American Association (19th century)
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The American Association (AA) was a
professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fieldin ...
league that existed for 10 seasons from to . Together with the
National League The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is o ...
(NL), founded in , the AA participated in an early version of the
World Series The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada, contested since 1903 World Series, 1903 between the champion teams of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The ...

World Series
seven times versus the champion of the NL in an interleague championship playoff tournament. At the end of its run, several AA franchises joined the NL. After 1891, the NL existed alone, with each season's champions being awarded the
Temple Cup The Temple Cup was a cup awarded to the winner of an annual best-of-seven postseason championship series for American professional baseball from 1894 to 1897. Competing teams were exclusively from the National League, which had been founded in 187 ...
(1894–1897). During its existence, the AA was often simply referred to as "the Association" in the media, in contrast to the NL, which was sometimes called "the League".


History

The American Association distinguished itself in several ways from what it considered to be the puritanical
National League The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is o ...
. The new league established teams in what the NL leaders pejoratively called "river cities", including
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Pittsburgh
,
Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a city in the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the ...

Cincinnati
,
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and
St. Louis St. Louis () is the second-largest city in Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State ( ...

St. Louis
, with the inherent implication of lower morality or social standards in those cities. In contrast to the NL, the AA offered cheaper ticket prices, Sunday games and alcoholic beverages to its patrons. As such, the American Association was the world's first professional sports league designed to out-compete another by better accommodating blue-collar tendencies and attitudes toward spectator sport. On November 8, 1881, at the
Gibson House Gibson House is a historical museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located on Yonge Street, in the North York Centre neighbourhood of the former city of North York. History The property was first acquired by David Gibson (Canadian politician) ...
in Cincinnati, it was decided that individual teams in the league-to-be would operate their own affairs and set their own admission prices, under an agreement called the "guarantee system". The NL at that time prohibited the sale of alcohol on its grounds, while the AA had no such restrictions, especially as several of its teams were backed by breweries and distilleries. The AA became known as "The Beer and Whiskey League", another pejorative term applied by NL owners, and which did not seem to bother the fans of the Association's clubs. Beginning in
1884 Events January–March * January 4 Events Pre-1600 *46 BC – Julius Caesar fights Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina. *871 – Battle of Reading (871), Battle of Reading: Æthelred of Wessex and his brother Alfre ...
and continuing through
1890 Events January–March * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the . There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in s). This day is known as since the day marks the beginning of the ...
, the champion of the AA met the champion of the NL in an early version of the
World Series The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada, contested since 1903 World Series, 1903 between the champion teams of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The ...

World Series
. These early Series were less organized than the modern version, with as few as three games played and as many as fifteen, and the contests of
1885 Events January–March * January 3 Events Pre-1600 * 69 – The Roman legions on the Rhine refuse to declare their allegiance to Galba Galba (; born Servius Sulpicius Galba; 24 December 3 BC – 15 January AD 69) was a Roma ...
and 1890 ending in disputed ties. The NL won four of these Series, while the AA won only one, in
1886 Events January–March * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modificat ...
when the
St. Louis Browns The St. Louis Browns were a Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team ...
(now Cardinals) defeated the
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(now Cubs). Over its lifetime, the AA was weakened by several factors. One was the tendency of some of its teams to jump to the NL. The consistently stronger NL was in better position to survive adverse conditions. Some owners of AA teams also owned a NL team. The most significant blow to the AA was dealt by the
Players' League The Players' National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, popularly known as the Players' League (PL), was a short-lived but star-studded professional American baseball league of the 19th century. The PL was formed by the Brotherhood of Profe ...
, a third major league formed in , which siphoned off talent and gate receipts. In a rare historical oddity, the
Brooklyn Bridegrooms The Brooklyn Dodgers were founded a Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specif ...
(now the Los Angeles Dodgers) won the league's championship and represented the AA in the
1889 World Series The 1889 World Series was an end-of-the-year baseball playoff series between the National League The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League ...
, switched to the NL during the off-season, and then repeated the same feat. No player who spent the majority of his career in the AA is in the
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baseball Hall of Fame
, although
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Bid McPhee
of the
Cincinnati Reds The Cincinnati Reds are an American professional baseball team based in Cincinnati. The Reds compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) National League Central, Central division, and were a charter membe ...

Cincinnati Reds
played eight of his eighteen seasons in the AA before the Reds moved to the National League. The living legacy of the old Association is the group of teams that came over to the National League to stay. The Pirates moved to the NL after the 1886 season, the Bridegrooms/Dodgers and the
Cincinnati Reds The Cincinnati Reds are an American professional baseball team based in Cincinnati. The Reds compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) National League Central, Central division, and were a charter membe ...

