The glamorous life of the professional ball-player, 1879


Richard Hershberger

Richard Hershberger is a paralegal working in Maryland. When he isn't doing whatever it is that paralegals do, or taking his daughters to Girl Scouts, he is dedicated to the collection and analysis of useless and unremunerative information.

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10 Responses

  1. Awesome.

    Off-topic, but in one of your previous posts, you mentioned that in the early game, pitching was not viewed as an important activity. I’d love to learn how this changed – who was the first superstar pitcher, what made him possible, and generally speaking how pitching developed into an art.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


      Is this your pitch?Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      That isn’t a post. It is a series of posts. And not necessarily a short series. On the other hand, you aren’t the first to ask, so I will take a stab at this, in the fullness of time.Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Anson put up $30 for his appearance on June 27 on a charge of profanity…

    A baseball player, using profanity! Heavens be! What a barbaric sport this was!

    Also, it’s a good thing the First Amendment hadn’t been incorporated yet in 1879. Are there still jurisdictions that actually enforce anti-profanity laws?Report

  3. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Yer right. It’s of great interest. Not only for the baseball stuff, but the Clipper writer’s language too. Awesome. Any idea what the “pecuniary obligations” Shaffer and Flint incurred mighta been?Report

  4. Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

    “Any idea what the “pecuniary obligations” Shaffer and Flint incurred mighta been?”

    That is just a prolix way of saying “debts.” They had been living in Indianapolis the previous year, with spotty payment of their salaries. The debts were likely quite banal, along the lines of room and board.Report

  5. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    “Flint and Shaffer were on the train, stowed away under the adipose form of a friend in need.”

    What now? Is that a fancy way of saying they were hiding under a fat guy?Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      “Is that a fancy way of saying they were hiding under a fat guy?”

      You are starting to get the hang of nineteenth century journalism. There was one writer who, whenever there was any chance of a game being rained out, would invariably write about Jupiter Pluvius. I am not ashamed to admit that I had to look that one up.Report