Deciding Contest for the Championship and the Continental Silver Ball
Proceeds for the Benefit of the Sanitary Commission
Immense Assemblage Present
Presentation of the Silver Ball, &c.

Brooklyn Eagle, September 19, 1862

As everyone knows, the year 1861 is not only an eventful and gloomy page in this Nation's history, forming, as it does, one of trouble and chaos, but also to its every institution. The game of Base Ball suffered among the rest. Its popularity is generally conceded to have been at its zenith in 1860, when at the conclusion of a long and brilliant season, during which the game had made much progress, the Continental Club, with a view of giving an additional interest to ball playing, got up a handsome silver ball, which they intended to give to the club which should come out best in a series of championshio matches. But the war breaking out, the favorite sports of the American youth were abandoned, and they themselves answered the call of the tocsin, and laid themselves at their country's feet. During that year nothing was done with the ball, and at the commencement of this season the Continental Club offered the Eckford and Atlantic Clubs this ball if they would play a home and home series on the Union Grounds- the proceeds derived from the entrance to the same for the use of the United States Sanitary Commission of this city. The proposition was accepted, and on the 11th of July the first game was played in the presence of an immense throng, and resulted as follows:

               Eckford .............. 20
               Atlantic ............. 14

The second game took place on the 21st of the same month, attracting a much larger assemblage than the previous match. The result was in favor of the Atlantic, as follows:

               Eckford ..............  5
               Atlantic ............. 39

The deciding game was played yesterday, when it came off on the Union Grounds, the occasion attracting an extremely large assemblage of the admirers and emulators of the game, many being present from other and distant cities. The Nines, of course, were the most powerful either club could present, and a word in their favor is, therefore, unnecessary. The grounds, and the sheds and benches erected thereon, were crowded to repletion, and the embankments outside the enclosure also had its crowd. As usual, the best of order was maintained, the police being in attendance. The ground was in fine order, and the game was played with the spirit that the exercise infuses into the participator. The importance of this match can be readily realized, since a defeat to the Atlantics would virtually rob them of the championship, they have so long and nobly sustained, while a reverse of the Eckfords would be another evidence of the uncertainty and skill of the game. The contest was witnessed with the most feverish anxiety, and the air was frequently rent with cheers. But we detain our readers from the report. The game commenced at 12 minutes to 3 p.m., the Atlantics at the bat.

FIRST INNING- The first batter, Smith, was disposed of by Mills and Campbell, at 1st base, also Pearce in the same manner. Pete O'Brien, on a miss of Devyr, gained his 1st, and subsequently came home on Matty's (his brother) batting a ball to right field, the striker making his 3d, where he was left, his successor Crane being caught on the fly by Sprague. The Eckfords now went to the bat. Mills was put out on the 1st by P. O'Brien and Start; Manolt tipped out, and Campbell, the third striker, got out at 1st, through the combined operations of M. O'Brien and Start. Score- Atlantic 1, Eckford 0.

SECOND INNING- Macy appeared as first striker, and soon got out on three strikes. Oliver was next caught on the foul bound by Mills. Start obtained a run, his successor, Chapman, being left on the 2d, Smith getting out at 1st by Reach and Campbell, thus closing the inning. The Eckfords in this inning won the day, they making 5 runs, Spence, Reach, Sprague, Devyr and Smith obtaining one each. Start with the assistance of Smith and P. O'Brien put out Mills and Beach at 1st base, while a fine fly catch relieved Campbell of a run. Score- Atlantic 2, Eckford 5.

THIRD INNING- With the greatest excitement prevailing the Atlantics went to the bat, but were soon compelled to take the field. Fly catches by Devyr and Mills put out Pearce and P. O'Brien. Matty then hit a fine ball to right field, which give his 1st, and on a passed ball he subsequently made his 3d, where he was left by Crane's being caught on the bound by Spence. The Eckfords now went to the bat, with matters in pretty much the same condition as were the affairs after the second Bull Run battle- in a very precarious condition. Spence led off with a skyrocket, which was caught on the fly by Crane. Reach on a ball pass 3d base, made his 1st, and in course of time scored a run. Beach was then disposed of at 1st base by Smith and Start, and Devyr being caught on the bound by Crane, closed the inning, leaving Sprague on the 1st. Score- Atlantic 2, Eckford 6.

FOURTH INNING- The Atlantics in this inning went out in the 1, 2, 3 order thus: Macy on the foul bound by Beach, Oliver on three strikes, and Start on the bound by Spence. Smith, of the Eckford, now faced the Atlantics, and sending a ball to Pete O'Brien, which he missed, made his 1st, and subsequently his 2d and 3d bases. A miss of Smith at 3d base gave Mills his first, and brought the former striker home. Manolt, on a ball past the pitcher, made his 1st base, and his successor Campbell, hitting a ball to 3d base, brought Mills in and got out himself at 1st, Smith fielding the ball to Start. Fine bound catches by M. O'Brien and Crane, compelled the Eckfords to take the field, Spence and Reach being the second and third out. Score- Atlantic 2, Eckford 8.

