The Origins of Baseball in the Five NL West Cities

From SABR member Geoff Young at Baseball Prospectus on March 29:

Johnson and Wolff’s The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball informs us that Denver first welcomed pro baseball in 1886. The Western League’s Mountain Lions, managed by W.W. Wallace, won the six-team league with a 54-26 record. William O’Brien was the hitting star, leading the league with a .352 batting average.


In 1887, pro baseball arrived on the West Coast (the Pacific League came into existence in 1878 but was considered a non-signatory league). The four-team California League consisted of two squads representing San Francisco, and one each in Sacramento and Oakland.

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Originally published: March 30, 2011. Last Updated: March 30, 2011.