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The Base Running Of 1894






The base running records of the past three years, under the rules of the
great major league, present a very interesting set of tables, whereby
one can judge of the good work done in this direction pretty
fairly. Below we give the full record of each season in stolen bases
from 1892 to 1894, inclusive, showing the totals of stolen bases by each
club each season, together with the aggregate of stolen bases for the
three years. We give the names of the twelve clubs in the order in which
they lead in stolen bases at the end of the three years of base running.
Here is the full record in question:

RECORD OF TOTAL STOLEN BASES FOR 1892, 1893 AND 1894.
---------------------------------------------------
CLUBS. 1892. 1893. 1894. TOTALS.
---------------------------------------------------
1. New York 281 401 294 976
2. Brooklyn 408 247 266 921
3. Baltimore 197 261 320 778
4. Chicago 216 237 324 777
5. Cleveland 288 242 228 758
6. Boston 337 174 230 741
7. Pittsburgh 211 245 247 703
8. Philadelphia 217 174 266 657
9. Cincinnati 241 204 205 650
10. Washington 250 142 209 601
11. Louisville 228 174 198 600
12. St. Louis 196 196 150 542
---------------------------------------------------
Totals 3070 2697 2937 8704
---------------------------------------------------

It will be seen by the above record that the best base running, in the
aggregate of the three years' play, was made in 1892, the three leading
clubs in stolen bases that year being Brooklyn, Boston and Cleveland. In
1893 the three leaders in base running were New York, Baltimore and
Brooklyn, and the three leaders of the past season were Chicago,
Baltimore and Brooklyn, Philadelphia being tied with Brooklyn. The
tail-end clubs in stolen base records during the three years were
St. Louis in 1892, Washington in 1893 and St. Louis in 1894. In the
aggregate of the three years, New York stands first, Brooklyn second and
Baltimore third, St. Louis being a bad tail-ender in these total
figures. It is a noteworthy fact that when Brooklyn led in base running
Ward was captain, while when New York led the next year, Ward was
captain, too, New York jumping from .281 in 1892, when Ward was in
Brooklyn, to .401 in 1893, when he went to the New York club, Brooklyn
that year falling off from .408 to .247. Baltimore, too, made a big jump
in base running after Hanlon became manager, the jump being from .197 in
1892 to .320 in 1894.

The highest totals of stolen bases in any one year was in 1892, there
being quite a falling off in 1893; while in 1894 a considerable
improvement was shown, the average for the three years being 2,901 for
the twelve clubs.

Last season the Baltimore club's team, under Hanlon's control, excelled
all the other Eastern teams in stealing bases, Philadelphia being
second, New York third and Boston fourth in this respect, the
Baltimore's quartette of leading base stealers scoring a total of 212
bases to Philadelphia's 185, New York's 180 and Boston's 156. The three
teams of the Western clubs which excelled in base running last season
were Chicago, with a total of 324; Pittsburgh, with 247, and Cleveland,
with 228.

Had the umpires properly interpreted the balk rules in 1894, probably
the total of stolen bases for that year would have got up among the
twelve hundreds at least. This year they should be made to do it.


THE STOLEN BASE RECORD OF 1894.

The record of stolen bases for 1894, showing the best nine base stealers
of each club is as appended. The names of clubs are given in pennant
race order, and of players in the order of percentage of stolen bases
per game.


THE RECORD OF THE FIRST DIVISION CLUBS.
----------------------------------------

BALTIMORE
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
McGraw 123 77 .636
Bonner 27 11 .407
Brodie 129 50 .388
Kelley 129 45 .350
Brouthers 126 40 .317
Jennings 128 36 .281
Keeler 128 30 .235
Reitz 109 18 .165
Robinson 106 9 .123

Totals 1005 820 .318
----------------------------------------

NEW YORK
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
Doyle 105 48 .457
Fuller 95 34 .358
Burke 138 47 .340
Van Halt'n 139 44 .315
Ward 136 41 .306
Davis 124 37 .298
Tiernan 112 24 .214
German 19 4 .211
Wilson 45 9 .200

Totals 1006 294 .292
----------------------------------------

BOSTON
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
Duffy 124 49 .395
Bannon 127 42 .331
McCarthy 126 40 .317
Tierney 24 7 .292
Long 103 25 .243
Lowe 133 25 .188
Tucker 122 19 .156
Nash 132 19 .144
Stivetts . 57 4 .070

Totals 948 230 .253
----------------------------------------

PHILADELPHIA.
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
Hamilton 131 99 .756
Thompson 102 29 .284
Delahanty 104 29 .279
Cross 120 28 .233
Hallman 119 26 .218
Boyle 116 22 .190
Reilly 36 6 .167
Sullivan 93 15 .161
Turner 77 12 .157

Totals 898 266 .296
----------------------------------------

BROOKLYN.
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
Griffin 106 48 .453
Daly 123 53 .431
LaChance 65 25 .385
Shock 63 18 .286
Corcoran 129 33 .256
Burns 126 29 .230
Foutz 73 16 .219
Treadway 122 26 .213
Shindle 117 18 .154

Totals 924 266 .288
----------------------------------------

CLEVELAND.
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
Ewing 53 19 .385
G. Tebeau 105 34 .324
McGarr 127 34 .269
McAleer 64 17 .266
Burkett 124 32 .258
McKean 130 32 .246
Childs 117 20 .171
O'Connor 80 13 .163
O. Tebeau 109 27 .155

Totals 909 228 .251
----------------------------------------

It will be seen that the Baltimore club's nine excel the other five
clubs in the percentage of stolen bases, Philadelphia being second and
New York third; the other three following in order in percentage figures
as follows: Brooklyn, Boston and Cleveland. In total stolen bases by the
individual player, Hamilton leads with 99--the champion stolen-base
record of the season--McGraw being second and Duffy third, followed by
Griffin, Doyle and Ewing.


