Year In Review : 1879 National League

O

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.

I n 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.

"Second base is the prettiest position to play of the entire infield." - John Ward
1879 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Boston

29

Batting Average

Chicago

.317

Doubles

Cleveland

31

Hits

Providence

146

Home Runs

Boston

9

On Base Percentage

Providence

.371

RBI

Boston

62

Boston

Runs

Boston

85

Slugging Average

Boston

.521

Total Bases

Providence

197

Triples

Cincinnati

14

1879 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Cincinnati

75

ERA

Boston

1.96

Games

Cincinnati

76

Saves

Providence

2

Shutouts

Boston

11

Strikeouts

Providence

239

Winning Percentage

Providence

.712

Wins

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

Base on Balls

Providence

91

Batting Average

Providence

.296

Doubles

Chicago

167

Hits

Providence

1,003

Home Runs

Boston

20

On Base Percentage

Providence

.314

Runs

Providence

612

Slugging Average

Providence

.381

Triples

Providence

55

1879 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Chicago

82

ERA

Providence

2.18

Fewest Hits Allowed

Buffalo

698

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Buffalo

3

Fewest Walks Allowed

Boston

46

Saves

Providence

2

Shutouts

Boston

13

Strikeouts

Providence

329



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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