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Red Stockings Ownership Help Form the American Association

After the Red Stockings were dropped from the National League in 1880, Opie Caylor (a former sports writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer), Justus Thorner (owner of the National League Red Stockings in 1879) and several other Cincy business owners had pledged to bring pro baseball back to the Queen City.

In November 1881 Caylor had arranged a meeting (with baseball men from cities that were currently unrepresentative by a major league team) to discuss forming a new major league. This meeting took place at the Gibson Hotel in Cincinnati. Attending this meeting were representatives for Cincinnati, Philadelphia, St Louis, Louisville, Pittsburgh & Brooklyn. The league that they would form would be named the American Association. The leagues battle cry would be "Liberty To All".

In the American Associations first season, the league would play an 80 game season and consist of six teams. The new league consisted of ALL brand new teams. The Baltimore Orioles, Louisville Eclipse and Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates). The other three franchises took the names of previous major league clubs in their markets. The Philadelphia Athletics, St Louis Brown Stockings (Cardinals) and the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The American Association Cincinnati Red Stockings franchise is NOT the same team as the Red Stockings franchise of the National League from 1876 to 1880. This team is brand new. While there is a common misconception that the current Reds are directly linked to the 1869 Red Stockings, it is simply not true. The only thing linking the current Reds to the Red Stockings was the club name which endored until 1890. There are just to many gaps in the chain between 1869 and 1881 to link them directly. While it is paining to say so, the current Cincinnati Reds team began in 1882. That is where the club records date back to.

The First Pennant Winning Reds Team

Photo courtesy of Lyons & Burford Publishing.

The 1882 Red Stockings won the American Association pennant. This would be the first in 10 league championships the franchise would see to date. The 1882 team also experimented with multi-colored uniforms to identify the players position.

The 1882 Red Stockings began contracting players for the team to begin play in the new major league circuit right away. Caylor signed pitching great Will White, third baseman Hick Carpenter and outfielders Joe Sommer &  Harry Wheeler. All four played for the defunct Red Stockings of the National League a couple years prior. In between the National League Red Stockings club and the new American Association Red Stockings club, Carpenter played for the Worcester Ruby Legs (Phillies). While Will White played for the Detriot Wolverines who replaced the Red Stockings in the National League. Wheeler and Sommer were both out of the majors during 1881.

Hick Carpenter had a great year. His batting average was second in the league (.342) with a slugging percentage that was fifth in the Association (.422). He scored 78 runs, 15 doubles, 5 triples and lead the league in hits with 120 and RBI's with 67.

Will White would have a terrific year leading the American Association in wins, notching 42 on the season with only 12 losses. He also led the league in complete games (52), shut outs (8) & batters faced (1,900).

White, Wheeler, Sommer & Carpenter were joined by left handed hitter and first baseman Ecky Stearns, short stop Chick Fulmer and outfielder Jimmy Macullar. Caylor also hired the twenty seven year old Pop Snyder to play catcher and manage the team. Snyder won a National League Championship in 1878 with Harry Wrights Boston Red Caps (Braves). And he would play at the catcher position for the 1882 Red Stockings. His batting average was .291 with a slugging percentage of .353. He drove in 50 runs which was a career high for him.

Caylor also acquired rookie second baseman Bid McPhee. A position he would hold until he retired in 1899. McPhee would go on to be one of the premier second basemen of the 19th century. He was finally awarded admission into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000 for his great achievements as a player. He was eleced to Cooperstown with Marty Brenneman, Tony Perez and Sparky Anderson. The most from one organization ever to be elected at the same time. Bid McPhee is also one of two Hall of Famers that spent his entire career with the Reds. The other being Johnny Bench.


When the Cincinnati Red Stockings took the field on April 13th at the Bank Street Grounds for its first practice game against a local Picked Nine, the batting order was Joe Sommer left field, Bid McPhee second base, Hick Carpenter third base, Ecky Stearns right field, Rudy Kemmler started in center field, Pop Snyder catcher, Chick Fulmer short stop, Dave Rowe started at first base and Will White on the mound. The Red Stockings would win the game 6 -2.

