April 1871

6thThe Mutual club of New York leaves on the steamer GeneralBarnesfor Savannah, Georgia, where they will start their southern tour with a game on April 10.

10thThe Athletics of Philadelphia play their first practice game against a strong, picked nine. This is the first game at the new grounds at 25th and Jefferson, where professional baseball will be played for 21 years.

29th  The new ball grounds in Chicago, located at Randolph and Michigan on the lakefront, are opened as the White Stockings and a picked 9 play before 1,500 people. The New YorkClippersays: “They will have accommodations on their grounds to seat 6,500 people. With the single exception of being somewhat narrow, they will have one of the finest ballparks in the country.”

March 1871

17th  The National Association of Professional Baseball Players is formed in New York at a convention called together by Henry Chadwick. The meeting is held at Collier’s Saloon on the corner of 13th Street and Broadway. Playing rules will be the same as the amateur players’ with the exception of player compensation. Each club will play 5 games with the other clubs and the winner of 3 will have won that championship series. The league championship will be awarded to the team winning the most series against the other teams and not on a total wins or percentage basis as would be done in later years. Teams represented at the convention are: Athletics of Philadelphia, Boston Red Stockings (who hired Harry Wright to represent them after the Cincinnati Reds disbanded), Chicago White Stockings, Eckford of Brooklyn, Forest City of Cleveland, Forest Citys of Rockford, IL, Mutuals of New York, Nationals of Washington, DC, Olympics of Washington, and the Union Club of Troy, NY, known as the Haymakers. All but two of the teams put down a deposit of $10 with the Eckfords and the Atlantics of Brooklyn preferring to play independent of the new circuit. The surprising ninth entry in the new league is the Kekiongas of Fort Wayne, IN.

December 1870

4th The New York Sunday Mercuryreports that “Rule 6 was amended by adding a clause to section 6 that prohibits any fence from being erected within 90 feet of home base, unless it be to mark the boundary of the grounds, in which case, if it be less than 90 feet, all passed balls touching such fence are to give one base.” (as noted by Richard Harshberger).

November 1870

1stIn Chicago, the Mutuals of New York play the White Stockings at Dexter Park before 6,000 people. With Chicago leading 7–5 after 8 innings, the Mutuals score 8 runs in the top of the 9th. In the bottom of the 9th, Chicago adopts a waiting game and Wolters, the Mutuals pitcher, loads the bases on walks, and complains that the umpire is not calling strikes. A few hits and passed balls makes the score 13–12 in favor of the Mutes when McAfee, the next batter for the Whites, lets a dozen balls go by without swinging. Wolters throws up his hands and walks off. The ump reverts the score to the 8thinning and the Whites win, 7–5. Chicago has now defeated the Mutes twice since they took the Championship away from the Atlantics. The controversial ending of the game makes the Mutual club unwilling to give up the Championship. The New York Clippersays, In 1867 the Union club happened to defeat the Atlantics two games out of three of the regular series them played between them—only one series being played between clubs at that time. By this victory a precedent was established giving the championship title only to the club that defeated the existing champions two games while they were the champions. Of course this is an. absurd rule but it has prevailed ever since.”

2ndThe Mutuals, on the road all night from Chicago, play badly in Cincinnati and lose to the Red Stockings, 23–7.

10th  At the New York State Base Ball Convention in Albany, a motion prevails that no club in New York composed of colored men should be admitted to the National Association. a critical Henry Chadwick, writing in the New York Clipper on the 19th, reports the following:

“When the new clubs were proposed for election, Mr. Barnum, of the Gotham club, in order to save time, moved to suspend the rules so as to elect by one ballot. Mr. W. R. Macdiarmid of the Star club of Brooklyn, then moved to amend the motion, by providing that in case any of the clubs to be elected should be composed of colored men, their claim to membership should be void. This was unanimously adopted; and thus, for the first time in the history of the National Association, was a political question introduced as a bone of contention in the council of the fraternity. The mischievous influence of this resolution will undoubtedly be felt in the forthcoming convention, and to the Star club of Brooklyn and its partisan delegate will the National Association be indebted for introducing such an element of discord into the proceedings of the National Convention. After the introduction of this fire brand, an election for officers was proceeded with. In view of the action taken by the New York State Convention, we would suggest that the colored clubs of New York and Philadelphia at once take measures to organize a National Association of their own.”

