A neat triple-play was made in the opening game of Ned Cuthbert's nine at St. Louis, Mo., on May 9. Men were on first and second bases when a liner was it to Baker, who was playing first. Baker purposely dropped the ball, threw it to third, who forwarded it to McSorley at second, the latter returning the sphere to Baker in time to retire all three men.
-New York Clipper, May 20, 1880
I found this in the same issue of the Clipper that had the Von der Ahe/Cuthbert stuff and thought I'd share it with you. Because there is nothing better than a triple play other than an unassisted triple play.
Ned Cuthbert has got up a team, and a strong one it will be if the boys stick together. His nine are as under: McSorely, pitcher; Baker, catcher; Bowles, McDonald and J. Gleason on the bases; W. Gleason, short-stop; and Morgan, Cuthbert and Kreymeyer in the outfield; Overbeck, substitute. It is expected that the two teams will play some very pretty games together this season, as both are evenly matched. It will be noticed that six of the original Browns remain with the old organization, while the other four have joined Cuthbert's crew. The new team will play at the Red-stocking Park, on Compton avenue.
I posted the first half of this article yesterday and give you the rest of it here today. The "two teams" mentioned are Von der Ahe's Brown Stockings and Cuthbert's new club.
All of this raises some really interesting questions:
-When, exactly, did Von der Ahe get involved with the Brown Stockings? We know that he was involved with the Grand Avenue Club by 1876, at the latest, and that he picked up the lease to the Grand Avenue Grounds after the 1880 season. I think the conventional wisdom is that Von der Ahe's involvement with the Brown Stockings began when he picked up the lease on the grounds and formed the Sportsman's Park and Club Association. But, obviously, this information from the Clipper shows that he was the president of the club in 1880. What was he doing between 1877 and 1880? Was he still involved with the Grand Avenues? Was he involved, in some capacity, with the minor, independent, Interregnum Brown Stockings during that period? I don't have answers to any of these questions but, if I had to speculate, I'd guess that Von der Ahe's involvement with the Brown Stockings predates 1880.
-What role did Cuthbert play in getting Von der Ahe involved in baseball? Now Von der Ahe, himself, said that Cuthbert got him involved in the game but, given his involvement with the Grand Avenues (which, I believe, predates Cuthbert's arrival in St. Louis), I think it's clear that Von der Ahe was involved in club management before he ever met Cuthbert. I've always taken Von der Ahe's statement to mean that Cuthbert was the guy who got him involved with the Brown Stockings. But is that even true? I don't know. Von der Ahe knew everyone involved with managing the Brown Stockings, from his time with the Grand Avenues, and it seems natural that this group of people (Solari, the Spink brothers, etc.) would value Von der Ahe's involvement, as they transitioned from running the Grand Avenues to running the Interregnum Brown Stockings. Cuthbert, of course, was part of that group, in 1878 and 1879, and his friendship with Von der Ahe could have been key in getting him involved with the club but Von der Ahe was already part of that milieu. It just seems natural for him to have joined Brown Stockings' management during this period. I don't mean to knock Cuthbert or his importance in the history of St. Louis baseball but the whole "Cuthbert got Von der Ahe into baseball" story just has very little to stand on, other than the statement Von der Ahe made decades after the fact. The more we learn about the period, the more we find the extent to which Von der Ahe was involved in baseball prior to 1881. He was already involved in the game prior to meeting Cuthbert and was a part of the group that was running things on Grand Avenue in the mid to late 1870s. Cuthbert was also a part of that and I think it's difficult to sort out what everybody's role was and who was influencing whom.
