The Temple Cup was the name of a postseason series and trophy awarded to the winner that was conducted for four National League seasons from 1894 to 1897. As there was only one major league at the time, so the best-of-seven series was played between the first and second place teams.
The cup was the brainchild of William Temple, president of the Pittsburgh Pirates. After his Pirates had placed second to Boston Beaneaters in 1893 and he felt that his team had missed out on a playoff series. Temple had minted an $800 trophy and donated it to the league and the Temple Cup was born. Much like the The Dauvray Cup from five years earlier; permanent possession of the Cup would go to the first team to win it three times.
However, a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the players would doom the series. The second place team would win three of the four series. In the later years the attendance at the games was abysmal and it was cancelled after the 1897 season. The Baltimore Orioles appeared in every Cup, winning the last two series. After the Cup was ended, the trophy was returned to Temple, whose team never finished higher than sixth during the Cup's existence. The trophy is now in the Hall of Fame.
Temple Cup Results
- 1894: New York Giants (2nd) over Baltimore Orioles (1st), 4 - 0
- 1895: Cleveland Spiders (2nd) over Baltimore Orioles (1st), 4 - 1
- 1896: Baltimore Orioles(1st) over Cleveland Spiders (2nd), 4 - 0
- 1897: Baltimore Orioles (2nd) over Boston Beaneaters (1st), 4 - 1
- Jerry Lansche: Glory Fades Away: The Nineteenth-Century World Series Rediscovered, Taylor Publishing, Dallas, TX, 1991. ISBN 0-87833-726-1