National Professional Baseball League (NPBL); 1887 thru 1900

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Brian T Grabowski, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Pre-History up until league formation in 1890

    Late-1840s to early-1860s:

    As more European immigrants began making their way into the United Sates through New York and other eastern ports, they pick up some peculiar traditions of sport. One of those was the New York style baseball (or what is what we call the fundamental structure of modern baseball), and it was carried out to the large industrial cities like Cleveland, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, St. Louis, and Louisville as well their surrounding cities.


    A young man is born to a German-American family in Fort Wayne, Indiana; that man is Linus Gerzburg.

    Late-1860s to mid-1880s:

    Multiple baseball leagues across the northeastern and mid-western United States form and fold during this time period, as it is a very tumultuous time in the country as the fast rise of industrialization begins to swell the cities and many peoples begin to live together, and with that the growing nation begins to crave professional sports entertainment. As baseball continues its growth as the professional sport, another sport begins to dominate the collegiate level: American football


    Linus Gerzburg begins an apprenticeship at the local ironwork's shop in Fort Wayne, working under the shop owner Frederick Heider. Here he learns more about running a business successfully and starts also experimenting with steel for more applications for consumers.


    Sylvanus Bowser invents the first kerosene pump in Fort Wayne, garnering attention from the east and investments from a few local patrons, which culminates in the creation of The Bowser Company a few months later, as Sylvanus begins testing as many applications of his invention as possible


    Linus took over management of the ironwork's shop as Frederick's health began to decline. As a way to handle the stress of running the business, Linus started playing baseball with local workers. Linus fell in love with the game, and wanted more of it.


    Linus met and began dating the daughter of Polish immigrants, Amelia Janas.


    Frederick passed away following the new year, and Linus fully took over the shop. He was also left Frederick's personal fortune of $50,000 which he promptly used a very small portion of to pay for the wedding of himself and Amelia.


    Amelia, now Amelia Gerzburg, becomes pregnant. During that summer, Linus uses about $25,000 to build what he calls the "Exhibition Field of Fort Wayne" and finances the creation of a local baseball league comprised of local factory workers and surrounding farm workers. A dozen games are played throughout the course of May to August, and the only team that plays the whole summer is the Fort Wayne Generals, a perfect 12 - 0. As the summer begins to fade, Linus promises to the city, that the league will return next summer.


    A fire burns down The Bowser Company, Linus sees an opportunity to purchase the one-of-a-kind invention and offers to purchase the fuel pump design from Sylvanus, but he declines. Sylvanus instead offers to come work with Linus, and Linus agreed to his terms. Thus, the partnership is formed and this results in the creation of The Gerzburg-Bowser Company.


    In January, Amelia gave birth to hers and Linus’s son, Frederick Gerzburg, named in honor of the man that taught Linus all he knows. If tragedy couldn’t stop haunting the family, Sylvanus contracted a deadly strain of the flu and died in his sleep in early-February. So, Linus was left in control of both a growing fabrication factory and Sylvanus’s work, which he began himself exploring what to do with the invention. In March, Linus was approached by a group of business owners from the Toledo area about a handful of exhibition games for his league, and after some negotiations they came to an agreement.

    The Wabash League is formed in April 1887 with an agreement among its owners to field 4 teams from Mid-June 1887 thru the end of August 1887 for a total of 15 games each and a final between the top two teams.

    1. Fort Wayne Generals; returning from last summer’s league and owned by Linus Gerzburg
    2. Logansport Midways; new team that was comprised of mostly farm and factory workers from the surrounding area and owned by local factory owner, Henry Knoll, who was also a close friend of Linus who donated $500 for operations
    3. South Toledo Glasshoppers; team comprised of local glass factory workers that’s played intermittently for 4 years and owned by players
    4. North Toledo Lakers; team comprised of dock workers and ship builders that was formed by its owner George Young about a month before the season started


    Ready to play, the league enjoyed a successful season generating $30,000 in profit after paying for league expensive, that was then split between the 4 teams, as stipulated in their agreement, that resulted in each team actually generating a profits as well. The Generals won the league, as expected in a final against the Lakers.

    Results of 1887 Season
    1. Fort Wayne Generals 11 - 4
    2. North Toledo Lakers 9 - 6
    3. Logansport Midways 7 - 8
    4. South Toledo Glasshoppers 5 -10

    Final: Generals 4 Lakers 3

    League Champion: Fort Wayne Generals


    Following the season, Linus returned to his focus to the newly renamed Gerzburg Company. He begins to rely heavily on the Wabash Railroad, which connected the cities in his league, for his business as well.


    Amelia becomes pregnant for the second time. Linus began working on an idea of his for a new type of steel, that would be corrosion resistant, and begins producing in small batches a steel that contained nickel resulting a shiny finish to the steel. Seeing the winter as an ideal testing ground, he shows off the new steel to few potential customers, and it proves successful. Linus sees an additional profit during the winter after being commissioned for a few custom orders.


    Linus invested another $1,500 into the Fort’s Wayne Field, official renaming it to Gerzburg Field; now featuring a grander entrance with gates built from Linus’s new steel, fences running all the outside border of the park, and an additional set of stands alongside the third base line boosting official capacity from 500 to 1,000. He is contacted by two industrialists from Detroit and Indianapolis regarding additional teams joining his summer league. Linus called together the other owners and they all agree to let the two teams join for the summer with new rules regarding profit sharing.

    • Indianapolis Grays: a team that had multiple incarnations in the prior years but was finally bought and financed by Kingan & Company which also resulted in the restoration of the small ballpark close to their plant that had been neglected for years. Officially renamed Kingan Field that spring, it had a capacity of 2,000 and a team that was ready to compete
    • Detroit Brown Stockings: the first true team that Detroit could call its own, the team was comprised of local factory workers and owned by Frederick K. Stearns. The team would play at Recreation Park which had a capacity of 1,850

    Right before the start of summer and the season, Amelia would give birth to hers and Linus’s first daughter, Theresa Gerzburg, in April.

    Linus, only 24 at the time, also soon began to understand that his league was more than just a summer attraction; there was a real opportunity to create a real professional league.


