Friday, March 24, 2017

Scorecards from the Dodgers First Year as a Major League Club in 1884

The Dodger franchise didn't start as some expansion team created out of thin dust.  Instead, like most ballplayers, the club rose up the ranks.  The Brooklyn Grays, as they were known back then, had won the Interstate Association (a Triple-A level league) championship in 1883 and decided to move up to a major league called the American Association the following year.  That season they were dubbed the Brooklyn Atlantics in honor of the old National Association Brooklyn Atlantics team, and featured below are a couple of completed vintage scorecards from that season in 1884.

They are both available at BST Auction and I thought it would fun to take a closer look at them.  Click any pic to embiggen.

Here is a scorecard that dates to a Tuesday afternoon game on May 13th. (Auction Link) Brooklyn was matched against the Baltimore Orioles at Ebbets Field.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find a description of the game in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives.  Thankfully, the scorecards provides a glimpse at what happened in the game.

Clearly, the Orioles defeated the Atlantics, 3-2, but I'm a bit uncertain how the scoring came about.  Folks sure didn't score the same way they do now -- at least, I'm not familiar with the method used here.

From what I can tell, Brooklyn scored their two runs in the second inning off what looks like a triple by pitcher Adonis Terry.  Baltimore, on the other hand, rallied to score a run in the third and two more in the fifth to eventually win the game.  I have no idea how those runs came about.  If you can figure it out please let me know.

BTW, I was puzzled for hours trying to figure out why this game, as well as several others that week, did not have boxscores in the daily paper.  Then it dawned on me when I saw a story titled, "The Panic on Wall Street."  It was at about this time that the entire banking sector of the economy was thrown into turmoil.  Investment firms Grant & Ward and Marine Bank of New York failed and that caused a ripple effect which resulted in banks nationwide halting all investments throughout the United States.  The marketplace was at a standstill and folks probably had other things on their mind.

The second scorecards is dated to Tuesday, August 12th.  (Auction Link)  This time the Atlantics faced off against the Philadelphia Athletics and defeated them, 5-2.  Thankfully, I was able to find a boxscore for this game in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.  You can see it below, along with the completed scorecard.
The decisive victory of the Brooklyn Club over the champion Athletics on Monday served to draw a great audience to Washington Park yesterday afternoon, on the occasion of the return game between two clubs, and they were treated to a splendid exhibition of ball playing.  The visitors put in as their battery Taylor and O'Brien, Kimber and Householder representing the home team.  The Brooklyns went to the bat first and started the game off in lively style, to the great delight of the people, by getting in two runs.  After this inning the game was marked by good batting, base running and fielding, a long running catch in left field, by Remsen, calling forth plaudits and cheers from all present.  Cassidy, in right field, Knowles at first and Householder, behind the bat, played brilliantly.  This second victory of the Brooklyn team over the veteran Athletics shows clearly that the team is a good one and can play excellent ball, and their recent work has awakened the hopes of the home patrons of the game that Brooklyn will take a more commanding place in the championship race.

BST Auction has another vintage scorecard available, but it is from 1885.  So, I'll take a closer look at that one a little later on.  Stay tuned.

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1 comment:

  1. Amazing that that stuff still exists. Regarding the first piece, I guess no yelling, "Kill the ump", huh?


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