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Accidental Base Ball Club (1875-1876)

The 1875 Little Rock Accidentals. Standing left to right: Fred Syberg, Ormand Feild, Albert Wassell, and A. Jennings. Sitting: Chester Jennings, Horace Allis, Wood Tucker, Tolly Feild, Arthur Feild, and William Feild. Courtesy of the Old State House Museum
The 1875 Little Rock Accidentals. Standing left to right: Fred Syberg, Ormand Feild, Albert Wassell, and A. Jennings. Sitting: Chester Jennings, Horace Allis, Wood Tucker, Tolly Feild, Arthur Feild, and William Feild. Courtesy of the Old State House Museum


The Accidental Base Ball Club, commonly called the "Axes" for short, was an amateur baseball in Little Rock, AR from 1875-1876. The team participated in and won the 1875 Foul Flag Association championship.

History

The Accidental Base Ball club was likely formed sometime in early 1875. The first mention of the club came on June 11th when the Arkansas Gazette reported the Accidentals had beaten the 'Hot Water' club in Hot Springs. The game was billed as the "championship of the state", though that term was used rather loosely in the early years of Arkansas baseball. A crowd of 2000-5000 spectators showed up, which at the time was probably the largest ever attendance of a baseball game in Arkansas. The game was played "carelessly", but the Accidentals walked away with a 29-11 victory.

A second game for the state championship was played on July 30th. This time, the game was played at the fair grounds in Little Rock, but the result was the same. The Accidentals took a 1st inning lead and never lost in, beating the Hot Waters by a score of 28-13.

After losing twice to the Riversides of Memphis in August, the Accidentals joined the newly-formed Foul Flag Association in September. In 8 games, the Accidentals went 7-1, easily winning the championship. For winning, the club was awarded the championship flags.

With the baseball season nearly over and the Accidentals the undisputed championship of the state, the team made arrangements for one more series. The St. Louis Red Stockings, a team that had competed in the major league National Association earlier that year, was invited to Little Rock to play two games at the fair grounds. On November 4th, the first game was played. The Accidentals played fair, but were defeated 19-7 nonetheless at the hands of the Red Stockings. The second game was played on the 6th, and St. Louis again gave the Accidentals defeat, winning 24-4.

Next spring, the Accidentals reorganized, but the Foul Flag Association did not. On May 17th, the team traveled to Memphis, TN to play a professional team, but were given a disappointing blow, losing 30-0. After that, the team never quite achieved the same zeal as the year before. The Accidentals did fare well against the other Little Rock clubs, but not with the same dominance.

In 1877, the Accidentals did not return. However, the legacy of the team's 1875 accomplishments remained untouched. In 1881, several of the former players attempted to again reorganize the club. But being out of practice, the team failed to again obtain its former glory. After a few disappointing games, the Accidentals were no more. However, throughout the 19th century, the Accidentals were remembered as Little Rock's champion team.

1875 Foul Flag Association Schedule/Results

DateWinnerLoser
9/13 Accidentals 28 La Roques/Red Sox 19
9/14 Phenix 21 Accidentals 16
9/21 Accidentals 23 Phenix 14
10/13 Accidentals -- La Roques/Red Sox 3
10/18 Accidentals 24 Independents 3
10/21 Accidentals 37 Phenix 9
10/23 Accidentals 24 Arsenals 8
10/-- Accidentals 19 Independents 14
Total7-1 (.875, 1st place)

Players

The Accidentals had many players during its existence. Many of them were from upper-class families, becoming doctors, lawyer, and mayors. Occasionally, players from other Little Rock teams would fill in as subs, but the main team stayed fairly consistent.

NameBirthDeath
Horace Allis2/2/1855, in Pine Bluff, AR 1/4/1934 in Little Rock, AR
Frank Compton May, 1856 in AR 4/17/1910 in Fort Smith, AR
Andrew Eakin
Arthur Feild 3/10/1856 in Little Rock, AR 6/23/1892 in California
Ormand Feild 4/23/1858 in Little Rock, AR1932
Tolly Feild 12/27/1854 in Little Rock, AR 6/13/1883 in Little Rock, AR
W.P. Feild 7/6/1854 in Danville, AR 1932
Frank Hufsmith 1/7/1853 in Cincinnati, OH 2/3/1927 in Palestine, TX
Chester Jennings 9/27/1857 in Washington, AR 12/11/1919 in Little Rock, AR
Harry Orlopp1857 in OH 6/22/1898 in Fort Worth, TX
Fred Syberg Abt. 1853 in PA May 19th, 1883 in Acambaro, Mexico
"Tip" Topp
Wood Tucker 1852 in Little Rock, AR
Albert Wassell4/22/1851 in Little Rock, AR 12/18/1938 in Little Rock, AR
Samuel Wassell 5//2/1854 in Little Rock, AR 12/27/1904 in Little Rock, AR


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