Home | Webstore
Latest News: OOTP Update 20.5.47 - OOTP 20 Available - FHM 5 Available

SUMMER SALE - OOTP and FHM are 50% off!

  

Go Back   OOTP Developments Forums > Out of the Park Baseball 20 > OOTP Dynasty Reports

OOTP Dynasty Reports Tell us about the OOTP dynasties you have built!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-08-2019, 09:57 AM   #1
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
Figment League Baseball - A Fictional History of Baseball

I've been working on an idea for an online league based on a fictional league with a historical context. By this I mean that the leagues, teams and players are all fictional, but I place them in as close to a real-world historical context as I can.

So I decided to start the league in 1876 and plan to play fifty-ish seasons as a dynasty before converting to an online league and figured I might as well post my recaps here for the community to enjoy.

I have HTML reports over on my website. The recaps are there too in more of a blog-type format, but here on the boards they'll all be in this one thread.
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
4 thanks for this post:
ayaghmour2 (04-12-2019), gstatman (05-30-2019), mjj55409 (05-14-2019), TC Dale (04-16-2019)
Old 04-08-2019, 09:58 AM   #2
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
Prelude: The Rise of the Century League

The Rise of the Century League

The sport we know today as baseball grew in the early-to-mid 19th century in various forms across the United States. The sport had evolved from two English games brought to the colonies in the 18th century: rounders and cricket. As industrialization began to take hold and cities grew, the game became increasingly popular as a pastime for the men flocking to the cities for work. By 1845, the first base ball (it was two words back then) club formed in New York, codifying the rules of the game and laying the groundwork for the sport as it exists today.

The primary effect of these rules was to make the game both more distinct from its ancestors such as cricket, and also more fast-paced and challenging. The first official game of baseball was played in 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey between that first club - the New York Knickerbockers - and a team of cricketers.

While the "New York" game was crazily popular in the areas in and around Manhattan by the mid-1850s, similar games were rising in popularity in Philadelphia and Boston, among other places. The New Yorkers had created a National Association of Baseball Players in 1857 with 16 member clubs. The onset of the Civil War in 1861 greatly helped spread the popularity of the New York version of the game as soldiers from across the country played together, leading to a more unified and national version of the sport. At the close of the war in 1865, there were 100 member clubs in the NABBP - four years later there were 400 including clubs in faraway California.

Professional players and teams were the next logical step in the game's evolution and in 1869, the first professional club was formed in Cincinnati. An abortive attempt at a professional league was floated in 1871, but arguments over rules, membership fees and scheduling resulted in the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs failing before a single game was played.

It took another five years before a man with a vision stepped forward and created the forerunner of today's modern professional baseball leagues. His name was William Whitney and his league was called the Century League.

Whitney's idea was a simple one: the emphasis would be on the 'club' and not the players. Whitney saw that the failure of previous professional endeavors was that it was based on the player and therefore promoted divisizeness as the players were more concerned with themselves than the club. Whitney's plan would make the players employees of a business unit (the team) and therefore bind them to the club. The club itself would be owned by a businessman and run as a business - something the players had heretofore not shown themselves able to manage.

Whitney, a native of Chicago, sought like-minded businessmen in other large cities. By the fall of 1875 he had lined up seven other men with the financial wherewithal to field a club. Along with Chicago, clubs would be located in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Brooklyn and St. Louis. Not surprisingly, those cities represented the eight largest metropolises in the United States.
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale

Last edited by legendsport; 04-08-2019 at 09:59 AM.
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2019, 11:23 AM   #3
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
Profile: CL Founder William Whitney



The father of the Century League, William Washington Whitney, was born April 14, 1840 in Boone County, Illinois. The son of a farmer, Whitney was highly intelligent and driven and this led him to successfully obtaining a nomination and ultimately, admission to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Whitney was pragmatic and went to West Point with a goal of becoming an engineer - the Army was merely a means to an end for him.

Whitney's class graduated in June of 1861 (among his classmates was George Armstrong Custer) just as the Civil War was beginning. Whitney had graduated near the top of his class and joined the Corps of Engineers. Unlike some of his fellow engineers, Whitney did not elect to resign his commission in order to lead one of the many volunteer units being raised in the various states. As an engineer, he participated in the building of fortifications around Washington, D.C. It was while doing this that Whitney was exposed to the sport of base ball.

Whitney quickly fell in love with the "New York" game after playing it with some members of the Empire State's volunteer brigades deployed around the capital. Though the war cycled men from all over the country through the military ring surrounding the city, Whitney often found time to play. He also made friends with soldiers from as far away as California - and it was those friendships he would use in building his postwar business.

Whitney, as the son of a farmer, was well acquainted with the process of moving produce from rural areas to the country's burgeoning urban areas. After mustering out of the Army in 1866, he parlayed this knowledge with his military connections to build a business supplying fruit from distant California to the markets of Chicago (and later St. Louis as well). By the middle of the 1870s, Whitney's fruit business was massively profitable, earning him the nickname "Chief" for his strong personality and leadership ability and ultimately allowing him the freedom to pursue his other dream - a professional base ball circuit.

In 1876 Whitney again used his network of contacts which had grown from former comrades-in-arms to include businessmen throughout the Midwest. Whitney explained his plan to these men, all successful businessmen in their own rights, and found seven like-minded individuals who would form the core of the Century League.

Whitney would act as League President for nearly a decade while also running the business-side of his Chicago Base Ball club. Newspapers dubbed the Chicago club the "Chiefs" in honor of Whitney. Whitney owned the Chiefs until retiring from his business interests in 1905. His son, William W. Whitney Jr. (popularly known as "Wash" Whitney) took over upon his father's retirement. The elder Whitney moved to the West Coast where he dabbled in the formation of the West Coast League and frequently was seen at West Coast League ballgames until he passed away in February of 1920 at the age of 79.
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2019, 12:48 PM   #4
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1876 - Building the Foundation

Fruit magnate William W. Whitney's vision came to fruition - and yes, that's a pun - in the spring of 1876 when the Century League took the field for the first time. A West Point-educated engineer, Whitney had fallen in love with baseball while in the Union Army during the Civil War and after getting his fruit business up and running turned his attention to his favorite pastime.

The Century League was born in Chicago's Grand Pacific Hotel on January 11, 1876. The invitees were all either men who financially backed touring clubs of professional base ball players or either owned grounds on which games could be played or (like Whitney himself) could afford to have them quickly built. At the inaugural meeting were Whitney (representing Chicago), Jason Kirkham (Boston), Charles Bigsby (New York) and his brother Miles (Brooklyn), Jefferson Edgerton (Philadelphia), James Tice (Cincinnati), Hans Fuchs (St. Louis) and Nicholas Welch (Detroit). Invited to attend, but declining, were three others: Percival Upton (Baltimore), John Q. Miller (Cleveland) and Henry Pulver (Buffalo). The latter three decided they'd rather go out on their own but were unable to find others willing to join them and their rival league fizzled before it even got started.

Whitney, as an avowed enthusiast of the sport, began the meeting by listing the reasons why a successful professional circuit had not yet occurred. They included the tendency for the associations to charge low "dues" for membership; an inexplicable lack of common sense in accepting only larger cities that could support what was in essence, an entertainment industry; lack of proper scheduling (and enforcement thereof); the tendency of the players to jump from team to team, often midseason; and most of all, the lack of a strong, central authority to enforce rules and settle disputes. Whitney went on to explain his solutions for each of those issues.

