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1890 Buffalo Bisons

From BR Bullpen

1890 PL Buffalo Bisons / Franchise: Buffalo Bisons / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 36-96, Finished 8th in Players League

Managed by Jack Rowe (27-72) and Jay Faatz (9-24)

Ballpark: Olympic Park II (Apr. 19-Oct. 4, 1890)

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1890 Buffalo Bisons were Buffalo’s entry into the Players League for the 1890 season. The team was apparently formed out of the ashes of the National League team of the same name, and joined the minor league International League for the 1886 season. Managed by former NL Bisons’ manager Jack Chapman, the team posted twowinning seasons under his leadership, before he was let go following the 1889 season. During the off-season, the team was sold to Deacon White and Jack Rowe. Around this time, the team’s lease at Olympic Park (I) had run out, so the new owners moved the team to a new ballpark, which was also named Olympic Park. Unfortunately White and Rowe were unable to play for the Bisons, as they were under contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and team president Al Nimick refused to allow their release. No matter how hard they tried, Nimick refused to budge. In the end the pair reported to the Pirates.

At the end of the season, White and Rowe returned to Buffalo. In addition to those two as team owners, they were joined by teammates catcher Connie Mack and outfielder Dummy Hoy. The other owners were: Moses Shire, a lawyer, Frank T. Gilbert, a former sheriff, and Charles Fitzgerald. The team joined the newly formed Players League. The Bisons opened the season at home against the Cleveland Infants, where they steamrolled the visitors by the score of 23-2. Starting Pitcher George Haddock scored more runs (4) than the number of runs he gave up (2). The Bisons swept the Infants scoring a total of 79 runs. The team’s fast start was undone by an eight-game losing streak from which the team never recovered. Pitchers Haddock and Bert Cunningham led the team with 9 wins. Hoy led the team with a .298 batting average, while outfielder Ed Beecher produced a league worst 52 errors. No outfielder has since matched this total. Rowe managed the team to a 27-66-1 record before stepping down. First baseman Jay Faatz took over.

The team finished the season in last place with a 36-96-2 record. The Bisons were 23-42 at home, but a terrible 13-54-2 on the road. Their best month was in April where they went 4-3, but produced the most wins in August with 9. Of their opponents, the Bisons held a 7-9 record against the Cleveland Infants. The team was 15-53 in blowouts, but 5-9 in one-run games. During the off-season, the Bisons’ owners lost all of their investment after the dust had settled with the AA/NL/PL mergers and consolidations.

Sources[edit]

  • Bisons 1880s
  • Bisons 1890s
  • Baseball Almanac
  • Chicago Pirates
  • Ed Koszarek: The Players League: History, Clubs, Ballplayers and Statistics, McFarland © Feb. 28, 2006
  • Peter Filichia: Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebrations of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks Past and Present, Addison Wesley Publishing Company (March 1993)