1874 Boston Red Stockings
1874 Boston Red Stockings / Franchise: Boston Red Stockings / BR Team Page
Record: 52-18-1 (.739), RS: 735; RA: 415; Diff: 320; Pts: 105; >.500: 20-6; Finished 1st in National Association
- Pennant Clinched: October 24, 1874, vs. Hartford Dark Blues
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History, Comments, Contributions
The 1874 Boston Red Stockings won their third straight National Association pennant. Prior to the start of the 1874 season two clubs (the Washington Nationals and Elizabeth Resolutes) dropped out. They were replaced by the Hartford Dark Blues and a newly formed Chicago White Stockings, the original team having been forced to suspend operation due to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Boston saw the departure of Bob Addy who left the team for Hartford. Manager Harry Wright brought back Cal McVey, who had spent the previous two seasons with the Baltimore Canaries. Along with McVey, Wright added another Canary, outfielder George Hall. The Canaries had been a strong team the previous two seasons but were reduced to that of a cooperative club due to the loss of many good players.
The Red Stockings were supposed to have opened their season at home against the Philadelphia White Stockings on April 25th. Instead, it was delayed due to a snowstorm which dropped six inches of snow. The next day a second game against the White Stockings was called off as well as a game against Hartford on April 29th. The Red Stockings did not open their season until May 2nd against the New York Mutuals, with the Red Stockings winning 12-3. The team won 13 straight games before losing two straight to the Brooklyn Atlantics on May 23rd and May 26th. The two wins gave the Atlantics a 4-3 record, which was the only time that season they would be above .500. Despite the losses, the Red Stockings remained in first place. However, the pace at which the Red Stockings won at slowed down due to injury. By early July the team’s lead on the second-place Philadelphia Athletics had narrowed to 4 games. Wright then took the team on a couple of short road trips including a trip to Canada. The team played its last game on July 15th, a 6-4 loss to the Athletics.
Soon after both clubs travelled by steamship, the Ohio, to England for a baseball tour of the country. The trip took eleven days arriving in Liverpool in time to play their first game on July 30th. Among those travelling with the teams were Athletics team president James M. Ferguson, Sr. who was accompanied by his wife and son, James Jr. For Boston, former team president Charles H. Porter and George Will (he looks good for a man over 200 years old, but no not that George Will). President Nicholas T. Apollonio gathered the team together in the ladies' saloon reminding them that the honor of the club was in their hands and that the team would always play to win. With the Red Stockings gone, the South End Grounds was without a major league attraction for the duration. However, in early August, Hartford scheduled two baseball games to be played at the grounds against the Philadelphia White Stockings on August 12th and August 13th. A crowd of 500 watched the White Stockings defeat the Dark Blues 23-10 for the first game. The game for August 13th was cancelled due to weather.
While the top two clubs were touring England, the rest of the league continued on. The New York Mutuals were in 3rd place at the start of the tour with a 17-16 record. By August 25th they had caught up to the Athletics with 23 wins. They would move into 2nd place four days later with a 4-3 win over the Atlantics. The Athletics and Boston were back in the States by September 9th. The tour was considered to be a financial failure, the cost totaling $2,318.13, but netting only $1,660.69. The two clubs played each other on September 10th, with Boston winning 5-4 due to a controversial call made by umpire Theodore Bomeisler. The team went 5-6 in the month of September, and excluding April of the previous year, it was the team’s first sub-.500 month since June of 1871 including the team’s first three-game losing streak.
The Red Stockings opened the month of October at home with a shutout win over the Athletics. Boston scored 29 runs, while the Athletics committed 30 errors. The team followed that up with a four-game undefeated streak before losing to the Mutuals, 4-3, on October 9th. They followed that up with a six-game winning streak, which was then ended by the Philadelphia White Stockings in 5-2 win in Philadelphia, PA. The team clinched its third straight pennant on October 20th with a 14-7 win over the Athletics. A second six-game winning streak started on the 22nd with Spalding winning his 50th game on October 26th. The season ended on October 30th with a 17-11 loss at home to Hartford. It should be noted that the Boston Red Stockings were the only club in the National Association who completed its quota of baseball games. During the off-season, it was rumored that Al Spalding would sign with the Chicago White Stockings, while Deacon White supposedly turned down an offer to play in Chicago. At the annual December club meeting, Apollonio was re-elected club president.
- Boston Uniform: 1874
|On Base Percentage||.320||.282||1st|
- Charles Bevis: "Nicholas Apollonio", SABR Biography Project Nicholas Apollonio
- Harold Kaese: Boston Braves: 1871-1953, Northeastern University Press, Boston, MA 2004. ISBN 978-1555536176. Originally published in 1948.
- Bob LeMoine and Bill Nowlin: Boston's First Nine: The 1871-75 Boston Red Stockings, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2016. ISBN 978-1-943816-29-3
- John Thorn: "George Wright" SABR Wright