The History of Baseball: 1877
League Champion: Boston Red Caps (42-18, .700 WPCT).
The National League lost (well, actually expelled) the New York Mutuals and the Philadelphia Athletics after the 1876, but baseball largely grew in 1877. There were only six teams in the NL, but a number of minor leagues formed, including the International Association, the League Alliance, and the New England Association. In the New England Association was my favorite baseball team of all time, the minor league Lowell Ladies' Men. The Ladies' Men technically won the World Series, defeating the NL Champion Red Caps 9-4 in an exhibition game in November. In April, Harvard catcher and future major leaguer Jim Tyng did the unthinkable; he wore a catcher's mask. It was the first recorded incidence in baseball history in which the catcher wore a mask. Imagine how terrifying it must have been to catch without a mask. At this point, most players do not wear gloves (gloves won't become widespread until the 1890's) and the batting helmet was not even in the forward thinker's wildest dreams. In the 60 game regular season, Boston's Deacon White won the batting title, batting .387 while also clubbing eleven triples. Lip Pike of Cincinnati again led the NL in home runs, this time with four. However, at that time, home runs were not looked upon the way they are today. The grand stat was still, and for a long time would be, batting average. On the mound, Boston's Tommy Bond (baseball's first Irish ballplayer and the final living member of the 1876 season, dying in 1941) was easily baseball's best pitcher, going 40-17 with a 2.11 ERA in 58 starts. He was the first pitcher in baseball history to win the pitchers' Triple Crown, leading in wins, ERA, and strikeouts (170). Jim Devlin led the league in innings pitched with 559. He started (and completed) 61 games. At season's end, Boston had run away with the championship, going 42-18 and finishing seven games ahead of the Louisville Grays, who went 35-25. For the second straight season, the Cincinnati Red Stockings finished last, this time going 15-42 and finishing 25.5 games back. After the season, baseball lost three more major league teams: the St. Louis Brown Stockings, Louisville Grays, and the Hartford Dark Blues. The former two were forced to fold after gambling schemes. Gambling would plague baseball for a long time, until Kennesaw Mountain Landis cracked down on gambling in the 1920's. Only three teams remained: the Boston Red Caps, Chicago White Stockings, and the Cincinnati Red Stockings. However, three brand new teams were ready to join the league in 1878.
The Mariners announced that former major leaguer and Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon will be their manager for the 2014 season.
The Cubs announced that Rick Renteria will be their manager for the 2014 season.
Rays signed David DeJesus (8 HR, 38 RBI, .251 AVG, 5 SB, 2014 age: 34) to a two year, $10.5 million extension ($5.25 million per season).
Rangers signed Martin Perez (10-6, 3.62 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 2014 age: 23) to a four year, $12.5 million dollar deal ($3.13 million per season) that buys out his four years of arbitration.
The American and National League Silver Sluggers have been announced.
In the AL the winners are: Joe Mauer (C, MIN, 11 HR, 47 RBI, .324 AVG), Chris Davis (1B, BAL, 53 HR, 138 RBI, .286 AVG), Robinson Cano (2B, NYY, 27 HR, 107 RBI, .314 AVG), J.J. Hardy (SS, BAL, 25 HR, 76 RBI, .263 AVG), Miguel Cabrera (3B, DET, 44 HR, 137 RBI, .348 AVG), Mike Trout (OF, LAA, 27 HR, 97 RBI, .323 AVG), Torii Hunter (OF, DET, 17 HR, 84 RBI, .304 AVG), Adam Jones (OF, BAL, 33 HR, 108 RBI, .285 AVG), and David Ortiz (DH, BOS, 30 HR, 103 RBI, .309 AVG).
In the NL: Yadier Molina (C, STL, 12 HR, 80 RBI, .319 AVG), Paul Goldschmidt (1B, ARI, 36 HR, 125 RBI, .302 AVG), Matt Carpenter (2B, STL, 11 HR, 78 RBI, .318 AVG), Ian Desmond (SS, WAS, 20 HR, 80 RBI, .280 AVG), Pedro Alvarez (3B, PIT, 36 HR, 100 RBI, .236 AVG), Andrew McCutchen (OF, PIT, 21 HR, 84 RBI, .317 AVG), Jay Bruce (OF, CIN, 30 HR, 109 RBI, .262 AVG), Michael Cuddyer (OF, COL, 20 HR, 84 RBI, .331 AVG), and Zack Greinke (P, LAD, 0 HR, 4 RBI, .328 AVG).
Free Agent Signings
Rangers resigned Geovany Soto (9 HR, 22 RBI, .245 AVG, 1 SB, 2014 age: 31) to a one year, $3.05 million deal.
Blue Jays resigned Juan Perez (1-2, 3.69 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 2014 age: 35) to a minor league deal.
Teams followed in this update: Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers
If your team is not included, please leave a comment.
HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases. ERA: earned run average. WHIP: walks/hits per innings pitched. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage