The largest gathering of the season, estimated at fully 6,000 people, witnessed the second ball game of the series between the Athletics, of Philadelphia, and the St. Louis Brown Stockings, at the Grand Avenue Park yesterday afternoon. As usual, the police arrangements were entirely inadequate to the occasion, and the spectators throughout the afternoon were permitted to trespass upon the territory of the players to a degree by no means warranted. Encroaching on the ball field, the crowd obstructed the view of those in the stands and annoyed the players greatly. This must be remedied at once, or the association will be deprived of the bulk of the patronage that has been so generously bestowed thus far this season. The press stand, too, should be closed in from the general public and only legitimate members of the press and their invited guests be permitted to occupy it. Stockholders should find quarters elsewhere. The result of yesterday’s game showed plainly of what metal the Browns are made. When the ninth inning opened they were in a very tight hole-a hole from which probably no other club in the country could have extricated itself. The boys, however, earned runs enough to win and left the field without the loss of a life in the final inning. Peters, late of the Buffalo Club, played second for the home team and contributed his full share to its victory. The team presented yesterday is without doubt the strongest the Browns ever placed in the field. Their carelessness at the bat until the last inning very nearly cost them the ball, but all was atoned for by the plucky rally at the end.
Having won the toss the Browns took their places in the field, and at 3 precisely Phillips stepped to the plate and opened the game for the visitors with a corking hit to left field that looked as if it was good for three bases, but magnificent handling of the ball by Magner and Gleason brothers retired the striker at the plate. Both sides were then disposed of easily. In their half of the second inning the visitors assumed what appeared to be a winning lead. O’Brien opened with a base hit, and he and Fulmer scored unearned runs on errors at short and center, a wild pitch, and Battin’s base hit. The Browns got hunk in the third inning. Morgan led off with a swipe to the center field fence for three bases and tallied an earned run on a sacrifice hit to right short by Peters. Johnny reached second on O’Brien’s muff, and crossed the plate on a throw to third which Battin failed to get hold of. In this inning Baker gained a loud round of applause for a superb catch of a foul fly. The Athletics, nothing daunted, went into their fourth inning with a will, and at its close were again in the van by a score of 4 to 2. O’Brien led off with the luckiest kind of a safe hit, and on Baker’s throw to head him off at second, went all the way home, Morgan contributing to the mischief by a bad throw in. Battin also hit safe to right, and as the ball got by Seward the striker went to third, subsequently tallying on a passed ball. Both teams drew blanks in the fifth inning, Peters being left at third base which he had reached on Fulmer’s wild throw to first. In the sixth inning O’Brien, Fulmer and Stricker all reached first on little flies between the in and out fields, and just out of reach of their opponents. Loose fielding permitted all three to score. The Browns also scored two runs in this inning and the fast waning hopes of their admirers were partially revived. From that time on the Athletics were blanked and there was nothing of moment to chronicle until the last half of the ninth inning was opened. The Browns had made but five hits during the game for the reason that Morris persisted in pitching anywhere except over the plate, and was permitted to do so by the umpire, who favored the visitors in all close points from the time the first ball was pitched until the close of the contest. Morgan
Led The Forlorn Hope
of the home team. The best bats men in the nine were behind him, and the friends of the club felt that if he would only lead off with a good hit that the day would be saved. Dan was equal to the emergency. Finding a ball to suit him he drove it like a shot to right field. Fusselbach, in his anxiety to do good work at this critical juncture, fell and hurt himself so badly that he had to be carried from the field. Morgan reached second on the hit. Peters then drove a beauty to left field, advancing Morgan a base and taking first himself. He promptly stole second. With men on second and third bases and the Gleason brothers to follow it was dollars to doughnuts that the game would be plucked from the fire. Owing to over-confidence neither had made a base hit during the game, and their friends knew that they were due. Jack sent the first ball pitched to the extreme limits of left field. Morgan and Peters cantered across the home-plate with earned runs; the striker reached third easily, and the crowd arose en masse to cheer him. Billy Gleason determined that such a chance to win the game should not be thrown away. He drove the sphere fiercely to right field, and Jack ran home with the third earned run. The game was thus tied. Defeat had been averted, but having donned their batting attire the boys made up their minds that victory should be theirs. McCaffrey, the next striker, made up for his previous short-comings at the bat by sending a safe liner to right, taking first and advancing Gleason to second. Billy’s brilliant base running a moment afterwards placed the result beyond doubt. Seward, the lucky, was the next man to face Morris. Billy Gleason was taking his usual generous allowance of ground at second with impunity, and when Seward hit to Fulmer, at short, Billy was so near third that the Athletic captain could not play for the force out at that point, the risk being too great. He then, as the best way out of the dilemma that Gleason’s base-running had placed him in, threw well to Stricker at second. The ball bounded from that player’s hands, and, profiting by his opportunity, instantly Gleason ran from third home with the speed of a deer. As he crossed the plate with the winning run the excitement was intense and the cheering deafening. The Brown Stocking players were followed to their dressing rooms by a large number of their admirers and warmly congratulated…
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 5, 1881
Another big Sunday crowd and the folks got themselves a good game. I really like the description of the behavior of the crowd or, rather, the complaints about their behavior. I think everyone knows what it's like to be part of a huge, rowdy crowd - either at a game or a concert or something like that - where the excitement is electric and a real, physical thing. Based on the descriptions from the game account, that's what it sounds like happened here. A big game, a big crowd, the lager beer flowing, and the home team coming back in the ninth from four runs down. Sounds like a fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
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