Clipping:1858

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Clippings in 1858

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1858Clippings in 1858

Clippings in 1858 (19 entries)

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negotiating the rules

Date Saturday, July 24, 1858
Text

Alexander [NY] has no organized club; but they have a seminary, where ball-playing forms part of the institution; at least they play ever day, weather permitting, joined by as many outsiders as may desire to play, making it one of the most formidable towns in the county for the game of base-ball.  There had been an arrangement made by one of the members of Rough-and-Ready club [of Batavia, NY] to play them a game, which fell through, owing to some misunderstanding about rules.  Soon after, an article appeared in the Herald of this place [Batavia] signed “Alexander, ball-player.”  The article was answered by Excelsior club, and a committee was appointed by Alexander to meet a joint committee of the Batavia clubs, which resulted in an agreement to play two games of the suppers–the first game to be played by the rules of Rough-and-Ready club, after which we were to play their game. 

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

duties of the umpire and homerism

Date Saturday, January 2, 1858
Text

On practice days, the person who attempts the duties of umpire should give his decisions as fairly as his judgment is capable, and not allow it to be warped by ill-feeling towards any of the players.  In a match, he should pay every attention to the game.  Let him be watchful, giving his decision for his own club where there is a doubt, and abide cheerfully by that of the referee; in everything he should remember that he is chosen to represent the interests of his club as judge of the play, and that they have a right to look for the proper maintenance of such interest.  The referee is a position requiring a player thoroughly acquainted with the various points of the game–a position of honor and difficulty; many a friend has been hurt at the decision of a referee, when, so far as he could see, he was giving it rightfully.  He should have some reason for every decision, and where the point is doubtful, to give it in favor of the ball; if he makes an error in judgment, and it is too late to rectify it, he cannot cancel nor balance it by another, favoring the side that the former decision was against.  Neither umpires nor referee should enter in conversation with any party during a match, as it may lead to some unpleasant remarks among others interested.  The spectators should be kept out of the way of umpires and referee.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advice to chose the last innings

Date Saturday, January 2, 1858
Text

When a match has been agreed upon, the club having the choice of innings had better take the last; as most players are much excited and nervous, if it is their first attempt in a match, and it becomes almost impossible to bat well, until it has partially subsided.  Be sure that you commence the game in time to finish it before darkness sets in; for, if your opponents have the last inning, they may remain at the bat when it is not light enough to see the ball plainly, and having made a large number of runs for their side, will bat out–(lose the inning.)

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

assessment of the new rules; proposal for eleven on a side

Date Saturday, March 13, 1858
Text

Some of the rules [from the 1857 convention] are said to be especially unpopular with the tyros–that of giving more than one man out, if the second man is not protected back to his base.  This rule of the game has proven rather sharp practice, as the lawyers for the youngsters, and they don’t like it.  Another, which is to be taken up for discussion is, that a player can only be caught out by a fair ball on the fly.  The rule which determines the game by innings, works well, and will be retained, and a strong effort will be made to have eleven fielders on each side.  We expect that all these important questions will receive due consideration at the hands of the Second Convention of Ball-players.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

commentary on the NABBP

Date Saturday, April 3, 1858
Text

BASE BALL This invigoration pastime will soon call its votaries to the field, and in anticipation of a lively season the various clubs in this vicinity are getting themselves to readiness for the Campaign of '58.  A convention of ball players assembled here a few weeks' since, to take some action on matters connected with the game of base ball;  that convention adjourned until the 24th of March, when 22 clubs were represented.  There appears to have been some discussion concerning the junior clubs, and the proceedings were anything but harmonious.  Among other business which engaged the attention of the convention, was the report of the committee on Constitution and By-Laws.  This document proposes to call the organization “The National Association of Base Ball Players”--a misnomer, in our opinion, for the convention seems to be rather sectional and selfish in its proceedings, than otherwise, there having been no invitations sent to clubs in other States, and the Constitution permitting no one to be a member of the association who is under 21 years of age, as if our younger friends were in no wise interested in the enjoyment and furtherance of the game.  National, indeed!  Why the association is a mere local organization, bearing no State existence even—to say nothing of a National one.  The truth of the matter is—that a few individuals have wormed themselves into this convention, who have been, and are endeavoring to mould men and things to suit their own views.  If the real lovers of the beautiful and health-provoking game of base ball wish to see the sport diffuse itself over the country—as Cricket is fast doing—they must cut loose from those parties who wish to arrogate to themselves the right to act for, and dictate to all who participate in the game.  These few dictators wish to ape the New  York Yacht Club in their feelings of exclusiveness—we presume.  Let the discontented, therefore, come out from among this party, and organize an association which shall be National—not only in name—but in reality.  Let invitations be extended to base ball players everywhere to compete with them, and endeavor to make the game what it should be—a truly National one. 

