St. Louis Browns
1882: After the original St. Louis Brown Stockings which played in the National League went bankrupt in 1877, a team using the name would participate in barnstorming baseball tours. In 1882, the team was purchased by Chris von der Ahe, who made it a founding member of the American Association. Playing at the Sportsmen’s Park, the Brown Stockings managed by Ned Cuthbert post a record of 37-43 to finish fifth in the six-team league. Bill Gleason 1882-1891was the Brown Stockings top hitter with a .288 average, while Oscar Walker led the team with seven home runs. On the mound Jumbo McGinnis led the way with a record of 25-18, posting an ERA of 2.60. Also on the team was Charlie Comiskey, who hit .243, while playing first base.
1883: The team shortens its name in its second season to the St. Louis Browns, and makes significant strides in the American Association under new manager Tom Sullivan. In a battle all season for the pennant, the Browns would fall one game short of finishing in first place with a record of 65-33. Sullivan would step down late in the season, allowing his protégé Charlie Comiskey to take over. Fred Lewis was the Browns top hitter with an average of .301, while Tom Mansell in limited playing time batted .402 in 112 at bats. On the mound, Tony Mullane led the way with a 35-15 record, with an ERA of 2.19, while Jumbo McGillis was solid again, with a record of 28-16.
1884: With Jimmy Williams serving most of the season as manager, the St. Louis Browns again are among the stronger teams in the American Association. However, they can only to manage a fourth place finish, posting a record of 67-40. Fred Lewis again leads the team in hitting with a .301 average. On the mound Jumbo McGillis leads the way, with a record of 24-16, posting an ERA of 2.84.
1885: After finishing each of the last two seasons as manager, Charlie Comiskey finally gets the job full time. The St. Louis Browns would benefit greatly from Comiskey’s leadership as they dominated the American Association, winning the pennant by 16 games, with a record of 79-33. Tip O’Neill was the team’s top hitter, with a .351 average, while Bob Caruthers led a dominant pitching staff, posting a record of 40-13 with an ERA of 2.07, while Dave Foulz went 33-14 with an ERA of 2.63. Following the season, the Browns faced the National League Champion, Chicago White Stockings in a battle of pennant winners. Game 1 would end in a draw as play was suspended due to darkness in the fifth inning, with the score tied 5-5. The next day would see the Browns forfeit after Comiskey pulled his team off the field to protest calls by Umpire Dave Sullivan. The Browns won the next two games, while Chicago won the fifth and sixth contests. After the Browns recorded a 13-4 win in Game 7, the two teams discussed playing a final game to decide the series winner, but Chicago refused and the two teams split the $1,000 prize. The bad blood created between the Chicago franchise and the St. Louis franchise would carry over years later when the Browns joined the National League. While Comiskey held resentment for the team that would later become the Cubs, as Owner of the American League’s Chicago White Sox.
1886: Once again the St. Louis Browns show they are the powerhouse of the American Association, finishing 12 games ahead of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys to win their second straight pennant with a record of 93-46. Tip O’Neill leads the team in hitting again, with a .328 average, hitting three home runs with a 107 RBI. On the mound Dave Foutz dominates, posting a record of 41-16, while record an ERA of 2.11, while Bob Caruthers goes 30-14 with a 2.32 ERA. For the second straight season, the St. Louis Browns faced the Chicago White Stockings in the 19th Century version of the World Series. After losing two of the first three games at home, the Browns won three straight games at home to win the overall series 4-2. While the true meaning of the series has often been debated, with games at neutral sites, the Browns claim themselves the World Champions of Baseball. This would mark the only time in the 19th Century version of the World Series that an American Association beat the National League pennant winner in the total series, with two others ending in a tie.
