Wild Bill umpires the game
Posted by mikelink45 , 27 May 2019 · 1,144 views
wild bill hickok umpire kansas city barehanded baseball historic baseball
Have you ever heard of the Kansas City Antelopes? They were a baseball team before the Cincinnati club that has been give credit for being the first baseball club. They played from the end of the Civil War into the 1870s. We might not have recognized the game – the pitchers tossed underhand, they wore no gloves, and a ball caught on the first bounce was considered an out. When the cowbells rang a run scored. Hurls tossed to strikers and bad fielding with bare hands caused many muffs. And there were no fences and no bleachers. Fans sat in on the ground, the ball and players often mixing with the spectators.
The most famous game in their decade and a half history (and the third game they played) came when they played the Atchison Pomeroys and Wild Bill Hickok, a regular fan, was asked to umpire. With both six guns firmly on his hip the arguments were limited and the fans behaved. Previously KC had lost and when a return engagement was scheduled there was a riot and the game had to be called. With the legendary James Butler Hickok there was no worry about something like that happening again. When he was asked if he could be fair, he said, I am a US Marshall and to prove he was serious, he studied a rule book the day before.
When the game ended after two hours and fifty three minutes, it was a 48 – 28 win by the Antelopes, Wild Bill bowed to the crowd, left the field in a carriage pulled by two white horses, and went and played poker. He umpired one more game in Hays City.
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