Rube with a Gun

25 Jan

When Rube Waddell was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 1900 season, The New York Telegram presented some “interesting facts” about the “serio-comic pitcher.”

The paper said:

“He is greatly desirous of spreading his circle of acquaintances, and it is not an uncommon thing for him to walk over to the grandstand and shake hands with all the front row after he has pitched a good inning.”

Rube

Tom Loftus, who briefly managed Waddell with Columbus in the Western League in 1899, and would again be his manager in Chicago in 1901, said “he has as much speed” as any pitcher in baseball.

Loftus also told a story about Waddell:

“When he first joined the Columbus nine, he purchased a revolver and took it out to the grounds with him. He practiced with the fence for a target and was severely reprimanded by the captain of the club, George Tebeau, who told him that he might shoot some passerby.

“When they entered the dressing room the argument was resumed again, and Tebeau, losing his temper, slapped Waddell’s mouth. The youngster may have deserved it, but didn’t see it that way, and promptly laid the irate Tebeau in a heap in the corner with a left hander that would have knocked a hole in a stone wall.

“Waddell immediately fled to his hotel, frightened at the possibility of punishment that awaited him. He expected to be expelled from the league”

Tebeau

Loftus “solemnly lectured” Rube on “the enormity of his offense,” and told the pitcher “all would be forgiven,” if he won the next day’s game.

“Waddell promised to do his best and succeeded in holding the other nine down to two hits. “Tebeau complimented Waddell on his good work, and then the eccentric pitcher journeyed through the league telling all the other players how badly he had whipped his captain.”

Lost Advertisements: Delehanty and Lajoie–Stuart’s Dyspepsia Tablets

22 Jan

A 1900 advertisement for Stuart’s Dyspepsia Tablets featuring Phillies Ed Delehanty and Napoleon Lajoie.

“The $30,000 Stars of the Baseball World.”

The ad includes brief biographies of both and said:

“’Del’ looks the part of a heavy batter, for he is the personification of strength. He is brawn and muscle from top to toe and swings on the horsehide like a trip hammer. He is a wonder at the plate. The was he punishes the ball is a caution. He is swift as a meteor, slamming th ball on the nose nearly every time he goes to bat.”

As for Lajoie:

“His mental alertness and his quickness of though enable him to anticipate every dodge of the ableist pitcher. Brains will tell on the field as well. As ‘Larry’s’ batting proves. He has a ‘hit and run’ look about him that makes cold shivers run down the back of the average pitcher.”

The two “always created a small sized panic when they have their batting clothes on.”

Both sung the praises of Stuart’s, “a powerful digester, preventing acidity and discomfort,” said Delehanty, who “would not be without them.” Lajoie “heartily” recommended them and said the cured “all stomach troubles.”

Lajoie apparently never met a patent medicine he didn’t like; he also appeared in ads for Heptol Splits, “The only perfect laxative,” and the “miracle drug,” Nuxated Iron.

“The Crowd Yelled with Derisive Delight”

20 Jan

Spokane, Washington’s first professional team was performing well; the Bunchgrassers, members of the Pacific Northwest League during the circuit’s inaugural season in 1890, they were second place, a half-game behind the Seattle Blues in the four-team league on July 1.

The Blues were in Spokane for a series, and according to The Spokane Falls Review:

“The game of baseball yesterday was very unsatisfactory to those who put up 75 cents for the privilege of watching it from the grandstand.”

Spokane’s starting centerfielder and leftfielder Tom Turner and Fred Jevne:

“(D)id not occupy their accustomed places. At the beginning of the game, they refused to don their uniforms.”

They refused to play in protest over what they felt were excessive fines imposed by manager John Sloane Barnes:

“After the game had started Jevne and Turner attempted to go up to the ladies’ portion of the grandstand…Tuesday is ladies’ day at the baseball grounds, and their portion of the grandstand was crowded by the gentler sex. When Jevne and Turner came up into the stand, swearing as they did, many of the ladies prepared to go, but Manager Barnes, whose attention was called to the occurrence, quieted the two rowdies at an opportune time, and although the ladies felt outraged, they remained throughout the game.”

John Sloane Barnes

Spokane lost 9 to 6.

The Spokane Daily Chronicle, which went to press on the first after the two refused to play, but before they went into the stands, said initially that Turner and Jevne were “two of the best players on the coast” and that the team would be “materially weakened” if they were released.

