nd With 5,000 fans on hand for the return match between the Unions of Morrisania and the visiting Irvington club, the New Jerseyites break a 14–14 tie with 7 runs in the 7th. Irvington wins, 26–22.
8th A Grand match for the benefit of the Masonic Hall and Asylum Fund is played between picked nines from New York and Brooklyn at the Union Grounds. New York wins the well-played game, 13–7.
12th The Atlantics beat the Mutuals, 18–15, in the first match of the season series between the 2 clubs. George Zettlein pitches the win.
14th In one of the best-played games of the year, Union of Morrisania edges the Mutuals, 9–8, in 10 innings. John Goldie hits a game-winning home run.
16th In an exciting game before 7,000 fans at the Union Grounds, the visiting Athletics beat the Mutuals, 18–16.
20th William Buckley of New York patents a table-top baseball game which uses a pinball principle (as noted by John Thorn). This is similar to Francis Buckley’s Parlor Base-Ball, which is being marketed the past 2 years but will not receive a patent application until next year.
26th Six thousand fans are on hand at the new grounds of the Washington Nationals for a 3 p.m. game with the Mutuals. Two hours later, President Johnson and several members of his staff arrive and a re assigned seats on the balcony of the clubhouse. Johnson, who it is said of played baseball as a youngster, stays to the end of the game and shows great interest. The Mutes win, 40–16.
28th The Mutuals play the Athletics in Philadelphia, winning 23–21.
2nd The Cincinnati Club beats up on the Holt Club of Newport, KY, winning 109–15. Two Red Stocking players, John C. How and Harry Wright, hit 7 homers each. Wright, the old NY Knickerbocker was hired in August, 1865, by George Ellard to come to Cincinnati to be a bowler for the Union Cricket Club at a salary of $1,200 a year. He switched back to baseball after the Reds were organized. When the Reds moved their games from the foot of 9th Street to the Union Cricket Club grounds, many cricket players switched to baseball.
16th The Champion Atlantics play host to the Athletics of Philadelphia and draw a crowd of 15,000. The Atlantics win, 28–16.
18th The Athletics of Philadelphia play another game at the Union Grounds, this time losing a close game, 18–17, to the Mutuals. The A’s are unable to solve the slow pitches of “Phonney” Martin and lose the game on a passed ball in the bottom of the 9th.
4th At Brooklyn’s Satellite Grounds, two black teams play a match called by the DailyUnion, “the championship of colored clubs.” The Philadelphia Excelsior’s outscore the Brooklyn Uniques, 37–24, in a game called after 7 innings on account of darkness.
10th The Union Club of Morrisania takes the 1867 Championship, winning their 2nd game of the series, 14–13, over the Atlantics. Charley Pabor is the winning pitcher.
16th At the convention of the Pennsylvania BaseBall Association at the Court House in Harrisburg, the application of the Pythians, a prominent black club from Philadelphia, to join the organization is withdrawn after it is clear that a majority of the delegates are against it. The Pythian representative later writes “Before closing this already too lengthy report your delegate feels bound to state that allthe delegates seemed disposed to show their sympathy and respect for our club by [crossed out: their] showing him every possible courtecy [sic] & kindness. While at dinner Messrs. Hayhurst, Rogers and others invited him to attend the base ball match that was to be played that afternoon in company with them, which was accepted. And on the [“road”?, illegible] & at the match, your delegate cannot speak too highly of the kind attentions which these gentlemen showed him and their expressions of friendship for our club.”
9th The National Association of Base Ball Players bans blacks “on political grounds.” The Nominating Committee, in issuing a blanket acceptance of new applicants, states that, “It is not presumed by your committee that any club who have applied are composed of persons of color, or any portion of them; and the recommendations of our committee in this report are based upon this view, and they unanimously report against the admission of any club which may be composed of one or more colored persons.” The Base Ball Chronicle of December 19 reports that “the report of the Nominating Committee…was presented, the feature of it being there commendation to exclude colored clubs from representation in the Association, the object being to keep out of the Convention the discussion of any subject having a political bearing, as this undoubtedly had.”
4th Francis Sebring, the pitcher for the Empire Base Ball Club, applies for a patent on his Parlour Base-Ball game, a table top game that has been on the market for the past two years. It is a pinball type table-top game (as noted by John Thorn) that propels a coin instead of a ball. As Thorn and David Dyte note, the 1865-66 game reflects the positioning of the shortstop as an infielder rather than as a fourth outfielder.
