1884: Brooklyn played a big role in the early days of baseball. The Brooklyn Atlantics were one of the top teams during the amateur era. Among the stars were Candy Cummings who invented the curve ball, while Harry Chadwick covering the game for invented the box score. After a playing as a minor league team in 1883, the Brooklyn Grays owned by Charles Byrne to enter the American Association. Byrne’s team had one of the best ballparks in baseball named Washington Park in honor of George Washington. As they became a Major League team, Byrne renamed his team the Brooklyn Atlantics in honor of the great amateur team from the early days of baseball. The Atlantics managed by George Taylor struggled in their first season in the AA, posting a record of 40-64 as they finished in ninth place. Brooklyn’s top hitter was Oscar Walker who batted .270 with eight home runs, while Adonis Terry led the way on the mound with 19 wins. Late in the season Sam Kimber made history, throwing a ten inning No Hitter against the Toledo Blue Stockings, in a game that ended tied 0-0 due to darkness.
1885: In their second season, the team now called the Brooklyn Grays, showed significant improvement as they added several players from the Cleveland Blues, after the team folded following the 1884 season after Owner Charlie Byrne purchased the team’s assets for $10,000. The Grays would show signs of improvement as they finished in fifth place with a record of 53-59. Bill Philips was the leading hitter with a .302 average, while Henry Porter won 33 games on the mound, posting a solid 2.78 ERA.
1886: With Owner Charlie Byrne now managing, the Brooklyn Grays continued to show signs of improvement, rising to third place, as they posted their first winning season at 76-61. Ed Smartwood, led Brooklyn in hitting with a .280 average. Henry Porter again led the team in wins, with 27. Among the highlights, Adonis Terry tossed a no hitter against the St. Louis Brown Stockings on July 24th, winning 1-0.
1887: The Brooklyn Grays would take a step backwards, dropping to sixth place as they posted a record of 60-74. The Grays pitching staff struggled through as ace Henry Porter posted a record of 15-24. The Grays top hitter was Germany Smith, who had a .294 average, while Bill Phillips had a solid year with a 101 RBI.
1888: Change was in the air in Brooklyn, as Charles Byrne turned over the managerial reigns to Bill McGunnigle. The team got some added talent, as they picked up several players from the New York Metropolitans who folded following the 1887 season. The team also got a new name, as several players were getting married leading to the team being renamed the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. The Bridegrooms battled all season for the American Association Pennant, posting a record of 88-52 as they finished in second place, just six and half games behind the St. Louis Brown Stockings. Dave Orr was the Bridegrooms leading hitter with a .305 average, while Dave Foulz had 99 RBI. On the mound Bob Caruthers posted a record of 29-15, with an ERA of 2.39, while Mickey Hughes went 25-13 with an ERA of 2.13. On May 27th, Adonis Terry threw his second career, no hitter blanking the Louisville Colonels 4-0.
1889: The Brooklyn Bridegrooms finally kissed the bride, as they won the American Association Pennant, posting a record of 93-44 to finish two games better than the St. Louis Brown Stockings. The Bridegrooms had a power packed lineup, with Oyster Burns leading the way with a .304 average, as he hit five home runs with 100 RBI. Darby O’Brien also hit .300 with five homers and 80 RBI. Pop Corkhill led the team with eight home runs, while Dave Foutz had a team high 113 RBI. On the mound Bob Caruthers won 40 games, while Adonis Terry won 22. After the season the AA Champion, Brooklyn Bridegrooms faced the New York Giants champions of the National League in an exhibition series. The series, which had been played following the season did not carry the weight of an official championship. The National League typically dominated the series and did so once again, as the Giants won six of the nine games.
1890: Following their pennant in 1889, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms left the American Association at the altar, as they were one of three teams along with the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Spiders to jump to the National League. The Bridegrooms would win the National League Pennant in their first season. The AA would add a new team to Brooklyn called the Brooklyn Gladiators in 1890. The franchise would disassociate itself from the American Association as the league folded following the 1891 season. The Bridegrooms would later become the Brooklyn Dodgers and became one of the cornerstone franchises for the National League in the 20th Century, though their AA years have been lost to history.
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Page created on June 11, 2017. Last updated on June 11, 2017 at 11:45 pm ET.