Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

1860s Baseball

I recently came across a piece in the May 16, 1867 edition of the Springfield Leader reporting on a baseball game that had been held in Springfield a few days before. This was in the days before Major League Baseball and, indeed, before any kind of professional baseball in the U. S. However, there were amateur baseball clubs throughout the country, and the sport was becoming very popular. Its popularity had been spread partly by the Civil War. Soldiers from regions of the country where the game was popular, such as the Northeast, had brought the sport to other regions, but the rules of the game still lacked complete uniformity, varying from one region to another.
The game in Springfield involved the Springfield Base Ball Club, and it took place south of Fort No. 2, which was situated near the intersection of South Street and Mt. Vernon Street. According to the Leader, "There was quite a number of spectators present, including several ladies."
What I found interesting was the box score that was published along with the article. The only statistics given were outs and runs. On one of the teams, one of the players scored 12 runs by himself and made only two outs. The team total for runs was 86. Although the other team scored only 34 runs, the teams obviously placed very little premium on defense or were simply not very good defensively, at least not by modern standards. Also, the players on both teams were listed by position: catcher, pitcher, shortstop, first base, second base, third base, left field, center field, and right field. I assume this means they probably batted in that order as well, but perhaps not.


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November 6, 2013 at 5:49 AM  
Blogger Larry Wood said...

Thanks, David.

November 10, 2013 at 5:12 PM  

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