Though Whitney was an intelligent and persuasive speaker, not all of the attendees jumped aboard immediately. James Tice noted that his Cincinnati club had been very lucrative while touring the midwest playing town teams. The Bigsby brothers agreed that the touring model seemed to be a good one. Whitney countered this by pointing out that eventually the "townies" would grow tired of being roundly defeated by the professionals. The players too, could grow restive and look for greener pastures. What Whitney's circuit promised was consistently high-quality games played by the best professionals in the sport. By playing half their contests at home, the clubs would engender a following among the locals - this would be "their" club. And by locking up the players with contractual agreements, the practice of "rounding" (players jumping to other teams on a whim with little or no notice) would be ended.

By the end of the meeting, Whitney had an agreement with the other seven gentlemen and the Century League would begin playing games in May. Most of the men had the core of their clubs already set in preparation for another summer of touring. Whitney - and a few others - quickly set about negotiating with some of the better players of the multitude of touring clubs.
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2019, 09:39 AM   #5
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1876 - The First Season

The first game in the history of the Century League took place on April 22, 1876 with Boston visiting Philadelphia. The visiting squad won the game by a score of 5-2 with Boston's Ted Maston getting the first hit in league history and Daniel Fallow notching the victory. In honor of the Centennial Exhibition that would take place in Philadelphia that summer, the Philadelphia squad became known as the Centennials while Boston was dubbed the Pilgrims.

The other clubs to take the field in that inaugural season included the Brooklyn Unions, St. Louis Brewers, Chicago Chiefs, Cincinnati Monarchs, New York Knights and Detroit Woodwards. Though the new endeavor qualified as a success, there was a major bump in the road at the end of the first season. Both the New York and Philadelphia clubs, citing financial reasons, elected to not make their final road trips. This caused issues with the championship for the first season - Philadelphia won at the highest percentage of all teams (71.7%) but had only 43 wins because they failed to make their final trip to the west. Boston, playing more games than anyone else, won 47, the best total in the league, but also lost 23. Brooklyn won just one fewer than Boston but lost three fewer games (46-20). So which club was the champion?

William Whitney's own club had finished fourth with a 39-26 record and as league president, the argument ultimately came to his desk. Controversially, he awarded the title to Boston by virtue of their 47 victories. Brooklyn's Miles Bigsby's vigorously protested this. Philadelphia's Jefferson Edgerton wisely accepted the decision - he was on thin ice already. The biggest protests came from teams not involved in the championship dispute: Cincinnati and St. Louis who were deprived of revenue due to the cancelled games they were supposed to play in hosting New York and Philadelphia.

St. Louis finished fifth (28-36), followed by Detroit (23-46) and Cincinnati (20-49). New York had the best case for quitting early - they were in last place with a dismal 14-43 record.

Philadelphia's Roy Frazer won the first batting title in league history with a .379 mark. Boston's Arthur Friermood (.369) and Cincinnati's Paddy O'Hanlon (.367) were close behind. Brooklyn's Hartigan O'Carroll had the league's best ERA (1.46) while Boston's Daniel Fallow led the circuit in victories (28).

The first season had proved that the concept of a professional baseball league could work, but it wasn't all good news. The league was not yet a full calendar year old and William Whitney had his first crisis. When he refused to acquiesce to the demands of St. Louis and Cincinnati to expel the New York and Philadelphia clubs for failing to adhere to the league's schedule, Whitney saw the Monarchs and Brewers leave after just one season. In the long run, the decision to keep the nation's two largest cities in the league would prove correct; at the time however, it seemed like a mistake.

Code:
LEAGUE STANDINGS
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Philadelphia Centennials	43	17	.717	-	474	284
Brooklyn Unions			46	20	.697	-	378	218
Boston Pilgrims			47	23	.671	1	487	325
Chicago Chiefs			39	26	.600	6½	390	289
St. Louis Brewers		28	36	.438	17	299	398
Detroit Woodwards		23	46	.333	24½	265	380
Cincinnati Monarchs		20	49	.290	27½	311	467
New York Knights		14	43	.246	27½	253	496
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 07:01 AM   #6
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1876-77 The Split

Before the Century League could reach its first anniversary the brewing resentment among two of its club owners came to a head. The issue was perceived special treatment for the Philadelphia and New York clubs at the expense of the Cincinnati and St. Louis clubs. Considering that New York and Philadelphia were the two largest cities in the country and that meant more potential customers, it was no surprise that a shrewd businessman like William Whitney would not want to leave those cities open.

This bottom-line reasoning was not good enough for James Tice of Cincinnati and Hans Fuchs of St. Louis. They stood on the agreement upon which the league had been founded that all clubs guaranteed to finish their complete "championship" schedule. Since both New York and Philadelphia neglected to do so, Tice & Fuchs believed they should be expelled from the league. Whitney refused to do so, instead opting for a guarantee from Charles Bigsby (NY) and Jeff Edgerton (Philly) to not repeat themselves or face expulsion.

Thus thwarted, Tice and Fuchs removed their clubs from the Century League and would "operate as independent touring clubs" instead. So the Century League embarked on it's 1877 campaign with only six clubs.

Interestingly, this would not be the last the baseball world would hear from Tice & Fuchs. It also prevented the strangling at birth of one of the two oldest existing professional clubs as today's Philadelphia Keystones trace their history back to that 1876 Philadelphia Centennial club that defied the league rules by not completing its schedule. New York would be another matter, but that's a story for another day....
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 11:15 AM   #7
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1877 - Moving Forward

Those who may have wondered if the Century League would be yet another in a series of failed baseball leagues received their answer in 1877. Though staggered by the loss of two of its western outlets in Cincinnati and St. Louis, the league soldiered on and turned in a good and competitive second campaign.

The league's two weakest clubs in '76 were much improved in their sophomore campaigns. Both Detroit and New York rose from the bottom two spots and came close to claiming the pennant. What stood in their way was the fourth-place finisher of the season before - Chicago.

William Whitney's club was also improved from the season before and that improvement took them to a 40-20 record and the 1877 championship. With John Martin (.335) and Al Lowther (.320) leading the way, the Chicago bats were good enough to take advantage of the outstanding pitching of Hartigan O'Carroll (21-10, 2.79) and A.W. Morton (19-10, 2.70) in finishing six ahead of Detroit and seven up on New York.

There would be no repeat title - disputed or not - for Boston, who finished fourth with a 31-29 record despite the presence of Bill Badway who broke onto the scene with a .376 average (good for 2nd place behind Detroit's Leonard Ziegler who hit a robust .392 and became the first player to reach double-figures in home runs with 14 for the Woodward club). Philadelphia saw many of its players leave and their replacements left a bit to be desired sending the Centennials tumbling into fifth place at 23-37. Brooklyn also fell hard, dropping to a 19-41 mark.

New York's Harvey Bohannon, a rookie chucker from Dayton, Ohio led the league in both ERA (1.90) and strikeouts (168) and was the key reason the Knights turned their fortunes around so greatly.

Whitney reveled in the success of both his club and his league, and at least for 1878, would stay the course and not add any new clubs to replace the departed Cincinnati and St. Louis teams.

Code:
LEAGUE STANDINGS
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Chicago Chiefs			40	20	.667	-	382	311
Detroit Woodwards		34	26	.567	6	452	338
New York Knights		33	27	.550	7	431	411
Boston Pilgrims			31	29	.517	9	430	382
Philadelphia Centennials	23	37	.383	17	350	402
Brooklyn Unions			19	41	.317	21	314	515
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 09:03 PM   #8
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
For 1878 the Century League returned the same six clubs it had the previous year. The results however, could not have been different. Embarrassed and angry after a dismal season in 1877, Miles Bigsby opened his wallet and remade his Brooklyn Unions. And it worked.

