On 17 March 1871, in New York City, an authorized delegation from leading base-ball clubs determined on a “National game.” and formulated sundry fixtures, the chief of which was a series of “championship games.” During the existence of this Association, the Chicago Club (alias “White Stockings”) ceased to be represented during the years 1872 and 1873 – the Great Fire of 1871, by its stern realities, compelling attention to matters other than pastimes.
During the existence of the Association, the competing clubs were as follows:
Chicago, 1871, 1874-1875
Athletic, of Philadelphia, 1871-1875
Mutual, of New York City, 1871-1875
Olympic, of Washington, DC, 1871-1872
Haymakers, of Troy, NY, (styled “Troy” in 1872), 1871-1872
Cleveland (alias Forest City). 1871-1872
Kekiongs, of Fort Wayne, IN, 1871
Rockford (IL), 1871
Lord Baltimore, 1872-1874
Mansfield (Ohio), 1872
National. of Washington, DC, 1872
Washington, 1873, 1875
Resolute, of Elizabeth, NJ, 1873
Maryland, of Baltimore, 1873
St. Louis Brown Stockings, New Haven, St. Louis Red Stockings, Philadelphia Centennial, and Keokuk Western entered in 1875
In 1875, the National Association Clubs numbered thirteen, of only four were members at the time of its organization in 1871. Circumstances produced demoralization and ended in the extinction of the Association. On 2 February 1875, the National Base-Ball League was organized, also in New York City. The clubs represented at the convention were the Chicago, Boston, Athletic and Mutual clubs; the Hartford, St. Louis, Louisville and Cincinnati clubs made the complement of contestants in the first League season.
William A. Hulbert, of this city, was the prime promoter, and is styled the “father of the League.” He was its first and only president until his death, 10 April 1882. Mr. Hulbert is buried in Graceland Cemetery. Due to the National Association’s lack of a definite structure, which culminated in a free-agency type case that revolved around multiple contracts signed by Chicago White Stockings shortstop Davy Force, Hulbert formed the National League.
In addition to the monument erected by his family, the National League have appropriately marked his last resting place by a granite monument bearing the name of every League club, and typical of the National game he loved and served so well.
The League clubs have been as follows (as of 1886):
New York, 1876, 1883-1886
Philadelphia, 1876, 1883-1886
St Louis, 1876-1877, 1885-1886
Cincinnati, 1876, 1878-1880
Troy City, 1879-1882
1889-90 Spalding Catalog
National League President Harry C. Pulliam,
Pittsburgh Pirates: Vic Willis, Tommy Leach, Jim Nealon, Mike Lynch, Honus Wagner, Homer Hillebrand (played for Pittsburgh from 1905-1906 and in 1908, but not in 1907), Deacon Phillippe, Fred Clarke, Ginger Beaumont (played for Pittsburgh from 1899-1906, for Boston in 1907), Lefty Leifield, George Gibson, Otis Clymer, Ed Phelps, Ed Abbattichio, Bill Hallman.
Philadelphia Phillies: Red Dooin, Togie Pittinger, Ernie Courtney, Lew Richie, Bill Duggleby, John Titus, Johnny Lush, Kid Gleason, Roy Thomas, Mickey Doolan, Sherry Magee, Tully Sparks, Kitty Bransfield, Billy Murray.
Cincinnati Reds: Sea Lion Hall, Admiral Schlei, Jake Weimer, Larry McLean, Andy Coakley, Ned Hanlon, Hans Lobert, Snake Deal (played for Cincinnati in 1906 but not 1907), Johnny Siegle (played for Cincinnati from 1905-1906 but not 1907), Del Mason, Lefty Davis, John Ganzel,, Bob Wicker (played for Cincinnati in 1906 but not 1907), Miller Huggins, Bob Ewing.
