1889 Metropolitans: The Trials and Tribulations of an Independent Club

From SABR member Cliff Blau at Seamheads.com on November 18, 2011:

Since the early days of base ball, most professional teams have chosen to affiliate with others in leagues.  This offers them certain advantages, such as having a regular schedule of games, at the cost of a loss of autonomy.  Other teams have chosen, or been forced, to go it alone as independent teams.  This is the story of one such club.

In 1880, the Metropolitan Club became the first professional base ball club to play its home games in New York City.  Earlier clubs from New York had played in Brooklyn, then a separate city.  Originally an independent club, the Metropolitans joined the American Association (AA) in 1883.  They won the AA pennant in 1884, then finished in seventh place each of the next three years before being bought out by the rival Brooklyn club.  Brooklyn kept some of their players and sold the contracts of others.  Some of the Metropolitan players played for minor league teams in 1888.  The franchise was maintained, in name only, by the AA that year.  That should have been the end of the Metropolitans’ story, but in early March 1889, some of the ex-Metropolitan players decided to organize a new club with the name Metropolitan Base Ball Club of New York City.


Read the full article here: http://seamheads.com/2011/11/18/1889-metropolitans-the-trials-and-tribulations-of-an-independent-club/

Originally published: November 18, 2011. Last Updated: November 18, 2011.