    The league once again enjoyed a successful season, generating almost $68,000 in profit after paying for league expenses, which was split 20% each to the top 3 in profit contributions and 13% each to the bottom 3 in profit contribution. Once again, all teams generated a profit as well, which much better margins. The Grays shocked the home crowd in Fort Wayne to take home the league title

    Results of 1888 Season
    1. Fort Wayne Generals 10 - 5
    2. Indianapolis Grays 9 - 6
    3. Logansport Midways 8 - 7
    4. South Toledo Glasshoppers 7 - 8
    5. Detroit Brown Stockings 4 - 1
    6. North Toledo Lakers 2 - 13

    Grays 4 Generals 0

    League Champion: Indianapolis Grays


    A second Great Fire rages though Chicago, burning for nearly 2 weeks in September and destroyed almost the entirety of the city once again resulting in nearly $300 million in damages and over 1,500 people killed in the flames or from fire related injuries. The difference this time was following the fire, the donations and charity were greatly inferior than after the 1871 fire. Chicago would never be the same, and some would say that its destiny was completely rewritten. Over the course of the next 2 months, nearly 200,000 of its residents would leave the city for St. Louis, Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne. Chicago’s total population growth over the decade, by the end of the year had been essentially voided as the same amount of growth had just been lost. What would follow would also be many thousands of new immigrants would deviate to Detroit and St. Louis spurring growth for years to come. Unlike in 1871, this fire didn’t have as much of an effect on the nation’s economy, because much of what was coming out of Chicago at the time was processed food and consumer products, which while important, had been much more decentralized to other cities (also an unmentioned deviation from our history)

    Displaced by the fire, some 10,000 people come to Fort Wayne area for work and shelter increasing the population of the city to 45,000 inhabitants. Linus is able to put 120 of them to work and sees his product output increase because of it. He also begins constructing his new train-repair shop that he had entered in to an agreement with the Wabash Railroad to build. Linus’s reputation as a young and intelligent businessman was beginning to spread around the region and nation, which would bring him into contact with some powerful figures from the east.


    With the city having received aid money from the federal government to build quick housing for the displaced citizens, settled in for what would be a fairly mild winter allowing for construction projects to be carried out till nearly December and resume in late February. This would see the new Embassy Theatre built in the heart of city to entertain its wealthy patrons as well as the construction of the 30 acre Headwaters Park alongside the north banks of the St. Mary’s River.

    Linus business was doing well and generating him a good profit, which was quickly increasing his wealth in the region. However, Linus was a devout Catholic and a humble, pious man; so he would use his wealth to help the needy in his city by purchasing a small retail space in downtown and converting it to a shelter/soup kitchen. Knowing that there were more to the displaced residents than just factory workers; Linus also commissioned art pieces from local and displaced artists as well as financing a handful of musicians from the area.


    Linus once again expands Gerzburg Field’s official capacity to 1,300 with the installation of a small upper deck along the first base line of the park.

    As the turmoil from the fire continued to ripple out, professional baseball faced a crisis, having lost a huge market combined with decline in attendance across the top leagues, this spring would see the demise of the American Association and the National League, resulting in teams being disbanded and cities left with no baseball.

    Chicago had begun to pick up the pieces from the fire, and as almost a miracle, the 3,000 seat Memorial Field on the south-side of the city, had survived the flames more or less untouched. So what remained of the local industrialists, decided they’d pool their resources to field a team to lift the spirits of the city. They contacted Linus with their proposal, and Linus responded warmly with a quick yes.

    St Louis had been the recipient of many avid baseball fans due to the fire, and with the collapse of the existing professional leagues, Anheuser-Busch stepped in to fill the void not only purchasing the St Louis Brown Stockings, but also Sportsman’s Park which had a capacity of 2,000. The company promptly renamed the park Busch Field and intended to use it not just for baseball long-term. Having known of Linus’s league thanks to the Wabash Railroad, Linus agreed to let to let them join on the condition that they’d change the name.

    1. Chicago Braves: named after the bravery local firefighters, this team was not meant to specifically be competitive but would provide entertainment free of charge to Chicago residents
    2. St. Louis Malt-Men: named after malt, a key ingredient in beer making, the name had been decided by the workers from Anheuser-Busch. This team would be the first in the league to actually have semi-pro players on it


    With the league now at 8 teams the schedule now sits at 20 games for each team, and to accommodate the additional games the league agrees to play 5 of the games on Saturday as well as the usual Sunday games, so there will be 5 weekends that would be series games.

    This would also result in the attempted night game between Detroit & Indianapolis at Recreation Park, using gas lighting to illuminate the stands and the field, albeit fairly dimly. This resulted in a 11 - 10 game, and resulted in a Detroit loss.

    As in the previous two seasons, this season was massively successful generating an astounding $105,000 in profit after league expenses, generating buzz around the region and beginning talks of professionalizing the league. The league fiercely debated profit sharing with much of the revenue coming from Detroit and St Louis, and with attendance for North Toledo being extremely small. The resulting percentages were;

    • Detroit, St Louis, and Chicago would each receive 22% of the profit, resulting in these teams making decent profit after their expenses were paid
    • Fort Wayne and Indianapolis would each receive 10% of the profit, resulting in these teams making a slim profit after their expenses were paid
    • South Toledo would receive 8% of the profit, resulting in the team more or less breaking even on the season
    • North Toledo and Logansport would each receive 3% of the profit, resulting in North Toledo losing money and Logansport only breaking even after it received the title money

    The final would come down to a riveting game between the Malt-Men and a late-season run Midways, resulting in a Midways’ victory.

    Results of 1889 Season
    1. St Louis Malt-Men 14 - 6
    2. Logansport Midways 13 - 7
    3. Chicago Braves 12 - 8
    4. Fort Wayne Generals 10 - 10
    5. South Toledo Glasshoppers 10 - 10
    6. Detroit Brown Stockings 6 - 14
    7. Indianapolis Grays 5 - 15
    8. North Toledo Lakers 3 - 17

    Final: Midways 6 Malt-Men 5 (11 innings)

    League Champion: Logansport Midways


    What would follow the season, would be a serious of meetings between the team owners and the league’s wealthier patrons which would result in the following;
    • The formal declaration of professionalism for the league, which would allow for player contracts and an enforced detachment of a team from specific businesses
    • North Toledo will be booted from the league and bids from Cleveland & Louisville will be explored, and South Toledo will be renamed to just Toledo. George Young also agrees to purchase the team and manage it operations.
    • Logansport may also be considered relocation and current field would be used for a youth league that will also be founded to supplement this league
    • The name of the league is changed to the Central League to establish its regional presence
    • Linus Gerzburg unanimously elected league president
    • Each team must maintain a stadium with a capacity of at least 1,000, Logansport being the exception with an official capacity of 600 but an avg attendance above it
    • Teams will play a 48 game season staring in May and ending in September
      • 20 Sunday games
      • 20 Saturday Games
      • 8 Friday games
    • Chicago will play two games at Athletic Park in Milwaukee as part of an agreement with the city to showcase league baseball to the area
    • There will no longer be profit sharing, only a fee paid to the league for operations of $2,500 a team


    Continued growth of Linus’s business with the opening of the Gerzburg Rail-Works, employing an additional 100 people in Fort Wayne, bringing the total number of employees for his businesses to 800. This cements his business as vital to Fort Wayne’s growth

    The league official selects Cleveland as the city to expand to, bringing in the struggling Cleveland Spiders, who had been dormant for nearly a year following the demise of the National League. Their owner Frank Robinson had seen a few of the league’s games in Toledo earlier in the year and was very impressed by the level of organization. Once he signed the agreement to join the league, he quickly announced the news to the city of Cleveland, to which the city rejoiced for the chance to see professional baseball played again. The city agreed to help finance a new riverfront stadium that would seat 5,000 people and be built by the 1891 season, but for the meantime, the Spiders would have to play at the small 1,750 seat Exposition Field for the 1890 season.

