Tuesday, June 9, 2015

June 9, 1887: Curt Welch Decks Weyhing In Philly

     On June 9, 1887, the Browns knocked off the the Philadelphia Athletics by the score of 7-5 at Jefferson Street Grounds in Philadelphia. The locals looked like they might just take one from the defending American Association Champs, as they scored two runs in the first, before allowing a run in the third and another in the fifth, which tied things up. That fifth inning was an interesting one to say the least, as St. Louis' center fielder Curt Welch ran all the way in from his the outfield when the A's pitcher Gus Weyhing looked like he had a sure double, only to have Welch stop him dead in his tracks by dropping him with a closed fist. Needless to say, the incident was shocking to the crowd and it may have shocked Weyhing as well, as he failed to hold onto a lead.

     It appears that Welch stayed in the game despite the fact he decked another player. He even grabbed a hit in the contest. The A's did retake the lead with a run in the sixth, but St. Louis' bats woke up in the latter innings, as the club plated two runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh to take a 6-3 lead. Philly came back with two runs in the eighth to make it 6-5, before St. Louis grabbed another run in the bottom of the inning. An 18-year-old Nat Hudson who had started the game for the Browns, finished it as well with a scoreless frame in the ninth.

     Hudson had won 16 games at the age of 17 for the club, and while he only started 9 games during that 1887 campaign he rebounded with a 25 win season in 1888. When it came to Curt Welch, he was quite the ballplayer. He is often referred to as the best center fielder of his time. With that said, he played the game in an aggressive manor, and in more than one instance that would cause him a bit of trouble. This was one of those days.

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