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

failure to observe the thirty day rule

Date Saturday, April 3, 1858
Text

One clause of the constitution [of the NABBP] gave rise to considerable discussion, although only one gentleman–Dr. Jones–made any very strenuous objection, and finally voted against it.  The gentleman contended, that the rule requring all the players in a match to be members of the club they play with, and to have been so for thirty days previous, to be ambiguous and opn to malpractice or evasion.  He stated that the rule had often been broken or evaded during the last season–both parties consenting–for this among other reasons: players deemed necessary to the match were absent–say on both sides–and rather than lose the chance of playing the game, substitutes, not belonging to the clubs matched, would be permitted to play by courtesy.  Dr. Jones pressed his objections with much pertinency and force, as he desired to do away with the abuse which these courties, on the part of opposing clubs, lead to.  He desired to have it made a law of base-ball play, that no substitute should be allowed under any circumstances; but that, whenever a match was made between two clubs, the game should go on under the rules–and the rules receive a strict construction.

...

We are fully of opinion that when a match is made for either base-ball or cricket, it should be considered on the P.P. principle, required by the Jockey Clubs in England and the United States.  The party of base-ball or cricketers who failed to bring their regular players on the ground, should be the losers, and no substitutes should be allowed, by consent or otherwise.  Let this law be strictly enforced, and gentlemen who interest themselves in out-door sports, or who feel any esprit du corps of the clubs they are attached to, will be on the ground to take a hand in case of a deficiency or of the absence of a crack player.  Indeed, we should consider it more creditable for a club to have played a losing or an up-hill game with the loss of a crack player of this own club, than to win one with the borrowed aid of an outsider.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a prophetic statement on called strikes

Date Saturday, April 17, 1858
Text

[regarding the new rule allowing the umpire to call strikes] This rule, although, doubtless, very necessary, is yet calculated to make some troubles, and excite dispute; what one umpire may deem to be “good balls,” another may only consider “from fair to middling,” and their decisions be continually excepted to.

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting when a dead ball is live

Date Sunday, May 9, 1858
Text

[interpreting “...the players running to the bases shall return to them, and shall not be put out in so returning, unless the ball has been first pitched to the striker.”] An instance...occurred the other day during the practice of the Eagle club, in which a player was thus put out.  A ball was slightly struck, and the striker run for the first base while the player on the second base had scampered for the third.  The ball, which had dropped close to the home base was instantly picked up by Mr. Gelston, as the umpire decided it was foul, and quickly passing it to Mr. Bixby, it was as quickly returned by him over the home base, to Mr. Gelston, and by him passed down to the second base in time to head off the return of the player to the second.  It was contended, on the losing side, that the man was not legally put out, inasmuch as the ball had not been pitched by Mr. Bixby to the striker.  On the other side, it was argued that had the striker been at his place on the home base, he might have struck at the ball if he had chosen to do so, but he had no business to be off the home base after the decision of a foul ball had been rendered.  The umpire decided the point in favor of the ball.

see also NYSM 8/29/1858

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the waiting game

Date Sunday, May 9, 1858
Text

[commenting on the new rule allowing the umpire to call strikes] This last section is a very good one, and will, if strictly enforced by umpires, effect a desirable reform.  It will do away with the system very much in vogue the last two seasons, of striker refusing all balls thrown them until the second base was cleared.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

crowd control in the Massachusetts game

Date Tuesday, June 1, 1858
Text

(Winthrop of Holliston vs. Olympic of Boston 5/30/1858) About an acre of ground was surrounded by a strong rope, and policemen were stationed at regular intervals to keep back the crowd, while a few were admitted within the enclosure by tickets, and occupied a position on the western side.  

The weather was beautiful, and the crowd attracted was very large, forming a circle entirely around to the depth of seven or eight persons.

Source Boston Traveler
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a swift pitcher

Date Saturday, June 5, 1858
Text

(Clinton vs. Ashland 5/29/1858 [junior clubs]) The best players in the Clinton were Jessup, the pitcher, who pitches a pretty swift ball, but rather too high...

