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While doing research on a book we came across this mention on 18 October 1869, “It will be seen that the Nationals nine has been strengthened by the acquisition of Charles Pabor, the well-known pitcher for a long time of the Union Club, of Morrisania, New York.”
Pabor’s career ran from 1865 to 1870, with the Union Club. He continued playing with several club’s in the National Association until 1870, then retired from the game. It was a revelation to us that he played in Washington. In 1869 baseball was played in a loose association called the national Association of Base Ball Players. There were no set schedule and teams, typically the better ones would tour. The Cincinnati and Washington ones being of general knowledge.
The article states that he was well known. In fact he was the best southpaw of his time, one of the top pitchers of his era, lefties being a rarity. Years ago while reading the Baseball Encyclopedia his nickname “The Old Woman in the Red Cap,” is one that I still remember.
In this case, the Nationals signed Pabor for a game against their rival’s the Olympics. During this period, players could and would jump. The Nationals already had Billy Williams, a very good pitcher in his own right, noted for his speed. But in Pabor they had something special.
The Washington Star has this to say. “An immense crowd of persons were on the National’s grounds, to witness the deciding game for the championship between the Olympics and Nationals. The game was rather tame up to the six innings, when Pabor went in to pitch, and the playing became sharp on both sides. It was evident to all that had Pabor pitched from the beginning of the game the result would have been different. The Olympics won 13 to 11.”
We will give a more detailed review of the match in a later article.