November 21, 2002

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION. 17

THE CHAMPIONSHIP CAMPAIGN OF 1888.

The championship campaign of the American Association in 1888 proved to
be exceptionally interesting in one respect, and that was in the close
contest for the lead between the St. Louis, Brooklyn, Athletic and
Cincinnati Clubs. Another feature was the fact that the best managed and
most ably captained team of the eight clubs deservedly bore off the
championship honors of the season; and that, too, against the strong team
of picked star players which the Brooklyn Club gathered together at such
cost to oppose the champions. The season was also made specially
noteworthy by the fact that the St. Louis Club came in victors in the race
for the fourth consecutive season, a record no other club except the
Boston has ever been able to equal, and in the case of the Boston Club it
was done before the organization of the National League. The pennant race
was commenced on April 18, on which date the Louisville team began play at
St. Louis, and the Cincinnatis at Kansas City in the West; while the
Cleveland team opened at Brooklyn, and the Baltimore at Philadelphia in
the East, the victors being the St. Louis, Cincinnati, Brooklyn, and
Baltimore teams. By the end of April the Cincinnati and Athletic teams led
in the West and East, with St. Louis and Brooklyn occupying fourth and
fifth positions respectively, in the race. Before the end of May, while
Cincinnati stood in the van, St. Louis had pulled up to second place, and
Brooklyn had secured third position, the Athletics being fourth. In June
Cincinnati fell off and St. Louis went to the front, with Brooklyn a close
second, and the Athletics third. In July, Cincinnati rallied well and
pushed the Athletics down to fourth place, while St. Louis and Brooklyn
still occupied the leading positions. It was during the week ending July
15 that Brooklyn held first place with a percentage of .676 to
St. Louis .639; before the month ended, however, St. Louis pulled up
to .662, while Brooklyn stood at .641.

August proved to be a fatal month for Brooklyn, they only winning 8 games
out of 22 won and lost this month, the result of their tumble being their
retirement to fourth place, Cincinnati rallying well this month, while St.
Louis began to look sure for the pennant, the Athletics ending the month a
good third in the race. In September the Athletics pressed the Cincinnatis
hard, and drove them out of second place, and before the month ended it
was made evident that the closing part of the campaign would see a hot
fight for the second position in the race between the Athletic and
Brooklyn teams, September seeing the St. Louis team a fixture for first
place, while Cincinnati was kept back in fourth position. By the close of
September, St. Louis held first with a percentage of .691; the Athletics
were second, with .615; Brooklyn third with .606, and Cincinnati fourth
with .574. October saw a close struggle between the Athletic and Brooklyn
teams for second place, and had the former team been kept temperate they
would have finished second; but they "boozed" too much in October, and
this gave Brooklyn the chance to take the position from them, and when the
campaign ended on the 17th of October the record left the eight clubs
occupying the following relative positions:

| Won. | Lost. | Per Ct.
----------+------+-------+-------
St. Louis | 92 | 43 | .681
Brooklyn | 88 | 52 | .629
Athletic | 81 | 52 | .609
Cincinnati| 80 | 54 | .597
Baltimore | 57 | 80 | .416
Cleveland | 50 | 82 | .378
Louisville| 48 | 87 | .355
Kans. City| 43 | 89 | .326

In the above record the Athletic Club is credited with one victory and
Baltimore with one defeat less than they were given credit for in the
records published at the close of the season. The game was taken out of
the record by the following order of President Wikoff:

NEW YORK, October 16.
W.S. KAMES, Esq, Secretary Athletic Base Ball Club, Philadelphia:

_Dear Sir:_--I find on examination that the Baltimore Athletic game of
June 10, 1888, played at Gloucester, N.J., and won by your club, and
which
has been counted in the regular championship series as a postponed game
of
April 21, was irregular, for the reason that the said postponed game of
April 21 was played off by your club in Philadelphia as per authority of
my official circular No. 36, on May 16, 1888. Therefore, the game won by
the Athletic Club on June 10 cannot be counted in the regular
championship
series. Yours truly,
WHEELER C. WIKOFF, Secy.