The victory was not without a price, Will Whites arm went out halfway through the game. Snyder had to insert first baseman David Rowe to finish the game. Snyder himslef would gash open his head when the opposing teams batter took a wild swing. A few days after the win Hick Carpenter went down with a sprained ankle. Outfielder Joe Sommer hurt his foot and both Snyder & White wound up on the disabled list.......... Not a bad start for the new Red Stockings team????!!!!!

Cincinnati started the 1882 regular season on the road. Playing the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates) on May 2nd and losing 10-9 in a cliffhanger. May 2nd 1882 marks the very first game of the Cincinnati Reds franchise. The past Red Stockings teams were actually different teams. And as a result of the different teams, the current Reds records begin in 1882.

On June 13th, during a 12 game winning streak, the Cincinnati Red Stockings took over first place in the Association. Cincinnati would never release the top spot for the rest of the season. On September 16th, the Cincinnati Red Stockings beat the Louisville Eclipse 6-1. The victory would give the Red Stockings the American Association pennant, marking the first of 10 league championships the franchise would win to date. Cincinnati would finish the season with a record of 55-25 and would be 11  games ahead of the Phildelphia A's. The Red Stockings winning percentage was .688 which is currently the highest in franchise history.

At the conclussion of the championship season, Red Stockings owner O.P. Caylor invited the National League's Cleveland Blues to Cincinnati for a best of three "State of Ohio" championship series. The Association forbade the contest, so the Red Stockings released all of their players from their contracts in order to make the series happen. He invented an anonymous "wealthy admirer" to pay the players salaries which they would have lost. Unfortunately the Cincinnati Reds Stockings lost the series 2 games to 1.

Caylor had also arranged to play a three game series that had his American Association pennant winner play the National League pennant winner Chicago White Stockings (Cubs).

Undaunted by the loss to the Cleveland Blues, he still planned on proceeding with the Chicago White Stockings (Cubs) in what would be the FIRST time two pennant winners would play each other in a post season series. Many baseball historians consider this series the first World Series. On October 6th Cincinnati beat the Chicago 4-0 in game 1 of the 1882 Series. Chicago returned the favor the following day by beating Cincinnati 2-0. The series was never complete due to the fact that both teams had other exhibition games schuduled. Cincinnati was to play a series against the Association St Louis Brown Stockings (Cardinals) and the White Stockings(Cubs) were to play a series against the National League Providence Grays.

After all of the exhibition games were completed, Cincinnati was fined $100 dollars by the Association for disobeying a direct order. The fine was by no stretch a lot even for a team in 1882. But the Red Stockings claimed that they finished the season in the red despite winning a pennant. So owner Justus Thorner would sell his shares of the club. Shortly there after, it was discovered that the Red Stockings actually did finish the season with a profit. But it was to late for Thorner. Thorner would later get back at the Red Stockings.

The 1883 seaon saw the Association expand from six teams to eight. In addition to the Cincinnati Red Stockings, Philadelphia Athletics, Louisville Eclipse, Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates), Baltimore Orioles and the St Louis Browns (Cardinals). The Association added the New York Metropolitans and the Columbus Buckeyes.

The National League also had some changes. The National League moved two of its franchises into American Association markets. The Worcester Ruby Legs would relocate and become the New York Gothoms (Giants). And the Troy Haymakers would relocate and become the Philadelphia Quakers  (Phillies). Remaining in place were the Boston Beaneaters (Braves), Chicago White Stockings (Cubs), Providence Grays, Detroit Wolverines, Cleveland Blues and the Buffalo Bison.

Along with the expansion and relocation of clubs in bouth league. The American Association and National League both expanded their schudules to 98 games.

Even though the Red Stockings had won the Association pennant handily, Caylor knew his team had flaws. Caylor managed to make some good acquisitions by bringing in outfielders Pop Corkhill & Charley Jones. And Long John Reilly to play first base. Reilly & Jones both played with the National League Red Stockings a few years prior. Reilly's return to Cincinnati was most impressive. He finished second in the American Association in slugging percentage (.485), at bats (437), runs scored (103), hits (136), total bases (212), RBI's (79), triples (14) and extra base hits (44). His batting average on the season was .311 which was fifth in the league......not bad.