The new-look Unions turned it around completely, dominating the league to the tune of a 48-13 record and a fifteen-game margin over second-place Chicago (33-28). The Union Club had unearthed not one, but two stellar 21-year-old rookie pitchers in Buster Scott (25-8, 1.23) and Jim Cannon (23-5, 1.57). The offense was top-notch as well, finishing atop the circuit in runs scored (396), batting average (.300) and virtually every other category. Another rookie, 24-year-old Canadian outfielder Bob DeVilbiss left his Toronto club for Brooklyn and posted a .390 average (tops in the league) while also leading the league in runs scored, RBIs, home runs and pretty much every advanced stat (once the historians got around to working this out a hundred-plus years later).

DeVilbiss was supported by fellow rookie 3B Scott Wilkes (.336) and Detroit import Leonard Ziegler (who was sold to Brooklyn in the offseason by the cash-strapped Woodwards) who hit .335 a year after leading the league with Detroit. Every regular in the lineup hit over .300 with the sole exception of shortstop Lloyd Brumback. It was the most dominating performance in the three-season history of the Century League.

Brooklyn's dominance overshadowed everything else, including a fine season by 1877 champion Chicago. Whitney's men had good pitching with Will Ryan and Henry Walsh, both of whom were sub-2.00 in ERA, but the offense sputtered, finishing without a single .300 hitter and ended up last in the league in runs scored. Third-place went to Philadelphia who finished at 31-31. New York was just behind at 30-31. The also-rans were Boston (20-40) and last-place Detroit (22-41), which was suffering through financial difficulties.

Off the field, CL President Whitney spent much of his summer trying to find replacement clubs to get his circuit back to the eight he believed was the ideal membership level. Ironically, he found them amongst the ranks of the independent and relatively informal barnstorming group that Cincinnati and St. Louis had joined.

Code:
LEAGUE STANDINGS
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Brooklyn Unions			48	13	.787	-	396	184
Chicago Chiefs			33	28	.541	15	259	225
Philadelphia Centennials	31	31	.500	17½	368	391
New York Knights		30	31	.492	18	354	391
Detroit Woodwards		22	41	.349	27	332	413
Boston Pilgrims			20	40	.333	27½	292	397
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2019, 10:15 AM   #9
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
Interlude: The Genius of William Whitney

William Whitney, West Point trained Engineer, Civil War veteran and fruit-importation magnate was long used to getting his own way. But he was also intelligent and shrewd and realized that he could not simply bully the other owners if his Century League were to succeed.

A vignette from the original meeting that formed the league serves as a classic example:

The Grand Pacific Hotel, Chicago, IL, January 11, 1876

"Gentlemen, the time has come to tame the wilderness - touring clubs will soon be a thing of the past," Whitney said.

Skeptical looks abounded. The other attendees were, to a man, operators of touring clubs. And each had made money. Whitney knew it would take convincing to get them to see the broader possibilities of working together.

"I know you're skeptical - touring has worked well for all of you. But consider this, " he began and then spread his hands.

"We sit here in Chicago - one of the rapidly growing metropolises of our great Republic. And it is, I'd like to point out, just one of many."

He paused, puffed on his cigar and continued, "What do all these cities - my own here in Chicago and those each of you calls home - have in common?"

Another puff. "A growing urban population demands entertainment. Sure, we can tour around the countryside, putting quality players out there against the local yokels. But what of the swelling masses in our cities?"

He raised an eyebrow and smiled. "This is our market, my friends. The workers of our cities need something to do with their leisure time. Base ball appeals to our countrymen on many levels. It is a game many of us have played in our youth, a game anyone may play. And a game many Americans will pay to watch."

He grinned. "Trains have made it easy to travel - not only within the cities themselves, but between them as well. Would it not be more sensible to have a set schedule with a specific set of opponents in venues we own? Would it not be easier for the paying customer to follow his team in his city, creating an attachment to the club which plays half its games in his hometown?"

He went on for a time along this general track. He was persuasive; he was knowledgeable - and his ideas were good ones. Most of the others saw the wisdom in this approach - the chaos of no one being held responsible to their opponents, of players being free to choose where and when they'd show up - all of that, Whitney explained - could be ameliorated if they worked together.

So they did. Most of the time.
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2019, 09:40 AM   #10
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1879 - Bigsby's Bargain Boys

For 1879, William Whitney was determined to find two new clubs for the Century League; the goal was to have eight teams in the loop and the desertions of Cincinnati and St. Louis had meant playing the 1878 season with six. Though both Cincinnati and St. Louis were still intact and playing independently of the Century League, Whitney did not approach either of them but looked for other quality independent clubs. He found two - and though neither was good enough to actually challenge for the pennant, both finished ahead of two of the existing clubs in their first season.

The newcomers were the Milwaukee Brickers and the Cleveland Cuyahogas. Both had been straddling the line between amateur and professionalism for several years and Cleveland in particular had a strong reputation. Milwaukee turned out to be slightly better in 1879, going 39-46 and finishing in fifth place while Cleveland posted a 34-47 mark and a sixth-place finish. Cleveland did have two standouts in SS Ned Dupree who finished 2nd in the batting race (.363) and pitcher/1B Martin Tucker who was third in ERA (1.45). Milwaukee one-upped Cleveland by boasting the league's batting champ, 2B Charlie Dozier (.365).

Brooklyn returned to the top of the standings with a 59-20 mark and did it with a roster vastly different from that of their previous championship club. Citing costs, Miles Bigsby had shipped out much of his high-priced talent and replaced them with cheaper, but still productive, players. Foremost among these players were a pair of pitchers found in Syracuse, NY. 25-year-old pitcher Billy Roberson made 38 starts, posted a 31-7 mark, a 1.39 ERA and 299 strikeouts - all three were league-bests. Jimmie Williams, at age 22, made 41 starts, posted a 28-13 mark and a 2.15 ERA. Brooklyn appeared set for years to come - if they could afford to keep their new stars.



Chicago finished second again, this time with a very strong 57-26 record. New 1B Sam Sorenson, a 25-year-old plucked from the St. Louis touring club (Whitney likely enjoyed sticking it to one of his rebellious former comrades) hit .362, good for third place in the batting race and also a league-best 8 home runs. With Hartigan O'Carroll (14-11, 2.63) nursing a sore arm through much of the summer, newcomers Elmer Manuel (20-6,1.71) and Willie Davis (19-3, 1.41) picked up the slack. Manuel also played right field when not pitching and hit a solid .330 for the year.

Philadelphia finished third at 41-36, followed closely by Boston (41-43) and the two new clubs. Detroit, still struggling financially, finished seventh with a 28-54 mark and New York was in the basement with a 22-49 record.

Code:
LEAGUE STANDINGS
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Brooklyn Unions			59	20	.747	-	457	289
Chicago Chiefs			57	26	.687	4	561	351
Philadelphia Centennials	41	36	.532	17	405	409
Boston Pilgrims			41	43	.488	20½	441	469
Milwaukee Brickers		39	46	.459	23	569	659
Cleveland Cuyahogas		34	47	.420	26	491	473
Detroit Woodwards		28	54	.341	32½	460	571
New York Knights		22	49	.310	33	425	588
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2019, 11:28 AM   #11
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1880 - "Rotating"

The Milwaukee Brickers did not last one full calendar year as Century Leaguers before declaring bankruptcy. The void was promptly filled by the Baltimore Banner club, named for their club's owner and referred to in the newspapers as the Bannermen.

As the 1880 season progressed, one issue grew increasingly apparent in the Century League. Through the first five years of league play, players had moved in and out of the league (mostly out), joining - or leaving - the many barnstorming teams that were dotted across much of the eastern half of the country. For League President William Whitney, this was something that would need to be handled in the near future. This process of "rotating" by the players was bad for business as the followers of the clubs could not rely on seeing their favorite players next season.

