Team president Charles E. Chase received two anonymous telegrams. One noted that gamblers were favoring the less talented Hartford team in an upcoming series. The 2nd predicted Louisville would throw the next game versus Hartford on August 21, 1877. The Grays committed a number of suspicious errors and lost that game 7-0. League president William Hulbert investigated, and ordered players to authorize Western Union to release all telegrams sent or received during the 1877 season. All players complied except shortstop Bill Craver, the team's captain.
The telegrams indicated pitcherJim Devlin, center fielderGeorge Hall, and utility player Al Nichols intentionally lost games in exchange for money. No direct evidence was found implicating Craver. All four were banned from baseball for life, Craver for refusing to comply with the investigation.
A lifelong resident of Louisville, Pete Browning was the youngest of eight children born to Kentucky natives Samuel Browning (1814-1874) and Mary Jane Sheppard Browning (1826-1911).
His average was a reflection of the doomed season as the Louisvilles finished in the cellar with a 27-111 record and a.196 winning percentage, 661/2 games back of the league champion Brooklyn Bridegrooms.
Louisville, without the six players withholding their labor, lost 4-2 on the road to Baltimore in a rain-shortened five-inning game, the 20th loss in the skein; the scheduled nightcap was washed out.
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