25th The New YorkClipperannounces that it will give a Gold Ball of regulation weight and size to the club proclaimed Champions of 1868. In addition, gold medals will be given to the 9 best players at their positions.
12th The second all-star game of the year is played between players selected from the New York and Brooklyn clubs. New York has only 8 players and go without a shortstop, but last until the 11th inning before losing 36–33. Lipman Pike and George Wright play for New York.
23rd In a battle of the top 2 Cincinnati teams, the Red Stockings cut down the Buckeyes, 28–10. Asa Brainard, from the Excelsior Club, makes his first appearance with the Reds as a number of players have changed teams this year. Those who do so while having a valid contract with their original team are called “revolvers.”
1st The Champion Unions of Morrisania, with George Wright at SS, play their first game of the season winning, 31–16, over the Olympic Club of Patterson, NJ.
6th The Athletics of Philadelphia beat the Reds, 20–13, before 5,000 at a soggy Union Grounds in Cincinnati. The Reds, with new players Mart King (from the Haymakers) and John Hatfield (Mutuals) are unable to stop the A’s heavy hitting.
The Champion Unions are almost upset by a team of Yale students in New Haven, and need 2 runs in the last of the 9th to tie, and 2 in the last of the 10th to win, 16–14.
10th In Buffalo, the Atlantics are defeated by the Niagaras and pitcher Atwater, 19–15. The Niagaras jump to a 9–0 lead, then fall behind before rallying to win.
18th Continuing their western tour, the Athletics of Philadelphia face the Forest City of Rockford club, winning decisively, 94–13.
24th Playing without their injured star, 2B Al Reach, the Athletics of Philadelphia have no trouble defeating the Forest City Club of Cleveland, 85–11. The New York Clipperobserves, “The Athletic Club, unlike the Atlantics, have no compassion on their opponents—whoever they might be—and the game is played as though upon each run depends the result of the game.”
In Chicago, the Atlantics trip Al Spalding and the Forest City of Rockford Club, 31–29. The Atlantics need 12 runs in the 8th to win.
29th The touring Athletics of Philadelphia finally lose as Excelsior of Rochester, NY wins, 26–20. The Excelsiors take advantage of A’s pitcher Dick McBride, who has a sore arm.
1st The Atlantics play in Indianapolis, soundly beating the Active Club, 103–8.
2nd In Hoboken at the once pristine Elysian Fields, the Gramercy Club, occupying the old Mutual Grounds, loses to the Actives, 28–17. Most of the top New York teams have abandoned Elysian Fields and crowd have dropped from the thousands to the hundreds.
4th Before a crowd of 2,500 at Chicago, the Forest City Club of Rockford beats the Chicago Excelsiors, 36–27, and, with 2 wins over them, claims the championship of the Northwest.
9th The Red Stockings have a field meet at Cincinnati and John Hatfield throws a baseball a record 396 feet, breaking his own record of 349 feet, done in 1865.
25th The game for the Championship of American Colleges is played at Worcester, MA, with Harvard defeating Yale, 25–17.
4th The quickest game on record is played at the Union Grounds, Brooklyn. Al Martin holds the Uniques to one run against 37 for the Eckfords in the 50-minute game.
6th The Union of Morrisania, on their Western tour, travel to Chicago where a good crowd sees the Champions defeat the Atlantic Club of Chicago 41–12. George Wright and John Goldie each score 7 runs.
The Champions of Marshalltown (Iowa) travel to Omaha, winning 32–16. Three Ansons play for Marshalltown: Henry, and his sons Sturgis and Adrian.
11th In Rockford, IL, the Unions of Morrisania play before 5,000, their biggest crowd on their tour. They win their 11th straight, beating the Forest City Club, 23–17. George Wright hits a homer off Al Spalding.
17th the first match for the Championship of 1868 is played before 15,000 people— who take a “stretch” after the first half of the 5th inning—at the Brooklyn’s Union Grounds between the Atlantics of Brooklyn and the Mutuals of New York. Home runs by Ferguson and Mills lead the Atlantics to a 12–11 win. Lipman Pike’s 3-run homer in the 9th makes it close for the Mutuals. John C Chapman, the Atlantics RF, makes a fine running catch with the tying run on 3B in the 9th. Dickey Pearce, the master of the “tricky hit” is cited in the New York Clipper with bunting, in which he “rolled a little hit” here or there. This is the first note about bunting and The Sporting News of January 1, 1898 will credit Pearce with bunting in this game and the match on September 10. TSN will also credit him with the “fair-foul” hit but without specific game citations. The article credits Tommy Barlow with bunts, but in 1871, with his “favorite two-foot bat.”
