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The 1889 Season

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Posted 06-18-2017 at 05:34 PM by bjohn13

Opening Day Lineup
C Duke Farrell
1B Jake Beckley
2B Lou Bierbauer
3B Joseph Herr
SS Dave Drew
LF Mike Goodfellow
CF Billy Hamilton
RF Tommy McCarthy
SP Charlie Buffington

Most Common Lineup
C Tom Daly
1B Jake Beckley
2B Lou Bierbauer
3B Joseph Herr
SS Dave Drew
LF Billy Hamilton
CF Mike Slattery
RF Tommy McCarthy

Pitching Staff
SP Charlie Buffington
SP Ed Beatin
SP Amos Rusie
SP Nat Hudson
SP Mike Smith
RP Ed Coughlin
RP Jim Cattanach
RP Lou Galvin
RP William McCaffrey

The Detroit Wolverines changed their name to the Detroit Tigers prior to the 1889 season.

Charlie Buffington tore the league up in the month of April recording three shutouts en route to a five victory month. Meanwhile, Jake Beckley tore up National League pitching, finishing the month with a .431 batting average. The offensive tandem of Beckley, Tommy McCarthy, Lou Bierbauer, and Billy Hamilton helped Brooklyn become the number one offense in the league.

The pitching staff is where Brooklyn feel a bit short. Charlie Buffington and Ed Beaton were the only two serviceable pitchers in the month of April, and the Bridegrooms called up Amos Rusie to try to win a spot on the rotation at the end of the month.

Brooklyn finished the month with a 16-11 record, which was good enough for third place in the National League, 2.5 games behind the St. Louis Browns.

Despite only going 15-13 in May, Brooklyn continued to play well. They sported the National League’s highest rated offense, the highest rated defense, and the highest rated pitching staff. Ed Beatin won the National League Pitcher of the Month Award. Brooklyn remained in third place now two games behind the St. Louis Browns.

Brooklyn had a good month in June. When Dave Drew was activated from the DL early in the month, it marked the latest in the season that Brooklyn had gone since being formed in 1884 without a single member of the 40-man roster on the DL.

Being healthy is a big deal. Brooklyn had a good month, going 17-11 with the best offense and the best defense in the league. This helped lift them to first place in the National League, one game ahead of the St. Louis Browns in an extremely tight National League race where only two games separated the top four teams.

Towards the end of the month, Brooklyn traded third baseman Joe Mulvey to Cincinnati for a third round draft pick.

If Brooklyn started the year with a chip on their collective shoulders due to being snubbed when the 1888 awards were being handed out, that level may have reached a critical mass when the final ballots of the All-Star vote were tallied. Charlie Buffington went into the All Star Break with an astonishing 18 wins while also leading the league in ERA, yet James Burke ended up being the leading vote getter in the National League.

That doesn’t mean that Brooklyn wasn’t well represented in the All Star Game. Buffington joined Tom Daly, Jake Beckley, Lou Bierbauer, Tommy McCarthy, and Billy Hamilton in representing the Bridegrooms.

Players playing in their sixth All Star Game: Fred Dunlap, Buck Ewing, James Burke, Fred Carroll, Williamson, and Jack Glasscock.

Players playing in their fifth All Star Game: Jack Lynch, Dan Brouthers, Yank Robinson, Jim Whitney, Fred Carroll, and Sam Wise.

Charlie Buffington ended up getting his 20th win on July 17th, which was the Bridegrooms’ 94th game of the season.
If there was one weakness to the 1889 Brooklyn team, it’s that they couldn’t seem to find a number 3 or a number 4 starter for the rotation. Early in July, Amos Rusie, who was filling in one of those rotation spots, hit the DL. Will White, who was starting to settle down and post some good outings, followed shortly thereafter. When Nat Hudson also hit the DL, Brooklyn was deep into their staff to fill that third and fourth spot rotating between Mark Baldwin, Jim Conway, and Mike Smith.

It would end up not mattering much. Brooklyn’s offense went on a tear in July, hitting well over .300 for the month and winning 18 of 23 games. Brooklyn created some separation in the National League, finding themselves 8 games ahead of the St. Louis Browns at the end of the month.

Injuries hit Brooklyn pretty heavily in August. Dave Drew returned to the DL along with Mike Slattery and Tommy McCarthy. The St. Louis Browns pulled to within five games by August 20, but they couldn’t keep it going. At the end of the month, the New York Giants were in second place, 6 ½ games behind Brooklyn.

Brooklyn’s offense remained a powerhouse. At the end of August; Lou Bierbauer, Jake Beckley, Billy Hamilton, and Tommy McCarthy held four of the top five spots in the National League in WAR among position players. Jake Beckley won the August National League Batter of the Month award while Ed Beatin won the National League Pitcher of the Month award.

At the beginning of August, there were murmurs that Charlie Buffington might have a chance to win 30 games. However, the Brooklyn bullpen blew two straight saves for him in the first week of the month, and he had two more non-decisions en route to only two victories all month long. Buffington had 25 wins at the end of the month, and with only 5 starts remaining for him, his odds seemed very doubtful.

Brooklyn seemed to be in control entering the month of September. After winning 4 of their first 5 on the month, they had a 7 ½ game lead with just 12 games to play. Then they lost five of their next nine while the New York Giants went on a tear. The Giants found themselves only 4 ½ games back going into their penultimate series of the year in Brooklyn.

