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DrungoHazewood

On This Day in 1895: June 26th

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From the archives of the Baltimore American newspaper:

By winning yesterday, Baltimore is only nine points behind Pittsburg for second place. Boston has still a stronger hold on first place, by winning again.  Philadelphia and Cincinnati, by winning, both jumped ahead of Brooklyn, while the latter, by losing, dropped from sixth to eighth place.  The standing of the other clubs remains unchanged.

McGraw's Timely Drive in the Last Inning Won the Game.

No more dramatic scene in baseball could be imagined than when McGraw drew yesterday's game out of the fire with his stick.  Every play in the long stubborn battle tended to center all in that one effort of the little third baseman.  It had been a bull-dog contest all through.  Washington had scored with more regularity, but the Champions had replied with savage rallies at the bat, and the score stood six to seven in favor of the Senators at the opening of the last half of the ninth inning. Two men were on bases and two were out.  Reitz was on third and Carey on second.  They had gotten their start by successive hits and were each advanced a base on a passed ball.

The Washington crowd had gone wild over the prospect of besting their time-honored enemies twice in succession, an when little Mac stepped to the plate the four thousand became suddenly very quiet and intensely wrapped in the scene being enacted.  Upon the stick work of McGraw depended the game.  A good stout hit would yield two runs and the game, while a miscue of any sort would bring grief to the Baltimore end and hilarity to the Washingtonians.  The first ball across the plate was a slow out-shoot, at which McGraw bit, and a shout of delight went up from the Washington ranks. Then came two balls in succession, which Mac complaisantly watched skip by, amidst a groan from the Senatorial crowd.  A beautiful strike next whizzed across the plate, at which Mac fell down.  Every soul of that vast concourse of people was now on the border line of nervous mania, excepting that admirable ball player, who seemed more at ease than ever, and with a nonchalance exceedingly tantalizing to the home crowd that viewed the situation.  Then came another ball.  With two men out and two strikes and three balls then entire game hinged on the next pitch.  It was one of those narrow threads that makes rooters of the most staid people.  Mercer realized the importance of his next message across the plate, and took a long time delivering it.  First he discolored the ball, and then, taking his position, stood there for about a minute, all the time of which Mac was on the qui vive with his bat, trembling with effort.  Suddenly Mercer wheeled about and let fly something with all the symptoms of a fast ball.  Whether it was or not will never be told, as Mac landed on the sphere like an electric shock and sent it trolleying down to third. It went by Joyce so fast that it made his hair curl, and then swept by Selbach like many golden opportunities. The fielders did not attempt to capture the ball at all, as with the crack of the stick Reitz and Carey had girded up their loins and made a great dash for the plate, bringing in the game with them. Later, one of the Champions' rooters found the ball in the field, and, after breaking a bottle of wine over it, decorated it with ribbon, saying he would keep it as a souvenir.  McGraw was hugged by the other players when he hit the ball, as they were as wildly anxious to win as anybody.

(There was much more to the article, but my typing hands are getting tired)

Lineups:
Orioles
McGraw, 3b
Keeler, RF
Jennings, SS
Kelly, LF
Brodie, CF
Reitz, 2b
Carey, 1b
Clarke, c
Esper, p
Gleason, lf (ph?)
Hoffer, P

Senators
Selbach, LF
Joyce, 3b
Hassamaer, RF
Glasscock, SS
McGuire, c
Cartwright, 1b
Crooks, 2b
Abbey, CF
Mercer, P

Score by innings
Baltimore     0  0  0  0  2  3  0  1  2 - 8
Washington 0  1  0  0  1  3  0  1  1 - 7

Three-base hits: Selbach
Home runs - Kelly
Stolen bases - McGraw, Kelly, Keeler, Joyce
Sac hits - Jennings, Hassamear, Mercer, Selbach, Crooks

Time: 2:20.  Umpire - Emslie

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Drungo, if the lineup that you posted represents the batting order, it would appear that McGraw batted out of turn as the article states that there were 2 out, 2 on, indicating that Hoffer should have been batting.

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Line score upside down?  Baltimore was home, though itsounds like a lot of washingtonians took the train up for the game.

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11 minutes ago, AZRon said:

Drungo, if the lineup that you posted represents the batting order, it would appear that McGraw batted out of turn as the article states that there were 2 out, 2 on, indicating that Hoffer should have been batting.

I made an error.  Missed that Duke Esper had started on the mound, then I think Gleason pinch hit, and Hoffer then went in to pitch.

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Just now, SteveA said:

Line score upside down?  Baltimore was home, though itsounds like a lot of washingtonians took the train up for the game.

It wasn't universal in that era that the home team batted last.  I'll have to look when that became a hard-and-fast rule, but I suspect the O's were the visitor at Washington and batted last.

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Just now, DrungoHazewood said:

It wasn't universal in that era that the home team batted last.  I'll have to look when that became a hard-and-fast rule, but I suspect the O's were the visitor at Washington and batted last.