THE SECOND DIVISION LEADERS.
----------------------------

PITTSBURGH.
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
Stenzel 131 60 .450
Hartman 44 17 .386
E. Smith 125 37 .296
Shiebeck 75 19 .244
Donovan 131 31 .236
Glasscock 86 20 .233
Shugart 133 23 .172
Bierbaur 131 20 .153
Beckley 132 20 .152

Totals 987 247 .250
----------------------------------------

CHICAGO.
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
Lange 112 71 .634
Wilmot 135 76 .563
Dableu 121 49 .415
Parrott 126 34 .370
Irwin 130 34 .262
Decker 89 22 .247
Anson 83 17 .205
Ryan 108 12 .111
Schriver 94 9 .096

Totals 998 324 .325
----------------------------------------

ST. LOUIS.
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
Dowd 123 34 .276
Hogan 29 7 .248
Ely 127 23 .181
Pietz 100 17 .170
Miller 125 20 .160
Cooley 52 8 .154
Quinn 106 26 .151
Frank 80 12 .150
Breitenstein 53 3 .057

Totals 795 150 .189
----------------------------------------

CINCINNATI
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
Latham 130 62 .477
Holliday 122 39 .320
McPhee 128 31 .242
Hay 128 30 .235
M. Murphy 76 5 .192
Canavan 160 15 .150
Vaughn 67 6 .097
G. Smith 128 12 .094
Merritt 66 5 .079

Totals 945 205 .217
----------------------------------------

WASHINGTON
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
Ward 89 36 .401
Cartwright 132 35 .269
Radford 106 26 .245
Seebach 96 23 .240
Joyce 98 23 .235
Mercer 43 10 .233
Abbey 129 30 .233
Hassamer 116 15 .129
McGuire 102 11 .108

Totals 911 209 .229
----------------------------------------

LOUISVILLE
----------------------------------------
Players. Games. Stolen Per cent. of
Bases. Stolen Bases.
----------------------------------------
Brown 130 74 .569
Smith 39 13 .333
Pfeffer 104 33 .317
Clark 76 24 .316
Twitchell 51 9 .176
Denny 60 10 .167
Lutenberg 70 10 .143
Grim 107 14 .131
Richardson 116 11 .095

Totals 753 198 .263
----------------------------------------

It will be seen that the leaders of the six second division clubs
aggregated a total of 337 bases, of which Brown is credited with 74,
Lange with 71, and Latham with 62. In percentages, however, Lange led
with .634, Brown being second with .569, and Latham third with .477,
Stenzel, Ward (of Washington) and Dowd following in order. In total
percentages, the Chicago nine led "by a large majority," Louisville
being second and Pittsburgh third, Washington beating both Cincinnati
and St. Louis, the latter club making a very poor show in base running
figures in 1894.

THE LEADING BASE STEALERS OF EACH CLUB.

The following record shows the leader of each club in percentage of
stolen bases, the names being given in the order of percentage figures:

---------------------------------------------------
Total Per cent.
Stolen of Stolen
Players. Clubs. Games. Bases. Bases.
---------------------------------------------------
Hamilton Philadelphia 131 99 .756
McGraw Baltimore 123 77 .636
Lange Chicago 112 71 .626
Brown Louisville 130 74 .569
Latham Cincinnati 130 62 .477
Doyle New York 105 48 .457
Griffin Brooklyn 106 48 .453
Stenzel Pittsburgh 131 60 .450
Duffy Boston 124 49 .395
Ewing Cleveland 53 19 .385
F. Ward Washington 89 36 .306
Dowd St. Louis 123 34 .276
---------------------------------------------------

The record of the base runners of the twelve League clubs who have a
record of 10 stolen bases and less than 20 each for 1894 is as follows:

---------------------------------------------------
PLAYERS. CLUBS. Games. Stolen Bases.
---------------------------------------------------
1. Ewing Cleveland 53 19
2. Shiebeck Pittsburgh 75 19
3. Tucker Boston 122 19
4. Nash Boston 132 19
5. Shock Brooklyn 63 18
6. Reitz Baltimore 109 18
7. Shindle Brooklyn 117 18
8. McAleer Cleveland 64 17
9. Lyons Pittsburgh 72 17
10. Anson Chicago 83 17
11. Pietz St. Louis 100 17
12. Foutz Brooklyn 73 16
13. Zimmer Cleveland 88 15
14. Sullivan Philadelphia. 93 15
15. Canavan Cincinnati 100 15
16. Hassamer Washington 116 15
17. Grimm Louisville 107 14
18. Smith Louisville 39 13
19. O'Connor Cleveland 80 13
20. Robinson Baltimore 106 13
21. Hartman Pittsburgh 49 12
22. Frank St. Louis 80 12
23. Turner Philadelphia. 77 12
24. Ryan Chicago 108 12
25. G. Smith Cincinnati 128 12
26. Bonner Baltimore 27 11
27. McGuire Washington 102 11
28. Richardson Louisville 116 11
29. Mercer Washington 43 10
30. Denny Louisville 70 10
31. Lutenberg Louisville 70 10
32. O'Rourke St. Louis 80 10
33. Farrell New York 112 10
---------------------------------------------------

Those who did not steal a single base were pitchers Esper,
Dwyer, J. Clarkson, Ehret, Staley, Whitrock, McGill,
Wadsworth and catcher Buckley.



THE FIELDING OF 1894.

Season after season finds the fielding in base ball better attended to
than any other department of the game; and it is fortunate for the
business end of professional ball playing that it is so, as skilful
fielding is decidedly the most attractive feature of our national
game. Next to fielding comes base running, and lastly batting. The
reason that so much more skill is shown in the fielding department than
in that of batting, is due to the fact that more attention is giving to
fielding than to batting. Regular training in team-work batting is
practically unknown in the professional arena; while practice in
fielding is given every attention. No game is played now-a-days without
an hour being devoted to preliminary practice in fielding, while
efficient batting is unknown except in the college arena, the
professionals ignoring team-work batting practice in nearly every
club. Hence the superiority fielding has attained over the batting. Go
on any amateur field and watch a game in progress, and you can readily
see the inferiority in fielding exhibited in comparison with that shown
on the professional fields. It is not so in the batting, however. The
reason is that amateurs have not the time to devote to the practice
required to excel in fielding; but they can bat out three-baggers and
home-runs as easily as the record batsmen do in the professional fields;
it is different, however, in the case of doing team-work at the bat,
owing to their not having time for the necessary practice.

