A spirited game of base ball was played yesterday on the grounds of the Baltic club, between the Peerless and the Atlantic clubs, in which the Peerless were the victors, the score being 33 to 24.
-Missouri Republican, June 6, 1870
There's nothing in the Republican regarding St. Louis clubs following the visit by the Chicagos until this squib in early June. However, Tobias does mention a few other games during that period, specifically a match between the Lone Stars and the St. Louis Club on May 1, a match between the Aetnas and the Atlantics on May 22, and a match between the Aetnas and the Unions on May 26. So we know that there was baseball being played in St. Louis during May of 1870 but, for some reason, the Republican was not covering it.
A game of base ball came off yesterday morning on the Laclede Ball Grounds, between the Commercial, Jr., and the Baltic Base Ball Clubs, which resulted in favor of the former.
According to Tobias, the Laclede Grounds were "on a lot one block north of Easton Avenue between Jefferson and Garrison."
Five days before this game was played, the Siege of Vicksburg began and Edward Bredell, co-founder of the Cyclone Club, was there, serving as aide-de-camp to Confederate General John Bowen. Also there, serving as aide-de-camp to Union General U.S. Grant, was Bredell's former club-mate, John Riggin. I have no idea if either of the two men was aware that the other was there.
A match game of base ball came off yesterday on the old Commercial grounds, between the Baltic (second nine) and the Independent Base Ball Clubs, which resulted in the defeat of the latter.
There's a lot of stuff going on here so I'm going to the bullet points.
A match game of base ball was played at Gamble Lawn, Saturday evening, between the "Baltic" and "Young Commercial" base ball clubs, which was decided in favor of the latter.
This is the first mention of the Baltic Club that I have in my notes and it must be taken as a positive sign that we have a new club in 1863. The war had really slowed the momentum of baseball's growth and evolution in St. Louis but it didn't kill the game in the city. Even at the height of the war, we still had new clubs forming. Older clubs, like the Commercials, soldiered on. Matches were being played. It was subtle but there was still some growth.
The one thing I always like to point out about this particular game is that the Battle of Chancellorsville ended three days before it was played and that Stonewall Jackson died the day after. For some reason, the juxtaposition of this game and Jackson's death put everything into context for me. It flipped a switch in my head that allowed me to look at baseball during this era in a new way. Before, the war and the baseball of the war-era were two separate things. But it was discovering things like the fact that a game in St. Louis was played the day before Jackson died or the day after Gettysburg ended and the day Vicksburg surrendered that allowed me to place St. Louis Civil War-era baseball within the context of the war itself - at least in my mind. For some reason, that just made it all very real to me and made me think about the fact that this was the world in which these people lived.
The war was the reality for our baseball players in 1863. It was a huge part of their lives and, in many ways, it defines them. I can't think of E.H. Tobias or Edward Bredell without thinking about the war. I can't think about the Cyclones or the Commercials without thinking about the war. You can't understand baseball in this era without understanding the war. And that's what this series is about. It's about 19th century St. Louis baseball in the context of the American Civil War. If you want to learn about early St. Louis baseball and understand the history of the game in St. Louis, you're going to have to learn about the Civil War. There is no other way.
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