November 1880

4th  A Meeting is held in New York to discuss the possibilities for establishing a new league to rival the NL. Nothing concrete comes of the discussions.

11th  Boston signs P Jim Whitney, considered one of the best hurlers in California, at a salary of $150 per month.

October 1880

4th  At a special NL meeting in Rochester, the league prohibits its members from renting their grounds for use on Sundays and from selling alcoholic beverages on the premises. These rules are aimed at the Cincinnati club, which has sold beer and rented out the park to amateur teams for Sundays.

5th  The NL makes a statement putting its aggregate losses for the season at $20,000. Blame is placed on high salaries, which run over $14,000 for some clubs.

6th  The Cincinnati club refuses to accede to the October 4th restrictions and is thrown out of the NL. The NL also votes to retain the year-old reserve system.

7th  The Metropolitans beat Worcester, 12–6, the Mets first victory over an NL team. The Mets will finish 5–10 versus NL opponents, but 12–1 against all other clubs.

10th  The Boston and Providence clubs release their players, thereby saving themselves 20 days’ worth of salary.

16th  The Mets beat Troy, 9–3, to split a six game “State Championship” series. John M. Ward pitches for the Mets, but he denies that he will play in New York next year, since he has a year left on his 2-year contract with Providence.

23rdThe Mets and the Chicagos close their season with a 3–2 White Stocking win in New York.

September 1880

1stRochester owner Soule offers a $100 reward for information concerning the whereabouts of manager Horace Phillips.

2ndGeorge Derby and the Nationals shut out Buffalo, 7–0. The Nationals have a decisive lead in the three-team National Association race at this point.

5th  Providence nips Cleveland, 2–1 on 2 late runs and a Jack Farrell to Joe Start triple play.

6th  Tim Keefe, recently with the Albany (NA) club, makes his ML debut with Troy, fanning 7 and beating Cincinnati, 4–2 on a 4-hitter. He is 2-for-4 at the plate.

7th  George Bradley hurls his 2ndshutout in 2 days for Providence over Cleveland. This completes a 3-game sweep that puts the Grays ahead of Cleveland to stay in the race for 2ndplace.

10th  Larry Corcoran’s one-hitter beats the Grays, 5–1, Bradley doubling over the RF wall in the 8thfor the only Providence hit. Chicago’s Lake Front Park, Buffalo’s Riverside Park, and Cleveland’s Kennard Street Park all have ground rules call for only two bases on hits over certain portions of the outfield fences.

12th  After 21 consecutive victories at home, Chicago suffers its first defeat at Lake Front this season, losing to Providence 6–4. The White Stockings had not lost an NL game at home since August 25, 1879.

13th  Switching OF and pitching positions 5 times, Fred Corey and Lee Richmond combine to hurl Worcester to a 3–1 victory over Cleveland.

16th  Worcester becomes the only team all season to win 2 NL games in one day, beating Cleveland 3–1 in the morning and 8–2 in the afternoon.

19th  Pitching his 3rd game in 3 days, Larry Corcoran hurls a no-hitter versus Boston, winning 6–0 over Tommy Bond. He walks none, but 4 men reach on errors. Although the ball is described as “mushy and shapeless,” that doesn’t stop the White Stockings from making 11 hits, including 4 by George Gore.

20th  Jim Galvin pitches a no-hitter against Worcester and Buffalo wins 1–0 on a first inning run. Frank Cory takes the loss.

21st  George Gore goes 4-for-4 for the 2ndgame in a row to cap an 11-for-18 series versus Boston. Chicago wins, 11–2, to complete a 4-game sweep.

24thThe Boston game in Buffalo is stopped after 7 innings because the setting sun is right in the catchers’ eyes. With the Reds leading 11–2 the outcome of the game seems assured.

27thBoston beats Buffalo, 5-3. For the second time this season, Buffalo center fielder Bill Crowley throws out 4 runners in a game to set the ML mark. It will be tied a number of times. Crowley also recorded 4 assists on May 24th, the only outfielder to accomplish this twice. When catcher Sam Trott injures his knee in the 1stinning, Boston changes both pitcher and catcher, with Tommy Bond and Phil Powers coming in. The new battery limits Buffalo to one run.

