Seldom have we been called upon to record a more entertaining and amusing game than that which took place Saturday afternoon at the St. Louis Base Ball Park, between the heavy and light weights of the honorary members of the Union and Empire Clubs. Owing to a want of due publication through the city press, and the cool state of the atmosphere, there was not so numerous an attendance as could have been expected; but those who were present were fully competent to judge of the merits of the game, and fully demonstrated their appreciation of it throughout its entire progress. Speculation was rife at the opening of the game, and, owing to the formidable appearance of the "Light Weights," with H. Clay Sexton as Captain, Chris. Overbeck, Col. Phil. Murphy, and Chief Engineer Bame as base man, the general opinion was entertained that victory would perch on their side. Notwithstanding the fact that they were short of two of their heaviest players, Messrs. De Bar and Stout, whose positions were filled by very competent substitutes, the "heavy weights" were marshalled by P.H. Tobin, Esq., and exhibited much confidence in a successful result, as they numbered among them some players of ancient reputation. Considerable time was lost in making decision for the choice of position by the respective field captains, owing to the inability to find a piece of coin suitably large for the occasion, to make a legendary "toss-up," which finally was decided by sending the "light-weights" to the bat, who succeeded in making only two runs, while their opponents were able to score nine. The second innings betrayed a weakness in the batting of the "little ones," as also did the third and fourth, and demonstrated fully the superiority of the "big boys," both in the field and at the bat. From this time throughout the entire game it was evident to everyone that victory would inevitably be given to the "Big Boys." Never before has there been exhibited on a base ball field a finer display of "ground and lofty tumbling." Messrs. Overbeck and Sexton of the "Light Weights," particularly distinguished themselves by "agitating the dust" and showing a remarkable degree of agility. Too much praise cannot be given to Overbeck for his fine play at third base, by which he captured five of his adversaries, and for the ease and grace with which he recovered himself from a too sudden encounter with the ball. In this connection Messrs. Murphy, Beggs and Joel are also deserving of special mention.
On the part of the "Heavy" or "Big Boys" Messrs. Fruin, Tobin, Parie and Soulari bore off the honors in their various positions. The greatest good humor and mirth prevailed through the game, at the close of which the winning nine were made the recipients of an elegantly stained and very petite bat, measuring some seven feet in length and weighing something short of 100 lbs., which was conveyed from the grounds by a special committee of the victors.
Owing to the lateness of the hour but eight innings were played, and resulted in a score of
31 for Little Boys.
67 for Big Fellows.
Umpire - Mr. J. Stinson.
-Missouri Republican, October 18, 1868
The mention of Jeremiah Fruin, who played for the fat team in this game, reminds me to post this:
The most important event of the year and the one most fraught with fatal consequences to the Empire Club was the retirement of Jerry Fruin from active service early in the season were by the club became as it were a ship without a helm. His loss, added to that of Duffy, which left the Empire weak in the catcher’s position, were the two main causes that contributed to the loss of the championship.
-E.H. Tobias, writing in The Sporting News (November 30, 1895)