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 publication recreates the rowdy, season-long 1897 conflict among the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Beaneaters. The Orioles had bought 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 fanatics. So it was once that their pennant race with the relatively saintly Beaneaters took on a decidedly moralistic air. Bill Felber brings to existence the main intensely watched group carrying occasion within the country’s historical past to that point. His booklet 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 online game, while thirty thousand enthusiasts actually knocked down the gates and partitions of a facility designed to carry 10000 to observe the Beaneaters grind out a win and convey down baseball’s first and such a lot infamous evil empire. (20070108)
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Extra resources for A Game of Brawl: The Orioles, the Beaneaters, and the Battle for the 1897 Pennant
As the coach drove down Broad Street toward the train station, a mob of some one thousand men and boys followed it, hooting and jeering. Philadelphia ofﬁcials were unapologetic for the fans’ behavior. At the station, Phillies owner John Rogers upbraided Nash, telling the player, “The Boston team has brought this upon themselves. ”28 McGraw read accounts such as those with a smile. To him it was good baseball . . and common as well. Charles Alexander, in his biography of McGraw, summarizes the attitude that had been in place for years, which the Orioles had merely brought to a tuned pitch in 1894: “With only one umpire responsible for watching everything that happened on the ﬁeld, it was accepted behavior for runners to cut inside bases without touching them, for basemen to block, trip and hold runners, and above all for players to assault and revile the umpire with impunity.
If any team could give Baltimore a run, both on the ﬁeld and with their ﬁsts, it was Patsy Tebeau’s Cleveland Spiders, who ﬁnished second to Baltimore in both 1895 and 1896. Tebeau himself was an average ballplayer, Baseball’s Original Evil Empire but his reputation as a rufﬁan was exceeded by none. ” As the game entered the ninth inning, the outcome was certain. Pittsburg led 10–3 and the only question, as far as the Spiders were concerned, was whether they would make their train out of town.
Short and trim, with a turneddown mustache he sported for most of his adult life, McGreevy looked nothing like the successful amateur ballplayer he had been. Yet his inside knowledge of the game won him the respect of players and fans Fig. 4. Woodcut depicting the delegation of Royal Rooters entraining at Park Square Station on the evening of September 23, 1897. Originally appeared in the Boston Globe, September 24, 1897. alike. So too did his frequent sponsorship of youth league teams in the Roxbury neighborhood that was his home ground.