With a great deal [of] formality and gravity the two principal base ball clubs of this city are contesting the merits of a dispute arising out of the game played June 18, 1868. The Empire Club referred the case to the Judiciary Committee of the Missouri State Association of Base Ball Players; that body took the matter into consideration at a meeting held Wednesday evening, but no decision was arrived at. We trust no feeling of enmity will exist between the Union and Empire clubs, but that they will continue to meet in good-humore rivalry until they are prepared to cut a respectable figure among the star clubs of the East.
-Missouri Republican, July 10, 1868
-"We trust that no feeling of enmity will exist..." Yeah, right. These two clubs did not like each other and there were a lot of reasons for that. They were the two best clubs in the city; they were competing against each other for championships; there were very real class differences between the two clubs, which lead to some friction; and they were going toe-to-toe for several years. The dispute here was not really that big a deal but the Empires took it to the state association and got the game thrown out, after the Unions had won the series and, essentially, the championship. There was no way that the Union Club was happy about this and that it didn't lead to more bitter feelings between the two clubs. These guys really didn't like each other.
-"...the two principal base ball clubs of this city..." It's a true statement that these were the two principal clubs of the city and I just find it refreshing to see it recognized and spelled out in the local paper.
-"...until they are prepared to cut a respectable figure among the star clubs of the East." The Republican, in 1868, was very honest about how the two clubs played against the Eastern clubs. They didn't sugarcoat it and, again, it's refreshing to see the local papers just state the truth when it came to baseball. The local papers were, in many ways, boasters and promoters of the game and there wasn't a lot of negativity and criticism when it came to the local St. Louis clubs (and many would argue that this has never changed). The fact that the Republican is actually criticizing the clubs for their play really stands out in the 1868 coverage.