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قراءة كتاب A Ball Player's Career Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson

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A Ball Player's Career
Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson

A Ball Player's Career Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 7

the names of the teams winning the Professional Association championships, together with the players composing them are given:

1871. Athletic, McBride, pitcher; Malone, catcher; Fisler, Reach and Meyerle on the bases; Radcliffe, shortstop; Cuthbert, Senserderfer and Heubel in the outfield, and Bechtel and Pratt, substitutes.

1872, Boston, Spalding, pitcher; McVey, catcher; Gould, Barnes and Schafer on the bases; George Wright, shortstop; Leonard, Harry Wright and Rogers, in the outfield; and Birdsall and Ryan, substitutes.

1873. Boston, Spalding, pitcher; Jas. White, catcher; Jas. O'Rourke, Barnes and Schafer on the bases; George Wright, shortstop; Leonard, Harry Wright and Manning in the outfield; and Birdsall and Sweasey, substitutes. Addy took Manning's place in the latter part of the season.

1874. Boston, Spalding, pitcher; McVey, catcher; White, Barnes and Schafer on the bases; George Wright, shortstop; Leonard, Hall and Jas. O'Rourke in the outfield; and Harry Wright and Beal, substitutes.

1875. Boston, Spalding, pitcher; Jas. White, catcher; McVey, Barnes and Schafer on the Bases; George Wright, shortstop; Leonard, Jas. O'Rourke and Manning in the outfield, and Harry Wright and Beal, substitutes. Heifert and Latham each played first base during part of the season.

It will thus be seen that the Boston Club held the championship in those early days for four successive seasons, and playing against them as I did I can bear witness to their strength and skill as ball players.

Many of the men, who like myself were among the first to enter the professional ranks in those days, have achieved distinction in the business world, the notables among them being A. G. Spalding, now head of the largest sporting goods house in the world, with headquarters in Chicago; George Wright, who is the head of a similar establishment at Boston, and Al Reach, who is engaged in the same line of business at Philadelphia, while others, not so successful, have managed to earn a living outside of the arena, and others still, have crossed "the great divide" leaving behind them little save a memory and a name.

In those early days of the game the rules required a straight arm delivery, and the old-time pitchers found it a difficult matter to obtain speed save by means of an underhand throw or jerk of the ball. Creighton, of the Excelsiors of Brooklyn, however, with his unusually swift pitching puzzled nearly all of the opposing teams as early as 1860. Sprague developed great speed, according to the early chroniclers of the game, while with the Eckford Club of the same city in 1863, and Tom Pratt and McBride of the Athletics were also among the first of the old-time pitchers to attain speed in their delivery. About 1865, Martin pitched a slow and deceptive drop ball, it being a style of delivery peculiarly his own, and one I have never seen used by any one else, though Cunningham of Louisville uses it to a certain extent.

The greatest change ever made in the National Game was the introduction of what is known as curve pitching, followed as it was several seasons afterwards by the removal of all restrictions on the method of delivering the ball to the batter. Arthur, known under the sobriquet of "Candy," Cummings of Brooklyn is generally conceded to have been the first to introduce curve pitching, which he did about 1867 or 1868. Mount, the pitcher of the Princeton College and Avery of Yale are accredited with using the curve about 1875, but Mathews of the New York Mutuals and Nolan of the Indianapolis team were among the first of the professional pitchers, after Cummings, to become proficient in its use, which was generally adopted in 1877, and to the skill acquired by both of these men in handling of the ball I can testify by personal experience, having had to face them, bat in hand, on more than one occasion.

Many people, including prominent scientists, were for a long time loth to believe that a ball could be curved in the air, but they were soon satisfied by practical tests, publicly made, as to the truth of the matter.

With the doing away with the restrictions that governed the methods of the pitcher's delivery of the ball and the introduction of the curve the running up of large scores in the game became an impossibility, and the batsman was placed at a decided disadvantage.

Reading over the scores of some of those old-time games in the present day one becomes lost in wonder when he thinks of the amount of foot-racing, both around the bases and chasing the ball, that was indulged in by those players of a past generation. Here are some sample performances taken from a history of base-ball, compiled by Al Wright of New York and published in the Clipper Annual of 1891, which go to illustrate the point in question.

The largest number of runs ever made by a club in a game was by the Niagara Club of Buffalo, N. Y., June 8th, 1869, when they defeated the Columbias of that city by the remarkable score of 209 to 10, two of the Niagaras scoring twenty-five runs each, and the least number of runs, scored by any one batsman amounted to twenty. Fifty-eight runs were made in the eighth inning and only three hours were occupied in amassing this mammoth total. Just think of it! Such a performance as that in these days would be a sheer impossibility, and that such is the case the base-ball players should be devoutly thankful, and, mind you, this performance was made by an amateur team and not by a team of professionals.

One hundred runs and upward have been scored in a game no less than twenty-five times, the Athletics of Philadelphia accomplishing this feat nine times in 1865 and 1866, and altogether being credited with scores of 162, 131, 119, 118, 114, 114, 110, 107, 106, 104, 101, and 101. On October 20th, 1865, the Athletics defeated the Williamsport Club by 101 to 8 in the morning, and the Alerts of Danville, Pa., by 162 to 11 in the afternoon. Al Reach in these two games alone scored thirty-four runs.

It strikes me that the ball players of those days earned their salaries even if they did not get them, no matter what other folks may think about it.

In 1867, a game was played in which, the losers made 91 runs and the winning club 123, of which 51 were made in the last inning. The Chicagos defeated the Memphis team May 13th, 1870, by a score of 157 to 1, and the Forest City Club of Cleveland four days later beat a local team 132 to 1, only five innings being played. The Forest Citys made in these five innings no fewer than 101 safe hits, with a total of 180 bases, this being an unequalled record. The Unions of Morrisiania were credited with 100 safe hits in a nine-inning game in 1866.

The largest score on record by professional clubs was made by the Atlantics of Brooklyn and the Athletics of Philadelphia July 5th, 1869, when the former won by 51 to 48. Fifteen thousand people paid admission to the Capitoline Grounds, Brooklyn, where the game was played, and the Atlantics made six home runs and the Athletics three during its progress. The greatest number of runs in an inning in a first-class game was scored by the Atlantics of Brooklyn in a match with the New York Mutuals, October 16th, 1861, when they scored 26 runs in their third inning. George Wright umpired a game between amateur clubs in Washington, D. C., in 1867, in which the winners made 68 runs in an inning, the largest total ever made.

The most one-sided contest between first class clubs was that between the Mutuals and Chicagos June 14th, 1874, when the former won by 38 to 1, the Chicagos making only two safe hits. The greatest number of home runs in any one game was credited to the Athletics of Philadelphia, September 30th, 1865, when they made twenty-five against the National Club of Jersey City, Reach, Kleinfelder and Potter each having five home runs to their credit on this occasion. The same club was credited with nineteen home runs May 9th, 1866, while playing an amateur club at New Castle, Delaware. Harry Wright, while playing with the Cincinnatis against the Holt Club June 22d,