The championship of the 1870 season was not without controversy. The Mutuals
of New York, the reigning champions, split a pair of games with the Chicago
White Stockings leading to a third and deciding match. New York was
leading 13-12 in the deciding game of its series with the White Stockings
when Mutual left the field in protest. Officials decided to revert the
score to the end of the last completed inning and awarded the game, and
thus the championship, to Chicago. The Mutuals, however, declared
themselves champions for the year.
When looking at the "standings" for the 1870 season on the
right, please note that such a listing would have been a novelty at the
time and would not have had any meaningful relevance as the championship
was not determined by such a listing. It is worth considering that
once such standings did matter, it was only the total number of victories
(and losses if there was a tie for the most victories), and not winning
percentage that determined the winner.
Also note that the Lone Stars of New Orleans were by no means one of
the better amateur teams. Virtually every one of their victories were
against even more obscure opponents (their first twelve victories were
against other New Orleans' teams) and they were throttled every time they
took on the "real" club.
Fisler led the association with 85 hits and 139 total bases (only
counting games involving two pro teams). Not bad for a guy who played 36
games. A modern player who played 162 games would have to have 383 hits to
match his production! If the lack of meaningful statistics from 1870
troubles you, take consolation in the fact that they average score of the Red
Stockings game was 37-9 and that comparisons to players from later
years would be laughable in any case.
All Teams Extinct
If you are searching the standings for any teams that might still exist
today, you're doing so in vain. The White Stockings did not survive the
Great Chicago Fire (the Cubs debuted as the White
Stockings in 1874), the Athletic
of Philadelphia got kicked out of the National League in 1876 and have
nothing to do with the later Philadelphia
A's, and Cincinnati folded after the season ended, sold off all its
assets, and the city did not field another pro team until the mid 1870s
(which also got kicked out of the league).
As the 1870 NABBP is the real
predecessor to the major leagues, we are providing partial rosters for
1B: F. Ketcham
3B: E. Ketcham
OF 1870 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
NOTES: Prior to 1883, a club's standing was determined by the number
of games won, not by its winning percentage. The source of the standings are
from Marshall Wright's unequaled book, The National Association of Base
Ball Players 1857-1870 (see bibliography below). As there were
hundreds of teams, we only list all 16 professional teams and the top 25
amateurs for 1870.
We do not have access to complete
NABBP records that would show all amateur teams that were members in 1869
or 1870, but we know it is over 500 for both years. 1. Oliver's Optics Magazine: Our Boys and Girls.
February 13, 1869. page 109.
Our sites have always been by you and about you. If
our TV Forums or our Technology & Science forums, you'll find literally thousands of messages from fans
of 1970s TV shows, survivors of hurricanes or aircraft accidents, etc. from all over the world sharing their memories, asking
questions, making comments. Our baseball section is new, but don't let
that stop you from sharing
your memories of the first game you went to, your favorite player, a
now-forgotten stadium, etc. Of course you can also ask questions, post
trivia, tell the world what you think of Barry Bonds, or just read what
others are saying.
Can you guess which stadium this is from the picture? Click here for the answer.
Logos and team names may be trademarks of their respective franchises or leagues. This site is not recognized, approved, sponsored by, or endorsed by Major League Baseball nor any sports league or team. Any marks, terms, or logos are used for editorial/identification purposes and are not claimed as belonging to this site or its owners. Any statistical data provided courtesy of Retrosheet (see credits).