The St. Louis and the Chicago Browns met at the Grand avenue Park yesterday afternoon, and each tried to out-bat the other. They lost sight of everything else but this. The result was that the Chicago team got in the most hits, but the home team, while they were doing this, got in the most runs, and so won the game. Good base running and fair fielding proved too much for the visitors…
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 10, 1881
Devinney had umpired numerous Brown Stockings' games in 1877 and got caught up in the gambling scandals that erupted that year. In August of 1877, he accused George McManus, the manager of the Brown Stockings, of offering him a bribe in exchange for favorable calls. Later, Jim Devlin would testify that members of the Louisville club paid Devinney to throw games to them.
Baseball, at that time, had a serious problem with corruption. Players, managers, and umpires were all colluding to throw games and the integrity of the game was in question. I think a lot of baseball fans knew what was going on. I don't think any of this came as a huge surprise to people who followed the game and I think the game was being harmed by this corruption. I don't think it's a coincidence that baseball suffered through some rather difficult economic times in the late 1870s, when all of this was going on.
Devinney was a part of that corrupt system. He had no business umpiring baseball games in 1881. Everybody knew what he was and what he had done. He should have been shunned but here he was in 1881, umpiring games again for the Brown Stockings.