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Old 05-10-2005, 04:51 PM   #51
SelzShoes
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Who's Who--Frank "Cappy" Richardson

Idol of the Masses

For the first generation of Empire League fans, no man symbolized the League like Frank “Cappy” Richardson. There may have been better players, but he was the first true star of the League.

An amateur legend at the tender age of 16, he was signed off of his Iowa barnstorming club by the New Yorks and given the starting third base job as an 18 year old. A steady player, he first captured the attention of the press and public prior to the 1874 season with his denunciation of Darryl Weisenburger’s demand the league raise the mandated salary to match the increasing length of the season. Hailed as a “true American” for his stance against the “reds who would destroy this county and game.” His mystique grew when, as field captain, he lead the New Yorks to the League title that same season—the first won by a non-Boston club. He became know for his ability to motivate his teammates to reach beyond their abilities to achieve victory.

His defense of “native” rights over the influence of “European, Jewish and Negro” saboteurs won him a following spread beyond the limit of New York. Despite his young age, he is only 24 entering his 7th League season; he was in much demand as a speaker at functions across the Eastern and Southern half of the country. His style of play, always full out, always looking for the edge, made him the darling of the New York press.

His status for the 1877 season is up in the air, with William Temple’s franchise dissolved, the “Prairie Fire” is looking for employment, and has incited a bidding war for his services. The only thing for sure is he will not play for Chicago, who he holds responsible for forcing Temple to break up the New Yorks after 1874 and who signed the above mentioned Weisenburger. Many think he will sign with Brooklyn, but Hamilton’s relationship with McCormick may make that impossible.

Code:
Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Teams 1871 38 153 40 9 3 0 19 22 8 4 2 2 .261 .298 .359 .658 NYN 1872 49 207 68 16 6 0 31 48 14 2 7 4 .329 .371 .464 .835 NYN 1873 52 218 76 26 4 0 44 37 17 3 3 2 .349 .396 .505 .900 NYN 1874 69 276 103 35 4 0 47 42 21 9 4 1 .373 .418 .529 .946 NYN 1875 74 293 92 37 3 0 43 37 18 9 8 2 .314 .354 .461 .814 NYN 1876 86 344 117 35 7 0 35 44 15 14 3 2 .340 .368 .483 .850 NYN Total 368 1491 496 158 27 0 219 230 93 41 27 13 .333 .372 .475 .847

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Old 05-10-2005, 04:53 PM   #52
SelzShoes
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Who's Who--William Temple

Former Owner New York

A very complex man. Leader of the former Eastern faction, he holds a very high ideal of what the purpose of the Empire League should be: glory before profits. However; like in his shipping business, he believes the ends justify the means. His purchasing the Hartford franchise with Boston’s Mick Avery, without league approval, and the fraud to cover up the action lead to his and New York’s expulsion from the League. But believing the defense of the game from McCormick’s ‘profit mongering’ was important, he does not feel he did anything wrong.

A much more likeable and approachable man than McCormick, he has been able to use the press to paint the conflict as McCormick’s personal crusade to enlarge Chicago, and his own, standing on the National stage. Temple firmly believes New York does have some ‘divine right’ to dictate League policy, at the hindrance of the other clubs, since it “is important our greatest city is represented with a winning team.”

He led the fight against higher salaries and lower admission as part of his desire for what he terms ‘pure sport.’ The games, in his view, should be a gathering of gentlemen, not a leisure for the rabble. Players should value playing for joy and exercise, not a few pieces of silver. Very much in line with the contemporary mores, but out of touch with the reality of the business that is starting to form.

The ‘Panic of 1877’ and the loss of his investment in Hartford and New York have put him in a precarious position financially. He vows to return to the game and destroy the “Babylon” of the Empire, but it is not clear if his ideals are compatible with his goals.
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:03 PM   #53
SelzShoes
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Who's Who-Norman Lent

The unknown star

Five seasons over .400, and one missing by two hits, Lent was the backstop and sparkplug for 4 Boston champions and 2 2nd place teams. And yet, he has never been regarded as highly as Frank Richardson or others with lesser numbers.

A quiet man who regards the Boston press as vulgar drunkards, he has kept to himself while playing for the Unions. Not even the local fans really have a handle on what kind of many he is. Recently he was released by the new Boston ownership in a cost cutting measure. If he resigns with Boston, he will probably continue to excel in anonymity, but in elsewhere, he could get the coverage he deserves as a star.

Code:
Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Teams 1871 36 147 70 7 7 0 32 29 5 5 5 2 .476 .493 .619 1.112 BOS 1872 47 195 93 14 4 0 37 46 15 5 1 3 .477 .514 .590 1.104 BOS 1873 45 190 93 18 2 0 40 44 22 3 4 2 .489 .542 .605 1.148 BOS 1874 67 281 122 26 2 1 51 62 19 4 4 0 .434 .470 .552 1.022 BOS 1875 58 230 97 22 1 0 34 43 17 4 3 1 .422 .462 .526 .988 BOS 1876 78 325 128 30 4 2 40 61 12 4 1 0 .394 .415 .529 .945 BOS Total 331 1368 603 117 20 3 234 285 90 25 18 8 .441 .475 .562 1.037
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Old 05-10-2005, 09:36 PM   #54
SelzShoes
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Who's Who--Alton Emch

Trying to change the game

In 1871, following the theories of the day, Emch hit .500 over the short season. By 1876, in found himself little used as a substitute for Brooklyn. The reason: conflicts with team officials and teammates over his tendency to go for the “long hit”.

Reasoning that a double or triple had a better chance of chasing home a teammate than trying for single after single, Emch began advocating a ‘fly ball’ style of hitting over ‘line drives.’ “Three singles bring home one run; two singles and a double will score two.” His average dropped, but with no measure for Runs Batted In at the time, all evidence of theory was anecdotal. Yes, the papers wrote, it seemed like he pushed more runners home, but the average kept dropping. He also began stating the idea different situations called for different styles of hitting. It is unclear what his role with Brooklyn will be for the upcoming seasons, it could be at 31 his skills are not keeping up with the influx of talent to the Empire.

Code:
Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Teams 1871 36 156 78 11 3 4 44 35 12 3 4 1 .500 .536 .686 1.222 BOS 1872 51 217 98 12 4 7 56 54 13 5 2 0 .452 .483 .641 1.123 BOS 1873 50 213 70 15 3 8 57 49 14 2 0 1 .329 .370 .540 .910 BOS 1874 68 273 94 13 7 9 47 42 17 4 0 0 .344 .383 .542 .925 CHI 1875 79 329 108 31 4 2 48 51 18 12 1 4 .328 .363 .465 .828 CHI 1876 16 56 15 3 2 0 6 10 3 1 2 0 .268 .305 .393 .698 CHI/BRO Total 300 1244 463 85 23 30 258 241 77 27 9 6 .372 .409 .550 .959
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Old 05-10-2005, 09:57 PM   #55
SelzShoes
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Who's Who--Thaddeus Hamilton

Tragedy in Brooklyn

The youngest of the original owners, only 38 at the founding of the league, he is also the most tragic. Beset with tuberculoses and a ‘wasting disease’ it is a wonder he has lived as long as he has. Making a fortune in banking and land speculation, Hamilton became the man to go to for financial needs by the elites of Brooklyn and New York. William Temple convinced Hamilton to be involved with the Empire to help “lend respectability” to the fledgling league. Slowly, Hamilton came to believe that James McCormick’s leadership would be better for his investment. The fact Temple was trying to tilt the league to favor New York over his Brooklyn squad came to bother him as well. Hamilton came to see the Empire as a chance to best New York, and showcase his beloved Brooklyn.

With his health failing faster, Hamilton is dedicated to building a club that can deliver a pennant this upcoming season. He has made money no object, much to the concern of his loyal personal secretary William Frederick Adams. Adams, who has worked tirelessly for Thaddeus over the last ten years, watching him slowly deteriorate. While Adams does not understand his employer’s obsession with “this child’s game” he dutifully attends games and league meetings when Thaddeus’s health does not permit him to leave his home.
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:48 AM   #56
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Who's Who--Quick Hits: Executives

Right now the Executives are the driving force of the league; the more people focus on them and the more anonymous the players stay—well that just keeps cost down.

Zacariah Franklin—owner of Philadelphia, no relation to Ben. Owner of a group of paper mills on the East Coast, he was an investor of the original Philadelphia club that folded after 1871. When Horace Soleabea sold the interest of the Baltimore club, Franklin quickly stepped in. Angry at what he perceived as Temple’s refusal to assist the struggling club (they finished 3-37 that first season), Franklin cast his lot with McCormick, forcing a deadlock until the New Haven club failed. He is the most likely owner to oppose McCormick, but with two new owners, and a “coward of the first order,” it may be a couple seasons before he can let his will be known.

Max Von Schriber—purchased the Cincinnati Kings from A. J. Helmuth after 1871. A portly man, who resembles a caricature of a German businessman. Frets constantly about the cost of winning, in many ways, he feels winning the title in 1876 was the worst thing to happen to his club.

Obie McCormick—brother of James McCormick, first owned the short lived Keokuk franchise and took over Chicago when James was elected League President. Many other owners suspect James still runs Chicago, as Obie’s main contribution to the league is to blindly back his brother.

Lyman Hartpence of Boston—just purchased the Boston club. A quiet little man, not much is known about him, except he wants to maximize profits.

Bertrham Farley of Buffalo—purchased the interest of the Cleveland club and moved it to Buffalo. Publishes the Buffalo Dispatch, very wealthy and intends to be a force in the league. Must first secure the City of Buffalo before thinking about imposing his ideas on the league.

Winfred Siemens—Owner of the Buffalo squad in the Ontario-New York League. A short-term nuisance or long-term problem? Intends to fight for his ‘territory’ and refuses to accept the right of the Empire League to place a club in ‘his’ city. Publishes a rival paper to the Dispatch, making the battle personal on several levels.
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:57 AM   #57
SelzShoes
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Who's Who--Quick Hits: defunct characters

Names from the first six seasons that have moved on

Petre Goethe—former owner of Saint Louis, his major contribution to the game was introducing liquor sales. Built a Beer Garden overlooking the field when the Eastern clubs banned beer sales. Was the first owner to make money from concessions by limiting the alcohol served to what his Garden made available.