-What was Cuthbert doing in 1880? Why did he split from the Grand Avenue group? When Richard passed this information along to me, I think that this was his main question and he speculated that there was an attempt to form two clubs, create a rivalry, and gin up some much-needed excitement around the game in St. Louis. I didn't originally think that this is what was going on and speculated on the idea that Cuthbert was unhappy with Brown Stockings management and decided to strike out on his own. That makes some sense, given how things were going for the club financially. But, looking into it, Richard might be on to something. Jon Cash, in Before They Were Cardinals, writes a little bit about the 1879 season and specifically stated that one of the problems in St. Louis was the lack of competition for the Brown Stockings. He goes on to note that when the club was able to schedule a decent club, they drew a decent crowd. But scheduling was a problem and they had no real competition. This may very well have been an effort by the Grand Avenue group to create competition. But, if that's true, why were the Cuthberts playing their games at the Compton Avenue Grounds? If this was all part of a big plan, why wouldn't they play on Grand? If this was some kind of Machiavellian plot, who wouldn't the Grand Avenue group have their new club playing at the Grand Avenue Grounds? Why would they forfeit the gate money that they new club would generate and give it to the McNeary brothers? It doesn't make sense to me and I still lean towards the idea that Cuthbert was striking out on his own. The thing that I keep saying to myself and anyone that will listen is that, when it comes to history, things didn't have to happen the way they happened. Nothing was preordained. There was nothing inevitable about the rise of Von der Ahe and the Browns. The St. Louis baseball market was completely up for grabs and there is no reason why a guy like Ned Cuthbert couldn't have seized control of it, given the right circumstances. Now, the Cuthberts were immediately handicapped by playing on Compton Avenue. It wasn't a good location for the fans because, unlike the ballpark on Grand, it wasn't on the main streetcar line. So Cuthbert didn't have the right circumstances to succeed and, in the end, Von der Ahe did. But we could very easily be talking today about Cuthbert as a foundational figure in St. Louis baseball if things had gone differently in 1880. Von der Ahe could have just been a footnote in St. Louis baseball history. But, in the end, Von der Ahe succeeded and Cuthbert came back to the fold.
-This piece from the Clipper raises a lot of questions and gives me a lot of things that I need to look into. It's a great find by Richard.
A breeze is said to have been stirred up in base ball circles because the officers of the Brown Stocking Club desire to manage that organization in their own way. Some interested individual has seen fit to furnish a one-sided version of the affair to the press. It is claimed that the Brown Stocking Club gets half of the gate receipts, and that the St. Louis Sportsman’s Club gets nothing for the use of its grounds. Such is far from being the case. The association gets 10 per cent of the gross receipts, the proceeds from the sale of reserved seats, the profits for refreshments and the income from all other privileges. The team which, by its superb play throughout the season, has earned the liberal patronage of the public, never cost the association a cent. The boys were solicited to play at the park at the beginning of the season, and a complete outfit, uniforms, etc., for the players was offered as an inducement. The Brown stockings are under no compliment to any organization nor do they propose to be. They have put a small fortune into the treasury of the association alluded to, and are not indebted to it or any one, except a generous public, in the slightest. The President of the Brown Stocking organization stated last night that no complaints had been brought to his notice, and added that if any dissatisfaction existed the club was ready to sever its connection with the park at once. He also stated that the unprecedented base ball boom was due to the brilliant and reliable work of the home team on all occasions, and that the slurs cast at the playing of the Browns were entirely undeserved. The fact that they had lost but one Sunday game this year was because they are enabled to present their full team on that day, while it is a difficult matter to do so at other times. If any complaint has been made it is because the team has been a much greater success than was anticipated when the season opened. It is certainly entitled to all that it has earned, and lovers of the game, with fair play in view, will undoubtedly look at the question in that light.
Before we get into all the juicy details of this article, I want to remind you of the timeline of events:
So...things were happening and the restoration of major league baseball in St. Louis was nigh. Von der Ahe was in negotiations to place a St. Louis club in a new major league but the only problem was that he didn't have a club. My interpretation of all of these events is that Von der Ahe was attempting to get control of the Brown Stockings in order to place them in the new league and had begun to do this as early as August 24, 1881, at the player's meeting which was held at his saloon.
At this point, you have to remember that there are two entities: the St. Louis Base Ball Association - which was the club itself - and the Sportsman's Park and Club Association - which controlled and operated the ballpark. Von der Ahe, at the end of the 1881 season, would buy out his partners in the SPCA and have sole control of the ballpark. In this article, we are seeing a fight between the StLBBA and Von der Ahe's SPCA coming to light. It was a fight for control of the suddenly lucrative St. Louis baseball market. This fight would end with Von der Ahe having control of not only the ballpark but also of the best baseball club in the city, which he would then place in a new major league.
Von der Ahe had a vision for the St. Louis baseball market and saw a way forward to achieve that vision. I think it's really interesting that this article begins by stating that the directors of the Brown Stockings wanted to manage their club in their own way. That statement assumes that there is someone outside of the directorate attempting to control things. That someone was obviously Von der Ahe, who was, it appears, at loggerheads with the club directors over the future operation of the club. The article presents the argument as a fight over the division of money and I have no doubt that this was an issue. However, I don't believe that it was the paramount issue. The most important issue were the future direction of the club, returning major league baseball to St. Louis, and who would run this new St. Louis major league baseball club.
