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.