Some splendid fielding was done in 1894, but as a whole it was not
superior to that of 1893, or even to that of 1892. One reason for this
was the introduction of the catcher's "big mitt" in the infield
work--something that should not have been allowed. It was due to this
fact that the batting scores were not larger the past season than they
were in 1893, the big mitt on the hands of infielders enabling them to
stop hard hit "bounders" and "daisy cutters" which, but for the use of
the mitts, would have been clean earned base hits. This gave the
infielders an opportunity to materially lessen the base hit record. By a
mistaken calculation, the pitchers were charged with doing less
effective work, single figure games being in a majority last season.

In contrast to the attractions of fine fielding, the average batting of
the period is decidedly behindhand. What sight on a ball field is
prettier to the good judge of the fine points of the game, than to see a
hard hit "bounder" well stopped and accurately thrown from back of third
base over to first base in time to cut off a rapid runner? or to see a
splendidly judged fly ball held after a long run; or a hot "liner"
caught on the jump by an infielder; or a beautiful triple play made from
the infield; or a good double play from a neat catch, followed by a
fine, long throw-in from the outfield? All these attractive features of
sharp fielding all can enjoy and appreciate. But in the batting
department too little team-work at the bat--that is, skilful scientific
handling of the bat in the form of place hitting, to forward
runners--is done to gratify good judges, the mere novices regarding
over-the-fence hits for a home run as the very acme of "splendid
batting," though they are invariably chance hits, and only made off poor
pitching as a rule. Then, too, how the "groundlings," as Hamlet called
them, enjoy "fungo" hitting, that is high balls hit in the air flying to
the outfield, this style of hitting giving fifty chances for catches to
every single home run. Time and again will one hear a "bleacher" remark,
"I don't care if the ball was caught, it was a good hit," as if any hit
could be a good one which gave an easy chance for a catch. When a
"fungo" hitter takes his bat in hand all he thinks of is to "line 'em
out, Tommy," in response to the calls from the "bleaching boards;" and
when the ball goes up in the air to outfield a shout bursts forth from
the crowd, only to be suddenly stopped as the ball is easily caught at
deep outfield by an outfielder placed there purposely for the catch by
the pitcher's skilful pitching for catches. Contrast this method of
batting to that of place hitting which yields a safe tap to short
outfield, ensuring an earned base; or the skilful "bunt" hit made at a
time when the fielders are expecting a "line-'em-out" hit; or a
sacrifice hit, following a good effort for a base hit to right field,
which should mark all attempts to forward runners, especially when on
third base. Of course there are skilful outfield hits made in team-work,
but they are confined to hot, low liners, giving no chance for a catch,
or hard hit "daisy cutters," which yield two or three bases; but every
ball hit in the air to outfield shows weak batting, and this style of
hitting it is which gives so many chances for catches in a game. It
will be readily seen how inferior the "bleaching-board" style of batting
is to team-work at the bat, and how much more attractive fielding is in
contrast to the popular "fungo" hitting method, of which there was
altogether too much in the League ranks last season to make the batting
compare with the fielding, as an attractive feature of the game.



Single Figure Games.

There is a great difference between first-class single figure games,
marked by batting against skilful, strategic pitching, backed up by
splendid in and outfield support, and the class of contests known as
"pitchers' games." The former are contests in which runners reaching
second and even third base by good hits are cut off from scoring runs by
superior pitching and fielding, and this class of games comprises the
model contests of each season. On the other hand, the "pitchers' games,"
which yield single figure scores, are tedious and wearisome to the best
judges of the game, from the fact that the brunt of the work falls on
the "battery" team and one or two infielders, all the attractions of
base running and of sharp fielding being sacrificed at the cost of
seeing batsman after batsman retired on called strikes, arising from the
intimidating speed of the pitching, this requiring the batsman to devote
his whole energies to defending himself from the severe and often fatal
injuries following his being hit by the pitched ball. Fortunately, the
change in the distance between the pitcher and batsman has decreased the
opportunity for this class of unattractive games. But it will not do to
go over to the other side and by too much weakening of the box work give
the "line-'em-out" class of "fungo" hitters a chance to revel in
over-the-fence hits, and give the batsman undue preponderance in the
effort to equalize the powers of the attack and defense in the
game. Single figure games should outnumber double figure contests to
make the game attractive for the scientific play exhibited, but not in
the line of being the result of "cyclone" pitching.


The Umpiring of 1894.

The umpiring of 1894, despite of the new rules adopted early in the year
governing the position, was no improvement over that of 1893; in fact,
in several instances it was worse. The explicitly worded rule,
prohibiting umpires from allowing any player, except the captain, to
dispute a single decision of the umpire, was allowed to be openly
violated by nearly every umpire on the staff. Then, too, as a rule,
they, the majority, lacked the nerve and the courage of their
convictions too much to keep in check the blackguardism displayed by a
small minority of the players of the League teams of 1894; some of the
umpires also displayed a degree of temper at times which sadly marred
their judgment. That they all endeavored to do their duty impartially,
goes without saying, but no umpire is fit for his position who cannot
thoroughly control his temper. There was one instance shown of the
folly of condoning the offence of drinking, which should not have been
allowed; a drunken umpire is worse than a drunken player, for no one
will respect his decisions. None such should be allowed on the League
staff under any circumstances; moreover, no umpire connected with the
low-lived prize-fighting business should be allowed on the League staff,
no matter what his ability may be in other respects. When it becomes a
necessity to have to engage pugilists as umpires to control hoodlum
players, then will professional ball playing cease to be worthy of
public patronage.

One great drawback to the successful umpiring which was expected to
follow the revision of the rules made in March, 1894, was the
countenancing of the abuse of umpires by the magnates of the clubs
themselves. When presidents and directors of clubs fail to rebuke the
faults of their club managers in allowing incompetent or hot-headed
captains to set their players bad examples in this respect, they have no
right to find fault with the poor umpiring which follows.

