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The Worcester Worcesters were a 19th century Major League Baseball team from 1880 to 1882 in the National League.[1] The team is referred to, at times, as the Brown Stockings[2] or the Ruby Legs;[1] however, no contemporary sources from the time exist that support the use of either name.[3] The Ruby Legs played their home games at the Worcester Driving Park Grounds in the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds, located south of Highland Street between Sever Street and Russell Street in Worcester, Massachusetts.[4]

On June 12, 1880, pitcher Lee Richmond threw the first perfect game in Major League history, against the Cleveland Blues.[5] The team made history again on August 20 of the same year by becoming the first team to be no-hit at home, when Pud Galvin of the Buffalo Bisons defeated them 1-0.[5]

According to Lee Allen, Cincinnati writer and eventual director of the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Worcester club impacted the National League in another way in 1880; it was instrumental in having the Cincinnati Reds expelled from the league after the season, due to violations of the league rules against selling beer at the ballpark. In his 1948 book, The Cincinnati Reds (published by Putnam), Allen took some satisfaction in pointing out that the Reds re-formed in 1882, initially as a member of the American Association, the same year that Worcester's days as a major league franchise, as well as their influence, came to an end.

The Worcester team was dropped from the league following the 1882 season, due to minuscule attendance. In 1883, their spot was taken by the Philadelphia Quakers, who later became the Philadelphia Phillies. Many sources say that the Worcesters moved to Philadelphia, but all available evidence suggests there is no direct link between the teams. Significantly, no players from the 1882 Worcester club ended up with the 1883 Quakers.

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