1879-87 Chicago White Stockings: Hall of Fame Library Notes
Several years ago, I did a fair amount of research on the 1879-87 Chicago White Stockings, focusing on Cap Anson. I lucked into a few days at the Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, so I dug through several player files.
After the jump, find my notes from those files. Passages are almost always verbatim; my personal commentary is indicated by square brackets. These are exactly as I typed them, which means there are plenty of abbreviations (I hope you can make sense of them; most of them refer to names), and there are even more typos. Sorry about that.
Since I’ve abandoned my 19th-century baseball research, I hope this can be useful to someone. See also my file of 1879 White Stockings box scores.
HOF Player Files, Anson-Goldsmith
4-11-1970: letter from Jack Corbett says he played on Anson’s Colts in 1907 in the Outlaw League, and remembers playing black teams, including Leland Giants, which then featured Bobby Winston and Willie Wells.
Anson made $2.5k in 1884
books noted in bball index entry included in the player file:
Stories of the Baseball Field, by Harry Palmer
Anson to Zuber: Iowa Boys in the Major Leagues
Billy Sunday: His Tabernacles and Sawdust Trails, TT Frankenberg
Billy Sunday and the Redemption of Urban America. Lyle W Dorsett
Billy Sunday. William T. Ellis
Nawrocki, Tom. "Captain Anson's Platoon" Nat'l Pastime, 1995 (vol 15), p.34
Mandigo, John H. "The Nat'l Game," CHAUTAUQUAN, July 1892 (vol. 15, #4), p 410
Van Bolt, Roger. "CA's First Pro. BB Contract." J. of IL STATE HIST. SOC, Aut. '52 (v45, n3) p.262
Richardson, Hardie. "BB in the Old Days; Eccentric Pop A" BASEBALL MAG, july '11 (v7n3) p71
MARK BALDWIN FILE
4-2-14 (by John H. Gruber)
While with the Duluth team [in 86] Baldwin made a great strikout record. In a game against the St. Paul team, on June 18, 1886, he struck out 18 of the Saints, compelling 12 to fan in succesion. The St. Paul pitcher was OK Fitzsimons, who struck out 12 of the Duluth batsmen, making a grand total of 30 strikouts int eh game.
a “thirty-thirder” at Harry Murray’s base ball headquarters says of B:
“If ever a ball player threw away a career Baldwin fills the bill. When Anson picked him out of the NW League he was young, strong and of good habits. There were only two other pitchers int eh country who could give handsome Mark points on speed, and thy were Rusie and Crane. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Crane’s tragic end is not mopre or less responsible for Baldwin’s present course. However, as I was saying ‘Baldy’ had great prospects at Chicago, as old man Anson was rather partial to him, but finally the player got stuck on his shape as much as the dozens of love-lorn girls, who overwhelmed him with passionate notes, and poetry hot enough to heat a big apartment house in zero weather and no end of gifts. Then ‘Anse’ took Mark by the slack of his trousers, figuratively speaking, and threw him overboard.”
ROSS BARNES FILE
note that he was dominant up to 1876, even aside from fair-foul rule–led league in non-single categories. “dusty statistical oddity.” – Bickel, Bob. 11/2/1987
clipping bylined Bozeman Bulger
[RB] stuck to [the boston club] until the position of second base had become a definite art. Before then the players would alternate in different positions as they took a notion. A man who played on position well was supposed to be able to play any other position well. Until Barnes, Al REach and George Wright began to make a deep study of the infield defense the average fan did not know there was any difference in the manner of playing second base and shortstop. Neither did most of the ballplayers.
[identified as first dude to play off the bag at second
Finding it impossible to hit the pitcher, Barnes was among the first to discover that a skillful batsman could wear him down by hitting foul balls purposely. They put no penalty on the batter. By constant practice Barnes got to where he could foula ball whenever he wanted to. Often he would foul off twelve or fifteen in a single time at bat. This would be very tiring on the fans of today as well as the pitcher, but back in the seventies that was considered a very smart trick.
1911 Sam Crane series
Spalding pronounced Barnes the best 2nd baseman, most seem to agree. [tho who competes?
G.Wright: "The best man I ever played alongside of. He was a wonder."
Will Hans Be Remembered?
Ross Barnes forty years ago, was great as Cobb or Wagner. On the returns, the records of the games, Barnes looms up like a batting marvel--yet, had scores bene kept then as now, he would have seeemed incomparably marvelous, attaining a standard that, perchance, may stand unequaled for all time. ... That old boy surely was some walloper--and yet, when he went ou tthe other day he was given less attention than would be acorded the jumping of a third-rater to or from the Federal League!
Clipper (end of 78 season?)
[names him best 2nd baseman after '77 season
...is not on e of the class of chance hitters who, when they go to th ebat, simply go in to hit the ball as hard as they can, without the slightest idea as to where it is going; but he studies up the position, and makes his hits according to circumstances. He was among the first to practically introduce the now well-known "sacrifice hits," which were written up in baseball books of 1869-1870. In fact, as "a scientific batsman"--one who goes into place a ball advantageously--we never saw Barnes's superior. In 1875 he capped the climax in this respect--some of the games we saw him play in in that season being model displays of his batting skill. But it was in his fielding that he excelled.
His sickness in 1877 interfered with his record; but in 1878 he rallied with excellent effect, and no doubt the coming season will see him reach his old high average, both in the field and at the bat. In 1876 and 1877 he was a member of the Chicag Club, and last season played with the Tecumseh of London, Canada, with whom he had the best fielding record at second base...
