Apr 30

1897 Violence on the Field

1897 saw an increase in rowydism. None suffered more than the umpires. While the 1897 Mercer Ladies day riot has gotten some press there was one incident in Cincinnati that gets little mention.

Cincinnati, Aug. 4. On account of threatening weather only two thousand persons witnessed today’s double header. In the first game Billy Rhines was in excellent form and the Reds won about as they pleased. The second game was called in the seventh inning, on account of alleged darkness, although the “darkness” was not very apparent to the spectators. The game went back to the sixth inning, making it a tie. In that inning the Pirates had tied the score, and in the seventh rolled up six runs, so that “darkness” probably saved the locals from defeat. In the second inning of the second game, Tim Hurst called Bugs Holliday out when running to second, “Bug” protesting that Dick Padden tripped him.

The crowd, or rather the “rooters,” vigorously protested, and suddenly someone threw a beer glass in the direction of Hurst. The glass rolled near him, und did not seem to have been swiftly thrown. Tim then lost his head, and threw the beer glass back viciously into the crowded ranks of “rooters’ row.” The glass struck John Cartuyvelles, a popular member of the city fire department, over the right eye, cutting a deep and long gash, from which the blood streamed copiously Cartuyvelles, fell like he had been shot when struck, and was for some time unconscious. Many believe him to be seriously injured. Someone threw a glass again at Hurst. As soon as it was discovered that Hurst’s victim was severely hurt, officers went on the field and took Hurst into custody and locked him up. Later he was released on bond. The wildest excitement prevailed, and perhaps it was well for Hurst that the officers had him. “Rooters’ row” is on the ground floor of the grandstand. “Red” Bittmann, an old-time player, took Hurst’s place as umpire in the game.