Hiram Chesterfield—former owner of Cleveland, helped write the League Constitution. Was forced to sell when he was unable to find grounds suitable for a larger park.

J. Hinckley O’Brien—former Washington owner, his failure to post the necessary bond to assure his solvency further tilted the balance of power to McCormick.

Horace Solebea—former owner of Baltimore, forced to sell when he refused to make a trip to Saint Louis because of their sale of liquor. Chose to sell to Franklin of Philadelphia to spite the Eastern clubs that did not back him.

“Mick” Avery—former owner of Boston, built the early powerhouse Unions, but was sucked into the Hartford scandal by Temple. Despite 4 titles and 2 runner ups, all the profit was drained by supporting the Hartford club. The whole experience soured him on the business of base ball. McCormick allowed him to sell, rather than be dissolved, since Temple ‘forced’ him into the arrangement.

Raleigh Bourne—former owner (?) of Hartford, the man most responsible for Temple’s downfall. Realizing he could not afford to field a competitive club, he conned Avery and Temple into buying his club without league approval. He then fled to Arizona Territory, where he was eventually convicted for his association with James Addison Reavis, the man who stole Arizona.

A. J. Helmuth—organized the 1896 Cincinnati Base Ball Kings tour, which inspired the formation of the Empire League. He owned the initial Cincinnati entry, but sold them after the first season. Still tangentially involved as the Kings’ landlord.
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Old 05-11-2005, 02:20 PM   #58
SelzShoes
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Who's Who--Quick Hits: The Hitters, Part 1

It is an odd time for the players in the EL, with 1/2 of the teams failing in the last two years, many top batsmen and hurlers are without employment.

Darryl Weisenburger, 1B, Chicago, 34 yrs
Code:
Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Teams 1871 38 158 68 9 0 1 23 28 9 5 1 0 .430 .461 .506 .967 NYN 1872 50 217 99 11 1 1 41 44 15 9 0 0 .456 .491 .530 1.021 NYN 1873 53 223 89 12 1 3 36 33 17 5 0 0 .399 .442 .502 .944 NYN 1874 68 276 124 17 0 4 47 48 25 9 3 0 .449 .495 .554 1.049 NYN 1875 82 320 125 18 0 2 37 56 29 13 4 1 .391 .441 .466 .907 CHI 1876 83 334 131 23 0 2 51 48 24 6 4 0 .392 .433 .479 .912 CHI Total 374 1528 636 90 2 13 235 257 119 47 12 1 .416 .458 .503 .962
No man has more hits over the first 6 season, but if not for speaking his mind would probably be a bigger star. Old Reliable, as the Chicago cranks have dubbed him, made a simple statement in the 1874-1875 off season about how the increased number of games required an increase in pay. Frank Richardson and the press attacked him as a "red." However, in Chicago, where James McCormick made him one of the highest paid players, he has not been as "political". Still, he is the "hero of the workingman" in the City with Broad Shoulders, but his age (34) worries management--how much longer can he produce for the Browns?

Rodney Stollings, RF, no team, 31 yrs
Code:
Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Teams 1871 38 164 60 9 5 1 18 23 7 2 4 2 .366 .392 .500 .892 CIN 1872 54 229 95 16 6 4 40 38 10 5 4 5 .415 .439 .590 1.029 CIN 1873 52 207 74 22 2 6 36 38 23 5 1 0 .357 .422 .570 .992 CIN 1874 68 265 103 37 7 3 50 54 33 2 2 3 .389 .456 .615 1.071 CIN 1875 81 321 122 37 5 6 49 66 23 9 0 3 .380 .422 .583 1.004 CIN 1876 84 351 138 41 8 12 72 70 18 11 2 4 .393 .423 .658 1.081 CIN Total 377 1537 592 162 33 32 265 289 114 34 13 17 .385 .428 .596 1.024
He has been producing at a high level since the 1869 Base Ball King tour, which he was a part of; 1876 was just eye-popping for the time. "Whenever the Kings needed a run, Stollings could be counted on to deliver," the papers wrote. But now with ownership cutting back salaries after the 1876 title, Queen City cranks may have to get used to someone else patrolling rightfield.

Steve Alves, SS, Chicago, 27 yrs
Code:
Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Teams 1871 37 162 51 6 7 0 11 33 7 12 15 3 .315 .343 .438 .781 BOS 1872 52 215 84 11 11 0 46 42 13 9 15 3 .391 .425 .544 .970 BOS 1873 52 234 83 15 3 2 31 59 14 8 23 4 .355 .391 .470 .861 BOS 1874 68 311 99 21 7 1 38 66 13 10 26 8 .318 .346 .441 .786 BOS 1875 81 349 96 17 5 1 29 52 11 14 17 11 .275 .297 .361 .658 BOS 1876 82 358 102 22 11 1 36 64 16 10 27 7 .285 .316 .416 .732 CHI Total 372 1629 515 92 44 5 191 316 74 63 123 36 .316 .346 .436 .782
The moment he showed signs of slipping, the Unions cast him aside. The self-proclaimed "fastest man afield" showed he has pleanty of spring left in his step. Regarded as having the best 'hands' on the field, he is a fan favorite. "Once he starts to first," a popular saying goes, "he does not stop until he has touched home."

Henry Panell, 2B, no team, 26 yrs
Code:
Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Teams 1871 39 167 67 8 5 1 36 26 10 5 4 3 .401 .435 .527 .962 CHI 1872 45 185 91 10 5 1 38 28 11 3 7 4 .492 .520 .616 1.137 CLE 1873 52 212 80 17 3 1 25 40 14 6 6 1 .377 .416 .500 .916 CLE 1874 67 279 121 20 3 3 44 59 23 3 6 5 .434 .477 .559 1.036 CLE 1875 83 332 138 28 9 4 51 59 22 2 6 5 .416 .452 .590 1.042 CLE 1876 88 338 138 28 7 1 46 60 26 0 6 1 .408 .451 .541 .992 CLE Total 374 1513 635 111 32 11 240 272 106 19 35 19 .420 .458 .557 1.015
Early victim of "East Coast Bias," while Norman Lent is regarded as the best batsman in the Empire, Panell has actually won 3 titles to Lent's 1. If the Browns had not gone dormant for two season, the Chicago press would make sure he was properly hailed. Cleveland, sadly, saddled with a tiny park and irregular press coverage has kept his skill hidden. "He just shows up and gets his hits," teammates say. Somewhat indifferent in the field, could be the next 'super star' in the right city.
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Old 05-12-2005, 01:50 PM   #59
SelzShoes
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Who's Who--Quick Hits: The Hitters, Part 2

Marlon Bosshart, 3B, Philadelphia, 33 yrs
Code:
Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Teams 1871 36 133 23 3 2 0 10 10 6 4 7 2 .173 .209 .226 .434 PHI 1872 53 220 65 4 16 0 31 39 7 4 16 5 .295 .317 .459 .776 CLE 1873 52 195 55 17 9 1 30 29 14 4 10 6 .282 .330 .477 .807 CLE 1874 28 32 7 2 2 0 9 11 3 1 6 2 .219 .286 .406 .692 PHI 1875 83 338 96 27 10 0 22 53 14 5 27 10 .284 .313 .423 .736 NH 1876 85 299 80 16 16 1 44 41 12 12 19 4 .268 .296 .438 .734 PHI Total 337 1217 326 69 55 2 146 183 56 30 85 29 .268 .300 .420 .720
He began his stint in the EL as the replacement of legendary Aron Mousser. He has molded himself from a horrible short stop, into a decent third baseman. A fan favorite in Philadelphia, this Irishman will start his second straight year in his adopted hometown. The Philly fans loves the hustle and grit that make up for his limited skills.

Leander Tanner, SS, Buffalo, 22 yrs
Code:
Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Teams 1875 78 258 68 11 2 0 26 23 13 33 3 1 .264 .299 .322 .621 CLE 1876 36 107 24 5 0 0 11 11 3 9 3 0 .224 .245 .271 .516 CLE Total 114 365 92 16 2 0 37 34 16 42 6 1 .252 .283 .307 .590

Not really a star, will actually be pretty lucky to have a job after the rosters settle. In 1875, had a fight with his field captain, Son Honahnie and wrote a worrisome letter to his sweetheart before the 1876 season. After having the starting job for all of 1875, split time as the backup to Nelson Hepworth. Tanner showed a willingness to do anything for team, spending 1/3 of his games behind the plate.

Aubrey Fraire, C, Chicago, 19 yrs
Code:
Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Teams 1876 55 144 32 4 5 1 17 26 13 10 10 5 .222 .287 .340 .627 CHI
"The final line marks progress still to be made. Yet as every month passed, the child who would be king improved his standing among Chicago batsmen and the men who paid a dear quarter for entertainment. And entertain he does, hurling his body without regard around the paths. Quick enough to be the legs of older players late in games; and skilled enough around the diamond to replace them. Long time observers watch him dance across the field and can not recall a backstop with a spring such as he. To listen to the multitude feeling a chill as the edge of greatness unfolds, when the most favored ballplayer is discussed 5 years hence, only one name will matter."--Chicago Eagle

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Old 05-12-2005, 01:52 PM   #60
SelzShoes
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Who's Who--Quick Hits: The Pitchers

Horacio Pfahlert, P, Chicago, 32 yrs
Code:
Year G GS W L SV ERA IP HA R ER BB K CG SHO Teams 1871 9 9 5 4 0 2.74 82.0 84 35 25 9 11 9 0 CHI 1872 27 27 13 14 0 4.01 244.2 290 132 109 38 64 27 3 WAS 1873 23 23 11 12 0 3.51 213.0 232 102 83 43 34 23 4 WAS 1874 21 21 16 5 0 2.41 194.0 166 60 52 23 45 20 2 WAS 1875 29 29 17 12 0 2.16 258.0 233 95 62 50 43 29 4 WAS 1876 27 27 15 11 0 3.57 239.2 256 124 95 44 50 25 1 CHI Total 136 136 77 58 0 3.11 1231.1 1261 548 426 207 247 133 14
Most wins in the EL, and has completed more games (by 26) than anyone else. After the Chicago Fire, signed with a bad Washington club, but is now anchoring the rebuilt Browns. The Charmer is a delight to the press, and the ladies. With Aubrey Fraire, they are quickly becoming known as the 'Dandy battery'.

