Friday, June 5, 2015

June 5, 1895: Britenstein Sets'em Down At The Baker Bowl

     On June 5, 1895, behind a five hit performance by left handed twirler Ted Britenstein, the Browns pummeled the Phillies 13-2 at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia.

     The Browns came out of the gate quick with a four run frame, then did not look back, as Britenstein dominated the Philadelphia lineup. The Philadelphia starter Willie McGill was yanked in the fourth inning, which ended with the Browns up 7-0. By the end of the fifth the St. Louis club extended its lead to 10-0. The Phillies finally got on the board in the sixth with a run that came through the benefit of a walk, an error, and a single. They plated another run in the eighth, before the Browns put three more on the board in the ninth. The lead offensive stars of the contest were Browns outfielders Tim Brown and Duff Cooley who both had two singles and a double. The Philadelphia Record  also mentioned Britenstein's batterymate Heinie Pietz who eliminated the running game of the home team with excellent defense.

     1895 was not a pretty year for baseball in St. Louis. The club won just 39 games. I tend to look at those 39 games as 39 silver linings. Britenstein, a St. Louis native, won 19 games that season. However, he did lead the league with 30 losses as well. It was a rough year all around with the club finishing in 11th place. Only the Louisville Colonels had a more abysmal record with just 35 wins. With that said, there were bright spots on that Browns roster. The aforementioned Duff Cooley may have been the brightest of them all, as he led the team with a .342 average, as well as runs scored with 108, and triples with 20. Cooley was sent to those same Phillies he help beat on that day in early June a little over a year later. He had spent parts of four seasons in the Mound City, hitting .328 during that time.

      Britenstein will forever be remembered for tossing a no-hitter in his first major league start. It was also the first no-no in franchise history. If you would like to read more about that historic contest check this out:

The Baker Bowl was built in 1887; less than a decade before this contest was played. It was quite an interesting looking ballpark with a short right field wall that was just 280 feet from home plate. The park remained open until the 1938, then was finally demolished in 1950. As you could imagine many great games were played within its walls. It was the home of the Philadelphia Eagles for three seasons and hosted three Negro League World Series from 1924 to 1926. The home team: known as the Hillsdale Daisies took the title in 1925. The park was marked with triumph and tragedy. If you would like to read more about it check this out:


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