1879: Set on the banks of the Hudson River, the upstate New York town of Troy was key in America’s Industrial Revolution. Iron, steel, and textiles were its primary trades as Troy’s population grew from 39,000 to 57,000. This rapid growth led the National League to invite Troy to set up a professional baseball club. Called the Trojans like the residents of Troy in Homer’s Odyssey the team would struggle badly in their first season, finishing dead last with a record of 19-56. Dan Brouthers was the Trojans top hitter, with a .279 average, while being the only player from Troy to any home runs with four. On the mound George Bradley was tagged with 40 losses, posting a record of 13-40 with an ERA.
1880: In their second season, the Troy Trojans would show significant improvement, finishing in fourth place with a record of 41-42. Helping to spur the Trojans turnaround was Rookie Pitcher Mickey Welch who posted a record of 34-30 with a 2.54 ERA. Tim Keefe also made his debut, posting a record of 6-6 with an impressive ERA of 0.86. Both hurlers would win over 300 games and make into the Hall of Fame. Another Hall of Famer was Roger Connor, who hit .332 with three home runs and 42 RBI.
1881: The Troy Trojans were unable to build off their strong second season, as finished in fifth place with a record of 39-45. Roger Connor again was Troy’s leading hitter with a .292 average, as Mickey Welch and Tim Keefe shared the pitching duties. Welch had the stronger season, posting a record of 21-18 with an ERA of 2.67, while Keefe went 18-27 with a 3.25 ERA.
1882: As the Troy Trojans entered their fourth season, financial troubles would begin to plague the team. The City of Troy had been growing, but at 57,000 the population was still dwarfed by most of the league, with the exception of the Worcester Ruby Legs who emerged as the Trojans chief rivals when Troy attempted to block them from joining the National League in 1880. The Trojans had some talent as Roger Connor continued to lead the team in hitting with a .330 average, four home runs and 42 RBI. Buck Ewing also was showing promise, batting .271 with two home runs and 29 RBI. On the mound Tim Keefe was Tory’s best pitcher with a record of 17-26 and an ERA of 2.50, while Mickey Welch struggled at times, posting a record of 14-16 and an ERA of 3.46. It would be the Troy Trojans final season as they folded following the season. The Trojans spot in the National League was purchased by John Day, who set up a new franchise called the New York Gothams. The Gothams and later became the Giants, with Mickey Welch, Roger Connor, Tim Keefe and Buck Ewing all being key early players and members of the Hall of Fame. Some even consider the Troy Trojans a seedling that developed into the New York Giants despite no official connection.
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Page created on July 28, 2016. Last updated on July 28, 2016 at 11:05 pm ET.