The annual shuffling of players resulted in another shuffle of the standings table by the end of the 1880 season. Philadelphia returned to the top of the standings, going 59-26 with a cast of new faces leading the way. SS Rick Craig led the league in hitting with a .343 average while fellow rookie John Richard (27-12, 1.67) teamed with Cleveland import Martin Tucker (25-10, 1.64) in pitching the Centennials to the league's lowest runs allowed total. Philadelphia allowed a mere 259 runs over 85 games, nearly 100 runs better than second-place Chicago's 345.

The Chiefs finished second - again - this time with a 49-34 record. Cleveland was third at 47-38. The new guys finished tied for fourth with a 43-43 mark (Brooklyn also went 43-43). Detroit (42-45) outplayed its meager payroll and Boston continued its recent downward spiral, finishing 33-52. Once again New York finished last, posting a 24-59 mark in what would turn out to be the last hurrah for the Knights franchise.

Cleveland's Pete Hood led the league in ERA at 1.10 while Tucker's 25 wins set the standard in that category. Tucker's 250 strikeouts also topped the circuit. Sam Sorenson of Cleveland finished second in batting with a .337 average while Baltimore's Bill Weeks - who had been Milwaukee's best pitcher in 1879 while hitting .350, didn't pitch this season, but still could hit, recording a .333 average in Baltimore's outfield.

Code:
LEAGUE STANDINGS
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Philadelphia Centennials	59	26	.694	-	458	259
Chicago Chiefs			49	34	.590	9	406	345
Cleveland Cuyahogas		47	38	.553	12	452	409
Brooklyn Unions			43	43	.500	16½	399	396
Baltimore Bannermen		43	43	.500	16½	457	421
Detroit Woodwards		42	45	.483	18	481	471
Boston Pilgrims			33	52	.388	26	365	498
New York Knights		24	59	.289	34	353	572
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
3 thanks for this post:
DD Martin (04-16-2019), Lee (04-16-2019), TC Dale (04-16-2019)
Old 04-17-2019, 11:53 AM   #12
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1881 - Half as Big(sby)

The New York Knights, and their larger-than-life owner Charles Bigsby, were no longer around. The younger Bigsby (Miles), still ran the show in Brooklyn but for the first time in the short history of the Century League there would be no club playing in the nation's largest city. Charles had been convicted for several crimes related to his close ties with Tammany Hall and instead of the owner's box at Bigsby Oval, he'd be spending his time in a cell at Sing Sing Prison.

Filling the void in the lineup were the Providence Gems - a solid touring performer playing in what would be the league's smallest city.

Surprisingly, Providence more than held its own against the Century League's other clubs. The Gems won 49 games against 34 losses, good for a second-place tie with Philadelphia, four games behind the champion Chicago Chiefs. Providence had a potent lineup and led the league in runs scored. The Gems had a trio of top bats: 1B William Joyner (.337, 11 HRs), C Tommy Allen (.311 and a league-high 80 RBIs) and CF Ira McKelvie who hit .347, good for third in the batting race. Three veteran pitchers: A.W. Morton (late of NY), Henry Page (Brooklyn) and Daniel Fallow (Boston) kept the opposition down on most days. Still, it wasn't enough to catch the Chiefs.

Chicago won the pennant for the second time - interestingly, through six seasons, three teams (Philly, Brooklyn and Chicago) had won championships and each now had a pair of titles. The Chiefs relied largely on their stellar pitching. Young but veteran ace Hartigan O'Carroll (19-11, 2.73) was joined by rookies Edwin Dudley (21-8, 1.32) and Henry Newcomb (14-12, 2.34) in the league's stingiest pitching staff. The offense ranked just sixth in runs scored but the pitching was so strong that the final result was a 54-31 record and the championship.

Brooklyn's Jim Jones emerged from two seasons sitting on the bench in Cleveland to lead the league in hitting with a .388 average. He was followed by Detroit second sacker Sam Haggins (.349) and McKelvie of Providence (.347). For the first time ever, two men reached double figures in homers as Joyner was joined by Boston rookie Jimmie Casimir (10). Chicago's Dudley led the league by a mile in ERA; his 1.32 was more than a half-run better than Brooklyn ace Elmer Manuel's 1.92 mark. Cleveland's Jack Manning was third at 2.29. Jason Young pitched a lot for Boston, and won 42 of his club's 45 games. He also led the league in strikeouts with 245. Apparently when you pitch 640-plus innings, you can rack up some numbers.

But as the season drew to a close, the biggest news wasn't really about any of the above - it was all about the rumors circulating that Cincinnati Monarch club owner James Tice was looking to make a splash in a big way.

Code:
LEAGUE STANDINGS
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Chicago Chiefs			54	31	.635	-	416	323
Providence Gems			49	34	.590	4	588	460
Philadelphia Centennials	50	35	.588	4	538	472
Boston Pilgrims			45	38	.542	8	510	487
Detroit Woodwards		41	44	.482	13	438	429
Brooklyn Unions			40	44	.476	13½	431	460
Cleveland Cuyahogas		38	46	.452	15½	384	378
Baltimore Bannermen		19	64	.229	34	342	638
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 11:22 AM   #13
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1882 - Border War

When the Cincinnati Monarchs club left the Century League (taking St. Louis along with them), there were a lot of hard feelings on both sides. Though neither club returned to the Century League, both continued to operate independently as touring clubs. But Cincinnati owner James Tice continued to keep an eye on the Century League and how it did business. And in the winter of 1881, he decided to take the lessons he felt he'd learned, and started his own professional circuit - the Border Association. The TBA would feature eight clubs (same as the Century) with six clubs in the U.S. and two others in Canada. Cincinnati and St. Louis were joined by four other clubs: New York and Pittsburgh, plus two Canadian cities - Montreal and Toronto. Tice, as Border Association President, promptly declared he would not honor Century League player contracts - and the war was on.

The impact of the new league was both immediate and massive. The rosters of the Century League clubs were altered drastically as many players left to join the new circuit. The CL clubs exacerbated the problem by feeding on themselves - the restriction on signing other teams' players was universally ignored. Even Whitney's own Chicago club began poaching players. When the dust settled, the face of baseball was changed.

On the field, the Philadelphia Centennials, under new manager Zebulon Banks, captured their third pennant with a solid 61-24 season. Banks hit .337 and got good production from James Eubanks (.352) and Frank Sobreville (.346). Martin Tucker and Will Bullock split the pitching duties and each won 30 games (Bullock won 31, Tucker 30). Chicago finished second with a 56-28 record, followed by Detroit (the shuffled rosters benefited their low-rent approach for a change) at 50-34 and Boston at 44-40 was fourth. The sub-.500 clubs were Cleveland (38-48), Brooklyn (36-48), Providence (who was hit hard and fell to 31-53) and Baltimore in last place with a 22-63 mark. Whitiney's Chicago club debuted catcher Chuck Embry who led the league with a .396 average (he also hit 12 home runs and second to Banks in RBIs with 78).Chicago also had the league's top pitcher in Edwin Dudley who topped the circuit in wins (34) and ERA (2.07) and finished second to Bullock in strikeouts with 176,

The debut season of the Border Association saw the Toronto Provincials win the league's first pennant with a 53-27 mark, good for a 5.5-game cushion over second-place Pittsburgh. Toronto boasted the league's best pitching with Henry Ganus (28-11, 1.33 ERA) and Mack Walker (25-13, 1.70) finishing first and third, respectively, in ERA and taking the top two spots in wins. The hitting was good too as Toronto led the circuit in the three Triple Crown categories and had the second and third place hitters in the batting race with John Dorce (.352) and Gustav Gray (.348) finishing behind Montreal's John Bates (.366).

