1890 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1890 throughout the world.

List of years in baseball


Inter-league playoff: Brooklyn (NL) declined challenge by Boston (PL)

Inter-league playoff: Louisville (AA) declined challenge by Boston (PL)

Major league baseball final standings

National League final standings

National League W L Pct. GB Home Road
Brooklyn Bridegrooms 86 43 0.667 58–16 28–27
Chicago Colts 83 53 0.610 48–24 35–29
Philadelphia Phillies 78 53 0.595 9 54–21 24–32
Cincinnati Reds 77 55 0.583 10½ 50–23 27–32
Boston Beaneaters 76 57 0.571 12 43–23 33–34
New York Giants 63 68 0.481 24 37–27 26–41
Cleveland Spiders 44 88 0.333 43½ 30–37 14–51
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 23 113 0.169 66½ 14–25 9–88

American Association final standings

American Association W L Pct. GB Home Road
Louisville Colonels 88 44 0.667 57–13 31–31
Columbus Solons 79 55 0.590 10 47–22 32–33
St. Louis Browns 78 58 0.574 12 45–25 33–33
Toledo Maumees 68 64 0.515 20 40–27 28–37
Rochester Broncos 63 63 0.500 22 40–22 23–41
Baltimore Orioles 15 19 0.441 24 8–11 7–8
Syracuse Stars 55 72 0.433 30½ 30–30 25–42
Philadelphia Athletics 54 78 0.409 34 36–36 18–42
Brooklyn Gladiators 26 73 0.263 45½ 15–22 11–51

Players' League final standings

Players' League W L Pct. GB Home Road
Boston Reds 81 48 0.628 48–21 33–27
Brooklyn Ward's Wonders 76 56 0.576 46–19 30–37
New York Giants 74 57 0.565 8 47–19 27–38
Chicago Pirates 75 62 0.547 10 46–23 29–39
Philadelphia Athletics 68 63 0.519 14 35–30 33–33
Pittsburgh Burghers 60 68 0.469 20½ 37–28 23–40
Cleveland Infants 55 75 0.423 26½ 31–30 24–45
Buffalo Bisons 36 96 0.273 46½ 23–42 13–54

Statistical leaders

National League statistical leaders

National League
Type Name Stat
AVG Jack Glasscock NYG .336
HR Oyster Burns BNB 13
Mike Tiernan NYG 13
Walt Wilmot CHC 13
RBI Oyster Burns BNB 128
Wins Bill Hutchinson CHC 42
ERA Billy Rhines CIN 1.95
Strikeouts Amos Rusie NYG 341

American Association statistical leaders

American Association
Type Name Stat
AVG Jimmy Wolf LOU .363
HR Count Campau STL 9
RBI Spud Johnson CLB 113
Wins Sadie McMahon PHA/BAL 36
ERA Scott Stratton LOU 2.36
Strikeouts Sadie McMahon PHA/BAL 291

Players' League statistical leaders

Players' League
Type Name Stat
AVG Pete Browning CEI .373
HR Roger Connor NYP 14
RBI Hardy Richardson BOS 146
Wins Mark Baldwin CHP 34
ERA Silver King CHP 2.69
Strikeouts Mark Baldwin CHP 211



  • January 9 – The Brooklyn Gladiators are admitted to the American Association, joining Toledo, Rochester and Syracuse as new members.
  • January 28 – New York Supreme Court Justice Morgan J. O'Brien rules in favor of John Montgomery Ward's Reserve Clause case, and by extension the Players' League, by ruling baseball contracts lacked mutuality and were therefore unenforceable. This is the first in several rulings that allows the Players' League to proceed as planned.
  • February 1 – The National League finalizes its schedule for 1890, but refuses to release it. Speculation abounds that they are waiting for the Players' League to release their own schedule so that the new circuit may purposely schedule conflicting games in the same cities where both leagues have teams.
  • February 20 – Sam Rice is born in Morocco, Indiana. A quick outfielder with a great arm, Rice will lead the American League in hits twice, in stolen bases once, and collect at least 200 hits on six occasions, while finishing in the top ten in batting average eight times. Rice will gain election to the Hall of Fame in 1963.
  • February 24 – An anonymous group allegedly offers $1 million to purchase the entire National League. The National League, believing the offer a hoax, turns it down. Some believe the offer was made by the Players' League, knowing the new circuit would refuse the offer, so they could point to the refusal as proof that the National League was in much better financial shape than they claimed.
  • March 6 – The National League releases its official schedule although many believe it to be an intentional fake as it includes the Indianapolis Hoosiers and the Washington Nationals, who are rumored to be on the brink of being bought out by the league.
  • March 11 – The Players' League releases its schedule while claiming it paid no attention to the previously released National League schedule.
  • March 27 – The Inter-State League rejects an application from an all-black team made up of former Cuban Giants.




  • October 3 – In a game because of darkness after seven, Chicago's Pat Luby beats the Giants, 3-2, for his 17th consecutive win. Amos Rusie is the losing pitcher.
  • October 9 – Cincinnati Reds owner, Aaron Stern, sells the club for $48,000 to club owners in the Players' League.
  • October 12 – Hank Gastraight of the Columbus Solons pitches a no-hitter against the Toledo Maumees in a game called after 8 innings.
  • October 17 – The Brooklyn Bridegrooms wins Game One of the World Series, 9–0, over the Louisville Colonels.
  • November 22 – At the American Association annual meeting in Louisville, the Philadelphia Athletics are expelled for violating the league's constitution. A new team in Philadelphia is admitted, plus entries from Boston, Washington and Cincinnati, replacing Syracuse, Toledo and Rochester.



  • Some sources show 1889
    ** Some sources show 1888





  1. ^ Pellowski, Michael J (2007). The Little Giant Book of Baseball Facts. United States: Sterling Publishing Co. p. 352. ISBN 9781402742736.

External links

Cleveland Infants

The Cleveland Infants were a one-year baseball team in the Players' League, a short-lived Major League that existed only for the 1890 season. Owned by Al Johnson, the Infants finished 1890, their lone season, with 55 wins and 75 losses. Their home games were played at Brotherhood Park.

Players' League

The Players' National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, popularly known as the Players' League (sometimes rendered as Players League), was a short-lived but star-studded professional American baseball league of the 19th century. It emerged from the Brotherhood of Professional Base-Ball Players, the sport's first players' union.

The Brotherhood included most of the best players of the National League. Brotherhood members, led by John Montgomery Ward, left the National League and formed the Players' League after failing to change the lopsided player-management relationship of the National League.

The PL lasted just the one season of 1890, and the Boston franchise won the championship. Although known to historians as the Players' League, newspapers often reported the standings with the shorthand titles of "League", "Association" and "Brotherhood". The PL was well-attended, at least in some cities, but was underfunded, and its owners lacked the confidence to continue beyond the one season.

In 1968, a committee appointed by Major League Baseball Commissioner William Eckert ruled that the Players' League was a major league.


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