Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Chicago Cubs 150 Years -- April 29, 2020

Chicago Tribune, 30-April-1870

150 Years ago today, on 29-April-1870, the Chicago Cubs, then called the White Stockings, played their first game.  Later in the same season, the White Stockings joined the National Association of Base Ball Players. In 1876, the Cubs joined the new National League. The St. Louis Unions were not the ancestors of the Cardinals.

Opening of the Base Ball Campaign at St. Louis.
The Chicago Nine versus the Unions.
The "White Stockings" Victorious -- Score, 47 to 1.

Special Despatch to The Chicago Tribune.


St. Louis, April 29. -- The Chicago Base Ball Club inaugurated the match game season of 1870, to-day, by a contest with the Unions, of St. Louis, and achieved one of the greatest victories on record.


The Chicago nine reached this city at 11 o’clock this forenoon, after a safe and comfortable journey over the Illinois Central, being supplied with quarters in the sleeping car, and proceeded to the Laclede Hotel, where they were allotted spacious and nicely furnished rooms, the same suite as that occupied by the Red Stockings on the occasion of their visit here last season.


Dinner over, the club entered carriages supplied by the Unions, and were driven to the base ball park, about four miles northwest of the city, where both clubs were soon on hand in readiness for work.


The Chicago nine were clad in their new uniform, which they had donned for the first time, and an elegant one it is. It consists of a blue cap adorned with a white star In the centre, white flannel shirt, trimmed with blue and bearing the letter C upon the breast worked in blue. Pants of bright blue flannel with white cord, and supported by a belt of blue and white stockings of pure white British thread, shoes of white goatskin, with the customary spikes, the ensemble constituting by far the showiest and handsomest uniform ever started by a base ball club. Already the snowy purity of the hose has suggested the name of "White stockings" for the nine, and it is likely to become as generally accepted, not to say as famous, as that of the sanguinary extremities.


The Union Club, which is composed entirely of the best class of St. Louis young men, also sported their new outfit for the first time, the same being made up of white cap, shirt, and pants, and bine stockings.


About 600 hundred people were present, and the day was as bright and warm and beautiful as could have been prayed for.


were not in the best of condition, owing to the extreme length of the grass, which materially altered the calculations of the Chicago players in stopping ground balls. A vast deal of interest was taken in the game by the St. Louis people, who were curious to see whether the Chicago Club would administer as severe a beating to the Unions as did the Red Stockings, in 1869, when the score stood 70 to 9 -- the prevailing opinion being that it would not be done.


The Union nine is considered materially stronger than that of last year, being now constituted as follows: Turner, second base; German, short stop; Easton, first base; Mellier, left field; Lucas, pitcher; Greenleaf, right field: Duncan, third base; Wolff, centre field; and O’Brien, catcher. They certainly proved themselves a strong nine in the field and on the bases -- stronger than any of the amateur organizations -- but did not develop a corresponding shill at the bat.

The Chicago Club was positioned in the regular way, McAtee playing at first, although yet troubled by his leg; and Flynn served as a substitute, the first game, by the way, which be ever witnessed as a spectator, played by a club with which he was connected.


The game was called at 3 1/2 o’clock, B. J. Shafer, of the Actives, of New York, being selected as umpire, and proving most efficient, watchful, fair, and prompt in that position.

First Innings -- The Chicago Club won the toss and sent the Unions to the bat. Myerle pitched and Craver caught. Tomer and German struck out, and Easton struck short to Easton, who picked it up, sent it to McAtee, and the side was out with a whitewash.

Chicago in turn found sharp work among the fielders. Hodes being caught out on a fly by Easton Wood fouling out on a pretty catch by O’Brien, while Craver hit low to second, where Turner stopped it nicely and sent it to Easton, and the side was out with but two runs scored, -- these by King and Cuthbert.

Second Innings -- This time the Unions had better luck. A short fly by Mellier was taken by McAtee. Lucas got to third on a wild throw by Meyerle to McAtee. Greenleaf got his first, and then came home on a high fly by Duncan to right field, where Cuthbert failed to secure it, scoring the first run for the Unions. Amid loud cheering, Wolff struck out, leaving Duncan on third. Myerle got his second on a fine hit to centre field. Pinkham hit short to Turner, who fielded to Easton, and the man was nipped; Hyerle stealing to third, and coming in on the hit. McAtee gave an easy fly to Turner, which he took. King sent a "sky scraper" to centre field, which Wolff took splendidly, and the side was out, with one run scored.

Third Inning -- O’Brien’s high fly was captured by Hodes. Turner got his first on a had hit out of Hodes' reach. German hit low to second, which Wood stopped splendidly, touching out Turner, who been forced, and then sending to McAtee and taking care of German. Side out -- no runs. Chicago made eight runs In this inning -- Hodes. Wood, Treacy, Craver, Myerle, Pinkham, McAtee and King each getting one. Cuthbert’s strong hit to right field was taken by Greenleaf. Hodes met a similar fate at the hands of Mellier, and Cuthbert again came to grief by a low hit which German stopped and sent to Easton.

Then remainder of the game hardly calls for a detailed description, the Unions suffering a whitewash in each of the subsequent innings, and scoring but 1 run in the game, while Chicago secured 47.


In the fifth innings Pinkham, who had played at third, took Myerle's place, the latter having been far more effective and regular than usual. Of course, Pinkham sent them in hot, and hard to hit, the Unions being unable to bat more than high flies during the game. Their fielding, however, was splendid, there being very few muffs in that line, while the bases were most efficiently played. Lucas is a swift, though rather irregular pitcher, and O'Brien an excellent catcher. In the seventh inning the latter was severely hurt by a ball, and was obliged to retire for a time, Turner taking his place, Wolff coming to second, and Asa Smith going to centre field. The result was a few more passed balls, which made no especial difference in the score.


On the part of the Chicago nine it would be difficult to discriminate where all did so well, the very few errors which were made being mainly attributable to the long grass. The batting was terrific, long and safe. Craver distinguished himself by several magnificent foul flies; Treacy by a fine running fly catch, and Myerle one of the same sort. That the others did not come in for a share of the honors was due to the inferior batting of the Unions. Treacy led the batting score, made seven first base hits, and nine total bases on hits.

Appended is the score:


This evening the Chicago nine accepted the invitation of the Unions, and visited the Varieties, where two private boxes were placed at their disposal. The club has been handsomely received and treated by the Unions, and the St. Louis people in general.


To-morrow the club plays a match game with the Empires, of this city, a nine about the same strength as the Unions.

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