Worcester Ruby Legs
Record: 90-159-3 (.362)
First organized in 1879, the team joined the National Association on March 8th. The team would apply for membership of the National League prior to the 1880 season. However in order for the league to admit Worcester, the league's board of directors waived the requirement of a city having a population of 75,000. At the time Worcester had a population of only 58,000. In December of 1879, the club became the first baseball team to visit the island nation of Cuba. Unfortunately, the trip was a failure as the team was only able to play two of the local Cuban teams.
The Worcesters were admitted into the National League on February 8, 1880. On June 12th Worcesters' ace Lee Richmond pitched the first perfect game in baseball history a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Forest Citys. It was the second no-hitter in league history and the third no-hitter in baseball history. The team would make history again on August 20th by becoming the first team to be no-hit at home when Pud Galvin of the Buffalo Bisons threw a no-hitter against them. The Bisons won the game by a score of 1-0. The team finished the season with a 40-43-2 record. Over the next two seasons, it would produce two more losing records, each season worse than the last.
The 1882 season found the team posting another record. This one came on September 28th when only six fans showed up to watch the Worcesters lose to the Troy Trojans, 4-1. A record that still stands today. On December 6th both Worcester and Troy were dropped from the league, and were replaced by the Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Gothams. Though the Trojans would continue on as the Gothams (later Giants) the Worcesters have no connection at all to the Philadelphia Phillies, except for the fact that they took over the spot vacated by Worcester.
Note: While the team has often been referred to as either the Ruby Legs or Brown Stockings, there are no contemporary sources to suggest that the team went by either name.
- Gary Ashwill: "The First American Professional Team to Visit Cuba, 1879". December 22, 2007. Cuba
- Peter Filichia: Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebrations of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks Past and Present, Addison Wesley Publishing Company, March 1993.
- Robert Gordon and Tom Burgoyne: Movin on Up: Baseball and Philadelphia Then, Now, and Always BB& A Publishers (C) 2005. p. 43