1878 National League

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The 1878 season of the National League was the third season of the league.

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Season summary[edit]

Following the 1877 season, the National League held its annual meeting at the Kennard House in Cleveland, OH beginning on December 4th. After electing William Hulbert chairman, the league voted the Cincinnati Red Stockings out of the league for failure to pay their dues. The league’s directors then recommended that the Indianapolis Base Ball Association (aka Indianapolis Blues) be added to the league as they had won the most games played under league rules. The following morning the directors also recommended that the Cincinnati Base Ball Association (aka Cincinnati Red Stockings) to the league. When the league reconvened at noon, both teams were unanimously elected as full members along with the Milwaukee Base Ball Club (aka Milwaukee Grays.

After the decision to expel James Devlin and George Hall for taking money to throw games the previous day, the St. Louis Brown Stockings decided to drop out. This was because the team had signed both players for the upcoming season, but the owners felt that with both players being expelled the team could not compete. On December 6th, the Hartford club decided to drop out as they had lost $5,000 over two seasons. With all the changes in league membership, the number of league teams stood at six when the meetings ended on December 7th. The following year, on January 21st, the Providence Base Ball Association (aka Providence Grays) applied for league membership with the team being officially admitted on February 6th. About a month later (March 7th) the Louisville Grays decided to drop out on account of the gambling scandal that had involved their players.


Bold indicates league champion
1 Boston Red Stockings 60 41 19 0 .683 -.- 298 (4.97) 241 (4.02) 0.241 0.253 0.300 2.32 0.914
2 Cincinnati Reds 61 37 23 1 .607 4.0 333 (5.46) 281 (4.61) 0.276 0.294 0.331 1.84 0.901
3 Providence Grays 62 33 27 2 .532 8.0 353 (5.69) 337 (5.44) 0.263 0.279 0.346 2.38 0.892
4 Chicago White Stockings 61 30 30 1 .492 11.0 371 (6.08) 331 (5.43) 0.290 0.316 0.350 2.37 0.891
5 Indianapolis Blues 63 24 36 3 .381 17.0 293 (4.65) 328 (5.21) 0.236 0.256 0.286 2.32 0.898
6 Milwaukee Grays 61 15 45 1 .246 26.0 256 (4.20) 386 (6.33) 0.250 0.272 0.300 2.60 0.866

League leaders[edit]

Bold indicates league record, Italics indicate all-time record


Statistic Leader Team Number
Games Played John Clapp
Silver Flint
Russ McKelvy
Orator Shaffer
Ned Williamson
Indianapolis Blues
Indianapolis Blues
Indianapolis Blues
Indianapolis Blues
Indianapolis Blues
At Bats Joe Start Chicago White Stockings 285
Runs Scored Dick Higham Providence Grays 60
Hits Joe Start Chicago White Stockings 100
Doubles Dick Higham Providence Grays 22
Triples Tom York Providence Grays 10
Home Runs Paul Hines Providence Grays 4
Total Bases Paul Hines
Joe Start
Tom York
Providence Grays
Chicago White Stockings
Providence Grays
Runs Batted In Paul Hines Providence Grays 50
Walks Terry Larkin
Jack Remsen
Chicago White Stockings
Chicago White Stockings
Strikeouts Will White Cincinnati Reds 41
Batting Average Paul Hines Providence Grays 0.358
On-Base Percentage Bob Ferguson Chicago White Stockings 0.375
Slugging Percentage Paul Hines Providence Grays 0.486
On-Base plus Slugging Paul Hines Providence Grays 0.849
On-Base plus Slugging Plus Orator Shaffer Indianapolis Blues 186


Statistic Leader Team Number
Wins Tommy Bond Boston Red Stockings 40
Losses Sam Weaver Milwaukee Grays 31
Win-Loss Percentage Harry Wheeler Providence Grays 0.857
Appearances Tommy Bond Boston Red Stockings 59
Games Started Tommy Bond Boston Red Stockings 59
Complete Games Tommy Bond Boston Red Stockings 57
Shutouts Tommy Bond Boston Red Stockings 9
Games Finished Mike Golden Milwaukee Grays 4
Saves Tom Healey Providence Grays/Indianapolis Blues 1
Innings Pitched Tommy Bond Boston Red Stockings 532.2
Batters Faced Tommy Bond Boston Red Stockings 2159
Hits Allowed Tommy Bond Boston Red Stockings 571
Home Runs Allowed Tommy Bond Boston Red Stockings 5
Base-on-Balls Allowed The Only Nolan Indianapolis Blues 56
Strikeouts Tommy Bond Boston Red Stockings 182
Wild Pitches Will White Cincinnati Reds 40
Balks 21 players tied 0
Runs Allowed Terry Larkin Chicago White Stockings 288
Earned Runs Allowed Terry Larkin Chicago White Stockings 126
Earned Run Average John Ward Providence Grays 1.51
Walks plus Hits
per Inning Pitched
Sam Weaver Milwaukee Grays 1.023

Notable events[edit]


* Denotes a fill-in umpire