    In the continued rippling effect of the 2nd Great Fire in Chicago, the cities of Cleveland, Detroit, Toledo, and Fort Wayne are growing faster with their industries starting to become more interconnected.

    Early Spring-1890:

    As the season drew closer the teams began aggressively reaching out to players to come play for them in an attempt to get the best regional players

    In an attempt to spread awareness, the league paid for newspaper articles discussing the teams and their stadiums

    Chicago Braves: Memorial Field 3,000
    Cleveland Spiders: Exposition Field 1,750
    Detroit Brown Stockings: Recreation Park 1,850
    Fort Wayne Generals: Gerzburg Field 1,300
    Indianapolis Grays: Kingan Field 2,000
    Logansport Midways: Veteran’s Field 600
    St Louis Malt-Men: Busch Field 2,000
    Toledo Glasshoppers: Union Park 1,100

    And so begins the story in semi-daily updates......
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    PopulistBean likes this.
  2. Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Late Spring-1890:

    The season started out going really well for the league with mostly high attendance and exciting baseball. The the Toledo Glasshoppers took the the initial lead going 8 - 0 in the first 4 weeks of the season, but as the season continued it became very clear that the dominant teams were going to be from Chicago, Cleveland, and St Louis. Logansport was struggling to keep a lot of fans coming to games due to the sudden lack of talent on their roster, and it was obvious they'd need to relocate or face folding. Linus and the other owners were very pleased, as the season continued, with the fact that they were all making money and cementing this league as both viable and expandable. The two exhibition games in Milwaukee for the Braves proved successful, not only selling out both games, but with victories in both by the Braves.

    Around the middle of July, Linus was approached by one of his foremen about stepping back from the fabrication plant, and he agreed to do so on the condition that he'd be kept up-to-date weekly on the situation at the plant.

    As the season wrapped up, it came down to St Louis and Cleveland in the top two spots respectively.

    Results of 1890 Season:
    1. St Louis Malt-Men (38 - 10)
    2. Cleveland Spiders (36 - 12)
    3. Detroit Brown Stockings (30 - 18)
    4. Indianapolis Grays (29 - 19)
    5. Fort Wayne Generals (27 - 21)
    6. Toledo Glasshoppers (25 - 23)
    7. Chicago Braves (20 - 28)
    8. Logansport Midways (15 - 33)
    Final: Malt-Men 3 Spiders 1

    Central League Champion: St Louis Malt-Men

    Top 5 Players:
    1. James Hurt 1B Cleveland Spiders
    2. George Lawson P Indianapolis Grays
    3. William Trenton OF Cleveland Spiders
    4. Frederick Kuhn OF St Louis Malt-Men
    5. Aaron Kleiber P Fort Wayne Generals
    Revenue => Profit Per Team:
    1. Detroit Brown Stockings: $21,750 => $4,500
    2. St Louis Malt-Men: $19,800 => $3,500
    3. Chicago Braves: $17,250 => $2,350
    4. Cleveland Spiders: $16,500 => $3,000
    5. Indianapolis Grays: $14,000 => $1,250
    6. Fort Wayne Generals: $10,250 => $1,000
    7. Toledo Glasshoppers: $7,500 => $750
    8. Logansport Midways: $3,200 => -$1100


    Facing the inevitable, Logansport folded after just 4 seasons and even a league title. In the end, the city was never going to grow to size to have lots fans or enough money to compete for players. The league owners all met to discuss the impact of Logansport folding and what to about it. It was decided that beyond the planned expansion of 2 teams for the next season, they'd secure an additional 3 teams as well. Linus was uneasy about potentially over-extending themselves, something that had hurt the previous leagues before them. Investors and business owners were contacted in Louisville, Milwaukee, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and even New Orleans.

    After a few weeks of back-and-forth, the expansion cities were decided upon;
    1. Memphis
    2. Milwaukee
    3. Pittsburgh
    4. Cincinnati (With the AA and NL gone, there's not much in the central and eastern United States left in terms of leagues, so expect the Reds to be the first of a few current teams that get incorporated)
    With the league's business wrapped up for the year, Linus returns to his plant to continue running operations there.


    A particular nasty winter hits the mid-west keeping the region to minimal activity until the spring, and in that cold seclusion, Amelia became pregnant for the third time. As the winter continues, Linus is contacted by the well known financier J.P. Morgan to come meet with him in New York regarding an investment.....
    PopulistBean likes this.
  3. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    How did the AA and NL go out of business?

    Good start, BTW...
  4. Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN
    ^I'm glad ask.

    So in the early days of professional baseball, particularity in the 1870s - 1880s, there were a lot of leagues that would form then disband. As well as the line between amateurism and professionalism frequently being heavily blurred. So in this environment, it made it very difficult for un-organized and ill-thought out leagues to survive which also led to inconsistency among teams, among "stadiums", and frequently you would encounter different rules from team to team. The collapse of the American Association was inevitable because of the poaching form the National League in our timeline, and I figured that all the instability from the 2nd Great Chicago Fire would be enough of a catalyst to spark the end of the National League. There's also some evidence that even in our timeline, which enough sway to one side, the NL would have collapsed because prior to the mid 1890s they faced declining attendance and teams frequently folding. So with losing Chicago as a major market, it hurts the league enough financially that they fold.

    In an attempt to sort of ground my story in this, I chose my league founder as someone who would understand these problems with baseball and try to address quickly.

