April 15, 1909


Minneapolis Team Outplays Cross
Crowd in Field -- Swann Pitches
Good Ball, but Shannon's
Error is Costly.
The Crowd at Opening Day at the Kansas City Blues Game

Before a crowd of 5,000 people the Kansas City team of the American Association lost the first game of the schedule to the Minneapolis club at Association park yesterday afternoon by a score of 2 to 0. The Millers outplayed by the home team a little in the field, for the slab honors were about even. The fielding was, in a few instances, spectacular, and the hitting was weak on both sides.

This game was preceded by a parade of the home and visiting clubs and Hiner's Third regiment band, through the business streets and out to the ball park. At the park the Blues, garbed in brand new white uniforms and blue and white sweaters, led by the band, paraded across the park while thousands of faithful fans who are hoping for a better team than the one which represented Kansas City a year ago and cheered them and yelled for different men on the team whom are favorites for certain fans.

When the game opened the grand stand was almost crowded and the bleachers, including the new section, was filled to overflowing. The back field bleachers had the only vacant seats, although a few fans went there to get a view of the opening battle. This was the game in which fans expected to see what the club could do. With the new material at hand they hoped that Manager Cross would be able to put over many victories where games were lost last season and they still have hopes, although the opening battle did not show the Cross crowd to be in excellent playing form. Four errors and three hits does not speak very well for the Blues.

There was not a great deal of chance to pull off inside baseball stunts by either team and therefore we cannot say there was any dumb work while the Blues were at bat.

Spike Shannnon Mixed Up With the Ball

But for a serious mistake of "Spike" Shannon in center field the score would have been 1 to 0. But "Spike," who had been playing a wonderful fielding game in the training season, let the ball get through his legs when a single was registered and it gave the hitter four bases instead of one. The other score would have been registered on the hit, but not two of them. What difference did it make? They might as well have two runs as one, for the Blues were absolutely helpless as far as runs were concerned. They had three men left on the bases, but when they were on, the pinch hitters, if Cross has any, were not up with the willow and yet some of the best hitters on the club had a chance to do things with the stick.

A great deal of this may be due to the wonderful work of the Olmstead on the mound. This pitcher, who did not face the Blues of 1908, twirled shutout ball from start to finish. He allowed two passes, but aside from that his work was perfect. For a pitcher to oppose the Blues, after they have been hitting so hard in the training season and hold them to three singles, is a remarkable performance. Such men as Carlisle, Brashear, Hetling and Love missed connections and this means that he was twirling in great form. One of the hits secured off him was by Jack Sullivan, who always surprises the fans when he lands a safe one. Shannon and Neighbors were the other Blues to connect with this delivery.

The seventh inning caused Kansas City fans to become disgusted with one "Spike" Shannon but with as many bumps in the grass as there are in center field Shannon should be excused for this error if he does better in the future. The entire trouble started by old Tip O'Neill landing a safe one in center, which went by Swann so fast "Ducky" was unable to field it. O'Neill stole second by running into Love and knocking the ball out of his hands. Edmondson fanned the atmosphere and Pickering was up to wield the willow. He hit a liner in the center and Shannon tried to stop the pill, which was going right toward him. H e missed it and the ball went to the fence. O'Neill and Pickering both scoring before it could be recovered by Shannon and relayed to the home plate. That was all of the scoring.

Minneapolis had a couple of other good starts but good pegging by Sullivan and pitching by Swann held the visitors safe.

In the opening round the Blues had their best chance to put a tally across the plate. Olmstead gave Shannon free transportation and Neighbors landed safe in right. Brashear was up and he hit into a double play that was pulled off in great style by Oyler, Downs and Wheeler and finished the trouble. At no other time did the Blues seem to be in danger of pushing a man across the platter.