28th  Cincinnati commits 9 errors in the 4th inning and 16 in the game as the Reds are trounced by Troy 13–2. 2B Charlie Smith makes 4 errors on his way to an NL record 89 errors by a 2B in one season.

31st  Left fielder Abner Dalrymple leads Chicago to a 2–1 victory over Troy by scoring both runs and throwing out two baserunners.

August 1880

1stRochester owner Soule offers a $100 reward for information concerning the whereabouts of manager Horace Phillips.

2ndGeorge Derby and the Nationals shut out Buffalo, 7–0. The Nationals have a decisive lead in the three-team National Association race at this point.

5th  Providence nips Cleveland, 2–1 on 2 late runs and a Jack Farrell to Joe Start triple play.

6th  Tim Keefe, recently with the Albany (NA) club, makes his ML debut with Troy, fanning 7 and beating Cincinnati, 4–2 on a 4-hitter. He is 2-for-4 at the plate.

7th  George Bradley hurls his 2ndshutout in 2 days for Providence over Cleveland. This completes a 3-game sweep that puts the Grays ahead of Cleveland to stay in the race for 2ndplace.

10th  Larry Corcoran’s one-hitter beats the Grays, 5–1, Bradley doubling over the RF wall in the 8thfor the only Providence hit. Chicago’s Lake Front Park, Buffalo’s Riverside Park, and Cleveland’s Kennard Street Park all have ground rules call for only two bases on hits over certain portions of the outfield fences.

12th  After 21 consecutive victories at home, Chicago suffers its first defeat at Lake Front this season, losing to Providence 6–4. The White Stockings had not lost an NL game at home since August 25, 1879.

13th  Switching OF and pitching positions 5 times, Fred Corey and Lee Richmond combine to hurl Worcester to a 3–1 victory over Cleveland.

16th  Worcester becomes the only team all season to win 2 NL games in one day, beating Cleveland 3–1 in the morning and 8–2 in the afternoon.

19th  Pitching his 3rd game in 3 days, Larry Corcoran hurls a no-hitter versus Boston, winning 6–0 over Tommy Bond. He walks none, but 4 men reach on errors. Although the ball is described as “mushy and shapeless,” that doesn’t stop the White Stockings from making 11 hits, including 4 by George Gore.

20th  Jim Galvin pitches a no-hitter against Worcester and Buffalo wins 1–0 on a first inning run. Frank Cory takes the loss.

21st  George Gore goes 4-for-4 for the 2ndgame in a row to cap an 11-for-18 series versus Boston. Chicago wins, 11–2, to complete a 4-game sweep.

24thThe Boston game in Buffalo is stopped after 7 innings because the setting sun is right in the catchers’ eyes. With the Reds leading 11–2 the outcome of the game seems assured.

27thBoston beats Buffalo, 5-3. For the second time this season, Buffalo center fielder Bill Crowley throws out 4 runners in a game to set the ML mark. It will be tied a number of times. Crowley also recorded 4 assists on May 24th, the only outfielder to accomplish this twice. When catcher Sam Trott injures his knee in the 1stinning, Boston changes both pitcher and catcher, with Tommy Bond and Phil Powers coming in. The new battery limits Buffalo to one run.

28th  Cincinnati commits 9 errors in the 4th inning and 16 in the game as the Reds are trounced by Troy 13–2. 2B Charlie Smith makes 4 errors on his way to an NL record 89 errors by a 2B in one season.

31st  Left fielder Abner Dalrymple leads Chicago to a 2–1 victory over Troy by scoring both runs and throwing out two baserunners.

March 1881

8th  The NL meets and adopts an 84-game schedule. An enterprising newsman gets the various magnates to predict the winner in the coming pennant race; Chicago is the consensus choice with 5 votes.

The owners vote to stop giving refunds or rain checks for postponed games.

9thThe NL announces a staff of 23 approved umpires, but one, John Young of Syracuse, refuses to serve.

