July 25, 2014

1887 Metropolitans: Death Comes To the Mets

November 26, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

In 1887, the Mets were coming off their second straight seventh place finish. Unlike in 1886, when management allowed a strong finish in 1885 to lull them into complacency, many changes were made in the team for the new season. Gone were longtime Mets Steve Brady, Chief Roseman, and Charlie Reipschlager. Veteran Candy Nelson was […]

The 1890 St. Louis Browns: Growth Through Chaos

October 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

After their streak of four straight American Association (AA) pennants was terminated by Brooklyn in 1889, the Browns found themselves having to completely regroup for the 1890 season. While the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players (Brotherhood) was composed of National League (NL) players, when it organized the Players’ National League, most of the Browns’ […]

The 1890 Athletics: The Worst Team in Major League Baseball History

October 9, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

The worst team in Major League Baseball history. It didn’t start off that way, of course. But a series of twists and turns brought the Athletics to that point. Ordinarily, losing three regulars and your pitching ace, and replacing them with career minor leaguers and faded veterans isn’t a recipe for success. But 1890 was […]

The Best Trade

July 16, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Most discussions of baseball player trades seem to focus on lopsided deals, e.g., Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio. However, an old saying has it that the best trades (other than the ones you don’t make) are those that help both teams. With that in mind, I decided to attempt to find the most even trade […]

1889 Metropolitans: The Trials and Tribulations of an Independent Club

November 18, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Since the early days of base ball, most professional teams have chosen to affiliate with others in leagues.  This offers them certain advantages, such as having a regular schedule of games, at the cost of a loss of autonomy.  Other teams have chosen, or been forced, to go it alone as independent teams.  This is […]

The 1889 Athletic Club

September 6, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Following the Athletics’ third place finish in the American Association in 1888, manager Bill Sharsig purchased the release of catcher Lave Cross from Louisville and signed free agent catcher Jack Brennan, adding them to the corps of returning catchers, Wilbert (Billy) Robinson, George Townsend, and Tom Gunning.  Otherwise, he did nothing over the winter to […]

The 1888 Brooklyn Bridegrooms

July 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Brooklyn’s sixth place finish in 1887 had been a disappointment, and club president Charlie Byrne wasn’t going to allow it to happen again. He and the other owners opened their wallets to improve the team. Late in the 1887 season, they had purchased the Metropolitan club from Erastus Wiman and added hard-throwing (and drinking) Mickey […]

The 1884 Indianapolis Club

July 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Indianapolis baseball club was formed in the early spring of 1883, but too late to have a good selection of players to choose from. At the beginning, the independent team lost consistently, but player-manager Dan O’Leary turned over the roster, acquiring new players whenever good ones became available. In particular, the club was strengthened […]

The 1882 St. Louis Brown Stockings

July 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The St. Louis Brown Stockings, a semi-professional club for the past few years, underwent a rupture late in the 1881 season. Some of their players formed a new club, which was also called the Browns for a little while before becoming known as the Reds. Most of the best players, though, stuck with the original […]

The 1882 Baltimore Club

June 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

On November 2, 1881, six baseball clubs met and organized a new league, the American Association of Base Ball Clubs (AA.) They were the Cincinnati, St. Louis, Eclipse of Louisville, Allegheny of Pittsburg, Atlantic of Brooklyn, and Athletic of Philadelphia clubs. In February, however, the Atlantics, run by Billy Barnie, determined that they would not […]