YEAR IN REVIEW : 1878 National League

Off the field...

Yellow Fever struck many cities in the south including Memphis, New Orleans and Mobile. Many citizens of infected areas were prevented from fleeing by strict quarantines adopted by nearby towns and cities. Despite the best efforts from doctors, nurses and volunteers, the number of infected persons rose dramatically from day to day. During the worst part of the epidemic, special health regulations were issued by the federal government to help prevent the spread of the disease. Unfortunately, over 13,000 people died in the lower Mississippi Valley alone before a proven vaccination was developed.

In the National League...

Against the Boston Red Caps, Paul Hines of the Providence Grays, made a shoestring catch in centerfield, then ran to touch third base for the first unassisted triple play in baseball history.

In July, John Montgomery Ward of the Providence Grays lost against the Indianapolis Hoosiers for his first Major League start then continued to pitch every game all season long. Impressive, until 1879 when he won "only" forty-seven games on the mound.

Cincinnati pitcher Will White and catcher James White became the first pitcher-to-catcher brother set to play together in the Major Leagues on the same team at the same time. Will went on to go 30-21 on the mound and James batted .314 at the plate.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"Baseball is a man maker." - Al Spalding

1878 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Chicago
17
Milwaukee
.354
Providence
22
Chicago
100
Providence
4
Chicago
.375
Providence
50
Providence
60
Providence
.486
Total Bases
Providence
125
Providence
Chicago
Providence
10

1878 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Boston
57
Providence
1.51
Boston
59
Providence
2
Indianapolis
Boston
9
Boston
182
Boston
.678
Boston
40

1878 National League

Team Standings

Boston Red Caps 41 19 .683 0
Cincinnati Reds 37 23 .617 4
Providence Grays 33 27 .550 8
Chicago White Stockings 30 30 .500 11
Indianapolis Browns 24 36 .400 17
Milwaukee Grays 15 45 .250 26

1878 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Chicago
88
Chicago
.290
Providence
107
Chicago
677
Providence
8
Chicago
.316
Chicago
371
Chicago
.350
Providence
30

1878 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Cincinnati
61
Chicago
Cincinnati
1.84
Fewest Hits Allowed
Cincinnati
546
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Cincinnati
2
Fewest Walks Allowed
Chicago
35
Indianapolis
1
Boston
9
Cincinnati
220
Seasonal Events: All-Star Game | World Series
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Retirements | Rookies List
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baseball almanac fast facts

On May 8, 1878, Paul Hines of Providence caught a line drive hit by Jack Burdock of Boston. With runners on second and third he sprinted forward and tagged third base, which was clear of baserunners. To make sure he got the out, he threw the ball to Charlie Sweasy at second base. The play was recorded, unrecorded, and still debated as the first ever unassisted triple play .

One day later on May 9, 1878, Sam Weaver of the Milwaukee Grays threw a no-hit game according to one scorer. The scorer from the Indianapolis Blues awarded a hit to John Clapp and a debate began which laster nearly half a century.

On July 15, 1878, 18-year old John Ward made his Major League debut for Providence. He lost 13-to-9, but continued to pitch every inning of every game for the rest of the 1878 season.

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