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.
14thIn 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.
18thThe 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.
28thIn 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.
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.
12thThe 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.
17thIn Philadelphia, Athletics P Dick McBride holds the Mutuals to 2 hits, both by Dave Eggler, and wins, 12–0.
19thAt 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.
31stIn Philadelphia, the Athletics beat the Atlantics, 10–5, while in Boston, the Mutuals score 8 in the 9th inning but still lose 16–9.
2ndWith 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.
9thDavy 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.
13thIn 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.
16thThe Philadelphias win their 32nd game—2 behind Boston—by beating Baltimore, 13–9. Levi Meyerle starts a triple play for the Lords.
17thBoston 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.
29thThe 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).
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.
20thThe 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.
6thAl 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.
12thIn 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.
25thIn 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.
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.
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.
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.
20thThe 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.
1stIn 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.
7thThe 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.
12thThe 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.
30thAt 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.
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.
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.
30thIn Liverpool, England, the Athletics score 5 runs in the 10th to beat the Bostons, 14–11.
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.
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.
19th The Boston Heraldreports 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.
1stIn 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.”
28thIn 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.”
1stA 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.
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.
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.
1stThe 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.
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.
4ththe Chicago White Stockings travel to Keokuk, Iowa and play the Westerns in that city’s first major pro game. Chicago wins, 15–1.
5thBetter 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.
14thA first in pro ball occurs as all the scoring of the game comes in the 1st inning. The Mutuals defeat the Phillies, 2–1.
17thBoston’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.
21stIn the best-played game ever on the Union Grounds, Candy Cummings and Hartford win, 1–0 against the Mutuals Bobby Mathews. It is the 2ndgame with that score in 10 days.
22ndBobby 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.
27thIn 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.
3rdThe 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.
10thThe 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.
11thGeorge Hall of the Athletics hits 2 consecutive homers as Philadelphia trounces visiting Washington, 21–4.
12thIn 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.
17thIn a Chicago Tribuneinterview, 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.
21stAt 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.
23rdCap 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.
24thThe 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.
26thThe White Stockings lose another to Philadelphia, 4–3. A Chicago Tribunereporter, 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 Timesreporter 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.
29thJoseph 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.
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.
13thOne 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 ChicagoTribunestates 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.
24thIn 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.
3rdThe 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.
23rdGeorge Zettlein beats his former team, the White Stockings, in Chicago, allowing one hit in the 5–0 win.
24thGeorge 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 Tribunesays 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 25thof September 1875, receiving $100 for so doing.” The paper says that one player is still with Chicago [in 1877].
18thSamuel 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.
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).
17thAlthough 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 Tribunepublishes 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.
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 4thinning, 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.
25thLouisville 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.
1stSt. 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.
8thThe ChicagoTribune, 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.
21stCaptain 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.
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.
20thChicago 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 1stinning. 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.
27thIt 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.
29thBehind 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.
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.
2ndAccording 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.
20thL.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.
21stThe Chicago Tribunenotes “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 ChicagoTribune) charges “the Brooklyn Eagleand 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.
19thFickle 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.
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.
15thThe 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.
18thAfter 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.
27thA 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.
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.
5thNow 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.
6thOn 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).
16thBuffalo 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.
23rdThe 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).
31stAt 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.
5th George Bradley tosses his record 16thshutout 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 9thinning 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.
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.
6thLouisville 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.
12thHartford 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.
19thJohn 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.
23rdJim 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.
29thChicago 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.
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.
4thJohn Clapp’s 4th hit of the day, an 11th-inning triple, enables St. Louis to beat Hartford in a holiday thriller, 7–6.
6thIndianapolis’ The Only Nolan holds Hartford to one hit but the match ends in a 10-inning scoreless tie.
7thLip Pike hits a HR in the 1st inning but makes 3 errors at 2B to allow Boston to beat Cincinnati, 3–2.
9thIn 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.
10thSt. 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.
14thDavy 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.
16thDavy 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.
18thBoston’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 19thcentury 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.
24thSecond-place Louisville beats first-place Boston, 3–1, to close to one game behind.
25thThe 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.
27thWith a general strike still shutting down most of the businesses in town, Boston loses to St. Louis, 9–2, before “a very slim crowd.”
28thSt. 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.
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.
5thIn 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.
10thThere’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.
11thHarvard 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.
14thLouisville 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.
23rdHartford edges Cincinnati, 5–4, thanks to a grounder that goes through the legs of 2B Jimmy Hallinan, allowing 3 runs to score.
25thPitching sensation Edward “The Only” Nolan of Indianapolis shuts out the White Stockings, 3–0.
26thChicago’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.
1stJim 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.
3rdWill 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.
8thChicago 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.”
