American Association (19th Century)
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American Association 19th Century
American Association (19th century)
Sport Baseball
Founded 1882
Ceased 1891
No. of teams 25 (total)
12 (at peak)
Country United States
Last
champion(s)
Boston Reds (1)
Most titles St. Louis Browns (4)

The American Association (AA) was a professional baseball major league that existed for 10 seasons from 1882 to 1891. During that time, it challenged the National League (NL) for dominance of professional baseball. Together with the NL, the AA participated in an early version of the World Series seven times. At the end of its run, several franchises of the AA joined the NL.

During its existence, the AA was often simply referred to as "the Association" in the media, in contrast to the NL which was called "the League."

History

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. In contrast to the NL, the AA offered cheaper ticket prices, Sunday games and alcoholic beverages to its patrons.[1]:p.55 As such, the American Association was the world's first professional sports league designed to out-compete another by better accommodating blue-collar tendencies and attitudes toward spectator sport.[]

On November 8, 1881, at the Gibson House in Cincinnati, it was decided that individual teams in the league-to-be would operate their own affairs and set their own admission prices,[2] under an agreement called the "guarantee system". The NL at that time prohibited the sale of alcohol on its grounds, while 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 owners, and which did not seem to bother the fans of the Association's clubs.

Beginning in 1884 and continuing through 1890, the champion of the AA met the champion of the NL in an early version of the World Series. These early Series were less organized than the modern version, with as few as three games played and as many as fifteen, and the contests of 1885 and 1890 ending in disputed ties. The NL won four of these Series, while the AA won only one, 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. Some owners of AA teams also owned a NL team.[1]:p.58 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 rare historical oddity, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (now the Los Angeles Dodgers) won the league's championship and represented the AA in the 1889 World's Series, switched to the NL during the off-season, and then repeated the same feat.

No player who spent the majority of his career in the AA is in the baseball Hall of Fame. The living legacy of the old Association is the group of teams that came over to the National League to stay. The Pirates moved to the NL after the 1886 season, the Bridegrooms/Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds after the 1889 season, and the Browns/Cardinals after the American Association folded following the 1891 season. Following the reorganization and contraction of the NL from 12 teams down to 8 in 1900, half of the eight surviving teams were former members of the AA. Several of the AA's home-field venues survived into the 1960s: The ballpark used by the 1891 Washington club 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 Riverfront Stadium in mid-1970.

During the AA's existence, several teams defected over to the NL, and at the AA's demise in 1891 four additional clubs joined the NL. Three former AA clubs, the Cincinnati Reds (defected to the NL in 1889), the Los Angeles Dodgers (defected in 1890) and the St. Louis Cardinals (joined the NL after the AA demise in 1891), have posted more than 10,000 lifetime major league victories.[3]

Pennant winners of the AA

American Association franchises

Franchise Franchise name with all recorded nicknames
Years Years that the franchise were active in the AA
Home-field The home-field ballpark(s) in which the franchise played
Titles How many league titles the franchise won in the AA
+ Franchise later joined the National League
§ Franchise transferred in from the Players' League
Franchise Years Home-field Titles Notes Ref
Baltimore Orioles+ 1882-1891 Newington Park/Oriole Park I, II, III 0 [4][5][6][7]
Cincinnati Red Stockings+ 1882-1889 Bank Street Grounds/League Park I 1 This franchise currently exists as the Cincinnati Reds [8][9][10]
Louisville Colonels+ 1882-1891 Eclipse Park I 1 [11][12]
Philadelphia Athletics 1882-1890 Oakdale Park/Jefferson Street Grounds 1 [13][14][15]
Pittsburgh Alleghenys/Pirates+ 1882-1886 Exposition Park I, II/Recreation Park 0 This franchise currently exists as the Pittsburgh Pirates [16][17][18]
St. Louis Brown Stockings/Browns+ 1882-1891 Sportsman's Park I 4 This franchise currently exists as the St. Louis Cardinals [19][20]
Columbus Buckeyes 1883-1884 Recreation Park I 0 [21][22]
New York Metropolitans 1883-1887 Polo Grounds I/Metropolitan Park/St. George Cricket Grounds 1 [23][24][25][26]
Brooklyn Atlantics/Grays/Bridegrooms+ 1884-1889 Washington Park/Ridgewood Park II 1 This franchise currently exists as the Los Angeles Dodgers [27][28][29]
Indianapolis Hoosiers 1884 Seventh Street Park I/Bruce Grounds 0 [30][31][32]
Richmond Virginia(n)s 1884 Allen Pasture 0 [33][34]
Toledo Blue Stockings 1884 League Park 0 [35][36]
Washington Nationals 1884 Athletic Park 0 [37][38]
Cleveland Spiders+ 1887-1889 Kennard Street Park 0 [39][40]
Kansas City Cowboys 1888-1889 Association Park/Exposition Park 0 [41][42][43]
Columbus Solons 1889-1891 Recreation Park II 0 [44][45]
Brooklyn Gladiators 1890 Ridgewood Park II/Polo Grounds III 0 [29][46][47]
Rochester Broncos/Hop Bitters 1890 Culver Field I/Polo Grounds III 0 [48][49]
Syracuse Stars 1890 Star Park II 0 [50][51]
Toledo Maumees 1890 Speranza Park 0 [52][53]
Boston Reds§ 1891 Congress Street Grounds 1 Transferred from the Players' League after 1890 season [54][55]
Cincinnati Kelly's Killers 1891 East End Park 0 Also referred to as the Reds and the Porkers [56][57]
Milwaukee Brewers 1891 Athletic Park 0 [58][59]
Philadelphia Athletics§ 1891 Forepaugh Park 0 Transferred from the Players' League after 1890 season [60][61]
Washington Senators+ 1891 Boundary Field 0 [62][63]

