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American Association (19th Century)

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The first American Association ran from 1882 to 1891 and is considered a major league. It was founded as a cheaper alternative to the National League, charging 25 cents admission usually instead of the 50 cents common in the NL. Additionally, Sunday baseball was allowed and beer was served in the stands, both a contrast with the tighter-laced NL. The AA placed teams in Cincinnati, OH (deserted by the NL due to its love of Sunday ball and beer) and other huge non-NL cities like New York, NY and Philadelphia, PA.

The founding meeting of the league was held on November 2, 1881 at the Gibson House Hotel in Cincinnati, with six charter members: the Philadelphia Athletics, Brooklyn Atlantics, Cincinnati Red Stockings, St. Louis Brown Stockings, Pittsburgh Alleghenys and Louisville Eclipse. Denny McKnight of Pittsburgh was named the temporary chairman and James A. Williams secretary. However, before the start of the league's first season, Brooklyn dropped out and was replaced by the Baltimore Orioles.

The AA quickly became competitive with the NL, achieving something akin to parity within a few years. Charles Comiskey, player/manager of the St. Louis Browns led his team to four consecutive league titles - 1885 through 1888 - also winning the AA's only World Series crown in 1886. The league couldn't keep pace - internal squabbles and NL pressure kept sending AA teams over to the older rival; Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New York, Brooklyn and Philadelphia all broke from the league by 1890, leaving it in mostly second-tier cities like Columbus, Louisville or Toledo. By 1890, the AA was not even the second-best major league, ranking behind the Players League and NL. When numerous AA stars began making promises to sign with NL clubs in 1892, the AA stopped its challenge and merged with its rival, officially closing its doors on December 18, 1891. Several AA rules were put into place in the new merged league, including cheaper tickets, permitting Sunday ball where allowed by local law (and if the clubs agreed to it) and the right to sell alcohol at games. The AA pioneered the practice of awarding first base to hit batters in 1884 - the NL would not follow suit till 1888. The AA also was the first league to have paid umpires.

Contents

[edit] Cities Represented

[edit] 1882-1891

American Association franchises

Baltimore Orioles (1882-1891)
Boston Reds (1891)
Brooklyn Gladiators (1890)
Brooklyn Atlantics / Brooklyn Grays / Brooklyn Bridegrooms (1884-1889)
Cincinnati Red Stockings (1882-1889) Cincinnati (1891)
Cleveland Spiders (1887-1888)
Columbus Buckeyes (1883-1884) Columbus Solons (1889-1891)
Indianapolis Hoosiers (1884)
Kansas City Cowboys (1888-1889)
Louisville Eclipse (1882-1884) Louisville Colonels (1885-1891)
Milwaukee Brewers (1891)
New York Metropolitans (1883-1887)
Philadelphia Athletics (1882-1891)
Pittsburgh Alleghenys (1882-1887)
Richmond Virginians (1884)
Rochester Broncos (1890)
St. Louis Brown Stockings St. Louis Browns (1882-1891)
Syracuse Stars (1890)
Toledo Blue Stockings (1884) Toledo Maumees (1890)
Washington Statesmen (1891-1894)

[edit] Teams and Statistics

[edit] 1882-1891

1882 American Association
President: Denny McKnight

Team Standings W L PCT GB Managers
Cincinnati Red Stockings 55 25 .688 - Pop Snyder
Philadelphia Athletics 41 34 .547 11.5 Juice Latham
Louisville Eclipse 42 38 .525 13.0 Denny Mack
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 39 39 .500 15.0 Al Pratt
St. Louis Brown Stockings 37 43 .462 18.0 Ned Cuthbert
Baltimore Orioles 19 54 .260 32.5 Henry Myers
Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Pete Browning Louisville BA .378 Will White Cincinnati W 40
Ed Swartwood Pittsburgh Runs 86 Tony Mullane Louisville SO 170
Hick Carpenter Cincinnati Hits 120 Denny Driscoll Pittsburgh ERA 1.21
Oscar Walker St. Louis HR 7 Will White Cincinnati Pct .769; 40-12


