Ryczek: Major-league baseball: baseball in the 1870s

From SABR member Bill Ryczek at The National Pastime Museum on December 1, 2016:

Baseball was competitive and professional by the end of the 1860s, but competition is unsatisfying without an effective process for determining a champion. In the 1850s, the championship of the United States could be won by defeating the incumbent in a best-of-three series. When only two or three clubs were in the hunt, that system was workable, but as baseball became more widespread and several teams from different cities vied for the title, it became highly problematic. In 1870, several clubs claimed the championship, based upon their interpretation of events and rules.

On March 17, 1871, representatives of ten professional clubs met at Collier’s Rooms, located near Union Square in New York City, for the purpose of arranging a schedule of games for the summer. Before the evening was over, they would accomplish much more. Three months earlier, the annual meeting of the National Association, which governed both amateur and professional baseball, had ended with a deep rift between the two classes. The amateurs had already formed their own association, and on this rainy March night, the professionals would do the same.

The new organization was called the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, and it would last five seasons.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/major-league-baseball

Originally published: December 1, 2016. Last Updated: December 1, 2016.