Infielder Tom Burns of the Chicago Cubs connected for a home urna nd two doubles during the seventh inning on Sept. 6, 1883.
12-30-05 "Tribute From anson"
Anson: "The truth about King Kel is that he was beginning to go back. He liked the popularity that was acorded to him--the greatest flattery than any base ball man ever received--and began to run a pretty swift pace. The management of the club in 1887 digested Boston's offer of $5,000 for Kelly. ...We figured that Kelly with another club would be as good a drawing as with us and that $10,000 for a player who was likely to retrograde was a good business deal. We had just won pennants and had to figure on getting new blood. The judgment of the management was good.
"Now as to the sale of Clarkson, there are things that no man may discuss. They are sacred. I would not assume to hit poor John a slap in this his hour of mental darkness. Simply let it suffice that John informed the Chicago Club that he would not pitch ball for the club another day. It was his wish that he be given his release or be sold. Boston was a ready market.
"I will not say that I was responsible for getting Calrkson for Chciago, but I had a hand in it. He was twirling for Grand Rapids, when we went over and tried to bat his curves. He had everything tha ta heady pitcher needed and with apologies to "Spitball" Chesbro and all the others who have descanted upon the mysterious deliveries, Calrkon's drop ball was everything that these latter-day twirlers have had the nerve to call the spit ball. He had an overhand lift ball that seemed to carry along on the air. I've seen the good batters look foolish hitting under it. Detroit players in particular used to think he was a wizard with that ball.
"There was a coordination of mind and muscle, as the foot ball writers say, in Clarkson that helped his delivery. He was like Carlk Griffith-more likelyt o win a game on headwork than on armwork. He changed his pace and had a fast motion for a tantalizingly slow ball that kept the big fellows breaking their backs reaching for the sphere. And another thing--Clarkson did not waste his time changing pace with a poor hitter. He studied the players and knew the poor hitters could not be depended upon very often to make trouble. He fed them the kind they alawys bit on and successfully.
"Many a time he showed up the anxious batters with his wide outcurve, that was almost as good as Rusie's. Clarkson had everything that the mighty Amos had and was just a little short of the big pitcher in his execution.
"When Jim McCormick was with Chicago, he was not at his best. Cleveland had him when he was finest and I would class Clarkson with him. Radbourne, Tim Keefe, Ferguson--ah, why run over the list of the old boys so familiar to 'Your Uncle?'/ Calrkson was the peer of any of them.
A young lady who saw John T. Clarkson pitch for the first time made a remark describing his peculiar overhand delivery. "Why, look at that man!" she exclaimed. "He throws just like a woman. I think women could beat men all to piece if they only tried to play." The great hurler of olden days had a very picturewsque and attractive delivery. He, with Will Terry and Tony Mullane were the most gradceful figures in pitchin gpositions the game ever had.
[prob. Cinci Enq. 2-5-09
Pfeffer: "JC never had a superior as a pitcher and never will." "the Rube Waddells, the Mordecai Browns, the Ed Walshs and Mathewsons may come and go, and they may tie old John, but none of them will ever stand as his superior. I have stood behind him day in and day out and watched his magnificent control, and confident of success, especially in tight places, as I would have been with the US army behind me. That was Calrkson's long suit. He was master of control. I believe he could put a ball where he wanted it nine times out of ten. He had everything any pitcher ever had as well. His speed was something terrific, and he could throw any curve. However, his favorite ball was a drop somethin glike the psit ball of today, although the delivered it without the ointment necessary nowadays. You must remember that in his day he had to face tha twonderful bunch of htiters of the old Detroit team, when Brouthers, Thompson, Rowe, Ed Hanlon, Hardy Richardson, Jim White and George Wood were the sluggers of the world. C was their hoodoo. They seldom evere won a game from him. If I remember rightly John di dnot lose more than two or three games in all that he pitched against Detroit. Al the fans remember tha C was one end of the famous 10k battery in whcih Mike Kelly was the other end, when Chicago sold them to Boston. At that time the whole world marveled at the enormous sum, but if they were in thei prime to-day an offer of 10k would be laughed at. I venture to say that 50k would not buy such a battery to-day.
Waterville Times, Oct. 29, 1886
When John takes his position he plants his feet in either corner of the pitcher's box, grabs the ball with both ahnds close of to his breast, turns his left elbow up so the sun can play tag in its dimples, slides his foot across the box, runs to the limit, brings his brawny arm back with a jerk, and the ball goes curling over the plate and swinging along the back stretch unilt it cracks a board in teh grand stand or puts a new knuckle in Silver Flint's finger. Clarkson sends in a pepery ball, and since Flint has been C's target his fingers have developed more joints and knowts than were ever dreamed of in his phiolosophy ...
Lee Allen, 4-6-63 (maybe cited elsewhere in my notes?)
Anson: "C was one of the greatest pitchers of all time, certainly the best Chicago ever had. Many regard him as the greatest, but not many know of his peculiar temperament and the amount of ecouragement needed to keep him going. Scold him, find fault with him and he could not pitch at all. Praise him and he was unbeatable. In knowing exactly what kind of ball a batter could not hit and in his ability to serve up just that kind of a ball, I don't hink I have ever seen the equal of C."
unid. [79, pre-august]
He has wonderful speed for his strength, and with it a troublesome curve. He also has more than ordinary command of the ball in delivery for so swift a pitcher. He is a good “headwork” play in teh postiion, and with such a catcher as Snyder of Flint, able to support his great pace, it would be difficult to get a base-hit from his pitching. He is reticent in his work, a plucky fielder, has plenty of endurance, and is to be relied upon for faitfulness in his position.