1883 American Association
President: Denny McKnight

Team Standings W L PCT GB Managers
Philadelphia Athletics 66 32 .673 0 Lew Simmons
St. Louis Browns 65 33 .663 1 Ted Sullivan / Charlie Comiskey
Cincinnati Red Stockings 61 37 .622 5 Pop Snyder
New York Metropolitans 54 42 .563 11 Jim Mutrie
Louisville Eclipse 52 45 .536 13.5 Phil Reccius / Leech Maskrey / Joe Gerhardt
Columbus Senators 32 65 .330 33.5 Horace Phillips
Pittsburgh Alleghenies 31 67 .316 35 Al Pratt / Ormond Butler / Joe Battin
Baltimore Orioles 28 68 .292 37 Billy Barnie
Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Ed Swartwood Pittsburgh BA .356 Will White Cincinnati W 43
Harry Stovey Philadelphia Runs 110 Tim Keefe New York SO 361
Harry Stovey Philadelphia Hits 148 Will White Cincinnati ERA 2.09
Harry Stovey Philadelphia HR 14 Tony Mullane St. Louis Pct .700; 35-15


1884 American Association
President: Denny McKnight

Team Standings W L PCT GB Managers
New York Mets 75 32 .701 0 Jim Mutrie
Columbus Senators 69 39 .639 6.5 Gus Schmelz
Louisville Eclipse 68 40 .630 7.5 Joe Gerhardt / Mike Walsh
St. Louis Browns 67 40 .626 8 Jimmy Williams
Cincinnati Reds 68 41 .624 8 Will White / Pop Snyder
Baltimore Orioles 63 43 .594 11.5 Billy Barnie
Philadelphia Athletics 61 46 .570 14 Charlie Mason / Bill Sharsig
Toledo Blue Stockings 46 58 .442 27.5 Charlie Morton
Brooklyn Atlantics 40 64 .385 33.5 George Taylor
Pittsburgh Alleghenies 30 78 .278 45.5 Battin / Creamer / McKnight / Ferguson / Phillips
Indianapolis Hoosiers 29 78 .271 46 Jim Gifford / Bill Watkins
Richmond Virginians # 12 30 .286 NA Felix Moses
Washington Nationals # 12 51 .190 NA Holly Hollingshead
#Washington disbanded August 2 and was replaced by Richmond August 5. Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Harry Stovey Philadelphia BA .404 Guy Hecker Louisville W 52
Harry Stovey Philadelphia Runs 126 Guy Hecker Louisville SO 385
Harry Stovey Philadelphia Hits 179 Jack Lynch New York Pct .725; 37-14
Harry Stovey Philadelphia HR 11 John Reilly Cincinnati HR 11


1885 American Association
President: Denny McKnight

Team Standings W L PCT GB Managers
St. Louis Browns 79 33 .705 0 Charlie Comiskey
Cincinnati Reds 63 49 .563 16 O.P. Caylor
Pittsburgh Alleghenies 56 55 .505 22.5 Horace Phillips
Philadelphia Athletics 55 57 .491 24 Lon Knight / Charlie Mason / Bill Sharsig
Brooklyn Grays 53 59 .473 26 Joe Doyle / Charlie Hackett / Charlie Byrne
Louisville Colonels 53 59 .473 26 Jim Hart
New York Mets 44 64 .407 33 Jim Gifford
Baltimore Orioles 41 68 .376 36.5 Billy Barnie
Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Pete Browning Louisville BA .362 Bob Caruthers St. Louis W 40
Harry Stovey Philadelphia Runs 130 Ed Morris Pittsburgh SO 298
Pete Browning Louisville Hits 174 Bob Caruthers St. Louis ERA 2.07
Harry Stovey Philadelphia HR 13 Bob Caruthers St. Louis Pct .755; 40-13


