1884 New York Gothams

From BR Bullpen

1884 New York Gothams / Franchise: San Francisco Giants / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 62-50, Finished 4th in National League (1884 NL)

Managed by Jim Price (56-42) and John Ward (6-8)

Ballpark: Polo Grounds

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1884 New York Gothams were the second edition of the franchise that had started off in 1883. When the season opened, John Clapp, who had skippered the team in its first season, was no longer with the team, but had been replaced by Jim Price, who was making his managerial debut. With the team relatively intact, the Gothams opened the season at the Polo Grounds, sweeping the Chicago White Stockings, in a two-game series. Unlike the previous season in which the Gothams had gone on an eight-game losing streak, the Gothams won 12 straight games before losing to the Buffalo Bisons, 4-1. They managed to stay in fist place until a two-game loss to the Providence Grays dropped them down to third place, where they would remain until early August when they dropped further down to fourth. Following a 6-1 loss to the Cleveland Blues on September 23rd, Price was replaced as manager by pitcher John Ward, who managed the team’s final 16 games. The Gothams finished the season with their first winning record, going 62-50-4 for a fourth-place finish.

The Gothams had a second straight winning season at home, but were a .500 club on the road. While the Gothams started the season strong, going 17-8 in the month of May, the team got progressively worse as the season wore on, winning fewer and fewer games each month. While the team was 13 games over .500 in the first half, they were one game below .500 in the second. Against the pennant-winning Providence Grays the team was 3-13-1. They were 8-8-1 against the Boston Beaneaters and 4-12 against the White Stockings. Against their fellow expansion team from the previous year, the Philadelphia Quakers, they went 11-5. Moving over from first base, second baseman Roger Connor continued to lead the team with a .317 batting average and with 4 home runs. Mickey Welch led all pitchers with a 39-21 record and a 2.50 ERA.

As mentioned, the Gothams got off to a great start, winning their first 12 games and posting a run differential of +63 through their first nine games. While these seem like historic figures - and they are - they were not even the best by a team that year as the St. Louis Maroons of the Union Association started off 13-0 and were at +78 runs after nine games, the all-time record that still stands. If it can console the Gothams, the closest another team has come to their total since has been the 2023 Tampa Bay Rays, who were at +57 after starting their season 9-0. In spite of that great start, the Gothams played mediocre baseball the rest of the way, playing exactly for .500 after their first 12-games: they went 50-50 to finish in fourth place. That relative collapse cost manager Price his job. Not that the change improved things, as they were below .500 in their final 16 games (including two ties).

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