YEAR IN REVIEW : 1888 American Association

Off the field...

Serial killer "Jack the Ripper" mutilated a number of prostitutes in the East End of London in 1888, setting off a mass hysteria throughout the city. The name "Jack the Ripper" originated from a letter apparently written by someone claiming to be the killer at the time of the murders. All five women were brutally slain within a one-mile area radius of each other in the districts of Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Aldgate, and the City of London proper. Despite one of the most intensive manhunts ever conducted by Scotland Yard detectives, "The Ripper" was never actually caught, although there were several suspects.

In the National League...

Charles Ferguson, a standout pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies died on April 29 th twelve days after his twenty-fifth birthday. Ferguson had been a thirty-game winner in 1886 and a twenty-game winner in each of his three other Major League seasons.

On July 13 th , Harry Staley and Pud Galvin of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys became the first pitchers ever to combine for a double-header shutout after blanking Boston 4-0 and 6-0.

The National League champion New York Giants defeated the American Association's St. Louis Browns (four-time pennant winners) in an eight-game Championship series. Each player earned a $200 bonus plus an additional $128 from to following benefit games. St. Louis owner Chris Von Der Ahe kept the Browns $1,200 pennant purse while referring to his players as "chumps" in the papers. As a result, the team had now played in twenty-seven post-season games (over two seasons) without ever receiving a dime.

In the American Association...

American Association umpire John Gaffney changed the system for game calling after moving out from behind the plate — to behind the pitcher when a runner was on base.

Cincinnati Red Stocking fans were able to follow the game using the first ever baseball scorecard.

Perhaps the most famous baseball poem ever written "Casey at the Bat" was published in the San Francisco Examiner. Twenty-five year-old author Ernest L. Thayer was paid $5 for his efforts and was simply credited as "Phin".

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"Paul Revere Radford, one of baseball's oldtime great batters, died last night. He played with clubs in the old American Association and National League including Boston, New York, Cleveland, Washington, Providence and Buffalo." - New York Times Obituary (February 24, 1944)

1888 American Association Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

St. Louis
116
St. Louis
.335
Louisville
31
Brooklyn
St. Louis
177
Cincinnati
13
St. Louis
.400
Cincinnati
103
Brooklyn
134
Cincinnati
.501
Cincinnati
264
Philadelphia
20

1888 American Association Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

St. Louis
64
St. Louis
1.64
St. Louis
66
Cleveland
1
n/a
Cincinnati
St. Louis
6
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
272
St. Louis
.714
St. Louis
45

1888 American Association

Team Standings

St. Louis Browns 92 43 2 .681 0
Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers 88 52 3 .629
Philadelphia Athletics 81 52 3 .609 10
Cincinnati Red Stockings 80 54 3 .597 11½
Baltimore Orioles 57 80 0 .416 36
Cleveland Blues 50 82 3 .379 40½
Louisville Colonels 48 87 4 .356 44
Kansas City Blues 43 89 0 .326 47½

1888 American Association Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

St. Louis
410
St. Louis
.250
Philadelphia
183
Philadelphia
1,209
St. Louis
36
St. Louis
.316
Philadelphia
827
Philadelphia
.344
Philadelphia
89

1888 American Association Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Brooklyn
138
St. Louis
2.09
Fewest Hits Allowed
St. Louis
939
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Philadelphia
14
Fewest Walks Allowed
St. Louis
225
Cincinnati
3
Philadelphia
13
Louisville
599
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baseball almanac fast facts

The American Association might have been on the verge of failing, but they were still willing to pioneer new concepts in an effort to make the game better. One of those was a dual umpire system (first used in postseason play in 1887) that began appearing in regular season games during the 1888 season.

Did you know that during the 1888 season, the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers were often referred to in the media as the Brooklyn Bridegrooms - a nickname given them due to the large number of players who married during the offseason?

On August 3, 1888, Sliding Billy Hamilton steals his first Major League base and continues swiping until he reaches the "impossible to break" record of nine-hundred twelve. The record is "in the books" until Lou Brock surpasses it in 1979.

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