18thThe Union Baseball Ground in Brooklyn will be abandoned next year, and a street will be coming through the enclosure. This will leave only two enclosed parks in the vicinity, Capitoline Grounds in Brooklyn and the Union Baseball park at Tremont.

Chadwick followed up the following week by writing, on the 26th, that Macdiarmid’s resolution barring black was not even supported by his own club:

At a meeting of the Star Club, held at their rooms in Brooklyn, the following resolution was adopted:

“That the motion of one of our delegates in the late New York State Convention of Base Ball Players in regard to the admission of colored clubs to the State Association, involving, as it does, a question of a political nature, the introduction of which, in this club, cannot fail to prove prejudicial to that harmony which is so essential to our success as an organization, does not meet with our sanction or approval.”

21st  The Executive Committee of the Red Stockings Baseball Club issues a circular to the members announcing their determination not to employ a professional nine for 1871. Club president A.P.C. Bonte says that “. . . .we have arrived at the conclusion that to employ a nine for the coming season, at the enormous salaries demanded by professional players [the total payroll for 1869 was $9,300] would plunge our club deeply in debt. Bonte concludes by stating that “[we] have resolved to hire no players for the coming season.”

30th  The 14th annual convention of the National Association of Base Ball Clubs is held in New York, the attendance of delegates being smaller than any previous convention. Wansley, Duffy, and Devyr are reinstated to professional baseball, and William H. Craver is expelled for dishonorable play. Rule changes include allowing the batter to overrun 1B after touching it.

October 1870

13thThe return game in the Chicago-Cincinnati series is played at Chicago’s Dexter Park. The game is tied after 8 innings, but in the 9ththe White Stockings score 8 and the Reds 5 for a 16–13 final.

15thThe Forest City Club of Rockford hosts Cincinnati. Al Spalding holds the Reds to 6 hits and hits a home run, one of 3 in one inning, as the Red Stockings lose, 12–5.

19thAfter losing the 1stgame of a new series in Brooklyn, 11–7, on the 17th, the Atlantics travel to Philadelphia to play game 2. Dick McBride holds the Atlantics to 6 hits as the A’s win, 15–3. George Zettlein did not make the trip so the Atlantics play the game with 8 players.

22ndWith their home-and home series standing at 1–1, the Cincinnati Red Stockings meet the Athletics in Philadelphia, winning 15–8.

The Forest City Club of Rockford visits Chicago on a raw and chilly day and loses to the White Stockings, 10–6.

24thBefore 2,000 spectators in Philadelphia, the Athletics down the New York Mutuals, 17–12.

25thA crowd of 3,000 is on hand at the Union Grounds as Cincinnati’s Asa Brainard limits the champion Mutuals to 5 hits, as the Red Stockings win easily, 7–1.

26thIn Philadelphia, the Cincinnati Red Stockings take on the Atlantics of Brooklyn, losers of 17 games this year. The Atlantics score 5 in the last of the 9thto beat the mighty Reds, 11–7.

September 1870

2ndIn Cincinnati, the Atlantics of Brooklyn lose their 2ndgame in a row, 14–3.

5thIn Cleveland, the Atlantics lose their 3rdstraight, as Forest City takes them, 15–13, The Atlantics score 10 runs in the 5thinning after 2 are out to come back from a 14–1 deficit.

7thThe Chicago White Stockings travel to Cincinnati, and bring along their own umpire. With the help of some questionable calls, Chicago wins, 10–6. George Wright is missing from the Reds lineup.