In the recent past, the rule on the League ball fields--and minor
leagues copy all that the major league does--has been that, from the
time the umpire takes up his position behind the bat, from the beginning
to the end of a game, he finds both the contesting teams regarding him
as a common enemy, the losing side invariably blaming him as the primary
cause of their losing the game.

Then, too, in addition to the contesting teams as his foes, there are
the majority of the crowd of spectators to be added to the list, the
rougher element of the assemblage, the latter of whom regard the umpire
as an especial target for abuse in every instance in which the home team
is defeated. Last on the list of the umpire's opponents are the betting
class of reporters, who take delight in pitching into him whenever his
decisions--no matter how impartially he acts--go against their pet club
or the one they bet on.

It is a fact not to be disputed, that those of the crowd of spectators
at a ball game, who are so ready to condemn umpires for alleged
partiality in their work, or for a supposed lack of judgment in
rendering their decisions, never give a moment's thought to the
difficulties of the position he occupies, or to the arduous nature of
the work he is called upon to perform. There he stands, close behind the
catcher and batsman, where he is required to judge whether the
swiftly-thrown ball from the pitcher, with its erratic "curves" and
"shoots," darts in over the home base, or within the legal range of the
bat. The startling fact is never considered that several umpires have
been killed outright while occupying this dangerous position. Neither
does any one reflect for a moment that the umpire occupies this perilous
position while regarded as a common enemy by both of the contesting
teams, and as a legitimate object for insulting abuse from the partisan
portion of the crowd of spectators. In fact, the umpire stands there as
the one defenseless man against thousands of pitiless foes. The wonder
is that half the umpires in the arena are as successful in the discharge
of their arduous duties as they are, and the still greater wonder is
that any self-respecting man can be induced to occupy a position which
is becoming year after year more objectionable. There can be no
successful umpiring accomplished in the position, no matter how perfect
the code of rules governing the umpiring may apparently be, as long as
that nuisance of the ball field, the professional "kicker," is allowed
to have his way. In view of the express rules which are in the code,
prohibiting the disputing of a single decision made by the umpire, it is
astonishing that the umpires themselves, not to mention club managers
and field captains, are so derelict in their duty in not enforcing the
letter of the law of the code in this respect.

Let the magnates remember, when they say to each other this year--as
they did at the close of the season of 1894--that "this hoodlumism in
professional ball playing must be stopped," that it is themselves who
are to blame for the blackguardism exhibited in the League arena in
1894. It is the failure of presidents and directors of League clubs to
do their duty which is the real cause of such umpiring as we had in
1894. Club managers of teams, as a rule, do what they know the club
presidents or directors quietly approve of or countenance, hence the
latitude given to the hoodlum tactics of the rough element in each team.
Don't blame umpires from meekly following the example club presidents
and directors afford their team managers and captains.




Editorial Comments


ON THE OCCURRENCES, EVENTS AND NOTEWORTHY INCIDENTS OF 1894 IN THE BASE
BALL ARENA.

Here is a list of the rules governing the movements of the pitcher, in
delivering the ball to the bat, which we saw violated repeatedly during
1894, without any protests from any of the umpires who acted in the
games we reported. First--

Not a pitcher had his foot in contact with the rubber plate last season,
all of them invariably placing their back foot a few inches in front of
the plate. Not one pitcher in ten, after feigning to throw to a base,
resumed his position, as required by the rule, after making the
feint. Not one in ten held the ball "firmly in front of his body," as
the rule requires. Not one in ten faced the batsman, as required by Rule
30. As for the balk rule it was as openly violated last season almost as
it was in 1893. Time and again was Section 29, Rule 32, violated as was
Section 3 all the time, as not one had his foot in position as the rule
requires, and yet not an umpire fined a single pitcher for the violation
of the rules in question, that we saw.

What the pitching rules should be made to foster is, first--thorough
command of the ball, with the consequent accuracy of aim in delivery;
secondly--the substitution of skilful strategy in delivery in the
place of mere intimidating speed; thirdly--the avoidance of the wear and
tear of an extremely swift delivery of the ball; fourthly--the
prevention of obstacles to successful base running, in the way of
allowing too many balk movements in preventing stolen bases. These
desirable objects were almost impossible of attainment under the
badly-worded rules in existence in 1894.

In regard to the wearing of the catcher's "big mitt" by infielders in
1894, it is worthy of note that that first-class utility man of the
Philadelphia team, "Lave" Cross, while wearing a catcher's mitt as third
baseman--a large one at that, too--used it to such advantage that it was
next to impossible for a ball hit to his position to get by him. At
times it was simply laughable to see him stop ground hits. To wear such
gloves is making a travesty of skilful infield work in stopping hard
hit, bounding or ground balls. But with the speedy batting of the hard
ball now in use, the stopping of hard hit balls in the infield becomes
dangerous to the fingers without the aid of small gloves. But no such
glove as the catcher's mitt should be allowed to be used save by the
catchers or first basemen. In this position the "mitt" in question is a
necessity in view of the great speed of the pitcher's delivery and the
extremely wild, swift throwing from the field positions to first
base. It should be borne in mind that in the days when gloves were not
worn, when the pitching was far less swift than now, even then broken
and split fingers marked nearly every contest, and behind the bat four
catchers were needed where one or two will now suffice.

A Washington scribe, in commenting on Manager Schmelz's work in 1894,
said: "Schmelz is a base ball man from the crown of his head to the
soles of his feet, and we have been taught to believe here that when he
says he will do a thing he comes pretty near fulfilling his
prediction. If the team gets a fairly good start at the beginning of
this season he is just as like as not to let several teams chase him
under the wire in September next. A lack of team-work and a most
deplorable weakness at short, second and third throughout the past
season lost the team many a game."

To this latter list may be added, incompetent captaining of the team by
the noted kicker, Joyce.

