New York Giants (PL)
1890 PL New York Giants / Franchise: New York Giants BR Team Page
Win-Loss Record: 74-57-1 (.565)
Ballpark: Polo Grounds III (Apr. 19-Sept. 18, 1890)
The Giants Baseball Club was New York’s entry for the Players League when the league was first formed on July 14, 1889 at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in Manhattan. The team was primarily made up of former disgruntled New York Giants players from the National League. A few came from Pittsburgh Alleghenys, while others came from teams in the American Association: Louisville Colonels and Philadelphia Athletics. The Giants were managed by catcher Buck Ewing, and were owned by Edward Talcott, Edwin McAlpin and Cornelius Van Cott, who served as team president. The Giants would play their home games at the Brotherhood Park aka the Polo Grounds, located north of the NL Giants ballpark, Polo Grounds II.
Both Giants clubs opened their season at home on April 19th. The PL Giants lost in a thrilling game to the Philadelphia Quakers 12-11. Their NL counterparts were shut out in 4-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. While the NL Giants would rebound with a 5-3 win over the Phillies in their second game of the season, it would take the Players’ Giants team until the third game to get their first win. For about a week in late May, the NL Giants managed to come within a game of first place before a 5 game losing streak dropped them down to 4th place while the PL Giants would challenge for the pennant on at least 2 separate occasions during the season. With the PL Giants made up primarily of former NL Giants’ stars, most fans chose to watch the PL Giants in the northern Polo Grounds. When the season ended the NL Giants finished in 6th place with a 63-68-4 record, while their PL counterparts finished in 3rd with a 74-57-1 record. During the off-season the Players League disbanded with many of the players going back to either their old ball clubs or joining new teams. The Giants’ owners would buy shares in the NL team. The National League Giants would also move into the northern Polo Grounds for the 1891 season.
Fun Fact: It has been said that if both Giants teams played home games on the same day, fans in the upper decks could watch each other’s games