By Bill Felber
It used to be essentially the most cutthroat pennant race in baseball historical past. And it was once a fight to outline how baseball will be performed. This ebook recreates the rowdy, season-long 1897 conflict among the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Beaneaters. The Orioles had obtained a name because the dirtiest crew in baseball. destiny corridor of Famers John McGraw, Wee Willie Keeler, and “Foxy” Ned Hanlon have been confirmed winners—but their nasty strategies met with frequent disapproval between enthusiasts. So it was once that their pennant race with the relatively saintly Beaneaters took on a decidedly moralistic air. Bill Felber brings to lifestyles the main intensely watched crew wearing occasion within the country’s background to that point. His publication captures the drama of the ultimate week, because the race got here all the way down to a three-game sequence. and at last, it conveys the insanity of the 3rd and decisive video game, while thirty thousand lovers actually knocked down the gates and partitions of a facility designed to carry 10000 to observe the Beaneaters grind out a win and produce down baseball’s first and such a lot infamous evil empire. (20070108)
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Additional resources for A Game of Brawl: The Orioles, the Beaneaters, and the Battle for the 1897 Pennant
McGraw and Jennings took up residence in a boardinghouse a block from the ﬁeld. 19 They had developed the habit of arriving on the morning of games and walking the third base and shortstop areas to look for pebbles and lumps. They coached the groundskeeper, Thomas Murphy, on how to contour the foul lines to make them more favorable for bunting and on hardening the dirt around home plate to make the Baltimore chop a more effective weapon. By a few weeks after opening day of the 1894 season, that area was as ﬁrmly packed as if cement had been poured atop it.
What Tebeau did not know was Hoagland’s background: it was in pugilism. Although never championship material, he had built a reputation for being hard-nosed, both physically and mentally. Instead of yielding, Hoagland ordered Tebeau back to the Cleveland bench, a demand Tebeau ignored. From there the incident simply got out of control. Hoagland issued a twenty-ﬁve-dollar ﬁne, prompting Tebeau to tear the umpire’s mask from his face, drawing another ﬁne. As the confrontation turned into bedlam, Cleveland’s Chief Zimmer, who was on third, saw a chance to steal home while nobody was looking.
With the Orioles he won twelve of his fourteen starts. George Hemming had made a similar turnaround. Picked up from Louisville late in 1894, Hemming had won four Baltimore games to improve his overall record to 17-19. With the Orioles full-time in 1895, he won twenty games for the only time in his career. Hemming re- Baseball’s Original Evil Empire turned with ﬁfteen wins in 1896, but by this time Clarkson was essentially through. Literally off the streets of Baltimore walked Erasmus Arlington Pond, a twenty-three-year-old medical student at Johns Hopkins University who as an undergrad had dabbled in pitching at the college level.