Craig: The best championship game you’ve never heard of, Mutuals vs. White Stockings, 1870

From Mary Craig at Baseball Prospectus on June 21, 2018:

Though the 1870 championship game involved a team called the Mutuals, the conclusion was anything but. In many ways, the game was about as improbable as one could be. The reigning champions entered the season expecting to easily trounce their way to another championship, while the newly formed Chicago White Stockings should have been happy with a participation trophy. The Mutuals won the most games against professional teams, while the White Stockings won the fewest. Both teams began the season as expected, with the Mutuals trouncing Chicago in the pair’s first three meetings. However, Chicago grew increasingly formidable, playing the team’s best baseball when it mattered most, sneaking into the championship game past Philadelphia and Cincinnati, to the latter’s horror and dismay. But by the end of things, nobody could deny Chicago’s role in creating a game for the ages.

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Originally published: June 21, 2018. Last Updated: June 21, 2018.