…he held his own as a batter, and his work as a twirler was of the first order. He was ambidextrous. His left ahnd had the same cunning in ball curving almost that his right possessed.
Larry Corcoran, fo ryears the main pitcher of the Chicago Club, ahs been released at his urgent request and has gone to his home at Newark, NJ, with the hope of building himself up again. It is said that his arm is so sore that there is no possibility of his pitching again this year. It is said the Larry was used very meanly by the club he ahs served so well, and that during June and July while he was under a doctor’s care his pay was stopped. The commend upon this in base ball circles is not flattering ot the management of the Chicago Club.
Bio Dic. of Am. Sports: Baseball, ed. Porter, D. art. by Suehsdorf
During a 1884 game with Bufrfalo, Corcoran tried to relieve the pain of an inflamed right indiex finger by pitching alternately with his right and left hands. After being hit hard for four innings, he was removed from teh box. He was sent to shoirtstop, where he played the remainder of the game, and made three hits, including two triplpes. Eleven days later, the sufficiently recovered Corcoran blanked Providence for his third no-hitter.
When, in 1887, Dalrymple went to Pittsburgh, Gore to the Giants and Kelly to Boston, life never seemed the same to the old crowd of rooters at Harrison and Loomis streets in Chicago.
A sum said to be $2,500, which was extremely high for those days, was paid for Dalrymple by A.G. S to the Milwaukee club.
9-12-1964 (probably TSN)
On July 3, 1883, as Chicago was swamping Buffalo, 31-7, Caub Manager Pop Anson and outfielder Abner Dalrymple each whatcked four doubles among their five hits that day. [Mays and Spencer also did it 6-13-58]
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 9-23-28
Dal: “As far as I know I was the highest priced player on Anson’s tema back in 1879. My salary was $300 a month. However, there was a stiuplation in the contract which provided that in case of a sale to another lcub I was to receive a bonus. This ultimatley brought my salary to about $333 a month.”
“Talking about umpires’ decisions, I believe that few baseball players ever performed as I did to win a game for my team. Itw as late in the season of 1880. The Whtie Stockers’ opponent at Chicago was the Buffalo team, then a member of the National League. The ball aprk was out on the lake front. I was in my usual position in left field.
“Came on the ninth inning, Bufalo had three men on and two out. Ezra Sutton, Buffalo third baseman, was at bat. He caught the ball a furious wallop and it sailed directly twoard me in left field. I had in the blouse of my uniform an extra ball which i had kept there for emergency. A smoky haze had settled over the field. The ball soared as it neared me vback almost against the fence. I seized the concealed ball, stretched by hand upward, and leaped, and came down with teh ball in my hand. The umpire called the Buffalo side out.
“The game ended with victory for the Chicago WS. Just afte rthat game a small boy came in tot he Chciago players clubhouse and asked Pop A if he might have the ball which I had cuaght in that spectacular play. Anson smiled and answered, ‘Boy, that ball that Dal caught is probably going yet.’
“Some one might say now that kind of baseball was unfair, but baseball had its tricks in those days and I believe now that everybody on teh Chicago team would have done the same thing with the posible sxception of Billy Sunday, who even in those days was somewhat of an evangelist.
[Ed. Cuthbert says:] “Flint was the greatest worker behind the bat I ever saw, and perhaps the greatest catcher. It hink he ranked ahead of Buck Ewing, comparing them both in their prime. After Flint comes Clements as my ideal of a catcher.
“I believe that the old-time players were less afflicated with the exaggerated top-piece than players of to-day. Take Buck Ewing for instance. Why, they tell me he won’t speak to a ball player on the street, so popular is he with himself!
“Ewing never saw the day he could catch with Flint. In these days of the game the players have more of a chance to do looking-glass or shape-playing, and when Silver was at his best he had to work.
“While I like to see intelligence among ball players, I am not a bit struck on the calcium-light methods of some very prominent players, who, I am told, affect embossed slippers, bathing gowns, novels and cigarettes and belong to that faction of ball players that may be termed the order of condescensionists.”
At Flint’s requeswt the last services were rendered by the retired player evangelist, Billy Sunday. His remarks were very impressive, and during the discourse Captain Anson wept like a child.
No man, living or dead, eveyr caught as many first-class pitchers as “Old Silver.” Many of them were novices when his coachin gbrought them to the front. …[McCormick] never tired of singing of Flint as the best pitcher-developer in the country.
The Hoosiers turned out to be one of the finest fielding agregations in the country. Orator Schafer was throwing men out at first from right field in every game. Ed Williamson at short, Warner at third and Joe Quest at second were covering an immense amount of ground.
Captain Anson was not slow to see the extraordinary good qualities shown by some of these men, and by offering good salaries induced Flint, Williamson and Quest to sign with teh Chicagos in the fall of 1878.
In 1880 he caught in all but two games for the champion Chicagos, handling the fast pitching of Larry Corocran and the slow twisters of Fred Goldsmith. This was the first time in the history of the game that pitchers were worked alternately, Capt. Anson trying the change to good advantage. Frank Flint was a wonder. When pitchers fired their cannonlike shots from a distance of forty-five feet after taking a swing, two steps and a jump, he stood his ground day in and day out, never complaining of sore hands or lame arms, always willing and ready to help his team to victory and retiring from teh field with every fellow player having a kind word for him.
