From the first ball pitched until the last one the game between the Akron, O., Club and the St. Louis Brown Stockings, yesterday afternoon, was in doubt. A more delightful day could not have been desired, and the weather clerk, who has been extremely kind throughout the season, has the thanks of the fraternity. There never was a larger crowd at the Grand Avenue Park, every inch of seating capacity being occupied, and the grounds bordering the enclosure being thronged. The number present, as shown by the gate receipts, was between 5,000 and 6,000. Play was to have been called at 3 o’clock, but twenty minutes-precious, as the sequel proved-were wasted in the choice of an umpire. The Brown Stockings were willing to accept anybody but Houtz, while their opponents would listen to no one else. It was finally decided to draw lots for the selection, and, the visitors winning,
Their Point Was Gained.
The gentleman chosen filled the position no better, no worse, than on previous occasions. Having also lost the toss, the Browns were sent to the bat and scored a run on a wild throw and a base hit. Their opponents did better, placing two unearned runs to their credit on errors at third and behind the bat. They followed up their advantage with an unearned run in the second inning, after white-washing the enemy. In the first half of the third inning the excitement commenced and was continued to the close. A three-base hit by the elder Gleason, followed by singles, led to three runs for the Browns, two of which were earned. A bad throw, coupled with mafnificent base running, led to the other. The visitors were blanked in this inning, and the home team in its next added another tally to the score, but this was more than offset by the Akrons, who scored 2, principally on loose fielding. At the close of the fourth inning the score stood 5 all. Then the Browns were easily blanked, while their opponents went away with what appeared to be a commanding lead, two of the red legs crossing the home plate on a bad error at first after two men were out. The sixth inning, however, changed the aspect of affairs, for although Baker was disabled by a foul tip they succeeded in blanking their adversaries. During base running, a good hit or two and one fielding error resulted in Magner, Levis and Jack Gleason crossing the plate, and the Browns were again in the van by a score of 8 to 7. Seward and Baker had changed places and the outlook for the local club was ominous; but the Brown Stockings captain was equal to the emergency, and his splendid catching until the close contributed not a little to the favorable result. McGinnis having lost his side-partner pitched with more than usual care, and during the reminder of the game the Akron batsmen were utterly at sea. But two base-hits, on which an unearned run was secured, were made in all that time. The ninth inning opened with the Browns in the lead by one run. Then one of their old batting streaks was struck. J. Gleason
Opened With A Long Hit
to left for two bases, and his brother followed with a corker to extreme center field that sent Jack home and earned the striker third. McCaffrey also hit safe, and a second earned run resulted. Then three men retired in succession. It was getting quite dark when the last half of the ninth inning opened. The visitors wanted three runs to tie and four to win the game. Swartwood opened by striking out, and Wise followed with a fly to Baker. Kemmler reached first on an error by McCaffrey, stole third and came home on Seward’s throw to catch him at that bag. Maskrey also reached first, but McPhee ended the game, his very high foul fly, dropped by Seward, being captured on the bound. It was then so dark that had the play not been made, the game would probably have been “called” by the umpire. Billy Gleason’s play was crippled by a terribly swollen arm, which prevented his usual fine throwing, but he did some excellent execution in his position notwithstanding. McCaffrey offset his errors by an extraordinary catch of a high throw, while the elder Gleason played brilliantly and badly at intervals in the field. McGinnis pitched splendidly throughout, and the outfielders performed all the work assigned them creditably. McPhee, Muskrey, Piercy and Mountain did the best work for the visitors in the field. At the bat Johnny Gleason was a tower of strength, as the score will show. For five times at bat a triple bagger, two doubles and a single was the showing. Morton’s home run, a long hit to left center was the batting feature of the Akrons…These clubs will play the concluding game of their series this afternoon, beginning at 3 sharp…
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 19, 1881
Another huge Sunday crowd at the Grand Avenue Grounds, which seems to be one of the themes of the season. The thing that I'm wondering about is why the Brown Stockings didn't like out old friend Charlie Houtz. I think this may be the first negative thing I've ever read about the guy.
The St. Louis Red Stockings were beaten [in Cincinnati] by the Cincinnatis. They were minus the services of their regular pitcher and first and second basemen. In the fourth inning the Cincinnatis sent twelve men to bat, making eight hits and eight runs. In the next inning ten men went to bat, making six hits and four runs. Then Oberbeck came in to pitch, and in the last four innings only four hits were made off him. White was almost invincible. The fielding on both sides was superb. Mitchell, of Cincinnati, played with the Reds. There was a good crowd in attendance despite the threatening weather.
This is the only box score I have in my notes for a Reds game in 1881. You can see that Charlie Hautz and Billy Redmond, who had played with the 1875 Reds, were still playing with the club. Interestingly, several of their teammates from that 1875 team, including Pidge Morgan, Trick McSorley, and Joe Blong, were playing with the rival Brown Stockings but would also get in some games with the Reds.
I love those 1873-1876 Red Stockings teams and the 1875 Reds are probably my favorite 19th century baseball team. They're not much more than a footnote in the history of the game but it was a good group of players. The 1881 team were really a different club than that group but I have a soft spot in my heart for that Red Stocking moniker. They also don't have much to do with the restoration of major league baseball in St. Louis but I usually don't pass up a chance to talk about the Reds.
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