New York Mutuals

First Game Played May 18, 1871 Last Game Played October 17, 1876

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1857-1870: The roots of the New York Mutuals go back to the earliest days of the game in 1857, as they were one of several amateur teams that played against the New York Knickerbocker club at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, where baseball was truly invented om June 19, 1846. Several of the original players on the New York Mutuals were employees of a Manhattan based insurance company and the fire company they owned, with a connection to the infamous Boss Tweed. Eventually the New York Mutuals became a part of the National Association of Base Ball Players as the sport began to grow. When the NABBP began to allow professionalism, the Mutuals began to openly pay their players.

1871: The first fully professional league in baseball was the National Association, which the New York Mutuals by now playing at the Union Grounds, were one of nine charter franchises. It was an up and down season for the Mutuals in the first season in the NA, as they finished in fifth place with a record of 16-17. Rynie Wolters, the team’s pitcher would lead the league in RBI with 44, as Dick Higham led the team in hitting with a .362 average, followed closely by Joe Start, who hit .360 and hit the team’s only home run.

1872: Candy Cummings, the pitcher credited with inventing the curve ball while playing in Brooklyn, turned professional and joins the New York Mutuals. Cummings who was a slight man at 5’9″. weighing just 120 pounds, had a terrific season with the Mutuals with a 33-20 record and a 3.01 ERA. Helping New York climb up to third place with a record of 34-20.

1873: The New York Mutuals were unable to retain Candy Cummings for a second season, as they hovered near .500 all season, with a Bobby Mathews getting the ball on the mound. Matthews was solid, but the Mutuals could only manage to finish in fourth place, with a record of 29-24. The Mutuals top hitter was Dave Eggler, who hit .338 and had just two strikeouts in 266 at bats.

1874: Bobby Mathews continued to develop into one of baseball’s premiere pitchers, posting an ERA of 1.90 as the New York Mutuals had their finest season since turning professional. The Mutuals would finish second in the National Association, posting a record of 42-23. Joe Start, was the Mutuals top hitter, with a .314 average, two home runs and 46 RBI.

1875: The New York Mutuals would take a big step backwards in the final year of the National Association, slipping to seventh place, with a 30-38 record that was the worst among teams that played a complete full season. Joe Start, had a strong season with four home runs with a .287 average. Following the season, the owners of the Chicago White Stockings would stage a coup, and left the NA to create a new league with more structure, most National Association members would follow as the National League was born.

1876: Like they were five years earlier, in the National Association, the New York Mutuals were a charter franchise in the National League. Life in the new league was a struggle for the Mutuals as they finished sixth among the eight teams in the new league as they ranked at or near the bottom in all offense categories, posting a record of 21-35. As the season came to an end, the Mutuals ran afoul with the league by not participating in a Western road trip at the end of the season. The Mutuals would be expelled from the National League as punishment and folded a short time later.

©MMVI Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, statistics, logos, and team names are property of Major League Baseball. This site is not affiliated with the New York Mutuals or Major League Baseball. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on July 17, 2016. Last updated on July 17, 2016 at 1:05 am ET.