National Association of Professional Base Ball Players

The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP), or known simply as the National Association (NA), was founded in 1871 and continued through the 1875 season. It succeeded and incorporated several professional clubs from the previous National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) of 1857-1870, sometimes called "the amateur association"; in turn several of its clubs created the succeeding National League of Professional Baseball Clubs. Later shortened simply to be called the National League, it was founded 1876, the earliest one half of modern Major League Baseball (MLB) in America, with the later competing American League of Professional Base Ball Clubs in 1901, known too as the American League.

National Association of Professional Base Ball Players
SportBaseball
FoundedMarch 17, 1871
Ceased1875
No. of teams25 (total)
8 (1874)
12 (1875)
CountryUSA
Last
champion(s)
1875 Boston Red Stockings

History

In 1869, the previously amateur National Association of Base Ball Players, in response to concerns that some teams were paying players, established a professional category. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first team to declare their intention to become fully professional. Other teams quickly followed suit. By 1871, several clubs, wanting to separate fully from the amateur association, broke away to found the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. (The remaining amateur clubs founded the National Association of Amateur Base Ball Players, which only lasted two years). In 1876, wanting an even stronger central organization, six clubs from the NA and two independents established the National League: Boston Red Stockings, Hartford, Mutual, Athletic, Chicago, and the St. Louis Brown Stockings from the NA plus independent clubs Louisville and Cincinnati.

The NA was the first professional baseball league. Its status as a major league is in dispute. Major League Baseball and the Baseball Hall of Fame do not recognize it as a major league, but the NA comprised most of the professional clubs and the highest caliber of play then in existence. Its players, managers, and umpires are included among the "major leaguers" who define the scope of many encyclopedias and many databases developed by SABR or Retrosheet.

Several factors limited the lifespan of the National Association including dominance by a single team (Boston) for most of the league's existence, instability of franchises as several were placed in cities too small to financially support professional baseball, lack of central authority, and suspicions of the influence of gamblers.

Member clubs

Professional baseball clubs in the 19th century were often known by what is now regarded as a "nickname", although it was actually the club's name. This was a practice carried over from the amateur days .The singular form of a "nickname" was often the team name itself, with its base city "understood" and was so listed in the standings. Rather than "Brooklyn Atlantics", the team was simply called "Atlantic", or "Atlantic of Brooklyn" if deemed necessary by the writer. Another common practice was to refer to the team in the plural, hence the "Bostons" the "Chicagos" or the "Mutuals". Sometimes the team would have a nickname, usually something to do with the team colors, such as the Boston Red Stockings, Chicago White Stockings, and Mutual Green Stockings.

This practice of using the singular form of the "nickname" as the team name faded with time, although as recently as the early 1900s, the team generally known as "Philadelphia Athletics" was shown in the American League standings as "Athletic", the traditional way. That team sported an old-English "A" on its jerseys, as had its nominative predecessors.

Later, the Encyclopedia of Baseball attempted to retrofit the names into a modern context. In the following list, the bold names are the names most often used by contemporary newspapers in league standings, and the linked names after them are those typically ascribed to the teams now, using the Encyclopedia of Baseball standard.[1]

Champions

NA Presidents

NA Players in the Baseball Hall of Fame

NA lifetime leaders

Stat Leader #
Games Andy Leonard 286
Hits Ross Barnes 540
Runs Ross Barnes 462
Wins (pitching) Albert Spalding 207
Home runs Lip Pike 15
Runs batted in Cal McVey 276

References

  1. ^ "National Association of Professional Base Ball Players". www.baseballchronology.com. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017.
  • David Pietrusza Major Leagues: The Formation, Sometimes Absorption and Mostly Inevitable Demise of 18 Professional Baseball Organizations, 1871 to Present Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Company, 1991. ISBN 0-89950-590-2
  • William J. Ryczek Blackguards and Red Stockings: A History of Baseball's National Association Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Company, 1999. ISBN 978-0-9673718-0-1
1871 Boston Red Stockings season

The 1871 Boston Red Stockings season was the inaugural season of the franchise. They were formed in 1871 by Boston businessman and Ashburnham native Ivers Whitney Adams. The team was composed of former players of the defunct Cincinnati Red Stockings franchise, who were brought to Boston and kept the name with them. Led and managed by baseball pioneer Harry Wright, the new Boston team would join the newly formed National Association of Professional Base Ball Players for the 1871 season and finish the year in third place with a record of 20–10.