Tory Claessens, P, No Team, 34 yrs
Code:
Year G GS W L SV ERA IP HA R ER BB K CG SHO Teams 1871 10 10 3 7 0 2.22 93.1 96 33 23 8 29 10 0 CIN 1872 13 13 10 3 0 1.76 117.1 127 42 23 8 17 13 0 CIN 1873 13 13 12 1 0 1.50 120.0 96 26 20 16 23 13 3 CIN 1874 20 20 9 11 0 2.24 176.2 140 62 44 23 36 20 2 CIN 1875 26 26 12 13 0 2.56 232.0 208 89 66 41 41 24 3 CIN 1876 27 27 13 14 0 2.90 239.1 244 86 77 41 46 27 0 CIN Total 109 109 59 49 0 2.33 978.2 911 338 253 137 192 107 8
Like Rodney Stollings, played for the 1869 touring Kings. And, also like Stollings, was released in the wake of winning the title. Claessens was the field captain, making the release doubly hard to explain. Lead a very scandalous lifestyle in Cincinnati--to the horror of all. Not a fan favorite anymore, it is possible he just needs a change of scenery.

Hank Imfeld, P, No Team, 27 yrs
Code:
Year G GS W L SV ERA IP HA R ER BB K CG SHO Teams 1871 10 10 6 3 0 2.86 85.0 80 36 27 4 12 6 0 BRO 1872 12 12 9 1 0 1.74 103.2 78 28 20 6 23 7 3 BRO 1873 12 12 7 2 0 3.45 94.0 93 48 36 22 14 4 0 BRO 1874 19 19 11 8 0 3.99 153.1 202 86 68 18 30 16 2 BRO 1875 27 27 10 16 0 3.86 223.2 292 122 96 35 45 22 1 NH 1876 20 0 0 1 1 3.79 19.0 22 12 8 7 5 0 0 BOS Total 100 80 43 31 1 3.38 678.2 767 332 255 92 129 55 6
Perfect game 1872 against Washington, but has fallen into a funk the past two years.

Marquis Nicolet, P, No Team, 25 yrs
Code:
Year G GS W L SV ERA IP HA R ER BB K CG SHO Teams 1871 10 10 9 0 0 2.63 85.2 71 25 25 5 14 6 2 BOS 1872 11 11 8 2 0 2.22 93.1 86 35 23 5 14 7 1 BOS 1873 14 14 12 0 0 1.38 117.0 96 24 18 12 16 4 0 BOS 1874 19 19 15 3 0 2.48 167.0 146 56 46 15 35 17 1 SLC 1875 28 28 18 7 0 2.23 234.0 226 69 58 30 45 12 2 CHI 1876 8 2 1 2 0 5.63 24.0 29 17 15 5 3 2 0 CHI Total 90 84 63 14 0 2.31 721.0 654 226 185 72 127 48 6
I don't know what his problem was last season; he wasn't hurt and none of the Browns pitchers had the same credentials. He just did not get the call, a great pick up for someone.

Valentin Gauani, P, No Team, 26 yrs
Code:
Year G GS W L SV ERA IP HA R ER BB K CG SHO Teams 1871 10 10 7 1 0 1.94 83.1 70 21 18 7 14 5 0 BOS 1872 12 12 10 1 0 2.06 100.2 95 32 23 5 17 5 2 BOS 1873 11 7 4 2 0 1.71 58.0 51 18 11 2 14 3 1 BOS 1874 21 21 11 8 0 2.47 182.1 161 67 50 17 20 15 2 BOS 1875 28 28 23 5 0 2.12 255.0 214 72 60 23 49 28 4 BOS 1876 28 28 17 11 0 3.17 246.2 267 110 87 25 42 25 1 BOS Total 110 106 72 28 0 2.42 926.0 858 320 249 79 156 81 10
The Unions won 4 titles, so it is hard to find fault with them--but those races may not have been so close if Tricky got a few more starts. Both Brooklyn and Philadelphia are wooing him.

Jackson Rainey, P, Chicago, 21 yrs
Code:
Year G GS W L SV ERA IP HA R ER BB K CG SHO Teams 1875 29 29 22 7 0 2.16 270.1 266 98 65 22 62 29 3 CHI 1876 7 7 4 2 0 2.98 57.1 55 22 19 2 6 4 1 (Note: with Louisville of The Commonwealth Association)
Pitched the whole 1876 season with a lower level league after an outstanding rookie year. Chicago refused to increase his salary. With the glut of players, may sit out another season; if he comes back, he should be a top-flight pitcher.

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Old 05-12-2005, 02:53 PM   #61
SelzShoes
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1877-The Battle for Buffalo

Suit was filed by Winfred Siemens in New York State court to block the EL's Buffalo club from playing, thinking the local courts would be willing to assist him in his fight. Betrham Farley and the Empire were more than willing to fight back. The first step for the Empire was arguing the matter should be heard in Federal Court. "The question is not only who has the right to operate a business within the city of Buffalo, but who has the right to decide the issue. If we were dealing with entities contained entirely in the State of New York, then it would be appropriate to leave the matter to the State. But the operation of the Empire League, and the Ontario-New York League for that matter, crosses state and national borders, making it subject to interstate commerce-a subject beyond the jurisdiction of the State of New York," argued League council Abraham Noel. The multitude of suits brought by Winfred Siemens stalled as the issues moved between jurisdictions, helped by the Empire engaging in procedural slowdowns to make if difficult for the ONYL to operate in their hub city. Thus, on a simple matter of the right to operate a club in Buffalo, did a long relationship with the Federal Courts begin for the Empire League.

Siemens begged his fellow owners in the junior loop to contribute monies to the fight against the Empire. Operating on limited budgets, the other ONLY clubs refused to help. McCormick, however, understood the reward if they could win the Battle of Buffalo. Any market the Empire wanted, they could take—with legal precedent as backing.

Publicly, the battle did not look so favorable for the Empire at first. The press in Buffalo leaned towards the ONYL club, many refusing to carry news of the EL, but the Dispatch, Buffalo's leading paper and self-proclaimed "Journal of the North" sided with the Empire. The fact Siemens was publisher of a rival paper factored heavily in their decision.

For the first two weeks of play, attendance was even between the two clubs. Enough for the ONYL club to survive, but not enough for an Empire League team.

And then, Frank Richardson came to town . . .
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Old 05-12-2005, 07:54 PM   #62
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1877-The Battle of Buffalo: The Best, Worst Thing

The idea was simple, take Frank Richardson to a game between Buffalo and Toronto of the ONYL and let him comment about the inferior play through the Dispatch reporter accompanying him. Richardson, who had taken over the Cincinnati club as field manager, was the biggest star in base ball and was more than willing to oblige. He harbored great animosity towards League President McCormick, but understood if the Empire could not show itself the strongest league in the nation the retreat to six clubs would only be the start.

Both Buffalo clubs were drawing an equal numbers, but the battle against the ‘interlopers’ league had trickled to the local press. Several of the Buffalo papers would not even carry mention of the Empire, in favor of Winfred Siemens’ ONYL entry. War was brewing between the EL and a regional league, and it was a war the Empire could not afford to lose. The legal battle would strech well beyond the season; any edge a team could get to push the other out of business was sought. Admission was slashed at both parks; Buffalo would trade for established stars to dum up attendance, but Frank Richardson would fire the killing shot early. This late May afternoon would set in motion events with a long tragic reach.

From “The Base Ball Memories of Cappy”
“I looked out across the diamond and what I saw made me ill. Two --- wearing the uniform of Buffalo with pride. I asked my companion if these were mascots or some sort of support figure, and he casually admitted they were the starting second baseman and right fielder for the Buffalos. Then, perhaps the most degrading thing I have ever seen on the diamond in all my years occurred. One, identified to me as Tarrin Lawrence, crept over to the boxes and began to converse with a white woman. My outrage as an American male began to boil over, and I started to shout at the offensive scene with all the passion I could muster. As if awakened from a deep sleep, the good citizens of Buffalo became aware of the race-mixing before their eyes. I heard a voice saying, “it’s Cappy,” and took great satisfaction my force of personality was enough to show these good people the way back home. It filled me with joy to see the two --- being guided off the field by plainclothesmen as the volleys of fruit and whiskey bottles fell upon their heads.”

The Dispatch had their angle to ruin support for the O-NYL, and they ran with it. For the length of time the Cincinnatis were in Buffalo, the front page was ablaze with sordid, but unproven, stories about the actives of the two Buffalo ONYLs. Siemens saw the press support quickly swing towards the Empire, as he tried to ‘defend’ his action, but only allowed the Dispatch and its newfound allies more ammunition. Siemens simple statement of “I would hire any qualified man, be he Negro, Chinese or Irish,” lead to stories on how he would “put the native white American out of work in favor of the inferior races.” Within a month of Richardson’s bombshell, the ONYL team in Buffalo’s attendance had fell to last in their league, and it was now the ignored team by the legion of press. The Empire League’s Buffalo Eries were now the choice of the “true fan, who values country as much as sport.” The fact the Eries would finish a distant 6th (the ONYL club was a close 3rd in their league) and could trump a more competitive club at the box office firmly establish what the top circuit in base ball was.

