YEAR IN REVIEW : 1888 National League

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

"His (Jake Beckley) batting skill earned him the sobriquet of "Old Eagle Eye" as he hit .300 or better 13 times." - National Baseball Hall of Fame

1888 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

New York
73
Chicago
.344
Detroit
33
Chicago
Chicago
182
Chicago
16
Chicago
.400
Chicago
84
Detroit
118
Chicago
.515
Chicago
283
Boston
18

1888 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Pittsburgh
54
New York
1.74
Pittsburgh
55
Philadelphia
2
New York
8
Philadelphia
New York
335
New York
.745
New York
35

1888 National League

Team Standings

New York Giants 84 47 .641 0
Chicago White Stockings 77 58 .570 9
Philadelphia Philllies 69 61 .531 14½
Boston Beaneaters 70 64 .522 15½
Detroit Wolverines 68 63 .519 16
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 66 68 .493 19½
Indianapolis Hoosiers 50 85 .370 36
Washington Senators 48 86 .358 37½

1888 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Detroit
307
Detroit
.263
Indianapolis
180
Detroit
1,275
Chicago
77
Detroit
.313
Chicago
734
Chicago
.383
Chicago
95

1888 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Pittsburgh
135
New York
1.96
Fewest Hits Allowed
New York
907
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Pittsburgh
23
Fewest Walks Allowed
Detroit
183
Philadelphia
3
New York
20
New York
726
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baseball almanac fast facts

On May 22, 1888, future hall of famer Ed Delahanty made his Major League debut and was held hitless and had two errors. Less than one month later, on June 20, future hall of famer Jake Beckley made his Major League debut and had a double, a triple and a stolen base.

Did you know that on May 25, 1888, Boston defeated Philadelphia 4-1 at the first game ever played at the South End Grounds?

On August 22, and September 6, 1888, Indianapolis attempted to play games at night for the first time ever. Neither game was considered successful and the concept was scrapped.

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