FIFTH INNING- O's, or as they are variously called "duck eggs," "animals", etc., were now the order of the day. Chapman fell victim to Beach on the fly, and Smith, on a fine left field hit, gained his 1st base, where he was left, by Pearce being caught on the bound by Beach, M. O'Brien striking out. The following change of positions was made in this inning: Crane 2d base, Oliver centre field. The Eckfords now resumed the style they had inaugurated; the order of their going out was thus: Beach on the fly by Smith, Sprague on the ground by M. O'Brien, and Devyr, who had batted a ball to the centre field, after making his 1st, was running for the 2d, but Oliver obtaining the ball, threw it to Pete, who had covered the base, and the ball reaching there before the striker, he was decided out. Score- Atlantic 2, Eckford 8.

SIXTH INNING- M. O'Brien was saved the trouble of running by a bound catch of Sprague, and a fine fly catch by Spence put out Crane, and Macy escaped being put out, to be left on the base, Oliver being caught on the fly by Devyr. The Eckfords observed the same routine. Smith fell victim to Pearce, he catching the ball on the foul bound, and a good fly catch by Smith disposed of Mills, while Campbell getting out on the foul bound left his predecessor on 2d base, closed the innings. Score- Atlantic 2, Eckford 8.

SEVENTH INNING- Was commenced by Start, who tipped out, quickly followed by Chapman, who was caught out on the bound by Devyr, and Smith batting a ball to Mills, he threw it to 1st base and headed the striker off. In this inning Crane and Oliver again exchanged positions. On conspicuous misses of Start and Crane in this inning, Spence and Reach were enabled to make the 1st and 2d bases, but the next three strikers going out in succession both were left in these positions.

EIGHTH INNING- Placed in the same position as Stonewall Jackson has frequently been, the Atlantics determined to make another effort, and the result was one run, that made by M. O'Brien, on a splendid right field hit. Pearce, O'Brien, and Macy, were all put out finally at the 1st base, while Crane was left on the 3d. The Eckfords marked their play in this inning by nothing particularly striking, except another out, which left the score still 3 to 8.

NINTH INNING- Cheers were intermingled with oaths, and laughter blended with quarreling. The first striker, Oliver, who batted a ball to Devyr, who fielded it to Campbell, but the striker gained his 2d, and while attempting to gain the 3d was put out. Chapman got out at 1st base, and Smith was caught by Mills on the fly, leaving Start at 2d base. With the sea of upturned faces transformed into amazement and suspense, the 'lions' went to the bat. But their away was short; Spence and Beach were both put out at 1st base by P. O'Brien and Start; Reach tipped out, closing the game, amidst the most vehement applause, the result being a victory for the Eckford Club.

The pressure on our columns has compelled us to be very concise in giving our report, and for the same reason we are unable to criticise the playing exhibited individually. The Eckfords never played a better game, and considering all, every man did his whole duty. The Atlantics' game was rather mediocre; much confusion and a good deal of missing marked their play, but the spirit with which they played is worthy of mention. Many clubs placed in the same position would have been completely demoralized. And while the Eckfords' success speaks volumes in their favor, the reverse of the Atlantics does but prove the apothegm that, "Every dog has his day." We append the score:

      ATLANTIC.     H.L.  R.        ECKFORD.      H.L.  R.
M. O'Brien, p........1    1   Campbell, 1st b......5    0
P. O'Brien, ss.......3    1   Beach, c.............5    0
Pearce, c............4    0   Mills, 3d b..........3    1
Smith, 3d b..........4    0   Reach, 2d b..........2    2
Crane, c.f...........3    0   Smith, r.f...........2    2
Macy, r.f............3    0   Spence, c.f..........3    1
Start, 1st b.........2    1   Sprague, p...........2    1
Chapman, l.f.........3    0   Manolt, l.f..........2    0
Oliver, 2d b.........4    0   Devyr, ss............3    1

               RUNS IN EACH INNING
             1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
  Eckford....0  5  1  2  0  0  0  0  0-- 8
  Atlantic...1  1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0-- 3
Umpire- E. Brown of the N Y Mutuals.
Scorers- Grum for the Eckford; Moore for the Atlantic.


After the players had doffed their uniforms, the clubs and a few invited guests were the recipients of a bountiful collation, and as the delicacies under which the laden boards groaned disappeared the vanquished wore off the keen edge of defeat in social festivity with the victors. The silver ball is of exquisite workmanship, and is from the manufactory of Ball & Black, New York. On the face is engraved, "Presented by the Continental B.B. Club to the Champion of the Prize Series, 1862." On the reverse is an elaborate engraving of a ball field while a game is playing. The trophy was presented to the Eckfords by Mr. Wood, President of the Continental Club, and received by the President of the Eckford. Toasts were drunk, and the Union and the Constitution vehemently cheered, after which the parties separated in the best of spirits. is brought to you by
Andrew Ross (
and David Dyte (
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