Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/169

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AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

The Red Stockings had now played every prominent club from Massachusetts to California without losing a game, and this wonderful succession of victories was continued not only through 1869, but also from April to June in 1870, without a defeat.

From a record kept by Harry Wright, the great captain and manager of the Red Stockings, the following facts concerning that club, its players and its record are gleaned: Out of 57 games played the Red Stockings won 56 and tied 1. In these games they scored a total of 2,395 runs to 574 for their adversaries. The nature of the batting done is shown in a total of 169 home runs, or an average of nearly three to a game. The number of miles traveled by rail and boat was 11,877, without a serious accident of any kind. Over 200,000 people witnessed the games. The individual score of George Wright, the famous shortstop, was the highest of any player on the team. He played in 52 of the 57 games. His batting average was .518. He made 339 runs, of which 59 were home runs; one of them the longest hit up to that time.

Such is the story of the first professional Base Ball club, as taken from the records. Aside from the achievements of the Red Stockings during their brief but meteoric career, it will not be easy to estimate the influence of their performances upon the future of the game. The club, as organized by Harry Wright, passed out of existence in the fall of 1870, but it had paved the way for the introduction of new means, new measures, new methods, soon inaugurated, and which are an integral part of the system to-day.