The Athletics, of Philadelphia, play the St. Louis Brown Stockings, in this city, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday afternoons. Joe Battin, of the old professional Browns, is playing third for the Athletics. Fulmer, Weaver, Richmond and Driscoll, ex-League players, are also with them. Levis and Morgan will play first and second for the Browns in this series of games.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 1, 1881
The Athletics of Philadelphia will reach St. Louis Saturday morning. Vigorous practice is being indulged in by the reorganized Browns that the visitors may be accorded a warm reception.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 2, 1881
To-day, to-morrow and Monday there will be an old-time base ball revival at the spacious grounds on Grand avenue. After an absence of six years the famous Athletics of Philadelphia will again present themselves before a St. Louis gathering. Their team is a very strong one, and at present is in the lead in the race for the non-league championship of the East. It includes among public favorites Joe Battin, the famous second and third baseman of the old St. Louis Browns; Charlie Fulmer, who has played short for nearly every professional team that ever existed; Weaver, of the lamented Keystones; Birchall and others. Owing to the fact that they are in perfect practice from constant play it is thought that the visitors will prove more than a match for the home club, but the latter has made several important changes that can not fail to materially strengthen its team. McCaffrey will return to first base, his old position; Levis will have charge of second, and Morgan will replace McCaffrey at center field. With the Gleason brothers, Seward, Baker, McGinnis and Magner, this will undoubtedly prove the strongest team of strictly home players that St. Louis ever placed in the field. The game this afternoon will commence promptly at 4 o’clock…
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 3, 1881
Now, about Joe Battin.
Joe Battin was a crooked ballplayer. He was a part of a culture of corruption with the Brown Stockings from 1875 through 1877. Every single year the original Brown Stockings existed, there was some rumor or talk about game-fixing. In 1877, they got caught.
On August 24, 1877, Joe Battin and Joe Blong conspired with Chicago gamblers to throw the Brown Stockings' game against Chicago. The next day they attempt to do the same but were put on notice that Brown Stocking management were aware of their activities when Mike McGeary moved Blong off the mound after suspicious activities in the second inning. The conspiracy to throw the games of August 24 and 25 did not come to light until William Spink revealed it in the Globe-Democrat on November 1, 1877, although the club was aware of what was happening before the start of the game on August 25.
While there was all kinds of weird things going on with the Brown Stockings in 1877 and Battin and Blong weren't the only crooked ballplayers to play for the club, the revelations about their game-fixing was the major blow to the club's reputation, as they were trying to reorganize for the 1878 season. Between their poor showing at the gate and the fallout from Spink's revelations about game-fixing, the Brown Stockings never recovered. Spink's piece about the crookedness of the Brown Stockings really marks the beginnings of the Interregnum. It's interesting that as that period ends, Joe Battin, who was instrumental in bringing it about, returned to town.