The following day, The Daily Chronicle had a different take and said, “Sympathy at first was with the players,” but after they “acted like ruffians,” in an “intoxicated condition,” the paper referred to them as “malcontents.”

By July 4, Turner, the team’s leading hitter, begged for forgiveness. The Review said:

“Turner made an ample apology to (team president Thomas) Jefferson on the condition that he have nothing more to do with Jevne and pay a fine of $50.”

The Daily Chronicle said he, “apologized to Manager Barnes and others and has been reinstated.” However:

“Jevne will hardly be so fortunate even if he apologizes.”

Jevne, who had been suspended earlier in the season for punching an umpire was seen by many to be the instigator in the walk out, but two days later, The Daily Chronicle changed course again when Turner struck out three times on July 6:

Fred Jevne

“Mr. Turner, baseballist, has lost public favor. In Sunday’s game he struck out three times and the crowd yelled with derisive delight. This made Mr. Turner, baseballist, angry and he bit his blonde mustache quite savagely.

“Here is a little story about Mr. Turner, baseballist. He felt aggrieved by the local management, and suggested to Jevne, who was then his firm friend, that they strike. Jevne agreed, not because he wanted to but because Turner so desired. They swore they would stick together. But Turner lacked grit and shamelessly deserted Jevne. He ate crow and was received back into the fold, where, by the way he is heartily disliked by the rest of the lambs. The fact that Turner ‘went back on his pard’ has gone abroad, and the star of Mr. Turner, baseballist, is under a cloud.”

All was forgiven nearly instantly, Turner continued to hit, and the team continued to win. Turner hit .301 and Spokane won the league’s first pennant by seven games over the Tacoma Daisies. Jevne.

Turner played another decade for minor leagues teams across the country.

Jevne never played again in Spokane, and with the exception of a stint with the Evansville Hoosiers in 1891 was finished as a player.  He became an umpire; his life ended tragically and suspiciously in 1901.

“They Would Never Have Been Allowed on a Team”

18 Jan

Charles “Count” Campau was unusual among 19th Century players—he was a Notre Dame graduate and came from a prominent Detroit family—his great-grandfather arrived in the city seven years after its founding and his grandfather, Joseph Campau, was at one point the largest landowner in Detroit.

He played pro ball from 1885 through 1905 with three major league stints totaling 147 games.

Count Campau

Campau worked as an umpire for a couple seasons after his playing career and spent the rest of his life working at racetracks throughout North America—he was at Kenilworth Park in Ontario when Eddie “Hotspur” McBride of The Buffalo Enquirer relayed a conversation about baseball between the Count and a “fan.”

“Why did I leave baseball? Well, I’ll tell you. When I found out that I could not hit .300 I said it was time to get out of the game and I did. In all of the years that I have played ball I never fell under that .300 percentage. And today I see real or so-called baseball stars batting .250 and even less and called ballplayers. They would never have been allowed on a team years ago.”

His memory of his batting average was selective—he hit below .300 in at least 10 of his minor league seasons; he hit .267 in 572 major league at bats.

Campau was asked if “old-time players” were better:

“Certainly, in ninety-nine instances out of 100. I can quote you by the dozen, men who were only fair ballplayers years ago, who would be stars of the diamond today.”

Campau’s interrogator suggested that the current game allowed the batter “but little show” because it gave the pitcher “every advantage today with the spitball, the foul strike rule, and every else.” He disagreed:

“The batter has ten times the show he had years ago. What would these batters of today think if they had a man like (Toad) Ramsay [sic, Ramsey] or (Amos) Rusie, or others I could mention, who could turn around in the box, throw any old way he wanted without it being called a balk, and let that ball come up to the plate looking like a pea? Not one of those stars of today could hit them, not one. They have all the better of the game today with the exception of the foul strike rule.”

Campau also told McBride a story about his first season in New Orleans—1887; he would later become a very popular figure in the city, retiring there, but said his start was rough. Campau said fans thought he was Italian, and he was greeted with slurs and they would “imitate a hand organ when I went to bat.”

Campau had arrived in New Orleans during a period of anti-Italian sentiment in the city that would culminate with the lynching of 11 Italian immigrants thought by some to be responsible for the murder of the city’s police chief the previous year.

