Yesterday afternoon at the Grand avenue park the new professional nine met the famous Amateur Empire club. Great interest had been taken in the match as our base ball admirers were anxious to see how the imported players would compare with the nine, whose brilliant record against all the professional clubs in the country has given them a national reputation. The short notice given of the game and the cold blustering weather, together with the counter attraction in the game between the Red Sox and Elephants, kept the attendance from reaching paying figures, about 500 people being all that was present.
Game was called at half-past three o'clock with the professionals at the bat, and after Pearce and Cuthbert were retired, the former at first by Maher unassisted and the latter on a splendid catch taken by Wirth at centre field, Chapman after giving Dean a couple of chances at Jones, drove a beauty to left and made first. A series of errors principally at first and third let in five runs ere Battin was put out by a bounding ball to McCall.
For the Amateurs Schimper, Murray and Maher retired in the order named, Miller taking in two on foul bounds and Hague handling a hot one from Murray and sending the ball to Dehl. in good style.
In the second innings both nines retired without scoring, the professionals evidently being puzzled with the peculiar round-arm delivery of McCall, Spaulding fielding out Pearce and Cuthbert, Hague retiring at second base. Wirth and Ellick went out, the former by Miller and the latter at first assisted by Pearce, Spaulding earned his base but "Brown" drove straight to Dehlman and of course retired. The balance of the game was not of suffiecient importance to warrant a detailed description. The "Brown Stockings" in the third, fourth and sixth innings "lit on" McCall in a way he despised, six earned runs being the result and seventeen being the total added to the score. In the eighth innings Joe Schimper took McCall's place, but 'twas no use, the "Browns" were on their muscle and three runs were scored, two of which were earned, Miller getting in a three-baser between left and centre.
The Empires failed to hit Bradley with any effect. In the fourth innings they scored their solitary run, the veteran Adam Wirth being the fortunate one, as after Murray and Maher had been retired at first base, he drove a high one towards centre, which the wind carried around between Pike and Chapman, and the "Old Man" went scooting round to third, and crossed the home plate on a dropped ball by Dehlman, which error surprised no one more than Dehl. himself.
The general play of the regulars was excellent and elicited unbounded praise from the enthusiastic admirers of our national game. But three errors were charged to them, only one of which gave their opponents a run. Miller behind the bat bore off the palm in fielding as well as batting. Dehlman followed close in his wake with the stick, his batting being hard and clean. One and all did well. Their steady, united support of Bradley argues well for the future success of the nine. In six innings the Empires were retired in one, two, three order, but four base-hits being scored off the "great coming."
The Empires were evidently not in good trim, many of the players showing that the winter's rust had not been rubbed off. Maher was not "at home" at first base, and a judicious change was made in placing Wirth in that position in the fourth innings. The veteran was in good play, and embraced every opportunity offered to put his opponents out; his play, indeed, was excellent throughout. McCall wants considerable practice to get to his former regular gait, Ellick has great difficulty in stopping his wild delivery, though his winter's constant practice in New Orleans should have showed him in better form than he exhibited yesterday. The umpiring of Mr. E. Wolff was prompt and impartial, giving entire satisfaction to both parties.
-St. Louis Republican, April 16, 1875
In 1875, the Brown Stockings would surpass the Empires as the best club in St. Louis. It was a very important moment in the history of 19th century baseball in the city, as it symbolized the end of the amateur, pioneer era in St. Louis and the dawning of the professional era. The Empire Club had a proud and successful history - although I don't know what the Republican was talking about when they said the club had a brilliant record against professional clubs; they usually got their clocks cleaned when they played an Eastern, professional club - but their day had and come and gone.
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