The season of 1861 was marked by a contest between selected nines from among the best players of the New York and Brooklyn clubs, which proved to be decidedly one of the best games of base-ball ever recorded in the annals of the game. In 1858, a series of three matches of a similar kind were played on the Fashion Course, Long Island, on July 20th, August 17th, and September 10th, the scores of which we give in another portion of the book, the result of the series being the winning of two games, out of the three played, by the New York nine. Since then, up to 1861, no similar contests were played. In 1861, however, a contest was arranged between two nines selected from among the four prominent playing clubs of Hoboken; the contest being termed "North Ground vs. South Ground," the nine of the former party being chosen from the Mutual and Gotham clubs, and the nine of the latter from the Eagle and Empire. The result of this match was a decided victory for the clubs occupying the North Ground. At the conclusion of this match, which was not as interesting or as well contested as it was expected it would have been, the author of this book suggested the propriety of getting up a match between a nine selected from the four clubs who took part in this match, and a nine from the Atlantic, Excelsior and Eckford clubs. After considerable exertions in arranging the preliminary details of the match, and in selecting the contesting nines, the contest was appointed to take place. As a slight incentive to extra exertion, on the part of individual contestants, Mr. Frank Queen, of the New York Clipper, at the author's solicitation, was induced to present a handsome silver ball as the trophy of the occasion, the same to become the property of the club whose members should make the highest score on the winning side.
On Monday, October 21st, 1861, this exciting and interesting match was played, on the grounds of the Gotham club, at Hoboken, in the presence of not less than from twelve to fifteen thousand spectators. The result was a victory for the Brooklyn nine, the trophy being taken possession of by the Atlantic club, their three members having made the greatest number of runs. The whole affair passed off with a spirit and enthusiasm unparalleled, both nines being equally congratulated on the skill exhibited by them individually and collectively.
The following are the two nines originally selected to take part in the contest, together with their positions and the club they belonged to
|Pearce, Atlantic, Catcher.||Brown, Mutual, 2d base.|
|Smith, Atlantic, 3d base.||A. B. Taylor, Mutual, L'ft fi'd.|
|Oliver, Atlantic, 2d base.||McMahon, Mutual, Sh'rt st'p.|
|Creighton, Excelsior, P'cher.||Harris, Mutual, Center field.|
|Pearsall, Excelsior, 1st base.||McKeever, Gotham, Pitcher.|
|Flanley, Excelsior, Cen. fi'ld.||Cohen, Gotham, Catcher.|
|Manolt, Eckford, Left field.||Van Cott, Gotham, 3d base.|
|Beach, Eckford, Right field.||Yates, Eagle, 1st base.|
|Brum, Eckford, Short stop.||Goldie, Jefferson, Right field.|
On the day of the match, however, Price was substituted for Oliver from the Atlantic club, and Resch for Grum from the Eckford, on the Brooklyn side; and H. Wright from the Knickerbocker in place of Van Cott of the Gotham, and Culver of the Empire in place of Goldie of the Jefferson. The play of these substitutes was such in excellence as to make the absence of the players originally selected scarcely worth of remark.
The following is the score in full:
|Yates, 1st b||2||2||Pearce, c||2||3|
|Brown, 2d b||3||1||Creighton, p||4||2|
|McKeever, p||3||0||Beach, s s||2||3|
|McMahon, s s||3||1||Price, 3d b||4||2|
|Cohen, c||4||0||Pearsall, 1st b||2||2|
|A. B. Taylor, l f||4||0||Manolt, c f||2||2|
|Wright, 3d b||1||1||Smith, 2d b||2||2|
|Harris, c f||1||1||Flanly, l f||4||1|
|Culyer, r f||3||0||Reach, r f||2||1|
Passed balls, on which bases were run--Pearce, 3 ; Cohen, 1 ; McMahon, 1.
Catches missed on the fly--Cohen, 1 ; Brown, 2 ; A. B. Taylor, 1 ; Yates, 1 ; Pearce, 1 ; Harris, 1.
Struck out--McMahon, 1 ; Yates, 1.
Catches missed on the bound--Brown, 2.
Run out between bases--McMahon by Creighton.
Times left on bases--McKeever, 1; Wright, 1; Harris, 1; Pearce, 1; Beach, 1; Pearsall, 1; Manolt, 1; Smith, 1; Reach, 1.
Time of game--Two hours and thirty minutes.
Umpire--Mr. J. B. Leggett, of the Excelsior club.
Scorers--For the New York nine, Mr. McConnell; for the Brooklyn nine, Mr. G. W. Moore.