American Association (19th century)


American Association (19th century)

"This article refers to the former Baseball major league that existed from 1882 to 1891. For the minor league, which existed from 1902 to 1962 and 1969 to 1997, see American Association (20th century). For the independent league, which started play in 2006, see American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.

Infobox sports league
sport=Baseball
founded=1882
folded=1891
teams=25 (total)
12 (at peak)
country=USA
champion= Boston Reds
* 1882 Cincinnati Red Stockings
*1883 Philadelphia Athletics
*1884 New York Metropolitans
*1885-1888 St. Louis Browns
*1889 Brooklyn Bridegrooms
*1890 Louisville Colonels
*1891 Boston Reds
The American Association (AA) was a baseball major league from 1882 to 1891. During that time, it challenged the National League for dominance of professional baseball. Together with the National League, the American Association participated in an early version of the World Series seven times during their ten-year coexistence. The National League won most of those encounters, while some ended in ties due to disputes or other issues. The only victory for the American Association came in 1886 when the St. Louis Browns (now Cardinals) defeated the Chicago White Stockings (now Cubs).

Over its lifetime, the AA was weakened by several factors. One was the tendency of some of its teams to jump to the NL. The consistently stronger NL was in better position to survive adverse conditions. The most significant blow to the AA was dealt by the Players' League, a third major league formed in 1890, which siphoned off talent and gate receipts.

In a unique historical oddity, Brooklyn represented the AA in the 1889 World's Series, switched leagues in the off-season, and represented the NL in 1890. Brooklyn lost the 1889 Series, and the 1890 Series ended in a 3-3-1 draw, left unresolved due to growing animosity between the leagues.

The living legacy of the old Association is the group of teams that came over to the National League to stay, the teams now known as the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals.

Several of the AA's home field venues survived into the 1960s: The ballpark used by the 1891 Washington club, which evolved into Griffith Stadium; the home of the St. Louis Browns, Sportsman's Park; and the city block occupied by the Reds, which evolved into Crosley Field. Crosley was the last physical remnant of the AA to go, other than the clubs themselves, when it was replaced by a new stadium in mid-1970.

"Beer and Whiskey League"

The American Association distinguished itself in several ways from what it considered to be the puritanical National League.

The new league established teams in what the NL leaders pejoratively called "river cities", including Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville and St. Louis, with the inherent implication of lower morality or social standards in those cities.

Living "down" to those expectations, the AA offered cheaper ticket prices and more liberal libations to its patrons. On November 8, 1881, at the Gibson House in Cincinnati, it was decided that individual teams in the newly formed league would operate its own affairs and setting its own admission prices [The Encyclopedia of Louisville, John E. Kleber] , under an agreement call the "guarantee system". The NL at that time prohibited the sale of alcohol on its grounds. The AA had no such restrictions, especially as several of its teams were backed by breweries and distilleries.

The AA became known as "The Beer and Whiskey League", another pejorative term applied by NL supporters, and which did not seem to bother the fans of the Association's clubs.

Revival effort

During the offseason of 1900, there was an effort to revive the American Association after three of the four AA teams that had been taken in by the National League in 1892 (Baltimore, Washington, and Louisville), as well as the NL's Cleveland club, were dropped by the National League. That effort was ended with the emergence of the American League.

Pennant winners of the AA

*1882 Cincinnati Red Stockings
*1883 Philadelphia Athletics
*1884 New York Metropolitans (lost World Series, 3-0 to Providence NL)
*1885 St. Louis Browns (tied World Series, 3-3-1 with Chicago NL)
*1886 St. Louis Browns (won World Series 4-2 over Chicago NL)
*1887 St. Louis Browns (lost World Series 10-5 to Detroit NL)
*1888 St. Louis Browns (lost World Series 6-2 to New York NL)
*1889 Brooklyn Bridegrooms (lost World Series 6-3 to New York NL)
*1890 Louisville Colonels (tied World Series 3-3-1 with Brooklyn NL)
*1891 Boston Reds