By the end of the season, Siemens only hope to stay in business was a favorable ruling in court. To the joy of the Empire, the courts ruled they had every right to conduct business where ever they saw fit. A rival league could not dictate where a club could be located. Lower level leagues held their breath, knowing the Empire was seeking two new cities to move to, and there was nothing they could do to stop them.
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Old 05-13-2005, 10:50 AM   #63
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That was uplifting. You can almost hear the Imperial March in the background. Empire Strikes Back, indeed.
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Old 05-13-2005, 12:55 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Wolfpack
That was uplifting. You can almost hear the Imperial March in the background. Empire Strikes Back, indeed.
You are the first to get that connection. I wish I had a kwepie doll to give you.
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Old 05-13-2005, 06:10 PM   #65
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Excellent writing and excellent dynasty. Keep up the good work!
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Old 05-13-2005, 10:14 PM   #66
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1877--That Amazing, Shameful Season: Cappy's Lament

Despite the personal triumph in Buffalo, it was a very trying season for Richardson. Signed by Cincinnati and given the field captaincy of the defending champion, Cappy was taking over a team just a hair more talented than his last club. “When you win, players ask for more money,” owner Max Von Schriber was found of saying, “it is a fine edge between winning enough to sell out—and not often enough to have to pay top dollar.” As long as Tory Claessens and Rodney Stollings were finishing at the back of the pack, they could stay Kings. The deal was mutual beneficial: Von Schriber had the biggest draw in base ball, and Richardson could extend his appeal and earning opportunities over a larger stretch.

Early in the year, before Brooklyn started their runaway, Richardson did not think a second title was out of reach. He was having a typical Frank Richardson season, hitting for high average and power. But the rest of the line up was not producing. An exhibition game was quickly arranged with Ohio State University players still in Columbus that summer. On a play at third, a freak accident occurred; the young player came in high and spiked Cappy. The wound was deep, but no major veins or arteries were nicked—still there was a lot of blood. A reporter dutifully noted “strong men fainted and wept as women.” When he returned to the line up, he was not the same player.
Weakened by infection, the great star of the diamond hit well under .200 during the hottest months. The power was gone as fever and heat sapped his strength and the average hovered around .240 for the season. “Without Cappy to worry about,” Edwin Huber said, “there was nothing to fear.” Still Richardson would not sit down, “I can not, in good conscience not play while there is still a chance for us to win the pennant, honor will not allow it.”

To compound matters, Richardson’s personal life was in ruins as well. His new bride was not adjusting to life in the Midwest and felt ignored by Cappy obsessive attention to his team. “I’ve not the constitution to be a ballplayer’s wife,” Eloise Richardson wrote her mother that summer. Unable to convince her sick husband to stop playing, she left for New York.

When Cincinnati was finally eliminate, Richardson finally sat down. His once thoroughbred legs had turned to swollen trunks from the infection. Because of that determination, the press forgave him for his all around worst season since the first year of the Empire. The Kings finished in 5th, but only 2 games under .500.

Max Von Schriber was happy; he did not have to offer Cappy a raise.
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Old 05-13-2005, 10:18 PM   #67
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Thank you for the kind words gentlemen. It was a little intimidating bringing this to a different audience, but I'm intrigued by the mix that you have here. I don't understand the soccer (sue me, I'm American) terms and proceedures, and the Poker mystifies me--but there is some good stuff here. I'm glad my 'excuse' to keep coming back is being enjoyed.
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Old 05-13-2005, 11:40 PM   #68
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1877-That Amazing, Shameful Season: The Charmer and The King

“It is said that Aubrey Faire does two things better than any man: one is play baseball, the other drink,” –common saying among Chicago sporting gentlemen.

At 19, the common crank regarded Aubrey Fraire as a failure. Despite his age, Owner Obie McCormick described him as “the man who’ll lead us to a pennant.” Instead, both he and the Browns took a huge step backwards. Over the first 1/3 of the season, Fraire had only managed 1 hit in 13 at bats. He had become so unsteady on defense; field captain Aron Mousser had nowhere to hide him.

Aubrey then came under the influence of Horacio Pfahlert, the career wins leader. Mousser let the Charmer know the drinking and late night womanizing needed to stop, Pfahlert refused declaring he “was a star and no broken old man will dictate my life. I joined a base ball club, not the ladies auxiliary.” Instead of releasing him, Mousser punished the Charmer by not using him—only 7 appearances and 3 starts in the first ½. Disgruntled, Pfahlert began drinking on the bench and sharing whisky with the young star. The more Mousser tried to separate the two, the more Pfahlert conspired to get the King his drink. The conflict began to weigh on the club as the pitching and hitting became more erratic. Mousser demanded McCormick take action.

Pfahlert was offered to Buffalo in exchange for Valentin Gauani. The Charmer was still a draw, and the Eries needed a star to help in their battle for Buffalo—the move was made. Buffalo also acquired Tory Claessens from Philadelphia in their quest for star power.

The King suddenly found his hitting stroke, batting near .300 for the rest of the season. Staying sober through a game seemed to agree with him.
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:05 PM   #69
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1877-That Amazing, Shameful Season: Brooklyn's Dream

“It is almost vulgar what Mr. Hamilton has done with this year’s squad. Like a cheap western novel his has hired out men as adherents to his cause. He, of course, rejects the notion there is danger is placing one’s faith at the whim of those who chase ‘greenbacks’ over any type of personal allegiance . . .

“He now owns the most expensive toy in the history of mankind; showcased in a shiny new box on Washington Street. He cares not their fidelity to him or Brooklyn, just they have a price he could meet. If they should fail, I fear the harm to his body and spirit”

--Personal Diary Wm Frederick Adams, Thaddeus Hamilton’s personal secretary

The race started out as a three-team battle between Brooklyn, Boston and Chicago. The amount of talent loading the rosters was impressive, as they all seemed to have followed the ‘picked nine’ strategy Thaddeus Hamilton was so open about with his Brooklyn franchise.

Some stars, like Norman Lent, stayed with their club; comfortable with the role they know they have. Others, like Frank Richardson in Cincinnati, were facing new crowds and new expectations. But Brooklyn had the two most important players signed in the off-season: Rodney Stolling and Marquis Nicolet.

Stollings had been the regular right fielder for Cincinnati since the 1869 tour. Others may have hit the ball better, but none hit it harder. In 1876, adopting the theories of Alton Emch, Stollings exploded setting records in doubles (41), home runs (12), and runs scored (70), leading the Kings to their first title. Emch had advocated the idea of the long hit, Rodney Stollings perfected it. Released by Cincinnati for making too much money, Hamilton offered not only the chance to make the league maximum but to play along side Emch.

Nicolet had been a premier hurler for the first five seasons, but his 1876 season was a lost one. Squabbles with teammates, particularly Horacio Pfahlert, and club officials relegated him to substitute and exhibition work. “If Mr. Nicolet feels he still can contribute to anything other than a muffins squad, he shall do so outside of Chicago,” said Obie McCormick. At 25, he appeared washed up; Nicolet knew better.

Brooklyn had made improvements with their line up, but the pitching was a question mark. Everett Waugh had just turned 21 and Elmo Broenneke was more known for wildness than winning ball games. Nicolet made Hamilton a proposal: $60.00 a win, 20 wins would mean the maximum salary was his. Hamilton bit. By the mid-point, Nicolet was 12-3 and leading the charge to first for the Atlantics.

While the rest of the clubs battled each other to draws, the Atlantic started building a sizeable lead. Five, six, seven, up to eight games on second place. The four middle clubs were packed incredibly tight. The sporting press was glowing in their coverage, “McCormick’s dream of a small, but talented, league, is providing cranks in Empire League cities better base ball than has ever been exhibited in this nation,” wrote the Boston Post. The only thing spoiling was the lack of a tight race; that would change soon.

The Philadelphia squad ran off a 14-game winning streak; which appeared to only separate themselves from the pack, not challenge the Atlantics. Franklin had built a strong rotation with Leghorn Sapp, Chester Jackman and Edwin Huber, and the offense was lead by the superlative hitting of Henry Panell and Flyer Montalvan. When Brooklyn began to slip, the Quakers continued to win. With 11 games left, the two clubs were tied. With 9 left, Philadelphia had the lead. As the Brooklyn crowd clamored for an answer, Thaddeus Hamilton was forced to make a move to not only save the season, but also save his club.
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:05 PM   #70
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I think you've done a good job story-wise and that's really been the draw for me. If all you're churning out is stats, it's kind of a flat story. People may pop in to see how things are going, but may not comment because, well, there isn't much to comment on.

Oh, and if you think folks here are a little odd for having soccer and poker dynasties (as you've noticed, I'm sure, FOF has long since been relegated to just an occasional thread on a board supposidely dedicated to it), you should hunt up some of the audience participation dynasties that have been done, many of which have absolutely nothing to do with sports at all (do a search on X-Com and you'll get this board at its best, or maybe worst depending on your perspective).
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Old 05-14-2005, 07:23 PM   #71
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I believe this dynasty is brilliant. Stats-dominated dynasties are boring, imo, so this is very refreshing and quite fascinating. You write very well.
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Old 05-14-2005, 11:46 PM   #72
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1877--That Amazing, Shameful Season: Brooklyn's Nightmare

Rube: I'm going to the ball game to-day
Slicker: Care to put some money on the game?
Rube: I don't know . . .
Slicker: I'll even let you take the home team.
Rube: Do you know something I don't?
Slicker: Trust me (pause) I'm from Brooklyn! (Audience laughs)
--Part of old vaudeville routine


Gambling had been a part of sport since the beginning of time. The Empire League was no exception. "At some parks, the Saint Louis biergarten, for example," Scott Arnold recalled, "they'd have a huge chalkboard with current odds-on the game, on the players, everything." Some early owners encouraged the gambler's interest, as it brought people to the park. "People need more than sport, they need entertainment," Petre Goethe said during his time in the league.

