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Wild Bill umpires the game

Posted by mikelink45 , 27 May 2019 · 1,144 views

wild bill hickok umpire kansas city barehanded baseball historic baseball
Wild Bill umpires the game
  • Wild Bill Baseball Card
  • barehanded
  • Outdoor baseball
  • Wild Bill
  • KC 1866

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.

Wild Bill Baseball Card

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.

  • dbminn likes this

John Bonnes
May 27 2019 02:21 PM

This is great. Do you have any links to historical references for it? I have never heard this story. 

2:53? Well there were 76 runs scored. I wonder if they sold beer and brats at the game? How was the "park experience"? Any statues of former greats in the Plaza? Was Sid there.? So many questions.
    • mikelink45 likes this


This is great. Do you have any links to historical references for it? I have never heard this story. 

Clavin refers to it in his new book - Wild Bill, there is a Youtube discussion on it from a KC station, and https://www.newspape...mpires_as_game/has an article.


This is great. Do you have any links to historical references for it? I have never heard this story. 

When we consider that there was a Spy = http://twinsdaily.co...eball-original/ and that General Sherman and Custer's Brother Tom played baseball http://twinsdaily.co...cumseh-sherman/ and baseball seemed to part of the wild west - http://twinsdaily.co...s-a-quick-draw/ it only makes sense to put a quick draw artist as umpire.