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1889 in baseball: Wikis


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The following are the baseball events of the year 1889 throughout the world.  



Major league baseball final standings


National League final standings

National League
Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
New York Giants 83 43 .659 --
Boston Beaneaters 83 45 .648 1
Chicago White Stockings 67 65 .508 19
Philadelphia Phillies/Quakers 63 64 .496 20.5
Pittsburg Alleghenys 61 71 .462 25
Cleveland Spiders 61 72 .459 25.5
Indianapolis Hoosiers 59 75 .440 28
Washington Nationals 41 83 .331 41

American Association final standings

American Association
Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
Brooklyn Bridegrooms 93 44 .679 --
St. Louis Browns 90 45 .667 2
Philadelphia Athletics 75 58 .564 16
Cincinnati Red Stockings 76 63 .547 18
Baltimore Orioles 70 65 .519 22
Columbus Solons 60 78 .435 33.5
Kansas City Cowboys 55 82 .401 38
Louisville Colonels 27 111 .196 66.5

Statistical leaders

National League Statistical Leaders

National League
Type Name Stat
AVG Dan Brouthers BSN .373
HR Sam Thompson PHI 20
RBI Roger Connor NYG 130
Wins John Clarkson BSN 49
ERA John Clarkson BSN 2.73
Strikeouts John Clarkson BSN 284

American Association Statistical Leaders

American Association
Type Name Stat
AVG Tommy Tucker BAL .372
HR Bug Holliday CIN 19 Harry Stovey PHA 19
RBI Harry Stovey PHA 119
Wins Bob Caruthers BRO 40
ERA Jack Stivetts STL 2.25
Strikeouts Mark Baldwin COL 368

Notable seasons



  • January 22 - The Indianapolis Hoosiers, $30,000 in debt, surrender control of the franchise to the National League in the hopes of finding new ownership.
  • February 2 - John T. Brush heads up a group that assumes ownership of the Indianapolis Hoosiers.
  • February 8 - Demolition crews begin the dismantling of the Polo Grounds in order to run new streets through the property. The New York Giants will be forced to play their home games at the St. George Cricket Grounds until a new Polo Grounds is finished in early July.
  • February 19 - A tour of baseball players led by John Ward stages its first game in Europe, playing in Naples, Italy.
  • March 7 - Pittsburgh Allegheny players, Bill Kuehne and Ed Morris, are arrested and charged with operating a gambling house out of their billiard parlor. The charges against both are dropped when the prosecution's star witness fails to appear in court to testify against them.
  • March 20 - A New York City sporting goods house receives an order from Japan for baseball equipment. The corresponding letter states that a league will soon be formed as the game has been played there for several months already.


