Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/82

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In 1850 another team, under the title "The Washington Club," put in an appearance at the Old Red House grounds at Yorkville. Subsequently, in June, 1851, the Washingtons challenged the Knickerbockers. The game took place June 3d of that year. The Knickerbockers, having profited by their defeat at the hands of the New York Nine, had been giving more attention to practice than to pastry, and had greatly improved their game. They appeared upon the grounds in new uniforms, composed of blue trousers, white shirts and straw hats, creating a profound sensation. The score of this game was 21 to 11 in favor of the Knickerbockers, in eight innings.

It may be well to explain that, at this stage of the development of our national game, the final result was contingent, not upon the score as it stood at the end of nine innings, as now, but upon the winning of 21 runs in any requisite number of innings.

The return game of this series was played on June 17th, 1851, on the Hoboken grounds of the Knickerbockers. It was also won by the latter by a score of 22 to 20, in a hotly contested game of ten innings, which was followed by the usual banquet.

The Washington Club met defeat well. Undaunted by their double drubbing at the hands of the Knickerbockers, the team continued its practice games regularly, and greatly strengthened its play by the reception of a large number of new members from whom players were selected.

In 1852, the Washington Club (of New York), recognizing the apparent inappropriateness of title, changed