The Pittsburgh Quarries (45-30) were second, with the Cincinnati Monarchs (43-31) third. The three other teams all finished below .500 : the St. Louis Brewers (36-43), Montreal Saints (33-47) and New York Stars (24-56).

Century League
Code:
LEAGUE STANDINGS
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Philadelphia Centennials	61	24	.718	-	721	444
Chicago Chiefs			56	28	.667	4½	555	387
Detroit Woodwards		50	34	.595	10½	526	437
Boston Pilgrims			44	40	.524	16½	498	480
Cleveland Cuyahogas		38	48	.442	23½	534	610
Brooklyn Unions			36	48	.429	24½	433	452
Providence Gems			31	53	.369	29½	428	608
Baltimore Bannermen		22	63	.259	39	449	726
Border Association
Code:
LEAGUE STANDINGS
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Toronto Provincials		53	27	.662	-	577	332
Pittsburgh Quarries		45	30	.600	5½	446	372
Cincinnati Monarchs		43	31	.581	7	359	321
St. Louis Brewers		36	43	.456	16½	393	468
Montreal Saints			33	47	.412	20	377	456
New York Stars			24	56	.300	29	359	562
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2019, 03:02 PM   #14
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1883 - The Tie That Wasn't

Going into 1883, the Century League got serious about its new competition. When the Cleveland Cuyahogas pulled the plug, CL President William Whitney took the opportunity to go for the jugular by placing a replacement club in New York. This set up a direct head-to-head battle in the nation's largest metropolis between the Century League and Border Association. The new club would be called the New York Gothams and they would play at a newly-rebuilt Bigsby Oval - which just happened to be across the street from the home of the Association's New York Stars home park, Riverside Stadium.

In theory it would be an interesting battle - the teams shared a handful of home dates, meaning the base ball fans in New York would have to choose one or the other. The Stars were probably the better team and did perform better in their pennant race than the Gothams did in the inaugural Century League campaign. The Gothams finished 40-58, not terrible, but still a seventh-place finish in an eight-team league. Only the truly dismal Baltimore Bannermen (15-83) were worse. The Stars managed a third-place finish with a 53-45 season. They also had the Association's batting champion in Daniel Brown (.381). But the New York battle, expected to be a decisive one, was more of a sideshow.

The real excitement was in the pennant races and both leagues had good ones. The Association's battle was a Missouri affair as the St. Louis Brewers battled their new in-state rivals, the Kansas City Westerns, all summer long. In the end the St. Louis club won out, finishing two games ahead of the Westerns. KC rode a stellar pitching staff headlined by Pete Hood (31-18, 2.29) and Sidney Horace (30-19, 1.86). But St. Louis had an ace of its own in Frank Maroney (24-9, 1.65) who led the league in ERA and a strong lineup centered on emerging star Jimmie Thomas (.329-17-82) who led the Association in home runs and RBIs. NY was third, Pittsburgh, with the league's best offense, was fourth at 52-45. Montreal (49-48), Cincinnati (43-53), Toronto (42-56) and the other new club - Washington, rounded out the rest of the standings table. Those Washington Capitals, though their own club history would prove to be relatively short, did have a third baseman who would play a prominent role in baseball history on their roster, though his .262 average was relatively inauspicious. His name, which will come up again later, was George Theobald.

The Century League pennant race was - in modern terms - a tie. Boston posted a 62-36 record while Chicago, by virtue of a couple of extra games, was 63-37. By the rules employed by the Century League at the time, Whitney was forced to give the championship trophy to the Boston club. This was unprecedented and the League would amend its rule book, but at the time, Boston was named champion. Brooklyn, which had been in the mix nearly to the end, was third with a 57-41 record. Detroit, recovering a bit from its financial struggles, was fourth at 58-43. Providence (50-48), Philadelphia (50-49), the Gothams (40-58) and Baltimore (terrible as mentioned earlier) rounded out the rest of the league. Brooklyn's Jim Jones cemented a reputation as perhaps the best hitter in all the sport, hitting .396 and winning his second batting title in three seasons - his averages across those three seasons were .388, .377 and .396 and his lifetime mark was a robust .387 - and he was just 25 years old. He had spent his 21 and 22 year-old seasons with Cleveland, and garnered one at-bat in each of those seasons, without a hit. Things had certainly changed for him. Providence's Billy Crutchfield was ERA champ with a 20-11, 1.55 season and Chicago had the league's only 30-game winners in Charles Williams (32-19, 2.30) and George Clark (31-16, 2.06).

Across the country, the popularity of baseball continued to rise. And this in turn, gave rise to more professional teams. With Whitney's concept of a centralized league now proven to be not only workable, but profitable, it was not surprising that others - beyond the Border Association - were looking for ways to get in on the action.

CENTURY LEAGUE
Code:
LEAGUE STANDINGS
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Boston Pilgrims			62	36	.633	-	585	448
Chicago Chiefs			63	37	.630	-	543	377
Brooklyn Unions			57	41	.582	5	634	505
Detroit Woodwards		58	43	.574	5½	672	597
Providence Gems			50	48	.510	12	590	571
Philadelphia Centennials	50	49	.505	12½	661	644
New York Gothams		40	58	.408	22	599	707
Baltimore Bannermen		15	83	.153	47	475	910
BORDER ASSOCIATION
Code:
LEAGUE STANDINGS
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
St. Louis Brewers		63	35	.643	-	523	436
Kansas City Westerns		61	37	.622	2	521	370
New York Stars			53	45	.541	10	577	480
Pittsburgh Quarries		52	45	.536	10½	638	617
Montreal Saints			49	48	.505	13½	608	630
Cincinnati Monarchs		43	53	.448	19	507	516
Toronto Provincials		42	56	.429	21	594	705
Washington Capitals		27	71	.276	36	451	665
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale

Last edited by legendsport; 04-19-2019 at 03:06 PM.
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2019, 07:39 AM   #15
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1884 - Big Time

1884 will be remembered as the year that baseball really started to transition from pastime to national industry. Several new leagues cropped up - all of lower caliber than either the Century League or Border Association, and all but two of them would soon disappear into the mists of time, but what would become minor league baseball really got going in 1884.

Two minor leagues that still exist today began that season. The names - and teams - have changed, but the newly minted Dixie League and Western Federation started in 1884. The Dixie League was, as the name would indicate, a southern-based circuit, which started with eight teams while the Western Federation was what we'd today call an Upper Midwestern-located six team circuit. Both found paying customers in locations as far north as Minnesota's Twin Cities and as far south as New Orleans. The caliber of play would probably be roughly equal to Double A, or possibly Triple A. Neither was affiliated - yet - with what we now call the Major Leagues.

Speaking of those major leagues... the third season of the Border Association saw a great pennant race and the first playoff game in baseball history. The St. Louis Brewers and Cincinnati Monarchs finished the BA's 90-game schedule with identical 64-26 records. So a single, winner-takes-all game was set up between the two. The game was played in St. Louis and the home team won a dramatic, walk-off, 10-inning game by the score of 3-2. Winning pitcher Frank Ford went the distance and finished up his season with stellar stat lines of 24 wins, 1.98 ERA and 213 strikeouts. The losing pitcher was even better: Cincy's Jerry Paris won a pitching Triple Crown with his 35 wins, 1.60 ERA and 273 strikeouts. This fabulous finish gave baseball fans across the country a thrill and had folks on both sides of the still simmering war between Whitney's Century Leaguers and Tice's Border Men thinking about some sort of postseason playoff between the two circuit's champions.

The Border Association's newest members, Brooklyn and Indianapolis, finished third and fourth respectively in the standings. Kansas City, despite the league's highest traveling expenses (which would become a problem in the not-too-distant future), finished fifth with a tidy 45-45 mark. Toronto, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Washington and the New York Stars rounded out the bottom half of the standings. Montreal's Gustav Gray led the league with the BA's first .400-season, finishing with a .404 mark. Brooklyn's Samuel Haggins was second with a .374 average and KC's Joe Johnson was third at .352.