  • April 17 - The American Association season begins.
  • April 23 - New York Governor David Hill vetoes a bill from the state legislature that would block the street construction at the Polo Grounds.
  • April 29 - The New York Giants play their first home game at the St. George Cricket Grounds on Staten Island. The right-fielder plays on a stage used for theatre productions in the multi-purpose complex.
  • May 1 - George Keefe of the Washington Nationals sets a record by walking 7 batters in one inning in a game against the New York Giants.
  • May 2 - Yank Robinson of the St. Louis Browns is fined and suspended after getting into a shouting match with Browns owner Chris von der Ahe. His teammates nearly refuse to make a trip to Kansas City and do lose 3 straight games to the Cowboys amid suspicion they are throwing the games because of Robinson's suspension.
  • May 6 - Chris von der Ahe, owner of the Browns, rescinds Yank Robinson's suspension. The Browns respond by beating the Kansas City Cowboys, their first victory since the suspension.
  • May 7 - Yank Robinson returns to the Browns lineup and goes 4-6 at the plate, leading St. Louis to a 21-0 win over the Columbus Solons.
  • May 9 - Amos Rusie makes his major league debut with the Indianapolis Hoosiers.
  • May 14 - The Pittsburgh Alleghenys suspend pitchers Ed Morris and Pete Conway, so they won't have to pay the salaries for the 2 sore-armed pitchers. Morris will return in 3 weeks although he will never again be an effective pitcher while Conway, a 30 game in 1888, will never pitch again.
  • May 19 - Most of the seating is destroyed by fire at Brooklyn's Washington Park. The stands will be rebuilt within a month.
  • May 24 - Bill Kuehne of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys sets a record by handling 13 chances at 3rd base in one game.
  • May 25 - When Dave Orr of the Columbus Solons refuses to leave the field after being ejected, umpire Fred Goldsmith declares the game forfeited to the visiting Brooklyn Bridegrooms. Both teams refuse to abide by the forfeit and complete the game after Orr is replaced by a substitute.
  • May 30 - The Brooklyn Bridegrooms defeat the St. Louis Browns 9-7 in front of the largest crowd in American Association history. 22,122 fans fill Washington Park which has only 3,000 seats available after the fire 11 days earlier that destroyed the stands.
  • June 7 - Pete Browning hits for the cycle in a losing cause, as the Louisville Colonels drop their 14th consecutive game.
  • June 11 - Dan Brouthers strikes out in a game for the first time this season. Brouthers will end the year with only 6 strikeouts in over 550 plate appearances.
  • June 13 - After the Louisville Colonels lose their 19th straight game, owner-manager Mordecai Davidson threatens to fine each player $25 if they lose their next game, even though the players are already owed back pay by Davidson.
  • June 15 - Protesting Mordecai Davidson's threat of fines, only 6 Louisville Colonels show up for their game against the Baltimore Orioles. Davidson is forced to pick up 3 Baltimore amateurs to play the outfield. Charles Fisher, John Traffley and Mike Gaule each make the only appearance of their careers as Louisville loses their 20th in a row.
  • June 17 - After consulting Baltimore manager, Billy Barnie, the striking players of the Louisville Colonels return to the field for a doubleheader. The Colonels blow a 9th inning 6-3 lead in Game 1 to lose and manage only 1 hit while committing 7 errors to drop the second game.
  • June 19 - Center fielder Dummy Hoy sets a major league record by throwing 3 runners out at the plate in one game.
  • June 22 - The Sporting News reports that major league players are unhappy with the classification system for pay and no say or share in their sale to other clubs, and that a strike is imminent beginning in early July.
  • June 22 - The Louisville Colonels drop a pair of games to the St. Louis Browns to extend their losing streak to 26 games, which still stands as the major league record.
  • June 23 - Louisville finally gets a win in defeating the Browns 7-3.
  • June 24 - Louisville owner-manager Mordecai Davidson resigns as manager and hires an Eclipse Park employee as the new manager, although right fielder Jimmy "Chicken" Wolf will actually run the team.
  • June 28 - Billy Hamilton hits 3 triples in the first game of a doubleheader and then adds another one in the night cap to set a record for most triples in a doubleheader.


  • Early July - John Montgomery Ward convinces representatives for The Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players to hold off on their planned strike for a couple of weeks until he can present them with a better long-term solution.
  • July 2 - Louisville Colonels owner Mordecai Davidson, unable to pay the players salaries, turns the team over to the American Association. The AA will announce new ownership for the team within 3 days.
  • July 6 - Player-manager John Morrill, his team in last place in the National League at 13-40 and a personal batting average of .185, is let go by the Washington Nationals after leaving the team to go see ailing relatives in Worcester.
  • July 8 - The New York Giants play their first game at the newly relocated Polo Grounds. The stadium will remain a fixture in major league baseball until its demolition in 1964.
  • July 12 - John Clarkson of the Boston Beaneaters is taken out after pitching 5 innings of no-hit ball in order to rest him for his next start. Teammate Bill Sowders allows 1 hit over the last 4 innings for the combined 1-hitter.
  • July 14 - Albert Spalding publishes his ideas for the classification and structure of the minor leagues. His ideas will be the foundation of minor league baseball that last to the present day.
  • July 14 - At a secret meeting of The Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players held at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City, John Montgomery Ward instructs Brotherhood representatives that "each player look up the feasibility of securing capital in his own city" for the purpose of starting a competing league that would give the players an equal say in all baseball matters.
  • July 24 - Joe Dowie will collect only 17 hits in his one season of major league baseball, but 5 of them come on this day in as he helps the Baltimore Orioles to an easy 17-3 win over the Louisville Colonels.
  • July 26 - Jay Faatz hits possibly the shortest grand slam ever when he hits a ball that ricochets off of the 3rd baseman's foot and rolls under some temporary bleachers placed close to 3rd base. Faatz circles the bases as the ball is still in play according to the park's ground rules.
  • July 29 - Mike "King" Kelly of the Boston Beaneaters robs the Philadelphia Quakers of a victory when, after Sam Thompson had apparently hit a long drive over the right field fence for a home run, he manages to throw a ball back into the infield that holds Thompson on the bases. While the Quakers argue that Kelly used a different ball, the umpire rules it is the game ball and allows the play to stand. Thompson is stranded on base as the Beaneaters go on to win 7-6 in extra innings.
  • August 7 - The Cleveland Spiders score 14 runs in the 3rd inning, still a record for that inning, in a 20-6 win over the Washington Nationals.
  • August 12 - The first-place St. Louis Browns complete a 3 game sweep in St. Louis over the 2nd place Brooklyn Bridegrooms with a 11-0 win in front of 32,911 fans.
  • August 18 - The Cincinnati police stop a scheduled Cincinnati Red Stockings Sunday game after a court ruling prohibits Sunday baseball. The ban will be a factor in the Red Stockings' decision to jump to the National League in 1890.
  • August 25 - The Red Stockings are again stopped by police from playing a Sunday game.
  • September 1 - After having led the American Association all but 3 days of the season, the St. Louis Browns fall out of first place by losing in extra innings to the Columbus Solons.
  • September 3 - Con Daily of the Indianapolis Hoosiers makes the final out in a 7-6 loss to the Boston Beaneaters just after the umpire had apparently called time. Given a second chance, Daily hits a 2-run single to give the Hoosiers an 8-7 win.
  • September 7 - In a critcical 2-game series, the St. Louis Browns leave the field in Brooklyn in the 9th inning leading 4-2 claiming it is too dark to continue play. Umpire Fred Goldsmith disagrees and forfeits the game to the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. Several Browns players are hit by thrown bottle as they leave the park.
  • September 8 - Citing safety concerns, the Browns fail to show for their game against Brooklyn and forfeit for the 2nd day in a row, giving the Bridegrooms a 4-1/2 game lead over the Browns.
  • September 11 - In a season that will have 135 rainouts between the 2 leagues, every scheduled game in both leagues is postponed due to rain on this day.
  • September 23 - The American Association, in an emergency meeting, overturns the forfeit by the St. Louis Browns on September 7 and awards them a 4-2 victory. The ruling draws the Browns back to within 4-1/2 games of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms.
  • September 25 - The Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players' plan to start a rival league is leaked to the press.
  • September 27 - Out of the pennant race, the Philadelphia Quakers make a largely symbolic move by releasing Brotherhood activists outfielder George Wood who is batting .251 and pitcher Dan Casey who has a 6-10 record.


