A Game of Brawl: The Orioles, the Beaneaters, and the Battle by Bill Felber

By Bill Felber

Not in basic terms was once it the most cutthroat pennant race in baseball history, it used to be additionally a fight to outline how baseball will be performed. A online game of Brawl re-creates the rowdy, season-long 1897 conflict among the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Beaneaters. The Orioles had bought a name because the dirtiest staff 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 lovers. 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 staff 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 video game, whilst thirty thousand enthusiasts actually knocked down the gates and partitions of a facility designed to carry 10000 to monitor the Beaneaters grind out a win and produce down baseball’s first and such a lot infamous evil empire.

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Extra resources for A Game of Brawl: The Orioles, the Beaneaters, and the Battle for the 1897 Pennant

Sample text

To complete the pitching staff, Hanlon promoted a second 1896 acquisition, left-hander Jerry Nops, who was purchased after making one start for the Phillies. Nops had virtually no professional experience. Like most of his Orioles teammates, Nops did not look like an athlete, standing five feet eight and weighing less than 170 pounds. Despite those handicaps, he had blossomed into a twenty-game winner in his first full season. With the exception of Hoffer, none of the pitchers had put together as many as two consecutive strong seasons.

Part of the problem was that the nineteenth-century settings were conducive to fan involvement. Even the largest of ballparks, such as Boston’s South End Grounds, seated barely more than ten thousand. That is about the size of a typical spring training field today. Surviving images of Baltimore’s Union Park show a doubledecked grandstand that was only twelve to fifteen rows deep, putting Baseball’s Original Evil Empire  almost all the spectators, including women and children, within easy earshot of the action.

And what a rally it was. Philadelphia scored seven times, distancing themselves so far from the visitors that Boston realized its only chance was to stall for rain. The Beaneaters knew that if rain halted the game before they came to bat in the eighth inning, the Philadelphia rally would be erased and the game would revert to its score at the end of seven innings, a Boston victory. What ensued was one of the most farcical scenes imaginable, a circumstance that would be actionable today but that was viewed as legitimate gamesmanship then.

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