August 1881

2ndHaving finally rounded into shape, John Ward pitches and bats Providence to a 2–1 win over Troy. He pitches out of a bases-loaded, no out jam in the 9th and then singles home the winning run in the 11th.

The first note of an intentional base on balls with the bases loaded occurs when Abner Dalrymple of Chicago (NL) is intentionally walked by Buffalo’s Jack Lynch (BUF NL) in the eighth inning (as noted by Trent McCotter) The Chicago Tribunewrites: “At one time, when the bases were full, Lynch deliberately sent in seven balls (the rule at the time is seven balls constitutes a walk) rather than take the chances of a hit by Dalrymple, who was at bat, and in this way forced a run upon Chicago. But all to no purpose, for Gore followed with a terrific drive for two bases, and three men came in on the hit.” The Tribunefurther notes: “In the eighth the bases were filled, and nobody out, on successive hits by Goldsmith, Flint, and Quest, and Lynch was so afraid of Dalrymple that he gave him his base on balls and brought Goldsmith in with the gift.” At the time of the intentional walk, the Buffalo team was down, 5-0; they end up losing, 11-2.

3rd Jack Farrell quits as Providence captain and is succeeded by Tommy York. The team was 24-27 under Farrell.

4thLarry Corcoran of Chicago stops Buffalo on 2 hits, 4–0, and the Whites give him errorless support.

5thDetroit releases 3B Art Whitney because he is unable to play due to illness. They will resign him late in the season after he recovers.

6thA 4-hitter by Fred Goldsmith gives Chicago a 3–0 win over Buffalo and a sweep of their 3 game series. The Bisons are now 7 games behind.

8thProvidence C Emil Gross snaps tendons in his leg and is out for the season.

9th  “The delicious uncertainty of baseball” (New York Mercury) is demonstrated at the Polo Grounds when the Atlantics score 11 runs in the 9th inning to beat the Mets, 14–12.

11th  In the most one-sided game of the NL season, Chicago trounces Detroit, 17–0. Fred Goldsmith pitches for Chicago against Frank Mountain, and Silver Flint is 5-for-5. He also catches his 9th straight game without a passed ball.

12th  The Providence club is reorganized. New capital is pledged. C. L. Gardiner is the new president, and Robert Morrow replaces James Bullock as manager.

13thHoss Radbourn leads Providence to a 1–0 win over Boston, pitching a 4-hitter and knocking in the only run with a single.

14th  Statistics published in the Chicago Tribuneput Dan Brouthers at the top of the batting list with a .390 average. Cap Anson is second with .377. Official figures at the end of the season will declare Anson batting champ with a .399 average, Brouthers finishing 7th at .318.

16thFor Buffalo, Blondie Purcell is 4-for-4 and Jack Rowe hits a pair of 2-run triples. But Chicago gets home runs from Gore and Burns and beats the Bisons, 13–9.

17th  Worcester suspends its captain, Mike Dorgan, and Harry Stovey takes over the post. Lee Richmond, who had quit because of conflicts with Dorgan, rejoins the team.

18th  The declining fortunes of the Worcesters receive a further blow when Art Irwin suffers a broken leg during a game in which the team blows an 8–0 lead and has to settle for an 8–8 tie with Providence.

21st  The Eclipse club refuses to allow black C. M. Fleetwood Walker to play for the visiting Cleveland Whites in a game in Louisville, much to the disgust of many fans and sportswriters. Walker later becomes the first African-American to play ML baseball with the Toledo (AA) club in 1884.

Buttercup Dickerson starts 2 double plays from LF as Worcester beats Boston, 6–1.

22ndWorcester signs veterans Candy Nelson and Lip Pike, both from the Atlantic club of Brooklyn.

23rd  When P Fred Goldsmith is injured in the 3rd inning, substitute Larry Corcoran is called in from the turnstiles, where he was monitoring the count for the visiting Chicagos. He pitches 9 innings as the White Stockings win a 12-inning game in Detroit, 8–6.

27thTony Mullane makes his ML debut with Detroit and shows outstanding speed in beating Chicago, 9–1. A finger injury and wildness will lead to his release a month later.