But over the seasons, it was not the gambler's influence that attracted attention-it was the influence of other owners. In 1875 charges that Keokuk was throwing games to benefit McCormick's Chicago team were levied in the press. After the Temple/Avery Hartford arrangement was discovered, many writers and EL officials speculated games were thrown to benefit New York and Boston. The Boston Post writing, "as close as all of the races involving our beloved Unions, the possibility of an unfair advantage contributing to victory must be considered."

This is to say nothing of the conspiracy by players to 'throw' games. "A guy would come up to you, not in games that meant anything mind you, and ask if you'd 'lay back' a bit," Damon Hopf would tell in later years, "with what we were paid, you'd sometimes have to supplement your income with some bets on the games. And if a guy had a baby or new wife, or some kind of trouble, you'd do what you could to help him out-knowing he'd do the same for you." As open as the influence of gambling was, as disturbingly accurate the accusations of thrown games were, no action was taken. The owner's had not acknowledged the depth of the infection on the game. Among the players, the mood was changing however.

After the 1876 season, four members of the Atlantics, Alton Emch, Bennie Kafka, Everett Waugh and Clarence Walters, confronted owner Thaddeus Hamilton about the curious play late in the season by three fellow teammates: Pitcher Elmo Broenneke, First Baseman Bennie Zoellner and Right fielder/Field Captain Bryon Mosholder. Hamilton dismissed the idea of a gambler's influence outright, even after the players went public with their charges with a letter to the Brooklyn Sun. At the beginning of the 1877 season, all had returned to the Brooklyn roster.

Bryon Mosholder was a well know figure in baseball, staring for many clubs prior to the formation of the EL. While his skills had eroded, he was respected enough to be made the field captain of the Atlantics in 1876 and declared himself the starting right fielder. With Rodney Stollings joining from Cincinnati, Mosholder was becoming one of the many 'decision only' field captains. Many writers, and executives, questioned how much an influence on the game this new breed of captain could have, Mosholder would discover quickly even without playing the outcome could be determined by a few subtle moves.

As the Atlantics built their lead, to the surprise of no one, the charges by Alton Emch and company were know viewed as "jealous cries with no merit." Tension was growing between the accused and accusers. "Every time I drop a ball, Kafka says I'm tanking," Zoellner would complain to the press, "maybe he's the one tanking games with his lousy throws." When their lead had reached 8 games, it began to fall apart.

Zoellner stopped hitting, especially in situation to bring the man home; Broenneke's wildness became more pronounce and he was failing to keep any lead, and Mosholder's decisions with the line ups became more and more erratic. Bennie Kafka, one of the accusers would barely play in the second half, despite hitting .340 for the season and nearly .500 when he was in action the last half. Stollings sat in two critical games with Philadelphia as Mosholder made key errors in his place. Even to the casual observer, something was not right with the Atlantics.
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Old 05-15-2005, 03:49 PM   #73
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1877—That Amazing, Shameful Season: The openness of deceit

From the Brooklyn Sun
“Every season there are whispers of late games which do not appear to be entirely on the up and up. And every season a blind eye is cast, as the games have no matter beyond the rooting interest of the involved locales. But this summer, the concern is different as the chase for the pennant is involved. The denials from Thaddeus Hamilton notwithstanding, clearly the Atlantics are a team playing not for a title, but for the coins dropped by some of the city’s less upstanding citizens.”
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:13 AM   #74
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1877-That Amazing, Shameful Season: A Chance for Redemption

From the diary of Wm Frederick Adams, personal secretary to Thaddeus Hamilton
“The tension of the long campaign has always drained Mr. Hamilton terribly; more than he really should bear. This summer, I fear, has been the worst yet. The unbridled joy of the Atlantics’ early successes now replaced with despair. Not at the losses, those are accepted as part of the endeavor; but at failing to heed the warnings of those who share his concern and love for this team. Despair that men he entrusted to uphold the ideals and honor of his beloved Brooklyn have betrayed him.

“A man who has made a fortune with risk and daring, finds himself unable to make the most basic decision necessary to advance this club. A decision that would not only admit error, but culpability in the sad sad matter. No matter the outcome, I fear he will be a lost spirit as long as the body remains.”

With the season on the line, two occurrences forced Hamilton to finally address the season spiraling away. The first was Elmo Bronneke, the pitching third of the cabal, going down with an injury. Bryon Mosholder tried to compensate by inserting journeyman Aron Boday into the rotation. To Mosholder, and Brooklyn’s combined surprise, Boday became the Atlantics best starter down the stretch. Desperate, as the Brooklyn syndicate stood to lose upwards of $40,000.00 if the pre-season favorite Atlantics won the Empire, Mosholder was forced to make increasingly erratic decisions as field captain.

The day Philadelphia took the lead; Mosholder had placed Alton Emch, now a valuable substitute hitter whose defensive skills were all but gone, in the starting line up. Emch refused to take the field. “The Silky kid is our best option at third—if you want to win,” Emch told his captain in clear view of the gathered crowd. “You only start me if the outcome of the season has already been decided.” Brooklyn lost with Jonathon Goodstein starting; and Mosholder announced he was to suspend Emch “for the duration.” Hamilton would have none of it.

With 9 games left in the season, Hamilton finally took action against the head of the conspiracy. Regretting not listening to Emch’s warning of the year before, Thaddeus Hamilton felt he could right a terrible wrong. Mosholder was stripped of his captaincy and released from the roster. Alton Emch, the man who had sounded the warning, was appointed field captain. “I don’t know if we can win this,” Hamilton told Emch, “but with you in charge, we at least have a chance.”

Before his first game, Emch confronted First Baseman Bennie Zoellner, “your blood money has been cut off; play honest and you may still have a career.” With four games left in the season, Philadelphia was up by 2 games and the season seemed over. To have a chance, Brooklyn needed to win out and the Quakers needed to split. To the amazement of everyone that is exactly what happened.

To settle the issue, President James McCormick announced a single game would be played to determine the League Champion. On the basis of a coin flip, Brooklyn would host. The largest crowd in the history of base ball descended on Washington Street Park for the biggest game the League had known to date.
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Old 05-16-2005, 12:58 PM   #75
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1877-That Amazing, Shameful Season: Anticlimax

From the Brooklyn Sun
A summer of whisper and slander came to an end this August afternoon. Brooklyn’s finest were well represented, doing their best to calm the nearly 15,000 that had gathered for this most historic of games. The Fire Marshall had declared the park beyond capacity at 11 am, but the multitude continued to force their way in. By the time 1 pm came around, there was not a spot out of play uncovered with a man. Hastily, rope barriers were erected allowing the players the narrowest of paths to and from the field of play and hopefully blocking interference from the cranks.

Tension around the park was tight as a drum; on one dare mention what was on everyman’s mind. When a soul in the stands reportedly speculated on the odds of the game, a set of plainclothesmen was required to pull him to safety. More than one crank could be heard to say, “I care not who wins, so long as the game is honest.”

No amount of excitement could erase the unease. A loss would confirm the fear of all lovers of sport; a win would only leave unanswered questions. The crowd buzzed uncertain whether to cheer or hiss.

The choices for starters puzzled most of the casual followers of the game, but not those who had been paying attention all year long. Instead of 20 game winner Marquis Nicolet, the Atlantics designated Aron Boday to carry the standard. Boday, who had been a less than valued substitute prior to the home stretch had proven himself the steadiest when games mattered most. The choice of Philadelphia to go with Chester Jackman was made for the same reason: his has been the best ‘stuff’ in the pressure of late.

Boday had no problems with the visitors in the first, but Bennie Zoellner did with some of the crowd. Taking throws from Killpatrick and Worsham for base outs, the alleged conspirator had silver dollars thrown at his feet with each grab. “How much do you desire to play well for Brooklyn,” the question rained on him. Brooklyn’s Finest removed the culprits and announced more intrusions would result in forfeit, much to the surprise of both umpires. Alton Emch, via megaphone, pleaded for calm from inside of a crucible no other leader of a ball club has every experienced.

While owner Thaddeus Hamilton and chief constable McGrevey discussed the wisdom of removing the first baseman from the park “for his safety,” Silky Goodstein was able to distract the masses. With 2 out, and 2 on, the third baseman, who Emch and the accusers had called too green a summer ago, lashed a resounding double plating both runners. A collective exhale of held breath left the park, only to be replaced with the loudest cheers ever heard in Brooklyn. As far as the cranks, and destiny, were concerned the matter had been settled. Jackman and the Quakers were only to serve as footnotes to history.

Every time the Brooklyns placed a man on second, the sheer force of will by the vocal crowd seemed to make the Atlantics succeed. As the lead slowly extended, the visitors were clearly rattled by the cacophony, proving a step slow at every turn. Still they could console themselves the game was not yet out of reach—until the 8th.

After plating 6 runs in the eighth, the score was 12-0 for the home club.
Despite three ninth inning doubles that tallied 4, the Quakers gave in to fate. When the final out was made, the rush of men surrounded their heroes, carrying them as caliphs of old.
Code:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E Philadelphia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 10 1 Brooklyn 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 6 X 12 17 0
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Old 05-16-2005, 01:49 PM   #76
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Yeah, go Atlantics!

Now, get rid of the cheating low-lives!
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Old 05-16-2005, 02:08 PM   #77
SelzShoes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fantastic flying froggies
Yeah, go Atlantics!

Now, get rid of the cheating low-lives!
Given that it took IRL until the Black Sox tested the "faith of 50 million people," as Fitzgerald so poetically put it, to push baseball to make the final push to clean out the gamblers (Carpenter and Rose being the most notable exceptions): this is only the opening volley in a long war.

I also want to thank whoever gave me that star rating. It is never easy being 'the new kid' and you have all made me feel very welcome. I know I don't feel like I have the 'cred' to comment much in other threads, but I want you to know I am enjoying my time here.
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Old 05-16-2005, 02:24 PM   #78
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I'm one of the people who gave the 5*, and they are well deserved IMO.
This dynasty ranks high up there with my all-time favorites that are Godzilla's Notre Dame and X-Com, Kodos's Gatesville and AE's Walk-on QB.

