What’s the Deal with the Cincinnati Red Stockings?

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4 Responses

  1. Another amazing piece.

    Did Harry Wright come up with these defensive improvements on his own, or were they cricket techniques? The latter would seem odd, because when I’ve read about cricket (mostly in English novels), bowling and batting are described in glowing, sometime almost heroic terms, but defense is hardly mentioned.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      This is hard to say, if only because it would require a detailed knowledge of cricket tactics in the 1860s. Someone might have that knowledge, but it isn’t me. My guess is that Wright borrowed from cricket in a general way, but not in the specifics. The tactical fielding situations in cricket and in baseball don’t correlate well. So while looking at baseball from a cricket perspective likely helped Wright see the possibilities, the actual applications of what fielder goes where in what situation likely had to be worked out from scratch.Report

  2. Also, the description of practicing situational defense reminded me of two things:

    Whitey Herzog came up in the Yankees organization. He wrote about how he learned everything he knew about situational baseball from spring training with Casey Stengel.

    Remember the famous play where Jeter was an extra backup for an outfield throw and wound up throwing Jeremy Giambi out that the plate? The common wisdom is that the only player who would ever do that is D*E*R*E*K J*E*T*E*R. Actually, Jeter himself said that the Yankees practice having the shortstop back up that throw. Who knows, it might even go back to Stengel.Report

  3. Avatar North says:

    This was excellent, well done!Report

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