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1876 NL

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1876 in baseball
1876 National League
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The 1876 season of the National League was the first season of the league, however it had strong ties to the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. Six of the league's eight teams had played in the Association's 1875 season, while the other two clubs were formed of players jumping from the non-league Association clubs.

Contents

[edit] Season summary

Although this was the first season that the National League was in existence, modern fans would hardly recognize the game played. While the underlying game was the same, many of the rules were different (e.g. nine balls to a base-on-balls, pitchers only underhand pitching was allowed). Additionally, despite the league's stated goal of providing a strong centralized leadership, the teams were only loosely bound to the National League. The teams played many teams outside of the league and scheduling was done by the team, not the league - it only required that the clubs play ten games against each other League club (five games at home and five away) between April 22 and October 21.

[edit] Teams

OF the eight clubs in the inaugural season, Only two clubs in this league have survived to this day; the league champion Chicago White Stockings are now the Chicago Cubs, while the Boston Red Caps are today's Atlanta Braves after two relocations. Two of the teams were expelled for the league after the season; at the end of the season the Philadelphia Athletics and New York Mutuals, both over twenty games behind the leading White Stockings refused to fulfill their commitment of a Western road trip and forced out of the league.

[edit] Differences in the game

The style of play was tremendously different from the game modern fans know, due to a number of factors - many of which dealt with pitching and fielding. First, the location from which a pitcher threw the ball was closer to home plate. Rather than throwing from a pitcher's mound at sixty feet, six inches, the pitcher threw from a box fifty feet away from home plate. Second, the pitcher was allowed to run up to make the pitch; instead of having to keep a foot planted as is currently the rule, the pitcher could run up much in the way a cricket bowler takes several steps before releasing the ball. Third, the pitch came in underhand, as sidearm, three-quarters, and overhand deliveries were illegal. A fourth difference was that the current four-ball base on balls had not yet come into being; it took nine balls for a walk. A fifth difference was that players had not yet begun wearing gloves in the field and partially for this reason, fielding errors were frequent. A final difference was that rosters were smaller, and most clubs carried two or three pitchers, leading to limited rotations or the use of single pitcher to start nearly all games.

[edit] Standings

Bold indicates league champion
Rank Team G W L T WPCT GB RS (RS/G) RA (RA/G) AVG OBP SLG ERA FPCT
1 Chicago White Stockings 66 52 14 0 .788 -.- 624 (9.45) 257 (3.89) 0.337 0.353 0.417 1.76 0.899
2 Hartford Dark Blues 69 47 21 1 .681 6.0 429 (6.22) 261 (3.78) 0.267 0.277 0.322 1.67 0.888
3 St. Louis Brown Stockings 64 45 19 0 .703 6.0 386 (6.03) 229 (3.58) 0.259 0.276 0.313 1.22 0.902
4 Boston Red Caps 70 39 31 0 .557 15.0 471 (6.73) 450 (6.43) 0.266 0.281 0.328 2.51 0.862
5 Louisville Grays 69 30 36 3 .435 22.0 280 (4.06) 344 (4.99) 0.249 0.256 0.294 1.69 0.875
6 New York Mutuals 57 21 35 1 .368 26.0 260 (4.56) 412 (7.23) 0.227 0.233 0.261 2.94 0.824
7 Philadelphia Athletics 60 14 45 1 .233 34.5 378 (6.30) 534 (8.90) 0.271 0.279 0.342 3.22 0.839
8 Cincinnati Reds 65 9 56 0 .138 42.5 238 (3.66) 579 (8.91) 0.234 0.247 0.271 3.62 0.840

[edit] League leaders

Bold indicates league record, Italics indicate all-time record

[edit] Batting

Statistic Leader Team Number
Games Played Jack Manning
Jim O'Rourke
Harry Schafer
George Wright
Boston Red Caps
Boston Red Caps
Boston Red Caps
Boston Red Caps
70
At Bats George Wright Boston Red Caps 335
Runs Scored Ross Barnes Chicago White Stockings 126
Hits Ross Barnes Chicago White Stockings 138
Doubles Ross Barnes
Dick Higham
Paul Hines
Chicago White Stockings
Hartford Dark Blues
Chicago White Stockings
21
Triples Ross Barnes Chicago White Stockings 14
Home Runs George Hall Philadelphia Athletics 5
Total Bases Ross Barnes Chicago White Stockings 190
Runs Batted In Deacon White Chicago White Stockings 60
Walks Ross Barnes Chicago White Stockings 20
Strikeouts Johnny Ryan Louisville Grays 23
Batting Average Ross Barnes Chicago White Stockings 0.429
On-Base Percentage Ross Barnes Chicago White Stockings 0.462
Slugging Percentage Ross Barnes Chicago White Stockings 0.590
On-Base plus Slugging Ross Barnes Chicago White Stockings 1.052
On-Base plus Slugging Plus Ross Barnes Chicago White Stockings 231

[edit] Pitching

Statistic Leader Team Number
Wins Al Spalding Chicago White Stockings 47
Losses Jim Devlin Louisville Grays 35
Win-Loss Percentage Al Spalding Chicago White Stockings 0.797
Appearances Jim Devlin Louisville Grays 68
Games Started Jim Devlin Louisville Grays 68
Complete Games Jim Devlin Louisville Grays 66
Shutouts George Bradley St. Louis Brown Stockings 16
Games Finished Jack Manning Boston Red Caps 13
Saves Jack Manning Boston Red Caps 5
Innings Pitched Jim Devlin Louisville Grays 622.0
Batters Faced Jim Devlin Louisville Grays 2568
Hits Allowed Bobby Mathews New York Mutuals 693
Home Runs Allowed Bobby Mathews New York Mutuals 8
Base-on-Balls Allowed Joe Borden Boston Red Caps 51
Strikeouts Jim Devlin Louisville Grays 122
Wild Pitches George Bradley St. Louis Brown Stockings 34
Balks 34 players tied 0
Runs Allowed Bobby Mathews New York Mutuals 395
Earned Runs Allowed Bobby Mathews New York Mutuals 164
Earned Run Average George Bradley St. Louis Brown Stockings 1.23
Walks plus Hits
per Inning Pitched
George Bradley St. Louis Brown Stockings 0.887

[edit] Notable events

Seasons of the National League
1876 · 1877 · 1878 · 1879 · 1880 · 1881 · 1882 · 1883 · 1884 · 1885 · 1886 · 1887 · 1888 · 1889 · 1890 · 1891 · 1892 · 1893 · 1894 · 1895 · 1896 · 1897 · 1898 · 1899 · 1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909 · 1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919 · 1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929 · 1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959 · 1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969 · 1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979 · 1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989 · 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010 · 2011 · 2012 · 2013 · 2014
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