From BR Bullpen
Removed from article - with reasons:
- ...the parks were nothing like the 50,000 seat concrete and steel modern marvels so prevalent in the modern game (not even Wrigley Field or Fenway Park give an approximation of these first fields), and the game was played in many cities that could never support teams in the twenty-first century... - quite obvious that the stadiums were wooden, smaller, etc.; six of the eight league cities currently have MLB clubs, and another has a Triple-A club, with the last sandwiched between three MLB teams.
- ...The Cincinnati team was the only other team to last past 1877 (leaving the league after 1880). The modern Cincinnati team joined the league in 1882...The St. Louis, Hartford and Louisville teams all lasted only two years. - move to 1877 NL, 1880 NL, and main NL page
- A fifth difference was that players were apt to jump teams and leagues. If a player received an offer from a team not his own, he rarely had qualms about switching mid-season. In the absence of today's commissioner system and legal safeguards, there was little that baseball could do to prevent this until the twentieth century. - only three players played for multiple teams during this season
- The final difference quickly becomes clear with a look at the statistics from the era. Pitchers were not yet entirely differentiated from position players, and they were expected to pitch every game in the same way that the first baseman was expected to play every game. For this reason, you find pitchers who have statistics like this: Jim Devlin (1876 Louisville Grays): 68 games, 68 games started, 66 complete games, 622 innings pitched, 30 wins, 35 losses, 1.56 ERA. The other three pitchers for the team combined to pitch 21 innings that year. (Also, it appears that Louisville played only 66 league games that year, which would explain Devlin's 65 decisions, but not his 68 games pitched.) In the modern game, starting pitchers are part of a rotation of pitchers aimed at keeping pitchers healthy longer and getting the most out of a pitcher's arm. A modern Jim Devlin has stats that looks like this: Livan Hernandez (2004 Montreal Expos): 35 games, 35 games started, 9 complete games, 255 innings pitched, 11 wins, 15 losses, 3.60 ERA - half of the clubs employed some sort of rotation, the clubs that didn't (Chicago, Louisville, New York, and St. Louis) all had top-flight pitchers