29thProtecting a 5–4 lead with men on 2B and 3B in the 9th, Troy’s Tim Keefe strikes out 3 batters in a row to beat Boston.

30thAnson and Flint have perfect days at the plate as Chicago pounds out 21 hits to beat Detroit, 12–8. The loss drops Detroit into a tie for 3rd place with Providence.

July 1881

2nd  Boston loses in Buffalo 7–4, and the Reds fall to last place for the first time in the clubs’ proud 10-year history.

4thMickey Welch pitches Troy to two victories in Buffalo, 8–3 and 12–0, allowing a total of 10 hits. As noted by historian John O’Malley of NYC, this is Welch’s 16th straight win over Buffalo (5/29/1880 to 7/4/1881). Bob Ferguson is 6-for-10 in the doubleheader, the first ever separate admission morning-afternoon twinbill.

Detroit also plays a doubleheader, beating visiting Worcester, 11–8 and 7–3.

5thChicago beats Boston 13–11 in a game in which the lead changes hands 4 times.

7thBoston errors help Chicago to a 5–4 win. By contrast, Silver Flint, Chicago catcher, stops a Boston rally by strategically dropping a 3rd strike to start a DP with the bases loaded.

12thChicago continues its winning ways beating Worcester, 12–6. Ned Williamson has a perfect day at the plate with 3 singles, a triple and homer.

13thLF Mike Moynahan throws 2 runners out at home to help Cleveland beat Troy, 3–2.

16thSecond place Buffalo nips leading Chicago, 10–9. Dan Brouthers ties the game with a 2-run triple, then scores the winning run.

18thBoston outhits Troy 7 to 3, but still makes enough errors to lose, 3–1.

20thBuffalo completes a 3-game sweep of Chicago, winning 11–7, and reducing Chicago’s lead to 3 1/2 games.

21st  Cleveland loses at Akron 4–0 in a game that takes just 1:18 to complete, the shortest game any of the reporters can remember.

22ndChicago loses to Detroit 6–4 as all 3 potential base stealers are thrown out by Detroit C Charley Bennett.

23rdThe Only Nolan is 4-for-4 and pitches Cleveland to a 7–3 win over Buffalo. Yesterday, Nolan was 4-for-5 while playing 3B.

26thChicago snaps its 5-game losing streak with a 9–4 win in Detroit. George Gore has 2 triples and a single.

28thFred Dunlap has 4 hits to pace Cleveland to a 11–2 win over Chicago.

29thOld Dickey Pearce is given a benefit in New York on the 25th anniversary of his joining the old Atlantic club. He’ll use the proceeds to set himself up with a “wine saloon” in Brooklyn.

30thFred Dunlap is 4-for-5, completing a series in which he goes 11-for-14 and handles 25 of 27 chances at 2B. However, Chicago salvages the final game in the series, 7–6, and stealing 7 bases.

May 1881

3rdA day after losing their home opener, Detroit scores its first victory by beating the Bisons, 4–2. Joe Gerhardt stars at 2B, scoring 2 runs and handling 14 chances. He also participates in 4 DPs.

4th  Boston new P Jim Whitney shuts out Providence 4–0. The hardworking righthander will wind up leading the NL in both wins and losses (with a 31-33 record), a feat not repeated in the ML until Phil Niekro does it in 1979.

5th  Charley Radbourn makes his NL pitching debut leading Providence to a 4–2 victory over Boston.

6thTwo errors by SS Dan Stearns, a local just picked up by the Wolverines, helps Buffalo to a 3–2 win. Winning pitcher Jim Galvin is of the opinion that the 5 feet added to the pitching distance is a great help to his curve ball.

7thDespite being outhit 2 to 7, Chicago beats Cleveland, 4-0.

10thCap Anson is 4-for-4 against Tim Keefe as Chicago beats Troy, 10–5. Unlike Galvin, Keefe says the new distance has hurt his out-curve, although his in-curve is still good.

14th  Having won a judgment for his back salary in an Ohio court, Charley Jones has the local sheriff attach Boston’s share of the gate receipts in Cleveland.

17thMike McGeary captains Cleveland for the last time, as internal dissension leads to his resignation and replacement by John Clapp.

