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Random Game Callback, April 18, 1895
2006-04-18 03:59
by Bob Timmermann
One year after the biggest offensive year in the history of baseball, the Chicago Colts opened the 1895 season at St. Louis's Robison Field and kept up the scoring, winning 10- 7 before a crowd of over 8,000.

Chicago, captained and managed by first baseman Cap Anson, who had turned 43 the day before, hoped that he had put together a team that could compete with the NL's powerhouse team of the day, the Baltimore Orioles. Anson sent Clark Griffith, who would later go on to manage and own the Washington Senators before making it into the Hall of Fame, off to be his starting pitcher. St. Louis started workhorse Ted Breitenstein, who would pitch in 54 games, 50 as a starter and finish 46 of them. Breitenstein would also play 16 games in the outfield.

Breitenstein did not have his best control to start the game. He hit Jimmy Ryan to start the game and then walked Bill Dahlen. Anson, then used the strategy of the day and had his #3 hitter, Walt Wilmot, bunt the runners over. Anson then followed with a squeeze to score Ryan and Chicago grabbed an early 1-0 lead. Breitenstein would walk 10 Chicago batters in the game.

In the third, Wilmot, allowed to swing away with two outs and no one on, homered. Anson followed with a walk and scored on a double by Bill Lange. In the bottom half of the inning, third baseman Doggie Miller tripled and scored on a single by Denny Lyons and it was 3-1 Chicago after three.

The Browns manufactured a run in the fourth. Bones Ely bunted for single. Ely then stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Chicago catcher Malachi Kittridge threw wildly trying to catch him at third. It was now 3-2 Chicago.

The Colts expanded their lead in the fifth. Anson walked and Bill Everitt followed with a single. Ace Stewart walked to load the bases. Kittridge and Griffith followed with RBI singles to make it 6-2 Chicago. Ryan hit a deep fly to score Kittridge to make it 7-2.

The Browns came back with three unearned runs in the seventh. With two outs and no one on, Dahlen dropped a popup off the bat of Miller. Roger Connor doubled home Miller. Lyons singled home Connor and Quinn doubled home Lyons to make the score 7- 5. After Dahlen misplayed a grounder off the bat of Ely, Marty Hogan appeared to hit a home run, but Wilmot chased down the fly ball a few feet from the fence to preserve the lead.

In the ninth, Stewart clubbed a one-out homer to make it 8-5 Chicago. Kittridge got a single and then scored on an inside-the-park homer off the bat of Ryan to make it 10-5 going to the bottom of the ninth.

The Browns put up a bit of a fight in the bottom of the ninth, scoring twice thanks to a couple of errors. There were two on with two out when Griffith got pinch hitter Duff Cooley to fly out to left to end the game.

1895 would end up like 1894 with Baltimore winning the pennant. Chicago finished in fourth, 15 games out. The Browns ended up 39-92 and in eleventh place, 48 1/2 games out and St. Louis owner Chris Von Der Ahe would go through four managers (including himself). Von Der Ahe would use five different managers in 1896 and four in 1897 as his once powerful team became the laughingstock of the National League.

As for Anson, his Chicago team would never return to the level of success it experienced in the 1880s when it won five NL pennants. After the 1897 season, Chicago and Anson ended their 22-year relationship.

Sources: Retrosheet, Chicago Tribune.

2006-04-18 08:52:48
1.   Sam DC
For some reason, all the names in this one sound like fighter pilots to me.

Clark Griffith -- booo!

2006-04-18 09:16:46
2.   Bob Timmermann
Malachi Kittridge sounds like a fighter pilot?

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