1890 Philadelphia Athletics
From BR Bullpen
Note: This page is about the team which played in the 1890 American Association and not the team of the same name that played in the 1890 Players League. For that team, see 1890 Philadelphia Athletics (PL).
 1890 Philadelphia Athletics (AA) / Franchise: Philadelphia Athletics (AA) / BR Team Page
Managed by Bill Sharsig
 History, Comments, Contributions
The 1890 Philadelphia Athletics of the 1890 American Association were a strange team. They had a core of very good regulars, but they finished well under .500 at 54-78. The reason was because many of the players other than the core were pretty bad. Moreover, because of financial difficulties, the Athletics let go all of their good players for the final weeks of the season in order to cut expenses and played out the string with a makeshift line-up that was little better than an amateur team. As a result, they finished the year in a tailspin.
The good ones included Sadie McMahon, who managed to go 29-18 in spite of the team's 54-78 overall record. Denny Lyons hit .354, good for second in the league, and led the league in both OBP and SLG. In a league that hit .253, productive Philadelphia players included Orator Shaffer (.282), Blondie Purcell (.276), Curt Welch (.268) and Jack O'Brien (.261).
However, few of the other players were above average. A couple of the regular infielders hit around .170, while only one back-up position player (Ed Pabst in 8 games) had an OPS+ that was above average. Among the pitchers, nobody had an ERA+ that was better than average except for Bill Price who pitched only one game.
Manager Bill Sharsig was famous for using obscure players as occasional back-ups, and this year was a particularly big year for that. In the following year, the 1891 Athletics, although managed by Sharsig, were apparently more closely related to the 1890 team from the 1890 Players League than to this 1890 team.
The Players League team is also known as the Philadelphia Athletics, thus leading to potential confusion.