The series would not go well for Brooklyn. New York posted a series sweep, winning three straight one-run games, to pull within a game and a half going into the final series of the year. Brooklyn had three games remaining at home against a 90-loss Pittsburgh team while New York had four games at home against a Philadelphia team that was well above .500. The Big Apple was set to be rocking on the last weekend of the season.

New York started the series off on the right foot, winning 2-1 over Philadelphia on Brooklyn’s off-day. This meant that there was a 1 game separation between the two teams with both teams having three games left on their schedule.

Missed opportunities abound for both teams and Brooklyn and New York both lost the first two games of their three game series. It all came down to the last game of the season with arguable the two best pitchers in the history of the young National League squaring off against each other. Charlie Buffington, sporting a 28-4 record and a 1.85 ERA, was slated to go up against two time Cy Young Award winner James Burke, who was featuring a 20-13 record and an ERA of 2.09.

Buffington pitched admirably, giving up only one earned run in 8 innings of work. However, two errors in the 8th by Mike Slattery led to four unearned Pittsburgh runs and a 5-4 victory. New York went on to beat Philadelphia 10-5, and the two bitter rivals ended their 154 –game schedules in a tie for first place atop the National League.

The 155th game of the season was slated to be between arch rivals Brooklyn and New York. In the five year history of the league, no other team had won a National League title, and these two teams were squaring off to see who would get to represent the National League in the 1889 World Series. Twenty-game winner Ed Beatin took the hill for Brooklyn while long-time stalwart Larry McKeon took the mound for New York. Brooklyn went into the game on the heels of a 7-game losing streak wanting desperately to seal the deal while New York had all of the momentum, finishing a September where they had gone 15-6. Brooklyn sported the league’s number one offense, and New York sported the league’s top pitching staff.

Beatin pitched exceptionally well, giving up only one unearned runs in eight innings of work. It was Bill Kienzle with an RBI double in the top of the ninth off of Lou Galvin that sealed the deal for New York, as they would go on to win 3-1.

1889 Standings

1889 Brooklyn Batting Statistics

1889 Brooklyn Pitching Statistics

1889 Team Batting Statistics

1889 Team Pitching Statistics

1889 Individual Batting Leaders

1889 Individual Pitching Leaders
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  1. Old Comment
    World Series
    In 1889, the Louisville Colonels became the first American League team to win their second pennant. Their pair of 20-game winners, John Harkins and Guy Hecker, led the American League’s best pitching staff. Ed McKean, King Kelly, and Mote Ward provided some offensive pop in an otherwise lackluster offense.

    The 1889 New York Giants had a very similarly built team, riding behind ace pitchers Larry McKeon and Jim Handiboe to become the National League’s number one pitching staff. Bill Wise anchored the bullpen with 32 saves in 90 appearances. A similarly lackluster offense was led by Sam Wise, Roger Connor, and Jack Clements.

    As the two teams squared up for a rematch of the 1887 Fall Classic, game one promised to feature Guy Hecker against Jim Handiboe Hecker struggled a bit, scattering six hits and one run through five innings, before Louisville took the lead in the sixth that they did not relinquish.

    Game two featured John Harkins against Pretzels Getzien. Louisville erupted for nine runs to score a 9-3 win. Jack Gleason and Heinie Kappel both had two RBIs while pinch hitter Arthur Irwin hit a 3-run double to seal the deal in the seventh.

    Larry McKeon faced off for the Giants against Terry Mullane as the Giants tried to keep the series close. McKeon was rocked for five runs in 4 2/3 innings behind the bats of McKean and Gleason. Mullane pitched 8 innings giving up the runs and left the game with a 5-3 advantage, but the Giants tattooed the Louisville bullpen for nine runs in the top of the 9th to take a 10-5 win, closing the gap to two games to one in favor of Louisville.

    Handiboe pitched against Hecker again in game four. Neither pitcher lasted past the sixth in a see saw battle that saw Dick Buckley drive in three in a winning cause for the Louisville Colonels. The Colonels took a 3-1 lead in the series with one more game to play in Louisville.

    Harkins and Getzien matched up in game five with Harkins giving up only 2 hits through seven innings. Eighth inning heroics helped the Giants, though, with RBI singles from Sam Wise and Joe Hormung allowed New York to take a 3-2 lead, and that’s where the game would finish.

    Mullane was slated to be the game six pitcher against McKeon. McKeon pitched five solid innings, scattering five hits and a walk, but his pitch count hit 100 in the fifth, and Sam Wise came in to complete the shut out with four solid innings of work. The Giants took a game six victory by a score of 4-0 capped off by a 3-run double by pinch hitter Bill Kienzle in the fifth.

    For game seven, Guy Hecker made his way to the mound for Louisville against Jim Handiboe. Louisville got on the board scoring 2 in the third and 5 in the fourth to take a commanding lead that they would not relinquish for their first World Series title. Jack Gleason was named the World Series MVP.


    First Year Player Draft
    Brooklyn didn’t get to pick until the 15th pick of the first round. Brooklyn went pitcher heavy in the draft.
    1. Tommy Corcoran SS
    2. Alex Jones P
    3. George Nicol P
    4. Jack Stivetts P
    5. Bill Whitrock P
    6. Henry Jones P

    Offseason Moves
    Former Brooklyn standout Ed Cushman announced his retirement at the end of the 1889 season. Cushman’s dominant 1884 season was a big part of their World Championship. Here are his career stats:

    Brooklyn ended up trading Mark Baldwin to the Philadelphia Athletics for two picks in the 1889 draft. Then they dealt Doc Oberlander to Washington for draft picks as well.
    Posted 06-18-2017 at 05:35 PM by bjohn13 bjohn13 is offline

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