Cincinnati Reds
after the 1889 season, and the Browns/Cardinals after the American Association folded following the 1891 season. Following the reorganization and contraction of the NL from 12 teams down to 8 in 1900, half of the eight surviving teams were former members of the AA. Several of the AA's home-field venues survived into the 1960s: The ballpark used by the 1891 Washington club evolved into
Griffith Stadium Griffith Stadium stood in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The Nationa ...
; the home of the St. Louis Browns,
Sportsman's Park Sportsman's Park was the name of several former Major League Baseball Baseball park, ballpark structures in St. Louis, Missouri. All but one of these were located on the same piece of land, at the northwest corner of Grand Boulevard (St. Louis), ...
; and the city block occupied by the Reds, which evolved into
Crosley Field Crosley Field was a Major League Baseball park in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was the home field of the National League's Cincinnati Reds from 1912 in baseball, 1912 through June 24, 1970, and the original Cincinnati Bengals (AFL), Cincinnati Bengals foo ...
. Crosley was the last physical remnant of the AA to go, other than the clubs themselves, when it was replaced by
Riverfront Stadium Riverfront Stadium, also known as Cinergy Field from 1996 to 2002, was a multi-purpose stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States that was the home of the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball from 1970 Major League Baseball season, 1970 throug ...
in mid-1970. During the AA's existence, several teams defected over to the NL, and at the AA's demise in 1891 four additional clubs joined the NL. Four former AA clubs, the Pittsburgh Pirates (defected to the NL in 1887), the Cincinnati Reds (defected to the NL in 1889), the Los Angeles Dodgers (defected in 1890) and the St. Louis Cardinals (joined the NL after the AA demise in 1891), have posted more than 10,000 lifetime major league victories.


Pennant winners of the AA

*
1882 Events January–March * January 2 ** The Standard Oil Trust (business), Trust is secretly created in the United States, to control multiple corporations set up by John D. Rockefeller and his associates. ** Irish-born author Oscar W ...
Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a city in the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the ...
*
1883 Events January–March * January 4 Events Pre-1600 *46 BC – Julius Caesar fights Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina. *871 – Battle of Reading (871), Battle of Reading: Æthelred of Wessex and his brother Alfr ...
Philadelphia Athletics Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...
*
1884 Events January–March * January 4 Events Pre-1600 *46 BC – Julius Caesar fights Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina. *871 – Battle of Reading (871), Battle of Reading: Æthelred of Wessex and his brother Alfre ...
New York Metropolitans Metropolitan Club (New York Metropolitans or the Mets) was a 19th-century professional A professional is a member of a profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselv ...
(lost World Series, 3–0, to Providence NL) *
1885 Events January–March * January 3 Events Pre-1600 * 69 – The Roman legions on the Rhine refuse to declare their allegiance to Galba Galba (; born Servius Sulpicius Galba; 24 December 3 BC – 15 January AD 69) was a Roma ...
St. Louis "Browns" (tied World Series, 3–3–1, with Chicago NL) *
1886 Events January–March * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modificat ...
St. Louis "Browns" (won World Series, 4–2, over Chicago NL) *1887 AA season, 1887 St. Louis "Browns" (lost World Series, 10–5, to Detroit NL) *1888 AA season, 1888 St. Louis "Browns" (lost World Series, 6–2, to New York NL) *1889 AA season, 1889
Brooklyn Bridegrooms The Brooklyn Dodgers were founded a Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specif ...
(lost World Series, 6–3, to New York NL) *1890 AA season, 1890 Louisville Colonels (tied World Series, 3–3–1, with Brooklyn NL) *1891 AA season, 1891 Boston Reds (1890–91), Boston Red Stockings