25th In Cincinnati, the Union of Morrisania club loses their first game after 25 straight wins, including a 12–8 win over the local Red Stockings yesterday. The Cincinnati Reds club wins, 13–12. Harry Wright plays SS for the Reds while his brother George plays for the Unions.
7th The 2nd meeting between the Atlantics and the Athletics draws a crowd of 15,000 to the Union Grounds. The Athletics flex their muscles beating Zettlein and the Atlantics, 37–13. Every member scores 4 runs except Ned Cuthbert who scores 5.
10th At Brooklyn’s Union Grounds, the Athletics cuff the Champion Unions of Morrisania, 31–7. The winners have 34 hits and 7 errors while the losers have 9 hits and 21 errors.
18th The first game of the Championship Series between the Unions of Morrisania and the Mutuals is played before 6,000 at the Union Grounds. The Champions, helped by 3 home runs from George Wright—2 in the 7th—win, 28–12.
21st In Philadelphia, the Mutuals of New York beat the Athletics, 51–24, before a crowd of 10,000. Dockney has a pair of homers in a losing cause.
30th In Philadelphia, the visiting Cincinnati Red Stockings lose to the Athletics, 15–12. A controversy occurs before the game when the Reds introduce a completely dead ball made expressly for their own use. Philadelphia refuses to play with the dead ball and finally McBride yields and the game is played.
1st The Cincinnati Reds visit the New York area for the first time, losing to the Atlantics, 31–12. Tomorrow, they will beat the Mutuals, 29–28.
6th In a match that decides the Championship of 1868, the Atlantics pound the Unions, 24–8, at Morrisania. The Atlantics win the best-of-three from the Champions, from the title holders and await a challenge from the Athletics.
12th The Mutuals of New York defeat the current champion Atlantics of Brooklyn, 25-22, and threaten to capture the 1868 championship.
14th The Athletics of Philadelphia travel to the Union Grounds to play the Mutual Club which had defeated the Atlantics two days ago. On a cold, rainy day, several hundred spectators watch the Athletics win, 25–15.
26th A crowd of 10,000 are at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn to see the Mutual Club of NY capture the championship of 1868 by defeating the Atlantics of Brooklyn for the 2ndtime, 28-17. This is the first time a NYC club has won the title.
29th With the Atlantics no longer the champions, the Athletics of Philadelphia cancel their game. The New York Clippers will ask the Mutual Club to schedule a series with the A’s to afford them an opportunity to contend for the Gold Ball and the championship. The Athletics will say they challenged; The Mutuals will say they did not. The Clipper will refuse to award the gold ball until next year. According to the custom, the Mutual Club is declared the year’s champions, despite the Athletics having a better record (Athletics: 47-3; Atlantics: 47-7; Union of Morrisania: 38-6; Mutuals: 31-10). The Clipper awards individual medals to Radcliffe, McBride, Fisler, Reach, Sensenderfer (all 5 with the A’s), Waterman, Geo Wright, Hatfield, and J. Henry Johnson.
11th The New York State Base Ball Convention at Albany expels the Mutual Club from the Association for reinstating Duffy, a player found guilty of throwing a game in 1865. Their championship is not at stake for the association does not recognize any team as official champions. Because their motives in reinstating Duffy were honorable, the penalty is waived.
26th The first enclosed Baseball grounds in San Francisco is opened, called Recreation Grounds, at the corner of 25thand Folsom streets. The first game sees the Eagle Club defeat the Wide Awakes, 37-23.
9th The 12th annual convention of the National Association of Base Ball Players is held in Washington, DC. A new rule states that “no game shall be considered as played unless 5 innings on each side have been completed.” The National Association decides to divide the players into classes, and for the first time recognizes professionals.
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.
4th The Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball’s first admittedly all-professional team, play their first game of the year, defeating the Great Westerns 45–9.
23rd The Mutuals of NY journey to Boston on a 3-day visit, during which time they will beat the Tri-Mountains (69-17), the Harvards (43-11), and the Lowells (26-21).
27th The heavy hitting Atlantics of Brooklyn demolish the Olympics, 89-7. Lipman Pike hits 4 home runs for the winners.
31st The Red Stockings leave Cincinnati for a month-long Eastern tour, playing 25 games.