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Saturday, February 22, 2003

1874 National Association

Thanks again to jimd for the summary in the discussion portion.

1874 Standings   W  L  PCT   GB Adj. Standings    W   L  PCT GB
Boston          52 18 .743   -- Boston          120  41 .743 --
New York        42 23 .646  7.5 New York        104  57 .648 16
Phil. Athletics 33 22 .600 11.5 Phil. Athletics 102  59 .636 18
Phil. Pearls    29 29 .500 17.0 Phil. Pearls     84  77 .521 36
Chicago         28 31 .475 18.5 Chicago          78  83 .485 42
Brooklyn        22 33 .400 22.5 Brooklyn         70  91 .433 50
Hartford        16 37 .302 27.5 Hartford         53 108 .329 67
Baltimore        9 38 .191 31.5 Baltimore        33 128 .206 87

Here are the standings removing Hartford and Baltimore, who only had a few true major leaguers amongst them.

Adj.II Standings  W   L  PCT GB
Boston          110  50 .690 --
New York         93  67 .578 17
Phil. Athletics  90  70 .564 20
Phil. Pearls     69  91 .434 41
Chicago          63  97 .395 47
Brooklyn         54 106 .339 56

Boston continues their dominance, winning their 3rd consecutive pennant.

Six teams returned from 1873, and they were joined by two more. The return of the Association to Chicago was the big news, and Hartford continued the tradition of very small market teams.

Chicago made the big splash, signing most of the Philadelphia Whites, or Pearls as they were renamed, in deference to the return of the White Stockings. I don’t know how many signed in August during the pennant race, or whether the signings contributed to the collapse, or whether the collapse contributed to more signings.  Zettlein, Wood, and Treacey were major parts of the 1871 team; going back to Chicago was not a
big surprise.  Meyerle, Cuthbert, and Malone may have just wanted to get out of Philly after the debacle.  Tragedy struck when Jimmy Wood had a severe leg infection that required its amputation during the offseason; he did return to manage partway through the season.

The other story was the exodus from the financially troubled Baltimore Canaries.  Davy Force went to Chicago.  Cal McVey went back to Boston, bringing George Hall with him as a replacement for Harry Wright in CF. Lip Pike was hired to manage the new Hartford entry, and brought with him Scott Hastings and Everett Mills.  Candy Cummings, Bill Craver, and others went to the Pearls to help replace the Chicago group.  Only the backup pitcher remained from the previous season.  The replacements were mostly local players from the defunct Washington and Maryland clubs of 1873.  The team was bad, though it did manage to beat everybody else at least once; it almost survived the season, expiring in mid-October.  (All games had to be played by October 31.)

The season itself was odd.  Chicago was expected to challenge for the pennant, but only played around .500 all season.  Boston and the Athletics played more games than usual early on, and then the two top teams boarded ship for England in mid-July, Boston with a 4.5 game lead over the A’s.  This tour had been prearranged the previous winter, and the two clubs played a number of exhibition games in England and Ireland, baseball and cricket against the local cricket clubs.  Crowds stayed away in droves and the tour was a financial disaster.

When they arrived back home in September after eight weeks away, New York had taken over first place in wins.  (Under the rules of this era, wins were all that counted for the pennant; this was used as an incentive for teams to get together and play the required games.)  Boston still managed to play every game (10 games against each team; the only team that did so) and went sprinting past NY in October to finish well ahead of the Mutuals by 7.5 games.

The Silver Sluggers for 1874:

1B - Jim O’Rourke (BOS) .314/.322/.453 (age 23).

2B - Levi Meyerle (CHI) .394/.401/.488 (age 28); Bill Craver (PHW) .343/.353/.498 (age 30) is 3rd in the league in OPS+, but Meyerle is 1st.  Barnes (BOS) is 7th despite a broken hand, OPS+but no award this year; 2B is stacked.

SS - George Wright (BOS)  .329/.340/.476 (age 27).

3B - Jim Holdsworth (PHW) .340/.343/.423 (age 23) has a career year away from NY.

LF - Andy Leonard (BOS) .319/.323/.395 (age 28); not a strong year for LF offensively.

CF - Lip Pike (HAR) .355/.368/.504 (age 29), split his time between CF and SS. John McMullin (PHI) .346/.366/.423 has a career year and gets the award if you’re looking for a full-time CF.

