The Empires, our champions, will play the Lone Stars at the Ball Park this afternoon, and base ballists say that we will have a good game, the Empire men being confident and ready to cross bats with our Southern friends.
The Lone Stars are the champions of Louisiana - now on their first annual tour - reached St. Louis Thursday night and are stopping at the Everett House, the guests of the Empire B.B.C. They left New Orleans Tuesday, the 19th inst., and played the first game of the tour at Memphis, Tennessee, July 21st, with the Bluff city club, winning by the handsome score of 54 to 12.
To-morrow they will engage the Unions and Tuesday morning they will leave for Chicago, stopping to play at Springfield and Bloomington.
Their route from here will be via Chicago to Rockford, Ill.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Cincinnati and Portsmouth, Ohio; Louisville, Ky.; and Nashville, Tenn., thence home. They expect to play about twenty (20) matches during their trip, and reach New Orleans 20th of August. They have games with White Stockings, of Chicago, Forest City, of Rockford, and Red Stockings included in their programme.
The have a good reputation as ball tossers, and we expect a large attendance at the park to-day, for the game will undoubtedly be an interesting one.
-Missouri Republican, July 24, 1870
That was a very nice and ambitious tour the Lone Stars scheduled for themselves.
According to previous announcement, the Harvard University Base Ball Club, of Cambridge, and the Union, of this city, met yesterday afternoon on the St. Louis base ball park. Owing to some misunderstanding between the two clubs in regard to the time when the game was to be called, the members of the Union did not arrive on the field until 4 o'clock. Unluckily the Harvards had arranged to leave on the 5:15 train for Chicago. This of course made the proposed game short, only one inning being terminated.
So, obviously, there's something going on with the Union Club. They're showing up late to matches and having problems getting their best players on the field. I can't say for certain exactly what the problem is but I do know that Asa Smith, the longtime president of the club, was no longer involved with the Unions in 1870 and that lose of leadership may have something to do with their disorganized state.
The Lone Stars, by the way, were in town for a couple of games with the Empires and Unions and just happened to be at the Harvard game.
The history of organized baseball at Harvard goes back to at least 1862 and their clubs during this era were very good. Both the Harvard and Yale baseball clubs made national tours and played some of the best clubs in the country.
Going back even further, proto-baseball games had been played at Harvard since at least 1729 and some of our earliest references to the game in the United States comes from there. You can't tell the early history of baseball in the United States without talking about Harvard.
The above advertisement appeared in the Missouri Republican on July 23, 1870.
The following description of a base ball pitcher in action will be appreciated by all who have watched this important member of the nine: "On receiving the ball he raises it in both hands until it is on a level with his left eye. Striking an attitude, he gazes at it two or three minutes in a contemplative way, and then turns it around once or twice to be sure that it is not an orange or a coconut. Assured that he has the genuine article, he then winks once at the first baseman, twice at the second baseman, and three times at the third baseman, and, after a scowl at the shortstop and a glance at the home-plate, finally delivers the ball with the precision and rapidity of a cannon shot."
There is nothing new under the sun and this squib shows that people have been complaining about slow-working pitchers pretty much from the beginning.
The Occidental, Jr. base ball club, of Quincy, Ill., arrived in the city yesterday morning, and played the Unions in the afternoon at the park. The number of spectators was small.
The history of baseball in Quincy dates back to at least 1866 and if you're interested in learning more about that, I've written a bit about it in the past.
The one thing that struck me from this game was the noted inability of the Union Club to put their best nine on the field. I had noticed that early but didn't think much of it but here we find it again and we find it commented upon. One has to think that the break up of the Union Club following this season had something to do with the fact that some of their best players were simply unable to find the time in their schedule to play the game. It's a very real possibility. Lord knows that I don't have the time that I need to do the things I'd like and I can certainly understand the plight of the Union players.
A meeting of the judiciary committee of the State Base Ball association was called for last night, in order to take action on an appeal made by the Union club against the Empires. The former state that the Empires played illegally at a recent contest. In consequence of the absence of Mr Hantz and Mr. Stith, two members of the committee, it was decided to adjourn until a full meeting could be had.
If I had to guess, I'd say the Unions were complaining that the Empires were using an illegal player. Shockingly, that complaint had come up before and would come up again with regards to the Empire Club. To the best of my knowledge, nothing every came of this specific charge.
A matched game of base ball between the White Stars of Reeb's station, and the Lone Star, of Alma nines, St. Clair county was played on the 4th at Reeb's station. The contest was for a silver cup. At the close the score stood for the White Star club 14 to 28 for the Lone Star.
It took a bit of digging to figure out where this game was played and who played in it but, essentially, this was a game between Belleville and O'Fallon, played in Belleville. Reeb's Station was in Belleville, on a railroad line that ran from East St. Louis to Belleville. I thought originally that Alma was the Alma located north of Salem but it was a small village on the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad line, just a bit east of O'Fallon.
On the Fourth the Garden City base ball club played the Unions at the park. The number of spectators was not large. The game was a most interesting one, as the Chicago men took the lead from the first, and maintained it throughout the game, badly beating the Union's score. It is due to the Union club to say that they played under some disadvantages. Three of their best players were absent, which necessitated the employment of other men, and the changing of the regular positions of the nine.
According to Tobias, the three missing Union players were Charles Turner, Robert Lucas, and Joseph Carr.
A large crowd of spectators assembled yesterday afternoon at the base ball park to witness a game of base ball between the Garden City club of Chicago, and the Empire club of this city. On the part of the Empires the play throughout was very indifferent. All of the players except Murray on the third base, who played well up to his standard, batted and fielded poorly, and muffed a great many balls.
Tobias wrote that this game was "devoid of interest and not complimentary to either club insomuch as both failed to come up to their standard of play." He contradicts the Republican by stating that the umpire made numerous errors but does agree that Jake Murray was the standout for the Empires.
A meeting of the State association of base ball players was held last night in the rooms of the St. Louis base ball club, on Pine street, between Sixth and Seventh streets, when there were fifteen delegates present. The resignation of J.B. Ketterer, president, and J.S. Foster, vice president, were read and accepted. Mr. Miller was elected president of the association, and Mr. S.L. Steth vice president. The charges which the Atlantic club had preferred against the St. Louis club were withdrawn. The meeting adjourned until the first Friday in August.
I'm not sure if this is significant or not. Jospeh Ketterer, of the Lone Star Club, and James Foster, of the St. Louis Club, had both been elected as vice-presidents of the Missouri State Base Ball Association in June of 1869. Asa Smith, of the Union Club, had been elected president but resigned at the end of the season. At that point, Ketterer assumed the presidency of the association and Foster remained as first vice-president.
It's possible that the association simply held their elections for officers in June or July and this is just a new election. But it specifically states that Ketterer and Foster resigned. So I don't think that's it. I think this was an election that was held because of the resignation of the top two officers of the association. It's possible that their term was up but that's not how I read this squib.
Why would they resign? I have no clue. Smith resigned in 1869 to devote himself fully to business. He had been involved in the game for a decade, providing extraordinary leadership and vision, but I understand why he felt it was time to get out of the game. I don't know enough about Ketterer or Foster to make those kinds of judgments. They're not names that I recognize and can't find them in my notes.
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