Now, I just hope yours goes on a long time as I truly enjoy reading it.

And now, enough praise for today. Go back to writing!
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Old 05-16-2005, 04:19 PM   #79
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1877-That Amazing, Shameful Season: Aftermath

Code:
Team W L PCT GB Home Away XInn 1Run Brooklyn 55 36 .604 - 27-19 28-17 4-1 15- 8 Philadelphia 54 37 .593 1.0 27-18 27-19 3-2 16-11 Boston 44 46 .489 10.5 22-23 22-23 4-2 12-15 Chicago 44 46 .489 10.5 25-20 19-26 3-7 10-14 Cincinnati 44 46 .489 10.5 27-19 17-27 2-2 18-13 Buffalo 30 60 .333 24.5 18-26 12-34 1-3 8-18
The official league awards were to be handed out at the “play off” game, but the crowd made that impossible. Instead President McCormick held a hastily arranged dinner to give out the honors.

Darryl Weisenburger of Chicago wins his second batting title with a .406 average; he also set a record for hits in a season with 142. Rodney Stollings of Brooklyn lead the league in runs with 67 and long hits with 56 (18 more than runner up Steve Arnold of Boston). His record setting 43 doubles contributing to both totals. Many writers would acclaim Stollings “Batsman of the year”. Steve Alves of Chicago lead the league with 21 extra bases his 4th title. That Chicago could finish so far back with two top performers calls into question the acumen of Obie McCormick.

All was not gloom for the Quakers, as Leghorn Sapp was given the award for lowest responsible runs allowed at 2.76. Marquis Nicolet of Brooklyn earned the maximum by winning 20 games and hurling 260.1 innings. Edgar Fahey of Cincinnati struck out 55 batters to lead the league in that category.
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Old 05-16-2005, 04:27 PM   #80
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1877-1878 Off Season

Letter from Thaddeus Hamilton to James McCormick
Mr. McCormick,
I wish to applaude your decision to expel the rouges who would have destroyed the Brooklyns’ season. However, I write to you, not to praise, but seeking council. Whatever my personal feelings toward you, I understand you actions have always been to the benefit of the Empire as a whole, and not for short term personal gain.

In the wake of the unfortunate events of the past summer, William Temple has taken to the bully pulpit to advocate advancement of another league founded on his ideals of ‘true sport,’ alleging the dishonesty of the championship season is reflective of the men running the Empire. He has used he connections and friendships in the Manhattan newspapers to assail your character and mine. This would not bother me, except for the fact I was warned about these characters at the end of last summer, and did nothing to avert disaster. I even kept this unholy trio under my employment until it was very nearly too late. With Brooklyn being our sole representative in the New York area, would it be in the best interest of the league for me to sell my interest?

I felt the Brooklyn club would be a way to showcase the best aspects of my beloved city; instead I find it is becoming the fodder for vulgar comedians and bawdy house acts. Even with the three villains expelled, I fear our club can not separate from the lingering stench they have left.

I have taken no joy in my club’s victory. I only desire what is best for my city and team, even if that means releasing my interest in the Atlantics.
Yours,
Thaddeus Hamilton

{Just a note--a couple more post and this board will be 'current' with what I am posting over at OOTP. I've already started the 1878 season over there.}
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:50 PM   #81
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1877-1878 Off Season

From Manhattan Monthly Magazine
How I Would Clean Up Base Ball
By William Temple


In the wake of the great scandal tainting our national game, may men have speculated what can be done to set the game honest again. While James McCormick should be praised for expunging the players who so openly blighted the game, more action is needed if the sporting fan is to have faith in what he sees. I have a simple 5-point plan to do just that:

1. Dissolve the Empire. The League is founded on the idea of profits over integrity. As the salary of players has risen, so has their thirst for wealth—be it honest or dishonest. A new league found on the ideals of ‘true sport’ would benefit the player and crank more than we realize.

2. Shorten the season. As the number of games increases, the likelihood a player can fall under the temptation of the gambler increases. With so many meaningless games, a player can be convinced to ‘lie down’ occasionally, not seeing the long-term damage he is doing to the sport. Once addicted to the gambler’s cash, the player can be swayed to sacrifice a whole season, a whole career, all to profit some bookmaker from the less desirable sections of the city.

3. League approval of umpires. If the arbiters in charge of the game were under the employ of the league and not hired by the local teams we could do more to assure an honest game than anything. Having truly neutral umpires, another honest set of eyes, ones free of local influence, could be vigilant for any signs of dishonest play.

4. Raise the admission. The 25¢ admission only invites the low born into the park. These sorts are the kind who finds their recreation in the gambler and barkeep. By limiting attendance to only those who appreciate the subtle joy of sport, the honesty of competition can be assured.

5. Appoint an independent commission to govern the game. A council of owners and a single figurehead has run the Empire. Neither had been able to function effectively as they are looking out for their own interest and not the game’s. With a commission ruling on the subjects of interest, this group of men could keep the game on the clean path.

The summer in Brooklyn has been an eye-opening experience for all those who love base ball. We can either take McCormick at his word that the problem has been eradicated, or we can take action. Without the involvement of men such as myself, who value honesty and integrity more than anything, the sport of base ball will be drug further into corruption.
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:06 AM   #82
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1877-1878 Off Season: Odds and Ends

Aside from expelling Zoellner, Bronneke and Mosholder for “an indefinite period,” James McCormick, much to his relief, did not have a very eventful off season. The minimum salary was raised to $600.00 to “help ward off the influence of money men seeking to control the outcome of the game.” He also encourages teams to reserve more players between seasons, “if a player is assured of employment, he is less likely to take dirty money.”

In the wake of the Brooklyn scandal, it becomes difficult to secure investors for two new clubs. The abundance of talent not getting playing time convinced the President McCormick two more clubs were needed. “Men who don’t play, don’t get paid—then they seed new leagues and bankrupt us.” The Empire settles for placing teams in Milwaukee and Indianapolis. Neither are seen as long term solutions, but adequate grounds in the most desired “western” cities (Saint Louis and Louisville most notably) are leased through the 1878 campaign. While the Empire had proven in Buffalo they could force out a lesser league, they did not want to fight that battle again so soon.

From the Buffalo News
ONYL Ceases Operation
Citing the losses from losing the Buffalo club, the backers of the Ontario New York League announced the circuit was dissolving. “Without the Buffalo franchise, there is little financial incentive to keep our arrangement alive,” said Toronto investor Trevor McGillpatrick. Mr. McGillpatrick noted most of the clubs intended to play elsewhere the upcoming summer.
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:48 AM   #83
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1877-1878 Off Season

From the personal diary of Wm Frederick Adams
It is now the third day Mr. Hamilton refuses nourishment. Every morn, he awakes, his eyes crusted with sleep, and asks the same question: “Did my Brooklyns win to-day?” A moment passes, and he reminds himself it is winter and begins to sob. The guilt of the past summer has preyed on him, slowly draining his life as a spider does a fly—a living death. He blames no one but himself for the near tragic end to the season; though I try to convince him ideals are often circumvented by base men willing to exploit them.

I find myself becoming more and more consumed with the running of his ball club than I do my everyday task. Instead of getting financial papers in order for his clients, I am forced to struggle with the topic of whether Jon Goodstein is a $700 player or a $750 player. Does Alton Emch, deserve only $600 for his limited action, or does he rate $1200 since his captaincy lead Brooklyn to victory? If only they were all as easy as Stollings and Nicolet to rank.

Also tiring are the seemingly never-ending banquets, listening to the same speeches delivered by different men. All of them, asking me the chances of Brooklyn repeating. I manage a weak smile and speak glowingly of the men whose names I remember. I worry not of Brooklyn’s chances, but of Mr. Hamilton’s. I have attended these functions before when his health did not allow—but it was not his health preventing attendance for the early meetings and banquets, only his will. And over the past weeks, his body has finally caught up with his mind. The doctors say it is nothing some soup and exercise will not cure, but I know better. He needs to see his club back on the pitch, playing an honest game. The championship he longed for has left a bitter taste; I pray the decisions I’ve made will deliver one which is sweet.
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:59 AM   #84
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1878-A Return to "True Sport"

From the Philadelphia Almanac
"While the hue and cry from Brooklyn over their three pronged cabal drowned out any other discussion on the Great American Game late last championship season, there were whisperings among the more dedicated to the sport in our own environs concerning the same topic. While it is assumed the leadership of Alton Emch, now captaining the fledgling Indianapolises, turned the Brooklyns into a champion, those in the know feel another reason contributed to the Atlantics championship: the gambler’s influence on our own club.

"Needing a victory over the lowly Buffalos to assure our first title in the Empire, the Philadelphias allowed a vastly inferior club to overcome them. In the play-off with Brooklyn, the decision to go with Jackman puzzled many long time cranks, his pitiful performance in such a important contest, along with field captain Panell‘s refusal to bring a substitute into the box until it was too late, did not sit well with those who treasure ‘inside’ baseball.

"But fret not followers of ball; the Quakers have imported the greatest man to ever tread afield: Frank Richardson. Any player who values the gambler’s coin more than victory can expect a sound whipping at the hands of this most American of men. Sickness and longing for the East contributed to a down year; but like business since the panic, a rebound is very likely. A single game was the difference between a title and anonymity, Richardson will earn that game and more on his own."

After a horrible season personally and professionally, Frank Richardson moved back east to the runner up Philadelphia Quakers. Richardson, while a fan favorite, was becoming just as well known for his combative nature on and off the field. In Cincinnati, it was a fight with King owner Von Schreiber over the Avenue Grounds that lead to his release. “The park was built in such a way it was almost impossible to pick up all but the slowest deliveries,” Richardson would write in his memoirs. “Some say my infection made for my junior numbers, but the park was just as responsible as that buckeye kid’s slide.”