Of course money was an issue and I think it's obvious that Von der Ahe recognized the lucrative nature of the St. Louis baseball market. I also believe that he was attempting to gain sole control over club and ballpark in order to profit from that control. But this article leaves open the possibility that Von der Ahe was willing to go forward with the AA project and the restoration of major league baseball in St. Louis with the StLBBA as partners, if they were willing to increase the share of profits going to the SPCA. I think this article shows that if there had been negotiations to that effect, they had gone poorly. And that was very shortsighted on the part of the club directors. VdA had the upper hand in this situation. He had the best ballpark in the city. He was the one involved in the formation of the AA. He just needed a club and, obviously, he wanted the Brown Stockings. If the StLBBA and the SPCA had been able to come to an agreement over profit-sharing, the history of St. Louis baseball would have been rather different. But that didn't happen.
But what did happen? How did Von der Ahe end up with both club and park? I believe that VdA had been talking to the players as early as the end of August about forming a new club, under his control and playing at his ballpark. He had friends among the players and I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that he and Cuthbert had more than a few conversations about this. I absolutely believe that VdA had Cuthbert on his side and that made everything which happened a lot easier. I also believe that VdA attempted to negotiate with the StLBBA. I doubt that Von der Ahe's offer was particularly palatable to men like Augustus Solari and Al Spink as I have to think the offer included most of the profit and control going to VdA. But I do believe that these guys talked about all of this. Solari had been involved in St. Louis baseball for a long time and he and Spink had, in many ways, saved baseball in St. Louis. They had been through some rather difficult times and now, with the market improving and good times on the horizon, here comes VdA to steal everything that they had worked towards. I completely understand why they would have rejected any overture from Von der Ahe that took control of the club away from them. But, as I said earlier, VdA was holding pretty much all of the cards. He had the ballpark and an invitation into a new major league. He could get players anywhere. There was no way Von der Ahe was just going to give this slot in the AA to the StLBBA without getting something in return. He wanted substantially more money and probably wanted control of the club. If he didn't get it, he would get another club.
So at this point, VdA probably already has plans to buy out his partners in the SPCA. He's getting ready to go to Pittsburgh to form a new major league. It looks like he was unable to reach a new agreement with the StLBAA to gain control of the Brown Stockings but he had already made inroads to the Brown Stockings' players. Von der Ahe was going to have his baseball club, one way or another. And next week, we'll see how he got it.
There will be a meeting of the Brown Stocking ball-tossers at Christ Von der Ahe's, on Grand avenue, to-night.
And here we get to the heart of the matter. At the old site, I wrote the following about this meeting:
In October of 1881, Chris Von der Ahe staged a coup against the St. Louis Baseball Association and seized control of the Brown Stockings as part of a plan to enter a St. Louis ballclub in a new major league...
Having had more time to think about this, I guess it's possible that this was simply a players only meeting and it was a coincidence that the meeting was held at VdA's saloon. There is really nothing in the text that says it was a meeting between VdA and the players. However, given what would happen in October, which we'll get to, I still stand by my original interpretation of the source material.
I think this was the moment when VdA began to get involved in the operation of the Brown Stocking club and began a plot to seize control of the club from the St. Louis Base Ball Association. It appears that the players were active participants in this coup and it is entirely possible that players on the Brown Stockings originally approached VdA about getting involved.
I recently had a conversation with Jon Cash, author of Before They Were Cardinals, and he reminded me of the fact that VdA later credited Ned Cuthbert with getting him involved with the Brown Stockings. Now, I always dismiss the story about Cuthbert getting VdA involved as one of the Von der Ahe Myths and the way the story has come down to us over the years is, indeed, a myth designed to denigrate VdA. Having said that, there is some truth to the myth and we can see some of that here.
If this was, as I believe, a meeting between the players and VdA, regarding the future of the club, I have no doubt that Cuthbert was instrumental in organizing the meeting. Cuthbert and VdA were friends and Cuthbert worked , or had worked, in VdA's saloon. VdA had been involved in running the Grand Avenues in the second half of the 1870s and was, in 1881, involved in running the ballpark. He had been involved in the game for at least five or six years by 1881, was a successful businessman, and had friends on the Brown Stockings. I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that Cuthbert would identify VdA as someone who would make a good baseball magnate.
