On Saturday afternoon of this week and on the Sunday following the Eckford Base Ball Club, of Chicago, will be here to play games with the St. Louis Browns, on the latter’s grounds, at the Grand Avenue Park. This is the first team that Chicago has sent this way in years and the Browns will attempt to make mince-meat of them. The Eckfords, it is said, play a good game.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 15, 1881
This goes directly to the idea that the Brown Stockings, during the Interregnum period, had difficulty scheduling out-of-town clubs. They couldn't even get a Chicago club to come to town and the White Stockings, from 1874-1878, had visited St. Louis multiple times a year while St. Louis and Chicago clubs had been playing since 1866. There are multiple reasons why the Brown Stockings had problems scheduling clubs during this period but the big one was the difficult economic conditions that the country was still struggling with in the late 1870s and early 1880s.
I'm probably going to have to talk about the Long Depression a little more as we get into this. Everything that happened with regards to St. Louis baseball from 1876 to 1882 can just about all be explained by the difficult economic conditions of the era. The Brown Stockings, in 1876 and 1877, lost money. The Interregnum Browns struggled to draw crowds and schedule clubs. Then, as the economy starts to improve, the club has a financially successful season in 1881, finds it easier to schedule, and helps to create a new major league. I don't think that the things that happened in 1881 would have happened if the economy hadn't recovered.