“One fellow in particular was a daisy. He was the biggest pest I ever saw and really made me dead sore. He would throw me a bag of peanuts and call me ‘da monk. Again he would toss out one of those penny slabs of ice cream for ‘da dago.’ Finally, one day he sent ‘da monk’ a fan. I nearly exploded with rage, and not knowing what I did I walked out into the field with the fan still in my hand. I had scarcely turned around when someone hit a ball about a mile out into my territory. It was awfully sunny that day, and instinctively I put up my hand to my eyes. The fan was still in it. To my great joy I saw that it shaded my eyes and I saw the ball ten times better than if I didn’t have it. I made the putout, and it was a dandy. From that day on I always carried a fan out into the field.”

Campau also quickly became popular in New Orleans hitting five home runs—two on June 6 and three on June 7—The Times-Picayune said of the three-home run game:

“The first one was off one of the first balls pitched in the game. It was just inside of the foul mark on the right field fence, and the ball was lost under the new stand. The next home run was in the right field seats. The last hit was the best of all, because it was not only the longest, but brought (Jake) Wells is also. This time the ball did not stop to pay its respects to the stand but went clean over the fence.”

The paper said “Hats were enthusiastically passed around and Campau got about $60 from the crowd. There was a cheer when the ladies present called one of the volunteer collectors over and contributed”

Count Campau died in New Orleans in 1938.

“Matt Simply Wasn’t to be Toyed With”

15 Jan

“Matt simply wasn’t to be toyed with.”

William Wrothe Aulick of pitcher Matt Kilroy in The New York Mail in 1911.

Kilroy pitched from 1886 to 1898 for six clubs and his pick off move—now illegal—taking a step forward towards the plate and throwing underhand to first, was said to be the game’s best.

Matt Kilroy

“Matt was a left hander who added to the fame and games of the Louisville team many years ago. There was a prize hung up every game by the Louisville manager to be freely given to the player who succeeded in taking more than two steps off the bag while Kilroy was pitching.”

Aulick said, “nobody ever won the Louisville manager’s prize for defying Matt Kilroy.”

Kilroy’s best seasons were not in Louisville; he won 121 of his 141 major league games with the Baltimore Orioles in the American Association from 1886 to1889; he was 3-7 in just 13 games with the Colonels in 1893 and 1894.

Aulick said:

“Sometimes there would happen along a stranger player who didn’t know about Matt’s peculiar objection to base stealing. With Kilroy’s windup, Mr. Mark would move one step off the base. With Kilroy’s backward shift of his feet, preparatory for delivery, Mr. Mark would scoot two feet off first and look hopefully at second—and then zing! Mr. Player was caught…After awhile the other fellows grew wary and Matt had to work to keep in practice at his specialty. When you’ve been caught dead to rights every time you’ve tried to take even a most modest lead, you require caution.”

Kilroy, a Philadelphia native was close with Connie Mack, after he retired, The Philadelphia Inquirer said, “For several seasons, nearly every morning, Kilroy was out at the park teaching Mack’s pitchers how to hold the runner on first. Those who profited from his coaching in that line were (Eddie) Plank, (Chief) Bender, and (Jack) Coombs.”

When Lefty Grove walked 131 batters in 197 innings as a 25-year-old rookie in 1925, The Philadelphia Bulletin asked Kilroy to diagnose the problem:

“It comes from one source which he can correct easily. He doesn’t follow his pitch through. When he brings that long arm of his over his head, he doesn’t complete his pitch, but gets the ball away too quick. That makes him wild. But he’ll overcome that. When he does, he’ll be a corker.”

Kilroy operated a tavern adjacent to Shibe Park—he sold it in 1939 and it became the Deep Right Field Cafe. Kilroy died in 1940.

Frank Chance: “How I Win”

13 Jan

“I don’t know how I win. As a fact, I don’t care how I win, if I win, beyond winning by clean methods and not asking favors”

Said Frank Chance, as part of a series of syndicated articles by Chicago journalist Joseph B. Bowles which asked some of baseball’s biggest stars to talk about “How I Win.”

“It is all in the man himself. There are many great ballplayers who are not winning ballplayers…I know I go into a game confident of winning and the confidence never ends. The harder they beat us the harder I work and if a manager keeps working and fighting all the time his players will be with him. If he quits or weakens, his men will do the same. I try to get the best work out of myself and my players, to fight and keep fighting to the finish, and then try to forget the game and work for the next one.”

Frank Chance

He said remembering the previous day’s game “is a bad thing,” and explained how he prepared for games:

“The first thing to do is to study the weaknesses of the other club and to recognize its strength and then, allowing for its greatest strength and least weakness, to figure out how to beat it at its best.

