Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/115

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AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

utterly uncontrollable elements of thugs, gamblers, thieves, plug-uglies and rioters. Of these both New York and Brooklyn had more than their full quotas. It happened that public sympathy, as expressed in the views of the disorderly members of society, was strongly in favor of the Atlantics. They proposed that the Atlantics should win the deciding game of the series, and were on the grounds in large numbers for the purpose of securing a result to their liking, either by fair means or otherwise.

The Atlantics repudiated, but could not control, their belligerent partisans. Early in the game the actions of the disorderly among the spectators threatened trouble. Betting had been widely indulged in, and the class to which bettors belonged, and that never was particularly scrupulous in its acts, in this game, when the Excelsiors took the lead at the start, winning five runs to one for the Atlantics, began to show bad temper. At the close of the fourth the Excelsiors were still in the lead, by 8 to 4. From this time on the toughs began a crusade of black-guardism that became so unbearable as the game progressed that at the end of the sixth innings, with the score standing 8 to 6 in favor of his team, Captain Leggett, of the Excelsiors, took his players from the field, saying, as they entered the six-horse stage:

"Here, O'Brien, is the ball. You can keep it."

O'Brien replied, "Will you call it a draw?"

"As you please," responded the gentlemanly captain.

And thus ended the contest, for from that day to the date of disbandment of both clubs, in 1871, they never played together again.