Returning to the Red Stockings from the 1882 squad was player/manager Pop Snyder, second baseman Bid McPhee, third baseman Hick Carpenter, shortstop Chick Fulmer and outfielder Joe Sommer. The pitching staff was Will White (43-22), Harry McCormick (8-6) and rookie Ren Deacon (10-8).

The 1883 season's opening day would be May 1st . And on that day the Reds had a pre-game ceremony to celebrate the 1882 pennant winning team. The American Association flag measured 18 feet by 9 feet, and was displayed on a flag pole at the Bank Street Grounds. The Reds would open the season with an extra inning victory over the St Louis Browns (Cardinals).

Early July would destroy the Baltimore Orioles 23-0. The spanking set a club record for most runs scored in a shut out win. On September 12th Cincinnati flogged the Pittsburgh Allegheney's (Pirates) 27-5. In doing so, the Red Stockings had two players from the same team collect six hits in a single game. A record that still stands. But as the season progressed Cincinnati d\found their hopes of repeating as league champions disintegrate. The St Louis Browns (Cardinals) and Philadelphia Athletics were going neck and neck for the pennant. While Cincinnati wasn't that far behind, the Red Stockings eventually would finish the season in third place with a record of 61-37. Only 5 games behind the Philadelphia A's for the American Association pennant.

After a disappointing 3rd place finish, the Red Stockings were hit with another blow. A new major league was forming called the Union Association. The UA placed a team in Cincinnati which was named the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds. Fitting name for the team seeing as how the owner was none other then former Red Stockings owner Justus Thorner. Still angry about being squeezed out of ownership of the Red Stockings, he wanted to run the Red Stockings out of the city. His first move was to swipe the Red Stockings lease from the Bank Street Grounds. The Outlaw Reds proceeded to rename their new ballpark the Union Grounds in honor of their league. This turn of events forced the Red Stockings to find a new location to play. So the team secured new grounds on the site of an old brickyard at Findlay Street and Western Avenue, three blocks from the newly christened Union Grounds. It was there were they would build their new ballpark. The Red Stockings followed suite with the Outlaw Reds by naming their ballpark after their league. So the Red Stockings new ballpark was known as American Park. It was this site where Cincinnati would tear down and build three ballparks. The other two parks were the Palace of the Fans and the Crosley Field.

As a result of the new major league, the American Association ballooned to twelve teams. The expansion was an attempt to keep the Union Association out of certain markets. New to the American Association were the Toledo Blue Stockings, Brooklyn Grays (Dodgers), Indianapolis Hoosiers & Washington Nationals. The Nationals would fold mid season and would be replaced by the Richmond Virginians. Returning to the A.A. was the Cincinnati Red Stockings, Philadelphia Athletics, Louisville Eclipse, Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates), Baltimore Orioles and the St Louis Browns (Cardinals). The Association added the New York Metropolitans and the Columbus Buckeyes.

The American Association also decided to expand the number of games to be played during the season from 98 to 108.

The National League had all of their teams returning from the previous year. Returning were the Boston Beaneaters (Braves), Chicago White Stockings (Cubs), Providence Grays, Detroit Wolverines, Cleveland Blues, New York Gothoms (Giants), Philadelphia Quakers  (Phillies) and the Buffalo Bison. Instead of expanding like the Association, the League chose to sit tight with eight teams. However, the National League did expanded their schudule to 112 match ups for the season. And the League decided to allow pitchers to throw overhanded.

After all of the shenanigans effecting the Red Stockings by the Union Association. Cincinnati went out to try and tried to build another pennant winner. New to the starting line up was Jimmy Peoples at shortstop and outfielder Tom Mansell. Returning to Cincinnati was Pop Snyder as player/manager, first baseman John Reilly, second baseman Bid McPhee, third baseman Hick Carpenter and ourfielders Pop Corkhill & Charley Jones.  Reilly had a great year as always. He finished second in the Association in batting average (.339), hits (152), total bases (247), triples (19), and RBI's (91). He also finished second in the league in hit by pitches with 14.

