Official 1898 baseball document filled with foul language

BaseballlanguageRobert Edward Auctions recently received several lots from the estate of baseball historian Al Kermisch. One of the items was a document from 1898 titled "Special Instructions To Players," about "revolting terms used by a limited number of players to intimidate umpires and opposing players." It's filled with quite a few colorful examples of such insults and exclamations and, according to the auction house, is the "most offensive official Major League baseball document that we have ever seen." They're not sure whether to auction it or not so, in the meantime, they've scanned the document and posted it to their blog. What a delight! Link (Thanks, Sean Ness!)


  1. Wow, for some reason I never thought people used such “revolting terms” way back then. This is awesome!

  2. Of course some used profane language back then, but I always thought that “Deadwood” was exaggerating… C@%#-suckers!

  3. I especially like that the document says:
    [UNMAILABLE. Must be forwarded by express.]

    Wonder if the postal service was subject to obscenity laws…probably.

  4. This makes me feel like my late-night cuss-laden Halo matches on Xbox Live are part of a grand sporting tradition. Hurrah!

  5. That sort of language is universal.

    Q: How do you get eight old ladies to say “Sh*t!”?
    A: Have a ninth say “Bingo!”

  6. I’m reminded of the scene from “Bull Durham,” where we learn that the one thing that will definitely get a player ejected from a game is calling the umpire a cocksucker.

  7. This is going to completely change the way we do things at my Gentlemen’s Society for the Re-Enactment of 19th-Century Fisticuffs, Rough-Housing, and Belligerent Disportment.

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