The contest about to be inaugurated for the leading position among ball clubs is especially interesting because the result will decide an important question which has long been the subject of discussion among the patrons and admirers of the national game, viz: The collective qualities necessary for the best ball team, strong batters or good fielders and base runners. The Detroits and the Browns will have answered this question when the world's championship games are over. One is a team of "sluggers," or heavy batters, and the other is not so handy with the stick, but has no equal as a fielding and base-running team. Every arrangement has been made for the grand entree on Monday, even to a parade. Although the price of admission has been raised thousands of reserved seats have already been sold, and the demand for them increases as the opening date approaches. The Detroits will stop at the Southern, and from there at 10 o'clock Monday morning they will join in the base-ball parade and be driven through the streets in carriages. The parade will be headed by Phillips' Knights Templar Band. Presidents Von der Ahe and Stearns, of the two clubs, will occupy the front carriage in the procession, and in those that follow will be H. Clay Sexton, Dr. Ahlbrandt, the Directors and other officers of the Detroit and St. Louis clubs and visiting reporters. The last four carriages will contain the players who are to do battle.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 9, 1887
Fred Dunlap, of the old Maroons, is giving out tips on the pitching points of Foutz and Caruthers to the Detroit nine. The sluggers (in their mind) have the matter of knocking out the Browns' twirlers all mapped out.
There's some interesting stuff here:
-I can't really see Dunlap sitting around giving pointers to his teammates. It doesn't fit what we know about his personality.
-O'Neill's batting average for 1887 was .435 but his OBP was .490.
-Was Foutz street in Bay City, Michigan named after Dave Foutz?
-At the old site, I'd periodically have Fred Dunlap Week. It was exactly like Shark Week but with Dunlap being the shark. I'm sure I have enough material to do Fred Dunlap Month and post nothing but weird stuff about the King of Second Basemen for an entire month. So consider yourself forewarned - Fred Dunlap Month may be a thing that's going to happen.
The Detroit club have already won the championship of the League, and after finishing their season to-day at Indianapolis leave for St. Louis to-night. They will arrive in the morning and witness the Cleveland game at Sportsman's Park. Manager Watkins will bring twelve men with him, headed by Fred Dunlap, including big Brouthers, Capt. Hanlon, Hardy Richardson, Deacon White, Ganzel, Getzein, Twitchell, Jack Rowe, big Sam Thompson, Charlie Bennett and Pete Conway. They will make their headquarters at the Lindell. President Stearns, of Detroit, wired President Von der Ahe yesterday that Getzein and Bennett and Conway and Bennett would be the Detroit batteries for Monday and Tuesday, respectively. The champions will have Bob Caruthers and Doc Bushong in the points on Monday, and Dave Foutz and Jack Boyle on Tuesday. The coming games are exciting greater interest than any games ever played in St. Louis, and every seat and all available space at Sportsman's Park will no doubt be occupied. The admission will be 50c, and 50c extra to the grand stand. Special reserved seats in the sections on either side of the press box are on sale at Appler & Hodge's, 618 Olive street, and the Lindell Hotel cigar-stand, for $1.25 each. The seats are selling fast, and it behooves those who desire seats to get them at once.
It will be interesting to see what the attendance is like for the series because they were charging a lot of money for a ticket. One dollar in 1887 was worth about $23 in our money and I would think that it was a much larger percentage of an average worker's annual salary than it would be as a percentage of ours. When we get to the games, I just expect to see smaller crowds than in 1885 or 1886, especially outside of St. Louis and Detroit. I would imagine that the later games of the series, after the outcome was already decided, were sparsely attended. From a business point-of-view, I think they made a serious mistake in setting ticket prices so high.
Reserved seats for the world's championship games can be had at Appler & Hodge's, 618 Olive street, and the Lindell Hotel cigar store. Only a limited number are on sale.
Miss Helen Dauvray telegraphed President Von der Ahe yesterday that the Dauvray Cup and medals had been forwarded to him, and would reach [St. Louis] tomorrow.
Miss Helen Dauvray, who would marry John Montgomery Ward on October 12, donated a trophy that was given to the winner of the world's series in 1887, 1888 and 1889. It seems natural enough that they (or she) named it the Dauvray Cup. Sadly, to the best of my knowledge, the Cup is now lost. The New York Times, which referred to the thing as Miss Duavray's Cup, described it as being solid silver and of exquisite craftsmanship. The pins (or Miss Duavray's Pins) were made of gold.
I think we need something like this today, rather than that dull World Series trophy we have now. We need a Cup for teams to fight over. Can't we find an actress to donate a Cup and some medals? I think Alyssa Milano would do it. She's a big baseball fan. Wouldn't it be a better world if the winner of the World Series received Miss Milano's Cup?
My first post went up at the old site on September 13, 2007, and, Lord knows, I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into. I had been posting in a 19th century baseball forum and talking to great people like David Ball, Richard Hershberger, Brian McKenna, and a host of other really smart people who were nothing but supportive and encouraging in my early fumblings through the strange world of 19th century baseball. Rather than continue posting my original research at that forum, I started my own website. And here we are today, still going.
The important thing about all of this is not the website or me or my work. The important thing is all of the people that I've gotten to meet and talk to over the years who I never would have if it wasn't for this website. I've made some very good friends as a result of this site and I've gotten to work with some really great, smart people. It's been a blast. So thanks to everyone who has encouraged me, worked with me, had a beer (or four) with me, and who come to this site everyday. If it wasn't for all of you, I'd probably have stopped doing this years ago.