14thA 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.
19thYoung 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.
25thLouisville 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.
27thBoston 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.
30thThe 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.
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.
15thThe 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.
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.
22ndThe 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.
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.
20thChicago’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.
25thWith 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.
30thIndianapolis hitter Russ McKelvey strikes out 4 times against Cincinnati right Will White as the Reds beat the Blues, 4–1.
1stMcKelvey hits a 3-run homer off Reds lefty Bobby Mitchell to pace the Blues to an 8–5 win.
4thLarkin 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.
11thJack 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.
15thLeague-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.
19thCF Paul Hines makes 2 great catches to save 7 runs as Providence beats Indianapolis, 9–3.
22ndCap Anson is 5-for-5 with 5 RBIs as Chicago rolls over Milwaukee, 14–3.
25thAnson is 3-for-3 but makes a critical error in LF as Chicago loses to Boston, 7–2.
26thMilwaukee 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.
27thRed-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.
29thIndianapolis P Jim McCormick finishes his first week in the NL by beating the Reds for the third time.
4thCraver 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.
24thLooking beyond the grim state of baseball, the New York Mercuryforetells 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.”
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.
21stProvidence applies for membership in the NL.
25th The Boston club is reported to be backing a Massachusetts bill outlawing gambling on ball games.
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.
12thFred 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.
20thThe Tecumsehs of London, Ontario, are officially declared 1877 pennant winners in the IA with a record of 14–4.
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.
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.
2ndBoston (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.
4thCincinnati snaps a 6-game losing streak by beating Indianapolis, 5–3, before a crowd of 5,194.
5thCincinnati wins a gain and moves into 1st place with 17 wins. Boston has 16 wins, but 4 fewer losses.
7thUnofficial 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.
16thJohn Montgomery Ward doubles home a run and posts his first win, beating Indianapolis, 4–2.
17thThanks 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.
18thDaring base running by rookie Mike Kelly leads Cincinnati to a 4–1 win over Boston.
20thJack 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.
22ndCal 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.
23rdMaybe 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.
25thBoston uses a triple play in the 8th inning and a triple in the 11th to edge Cincinnati, 10–9.
26thAt 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.
8thThe 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.
30thBoston ups its season ticket prices from $10 to $14.
2nd A benefit game played in Chicago raises $682 for yellow fever victims in Memphis.
3rdCincinnati 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.
7thCincinnati 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.
8thImpressed with his hitting in the recent sweep over them, Boston signs Cincy star Charley Jones to a 3-year contract for 1879-82.
11thCincinnati 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.
12thBoston clinches the pennant with a 4–2 win over the Blues, while Cincinnati finally loses, 9–2, to Chicago.
13thBoston’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.
19thProvidence 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 40thwin 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 3rdover 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.
1st Boston beats Providence in an experimental game with 6 balls for a walk and no outs on foul bounds.
8thThe 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.
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.
20thThe Troy City club hires a contractor to build a new grandstand seating 1200 to accommodate the crowds at NL games this coming season.
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.
7thJim 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.
15thProvidence 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.
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.
10thThe 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.
1stIn 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 Tribuneon 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.
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.
2ndCincinnati 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.
3rdMike 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.
8thBuffalo 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.
10thBuffalo P Jim Galvin twists his ankle in the 3rdinning, and Providence jumps on reliever Bill McGunnigle for 13 runs, including 9 in the 8thinning, to win 16–10.
12thTroy, 0-6 in NL play thus far, wins an exhibition game in Detroit at the opening of Recreation Park.
13thCincinnati’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.
15thChicago losses the toss for choice of innings for the 7thtime in 8 games, but beats Providence, 7–2. The White Stockings now lead the NL at 7–1.
16thTroy (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 8thinning, forcing relief pitcher Tommy Bond to ease up on his delivery and allowing Chicago to score 4 runs in the 9thto win, 9–5.
22ndProvidence rallies from a 9–2 deficit in the 7thinning to beat Cincinnati, 10–9, in 10 innings.
24th Providence scores 10 runs in the 1stinning 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.
31stChicago runs its record to 14–1 with a 4–2 triumph in Boston. Providence is 2ndwith a 10-5 record.
1st Chicago beats Buffalo, 4–1, to briefly regain 2ndplace 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 2ndplace, 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 1stNL 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.
1stBuffalo’s Jim Galvin holds Cleveland to one hit this time and wins, 9–0.
2ndIn 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 9thto 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 2ndtime 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.
23rdAfter 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 1stinning 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.
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.
18thThe 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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].
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.
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.
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.
8th The Atlantics host the champion Eckfords at Bedford, with the visitors winning 21–11 behind the hitting and pitching of John Sprague.
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.