1882: Named after the early team that played in the National Association, the Philadelphia Athletics began play as a barnstorming team in 1880. After two seasons on the road, the Philadelphia Athletics became a charter franchise in the American Association. Playing their games at Oakdale Park, the Athletics managed by Juice Latham posted a record of 41-34, good enough for third place. Catcher Jack O’Brien was the team’s leading hitter with a .30 average and three home runs, while Sam Weaver was the top pitcher, winning 26 games, with an ERA of 2.74.
1883: Lon Knight takes over the managerial reigns as the Philadelphia Athletics move to the Jefferson Street Grounds where the original Athletics had played. Philadelphia was one of the top teams in the American Association as it competed for fans, against a new National League team christened the Philadelphia Quakers. The Athletics would win a three-way battle for the AA pennant, posting a record of 66-32 to finish one game better than the St. Louis Browns and five games better than the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Mike Moynahan was the Athletics top hitter, with an average of .310, with one home run and 67 RBI, while Harry Stovey supplied the power, hitting .304 with 14 home runs and 66 RBI. On the mound Bobby Matthews was the star, posting a record of 30-13 with a 2.46 ERA.
1884: The Philadelphia Athletics are unable to defend their crown as the top team in the American Association, as they slip to seventh place, despite a solid record of 61-46. Harry Stovey was Philadelphia’s top hitter, batting .326, with ten home runs and 83 RBI. On the mound Bobby Matthews won 30 games again, while Al Atkinson threw a No Hitter, defeating the Pittsburgh Alleghenys 10-1 on May 24th.
1885: Harry Stovey takes over the managerial reigns for the Philadelphia Athletics and remained one of the club’s top hitter, batting .315 with 13 home runs and 75 RBI, while Henry Larkin led the team with a .329 average with eight home runs and 88 RBI. On the mound, Bobby Matthews won 30 games for the third straight season. However, the Athletics struggled all season posting a losing record for the first time, while finishing in fourth place with a record of 55-57.
1886: The Philadelphia Athletics struggle again, finishing in sixth place with a record of 63-72. Henry Larkin has another solid season, leading the team with a .319 average, while hitting a pair of home runs and driving in 74 runs. On the mound, Al Atkinson leads the way, posting a record of 25-17, with an ERA of 3.95. On May 1st, Atkinson provided the highlight of the season throwing his second career no hitter against the New York Metropolitans.
1887: The Philadelphia Athletics suffer their third straight losing season, finishing in fifth place with a record of 64-69. Denny Lyons emerges as the team’s top hitter, posting a .367 average, with six home runs and 102 RBI. On the mound, Philadelphia got solid seasons from Ed Seward who went 25-25 and Gus Weyhing who posted a record of 26-28. After the season, the team is sold to H. C. Pennypacker and William Whittaker.
1888: Under new management, the Philadelphia Athletics post a solid season, finishing just ten games out of first place, while finishing third with a record of 81-52. Denny Lyons again leads the team in hitting with a .296 average, with six home runs and 83 RBI. Henry Larkin also had a big year hitting .269, with seven home runs and 101 RBI, while Harry Stovey had nine home runs and 65 RBI. On the mound, Ed Seward led the way, winning 35 games, while Gus Weyhing won 28 games. Both pitchers threw No Hitters in a five day stretch, with Seward allowing no hits against the Cincinnati Red Stockings on July 26thm while Weyhing No Hit the Kansas City Cowboys on July 31.
1889: The Philadelphia Athletics finish in third place again, posting a record of 75-58. Harry Stovey had one of the best power seasons 19th Century, hitting .306 with 19 home runs and 119 RBI. While Denny Lyons led the club in hitting, with an average of .329 with nine home runs and 82 RBI. On the mound Guy Weyhing led the way, winning 30 games.
1890: Baseball was surrounded in turmoil; a third major league was established founded by dissatisfied players. No team in the American Association was hit harder than the Philadelphia Athletics, who lost several key players to the new league. The Athletics would finish in seventh place, posting a record of 54-78. As the season went on and money ran short Owners H. C. Pennypacker and William Whittaker began selling off the team’s top players, leaving behind a team that at the end of the season was unable to compete, losing their final 21 games. This would lead to the Philadelphia Athletics being expelled from the AA. Adding insult to injury as the Player’s League folded after one season, the Philadelphia Quakers from the PL were invited to join the AA, taking the Athletics name. Before they were sold off Denny Lyons led the team in hitting with a .354 average with seven home runs and 73 RBI, while Sadie McMahon won 29 games on the mound.