15thThe Philadelphia Athletics travel to Brooklyn’s Union Grounds to play the Mutuals. A crowd of 4,000 is on hand, paying 50 cents apiece, lured by the appeal that it is a match game and not a practice game. The A’s score a run in the 9thto take a 10–9 lead, but the Mutes tie when Alphonese Martin scores and win when John Hatfield scores on Fergy Malone’s passed ball.

22nd  The Mutuals of New York win the Championship for 1870 by defeating the Atlantics 10–4 at the Union Grounds before 10,000. The game has such national interest that telegraph wires are strung and inning-by-inning results are sent nationwide.

24thIn a close game in Brooklyn, the Chicago White Stockings score 5 in the 8thto beat the Atlantics, 9–4.

26thIn Philadelphia, the White Stockings continue their excellent play with a 12–11 victory over the Athletics. Philadelphia does not have the services of their 10-year vet Dick McBride, out with a sore hand. The Whites score 4 in the last of the 9thto win.

27thBack in NY to accept a challenge from the Mutuals to play a series for the 1870 Championship, now held by the Mutes, The White Stockings win, 22–11. The match attracts 10,000.

September 1871

2ndAt Boston, the Reds enter the 7th leading Cleveland, 8–2. Two innings later the game is called with the Reds winning, 31–10. Boston scores 12 in the 7th and 11 in the 8th.

5th  With the NA race for the whip-pennant getting closer, Boston defeats the league-leading White Stockings for their first win in the 3 matches played. With the Whites leading 3–0 after 4 innings, Boston scores 6 in the 5th inning, highlighted by a HR over the LF fence by Charley Gould, off George Zettlein, with Dave Birdsall, McVey, and Spalding on the bases. It is the only grand slam hit this year; Zettlein, the pitcher who serves up the slam, also served up the league’s first homer, to Cleveland’s Ezra Sutton on May 8 (as noted by David Vincent). The final score today is 6–3.

9thThe Athletics visit Boston without their star pitcher Dick McBride, who misses the game because of illness. George Bechtel pitches and loses to Al Spalding at the Bostons, 17–14. Harry Wright, a .267 hitter, has 4 walks and 3 runs scored.

11thBetween 500 and 800 spectators, the smallest crowd of the year on the Athletics grounds, see an exhibition game between Cleveland and Philadelphia. Listless play shows why exhibition games are losing favor as the visitors win, 14–1, behind the 6-hit pitching of Al Pratt.

29th  Boston loses to Chicago, 10–8, and loses the season series 4 games to one.

August 1871

1stAs of today, the Athletics have the best record, 13–5. The total number of matches played by the 9 teams is 77.

3rdIn Troy, George Wright makes his first appearance in a championship game since he was injured here in May. His return doesn’t help Boston as they lose to the Haymakers, 13–12.

7thFive thousand people assemble on the Athletics grounds to see the Bostons trounce the home town A’s, 23–7.

9th  The Eckfords of Brooklyn journey to Troy and defeat the Haymakers 10–7. Ned Connors, the Troy 1B, makes 20 putouts in the 9-inning game.

17thAt the Union Grounds in Brooklyn, the Eckfords score 8 runs in the 9th with 2 out to edge the Troy Haymakers, 15–13. John McMullin, the Troy pitcher, helps with 10 wild pitches in the frame.

21stIn Chicago, the amateur champions, the Star Club of Brooklyn, plays the amateur champions of the Northwest, the Aetnas of Chicago. The game is decided in the 9th, 4–3, when Star pitcher Candy Cummings drives in the winning run.

28th  At the Union Grounds in Brooklyn, the Chicago White Stockings clinch the season’s series with a 6–4 victory over the Mutuals behind the speedy pitching of George Zettlein. This game gives the lie to the current rumors about the leading teams throwing games for gate-money purposes as the Whites could have insured a 5th and deciding game of the series played on their own grounds by losing today’s game.