    I also, kinda wanted to write an alt history where my hometown of Fort Wayne as well as Toledo, both become larger and more important cities in America.....
    PopulistBean likes this.
  5. Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Early Spring-1891:

    Once Linus arrived in New York for the meeting he was invited to, he was shocked to learn that J.P. Morgan not only was a fan of his league, but also wanted a part of it. The two of them spent several days talking about expansion, goals for the league, and long-term stability. The last thing they discussed was bringing the league to the coast as well. Linus, still overly-cautious of expansion took quite a bit of convincing, but the two agreed to have J.P. come out to Fort Wayne to pitch the idea to the other owners.

    Late Spring-1891:

    After months of organization, the expansion to the league was finalized and while initially chosen, the city of Memphis opted out of a team due to lack of investment and fan interest;
    1. Cincinnati Red Stockings: a team owned by James Kenton, who had existed since 1881 as a member of the American Association (AA) but due to the league's dissolution, were left league-less and relegated to two seasons of sporadic exhibition games. The team will play its games at League Park which has a capacity of 4,000 with future plans of renovation contingent on a permanent occupant
    2. Milwaukee Blue Caps: a newly formed team owned by an native industrialist of the city, Rolf Stoiber, this team will play its games at Athletic Park which has a capacity of 2,150
    3. Pittsburgh Burghers: another casualty of the dissolution of the NL and AA, was the city of Pittsburgh. In the years of instability, the city had seen teams come and go, but they were truly desperate for baseball. The nickname, a term for residents of the city, was chosen because this team was meant to represent them according to owner Ned Hanlon. The team will play its games at Exposition Park which has a capacity of 1,500

    Which the league expansion comes new rules; with the biggest change being the adoption of divisions for the league.

    West Division:
    1. Chicago Braves: recently purchased by William Hulbert, plays at Memorial Field (capacity of 3,000)
    2. St Louis Malt-Men: owned by the Busch Family, plays at Busch Field (capacity of 2,000)
    3. Fort Wayne Generals: owned by Linus Gerzburg, plays at Gerzburg Field (capacity of 1,300)
    4. Indianapolis Grays: owned by the Kingan brothers, plays at Kingan Field (capacity of 2,000)
    5. Milwaukee Blue Caps: owned by Rolf Stoiber with a major donation from the Miller Family, plays at Athletic Park (capacity of 2,150)
    East Division:
    1. Toledo Glasshoppers: owned by George Young, plays at Union Park (capacity of 1,100)
    2. Cleveland Spiders: owned by Francis "Frank" Robinson, plays at the new Riverside Field (capacity of 5,000)
    3. Cincinnati Red Stockings: owned by James Kenton, plays at League Park (capacity of 4,000)
    4. Detroit Brown Stockings: owned by Frederick K. Stearns, plays at Recreation Park (capacity of 2,500 with newly added upper deck)
    5. Pittsburgh Burghers: owned be Ned Hanlon, plays at Exposition Park (capacity of 1,500)
    New League Rules:
    • Schedule increase to 52 games
      • 20 Sunday games
      • 20 Saturday games
      • 6 Friday Games
      • 6 Thursday Games
    • Schedule format
      • 4 home & 4 away games against divisional opponents (32 games)
      • 4 games against other each of the other division's teams (20 games)
    • Title game series of 3 games between division winners
    • Soft salary cap of $45,000 per team

    Stay tuned for 1891 season.........
    PopulistBean likes this.
  6. Threadmarks: 1891 Season

    Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Early Summer-1891:

    At the beginning of the season, Amelia gives birth to her last child, hers and Linus's second daughter, Martha Gerzberg. The Generals wear small ribbons on their jerseys in the following game, in honor of all mothers.

    Results of the 1891 Season:

    In an attempt to cash in on the warmer weather leading up to the season, the league set-up a handful of exhibitions against minor-league and local teams, including games against the new Logansport Midways, a member of the minor-league Mid-America League. Once the season started, Fort Wayne and Chicago both started out hot, both reaching their first game against each other at 11 - 0, however Chicago fell in the match-up 4 to 0, and stumbles back to mediocrity for the rest of the season. As the season continued, Fort Wayne, Cleveland, and St Louis all put on great showings for their fans as they kept winning. The final series would be between Fort Wayne and Cleveland, with the Spiders winning in game three in the series, after a shut-out in front of the Fort Wayne crowd.

    West Division
    1. Fort Wayne Generals (44 - 8) West Division Winner
    2. St Louis Malt-Men (35 - 17)
    3. Chicago Braves (25 - 27)
    4. Milwaukee Blue Caps (23 - 29)
    5. Indianapolis Grays (19 - 33)
    East Division
    1. Cleveland Spiders (40 - 12) East Division Winner
    2. Detroit Brown Stockings (30 - 22)
    3. Cincinnati Red Stockings (18 - 34)
    4. Toledo Glasshoppers (17 - 35)
    5. Pittsburgh Burghers (13 - 39)
    Final Series
    1. Fort Wayne 2 Cleveland 0 @Fort Wayne
    2. Cleveland 4 Fort Wayne 3 @Cleveland
    3. Cleveland 6 Fort Wayne 0 @Fort Wayne

    Central League Champion:
    Cleveland Spiders

    Top Players:
    1. James Wilson, P, Fort Wayne Generals
    2. James Hunt, 1B, Cleveland Spiders
    3. William Trenton, OF, Cleveland Spiders
    4. Frederick Kuhn, OF, St Louis Malt-Men
    5. Aaron Kleiber, P, Detroit Brown Stockings
    Revenue => Profit Per Team:
    1. Detroit Brown Stockings: $24,250 => $6,500
    2. St Louis Malt-Men: $21,500 => $5,300
    3. Cincinnati Red Stockings: $20,850 => $2,600
    4. Chicago Braves: $19,450 => $3,700
    5. Cleveland Spiders: $19,200 => $4,000
    6. Fort Wayne Generals: $18,750 => $2,150
    7. Indianapolis Grays: $14,000 => $1,250
    8. Milwaukee Blue Caps: $13,500 => $2,150
    9. Pittsburgh Burghers: $11,450 => $1,300
    10. Toledo Glasshoppers: $9,500 => $1,150
    • Total League Revenue = $172,450
    • Total League Profit = $30,100
    Stay tuned for the 1891 off-season and other developments........
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
    Nivek and PopulistBean like this.
  7. Threadmarks: Fall-1891 & Winter-1891

    Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN

    Following the season, all the owners were happy with the direction of the league as all of them made significant revenue improvements due to extra fan support and a continued effects of the lengthened seasons. Milwaukee finally addressed the petition from their fans that had been circulating in local newspapers; they agreed to change the name of the team to the Milwaukee Brewers honoring not only the legacy of brewing in the city, but the multiple teams before them that held the name.