The Boston correspondent of the St. Louis Sporting News, in one of his
letters of last winter, sent the following interesting account of an
interview had between Manager Selee, of the Bostons, and a business man
he met on a train last October. The B.M. asked the manager "whether
ball-players, as a class, were a disreputable set of men, who made a
practice of spending their money foolishly, and of saying and doing
things on the ball field that were decidedly objectionable; also if, in
consequence, the interest in the game had not to a very large degree
been on the wane for a number of years past? He said he had read in the
papers of a number of acts that had led him to believe that such was the
case, and that, while formerly he had been an attendant at the games,
that latterly he had lost his desire in that respect, though he still
had an interest in all that is published about the game and the
ball-players." Mr. Selee at once attempted to show the gentleman where
his opinion was at fault, and an interesting conversation was carried on
until the train reached Boston, the gentleman severely criticising the
players and the Boston manager defending them.

The correspondent, in commenting on this, wrote as follows: "This
incident opens anew a topic that has created considerable discussion for
several years, and which was brought most forcibly to the public eye by
a number of cases that occurred during the season of 1894, namely: Has
the rough, rowdy, disreputable, hoodlum element increased or decreased
in the professional arena in the past five or ten years?" Further on he
adds: "Any intelligent, unprejudiced student of the game cannot but
reach the conclusion that in recent years the excessive drinkers, the
foul-mouthed talkers, in short, the worst element in the professional
ranks, has been gradually weeded out, until the evil has been reduced to
almost a minimum, while the intelligence, manliness and exemplary habits
of the players have increased correspondingly; where, even five years
ago, a ball team could be found where a majority of its players were of
the drinking, gambling, disreputable class, to-day can be seen the
results of a great and gratifying reform in the personnel of the teams,
brought about largely by the efforts of the management, who have had
their eyes opened to the trend of public opinion, and have gradually
gotten rid of this unpopular element, and secured in their places
players of a far different plane of morals." Judging from reports of
contests in the League arena in 1894, the reformation above referred to
has been far too slow in its progress for the good of the game. Witness
the novelty in League annals of men fighting each other or striking
umpires on the field, the use of vile language in abuse of umpires, and
the many instances of "dirty" ball playing recorded against the majority
of the League club teams of the past season. "The time was," says the
same writer, "when a ball player's skill was the primary recommendation
for an engagement, his moral qualifications being of a secondary
consideration. To-day, however, while playing skill is, of course, one
of the leading qualities that an applicant for honors on the diamond
field must possess, it does not fill the whole bill by any means. His
habits, his influence among his fellow players, his general reputation
with the public, are also taken into consideration more than before, and
if he can pass muster in all these respects he is eligible for
engagement in all well managed teams."

In commenting on the existing situation of the professional branch of
our grand national game, Mr. Wm. H. Bell, the Kansas correspondent of
the St. Louis Sporting News, says: "The growth and development of our
national game as been wonderful. Its success has been unparalleled in
the world's history of athletic sports, and stands to-day a living
monument to the courage, energy and perseverance of the American
people. When we pause a moment in our contemplation of the brilliant
future of our game and turn a glance back over the past, and try to
realize that less than one generation has lived since the birth of base
ball, and our fathers guided its first feeble steps, even we Americans,
familiar with progress unequaled in the history of the world, are forced
to marvel at the rapid growth of this athletic sport." Further on, on
the same topic, Mr. Bell says very truly: "While base ball has advanced
with great strides, its growth has been normal and healthy. Its success
is not the result of a boom, giving it a fictitious value, its
prosperity is not as an inflated balloon that will collapse when torn by
the knife of adversity. It is but a creation of man, and while its life
has been one of unequaled prosperity it has suffered, as do all things
of this earth. One factor has ever been potent in its success and that
is honesty. The honesty of the game has always been its motto, and
though often assailed has still remained intact. This, alone, has gained
for baseball a foothold in the hearts of the American people that
nothing can dislodge. Americans are known the world over as lovers of
fair and honest sport, and to base ball they have given their unswerving
allegiance." Here is a merited compliment to the National League from
the same able pen: "Our national game was never so firmly established in
the hearts of the people as at the present time. It is safe in the hands
of true and tried men, who are devoting their lives to its success. It
is dominated and controlled by that grand old organization, the National
League, which for twenty years has been the great exponent of the game,
and has done more to advance the game than any other factor. The League
has, during its life, stood on one platform, "honesty and purity in base
ball," and has always retained the confidence and respect of the
people. It has elevated the game until to-day base ball stands on a firm
foundation of popular approval unequaled by any other athletic
sport. While the game has advanced with marvelous rapidity it has
experienced short periods of depression and stagnation during its career
of thirty years. It has had enemies who have sought to pervert it for
their own uses. It has been all but torn asunder by civil war. But each
time it has bravely met the issue and in the end triumphed. It is just
now recovering from the effects of a civil war which all but destroyed
it. The rapidity with which it has recovered has been wonderful and is
to me a greater proof of prosperity and success than any success that
could come to it while enjoying a long period of peace." We regret not
having space to quote more at length from Mr. Bell's very able article
published in the Sporting News of January 12th last.