St. Louis Cardinals: Shad Barry, Fred Beebe, Hostella, Doc Marshall, Irv Higginbotham (played for St. Louis in 1906 and 1908-1909 but not in 1907), Al Burch, Tom O’Hara, Forrest Crawford, Pete Noonan, John J. McCloskey, Red Murray, Ed Karger, Charlie Rhodes (played for St. Louis in 1906 and 1908 but not in 1907), Pug Bennett, Mike Grady (played for St. Louis from 1904-1906 but not 1907), Sam Mertes (played for St. Louis in 1906 but not 1907).
Chicago Cubs: Jack Taylor, Jimmy Slagle, Doc Gessler (played for Chicago in 1906 but not 1907), Three Finger Brown, Joe Tinker, Soly Hofman, Wildfire Schulte, Orval Overall, Frank Chance, Carl Lundgren, Jack Pfeister, Chick Fraser, Ed Reulback, Jimmy Sheckard, Johnny Kling, Harry Steinfeldt, Jack Harper (played for Chicago in 1906 but not 1907), Johnny Evers, Pat Moran.
New York Giants: Sammy Strang, Frank Bowerman, George Browne, Joe McGinnity, Mike Donlin (played for New York from 1904-1906 and 1908, but not 1907), Red Ames, Tommy Corcoran, John McGraw, Cy Seymour, Hooks Wiltse, Dan McGann, Luther Taylor, Bill Dahlen, Christy Mathewson, Spike Shannon, George Ferguson, Art Devlin, Roger Bresnahan.
Brooklyn Suberbas: Red Owens (played for Brooklyn in 1905 but not 1906 or 1907), Elmer Stricklett, Doc Casey, Jack McCarthy, Harry McIntyre, Patsy Donovan, Mal Eason (played for Brooklyn from 1905-1906 but not in 1907), Whitey Alperman, Bill Bergen, Emil Batch, John Hummel, Billy Maloney, Harry Lumley, Lew Ritter, Phil Lewis, Tim Jordan, Jim Pastorius.
Boston Doves: Claude Ritchey, Sam Brown, Dave Brain, Allie Strobel (played for Boston from 1905-1906 but not 1907), Tom Needham, Fred Tenney, Irv Young, Al Bridwell, Jack O’Neill (played for Boston in 1906 but not 1907), Harry Wolverton (played for Boston in 1905 but not in 1906 or 1907), Johnny Bates, Vive Lindaman, Cozy Dolan (played for Boston from 1895-1896 and 1905-1906), Del Howard, Big Jeff Pfeffer, Gus Dorner.
Chicago Tribune April 1, 1894
The old-time ball player of twenty years ago always will be considered by the cranks who date their experiences back to those years as a player of excellence superior to anything the ball field can show now. It is how many there are of the old-timers in Chicago today who prick up their ears and snort with pleasure when the “good days” are mentioned. Aaybody who can recount experiences of the time when the ball grounds were at Dexter Park is sure of an attentive audience. The first year, 1870, that the White Stockings played at Dexter Park there was an assemblage of 27,000, which has seldom been surpassed since. One pitcher was enough for a whole game. and the catchers never wore masks or chest protectors, and proportionately as they took more risks they gained more glory and were idolized by the enthusiastic cranks.
“The most notable game we had here in the early days,” said one of these old-timers, “was between the Forest City’s of Rockford and the Forest City’s of Cleveland. Each club had a name in those days. The Mutuals of New York, the Athletics of Philadelphia, Red Stockings of Boston, Haymakers of Troy, and Eckfords of Brooklyn were some of them. This latter team had in it Martin, a celebrated slow-twist pitcher, who wias remarkable in those old days of straight arm pitching. Boston then had taken Barnes and Spalding from Rockford, and the rest of the team was mainly a Cincinnati product. It included tho Wright brothers, Waterman, McVey, and Leonard, and they were winning games right along. Chicago had gone skirmishing around and got Treacy from Philadelphia, the first year he played here being 1870. The Chicago nine was organized especially to beat the Cincinnati Red Stockings, who had gone for two seasons without losing a game. The Chicago team was made up of Mart King, catcher; Zettlein, pitcher, who came from the Atlantics of Brooklyn; McAtee, first base, Who had been a prize-fighter; Jimmy Wood, second base and Captain; the idol of the cranks; Jack Duffy, short, who afterwards played so many years with the Franklins; Charley Hodes, third, who had his, off days, depending upon his conduct of before; Fred Treacy in left, who was a wonderfully hard hitter, being counted on in the old days of a ball for at least one home run in a game. Simmons played center field, and Pinkham, who was a “south paw” fellow played right field, alternating with third base and pitcher. Tom Foley, a popular man in those days and since, was the only substitute, except Atwater. He to play third base and was a thrower that pleased the cranks.