It will be seen that the St. Louis Club won the championship, and for the
fourth consecutive time, thus breaking the record. The Brooklyns, by a
liberal expenditure of money toward the close of the season, succeeded in
strengthening sufficiently to head off the Athletics for second place, and
the latter had to be content with third position. The Cincinnatis did good
work toward the close, despite the sale of several valuable players, and
almost succeeded in closing the gap between fourth and third places; as it
was, they ended a close fourth. Baltimore secured fifth place by a goodly
margin over the sixth club, Cleveland. Louisville finished seventh, the
lowest position the club ever occupied. Kansas City, though the
tail-ender, nevertheless made an excellent first-season record. Neither
the St. Louis nor Brooklyn Clubs lost a series. They split even with ten
victories each in their games, and Brooklyn stood alone in winning the
series from every other club. The Brooklyn Club alone played its full
schedule of 140 games.

The following is a full and complete summary of the work done by the
eight clubs in the championship arena during 1888:


| | | | | | | | K
| | | | C | | | L | a
| S | | | I | B | C | o | n
| t | B | A | n | a | l | u | s
| . | r | t | c | l | e | i | a
| | o | h | i | t | v | s | s
| L | o | l | n | i | e | v |
| o | k | e | n | m | l | i | C
| u | l | t | a | o | a | l | i
| i | y | i | t | r | n | l | t
| s | n | c | i | e | d | e | y
| . | . | . | . | . | . | . | .
-----------------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----
Victories | 92| 88| 81| 80| 57| 50| 48| 43
Defeats | 43| 52| 52| 54| 80| 82| 87| 89
Drawn Games | 2| 3| 3| 3| 0| 3| 4| 0
Total Played | 137| 143| 136| 137| 137| 135| 139| 132
Per Cent. of Victories |.681|.629|.609|.597|.416|.378|.355|.326
Series Won | 4| 6| 4| 3| 2| 0| 1| 0
Series Lost | 0| 0| 1| 1| 4| 3| 5| 6
Series Tied | 1| 1| 1| 1| 0| 0| 0| 0
Series Unfinished | 2| 0| 1| 2| 1| 4| 1| 1
"Chicago" Victories | 12| 9| 13| 9| 3| 5| 6| 4
"Chicago" Defeats | 4| 9| 5| 7| 8| 12| 6| 10
Home Victories | 60| 52| 51| 56| 30| 32| 26| 25
Home Defeats | 21| 20| 20| 24| 26| 27| 29| 33
Victories Abroad | 29| 36| 30| 24| 27| 18| 22| 18
Defeats Abroad | 22| 32| 32| 50| 31| 23| 58| 56
Extra Innings Victories| 3| 7| 5| 8| 3| 1| 2| 1
Extra Innings Defeats | 6| 3| 7| 4| 3| 1| 5| 2
Extra Innings Drawn | 2| 2| 2| 2| 0| 1| 1| 0
Single Figure Victories| 73| 74| 57| 56| 48| 37| 37| 32
Single Figure Defeats | 38| 46| 46| 44| 59| 58| 62| 65
Double Figure Victories| 19| 14| 24| 24| 9| 13| 11| 11
Double Figure Defeats | 5| 6| 6| 10| 21| 24| 25| 24
Batting Average |.250|.243|.263|.240|.231|.235|.248|.221
Fielding Average |.930|.924|.934|.940|.928|.941|.913|.921
Highest Score in a Game| 18| 18| 28| 18| 12| 23| 18| 26
Worst Defeat | 5-0| 7-0| 8-0|12-0|14-0|15-0| 9-0|14-0
Won by One Run | 15| 20| 11| 19| 16| 14| 11| 16
Lost by One Run | 18| 15| 15| 14| 10| 19| 10| 15
Total Runs Scored | 790| 757| 828| 734| 653| 641|.678| 578
Total Stolen Bases | 526| 413| 568| 464| 374| 399| 368| 266