Frank Halligan and Bob Gilmour passed along this item from the wonderful Kingston Diamond Dawgs site … about that day in 1873 when the Boston Red Stockings (now the Atlanta Braves) came to Kingston for an in-season exhibition game.
The pros won 55-10.
Three years later the Red Stockings were initial members of the National League with the Chicago White Stockings, Hartford Dark Blues, St. Louis Brown Stockings, Louisville Greys, New York Mutuals, Philadelphia Athletics and the Cincinnati Reds.
The Red Stockings became the Beaneaters in 1883, the Doves in 1907, the Rustlers in 1911 and the Boston Braves in 1912.
Originally published Daily British Whig, 26 August 1873 pg 2
Red Stockings v. St. Lawrence
The Kingston public are indebted to the St. Lawrence Club for the delightful afternoon’s sport which the game with the Red Stockings of Boston, yesterday, afforded, as it gave them an opportunity of seeing the game played –on one side– well-nigh to perfection. The game could not be properly called a match, as the local club had not a ghost of a chance of defeating the visitors, and the only speculation as to the result was confined to guesses as to how many runs the Kingston men would secure. The Red Stockings are a fine set of fellows, well set-up, with muscles like smiths, and hands hardened like steel by constant punishment from the ball. Their play was really beautiful to those who understood the niceties of the game, and commanded the applause of even those whose acquaintance with Base-ball is of the slightest.
The pitcher – a fine strapping athlete – showed to that perfection the art of pitching could be brought, and the catcher likewise, tho’ the same dependence did not seem to be put on the latter as by other players. Their catching and fielding was simply perfect, a fly being taken, it seemed into whatever out of the way place it went, as easily and safely as if fell into a coal mine. Only one muff of a catch was made by the Red Stockings, and that, it is more than suspected, was an “accident on purpose.” The fielding could not be surpassed – clean and sure, fielders always being where they were wanted and covering an astonishing deal of ground. Nor was their throwing less admirable, the farthest shies being as straight as arrows and sent apparently with an instinctive Oakes-Ames knowledge of where “they would do most good.”
It seemed at one time that the Kingston men were to be thoroughly whitewashed without the aid of a Royal Commission, but after repeated layers had been laid on, an inning of two was scored, followed by numerous other applications of that snowy figment which Sir John A now sadly stands in need of. By an overthrow and such, Kingston secured six runs, which with two, subsequently got, made up their total score of ten – a very fair make, considering the fearful odds they were opposed to. The batting of the Red Stockings was on par with their play on the field, magnificent striking and artful placing of the ball frequently distinguishing it. Sky-creepers, sent out beyond the reach of a deep field, and low drives too hot for a comfortable handling ran up their scores rapidly until the last club was dropped for fifty-five.
Though the contrast was strikingly against Kingston its play was sometimes excellent, and some difficult flies were neatly taken, but the ground fielding was painfully deficient. The by-play of the visitors during the intervals of the game was the most attractive part of it –a youngster remarking that “he’d rather see them Red fellers coddin’ with the ball nor watch the match.” Their exhibition catches, running and behind the back, and their beautiful and accurate throwing, elicited great admiration from all who had the pleasure of seeing them. The visit of the players from the Hub cannot but have a most beneficial effect on local players, giving them an opportunity, as it did, of seeing Base-ball played by the ex-champions of the world, and awakening in them an emulative spirit which will improve their love and knowledge of the game. The citizens of Kingston, we repeat, are under an obligation to the St. Lawrence Club for yesterday’s treat, and we trust that they will see their way clear to repetition of it in the future.
Originally published The Daily News
TUESDAY EVENING, AUGUST 26, 1873
Grand Base Ball Match
Yesterday afternoon the great match between the Red Stockings of Boston and the St. Lawrence Club of Kingston was played on the cricket ground. The Boston Club is the champion professional nine in the United States, and it was therefore expected that some good play would be shown, and the crowd was not disappointed. The champions are lissome, active fellows, strongly inured to the game, and capable of doing almost anything they liked with amateur players. Indeed the game they played yesterday showed this, and our home men may well take a lesson or two from them. At the time the game was called –2:30pm—there could not have been less than 2,000 people present, who evinced the deepest interest in the game. Preliminaries being arranged, the St. Lawrence men took the field, and the Red Stockings took the bat for the
1st Innings – G. Wright, after a few misses, hit a hot one to center field, and made a home run. Barnes came next, and was got out beautifully on the 1st base by a throw from Nutt to Dinnin; and Spaulding was next caught by Nutt at short stop. Leonard, after making 1st base, got the other three on errors; White, O’Rourke and Addy each got runs, and Schafer got a home run on a line hit. Manning was thrown out on the 1st base by McCammon, the inning closing for 6.
Eilbeck got his 1st base on a fine ground hit, but was forced out on the 2nd; McCammon and Mattoon each got their bases; Nutt was got on the fly by Leonard, and Wright ditto by Manning – McCammon and Mattoon on the bases. Whitewash for the St. Lawrence.
2nd Innings – G. Wright got three bases with a hit right down the field, and then got home. Barnes was caught out on a splendid running catch up the hill by Mattoon; Spaulding made a run; Leonard was caught on a long fly by Eilbeck; White mad a three base hit and got home, and Schafer was caught in center field by Eilbeck – O’Rourke and Addie being on the bases, three runs.
Dinnin was caught on a foul by White; Jarvis got his 1st base by being missed by short stop; Dygert got 1st base and was run out by some fine double play on Rafferty being caught by Barnes on the fly. Second whitewash.