The pitching staff would be rounded out with the return of Will White (34-18). In addition to White was Bill Mountjoy (19-12), Ren Deagle (3-1) and Gus Shallix (11-10). Pop Corkhill even pitched in a game.

The 1884 season kicked off with a loss to the Columbus Buckeyes, their Ohio state rivals. The loss was the first game played in the Red Stockings new ballpark. On May 9th the Red Stockings were hosting a game against the Toledo Blue Stockings, who were another Ohio team. This game saw the debut of the first black player to play in the major leagues. Fleet Walker and his brother Welday both played for the Blue Stockings. They would only play for one season after the Association followed the National League in its ban on colored players. It would be sixty plus years before Jackie Robinson dismantled the color barrier.

While the Red Stockings had a successful season, the club didn't finish in first. Cincinnati finished with a record of 68-41 placing them 8 games behind the New York Mets. The Providence Grays won the National League pennant. Both league decided to pit the two league champions against each other. The concept was inspired by the 1882 post season series between the Red Stockings had with the Chicago White Stockings (Cubs).

The Union Association would fold after one season. Two of the clubs were looking to relocate into the National League. The two franchises were the Union Association pennant winning St Louis Maroons and the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds. The Cleveland Blues and Detriot Wolverines of the National League were having financial troubles and appeared to be folding. With both teams folding, the NL would replace the franchises with the Outlaw Reds and the Maroons. The Blues finally did fold giving the St Louis Maroons an NL spot. But the Detriot Wolverines at the last minute decided to hang in there and stayed in business, so the Outlaw Reds were out. Ironically, it was the Detriot franchise that replaced the Cincinnati Red Stockings in National League in 1881 after the club was dropped.

Other then the loss of the Cleveland Blues and the addition to the St Louis Maroons, the National League remained the same. Everyone returning were the Boston Beaneaters (Braves), Chicago White Stockings (Cubs), Providence Grays, Detroit Wolverines, New York Giants, Philadelphia Quakers  (Phillies) and the Buffalo Bisons.

After the failure of the Union Association the previous year. The American Association would contract the league back down to eight teams. The teams contracted were the Toledo Blue Stockings, Indianapolis Hoosiers, Richmond Virginians and the Columbus Buckeyes. Returning to the A.A for 1885 was the Cincinnati Red Stockings, Philadelphia Athletics, Louisville Colonels, Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates), Baltimore Orioles, St Louis Browns (Cardinals), New York Metropolitans and Brooklyn Grays (Dodgers) . The Association would follow the National League's lead and expand the season to 112 games on the year.

During the off season, the Red Stockings ownership would change. Aaron Stern would resign and be replaced by local brewer and city treasurer George Herancourt. Caylor would remain and hire himself as field manager for 1885 replacing Pop Snyder. Snyder would remain as the Red Stockings catcher. One of Caylors first moves was to sign pitcher Tony Mullane. But the pitcher was suspended and fined $1,000 for the 1885 season from the Association for contract jumping. Mulane violated an oral agreement with the St Louis Browns (Cardinals) to come to Cincinnati for $5,000.

Caylors starting line up had two new additions, outfielder Jim Clinton and short stop Frank Fennelly. Fennelley would lead the league in RBI.s with 89. Returing to the line up were Pop Snyder at catcher, John Reilly at first base, Bid McPhee at second base and Hick Carpenter at third base. Returing to the outfield was Pop Corkhill & Charley Jones.

The pitching staff consisted of Will White (18-15), Larry McKeon (20-13), Billy Mountjoy (10-7), Gus Shallix (6-4) and George Pechiney (7-4).

Cincinnnati started the season on April 19th in Louisville and proceeded to beat the Colonels 4-1. The following day, the Red Stockings played another game against the Colonels in Cincinnati. The Red Stockings won the match 3-1. Cincinnati continued to well. But while the Red Stockings were doing well, so were the St Louis Browns (Cardinals). By May 31st St Louis's record was 22-5 on the season. While the Red Stockings were 19-12. Placing Cincinnati 5 games behind the Browns (Cardinals).

On June 7th, the Association decided to follow the lead of the National League and allow  overhand pitching. This change in baseball would see the decline of many star pitchers, such as Red Stockings great Will White. Although, the change did very little to help the Red Stockings baseball season. St Louis would remain in first place for the rest of the season and would win their first league pennant. Cincinnati finished the year with a record of 63-49, placing them 16 games behind St Louis.

