1859 March

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.

1861 June

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.

1866 August

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.”

1868 April

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.

1870 June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1873 May

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

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.

1873 October

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).

1873 November

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

1874 July

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

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

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

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

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

1876 May

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

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

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

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

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

1877 May

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

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

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.