Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pitiful Pitching

Baseball was different in 1866, notably in this article about a game in Brooklyn.

The New York Herald - September 12, 1866

Eckford vs. Enterprise.
  The game between these clubs played at the Union grounds, Brooklyn, E.D., on Monday afternoon, resulted in a victory for the Enterprise Club, after a finely played game of eight innings. When it is asserted that the game was well played, it must be understood as applying only to the fielding, as the batting was not at all what it might be, while the pitching was as wild almost as when the pitcher was allowed to run in half a dozen yards before he delivered the ball. But the Umpire did not mind it, and the pitchers were allowed to worry the batsmen to their hearts' content. As an instance, in one innings Hall, of the Enterprise, was at the bat and Southworth pitching. The ball was pitched seven times without reaching the home base once except after a bound or two; then a ball was pitched about eight feet up in the air; then one for which the catcher had to run at least five yards to the left of his position in order to stop. At the tenth ball the batsman struck, but the ball was not at all within reach; then four more bounders and the fifteenth ball was hit. During all this time no "ball" was called. Of the Enterprise nine Richards, Hall and Patterson deserve mention, and of the Eckford Ryan, Manolt and Snyder. The last mentioned was substituted in McDonald's place, who was playing finely, but in attempting to catch a line ball from Pinkhams bat, in the third innings, was badly hurt and obliged to retire. 

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