Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cleveland Baseball History , Part IV

I hadn't forgotten about this project ! I've just had a lot of things going on lately. Recapping, in 1883 there were two Major Leagues. The National League and American Association. Cleveland was still known as the Blues and was part of the National League.
Interleague exhibition games were now allowed but they couldn't decide what rules to use as there were some differences between the two leagues.Among them,in the National League , a pop-up in foul territory had to be caught on the fly to be considered an out and the umpires could call for a new ball whenever they felt it was necessary ( usually not too often ! ). The American Association however, retained the one -bounce is an out rule, on foul balls and new baseballs could only be brought in at the beginning of a new inning.
The season began on May 1st and the Prvidence Grays started out with 6 straight wins until Cleveland defeated them on May 10th.The Blues and the Grays battled for league supremacy through mid August with Cleveland in the lead at 45-27 but then each dropped two games in a row which allowed the Boston Beaneaters and the Chicago White Stockings to get back into the race.Ultimately, Boston won with a 63-35 record while Cleveland finished 4th at 55-42. Broke our hearts again !
Cleveland's Jim McCormick once again turned in decent stats with a 28-12 record with 36 complete games. He also led the league with a 1.84 ERA.Their team batting average however, .246 , tied for 13th out of all 16 teams in both leagues combined. There was a tie for 15th place also at .240. Cleveland's .567 winning percentage would have also finished 4th in the American Association which was won by the Philadelphia Athletics at 66-32. Philadelphia, statistically, would have been no match for Boston, however, if there had been a world series. But who knows when you get that far !
In 1884 a third league appears ! 34 total teams.

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