City without a team, Part 3

Third in a series of posts about baseball in Chicago in 1872 and 1873, after the White Stockings (today's Cubs) had halted operations following the Great Fire of 1871.


In mid-April of 1872, the Chicago Base Ball Association had received a letter from Jimmy Woods, former manager of the White Stockings, "engaging that the Troy club will come to Chicago in the latter part of June, remaining over the Fourth of July, and returning in September to stay a month."

The Haymakers had made good on the first part of that promise, splitting games against the New York Mutuals on June 17 and 20.

On the Monday, the 24th, Troy hosted the powerful Philadelphia Athletics, who began the day with a record of 11-2, trailing only Boston (18-1). The Haymakers and Mutuals were tied for third, at 12-8.

Only 5 of the National Association's 11 teams had winning records. The bottom 6 were a collective 12-50, and 3 of them were winless after 7, 9 and 10 games.


"Six thousand people is a fair estimate of the number present on the ground yesterday," the Inter Ocean newspaper said in its account of the game between Troy and Philadelphia in Chicago.

The Athletics "were in excellent form, taller, heavier, and in general physique superior to Woods' men."

But the Haymakers "whitewashed the Quaker City in five straight innings by close, neat, effective play. The Athletics were out-played until past the half-mile post of the contest."

Troy took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, gave up 2 runs in the sixth, then tied the score with a run in the seventh.

But in the eighth Philadelphia took advantage of 3 errors to tally 4 runs and neither team scored again.



After their victory, the Athletics headed to Baltimore, site of their next game, 4 days later.

The Haymakers remained in Chicago, playing several amateur teams, as June turned to July.

On the first morning of the new month, the Inter Ocean printed this, under the heading, ANNOUNCEMENTS:


The Troys play the Libertys at Base Ball park, Twenty-third and State streets, tomorrow. Admission, twenty-five cents.

The Baltimore nine . . . will play here with the Troys on the 4th. The ball park directors intend erecting seats for 2,000 additional spectators, and the grand stand will be reserved on this occasion for stockholders and ladies or gentlemen accompanying them.

The Baltimores will remain here several days, playing a game on Friday, the 5th, with the Aetnas, and a second game with the Troys on Saturday.

The famous Boston nine will probably be in Chicago on or about the 10th or 13th of July.

There will be a meeting of the stockholders of the base ball park this evening.



The Inter Ocean's report of the meeting began with the news that "Mr. Geo. W. Gage declining to act as president, it was decided that there was no such officer in the association."

Then it got down to the important developments:


Mr. Gassette offered a preamble and resolution stating that whereas the present organization was only a temporary one, and it was evidently the intention of the majority of the members to make it a regular incorporation, and that a law existed under which they could organized, that it be resolved, that the officers of the temporary organization proceed at once to have it incorporated regularly under the name of the Chicago Base Ball Association; that books for the subscription of stock be opened in compliance with the law, and such persons as have paid their money into the general partnership fund of the temporary organization be allowed pro rate for the amount paid in stock of the new corporation.

The stock is to be $10,000, divided into 100 shares of $100 each. Any person failing to comply with these provisions within two weeks, shall be considered as having forfeited all claims to any money that has been paid in.

The new association is to assume all the debts and liabilities of the temporary organization.

The resolutions were adopted.



Troy manhandled Liberty, 31-3, on July 2.

A game against the Aetnas the next day was rained out in the first inning, after Troy had scored 4 runs.

The weather was perfect when the Haymakers finally resumed their National Association schedule on Independence Day.

By the time the game was over, they probably wished it had poured.


"One of the best patronized pieces of amusement in the city yesterday was at the Base Ball park, where about 6,000 people assembled to witness the game between the Baltimore and Troy clubs," the Inter Ocean said.

"Play was called at three o'clock with Troy at the bat. Their playing was the poorest exhibited by them since their sojourn in Chicago. Miserable work was done by Bellan at short and S. King at left, who muffed balls without number.

The Marylanders outplayed the Trojans in every particular."

The final score: Baltimore 20, Troy 4.



The lopsided loss ended the Trojans' sojourn in Chicago. There was no second game against Baltimore, as had been expected.

Nor would the Haymakers return in September, as they had promised.

On July 9, at Brooklyn, the Trojans routed the Eckfords, 15-3.

On July 20, at Boston, they handed the Red Stockings only their second loss in 24 games, 17-10.

And on July 23, at Middletown, Conn., they blanked the Mansfields, 7-0.

Then, when management could not meet the team's payroll, the team disbanded.

A Washington team, the Olympics, previously had folded. Middletown and Cleveland would follow suit in August.

With its 15-10 record, Troy wound up in fifth place.



Boston did not come to Chicago in July, as the Chicago Base Ball Association had hoped.

It subsequently announced that not 2, but 3 of the NA's top teams would square off in a series of games in the second half of September: Baltimore Canaries vs. New York Mutuals on the 17th, Baltimore vs. Philadelphia Athletics on the 19th and Athletics vs. Mutuals on the 22nd.

That didn't happen, either.

From the Tribune of Monday, Sept. 16:



After having fully completed their arrangement and concluded their negotiations with the Athletic, Mutual, and Baltimore Clubs to come to this city and play games this week, the Directors of the Chicago Base Ball Association have had their calculations badly upset by the sudden notion of Mr. Alex. Davidson that the Mutual Club shall not come to Chicago at present.

As the Mutual Club were under express engagement to come here this week, as the fact of their not coming seriously affected the actions of the Baltimores and Athletics, the Chicago directors have been badly nonplussed by the unexpected turn of affairs.

On Saturday they telegraphed the Boston Club to come, guaranteeing a sum sufficient to pay all expenses of the trip, and leave a handsome surplus, and they also telegraphed the Athletics and Baltimores to know if such an alteration of the programme would be satisfactory to them.

From the Baltimore the Baltimores came the reply, "A-1 right," but from the Athletics and Bostons the answer was different.

At 12 o'clock Saturday night, Fred. Erby received a despatch from the Athletics, declining to come to Chicago. In the expressive language of Mr. Erby, "that settles it."

The Baltimores, of course, will not be expected to make the journey for the purpose of playing our local amateur organizations, and the people of Chicago may as well make up their minds to the fact that they will not have an opportunity, this season, of witnessing another professional match.

The Actives had previously arranged a game with the Baltimores for this afternoon at Green's Garden, and had put out posters, fixed up the grounds, and engaged two extra strong players to take part in the game.


With that setback, the professional baseball season of 1872 came to an end in Chicago.


TOMORROW: "Confined to the street gamin and schoolboys"

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