For the 1886 season, the National League went through some franchise changes once again. After spending eight years and winning two National League pennants in 1879 & 1884, the Providence Grays folded. The Buffalo Bisons also closed up shop after the 1885 season. The National League replaced Buffalo with the Kansas City Cowboys and replaced Providence with the Washington Nationals.

Returning to the National League were the St Louis Maroons, Boston Beaneaters (Braves), Chicago White Stockings (Cubs), Detroit Wolverines, New York Giants, and the Philadelphia Quakers (Phillies). The National League also expanded the season yet again to 120 games.

The American Association clubs remained the same. With the Cincinnati Red Stockings, Philadelphia Athletics, Louisville Colonels, Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates), Baltimore Orioles, New York Metropolitans, Brooklyn Grays (Dodgers) and the St Louis Browns (Cardinals). The Association would also expand their season. The Association expanded to 135 games.

During the off season, Red Stockings owner George Herancourt sold his share of the club to wealthy brewer John Hauck.

The Cincinnati Red Stockings starting line up would remain pretty much the same. John Reilly at first base, Bid McPhee at second base, Hick Carpenter at third base and Frank Fennelly at shortstop. Kid Baldwin replaced Pop Snyder behind the plate. Although Snyder would remain with the Red Stockings as a utility player.  Bid McPhee had a terrific year with 40 stolen bases, 139 runs, 150 hits, 23 RBI's, 23 doubles, 59 base on balls and 70 RBI's. He even led the league in home runs with 8. McPhee and shortstop Frank Fennely cranked the first back to back home runs in franchise history.

The rest of the starting line up was Charley Jones, Pop Corkhill and newcomer Fred Lewis in the outfield. While the pitching staff consisted of new comer George Pechiney (15-21), Larry McKeon (8-8) and newcomer Tony Mullane (33-27). Will White returned for the 1886. It turned out to be his last year in the majors. Plagued with injuries from the previous season and problems adjusting to the changing times of over handed pitching in the majors. White retired at the age of 31.   He was a great pitcher for the Red Stockings and some would argue the greatest the Reds franchise has ever had.

White played for the two Cincinnati Red Stockings franchises. The National League club that was dropped after the 1880 season. And the new American Association club which began play in 1882. His record while playing for the National League Red Stockings was 91-94. And his record for the Association Red Stockings club was 136-69. Add both Red Stockings clubs records up and his grand total is 227-164 with an ERA of 2.25.

The Red Stockings started the season on April 17th with a loss to the Louisville Colonels. But early in the season the club was hit with injuries to three of the clubs staters. John Reilly , Hick Carpenter and Pop Corkhill. Clubs in those days did not stock that many extra players. So it left the club scrambling to sign replacements. By seasons end Cincinnati was 65-73, finishing 27 games behind the two time pennant winning St Louis Browns (Cardinals).

The 1887 season saw the expansion of the American Association's baseball season go to 135 games. And the National League expand to 124 games.

The two established leagues also had some slight franchise changes. The American Association remained an eight team circuit and had seven of the eight teams from 1886 return. The Cincinnati Red Stockings, Philadelphia Athletics, Louisville Colonels, Baltimore Orioles, New York Metropolitans, Brooklyn Grays (Dodgers) and the St Louis Browns (Cardinals). New to the Association was a new team called the Cleveland Blues. Cleveland had a team named the Blues in the National League from 1879 to 1884 but the club folded. The new Blues would replace the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates). The Alleghenys (Pirates) were charter members of the American Association in 1882 and would be the first Association team to jump to the National League.

The National also remained an eight team circuit. Seeing the return of the Boston Beaneaters (Braves), Chicago White Stockings (Cubs), Detroit Wolverines, New York Giants, Philadelphia Quakers (Phillies) and the Washington Nationals. The St Louis Maroons and the Kansas City Cowboys folded after the 1886 season. St Louis would be replaced by a new team called the Indianapolis Hoosiers. While the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates) (fresh from the American Association) would replace the defunct Kansas City Cowboys.

