On account of the unpromising state of the weather very few persons witnessed the game between the [Empire and Elephant] clubs, which took place yesterday at the Grand Avenue park grounds. The Empires were without the services of McCall and Mack pitched for them. At first the Elephants batted him heavily, making four runs in the first inning. After getting down to his work he proved more effective, and but two more runs were scored off him for the balance of the game. Levis made his first appearance on the Empire nine, playing first base.
-St. Louis Republican, May 10, 1875
Schimper was a St. Louis fireman who pitched for the Empire Club in the 1870’s. “(One) of St. Louis’ best ball-players…,” Schimper was born in Louisiana in 1848 and, for reasons unknown, was also commonly known as Joe Chambers.
Around eleven p.m. on February 9, 1887, a fire broke out at Jesse Arnot’s livery stable in St. Louis and Schimper, on duty that day, was one of the firemen who answered the alarm and worked to put out the blaze. About a half hour after the StLFD appeared on the scene, “the entire Ninth street wall of the stable gave way and fell with a crash…” One of those trapped under the wall was Joe Schimper.
After the fire was put out, a search for bodies began and Schimper was the last to be found. “He was carried to the street limp and lifeless to all appearances. His friends thought they detected a faint hope of life, and carried him away as fast as possible to the Dispensary.”
He did not survive the night, dying from injuries received “in the discharge of his duty…”