Hugh Duffy (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

August 6, 1892: Boston’s Jack Stivetts no-hits the Bridegrooms

This article was written by Bill Nowlin

Hugh Duffy (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

The day after Jack Stivetts beat Brooklyn, 2-0, with a two-run homer in the 12th inning, he took the mound for Beaneaters manager Frank Selee and threw a no-hitter, the first in franchise history.

Stivetts was primarily a pitcher, but he’d played left field on August 5 since Bobby Lowe was out with an injured arm. With Stivetts taking the mound on August 6, the winning pitcher from the 5th – Kid Nichols – took over in left field.

Brooklyn Bridegrooms President Charles Byrne was not amused at some of the goings-on during the August 5 game. First of all, he reminded umpire Tom Lynch that King Kelly’s repeated interchanges (“rowdy talk”) with spectators was specifically banned under league rule 60 – no player was allowed to converse with spectators. Byrne wanted the rule enforced, but the issue was moot because Kelly, his body battered by balls in the Friday game, took the day off, the catching for Boston done by Charlie Ganzel.1 Byrne also more or less told Boston’s most vocal uber-fan, Hi Hi Dixwell, to shut up. The Brooklyn Eagle reported that General Dixwell “had a seat on the grand stand yesterday but nobody knew it.”2

The attendance for the Saturday game was almost triple the day before, some 7,107.

Stivetts was the show – in addition to his work on the mound, he doubled, tripled, and (according to some accounts) stole home, accounting for four of Boston’s 11 runs. It was far from a perfect game. Stivetts’s work wasn’t flawless. He walked five Brooklyn batters, and there were four Boston errors. Only once did a Bridegroom get as far as third base, but no one scored. It was second baseman and team captain Monte Ward, who walked, stole second, and advanced to third on an error.

Third baseman Billy Nash was singled out for particular praise by the Boston Globe correspondent. “He made marvelous stops and brilliant throws, and the bottled-up enthusiasm of the spectators found an outlet in cheering his good work.”3 As it happens, Nash was the only one on the Boston team who was unable to get a base hit, but he “more than made up for his poor luck at the bat by great fielding.”4

The first run of the game came in the third inning when Boston second baseman Joe Quinn singled to left, taking second when starter Ed Stein threw errantly hoping to pick him off. Right fielder Tommy McCarthy singled to right field, and Quinn scored. Center fielder Hugh Duffy tripled to left field, and McCarthy scored.

Brooklyn got two men on base with a walk and an error, but didn’t score. In the fourth, first baseman Tommy Tuckersingled, and then the pitcher Stivetts – batting seventh in the order – tripled him home with a drive to left field. He then scored on a fly ball hit by Quinn.

The Bostons had scored twice in the third, twice in the fourth, and once more in the fifth.

By that time, it was clear that Stein (who had a very good 27-16 season, with a team-best 2.84 earned-run average) was off his game, so he departed and rookie Brickyard Kennedy took over. (Both Brooklyn pitchers were right-handed.) Kennedy didn’t fare any better. The Globe wrote, “The bean eaters went at him with the same dash and vigor that they had displayed in touching up Stein.”5

Indeed, the first batter Kennedy faced was Tucker, who singled to center field. Stivetts then doubled, driving in the sixth run of the game. Quinn singled, putting runners on first and third. He was thrown out trying to steal second, while Stivetts crossed the plate. The first four batters had base hits. In all, Boston scored four times. They added two more in the eighth, drawing two bases on balls, McCarthy scoring on Herman Long’s single and Duffy scoring on a fly off Ganzel’s bat.

It’s interesting that the Eagle reported, “The Bostons did not play near as well as they did on Friday,” but – the paper correctly continued – “the pitching of Stivetts made up for every shortcoming, while they had no difficult in punishing the home pitching, backed up as it was by poor fielding.”6 The Brooklyn batters simply could not cash in. The second inning saw the leadoff man, Oyster Burns, reach first base when Kid Nichols dropped a fly ball in left field. Stivetts struck out the next three batters, “a lamentable exhibition of how not to bat runners round.”

The Brooklyn cranks showed their impartial appreciation of Stivetts’ work. “He had to doff his cap in response to the applause that greeted his achievement.”7 

By the sixth inning, a special report to the Cleveland Leader asserted, “The spectators … were cheering the Bostons and greeting the Brooklyns with mock applause.”8

The New York Herald opined that Brooklyn didn’t come close to seeing a base hit drop in, “every ball hit out from the plate going directly to a fielder. … There were also several dumb plays on the Brooklyns’ side.”9

All in all, the Eagle summarized, “Brooklyn did not make the ghost of a hit.” Furthermore, they had dropped further in the standings. “Two shut outs on two successive days for the home team is something phenomenal.”10 And not in a good way, for Bridegrooms fans.



1 “Not a Hit Off Stivetts,” Brooklyn Eagle, August 7, 1892: 8.

2 “Just before the game the general and Mr. Byrne had an interesting conversation in which the old war horse from the Hub was told in most emphatic terms that if he wished to get off any of his ‘Hi His’ he would have to hire a boat on Jamaica bay, row quickly to Barren Island and there shoot off his jaw to his heart’s content. It is needless to say that General Dixwell preferred to curb his enthusiasm rather than brave the dangers of the isle de smell.” Ibid.

3 “On His Mettle,” Boston Globe, August 7, 1892: 4.

4 “Record for the Year,” Boston Journal, August 8, 1892: 3.

5 “On His Mettle.”

6 “Not a Hit Off Stivetts.”

7 Ibid.

8 “Mad Spectators,” Cleveland Leader, August 7, 1892: 7.

9 “Giants and Grooms Exchange Places,” New York Herald, August 7, 1892.

10 “Not a Hit Off Stivetts.”

Additional Stats

Boston Beaneaters 11
Brooklyn Bridegrooms 0

Eastern Park
Brooklyn, NY

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