“A Yellower Effort at Baseball has not been Seen Here”

4 Dec

The doormat of the eight-team 1898 Pacific Coast League (also contemporaneously referred to as the Pacific State League)  was the Oakland Reliance.

Their 26-2 loss to the Sacramento Gilt Edges on April 17 resulted in this game recap which appeared in The Sacramento Record-Union:

They Called It Baseball

But If So, It Was The Oakland Quality

Sacramento’s Gilt Edge Players Up Against a Lot of Kindergartners

“A yellower effort at baseball has not been seen here since the Boston Bloomer Girl Aggregation waddled around the bags, than that offered by the Oaklands of the Pacific State League yesterday. A dozen pick-up teams in this city could give them cards and spades and win out easily.

“Probably 1,100 or 1,200 persons sat the essence of misery through several innings, and the many absconded, and the cranks who were not present played in luck.

“The Oaklanders did not know the game, and many disgusted enthusiasts present were willing to make affidavit that they could not distinguish between a baseball and a pumpkin.  In a game between that same aggregation of alleged Oakland players and the Young Cherub Teas of this city–all of the members of the latter club being under 12 years of age—the betting would be dollars to doughnuts with the Cherubs as favorites.

“The score was 26 to 2 and even the most inveterate gambler who saw the slaughter would have been unwilling to venture a white chip on what it would have been had the Gilt Edges let out a link and played the game to a finish.  But the locals tired of the fun before the end, and during the last three innings ran on everything and often on nothing, and, more’s the pity, they usually scored.

“The Oaklands have gone home.  There let them rest in peace, forever and a day, or until they are taught that there is a game called baseball, and that there are several thousand people in Sacramento who know the game, and are willing to render unto Caesar those things which are his, but who are willing to call sere, yellow, punk ball by its right name.

“None of the foregoing applies to the Gilt Edges, who were in the best of practice and ready to play the game of the season.  But the Gilts were handicapped, and to pile up runs against the Oakland infantiles reflected small honor upon them.  They had nothing to do but touch the ball.  Anything was good for a base, and even a cripple might have stolen any number of bases and come out without a scratch.”

Ervin "Zaza" Harvey had four hits for Sacramento

Ervin “Zaza” Harvey had four hits for Sacramento

In May the Pacific Coast League consolidated with the California League and this incarnation of the PCL disappeared after 1898.  Five years later it was reborn, and remains in operation.

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