Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Connecticut Road Trip - 1867 Style

Paterson Daily Press - September 2, 1867

Apparently the "honorary members" did the necessary defraying and the Olympic Club made its planned trip to the Nutmeg state.  On their return, "Olympus" took the time to submit a written account to the paper which is reprinted in full as follows:

"To the Editor of the Press:  Starting on our tour last Tuesday morning, the 17th, we arrived in New York and there took the boat for Bridgeport.  It was a splendid sail, the sun beaming upon the calm unruffled waters as on polished glass, and the breeze which blew calmly through the day, cooling the sun and air, enhanced our pleasure. We arrived in Bridgeport at half four and from there took the cars, for Waterbury, arriving there at half past seven after a ride on the rudest cars and the ruggedest railroad to be found any where.  The Waterbury club had carriages waiting to receive us, we dashed for the Scovill House, where like hungry men we did justice to our supper.  In the evening a deputation of the Monitor club waited upon us and invited us to visit their Club room; we proceeded there in a body and whiled away a pleasant hour.  From there we returned to our hotel and retired for the night to sleep and dream of victory on the morrow.  The next morning our players dressed themselves in their field costume and awaited the hour for our first game.  At 9 o'clock we proceeded with the Monitor boys in carriages to the ground, we arrived after a pleasant ride through the city.  The arrangements for the game were soon made and playing commenced at 9:30 A.M.  We were defeated by a score of 27 to 22.

After taking a steamboat from NYC to Bridgeport, the Olympic Club traveled by train to Waterbury, Hartford, New London before once again boarding a steamboat to the return trip to NYC

The umpire chosen for the game was Mr. A.H. McCarty of the Waterbury club, and he proved himself an able and impartial one.  The game was well contested, but our boys played with a coolness which showed that they husbanded their strength for the more important game in the afternoon.  In the afternoon, the Waterburys took us in conveyances to their ground, which is a splendid one, and at 2:30 P.M. our game with them commenced, and I tell you our boys went at it in good earnest.  Toomey's pitching was superb, having the double charm of speed and accuracy.  McKiernan behind the bat played that afternoon his prettiest game, capturing the crankiest fouls imaginable.  A noteworthy feature of the game was the playing of "Young Robinson" in centre field, he captured  two running flys in a style which called forth the repeated applause of the assembled spectators.  Fitzgerald on second base and Lotan at short stop made some admirable plays and catches, and in fact our whole nine played with a determination and vim which presaged victory.  In the last six innings, the Waterburys made but three runs, and the game was handsomely ended by a wonderful catch of Crocker's in the left field; he turned his back to the ball while it was shooting through the air and ran at least thirty yards, then turned around and caught the ball in such a manner that it still remains a mystery how he held it.  We won the game by a score of 30 to 15.

In the evening we had a social time with the Monitors, speech making, vocal and instrumental music being the order of the evening.  Mr. Prall of our club favored the Waterbury boys with one of his fine performances on the Piano.  As our players were somewhat fatigued after the games of the day, we bid our friendly opponents good bye at ten o'clock and retired to our hotel.

Obviously the Olympic Club traveled first class

The next morning, the 19th, we packed our baggage and started on the train for Hartford, where we arrived at ten o'clock, meeting at the depot a deputation of the Charter Oaks, who conducted us to the United States Hotel.  After a brief rest we were invited to their club room, which is fitted up in fine style.  We saw there a gold mounted bat in miniature, made from the wood of the Charter Oak, that time honored noble tree.

Paterson Daily Press - September 23, 1867

In the afternoon we proceed to the ground of the Charter Oak Club, which is a beautiful park surrounded by splendid trees.  The ground is very smooth but being on an incline is unadapted for playing ball.  Our game with them commenced at 2:15 P.M. and was witnessed by about two thousand spectators.  It was a fine game; our boys, played up to their usual mark and the Charter Oaks kept up their high reputation as players and gentlemen.  Towards the end of the game the fatigue produced by the games of the day before began to have its effect, and our boys scored blanks on the last three innings, being unable to make the bat connect with the ball, consequently losing the game.  Score, 23 to 12.  

Hartford Courant - September 20, 1867 - note that Paterson is misspelled

In the evening we sat down with the Charter Oak boys to a splendid supper at the United States Hotel, after which Mr. McKiernan, the able captain of our nine while on the tour, made a most appropriate speech and presented the trophy to Mr. Bunce, the Captain of the Charter Oaks, who followed with a brief and witty acceptance.  We next took a stroll through the city of Hartford in company with the Charter Oak boys and retired to rest at an early hour after bidding them good-bye.  At five o'clock in the morning (of the 20th) we arose, partook of breakfast, proceeded to the depot and departed at 6 o'clock on the train for New London.  The train went at a speed which gave us an opportunity to view at our ease the beauty of the landscape.  

The Olympics traveled home on the City of Boston

We arrived in New London at 11 A.M. and started for the Metropolitan Hotel where we put up, took dinner and then made preparations for the game with the Pequots, the Champions of the State of Connecticut.  As that was to be the last game of the tour, the Riversides being unable to play us, our boys went in to terminate the tour in a tall manner by winning a ball from the Champions.  And they did it.  The game commenced at 3 P.M., our boys going in and doing the heaviest kind of batting, Prall and Lotan each scoring two home runs and all the rest doing batting which defied the efforts of the fine fielders of the Pequots to keep the ball form breaking through their line.  Robinson in centrefield made a fine clear leap over a five-rail fence in running for a fine ball knocked, and by it saved a run.  The playing of Toomey and McKiernan was like working of a well regulated machine.  We won by the score, 50 to 21.

We sailed for New York in the steamer City of Boston at 10 P. M., and arrived there at six in the morning, and got here at 8 A.M.  Thus ends our tour.


Paterson Daily Press - September 23, 1867

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