What I reject is the general myth and I reject it because the evidence doesn't support it. The stories about how VdA got involved in the game have been handed down to us by gentlemen such as Bob Broeg and Bob Burns, men who I have the utmost respect for. I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for the influence that Broeg and Burns had on me. My love of the history of the game is a direct result of reading those two men while I was young. But, in many ways, they were raconteurs. They were telling stories to entertain and they were passing along the stories that they had heard about the early history of the game. They weren't doing historical research - they were telling stories that they heard from Fred Lieb, who heard them from J.G. Taylor Spink, who heard them from his father Charles Spink, who ran a severely anti-Van der Ahe editorial policy with The Sporting News in the 1890s. Broeg and Burns, through no fault of their own, were pushing the Von der Ahe Myth that had originated in the pages of TSN and in the stories of Ted Sullivan and Arlie Latham. And, for the most part, I reject those stories. They're ridiculous and reek of anti-immigrant, anti-German bigotry.
And let me be clear about what I'm talking about here. I reject what I call the Von der Ahe Myth or the Von der Ha Ha Ha stories.
I reject the idea that VdA was stupid. I reject the idea that he was an ignorant buffoon. I reject the idea that he was so dumb that he didn't know what was happening across the street and down the block from his saloon, where the Grand Avenue Grounds happened to be located. Was there a point in time when VdA didn't know what baseball was all about? Certainly. He was a German immigrant and there was a lot of things he had to learn about his new home. But he was a good, smart businessman and I'm sure he quickly figured out the relationship between his volume of business and games played at the Grounds. Was it Ned Cuthbert who explained it to him? Possibly. But it had to have happened by 1876 when VdA was on the board of directors of the Grand Avenue Club.
VdA got to St. Louis around 1867 and, by 1872, was the sole owner of a grocery store and saloon. By about 1873, he had moved his business to Grand Avenue and we know that by 1876 (and possibly as early as 1875) he was involved with the Grand Avenue Base Ball Club. Let's just say, for the sake of argument, that Cuthbert was the person who introduced VdA to baseball and that he was the person who explained the relationship between the saloon's uptick in business and baseball at the Grounds. Cuthbert didn't get to St. Louis until 1875. That would mean that VdA was so ignorant of his own business operations and the city that he lived in that he didn't understand what was happening in 1874, which just happened to have been the biggest and most exciting baseball season St. Louis had ever seen.
I just don't believe that is possible. As someone who's in the restaurant business, I'm very aware of events that are happening around town and I know the impact that they'll have on business, whether for good or ill. Von der Ahe was a much better businessman than me and I just find it difficult to image that he wasn't aware of the impact on his business that events around the Grand Avenue neighborhood would have on his saloon. He moved to that area for a reason. He moved to Grand Avenue because he believed it would be a better location for his business. He believed he would make more money on Grand Avenue. It was a calculated decision and I have to believe that one of the calculations he made regarded the impact that a baseball crowd would have on his sales. That's just smart business and VdA was a smart businessman.
The point I'm struggling to make here is that things didn't go down the way the Myth tells us it did. It just couldn't have happened that way. Now Jon Cash wrote something really interesting in Before They Were Cardinals. He wrote that "Cuthbert had...spent months urging Von der Ahe to promote baseball." I have no reason to doubt that this is true and it makes sense. I don't doubt that Cuthbert was involved in getting VdA to invest in the Brown Stockings, take control of the club, and manage its operations. I don't doubt that the two worked together to stage the coup against the StLBBA. As we'll see, everything was contingent upon VdA having the support of the players so it makes sense for Cuthbert to be involved. My evaluation of VdA's actions in 1881 is in no way meant to slight Ned Cuthbert's role in the history of St. Louis baseball. But part of the Von der Ahe Myth is the idea that VdA was just a frontman for the smart baseball people like Cuthbert, Ted Sullivan, or Charlie Comiskey. And I don't believe that that is true.
