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Orotund Sentences from Historical Recaps: New York, 1897

Mostly for the reason that it’s nearly part of his job description, is why the present author has spent much of the past two hours idly surveying game recaps from century-old newspapers.

Below are three excerpts from that search — all courtesy the July 1, 1897, edition of the New York Evening World and all concerning a game from the previous day between the Boston Beaneaters and New York Giants which took place at the Polo Grounds.

Each selection features examples of written English that, when uttered aloud, force the reader to affect the voice and manner of the late George Plimpton. One finds, for example, that, in the first inning, Ducky Holmes was compelled to get “solid with his burghers on the clutch” whilst tracking down a fly ball hit by Boston’s Chick Stahl.


In the next frame, apparently, New York’s Willie Clark “bumped a corker” which allowed him to travel “one-quarter of the trail.” Explicit relations with a lady prostitute, are obviously what’s being suggested here.


Finally, in the fourth inning, one witnesses George Van Haltren “netting [an] airship” and then Herman Long “slid[ing] over the saucer on the chuck.” Steeped in aviatic language, this portion of the recap.