Not based on the write-up.  It was a walk off win for the Orioles, the Senators never even picked up the ball, fans after the game did and poured wine over it.

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1 minute ago, SteveA said:

Not based on the write-up.  It was a walk off win for the Orioles, the Senators never even picked up the ball, fans after the game did and poured wine over it.

Right, the O's were the visitor but they batted in the bottom of the ninth.  The Senators probably chose to bat first as was the option at the time.

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From a baseball-fever post: "In the National League, from 1876 until 1886, with the exception of 1877, the team that batted first was determined by a coin flip. In 1877 the home team batted first. In 1885 in the American Association, at the time a major league (1882-1891), the home team was given the option of when to bat; the National League followed suit starting in 1887. In the NL 1894 season, for instance, the home team batted first in 324 of the 793 games played (40.9%)"

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30 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

From a baseball-fever post: "In the National League, from 1876 until 1886, with the exception of 1877, the team that batted first was determined by a coin flip. In 1877 the home team batted first. In 1885 in the American Association, at the time a major league (1882-1891), the home team was given the option of when to bat; the National League followed suit starting in 1887. In the NL 1894 season, for instance, the home team batted first in 324 of the 793 games played (40.9%)"

If given the option, why would you ever choose to bat first?   Seems like there is an inherent advantage in batting last, in tie game, knowing that 1 run will win the game allows the team batting last to employ "1-run" strategies that guarantee a win if you score.   The team batting first can give up outs for base advancement or runs, get that run across, and still possibly lose, as the Senators did 125 years ago today.

Is there any advantage to batting first that would counterbalance the clear advantage to the home team in a tie game in the 9th or later?

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17 minutes ago, SteveA said:

If given the option, why would you ever choose to bat first?   Seems like there is an inherent advantage in batting last, in tie game, knowing that 1 run will win the game allows the team batting last to employ "1-run" strategies that guarantee a win if you score.   The team batting first can give up outs for base advancement or runs, get that run across, and still possibly lose, as the Senators did 125 years ago today.

Is there any advantage to batting first that would counterbalance the clear advantage to the home team in a tie game in the 9th or later?

I don't know.  Maybe something that was valid in the game of the 1800s that isn't today.  Like you get a fresher ball that was more lively, since they rarely replaced the ball back then*.  Or maybe there's a better chance you get another inning batting if the game gets called due to darkness or weather?  Although in that case I think the game would revert to the last completed inning.  Or maybe if you have a big hitting team you want to jump out to a lead before the other team has even batted.

* Note in the description of the game that Win Mercer deliberately discolored the ball.  That was fine in 1895.

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Other interesting notes from the paper that day:

A New Dyspepsia Cure

Stuart's Dyspepsia Tablets, the new discovery for stomach trouble is claimed to have cured over 6,000 people in the state of Michigan alone in 1894....  the safest and most reliable remedy for sour stomach, chronic dyspepsia, gas bloating, palpitation, headache, constipation, and in all cases where the appetite is poor or the food imperfectly digested.

Gossip of the Diamond

A voting contest for the favorite player is going on in Washington.  The Baltimore contingent voted solidly for Stocksdale.

Ed. McKean, the Cleveland shortstops, expect to take a trip around the world as soon as the League championship season ends.

Pittsburg fans are busy berating Manager Connie Mack because he let Pitcher Gus Weyhing go without a trial.  Mack has experimented with several alleged phenoms since, with disastrous results.

Catcher Peitz Seriously Ill

(Special to The American)  Pittsburg - June 25 - Ex-Manager Buckenberger, of the St. Louis Club, has arrived in the city.  He says that he was glad to get away from the St. Louis Club, having been hampered from the beginning of the season.  He reports more hard luck for the Browns, Peitz being seriously ill.

Cuban Giants Beaten.  The famous Cuban Giants*, who have been winning continuously in New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania towns since their defeat here in May, again went down before plate-cutter Lipp and the wideawake Hagerstown team today.

* Drungo's note, the Cuban Giants were one of, if not the first, African American baseball teams.  They toured the country in the 1880s and 1890s, enjoying much success against white teams and were declared the "world colored champions" of 1887 and 1888.  I thought it interesting that a standard newspaper of 1895 would put accounts of their games in with all the other pro, amateur and college games without remarking on their makeup.

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Pitcher's Game in Brooklyn

Both Kennedy and Carsey were at the their best in the game at Eastern Park this afternoon.  Each team made five hits.  The Phillies gained their victory chiefly through Kennedy's inability to locate the plate in the fourth inning, when he sent both Hamilton and Boyle to base.  Both runners scored.  Daily's home-run hit in the eighth inning was a lucky one, the ball bounding into the right field seats.  The game was played in 1 hour and 12 minutes, which is the record time so far this season.

(Note both the time of the game, which is shorter than the commercial breaks in a typical game today. And the bounce home run, which wouldn't become a ground rule double until 1929 (AL) or 1931 (NL).  All such bounce homers still count as such in the official records.  Ruth even has a few out of his 714.)

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