Von der Ahe was hardly perfect. He was a flawed man, like all of us. But his historical reputation has been formed by this mythology that was a result of the editorial policy of The Sporting News in the 1890s and the stories told by people like Sullivan and Latham. TSN made a conscious decision that an anti-VdA editorial policy would sell papers and they attacked the man without mercy for a solid decade. Sullivan and Latham, both of whom had personal issues with VdA, made a career telling stories about the guy that always portrayed him as a fool. That mythology seeped into the early histories of baseball and into the work of Lieb, Broeg, Burns, and others. Von der Ahe the fool, who didn't know anything about baseball and bankrupted his club, is the conventional historical wisdom and it just doesn't accurately portray who and what the man was.
I'm going to get into this a lot more as we move along and most of the important events regarding the reconstitution of the Brown Stockings under VdA's leadership and the formation of the AA take place in October of 1881. So we're going to get to all of that. But what I want to get across here today is two simple points. First, I think that the seeds for everything that happened in October 1881 were planted at this meeting in August. Second, the Von der Ahe Myth does not adequately explain the events of 1881 and is contradicted by the source material. Therefore, the Myth must be rejected. It's myth and storytelling, not history. Is there some truth in the Myth? Of course but it's still myth.
An old base ball enthusiast who has followed the game very closely from its infancy got to talking about his favorite sport the other day. He is a Missourian, and 27 years ago was living in St. Louis. He seldom was absent from a big game in those days, and, being a player himself, he mingled considerably with the boys...
So this came up in my last post when I was talking a bit about Ned Cuthbert and quoted David Nemec's biography of Cuthbert from Major League Baseball Profiles, Volume One. Dave quoted the above article from TSN and I figured I'd run it down. The most interesting thing about the entire article was the above bit about Cuthbert.
It's not a particularly flattering profile of our boy but it's interesting because we rarely get such details, from this era, about a player's style. Reading the article, you get a really great sense of Cuthbert in the field and how he played defense.
I'm not sure exactly how to take this article. There have been a lot of outfielders over the course of the history of baseball who have been accused of showboating and, specifically, of making easy catches look hard. Usually it's good outfielders who are accused of this kind of thing. Bad outfielders never get accused of showboating and playing to the crowd. I give you exhibit A:
Then again, maybe Cuthbert was a bad outfielder. A bad outfielder would freeze on balls hit in front of him and have to scramble in to get them. A bad outfielder would go back on a shallow ball and then adjust. I know this because I was a bad outfielder. I've scrambled around the outfield, like a chicken with my head cut off, only to readjust and make a good-looking catch. I wasn't a showboat; I was just a bad outfielder.
But, in the end, we should probably accept the eye witness account and say that Cuthbert was a good outfielder but a total hot dog. He was Hollywood Jim Edmonds before there was a Hollywood Jim Edmonds.
At the Grand Avenue Base Ball Park, yesterday afternoon, the St. Louis Brown Stockings narrowly escaped defeat at the hands of their worthy rivals, the Eckfords, of Chicago. The latter were aided by luck and the umpire throughout, but were unable to score a victory, owing to their utter inability to bat McGinnis. The Browns presented their strongest team, except that Macdonald was too ill to fill his customary place at second. It seemed as if the Browns regarded their task as an easy one, as their play was spiritless until toward the close, when they awoke to the necessity of having to do something to avert defeat. Cuthbert donned the old familiar uniform for the first time this season, and was greeted with cheers…
In the November 19, 1881 issue of the New York Clipper, they ran a picture of our boy Ned Cuthbert and a brief biography:
Edgar E. Cuthbert is well known to the patrons of base ball all over the country by his graceful skill in handling the ball and bat while connected with the leading clubs during the past seventeen seasons. He was born in Philadelphia, Pa., about thirty-four years ago, and commenced playing ball with the Keystones of his native city, with whom during the seasons of 1865 and 1866 he filled at times every position in the nine except that of pitcher. He commenced the season of 1867 as catcher of the West Philadelphia Club, but afterward joined the Athletics, playing right field during the remainder of that season. He continued with the Athletics during 1868 and 1869 as their left fielder and change catcher. In 1870 Cuthbert was the center fielder of the then newly-organized Chicago Club, and during the seasons of 1871 and 1872 he was again filling his old position at left field for the Athletics, and under whose colors he had participated in upwards of 300 games. Cuthbert was chiefly instrumental in organizing the Philadelphia Club in 1873, and his fine fielding, batting and base running materially helped the "Phillies" to attain their phenomenal success during that season, and led to his re-engagement by the Chicago Club in 1874. He was one of the first players engaged by the St. Louis Club, with whom he made a brilliant record, during the seasons of 1875 and 1876, both with the ball and the bat. The Centennial season was the last in which he played professionally, being engaged in business in St. Louis, Mo., where he has taken up his permanent residence. He has, however, occasionally played in local games during the past five seasons, and but a few weeks ago was credited with having made the most wonderful catch in the outfield ever witnessed in St. Louis. For many years Cuthbert occupied a prominent position as a player, his magnificent outfielding, safe and sure batting and fast base-running being each in turn deserving of commendation. Recalling with a friendly and cordial recollection his antics and drollery both on and off the ball-field, and the enjoyment and zeal with which he used to enter into the spirit of the game, we hope to have the pleasure of chronicling his appearance on the ball-field many seasons still to come.