Timeline

  1. The 1884 Washington Statesmen were replaced during the season by the Richmond Virginians.
  2. For the 1891 season, the Philadelphia Athletics were replaced by the Philadelphia Quakers of the Player's League.
  3. The 1891 Cincinnati Kelly's Killers 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

References

General
  • Nemec, David (2004). The Beer and Whisky League : The Illustrated History of the American Association--Baseball's Renegade Major League. Guilford: The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-59228-188-5. 
  • Pietrusza, David (1991). The Formation, Sometimes Absorption and Mostly Inevitable Demise of 18 Professional Baseball Organizations, 1871 to Present. Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-89950-590-2. 
Specific
  1. ^ a b Shipley, Robert E. (Summer 1995). "Not Bad for A Beer League" (PDF). The National Pastime. Cleveland, Ohio: Society for American Baseball Research. 15. 
  2. ^ The Encyclopedia of Louisville, John E. Kleber
  3. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/
  4. ^ "Baltimore Orioles (1882-1899) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ "Newington Park in Baltimore, MD". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ "Oriole Park I in Baltimore, MD". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  7. ^ "Oriole Park II in Baltimore, MD". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ "Cincinnati Reds (1882-2008) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ "Bank Street Grounds in Cincinnati, OH". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  10. ^ "League Park I in Cincinnati, OH". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  11. ^ "Louisville Colonels (1882-1899) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  12. ^ "Eclipse Park I in Louisville, KY". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  13. ^ "Philadelphia Athletics (1882-1890) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  14. ^ "Oakdale Park in Philadelphia, PA". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  15. ^ "Jefferson Street Grounds in Philadelphia, PA". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  16. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates (1882-2008) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  17. ^ "Exposition Park I in Pittsburgh, PA". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  18. ^ "Recreation Park in Pittsburgh, PA". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  19. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals (1882-1890) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  20. ^ "Sportsman's Park I in St. Louis, MO". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  21. ^ "Columbus Buckeyes (1883-1884) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  22. ^ "Recreation Park I in Columbus, OH". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  23. ^ "New York Metropolitans (1883-1887) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  24. ^ "Polo Grounds I (Southeast Diamond) in New York, NY". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  25. ^ "Metropolitan Park in New York". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  26. ^ "St. George Cricket Grounds in St. George, NY". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  27. ^ "Los Angeles Dodgers (1882-2008) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  28. ^ "Washington Park I in Brooklyn, NY". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  29. ^ a b "Ridgewood Park II in New York, NY". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  30. ^ "Indianapolis Blues (1884) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  31. ^ "Seventh Street Park I in Indianapolis, IN". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  32. ^ "Bruce Grounds in Indianapolis, IN". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  33. ^ "Richmond Virginias (1884) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  34. ^ "Allens Pasture in Richmond, VA". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  35. ^ "Toledo Blue Stockings (1884) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  36. ^ "League Park in Toledo, OH". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  37. ^ "Washington Nationals (1884) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  38. ^ "Athletic Park in Washington, DC". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  39. ^ "Cleveland Spiders (1887-1899) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  40. ^ "League Park II in Cleveland, OH". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  41. ^ "Kansas City Cowboys (1888-1899) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  42. ^ "Association Park in Kansas City, MO". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  43. ^ "Exposition Park in Kansas City, MO". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  44. ^ "Columbus Solons (1889-1891) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  45. ^ "Recreation Park II in Columbus, OH". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  46. ^ "Brooklyn Gladiators (1890) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  47. ^ "Polo Grounds III in New York". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  48. ^ "Rochester Hop Bitters (1890) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  49. ^ "Culver Field I in Rochester, NY". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  50. ^ "Syracuse Stars (1890) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  51. ^ "Star Park II in Syracuse, NY". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  52. ^ "Toledo Maumees (1890) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  53. ^ "Speranza Park in Toledo, OH". Retrosheet, Inc. 
  54. ^ "Boston Reds (1890-1891) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  55. ^ "Congress Street Grounds in Boston, MA". Retrosheet, Inc. 
  56. ^ "Cincinnati Kelly's Killers (1891) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  57. ^ "East End Park in Cincinnati, OH". Retrosheet, Inc. 
  58. ^ "Milwaukee Brewers (1891) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  59. ^ "Athletic Park in Milwaukee, WI". Retrosheet, Inc. 
  60. ^ "Philadelphia Athletics (1890-1891) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  61. ^ "Forepaugh Park in Philadelphia, PA". Retrosheet, Inc. 
  62. ^ "Milwaukee Brewers (1891) franchise index". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved . 
  63. ^ "Boundary Field in Washington, DC". Retrosheet, Inc. 

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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