RF - Cal McVey (BOS) .359/.360/.481 (age 23)

C - John Clapp (PHI) .291/.295/.436 (age 22) or Scott Hastings (HAR) .325/.339/.386 (age 26); OBP vs SLG, both played a lot of OF (as did Deacon White, also).

P - Al Spalding (BOS) .329/.334/.370 (age 23); he leads the association in at-bats; maybe he’s batting leadoff? It’s his 3rd consecutive year in the top 5 in RBI’s.

Bobby Mathews (NY) led the league in ERA+ with 135, though Spalding (BOS), and Dick McBride (PHI) were close behind at 127 and 125.  Mathews was also the strikeout king, again, with 100K and a 1.56 K/9IP. ( has him with only 10K, probably a typo.)  The leader in least walks issued was Brooklyn’s Tommy Bond at .18 BB/9IP.

New York edged Boston at preventing runs but couldn’t compete with Boston’s overpowering offense.

Late in October, Tommy Bond came within one out of recording the first no-hitter in the Association.  It was against rival New York, and Joe Start broke it up with a double.

Levi Meyerle leads the league in OPS+ again; shifted away from 3B by Chicago due to the signing of Davy Force, he unseated Ross Barnes at 2B (Barnes was having an off year, for him, due to the hand injury).

Dave Eggler (PHW) beat George Hall (BOS) .318/.329/.415 vs .288/.291/.419 but neither are in the running this year for the batting award in CF due to Lip Pike’s outstanding season and shift to CF.

Hartford, under Lip Pike, has people shifting all over the place defensively. I don’t know whether this is injury adjustments or a manager’s search for optimal defensive positioning.  The same applies to the Athletics.

Brooklyn’s Dickey Pearce, at 38 the 2nd-oldest player in the NA behind Harry Wright, 39, led the association’s shortstops in fielding percentage. He probably was quite a defensive player during the 1860’s (maybe Win Shares will have something interesting to say about his NA fielding.)

Boston defeated the Athletics in their season series for the first time this year (8-2).  The previous three years had gone 1-3, 4-4, 4-5 for the A’s.

John Radcliff was expelled by the Philadelphia Pearls.  The Baseball Library has it for attempting to bribe an umpire.  The The Great Encylopedia of 19th Century Major League Baseball has it for betting $350 on his own team to lose.  Quite possibly it was both. Whatever the details, it was a scandal, but Radcliff was back in the NA the following season (though not for very long).

JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: February 22, 2003 at 04:29 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Howie Menckel Posted: November 17, 2003 at 12:39 PM (#511552)
   2. Marc Posted: November 17, 2003 at 04:05 PM (#511554)
You guys are bad.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: November 17, 2003 at 04:06 PM (#511555)
I had shabbir on my foreign semi-pro fantasy team last year.
   4. favre Posted: November 18, 2003 at 03:53 AM (#511556)
Making fun of someone because they don't speak English very well, and don't quite understand what the website is about, is pretty tasteless.

Come on, guys. You have more class than that.
   5. favre Posted: November 18, 2003 at 03:55 AM (#511557)
Making fun of someone because they don't speak English very well, and don't quite understand what the website is about, is pretty tasteless.

Come on, guys. You have more class than that.
   6. favre Posted: November 18, 2003 at 03:56 AM (#511558)
Making fun of someone because they don't speak English very well, and don't quite understand what the website is about, is pretty tasteless.

Come on, guys. You have more class than that.
   7. favre Posted: November 18, 2003 at 04:31 AM (#511559)
Sorry for the triple post.
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 18, 2003 at 05:20 AM (#511560)
I thought shabbir was another one of those obnoxious yun naragoshi (sp?) type post from Clutch Hits, but there is a Mohammad Shabbir who played in the Asia Cup for Pakistan this year in Sapporo, Japan.

If that was Mohammad Shabbir who posted here, I apologize (I made the "Sixth Sense" post). The team above is a list of deceased players from the 1870s so we can't help you with your search for a team. Good luck finding one!
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: November 18, 2003 at 01:07 PM (#511561)
shabbir: Welcome to the site.
   10. favre Posted: November 18, 2003 at 04:07 PM (#511562)
"favre: I'll take a wild guess that his msg was sent to at least 200 websites. I doubt his self-esteem will rise or fall on whether a few droll comments are made..."

You may be right. But I think the guy still deserves some respect.

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