A match took place yesterday at Gamble’s grounds, between the Prairie Cricket Club of Chicago, and the St. Louis Cricket Club. There was a large number of spectators present, and among them a goodly number of the fair sex, who appeared to be as anxious as the players themselves for the result of the game. First innings, Chicago, 98. First innings, St. Louis 115. Second Innings of the Chicago, 85. The game will be resumed today, and we will give our readers a full report of the match.
-St. Louis Daily Bulletin, May 3, 1860
Grand Cricket Match-The Prairie Cricket club of Chicago against the St. Louis Club-The St. Louis Boys Defeated.-A grand match commenced between eleven of the Prairie Club of Chicago, and eleven of the St. Louis Cricket Club, on Wednesday, at ten o’clock, at Gamble’s Park, south of Clark avenue, and closed yesterday about one o’clock. A large crowd was present both days, including many ladies, who watched the game with much interest. The Chicago cricketers are all good looking young men, and seem to be familiar with the bat and ball. Their uniform is white pants, blue frock shirt, white cap with blue trimming. The dress of the St. Louis boys is similar, excepting the frock, which is white. Most of our St. Louis cricketers are new at the game, yet it will be seen by the scoring that they played well. The umpire for the Chicago club was S.P. Oldershame; scorer, C.J. Bloomfield; umpire of the St. Louis Club, Thomas Bennington; scorer E.M. Joel…
-St. Louis Daily Bulletin, May 4, 1860
In St. Louis, in 1860, you had clubs organized around the playing of the local St. Louis baseball variant, the New York game of baseball, and cricket. There was a lot of ball-playing of various sorts going on in the city at the time. I guess this speaks to the popularity of ball-playing in the city, the health of the St. Louis ball-playing culture, as well the popularity of ball-playing in the United States, generally.
When you're talking about how and why the New York game of baseball spread in the United States and how and why it became so popular, this is something that has to be addressed. Ball-playing in the United States and in St. Louis was a popular activity. The New York game didn't evolve in a vacuum. It was just one part of the larger ball-playing culture. The fact that it would come to dominate that culture is not as interesting to me as milieu from which it sprung.