18th  When Detroit base runner Sadie Houck collides with Bob Ferguson of Troy at 2B, Ferguson becomes indignant and slaps Houck in the face. The Detroit club prefers charges against Ferguson with the league office, but nothing will be done. Troy wins, 7-2. Houck was involved in an infield collision two years ago.

At Lakefront Park, Chicago breaks open a close game with visiting Worcester, with a little bit of help from the club owner’s dog (as noted by Ed Hartig & Jim McArdle). With a man on and leading 4-1 in the 7th, Chicago SS Tom Burns lines a Lee Richmond fast ball into left field, Outfielder Buttercup Dickerson chases after the ball as it rolls along the outfield wall stopping just a few feet from the dog, sleeping outside the clubhouse. A wary Buttercup shies away from picking up the ball and by the time he does, Burns has circled the bases. Worcester manager Mike Dorgan appeals for an interference call but umpire Foghorn Bradley retorts that the dog didn’t do anything and the home run stands. Chicago scores 6 in the inning to win, 10-3, over first-place Worcester.

19th  With the Troy franchise experiencing financial difficulties, various rumors have the club moving to New York, Cincinnati, or Pittsburgh.

20th  Chicago resorts to trickery to beat Boston 5–4. Mike Kelly scores the go-ahead run from 2B on a groundout by cutting 3B by some 30 feet. The Sox 3B later saves the game with a hidden ball trick in the 9th inning.

21stJohn Ward, apparently suffering from a sore arm, is pounded by the upstart Detroit Wolverines for 16 runs, while George Derby holds Providence to 3 hits for a one-sided victory.

25thWith Jim White going 5-for-5, Buffalo beats Worcester, 7–1.

28th  James S. Woodruff is apprehended on charges that he tried to bribe Cleveland’s John Clapp to throw a game earlier in the season. By going to the police after the incident, Clapp has earned the nickname “Honest John.”

Will Hutchison pitches his first game for Yale, beating Harvard, 8–5. After starring at SS for 3 and a half seasons, he will pitch Yale to the college championship in his final year.

April 1881

2nd  The new Detroit club begins practice games by beating Princeton University, 7–2. Manager Frank Bancroft has lined up a full schedule of pre-season games, considered something of an innovation.

11th  The Eastern Association is organized to link independent clubs in a loose pennant race. The clubs include the Nationals, the Mets, Atlantics, Athletics, New Yorks, Quicksteps (of NY), and New Bostons.

22nd  Horace Phillips loses his litigation against Hop Bitter owner A. S. Soule stemming from last year’s disappearance with club funds and is ordered to repay $1,463.

27thDetroit P Bill Sweeney suffers a hemorrhage of the lungs and is out for the season.

28th  With P George Bradley already sidelined by pneumonia, Detroit is desperate for a change pitcher and signs Will White to a 30-day contract, hoping Bradley will be healthy in a month.

30th  The NL season opens with games in Worcester and Chicago. The most significant new rules are the increase in pitching distance, the reduction of balls for a walk to 7, and the elimination of the “fair ball” warning on 2 strikes.

April 1881

2nd  The new Detroit club begins practice games by beating Princeton University, 7–2. Manager Frank Bancroft has lined up a full schedule of pre-season games, considered something of an innovation.

11th  The Eastern Association is organized to link independent clubs in a loose pennant race. The clubs include the Nationals, the Mets, Atlantics, Athletics, New Yorks, Quicksteps (of NY), and New Bostons.

22nd  Horace Phillips loses his litigation against Hop Bitter owner A. S. Soule stemming from last year’s disappearance with club funds and is ordered to repay $1,463.

27thDetroit P Bill Sweeney suffers a hemorrhage of the lungs and is out for the season.

28th  With P George Bradley already sidelined by pneumonia, Detroit is desperate for a change pitcher and signs Will White to a 30-day contract, hoping Bradley will be healthy in a month.

30th  The NL season opens with games in Worcester and Chicago. The most significant new rules are the increase in pitching distance, the reduction of balls for a walk to 7, and the elimination of the “fair ball” warning on 2 strikes.