-Instances of Flint’s methods-
Whenever Captain A secured a new pitcher he turned him over to F, who was the tutor and at the same time A’s adviser in selecting twirlers. In nine cases out of ten the pitchers that A assigned to F were lusty young fellows with more strength than accuracy. The veteran would take them down to the corner of the park, and with bare hands stop the balls as fast as they were thrown. It was his policy to make the “young blood” think they were pitching very slow balls until they became tired. Then he would don gloves and begin to do coaching. However, he would never give any advice to a “colt” until he was sure he was tired otu and convinced that hwe was not a “cyclone.” On one ocasion A secured a man who afterward developed into a phenomenal pitcher. As was customary he was turned over to Flint, who request him to be at the park at ten o’clock the next morning to get pointers. The young man was on deck promptly at the hour apoint, as was also Ed Williamson and Tommy Burns, who had heard that A’s acquisition was a wonder, and as they afterward expressed themselves, “We just went out to see Flint put a crimp in him.”
The pair began doing business. At first hte delivery was only ordinary and Flint handled the drops and shoots as if a ten=year-old boy was throwing the ball. When the future great pitcher warmed up the ball began coming in very hot and it seemed as if the young fellow would never let up. F was getting the worst of it, but dared not squeal. Williamson and B urged the “colt’ on, and when the “old hoss” declared it was time fror lunch his hands were swelled to twice their normal size. They went through the same perfomrance during the next two days, and the fourth day, when the youngster began to play out, F had nerve enough to tell him that he arm was not very strong and began giving him tips on how to pitch to the sluggers of the League.
Larry Corc and F worked together better than any other battery in teh business. Apparently they did not signal each other, and A and the others members of the team were a long time in finding out how they changed curves so systematically. The secret leaked out on day when L refused to go in the box until he had been provided with chewing tobacco. C was an extremely cautious fellow, and invariably had a mouthful of tobacco, which he manipulated a la Halsted street. He shifted his cud from one [...] The Scheme worked to a charm … many an old-timer has gone to bat … C with the thought that as the latter did not make any motion to F he could fioil the “old hoss” in his efforts to get his fingers, which had the appearance of a hat-rack, abou tthe third strike.
No man who stood behind a bat ever boasted a more unshapely pair of hands than “Silver.” In that connection the Boston Post tells the following story:
“Charles Seymour, the newspaper man, used to tell a story about Flint and ex-President Cleveland. When the Chicago Ball Club called on Cleveland in Washington each member, of course, shok hands with the President. When the President’s hand was released by “Old Silver” the President was seen to quickly thrust it into the pocket of his coat. Then he felt about in his pocket a bit, took his hand out and looked at it with some surprise, remarking:–’Oh, I beg pardon; I thought you had given me a a handful of walnuts.’”
And here is another good one:–in a railway wreck in teh Sotuh Silver was stunned by the collision,a nd was thrown among the dead and dying at the side of the road-bed. He was just regaining consciousness when a surgeon began an examination of him. The gnarled fingers of the old catcher attracted the surgeon’s attention and he started to place the fingers in splints. He had suceedede in getting on finger bound securely between splints when Silver asked:-”What the devil are you doing?”
“Mending your broken fingers,” replied the surgeon. Flint laughed and said:-”Doc, you are wasting time. I am the catcher of the Chicago Base Ball Club.”
NY Clipper, 7-5-79, p115
[correspondent:] Just as the game was about to commence [6-26 in Indianapolis against the Cincis] a constable appeared ont eh grounds and served a capias for Shaffer and Flint, who, while playing in the local nine, incurred sundry pecuniary obligatios which remained unpaid. The constable claims that he was obstructed in the performance of his duty by Bob Smith, who was managing the clubs on this occasion, and the oily tongue of Captain A. At any rate, he didn’t get his men. After the game F and S secreted themselves in a hack, and were hurriedly transported to an out-of-the-way place from which to board the train leaving at 5:45PM for Cincinnati. The remainder of the club went to the depot, as also did the constable. Not finding his men, the latter questioned A concerned them, who used profane language to the minion of the law, for which he was unceremoniously hurried off to the station-house., several policemen participating. In the meantime the train had gone with teh remainder of th eclub, including F and S. A put up $30 for his appearance on June 27 on a charge of profanity, and went ot a hotel, where he waws shortly afterwards again arrested–this tiem for resisting an officer. A Justice promptly assesed him $16.20. As A’s presence in Cinci was imperatively necessary , he forfeited his ball in the first gcase. Whenver a fee is in sight, Indianapolis officers are very prompt in asserting the enforcing the majresty of the law. But the end is not yet. Hearing that the Chicago Club would pass through tere at 11 o’clock on Jun 27 on its return home, a special detail fo twnety deputy constables assembled at the Union Depot to capture Flint and Shaffer. The train was raided, the gentlmen sought could not be found, but little Joe Quest was captured. The bill of a creditor for $55 was presented, which Mr. Hulbert, presdient of the club, paid, and Quest was released. The action of Treat, Quest’s creditor, is severely criticsed, inasmuch as he was a stockohlder of the Indy club of last year, which is still indebted toits players in a considerable amount. F and S were on the train, stowed away under the adipose form of a friend in need.
Such a thing as a curve ball was unknown then, and even as late as 1877, professors in physics were disputing over whether a curve could be thrown, until a demonstration convinced them. Goldsmith was asked by Avery if he could do it again.
