Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On This Date: Hartman Ejected, O'Donnell Quits

August 1, 1897 - Fargo's 7-4 win over crosstown rival Moorhead was only part of the story on this date. Overshadowing Oscar Peterson's great pitching performance for the Divorcees was some extra-curricular nonsense from the game's catchers. Hartman started at catcher for Fargo, and wasted no time getting into trouble. He began arguing with the umpire, O'Donnell, for an unknown reason, and became so incensed that a policeman was called. The cop escorted Hartman, known to be a fan of hard drink, off the field. Hayes finished the game as the Fargo backstop.

In the fifth inning, Moorhead catcher Tim Keefe similarly lost his composure. According to the Forum, Keefe's conduct was even worse than Hartman's (however, bias from the home team's newspaper in its account is a distinct possibility). Again, the precipitating factor for Moorhead catcher's behavior is unknown. The Fargo paper criticized O'Donnell for not ejecting Keefe from the game, as he had with Hartman. At this point, the embattled umpire was fed up enough to quit the game. The well-respected George Challis assumed the umpiring duties for the remainder of the game, despite the fact that he was also Fargo's manager.

Meanwhile, a game was played, and Fargo hit Pike Mullaney hard, tallying 13 hits and five earned runs off the Moorhead ace. The Divorcees were led by center fielder L. D. Hopkins, who went three for four with two doubles and three runs scored. Fargo's starter Oscar "Pete" Peterson surrendered just eight hits and two earned runs to the Barmaids. The rivarly would continue for the next three days, as Fargo and Moorhead were scheduled for three games in Fargo, followed by three games in Moorhead. The Grand Forks-Crookston series of six games was also scheduled to get underway. Only one of these series would be played...

Fargo Forum and Daily Republican August 2, 1897 p. 4 "Easy for Fargo"

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