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American Association

By Wikipedia

The American Association (AA) was a professional major baseball league from 1882 to 1891.

At a glance...
League Facts
Established 1882
Disbanded 1891
Presidents H.D. McKnight 1882-1885
Wheeler C. Wyckoff 1886-1889
Zach Phelps 1890
Louis Kramer 1891
Ed Renau 1891
Zach Phelps 1891
Baltimore Orioles (1882-1891)
Cincinnati Red Stockings (1882-1889)
Eclipse of Louisville (1882-1883)
Philadelphia Athletics (1882-1891)
Pittsburgh Alleghenys (1882-1887)
St. Louis Brown Stockings (1882-1891)
Louisville Colonels (1883-1891)
Columbus Buckeyes (1883-1884)
New York Metropolitans (1883-1887)
Brooklyn Bridegrooms (1884-1889)
Indianapolis Hoosiers (1884)
Richmond Virginians (1884)
Toledo Blue Stockings (1884)
Washington Statesmen (1884)
Washington Statesmen (1891)
Cleveland Spiders (1887-1888)
Kansas City Cowboys (1888-1889)
Columbus Solons (1889-1891)
Brooklyn Gladiators (1890)
Rochester Broncos (1890)
Syracuse Stars (1890)
Toledo Maumees (1890)
Boston Reds (1891)
Cincinnati Porkers (1891)
Milwaukee Brewers (1891)
1882 Cincinnati Red Stockings
1883 Philadelphia Athletics
1884 New York Metropolitans
1885 St. Louis Browns
1886 St. Louis Browns
1887 St. Louis Browns
1888 St. Louis Browns
1889 Brooklyn Bridegrooms
1890 Louisville Colonels
1891 Boston Reds

The "AA" offered cheaper ticket prices and more liberal libations to its patrons, and became known as "The Beer and Whiskey League", especially by supporters of the National League. This nickname is ironic in view of the fact that "AA" is now most commonly used to mean Alcoholics Anonymous.

See also: National League, 1882 Attendance, Other Defunct Leagues.

Together with the National League, the American Association participated in an early version of the World Series seven times during their ten-year coexistence.

The National League won most of those encounters, while some ended in ties due to disputes or other issues. The only victory for the American Association came in 1886 when the St. Louis Browns (now Cardinals) defeated the Chicago White Stockings (now Cubs).

Over that decade, the AA was weakened by several factors. One was the tendency of some of its teams to jump to the NL. In 1887 the Pittsburgh Alleghenys left to join the NL and the Cleveland Spiders joined them two years later.

The consistently stronger NL also put it in better position to survive adverse conditions. The most significant blow to the AA was dealt by the Players' League, a third major league in 1890, which siphoned off talent and gate receipts. That was also the year that the Cincinnati Red Stockings and Brooklyn Bridegrooms left for the National League.

In a unique historical oddity, Brooklyn played in the World Series with the AA in 1889, and with the NL in 1890. That final Series ended in a draw, left unresolved due to growing animosity between the leagues.

Following the 1891 season, the AA disbanded and the Baltimore Orioles, Louisville Colonels, St. Louis Browns, and Washington Senators joined the National League.

The living legacy of the old Association is the teams that came over to the National League to stay, the teams now known as the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals.

American Association sources/bibliography:
The Beer and Whisky League: The Illustrated History of the American AssociationóBaseball's Renegade Major League
by David Nemec
The Formation, Sometimes Absorption and Mostly Inevitable Demise of 18 Professional Baseball Organizations, 1871 to Present by David Pietrusza.
May the Best Team Win: Baseball Economics and Public Policy by Andrew Zimbalist.
Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia by John Thorn, et al.

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It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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