Over in the Century League, the Boston Pilgrims claimed the pennant with a solid 75-40 campaign as the CL's season continued to lengthen. Boston had a solid, all-around club, finishing third in runs scored and second in runs allowed. Chicago, again, was second and newspaper wags began referring to them as "Bridegrooms" - but that name didn't stick. Providence finished third and Philadelphia, now being ably managed by star Zebulon Banks, was fourth. Brooklyn, who boasted the batting champ in Jim Jones (.367), finished fifth, followed by Detroit, New York, and the still-terrible Baltimore club.

Boston's Johnny Thompson led the CL in wins with 32 while Chicago's George Clark was second in wins and first in ERA (1.42). Team mate Charles Williams was second in ERA (1.56) and won 29 games of his own. Philly's potent offense featured Frank Sobreville (.351) and Dave Grigsby (.341) who were 2nd and 3rd respectively in the batting race, plus plenty of pop with Scott Wilkes (19 HRs), Zebulon Banks (18) and Ned Clark (18) - Wilkes and Banks also became the first hitters to top 100 RBIs in a season, finishing with 101 and 100 respectively. Brooklyn's Jones just missed joining them, ending up with 98.

It wasn't all rosy though - the expansion of the BA from six teams in '82 to ten in '84 proved costly, and the Border Men cut back to eight teams with Washington and Indianapolis dropping out. The Century League also suffered some attrition from the ongoing war for players as the Detroit Woodwards finally succumbed after years of trying to stay in the black. Baltimore followed suit - the Bannermen simply could not compete. Whitney entered the winter with a six-team circuit, but wanted to get back to eight before spring rolled around.

CENTURY LEAGUE
Code:
Team			W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Boston Pilgrims		75	40	.652	-	701	477
Chicago Chiefs		72	41	.637	2	607	415
Providence Gems		65	49	.570	9½	699	624
Philadelphia Keystones	59	54	.522	15	845	731
Brooklyn Unions		56	57	.496	18	740	740
Detroit Woodwards	47	67	.412	27½	588	712
New York Gothams	44	72	.379	31½	583	773
Baltimore Bannermen	39	77	.336	36½	531	822
BORDER ASSOCIATION
Code:
Team			W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
St. Louis Brewers	65	26	.714	-	526	414
Cincinnati Monarchs	64	27	.703	1	486	325
Brooklyn Kings		59	31	.656	5½	551	355
Indianapolis Red Caps	54	36	.600	10½	555	420
Kansas City Westerns	45	45	.500	19½	497	472
Montreal Saints		40	50	.444	24½	506	501
Toronto Provincials	40	50	.444	24½	510	513
Pittsburgh Quarries	30	60	.333	34½	425	616
New York Stars		27	63	.300	37½	432	675
Washington Capitals	27	63	.300	37½	364	561
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2019, 11:36 AM   #16
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1885 - Power Grab

For the first 9 seasons of the Century League, William Whitney had essentially ruled by fiat. Unbeknownst to him, this rankled some of the other owners. The erstwhile leader of "the opposition," Charles Bigsby was gone, but his brother Miles, owner of the Brooklyn club, had assumed the mantle and was quietly working behind the scenes to undermine Whitney's authority. By the time the league's 10th season had ended, Bigsby's hidden coup came to light and the Century League was changed forever.

Before we get into the Century League's revolt and its aftermath, let's discuss the 1885 season itself. The CL saw a true season of dominance as the New York Gothams absolutely demolished all competition and ran away with the pennant with an 87-18 record. Most of it was due to the sheer brilliance of pitcher Jack Manning. The 26-year-old from Brooklyn had begun his career with the old Cuyahoga club of Cleveland. When that club disbanded, he was quickly signed by the Gothams where he started slowly, but improved constantly. He went from a 15-win, 4-plus ERA season in 1883 to a solid 20-win, 2.57 ERA in 1884 before exploding in 1885 to the tune of a 43-9 record and 1.96 ERA. With Pete Hood (40-8, 2.01) nearly as dominating, the Gothams squashed opposing lineups. The fact that the offense scored more runs than anyone else turned the season into a laugher.

The relocated Baltimore club, now down the road in Washington and dubbed the Eagles, finished a surprising second (albeit 23.5 games back) with a 65-43 season. Providence, guided by wily Edward Wakeham, was third at 61-47. Chicago (59-51) was the only other team over .500 with St. Paul - a new entry who had moved up from the Western Federation, finishing a respectable fifth (48-58), ahead of Philadelphia, Boston, and last-place Brooklyn. The Unions' first baseman, Jim Jones won his third straight batting title at .359 (it was also his fourth batting crown in five seasons). Washington's Johnny Wallace led the league in ERA with a 1.87 mark.

In the Border Association, Cincinnati claimed its first pennant with a 78-34 season, 10.5 games better than second-place St. Louis. The Brewers did have the two top hitters in the league with Rob Torry (.328) and Jack Easton (.320) while Cincy ace Jerry Paris won his second straight Triple Crown of pitching with a 28-10, 1.29, 243 strikeout season. Montreal (67-45) was third, followed by Brooklyn (63-47), New York (45-63), Toronto (45-67), Kansas City (41-71) and Pittsburgh (39-74).

While all that was going on, the "Bigsby Clique" of eastern clubs: Brooklyn, Boston, Philadelphia and Providence (only NY was firmly in Whitney's corner) quietly planned their rebellion for the offseason meetings in New York. Among the grievances they would bring up: failing to either squash or make peace with the Border Association; allowing the Border Men to place direct competition in Brooklyn and New York - they blamed the failure of the Knights on this, and not on Charles Bigsby; purchasing the Baltimore club and moving it to Washington - meaning Whitney owned two teams; and believing a rumor that the Border Association was moving into Minneapolis, which led to the admission of St. Paul over "better and larger" markets in the East (specifically Buffalo, where a Bigsby ally was poised to place a club).

Whitney got wind of the plan before the meeting and quickly sold the Washington club to an old war buddy, Colonel Thomas Brennan. The result was that Whitney had four votes of his own, ensuring a deadlock when the election for President came up. In the end, Whitney decided to step down for the good of the league, with Treasurer (and non-Club owner) Edward "Ned" Wilson, stepping in as League President. Furious at being thwarted and dubbing Wilson "Whitney's toady and unacceptable as President," Miles Bigsby dropped out of the Century League, and Boston owner Jason Kirkham went with him.

CENTURY LEAGUE
Code:
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
New York Gothams		89	19	.824	-	709	358
Washington Eagles		67	44	.604	23½	584	515
Providence Gems			62	49	.559	28½	601	465
Chicago Chiefs			61	52	.540	30½	620	554
St. Paul Crusaders		50	61	.450	40½	485	550
Philadelphia Keystones		45	67	.402	46	577	728
Boston Pilgrims			40	73	.354	51½	521	671
Brooklyn Unions			32	81	.283	59½	531	787
BORDER ASSOCIATION
Code:
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Cincinnati Monarchs		78	34	.696	-	440	311
St. Louis Brewers		67	44	.604	10½	564	473
Montreal Saints			67	45	.598	11	516	431
Brooklyn Kings			63	47	.573	14	484	400
New York Stars			45	63	.417	31	455	504
Toronto Provincials		45	67	.402	33	433	492
Kansas City Westerns		41	71	.366	37	462	644
Pittsburgh Quarries		39	74	.345	39½	427	526
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2019, 01:17 PM   #17
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1886 - War is Hell

In the wake of the tumultuous league meetings in November of 1885, the Ned Wilson era officially began with the new Century League president adding two new clubs to replace the departed Brooklyn Unions and Boston Pilgrims. Ironically, one of the new clubs would be in Buffalo - where departed Unions owner Miles Bigsby had wanted to place a club. The Buffaloes, as they'd be known, were not owned by Bigsby's crony however and were a respectable addition. But the other new team was a direct shot in the ongoing war with the Border Association and as such turned out to be a mistake that quickly became obvious.

