Saturday, January 23, 2016

MAJOR LEAGUE FOUNDERS: ALBERT SPALDING 1876-1976

Allow me to start up a new thread that I’ll run for a while: a “Major League Founders” sub-set to commemorate the 100th season of Major League ball that was celebrated in 1976.
Would have been nice to have such a historical sub-set (along with the All-Century Team sub-set already included) to allow kids to gawk at the gaudy stats some of these early stars put together.
Anyway, I used the “All Time All Stars” template and tweaked it a bit, so let’s look at the card I created:


Spalding was the premier pitcher with the Boston club in the National Association before helping form the Major Leagues in 1876 and heading the Chicago team.
Ever since I got my first Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia around 1980 I became obsessed with these 19th Century players, and Spalding was one of THE reasons.
Just look at his ridiculous stats between 1871 and 1876!
All he did was put together a 251-65 record as a pitcher, with a .795 winning percentage and a 2.13 earned run average.
Sure the game was not nearly what it evolved to be years later, but those numbers are hilarious, almost a joke, so for a young kid like me seeing these for the first time I was amazed.
Oddly, since then I have read pretty much every book on 19th-Century baseball and cannot seem to remember why Spalding decided to stop playing the game at the age of 26 and really put his efforts into administration, organization and equipment manufacture.
I mean, yes he was immensely successful with all three, but it would have been awesome to see what he ended up with stat-wise.
As it was, he finished with a 252-65 record, leading his league in wins every single season he played except for his abbreviated 4-game season of 1877.
In 1875 he posted a phenomenal 54-5 record with a 1.59 ERA, seven shutouts and nine saves over 72 games, 62 of which were starts.
If you like the idea of this thread keep an eye out for other early stars of the game like Ross Barnes, Cap Anson and Jim Devlin.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea for a subset. Please include the 1869 Red Stockings and George Wright, founder of the Reds and Red Sox.

    ReplyDelete

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