November 1865

6th The last grand match of the season takes place at the Capitoline Grounds before 15,000. Henry Chadwick waxes, “is there another sport attractive enough to draw such attendance under such circumstances? In the summer it is not surprising as the weather is pleasant. . . but on a cold November day, in the busiest time of the year, it must be indeed an attractive sport to collect such an assemblage that is present on this occasion.” The Atlantics lead all the way to win, 27–24, and claim the 1865 championship with a record of 17–0.

October 1865

13th The Eckford play a return match against the Atlantics at the Union Grounds with the latter prevailing, 35–8.

20th The Athletic Club of Philadelphia defeats the Alert club of Denville, Pa., by one of the largest scores on record, 162 to 11. This score is all the more remarkable since the Athletics played a game this morning with the Williamsport club, in which they made 101 to 8. In playing the afternoon game all the bats that could be procured are broken by the Athletics, and they are compelled to use the handle of a shovel as a substitute bat at the finish.

30th The final series for the championship opens in Philadelphia with the Atlantics defeating the Athletics, 21–15.

September 1865

28th  Four thousand spectators gather at Hoboken to watch the Mutuals lose to the Eckford Club 23–11. The Mutual Club meets after the game and charges William Wansley of “willful and designed inattention” with the view of causing Eckford to defeat Mutual. A committee formed to investigate the matter later reports that C Wansley, 3B Edward Duffy, and SS Tom Devyr, received the sum of $100 from Kane McLoughlin to allow McLoughlin to win money on the game. The players will be barred from baseball at the next convention, but are reinstated several years later, Devyr in 1867, Duff in 1869, and Wansley in 1870.

August 1865

3rd  Twenty thousand spectators watch a match in Hoboken between the Mutuals and the Atlantics. The game is a 5-inning, rain-shortened 13–12 Atlantic victory. Henry Chadwick writes, ” these championship games are informal matches, there being no established rules for such contests, the title being one established by custom only.” This particular game would be immortalized in the Currier and Ives print: The American National Game of Baseball.

28th The Athletics of Philadelphia visit Washington D.C. and the White House in the morning before trouncing the host National Club in the afternoon, 87–12. Today’s match was organized by A.P. Gorman, later a Senator, and Col. Fitzgerald, the editor of the Philadelphia City Item. President Johnson allows government workers time off to attend the game, and is there himself. Johnson will also attend tomorrow’s match between the Nationals and the Atlantics, in which the Atlantics win 33–19 (Sport magazine, May, 1929). Benjamin Harrison, in 1892, will be the first President to attend a professional game.

July 1865

28th Playing for the amateur Philadelphia Keystones, 20-year-old Ned Cuthbert records the first stolen base in history. This will be uncovered by researchers in the 1970s. On July 28, 1980 Cuthbert’s name will result in a putout when Ron LeFlore of the Expos steals his league-leading 62ndbase. The scoreboard flashes the information that Cuthbert stole the first base 115 years earlier and LeFlore, engrossed in reading the message while he dusts off his uniform, is tagged out.

June 1865

6th At Hoboken, the first game of the year for the Gotham Club against the Enterprise Club of Brooklyn goes 13 innings. Gotham scores a pair in the bottom of the 13th to win, 19–18.

16th The Athletics of Philadelphia finish a successful 3rd tour of the North with a 28–20 win over Gotham. The tour started at the new Eureka Club grounds in Newark on June 12 with a 12–9 win. he A’s won the next day, 24–13 over Eagle at Hoboken; 31-21 over the Unions at Morrisania, and yesterday beat the Resolutes, 39–14 at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn.

21st The champion Atlantics play their first match of the year with the same lineup as last year and defeat Alphonse “Phoney” Martin and the Empire Club, 21–10. The Atlantics trail 7–6 after 5 innings before solving Martin’s unusual style of slow pitching.