* * * * *

The Following Paragraph, Published In The New York Clipper Of February
5, 1895, Tells A Quiet Little Story Well Worthy Of Record In The Guide:
"A.G. Spalding, Of The Chicago Club, Was Asked How So Much Stock Of The
New York Club Came To Be Owned By Outside Parties, And He Said: 'well, I
Will Tell You. During The Troublous Brotherhood Times Of 1890, Along In
July, I Think, I Was Suddenly Summoned To New York. I Went Direct To
Mr. Abell's House, By Request, Entirely Oblivious Of The Object Of The
Sudden Call, And There Met Soden Of Boston, Reach Of Philadelphia, Byrne
Of Brooklyn, Brush Of Indianapolis, And One Or Two Others. There We
Received The Pleasant Information From John B. Day That The New York
Club Was Financially At The End Of Its Rope, And Must Have Immediate
Assistance. Imagine Our Surprise When We Were Told That The Club Must
Have $80,000 At Once To Carry It Through The Season, Or The New York
Club Must Give Up Its End Of The Fight. When We Had Collected Our
Senses Sufficiently To Speak, It Was The General Opinion That If The New
York Club Failed At That Stage Of The Game, The Fight With The
Brotherhood Was Lost, And The Future Of The Old National League Was, To
Say The Least, Uncertain; So It Was Finally Decided That We Must Save
The New York Club At All Hazards, And Before We Separated That Night I
Agreed To Provide $20,000, Soden And Brush Came Forward With Similar
Amounts, And The Balance Was Taken By Reach, Abell And One Or Two
Others, As I Remember. It Was Pretty Costly, But That Prompt Act Saved
The National League, And, By Saving It, The Future Of Professional Base
Ball In This Country Was, In My Opinion, Also Saved. This Will Explain
How I First Became Interested In The New York Club, And, As A Result,
Find Myself Criticised For Ever Being Permitted To Hold Any Of The
Stock. Of This $20,000 Stock Alloted To Chicago, Anson Took And Paid
Cash For $5,000, Another Chicago Gentleman Took $5,000, My Brother
Walter $5,000 And Myself $5,000. Afterward I Sold Or Practically Gave My
Stock To My Brother, And I Think He Picked Up Some More While He Was A
Director Of The Club. That Brotherhood Fight Was A Great Fight, And One
That Will Probably Never Be Duplicated. The Real Inside History Of That
Struggle, And Its Final Settlement, Was Never Written, But If It Ever
Is, It Will Prove Quite Interesting, As Well As Quite A Surprise To The
Base Ball Men Of That Day. But Why Talk In This Strain Any Longer. You
Know I Am Out Of Active Base Ball, And These Reminiscences Simply
Emphasize The Fact That I Ought To Be Out Of It, For I Am Getting Too
Old.'"

What A Commentary On The Selfish Greed Of The Overpaid Star Players Of
The "Out-For-The-Stuff" Class Of The Professional Fraternity
Mr. Spalding's Account Of One Costly Result Of The Players' Revolt Of
1890 The Above Story Presents. It Also Tells The True Story Of How The
Above-Named Magnates Of The Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Brooklyn And
Indianapolis Clubs Of 1890 Came To Be Financially Interested In The New
York Club, Not For Profit, But To Save The Disruption Of The League.

* * * * *

The veteran Comiskey thus explains the difference in one special
respect, between a seasoned player and a colt--and he is one who ought
to know, you know. He said, in an interview: "No one appreciates the
superiority of hustling, aggressive youngsters over the old standbys of
the diamond more than I do. A seasoned player, as a rule, develops into
a mechanical player who is always watching his averages and keeping tab
on himself. While he may be too loyal to shirk, he will not take a
chance which he is not compelled to. Especially is this true in running
bases. How many of these old players will slide or go into a bag when
they are blocked off? Very few. On the other hand, a young player
appreciates that he has to make a reputation, while the old player, who
has one to protect, is in the business for a livelihood and nothing
else. Popular applause has lost its favor for him, and, while it is not
unwelcome, it does not stimulate him to renewed exertions as it did when
he began his career. It is entirely different with the man who is trying
to establish himself in the major league. An ambitious young player
thinks that the game depends upon him, and is dead sure that every crank
agrees with him. Give him a good send-off in the papers, or let his
manager commend him for a creditable piece of work, and he will break
his neck in his efforts to deserve another installment to-morrow. The
public demands snappy ball, and the young players are the only ones who
can serve up that article."

In his remarks, Comiskey furthermore said: "The good effect of a
manager's or captain's praise of a 'colt' is surprising. Both of these
officials of the League clubs, almost without exception, are apt to be
silent as the grave when a player makes a good point or a fine stop or
catch; but the moment he fails to make an almost impossible play then
comes the ill-natured snarl or the rutty growl. Harry Wright stands out
alone as the only manager or captain to encourage a player with praise."

* * * * *

A Philadelphia scribe, in commenting on the rowdy ball playing of 1894
in the League ranks, says: "We could fill pages with evidence of the
rowdyism indulged in by the majority of the League teams during the
season of 1894, and that, too, if we were only to confine ourselves to
the local reports of the season at Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia,
Baltimore, and half a dozen other cities." As the Cleveland Leader had
it, in commenting upon one of the Baltimore-Cleveland games:

"I say it with reluctance--for I have always admired Ned Hanlon's
pluck--that the national game never received so severe a set-back as it
did during the last Baltimore series here. The effort to spike players,
the constant flow of profanity and vulgarity, the incessant and idiotic
abuse of an umpire, all combined to make the Baltimore club--that local
people have been led to believe was made of a crowd of earnest, honest
players--thoroughly despised and detested. In ten years' experience in
scoring games in Cleveland I have never heard such a torrent of
vulgarity, profanity and brutal, senseless abuse heaped upon an umpire
as Lynch stood from the Baltimore players upon the field here."

Similar charges against visiting teams were made by the Pittsburgh
people against the Cleveland team; by the Philadelphia scribes against
the Bostons, etc. In fact, proof, and plenty of it, was easily
attainable from the reports from every League city during 1894, to a
more or less extent.

The question apropos to this comment is, "What are you going to do about
it" in 1895, Messrs. Magnates?

* * * * *

John Rowe, the veteran player, who was one of the "Big Four,"
transferred from the Buffalo club to the Detroit club, in the fall of
1885, is a firm believer in Southern trips during the preliminary
season, to get the players in condition for a championship season. In
speaking on that subject, he said: "The year the Detroits won the
National League pennant we went South, and before the regular season
opened that team had played over 40 games. In consequence we were in
the acme of condition, and some of the teams nearly lost their breath
when they tackled us for the first time. The men could hit like fiends,
and field fast and perfect. There were no cases of 'charley horse' in
our team, and as for 'glass arms,' they were not included in our
outfit. It is a great thing, I tell you, and the managers who take their
men into a warm climate are doing a sensible act. According to my idea
the plan is to first practice until the players become limbered up, say
for a week or so, before attempting to play a game. Then get in as many
games as possible, without overdoing it, until the regular schedule
begins, In the exhibition games the experiments can be tried out, and
the men will gradually learn to play together, which means much to a
club. Of course, there is more or less luck in base ball, but at the
same time luck can't win alone all the time. Team-work and an agreeable
manager count a long ways toward winning a pennant." We would add to the
last line, that the absence of drinking and hoodlumism in the ranks is
equally a necessity.