And in celebration of our ninth anniversary, here's my very first post, which was entitled "Too Much Base Ball Coverage in the Newspaper?":
"For the last fifteen years every boy in St. Louis who was but half a boy learned to play and love baseball. Where are those boys now? They are in the stores, the counting houses, the banks, the courts, the professions, the newspapers...They constitute probably two-thirds of the newpaper reading class. Manhood and its cares have imposed labor on them which prevents them from longer indulging in the game, but at the mere mention of it, their finger ends tingle as of old, and they greedily devour every scrap of news which appears on the subject, and not withstanding the press of business, they will manage to steal away from it, once in a while, long enough to witness a crack game."
These words appeared in the St. Louis Republican on March 26, 1875 and were in response to an elderly gentleman who had written the paper to complain about all the baseball coverage in the newspaper. The writer of this article went on to say that "(we) are only doing just what you would now be doing if your boyhood had been timed anytime between 1859 and 1875, instead of forty years before that."
So I got an email yesterday from our friend Jon Cash, who gently reminded me that I hadn't posted anything since Monday. I think he was concerned about my health and wondering if I was still among the living. Well, I'm here to say that I am still upright and breathing. The truth is that I've been really busy with work and other projects and I just forgot to put up posts for the week.
I'll let you in on a secret - or, maybe, I guess I'm making a confession. At this point, nine years in, everything is pretty much running on autopilot. I've been extremely busy with real-life work for more than two years now and I've pretty much curtailed a lot of my baseball-related projects. I've had to let all the Protoball and SABR stuff go because I simply don't have the time to devote to it. And I've come very close, on a couple of occasions, to shutting TGOG down. It's not because I don't love the subject or enjoy putting this all together. It's simply a matter of trying to manage my time the best I can.
Having said that, what I've been doing, for the most part, is taking stuff that I like from the old site, moving it over here, and posting it fresh. That was always a goal for this version of the site and it's good to get everything in one place. But it feels lazy. It takes me about an hour a week to move seven or ten posts over here and get them scheduled. There is not a lot of original research going up right now. It was original work that I'd done in the past but, again, it's just me being lazy and resting on my laurels.
I am doing original work but a lot of that I'm keeping to myself for projects I'd like to publish somewhere down the line. I've done a lot of work this year on the early life of Chris Von der Ahe and that's all being saved for something else. It's not exactly state secrets or anything like that but these things are in a different category of project than this website.
What I'd really like to do with this site is transition to more long-form pieces. Less blogging - which I'm pretty sure is a dead medium - and more using this website as a kind of publishing platform. To that end, I'm working on a long piece about Alex Crosman's Civil War exploits, in which I will probably mention the fact that he was not eaten by alligators.
I am continuing my research and writing and my love for the subject has not diminished in any way. But I've been doing this for nine years and that's a long, long time in the blogging world. I'm kind of tired and almost ashamed of the way in which I've been operating this site over the last year and I'd like to change that. I'm going to finish up the series on the 1887 Series and I'll have the Crossman piece done by then. I'll put that up and see where we go. There's a lot of long pieces that I've wanted to write over the years. And there's plenty that I have written (check the sidebar on the left). But that's where I want to go with this. I don't know if I'll be able to and things may just stay the same. We'll see. Maybe I'm just having an existential crisis. Who knows?
One more thing that I should point out is that the formating has been all over the place of late and, again, that's me being lazy. I've changed browsers twice in the last month or so and Weebly operates a little differently in different browsers. Not a big deal but from an editorial standpoint, it's unacceptable. I've never been the most professional blogger but I would like to kind of keep the format consistent. Just makes the place look better. And I'll do better with that in the future.
So, nine years. The anniversary of my first post at the old site was September 13, 2007. I'll repost that tomorrow as a kind of celebration. My second post, by the way, was about Packy Dillon, which makes me smile because I just love Packy Dillon. The first mention of Fred Dunlap did not occur until October 9th of that year.
To wrap this up, I may sound a little gloomy but I'm really not. Things are great on my end. I'm happy. I'm healthy. I'm doing well. I couldn't ask for more. Well, I guess I could ask for more time to devote to all the projects I'd like to take on but that ain't happening. And it's obvious that the memory is starting to go because I forgot to post this week. Sorry about that. To make up for that, here's the Beatles:
President Von der Ahe yesterday closed a contract with Manager John Kelly, of the Louisville club, to officiate with either Gaffney or Dorscher in the world's championship series as umpire. There is no better umpire in the profession than King Kelly, as his admirers call him, and he will no doubt give great satisfaction to all concerned.
Next Monday and Tuesday, the Detroit sluggers, winners of the League pennant, will meet the St. Louis Browns, champions of the world, for the first time, at Sportsman's Park. The games are exciting greater attention than any series ever played, and it is safe to say they will attract the largest crowds ever seen at Sportsman's Park. Notwithstanding the crippled condition of the champions, their friends regard their chances equally as good as those of the Detroits, whose strong slugging abilities are regarded as of a big advantage over the champions. The latter's wonderful base-running and fielding strength will more than offset Detroit's hitting propensities, and the many elements of attractiveness that contribute to the uncertainty of the game will be especially strong in this series. Following St. Louis the games will be played in Pittsburg, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Washington and Louisville. They will be contested for all they are worth, and the winner of the series takes 75 per cent and the loser 25 per cent of the receipts, after expenses are deducted.
Should the Detroits beat the Browns, the latter will have good excuses to offer. Comiskey has a broken thumb, Robinson a very bad hand, Foutz a broken thumb, Bushong a broken finger, and Caruthers hasn't been feeling well. But very likely they'll all get in trim by October 10.
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