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It was back on June 29, 1897 when the Chicago Colts (not yet the Cubs) set a major league record (for those people who don't count the National Association as a major league, which includes MLB) for runs in a game when they manhandled the Louisville Colonels at West Side Park, 36-7.
I'll try to recreate the Sporting News boxscore, but I have a 110-year old printout and only limited info. ABs were not part of the boxscore then. Although Chicago was the home team, player-manager Cap Anson opted to have his team bat first.
*Connor called out for missing third
Earned runs - Chicago 9, Louisville 5; Two-base hits - Everitt, Ryan, Callahan 2, Donohue, Werden, Dexter 2, Jones, Delahanty; Three-base hits - McCormick, Lange, Connor; Home runs - McCormick, Ryan; Sacrifice hits - Everitt, McCreery; Stolen bases - McCormick 2, Lange 2, Callahan, Donohue; Struck out - By Callahan 4; Bases on balls - Off Callahan 2, Off Fraser 5, Off Jones 5; Hit by pitcher - Ryan 2; Umpire - Sheridan
Please note that this box score is not authoritative. Also different sources used different methods to figure out earned runs. The New York Times box score credited Chicago with 19 earned runs and Louisville with 6.
The 1897 Colts were an unusual choice for scoring a lot of runs as they weren't a very good team. They were 59-73 and finished 9th in the 12-team NL. They did score the fourth most runs in the NL, but they were nearly 200 runs behind pennant-winning Boston (1025 to 832). Anson, the team's player-manager, was 45 years old and playing his last major league season, and the owners dumped him at the end of the year.
The pitcher, Nixey Callahan, probably batted eighth because the catcher this day was backup Tom Donahue and Callahan outhit him on the season .292 to .239. Callahan played both the infield and pitched during the season.
The Louisville Colonels were even worse than the Colts, finishing in 11th at 52-78 (.400). They did have three future Hall of Famers on the team in Fred Clarke (who played in this game), Honus Wagner (a rookie utility player who did not get into the game), and Rube Waddell (a 20-year old rookie pitcher who got into just two games.) The Delahanty who played in the game was Tom Delahanty, not Ed.
The starting pitcher for Louisville, Chick Fraser, was the team's nominal ace getting the most starts (34), but he went 15-19. Fortunately, the other pitcher for Louisville that day, was 20-year old Jim Jones, who pitched just one game all season.
So we know that Jones pitched 6 1/3 innings, gave up 19 hits, 22 runs, 14 earned runs (by today's standards), one homer, five walks, and he hit two batters. So Fraser pitched 2 2/3 innings, gave up 12 hits, 14 runs (unsure how many were earned), and five walks. The two pitchers combined to strike out none.
Jones made one other appearance for Lousville that year, presumably as a pinch hitter. He would play again for the New York Giants in 1901 and 1902 as an outfielder, although he did pitch one game for New York, going five innings and giving up six runs.
The Colts and Colonels faced each other the next day. Fraser started again for Louisville. And the Colonels beat Chicago 8-7. Prior to scoring 36 runs, Chicago had scored 0 and 2 runs in each of the previous two games.
There have been a bunch the last few weeks.
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