* * * * *

In the arena of minor leagues, in professional baseball, outside of the
sectional leagues, like those of the Western, Eastern, Southern, New
England and other like leagues, there is no class of minor leagues which
is so much fostered as individual State leagues. Trio or duo State
leagues should be avoided except in very exceptional cases. In the
organization of the various minor leagues in existence, one special
point has been too much neglected, and that is the importance of making
the league's pennant race specially attractive by the attractive
character of the honors to be won. Sectional leagues, made up of
well-arranged circuits, present as good attractions in their
championship honors at stake as that of the great major league, and next
to these come the pennant races of State leagues. But what special
object, in this respect, is there to strike for in the championships of
trio or duo State leagues? None whatever. They are mere gate-money
organizations, lacking all of the attractive features of sectional and
State league pennant races. State leagues also possess the advantage of
not interfering with the interests of the sectional leagues which
include State clubs. Take any State in which professional base ball
flourishes, and in the State there will be found two classes of
professional clubs, viz., the one strong class, which exist in the
larger cities of the State, and the weaker class which represents the
smaller towns. The sectional leagues, of course, seek to attach the
former to their circuits, leaving the latter eligible for State league
circuits.

* * * * *

For many years past columns of space in papers making base ball a
specialty have been occupied with long arrays of figures giving the
averages of the players in the batting and fielding departments of the
game. To such an extent has this feature of the annual statistics of the
game been carried that the records based upon these averages have come
to be regarded by the players as the primary object in view during each
season's work in the field. As a result of this system those club
directors and managers who have never fully examined into the merits of
the subject, and who are not, therefore, aware of the fact that, as
criterions of the most skilful play in each department, these averages
are comparatively useless, have been led into the costly error of making
their selections for their teams each season upon the basis of the
figures of the players' averages, and hence the customary announcement
made at the beginning of each season that "our team has the best batting
average of the season." It is about time that the fallacy of this
average business should be shown up in its true light and that the
existing system of making out averages should be so changed as to make
it some sort of a test of a player's skill in his home position, which
it certainly is not now. The worst of this average business as it
prevails now is that it is a powerful incentive for every player to make
"playing for a record" his principal object in his season's work, and
that all-important duty, "playing for the side," a matter of secondary
consideration.

* * * * *

The cranks' title of "Giants," given years ago to the New York club's
team, has become a misnomer. The team most entitled to it in 1894 was
that of the Chicago club, no other club team making such a show of
heavyweight players last season as did Anson's real "Giants," as will be
seen by the appended record. Look at the figures of their biggest men:

--------------------------------------------
Height Weight
Feet Inches lbs.
--------------------------------------------
Schriver, catcher 5 10 185
Camp, pitcher 6 160
Anson, first base 6 1 202
L. Camp, second base 6 165
Parrott, third base 5 11 160
Clayton, short stop 6 1 180
Decker, left field 6 1 180
Lange, centre field 6 1 180
Dungan, right field 5 11 180
---- ------ ----
Average 6 173
--------------------------------------------

How does Murphy, Fuller, Burke, Ward et al stand in weight and size
compared to the above "Giants"?

* * * * *

Here is something worthy of note by club managers who begin to get their
teams together each spring, which we clipped from the St. Louis Sporting
News of last December. The editor of the News said: "The player that is
on the upward path is the man for success. He is playing for something
far more than the salary he gets. He is looking forward to a place in
the foremost ranks of the nation's ball players. Consequently he proves
to be a hard worker at all times. He tries to land his club in the top
notch, and his record, for the part he took, stands out as a
recommendation to all the world. On the other hand, the older player,
who has made his record and is going down again, has lost all his
ambition. He can put no life into the club, his ginger has been expended
in the days gone by, and the people look upon him as a back number. He
sticks to the profession generally for a livelihood. He wants to play
so as to hold his place, but he has lost the powers that he once had,
and cannot do what he would like to accomplish. The old-timers had
better get a hump on themselves this year, else will the youngsters
drive them out of the business."

* * * * *

The well-known base ball writer, Mr. Pringle, was right when he said:
"It is useless to get new rules until existing ones have been rigidly
enforced and tested." It is an undeniable fact that the umpires of 1894,
almost without exception, failed to properly enforce the rules governing
the umpire's duties. In this regard Mr. Pringle said: "The rules
relating to the duties of umpires are all right. They have power to stop
all rowdy conduct on the field, but the trouble has been the lack of
nerve on the part of umpires to enforce the rules." This, and the fact
that the presidents and directors of clubs who governed the managers and
captains of teams, were largely to blame in the matter for not backing
up the umpires as they should have done. The latter have arduous duties
enough to discharge as it is without their finding obstacles in their
way in the partisan actions of club officials who control club managers
and captains. When this class supports the umpires against the club
teams it will be time enough to lay the whole onus of hoodlumism in the
ranks on the umpires--not until then.

* * * * *

A Philadelphia scribe hits the nail on the head when, in commenting on
the existing abuses of kicking and dirty ball playing in the League
arena, he says: "If the club owners would take the initiative in
enforcing decorum upon their players, upon pain of fine or suspension,
instead of shifting the burden and onus upon the umpire, the problem of
order at ball games would be solved at once. But the majority of
magnates and managers, while openly, hypocritically, deploring dirty ball
playing, secretly wink at it and rather enjoy it, especially if their
particular club secures advantages from it. The players all know this,
and so do the umpires; hence the former presume upon it, while the
latter weaken in their intent and desire to strictly enforce the
rules. When the duty of preserving order on the field and decorum among
the players is devolved upon the clubs, who represent direct authority,
power and responsibility, instead of irresponsible umpires, then, and
not till then will the evils complained of cease, or at least be
mitigated."


