Nov 25

Baltimore vs. Washington 1885

The rivalry between Washington and Baltimore goes back many years, of course. Here is the first part of the 1885 version.

Baltimore, managed by Billy Barnie played in the American Association while Washington found itself in the Eastern Association. In April Mark “Wud” Wood of the Sporting Life writes, “Billy Barnie of Baltimore has not accepted Michael Scanlon’s offer for a series to determine who has the better team.” Wood adds, “Is Barnie afraid?”

Later that month the offer again is mentioned in the Washington press. “Manager Michael Scanlon is very anxious to get on game with the Baltimore’s, but Manager Billy Barnie will not listen to his overtures. Mr. Scanlon is confident that of they meet he will give the Baltimore’s a defeat that will make their heads swim. He even offered to give the winning club the gross proceeds, but even this alluring bait did not induce Barnie to come to terms.”

TTT Responds

TTT was the pen name used by Baltimore sports writer Albert Mott.

The cry from Washington seems to be “Why don’t Mr. Barnie accept Scanlon’s offer and decide who has the best club?” Well, the “why” is because the “offer” has never been made to him. As to “settling the question of superiority,” the mere act of suggesting that there is a doubt may have the effect of arousing the old-time rivalry in Washington between the two cities; but it would be a very difficult matter to work up any enthusiasm over the subject in this town. No doubt Mr. Scanlon has a team that will fairly represent the Capital in the youthful organization of the Eastern League, and it is perfectly proper to make the most of it in the interest of the game in that city, but there is certain evidences of swell-headism cropping out over there that will require a radical application of salt and pounded ice to reduce it to anything like its normal condition.

Scanlon responds

In the last edition of your popular paper T. T. T., writing from Baltimore, says: “The cry from Washington seems to be, ‘Why don’t Mr. Barnie accept Scanlon’s otter and decide who has the best club.” Well, the ‘why’ is because the ‘offer’ has never been made to him. As to settling the question of superiority,’ the mere act of suggesting that there is a doubt may have the effect of arousing the old-time rivalry in Washington between the two cities; but it would be a very difficult matter to work up any enthusiasm over the subject in this town. No doubt Mr. Scanlon has a team that will fairly represent the Capital in the youthful organization of the Eastern League, and it is perfectly proper to make the most of it in the interest of the game in that city, but there is certain evidences of swell-headism cropping out over there that will require a radical application of salt and pounded ice to reduce It to anything like its normal condition.”

Before Mr. T. T. T. endeavors to air his smartness in your columns it would be to his credit if he would try to ascertain whether his assertions are true or not. Mr. Barnie knows that I wrote to him some time ago asking him to play the Baltimores against the Nationals, and I have a letter declining my proposition, written at his dictation by his able secretary, Mr. Moore, but offering to play one game in May, when my club is away from home. As to the Nationals fairly representing the Capital City in what he calls the youthful organization of the Eastern League,
I would like to call Mr. T. T. T,’s attention to the fact that the National Club is one of the oldest in the United States, and was the first that ever made a tour of the country; that, too, long before the Baltimore Club was even dreamed of. Our attendance has so far been better this season than that in Baltimore, as the clubs that have played in the two cities will testify. This is the second time that Mr. T. T. T. has accused me through your paper, of having a swelled head. The only difference between his head and mine is that his head is Scotch and mine Irish, and I am proud of the difference. If my head is swelled, the only way he can reduce it is by backing his judgment against mine in regard to the relative strength of the two clubs. If his judgment is better, then I am ready to order a smaller hat. I will meet Mr. T. T. T. at any time he may name, at this office in Washington or in Baltimore, and will bet him $1,000 that the Nationals can defeat the Baltimores on any ground he may name. But, I will venture to say that when he considers the Nationals’ unbroken series of seven straight victories, achieved over such clubs as the Providence, Buffalo, Boston, Metropolitan and New York, he will not dare to come to the scratch, for he knows very well that no other club in the country has such a record this year, much less Barnie’s crew. Mr. Barnie. I think, has done all he could to secure a good team, and I think he has one. I would like to see his club win the championship, because he might then pluck up courage enough to venture upon a series with the Nationals. The Brooklyns are the strongest batting team that has been here so far this year, and I am inclined to think they will achieve a good position in the race by the close of the season. The Athletics have good fielders and extra good batteries. Cushman is, in my opinion, the best in the business. No more Cushman in mine, if you please, Mr. Simmons. Very respectfully yours,
M. B. SCANLON.

Finally in late may a game was arranged between the two nines.

28 May Baltimore 2 Washington 3

The much anticipated blood match between the two teams goes to Washington despite a ninth inning rally by Baltimore that narrowed the score to 3-2. Bob Barr pitched an exceptional game, striking out seven and kept Baltimore off balance. Thomas Burns is in the box for Baltimore and pitched well. Baltimore is of course an Association Club and just back from a long western road trip, they played indifferently. Thomas P Burns, best known as Oyster Burns.

Baltimore came for wool, but was shorn. Such, in brief, is the story of the contest at Capitol Park. Reinforced by Barr, the home team played a splendid game, and won by the errors which marked the visitors’ play an eight out of the nine innings. Since the season began Manager Barnie and his supporters in Baltimore have eloquently described how they would defeat the Nationals; but, like their predecessors of the League and American Associations, their scalps are now drying in the Nationals’ wigwam. The Baltimoreans were so confident that nearly 300 of them came over here with their pockets filled with money to invest upon their Orioles. They found ready takers, and they retired at 630PM with lighter pockets. The Washington Sunday Herald states that the crowd was announced at 3,000 spectators. The Washington National Republican estimated the crowd at 4,000. Outside the fumble by Jimmy Knowles the Nationals played a faultless game, their fielding being an improvement over that of several weeks ago. The fact that the fielding was better may be attributed to Barr being in the box. Chris Fulmer backed Barr up in splendid manner, considering the bad condition of his hands. Umpire Walsh. Time 1:45.

When Buck Gladmon came to the bat in the second inning he was presented with a magnificent floral tribute sent to him by his North Washington friends. Contrary to his usual custom in such cases, Gladmon did not respond by striking out, but at once smashed the ball to left for a base hit. That evening manager Scanlon was the recipient of a fine crayon drawing of himself presented by his associate club members. It was a total surprise and having no chance to prepare a speech said, “Thank you,”