Von Schreiber insisted there was nothing amiss in the park, pointing to Rodney Stolling’s impressive 1876 season, but Richardson would hear none of it. Faced with a battle with Richardson, still the top draw in the game, or rebuilding his park to meet the star’s specification, Von Schreiber decided to release the player. “Richardson did not justify his salary, and took the coward’s way by blaming the park. It is well known the field has no effect on performance, only the drive in the man.” Outraged, the Royal Council, the unofficial-official booster club of the Kings since the barnstorming days, announced they would “refuse to attend any games until the club dedicated themselves to winning,” and encouraged all “lovers of the game” to do the same. Von Schreiber, seeing a fortune slipping away, tried to resign the star, but he was too late. Faced with a shrinking fan base, Von Schreiber announced if the Kings did not win the title in 1878, he would sell the team, since, “all the common crank is interested in is winning, not crack base ball.”
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Old 05-17-2005, 01:35 PM   #85
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1878-A Return to "True Sport"

A letter from William Temple to Frank Richardson
Mr. Richardson,

I am so glad to see you back east where your skills and talents are better appreciated. Those Westerners can not recognize the subtleties of the game as we do on the coast.

As you are a busy man, I shall get straight to the matter. I am putting together a group of men to form a league free of the chicanery and deceit as McCormick has fostered in the Empire. While our league salary will be well below what you are currently making with the Philadelphias; I will offer you a personal services contract assuring you be paid the highest value in any league known to man.

While I feel the concern I am organizing can stand very well on its own, the credibility we gain by having a gentleman of your magnitude is incalculable. The press, players and populace will no doubt follow you from the Empire to our organization. The opportunity to again play for New York will put your talents on the biggest stage the world has to offer.

The Brooklyn conspiracy has shown it is time for new blood. Please contact me at the conclusion of the season to inform me of your attitude.

Yours truly,
William Temple
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Old 05-17-2005, 01:42 PM   #86
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1878-A Return to "True Sport": Opening Day in Brooklyn

From the Brooklyn Sun
Grand Opening Day in Brooklyn
Champion’s Trophy Unveiled for Public
Hamilton Conspicuously Absent

The grandest opening day in the history of Brooklyn Base Ball occurred yesterday at the Washington Street grounds. With the pomp worthy of a gubernatorial campaign stop, the Atlantics reserved no expense in honoring their first championship. While owner and architect of the success, Thaddeus Hamilton, was absent due to illness, a who’s who of the elites of Brooklyn, and some from Manhattan as well, were in attendance.

After a brass band concert and numerous speeches, the trophy was revealed to the masses. The ornate loving cup, not seen in these locales since 1874, sparkled in the early afternoon sun. W. F. Adams, Mr. Hamilton’s representative at the festivities, announced the cup would be place on display next to the field boxes, where even the weeist of krank could proudly see engraved on the role of victors: Brooklyn, 1877.

Rodney Stollings, the people’s champion, hoisted the cup high and carried it towards the case where it shall rest all summer. The crowd, nearly as large as the throng for last season’s play off, gave wide berth to the hard hitting outfielder. All wanting to touch the physical manifestation of the dream too soon ended, but daring not to interfere with the labor of our own Hercules. As Stollings gently laid our treasure into the case, the crowd, suits and kneepants alike, huddled around. The breath of a thousand men steaming the spoils out of sight.

When the moundsman Marquis Nicolet readied the first pitch of the home schedule, fully one-quarter of the gathered were still clamoring to view the case and its contents. In the instant the orb left Nicolet’s hand and reached Gray behind the plate, there was no doubt who was the best in the land. And there was no doubt in the minds of the multitude that would be so for the season to come.

To sweeten the matter, the visitors from Chicago allowed our men to score at will at the beginning. When the dust had settled, the Chicagos were unbeaten no more, and Brooklyn had its rightful place at the top of the standings.
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Old 05-17-2005, 01:56 PM   #87
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1878-A Return to "True Sport": Cappy and the Gamblers--A Base Ball Adventure

Beginning in 1875 a series staring Frank Richardson was published in magazines and newspapers across the county. The hero, a college going youth of sober body and spirit, really only shared the name with the real Frank Richardson. But the writer of these tales, which always carried a valuable moral lesson for the children, knew they would sell better if the stories stared the most popular player in the country. Frank Richardson knew making children fans of not just base ball, but him personally, would be good for his pocketbook.

The series became incredibly popular during it nearly 10 year run. Young boys across the country would carefully remove the pages (with parents permission of course) and collect them in crude homemade bindings—creating covers with the image of their hero. The most popular of the series eventually were sold as professionally bound editions for a dime, complete with illustrations. The series started in 1877 was oddly prophetic.

From Chapter 17
The Swarthy hoods held Cappy back. “If he refuses our money to throw the game, we’ll keep him here until the game is over,” the Boss cowed.

“Blackguard,” Cappy struggled to free himself from the dark grasp of his captors. The championship game was less than an hour away and without Cappy, victory was not assured. The more the hero of the diamond struggled, the tighter the grips became. “This will not stand villain. I shall lead my team to glory.”

“In that case, ply him with dark rum! Even if he gets away, he will be in no condition to play!”

“Never,” shouted the most gallant of men. He broke away and lit towards the door, only to be felled by a cowardly blow from behind. The hoods pulled his head back and begun to force the brown liquid sin into his mouth. But Cappy refused to swallow the poison, spitting it defiantly onto the floor. Bested in their evil machinations, the fiends knocked his head with a blackjack and bound his hands. They then tossed Cappy into a corner of the dank basement.

The Boss laughed as evil men do in these situations. “In three-quarters an hour, we can begin to count our money. . ."

Bound and beaten, Cappy needed his superior intellect to devise an escape. Slipping his bonds over his spikes, the skilled batsman sawed quickly through the ropes. The gamblers, confident of victory paid no mind to his action, preferring count their tainted coin and speak of loose women.

The rope broke, and Cappy was free. He calculated the distance from his corner to the door. “It will be easier than taking an extra base,” he thought to himself. Waiting until the villains’ backs were turned, Cappy suddenly sprinted to the door. Caught unaware, the small-minded criminals watched slack-jawed as their booty made for freedom. When finally they arose from their chairs, it was too late; the hero had left the building and made his way to freedom. . .

Stopping a hack, Cappy made way to the ball field to play. The driver, recognizing Cappy from his portrait in the Sporting Pages, agreed not to spare the horse, and get our hero to the big game. “I’da been a-wantin’ to see the game, but feered my rounds would prevent it.”

“Get me there before the first pitch, and you good sir, shall sit on the bench with me!”

The nag rode the cobblestone as if a fine stallion. Even God’s creatures were desirous of defeating the dark syndicate trying to influence the championship. The pedestrians jumped out of the way of the blazing hack. At first they began to curse the driver, but seeing Cappy in the back, they tossed their hats in the air and bid him “Godspeed.”

Seeing the black cab of the gamblers in pursuit, the good people started to litter the way, slowing the hoods progress. When the milk and bakery carts blocked the villains from further chase, Cappy saluted the citizens who help him. “Fear not good people, I shall thank you all with victory!”
-----
There had been rumors gamblers had effected the end of Philadelphia’s season as much as they had affected Brooklyn’s entire year. Frank Richardson would have none of that, “I have no use for a man who gives less of himself than everything on the pitch.” Given wide control of the club, Richardson began to cut players with little regard for their numbers or public opinion. “With the common crank reads I have let Pannell leave for Brooklyn, they will only see champion’s average and runs. I see a traitor’s heart and soul.” First baseman Baptist Woodard and pitcher Boris Seekill found a new home in Cincinnati, and centerfielder Ted Revard in Boston as Cappy cleaned up the roster.
But while the club was honest, the were unable to perform as hoped; falling into last place early in the season. Frank was doing his part, apparently rebounding from his down year in Cincinnati. But the youthful trio of “Smiling” Charley Tweed, Leghorn Sapp and Chester Jackman were a combined 0-15 a full quarter into the season.

“We may lose, but we lose honestly and with honor,” Cappy told the Philadelphia Almanac “I desire victory, but the man who lays down a hard earned coin, deserves to know everyman on the field in giving his all. Last year, despite what the totals tell you, this was not the case.”

With Brooklyn, Chicago and Cincinnati battling for the lead, 1877 felt a long time ago in the City of Brotherly Love.
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Old 05-17-2005, 02:03 PM   #88
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This is now 'current' with what I'm posting over at the OOTP site. Updates should be fairly regular, but not with the volume you have become used to.
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Old 05-17-2005, 04:47 PM   #89
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1878-A Return to "True Sport": Opening Volley

From the New York World
End of the Empire?
Followers of Ball Set to Rejoice

As indicated in these pages over the past several season, the end of the hated Empire League is upon the horizon. In an exclusive to our paper, William Temple has confided the financial health and contentment among the players is at an all-time low.
“More and more hurlers are expressing discontent with lack of use,” Temple has told us. “Even with successful clubs, they can not find enough innings for these men to play. I was always an advocate of adding clubs as talent demanded, there are enough crack players to support an additional eight to ten clubs.”
But dissatisfaction with playing time is not the only indicator of a league on the brink of ruin. The Buffalo club, despite a lengthy battle to rid the city of a lesser league, has not shown the attendance to justify the outrageous salaries demanded by the Empire. “No man who earns his keep on the pitch is worth $1,200.00 a summer. In due course, some man will require $1,500.00 or even $2,000.00 to ply his trade. Such extravagance will destroy the integrity of the game!”
Temple also cites the mishap creating the Detroits, who started play this season, as evidence of the financial instability of the Empire. The league had approved investors from Milwaukee, but when the grounds promised could not be secured, the Empire shifted the club to Detroit. “This type of disregard to the local crank damages the league every day.”
“The City of New York has survived quite nicely with a multitude of gentleman’s leagues and amateur play,” Temple continued. “While some would claim a professional league would flourish with a Manhattan representative, I believe the follower of ball cares not if the men afield are paid for their time; only they are providing the crack play everyman desires to see.”
When asked if he plans a return to the public eye as champion of “true sport,” this defender of all that is good in the game was very direct. “I have been in conversation with enthusiast all over the East Coast, and some minor cities back west who McCormick and his gambler friends have ignored. We fully intend to start play next summer and show how gentlemen would run a league.”
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:56 AM   #90
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I really hope Brooklyn wins another championship... Thaddeus Hamilton is easily my favourite character in this epic dynasty.
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Old 05-19-2005, 01:51 PM   #91
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1878-A Return to "True Sport":The Jewel of the Box

From the Chicago Eagle
Standing in the box for our Chicagos was young Kenneth Crow, yet another Brownie who barely has his whiskers. But unlike the touted Aubrey Fairie, this child has performed at a level befitting a top fight ballplayer. While many men take to the field with a belief in their own abilities, Crow has a confidence in his teammates unmatched. If he allows two opponents to score, he has full faith the Chicago batsmen will push home three to win the game; more often that not, they do.

