1877 January

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.