The Great Umpire Egging of 1897

March 5, 2018



    On July 10, 1897, with the scored tied 2-2 in the fifth inning, during a contest against the Brooklyn Bridegrooms at Robison Field in St. Louis, umpire Jack Sheridan was egged by a fan after a close call went toward the Brooklyn club. According to Sporting News two eggs were thrown before the embattled umpire called upon the Browns owner Chris von der Ahe to provide him protection from the unruly spectators. The owner beckoned three local police officers to stand with him in front of the grandstands to grab control of the situation. The team that would take on the Cardinals nickname in just three years went on to win the game 4-2 with second baseman Bill Hallman knocking in what proved to be the game winning run in the eighth.

     The win that day was a rarity for the Browns. It was their second in a row, which proved to be the longest winning streak they could put together during the season that saw them win just 29 games while losing 102. However, there were some highlights, and quite a few lowlights, which included a couple of eggs flying at an umpire. Quite frankly it makes me laugh just thinking about walking through a gate at a ballpark while the guy in front of me has a dozen eggs with him. While this might sound off the wall (because it is) there were many off the wall moments in the early days of baseball. Everything from fans forming angry mobs and running umpires out of parks, to people firing off pistols in the stands on the Fourth of July. The great game that is played on a diamond is by far the most storied game of them all, and on this day in 1897 ole Jack Sheridan became a part of one those classic stories.

Hey ma, don't forget to grab them eggs.

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