American Association franchises

* Baltimore Orioles (1882-1891)
* Cincinnati Red Stockings (1882-1889) (Now the Cincinnati Reds of the National League)
* Eclipse of Louisville (1882-1884)
** Louisville Colonels (1885-1891)
* Philadelphia Athletics (1882-1891)
* Pittsburgh Alleghenys (1882-1886) (Now the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League)
* St. Louis Brown Stockings (Browns) (1882-1891) (Now the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League)
* Columbus Buckeyes (1883-1884)
* New York Metropolitans (1883-1887)
* Brooklyn Atlantics/Grays/Bridegrooms (1884-1889) (Now the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League)
* Indianapolis Hoosiers (1884) (played at Seventh Street Park and Bruce Grounds)
* Richmond Virginians (1884) (played at Allen Pasture)
* Toledo Blue Stockings (1884)
* Washington Statesmen (1884) (played at Athletic Park)
* Cleveland Spiders (1887-1888)
* Kansas City Cowboys (1888-1889)
* Columbus Solons (1889-1891) (played at Recreation Park)
* Brooklyn Gladiators (1890)
* Rochester Broncos (1890)
* Syracuse Stars (1890) (games played at Star Park)
* Toledo Maumees (1890)
* Boston Reds (1891)
* Cincinnati Porkers (1891)
* Milwaukee Brewers (1891) (played at Borchert Field)
* Washington Statesmen (1891) (played at Boundary Field)

Timeline

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#---1884 bar:BRK from:1884 till:1885 color:blue text:"Brooklyn~Atlantics" $Up bar:BRK from:1885 till:1888 color:gray text:"Brooklyn~Grays" $Up bar:BRK from:1888 till:1890 color:navy text:"Brooklyn~Bridegrooms" textcolor:white $Up bar:BRK from:1890 till:end color:nl1 text:"(NL)"

bar:IND from:1884 till:1885 color:sand text:"Indianapolis~Hoosiers" $Up bar:TLB from:1884 till:1885 color:skyblue text:"Toledo Blue~Stockings" $Up bar:WAS from:1884 till:1885 color:blue text:"Washington~Statesmen (1)" textcolor:white $Up bar:RCHM from:1884 till:1885 color:gold text:"Richmond~Virginians (1)" $Up

#---1887 bar:CLE from:1887 till:1889 color:black text:"Cleveland~Spiders" textcolor:white $Up bar:CLE from:1889 till:end color:nl1 text:"(NL)"

#---1888 bar:KCC from:1888 till:1890 color:iceblue text:"Kansas City~Cowboys" $Up

#---1889 bar:CLB from:1889 till:1892 color:red text:"Columbus~Solons" $Up

#---1890 bar:BKN from:1890 till:1891 color:purple text:"Brooklyn~Gladiators" $Up bar:RCHT from:1890 till:1891 color:darkred text:"Rochester~Broncos" textcolor:white $Up bar:SYR from:1890 till:1891 color:yellow text:"Syracuse~Stars" $Up bar:TLM from:1890 till:1891 color:kelleygreen text:"Toledo~Maumees" $Up

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#The 1884 Washington Statesmen were replaced during the season by the Richmond Virginians.
#For the 1891 season, the Philadelphia Athletics were replaced by the Philadelphia Quakers of the Player's League.
#The 1891 Cincinnati Porkers folded during the season and were replaced by the Milwaukee Brewers.

*1882-AA forms with six teams
*1883-AA expands to eight teams
*1884-AA expands to twelve teams in response to Union Association threat
*1885-AA returns to eight teams
*1887-Allegheny ("Pittsburgh Alleghenys") leave AA to join NL
*1889-Cleveland Spiders leave AA to join NL
*1890-Cincinnati Red Stockings and Brooklyn Bridegrooms leave AA to join NL
*1892-Baltimore Orioles, Louisville Colonels, St.Louis Browns, and Washington Senators join National League after the folding of the AA

AA presidents

*H.D. McKnight 1882-1885
*Wheeler C. Wyckoff 1886-1889
*Zach Phelps 1890
*Allan W. Thurman 1890-1891
*Louis Kramer 1891
*Ed Renau 1891
*Zach Phelps 1891

References

*cite book | author=Nemec, David | title=The Beer and Whisky League : The Illustrated History of the American Association—Baseball's Renegade Major League | location=Guilford | publisher=The Lyons Press | year=2004 | id=ISBN 1-59228-188-5
*cite book | author=Pietrusza, David | title=The Formation, Sometimes Absorption and Mostly Inevitable Demise of 18 Professional Baseball Organizations, 1871 to Present | publisher= Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Company | year=1991 | id=ISBN 0-89950-590-2

External links

* [http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070501&content_id=1940267&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin "American Association Remembered"] , MLB.com


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