    Linus is approached by John Bass to purchase The Gerzberg Company for $65,000 in a further attempt to consolidate all the iron-works and machine-shops across the city. While initially hesitant to sell, Linus goes ahead and accepts the offer on the condition he can keep the business's name for further use. Linus sets-aside $15,000 to improve his ballpark and $20,000 would be used to fund his next business venture; a delivery service the following year. He saw the need due to increasing number of manufacturers in more remote towns that needed service as well as the cross-town deliveries in his city. So on October 15th, 1891; Linus Gerzberg founded the Hoosier Delivery Service, setting up offices in both Fort Wayne and Indianapolis to be opened the following spring. With the remaining $30,000, Linus decided it was time to focus on his family for a while.

    Elsewhere in the nation and world, the economic turmoil of the 2nd Great Chicago Fire that heavily effected the shipping industry, the state of Illinois, and northwestern Indiana has begun to recover. An attempted coup in Argentina was met with less harsh terms then most in the USA expected, and has resulted in both an increase in investment into the nation as well as a closer relationship with the USA. William Wrigley Jr leaves Philadelphia to head west to Fort Wayne with an idea to start a business selling scouring soap to the growing number of industries in the city. Tensions continue to rise at Pullman's factory in Chicago, having been one of only a few major factories that survived the fire.


    The league is finally visited by J.P. Morgan regarding expansion eastward, and after several days of discussions; the league agrees to search the coast for viable teams over the next season for addition in the 1893 season. With several very large cities on coasts, the league did worry about more talent heading east due to better pay, but anxieties were calmed when Linus made it very clear that the salary cap would be enforced. He also made it clear that these teams were coming to their league and they'd have to play by the league's rules.

    Stay tuned for the 1892 Season........
    Nivek and PopulistBean like this.
  8. Threadmarks: Spring-1892

    Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN

    In early March of 1892, Linus is approached by a young black American by the name Charles Bonnaire regarding the recently formed Fort Wayne Keiongas, a negro baseball team. Charles would like the team to play at Gerzberg Field, and after some discussion about a lease, Linus agreed to let the Kekiongas play at his field. Linus has always been a bit disgusted by the racism in the US, as he sees no difference between himself and another man. After news of the team playing at Gerzberg Field, Linus receives a letter from James Kenton of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, demanding he retract his offer to Charles or the Red Stockings won't play any games at Fort Wayne. Linus responds with a simple yet effective message; "Play here or forfeit the season, there is no cause for your objection to my business decision to allow the Kekiongas to play at my field". Two weeks pass and Linus receives a letter from Kenton informing him that the games will be played.

    Also during March of 1892, the Hoosier Delivery Service begins to deliver primarily shipments of industrial goods across the cities of Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, as well a private shipments to the towns north of Fort Wayne and the the towns in between Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. The initial profit margins are very slim, but begin to increase within a few weeks as business picks up.

    The nation begins to stir with political activity as incumbent Benjamin Harrison and his challenger former president Grover Cleveland both began there campaigns.

    Early-Summer 1892:

    With the season right around the corner, the teams begin practicing and getting ready for the next 4 months of baseball. Early favorite for the title look like the Chicago Braves having acquired James Wilson, P, from the Fort Wayne Generals to bolster their pitching core and give them an advantage over the rest of their division. Toledo looks to likely finish last their division having lost most of their players to other teams or higher pay in factories.

    The format of this year is repeated from last year;

    West Division:
    1. Chicago Braves: owned by William Hulbert, plays at Memorial Field (capacity of 3,000)
    2. St Louis Malt-Men: owned by the Busch Family, plays at Busch Field (capacity of 2,000)
    3. Fort Wayne Generals: owned by Linus Gerzburg, plays at Gerzburg Field (capacity of 1,300)
    4. Indianapolis Grays: owned by the Kingan brothers, plays at Kingan Field (capacity of 2,000)
    5. Milwaukee Brewers: owned by Rolf Stoiber, plays at Athletic Park (capacity of 2,150)
    East Division:
    1. Toledo Glasshoppers: owned by George Young, plays at Union Park (capacity of 1,100)
    2. Cleveland Spiders: owned by Francis "Frank" Robinson, plays at Riverside Field (capacity of 5,000)
    3. Cincinnati Red Stockings: owned by James Kenton, plays at League Park (capacity of 4,000)
    4. Detroit Brown Stockings: owned by Frederick K. Stearns, plays at Recreation Park (capacity of 2,500)
    5. Pittsburgh Burghers: owned be Ned Hanlon, plays at Exposition Park (capacity of 1,500)

    With another season up ahead, who will take home the title come September? Stay tuned for the 1892 season and the mid-season havoc that comes with it.....
    Nivek likes this.
  9. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    This is awesome (so far) for the era...
    Nivek and Brian T Grabowski like this.
  10. Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN
    So in my research on demographics and prejudice in the region, I found that the Mid-West in particular; while it had its areas of racism, mostly in contact points with the South, were largely free of excessive racism and more open to desegregation in public areas while maintaining ethnically segregated neighborhoods even in smaller cities. So I think it'd be perfectly reasonable that the child of immigrants would be indifferent to blacks in America especially in regards to sport.

    My long-term vision in this history is that the league actually signs its first black player before the turn of the century which would be a flash-point I carry over when it goes over to the Post-1900 section of the forum. My idea is that either the Generals or the Braves sign a black player and it causes the league to lose a team or two, say Cincinnati or one of the new teams to be admitted in 1893.

    As I continue this league, actual history will start to unravel a bit which will cause some issues for me though, as right now I am heavily relying on actual history for people and league development.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  11. Threadmarks: 1892 Season

    Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Results of the 1892 Season:

    Once again cashing in on the warmer weather leading up to the season, the league set-up a handful of exhibitions against minor-league and local teams, including games against a few of the region's negro leagues. One game matched the Fort Wayne General against their negro league counterpart the Kekiongas. The game came down to the bottom of the ninth inning when pitcher George Blackwell of the Kekiongas threw 3 strike-outs to win the game in a no-hitter 2 to 0. The fans erupted in applause, in a shock to Linus, when he expected boos. After the game, he began to ponder signing some of the Kekiongas' players.

    As expected the Braves played well all season finishing first in the West Division due to a strong pitching rotation as well as a strong outfield. The final series would come down to a match-up between the Braves and the Red Stockings, with a 2 - 0 game sweep by Chicago to win the title.

