YEAR IN REVIEW : 1884 American Association

Off the field...

Amusement Park promoter La Marcus Thompson built America's first modern roller coaster at Coney Island; Brooklyn, New York called "The Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway". The groundbreaking ride incorporated a flat steel track nailed onto several layers of wooden planks. Two forty-five foot towers were then connected with ramp that allowed the ride to reach a top speed of six miles per hour. The train cars had to be manually towed to the top of the hills at the beginning of both tracks and the patrons were required to get out at the end of the first track and climb stairs to the second hill to board the train again for a return trip. Despite the inconveniences, at only five cents per ride, the ticket profits repaid Thompson's original investment in less than three weeks.

In the National League...

The National League expanded its schedule to one-hundred twelve games.

A rivalry was born in the "Big Apple" as the New York Giants and Brooklyn Trolley-Dodgers met for the first time in an exhibition game on April 18 th .

On June 27 th , Larry Corcoran of the Chicago White Stockings became the first pitcher in Major League history with three career no-hitters after blanking the Providence Grays 6-0.

In the American Association...

Decades before Jackie Robinson "officially" broke baseball's color barrier, Moses Fleetwood Walker played forty-six Major League games for the American Association's Toledo Blue Stockings.

Despite hitting .263, Walker tallied thirty-seven errors, which led to his early release.

Thirty-one year-old rookie Sam Kimber (Brooklyn Trolley-Dodgers) tossed an eleven-inning, no-hitter against the Toledo Blue Stockings on October 4 th . Unfortunately, darkness came before someone could score and the game was called at a 0-0 tie.

In the Union Association...

Outfielder Harry Wheeler became the only player ever to appear with five separate teams during the same season. Wheelers 1884 resume included five games with the St. Louis Browns (in the American Association) then on to the Union Association's Kansas City Unions (twenty games), Chicago Browns (seventeen games), Pittsburgh Stoogies (seventeen games) and Baltimore Monumentals (seventeen games).

Philadelphia Keystones catcher Jack Clements became the first player ever to wear a chest protector in a Major League game. Roger Bresnahan would later popularize the device.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"David Orr, the old-time baseball player who covered first base for the Columbus American Association team in 1880, and later for the Brooklyn Nationals, died suddenly of heart disease Wednesday night at the home of his neice, Mrs. Harry Britton, in Richmond Hill." - New York Times Obituary (June 4, 1919)

1884 American Association Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

New York
74
New York
.354
Toledo
39
New York
162
Cincinnati
11
Cincinnati
.376
Data Not Kept
n/a
n/a
n/a
Philadelphia
124
Cincinnati
.551
Total Bases
New York
247
Cincinnati
Philadelphia
23

1884 American Association Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Louisville
72
Louisville
1.80
Louisville
75
Baltimore
1
n/a
Columbus
Toledo
Toledo
7
Cincinnati
Louisville
385
Columbus
.723
Louisville
52

1884 American Association

Team Standings

New York Metropolitans 75 32 .701 0
Columbus Colts 69 39 .639
Louisville Colonels 68 40 .630
St. Louis Browns 67 40 .626 8
Cincinnati Red Stockings 68 41 .624 8
Baltimore Orioles 63 43 .594 11½
Philadelphia Athletics 61 46 .570 14
Toledo Blue Stockings 46 58 .442 27½
Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers 40 64 .385 33½
Richmond Virginias 12 30 .286 30½
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 30 78 .278 45½
Indianapolis Blues 29 78 .271 46
Washington Nationals 12 51 .190 41

1884 American Association Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Baltimore
211
Philadelphia
.267
Philadelphia
167
Philadelphia
1,057
Columbus
40
New York
.304
Cincinnati
754
Philadelphia
.379
Philadelphia
100

1884 American Association Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Cincinnati
111
Louisville
2.17
Fewest Hits Allowed
New York
802
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Louisville
9
Fewest Walks Allowed
Louisville
97
Baltimore
1
Columbus
Toledo
Cincinnati
11
Baltimore
635
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baseball almanac fast facts

On May 1, 1884, Fleet Walker of the 1884 Toledo Blue Stockings stepped on the field and became the first black Major League baseball player. He had a tough day going 0-for-3 at the plate and committing four errors in the field, but improved during his next forty-one games until injuries sidelined him in September.

Did you know that the most passed balls by a catcher during an American Association game is six? That infamous record belongs to Alex Gardner of the 1884 Washington Nationals who was behind the plate on May 10, 1884, playing in his first (and only) Major League game.

The Columbus Colts were the first American Association team to fold, despite finishing second in 1884 and sixth in 1883. Their entire roster was sold to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys franchise for the total price of $6,000 on October 30, 1884.

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