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.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

1888 AA St. Louis

Next up, the AA Champion St. Louis Brown Stockings.

Primary Source: St. Louis Republic (GeneologyBank.com)

Had batter k's in about 72 of 82 games (88.2 %).   GeneologyBank.com does not have the Republic for April, so I maybe able to get a few more games once I find someone in St. Louis to help me.

92 Wins 43 Losses

Primary Lineup:

1 Arlie Latham 3b
2 Yank Robinson 2b
3 Tip O'Neill  lf
4 Charlie Comiskey 1b
5 Tommy McCarthy rf
6 Harry Lyons cf
7 Bill White ss
8 Jack Boyle/ Jocko Milligan c
9 Silver King p

This team was filled with all sorts of interesting players and a quite colorful owner. 

Owner Chris Von Der Ahe - there is a great book on him, his teams, and his eccentricities (http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Von-Ahe-Louis-Browns/dp/0810834731/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332266177&sr=8-1).   The same author, J. Thomas Hetrick, also wrote a day-by-day account of the woeful 1899 Cleveland Spiders.

Shorter bio here: http://research.sabr.org/journals/chris-von-der-ahe-baseballs-pioneering-huckster

Charlie Comiskey - In his 7th major league season at this point, the 28 year old captain/manager of the team.  It is quite interesting in reading about Comiskey the player given the perspective that many of us has of him as the owner of the 1919 Black Sox.   I have often wondered what influence/impact Von Der Ahe had on the development of Comiskey the owner.

Silver King - this year's Justin Verlander:  45-20, 1.66, 2.58, 584.1 innings pitched,  64 starts, 63 cg, 0.874 WHIP.   All of this at age 20.  Although he would have other very nice seasons, this was King's signature season.


Leadoff hitter Arlie Latham, "The Freshest Man on Earth". Led the league with 109 swipes (stolen bases were ANY extra advancement as a rule, though I am discovering many/most were "legitimate" swipes), but was best known for his colorful character.  Also did 3rd base coaching for the team (a "coacher") while not in the field or at bat.


Yank Robinson - led the league in walks by 42 WALKS! (116 to 2nd place Tom Fennelly's 72).   Let me re-emphasize,, Robinson had 116 walks in a 134 games when it took 5 balls to get a walk.   As a result, combined w/ the strong lineup behind him, Robinson ended up with more runs than hits, 111 runs to 105 hits.
His slash line was .231/.400/.314  (His OPS of .714 translated into a 120 OPS+).


Tip O'Neill - best known to baseball stat/historians as the guy who "hit" .492 in 1887 when walks were counted as hits (ONLY .435 without the walks factored in).   In 1888, he led the league with only a .335 average.  Not sure if there is another case of a player's bavg dropping by 25% and still retaining the batting title.


Tommy McCarthy - an avg/slightly above avg outfielder at this point in his career.  He would later best be remembered as one of the 1890's Boston Beaneaters "Heavenly Twins" (along with Hugh Duffy).  Elected by the Old Timer's Committee into the Hall of Fame in 1945.


I would remiss if I didn't mention that this team also had another player with a great nickname:

Ice Box Chamberlain - he came over in September and proceeded to start 14 games and go 11-2 down the stretch.  Chamberlain is known for having pitched with both hands during a game.


There is a Jim Devlin on this team, but not the one that was kicked out of baseball.
Devlin, ironically was the oldest regular on the staff.

King - 20 yrs old
Nat Hudson - 19
Chamberlain - 20
Devlin - 22

Average age of all pitchers was 20.0 - and this was the league champions!

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