That second club would be in Canada - directly challenging a market that had thus far been the sole property of the Border Association. The club, the Quebec Frontenacs, was poorly run and poorly staffed. They would limp home in last place with a poor 27-92 record, and then immediately disband without a trace of lamentation from the largely disinterested Quebecois public. While the Quebec experiment was largely a failure, it did succeed very well in one thing: escalating the ill well between the two top-tier baseball circuits.

In other CL news, the pennant was won by the Providence Gems, who posted an 88-36 mark, ten games better than the Philadelphia Keystones. The Gothams continued to be a strong contender, finishing third at 70-56, followed by Washington (67-58) and the middling St. Paul Crusaders (60-66). Buffalo was competitive and finished 53-65 in sixth place, followed by Whitney's Chicago Chiefs, who had a poor season and finished in seventh place at 51-75. Providence had picked up Jim Jones from the defunct Brooklyn club (Bigsby's bid to start a third league died in the cradle the previous winter) and he continued to dominate opposing pitchers with a fourth-straight batting title. Baseball writers had dubbed Jones "The Big Steam Engine" as he kept chugging along. He hit .369 and through six full seasons had five batting crowns and a .375 lifetime batting average.

Frank Sobreville, "The Trojan Horse" as he was known (he hailed from Troy, NY) was second in batting, collecting a .363 average for Philly. 26-year-old Freeman Rogers joined the Gems and hit .360 to keep his team mate Jones honest. Chicago's lone bright spot was rookie pitcher Nathan Watters who went 21-15 with a league-best 1.74 ERA. Providence had the two winningest arms in the league in George Payne (30-6, 1.88) and German-import Pretzels Cronauer (29-6, 2.20).

The Border Association, for its part, was not going through the war with the CL unscathed nor was everyone in its camp entirely happy. Border President James Tice of Cincinnati was feeling the heat in the wake of his companions seeing Whitney ousted and thinking their loop might benefit from an "impartial" (read: non-club-owner) President as well. For now Tice was safe, but the sharks were gathering. One of the biggest issues concerned Kansas City. The Western Club was beginning to increasingly suffer from its high operating costs. The club, which debuted in 1883 and finished 2nd, had trended downward ever since, finishing 5th, then 7th and finally bottoming out in last place in '86 - despite having the batting champion in Joe Johnson who hit .402 for the season. With Century League teams looking on with great interest, Johnson would need to be paid to stay in KC, or possibly traded or sold within the BA. Regardless... something needed to be done.

Pittsburgh won the pennant with an 88-51 mark, just ahead of Montreal (86-52). Cincinnati was third, followed by St. Louis, Brooklyn, New York and Toronto. Montreal found a terrific young pitcher in 22-year-old New Yorker Clarence Young. He went 31-6 with a 2.14 ERA and struck out 336 batters in 366.2 innings - all were league-leading totals and the winning percentage (.838) and strikeout totals were league records.

But bad news for the Bordermen came soon after the end of the season. With Quebec having folded, CL President Ned Wilson promptly offered the open slot in his league to the Border Association champion Pittsburgh club... and they accepted. This was the first break in the ranks and signaled a new escalation in the "Border War."

CENTURY LEAGUE
Code:
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Providence Gems			88	36	.710	-	763	531
Philadelphia Keystones		79	47	.627	10	845	609
New York Gothams		70	56	.556	19	765	689
Washington Eagles		67	58	.536	21½	622	650
St. Paul Crusaders		60	66	.476	29	645	645
Buffalo Buffaloes		53	65	.449	32	579	570
Chicago Chiefs			51	75	.405	38	590	712
Quebec Frontenacs		27	92	.227	58½	512	915
BORDER ASSOCIATION
Code:
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Pittsburgh Quarries		88	51	.633	-	896	740
Montreal Saints			86	52	.623	1½	898	712
Cincinnati Monarchs		77	64	.546	12	851	759
St. Louis Brewers		74	66	.529	14½	862	773
Brooklyn Kings			70	69	.504	18	803	764
New York Stars			62	75	.453	25	837	906
Toronto Provincials		52	87	.374	36	596	835
Kansas City Westerns		48	93	.340	41	669	923
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
DD Martin (04-24-2019), Tiger Fan (04-24-2019)
Old 04-24-2019, 07:17 PM   #18
DD Martin
Minors (Double A)
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 109
Thanks: 41
Thanked 47x in 42 posts
I really enjoying this story with the developing leagues
DD Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
legendsport (04-25-2019)
Old 04-25-2019, 10:25 AM   #19
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1887 - Escalation

At the close of the 1886 season, Century League President Ned Wilson completed what he saw as a coup: he "purloined" the Border Association's champions by convincing Pittsburgh Quarries owner Martin Elswich to jump leagues. Both sides had been stealing players from each other since the Association showed up in 1882, but this was a whole new level of larceny.

Naturally the reaction from the BA President James Tice was not fit for print. But Tice was also a smart man, and he decided that though he could not duplicate Wilson's coup, he could escalate things in his own way. Wilson's office was in Chicago, the Century League's headquarters from its birth. Tice needed a replacement for Pittsburgh and decided there'd be no better place for his league's new franchise than.... Chicago.

The Chicago Cougars weren't particularly good, but they did serve their purpose of splitting the Chicago baseball fans. It probably helped that the Chiefs were in a rut and not very good themselves (they finished 6th), but the Cougars' presence drove down the Chiefs' attendance and that hurt league founder (and, according to some, CL shadow President) William Whitney in the pocketbook. So the Cougars, despite a 7th-place finish, were - to James Tice - a resounding success.


Chicago Cougars owner John Ransom

The Century League's pennant race was a race in name only: the Providence Gems ran away with things, finishing 88-37 and 18.5 games ahead of second-place Washington. With Jim Jones winning yet another batting title (this was five straight and six of seven), plus Freeman Rogers (.360 average, 112 RBIs) and a pitching staff led by Henry Page (20-8, 2.28 ERA) and George Payne (25-9, 3.69), the Gems lived up to their nickname. People feted club manager Edward Wakeham with some wags saying that he was so good that other clubs hired his brothers hoping the magic was genetic - Edward's younger siblings Jack and Park were running Border Association clubs (Brooklyn and Cincinnati, respectively).

Jones and Rogers were 1-2 in batting, with Zeb Banks of Philly third at .366, while Banks' Keystones team mate Ned Clark tied with New York's Denny Fuller for the HR lead (17). New York's other star hitter, George Blankenship paced the circuit in RBIs with 119. Page led the league in ERA and Payne in wins and Providence's third starter - Pretzels Cronauer, went 22-12 with a 3.09 ERA (he was tied for 2nd in wins) with Washington's Eddie Boyd (22-12, 2.91) who was also 2nd in ERA.

Pittsburgh didn't do much in its first season in the Century League - the newly-remonikered Miners were fifth at 63-65. New York (68-59) was third with Philadelphia just behind (68-61) in fourth. Chicago (56-70) was sixth, a new entry in Boston (the Minutemen, who replaced the departed St. Paul Crusaders - who went back to the Western Federation and still finished last) finished 7th at 52-74 and Buffalo limped home last with a 42-85 mark.