December 1864

14th  The 8th annual meeting of the National Association of Base Ball Players is held at Clinton Hall with 30 clubs in attendance. The rules committee recommends adoption of the “fly game,” making bounced outs in fair territory illegal and it will be adopted for next season as the “regular” game.

September 1864

12th The return match between the 2 rival clubs for the championship is played on the Capitoline Grounds in Bedford with the Atlantics whipping the Mutuals, 21–16. The Atlantics have yet to defeat last year’s champs, the Eckfords, but the Ecks do not accept the Atlantic’s challenges and thus acknowledge defeat. The Atlantics will end this year at 20–0.

22nd In a friendly match at Jones Square Ground in Rochester, NY, the Brooklyn Atlantics beat the Canada Woodstock Young Canadians, 75-11. Six thousand fans are on hand (as noted by Bob Tholkes).

August 1864

11th The Atlantics of Brooklyn finish a 4-game series in Philadelphia, beating the Athletics, 43–16. The visitors whipped Camden, 64–10 on the 8th, beat the Keystone Club, 65–10 on the 9th, and 58–11 over the 30-year-old Olympic Club yesterday.

23rd Atlantic plays Gotham for the first time in 6 years. Dickey Pearce misses the match due to the death of his child this morning. The Atlantics score 4 unneeded runs in the 9th and prevail, 14–9.

July 1864

1st The Gothams and Eagles meet for the first time with the Gothams winning, 22–16, in a brisk 2 hours. The game marks the first appearance of George Wright, 17-year-old catcher for Gotham. His brother Harry plays 1B.

6th The Atlantics play their strongest game ever, both in batting and fielding, defeating a strong Nassau club, 42–7. Dickey Pearce is the catcher for the Atlantics, having slowed down too much to play SS. He’ll return to SS in the future and end his 22-year-long career in 1877.

21st At Newark, the Champion Eckfords play their first match of the year with 2 new players, Pinkham, a pitcher and Wes Fisler, an infielder from Philadelphia. The Eckfords win 37–22, their only win in 5 games this year. According to custom, if the Champion refuses to honor a challenge to a match, it is treated the same as a forfeit.

30th The Resolute Club of Brooklyn winds up a 3-day visit to Philadelphia by losing, 24–23, to the Olympic Club. The Resolutes lost on the 28th to the Athletics, 29–12 and beat Camden yesterday 14–13.

The Atlantic Club plays the Stars of Brooklyn at the Stars grounds in the first “fly-game” match the Atlantics have ever played. The Atlantics prevail 35–16 and will win the rematch on August 4 by a similar, 35–17.

June 1864

27th The Atlantics play their first game of the season, beating the Mutuals, 26–16. These 2 teams are the favorites for the championship.

30th The Atlantics and the Empire Club meet for the first time since 1856. Frequent rain interrupts the game, which ends in a 5–5 tie after 5 innings.

December 1862

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.

October 1862

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.

September 1862

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.

May 1862

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].

October 1861

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.

September 1861

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.

June 1863

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.

October 1860

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.

September 1860

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).

August 1860

9th A crowd of 12,000 watch the 2nd match between the Atlantics and Excelsiors. Trailing 12–6, the Atlantics score 9 runs in the bottom of the 7th off Jim Creighton and hang on for a 15–14 win. Henry Chadwick, in the New York Clipper, writes that this was “the best played contest ever witnessed.”

23rd The 3rd match between the Atlantics and Excelsiors is played on the Putnam Club Grounds at Broadway and Greene in Brooklyn before a large and rowdy crowd of 20,000. So rowdy that in the 6th inning, some of the crowd breaks loose and tries to mob the Excelsiors. Excelsiors captain Joe Leggett, his team down 8–6, hustles his team into their stages and drives off amid a shower of stones and other missiles thrown by the mob. Umpire R.J. Thorn declares it a draw. The Excelsiors will never play the Atlantics again.

July 1862

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.

July 1860

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.