1886 American Association
President: Wheeler C. Wyckoff

Team Standings W L PCT GB Managers
St. Louis Browns 93 46 .669 0 Charlie Comiskey
Pittsburgh Alleghenies 80 57 .584 12 Horace Phillips
Brooklyn Grays 76 61 .555 16 Charlie Byrne
Louisville Colonels 66 70 .485 25.5 Jim Hart
Cincinnati Reds 65 73 .471 27.5 O.P. Caylor
Philadelphia Athletics 63 72 .467 28 Lew Simmons / Bill Sharsig
New York Mets 53 82 .393 38 Jim Gifford / Bob Ferguson
Baltimore Orioles 48 83 .366 41 Billy Barnie
Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Guy Hecker Louisville BA .342 Dave Foutz St. Louis W 41
Arlie Latham St. Louis Runs 152 Ed Morris Pittsburgh W 41
Dave Orr New York Hits 193 Matt Kilroy Baltimore SO 513
Harry Stovey Philadelphia HR 7 Dave Foutz St. Louis ERA 2.11
Bid McPhee Cincinnati HR 7 Dave Foutz St. Louis Pct .719; 41-16
Dave Orr New York HR 7


1887 American Association
President: Wheeler C. Wyckoff

Team Standings W L PCT GB Managers
St. Louis Browns 95 40 .704 0 Charlie Comiskey
Cincinnati Reds 81 54 .600 14 Gus Schmelz
Baltimore Orioles 77 58 .570 18 Billy Barnie
Louisville Colonels 76 60 .559 19.5 John Kelly
Philadelphia Athletics 64 69 .481 30 Frank Bancroft / Bill Sharsig
Brooklyn Grays 60 74 .448 34.5 Charlie Byrne
New York Mets 44 89 .331 50 Bob Ferguson / Dave Orr / O.P. Caylor
Cleveland Blues 39 92 .298 54 Jimmy Williams
Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Tip O'Neill St. Louis BA .435 Matt Kilroy Baltimore W 46
Tip O'Neill St. Louis Runs 167 Toad Ramsey Louisville SO 355
Tip O'Neill St. Louis Hits 225 Elmer Smith Cincinnati ERA 2.94
Tip O'Neill St. Louis HR 14 Bob Caruthers St. Louis Pct .763; 29-9


1888 American Association
President: Wheeler C. Wyckoff

Team Standings W L PCT GB Managers
St. Louis Browns 92 43 .681 0 Charlie Comiskey
Brooklyn Bridegrooms 88 52 .629 6.5 Bill McGunnigle
Philadelphia Athletics 81 52 .609 10 Bill Sharsig
Cincinnati Reds 80 54 .597 11.5 Gus Schmelz
Baltimore Orioles 57 80 .416 36 Billy Barnie
Cleveland Blues 50 82 .379 40.5 Jimmy Williams / Tom Loftus
Louisville Colonels 48 87 .356 44 John Kerins / Mordecai Davidson
Kansas City Cowboys 43 89 .326 47.5 Dave Rowe / Sam Barkley / Bill Watkins
Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Tip O'Neill St. Louis BA .335 Silver King St. Louis W 45
George Pinkney Brooklyn Runs 134 Ed Seward Philadelphia SO 272
Tip O'Neill St. Louis Hits 177 Silver King St. Louis ERA 1.64
John Reilly Cincinnati RBI 103 Nat Hudson St. Louis Pct .714; 25-10
John Reilly Cincinnati HR 13


1889 American Association
President: Wheeler C. Wyckoff

Team Standings W L PCT GB Managers
Brooklyn Bridegrooms 93 44 .679 0 Bill McGunnigle
St. Louis Browns 90 45 .667 2 Charlie Comiskey
Philadelphia Athletics 75 58 .564 16 Bill Sharsig
Cincinnati Reds 76 63 .547 18 Gus Schmelz
Baltimore Orioles 70 65 .519 22 Billy Barnie
Columbus Senators 60 78 .435 33.5 Al Buckenberger / Tom Loftus
Kansas City Cowboys 55 82 .401 38 Bill Watkins
Louisville Colonels 27 111 .196 66.5 Dude Esterbrook / Wolf / Shannon / Chapman
Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Tommy Tucker Baltimore BA .372 Bob Caruthers Brooklyn W 40
Mike Griffin Baltimore Runs 152 Mark Baldwin Columbus SO 368
Harry Stovey Philadelphia Runs 152 Jack Stivetts St. Louis ERA 2.25
Tommy Tucker Baltimore Hits 196 Bob Caruthers Brooklyn Pct .784; 40-11
Harry Stovey Philadelphia RBI 119 Harry Stovey Philadelphia HR 19
Bug Holliday Cincinnati HR 19


