New Haven was able to rebound from a 12-0 drubbing at the hands of the Hartford Dark Blues, winning its second game of the season 3-2 on Saturday, June 12, 1875.
The clubs traveled to Providence, home of the successful minor league Grays, to play a lucrative road game, but it seems they expected a bigger turnout. “There were about 1,200 people present, the one sided game of 12 to 0 on Friday probably keeping many away,” said the Hartford Daily Courant.
With Hartford having an excellent season and New Haven limping along, the box office was suffering. No one seemed to expect New Haven to win a lot of games, but the lack of earnest competition was keeping people away. “The disappointment in the result may be imagined, for althought it was hardly to be expected that the New Haven club could outmatch the renowned Hartford club, still it was galling to see a whitewash,” according to the New Haven Journal.
Providence seemed to be different, with patrons actively rooting for New Haven to do well. “Such a surprise was a godsend,” said the New Haven Register.
Hartford took an early one run lead in the game again substitute starting pitcher Johnny Ryan. New Haven responded with all of its runs in the top of the third inning. John McKelvey and Ed Somerville had a couple of hits each for New Haven, with McKelvey, Johnny Ryan, and Charlie Gould scoring runs for the club. It was pitching and defense that carried the day for New Haven, certainly an anomaly thus far this season. Hartford only managed two base hits in the game, by Tom Carey and Jack Remsen.
The combination of Somerville and catcher Tim McGinley foiled a double steal attempt in the eighth inning. With runners at first and third, the runner at first attempted to steal. He drew a throw from McGinley, but a quick return throw from Somerville, an excellent defender, cut down the tying run at the plate. In the bottom of the ninth, with two runners aboard, left fielder Jim Tipper, who has been credited with playing excellent defense all season long, made a running catch to save the game. “The two magnificent plays and Ryan’s pitching won the game for New Haven without a doubt,” said the New Haven Register.
New Haven will play Hartford another two times in the next week. Patrons are just too caught up in wins and losses, said the New Haven Register. In one of the more interesting arguments about sports made in a while, the Register felt that results didn’t much matter. It was only the fact that the players were making a strong effort that warranted public support. This could be read two ways. There is the obvious and first meaning, simple mindless boosterism, which the Register had certainly been guilty of thus far. Or, it could mean something more nefarious. The league had been plagued with players throwing ballgames. High profile players on the Chicago club had been suspected and publically accused of negatively influencing the outcome of games. Perhaps the Register was assuring potential patrons that despite the poor outcome, the New Haven club was putting forth its best efforts.
“The nine did well in their game on Saturday — they did nobly and we hope for a repetition of it today. But we are not too sanguine. We will not be discouraged by a defeat knowing that the boys will do their best to place another victory to their credit,” the New Haven Register said.