Toronto Mike

Revisiting 1883 - When Beaneaters Met Alleghenys


I was just reading about the year 1883 in baseball.  My 19 run inning forced me back in time, and I enjoyed reading about a baseball season exactly 100 years before I started checking the boxscores and standings on a daily basis.

Here are the final standings from 1883.  The American Association champion Philadelphia Athletics declined to play the Boston Beaneaters for national championship status.


Looking back at 1883, it's interesting to see how things have evolved.  Providence, Buffalo, Louisville and Columbus no longer have teams.  White Stockings have become White Sox, Red Stockings have become Reds, Metropolitans have become Mets... some nicknames have disappeared completely, like Browns, Alleghenys, Beaneaters, Blues, Gothams and Wolverines.

But the most interesting difference from 1883 to now is how they used their starting pitchers.  There were no pitch counts or four days of rest for these warriors.  Charles Radbourn led the league that year with 48 wins.

The very next season, Radbourn would have the greatest statistical season in the history of the game.  He went 59-12 with a 1.38 ERA and 441 strike outs in 678.2 innings pitched.  They don't make 'em like they used to.

And yes, you can follow Old Hoss Charles Radbourn on Twitter. He's @OldHossRadbourn.

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