Base Ball Match For The Championship Between The Union And Empire Clubs Of This City - The "Union" Triumphant In The First Encounter. - Base ball is now generally conceded to be our national game, although it is of comparatively recent origin. From the infant of a few years ago it has risen to the proportions of a giant, and strides through the country gathering new followers at every point. That which in the earlier days of many of us was deemed a childish pastime has become a game that requires skill, manliness and strength.
A few gentlemen, whom we need not particularize, have within the last two or three years devoted almost their entire time and energies to the advancement of the base ball game in St. Louis, and their success has been most cheering. Numerous clubs have sprung up here, some of which might not hesitate to throw down the gauntlet to any in the Northwest.
A few weeks ago a challenge was given by the Union and accepted by the Empire Club to meet in friendly contest for the championship - the game to be two best in three. A meeting occurred last week, as our readers will remember, on the grounds of the old Veto Club, but was interrupted by the rain, and the many visitors present were deprived of the pleasure of witnessing the anticipated match. Yesterday the elements were more propitious, and the first trial was completed, resulting in an overwhelming victory for the Union Club, which, in nine innings, scored 49, while the Empire scored but 29. The almost insufferable state of the weather, and the unfortunate state of health in which two or three of the players were said to be, doubtless caused the game to be played with less brilliance than it otherwise would have been. Still, however, there were some very fine exhibitions of skill on both sides, as the score will show. There was some splendid batting by both nines, particularly the Union; while the members of the Empire seemed to be more expert in fielding. A number of plays were made by the members of either club which have rarely been surpassed.
Apparently about two thousand spectators were on the ground, including quite a large number of ladies. For the most part excellent order prevailed. Young America, as is usual on such occasions, manifested his displeasure at intervals, by hoots and groans...We learn that large sums of money changed hands among the outsiders of the issue of this contest.
-Missouri Republican, July 3, 1867
There was a time when we thought that we had game accounts/box scores from all of the Union/Empire games but then I started finding records of games from the first half of the 1860s that we didn't know about and some games from the second half of the decade that were not a part of our record. So while we once thought we knew everything there was to know about this great rivalry, the new information that has been dug up over the last few years needs to be accounted for. At this point, I have no idea what the series record ended up being and it's going to take a bit of work to figure that all out.