“I make a close study of opposing pitchers and plan the attack upon the weakest point of the other team. I always give the opposing team credit for having brains enough to strike our weakest point and try to fortify that point by adapting the team work to the conditions.”

Chance said “the hardest work” of a manager was how to use pitchers:

“I want to know exactly the condition of the pitcher who is going to work, and if there are two or three in top condition, I study which one is best against the team we are to play.”

During a game, he said he tried “to outguess the other said all the time and to do things and have my men do things,” that would not be expected:

“I believe in taking chances at bat, in the field, and especially on the bases, and I think taking chances with men in games has won for me…I and my team have won because we have worked harder and more earnestly to win than other teams have. It isn’t ‘swelled headedness’ to say that. We have worked all the time and I believe that hard work and constant practice, condition and working together for the good of the team rather than for the good of ourselves, has been the secret of the past successes of the Cubs.”

Chance won his final pennant that season.

“My Pitching Stock Consisted Mainly in Speed”

11 Jan

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said in 1918, Silver King—Charles Frederick Koenig—had not attended a baseball game since his career ended 20 years earlier.

“That fact was brought out when his interviewer asked him to make a comparison of modern pitchers and pitching methods with those of his day. He has no particular reason for shunning ballparks, but merely says he has lost interest in the game.”

Silver King

His connection to baseball was limited to “the lots of McCausland Avenue, near his home, ‘Silver’ King may be found every Sunday morning ‘burning them over’ to the neighborhood youngsters.”

King said “there’s no telling” how long his career would have lasted if rosters were larger when he played:

“We seldom carried over 12 regular players on any club. With the pitchers, it was work about every third day or sometimes every other day. If you couldn’t stand that pace you didn’t hold your job, that’s all. And a lot of them couldn’t stand it. Pitchers with big physiques and iron constitutions we the rule then.”

King said:

“My pitching stock consisted mainly in speed. I threw some curves, but I never knew about such things as a spitball, a fade away, shine ball, and all those tricks…There were some great batters in my day. I used to have a lot of trouble Ed Delehanty, not to mention Dave [sic, Dan] Brouthers, Roger O’Connor [sic, Connor]…Later on Larry Lajoie broke in and you can take it from me, he knew how to slug the ball.”

King said he’d “never forget” his first World Series with the St. Louis Browns versus the Detroit Wolverines in 1887:

“It was sort of an exhibition series because we traveled around the circuit instead of playing the games in our home cities. There wasn’t much of a financial plum in those days. For the 15 games we played, the game receipts were about $40,000.”

King was bit fuzzy on his World Series memories. He said he appeared in seven games in 1887—he appeared in four.

King told the reporter:

“I believe I’ll lay off from work one day next season and go out and see this fellow (Grover Cleveland) Alexander pitch. I might learn something about the game, you know.”

King apparently didn’t make it to watch Alexander; twenty years later, his obituary in the Post-Dispatch said:

 “Following his retirement from the game, Koenig did not attend a major league contest.”

Things I Learned on the way to Looking up Other Things #44

7 Jan

Flint’s Hands

In 1896, Hugh Fullerton said in The Chicago Record:

“It is not hard to tell ‘Old Silver’ (Flint) is a ballplayer.”

Silver Flint

Fullerton told a story about how a train carrying the catcher and the rest of the White Stockings had derailed during their “Southern tour” the previous season:

“The train jumped the track and several of the passengers were injured. Silver stood near the scene of the wreck watching the proceedings, when one of the surgeons who had tendered his services caught sight of Silver’s fists.

“’Too bad, my man, too bad,’ said the man with the scalpel, ‘but both those hands will have to come off.’”

King Kelly told Fullerton that Flint “had to shake hands with the doctor before the latter would believe that Silver’s hands were not knocked out in the wreck.”

Young’s Perfect Game

In 1910, The Boston Post said Napoleon Lajoie asked Cy Young about his 1904 perfect game while the Naps were playing a series in Boston.

Cy Young

“’Oh,’ remarked Cy in that native natural dialect that six years’ residence in Boston did not change, ‘there ain’t nothing to tell. Nothing much at any rate. They just ‘em right at somebody all the time that was all. Two or three drives would have been good, long hits if Buck (Freeman) and Chick (Stahl) hadn’t been laying for ‘em. I didn’t know nobody reached first until we were going to the clubhouse. Then Jim (Collins) told me.’”