“Rockford’s team included Scott Hastings, catcher, a left-handed artist who was about the best there was in those days; Fisher, pitcher, who was named here ” Cherokee.” on account of his high bones, qnd the name has stuck to him ever since. Mack played first, and old Bob Addy second. Bob was the first man to make the forward slide in stealing a base. This he did successfully for some years before anybody copied him. Charley ulmer was shortstop, and Anson third ha-e. Anson in those days was a lean, long fellow with no weight at all, but was even then famous for his stick work and throwing, and was regarded as the champion third baseman. Sutton divid- Ing the honors with him. Ham played in left field and Bird in center. In right was old ‘Cap’ Stires, who came from somewhere down Apple River way, and always was lame and had to have somebody run for him, but was a wonderfully powerful hitter. In a notable game with the Chicago’s played in 1870. the first year they organized, Jimmy Wood made a wonderfully left hand catch of a fly ball and touched the base. completing a double play unaided. At the eighth inning Chicago was ten ahead, when Rockford struck one of its batting streaks and made eight runs. ‘Cap’ Stires distinguished himself by knocking the ball over the extreme end fence, a feat never equaled before or sine. Then Chicago put in Pinkham, who pitched them out.
“The Mutuals of New York came here that year and 12,000 people turned out to see them play. They had John Hatfield, who made the champion long distance throw and played left field, and Charley Mills caught. The Chicagos won that game. A noted team In those days was the ‘Kekionagas’ of Fort Wayne and it had even then the celebrated ‘ Bobby’ Matthews for pitcher. They got Quinn and Hallinan from the Chicago Etnas, but did not last the season, as there were too many able-bodied dru:,kards them. Boston, with its celebrated Red Stockings, caine here that year and walloped the Chica- Ros. It was claimed that, if it had not been for the fire, the Chicago, would have stood a chance of winning the championship. They were gaining on Boston, but the fire knocked them out.
“Chicago had no nine until 1873 or 1874, when it got up another nine and played on the grounds at Twenty-third and Dearborn streets. The club tried to get the same nine it had before. There was Malone from Philadelphia. Zettlein was pitcher. Jimmy Wood tried to play, but his leg hurt him so he had to quit, Jim Develin pitched that year. He afterwards went to Lousville and went wrong in the pool-rooms. Levi Nlyerio played thirl baso mans d- Paul Hines it the field. Chicago did not do anything towards winning tho cham. that year. Then the Athletics of Philudelphla were strong. This had Dick McBride for pitcher; Charley Mills ; Anson at third: and Sutton, Clapp, Cuthbert, Joe Start, and Eggles. Two of these celebrated.
“The next year Tracy was let go and Cuthbert and Paul Hines, with Develin to first and third bases were secured. In 1875 the club got Dick Higham, a catcher, the Mutuals, but lie could not throw to second base. Glonn played loft field and Meyerle third base, with Develin pitch. ing. The latter was just learning to throw , and Scott Hastings was the only man then that could catch him. There was a constant dispute going on with the in an endeavor to make the pitcher keep his arm down.
“In 1875 the Chicagos did not do much, the Bostons then being in the habit of win- ning the championship. In 1876 they made the celebrated coup whereby they got Spald- ing for $3,000 and gave $1,000 for bringing with him Barnes, MeVey. and Jim White. The Bostons were sore at this defection and in George White’s store a sign was displayed: ‘Go West, young man, go West!’
