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.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2 or more consecutive team starts - 1887-88 AA

I have been working on batter strikeouts and lineups for the 19th century American Association as a number of previous blog posts have noted.   I have finally got through entering all of my lineups into my Access databases for the 1887 & 1888 seasons.

I still am waiting scans of good deal of home 1887 Louisville games from 3 or 4 Louisville papers from my UK source (who has a full time job too, so I am very patient).  Right now my batter k documented pct for the whole 1887 season is at 79.4% - this is driven primarily by the lack of decent game writeups from the Louisville papers.  I have been having scans made of the Courier-Journal, Times, & Post.  So far, I have scans through the end of May.  Yesterday, I discovered a 4th possible paper, the Commercial.  I am hoping that either the Commercial's coverage is better or that any of the papers coverage picks up in June. :)

While I am waiting on this, as follow-up to my previous post of 2 or more consecutive team starts in the 1897-1912 era, I am posting here similar information on my 2 completed AA seasons.

It serves as an interesting contrast, but also illustrates that even by 1887, the concept of the "iron man" who would pitch multiple consecutive team games was already slowly becoming a myth.  Indeed there are a couple of pitchers who still fit the mold, but overall there was alot less than I anticipated.  Not exactly 4 or 5 man rotations, but more 2-3 man rotations.

As you see below there were 12 occurrences of 3 or more consecutive starts, 2 of those, which I will highlight below,  extended to 4 straight start occurrences.
I will present spreadsheets similar to what I did in the previous blog post:

First, I want to present the overall numbers of consecutive team starts by year:

Year 2 3 4 Grand Total
1887 60 6 1 67
1888 54 6 1 61
Grand Total 114 12 2 128

Quite a difference from the highest total of the latter era, where the greatest total was 34 and that was in the 12 team 1899 NL - a less than 3 average consecutive start occurrences per team.
By contrast, in the 8 team AA, the average is 7-8 per team (the "3" and "4" in the above table are included in the lesser #'s respectively.   As noted, this is to be expected, based on "how the game was played" and managed - smaller rosters, shorter distances, etc.    Interestingly, teams averaged over 6.5 runs per game in 1887, with St. Louis having an amazing 8.2 runs per game.  Cleveland & New York allowed an average of nearly and over 8 runs a game.

If we look at which pitchers contributed to these numbers, we see the following:

2 or more Consecutive Starts

player 1887 1888 Grand Total
Ramsey 15 3 18
Ma Kilroy 10 1 11
Seward 4 6 10
King 1 8 9
Mullane 4 5 9
Bakley 8 8
Porter 3 4 7
E Smith 5 1 6
Caruthers 2 4 6
G Weyhing 4 1 5
Mays 5
P Smith 2 2 4
Hughes 3 3
Hudson 3 3
Crowell 2
Cunningham 2 2
Kirby 1 1
Shaw 1 1
M Morrison 1
Chamberlain 1 1
Weidman 1
Foutz 1
Grand Total 60 54 114

The overall leader for the 2 seasons is Toad Ramsey.   What I discovered in my research is 2 main things about Toad Ramsey -
1.  He liked to drink (Pete Browning, no doubt, was a frequent drinking buddy) which resulted in various fines/suspensions/gone missings.
2.  He struck out a bunch of batters.  In fact, in 1887  he had 7 games where he struck out 10 or more.  3 pitchers were in a distant 2nd (Mike Morrison, Elmer Smith, & Matt Kilroy) with only 2 each.

What struck me more than learning a bunch more about Ramsey was how, the 2 top pitchers, Ramsey & Kilroy,  with the most basically dropped off the face of the earth in 1888.    Pitching 500-600 innings has a tendency to hurt the arm and this tends to show that. 

Granted this is a very limited study, only 2 years, but anyone who would like to add thoughts on this, I would love to hear from you.

The 2 occurrences with 4 consecutive team starts were the following:
Toad Ramsey, Louisville, 1887 - June 23, 24, 26, & 27:

6/23: at Cin - Lost 3-1.  Ramsey allowed 6 hits and 3 "phantom hits" (walks).  He also struck out 6.

6/24: at Cin -Won 10-9, barely surviving as he gave up 3 runs in the top of the 9th.  He allowed 13 hits and a walk.

6/26: at Cin -Won 7-3.  Game was tied at 2-2 thru 6, the Colonels score 4 in the 7th & 1 in th 8th.  Ramsey allows 7 hits & 2 walks while striking out 9.

6/27: at Cin -Won 12-11.  Louisville was up 8-6 going after 7.  Cincinnati scored 2 in the 8th & 3 in the 9th to take a 11-8 lead going to the bottom of the 9th.  Browning, Chicken Wolf, and Reddy Mack singled producing the 1st 2 runs.  White single moved Mack to 3rd, where he scored momentarily when Cincy's catcher muffed a 4th strike, batter Werrick being thrown out at 1st as Mack raced home with the 3rd run and White to 3rd. Ramsey then hit a grounder to Bid McPhee who threw home to try to catch White.  The throw was low and Keenan could not handle it as White scored the winning run.   Ramsey gave up 18 hits and 5 walks while

Silver King, St. Louis, 1888 - July 23, 25, 26, & 27:

7/23: at Louisville - Lost 10-4.  King allowed 6 in the 8th to make a 4-4 tie into a Colonel blowout.  King allowed 14 hits and 3 walks.  He struck out 2.

7/25: at Baltimore - Won 5-2.  King allowed 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5.

7/26: at Baltimore - Won 7-1.  King allowed 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3. 

7/27: at Baltimore - Won 9-5.  King allowed 8 hits.  He had no walks or strikeouts.

King actually pitched in the next game, 7/28.   He started in rightfield, swapping positions with Tommy McCarthy in the 2nd inning for Tommy McCarthy.  King switched back to rightfield in the 8th.
King then started on the 29th, before Nat Hudson started and completed the game on the 30th.

Apparently, part of the reason for King's consecutive start string was due to "sickness of Hudson and Devlin".

So King pitched in 6 straight games, starting 5 of them and pitching in all but about 6 innings of that stretch.

In respect to pitching both ends of a doubleheader, there were not too many, part of this probably due to lower number of doubleheaders.

Started both ends of DH


player 1887 1888 Grand Total
Ma Kilroy 2
P Smith 1
1 1
1 1
Grand Total 3 2 5

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