The Browns met their match yesterday in the Atlantics of Brooklyn. The visitors are by odds the best club that has visited St. Louis this year, and out-played the home team both in the field and at the bat. The Atlantics are strong all around. They have a good battery, a fine infield, and a superb trio on the outside.
In yesterday’s game they earned four of their seven runs. The first two of these they made in the first inning, when Walker was on first and Larkin made a home run. In the fifth inning the visitors got in a lucky streak of batting and earned two more runs. During the whole game the Browns were unable to earn a single, but they got half a dozen for all that, Farrell, the Atlantics’ third baseman, doing his share toward giving them these by making two very wild throws to first. The game all through was a nip and tuck affair. When the eighth inning was over it stood six to six. In the ninth inning Walker led off for the Atlantics with a grounder, which got between J. Gleason’s legs and into the outfield. Larkin hit safe to center and Walker went to third. A passed ball let Walker in. Mansell, who was running for Larkin, tried to steal third, but failed in the attempt. Clinton reached first on J. Gleason’s error, and then stole second. Rip tipped out. The Browns went into their half of the ninth wanting a run to tie and a couple to win. J. Gleason was the first to the front, and, after breaking a bat and hitting the ball foul three times, he was called out on strikes. W. Gleason hit a grounder to short, which beat him to first. McCaffrey squared himself for a long hit, but luck was not with him, and he ended the game by fouling out…In today’s game Baker will support McGinnis, and his presence behind the bat will strengthen the home team materially. Owing to the funeral of the President these clubs will not play the game advertised for to-morrow. They will play the third game of their series on Tuesday afternoon.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 25, 1881
I love Jack Gleason's at-bat in the ninth inning of this game. A broken bat, multiple foul balls, and a strike-out looking - it was a rather modern at-bat. The broken bat particularly interests me as I think it was a rare thing or, perhaps, it just wasn't something that was commented upon in the press. I'm not sure but I'd love to read something about the history of broken bats. While I'm sure earlier references to broken bats exist, this is probably the earliest one I have.
The Dubuque base ball team, the crack organization of the Northwest, came to grief at the Grand Avenue Base Ball Park, yesterday afternoon, the popular Brown Stockings adding another well-earned victory to their long list of triumphs this season. It was the best week-day attendance seen at the park thus far this year, and while the spectators were very impartial in distributing applause, it could be seen that they were gratified at the success of the home players. Recognizing the fact that the task on hand was a difficult one, the Brown Stockings presented as strong a team as they have placed in the field in many a day, Baker being the only absentee. McGinnis was in the pitcher’s square, Seward behind the bat, and the Gleason boys in their home positions. This is a rare sight in week-day contests, and one that lent confidence to the other members of the nine and the club’s many well-wishers.
This was kind of a reunion of the 1879 championship Dubuque club, with five of the members of that great team on the field in this game. The Gleason brothers, Charles Comiskey, Tom Loftus, and Ted Sullivan were all members of the club that won the championship of the Northwestern League. Loftus had also played a few games for the NL Brown Stockings in 1877. So I'm not surprised that this game drew a nice crowd. I know I would have liked to have seen it. It's a shame that they couldn't get Radbourn to come to town and take part in this.
This game is also historically significant. It was, as far as I can tell, the first time that Comiskey played in St. Louis. The following season, of course, he would be playing with Von der Ahe's new AA Brown Stockings and would go on to achieve great things in St. Louis. But his first time stepping onto the field at the Grand Avenue Grounds was in 1881 as a member of the Dubuque Rabbits.
The Browns are a hard team to beat. Yesterday afternoon they met the Eckford Club, of Chicago, an organization that tied the famous Dreadnaughts for first place in the race for the amateur championship of Chicago, and defeated them by a score of 8 to 4. It is true this was done on a wet field and with a slippery ball, but it was done for all that. The
Since I don't have much to add here, let me just say something about Jack Gleason, who played third base for the Brown Stockings in this game. Gleason is the only person to have played for the NL Brown Stockings, the AA Browns, and the UA Maroons. He also obviously played for the independent Brown Stockings, as well as the great Dubuque Rabbits club and the NL Maroons. So Jack Gleason is the answer to a nice trivia question: Who was the only player to play for three different St. Louis baseball clubs in three different major leagues?
Now, having said that, there could be, I guess, someone who played for the Cardinals, Browns, and Federal League Terriers but I can't think of anybody. But a lot of those guys from the Terriers ended up on the Browns and it would only take one of those guys playing with the Cards to mess up my trivia question. I did poke around the rosters for the Terriers but didn't see anyone who played for all three clubs but that doesn't mean there wasn't anyone. Unless someone can come up with somebody, however, I still think Jack Gleason has a unique place in St. Louis baseball history.
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