The ownership of the Red Stockings during the off season would shift back to former majority owner Aaron Stern. And his first order of business was to replace Caylor as manager. He would be replaced by Gus Schmelz. Schmelz managed the defunct Columbus Buckeyes of the American Association and the defunct St Louis Maroons of the National League. His Buckeyes club almost captured the 1884 Association pennant.

Also during the offseason, the Red Stockings and St Louis Browns (Cardinals) would conduct the first baseball trade. Cincinnati would trade backup catcher Jack Boyle to St Louis for right fielder Hugh Nicol. Nicols had 89 base on balls for the 1887 season and would set a club record for drawing five walks in a game.The record has since been tied.  To Nicols credit, his achievement transpired during an era when five balls constituted a walk, not four. Nicols also stole 138 bases on the season. Setting a major league single season record that still stands.

Also new to the starting line up was rookie outfielder Geore Tebeau. Returning to the starting line up from 1886 was Kid Baldwin behind the plate, John Reilly at first base, Bid McPhee at second base, Hick Carpenter at third base and Frank Fennelly at shortstop. Pop Corkhill joined Tebeau & Nicol in the outfield.

The pitching staff consisted of ace Tony Mullane who had 31 wins and 17 loses. He was joined by Elmer Smith who's record was 34-17 and Billy Serad who's record was 10-11 with 1 save. Cincinnati's pitching staff would be the best in the Association with an ERA of 2.94.

Manager Schmelz did field a solid team in 1887. But despite having the number one pitching staffin the league, the mighty St Louis Browns (Cardinals) could not be overtaken. The club ran away with the Associations pennant. It would be the clubs third consecutive league championship. The Red Stockings finished second witha record of 84-54. Placing them 14 games behind St Louis.

For the 1888 baseball season, the National League would follow the lead of the American Association and expand the number of games played to 135. All of the National Leagues teams from 1887 would return.

The American Association saw the dismantling of the New York Metroplotians and the eventual disolving of the team. The Mets had been in the Association since 1883 and were league champions in 1884. The club was replaced by a new team called the Kansas City Cowboys. The Association was rounded out with the return of the other seven clubs. The Cincinnati Red Stockings, Philadelphia Athletics, Louisville Colonels, Baltimore Orioles, Brooklyn Bridegrooms (Dodgers) and the St Louis Browns (Cardinals).

The Red Stockings starting line up consisted of the entire 1887 staff with the exception of catcher Kid Baldwin. Kid Baldwin would shared catching duties with 30 year old Jim Keenan. First baseman John Reilly had another great year. His batting average was .321 and led the Association with a .501 slugging percentage. He also finished first with RBI's (103), total bases (264), extra bases (55) and home runs (13). Reilly also had 82 stolen bases and 110 hits on the season.

The Red Stockings pitching staff would see the addition of Lee Viau who had a record of 27-14. Tony Mullane's record was 26-16 and lefty Elmer Smith was 22-17.

It was believed that Cincinnati would be the team to topple the three time League Champion Browns club. Seeing as how the strong club would remain in tact from 1887. And looking at how the Browns more or less gutted their championship team before the season, at the request of manager Charlie Comiskey.

The Red Stockings on paper were by far the best looking team. Cincinnati's infield consisting of second baseman Bid McPhee, shortstop Fennelly, third baseman Carpenter and first baseman Reilly. 1888 would mark the fourth year that the Red Stockings infield would be the same. Something which was rare in its day. And the club had very solid pitching in Tony Mullan and Elmer Smith.

The first two months of the season, the Red Stockings maintained first place. And appeared to be proving the sports writers correct. But after Bid McPhee injured his leg during a game in Cleveland, leaving him benched for the next three weeks. The Red Stockings sunk in the standings. By the conclusion of the season the Red Stockings were in fourth place behind the surprise team of the Association. And the surprise team was none other then the St Louis Browns (Cardinals). The club had just captured their fourth straight Association pennant. Cincinnati finished the season with a record of 80-54 placing them 11  games behind St Louis.

