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

By Bill Felber

It used to be the most cutthroat pennant race in baseball historical past. And it used to be a fight to outline how baseball will be performed. This booklet recreates the rowdy, season-long 1897 conflict among the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Beaneaters. The Orioles had bought a name because the dirtiest workforce 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 enthusiasts. So it used to be that their pennant race with the relatively saintly Beaneaters took on a decidedly moralistic air. Bill Felber brings to lifestyles the main intensely watched crew carrying occasion within the country’s historical past to that point. His publication captures the drama of the ultimate week, because the race got here right down to a three-game sequence. and at last, it conveys the insanity of the 3rd and decisive video game, while 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 so much infamous evil empire. (20070108)

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

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Keeler  Baseball’s Original Evil Empire asked, as they headed toward the shower. “Play ball,” McGraw sharply responded. 18 Day after day, week after week, there was no letup in Macon that spring of 1894. Only three breaches of the baseball immersion were tolerated: meals, sleep, and Sunday morning church. Their preparation extended beyond Macon and back to Baltimore. McGraw and Jennings took up residence in a boardinghouse a block from the field. 19 They had developed the habit of arriving on the morning of games and walking the third base and shortstop areas to look for pebbles and lumps.

From the cut of his suit to the wax in his immaculately trimmed handlebar mustache, from his positioning in the field to the way he cut first base to stretch a double, he was precise. 8 Thus, in May of 1892, Ned Hanlon came to Baltimore . . to command one of the worst aggregations of talent that had ever taken the field. The Orioles, in fact, were fortunate even to be able to take the field. As members of the American Association (the other major league) during the 1880s, they had never finished in contention, much less won a pennant.

The Royal Rooters  To the naked eye, it was not at all clear where Nichols mustered his speed. He was not particularly muscular. Nor was he considered especially deceptive. He rarely threw a curve ball, relying instead on location, changes of velocity, and the ability to spot each pitch. Nichols’s secret was the effortless nature of his delivery. The combination of location, velocity, effortlessness, and control is a recipe that has stood the test of more than a century of mound experience.

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