My assumption has always been that Ned Cuthbert was a great baseball player but it's really difficult to quantify that. If you look at his Baseball Reference page, you'll probably come away unimpressed. But the record is incomplete. The guy played on some very good Philadelphia clubs before 1871 and that has to be taken into account. The record is also missing the years he spent with the Brown Stockings during the Interregnum. He was a field captain and manager and was good enough to play at the major league level until he was 39 years old, which says a great deal about his talent. The man played professional baseball at a very high level from 1865 to 1884 and there aren't too many people who did that.
David Nemec, writing in Major League Baseball Profiles, Volume One, doesn't seem to be a big fan:
Some historians consider [Cuthbert] the first player to employ a headfirst slide to steal a base and regard him as one of the best early-day outfielders and a particularly good judge of hard-hit balls. But the November 17, 1900, issue of TSN took exception, claiming that he "played to the grandstand," making every fielding chance look hard so as to please the crowd. Cuthbert was also accused of playing inordinately deep and purposely waiting until the last second as if he had misjudged a ball when it was hit in front of him and then, in a burst of speed, racing in and grabbing it off his shoe tops. Hot dog or not, he played past his time and in his last few seasons was almost a caricature of his former self.
Dave makes valid points. Cuthbert was probably a bit of a hot dog and certainly played past his prime but I think the idea that he was "one of the best early-day outfielders" is also fair. You can be a showboat, play too long, and still be one of the best players of your generation. None of that is mutually exclusive.
Also, note that nowhere in this post, while speaking about the greatness of Ned Cuthbert, did I say anything about him talking Von der Ahe into buying the Brown Stockings. I assume, if you've been reading me long enough, you already know how Von der Ahe got control of the club and, if you don't, stick around because I'm going to go over all of that again.
Pitcher: George W. Bradley of Philadelphia, late of the Easton club, who enters the professional arena for the first time next season. His style of pitching is a swift underhand throw, strictly legal and very difficult to hit, as is shown by his record of the season of '74...He is also a very safe batter, having averaged two base hits to a game during the last season. He is, besides a first class third base man.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 1875 Brown Stockings of St. Louis - more or less. Neither Fulmer or Barlow played for the club but they did sign Jack Chapman to split time with Waitt. George Seward and the young Pud Galvin would also see time with the Browns in 1875 but, for the most part, the Republican had the club's roster correct.
A few more things:
-I have part three of this long article from the Republican coming tomorrow, with some interesting stuff about Mase Graffen.
-I'm still working out how I'm going to do this 1875 project. I think how the Browns and Reds were put together and decided to enter the National Association are important parts of the story and I'm obviously going to cover that. I'm also going to cover all of the NA games played by the Browns and Reds, as well as go over the trouble the Reds experienced in late June/early July that led to the club not playing any more NA games. The amateur championship is important and I'll try to cover as much of the Empire Club's season as I can. Plus whatever else I find and can put together. That's a lot of stuff and this project will obviously take some time to complete. Get used to hearing about the 1875 season.
-I love the description of Tom MIller's "pluckiness." If Fire Joe Morgan had been around in 1875, they would have had fun with this. But maybe Plucky Tom Miller was the first in a long line of St. Louis ballplayers who were chock full of scrappiness.
-And, yes, I will be using "Browns" as a way to identify the Brown Stockings club. The shortened nickname was used in 1875 and it's much easier to type "Browns" than it is to type "Brown Stockings." And I will also continue to refer to the Browns' pitcher by his full name - George Washington Bradley - out of respect. And I will also continue to refer to their shortstop as Bad Dickey Pearce - because Bad Dickey is a cool nickname.
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