YEAR IN REVIEW : 1879 National League

Off the field...

American inventor Thomas Edison developed a high-resistance carbon-thread filament that burned steadily for more than forty hours. Although not the first incandescent electric light, it was the first practical one because it used a small current and lasted a long time without burning out. Edison soon realized that widespread use of electric light bulbs would require an efficient system of delivering electricity so he developed the basis for circuits, fuses, insulating materials, and copper-wire networks that are still used in modern electrical systems today.

In the National League...

Baseball's controversial reserve clause was introduced as National League owners debated the growing cost of players' salaries. All agreed to limit competitive pay and established fixed amounts. Under a secret agreement, five players from each team were designated as "off-limits" and not recruitable by other ballclubs.

Two standouts in the 1879 season were John O'Rourke of the Boston Red Caps who led all hitters with a .521 slugging average, sixty-two runs batted in and John Montgomery Ward who led all pitchers with forty-seven wins, two-hundred thirty-nine strikeouts, .734 winning percentage and one save.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"Second base is the prettiest position to play of the entire infield." - John Ward

1879 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Boston
29
Chicago
.317
Cleveland
31
Providence
146
Boston
9
Providence
.371
Boston
62
Boston
Boston
85
Boston
.521
Providence
197
Cincinnati
14

1879 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Cincinnati
75
Boston
1.96
Cincinnati
76
Providence
2
Boston
11
Providence
239
Providence
.712
Providence
47

1879 National League

Team Standings

Providence Grays 59 25 .702 0
Boston Red Caps 54 30 .643 5
Buffalo Bisons 46 32 .590 10
Chicago White Stockings 46 33 .582 10½
Cincinnati Reds 43 37 .538 14
Cleveland Blues 27 55 .329 31
Syracuse Stars 22 48 .314 30
Troy Trojans 19 56 .253 35½

1879 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Providence
91
Providence
.296
Chicago
167
Providence
1,003
Boston
20
Providence
.314
Providence
612
Providence
.381
Providence
55

1879 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Chicago
82
Providence
2.18
Fewest Hits Allowed
Buffalo
698
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Buffalo
3
Fewest Walks Allowed
Boston
46
Providence
2
Boston
13
Providence
329
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baseball almanac fast facts

Did you know that on March 25, 1879, the National League voted to keep the fifty cent admission (50¢) price to all baseball games?

On April 4, 1879, the Providence Grays sold fifteen cent tickets to a centerfield section called the "bull pen." Admission at that price could be purchased starting during the fifth inning and the section sold out daily.

On July 26, 1879, Harry McCormick hit a first inning home run. He then pitched a 1-0 shutout and became the first pitcher to ever win his own 1-0 game with a first inning home run.

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