The Worst, or Best Game Recap Ever—1888

9 Apr

In June of 1888 the Dallas Hams were coasting to the Texas League championship; the team was so good, and so far in front, the league would be reformed in July as the Texas Southern League.  Dallas would win that championship as well.

The 1888 Dallas Hams

The 1888 Dallas Hams

Unfortunately most stories did not have bylines in 1888, as a result we’ll probably never know who wrote this recap of the June 12 game between the Hams and the Austin Senators in The Dallas Morning News:

“It was a good game on both sides, still a listless, lifeless, inanimate game.  Neither side showed any life or spirit.  They played like they were asleep, or dead.  There were only about 150 spectators and the boys couldn’t throw any life into the game.

“For seven innings neither side made a run.  Each side played ball and kept the other from scoring. In the eighth inning (Frank) Hoffman for Austin scored.  It was (William) ‘Kid’ Peeples error that lost the game.  A beautiful, way up, pop fly came over to him, falling so prettily right into his hands, and he let it slip—muffed it.  Jack Wentz was on one side of him (Clarence) ‘Daddy’ Cross at the other, each one standing ready and waiting, but it was Peeples’ ball and they stood by.  He muffed it.  He said afterward that he had his hands out for it to come down between his breast and his hands, which it did, but he had his hands too far out and it slipped through.

“The game was lost for Dallas by Peeples’ error of the fly already mentioned.  Look at the score and you will see that while Austin made five base hits, Dallas made nothing except Charlie Levis’ two bagger.

“It is not necessary to go through the minutia of the game.  It was goose egg after goose egg up to the eighth inning, when Austin made one.  There wasn’t a brilliant play in the whole game.  Charlie Levis did make a two bagger, and is entitled to credit for it.  Nobody else did anything.

“Only about 150 people were present to see the game.  The small crowd discouraged the boys and they played without verve, without spirit, without animation.”

The Box Score

The Box Score

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3 Responses to “The Worst, or Best Game Recap Ever—1888”

  1. peacefulhands9 April 9, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    I wish some sports reporters still had this kind of lush literary flair in recapping games. Oh, who am I kidding? I wish *I* had that literary flair! Also, this games sounds eerily reminiscent of last Sunday’s Orioles-Twins game. That’s the beauty of baseball … the reporting may have changed, but the game hasn’t.

  2. Walter Colbert August 23, 2016 at 9:24 am #

    I have an early photo of the Dallas Hams baseball team circa 1888. As family history reports, my maternal great grandfather Joe Mills played for the team off and on. He was a local and not a regular player, but he is in the picture. Could this photo be corroborated by someone?

    • Thom Karmik August 23, 2016 at 9:26 am #

      Walter: If you want to send me an email, I will put you in touch with someone. Baseballhistorydaily.com

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