1871 Philadelphia Athletics

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1871 Philadelphia Athletics / Franchise: Philadelphia Athletics / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 21-7, Finished 1st in National Association (1871 NA)

Won NA Pennant

Managed by Dick McBride

On June 28, won 49-33 in one (if not the) highest scoring game ever.

Ballpark: Jefferson Street Grounds

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1871 Athletics won the championship in the first year of the National Association. The team had been an amateur team for many years prior to that.

Playing in a pitcher's park, Levi Meyerle, one of the decade's great sluggers, led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. His Adjusted OPS+ of 236 was the highest during the lifetime of the National Association and one of the highest of all time.

The next highest batter was Al Reach, at .353. Reach would go on to found a sporting goods business and also the Reach Guide.

George Bechtel, appearing in 20 games, hit .351.

Manager Dick McBride was also the regular pitcher, going 18-5. However, although it was a pitcher's park, the team's ERA was not as impressive as its batting average and slugging percentage. McBride would go on to win as many as 44 games in 1874.

Many of the players had previously played in amateur ball. The oldest player on the team, Nate Berkenstock, was a 40-year-old who had previously played for the amateur Athletics and appeared in only one game in 1871 because Count Sensenderfer, another player who had been with the amateur Athletics, was injured.

McBride would manage the Athletics for five years, finishing over .500 each year.