Young beat the Philadelphia Athletics and Rube Waddell 3 to 0 on May 5, 1904; the third perfect game in MLB history; the previous two had both taken place 24 years earlier during the 1880 season–making it the first one thrown under modern rules.

The box score

Cobb’s Base Stealing

 Before the 1912 season, Joe Birmingham, manager of the Cleveland Naps told The Cleveland News that Sam Crawford was the reason Ty Cobb was a successful base stealer.

“I haven’t made such a statement without considering the matter.”

Birmingham said:

“Put Sam Crawford up behind any one of a half dozen players in this league and their base stealing records would increase immensely…In the first place, every catcher is handicapped almost five feet in throwing to second when Sam is up. You know Sam lays way back of that home plate.

“A catcher would take his life in his hands if he dared get in the customary position behind the plate, for Sam takes such an awful wallop. Five feet doesn’t seem like a great distance, but when it is taken into consideration that a vast number of base stealers are checked by the merest margin of seconds, five feet looms up as considerable distance.”

Cobb

Then there was Crawford’s bat:

“(He) wields a young telegraph pole. There are few players in baseball who could handle such a club. And Sam spreads that club all over an immense amount of air. It’s usually in the way or thereabouts. At least it’s a factor with which the catcher must always reckon. Finally, Sam is a left-handed batter. Any time a pitcher hurls a pitchout to catch Cobb stealing the catcher is thrown into an awkward position. He can’t possibly be set for a throw. There’s another portion of a second lost.”

Cobb and Crawford were teammates from 1905 through 1917; Cobb led the league in steals six times during that period.

Sam Crawford

Birmingham’s overall point was to suggest that Joe Jackson, of the Naps, would be a better base stealer than Cobb:

“Joe has shown more natural ability during his first (full) year in the league than Cobb did.”

Birmingham said Jackson was as fast going from home to first as Cobb and “No one can convince me to the contrary.”

While he said Jackson did not get the same lead off the base as Cobb, he said:

“When that is acquired you’ll find little Joey leading the parade or just a trifle behind the leader.”

In 24 season Cobb stole 897 bases; Jackson stole 202 in 13 seasons.

“A New Era in the Sport”

6 Jan

“The baseball world is beginning to roll itself into its usual spring prominence, and while managers are busy signing the players assigned to them, the public is awaiting patiently the beginning of what is predicted will be a new era in the sport.”

O.P. Caylor’s prediction in The New York Herald was made before the National League began the 1892 season as 12-team league playing a split season after the collapse of the American Association, and Caylor sought out the opinions of several players, managers, and executives about the coming season; they shared their “sanguine feeling on their part in the success,” of the game.

O.P. Caylor

Brooklyn’s Dave Foutz said:

“I don’t believe it will be necessary to make any changes in the rules. We have got our hands pretty full with testing the policy of a twelve-club league and a double season without trying any new rules to perplex the public.”

Foutz said the league was now composed of “the twelve best cities in the country to play in, and the best players will be put in the field.”

Chris von der Ahe, owner of the St. Louis Browns said:

“While I opposed the twelve-club league when the idea was first broached, I feel now that the interests of baseball are best subserved by the new agreement.”

He said the dissolution of the Association benefitted his team:

“The St. Louis club is stronger than it ever was, and we will show the patrons of baseball all over the country a championship form.”

Harry Wright, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies said:

“Never in the history of baseball has the prospect for a successful season been brighter; never has there been such a perfect harmony among the baseball powers in this country. This fact, in my opinion, leads to the hope that the game of baseball will be revived to all its pristine glory.”

Harry Wright

Wright said he felt the distribution of American Association refuges had been “fair and equitable” and said:

“As far as the two-season idea is concerned I believe it will be a success, and I think that the public generally will watch the finish each time with the same intense interest that has marked the great and close finishes of the past.”

New York Giants manager Pat Powers said:

“This twelve-club league, it strikes me, will be a decided success. Coming, as it does, in a presidential year is very fortunate.”

His rationale was that during every other presidential year “interest in baseball would decrease” as the election drew closer, and the new league format would mitigate that loss of interest.

Powers said the “twelve most representative cities “ were included and “the different clubs are composed of the very best players of the baseball profession.”

Powers said the split season would “keep the public interested,’ the larger league would be successful, and “the game will boom.”

Charles Byrne, the President of the Brooklyn club said the split season would allow fans to “witness the most exciting finish es baseball has yet known.”