3rd Innings – Schafer was taken care of by Mattoon on a fine side catch; Manning was missed on a foul by the same fielder by the crowd being too close, and then got his first base and home by a fluke. G. Wright was caught on the fly by Rafferty; Barnes got three bases by a strike up the hill, and home; Spaulding made a magnificent home hit, Leonard got three bases and home; White got his 1st base and afterwards made a run; O’Rourke made three bases on flukes; and Addie was thrown out on 1st base by Dygert – 7 runs.
Dygert got his 1st base, and home by a splendid hit from Rafferty, who got three bases then home; Eilbeck was caught on the fly by Barnes, McCammon on a foul by White, and Mattoon on a fly by Leonard – 2 runs.
4th Innings – Manning got three bases up the hill, and made home; Wright, 1st base and home from an overthrow from which Barnes got three bases and home; Spaulding and Leonard were both got on the fly by Mattoon, one being a long running catch; White thrown out on 1st by Dygert – 3 runs.
Nutt was thrown out on 1st by G. Wright to O’Rourke; Dinnin was out at 1st thrown by White, and Jarvis was caught on the fly by O’Rourke – Wright being on the base. Whitewash the 3rd.
5th Innings— Rafferty tried pitching slows, O’Rourke got three bases up the hill and made home; Addie made a run, and Schafer got two bases on a long fly which was beautifully stopped in the air by McCammon with one hand. Manning was thrown out on 1st by Dygert; Barnes caught on the fly by Dinnin and Spaulding ditto by Jarvis – Wright being on the base – 3 runs. Total for 5 innings, 22
Dygert was caught on the fly by Manning; Rafferty got his 1st base by a splendid run, but was forced out on 2nd ; Eilbeck was caught on a long fly by Manning and McCammon got out on 1st –0 . Total for 5 innings –2.
6th Innings –Leonard got three bases on a fluke, and made home. White got three bases by a long hit up the hill, and got a run as did O’Rourke; Addie got two bases, but was put out on home base while attempting a sharp run; Schafer made a run; Manning was thrown out on 1st base by Jarvis; G. Wright made a run; Barnes gave a very high fly hit which was refused by the fielder; and Spaulding was caught on 2nd base by Nutt –5 runs.
Eilbeck was caught on fly by Barnes; McCammon ditto by Spaulding; and Mattoon was thrown out on 1st by Wright. Whitewash without a base.
7th Innings –Leonard got two bases on a good strike, and made a run as did White, O’Rourke, Addie, Schafer, Manning and Wright. Barnes got caught on a high ball by Dinnin and Spaulding, White, Leonard and O’Rourke again got runs. Addie was caught on the fly by Nutt, and Schafer on a foul by Dygert.
Manning changed with Spaulding as pitcher and O’Rourke with White as catcher.
Nutt was out on the fly by Manning. Wright was missed by Manning and got his 1st, he afterwards stole the second. Dinnin was caught on the fly by Schafer, and Jarvis was thrown out on first base by Barnes. Whitewashed again.
8th Innings—With Dinnin pitching, Manning got his 1st base and then made home on a passed ball; Wright got his first base on a hit, second on a fluke, and made a run; Barnes made his 1st and was put out attempting the 3rd; Spaulding and Leonard each got out on the 1st base – 2 runs.
Dygert was thrown out on the 1st base by Schafer; Rafferty made a splendid three base hit down the field and got home. Eilbeck got a run and McCammon got out on three strikes. Mattoon got his first on a good hit, which was beautifully fielded by Wright, and got home on a passed ball, Nutt got a run on the same ball; Wright made a run an Dinnin after being missed by Spaulding got home by flukes; Jarvis got a fine hit, from which he got three bases and made home on an overthrow. Dygert was thrown out on 1st by Barnes –the inning concluded for 7 runs.
9th Innings—There is no need to go into details of this inning, in which the Reds seemed to have it all their own way. There was lots of fooling in the parts of the batsmen, who seemed to take everything very easy, and ran up 17 runs.
For Kingston –Rafferty hit good one and got home on a dead ball; Eilbeck was caught on a foul by White; McCammon got hi first base; Mattoon was caught on a foul by White, and Nutt was thrown out on 1st base by Wright –1.
The match was watched with great interest by the crowd, but we do think that a greater distance should be kept from the diamond, so as to give room to the players. During the last innings the crowd fairly mobbed the players, and they played at much inconvenience. The fielding of the Boston players was splendid –certainly the best ever seen in Kingston. They seemed to be always in the right place, and never missed a ball where there was a chance to hold it. The pitching and catching was also splendid. For the St. Lawrence, some very good fielding was displayed, especially by Mattoon, Nutt and Eilbeck in catching in the field. Dygert did not do so well in catching, as his hands were hurt during the trip of the St. Lawrence Club. The other fielders did very well till the last innings, when carelessness was discernible. Mr. Harry Wright, of the Boston Club, was umpire and gave every satisfaction. Mr. Wright is captain of the Boston team, and is a first class player himself.
The following is the official score:
RED STOCKINGS R O
G,Wright, ss 7 2
Barnes, 2nd b 3 6
Spaulding, p 5 5
Leonard, lf 7 3
White, c 8 1
O’Rourke, 1st b 7 1
Addie, rf 6 3
Schafer, 3rd b 6 3
Manning, cf 6 3
ST. LAWRENCE R O
Eilbeck, cf 1 5
McCammon, 2nd b 0 3
Mattoon, 3rd b 1 3
Nutt, ss 1 4
Wright, rf 1 1
Dinnin, 1st b 1 3
Jarvis, lf 1 3
Dygert, c 1 3
Rafferty, p 3 2
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Red Stockings 6 3 7 3 3 5 9 2 17—55
St.Lawrence 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 7 1 – 10
Scorers—T. Dumble and D.S. Birdsall
Time—2 hours and 35 minutes