Goldsmith has in his possession a weather-worn clipping from the Brooklyn EAgle of Aug 17, 1870, written by Henry Chadwic k, acknowledged historian of the early days of the game, which reads as follows:
“Fred Goldsmith has won fame by developing a ball that twisted, proving to countless skeptics that a sphere could cheat natural laws. &c
[played for tecumsehs of london, ontario, won three pennants as only pitcher from 76-78, caught attention of Anson through games against WS
[FG considered Radbourne best pitcher, Anson top manager and A high among batters too. Thought Anson could best be dealt with by avoiding fastballs. Then again, says I, Freddy wasn't known for his fastball.
[Gol & Dal] were brought together by RE Anderson, a neighbor of Godlsmith in Birmingham. [50 years after they last saw each other when G went off to Baltimore] Both had plenty to “gas” about, but their talk centered chiefly on the four years they were together on that famous club. Dalrymple, 76, sparse of hair, but still fiery, was a husky 18-year-old when he went ot the WS in the fall of 78. As a member of the Milwaukee club he had just won the league batting championship with an average of 378. It was two years later than G , then 25, was signed by A and brought up from Troy.
They recalled how Pop Anson one year had offered to bet the boy $100 he wouldn’t strike out twice in the season–and lost the bet by one strike-out. The call Frank (Silver) F the greatest catcher ever lived and they talked of F Pf, who went back after drives and whipped the ball back-handed to first, played with a clover in his mouth and always put a puebble under second base for luck; of Mike Kelly, who, G said, did everything Ty Cobb could do on the bases; of 120-pd L Corc, who, they asserted, had more speed than Walter Johnson; of C A, Old Saparella Gore, Tommy Burns and others, and of how they sported Pirnce Alberts, silk toppers and canes, bought for them by W.A. Hurlburt, president of the club, when they won the championship.
It was a great reunion, even if they did have to wait 50 years.
The msot remarkable exhibition of his skill was given on July 9, 1877, when he pitched in the eighteen-inning Tecumseh-Buckeye game at Columbus, O., and then the contest was declared a draw on account of darkness, with the score a tie, but on erun and six base-hits being made off him. He signed with the Springfields of Springfield, Mss., for 1879, alternating with Corcoran as pitcher until they disbanded, in the latter part of August, when he joined the Troys, and finished the League championship season with them. The Chicago Club engaged G for the present season as one of their pitchers, alternating in that position with C, as he did the previous year. As a pitcher he has probably no superior in the country, ranking with the best for command of the ball and speed of delivery. [speed! silly stereotypes
HOF Player Files, Gore-Williamson
NY Tribune, 9-17-33
It was on the advice of Jim Mutrie, infielder, who later became manager of the Giants, that Gore went with the Chicago team in 1879, though Mutire’s advice was simply to play ball under Pop Anson if he had the chance, “even if they only offer you a ham sandwich twice a week.” He was offered $1,200 for a season. He demanded $2,500, and a compromise finally was effected at $1,900.
Leslie’s Weekly, 7-22-15
The record for the greatest number of stolen b ases ina game was made by George F. Gore, in a contest between the Chicago and Porivdence teams on June 25, 1881.
Gore made a great outfielder of Mike Kelly, who in his day was rated as the Ty Cobb of the National League.
Back in 1880 Kelly was a member of the Cincinnati team and Gore was playing centrefield for the Chicago Cubs. At that time the late AG Spalding was managing the Chicago Club. On eafternoon Spalding went to Gore and said:
“George, the Cin. Club wants to sell K to me. I don’t think he can make good, because he cannot judge fly balls.”
“Kelly is a natural born batter,” said Gore, “and if you get him and place him next to me I’ll make a ballplayer out of him.”
“Well, Kelly joined the Chicago team and I coached him every day in judging long flies,” said Gore recently. “Mike didn’t need many lessons, and as everybody knows, Kelly turned out to be one of the greatest outfielders in the country.”
The air of injured innocence that Kel would put on in such squabbles was worth the price of admission, alone.
Frank H, whose portrait is here given, was born about twnety-five years ago in this city. His ball-playing career commenced in 1875 as the third-baseman and change-pitcher of teh Alaska Club. He played with that well-known organization of his native city for three seasons, atteining an extended reputation for his fine fielding at third-base, and being chosen to fill tha tposition in the two contests between representative nines of the dsemi-professional and amateur clubs of New York and Brooklyn in 1876. He finished the season of 1877 with the semi-professional club of Wilkesbarre, PA, leading both it batting and fielding in the thirty-five games he took part in. His professional career, however, may be said to have been commenced in 1878, when he played third-base for the Chicago Club. He remained with teh Chicagos during 1879 and as an outfielder, alternating with Larkin in teh pitcher’s positoin. H’s next engagement was with the Cleveland Club in 1880, when he reappeared in his old place at third-base. H played in 1881 with the representative professional club of Troy, NY, ranking second that season in teh League fielding averages in his home position. Last season he covered third-base for the Metropolitans of this city and amply demonstrated to the many patrons of the Polo Grounds that he had but few equals and no superior in that difficult position. H, who has been engaged for 1883 by the new League club of this city, has earned an admirable record during his brief but brilliant professional career.