    West Division:
    1. Chicago Braves (40 - 12) West Division Winner
    2. Fort Wayne Generals (30 - 22)
    3. St Louis Malt-Men (27 - 25)
    4. Milwaukee Blue Caps (22 - 30)
    5. Indianapolis Grays (21 - 31)
    East Division:
    1. Cincinnati Red Stockings (38 - 14) East Division Winner
    2. Detroit Brown Stockings (29 - 23)
    3. Pittsburgh Burghers (25 - 27)
    4. Cleveland Spiders (19 - 33)
    5. Toledo Glasshoppers (16 - 36)
    Final Series
    1. Chicago 4 Cincinnati 1 @Chicago
    2. Chicago 3 Cincinnati 2 @Cincinnati

    Central League Champion:
    Chicago Braves

    Top Players:
    1. James Wilson, P, Chicago Braves
    2. George Lawson, P, Cincinnati Red Stockings
    3. Frederick Kuhn, OF, St Louis Malt-Men
    4. Wilhelm Gessner, 1B, Detroit Brown Stockings
    5. Joseph Lingenfelter, SS, Fort Wayne Generals
    Revenue => Profit Per Team:
    1. Chicago Braves: $28,650 => $4,500
    2. Cleveland Spiders: $27,850 => $6,500
    3. Detroit Brown Stockings: $26,900 => $7,800
    4. St Louis Malt-Men: $24,850 => $6,150
    5. Cincinnati Red Stockings: $23,400 => $3,500
    6. Milwaukee Brewers: $21,500 => $5,650
    7. Fort Wayne Generals: $20,550 => $4,250
    8. Indianapolis Grays: $18,500 => $3,450
    9. Pittsburgh Burghers: $17,750 => $2,500
    10. Toledo Glasshoppers: $11,750 => $2,000
    • Total League Revenue = $221,700
    • Total League Profit = $46,300
    Stay tuned for the 1892 off-season and other developments........
  12. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

    Oct 19, 2005
    10 miles north of 10 miles south

    I think your analysis of how things would go is very good. There wasn't a Negro League per se but there were teams, certainly, and I think starting a friendship with the owner of that team is a good start.

    Cap Anson in OTL was a star who refused to play with black players on the same team in 1883-4 so there were some attempts at an integrated team. Maybe one of your TTL stars is the anti-Anson and agrees with the owner to support him in allowing a black player onto the team. St. Louis, more than Cincinnati IMO, is likely to protest - though Cincinnati was a good choice for that first protest letter to spread things out. This is OTL of course but the Reds were the leader of the 2nd tier of teams to integrate. (First tier=Dodgers, Indians, Giants, Braves, White Sox who all had signed a few by the start of 1951). It's just that they brought young ones along slowly through their farm system and let them "go through the fire," so to speak, of having to play in Southern minor leagues. They just kept to a smaller number of them. (So they signed them to minor league deals before a few of the 2nd tier did, they just brought them up more slowly.

    so, do some of OTL stars continue - even if Anson died in the 2nd Chicago Fire (possible depending on when it was) you still have a few born before or soon enough after the POD as to not be impacted. Not sure about Cy Young, who debuted in 1890, but Frank Grant, the oldest Negro League Hall of Famer, was born in 1865.

    I imgine a similar league has risen up in place of the old NL with teams in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, maaybe Washington and Baltimore? This makes sense, and could also be where the stars of OTL are.

    Speaaking of race relations, with the ballpark on the south side untouched, I wonder if the South side, which OTL has lots of African-American residents, remained somewhat intact. It's possible, depending on how many there were in 1890 (you said the population was down to about 500,000 again, which I looked up was their 1880 population), that Chicago TTL might have a reputation as a "black city" which in time ends up being a beacon of hope for African-Americans. It's possible that once the 1st Great Migration starts, maany will still go there, leading to interesting butterflies.
    Nivek and Brian T Grabowski like this.
  13. Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN
    In the next update I was planning on introducing the teams from the east that would be joining the league, and I was going to go with an angle that there's been a lot of chaos in organized baseball out east due to the collapse in particular of the National League in the late 1880s. However, there's been a lose "league" of teams playing against each other in NYC, Boston, Baltimore, Philly, and Washington. The big thing I want to enforce in this timeline is the shorter schedule that this league plays, because even the 1890s, there were leagues playing a 100+ games a year, which I feel a smart team owner knew would stretch profits thin and cause players to demand more pay. Not to mention, while I did stamp out some problems that are forthcoming; the Panic of 1893 is still going to happen as well as the inevitable Homestead Strike (just a little later in 1892). So while this league is professional, many of its players work in the off-season, i.e. the Pittsburgh Burghers players might work at the Homestead Steel Works.

    There's also an election in 1892, and I'm not sure if I want to play with political history too much as I feel as the 2nd Chicago fire and a sports league isn't going to effect politics and or world events too much outside of the decisions that were 50/50 in our timeline (could've went one way or another). Now, I did think with the prominence of potentially more German industrialists and the league being more German in nature, it could sway public opinion come WW1, but that's a butterfly effect I don't know if I want to really tackle. Maybe people, while shedding their German heritage quite a bit during the war, still retain a bit more cultural influence then in our timeline, i.e. more German architecture and people not Anglicizing their names as much.

    As for expanded ripple effects of the timeline and incorporation of real players/events, I planned on bringing in some historic players like Cy Young eventually. However, with the distortion of the leagues in the US; the way he arrives in the league will likely be very different as a farm system hasn't really been established yet but will be coming in a few seasons. Right now, its just a few lose affiliations with small market teams, like Fort Wayne having an affiliation with the Logansport minor-league team. The other event that will likely occur in my mind is the relegation of Toledo to a minor-league due to high cost of operations.

    The populations have been effected significantly due to the fire, and there's proportionally more blacks in Chicago in this timeline then in our timeline. There's also a reason to me making up potential owners aside from a few real people, because it lets me play with their personalities more. So in this timeline, the owner of the Red Stockings is in secret a member of the KKK, so he will be ousted in the coming seasons by a handful of his players.

    An idea also floating in my head is that there's a southern pro-league that plays with different rules and calls it "Anglo-baseball"; which will lead to conflict in the future. I just haven't mentioned them yet due to them being conceptual rn. It's also why I didn't create an expansion team in Memphis.
  14. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

    Oct 19, 2005
    10 miles north of 10 miles south
    Interesting, sounds like fun. I agree that neitehr the 1892 election, nor those for a few cycles yet, will be impacted. There are slow, steady changes but the big ones won't come for a while.