Pitcher Al Spalding started all 31 of the Red Stockings' games and led the NA with 19 wins. Catcher Cal McVey finished second in the league batting race with a .431 average. From this team, Harry Wright, Al Spalding, and shortstop George Wright have all been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1871 Chicago White Stockings season

The 1871 Chicago White Stockings season was the 2nd season of the Chicago White Stockings franchise, the 1st in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players and the 1st at Union Base-Ball Grounds.

With the debut of the first professional baseball league, the National Association, the Chicago franchise joined up as the "White Stockings." The team went 19–9 and finished second in the league standings. Pitcher George Zettlein started all 28 of Chicago's games and led the NA with a 2.73 earned run average.

Near the end of the season, the team lost its stadiums and equipment when the Great Chicago Fire hit the city. The team was able to finish out the season on the road, but had to drop out of the league while the city attempted to recover. The team would not resurface until 1874.

1871 Philadelphia Athletics season

With the debut of the first professional baseball league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, the Athletic Baseball Club of Philadelphia was one of the first clubs to join. The Athletics had been around since 1860 as an amateur club. The team went 21-7 and won the first NA title during the 1871 season.

Philadelphia's third baseman, Levi Meyerle, led the league with a .492 batting average.

1872 Brooklyn Eckfords season

The Brooklyn Eckfords played their first and only season of professional baseball in 1872 as a member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. They finished ninth in the league with a record of 3-26.

1872 Middletown Mansfields season

The Middletown Mansfields played their first and only season in 1872 as a member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. They finished eighth in the league with a record of 5-19.

1872 Washington Nationals season

The Washington Nationals played their first and only season of professional baseball in 1872 as a member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. They finished eleventh in the league with a record of 0-11.

1873 Baltimore Canaries season

The Baltimore Canaries played in 1873 as a member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. They finished third in the league with a record of 34-22.

1873 Brooklyn Atlantics season

The Brooklyn Atlantics played in 1873 as a member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. They finished sixth in the league with a record of 17-37.

1874 Chicago White Stockings season

The 1874 Chicago White Stockings season was the 3rd season of the Chicago White Stockings franchise, the 2nd in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players and the 1st at 23rd Street Grounds. The White Stockings returned to the league in 1874 after taking two years to recover from the chaos of the Great Chicago Fire. They opened their season on Wednesday May 13 hosting the Philadelphia Athletics and shut them out 4 to 0. They finished fifth in the National Association with a record of 28–31.

1874 Hartford Dark Blues season

The Hartford Dark Blues were formed by Morgan Bulkeley and joined the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players for the 1874 season. They finished in seventh place in their debut.

1875 Chicago White Stockings season

The 1875 Chicago White Stockings season was the 4th season of the Chicago White Stockings franchise, the 3rd and final in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players and the 2nd at 23rd Street Grounds. The White Stockings finished sixth in the National Association with a record of 30–37.

Ed Atkinson

Edward "Ed" Atkinson (1851 – ?) was an American professional baseball player from Baltimore, Maryland. He played two games in right field for the 1873 Washington Blue Legs of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, and went hitless in eight at bats.

List of Atlanta Braves seasons

The Atlanta Braves have completed 146 years of professional baseball, the most in Major League Baseball. Through 2015, the Braves have played 20,994 regular season games in the National League and previously the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, winning 10,595 games and losing 10,399 games, for a winning percentage of .505. In all MLB play, the team has a record of 10,677–10,483 through the 2015 season.The team was founded in 1871 as the Boston Red Stockings and was one of the nine charter members of National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. The team changed its name to the Boston Red Caps in 1876 when it joined the National League. The team changed its name a few more times in the late 1800s and early 1900s before settling on the Braves name in 1912. In 1953, the team moved to Milwaukee. After 13 seasons in Milwaukee, the Braves moved again to their current city, Atlanta. The team played in Turner Field 1997 to 2016, and began the 2017 season playing in SunTrust Park.The Braves have experienced several periods of success. The team was very dominant in the late nineteenth century, when it was known as the Boston Beaneaters, winning four of the five National Association of Professional Base Ball Players championships and eight National League pennants. In Milwaukee, the team never had a losing season. From 1991 until 2005 the Braves were one of the most successful franchises in baseball, winning fourteen consecutive division titles (omitting the strike-shortened 1994 season in which there were no official division champions) and five National League pennants. In the 2011 season, the Braves became the third team to win 10,000 MLB games. The franchise has won three World Series – one in Boston, one in Milwaukee and one in Atlanta.In addition, the Braves have experienced periods of futility. The team had eleven straight losing seasons from 1903 through 1913, during six of which they lost over 100 games. After a short period of prominence, the Braves between 1917 and 1945 experienced only three winning records and five 100-loss seasons, including having the fourth worst record in MLB history in the 1935 season. Between 1970 and 1990, the Braves achieved just one postseason appearance and suffered seventeen losing seasons out of twenty-one. During the 2011 season, the Braves became the second franchise to lose 10,000 MLB games.This article lists the results of every season of the franchise, including years based in Boston and Milwaukee.