1887: On the field, the St. Louis Browns continued to dominate the American Association, winning a third straight game with a record of 95-40, as they finished 14 games better than the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Off the field, they played a significant role in drawing baseball’s color line. In September the Browns were scheduled to play an exhibition game against the Cuban Giants. The team was made up mostly of African Americans, but at the time it was easier to sell a game to white fans claiming the players were Cuban or Hispanic. A group of players ahead of the game in New York sent a letter to Owner Chris von der Ahe stating, “We, the undersigned, members of the St. Louis Baseball Club, do not agree to play against negroes to-morrow. We will cheerfully play against white people at any time, and think, by refusing to play, we are only doing what is right, taking everything into consideration and the shape the team is in at present.” It was the first time that a team refused to take on another due to their race. It was the same season that Cap Anson, the top player in the National League said he would never play any team with a black player, which led to a gentlemen’s agreement that would ban African Americans from the majors for the next 60 years. Tip O’Neill had a most spectacular season for the Browns, posting a .435 batting average, with 14 home runs and 123 RBI. On the mound, Silver King posted a record of 32-12, while Bob Caruthers went 29-9 and Dave Foutz when 25-12. Playing in the World Series again, the St. Louis Browns would ten games to five against the National League Champion Detroit Wolverines.
1888: The St. Louis Browns win the American Association pennant for a fourth straight season, posting a record of 92-43 to edge the Brooklyn Bridegrooms by six and a half games. Tip O’Neill continues to be the top hitter for St. Louis, batting .335 while hitting five home runs with 98 RBI. Charlie Comiskey, meanwhile led the team in home runs with six, driving in 83 runs, while batting .273 along the way. On the mound Silver King took the Gold Medal, posting a record of 45-20 with an ERA of 1.63. While Nat Hudson was nearly as strong with a record of 25-10 with an ERA of 2.54. Following the season, the St. Louis Browns face the National League Champion New York Giants in a ten-game series, losing six games to four.
1889: The four-year reign of the St. Louis Browns atop the American Association comes to an end, as they lose a hard-fought yearlong battle with the Brooklyn Bridegrooms by two games, as they finish the season with a record of 90-45. Tip O’Neill again sets the pace for St. Louis, batting .335 with nine home runs and 110 RBI. Charlie Duffee meanwhile hits a team best 16 home runs, while Charlie Comiskey has 102 RBI. On the mound Silver King had another strong season, posting a record of 35-16, with a 3.14 ERA, while Ice Box Chamberlain went 32-15 with a 2.97 ERA.
1890: Like most teams in the National League and the American Association, the St. Louis Browns are hurt by the formation of the Players’ League. Among the departures are the clubs, leader Charlie Comiskey who brings a number of the Browns top players including Tip O’Neill and Silver King with him on the Chicago Pirates. Despite the loss of their biggest stars, the Browns still have a solid season, finishing in third place with a record of 78-58. Tommy McCarthy was the top hitter for St. Louis, with an average of .350, while hitting six home runs with 69 RBI. Count Campau with nine home runs and 75 RBI. On the mound, Jack Stivetts led the way with 27 wins, while Toad Ramsey added 23 wins.
1891: With the collapse of the Players’ League, Charlie Comiskey and Tip O’Neill return to the St. Louis Browns. Despite the return of their top players, the Browns fall short of the pennant as they finish in second place with a record of 85-51. O’Neill would lead the team with a .323 average, hitting ten home runs with 95 RBI. Denny Lyons also had a big season with a .315 average, with 11 home runs and 84 RBI. On the mound Jack Stivetts led the way, posting a record of 33-22 with a 2.86 ERA. It would be the final season of the American Association as the league disbanded following the season. In the Browns final AA game on October 4th, Ted Breitenstein threw the first No Hitter in franchise history. However, the St. Louis Browns would be one of four teams invited to join the National League. The Browns would struggle in their first few seasons in the NL. However, as the 20th Century approached the Browns who first were called the Perfectos, before becoming the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite their successful roots in the American Association, the Cardinals franchise lists 1892 as their first season. The Browns name would live on with a team in the American League that struggled for a half century in the shadow of the Cardinals before flying off to become the Baltimore Orioles.
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Page created on August 11, 2017. Last updated on August 11, 2017 at 11:45 pm ET.