A large crowd assembled at the St. Louis ball park, on the 29th of June, to witness a match game between the Atlantics, of Brooklyn, and the Empires, of St. Louis. Game was called at half-past three o'clock, the Empires taking the field and the Atlantics at the bat. The Empires were short one or two of their nine. The Empire nine, as a whole, showed the evident want of practice, without which no club can hope to succeed. Of the Atlantic nine, the St. Louis Times, of June 30, remarks: - "Pearce has been noted as a superior shortstop for ten years, and to-day has no equal in the base ball field. He bats with great judgment and safety, and, place him anywhere in the field, he is equally reliable. Mills first made his reputation as a catcher in the Eckford Club, some four years since, when he joined the Atlantics, and has since taken his rank as the best catcher in the country. His throwing to the bases is accurate, swift and effective, while at the bat he is a stunner. Zettlein, the pitcher, has faced Mills for several years, and is excelled in the speed of delivery by none and equalled, perhaps, only by McBride, of the Athletics. His peculiar advantage over the latter consists in the regularity of his delivery, never worrying the catcher, and at the same time retaining all the required speed. At the bat he is strong and steadily improving. Start, at first base, has long enjoyed the reputation of excelling all others at the same point. He has been playing the game for many years, and his annual averages have compared favorably with the best players. He ranks as a fearful batter and a terror to fielders. Charlie Smith, the second baseman, has been named for years the "model" ball player, and his reputation has suffered none by his play here. His gracefulness, power and certainty have commanded universal attention and runners of bases give him a wide berth if anxious to secure a run. Ferguson, at third base, though a new player to lovers of the national sport in the west, will remain a stranger no longer, for many of them have good reason to know how complete a master he is of that situation. He is a strong batter and freezes on every ball within reasonable reach. Chapman, the left fielder, is one of the longest throwers, surest catchers and heaviest batsmen in the nine, and withal is very graceful. Crane, the centre fielder, is all grace, and has a cunning way of covering a vast deal of ground. He fields finely and has been known in the base ball world for a long time as the India rubber man. His field is a dangerous place to bat a ball when a run is desired. Pratt, the right fielder, was for some years the rival of McBride, as a pitcher, and when relieving Zettlein, shows that he has lost none of his force or effect. An excellent cricketer, he is admirably fitted for a base ball fielder, and fly catches are sure to follow any "sky rockets" sent to his field. McDonald, the first substitute, is a rising player, and will yet make his mark. He is a powerful batter, and played first base very satisfactorily. They did not play their full game yesterday, but still what they did was so handsomely done that those who saw the game were well pleased...The Empires played an unusually excellent game, and with more than ordinary courage. They hit the balls hard, and with good effect, scoring fifteen runs, against fifty-three, which all things considered was doing very well. Their regular pitcher was absent, and Dick Fruin was called from the second base to discharge the duties, which he did very well, though of necessity he was quite irregular. The fact that he was not in his usual position made the umpire more lenient then he should have been under the rules. Shockey, at right field, excelled all in the nine. He captured five fly balls in handsome style, and at batting made a clean score. Barron did well at short stop, and his throwing at the bases was very correct. He is readily improving in the position. Jerry Fruin, though somewhat rusty for need of practice, is too old a ball player to forget how to play, and did as well as could have been expected under the circumstances. His batting was heavy and safe. Wirth, a superior first baseman, was not fully up to the mark. He lost no less than three chances for an out by his one hand dodge, which is pretty if successful, but very disastrous when a failure. O'Connell was weak at third base, and sadly needs practice. Hazelton fielded well, and stands credited with a couple of nice fly-catches. Murray caught well, considering the irregularity of the pitching, and his batting was above the average. The game only lasted two hours and a quarter, and was well received and highly appreciated.
It is a matter of some regret that the same courtesies shown to the Nationals and Athletics were not accorded to the Atlantics but, perhaps, the least said about it the better.
-New York Clipper, July 11, 1868
The final bit, about the way the Atlantics were treated, is really interesting and speaks to how the game was changing in the later part of the 1860s. I don't think the Atlantics were treated poorly or discourteously and I've posted some stuff over the last few weeks that mentions how they were treated and how the Unions and Empires entertained them. But what I think the Times was getting at is that the older traditions of how a visiting club was treated were going out of style. If these games had been played in 1866, there would have been a grand banquet, celebrating the visiting club, and that didn't happen here. But baseball was changing and really had changed over the course of the second half of the 1860s. What was once a social event was now a competitive athletic event. It was about winning more than having fun. The old traditions of the social club were being cast aside and the focus was now about what was happening on the field. The game was in the process of evolving into its modern form.