Jno. McClure, a boy ten years old, whose parents live at Benton and Davis streets, Carondelet, has died from inflammation of the bowels, caused by his being struck by a ball while playing base ball.
-St. Louis Republican, December 18, 1873
The papers of the time were filled with stories of violence and death and I'm not sure if the reporting of baseball violence was simply more of the same or if there was a concerted effort to link the game with violence. The game and the players certainly did not have the best reputation and these reports of baseball-related violence may have been a subtle way of reinforcing that.