Al Wright, the base ball editor of the New York Clipper, in its issue of
February 15, 1895, had this noteworthy paragraph in its columns: "Frank
C. Bancroft, the business manager of the Cincinnati club, in speaking
about the equalization of the players of the major league teams, said:
'I am not a firm believer in the prevalent practice of selling the best
men in a weak or tail-end team to one of the leading clubs, and register
a vigorous kick against it. My plan is that the National League shall
pass a rule forbidding the sale of a player from a club in the second
division, to a club in the first division. I think this would, in a
measure, prevent some of the hustling to dispose of a clever man for the
sake of the cash that is in the trade. There is certainly some good
arguments in the idea, and not one against it. The clubs of the second
division have been too willing to dispose of their best men for a decent
cash consideration, and the damage that has been done to the game is
incalculable.'"


A young Brooklyn writer, in commenting on the threatened war on the
reserve rule which Messrs. Richter, Pfeffer, Buckenberger and Barnie
were active in promoting, said: "Since the National League and American
Association amalgamated at Indianapolis in 1892 the League has not been
a glorious success." The reply to this is a statement of fact which
contradicts the above assertion very flatly. The reorganized National
League started its new career in the spring of 1892 with an
indebtedness, resulting from the base ball war of 1891, of over
$150,000. At the close of the season of 1892 it had partially redeemed
its heavy indebtedness, and by the close of the season of 1893 it had
paid the debt off in full, and it closed the season of 1894 with a
majority of its clubs having a surplus in their treasuries, and that,
too, despite the hardest kind of times of financial depression. If this
is not a glorious success, pray what is?


A Pittsburgh scribe, in commenting on the dead failure of the scheme to
organize a new American Association, one object of which was to levy war
upon the now permanently established rule of the National Agreement
clubs, very pointedly said last winter that "such a scheme would be
folly of the maddest kind. There is not a good reason, theoretical or
practical, sentimental or otherwise, in support of it. The success of
base ball, to a very great extent, depends on public sentiment, and we
have seen what a base ball war did to that sentiment four years
ago. There is one solid basis for all base ball organizations, and that
is the reserve rule. The proposed organization ignores this fundamental
and necessary principle, and consequently can only be compared to that
foolish man who built a house on sand."


During the decade of the eighties the League's code of rules had this
special clause in it:

"Any player who shall be in any way interested in any bet or wager on
the game in which he takes part, either as a player, umpire, or scorer,
shall be suspended from legal service as a member of any professional
Association club for the season during which he shall have violated this
rule."

The question is, Why was this important and much-needed rule taken from
the code?

No player can play ball as he should do who is personally interested in
any bet on the content he is engaged in; that is a fact too true to be
contradicted. Independent of this fact, too. Experience has plainly
shown that the step of betting on a game he plays in is but a short one
from accepting bribes to lose a game. The rule should long ago have been
replaced in the code.


The Cleveland Leader says: "The patrons of the game have begun to
realize the true inwardness of scientific batting, as shown in the
securing of single bases by well-timed place hits, safe taps of
swiftly-pitched balls to short outfield, and skilful efforts in
sacrifice hitting and bunting, every such hit forwarding a run or
sending a run in. Of course, to occupants of the bleaching boards, as a
rule, the great attraction is the long hit for a home run, which is made
at the cost of a 120-yards sprint, and at the loss of all chances for
skilful fielding. But to the best judges of scientific batting the safe
tap of the swiftly pitched ball, the well-judged bunt or the effort to
make a safe hit to right field, which, if it fails, at least yields a
sacrifice hit, is far more attractive than the old rut of slugging for
home runs and making fungo hits to the outfielders."

There is something to fight for in the winning of a State league's
championship honors, while there is little or nothing at stake in a trio
or duo State league. Suppose each State had a four or six club circuit,
and at the close of its season, each August or September, what a paying
series of October games could be arranged in the Southern section of the
country in October for a grand championship series for the prize of
leading all the State leagues of the country for the honors of the
champion pennant of State league organizations? By all means let State
leagues be organized, until every State in the Union--North, South, East
and West--has its representative State league.

The fickle nature of base ball "rooters" was conspicuously shown at the
Polo Grounds in 1894. At the end of the June campaign, when the New York
"Giants" stood sixth in the race, Ward's stock among the local "cranks"
and "rooters," stood below par; at the close of the July campaign,
however, that same stock was at a premium; and yet it was the same John
M. Ward at the head of the "Giants." In May there were "none so poor to
do him reverence." In August, John was carried off the field a hero. Of
such are the "cranks" and "rooters."

A Toronto paper says: "Spalding Brothers will present to the champion
club of all regularly organized base ball leagues, junior or senior, in
Canada, a valuable flag, 11x28, pennant shaped, made of serviceable
white bunting, red lettered, and valued at $20. The flags will be
forwarded, duty free, immediately after the season closes. Each league
must consist of four or more clubs, and each club must play not less
than 12 championship games." This is a good plan to encourage the game
on foreign soil. It has worked well in England and Australia, too.

Among the magnates of the League who could be seen at nearly all of the
home games of the twelve clubs during the past season were the Boston
triumvirate, Messrs. Soden, Conant and Billings; the irrepressible
Charley Byrne, of Brooklyn; the handsome Vonderhorst, of Baltimore; the
smiling Eddie Talcott, of New York; the noted "Philadelphia lawyer"
Rogers, of Philadelphia; the "Boss Manager" Von der Ahe, of St. Louis;
the energetic Kerr, of Pittsburgh, and Al Spalding's successor,
President Hart, of Chicago.

The Louisville team was a strong one as regards its individual players.
But it lacked harmony in its ranks and suffered from cliques. With two
ex-captains in its team, besides the one who ran it, but little else
could be expected. Ambitious ex-captains are obstacles in the way of
successful management of a team. One regular captain should be the rule,
with an acknowledged lieutenant--a pair like Comiskey and Latham, who
worked the old St. Louis "Browns" up to being four-time winners of
pennant honors.

It is a noteworthy fact that Anson has been manager and captain of the
Chicago club's teams since 1877, and from that year to this he has taken
his team to the goal of the championship five years of the six the club
won the pennant, A.G. Spalding being the manager in 1876, the first year
the club won the honors. Fifteen successive years of management in one
club beats the League's records in that respect.





Next: Eastern League Schedule

Previous: The Second Division Clubs



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