Before the 1889 season, the Detriot Wolverines of the National League would fold leaving an eighth spot vacant for a new team. This spot was vacated by the Cleveland Blues of the American Association. The Association was beginning to crumble and the Blues would become the second franchise to bolt the Association for the greening pastures of the National League. The Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates) did the deed two years prior. While in the process of switching leagues, the Cleveland Blues would change their team nick name to the Cleveland Spiders.

The American Association would fill the vacancy left by the Blues with a new team called the Columbus Solons. The Association's other seven teams would all remain.

The 1889 Cincinnati Red Stockings saw the return of catcher Jim Keenan, first baseman John Reilly, second baseman Bid McPhee, third baseman Hick Carpenter and outfielders George Tebeau & Hugh Nicol. The club was joined by rookies Ollie Beard at shortstop and 22 year old Bug Holiday in the outfield. Holiday had a great rookie year. He finished first in the Association in home runs with 19. And he finished second in the league in slugging percentage (.497) and total bases (280). Holiday also had 104 RBI's, 181 hits, 107 runs scored and 28 doubles.

The pitching staff consisted of four starters. Tony Mullane (11-9 with 5 saves), Lee Viau (22-20), Elmer Smith (9-12) and new comer Jesse Duryea. Duryea was a 29 year old rookie who posted a record of 32-19 and and ERA of 2.56 in his first season.His ERA was second in the league.

Despite the Red Stockings having solid pitching, the club could not match up with the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (Dodgers). Brooklyn would win the American Association pennant by 18 games of the Cincinnati Reds Stockings. Cincinnati would finish the season with a record of 76-63 placing them in fourth place yet again.

The 1889 season would mark the last year that the Red Stockings would play in the Association. Fed up with the political shananigans going on within the league pinheads, the Red Stockings would leave the American Association for the National League along with the Baltimore Orioles and the American Association Champion Brooklyn Bridegrooms (Dodgers). With the exit of all three of the teams, it would mark a total of five clubs over a four year period to bolt the Association for the National League.

" To the President and Members of the American Association of Base Ball Clubs: the Cincinnati Club, through its president and secretary, hereby tenders its resignation as a member of your association"........Aaron Stern president & Harry Stern secretary of the Cincinnati Red Stockings.


OP Caylor

Photo courtesy of Lyons & Burford Publishing

Cincinnati Commercial baseball writer O.P. Caylor brough major league baseball back to Cincinnati in 1882. However, in order to do so, Caylor had to form a new major league. Caylor became one of the most influencial men in baseball when he helped form the American Association.


Hick Carpenter

Photo courtesy of Library Of Congress

Hick Carpenter was a solid player for the Red Stockings from 1882 to 1889. He batted .342 in 1882 and help guide Cincinnati to its first league pennant in the franchises history.


Bid McPhee

Photo courtesy of Library Of Congress

Second baseman and Hall of Famer Bid McPhee. Bid McPhee was the last second baseman to not use a glove in the outfield. McPhee finally caved into the changing times in 1896.

Pop Corkhill

Photo courtesy of Library Of Congress

Outfielder Pop Corkhill played for Cincinnati from 1883 to 1888. His career high for hits was in 1887 when he collected 168. Corkhill went on to win pennants with the Dodgers in 1889 & 1890.


Long John Reilly

Photo courtesy of Library Of Congress

Cincinnati native and first baseman John Reilly played with the National League Red Stockings for one year. After the club was dropped from the National League, he was without a job. Reilly signed on with the new American Association Reds in 1883. Reilly played his entire major league career in Cincinnati. Reilly is buried in Cincinnati's Spring Grove Cemetary.

Elmer Smith

Photo courtesy of Library Of Congress

Elmer Smith had two different stints with the Red Stockings. His first stint was from 1886 to 1889. And he would return in 1898 as a starter in the outfield.

Tony Mullane

Photo courtesy of Library Of Congress

Pitching great Tony Mullane spent most of his fabulous career in Cincinnati. Playing as a Red Stocking from 1886 to 1893. The Irish right-hander won 30 games in five consecutive seasons. He won 284 games in his career and missed the magic 300 mark by 16 wins. Despite other pitchers in the Hall of Fame with similar stats, Mullane has been tragically denied enshrinement.




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