Billie Barnie’s Revenge!
The final game of the 1885 postseason series between Baltimore and Washington was played on 15 October. Once again the nationals won, this time by a score of 6 to 2. The game was held in Washington.
Before a very good assemblage of spectators the National defeated the Baltimore’s with ease. To an unprejudiced observer it would seem that by this time Manager Barnie’s doubt as to which is the superior team ought to be thoroughly erased from his mind. In batting, fielding, and base running the home team has plainly shown its superiority, and demonstrated that it would be able to make a good showing in the American Association. The game was a good one to look at, the fielding being sharp and quick, and the batting good. The National bunched their hits in good style, and earned five of their six runs. Abner Powell pitched for the home team, and his work in the box was of high order. Hardie Henderson, too, pitched a good game, being credited with eight strike outs. Paul Cook and Jimmy Knowles each struck out three times. Cook began catching, but seemed to be unable to handle Powell’s delivery, and was supplanted by Phil Baker, who caught a capital game all through. The best feature of the game was Gladmon’s splendid work at third, he accepting nine chances without an error. Ernie Burch and Bill White led the batting for the National, Joe Sommers and Charlie Levis excelling on the other side. Umpire Holland. Time 1:50.
Ernie Burch’s wonderful acrobatic feat was one of the exploits of the season. He was caught between the bases and was being pressed very hard by Charlie Levis, when he took a dive right between Levis’s legs, and got through before that man could touch him with the ball.
One day later Billy Barnie would sign Chris Fulmer and Abner Powell to contracts. Fulmer days later would state that he was reconsidering his action and that he would not consent to go with the Baltimore’s unless it is definitely decided that the National’s will not be in either of the big associations.
At the time the team officials were not too worried about the announcement. Statements by Nick Young and others had been made that the team’s contracts would be valid and no raids would be made.
In the end Washington does join the National League, but contracts the two signed with the Orioles will be ruled as binding.
One can hardly blame Fulmer for listening to the sweet talking Billy Barnie and taking money for a sure thing. It is a major blow to the Washington Club. They lost two of their best players. For Barnie after losing to Washington it was sweet revenge.
A note on Charles Levis. Levis had played just one game for Baltimore during the past season. He had earlier played one game on the 1884 Washington Union Club. Levis was a first baseman. Although he was born and died in St. Louis, MO, several of the teams for whom he played were in the South. In 1890 he served as an umpire in the Western Interstate League. He was supposedly killed in a train wreck that year, but it turned out to have been untrue. He was, however, apparently injured in a train incident in 1888. As of 1896 it was reported that he was working for a wholesaler in St. Louis. He died in 1926.