Anson says: “Get along without anybody who don’t want to stay with us. If there is anyone else dissatisfied, let him go, too. I tell you, gentlemen, the Chciago Club without Mike Kelly, is stronger than it ever was before. Yes, I admit, he is the best individual player for all around work, but we don’t need all around work this year. We’ve got specialist. Oh, well, you may howl, but I tell you we’ll be around next fall, as usual, when the pennant is given out.” George Slosson, with whom Anson was playing billiards said:”Anson may shout as loud as he pleases: sthe Chciagos have lost their best playing card.” This adds the dispatch, is the general sentiment.
interview with widow: New Brusnwick Home News on August 18, 1935.
[doesn't Appel think that Mrs. K just disappeared?
12-30-05 “Tribute From anson”
Anson: “The truth about King Kel is that he was beginning to go back. He liked the popularity that was acorded to him–the greatest flattery than any base ball man ever received–and began to run a pretty swift pace. The management of the club in 1887 digested Boston’s offer of $5,000 for Kelly. …We figured that Kelly with another club would be as good a drawing as with us and that $10,000 for a player who was likely to retrograde was a good business deal. We had just won pennants and had to figure on getting new blood. The judgment of the management was good.
“Now as to the sale of Clarkson, there are things that no man may discuss. They are sacred. I would not assume to hit poor John a slap in this his hour of mental darkness. Simply let it suffice that John informed the Chicago Club that he would not pitch ball for the club another day. It was his wish that he be given his release or be sold. Boston was a ready market.
“I will not say that I was responsible for getting Calrkson for Chciago, but I had a hand in it. He was twirling for Grand Rapids, when we went over and tried to bat his curves. He had everything tha ta heady pitcher needed and with apologies to “Spitball” Chesbro and all the others who have descanted upon the mysterious deliveries, Calrkon’s drop ball was everything that these latter-day twirlers have had the nerve to call the spit ball. He had an overhand lift ball that seemed to carry along on the air. I’ve seen the good batters look foolish hitting under it. Detroit players in particular used to think he was a wizard with that ball.
“There was a coordination of mind and muscle, as the foot ball writers say, in Clarkson that helped his delivery. He was like Carlk Griffith-more likelyt o win a game on headwork than on armwork. He changed his pace and had a fast motion for a tantalizingly slow ball that kept the big fellows breaking their backs reaching for the sphere. And another thing–Clarkson did not waste his time changing pace with a poor hitter. He studied the players and knew the poor hitters could not be depended upon very often to make trouble. He fed them the kind they alawys bit on and successfully.
“Many a time he showed up the anxious batters with his wide outcurve, that was almost as good as Rusie’s. Clarkson had everything that the mighty Amos had and was just a little short of the big pitcher in his execution.
“When Jim McCormick was with Chicago, he was not at his best. Cleveland had him when he was finest and I would class Clarkson with him. Radbourne, Tim Keefe, Ferguson–ah, why run over the list of the old boys so familiar to ‘Your Uncle?’/ Calrkson was the peer of any of them.
A young lady who saw John T. Clarkson pitch for the first time made a remark describing his peculiar overhand delivery. “Why, look at that man!” she exclaimed. “He throws just like a woman. I think women could beat men all to piece if they only tried to play.” The great hurler of olden days had a very picturewsque and attractive delivery. He, with Will Terry and Tony Mullane were the most gradceful figures in pitchin gpositions the game ever had.
[prob. Cinci Enq. 2-5-09
Pfeffer: “JC never had a superior as a pitcher and never will.” “the Rube Waddells, the Mordecai Browns, the Ed Walshs and Mathewsons may come and go, and they may tie old John, but none of them will ever stand as his superior. I have stood behind him day in and day out and watched his magnificent control, and confident of success, especially in tight places, as I would have been with the US army behind me. That was Calrkson’s long suit. He was master of control. I believe he could put a ball where he wanted it nine times out of ten. He had everything any pitcher ever had as well. His speed was something terrific, and he could throw any curve. However, his favorite ball was a drop somethin glike the psit ball of today, although the delivered it without the ointment necessary nowadays. You must remember that in his day he had to face tha twonderful bunch of htiters of the old Detroit team, when Brouthers, Thompson, Rowe, Ed Hanlon, Hardy Richardson, Jim White and George Wood were the sluggers of the world. C was their hoodoo. They seldom evere won a game from him. If I remember rightly John di dnot lose more than two or three games in all that he pitched against Detroit. Al the fans remember tha C was one end of the famous 10k battery in whcih Mike Kelly was the other end, when Chicago sold them to Boston. At that time the whole world marveled at the enormous sum, but if they were in thei prime to-day an offer of 10k would be laughed at. I venture to say that 50k would not buy such a battery to-day.
Waterville Times, Oct. 29, 1886
When John takes his position he plants his feet in either corner of the pitcher’s box, grabs the ball with both ahnds close of to his breast, turns his left elbow up so the sun can play tag in its dimples, slides his foot across the box, runs to the limit, brings his brawny arm back with a jerk, and the ball goes curling over the plate and swinging along the back stretch unilt it cracks a board in teh grand stand or puts a new knuckle in Silver Flint’s finger. Clarkson sends in a pepery ball, and since Flint has been C’s target his fingers have developed more joints and knowts than were ever dreamed of in his phiolosophy …
Lee Allen, 4-6-63 (maybe cited elsewhere in my notes?)
