Baseball is the very symbol, the outward and visible expression of the drive and push and rush and struggle of the raging, tearing, booming nineteenth century.
On May 18, 1875, writer Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) attended a game between the Boston Red Stockings and the Hartford Dark Blues. A record crowd of 10,000 fans attended the match-up between the two teams, both undefeated up to this point in the season. The visiting Red Stockings defeated the Dark Blues, 10-5, led by captain and pitcher, Albert Goodwill “Al” Spalding.
During the game, a young boy snagged an umbrella belonging to Clemens when he stood up to root for the home team. A couple days later, Clemens published the following notice in the Hartford Courant newspaper:
To the Public
TWO HUNDRED & FIVE DOLLARS REWARD–At the great baseball match on Tuesday, while I was engaged in hurrahing, a small boy walked off with an English-made brown silk UMBRELLA belonging to me, & forgot to bring it back. I will pay $5 for the return of that umbrella in good condition to my house on Farmington avenue. I do not want the boy (in an active state) but will pay two hundred dollars for his remains.
Samuel L. Clemens.