    In a way, it's sort of like Negro League baseball was in the 1920s, the teams are more secure financially, obviously, than the black teams, but overall there's a bit more changeover from league to league. It's possible that once the Hall of Fame gets started, there will be more respect paid to the pre-1900 players and the early days of basebaall, with more attention paid to impact ont he game aand less on pure stats, whereas except for Candy Cummings (who we don't' really know if he invented the curveball or not) it's a lot more stat-driven, it seems, and it took a lotng time for the National Association of 1871-5 to be accepted as possibly major league level - many still don't. Here, the NA might be seen as "major league" right away, once the idea of "major leagues" versus "minor leagues" really takes hold.
    Brian T Grabowski likes this.
  15. Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN
    That is a really good idea to incorporate into this AH. The concept of major vs minor is pretty blurred rn in this timeline, but I think bringing in the coast (and the money it'll bring) will change the way the nation looks at the levels of baseball. What's going to be hard for me is going to be creating all these minor leagues & teams to fill the farm systems.

    To keep organized, I am tracking this all on excel, but as things get bigger & more expansive expect less frequent updates because I'll have to do seasons for all these teams ;)
    52cardsshortofadeck likes this.
  16. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

    Oct 19, 2005
    10 miles north of 10 miles south
    Thanks. Baseball-reference has a good database on minor leagues from 1886 (the dropdown chart for some reason only goes to 2016 but once yo'ure there you can click to the next seasons) if it helps you to get an idea for cities that can be used and potential leagues.
    Brian T Grabowski likes this.
  17. Threadmarks: Fall-1892

    Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN

    The nation is quiet following the October Strike at Homestead Steel Works in Pennsylvania. What started as a strike for higher pay, turned into an all out war the spilled into neighboring Pittsburgh. Over 75 left dead in its wake, many across the country have begun to question their government allowing something like this to happen. The city of Pittsburgh sits at a crossroads of doing nothing to ensure industrial growth while Carnegie exploits its citizens or to step in to protect its citizens from unfair & unsafe work. What follows is a national election where the challenger former president Grover Cleveland soundly beats sitting president Benjamin Harrison; 340 electoral votes - 82 electoral votes as Cleveland picks up the industrial states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan in an unexpected gain as a what many would call after the election, "a nail in the exploitation of American workers".

    The league took a step back to acknowledge their own personal practices, as many of them had deep Catholic beliefs and knew exploitation was wrong. Chief among them was Rolf Stoiber, who even though a wealthy industrialist now, had worked his way from humble beginnings as a textile mill worker.

    Linus Gerzberg halted all of his industrial service for a week following the incident, and then proceeded to raise his workers wages.


    Following the somberness of the fall and the presidential election, the league formally admits 3 new teams to the league following the decision by George Young to relegate his team to semi-pro in order to save money;

    1. New York (NYC) Giants: a team owned by John B. Day and plays their games at Manhattan Field with a capacity of 10,000. The club had seen previous incarnations in the failed leagues of the past 20 years, but with a stable league to support it, the Giants looked ready to play
    2. Boston Blue Stockings: a team owned by James O'Cahill, a self-made millionaire in the shipping industry, who's team plays their games at the Congress Street Grounds with a capacity of 8,000. This club was formed from the remnants of a handful of teams that had previously donned the name BOSTON on their jerseys
    3. Philadelphia Athletics: a team owned by William A. Sharsig and plays their games at the Jefferson Street Grounds with a capacity of 9,500. Another club that had seen previous incarnations in failed leagues, but now also with a stable league to support it, the Athletics are ready to put on a show for their city
    With these new additions, the league agreed to conduct meetings in the spring to establish a new schedule and new league re-alignment.

    Stay tune for Spring-1893........

    p.s. I'll be out of town this weekend, so don't expect an update until likely Monday
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
    Nivek likes this.
  18. Threadmarks: spring-1893

    Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN

    The somberness of the past winter begins to melt away as the flowers begin to bloom, but all is not well in the nation. In the last days of his presidency, Benjamin Harrison, sat back as the Reading Railroad, went into receivership. That collapse was soon magnified by the failure of hundreds of banks and businesses dependent upon the Reading and other railroads. The stock market reacted with a dramatic plunge. Fearing further collapse, European investors pulled their funds from the United States, but depression soon gripped the other side of the Atlantic as well. An ongoing agricultural depression in the West and South deepened, spreading the misery to those regions as well. The Mid-Western United States, largely reliant on customers and suppliers in their region largely remained unaffected outside of some of the cities along contact points with other regions most notably Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

    The league meets to discuss financial situations, and despite no team currently suffering any serious issues, some worry that this season or next could be their last. Regardless of this, the league agrees to move forward with the season with a few minor changes to the structure of the league;

    • Division realignment; New York, Boston, and Philadelphia join the East while Cincinnati joins the West
    • Small extension to 52 + 2 exhibition games
      • 20 Saturday, 20 Sunday, 10 Friday, and 4 Thursday games
      • 8 games against each of your division's teams, 4 home & 4 away (40 games)
      • 2 games against each of the other divisions's teams, 1 home & 1 away (12 games)
      • 2 exhibition games against regional minor or negro teams
    • Extension of end of season to play-off structure;
      • 3 game series between the top 2 in each division
      • 3 game series between division series winners
    • Hard salary cap established, set at $45,000
    James O'Cahill also informs the league that his team has decided to adopt the Admirals as their name & identity.

    League as of 1893:

    West Division:
    1. Chicago Braves: owned by William Hulbert, plays at Memorial Field (capacity of 3,000)
    2. St Louis Malt-Men: owned by the Busch Family, plays at Busch Field (capacity of 2,000)
    3. Fort Wayne Generals: owned by Linus Gerzburg, plays at Gerzburg Field (capacity of 1,300)
    4. Indianapolis Grays: owned by the Kingan brothers, plays at Kingan Field (capacity of 2,000)
    5. Milwaukee Brewers: owned by Rolf Stoiber, plays at Athletic Park (capacity of 2,150)
    6. Cincinnati Red Stockings: owned by James Kenton, plays at League Park (capacity of 4,000)
    East Division:
    1. New York Giants: owned by John B. Day, plays at Manhattan Field (capacity of 10,000)
    2. Cleveland Spiders: owned by Francis "Frank" Robinson, plays at Riverside Field (capacity of 5,000)
    3. Boston Admirals: owned by James O'Cahill, plays at the Congress Street Grounds (capacity of 8,000)
    4. Detroit Brown Stockings: owned by Frederick K. Stearns, plays at Recreation Park (capacity of 2,500)
    5. Pittsburgh Burghers: owned be Ned Hanlon, plays at Exposition Park (capacity of 1,500)
    6. Philadelphia Athletics: owned by William A. Sharsig, plays at the Jefferson Street Grounds (capacity of 9,500)

    Uncertainty is in the air leading up to the season as the nation struggles to survive in this economic turmoil. The league fears it will lose teams, and potentially worse.