Anson: “C was one of the greatest pitchers of all time, certainly the best Chicago ever had. Many regard him as the greatest, but not many know of his peculiar temperament and the amount of ecouragement needed to keep him going. Scold him, find fault with him and he could not pitch at all. Praise him and he was unbeatable. In knowing exactly what kind of ball a batter could not hit and in his ability to serve up just that kind of a ball, I don’t hink I have ever seen the equal of C.”
self-destructed due to drunkenness, in ’83 shot his wife and tried to cut his throat…wife refused to give evidence but did leave him and lived with her family. circumstances of death appear unknown…
It is a known fact that the longer he remains in the box, after the commencement of a game, the more difficult is his delivery. Few base hits are made off him in the latter part of a game.
another unid. sketch:
He has always been a terror to base runners.
Wilkesbarre, PA, Sept 3: Bob Pettit, our third baseman, was released to teh Chi Club last evening and left last night to join the Chicagos at Philadelphia. The price of his release is said to have been $500.
records: (second basemen)
Most errors in major leagues (828, 1st)
most errors, league (754, NL, 1st)
most years leading league in errors (5, 1st)
most errors, two consec. nine-inning games (9) (2nd, 1st in NL)
lowest fielding average, season NL 1st, .893
most years leading league in putouts (NL), 7, 1st
High Nichol, theo old right fielder, explained theo rigin of the term “Charley Horse” as follows: “I dodn’t believe I ever saw it in print myself. Joe Quest coine dthe phrase, away back in 1882 in Chicag. It’s a racehorse story and it happened this way. Chicago was having an off day. Our schedule called for some eight odd games in those seasons and we had more spare time than the big leaguers have now. There was racing down ont he South Side and some of the boys took great interest in it. … The tip had gone out the night before that a horse name d”Charley was a sure winner for tha tafternoon. If that horse had any other name I’ve forgotten it. The tipw as touted as a cinch., ti simply couldn’t lose, and we all got on. Those of us who didn’t care so much for the jumpers were persuaded to lay down a few dimes by those who did, and we were all in with the exception of Joe Quest. No amount of argument could induce him to bet a copper ont hat horse. We all got permission to go to the traack and all lined in th ebetting ring when our horse “Charley’ was due to start. Quest in the meantime had been getting some lively chaffing for his unwillinggness to bet on what wa sa dead sure thing. The horses got away toa good start and “Charley’ jumped to the lead. Every stride h increased it and through the back stretch he was a doen lengths to the good. Q became the center of a ring of jolliers. Mike Kelly whacked Joe ov erhte head with his cane and every man of that dozen or more slapped him on the back and merrily jostled him around in the joy over a sure killing. Joe was doing what he could to watch the race. In the last turn Charley stumbled went lame in his hind right leg, and the field closed up. Q threw a fit. ‘Look, look!’ he shouted, at your old Charley horse now. And he kept it up. He had it all to himself an dit was all his. Charley finished outside the money, and we didn’t hear the last of our old Charley horse the rest of that day. It was during ht eprogress of the game the next day that the term came to be applied to ball players.
We were hooked up with NY on the old lake front grounds. Corcoran and Kelly were working. CA was on first, Q, B, and W were playing in the infield, and F, G and myself were in the outfield. We had the Giants 3-4 and were at bat. Quest was down on the left coach line and doing a famous job. oe always wa sa good coacher. Gore had rappe dout a single and Williamson was up. He was a pretty sur ehitter; but Gore was a sprinter and Quest figured he could do the trip to second and he sent him away. About half way down Gore steped in a pocket and sprung a strain., just the way the racing pony had done the day before and Q sang out: “There’s your old Charley horse–he’d made it all right if it hadn’t been for tha told Charley horse.’ Gore was nailed, but the term stuck. He had the charley horse for a couple of weeks’ afterwards, and it’s been been called by that namee ever since.
JIMMY RYAN FILE
In 1885 Ryan played with the Bridgeport team and made such a brilliant record that he was recommended to Capt. Anson by Joe Battin, the old time professional, as a very promising young player.
Nov. 8 1923 (TSN?) by AH Tarvin
Ryan was a man of rather slight build, but well proportioned. It has been many, many years since we saw Ryan perform, but we did see him in action many times. We recall him well. He wore his hair a la pompadour, an dlike many of the players then, he woree a moustache, a frail, bonde affair, not at all obtrusive, as were those of Gore, Kelly, Pfeffer and a few jmore of this maters, and far more reasonable than the monstrosities sports by Jim O’R, Pop Corkhill, McTammany and others who were celebrated members of theprofession at the same time.
copy of Cosmopolitan Mag, 1890, ‘In the Field Papers. Base Ball’ by A.G. Spalding
dated 9-28-87 (sp. life?)
A>G. Spalding’s Estimate of A.C. Anson.
“I have known Anson for many years–almost a lifetime. I have had knowledge of him under many varying circumstances, and perhaps I am as well qualified to speak of him as any man living. He is a man of direct, bluff, straightforward methods, whom I never knew to be guilty o fa falsehood. He is always the same faithful, sturdy, reliable base ball general. He may be unfortunate in on erepect, and that is in his relations to base ball newspaper reporters. He never cultivates the press representatives. He has been abused time without number, most needlessly and unkindly criticsed, but he has always he his peace. Sometimes his coolness under unjuust attacks has surprised me but when I have spoken to him about it, he has smiled and said bluntly: “Oh! I guess the newspaper boys will see the thing differently after a while.”
TSN Jan 25, 1890:
No Irish need apply. It is said that Spalding and Anson have concluded to put this sign over their ball park next summer.
