New York Metropolitans
1880-1882: The Metropolitan Club of New York, began as an independent team in 1880. The team was founded by entrepreneur John B. Day and baseball manager Jim Mutrie. After the initially playing games in Brooklyn and Hoboken, New Jersey the Metropolitans were given permission to use a polo field north of Central Park. The National League was looking for a replacement for the New York Mutals who were expelled in 1876. The Metropolitans chose to remain independent due to being able to make more money of exhibition games.
1883: John B. Day and Jim Mutrie finally decided to accept an invitation to join both the National League and American Associations in 1883. The Metropolitans would play in the AA, while Day and Mutrie owned a spate team in the National League named the New York Gothams. Both teams would share the Polo Grounds as their home. To help differentiate the teams, the AA club was referred to as the Metropolitans or Mets for short. The Metropolitans has a solid first season in the American Association, posting a record of 54-42, good enough for fourth place. Candy Nelson, was the Mets leading hitter with a .305 average, while Jim Mutrie led the team on the mound, posting a record of 41-27, with an ERA of 2.42.
1884: Looking to make more money, the New York Metropolitans attempt to play in their own stadium on the East Side, but attendance suffered and the Mets returned to the Polo Grounds by the middle of the season. On the field, the Metropolitans would be much more successful, winning the American Association Pennant with a record of 75-32. Dave Orr was the team’s leading hitter with a .354 average, nine home runs and 112 RBI. The Mets also got big seasons from Dude Easterbrook who hit .314 and Chief Roseman who hit .298. On the mound, the Metropolitans got big seasons from Tim Keefe and Jim Lynch who each won 37 games. The Mets would go on to play the National League Champion Providence Grays in a challenge series, losing all three games. It was the first time that a postseason series was held between the champions of the two leagues. The 19th Century version of the World Series, though were though not considered an official championship series as it was regarded mostly as an exhibition.
1885: After the New York Mets won the American Association, Ownership seeing that the National League was the superior league began focusing more of their effort to the New York Gothams. Manager Jim Mutrie, Dude Easterbook and Tim Keefe would all join John B. Day’s National League Club, which Mutrie in a moment of exuberance would rename the New York Giants. The Mets would struggle under new Manager Jim Gifford, finishing in seventh place with a record of 44-64. Dave Orr had another strong season for New York, batting .342, with six home runs and 77 RBI. On the mound Jack Lynch, led the way posting a record of 23-21. After the season Day would sell the Metropolitans to focus his attention to the New York Giants.
1886: The new owner of the New York Metropolitans was Erastus Wiman who was seeking to build business on Staten Island. Hoping to promote ferry trade across New York harbor, Wilman moved the team to a Cricket Grounds that overlooked the harbor. Fans attending games at the St. George Cricket Grounds got a good view as the finishing touches were placed on the Statue of Liberty. Manager Jim Gifford was fired after starting the season with a record of 5-12. The Mets would not play much better under Bob Ferguson as they finished in seventh place with a record of 53-82. Dave Orr again was the team’s top hitter, batting .338 with seven home runs and 91 RBI. On the mound, Jack Lynch was the Mets top pitcher with a record of 20-30 with an ERA of 3.95.
1887: The idea of putting a team on Staten Island failed to gain traction as the New York Metropolitans continued to struggle and lose money. In what would be there final season, the Mets would post a record of 44-89, finishing in seventh place for the third straight season. Dave Orr who severed as one of the Mets three managers again was the club’s top hitter with an average of .368. Al Mays led the team on the mound, posting a record of 17-34. The Brooklyn Grays who were interested in several of the Mets top players would by the interests of the New York Metropolitans taking the players to Brooklyn as the Mets folded. The name though would be revived 75 years later, when the National League looking to replace the departed Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants awarded an expansion team to New York, that would take the name New York Mets.
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Page created on July 21, 2017. Last updated on July 21, 2017 at 11:45 pm ET.