American Association franchises


Timeline

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other options are anchor:from anchor:till align:center # other options are align:left align:right shift:(0,-5) #---Charter Members of the AA in 1882 bar:BAL from:1882 till:1892 color:orange text:"Baltimore Orioles" bar:BAL from:1892 till:end color:nl1 text:(NL)" bar:CINR from:1882 till:1890 color:darkred text:"Cincinnati Red Stockings" bar:CINR from:1890 till:end color:nl1 text:"(NL)" bar:LOU from:1882 till:1885 color:black text:"Louisville~Eclipse" textcolor:white $Up bar:LOU from:1885 till:1892 color:gray text:"Louisville~Colonels" textcolor:white $Up bar:LOU from:1892 till:end color:nl1 text:"(NL)" bar:PHI from:1882 till:1891 color:skyblue text:"Philadelphia Athletics" bar:PIT from:1882 till:1887 color:yellow text:"Pittsburgh Alleghenys" bar:PIT from:1887 till:end color:nl1 text:"(NL)" bar:SLB from:1882 till:1892 color:brown text:"St Louis Brown Stockings" textcolor:white bar:SLB from:1892 till:end color:nl1 text:"(NL)" #---1883 bar:COL from:1883 till:1885 color:navy text:"Columbus~Buckeyes" textcolor:white $Up bar:NYM from:1883 till:1888 color:black text:"New York~Metropolitans" textcolor:white $Up #---1884 bar:BRK from:1884 till:1885 color:blue text:"Brooklyn~Atlantics" $Up bar:BRK from:1885 till:1888 color:gray text:"Brooklyn~Grays" $Up bar:BRK from:1888 till:1890 color:navy text:"Brooklyn~Bridegrooms" textcolor:white $Up bar:BRK from:1890 till:end color:nl1 text:"(NL)" bar:IND from:1884 till:1885 color:sand text:"Indianapolis~Hoosiers" $Up bar:TLB from:1884 till:1885 color:skyblue text:"Toledo Blue~Stockings" $Up bar:WAS from:1884 till:1885 color:blue text:"Washington~Statesmen (1)" textcolor:white $Up bar:RCHM from:1884 till:1885 color:gold text:"Richmond~Virginians (1)" $Up #---1887 bar:CLE from:1887 till:1889 color:black text:"Cleveland~Spiders" textcolor:white $Up bar:CLE from:1889 till:end color:nl1 text:"(NL)" #---1888 bar:KCC from:1888 till:1890 color:iceblue text:"Kansas City~Cowboys" $Up #---1889 bar:CLB from:1889 till:1892 color:red text:"Columbus~Solons" $Up #---1890 bar:BKN from:1890 till:1891 color:purple text:"Brooklyn~Gladiators" $Up bar:RCHT from:1890 till:1891 color:darkred text:"Rochester~Broncos" textcolor:white $Up bar:SYR from:1890 till:1891 color:yellow text:"Syracuse~Stars" $Up bar:TLM from:1890 till:1891 color:kelleygreen text:"Toledo~Maumees" $Up #---1891 bar:PHI2 from:1890 till:1891 color:nl1 text:"Philadelphia~Quakers (PL)" $Up bar:PHI2 from:1891 till:1892 color:skyblue text:"Philadelphia~Athletics (2)" $Up bar:BOS from:1890 till:1891 color:nl1 text:"(PL)" bar:BOS from:1891 till:1892 color:red text:"Boston~Reds" $Up bar:CINP from:1891 till:1892 color:pink text:"Cincinnati~Kelly's Killers" $Up bar:MIL from:1891 till:1892 color:vegasgold text:"Milwaukee~Brewers (3)" $Up bar:WSH from:1891 till:1892 color:blue text:"Washington~Statesmen" textcolor:white $Up bar:WSH from:1892 till:end color:nl1 text:"(NL)" #The 1884 Washington Statesmen were replaced during the season by the Richmond Virginians. #For the 1891 season, the Philadelphia Athletics were replaced by the Philadelphia Quakers of the Player's League. #The 1891 Cincinnati Kelly's Killers folded during the season and were replaced by the Milwaukee Brewers. *1882 – AA forms with six teams *1883 – AA expands to eight teams *1884 – AA expands to twelve teams in response to Union Association threat *1885 – AA returns to eight teams *1887 – Allegheny ("Pittsburgh Alleghenys") leave AA to join NL *1889 – Cleveland Spiders leave AA to join NL *1890 – Cincinnati Red Stockings and Brooklyn Bridegrooms leave AA to join NL *1892 – Baltimore Orioles, Louisville Colonels, St. Louis Browns, and Washington Senators join National League after the folding of the AA


AA presidents

*Denny McKnight, H. D. McKnight (1882–1885) *Wheeler C. Wyckoff (1886–1889) *Zach Phelps (1890) *Allan W. Thurman (1890–1891) *Louis Kramer (1891) *Ed Renau (1891) *Zach Phelps (1891)


Notes


References

;General * * ;Specific


External links


"American Association Remembered"
MLB.com {{DEFAULTSORT:American Association (19th Century) Sports leagues established in 1882 1882 establishments in the United States 1891 disestablishments in the United States Defunct major baseball leagues in the United States Articles which contain graphical timelines