About Me

I am a long time baseball fan who became interesting in documenting the "missing" batter strikeouts a few years back as an outgrowth of my interest in the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. Grew up w/ the Big Red Machine. I now follow them and my new hometown, Detroit Tigers. Member of SABR off and on since 1979.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Random 1890 AA thoughts

Well, I haven't made the time to post in a little while - summer does that, I suppose.

Anyway, I am slowly plugging my way through the 1890 AA - doing my same thing, entering lineups, retro stuff, and batter k's into my access database.

So far, I have entered the home games for the following teams - Rochester, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Louisville, & am into July with Syracuse.  
For those familiar with base ball in 1890, this was one of those years with 3 "major" leagues, the other being 1884.    As a result, you tend to see a few things that you wouldn't normally.

First, coming from my research in 1887-8, where the cities were ones that I had considered major cities, I lept into the 1890 AA, which played ball in Toledo, Columbus, Syracuse, & Rochester, cities that I don't normally think of as "major league".   In 1889, in fact, Toledo had a good deal of its team on its International League entry, the "Black Pirates";  Syracuse & Rochester were the same.   Brooklyn started the 1890 season with its only AA entry, which was "abandoned" in late August, only to be replaced by Baltimore, which had operated in the Atlantic League.   I am thinking Baltimore may be the last "team" to operate as a minor and major league team in the same season.   Granted, the 1890 Orioles did pick up a number of players from other AA teams, but it was still Billy Barnie's Atl League team (as well as his 1889 AA team).

Why for all of the jumble and use of "minor league" teams - that is pretty apparent - the Players League was added to the mix, which resulted in NL/AA players jumping to the PL and the AA scrambling to have a team.   David Nemec's "Beer and Whisky League" book does a much better job of explaining this all, I am finding it fascinating dealing with players that I had never heard of.   I would be curious to know what percentage of players in the 1890 AA only played that 1 season  (NL & PL as well).   With the minor league fill-ins, it seems like a lot.   I imagine someone could argue if the 1890 AA was really of "Major League" quality or if it really was a mostly a minor league in Major League clothing.  

One thing that I discovered when going through the Louisville games was a wholy different "walk-off" rule than I had ever heard of.
I first ran across this when doing the Louisville home games.  

On April 19, 1890, Louisville scored 2 in the bottom of the 10th to
beat St. Louis 5-3. Louisville did bat last in this
game. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Shinnick singled home
2 runners in the bottom of the 10th with 1 out to win it for the Colonels.
I had never heard of 2 runs in a "sudden death" situation w/ a
non-homer in any era (let alone in this era).  

I posted this to the 19th century Yahoo group and Cliff Blau graciously responded with the following:

The rule at the time was that on a game-winning play such as this,
the game continued until the play was over. I came across one
instance where the defensive team didn't bother to field the ball and
the batter circled the bases for a homer.

The 1889 rules state:

"If the side last at bat in the ninth inning scores the winning run
before the third man is out, the game shall terminate, upon the
return of the ball to the pitcher."

Cliff later noted that the rule must have been changed soon after, because by 1894 it said that the game ended with the "winning run".  I have run across a couple of other occurrences of this, both at Louisville, on April 29 and June 11.  Interesting coincidence that these all occurred in Louisville?  Not sure.

That is all for today.  Hope I can be more diligent on blog entries as I have a ton of stuff to post, but less intiative and skill.  Hope whoever is reading these posts are enjoying them.



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