Old News: Brooklyn-Baltimore Game Recap, 1887

Apropos of nothing, except the brief abeyance of life’s crushing burdens, here are three lightly annotated passages from the recap of a Baltimore-Brooklyn game that appeared (the recap, not the game) in the September 17th, 1887, edition of the New York Evening Sun (a full page of which one can read here) — upon which recap the author happened while abeying the crushing burdens of his own life, for example.

Excerpt No. 1

Regarding the Location of the Game
The version of Washington Park at which this game was played was, according to Wikipedia, “bounded by 3rd and 5th Streets, and 4th and 5th Avenues” in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Here, in fact:


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Regarding the Inshoot, What That Is
According to The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers, which is currently on the author’s lap, the inshoot was a fastball with notable armside run. The Smith throwing them in this case would have actually been left-hander Phenomenal Smith, who threw 491.1 innings for Baltimore in 1887 and posted a 7.8 WAR.

Regarding the English
Here are some achievements of language in this passage:
• The pural form of the cities, “Brooklyns” and “Baltimores”, to denote the teams.
• The expression “sadly disfigured” to describe an injured team.
• The euphemistic construction “open to criticism.”

Excerpt No. 2

Regarding the Fourth Strike Noted Here
Per the Baseball Almanac, “Four ‘called strikes” were adopted for this season only.”

Regarding Euphemism, Another Instance of It
Here’s another able instance of euphemism, courtesy the Evening Sun: “Sullivan was the recipient of some very uncomplimentary remarks.”

Excerpt No. 3

This is one of the pieces next to the game recap, about a family that was arrested, more or less, because they were starving.

Newspaper accounts scanned and collected by SABR member Jonathan Frankel.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

9 Responses to “Old News: Brooklyn-Baltimore Game Recap, 1887”

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  1. MikeS says:

    Disfigured? And we thought fans today were tough on the players.

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  2. Jack says:

    The Brooklyns and the Baltimores are the least original team names since the Houston Texans.

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  3. Choo says:

    The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers is arguably the Angel Pagan of baseball books.

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  4. In the good old days you had to be sadly disfigured to even have a shot at the 15 day DL.

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  5. Dave Barker says:

    Also deserving a mention: “but the umpire decided him out, whereupon the crowd nearly crested a riot.”

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    • Pinstripe Wizard says:

      I also found that little gem to be sadly overlooked here. Clearly Bud Selig was ignoring the wishes of the fans in 1887.

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  6. yaboynate says:

    YES with the Yankees! To trades and unruly fans… look, I don’t want to talk about it.

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  7. Bryan says:

    So one could get arrested for “want”, but not for “a short hit to the box”?

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