Over in the Border Association there was a good pennant race - and three-way one at that. The New York Stars (87-51) ultimately topped St. Louis (85-52) and Montreal (84-55) by being good, but not great, both at the plate and in the pitcher's box (they finished 3rd in the league in both runs scored and runs allowed). St. Louis had the best offense in the league and Montreal was 2nd in hitting and pitching, but still managed to finish third. Brewers outfielder Jack Easton won his first batting title with a .406 average, just edging out Montreal's Gustav Gray and his .405 average. Jacob Gray (no relation) of Toronto was third at .362 for the year. Easton actually was the BA's first Triple Crown winner, collecting 27 homers and an astounding 145 RBIs (it was not a good year for pitching in the Association). Montreal's Clarence Young repeated as ERA (2.44) and strikeout (261) champ, but missed the Triple Crown by one win as his 29 victories was just shy of the 30 collected by St. Louis' Frank Ford (30-17, 3.66 as a pitcher and a .386 batter as the Brewers left fielder when not pitching).

Brooklyn (73-68) was fourth, followed by Cincinnati (61-75) and Toronto (61-77) with the new Chicago club seventh and last-place going to the financially strapped Kansas City Westerns who managed to hold on to Joe Johnson (and his .360 average) and not much else in what turned out to be the franchise's swan song.

CENTURY LEAGUE
Code:
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Providence Gems			88	37	.704	-	837	556
Washington Eagles		70	56	.556	18½	736	636
New York Gothams		68	59	.535	21	813	725
Philadelphia Keystones		68	61	.527	22	761	725
Pittsburgh Miners		63	65	.492	26½	716	763
Chicago Chiefs			56	70	.444	32½	695	770
Boston Minutemen		52	74	.413	36½	617	735
Buffalo Buffaloes		42	85	.331	47	635	900
BORDER ASSOCIATION
Code:
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
New York Stars			87	51	.630	-	867	728
St. Louis Brewers		85	52	.620	1½	933	737
Montreal Saints			84	55	.604	3½	893	700
Brooklyn Kings			73	68	.518	15½	731	745
Cincinnati Monarchs		61	75	.449	25	685	693
Toronto Provincials		61	77	.442	26	815	883
Chicago Cougars			52	86	.377	35	733	928
Kansas City Westerns		47	86	.353	37½	699	942
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale

Last edited by legendsport; 04-25-2019 at 10:30 AM.
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2019, 02:38 PM   #20
legendsport
Hall Of Famer
 
legendsport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Behind The Lens
Posts: 2,448
Thanks: 52
Thanked 120x in 69 posts
1888 - Eye of the Storm

1888 was a relatively calm year in the lengthening hostilities between the Century League and Border Association. No clubs jumped leagues, no one put a new club in the other's territory... for once the big stories were all on the field and not off it. This would be a temporary respite in the hostilities, but at least for 1888, the fans were treated to baseball without a bunch of off-the-field drama.

While Border Association President James Tice was starting to feel the heat from his fellow owners over the perceived advantages the Century guys had over them, his team gave him a season to remember. The Cincinnati Monarchs won the second pennant in club history, posting a 92-43 mark behind the most dominating pitching performance in pro baseball history to that point: Willie Rhinehardt went 29-4 and posted an unbelievable 1.01 ERA. He led the league in wins, ERA and saves (8) and was second in strikeouts (206) to Brooklyn's Ferd Hawkins (234). With John Sidberry going 26-10 with a 1.70 ERA, opposing lineups had trouble scoring runs against Cincinnati.

Montreal was a distant second with a 77-53 record. But the Saints did have two of the league's top hitters in Joe Hill (.344) and Matthew Brown (.326). Batting champ Jack Easton hit .358 for third-place St. Louis (75-62). Toronto was barely over .500 at 68-67 in fourth ahead of New York (64-66) and Chicago (60-79). With the Kansas City Westerns now extinct, the Association had added the Syracuse Olympics to the circuit - the new club went 53-78 for a seventh-place finish, with Brooklyn finishing last with a 46-87 mark. Ironically, Brooklyn owner Sheldon Burton had purchased the assets of the defunct Westerns - including Joe Johnson (who hit .295 in his first season in Brooklyn) - and even with the KC players on his payroll, his club still stunk.

Over in the Century League, it was Providence once again claiming the pennant. They didn't run away with things this year, however, as their 87-49 mark was barely ahead of the 85-50 New York Gothams' record. The biggest news in Providence probably wasn't another pennant for Edward Wakeham's club but rather the fact that Jim Jones didn't win the batting title - and didn't even place that highly on the charts. The star first baseman hit .307 - which was second on his own team to Steve Airington's .321 (Airington was 3rd in the league as pitching began to take over). That was Jones' lowest mark since he became a regular and broke a streak of seven straight seasons of .360-plus averages. His lifetime mark was still a very robust .368 though.

With Jones' bat not quite up to his usual standards, the batting title was won by another good hitting veteran first baseman: Zeb Banks of the Keystones. Banks was the career leader in both at-bats and hits for the Century League and was a lifetime .329 hitter but his .362 average in 1888 marked his first batting title. Unfortunately for Banks - who was also the manager - his Keystones finished at 67-70 and in fourth place far behind third-place Chicago (78-55). Washington finished fifth, followed by Pittsburgh and Boston. Buffalo again claimed the basement.

New York's Tom Harris (1.91) won the ERA title in a very tight race with Providence ace Peanuts Cronauer (1.92 - who won 42 games to lead in that category) and Chicago's Eddie Jordan (1.97). Keystones pitcher Alton Davis led in strikeouts with 348. A young star continuing to improve was Philadelphia center fielder Elmer Selders who hit .356 (2nd to Banks) and led the league in homers (18) while also finishing 2nd in RBIs with 89. New York's Lynwood Trease had 93 to lead in that category. Teams were also running a lot more - Washington's Chick Futrell led the league with a record 84 steals, but was just ahead of Chicago's Frank Sobreville, who stole 83 bases himself and fellow Eagle Thomas Watkins - arguably the fastest player in the league, who stole 82 in his rookie campaign.

Century League
Code:
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Providence Gems			89	49	.645	-	737	553
New York Gothams		86	50	.632	2	737	506
Chicago Chiefs			79	55	.590	8	605	527
Philadelphia Keystones		67	71	.486	22	715	693
Washington Eagles		60	76	.441	28	590	711
Pittsburgh Miners		57	74	.435	28½	539	624
Boston Minutemen		57	80	.416	31½	532	675
Buffalo Buffaloes		48	88	.353	40	539	705
Border Association
Code:
Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Cincinnati Monarchs		94	43	.686	-	684	475
Montreal Saints			80	55	.593	13	759	655
St. Louis Brewers		77	62	.554	18	672	599
Toronto Provincials		68	69	.496	26	665	610
New York Stars			64	68	.485	27½	530	549
Chicago Cougars			61	82	.427	36	604	689
Syracuse Olympics		55	81	.404	38½	611	787
Brooklyn Kings			49	88	.358	45	573	734
__________________
Dugout Wizards - Truckin' through the 70s!

Modern Oldies - Old school baseball with a modern twist

Figment League - A fictional history of baseball

Read the story of the Barrell Family - A Figment Baseball tale
legendsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:12 PM.

 

Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Minor League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with the permission of Minor League Baseball. All rights reserved.

The Major League Baseball Players Association (www.MLBPLAYERS.com ) is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the thirty Major League Baseball teams and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League baseball players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and the Players Choice Awards, which benefit the needy through the Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League baseball players. Follow: @MLB_Players; @MLBPAClubhouse; @MLBPlayersTrust

Out of the Park Baseball is a registered trademark of Out of the Park Developments GmbH & Co. KG

Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.

Apple, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

COPYRIGHT © 2017 OUT OF THE PARK DEVELOPMENTS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright © 2018 Out of the Park Developments