    Stay tuned for the 1893 season.....
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  19. Threadmarks: 1893-Season

    Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN

    The season starts off smoothly with each team playing their exhibition games including another match-up between the Fort Wayne Generals and Fort Wayne Kekiongas, this year the Generals win 2 to 1 with clutch performances by their entire outfield to seal the game for them. Following the game, Linus speaks with Charles Bonnaire of the Kekiongas about creating a trophy for the annual game between them, and after some initial hesitation, Charles agrees. The Three Rivers Classic is formed from this conversation, and will be a staple of Fort Wayne sports for years to come. Elsewhere in the league, the Chicago Braves also play against their city's negro team; the Chicago Lakers, losing in the match-up 4 to 2 in a tied up until the 9th inning.

    As the regular season begins, the country while hurting financially is beginning to already show signs of recovery, particularly in the northeast as trade with Canada and the UK starts to return. Early season favorites are the Braves in the west and the Admirals in the east with both starting the season off very well. Unfortunately for the Admirals, their southern rival in New York showed the entire league why they're The Empire City. As the season approaches the end, the 4 teams left are the Giants, Brown Stockings, Braves, and Red Stockings.

    1893 Final Regular Season Standings:

    West Division
    1. Chicago Braves (35 - 17)
    2. Cincinnati Red Stockings (31 - 21)
    3. Fort Wayne Generals (27 - 25)
    4. St Louis Malt-Men (22 - 30)
    5. Milwaukee Brewers (18 - 34)
    6. Indianapolis Greys (15 - 37)
    East Division
    1. New York Giants (42 - 10)
    2. Detroit Brown Stockings (35 - 17)
    3. Boston Admirals (28 - 24)
    4. Cleveland Spiders (25 - 27)
    5. Philadelphia Athletics (22 - 30)
    6. Pittsburgh Burghers (12 - 40)
    1893 Post Season:

    Western Divisional Series:
    1. Braves 1 Red Stockings 0 @Chicago
    2. Red Stockings 2 Braves 1 @Cincinnati
    3. Braves 4 Red Stockings 1 @Chicago
    Eastern Divisional Series:
    1. Giants 4 Brown Stockings 0 @New York
    2. Giants 7 Brown Stockings 3 @Detroit
    League Title Series:
    1. Braves 4 Giants 3 @New York
    2. Giants 6 Braves 4 @Chicago
    3. Braves 11 Giants 7 (12 innings) @New York
    Central League Champion: Chicago Braves, 2nd yr in a row

    The Braves show the people of New York who runs baseball in this country after a 12 inning slug-fest culminating in "Grand Slam" by Braves star 1B Justyn Grocki and a shut-out in the bottom of the inning by star P James Wilson.

    Top Players:
    1. James Wilson, P, Chicago Braves
    2. Justyn Grocki, 1B, Chicago Braves
    3. Aladino Melfi, 2B, New York Giants
    4. Joseph Roche, SS, Boston Admirals
    5. William Zhihao, P, St Louis Malt-Men (only played against Western Division teams due to objection from Eastern Division teams on racial grounds)
    Revenue => Profit Per Team:
    1. New York Giants: $65,000 => $12,150
    2. Boston Admirals: $58,500 => $9,800
    3. Chicago Braves: $44,750 => $10,500
    4. Cleveland Spiders: $32,400 => $8,300
    5. Detroit Brown Stockings: $30,900 => $7,800
    6. Philadelphia Athletics: $28,650 => $5,450
    7. St Louis Malt-Men: $27,300 => $6,150
    8. Cincinnati Red Stockings: $26,250 => $4,350
    9. Milwaukee Brewers: $23,500 => $6,750
    10. Fort Wayne Generals: $22,550 => $5,400
    11. Indianapolis Grays: $20,750 => $4,800
    12. Pittsburgh Burghers: $19,350 => $4,000
    • Total League Revenue = $399,900
    • Total League Profit = $85,450
    Despite the nation hurting, the league managed to increase their profits mostly due to an extended playoffs and addition of big market teams.

    Stay tuned for the 1893 off-season and other developments........
  20. Threadmarks: Fall-1893

    Brian T Grabowski No Love For Hoosier Pro Teams

    Jul 11, 2019
    Fort Wayne, IN

    Following yet another season of poor attendance and horrible play, Ned Hanlon opted to sell his team to Denny McKnight of the Pittsburgh Allegheny's baseball club, commonly called the Pirates. They'd been a club who sought professional league status, but due to the Burghers, hadn't been able to break through. With the sale complete, both clubs were combined into the new club the Pittsburgh Pirates, with the promise from McKnight to build a new ballpark in the heart of the city. The league, having dealt with the Burghers' incompetence for 3 seasons, more than welcomed the move to bring competition to such an important market. While not as un-competitive, the Indianapolis Greys owners also began to express a desire to transition to a minor-league, however the league denied the request and then put pressure on the owners to sell to a more involved owner, as the league accused the Kingan brothers of cutting costs and intentionally running their team poorly. After several tense meetings, the Greys were sold to the wealthy pharmaceutical man, Eli Lilly, a well known figure in the city and a fan of the team since it they first started playing. The Greys would also formally adopt their nickname as well and become the Indianapolis Indians.

    In other league news, the owner's began discussions with the failing professional Appalachian League to absorb its teams in Baltimore, Washington, Louisville, and Charlotte. All these cities were fertile ground for expansion, and the league was starting to believe in the idea of becoming the only professional baseball league in the United States.

    The nation is still hurting from the economic turmoil of the beginning of the year, but with quick response from the Cleveland administration, the actual fallout of the turmoil was greatly scaled back. They addressed the growing number of unstable large companies by forming a bipartisan business council to create sensible regulation against unsustainable growth. Many in the railroad industry feared an overreach, but those fears were put to rest when the administration assured them that not only were railroads vital for growth but were synonymous with American exceptionalism.

    During all of this, Linus Gerzberg becomes a sitting board member of the Wabash Railroad after a sizable stock purchase. His intentions are to utilize the company's reach to expand his industrial shipping business to include Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland. His son, Frederick begins school in the fall as well, and Linus notices that Frederick is exceptionally bright for such a young age. Perhaps the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

    Stay tuned for the Winter-1893/4, Spring-1894, and the 1894 Season........
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
    Nivek likes this.