Source Porter's Spirit of the Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the challenged party chooses the field

Date Friday, June 25, 1858
Text

The President of the Eagle Base Ball Club of Westboro, says in reference to a former statement, that the Eagles did not challenge the Winthrop Club, of Holliston, but extend to them an invitation to meet them at Westboro as the guests of the Eagle's, and pass a few hours in the pleasant recreation of a game of base ball on Saturday 26th.  If the Winthrops had been challenged, they would have had the choice of their ground.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

history of baseball; the antiquity of the game

Date Sunday, June 27, 1858
Text

It is now only some thirteen years since the first attempt at organizing the game of base-ball was made.  The honor of being the pioneers in this movement, is due to the celebrated Knickerbocker Club, of this city, which was organized in the year 1845.  The first club which followed the good example set them, was the Washington, but the latter became divided in itself, on the formation of the Gotham Club, in 1852, and the majority of the members of the Washington joined the latter club.  The Eagle was the next organized, but we forget the year in which it was first established.  For some years these were the only clubs representing the game of base-ball, and the rules and regulations which they adopted, were regarded as the recognized authority by all other clubs established up to the year 1857.  Among those new clubs, were the Empire, established in 1854, and the Baltic, Putnam, and many others, in 1855.  The formation of so many clubs gave a vigorous impetus to the game, and in 1856, a very large number of matches were played between the various clubs which had sprung into existence.  The necessity of enlarging and revisiting the rules of the game now became obvious, to meet the requirements which fresh circumstances called into operation.   In consequence, a Convention of delegates from the various New York clubs was held in this city in May, 1857 [actually January to March]; and a second Convention, to more effectually accomplish the desired objects, was again held in the month of March, 1858.  At the former Convention, sixteen clubs were represented, and at the latter no less than twenty-five; thus showing the progress and extension of the game among Young America.  The last Convention, after assuming the title of “The National Association of Base Ball Players,” and defining their objects to be “the improvement, fostering and perpetuation of the American game of base-ball, and the cultivation of kindly feelings among the different members of the base-ball clubs,” agreed finally upon the settlement of a code of rules and regulations of the game, binding upon all clubs represented at the Convention, and now generally adopted by all base-ball clubs.

~ ~ ~

Peterboro, thirty—even fifty—years ago, was celebrated for its Base Ball playing, and wonderful stories are recounted in which the names of Rice and Wilburs, and others, shine with an enduring fame!  Yet we think the Peterboro of to-day will eclipse the splendor of that behind-the-age celebrity.

The exercise games are now governed by the Rules and Regulations adopted at the Convention of Base Ball Clubs held at the city of New York, March 10th, 1858  Oneida Sachem [date?]

Source New York Atlas
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire asking help from the players

Date Sunday, June 13, 1858
Text

(Excelsiors vs. Putnams 6/10/1858) Mr. Davis, President of the Knickerbocker, made an excellent umpire; but, if again called to act, we would wish him to reflect whether it is proper to question players to determine an “out.” 

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the distinguished reputation of the Atlantics

Date Sunday, June 20, 1858
Text

The distinguished reputation of the Atlantics is as a household word to all ball players.  During the season of last year, the club was never conquered.  All who met them yielded, save the Gotham Club, of New York, with whom they parted on equal terms.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

holding the runners

Date Sunday, June 20, 1858
Text

(Putnams vs. Atlantics 6/17/1858) We have never noticed a game in which the runners were kept so closely to the bases, and, for their capital throwing to the second base, Messrs. Boerum and Masten [the catchers] are entitled to great commendation.

...

Mr. M. O’Brien pitched finely, and permitted none of this adversaries to steal bases.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an injury leading to an amputation

Date Sunday, June 27, 1858
Text

(Eckfords vs. Putnams 6/22/1858) Mr. Brown, of the Eckford Club, broke one of his fingers in catching a ball during the seventh innings; but, so wrapped up was he in the interest of the game, that after bandaging the wound, he kept on playing till the close.  He has since had his finger amputated.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

charging admission to the Fashion Course match

Date Sunday, July 11, 1858
Text

..the committee have determined upon demanding a small entrance fee of ten cents, with an additional charge of twenty cents for single vehicles, and forty cents for double teams, for the purpose of defraying expenses.  All the surplus funds will be donated to the Fire Department Fund of the cities of New York and Brooklyn.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the crowd encroaching on the field

Date Sunday, July 11, 1858
Text

(Knickerbocker vs. Excelsior 7/8/1858) An immense crowd, completely circling the field, were present, and, as usual, were sadly in the way of the players.  Would it not be well to have a discourse preached to the thousands of curious ones, teaching that, if they have eyes, they can see as plainly, if they would stand farther off.  It is due to the Excelsiors to state that they used the most strenuous endeavors to make a fair field, but what are twenty men against thousands?

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
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