An odd figure on the field of play. Whereas most of the players’ after game activities involve a shot and a beer with the blood splatter workingmen from the slaughterhouses, Crow is just as likely to be seen at the theater—and not the bawdy house variety so popular among the lower classes. In a profession where the daily uniform is the closest to a suit these men own, Crow can be seen along the lakefront in full formal dress. He dines at the finest tables and is a favored guest at respected gentlemen’s clubs in the downtown area. No chaw or whiskey for him, but brandy and cigars.

Originally slated to take to the pitch for the University of Chicago, Obie McCormick got wind of his talent and was able to woo him to the professionals before his first semester at university. So outraged was the esteemed palace of learning, they considered revoking his enrollment and forcing him to Northwestern. The young man, who fancies a career in law, can discourse with skill concerning the ancient philosophers or the impact of the Franco-Prussian conflict on current European successions. He is yet another jewel for the City of Chicago, both on and off the field of play.
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Old 05-20-2005, 03:03 PM   #92
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1878-A Return to "True Sport": The first Skirmish

“Mr. Richardson, do sit down,” Zachariah Franklin had the habit of confusing a condescending tone with collegiate one when speaking with the help. “I trust everything is well?”

“No,” with game time in less than two hours, the field captain of the Philadelphia Quakers had no time for false civility or empty conversation. Frank Richardson was concerned with teaching Blaze the difference between a pitch to hit and the ones the second baseman had been dribbling to infielders.

“Yes, the whole losing thing. But we knew that was likely when I signed you on. It was important to clear those sort of men off the squad, even if they did almost rank first last season.”

Richardson nodded; those sorts of men had made gamblers rich men while the sporting world’s attention had been focused on Brooklyn. And now those sorts of men were beating his club regularly, not having to hold back to ‘throw’ games—not until attention had been diverted to another false scandal.

“Your reputation allowed us to clear the table, make these moves a lesser man would have been tarred and feather for. Even now I get letters from disaffected cranks lamenting the release of Pannell and informing me of his latest three hit performance for the Atlantics.”

“I know, I was there for the last,” Cappy coolly replied. As with Cincinnati the season past, he was saddled with a gutted team. And while his own personal performance was improved, the failures of his mates wore on him. “Young hurlers have not the maturity to place the ball consistently, and old batsmen fail more often than not.”

Franklin wandered to the window; the weight of the unspoken topic put him ill at ease. “I have been made an offer for your services.”

The great hero of the diamond felt a spark of life unknown since his 1874 champion. “Cincinnati again, or am I to go Brooklyn?” he asked referring to two of the top three clubs.

“Neither,” Franklin nervously caressed the muslin around the curtains. His tongue feeling as if he had just drank salt water. “Chicago,” he finally muttered.

There are times when silence is comforting. The unspoken communication allowing formerly tense friends a moment to settle their thoughts and understand what is really important. This however was an angry silence. An almost aggressive silence. Franklin stepped away from the window, vainly hoping the heat he felt was from the June sun bearing through the panes.

“I shall not report.”

“The matter is done; you will report to Chicago they now own your contract.”

“I am not some --- who can be bought and sold as so much chattel. I have suffered with this club trying to make it an honest team, and you would dash me off to, to, that man’s club with no regards for my feelings? I entered an agreement with you that as a gentleman I though you would have the courage to adhere to.” Cappy, without a thought had backed the owner into a corner both physically and logically.

“You must understand, they have batsmen to spare, you are worth three men to them.”

“I shall not report.”

“Our attendance has fallen, we must win some games or we shall lose the team—please understand me . . .”

“If you consummate the deal, I shall sign with Temple next summer.”

Franklin shifted himself out of the corner, and made his way to his desk. If a man could slump while still standing, Franklin had achieved the effect. “We can’t have that,” he whispered to the air. The moment moved slowly. “What shall it take to keep you in the Empire?”

Silence followed Cappy out of the room.
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:51 AM   #93
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1878-A Return to "True Sport": History Repeating?

From the diary of Wm Frederick Adams

Mr. Hamilton is in such a state over his base ballers. If the disappointment of last year sickened him, the tension of this one wears him even more. All of those who declare themselves baseballologist, state no group of men has been more talented at the bat than this years’ Atlantics. The triumvative of Stollings, Pannell and Wilson all reaching base by hit over 40% of the time. And watching the men circle the bases with a frequency unmatched by any squad since the pre-secession days.

But while his club rains hits upon the weary fielders, the Chicagos slowly and steadily grind their way to victory after victory. The men who would be stars do not perform, and the performers are not stars. We can not shake them as one can not lose his own shadow. As the race remains tight, the questions from the past season return to the surface. Pannell, while a solid hitter, had an air of uncertainty follow him from Philadelphia. He told us the stories were untrue—but that is just what a cheat would tell one. The moment Brooklyn shows any vulnerability, the vultures will return. Mr. Hamilton can not bear another close race. He returns from Washington Park all smiles, and when the wire reports another Chicago triumph, he sinks back into a sullen mood.

Tomorrow McCormick’s squad will be here for a set of matches. If we are to break this deadlock, it must begin now. I only wish an untainted championship for Mr. Hamilton.
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:12 AM   #94
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Excellent work, as always. I'm very much enjoying the read as the updates come in. Cappy out of the league perhaps now, the rivalry builds between the various parties.


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Old 05-23-2005, 12:38 PM   #95
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1878--A Return to "True Sport": A Hero Again

From the Philadelphia Almanac

Given our Quakers were one win away from the first base ball title since the pre-Empire days, the disaffection with this year’s squad was understandable. For half a year, no club scored fewer times, allowed more runs or won less than our crimson clad warriors. Blame was assigned to any and every corner imaginable; from owner Zechariah Franklin, who allowed the best players to leave the city; to Cappy Richardson, who has shown while he controls the bat he may not be able to control men; to the new park, where the lines where built to Cappy’s specification and not anyone else’s.

But an odd thing occurred while our squad settled into the cellar, a full 20 games behind the tussling Chicagos and Brooklyns and the rumors of Richardson’s flight to a different city became daily fodder for even casual fans: Cappy made these boys into winners.

Saddled with a 16 win, 32 loss season, Cappy used his superior base ball intellect to finish the year with an astounding 50 wins and a third place finish. And it is a puzzle to even the most knowledged of the game to understand how they won. Six clubs crossed home more times and four prevented the opposition from scoring more runs. The only edge our club had was a field captain whose desire to win surpasses all.

The crowds, which had dwindled to half the size as during last year’s glorious run, by the end of play surpassed any seen in our city—and rivaled the throngs seen in Chicago and Brooklyn. Cranks who months ago would have bartered Cappy for a Muffin hurler now shouted his name as a hero again. He was no longer Cappy, he was “our Cappy.”
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Old 05-24-2005, 03:52 PM   #96
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:06 AM   #97
SelzShoes
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1878-A Return to "True Sport": Preparing for War

Letter from James McCormick to Empire League Owners

Gentlemen,
With our old friend William Temple making noises about starting a league to rival our beloved Empire, it would be in our collective interest to take steps to assure a quick and painful death to his endeavor.

Beginning with the next championship season, the maximum salary will be raised to $1,500.00. Knowing Temple, the salaries in his league will mirror the first season of the Empire. We may loose a few junior players unsatisfied with playing time, but quality will stay where the opportunity to further their income exist. I feel if we take steps to retain our best batsmen and hurlers, the public will have little interest in Temple’s folly.

I have been given notice Temple has made inquires to several players concerning their interest in playing for his league. Frank Richardson, Rodney Stollings and Marquis Nicolet are among our crackist players he has contacted. It is in our best interest for their owners to exercise their option to reserve these players as quickly as possible. A player under contract is obligated to play for the Empire, and not in whatever circuit Temple can cobble together.

Temple’s league is not a threat to our investment. If we take the steps necessary to keep the best talent from crossing leagues, he shall find a very expensive failure on his hands.

Yours truly,
James McCormick, President
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Old 05-25-2005, 03:47 PM   #98
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It'll be interesting to see where Temple will set up shop. Obviously, he'll put up his own nine in Manhattan. Will he go in direct competition against the EL in certain cities? Would Boston defect to rejoin their partners-in-crime in NY? I could picture a second NY team in Queens to put the pinch to the Brooklyn franchise as a "reward" for their recent behavior.
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Old 05-25-2005, 04:13 PM   #99
fantastic flying froggies
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Maybe another team in Chicago as direct competition to McCormick as well?

Also, don't forget since the New York / Ontario League has disbanded, a couple of Canadian cities could make sense...
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Old 05-26-2005, 10:34 AM   #100
SelzShoes
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Interesting speculation, however: The Boston owner who conspired with Temple sold the club to a different man when Temple was expelled. And, while the idea of moving into Canada in this period is tempting, we're still in a period where the lords of the game are trying to establish the American nature of the game. Toronto and Montreal will have to settle for high level 'minors' at this time. And, no offense to our Northern neighbors, I'm more comfortable using American cities in a period of base ball history I'm a little fuzzy on myownself.

Still, Temple has a plan. . .
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