Lists of Major League Baseball players

This list consists of players who have appeared in Major League Baseball. Note that the list also includes players who appeared in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, which is not universally considered a major league.

The list is broken down into a page of each letter to reduce the size. Some letters are also broken down further for the same reason.

National Association as a major league

Whether to cover the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (1871–1875) as a major league is a recurring matter of difference in historical work on American baseball among historians, encyclopedists, database builders, and others who work on the facts of baseball history on the playing field.

New Haven Elm Citys

The Elm City baseball club, or New Haven Elm Citys in modern nomenclature, were a professional baseball team based in New Haven, Connecticut ("The Elm City"). They existed for one season, in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players in 1875. The Elm Citys played 47 games during their existence, and had a win–loss record of 7–40. They played their home games at the Howard Avenue Grounds. It is considered a major league team by those who count the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players as a major league.

Rafael Almeida

Rafael D. Almeida (July 30, 1887 in Havana, Cuba – March 19, 1968 in Havana, Cuba) was a Major League Baseball third baseman from 1911 to 1913 with the Cincinnati Reds.

Almeida and Armando Marsans debuted together with the Reds on July 4, 1911. They are sometimes named the first major league players born in Cuba, which is incorrect because Havana-born Chick Pedroes played in the National League in 1902; in addition, Cuban-born Steve Bellán played from 1871 to 1873 in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NA), a league whose status as a major league is disputed.

Six years before Cincinnati, Almeida and Marsans both played "Negro baseball" in the United States as 1905 members of the integrated All Cubans.Almeida played winter baseball in the Cuban League from 1904 to 1925 and was one of ten players elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in its 1939 inaugural class.

Timeline of Major League Baseball

The following is a timeline of franchise evolution in Major League Baseball. The histories of franchises in the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP), National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NA), Union Association (UA), and American Association (AA) before they joined the National League are also included. In 1900 the minor league Western League renamed itself the American League (AL). All of the 1899 Western League teams were a part of the transformation with the Saint Paul Apostles moving to Chicago and to play as the White Stockings. In 1901 the AL declared itself a Major League. For its inaugural major league season the AL dropped its teams in Indianapolis, Buffalo and Minneapolis and replaced them with franchises in Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore and the Kansas City Blues moved to Washington to play as the Senators.

The first line is the formation of the National League in 1876, and the second is the transformation of the American League to a major league in 1901. The third line is the beginning of the expansion era in 1961.

World Series Championships are shown with a "*", National League Pennants before the World Series are shown with a "^", and American League Pennants before the World Series "#". No World Series was played in 1904, so the pennant winners for each league are indicated. Due to the 1994-95 Major League Baseball strike, there were no pennant winners or World Series in 1994, so this year is left blank.

Washington Olympics

The Olympic Club of Washington, D.C., or Washington Olympics in modern nomenclature, was an early professional baseball team.

When the National Association of Base Ball Players permitted openly professional clubs for the 1869 season, the Olympics were one of twelve to go pro. Two years later they were a founding member of the first professional sports league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP or NA, for short). The Olympics played home games at Olympics Grounds in Washington. They were founded by Nicholas Young, an outfielder who continued as non-playing business and field manager after 1870.

For 1871 the Olympics hired five players from the famous Cincinnati Red Stockings. The new Boston Red Stockings hired the other half including manager Harry Wright and his selection. With the name "Red Stockings" taken, local writers dubbed the Olympic club the "Blue Stockings". The Boston club lost a close pennant race while the Olympics were only mediocre. During their two league seasons they won 17 games and lost 22 for a winning percentage of .436.

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