The Boston Beaneaters won the first half, the Cleveland Spiders the second; Boston beat Cleveland five games to none for the championship.

Foutz and Byrnes’ Brooklyn Grooms finished third, Wrights’ Philadelphia Phillies fourth, Powers’ New York Giants eighth, and von der Ahe’s Browns 11th.

The split season was dropped before the 1893 season.

“When Baseball was in Swaddling Clothes”

4 Jan

William “Billy” McMahon was a member—and for a time captain—of the Mutual Club of New York from 1859 to 1870, he later became a successful businessman, owning a “Concert saloon” called the Haymarket in at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Thirtieth Streets in Manhattan’s Tenderloin District. McMahon’s establishment was so popular that his obituary estimated his net worth at $500,000.

1864 Mutuals–McMahon is fours from the right.

McMahon was also a volunteer firefighter, and in that capacity, in 1887, joined the New York Veteran Fireman’s Association on a cross country trip, which stopped in Chicago in September–a reporter for The Chicago Daily News, hearing of McMahon’s baseball past, sought him out.

“’What’s that? Baseball! Bless me, I’ve almost forgotten the game. Who told you I knew anything about baseball? Listen to this young fellow, boys.”

The reporter had been tipped off about McMahon by Tom Foley; Foley played with the 1871 Chicago White Stockings and lived in the Chicago suburbs:

“Tom Foley told you! Where in the name of all that’s sacred is Tom? Tom Foley! Why great thunder! I thought he had gone under.”

Foley

McMahon was 58 years old and described as “a smooth-faced, gray-haired, pleasant, jovial old gentleman.”

He said:

“Well, well, who’d a thought it! To come way out here to Chicago to be asked about baseball! But I can tell you something about the old days and the players, that’s a fact. Let’s see—it was in ’52 when I first got to be some pumpkins as a ballplayer. That was the time when baseball was in swaddling clothes and needed a nurse.

“The only two clubs then in existence were the Knickerbockers and New Yorks, afterward called Gothams. You know—but of course you don’t know, young man—but I’ll tell you. There were no (set number of) innings in those days. No, sir…Twenty-one aces counted a game, and the club which made them first won.”

McMahon said when he began playing in 1852 for the Gothams, he was working as a “butcher boy, stout, strong and active, and oh, how I could run and chase a ball, and the old man rubbed his legs most tenderly as a spell of deep thought came over him and the old days passed in review before his fancy.”

He said he played shortstop in one of the 1852 games against the Knickerbocker’s at Red House Grounds—the teams played two games that year at the Harlem location which also was the sight of a racetrack. His recollection of the result differs from the available information about the game(s).

“Well, the Knickerbockers won the toss, and, unlike the practice now-a-days, took the bat. They made five runs and we followed with three. The next time we skunked ‘em, and in two more ties at bat we made 21 aces and won the game.”

McMahon claimed after that single game in 1852, until he joined the Mutuals in 1857.

He recalled coming to Chicago with the team in 1870 to play the White Stockings on July 23; by that year, according to The Chicago Tribune McMahon was “business manager, and substitute in case of need.”

He did not play in the game but recalled “(we) made the great and first record of scoring 9 to 0, and from this game came the expression “Chicagoed,” which I understand, is used to this day when a whitewash is affected.”

And McMahon, like so many to come, decried the decline in the quality of the game from his time:

“(B)ut the baseball today ain’t a marker of that of twenty-five years ago. Why, what catcher could have stood behind Johnny Hartfield [sic, Hatfield]…whose throwing record at Hartford has never been beaten,”

Hatfield threw a ball 382 feet six inches on July 10, 1868—but it happened in Cincinnati, not Hartford as McMahon recalled.

The current pitchers, he said:

“(F)ire in the ball overhand as though they meant to commit murder. No, no; gimme the good old underhand throw, lots of hitting and lots of pretty fielding. That’s your game for fun. I stand now ready now to gamble $500 to $1000 that the clubs of today, using the same lively, half rubber ball we used, cannot excel the good score we made in the old days.”

McMahon sent his “regards to the white Stockings,” then the “fireman moved away with his comrades.”

McMahon continued to operate the Haymarket until selling it in 1890, The New York Journal said, “He never interfered with the crooks, but it was distinctly understood that there must be no crookedness carried on within his walls.” The New York Times was less charitable and said, “some of the worst characters in police annuls had the run of the place.”

“He died in 1898.