and the umpire’s a %&#@!
On Tuesday September 24, 1867, the Nashville and Phoenix base ball clubs met for the championship of Davidson County. The Phoenix won, 25-20, but the match was not without controversy.
From the Nashville Union and Dispatch, September 27, 1867: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038521/1867-09-27/ed-1/seq-3.pdf
A match game was played Tuesday between the Nashville and Phoenix base ball clubs, which was witnessed by a large number of spectators, with but little satisfaction, however. Quite a discussion was held between the friends of both clubs. It was generally agreed that there was unfairness exhibited on the part of the umpire, Mr. Wm. Buck. The following items by a spectator will prove the above:
Mr. F. Gault of the “Phoenix” was on the first base, and endeavored to make the second–he passed the second, during which a “foul” was called; instead of returning to the second base and touching it, he crossed the diamond and reached the first base–thus violating the twenty-third section of the rules and regulations of the national association of base ball, which says: “Players running bases must tough them, and so far as possible, keep upon the direct line between them, and must touch them in the following order: First, second, third and home, and if returning must reverse this order; and should any player run three feet out of this line for the purpose of avoiding the ball in the hands of an adversary, he shall be declared out.” The umpire’s decision was “not out.”
And there’s more! On the very next play, Mr. Gault again ran out of the base line in order to avoid being tagged, again violating rule twenty-three, yet the umpire once again called him safe. Later in the game, Mr. Kelly of Nashville was called out at third when he was obviously safe. And finally, Mr. Lang of the Phoenix was called safe at second when he was out by “five seconds.” In sum, “partiality was exhibited throughout the entire game, and everything went in favor of the Phoenix.” Furthermore, “it was thought by the spectators that that the game would not be claimed by Capt. Sullivan [of the Phoenix], but in this they were grossly deceived. Capt. Sullivan himself admitted that there was marked unfairness and partiality on the part of the umpire.”
So there you have it. Not only are the Nashville Phoenix a bunch of cheaters, whose championship was determined by an unfair umpire, but their team captain is also a scoundrel. You can read the whole thing at the link above, or the image below.