The first dozen or so years following the founding of the

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The first dozen or so years following the founding of the

Post by TheRiddler on Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:10 pm

National League found three teams sharing the Pennant honors: the Boston Red Caps, Chicago White Stockings or the Providence Greys won each year. Almost half of that time it was the White Stockings. The American Association was formed in 1882, but never really played a World Series against the NL winner until 1886.

In 1886 the AA St. Louis club, the Browns, met the NL Chicago White Stockings in the first World Series, and to the surprise of many, the Browns won.

Baseball cards were just becoming a mass produced item, and the tobacco manufacturers drew their lines in the sand regarding the thrust of their sets. Goodwin & Co. appears to have backed the AA with their Old Judge (and related) sets depicting the Browns Champions. Champions over all of baseball. With a reasonable approximation of "all of baseball" in the breadth of the set which they produced, and an obvious recognition of the Browns players in the comparitive elegance in which the Champions were portrayed. While Allen & Ginter appeared to favor the NL with their N28 & 29 depictions of primarilly NLers from various teams, displaying the depth of the strength in that league, something that the AA appeared to lack. The players shown include: the Wolverine battery of Bennett and Getzein, that of the Giants including Ewing and Keefe, as well as Ward. Also offered are some of the stars of the Boston and Chicago clubs: Clarkson, Ryan, Anson, Morrill, and Kelly. The speedsters from the Quakers were included - Mulvey and Fogarty, as well as Indianapolis' popular Capt. Glasscock. The set did not exclude the Browns, but selected two who arguably deserve recognition the most out of a field of strong candidates: Comiskey and Caruthers.

The story of what transpired following this 1886 surprise win by the Browns is a complex history and a study of many individuals and factors. The brief overview is that the Browns were baseball's first dynasty, and preventing them from continuing to win the Series required the Wolverines holding together a team which included both Sam Thompson and Dan Brouthers (as well as others of note) for one year while the Giants were assembling competition in the form of Mike Tiernan, Buck Ewing, George Gore, Roger Connor, Monte Ward, Jim O'Rourke, Micket Welch, Tim Keefe, and others. The NY entry was equal to the task, in part, because von der Ahe sold his two top pitchers Caruthers and Foutz, as well as others; yet they still won four consecutive Pennants, but no more World Series.

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