St. Louis Brown Stockings
1875: The St. Louis Brown Stockings were one of two teams that began play in the National Association for its fifth and final season. The Brown Stockings would defeat the rival St. Louis Red Stockings 15-9 in their first game on May 4th. It would be the only meeting of the two teams, as the Red Stockings folded after posting a record of 4-15 in 19 games. The Brown Stockings meanwhile gave a good accounting for themselves, placing fourth with a record of 39-29. Lip Pike was the Brown Stockings top hitter, batting .346 with 44 RBI, while on the mound 18-year-old Pud Galvin is credited with the lowest ERA in the NA, despite pitching just 62 innings, and posting a record of 4-2. George Bradley saw a bulk of the action on the mound, posting a record of 33-26 with an ERA of 2.13.
1876: Following their lone season in the National Association the St. Louis Brown Stockings would be one of the eight charter franchises in the newly formed National League. The Brown Stockings were of the new league’s stronger teams, finishing in second place with a record of 45-19. Lip Pike was the top hitter for St. Louis, with a .323 average, one home run and 50 RBI. On the mound George Bradley led the way starting every game, and posting an ERA of 1.23 that was best in the NL. On July 15th George Bradley tossed the first No Hitter in Major League history, blanking the Hartford Dark Blues 2-0. Completing 63 of 64 games, Bradley had a record 16 shutouts that has yet to be matched. After the season the Brown Stockings challenged the first place Chicago White Stockings to a five game series, winning four. The series was unofficial by St. Louis declared themselves “Champions of the West”.
1877: The St. Louis Brown Stockings took a step backward in the National League’s second season as they finished fourth among six teams with a record of 28-32 as George Bradley left to play with the Chicago White Stockings. John Clapp was the Brown Stockings leading hitter with a .318 average with 34 RBI. Without Bradley, Tricky Nichols and Joe Blong split the pitching duties with Nichols lead the way at 18-23 with an ERA of 2.60. After the season, they signed Louisville Grays stars Jim Devlin and George Hall. However, both players were involved in a gambling scandal and would be barred from baseball. Due to the scandal surrounding Deviln and Hall the Brown Stockings were forced to file for bankruptcy and withdrew from the National League. Over the next few seasons a group of former Brown Stockings would participate in barnstorming games, before a new St. Louis Brown Stockings were born in the American Association in 1882.
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Page created on July 22, 2016. Last updated on July 22, 2016 at 11:05 pm ET.