“Little Johnny Peters was at shortstop that year and they wore different colored caps so that the players n ght be distinguished. Anson put in bis first year here, having a contract to go back to Philadelphia. but the Athletics were thrown out and he staid here and has been here ever since. That year the St. Louis players near beating the Chicagos. They won every series, but the championship was decided on the greatest number of games won, averages not being figured then. George Wash:ngton Bradley was the Browns’ great and Clapp caught him. Chicago never could hit him at all until one day the White Stockings fell on him and hammered out twenty-three runs in one inning. Others of the Browns’ noted players were Dehiman, first base: Mc- Geary, econd: Joe Battin, third; Cuthbert. left feld, Lip Pike. the left-handed .Jaw. center; and Blong, right field and change pitcher. In those days Ross Barnes used always to open the for the Chica. gas with a fair-foul hit to left field for two bases. He was an expert at that, and hardly ever failed to make a safe hit.
“In 1870 the interest in baseball all over the country had become great. In Philadel- phia there were three nines-the Athletics. the Pbiladelphies. and the Centennials. The latter did not-last log, and then the league was formed and each city was limited to one nine. In the Athletics wits left-handed George Hall. who played left field, and was as good a thrower as ever stepped on the ball- field. He could bat, ton, as well as the beAt of them. That year he stood second in the batting list, Rots Barnes being first and Johnny Peters third. In 18,75 the first 1 to O game ever played by professionals was played here between the Chicagos sad the Hartfords. The year one of the largest crowds that ever turned out to a ball witnessed the Fourth of July game between Chicago and Hartford. The latter players were rejuvenated. Dick was catcher. Bond. pitched, afterwards went to Boston, hav- ing achieved great glory by pitching a win. ning gamS against Boston at a time when the Hartfords did not amount to anything. In a game with Chicago Hartford’s third baseman, Bob Ferguson, made a star play by advancing half way down the line and catching Ross Barnes’ fair foul hit before it had left the line. I remember that was a particu- larly hard-fought game, and won. Chicago took the championship that year. The next year White went back to Boston and Bradley was got to pitch, McVey catching
him. The previous yeat, tn 1876. things got to so easy for the Chicagos that when they got a big lead they would change the nine all around. Peters would go in and catch, and McVey and White would pitch. mnd Anson would sometimes go behind the bat and Spalding and Glenn would alternate at the first bag. It was this year ‘that the pitchers first introduced the wide-out curve. Larkin had the first one ever seen here and. it was thought to be a wonder. In fact, the papers and people generally refused to believe that it was possible to curve it ball. A great many writers insisted that there was some trick about it. Hallinan was the only batter that could hit him, and he because he was left-handed,
“In 1878 Chicago made another coup and got Harb.dge as catcher, Old Joe Start cov, ered first base and rapped out his single-base hits with commendable regularity. Bob Fer- guson covered second, but the Chicagos did not come out well that year.
“In 1879 the Chicagos made a great play when they got Flint, Quest, and Williamson from Indianapolis. ‘I The only Nolan ‘ had created a great furor by his superb pitching the previous year, and these three were his main support. Johnnie Peters was at short, Larkin pitcher. and Remsen, the star center-fielder, that year played the game of his life. In 1876 he made a vow that he would not cut his hair until Tilden took his seat in the Presidential chair, but he did not carry it out, After he left the outfield was Dalrymple, Gore, and Kelly. The hard- est thing a pitcher had to go against in those days was the first four on the Chicago batting list-Dalrymple. Gore. Kelly, and Anson. It always meant runs. At the old Lake-Front grounds there was a rule that the batter was to take only twu bases on a bit over the right field fence. Then Chicago found it had the advantage in left-handed batters, who could put the ball over the right field fence pretty nearly when they pleased, and this rule Was abolished the men getting a home run for every suck hit. Ge ,rgo Shuefer, ‘the orator,’ was in the nine then. He quarreled with Williamson one day and the latter gave him a good licking and then Shaefer quit.
