1871 October

7th  The Chicago Fire breaks out at 10 o’clock in the evening. As the Rockford club travels toward Chicago the next day, they see the glow of the fire, turn around and return home. Chicago loses its ballpark and all equipment in the fire. The Whites are leading in the pennant race and must defeat the Haymakers in their remaining 3 games to clinch.

9th  The Athletics win the third and deciding game of their series with visiting Troy by scoring 3 runs in the 9th inning to win, 15–13.

18th  The Athletics defeat the Mutuals 21–7 before a large crowd in Philadelphia. This game puts the Athletics (20-7) in the position of having only to defeat the homeless White Stockings on the 25th to clinch the whip-pennant, provided the Haymakers can win their series with Chicago. According to Frank Vaccaro, the Mutuals arrived in Philadelphia with just seven players and a 9-0 forfeit was awarded to the Athletics. The two teams then played an exhibition which has somehow crept into the official records. The Mutuals were a player short two days ago in Boston and a forfeit was awarded to Boston. At that time, there was some grumbling that New York was trying to help Boston overtake Philadelphia, but today’s shorthandedness erased those suspicions. Frank Fleet is given credit for his first ML game, going 2-for-6 for the Mutuals.

21st  In Troy, NY, the Chicago Whites meet the Haymakers for the first time this season. Chicago, playing a match for the first time since the 29th of September, wins the game 11–5. The White Stockings would lose their next game to Troy, 19–12, on the 23rd and the rest of the series would be rained out. Bad weather prevents the completion of the Troy-Chicago series before the November 1st official end of the season.

30th  The final championship match for 1871 takes place on the Union Grounds in Brooklyn between the Athletics and the Chicago White Stockings. The Championship Committee decrees that today’s game will decide the winner of the pennant. Chicago, having played all of its games on the road since the fire, appears in an assorted array of uniforms. Theirs were all lost during the fire. The 4–1 victory by the Athletics gives them the championship for 1871. The final putout in the game is made by Nate Berkenstock, a 40-year-old retired amateur who appears in his only professional game. With a birth year of 1831, he is the oldest player to appear in a NA game.