30th  The White Stockings journey to Philadelphia where they take the 2nd game out of the 3 played in their championship series. The final score, 6–3, marks the lowest score by the Athletics since they started playing professionally. Zettlein holds the Athletics to 4 hits.

31stThe Forest City of Rockford club defeats the Mutuals, 14–4, in an exhibition game at the Union Grounds before just 300 spectators. Most of the public refuses to pay fifty cents unless the game is a meaningful “match” game.

June 1871

5th  The eagerly awaited series opens between the White Stockings and the Mutuals before 10,000 at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn. Five of the old Eckfords play for Chicago while 5 of last year’s Atlantics play for the Mutuals. Fielding decides the game, as Chicago makes 19 errors to 7 for the Mutuals. New York wins 8–5.

17thFormer Civil War General Abner Doubleday, now a Colonel in command of the 24th U.S. Infantry’s “Colored Regiment”, Fort McKavett, TX addresses a request to General E.D. Townsend, Adjutant General, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.: “I have the honor to apply for permission to purchase for the Regimental Library a few portraits of distinguished generals, Battle pictures, and some of Rogers groups of Statuary particularly those relative to the actions of the Colored population of the south. This being a colored regiment ornaments of this kind seem very appropriate. I would also like to purchase baseball implements for the amusement of the men and a Magic Lantern for the same purpose. The fund is ample and I think these expenditures would add to the happiness of the men.”

19th  After 6 innings of play at Troy, NY, the ball becomes ripped. The umpire decides that it is unfit and calls for another. The Kekiongas, winning at the time 6–3, refuse to allow another ball to be used and refuse to continue to the game. The umpire awards the game to the Haymakers, 9–0.

21st  The Kekiongas visit Boston and are shut out by Al Spalding and the Reds 23–0. Ft. Wayne makes only one hit.

22nd  Forest City of Cleveland travels to Philadelphia, and while playing an exhibition game against the Experts of Philadelphia, their substitute C Elmer White, chasing a poorly thrown ball, runs into the fence and breaks his arm.

25th  From the New York Sunday Mercury: Answers to Correspondents—“Of course a player can wear gloves if he likes. A half glove covering the palm of the hand and first joints of the fingers is excellent in saving the hand of the catcher and first baseman.”

28th  The Philadelphia Athletics outlast the Troy Haymakers 49–33 with each team scoring in all 9 innings. The score is tied after 4 innings at 16 each, but Philadelphia scores 9 in the 5th to take the lead. For the Athletics, 4 players score 6 runs and P Dick McBride and John Radcliffe each score 7. The A’s get 36 hits to Troy’s 31.

August 1872

5th  The New York Mutuals use a 7-run 9thto break open their game with the Middletown Mutuals, winning 14-3, as Candy Cummings wins his 19th. Nat Hicks has 4 hits and Dave Eggler has 4 hits and 4 runs. Eggler has now hit in 29 straight games. The Mansfields will play three more games before disbanding.

8th  Twenty-five hundred people watch the Baltimore Canaries rally for 3 runs in the 9th to tie the Mutuals, 8–8, and then win the game in the 12th, 12–8, at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn. Lipman Pike scores the winning run on a hit by Tom Carey off Candy Cummings.

15th  The Maple Leaf Club of Guelph, Canada, the Canadian champions, plays the Mutuals on the Union Grounds. The Canadians started their American tour in Baltimore on the 12th, losing 25–5. Yesterday they lost in Philadelphia to the Athletics 35–8. Today, in a close game, they lose to the Mutuals, 9–4.

19th  After the defeat of the Forest Citys of Cleveland by Boston 18–7 at Cleveland, the club disbands. With the disbandment of the Mansfields earlier this month, there are now only 6 clubs left playing for the pennant.

27thBaltimore journeys to the Unions Grounds in Brooklyn and beat the Eckfords, 15–8, their 7th win in 8 games since Davy Force joined the team after the fall of Troy.