  • October 5 - The New York Giants clinch the National League pennant on the last day of the season with a 5-3 win coupled with the Boston Beaneaters 6-1 loss. It was the first time in major league history that the pennant was determined on the last day of the season.
  • October 6 - The Brooklyn Bridegrooms complete their home schedule with a 9-0 win. Brooklyn sets a new National League season attendance record by drawing 353,690 fans in 1889.
  • October 19 - The Giants even the series by taking Game 2 by a score of 6-2.
  • October 22 - The Bridegrooms take Game 3 by a score of 8-7 in a game called because of darkness that ends with the Giants having the bases loaded and 1 out in the top of the 9th inning.
  • October 23 - In another game called early by darkness, New York scores 5 runs in the top of the 6th to tie the game at 7, only to see the Bridegrooms win it on a 3-run homer by Oyster Burns in the bottom of the 6th inning.
  • October 24 - The Giants win Game 5 by a score of 11-3.
  • October 25 - New York evens the series at 3 games apiece by tying the game at 1 with a run in the 9th inning. The Giants then win it in the 11th inning as Hank O'Day outlasts Adonis Terry in the 2-1 extra inning thriller.
  • October 28 - The Giants win their 4th straight game by defeating Brooklyn 16-7.
  • October 29 - The New York Giants win their 2nd consecutive World Series title by beating the Brooklyn Bridegrooms 3-2 for their 5th straight win in taking the series 6 games to 3.
  • November 4 - The Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players issues its Manifesto stating that "players have been bought‚ sold and exchanged as though they were sheep instead of American citizens."
  • November 7 - The Brotherhood meets to begin formal preparation for their new Players League to begin in the 1890 season.
  • November 21 - The National League issues its reply to the Players League manifesto. Claiming that the League saved baseball in 1876 and that under the reserve rules players' salaries had "more than trebled," the NL denounces the Brotherhood movement as "the efforts of certain overpaid players to again control [baseball] for their own aggrandizement. . . to its ultimate dishonor and disintegration."
  • December 16 - The Players League is formally organized, selecting Colonel Edwin A. McAlpin as president.
  • December 17 - The Players League votes to utilize a 2-man umpiring crew for their 1890 season and also set their pitching distance at 57 feet, a 1-1/2 foot increase over the NL and AA.






External links


  • Nemec, David (1994). The Beer and Whiskey League: The Illustrated History of the American Association-Baseball's Renegade Major League. New York: Lyons & Burford, Publishers ISBN 1-55821-285-X


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