“The next year Burns was got for short- stop, and the famous old ‘ stone wall ‘ infield commenced its work. The Chicagos won the championship for three years in succession. The pitchers were Corcoran and Goldsmith, Chicago having originated the idea of having two pitchers. Flint did about all the catching. and the infield was Anson, Joe Quest, Wlliamson, and Burns, with Dalrymple, Gore, and Kelly in the field. The following year they let Corcoran go and got John Clarkson in his stead. After that everybody re- members the history of the team.
“Among the amateur clubs the Franklins were always the strongest in early days. They started about 1873, being made up largely from the old Etnas. The Liberty’s had a great nine, too. Denny Hogan, now Mayor of Geneva, played first base, and Mike Hays, the beerman, was pitcher and Little Doian catcher. Their ranks were largely re- cruited from the firemen. The Acmnes of the South Side were a great nine and had Driver, a marvelous pitcher, with M. Gross as catcher. The Philadelphias when here iD 1878 went out on the prairie to play the Franklins. Billy Lerow, now on the Board of Trade, was % laying left field and made n marvelous throw I of u long hit, greatly the profes. sionals. Carbine and Biily Foley of the Franklins afterwards became prominent pro- fessionals.”
Jimmy Wood, the one-time idol of the Chi- cago cranks, does not look any older today than he did twenty years ago.
“The Cincinnati Reds,” he said, ” played through the two seasons of 1868 and 1869 and never lost a game. They came here and beat the Excelsiors, then our champions. The Nationals of Washington came here, too, and defeated the Exceisiors by a score of 49 to 4. They stopped in Rock-ford and the Rockfords beat them. The Excelsiors had always beat- en the Rockfords, so the Nationals were thought to be . Everybody went broke on that game. In 1870, the Chicagos’ first year, the nine was Craver, King, and Hodes, catchers; Pinkham and Mieyerle, pitchers; , first base; Wood, second- Bfodes, Pilk-ham, and Maleyerle, third * and , Treacy, and Flynn, in the field. Out of all these old players only three are dead, Hode4, Flynn, and MecAtee. In those days two out of three decided a series. The Chicagos played in Cincinnati and were dissatisfied with the umpire there, so in a with the Cincinnatis here they sent to Brooklyn I and got Bob Ferguson of the Atlantics for
umpire. In the seventh inning the score was 11 to 2 in favor of Cincinnati, but Chicago always played a strong up-til game, and they di t it this time, making fourteen runs in the last two inning- to two that Cincinnati could get. Over 27,000 people witnessed this game, and there were 1,100 carriages. n the field. That was at Dexter Park at the Stock. Yards, and the Beats, which extended clear around the field, were jammed full. The field was 600 feet in diameter, and in those days a lively hall was used. WVhen it was hit fairly it would never -top going.
“Cincinnati disbanded after being beaten here, and the players went In a body to Washington, where they themselves the Olympics. The greatest game Chicago ever played with them was one wherein the home club was whitewashed up to the ninth inning. This was the d rat year on the Lake-Front. With one man out and the score 6 to 0 against them each man made a run and then the Olympics scored 2, leaving the score 9 to 7 in favor of Chicago. That day the crowd was so great that the gates had to be closed against it, leaving a lot of people on the out- side. Norman T. Gansette assumed control. The year -previous the club had run behind several . By the Fourth of July Mr. Gassette had drawn the club out of debt and had a good bank balance besides. In 1874 William Hurlburt took the man- agement. He did ‘ more for baseball than any living man before or since, bringing the game to the high standard it took. In 1872 the grounds were secured at Twenty-third and Dearborn street-. 1 was then with the Troy club and brought the players out here for a season of six weeks. In 1873 I was in Philadelphia, and in 1874 brought most of the Philadelphia nine to Chicago. We then had beaten almost every other club. In 1876 the great four came from Boston-Spaiding, McVey, White, and Barnes-and we won the cham- pionship after that for three years in succession.”