It is said that Spalding will in his boycott on the Irish next summer refuse to take in even greenbacks. But perhaps this is only another base libal.
S and A say they have no use for the Irish. The latter might properly retaliate by showing Spalding and A that htey have no use for them.
Anson says he will not sign a player that has a drop of I blood in his vains. This accounts for the bum agregation that will represent Chicago in the N L next season.
SL July 22, 1883
It is one of the remarkable freaks of base=ball that when the Chicagoes play at home the balls used are noticeable for their hardness. They remain in this condition during the whole game, and time and again are just as good when the game is over as when it begun. All the outside clubs have noticed this, and the players think that Spalding manufactures an especial ball for home use. A hard ball can be sent much farther than a soft one, and the players say thsi is the reason the Chicagos make such long hits on the home grounds.–Buffalo Courier. “The palyers” were probably giving the Courier reporter the biggest kind of a “stiff.”
[Albert Spalding (jr.) has success in Florence as concert violinist. orchestra conducted by Saint Saens, including SS's sonata for piano and violin. 'musical prodigy'
OLIVER WENDALL “PAT” TEBEAU FILE
unid. obit (NYT)
Tebeau was one of the old type of scrapping, shouting, wrangling players, always kicking, always keeping the umpire in boiling water, and yet, with all his boisterousness, never guilty of an actual attack on a official. … T was an infielder in the old Western League when he attracted Anson’s attention in 1887. “Uncle Anse” happened to need a third b aseman, as Tommy Burns was temporarily disabled, so he gather Tebeau. The youngster showed good stuff for “Uncle” and was going along finely when a terrific liner hit him in the stomach and put him out of commission for the rest of that season.
Oliver (Pat) Tebeau, one time manger of the Cleveland Spiders, and later of the St. Louis Cardinals, was found dead in his saloon here today with a bullet wound in his temple.
Tebeau’s body was upright in a chair, his head leaning against a safe. A revolver was found tied to his right wrist with a string. Polic believe T ended life last night (dated may 15). … Ill health is believed to have caused the suicide.
VAN HALTREN FILE
In VH, by the way, Chi has a treasure. No alone is he a pitcher, but he is a batter, a base-runner, a fielder and everything else that goes to make up a crack ball tosser. In the box he is truly “a wonder.” Never before has such range in pitching tactics been seen in Chi, and lover of base ball in every other city than V plays in will say the same. Inshoots and outshoots, drop and raise balls, speedy and slow delivery, in fact every deception that a pitcher was ever known to bring inot play seems to known and controlled by the young Californian.
Doescher remarked in the fourth game with the Bostons:–”That man is the most remarkablle pitcher I ever saw. His range sems absolutely unrestricted.” Doescher, by the way, has admitted that he himself was deceived by VH’s delivery in the third game of the Boston series, when he treated the young Californian so severely in his decisions.
In 1901 VH roomed with young Christy Mathewson, whom he tutored in tricks of the trade at a formative stage of C’s great career.
F.C. McDonald, father of the bride, tells the story: “It was in the spring of 1881 that my Nettie first met Ed. It was in New Orleans. My wife and daughter was visitng in the Southern cityh and at the hotel where they were putting up the Chicago base ball team was also stopping. The club was there practicing and getting in shape for the season’s play. My wife thought that professional ball players were not just the class fo people she would liek to have her daughter thrown in with and therefore she refused to allow Nettie to mete any of the men. But old “Silver” Flint, who was catching fo rAnson then, had his wife along with him and it was no long before she and Nettie became fast friends. Nattie todl Mrs. F of my wife’s antipathy to the base ball profession and as she expressed a strong desire to see a game, Mrs. Flint arrange dto take her, unknown to her mother, one afternoon.
It was not long before N observed W’s surperiority and spoke her admiration of him. The game was close and exciting and Chicago needed two runs to tie the score, when Williamosn came up to bat. Nettie was carrying a large bouquet and remarked: “Ther enow, if that man makes a base hti I am going to throw these flowers to him.’ Well, there were two men on bases and Ed pounded the leather for a hoem run. That placed Chciago in the lead and when Ed came pantin gin over the home plate, Nettie tossed him the flowers. He picked them up, smiled and lifted his hat and that evening Mrs. F bourght W over to the table where my wife and daughter sat at introduced him. My wife treated him with cool politeness. She could not cover up her displeasure. AFter that, however, she asw more of W and soon grew to like him . Ed and N loved in a very short time and were married in June 1882 and since that time I do not believe the pair have been separated for more than a week at a time. She accompanied him on the famous around the world trip of the Chicago Club.
Williamson was probably the greatest all-around ball-player who ever donned a uniform. George Wright si the only man who can be said to have been his peer at the position of short-stop, and he was long one of the bulwarks of the Chicago team.
Possibly the only one whose enmity he incurred was Pitcher John Clarkson. The latter’s dislike for W was so great that it led to his separation from the Chicago team.
Spalding: “I am sorry ot hear of W’s death. He was a magnificent ball-palyer–the best, probably, all departments of the game considered, who ever lived. He was also a bright fellow and good-hearted. I have seen it stated that Williamson and I were “at outs’; so far as I was concerrned that report was not correct.
Commy: “He was the model of ambitious young infielders. I have never known a man who was more admired by ballplayers themsleves. He was a natural athlete, graceful and at teh same time powerful. His throwin gability was somethin gwonderful, and he never was bothered by the sore arm that is so prevalent. It is generally a ballplayer’s arm which first gives out.