St. Louis Maroons

From BR Bullpen

Win-Loss Record: 173-100-8 (.630)

Ballpark: Union Grounds (St. Louis) (April 20, 1884 – September 23, 1886) (10,000)

Team History[edit]

The St. Louis Maroons were one of the founding teams of the Union Association in 1884 and were owned by league president Henry Lucas. The Maroons opened the season at Union Grounds on April 20th, a 7-2 win over the Chicago Browns. The Maroons would set a club and league record of 20 straight wins without a loss. After 31 games, manager Ted Sullivan jumped to the Kansas City Cowboys and was replaced by Fred Dunlap. The change in managers had little effect on the team. In late July, former Providence Grays pitcher Charlie Sweeney joined the team. While the other teams would drop out, the Maroons kept on winning. The team's longest losing streak took place in mid-September when they had a four-game losing streak. It was only the second time during the season that the team lost back-to-back games. The team won the pennant handily, with a record of 94-19-1. Following the season, the Maroons were invited to join the National League. It would end up being a mistake for the team. During the team's two years in the National League, in 1885 and 1886, the Maroons finished with a sub-.500 record and never higher than 6th. Because of his pitching from the 1884 season, Sweeney was never the same.

The team's only high point during their time in the National League came on May 24, 1886 when former manager Fred Dunlap hit for the cycle. After the season Lucas decided to get out of baseball and sold the team to a group from Indianapolis, Indiana, led by John T. Brush who moved the team to Indianapolis and renamed it the Indianapolis Hoosiers.

Note: The Maroons' 20-game win streak was a major league baseball record at the time. It was surpassed as a baseball record by the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings with 57 straight wins, the 1875 Boston Red Stockings with 26 and the 1870 Cincinnati Red Stockings with 24. The 20 wins tied the mark of the 1864 Brooklyn Atlantics.

Sources[edit]

  • John David Cash: Before They Were Cardinals: Major League Baseball in Nineteenth-Century St. Louis, University of Missouri Press, 2002.
  • 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.
  • NABBP Champions
  • 1869
  • 1870