1890 American Association
President: Zach Phelps

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Louisville Colonels 88 44 .667 0 206,208 Jack Chapman
Columbus Senators 79 55 .590 10 NA Al Buckenberger / Gus Schmelz
St. Louis Browns 78 58 .574 12 140,000 Tommy McCarthy / Chief Roseman / Campau
Toledo Maumees 68 64 .515 20 70,000 Charlie Morton
Rochester Hop Bitters 63 63 .500 22 NA Pat Powers
Syracuse Stars 55 72 .433 30.5 NA George Frazier
Philadelphia Athletics 54 78 .409 34 134,000 Bill Sharsig
Brooklyn / Baltimore# 41 92 .308 47.5 71,500 Dude Esterbrook / Jim Kennedy / Billy Barnie
#Brooklyn (26-73) was replaced by Baltimore August 26. Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Jimmy Wolf Louisville BA .363 Sadie McMahon Brook/Bal/Phil W 36
Jim McTamany Columbus Runs 140 Sadie McMahon Brook/Bal/Phil SO 291
Jimmy Wolf Louisville Hits 197 Scott Stratton Louisville ERA 2.36
Count Campau St. Louis HR 10 Scott Stratton Louisville Pct .708; 34-14


1891 American Association
Presidents:Louis Kramer / Ed Renau / Zach Phelps

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Boston Reds 93 42 .689 0 188,000 Arthur Irwin
St. Louis Browns 86 52 .623 8.5 245,000 Charlie Comiskey
Baltimore Orioles 72 63 .533 21 165,000 Billy Barnie / George Van Haltren
Philadelphia Athletics 73 66 .525 22 186,000 Bill Sharsig / George Wood / Billy Barnie
Cincinnati / Milwaukee # 64 72 .471 29.5 119,000 King Kelly / Charlie Cushman
Columbus Senators 61 76 .445 33 115,000 Gus Schmelz
Louisville Colonels 55 84 .396 40 155,000 Jack Chapman
Washington Senators 43 92 .319 50 123,000 Sam Trott / Pop Snyder / Shannon / Griffin
#Cincinnati (43-57) was replaced by Milwaukee August 18. Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Dan Brouthers Boston BA .350 Sadie McMahon Baltimore W 34
Tom Brown Boston Runs 177 George Haddock Boston W 34
Tom Brown Boston Hits 189 Jack Stivetts St. Louis SO 259
Duke Farrell Boston RBI 110 Cannonball Crane Cin/Mil ERA 2.45
Duke Farrell Boston HR 12 Charlie Buffinton Boston Pct .757; 28-9

[edit] World Series Records

Together with the National League, the American Association participated in an early version of the World Series seven times during their ten-year coexistence. The National League won most of those encounters, while some ended in ties due to disputes or other issues. The only victory for the American Association came in 1886 when the St. Louis Browns defeated the Chicago White Stockings.

YR AA CHAMPION SERIES RESULTS
1882 Cincinnati Red Stockings No Series
1883 Philadelphia Athletics No Series
1884 New York Metropolitans (lost, 3-0 to Providence NL)
1885 St. Louis Browns (tied, 3-3-1 with Chicago NL)
1886 St. Louis Browns (won, 4-2 over Chicago NL)
1887 St. Louis Browns (lost, 10-5 to Detroit NL)
1888 St. Louis Browns (lost, 6-2 to New York NL)
1889 Brooklyn Bridegrooms (lost, 6-3 to New York NL)
1890 Louisville Colonels (tied, 3-3-1 with Brooklyn NL)
1891 Boston Reds No Series

[edit] Sources

[edit] Further Reading

  • Edward Achorn: The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America's Game, PublicAffairs, Perseus Books Group, New York, NY, 2013. ISBN 978-1-61039-260-0
  • Brock Helander: "Prelude to the Formation of the American Association", in Morris Levin, ed.: From Swampoodle to South Philly: Baseball in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, The National Pastime, SABR, 2013, pp. 7-12.
  • David Nemec: The Beer and Whisky League, Lyons Press, Guilford, CT, 2003. ISBN 978-1558212855
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